Author: Brian Diedrick

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I Broke Up with Binge-Watching and I’ve Never Been Happier

My name is Brian, and I’m an episodic TV addict. I’ve been clean for over 100 days now. That’s right. Clean. No Piper and Alex. No Phillip and Elizabeth. No Starks. No Lannisters. No Netflix. No Amazon Prime Instant. No HBO GO on my friend’s account. By last fall, my “denial” cover story about my nasty habit was collapsing. I could no longer fool myself that I merely enjoyed the golden era of prestige TV in the age of genius showrunners like Gilligan, Simon and Chase My viewing habits had broken bad. Really, really bad. Paying full Prime retail for an all-night binge on USA’s mediocre law firm procedural Suits bad. Bad as in hearing not voices but rather an insane mash-up track, starting with the opening violin theme from The Americans, adding in The Sopranos bass line, layering over the House of Cards theme (because it’s the basically the same song ) and then topping it off with the Game of Thrones cello bad. Terrible. But things are better now. Much better. Subtracting episodic …

How I Became a (Junior) Birth Partner

I can’t remember whether it was the second visit to the midwife or the first session with the doula when I began to feel a visceral empathy for Hillary Clinton circa 1992. At some point during my wife’s (even now I hesitate to say ‘our’) pregnancy, it dawned on me that “this must be what a political spouse feels like” sitting on a dais, or in my case a chair, almost always positioned somewhat askew from the interaction between my wife and a prenatal caregiver. There I would sit, smiling and laughing and gesturing supportively in all the correct places, feeling highly scrutinized yet invisible, and realizing my only chance of becoming a full participant in the conversation would be by asserting myself in a way that might come across as overstepping, pushy, or even militant. Don’t get me wrong, the highly skilled and compassionate professionals who helped us along the path to parenthood were always happy to engage me on a serious level. But I always felt as if an unspoken burden of proof …