Mike Julianelle or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

Mike Julianelle

Mike lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children, and increasing dependence on alcohol. Find him on dadandburied.com and its associated social channels (FB, IG, Twitter) and be ready for him to mock his kids, himself, and maybe even you.

Father Figures: Best Bros

“My wife and I have been married for 4 years and the day we celebrated our 4 year anniversary, we welcomed our 2nd son, Jack into our lives.

Our first son, Emmett, had just broken his femur four days before Jack was to be born, so needless to say, we were pretty stinkin’ scared and knew we were about to have our hands full.

Being a dad means that I get to serve my family and go to bed every night more tired than I ever have been and more full of joy. That I get to show my sons that their momma is the most important person in the world to me and that they should live to enjoy God and glorify him forever.

These next 2 months will probably be our hardest yet, but I sure looking forward to watching these two dudes grow up to be best bros.”

– Tony Weaver

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

The Breaking Bad Movie Is Complete, Says Bob Odenkirk

Breaking Bad

For a few months now, we’ve known that a new Breaking Bad movie was coming. We’ve discussed the details, sparse as they are, a few times. There was confusion over who would be in the movie, when it would take place, and what it was about.

We learned it was going to follow Aaron Paul’s Jesse, Walt’s meth-making partner, and protege, as he makes his way in the world after the events of the series. The official logline stated that the movie “will follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.” We eventually learned that a lot of familiar faces from the show would be turning up, including several who didn’t survive, Jesse’s girlfriend played by Krysten Ritter, even Mike, who currently features on Better Call Saul.

Then, a little while ago, at the exact same time, original stars Cranston and Paul tweeted out images of a pair of donkeys and the word “Soon,” leading fans to speculate that Cranston was indeed in the movie and that it would be out soon.

Now, Bob Odenkirk, aka the show’s sketchy lawyer Saul Goodman and the lead of the acclaimed spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” seemed to indicated that the movie, which is set to air on Netflix and AMC next year, is in the can.

“I don’t know what people know and don’t know. I find it hard to believe you don’t know it was shot. They did it. You know what I mean? How is that a secret? But it is. They’ve done an amazing job of keeping it a secret,” he told The Hollywood Reporter while discussing the forthcoming season of his show.

The actor also expressed his own enthusiasm for the movie.

“I’ve heard so many different things about it, but I am excited about the Breaking Bad movie. I can’t wait to see it.”

We all do! We know almost nothing, which is nearly unheard of in this age of social media. I for one am glad to go into the movie unspoiled, so here’s hoping the project stays as hidden as Gus’s meth lab under the laundromat.

Stan Lee’s Daughter Has Sony’s Back in Spider-Man Rift

JC Lee Backs Sony in Spidey-Dispute
(Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez)

Yesterday’s news that Spider-Man was leaving the MCU due to a breakdown in negotiations between Disney (which owns Marvel Studio) and Sony (which owns the Spider-man character) reverberated across Hollywood and fandom.

All sorts of people had opinions, from movie fans who don’t want to see yet another take on the Spider-Man origin story (Leave Uncle Ben alone!) to celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, aka Deadpool, and Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, who have their own reasons for weighing in.

Well, someone new just chirped up, and she has an even bigger connection to Peter Parker. Her dad created him.

JC Lee, Stan Lee’s daughter, gave an interview with TMZ – something she has done in the past – in which she threw some shade at Marvel Studios, and presumably its head, Kevin Fiege, for only caring about profits and not the character.

“Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy,” Lee said.

Which seems odd to me, especially since almost everyone agrees that the MCU’s Spider-Man, as inhabited by Tom Holland, is the best, most comic-accurate – certainly the most age-accurate – cinematic take on the character yet. And I don’t know how you can walk out of Endgame and feel like Marvel Studios doesn’t respect the characters. That movie is dripping with reverence for the Avengers and their entire comic book universe.

JC has personal reasons for siding with Sony that go beyond the treatment of the character. They’re about how Disney and Marvel treated her father.

“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency,” Lee told TMZ, before saying, “In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”

Obviously, there are some hard feelings there, and far be it from us to tell JC she’s wrong to want to protect her father’s creation and legacy from people she feels treated him poorly. We just hope this situation can get resolved in a way that keeps the best possible version of Spidey on our screens.

Spider-Man Exits MCU, Fans and Stars Want Him Back

Spider-Man Exits MCU
(Getty/Chung Sung-Jun)

90s kids will remember a time when a Spider-man movie seemed impossible. Back in those days, there were so many rights issues and legal snafus and studio entanglements that when Tobey Maguire finally donned the suit in Sam Raimi’s movie, it felt like a miracle.

After Raimi’s trilogy – which peaked with Spider-man 2 and plummeted with Spider-man 3: Electic Boogaloo, Andrew Garfield suited up for a reboot and a sequel no one cared about. And then the MCU, already in full-swing, formed a deal with Sony to grant Peter Parker entrance into the Avengers. Unfortunately, that deal was short-lived.

As of yesterday, Spidey – and Tom Holland, pretty much everyone’s favorite version of the wall-crawler – are once again out of the MCU and in a world of uncertainty.

Tuesday, amid reports that Sony (who owns the character’s movie incarnation) and Disney (which owns Marvel Studios) couldn’t agree on a financial split, Spidey lost his footing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wednesday, as the news reverberated across Hollywood, rumors swirled that Holland was out as well. And now Peter Parker lies in limbo.

And so do the Avengers, who have already lost Iron Man and Captain America and now have lost one of the heirs apparent as well.

Fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment the only way they know how: with savagery and jokes, especially concerning Sony’s tendency towards rebooting the character.

Some fans – and actor Ryan Reynolds – took a more hopeful tack in response to the news:

As for Tom Holland, he has yet to weigh in, but his contract is for three solo Spider-man films, of which two have already been made, while director Jon Watts (who helmed both Homecoming and Far From Home) was only signed for two. Where Sony takes the duo remains unclear.

While Spidey may be forced to leave the MCU, he’s not going out without a fight. At least not if some of the other Avengers have anything to say about it. Like Hawkeye.

The Matrix 4: Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss Will Reunite

The Matrix 4 Announced
(Warner Bros.)

Keanu Reeves is having a hell of a run. Thanks to the John Wick trilogy (and counting), the star is back at the top of Hollywood, again. He was in Toy Story 4, he’s working on Bill and Ted’s 3, and thanks to his Zen-like demeanor and countless tales of his low-key philanthropy/all-around good guy-ness, the dude is crushing 2019. And he hasn’t even joined the MCU or been named TIME’s person of the year, YET.

And it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. Especially now that a fourth Matrix movie has been announced.

That’s right, we’re plugging back in, we’re taking the red pill, we’re hopefully pretending the third and maybe even the second Matrix movies never happened and we’re dodging bullets like it’s 1999! Trinity is even coming along for the ride.

Yesterday, Variety announced that Lana Wachowski, one of the two Wachowski siblings responsible for the original Matrix trilogy, had inked a deal to bring a fourth installment of the mind-bending, philosophy-spouting, highly-influential action-sci-fi series to the screen. Complete with original stars Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity.

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” said Toby Emmerich from Warner Bros. “Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”

The movie begins production in 2020, so it will be a few years before we see it. No word yet on what the story will be and who else from the original cast might appear, if anyone. I honestly can’t remember what happened in The Matrix: Revolutions, I just remember thinking it was unbelievably stupid and had squandered the promise of the first movie, which is a stone-cold classic.

The director didn’t shed much light on the potential plot but did stake a claim to relevance twenty years later. “Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” Wachowski said.

I have so many questions: Is Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) returning? Is the Architect still blathering on? Will the Oracle be played by yet another actress? Does Neo still know kung-fu? Is there a spoon?

Here’s hoping the new edition can answer those burning questions and recapture some of the magic the original flick provided, which was one of the last unspoiled, pre-internet sensations.

If Keanu’s recent run is any indication, we’re in for a treat.

Mortal Kombat Let a DJ Voice Sub-Zero and Got a Cold Response From Fans

Dimitri Vegas as Sub-Zero

Years ago, around the time George Lucas re-released the original Star Wars trilogy with strange new flourishes – including a bizarre musical number on Jabba’s barge, and then followed those debacles up with the Star Wars prequels and a misbegotten sequel to Indiana Jones, fanboys online started using a phrase to describe what the director had done.

They claimed that Lucas had basically ruined their childhood by mangling the beloved movies and characters they’d grown up with and felt a strong connection to. Overdramatic, yes, but it’s a good indication of the ownership fans feel to their favorite properties, from movies and TV shows to books and even video games. Video games like Mortal Kombat, which is currently on the receiving end of a new round of pop culture criticism for a change to one of the character’s voices.

Mortal Kombat 11 comes out on August 22nd, and one of the latest version’s updates includes DJ Dmitri Vegas stepping in to voice Sub-Zero, one of the game’s iconic fighters.

Vegas is clearly excited about his inclusion in the game, and the music he helped create for the property.

Unfortunately for the DJ, a few clips featuring his voice-work have been released, and fans are less than pleased with his tone and delivery. Some are trying to be diplomatic, but their feelings are clear…

Others aren’t holding back.

He’s being compared to a puppet:

One person explained why it hurts so bad:

At least some are looking at the bright side:

Thankfully, no one has called for the game’s makers to FINISH HIM! But there’s still time…

Father Figures: Perfect

“6 years ago in March, my wife gave birth to our first baby, a perfect little girl we named Annabel. I remember as soon as I saw her under the warming lights, I put my finger in and she grabbed it with a little tiny baby death grip. Best day of my life at that point.

Few days later, my wife was convinced something wasn’t right. Our baby’s oxygen levels were going down, and her lips would turn blue when she ate, which wasn’t often. My wife demanded they run some tests, which they finally agreed to, even over my objections that she was overreacting.

We had to to go home, leaving our little girl in the NICU, but we were convinced everything would be fine and we’d take her home the next day. The staff laughed as we left, saying to enjoy our last full night of sleep.

The next day, we were told they did some tests and found she had a serious heart defect. Had they not found it, chances were good at some point in very early childhood, she would have gone to sleep and never woke up. Talk about heartbreaking.

We were told she needed to have open heart surgery, pretty quick. So, we got scheduled for about a week later. They set us up in a little hospital room, close to the NICU so we could stay there.

The nurses were amazing, one namely: Natalie. Answered every question we had, and couldn’t have been sweeter in the process, making sure we understood everything. She spent many a long night with us, reassuring us that everything would be just fine. There was risk, and we were told we should have her baptized in the hospital before surgery.

Open heart surgery went great. Divine inspiration touched, and just so happened the hospital we were at had the best cardiac surgeon for newborns, not just in the country, but likely in the world. For him, surgery was just another day in the office, obviously not the case for us. Still blows my mind.

6 years and several checkups later she couldn’t be healthier. Typical little girl, energetic, goofy, loves to play, and fortunately got her mother’s good looks. She’s got me wrapped around her little finger, no question about it. We thank god everyday for people like Dr. Illbawi, and our nurse, Natalie, who stood by our side through everything, and saved our little girl’s life.

4 years later, we had another little baby girl, we named her Natalie.

Both kids are perfect, no health issues at all, and I learned to never take a day for granted. I’ve been a cop for the past 11 years, she thinks I’m a superhero. Little girl has no idea it’s just the opposite.

All she has to remind her is a little scar on her chest, which I joke and say no guy will ever see anyway, barring a *Bad Boys 2* type introduction to me, and a few of my closest work friends.”

– Bryan Harl

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Pumpkin Spice SPAM Is Coming This Fall

SPAM Pumpkin Spice
(SPAM/Hormel Foods)

I’m ready for fall. I’m ready for football and hoodies, I’m ready for colorful leaves and crisp autumn air, and I’m ready to say goodbye to this humidity, and the outrageously expensive electric bill from my constantly running air conditioners.

But I’m not ready for pumpkin spice season.

For one thing, it’s still August! For another, I don’t truck with pumpkin-flavored stuff. I don’t like pumpkin beers, or pumpkin lattes, or pumpkin pie. (I love me some roasted pumpkin seeds but that’s neither here nor there.) If you’re into those things, more power to you. I don’t have a problem with that. Based on sales, and also my Instagram feed, my disdain for the flavor makes me an outlier.

The pumpkin spice market is thriving. The limits are getting pushed and here we are.

According to CNN, Hormel Foods is making limited edition Pumpkin Spice Spam available online via Walmart and Spam.com. To produce their pumpkin spiced product, their proprietary pork isn’t mixed with any actual pumpkin. Instead, they use a mixture of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg, which may or may not pair well with your pumpkin spice Starbucks. (Spam apparently recommends topping waffles with the stuff, or mixing it into fall vegetable hash, or baking up some Spam-infused cornbread muffins.) I don’t know what it mixes well with, and I won’t know, because not only do I not drink those, I’ve actually never had Spam.

Maybe I’ll give it a try someday, but if and when I do, you can bet your ass it won’t be the pumpkin spice kind.

For those that do it will be available on September 23.

South Carolina Man’s Lion King Duet With His Donkey Goes Viral

Travis Kinley's Donkey Duet
(Facebook/Travis Kinley)

Over the past few years, Disney has been making a mint converting their animated classics into live-action blockbusters.

It started with The Jungle Book, wherein the movie studio used modern special effects to make it look like the animals were actually talking without being hand-drawn by a stable of animators. It was a hit, and it was followed by live-action versions of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Aladdin, and, most recently, this summer’s huge Lion King remake. The movie made more than Frozen, which means the remakes aren’t stopping anytime soon.

Hopefully, for the next one, they’ll enlist this farmer and his donkey. They wont even need CGI!

Travis Kinley lives in Sumter, South Carolina, and after his friends suggested he make a funny video with his farm animals, he decided to stand with his horses and give it a shot. He didn’t expect his donkey, Nathan, to steal the show.

“So, I got in the pasture, I gather all horses…. I start singing and Nathan starts to bray behind me, and I’m kind of blown away because we never do this together; we never sing together,” Kinley told WLTX19. “He keeps going, so I keep going, and all of a sudden I just kind of break down laughing at the end.”

For good reason. The donkey is really enthusiastic! Or else he’s yelling at Kinley to stop his wretched caterwauling. But the minister seems to have a good rapport with his animal, and together the two have gone viral.

“I got him from about the North Carolina, South Carolina line,” Kinley said. “He was causing some trouble at someone else’s house and I just picked him up for $100 bucks, he seemed alright with me.”

Their friendship has definitely worked out. Since it was posted at the end of July, the video has reached over 3 million views on Facebook. Maybe Nathan the Donkey can get a role in a live-action Shrek?

Father Figures: My Motivation

“I had a lot of preconceived notions about what type of type of dad I thought I’d be if I were ever to have a son, all those notions went right out the window the second you opened your eyes at me for the first time.

Everything I thought I knew and would be a professional at as a dad gave way to the emotion and pure joy I felt just watching you do even the smallest of things in life .

I used to say one day my son is going to be a football player like I was and score a bunch of touchdowns, he’s going to be tough and relentless and make me so proud. Looking back now as the father I am today, I finally get the silliness of that old cliche. The reality is my son makes me proud by finishing his juice box, sharing with his friends, being polite to a waitress or simply tying his shoes correctly.

I understand now that regardless of what this little man chooses to do in life, whether it’s playing a flute or winning the world’s strongest man competition someday, I’m going to be right there in the front row overflowing with pride and happiness for my boy.

As a father I get it now, more focus on raising young men of value and love is needed more than ever in today’s world and my son is 100% joining those ranks. Accolades and trophies come and go, but kindness, compassion, and a good heart will stay with him forever. Embrace this world with an open heart and a thirst for adventure my son, never stop dreaming, and thank you for making me feel like the luckiest man alive each and every day.

Watching you grow and learn and enjoy life the way you do has been nothing short of amazing and I’ve already learned more by raising you in 8 short years then I did my entire previous 30. You are my motivation and reason for everything in life and without you I wouldn’t be even half the man I am today.”

– Adam Gauthier

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Teen Allegedly Tweets From Smart Fridge After Devices Get Confiscated

Teen Allegedly Tweets From Fridge
(Twitter/thankunext327 LG)

Raising a teenager is universally understood to be the hardest part of parenting, for good reason. Babies change your lives and disrupt your sleep, toddlers are chaos machines, elementary school kids are challenging but at least they’re still cute.

Teenagers are independent and rebellious, smart and self-conscious, lazy and sarcastic, and they know everything! (Insert sarcasm font.) Every kid is different, of course, but as your kids get older and more fully-formed, keeping a handle on them gets harder and harder. Especially when they’re so damn resourceful!

Never has then been more apparent than in the case of a Twitter account named Dorothy, @thankunext327, an Ariana Grande stan who recently found herself in conflict with her mother. Dorothy is 15 years old, and apparently, like many 15-year-olds these days, is quite reliant on her phone and social media. So much so that when her mother confiscated her phone and other electronics, she couldn’t let that stand. She needed to tweet!

First, her mother took her phone.

Then, after realizing her clever teen was also able to tweet from her Nintendo DS, she took that away too.

Then she used her Wii because this teen can’t stop won’t stop tweeting.

The teen’s saga went viral, with the hashtag #FreeDorothy cementing her status as a legend…

…and that was before she found yet one more way to manipulate 2019 technology to get what she wanted after her mom took everything away again. Her smart fridge.

At this point, you almost expect her mom to reply with a gif of Ron Burgundy telling his dog he’s not even mad, just disappointed. Except, despite LG – the maker of her fridge – confirming to the Guardian that some of their models have social media capabilities, the teen’s story was starting to seem fishy.

The paper consulted Igor Brigadir, a computer researcher at University College Dublin, who combed through metadata and confirmed that while the Nintendo tweets were legit, the fridge tweet was not. “The LG fridge was definitely manually created,” he said.

Also manually created? The thousands of new followers Dorothy’s Twitter account gained over the course of her viral escapade. Whether she actually tweeted from her fridge or not, she definitely got the attention she was looking for!

Pokemon First Edition Cards Fetch Over $100,000 at Auction

Pokeman Cards Fetch $100k

Like my parents before me, I am baffled by a lot of the things my kids find entertaining and fun. My parents hated 90210, The Simpsons, never understood the music I blasted from my bedroom, and still don’t understand fantasy football. It’s just the way generation gaps go, and when it comes to my kids’ favorite pop culture, history is repeating itself.

My 8-year-old watches Troll Hunters and Ninjago, plays Zelda (which I’ve at least heard of) and loves Pokemon, which is the one I least understand. These cards are so exciting that a teen was recently willing to brave 30 minutes in a poop-filled diaper bin to protect them. So maybe I should pay attention because there’s money in them thar cards!

Recently, a complete set of first edition Pokemon cards went on sale at an auction, put on by Goldin Auctions. They fetched a cool $107,000!

Don’t get too excited about raiding your kids’ toy chest though, as the cards were both rare and rarely maintained. The set of was made up of 103 cards, all in perfect, “Gem Mint 10” condition, and includes the rarest Pokemon card of all: a first edition Charizard.

The deck (are Pokemon card sets called decks?) also contained holographic Alakazam, Blastoise and Chansey cards, and there are three more words that mean literally zero to me, but apparently, there are as few of 50 of these cards in circulation. Hence the hefty price tag.

I try to stay involved in my kids’ lives and be aware of what they’re into. I even saw the Pokemon movie with my son because parenting comes with sacrifice! But while I’m relatively sure I heard the term “Charizard” before I have no idea what it means or what it is or what it looks like. The odds of me being aware enough to cash in on my kids’ toys are even rarer than finding one of those cards!

Twitter Celebrated Lefthanders Day With Pride

International Lefthanders Day on Twitter

Let me be clear right off the top: I love my son.

My three-year-old is a fun-loving chaos machine, like most toddlers, and while his behavior is occasionally infuriating and often bewildering, he’s a good guy. There’s something a little off about him though. In a family of brunettes, he has blonde hair. In a family of green and hazel-eyed folks, his are blue. And, most damning of all, he’s a lefty. And it freaks me out!

Left-handed people aren’t evil, obviously, but there’s a reason the Latin word “sinister” means “left-handed.” They were considered unlucky, and they are rare. Only 10% of the world is left-handed. But instead of fearing them, we should celebrate them.

That’s what Twitter did the other day, on August 13th, which was apparently “LeftHanders Day!”

People went online to celebrate southpaws, highlighting their uniqueness:

As well as some of their challenges in a world made for righties:

The Simpsons has a famous episode about its prominent lefty, Ned Flanders, opening a popular store for those with his affliction, but apparently, the show wasn’t always so spot-on when portraying lefthandedness:

Not all famous lefties were animated, as Boxing News shared with a collage of famous southpaws:

Other famous lefties include queens:

Legendary inventors and artists:

Even a full half of the fab four!

Obviously, being left-handed doesn’t preclude anyone from having a memorable, accomplished life. I should probably cut my toddler some slack.