Carpenter Dad Drives Wood VW Bug to Fulfill Promise to Daughter [WATCH]

Dad Drives Wood VW Bug
(YouTube/Ruptly)

Parents make lots of promises to our kids. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are fleeting attempts to get them to shut up or eat dinner or do their homework, and sometimes they are so outlandish as to be impossible.

But some promises are meaningful, even the extreme ones, and it falls upon mom or dad to try to come through, if only to maintain their child’s faith in them.

A dad in Ecuador is attempting to fulfill one such promise he made to his daughter years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. In fact, he’s tried once before. But this time he’s determined to deliver.

Bienvenido Ortega is a Dominican carpenter who has completely transformed a 1970s Volkswagen Beetle by covering it with custom woodwork that he created. He promised his daughter that he would drive the car from Lima, Peru to New York City – a 13,000-mile roundtrip – for her 15th birthday. His daughter is now 20, and Bienvenido is a bit behind schedule, but he’s still giving it his best.

“Inside of me there’s the power of having to hug my kids in New York and celebrate the 15th birthday of my daughter, even though she is already 20,” Ortega said. “In fact, if I arrive to New York when she’s already married and I have a grandchild, I will take her out and celebrate her 15th birthday party like a princess with her wooden car, just like I promised.”

It’s actually the second such wooden car he’s made in an effort to complete his pledge, but the first edition only made it as far as northern Columbia. This time is going better. As of mid-April, the determined dad had made it to the Ecuadorian city of Quito.

Watch the video, and check out the crazy car. Even the pedals are wooden!

Dad Has Sewn Over 200 Dresses for His Daughter To Bond Through Creativity

Dad sews over 200 dresses for daughter
(Instagram/daddydressedmebymg)

For many of us, getting our kids dressed in the morning is little more than a necessary chore to fit into our already hectic days. But for one dad named Michael Gardner, his daughter’s wardrobe became something that helped the pair bond throughout the years. Helping his 9-year-old daughter Ava get dressed doesn’t mean laying out an outfit the night before – for this crafty dad, it means starting from scratch. In fact, Gardner has started from scratch over 200 times, and he has no plans to slow down.

“I decided to start sewing for Ava to teach her to be confident, have high self-esteem, and to believe in herself,” Gardner told The Dad. “I have been creative since I was a kid, I was in search of a new creative challenge and sewing became the catalyst to achieve my mission. My goal was to bond with her through my creativity, which is the most impactful way that I express myself.”

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

When Ava was younger, her dad took creative control. Gardner started sewing dresses for Ava when she was just 3 years old, but as she’s gotten older, Ava has become an essential piece of the creative puzzle. She helps choose styles, fabrics, and once her masterpieces are complete, she helps choose locations for photoshoots.

“Ava and I have been inseparable since she was born,” Gardner explained. “The journey of me sewing and her modeling strengthened our bond. It is truly a collaboration on all levels. We share ideas, inspiration and encourage each other throughout the process. It has also allowed us to have in depth conversations and simply have fun together.”

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

Gardner is self-taught when it comes to sewing, and if he can do it, he truly believes that anyone can. Gardner learned to sew through YouTube videos and Pinterest, and last summer, he was named a brand ambassador for Janome Sewing Machines. This talented dad even started Daddy Dressed Me by Michael Gardner, a fashion brand and social media campaign. Through sharing the creations he and Ava have brought to life on social media, the creative duo has received support from around the world.

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

“Every time I am thanked for bringing joy, happiness and complimented for being a positive light in what’s been a challenging year I am truly amazed,” Gardner said. “Hearing that I am an inspiration as a creative and parent means so much to me.”

The bond between Gardner and Ava is immediately evident through their photos and videos, and since Gardner’s relationship with his own dad was less than ideal, being a great dad to Ava was especially important.

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

“I want people to know that it is absolutely possible to be the parent you choose to be, regardless of the circumstances in your childhood,” Gardner expressed. “I am blessed to have an amazing relationship with Ava, it’s a totally different experience than I had with my parents. I put in the work, time and love into providing Ava with all the things I wish I had as a kid, I broke the cycle and for that I am proud.”

Netflix Creates Bizarre Christmas-Themed Witcher Promo

Netflix The Witcher Christmas Promo
(Twitter/Netflix)

I’m not entirely sure that I would associate swordplay and dragons and monsters and Henry Cavill with Christmas, but I don’t work at Netflix.

Cavill stars as The Witcher in Netflix’s popular adaption of the videogame, and about the only thing he has in common with Santa Claus is the white hair. And maybe the enormous arms, I’ve never seen St. Nick with his shirt off. But that didn’t stop the streaming service’s social media people, who cobbled together a bunch of Witcher scenes and made a little holiday video out of it.

So far, Netflix has only aired one season of the show, and a making-of documentary and season 2’s production has been delayed by COVID, like everything else. So they don’t have a lot of new footage to work with, but they did their best, layering a Christmas song over clips from the show in a strange effort to connect it to the holiday season. They’ve even added Christmas lights and presents and more, for some reason!

Not sure how seeing a bunch of people get stabbed in the throat is the reason for the season, but gotta respect the effort!

Check it out:

‘The Last of Us’ TV Series Coming to HBO From Writer Behind ‘Chernobyl’ Series

The Last of Us
(HBO)

I don’t like starting every paragraph about a Hollywood project by bemoaning the constant remakes and reboots and hijacking of existing intellectual property, but you play the hand you’re dealt!

This time we’re talking about an adaptation of a video game, and for once it’s not another version of Resident Evil. This time, it’s The Last of Us, a beloved zombie game whose devotees swear is one of the best stories, videogame or otherwise, out there.

HBO must agree because they’ve just announced a plan to bring the popular game to their network in the form of a series.

If you’ve never played the game, Variety describes it as taking place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. (Spoiler alert: there are zombies GALORE!)

It sounds pretty bleak, which may explain why HBO has hired Craig Mazin, who created the network’s devastating Chernobyl miniseries, to write and direct. Mazin will work alongside Neil Druckmann, who created the game.

“Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming. “With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of ‘The Last of Us’ games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga. We’re delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story.”

The Last of Us was released in 2013, to acclaim and blockbuster sales, and last summer the sequel came out. We’ll see if that one eventually makes its way to HBO too.

Hibernate Through the Winter in Pizza Hut’s Weighted Pizza Blanket

Pizza Blanket
(Twitter/PizzaHut)

For all it’s faults, 2020 is coming to an end. And with it, 2021 brings the promise of vaccines and a much more normal world (without pepperoni shortages.) But, we still need to get through the winter, with many still stuck (mostly) at home. So if you’re going to be hibernating more than usual this winter, you gotta do it in style, like with a giant pan pizza weighted blanket. Pizza Hut is making the chill game even tastier with its new creation, part of a collab with the popular Gravity Blanket company.

The new Original Pan Weighted Blanket is modeled after the same exact pizza you remember wolfing down at birthday parties as a kid. It’s also the type of nonsensical brand product you just learn to accept these days. Giant pizza blanket? Sure. Waffle House Bacon Beer? Absolutely. And, to be fair, Pizza Hut has already earned our trust, especially after bringing back the Book-It program.

In a press release from the pizza maker, a spokesman said there was ‘no better way to close out 2020 than eating a Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza while wrapped in the warmth and comfort of the Original Pan Weighted Blanket.’

Honestly, I can think of worse ways to end this year, so yeah, sign me up for eating pizza and wrapped in the giant Pizza Blanket. The blanket is supposed to be a 15-pound weighted blanket (I’m not a Gravity Blankets guy, but their rep seems to hold up) and the blanket sells for cheaper than their normal products. It’s 72-inches in diameter and has a “luxurious” feel to it.

Weighted blanket people swear by them, so if you’re looking for that final touch to your Hibernation 2020 game, you can do worse than a giant pizza.

Father Figures: Selfless

“My husband Tim Parrish (@timatreez) has not only been an amazing dad to our boys but has shown me a level of selflessness I didn’t know was possible.

After I went back to work when our first son was two months old, he changed his entire work schedule to ensure he could be home with our son during the day. He gave up so much to be a full-time dad – and then work a night shift.

When we had our second (rainbow boy) he once again shifted his schedule to ensure our family had him when we needed him most so I could go back to work and focus on my career.

When Covid hit, he didn’t get to stay home. He had to work – often around people without masks – and had to come home to an exhausted wife, newborn, and toddler. He never flinched. He jumped right into wrestling, running, jumping, baseball, and baby wearing.

When I eventually lost my job, he told me to take time off and focus on me for a while.

He’s by far the most selfless, loving, and dialed-in dad and husband and we are so lucky to have him. He deserves recognition more than anyone I know because he refuses to accept that he’s gone above and beyond!”

– Meg Parrish

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Bought a Soccer Team Together

Reynolds and McElhenney Buy Soccer Team
(Twitter/WrexhamAFC)

“The Gang Buys A Welsh Football Club.” It’s the Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode you never knew you needed, now that actor (and Sunny co-creator) Rob McElhenney and movie star Ryan Reynolds have teamed up to buy a Welsh soccer team. It’s one of those stories that only make sense in 2020.

Reynolds, aka Deadpool and home school gin connoisseur, can seemingly do no wrong, so we’ll get to see if his magic touch can extend to Wrexham AFC, one of the oldest professional soccer teams and one that’s currently entrenched in the fifth tier of English soccer. But the two are serious about turning the team around and plan to make it a “global force” around the soccer universe.

“This is really happening,” Reynolds said in a video released by the team. The club is fan-owned and approved the takeover by the two celebrities. Apparently, the duo did a lot of research after deciding they wanted to buy a soccer team and thought Wrexham AFC had the most potential.

Reynolds said he and McElhenney want to be at as many games as possible (once fans are allowed, post-pandemic) and ‘want to have a pint with the fans.’ They also plan to be ‘great ambassadors for the club’ and want to introduce them to the world.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board voted overwhelmingly to sell to the two celebs, as they have serious plans for community engagement and plans to improve their standing in the soccer world. Chief among them is a behind-the-scenes documentary to help bring more fans into the fold.

“You may never have heard of Wrexham, but you will. So to the Wrexham Supporters Trust, thank you for your faith and trust in us,” McElhenney said.

Reynolds added: “We are humbled and we are already getting to work.”

So now that two of our coolest and funniest celebrities have bought a soccer team, we all have a Cinderella squad to root for as Wrexham AFC works its way out of the cellar of the soccer world.

Thank a Teacher for Their Help in 2020 With a Free Card From Hallmark

Hallmark Teacher Giveaway
(Twitter/Hallmark)

Parents certainly understand the strain the pandemic has caused. Forget the professional costs (of which there are many), the added stress it’s caused for families as they navigate new school restrictions, and, in many places, remote learning has been intense. But we know that. One group feeling the other end of that strain this year? Teachers and school staff across the country.

Hallmark is honoring that group by giving away 1 million greeting cards to educators for the role they’ve played during the pandemic. We know how hard it is to get a kid to sit still for a Zoom class, imagine being the person responsible for actually teaching to 20+ kids via Zoom. And going just as hard in the paint as parents, teachers are going above and beyond to help kids through this weird time.

“For many parents, navigating their children’s education amidst a pandemic has been a difficult challenge,” a Hallmark spokesman told People Magazine.

“We’ve all seen so many teachers and school staff members rise to the challenge, working long hours and using their imaginations to deliver the best education possible from a remote, hybrid, or in-person learning environment. Despite these changes, one thing remains the same: the sincere connection between teachers and their students.”

Teachers, like parents, have had to get creative to connect and engage with little learners, and while the results may not always be pretty, WE ARE DOING IT. And it’s important to recognize everyone doing what they can to be as good to our kids as they can. If you’ve made your kid sit through a Zoom class, you know how much it sucks, and the endless patience required of teachers to completely re-learn how they teach and structure a classroom.

Is a Hallmark card (or, in this case, three) enough? Probably not, no. But it’s something you can do (for free!), by going through the Hallmark website, and sending some goodwill out to the educators and school staff helping us all through a schoolyear we would love to forget.

Conan Leaving Late Night, Bringing Variety Show to HBO Max

Conan Going to HBO Max
(Twitter/ConanOBrien)

I was in college with Conan O’Brien first launched his talk show. It took a little while, but it wasn’t long before his and Andy’s goofy bits, like “In the Year 2000,” the Masturbating Bear, Talking Mouths, and, of course, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, became favorites, both for stoned college kids and, eventually, for mainstream TV fans.

After the debacle that was the late-night host’s transition to the iconic Tonight Show that ended with him touring the country and, ultimately hosting a show on TBS, Conan seemed to lose a bit of enthusiasm for the format, and the prestige that being on one of the major networks brought him.

His bits remained funny, especially his legendary remote segments, but the show eventually transitioned to a half-hour, and Conan started spending more time interviewing guests on his Conan Needs a Friend podcast. So when the news broke the other day that he was leaving late night, it wasn’t a huge surprise.

According to TVLine Conan, the TBS show that’s been running for nearly a decade now will wrap up at the end of its tenth season in June. But he won’t be leaving TV. O’Brien will continue to host his TBS travel show, Conan Without Borders, and will be bringing a brand-new variety show to HBO Max.

“In 1993, Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,’” O’Brien said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription.”

HBO Max seems excited to have him and as curious as the rest of us about what his variety show will bring to the table. “Conan’s unique brand of energetic, relatable, and at times, absurdist, comedy has charmed late-night audiences for nearly three decades,” said HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys. “We can’t wait to see what he and the rest of Team Coco will dream up for this brand new, variety format each week.”

No word yet on when the show will appear, how long it will be, or if Andy Richter is going to play a part, but if you’ve been having a hard time finding the tall pale Irish funnyman on your TV screens since he moved to basic cable, it should be a lot easier once he’s on HBO’s big-name platform.

In the year 2021, Conan will be streaming.

Deadpool Enters MCU, Sequel Moving Forward With Writers From ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Deadpool 3 entering MCU
(FOX Twitter/deadpoolmovie)

Deadpool is officially out of limbo. The kickass franchise, helmed by one of our favorites in Ryan Reynolds, delivered two fun movies while at FOX. Once acquired by Disney, many were left wondering if there would even be a Deadpool 3. And now, it is officially clear there will be, as Deadpool 3 is moving forward and has hired ‘Bob’s Burgers’ writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin.

Ryan Reynolds is great. He pulled Rick Moranis out of retirement, he relates to how all parents feel during quarantine life. But there’s no question the Deadpool movies have been his best work. And we weren’t sure what would happen once Marvel got its hands on the Merc with a mouth. Would they tame him? Bury the character? Replace Reynolds and go for a more family-friendly PG-13 approach?

Now, we have our answer, no and no. Deadpool is back, and he’s staying rated-R (where he belongs). There was even acknowledgment of the writer hire on the movie’s official Twitter page.

It’s a big move forward for the franchise, as Reynolds had said just months ago he ‘didn’t know what was happening’ in regards to another Deadpool, while still connecting with fans over the character. Supposedly, Reynolds and Marvel bigwigs had been interviewing writers to lock in to a great idea for the next movie and now that they have their duo, the project takes a big step forward.

So now Deadpool gets to officially enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe and gets to keep the edge that made the first two movies such a hit with fans. Will we see other MCU characters (or X-Men???) in the next one? Only time will tell there. Until then, fans can at least be relieved that the FOX-Disney merger didn’t kill the franchise, and they won’t be getting a Disney-fied sequel either.

But don’t get too excited, there’s a long way to go.