Father Figures: Changed Forever

“My wife and I were so excited to have our first child.

Everything was fine. I had accepted a new job to start after paternity leave, big raise, which would allow my wife to stay home with our child for at least a year; got my full holiday bonus, the icing on the cake. Everything was great.

Then, at 32 weeks, the doctor told us, our baby was falling behind in growth and would need to come out early as he wasn’t tolerating being inside anymore. At 37 weeks exactly, my wife was induced and James came into the world on 12/23/20.

He needed to go to the NICU as he had low tone, and aspirated formula when given it. As my wife was healing from birth in postpartum, a doctor with many initials after her name came in and told us that our son needed to be moved to a special children’s hospital NICU across the way. There was something wrong, and in her expertise, she felt it was either brain/spinal damage or a neurological problem.

In addition to the problems, my wife had reswabbed (the term for someone who previously had Covid and was still testing positive months later) for Covid 19, and we wouldn’t be able to be with our baby for 10 days, when quarantine was over. We were only able to FaceTime with him, and we still had no answers to what was wrong. His lungs collapsed at one point, and we weren’t sure he would survive; we had him baptized in the hospital i ncase he didn’t make it.

Weeks went by before we were given the diagnosis that has changed our lives forever. Our son has a rare genetic disease called Prader-Willi syndrome, which is very difficult to manage and live with.

After 7 weeks in the NICU, we have finally brought him home; two days later, my father died. He passed away, just as he knew James came home and was going to make it. He’s now James’s personal Angel.

Our world has changed forever; and we will fight to give our little boy the best life possible. He made me a dad. I will build him a world of love and compassion for him.”

– Corey Fuller

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Rescuer Adopts ‘Miracle Dog’ Who Spent Four Days Trapped on the Detroit River

Miracle dog adopted by rescuer
(Facebook/Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter)

The peaceful quiet of a world covered in freshly-fallen snow, the lack of mosquitos – yep, that’s about all there is on the list of reasons winter isn’t terrible. People seemingly forget how to drive, ice-scraping becomes a second job, and frozen bodies of water become enormously dangerous for people and animals alike. While most adults know to stay away from iced-over ponds, animals often don’t – and for one Michigan dog, a frozen river almost claimed his life.

A dog initially called Alfonso found himself in a terrifying situation in February, in the midst of a freezing midwest winter. Locals spotted the terrified dog stranded on a small patch of land surrounded by ice in the middle of the Detroit River but were unsure of how to safely rescue him. Over the next four days, Alfonso dodged hungry predators, survived bone-chilling temperatures, and even climbed back onto the ice after falling in the water.

Surviving days on a frozen river is no easy feat, but the heavily-matted dog clearly had one heck of a will to live. Locals tried repeatedly to rescue the exhausted pup but came up empty-handed. On day four, Jude Mead decided enough was enough. Mead, director of operations at an Ontario construction company, risked his own life to give Alfonso one last shot.

By some stroke of luck, both man and dog made it back to shore safely. The unlikely rescue earned Jude full-on hero status, and four days surviving the elements earned Alfonso a new name: Miracle. Miracle was rushed to Woodhaven Animal Hospital by Patricia Trevino, director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, where he made a full recovery.

Adoption applications poured in for Miracle, but in a touching update shared by Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, one application stood out above the rest.

“Today the story came full circle,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. “Today the little Miracle dog was placed into the hands of the hero who saved his life. That’s right….this dog who defied ALL THE ODDS will now live happily ever after w the man who saved his life. Miracle could not ASK for a better or more ideal family to love him!”

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Leaked Set Photos Reveal Sega Dreamcast Easter Egg

Sonic 2 Easter Egg
(Twitter/Cybrid101)

It has been just over a year since the first Sonic film released, but production is already well underway for Paramount’s anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog sequel.  We still don’t know any major plot details or if Jason Momoa will actually be voicing Knuckles, but eagle-eyed fans have spotted a cool little Sega Dreamcast Easter Egg from some leaked set photos.

While most people will just see a photo of a helicopter in one of the images, if you look closely, it’s marked with “SA-2”.  This means it’s actually the same helicopter that’s featured in the opening level of Sonic Adventure 2.  You know, the helicopter Sonic complains about being low budget for not having any food or movies?  I never really thought about that, but does that mean Sonic has been a passenger on an actual plane before?  Would it not have been faster to just run to where he wanted to go?  Would he not have been super impatient while waiting for his flight?  Sometimes we need to ask these tough questions, no matter how insane they might seem.

For those that haven’t played Sonic Adventure 2, it originally released on the Sega Dreamcast back in 2001.  The opening level ‘City Escape’ features Sonic jumping out of this helicopter and is considered to be one of the most iconic levels in Sonic game history.  It definitely makes sense that fans are pretty excited to potentially see it make its way into the next film.

I think if they’re going to include the helicopter, they may as well go all out and just recreate the whole level in live-action.  Throw in that absolute headbanger of a song and make sure that there are perfectly placed ramps in the middle of the street so Sonic can do some sick jumps and flips off them.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was a box-office hit and well-received by both critics and moviegoers.  It even won Jim Carrey a Critic’s Choice Award for his role as the evil Dr. Robotnik.  Personally, I think it was great because it embraced the history of the franchise so well.  There are loads of Easter Eggs to find in the first movie, and it looks like the sequel could potentially have just as many.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 releases in theaters on April 8th, 2022

Giddy-up! Croc Spurs Are the Dadass Accessory You Didn’t Know You Needed

Croc Spur
(MilleaMastercraft/Etsy)

Every once in a while, there’s a product that lights up social media, and it becomes a must-have. Think “Bernie Sanders mittens” the inauguration. Regardless of your political affiliation, everyone can appreciate the fine craftsmanship. This product feels like it could be the best in the social media craze; spurs for your crocs.

There are definitely way crazier things you can find on Etsy than the perfect Western complement to the most comfortable shoe ever. For starters, Crocs are an underrated shoe. In the pantheon of dad shoes, New Balance and Air Monarchs get the love, but Crocs are also a must-wear.

And nothing makes you stand out more than throwing some old West on your croc game and rocking the sprocs. They easily clip onto your existing Crocs, they clank when you walk, how badass is that? You can feel like a gunslinger on your trek from the pantry to the couch. This is the American dream.

Croc Example
(Etsy/MilleaMastercraft)

Even the model is rocking them with socks because you aren’t beholden to fashion norms when you rock crocs. You can go socks, no socks, or even spurs. You make the rules now. The reviews are strong, not that it matters. For $12, it’s worth a shot to elevate your croc game past the competition and to be able to walk around saying things like “this neighborhood ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

LeVar Burton Is FINALLY Getting His Chance To Guest Host Jeopardy!

LeVar Hosts Jeopardy
(Getty/Ian Tuttle)

It is finally happening. Jeopardy producers have heard the groundswell of support for former ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Reading Rainbow’ star LeVar Burton and have caved to the internet’s demands. The show named it’s final group of guest hosts for the season and emphasized Burton would be one of them. He is finally getting his chance to guest host Jeopardy.

It started with a petition, one that Dick Van Dyke even endorsed. Hundreds of thousands of fans added their voices to it. And then Burton even started campaigning for the spot, saying he’s been a fan since BEFORE the Trebek era and watches the show every night. And now, he will fulfill his dream and get his tryout as a host.

Will it be strong enough to remove the interim tag? Will the show go back to widely expected heir Ken Jennings? Time will tell on that front. But what is important is the producers, who seemed oblivious to the overwhelming chorus pulling for Burton, finally gave the people what they wanted.

Burton seemed ecstatic on social media.

“THANK YOU…to all y’all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy! and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.’

Joining Burton in the final group of guest hosts is Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Buck, and David Faber. All pale in comparison to the legendary Burton.

Jeopardy producer Mike Richards (who made himself a guest host at one point as well) said “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”

The dates for the final guest hosts are still TBD, but it’s expected they will air over the summer as season 37 concludes in August.

30 Years After Graduating, LSU Frat Brothers Pay Off Beloved Cook’s Mortgage

Frat brothers pay off cook's mortgage 30 years later
(YouTube/The Advocate)

It’s never too late to say thank you. Whether it’s a week, a month, or several decades later, feeling appreciated is always touching. It reminds you that your hard work is valued, and in the case of one fraternity house cook, gratitude can change your entire life.

30 years ago, Jessie Hamilton worked as a cook for the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, better known as Fiji. College is a time where kids get their first real taste of freedom – no parents are there to set strict boundaries, teachers expect you to come to them if you need help, and your behavior is guided entirely by your own values.

Frat houses in movies are depicted as places of complete and total chaos, with parties ending only when the next one starts. But in reality, the frat brothers of the Fiji house made it a place where Hamilton was happy to work for 14 years. The frat brothers saw Hamilton as a mother figure – one who didn’t hesitate to go beyond the call of duty, driving them to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments and always being there when the boys needed her.

30 years later, over a dozen Louisiana State University graduates felt the irresistible urge to pay Hamilton back for everything she did for them. The now grown men learned that their beloved cook was working multiple jobs to pay off her mortgage, and to the eternally grateful brothers, that was unacceptable.

On her 74th birthday, the brothers packed up their families and made the journey to Hamilton’s house to present her with the ultimate surprise.

“We’re here to thank you for 14 years of service,” one of the brothers begins. “Working in that kitchen, putting up with us at the Fiji house. You’re the only one I know in this world that could walk into that hot kitchen, working for minimum wage with a smile on your face every single day for 14 years. We’re here to thank you for that, because we love you, we respect you, and we know what you’ve been through to get this house, put food on your table, to pay the rent.”

The brothers then invite Hamilton to play a winners-only game of Lets Make a Deal, with each of her three kids uncovering various gifts behind three separate doors (aka poster boards with numbers written on them). They then presented an emotional Hamilton with an assortment of birthday presents including custom t-shirts, a catered lunch, and $45,000 to pay off the rest of her mortgage.

“They were my kids. They still are,” Hamilton told the Washington Post. “They used to tell me they loved me, and now, they’ve proved it.”

Chris Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy Can’t Wait To Film Fury Road Prequel

Hemsworth Fury Road Prequel
(Instagram/chrishemsworth)

Things are getting better out there, and just in time for summer. But there remain a lot of questions, especially about hanging out inside, which is why movie theaters continue to struggle, and some are shutting down entirely. But we need them, especially for blockbusters Because some movies demand the big screen. Tenet was robbed of it, and the new James Bond movie is holding out for it, waiting for things to continue to improve.

Hopefully, they’ll be back to normal for those movies, and for the prequel to Fury Road. Because if there is one franchise that needs the big screen and the booming sound system, it’s the Mad Max franchise.

Fury Road was a massive critical and commercial hit, and now director George Miller is prepping the prequel movie, about Charlize Theron’s Furiosa character. She’s to be played by The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, who will costar with Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, and they’re as jacked to start filming the movie – with production set to start in 2022 – as we are to see it.

She told MTV’s Happy Sad Confused Podcast how excited she was to work on the film. “I’ve already started dreaming about [Furiosa] and she’s coming in very strong. I’m so committed to working as hard as possible as I can. I always said that I wanted a role that I would have to give everything to, it wouldn’t just be my mind but my body, what I’m doing with myself when I’m not on set. I’m so excited for that and to push myself past the limits of what my brain thought was possible.”

Meanwhile, Hemsworth is champing at the bit as well, having just participated in a press conference where he discussed the film.

 

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A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

The story will take place over several years, unlike previous Mad Max films, and will focus on Furiosa’s origin story. No word yet on who Hemsworth is playing, but something tells me it will involve driving something across a desert at some point.

Shaq Buys Stranger’s Engagement Ring

Shaq buys engagement ring
(Twitter/GoodNewsCorres1)

Shaq has always been a pretty lovable guy. The NBA legend who put the Orlando Magic on the map and was absolutely dominant during his early 2000s run with the Lakers is now well-known for his role on TNT’s Inside the NBA and his overall genial presence.

He’s a hard man to miss, walking around at 7 feet and over 300 pounds, and his stature, as well as his fame, have put him at the center of plenty of frames. But recently, he put someone else first and did a good deed for a guy purchasing a ring for his bride-to-be.

Shaq happened to be in a jewelry store when he heard a man attempting to purchase an engagement ring on a layaway plan. The NBA legend walked to the register and gave the cashier his card, with instructions to let him pay for the jewelry himself.

The generous moment was caught on video.

What a wonderful thing to do for someone. I hope she says yes!

Afterward, Shaq explained that he made an effort to perform similar random acts of kindness whenever he got the chance. As a Lakers fan, my only regret is that Shaq didn’t show similar kindness when he and Kobe couldn’t keep it together for a fourth and fifth ring!

Tracy Morgan Says His Dad Would’ve Been Proud He Worked With Eddie and Arsenio

Tracy Morgan Dad Proud
(Amazon)

Tracy Morgan has had a decorated comedy career, from his time on SNL and on-stage as a standup to his breakout role on “30 Rock.” But it was co-starring in “Coming 2 America” with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall that would’ve made his dad the most proud, Morgan said.

Morgan was promoting the sequel (which was actually pretty good) on “Ellen” with guest host tWitch when he talked about the real reason he wanted to do “Coming 2 America.” He also gushed about being a girl dad.

Morgan said he was not in a good place when the original “Coming to America” came out in theaters, as it was just a year after his dad’s death. He said his dad LOVED Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, and that seeing the movie lifted his spirits. And actually working with the two legendary comics in the sequel? He said it meant more than anything.

“It was nostalgia for me when I saw the film, it was something me and my dad loved,” he said. “And now, to be sitting here 30 something years later, to be in it, my dad is smiling down. He’s singing.”

“Coming 2 America” is a dad movie, as Eddie’s Prince Akeem is traveling back to America to find his long lost son Lavelle (played by the hilarious stand-up Jermaine Fowler). Morgan stars as the uncle that raised Lavelle.

“Being on that set, there was one day where I laughed so hard for 25 minutes because me, Jermaine, Eddie and Arsenio started getting into this groove,” he said on the show. “When you got that kind of manpower, you can only imagine the funny.”

Morgan did not have an easy road back after he was in that tragic car wreck six years ago, but the comedic actor got to check off a bucket-list experience in the movie by working with his dad’s favorite comedians.

The Rock Has To Call Aquaman To Save His Daughter’s Birthday

Momoa Surprises Rock's Daughter
(Instagram/therock)

It doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much of a big shot you are, your kids will never be impressed. The Rock is literally the biggest movie star in the world. A titan of multiple industries. And yet the only thing his daughter wanted to know on her third birthday was: “Do you know Aquaman?”

The People’s Champ shared the anecdote on his Instagram page. First, it was a touching tribute to his kid. Then, it was the explanation that “now that she understands daddy is Maui from MOANA, she has one important question: Daddy do you know Aquaman?”

 

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A post shared by therock (@therock)

 

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A post shared by therock (@therock)

Then, she demanded her Aquaman toy join them for the birthday breakfast, and then she asked her dad to draw a picture of Aquaman so she could frame it. Finally, The Rock gave in, and pulled a famous person move, and arranged for Jason Momoa to surprise his daughter with a video message.

 

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A post shared by therock (@therock)

“I had the make the call…it’s what daddy’s do,” he wrote on Instagram. “I can’t thank my brother (Jason Momoa) enough for making this adoring 3yr old’s birthday the best EVER. Her reaction is priceless and what it’s all about.”

Yep, even The Rock’s kids aren’t impressed with him. The guy is literally filming a comic book movie now, was in one of the biggest Disney kid’s movies ever (and arguably one of the best), and has even starred in kid-adjacent movies like Jumanji, and still, all she wants is Aquaman.

Every dad can relate to having a kid that is just never impressed. Of course, not every dad has Aquaman on speed dial. But at least The Rock is using his fame for a good cause, to make his kid’s birthday special. He’s right, it IS what daddy’s do.

He thanked Momoa for always having his back and said “I’ll always have yours.”

At one point, Johnson asked his daughter “who is cooler, Aquaman or Daddy?” and it went about as well as could be expected (Aquaman).

Momoa said it was an honor to do it, and wrote on Instagram that “when uncle Maui calls you up and asks for a favor… all my love to baby jazzy and baby tia happy birthday beautiful.’ And he joked that he knew what his kids were getting for their birthday, likely having Black Adam repay the favor.