Father Figures: How We Stay Funny

(The Mother Octopus)

“That’s me and my dad. Jimmy D. See us? There with our matching stains in the upper right corners of our shirts? He’s known for making everyone around him laugh. The funniest guy in the room. Most of the time. He is one of seven children from an old school Sicilian family and things weren’t easy growing up. All of his siblings have the gift for comedy, like so many funny people who use jokes to hide and heal the pain.

My brother died in 1993 and my uncle (my father’s best friend) died in 1996. If you can imagine, he was shattered. Devastating for our whole family, but for a guy who hides the pain, we were worried. It took some time, but he fought through and he came back. He stayed funny.

I’m going through a divorce. Blindsided. Broken. My parents, living six hours away from me, knew I needed one of them to come stay with me and my kids on Long Island. A girl usually needs her mother, yes, but my mother is nursing a broken foot and needed to stay home for doctor appointments. So, that meant Jimmy D. to the rescue.

Not known for his sense of nurturing, my dad showed me so much love and support in the week and a half he spent with me. We watched Hallmark movies. He made me his meatballs and sauce, his bradu (turkey soup) and my favorite: his sandwiches. He makes the best sandwiches with his homemade hot peppers. We got some new stains on new shirts. He talked to me about things a father usually never talks to his daughter about. He stepped out of his comfort zone for his little girl. And he made me laugh.

I’m learning from him that we use our pain to build out the other parts of our lives when we’re forced to. How we look forward to our future. How we raise our kids. How we fight. And how we stay funny. No matter what.”

The Mother Octopus

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Woman Gets Second Job as Nursing Home Custodian So She Can Be With Her Dad

Nursing Home Custodian

As spring settles in, the horror show from the last year is starting to give way to a more optimistic chance at a return to normalcy. For some, the vaccine brings a chance to reunite with family members they haven’t seen in a year, due to restrictions. And others during that time went to new heights just to stay close with loved ones. One woman in Minnesota wasn’t able to see her dad in a nursing home, so she decided to take a second job as the nursing home’s custodian. It wasn’t the extra income she was after, it was being able to see her dad.

When Lisa Racine’s 87-year-old father saw her walk into the nursing home, he was shocked. “I was kind of dumbfounded, how did you get in here?” he told a local news station. He called seeing her walk through the doors one of the happiest days of his life.

Lisa is a project manager by day, but by filling in as a custodian at the nursing home, she filled a big void as they said it’s been very difficult to find people that are willing to work there during a pandemic. Nursing homes were among the communities hardest hit by the virus and its effects.

“I could take a yoga class or go to happy hour, but I’d rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad… He’s cleaned up plenty of messes after me in the past.”

That right there is a sign you were a great dad. When you get towards the end of the line, and you have a kid who thinks like that and is willing to mop floors in a medical community during a global pandemic, just so you aren’t alone…yep, you were a great Dad. And to a great dad goes the greatest reward…spending what time he has left with his children.

Patrick Star Getting His Own SpongeBob Spin-off Show

The Patrick Star Show
(Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

SpongeBob Squarepants is a weird show.

I didn’t grow up with it, and my kids have barely seen it – though they do like one of the movies – so for a long time, I didn’t have a ton of experience with it. In fact, for a while, the only thing I knew is that Tom Kenny, the third-funniest guy on Mr. Show, was the voice of the titular sponge. But over the past year, I’ve seen a bunch of it, and it’s funny and smart and weird. And Patrick is the best.

Patrick is SpongeBob’s starfish best friend, and today it’s more clear than ever that I’m not the only one who is partial to the guy, because it was just announced that he’s getting his own show!

ComicBook.com announced that the Patrick Star Show has been greenlit by Nickelodeon, to be produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, and land this summer. It will be thirteen episodes and will feature the voice cast that fans of SpongeBob are used to, including Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick, Tom Kenny as SpongeBob, and the rest of the characters you know and love.

The official description of the show:

“The Patrick Star Show follows a younger Patrick Star living at home with his family, where he hosts his own show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom. His little sister, Squidina, works behind the scenes to make sure Patrick’s show is always running smoothly, while his parents, Bunny and Cecil and his grandpa, GrandPat, each support Patrick in their own hilariously absurd ways. The Star family’s unpredictable adventures often inform, integrate, and sometimes even interfere with Patrick’s TV show, but one thing is for sure: his bizarre life always makes for great television!”

Apparently, it’s both a family sitcom and a prequel, focusing on Patrick’s younger life at home with his family. It’s actually the second SpongeBob spin-off, with Kamp Koral: The Under Years, sets to debut on Paramount+, and that is also a prequel, focusing on a 10-year-old SpongeBob’s visit to sleepaway camp.

The SpongeBob expanded universe is expanding right before our eyes, and no one is more deserving than Patrick!

Multi-Million Dollar Toronto eSports Arena in Development, Set for 2025 Opening

(OverActive Media/Populous)

The world of competitive eSsports is a fast-growing industry that’s worth billions.  Streaming services like Twitch have turned casual gamers into major celebrities who can rake in big money and brand endorsements.  Competitive gaming isn’t going to slow down any time soon, and OverActive Media is about to do something that could change the face of Canadian Esports forever.

OverActive Media, owners of the Canadian Esports teams Toronto Defiant (Overwatch) and Toronto Ultra (Call of Duty), recently announced their plans for a new $500 million entertainment venue that will seat up to 7,000.  It’s currently being designed by Populous, who is responsible for work on events like the London Olympics, the Super Bowl, and Yankee Stadium.  It will include a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex and promises to be an unparalleled experience for fans and performance artists alike.

You can check out the arena’s concept art down below, which shows off how it will look from both the inside and outside.  Everyone keeps saying it looks like a PS5, and I’d have to agree.

Toronto eSports Stadium Exterior
(OverActive Media/Populous)
Toronto eSports Stadium Interior
(OverActive Media/Populous)
The venue is planned for a 2025 opening and will be located on a four-acre plot north of Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto’s 192-acre Exhibition Place grounds.  It will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field in 2007.
In a statement from Overactive Media, they explained that it won’t just strictly be used for Esports though.

“Our vision on this project from day one has been to combine a premium concert and live events program with world leading technology and best in class hospitality. We will create an unparalleled experience for our fans while being a low net cost producer to our entertainment partners and artists. A landmark experience and venue for a world class city that defines a new future.”

It’s all still pretty early in the development phase, so don’t expect to see anything concrete yet.  Speaking with the Toronto Star, OverActive Media says “We are in the final stages of putting our business terms together with city officials and we are optimistic that we can soon wrap up our discussions to everyone’s satisfaction.”

I think this is exciting news for Canadian Esports fans.  Toronto holds yearly gaming conventions like EGLX that my family and I have been going to for years now, but the competitions they’ve held there have always just kind of been set up on the fly. This new location could give these Esports events the proper and professional treatment they deserve.  We’ll also hopefully see this have an effect internationally, bringing in players from all over the world to compete.  It’s a win for everyone.

Galaxy Quest 2 May Finally Be In The Works

Galaxy Quest 2 In The Works

Star Trek used to be a thing.

It was big in the 60s, the movies were a bit of a deal in the 80s (KHAN!!!) and The Next Generation brought Patrick Stewart into our lives in the 90s. Since then, there have been more movies, more shows, a movie reboot, and even more shows. But somewhere along the way, it lost traction. Which maybe makes it a strange time to release a spoof.

Back in 1999, when Galaxy Quest hit theaters, the time was right for a comedic parody of the Star Trek franchise. It didn’t hurt that the movie was fun, and funny, with stars Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver leading a cast of hilarious supporting actors like Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell. They played the cast of a Star Trek-style show that gets drafted into a real-life space war by actual alien Tony Shalhoub and hijinks ensue.

Galaxy Quest has a lot of fans, and those fans are no doubt excited at the news that a second GQ movie is on the way, even if there aren’t as many people around who are going to know what they’re spoofing!

In their defense, the sequel has been in the works for a while, according to Sigourney.

“They were in the middle of reviving it. First of all, there was another script. There was a sequel written by our writer, Bob Gordon. The movie was so witty, and when they released it, DreamWorks cut a lot of the wittiest scenes because they wanted to put it out as a children’s movie at Christmas. I think that was disappointing for everybody, so he decided not to let them have the second one,” she explained to Collider. And now they are giving it another shot. “However, it was about four years ago, Bob and (producer) Mark Johnson and the whole group, started to develop a series. We lost the wonderful Alan [Rickman] unexpectedly, so that was put in mothballs, but I think they are finally now reviving it.”

During her interview, Weaver also let slip that the plot involves a younger cast of an updated Galaxy Quest series joining the classic line-up, which sounds like an attempt to freshen things up for people who are fans of the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Unfortunately, having passed a few years back, Rickman won’t return as fan-favorite Dr. Lazarus.

“It will be the story of the old ancient Galaxy Questers being brought into this series with another young cast. I haven’t read them, so I don’t know the details, but I think that everyone in Galaxy Quest would love to participate because it was such a wonderful experience for us,” Weaver said. “How they will find someone to play Alan’s part, don’t know, but I think that they have a very good idea of who to do it. He’s irreplaceable, eternally. I think there may be good news on that front, but I haven’t heard about it in these six months, so when it’s gonna happen, I’m not sure.”

We’ll keep you posted as details emerge!

Crowdfunded Robocop Statue Finally Complete, Just Needs A Home


You know you’ve done good when someone makes a statue out of you. David defeated Goliath. Ted Williams defeated baseball. Rocky ended the cold war on Christmas. They all have statues commemorating their triumphs.

But Robocop restored law and order to Detroit and he has yet to be honored. UNTIL NOW!

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that kicked off 10 years, the half-man/half-machine/all incredibly violent robot cop from Paul Verhoeven’s classic movie is finally getting his due. And he looks great.

Inspired by a social media post back in 2011, Detroit artists Brandon Walley and Jerry Paffendorf of the Imagination Station public art group launched the Kickstarter campaign, which eventually got the attention of original Robocop himself, Peter Weller, and reached their goal of $67,000.

But issues over materials and rights, health issues, and more delayed the completion of the statue (read the whole saga in the Detroit Metro Times), and it wasn’t until 2021 that it was finally finished.

And it is HUGE. And awesome!

Robocop Statue



The statue is 11 feet tall and the metal base alone weighs half a ton. The entire thing weighs two tons! Where do you possibly put something like that? That’s the problem. They don’t know yet.

If it were up to me, he would stand at the edge of town, greeting – and warning – visitors to Detroit that their city ain’t to be messed with. But wherever he ends up, he’s going to look great, and be a source of pride for locals.

I’d buy that for a dollar!

Fourth Graders Get To Slime Teacher After Reaching Charity Goal of $50,000

Students slime teacher after raising $50,000
(YouTube/Miss Sutherd, TikTok/ms.sutherd)

The importance of giving back is a lesson best learned early. When kids see the impact they can have on the world around them, it has the potential to guide their decisions and priorities for the rest of their lives. Ms. Sutherd, a fourth grade teacher in California, wanted to teach her students both about the power of social media and the impact they can have on others. To help them see their potential firsthand, Ms. Sutherd devised a plan.

Together with her students, Ms. Sutherd challenged her class to raise money for charity using social media as a tool. They settled on raising money for Shriners Hospital for Children, but when asked about their fundraising goal, the young students set the bar astronomically high.

“They said well, ‘What if our goal is $50,000?’ I said, ‘That’s crazy, but I am here for it,’” Ms. Sutherd recalled in a YouTube video.

Ms. Sutherd had gone viral on TikTok for her challenges to her students in the past, but this time, the class aimed to reach as many people as possible to hit their goal. As further incentive for her students, Ms. Sutherd agreed to the ultimate kid fantasy – if the determined fourth graders hit their lofty goal, they’d get to slime their teacher.

@ms.sutherdSLIME MS. SUTHERD #foryou #forthekids #TIKTOKCHALLENGE #fyp #shriners #lovemykids #HairFoodChallenge #PepsiApplePieChallenge #teachersoftictok♬ original sound – Miss Sutherd

After posting her initial plan on TikTok, Ms. Sutherd’s lesson quickly went viral. Her YouTube video’s caption read, “With the help and support of everyone across America (and the world), including the NFL, Tony Hawk, and Rosie O’Donnell, my kids had a day they will NEVER forget.”

Ms. Sutherd pitched in $1,000 on behalf of her class, who donated their tickets (their classroom currency) to the cause. Tony Hawk donated $1,000, and strangers from every state in the US helped the class hit $30,000. Saladin Shriners donated the final $20,000 to get the glass to their final goal. They did it – $50,000, and a whole lot of slime for Ms. Sutherd.

The proud teacher concluded, “This whole experience just goes to show that anyone, of any age, from anywhere, can make a difference.”

8 Epic ’90s Video Games That Represent The Best Of The Decade

Best 90s Video Games Of The Decade

There are few things as rewarding as sitting down in front of the TV and thoroughly destroying your kids at a video game — especially once they hit their teens and “just can’t even.” Yeah, yeah, it’s a time to “bond” and “build connections.” But it’s also time to show them their old dad knows WTF is up. You can keep up in Fortnite. Sometimes you even pull off an occasional win. And, yep, sometimes they sit down to play Call of Duty with you, and you’re the king. But where your gaming skills would 100-percent shine is in playing some old-school ’90s video games. You know, the ones your kids probably haven’t even seen. The ones they’d file under dinosaurs of Dad’s era, like payphones and Blockbuster stores

Well, they may not know the struggle of busy signals or late fees, but they’re about to find out the struggle of that S Block on Tetris. Time to dust off the old gaming systems and start one of the most important lessons of your offspring’s education: ’90s video games

'90s Video Games: Mortal Kombat

Best ’90s Video Games

1. Super Mario 64

When everyone else was sticking to 2D gaming, Nintendo kicked it into 3D — and it paid off. The world is bold and enjoyable, and the Easter eggs are seemingly never-ending. Kids of all ages will still enjoy the hell out of this game, despite how awful the graphics may seem compared to modern games.

2. Street Fighter II

Ever notice that Xbox gives away a game practically every month that is set up nearly identical to Street Fighter? That’s because it was wildly popular, and to this day, people are looking to cash in on the desire for quick and campy fight games. No joke, when you take inflation into account, Street Fighter II is still one of the highest-grossing video games in the world.

3. Mortal Kombat

We obviously can’t mention SFII without mentioning Mortal Kombat. At the time, the graphics caused a ton of backlash from concerned parents. That, of course, only made kids want it more. Mortal Kombat had staying power, too, thanks to its explosive finishing moves and catchy final cheer. Raise your hand if you still yell, “Finish him!” at random moments. Us, too. 

4. Super Mario World

Have you even really gamed if you haven’t rescued Princess Peach at least a few times? Released in 1990, this game had major staying power thanks to Nintendo’s choice to add multiple completion and win strategies to the levels.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This one hit late, in 1998, but we’re still talking about it. Everyone on the planet knows who Link is… even if they still call him Zelda. And, honestly, it’s probably because of this very game release. The added mind-bending puzzles and solid soundtrack helped seal the deal on this game’s long-lasting popularity. Check out a recent fan remake mad in Real Engine 4

6. GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye branched out considerably from other popular games of its time. It took a step back from the fantastical and landed in the realistic. Or at least as realistic as one can be while pretending to be James Bond in stealth mode. It marked the beginning of well-done and enjoyable first-person shooter games.

7. Sonic The Hedgehog 2

This bright and loud thrasher hit in 1992, but we played it long after. Part of the magic? It’s crazy fun and challenging without being unbeatable. Your kids probably know who Sonic is, thanks to his long-lasting appeal (and the recent Sonic movie). But, trust, they’ve never seen him like this.

8. Tomb Raider

We know why you liked this game in middle school. We get it because we dug it for the same reasons. But compared to what your kids are seeing these days, Lara Croft could feel pretty basic. Having said that, Tomb Raider is a truly solid game full of intrigue, adventure, and action. It also marked the first time a female was a main, controllable character in a video game. So, yeah, it still deserves a spot in the canon of top ’90s video games. 

5 Kid-Themed Virtual Phys Ed Videos to Get Them Moving at Home

5 Kid Themed Virtual Physed Videos
(YouTube/Les Mills)

Virtual learning and social distancing have caused a concerning decline in the activity levels of children. So the next time your kids are taking a recess or they’ve just spent far too long watching TV, break it up with some non-sedentary screen time. Here are 5 teacher-approved physical activity videos with awesome themes that are guaranteed to put your kids in motion.


What kid isn’t seriously considering a career in paleontology? In this video, they’ll get to duck, jump, and hide from an array of massive dinosaurs. Will it get their heart rate up? You bet jur-ass it will.

Marvel Superheroes

Newsflash: kids love superheroes. This awesome workout will inspire them to move like The Avengers. Sorry DC lovers, this workout resides in the Marvel Universe – when it comes to getting your kids moving, we need to do “whatever it takes.”

Video Games

Your kids probably dig all-things Mario, so this is a great one to keep in the pipeline when they’ve been sitting around all day playing video games. It’s even hosted by a live-action Mario and he seems like a pretty fun-gi. Let’s-a-go!


Outer space, spaceships, aliens – kids are fascinated by anything that’s out of this world. In this video Britt & Shawn introduce a fun mission that challenges participants to avoid asteroids, jump over craters and hide from ET.


Snow ninjas to be exact – and the goal is to protect the gingerbread man from them. Your kid will have to kick, punch and watch out for avalanches. Instead of throwing stars, they’ll dodge snowflakes, because it’s best to avoid a ninjury.


New “Froot Loops” Breakfast Pizza Is Really Stretching Our Definition of Pizza

Froot Loops Pizza

Nothing brings people together like pizza. It’s the greatest of all communal foods, and even when pizza gets provincial, it’s still delicious. You can love New York pizza while also appreciating the casserole that is Chicago style pizza. Even chain pizza can be appreciated on some level, and every kid has nothing but incredible memories of the Pizza Hut buffet. But pizza can also tear people apart. Pineapple on pizza has been deemed criminal by some. Kiwi pizza has the internet divided. But one Iowa pizzeria might have officially taken things too far. They’ve created a new breakfast pizza topped with…Froot Loops.

Fong’s Pizza started offering their “Loopy Fruits Pizza” which is a sweet cream cheese base with mozzarella, Froot Loops, Greek Yogurt, and condensed milk. It sounds like a complete abomination.

I try to keep an open mind when it comes to pizza. Even with fruit, sure, throw pineapple on it, let’s give it a whirl. But this is really stretching it. You know it’s shaking up the pizza game when even DiGiorno’s is throwing shade.

If anyone should be uniting against BIG PIZZA, it’s grocery-store pizza.

Still, if you listen to the owner of Fong’s Pizza talk about this concoction, she does make some compelling points. Gwen Page told TODAY the pizzeria wanted something that would be fun for children and that they love doing things that are off the wall.

“What can we do to give people that truly unique experience?” she said. “That’s what we strive for.”

And, well, you can’t deny it’s unique. And these days, with the level of specialization in every industry, not every new thing has to appeal to everybody. Presumably, this appeals to someone. I can’t pinpoint who that may be, but if there can be a new streaming service every week, I don’t see why we can’t throw cereal on pizza and see what happens.

“It’s just a reminder to folks to be silly, live life, and have fun, because that’s really what this pizza is all about: having fun,” she explained.

Having fun IS what pizza is about. But it’s also about, you know, satisfying the primal urge of hunger and keeping you alive for a few more hours, so I may be sticking to my boring, delicious, ancient brand of pizza.