Father Figures: Ready Or Not

“My wife and I were only in high school when we met. Two people who felt they were born in the wrong time. Old souls who only wanted a traditional family.

Soon after I graduated, I enlisted into the Air Force, and not too long after that she said yes to marriage. We then moved to England for my first duty station.

At 19, I decided I was ready for children. We were stable and mature. I had to convince her, of course. That year, December 19th 2015, she blessed us with our little girl Anniston.

Boy was I wrong about the whole being ready thing!

My wife was rushed off to emergency surgery and there I was, 19, in a foreign country, with no family, and a newborn baby girl in my arms. (I had never held a baby before.) Lucky for me, she didn’t cry once; we stared at each other for a total of two hours. This happened to be the longest two hours of my life. My wife made it out perfectly fine but I will never forget that terrified feeling that I may have to do this on my own.

Fast-forward two years and she convinces me that we need another baby. Since our daughter was so sweet, I agreed. I was in for a massive wake up call because on July 25th, 2017 she gave birth to our son Alphonse. Thankfully, no complications this time.

Now I’m 22. Most of my peers are graduating college, maybe getting married, but still partying away. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. I love these children now that I have them I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.”

– Guy Kinder

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SNL’s Joker Parody Shows You The Seedy, Grittier Side Of Sesame Street

(Warner Bros Pictures | Saturday Night Live)

The Joker was one of early fall’s most notable cultural touchpoints. And while Joaquin Phoenix was lauded for his terrific portrayal of the Joker, many critics found the overall production a little lacking in substance. But, the most important takeaway was the outstanding series of parodies it spawned. Some, assuredly, were quite terrible. At the far other end of the spectrum, you have parodies like this one, created by the talented, handsome, creative folks at The Dad.

Sure, that one is the leader in the clubhouse. But, there is a new challenger, as Saturday Night Live unleashed a pretty epic short based off the Joker trailer. It is the dark origin story of a beloved children’s television character, and one that shows you a side of a world you’ve never seen before.

The episode was hosted by Stranger Things star David Harbour, who took on the title role for the short. The dystopian look at Sesame Street has it all, the origins of Oscar the Grouch, a trash collector turned… trash monster. You also have the Count using his mathematical prowess in service of a pill addiction, Big Bird as a dancer, Elmo getting arrested, Snuffy is a pimp, The Cookie Monster is homeless, and Ernie gets a goddamned knife to the chest.

The hilarious trailer was the highlight of the young SNL season and definitely deserves its spot as one of the top two Joker parodies on the market.

Father Figures: The Power of Music

“As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a father. As I came from a very dysfunctional upbringing, I looked at it as an opportunity for positive change. A chance to provide a loving, supportive and stable environment for my children to grow up in. Something that I lacked as a young lad.

In my early teens, I started to teach myself how to play guitar. This gave me a constructive outlet to channel my anxiety and depression. I have always been the creative type, so having some art form to express myself made sense. In many ways, music saved my life.

It seems as though music has played a great role in my life. I met my beautiful wife one evening. As I watched her perform in her choir, something strongly drew my attention. I even went as far as to join the choir just to get to know her. It turned out that she also played piano and cello. Right away, music gave us some common ground and mutual interest.

I’m the father of two amazing little girls. Hadley (5) and Addison (2). When we found out we were expecting, I built them each a miniature guitar. When Hadley turned 3, I purchased her a ukulele. Since Hadley has been able to vocalize, she has been singing. She is always making up songs or learning the words to tunes I perform. Every Sunday morning we play music together.

It’s amazing to see similar personality traits come through in your children. Hadley has my creativeness and energy and is quite extroverted, just like me. We also suspect that she also inherited my anxiety disorder, so exposing her to making music is a tool I can pass along.

When I started my band, The Lincoln Loggers, she would ask to attend our rehearsals, which I sometimes allowed. Well, it was not too long until she was bugging me to join the band. I had to explain to her that most of our gigs were past her bedtime. On the rare occasion when we were performing a daytime show, she would attend with her mom and accompany me on stage for a song or two.

I also work with adults experiencing disability and provide music programming Friday mornings in our centre. Hadley got into the habit of requesting to come to work with me on Fridays so she could sing for the group. This has become a regular occurrence.

Like any 5-year-old, persistence is a virtue. Hadley still wanted to be in a band. So, together we decided to start our own musical duo called ‘Hads ‘N Dad.’ Like a fish in water, she has taken to performing. It seems to come naturally to her. I must say, after performing for almost 20 years, no show compares to the first time we played together on a large stage.

She says soon her little sister Addison will have to join as our Drummer and we will change the band name to ‘Hads ‘N Adds ‘N Dad.'”

– Adam Holmes

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Chris Hemsworth Wants to Assemble Avengers for a ‘Three Amigos’ Remake

3 Amigos Avengers Remake
(Marvel/HBO Films)

It’s the age of prequels and origin stories and remakes and reboots and reimaginings, but some films are sacred and shan’t be touched. Like The Godfather. Or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or The Princess Bride. Or Three Amigos.

*checks ear*

Wait a second, I’m getting word that Chris Hemsworth wants to remake Three Amigos with Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy tickets.

Okay, maybe Three Amigos can be remade. Maybe not. Chris Hemsworth seems to like the idea, having put it out into the universe while appearing at ACE Comic-Con Chicago.

“That was so sad about kind of finishing Endgame, was just ‘Were we ever going to get to hang out again?’ And I immediately started thinking ‘What else could we do?'” Hemsworth told fans, adding, “We could remake the Three Amigos or something.”

If you didn’t grow up in the 80s with HBO and a lot of free time, the original Three Amigos is a fairly bizarre flick about three silent movie stars who think they’ve been hired to perform their act in a Mexican village but were actually hired to oust a dangerous outlaw. The goofy comedy has gained cult status thanks to the comic styling of the three leads, comic legends Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Chevy Chase. With bonafides gained from careers in stand-up, Saturday Night Live, SCTV, and a string of beloved comedies, the original cast were all comic heavyweights, something Hemsworth and his Avengers friends – RDJ’s brief stint as one of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players notwithstanding – are not. But they do have chemistry!

Plus, Chris Evans was in Not Another Teen Movie, and looks to be having a lot of fun in the trailer for this fall’s Knives Out from Rian Johnson, Robert Downey Jr. is simply a national treasure of wit and charm, and Hemsworth himself showed off his comic chops in Ragnarok and as Fat Thor. Watching those three, fresh off saving the world several times in the biggest series of films of all time, play bumbling idiots in ridiculous outfits (what else is new?) would sure be a lot of fun.

The Marvel fans don’t disagree:

Could it be another blockbuster?

Hopefully Rocket Raccoon gets involved. He and Hemsworth are a buddy movie waiting to happen.

Check Out This Super Tap Dance Medley to the Mario Bros. Theme Music

Mario Bros Tap Dance Medley
(YouTube/Postmodern Jukebox & Nintendo)

If you’re anything like me, the Super Mario Bros. theme song is engrained deep in your DNA somewhere. I swear, that joyful, bouncy tune starts jostling around my noggin on a weekly basis for no reason whatsoever, and I’m sure I’m not the only one—it is unreasonably catchy.

It is so iconic, in fact, that it’s one of the most popular songs that artists cover and parody in all kinds of ways. For example, Postmodern Jukebox just posted an incredible tap medley of Mario Bros tunes and it might just make you fall in love with it all over again.

Postmodern Jukebox is known for taking popular songs and giving them an old-timey or jazzy spin. You may have already heard they renditions of Radiohead’s “Creep” or The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”  My personal favorites are the ones featuring Puddles, the sad clown with the golden voice. His cover of Lorde’s “Royals” is pure magic.

Of course, this video game-honoring production is the first to feature the wicked talents of Demi Remick. Her blistering performance in her awesome and appropriately-themed outfit is enough to make anyone’s jaw drop.

As for me, if I ever want to perform these tunes, I’ll do it sitting sedentary on a couch with a controller in my hand, thanks.

Dad Helps Son With Cerebral Palsy Score His First Touchdown

Bryson Jenkins and Dad Touch Down
(YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago)

Having a child with special needs can be a hard situation for parents, which makes the joyous moments all the more special when they happen. One Illinois dad got to enjoy a moment many parents take for granted when his son, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, was made the honorary captain for a game by a youth football team.

The 7-year-old got to run through the banner with the team and got to watch the game from the sideline, cradling a football the entire time. His parents said it was a special opportunity for their son, who has only been walking for a year and spends a lot of his week at doctor’s appointments.

The day became even more special for the boy during the game’s last minute, when he had his number called and took the field, with the help of his dad. Walking with his dad, he got to score a touchdown. Afterward, players from both teams surrounded him, chanting his name.

“It was an incredible moment that I got to share with him,” his dad told ABC. “It was amazing.”

“Everyone was standing and cheering. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye there,” his mom said to Fox News.

The NFL Players Association got wind of the story, and are planning a special presentation for the boy. They were also very touched by how inclusive and accepting the boys on the team were.

“We absolutely plan to recognize Bryson and make him an honorary member of the NFL Players Association- Chicago Chapter,” the NFLPA of the Chicago chapter, Tom Serpento, said.

Billy Baldwin Reveals Teen Son Has Cancer, Is In Remission

Billy Baldwin Reveals son is in Remission
(Instagram/thebillybaldwin)

In these highly polarized times, I think there’s one thing on which we can all agree: FUCK CANCER.

There’s hardly a person among us who hasn’t been impacted by the insidious disease, either personally having been diagnosed or knowing a family member or friend who’s battled it in one form or another. Many of us have lost people to lung cancer or brain cancer or prostate cancer. It’s everywhere, and it doesn’t discriminate.

Perhaps the worst version of cancer is one that affects children. That’s exactly the kind of cancer Billy Baldwin and his family are fighting, and for the first time they’ve gone public with it. Baldwin, an actor from such films as Backdraft, Sliver, and Fair Game, is the younger brother of Alec Baldwin and currently stars in “Northern Rescue.” He’s married to Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips fame and they have three children.

Last week, on Instagram, Billy shared a photo of his teenage son buttoning up his shirt, which has the hashtag #F#ckCancer embroidered all over it, and revelaed that 17yo Vance Baldwin had been battling cancer for a year. In the post, Baldwin sounds like any proud father as praises his son’s courage and resilience in the face of 28 rounds of chemotherapy.

“Kid’s a tough son of a bitch.
Sharp as a tack.
Funny as hell.
Tough as nails.
Heart of gold.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A year ago today my son Vance was diagnosed with cancer… he was 16 years old. He kept it very quiet… we all did. He went through 28 rounds of chemo yet stayed VERY positive, focused and kept his life as normal as possible… every single day. Kid’s a tough son of a bitch. Sharp as a tack. Funny as hell. Tough as nails. Heart of gold. Courage, strength, bravery, attitude, warrior… never seen anything like it. Never been prouder. Love you son. ♥️ So much love & gratitude for how all his boys, teachers, coaches, parents… the whole SB community stepped up for him during this difficult time. Thanks gang… you know who you are… Vance, Chynna, Jameson, Brooke & I love you all. Your love, kindness & support definitely helped get him/ us through this difficult time. Thank you #drlawrencepiro… you are an amazing man!! #VBcrew #warhorse #fuckcancer

A post shared by Billy Baldwin (@thebillybaldwin) on

Baldwin praised his entire Santa Barbara community and his family for their support throughout the ordeal, including his son’s doctor. For Vance’s part, according to Today.com, he posted on his own Instagram that he “Got diagnosed a year ago today, been clear for months now.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, famous or anonymous, cancer is a plague, and any time someone is able to survive it is cause for celebration, especially when it’s a young person with their entire life ahead of them. Congrats to Vance Baldwin, may he remain forever in remission!

Fuck cancer.

MLB Dad Skips Postseason Game for Birth of His Child

Daniel Hudson Skips Game
(Twitter/JeffPassan)

Being there for the birth of your child is an incredibly emotional, special time for parents. And one professional baseball player reinforced how important those moments are when he skipped game 1 of the National League Championship Series so he could be there for the birth of his daughter.

Washington Nationals closer Daniel Hudson showed he has his priorities straight when he skipped the huge clash to be there for his family.

“My family is top priority for me. I heard somebody say one time, ‘Baseball’s what I do, it’s not who I am.’ And kind of once you have kids, or once I had kids, it really resonated with me,” Hudson told ESPN.

The move was criticized by a few curmudgeonly old baseball people, who think sports are more important than everything. Hudson did have the full backing of his team though. His manager told him to not have any second thoughts about taking care of his family. His teammates also went strong in their defense.

Teammate Sean Doolittle put it into perspective better than anyone, with a straight fire quote about what professional athletes sacrifice, and where the line needs to be drawn:

“If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, ‘Congratulations, I hope everybody’s healthy,’ you’re an a——. As important as our careers are to us as players, nothing is more important to us than our families. Our careers will end someday, but family is forever.”

“We sacrifice so much and we miss so much during our careers. We miss graduations and weddings. Lots of players might miss their kids’ first steps or first words. They’re gone six to eight months out of the year and can’t take their kids to school or help their wives with taking care of the kids. So when he said, ‘Hey, I need a day to be with my family because my wife is about to give birth,’ it was a no-brainer for me, and we focused all our energy on picking him up.”

The team rallied and picked up the win while Hudson was away. And the critics that did speak up, prioritizing baseball above everything else, were pretty much routinely mocked by the rest of the Internet.

The Nationals got the W, Hudson got to be there for the birth of his daughter, the dad returned for game 2 and earned a save, and most important of all, the haters struck out.

Spider-Man and Venom May Soon Cross Paths on Screen

Venom Spider-Man Crossover
(Marvel/Sony)

When Disney and Sony’s negotiations over Spider-man fell apart, most people were disappointed. After all, if the two studios couldn’t come to terms, then Spidey would be out of the MCU, where he’d been primed to help lead the Avengers in a post-Endgame world. It seemed a shame that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios wouldn’t continue to shepherd what many feel is the most successful cinematic version of the wall-crawler we’ve had.

The studios have since patched things up, but before they did, some people saw a silver lining in Spidey’s exit.

While it would have certainly been a bummer, it would have landed him securely back in Sony’s clutches, and Sony has been building something of a cinematic universe themselves, with various characters from Spider-man’s world. Other spider-adjacent characters like Morbius and Madame Web have movies at various stages of development, and Sony had a huge hit with one of the Spiderverse’s most popular antiheroes, Venom.

Now, not only is Venom getting a sequel, but he might even eventually get to square off with Spider-man himself. If Ruben Fleischer, the director of Venom – and the two Zombieland movies – has any say in it.

“That’s where it’s all going to lead,” he told Fandom. “And that’s the exciting thing, because we changed the origin of Venom … in the comics, he evolved from Spider-Man but because of the Marvel-Sony thing we weren’t able to that. And so the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”

That Marvel-Sony thing is set to last for at least one more standalone Spider movie, and another Avengers flick. But after that, who knows. Maybe Sony will take the character back for good, and Peter Parker and Eddie Brock will eventually face-off, maybe as early as the third Venom movie. Assuming the Tom Hardy-starring, Andy Serkis-directed sequel is another hit for the studio.

If it is, and a Spidey/Venom square-off is in the cards, we’re a long way from knowing what that looks like. Will Tom Holland even still be playing Peter Parker by then? Will the quirky Tom Hardy continue to inhabit Venom? We have no idea. But if this is truly the plan, Sony would be wise to take a page from the MCU’s playbook and start laying the groundwork for it ASAP.

In which case, you probably won’t want to leave the Venom sequel until the screen goes dark, just in case a certain Avenger makes a post-credits cameo…

Football Player Surprises Stepfather by Taking His Last Name

football player changes name for step-dad
(Facebook/Samford Sports)

What’s in a name? For 22-year-old George Grimwade Musto, it’s about paying homage to the man who raised him as his own.

Since the age of eight, George’s stepfather Michael Musto has been by his side, mentoring and guiding him as any father should. While step-parents can often face pushback from their kids, George wanted a way to show his father how much he truly means to him. The collegiate offensive lineman had a brilliant idea, and his school, Samford University in Alabama, wanted to help him share it with the world.

“He’s always been my dad,” George shared during an extremely heartfelt video posted recently to Samford University’s social media, adding “He raised me ever since I was in second grade.”  He goes on to address his father, looking at the camera and saying “You really do mean the world to me. Without you I don’t know who I am nor do I know where I’m at.” While heartfelt sentiments are a great start, especially for us men, George knew he wanted to take his father’s last name as a sign of his love and respect. “I feel like I owe it to him to carry on his last name,” he shared. “I just want his legacy to live on forever, I don’t want it to end with him.”

Although George Grimwade legally changed his name in September, he held the secret until Samford University’s family weekend. It’s a fitting occasion for such monuments news and allowed George to showcase the name change in the most awesome way possible.

On game day, George approached his dad with a camera and paperwork in-hand. “You know how much I love you, right? And how I always treasure the time I have with you? And how you’re my world? I got my last name changed.” 

George turns to reveal the back of his jersey, where emblazoned in stitched letters was the name MUSTO. His father, already adorned in team colors and beaming with pride, breaks down in tears, embracing his son in a moment that has everyone who watches tearing up too.

MUSTO. Just five letters with the power to move hundreds of thousands of people who have viewed, shared and commented on the video. A loving tribute to a step-dad who stepped up, just as millions of others do each and every day.

You can watch the entire story here: