I Lost My Kid at a Buy Buy Baby

Lost Kid at Buy Buy Baby
(Getty/Jodie Griggs)

It happened in a flash. So fast you can’t even appreciate the cruel truth behind the painfully overused cliché. My wife was in the baby section with our oldest daughter when she asked my opinion about a type of bottle. I dutifully feigned interest and weighed in. When I turned back, our three-year-old was gone. I lost my kid at a Buy, Buy Baby, which sounds like a pun too far even for a Dad.

I had never lost track of my kids. I’d hear stories from other dads about the harrowing time Colin ran off at a park, or when Isabelle wandered away at the grocery store. It happens to everyone, I’d say obligingly. In my head, I was smugly crowning myself for being a better dad. Our oldest was six, and she had never been out of my sight unwillingly. Never lost in the crowd on the subway, not once in a sea of kids at the park. Not in the bedlam of an amusement park nor the chaos at the zoo. Even when we added a second to the mix, my record stayed pristine.

Emma, like her older sister, was looking forward to the baby coming in a couple of months. But she was three, so she was much more interested in the toy section, especially as it related to her upcoming birthday. I had physically pulled her away from a toy horse when my wife had beckoned for my expert opinion on bottles. The confusion hit before panic. Emma had to be close, it was literally one second before when she was next to me.

After scanning the sections around me with no sign of our little redhead, I officially upgraded to panic. “Where’s Emma?” my wife asked accusingly after reading my face. “I thought she was with you!” I seethed through clenched teeth. I very much did not think that, but like a true hero, my first action was to try and blame her somehow. That moment you have to tell your wife you don’t know where your child went is excruciating, and it just gets worse from there.

I quickly snapped to attention and we came up with a gameplan. She made a beeline with our other daughter to the front door, guarding the exit like an aggressive Costco employee checking receipts, only making sure no one was leaving with our three-year-old instead.

I started stalking the surrounding sections, confidently at first, so as to not startle other shoppers. I said her name, maybe a little louder than normal but not enough to draw attention. The problem is, when you yell “Emma!” at a Buy, Buy Baby, eight kids come running.

There’s also a special humiliation of losing one of your kids at a baby store. Nothing says “I’m ready for this baby” like losing one of your other babies at the baby store. I became the frantic dad I was never able to see on my high horse.

By the third time I was cycling through the sections in the back of the store, all pretense of normalcy was dropped. That’s when the terror takes hold. It had been maybe 30 seconds, which feels insignificant to write but was a lifetime to live through. I’m pacing aisles maniacally, my head running through what comes next. The defeated front lawn press conference where you beg the community to help in the search. Hanging ‘missing’ posters on light poles like she’s a lost cat. Christmas. It was three months away, but I’d never have a normal holiday again.

On my fourth pass, I saw the tiny pair of shoes embedded deep in a rack of clothes. And I found our scared three-year-old, perfectly hidden in a forest of sassy maternity pajamas. I hugged her with a ferocity that replaced the dread I’d felt seconds before.

I pretended to be mad at her for running off, but it was just a show for the other parents who I assume were watching our every move at that point. Really, all I felt was intense relief and joy. She was teary-eyed, scared by the brief ordeal, and apologetic in the unspoken way a three-year-old can be. Rattled, I carried her to the front of the store to let my wife know we wouldn’t be on the news that night. She went through some the same range of relief and mock-anger, and we quickly paid for the baby stuff and left the store as fast as we could.

We gave her some sort of bullshit talk about running off, but we drove away feeling like we won the lottery. Out of a mix of shame and guilt, I went back to the store later in the day to buy the toy horse she wanted so desperately. A perfect birthday surprise, I thought, and a step on the path back to being the best dad ever.

She played with it for one day and then forgot about it for years.

Japan Builds 59-Foot Gundam Robot THAT CAN MOVE ON ITS OWN

Japan's Gundam Robot is Moving
(Twitter/catsuka)

There is big news if you’re a fan of either anime or giant robots capable of taking over the world and enslaving mankind. Engineers at the Gundam Factory in Japan have built a life-sized giant Gundam robot, built with a mechanical skeleton so it can move on its own.

If you’re an anime fan, you’re already aware of the booming popularity. And if you’re a fan of robots, well, you know they’re going to take over the world. Sure, they start by doing simple chores like mowing the lawn and cleaning your floors, but even after a self-driving car killed an autonomous robot, people still think it’s a good idea to start building them this big.

If you’re a numbers guy, the Yokohama Gundam is 59 feet tall and weighs 55,000 pounds. I’m not sure if I mentioned this but it can MOVE ON ITS OWN. For now, anime fans see the robot at the Gundam factory outside Tokyo. Soon, they will be able to see them stomping all over cities around the world (probably).

The huge robot, based on the wildly popular Gundam robot from the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam from the 70s (thanks, Wikipedia) started earlier this year. And if this is where we’re at now, it’s not hard to imagine a future where these things are EVERYWHERE.

It’s not the only Gundam replica in Japan, but the RX-78-2 Gundam robot is the only one that can move.

Definitely an astonishing engineering feat. But perhaps they were too preoccupied with whether or not they could, instead of asking if they should.

Discovery by Astronomers May Signal Extraterrestrial Life on Venus

Life in Venus Gas Clouds
(Pixabay/GooKingSword)

Remember a few months ago, when 2020 was just getting terrifying and we weren’t sure we could take anymore, and then suddenly scientists found evidence of a parallel universe that turned out to not quite be what we thought it was?

Then the Pentagon reported they had encountered “off-world vehicles” and we collectively admitted that none of us had ‘aliens’ on their 2020 bingo card.

Well, get ready for another fun piece of scientific speculation!

The other day, astronomers made a discovery that could signal life on Venus! Well, not actually on Venus, in the clouds around Venus, but still. Life!

Usually, when we consider the possibility of extraterrestrial life somewhere in our solar system, we skip the planets that are even closer to the sun than earth and focus on places like Mars or Jupiter. Maybe the scientists just missed this!

Of course, scientists being scientists, they are careful with their language. They rely on pesky little things like facts and data and analysis, and in this case, those things don’t exactly reveal the presence of alien life hovering in the atmosphere around Venus, but instead the POTENTIAL for alien life. They’ve discovered a chemical called “phosphine,” which apparently should NOT randomly exist where they’ve found it.

Again, the article discussing these findings is actually titled “Hints of Life on Venus” so they haven’t actually found E.T., they’ve just found the potential for him. So relax, those observing Venusian clouds aren’t running around warning us of Independence Day 3.

YET. But there are still many months left in 2020.

That said, the microbes that have been found in the clouds around Venus have opened up the possibility that if and when the White Hosue is incinerated by evil alien invaders, they may be from Venus. So that’s exciting!

Or terrifying. Depending on your mood.

It’s Jedi vs. Jean-Luc in Fun New Uber Eats Commercial

Luke Vs Jean Luc
(YouTube/Uber Eats)

Is Star Wars vs. Star Trek really a thing? The new Uber Eats commercial seems to think so.

In the commercial, Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart, the stars of two of Hollywood’s biggest space-based franchises square off over dinner orders, the correct pronunciation of “tomato,” and… Daddy insults while waiting for their Uber Eats to arrive. Which it very quickly does.

The ad is funny regardless of whether you know your Millennium Falcon from your starship Enterprise, and Hamill and Stewart are both beloved figures who’d draw major crowds at Comic-Con, but the conceit seems to be that they are at odds because of the properties that made them famous.

In my mind, Star Wars and Star Trek couldn’t be more different. Star Wars is pure fantasy, a fairy tale with magic and monsters that happens to take place in outer space. Star Trek is pure science-fiction, the action movie trappings of the Chris Pine reboot notwithstanding, featuring moral quandaries, philosophical debates, and even some actual science. There is no science in Star Wars. A parsec is measures distance, not time, Han! No wonder Greedo was so mad.

Anyway, I’m probably taking this way too seriously. Thankfully, neither of the actors are, which makes for an entertaining commercial.

Check it out:

The Mandalorian Is Getting a Series of Books and Comics

Star Wars The Mandalorian Books
(Star Wars)

They say the universe never stops expanding, and we believe that’s also the case for the Star Wars universe. From novelizations to lackluster Christmas specials to game shows to high-end furniture to BBQ grills, there will never be a shortage of ways to get your Star Wars fix.

One of the most popular expansions to the Star Wars media empire has been The Mandalorian on Disney+, which is loads of fun and jam-packed with some truly dazzling production design. The series even launched a whole subgenre of memes in the form of Baby Yoda.

Earlier this summer, the official Star Wars website announced that it would continue Mandalorian world-building with a new series of published titles. One of those titles is The Art of The Mandalorian, and the cover art by Lucasfilm illustrator Doug Chiang alone makes it a worthy addition to any fan’s coffee table.

(Disney)

The series is also getting its own Marvel comic, as well as a coloring and activity book, magazine, and children’s storybook. Fans of Star Wars can expect The Art of the Mandalorian to hit shelves this December, with more releases slated for winter and spring 2021. Here’s what to look forward to:

  • The Art of The Mandalorian (Season One) by Phil Szostak; cover by Doug Chiang (Pre-order for 36.00 for delivery on December 1)
  • The Mandalorian: Original Novel (adult novel, Del Rey) by Adam Christopher
  • The Mandalorian: The Ultimate Visual Guide (DK) by Pablo Hidalgo
  • The Mandalorian: Allies & Enemies – Level Two Reader (DLP) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: 8×8 Storybook (title to be revealed later) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: Junior Novelization by Joe Schreiber

And for no reason, here’s Baby Yoda again.

We have spoken.

Gary Sinise Foundation Steps up To Help the Grieving Family of a Vietnam Veteran

Gary Sinise Foundation Helps Pay Grieving Family's Bills
(garysinisefoundation.org)

Actor turned philanthropist extraordinaire Gary Sinise has been helping veterans and their families for nearly a decade, since founding The Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011. Sinise’s foundation has provided adapted homes to wounded veterans, served over 400,000 meals to defenders across the country, and even taken over 1,750 children of fallen soldiers to Disney World. Sinise has been recognized for his impact, receiving a Patriot Award among other national honors. And COVID-19 didn’t stop Sinise and his foundation from doing what they do.

One of the most amazing things about Sinise’s work is that his foundation takes the time to assist many individuals and families in need as soon as the need arises. Over the summer, a Vietnam veteran named Henry Cordero passed away. The loss of a family member is devastating enough, but Cordero’s daughter Jennifer Ruelas found herself facing a mountain of her father’s outstanding medical bills and various other expenses.

With nobody else in her family able to help, Ruelas was solely responsible for dealing with the thousands of dollars of debt. While she made enough to cover her own cost of living, Ruelas had no way to add a pile of debt to her own expenses. On top of the heartbreak of losing her father, Ruelas now had to face the strain of paying back bills that weren’t hers with money she didn’t have.

Prior to her father’s death, Ruelas had already taken a financial hit after becoming his caregiver in 2018 when he was diagnosed with dementia.

According to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s article, Ruelas had told her boss, “My father is my life. He is my best friend, so when he is sick, I am going to leave. So if you guys can’t accept that, then I can’t work here.”

Cordero had been incredibly generous throughout his life, helping family members purchase their own homes and volunteering with communities in need. Ruelas wanted to help her dad as he helped her throughout her life and did the best she could with the resources she had. After her dad’s passing, Ruelas and her husband worked to try to pay his remaining bills, but even their combined incomes barely made a dent.

Ruelas contacted the Gary Sinise Foundation after a friend mentioned that they may be able to help. Finally, Ruelas got some desperately-needed relief – the foundation’s H.O.P.E. initiative paid Cordero’s remaining caregiving fees as well as his cremation costs. With a large chunk of debt no longer weighing on her, Ruelas was able to breathe a bit easier – all thanks to Gary Sinise’s life-changing foundation.

Put a Dive Bar in Your Backyard Courtesy of Miller High Life

Backyard Bar
(Miller High Life)

Thanks to the most annoying coronavirus of the century, bars in much of the country still remain closed or restricted in time/capacity. We’ve had to change the way we booze, and many of us have had to change the where. Miller High Life recognizes our current hellscape, which is why they are going to put a brand new dive bar right in one man’s (maybe you?) backyard.

Happy hour at your local pub isn’t what it was even a year ago, and we’ve had to change the way we enjoy a cold one. When most of the country started throwing ‘em back at home more, it even caused an aluminum can shortage (sorry, Dr. Pepper fans). Some even enlisted dogs as their new drinking buddies.

Miller High Life wants to change the game for your socially distant boozing, by putting a dive bar right in your backyard. No more worrying about where to go, or how to get home. Instead, they will plunk a free dive bar (valued at $10,000) and outfit the drinking space with bar stools, a popcorn machine, classic wood paneling and questionable art, and dim lighting. They’ll also hook you up with a bunch of free beer.

The champagne of beers gets it, drinking at home doesn’t have to be a bummer (anyone with a basement bar knows this already). You can sign up by texting “DIVEBAR” to 90464, according to the Beer Co, to sign up for the giveaway (or by going to HighLifeDiveBar.com).

The only catch is, if you win, you have to let us come over as much as we want.

Ryan Reynolds’ Response to The Rock Ripping Down a Gate is Remarkable

Ryan Reynolds responds to The Rock tearing down his gate
(Instagram/therock)

Long before taking on the role of Black Adam, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been known for his incredible physical strength. Wrestling with the WWF for nearly a decade and appearing in over 50 movies, The Rock has become our favorite gentle giant. Though the dude looks like the human equivalent of a tank, he has an enormous heart and only uses his superhuman strength for good.

On Saturday, The Rock took to Instagram to share the saga of a metal gate that had the misfortune of getting on his bad side. Evidently, the Black Adam star was about to leave for work when he realized the large metal gate in front of his house wouldn’t open. For most of us, a service person would be our only route to freedom. But most of us don’t have biceps the size of a small child, or the spare cash to buy a new gate every time it malfunctions. Well, the rock has both – so he took matters into his own Hulk-like hands.

He said in his Instagram post, “Not my finest hour, but a man’s gotta go to work.” He explained, “We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out – but this time it wouldn’t.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Not my finest hour 🤦🏽‍♂️, but a man’s gotta go to work. We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out – but this time it wouldn’t. Made some calls to see how fast I can get the gate tech on site, but I didn’t have 45min to wait. By this time, I know I have hundreds of production crew members waiting for me to come to work so we can start our day. So I did what I had to do. I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass. My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, “in disbelief and equally scared” 🤣 Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m 💯 ready to be #blackadam 😄💪🏾 #ripgates

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

With a set full of production crew members waiting on him, he didn’t have time for a service person to come fix the gate. “So I did what I had to do,” he said. “I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass.”

The post continued, “My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, ‘in disbelief and equally scared.’”

Hopefully, they left the torn-down gate in the grass as a warning to all future gates that may decide to stop working at inopportune times. The Rock Concluded, “Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m 💯 ready to be #blackadam.”

It wasn’t long before our favorite smartass, and nice guy, Ryan Reynolds, showed up in the comments to provide some helpful info. “The gate opened the OTHER way,” Reynolds explained, lovingly trolling a man who could break him in half with one metal-crushing hand.

The Rock later posted a video of the damage, showing the busted hinge and the absolutely destroyed metal gate lying lamely on the ground.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Well here’s the destruction 🤦🏽‍♂️ I left behind after pulling my gates off myself and going to work. This footage was taken from my security after I had already left and he arrived on the scene. The second video is of our technicians and welders carrying one of the gates and placing it gently in the grass. As you guys know from my last post, there was a power outage at my house, causing my gates to not open. Sure as hell wasn’t my best hour, but there were a lot of people waiting for me at work so I did what I had to do, hopped in my pick up and went to work. Maybe next time I’ll just hop the gates and call an Uber. Actually, no I won’t. There’s no fun in that 😈 Jokes aside, THANK YOU to the techs and welders who mobilized very quickly in the morning to come over and take care of the destruction. Thank you, gentlemen. Just one of those days where I wasn’t in the mood. We’ve all been there. 🥃 #ripgates

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

“Maybe next time I’ll just hop the gates and call an Uber,” The Rock considered. “Actually, no I won’t. There’s no fun in that.”

“Jokes aside,” he continued, “THANK YOU to the techs and welders who mobilized very quickly in the morning to come over and take care of the destruction. Thank you, gentlemen. Just one of those days where I wasn’t in the mood. We’ve all been there.”

Sure, we’ve all been there. I mean, not EXACTLY there, but we get it. We’re all a little on edge these days, sometimes all it takes is one more little thing going wrong for us to become completely unhinged.

‘Wandavision’ Trailer Is Weird, Like Everything Else in the World of 2020

WandaVision trailer
(YouTube/Marvel)

2020 has been a rough one for the entertainment industry.

The pandemic slowed down or outright halted production on a whole bunch of movies and television shows we’d all been anticipating, and made it impossible to go to the movies and see the stuff that has already been made. Quarantine started with The Last Dance and Tiger King, but now that fall is here, pickings are going to be slim.

So when we get a taste of something new, it’s easy to get excited. Especially when that new footage looks so good. Last week, a trailer for The Mandalorian’s second season premiered, and it looks just as bad-ass as the first season. Its October premiere can’t come soon enough. Now Disney+ is has dropped the first trailer for WandaVision, coming later this year, which has a decidedly different feel from most previous Marvel properties but looks like a lot of fun.

It’s a blend of something all right, and it looks weird AF, opening with Wanda and Vision living in 50s domestic bliss right out of an old-fashioned family sitcom and cycles through a series of shots of what appears to be different decades of TV, before ending with some ominous glimpses of portals and police of some kind.

The series has been described by Marvel as “mega event series,” and the official synopsis reads: The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

Especially since it takes place after Endgame and will have to reckon with the fact that Vision was killed at the end of Infinity War (and not by the snap that was magically reversed).

It’s clear things aren’t quite what they seem, and that this show is bursting with creativity, so there’s bound to be a fun explanation for his return.

Check out the trailer for the show, which looks like a real trip. In a year in which real-life couldn’t get any weirder, the touch of the surreal might be just what the doctor ordered.

Daughter Does Dad’s Makeup