Sunday, May 31, 2009

Food = Good

Fathers eat. And it's always nice when they eat well. Father's Day is on the way and this week's objet d'eBay, the 2005 Gourmet FD issue, is just one of the many places to look for recipes to make dad's heart happy by tempting his tummy.

The fact is you shouldn't always count on dad to command the kitchen.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Little T's Saga

Maybe Tripp will get a daddy. Little T, of course, is the son of the estranged Levi "huh?" Johnston [Earlier: The Sparking and Misfiring Daddy Brain and Unmarried (Teen) Dad Smackdown] and Bristol "daughter of first-dude-to-VPOTUS-wannabe Sarah" Palin. There were reports that Bristol's daddy offered her a car to stay away from Levi, but while "huh?" says it's time for him to play the field there are also, oddly, little hints that maybe they'll have a storybook reunion, and patch up the broken home over the head of T.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Father Fathers

The path seems to be leading towards Cutie kids. The [future] father was caught frolicking outside his Catholic priest garments with a woman [Earlier: "The Talk" Talk] , who he is now planning to lead down the Episcopal church aisle. If you and your God are good, then all that's left is to go forth and multiply, Cutie.

In somewhat related news, a father who was not caught messing around while frockless may have put the Baltimore Archdiocese on the hook for up to $10 million. A brother and sister say the (presumably celibate) father is their dad. Their claim, at ages 63 (he) and 56 (she) is for "lost child support" ... and likely financial interest in place of the personal interest the two adoptees never received from their father father.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grumble, Kvetch & Whinge

And now for the whinydad's-eye view of the world:

On the one hand, to get one small ephemeral smile we are willing to type 146 letters (in order) into the iPhone so our preteen daughter can listen to Radio Disney when she is otherwise out of range.

In return, we can be stabbed by our daughter after she eats the dinner roll we were saving. (Obviously, this is not the breaking of bread that we beg our children to indulge us in.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mate Weight

Men have trouble keeping off the weight during pregnancy. That, according to the British pollsters, is despite not actually being pregnant themselves.

Potential pounds don't scare everyone. Father-of-seven Mel Gibson "loves being a father" enough to take up with and impregnate a girlfriend despite his to-date strict Catholic beliefs. It is, however, apparently frightening enough that a father might leave the woman with his child in prison. Dallas Maverick star Dirk Nowitzki seems afraid enough of weight gain and other issues to have actually fled the country while his child-to-be lolls about behind bars.

What's a man to do? One solution currently suggested (via The Baby Formula) is to have the father-to-be not be a father:

We don't recommend this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

U 2b Majik

Good news for youtubist Ben Gullett, 15. He seems to have gotten his father a job through his efforts. It is true that his dad, Mark, hire himself as part of a new company. Still, in these tough times would he already have the three clients for his start-up if not for his publicity-producing son:

With that accomplished, it is time for the wish-granting fairies to sprinkle their magic in the direction of Xavier Johnson, 13. As he raps into the camera, just keep his dad, U.S. Army Capt. Alfonso Johnson, and all the soldiers safe. And bring them home:

Once they come home, no doubt, the children will go back to being kids, but that's the theme of a different post.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Waiting on Revenge

Should you happen to be wandering through Owen Sound, Ontario — or need a reason for going — consider stopping by to see Dads2: The Toddler's Revenge. D2 is the musical sequel to Dads in Bondage, which also used puppets for kids (as if that were actually possible) and was also inspired in the mind of Robert More, father of four.

In talking of his work, More explains it's all about parent choices of how to live their life once they have had kids. At least for publicity purposes he is willing to go out on a limb to suggest, "...[fathers need] to keep your curiosity, to find the surprises, to keep the joy in life. And family life is one way to get there."

More starts his work with children already in the picture, which is why his work might not speak to Desmond Hatchett. The 29-year-old Tennessean has caused a bit of a problem for the state by impregnating 11 different women to the tune of 20 (or maybe 21) children. As a court decides how to spread his $400 child support payments equitably among all entitled to them, he says he's done playing sperminator, which would suggest he has exhausted his curiosity, found all the surprises and lost all the joy of his life. Family life? Not!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Name the Worstest

It is not completely inconceivable that some peculiar melange of circumstance could turn a cheeeeezzzzzy letter opener, this week's objet d'eBay, into a fab father's day gift. For example, should a 6-year-old quadriplegic child gather bottles and cans and use the recycling money to purchase this for his blind one handed father on "dad's day" one could almost find a tear to jerk.

And maybe a child (and father) with an odd sense of humor would find this delightfully quirky. Probably not. Most likely, the great dad letter opener can be given the pole position in the 2009 race for WORST FATHER'S DAY GIFT. Other entrants include:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Philosophy of Karpa

The tv show "My Name is Earl" revolves on an idiosyncratic view of karma — most broadly, what goes around comes around. Given that idiosyncrasy, perhaps it is possible that it its cancellation is due title character Earl not taking such good care of his sons — neither, biologically is his, but that doesn't seem to excuse him — and years ago his father stopped cleaning up the messes he made.

Maybe if father and son could have solved a lifetime of troubles between them their seasons together would have been greater than four:

Friday, May 22, 2009

He sticks in your memory. Dad, that is. Often when it comes to sports.

Most wonderful are the memories of the dad who was always a positive influence. There is the late Steve (father of U of Missouri softball star Andee) Allen. The father began by pitching Wiffle after Wiffle Ball and now, after his death from leukemia, remains a constant in his daughter's mind, someone who is with his daughter every day: "He just wanted me to go out there and love it. He’s always on my mind. I know that he would’ve been happy that I am thinking about him."

Pretty wonderful are the memories of a dad who was a bit rough around the edges, but still inspired his kids. Gary Hardt — to be honored this coming weekend by the Payson Pro Rodeo. He was the outdoorsman, cowboy and coach who his boys loved, even if they also know that he was occassionally the town rowdy with a reputation for taking and giving a powerful punch.

Wonder-filled are the memories of a dad who serves as an inspiration. Mixed Martial Arts up-and-comer Anthony Pettis remembers his father and uses his memories for inspriation, because, "He was an awesome guy; he had little sayings and lines that would stick with you ... [He] worked hard for us. He taught me a lot." The teaching wasn't the drug and criminal past, it was the focusing on a goal and fighting through the pain that have served him so well.

Wonder of wonders, a father's influence continues long after his passing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Man Has Needs

We always root for dads to be happy However, it is best for their kids if they can be happy without too many complexities.

From "Dear Abby" comes the question of a son troubled by his 83-year-old dad's dating. The man's wife (son's mother) died 30 years ago so the socializing is not a problem. In fact, the son was happy for his dad, but has now become troubled because while he has continued to date woman, for the last 13 years the father has spent more and more time dating men, as well. He explains that dating men "is very rewarding and much less complicated." Despite that, the son is troubled enough to write to someone he doesn't know with the hope that millions of people who didn't previously care will read about his troubles.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beck Mans Up

Foxman Glenn Beck sorta forgave his dad last year on Father's Day. The tv/radio personality and father of four (and future children's book author) offered a somewhat rambling discussion that included a slight smack to his mother — a depressed woman who committed suicide when he was in his teens — and a "thank you" to his alcoholic dad for helping him "man up."

Man up? That's the good that comes from an alcoholic father? Medical experts who discuss what a depressed dad who doesn't receive adequate treatment can do to his kids do seem to disagree with what Beck sees as praiseworthy. Still, if that's his opinion, so be it and we only have a few more weeks to await this year's FD Beckian proclamation.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Contesting the Praise

Boys and girls, start your engines ....

The contests have begun as part of various Father's Day (Sunday, June 21) promotions. Do you need something in return or would you type a few words and send a pic for nothing but your dad's online immortality (and maybe notice by a Mizzou audience)? There's also a Savannah (Ga.) lookalike contest gains the winners nothing but a newspaper portrait.

Is your dad worth a picture and 50 words in possible exchange for a $50 gift certificate to a Texas art store? Would you like to cop 4 tickets to a Phillies game for eight lines of pop poetry? If you need a big prize to encourage the effort to celebrate your father's virtues then you should be looking at videoing the greatest "GeekDad" or baking 200 words to celebrate the Great American chocolate chip cookied dad?

There are more. Lots more. However, the point is to start celebrating dad ... or at least behave and give him some peace. Please ....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Can't Stop

Upon the precipice of a new baby, a common (already) father fear is whether or not he can find the same (or at least enough) love for another when he is already all-consumed with adoration for his current child(ren). To that fear we dedicate this week's objet d'eBay, the Solomon Burke 45 vinyl, "I Can't Stop." A father's capacity for love can just keep growing.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Burke, the self-proclaimed King of Rock and Soul, has 21 kids and 88 (let's just round to 100) grandchildren. He can't stop loving his kids — or their mothers, apparently — and even dedicated his performance of "If I Give My Heart to You" from Like a Fire, his latest album, to all his children.

The fact is, no matter how many he has, He Can't Stop:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"The Talk" Talk

Once again it's time to talk sex talk. This time, courtesy of the Father Cutie's father.

Alberto Cutie is the Miami priest caught frolicking, presumably as a Catholic he is following the Church's dictates about unprotected sex so it's a good thing that this father didn't father (yet). However, his father did and we're betting Alberto's dad never came through with a successful talk about the birds and bees or any other intra- or interspecies sexual relationships.

It's not an easy talk, even for the parent who is completely open and honest about the subject ... such as the Polish dad who tried to buy his son a hooker for his 14th birthday only to find his little chip had opted for the undercover police officer.

Naturally, Hugh Jackman has already managed "the talk" with his 8-year-old. However, he does have superpowers.

For the remainder of dads out there, don't end up fathering father Cuties. Consider turning to the experts, your kids:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's Betting Line

Shooting is currently taking place for "The Baster," a "comedy" of an artificially inseminating father who can't reveal himself to the mom, starring Jason Batemen and Jennifer Aniston. Although the script isn't public, our money is on there being a happy — as in sappy — ending. To hedge our betting, we are also putting our money down on there not being a happy ending for many if not nost of the participants in Britain's sperm donations gray market.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Your choice.

Today, there is "The Book of Dads," an essay collection timed and themed for the upcoming Day of Fathers. And then there is dad and the book, a squigglevision episode from father of two daughters (and honorary doctor) Jonathan Katz.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

30 (dad) Rocks

Alan "son of hoofer Robert" Alda plays a likely father — in real life he has three girls — as the current season of 30 Rock ends. In the episode he needs a kidney from the "son" who went looking for — Alec Baldwin who has his real life daddy issues [Earlier: Those Who Can't, Write]. In parallel plotting, Tracy Morgan — who promises to never be satisfied with only his three real life kids — plays a character who admits he knows his "son" isn't, but that he pretends because it makes them both feel better.

A lot about dads ... a lot of funny ... and all in 30 minutes. And written by a mom — although naturally Tina Fey's comedic development does trace back to her dad letting her stay up late.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here We Go Again

It may be true that buying the right gift for dad is an impossible task come Father's Day. However, that doesn't quite justify saying that something is new for dad when it isn't.

With MD gone for the year, 429 records has begun trying to beat a drum for their 2009 father's day exclusive CD, "A Song for My Father." Kids sing dads songs. Vocally talented kids. Wonderfully talented dads. And it turns out to be a nice album ... at least based on a 2007 review, the last time ASFMF was an exclusive, new release, timed just for that year's father's day.

So it may not be a truly, new, exclusive gift. It's probably still better than the tie-socks pairing you gave last year.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daddy's Doo Wop Home

This week's objet d'eBay is a vinyl '45 of a beautiful lullaby sure to embarrass a child when doo wopped by dad. The A side song is "Daddy's Home," a promise by a father to the child who won't miss him anymore sung by Shep and the Limelites.

Fronted by James Sheppard — who shared writing credits with William Miller on DH — the band is just another of the One Hit Wonders of rock and roll, although Sheppard is given credit for some R&R pioneering of the song cycle.

Tangential to both the Od'e and today's holiday, another one hit wonder is Frank Hering. Although not, apparently, a father, he was a son and qualifies as a one hit wonder himself as the inventor of mother's day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

DDB, Baby

It is true that mothers' day is the celebration du jour (actually, du tomorrow). So, let's get a mother to talk about how important fathers are.

From down under comes the near MANifesto blogged byJeanne Sager entitled, "Dads Don't Babysit." Her point: fathers father. Nobody should expect anything less of a man and there's no excuse for condescending praise, limited expectations ... or letting him off the hook.

Friday, May 8, 2009

In the Head and Heart If Not the Hand

While it is true that you add nothing to "golf" to make it "goof," it is also true that occasionally an important life lesson can be discovered among the links. From the case of Paul Goydos, comes the lesson that geographical proximity is not the determiner of how close the bond is between father and children.

Goydos, a single father since 2003, has two teens and also a career as a professional golfer. Although he did take a year off the tour to homemake for his girls after the divorce, work takes him away for many hours, days, weeks. However, he is also close enough for them to see him in all parts of their life. As his younger daughter says of his growing influence, "I definitely talk to my dad about a bunch of stuff,” she said. “I used to not think I could tell him anything. This past year, I was thinking to myself, I shouldn’t be afraid of talking to him at all." And in return he takes them to work with him (at least in his head) every single day.

Taking your kids to work in the head turns out to be much more valuable than simply dragging them with you ... at least as shown by John Douglas Cartlidge Sr., a Pennsylvania gent who picked up a trade and tried teaching it to his son. Unfortunately, the trade he picked up was robbery — he was at a vocational institute, prison — and he and his son are now on the hook for burglary, criminal conspiracy, theft, criminal trespass and receiving stolen property. The son rolled on the old man pretty quickly after the cops came calling.

Keeping your kids in your head even seems to lay a foundation for bonding when thousands of miles and no communication separates a father and children. Such is the lesson from the reuniting of Cleveland's Michael Culp and his two Brit sons. He was an American soldier and was married to their mom before circumstances separated him from his boys for a score of years. He kept thinking of and searching for them. They were thinking of and searching for him. Andso, as in the case of Goydos — and in direct contrast to the experience of Carlidge — it's all about the thinking about and caring for the children, not just about making them an accomplice in your life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Bad Dads

There's the bad dad who's just a jerk.

And then there are the jerks who also have children, such as the Oregon dad who used the dog collar on his kids (possibly because he thought it was "funny") and Damir Dokic, father of troubled tennis lass Jelena. She said he physically abused her; he threatens to blow up an embassy.

What would it take to empower a international commission to take away someone's title as father?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All in Name

A rose by any other name ... bah, humbug!

Rather than gaining some respect for fathers who choose to take care of their kids, the title Stay-At-Home-Dad is back to meaning "unemployed male." From the big boys of media to the small, there's no honor for householding dads.

ABC news is looking for SAHDs ... but for a story on how they were hurt by the current recession. The Denton (Texas) Record describes unemployed male candidate for the school board, Danny Sullivan, as a SAHD. And Minnesota blogger findingDulcinea uses the dreaded "Mr. Mom" stereotype [Earlier: (Growing) Strength in (Increasing) Numbers] in the lede of a story about job-losing dad/SAHDs.

How hard is it to accept that taking care of kids isn't always about the lack of a better paying alternative. Maybe it's time for men to embrace an identity as homemakers. That doesn't sound "unemployed."

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dads are often larger than life, doing things for their children that nobody else (certainly not mothers) can do. However, the perspective the kids take away from this demi-god status isn't always positive.

Coming soon from Jeremy Massie is the graphic novel, The Deadbeat, which tells the story of a superhero dad and the daughter he estranged. Massie says the Big D isn't based on his own father, still it is worth wondering what about his own and other dads he sees that others might see differently.

Perspective isn't absolute truth, of course. It's just one person's view of what happened. So, having one daughter say her father was San Francisco's Zodiac Killer [Earlier: J&K+8-K=A Better Idea] and another daughter announces that he absolutely couldn't be doesn't define either the kids or the father. Still, the perspectives do give some new clues to who they all are.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Father Fails

How could the great fantasist H.G. Wells fail to make a delusional father interesting? Easy enough to find out, just leaf through this week's objet d'eBay, a first edition of his novel, Christina Alberta's Father. The story, based on a case of psychiatrist Carl Jung, was no audience favorite (and a recent musical adaptation seems not to have fared much better). Still, the idea of a muddled father — by the father of four, two within his marriage — does suggest a great deal of love between father and child ... so maybe the problem for audiences is that the father isn't delusional enough?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sing Out AllYa

On other days it is time for the joyful noise produced for, by, or on behalf of fathers and their children:

For dad:

For daddy

And thanks to our DadLabs friends, by dads (and baby):

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Time for Tears

It is true there might be hope to be found in sorrow. It is not true it is easy when the sadness is as profound as a child's loss of a father, or a father's loss of a child.

The Boston Globe reports on a group of men whose strongest bond is their shared loss of a child and their need to keep on going on. Their body moves on earth, but for the fathers forever, a piece of their soul and many of their thoughts seem always to be in another place. The Salt Lake Tribune tells the tale from the other side, reporting on a 6-year-old who accepted his father's posthumously-awarded Silver Star for service in Afghanistan.

Finally, bringing both sides together and sparking a question of sad sad can be, The Toronto Star shares text and video of a child who lost his father and now struggles for his life. Five-year-old Justin, whose 31-year-old father passed from undetermined causes two years ago, is currently fighting a malignant cancer.

Hope? Hardly!