Friday, December 31, 2010

Single Laughs, If That

For the new year, Fox International promises a second season of webisodes for Single Dads. The series, ostensibly being internet workshopped for an eventual sit-com, features two fathers, two babies and no moms. It is supposed to take viewers through the hardships of going it alone. Instead, it feels like set pieces that weren't good enough even for Adam Sandler movies.

There is the being thought gay by hot chicks scenario.

There is the "tee-hee" inspiring discussion about having the procreation talk sometime in the future.

And, of course, the minds behind SD found their own two minutes of hilarity going through the well-worn motions of changing a disgusting diaper.

One new year's wish: that at least a few real parents have worked on SD for its second season and that a smidge of respect for the audience works its way into the scripts so it doesn't continue to get the four poop-filled diaper rating.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He Jes Keep Rolling along

A song (with great apologies to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein sung to the tune of their "Ol' Man River") to honor the news that Ramajit Raghav, a Kharkhoda (India) farm laborer who at 94 is now living on a pension and has a new son, "god's gift" Karamjit, thanks to the help of his 50 year old wife:

Dere's an ol' river called de Ganges
Dat's de ol' river dat Raghav see!
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if no land has he?

Ol' man Raghav,

Dat ol' man Raghav
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
At 94 he's rollin''
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don' plant taters,

He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants'em
is soon forgotten,
But ol'man Raghav,
He jes keeps rollin'along.

You an'me, we sweat an' strain,

Body all achin' an' racket wid pain,
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail.

Ah gits weary

An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But new father Raghav,
He jes' keeps rolling' along.

He's 94, wife's 50-sometin,

Baby Karamjit a little dumplin',
He ain't got money from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin' no rest till de judgement day.

Don't look up

An' don't look down,
Kharkhoda farmer
Grab de oldest father crown.
Bend your knees
An'bow your head,
An' pull date rope
Until you' dead.

Ol' man Raghav,
Dat ol' man Raghav
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
At 94 he's rollin''
He keeps on rollin' along.

Ah, gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man Raghav,
He jes'keeps rollin' along!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Celeb Battles

The celeb "war" between boys and girls has been joined. Ricky Martin has announced that he is looking to do some adopting — clearly putting Angelina Jolie in his sights. Additionally, Elton John, 62, has announced his is a new father — and now we wait to see which famous woman of a certain age is willing to match that!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Josephmas

Today, around the world, people will take a moment to consider St. Joseph — for many the real first father. For the remainder of the year, he comes to the fore only when people who want to sell a house. bury him in the ground (often head first and via a kit).

It just doesn't seem right somehow. Maybe we should hold off all the hoopla of the day until we get to the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cliche Day

Father knows best and you don't know until you walk in your father's footsteps are cliches, but ones that can take a sad twist depending on the news. For example, Iraqi father Najim al-Anbaky claims he killed his daughter to keep her from becoming a suicide bomber. And then there are the Turnidge boys, father Bruce and son Johsua, who worked together on  plan to blow up Oregon banks ... and who were sentenced together to death for the one murderous bomb that exploded.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baby Medicine

Want a jolt to your health after a couple heart attacks and a stroke? Have a baby: it's what worked for seventy-year-old Aussie Kevin King.

Of course, it might not hurt that his wife is only 31. He met her while going walkabout after being told by his doctor he had but three years left to live — a prognosis since withdrawn. With baby Pierre one-year-old, King spends his days as a stay-at-home-play-at-home-dad while wifey goes off to earn her keep.

Good on ya Kev!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do Wah Diddy No Wed

Recently, Sean "P Diddy Puffy Sean John Puff Daddy" Combs chilled with the gals of The View. Discussion turned to what the rap and designer roue thinks of marriage and fatherhood. He revealed a great deal — although there was the evergreen truism that it is better to rich than poor, all other things being equal — by saying pretty much nothing at all.

So the scorecard is six kids, three mums, no marriages and the claim that his strong mother did a great enough job raising him from age 3 on (after his dad was killed) that he knows how a father doesn't have to be in the everyday life of a kid for that child to succeed as he did. He claims he gives his kids oodles of his time, that their orthodontia is completely up to date, and that, "it's more about me being honest with myself and me loving my children and being there for my children," than it is about doing the hard job of staying in the house everyday with his kids and a woman he loves (or loved) only sometimes (or not anymore).

He may well be right ...and he certainly did a great job playing to his audience. However, most revealing was the self-absorption he displayed, proving his main, subtextual point: he's probably not interested enough in others to give all to his kids (or a marriage), but it is very good that he has plenty of money because he'll give all of himself and his money that he can and that will be more than many kids will ever receive.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Waiting On a New King

On his final show, Larry King's youngest son, 10-year-old Chance, did a quick audition to sit in his father's footsteps.

A final decision will not be made until King's five other children (via seven wives) — the oldest and unknown by his father until 2009 Larry King, Jr., Andy, Chaia, Chance and stepson Danny Southwick — all get their turn at the mic. The reality show should be on your television soon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

He Was There

Dad wrote his life, but it took his sons to get it into print. That's the tale making it out of Redding, Calif., where sons Mike and Hank have brought to covers their father Henry Woodrum's autobiography, Walkout. In a talk with the local Record Searchlight, Mike said, "I first read the book when I was in my early 20s and as I got older it meant more and more to me." His father's passing in 1990 did nothing to diminish his interest in the story.

WalkoutNow, with self-publisher iUniverse's help, the book is published and they look forward to Hollywood's call for the WWII saga of Woodrum experiencing the bombing of Pearl Harbor, getting shot down over France, mixing with the Resistance, and playing his part in the Berlin Airlift.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That's the Way the Crumb Cooks

"Dealing  with being the daughter of 'The Genius,' " Sophie Crumb told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "messed with me  when I was a teenager, of course, when I was trying to create my  identity." Crumb is on the road promoting how one person (her) can grow up with a father, "[Who] can’t do anything, except draw and play. He can’t drive. He can’t  swim. He’s totally dyslexic. He’s left-handed. He can hardly see. He’s  practically blind; his glasses are an inch thick" (as she explained him to The New York Times).

Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist (Slipcased, signed and numbered limited edition)Her autobiography in sketches, Evolution of a Crazy Artist, displays her work from her youngest days of drawing for her parents through her progression of a sketch artist into her late 20s. Quick summary: she's dealing better now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cars and Boys

Put father, son and cars in a story and a dreamlike image emerges of an extraordinary bonding experience taking place in the garage over cams and carbs. Reality can be very different.

There is the precision driving empire being built by Darlington's (U.K.) Paul "son of Russ" Swift. His father encouraged him to tip a lawn mower on two wheels, which was the start to creating his team of precision driving. At the heart of it all, however, is a parallel parking trick his dad was doing nearly 25 years ago.

There is also the story with a happy ending of a father and son who both drove their cars off a pier. Fortunately, after son Jon followed father William into the drink, he was able to roll down his window. He rolled down his window, swam over to the van in which his parents were trapped and managed to break them out before they went down with the ship.

An unhappier conclusion completes the story of a Palm Springs, Calif., dad, who stuck his 10-year-old behind the wheel of his truck. Somehow the father got in front of the vehicle right before sonny Jim trapped daddy dodo against a wall, seriously injuring the brainy pa. Bet he wishes he never left the garage ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Dads, No Sads

It is possible that there will be no chance of hurting a mother's feelings and everyone could be right in the future when they say a baby looks just like his dad.

Scientists at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston did some chemical reprogramming of dad cells; mixed it with surrogate eggs and embryos; managed a bit of selective breeding; and presto, chango, science creates babies with genetic material only from only from the dads.

The original idea was to try and figure out how to save endangered species. However, as with all science, it opens up possibilities far beyond the original hypothesis to everything from  allowing gay fathers to have children reflecting both of their genetic makeups to breeding [for example] the brains of an honors student with the body and athletic ability of an all pro defensive lineman.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rolling in the Dough

What would be a great gift for a baby who will never know his biological father? Why a father who bakes, of course. An even better gift? Two fathers who bake. That is the great fortune of Caleb St. Germain-Donnelly, adopted five days after birth by the co-owners of the Cranston, R.I., Little Falls Bakery & CafĂ©. As father Jeff told the Providence Journal, "“He’s just happy."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

[No Apostrophed] Im So [Achy Breaky] Sad

You hate to kick a dad when he's dad. So, let's just think of this as a slight foot bump to Billy Ray Cyrus. [Earlier: Picture This and Achy Breaky Dad ]. There have been a variety of (mostly faux media-induced) scandals surrounding daughter Miley. The newest is her legally getting kooky on salvia. His response as a father is to tweet his heart, "Im [sic] so sad":

Four tweets. Sad about his daughter videoed smoking salvia; happy to be following "Jesus tweets"; peddling his show; and quoting JFK on the importance of living by his words. (Is he trying to choke irony all by his lonesome?)

Normally you'd ask "what are you thinking?" Sadly, he seems to be sharing an oblivious and self-absorption that certainly seems unlikely to score him points in most father of the year contests. Oh (and here's the foot bump), it's probably not so good for his daughter either.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Something Is Not Everything ... But It Still Is Something

Playing the blues is defined by the mix of the sacred and profane. Living the blues is also a mix of the high and low. As Claudette King told Essence about performing while being one of a legend's 15 children:

I have to stand up as an artist and represent B.B. King to the fullest -which is hard to do at times. Whatever is expected out of me has to be beyond great. Being his child my music has to be almost flawless because my father is a legend. That can be challenging.
A legend, though is not necessarily the most available father. Dad King referred to his 275-plus days a year of touring schedule when he explains:
I have regrets about what I did, how I've done it, at all. I haven't been the best father to my children, and the reason why I haven't been the best father to them is, I haven't always been there when they needed me. But my mind and love was always there. And thinkin' of their education, how they would be when they grew up, has been one of my motivating forces that have kept me doin' what I'm doin', to make sure that I leave something for them that I didn't have when I came.
We're Onto SomethingDaughter King doesn't actually sing the blues in her first CD, We're Onto Something. She mixes a bit of daddy and a bit of all the influences making their way in when dad wasn't around. The result is not her father, but nothing that is going to embarrass him either.

Find more artists like Claudette King at Myspace Music

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dad Went Vroom Vroom

There's something special about every father. Every child should celebrate what's special and so it is worth noting a daughter's look at The Original Hot Rodder, as Kathy Anne Hanks Waddill Ridley's thinks of pop, Bill Waddill.

The Original Hot Rodder: Biography of Bill Waddill His History of Hot Rodding and the Genesee Gear GrindersWaddill was a racer, mechanic, Flint, Mich., shop owner in the post WW II years who shared the urge of the father he could not remember, as the elder died in a 1928 race. The son went on to set records at Bonneville and other tracks, as well as standards for hot rodding car looks. He was a west coast guy who happened to live just outside Car Town (Detroit), USA.

Fair warning to the reader. The book's subtitle, Biography of Bill Waddill His History of Hot Rodding and the Genesee Gear Grinders, is representative of a certain clunkinesss. The pics are there; the story is heart warming. But to stretch a metaphor a hot rod is not a Maserati ....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Have A Baby by Ne

In July, rapper Ne-Yo told CNN, "I'm terrified, I'm gonna be all the way honest. I've never seen myself as a father, you know what I mean" Still, babies do arrive and so Shaffer Chimere Smith is claiming Madilyn Grace Smith as his own even as he is not yet claiming her mama as his one true love. Of course, to be fair in 2005 when he claimed the son of his girlfriend as his own it turned out he wasn't actually the father.

In any case, as he sang with 50 Cent, Have A Baby By Me:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hoff Is Off Again

You can't fault David Hasselhoff for trying. He tried Making Waves for his daughters with a book. [Earlier: Dadelusions] Now, he's giving it a shot with reality (?) television on The Hasselhoffs. All of this, allegedly, is being done in the interests of sparking the lives and careers of his daughters, now 18 and 20 years old. So don't fault the try, but the execution? If the whole point for the father to make his daughters the star he is now, then it can be well feared that he might succeed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fathers who change a very public belief should have to be ready to explain the decision to their children. However, should they also have to convince a judge they've done the right thing?

That is the question faced by Indiana pops Craig Scarberry, who lost 80 hours a week of custody (going from 50-50 to four hours a week based on a court decision) with his kids by changing his religious orientation to agnosticism from Christianity. His divorce settlement did include an agreement that the ex-spouses to "communicate effectively" about religion and other matters. Is he not communicating effectively about his change ... or might there be more at play here?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dragon Time

Shannon Lee is taking her father, Bruce, where he never went before even though she hasn't seen him since he died when she was four.

The San Francisco-born martial arts legend passed in 1973, leaving Shannon and son Brandon — who died while filming The Crow. Unwelcome in mainland China during his lifetime, in part thanks to daughter Shannon's deal-making wizardry, the "Little Dragon" is having statues and theme parks erected in his honor as China pursues new opportunities in making money and "hay" from his life.