Tag Archives: father’s day

Sunday Show: Charlotte Today Appearance

Dads need rest.

Well, at least this one does. Which means I’m headed out. But don’t worry, dudes. I’m leaving you today with the video from my latest appearance on Charlotte Today.

Before I go, happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, but most especially to my dad.

In fact, I’ve got two different clips. The first segment is my interview with @RamonaHolloway and @ColleenOdegaard.

Charlotte TodayThe second segment is when I got to taste some absolutely outstanding pork tenderloin with peach chutney sliders.

Enjoy. I know I did.

And here’s number two.

Share on Facebook

Planning For Next Father’s Day Or Rushing For This One

Dads are easy. We have to be, considering how much we’re getting shorted in the national holiday of appreciation competition.

Father’s Day didn’t exist until 1909, when the daughter of a single father from Seattle came up with the idea. Wasn’t until Richard Nixon set aside the third Sunday in June in 1972 that it became a national holiday. And this is America? Probably one reason for it. I mean, we celebrate the Founding Fathers every July and the vast conspiracy of Moms felt that was enough.

 In 2011, Dads who received a gift averaged $106.49, which was a nice jump from 2010, when dads only saw gifts worth $94.72, but still not a patch on moms, who averaged $140.73. In 2012, dads only raked in $117.14, while moms bumped up to $152.

“His gifts usually range from a simple tie for work to a new spatula for the grill—all of which can make dad very happy.”

 Mother’s Day gifts, by contrast, tend to be more luxurious than Father’s Day presents—jewels, flowers, a trip to the spa, or dinner at a restaurant, for example.

The most popular gift was a card, and, even then, dads lag behind behind Moms, lovers on Valentine’s Day and people trying to kiss up to Santa on Christmas.

Which is exactly what I thought was happening when my youngest little dude referred to me as a superhero. I swelled with pride. And then he told me my superhero name” the Wondrous Wallet, because I’m the one who gives him the money. He’s having a birthday on June 13 and wants to go paintballing. I’m allowed to go with him, but can’t participate, must only be there in my superhero guise. Who, in addition to being free with the money, is mostly invisible.

The number one reason why Father’s Day doesn’t get as much attention is because it happens during summer break for schools. Moms get the attention of the child in school, teachers who, in elementary school are most likely moms themselves, and have their classes make something for mom.

Moms rake it in because, just like Valentine’s Day, there is an entire industry based around the idea that not getting the mom in your life an expensive, amazing gift is tantamount to saying, “I hate you. You’re worthless, now go get into the kitchen and make me a sammich.”

But, enough whining. Although, if you’ve been around me for more than three minutes, I think you’ll realize whining is what I do. Anyway, enough of it for now. Let’s talk about ways to make dad feel loved on this special third Saturday in June. See if we can’t make up for the appalling $30 gap in gifts.

  1. Move Father’s Day a week back to June 22. That way he can go to Heroes Con, one of the largest comic book, pop-culture conventions in the country. Once there, Dad can mix and mingle with the other super heroes in his guise as the . . . Wondrous Wallet!
  2. You know that tie you’re going to give Dad? You remember: the one that looks suspiciously like the same boring tie you gave him last year? Yeah, that one. Ditch it. Use it to hogtie a, well, a hog. Ties are the dead, bloated skunk on the side of the road that somehow gets into the space under the driver’s seat on a hot summer day and then stay undiscovered for months of gifts.Ties stink, is what I’m trying to say. If it’s too late, if you’ve already purchased one, then do something useful with it, like maybe burning it. Or maybe Mom can give Dad a tie in one of those shades of gray I’ve been hearing about.
  3. I’m different in that I was lucky enough to stay home with my sons and be the primary caregiver, but I know a lot of my fellow dads weren’t that lucky. One of the greatest gifts you can give us (even dads like me who sometimes begin twitching uncontrollably when certain words like (shudder) art project are used in our hearing) is time. Make a date with Dad. Go to the movies. Go out to eat at a restaurant that takes more than seven minutes to serve your food.
  4. Every once in a while the universe demonstrates that I might actually have done a good job with the young dudes. I asked middle son, Zippy the College Boy, what he would do to make dad feel loved and he said, “I’d go to his amazon.com wish list and get him something. Every man has a wish list. It just doesn’t have to be written down.” Of course, that could be just me. But if it’s not, remember that going to smile.amazon.com and buying stuff will lead to amazon.com donating 0.5 % of the purchase plus $5 to the charity of your choice.
  5. Robert L. Brown is a cab driver in Washington, DC. He gave Zippy the College Boy and me a ride over the weekend. During the scariest cab ride of my life, during which I clutched Zippy the College Boy to my chest and prayed for mercy, Mr. Brown told us his idea of perfect parent gifts. He suggested giving three inexpensive gifts. Always and only three gifts. Each gift stood for a single word. I. Love. You. It didn’t matter what the gifts were, but just to let him know “I love you.”
  6. Take dad out for a day of paint ball. Because nothing says I love you quite like sneaking quietly up through the bush, parting the tall grass with the barrel of your gun and firing until your gun runs dry, blasting enough paint to cover a four-story mansion in two coats of paint and leaping joyously into the air while doing the dance of victory over the thoroughly broken. . . erm. Uh. So I’ve heard. I don’t even play paintball and you can’t prove differently.
  7.   Take dad out to the movies. Kids, let dad pick the movie and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it. You ladies might not know this, but I think you’ll be surprised to know just how very similar a dad’s taste in movies is to that of a 12-year-old boy. You’re on the same wavelength, kids.
  8. Don’t buy dad a card. Seriously. Just get a piece of paper, fold it in half and then write something nice on it. Or even draw something. It doesn’t have to be good art, but just knowing you spent time thinking of dad, and did something you thought would be cool for dad is an amazing gift.
  9. Give the wallet back. Don’t look at me like that. You know what wallet. I’m just going to close my eyes for one minute and, when I open them, I expect to have the wallet right here on the table.
  10. Fly fishing, golf, bike ride, football game baseball game. All at once. But make sure you sell the TV rights first because I think golfish riding basefoot games are going to be huge.
  11. Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

I keep telling my young dudes and my loving wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Better Looking By The Day, that I don’t actually want stuff for Father’s Day.

Spend time with me, I tell them. Although I mean time quite differently when I’m talking to my blushing bride than I do when I’m talking to the young dudes.

It’s time and love and hugs, dudes. That’s really what we all want. I mean, nobody wants to reenact their own version of “Cat’s In The Cradle,” do they?

Share on Facebook

Dude Review: Giant!

I got a chance to attend the most recent HeroesCon, which is a comic book convention here in Charlotte.

The event, one of the best-regarded comic book conventions in the country, is held every year around Father’s Day, is sponsored by local comic-book store Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and is like heaven to geeks like me.

To ride down the escalator to the show floor and listen to the sounds of people arguing the merits of who’s smarter: Jimmy Corrigan or Amadeus Cho. . . Who would win in a fight: Hulk or Thor? Could Superman pick up Thor’s hammer?

It is the music of my people.

One of the best parts about the convention is that it plays host to a veritable host of small-time comic-book creators. These are the folks who aren’t published by the big-time folks at Marvel, DC, Image, Boom, or even Dark Horse. These are the dudes and dudettes who form their own publication firm to put out their own comic books.

These are the fertile fields of independent, non-mainstream comic book creators. And walking through the Artists’ Alley, perusing the various and sundry publications. . . It’s a total blast for me.

As I was aisle cruising on the Saturday of the show, I ran across an interesting little book. And I do mean little. Giant! is four inches by six inches and, despite the name, which suggests something really, really tall, the book is wider than it is tall. A lovely little black-and-white interior tells the story of Deedrick a hapless young man in a medieval walled city.Giant-Website-Banner

Everything goes wrong for poor Deedrick. He accidentally insults the local lord, renders his castle’s gate inoperative and, basically, just messes up the joint. As a punishment, he’s sentenced to being lowered off the top of the castle to scrub off the pigeon poop from the sentient gargoyles that lurk around the heights, serving as protectors when needed.

And, as you might guess, they are needed rather quickly. Once again, by pure happenstance, Deedrick manages to wake a nasty giant from a centuries-long sleep. Of course, it immediately goes on a rampage, as these sorts of things are wont to go. It’s up to Deedrick and a host of blandly engaging characters, including a pretty cool gargoyle, to save the day. If they can stop messing up long enough to actually get it done.

The story is cute and fairly predictable. It’s, well, serviceable. I mean, it gets from point a to point b without too much trouble. Despite what seems like a horrifying danger, it never really feels like anyone is in danger. There’s no real emotional investment in the characters. However, that’s not really necessary.

Writer and artist of Giant!, Chris Wharton, invests his main character with enough bumbling charm and enthusiasm that you don’t really need to get invested in his fate to enjoy reading about him. Wharton’s pencils are instantly engaging, sharing a sort of cartoony or animated simplicity. Despite a paucity of backgrounds, the art was slick enough to really carry the lightweight story.

My one gripe is that the ending came much too easy for our heroes. There’s the suggestion for how to beat the giant, they do it. The giant is beaten. The end. It felt rushed and, when the ending came across as that simple, a rushed ending really feels rushed.

There was a tremendous amount of potential in this story. Considering that Wharton ended the story with a nice little bit that suggests another story on the way, I have a feeling that we’re going to get a chance to watch him improve in the next volume. I’d love to tell you how much the comic costs, but it’s not listed anywhere on the book itself. Giant! originally was printed through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site that allows creators to solicit money from anyone.

The comic’s website, www.giantcomic.com, hasn’t been updated since it met its funding goal on Kickstarter in 2012. However, Wharton has an art page where you might be able to contact him. If you’re interested, maybe you can get hold of him and buy a comic directly from him. Can’t hurt to give it a try.

Despite the shortcomings, I’d really recommend this comic, especially for the younger readers. I have a feeling little dudes and dudettes in third through sixth grade would really dig this. I’d give this a solid three dudes out of five.

Share on Facebook