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Hi!  And welcome to the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News.  It’s another crazy week and another crazy ten items on the list.  As tempted as I am to go to eleven because this one always goes to eleven, I believe we will keep the news to the top ten stories of the week, which we at the Guide love to twist.  Why do we love to twist these stories?  Because life is too serious as it is.  And the world needs to be peopled!  Wait.  No!  We do it because we need to laugh as much as you do.  So welcome to the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 11.

What is Fake News?  Well aside from the banter between political parties trying to decry the other side as wrong, Fake News means made up stories.   It comes down to one person telling a tall tale and bringing it to the public.  I suppose it doesn’t make the Fake News we tell always fake.  It just makes it . . . hyperbole (Read Fake.  Eat your heart out Brian Williams.).  Because here at the Guide we are excited to bring to you the biggest news stories of the day and twisted to bring to you the best of flying rattlesnakes, Jedis fighting Star Lords, and basketball stars getting no love.  

We always have to get bigger and better, which is why this one will go to eleven.  And because I can’t possibly wait to bring this to you any longer as it will just be me wasting time, the Guide Proudly presents to you The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 11.

The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 11 1) Bust-A-Bear!  

Contrary to your thought of a strange scene with a police officer with a teddy bear, this is something completely different.  Kind of.  When it comes to brilliance in the world of stuffed toys, no one does it quite like Build-A-Bear.  Of course, the next obvious questions is: “how brilliant are they?” They are so brilliant they decided to make a day where you paid for your Build-A-Bear the amount of your age . . . which would make me 29!?!?  Thanks, Build-A-Bear for making me out to be so young.  I now feel like every beautiful woman who still gets carded at the bar.  Woohoo!

But of course, their brilliance stopped somewhere about the time they planned the amount of product they would have to have to make it through the day.  If they were a bank and it had been a run on the bank, they would have been broke, busted, and bankrupt.  They had to go so far as to stop the special hours into the day.  Somehow I don’t think it will ingratiate them to their future customers as they will have the memory of crying as they had to walk away from the Build-A-Bear that one day.  Yup!  Brilliance!

2) Friday The Thirteenth The Tattoo Holiday.  Who knew?

People think of all kinds of things when it comes to Friday the 13th.  Some people run away from black cats, broken mirrors, and ladders.  Others become afraid of some creepy guy named Jason wearing a ski mask.  Or is that they are watching some silly movie with some zombie guy formerly known as Jason wearing a hockey mask and chasing high school coeds.  It must be one of those things.  But who knows?  And then there are the people who think it is the best time in the world to start a horror movie marathon.  No, wait.  That’s just me.

But what I never knew was despite it being National Fry Day it turned out to be a Tattoo Holiday.  Because we can never get enough of those fake holidays.  Friday the 13th only, at some of the finest or sleaziest tattoo parlors around the country, they will be giving you a huge deal on already created tattoo designs.  You can get moons, creepy black cats, and many more tattoos with the number 13 added to them for the low price of thirteen dollars with a seven dollar tip to balance out your bad luck with some good luck.  Now, what was that tattoo I wanted to get again?  I think it had Zack Galifianackis head on it.  Or maybe not.

3) Adam Ditches Eve After Taking A Bite Of Forbidden Fruit.  Kids Not Happy.

What do John Edwards, Toger Woods, and Ewan McGregor have in common?  Their middle name is Adam.  Ok, maybe not Adam, but Mr. Ewan McGregor got a little of the forbidden fruit offered up by too many people in the Hollywood community and cheated on his wife Eve, of 22 years during the filming of Fargo.  Somehow this forbidden fruit convinced Mr. McGregor to keep eating and to leave his wife altogether, despite his infidelity being nakedly broadcast before the world.

I know when it comes to being so self-important you don’t notice your own foibles Hollywood takes the cake.  But it seems to infect people from overseas who visit, dragging them into the morass of moral meaninglessness.  Of course, the self-importance gets so intense it blinds one to how it might affect his kids.  Or it just makes it so one doesn’t care.  I suppose you could argue about which is worse.  But it’s obvious his kids are upset by the subtle, or not so subtle, trash talk directed towards his forbidden fruit. Ah, Hollywood!

4) Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Fair Again?

Wait.  No.  I will say Fair again.  And Again.  As Orange County, California, celebrates its 128th annual one of these.  Because the last 127 Fairs were not enough, evidently.  Part of me is trying to imagine what the first one of them must have been like.  Given it would have taken place in the year 1890, it would have been a whole different world.  

First of all, Orange County would have been empty for the most part.  And then no cars would have been taking people to the fair, which would have meant horse and buggies.  And finally, the number of schools in the area would really reduce the 4H clubs participating.  I’m guessing.  So it would mean this fair is nothing like the ones they did once upon a time.

Ah well.  Crowds are now flocking there to get the best of carnival rides, exhibits, shows, concerts, attractions, and food.  But mostly just the food.  Which means they have all come to make sure if the speed dial number they got for their primary care physician really works.  Between fried Twinkies, donut hamburgers and hot dogs longer than the length of a car, one can get your cholesterol fill of the year all in one sitting.  Woohoo!  (Shhhh!  Don’t tell anyone I love the Deep Fried Snickers Sundae.)

5) Margaery Tyrell Declares Game Of Thrones Completely Realistic.  Sexually Speaking That Is.

So Natalie Dormer, the former Margaery Tyrell of Game of Thrones fame believes what makes the sex in Game of Thrones so great is the raw and real nature of the couplings.  As a Game of Thrones fan and aficionado, it’s not something I would have put alongside the marvelous series.  Creepy.  Explores the depravity of man.  Lives in Freud’s fever dreams.  But never real.

Game of Thrones operates on the level of a series about the giant Id of man.  It’s possible were we to secretly film the machinations of political figures, it would look a lot like Game of Thrones.  But for the most part, I believe whether through social convention, or conscience we have things which stop us from doing some of the crazy things these Game of Thrones stars attempt on screen.

Then again, we have a history of the whole Roman world out there to debate the depravity of man and how far it can take us when we believe we have total authority.   So maybe she’s more right than I would like to give her credit for.  But I just can’t ride with her along the logic of the violence being realistic because . . . dragons.  Oh and Zombies. And fairies.  And wait . . . Ok so maybe the headline should have read the late Ms. Tyrell Believes Zombie Nightwatch Captain Bedding Dragon Riding Queen On Boat Is Completely Believable.  I just think the title is too long.

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When it comes to spending time with my child, part of me feels like I can never have enough.  It’s not that I don’t ever want alone time.  And it’s not that the child doesn’t inhibit my ability to develop meaningful relationships with other people because of the priorities I place on my child.  But I derive deep meaning from the interactions I have with my daughter and her place in my life.  And the deep meaning and purpose I experience make life so much better.  So when it comes to the prospect of giving up my child to get more of something else, I would not have things any other way.   But as a divorced parent, one does not have choices.  Hence, the road to happiness for divorced fathers takes a lot of revision along the way.

For any parent divorce brings upheaval.  Divorce limits choice.  I suppose one could argue the minute you become a parent, you stop having many choices anyway.  While married to my ex, everything we did became about the rearing of our child.  How much time did we give her out?  How much play time should she get?  What kind of responsibilities should she have?  And what kind of consequences should she have for poor behavior?  Every action we took throughout the day revolved around all of those interactions.

Time Ran Out

But the one thing I felt like I had with my daughter while married was time.  I could come home after a long day at work, fix my daughter a warm grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup and cuddle up on the couch watching the latest Disney movie before attempting to put her to bed.  Those visions of reality clash with the actual nature of the relationship I had when I got home.  Most of this time I spent cooking, cleaning, doing a few hours of grad school work, and talking to my daughter for a few minutes if I were fortunate.  And if I got any time with my ex alone it would have been a miracle.

What Does Rock Bottom Look Like?

So divorce didn’t rob me of actual quality time spent with my daughter.  Divorce forced me to confront the illusions I had in my head of the time I was spending with my daughter.  It made me realize the time I had with my daughter was both limited and lacked the true connection one wishes to have with their child.  Hence, when I actually had alone time with my daughter, the quality of the interaction improved markedly. 

One could argue it was being forced into one on one opportunities with your child which made the interaction better.  But plenty of people find time to neglect their child after separation.  This was never my issue.  The minute I had time with my daughter by myself, I just wanted to talk to her and engage with her.  There were nervous moments there at the beginning trying to figure each other out.  But we worked through those in order to have real conversations about Life, the Universe, and Everything.  (Not the book.)

Being A Divorced Dad – The Triple Whammy

But my happiness when it came to having a better relationship with my daughter is not the usual outcome for divorced dads.  In a study of parents and families, the one person most likely to suffer from depression is the father.  And the parent least likely to receive primary or even half custody of their children is the father.  So the father sinks into a depression as he is robbed of his primary purpose of raising children. 

Yes, financially the father becomes worse off paying for the child and alimony which contribute to some pressures.  But the father was paying for the family beforehand.  And there were plenty of family pressures beforehand, especially if you consider the fact the marriage was falling apart before the divorce.  Still, the father feels worse off post-divorce as they lose meaning.

It’s not the responsibility of the primary caregiver to give meaning to the party they divorced from.  On the other hand, their desire for significantly more time with their children for whatever reason puts pressure on the non-custodial parent and increases depression.  In addition, they are robbing their child from having appropriate time with the non-custodial parent.  And children without fathers increasingly show signs of significant distress. In fact, studies indicate they suffer from depression as a direct result of their father’s depression.  

Divorce Is Undefeated

No one escapes divorce unscathed.  Everyone feels cheated in some way or another.  Children are cheated of time with one of their parents.  And one parent is significantly cheated of the time they have with their children, leading them to suffer from depression.  This, in turn, affects the child, which leads the custodial parent to place blame on the non-custodial parent.  And while there may be some truth to the parents affecting their child’s depression, it’s an unintended consequence.  And finally, given the custodial parent has significant childcare costs, they get upset they don’t have the level of care financially speaking before the divorce.  No wonder no one is happy.

Unfortunately, this vicious cycle repeats itself with almost every divorce case out there.  There are the rare parents where they truly do understand the child is the innocent and should receive as much time with both parents as possible.  And if they are smarter, they realize giving up the time with the child will make them happier in the long run as they will have a happier co-parent and happier child as a result.  But most people find themselves fighting over time and support.  And the party who loses time blames the other party for seeking the time in order to avoid payment.  While the person who gained the time feels the other party only wants to maintain the time with the child to ensure their “cash cow” keeps paying out.

How To Break The Cycle – A Guide

How does one break the vicious cycle?  Unilaterally changing things up doesn’t necessarily help.  And changing people’s attitudes about how things should work moves very slowly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I would love if all courts went 50/50 with parents unless one parent could prove to be abusive.  But given parent’s propensity to accuse the other parent of child abuse to maintain custody, I would doubt this would happen.

Two Situations

So all one has left is how you personally respond to the situations you have in front of you.  Some of those may be no-win situations.  I remember reading a book about high conflict divorces.  And if the person was controlling basically it told you that you are screwed.  If someone is willing to pay a dollar and only get a dime back just because of who they are, you generally do not do well.  But hopefully, most people do not fall within this category.

The Win-Win Category

As long as you do not fall into the controlling ex-spouse people (and try to be honest here because most people feel like their ex is controlling when they are going through high stress), make contact with your ex and try to work out solutions you can both live with.  Solutions you can both agree with benefits everyone.  First, your child will spend more time with both parents.  Second, the non-custodial parent can have enough time that depression doesn’t set it.  And possibly you figure out support which makes sense given the custody situation.

The Lose-Lose Situation

But for those like myself who find themselves facing a spouse who would rather see your face on America’s Most Wanted than see you anywhere near your children, you have to go through a journey.  The journey begins with asking yourself a basic question.  What does a good relationship with your children look like?

I know this sounds simplistic but there is a truth here.  How you respond to things makes a world of difference.  When it’s about the fight or feeling vindicated constantly, your child gets punished.  Ultimately, how can you even focus on your child like you need to when your focus is constantly on the former partner.  So bring the focus back to your child and ask yourself what you want for your relationship with them.

Define Winning For You

For me, this boiled down to some basic things.  First, I wanted to sense my daughter could trust me.  With a difficult situation, there are many ways the other parent tries to undermine that trust.  So try not to let that get you down and focus on ways to show you can be trusted.  Be there for them at night when they go to sleep.  And be there for them when they wake up in the morning.  Don’t overshare the hard parts because it stimulates their fears that maybe you aren’t handling things.  And if they bring that to the other parent, they will use it as a wedge.  Be there with them for their triumphs and failures.  Above all, be consistent.

Second, I wanted to feel my daughter wanted to be with me.  It’s a harder one to gage.  It’s easier to sense they trust you.  Hard to know they want to spend time with you.  I know all children want time with their parents.  But at the same time, they eventually try to separate themselves from their parents.  So keep that in mind when you go through ups and downs in this phase.  Besides, you don’t want to be bipolar about your child either.  You cannot ride the roller coaster of happy when they want to talk to you and sad when they don’t seem to.  It ends in disaster.

How does one accomplish this?  Make yourself available for your kids.  Be present.  For me, at the beginning, it meant getting out of the usual rut of things we did and exploring other places.  It’s the unguarded moments of talking to you about something which excited them which will bring up all of the other things going on throughout their day.  And when that starts pouring out, you know they want to be there.  It may not feel like it at night when you drop them off and they forget to say I love you, daddy.  But when you have them talking, you know they want to be there.

Third, keep reminding yourself of two things: it’s not a competition, and it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  When every battle you face . . . and you will face many . . .  becomes Picket’s charge, you won’t survive.  Mostly, no battle is worth it with a controlling spouse.  But have some baseline ideas of how you feel your child should be raised and take one or two which are essential.  Then realize you aren’t competing to win the best parent.  They may be.  It’s not a battle they will win.  And it’s not important to you.   Your child is the important one.  Make every choice about your child.  And then be satisfied you did your best.  Your kids will want to know you fought for them.  But they will also want to know you did it fairly and that you did it not with the hope of injuring their other parent. 

And then realize you will lose out on some things you believe in.  But the more important thing is the long run.  How will your child benefit or be hurt by something in the long run?  Make stands on things which do lasting damage.  But fall back on things which may not make much difference long term.  And then try to be honest with your child about the decisions made and your concerns about them.  If your concerns turn out to be legitimate, your child will figure this out and may trust you more in the future.  That future trust will be much more valuable than this present victory.

Lastly, I wanted my daughter to be able to choose both parents and never feel like she had to pick between the two.  This is the hardest stretch of road on this parenting journey you will face.  The controlling parent will want to draw you into a game of “choose which parent is more important.”  And once you are in, you can count on them not fighting fair.  They picked the turf.   They set the rules.  And you will inevitably lose.

This doesn’t mean you want to lay down and be trampled on.  Your child will recognize that too and see the other person as more secure because you do not fight for yourself.  But don’t engage in the other battles which make them select between parents.  Don’t make them feel like they need to lie to protect you.  Show you can handle yourself and let them tell the truth even if it’s not pretty.  Then they are only worried about what they tell the other parent and not about what they say in front of you. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately this journey as a divorced dad takes time and effort.  And it will drain you more than you realize.  But the end goal is a well-adjusted child.  You will be happy as you will have fulfilled your purpose then.  And you can do that by fighting the tendency toward depression and making a list of what you want from your child.  Because then you can take measurable steps to get there.  I wish I could say I had all the answers.  I don’t.  But I’m always here for the discussion. 

So please don’t hesitate to write me, and share your own experiences as a divorced parent.  I think the more we share the difficult experiences the better off we will be and the more connected we will feel in our time of biggest disconnect.  Don’t lose hope. 

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**I have been given a box from Sprezzabox for evaluation and review in consideration for a blog post on their product.  While this was provided for free, all of the views expressed here are my own.**

When it comes to apparel, I admit I rarely think of the little things which make all the difference.  I’m a dad who loves his jeans and T-shirts and would wear them much of the time. (With the exception of times like this expressive heat wave we are going through right now.  108 degrees fahrenheit at 7 o’clock at night is ridiculous.) But when I became the father of a daughter, I have had to rapidly learn how to accessorize.  Or more appropriately I learned the proper appreciation for accessories and how they improve one’s outfit.  Men’s accessories make all the difference.  So I was excited when Sprezzabox offered me the opportunity to review one of their men’s accessory boxes.

Men’s Accessories

But let’s begin with the nature of men’s accessories.  When it comes to accessories, one generally thinks jewelry, a purse, or other pieces of flare which act as accoutrements for a women’s outfit.  But when I’m talking about jewelry I am not thinking about a ring, although women do wear them.  Women have so many different types of jewelry type accessories.  These accessories include tiaras, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, nose rings, and anklets among many others.  They have a breadth and depth to the accessories which adorns walls of women’s apparel departments.

For men, they don’t have nearly the amount of accessories as women.  First of all, with the exception of a few men out there, they rarely wear jewelry of any note aside from rings on their fingers.  And even then we usually speak of wedding rings or championship rings, which come in very short supply.  Accessories are not a men’s ball game when it comes to our purchases.  With one giant exception.  Ties.  And I wouldn’t even say we go out there and purchase ties for ourselves all that often.  If we get a tie it is for a Christmas gift or possibly a Father’s Day gift.  And for every good looking tie we get, we get two to match with our ugly Christmas sweater collection.

What The Sprezzabox Does For Men

Sprezzabox is trying to do for men what women have had going for them for a long time.  Sprezzabox is attempting to up men’s game when it comes to accessories.  Whether you want to go in and choose your box on your own, or your child is looking for something to get you for Father’s Day or any other day of the year, you cannot go wrong with all of the various choices you have to select from. Each box you get comes with at least 5 different items which include, ties, lapel pins, watches, comes, bags, cufflinks, socks, and so much more.

But if you are looking for a steal of a deal, consider going with the monthly subscription.  For only $28 a month you can get over 100 dollars worth of product for your father, significant other, or man in your life.  Or if you just want to up your game as a guy, and I cannot see why you wouldn’t, sign yourself up for a subscription and you will be provided with amazing monthly product to help you look your best.  And every man could use a little help in that area.  Their experts choose 5 pieces a month to go into your box and you will be amazed how the little touches add everything to your outfits.

My Personal Reaction

I have to admit I really loved the ties.  I was impressed with the high quality tie and the great socks to go with the outfit.  When it comes to the ties I have had in the past, they always seem to fray so quickly and these handle the stress and pressure of an average day.  The watch is also a classy edition and the combo and I love the old school look of the comb.  Also always good to have a glass bag wherever you may go.

I don’t think you can match the combination of high end product with such value anywhere else.  The only downside I would suggest as of this current moment is the return policy.  No refunds or returns on disliked product.  So if you aren’t adventurous at all, then make sure to order your product individually and do not allow someone else to select it for you.  But if you recognize the value, and you have a bit of the adventurer inside you, make sure to try this.  They will try to replace damaged items however.  So should you have an issue with an item you receive, be sure to let them know as quickly as possible.

Last Thoughts

As a guy, I know I struggle to keep up with fashion trends, and my accessory game is really off.  So when I heard about a company doing something like this for men as such discounted prices, I could hardly believe it.  And given their delivery time I know that should I need something quick for an event or other occasion, I will be looking to Sprezzabox first if I need to look classy.  And when I have to go to those important events in my daughter’s life, I will not be the father whose daughter does the walk of shame as she walks in front of an audience.  Sprezzabox simplifies my life.

Continue The Conversation

What do you like to get for the man in your life for Father’s Day, birthdays, or Christmas?  What was the craziest gift you ever got for you Father?  If you ever got your father a tie, how often have you seen him wear it?  Was it a crazy tie or another type?  And what product sounds the most interesting to you here.

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please be sure to follow us here at the Guide to get up to date information on all of our reviews of the latest products.  Also be sure to like us at the end, and give us a shout out by sharing this with all of your friends.  As always, thank you for stopping by.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post Classy Men’s Accessories: It’s A Sprezzabox appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

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Hi!  And welcome to another edition of the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News.  When we last left you, you were wallowing around in Hardee’s sandwiches trying to participate in the latest yellow skin craze, ultimately finding it might not be a good idea after all.  So, you decided you would take out your smartphone and test to see if your food had gone bad only to realize it didn’t test for Hepatitis A.  Rats!  Wait! No!  Rats had nothing to do with it.  Neither did flying snakes.  But that is neither here nor there.  Because by now, you are fully immersed in what it means to find fake news.  Which is why we proudly announce to you our first milestone in the fake news industry as we present to you The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 10.

What does it mean to reach the magic number 10?  And how do I feel about such a thing?  Aside from forcing myself to wade through all of the crazy madness out there just to bring you the best fake news imaginable, I’m feeling pretty good about this first 10.  Will it be the best 10?  I hope not.  Because there is so much amazing content out there to choose from every week, I am never sure which stories make their way onto the calendar.

For those of you who fear I will wade into the political (of which I am likewise afraid), I try to make sure not to draw stories from the political pages to avoid such a mess.  However, if it does touch on an issue so near and dear to your heart, like pot plantations, I have but one bit of advice; don’t take any of this seriously.  Seriously!  I don’t.  Any positions I hold are subject to the same comedy and laughter as anything else.  And humor is often the best way to explore our own positions and make us happier and healthier human beings at the same time.  Which means that The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News is good for your health!  WHAT?!?!?

Ok, maybe we are not as good as getting on the treadmill for a few hours this week.  But we do bring levity to your existence, which is the best of kind of thing to bring I believe.  And so, not wanting to wear out my welcome any further, we proudly present to you The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 10.

The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 10

1) It’s the summer of love in L.A. for LeBron James.  Although this time not with Kevin Love.

Flowers and rainbows are here in L.A. again, if you can get through all of the smog, as LeBron James decided he would join the L.A. Lakers to start a new super team out here in L.A.  As San Francisco has its own version of the super team up north, L.A. decided it needed to get in on the act.  So long as it doesn’t make my minuscule income out to be poverty, I’m all for it.

Whether it makes the whole city of L.A. hypocrites for welcoming “The King” with open arms (we are), is a whole other deal.  It is as if Love poured itself onto the whole city as people are singing “Happy Days Are Here Again,” if they can remember the tune at all.  Of course, one Love finds no joy in this whole situation.  After agreeing to a long-term extension in Cleveland, the other Love who actually is an L.A. native finds himself abandoned in Cleveland.  I guess not everyone gets love . . . not even Love.

2) Shock!  “Fame is stressful because people look at you,” wife of Kelso says.

Certain things in life make you begin to wonder.  Like . . . how can people treat someone so cruelly?  Or how can someone actually think the earth is flat.  Yet we have abusers and the flat earth society to remind us of how we are always one human away from extinction.  Maybe.  When it comes from the mouth of someone on the fringes of society, no one bats an eye.  But when it comes from Hollywood . . . no one bats an eye.  How is this possible, you ask?  Hmmmm . . .

This week, in the monumentally shortsighted list we have Mrs. Ashton Kutcher.  Or is it possibly Mrs. Kelso.  I begin to wonder.  Ok, so she’s Mila Kunis and Cosmo just recently interviewed her about her life and loves.  Evidently, one of her dislikes is the media, because people look at you for being famous. Now, I do not want to remind Mila life is stressful.  I don’t even want to cover the fact that Fame puts a spotlight on you.  But if you are going to complain that fame is stressful because people “look more closely at your actions” I’m going to have to run away and vomit.

How could you even get into the acting industry without the notion people are going to look at you?  And given your medium is visual, how can you pretend for two seconds people will not judge you for how you look.  Your job begs other people to do just that.  Feel fortunate if they can remember which two lines you said in your latest flop.  Ms. Kunis, just remember they are at the movies to see you.  Unless we start wearing blinders to the movie theater, I imagine it will always be the case.

3) Josh Duhamel goes baby diving with Baby Driver star.

I admit I have mixed feelings about this last one.  As a person invited to watch the Love, Simon movie at a pre-screening and had the opportunity for a question and answer session, which included Mr. Duhamel, I heard him gush about his ex-wife, family, and everything he learned from them.  It was such a beautiful and candid moment there.  But it was all a lie.  Maybe I should be having one of those, “smack my head” moments right now actually believing in what an actor says.

Why did I get to this moment?  Well, it turns out the former Mr. Fergie is now hooking up again.  (Shoot me now for not reading the tabloids and knowing he had moved on.)  But who does he hook up with next?  The Baby Driver star who is . . . *cue shocking music here* . . . slightly more than half his age.  I’m not going to get into robbing the cradle metaphors here.  But evidently, he has an affinity for public displays of affection with someone who he would have babysat in high school if he had been into that sort of thing.  I really wish him well on his new journey into a midlife crisis.  He’s kicked it off with a bang.

4) Oklahoma’s Hempfest already gone to the Dogs.

Taking a large cue from Colorado, California, Washington, and soon to the best of the country, Oklahoma felt like it needed to create its own ode to pot.  Hence Hempfest 2018 was born.  Of course, the flyers and everything else decries the use of pot at said event, there will be plenty of people promoting the benefits of Cannabis.  Blouses, brownies, bundt cakes, bongs, and a bevy of Mary Jane infused love will transpire throughout.

And who do they bring to headline such a get-together?  None other than the Cannabis King himself.  Otherwise known as the Snoop . . . D O Double G.  Making his way from Long Beach to the backwoods of podunk Oklahoma, the Dogg will bring his licentious love to all within earshot.  As we know about Snoop’s presence, can we truly say this event has gone to the dogs?  Only time will tell.  But a run on 7-11’s we can practically guarantee.

5) Young YouTubers with gigantic egos and no experience plan and promote convention as an alternative to larger YouTuber convention.  What could possibly go wrong?

Dashcon, not to be confused with a celebration for the Incredibles younger, enigmatic, hero, fell flat.  Ok, maybe Dashcon represented a new rebranding of a spectacular failure by a pair of up and coming YouTubers.  The actual event, entitled Tanacon (a less than inspired name given it was created by Tana Mongeau) tried to play the alternative to the larger YouTube convention labeled Vidcon.  The event itself turned into total parody as it devolved into a series of unfortunate events.

Ok, maybe we could have forecast those unfortunate events, as there were several things wrong from the start.  First, and certainly most glaringly, two YouTube stars tried to put together an event with no event planning experience whatsoever.  I suppose everyone has to get his or her experience somewhere.  But given their spectacular failure, I bet a second chance is not in the offing.  Second, an event made up to soothe the ego of one person probably does not build anything worth mentioning.  And lastly, any event planned purely because you felt dissed by the larger and more recognizable event probably dooms itself to failure.  Revenge does not make for good parties.  Just a thought.

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*** Just to let you know, I am a Knott’s Berry Farm Berry Blogger.  I have been compensated with tickets and other amenities at the park during Knott’s Ghost Town Alive 2018.  Despite this fact, all of the views expressed herein are my own.**

The town of Calico came on the map in the year of our Lord 1885.  From a little rinky dink town out in the south west it burgeoned with the help of some grateful citizens and the prospect of prospecting.  And every year since it was settled, in the summer, they celebrate with a raucous celebration, remembering the founding of the town and great people who built it up with their bare hands.  Of course, how the town came to be, and why Ghost Town Alive happens every year is an interesting story I am sure you would find facinatin’.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Because this year we are celebratin’ something magnificent that brought Brutus and I all the way down south from the American River to find our heart’s desire: Gold!  For this year the town has something mighty special to celebrate as Calico has been bitten by the Gold rush fever spreading rapidly across the state.

Gold In Calico!!!

How did we hear about the gold rush in Calico and how did Brutus and I end up in this small bit of dust on a map you ask?  It all began one summer’s eve as we had just about run down on our luck. Brutus and I were out takin’ our evening constitutional.  

When it comes to adventures nothing beats the great outdoors with me and my compadre Brutus.  Whether it’s shooting the breeze and enjoying the bright skies, or dippin’ our toes in the cool oceans we love being together out in nature as God intended.  But this constitutional was different. We were out in the saloon, down on our luck, sippin’ our libations when some gentleman rushed in screaming: “Gold! Gold!  Gold in California!”

Brutus and I immediately looked at each other and knew.  Those nuggest opportunities were in our future. So me and my pal made our way out to California in 1850 to get in on all the gold rush opportunities.  Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and we started to figure out we were going wrong when everyone ended their sentences in “eh!”  So we made our way back towards California only to find out the rush was over.

Just being told the rush was over did not stop me and Brutus from testing our our mettle and trying to pan for gold out there.  But all you could find were a few flakes, and a few not so savory types trying to rob you of the little items you had left. It’s hard to trust anyone when all you could bring them was gold powder.  The assayer would rob you blind as much as look at you. Them greedy, shifty eyed, good for nuthins. But where was I? Oh yes!

Brutus and I had given up hope and was about to head for the sunny confines of Acapulco sippin’ Mai Tais and drinking whiskey.  (Brutus can sure knock back some Mai Tai’s if you let him. But never you mind that.) When all of a sudden we heard something amazing from a cousin of ours who goes by the name of Peg Leg.  Actually he didn’t tell us nuthin cause he was too busy searching for more nuggets after he struck it rich. It was his daughter Ophelia who actually clued us in on all of the happenings with our dear cuz.  Not that Peg Leg remembered to talk to us much anyway.

Ophelia asked us how we were enjoying it up there in Sacramento.  And was the state Capital everything she heard it was? We thought we’d write her back and Brutus would sign it with his hoof, trying not to dissolution her about the fact The American River was a days walk from the capital and we rarely went there for anything.  Until we got her next bit of news.

A Nugget Of Truth

She told us if we got into town to look her up first because she was so excited to tell us about something special.  And that we should avoid some nasty folks called the Maysies. Or was it the Greyfields? Drat my memory is going faster than a catawumpus during matin’ season.  Oh and that there actually might be a huge gold nugget mined from the Calico mines, but we weren’t supposed to bother ourselves with that tidbit.

“What?!?!” Brutus and I both yelped.  Well, I yelped and he brayed but it was as close to a yelpin’ I’ve ever heard a donkey give.

So we looked at each other, packed our bags and headed down to the sunny confines of Calico.  We kept trying to remember who it was we weren’t supposed to talk to and why. But we never could quite remember.  On our way we had some crazy adventures, but that’s a whole other story we will have to tell at another time. What I can say is we bumped into some beautiful woman who said she had lost her family, or her family was lost to her.  Something like that. And she wanted to be reunited.

She fed us some vittles and had us stay awhile.  But we told her we couldn’t stay long. We needed to visit our cousin and see what was going on in Calico.  Brutus told me I should tell her to never give up on family. So I did. And she thanked us and told us not to worry because she would be doing that exact thing very soon.

Our Grand Entry

We then left for Calico and made it there a day or so later, right in time for Founders Day.  Brutus was very excited but he still bucked a little for not getting him those Mai Tai’s. He said a Calico Soda would have to do.  Thankfully they had one at the Calico Saloon. (But the tale of Brutus with the dancing girls is a whole other story.) There we met up with this nice man by the name of Ox.  And he said he knew about the Gold and about our cuz. He had plans to rescue the gold, or some such nonsense. Like gold needs rescuing.

Ox told us to talk to Clay.  So we did. And while he was more helpful about the gold situation, he seemed to have other things on his mind to distract him.  There was something arriving today which I couldn’t tell whether it depressed or excited him. Clay told us to speak with his ne’er do well sons Scruff and Fluke if we wanted more answers about the gold and how to find our cousin and his daughter.  

Family Reunion

We did meet up with both of them.  And while I admit we were treated like rock stars, we still needed to just hear from our family.  And about how to get our hands on some gold. Evidently, that seemed to rattle many of the townspeople who promptly took us to the sheriff for questioning.  He threw us in a cell until he had more time for us. But we just didn’t have time to waste if we wanted to be out there panning for gold. So we escaped and finally found our cousin’s daughter Ophelia at the Assay office.

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Hi!  And Welcome back to the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News.    It’s been a crazy week out there, with much insanity shared throughout the world, including more great fake news coming to you from some exotic locations not named the United States.  So what are we to do about it?  Go shout it from the mountain of course.  Or maybe a blog.  So we proudly present to you the finest fake news source in the land, The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 9.

What is the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News, you ask?  It’s every rational fear that you ever had in your life as you sit in your bedroom holding your knees tightly to your chest, rocking back and forth, mumbling to yourself.  Or maybe it’s just something you can laugh at.  We hope it’s the latter . . . mostly.   Our version of fake news doesn’t quite reach the level of made up pizza parlor sex rings.  Neither does it straddle the line of truth the mainstream media puts forth.  Plain and simple, our Fake News is derived from real headlines out there to be found and twisted to turn it into something entirely different.  So sometimes our Fake News might be truer than true news . . . or something like that.  Whatever it is, it’s certainly funnier.

But I don’t want to sit here wasting your time forever.  There are plenty of garbage television shows out there for you to do that with.  I’m good with just wasting 15 minutes.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy the latest in our Ode to Fake News: Volume 9.

The Single Dad’s Guide To Fake News: Volume 9

1) James Bond has a License “essere cattivo” as the Astin Marin goes Italian with the Superleggera.

When it comes to licenses to kill, James Bond has them all.  Or at least that’s what Ian Flemming and Albert Broccoli would have you believe.  (Who trust a guy with the last name Broccoli anyway?  Honestly!). But when it comes to Licenses to be naughty . . . oh, wait. That’s right.  James Bond has that on lock as well.  Because no one hops into more women’s beds than James Bond.  (As long as you don’t include Wilt Chamberlain of course.)

But now James Bond has the opportunity to get a little naughty, Italian style, as the Astin Martin releases its new vehicle Superleggera.  With speeds from 0 to 60 in a little over three seconds, a tops speed coming in around 220, and a sleek body to die for, James Bond will have a License to thrill or essere cattivo in the near future at a theater coming to you.  Coming to a theater and a car dealer near you, this November.

2)  Hardee’s:  Where the food is the star . . . so long as you subtract a couple of lines from the star and add Hepatitis in front of it.

In a bid to make sure Taco Bell doesn’t get ahead of the pack in giving out life-altering infectious diseases, Hardees makes sure we all are grateful running to the collective restroom after a Taco Bell visit.  Deep in the heart of North Carolina, one Hardees restaurant had a problem.  Although problem maybe a light description for what occurred.  Because one of the food handling staff didn’t think it was much of a problem to bring Hepatitis to work with him and then handle a whole bunch of food for the customers.

And now, through the generosity of our government officials, they are giving out free Hepatitis A vaccines to all of the people who ate at the Hardees restaurant between June 13th and June 23rd.  With just under one-half of all exposed people in the area coming in to get vaccines, it leaves over 1500 people out there possibly exposed to this highly contagious disease limiting your liver’s ability to function.  As intriguing as having yellow skin might be to people, we at the Guide suggest getting a vaccine right away, and staying away from anyone who’s skin resembles the color of Tweety Bird.  It just makes good sense.

3) Fake News Abides . . . Even In Mexico.  And I Take Comfort In That.

Whether the Big Lebowski resides in Mexico or not, we at the Guide refuse to research.  What we can say is Mexico is the land of Margaritas, Mole, Mariscos, and Fake News.  How can it be the land of Fake news you ask?  Isn’t that relegated to the United States alone?  As much as (he who shall not be named) has popularized the term, we are actually well behind the curve when it comes to fake news.  Other countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia made sure that their oppressive regimes did much more to alter the consciousness of its citizens than the U.S.

All those communist or theocratic regimes have a press that is not free.  Mexico and the U.S., on the other hand, purport to have a free press.  This can make the press more dangerous, like irresponsible flying rattlesnake stories, or in the case of Mexico, more open to corruption through bribery.  As in the past, the ruling party of Mexico took money to tow the party line.  (Or possibly were threatened by drug cartels, whichever came first.)  With the recent election, and curiously large amount of politicians disappearing, the spate of fake news is increasing, despite newly created “fact checkers.”  All I can say is good luck in Mexico.

4) “Give Me Your Poor, Your Tired, Your huddled masses, yearning to make over 117,000 a year.”

Living in the State of Confusion, otherwise known as the State of California, one can be warped by the economics of the state.  While in some states $40,000 is well off as you could get a house and have a good chunk of land to boot, in California, you are more likely to find yourself on the food stamp line.  How is this possible you ask?  Aside from inflation, and what some term as gentrification, I really have no honest answer to how economics works in California in general, or in La La Land specifically.  It’s a madhouse.

And while this seems crazy, one city has taken upon its self to become the most insane city economically in our crazy State.  One city stands out above the rest.  San Francisco.  As much as I love the look and feel of the Bay Area, I think I escaped living there with the cost of living shooting into the stratosphere.  Not even policies like rent control can fix what’s going on, as the local poor person in this great city makes just over $117,000 per year.  If $117,000 means being poor in San Francisco, what would you actually have to make to be well off?  Trying to envision the amount of money someone would need to make in order to be considered rich makes my brain hurt.  “Beam me up, Scotty!”

5) Lice, Blanket, Bingo! Or The Other Thing You Need To Be Afraid Of In The Water.

For years we were always told to alert ourselves to any sharks lurking in the water.  In fact, the Stephen Spielberg masterpiece, Jaws, made a generation of kids afraid of going to any beaches whatsoever.  (whether they could actually make the electronic shark they created for the film work or not.)  Decades have passed since the making of that film and people did slowly make their way back to the coastline and the ocean breeze which calls to me right this very second.  And people have taken to bringing their whole families out to the glorious coastlines.

But the town of Pensacola, Florida is doing the best it can to convince us to take up mountain climbing as a preferable summer escape.  How?  Sea lice!  I know you think I am pulling your leg.  Having lice survive in water seems antithetical to the nature of lice.  Well, it seems these small creatures, which are actually tiny Jellyfish larvae, can get into your bathing suit and terrorize your skin cells making it look like a rash of bugs swarmed over your body and bit you every one-quarter inch.  Blah!  I guess I am going to make that trip to the Yosemite this year after all.

6) The United States Joins Canada In Saying It’s Howdy Doobie Time!

As Canada just decided to make sure it came out on top in the Doobie wars, the U.S. has decided it could not be outdone.  Now that Canada has legalized Mary..

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Hi and welcome to the Single Dad’s Guide to all things food.  Ok, maybe it sounds a bit strange; but honestly, we are continuing our grand tradition of celebrating all of the crazy, wild, and wacky food holidays out there.  We have celebrated anything as plain as cheese and apples.  (Maybe they need to have a cheese AND apple holiday.  That might be cool.)  Likewise, we have celebrated things as ornate a cheese soufflé.

Whatever we have celebrated, we have done the utmost to present to you all the reasons the food needs your recognition . . . for one day out of the year at least.  And this day we are excited to present to you another of the great food holiday traditions.  Because, as Donkey once stated, “I like a parfait.  Who don’t like no parfait.  Ain’t nobody don’t like no parfait.”  We do too, Donkey.  So the Guide celebrates with all of you National Strawberry Parfait Day: June 25th.

I admit I have grown up with a notion of what a parfait is specifically from where I came from.  In the U.S., this means many layers, usually involving whipped cream, granola, ice cream, cookies, and a fruit.  While there is nothing wrong with this type of parfait, I do realize it is limited in its imagination.   Of course, I am not sure I really want to get to know what a parfait in the UK tastes like.  After reading up on the history of the parfait, trying to imagine being in a restaurant and seeing parfait on the menu and then receiving a large clump of beef pate might scare me away . . . permanently.

So when I have had parfaits, they usually have come from a buffet place which would put a bunch of Jell-O, whipped cream, and fruit into a glass and told me it was a parfait.  Of course, when I realized it was a limited version of parfait, I wanted to try out some of my own kinds of layered desserts.  Eventually, I would attempt to make a wild monstrosity with my daughter, which I believe was her only time trying out a parfait.  It had so many different sugary flavors, I’m sure it would have made any diabetic go into shock.  We appreciated the unique adventure we accomplished together, even if the result was mind-blowingly sweet.

But enough about the craziness on to the more important things about the Strawberry Parfait and trying to get to the bottom of the wild wacky history of this amazing dessert.  For those of you who are uninitiated here, the Guide makes sure whenever we talk about the great food holidays out there that we break you all the greatest fake histories behind your favorite dishes.  This means we delve into where the item came from, who discovered it, and what crazy reasons they had for inventing it, even if those reasons were some strip show by a goddess. We venture into the dark web or explore the mysteries of time as we travel via our Wayback machine to bring to you the plain fake truth of it all.

So without further ado, the Guide brings to you:

The Fake History Of The Strawberry Parfait

Once upon a time, in the land of “Perfect,” France, there were a group of men who came down the icy mountaintop to get fresh cream, eggs, and sugar.  And while during the summer they didn’t have any problems with the trips up and down the mountain, during the winter there were issues.  It all started with an unseasonably cold and snowy winter that men bringing back the cream, eggs, and sugar found ice crystals in their produce.

What made it even worse was the ice crystals made the items practically inedible as they were carried up into the great heights of the mountains.  They found their villagers would rather starve than subject themselves to the gross injustice the liquids would take on at that height.  They knew they absolutely had to change something.

So they started taking fresh cream, eggs, and sugar, and whipping it up down below in order to bring it all to a nice froth.  They found this froth would allow them to make the treacherous journey and maintain the ingredients in some kind of form which would remain edible even upon reaching the peak.  This worked quite well for the villagers, even though they didn’t know what to do other than to eat this quasi delicious pastry cream.  Or something which tasted an awful lot like pastry cream.

This whipped delight was passed down generations until 1778 when the french conscripted a villager from perfect by the name of Marcel Parfait.  Marcel was one of the original foodies, trading in recipes and information with all of the nearby villagers.  So even though he didn’t want to fight in the war, he figured bringing recipes to trade would be perfect to grow his collection of recipes.  Marcel brought the special whipped dessert with him as the recipe he would trade with others, given it had been passed down for generations.  And upon arriving on the shores, he took trying to trade it right away.  But no one seemed to want to trade him for it.

Why did no one trade him?  Because like many people they didn’t come to understand the grandeur of this magnificent dessert.  Besides, it just looked like other whipped desserts like mousse and whipped cream which the Americans felt far more interested in.  After getting frustrated with his lack of success, he tried preparing himself one of these treats and a bowl of strawberries to console himself.  But that didn’t work.

After much frustration he set down the class underneath a set of pans and he started chucking strawberried at the pan.  They got crushed by the pan and many dropped onto the counter.  Surprisingly, many of them also landed in the custardy dessert.  The  red strawberries and juice mixed with the white cream and eggs.  He knew he shouldn’t eat it as it was probably disgusting.  He stared at the glass for several minutes as the blood red juice from the strawberry stained the dessert.

Marcel decided to take a taste rather than just stare at the mix and his tastebuds immediately began to sing.  Marcel may have brought over his recipes to trade.  But the bountiful fruit here made a wonderful combination with the eggy cream.  And low and behold the first strawberry . . . what do you call it again?  That’s right.  Marcel Parfait named it the world’s best strawberry parfait.  Of course, the world was a lot smaller back then so it probably wasn’t that big a deal.  And he originally tried to name it the Marcel, but that just didn’t take.   So a parfait it became, which was alright for the town of Perfect, France.

A Strawberry Marcel . . . I Mean A Strawberry Parfait Recipe

And there you have the great and wonderful history of the strawberry parfait.  We thank you for coming out to meet us and we hoped you had a good time.  WAIT!  No.  We cannot go on without giving back to our audience, which we always do here at the Guide.  And for this, it means giving you a recipe for a great parfait.  Given that I cannot pare down my list of parfait eateries to five, I figured my favorite parfait dessert would have to suffice.  And combining cheesecake with strawberry parfait is utter perfection to me.  So without further ado, I present my favorite Parfait recipe.

Ingredients: 1 Pound Fresh Strawberries 1 Cup of Sugar 2 tsp Lemon Zest 1/2 cup of Lemon Juice 3.6 oz of Graham Crackers (1 Sleeve) 1/2 stick of unsalted butter 2 8 oz containers of cream cheese 1 can of sweetened condensed milk 2 tsp vanilla. Instructions:
  1. Cut off the strawberry tops and halve.
  2. Pour sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice over the strawberries and let sit for 1 hour.
  3. Take out cream cheese fro the refrigerator and let sit for one hour as you let the strawberries sit.
  4. Blend strawberries in food processor.
  5. Set aside strawberries.
  6. Melt Butter in microwave or over stove.
  7. Grind the graham crackers in. a food processor.
  8. Pour the melted butter over the graham crackers.
  9. Use the pulse function on the food processor to fully incorporate the butter into the graham crackers.
  10. Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla in a bowl until its fully blended.
  11. Layer cream cheese mix, strawberries and then graham crackers in layer in 8 oz cups.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  13. Serve.
Continue The Conversation

So what did you think of the history of the parfait?  Do you agree with Donkey that everyone likes parfaits of some sort of another?  Can you believe some people consider meat mixtures parfaits?  What type of parfait is your favorite parfait?  And what is your favorite dessert over all?  I would love to hear from you.

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please be sure to like this post at the end.  I want to provide only the best content for you.  And definitely be sure to share this with your friends.  Also, don’t forget to follow me here at the Guide to get the latest updates on all of the amazing things transpiring here every week.  Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post Food Holidays: The Guide Celebrates National Strawberry Parfait Day June 25th appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

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It’s been a whirlwind week of emotions the past week and a half for me and the Elliott household.  Whether it is about graduations or discussions about the future, I felt like many things crashed around me.  I thought I was ready to handle many of them.  In fact, I didn’t think I would have to be handling many of them first.  I felt like they were things her mom would have to deal with before I did.  Sometimes life doesn’t spare you the pain you would like it to.  And knowing, as a parent, you face the teenage issues with large levels of angst never prepares you for the moment it arrives.  The time arrived for me, this week.  And, whatever the cause, it means many changes from here on out.  But the life of a single/divorced parent is one of upheaval.  Nothing quite matches it.

Change Is Inevitable  

So what does it mean for me here at the Guide?  I have always felt like I tried to focus on things, when I got into the parenting bits, about the parents themselves.  Or me in particular.  When I talked about my daughter turning eleven, it wasn’t so much about her being eleven as it was about me handling how she turned 11.  And when I discussed parenting weekends or places to take your children, I did not try to make it about my daughter’s experience of those events (even if I did discuss why we loved them), but about why those places were good places to take your children and how it benefited us.

As a blogger, I began this journey to try to reach out to other parents and to discuss my own personal journey.  The journey always included my daughter because she was not only a part of the journey but a reason for the journey itself.  But I didn’t explicitly invite my daughter on this journey with me.  And as a divorced parent, negotiation with an ex-wife, who in the kindest possible terms sees life with an entirely different lens, was not high on my priority list either.  This meant the possibility of future turbulence.  You can hope the resistance to your journey doesn’t face stiff headwinds.  But surprise the headwinds come, however, would be a silly emotion to have.

So What Will This Look Like?  

What all this ultimately means is I have to change up how things are presented here at the Guide.  My daughter wants control of her image and how it is presented, and it should neither surprise nor frustrate me she has reached this moment.  Would I love my daughter to trust me completely with what I did and desire for me to share things on here and give her greater opportunities to network and explore her own career path?  Sure!  I’m still hoping I can convince her to do a weekly or monthly post here and give her the opportunity to present her own talents through self-expression.

But whether she does or does not, I am giving some control away of the content which involves her explicitly.  In fact, my plan is to have her read this post and edit it for content prior to posting.  In addition, I am guessing you will see fewer pictures of my daughter and myself.  Ok . . . maybe not of me.  But of the two of us together.  Doesn’t mean they won’t be taken.  It just means what is private to her, will remain private.  And there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.  I am happy to give this gift to her.

Staying The Same While Changing.

Now let me cover what this will not mean.  It does not mean I will stop discussing my journey as a single or divorced parent.  The next few years should be quite interesting.  And I will definitely continue to discuss my journey.  Whether this involves more courtrooms or just more tears as I watch my daughter graduate from junior high and then high school, eventually moving out on her own to explore her own adventure, I will discuss my feelings and how difficult things are or how to better handle certain issues.

It also will not mean I lose my humor gene.  I will continue to get to the bottom of all the incredible fake news out there.  And I will be unrelenting in celebrating the latest and greatest of all fake food holidays.  Furthermore, I will throw the occasional fitness post in.  Hopefully, this will continue to bring joy and laughter to all who read the posts.  Or make you realize the apocalypse is already upon on us and you may as well go out laughing.  Whatever the case, I cannot and will not lose my essential voice here.

Thank You For Connecting With Me!  

I will continue to give the best of me while dialing back a bit about my daughter, honoring both her and myself in the process.   And I will continue to honor you, my audience, in bringing to you the things which make the Single Dad’s Guide to Life unique and thought-provoking.   Thank you for putting up with the craziness of the last couple of weeks.  And I hope to get back on track in the near future.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post Change Comes To The Single Dad’s Guide To Life appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

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We’ve reached capacity and the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News is now over.  It’s all completely over, so no next volume.  Oh wait!  That’s right.  It’s Fake News time.  Which means even Fake News has to have a little fake news to report.  But woah!  This is too much.  Too much fake news.  I don’t really want to make Fake News Great Again.  But I do want to make it funny again.  Because the news is way too negative.  I cannot sit idly by while the news makes me want to give up all hope on humanity.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not reached this level of nihilism yet.  As a result, I am compelled to present to you the next installment of the most amazing news stories never known to man.  We at the Guide present to you The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 8.

Eight is great.  So why not get to eight?  Ok, maybe eight is just good, but I am happy we have reached week eight in the series.  It’s been a lot of fun so far.  So keep those comments coming and keep telling me all of your favorite stories and things I should consider to write for this list.  And what is this list?  It’s a good list.  It’s the best list.  I only write the best lists.

However, if you want to know what this list “REALLY” is, I will tell you what it’s not.  Makes perfect sense, right?  It is not the real news . . . exactly.  Then again, it is not a bunch of lies either.  We find real news and twist it to make the most outrageous headlines or make people foam at the mouth.  Possibly both.  Hopefully it doesn’t make me foam so much that I destroy my computer with all the drooling.  Whatever it may be, or may not be, it’s going to come at you right now.  You’ve waited a whole week, and you will not have to wait one second longer.  So here we go.

The Single Dad’s Guide To Fake News: Volume 8 1)  At G.E. we no longer bring good things to life.  And we had better get religion or there will be no release from this slow death.

G.E., once the bastion of relevance in the country, and one of the most powerful corporations in the world, now finds itself on the outs. While being rejected by most of the public, the final nail in the coffin of this once great company happened this week when the Dow Industrial Index informed G.E., “It’s not you.  It’s just me.  Oh wait!  It is you.  You stink!”  One of the first 12 companies listed on the Dow Industrial Average, they will be the final original company to leave this great list.  They follow the likes of Big Tobacco, Big Sugar, and Big Leather (I had no clue big leather was even a thing.) which lasted on the list for decades until falling to the ravages of time.  Or being broken up as monopolies.

We at the guide suggest if G.E. wants to get into the Dows good graces, it find some kind of religion.  I am not sure which religion works best for G.E.  Obviously, Climate Change and Jesus are not going to work.  Maybe if they find Big Money they will make their way back to the good graces of the Dow.  Or . . .  maybe they should just go the way of other big companies.  Because no one likes it when a company gets desperate.  Desperation is a bad cologne in both companies and relationships.  Au revior  G.E.  May your sunset days be glorious! Wait.  Who are you again?

2)  Paul McCartney releases singles “I Don’t Know” and “Come On To Me”.  We hope they weren’t originally one track.  Viagra anyone?

So one of the two last remaining Beatles released another album.  Scratch that!  Two “A-side” singles.  (Given that A-Side came from the record days when they had a B-side I’m not sure how this even works.  But whatever!)  McCartney, the 76-year-old almost octogenarian, decided it was a good time to write two new singles . . . as if he were a sprite 21 year old.  No one can question the former Beatle god as he promulgates his latest inspirations, “I don’t know,” and “Come On To Me.”

Given his recent spate of marital failures, we wonder whether McCartney is waxing on about his dementia with these two titles.  If McCartney no longer knows, we think it may be a good idea if no one does actually take him up on the second song.  Unless they want to be known for harming the elderly.  If it was really just one track, mistakenly put down as two songs, then woo hoo!  Go for it.  Just be sure to bring some of those little blue pills.  Whatever the case, I think it might be a good idea for McCartney to hang up those spurs and join G.E. in going off into the sunset gracefully.  “It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night,” after all.

3)  Take that Doobie Brothers!  Call us the Doobie Country, Eh!

The country of Canada has had enough of being the second cousin once removed of the United States.  So aside from voting for curious politicians like Rob Ford, or voting for Mr. America wannabees who talk about politics like a Miss America contestant, they couldn’t let these United States beat them in this last endeavor.  Hence, before all of the States could legalize recreational pot, they decided to become the second ever pot country!

Whether they actually reach the heights of Spain and Uruguay in pot use may be under question.  Regardless, those tokers up there can now enjoy their Doobie Brothers, smoking a doobie, and blazing out with their friends.  Nothing is better than that, eh?  Productivity may go down for a few months out of the year.  But what in the world are they doing during the months of November through April anyway. Honestly?!?!  Now we no longer have to ask.

4)  When the world is destroyed, it’s an Ant and not a cockroach that survives.

People wondered who was going to survive the next apocalypse.  Scientists and researchers have pondered this question out for millennia. They have come to one unanimous conclusion.  The cockroach will be the universal survivor among all the species. (Maybe this is why they keep pushing on us eating cockroaches as a food source as it will be all we have left to eat after the world is destroyed by one of the four horseman of the apocalypse: Global Warming, Global Cooling, Climate Change, or Weird Al.  We are betting on Weird Al and that Alpocalypse of his.)

Well the Marvel cinematic universe has decided to weigh in on this debate and they seem to think an Ant will survive it all.  Or maybe an Ant-Man that is.  Coming to a theater near you on July 6th, Ant-Man and The Wasp will return, despite the utter annihilation of the Avengers in the Infinity War.  While wizards with mystical powers and magical tree creatures who speak only one sentence perish, an out of work former convict with a giganto suit seems to survive.  Will he be the hero we all need?  Will his daughter convince him he needs a partner? And will Michael Douglass die before his dad?  Only time will tell.  Check it all out this July 6th.

5)   Is The Ark Of The Covenant at Stonehenge?  Only Stephen Spielberg and Indiana Jones know.

When Sallah suggested Doctor Indiana Jones (Henry Jones Jr.) was digging in the wrong place for the Ark of the Covenant, he might have been mildly off  . . .  several thousand miles.  How do we know this?  Because the Summer Solstice told us so.  Ok.  Maybe it’s not exactly so.  What we have found out from scientists is that Stonehenge was probably created to maximize the sun on the stone table exactly during the Summer Solstice.

From this the Guide obviously concludes that it must have been a Druid map room to the Ark of the Covenant.  Or maybe it’s Noah’s Ark.  It definitely must have been about some Ark because map rooms must always lead to one, because Raiders of the Lost Ark says so.  All we need now is some strange amulet with a jewel in the center and we can divine the mysteries of the universe.  Stephen Spielberg was reached out to for comment.  No comment was given at time of publication.

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Pixar has marked the passages of my life.  Around since the late 70’s, they didn’t not begin to really take off until the release of Toy Story in 1995.  Nineteen Ninety-Five was the year I decided to change my major from accounting to English and really make the commitment to getting my undergraduate degree.  By 1998, with the release of Bugs Life it marked my beginning at UC Berkeley, and in 1999 with Toy Story 2, an engagement (even if it didn’t work out.) They released The Incredibles back in 2004, the year I met my daughter’s mother.  Pixar equaled magic in my family as it marked the milestones in my life.

So it was no surprise it would mark milestone markers in my daughter’s life.  When they released the movie Up, the second animated feature nominated for best picture, my daughter at the tender age of four recognized love on screen, even without any associated words.  The beautiful ability to tell a whole story without any words has been lost through decades of Hollywood tradecraft but that’s a whole other opinion for an entirely different post.  Needless to say, Pixar continued to present release after release of quality family entertainment which spoke to people in a way few of the live action releases have been able to of late.  And with releases like Coco and Brave, they continue to prove they have the chops to tell new stories in innovative ways.  Pixar and my family intertwine, like a person and their partner having “a song”.

While I do love what Pixar does for the most part, I would not say Pixar is flawless.  Cars 2 and Cars 3 demonstrated certain stories find difficulty replicating some of the magic of their original pieces.  And while I might have enjoyed the sequels, I feel like they would have been better served as straight to DVD fare or eventually Disney streaming services.  So when I heard Pixar planned the Incredibles 2, as much as I loved the original, I feared it was a story not in need of a big screen sequel.   In addition, the distance between the original release and the sequel could create interesting technical difficulties.  The problems with replicating the voice talent of the children could make for a uniquely disappointing sequel.

So when I decided to re-visit the world of The Incredibles this weekend and watch The Incredibles 2, I didn’t come into it with over inflated expectations.  And the fact Pixar spent a good deal of time having the voice talent film a sequence where they “apologized” to the audience for waiting for so long before making a sequel tempered them even further.  I was not sure what to expect to be honest.  What I found, you will have to suffer through spoilers to find.  So without further ado, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life presents a review of the film The Incredibles 2.

** Spoiler Alert **

SUPER FAMILY — In Disney Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together. Also featuring the voices of Sarah Vowell as Violet and Huck Milner as Dash.  ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Review Of Pixar’s The Incredibles 2

When we last left the Parr’s they have just gone through the terror of coming to grips with their hidden superhero identities and fighting off the clutches of Syndrome.   Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) figured out family trumped previous secret identity.  Elsatigirl (Holly Hunter) realized her husband needed to feel needed in a way he was not.  Violet (Sarah Vowell) quit being so timid and realized the value of putting one’s self out there.  Dash (Huck Milner) appreciated family support for doing things he loved, even if it meant coming in second place.  Then there was Jack Jack.  Jack Jack showed he might have a few hidden powers up his sleeve, although one of them may turn him into a demon.  Each one of them grew, and yet something was missing.  They still had to hide their identities.  Enter . . . the Underminer.

Putting aside the incredible pun one can make out of his name, the Underminer (John Ratzenberger) throws all of the growth of the family into chaos.   While trying to tackle this foe buried beneath the surface, all of their old squabbles reemerge.  Violet and Dash cannot agree on anything. Both are fighting to retain less responsibility than their parents gave them.   The parents ignore the usefulness of their children, and underestimate their ability to tackle difficult situations.   And Jack Jack, in whatever form he might take, throws everything into chaos.    All of this ends up with massive amounts of property damage and the Incredibles in jail.

Society demands they bury themselves again.  They would rather deal with the Underminer coming above ground and burying the Incredibles for good.  Because at least “they have insurance” to pay for the damage the villain does.  The destruction the Incredibles make, the city has to front on it’s own.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS – In “Incredibles 2,” siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor are huge fans of the Supers and start a campaign to improve their public image and ultimately bring them back. Featuring the voices of Catherine Keener as the brilliant and laid-back Evelyn Deavor, and Bob Odenkirk as the ultra-wealthy and savvy Winston Deavor. ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Enter Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad fame).  He is rich and powerful, and makes contact with the Incredibles through their family friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson).  His sees the cities problems with the Incredibles as a perception issue instead of a damage one.  To bring the superheroes out of the shadows and into the light, he develops a plan, including superhero suit cams.  Have people witness the difficulty our superheroes have to make, and increase the support for them being ready to battle the cities villains.

His chosen superhero for this mission: Elastigirl.  As strong as Mr. Incredible might be, and as useful to the community, Mr. Deavor recognizes the mission calls for a softening of the image of the superheroes.  And the kinds of decisions which would engender community support, might be better done from a woman’s touch.  This leaves Mr. Incredible at home to tackle the kids.

The first assignment for Elastigirl is to watch over a new high-speed train someone threatened to hijack.  Elastigirl tackles the assignment and comes to the rescue, even if she makes some decisions her more brawn-powered husband wouldn’t have made.  Everyone’s life is saved, and at minimal damage.  In the meantime, Mr. Incredible tackles the almost more difficult job of taking care of the kids.  Sure, he does not get the recognition and acclaim he did as a superhero.  But he finds in the meantime something far more important.  And at the same time, he recognizes the growth of his kids he might not have otherwise noticed.

As Elastigirl gets more recognition, society starts to recognize the positive contributions of the superheroes.  This in turn allows the supers to come out of the closet and into the light.  But is that what they really want?  And will it be beneficial to them in the long run?  Or will Jack Jack destroy the whole world before they can live as they want to live?  Maybe.  Just maybe.  Then again, maybe Edna Mode will come to the rescue.  Regardless of what happens, let us get to the crux of my views.

5 Things I Realized After Watching Incredibles 2

SUPER FANS – In “Incredibles 2,” savvy siblings and business partners Evelyn and Winston Deavor summon Frozone, Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible to share a plan designed to ultimately make Supers legal again. Featuring Catherine Keener as the voice of Evelyn, Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of Frozone, Holly Hunter as the voice of Elastigirl, Craig T. Nelson as the voice of Mr. Incredible and Bob Odenkirk as the voice of Winston.  ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

1)  They did an amazing job recreating the world, and I am surprised how seamless it felt from the last movie.
  • It is hard to tell you how much I just sat back and enjoyed the continuation of the characters.  We get a richer feel for Elastigirl, and what her identity was prior to marrying Mr. Incredible.  Mr. Incredible got to tackle a whole other world I can appreciate, being a father.  He worked to learn what made his family tick.  In so doing, his kids appreciated him even more.  The voice acting talent blew me away in that I never felt like they aged a day from the last movie . . . 14 years later.  And for those of you who remember a previous Pixar short, you are going to love the interrogation sequence at the beginning.

HE’S GOT THIS – Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible attempts his most heroic feat yet: spearheading life at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack, whose super powers are about to be discovered by his family. Written and directed by Brad Bird and produced by John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle. ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

2)  My fear the movie would turn into a girls are awesome and guys are incompetent diatribe was misplaced.
  • I was worried given the trailers and the focus on Elastigirl and Mr. Incredibles shortcomings I would have real problems.  But Mr. Incredible, by the end, was just as good as any Mrs. Doubtfire or Mr. Mom.  He had the whole dad thing locked down.  And both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl were able to thrive despite being in obviously more unfamiliar terrain.  I appreciated both.
3)  I was surprised the whole “superheroes scanner” thing did not devolve into a critique of other social issues.
  • It would have been very easy to browbeat the police in some form or fashion here.  They seem to be ready picking grounds for so many films now.  Instead they took a long time to explain how body cams can be an amazing help.  And in light of many recent suggestions of police abuse, they prove to be an effective way of bringing positive press.  When you see the moment-by-moment decisions superheroes, or our modern day superheroes (police), make, you end up realizing how difficult these moment-by-moment decisions are.  Ultimately, you become more thankful they are there to make those kinds of decisions so you do not have to be.

CHILLING OUT – Frozone is back in “Incredibles 2,” cooler than ever and lending a helping hand when the Parrs need him most. Featuring the voices of Huckleberry Milner as Dash, Sarah Vowell..

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