Friday Media Prep: My Dad is Still the Greatest Hero

Happy Friday, kids! Today’s post is in honor of the person who was my first hero and the baddest guy on the block, my father. This weekend we’re supposed to be exalting his name, buying expensive and shiny cards, and eating whatever he wants, because Sunday is Father’s Day, but I wouldn’t have a problem bragging about my Pop any day of the week.

My father was 26-years-old when I was born – a kid himself – yet, I think he was born ready to raise babies into halfway decent people. We spent our days together while my mother completed nursing school, playing with Barbies, going to the park, and exploring the world. In fact, most of my traits are mirrors of the behaviors I picked up from him in those early imprinting years; from the way I walk, to how I look, his DNA is ever-present.

My dad’s – and most heroes – greatest strength is his capacity for caring and the bravery to do what is difficult yet right. Over the years I have watched my dad inspire children in his classroom to be whomever the want to be. I’ve seen them return after graduation to hug him, thank him for his ability to make school fun, then go off and achieve their dreams. He’s coached athletes (including my brother) to championships. He’s made young people without an ally feel seen. Then, at the end of his long days, he goes home to be a regular guy and cook for the family he loves.

There’s surely no greater hero than my dad, but I’ve prepared a list of some characters who come mighty close to his standard. Below you’ll find my weekend media recommendations if you’re feeling like you need to get a heroic boost for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

 

Incredibles 2

Image via the Hollywood Reporter

It’s an exciting time to be alive, because the stars aligned for us to (finally) get the sequel I’ve personally been dying for – Incredibles 2. Since we might have to accept that a third one won’t be on the horizon for another 300 years, I highly recommend clearing time on your schedule to go see it. We went as a family of adults last night, and it was quite the event. I can safely say 90% of the audience was over 21, yet no one was too caught up in adulthood to sit silently at the best moments. The sequel begins where The Incredibles left us with the family battling the Underminer. From there on it’s a family adventure that the world needs right now. I couldn’t help but laugh at Mr. Incredible’s struggle to maintain the home while his wife, Elastigirl, moves to the fore to fight crime. My dad never let on that being the daytime caregiver was difficult, beyond how much he hated cutting the crust off all my sandwiches. (Honestly? I still hate the crust.) However, in Mr. Incredible’s devotion to be above all things a good father I saw my own. Rest assured that both succeeded.

 

Origin (Wolverine)

 

Via Marvel

When my dad was a kid he collected comics like candy. He only had to pay 25 cents to read about Spider-Man’s exploits, or to imagine he was one of the X-Men. Growing up in small town Western Kansas only offers so much entertainment, but with his comicbooks he could imagine he was anywhere else. Sadly, after college he gave away or threw out most of his originals. However, by the time my brother and I came along he’d amassed quite the impressive collection. Let me put it like this: Kevin Smith was able to finance his first film with the proceeds of his comic collection. My dad calculated that he has more. His is a treasure trove of tales that formed many of my favorite childhood memories. I’m quite certain my brother and I can thank the afternoons of reading with my dad for our love of storytelling and adventure. The above comic is Origin, the tale of Wolverine’s life that was unknown to his comrades in the X-Men. I remember when this 6-part series came out, because we were dying to know more about our favorite member of the team. Wolverine was gruff around the edges, yet always seemed loving and misunderstood to me. I got a little of that tough love in my younger years. I highly recommend checking up on this story in your free time.

 

Castelvania

Image result for castlevania

Last, but certainly not least, is the Netflix show Castlevania! We all just discovered this series on the streaming service, and I had no idea it was a video game back in the day. My brother and husband played it when they were kids, but I was too busy being cool and having friends. Luckily, it’s been revived in the form of an animated powerhouse that seriously delivers on the fights and gore. My brother and I were early lovers of anime and East Asian cinema, thanks to my Dad. We regularly snatched up Studio Ghibli films from Blockbuster, tried to imitate Bruce Lee, and desperately waned to be like the Samurai of Kurosawa’s films. Watching Castlevania takes me back to those days of my youth in a delightfully ridiculous way. The show is all about the fight to stop Dracula from destroying Wallachia through his horde of demons. Enter a drunken badass named Trevor, and you’ve got yourself the kind of show anyone could eat up. Season 1 of Castlevania is available to watch in its entirety and it’s only 4 episodes long. You have no excuse to avoid it!

 

There you have it! I wish I could list more, but then you would be here all day, instead of celebrating the heroes in your life. One of the many things I love about my dad is how he tried to show my brother and I that heroes aren’t one thing. It’s not about your size, gender, sexuality, race, or ability, but about calling on the strength to be good in the face of hardship. My dad isn’t the kind of man who will gravitate naturally to the limelight, but he’s exactly the kind of person who deserves it. Above all things, I hope my dad knows I’ve survived this wild life with a smile due to being imbued with the confidence of his love.

Stay strong out there. Be the hero of your story today.

 

 

My Favorite Movies For Mother’s Day

Every Friday I will feature the books, movies, TV shows, and other works of art that have been inspiring me, or that I’m looking forward to experiencing. Please share your suggestions below!

 

Let’s just clear this up: no one has a cooler Mom than I do. Charlotte (Mrs. Perry if you’re nasty) was born to improve lives and laugh, which is what she’s been doing since 1964. She’s so cool that she doesn’t even care if you all know she was born in 1964, because, to her, getting older is a gift. My mother is a rare gem and I am so happy to get the chance to gush over her before her birthday. We have traveled together, grown from hormonal sparring partners into beloved friends, learning wonderful lessons along the way. She never ceases to amaze me in her dedication to her family, her zeal for life and stiff upper lip in troubling times.

Besides travel, my favorite thing to do with my Mom is watching movies! Today I’m going to share our favorite movies to watch together, ones I think perfectly capture the spirit of motherhood, growth, and love.  They’re not what you might expect us to watch, so check out the list below for some surprises!

Note: Don’t worry Dad, you’ll get your shine on Father’s Day!

 

Muriel’s Wedding

Mom and I first watched this Australian film starring Toni Collette when Blockbuster was your best option for grabbing a stack of weekend movies. The story revolves around a young Australian woman named Mariel who is positively obsessed with getting married. After stealing money from her father – a local politician – Mariel moves to Sydney with her best friend and changes her name to Muriel for a fresh start. Along the way, she lands a husband, but realizes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

This flick is our favorite one, because I think we both see a little bit of ourselves in Muriel. Neither of us are thieves, nor have we changed our names, but Muriel has this pure fascination with love and romance that Mom and I share. We’ve both read our fair share of romance novels. Also, the Abba soundtrack is fire!

Channel 9 channel 9 muriel's wedding 9murielswedding GIF

 

The Dark Crystal

There’s something so weirdly lovable about this Jim Henson puppet production that keeps us fawning over the Gelflings and Mystics. The film is a fantasy extravaganza about a Gelfling boy named Jen who must travel across his world to heal the mysterious dark crystal to restore peace and balance to the land. There’s no way I could ever write enough to convey how straight up strange this film is, but we love it! Mom always giggles at a particular scene – a flashback – of a baby Jen splashing in a tub.

The journey Jen takes leads him to so many outrageous characters and locales that really suck you into the world, which is why we love this one. Jen’s journey is all about strength, love and sacrifice – qualities we try to emulate in our lives.

jim henson 80s GIF

 

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar

This is one of the very first movies that Mom and I went to by ourselves, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Honestly, what’s not to love about this film? Not only does it manage to capture the 90’s in a perfectly problematic snapshot, but you also get to watch Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo work it in outfits I could never pull off. The trio play drag queens traveling from NYC to California to compete for the title of Drag Queen of The Year, but get stranded in the middle of the country in a small town that is in desperate need of their magic.

This movie, above all else, is about the bonds of friendship that help us to transform our lives for ourselves. Every character grows to claim ownership of their identities, their lives, and their inherent power; it’s a film I always cry over. I’m so thankful my Mom didn’t think I was too young to learn lessons from a picture others might have shied away from.

 

fabulous patrick swayze GIF

 

That’s it for today, folks! Have you seen these films? Let me know in the comments what movies you love to watch with your mother or mother-figure!