In the few days following my dad’s passing a few weeks ago, I received flowers from friends and coworkers, endless phone calls, emails and Facebook messages expressing condolences, and more than a few people offering to help in any way they could. It was wonderful and comforting, to be sure, and would, I thought, keep me going as I set about tying up all the loose ends of my father’s “estate,” something I assumed would take a few weeks to a month, at most.
Well, a little over a week has passed, the flowers have dried, the calls have died down, and people have rightfully moved on. But, I’m realizing, the shitshow is just beginning for me. I don’t know what I was thinking, assuming that settling my dad’s affairs would be a simple process, but it’s far from it. He didn’t have a will. I won’t have a death certificate for a few weeks, at which point I can then finally establish myself as the executor of his estate, which hopefully no one will contest. (You hear that, uncle of mine?) In the meantime, his house languishes in rural Hawaii, already two months behind on the mortgage payments. The unofficial “tenants” my dad had let stay there over the years have the run of the place; I’ve heard that they’ve already begun selling off his more valuable possessions (there aren’t many) like his TV. And I can’t do anything about it because Hawaii’s tenant laws allow any old person to establish residency in a home by spending a few nights somewhere. Seriously! Crash at someone’s house for a weekend and it’s suddenly your place! I will have to formally evict people who never paid a month’s rent from my dad’s home, as they sell off belongings I can’t even prove are his. It’s a nightmare. Keep reading »
This is Dan Toombs, but you might know him as The Curry Guy, because every single night for the past year, he’s made his family dinner using curry. Chicken korma, tandoori masala, and less traditional recipes like currywurst and curry-spiced turkey Christmas turkey, you name it–if it involves curry, he’s probably cooked it. As soon as I heard about this story, it brought me back to my own childhood, and the questionable dinners (butter sandwiches, anyone?) my dad used to make over and over again. I thought it might be interesting to poll the other Frisky staffers about their parents’ cooking habits, and if there were any particular meals they really hated growing up. Check out our stories after the jump, and please share your own in the comments! Keep reading »
Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” advice series is never not amazing and this week’s segment on how to deal with your parents is no different. Even though “Ask Amy” is for teenaged girls, Poehler’s super-smart advice works for daughters of any age … including those of us in the “why aren’t you married and giving me grandchildren?” years. She seems like an awesome human being and an awesome mom. I can’t be the only one who wants her to adopt me, right? [YouTube]
I grew up in the ‘80s on a tree-lined neighborhood that skirted the edge of New Haven, Connecticut. Nobody really traveled down my short street unless they lived there or were visiting, and my family was friendly with all of our neighbors. With a backyard that was mostly brambling bushes and trees, I spent the majority of my childhood playing right out in front of my house, alternating between frolicking in the garden (much to my mother’s chagrin) or biking up and down the sidewalks with friends. A good portion of that outside time was spent with friends, by myself, or with my younger brother in tow, but mostly unsupervised by adults. Sure, my mom stuck her head out every now and again, and a neighbor was never far off. But the majority of my outside play was independent and unstructured. Keep reading »
Growing up, I was never given any restrictions regarding whether or not I could wear makeup, or how much makeup I was allowed to wear. My parents, who are admittedly pretty laissez faire by most standards, are also the type to choose their battles, and what I put on my face was just not one of them. I expressed interest in products from a hilariously young age — home videos show me at five talking extensively about my mother’s fancy body wash like a regular Suri Cruise — and for all but a few grease-filled tweenage years, I’ve been beauty-crazed ever since. That’s why I find it so difficult to fathom why mothers, particularly those under the relentless and unforgiving eye of the media spotlight, receive so much flack for letting their young daughters wear a little bit of makeup. Keep reading »
Most dads–even the weird ones–have one thing in common: their taste in music. After being lectured about the underrated glory of certain bands and seeing them go crazy with their steering wheel drum solos while driving us to soccer practice, we feel we have a pretty good sense of the “Dad Music” genre, and we thought it was time to document it. Check out our Dad Music Field Guide, after the jump! Keep reading »
Whenever Father’s Day rolls around I’m reminded, once again, that I don’t have a “typical” dad. He doesn’t own a tie. He’s never worked in an office. As far as I know he’s never touched a golf club (except maybe to use it as a weapon?). My dad, in a nutshell, is weird. He spent his career taking care of research monkeys. He spent his spare time turning our house into a fortress and collecting skulls. With the exception of guinea pigs, he likes animals way more than he likes people (that’s him in the picture, holding a water moccasin he caught in a Florida swamp). And guess what? He’s the best dad I could ever ask for. Here’s why… Keep reading »
It took months of begging, pleading, bribing, and promises to convince my parents to get me my first guinea pig. We lived on a 38-acre farm with dogs, cats, and chickens, but I yearned for a pet of my very own, a pet who would entertain me and understand me, a pet who would impress my friends and make me popular at school. A guinea pig seemed like the obvious choice. When my mom finally drove my brother and I to the pet store a couple towns over, I chose a white-haired girl and named her Snowflake. My brother chose a black-haired boy. He named him Blackie.
When we got home, we carefully placed our pets in their new cage and they started squeaking excitedly. Suddenly my dad appeared in the doorway, eyes locked on the two fur balls. “Look, Dad!” we said. “This is Snowflake, and this is…”
“Guinea pigs,” he muttered. “I hate guinea pigs.” And then, like a bad omen in a horror movie, he disappeared.
Keep reading »
National treasure Judge Judy hit up “The View” this morning. I barely recognized her when she’s not screaming at someone! But as always, J.J. spits the truth.
The ladies asked Judy what her thoughts were on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”‘ Brandi Glanville, who made headlines this week [second to last item] for saying that seeing her ex-husband’s new wife LeAnn Rimes holding Glanville’s children made her feel violently angry. Judge Judy very politely suggests that everyone STFU and grow up. “You have to love the child more than you hate each other,” she advised, before adding later, “Only mature people should have children,” to audience applause. And if Judge Judy had to issue a license to have children? She would.
Eeek. Anyone else a little afraid they would not pass muster?
My parents are cool. Very cool. In fact, in some ways, they are cooler than I am. They know they all the hot restaurants in New York City, and they’ve been to every new play. They stay out late at jazz clubs, and put together ensembles with the ease of stylists. Their apartment looks like a page out of Dwell.
However, when I was a teenager, I was absolutely mortified by my parents. I remember one time, I was a few minutes late meeting my dad, who had agreed to pick me up from a school dance. Because he didn’t have all day to wait around for me, he walked on into the gym to find me. As I saw him stroll through the pathetically ballooned gymnasium, I felt a tsunami of shame rush over me. As if having parents was something none of my friends and classmates could possibly relate to. I still can hear the awful tenor of the voice I used when my mom once dared to ask me if I’d done my homework when my cooler, older friends came to pick me up to go to a party one night. “Mooooom, you’re embarrassing me!” It’s a teenage refrain.
So I was felt a little better to hear that Kate Beckinsale, admittedly one of the coolest women in the world, has a teenage daughter who is thoroughly embarrassed by her. Keep reading »