SuperLunchNotes: The Powerpuff Girls

July 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

I’m taking a quick break between all my conference goings-on at Blog-Her’14 to post the final Girl Power Week SuperLunchNotes — THE POWERPUFF GIRLS! They’ve getting a makeover soon, but nothing can top the originals to truly capture their cuteness, energy and ass-kicking ability!

superlunchnotes - powerpuff girls

Speaking of cuteness, energy and ass-kicking, I’ve already had a chance to reconnect with many of the wonderful women I met at both Dad 2.0 Summit and SalonLGBTQ, and have much more connecting, reconnecting, learning and a bit of drinking (and perhaps karaoke) to do before Saturday night rolls around. More to come…

Have a great weekend, and be sure to tell the powerful women and girls in your life how much you appreciate them. They are NOT to be messed with.

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SuperLunchNotes: Zatanna

July 24, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

The penultimate Girl Power Week SuperLunchNotes is the Mistress of Magic, the Princess of Prestidigitation, the Babe of Backwards Black Arts*, Zatanna!

superlunchnotes - Zatanna

Yup, she’s physically (or magically, rather) powerful, but what you’re not seeing on the note is her Playboy Bunny-esque outfit, particularly her bottomless tuxedo top and fishnet stockings. Very few female superheroes embody the true feminist spirit, but Zatanna’s getup speaks to a bygone era of across-the-board acceptable objectification. For what it’s worth, she does make all the Hottest Women in Comics lists (yes, that’s a thing).

They tried a couple of other costumes for Zee in the 70s and 80s. And while they covered more skin, they were pretty horrendous looking, and she eventually reverted to her original outfit from her first appearance in 1964. Can’t beat the classic, I guess.

So for now I’m just teaching my son there’s more ways to be powerful than throwing a punch or shooting a crossbow. And if he ever asks about the fishnets, I’ll tell him they have magical powers of distraction.

*I made that last one up.

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Need more magic in your life? Go Like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram …and Abracadabra! You’ll be awesome!

SuperLunchNotes: She-Hulk

July 23, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Day 3 of Girl Power Week features a one-two punch of green goodness.

First up is SHE-HULK! Not only is she built like a brick greenhouse, but she’s also a powerful attorney. In other words, leaps and bounds smarter than her crime-fighting cousin. She was also in the news recently when her brains and brawn were overshadowed by her bra size. A well-known comics writer dismissed her as a “big, green porn star” and referred to her as “chunky,” something many fans of her strength and smarts took offense to. The Internet hath no fury like a feminist comic book fan scorned.

SuperLunchNotes - She-Hulk

Check out She-Hulk’s current series from Marvel Comics. Gorgeous covers (and interiors), and a great example of an intelligent, powerful, statuesque, green woman. Quite smashing!

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SuperLunchNotes: Elsa

July 22, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Day 2 of Girl Power Week is everyone’s favorite super cool Disney Princess/Queen/chart-topper/box-office smasher/Oscar- and probably Grammy-winner… ELSA!

SuperLunchNotes Elsa Frozen

I apologize if I’ve once again given you the icy mother of all earworms, but how could I do an Elsa note without using those three magical words? Words that also happen to give a not-so-subtle lesson in sharing and moving on with your life. Or at least onto another toy.

Stay tuned every day this week for more Girl Power notes as I gear up for (and attend) BlogHer’14!

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‘Good Good Trouble’ Great Great for Kids Kids!

July 22, 2014 | By Brent Almond | THINGS MY KID DIGS

Jon and I recently embarked on an exciting father/son tropical adventure — to see a brand new family play, Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island!

Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island poster - live theatre

This was only Jon’s second live theatre experience, and this one was a bit more complex than the first. So I wasn’t completely sure how it would play out.

HA! Get it? PLAY out?!?

My apologies for the silly digression, but this show was chock full of fun, color, music and loads of silliness, along with a subtle message about “making family where you find it.” And did I mention the silliness?

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SuperLunchNotes: WyldStyle

July 21, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

It’s gonna be ladies night lunch all week in Jon’s lunchbox. I’ve been wanting to do a Girl Power Week for a while, and I figured the days leading up to my 1st BlogHer conference would be as good as any. I’m going to be among the few males at one of the biggest and longest-running blogging shindigs in the country. This will be an estrogen booster shot via Post-it note, if you will.

SuperLunchNotes Wyldstyle

Funny story about today’s note:
I followed the boys out to the car this morning; Jon wanted to see his note so he took it out of his lunchbox and was very psyched to see Lucy (AKA Wyldstyle), leading lady of The LEGO Movie. As Papa was loading him into his car seat, I recited his favorite line from “Everything Is Awesome,” “Rocks! Clocks! And socks! They’re awesome!”

Being the master-level rhymer that he is, my clever 4-year old echoed back with his own impromptu line, “Kicks! Nicks! And dicks! They’re awesome!”

I stifled a laugh and muttered something encouraging like, “Wow you’re a great rhymer buddy.” and warned Papa (AKA Nick) to steer clear of Jon’s feet today.

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Two and a Half Men Gay Plot: A Good Laugh or Just Laughable?

July 18, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF, POP CULTURE

Two and a Half Men Gay Marry and Adopt

It was reported yesterday that network TV’s longest-running sitcom, Two and a Half Men, will work a “gay” marriage and adoption story into it’s final season. Why the big “gay” quote marks? According to CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler, Ashton Kutcher’s character Walden experiences a health scare that causes him to reexamine his playboy lifestyle. This results in him wanting to adopt a child. So far, not so bad.

Here’s where the quote marks come in handy… The adoption process proves too difficult for Walden as a single, straight dude, so he does the only logical thing —  propose to his hetero housemate, Alan (Jon Cryer). This way they can “gay” adopt a child together.

Two and a Half Men is hardly a critical darling — or on the Mensa required watch list — so perhaps this gimmicky plot isn’t too unexpected.

But then Tassler kept talking. When asked if the network was worried about possible backlash from the LGBT community, she replied,

“I think it’s a very positive statement that, you know what, I am going to adopt a child as a gay couple and the reality is, he can do that. And in a universe where at one point you couldn’t do that and now you can do that, I think that’s a much more positive statement that he’s making.”

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Not only is the storyline a rip-off of the poorly-conceived and -received I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, the justification of it is just plain offensive. Tassler and the shows writers and producers seem too ensconced in their Hollywood bubble to understand the reality of “gay adoption” in America. There are still 28 states where same-sex adoption is either unclearly defined or flat-out illegal. And only 16 countries in the entire world allow joint same-sex adoption — fewer than those allowing same-sex marriage.

While the number and acceptance of LGBT parents in the US continues to grow, there is still widespread prejudice towards queer parents in the US and around the world. Whether it’s questions regarding our ability to raise a child without both genders, or our agenda to influence and recruit a new generation of gays, or the ignorance that equates pedophilia with homosexuality, there is still work to be done.

Even if LGBT adoption were completely legal in all 50 states, the premise of Two and a Half Men‘s last grab for ratings is, at best, juvenile. At worst, akin to blackface. To use another Hollywood production for comparison — while some college students of color do benefit from affirmative action, it doesn’t mean it’s funny (or in good taste) to see a white guy pretend to be black in order to get into Harvard.

If Two and a Half Men show runners want to continue with this ridiculous shtick, I’m not going to waste more time and energy protesting (other than continuing to not watch) — so knock yourself out. Perhaps being exploited by a top-ranking TV show is a sign acceptance of “gay adoption” is on the rise. But don’t kid yourself that this is in any way celebrating LGBT adoption or making any kind of positive statement. Other than that it’s positively insulting.

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“He doesn’t have a mom… because she’s dead.”

July 16, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

Mommy's Dead
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HOW IT HAPPENED

So here I was, my not-small frame perched on the teeniest of tiny wooden chairs, clad in a retina-searing-orange t-shirt emblazoned with my son’s preschool logo, waiting for the class to be corralled before we headed to the petting zoo for a field trip. All of these kids knew me as “Jon’s Daddy,” the one who picks up — as opposed to “Jon’s Papa,” the one who drops off. There are other quite noticeable differences, but I can imagine that from a 4-year old’s perspective, we’re both just gigantic, bespectacled, goateed man-parents.

Yet it still came as bit of a surprise when I overheard my son’s classmate say, “Jon, your Papa’s here!” As expected, my son quickly corrected his chum, and things seem to be right with the world.

There was a lot going on, kids hopping up and down, excited about the field trip, distracted by the several parents scattered and squatting around the room. But amidst the melee, I hear mention of “mommy” something. I turned back toward my son and his posse, and the same friend exclaimed to all who would listen, “Jon doesn’t have a mommy… because she’s dead.”

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SuperLunchNotes: SPACE WEEK!

July 14, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Last week was “Space Week” on SuperLunchNotes, because Jon was also learning about space at his preschool summer program. Space Dress Up Day, Build A Rocket Day, Space Moon Bounce Day… capped off on Friday with a display of a “real rocket!” I’m not sure exactly what that entailed, but he sure was excited to tell me about it!

I even snuck in an extra surprise on Build A Rocket Day…
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banana rocket

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WEEK 48: July 7 – July 11, 2014

Buzz Lightyear  |  Nova  |  Silver Surfer  |   Miss Piggy  |  Han Solo

superlunchnotes Buzz Lightyear

Serendipitously, on Wednesday I accompanied Jon’s class on a field tripand Toy Story was the in-bus film!
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READ FULL ARTICLE >>

LEGO-Shell Partnership Claims Another Victim

July 8, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

Homeless polar bears. Drowning Santa. Emmet and Wyldstyle in a pit of black ooze — all tragic. Yet someone’s missing from this list…

lego-shell-aquaman
Graphic inspired by this. Which was inspired by this.

Silly Greenpeace, if you’re going to show the effects of the supposed LEGO-Shell partnership, how can you not include Aquaman? He stands to lose more than anyone in the apocalyptic oil spill depicted in your very, very sad video.

Grab a tissue and check out the doomy & gloomy (but admittedly creative) cover of “Everything Is Awesome.”

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So what say you, readers?
Are you ready to sign the petition and ban LEGO from your household until they completely disconnect from Shell? Or are you tired of all the bleeding heart propaganda getting in the way of building a life-size X-Wing Fighter? Get your rant on in the comments! 

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For more toys and superheroes and arguments and silliness visit and like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow Designer Daddy on Twitter.