FRIDGE WISDOM

Sometimes witty, sometimes wise, always cool

Barilla Wants to Share the Table, Even with Same-Sex Parents

April 14, 2014 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.

In September of last year, the chairman of Barilla made the following statements in a radio interview:

“I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect
but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays
a fundamental role. … If [gays] don’t like it, they can go eat another brand.” 1

“I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who
is not able to choose.” 2

Like many others, I found Guido Barilla’s comments ignorant, insulting and infuriating. Our family is made up of two gay dads (one of whom is Italian) and an adopted son, all of us consumers of large amounts of pasta. I’m not sure there were any ways left to offend us. So like many others, our family made a conscious decision not to buy their products again.

While I’d heard of efforts on the part of Barilla to make amends, I paid them little mind. I was skeptical they could do anything to salvage a relationship with the LGBT community and our allies.

But then I was asked to take part in Barilla’s Share the Table campaign. And I was approached specifically because I’m a gay father. I learned they’d also enlisted other LGBT bloggers, including fellow parents Polly Pagenhart and Vikki Reich.

According to the materials I was given and my own research, Barilla has been making changes ever since the interview and subsequent boycott. They met with and received counsel from GLAAD; established a Diversity & Inclusion Board and appointed a Chief Diversity Officer; participated in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index; and as evidenced by this post, they want to partner with influencers in the LGBT community as part of Share the Table, to ensure families of all kinds are included.

We’ve all heard plenty of corporate apologies, yet this invitation resonated because it was made directly to me. And as I read more about Barilla’s inclusiveness in regards to the importance of family meal time, I was immediately reminded of our trip to Italy two years ago.

Barilla #ShareTheTable Italy family dinner

One of many long and wonderful meals around Nonna’s table

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Fridge Wisdom: Same-Sex Marriage in Scotland? Aye!

March 4, 2014 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

With the recent barrage of news concerning LGBTQ rights, you may have missed (as I did) the latest addition to the list of nations legalizing same-sex marriage.

Somewhere between Michael Sam and Sochi, amidst a swirling stew of good news and bad, from all corners of the United States and around the globe, same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland.

scotlandScotland, legislation passed by Scottish Parliament February 2014; currently awaits Royal Assent. Same-sex marriages expected to begin Autumn 2014. McFabulous.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Piechart: My Preschooler’s Well-Balanced Diet

January 17, 2014 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

This rotund chart pretty much says it all. I have no wisdom nor special powers nor secret sauce with which to get my kiddo to eat anything other than what he knows — beyond the shadow of a doubt — to be not yucky. His is a well-balanced diet, only in that it’s consistently frustrating and all-around annoying.

well-balanced diet

So please feel free to submit your tips, tricks and tales of success. Or join me in my malnourished misery. Just don’t judge. If you do, I’m pretty sure you’ve never had a kid.

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Won’t you join me on Facebook for even more fun and shenanigans? I’ll bring the pizza bagels!

Utah Presses Pause on Same Sex Marriage

January 9, 2014 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES, RASPBERRIES

Yesterday the Governor of Utah declared the 1,000+  same sex marriages in that state invalid. While this isn’t nearly as surprising as the federal court decision allowing the weddings, it’s certainly disheartening.

However, my brother Bryan — who lives in Utah, and who I wrote about when the ruling happened in December — wrote very poignantly about it on his Facebook page. I couldn’t have said it better, or more personally…

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“At the end of the day, after the legal atrocities and discrimination of a church with too much money and the ignorance of a state that doesn’t understand its separation from that church, I am incredibly lucky to have such a lovely partner and lucky to have the love I do. I will never take that for granted and that is something that the USA, Utah, the Mormons, the Christians, the Muslims, the hicks, the ignorant, and the scared will never ever be able to take away from me. Time and history are on my side, and I truly believe this will happen in my lifetime. Karma is wonderful, love is better, and both are charging head on toward Utah. I already have both of mine, and my hope is the same for my amazing friends and second family here (many of whom I consider married even if the law doesn’t). I wish a good night to the end of an ugly day. It does and will get better. XOX”

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So if he’s hopeful, I can be hopeful. The wedding march has already begun in Utah, so I’ll just press the pause button on this one:

utah-pause

Fridge Wisdom: Utah Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

December 25, 2013 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

utah

Utah: same-sex marriage legalized/first marriages performed, December 20, 2013 (Magnet courtesy of Bryan Almond & Jonathan Bailey. Fridge courtesy of Johnny & Beverly Almond)

Hot on the heels of New Mexico (which was hot on the heels of Hawaii), one of the bastions of conservatism in the United States has out-of-nowhere legalized same-sex marriage. I’m sure my post from a couple of weeks ago on Hawaii had something to do with it, where I (not really) predicted this outcome:

Yet same-sex marriage is becoming such a common occurrence that many media outlets don’t deem it sensational enough to cover. Perhaps they’re holding out for Utah or a Carolina or the Grand Wizard of all conservative states (that would be Texas, y’all) to change its right-wing ways before making marriage equality front page news again.*

Much has already been written about what Utah’s district court decision means for the rest of the states, for the country as a whole, for those opposed to marriage equality, who’s happy about it, who’s not happy, who’s surprised by it, who’s not… well, probably not that last one. Of course I was shocked, too. And for about a minute I considered a snarky headline like “Big Gay Love” or “Hasa Diga Homophobes”.

Yet this has a more personal connection for me. In addition to being the Mormon Mecca, it’s the adopted home of my younger (and also gay) brother. While he’s shared with me some of the ways having an older gay brother has been helpful, I know it’s also been a hindrance at times. He had to go through his own struggle and discovery, all within the shadow of a brother who was already in a long-term, committed relationship. Every relationship he had would be compared to Papa (already well-entrenched in the family); every decision, every step out of the closet compared to mine. While not entirely true, that’s how it felt to him a lot of the time.

And my journey — while over 10 years long — began in Texas and ended when I moved to DC, Bryan’s has taken him all over the country and the world, always hoping to find a place to call his own. And when he ended up in Salt Lake City, I was skeptical of how it would turn out. I worried that it could only mean more struggles and more disappointment. But it’s grown on him, and he, it. He loves many things about his new city and state, has a great new job, and has made many friends who accept him for who he is. And he’s been dating a really nice guy (Big Brother Approved!); they plan to move in together in the spring.**

bryan-jon

So this post is dedicated to my little brother Bryan, as well as all of the LGBT Utahans, their loved ones and supporters. Thank you for sticking it out, staying true to yourselves, and for giving us all such a wonderful Christmas surprise.

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*Texas and the Carolinas, we’re coming for you!

**I’ve already warned him I’d kill him if he got married now. A) He hasn’t been with his boyfriend all that long, and B) there’s no way in hell he’s getting legally married before me!

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Every time a country or US state legalizes same-sex marriage, I post a photo of a magnet from either my fridge or from that of a reader. Why a fridge magnet? Good question — I’ll think about that one and get back to you. In the mean time, take a look at the previous magnet posts.

 

Fridge Wisdom: New Mexico Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

December 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

Congratulations to New Mexico for becoming the 17th state (and DC) to legalize same-sex marriage!

After Hawaii, I thought it was going to be until another election before I’d get to slap another state magnet on the Designer Daddy fridge. But then New Mexico’s supreme court up and unanimously votes to bring marriage equality to the Land of Enchantment.

I could have sworn we had some New Mexico magnets around our house, but turns out they were all Arizona. Oh well… Arizona, we got you covered, so get on the stick!

NM2 NM1
(Magnets courtesy of Christy Schejnin and Jonathan Elliott, respectively.)

New Mexico: Legislation passes December 19, 2013. Weddings begin December 19, 2013. New Mexico does NOT mess around!

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I’m posting photos of fridge magnets as new states and countries fall into the AWESOME column on the side of marriage equality! If anyone has magnets from any of the countries listed below, send me a photo of it and I’ll post it on the ole blog!

Magnets still needed: Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Mexico (City), Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and France.

Fridge Wisdom: Same Sex Marriage Passes in Hawaii

December 2, 2013 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

The state that has given us several cool TV shows, a super catchy Christmas song, and the weirdest Disney movie to date, adds yet another dash of fabulous to our country. Today marks the day LGBT American can now get married in Hawaii.

Yet same-sex marriage is becoming such a common occurrence that many media outlets don’t deem it sensational enough to cover. Perhaps they’re holding out for Utah or a Carolina or the Grand Wizard of all conservative states (that would be Texas, y’all) to change its right-wing ways before making marriage equality front page news again.

But Hawaii deserves its day in the sun. The fight for same-sex marriage started in this loveliest of states in the early 1990′s when the Hawaii Supreme Court declared the state’s prohibition to be unconstitutional in Baehr v. Lewin.

So since our last state was the first in this epic journey, they’re getting THREE magnets. And also because I had two different people send me photos of theirs at the exact same moment I decided to break down and buy one myself.

Congratulations (Ho’omaika’i) to all of the new and future couples!
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hawaii-2
Contributed by Josh Misner, who sent me this photo while on vacation. He promised to go back next year and get me one with two guys on it.

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hawaii-3
Courtesy of Kristin Stork. Let the homosexual hulas and lesbian luaus begin!
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hawaii-1
Hawaii
, legislation passes November 13, weddings begin December 2, 2013. Just one question: Where are these couples going to honeymoon?

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I’m posting photos of fridge magnets as new states and countries fall into the AWESOME column on the side of marriage equality! If anyone has magnets from any of the countries listed below, send me a photo of it and I’ll post it on the ole blog!

Magnets still needed: Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Mexico (City), Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and France.

Fridge Wisdom: Same-sex Marriage in Illinois

November 6, 2013 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

I’m particularly proud of Illinois legalizing marriage equality, as I was born in Alton, and then lived outside Champaign/Urbana for a few years as a kid. I can’t really claim it as my “home state,” as I was a nomadic Military Brat, but I’ve always been proud to be from the Land of Lincoln. Now even more so.

same-sex marriage in Illinois
Illinois
, legislation passes November 5, 2013. Goes into effect June 1, 2014. The “S” may be silent, but gays sure ain’t!

Speaking of being nomadic… Now with same-sex marriage in Illinois, my state of birth, the only other states I’ve lived in that need to get with the program are Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Colorado and Virginia. And also Japan. Still a lot of work to be done.

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Speaking of work needing to be done… Did you catch this particularly hilarious segment on The Daily Show about the two states competing to be the last to legalize same-sex marraige? If not, put down your beverage and enjoy:

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I’m posting photos of magnets as new states and countries fall into the AWESOME column on the side of legalized same-sex marriage! If anyone has magnets from any of the countries listed below, send me a photo of it and I’ll post it on the blog and give you credit!

Magnets still needed: Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Mexico (City), Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and France.

Fridge Wisdom: Same-Sex Marriage is Jersey Strong

October 21, 2013 | By Brent Almond | FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

Congratulations to the people of New Jersey, and particularly those same-sex couples getting legally married in the Garden State today! Welcome to the club!

jersey

New Jersey, legislation passed September 27, 2013. Weddings begin October 21, 2013. Think it’ll get overturned? Fuggedaboutit!

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Need a refresher on where same-sex marriage is already legal in the US and the rest of the world? GO HERE.

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I’m posting photos of magnets as new states and countries fall into the AWESOME column on the side of legalized same-sex marriage! If anyone has magnets from any of the countries listed below, send me a photo of it and I’ll post it on the ole blog!

Magnets still needed: Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Mexico (City), Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and France.

#SuperMilkMan to the Rescue!

August 25, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER DADDY, FRIDGE WISDOM

As a marketing/design professional and an admitted non-sports fan, the commercials truly ARE my favorite part of the Super Bowl. And last year’s big game featured an awesomely over-the-top spot from the Milk folks featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Here’s a refresher:
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In addition to all the humor, action and special-effects a Super Bowl spot requires, it also showcases the rarely-seen kick-ass Dad (or perhaps the most muscle-bound manny of all time) blowing off helpless kitties, banks being robbed, frightened old ladies, escaped circus lions and an alien invasion, all to provide the much-needed protein and essential nutrients for the munchkins in his charge.

As a follow up, The Rock appears in a new print campaign for Milk, continuing his portrayal of a super milk-powered hero, AKA #SuperMilkMan! He’s finally back to help out that poor, tree-stranded kitty:

BQ_saWrCAAAmxyB.jpg_large

You might be thinking, Okayyy, milk’s great and all. But… whatthehuh?

Well, the fellows at Life of Dad helped Milk rustle up 25 dad bloggers to be Milk Ambassadors, to create an original video promoting Milk’s new ad campaign, and possibly win a trip to either LA or New York to meet The Rock* himself! And yup, I’m one of those 25 Official Entrants!

And here’s my video! Keep in mind the budget was much lower, but my costar is way cuter than a stupid cat:

So, for the love of all that is whole or skim, please tweet, share, like, twerk, etc. this post and the video so I win that trip to LA (I’ve been to NYC, so fingers crossed for Hollywood) and my son gets to meet a darn-near, real-life superhero!

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Important sites and social media thingies and whatnot:

If ya tweet, use #SuperMilkMan

Follow on Twitter: @MilkMustache

Like on Facebook: facebook.com/milkmustache

Visit: www.GotMilkGotProtein.com

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DIRECTOR’S CUT! BONUS MATERIAL!

Never-before-seen storyboard sketches:
storyboarding

Behind-the-scenes celebrity gossip:
During this shoot, the antagonist (Energetic Toddler, played by JJ) — for the first time in his career life — refused to go outside to do the action scenes. He had to be bribed with a snack, a superhero toy, and of course a cold glass of milk. Truly a star in the making.

#SuperMilkMan fun fact: Cinematography by Papa!

Exclusive Designer Daddy contest offer:
In the comments, name your favorite way to enjoy milk AND your favorite movie starring Dwayne Johnson/The Rock for a chance to win a custom pair of gauntlets, just like those worn by #SuperMilkMan! Contest ends midnight 9/6/13.

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*Don’t tell anyone, but I’d be just as happy with a pair of those rockin’ space-themed pajama pants… Or more specifically, an XXL for me, L for Papa, and a kid’s size 4 for JJ. Just sayin’.

[Disclaimer: I am being compensated by Life of Dad, LLC for my participation as an Official Entrant in, and promoter of the #SuperMilkMan Contest. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are mine and/or JJ's.]