tv-time

Rudolph’s Magical Holiday Giveaway

December 15, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

One of my favorite childhood memories was watching TV specials during the holidays. This was long before streaming video, DVR, or even DVDs. You had to (OMG!) wait for the holidays to roll around and (WTF?) watch them at the time they aired. Sounds horrendous, right? Yet being able to see them only once a year made it that much more special.. Unlike now, where my 5-year-old can watch Frosty on a loop until Easter. And while I loved Peanuts, The Grinch and all the others, my favorites were always the Rankin/Bass specials — particularly Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The creativity of the stop-motion animation, the catchy songs, and of course the wonderful characters — all added up to something truly magical.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Holiday Giveaway

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, and thier pals on the Island of Misfit Toys. That’s right, FIFTY YEARS. While the animation looks rudimentary compared to today’s CGI blockbusters, the obvious hand-craftedness of the Rankin/Bass shows are what make them both charming and mesmerizing. When I showed Rudolph to Jon for the first time a couple of years ago, he was transfixed…and still is. And so am I.

So to celebrate, commemorate and (once again) collaborate, Lunchbox Dad and I have pooled our creativity and pulled together some nifty Rudolph-themed prizes. Check out all the awesomeness, then enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

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PBS KIDS Makes It a Wonderful Day in Our Neighborhood

December 1, 2014 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES, POP CULTURE

Earlier this year, our family had a uniquely awesome experience — we starred in a TV promo for PBS KIDS! Ours was one of several testimonials featuring parents of real-life PBS KIDS viewers, and the only one featuring same-sex parents. It was filmed and produced by a wonderful crew of folks who descended upon our home, made us up a bit and filmed us doing stuff like making cupcakes, playing in the backyard and watching TV. It was really hard work.

I heard the promos had finally been made available to the individual PBS affiliates, but as each station makes its own programming schedule, there would be no way to know when and where they would air.* However, the production company kindly provided a download of our (very) mini epic, and gave me the go-ahead to share it.

Grab some popcorn, but you’d better make it a small…

Trouble viewing the video? Go HERE.

 

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SuperLunchNotes: Back to School, or Why I Stopped Telling My Son I Loved Him

September 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Holy Time-loss, Batman! Has it really been a year already?! For the first week of school, I wanted to come out strong on the lunch notes, as this was the start of my son’s second year of preschool. So I went back to where it all started…Batman. His image is the most iconic, most adaptable, and rife with puns to be played upon. I threw in some other favorites (Cyborg, GL), Daddy’s favorite (Aquaman, duh) and a first appearance from Booster Gold, who we’d watched on an episode of Batman: The Brave & the Bold recently.

And finally, for good measure I added “♥ Daddy” as a signature. This was to be a short-lived addition…

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BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK-ish: August 28 – September 5, 2014

Batman  |  Green Lantern  |  Mr. Fantastic  |  Aquaman  |  Cyborg  |  Booster Gold

Designer Daddy Batman

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SuperLunchNotes: I Know What You Doodled Last Summer

August 28, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Before we’re all completely consumed with back-to-school madness, let’s take a moment to bask in the fading glow of summer…

My son’s preschool has a super-duper summer program. It’s similar to the regular school year, but loaded with extra helpings of sunshine, water and dirt. I continued the lunch note habit tradition all summer, and with each week of the program having its own theme, I had plenty of inspiration. Here are some highlights from SuperLunchNotes: Summer Edition.
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MARTIAL ARTS WEEK: June 9 – 12, 2014

Michelangelo  |  Pink Ranger  |  Iron Fist  |  Nightwing

SuperLunchNotes TNMT & MMPR - Designer DaddySuperLunchNotes Iron Fist & Nightwing - Designer Daddy

Jon attended a friend’s birthday party at a taekwondo studio, which helped kick off the start to an exciting summer.

The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has been a great way to introduce Jon to a few more Marvel characters. Some purists don’t like the teenaged versions of heroes like Iron Fist, but I kinda dig the 21 Jump Street angle of the show. Fun Fact: the actor who does the voice of Iron Fist also does Michelangelo’s voice on the current TNMT cartoon.

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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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Sugar, spice and everything nice — that’s what you get when you like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram!

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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Are you a fan of this blog? Then why not upgrade to a groupie?!? Like Designer Daddy on Facebook and receive your very own, autographed 8 x 10 glossy of yours truly! Not really, but it will make me very happy.

 

SuperLunchNotes: April 7 – May 9

May 16, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

With everything going on, I haven’t had the chance to post any SuperLunchNotes in a long while (uh, five weeks it seems). I’ve also been pondering ways to better incorporate them into the blog without boring you/me to tears. What say you, readers? Would you like a daily dose of SLNs? Or are you fine just seeing them every couple of weeks? Other ideas?

While you ponder that, let’s catch up a bit, shall we?
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WEEK 35: Apr 7 – Apr 11, 2014

Bane  |  Black Widow  |  Captain America  |   Minions  |  Daniel Tiger

superlunchnotes - bane blackwidow superlunchnotes - captain america minions

I was growing weary of the theme weeks, so I just did a week’s worth that were top of mind. Bane was on an episode of a Batman cartoon we were watching — plus he’s one of the few Imaginext figures not to have been featured on a SuperLunchNote yet. Cap and Natasha were in the commercials for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which Jon saw several times), and also in the movie — which Papa and I saw on a too rare date night. And the Minions popped up repeatedly on the DVD of Despicable Me 2, on heavy rotation in our house.

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Beware the Blark-Blark!

May 14, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

Somehow I was able to convince Jon not to play outside after preschool yesterday. Both our allergies were killing us, and given the chance, he’d keep rolling around in the pollen-covered grass until his eyes swelled shut. I instead agreed to play Power Rangers upstairs after dinner. When we finished eating, I hauled my tired butt upstairs to our bedroom (AKA, Jon’s Playroom Annex), and fell to with the Power Rangers play.

I’m admittedly a longtime hater of Power Rangers, whether they’re Mighty Morphin’, Mega Forcin’, or Samurai Warriorin’. But if you’re going to play make-believe, the Rangers and their enemies make for some great inspiration. String together any number of nonsensical words, and you’ve got yourself a weapon, costume upgrade or villain that will fit seamlessly into the established vernacular of the never-ending series.

Case in point, meet Blark-Blark! A creature I made up on the fly, accessorized only by a pair of oven mitts. I’m not really sure of his origin, but his powers include stomping around yelling “BLARK-BLARK!”, shooting Blark missiles at random times/angles and of course, tickling.

blark blark - power rangers - dad

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And here’s Baby Blark-Blark. While his stomping may not be as loud or his tickling as effective, his Blark missiles are infinitely more deadly than his father’s, as they are infinitely more random in their aim and trajectory. Sometimes they don’t even come off, yet are still delivered with a forceful Baby Blark-Blark hand inside it.

blark blark - power rangers - jon

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What’s your child’s favorite form of make-believe play? Feel free to share your own creative ideas, as I’m always looking for more!

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For more fun and games, visit and Like the Designer Daddy Facebook page or follow along on Twitter!

SuperLunchNotes: Fire Week!

April 8, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

In case you’re new here and wondering “WTF are ‘SuperLunchNotes?'” Well, my son started preschool last year, and every day I’ve put a note in his lunch bag featuring a doodle of a superhero. You can check a bunch more by visiting the SuperLunchNotes category on this site, or follow me on Instagram @SuperLunchNotes, where I post them daily!

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Welcome to FIRE WEEK!!!
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WEEK 34: Mar 31 – Apr 4, 2014
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Firestorm: 3.31.14
SuperLunchNotes - Firestorm - Fire Week

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SuperLunchNotes: Bird Week!

March 31, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

In an attempt to bring forth Spring, last week I doodled a flock of super-powered avian adventurers. Yet as I’m typing this, snow is falling. AGAIN. Guess I’ll have to up my game for next week… In the mean time, take a gander at these guys and gals (and ducks) and be sure and Tweet them to all your fine-feathered friends.
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WEEK 33: Mar 24 – Mar 28, 2014
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Raven: 3.24.14
raven

The kiddo and I have been binge-watching Teen Titans Go! lately. I always found Raven a bit annoying in the comics, but I dig her slacker/goth vibe in this iteration. Favorite episode is “Meatball Party,” where Raven becomes annoyed at Cyborg’s unending enthusiasm and devours the whole team with the demon tentacles living in her chipped tooth. Typical.
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