Tag Archives: Star Wars

Food Week: Lego My Order

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First of all, my Admiral Akbar Lego mini-figure arrived today. So that’s cool. Though I’m a Trekkie at my nougaty heart, that heart has a chocolaty Star Wars shell sprinkled with sweet goodness from about a dozen other fandoms.

As I took the toy from its package and mentally pondered how best to set it up on my desk, I was reminded not of my Lego-filled childhood, but of a trip I took to a fast-food restaurant when I was a freshman in college. Join me in reliving a carefree evening in the late ’90s (insert wavy visual distortions and a shimmering sound effect here) …

I was hanging out with some friends—some older friends, because I was cool like that—at an off-campus house where we were watching Beauty and the Beast. This was the Disney movie, not the Linda Hamilton TV series—because (have I mentioned?) I was cool like that. Then someone voiced a hankering for a double-double, that twice-mystical hamburger creation available only at In-N-Out burger, the nearest of which was only half an hour’s drive away. So a good number of us crammed into a few available vehicles and drove.

Most fast-food eateries take your order, assign you a number, and then call out said number when your order is ready. Indeed, that’s how this In-N-Out burger does it today, but back then, the cashiers actually took down customers’ names and used them to call guests to pick up their food. As we waited in line, one member of our party decided we should all give names from Star Wars, to which I readily agreed—because, etc., etc.

I, of course, chose Admiral Akbar, the Mon Calamari Rebel military commander known most famously—to geeks, anyway—for shouting, “It’s a trap!” in Return of the Jedi. Who wouldn’t?

The In-N-Out employees clearly weren’t impressed with our idea. As our orders began arriving from the fryers and assembly lines, the guy at the pick-up counter flatly monotoned into the microphone: “Han. Darth. Your orders are ready.” We thought it was marvelous.

“Yoda. Luke. Your orders are ready.”

My friends picked up their bags of burgers and fries, their shakes and sodas. Then, when my turn came, I grabbed my order as the worker called out, “Jawarhalol. Your order is ready.”

I pride myself on knowing some pretty obscure facts and characters from Star Wars, but this name was new to me.

“Jawarhalol?” I said loudly, turning to the crowded restaurant. “Who’s named Jawarhalol?”

A man who’d come in after us—a man I’d never seen before—glared at me as he picked up his dinner. I looked back at him, realization striking me like a rare well-aimed blast from an Imperial stormtrooper. I was unsure of how to explain why I seemed to be mocking him in front of my friends and all of the other good people trying to enjoy In-N-Out, so I just stood there.

He didn’t say anything either, but I’m sure he was thinking, “You’re one to talk, Akbar.”

I don’t know when that restaurant made the shift from names to numbers, but I’d like to think that my friends and I prompted the change. In-N-Out Burger apparently couldn’t repel cleverness of that magnitude.

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Waiting Week: Advent

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I collect a lot of things, including thimbles, Pez dispensers, loteria decks, first-edition books, dragons, and worries. I also collect nativity scenes, and each Dec. 1 marks the beginning of my push to get all of them out of the holiday shelf in my girls’ closet and set up on the mantel and around the house.

I get one new set a year, at least, and I have a loose aim of collecting creches—as they’re called when they’re feeling fancy—from around the world. I’ll post more about them later this week, but this morning I wanted to highlight my newest set, chosen by my 4-year-old daughter as a present for me for Dec. 1. She found it at a thrift store, and my wife OK’ed the purchase.

I left the lens flare in the photo not as an homage to J.J. Abrams, but because it’s sort of Star of David-ish. I’m not sure who the two non-obvious people are: shepherds or angels or two of the three wise men. But I love it. I also love the Advent season, with its focus on anticipation and waiting for what’s to come. I’m generally not good with patience, so Advent is a good exercise for me.

If my wife looks upset, and I ask her what’s wrong, and she says “Let’s talk about it later,” I’m antsy until then. I’ll often push her to talk now, which rarely goes over well. If my boss says he’d like to meet with me that afternoon, I ask if there’s anything we can discuss immediately. I definitely need to work on waiting.

And it’s waiting, not procrastinating. I already have procrastinating down.

As another Dec. 1 present, my wife got me a pair of Star Wars-themed ugly-Christmas-sweater inspired boxers, with AT-AT walkers instead of reindeer. She’s amazing. Too bad I can’t show them off. Much.

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Identity Week: Just a Brief Interruption

Idenity Week: Just a Brief Interruption

I’m going to tell you something, and this something is absolutely true. My wife will confirm it.

Each morning as I get ready for work, I assess how I’m feeling, how the day is expected to play out, how tired I am, how stressful the next eight or nine hours will likely be, and then I choose my underwear.

I have a lot of underwear. I like variety, so some are boxers, some are briefs, and some are in-between (between those categories, that is, not between anything else) (except for one pair).

Some are stylishly plain black, and some have Wolverine on them. Some are cotton, some are polyester, a few are modal—that’s beech—and one’s bamboo. It’s actually bamboo fibers, not a whole plant. I don’t walk around with a stick up my butt.

I have a whole set I only wear in December because they’re holiday themed. I have St. Patrick’s Day boxers, but I wear them at other times, too, because they say “I [Shamrock] Guinness,” and I [shamrock] Guinness throughout the year. (Picture an actual silhouette of a shamrock where I put the word in brackets. But don’t picture anything else, please.)

When I’m feeling exhausted, I put on my boxers patterned with steaming coffee cups. But I don’t actually drink coffee—an admission I made recently to the owner of one of the last movie-rental stores on California’s Central Coast, prompting her puzzled reply: “No coffee? So how do you get your caffeine?”

If I’m feeling particularly blah, I go for the Batman boxer-briefs. They don’t have the Caped Crusader on them or anything—just the logo right across the front. The Bat-Signal. I feel heroic all day in those. Same for the Wolverine boxers, though those actually have the character on them. His claws extend over an area I would prefer to keep away from even the suggestion of sharp objects, but I like to think that keeps me alert and on my toes.

I have dragons for when I need to be fierce, Pirates of the Caribbean for when I feel like a rogue, robots for when I need to keep my emotions in check, fancier pairs for fancier occasions, and—since I’m on the subject and you’re obviously comfortable enough with this to have read this far—sometimes I decide to mentally skip the day altogether, and I get dressed with coming home to my wife in mind.

While writing this post, I realized that I don’t own any Star Trek underwear, though I have put some on a wishlist. I was going to do the same with Star Wars, but for $42 for a single pair, I don’t need Boba Fett down there. There’s a sarlacc pit joke here somewhere, but I don’t feel like hunting for it.

Also while writing this post, I realized that it has little to nothing to do with my kids, but frankly, my underwear is way better than theirs.

It’s probably better than yours, too.

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