Some parts of life keep us grounded.
Our faith. Our family. Our mortgage. Or, little holes in our heels that keep us secured to various Star Wars action figure playsets. The figures I grew up playing with had them, and any official playset had pegs.
It helped the stiff-legged rebels and bounty hunters stand up straight.
Some parts of life give us freedom.
Our faith. Our family. Our vacation days. Or, free-standing plastic dinosaurs that don’t need pegs to stand.
Question: Where does a plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex roam?
Answer: Wherever he wants.
The dinosaurs I played with traversed the most rugged terrain.
It’s essential to have a little of both. To be grounded, and free.
Be grounded by things that keep you in place. Set free by things that give you the chance to spread your wings a little. I’d like a little of both in 2015, please. For now … there are kids’ questions to ponder.
1. Do all Star Wars figures have holes on their feet?
Every single one I had – R5-D4, Hammerhead, IG-88 …
The Kenner and Hasbro versions of Star Wars figures have foot pegs. I have trays from a long-gone figure case with pegs on the back. I’ve used them in my amateur stormtrooper photo shoots for this blog.
Amazon sells much smaller, transparent plastic trays that accommodate as many as four figures. But they’re $10.99 each! (Plus shipping, unless you have Amazon Prime.)
I saved enough proofs-of-purchase to order a free Boba Fett figure when I was a kid. This was a huge deal. It was such a huge deal that I bragged about it all over the neighborhood.
It was also such a huge deal that kids in the neighborhood checked our mailbox to try and steal it.
Foot pegs keep us grounded, for goodness sake.
2. When you buy a bike, can you ride it in the store?
Seems like a reasonable perk, from a dad’s perspective. As a boy, I wore my new shoes right out of the store. I felt bad-ass. It was almost as awesome as getting a Boba Fett in the mail.
But, according to Jessica M. of our friendly neighborhood Target store, I – and many dads, it turns out – were all wrong about this.
“We do not allow anyone to ride bikes in the store,” Jessica said.
“We mostly have issues with adults. Or dads, more specifically, ‘test driving’ the bikes, roller blades, and scooters. They are pretty understanding when we ask them to stop.”
A bike shop will let you take a test drive. But that’s different. It’s on the streets. Not down the paper towel aisle on a Magna rip curl model.
While we’re on store safety …
“There is also no running!” Jessica said. “Pass on the word!”
The more you know.
3. How much does it cost to be on Guy Fieri’s show?
You don’t pay a penny to be on Guy’s Grocery Games, one of our favorite shows.
To appear on Food Network shows, you apply by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They just need your city and state, and vitals (name, phone number, email address, occupation) in the body of the email.
Send a picture of you and some of your most impressive baked goods. Oh, and a mini essay on why you’d make an awesome contestant for a show.
Now, if you want Guy Fieri at your local fair, for instance, it’ll cost you $100,000. And maybe $1,500 to bring his blond spikes to your fairgrounds. If you’re on a budget, go with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. You can book him for a mere $65,000.
The more you know.
4. Do they have to do certain jumps in figure skating competition?
The International Skating Union runs the jump compliance department.
Since 1982, skaters can perform each form of triple jump only once, or twice, if one is part of a combination or sequence. For the jump to qualify as a combination, every jump must start from the landing edge of the previous jump. Got that?
This goes for toe loops, loops, salchows, half loops, axels …
It’s a whole world apart from soccer, huh? This graphic might help.
5. When did it become a tradition to bring a Christmas tree in your house for Christmas?
Long before axels and salchows were so regulated. Even before Christianity, evergreen trees were special during winter.
People hung evergreen branches over doors and windows. Some believed branches warded off evil spirits, illness, ghosts, and witches. And maybe even Taylor Swift songs.
Egyptians put up palms to symbolize the god Ra’s triumph over death.
(Ra was quite bad-ass. Like, Boba Fett bad-ass. He had a hawk’s head and wore the sun in his crown.)
Folks everywhere went green. Early Romans, Druids, and Vikings decorated for winter solstice. This was a time of celebrating life defeating death.
The Germans put up the first Christmas tree in the 16th century. They were pyramids of wood decorated with evergreen. Protestant reformer Martin Luther drew inspiration on a walk one night as he pondered a sermon.
Martin Luther stuck lighted candles in his Christmas tree to replicate stars shining through evergreen branches. Centuries and multiple house fires later, the Christmas tree endures.
Today, it’s adorned with ally types of ornaments. They depict everything from Jesus, Joseph and Mary to Janis Joplin. Team mascots, My Little Pony and the Avengers can hang from trees now.
I can’t find a single Guy Fieri Christmas ornament online, though.
I don’t think we’re trying hard enough.
No Giy Fieri ornaments?! Serily, what is the world coming to! I mean that is just crazy talk lol!! Great questions as always and the girls never cease to amaze me with their thinking on these each week;)
Ridiculous, huh? If they can have Duck Dynasty Christmas stockings, Guy Fieri ornaments ought also to exist. Janine, the waiting questions list is now 300 strong!
I really, really loved the segment on figure skating. That has to be the coolest and most difficult sport to do, and the most wondrous to watch.
A big tropical Queensland thank you to you.
Katerina Witt piqued my interest in the sport when I was a teenager – I knew nothing about the sport, but the skill and passion she skated with captured me.
It still amazes me.
Thank you for the tropical thank you … does it come with a rum and Coke?
Sure! Coming right up, a Bundy and Coke.
I think I found your way to make your next million 🙂 Guy Fieri ornaments, design and trademark now 🙂
NEXT million! That’s rich.
But can’t you just see Guy Fieri Santa with rings and tats? Or Guy Fieri snowmen with spiky blond hair?
Boba Ra. Ra Fett. I didn’t think there could be a cooler bounty hunter until now!
I don’t think there’s a corner of the universe you can hide from if Boba Ra Fett is after your arse.
I figure skated in the early 80s and unlike soccer, we didn’t wear any pads. We had to train in our little short skirts and pantyhose. I spent hours working on double jumps (which translates to hours of crashing on the ice and sliding into the boards). Good times! 🙂
You Canadians rock, Jenn. Soccer girls are tough, but so are skaters. Ashley Wagner is a tough girl, for sure. You can still do a triple axel, right?
that’s good because my tree is 2 feet tall. happy new year, eli. to you and your girls.
no, it’s 30 feet tall beth. happy new year!
Well, the Christmas tree part is true enough – even on this side of grownup-hood, I still think ours looks 30 feet tall (and it’s not).
I love Guy’s Grocery Games! Great show. I also loved the very brief one Bobby Flay had where he comes to your house and you and a partner cook a dinner party – can’t remember the name. I would absolutely want to be on that one! Alas, it doesn’t anymore.
What if Ra and Boba Fett had a throwdown?
I think 96% of Christmas trees are majestic, and the other 4% are still highly significant.
I’d love to be on Guy’s Grocery Games, but I’d be out in the first round. But if Melissa D’Arabian likes my monte christo, it’s all gravy.
Ra would kick Boba Fett’s ass. Ra would never get eaten by the Sarlacc.
I’m thinking that maybe one of your girls has a huge interest in figure skating!!! Do any of them skate?
I love watching all of Guy’s shows – he actually featured a local dive in his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!!!
They do during the Olympics. We all do! Marie skated one year before she got into soccer. I think it was great for her confidence, and I loved watching her on the ice.
Guy’s shows make me hungrier than I already normally am. He has kind of a dream job, doesn’t he? Have you tried the local joint he featured?
There’s an app that will show you the nearest restaurant featured on his show. I should get it!
“Grounded and free”
Sigh….may I adopt your mantra as my own?
There’s plenty of room.
I went to buy my now 17 year old an action figure for Christmas as our “fun gift” as the kids are now asking for more expensive toys, like PS4’s and ipads, that I found myself gagging at the 10.99 price for one action figure. When we bought them a lifetime ago, they were 3 bucks! I adore watching figure skating but alway feel out of shape doing so. I have to walk 5 miles to make up for it.
Grounded and free… I agree with Mamamick Terry… it’s a good one!
It is sickening – for $10.99, I want a full-sized, real life version of the figure! I bought an R5-D4 figure for $1.54 – know this, because I counted out the hard-earned change.
All ice skating seems to me a beautiful defiance of physics.
I’m trying to make sure there’s a little grounded and free in every day in 2015. So far, so good!
Okay, Jennifer at Target has absolutely no “kid” left in her. I vote you ditch that store and give Wallyworld a try. Maybe their staff will have a slightly larger heart. I think most things need a trial run on aisle three before committing to purchase.
And many thanks for alleviating the headache of a mystery as to how to spell “salchow.” I would never in a million years have guessed it, but at last, this one has been crossed of my list.
Here’s to crossing off a few more during 2015. Cheers, Eli!
Jessica was friendly and sweet. That’s why I asked her! I suspect she would grant a controlled test drive.
Salchow to me still sounds like something you would put on a barbecue sandwich.
I am so with you there, Eli. And now I’m hankerin’ some Virginia pulled pork.
You’re welcome. I might have had some this weekend. Carolina pulled pork, which is obviously superior.
If I were not the incredibly forgiving type, it would have taken me longer than two days to get over that gut twisting quip. But I shall stay true to the Old Dominion (and secretly drench my Q with vinegar based sauce from some area south of Virginia. Shhh.)
That will stay between you, me, and Jesus, Shelley.
I am now so much more educated about Star Wars figurines. We watched the movies as kids, but they were really a generation up from us, figurine wise. Our older cousins had them. My little brother was all He-Man and GI Joe.
Love the grounded and free thoughts. A worthy goal indeed.
A great read – thanks! And Happy New Year!
I’m definitely here to educate, Louise. I was 6 when the first Star Wars movie came out. I had lots of them, but not all. I had a friend who did have them all.
Grounded and free makes sense, right? It’s like a hot-air balloon with a 66-mile tether.
Happy New Year to you, Louise! Glad you liked this.
Roots and wings is a big theme of mine. The two great gifts I could give my children.
the third being having Captain America in our Christmas tree. 😉
Yes to the roots and wings – they’re essential, aren’t they? We have to give that gift to the kids. Giving yourself The Cap is a reward for doing so – is there some universal parallel for me, with Amber Heard or some such?
We waited way to long to get our tree this year, and ended up with a Charlie Brown version. Maybe not quite that bad, but the kids noticed. And one of the dogs stole presents and unwrapped them out in the yard. No joke. I think we might have to put our tree behind closed doors next year. Happy New Year!
All the good ones get gone quick, don’t they Michelle? Please tell me there will be a post (with pictures) of your excellent Christmas adventure!
Happy new year to you … I see some deliciousness over at your place I’m going to have to sink my teeth into.
The more you know, indeed. Thanks again to your daughters.