"crosswords" by m_m_mnemonic

After a group conversation about which Star Wars movie was the best one (discounting the new trilogy, obviously, my favorite The Empire Strikes Back has a strong following), I went out for lunch. In the food court nearest to our building, I saw at a distance a man sitting at a table, pencil in hand, his palm squeezing his forehead. He was looking down at some paper, and looked like he had to figure out a way to balance his finances or die. As I got closer, I saw what he was working on: a crossword puzzle. He was completely taken.

As I walked back to the office, I thought, “Gee, I should take up a new hobby.” I thought of just a few weeks ago when I was playing with my cousin’s son, following the instructions of a Lego jet, sifting through the pieces to find a red block with two studs, and feeling this kind of meditative calm come over me. I remembered being lost, as I would be in childhood, sifting through the blocks the same way. Maybe I should become a Legomaniac as an adult. (Unfortunately, sitting on the floor isn’t much fun anymore.) I guess I’m noticing all this because we just recorded some promotional language for our upcoming rebroadcast of Play, Spirit and Character.

(photo: “crosswords“ by m_m_mnemonic/Flickr)


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After writing this post, I went on the LEGO website and saw the LEGO Star Destroyer on sale, albeit it is still $200. It's ginormous, and something about that just seems so tempting, but I fear that carrying that home on the bus will make me seem like an uber-dweeb. Besides, the $500 Millennium Falcon is so much cooler.

In any case, this whole child-like wonder thing sure is expensive. I also have no idea where I would put said Star Destroyer in my apartment. (Maybe that would give me an excuse to clean up the dining table I never eat on.) I wonder if I should get back into drawing, too, since for years and years and years that was one of my favorite things to do. I do have this desire to make a graphic novel some day, but there's something too purposeful about drawing. LEGO, playing with all those blocks, it's all so much simpler. Until then, I have my LEGO Obi-Wan and Darth Vader and Chewie at my desk at work...

Do you have fond memories with LEGO?

1) Don't worry about what other people on the bus think. Most will assume it's for your kid or your nephew or something like that. Some will be utterly green with envy. :)

2) Lots of adults play with LEGOs. There are even instructables about how to keep your LEGOs tidy and easy to find.

3) Don't worry about where you'll keep it. Eventually you can take it apart, and put it all away. Then you can build it all over again in a few months!! Or, better yet, build other things from it's pieces and let your creativity wander.

Enjoy. :)

I'm 44 years old, and once or twice a year I get the urge (need?) to drag my huge box of Lincoln Logs down to the living room and build something. There is something about sifting through the collection of wooden pieces; grabbing a handful of the little one-notch and two-notch logs, and maybe finding in the bottom a matched pair of four-notchers -- perfect for the roofline of a huge wooden lodge.
I make a different building every time, but I find that it's not the act of building that I am needing when I go up to the attic to retrieve the assorted boxes. It's difficult to describe, but it has something to do with just reopening those boxes, seeing the pieces again that I so carefully organized when I put them away last time -- the brown logs, the plastic red A-frames for the roof, and the green, wooden roofing slats -- and yes, there's the sifting. All the while there is a feeling of expectancy at all of these materials and their dreamy potential. "What can I build this time...?"

Of the new trilogy, the 3rd one has got to be the better of the three, bridging the newer with the older.