Lords of Legoland
The shoe has been transferred to the other foot; this weekend, while Sandra Bullock and the Jawa join The Hammer and her son, self-described as "The Shaman," as they frolic through the plastic wilds of Legoland, I will be here in San Francisco, working.
Normally it works the other way. A few summers ago, it worked to herculean proportions as the post-kindergarten Jawa and I teamed up for a two-week vacation in Ohio and Indiana. Highlights included a legendary two-day backroads drive from Dayton to South Bend.
This was the first time the Jawa and I had carved out inside jokes and memories that were just ours. We counted roadkill and Amish. Indiana had just endured massive rains, so we marvelled at the still-flooded fields. We ate at restaurants in small Indiana towns, places neither of us had ever been. These are the hidden benefits of unemployment.
Please see the Jawa's Summer 2002 scrapbook for more details.
Just this past October the Jawa and I completed a father-son Legoland jaunt while Sandra Bullock gutted out what seemed -- at least to me -- to be a mind-numbing class in a San Diego hotel conference room. Father-son we do pretty well, except while sitting around the house, when all I can think to do is read because I'm not interested in Bionicles, especially when the only job offered to me is "finder." The childless among you who can't wait to have a kid so you can play with Legos again? Spend a few hours searching for one specific block among thousands of them. Me, I prefer to get out of the house.
We did well today. Or, I should say, he did well today. With the Jawa at home due to parent-teacher conferences and Sandra Bullock as usual buried under huge piles of work, the child and I were left as wary partners in a work day. And despite his morning pronouncement of "Dad, I'm going to be bouncing off the walls today," he not only behaved himself while at the Zephyr offices, I think his frequent interruptions of the client meeting I was having actually made me more appealing in the client's eyes. And then tonight, when I suddenly had to return to work to send two faxes, he willingly, if a bit disappointedly, turned away from "Avatar, the last Light Bender" and accompanied me back to the empty, darkened Zephyr offices.
So thanks to you, Jawa. And hopefully nobody at worked noticed just how much paper you used printing out Bionicle instructions and then making 18 copies of each page.
Let me tell you about Legoland. As a kid who grew up 10 minutes from Disneyland, to me Legoland falls joins the vast pool of also-rans that starts with Knott's Berry Farm and finishes somewhere around King's Island in Cincinnati. Even though the entire Brady family (including Alice) teamed up and ran a relay across King's Island to return Mike's sketches to him in time, it's still not the Big D. Nothing is.
Legoland has its high points. The miniature reproductions of cities are pretty cool. And the atmosphere is great, because it's uninteresting to teenagers. No sullen teens means shorter lines and happier parents. Better food, too. Last time we were there we had yogurt, bananas and pretzels for lunch. It cost $25.
The Jawa claims Legoland's "official color" is yellow.
The weekend stretches out endlessly before me. I am too old to just call people up at 7 pm on Friday and expect them to meet me an hour later. Instead, I have committed to working both Saturday and Sunday. I choose drudgery.
Oh yeah, I also choose sleeping in, dressing like a slob, watching the Final Four in some sports bar with anyone I can talk into joining me, eating burritos and sleeping diagonally across the bed.