Geek in the Galley: Single catalog Christmas spectacular!

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

tauntaun-sleepingbag.jpg
"Echo base. We found 'em."
"Laura!"

"What?'

"Laura!"

"What!"

"We need to get rich. Like, immediately."

"Sounds good to me."

"No, seriously. Right now. We need money."

"Any particular reason, Jay?"

Yes. One very particular reason. Because I just got the new ThinkGeek catalog in the mail and I want pretty much everything in it. I want to just get a Sharpie, write, "Yes, please, one of everything," on the cover and mail it back to whatever enchanted land it comes from.

I want the tauntaun sleeping bag (pictured above). I want the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock T-shirt and the Van De Graaff levitation wand and the night-vision goggles and the Albert Einstein action figure (with relativistic grip!) and the build-your-own-robot kit and the USB owl so I can play Dr. Tyrell at home.

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I can see you...
If I could afford it, I would do all of my Christmas shopping out of this one catalog. And most of the buying? It would be for me. Granted, I'd get my darling wife some caffeinated Jolt gum and maybe a nice Planet Express T-shirt. For my mini-geek daughter, there's always the plush pull-apart zombie doll and child-size light saber. But most of it would be just for me. The Airzooka. The Bucky Balls. The screaming monkey slingshot...

As for you good people out there in Blog-o-land? I have assembled a fantastic list of the more geeky, food-centric and nerdalicious gifts being offered this year by the genius pack rats at ThinkGeek (click on the links for the full product descriptions and ordering information). So without further ado, might I tempt you first with ...

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"Two! With noodles!"
For those moments when you find yourself eating on the street, in the sushi bar or at the pho shop and just don't want to be bothered with the splintery bamboo chopsticks that everyone else is using. Also, I have to imagine that these pool-cue style collapsible chopsticks would be a lot of fun trying to get through airport security on your next trip to Tokyo.

astronaut_icecream.jpg
For all your upside down ice cream eating needs
Yeah, that is what you think it is: Astronaut Ice Cream. Neapolitan is the quote/unquote flavor that most of us first experienced when our parents bought it for us at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum back in the day. But now, it's available in three different styles (which, by the way, is three more styles than were ever actually sent into space) and, according to the official product description, can remain fresh for three years provided you can keep from opening it. Perfect for shuttle trips with the kids, perfect for stocking the pantry in advance of the inevitable zombie apocalypse and perfect for just plain eatin'.

titaniumspork.jpg
Because it's a spork, that's why!
Sporks are one of the greatest inventions of all time--a spoon and a fork, magically melded into one fantastic utensil. The only thing better than a plain old spork? A spork made out of indestructible, uncorrodable, indefatigable titanium--the stuff they make fighter planes out of. Also, not for nothing but if the same folks who make this titanium spork could get together with the guys who make the knork, what we'd have is a truly formidable dining implement--a fspknork to be reckoned with.

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The Knuckle Duster Corkscrew. Because yes, it is just that badass.

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Believe it or not, there's dinner in there
From the official description of the Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit: Includes

* 20g sodium alginate
* 20g calcium salt
* 20g agar-agar
* 20g carrageenan
* 20g ascorbic acid
* 20g citric acid
* 20g sodium bicarbonate
* 20g soybean lecithin
* 1 20mL syringe
* 2 m of alimentary grade silicone tube
* 2 graduated pipettes
* 1 set of measuring spoons
* 1 bored spoon
* 1 booklet containing 6 molecular cooking recipes
* 1 volume-weight conversion table

The only thing it doesn't have is a starter dewar of liquid nitrogen. That, I guess, you have to pick up on your own.

Plushsushi.jpg
They don't taste as cute as they look
Those crazy Japanese can make a cutesy, inexpensive, ridiculously marketable plush toy out of just about anything. They've done it with kitties. They've done it with a slice of burnt toast. And now, little plush sushi. I don't know exactly why anyone would need one (or twelve) of these things, but wanting them? That's a whole different story.

cocktailchemistry.jpg
Booze not included
Back when I was a bartender, bartenders were not nearly so cool (or geektastic) as they are now. Sure, bartenders still got laid a lot. They still got plenty of free booze and made plenty of green. But back in the day, the model for the cool bartender was Tom Cruise in Cocktail--and I think we can all agree now that even with all the bottle-tossing and matchbook-flipping, his Brian Flanagan was just not that cool. I mean, no matter how many times he flipped that bottle of rum in the air, when he was done, he was still just making a rum and Coke for some big-haired skank in a pantsuit. Today, though, things are a bit different. Today, bartenders are constantly getting weird with hand-made ingredients and rare liquors and tools that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. So if you think you've got it in you to get all scientific with your cocktails, order yourself this set of equipment and use it to make Tom Cruise your bitch.

HungryScientist.jpg
Okay, so now you've got all the gear. You've got some chemicals, some Erlenmeyer flasks, your collapsible chopsticks and everything else you need. All that's missing is something to do with all this stuff. Well fear not, because while the recipes in the El Bulli cookbook might still be a bit beyond you, just about anyone can manage cryogenic martinis or DIY edible underwear detailed in the Hungry Scientist Handbook.

Okay, well maybe not anyone, but I have faith in you. And even if you can't pull off making the electric birthday cake in real life, won't it make you feel better to know that should you ever find yourself in a situation where an electric birthday cake is called for, you'll be the geek in the crowd with the instruction manual?

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