Dinosort of ok I guess

This past weekend Tom, the baby, my sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, and I piled in a van and headed down to the local fairgrounds for a traveling dinosaur exhibit. The radio and tv ads promised lots of learning AND rides on dinosaurs – the best of both worlds.

When we got there, we learned that it costs more to earn the right to ride on the dinosaurs and play in the bouncy castle, which everyone knows has been around since the late Jurassic era. So, we passed on the rides and stuck to the exhibit.

The exhibit consisted of a bunch of animatronic dinosaurs split up and displayed in various combinations of painted backdrops and fake plants – in one giant room. They all made noise and all had hot spotlights on them. I don’t know how the real dinosaurs got any sleep – all that screeching and light.

“Oh, come on,” you’re saying, “twenty-some animatronic screeching dinosaurs in an enclosed space doesn’t seem like it’d be that loud.” Well, first, don’t go making assumptions about the level of noise robots can make in a room, and second, you didn’t give me time to mention that they were also playing a movie over all the noise, too. That movie was Dinosaur, and it was turned up to eleven.

It was sort of like if you went to a nice eight course meal, but it was all served to you in one big trough, so it’s hard to say if it was actually delicious or not.

What did we see there? Here’s the two, uh, highlights?

The huge and ferocious Spinosaurus may have been an even larger predator than the T-Rex. Impressive, huh? Well, I’ll tell you what I was impressed by: their fabulous, colorful, rainbow-striped spine decoration that looks nothing like the rest of the body:


A dinosaur that looks like a graffiti artist got to him while he was sleeping? Awesome. Unfortunately, when I looked him up on wikipedia, none of the artist renderings include this 1980s roller skating rink-ready spine sculpture – they’re all natural looking and shit. Not only that, but even the info plaque from it’s own exhibit didn’t look the same:

This one doesn’t look like Lisa Frank’s evolutionary ancestor like the display one does.

Now I just don’t know what to think. I suppose that’s just what comes with having to guess what dinosaurs looked like based on their bones. We’ll never know the truth.

I think the most striking image was the realism of the T-Rex. The creators of this dinobot obviously worked really hard to capture the sad, flaccid, useless little arms they had. Science and animatronics prove that they kind of depressingly moved them around, trying to figure out what they could possibly use them for, in a very rhythmic motion. This made prey feel sorry for them, and when they would go to comfort the T-Rex, SUCKAH – they got eaten.

You can see how wily they were – they even shook their heads as if to say “no, no, I have no idea what to do with these two sad twigs attached to my chest, woe is me.” It’s why they’re called Nature’s Most Guilt Trip-iest Predator.

After an afternoon of heavy learning and extremely loud noise, we headed home, my head filled with amazing facts I made up and jumped to conclusions about. You’re never too old to pay a little too much to have your senses assaulted…with information.

We say this about every house we buy BUT THIS TIME IT WILL HAPPEN

No, HA HA to YOU, house!
No, HA HA to YOU, house!

It’s happened. Our house is sold. It’s a really big relief, like a pimple you’ve had for four years and haven’t been able to pop and then someone comes along and buys it or something.

Now that we’ve been unburdened of the house we didn’t want, it’s time to burden ourselves with a new house! THIS house, this house is going to be the best house, and not only is it going to be perfect, it’s going to change us on a molecular level. We will become capable, responsible adults, ready to tackle any and every obstacle that comes our way in a timely manner.

The KitchenAid mixer I love but have used maybe three times? I’m gonna make it rain cookies all over this land. That sewing machine I’ve owned for a decade and have never learned how to use? BAM – have a quilt you don’t want or need, family member! The books that will line the books shelves that I’ve yet to open? Get your asses ready, eyeballs! Pinterest is going to look at my house and tie cement blocks to its feet, paddle out to the middle of a lake, and then jump in. And you know what? I’ll bake a delicious casserole for Pinterest’s grieving widow or widower because I’M ALL OVER THAT SHIT.

I can’t help but also notice that all of this is happening around New Year’s. It’s a perfect perfect storm? This is no fail, right? RIGHT?

How to not do a magic trick: a complete guide.

On Saturday, I posted my weekly Super Friends post. You can see it here. In it, I spell out a magic trick that Wonder Woman did on the show. As soon as I saw it, I thought, “there’s no way a kid is going to be able to do this and I also see stitches in their future.” I was really curious about this trick because these are the types of things I latch on to rather than things like making the world a better place.

I figured it would be entertaining enough to try it out myself. And, to truly illustrate what I thought would be a magic disaster, I decided to tape it. Guess what!? It’s completely out of focus. I would make some terrible magic pun like “hocus focus” but I don’t know what to do with it. I made an out-of-focus video and that’s all there is to say. I tested it first, and the test was in-focus. I would have re-filmed it, but, as you’ll see, I set myself up so that I couldn’t re-film it.

I like to think of it as carrying on the crappy production values of the Super Friends. If you can stand to watch an out of focus magic-less trick, here it is:

Surprisingly, the glass didn’t actually break. I wondered if I could even get it to balance empty. So I tried and and it worked:

For three whole seconds. Right after I took the picture, this happened:

You see that, Wonder Woman? How many cuts, scratches, missing eyes and fingers are on your bullet-proof tiara-d head?

Lesson? It is a lot easier to make things work if you’re drawing it than if you’re actually doing it.

If at first you don’t succeed, try it on, try it on again. Unless you’re me.

I hate shopping for clothes. Even more specifically, I hate trying on clothes. I hate every moment of the experience.

First of all, I’ve seen too many “very special episodes” of TV shows about shoplifting to not know that there’s some person sitting at some control booth watching me change. We all know you’re out there, you mouth breathers with your bar-b-cue potato chip fingers, just waiting to catch me shoving tank tops and bras into my purse. When I arrive at the changing room and I do a weird dance in front of the mirror with both my middle fingers in the air – that is directed at you, sir or madam.

I also hate the number cards they pass out when you go and try clothes on. Never are my insecurities over my ability to count so tested as when I have to come up with the correct number of garments I want to wriggle in and out of as quickly as I can in that florescent nightmare of a room. What if I give the wrong number? Will I waste away in prison, cursing myself for my inability to correctly  tally up pants? Will those miscounted pants – the two I never had in the first place, become an enduring mystery, like D.B. Cooper’s money? “Nobody knows where C.E. Williford may have hidden those two pairs of khakis. We may never know,” Dateline will tell it’s viewers. “But I didn’t! I didn’t hide two pairs of khakis, I just count worse than a toddler,” I will yell, but it will fall on deaf ears.

I like to have pictures with my blog posts. This is a drawing of a pair of pants, just in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about.

Last week I had to face the harsh reality that I have grown too fat for all but two pairs of pants – one pair of capris, and one pair of black jeans. I live in the South, which means in the summer it feels like a sadistic grandma is smothering you with a soaking wet hot quilt. If my black jeans had them, they would have rolled their eyes hearing me explain that although it’s 102 degrees outside, I’m sure if I stay in the shade it’ll be fine. But, even I am not that delusional. I only had one pair of useable pants. This was a sad realization, and doubly so because it meant having to buy new pants.

I made my way to the local Super Target, grabbed 3 different pairs of pants of varying sizes (I did count correctly – things were looking up), and headed to the dressing room. Even if there’s a lock on the door, I have a constant fear of being walked-in on, like someone will pick the lock because they’re certain nobody’s in there. This has never actually happened to me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t worry about it; it’s is a free country.

I quickly tried on all three pairs of pants. I bet I looked like a contestant on Double Dare trying to get through the obstacle course in time. One after the other – none of them fit. They were too small. After removing and individually cursing each pair, I gathered my things and left the dressing room. As instructed by the attendant (is that the right word for that job?), I left the unwanted and now cursed pants on a giant pile for someone else to put back (that always bothers me, I feel like I’m shirking my responsibility to put things back where they belong).

This is when a rational person would then get some larger sizes to go back and try on. No. I don’t go back in to dressing rooms after I’ve gone once. I take the information I gathered from the first trip – “those pants were too small for me” – and jump to conclusions – “the next size up is obviously the correct choice.” I went to the pants what were the least tightest and bought the next size up, being so thankful that I’m smart enough to outwit a second trip to try pants on.

The next morning I woke up and grabbed my new pair of pants and I swear I heard my formerly sole pair of pants, a crumpled, broken heap in the corner of the room, crying tears of joy.

The new pants are too big. Did I return them and resign myself to another voyage to the fitting room? I think we all know the answer to that. No, they’re not so big that I can’t wear them. I just need a belt. If the belt were a tied rope, yes, I would look like a hobo. But, I would rather look like an overweight hobo who still somehow manages to have pants that are too big than take my clothes off at a place other than my own home for the second time in a week.

Life is about growing, learning lessons that help you improve yourself. With age comes wisdom and all that jazz. What lesson did I learn from The Ballad of Buying a Second Pair of Pants? Fuck lessons.

This post was in response to Studio30 Plus‘ writing prompts this week.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

How Moving and Cat Poop are Related

We officially no longer live in our house. But, it’s still our house, which means we still have a mortgage. While our renters wait for their house to sell, and while they decide if they want to buy our house, we don’t have an official home. We’re staying with my mom while we wait for everything to straighten itself out. My mom is generous to have us and while I don’t mind being home-home, you still don’t want to be in your mid-thirties and living with your mom even though it makes the most sense and reduces the amount of times we have to move our stuff. I just don’t want to hate my stuff more than I already do.

I think one of the reasons cats have such a holier-than-thou attitude is because they've seen the way dogs react to their poop.

What does this have to do with cat poop? When you have cats AND dogs, you have to spend a surprising amount of time trying to figure out how to “protect” cat poop. If you have cats and dogs, you also probably know the term for cat poop that is used to describe a dog’s maddening love of it – Tootsie Rolls.

Every time you move with your dogs and cats you have to re-figure out how to keep those precious tootsie rolls from constant threat. I think it’s one of life’s strangest predicaments. For us, the solution usually involves a closet and a baby gate.

When we move, I forget about this predicament because we did a really good job of solving the problem in our previous abode, like when people let their guards down during times of peace. Of course, it’s only a matter of time (that amount of time is easily measurable – it is the exact amount of time it takes for the cat to take his first shit in the new house) before I’m reminded that a fortress must be built around the Kingdom of Litter.

Our dog Ed is a turd connoisseur. I think he was feral at some point, which probably started his terrible hunger for poo, as it may have been his available meals. If Pizza Hut sold a Turd Lover’s Pizza, he’d eat it every day. His favorite soup would be turdle soup. He’d be disappointed by a pu pu platter. We don’t let him pick what he has for dinner, is what I’m saying.

He has the well-earned nickname “Turd Burglar.” He’ll burgle turds at every opportunity. Turds tremble in fear when they sense he is near. Seriously, the dude loves turds. That’s why, when Tom wanted to practice on his new photo editing program, he chose to create this:

You may be a world-class turd burglar, Ed, but this time the local tootsie rolls will only have folklore legends to pass down from generation to generation. “Hair as orange as John Boehner’s skin and a collar as green as grass, and he’d just as soon eat you as look at you.”

Rest easy, sweet turds, you’re safe for now. Turds in the backyard, I’m afraid you’re on your own.

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Adding this post to the Yeah Write weekly challenge. I had a lot of fun last week reading new blogs. You can lurk, hangout, or enter a post in the weekly challenge, then vote for your 5 favorites. Go check it out.