Friday, May 19, 2006

King of the Dinosaurs

The first weekend in May marked another anniversary for my swift and I, so, based on a tip from fellow knitter and sock club star Wendy, Anthony and I headed to Indianapolis to the children's museum. We were going to make a stop at the Mass Ave Knit Shop along the way, but apparently Yahoo Maps is more complex than I thought. It clearly did the research to find out that I'm supposed to be on a yarn diet, and it gave me directions that were so lousy we never did find the place. I'll have to tag along with Wendy next time, methinks.

The directions to the museum, however, were right on target. The building itself was pretty tough to miss, as there were dinosaurs charging right out the side of the building. Any building with dinosaurs crashing through the walls can't be a bad sort of place, can it?

The dinosaurs, in fact, were the main reason why I wanted to go to this particular museum. My readers may or may not know that I am, in fact, a dinosaur. Not just any dinosaur, mind you, but a Tyrannosaurus Rex of great proportions. This whole dinosaur thing stems from a really lousy movie that came out during my sophomore year of college, "
Home for the Holidays", starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr. (This is NOT a review of the movie. This is not even an endorsement of the movie. In fact, do NOT see this movie. It's horrible.) However, during one scene Robert Downey Jr. jumps up and down on his sister's car as if he were a T-Rex. Brenda and I thought that looked like great fun, and from then on we were self-declared Tyrannosaurus Rexes ourselves.

I even proved my dedication to the cause by hyper-extending my knee while stomping through the grass to get to dinner one night. Silly dinosaur.

When I taught junior high students, they took great pleasure in knowing that they had a T-Rex for a teacher, and while the excitement has waned just a tad, I've continued to carry the Tyrannosaur legacy with me even now. Remember the plastic dinosaurs and the dinosaur book I got for
Brooke The Higgins day? Now you know why.

When I met Anthony and told him of my dinosaur oddity, he didn't laugh and point and call me things like "Dino-dork" or "Tyrannosaurus DUH," but he rather quickly declared himself to be a velociraptor with especially pointy claws. The partnership, while strange, seems to work for us. (Besides, all I have to do is remind him what happened at the end of the first
Jurassic Park movie, and he straightens right up.)

Back to the children's museum. There were dinosaurs. They have a permanent dinosaur exhibit called the
Dinosphere, with a lot of art work and sculptures and vintage collectibles, along with quite a few real-sized dinosaur skeletons and a ton of hands-on paleontology-type stuff for the kidlets.

This little guy is a bambiraptor. Awwwww. Gotta love the scavengers.

Shockingly enough, there were some other exhibits at the museum. Our other favorite was the forty foot tower of glass. The exhibit was called "Fireworks of Glass" and the main part was this tower made up of many many many of these shaped tubes of glass. You'd think that I'd remember more about it from the dozens of little displays we stopped to read, but clearly I don't. I do remember that the glass was blown and shaped in Seattle, then shipped to Indianapolis where it was assembled into this very tall tower. I'm quite impressed with the result of my taking two pictures and sticking them together.

This picture was taken looking down at the base (without throwing the camera over the side, also impressive). You could actually go to the bottom floor of the museum where this tower's base was the ceiling. The whole enclosed ceiling was filled with those colorful glass pieces so that you could see them up close and see the different shapes and designs.

We went through the trains exhibit and the Magic School Bus weather exhibit and the exploring mummies exhibit and the around the world thing and the history stuff and some other things. Can you tell what we liked the best?

Anyway, we had fun. There were a ton of kids there and we walked around for three or four hours trying to see everything. We both had trouble staying awake on the drive back, so we stopped at Waffle House for a couple plates of hashbrowns and some Cokes. That seemed to help, and we made it back without further trouble. I would go back (if I had better directions to the yarn shop!)


Today's memory of my dad should have been posted along with the project update post, but I forgot, so I'm posting it today instead.

This is the shoulder sweater I made for my dad for a Christmas present this past year. The reason I think this "sweater" is significant is because it's the one thing that my dad specifically requested. About a year ago we were talking on the phone and he was asking me about designing knitted stuff, which until then hadn't necessarily been of interest to him. I figured it meant he wanted something, so I pursued it further and found out that he was having trouble keeping his shoulder warm ever since he had broken it. He wanted something that would go over his neck and shoulder and arm and stay on to keep him warm. While it's a bummer that it took me so long to finish it, I'm really glad I did. He wore it a lot, so I think it must have helped. And you know, all that extra love that gets knitted into garments for friends and family probably made it extra warm.


grins said...

HEY, Sweetie-Cutie-T-Rex-Beautie! Guess what I noticed about that glass-up-to-the-skylight-thingy at the museum. It looks like a humongous yarn stash that got all tangled up! WOW, HUH?

And I don't think Morgan's feet are growing that fast -- finish Calvin's socks first then my shawl THEN Morgan's socks!!!

I love you, beautiful woman!

Joy said...

That is quite an endorsement of the Indy museum -- I think I'll have to take the kids there this summer. Did it cost anything to get in?

I secretly programmed Yahoo Maps! to give faulty directions to every yarn store in the country. Just because I love you. Don't even think about trying Google or Rand McNally either -- I've got them covered too. Yarn diet breaker.

I'm so glad the shoulder sweater turned out and worked so well. I know you reworked it at least once to make it right.

MollyBeees said...

Hi Brooke,
I LOVED the sweater pattern that you had published in Knitty and decided to follow the link to your blog. I've spent the better part of the afternoon reading from the beginning. You do BEAUTIFUL work and are a very talented writer to boot. You have inspired me-both to create my own blog...and to finish a lot of UFO! Keep up the great work!
Molly Bee

Brenda said...

Grins, I actually thought the glass tower was made of yarn when I first scrolled past it!

How can you say that "Home for the Holidays" is not a good movie when it has had such a lasting impact on your life? Well . . . I guess it was pretty bad . . . But Robert Downey Jr. makes a great T-Rex.