Wednesday, December 30, 2009


1) If you wave at a driver who is waving at you, you should also give the person in the passenger seat a personalized wave. You do this by waving at the driver with a broad, expansive gesture. Then you cramp up your arm a little, look at the passenger, and provide a passenger-specific wave. (Note to Self: It is possible that you think about waving too much.)

2) There is nothing better than when an elderly woman shows you a picture of herself wearing children's-sized underwear. What can you say but, "Boy, you've got great legs!" And the thing is: She does have great legs.

3) When you find yourself sitting opposite a person who is very deaf, in a noisy room, trying to discuss "Black Friday," it is best to just nod, smile, and/or furrow your brow (as appropriate) rather than using actual words. You can also wink and roll your eyes. Just no words.

4) Sometimes it is best not to ask the person who used to take his pet bird with him to bars about the bird. Yes, it is a juicy topic that is of interest to you. But, it might turn out that the bird hated him and tried to kill him at every available opportunity. He might not want to relive that.

5) If you bake cinnamon on a tray in the oven, you can remove skunk odor from your house. It really works.

Enough Musings. Pictures.

Beauty Berry Bush...Goin' Strong, By Cracky!
Official Plenty Family "Dellarobbia Wreath" from when I was a kid. This year, I added the plastic tomatoes because I couldn't find any plastic fruit that I liked...the plastic tomatoes are pretty cool for plastic tomatoes--they have fuzzy leaves. I loved this wreath when I was little, thought it was pretty kooky when I was older, know it's kooky now but it deserves to hang because it is, the Official Plenty Family "Dellarobbia Wreath."Prints in Snow! (Color highlights contributed by my still-dying camera!)Drippy Lights! (Intentional...not the result of my still-dying camera)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Elves Should Be Able to Build Casinos at the North Pole

Top 15 Thoughts About An Elf Casino
1) Strong toy theme, although Jack-in-The-Pot toilets prove to be ill-advised and are removed.
2) Two words: Cookie Buffet.
3) Elfin Magic means it might be best to try your luck at the Leprechaun Casino down the road.
4) Are the cocktail waitresses' pointy ears hot or creepy? You can't figure it out.
5) Santa is goin' down in flames at the Roulette Wheel and the Elves are lovin' it. Not so jolly now, huh fat man?
6) No reindeer allowed. All reindeer will be escorted off the premises. Any reindeer found angrily pooping on the premises will be subject to full prosecution.
7) In an attempt at a hostile takeover, the Elf Casino is attacked by axe-wielding dwarves, led by a strung-out Joe Pesci.
8) The Elves fight back, and suddenly Peter Jackson and Martin Scorsese are collaborating on the movie version.
9) FROM ARTSPARKER: Elves are not entirely trustworthy - see under: Tam Lin. (Note: Tam Lin appears to be some sort of elfin Baby Daddy.)
10) FROM LOIS LANE: Lucky Charms must be kept concealed at all times. We don't care if they are magically delicious. Oh, wait. Leprechauns have Lucky Charms, not elves. Never mind. I've been in the egg nog. My bad. *hic* Okay: No Leprechauns allowed in casino.
13) FROM MICKEY: Overheard at the craps table: "Come on! Baby needs new pointy shoes." Also, perfect opportunity for the comeback of Elfish Presley.
14) FROM JESSICA: Elf Casino would give whole new meaning to "mini-bar."
15) FROM EGE: Casinos ought to be allowed in Iceland, too. (Note: Dear Iceland, Vote "Yes" on Question 1--Elf Casino. Ignore the naysayers who say it will create too much traffic and noise. C'mon! You're ICELAND. You could use a little more traffic and noise. Admit it.)
16) FROM CAKE: I wanna drink my heavily spiked eggnog while losing at cards, dammit! (Note: At Elf Casinos, Cake will be allowed to drink her heavily spiked eggnog while losing at cards. Dammit. Unfortunately, she will then be escorted to the sidewalk by the orc bouncers after she tries to surreptitiously take photographs of Elfish Presley with her phone. Of course, she'll charm her way back in. Why orc bouncers? Elves do not have sufficient upper body strength to be good bouncers.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiny, Odd Moments While Waiting

Usually, when you're sitting in a Sears Automotive waiting room you know what to expect in terms of fellow customer chit-chat. The murmurs sound like conversation you'd overhear in jail:

"So, what are you in for?"
"How long have you been here?"
"Dear god, I just hope to see my wife and kids again some day."

I know this because over two months, I had things go wrong with my tires so often that the Sears guys started to know me. First they started calling me by my name ("Hi, Sparkle!) and then they started calling me forms of my name that only a handful of people get to call me ("Sparkly!").* Eventually, they started to know my voice when I called.

One lazy Sunday afternoon, I slouched along into the Sears Automotive Waiting Room--armed with my bag full of water, books, crossword puzzle book, pens, a banana for energy, chewing gum, work to do, and cigarettes for the prison trustys--and I expected to slide right into my favorite plastic chair (the one without the sketchy stain) and wait for a few hours. Instead, as I walked through the waiting room, a man called out, "Hey! You have a great day! God Bless. I hope you have a great year--yeah, Happy New Year!"

By george, he thought I was leaving--rather than settling in to serve out my sentence--and rushed ahead to the complimentary close. Naw. I smiled and thanked him, sat down, and he continued to bless me. It's not unpleasant to be blessed, but after smiling and nodding for awhile, I kind of escaped into my book (a book can serve as a kind of a fence). He sat with two elderly women. One of them kept handing him her cell phone and telling him to call her relatives. He'd get them on the phone and then he'd hand it to her. I couldn't figure out whether her relatives would not answer the phone if they knew she was calling or if she could not work her phone. The other woman sat gripping her walker and glaring at the television in a mildly accusatory fashion.

The Sears tech came scooting out finally, and all three got up to leave. I looked up, ready to say my goodbyes.

Man (looking at me with big smile): "GOD BLESS!"
Elderly Woman with Walker: "First I broke my hip, then the poodle died, now THIS. This better be ALL."
Elderly Woman Who Does Not Dial Own Phone: "I smelled something funny! It was what was left of the tire."

Did I warn you that this post has no particular point? Oops. No: It is simply a tiny, odd moment while waiting. Although there is a larger lesson here: When you smell something funny, it is OFTEN what is left of the tire.

Hey! You have a great day!

*The handful includes Sears guys--they can call me anything they like as long as they fix my car and I don't have to go back every weekend.

Dear Person Who Was Looking for the Recipe

Dear Person Who Was Looking for the Recipe,

Hi there! From a swift perusal of "StatCounter," I see that you visited Dinosaur Casserole looking for a recipe for "Wonders of the Sea." At this time, I would like to apologize for NOT having this recipe when you washed up on this shore in error.

To make amends, here is the recipe for "Wonders of the Sea" from Enjoy! I am hoping that you will mold the "Wonders of the Sea" into a decorative fish shape, as they recommend. Or, better still, a sea serpent. Could you please make a Wonders of the Sea casserole in the shape of a sea serpent, take a picture, and let me see it? That would be simply smashing.

Okay! Ready? You will need A LOT of Saltines, so you'll probably have to pop by the supermarket first to get those and, oh, a few other odds and ends. For example, do you have pimentos on hand? I don't. I'm not sure I recommend that you buy those for this, either, because you KNOW they'll sit in your fridge 'til 2012.


1/4 lb. saltine crackers (or more) crumbled & moistened with water

To this add and mix well:
1 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. grey poupon mustard
3/4-1 c. mayonnaise (WOW that's a lot, huh?)
9-10 oz. can tuna, flaked up (Optional. Sparkle Sez: That's good because I don't know what "flaked up" means, unless do you think it means "teasing" the tuna with a fork?)
1 can white crabmeat
1 can minced clams
1-2 pkg. frozen sm. shrimp, thawed & rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 med. onion
Chopped 1 med. green pepper
Chopped 1-2 ribs celery
Chopped 2 tbsp. celery leaves
1/2 c. salad olives (green stuffed with pimento, broken)
1 pimento, chopped (Sparkle Sez: DON'T DO IT! DO NOT BUY THAT CAN OF PIMENTOS! STAY STRONG.)
1 c. sherry (or white wine)
12-14 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1-1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. black (ripe) olives
Sliced 4-5 water chestnuts, chopped (Sparkle Sez: ADD MORE OF THESE--THEY'RE GOOD)
2 lg. brown eggs, beaten to light & frothy
Peanut oil

Crumble crackers, sprinkle with water. Add parsley, tarragon and curry powder, mustard and mayonnaise; mix well. Mix seafoods and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add to cracker mixture. Add chopped onion, green pepper, celery, pimento stuffed green olives, black olives, water chestnuts, celery leaves, Tabasco sauce, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, pimentos and the sherry. Work this all together well and add the 2 eggs, beaten until light and fluffy. Mix well.

Scallops (bay or deep sea) are a nice addition when in season.

Oil well a big casserole with peanut oil, and fill with the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 30 minutes more at 300 degrees. Garnish with sprigs of parsley and lemon wedges.

Note: For a buffet, this can be molded in the shape of a fish, with black olive eyes, lemon slices for fins, etc. (Sparkle sez: NO! PLEASE MAKE IT IN A SEA SERPENT SHAPE INSTEAD? PLEAAAAASE?) Also nice for a pot luck. This one's truly worth the effort! (Sparkle sez: It better be.)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Hmm, on Second Thought..." Tuesday

A neighbor drove by me while I was walking the dog yesterday. The neighbor tooted the horn: "Beep beep!" and waved in a mighty friendly way--~wave~wave~wave--
a bright red wooly mitten telegraphing warmth, season's greetings, and neighborly good cheer.

My Left Hand: Busy holding dog leash.
My Right Hand: Busy holding bag o' dog poo.
My Decision: Quick! Wave bag o' dog poo in friendly way! ~wave~flop~wave~flop~wave~

Mistake? Quite possibly. Does waving a bag o' dog poo really say "Season's greetings"? I am not convinced it does. That makes today "Hmm, on Second Thought..." Tuesday. Have a good one!

Friday, December 11, 2009

But doesn't an oasis usually go in the DESERT?

"To me, an Oasis will forever mean: Hope, Crosby, an overly amorous camel, and a whole lotta sand. Sorry, I can't be swayed on this point. Anyhoo, Sparkle wants me to put this in. I disapprove. But, what are you gonna do?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Rex: "Hi, everybody! The super-cruise ship known as Oasis of the Seas has many superlatives associated with it!" 

Nat: "I disapprove of superlatives. If you advertise, it's good to say stuff is crappier than it is--then people can be surprised and be all, "This isn't crappy! Why this is almost great!" Low expectations. I thrive amongst low expectations. Of course, no expectations are even better." 

Rex: "Where was I? Hi, kids! So, Oasis of the Seas has many superlatives! And, these superlatives make it an awful lot like this blog. Let me give you some examples!"
Fact: Oasis of the Seas is "The largest and most revolutionary cruise ship at sea!" 
Fact: Dinosaur Casserole is "The largest blog featuring small plastic dinosaurs in cyberspace until someone tells us otherwise! While it is not revolutionary, it probably has something to do with evolution--loosely speaking!"
Nat: "This is stupid."

Rex: "Awesome, huh? Here's some more!"
Fact: The Oasis of the Seas features "...the first zip line on a cruise ship, a thrilling 82 feet ride (25 meters), in the Sports Zone [neighborhood], suspended nine decks above the Boardwalk!" 
Fact: Dinosaur Casserole will never have a zip line of any kind. That is so. However, Sparkle Plenty, creator of Dinosaur Casserole, has been quoted as saying "NO! I am super sure I won't ride the first zip line on a cruise ship--possibly any zip line on OR off any cruise ship."

Nat: "Coward. Dude, this is now painful. I gotta get outta here. I'm grabbing the "S" from the banner--despite its dubious strengths as a flotation device--and am-scraying."

 Rex: "Yes. I, too, find striking similarities between the Oasis of the Seas superlatives and those of Dinosaur Casserole!"
Fact: "The AquaTheater features first-ever acrobatic, synchronized and high-dive performances on the high seas with a talented cast of Olympic and National Collegiate Athletic Association divers." 
Fact: "Sparkle Plenty went to college. She can pretty much swim. At least she could do so the last time she went swimming. Yeah, possibly the water wings helped, but she was super afloat. She did not super drown! And, her performance was enjoyed by MANY. Including the toddler who rescued her!"

Nat: "AUGH!"

Rex: "So, to wrap up, I'll share two more astonishing superlatives; they are sure to astonish you."
 Fact: "Oasis of the Seas is the first ship to feature not one, but two FlowRiders in the Sports Zone."

Nat: "Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh! This is AWESOME!"

Rex: "YEAH! It IS awesome!...Wait...what is awesome?"
Nat: "Why why why...Never did I DREAM this was possible! The ship is gonna have two low riders?!!!! THIS IS IMMENSE! D'you think it's my friends, Hector and Manny? 'cause Hector has a sweet, tricked-out Impala and Manny's got that fiiiiine Lincoln Continental and...ALL MY FRIENDS LOVE A LOWRIDER!!! This is possibly the only thing I've ever approved of--next to the Floating HoJo's."
Rex: "FLOWrider...the first technology that allows the fun and excitement of surfing."

 Nat: "Excuse me. I must retreat and recalibrate my expectations."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fact: The Oasis of the Seas Has Seven Godmothers!

"Hey! Good morning! Grab your cup of coffee and hold onto your hat, 'cause I'm about to tell you all about The Oasis of The Seas Seven Godmothers!!! There are seven 'cause the ship is awesome big and this is a super-innovative, super-cool approach to honoring the ship's "seven distinct neighborhoods!" What are the neighborhoods? Sure! I'll tell ya: Central Park, Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place, and Youth Zone!"
"What the hell kinds of names are these for neighborhoods? Okay: Central Park. Okay maybe: Boardwalk--if we are playing Monopoly. But, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center Neighborhood? What kinds of ethnic restaurants will I find in this neighborhood? I don't even wanna think about the kinds of block parties they'd have. Carrot juice. Everybody would be walkin' around with fun flasks of carrot juice."
"Did you hear a little annoying squeak? Yeah, me too. Anyhoo! Here are the seven godmothers of the Oasis of the Seas: Daisy Fuentes, Shawn Johnson, Gloria Estefan, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour, Dara Torres, and Keshia Knight Pulliam! These seven awesome ladies were selected because they 'personify strength of character, exemplify the spirit of giving, and are role models for men, women and children alike!' Yaay! Let's hear it for these seven great gals!"
"I reject all seven godmothers. And, I shall replace them with:
1) Cher: Because she is three godmothers in one--gypsy, tramp, and thief.
2) Celine freakin' Dion: She was born to wear a sporty little yacht cap and hang out in the Entertainment Place and they are shying away from her because of the Titanic tie-in. Fess up, Oasis of the Seas: You are shying away from Celine Dion...Canadian, Humanitarian, and Logical Choice #1 for a Cruise Ship Godmother.
3) Okay, we can keep Dara Torres because she can help us swim to safety.
4) We are adding Tanya Harding. Show some guts, Oasis of the Seas! Give a gal--an athletic, strong gal who exemplifies a gritty kind of survivor courage that could be an example to the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood--a chance. Moxie, initiative, and some strong Foxy Boxing skills. She's a lock.
5) OPRAH. Hello? What are you thinking, Oasis of the Seas? Pick a great big-hearted gal for a great big ship. She has Royal Promenade written all over her, dudes. Plus, she'll be a retiree soon and she won't have to be a greeter at Walmart if you hire her.
6) Newswoman Ann Curry--the only news anchor I trust to calmly and humorously tell me that the ship is sinking and I need to find Dara and Tanya to row me to shore.
7) Deceased comedians George Carlin and Mitch Hedberg. In drag. I don't care how many rules I am breaking with this controversial selection. They're a lock for Godmother #7. Wait. I need a Godmother for the Youth Zone. Crap. Okay, I'm adding Dick Cheney in drag as the Godmother for the Youth Zone because he will scare the crackers out of the wee ones and make them fall into a frozen silence, allowing me to enjoy my Mai Tais in peace.
8) Connie Selleca. It is a personal choice that I do not have to explain. It's a big freakin' ship. Make room for her. See? Now THAT'S a list of seven godmothers!"
"Sometimes it is challenging to be your friend, Nat."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Okay, it's real simple, see?

This here? It's a gourd that looks like a duck. It's a duck gourd.
This is the Awe-Inspiring Wall o' Gourds, Suffused with the Pink Light of My Dying Camera (C'mon, I felt your pulse quicken there...Awe-inspiring, right? Wall O' Gourds...let it roll off your tongue...)
Windowboxes...uh, featuring gourds. I might have a little "gourd issue," come to think of it.
Beauty Berry! See, the great thing about beauty berry's beautiful, it has berries.
This is the best post ever. Stay tuned for more gourds! I swear I have ones that look like Flash Gourdon, Gourdon Lightfoot, and Gourdon Jump.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Check out this blog: Dave Pimentel's Blog ("Drawings From A Mexican"). I love how Dave draws.

Have fun! Hope you get all the best candy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lily Day!

And, here's Lily herself with some timely commentary:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009


...and I am shamelessly promoting this fact. Everywhere. In fact, you might want to watch the sky; an airplane with a banner proclaiming that it is my birthday will be flying over the entire U.S. and parts of Canada soon.

A Salient Sum-Up of The Facts As We Know Them:
1) It is my birthday.
2) I am older than I was yesterday.
3) I have a vicious case of poison ivy that closely resembles acne and an interesting cold/flu.
4) It is my birthday.

Sometime soon, I'll have something interesting and dinosaur-related up--or, you know, something esoteric and head-scratchy or laugh-out-loud funny. We'll see.

Until then: IT IS MY BIRTHDAY TODAY. CATCH MY BIRTHDAY FEVAH and do somethin' nice for yourself today (and don't get poison ivy).


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Last year, the birds ate most of the raspberries on the bush in the side yard. This year, I got all the birds together (harder than you would think, they're all "There's a worm over there!" and "I gotta go chase a blue jay!" and "I think I'll fly into that window and get dazed!") and told them: "Look, have at the raspberries. I mean, pick the bush clean like you did last year. I don't have time to foil you; I don't have time to pick 'em; I don't have time to eat 'em." They responded by ignoring the bush. Here, have a berry:
I suspect my camera is dying. But, let me tell you: as it does so, it is taking some very intriguing photographs.

Here's the "Guacamole Hosta." The deer dig it, the slugs dig it, but it's holding its own and flowering impressively now (and every time I say "guacamole hosta" I feel like I should be putting out some chips and salsa with it).
Here's the "Guacamole Hosta" after my camera has its way with it (I like to call this "texture-y"):
Here's a basic picture of hangin' plants...a little rosy looking, but maybe it's the light?
Ooh, maybe it's not the light after all?
Ten dollars to whoever can pretend this picture is modern art and come up with the best interpretation of it. Or, if you're not into that, have another berry and relax.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sparkle Spielberg Presents...

*The role of the Migratory Transient is played by Susan of ArtSpark Theatre's decorated stick. THANK YOU, SUSAN!
**Lily's doin' okay--goin' back to the vet today. Hopefully after then I can give her the elizabethan collar to chew up.
***Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009


I had such bold plans for chia week. I had the photos of the chia house, the chia car, and the dude from Oregon wearing his chia codpiece. I was gonna put up a clip of the old Chiammercial from Youtube...I was going to post exciting new videos made with my new FlipTM camera--a chia-related video, a this and that video--and all this la la la. Instead, my poor puppy had a major health mishap. She's much better now and on the mend, but it has been a bad time. (Plus: I kept finding her staring at me and looking like an angry little pioneer woman in a sunbonnet. Or a woeful little pioneer woman in a sunbonnet. Neither was good.) I figure maybe I'll put the thing on that she has to wear (doesn't come off til next week)--the "Elizabethan Collar"TM--after she's all better to make her feel like she was a trendsetter.
Anyhoo, thanks for all of the great comments on the chia post, and a big thanks and shoutout to Dr. Margaret Conover for leaving a comment and providing the link to her site.