today was the big day of the my actual date with lillian the albertosaur!...
the only thing is it really didn't go quite according to how i imagined it...
at least it wasn't a disaster like my first attempt at courting her back in drumheller!
the problem is despite all the planning and imagining i'd done on how to make this first date with lillian perfect, there was one problem (well and many smaller ones too... who knew translating dream into reality would be so hard!)... whatever professor paradigm did to me during that "check up" yesterday (i'm thinking the magic test!) it made me tired as...
i crashed the instant i got back into my hotel, and slept in till just before i was supposed to meet up with lillian!!!
i barely had time to comb my teeth and brush my scales! worst of all i had no time to prep or gather up any of the stuff for my perfect date...
while i scurried around trying to get ready, and simply NOT be late... across town, melbourne australia was getting quite a shock. a full grown albertosaurus wandering down the street. though not as impressive as say my cousin larry walking down the road, lillian still isn't something to blink at. being 9 meters long and weighing over a ton lillian was not something the average car wanted to run into!
that and the average aussie (much like the kiwis) had never dreamed of seeing a live breathing tyrannosaurid wandering down the street! there were a lot of traffic reports on the radio about anywhere lillian passed through this afternoon...
at least unlike larry, lillian was fully aware of traffic rules (like stop signs and red lights) so technically none of the accidents that happened around her were actually her fault...
not that that did much to make the melbourn(ians?) any happier with us tyrannosaurids...
in the end i was able to make it to our meeting spot in front of the museum with in the end 6 minutes and 13 seconds to spare... but whose counting? (okay i can't LIE to you people of the innerweb! i was counting!!!)... before lillian showed up.
the single moment of my life i'd dreamt of the most was finally here... and man it was over quick! seriously people of the web wide world... you picture and imagine it so much that you think the moment will last equally long as your wait for it, and instead. ZIP its gone in a flash...
like that i was in the presence of the girl of my dreams, and rather than the smart cool line i'd imagined saying (i couldn't tell you what the exact quote is... stupid fake cool factor of the imagination leading me to think those lines are easy to come up with on the fly!) i instead said. "hello."
fortunately lillian didn't seem to mind or notice, and returned the greeting in her very elegant, but yet usual cold manner. that's the thing with big star dinosaurs, they're usually ridiculously guarded as they don't want anyone else (as in dinosaur) to find a way to scoop away their position in the human world. so their usually pretty gruff and unapproachable. thus making lillian a tricky one to read.
lillian asked if i had anything in mind for the day... i told her the truth about how i was going to come up with the perfect day, but the professor's magic test had put me to sleep all night.
"magic, i see," she regarded me oddly. "and this was going to be the source of a 'perfect day'," lillian stated back slightly sarcastically.
oh man. females are tough... which i mean in a real sense people of the innerweb. in tyrannosaurids it is the women who are the tough macho types.
also have to remember that maybe when it comes to screwing up a date, don't tell the truth about how you mucked up your plans. rather lie, and pretend you know what you're doing presenting it as a surprise. than you'll look pro. or at least so i figure now after the fact.
i suggested we wander the city in place of my non-plan. neither of us had had much of an explore of melbourne and today seemed like as good a day as any.
during this walk we had a quick catch up about our lives since last we saw each other at the tyrrell... mercifully lillian avoided the subject of my awkward courtship attempt.
my story you already know people of the innerweb through this blog of course...
lillian's went something like this.
about 6 months after i was fired, she was too. though the tyrrell museum claimed it was because they were going in a different direction with their displays, in reality it was due to the pack of the primordial feather's interference. the only proof you need is that lillian was simply replaced with a bunch of different albertosaurs... not even a different type of tyrannosaurid! these albertosaurs were pack affiliated ones though... which was the point.
lillian was thus exiled much like i had been, but unlike me she had much further to fall. i'd been the lowest dinosaur on the museum's totem pole (come to think of it why wasn't i squished?). lillian had been the jewel of the crown. for her being ejected from the museum was much harder. especially given the competitive nature of the other dinosaurs in town. they all hated her due to her former success, and the pack went out of its way to make things more difficult for her.
lillian bounced from dead end museum gig to desperate theme park appearance all across north america, only to be told shortly after starting her services were "no longer needed". they claimed it was due to her lack of popularity, but seriously an albertosaurus' nearly identical appearance to a t-rex is the most sellable dinosaur you can get. it was the pack following up on their vendetta with her, and following her place to place ruining it for lillian everytime.
just about a year ago lillian was approached by a museum related company called annex co. that was putting together a travelling dinosaur show. it was too good to pass up. not only was she to be the star, but lillian was given a more than competitive contract, and more importantly guaranteed protection from the pack. lillian thought it was a little funny how these people knew about the pack. they also knew her full background, and as she'd never sent them a resume or approached them at all this was strange. still she was desperate at that point. no one would go near her out of fear of the pack exhorting its influence, she had to take the job.
it was at this point as we grew close to the end of the garden that lillian turned to me earnestly. "you traumador," she seemed to address me as mere former co-worker... not potential mate... bummer. "there is much talk amongst the dinosaurs of the world of your confrontation with the pack. tell me more about this."
i'd already told her the story. what more did she want to know?
"you actually told your cousin larry no to the pack's invitation. is that seriously true?" lillian asked.
"well, yeah," i answered unsure of what the right answer was. why would i tell her that if it weren't true.
"amazing," she sounded really really impressed. a good thing on the date so far?... i seriously don't know people of the innerweb. this whole dating thing is new to me. anyone want to let me know if i did the right thing today...
"why's that?" i asked confused. "didn't you tell them you didn't want to join too?"
lillian eyed me deeply from high above me... like a saurian angel. well okay from my vantage... from her point of view apparently she was absorbing my naivety. "no-one tells the pack no," lillian informed me sincerely. "at least until you."
"what? that makes no senses. you're not a member too aren't you?" i wondered out loud.
"it is true what they used to say about you at the tyrrell. you never were the most associated in the bonebed," that's a dinosaur way of saying i wasn't very smart. lillian was sounding more and more like a tyrannosaurid. insulting and mean... i grew sad for a moment.
"no traumador," she addressed my question. "technically i am a member of the pack."
"what?... you are?... that doesn't make any?..." i spurted out loud. how could lillian, the very essence of hotness in my meagre little existence, be part of larry's little coelurosaur only club?!?
"i joined when they first approached me on my 4th birthday. i thought it would get them to stop bothering me. at first it seemed being a member of the pack was a fancy title only," lillian reflected. "than suddenly they came to me wanting me to do things for them."
"like what?" i wanted to know. the pack's motives and purpose were a complete mystery to me...
"nothing to serious. just for me to use my position and clout with the tyrrell to pressure it into hiring more coelurosaurs. when i refused to help them a few times they stopped asking me. i get the impression they would have asked me to do more, but i wasn't 'enough with the cause'. whatever that meant. so they instead worked on cultivating their own influence in drumheller with which to pressure me into cooperating with the pack," lillian answered.
"larry told me that i was fired due to his efforts to get at you," i said aloud trying to connect what lillian was saying with what i already knew.
"that makes sense," lillian pondered for a moment. "the pack doesn't have any actual power within the museum. they just negotiated with the tyrrell's executive."
"members of the pack aren't allowed to find their own postings and jobs. the pack handles all of that, and thus museum's have to approach teresa and her matriarchs to try and work out coelurosaurs for their displays," lillian informed me. "the tyrrell, being in alberta [former home to many tyrannosaurids in the cretaceous], wanted to try and get more tyrannosaurids to attract more visitors. however the pack wouldn't negotiate with them so long as 'the non member tyrannosaur' was allowed to work at the museum."
even with my brain the size of a peanut i saw what had happened. due to the pack's poor wording. "the museum's executive obviously thought that was you, and let you go. teresa was furious to say the least, but there was nothing that could be done. you disappeared almost immediately, and there was no way to contact you. the museum would have given you back your job."
WHAT?!? i could have gotten my job back at the tyrrell!!! why did i have to learn this... sure i probably would have lost it shortly after i refused the packs offer had i still been there (if i'd refused come to think of it... i've seen enough sci-fi movies to know that changing something like that in the past would change everything else!), but i could have avoided that whole period of pain after my being fired.
than it occurred to me. i'd disappeared trying to find the 65th million block in BC (british columbia for the record). while in vancouver i'd run into larry. why didn't he redirect me back to the tyrrell if it was in the pack's interest?
lillian told me as though i was a hatchling. "this is larry we're talking about, traumador. it's not exactly a secret he doesn't like you. he probably was hoping you'd stay gone..."
"than why did he visit me a year later," i asked as though lillian would know. she was right. larry didn't like me. his visiting me was way out of character, what with his trying to be nice and not be a JERK!
"traumador, larry is a male like you. neither of you could be in charge of the pack even if you wanted. his mate teresa is both his true master and the pack's," she rebuked slightly annoyed at my question. "she wished you in the pack, and thus she sent emissary she could trust. who more trust worthy than the father of her offspring. the bonus being he has a close connection to you."
"as for me," lillian carried on, though to be honest i hadn't asked her to talk about herself yet. i wonder why she did that? "the pack came back after your termination and offered the museum a troupe of lesser known albertosaurs to replace me. the museum's executive jumped on it when the pack offered the four for only a slight increase in my pay. with the various movie exploits of the tyrannosaurs and raptors of their ranks, the pack has no shortage of resources."
this long kinda heavy discussion led us both to be a little thirsty. so we took a quick stop at a nearby pond to rehydrate. hydration is key after all!
while lillian continued to drink after me, i after all being 1/10th her size didn't need anywhere near as much water, i gazed upon her beauty. i mean just look at the picture people of the web wide world. SO hot!!!
however i had worries. despite how well this interaction with lillian was going compared to those i'd had with her at the tyrrell, it wasn't what i'd hoped for.
than again i'd never been on a date before, nor had i liked any theropod but lillian. how was i supposed to know what to expect.
i just couldn't help but feel lillian still thought she was better than me. in more ways than one.
she constantly was pointing out how much smarter than me she was, and would correct or scold me when i made one of my trademark errors in logic. also lillian wouldn't stop with pot shots at my size, and the things she could do with her larger height, weight, and strength that i couldn't.
it was a real downer... i'd hoped out of all the other dinosaurs out there lillian would understand me... not because i have a killer crush on her... but because me and her have so much in common. we're both exiled and hated by our own kind. we both lost the only home we'd ever known, and the same former home to boot! we both have had to fend for ourselves in the tough human world, living in the shadows of proper tyrannosaurus rexs...
yet it didn't feel like we connected on any level the entire day. that is till just before we departed.
we'd made it to the harbour front, and had a glorious view of the cityscape. despite what i'd imagine to be a very romantic setting, lillian was clearly getting bored and would wander away to look at things by herself. i was losing hope...
just as she was going to go off on her own again, i sighed a loud. "i guess i should think about something to eat."
suddenly lillian perked up a bit, and turned towards me. "what do you have in mind?"
wait what? she wanted me to suggest something for dinner... together?!?
i'd meant food for just me, since i figured she wanted to call it a da(te...)y. instead she thought i meant food for both of us.
i'd given up hope however, and didn't think i could salvage anything from today. lillian the albertosaur, the apple of my eye for some many years, only thought of me as someone she used to vaguely know from a time long gone...
"oh i don't know i guess we could get a cow or sheep," i half heartedly suggested. i was fighting off crying in front of her.
"really?" lillian responded in disgust. causing me to snap out of my self pity. "you seriously eat live animals like the other savages in the pack?" she asked.
"no," i responded honestly. "i just meant stopping by a butcher shop or grocery store. how could a little thing like me take on a goat, that alone a cow? i'd have no idea how to hunt something if my life depended on it."
"me neither!" lillian exclaimed excitedly. "i received no end of grief from both other theropods about my not killing my food. even some in the tourism department at the tyrrell wished i'd take up hunting so they could have public showings of me eating..."
"ew," i responded. "don't get me wrong a carnosaurs got to eat and all, but to kill something like that yourself. it just perpetuates the tyrannosaur stereotype."
lillian was intrigued as to what i meant by the tyrannosaur stereotype. i explained to her my theory on how we tyrannosaurs, though perfectly evolved to be killing machines, have to adapt to our new reality 65 million years later in the modern world and move beyond our killing past. otherwise the humans will constantly fear us, and as of such never accept us as equals and worse keep us contained within confined realms like museums and theme parks.
lillian was really impressed. "you honestly thought of this yourself?" she voiced her last bits of doubt.
"yeah," i said modestly. i was expecting some harsh come back, and a jeer about how i was wrong and how much smarter she was than me.
"i'd never thought of our problems that way before," she digested what i'd said. "do you think about such things often?"
"well, come to think of it. hey, pun intended!" i joked off my own wording. lillian giggled at my bad pun (well okay growled... we dinosaurs don't really laugh naturally). "i do think about human dinosaur relations a lot. i just really wish we could all get alone better, and that we dinosaurs could be given a chance to prove ourselves in this new world!"
"i'd love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject," lillian insisted.
what you know people of the web wide world. a date that looked like it was about to crash and burn any moment ended up going several more hours. in the end we ordered a lot of chicken wings... a LOT of chicken wings... to be delivered to us there at the harbour front. lillian hunkered right in, and we talked till both of us had to go...
it turns out lillian isn't such a typical tyrannosaurid afterall. her constant exposure and interaction with humans in the tyrrell had given her new insights on the tiny mammals that none of our other carnivorous relatives had had. a large part of her resistance to the pack was the sense she got that the coelurosaurs regarded humanity with hatred and loathing.
not that lillian didn't have her qualms with them (i know that honestly i do too), but she didn't see her being stuck in a museum as them oppressing us. rather it was the circumstances that caused this arrangement. our time on this world was supposed to have ended millions of years ago, but some unknown mechanism allowed a few of us to make it into the present as "vivus-fossils" to intrude into the human world. what were they to do? we couldn't be given the world back for any number of reasons. some right and many wrong, but still it couldn't be done. where else to put us but with the rest of the past...
lillian confessed to me that she'd always struggled with her affinity to humans. all the other tyrannosaurids of the world had mocked her for her weakness when it came to people. even the herbivorous dinosaurs taunted her prowess due to her lack of visible aggression (something the plant eaters expected a scary theropod to show). every now and than she had pondered abandoning her yearning to coexist with humans and give into the tyrannosaur stereotype. she'd wondered if perhaps she were insane or defective due to no other dinosaur sharing her viewpoint... that was till today.
"you give me hope traumador," she eagerly informed me in the middle of our heart to heart. "i am not alone in feeling this way. i feel i have someone else i can confide in."
she found my take on dinosaur to dinosaur interaction refreshingly similar to her own. not that i was as ground breaking here. she'd come to the conclusion long before i hatched that we surviving dinosaurs were a competitive lot.
it was midway through this conversation that we realized is was going into the evening and that we both should depart. however lillian insisted we met again tomorrow evening for another "get together", and continue our conversation than.
as a conclusion she noozled the top of head. the tyrannosaurid equivalent of a kiss on the cheek!!!
can believe that people of the innerweb?!?
not only did i have a date with lillian the albertosaur, but i have a second date with lillian the albertosaur!!! i think i'm going to pass out thinking about it!