This page serves as a “Who’s Who?” for Dinosaur Bear. It is a way of helping all of us keep track of the various pseudonyms used here on the blog to discuss some various real life people (or maybe just the people in my head, who knows). Consider this to be Dinosaur Bear’s “cast of characters.”
I’ll update these bios as I progress through the blog and mention new people as well as changing circumstances.
[Last Updated: January, 2020]
Taco: Me, see the “About Me” page for me information.
SB: Silly Billy. My spouse. Interestingly enough, I pretty much never refer to her as “Silly Billy” anymore, it’s just the name I chose for her when I started this blog and now I have no desire to change it. As her nickname would suggest, she is somewhat odd – though so am I. 🙂 She is, however, nicer on the whole and generally more sociable. She has her MSW and is a social worker. She likes teacup pigs – and really most animals. Like me, she was most recently a student at the University of Iceland – because we make unexpected decisions like that. We have now relocated to the American southwest – talk about a change of scenery! Long ago, when asked if anything changed after we got married we said “Nope, not really” – and that answer remains the same to this day: something which we both agree is a very good thing indeed.
Meem: My Mom person. She made me ride a log ride once when I was a child, causing me great emotional distress. But she is coo and I forgive her, unless I want something. Meem raised me to play Ponopoly in Mexican Restaurants, but I didn’t have what it took to play professionally and became a wino. Meem recently transplanted herself to West Coast, leaving behind the Confederate States of America circa 1861. Meem has been my lifelong cheerleader, other than the whole log ride affair, of course.
Dad: My Dad person. He is good peoples and is largely the person I credit for my own work ethic. When I was little I sort of looked like his clone. He always told me to be the best at everything I did. One night in specific he told me that “If you’re going to be a thief, be the best damn thief there is.” I’m now going to be a lawyer, father knows best. Well, maybe I won’t be a lawyer, still not sure on that one. I suppose being a thief is still on the table. 😛
Stepmom: My other Mom person. She is married to my Dad person. Like my Dad she is good peoples. She keeps my Dad from dying of starvation and makes very good BBQ ribs. Her mushroom soup and egg-noodles are known for causing extended periods of sitting at the table. I and I do mean extended periods – as some say little Taco is still sitting at that table to this very day.
Daryl 1: He is the older of my two half-brothers. He is about 12 feet tall and recently graduated college so that he can be a business man (or something) one day. If he makes it big, which I believe he has the potential to, I will be first in line to mooch money from him. I once chased him around the house with a knife and “pallows,” which probably diminishes my chance of money. If I am emotionally barren, then Daryl 1 wears his heart on his sleeve.
DBH: Daryl 1’s wife (Daryl’s Better Half). She is a nurse, which is a good thing (not only because we need nurses) but also because Daryl 1 needs something to take care of him. We are similar in that regard. DBH takes good care of Daryl 1 – even when we probably doesn’t deserve it – and that’s what matters most.
Daryl 2: The younger of my two half-brothers. He is a substitute teacher at a local school. He definitely has a thicker hide than me, I don’t think I could ever be a teacher, especially not for that age group. He had a racoon at one point and I am immensely jealous of that fact.
FIL: Father in law. SB’s Dad person. He buys me comics and beer, he also lets me make fun of SB without recourse: pretty much the perfect father in law. He may or may not be Batman. Recent events have pushed this likelihood more into the “not Batman” territory, but maybe that just means he is really sneaky.
MIL: Mother in law. SB’s Mom person. Up until we moved to Iceland she was the sole parent who still regularly sent us care packages, which was worth at least 100 points in the cool book. Similar to FIL, she provides me with ample stories about a younger SB being.. well.. SB. MIL also deserves a shout out because she (and FIL) have almost unfailingly taken us to and from Chicago when required by SB and I’s various adventures over the years.
BIL: SB’s brother person. I am not entirely sure what he is going to school for, every time I think I’ve figured it out I turn out to be wrong – but I do know it’s science related. In a classic case of sibling rivalry, BIL is going to the school which is arch-enemies with SB’s undergrad school. I like that.
Clifford: Oldest son, a Tyrannosaurus-Rex. He accumulated billions of dollars by investing in electricity before we even discovered it. He believes you have to learn “Responsibility” to get things in life, but never really explains it beyond that. He was born somewhere in the Rocky West about 65 million years ago. He comes and goes as he pleases and got his MBA at the same time SB got her MSW. While he is very independent, he always maintains a secret subterranean apartment which is connected to whatever apartment we currently reside in via a closet (Narnia style).
Tristen: Also a Tyrannosaurus-Rex but still just a baby (but don’t tell him that). He is rowdy and on a constant quest to be “manlies.” Under his self-portrayed rugged exterior, he has a good heart and is smart despite himself. His favorite food is “ricken” (chicken). We are still trying to figure out exactly where he was born, but like his big brother it was likely in the Rocky West. Like me he is a law school graduate and has passed the bar exam as well. He is also a “Reast” (beast) – he wanted me to type that last bit. If we had to pick a “problem child” it would most assuredly be Tristen. 😛
Valentino: Our 3rd child, a smart polar bear cub. He loves the outdoors, snow, swimming and fish (“rushi”), he also has an eye for fashion. He (literally) wears his heart on his sleeve and is very good-natured. He does however get very cranky when tired and is much stronger than he looks. He is also downright dangerous during his “hibernation” season when he becomes a bit feral without proper naps. He was born in Alaska. He obtained his PhD in Forestry at the same time SB got her MSW. He has recently acquired a strong affinity for coffee, and one does not deny a polar bear – even a small one – their affinities.
Pig: Pig (or “Rig” as his brothers call him) is – unsurprisingly – a pig who came to live with us on Easter, 2015. MIL & FIL helped him find us. Pig is pretty chill and likes relaxing and learning about Bónus stores. Pig can perfectly understand English, but due to his vocal cords he still prefers Pig-speak. Pig also likes rooting for things in the couch and really anywhere he can get his nose into. He has obtained his PhD in Agriculture, but his true passion is Yoga. He is a Yoga master with his 3000 hour certification and Mr. Bear is his sensei.
Pigsten: Pigsten is the third T-Rex member of the wide-reaching Taco family. He, and his many siblings, technically came to live with me and Tristen in Denver (Summer 2015), but this little T-Rex hatchling really came into the spotlight when Pig and I were working in New Mexico. Pig was looking for a companion and choose a T-Rex hatchling from our dinosaur nest, and named it Pigsten (Pig + Tristen). Pigsten is a big fan of rocks, construction, and geology – and in a cool twist “Pigsten” is a kind of rock in Danish! Pigsten’s favorite possession is a piece of construction machinery Granda Meem got him and which he uses almost daily. Pigsten has been to many, many places.
Broli: Broli is a hatchling brachiosaurus and is the most recent individual to join our household. Broli came to us in Reykjavík in December, 2017 with some other gifts from one of the Boys’ friends (also a brachiosaurus!) during a holiday gift exchange. Broli is still a little bitty hatchling and he only speaks brachiosaurus and a bit of the common dinosaur tongue. He does however know his name and will joyfully respond whenever you say it. Broli and Pigsten are the best of friends and spend most days together, just two small dinos in a big-big world.
Sinclair: Sinclair – yes, the Sinclair of Sinclair Oil Company Fame – is a brontosaurus who lives with Grandma Meem. We purchased Sinclair for Grandma Meem during our brief time in the Midwest in the summer of 2017 before we moved to Iceland. Grandma Meem (and Tristen) had had an affinity for Sinclair ever since we first saw him during our adventures out west. As such, when SB and I had a chance to bring Sinclair to Meem as a gift, we jumped on the opportunity. Sinclair is now best friends with Mr. Bear and is beginning to learn his clairvoyant ways.
Squirrel Buddies: Nutty, Nuts, and Nutsie. They usually live in our bedroom next to the window (so they can climb out onto any nearby tree for adventures). They are pretty chill. They know a little bit of English but mostly stick to Squirrel-Language. They help keep the apartment tidy with their squirrel-organizational skills. In fact, if things get a little too disorderly they have been known to forcibly straighten things up. I think it’s a squirrel thing.
Lawrence: Lawrence is also a squirrel, but deserves a separate line from the Squirrel Buddies above because Lawrence is our faithful doorman who controls access to our house. Lawrence came to live with us in 2013 and quickly took over the admittedly vacant position of watch-squirrel. Lawrence has dutifully watched over us in many locations. His most recent post has allowed him to acquire acorns; a perk which he greatly appreciates.
Sebastien & Serendipity: The OG Squirrel friends who date all the way back to 2008 or 2009. They are technically slippers for SB, but they’ve long since stopped allowing SB to use them for such menial tasks. They are the most mature (if not the physically oldest) of all our squirrel buddies and are a married squirrel couple. While the other squirrels like to stay active, Sebastien & Serendipity are fine with lazy days – though they tend to be ehm.. “frisky” after long periods of inactivity.
Mr. Bear: He is a friendly brown bear who lives with Meem. He as transcended the mortal plane and freed himself of the physical vices that burden most of us. He shares his enlightened state of nirvana with those who are fortunate enough to cuddle with him. He is Pig’s sensei. As of late, Mr. Bear’s physical form is becoming more and more fluid as his spirit becomes increasingly untethered from his corporeal self.
Flopsy: Descendant of the original Easter Bunny, Flopsy lives with FIL and MIL to take care of the guest bedroom. He primarily stays on top of a dresser in the bedroom, as it is his lofty perch from which to observe the world. He is good friends with Tristen, Valentino, Pig, Pigsten, Broli, and Clifford. He especially likes football and his giant-sized (for him) football is never too far away. Flopsy also tends to sleep over with the Boys at Grandma Meem’s house, because everyone loves Grandma Meem.
Little Friend: The first plant who came to live with us. He was a gift from my Dad and Stepmom in 2008. I believe he is a variant of the Acanthocereus tetragonus cactus species. He was once over 6.5 feet tall before he had to be trimmed down – though he has since returned to that height on more than one occasion. He has a wide range of emotions, but all you really need to know is don’t make him mad. He pretty much runs the kitchen (and soon world). He loves Christmas ornaments and has been known to draw blood if you try to take them from him. Sadly, Little Friend’s original form died while we were in Iceland and he was in the care of MIL and FIL. However, despite his original form’s death, he lives on in his many children – one of which shed an appendage which we were given to start Little Friend anew.
Three Amigos: Three cacti who live together in a pot, also a gift from my Dad and Stepmom. Their names are Pancho, Nacho, and Quixote. All three names were given by SB, which is special in that originally I was the one who named most things. Pancho and Nacho are well behaved young cacti. Quixote however is quite the rapscallion. He likes to grow well beyond his boundaries and abilities. In fact the Three Amigos had to be repotted solely because of Quixote. He also pokes the living hell out of you for no reason. After a recent repotting, Nacho’s mortal coil unfortunately perished, but not before his soul could move into one of Quixote’s second growths – thus ensuring that the three Amigos live on.
Bonsai Buddy Jr: Our household Bonsai Plant, a gift from Meem. He is a Jade Tree of the succulent family. Thich is nice because it means all of our plants have roughly similar care schedules. Bonsai Buddy is the son of Bonsai Buddy Sr. who was killed at the Battle of Bunker hill in the great gnat war of 2013. Bonsai Buddy Jr. is often referred to simply as Bonsai Buddy as a homage to his lineage. Bonsai Buddy Jr. has proved his valor in battle, as he survived a harsh Midwestern winter all while on a back-porch that was below his comfort level for heating.
Rosita: A plant SB received as a gift from her former employer. Rosita seems fairly chill and has settled in nicely with the succulents. I don’t think she likes me that much though as pretty soon after we met for the first time I trimmed her down fairly substantially and she never seemed to forget that. Still, all the subsequent watering sessions have improved our relations. She can normally be found in the middle of all the other plants, I think she likes the limelight. Much like Bonsai Buddy Jr., Rosita provided her heartiness over the course of the recent winter.
The Barley Bros: The Barley Bros are two barley plants which previously existed in two separate pots but which now live together as one entangled barley entity. The Barley Bros started as two barley seeds SB and I picked up during the Guinness Storehouse tour in Dublin over the 2017 Christmas holiday. There were 3 seeds I took, mostly as a joke/souvenir. I gave one to my Dad and one to FIL and kept one for myself. My Dad planted his on a whim a full 9 months after I took it from the Storehouse (and who knows how long it had been there) and wouldn’t you know, it actually grew. So I planted my own and FIL’s as well and sure enough, the Barley Bros were born. My and FIL’s plants now live with us, while the third Barley Bro still resides with my Dad.
Luna: As of this update (January 2020) Luna has yet to be featured on the blog, but I wanted to showcase her nonetheless in case she gets mentioned. Luna is a crassula “moonglow” succulent, which probably helps you understand why we chose the name Luna in the first place! Luna came to live with us when we picked her up during our 10th Anniversary Trip throughout southern Arizona. Luna currently lives in the office with Bonsai Buddy Jr. and the Barley Bros.
Thomas “X”: I say Thomas “X” because Thomas is actually a line of sentient pumpkins who come to live with us in October and have been known to stick around for as long as July. While they were originally Jack Be Little pumpkins, they’ve since branched out into other pumpkin forms and appear to have a darker side and may be part of Little Friend’s plot for world domination. Thomas I was 2014-15, Thomas II was 2015-16, Thomas III was 2016-17, and Thomas IV was 10/2017-4/2018, Thomas V was 10/2018 – 1/2019. Our most recent Thomas is Thomas VI – who came to live with us on 10/5/2019. As you can tell, Thomas “X” is both constant and infinite.
Þórunn, Gunter, and Logi: Our three Icelandic aloe plants! They came to live with us shortly after we moved to Reykjavík. They were itty-bitty babies when we adopted them, and they fit right in on the small table with our router – right next to the big balcony windows! Their names are pronounced “Thor-rin,” “Goon-ter,” and “Low-yay.” We unfortunately couldn’t take them back to the U.S. with us, but they went to live with on of SB’s Icelandic co-workers who is also a plant-nerd and who has three plants named George (George was once one plant that became too large, so he became three Georges) for them to live with!
Aunt Train: My paternal Aunt who lives in Lowell, MA as part of her work for the government. When we still lived in Boston she bought us lots of food and alcohol which was (and is) pretty much the most sure-fire way of getting us to visit! We had to take a train to see her, or vice versa, and thus the name. With any luck, Aunt Train will eventually reside in NOLA with Aunt Sommelier so we can see them both at the same time (just preferably in winter).
Aunt Sommelier: My not-aunt, aunt who lives in NOLA. She is awesome in that she both knows how to make really yummy food as well as where to find cheap really yummy food that other people have made. She also introduced me to the magical world of canned champagne and second lines.