Archive for the ‘ tidbits ’ Category

Making It Count

Today’s world spins on returns.  What will you get back from what you invest?  Is your profit margin high enough?  Can you administer yourself and continue to proliferate on your current ratio of input to output?

I’m sick of all these questions.

I spent much of my evening giving meticulous methylene blue swabs and dips to an ailing gourami fish, my Rochester, and working on water quality for three guppies and two snails—Aramis, Porthos, Athos; Hikaru and Kaoru.  All of the above will die at a ripe old age within the next 24 months.  Each will have cost me an average dollar amount that is astronomical in proportion to physical size.  And yet, I find it worthy.

There’s a generosity of spirit and selflessness that comes with keeping pets.  And believe me, this is not me tooting my own horn: at quarter past midnight, measuring pH and mineral content isn’t what I’d call exhilarating.  But it is peaceful in a way because it frees one from the stress of self-performance and into something grander than the webs we humans spin.

And I’m thankful to be untangled once in a while.

Piccolo the Algae-Eater's perspective on my life

Piccolo the Algae-Eater’s perspective on my life

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Bundling Smalls

My family watches this lovely show on the History Channel called American Pickers.  In short, I greatly admire the show’s premise: assigning value.  It’s a positive practice, assigning value.  Antique shops have the right idea when they describe their activity as “appraising” or “appreciating.”  Reinforcing the elements of worth in an item and its history brings a sense of respect and meaning to pieces of our lives that can easily be overlooked or forgotten.

While I’ve certainly grown in appreciating objects around me, I’m going to take a moment and bundle together the smalls (seconds) of my day into a package deal that I think is worth celebrating 🙂

  • waking up to the sun shimmering through my blinds
  • small little chirps of my parakeets, unsure if I’m awake yet to hear them
  • sitting down on  a hand-embroidered seat cushion made by my grandmother to write a letter at a ladies desk I inherited from her
  • wishing my dad a happy fathers’ day
  • sealing a letter with a heart-shaped sticker
  • getting sweaty on the badminton court
  • diving into the pool, even though I knew it would be a shock of coolness
  • slobbery kisses by my friend’s dog
  • laying on my back on concrete, staring into a sky with flitting bats and the fading sun
  • rescuing a toad from the puppy
  • a game of Twister
  • riding home in my dad’s pick-up with all the windows rolled down
  • hair that smells like curl cream, sweat, bug spray, chlorine, and sunshine
  • snuggling into bed for a good night’s sleep

Sweet dreams!

enjoy the shining moments

enjoy the shining moments

Just Keep Living, Just Keep Living

Finding Nemo was never my favorite movie, but I must admit that I loved Dory.  There was something so genuine about her embrasure of the moment.  Surely no one else can claim to live so “in the now”!

Her little sing-song phrase “Just keep swimming” came back to me today as I watched my gourami, Rochester, picking through the aquarium rubble for his dinner.  He’s battling a pretty serious bacterial infection at the moment, one that his species is particularly susceptible to.  It attacks even in the best of circumstances, with ideal water parameters.  That’s what happened to Rochester.

But despite the agonizing medicine baths to which I’ve been subjecting him, he’s hanging in there.  He just keeps living.  Animals are like that: they don’t just give up.  Life is the imperative, the absolute before which everything else must bow.  They have to silly pride to hold them back from being fully invested in the simple 60 seconds of a minute.

Dory and Rochester just keep living–and that clear, perhaps sentimental, idea is what makes it worth coming home to an aquarium at night.  I will get up in the morning and just keep living, just keep living…

Snail Eggs!

Ok, I’m not gonna lie.  This post is gross—especially compared with my theatrical contemplations.

But I think it’s funny how even the mundane things can occupy your mind: such as the fact that my snails have laid eggs!

Yes, nice gooey bunches that look like a science experiment gone horribly wrong.  But, so applesnail.net tells me, in a few weeks (or less, thanks to this recent heat wave), I’ll have dozens of tiny miniatures of my adult snails foraging through the mire of my five gallon tank.  In preparation for their arrival, I’ve been instructed to encourage algae growth, so the little guys won’t have far to travel for their first few meals.  It makes me think of Charlotte’s web and all the disgusting and yet strangely beautiful spiderettes floating through the air on their silken parachutes.  They’re a lot cuter than my snail eggs at the moment, so you can look at a picture of them while you read this post.  I’ll leave the ugliness of invertebrate reproduction to your sordid imaginations.

When the cute baby snails are ready for their ‘welcome to the world’ portraits, you’ll be the first to know.

Correction: Here’s a picture of the parents-to-be, since I can’t find a good image of Charlotte’s babies.

Hikaru and Kaoru, my apple snails (yes, I named them after two boys, their true identities unbeknownst to me at the time)

Hikaru and Kaoru, my apple snails (yes, I named them after two boys, their true identities unbeknownst to me at the time)

A Simple Song

Spring Street Atlanta

October Ran Away With November

{my fingers play}

7:12 p.m.

7:12 p.m.

Creeper

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’re walking down the parking lot and there’s someone following you.  At first you don’t think of it because lots of cars roll slowly through a lot looking for the next available space.  But then you realize that they aren’t passing you.  They are just idling behind you—creeping along at an unnaturally slow pace for a metal vehicle with hundreds of horses under the hood.

So you begin to speed up slightly—mind you, this is all happening within a split second, maybe two.  Your pace is now unnaturally faster than the ordinary person returning to their parked car, but you want to keep it just shy of utter panic.  The driver of the creeping vehicle must never know that you’re onto them.  Somehow you think your ignorance will be a shield in the time of distress.  Drawing attention to their distress-causing behavior may incite them to increase escalate said behavior.  God forbid.

Now you’re slightly jogging and even going so far as to attempt the whimsical “glance over the shoulder.”  Oh, boy.  That was risky.  And, of course, for all your stealthiness, you didn’t get a single impression of the driver.  There’s no way the perpetrator would ever be identifiable by the kind of picture the sketch artist would produce when you recounted the story under great duress at the local precinct.  Oh, no.  It’s over.

Then, suddenly, as you pass the last despicably dim, outrageously lofty street lamp on your row you realize—with great relief and slight pressure of apprehension lest your hope prove false—that your car is parked two rows over.  Two whole rows, though which your tiny human body can maneuver on a dime but the large bootlegger motorcar with its bulky sideboards cannot.  It must proceed to the end of the aisle.

You dart through, sure to find your vehicle right where you left it, far away from creeping drivers and glances askance, safely under the tree that’s—

Wait, no!  You didn’t park under the tree today because it was raining!  And when it’s raining—not 100 degrees and sunny—outside, you never park at the back of the lot like usual, you always park up never the front so you can dart with your shiny galoshes across the shorter, straightest path to the awning and arrive semi-presentatlbe for your big quarterly meeting!

And now, the Creeper is turning the corner of your aisle, you’re about to be discovered, not only in your idiocy, but in your total vulnerability.  There’s not even a fuckin’ call box out this far for God’s sake!

So you abandon all veneer of propriety and grip on reality and break out in a dead run for the front of the lot, praying and hoping the whole way that when your body is discovered by the morning news the next day that it’ll be so obliterated by the shot that they could never tell that you were assaulted from behind—running—running away—running—

“Hey, pal, you need a lift?”

And finally you turn around to face your doom: the mall security cop.

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