The Sleeping Fishes

The WordPress, Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is Fish.

This works out almost perfectly since I was just thinking about our pet fish. 

We have quite a few guppies. All of them are descendants of fish we got many years ago at my daughter’s after-school-care program.

They had both male and female guppies. Only they called them Glowfish. Again with mislabeled items. I think they purchased them someplace that had the wrong fish in the tank or vice versa. But actual Glowfish reproduce by laying eggs. These fish produce live young. Glowfish also glow. These do not glow, not even under special lighting, but they can be colorful.

Along with producing live young and the lack of glow, many parents commented, “oh, they look just like guppies.” 

And, indeed, they are guppies.

With all the live young, the after-school program had a fairly steady supply of fish for the kids to see and also for feeding to a small pet crab (of some sort) that lived in their aquarium too.

They also had extra fish that the kids could take home with them from time to time. So we did. And we got both male and female fishes because somehow I thought that would be such a cool thing.

It was. For a while.

Many, many fish later, I’ve tried to separate the females from the males and put a halt to the fish population (that also bread at least once with a pet-store guppy that gave all the subsequent offspring more color variations). 

So we still have lots and lots of fish. And, what a lot of people may not know is that fish sleep. 

I walked in on them again earlier this evening and got a little weirded out. 

At night when it’s dark, they stop moving and just hover in the water. It can be a little disconcerting to flip on a light and see a whole tank full of fish not move. They seem so lifeless. It can easily feel like we’ve had a mass die-off. But they gradually wake up if I leave the light on for long enough.

During the day when I walk in the fish are ready for food, so they swim all around and back and forth, much like our cats do when it’s dinner time.  It’s like a feeding frenzy. 

Life is a lot like that. We have times we’re so lively and thrashing about and other times when we just need to be still. And sleep. 

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NaBloPoMo Goes to 11: Cat, Soup, and Towel – Full Circle!

It’s an odd trio, and it’s come full circle. 

On this 11th day of November and of NaBloPoMo I checked out the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt and discovered that the prompt and my blog have come full circle. 
The prompt for today is: An Odd Trio

It says, Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.”

It tasked us with this more than a year ago (has it really been that long?). On July 5, 2914 I posted:

Cat Soup and Towels, an odd trio but only for some More

Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster Time

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for August 22 is, Green-Eyed Monster

It asks: Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship? 

I’m sure I’ve been plenty jealous of a person recently enough, but I can’t think of anybody very specific. At this point of my life, I find that I’m more jealous of situations and circumstances than of specific people.

For example, I’m pretty jealous of people who have lots of free time. I’m jealous of people who travel cool places. I’m jealous of people with larger homes and places to grown things. I’m jealous of people who are good at keeping their homes clean and organized. Sometimes my daughter has a hard time focusing, and takes forever to get homework done. I mean a long time. So I’m pretty jealous of people who don’t have to deal with this very often. I’m jealous of people who are more organized than I am.

In a way it all comes down to time. I’m jealous of people with more time and who use their time better than I do. I wish I used my time more effectively.  I can often look back and think, “Wow, I could have done that so much better if only I did xyz back then.” It’s like I can see it clearly when I look back, but when I look forward my organizational skills can get kind of mushy. So do I act on my jealousy? Maybe. I am acting by striving to use my time better. I’m striving for efficiency. I’m striving for a better here and now. That’s good for all of us.

Daily Prompt: Red Pill, Blue Pill

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for August 21 is: Red Pill, Blue Pill

It asks: If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

If I had to make this choice permanently, I would never give up food. But if I could choose this as an option for certain times of the year or even just certain times of the day then I totally would.

I’ve come close enough to giving up food on the days that I drink meal replacement shakes. Some days are so busy. I still want good nutrition. I feel a lot better when I get something healthy in me. I drink meal replacement shakes and sometimes eat protein bars for breakfast or lunch. That happened a lot this summer and last. So a pill would be helpful when I’m short on time.

But drinking meal replacement shakes has made me realize that there comes a time when I just miss chewing. It doesn’t even have to be a steak or a gourmet meal — just chewing something. It could be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Chewing is part of the satisfaction of eating. And when I do eat a really good meal, oh my god, that can be heavenly! It feels like holding my breath, and finally getting to breathe again. The flavors are elevated over and above what I’d experience if I’d been eating regular food all the time.

I can only imagine meal replacement pills would be similar. I definitely don’t drink meal replacement shakes to relish their flavor or texture. Some of them are just not pleasant. A simple pill and a glass of water would bypass that and be quicker too. But I’d never want to do it all the time.

High Noon, Bye Noon

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for April 5 is: High Noon. It suggests, “at noon today, take a pause in what you’re doing or thinking about. Make a note of it, and write a post about it later.”      

Noon of any weekday I’m usually at work. While this prompt came out on a Sunday, Easter Sunday, I didn’t see it until Monday morning when I decided to check out the Daily Prompt with the hope of re-starting a regular habit of blogging. 

So at noon, I thought, “here it is – noon.” This is the time of day when thoughts of lunch pop into my head. I don’t actually eat lunch yet though. In Westerns it would be time for a showdown, a suspenseful gunfight. Skill and speed. One man left standing. Thinking of lunch seems pretty darn pedestrian in comparison. Will I need to watch out for that sandwich! How fast can I down that salad? Those potato chips can be sharp! And then the clock moves on to 12:01.

Upturned Noses and Glasses and Buns

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is Upturned Noses which asks:

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

I like to try a lot of different foods, so maybe I’m snobbish about that. I don’t quite understand people who refuse to try something new. “What do you mean you won’t try the eel scaloppine with fried mealworms in peanut butter sauce?”

I can probably be snobbish about tea and maybe mead and some kinds of food. Except that, really, I’ll still drink or enjoy just about any kind.

I adore good tea — perfect jasmine green infused with the scent of actual blossoms, not just added flavoring. That’s snobbery talk right there. A Greener oolong that has matured into a delicate floral or a darker robust oolong from Taiwan. Yum! New Darjeeling you think is great? I’ll try that too.

I like a good basic mead — Chaucer’s the kind we can get at our local Renaissance Festival and elsewhere is certainly enjoyable. Fox Hill Special Reserve which is made with a darker honey has a bit of bitterness and a lot of depth. Some Redstone Mountain Mead can be impressive too. It’s real mead made in small batches — some can be bitter and some wonderful. They even date the batches, so you’ll want to get more of the same date if you like a batch. That’s mead for a mead snob for sure.

Unless I’m allergic, it could poison me, or it’s a dish that exhibits unusual cruelty, I’ll usually try any kind of food. I read about a Japanese dish called Ikizukuri where live fish is sliced and served still moving. I think I’ll avoid that, thanks.

But I do love to taste a variety of new things! I love gourmet dishes that have the perfect balance of flavors, colors, and textures, but I also love hot dogs from gas stations that have been roasting on those metal rollers for hours thus reducing water content and enhancing flavors. You do not know a good hot dog if you turn your nose up at those things. So maybe that’s makes me a hot dog snob. Is it wrong to have a hot dog with my beautiful jasmine tea? Maybe. The darker oolong would probably be better with hot dogs.

Time for a One-way Street

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is One-way Street which asks:

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

Aren’t we already riding a giant time machine of sorts? I mean it’s fairly sequential and analog, but we are moving through time and space – sometimes faster or slower (usually inversely proportional to how much we like where we are). The only difference is that we can’t really skip over chunks of time forward or back. We’re locked into a sequence – now must happen before the future and after the past. Future and past touch at this single point.

I’d have a seriously hard time choosing which I’d want to jump to – the future or the past. Presumably which ever machine I choose means I must stay in the time period it takes me since the directions say that machine goes in only one direction. So I can’t return from wherever or whenever.

I’d not want to go far forward. I might miss my daughter growing up. I don’t want to miss any of that. Too far in the past and I risk the same.

I’d love a time machine that could skip back small amounts of time – a few minutes or hours, seconds even – avoid car accidents, evacuate dangerous areas before earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanos, attacks … Maybe jump back a couple of hours to get more cleaning or organizing done because it always takes longer than I want it to. Always!

Going forward in short spurts seems kind of pointless. What, avoid long lines at airports and amusement parks? Seems like a bit of overkill and a waste of technology.

So OK, I guess I do have my answer. I’d get the time machine that goes back in time, but only use it for super short little trips back. It’s not that I want to live in the past — but it would be nice to have a few do-overs for those times that important mess-ups happen in a matter of seconds.

Life In Transit

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is In Transit which asks:

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Sometimes I feel like all of life is just one big transportation station or terminal. We’re all movin’ on through. It’s not a stationary place or at least shouldn’t be. We may have an extended layover in certain places or phases of our lives, but if you stay for too long you risk losing your connecting flight or bus or next phase of life. That’s not really traveling efficiently, right?

As we’re all on a journey of sorts together, I feel like there’s a certain amount of bonding that can happen with our fellow travelers. People give advice or I’ll offer help back. Some people are just fun to talk to. A knowing laugh from a fellow passenger can brighten a crummy day. Many keep to themselves.

There are some who are constantly too loud and don’t know when to stop. Some who put their needs in front of those of twenty or more others just because they want to make sure they’re not cheated somehow. And in the process everybody else gets cheated of a little peace. Those folks are annoying. But, really, if you don’t let them get under your skin they can be entertaining too. I think that’s the real trick. These folks are helpful to remind me how awesome some of the other people can be. There is value in that. I’d have to say that some of my most valued life lessons were from the people who hurt me or bothered me most.

You might ride a train with a woman who has 100 barrettes in her bundled mass of hair and try to figure out if that is, indeed, a large band-aid sticking out from the right side of her sculpted locks. Is it art? A knowing look and a smile from the couple two seats behind her tells you that they too wonder a few things. Then you arrive at your stop and move on.

Welcome, Stranger (In a Strange and Not So Strange Land)

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for Sunday, October 5, asks:

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

Hands down the strangest thing to most people who visit where I live would be the traffic. It is almost nonstop 24-7 traffic jam here. We have lots of jams all the time. And I don’t mean the sweet kind one might put on toast. From about 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM and again from about 3:00 to 6:30 PM folks from out of town who somehow manage to be on the road then will often imagine that there’s some kind of accident up ahead, but no. That’s what it’s like five days a week and some weekends depending on where you’re driving. If there is an accident or if it’s raining or snowing or the wind is kind of strong that day then expect worse. If you’re downtown DC and there’s an event or if some official is traveling somewhere that involves driving with an entourage then you can expect gridlock. They regularly close off streets just because. And off-hours, like 10:00 PM, if road crews are out making repairs or building something new you can pretty much expect a traffic jam then too.

So, there are a lot of things some people might find strange here such as the number of people who look different — from explorative hair colors to piercings to people who dress in the same things they’d wear if they were still in their own country, there’s a lot of variety. I think people kind of expect some of that around here though. I don’t even think I’d call it strange. I enjoy the number of different nationalities — the languages spoken just about anywhere, the different ethnic restaurants we have so many of. Yum!

But jams are the thing. Too few roads and too few transportation options — you’d think we’d have tons of trains or other futuristic options, but not so much — mixed with too many people trying to get somewhere, and pretty soon it’s hard to get anywhere at all. Strange.

Bark or Howl at the Moon

Today’s Daily Prompt from the Daily Post asks:

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg
Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

I will try to rein in references to Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon. I just saw that on Pop-Up Videos so I can’t get it out of my head when I read “Howl at the Moon.” I almost never watch Pop-up Videos — maybe once a year or less. Not sure how that even happened. I think Dave might have turned it on. A little dose of the 1980s isn’t the worse thing in the world for us. My daughter had no clue why we found it so entertaining. The comment bubbles on Pop-up asked if animals even bark at the moon at all. They concluded that wolves to not and apparently Ozzy was dressed as a wolfman or werewolf, so the video was just wrong. There you have it. Pop-up Science.

Is howling at the moon much different than barking? Does it matter what kind of animal you are? Not all animals bark or howl. Can I just meow at the moon? Maybe howling comes from deeper within than barking. Is it more guttural? Maybe it’s inspired by something more specific — a light, either inner or outer. Glow. I mean any old dog can bark at just about anything, right?

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