Going into 4 days with no home internet due to outage outside of my…home. Not to mention the snow storm that delayed school and work. And before that my own personal 4 day power outage. This winter has been nothing if not eventful. Still, like most any time of year, the present moments fill with experiences that gather in greatness. It’s all in the attitude, I attest. I feel as though I truly grew into that optimism award I received so long ago as a fourth grader. Those teachers saw what I couldn’t then. But what blinds me now.
The typical day is extraordinary in its own way. Barring major conflict or death. The typical day beckons with offers so irresistible if you listen. It practically screams at me, even as I go about my business in my trim and proper way. A trained monkey set to stray on the routine…..routinely. It happens every day.
Think of this as my personal diary- a run-down of a feeling I’m exploring and trying to….express. Thinking of it as that, I would proceed with the day of the SWAP MEET (1/11/14).
My days in Grand Rapids are like voyages to lands of untold greatness. Fish greatness. Because the city, so much larger than Lansing, hosts so many pet stores of numerous chain origin and small business alike. It brightens my heart as I go from shop to shop cherry-picking the best of the best. I seek bargains and beauty. Beautiful bargains, I might say. Like a shop hop on a smaller scale than those arranged by organizations, it is guaranteed I will come home with something new.
I did bring home much of what I sought. But the meet for fish clubs….my, it’s something. Greatest in value for supplies and plants, I was sure to load up. Nearly 40 tables were filled with the dreams of young aquarists (i.e., me). Old literature lay about everywhere, on subjects from herpetology to marine biology. Even an old shedd aquarium book, displaying the history of the historical building/attraction. It all went for garage sale prices, in the middle of january in the coldest state I can imagine right now. I talked to nearly all the people I bumped into. I’m a friend to many, and many are a friend to me here. I suppose the only fish i gained from the event were tinwini danios. But a small tank, a light, many plants, bloodworm flakes (it’s a thing), mixed shrimp, and a daphnia culture rounded out my purchases. I have many endeavors to attend to. And I keep them in mind on the daily.
Then it was to BLUEFISH AQUARIUM, where the hobbyists meet in a casual way after events such as these. The kid-in-a-candy-shop effect was undeniable. I wanted more than my wallet could handle. And self control…well, that’s a hard entity to bargain with. Two barb species went under “must-have”….but in an eventual timeline. I bought my fire-ring danios on sight. Because my rule of thumb is if it is a danio I do not have under my care, it has to be made to be under my care pronto. Fond childhood memories aside, I loved everything at face value. The other priority species had to be a pair of Indian spiketail paradisefish…for the losses I experienced of spawning adults. They do like to commit piscine suicide. Via jumping out of water. The other thing was a bit of a shot in the dark….a pair of weitzmani tetras for the small price tag and my desires for adventure.
Other shops included VI PETS and CHOW HOUND. At the Jenison VI location, i found ultra-cheap hillstream loaches. January is 20% off fish month there. Too good. Even if the fish are sometimes in questionable condition. At the other location (CUTLERVILLE), I found rabbit snails for so cheap. Yellow and marvelous. And I am certain some captive bred steppe runners must be mine shortly. Another endeavor and for another post. Regardless, I spread the hobbyist cheer wherever I go. And inform of fish clubs and reptile shows and good things.
The last task was the meeting. We have an exciting year ahead of us at GVAC. it is truly the year of the fish. I turned in 2 spawns to start the year strong. Choprae danios and Celestial pearls. And the talk on aquatic plants was uplifting. I wish to experiment there as well. LED workshops and box swaps are in the works. I have two articles half-written. I’m so happy with my hobby, it’s absurd.
Yesterday was the Preuss Pets Holiday Party. Another social experiment and time for merriment. I do feel a bit out of place in my own workplace, but slowly it molds to my form. Slowly I adjust to it. My white elephant gift I gave involved a giant microbe plushie….my gift of choice. Here, have mad cow disease! adorable and fun to say. I got a nice pair of sharpies and gummy candy in return. The nature center offered a complex and stimulating background. Snapping turtles and hissing cockroaches and educational tools awaited the upper level. Below, a crowd of people humming with conversation. Some of it I partake in. Some of it I tune out. It’s an old habit hard to break. But it’s breaking walls, after all.
I have befriended a number of individuals. More yet to convince that I am tame and good company. Relatively. I like to think so.
Today, I have a day chock full of classes and work and business. So much to adhere to. Such a schedule to follow. But if anyone can make the best, it’s me. It’s the fishgeekgirl. I walked up and down grand river after doodling fish and engaging in Ichthyology lecture. I’m a tad too eager there, but I cannot help. Free coffee, free t-shirt, free mints, free coupon books….all perks of going to MSU. Little pieces of enrichment that make the mood lift. Seeing a sign for a good lunch deal, I stopped in foreign territory and sat quietly with my wi-fi, filling out the remainder of my planner and signing away my time happily and readily. The demands are great. But my condition can’t get much greater.
Even after all of this description- I feel I do not do life justice…..I could write a million words on the subject in one breath, with the enthusiasm I contain. Sheer and genuine and wonderful as the highest high.