Stormy night

Spring has arrived, and as they say, April showers have begun to buffet the Midwest. It is thundering now, and I can hear the sudden downpour.  It is a time of contemplation.  It is a time of meditation and purging and cleansing…

It is time to write again.

It struck me that I haven’t written in months, yet my mind has been many places worth writing about.  Physically, even, I’ve been many places. My life as a guest speaker in the aquarium club circuit has taken off, and so I’ve been traveling. Not to terribly exotic places, yet, but even engagements around the state have me on the go enough to be exhausted.  So much to see and to do; always. I’m…terribly exhausted, in general.  On top of my usual mental woes, I’ve discovered a nasty OCD habit worsening.  Now, I look at my food wistfully, as if it weren’t actually in front of me and ready to consume. As if it were in the pages of some 50’s cookbook I scanned once upon a time. There’s this mental block, and I struggle to get around it to stay alive at times.  Which is highly detrimental. I require my energy reserves now more than ever.  The brain can be a fickle thing.

It strikes me in my quest for human contact, a particular thought this evening: I am a stubborn woman.  I am incredibly stubborn.  I know I should look after my basic needs above all else, yet here I am, all ambitious and junk.  Choking on an oreo cookie, because the nerves have gotten to me. I feel like the walls are closing in and I’m running on fumes, at times.  At other times, I feel so happy and accomplished and fulfilled.  That is not now.  Right now, like any other stormy night, I am lonely.  I’ve a trusty cat companion, who provides sweet kisses and not-so-sweet mischief.  But I’m stubborn, and stubborn women rarely submit to men.  It’s a shame, too.  Because I really thought I liked men.  It is a manly thing to be dominant, and I refuse to submit to even my own physical limitations.  So why would I submit for a lover??  I won’t, though nature almost dictates I must.  Human nature cannot evolve fast enough…Not on this night, and probably not ever.

I ponder what my life will be one day. I never imagined it would be what it is now.  For instance, I never thought such basic things like eating would be a challenge or that I would be on a wait-list for anxiety treatment while simultaneously booking talks and trips.  It may be telling, however, that I often think I wouldn’t be alive if humans weren’t so prone to saving their weak.  I think my body is frail, and my genetics not the best. Though I consider myself weak in many regards, I am not the slightest bit reserved in my convictions.  This is apparent. There was a time I might’ve changed myself for a man, but I didn’t. Now I know I couldn’t.  Though women being strong willed and empowered is encouraged nowadays, it still doesn’t solve a residual dominance men expect to exert. They subconsciously desire dutiful women who look pretty for them and bare children. The reality may be that I scare men off with my convictions and stubbornness without even trying. If that’s the case, I suppose I could imagine more cats in my future….

Stubbornness will be the death of me.






The Things that Enrich You

The snow is falling more intensely today, piling the earth in winter dormancy.  I’ve already experienced many travels despite this, and despite not actually having a car to call my own.  I’ve begun to assume use of a loaner, and in a sense I still feel unstoppable.  Of course, that could be the loosened muscles in me speaking since a massage earlier restored elasticity.  I feel well, and it’s in proper order for this reboot.  I do not find this to be a false sense of security; I’m assured I am as on track as I could hope, at least for now.  That could also be the food in me speaking, as it nourishes my soul.  Whatever the source, it is from within that I strike forward.  Muscle, heart, cerebral cortex.  A stomach with less empty contents than the fish that I dissected the other day.

fish guts

It’s all here.  I’m all accounted for.

I’ve gathered plenty for this household of mine and so now that Mother Nature has beckoned for the cold, the work in the house beckons me and I feel ready.  This year I have a faithful pet rat to add cheer to my days.  It’s been years since I’ve had a rat of this sort; elephant-eared and human-pawed.  His name is Haku and he is in my home for the holidays.  It’s as if it was a missing piece, perhaps.  Honestly, I just feel so whole.  And for once, I am also confident another soul sits out there, isolated in another household yearning to be at my side as well.

haku rat

There are a million things to do inside, in my paradise.  If I continue to eat better and treat myself I think the positive attitude will linger longer and I will find much more dedication.  I am always apt to believe things will get better.  Perhaps better for me will be when the households are not separate and when my home is an absolute.  But for a temporary gig, I kinda like it so far.

This is the life.

Connections ever-lasting, Happiness fleeting?

A special connection sits in my being for all individuals I have shared life’s moments with. I treasure them all, in a unique and separate way.  My mind has filled with wonder for them on and off and over the years, suitors and friends alike.  Monogamy is a hard thing to establish the more you add names to that list.  The more names and faces that spark feelings in you, the worse off your budding relationship, whatever the circumstances.  This is true across all genders, and all life stages.  Me, well…I have known this for years.  But I feel today to put it in words.  It is the season of summer flings.  It is the time when amorous feelings kick into overdrive.  It is the time when contemplation goes out the door for fun in the sun.   May I offer you a post steeped in the wisdom of a 21 year old?  Ha, too bad.  I speak whether I am wanted to or not.


The root of all problems, then, is the deep desire we have for exclusivity.  We want to be the sole mate (or soul mate, whichever) for the one who inspires amorous feelings.  This becomes problematic when we realize the world is a big bowl of people living shoulder to shoulder.  All interacting and bonding daily.  We have no control.  We must trust.  We trust that we are bonded with a person completely and exclusively.  But none are immune to temptation.  None can shake the feelings of an ex lover entirely.  It haunts their dreams.  It offers comparison when comparison is not needed or invited.  It can make you unsatisfied when you should be happier than anything.  Once a connection has been written with someone on the code that is our memory, it doesn’t fade.  It sits waiting to be rewritten.  Or reread.  Whichever.  So happiness can occur, but if enough faces visit from the past, you may find it fleeting.  I do, sometimes.  People I know complain of this much without really realizing it.  We are not to be exclusive unless every other person has failed you or him or her.  We are not able to exist without temptation or competition.  I know I feel downright competitive.  It’s the law of nature, after all.


I sip some iced tea.  I know this life is just a funny game of people joining or leaving the cast of characters in a sped up manner.  It happens over and over.  The final cast is not to be achieved.  Only when we breathe our last breath  can we know that we have known all there was to know.  So every happy moment is meant to be replaced.  It is meant to end.  Maybe that’s the beauty of it.  Maybe beauty lives in instability.  I can see it.  I can see how fleeting happiness is the way.  For when we see it again, we appreciate it in a new light.  Ever-growing.


Or maybe we remember the light that was.  And try to swim backwards from the abyssal dive.


If I opt to be happy, it really isn’t up to me.  It is up to the collaboration of my cast in all areas of my life to feign stability for as long as necessary.  It is up to a great culmination of events to reach that new light.


To say if it was meant to be, it will be…..

Is to embrace the chaotic intermingling of life’s pawns.  And I like that just fine.



The Life Unfinished

I had a feeling today that many people were dying.  In the news, at least, and in the news that is the digital feed.  I feel as though car accidents and unfortunate incidents are afoot.  And I feel the biggest tragedy is that the art of a life story was abruptly left…in a cliffhanger, almost.  Maybe almost literally.  And that ink cannot be refreshed to start writing anew.  Death is a strange predicament.

I spoke to a coworker.  Someone well liked in the community was struck by a car.  Dead.  A student, no less, with all of the potential in the world.  It’s so strange we put emphasis on the youth that was robbed.  We do not know that he was to do great things.  But it is rather that lack of realization that we mourn.  He didn’t have a chance to fail us or wow us.  He just died….too soon. 

I would be mad if I died and if I could feel anger at moment of death which is unlikely.  I have so many plans for this world.  Yet it is sobering to see how my drawn out plans may be an undoing of a lifetime.  The sheer amount of time to accomplish things means I have all the more opportunity to die before I am accepting of that death.  But really…who accepts death?  Running out of time is the stuff of nightmares.  I may not sleep tonight if I dwell on this much longer.

I have a fish room not finished.  If I dropped dead tomorrow, I would be ashamed to leave my mess for someone else to clean up.  I want to be remembered for good things………

but that is the silly part of the matter.

Who is really remembered?

Fall Splendor

How can I continue to show you the wonder of our human life?  The curse, and the wonder….
It’s cold and hailing and sleeting in Michigan.  It’s almost November, and this is not unusual.  But there is still so much to smile about.

I got that job at the pet store, which is why I’m so busy.  Not that “busy” was unfamiliar territory for me in the past.  I have that insider situation I always wanted, and pulled maybe my fifth shift today.  No volunteering any more; I’m paying for my hobby.  Tuesday I have my pick of Microctenopoma  ansorgii.  First served and discounted out the door.  It’s a beautiful life.

This weekend is also the GVAC auction.  I’m making it a priority for my job and for my hobby and my well-being also.  You know what they say….if you do what you love….

I don’t feel like I’m working.  I feel like I’m physically active and a bit underfed, but I’m rarely bored with the job.  Either job.

As usual, I sought to take a different route.  Leaving my shift at Preuss, I was so….hungry.  Two hours til class.  I wasn’t worried.  But the bus stop….wait for 40 minutes you say?  I say, take Lansing River Trail instead.  Boy do I love this city… unprecedented gem that i wouldn’t discover any other way if not for days that I take chances.

You gotta look at every experience in your day as enrichment….it’s a way to learn and expand and live a fulfilled life.  I walked that trail and noted so many kid-friendly stops on the way to the lansing center.  Jungle gyms to the left and the river to the right.  I wanted to scout for fish or macroinvertebrates but the fact of the matter is the water is too murky.  I still peeked from time to time.

The City Market greeted me partway, and I couldn’t deny my curiosity.  I had heard of things being sold local and fresh.  I walked in like a kid in a candy store……a cheese and produce candy store, to be exact.

I could contemplate a million ways why this is awesome.  The problem with shipping food from far and wide.  But I will sum it up as such:  Fresh food is simply better.  I tasted cheese I never knew could be so flavorful.  And I smiled.

Yes, it is cold.  But you don’t notice it so much if you’re moving.  Or if you’re eating natural foods.  On the last leg of my journey….upon completion of class lecture and a simultaneous nap…..I met the world with a mind full of satiation.

What a wonder it is to be a human.  We are the most accommodated animals on this planet.  We can be in the midst of a snowstorm but still sleep soundly in 70 degree housing.  We can eat food so rich and we never had to prepare.  We can keep tanks full of fish and train them to appreciate our bountiful lives.  If you can be unhappy knowing this, I don’t think you’ve yet understood the world.

Have you seen it lately?

I don’t know that I believe you.

September 26, 2013- a Year anniversary in the Pursuit

A year ago today, I had very little.  I was resuming my hobby, but ever so slowly.  I was disorganized and a bit hopeless and also unrealistic in my ambitions.

Let’s start from a less familiar perspective, shall we?  You may know me, but you might not.

I had myself a fish at a young age.  A goldfish in a bowl.  Or a genie in a bottle, whichever.  It wasn’t the most fascinating creature to me.  And I was also a third grader.  It had an uneventful life…and died at two years of age from a temperature shock while the caretaker performed a water change.  The caretaker wasn’t really me at the time.   But truthfully, it was dying long before.  My other fish was a betta and it lead a similar life.  It was almost neglect to leave them in a bowl day in and day out…and feed scarcely.  But for a long neglected organism type….nobody cries animal abuse.  Nobody cares.

One day, I did care.  More specifically, the day that the creatures in question perished…I felt the guilt of a child who did nothing in terms of prevention.  I lacked foresight. I didn’t give it my all as a pet owner.  I didn’t know I COULD give it my all.  This would soon change.

Somewhere along the middle school timeline, I had myself another try with the fish.  It gets fuzzy for my memory to recall precise timing, but I remember vividly taking over my sister’s fantail goldfish upkeep.  I had to be in control.  I wanted to learn.  I can’t explain why, except that i was opportunistic and I saw…opportunity here.  I was soon checking out every fish book in the community library…twice.  I read what i could and marveled over photos I hoped to replicate. I wanted to breed fish.  I wanted to create elaborate displays and show great pride.  I found myself doodling fish setups in every class period.  Middle school, mind you. I fantasized stock lists and imagined compatibility with every one.  I wanted biotopes.  I wanted everything to just…commence.  There was a budding hobby here.  And it gained momentum fast.

When i was thirteen, I had a display tank.  I had my first issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist purchased from a book retailer.  I treasured it and read over every detail of every article.  I gleaned in each account so much enthusiasm and a world I desperately desired to be a part of.  So the next steps were inevitable.

Long story short, I was operating a small fish room by high school.  I had 20 or more fish tanks in my bedroom, much to my parents’ dismay.  But they didn’t stop me.  How could they?  My hobby has always been purely beneficial.  I did breed fish. I did cultivate plants.  I did write articles and I joined an aquarium society at the wee age of 14.  I was traveling an hour away, at my father’s expense, to attend meetings and fish auctions.  I was quite simply in love with everything.

Naturally, however, there came a time when I had to downsize.  I had to get rid of fish and prepare for a new adventure:  College.  I knew that it was a temporary gig.  I was going to have my fish room back, in some form or another.

So, that’s what today is….a celebration of a year of progress.  I’m a junior in college, and I do have just the cutest fish room to play with these days.  I’m as passionate as ever in my hobby.  And I even joined a new club.  I collect fish when I can.  I culture live foods.  I auction things and breed more fish than I know how to handle it seems.  A year ago, I had a good start.  Living off campus, though, I can accommodate so much more than I could in the dismal dorm setting.  And also coinciding with this date….is the acquisition of an entirely different animal.  I got my kitten a year ago.

It seems very obvious to me that I am a fish geek at the core.  But along the way, I embraced my love of all animals.  I have so much life surrounding me and enriching every experience.  I believe this is what true happiness entails.  As of today, I will be frank.  I have a lot of animals. But I wouldn’t change it.

I feel like I have a better grip.  What a life, though.  Surrounded by…..40 fish tanks….6 geckos…a few other lizards…some mice….and a lovely bengal cat named KRONOS.  I attend class, work, and go home to this menagerie every day.  It’s an unimaginable blessing. And that’s where I hope to start this blog.  Restart, rather.  Life is full of beauty if you open your eyes to the opportunity to let it in.