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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: fish

Day 394: Things I Learned from My Fish

Brian Boitano passed away yesterday (the fish, not the human). I have yet to confirm his passing with my own eyes, but after responding affirmatively to my are-you-sure-he-isn’t-just-playing-dead questions, his trusted fish sitter has convinced me he is gone.

I feel sad about this. It’s easy for humans to feel attached to warm, furry things that remind us of cute little babies – but we do develop love and affection for the slimier species as well. Brian was a good fish and I miss him.

In his honor, here’s a list of four things I learned from the sometimes aggressive, sometimes lethargic, but always-graceful Brian Boitano.

Everybody feels better around plants. I couldn’t put real plants in Brian’s water (mold and the like – you know how it is), but when I moved his bowl to sit right next to my ivy plant, he recognized the green leaves and snuggled right up to them. Nature soothes, and is an important and often absent element to city life (or giant pickle-jar life, in Brian’s case).

Never underestimate the power of clean water. It probably sounds trite for me to say that watching my fish enjoy his monthly clean-water exchange gave me a higher sense of purpose when it comes to global water issues, but it’s true. Clean water is a precious resource and an absolute necessity that one in nine people do not currently have access to. For information on seven organizations committed to clean water access, water education and/or sustainable water use, check out this list from goodnet.org.

Lying around all the time is never a good thing. If you find yourself too tired to exercise, explore your world or eat, you’re in trouble. Mix it up and adjust your life before it’s too late.

Pink can be pretty and strong at the same time. Brian’s wavy fins would make beautiful sweeps and flourishes around the bowl (before he started lying around all the time), but he could probably bite your finger off if he really tried. He moved his marbles around, no problem. So the next time your little kid wants to wear a pink dress and climb a tree, just think of Brian. It’s totally cool.

YoungBrian(That’s Brian.)

Day 1: Brian is Alive

Brian Boitano survived without me for three full days. I was relieved to come home and find him alive and only slightly delirious.

I don’t think he’s quite as hearty as my favorite fish, Buster, who lived to be approximately 150 (five) years old. Buster was sort of my fish soul mate. He liked to travel, was fiercely independent, ate happily and appreciated a good nap. He seemed to particularly enjoy Law and Order SVU. Either that, or the “dun dun” sound upset his tiny fish ears to the point of activity.

Brian seems to be a little more sensitive. He’s afraid of his food and he usually misjudges the amount of force he’ll need to consume it. Although he is generally good-natured, he panics when he reaches the edge of his bowl and swims as hard as he can into what must look like the infinite vastness of my apartment. I’ve conducted multiple experiments to figure out if he’s actually swimming at his own reflection, but my results are inconclusive.

Most of my friends have cats and/or babies. For now, I’m pretty satisfied with my fish.