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

Tag: sad

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 281: Weathertime Blues

There are so many complex, frightening, amazing and mind-boggling things happening in the world right now.

I’m going to ignore all of them and blog about the weather.

It smelled like fall yesterday, after a week of the kind of hot humidity that almost knocks you over when you step outside. The sky was a little grey and the trees rustled in this kind of brusque way that makes you think they know a long nap is coming soon.

So. I went to the gym. I made tea. I bought some music. I cleaned my apartment. I lamented that Brian Boitano didn’t seem as impressed with my cleanliness as I did. I tried to write a toast for my sister’s upcoming wedding. I took a shower. I thought about buying new running shoes for my sister’s upcoming wedding (there’s a pre-rehearsal 5K I should probably spend the next week training for). I harvested my basil. I ate a caprese salad. I looked at General Electric’s Instagram feed. I watered my plants. I felt sad.

In general, I had a lovely Sunday. But there is something about the coming of autumn that breeds a little melancholy. Whatever ease and frivolity summer brought will be swapped out with something a little more serious and measured soon. The kids feel it, especially – they’re all headed back to school to prep for becoming little adults.

Autumn is crisp and cool, and my nearly translucent skin is built for that sideways fall sunlight, but the summertime mourning period has officially begun.

Wherever you are (but especially if you’re in the Midwest), may you enjoy the green grass and bright flowers for just a few more weeks.

Happy Labor Day.