I am still pretty upset, obviously. On a cognitive level, I know — and I always did know — that I am not a god, and there probably wasn’t anything I could have done to prevent what happened. But the key word here is probably. To explain: I woke up this morning, and as I was getting into the shower (a grand total of five minutes after I got out of bed), I thought, I need a nap. This was immediately followed by, Hmm… that’s not good. I took my shower, did some stuff around my room, went upstairs to the roof to water my lettuce seedlings, and then went downstairs. Normally, the first thing I’d do is feed the fish. The water was horribly cloudy — I didn’t know why, but it has happened before, and it’s just a combination of treating it and riding it out, which I had been doing. But even through the murk, I was able to see the fish floating belly-up. It would have been kind of hard to miss — they were big. And it’s not like I’d just brought them home yesterday… I’ve had some of these fish for months, a couple of them for even over a year, and they were my “fighters” … the ones that managed to survive through infections and whatever. It sounds silly to be waxing over fish like this, but it really upset me. So much so that I just couldn’t bear to take them out. I knew I would have to do it, because nobody else would, but I didn’t want to… I guess because then I’d have to acknowledge that they really WERE dead, and it wasn’t all in my imagination.
I ran through my (very short!) list of people I theoretically could call “for support.” Hello, it’s Sunday morning, I’m not going to bug someone with my craziness. Get on with it.
My dad came home as I was scooping them out. He asked what happened. I told him a better question would probably be who’s not dead. (For the record: three catfish, two painted tetras, and a kissing gourami. Which means two silver dollars, two painted tetras, two bleeding heart tetras, a tri-color shark, a tiger barb, and a Bolivian ram all died. In one night.) I already felt crappy enough about it, and he just started going on and on about how it was obvious that something was wrong (the cloudy water), and I should have done something about it, yadda yadda yadda… I told him that I already felt bad enough, and if it really was all my fault, maybe I should just give it up altogether. To which he responded that someone with my personality should not be doing such things, if this is how I’m going to react to it… when really, I wasn’t so much reacting to the epidemic in the aquarium as his reaction to it. He accused me of trying to guilt-trip him, though I’m not sure how I did that. All I wanted was for someone to reassure me that it wasn’t all my fault, because there was a part of me that thought it wasn’t, and a part of me that thought it was. Unfortunately for me, he chose to reinforce the latter.
I went to the pet shop. I took a water sample. Obviously, it was majorly messed up. They tried to send me on my merry way, but I became a stubborn nag and refused to leave until they told me what to do about it. And it goes without saying that I didn’t get another algae eater… what’s the point if it will just die right away? Now I’ll have to cycle for a week and if it’s sorted out by next Friday, maybe I can think about getting a couple of other fish. Maybe.
I also did some supermarket shopping… because cherries were on major sale, and I had none left. Tragic.
This is just some of the haul… plums, red grapes, cherries, blackberries, canned green beans, multigrain squares, and wheat berries. Huh. All of the fruit I bought is red. Well, not the plums, technically… they’re “black plums,” which I hope means they’re red on the inside, because I don’t like the yellow ones! I think I’m going to make someone taste-test them first.
I must say that waking up to a tank full of mostly dead fish can really do a number on one’s appetite. It really sucks that I can’t trust what I’m feeling and have to stuff food in my face anyway. It was extremely tempting to just throw a frozen meal in the microwave, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, because frozen meals are “safe” to me… I mean, they aren’t inherently bad at all, and they’re wonderfully convenient; it’s just that because of the way I came to eat them in the first place, that’s what I associate them with. Anyway. I had an acorn squash lying around, so I microwaved it with some cinnamon… I wasn’t going to use any cinnamon, because generally, I think squash is sweet enough on its own.
This one was a disappointment. Even with the cinnamon, it tasted bland! Maybe it’s just the mood that I’m in, but this wasn’t anywhere near as good as I know squash can be.
But I rallied and trudged onward to try out the wheat berries, which I had never had before. Generally, the first time I taste something, I like to keep it as simple as possible so I can tell whether or not I like that particular food, rather than whatever it’s paired with.
I always thought canned vegetables last forever. Apparently not. Hence the zucchini in tomato sauce accompanying the wheat berries… which, by the way, I loved. I tried a spoonful of it plain before I mixed it in with the zucchini and tomato sauce, and it didn’t really taste like much of anything… it was a little bit reminiscent of barley or kasha, but it didn’t have its own distinctive flavor. What really makes it stand out to me is the texture. It’s fabulously chewy, but a bit crunchy at the same time… it’s hard to explain, so just go buy some!
And I promised a review of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabar.
Okay, it wasn’t actually ME who didn’t like that part; it was the ED part of me. But ignoring that, this was awesome, and that is the only word I can think of to describe it … when you open the package, it smells just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and it tastes just like one, too. What I think I loved most of all is that there aren’t any almonds in it! Yes, there are pieces of peanuts, and I’d love it even more if they weren’t there, but that didn’t detract from this bar’s, well, awesomeness. If you’re searching high and low for it, let me tell you… it is worth the wait.
Randomness … Snapple “Real Fact” #845: A lemon contains more sugar than a strawberry. Oddly fascinating. And also untrue, if my research is correct.
Anyway, I’m off to bemoan the fact that the weekend is over, and to do yet another water change. Have a fabulous Sunday night and an even better Monday!