Friday, September 26, 2008

Still Alive

As I know you have been wondering, all fish are still kicking almost a week later.

Also still alive, for the record, is the blogger herself. Nose still above water, praise the Lord. I keep thinking of Dory the blue fish in Finding Nemo - just keep swimming! I am intentionally doing NOTHING tomorrow but work around my house. It will feel so nice to have clean sheets, clean floors, cleared tables... We might even celebrate by reinstating family game night. Ahhhh.

And another random thought on the topic: One of the craziest songs we have downloaded for Rock Band is "Still Alive" - it's this bizarre little song you get to hear when you win some video game the kids play... It is so stuck in my head. Here are my favorite lines from it:

I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my
heart and killed me and tore me to pieces and threw every piece into a fire...
as they burned, it hurt because I was so happy for you...

If I knew how to find it online and post it here, I would. Just google "Portal still alive" and you'll find it.

So, I'm off to make my house a place I want to spend time. Just wanted to be habitual about writing (one of the habits I'll develop one day) and let you know that I'm Still Alive. I'm doing science and I'm still alive... I feel fantastic and I'm still alive... (sorry, more of the song there!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gerbil Funeral, Take Two

So Saturday morning I actually went all the way upstairs - I try not to visit the land of small children if I can at all avoid it, but the cat's litter box was emanating some serious odor and it appeared to be my turn to clean it. While I was up there, I felt compelled to visit the gerbils and check their food and water levels, as said small children tend to "forget" to care for the rodents without reminding. Sure enough, the water was empty - bone dry - and sure enough, Harry Potter (who has survived two children, a cross-country move, the loss of a tankmate, the introduction of another tankmate, and a raucous den of Webelos playing doll house with him) was dead.

Now mind you, Harry was at least six years old, which is remarkable for a rodent being held captive by two small children. His buddy YG (AKA Yerbil Gerbil or Eric) had gone on to glory earlier this year (hence the new gerbil, Humphrey) and had been buried out back in a toilet paper tube beneath a cinderblock at the base of an oak tree. Harry, of course, was treated to a similar burial in the same location so that, as Austin put it, he could "be with his best friend for all eternity." Much sobbing, some lamentations, and a little dose of guilt later, we cleaned out the gerbilarium and gave Humphrey fresh food, water, and bedding.

I don't know about you folks, but when our family suffers tragic loss, we have to spend money. Jim's birthday is the 23rd, and he's been craving an aquarium since we moved here. Off we went on a comfort fix to all the local fish businesses. Ironically, we ended up at as place called Fishy Business (conveniently located behind Captain D's, if you need a little more irony) and next thing you know, despite debt and an unusually crowded and messy house, we were loading up a 55 gallon tank to ease our pain and greed. Dude, it was on an incredible sale and was priced lower than the 30gals we had been eyeballing all day, so don't judge.

We've started our own little Lake Malawi with a handful of African cichlids - one guy already looks a little weak and not-too-long-for-this-world, and today I found myself hoping he'd go ahead and die tonight if he's going to so that we can take him back... Anyway, it's a fun adventure in ecosystems and we are hoping the good chi from the tank outweighs the potentially gripe-inducing responsibility that accompanies it. I am mesmerized by these little colorful and aggressive guys and have already spent too much time just staring at them, but honestly, I already feel more relaxed.

Stay tuned for tales of fish funerals bound to come, and for pictures of the tank after we get it all prettiful.

RIP, Harry Potter.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Long-Range Plan

Holy cannoli, have I been out of the blogging habit. And I can't say that I really have time to be doing this right now, either, but since when has that stopped me?

So I've been working on my Long-Range Plan for the Evaluation Procedures sent forth from the great state of South Carolina. Basically, I've had to write what I intend to teach all year and how and why - which seems like no big deal, but when you have 150 word limits here and there and your name is Meesh, these things get complicated. Add to that the desire to actually make it a useful document and an accurate reflection of my pedagogy rather than something I just do because I have to, and the whole thing has been more challenging than it should have been.

ANYWAY, I thought I'd throw out some of my Long-Range Plan for life in general for you to review. You know - goals and assessments and management for day-to-day living in my little world as I have created it.

~ Mellow out, but not in a slacker kind of way - more in a don't-yell-at-the-people-you-love kind of way.
~ Make better food choices more often.
~ Make time to exercise. (This is starting to sound like a freaking resolution list.)
~ Figure out who I am and embrace that.
~ Become more satisfied with having less - stop being such a greedy-butt consumer.
~ Become fluent in another language.
~ Prioritize.
~ Habitually make my home a place other people feel welcome and comfortable.
~ Travel.
~ Whine less, praise more, do good things.
~ Learn to play a musical instrument well.
~ Figure out my spirituality.

BUCKET LIST (I haven't even seen the movie, but I get the reference):
~ Go to Europe. Yeah, all of it.
~ See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, and all the other American icons.
~ Cross the country in an RV.
~ Get published - preferably a picture book.
~ Live on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean - not sure where this place is, but it is beautiful and my husband and our dogs are there on the porch taking it in together.
~ Know my children as adults.
~ Pay for a child (other than my own) to go to college.
~ Host a talk show - if only once.

Okay, I've wasted enough time and this is neither poignant nor amusing, so I'd better prep for bed. Maybe I'll add to this list soon. Maybe you'll be inspired to think of some of your own long-range plans. Maybe not.

More soon. Just remember "soon" is relative.