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Old 02-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #21 
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Things that are horrible:

1. Insomnia
2. Marzipan

Things that are not horrible:

1. My fishy
2. George Clooney
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #22 
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Today's poem isn't really a 'fish poem', but it uses fish as a metaphor so precisely and beautifully that I count it as one.

I used to tell myself that I didn't like Sylvia Plath's poems. She's too self-involved, I said, too emotional, histrionic, cryptic. And that I disliked her work because a million overly emotional and self-obsessed wanna-be poetesses worship it, and - ick. I'm nobody's art-sheep. I disliked her, I said, on principle.

Years later, and in hindsight, I can admit that I couldn't stand to read Plath because she was a genius - an educated and hard-working poet, a genius with sonics and syllabics, structure and pacing, and especially imagery. Every one of her poems is the result of careful deliberation, demonstrating the perfection of her art.

And I will never, in a million years, ever write as well as Sylvia Plath.

(I still can't stand mopey lit majors who worship Plath's tragedy as much as, if not more than, her poetry. Perhaps it's more appropriate to dislike them on principle).

Here's the poem:

by Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Last edited by Aus; 02-18-2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #23 
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Wow. Having never heard of Sylvia Plath, that was my very first experience of/with her work.... I am very intrigued to read more. Thank you for that experience. I'm enjoying all of the poems by the way!

How are the boys?
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:51 AM   #24 
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Hiya JB, here's a link to a pile of Plath poems:

My absolute favourites are the one I posted above, Tulips, The Moon and the Yew Tree and Blackberrying.

And Sid is awesome! He's a ninja fish. :) So funny, the way he slinks around his tank, springing out at imaginary enemies. His tank isn't large but I've made a real effort to make it interesting for him - he has a little 'jungle' of moss to wriggle in, and his awesome cave which he likes as well. I'm finding he's very fond of floating wisteria and weaves in and out of it - like a ninja!

Demyx is less stressy now, getting used to human contact and water changes. He has a lot of those, as he's in the unfiltered 1.5 g still, but 2x partial and 1x full water change a week is keeping him clean. His fins are just a tiny bit raggedy - they were that way when we bought him - and I figure a little AQ salt in his water might fix that. It's not fin rot thank goodness, just some minor tearing. He also like the floating wisteria and seems a bit more relaxed now it's been added.

How's your swordtail babies?

I'll probably never breed fish, as I don't think I'm up to all the extra care they'd need and larger tanks, etc., so I'll just enjoy everyone's pics and stories. Baby fish are so darned cute!

Oh - just wanted to add, I really enjoyed the pics of your 75g tank, it's quite beautiful, and that pirate wreck ornament totally impressed Daughter, lol. Nicely done!

Last edited by Aus; 02-19-2012 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #25 
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I have been trying all day to catch a picture of Sid lurking in the mouth of his cave like a little red conga eel, but as soon as I approach with a camera he slithers out and dashes all over in excitement.

Stay still, Sid! Dammit! *shakefist*
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:26 AM   #26 
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So. I went to check on Daughter's fish. There's no fish.

He's vanished. I am freaking out. I check on, around and behind the table he's on. No fish.

The mothership did not take this fish home. He has to be somewhere. I am eyeing the sofa. Could he jump that far? Through a closed lid, fer chrissake?

One of the features of the IQ3 cube is that the filter pump is housed in a compartment at the back. Having no filter on this tank presently, that space is just filled with water.There's a tiny hole right on the water line, where the pump hose used to feed through to the tank.

Yep. We are on the same page, here.

Demyx wiggled through this gap (thank begorrah he's tiny) and is now merrily floofing around the pump compartment, wondering what all the fuss is and where his nice new water lettuce went.

Which means I need to find a way to get him out without hurting him, which will likely mean dismantling the tank, then find a way to block the hole and put the tank back together.


"I" need to do these things? This isn't MY fish! *eyeballs the teenager..*
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:50 AM   #27 
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So. While we're wondering how to go about getting Demyx P. Houdini out of this very narrow space he put himself in, he managed to wiggle back through the hole into his tank.

And was staring at us as if to say, "What?"

I plugged the hole with the pump output nozzle, until I find an adequate bit of sponge.

Daughter thinks he's even cooler now.

Here's another Rupert Brooke poem about fish and fishy heaven. I think he quite liked them:

by Rupert Brooke

FISH (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! -- Death eddies near --
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:29 PM   #28 
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Today was a day of firsts!

Sid's first full-on flare! He's puffed up somewhat before, but this time he did an awesome flare, he looked like a little red lion. He apparently feels my multi-nib pen is a major threat to bettas everywhere. Silly fish. Now he's loafing on his leaf hammock, content at having vanquished the pen of doom.

And Demyx blew his first bubblenest! It's not terribly awesome, but hey, he's only little. He was flaring, too. Must be some vagrant fish testosterone in the air today? And I have pics on the phone, which I'll post as soon as i figure out how to upload from it.

Daughter is very proud of her betta. Sid still hasn't blown a proper one, but he is a ninja and is therefore forgiven.

Both of our fish are kind of runty, compared to the other bettas I've seen. Demyx seems like a younger fish, and has even grown a bit just in the short time we've had him. Sid is just a runt, I fear. But he makes up for it by having a massive personality.

Here's a poem that is over 3,000 years old. It's a fragment from an ancient Egyptian love poem. And yes, the author is being quite crude. "Look at my fish", indeed... Men. They never change..

And I'd say, standing there tall in the shallows:
Look at my fish, love, how it lies in my hand,
How my fingers caress it, slip down its sides . . .
But then I'd say softer, eyes bright with your seeing:
A gift, love. No words. Come closer and look,
it's all me.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:53 AM   #29 
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iPod pics, can't wait to get a camera...

Sid flaring:

Sid being oddly co-operative (aka in focus for once):

and Demyx' bubblenest:

Last edited by Aus; 02-21-2012 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #30 
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It'll be a couple weeks before I can afford to go aquarium shopping again (and I have to travel across the damn city now, because I am NOT giving the local betta death camp another cent until they learn what clean water is).

But I really want to upgrade to a 5g, natural planted tank sooner or later.

OldFishLady's NPT's are amazing, and have inspired me to try it out. I'd love a heavily planted, natural-looking tank. Less and smaller water changes would work pretty well for me, though I worry about having to clean out the entire tank (the prospect of lugging all that glass about makes me really nervous, being so klutzy these days). Also, with the occasional but usually brief stay in hospital, I'd feel better with a bit of leeway in unavoidably missing a water change. Plus - NPT's are just so lovely to look at, fish or no fish. I am actually excited at the prospect of learning about proper care of water plants. Wonder if there's any which flower (and aren't massive, hugely invasive or toxic to fish).

I have this vision where there's a semi-submerged driftwood feature, with tiny epiphytic orchids growing on it in the humidity provided by the tank...

Another thing I want and must be very, very patient for - my betta macrostoma. One guy wanted $400 a pair... thing is, I'd not like to keep them just for pets, since they're pretty rare in the wild now. And I am fairly sure that breeding just isn't an option for me at all, unless my health improves a great deal. Which it might. But also, it might not. Sigh.

I just love the macrostomas, though. What brutally elegant fish.
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