And so it came to pass….

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….that living in the Land of Schwarzenegger, in the area of the Bay, there came to be a fish. A small fish. A fish who was filled with faith and hope.

A fish purchased under the accursed impulse-purchase vexation.

The fish was of the Betta clan, and was given the name of Benito, meaning “blessing” or “blessed one” in the Spanish culture (and meaning tiny little dictator in the Italian tradition).

And so it was that Benito came to live in the house of The Good Man and true to his name, blessed us all.

Benito swam and ate of the bloodworm. And it was good.

Until it wasn’t good.

And forsooth, Benito ceased to eat, and lay on the floor of the tank, flat on his side, and took on a gray pallor.

Which only raised memories of Frank, also of the Betta clan, who came before Benito and expired so painfully.

And so it was that The Girl wept, felt necessary to rend her garments, gnashed her teeth and howled to the heavens, “Why! Why must I have the curse of killing helpless fish?”

Then The Girl resigned herself to the knowledge gained that she was not meant for fish ownership.

Another matchbox coffin was prepared, and sadness befell the house of The Good Man.

In the last, desperate hours, The Good Man proclaimed, “he who believeth in the bettas shall never die.”

Thusly, The Good Man brought his mighty hand down and created freshly treated water and added the miracle of the antibiotic powder.

The limp body of Benito of the Betta clan was deposited into the fresh, medicated water and hope was not held out.

In the break of the morn, The Good Man, in his grace, went to the tankside of Benito of Betta, and proclaimed, “Yea, tho I believe this crazy fish is hungry!”

And chopped up pieces of bloodworm were deposited in the tank, and verily Benito of Betta did eat.

“No %$&#ing way!” came the cry from The Girl, who stared in disbelief at the miracle The Good Man had wrought.

“Yeah, don’t get your hopes up,” The Good Man admonished, but despite his downplaying the whole thing, The Girl did ignore him and did in fact get her hopes up.

And forsooth! Benito of Betta did continue to eat. And became more upright, and began to flap his fins in a normal manner.

And Benito of Betta was thusly nicknamed the Lazarus Fish, having risen from the dead.

So it is that some two weeks from coming to the house of The Good Man, Benito of Betta continues to live and eat and could almost be described as thriving.

And with the focus on a new, recovering fish, The Girl finds the sadness over the loss of Frank is beginning to ease.

With the help of The Good Man, guardian of the broken pets, The Girl may in fact learn to be a suitable owner of small helpless fish.

And for the moment, it was good again.

But don’t get your hopes up.

P.S. Margaret, female of the Betta clan, and The Good Man’s fish, continues to thrive quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.

I know a Zen Master

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Uh huh! Yes I do!

The Master knows how to simplify life.

Food, brief exercise, then long periods of, er, meditation.

At least I think that’s meditation.

Yesterday I had an anxious day. Lots of reasons, my own mental weirdness, no need to detail it all here. But really rather hyped up and I could find no way to calm down.

At the end of the day, I sat on the couch, still fretting, trying to let go. That’s when the Zen master came and sat on me.

And did this:

(Turn up your sound…about a 500k file, runs 14 seconds)*

Suddenly I was listening to the sound of contentment. Pure, simplicity of peace.

And I exhaled that tense breath that had been pent up inside my chest all day.

The muscles started to relax.

And I felt…calm.

Damn Feline might be on to something. She should charge for this kind of therapy!

Here, the master holds a yoga pose…and holds it…and holds it…..

*If the embedded player doesn’t work in your browser, you can click here instead.

Mine is a *special* alarm clock

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I’m a bit sleepy today.

You see, there is this rather large male blue jay that has decided to make our backyard its home territory.

It is a rather beautiful bird, nice to look at. But the jay does not have the prettiest of all the birdsong.

You can hear the sounds here (at about :08 is the beginning of what my jay sounds like), though I’m not sure that clip entirely does the volume and rastyness of the jay in my backyard any justice.

There is a power line that runs through the yard, and he perches on that, stares into the windows of my home, and squawks. Loudly. It can only be described as a squawk. And Mr. Jay makes this unpleasant sound at about…oh, I don’t know…a half hour to an hour before my actual alarm clock goes off.

So I’m nice and awake well before I ever wanted to be awake.

Ah, but if only I could fit the blue jay with a timing mechanism so that it would raise up its blue jay raucous at *exactly* the time my alarm goes off…well that would be nice.

Because ya can’t sleep through the racket.

And he ain’t got no snooze button either.

The good news is, in case the jay decides not to show up on a certain day, I have a backup alarm.

Another rasty animal who is all to happy to put up a hungry racket well before the alarm clock:

Cranky Feline

It’s a wonder we can get any sort of sleep around here at all.

A bit sad

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I’m sad to have to convey that last night, just past 11:00, my little fish Frank passed along.

It seems he succumbed to an internal bacterial infection, which was hard to diagnose, and the antibiotics we put in the water weren’t enough or in time.

He was only my little fish for eight days, but he was a good fish and a member of our family.

Last evening at the grocery store, I ran into a longtime friend and when I confessed I was sad because I thought my fish would die, she said, “ah, no matter. Flush him and get another one.”

I appreciate that many folks would feel that way. It’s just a small thing, a $5.00 fish from the pet store.

And that’s fine. We all go about life our own way.

For me, I’m not ashamed to actually feel very sad and even cry a little for my fish, who had to struggle so much for life so much there at the end.

I knew when I bought him that he might not be 100% healthy. The Good Man and I agreed to foster him at home so he would either recover, or if he succumbed, he would do so in a big tank with humans around to protect him.

And so we did.

I pimped out a nice matchbox coffin for my friend and gave him a proper goodbye in the side garden of our house.

He was just a fish, but he was my fish, and he was well loved.

By the by, Margaret, the female betta who came home with us the same day as Frank is doing fine. She’s happy and does a little fish dance when we walk up to the tank. I never before thought I could find a fish cute, but I have to say, she’s an adorable little fish.