Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

First Days of School

The last several days have been pretty insane. Much of it because both John and I were trying to let Jet fit in the very last things he wanted to do before he went back into school. And because Darkprism is coming for a week and a half visit, so I'll be kind of busy for a while.

One of the things Jet really wanted to do was get the last fish for his aquarium, and it turned into a two-pronged attack of sorts.

For some reason I'm just not sleeping the way I want to be sleeping, either, so have just been trying desperately to catch up. On the Friday before last weekend, I was so tired that I was just stumblingly stupid for most of the day. I actually got a parking ticket, almost got run over by someone backing out of a parking slot, and Jet was amazing about getting me back on my emotional equilibrium.

Jet really took care of me, but we also went to two different aquariums in Boulder. One was just the PetCo that was in that city. The other was a low-maintenance Tropical Fish store that had five different rooms of tanks all linked together with black rubber pipes and everything leaked onto concrete floors, and it was fabulous. It was utterly the minimum necessary to keep the fish very happy and sellable, some of them for hundreds of dollars, along with fabulous plants.

Jet and I spent a full hour there, just gaping at everything, and the people there were really knowledgeable about fish, so much so that the first time we were there, our heads were just spinning with all the possibilities.

Jet's Aquarium
The day before school started, the three of us headed back into Boulder, and Jet and John went and looked again, asked a lot of good questions, and we ended up with five Ember Tetras, gorgeous red-gold tiny fish that were nearly translucent when looked at from one angle, and burning red from another.

The saga of the aquarium included two blue guppies lost to the aggressiveness of a sunset guppy, but then the sunset guppy was found floating dead a few days later with no real good explanation. The boys bought a complete water test kit and we found that the ammonia in the tank was severely high, partially, we figured, from overfeeding, and partially because after a single attempt to establish bacteria without any fish in the water we probably failed at it, as the bacteria didn't have anything to "eat".

So we've re-established a bacterial colony in the tank, after doing two 50% water changes just to save the lives of the rest of the fish. And now the bacteria have brought the ammonia levels down, but we're now battling nitrites. *laughs*

All kinds of new nomenclature.

But things seem to be doing well, now.

John and I helped with the party for everyone the very first morning at the bus stop! *laughs* Everyone brought a little something and we brought coffee and muffins, and it went really well. The bus even arrived, unlike last year. *laughs*

The day after Jet got back into school, John and I went to see "Cowboys and Aliens" and had a real blast. For such a wild premise, the plot was solid enough that I really enjoyed it, the character interplay was marvelous, and I really enjoyed the theme that the preacher states near the front end of "I've seen good people do bad things and evil people still do good."

The action was solid, the effects took second stage to the characters, and the aliens were thoroughly evil and happily scary. *laughs* I loved loved loved Daniel Craig in it, but I have liked him in everything I've seen him in. Tough character indeed.

I've also been studying tough characters, and really have been pleased by reading Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate by Diego Gambetta. Recommended by amberley for how and why criminals communicate the way they do, and, as a by product, learning how and why they act the way they do (as a means of communication), really has made me think a lot about motivation as well as some tropes I've thought were just foolish assumptions by movie makers or writers.

There are *reasons* why criminals aren't the sharpest knife in the barrel, and why bosses surround themselves with underlings who aren't very good, and why... *laughs*

It's wonderful. I'm really oddly enjoying the dry academic style presenting some pretty crazy behavior.

Also got a Winter War plotting session in, along with some speedficcing with April's gang. Going to probably do marathon plotting and planning sessions with Allie while she's here, and hopefully hit the ground running now that I have my days again. Here's hoping!
Tags: jet, movie, writing

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