...Everybody dance now!" Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), C + C Music Factory
I made a momentous decision last week.
I decided that, since I had to sit at a desk, staring at a computer screen or book all summer (and not just all school year) I was going to make it a nice place to sit. And I was going to give myself something else to stare at for those intervals when your brain simply freezes and you go into "zombie researcher" mode. (You know what I mean, don't pretend you've never been there.)
So I thought to myself, "What should I bring to my desk that I don't already have?" I thought about a random picture like I drew for Jolly Berry, my roommate, at the beginning of the semester when she had an entire thesis to write (which she successfully completed, I might add!); a poster of something, one of my many kites or flat toys which could be suspended from the ceiling to keep me amused; a collage of photographs, a photo blown-up and framed (That'd be kind of cool, wouldn't it? The charred remains of a photo in a frame, with a label that says, "Photo of X, blown up."); or maybe I could buy myself flowers and stick them in a vase and just be sure to keep getting fresh flowers for myself all summer.
None of these were enough. Or rather, some of these were too much. For instance, if a toy was constantly in my direct line of site, I couldn't possibly concentrate, I would wish I was playing with it all the time.
No, it had to be something calm, soothing, ornamental, thought-provoking without being distracting...something that would encourage good traits and help me to be responsible with my time...something like...like...a fish!
I resolved to buy a fish. I even knew what kind of fish I wanted--a Betta. I went right out to my local Michael's Craft Supply and found a pretty jar, and then I went to Wal-Mart and found The Fish, and all the accouterments that fish require, like food, water de-chlorinizer, etc.
Then I came home with my darling little fish (blue, to match my room) and I started thinking of names. I was going to name him Alpha, so I could say "This is my Alpha Betta." Then I reconsidered and thought of calling him Gamma, so it would flow better, "This is my Betta, Gamma." Upon further reflection I decided to name him "The Thnikkaman." That fit much better, and as it happens, he has fulfilled every expectation hoist upon him by that noble title.
I suppose technically his name is still "Gamma" and a full introduction would run something like, "This is my Betta, Gamma: The Thnikkaman!!!!!!"
So, The Thnikkaman. As I said he's just oozing with personality. I feed him twice a day (as per instructions), and every time he rises magnanimously to the top of the jar to acknowledge my sacrifice to his majesty, and if he is feeling particularly kindly toward the little people of the world, he blows a bubble or two. But he rarely eats right then--he nudges the food around for a few moments, turns his exquisite head away, and returns to it after it's had time to soften in the water and when he thinks I'm not looking. It's not wise to hob-nob with common folk, of course--and there's nothing like eating in front of commoners to give them a disproportionate view of their own importance.
I also put an ivy in the jar. It's roots give The Thinkkaman something to frolic about. (About which to frolic? In which to frolic? To frolic amongst which?!?) And he does. One of his favorite exercises (I suspect it keeps his abs toned) is to lie across one of the roots and lean back until he gently floats off the support of the root, flip, repeat. (Something he doesn't know but which adds a certain amount of glee to my life is the knowledge that the ivy is a descendant growth from my Great-Grandma's ivy that SHE grew, which Mumsie now tends.)
The Thnikkaman has an incredible sense of rhythm, as one would expect. I listen to music almost constantly (as you can see by my ghetto-awesome old-school computer speakers and sub-woofer which nestle comfortably around my desk). Some music just seems to speak to The Thnikkaman and he gets to Partyin' like it's 1999. His favorite so far is "Everybody Dance Now" and with that sweet underbeat, he wiggles his fishy little booty in time to the music. Yessiree, that fish can shimmy-shake a little to the left, and if time permits, shimmy-shake a little to the right. Now all he needs are some background singers and some go-go boots!
Other activities of The Thnikkaman include watching me, swimming, looking at the bamboo on one side of his jar, swimming, looking at the pictures on the other side of his jar, swimming, watching the cat watch him, swimming, fighting with the walls of the jar, swimming, and digging for gold in the bottom of his jar. He also has a strict workout routine to maintain his incredible physique. I cannot possibly describe the intricate stretches, motions, and other contortions involved in this incredible and custom-designed workout, but I can tell you (besides the ivy crunch described above) that another of his favorites is the resistance stroke, where he puts his nose against the wall and pushes as hard as he can. We figure by 2015 he'll have enough bulk and muscle to actually crack the glass, and by then we'll probably have a steel-enforced wall for him to practice against. No use taking chances where safety is involved, right?
Every now and then he'll see a swish of blue in the lower front-right corner of his jar. He'll swiftly dive to the attack (what is that THING doing in here?!) and so far he's managed to keep it away--the ambushes and reprisals are becoming less and less frequent--and The Thnikkaman is certain that his enemies are learning their lessons the hard way. No further comments to the press, thank you.
So yeah. And now I'll try and get back to that research and writing work I was telling you about.
Isn't life ironic?