I Saw a Fish Poop

The other night we ate at a restaurant that has a tropical fish tank.

I had a good view of the fish over the shoulders of my dining companions, and I noticed that one of the fish had a small, rectangular protrusion from it’s “belly” region.  For a moment I wasn’t sure. “Is that a belly button. a phallus, or poop?”

They turned to look and both affirmed, “It’s poop.”

Huh.  I would have guessed that it would emerge from a different place. Shows what I know about fish anatomy. Nothing:fish-pooping-sketch

In my own defense, our pet when I was a kid was a dog.

At our table, we all watched, transfixed, waiting for the small brown cylinder to separate from the body of the fish. After a few moments it did, launching then wafting gently down, down… and getting caught in a plastic green frond.

The poop-caught-in-a-frond situation was both unexpected and disconcerting.  We waited for it to resolve itself. The frond swayed softly; at any moment it seemed it would dislodge its burden and the poop would continue its journey into the pebbles at the bottom of the tank, but this didn’t happen.  Instead, the poop remained, clinging to its position: img_3291

Would it ever fall?

Presumably yes, it did, but we didn’t see, because our food came, and we forgot to watch.

And we were  also distracted–per usual– by Paul.

It delights me that after years of marriage, I still learn new information about my husband. This delight is mitigated by the fact that some aspect of the new information is often horrifying. This night I learned that as children Paul and his brother did have fish as pets. Huh, I never knew that–interesting!

And then there’s the turn…

From somewhere, the boys had inherited a fish tank. It was a tropical fish tank, complete with little heater at the bottom.  Unfortunately, Paul and his brother — seemingly operating without parental oversight — didn’t realize that goldfish are not tropical fish, so their goldfish lived with a  perpetual low-grade fever.

The boys also knew little about chlorine and other water quality issues, so their fishes’ eyes exploded or fell from their sockets. Usually just one eye, but in one case both eyes –memorable to Paul because he could see all the way through the fish’s head. Each day after school, the brothers would come home to see whether their fish still had eyes, and/or if they had survived the day. Often, they had not.

Fortunately for the boys’ morale (but unfortunately for every fish who crossed their path) there was a fish store nearby, and goldfish only cost a dollar. He estimates the number of fish who lived briefly in their horror-tank to be “over twenty, but under fifty.”

Weekend at Home / BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

(This is a pretty boring post with a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT buried about halfway through.  I’ll TYPE IN CAPS when we get to it, so you can skim without fear of missing it.)

Did I mention Paul got in a accident and totaled one of our cars?  That happened. A few weeks ago.  Everyone is fine, and insurance paid generously enough that with a little effort we should be able to replace our mediocre car with one of equal mediocrity.  But driving around L.A. looking for cars you’ve seen advertised Craigslist is tedious, so we haven’t done very much of that yet, and are existing with just one car.

Paul was supposed to be doing night shifts color correcting every night this weekend and taking the car to get there, so I’ll say that is my excuse for not having made any evening plans this weekend.  Other excuses might include needing to write, or energy-sapping ennui.

I do, however, wish that I could invite people to come see me–but our house is super messy right now.  To that end, Paul and I spent about four hours each today trying to reclaim the space.  This was hugely exciting for me, in a muted, I’m-folding-clothes-and-vacuuming kind of way, because Paul is generally opposed to cleaning and doesn’t see the need for it, but in this case, because he is avoiding doing film related work, he actually volunteered, and was quite focused.  I think with another 8-10 man hours, things could be quite presentable again.

And on the topic of the film that Paul is avoiding …(THIS IS IT, this is the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT)

 Rock Jocks. 

Is it done????!!!!

No, not quite.

But it will have to be really soon, because THE PREMIER SCREENING IS SCHEDULED.

It will be at DRAGON*CON in ATLANTA, GA over LABOR DAY WEEKEND.  Rock Jocks will screen at 8pm on Sunday–but that’s not a school night, cuz the next day is Labor Day.

I WILL BE THERE.

So, if you live near Atlanta, you should come on up, down, over and see me.  I don’t know if we’ll get any comp movie tickets.  It seems like the screenings are “inside” the festival.  A day pass for  Sunday is $40.   That will maybe be fun and worth it for you if you are into anything geeky, sci-fi, fantasy or comic-book related.  Otherwise it will be a waste of your money.  In that case, don’t feel obligated to see the film, just come see us.

I am also interested, if my entourage duties allow, in going to the Decatur Book Festival, probably on Saturday.  I believe I have at least one friend who is doing a reading on Saturday afternoon, but I’m not sure where, and I’m not sure what the geographic relationship is between the con and the fair.

More details to come.  Facebook posts and Tweets no doubt.  But for the loyal readers of this blog–you four know about it first!

My Husband’s Diet is Making Me Hungry


My husband is doing the Master Cleanse and it’s making me hungry.

For those of you who don’t know Paul, his philosophy might be summed up as something like “Life is the stuff you do to pass the time between meals.” He likes to eat meals, preferably at a restaurant. He likes to plan where he will eat his next meal, the one after that, and maybe a special one sometime next week. He likes to look forward to his plans to eat meals.

For those of you who don’t know the Master Cleanse, it is a dietary program consisting of NO MEALS. Unless you consider water mixed with lemon juice (cleansing part), sweetened with a tablespoon of maple syrup (to keep your blood sugar up so you don’t faint), and a dash of cayenne pepper (to stimulate your metabolism) to be a meal.

Paul’s intention is to do this for ten days.

Fasts are an age old tradition, so I’m sure he will be fine.

The question is: Will I?

Normally, I like to consider Paul to be the one with “food issues.” Because of, well–all the eating, and planning, and the way any time you get in a car with him, you run an 85% risk of being “Paul-jacked” and taken to some kind of food or dessert purveyor.

I consider myself to be the person with a healthy relationship to food, because I sometimes eat vegetables, or take my lunch to work, or make frozen ravioli and broccoli at home instead of driving to to the Inland Empire in search of the only local branch of a chain restaurant that makes the kind of mac n’ cheese that I’m in the mood for.

Long story short, when it comes to food, I’m reasonable–he’s crazy. I’m moderate–he’s extreme.

Except now that he’s not eating, something is happening to me.

I think it might be like a sympathy pregnancy–except it’s sympathy starvation. All the sudden I’m hungry all the time. I’m constantly ruminating about what kind of food I’ll eat next. And when I start eating, I keep eating, because the idea of being hungry again is panic-inducing. Since I’ve begun writing this post, I’ve eaten two halves of a particular sandwich–a large bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich with garlic aioli on oversize toasted sourdough bread. The last time I ordered this sandwich, the shop that sells it was still on summer hours. The last time I ordered this sandwich I ate half for lunch, and the other half for dinner. But today I thought about the sandwich non-stop for five hours at work, while staving off hunger by eating a candy bar from a vending machine! And then I ate both halves in under twenty minutes.

And now, despite the whole earlier candy-from-a-vending-machine debaucle, I’m wondering if I need dessert. Do I need ice cream? Do I need a snack to get me through class?

And what about when class is over?

It is typical for me to be hungry when I get out of my night class at 9:30, but I don’t worry because I have an unofficial arrangement where Paul picks me up something wherever he happens to dine. Now, however, Paul won’t be dining. Alarm Bells! I am already mentally searching the shelves of the refrigerator for something quick and easy to prepare–in my imagination (and likely reality) they are frighteningly bare.

Oh no! I’m so hungry!

No, wait, you’re not hungry. You just had a huge sandwich.

Oh. Right. … But I’m going to be hungry!

I’m going to be happier when Paul is done with the Master Cleanse.

Rock Jocks Update

Paul continues to work with his editor Adam to get a locked cut of the Rock Jocks–the film he wrote and directed. There are still many things to be done, like sound mixing, music, special effects etc, before the latest deadline for Sundance at the end of September. But this week he took a few days off to visit Chicago Comic Con and promote the film.

Paul’s Feature Debut

Paul will be directing his first feature length film in less than a month!

This is a big announcement that doesn’t feel quite as big around here because it’s been in the works for awhile. Sometime last year, a friend, Sheri, who produces independent films, approached Paul. Her company (comprised of herself and her husband) had a potential deal to make a film and they were looking for the right project to pitch. They asked Paul to come up with a list of log-lines. Paul gave them a list of ideas–his own and also those of some friends he invited to submit. In the end, none of them were what the other party was looking for, but one of them, ROCK JOCKS, intrigued Sheri. She asked Paul to write it to be made for a really low budget, and she would keep an eye out for an opportunity. Paul spent the next several months working on the script, and eventually the opportunity did arise. One thing led to another, and now casting is in progress, a set is being built, and shooting is scheduled to begin on March 17th!

I am super proud and happy for him, and he is excited too–at the same time that he’s nervous. No one wants to mess up a big opportunity! He’s also been busy and stressed juggling his pre-production duties with his day job, which he finally and reluctantly had to leave this past week in order to devote himself to the film full time. No movie gets made without an alternating series of lucky breaks and heartbreaking setbacks, and this one is no exception–but there are some exciting possibilities being discussed in terms of cast and crew–and as soon as contracts get signed, hopefully I can talk about them here.

Update: Yesterday I got to go see the stage (warehouse) where the production office and sets are both in early stages of assembly, and took this blurry picture on my phone. The pink sign says ROCK JOCKS.