Monthly Archives: October, 2004

Fandom and elitism are not a comfortable mix

I have discovered that being a fan, in the fan situation, makes me feel quite uncomfortable.

I went to a ‘meet Jasper Fforde’ night some weeks ago. I’d been looking forward to it for a month or so – his books are great, he’s Welsh, it was going to be great. And it was: he was very entertaining, spoke like he writes – all rambling and funny and cross-referenced.


The problem with the evening was not Jasper himself, but everyone else there. No, not true – not everyone – just the people who asked cringe-worthy questions and generally fawned over him. Which, in a way and to be honest, I would have liked to do, had I been able to think up an appropriately witty question or remark and manage to get myself noticed (which, I admit, might not have been hard, since I was in the second row – only not in the first row because I thought that would be just too pathetic).

So the people who annoyed me and made me want to cringe really only did so, if I am to be truthful, because they did what I wanted to and didn’t because I thought it would be a bit embarassing. I took an elitest view to the whole thing and decided to look down on these people who seemed so desperately eager for the conversation and approval, in some form, of this author whom they admired so much (as if I didn’t).

So fandom and elitism are not placid bed-fellows. You can probably expect more dissertation on this in the future, as it really is something that disturbs at the same time that it fascinates me.

People in Brunswick

I just saw a girl who looked to have stepped out of the fever-oppressed brain of someone (male) with a 1920s obsession: heels, feather in the hair, white dress with layers of feathery stuff (a bit go-go ish)… no boa, but then this was only a dinky little cafe in Brunswick in the middle of the day, after all.


I no longer keep Madagascan Rainbow fish.


There are 2 rasboras – out of eight – still alive.

There is one rainbow – out of four – still alive.

All Colombians still alive and looking awful.

I am still considering one betta for the entire 4′ tank.

Said tank is green from medication added yesterday.

A crap time to be a fish

– We moved Ajax to the qt to prevent his shell from getting pecked any more.

– Three days ago we noticed some of the Colombian tetras had white bits on them. This has got worse – much worse. I think it’s parasites. It’s not ich or velvet… they stand out, and they spread, and they make the fish a bit berko: not eating, zipping around the tank every now and then… I bought some medication today, but I’m not convinced it will work. The guy at the aquarium said parasites on Colombians was really rare (yeh, great, thanks…).

– Yesterday noticed some of the rasboras weren’t looking that great – an issue with a tail looking a bit nipped. This morning noticed one with only half a tail. Tonight, there are two rasboras against one of the filter inlets (dead, of course).

– The angel with the swim bladder issue is dead. I fished half of him out this afternoon.

– I’m thinking of just getting a betta and having it. Alone, in the entire 4′ tank.

All is not well in the world of fish

Few days ago, I had to move a certain black and white angel into the quarantine tank. He is still alive, but very, very unhappy… seems to have a serious problem with his swim bladder. Read: he is swimming on his side, rather than up the right way. So this is very sad, and I don’t think there is any way of curing him.

Additionally, I have noticed some holes on Ajax’s shell, which is hugely distressing. We checked the levels, and discovered that the water was at about 6 on the pH scale, which can’t have been good for anyone. As well, probably the stress of bring nipped at doesn’t help; nasty angel.


We went to B’s place the other day to watch some movies, and decided on the Star Wars trilogy. J was muttering and complaining for most of the first, something about revisionism because in the remastered versions Greedo shoots first, in the Mos Eisley sequence with Han… (are we sad?). I don’t see what the problem is, but J has some very strong thoughts on the matter. I am often a fan of revisionism; it can lead to some very interesting history, and is at least convenient for pointing out that our interpretation of past events can never be static. However. I must say that there was, in fact, a piece of revisionism that really, really annoyed me. At the end of Return of the Jedi – after everything is just fine – and the ghosts turn up… they have Hayden $%@^ Christensen appearing! Not the original Darth/Anakin! Really, really upsetting.

Hedges and their non-existence

So yes, the hedge no longer exists. At least not in its previous state; instead it is sitting, all roots up, in the middle of our courtyard. We got all excited on the weekend about changing the garden – partly as a result of J giving me The Small Garden Encyclopedia, which gave me – and him – all sorts of ideas. Like building up a pile of soil in a broken terracotta pot and planting bits of succulent, which has turned out pretty well. It also made us interested in changing the courtyard a little more substantially.

Originally, J was wanting to be pretty extravagant – build a deck, extend the garden bed by a metre or so. It turns out, though, that the pavers are attached to concrete, which means both of those things would be quite difficult. So we have settled for pulling out the hedge, which I must say has made a huge difference. Originally we meant only to pull out half of the hedge, so the courtyard looks a bit stupid because only half of it has mulch and new plants. But we figured that, while we were at it, we might as well do the whole thing. J has promised to take the hedge to the “waste reduction centre” before my party on Saturday…

And, hugely exciting, I got some dahlia tubers from a woman at school today… 21 clumps, to be exact. I gave some to other people at school, which was good, and I’ve also planted a few out the front and a stack out the back. Some of them have already started sprouting eyes, which is very cool.


Dead tetra and a concerning snail

The dropsy Colombian finally died. I netted him on Thursday, from the main tank, because he was swimming on his side, and put him in the qt. He died Friday afternoon.

And, giving me quite a turn, I was looking at Ajax on the front glass on Thursday and there is a HOLE in his shell! Argh! Having done a frantic search on the web, it seems that this might be a result of water that is too soft and/or acidic, so we will have to do something about this. Apparently if you correct it in time the snail won’t die, although their shell won’t completely recover. Argh! again.