Fishwinning, muscle spasming, thief failing and pattern breaking

Yup, it’s official. I’m a crazy fish guy.

Sam Lyota (damn, I’ve got to stop doing that. I’ll never forget you buddy.), you’ll be pleased to know, is doing swimmingly. >pauses to giggle<
I turned his filter off again because, happy as he was to fight the current for a few hours, I could see it was wearing him down. Aqua One, why you sell an OP’d filter for a 9L tank? He survived the cleaning and water change- which I turned out to have quite an acidic pH – poor guy, it’s amazing what I’ve put him through. He loves the new food he’s on, though he doesn’t eat much, and as far as I can tell he’s happier and healthier than ever. Yay fish!

In other fish news, John came back into the store. To my surprise and delight, the ammonia levels were very low and the nitrite levels were slightly high. It turned out that the bionoods I sold him were actually working. Holy smokes, I didn’t see that one coming, and neither did he – he had come into the store expecting to buy a better filter. Bacteria were colonising and breaking down the waste, and within a few days I expect the nitrite and ammonia will both drop to 0. He was ecstatic. High off our collective triumph, he pondered whether he could get a tropical tank, maybe a 50L one, no wait, maybe a 200L one. We laughed together as we realised the joy was overruling our judgement, but it was such a wonderful moment we shared. I am so grateful I was part of that, and I helped him all on my lonesome.

In (far less interesting) non-fish news, I pulled a muscle at work yesterday. It’s ridiculous that I can do dozens of knuckle-pushups, run for kilometers, almost skin-the-cat, and yet reaching for a clipboard is apparently enough to send my chest into spasms. Since overextending, I’ve been in quite agonising pain whenever I’ve taken a deep breath or moved my arms above my head. Yesterday I made the foolish decision to place just a single box of cat litter (maybe 12kg?) at head height, and just before I got it on the shelf I spasmed in pain and it fell upon me. I still get wracked with pain every now and then, but it’s definitely improving with time. Alas, no karate tonight, but perhaps taiji tomorrow.

Thief_II_-_The_Metal_Age_Coverart

Eugene (who, if I haven’t mentioned, has returned from England for a few weeks and returns on Thursday) and I played Thief II together. We foolishly assumed that with our age would come skill and we’d be able to pass the whole game in a single sitting. The game was just like I’d remembered it, except slightly less terrifying as I begun to understand the mechanics (while sophisticated for its time in 2001 were not as complex as games today) it was based on. I could recall where most of the treasure was, where the guards were located, quotes on the walls, complex puzzles and the mechanics of stealth. Needless to say we didn’t get past the second level, but I enjoyed re-watching the cutscenes, just as I had twelve years previous.

Placement is going well! I’m still challenged quite often by anxiety, but I’m managing a lot better than I used to. The first few days of prac were spent in an overload of information and sense of general panic, but now when I started to understand how and why things worked, I begun to enjoy it a lot more. Then that honeymoon phase ended and I sort of went “Okay, I’ve had my fun playing social worker. I don’t want to work full-time and be responsible and professional anymore.” And I really struggled, and am struggling with that. My mother’s always done so much for me, taken care of me, provided for me, and I (out of laziness and convenience) have accepted all her housework and cooking and laundering. Now, at the first sniff of responsibility, I long to turn tail and run to the couch where I can distract myself with videogames and do what I’ve always done. But doing what I’ve always done will get me where I’ve always got, and the time has come to take a deep breath and step forwards, and to be a better person. It’s not easy sometimes, but hell, it’s so important. So, despite the little niggles at my health, I still go to work every day and still challenge myself not to run from that which scares me.

Speaking of health, Naomi started me on this revolting powdered alfalfa drink. It tastes pretty bad, but I have to say it works amazingly. For reasons beyond my comprehension I’ve had energy in abundance and my stomach hasn’t been hurting as much. I look forward to drinking it every day now.

All right, that’s enough from me! I hope you’re all doing well. Drop me a line if you’d like to catch up again soon!

Love,

Xin.

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