Weekend of the fishes

My 10-year-old tends to develop obsessive interests. For a while it was the oldest people in the world. Then it was the top-grossing movies. There was an excursion into roller coaster rankings. Currently it is fish. This is because we promised to give him a nice aquarium for his birthday (yes, this was 6 months ago...stuff came up). He's been doing research into exactly what kind of fish can go in tanks of various sizes. He made a PowerPoint presentation for me last week on 8 kinds of saltwater fish that could co-habit in a 40-gallon tank. I agreed to go look at 40 gallon tanks this weekend to make sure I could stomach this sort of volume.

So in general it was a weekend of fish. Choosing fish. Watching Tanked, this show about a company that installs very large and high-end tank in the homes of rather strange rich people. The trip to Pet Smart to see aquarium sizes. Another trip to a local aquarium store to look at fish and heaters and other such things. Then on Sunday, we decided to drive down to Baltimore to go to the National Aquarium (we're members of the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, but we've kind of been there a lot).

The trip was long. The kids were at each other's throats in the car, at least until we turned on The Bee Movie. The trip home was mostly fine because the 2-year-old was asleep, but we paid for that late nap with him being up until 10 p.m. Even then there was a tantrum about going to sleep, but I held firm, and it was kind of interesting to watch the rage slowly leave his little body as he went from throwing himself at the door, to being willing to stand near me as I read a book, to climbing in my lap, to snuggling and then lying down on his bed.

But anyway, the aquarium was pretty cool. I like the long ramp where you descend through a giant tank, finally seeing the sharks on the ground floor. And we watched a 4D movie of Rudolph. Nothing fish-related at all in that one, but it was 11 minutes of fun for the whole family. Such things are rare!

In other weekend news: After posting that I probably wouldn't keep my running goal last week, I did wind up running my sub 7:40 mile on the treadmill on Friday. I did 7:35. That's as fast a mile as I have ever run, but the fact that I could get a personal record just by electing to do so some day suggests that I could probably run faster. I go back and forth on whether I wish to push myself on speed. I love running, and I don't love speed work, so we shall see.

My husband took our 4 children (and friends!) to see The Polar Express at church on Friday night. So I had 2 hours all to myself. I read most of the way through Norwegian Wood. I finished it on Saturday morning. I liked it, though there are some weird Murakami parts. Definitely weird.

Then I read A Christmas Carol. I'd seen various movies/plays but I couldn't remember if I'd read the book. I quite liked the book! An example of a fable that's infinitely better written than Who Moved My Cheese. All the movies can't quite capture Dickens' prose, which conjures up its own vision of wintry London.

I started, and abandoned The Rosie Project. I don't find socially awkward situations funny at all. This is why I can't watch most sitcoms.

Though the Sunday night bedtime tantrum was bad, the 2-year-old slept through the night both nights. He slept past 7 a.m. both mornings! I am very, very happy about this.

I plan to do most of my Thanksgiving shopping tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Photo: Jellyfish. In a touch tank!

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9 Responses to Weekend of the fishes


  1. Caitlin says:

    I also love reading A Christmas Carol! It’s fairly short, too, so it’s not a struggle for me to re-read it most years. I enjoyed it so much it prompted me to tackle some of Dickens’s longer works that I hadn’t read, and I was reminded that a lot of his work was serialized–so even though it might seem intimidating, the chapters are pretty manageable.

  2. Beth says:

    Hey Laura!

    I really enjoy your blog and have been reading it every day since I discovered it (about a month ago). I listened to your book “I Know How She Does It” earlier this year, and listen to your podcasts. I also read and enjoy Sarah’s blog. Any other blogs you really enjoy and can recommend? I find myself really wanting to read more! It’s a better use of time then Facebook at least, right? 🙂

    Thanks! Beth

  3. Omdg says:

    Have you thought about hiring a coach? The only way speed work has ever happened for me is with a coach or with other people who are faster than me. It can be really satisfying to feel yourself improve but you do have to push it until it hurts a lot, and you do have to stick with it. Frankly Laura, for someone who runs as much as you do 7:30 is just slow. I don’t think you could be faster, I know it. You just have to want to get there. (Ps there is nothing wrong with being slow either! Coming from a formerly fast now solid 10+ min/mile gal.)

    • @Omdg – I agree that I could be faster. But the idea of hiring a coach just makes me shudder. I don’t like being told what to do (maybe I have an inner rebel!) That’s one reason I went the self-employment route very very early. I’ve looked at speed workouts I could do myself, but as you put it, you have to push it until it hurts a lot, and since running is a source of pleasure in my life, I’m just not sure I care enough. We shall see how I go with this…

  4. Cb says:

    I liked the Rosie Project but share your dislike of sitcoms. I’ve heard it described as Acute Secondary Embarassment. I find it happens when watching tv and in real life.

    • @Cb – I think that’s it precisely. Acute Secondary Embarrassment. I hate it. I really do!

    • ARC says:

      Oh wow, I had no idea this was A Thing. My husband is like this too, and I totally don’t get it 😉

  5. Nikki says:

    Been so enjoying the podcast and discovering you and Sarah’s blogs – thank you! Your comment here about not finding socially awkward situations funny/entertaining was so spot on, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else agree with me on that besides my husband who has an even lower tolerance. So uncomfortable, the last thing I want from something I’m reading/watching/listening to for fun!

  6. Tana says:

    Totally hear you on not enjoying socially awkward shows/books. Stuff like that is painful and I avoid it like the plague. I am glad I’m not alone on that one.

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