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I shouldn’t have, but I picked up some rummy nose tetras. I also made a quick blue and black gradient background for the aquarium. I don’t know if I prefer dark to light, but I am going to give it a try.

The rummies lost all color during the train ride home. They’ve been getting brighter everyday. I’m hoping with another day or so they will completely get their red cheeks back.

I hope to get a honey gourami in the near future.

I’m kind of obsessed with this bag I saw on the train the other day.

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The closest I could find is the Woodlands Herschel Backpack, which is sold out.

I like that it is irreverent, colorful, and that it has birds on it. I like to think of them as my sorta non-spiritual totem animal. I have a Paul Smith tote with birds on it, but one can’t have too many bird bags.

The other day I was visiting Vox Machina and I was introduced to the world of felting. I bought a felting needle to mend some sweaters we had that were eaten by months. I also wanted to embellish some sweaters I had.

Here is some inspiration and associated tutorials.

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Small, cute, and has a video tutorial!
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This is also a great way to dress up a sweater. I honestly got the needle to mend sweaters of ours.
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It’s a lot like sculpture.

On another maybe creepy note, didn’t Marcy from Married with Children make little animals out of her hair? Somehow I am reminded of that.

So, I was really excited when I saw this tutorial, to create realistic rocky aquarium background using styrofoam insulation and concrete mix. I totally want to try this. Check it out, the example is really good. Coupled with lots of lush real plants, I think this would take it all to the very edge. Here is a similar one.6703f285451873c2b342a472fc1ae7d4-300x160

(Photo Courtesy of DIY Aquarist)

I showed this video to my husband, who… is a painting/hobbyist. And he says, “THIS IS JUST LIKE MAKING TERRAIN! I wanted to get insulation styrofoam for my figures, but the sheet was too damn big. But if you want to do this, we could get it and use it for both our projects!” This is where figure painting hobbyists and aquarium building come together. This is probably why we work, as well.

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Airplants, succulents, and cacti, are all part of the Brooklyn hipster apartment now. I mean, I’ve always liked succulents, and my mother always kept aloe, but it’s really a great lazy person’s plant. You need to water it once a week. Maybe every 2-3 days for an airplant that is blooming. And they are so cute and/or beautiful. I loved how bare airplants looked, but the blooms last year and this year always take me by surprise. I love it. And the smaller airplants just keep giving birth to other smaller plants that you can split from them.
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(The small glass container has tons of little baby airplants.)

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So around 3 times a year, I am “on-call” for my company. I work around client services in a technology/marketing services company. (I don’t do anything top secret or controversial, or anything, but I don’t post about work.) This means, that I need to stay local and near a computer in my off hours time for an entire week, including the weekend. So, I couldn’t go out this weekend. Instead, I had my old friend Daniel come to me.

We had another pretty epic board gaming session yesterday. Over all, we’ve been pretty spoiled with gaming, since my H.S. friend Jay came over for another epic board game session last weekend. (Last weekend we played some “Betrayal at House on the Hill,” “Love Letter,” “Masquerade,” and “Eminent Domain.” It was kind of Halloween themed.)

This is what we played yesterday:

Pathfinder
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This is a new game my husband bought. He thought it would be more my style and it’s growing on me. I realized that I like a certain type of strategy games. This is a card/deck building RPG co-operative game. I picked a human sorcerer character. My husband, of course, picked the dwarf fighter character. Danny was the human wizard character. You basically go through missions and build up your character stats and items. Similar to “Legend of Andor” and “Descent: Journey in the Dark” you keep the final stat and keep building your character on an on-going basis. Come to think of it, we have a pretty good collection of co-operative RPGs, if people want to start campaigning with us. Kind of like D&D on a smaller scale… probably without B.S. drama.

City of Thieves
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So… husband gives me a hard time about these guys. They have beautiful gorgeous gothic figures and artwork. It’s actually pretty fun, but I have a mental block about these types of board games. I don’t think I am as much of a fan. I like deck building games with a Eurogame twist, like Eminent Domain. I get super bitter and competitive in games where you can actually screw with your opponents. I think this session made me a convert.

Wizwar
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This is always fun, because it’s so zany. Did you know this game is pretty old (although we have the new edition) and is a precursor to “Magic the Gathering?” You are a bunch of wizards trying to steal each other’s treasures and/or kill each other. You get to zap one another. I think I had a “Ka-Bonk” card where I produced a giant mallet to attack Danny, at one point. You run around a small map creating walls, eating walls, throwing fireballs, etc. Overall, it’s a game where if you lose, you can’t really take it too personally, so it’s good. It’s a good laugh.

Overall a pretty active late late night.

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Another one of my recent hobbies is keeping fish. I have some fish in the office and I’ve kept fish in a small 5 gallon tank at home. In the last year that I really got into this, I found that the 5 gallon was extremely limiting in what I can keep. I honestly wanted a community tank stocked with different fish (and one centerpiece fish). The 5 gallon meant that I could have a single Betta or Gourami, or small shoaling fish (and even then it wasn’t ideal).
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I finally sprung for a 20 gallon long that was on sale. I was so excited. I remember dragging my husband with me to the Brooklyn store. We traveled via train, walked a mile, and then browsed, picked up items, and used an Ubercab for the first time. It was the same weekend they were trying to encourage people to use it in NYC outer boroughs, so they took off $20. It was perfect. (On a separate note, Uber was ok, except one driver called me, asked me to canceled and it took forever to get another driver. We were literally almost waiting wondering what to do for 30 minutes. And then it took another 20-30 minutes for the final driver to get here. That being the said, the driver that got us was so nice, and we were so thankful that he drove all that way. Later, Uber waived my cancellation fee from that other driver. I explained to them that the driver actually asked me to cancel. (They waive the first cancellation fee without you asking – since they figured you did not know about the fee.) Overall it was a mixed experience. Uber is more expensive, and hard to catch currently in the outer boroughs, but it is easy to use and the customer service is pretty good. < / long tangent >)

I bought a separate hood, the filters, etc. It took a couple of weeks to assemble all the parts in an affordable way. And I’ve been looking to stock this new aquarium for a long while. I cycled it with guppies I had in the office for the first month after buying the filter. (I have the Penn Plax Cascade 150 and a 20G sponge filter. Then, I traveled to Oregon, etc. So, I didn’t want to add new fish and abandon it so I left the guppies and waited a few more weeks. Of course throughout, I tested with the Master API liquid kit to make sure ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and nitrates were low.

I had the rough gravel left over from my 5 gallon and my dark fine gravel is the Caribsea Eco-Complete, which I used because I wanted to experiment with some plants. You can see some Java Fern and Anubias, which are low light plants. The Anubias had a little flower, which wilted, while I was in Oregon (since we left the lights off). The castle and all the fake silk plants were from my 5 gallon.

At work, another coworker hooked me up with someone in my office who was looking to get rid of his neon tetras, since he wanted to try something else. We actually did a fish swap with the guppies that breed at my desk. I gave him one male, 3 females (2 were pregnant), so that should get his swarm of feeder guppies going. I never wanted neon tetras before, but they are gorgeous in the tank. they are so bright blue with that flash of red. Also, I think 2 of them are actually cardinals instead. They are so skittish. I brought them over between Tuesday and Wednesday, so it’s been 2-3 days and they are just starting to come out. Whenever anyone walks by the aquarium (my floor creaks), they still run away, though. I am hoping after a while they come out of their shell a bit more. I am also considering getting more, because I’ve heard larger shoals/schools give them more confidence. I may pick up like 3 more.

There is still more I need to do. I want to make a background for it out of styrofoam and concrete, but I want to get some black backing to start to hide the wires and the wall. I want to add some more color. I think a Gourami center piece and some colorful Platys (bumblebee?). Once day, I would LOVE to get a German Blue Ram, but I think I am going to wait. I want to plant this tank more, too. I want to change the hood light to glolight and get it a bit more heavily planted. I also want to fill the 5 gallon with a dwarf puffer fish and plant it. I have some other projects in store for that one.

There is still a guppy in there that I can’t catch. One also gave birth in there so there are 7 fry that I can count. They are a little larger and quicker, so I don’t think they will get eaten anymore. I’ll see. I would want to take them out once I stock it a little more.

Any comments/feedback is very much appreciated!

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You do know what that means, right? It’s NANOWRIMO time! Where everyone with a computer and (maybe) internet fancies themselves a writer. I think there was one year, back when this was new, around 12-14 years ago that I attempted this. I got pretty far into this Fantasy Novel I was writing at the time.

This year, I’m still not that ambitious. I’m actually going to try to update this location every day, or at least 30 times this month. I am trying to not miss more than 1 day in consecutive order. Let’s see how this goes!

In other news, this year for Halloween, I was on call at work. This means I headed home and was passed out on my couch by 11pm. It was nice, if not a little anticlimactic. I should have planned something the previous weekend, but I’ve been pretty stressed out. I saw a costume an old coworker did this year on FB, and it was something I always wanted to try. :P Maybe another year. I’ll leave it a secret.

Are you guys challenging yourselves at Nanowrimo?