Updates: Fish, Flowers and Fiction including The Martian & Godzilla

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

War In Flesh is off again and this time I am well pleased with how it’s going. I had to purchase a new computer and between that and working overtime lately I haven’t had any time for writing or blogging. Whilst setting up my new computer I went ahead and cruised the interwebz for some kind of editing software, with an emphasis on affordable (read “cheap” because I had just had to buy a new computer) and found something I kind of like.

I did make time this last weekend to read a novel. The first new fiction I’ve read in quite some time, as it turns out. I’m really glad that the novel I chose was The Martian by Andy Weir. It reminded me of how much I love reading science fiction. I’m also very much looking forward to the movie. In fact I’m going to put the trailer right here:

Casting Matt Damon as Mark Watney is brilliant. For my full review keep an eye out for it at Fangirl Nation

Also, Toho is planning on releasing a new Godzilla movie in 2016. This is in addition to the planned sequel to Gareth Edwards Godzilla due in theaters in 2018. Add Pacific Rim: Maelstrom into the mix for 2017 and we have monster movies coming out once a year for the next three years. Yay! That is, presuming everyone stays on schedule.

Alright, we’ve dealt with fiction, on to fish. Gipsy Danger died. I tried everything to diagnose and cure him but there was just nothing that helped. Looking back I think he came to me with a chronic columnaris infection that finally caught up to him. He had a mark on him that I thought was just a part of him but now, in hindsight I think it was the columnaris infection and I just didn’t know what I was looking at. Anyway I tried everything and nothing worked. Poor Gipsy fought a good fight but it was just too much for him. I did 25% water changes daily. I adjusted his heater, put aquarium salt in the aquarium and in the last days, desperate, I put antibiotics in his water. Nothing helped. 12 hours before he died he was riding the current from his filter like he loved to do. He couldn’t flare at Scunner because the snail climbed up to the top of the mountain decoration and refused to go back into the water after the antibiotics were added. I took him out of the tank and put him in another tank.

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

The hour during which Gipsy died he wanted to be close to me. He swam up to the front of his tank and stayed near my hand. I put my fingers on the glass and he hung there near them. Then he died. We buried him underneath a rose bush. I miss him still.

I evicted all of the other residents, bleached everything with 2% bleach water and got the tank set up again. The next day we went out and got Kiryu. He’s no Gipsy Danger but he did need a good home. I didn’t realize how hungry he was when we bought him. He was starving. He’s been eating hungrily and getting more color every day. He was mostly white when I got him but now he’s mostly blue and red. He’s beautiful and he has also claimed the whole 10 gallons for himself. Also he discovered his reflection the other night and spent a good 20 minutes vigorously defending his territory from himself. It’s almost time to put Scunner back in the tank. We’ll see how Kiryu likes him.

Taboo

Taboo

Finally Flowers. The flowers have been gorgeous this year. I’ve gotten a bouquet of roses every week all summer long from my rose bushes. The lobelia bloomed and is still blooming. The mallow plant bloomed and the flowers lasted for the hummingbirds. There were two nests of hummingbirds this year and they had many chicks. They usually got up early and hopped around the clerodendrum having breakfast from the flowers for an hour before moving on. I loved to see them bounding around and chirruping.

Ghost Shrimp, Vashta Nerada, Catfish, Gallifrey and Gipsy Danger–Yeah

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

Ghost Shrimp named The Vashta Nerada

Ghost Shrimp named The Vashta Nerada

A blue and red crown tail betta named Gipsy Danger (once again, don’t judge me), is the first pet I’ve had in 20 years. I have a lot of repressed pet love that is being showered on this particular betta. Gipsy has a 5.5 gallon tank, into which I’ve placed two mystery snails — Degarla and Ebriah Horror of the Deep (remember – no judging). I have so much repressed pet love, even the snails are spoilt. I can’t let them go hungry though, that’d be cruel.

The snails have not seemed to be able to keep up with the algae growth in the tank, possibly because I feed them algae rounds once a day to make sure they don’t go hungry. They came home from the pet store absolutely starving, it would be cruel to continue that.

So Today I picked up 10 ghost shrimp and 1 tiny little catfish. They eat algae and the shrimp are alleged to eat any leftover betta pellets that Gipsy doesn’t eat. I deliberately asked for the most drab and small catfish in the shop so as not to cause Gipsy any grief.

To be honest, I knew better. The shop keeper said that the betta could share the tank with a small, non-aggressive fish if there were some place that the betta didn’t claim where the new fish could hide and stay. Gipsy claims every inch of the tank. I knew that but I tried it anyway.

Ebriah and ghost shrimp

Ebriah and ghost shrimp

First I gave Gipsy a special snack of freeze dried daphnia. While Gipsy was distracted I sipped the Ghost Shrimp into the tank and then the small catfish. I chose not to name any of the newcomers at first because I wasn’t sure how Gipsy would react to them, so at this point they were nameless.

The Ghost Shrimp were so fun to watch. They went into a frenzy of feeding, eating just as fast as they could. I have to confess that I was completely delighted by them as they swam around. But there was still Gipsy to make the final decision.

Gipsy seemed unconcerned with the newcomers, until the catfish moved. Then Gipsy noticed it. Whoa! Gipsy flared his gills and fins to the maximum. I had no idea his gills would flare like that. I hoped that Gipsy would calm down since the catfish was completely cowed by him but no. Gipsy kept at it until the poor catfish ran away. That was an even bigger mistake because Gipsy chased it and nipped at its fins. I finally had to rescue the poor catfish because Gipsy would not tolerate its presence in his tank.

Fortunately another member of the household had a tank with a more welcoming betta and the catfish went in there to live happily and be named Gallifrey. Gallifrey settled in nicely and the betta in that tank won’t chase it unless it darts in front of him.

Gipsy spent the rest of the afternoon being very affronted that I would even imagine that another fish would be permitted to live in his tank then transitioned into being insufferably smug that he successfully defended his territory. Gipsy is VERY territorial, even for a betta. I’m not really all that surprised.

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

The Ghost Shrimp were next to be noticed by Gipsy. For some reason Gipsy is more curious about them than anything. It helps that they scatter out of his way any time Gipsy gets close to them. Gipsy has not threatened them, even on the few occasions when they have caught his attention and he’s followed them to see what they are up to. Gipsy seems ok with invertebrates but Will. Not. Tolerate. Another fish.

After several hours with the ghost shrimp in the tank and Gipsy behaving like normal, as opposed to the flaring and posturing when the catfish was in there I decided it was ok to name the ghost shrimp. This was another problem because I had 10 of them and I couldn’t tell them apart. They were and are delightful but I can’t tell individual shrimp apart. This suggested a hive mind type of name so I started thinking about what monsters I knew that fit that description. Meganula from Megaguirus was a possibility but somewhat obscure. The Cybermat was an option but not one that really moved me. Then I hit upon Vashta Nerada and it said yes to me.

Degarla and Ebriah, all terrain snails.

Degarla and Ebriah, all terrain snails.

So now I have 13 residents in my aquarium: A crown tail betta named Gipsy Danger, 2 mystery snails, Degarla and Ebriah Horror of the Deep and 10 ghost shrimp named The Vashta Nerada. My hope is that they all live happily together for as long as their life spans permit. K.

Of Gardening, Bettas, Mystery Snails and Monsters

Gipsy in the coral decoration

Gipsy in the coral decoration

This summer I let my garden lay fallow, which is code for not doing anything with it. My Gunnera was killed in a late freeze in the spring and I never got around to replanting. Work kept me so busy I didn’t get to my garden and after a while the weeds took over.

Fear not! This December we are going to have the trees pruned and then I will prepare my garden for the spring. I am going to plant another Gunnera or two and watch carefully for unseasonal freezes so that they don’t die.

Despite my neglect, the hummingbirds returned and enjoyed the flowers. They nested in the same tree, much to my delight. Next year I will plant even more flowers for them to enjoy.

Degarla, a golden mystery snail, center and Gipsy.

Degarla, a golden mystery snail, center and Gipsy.

I got a Betta this fall to shower with my repressed pet love. I can’t have a cat due to severe allergies. So I now have the most spoilt crown tail Betta on the planet. I named him Gipsy Danger (don’t judge me). I also got two mystery snails to keep Gipsy company and clean the tank. Degarla (named after the monster in The Rebirth of Mothra) is a golden mystery snail and Ebriah (Horror of the Deep: from Godzilla vs Ebriah (the sea monster)) is blue. Again, don’t judge me.

I had no idea that fish had personalities. Gipsy dances for me when he sees me and he breaches to eat bits of thawed pea off my fingers. I found, via the power of Google, that giving a Betta a bit of pea once a week helps keep their little digestive tracts healthy, plus Gipsy loves it.

Gipsy

Gipsy

Also, when naming mystery snails after giant monsters it seems that they take that kind of thing seriously. Degarla has doubled in size since I got him (or her, I can’t tell). Ebriah is taking a bit longer to get huge but is working on it. Everything I read about them said they need supplemental food to be healthy so I picked up some alge discs and give them one per day.

I was appalled by how hungry Ebriah seemed to be when I got him (or her) home. She (or he) ate a whole one by herself. Also Degarla loves to be inside the coral cave decoration I got for them during the day. I took it out to clean it and Degarla tried desperately do dig under some rocks for the day. Gipsy also loves the coral cave decoration. He likes to pretend he’s a moray eel. Ok maybe not but I imagine he might be pretending that when he hides in there and only pokes his little head out. It doesn’t help that he likes to pop the snails off the glass and watch them fall to the bottom of the tank.

Ebriah, a blue mystery snail, playing in the plant.

Ebriah, a blue mystery snail, playing in the plant.

Gipsy takes his name to heart too. He’s kind of a jerk to the monster named snails. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to name my Betta after a giant Kaiju hunting Jaeger and then name my snails after Kaiju.

Speaking of Kaiju, my review of Godzilla Cataclysm Issue #4 will be published on Fangirlnation. Look for it there. Rest assured I will provide a link. I’m also reading the graphic novel of Godzilla The Half Century War. I’m about a quarter of a century into it. K.

Going Dark for #Godzilla & #Kaiju Haiku #PacificRim

You may wonder, gentle reader, why I’ve gone dark the closer we get to the Godzilla movie’s release. As huge a fan as I am I don’t want the whole movie to be spoiled before I get to watch it. So as the internet hype has reached a fever pitch, I have gone dark. Rest assured I will review Godzilla, and if my review is not posted here I’ll let you know which webzine picks it up.

To tide you over, how about some original Kaiju Haiku? The only form of poetry I should ever be allowed to write.

Nuclear bomb
nature’s wrath
Godzilla

Ocean surges
City burns
Godzilla

Mystic singing
Tiny twin priestesses
summon Mothra

Kaiju surface
wage war against us
Gipsy Danger

(Yes and whether or not I should even be allowed to write Haiku is questionable, but here you go.) K.

Pacific Rim, How To Train Your Dragon, Godzilla and More!

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

That’s right, gentle reader, today is a medley of updates, impressions and thoughts. First up I saw a trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 and it gave me goosebumps! I got goosebumps watching the first How To Train Your Dragon. The visuals, even though they are stylized CGI are stunning. Yes I know it doesn’t follow the books hardly at all but I enjoyed the movie anyway. Anyway check out the official trailer from Dreamworks:

Fabulous, no?

Now as you know I’m totally a fan of Pacific Rim. I love, love, loved that movie. I’m going to see it again next weekend. I might sneak away and see it again mid-week too. We’ll just have to see. That being said, as a nerd, and let’s be honest here, I am a nerd; I’ve been following Pacific Rim’s performance at the box office. I know that if it does well enough, if it grosses enough money there will be a sequel and I really want a sequel. I want Pacific Rim to be a franchise. I want lots of Pacific Rim movies. The pundits say it needs to gross better than $40,000,000.00 domestically over its opening weekend to be on track for consideration for sequels. I’m hoping for it to do far better than that. It’s not quite there as of this morning so I’m kind of hoping that Sunday is a huge movie day for Kaiju fans. It’s an amazing movie. Go see it. Examples of the genre this excellent are few and far between.

Gipsy Danger & Mothra action figures

Gipsy Danger & Mothra action figures

Oh! And I went to Things From Another World and picked up a Gipsy Danger figure for my collection. They had Crimson Typhoon too but I didn’t have the second generation Mothra and she was really nice so I got her instead. Things From Another World is sponsoring the Rose City Comic Con and they have a lot of cool stuff. I was transfixed by the wall o’ Doctor Who collectables and they had several rows of Godzilla figures too. Yes this is a total plug but they’re a good, locally owned business. They have a website at www.tfaw.com where you can order your own cool things rather than always wondering, “Where does he get all those toys?” 😉

Speaking of the Rose City Comic Con, that is coming up in September and I am very excited about it. I couldn’t make it to the San Diego Comic Con this year, sadly but I will be going to the RCCC. Comic Cons are so much fun. I love seeing all of the amazing cosplay costumes and being amongst thousands of geeky, nerdy fans having fun. I also missed G-Fest this year, which is going on right now. One of these days I will make it to G-Fest.

Speaking of G-Fest and the SDCC Godzilla Encounter is still posting teasers and they’re fantastic. Godzilla 2014 will have a discussion panel at the SDCC, those of you going might check it out if you’re fans or looking forward to the new Godzilla movie. K.

Pacific Rim Trailer — Anchorage

Pacific Rim Promo

Pacific Rim Promo

Pacific Rim Promo

I’ll be honest with you. I will watch every one of these they care to release. In fact I’ll watch them more than once. I ran a few of them through the television and got goosebumps.

http://movies.yahoo.com/video/pacific-rim-anchorage-2020-182033023.html

Wow. Just wow. I’m seeing this movie tonight and all I can say, from what I’ve seen so far, is that anyone who doesn’t like this movie doesn’t understand the two genera’s Guillermo del Toro has brought together. Which is ok, to each their own, but this looks like a gorgeous, exciting example of the genera of Kaiju movies and giant mechs movies. K.