If You Haven’t Anything Nice to Say

My near silence of late is deliberate in the sense that I’ve lost my taste for updates devoid of monumental news.  The literary practice of regurgitating daily happenstance has simply lost its luster.

My lack of exuberance extends only so far as normalcy.  Anything out of my ordinary, anything that excites me, still seems worth recounting.  I believe that was one of the spirits in which I started this blog. On to the point: I spent the last hour researching molluscs and indoor aquaculture to little avail, but did manage to piece together a frame work of knowledge as much from what was missing as from what I found.  A great deal of tangential information has begun to accrete, not unlike a bivalve’s shell, on reflection.

Pennsylvania is number four in aquaculture, though our primary product is trout.  I saw no mention of shellfish on the USDA’s PA page, let alone the apparently much more niche practice of freshwater mollusc culture.  One hopes that there may be some ag extension office support yet to be discovered given our aquatic productivity, even if it isn’t a direct sort of aid.

The internet was even more outspoken with regard to small scale growing of said filter feeders.  I found only a few websites offering fry and spat (baby molluscs of varying sizes) and most were for salt water strains.  Of the sites that, after investigation, proved to exist, few were fully functional; many had blind or dead links, some seemed written by merry-go-round enthusiasts with links sending a user in a perpetual, unelucidating circle.

I found a book available through a local used book store that is apparently highly regarded in the clam rearing field.  For a purchase price less than a cup of a coffee one can hardly go wrong.  Two days until it arrives.  Until then, I think more practical research is in order.

The internet must have the information I want, but I haven’t yet the terminology to tailor my searches.  There may be a great deal of tangential information on indoor shellfish rearing included in aquaponic articles (one such piece I read today pointedly declared that aquaculture and aquaponics were not the same and should never be used interchangeably. My thoughts ran immediately to the “lighten up, Francis” scene in Stripes).*  It seem to me that the skills demanded of one likely prepare one for the other.

My interest in aquarium sized farming is not parthenogenic.  I’ve been working on building my own terrariums for Agricultural Alchemy.  I’m enjoying the process but it’s a great deal more difficult than I realized it would be.  For the time involved, I’d like a greater return than merely something pretty (or very pretty, exceptionally pretty, even) to store plants I’ve already proven capable of growing.  Limitations of size, space, and light require the -ariums I’ve made so far to be fairly simple.  As my skill and methodology improve, I hope to begin including artificial lighting and a different sort of water proofing (aquatic life is a great deal more sensitive to seepage than is terrestrial life, hence those acidified dead spots in the ocean).  I use traditional woodworking techniques to seal my terrariums; for aquariums I’ll need to find something a little gentler and a great deal less transmutable.

Yesterday I made my fiftieth submission.  I read recently that one should aim for one hundred rejections per year, so my previous goal of one submission per week now seems low.  I don’t know that I’ll quite hit one hundred, but given that I’m now where I had meant to be two weeks past my birthday, I have time to catch up.

I’m still in the running for an unrealistically cushy residency.  While that would certainly give me time to finish at least one of the books on which I’m working, or edit the dozen stories just shy of completion, or even, to write something new, I don’t wish to give myself the option of waiting until I’ve gotten it to get back to work, especially given the severe unlikeliness of that event (this isn’t so much pessimism as it is an understanding of math).

The first week of lifting went off with only the minor, expected hitches.  My left leg is a great deal weaker than my right, a  much greater difference between my legs than exists between my arms, demonstrated in my left arm actually feeling less sore than my right.

My grocery bill has gone up.  For such boring foods, they sure are costly.

I made the mistake of adding one of my father’s intra-workout supplements to the one of my own creation for yesterday’s work out.  I made it through about a third of the bottle before I poured it out, the taste was like the worst parts of soda.  I’ll stick to fruit juices and micronized, clarified bits of animal.

I feel better than I have, stronger, more present.  It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe as it’s something marked primarily by its difference from my previous indescribable state.

Put simply, for a very long time I’ve felt myself a ghost haunting my own existence.  Now I feel more predatory, which is to say more alive in a very specific way.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, either.

*The only difference between aquaculture and aquaponics is the intended use of the fauna component in the system.  Aquaponics defines the use of its animals to plant support, primarily through filtration or fertilization, while aquaculture is the inverse.  Plants exist to support the animal component, animal protein being the intended food crop.