I know it’s been a couple weeks (I’m beginning to sense a trend), but it’s taken me this long to get over the incident. Still, I’ve heard that, for many, writing things down and expressing one’s feelings is often very cathartic. Alas, this won’t be a very long or remotely profound post, but I will try and share my experience nonetheless.
Two weeks ago, I was robbed. It was the night of the Game of Thrones Season Three finale, and Wilf and I were headed to our friend Fred’s house to make fish tacos and partake in the epic television event. I realized en route however, that we had forgotten to buy a cabbage, so I decided to quickly run into Choices to pick one up. Once inside, I jogged over to the produce, sorted through the pile of shiny purple cabbages until I found the prettiest one, and quickly proceeded to the checkout. Which is where it happened. Completely out of nowhere, the cashier turned to me, smiling, and said, “$7.72”.
Tomorrow is World Oceans Day. Today I am eating apricots. These small, pastel orange fruits always remind me of warm evenings at the beach. And, I’m not quite sure why (although I assume some higher level organic chemistry is involved), but the delightful taste produced when the sweetness of their flesh mixes with the saltiness of the air seems to provide me with the best circumstances for contemplating life. But, while one would probably assume that my current thoughts are organizing themselves into an exciting post in honour of this special day, the truth is, they’re not. Because I don’t really know what to say. Of course this dilemma is not for lack of want, or knowledge of the subject matter; it is because—for the first time in my life—I am trying to decide how I feel about the ocean. Well, not the ocean itself. More specifically, the future of the ocean. And how young fisheries scientists, like myself, fit in.
First off, stoked to hear that the BC Government has officially rejected the Northern Gateway Project. Knowing that the suits at Enbridge are currently sweating buckets is excellent news heading into the weekend. On a broader note, a lot has been happening in my life. Nearly all of it good. It also feels like it’s been a while since I had a date with the awe-inspiring WordPress blog interface, so in many ways I feel like I am discovering it anew. Thus, before I get into the main post, allow me to go over some things that are going on with me these days/ are somewhat relavent to past entries.
- Izzy is still alive. He appears to be very happy and is eating roughly a colony’s worth of dried mosquito larvae on a daily basis. The plants in his tank are not doing as hot. (Surprise, surprise.)
- I’m reading an interesting book called A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies. It’s a collection of short stories (I don’t know if it actually falls under the category of ‘anthology’ though since the tales are all sort of connected in theme) and would highly recommend it. Especially to those who like to read en route to work but find that a 15-minute bus ride does not provide sufficient time or comfort to indulge in a novel with more than a few characters.
- The BBC One series Sherlock is amazing. I have just seen the first episode and the only criticism I have thus far is that it lacked fish. No doubt this will be remedied in episodes to come.
- Some of my FC colleagues recently evaluated the economic benefits of shark ecotourism and how these compares to the value of sharks killed for food and fins. Interesting read for anyone who likes sharks and/ or ideas on marine conservation. Check it out here.
- I am no longer single. This is undoubtedly the biggest news, although it probably comes as no surprise to anyone at the Fisheries Centre. Or anyone in general. I don’t really want to get too detailed with my personal life (amazingly, when it comes to anything beyond eHarmony, I am surprisingly shy and private with matters of the heart), although I assume I will ultimately get over this in the posts ahead. So for now, I’ll touch on it only briefly.
Yesterday I tried to give a little love back to the world.
I recently stumbled across (literally) a mix CD on the street in Gastown. The maker left no information other than a wish for me to listen and share a mix of my own. Since I absolutely love music and surprises and random acts of kindness, I was pretty stoked with this discovery. I was a little less stoked to find that the “mix” was actually just The Tallest Man On Earth’s most recent album, There’s No Leaving Now (with a few random songs thrown on the end). But I still thought it was a pretty awesome idea and having any real complaints regarding such a sweet gesture would be totally ridiculous. Anyway, I chose to make a mix of my own (including one track from There’s No Leaving Now) based on a year in Vancouver (i.e., I tried to capture the mood of the city in a seasonal playlist). I made only one hard copy and left it down by Canada Place last night. I felt that this location would allow for a diverse array of potential discoverers. But, because I believe music in all its forms is worth sharing, I also chose to upload a digital version called seasons by the sea to 8tracks for interested friends to link to, and for strangers to stumble across.
Just so we’re all on the same page, I think it’s important to say right from the get-go that I believe in a strong calibre gradient when it comes to literature. As such, I don’t really consider something that’s featured as a must-read in TigerBeat to be in the same category as the likes of Dumas, Tolkein, or the Brontë sisters. And while I know I’m no Jane Austen, I do feel safe in saying that M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is tied with Twilight as the worst book I’ve ever read. Which is surprising because over 2,000 Amazon customers appear to be in genuine awe of its existence (i.e., reviewers describe it as “complex”, “extraordinary and heart-rending”, and “irresistible… seductive…[with] a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page”). Seriously, I’m convinced they were reading a different book. Because the only emotions I entertained throughout the entire novel were boredom and boredom. And maybe also boredom.
No, I haven’t been hospitalized with Hep C, or died from piercing-induced septicaemia— although either of those would make for a good excuse as well as an amusing obit. I’ve just been rather busy with my thesis, so writing for pleasure has been non-existant these last few weeks. And yet, before I launch into my main topic for this post, I just want to mention a recent study led by my supervisor and including the work of several of my fisheries colleagues at UBC. The methodology they used was pretty much the same as described in my Sherlock Holmes post, and the ultimate findings of their research suggest that China under-reports its foreign catch by over 90%. If you would like to read a bit more about the real-world implications of these inaccuracies, and how the theoretical concept of catch reconstructing actually translates into applicable knowledge, give this article a go. (Hopefully I will be able to share my own published catch reconstruction in a couple of months, but that’ll all depend on the review process and whether or not it gets accepted right away.)
Anyway, now to the topic that I’ve been meaning to write for about a month…