the glorious 20th: a rabbit trail leading to the fishing hole

Today marks 47 months. Since Jason's simple math skills have declined with his absorption of higher math skills, I will break this down for his sake: 47 months is 1 month shy of 4 years.

He mentioned today that he can't remember when we weren't together, and I feel the same way. He's the soy sauce on my rice, the fur on my bear, and the dandelion to my patio. It's a good life.

Jason has 2 more finals and then his first year of PhD-ing is complete. Many, many hoorays and such. I'm super proud of him. And simultaneously soo stoked about The Vacation that begins... next week. It will be good times indeed. I've always wanted to row a boat, and I'm pretty sure that is going to come to pass in the very near future. I sure hope my expectations aren't set too high (I highly doubt this will be the case). And I sure hope my arms and coordination skills don't make me look like a fool (This is a very likely outcome). I thought maybe kayaking last year would be a reasonable substitute for rowing a boat, that once I kayaked I would be able to mark "rowing a boat" off my to-do list. But, nope. My brain rejected this as a legitimate substitute (though it did put kayaking at the top of my "awesome things to do" list). Next week, however, I know I will be able to conclusively check off rowing a boat. I just feel it in my bones.

There may also be some fishing involved. It's a bit iffy though since neither of us have been fishing, seriously or not, on our own. I think I've gone fishing with my grandfather, and Jason has been fishing with his family, but that's about it. I like the <insert specific descriptive word that I can't think of at the moment> idea of sitting in a rowboat, with a fishing line in the water, and just sorta... floating. The predicament with this whole plan is that I'm not sure how I would now react to the sport of fishing (if you fish with the intent to immediately kill and eventually eat the fish, half of the predicament disappears). When I was a kid, I didn't care much for it either way, but I wasn't super bothered by the fact that I was spearing a living thing through with a hook, pulling it up by its mouth, somehow unhooking it from said hook, and then releasing it to live its life (supposedly without pain or negative consequences) until the next tempting sharp object. I feel like since I've gotten older, I am somewhat more... sympathetic towards animals, more sensitive to them in a way. I have always loved animals, but I think it's harder for me now to see or think of animals in unfortunate or painful situations than it was when I was a kid. No, I'm not one of those crazy PETA people (though once they did send me a packet of stickers that said all kinds of funny anti-carnivore messages). I just don't like seeing or thinking about helpless animals in pain, or acting as if they are in pain.

I will take a brief break here to clarify a hopefully already known tidbit: I love animals, but I do realize that human life is more important. I do. I just tend to sympathize with animals more often because they are more helpless in their unfortunate circumstances (the majority of humans have a large part in digging their own proverbial graves). (______) Babies are also helpless, and I can honestly say that I sympathize with them even more so than animals, because I do value human life above furry creature life. I am really not a very passionate or opinionated person, especially when it comes to broad pseudo-political/social topics, but abortion absolutely infuriates me. It's disgusting and inhuman. The illogical behavior and opinions of the "pro-choice" rabble when it comes to this topic frustrates me to no end. Yes, an elective or "therapeutic" abortion is absolutely murder, people. Since it's late though, I'll save that rant for another day. I just wanted to be clear that I do believe that human life is more important than animal life, despite having a very strong sympathy for animals and their lives.

Anyway, back to fishing. Knowing that I don't like seeing animals in pain, and knowing that a fish is an animal, and not knowing definitely if the fish is going through or going to go through negative consequences of my catch-and-release "sport," it makes me question how I will react to a fish flopping around on the end of my hooked line. It's complicated. The most conflicting part (beside the question of "Is my entertainment actually worth more than the comfort and/or life of this fish?") is that I want that above-painted picture of sitting, staring, floating, line in water, sun overhead, etc... It seems like it would be peaceful. I like peaceful (spoiler alert: I'm a pretty boring person).

So, if I can convince Jason, this is my current plan:
1) Rent poles and row boat.
2) Row to middle of a lake.
3) Tie whatever type of bait (worm, bread, etc) to my line, without hook.
4) Wait for line to tug.
5) Quickly pull up the hookless (and hopefully now baitless) line.
6) Exclaim, "By golly, he got away!"
7) Rinse and repeat.

Silly? Probably. Fun? Most definitely. I will get the experience that I want without the unwanted mental hassle.  It will be a win-win-win situation, which is the best kind of conflict resolution according to paper company management in Scranton, PA.

Speaking of bait, doesn't this little fellow look like he'd be the perfect kind of bait? Not for fishing obviously... but he does look bait-like, no? The way he's sitting back on his little haunches makes him super adorable.

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