"are you still sleeping? what's wrong with you?" my mother said over the phone. "we're going to costco, do you want to go?" that was how i ended up spending the rest of my afternoon shopping at the mystic view mega strip mall (everett) and the assembly square market place with my mother and sister. i bought some corkscrew vallisneria at petsmart (3x$1.49/each), then went to home depot to get some peat moss and perlite ($3.97/bag). costco was crowded (filled to capacity with superbowl weekend bulk shoppers) and i grew increasingly agoraphobic, debating whether i should just wait in the car. i ended up getting a package of frozen fruit. we left mystic view and headed to the assembly mall. my sister - who was driving - was taking out her road rage on us and threatened to take us directly home instead. i guilted her into changing her mind. we went to a.c.moore, bed, bath & beyond, and finally tj maxx. t.j. was by far the most crowded, the checkout lines so long they resorted to an oversized LED display panel indicating the next available cashier. i was looking for a cooking pan to replace the one my previous roommate scratched up. the only problem was i wanted to find one with the exact same diameter so i could still use the glass lid; unfortunately the pan i had before was a ballarini, which measured 9.5", slightly smaller than the standard 10" diameter. however, i did manage to find one exactly 9.5", from an italian company i never heard of before called "visionart" (i hope they don't mean the other italy - china italy). besides being nonstick, it's also in an eye-catching red color. the cost: marked down to $10!

when i got back home in the late afternoon, i finally managed to fix myself some lunch, a repeat of what i had yesterday. i was happy to confirm that the new pan is compatible with the old lid. i watched the heartbreak kid while i ate.

the water level in the female guppy tank had been steadily decreasing (through evaporation) so i took the opportunity today to perform a water change. besides the usual algae scrub, i also uprooted all the elodea and disassembled the filter for a thorough cleaning. there seems to be an outbreak of thread algae, which resembles dark green strands of hair. cleaning it made me feel gross, like unclogging the hairs from a shower drain.

i also did a water change on the male guppy tank before planting all my newly purchased vallisneria into that tank. i'm hoping the profusion of plants will keep the algae growth in check. i've had vallisneria before, in the minibow. for a while they seemed to be growing well, even reproducing by runners, but eventually they all died, except for a very stunted individual plant just barely hanging on to life. the problem is vallisneria require a lot of light, and none of my aquariums seem to have enough. hopefully i can some better lighting before they all die again. the ones i got at petsmart were a bit tattered, but at that price i'm not complaining.

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