a day that will live in infamy as i received most of my 1099 tax forms today. i had a lot of work at the end of 2008 that i didn't pay taxes on because i didn't get paid until 2009. now in 2010 it looks like i'm going to have to pay. good thing is i had the foresight to pay a large chunk of money in quarterly taxes at the beginning of 2009 (when i had a monetary surplus in my bank account), but beginning of 2010, with my bank account now in a deficit, i may need to get creative in reimbursing uncle sam. my taxes also put me in a different income bracket and i may need to change my health insurance (to the more expensive kind, but that won't be until july, and hopefully by then my clients will have already paid me in full and i will have secured a more stable form of employment).

it's been a month since i last cleaned out the aquariums. i managed to take another fish census: 6 female guppies, 3 glowlight tetras, and 1 cherry barb. i did a more thorough cleaning this time around, which meant replacing the activated carbon filters and taking everything out and giving them a good scrubbing.

a long time ago, when i first got into the aquarium business, i bought a small live java fern plant. it had maybe 6 leaves at most. while all my other aquatic vegetation purchases have since died, the java fern is the only to have survived. not only survived, but thrived in the low light conditions. the trick is to mount the fern on a piece of driftwood. java fern on its own will hardly grow, but placed on top of some driftwood, and it starts sending out binding roots and will begin to grow almost uncontrollably. java ferns are also super easy to propagate: new baby ferns will sprout from the tips of adult fern leaves. just pull them off and attach them to driftwood and viola! more ferns! there used to be java ferns only in my 7 gallon minibow aquarium (home of the tetras and the barbs), but i've had to separate out one of the driftwood pieces but it was getting too crowded. i put my original driftwood (along with a large colony of java ferns) into the guppy tank.

apple introduced the new ipad, a device that bridges the gap between an iphone and a laptop. like many people, i feel sort of lukewarm about the new gadget (i wouldn't get one, even if i had the money). in the evening i watched obama's state of the union address. i always feel good after one of those (regardless who the president is), but then the next day everything goes back to normal and nothing really gets done in government and i feel a big letdown.

howard zinn is dead! i wish i knew about him when i was taking american history in high school. a copy of his seminal "a people's history of the united states" sits permanently in my nightstand bookshelf. also: pearl art & craft in central square is closing its doors after this weekend! where am i going to get my art supplies now? i'll have to pay them a visit and stock up on sketch notebooks.

if anyone is in the cambridge area tomorrow (thursday), come out and do some celebrity gawking in harvard square as anne hathaway is the guest of honor in the hasting hasty pudding parade happening at 2:30.