1. What was the first fish you ever owned?
2. What is your dream tank?
3. What is your favorite fish?
4. What was/is your most troublesome tank?
5. In your opinion, what is the best beginner fish?
6. What is your favorite fishblr blog?
7. Are there any fish that you dislike?
8. Planted tank or reef tank?
9. Favorite type of betta?
10. Favorite type of goldfish?
11. In your opinion, what fish should not be reccomended for beginners (but often is)?
12. Favorite species of shark?
13. What is the best brand/type of food?
14. Favorite invertebrate?
15. What would you do if you suddenly had an extra 200 gallon (757L) tank?
16. What would you do if you suddenly had an extra 10 gallon (37L) tank?
17. If you could remove any product from the shelves of a petstore (ex. Bettacube, ecosphere, fish bowls, etc.), what would it be and why?
18. Have you ever bred fish?
19. Gravel or sand?
20. Favorite non-fish animal?
21. Favorite fish fact?
22. What common myth about fish do you wish you could dispell? (Ex. Can live in bowls, 7 second memory, low maintenance, boring pet, throwaway pet, etc.)
23. Favorite type of filter? (Sponge, HOB, canister, etc.)
24. Do you start a siphon with a pump or with your mouth?
25. What do you think is the most beautiful fish?
26. What do you think is the most dangerous fish?
27. Best way to deal with an algae problem?
28. Natural or artificial decorations?
29. Saltwater, freshwater, or brackish?
30. How did you get into the aquarium hobby?
someone told me that they thought the 2004 revival of fiddler was way better than the 2015 revival at carrying the intensity and emotion through in act 2. I’m based because the 2015 revival is the only professional version I’ve seen live and I’m in love with the whole cast, but I just listened to Far From the Home I Love from the 2004 cast recording and it seemed really flat? which is disappointing because I love Laura Michelle Kelly and I was expecting it to be really good. but in the 2015 version that scene is so raw and intense and in the version I just listened to it’s just. not. has anyone seen both and have opinions?
The mindscape is an intangible plane that varies greatly from person to person. Within, the themes of reality are present, but distorted. Please take a moment to imagine a piece of music- by putting that string of notes through various computer programs and continuing to alter each one by each program’s limitations, the end result after ten or so transitions will be more than a bit garbled, but it will still contain themes and semblances common to the initial piece.
The familiar name was swallowed by the depths.
Stanford had been familiar with what his partner’s mindscape may have once looked like. Still scattered across cobweb-encrusted hardwood tables were typewriters, mindlessly chugging away at memoirs of childhood science fairs, of arguments with his parents, of his son’s first steps and fishing trips and handling cattle and of Stanford himself. Further along the red-tiled floor were endless shelves lined with books- each filled to the brim with facts about physics and the mechanical workings of devices and how to make computer chips from aluminum foil, copper wire and a lithium battery.
As Ford wandered past the shelves, he noticed a familiar tome splayed out at his feet, the gold decal shining a little even with all of the dust bunnies all over it. One scampered away, hiding itself within the empty nook of a shelf.
Ford resisted the urge to tear up as he cracked it open to the threads at the center- all of the notes were tarnished with red ink annotations of “I can’t take this any longer” and “He’s going to lose himself. If we publish now, we can go back to our lives and…”. And. Andandandandand. The word appeared over and over in annotations as Ford flipped through the book, until the voice reading it out choked up and each page slowly went blank. Upon looking at the typewriters behind the library shelves, Ford only now realized that they were in the process of whiting out and deleting each memory. Along with the terrible experiences of coming into contact with monsters and seeing… whatever was inside that portal that was far too awful to speak of, memories of stargazing together atop the plateau and sharing anecdotes in a college dorm room and his entire life up to this point were unraveling until they folded in upon themselves and ceased to be.
Messages and thoughts were now crudely spray-painted in alarming reds and sickly greens against the otherwise beautifully adorned walls and arched windows, which were once covered in detailed sketches and pages of pridefully finished projects.
“MY BEST WASN’T GOOD FOR ANYTHING”
“I COULDN’T SAVE HIM”
That last one stuck like a sharp pin in Ford’s mind.
“F? Fiddleford? I… I know you’re in there, somewhere! If you’re there, you have to answer me! I know I made mistakes. Not even mistakes- I’ve made calamitous decisions without taking your… and my safety into any account.” Ford called, treading carefully in his speech. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about everything that happened to you… and to us. If I had the power, I would have made it that none of this ever happened. I swear! Forget the research, forget the portal! I was wrong about my muse and I was a fool for ever thinking he spoke one lick of the truth. We… er, I, was played. I… I’m sorry.”
A cold wind blew through the library’s broken windows, making it even more difficult for Ford to continue. Whatever had been lighting the way thus far faded as he made his way down the hall of books. He could tell, even in the dark, that the shelves in this part of the mindscape were ominously empty. Some were even toppled.
He took another lone book from the shelf, cracking it open.
There was nothing inside. Nothing after nothing after nothing was written in the pages and the margins and annotated in every corner, a lack of anything seeming to burst from the parchment itself and threaten to consume the room around it, melting what was left into colorless slag.
Stanford closed the book.
Whatever was ahead, it wasn’t lit and the floor itself seemed to vanish suddenly. Ford felt his feet trip up as if he had walked directly into a staircase, but when he brought up his leg to make the step it simply stomped down into flat ground. As he strode further, he noticed his entire body becoming heavy, as if he was walking with the pressure of being below deep water.
In the distance, a figure shivered in the dark. His beige blazer seemed to give off a glow that cut through the abyss, enough so that you could make out the honey color of his hair and the silver lining on his cuffs.
Ford called out his name before sprinting ahead, placing a hand on Fiddleford’s shoulder without even thinking. Of course, it was entirely possible that this was just another trick of the mindscape and that this incarnation of his friend would simply fade and disappear at his touch. Yet, this wasn’t the case- he touched cloth, and as he hugged his partner closely, he whispered and choked out apologies.
“Fiddleford, please! You have to wake up! Both of us are in danger, and I’m so, so sorry… but I need your help. I’m sorry for abandoning you when we needed one another the most. That thing I thought was guiding me was a monster- you were absolutely correct. You were right about everything… a-and I know you probably don’t want me here or need me here and I don’t at all even deserve to be here, but I need your help this one last time. I understand if you never want to see me again.”
As Ford held him, Fiddleford weakly patted his back in return, weak breaths paving the way for him to speak.
“S… S-stanford?” he asked. His voice was weak, musty and sounded like discordant strings.
“Fidds? Is that you? Th-thank the heavens. Are you alright?”
“I… I don’t know. I honestly can’t tell worth a cent. I don’t know much anymore, it would really be better if y’just up and forgot everything about me. That’s… what I’m doing.”
“What? You aren’t making sense! I know that your mind has been tarnished by that godforsaken memory gun, but I can try and reverse the effects. It’s… it’s that thing. The one you warned me about. You need to help me fight him. If we can alter than gun to a frequency that erases entire beings at a time, we can find a way to defeat him before he does something calamitous!”
“It’d be better if ya… forgot. You wouldn’t need to deal with varmints like that any longer. It’ll all be gone. No more monsters… no more enemies… no more illness or panic or being such a goshdarned burden on all of my friends… if I keep on tryin’, I can make it all go away. Someday, maybe everyone can use it to be happy like me. I can finally be a benefit to society. It’ll be just like we talked about that night! That… was you, right? Are you… did you finish the portal? Your work? I’ve been meaning t’ask, but I’m afraid these ol’ legs don’t work like they normally do. As for th’ phone… the numbers are strange. I’m no good with numbers no more.” he sighed, coughing. His tone was spookily content.
“Fidds, listen to me! You keep on using that on yourself, and you’ll… you’re going to waste away and die! The real you is going to end up erased entirely! This entire place will collapse in on itself! We don’t have time to waste- I’m sorry, but you need to get up. He’s already here and we can work together to find him!” Ford cried, tugging at the collar of Fiddleford’s blazer in an attempt to garner his concentration. “I want you to live! I want to be your friend and your partner and I’m sorry for ever letting any of this happen to you!”
Fiddleford breathed in, this time with a bit more energy. “I… I can try. I’m sorry.”
Ford remembered how he looked in the real world- Fiddleford’s face had become overgrown with scruff and his glasses were cracked. What was once a spotless set of a dress shirt, blazer and slacks were now grimy and wrinkled, a frightening sign that even his quirks like his need for cleanliness were becoming unstable. His arm looked like it had been battered badly in an accident of some kind. Seeing him here, so much himself and yet not like himself at all was jarring in a way that Ford had trouble bringing words to. His old puzzle cube was hopelessly out of order, the age-old sign that Fiddleford was troubled in some way or another.
With some effort, the shiny visage of Fiddleford stood up, as keen and together as ever, if with an unfamiliar emptiness in his eyes.
“I’m so proud of you, buddy!” Ford exclaimed, surprised and excited that his friend still had fight in him. “Come on, let’s stick together and find that monster before anything else happens! I’ll get you out of here!”
The feeling of walking behind Fiddleford, even if this was only a figurative version of him, was reassuring like nothing else had been for Ford since the last time they were together and happy.
“I… I just wanted to say: thank ya.”
“‘Thank you’? For what, pray tell? I’ve caused you more problems than anyone else.”
“Fer being such a loyal friend.” came the reply, the friendly accented voice shifting into the two-tone grating locria that Ford had become all-too-familiar with. In an instant, the warm color of Fiddleford’s eyes had been replaced with blazing gold sclera and slitted pupils.