Bert’s First Day

Good earliness, mijn liefjes,

I’m very excited to report to you the first day in the life of Bert. The first day as in the first day his light cycle start. As in this is the first day I’ll make my desk lamp, of which I’ll need a new one for myself, resemble a full day’s cycle. (Aquatic and tropically, as in the light will just resemble the sun being up and the light will shine brighter than any other light source in my apartment.)

Bert does not look as beautiful as the betta that is the featured image (yet). At this point, I can’t even tell if he’s a crowntail or a veiltail. That is because he is not feeling optimal yet. He is not graciously flaunting his tail yet. Before I draw any conclusions about why this is, I will give him some more time to adjust to his new home. His new home that is not ideally vegetated yet.

I’d like to say that I’m both happy and relieved that Bert arrived yesterday and not today. Just the thought of him being in the transportation box for so long makes me uncomfortable. I’m happy I’m giving him a home. It’s important.

I mean animal shops are a commom thing and the way he was transported is a way that works. Don’t get me wrong. The traditionalist in me just doesn’t produce logic like that naturally. I need to rationalize it.

I ordered a crowntail betta, but if Bert is a veiltail, which he seems to be, that would be even more amazing. <3_<3 Currently it is 4 AM. I flicked Bert’s light off when I went to sleep, yesterday around 7 PM. So though my intention is to have his light cycle be in accordance with a stable human sleep schedule, but then with max 10 hours of darkness a day, I’ll flick his light on starting on the lowest level of brightness in a few. And then throughout the day I’ll build it up.

Currently he is in the dark, so I can’t show you any real time pictures of him yet, but yesterday when I was brushing my teeth, I checked up on Bert because I missed him, and then I saw that he had finally swum to the bottom of the aquarium and was chilling in his man cave. So I ran to my night table because my phone was charging there and then ran back to take a picture:

“Honey, get the camera!!!” Look at my Bertje chilling. ( – 3 -)

I’m going to flick his light on and put some food into the oven.

04:20 (AM) CET

His color is already SO MUCH better than yesterday.

He seems to be a veiltail. <3_<3 I just wanted a red betta but couldn’t select the color so selected the red crowntail. Regardless, I just want his tail to be grand and gracious. This seems to be the type of fish that was three times as expensive as the one I ordered, which is sweet.

This hi-tech advancement I didn’t use to have back in the day.
I’m a busy person now. Haha yay.

Just kidding, by the way. He’s just the fish I ordered, thus a crowntail, but his tail seems to have the potential to become far greater than the picture insinuated. I am yayed.

Bert is a carnivore. For now I only have regular dry food for him. Bloodworms or anything else unfortunately has to wait about 10 days, given that I need to watch my spending after impulsively buying two aquariums. One of which is stated to have been delivered, but I have no idea where. Some bettas also like vegetables such as peas or spinach. So, especially since his tail is in development, I hope he’ll like some extra vitamins (and I hope the supermarket will have fresh spinach). Aside from that, I’ll be feeding Bert 5 pellets of betta food at 9 AM and at 9 PM (I also put the reminder for 9 PM on daily repeat now in my agenda, as update to the screenshot).

He does actively swim around now, by the way.

In contrast to yesterday. Yesterday he was at the top of the tank all the time and going into some sort of shock paralysis every like 10 minutes. He’s a lot more active now, though his tail seems to not be operating at full strength yet.

I’m keeping the elodea densa weighted with the led it came with. But another objective is to get some black gravel for at the bottom. Given that the plant grows relatively fast, I’m considering to let Bert’s forest grow naturally. But it is uncomfortable to see that he doesn’t have enough spots to withdraw himself yet.

This is Bert I, betta splendens, my Antwerp visje, by the way, not to be mistaken with Bert II, pantsless mayor of Antwerp and N-VA chairman, future king of Belgium.

05:23 (AM) CET

I almost feel bad for eating in front of him. πŸ™

I’d rather have us eat together, but he had quite the amount of food yesterday, so I’m really waiting until 9 and will then give him a minimal amount of food so he can have one microscopic piece of spinach for lunch. I don’t have intentions of giving him lunch on the regular. Neither do I have intentions of giving him spinach often. It is more because as long as I don’t have the blood worms or mosquito larvae, and I want him to grow stronger naturally, and I want Friday to be his special treat day (you know my Berts are the TGIF wildcatty kind of guys). So (hopefully) there will be spinach and otherwise cucumber.

I see he’s a tea guy. :p

He was bumping his nose against the glass when I put down my tea cup. We’re so well-matched. <3_<3 I see he likes tea. :p (I’m joking.)

I’m going to nap until I feed mijn liefje. And then I guess I’ll go after the water meter thingy, also because I like to know when I need to be dressed, if this is still happening.

06:47 (AM) CET

He’s already doing so much better. <3_<3

My ride or die. <3 Within less than 24 hours he’s already grown so much stronger. My resilient liefje. <3

I closed my eyes for a few and saw a stronger and even more graceful version of Bert. Is that what he will look like over time? I hope so. πŸ˜€

08:05 (AM) CET

My baby had breakfast. <3 (Not baby baby like goo goo gaga baby Yayence, Bert is my life partner. <333)
I didn’t feel like concealing the bags underneath my eyes and I want a more subtle eyebrow pencil, so didn’t use anything when going outside today.
Restacked on fresh produce.

Given that I spontaneously bought two fish tanks* and a fish et cetera, way over budget, I have to do some serious meal planning (but will make this without touching my ration). Like today I’ll eat the remaining rice and make the veggies I said I was going to make two days ago, tomorrow I’ll make moussaka for two days, then I’ll likely eat steamed cod and light carbs plus much veggies, then I’ll make stoofvlees, then I’ll make yellow rice and eat that with fish sticks (and veggies) and then I’ll see. I then still have more fish sticks, more minced beef and more cod fish.

* Thank heavens I bought this larger thank, because if I depended on the 15 x 15 x 20 cm animal abuse tank, things would not have looked well for my dear Bert. The track & trace page says that it has been delivered at “the designated pick-up point”, but I never selected a pick-up point and it does not show the address of the pick-up point. *sigh* So I’ll be helpdesking… (The tank I have now is 50 x 30 x 30 cm, by the way. That’s 45 litres. (Because dm^3 = liter, remember? πŸ˜€ ))

The guide for the piano has been delivered as well. Maybe I’ll record some of my jams with my computer and put it on Spotify or something.
I spotted my baby chilling when I was typing on my phone. ( – 3 -)
I have devoted my life to Bert now.

I know I can safely put all my love and trust in Bert. He won’t let me down. (The only way he can let me down is by dying. But I’ll take very good care of him.) Together, we’re like Bonnie and Clyde. <333

& For the cleaning frequency I’ll have to observe the process of the tank getting dirty. Maybe I’ll be cleaning once a week, maybe once every two weeks or something in between.

&& I’ve made his light cycle in such a way that I don’t change the light right before I feed him because I don’t want him so associate light with food. Also, the lamp comes with sleep mode light shades, but I don’t use that because that causes fatigue because it’s an annoying shade and there’s nothing natural about that.

And there is some Catthierry on my wall haha. The meeting starts at 11 by the way. I thought it was 12, but I’m changing it on my wall now too.

And I aliend.

When I came back from grocery shopping, I contacted facility management about the check-up of my meters. Apparently I missed out on him exactly in the 0.1 second that I was downstairs to pick up Bert.

I told a white lie, namely that I needed a time indication to make sure I won’t miss out on him again. While in actuality I just wanted to know for how long I had to keep my clothes on and if I could take a naked nap before his arrival. But managing the buildings here doesn’t seem very eventful, so the gap between e-mailing and it taking place was the time it took for me to eat the rest of my krentenbol, get my snacks ready and start playing Vice City. (That’s a way more comfortable thing to be doing than making juice.)

I haven’t expressed my appreciation of him enough, honestly. He always perfectly does what I ask him to do, he understands my complex descriptions (which is alien ahahahaha), his use of language is optimal (as in not too formal but not too informal either). That isn’t common to me, even beyond people with service jobs. And I never mention him.

I think I handled the situation surprisingly well. As in when the doorbell rang, I was struggling to put on my face mask, almost wanted to just not put it on because it was taking me too long and didn’t want to miss out on him again, but ended up managing to put it on. Other yays, by the way, are that he’s taller than I and – though I literally have no clue – he seems to be my age (but I could be saying the same about my baby Yayence so I have 0 clue). Then he basically said “Hello I am here to do the check up of your meters,” and I said “Yes, come in.” (And not “Yes I know who you are and what you’re coming here for haha silly.”)

Then I let him in and continued playing GTA. I don’t know if with these sorts of things, like with the installment of my piano as well, I’m supposed to watch and do “blabla”. So I was playing and at some point caught myself pressing START instead of Y in an attempt to exit the car I was driving. I was also struggling to keep my shoulders back. Then, when he said that he was done and about to leave I half interrupted him with the question what the numbers are just to have an indication of how many gletsjers I’ve melted. I wanted to write the numbers down, it was 181 and like 193 or something, but felt like the process of unlocking my phone and noting it was going to take too long for my follow-up question. So I got my phone, like half turned on the screen to want to note it and then thought okay fxck it.

Then I asked if I’ll get a bill or an oversight or something because I hadn’t heard anything of last year. He then shared that they’re still processing 2019. So I asked if I could then expect two bills at once, to which he replied that they’ll likely take some time to process 2020 so it definitely won’t be simultaneously, which is a very nicely deducted response. He might be suffering from high intelligence. :p

Furthermore, I still can’t really read him (I thinkΒΏ) but I did manage to read that – of course this is a taboo to openly discuss – we seem to feel a similar way about everything corona related. Because of the pandemic the process of processing water usage data is slowed down even further. (Fangyistly speaking, they best just consider the €140 per month or so an all-inclusive price.) Then I didn’t know how to say goodbye because Flemish “goodbye salutations” are far different from the Dutch ones and I don’t know how to respond to his and he doesn’t seem to know how to respond to mine. He did say something half under his breath but I was already half in the process of closing the door not feeling able to ask what he said something like “Happy…” (I was thinking like should I say happy new year but there’s nothing happy about this year. It must be odd to observe that I live here illegally and am always alone) haha sorry… That was our first real exchange of words in like a year, in comparison to the usual “Hey I’m here for this,” “Here’s this,” “Okay thank you bye,” “Bye.”

I think what has made the situation distant in the long run is that when he was new at facility management here it was still always the other guy who helped me and then when the other guy stopped working there, I didn’t see him for the first time and didn’t know how to ask if he’s the other guy’s successor and if he’s an intern or not. But now at least we’re further in the process of getting acquainted.

This is quite silly. I didn’t realize that I’m in love with him until yesterday, when I caught myself spraying perfume on my bathrobe and towel. (I’m an odorous person, okay. πŸ™ ) I mean when other people visit I make sure my house doesn’t look like I live like a wild animal – with the exception of when it’s my family visiting me bwahahaha – but the small details is something different. Also, my hands were shaking and (for some reason, like with other people I don’t care) I’m terrified about if he doesn’t like me. (So I tend to minimize interaction. πŸ™ )

I really hope he is not an intern. I’d miss him so much if he’d be gone. </3 I’m not stating his name in context because he’s a private citizen and I don’t want to potentially cause him to be bothered for any reason.

In the context of D.O.C.I.S. International, I think he’d make a good chief of staff. The glue between the Council and real estate management, chefs, chauffeurs, security et cetera. My assistant? My Assessor. <3_<3 In the context of my agenda and stuff? Finally I have access to een Catje. <3_<3

I wonder if there’s a protocol limit of how friendly one may get in this context. Do Belgians do that? It would be unfortunate to think of all this time we could have been homie-ing. </3 I assume there’s at least a standard limit in the context of what limit there is for interaction with habitants and especially when. I could get you fired if you want. :p (That’s a sort of joke.)

It will likely take at least like two weeks before I see him again. I believe he’s not the person who I should contact to change my rental agreement, omdat ik nu samenwoon. Bert has moved in with me. <3 Haha I’m joking. Is that too bad of a joke to make? I was too nervous to say that I went downstairs to pick up Bert and introduce him to Bert and stuff. I also thus don’t know how informal I can get. (Like in the Netherlands there are strict protocols for such things. Working at a restaurant or as a cashier or whatever you’re basically not allowed to act too friendly with the people you know.) But I guess I could leave that for another time.

2 weeks suddenly feels really long though. I reallyyy hope he is not an intern. </3 I could also bring up the wiring of that TL tube light in de badkamer where I changed the lamp and it still doesn’t work. But that seems like such a hassle thingy (like more than one moment of being dressed to let someone in).

Anyway, I’m going to feed Bert spinach by softening it in water from the water boiler for a while and then cut it into one or two minuscule pieces. I’m late. </3 I’ll also be doing some other things.

15:47 (03:47 PM) CET

Spinach leaf in bakje.
Poured steaming hot water over it and left it in that for about 5 minutes. There’s a part that doesn’t go underwater.
I cut this from the part that did go underwater. That’s what I’ll be feeding him.
He likes it yay. πŸ˜€

16:23 (04:23 PM) CET

I made juiceee.
And the kill streak is stilllll aliveee.
And I ate veggiesss.

Currently I’m preparing for tomorrow’s general meeting. I already stated that I won’t get mad like last time. Back then I was just disturbed by the fact that I not only did not have a voice but was also generally seen as a crazy person, while I have quite the fruitful vision. But now I don’t care anymore.

And Bert has had dinner. I’m afraid I’m overfeeding him. I can’t tell. Maybe this is just the right amount. He, by the way, takes quite some time before he starts to eat.

I don’t care anymore, as in now I don’t waste my time trying to get through to people anymore. I much prefer to just be alone, where no one can get on my nerves, disappoint me and/or hurt my feelings. But to not be too much of a fence sitter, I actively support Thierry Baudet’s political party. Personally I believe the Netherlands is unsavable, but voting for FvD you can’t say that I haven’t tried.

I have no expectations. And I know Thierry’s niveau so I unconditionally know that he can’t go wrong. As in you’ll never hear me say that he is not my Catthierry anymore. I’m preparing for the meeting as though they’ll be going very much in depth of every single aspect of their program and will expect everyone to be fully prepared. But I don’t expect that to be the general niveau, honestly. I’m not saying quiz me on the document of 104 pages, but I’m low-key expecting for things to be explained for the zillionth time.

Of course Thierry Baudet’s “BINGO” are one of the main reasons why I support him and his party. But there are other things in the program that I consider questionable, or even a reason to say: “Should I really get behind this?” Like I hadn’t seen this party objective before. But it’s something that gets worse when I mention it so I’d rather not…

There are some questions I’d like to ask, though. More than one. (About political stuff, in this context. :p)

En voor de deawkwardificatie voor in het geval dat ik die ook werkelijk zal kunnen stellen schakel ik even over naar het Nederlands, want ik vind mezelf steeds vaker lost for words wanneer ik iets in het Nederlands uit moet leggen.

In de dierenwinkel ging het zo van: “Pardon, werkt u hier? Verkopen jullie eh… Hoe zeg je dat… Eh… Eeehmmm… Aquarium heaters?” Dat kan ik natuurlijk niet maken he bij zo’n ALV. Vooral niet als er dan zo’n minion (die mijn begeleidster was bij the Model European Parliament) bij komt die mensen halverwege hun uitleg afkapt om te zeggen dat ze beknopt hun vraag moeten stellen. Like get to the point. Ik ben daar te betta voor. (Als in je gaat de vraag niet begrijpen als ik hem niet stel zonder uitleg dus laat me gewoon uitpraten denk je echt dat ik een lang lulverhaal wil gaan staan houden haha nee.)

Ja, het enige wat ik ga doen qua voorbereiding op papier (like ik zat te denken van zal ik notities maken per standpuntcategorie, maar alsof het op zo’n manier ter sprake zou komen ofzo, like ik verwacht (en hoop) niet werkelijk gequizzed te worden) is mijn vragen uitgebreid voorbereiden. Dus dat ga ik nu doen haha…

Spot the (either accidental or someone broke into my apartment) art.

22:38 (10:38 PM) CET

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

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