#214: The Fish Tale

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Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, especially the specific restaurant in New Haven, has a special place in my heart. It’s special for resembling a spot where my family goes to enjoy cheap seafood, but it’s also special for being a spot where my grandfather liked to go to before he passed away. The restaurant wasn’t open for long before he passed away, but we managed to go a few times before then, and every time we went, he would ask to go back. It became kind of an expected part of the day; when he had an idea to go somewhere for lunch together, it was usually Lenny & Joe’s. I would order the fish and chips or the fried clam strips, and I forget what he typically ordered but I’m sure it was good.

When I think back to those years of my life, images of the restaurant as it used to look, the tables we used to sit at, the fried calamari appetizers we ordered and ate together, I feel happy and a bit sad at the same time. Sad because it’s passed and won’t be coming back, but happy that I was able to share a few memorable moments with someone I love before he passed away. I know it feels morbid to mention death on here, but I think it’s necessary to fully understand the gravity of this emotional place for us. I know it’s a chain restaurant, with multiple copies of it across Connecticut, but it’s still recognizable to my family for this reason.

Recently, I went back to Lenny & Joe’s with my mom, grandma, sister, and girlfriend. We had a good dinner together, I ordered lobster mac n cheese and Alex ordered the lobster roll. It was a lobster-palooza. The mac n cheese wasn’t as good as it is at Chowder Pot, so that was a small disappointment, but it was still delicious and worth getting. Just didn’t compare to another restaurant’s offering of the same dish. We sat a few tables away from the table we sat at the last time we took my grandpa to this place, and my mom pointed it out for us. Instantly, I remembered sitting there, where I sat, what chair I sat in, everything. I mean, times have definitely changed in the years since then; it’s highly possible they got new chairs or tables, and rearranged everything in ways that make it completely unrecognizable from what it looked like five or six years ago, but to us, it’s still the same restaurant it was then. It’s special to us.

#141: The Fishing Tourney

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When I think about Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, one of my favorite and most consistently played mobile games, I think of the fishing tournament and flower festivals. The latter is for another time to discuss, but the former I’ll be discussing now for the first time on this blog. Fishing tourneys appear about once or so a month, and they last for about a week. Chip, the walrus animal friend who runs the fishing tourneys, shows up and offers you the Golden Rod (over and over again), then introduces you to the different types of fish you’ll be attempting to catch over the next week. Every three hours or so, the fish reset and you’re able to catch more of the tourney fish.

The most recent tourney featured Mario-themed fish, such as bloopers and cheep cheeps and cheep chomps, with Mario-themed rewards, such as balloons, 8-bit furniture, and common blocks and coins. The amount of fish you collect determines how many rewards you are given for your participation in the tourney. It also determines the rarity of trophy you are given at the end of the tourney; there are four types: wood, bronze, silver, and gold. I think I’ve gotten a gold trophy every tourney except for maybe one. It’s not difficult to get, and if you buy the Golden Rod it’s exponentially easier than before, but it’s something that people can strive for regardless and it feels good to collect from your mailbox once the whole thing is over.

The reason I discuss Pocket Camp so much on this blog is it’s a frequent part of my life, and I love being able to play it every few hours. My friends also play it, as well as my younger sister. There’s a sense of camaraderie that develops by bonding over this fun, small, mobile game.

Gatz the Great

It’s 11:30 on a Wednesday night

And the winter’s cold but damp,

The blizzard had passed yet the

Vicious winds have roared

And haven’t stopped.

I am sitting on the beach rocks

Like a boat beating against the current,

And the Moon sleeps in the distance

While the ocean buzzes into life and

The great green light flickering across the dock

Shines endlessly like a garnet stone

Or a beautiful daisy for us to admire

Among a field of grays and blacks.

It was a light for us, to

Incite hope from,

As motivation to stay calm and safe

But to take risks and start scandals

To rise higher up the long ladder

From poverty to sanctuary,

From flames to paradise, and

From ashes to beauty,

And from here we set our gaze skyward.

As I speak the moon-man is fishing for attention,

And languishing in arrogant insecurity, while

Baiting the fish with dread and

Dropping lanterns and light bulbs in the bay;

He’s knocking on the world’s ceiling

And laughing with his lover

For he had exploited the fish for gold.

But the angels, with their all-seeing eyes,

Responded furiously

For lightning struck thrice on his mistress

And they were quite pleased

And the moon man was frustrated

And the fish laying on the ocean

Were gasping for air against the

Murky and dangerous current

In the valley of ashes.

And I wondered if they would stay dead for eternity.