What’s in a Name?

> “Tambourine Fish” <

If you’re a fisherman, you’re probably scratching your head trying to remember if you’ve ever heard of this aquatic being. If you’re a musician, you’re probably wondering if it’s some sort of widget for the instrument. If you’re just curious, you’re probably going to continue reading.

It all started with a birthday. I *heavily* implied to my then-friend, now-boyfriend Anthony that I was going to get him three darling little goldfish for his 19th birthday, which happened to fall on Super [Fish?-]Bowl Sunday last year. We decided that Edward (named after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) would be a white fish, Cat would be an orange fish, and her bright blue twin would be Stevens (clearly a tribute to Cat Stevens). I also promised to make him a marble cake so that his first birthday “away from home” didn’t feel so nostalgic. However, sometimes things don’t exactly go according to plan…

My friend Jon and I skipped our Friday afternoon classes and headed downtown to Ames’ local Petco to purchase the essentials. After we picked out the perfect bowl, decorative rocks, and seaweed, we asked a Petco employee to catch our soon-to-be unit of fishy friends. However, the employee adamantly stated that she would NOT be selling us any goldfish if we planned on housing them in the bowl I hugged so tightly against my chest. She explained that goldfish need to live tanks with a built-in water filter and suggested we get a betta fish instead. Because I was morally unwilling to purchase a probably near-dead betta (which you can read about here), and I was too #college to afford a tank, we both left Petco heartbroken.

But I always have a Plan B! We’d still go to HyVee for the cake ingredients, and we’d also pick up some of their Iowa State gear for Anthony’s gift instead. As Jon and I were in the process of transferring from one bus route to the next, he asked if we could please, pretty pretty pleeaaaase make a quick stop at Jimmy John’s since we’d both missed lunch. I irritably denied his request, but he kept begging and whining and pleading – and I am so glad that he did.

I yelled “FINE!” and while passive-aggressively marching up Welch Avenue to get Jon’s stupid, unnecessary sandwich, a fish caught my eye in the window of a shop called Grandma’s Attic. A fish tambourine. It was perfect!

Long story short, Anthony did get a fish for his 19th birthday, albeit in a much different medium than expected. He did not, however, get his marble birthday cake. (Jon and I used a cheesecake pan, thinking it would be a mess-free alternative to a traditional cake pan, and ended up with cake batter oozing all over the bottom of a dormitory oven that had certainly seen worse. Sorry, Ant. We’ll make it up to you next time. ☺


Thus,  a “tambourine fish” is what I consider to be something brilliantly unexpected; a good fortune. Finding the beloved fish tambourine was indeed a tambourine fish. IMG_4502.JPG

Oh, and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes *almost* touched it at the Hinterlands Music Festival last July, which is pretty cool. 11831681_10154050188995110_1718630561505643250_n
Do any of you have any tambourine fish or fish tambourines in your life? Tell me in the comments below! ☺

Until next time,

Aspen +


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