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SCUBA ee doo be doo!

I'm back from my SCUBA pool work session at the Jimmy Swaggart Pool Complex. This guy owns everything in this part of Baton Rouge. I'd forgotten my dive computer and snorkel, but I made do anyway. We worked on rescue skills, lift bag skills, orienteering stuff - standard nonsense. I am very much out of shape, I realized. I was getting short of breath very easy. Most people do in the water with about a hundred pounds strapped to them, but I've been getting more and more out of shape lately. I've only been to the gym once since mid December. I used to go 5 days a week, religiously. I've gotten to where I look like one of those guys who used to be a weightlifter and then put on 20 pounds of fat. Which, of course, would be accurate. Oh well. I'm going diving next friday, in Panama City! I need to get my checkout dives for Rescue Diver done. I'll also checkout on Nitrox. I'm very tired right now - well, more whipped than tired. Swimming takes it out of you. It's funny, all three master students and the teacher were all hung over this morning. But there was a large beginner class in the pool while us master students were there, so I had to act like I knew what I was doing in the water. I've been around water my whole life, and I always enjoy getting back in it. Sometimes, it's like I'm really an otter.

I got an email yesterday telling me that the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at UTMB will be paying me to go there for a year. Excellent. I'll only be getting about $22,000 per year, but that is a crapload more than my income as a college student is.

We're going to the Gold Club tonight (The largest strip club in BR) to celebrate my friend Scott's birthday. I dunno why he wants to celebrate, I stopped celebrating my birthdays at 17, with the obvious exceptions of 18 and 21. I've got a big cochon-de-lait planned for my graduation in a month, so that'll be enough for me. I loove the Gold Club, except that I just cannot afford the place. I always end up spending $150-200 each time. If you were there (and were not blind), you would feel the same way. Sometimes it is undesirable to be a hetero male.... no, wait. Nevermind. It's just undesirable to be broke.

I was thinking recently how it might feel to have that kind of fur that some dogs have, that short straight smooth kind that is difficult to mess up because it's so short. I bet that would feel pretty good to have. I'm not a fan of the shaggy look, or feel. smooth, slick; although, bushy is nice, in the tail.

Yesterday I went to the pistol range by myself because I hadn't gone in months, and I was very bored. (I skipped my biochemistry class because I knew it would be on signal transduction and post-translational modification of cellular mRNA's, and I could have taught it myself.) I ended up staying for about an hour and shot 4 boxes of shells. When I got home, I was just as nonplussed as before I'd left, except now I smelt of sulfur. My friend Scott called and he met some old friends who wanted to - of course- go to the pistol range. (Scott is one of those types who starts something and drops it a month later, then picks it up again as if he'd been an expert all along) So I said sure, and didn't tell him I'd been there all morning. We met there and he brought an old friend and his girlfriend (girls don't belong in the pistol range. I mean that wholeheartedly and misogynistically. Dont mix them.) Luckily hearing protection is required, so while I was emptying 5 more boxes of shells, they 4 were fucking around like children making me look bad to the attendants..(note to the casual observer: try more eagerly to read body language of anyone firing a pistol. It's just one of those little things I like to call 'survival instincts'.) Anyway, we were done at around 10pm, and they wanted to fuck around some more. I declined, and told them I'd be going to the bar ('The bar', this month, meant a dive called "Port Royal", owned&operated by our 40-something military-history buff who's frankly a little off: he keeps pestering me about using my wormwood herbs to distill his own Absinthe.) We met up there, and I commenced my standard ritual of drinking Guinness Draught (well, canned draught, anyway) by the pint and by the minute. They showed up, didn't drink, and left. I'm lucky to have a friend of mine, Levi, who will at least take his drinking seriously; I've another friend, Alex, who's decided he's going to be a punkrocker purist (read: asshole) and slap me in the face every 5 seconds. Well, my self-control finally sank lower than my BAC and his slaps, and I politely got up off of my stool and told him we could take it outside and I could show him what the backside of his teeth looked like. Of course, he declined like any punk purist would do and I resumed my race towards unconsciousness. We stopped by Waffle house for some of that oily food that goes so well with a belly full of ethanol, and met another friend, who of all my friends, I believe has become the most 'lost'. Poor guy. So afterwards, we drove back to Levi's house and I left before my rather large female friend could put the moves on me and get me to spend the night with her .. again.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to read something like the above passage, but I feel a little better for writing it. I wish, honestly, that I had kept a journal from age 3 upwards. I think a lot about what I would do If I could start over as a child. I always answer myself with the volition that I would keep a daily honest journal (mostly for the remembrance...I have what I believe is a pathologically poor memory). Also, I would take more pictures of those I knew and myself. And, I would be less timid; I was one of the most timid children I knew (I ascribe partly, this, to my overbearing father.) I passed up MANY unrepeatable opportunities to experience because I was too timid to take the leap; and those few (although they are becoming more frequent) instances where I actually pushed myself into a situation, I have usually been worse off for it (although those times are the best in my life and I would repeat them without a doubt).

I used to have a vision of heaven (I am an atheist, this is only an excercise in daydreaming) of an infinitely immense library, where all reasonable knowledge could be learned, and where one could look back on his and everyone else's life in their entirety from any angle and any speed to see the things one had missed in their one-shot life. Now, my vision is a large party, with all the friends from all the times of one's lifetime there and having a good time, and the library is in the back room, for when the party takes breaks. That doesn't make much sense, I know, but that's what my imagination has left for me to discuss. This, I imagine, expresses my rather new enlarged importance to me of my friends and friendship in general. Whatever.

I think I've been rambling too much now, I'll write more later.