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Showing posts from May, 2010

I'm a geologist, not an alcoholic.

I thought I had seen people drink before. Hell, I thought that I had drank before. But, clearly, I thought wrong on both of those counts. I cannot, for the life of me, think of a reason to justify all of the drinking that transpired down there last week. There was no rhyme or reason to it, it just was. Field work just makes a man thirsty.

Taking this class was easily one of the best things I've ever done. We worked hard every day out in the field. Wake up at 7, leave the beach house by 8, hit the water by 9. My first three field days were in service on the R/V Acadiana, a 58 foot vessel that towed the CHIRP fish, the air gun, and the streamer to measure all the seismic data--looking at the subsurface of the seafloor we drove over. My second ship was the R/V Itasca using the multibeam, sidescan, and grab sampler--getting seafloor surface bathymetry. They were long, exhausting days and we returned to the docks around 6 or 7 every evening.

And then, drinking. So much drinkin…

And the doll house looks at me.

Every once in a while I start feeling like I want to explore religion again. It's a cyclic sort of mindset. Comes and goes like some sort of wave function. I think about doing it, but then I never really do. I always back out and return to my ambiguously spiritual mentality. I'm drawn to the guidance, I think. In the face of a lot of contrary sentiment, I have a lot of respect for religious people. That sort of thing takes a lot of inner strength and dedication. Having faith, I mean. Those people get a lot of flak for having a set code of morals and values that they--mostly--stick to, which is something I'll never be able to understand. I'm just too antsy about making philosophical decisions like that. Too obsessive about trying to find the balance in everything. I'm not religious or logical, I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm spiritual. Or, at least, I think I'm spiritual. Or, I want to think I'm spiritual.

Or, I think I want to think I…

He won't see me.

It really kind of blows my mind how quickly this semester went by. This last week in particular. Each semester seems to go by much more quickly than the previous one. It's like driving down a steep hill with the accelerator to the floor and hitting a ramp at the bottom and flying through the air but then getting out of the car because it was a simulation the whole time and you aren't going to die--twist ending! These last couple of days I've been having to convince myself that it's not just a long weekend before classes continue. This is summer. It's time to kick back and enjoy things and relax.

Except, it is just a long weekend before classes continue. My marine geology lecture starts up on Wednesday. I'm reasonably nervous--being a completely inexperienced and unqualified undergraduate taking a class that is largely composed of graduate students. But I had the professor's assurance that it would be a fun class, and I think I trust him on that. I&…

This is roughneck two-zero-one.

The airhorn sounded and for a brief moment I panicked. For a brief moment I was frozen in place. People scrambled around me, huffing and puffing. Diving behind whatever was closest. Sprinting forward. Gunfire crackled immediately from the distance. I pulled my gun to my chest and rushed for the nearest barricade. They had all gone further up the field from me. Closer to the battle. I peeked around the wooden wall. People sprinted and slid across the grass to get behind barriers and inside bunkers. I crouched down low and ran for the next barrier. And the next. When the barrels I was hiding behind stopped resonating with the plunking of enemy fire, I peeked out again.

And raised my gun, and fired.

Paintball was actually pretty damn fun. I admit, readily, that I wasn't particularly optimistic about the whole event when we started out. A large amount of college girls coupled with a significant number of clearly experienced players who had also decided to go paintballing t…

I want to die there too.

The building I walk to in the mornings for classes has a large air intake vent that is part of the outside wall. There are always things stuck up against the grating. Leaves, papers, plastic bags. These things just get sucked up into it, I guess. This morning there was a bird. He had gotten sucked up against the grating. He could fly away from it--maybe a foot--but he would always get sucked back to the wall. I paused and watched him for a second. No matter how hard he tried, he always got sucked in again.

And I started thinking.

We get ourselves into trouble a lot. Trouble that could be easily avoided. Of all possible places for him to fly, that bird flew right by the intake vent. And then he couldn't get away. That's exactly what happens to us. There's something we know we shouldn't get involved with, something we should do, yet we do anyway. And things often go bad, and we get screwed. And, often, we're too proud to ask for help. Which makes things…

Greatest show in heaven, hell, or Earth.

It was totally by accident that I found it. I mean, I never check that e-mail address and I probably never would have if it hadn't been brought up in conversation. But I did and nestled somewhere between the dozens of spam e-mails sat a message from an old friend. September 20, 2009. What was I doing in September? Writing pseudo-angsty bullshit, probably.

But my friend was not.

It was a heart-felt message about friendship and it killed me to be responding to it seven or eight months after the fact. Communication is a difficult thing. I often feel like I'm not as great a friend as I could be. As I should be. And I hate that. I should be more supportive. I should be more accessible. I should be more open. I should be better. It's something to work on, I guess.In my never-ending and often reckless pursuit of adventure, I impulsively signed up for a Marine Geology Field Course this summer. Go to the coast for a week? Alright. Go out on boats into the ocean? Alr…