Dr. W's Space Travels
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2021-08-21 00:28:31 (UTC)

Space Cadet Swears Off Cave Diving

Dr. Wood LXIII

Never did I realize how engrossed in the strange, dark and mysterious in story format I would be until I took up Eric’s recommendation to watch MrBallen on Youtube. I am absolutely hooked on his stuff. Been watching his videos nonstop at work for the past week now, while throwing two episodes of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (the anime) each day in between binges. While I’ve always been moderately into eerie tales, dark web stories and creepypastas, this indulgence might be my most addictive of its kind. I’ve been watching series such as “Photos with Disturbing Backstories”, “Videos with Disturbing Backstories”, “Places You Can’t Go To that People Went to Anyway”, and “Strange Stories that Are 100% True” (I’m paraphrasing the titles, don’t feel like looking them up), and they are just… so darn entrancing. But in like a paranoia-inducing way. It’s almost masochistic subjecting myself to some of the frightening stories but they’re SO interesting. And it might seem like because of all the praise MrBallen gets for his storytelling abilities he might be overrated – HE’S NOT. He does it perfectly! He speaks in an engaging and fluid manner, breaking down stories so people understand them and yet still making them concise enough to not lose the viewers’ interest. He takes a neutral, as-objective-as-possible look at the accounts while also not being insensitive to what happened. And he’s super down-to-earth, being very receptive to those who may question the accuracy of his information (though that’s very few people – he really does well to affirm his credibility). MrBallen’s also a relatively new Youtuber (his first video was like a year or so ago?), and since then he’s garnered a heck of a following. Seriously – good for him, he totally deserves it. Call it the effect of Youtube commercialism but I feel oddly enriched watching his videos (which is more like “listening” since I have it playing during work hours).

I particularly learned a lot about diving incidents. In the “Places You Can’t Go To” series, these stories seem to dominate the bunch. He does three stories per episode, and at least one of them involves a diving venture gone wrong – specifically, cave diving. Okay I thought I was masochistic by watching unsettling stories like these, but I guess not as masochistic as a cave diver. These are people who explore underwater caves, usually for thrills… and while I can’t fault them for their dedicated curiosity and certainly can’t bash them for how driven they are in general, it still feels almost akin to a death wish to me. Granted, I know I’ve only been watching the tragic diving stories and not the preponderance of successful ones, but still. I watched videos on how divers got stuck in underwater crevasses, ran out of air because they got lost trying to get out of a cave, contracted “the bends” because of skipping the decompression process, exploded inside of a pressurized chamber because of it accidentally being depressurized, etc. Yeah, that last one was real – heard that in a story today. But it’s mainly the cave diving that bothers me the most. I’m not particularly claustrophobic (I can tolerate being packed in heavily crowded places and stuff), but if you replace the “crowd” with solid rock and the “places” with water… nah, fudge that. I will never ever go cave diving. Never. And well, after watching other stories about serial killers, break-ins, cannibals, gang violence, psycho exes, grizzly bears, and whatever else I forgot to mention, I don’t plan to ever have a social life again either. Time to stay at home, without answering the door, and keeping a blunt object near me at all times.

I’m once again exaggerating, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel any bit uneasy after watching those videos. Ironically, I’ve been doing a lot of door-answering as of late, too. My apartment complex’s maintenance team has been doing work in my room to get a new faucet installed in my kitchen and bathroom, and to replace some molded-over ceiling boards that resulted from a leak. Fortunately, instead of getting stabbed or shot for answering the door, I got my stuff fixed! So that was pleasant! And I like the maintenance team here – I’ve gotten to know a few of them and even just found out one of them is big fan of anime after seeing some of my nerd stuff! That’s two unexpected anime-fan revelations in the span of a week! Anyway, I feel great knowing that my kitchen faucet – which has been leaking for over a year now – is now in optimal order. Woohoo!

It is now Friday and I’m about to enjoy my weekend. I guess I’ll be seeing my mom and brother this Saturday for dinner, which I’m sure will be lovely. I’m generally not a fan of invites given the Friday of the weekend I’m about to jump into, but it’s no big deal this time. It’s another opportunity to see family, and family won’t always be around to see, so its presence is something to not take for granted. I don’t necessarily want to stop people from inviting me out spontaneously like that, either. I don’t initiate meetups or gatherings very often, so any detriment the inconvenience from last-minute invitations causes sort of offsets the detriment of never being social, if that makes sense. Although I will say – I’ve been social as fudge these past two weeks. I’m declaring next weekend to be a weekend that’s all to myself, seeing as the following two weekends will probably be booked with stuff to do. Okay midnight just passed and I was expecting to be done this entry by now, but I got a call from a friend/acquaintance from the army and just got finished with it. I say friend/acquaintance because we’re not really that close and, well, I never call him myself. And honestly talking with him is kind of exhausting. I feel bad saying that because he’s a very nice, polite guy, but he talks quite a bit, and in heavy detail about many different topics, a lot of which I’m just not interested in. But I have no nerve to speak up about it nor do I have a desire to drive any of the conversations, since at this point my tiredness is a self-fulling prophecy. I tried asserting boundaries and stating things like “yeah I can talk for about a half hour”, which I did today, but the call ended up being an hour long, and at that point I just had to find a gap of silence in the conversation to be like “hey, it’s almost midnight, I have to go”. He was understanding and apologetic about it, though. I just… I get very uncomfortable being caught in a conversation with someone when there are other things I’d rather be (or need to be, in the case of work) doing. I hate being impolite and I understand people want to be heard and listened to, and I don’t want to be dismissive and not accommodate if they are reaching out to me. But I also know part of that is just image upkeep because I don’t want people to see me as a jerk, even though I do have some jerkish inclinations deep down. “Jerkish” is probably too harsh of a word, and might actually be the incorrect word to begin with since I never actually looked it up. Spellcheck gave it the thumbs-up but it probably means something unrelated to “the state of being a jerk”. Heh. It’s probably human to feel the way I’m feeling about people whom I think talk too much, and I can therefore afford myself some absolution. But I do feel bad about my stance on the matter regardless.

That all being said, I genuinely am tired now, and kind of not really in the mood to do anything for the rest of the night. I might actually go to bed early. Or maybe I’ll get in a chapter of Maitetsu. That’s a very low-stress game, although it can sometimes necessitate a great deal of attention. I feel like every time I write an entry, I always get to talking about Maitetsu. I also feel like I’ve said that very sentence before. I need sleep. Please don’t let me dream of underwater caves.

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