A shiny new DSLR, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and…scuba diving..?

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, things got a little crazy out here.

I’ve got a new camera! It’s a Nikon D3100 Digital SLR, so it takes REALLY nice quality photos, when I use it right. I’ve got about 40-some photos on my SD card, but I forgot to pick up an SD card reader while I was out, so I can’t pull them off just yet.

I got the 2-lens kit with the 18-55, and the 55-200 zoom lenses. They’re pretty darn good for a kit I got on sale for 220$ off.

Right now I’m not doing anything fancy. I’m still getting used to being rather delicate with it, and I rarely switch menu settings. I’m most comfortable in Aperture priority mode (A, from the P, S, A, and M modes), but I can still take photos fine in Auto and guided mode. I can definitely tell where a nicer lens will come in handy, but I already spent 800$ of my own money on what I have so far (the base, 2 lenses (+1 hood), UV-protection filters on both, 2 batteries, 2 SD cards, and a big ol’ case for it all, as well as a cheap tripod with its’ own bag–on top of the SD card reader I will need to go buy soon), so the 50mm prime/standard, 300mm macro/telephoto, and fisheye lenses can wait. (As much as I now pine after them. -sighs-)

I’m going to be getting a year-long pass at the Aquarium of the Pacific! I live roughly 15-20 minutes max away, and it was SO much fun when I went with a friend to one of their Discounted Late Nights a few days ago. I bought a (rather expensive, but worth it) micro jellyfish painting by a local artist by the name of Dean Bardos. (Well done, dude!) It’s no more than 2″ x 1.5″ in size, so. Pretty tiny.

I hope to take a million and one lovely photos with my new camera, and get out of the house a little more often. I do so little and get out of the house even less that I feel a bit stifled.

Also, as the title says, I am attempting to get into Scuba Diving. My Dad and his sister both scuba dive, both for pleasure and my aunt for work. When I saw a job opening (starting off as a volunteer, of course) at the Aquarium. When I looked up what I would need to do to become PADI Rescue Diver certified I immediately tugged on every string I could find to dig a little deeper. It turns out, a friend of the family instructs as a scuba diver at a local dive shop, and the prices are more than affordable (you know, for scuba diving).

The problem? When I went to fill out the paperwork, I had to admit to the fact that I am Bipolar and take medication for it.

Normally, it’s no problem. You take it to your GP, they sign that you can safely dive with whatever it is you’ve got, and you take your class. But when I began to earn the 1,500$ I would need to pay for the class and my own equipment, my doctor told me she refused to sign off, because of my resting heartrate. According to her, at between 120 and 140 resting, there was no way she was going to sign off. Only days before, I had gone to another doctor I see sometimes, and he wasn’t going to sign off either–but all he said was, “Hyperthyroid.” So, now that my second opinion has also denied me the right to scuba dive, I’m in the process of getting a bunch more blood work and a thyroid ultrasound done…but it looks like we’ll need to have my thyroid surgically removed after all. The hope is that it will slow my heartrate back down to a normal range (below 100 and she said she’d sign), and stop this intense influx of thyroid hormone it already produces. So…now I have to wait about 6 months (in order to save up for it, schedule it, get approved, and have the surgery), before I can even take the time to recover, and perfect the dosage of thyroid med I will need for the rest of my life, in order to function vaguely normally again.

What a world. Atleast there is some form of hope, in the shape of a surgery and a tiny little recording device. Maybe eventually I can use these two things to make a living.

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