Monday, November 12, 2007
Mr. Answer Man
Greetings, and welcome to MarNoWoTo. I worked all weekend, so I'm taking today off. Now that I have waxed political, and buzzkillish(if you're a cryptozoologist) I shall endeavor to answer the unanswered questions given me by y'all. Monkey asked if the age difference twixt my wife and I is difficult to deal with. Actually we rarely think about it. I think my career as a teacher keeps me more in touch with the younger folks, so our experiences weren't all that different. On the plus side she has totally gotten me out of being a Classic Rock snob and turned me on to many new bands. Also having a kid when she was twenty may have helped her mature a bit earlier.
What is it like being a step-parent? Not easy. I was a step-child for most of my life, so I know what it's like. I had a very good role model in my step-dad, and I have done my best to echo his style. That being said, my brother and I were teenagers when my folks got married, so I have had to modify my tactics with the Child-O-The-Apocalypse and be a little more hands-on. My step-dad pretty much let my mom handle us unless and until we disrespected her, then he waded in and shut us down stat. The COTA's dad is on good terms with us, and I do my best to get them together as often as possible, but he lives in Mississippi so it's only a couple times a year. As for the actual parenting part, I suppose it's easier if you have the chance to grow with your child into being a father. Becoming the instant dad of a 5 year old was challenging, and I don't always do things right, but I'm learning...or at least trying to.
Why did you join the military? I was living in Jacksonville, FL, working as a security guard, making jack squat, and head over heels in love. Despite the protestations of my girlfriend that I should not make any major life changes for her(oh what fools we mortals be)I managed to ignore her advise and enlist. I did everything I could to make sure that I would get stationed near enough to her so that, once I had something of a future to offer her, I could propose. This caused me to get stationed in North Carolina, which wouldn't have been too bad except that she was seeing someone else before I was even out of basic. Some, including me, have reviled her for that, but she did try to warn me not to base my future on her. And, to her credit, the guy she left me for is still(as far as I know) her husband and father of her children. I don't really regret my time in the service. Working on airplanes was really cool, even if the military part of it sucked. Oh, yeah, for those of you who don't know I was a communication and navigation specialist on C-130 cargo planes. (below)
What did you hate about being a teacher? I love being a teacher, but the maturity level of high school students is far lower than my patience allows. I don't know if I ever was like the kids in my classes, but if I was I have long forgotten about it. They are rude, unruly, disrespectful, and destructive. They broke a bench vise fer cryin out loud!(that's second only to breaking an anvil) I know that's how kids are supposed to be, which is why I left. Some people have the Sidney Poitier gene and see kids as a challenge and a fertile opportunity to nurture them. I just wanted to run a hose from the tailpipe of my car to the classroom. To be fair I had a few good kids, 5 out of 50, and I would gladly work with them any day, but the rest just annoyed me. I prefer college where I can relax and be a teacher without being a disciplinarian and a role model.
Were your parents theater folks? Did you grow up on the road? Wouldn't that have been cool? Alas, my folks were/are about as normal as they come. We were fairly nomadic during the first decade of my life or so, but once we got to Florida we stayed put.
How did you get down to FL? Again, the tale is not that interesting. My step-dad worked for Pratt & Whittney in Connecticut. My folks wanted out of the frozen north, so he put in for a transfer to their West Palm Beach, Florida plant and got it. We spent our first year in Miami, and he commuted 160 miles a day, then we moved to the West Palm Beach area a year later and my folks lived there for over 20 years.
And now Rico's questions.
What is your most politically incorrect opinion? I've been chewing on this one for a while. I was at a loss, since a lot of my opinions would ruffle the feathers of at least half the country. Finally I settled for my opinion on the law. I think that most of the so-called victimless crimes: drug use, and prostitution to name the two biggest ones that come to mind, should be legalized and regulated. I don't think that morality can, or should be legislated, and anything that is not inflicted upon another unwillingly, and does no harm to anyone but the active participant, should not be the business of the government.
What is your favorite fluffy animal? Why the three-toed sloth, of course.
Rico also asked for a tale from my Air Force days, and I'm still trying to think of one that might be interesting. Duke and Turtle will back me up on this, I'm sure, but the military is mostly just another job...albeit with bigger toys. Maybe tomorrow.