May 31, 2005

*MY VRWC Interview

It's the interview with Beth of MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy!

Why blog?

Because I have no life. Or maybe I have no life because I blog. I started because I was looking for something--God only knows what--in the Google Options page and saw the little Blogger button and thought, WTF, maybe I can use this to stop spamming everyone and their dog with links to stuff. I had never even read a blog before; I thought they were just online journals that melodramatic teenagers did. Yeah, I thought I was on to something May 2004. My excuse for that dimwittedness is that I had spent the previous year and a half being an eBay addict, so I suppose this is a far wiser of my computer!
Besides, I'm a hermit and I hate the phone, so the "social" life of a total friggin' GEEK is better than none at all. And yes, I used to say that people who spend this much time on a computer were the biggest losers. That's ME! Wooohoooo!

If you did not blog, what would you do in your spare time?

Clean my house, eat, sleep.
Oh. Is this a serious question? Clear all this stuff we don't use out of the house and either give it away or sell it on eBay. Shop online and go broke. Sleep more. I would also have to play kid stuff all day, too. You know, you can only take SO much of that.

Your actual blog address, bamapachyderm, is unique. Any story behind that?

All the ones I wanted were taken, and its uniqueness is quite a nice contrast to the frightfully UNORIGINAL blog name. I keep saying I'm going to punt "My VRWC" and just go with Bamapachyderm because the unoriginality really drives me completely insane. (I told you, I thought I was on to something when I started blogging! What an idiot, huh!)
Anyway, Bama = Alabama (amazing, isn't it?). Pachyderm = Elephant = GOP and Big Al/Alabama Crimson Tide (I went to college there and graduated with a Master's degree in Alcohology after only one year! My master's thesis was on effective hangover cures, but none turned out to be terribly effective, dammit.)

Your page takes about an hour to load on dialup (shut up). What's up?

What is this "dialup" of which you speak? Get broadband, cheapskate! (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Does it still take that long? I know it sucked for a while, but since the redesign this month it SHOULD be better. Y'know, you shoulda told me!

Tell us about your USAF experience, please. What did you do, where did you go, that sort of thing?

Well, it's super-seekrit, so don't tell anyone. Just between you and me, I was a... FINANCE PUKE. I loathed my job, nearly every single day of it--but that's the job I DEMANDED from my recruiter. (I was such a genius at eighteen, I tell ya.) I tried to retrain for years, but anyone who's been in the Air Force knows that goat-rope. "Worldwide Shortage," my a$$. Anyway, I didn't loathe the Air Force, just that job part. And the PT part, but the AF's PT program is a big fat joke so I only had to bitch about that once a year.
My first assignment was at Spangdahlem, Germany; I am probably the only person in the history of the US military to hate being stationed in Germany. WTF is so great about it, anyway? It's too cold, the damn farmers walk their cows down the middle of the street when you're driving home, it's expensive, and the socialist system shows everywhere you look. We used to wave our ration cards at the sky when the sun was shining! Oh yeah, I got married there, too, apparently because it was something to do. Maybe some day I'll blog a bunch of stuff about my assignments, because Germany sucked.
Then I was at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. I loved it there--the complete opposite of Germany: dry, hot, sunny, perfect. Nice people, everything. Still hated my job, but you know, you still do it. I got there as an E-3, and by the time I left there I had a line number for E-6 at age 27. Not bad, for the Air Force. I also got divorced there, but there were no hard feelings. I was just 20 when I got married and for me, that was way too young.
Next was Incirlik, Turkey, where I met my next victim...I mean husband. I can sum up those fifteen months with this: heavy drinking, the best house parties ever, burning my trash and watching the Turkish kids fight with the mangy stray dogs over the burning garbage, hauling a gym bag on base many days to shower and get ready for work at a friend's in base housing because the water/power/whatever was out half the time off base, being begged by the Turkish neighbors' teenage daughters to give them "sexy American" clothes and sneak them to the main gate so they could flirt with the gate guards (no, I didn't take them). The place is a total hellhole, but I have to admit, I did have a good time. It would be an awesome assignment if I could have lived on base--living off base was mandatory for single E-5s and E-6s, and that SUCKED. That place is a story in itself. But I do want to go back to visit.
Finally, Bolling AFB in DC, and (get this) I swapped my assignment to Luke AFB (in Phoenix) to go there! Yes, I am crazy. Actually, though, it was because my (then-future, now-ex) husband had gotten assigned there. So anyway, I was there for a year (really hated the job there, more than anywhere!) before I was medically retired. No, I'm not evasive about it, it's just a long story. Cancer, and I'm free of it now, finally.

Even though I hated working in Finance, I don't have any regrets or negative feelings about my time in the military. I'm glad I did it, and if I could, I'd go back in now because of the war.

GAWD, I'm long-winded.

What other jobs have you had?

After I got out I worked at the Pentagon as a GS-12 programmer-analyst, and even though I had a complete **** (I'll censor myself) for a boss, I loved my job there, although working AT the Pentagon is a total pain in the a$$. I quit when my daughter was a few months old, because I became totally uninterested in work; I wanted to be HOME with her. Be careful what you wish for though; I didn't actually quit until I pretty much didn't have much choice because of another recurrence of my cancer, which put me out of commission for about six months. Fortunately, my (now-ex) husband got a substantial pay raise at the same time (he had gotten out of the Air Force by then) so it was do-able. By the time I was physically able to go back to work, I had no intention of doing so. And of course, the cancer came back again as soon as I thought I recovered, so whatever.
So basically, I've been happily staying at home with my little angel for the last six years. And I plan to continue to stay home as long as I can afford to, because I'm not a fan of early mornings and I definitely don't love daycare.

Why does your brother live in your back yard? Do you feed him on purpose to keep him around?

Because he is my baby brother (brat!), and because he was tired of living with our parents once he graduated from college (at Alabama!). I have a detached guest apartment in the back yard--I don't make him sleep under the stars. ;-) I still end up paying a yard guy, though.

Why don't you have a dog? Like, say, a Golden Retriever?

Don't remind me, I am already obsessed with getting a dog. Waaaahhh. I don't have one because I don't have a fence (although I'd never make a dog stay outside), my daughter is too young and rambunctious (I think) for a puppy to be raised right, and I think my house is too small. My mother's Golden Retriever--the Best Animal In The World--stayed at our house one time when they were on vacation, and I felt guilty because he's used to having a much bigger house to wander around in, and I hate hanging out outside. Mosquitoes literally tear me to shreds in the WORST way--probably because I'm so SWEET. hahahahaha
Actually, I want a German Shepherd, but I would be an idiot to get one before my daughter's a little older so we don't raise a wolf by mistake. Anyway, my cat Lucy acts like a dog (she's a Siamese) so she'll do for now.

Are you hard to get along with?

Do I seem that way? I don't think so, unless the person asking this question is my ex-husband who would probably say "yes." I don't take any merda from anyone, though; I'll speak my mind pretty easily and I suppose that throws some people off a little. I'm NOT rude at all, though, just honest. For the most part though, I'm pretty easygoing.

Tell us about young Beth. What kind of child was she?

A real smartass. Bossy as hell. Did I mention smartass? Not even class-clown smartass, sassy smart-mouth smartass. I still don't know how I got away with my mouth at times. I guess I must have been incredibly charming. ;-) Ask my mother, who leaves her name as "YOUR MOTHER" in my blog comments. She is, after all, the Queen of Smartass herself. Oh yeah, I was kind of a brat at times about correcting adults when they used bad grammar or spelling, too. My mother didn't really raise hell about it though, because it probably let her off the hook. She is, after all, The Word Police. I'm just the Deputy.

What will she be like when she grows up?


What would you do with a million dollars?

Buy shoes. Lots of them. No, I'm kidding. I'd buy a nicer house, get rid of my crappy car, and invest most of it for my daughter's education and for "the future" because it would be stupid not to. And of course, I'd give some to charity--something for the military serving today.

Why not post more pictures of yourself? Is it because you are worried about stalkers? And what is your address?

Should I end this interview now?
I don't HAVE many pictures of myself; I might as well be in the Witness Protection Program. I'm the one with the camera all the time. Besides, I'm just not like that, showing pictures of myself. I mean, why? It's not a blog all about "me, me, me."

Do you like men who wear women's underwear?

Baba Booey Baba Booey Baba Booey.
Y'know, Howard, your show really has gone to scheisse in the last few years.

Cuffs or rope?

Hey, Stuttering John, when are you going to get a real job?

What kind of music do you listen to?

You could click that "listen" button to hear my Launchcast station to find out.
Basically, RAWK. Hard rock to metal, although Pink Floyd and the Stones are my favorites. The rest is more metal. I must be old because I think most stuff that comes out now is total crap. But I'll listen to a lot of other stuff too; just no bull$hit pop or (c)rap and almost no country. I don't care about lyrics, I hear the music (or lack thereof).

Any coping tips for single moms?

Nope! When someone figures it all out, let me know.
I can say having my family nearby makes ALL the difference though, even one day a month of my parents taking my daughter is a huge help (they do more than one day a month). Plus I can always count on them in a pinch, although I'm extremely independent (to the point of being stupid about it) and don't ask for help much.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

VERY EASY: The night before my first cancer operation, I started to get a little freaked out (meaning I cried--which is very much out of character for me) and my mother told me "remember, you're a lot stronger than you realize you are." That stuck with me for some reason. She's right, because we all are. There's absolutely no reason in my mind to worry about things too much; you just have to deal with what comes and things will work out. They always do in the end. That one sentence got me thinking about a lot, although at the time I did a LOT of thinking about life in general.
Also: Don't sweat the small $hit; and it's all small $hit.
Honestly though, I usually suck at taking advice; unsolicited advice IS my Number One Pet Peeve, no question about it. That's when you might find it difficult to get along with me. ;-)

Posted by Jennifer at May 31, 2005 11:00 AM


Beth, you remind me of my own selection when I joined the Air Force: General; Whatever.

A speaker during basic training said something like "If you didn't come in here with a guaranteed job then you basically said 'screw me any which way you please'."

But, heh, at my tender age I was willing to let the brass find me the job I was best suited for, rather than pick a frickin' career myself.

Turned out very well. They made me a combat arms instructor at the M-60 Machingun School, Nellis AFB, north Las Vegas, Nevada!

Sometimes ya just gotta trust your instinct not to trust your instincts!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at June 1, 2005 01:04 AM

Yes, but cuffs or rope? ;-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 1, 2005 09:47 AM

HARVEY! Was that YOU who asked that question?! LOL

See, if I told, I might ruin the fantasy. ;-)

Posted by: Beth at June 1, 2005 03:20 PM

Excellent answers Beth! You did a great job!

Posted by: Janette Stripling at June 1, 2005 04:01 PM

Beth - no, not my question.

But I *am* keen to hear the answer.

Otherwise I'll just have to assume it's "both" :-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 2, 2005 08:56 AM