1. What have been the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of married life for you?
Challenging? Really, the whole point of our marriage at this point is that if it's hard, we're doing it incorrectly. I'm not being coy here. It's simple, respect, love, humor, and fun really make things work. Sure, we're not perfect, so the challenge is probably when I fail to meet my own or my partner's expectations, and conflict arises. But, for instance, just a few days ago, we happened to channel surf into Dr. Phil, and he had a segment about videotaping a couple at home, and they were always yelling at each other. We don't really do that. We just figure it out and move on. There's no latent rage, no lack of venting. It's all about communication. You have to talk this stuff out before it gets big. If it gets out of control you've already lost; and even if you resolve the situation the scar of the conflict is there. That will wear on the relationship; I've seen it happen too many times. The challenge is not letting that happen.
Rewards? Most center around the fact that my life is grounded due to my relationship, I get support, caring, all that good stuff. I think about it as something we've created together, and I'm very happy with it (we're talking 15 years of together at this point, with one small break that, cliche be damned, actually brought us closer together, and is probably when we realized hiding things we feel wasn't a good idea.) The idea of the relationship as a "thing", that I can look at and be really proud of, that's rewarding. That probably sounds a little unromantic, but part of what is appealing about it is it's still very romantic after all this time. And there's also the pithy answer about the kid, and really looking forward to raising a child in the environment we've created.
2. Carrying the chain... Fill in the blank: My favorite part of working at drewcns is windexcowboy's ___________.
Unbelievable enthusiasm for new ideas. His ability to design detailed plans, seemingly out of his head, first draft. The fact that he reads manuals and understands them. That I can usually rely on him to make a project work even if he tells me it's impossible first.
3. f your wife was trapped under a mountain of raspberries, and your arms and legs were bound, what would you do?
First, I would find a phone, knock it off the receiver, and use my nose to dial 911 and scream into the handset. Then, assuming the mountain is not so big as to make it so she can't hear me, I would encourage her to start eating her way out--she really enjoys raspberries, and every little bit will help.
I'm assuming said mountain of raspberries is a life-threatening situation. I would then use my upper torso as best as I could to dig. The smell would be horrendous, I would frequently hold my breath, but soon I would be overcome. The good news is it would probably get to a point where the smell wouldn't get any worse, and if these are actual raspberries, I've had less of a problem with them if I get to experience the entire fruit, so I'm hoping I would reach a discomfort plateau that I could press on through, knowing that it's a temporary experience necessary to save a loved one. It's not like I'm running through fire or having to go 50 feet underwater, or do something actually dangerous, after all.
4. What has been the most profound, powerful, perception-altering moment of your life to date?
You want me to say something like "losing my virginity" or "the first time I dropped acid" or "the time when I killed a man" or something like that. Well, the real answer, upon reflection, is something seemingly innocuous, yet deeply subversive.
I was probably about 12 or 13. My dad and I were out somewhere, I don't even remember (we might have been spending the day in Harper's Ferry, WV, out shopping for car stuff, doing something Scouting related, I simply don't recall.) Dad was educated by the Jesuits, and he was attempting to explain their philosophy. He told me that no matter what, I should always be observant. Always take a close look at what's going on, seek to figure things out, but most importantly really pay attention to the world.
I took this to heart, and it's that moment that helped forge my political and social beliefs. Because, looking around, I know it's mostly an accident of birth that got me where I am, and I shouldn't disparage those who are less fortunate. It's what made me want an electronics kit, a chemistry set and a computer, and to really understand how those worked. It's what gave me a sense of being non-judgemental which I still use today. It's especially ironic in that my father is now a conservative for whom Rush Limbaugh is as far to the left as he gets.
5. In what aspects of your life do you think you come closest to being non earth-raping, and in what aspects do you feel you fall woefully short of the ideal?
We pretty much only buy organic stuff at this point. We buy only recycled paper towels and such. We reuse plastic and paper bags, glass jars, and plastic containers. We use very little air conditioning and heat the house to 65 in the winter, and let it drop to 58 at night. We only use environmentally safe cleaning products. We don't put any chemicals on the lawn, and try and use natural pesticides. We buy lots of stuff in bulk.
Most importantly, we don't consume very much. We don't buy crap at Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Target unless it's something we actually need, the things we do buy we buy to keep for a long time. I contrast with my oldest brother whose house is a miracle of entropy--filled with bits and pieces of imported crap, mostly purchased in his daily visits to Wal-Mart, that he uses, breaks, and throws away. Any toys that his kids get inevitably end up in pieces on the floor and thrown out. I know that toys break, but I'm talking every single one, even the ones they allegedly like. I don't think their lives are better for it.
I really try not to be self-righteous about it, because I work in an industry that creates immense amounts of pollution in the manufacture and disposal of electronics, as well as amazing amounts of power consumption. We own 2 cars and they're not huge SUVs but they're also not hybrids either. We also drive a lot to work (I used to carpool when origamislayer lived nearby, but no more.) With the wife working we've been buying more processed foods (organic, all natural processed foods but still.) We like traveling and flying on planes. I enjoy music and rock concerts that take energy to make, distribute, and perform. Fundamentally, no matter how environmentally conscious I claim to be, I'm still an American living something well within the bounds of the typical American lifestyle. I hope to aspire to the European standard, at least, but even that's worse than living in a solar-powered shack, growing your own food, using composting toilets, and wiping your ass with leaves, or still more environmentally straining than how 80% of the world's population lives.
Oh yeah, I'm supposed to offer to ask other people questions. Please reply to this message with the words "Do me! Do me!" in the subject or body.