C&C: Do you like the X-files? If not, explain yourself. And tell what your favorite tv show is and why.
X-Files? Love it. Huge Gillian Anderson fan, I’m a sucker for redheads. For some bizarre reason I’m fascinated by David Duchovny as well. ‘Playing God’ was absolutely brilliant. I don’t really watch a
lot of television, but I’m a huge movie buff. The last year or so I started picking up various series from the local library. It’s hard to pick just one, every series I liked, I enjoyed for different reasons. More often than not, a series gets recommended to me by one friend or another when they have an ‘Oh my god, that’s you!’ moment when the character does something… odd. In no particular order: 24, Burn Notice, Dexter, House, and Rescue Me. House is a recurring one. Especially from my Ex. Watching Greg’s dysfunctional approach to life actually made me re-evaluate some of my own particular habits.
Band of Brothers was recommended by a therapist, I rather liked that series. I’m currently hooked on Spartacus and Game of Thrones. If I had to pick one series though, I think I’d say ‘Firefly’. I only found out about it after it had been taken off the air.
C&C: How old were you when you wrote your first work of fiction, be it a short story, poem, whatever, all on your own that wasn’t a school assignment? And did you tell/show anyone?
I have to cheat a little bit on this one. I read a lot as a kid and I wrote a lot of different things, but my first ‘real’ writing was actually non-fiction. I was 17 and in college. Our teacher had us write about a personal experience. I wrote about being stabbed. She was so impressed that she made me get up in front of the class and read it out loud.
After that I was hooked on writing. For a while, I was writing story lines for a group of friends who played D&D. After a while I was running the games. The last time I ran anything (about a decade ago), the game lasted a year and gave everyone nightmares. They loved it. WoTC published a few things I wrote.
I wrote about 200-300 thousand words of a fantasy series and burned out. I pick at it every couple of months but haven’t sat down and seriously written it out in years. I quit writing for a long time when my life imploded, but picked it back up again when a friend talked me into NANOWRIMO. After that I stumbled on the Cult website and slowly got back into writing again.
No matter how bizarre or twisted any of my writing is, nearly everything I’ve ever written has some little element of a personal experience in it.
C&C: Wait, when you were 17 you wrote a paper on being STABBED??? If you could expand on that one, just a little…
I’d been on my own for about a year at that point. I tested out of High School at 15, went to college the next year at 16. So more or less I was out and about. Some of my friends were less reputable and I
wound up with a bad crowd, sort of.
It’s nothing too terrible. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Being a relatively skinny kid, most people underestimated me. It didn’t help that was the summer I went from being about five foot even
to being five foot eleven. I grew up being the short kid and the outsider. I’d had enough with getting bullied in elementary school and been getting in fights off and on since Junior High School and doing
martial arts for a couple of years.
So when someone pulled a knife on me and demanded my wallet, I laughed at him. Unfortunately he was bigger and stronger, so he thought he’d show me up and took a swing. I wound up breaking his jaw, and a couple of his ribs I think. I hadn’t noticed I’d been stabbed until afterwards when I tried to walk off.
When I looked down, there was the hilt of the knife sticking out of my leg. The weird thing was it didn’t really seem to hurt, it felt numb and stiff, but no real pain. Like an idiot, I pulled it out and hobbled home. The next day I could barely walk on it. I patched myself up, but essentially I just ‘walked it off’. It felt weird for years until the scar tissue broke down enough that it wasn’t an ugly purple lump. It still feels tight on really cold days.
C&C: What’s the most favoritest gun you ever fired? And do you generally prefer handguns or rifles for target/shooting for fun? Or more importantly, do you even enjoy firing a gun?
Oh my, this is a complicated one. I don’t know if enjoy is a proper term. I used to go hunting a bit, but not so much anymore. My first ’real’ combat tour really turned me off from hunting. I don’t mind target shooting, but honestly I do it more to hone my skills than anything else.
I’ve fired numerous types of weapons. In no particular order: an M1911 .45, a .454 Casull, a Beretta 9mm, a .38 revolver, an M-4 Carbine, an M16A1 (and A2), an M60 machine gun, an M2 Browning .50 cal machine gun, a sawed off shotgun (I don’t remember what kind), and a whole variety of rifles including a Dragunov Sniper Rifle and enough knock off AKs to fill a cargo container.
I currently own only one gun which I bought from a friend for an excellent deal: a STG-556, which I have yet to fire.
While everyone has their own favorite firearm, I’m a firm believer in the right tool for the job. As far as target shooting, I like reaction/tactical firing ranges. For Close Quarters Battle (CQB) shooting, a pistol is the way to go. As much as I hate the Beretta it works if you take care of it.
As far as all time favorites go, I’m biased towards the M2 Browning. I love the M60, but there’s just something about the M2 that always makes me smile. It’s one of the finest weapons I’ve ever used and not used. There’s just something about sighting down the barrel of the M2 that makes people reconsider their decision making process. Some of my all time favorite moments are the result of me not having to fire an M2.
Although it’s not a gun, my all time favorite projectile launching weapon is an M203 40mm grenade launcher. It was love at first sight. I always, always, always volunteer to carry one. I have a frightening degree of accuracy when firing one. If I can see my target, I can lay a 40mm grenade on it.
If I have to rely on something, I obsessively clean/maintain it. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I do before going to sleep.
C&C: What’s your favorite color?
Most people go with the obvious: Black. Most of my wardrobe is actually black. I never owned shoes for the longest time. Once I moved out at 16, I wore combat boots almost exclusively for the next 15
years or so. The only other pair of boots I had was an old square toed pair of engineer boots (Biker boots), I still have them.
I do have a gray suit and a few colored shirts though. Most of the time I default to black because it doesn’t show blood, dirt, etc. and it goes with anything. My actual favorite color is blue.
C&C: What do you have in your pockets?
My wallet (with about 70 euros), a Smith & Wesson limited edition folding karambit, a tactical collapsible steel baton, eleven euros and fifty three cents in change, and an assortment of keys. Also three mints, two receipts, and various ID and credentials.
C&C: When you were little did you get crushes on female cartoon characters?
If so, whoooooo?
Cartoon characters? None. I didn’t watch much TV. I’m Pre-MTV (Just barely though). Radio though… Oh hell… I fell in love with voices: Pat Benetar, Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, and Dolores O’Riordan. I could probably sum my life up in songs/lyrics. Is that wrong?
C&C: You walked right into a songs question. If you picked your soundtrack, say, just 5 songs, to your actual life, what 5 songs would you pick?
Complicated. Lately it’s mostly been instrumental music. From day zero, there are a couple of Eagles songs that will always be my absolute undisputed favorites. A lot of NIN resonates with me,
especially in my darker moods. But this changes from year to year. Mood to mood, experience to experience. Right now, looking back, these are the first five that come to mind right now. No particular order.
1. Wish you were Here – Pink Floyd
2. Mad World – gary Jules Cover
3. Into The Ocean – Blue October
4. My Body Is a Cage – Peter Gabriel Cover
5. Clean – Depeche Mode
1. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
2. Lux Aeterna – Clint Mansell
3. Clubbed to Death – Rob Dougan
4. Sun’s Gone Dim – Johann Johansson
5. Red Warrior – Hanz Zimmer
C&C: And, from the other side, if you could pick 5 songs for your
soundtrack to what your life ideally would have been like, what would those 5 songs be?
My life is pretty ideal, but I’ve had a lot of people attribute songs that they felt defined ‘me’.
1. Uninvited – Alanis Morissette
2. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
3. Electric Blue Eyes – Cranberries
4. Behind Blue Eyes – The Who
5. Eat you Alive – Limp Bizkit
C&C: Are you left-handed or right-handed? And do you think this has an effect on people’s intelligence or personality?
Depends on what I’m doing. For writing I’m primarily right handed. I can shoot equally well with either hand and I’ve got a vicious left hook. Left-handed people have always seemed different somehow. Fun fact: fuzes for Russian ordinance turn the opposite direction from US ordinance. A lot of people attribute this to a predominantly left handed population. I’ve never seen proof, but a lot of Russians I’ve met have in fact been left handed.
C&C: How many tattoos do you have?
Three tattoos. One over my heart (my first one), one across my right bicep (my second one) and one that goes down my spine. I planned on having a fourth done. I get one tattoo for every major deployment I survive. Bosnia/Hungary was my first one. Kosovo was my second. Iraq
was my third. I’m due for a fourth, but haven’t felt compelled because I just went back to Iraq. If I go to Afghanistan or somewhere new, then there will definitely be a fourth.