Today is both my Friday at work and the penultimate day of Blaugust. I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t grab at least one writing prompt just for fun, and since tomorrow I’m doing my wrapup post looks like I’m doing one today!
[Bonus thing: Two of my backer rewards for Sunless Sea were a physical map…and a geographic feature named after me. Hence, Darkgryphon Straits.]
I never really planned on going into the military while I was in high school. Both my parents were in the Navy, I have other family members who were in the military, my brother was in Civil Air Patrol…but none of that ever seemed right for me. Plus I was only moderately physical, I’ve always had trouble breathing when I run no matter how many techniques I try.
Soon after I graduated high school (I was 17 at the time), I met a young woman who had just recently finished her training and was helping the local recruiter. I don’t even remember how or where I met her, but I was sort of fascinated seeing a woman of about my own age who had completed training. She was in the National Guard (they go through the same Basic/AIT as regular Army, with the same standards) and I started thinking about how amazing it would be to have a chance to really help people during natural disasters.
I signed up as a cook, which frustrated my recruiter to no end since I had a 99 ASVAB. I didn’t care that he was annoyed, I wanted to support people as much as I could, so I wanted a support role. Fun trivia: When I got past Basic and into AIT, the drill sergeants were obsessed with breaking the stereotype of fat, lazy cooks. We trained alongside Marines, and friends of mine who were doing other training got a bunch more privileges, and much faster, than we did. 😛
My original shipdate for Basic Training was September 11, 2001. I was at the MEPS center, in the middle of processing, when we realized all the adults were gathering around a tv and ignoring us. We eventually inched over that way, and yeah. We were all sent home for a week (or two?), and a number of us dropped out. We’d enlisted not expecting that, of course. I chose to stick with it. I felt that I’d made a promise, and I would have felt crappy ducking out. It scared me, but that felt like more reason to keep my promise.
It was a very interesting time to be in training, and not just for the obvious reasons. While many people would enlist later on, there were a LOT of folks who dropped out in that first batch. We effectively had to do twice the amount of guard duty, with half the people. This was when I first learned that yes, actually, I can fall asleep while standing up.
As it happened, I have super flat feet and was struggling with shin splits my entire time in Basic Training. By the time I was partway through AIT, they were beginning to turn into stress fractures and the doctors ordered that I was not to run, warning me that I could end up with permanent damage. I completed everything else in AIT, including the other physical standards, but wasn’t allowed to attempt the run. I was a holdover for quite a while (which SUCKS) before they finally sent me home to my local National Guard branch, sent me out to other doctors a few times, and eventually discharged me.
It was very frustrating for me at the time, and I felt like I had failed, that I should have pushed through somehow. I eventually made my peace with it, and am now proud that I tried so very hard to do something that no one except my mom and brother honestly thought I could do.
2. My first live concert was Metallica.
And I planned it that way! When I was about the age where my friends started going to live concerts, I was heavily into Metallica. I decided they would be my first concert…even though they hadn’t toured in my state in years. Teenage me didn’t see the issue there, but as luck would have it, they wound up touring in my state the same year I made that decision. 😛
More trivia is even though I love their earlier stuff, I also very much enjoyed Load and Reload. I absolutely love James Hetfield’s voice, and those albums really showed it off. Still, I used to go to sleep every night listening to Orion and Anesthesia, which I had recorded onto a cassette tape, alternating over and over.
Plus, I actually saw their point during the whole Napster thing. I know, I’m like completely alone on that one, but in general I could see what they were saying. I’m not saying I would have handled it the same way, but I could sympathize with their views.
This is more likely to be known since I mention it more often, but it’s still fun trivia about me. 🙂 I primarily played Janet and Trixie (preshow), but when I moved out of the area I started playing Crim instead. I really only stopped because I couldn’t keep up the driving for rehearsals plus shows. I never would have auditioned if my friends on cast hadn’t encouraged me, and I think it was very very good for me to get up in front of people like that. It was a crazy part of my life, and a wonderful one; I made a lot of lifelong friends that I treasure to this day.
4. I have four tattoos and eleven piercings.
I have a dragon on my right shoulder, a wolf with a crescent moon celtic knot design on my left, a phoenix on my back, and what I call my “bondage faerie” on my left thigh. I would love to get more work done someday, but first my artist/piercer moved away, and then I never seemed to have the spare money. Plus, I started working at more jobs where I had to watch what I had.
5. I reread my favorites books so often that…
When I was just beginning to realize I liked audiobooks, I got a copy of Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” – book one of The Dark Tower series. After listening for a bit, I paused it, saying out loud, “That line isn’t right, that’s not what it’s supposed to be.” I hadn’t realized King revised the book in 2003. The new, “wrong” recording bothered me so much, I never made it through the whole thing. I got a copy of one of the older versions on cassette tape through Amazon, and still listen to that one when I want to hear the story.
There you go, five random things about yours truly. Tomorrow will be the Blaugust wrapup, and even if I wanted to take a break I couldn’t, hehe. September 1st means a new article for Holosuite. I’ll be writing about volunteering at animal shelters, it should be an interesting one.
(Photo below is the artwork for the tattoo on my thigh, since I can’t exactly show that one off like the others. :P)