An interview with SK’Avius Avem. My lovely engineer talks about his profession, personal life, being in relationships, intimacy and more.
Q: Why you have decided to become an engineer?
A: I always liked to construct and was interested in creative work in general, mostly in engineering something, because it has more to do with creative work. Working in technical service or say in serial production I would probably die out of boredom.
Q: Why aviation engineering specifically?
A: I’m interested in solving puzzles, constructing, designing, and aviation by far is the most difficult area. And moreover, it’s more related to movement and space. Cars drive on plane, trains goes by railways while planes can move in all directions. In aviation, you need to worry about sleek form from all the sides, from top and bottom. Plus, you need to know a lot about aerodynamics. I was always fascinated by forms, shapes, sculptures too. The most perfect aerodynamic detail, the shape needs to be sleek like woman’s body so that nothing would stumble upon, be lower drag and smoother flow.
Q: Do you remember the person who introduced you to aviation?
A: Yes, of course, it was my first-line cousin Raimundas. At that moment I was 3 or 4 years old. And when I was even younger, I was always visiting my relatives in Alytus, and cousin Raimundas lived in our grandparent’s house in which my mother grew up. From that house to Alytus aeroclub – just a few minutes by foot. My other older cousin was a pilot and engaged in aviation also. Raimundas was spending a lot of time with me, played with me, we were going to an aerodrome together, he showed me planes, gliders…
Q: And he infected you with love to aviation? [laughs]
A: Yes, probably. [laughs] Once he put me into glider which was dragged by car. I remember that the only things I saw was devices and the sky and nothing else. I was too old for that seat. Raimundas showed me building where kids were constructing models, later Raimundas showed me his constructed planes. He taught me how to make kites. Then I constructed my first kite and tested it in that same aerodrome. So, yes I guess I caught it [aviation] then.
Q: So now, since you’re the engineer, does this profession – all you imagined?
A: Not exactly. In fact, I think the moment when I will be fully satisfied in my carrier didn’t come yet.
When I was 13 – 14 years old, I thought about being firefighter. But I was fascinated not about the fact that I can save lives, not into how to fight with savage fire, but firefighter’s cars, devices, to press them and let water flow, to turn off the water, to use ladders and etc. [smiles] I was interested more in their equipment and I was painting illustrations where firefighter’s cars were in use, how they must to look constructively right. So, yeah, it gets me where I am now – technology, construction and mechanic worlds. And only later when I was 15 years old in Alytus aeroclub my brothers had a chance to fly with educational gliders. One more cousin has flied with it and she liked it a lot. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to fly with it, because I was too old for glider and couldn’t fit in physically, and there was no financial opportunity to learn to fly with them.
Q: Describe in percentages, how much you work with the actual idea and how much time you spend to make it come true?
A: Lately I am struggling with constructions. Because of the lack of the technical possibilities I need to work with hands and that takes a lot of time. Well however, I come up with the idea faster. The idea takes about 20% and 60% to develop it. What I really don’t like is an amateur constructing. When someone makes something like “I screw there, I weld here and later watch what will happen”. I dislike it a lot, for me it’s very pity to waste materials like that. I do everything on paper first. I don’t even remember what I did something not on the paper lately, without measuring everything and without the view of how it will gonna look. It gives the biggest joy to me when all that I wrote, drawn and counted comes true in reality and everything works! What a delight. Sweet.
Q: Do you have idee fixe?
A: Oh, yes, it’s like infectious virus.
Q: Really? How often do you have it?
A: Sometimes, not often, but, yeah, actually it’s not even a virus, it’s more like demonical obsession. [laughs] I have these super ideas and I want to implement them, but the ideas also come with some additional questions that I can answer straight ahead and I can just come up with them at that moment. Then I am trying to write it down, just to make a scheme so that I could not forget it in the future. It also sometimes looks that in my head the idea sounded way better before I wrote it on paper, in general, it doesn’t look constructively good and something just doesn’t fit.
Q: Does these thoughts bothers you?
A: Yes, idee fixee is quite intense and takes a lot of energy. That’s why I always draw everything down so that I could calm down. It’s quite extraordinary you know, it’s really an obsession. Like drug. And what worst is that I need to push away other important works, because I just can do them before I will not finish the idee fixee. And that idee fixee it’s like an utopic, it’s seems to me like something that I need to do for the better of mankind.
Q: So, the best way of getting rid of it is…?
A: …To write it down, draw it…. or… you need to have another person who could get your mind clear from that irritating idee fixe. To me, it’s my second half, my lovely girlfriend [flirty points at me].
Q: What is the hardest thing in your job?
A: Talking with people. Communication.
Q: Oh, so, the next question is: with what kind of people you wouldn’t be able to work with?
A: Stupid people. With those who imagine themselves as know-it-alls. They think they know, but they don’t really know and they act by that lack of knowledge. It’s hard to work with such people, because there is no formula, no mathematics that could prove them wrong. They will dismiss everything and won’t be able to admit other’s more experienced opinion, they will still gonna think that they know it best. For example, Adolf Hitler. He funded a lot of civil engineering projects, he wanted to make Berlin as a rich cultural capital, almost with the triumph arks, galleries, domes, and other. Talking about warfare, there would be way different end of the WWII if he wouldn’t be interfering into engineer’s job so much, but he thought that he knows everything. (Of course, in this case being ignorant know-it-all came in hand to the rest of the world, but it’s more an exception then a rule). The same with Khrushchev. Simple villager, with no great knowledge, he wanted to create perfect country. He was dictating writers how to write books, to engineers – how to create, farmers – what to plant and so on. The more he interfered the more damage he was making.
I just hate people like that. I respect those who say “I don’t know, but you know, so I will give you money – act like you know the best”. And people who say such things are their own area specialists.
!Adam Berlinsky-Schine in his blog has written very wise words, plain and simple: “<…> the engineers just think differently than other people” and later adds: “Non-engineers: listen to your engineer instead of this [Adam’s] blog”. <…> “There’s nothing that annoys me more than when my non-engineer says “that’s going to take you a month? But my cousin’s uncle’s dog’s former owner said that this would be easy!” – very recently similar situation happened to SK’Avius too. TRUST YOUR ENGINEERS, people!
Q: Is there any word that you hate?
A: Not the word in common, but I really dislike ugly curses, vulgar language and talks about the genitals. To me, it would distasteful to pronounce them. One person said to me once that these words are “spices of the language”. It sounded like we really need them, but to me they are vile.
Q: What really disturbs you?
A: Panic, distraction. Pessimism annoys me, but doesn’t disturbs me so much as those two. There is a problem, you trying to fix it and someone just panics and does nothing else. Or sees the problems that is not there. I am specially annoyed by that when I am in the car and I am driving. Yeah, panic and dramatism disturbs me the most.
Q: Favorite word?
A: I don’t know… Mhm…. “Kutuliukas” (probably would be tickle in English language. It’s a soft word that I use when call SK’Avius). Love… In Lithuanian it’s sounds better [smiles] (meilė, in Lithuanian).
Q: Hobbies? Watching Top Gear?? [smiles]
A: Needless to say, my hobbies are not so far away from my job. Confucius once said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Q: And what about bowling?
A: Oh, yes. Also pool.
Q: Could it be your hobbies?
A: Perhaps, I like bowling more than pool, because you need to stretch your mind playing pool a little bit, while bowling is more like painting to me.
Q: What are you looking for on internet?
A: It’s horrible to admit… but, again, everything that associates with my work. Even when I was at school, internet served me as a tool for necessary things. I was probably in 4th grade and were looking for information about aviation, schemes. My classmates at that moment were gazing at reality TV show “Aquarium” behind the scenes – while participants were naked and all the adult stuff that wasn’t showed on prime time.
Q: What’s the main accomplishment in your job? To construct plane that could reach the Moon? [smiling]
A: The most important thing is that I graduated from the university [both laughing]. Oh yes, I had some adventures and circuses on my own. When I have dreamed about studying and going to university I didn’t thought that it will gonna be anything like this. I have had debt sheets and I needed to pay scores repeatedly. So I chose part-time studies. I was working with detail for helicopter, was a member of KTU SMD where I was helping to propagate science, so it was too much work, I wasn’t able to do all. In the school I was hard worker too, but also it was boring to attend lessons. I was only interested in those things who can help me in the future, in my profession. I loved to paint, to create sculptures, mathematics, because I thought I will need them a lot in the future. Economics to me looked unnecessary, but now I look different at it, because I use it everywhere, counting my own and family budget, in work, creating business plans. I think kids should be taught of importance of what they learn and why they will need in their lives.
Q: Main accomplishment in life? Live up to 120 years? [giggles]
A: My other half… [strokes my leg gently]… How long we are together? A year and a half…
Q: Don’t break up? [giggles]
A: Well, that’s in the future too. [smiles] Well, to have children and rise them to be good members of society.
Q: Relationships. Peace of cake or very hard thing to you? How it was when you were growing up? (Rate it from 1 to 10 points, where 1 – absolutely miserable and 10 – an expert).
A: [gasps] Oh, relationships are hard. When I was a teenager I would rate my perception about relationships by giving 5 points. Now, when I remember what was two years ago it would be only 2 or even 1 point. It was tragedy. I knew that I know how to develop relationships, I am acting calmly, rational, but I have had some communication issues, because many weren’t able to understand me. Now I have you [touches my leg].
Yes, relationships was the most sore subject of all, I felt unpleasant while I was single. But I was looking for answers and I was reading a lot about psychology. When I found out about The Myers & Briggs personality test I finally knew what problem was in me. The test described me very well – typical INTJ. To me, this test way much more accurate then zodiacs, it perfectly pointed at my strong sides, weaknesses, love life. So happens to be, the last one is my Achilles’s heel.
Q: And now since you’re in relationships…
A: Now I could lift the grade, now it would be maybe 3 or 4, because now I know more about relationships, people, psychology, and I also answered to myself a lot of questions about me, who I really am. Still I was very afraid. Will I be able to spot if something will go wrong with my relationships? Will I be able to see if something wrong with my girlfriend? Weirdly, I can, I am not that miserable how I thought I am. Or maybe… It’s because I have girlfriend with her own specific character type and those types are just meant to be together? [smiles]
Q: The main elements of the relationships? What are they?
Q: Oh, I knew that it will gonna be a good question! [smiling]
A: [smiles, then seriously] Loyalty, support, ability to speak with each other freely – basics that I seek. I was lonely, I was misunderstood by most of the people. Many are thinking that nerds only lives in computers, only survives from their science and that’s all they need. In fact, rational thinkers have feelings too. It doesn’t mean that if feelings doesn’t lead us we don’t want to be loved, to feel compassion and need to unburden our hearts. We do break up, we are feeling grieve, we have all the feelings like others.
Q: When you are angry you can smash things?
A: Not so quickly, but anger can control us when something doesn’t go how I intended to be.
Q: What are the perfect woman’s traits to you?
A: Sleek forms.
[I am laughing, ’cause SK’Avius are really into sleek forms A L O T.]
A: Sleek face form. Traits of character: tenderness, warmth, support…
Q: …When she makes you a cup of tea when you’re feeling sick [points to the recent SK‘Avius flu threat]
A: Yeah. [smiles] The woman that you could put to an open wound, you know. And I make a lot of wounds.
Also, someone opposite to me. Livelinesss attracts, sometimes even when person leads life with emotions. Everyone seeks someone that they are lack of.
Q: So you’re not a fan of bad girls?
A: Crazy – yes, parasites – no. Those women who go through the top of other’s people head – not my type.
Q: Do men fear clever women?
A: [long pause] Maybe. [laughs].
Q: Haha, that was very good question too!
A: Men are males. It’s all because of the competition. Men fights, they bring deer to feed their family and they feel the need of fighting with concurrent. So this is man’s job to bring food home, and if woman brings even better piece of meat…
Q: Hurray! More food!
A: Mhm… Well, but men…
Q: But, don’t you think that this is a bit… stupid? To compete with your second half? What for?
A: Maybe yes. It reminds me about kinematics. I always was struggling with it, but I really wanted to learn it. I was even mad, “Why I don’t understand it?!” It’s not a woman, but still, comparison similar – I want to be good at it, yet can’t learn it, do it. I don’t know if this really answers the question, but I hope you know what I mean.
Q: So women engineer as your girlfriend…?
A: Well, she could be an engineer, but not an aviation engineer. I would love to have “my thing” were I could be specialist. It gives me more confidence. [smiles]
Q: Word “love” is banal to you or you use it willingly?
A: I think this word is worn out. It’s very meaningful word, but you need to be careful not to use it too much.
Q: Does it matter to know your partner’s past?
A: The Past influences our future. We get a certain education (or not) in the past and we act by it. So the past may predict what person will do in the future, but it’s not necessarily what could happen. It’s from the science look… well, it’s statistics and probability theory. My work depends on it too. I will say the past is important, but not to “live or die” way important.
Q: Love languages. Put in order, from first – most important and the fifth – least important.
A: 1. Words of Affirmation, 2. Quality time, 3. Physical touch, 4. Acts of service, 5. Receiving gifts.
Q: Do men need to be ashamed for watching romantic movies?
Q: Because, you know, men’s cinematographic taste are linked to Sylvester Stallone’s and Schwarzenegger’s works…
A: It’s educational issues. It depends on what I want at that moment. There was times when people were watching gladiator’s fights. Later it became forbidden, cruel thing so more “softer” leisure time became in fashion. I watched romantic movies (and still do), because I need it, in the past I was starving for it. So, I guess everything is understandable. I heard the story about one guy. His mother was forbidding him to play video games because according to her they are violent. So when guy was 18 years old he became a soldier and went to war locations to shoot at people. And it’s all because he was forbidden of thing he lack of. She thought she is saving him from violence, but in reality she pushed him in it. And so is how I want to watch romantic movies.
Q: So, what is your favorite romantic movie?
A: “Message in a Bottle”, directed by Luis Mandoki (1999).
Don’t want to spoil the plot, but it really shows how love life is. In other movies – love is sweet, it always ends good. In this movie is very real.
I am for jing and jang, bad and good, night and day, darkness and light. Christianity teaches us how to destroy evil, but in older cultures there is always equilibrium. There needs to be some good and some bad moments. Without bad we wouldn’t know what is good. Gods of ancient Egypt fights with each other and when one wins – sun comes, when others – night, or winter and summer and etc. In Star Wars there is dark and light sides and there must be equilibrium with these two. I prefer to think like this.
Q: Intimacy. How it’s important to you?
A: Well, it’s important, yes. Like natural thing. Many people see this as a main thing in their life. Some girls think that if they will not sleep with guys they will not love them – that’s just awful. Others on the other hand thinks that only spiritual relationships matters and to be intimate is the devil’s invention. They think their life would be better without intimacy and they propagates the idea about bestial desires and how people are above them. Intimacy needs to be in relationships, but it’s bad when it becomes your life purpose. Also, intimacy needs to be with mutual agreement, with the one you truly love. I understand one night stands, the physical needs, but it’s just a false thing. Everything tastes better with love.♥
I am saying big thanks to my lovely SK’Avius for letting me take my first interview and sparing me a bit of his precious time. And for you all, who will read this I wish to find one true love or hold on to your current loved ones as hard as you can. Let your love flourish with the most gorgeous and fragrant flowers!
So for now…
Be in love and be good!