Last year, everybody on facebook posted a list called “25 Random Things About Me.” I really enjoyed reading them. It took me a while to conjure up the energy to write one myself. I finally did. But by the time I was finished, I was too sick of myself to even post it. So I never did.
I found it as a draft somewhere the other day, so I thought I would post it here (coincidentally, Beth has a similar kind of list – and very funny – going on over here). As I read it, I came to the conclusion that I am pretty doggone strange. Not a new revelation to some of you. I understand that. But still. For some reason, the breadth of my weirdness was news to me.
So here goes. Welcome to the freak show.
– 25 Random Things About Me –
1. I’ve only seen one black and white movie ever. It was something like “Strangers On A Train,” or something about a train. (AND, I’ve never seen a full episode of The Andy Griffith Show. I know…that’s a travesty, especially being from NC.)
2. I spent more than half of my life requiring myself to end every staircase – going up or down – on my right foot. Growing up, I had all of my daily staircases memorized, and always knew which foot to start on in order to land on my right foot.
3. I love being a dad so much. I feel life most deeply when I am with my wife and kids.
4. My dad was a prisoner in WWII. He was in the army during the end of the war. He spent 9 months in a concentration camp in Germany, up until the war ended.
5. I am an incessant trash talker. I will talk trash about anything. I don’t even have to care about the team, game or topic. I don’t even know what compels me. Even when I know defeat is imminent for whoever’s side I’m trash talking in support of, I can’t stop myself. It’s fun.
6. I will beat you down in a game of Nertz. Any time. Anywhere. I am the best. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
7. One of my life regrets is that I wasn’t in marching band in high school. My school didn’t make it easy to be in both chorus and band. So when I got to 9th grade, I pretty much had to choose. I don’t regret choosing chorus. But I regret not making a way to be in band, too. My inner band nerd is alive and well.
8. I have a very strong affinity and connection with my growing up years in NC. I still stay in touch with many of my teachers and friends. I still talk to my 5th grade and 7th grade teachers on a regular basis. Sometimes when we go back to Boone, I will drive through old friends’ neighborhoods and old school parking lots just to see how things have changed, and to reminisce. I am PAINFULLY sentimental and nostalgic.
9. On that note, I am an 80’s pop culture junkie. Especially music. I love it. And I love the old feelings and emotions it conjures up. I can hear 2 seconds of Bill Joel’s “Leave A Tender Moment Alone” and I am immediately transcended to 9th grade, in my cousin’s car, pulling into the WHS parking lot early on a fall morning. I can’t even hear “Hard Habit To Break” without thinking of Friday night sock hops (who can, really?). One more thing about the 80’s: I never met an 80’s duet I didn’t like. The best? “Separate Lives” by Phil Collins and that girl who sang a bunch of 80’s duets. I am trying to resist making this entry any longer, and doing my best to not tell you that my favorite 80’s soundtrack is “Stealing Home.”
10. One time in junior high, I rode the Meteorite at Carowinds 3 times in a row with my friends. After the 3rd time, I walked off and immediately threw up my cherry slushie. I had pulled my sun visor (why was I wearing a sun visor) down around my neck, so it caught all of the throw up. I spent the rest of the day with cherry slushie puke stains on my white shirt and visor. I think the memory still traumatizes my friend Teresa.
11. For our 8th anniversary, Angela and I went to NYC to see the women’s final of the US Open. We saw the first ever Williams-Williams grand slam final. Venus won. We were planning on flying home at 9:00 am on the Tuesday after the final (9/11/01), but changed our flight at the last minute to Monday, because we were closing on a house the following Friday. So we flew home from NYC on 9/10/01.
12. I am a sucker for movies about the innocence of childhood…especially when there is a voiceover involved. Simon Birch, About A Boy, My Girl (can’t remember if there was a voiceover in that one, but that movie killed me). And The Wonder Years narrator gets me every time.
13. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to Wheeler’s Produce, buying a watermelon, bringing it home and putting it in the creek in our back yard to keep it cold.
14. My memory is very selective. I am embarrassed about how little I remember from what I learned in school (which is evidenced by how little I can help my fourth grader with her math homework). But I can tell you anything you want to know about Roj, Dewayne and Rerun on “What’s Happening.” Or pretty much any other sitcom from the 70’s or 80’s. Or any SNL sketch from 1987-1989.
15. I’m so ashamed to say this, but when I see someone fall, it’s like flipping a laugh switch on in my head. I can’t NOT laugh. I don’t want the person to be injured. But I can’t stop laughing. Youtube has changed my life.
16. I remember going out of town with my sister when I was 9. She was 21 or so. It was just the two of us. We went swimming at a big pool complex in the closest big town to Boone there was. And then we went to the mall. The souvenir I bought with my spending money was a Kenny Rogers songbook. It was titled “Kenny.” I still have it. And I occasionally sing a song I learned from it as a lullaby to my kids. And, no, it’s not “Lucille.” Or “Coward Of The County.”
What 9 year old buys a Kenny Rogers songbook for a souvenir? Sheesh.
17. Inside me is this weird mix of feeling like I know how to do what I’m called to do, and fearing failing miserably at it.
18. I can’t walk by a Galaga game without playing it.
19. I number my socks. As soon as I buy a pack of socks, I number the pairs on the bottom of the foot with a sharpie. That way, they can stay with their correct mate forever. And when I am wearing them, they will have the same level of wear and tear. I’m wearing the 5’s today.
20. My wife continues to amaze me with her depth of beauty, grace and wisdom in regards to all facets of her life. Ask anyone who knows her; she is stunning on the inside and out.
21. My computer homepage is www.espn.com. I spend probably 30 minutes a day reading there. I am a sports junkie. A life highlight for me has been getting to meet one of my all-time idols, David Robinson. I got to meet him twice last year. And I was a big goober both times. I took vintage trading cards I had of him to sign and everything. But I did NOT talk trash with him (see #5).
22. I love the beach. Everything about it. The salty air, the tight, slightly sunburned feeling on your skin, the freezing cold room you walk into coming inside for lunch, digging to the bottom of a sandy beach bag for a room key, the happy scent of sunscreen 24/7. My memories of going to the beach with my family as a kid are still so vivid and so happy. And creating those same kinds of memories for my kids puts me over the moon. I love it so much.
23. I hate having to pick one favorite thing when asked. This makes decisions challenging. Favorite food? A delicious steak. Oh, wait…maybe some sort of asian chicken with fried rice. Or maybe some barbeque something with slaw and beans and texas toast. Favorite color? Blue. Or green. Or maybe red. Favorite sport to watch? Either NFL football or NBA basketball. Or tennis. Favorite Starbucks drink? London Fog. Or a soy vanilla latte. See what I’m dealing with inside here? I can’t even drive through McDonalds without praying about what to get. Weirdo.
24. I can tell you decidedly my single favorite pop song ever. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins.
Or “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson. Or “Missing You” by John Waite.
25. I am hopelessly sanguine. I love being with people all the time. But even in the context of always wanting to be social, I want to be with people where the relationships are meaningful, caring and safe. And fun. Fun is good.
26. I have so many OCD issues (see #2 and #19). One of the worst is that I am so picky about t-shirts. The neck of any t-shirt I wear has to be really tight. If it’s loose, I won’t wear it. The sleeves and the shirt tail both have to be a certain length. And it can’t be too big around OR too tight. I can look at a t-shirt and know in 3 seconds if it’s going to work for me. And once I pull a t-shirt over my head and then take it off, I can’t wear it again until it has been washed and dried and shrunk back to its original size. I know. Strange.
27. Autumn makes me crazy happy. I love it. The leaves, the cool air, football season, that first day cool enough to wear hoodies and play outside with my wife and kids. When I turn onto our neighborhood road and the leaves are changed, it’s so beautiful sometimes I tear up (tear rhymes with “we’re,” not “where”). And NOTHING is happier than being in Boone, NC in the fall. Mmmm.
28. I love to lead people who love to worship God in worship (does that sentence make sense?). I literally lie awake at night thinking about songs and scriptures and transitions and moments and putting them all together in a (hopefully) authentic way. I ponder song orders and key changes and band parts throughout my days…most often at random times when I probably should be giving something or someone else my full attention. It is what makes my heart tick, and what I am thankful to be on this earth to do.
29. If you had asked me when I was 20 to script out my life for the next 20 years, I would not have scripted anything close to what has actually come to pass, because I would have been afraid it was too much to ask for. I feel so thankful for everything and everyone God has given me the privilege to share this journey with. And on that note, as I look back, it’s the people…not the places or things…that stand out the most and that have had the most impact on me.
I’m an oversharer. I couldn’t get this list down to 25. I tried. Oh well. 29 is sort of the new 25, right?