25 Things

It’s been going around of Facebook, and I’ve been tagged a couple of times. It’s pretty simple…just list 25 random things about yourself. Here goes:

1. I used to collect baseball cards. I don’t mean buy a pack and look at ’em. I mean track and hunt meaningful and valuable cards at card shows and all that. My collection had a book value of over $8,000 in 1985.
2. I was a member of the Amateur Putters Association. In other words, I played Putt-Putt golf competitively, once finishing third at an invitational nationwide tournament in Memphis. I once shot a 20 in a tournament round (that’s 16 holes-in-one, and two 2’s).
3. I was president of my senior class in high school, and won the local Lion’s Club leadership award in 1984.
4. I chose my university entirely on fond memories of attending football and basketball games with my father. It was the only place I ever seriously considered.
5. I think being the dad of two daughters is about the greatest thing a guy could ask for. When Tracy and I would discuss whether or not we wanted to try for a boy, I really only wanted another girl. My friend Mike has 4 girls, and always thought that he is supremely blessed.
6. I don’t like travel at all. Oddly, I love going to the places that involve travel. In other words, I like to go skiing in Colorado, I just can’t stand the airport nonsense. I love Amsterdam, New York City, etc. I like going home to Birmingham and visiting the beaches at Gulf Shores. I just loathe the travel.
7. Despite general consensus to the contrary, I really do think that great music came from the 1980’s. It was all on college radio, (which I thought was the greatest thing ever) which means nobody heard it.
8. I can switch hit in baseball. What’s funny is that, when I play golf, I hit woods lefty, irons righty and putt lefty. Of course, the last time I played golf was in the early ’90’s…and I’m looking to sell a great set of clubs for $100 if anybody’s interested.
9. I once sold several complete sets of baseball cards and my vinyl LP collection to get back financially to zero. The early years of youth ministry were awful financially (I should write some experiences down), but God provided and I look back on those years fondly.
10. While I’m often at odds with the value system I see in suburbia and I feel freedom to challenge those vociferously at every turn, I’m generally happy about living in them and certainly enjoy the relationships here and the benefits they provide (like great educational opportunities and such).
11. I don’t understand how you can have a dog and not spoil it rotten. I’m a firm believer in this.
12. Funny, I don’t remember trying to get approval from my parents…I always valued my sister’s opinion more than theirs. Still do.
13. Some of the happiest memories I have are of attending minor league hockey games and minor league baseball games with Hal, Jimmy, Frankie, Ron and Rush. It seems like I remember every moment of every one of those nights…and there were many.
14. I’ve enjoyed every life station from high school to college to early marriage to raising infants, toddlers, kids, middle schoolers and teenagers. Even when times were tough, I still was generally happy, even in the seminary years with 3 jobs and two kids under 4. I even had a very happy childhood.
15. I go through most of my life wondering why such a great person like Tracy would stay with an oaf like me. I seriously wonder about that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad she stuck around. And I feel certain she will stick around. I simply don’t understand “why.”
16. I wonder the same thing about my current church. Almost to the same degree.
17. The consistent chink in my spiritual armor ever since I can remember is that I struggle with anger a lot. This may explain my inherent love for early punk and late grunge music. I totally get those.
18. The most recent chink in my spiritual armor has become gluttony. Seriously? I mean, when you ate a lot as a kid, you chalked it up to growing or being a teenager. But recently I’ve just lost any semblance of discipline or willpower in that area and I’m not even sure why.
19. My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Dr. Suess and Douglas Coupland. In that order. No joke.
20. I seriously romanticize at least two things: living downtown in a loft and living in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never even been to the Pacific Northwest but once and that trip was interrupted. But for some reason, those two things have an appeal that I can’t explain, but manalive I think I’d enjoy them both.
21. If it were up to me to design hell on earth, it would include includes: cats, country music (except Johnny Cash), hunting, fishing, reality shows, mobile phones, and DVD’s in cars for short trips.
22. When I die, I want to be cremated (I don’t understand all the cash spent on funerals), my organs donated, and I want a version of an Irish wake rather than what we call a “memorial service.” I want the shot glasses lined up, my iPod funeral playlist (which Kid1 & 2 will put together) playing in the background, and any speakers who want to talk to tell my wife and kids stuff about me that they might’ve liked or appreciated about me. I have little use for the formality of the current protestant milieu. Then they all go out for spaghetti somewhere.
23. I’m extremely callous about death. I think I come by that honestly. The flip side is that I’m extremely sensitive to the children involved and have an intuitive read on how to deal with them. I come by that honestly, too.
24. I have had a love affair with movies ever since I got my 2nd job at a movie theatre. I can’t watch them without remembering funny/memorable lines or having my brain calibrate the messages against what the Bible says. I easily see 50 a year or more.
25. While it’s no big surprise, I am terribly fascinated by teenagers. Everything about that tribe and their culture. I still have moments when I see them where the thought pops into my brain, “Who is ministering to that kid?”

There you have it. Any thoughts?