Space Oasis

Today I’m thinking about space.

Not the Hubble Telescope astronaut moon landing kind. Our own space. Like our own room.

What fueled this was getting hung up in a showing of the movie Juno (brilliant, by the way) on one of the channels on the premium end of the dial. We had basic at one time, but the amount of sports I watch when you have other stuff cuts HEAVILY into the amount of money that I spent at Barnes & Noble. We’re saving cash. Don’t judge me.


…there’s a scene in the movie where Juno, a pregnant teen meeting prospective birth parents for the first time discovers that the potential father was once in a rock band, had all his stuff relegated to a small, out-of-the-way room. “She gave you your own room in your own house for all your stuff? Wow. She’s got you on a long leash, there, Mark.”

In his “own room in his own house” he’s got all the kind of things a guy who played in a band that opened for some bigger bands but never made it would have. You know, his guitars in stands. Framed posters & backstage passes. The CD collection. It’s his space. Obviously, in the movie, it stands for all sorts of things that will get revealed as the movie goes on.

So…today I’m thinking about space.

My first space, my bedroom growing up, was adorned at various times with Kiss posters. Those gave way to Loni Anderson (“W.K.R.P. in Cincinnati,” anyone?) and Bo Derek (“10,” anyone?). They all gave way to The Ramones–a decision I’ve never regretted. Also of note were plastic replica batting helmets of major league baseball teams that were, for some reason, a fashion hot item at my high school for about a month. For some reason, my parents brought back hurricane glasses from trips they went on and I kept change in them.

My second space, my first college apartment, was an audio visual haven as one of my roommates was big into that. He even payed $750 for something called a CD player. That was the going rate for high-end component pieces in 1984. We ran our television through the speakers, and had the classic milk-crate and/or cinderblock and board shelving…and three single guys can get their hands on untold numbers of beer posters with hot girls on them.

My third space, shared with Hollywood for two+ years, was laden with a poster of the skyline of Dallas (after I knew I wanted to go to seminary in Dallas–my guess is that it was some sort of motivation) I picked up at World Market. And magazine covers of girls I thought were awesome. On that list was Nicollette Sheridan (“The Sure Thing,” anyone?), various covers of Playboy or Penthouse (fraternity house life, anyone?) pets I found attractive–with Carol Alt and Cindy Crawford’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers (standard 1980’s obvious choices, anyone?) and, oddly, Molly Ringwald (“Breakfast Club,” anyone?) and Bernadette Peters (“The Jerk,” anyone?). Also was a poster I took from Ft. Lauderdale’s spring break excursion with Hollywood in 1985 (“Hollywood Doug’s bellyflop competition, anyone?). Also of note, a HUGE cork board to tack our gazillion ZAPS photographs on, and my collection of quotes I thought were funny written on the 2×4 that framed my bunk bed.

My fourth space, a dorm room at Dallas Seminary on the top floor of Stearns Hall, was adorned with tons of books. That’s pretty much it. That’s kind of all there was to do. However, my room was the social hang out late at night because I’d installed a nerf basketball hoop that would get games of H-E-R-E-T-I-C going. Clever bunch, weren’t we? No TV. No phone. Just a clock radio and study stuff.

Then I got offices for my spaces. I’ve really had the same stuff. Books, books and more books. Knick-knacks from 21 years of ministry…most people comment on the some 150 photos of teens (some framed, many under the glass on my desk) and the soccer scarves I’ve picked up on various mission trips or teens brought me back from their college mission trips. I’ve gotten several conversation pieces given to me by various years Bible study guys upon graduation (never symbolic, always inexpensive).

And, you know, I think having our very own space is important in some way. I mean, sure, we have houses that are nice and comfortable and they become an “our” kind of space (this is why I didn’t include the various homes/apartments Tracy and I lived in). We collectively own them and we might have stuff we call “my” chair or “my” DVD collection, but they’re collective. But having your own space is always kind of cool and expressive.

What I’d be curious to hear from you about today is the stuff you’ve either got in YOUR space or stuff you miss from former YOUR spaces…like I kinda miss having the 250+ album collection displayed in crates along the wall and the cinderblock shelving that displayed the collection of 7-11 Slurpee cup complete collection of NWA wrestling stars (which I still have in the garage in a box) and the hallway me and a summer semester roomie adorned with photographs from magazines/newspapers (one per day) that we fake autographed to ourselves (my favorite was a GQ magazine cover of boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini my roommate fake autographed, “To Brent and Ron: You guys knock me out! xoxoxo Boom Boom”).

Have at it, patrons.