Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 Random Things

After several of my friends tagged me for the 25 things, I am relenting, and posting my 25 things. Unfortunately, as I am a somewhat dull fellow, I should only really post about 12 things. If you suffer from sleep disorders, read this, and you will very likely be snoring by #5.

There is some unwritten rule that you have to tag 25 other people, and coerce, shame, or somehow force them to write their own 25 things. I have no intention of doing that. But I have tagged some of you....not that it means anything, mind you.

So, here goes, Steve's Amazingly Mundane 25 Things...in no particular order:

1. I share the same birthday (not year) as both Lionel Richie and Brian Wilson. I am sure this has deep meaning. Michael Jackson and I are almost the same age, having missed each other's birthdays by a matter of weeks. Again, profound hidden meaning here. Its up to you to interpret.

2. I am an only child. My Mom used to tell a story that when I was 3 or 4 years old, I would sit next to a little hole in the wooden fence of our neighbors yard, put my eye up to the hole, and call out for the little girl (same age) next door to come and play. Is that sad or what? Don't worry, my story gets better.

3. If left alone on a desert island, and only allowed one type of food, it would be the In N' Out menu. Manna from God, as far as I am concerned. Call me shallow.

4. Many years ago, I smuggled Bibles into the former Eastern Block. On multiple occasions. It was scary, and hysterical, and amazing. It changed my life forever, and I am not kidding.

5. My Dad was a B-17 bomber pilot during World War II. I am very proud of this, and of my Dad, for his service to our Country.

6. I have a lifelong fear of grasshoppers. Ask my daughters about this; it a source of humor for them.

7. If I could have one job other than the one I have (which I love, and am very thankful for) it would be as a Boeing 747 captain. But only for a year or so, I think it might get boring after a while, and the staying in hotels and airport food would soon loose its glamor.

8. I am an early adapter. Cell phones, computer stuff, solar power. I love technology.

9. The older I get, the less I know for sure, but the deeper my faith feels to me.

10. I enjoy just about all kinds of music, but I find my tastes changing over time. Right now, I am rediscovering Stevie Wonder, I love anything John Rutter rights or conducts, and I just love going to Disney Hall for classical concerts.

11. I once blew out my knee in a burger restaurant, slipping on a lump of guacamole that had been spilled on the floor. Its true. Pathetic, but true. I would have like to have been able to say I was saving a drowning child or something noble. But no. Such is my life.

12. My last two years at college I had a press pass to all the football and basketball games. I took photos for UCLA right on the field / court. It was very cool. I nearly got killed in a couple of sideline tackles and full court break-aways.

13. While we are on college, after my freshman year, I had the best job in the world (save for the pay), or so I thought. Summer of 1977. I was in charge of the golf carts at the Rivera Country Club. I used to hang with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, and Glen Campbell. Really, they were nice guys. I could play all the golf I wanted, every day, after 4PM, AND bring a friend for free. I once shot an 84 at Riviera. I have a witness.

14. I have been to Fairbanks, Alaska for work. Everything about Alaska is completely overwhelming, and awe inspiring. God definitely out did himself when He created Alaska.

15. I received fuzzy Crocs for Christmas from my family this year. My daughters are horrified at the thought of me wearing them in public. To them, its worse than wearing sandals and dark socks.

16. I used to be the little bartender for my parents house parties when I was growing up. I would wear a little vest and dress slacks. It was frightening.

17. Only children almost always still give me the creeps. I think that is related to Number 16.

18. I have witnessed a night time Space Shuttle launch. The closest they let you get to the launch pad is something like 3 or 5 miles away, and the violence of the liftoff ignition still (from that far away!) literally thumps against your chest. Words cannot describe the visual, physical, and emotional sensation of it. Ask someone who has seen one. It defies description.

19. My greatest living hero is John Wooden. I have a basketball signed by him in my house.

20. I cannot understand how anyone can travel on a commercial flight without getting a window seat. I mean, you get to FLY! And all the stuff God made, it's right there outside the window....to see! Even if its cloudy below, the view, people!

21. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be the Dad of the two amazing daughters that live at our house (for only a bit longer now). And I never thought I would be married to such a total babe as my wife. I love you Nance!

22. I am a crappy skier. Its just not in my genes.

23. I did not try sushi until I was about 35 years old. Previously, I had thought, "Ew, raw fish". Now, I think, "Ew, stupid me." I lead a sheltered life. And, as you can see, I am running out of steam here.

24. James Taylor is amazing. He could sing the phone book, and I would be happy. I know, I am SO middle-aged. Deal with it.

25. Like my friend, Nate, I often doubt myself, feel insecure, wonder about why bad things happen to good people, cry over suffering, get needlessly angry at little things, say insensitive things to people I love, and worry that I am gradually becoming a grumpy old guy like my Dad. But then, I remember that my life is not my own, that I have been miraculously redeemed, and that God loves me more than I will ever know. Its times like these that I am reminded of my favorite verses from the Scriptures, from II Corinthians 12:

"My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."
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