When I was in high school, we had a very hard-working drama teacher but no actual theater department (or budget), so we put on a “Broadway Revue”-style production when I was in 11th or 12th grade. I sang “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” from Les Miserables and brought the house down. Grown men wept. (At least, that’s how I remember it.)
I’m a Chicago Cubs fan for 3 main reasons: because my dad was; because we could watch the games on WGN; and because Ryne Sandberg was a beast (and is still my favorite ballplayer of all time).
I read The Chronicles of Narnia 3 times through in elementary school, and almost completed a 4th run but decided to skip Dawn Treader, my least favorite of the series as a child. When I reread the series as an adult, it became one of my favorites.
I still vividly remember when my parents gave me a copy of Super Mario Brothers 3 (as a surprise on the way home from school in 4th grade). I remember the car my dad was driving (a 1980 Plymouth Champ), how he told me to reach under the passenger seat, the tactile sensation of feeling that signature shape of the NES game box (with that delightful bit of “give” when you pressed down on the front of the box) inside its plastic shopping bag, and being thrilled with the prospect of receiving any new game. I remember pulling the game out of the plastic Kmart bag, freaking out, and then running in the house when we got home to thank my mom and then pop that cartridge in.
Another favorite childhood memories related to that game was staying up on a Friday night with my mom and playing through (no whistles) all the way to World 6, fueled by pizza and Pepsi/Mountain Dew, until the pre-dawn hours. Mom was never much of a gamer, but she did enjoy Mario. And she beat the original Super Mario Brothers before I did, which I don’t know if I have ever forgiven her for.
I worked at a grocery store in high school: first as a bag boy, then a dairy clerk, a utility (clean-up and trash) clerk, and a grocery clerk. Part of my responsibilities with those last two roles was scrubbing the loading dock floor every day with the scrubber. I’d get bored during all those solo hours that last summer before leaving for college, so I’d make up songs and sing them to myself as I worked. At one point, I had an idea to write a parody musical of Les Mis about students who were addicted to caffeine. (It’s an idea that still might work in the age of online video.)
Foods I used to despise as a child but now enjoy as an adult: Mayonnaise, avocado/guacamole, strawberries, brussel sprouts, moderate-to-highly spicy food, raw cucumbers/tomatoes (but only in certain dishes).
Foods I used to despise as a child and still can’t stand as an adult: Pickles, cucumbers (most of the time), melons.
While we’re on the subject of food, I think pineapple on pizza is delicious, candy corn is a delightful Halloween snack, and BooBerry is far and away the best of the General Mills Monster Cereals.
My favorite era of pop music was the period when I was just starting to drive and listen to the radio on my own. So we’re talking early-mid-90’s top-40 and alternative. Gimme a mix tape with Gin Blossoms, Ben Folds, Cranberries, Collective Soul, and Spin Doctors, and I’m a pretty happy man.
And yes, I mean mix-tape. Mixtapes are better than mix CDs, for the simple reason that the power of the mix tape is that you can’t skip tracks. The listener must necessarily just be along for the ride and trust the sonic direction the tape-maker is taking him or her. I’ve enjoyed this as both the maker and listener. (One time, a friend made me a mix CD in which he melded tracks together so that only 4 “tracks” came up, and each one had 2-3 songs on it. That annoyed me because it seemed to defy the inherentexpectations of the format, and at the time, I didn’t appreciate what he was attempting.)
I don’t know if I could give you a list of my top-five favorite novels. I used to be able to. These days, I have a hard time recalling what I’ve read in the last six months. There are a few titles that float to the surface of memory, but then I realize I haven’t read them in more than 15 years and I’m afraid of what would happen if I revisited them now, much less recommended them to others. Things have changed. (I should hope so.) But if you were to ask me for a recommendation of something everyone should read, I might say The Pilgrim’s Progress or A Tale of Two Cities.
My favorite Bible verse at the moment (and as close to a “life verse” or theme verse as I have) is Ezra 7:10. “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” If my life has a mission statement, it’s probably something pretty close to that.
I’m trying to read a lot more theology these days, both for personal benefit and as a matter of practical helps in ministry. As a Reformed-ish Baptist, I know that my favorite theologian is supposed to be Spurgeon (and he’s a close second), but I think my current favorite is actually Martyn Lloyd-Jones. (So much so that one of my fantasy football team names is “Martyn Lloyd-Jones-Drew.” I’m pretty proud of that.)
I was a theatre minor in college. Know how you can tell? I spelled it “theatre.”
It’s currently 2:15 a.m. as I’m writing the first part of this list. I’m taking a break from work. I’ve been working late a lot over the last few weeks. It’s not optimal, but this is the only stretch of uninterrupted hours available. Life as a work-from-home parent of toddlers, I guess. I’ve been working from home since the forever-plague kicked things into chaos last March. I love working from home–wouldn’t trade it for anything. But seriously, my kingdom for a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, some days.
I’m an elder/pastor at our church (part of a group of elders who lead and teach). Been serving in that role for 3 years. I almost quit a few different times over the last year. I also strongly considered not standing for a re-appointment at the end of my term this coming January. Shepherding is hard. It’s draining. It’s often thankless and emotionally fraught. But I love it. I love being a lay-pastor in my congregation. I love teaching, preaching, praying, counselling. I love being able to help think through big decisions that we must make as a church body. And if I did actually step away, I’d miss it terribly.
I’m realizing how incredibly boring this post may be for some of you.
I’m the “4th” Dave because my father is the 3rd. The first two in the series lived in Virginia during the Civil War. My grand parents were history buffs, thus they picked up the thread of David’s in the family line.
I’m often asked if I would continue that trend. I don’t quite know. But at this point, I have all girls, so it doesn’t matter.
My wife and I are strongly considering making our first home purchase, which both thrills and terrifies me.
My favorite video game of all time is probably “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” “Shadow of the Colossus” comes a close second. Confession: I’m not sure I’ve actually finished either of them.
Easily 65% of my “Music” playlist on YouTube is comprised of interesting covers, rather than original music.
I love karaoke. Love. It. And my “rockstar dream” is literally to be the front man of a covers band. That would be a blast.
I just downloaded the game “Monument Valley” onto my tablet. It’s a gorgeous little puzzle game. Short but highly recommended.
I’ve never played an actual escape room and have always wanted to.
I have a really interesting novel in my head, a half-dozen chapters of which exist on a hard drive somewhere. I can’t shake the thought of it but I’m also terrified that if I sit down and write it, I won’t do it justice.
I know, this makes me exactly like every other non-writing writer.
I’ve taken work trips to conferences in Boston, Orlando, Albuquerque, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., and San Diego.
Other than San Diego, I’ve never travelled along the West Coast, but I’d like to change that someday.
I went to college in central Oklahoma. Lived in a small college town. I miss those days sometimes. Simple life: school, part-time job, usually play practice or some social event.
On the other hand, I have to say I’m really thankful for where God has brought me up to this point. Amazing wife, wonderful daughters, rewarding ministry alongside much beloved brothers. I’m thankful. I don’t deserve any of this.
The last year has been hard at times. The forever-plague has served to draw out the crazy and ugly in a lot of folks, including some I know and trust.
Through it all, God has been faithful, as He always is.
(I don’t think I’ll finish this before midnight.)
Yes, I realize the 41 “random facts” have devolved into just statements.
Cut me some slack. It’s near midnight and I’m totally spent.
Three points left. I have nothing to add.
Thank you for reading this far. I really really appreciate y’all.
Good night, God bless, get some sleep.
It was my birthday today. It was a good one. Looking forward to the year to come. God is good.