For those new to this website, here are a handful of facts about yours truly.
- While a college student in Chicago, one day I went to go play tennis downtown with a friend. Once we got back, my car, which was a 1977 Chevy Caprice Classic, had been stolen. The police found it 2 weeks later with most everything gone: the tires, rims, seats, all of my belongings, even most of the engine. I loved that car.
- In high school, I was an exchange student to Germany. I was the worst student when I left and came back the one who spoke German the best. How? My German teacher had me live with a family that spoke no English.
- I’ve seen many concerts in my lifetime: my favorites being U2 (Joshua Tree and No Line on the Horizon tours), Echo and the Bunnymen, Sufan Stevens (three times), Bobby McFerrin, The Smiths, General Public, Broken Social Scene and some unknown jazz quartet at the Green Mill in Chicago when I was in my early twenties.
- Easily my worst job was selling vacuums door-to-door. I was 19 years old. The name of the vacuum was The Pig and my boss was deceptive, manipulative and greedy. Fun times.
- I met my wife Julie through a weekend retreat through our church. We were camping in Wisconsin and the name of the park where we camped was called Devil’s Lake State Park. Except for meeting Julie, it was a miserable weekend, because I had to sleep in a wet sleeping bag, because it rained all weekend. I married her 11 months later. Second best decision of my life (see below).
- Eerie: When I was in college, a friend and I the night before spring break started were talking late into the night. We were discussing the people, if we lost them, would devastate our lives. She gave one name: her older brother who was her hero and best friend. He was killed in a bicycling accident that week. This taught me for the first time an important lesson: life is fragile.
- Also while I was in college, I worked with kids and adults with severe autism and other disabilities. Peter, a young man who had autism, also had a major metabolism problem and would eat anything in his sight and therefore, all food had to be locked up at home. One day, we went for a walk and two high school girls were coming in our direction. One of them was eating a doughnut. In a flash, Peter snatched it out of her hand and gobbled it down. Not quite knowing what to do, we just kept walking.
- Some things I love: Smartwool socks, golfing with my sons on a summer evening, sushi and raw oysters, World War II movies, my job, Arts & Craft furniture, many different HBO series, art museums, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and Illinois Fighting Illini basketball. I do not like roller coasters, lima beans, being cold, climbing up on a roof (i.e., heights), wearing contacts, and though this may sound sacrilegious, putting up Christmas stuff (e.g., the tree, ornament, lights, etc.).
- I love the ocean. I love standing next to it. I love swimming in it. I love the sounds it makes. I love the smell. The oceans always reminds me that God exists and that he is good.
- I began to follow Jesus and became a Christian in my sophomore year of college. I was really into U2 and a friend told me that Bono was a Christian and said that my favorite song, “I Will Follow” was about following Jesus. At this time, I began to investigate my faith from years past (I grew up Catholic) and through the books of C.S. Lewis books (Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, and Screwtape Letters) I decided to begin “following” again. At that point, I had made a pretty big mess of my life, e.g., drinking a lot and the other stuff associated with that and was beginning to realize that there was more to life than how I was living it. It was the best decision of my life.
In: Christian Faith
Tags: c.s. lewis, Chevy Caprice Classic, Chicago, Christianity, dogs, double bass, Earl Grey tea, Illini basketball, jazz, Orangina, Smartwool socks, Sufjan Stevens, U2