Five favorite things

My long-time friend Heather has tagged me with a meme listing my five favorite things (in no particular order). So here we go!

1) Receiving and spreading knowledge. I am an education nut (read: “nerd”); I love to receive it, and welcome opportunities to share it.

2) Discussing important topics. I want real back-and-forth dialogue on things that I’m interested in. I’m not much of a small talk guy. I like big talk: theology, politics, pressing interpersonal problems, anything that matters or strikes my fancy as unique. Discussion of sports does not qualify.

3) Studying origins. I’m not primarily talking about the evolution/creation controversy here: I like to know about the beginning of almost anything. This has led to almost choosing ancient history as my postgraduate field, and it did lead to my choice of Indo-European/Germanic linguistics, which seeks to uncover the details of the origin of each language family. I like visiting historical sites so that I can experience, as much as possible, times and circumstances anterior to my own – and the earlier, the better.

4) Experiencing nature. I have not had much luck at spending time out there in recent years, due to my young family, my schooling, and my urban residences. My ideal summer would be a hike down the Appalachian Trail or some other wilderness experience. For now, the occasional camping trip has to suffice.

5) Having a family. This is definitely my #1 favorite. I’m a husband and a father of three, and I can tell you with all conviction that, as a Christian, nothing else is nearly so fulfilling or important – even essential – as having a family. My life isn’t just about me, or just about a woman I love and enjoy during my lifetime, but about what we build together that will last. My wife and I will probably die within 60 years and everything I will have said or written will quickly fall away, but our children and their children will be our living, self-perpetuating legacy. More so than anything I believe or do while I’m here, what knowledge I gain, what great discussions I have, it will be how I perform as a husband and a father – how I mirror our Lord – that will serve as my greatest act of worship. My family is the treasure I will lay down at the feet of my God when I stand before Him. I married young and became a father young, which is countercultural nowadays; I am grateful that in so doing I didn’t have the chance to bury the money He entrusted me or squander it on self-fulfillment, but that I invested it early on in something that will grow and honor Him in ways that I will have ample opportunity to observe within my own lifetime. Sure, it’s been harder to perform by the world’s standards: I would have finished this degree long, long ago, could have already had a nice house of my own and lots of possessions to be proud of, would have already hiked the Appalachian Trail, etc. But when I look at eternity…who needs a degree? Who needs stuff? I have a family! Thank you for this blessing, dear Father.

Runners up:

Scifi/fantasy. Gotta love it. Don’t read much of it, but I like to see a good scifi/fantasy film or TV series.

Movies. Good movies. I’m picky, but I definitely appreciate a well written and well executed film, especially a well written and well executed scifi/fantasy film.

The internet. Yeah, this makes me sound like a hopeless, couch (desk?) potato geek (but see number 4 above). The thing is, it’s not the internet’s slant towards goofing off and time-killing that make me enjoy it: rather, it’s the currently unparalleled potential to aid me with favorites 1, 2, and 3 above.

If you read this, you’re tagged! If you have a blog and care to, do it there; otherwise, you may simply wish to list your five favorites in a comment below.

Recent Posts:
  • Thanks for playing along. I tagged you for 2 reasons: (1) because I knew you’d participate; and (2) you’d have a post that I could read AND understand! I’m joking – a bit πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for playing along. I tagged you for 2 reasons: (1) because I knew you’d participate; and (2) you’d have a post that I could read AND understand! I’m joking – a bit πŸ™‚

  • Doug Moody

    Steve,

    How did you appropriate my words? This could describe my personality perfectly! The thing I admire about you is your ability to understand the glory of family earlier in your life than I learned it. I am 54, and am only now FULLY appreciating how wonderful being a husband and father are. Prior to this, I understood it academically, and did give God glory. But there is a difference between “knowing” something and UNDERSTANDING it. It sounds as though you, as a younger man, have understood what it has taken me more time to understand. Kudos to you!

    All that said, let me add a “word of wisdom” which I have also learned. Please don’t let your penchant for wanting to avoid small talk and talk about the “small stuff” keep you from the small stuff. I am still learning this, but I now realize, just as Solomon said, to “Enjoy your youth” Of course, we will be called to account for wasted time. But I have learned that the essence of JOY is found in the “small stuff”, and that God is also glorified in your joy, just as much as He is in the “serious” stuff. I too am a nerd, but I have to work really hard in shedding that nerd image I aquired from a lifetime of being too serious. If you would be a better person, take more time for silly stuff. You can still be serious, but even some sensual pleasures are OK with God. In fact, He might even encourage them. Dont let time slip through your fingers. It will go by way too quickly.

    Thanks for this posting so I might know a little more about you.

  • Doug Moody

    Steve,

    How did you appropriate my words? This could describe my personality perfectly! The thing I admire about you is your ability to understand the glory of family earlier in your life than I learned it. I am 54, and am only now FULLY appreciating how wonderful being a husband and father are. Prior to this, I understood it academically, and did give God glory. But there is a difference between “knowing” something and UNDERSTANDING it. It sounds as though you, as a younger man, have understood what it has taken me more time to understand. Kudos to you!

    All that said, let me add a “word of wisdom” which I have also learned. Please don’t let your penchant for wanting to avoid small talk and talk about the “small stuff” keep you from the small stuff. I am still learning this, but I now realize, just as Solomon said, to “Enjoy your youth” Of course, we will be called to account for wasted time. But I have learned that the essence of JOY is found in the “small stuff”, and that God is also glorified in your joy, just as much as He is in the “serious” stuff. I too am a nerd, but I have to work really hard in shedding that nerd image I aquired from a lifetime of being too serious. If you would be a better person, take more time for silly stuff. You can still be serious, but even some sensual pleasures are OK with God. In fact, He might even encourage them. Dont let time slip through your fingers. It will go by way too quickly.

    Thanks for this posting so I might know a little more about you.

  • Doug,

    Glad to see you back! I find your “word of wisdom” challenging. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Doug,

    Glad to see you back! I find your “word of wisdom” challenging. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • OK, so I’ve thought and thought, and I hate narrowing my favorite things down to just 5 choices, but here you go anyway. πŸ˜‰

    1. Family. Over the years, I’ve really grown to appreciate the family that I have. Far from perfect? Absolutely. Kinda screwed up during my childhood? Definitely. But it’s made me appreciate all the more the family members that I have that have loved me and stuck by me even though all the screw-ups. And, I can’t wait to have a family of my own.
    2. Music. I’ve played piano since I was 7 years old, I’ve done lessons, recitals, youth symphonies, and worship teams. Also, you’d be hard-pressed to find me in any given place without music playing in one form or another!
    3. The Ocean. I grew up in the Seattle area, and there is absolutely nothing like going to the beach. The smells, the sounds, the colors…you feel small, and you can’t help but be reminded of God’s glory.
    4. Cooking/Baking. I can’t think back far enough to remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with cooking shows. When I was little, it was Julia Child. Now, it’s just about any show on the FN! I looooove to cook, and I looooove to bake – it’s kind of an art form for me.
    5. Photography. In the past 10 years or so, this has become one of my all-time favorite hobbies. I’m not spectacular at it, but I really enjoy capturing images, tweaking them a little on Photoshop, making them my own. My high school graduation present was a manual SLR, and the first thing I did was stick in a roll of black and white film – and I was hooked.

    Anywho, there they are! πŸ™‚

  • OK, so I’ve thought and thought, and I hate narrowing my favorite things down to just 5 choices, but here you go anyway. πŸ˜‰

    1. Family. Over the years, I’ve really grown to appreciate the family that I have. Far from perfect? Absolutely. Kinda screwed up during my childhood? Definitely. But it’s made me appreciate all the more the family members that I have that have loved me and stuck by me even though all the screw-ups. And, I can’t wait to have a family of my own.
    2. Music. I’ve played piano since I was 7 years old, I’ve done lessons, recitals, youth symphonies, and worship teams. Also, you’d be hard-pressed to find me in any given place without music playing in one form or another!
    3. The Ocean. I grew up in the Seattle area, and there is absolutely nothing like going to the beach. The smells, the sounds, the colors…you feel small, and you can’t help but be reminded of God’s glory.
    4. Cooking/Baking. I can’t think back far enough to remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with cooking shows. When I was little, it was Julia Child. Now, it’s just about any show on the FN! I looooove to cook, and I looooove to bake – it’s kind of an art form for me.
    5. Photography. In the past 10 years or so, this has become one of my all-time favorite hobbies. I’m not spectacular at it, but I really enjoy capturing images, tweaking them a little on Photoshop, making them my own. My high school graduation present was a manual SLR, and the first thing I did was stick in a roll of black and white film – and I was hooked.

    Anywho, there they are! πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for playing along, Angi! What a good sport πŸ™‚

    I, too, love to play piano (although my formal training didn’t begin until late middle school and didn’t even last all the way through high school!). All the way until my first year of college I thought I was going to be a band teacher. Now, making music is a standby hobby, which actually makes me kinda sad.

    I hate “going to the beach”, if by that one means going to soak up the sun – I’m fair-skinned and am highly susceptible to skin cancer! On the other hand, I enjoyed my time at the seashore in Prince Edward Island and in northern California (Crescent City), where I don’t feel like I’m roasting. I am in awe of the ocean’s majesty and unbridled strength (is that a word?); I’m a big fan of nautical decor and tales of seafarers.

    My wife has started getting into the FN lately – drives me nuts sometimes, but I love her anyway πŸ˜‰

    I’m not down with cooking myself (although I obviously enjoy others’), and I despise being given the camera to take pictures. But I definitely appreciate three of your favorites, at least! Thanks again for participating πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for playing along, Angi! What a good sport πŸ™‚

    I, too, love to play piano (although my formal training didn’t begin until late middle school and didn’t even last all the way through high school!). All the way until my first year of college I thought I was going to be a band teacher. Now, making music is a standby hobby, which actually makes me kinda sad.

    I hate “going to the beach”, if by that one means going to soak up the sun – I’m fair-skinned and am highly susceptible to skin cancer! On the other hand, I enjoyed my time at the seashore in Prince Edward Island and in northern California (Crescent City), where I don’t feel like I’m roasting. I am in awe of the ocean’s majesty and unbridled strength (is that a word?); I’m a big fan of nautical decor and tales of seafarers.

    My wife has started getting into the FN lately – drives me nuts sometimes, but I love her anyway πŸ˜‰

    I’m not down with cooking myself (although I obviously enjoy others’), and I despise being given the camera to take pictures. But I definitely appreciate three of your favorites, at least! Thanks again for participating πŸ™‚

  • Well hey, look on the bright side – at least you HAVE it as a standby hobby! There are a lot of people who can’t play a note to save their lives – I don’t know how they can stand to be alive, but hey…(kidding!)

    Haha..by “going to the beach” I meant going for walks on our mostly-rocky beaches. It’s never really hot enough here to go to the beach for the sole purpose of soaking up sun, although some people do. If you go to my Photography page on my blog, there’s a link to my Flickr account, and you can see some pictures of the kinds of beaches we have around here that are more what I’m talking about.

    Sounds like your wife and I would get along great, go Food Network! πŸ˜‰

    So if you hate being BEHIND the lens, does that mean you like being in FRONT of it??

  • Well hey, look on the bright side – at least you HAVE it as a standby hobby! There are a lot of people who can’t play a note to save their lives – I don’t know how they can stand to be alive, but hey…(kidding!)

    Haha..by “going to the beach” I meant going for walks on our mostly-rocky beaches. It’s never really hot enough here to go to the beach for the sole purpose of soaking up sun, although some people do. If you go to my Photography page on my blog, there’s a link to my Flickr account, and you can see some pictures of the kinds of beaches we have around here that are more what I’m talking about.

    Sounds like your wife and I would get along great, go Food Network! πŸ˜‰

    So if you hate being BEHIND the lens, does that mean you like being in FRONT of it??

  • Re: your beaches, sounds more like my kind of beach experience! Sounds like my experiences in Canada and northern CA., which I enjoyed.

    Re: me being a lens hog – Lord, no! I prefer to keep nothing less transparent than a brick wall in between myself and the nearest camera…the camera always seems to prefer that arrangement, as well.

  • Re: your beaches, sounds more like my kind of beach experience! Sounds like my experiences in Canada and northern CA., which I enjoyed.

    Re: me being a lens hog – Lord, no! I prefer to keep nothing less transparent than a brick wall in between myself and the nearest camera…the camera always seems to prefer that arrangement, as well.

  • Yeah, I’m okay with southern California beaches sometimes, but I prefer rocky beaches with lots of seaweed and interesting ocean life. You can’t go oyster-gathering or clam digging on just any beach!

    Maybe you should start carrying a brick wall around, just in case. πŸ˜‰

  • Yeah, I’m okay with southern California beaches sometimes, but I prefer rocky beaches with lots of seaweed and interesting ocean life. You can’t go oyster-gathering or clam digging on just any beach!

    Maybe you should start carrying a brick wall around, just in case. πŸ˜‰

  • Steve, I have to say, between you and Angi, I’m not very original…

    1. Family. My immediate family dissolved when I was around twelve, and recently I’ve gotten to know my extended family more, which I wish I’d done earlier. I’ve a long-term girlfriend and we spend so much time dreaming about the family we plan to have it’s ridiculous.
    2. The Ocean. I grew up in Byron Bay which has some of the best beaches in Australia, and whilst now I’m a city-dweller, I miss it every day – I’m not one to laze around the beach all day in the sun, but I love walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset. I always feel that the awesomeness, power and size of the ocean is the closest you could get on earth to looking God in the eye. If I can’t get to the ocean, then nature in general will do, but to me, the ocean is the peak.
    3. Discussion. I favour theology, but, like Steve, any subject that I find interesting, serious and important will do. And, like Steve, I abhor small talk.
    4. Writing. As above, I currently favour theology, and am writing a thesis in physiotherapy, but I enjoy any type of writing. I use it to express myself, when I’m feeling creative, or (an example of which my blog is) in order to organise and study my own thoughts and beliefs, and encourage discussion.
    5. I couldn’t decide a number 5, so instead, I’m listing some runners up:
    Board games: I love board games. They’re my favourite way to spend time with my friends and family.
    Comic books: They’re my favourite medium, although I love any written medium (poetry, literature, etc.).
    Cooking: I spent a few years after I left high school in a chef’s apprenticeship, but still love spending time cooking, especially big hearty meals for big groups and little gourmet meals for two.
    Linguistics: I studied linguistics under a student of Chomsky immediately after my chef’s apprenticeship. I enjoy discussions of translation, grammar, and meaning, despite not being fluent in any languages other than English.

  • Steve, I have to say, between you and Angi, I’m not very original…

    1. Family. My immediate family dissolved when I was around twelve, and recently I’ve gotten to know my extended family more, which I wish I’d done earlier. I’ve a long-term girlfriend and we spend so much time dreaming about the family we plan to have it’s ridiculous.
    2. The Ocean. I grew up in Byron Bay which has some of the best beaches in Australia, and whilst now I’m a city-dweller, I miss it every day – I’m not one to laze around the beach all day in the sun, but I love walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset. I always feel that the awesomeness, power and size of the ocean is the closest you could get on earth to looking God in the eye. If I can’t get to the ocean, then nature in general will do, but to me, the ocean is the peak.
    3. Discussion. I favour theology, but, like Steve, any subject that I find interesting, serious and important will do. And, like Steve, I abhor small talk.
    4. Writing. As above, I currently favour theology, and am writing a thesis in physiotherapy, but I enjoy any type of writing. I use it to express myself, when I’m feeling creative, or (an example of which my blog is) in order to organise and study my own thoughts and beliefs, and encourage discussion.
    5. I couldn’t decide a number 5, so instead, I’m listing some runners up:
    Board games: I love board games. They’re my favourite way to spend time with my friends and family.
    Comic books: They’re my favourite medium, although I love any written medium (poetry, literature, etc.).
    Cooking: I spent a few years after I left high school in a chef’s apprenticeship, but still love spending time cooking, especially big hearty meals for big groups and little gourmet meals for two.
    Linguistics: I studied linguistics under a student of Chomsky immediately after my chef’s apprenticeship. I enjoy discussions of translation, grammar, and meaning, despite not being fluent in any languages other than English.

  • Thanks for contributing, Damian πŸ™‚ Linguistics, huh? So you’re one of the ones voting for that topic, I suppose? πŸ˜€ Chomsky’s stuff is absolutely amazing. That said, I have some doubts about certain aspects of generative syntax (e.g., UG looks suspiciously like English…), and while I definitely see something to distinctive feature theory in phonology, last I knew (admittedly a few years ago), Chomskians were still ignoring the important contributions of laboratory phoneticians, perhaps because acoustic phonetics problematized certain aspects of the generative model. But I could have been unduly biased by my majorly anti-Chomsky phonetics/phonology professor. πŸ™‚ Anyway…

    Wow. I wonder if ocean-lovers are more prone to answer these questions than others! I love your comment about looking in God in the eye!

  • Thanks for contributing, Damian πŸ™‚ Linguistics, huh? So you’re one of the ones voting for that topic, I suppose? πŸ˜€ Chomsky’s stuff is absolutely amazing. That said, I have some doubts about certain aspects of generative syntax (e.g., UG looks suspiciously like English…), and while I definitely see something to distinctive feature theory in phonology, last I knew (admittedly a few years ago), Chomskians were still ignoring the important contributions of laboratory phoneticians, perhaps because acoustic phonetics problematized certain aspects of the generative model. But I could have been unduly biased by my majorly anti-Chomsky phonetics/phonology professor. πŸ™‚ Anyway…

    Wow. I wonder if ocean-lovers are more prone to answer these questions than others! I love your comment about looking in God in the eye!

  • Yeah, I’m a linguistics voter :).

    He is amazing – I agree with the flaws of generative syntax, but I spent a semester applying government and binding theory fairly successfully to aboriginal languages. One of my peers spent a fair bit of time on transformational grammar, but I prefer Chomsky’s early thought (minimalism I think is a little off the mark), even if it’s wrong, it’s far more elegant. Perhaps I’d have changed later on.

    But yeah, the interest still remains – I’m thinking of making an attempt at NT greek, to scratch both my theological and linguistic itches simultaneously.

  • Yeah, I’m a linguistics voter :).

    He is amazing – I agree with the flaws of generative syntax, but I spent a semester applying government and binding theory fairly successfully to aboriginal languages. One of my peers spent a fair bit of time on transformational grammar, but I prefer Chomsky’s early thought (minimalism I think is a little off the mark), even if it’s wrong, it’s far more elegant. Perhaps I’d have changed later on.

    But yeah, the interest still remains – I’m thinking of making an attempt at NT greek, to scratch both my theological and linguistic itches simultaneously.