In a Nutshell…

One score and sixteen years ago, I burst upon the world in Carthage, Mo. After nearly a decade of over-achievement, I was loaded onto a plane and the first leg of a long and complicated journey began.

1987-88: Costa Rica. Language school for parents, regular school for me. This was not my best year – earthquakes (ask me why I hate the song “God Is So Good”), life-threatening allergies (to green mangoes, of all things), the saddening discovery that sports are not for me (at least not participatorily speaking), and a basic inability to communicate with the people around me. This is the year I learned that by U.S. standards, I was not cool. Now, I consider it a strength, but then…NOT COOL! I think this is where my lifelong obsession with food began – of all the things I experienced in Costa Rica, the food still receives a standing ovation in my head…

1988-91: Argentina. Córdoba. Two sets of schools, public (an exceptional experience) and the Calvert home-school program (don’t get me started), simultaneously. Learned that I can’t fight (at least not physically) but I DO have a temper. Float like a butterfly, RUN like a banshee fool. Oh, yes – and don’t kneel on an Atari. Turns out they’re quite sharp…

1991-92: Grand Prairie, Tx. 8th grade. Orchestra. Still not cool. Three words: Acrylic Jogging Suit. Judging by my yearbook, that’s all I wore, all year long.

1992-96: Argentina. Misiones. Home-school high school. By Argentine standards, very cool. But, then, so was everybody else. Best friend Mauro; first girlfriend Cristina. I discover I’m a bad seed, at least insofar as sticking to a curfew is concerned. Pop culture captures my attention and holds it. I become a child of the 80s in the 90s, thanks to the transmission lag between North and South. Duran Duran still popular in 1995…

1996-2004: Butler/Springfield/St. Louis, Mo. Theater performance and tech student at Southwest Missouri State University, 1997-99. Can’t act; can (could) design. Learned to hang from catwalks in the middle of live shows, hoping not to tumble into the audience (different kind of show, that). One season (1999) working as a stagehand for Stages-St. Louis (favorite job ever). Famous player-piano fire starter. Graduated from Southwest Baptist University (2003) with a BA in Christian Ministries. Three years as youth minister at First Baptist Church, Drexel, Mo. Rude awakenings. Married Tammy Herrell in 2002.

2004-Present: Waco, Tx. Year and a half as an aide with the McLennan County Challenge Academy (think public school meets Caged Heat). Five years as pastor of SonRise Baptist in Robinson, Tx. MA in Church-State Studies from Baylor University, 2009. Since then, Special Collections cataloger in the Baylor library system. Bought first house in November 2009. Wished I hadn’t bought first house in August 2010. Believe I’ll rent from here on out. But I’m a whiz with caulk (which is the duct tape of my home repair philosophy).

What’s changed? As for the background in church work, I’ve pretty much left that behind. Call it a philosophical altercation with myself. I am sure that there is a bigger picture out there to be found – I’m just not sure anymore who or what it is/looks like.

My first (hopefully) book was published in March 2013: Around Butler, a photographic history of my home county and town in Missouri. I neither have nor plan on having children, but as experiences go, that was pretty close…

Favorite author: Charles Dickens

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings trilogy

Favorite band: U2

Favorite movie: What About Bob?

Movie I say is my favorite when asked: Dances with Wolves

Favorite TV show: The West Wing

Political views: Left-leaning moderate (although my family will tell you I’m a “crazy-eyed liberal”)

Religious persuasion: Human being.

25 Responses to “In a Nutshell…”

  1. Gede Prama Says:

    Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama :)

  2. Religious persuasion: human being.
    SO GOOD!!
    I love it!
    So nice to meet you!!
    ~Andrea<3

  3. Lindsey (Currie) Dubois Says:

    Pleased to meet you! I’m human too! This was a very sweet ‘about you.’ I hope you consider yourself cool now. :)

    Have a lovely day!
    Lindsey

  4. So nice to meet you through Victoria. I look forward to following your work. ~ Christina

  5. Love the sentence ” Call it a philosophical altercation with myself.”
    Yep! and is it not wonderful how some of us can hold two opposing thoughts in our mind and not be threatened?

    • I’m fond of that one myself; I think it’s the best expression I’ve ever come up with of what goes on behind the scenes in my mind.

      I am a strong proponent of dialectics, so I think the only way to even approach truth is to carefully weigh opposing thoughts until enough’s been whittled away that answers begin to emerge. Too many people insist on believing things they’ve never tested, which as far as I’m concerned isn’t really believing at all…

  6. Looked up your favorite movie, I absolutely adore Bill Murray but haven’t seen What about Bob yet… It’s now on my list!

  7. Ah, a fellow spirit and human being. We have several things in common Sir.

  8. “Call it a philosophical altercation with myself.” Interesting perspective. And the correct one. The only altercation that exists is with the self. Indeed, I against I is how I work.

  9. muggleinconverse Says:

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  10. I love Dickens! I tell my students when we read Great Expectations to wait until the end; they’ll feel as if London has only 12 people and they’re all related to each other.

  11. OMG!! I just discovered your blog… Nice to know about your life the last years. Te olvidaste de agregar a La Reina, eso formó gran parte de tu vida, y se llevó gran parte de tu fortuna también, jaja…

  12. I love the biography. It’s marvelous.

  13. Fascinating bio.

    I love British history (although I’m more into medieval through to around the Georges rather than the early days). I was lucky enough to grow up in London and there’s nothing like putting some Simon Schama on my iPod and walking through our beautiful historic streets.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I find myself lately drawn to the twentieth century as a period of interest. Forgive the cliche, but I’m fascinated by Winston Churchill as a study in contradictions. I’ve also developed a taste for turn of the century British fiction. I still love Dickens the most, but a lot of the no-name, out of print works are surprisingly good.

      • That’s why I love my Kindle. A lot of older books which are now in the public domain are available for free. There is an ever-increasing library of these availble. However, if I wanted to invest a sum usually under $5, I could buy entire collections of some authors.

  14. Just me Says:

    If you’re a “crazy-eyed liberal”, I can’t imagine what they would think of some people who this liberal considers to be crazy left-wing nutjobs.

    • Fair point. It would help if they actually carried on a conversation with me about my views, instead of just telling me how wrong I am. Such an arrangement tends to lead to misunderstanding…

      • I work with far too many people like that. I dare not even ask them to shut up – much less point out their logical fallacies, because every time a similar topic comes up, they’ll be all over me. I know, because it’s happened to others. Warnings from management have done no good.

        In your case, however, it’s probable that to most of them, you’ll alway be that little boy you once were, who is in great need of their gentle guidance. Rather than indulge you in serious conversation, they reprimand you. I know; I’m far older than you, and still seen as a little kid by my original family.

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