Posted by: Mark Nielsen | February 13, 2009

25 Things In the Blink of an Eye

These are bound to be so random, in a stream-of-consciousness, un-edited sorta way. But I want to get it done. So here goes nothing:

1- I like wearing hats, especially fedoras, though I don’t do it often. My fave used to belong to Grandpa.

2- I utterly need music. If music were taken out of my life, my soul would curl up and die.

3- I have a 6-1/2 year old son named Graham. He’s so beautiful. I’m thankful.

4- My wife Sue and I have been married for 18 years. (Yikes!) Thankful here too, when I’m not whining about all the ways she wants to “civilize” me.

5- Speaking of getting old, I bought my first pair of $10 Walgreen reading glasses last month. Sucks, but they’re workin’ for me.

6- I have kyphosis, a sort of hunchback/curvature of the spine problem.

7- When the Spirit moves me, I sometimes shake like a Quaker. It’s like getting a massage from God, at times. I’ve learned not to question it from a theological perspective, but just to live in that heartspace.

8- I was baptised Roman Catholic, then again baptised around 1998 in a Mennonite church as a matter of personal choice (or obedience to a perceived suggestion from God). I think both counted… for different reasons, yet I don’t know anymore how “essential” either one was?, …in an eternal sense.

9-There’s a famous drawing from Rolling Stone that approximates my strongest inclination in an artistic/political/spiritual direction. It’s got folkie Woody Guthrie writing something down, with Dylan looking over his shoulder, and Springsteen, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp are looking over Bob’s shoulder. I wish there were some wimmens in there (Joni? Sarah McLachlan? Yay Canada!) , but I didn’t draw the dang thing. Anyway, it’s all about having a sense of conscience and history, and learning from past masters. My most fave wasn’t in the drawing, though: Bruce Cockburn. (Yay Canada Again!)

10- I just saw “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Liked it alot, as I do most of the sweet but raunchy stuff that Judd Apatow is connected with (40-Year-Old Virgin, etc.) . It’s just great, honest modern storytelling. I have mixed feelings about the values portrayed, but I can at least appreciate the basic moral virtues and loyalties at the root of the main characters’ choices.

11- My eyes are brown. Green-eyed Dad used to tease that this meant I was full of sh- – .

12- I love being out in nature: canoeing, forest preserves, camping, bird-watching.

13- I’ve lost touch with some of my closest high school friends, but wish we could re-boot some kind of relationship. Maybe when they’re ready…

14- I gave a panhandler $5 after work last night in the Loop. He had a whole story to tell, and even though I half-listened, I really just looked in his eyes and sensed he was genuinely trying. I tried to see the Jesus in him. I gave him the $5 only cuz I didn’t have any singles, though.

15 – I have two sisters: Laura is two years younger, Karen is six years younger. They’re AWESOME!

16- Mom, sisters, and most of extended family all still live around Chicago metro area. A real blessing.

17- My wife Sue is from the suburbs of Boston, MA. I love it there, too.

18- I’m what’s called an “Abstract Random” thinker, which means I tend to be disorganized but creative, making connections, building bridges between concepts.

19- On the MBTI indicator, I am an ENFP. (Counselors, help out your neighbor on this one.) In my case, the N is about the size of Jupiter.

20- I play guitar, enthusiastically but very badly. Motor skills, small fingers, poor practice regimen, etc. But I still plan to get onstage someday and actually sing a song that I’ve written.

21- I’ve been overweight all my life. Or I’m one of those ectomorphs (or is it endo?). Anyway, I’m fit but fat.

22- My favorite food is lasagna.

23- My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. Rounding out the top five: Godfather(1,2,3), Wings of Desire, Rocky, and ________ . (I leave a slot open cuz I change my mind alot.)

24- Notice how the last two entries gots a lot of Italians involved? I’m half-Italian on Mom’s side, and 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Danish.

25- I now wish I had fifty slots to fill. But I gotta move on. I ain’t gonna tag anyone, but if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged with a gentle nudge to provide your 25.



  1. Hi, this was fun. Somehow it shocked me that you and Sue are going on 18 years, even though I know you married the year after we did. Silly me.

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