Here And There Online


My co-author Owen Garriott has donated a signed copy of our book, Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story, for the 2010 annual Astronaut Scholarship Foundation auction. Bidding begins a week from tomorrow, but you must be registered to participate. If you don’t want a signed copy of Homesteading, you can also do some Christmas shopping for me on the site.

I wrote a guest post for Heather’s official NASA blog, Taking Up Space. I’ve been writing for NASA for more than eight years, and I’ve been blogging for almost that entire time, but for some reason doing the two together for the first time makes me happy.

Along those lines, Face2Face director Eugene Banks this week posted my weekly post-show e-mail to the troupe on the Face2Face Facebook page again this week, which also made me happier than it should. For some reason, going on Facebook this morning and linking to my stuff that had been posted on Heather’s blog and my stuff that had been posted on the F2F page made me feel kinda like a writer, which is always a nice feeling.

I finally got tweeted to today by Lori McKenna, which, again, makes me happier than it should. I’ve heard a lot of new songs since her last album, Unglamorous, came out over three years ago, and I’ve been afraid that I would have already heard all of Lorraine by the time it comes out in January. She confirmed that the album will include a song that I’d not heard of before. This, again, makes me happy.

Unified Dave Theory


Andy Kaufman: You don’t know the real me.
Lynne Margulies: There isn’t a real you.
Andy Kaufman: Oh yeah, I forgot.
– Man On The Moon

When I first heard that exchange in the commercial for the movie Man On The Moon, it resonated with me, a lot. I very much felt that way about myself. There was no real me.

A friend of mine posted those lines on Facebook the other day, and it reminded me that I needed to write the post I’d been planning, on how I found myself through social media.

I considered it one of my strengths as a reporter, how easily I could fit into what ever situation I was in. I noticed it in college; I could have a great evening enjoying kitschy Japanese cinema with one friend one evening, and be someone else entirely with another friend the next. In newspapers, it gave me the ability to be “one of us” working with a variety of sources; I just sort of fit wherever I happened to be.

Four years ago, if you knew David Hitt, who you knew would depend on where you knew him. There was the upstanding, proper guy you would meet at church on Sunday morning. The knowledgeable space geek you would encounter at work. The clever wit at improv rehearsal.

Around the time that movie came out, I did feel like there was no real me. All of the things I was were true, but none of them was the truth. None of them overlapped with the others, and none of them was more me than the others.

I got married, and the person I was with my wife became the “real me.” Who I really was was the person I was at home every night. I was that person more than any other, that person seemed less like an expediency than any other, so that was the real me. There were still several versions of me — work me and church me and whatever else still existed — but I knew which one was “real me.”

And then I got divorced. Which had two major impacts on the idea of the real me. First, I lost that grounding. Without a wife, the real me couldn’t be the person I was with her. Second, I lost that identity. The real me was married. He was her husband. He was her niece’s uncle. Key elements of who the “real me” was just evaporated.

Today I have a better sense of self than I ever have. What happened between then and now? Three things:

First, and most importantly, I’ve gotten to know myself better. I have a better sense of who David Hitt is to identify the various traits that are intrinsic to who I am. I’ve come to have a better sense of who God thinks I am, and those things are, without question, the real me. Whatever He thinks, chances are, He’s right.

Second, my participation in Face2Face Improv has had a huge impact on me. Making a fool of myself on stage has made me less self-conscious; doing it well has made me more self-confident. I’m more willing to be myself in any situation, which lets me break down the walls between different versions of me and carry traits over. The traits that become more universal are the things that define the real me.

But — and this is the one that’s most fascinating to me — then there’s Facebook. And Twitter and my blog and so forth, but I think it started with Facebook.

On Facebook, there’s only one me. And that one me is friends with people from every part of my life. My family. Fellow church members. Members of churches I used to attend. High school classmates. Improv troupemates. Coworkers. College friends. My counselor. Former employees of former employers.

And that one me shares updates about all different parts of my life. Most of those pictures above have been my profile picture at some point. They’re all different versions of me, but they’re all me — the author, the iPhone addict, the improv troupe member, the hiker, the NASA education writer, the church member, the Ole Miss alum, the loving uncle, the actor.

The thing that Facebook does that changes the rules is bring those things together. Back in the day, the people who went to church with proper, respectable David wouldn’t see him making a fool of himself at improv the night before. The people I work with wouldn’t see me hiking the Walls of Jericho. Nobody but family got to see Uncle David. And things like broken engagements didn’t play out for the entire world to see.

But now, everybody sees everything. Improv people don’t just see improv David; they see the guy that geeks out about seeing shuttle launches, does a whole lot of writing trying to figure out this God thing, enjoys spending time on a mountain, and occasionally gets to do cool things like hang out with astronauts.

And those things — the combination of all those things — that now everyone gets to see are me.

The real me.

Only Life


It’s been a while since I’ve written just a general “what’s going on in life” post, but I’ve written enough topic-specific posts about different things that I thought I should do a catch-all catch-up post.

My brother Jonathan came in fourth place in the election. He was only slightly behind the third place candidate, but both of them were well behind the two candidates who made it into the run-off. He had a pretty decent lead over the bottom four candidates, however. It was, of course, disappointing that things didn’t go better, but he did a good job making a name for himself, and he ran a respectable campaign. The other candidates took him seriously as a contender, and he received some notable endorsements. I don’t know what he has planned for the future, but I think he built up some political capital this summer should he choose to use it.

For the first time in months, we had to cancel an improv show Tuesday night, because only one person showed up. We told him he can use his ticket for a future show, and, as a bonus, used him as a test-market for trying out a new game that we’ll probably bring back out in a couple of weeks. I’ll be in a show tomorrow night at Kenny Mango’s Coffee Shop in Madison (Buy tickets here and save!) and will be playing in the show at Sam & Greg’s next Tuesday. Come check us out!

The mission trip to Costa Rica that I wrote about a while back has been indefinitely postponed.

The deadline for the shuttle book I’m co-authoring has been postponed, but not indefinitely.

I got my Arlo & Janis strip in the mail last week, and it’s awesome.

Heather’s NASA blog has finished its initial pilot phase, and, rather than going into normal operations, is instead going into a second pilot phase in which we test a version with even more awesomeness.

I’ve still only taken my kayak out once. Sad, really. Of course, the weather is getting to a point where it should be more agreeable to do so soon. Probably not this weekend, though.

I’ve worked at Marshall for eight years, as of a week ago today.

OK, I guess that’s enough.

From The Cheap Seats


I got to do something rather rare for me last night. I have played in or hosted every Face2Face Improv show at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelato Shop in downtown Huntsville save one for the last three months, and the one I wasn’t in was because I was otherwise obligated that night.

Last night, however, I took the night off and just watched the show. I haven’t been able to just watch a show there since shortly after we started playing at the venue, and I was curious to see what it looked like. Your perspective’s a bit different in the wings than from in the audience.

And it looked great. We’ve been really working hard to try to do two things at the Sam & Greg’s venue — build up an audience and streamline the show to be perfect for that unique venue. Last night, it was great seeing how well we’ve done both. We had a great crowd; we had to move tables and bring in extra seats, and even so, had to cut off sales at some point. And the show itself was amazing. The team of Eugene Banks hosting Meghan Kenny, Steve Lambing and Fred Sayers did an incredible job. It was a great, hilarious, entertaining show.

After watching that, I’m really looking forward to stepping back in as host next week. It’ll be Meghan’s last show before going back to college for the fall, so I’m expanding the cast from three to four so that we can play some games we haven’t been able to play at Sam & Greg’s. Should be a lot of fun.

And, by the way, we’ll be doing a special show on Saturday at the “Acting Up!” Academy of Dramatic Arts on Whitesburg in Huntsville this week; I’ll be hosting that two-hour show as well, which will feature at least one out-of-town special guest artist and some more experimentation with short-form improv.

Come check us out!!


For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we’re a comedy improv troupe. We make up scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

I can’t embed them here, but there are videos of some of my work with the troupe on Facebook that should be publicly visible. Ticket information for shows is here.

“Weekend” Update


OK, so other than the post about the kayak a while back, I haven’t done a whole lot of personal-life blogging lately; it’s all been idea-y the last few weeks. There’s not really anything interesting I can tell you about my life lately.

After my extended absence from blogging, however, I will give an update on this past weekend. I was sick. Frustratingly so. I came home from work Friday, took a nap ’cause I wasn’t feeling good, went and played in the Face2Face show at Ars Nova, realized afterwards I still wasn’t feeling good and went to bed pretty much until Tuesday morning. I missed the Saturday night Kenny Mango’s Face2Face show and rehearsal on Monday night, as well as work on Monday. I did manage to go to church on Sunday; I woke up that morning feeling pretty good, went to church, but immediately thereafter was, like, running into stuff at Target because I felt so bad. So I went home, and back to bed. The church part, of course, will be a blog post soon.

I was back at work Tuesday, and hosted the Sam & Greg’s Face2Face show that night. That show marked the beginning of a brief return engagement by F2F veteran Meghan Kenny, home briefly from college, and she was amazing. Meghan’s going to be playing the next three weeks at Sam & Greg’s, and I can’t recommend enough that you come check out at least one of those shows. It’ll be five bucks well spent, I assure you.

Because of illness, I still haven’t had a chance to take the kayak out, but have plans to do so this weekend, so I’m hoping that works out.

So, anyway, that’s where I’ve been. Hopefully I’ll get a couple of posts online before too long.

Weekend Improv


In case anyone is interested, I will be in two Face2Face Improv shows this weekend:

– Friday at Ars Nova theater in south Huntsville at 7 p.m.

– Saturday at Kenny Mango’s Coffee Shop in Madison at 7 p.m.

Directions and ticket information can be found on the Face2Face Improv Web site. Tickets for Saturday’s show can be bought on Friday at a discount.

In addition, I continue to work the Tuesday night show at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelateria in downtown Huntsville pretty much every week.

Come check us out sometime!!


For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we’re a comedy improv troupe. We make up scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

I can’t embed them here, but there are videos of some of my work with the troupe on Facebook that should be publicly visible. Ticket information for shows is here.

Legends of Comedy!!!



SHARING THE STAGE Tuesday night — Steve Lambing! Fred Sayers! Eugene Banks!

OK, I’m kind of proud of this. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been organizing the Tuesday night Face2Face improv shows at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelateria in downtown Huntsville. (Tickets for which are an unbelievably low $5!) Part of what that includes is putting together the cast list for each Tuesday’s show. It’s a really cool opportunity, which was driven home recently when Gene, our founder, director and boss, actually asked my permission to host last week’s show. Um, yeah, sure …

This coming Tuesday’s show, however, I’m particularly excited about. We’ve got a great troupe, and any cast of players is going to have a unique chemistry. Tuesday, however, I’ve brought together on stage Face2Face’s three senior members, who haven’t played together in, well, a long time. Gene has only recently returned to playing after being the usual host, so I’m not sure if we’ve had these three playing on stage at the same time in literally years.

Personally, the coolest part is that I’m going to be hosting the show, so I get to be the guy telling the three of them what to do. I fully intent to make the most of that privilege. Huge respect doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to put them through their paces. These guys can do anything, and I fully intend to prove that Tuesday.

If you haven’t been to one of our shows lately, or even if you have, this should be a night not to miss.


For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we’re a comedy improv troupe. We make up scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

I can’t embed them here, but there are videos of some of my work with the troupe on Facebook that should be publicly visible. Ticket information for shows is here.

Yet Another Improv Update


Face2Face at Ars Nova. Photo by Jason Sims.

I just wanted to remind everybody that you need to come and check out one of our Tuesday night Face2Face improv shows at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelato Cafe in downtown Huntsville. Tickets for the Tuesday night shows are only $5, which is an incredible deal. We’ve had good crowds at the shows for well over a month, and have put on a series of hilarious, high-energy shows. I’ve written before about the potential that I think this venue has, and it really is turning into one of the premiere places to come see Face2Face. If you’re interested in seeing me in a show, I know I’ll be working the next two Tuesdays. (And can schedule around you wanting to see me if you give me advance notice, but the rest of the troupe is also well worth watching.)

If Tuesdays don’t work for you, I’ll also be playing in shows at Ars Nova theater on Charlotte Drive in Huntsville on Friday, June 25, and at Kenny Mango’s coffee house on Hughes Road in Madison on Saturday, June 26. You can buy your tickets for these shows online and get a discount, if you’d be interested.

I’d love to see you at one of our shows.


For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we’re a comedy improv troupe. We make up scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

I can’t embed them here, but there are videos of some of my work with the troupe on Facebook that should be publicly visible. Ticket information for shows is here.

Only A Masters Of Awesome


When I first saw Cowboy Mouth, it was purely lagniappe.

This weekend, when I saw them for the fourth time, it’s more of an educational experience. Professional development, if you will.

The first time I saw them was at Huntsville’s Big Spring Jam music festival back in 2006. They were part of a block of acts on Sunday evening with Sister Hazel and the Gin Blossoms. Basically, at that point, I knew them solely for “Jenny Says,” which I recalled as a sort of off-beat hit from college radio at Ole Miss. In fact, all three acts were staples of Rebel Radio, and I thought it might be a nice nostalgic evening. I was mainly interested in hearing the Gin Blossoms do “Hey Jealousy,” but didn’t know if I was willing to pay to see just that. But since one ticket gets you in for the day, might as well go catch all three, right?

While Cowboy Mouth was sort of just an added bonus going into it, they were, for me, without question, the stars of the show. “Jenny Says” was awesome live. And it turns out that I liked more of their songs when I heard them. But …

The show was amazing. Just incredible. I wrote recently about what I like in a concert, and number one on the list is an experience that’s different from the CD. Well, watching Cowboy Mouth live is an experience that’s different from the CD. Even the live video at the top of this post doesn’t begin to describe it.

As I said, I’ve seen them now four times — that first time in a chair at Big Spring Park, a ways from the stage; the second time standing near the stage at a club downtown; the third time sitting on the ground, even farther from the stage at Big Spring Park; and the fourth time this weekend again standing near the stage at the Elvis Festival in Tupelo. And, really, if you’re not within 10 feet of the stage at a Cowboy Mouth show, you’re not at the same concert.

I went back, and keep going back, because the thing that surprised me most at that first show was how much I learned at the first show. Cowboy Mouth drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc is an amazing showman, and he has an incredible ability to engage the audience.

I had been in the Face2Face improv troupe for just a few months the first time I saw them; I don’t think I’d even been on stage yet. But I was awed at his energy and stage presence.

By the second time I saw them, I’d been in the troupe a good bit longer, and think I’d even started hosting shows. And that was where I really started learning. My hosting stagecraft owes a huge amount to LeBlanc. He made me realize that I’m not hosting a theatre event, like a play. I’m hosting a rock and roll show. I need to get the audience fired up. I need to get them energized. I need to get them engaged. Are you with me!?

Every time I see them, it’s like a one-night masters degree in stage presence and performance. Every time, I learn a little more, come out of it with a little more. Frankly, it’s a good thing I’m not hosting the show this Tuesday night at Sam & Greg’s; I would probably steal too directly from Saturday night’s concert.

Maybe next week …

Quick Update


It’s amazing how, despite the fact this is my tenth post in nine days, I’m still behind on my blogging. Several things recently that I’ve wanted to write about, and just haven’t. Some of those are idea stuff, but some of it’s just mundane Dave-life stuff. Last Friday was big enough, with the launch and the concert, that it sort of overshadowed other stuff that I wanted to write about but haven’t.

As per the picture above, I went to Theater Huntsville‘s presentation last night of To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, assistant-directed by a friend of mine. Good stuff. Sad, but sweet.

My brother graduated from college Saturday. This makes me feel old, for a couple of reasons. Matthew had just turned four when I went off to Ole Miss, and now has graduated himself. Also, at the rehearsal, there was a speaker that I wondered whether he was one of the people they had talked about talking not that long ago, only to realize that the “not that long ago” I was thinking of was when Matthew matriculated four years ago. Sad that I’m old enough that four years is not that long ago. On the plus side, I was stuck with making sure that the most amazing niece in the world was entertained during the ceremony, which I assure you was an incredibly onerous burden. And, oh, yeah, I’m proud of Matthew, too. In all seriousness, very proud. He just earned his bachelor’s in aerospace engineering; he’s going to actually DO the stuff I just write about people doing.

I taught kids at church again on Sunday. It went pretty well. I had to swallow my pride, admit I’d made a mistake, and fix it. When I started doing this, they said they wanted us to pick a costume and character we would use for the storytelling, and I did. I went with a character that I do quite well in improv shows. By the third month, I realized that I’d made a very bad character choice — it worked great in improv, not so great teaching kids — but wanted to figure out how to redeem it. Last month, there were hardly any kids there, and the ones that were were all very young, so I didn’t even worry about it. That seemed to go a bit better, but it was hard to tell, so Sunday, with everyone back, I bit the bullet and just stopped trying to use the character any more. I got called on it — one of the kids was like, your voice is different. “Yeah, I’m happy.” Basically, I ended up just being a little more me, and apparently a little more me worked. I could feel the difference, and that was good, because that’s been my biggest frustration up until now. When I’m playing to an audience, I generally have a good feel for them, and it’s really disconcerting for me when I don’t. With the kids, I had no feel for them at all until this past Sunday. And that makes me happy.

I’ve been involved in some National Space Society policy discussions recently. We’re living in interesting times, human space exploration-wise. I don’t know what the future holds, or even when we’ll begin to find out what the future holds, but it won’t be boring.

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