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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

if you care about me...

...then ignore me.

I need this: if you are not directly related to me (hi Gabe and Leah), and if there is no emergency, I need you to pretend I don't exist for about... oh... sixteen days or so.

If you're willing to do this, please start as soon as possible. It's something I need. If anyone asks where I went, tell them you don't know, but you know I'll be back in two weeks. I really need this, please trust me.

Here's a quote to keep you company:

"Look, it's not in my nature to be mysterious. I can't talk about it, and I can't talk about why.." - Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan in Ocean's 12

Once again... if you love me, you will not even respond to this message. I don't exist. You don't even know what you're reading right now. You've forgotten it already.

Sixteen days.

~Isjami~

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i'm not who I thought I was.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

where am I?

no, seriously- I don't know where I am right now. I can't figure it out, and today's events have left me with maybe five or eight different emotions, all of them strong and unique, yet still mixing.

I should forget chrono-logic (a valid noun, I swear), and just go by events that stand out in my mind as post-worthy.

the hookah bar

*blows a smoke ring* it was rad.

just kidding, people. it was my first (and last) time, so I had no skills whatsoever. smoke rings are (and ever will be) way beyond me. I had fun watching, though. the stuff is basically candy in gaseous form. I tried the cherry/mint one. bizarre. tastes good, though.

Hookah - Originating in Turkey, Hookahs are used to evaporate Flavored Tobacco, ensuring a smoother, more enjoyable smoking experience. Unlike cigarettes which contain high amounts of Nicotine and Tar, the Flavored Tobacco offered with the Hookah Pipes only contains a minimal amount of Nicotine (.5%) and absolutely no Tar (0%). Here's a link with more info: about hookah

like I said, it was my first and last time.

"wanna try it?"

"c'mon, Isaiah. it's cherry and mint!"

"... hmmm ... if there were someone here who was strongly against it, what would be there reasons for declining your offer?"

"lol I don't know, probably misconceptions about what a hookah is."

"so it's not unhealthy for you?"

"if you're around it all the time, like Sam," -(he runs the place)- "it's probably going to have a noticeable effect on your health, but you've never done it before, and probably won't do it much in the future. why, what reasons would you have to not do it?"

"well, I have almost no reason not to, and a pretty good reason to do it, actually."

"and that is?"

"I can't say. not only would you not understand, but explaining it to you would kind of ruin the reason."

"that's just some assumptions you're making."

"some assumptions are dumb. others are logical."

"*smile* true."

the girl in blue is Christina. I met her several months ago at Starbucks and a salad bar place (when I went there with Alexa and Eva as well). really interesting girl. I wish I could describe her well. she's very intelligent, but also sweet, and has a very open mind while at the same time having personal beliefs which she is very firm and comfortable with, while at the same time being willing to admit that they have changed radically (back and forth and in other directions) as she's experienced life.

the girl in red is Alexa. she looked like a female James Bond, a femme fatale, a spy pretending to be undercover. actually, she looked sort of like a combination of Catherine Zeta-Jones and a really really dangerous female. I'll stop describing her now, before I start being really honest and open.

remember the thing the caterpillar in Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" was smoking with? it was one of those, kind of.

"no, c'mon, Isaiah... you have to try to look cool when you exhale it."

"i'd rather not try to look cool. you guys are good enough at that already. we don't need any more coolness in here, or coolness-attempts, as they'd be with me."

"you already look cool. stop trying not to."

*sigh* I can't win, I suppose. I try not to look cool, and what do I get? strangers asking me if it's too bright in here, in a room where the only lights are the Christmas-y kind and the TV-y kind. oh, and the water fountains against the wall were dimly lit, too. really cool. actually, the atmosphere was excellent, as I had expected. it didn't feel like a birthday party, which is really what it was. we had the ice cream cake and dancing and everything.

when Alexa invited me this afternoon, Andrew and Brad were already on their way over. Andrew was kind of neutral about it,ening, and Brad had to leave before evening, so we got to go. the birthday was Barbara's, a friend of Alexa's. I'll call her Lexi from now on.

I really wish I could upload the experience to a Matrix-type server and have you guys download it. I want to describe the people, the window seat, the comforting darkness, the smells, the laughter, the mood, the pool table, even the floors and walls. I can't. It's almost 5a, and I'm beyond extremely sleepy (which is somewhere around very extremely sleepy, I suppose).

I'll sum up. it was- oh, wait. can't do that yet. one more thing.

I have rarely ever, if at all, felt the way I did when it was finally time to leave (around 12:15a- we'd been there since around 8p). it was a kind of happiness soup I hadn't tasted before. a few dashes of giddiness (not from the smoke, which was just gaseous candy, like I said), several cups of contentment, a sprinkling of joy, a hint of success, something spicy for sure (Lexi's ingredient, perhaps), and the most bizarre and unfamiliar part: a dollup (yeah, you know you love that word) of coolness. no... value. or maybe social confidence.

that's what it was. social confidence. after the Sin City / Paul fiasco (two weeks ago), I thought I was forever doomed to be an outcast by default. the culture I experienced two weeks ago actually involved possible spiritual influences as well as a certain personality type that I find extremely offensive, and I thought it was just me not being used to people outside the Christian culture. I have learned something different today.

I've learned a lot, actually. not many different things, but I've made experiential progress in one area, and that, as I implied two paragraphs ago, was social confidence. I don't remember the last time I felt wanted and enjoyed. I was high on people's enjoyment of my company. I mean, I know people at home (a few... some) enjoy my company, but I always passed that off as nice-ness, familial love, Christian (adjective there) acceptance, or a sort of natural getting-along that was a result of having things in common.

this time, tonight, at a hookah bar with Andrew Peterson and four teenage girls who could hardly be further from my familiar cultural experience if they tried (limiting that range to the diversity found in the middle-class American teen culture, I suppose), I was happy to know that people were happy that I was there.

there's something very profound and impactful in the fact that I was accepted/embraced by people so different than I, simply because...

...because why?

"that's so hot, when you let your shades slide down your nose like that. you look dangerous."

"ohhhh, Isaiah... I've heard alot about you. *smile*"

"she told me to tell you that you have to sing 'happy birthday' for me."

"you already look cool."

"it was good seeing you again!"

"I'm glad you guys got to come."

"I really enjoyed our conversation about morality, celibacy, and jaguars."

"three weeks? I wanna see you again before that!"

I've spent most of my high-school and college life living under the half-baked assumption that if anyone really knew me, no one would want to get to know me. I was proved wrong tonight. I don't entirely understand why I enjoyed their company so much tonight. I don't understand why I couldn't stop laughing as we drove back to Vanguard in Andrew's boss' car. I have some theories, though.

#1. I had spent the entire day singing and enjoying music with Starfield (the band- we are really into their worship CD right now), Andrew Peterson (guitar) and Brad Hamm (piano). our third attempt to get into the practice rooms downstairs in the Heath building was successful, and "bless the broken road" is an awesome song, even though it's 'country.'

#2. my failure to connect with anyone, on any level, the last time I hung out with Lexi and her friends, had struck my faith (lowercase 'f', there) in myself a heavy blow. I was considering walking out of her life forever, having no hope of ever being a good friend in any way. tonight's success was the complete and extreme opposite of that terrible experience.

#3. I felt comfortable around Lexi. don't know why yet. she still takes my breath away, but I guess I had some extra lungs tonight. I even joked about our past, with her. we both laughed.

#4. it was good to see Eva again. she says (indirectly) that she likes having me around, and I believe her, for some reason.

#5. it was good seeing Christina again. we connected well when we first met, and I was hoping to connect again (and I use that term 'connect' without forgetting to give credit to my evangelism seminar with pastor Mike Devito).

#6. it was good having a very close and good friend there with me, who was outgoing enough and confident enough in himself that I didn't have to worry about awkward silences or not having anyone to talk to.

#7. it was good being around people who aren't religious at all. really good. refreshing. wow.

#8. Barbara likes Filipinos.

#9. it was good to try something new (the whole experience, not the gaseous cherry/mint candy) and enjoy it with other people who also enjoyed it.

#10. I had a good patty melt (and onion rings) at IHOP around 1p.

#11. I had a good time doing pretty much nothing except being with people. the fact that I had a good time doing nothing is almost as profound as that other profound thought I had earlier, because normally I hate doing 'nothing' with friends.

#12. I don't get it. I felt so confident, so cool, so calm, so collected, so enjoying myself. I think I actually enjoyed my own enjoyment more than I enjoyed the things that caused the enjoyment.

#13. I never experience #12 with girls I hardly know. ever. it is not so lofty a concept or dream as I thought, after all... to enjoy lady-type friends as much as I enjoy guy-type friends. plus, I've been living with like twenty of them (guys) for two semesters.

#14. Alexa invited me. she's a very busy person, and I can be about as fun company as a rock sometimes. often. usually. with girls, almost always. it meant alot to me.

#15. #13 is much more profound to me in light of my relationships with the girls at home (Jeni and company). see the mice-base blog post entitled "readers: beware" for more on that.

#16. nobody intimidated me, in any way, to any degree at all. not even the guys who cussed at me and laughed at me. I am beginning to understand that people who speak the same language I speak can speak a very different language than I speak. seeing how people communicate and have fun doing it was actually an enjoyable experience, despite being told to 'f' off. no, I'm totally serious. I felt like these strangers were my friends, because we were all laughing at the same thing, and somehow I was able to understand their attitudes, which is amazing. you would assume that every time someone "cusses," they have a lot of negative emotions, or at least there are some negative connotations in their choice of words. there wasn't any of that tonight. they wanted me to stay and talk with them, after I started getting witty (I think they were taken aback and impressed at the same time), but I walked away smiling, which only seemed to impress them more.

#17. I learned alot, and as I begin to teach myself what exactly I learned, I can apply it to life, and I love it when I can apply lessons learned by living, to my life.

#18. I have 17 reasons to be happy.

#19. I lied. 18 reasons. Sam, the owner of the hookah bar, did the punch-each-other's-fist thing with me and said farewell by means of "see you later, double-oh-seven James Bond man!"

#20. and finally, the number twenty theoretical reason I thought of for enjoying life so much today: God blessed me with answered prayers (connecting with Alexa and her friends), and so much more.

#21. we made progress on the second song today. you're going to love it.

#22. I proved myself wrong about a theory i had about one of my more deeply-seated and deeply troubling faults/flaws. I'm still working on confirming this, though, so don't quote me on it yet.

wow. I think that post turned out exactly as it was supposed to.

Dad, call me sometime soon. there's some stuff going on with my account, yaknowwhatI'msayin'?!?!? I need your help ASAP.

ask me questions about my day. I want to tell you more about it, but I don't know how, so I'll need your help. be specific if you can. be off-the-wall if you can. comment if you can.

oh, and lastly: to explain the title of this post a little more would require a better understanding of myself. how ironic. lemme just say that I feel like a different person tonight, and it's not just because I went 13.5 hours without eating anything. I was actually feeling light-headed and light-bodied, and a little woozy and off-balance, but Jack in the Box fixed that.

goodnight people. this post took an hour and twenty minutes, if anyone has ever wondered if their posts are too long.

EDIT: Jeremy, I added a hyphen to accomodate your linguistic narrow-mindedness. =P

Saturday, April 16, 2005

exhilarating

i think i spelled it correctly.

"isaiah......we are all blind to some things.....but we learn.....and i do believe....that you have so many, many gifts.....i believe God will bless you with a mate......perfectly suited for YOU!....whomever that may be." -a kindred spirit

As I was re-reading this, I suddenly stopped and thought about it. Even though I'm at a point right now where it seems like I will forever choose to be 'alone,' as Adam was alone for awhile, the thought of someone perfectly suited for me simply blows me away. My experiences in this world have subtly, insidiously led me to subconsciously believe that intimate romantic relationships are math problems with near-impossible solutions that can only be worked out by the power of mutual committment/loyalty/dedication. I never considered the possibility that there is someone out there who might be 'perfectly suited for' me.

Relationships in today's culture make me think of a ring and a finger. No matter how great the two people are, or how similar, and no matter how well they fit together in the beginning, differences and conflicts will eventually bring the two people down to the wire, where they simply have to make a choice, an exercise of free will... or else fail.

The idea that two people could be like puzzle pieces fitting snugly together, especially by God's guidance and providence, amazes me. I can't even... I don't know how to say what I feel when I imagine what that might be like. It seems like something that only happened once (Adam and Eve), and might never happen again, but if possible to any degree, then... that's incredible.

I think one reason it blows me away and stirs me so much is because I know what it is to have a failed relationship. I've seen many, and experienced it. I know that it takes committment. But to find someone who believed this same thing as strongly as I do... to find someone just as committed to me as I would be to her... this would be the greatest experience of my life, save direct encounters with God.

LoL look at me, dreaming before I'm even close to going to bed. It's only 3:39a. I suppose the kindred spirit, as well as the phone call-

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

crap.

wow.

okay. I just got it. thank You, God... You're a-MAAAY-ziiing.

that's... beautiful. thank You.

goodnight.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

an 'overdue' letter

hey, Mom.

hey, Dad.

I just wanted to tell you I'm on some dean's honorable list or something, because I got a 3.9 GPA last semester. I also just wanted to tell you that this semester's grades are going to be pretty disappointing.

I guess it's time to show you what I have been working on all semester.

I could explain everything, if you wanted me to, but it might overload the world wide web if I tried. People wouldn't be happy with me for that. Here's the bottom line. I've devoted myself to the people I Love this semester, and that's taken its toll on me. I've stayed up till 4a and 5a and 6a just to send e-mails of encouragement and prayer to those I care about, and of course that doesn't help my 9a class. In a few cases, I've stayed up literally all night just to create something I know will uplift someone's spirit. There are people who need it, and the way God's been guiding me around, I've been tripping over all of them, one at a time.

There are some girls who are wondering if they're worth anything. They hate themselves, or they think they're ugly, or they feel like failures, or they feel like people are laughing and making fun of them all the time. That's not right. It shouldn't be that way. They're supposed to know that they are the crown, the culmination, of creation, God's very best, His daughters, the ones He loves to death. Maybe some people see it as just a phase to go through, or something that they have to work through on their own. Not me. I don't think I was designed to stand by and watch as they cut themselves with razor blades and contemplate suicide.

There's a girl who would have, actually, had I not come back from my evangelism/discipleship seminar one evening (I got that class at the last minute by coincidence, too...) and started talking with her, like I had been for the past few weeks. I accidentally stumbled across her xanga and saw her mention a guy named Garrett. Coincidence again, of course. Anyway, we were talking online, and then we were crying online, and then instead of hurting or killing herself, she was suddenly surrendering to God wholly, for the first time.

I know I have that note somewhere around here...

Aha. I probably shouldn't type up all of it... I really like this one section, though. It was written on the 15th of March.

"You make life so much more worth living.
You've led me to the Father, my one true love.
When I look into your eyes, nothing more must be said."

I should've done my homework instead. I hope by now you guys (my readers) don't need the dark grey lettering that says "<- HEAVY SARCASM."

Don't worry, I'm not knocking school in the way that it might seem. Actually, I enjoyed that class so much that I'll be getting an 'A' in it. My professor in there was actually the campus pastor. Ask me about it sometime. Actually... I think I'll teach a class on it over the summer. It'll be more of a discussion group with one of the books as the guiding anchor thingy, but it'll be awesome.

Where was I? Oh.

There's a girl who bears the burden of guilt and responsibility every day. She hardly gets enough rest... or she hasn't been, I should say. Life is really dark when you aren't doing anything right, even though you're giving it all you have. I know this from experience. Hmm...

"Dear God,

I pray that you bless this dear friend of mine. He has been such an amazing source of encouragement and faith for me in this past year alone. Please bless him in the months to come the way you have blessed me, and if I can be any part of that, please show me how. Looking back over this year, there have been times where I felt so low, and he sent me an e-mail that completely renewed my spirits. Please lead him into a much deeper, richer relationship with you in these next few months, one that is evident in every aspect of his life. Thank you for our friendship, and please continue to be a huge part of it."

I know God will take care of them no matter if I'm around or not. But I also know that God wants to use me. Will someone please explain to me why I've made at least ten new friends this semester, all female, who all care deeply about me? I only met them this semester! You KNOW that this is probably the most improbable thing I could have imagined, had I tried to predict my future. And I'm a major prophet, for crying out loud.

O.o okay, bad joke. Someone laugh anyways. Just a tiny? But what I'm saying is, none of this would have happened like this if not for Christmas break, and even though I've done a pretty bad job of prioritizing and managing time lately, there are some incredible things taking place. Sadopa and Megan and Alexa and Crystal certainly fit into that "incredible things taking place" category. I wish I could tell you all the stories. One of them is linked at the right, I believe. They're not directly related to anything about my grades, but they are definitely huge parts of what's going on in my life right now. And what exactly is that something?!

I have a hard time typing this post, because it almost makes me look good. But just wait, the bad stuff is coming. And the deflection part, where I say something about all the good in me being God in me. Bear with me.

There's a girl whose world is sometimes peaceful and boring, sometimes complete chaos. Nothing makes sense; none of the big questions are yielding anything even remotely close to big answers. People hurt her, she hurts herself, she tries to find those things she feels she was designed to desire, but they all lead to dead ends.

I met her by "coincidence," of course. Here's part of one of her e-mails to me.

"in those few weeks i have been writing with you, you have somehow managed to bring me more happiness, than enyone else. i don't know how's that possible, but thats how it is..."

I just don't get it. This is the freaking tip of the iceberg. I have more e-mails, from more people, basically telling me "God is alive in you, and His work is doing incredible stuff." They don't always see it thatway, of course, but I've decided which glasses I'm going to be wearing, and this particular pair has THEOLOGY burned into the lenses.

Why is this happening? Did I seriously have to go through those two years, in their entirety, without any experience missing, just to prepare me for this?

Did you know I tutor kids in reading and math? Yeah. Volunteer work. They are ADORABLE.

*blink*blink*

Isaiah just called a bunch of 1st through 3rd grade Hispanic children adorable. He loves working with them? For free? (Call Gladys Walters.) I don't get it. Isaiah needs a job, he knows this. He should be using those three hours to study or something. Go find a paying job! No, I love these kids too much! They call you 'salad' in Spanish! Who cares, they're awesome!!!

Okay. I am starting to lose it. Let's move on to the grades part.

World Civilizations II

I got an 88% on my first exam. Dang multiple choice questions... whoever is writing these really knows how to do it. I don't see many clues. Very nicely done. I totally nailed the essay, though. Same with the second test, except I did worse on the m/c, so... 77%. Third test: great essay, it says. 76% total.

I hate that. Alot.

You know what I really hate? Disappointing people who love me and invest in me. I will definitely be the most disappointed person of them all in four weeks, because I'll have not only my low grades, but everyone else's frowns to deal with. Who knows? Maybe I'll even be disciplined. Wow. That's something I still need. I wish you were here to ground me. I really do. No, I'm not kidding. Come over here and ground me.

No one needs me... but so many people are searching, hurting, caring. I can't leave them alone. I won't leave them alone. I won't memorize the pre-exilic prophets to the southern kingdom, while she's crying and wondering why no one is online. It's dinner time, that's why no one's online. Except Isaiah. Hey, he needed to lost a few pounds anyway. Forget dinner. Her mom just totally ripped her heart open again. God loves you, and I love you, by the way. And by love, I mean Love.

Oh- grades, right, right...

I skipped a few homework assignments. That's like 8% or something, I dunno (not the ones I skipped... all those particular assignments, total). I skipped them because I was busy doing other things all week. Other things??? Yeah. Poems, prayers, a prayer blog for the girls (I wish I could show you...), other things. I've had some good conversations with Kevin, too. I love how he listens and understands... it's beautiful. He has thoughts about spiritual stuff that definitely deserve some echoes and reflections.

Yeah. I'll be getting a C or a D in that history class. It's a combination of bad time management, laziness, higher priorities, hating the class because it's stuff I will PURPOSELY forget as soon as it's done, and hating the class because it's in the morning. Wow.

Old Testament Survey

Hm. I actually was looking forward to this one, and then we spent half an hour discussing what the Nephilim were, and whether or not there was still a perfect human community within Eden after the Fall, because there might have been children before Eve indulged her physical and spiritual tastebuds. STUPID stuff. Waste of time.

Then we actually got more into the flow of the narrative, and wow. I love Judges. I love Exodus. Beautiful stuff. I need that. I have been skipping some of the homework for that, too. See, my habit is to wait until the last minute. I still do great work... in fact, waiting for that last minute helps me do better in alot of ways. Ooooo... Dueteronomistic historicity. The Theology of Retribution. Tasty stuff.

But yeah, I hate that. I want to get things done EARLY for a change. You cannot imagine how incredibly relieved and free I would feel if I did something like that. I would freaking fly away, to the moon or somewhere high up. I would love it.

But I don't do it, and sometimes you think there will be a last minute, but it turns out there isn't. I will probably get a 'B' in that class. I have been getting near perfect scores on the tests, though... 97%, 98%, 99%. Good stuff. I totally ripped up that last test, on the prophets. We were supposedly supposed to memorize what country each prophet ministered to, and whether he did it before, during, or after the exile of the nation he spoke to.

No sweat. Hosamoba, Jonahum, Lamezekidan, and Joelhaggazechamal. Bill's like, "SWEET!"

You're like, "what???"

Hosea, Amos, and Obadiah ministered to Israel. Jonah and Nahum ministered to Assyria and Nineveh. Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel were written during the exilic period, and Joel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are post-exilic. Everyone else ministered to Judah, pre-exilic. =) 50 multiple choice? Bring it.

Biblical Interpretation: Research Methods for Exegesis, and the Study of Scripture

(Don't tell me. We're about to go over a huge waterfall.)

I cannot believe. How beautiful. This class is. Why did you guys do such an awesome job teaching me to read, but then never teach me how to read God's Word for meaning?!? I have been starving for His truth for years. I could have handled it. Dad, teach Eli how to exegete Scripture. How can he understand it, otherwise? Do we read Proverbs the same way we read Philemon? What in the world is the church at Laodicea being accused of, that God would call them lukewarm? Why does John use phileo the first two times Jesus asks if His disciple loves Him, and then agape on the third time? Why are there two conflicting accounts of the Creation? Why did Matthew and Luke redact Mark?

*sigh* Anyway. All I'm saying is, all the questions I was asking years ago could have been answered, had I just known how to look for them. God is good, though. Way good. He totally picked my classes for me. Except for history. That was Satan. ;)

So I have this paper that was due on February 23rd, and I haven't finished it yet.

The paper after that one is done, but the paper after that one, I haven't started yet. It was due a couple weeks ago. The one after that is due on the 2nd. I have time. I just hate turning in late work. I've been doing it all semester. Professor Dogterom is AMAZING. But I hate that he accepts late work. When a professor accepts late work, there's no 'last minute' anymore.

Okay, wait... I've turned in about half of my papers on time. The other ones, he took off 5% or 10% for being late, but I would be getting 95% and 100% on everything if I turned it in on time. He says he's really pleased with the class work in general, and I get good sidenotes when I get my papers back. It feels great to be doing well in something I love so much and consider so important in life.

I asked him the other day: "Professor, please give me a zero on the Greek word study paper if I don't turn it in by the end of this week."

He smiled knowingly. He always looks knowingly. He looks like spirituality incarnate. I think his face is shining from being with God. He's brilliant. I want to pick his brain forever. "Why would you ask me to violate my character?"

"Because I need to get my work turned in."

"Alright..."

"Thanks!"

I didn't. I dunno if he'll actually do it. We'll see. I plan to finish it tomorrow and e-mail it in. Then I get started on my first pericope exegesis. Then I do my second one. Wow. And oh, that brings me to my next class.

Evangelism Seminar

I have two papers due. I haven't read the two books they're supposed to be on. I should be finishing both of them this week, and writing them early next week (5-6 pages each). They're due the 26th.

I loved that class, too. I loved that class. I love that class. Did I say I loved that class?

Man...

I loved that class. I really needed it, too. I wish I had time to tell you about all the strings God pulled for me this semester. For Him, really, but I was attached to the strings, like a bobber or something, I dunno. So many little coincidences, all for His plan, His glory, His Love. Geez... here, catch my tears and freeze them. It would be cool, right? LoL I think it's a cool idea.

I loved that class. I needed it really bad.

What's that other one... dang... did I get them all? *murmurings to self* Oh. Yeah. I got them all.

In Summary

You've been waiting for this part, I can tell. =) The End, hooray!!!

The best I can hope for this semester: A, B, B, C
The worst that could happen this semester: A, B, C, D

Wait.. that's not right...

*calculates again*

I guess it's right. I hate getting a D. I remember the last time I got a D, I think the only time. My parents were like, "What is that?!?!?"

I hate disappointing you. I hate not being responsible. I hate not being a good steward of the blessings I receive. I hate bad habits. I hate not doing the right thing no matter how hard I try.

I'm sorry... I just wanted to prepare you for the report card, I think, and maybe give some explanation, but no excuses, obviously. I know I will do better next semester. I hope the financial aid doesn't go down too much... I hope I don't have to retake world civ.

I love you. I'm sorry. I know what I did wrong, and that's why I'm confident about next semester. I guess I'll take the lecture if you consider it necessary. Sometimes guilt can be turned to motivation.

Thank you for... everything, which I didn't/don't deserve.

Oh, hey... one more example. It's 5:01a (I started this at 2:32a, as the date reads at the top), and I'm AIMing with a girl who is so confused and not sure about being loved, by God or by anyone, and she isn't sure she's worth anything, especially how much I care about her... so I told her I would stay up to show her I love her. I just prayed with her... she was scared to. Not anymore.

In some ways, life sucks because of the choices I make. In other ways, life is becoming Life, by God's rearrangement of my core, His re-creation of who I am.

I love you, whoever you are, or whoever you were, or whoever you become. God bless (and He will, too).

with sincerity, integrity, honesty, and passion
Isaiah James

Monday, April 11, 2005

fun alert

sorry guys. when weekends are amazing and exhausting, the blog suffers. =(

but fear not... I've partially assembled my thoughts at my mice base (fourth link from the top, over there in the top right corner). let me just say right now that it was the most exhausting and amazing and wonderful trip home i've had since coming to Vanguard.

totally serious. it was amazing. most of you would not understand all of the reasons why, but at least i'm blogging some of them. =) some of you will learn much more about it this summer, which i am looking forward to far more than any human should be capable of.

i miss you all.

EDIT: Oh, hey... I almost forgot. Actually, I did forget, but just now I was reminded. Charlotte E., you say this is your pen name. Who are you really? Do I know you? and yes, I think about life's next step on a very frequent basis. lol =) i'd be interested in more of your thoughts and questions and stuff. e-mail me?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

track 2 - untitled

we're not in a band... we just play stuff.

untitled song

what in the world are Andrew and I going to call it? "the beautiful letdown" is taken... =(

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

comments commencement

well guys, I have over 50 comments in my inbox that I haven't replied to, and as you can imagine, that's a tiny intimidating (a tiny is equal in quantity to half a tad). but there's one comment I do want to share with you, because it's hilarious. I love it.

*drool*

any comment that starts out with drooling has GOT to be good...

hi. i'm julie

...unless it's from a girl, then I have to worry. I'm thinking, 'she must've seen the Kevin Sorbo pic.' ;) oh hey, much grassitude for not being an anymouse. gold star, even.

its midnight, and i'm bored as hell. So I decide to make use of the "next blog" button on that annoying navabar. Your site is the first site that popped up. I read a few entries yadda ya.

so that's all my blog is to you? yadda-ya?! *goes to a dark corner and cries forever* I thought you were my friend!!!

*ahem* sorry. I get sarcastically dramatic when I have alot of energy.

And then I listen to your song and.. WOW! You've got an AWESOME voice! I've listened to it like- 400 times already. I am highly impressed. Don't listen to that idiot that doesn't realize its perfect. (heheh, just kidding! you're not an idiot! *hiding behind keyboard* dont hurt me!!!) The song is awesome, and I don't think it needs any changes. Is there more?

oh, so it's like that, is it? well, fine, then. I'll just have to start a band.

jk guys, I would never do that. I'm just in love with music. ;) at least, that's how Andrew put it at the bonfire. oh hey, I haven't forgotten about the Phil Wickhamy goodness I promised everyone. actually Eli, I am going to give you the original. =)

Hannah, IM me if you see me online tonight.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

audience of one (group of forty)

Why do all the administrative people (with web-editing privileges) here at VU have such cool names? I meet with David Pecoraro every week, Mark Merrick is overseeing the details/methods of my web-editing, and Sharon Fain just e-mailed me and said she wanted to chat about some suggestions she has.

*shrug* Isaiah Micu is just a weird name, like Nehemiah, the African American guy I met at the beach tonight. But I should start at the beginning.

I woke up this morning around 11:20a, and my phone rang about five minutes later.

"Hey Isaiah?"

"ehuayah"

"Hey, thizAndrew."

"hea"

"Wanna go get breakfast or sum'n?"

"...yeah"

"Did I just wake you up?"

"no..."

"Oh... okay. Where do you wanna go?"

the pit of despair... don't even think- "*cough cough* ...idunno... *cough*"

"Well, I'll jump in the shower and come pick you up in awhile."

"k"

"Later."

*beep*

It took me maybe half an hour to wake up, check my mail, shower, and be ready to go. Andrew picked me up and we went to Quizno's, but only after I said I didn't really feel hungry and it didn't matter where we went.

He could tell I was in a pretty low mood, and commented on the beautiful sunshiny day.

"I know it's sunshiny, Andrew, and I hate it."

"What?!"

"There are times when it's time to be sad."

"But not today!"

"Yeah, actually. Today is a good day for being sad." It's a wonderful night for eyebrows...

"No. way. Look out the window. It's gorgeous. You can't tell me you'd rather have grey skies and rain."

"You're right, you're right... but hey, just now I was thinking, 'I'd much rather have grey skies and rain.'"

*lol "Liar!"

"No, Andrew. I wish the clouds would come and soak me."

"Why???"

So I told him about my complete letdown of a day, and how crappy it was (though I had been expecting wonderful-ness). I gave my ventful shout, and Andrew the faithful canyon wall threw back a strangely harmonious echo that somehow affirmed my mood and denounced it simultaneously.

I was still feeling like the bacteria that feeds on pond scum when we pulled into the parking lot, and when Andrew asked me what I wanted, I said nothing. When I'm depressed, I like to starve myself. "I think I'm just not going to eat anything at all today."

"Oh, yeah? Well, maybe I'll do the same."

"Too bad, since you just took a bite of that sub."

"Well, after this, then."

"Hey, Andrew?"

"Yeah?"

"I have this great idea. I'll go jump off a tall cliff and kill myself. Wanna come?"

*lol*

I was pretty silent during lunch, and in the car, except for when Andrew made me laugh. We got back to my dorm room. "Whaddya wanna do?"

I shrugged. "Nothing, really. I'm a stupid boring frustrating friend today."

"Yeah, you are. You're crappy."

"More so than usual, I mean."

*lol* "Oh."

He played a few songs, but my voice was as bad as my mood at this point. "Is this the first time you've sung today?" he asked.

"Yeah. How in the world can you tell?" <- sarcasm, heck yes.

"Haha."

Somehow, my day started to turn. I think it was when Nick Parsons (guitarist and worship leader extraordinaire, across the hall from me) came in and invited us to his bonfire. Actually, he ended up breaking out his guitar, and he and Andrew totally hit it off. Andrew said he felt dumb trying to sing as well as me and play as well as Nick. We did Stir in Me, Beautiful Scandalous Wife Night, Let the River Flow, and some great others.

"Dude, we should totally do this tonight at the bonfire."



~ hours later, in the parking lot of Home Depot, Nick and Andrew communicate through the open windows of their vehicles ~



"Did you get the palettes for the fire?"

"Yeah. Did you invite a bunch of ladies?"

"Yeah."

"...are they coming?"

"...uhm, no actually. Everyone is bailing on me at the last minute. $@%^!"

"Crappy. Hey, is there a Panda Express around here? I'm ready for some Panda."

"Nope."

"What do you mean, 'nope'?!"

"...nope. Maybe way up by Harbor and Santa Ana."

At this point I chimed in and said we should check out the intersection we were sitting close to. I seemed to remember there being something good on one of those corners. A few minutes later, we were walking out of Panda Express with a pair of 2-entree platters (I am too lazy to add the accent mark, so sue me), and getting on Nick's case for leading us astray. Several minutes after that, we were lugging the firewood and two guitars and my Mexico blanket out to the beach.

All the freakin' firepits were taken. We had to sit out by ourself, right where the sand begins to slope down to meet the deep, dark, ocean-y goodness. I didn't get to hear the waves crash, really, because we sang a bunch of songs. The Battle Belongs to the Lord. Pour Out My Heart. Some other ones. It was dark and cold.

"Isaiah, keep an eye out-" I was the only one standing, as well as facing away from the ocean. "-for anyone leaving. If you see an open fire pit, jump on it."

Mm. Hot coals. Burning flesh. "Sweet."

We sang a few more, and when I came to, I noticed some children making a sand pile. Oh, wait... they were making a sand pile in one of the fire pits.

I ran over there and gave them what for ("hey, are you guys using this? no? cool!"), and waved Andrew and Nick over. We got the fire started, after a little difficulty with the wood (nothing a little hatchety Isaiahy goodness couldn't deal with), and broke out the guitars (and vocals).

One guy came over and said we sounded good, said he would've given us a place at his fire if we'd asked. He sang with us a little, actually, and invited us to his church of no more than 40 or 50 members. Another guy, Nehemiah, came over and said "I love this song" (speaking of 'Let the River Flow'). Then the family of like 10 at the firepit to our east (a slow walk of about 10 seconds away) all turned their chairs in our direction and ceased their own conversations/interactions to stare silently in our direction, including the kids.

One little guy said, "Hey, that's cool music!" =)

The crowds at the surrounding pits began to turn into audiences instead of groups of people. I made eye contact with probably thirty to forty complete strangers tonight. Well... they didn't all stay strangers.

Okay, so, the best part (according to Andrew, I'm assuming): as our fire was getting low, three girls (we later learned they were 16, 17, and 18) hesitated their way up to us, beach towel in hand. I gestured to the sand: "Have a seat!" Heck yes, I'm going to invite people to enjoy music! They did so, smiling and throwing glances at each other like girls do sometimes (I hate that. I love that.)

We sang some more. Lifehouse's Everything. Switchfoot's Dare You to Move. Open the Eyes of My Heart.

Sometimes, I get these hunches. Tonight I got the hunch they enjoyed our music. ("You guys sound... amazing. Are you a band? Are you Christians? We go to youth group every Monday night. Hi, I'm Candace. Hi, I'm Christine. Hi, I'm Amanda.")

EDIT: These names have been accidentally altered to protect the pride of the person who forgot them.

I swear, I'm going to embarass Andrew in front of as many girls as possible, at my very next opportunity. We finish the Lifehouse one, and Andrew goes, "Hey, I know what Isaiah wants to sing."

"Andrew, no you don't, actually."

"..."

*Amaj7*

*LoL*

"Actually, I was thinking I didn't want to do that one."

"Actually, you were thinking you did... er... do."

"No."

"Yep." =)

"We want you to." :)

"I want you to!" :)

"Yeah!" :)

"Nope."

*Amaj7*

"Fine."

*Amaj7*
"my fingertips are numb from my grip, as i try to hold
*E*
on, drawing you in..."

Okay, I have to confess something. I was really tempted to look each girl in the eye as I sang the ending (the verse that I wrote the words for), just to see what kind of reaction I could get. But that's not me, and I was too busy looking at the insides of my eyelids. My voice was smooth tonight, btw. It was actually as good as it had been bad that morning. Panda Express: heck, yes. I'm in love from the tip of my tongue to the base of my esophagus/larynx.

~ approximately five minutes later, awed silence was afoot at the circle k firepit ~

"That was absolutely amazing."

"Where'd you get that song?"

=D "That's one of ours, actually..."

"Oh my gosh" "wow" "that's soooo good"

I smiled, and with a tiny bit of bad-y goodness: "It's actually all Andrew's song."

*awkward laugh* "Oh, naw, uh..."

>=) mission accomplished. Nick and Andrew are the charmers anyway, though Nick did quietly chuckle at Andrew getting excited about "12-year-olds" as he called them.

They stayed with us. They stood up when we did (after the dumb cop told us that the beach had closed half an hour ago at 10p), but when Nick said, "Hey, it was nice meeting you guys..." they laughed and said they weren't going anywhere we weren't. They were willing to go hang out on the grass up the beach a ways, despite the cold and dark and dumb cop, and despite the fact that they were supposed to go meet some friends.

O.o

So we actually had a tailgate party worship time. They asked for Amazing Love and Lamb of God ("You are my strength when I am weak...") They took off after that, and we all drove home.

I've left out stuff all over the place, but you guys get the important pieces. And now for some random thoughts.

The only three fortune cookie fortunes I have with me, and intend to keep:
  • You have an ability to sense and know higher truth.
  • A romantic mystery will soon add interest to your life.
  • Get off to a new start. Come out of your shell.

I smell like bonfire.

I Love alot of people... geez... I need more than two hands to count them.

It's 6:15a. I need sleep. Stupid time change. We should just lose two hours every year. The earth is slowing down anyway. =p

Brandon is cool and.

a scallawag.

Phil Wickham rules.

I miss my homefriends.

Goodnightmorning.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

unprecedented

for the first time in a long time, i have some very important thoughts and feelings to express, and i would love to express them, but i don't want to. i don't know how that works. sorry i've been lacking in quality writing lately. i am so drained. i'm not even tired right now. i have alot of energy. but it's the kind of energy a sluggish whirlpool has. i'm being sucked into or out of or away from myself.

i wish i could tell all of you everything that happened today. here are a few vague summarical thoughts:
  • i was a complete idiot
  • God was a genius
  • i ruined my day
  • God hijacked my plans
  • i went from very happy to utterly confused and lost

some things went down today that make no sense to me, yet i want to believe they are meaningful.

wait for me.

Friday, April 01, 2005

wow

How can so many good things and so many bad things be happening simultaneously?! By the way, it's really hot today, which is to say around 80F. It's beautiful. Nice breeze.

I had plans to go to the beach with Alexa, but then Heather called asking me if I wanted to go to the beach, and then I remembered I had a meeting with Professor P. about the VU website, and that actually took twice as long as I thought it was going to.

Now I'm waiting for Lexi to get off of work, and trying to decide whether I should take a nap or finish the paper that's overdue that I asked Professor D. to give me a 0% on if I didn't turn it in by today.

=
This doesn't even feel or look like a blog post, I'm spitting it out so quickly. I'm still moving everywhere in my mind, even though I'm sitting here. So many things to think about. Visions and dreams and secrets and doubts and fears and hopes and successes and failures and friends and enemies and songs and silence and solitude and sleep.

And food. I haven't eaten yet today. =O <-feed me