29 December 2009

Utility.

I am not one to appeal to the utilitarian argument except as intellectual exercise, or to gain greater understanding of a legal and ethical situation. I find it useful, but not moral. I find it insightful, but not good. For those who have not adopted it as their intellectual and legal worldview, most are naturally inclined only to appeal to it in one of two cases: either it supports some desirable outcome of theirs as a pre-conceived and post-rationalized notion, or it is a desperate plea, and a measure of last resort. The first a crime, the second a pity.

10 December 2009

Only You.



Take my heart, I lay it down
At the feet of you who's crowned
Take my life, I'm letting go
I lift it up to You who’s throned

And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord

Take my fret, take my fear
All I have, I'm leaving here
Be all my hopes, be all my dreams
Be all my delights, be my everything

And it's just you and me here now
Only you and me here now

You should see the view
When it's only You

Philosophies are like spectacles.

Try them on, one at a time. But eventually, you start to go blind.

22 November 2009

The road ahead.

It's not about completion,
Or satisfaction,
Or fulfillment.

It's about Destination,
Vision,
Goal.

We are not people of history,
We are people of Destiny.

Someday, I will explain what I mean
But for now, let me, fortune cookie, be.

03 November 2009

I am a blade of grass which sticks out among flowers.

It's tough being a fifth year.

It's a constant reminder of my insecurity with fitting in. Growing up, I felt I never fit in. I was born an outsider: half mexican, half filipino. Finding people who look like you, even on the most basic, superficial level, is the first way children learn to interact with others--the first way children learn the social subtleties of groups.

It's built into us, to gravitate towards other living beings. More so, to find comfort in those like ourselves. Newsweek did a cover captioned, "Is your Baby Racist?" In the main article they discussed a psychological study of a classroom of children. On the first day of school they assigned each child a shirt with one of two colors on it. They gave no explanation, no instructions. They did not tell them to form groups, or to make teams. In the following days, the study found that although the children did not segregate by color, when approached and asked about attributes of children who wore the same color t-shirts, they would respond positively. The blue children would speak of other blue children as "smarter" or "faster" or "better". But when speaking of the opposite color, they would be more ambivalent or indifferent, "He's ok", "He's nice."

Growing up, I had always hated my body. I felt fat and ugly, out of shape and disproportionate, awkward and uncomfortable. The whole world knew, through the language my body betrayed, that I did not fit in. I thought that my body was more a burden than anything; at age twelve I had decided I would prefer to live as a brain in a jar. I'd get all my nutrients from the slime that surrounded me, and I would never have to move or take showers or do anything. I could sit in my jar all day long, dream up worlds, imagine living life, and at last be happy. (I got my idea from the Teenage Turtles show. I preferred not to call them mutants, you see, I was very sensitive of their feelings of being different. Their arch-nemesis was a brain named Krang. If he were not evil, he would have been my hero.)

But when I became Christian, my worldview transformed. I realized that we are each embodied, so to speak, in bodies. God intentionally chose to intertwine the destiny of our souls with that of our bodies, to have us live our lives in the physical. He has created each of us out of love--and each beautiful body we live in for a purpose. He not only dictated the number of hairs upon our heads, he chose their length, color, and shape. This body I live in is a gift from God--the temple of the Living God--and it is not without reason that mine is unlike the bodies of those surrounding me.

Being a fifth year is a constant reminder that I do not belong. But I count this as a blessing. This feeling, of being a sojourner in a foreign land, is not unlike the feeling Abraham had when he went out from his former place to live in a land of promise. This feeling is my constant reminder of God's promise: I have a home, and it is not here. I have something to look forward to, something to hope for. And I know that He will deliver me, no matter what loneliness I may experience, no matter how alien I may feel.

I do not belong, but I have never belonged.

This is my journey. I am on my way back home.

13 October 2009

Late birthday present.



So today a friend gave me a book filled with my favorite things. I'm pretty excited to read through each comic and figure out all the little puzzles Randall sneaks into the book. First nerdy thing to notice: the pages are numbered in ternary. A normal nerd would settle for binary, but Randall never settles.


He is brilliant because he writes about the things that he loves, and nothing more.


Sometimes I question why I am a math computer science major. I imagine what it would be like taking the easy way out, picking a field that I'd study less for and do better in. But then I watch the Big Bang Theory and I read xkcd and I fall back in love with life and I realize that it's all worth it.

25 September 2009

An inventor of all things.

video

His name is William Kamkwamba. He is from the African country of Malawi. When he was fourteen years old he dropped out of school because of a nation-wide famine and his family's inability to pay for his schooling any longer. But he still wanted to learn. So he went to the local library and picked up a book, Using Energy, and using rough diagrams in the book, he built a windmill from scrap he found in a junkyard. The windmill produced electricity for him and his family and it powered four light bulbs and two radios.

Poetically Quixote by fourteen,
Most of the people, they didn't know what I'm doing. They all thought that maybe I am going mad and that maybe that I am crazy.
My favorite part,
I went to the library to return the books and the librarian asked me, "Oh, you have built a windmill from the knowledge in this book?"
It reminds me of a beautiful poem I once read,
It is possible
It is possible at least sometimes
It is possible especially now
To ride a horse
Inside a prison cell
And run away

It is possible for prison walls
To disappear,
For the cell to become a distant land
Without frontiers:

-What did you do with the walls?
-I gave them back to the rocks.
-And what did you do with the ceiling?
-I turned it into a saddle
-And your chain?
-I turned it into a pencil.

The prison guard got angry.
He put an end to the dialogue.
He said he didn't care for poetry,
And bolted the door of my cell.

He came back to see me
In the morning;
He shouted at me:

-Where did all this water come from?
-I brought it from the Nile.
-And the trees?
-From the orchards of Damascus.
-And the music?
-From my heartbeat.

The prison guard got mad.
He put an end to my dialogue.
He said he didn't like my poetry,
And bolted the door of my cell.

But he returned in the evening:

-Where did this moon come from?
-From the nights of Baghdad.
-And the wine?
-From the wineyards of Algiers.
-And this freedom?
-From the chain you tied me with last night.

The prison guard grew sad.
He begged me to give him back
His freedom.
Do you see what I mean?

09 September 2009

My harmonica came in the mail today.

I bought a Hohner Special 20 in the key of C along with a self-teach book. I'll be playin the blues in no time.

A friend of mine told me that we aren't just meant to preach to others, but we also must preach to ourselves. I must constantly remind myself: God is good.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us... And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose... If God is for us, who can be against us?
An illustration my good friend made,
The lesson of Jesus' life and the lesson of the Psalms is this: every cave that you're in—wandering along, feeling the rocks, stumbling, stepping, bumping your head—every cave that you are in is a tunnel that opens into glory. It opens into a day like today in Heaven, with the sun shining, and the grass green, and the waters flowing—as long as you don’t sit down in the cave and blow out the candle of faith.
God is my shepherd, I won't be wanting. The cave is a tunnel, just keep walking.

04 September 2009

I love books,

And I love reading.

I went to the bookstore today and bought The Forever War by John Haldeman and Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund. Nylund is one of my favorite writers and I love his imagination. My favorite books by him include what he wrote of the Halo series, Signal to Noise, a Signal Shattered, and a Game of Universe. The middle two are hard to find, and the last one is out of print. Although there are moments of amateur writing in it, a Game of Universe is a brilliant work of art. Also, I love his concept of the Bubble from Signal to Noise. From wikipedia,
A bubble is a self-contained holographic chamber that a person may interface with... Using a bubble's interface, a person can manipulate a super-immersive graphical simulation, drawing on their thoughts and subconscious hunches to create metaphorical situations which aid greatly in communication with others.
This description does not do it justice. But imagine, rather than speaking to someone, simply in your mind dreaming and then understanding. Life would be beautiful: I'd smell black licorice, and you'd grasp a novel.

Here is some lady's commentary on The Forever War. For reasons like this, science fiction is one of my favorite genres of literature,
But it was much more than that. It actually tried to deal with all the complexities, horrors, and paradoxes of war... It was filled with irony--because of the jumps involved, a soldier could find himself obsolete during the course of a single war, or a single battle, and eternally separated from the things he was ostensibly fighting for--and compassion for the human condition without an ounce of sentimentality.

But it was still unmistakably a science-fiction novel, which used a standard SF device--the relativistic effects of faster-than-light space travel--as a metaphor for the displacement and alienation of soldiers returning to a society with which they can no longer connect.
I realized that when I don't read my writing gets worse. I miss reading. And I blame school for me not reading. My favorite poet is Stephen Crane. Here's a poem by him I love,
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
I'm going to write a book someday, whether you like it or not.

31 August 2009

His name is the Stoic.

Words escape my mouth. They roam and rejoice as they taste the freedom of self-denial. For but a brief moment shame and dignity no longer apply. Perception and esteem no longer exist.

But it doesn't last for long.

The clubs and sticks and shields and gas and masks. I use to beat and bruise and batter and bash. These words back into the dark alleyways and unlit attics they came from. Behind twisted figures and purple prose they hide. Shuttering and shivering the windows close the blinds shut the doors lock.

Faint whispers of injustice and oppression are carried along by the winds as words of despair and distress lie as corpses in my sole mind.

8

I've lost my touch, said the leper.

25 August 2009

The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis.

In his book, the Prophets, Abraham Joshua Heschel writes:
Our eyes are witness to the callousness and cruelty of man, but our heart tries to obliterate the memories, to calm the nerves, and to silence our conscience. The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. God has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and man. God is raging in the prophet's words.
Again,
The prophet is a man who feels fiercely.
I ask then, what name do we give the man who does not feel at all?

7

And at every turn he's asking you to reconsider the way you see the world. Indeed, he is a very, unpleasant man.

19 August 2009

It's my birthday.

And I'll wry if I want to.
You take me for granite.
Gray, igneous rock.
Cold, and indifferent.
Hard, and unmoving.

You take me for granite.
Walking over me.
Wary of my cracks.
Tip-toeing my faults.
I heard the happy birthday song twice today. Once, at my failed surprise. Again, while eating subway. That time I was surprised. But it wasn't for me.

6

She figured she'd rather be alone than lonely. So like metamorphic stone, she rolled back home.

14 August 2009

Glimpse.

At the end of the House episode, when he removes the bandages from her head, and takes the gauze off her eyes, he says, "You will see." And she asks, "Will it be beautiful?" And he says "Things will be as they are." She looks into his face, first thing she sees. Contemplative gaze, and she says, "You look sad."

12 August 2009

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.
We still have the stigma of slavery
Stamped upon our wrists,
Wrapped around our shoulders.
We live like we're free,
But bare sin beautifully.
5

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... What did my true love give to me?

10 August 2009

For the first time,

I gave blood today. Everybody notices you when you're walking around with a bright purple bandage wrapped around your arm. But no one says anything. Today, from the blood drive man, I got my first happy early birthday of the year. :).

09 August 2009

In Paris.

She spent all day wandering the busy streets and packed cafes, trying to enjoy the scenery. A solitary meal, and she headed back to the hotel. Now, on her bed sitting alone, she stares at the travel agency's brochure and realizes Paris is much like home. She still feels the same unhappiness. She still feels the same despair.

25 July 2009

Excerpts from my Journal.

July 30, 2007.

For the ones you love--you wish you could take all the suffering. You can't just stand by and watch. You want to do something--anything--but you can't. There's nothing to do to alleviate the pain. All you can do is watch. In your helplessness, you suffer too.

But God took all our suffering upon himself (a task impossible enough to do, let alone conceive). He loves us.

There should be a new KCM protocol for dealing with homeless children: sing to them, play with them, talk to them, and pray for them.

I wonder if they'll remember us. If they do: what will they remember?

August 2, 2007.

9:50 am.
Just finished teaching.

Today I described beggars to my students: their dark faces etched with wrinkles from a hard life, the deep sorrow in their eyes, the thinning hair filled with grease and bugs, their rotting rotten teeth, their rags for clothes, and their empty palms as they plead for mere rupees. They cling onto us as we walk by. But we always walk by.

As I described this to my students I looked out into the classroom and saw the faces of my students--some had tears in their eyes, in their deadlocked stares. They were captivated, entangled by emotion. I couldn't but help pause midsentence and tilt my head up towards the heavens--and tell them, "My heart breaks too. My heart breaks every time."

18 July 2009

Preface.

Allow me to deviate from my normal mode of expression on this blog. The previous two entries and those that shall follow will be part of a series exploring our conception of passion: its purpose, necessity and fruit. My examination will proceed in cross-sections from top to bottom. The objective will be to offer a lens with which to view lives of passion and to present purpose to the compelling tugging of hearts: why do I feel the way I do and what am I supposed to do with it?

In his book, God in Search of Man, Abraham Joshua Heschel writes:
Awe precedes faith; it is at the root of faith. We must grow in awe in order to reach faith. We must be guided by awe to be worthy of faith. Awe rather than faith is the cardinal attitude of the religious Jew. It is "the beginning and gateway of faith, the first precept of all, and upon it the whole world is established." In Judaism. yirat hashem, the awe of God, or yirat shamayim, the "awe of heaven," is almost equivalent to the word "religion." In Biblical language the religious man is not called "believer," as he is for example in Islam (mu'min), but yare hashem (one who stands in awe of God).
Ah. I'm inspired! Aren't you? Okay. Let's go!

4

You'll know when you know.

17 July 2009

To carry, to bear or to barely care.

I choose the former two.

Allow me to continue to expand upon what I mean by living metaphorically. That is, holding certain beliefs or perspectives that may or may not be true, as if they were.

There are certain principles that we should live by whether or not they hold absolutely true. Among these, I mentioned the burden of living as if enslaved yourself, knowing that even one among us is enslaved. Another, that refusing or neglecting to condemn injustice, is in itself injustice. These as empirical statements may or may not be absolutely true. However, we as Christians are called to live as if they were.

Where do I find statements such as these in the Bible? Let's take a look at Jesus' own words on his forthcoming return to earth:
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only... Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
This passage tells us three things:
  1. We do not know when Jesus will return.
  2. Jesus will return.
  3. Therefore, live as if Jesus were coming tomorrow.
Note, however, that Jesus may or may not come tomorrow. In fact, I have been proven wrong each day that I live believing that Jesus will come the next. Today has come, and we still await our Lord's return. The cynic may be well-tempted to say, "It wasn't true yesterday. What makes you think it will be true today?"

Indeed, we are hard-pressed to continue on living the way we do. Yet, my friends, we must take heart. We hold hope in a promise. And promises are as strong as the one who makes them. The Word assures us:
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
And more,
If we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself.
We shall not be let down.

14 July 2009

And she has only four thorns to defend herself against the world.

From the soulful song by Solomon Burke:
None of us are free. One of us is chained, none of us are free.
I agree with the heart of this statement. By heart, I am referring to our calling as Christians to live metaphorically. That is, we must live as if it were true.

Likewise,
If you don't say it's wrong, then that says it's right.
Tells of our indifference to sin. A major theme of the Prophets was the sin of apathy. And a modern day prophet, so to speak, spoke,
Folk just trying to fit in. How come? Because they've been told that success is becoming well-adjusted to the status quo. But don't be well-adjusted to injustice. Don't be well-adapted to indifference. Indifference is the one trait that makes the very angels weep. Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.
Speaking prophetically entails foretelling and forth-telling. The latter refers to speaking the Word of God into our cultural context. And to that end, we are called to speak prophetically to all.

From the book of Hebrews:
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
My good friend preaches:
How does that work? He says that there are people that we should care about who are imprisoned and mistreated. We tend to forget them. So he says, “Remember!” And he says: “As though with them” and “since you have a body.” So how does it work? It works like this: You have a body and sometimes it hurts. When it hurts, remember that there are people right now who are being mistreated—who are hurting much more than you. Imagine yourself in their shoes, and treat them the way you would want to be treated.
The root word of passion means to suffer. To have compassion means to suffer with. God gave the Apostle Paul a thorn for vision: that is, he suffered for the blind. That is why Paul spent his life preaching, that the blind may see.

We all have God-given thorns.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Live knowing that yours is for a reason.

25 June 2009

On titles and subtleties.

I spent half an hour coming up with subtitles to the title of my blog.

At first, I wanted it to be catchy. But, I just ended up rhyming.

A few candidates to my previous title, To mull and to muse:
  1. Bearing bad news
  2. In my mulberry shoes
  3. Rarely refused
  4. A romp and a rouse
  5. Diction defused
  6. Your choice to choose
  7. To win or to lose
  8. Select snooze
  9. To control or to cruise
  10. Beaten black and beaten blue
I couldn't decide. So I just changed everything.

3

Hello, I am a boy with two hearts. How do you do? Didn't you know? Yes, it's true!

16 June 2009

Hope for the Flowers.

I've been feeling hopeless lately. With where God wants me to go. With what God wants me to do. I don't see a way out. But I was reminded today. I do have hope:
House: What do I do if my only option won't work?
Wilson: You don't give up.
Wilson, if you're out there, don't let me give up.

08 June 2009

That we may buy the poor for silver

And the needy for a pair of sandals. 

Earlier today I stumbled upon an article:
A large number of schools participating in a pay for grades program have seen test scores in reading and math go up by almost 40 percentage points. The Sparks program will pay seventh-graders up to $500 and fourth-graders as much as $250 for good performance on 10 assessment tests. About two-thirds of the 59 schools in the program improved their scores by margins above the citywide average. "It's an ego booster in terms of self-worth. When they get the checks, there's that competitiveness -- 'Oh, I'm going to get more money than you next time' -- so it's something that excites them," said Rose Marie Mills, principal at MS 343 in Mott Haven. Critics, who are unaware that most college students don't become liberal arts majors, argue that paying kids corrupts the notion of learning for education's sake alone.
I am less concerned about learning for learning's sake and more concerned that we as a people have been plagued and deluded by the idea that net-worth is self-worth.

This idea implies that the wealthiest are the best man has to offer living out the best life available. And that the poor, helpless, hopeless and destitute have earned their way into the bowels of meager existence: they are the worst example of mankind, the scum of the earth, and the refuse of all things.

The most impoverished receive money as an ego-booster: the poorest feel worthless and are bought and sold for pennies. And though we have little, we have bought into materialism, have been sold to consumerism, and have traded principles for property.

Need we remind ourselves?
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
Oh, how we shame the Goldfish.

31 May 2009

Your faith has made you well.

Jesus heals the deaf, blind, and mute. But He reminds us, even now,
You will see greater things than these.
What is greater than cleansed lepers, upright paralytics, and freed slaves?
And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
A new heart. That is the greatest miracle I've ever witnessed.

10 May 2009

I am a writer.

And these are my writings.
How do I illustrate
The madness
The crooked thoughts
Of madmen
The fragments
Of many mirrors
Which litter the bathroom floor

The drainpipe cracked
Exposed and leaking
The toilet stained
With iron-tinged blood
And salt-filled tears
And pro-jected food.

The shower curtains torn
And wrapped around
The lifeless body
Lain slain arms a-cross
Stretched out snug
Enclosed within
The first tomb
Her second womb

After he pulled out
The shower head
The blunt object to beat
The living daylights dim
He rushed towards
The medicine cabinet
Scrambled past
The advil, band-aids
And tooth-paste
To find the scalpel, scissors
And hand grenades

Wait.
He paused.
Something's out of place.

He looked around, again.
The living room, this time.
The dining table split in half
Surfaces splintered legs broke
Into twos and threes
Chairs empty overturned
Upside down.

The sofa stained
Again, blood red pierced
By knife and cut twenty times
Sliced and sawed
Insides turned out.

The television snowed
Static storms
Steady showers
Rabbit ears
Fell short
Of signal.

Sirens. Doorbell. Banging.
Rushed to the smell
Of charred flesh
In the kitchen
The scent
Of death.

Sprawled on the sides
Of cabinets
Were words:
"When I think
Of madness
I get into
This mindset
Where everything
Just makes sense
Where everything
Just makes sense"
He stood.
A-mused and brooding.
Everything made sense.
Everything made sense.
A little more morbid than usual. I know. Enough of emotion. I'll post something intellectual soon.

30 April 2009

Just thought I'd like to share.

I read through Philippians today and was really encouraged. Let's look at two passages:
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents."

"Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Our opponents are those who set their mind on earthly things. But sometimes we are our own worst enemies when we focus our thoughts on the trivial and the petty things of the world.

A quote from a song I love: "If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here."

My friends, we are made for Heaven. And we look forward to our Home in Heaven. Because we know that nothing here can satisfy us: there must be something more. That something more is God. We are made to know and to love and to glorify God.

05 April 2009

Where is your heart?

In most people the heart is located on the left side of the body.

Right hand over your heart. Ready? Begin.

But some 1 in 10,000 have a condition where the heart is located on the right side of their body. That is, on the wrong side.

I have a feeling that the common perception of where your heart should be is all mixed up. Just because everyone else's hearts are on the left side does not make it the Right side.

If anything, 9,999 in 10,000 have their hearts in the wrong place.

My friends: Be the One with your Heart in the Right place.

01 March 2009

Today I fished.

That left a lot of time for thinking.

Scoreboard:
Father (Dad): 1
Brother (Kevin): 2
Cadengo (John): 0
As before, there are three schools of thought (those being, fish):
  1. Gone fishin
  2. There are plenty of fish in the sea
  3. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming
And as always, I leave the compare-and-contrast as an exercise to the reader.

Now, fishing is like flirting. There are two ways to catch a fish: (1) The Lure and (2) the Bait.

Though technically a Lure can be a type of Bait, let us distinguish the two by this property: the Lure is flashy, and the Bait has substance. The Lure is analogous to the shallow reasons to like a person: looks, money, humor, talent, etc. And the Bait is analogous to the non-shallow reasons: personality, character, integrity, and so forth.

Lures aren't actually food. They simply resemble food. I feel bad for fish who bite empty hooks.

You don't want to make your bait too big. or the fish won't get hooked. By the time she eats half of the bait, she'll be full and swim away.

Fishing is about timing. You don't want to cast-and-reel too often. The more time your bait spends out of the water, the less chance you'll catch a fish. If you keep reeling it in, you'll scare away the cautious ones. But if you don't reel it in at the right moment: she'll get away.

It's the worst when you think you've caught a big one and it turns out to be seaweed. Or an old tire. Or you've just caught your line on someone else's line.

Needless to say, I am as good at flirting as I am at fishing. Which is to say: amateur at best.

For extra credit in Eastern Philosophy: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

2

If I am the First Person, then Who is the Second Person?

18 February 2009

I'm a packrat.

I keep everything. Even my promises.

I made the decision awhile ago, but I never announced it publicly: I have resolved only to write in one blog (that is, this one). This blog will contain all aspects of my life, though I will attempt to keep it reasonable and organized. For a period of time, I did consider compartmentalizing my writing but I realized (1) my mind is not too capable of deeply dividing its diverse (might I mention, mixed) interests, and (2) I am not as prolific a writer as I imagine myself to be.

Now, with this said, I will leave you with two things written. One by another:
“Katie.. for six years… I thought of how I’d ask your forgiveness some day. And now I have the chance, but I won’t ask it. It seems… it seems beside the point. I know it’s horrible to say that, but that’s how it seems to me. It was the worst thing I ever did in my life—but not because I hurt you. I did hurt you, Katie, and maybe more than you know yourself. But that’s not my worst guilt… Katie, I wanted to marry you. It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that’s the sin that can’t be forgiven—that I hadn’t done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there’s no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain—and wasted pain… Katie, why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to retrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world—to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk or get my name in the papers. Those things—they’re not even desires—they’re things people do to escape from desires—because it’s such a big responsibility, really to want something” (The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, pg 598-599).
And another by myself:
There were two strikes across her left wrist.
The way it healed—if you could call it that—
Left parallel plastic bumps protruding out.
She had told me—she said, to tell the truth—
That it felt good at the time: that it was a rush.

It took two strokes—the kind of strokes you pen—
To end the first half of her life while she stared
From her toilet seat into the steamed up medicine cabinet
Of her downstairs bathroom, while blood poured out—
No, flooded out, like a peaceful river: it was purple.

She still has the hand towel she used to cover the hole
She thought it would’ve stopped bleeding
Like it would’ve clotted up and left a scab
But this was more than a childhood knee scrap.
She phoned her best friend before she passed out.

It wasn’t too late.
Really, I'm trying not to be too sappy.

P.S. I like dashes. They're good for thoughts—second thoughts: and that's how I think. 

11 February 2009

Welcome back

I have the same Brown recliner from Friends. :). It was sitting, so to speak, in my good Friend's apartment for the past six months. Thanks to a series of fortunate events (Happy Birthday Amos! and Happy Birthday Amos!) we finally lifted it up and brought it back home.

(This is the best picture I could find).

As we speak, I am sitting (rather, reclining) in my favorite chair. 

As before, there are three lines of reasoning:
  1. Home is where the heart is
  2. Home sweet home
  3. There is no place like home
And as always, I'll leave the compare-and-contrast as an exercise to the reader. 


For extra credit in Eastern Philosophy: Home is a place where someone is thinking of you

1

Before you learn to draw: you must trace. And only after sketching: draw.

09 February 2009

T-Minus

10

I eat with my left hand. I write with my right. I brush my teeth with my left hand. I throw with my right. I am mixed-handed.

9

And I am mixed. My dad is Mexican. My mom Filipino.

8

I went on missions to India twice: 2k6, 2k7.

7

My Great-Uncle (my mom's aunt's husband) is Black. He grew up in Oklahoma and has shaped (1) the way I tell stories, (2) the way I speak stories, and (3) my dreams. Also, he is an awesome cook. Because of him, I love (1) Jambalaya, and (2) Gumbo.

6

I played football my freshman year of high school. I was an outside linebacker (defensive end).

5

I transferred from UCR to UCSD my third year of college. It was tough.

4

I crack my toes in even numbers. If I crack my toes once, I must crack them another time. I always crack them in pairs (left and right at the same time).

3

Three things: (1) I snore, (2) I sleep talk, and (3) I sleep speak poetry. A small sampling of my sleep poetry: "You see him? You see him? He's crazy." And, "The Mountains. The Mountains. The Horizon." Also. I've slept preached before: "Then you shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free!"

2

I started Calculus the summer after my freshman year of high school.

1

And lastly: (1) I love lists, (2) I like when things come in sets of threes, and (3) if I could speak in threes all the time I would.

Blast off!

29 January 2009

Impact

Some words my good friend shared with me:

There are three types of people: the goers, the senders, and the disobedient.

08 January 2009

Identity crisis

I have much to say and to share.

(Warning: I love colons and parenthesis.)

I will start by saying this: we are depraved. Yes. All of us, human beings (you and me): we are depraved. What does it mean to be depraved? We are fallen. Yes, by nature, we are fallen. We are finite. And we are fallible. We are imperfect: we grow weak and weary. We run out of energy. We become pooped (and we become poop. Really, we all do.). We make mistakes. We are low-down, dirty, good for nothings. We do not know it all. In fact, we know nothing at all. Again, all of us, yes, every single last one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: we are intrinsically, and inherently bound to failure: we are sinful, wicked, and worthless.

(The following is best read out loud and performed with that southern drawl.)

But God. Oh boy, let's talk about God: He is perfect. He is holy. He is infinite. He knows all. He sees all. He created all. All we see and know: He created. All we grasp and hold: He created. (I am going to capitalize the H in He so as not to get you all confused about which He I am speaking of: the one and only He worth mentioning). Now, God: He never grows weak nor weary. His breath is never short. He never runs out of steam. He keeps going and going. And now God: He ain't never failed us. Even when we are unfaithful, even when we fall short of His glory, even when we fail, betray, or back-stab Him: He remains faithful. He is worthy.

Oh yes, and now God: He is love. Everything he has ever done (from the very beginning, even as we look back to the Old Testament and on) has been because he loved us. He has had a redemptive, saving plan from the very beginning. And He demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He is our strength when we are weak. He is our help in time of need. He is our strong fortress, and the rock of our salvation. He is our deliverer. He is our provider. And He is our protector. He is our comfort, and refuge, and rescue.

My friend Paul says it better than I can:
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And here is the chorus to a song I love:
Lord, who am I compared to Your glory?
Lord, who am I compared to Your majesty?

I'm your beloved, Your creation, and You love me as I am.
You've called me chosen for Your kingdom.
Unashamed to call me your own. I'm your beloved.
Now after all this, I ask: what does that make us? And who are we?

We are His beloved
. We are His beloved.

Isn't God funny? Isn't that a funny way to encourage us? To love us? We are not who we are because of what we do. Our worth is not found in our actions. Instead, we are made worthwhile by God the Father who sent his son Jesus to die for us: we are made worthy because God paid the price for us. Our worth is not found in ourselves (for if it were: we would be worthless). No, instead God tells us we are worth it: for our worth is found in Jesus. Because of this, we are priceless. Because we are His beloved.