Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

School Assignment: The Interwebz

Posted: November 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

Fifteen years ago, I would have never foreseen the ubiquity of the internet. Then, I was familiar with it, but I used it to download pictures to save as my desktop background. I would use the internet to download music or email friends (that used to be cool). Reminiscing, I realize that the internet was a supplement to the offline world. It was a tool to enhance your computer between the moments when you waited while the obnoxious electronic sounds of the dial-up modem.

Today, it is a whole new ballgame for me. It seems the predominate purpose of the computer or mobile device it to access the internet. My Google Chrome web browser stays open for days or weeks before I close it. It is more important for me to see the LTE symbol on my cell phone that to see if I have five bars of cellular reception. I feel that I am deprived of a necessity of life when Google won’t tell me the definition of the word ‘syllogism’ or who won the 1983 World Series.

For me, the internet is truly a portal to information. If I want some tips on running, a recipe for a new breakfast dish or learn how to factor for my algebra class, I search YouTube. Should I need to know what some of my long distance friends are up to, I just look at their Facebook or Instagram. I know, it’s a bit creepy. But, on that note, this informational portal has opened many avenues connecting me with my friends. I even use a really awesome app on my phone to sing with my brother and other friends from across the country.

Probably the most influential role this superhighway of information has played in my life is that of connecting my wife and I. Yes, we met online. If you had been reading my blog a few years ago, you would know this now. The internet did not foster our relationship but it facilitated emails, skype calls, cyber-stalking (she’s a pro by the way) and even the purchase of airfare to meet her the first time.

The internet has drastically changed my life, not only the way I get and process information and communicate, but it has introduced me to some real world, life-altering friendships.

Advertisements

(Chapter 2) Not a lot to work with

Posted: February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Since I had been using a combination of two dating sites, I was pretty accomplished at studying a girl’s profile to find the flaws and assess her personality. After reading, and re-reading her profile, I formed the opinion that she was a beautiful person. Seriously, who volunteers to work overseas with orphans and doesn’t have an awesome soul? She seemed educated because she used complete sentences and from what I can remember proper grammar and punctuation. This made her jump of the page in comparison to other girls’ profiles. (I’m a grammar Nazi)  She appeared to be a down-to-earth girl with whom I could get along. Things were looking good.

Another way that she differed from other girls was she only had one picture. Some didn’t have but one picture but it was rare. Most would show off or reveal too much of themselves. However, Anna had the one. She was adorable. But, just one? I wanted more. One picture can speak volumes, but one picture can’t tell all. I needed to see if this was just the best picture, or fake, misleading or otherwise not forthcoming. I had nowhere to go to find more. I have some sophisticated creeping skills but I had only a picture and few words to work with.

I don’t remember when I got her reply, but I think that it was one evening at work. I was thrilled to read simple words dripping with sarcasm. That’s my language. I speak it fluently. I liked the subject matter as well. She said something like this:

I’m sorry, but I make it a personal rule not to talk to guys who don’t have pictures posted of themselves in bathroom mirrors.  I hope you’ll understand.

A woman after my own heart. Were I a girl, I would have probably said something to that effect. I paused, briefly, to make sure she was indeed joking. Nothing from her profile suggested otherwise. I, being quick on my feet, replied with something like this:

Oh, wow! If you’ll forgive me, I’ll see if I can fix this. I can’t believe I overlooked it.

I’m sure it was longer than that and opened the door to more dialogue, but I don’t remember. Over the next couple days we would write multiple times daily. Short. Superficial. She was very vague and guarded. I recognized this and proceeded carefully. One night after work (4am or so and sometime around noon for her) we chatted for quite some time. I was supposed to be studying for a mid term or something. I remember buying a bunch of energy drinks and bugles at Quick Trip. We delved deeper into some topics while remaining vague. She wouldn’t divulge her whereabouts, and I didn’t blame her. I figured she was in eastern Europe. I told her my history as a missionary’s kid in Romania.

We chatted during the week and began to learn more about each other. I was impressed. I knew she was a beauty on the inside but that one profile pic gave me little to work with. One day much later, I admitted to her that I am superficial and after seeing more pictures of her I told her that she met my superficiality test. However, in that moment, I could tell that she wasn’t ugly. I told you, I’m superficial. I was growing closer and closer to the internal awesomeness that she couldn’t hide even if she tried. I was ok with that.

I’m not quoting one of my favorite oldie songs by the Animals. Really, I’m not. This statement is simply what I thought. I looked constantly, thoroughly. I may have even looked under a few rocks along the way.  I searched in church. I looked outside of church.  I looked in Texas. I looked all over the world. She was nowhere to be found. So, I looked in the last place in the world where potential mates are found; the INTERNET. (GASP) I will pause for a moment for the thought to sink in. I, Isaac Ingram, searched the internet to find a wife. I’m guilty, but resist the urge to lock me up in a padded room with a white jacket with abnormally long sleeves. Please.

You know, the crazy part is, it actually worked. Ooooooops! Now you don’t have to read the whole blog. I just saved you some time. However, that’s just the crazy part. If you want to know the AMAZINGLY awesome stuff, you must read on. Some incredible stuff took place. Read on. You won’t regret it.

March 2013

I was attending Bible College in my home town of Arlington, Texas. I was also working a full-time job (which included 10-20 hours of overtime). On top of that I was in the Marine Corps Reserves one weekend out of every month. Needless to say, I had tons of extra time to date and meet people. (yes, this is what I like to call ‘sarcasm’, and I had NO TIME to spare) I had experimented in the past with online dating. I used a “christian” site and met a few ladies along the way but nothing at all resulted from it. I rarely would initiate contact with anyone because 9 out of 10 times their profile would turn me off. There were a few rare profiles that didn’t make me want to run and hide. I would correspond with the occasional young lady who seemed nice. Most of the time it would go a week or so and then fizzle out.

I had really given up and looking at these sites was a pastime I used to prove to myself that she actually wasn’t anywhere to be found. She wasn’t, and I knew it, or so I thought. My online dating service of choice would alert me when my profile was viewed. I always looked to see who was ‘creeping’ on me. Her only picture was obscure, but showed promise of an attractive girl. I read her information and contented to the “about me” section and read . . . and read . . . and read some more. She wrote quite a bit, without giving me much info. But, I liked what I read. She vaguely mentioned missions in eastern Europe and some stuff about church. It was more than enough to warrant writing to her.

I wrote something like this:

Hi, I’m Isaac. I read your profile and it seems that we have quite a bit in common. I actually grew up in Romania as a kid. My dad was a missionary there. I’m very involved in my church and I’m currently attending Bible College. I think it would be really enjoyable to see what else we may have in common. Feel free to write me any time.

Isaac

For future reference, none of our correspondence is currently availible for reviewing. I think there was some fluke deletion of tons of our communiqué. Oh, well. My first message to her may have been a little longer but I wanted her to know that I actually read the information in her profile. It isn’t a rare thing to write girl and never hear anything back. I wasn’t expecting anything at all. But, she did stand out from 99.9% of the profiles I had previewed.  I wrote. I waited.

Question:

Have you ever used a dating site? Have you ever met anyone in person from a dating site? Comment below and let me know about your experience.

Imagine, you are stranded on a desert island. All alone. Seriously, you have no cell service, Starbucks or restrooms. The sun relentlessly beats down on your skin that is accustomed to being indoors. What is there to do? Stroll down the sandy beaches and ponder the deeper things in life. Alone.

You think of life choices that have brought you to this actuality. Maybe boarding a cruise liner named “The Titanic 2” wasn’t the best choices you’ve ever made. Why am I single? Why did I only pack winter clothes on the Caribbean cruise? Milk was a bad choice. It’s so hot!

As you spiral down in to a state of self pity, you trip in the sand and eat a rather large mouthful of sand. You bite your tounge and hold back the string of expletives, then look to see the cause of your stumble. It’s a lamp. Just like and protagonist in a joke about three wishes would, you pick it up, dust it of and vigorously rub it. Just as expected, out pops a genie! (Remember: the first word of this post was “imagine”)

The benevolent figment of our collective imaginations, knowing you are single, grants you one wish. However, it is a very specific one. The genie allows you to, in great detail, design your ideal, lifelong partner. JACKPOT! DING! DING! DING! Talk about awesome. Most guys would not even think of that and wish for a million dollars, a Lamborghini or a man cave to rival the Taj Mahal. (I have no idea what a lady would wish for, maybe makeup or cloths or some nonsense)

BACK TO REALITY:

Had this have been me back in early 2013, I am pretty sure that I would have come up with a pretty detailed list of traits, physical attributes, and moral details of my ideal mate. I would have come up with someone pretty specific. I could have designed a pretty clear representation of who I thought would make me happy. The key is “who I thought”.

In the past eleven months, I have spent much time and effort in getting to know the person who is now my fiancé. WE have learned many, many things about each other. I know, without a doubt, that she is fully capable and willing to make me happy. She already does. She is perfect for me. However, if you would compare her to the imaginary “Build-A-Girl” I described, they would be shockingly different. There would be some very important similarities: morality, religion, political beliefs and such. On the other hand, we’d find many disparities.

The astounding fact is that there are some things about her that I absolutely adore. So, many things. Things that eleven or twelve months ago I would have no idea would be so attractive to me. I love the way she tilts her head to the side and looks at the wall or ceiling while she thinks and talks. I love the smacking sound she makes sometimes as a conversational punctuation. I love how friendly and personal she is with friends, family and strangers alike. Her singing while doing dishes is to die for. These things make her unimaginably attractive to me. And all of these things would not have made it in the final version of my “Build-a-Wife” project.

Now, lets bring this thing to a point. In my very strict, Baptist youth group, I heard many pastors and speakers say that you need to make a list of all the things that you want in a wife/husband. Pray over that list. Be specific. Don’t settle for anything less than what is on your list. Now, I agree with the idea of that wholeheartedly. I do! But, had I written a list as an adolescent, hormone driven dude, who knows what concoction I would have produced. I chuckle to myself at the thought. I imagine a mutated version sold-out christian girl that looks like and early 90s Jennifer Anniston and Sandra Bullock combo.

I like the idea of knowing what you are looking for in a mate. My only addition to that would be, keep the list as short as you can. Don’t get so specific that you know his/her favorite color and food. Know your deal breakers and the major traits you seek. I can attest that God can fill in the blanks that you don’t even know exist. God is a creative Being. Just look out your window. He made that. He made it in less than a week. I think He knows what you need. He knows better than you do.

Come to find out, I am VERY attracted to freckles. 🙂

National Sibling Day

Posted: April 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

This past Wednesday was the “National Sibling Day”. I had no idea of this fact until I saw it posted all over social media sites. I guess it didn’t make it on my calendar. Without knowing the special occasion that was to be the following week, three of my favorite people in the world and myself went to Texas de Brazil on a Saturday evening. I can’t tell you how much we all ate. I was glorious the amount of meat we consumed.  I love me some meat!

Image

The best thing about it was the time with family. No matter what the occasion or the situation, we always find a way to have fun and/or come close to getting arrested. I am thankful for the times we have had to spend together. You really don’t want me to talk about the trip to Oklahoma City in a rental car. What happens in the rental, stays in the rental.  “Take it . . . take it . . . take it and go”. All I have to say is, “Oklahoma School for the Deaf“. Too much fun.

I say all that to get to this part. Our Music Minister and Executive VP of Trinity Baptist Bible College, Dr. Sam Reed, spoke in chapel. His youngest granddaughter, Savannah, passed a little bit over a week ago. He shared with us how specific passages of scripture in the Bible helped certain family members navigate this troubling time. Dr. Reed spoke with such tender compassion and love it was flowing from his heart straight to us who were listening. I was engaged in his prose, but I was disconnected emotionally. I could feel the room was emotional, yet I was callused and cold. I was aware of this. My thoughts said, “What’s wrong with you, Isaac. You should be sad. You should at least feel something.” As chapel continued, I prayed. I asked God to touch my heart and soften it. I don’t remember much past this point.

God answered my prayer. This thought crossed my mind: What if your two sister (Jennifer and Angie) and your brother (Tim) were to be taken away from you? I don’t know how or why this came to me. A switch was flipped in my heart and the emotion poured out. For what seemed like the rest of the chapel time, my cheeks flowed with tears. I could feel the dampness of my shirt collar that was the collector of them. I still was attentive but I was there. I was feeling something that was somewhat like what Dr. Reed was feeling. As soon as chapel dismissed I darted toward the back door. I prayed and thanked God for my family and each of my siblings.

My life would truly be empty without them. Sure, I have friends. I also have a church family who I love dearly. Nothing compares, however, to the ones who know me best and have seen me experience life. You can’t substitute the hours spent in the back of a station wagon for months at a time or the countless meals spent together. There is nothing like comforting each other at the passing of grandparents or looking through old photo albums together making fun of each other’s (mainly Angie’s) hair styles. Family is so precious. I don’t think I would want to live as an only child. Maybe getting ALL the presents under the Christmas Tree would be nice, but not nice enough.

Jennifer, Thank you for pretty much supporting me while I came over for college and letting me put an ungodly amount of miles on your car while we used to carpool. I bet you were happy when I got a car.

Angie, Thank you for showing me what not to do. Just Kidding! You have become such a cool mom and I love that I get some great nieces to love on.

Tim, Thank you for being one of my closed friends that I can’t stand. You are the same always. You don’t change.

I love all of you guys and I don’t know what I’d do without you. I can say that you guys have successfully made me a bit CROOKED!