Road trip music

June 23, 2009

I love this arrangement! And this song reminds me of a red Ford Fusion, Californian highways and trying NOT to sing along to the radio.

Love mercy

June 22, 2009

“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

The only sermon I remember from my 5 years in Melbourne was one where Tim Costello preached on Micah 6. He spoke about mercy in a way that I’d never thought about before. He said that mercy was knowing full well that you can get screwed over and still doing it anyway. That stuck with me because it wasn’t about being naive and being too stupid to realise what you were getting yourself into. It was about still making the seemingly stupid choice because that was what the Lord required of you and you trusted that He knew better. I wasn’t sure I could accept that. It goes against all of my economist/darwinist instincts. It still does.

The only sermon (or snatches of a sermon) I heard in my 4 weeks in the US was on the same passage. J and I had wandered into a Catholic church and they had just started mass so we sat down. The priest read out Micah 6:8 and I remembered Tim Costello’s sermon. Love mercy. If I had trouble accepting “love mercy” as an idealistic 20 yo in Melbourne, I definitely am 10 steps further away from accepting “love mercy” now. Now knowing the what mercy can cost me. Giving up my rights to self-defence. Still doing it anyway. This is what the Lord requires of me? Wow. And yet, I think I’ve seen enough to now also know that mercy is one of the only ways to break a really destructive cycle of tit for tat. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

One thing nice about the Catholic church is that they kneel to pray. There is something serious about that prayer. It seems more serious than praying sitting down in the pews somehow. In my highly logical, transactional way of thinking, I thought aloud to God (prayed, if you will) that mercy was an illogical concept. Which person (not me) in the right state of mind would do something knowing full well that they could get screwed over? And yet my heart knows that the whole point of being Christian is to live in a way that is counter-intuitive because it breaks the cycle. Is that not what I call “grace”? But still I cannot bring myself to get over the mental hurdle to love mercy – notjust  as a happy-touchy-feely idea but as a serious way of life. So I prayed for the uncomfortable disconnect between my transactional brain and my heart that loves God and takes what He requires of me quite seriously.  (Thorn in my flesh indeed.)

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Urg.

 

An SF list

June 15, 2009

Still no time so here is another list. This time of the things I did in my weekend off in San Francisco.

  1. Shared pepperoni pizza.  Going ghetto in a tailored suit.
  2. A crustless (urg.  the best bit!!)  cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory at Union Square.  Awesome view.  Cold though.
  3. Farmer’s market at the Ferry Building.  Losing J to the almond brittle stall.  Having breakfast over 2h.  Chocolate and bits of cheese and fruit.
  4. Crab cake.  Twice in 1 day.  I think I’m changing my mind about crab cake.
  5. A long long long walk along the Embarcadero and through the super touristy Fisherman’s Wharf.  Getting distracted by a stuffed toy/blanket giraffe.
  6. Not getting on the cruise out to Alcatraz.  Next time, book it in ADVANCE!  (esp for the night time cruise).
  7. Pier 39 sea lions.  Some of them were really aggressive!  The rest were just sunning themselves lazily.
  8. Strawberries on a park bench!  Yum yum.
  9. Resisting ice cream at Ghiradelli square.  1 Cheryl 0 Chocolate shop.  Learning about the chocolate making process.  Apparently the beans are ground at such a high speed that the friction causes them to melt.
  10. Breakfast food for dinner at the The Buena Vista – the birthplace of Irish Coffee.  A serendipitous find.  Sun setting over the Golden Gate Bridge.
  11. The spy shop!  I wasn’t really there.  ;p
  12. Punchline Comedy Club.  Exfoliating and being stoned at a 4 way stop.
  13. Breakfast at Tartine.  Being very confused at the pastries on display.  Morning buns were yum.  (Found a recipe thanks to Google!)
  14. Handmade jewelry.  The pendant looked like it was made of jacks.  Pretty.
  15. Being too full to have more food even though the crepe shop down the street looked so good!
  16. Fun murals at the Mission.
  17. Shopping!!!  Probably overdid it at H&M.  And can someone explain to me why I bought *another* trench coat when I live in the tropics?!
  18. The discovery of the “100 things to eat in SF before you die” list.  The point of no return.
  19. Dinner with S & roommates at Burma Superstar.  A bunch of southeast asian kids getting warned about the chili.  HA!  Tea leaf salad.
  20. Mexican hot chocolate.  Warm and comforting.

I just realized that most of my traveling involved eating.  I’m such a Singaporean!

(Also back in the office today.  It is difficult to convince people that you really were working very hard when you come back with a tan and the mark of your sunglasses imprinted on your face!  I really am very very tired!  Urg.)

I’m sitting here in the lobby of my hotel, waiting for my airport pickup. Been on the road for 4 weeks and I’m finally leaving the US. Attempts to extend my stay didn’t quite work out and I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, being back home would and not wearing the same clothes in a variety of combinations would be nice. On the other hand, being away inspires me in a way that being home does not. But I think overall, I’ll be happy to be in my own bed and with family. Starting to get really really tired.

But still, I think I left/am leaving my heart in San Francisco.

Chicago

June 3, 2009

No time to blog but watch me procrastinate.  Had a great weekend past in Chicago – the Windy City.  A sampling…

  1. Sharing a sea-salt caramel hot chocolate while sitting outside.  Freezing.
  2. Fantastic conversation over dinner at a great Mexican place.  We had chicken in chocolate and chili (it tasted kinda nutty) and a flan in a sugared dome!  And alcohol.  Lots of it.  There are few things in life that make me happier.
  3. More conversation till ungodly hours sitting the hotel lobby.
  4. Walking really far for brunch.  Having omelettes with cheese and stewed apples and drowning our pancakes in maple syrup.  YUM!
  5. Getting in line for Garrett’s popcorn.  Cheddar cheese and caramel seems like an odd combination but it tastes good!
  6. Rush tickets (ie. cheap) for Jersey boys.  Seats so bad that we couldn’t see the top part of the stage.  BUT we managed to upgrade ourselves midshow!  I think I really annoyed J by singing “Oh what a night”  all the way back to the hotel.
  7. Chicago deep dish pizza for dinner at 11pm!  The healthy lifestyle.  Clearly.
  8. A long walk along the river and out to Lake Michigan.  Wandering around Navy Pier.  Ferris Wheel anyone?  The weather was so great!  I was walking around in shorts all day.
  9. Half a burger from Boston Blackies and half a super yummy coconut lemony cupcake in the sun in Millenium Park.  Lying in the sun, listening to people rehearse, watching the world go by.  Again, few things make me happier.
  10. My first ever baseball game! I learnt a lot about baseball and got a baseball cap!  🙂

What a weekend!  I realise that I am really easy to please.  Just need a bit of sun and a bit of food!  Haha.