Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Let's go Pens

I attended my first NHL game this past week, with the Penguins falling at home against the not-so-might Carolina Hurricanes. The backup Pittsburgh goalie caught my eye with his autism awareness ribbon, an incredibly worthy cause that I've worked with in the past.

Bonus photo, also from the warm-ups:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Hang On Sloopy

There is nothing quite like a fall afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, with the Buckeyes playing football in November. Living out of state made me realize that I do have a lot of state pride, especially when they dot the I and finish the game with a rendition of Carmen Ohio (literal translation is "Song of Ohio").

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That time I was in a Bollywood music video in Malaysia

Remember that time last year when I went to Malacca, Malaysia? We had a blast exploring the city, but the most memorable moment happened when we came across some sort of music video shoot. Well, it's a real music video and I finally found it on YouTube! It's Bollywood style, with a bumping beat and lots of choreographed dancing, and overall makes for some fun viewing. Look for us Americans making guest appearances in the first minute or so. Dancing while pedaling undersized bicycles is much harder than you think.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: When fall turns into winter

I snagged this photo last weekend in the woods of New Buffalo, Michigan. It's a beautiful match of the fall trees and leaves on the right giving way to the evergreens on the other side of the road, another reminder that nothing stays constant for too long.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Mirror mirror on the wall

Alternate title: "Grumpy Grandpas." Although we weren't grumpy after spending a weekend on the shores of Lake Michigan. We found this fascinating mirror in a tiny cafe in New Buffalo, Michigan, so we had to snap a pic.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Daily heroes

On Sunday, I was riding along the Blue Line (one of the central Chicago train lines) out to Forest Park when a tall, young man walked into our car. He was tall, a bit heavy-set, and was wearing multiple layers of mismatched clothes to combat the frigid weather. Without looking around, he trudged through and asked whether anyone had some change to spare. It sounded like a well-worn line, certain that everyone would ignore him.

One man on board stared him straight in the eye and asked how old he was. "Twenty-five" was the reply. The older gentleman gently shook his head and began to ask deeper questions, learning where the young fellow was from and where he was going. The latter was frozen, as I doubt anyone had ever talked to him directly in this manner. He eventually sat down next to the older man as he continued to be quizzed.

The older man was well-dressed, and looked tired from a long day of work. He was an attorney, he explained, and had spent many years working in Washington before heading west to Chicago." After learning the young man's full story, the lawyer asked him if he had a driver's license. "No sir," the younger guy said. "Well, I've got lots of people who need drivers right now. You'd have to wear a suit but you can get started right now."

"Thank you, thank you," the younger mumbled. Before he could say anything else, the lawyer said, "Now we've got to get you a suit. What size are you? And what about shirt size?"

The young man was taken aback by this turn of events. Gerald (his name was Gerald) didn't know what his neck size was, presumably because he had never been fitted for a dress shirt before.

After hashing out some more details, the lawyer said "Now all you need to do is show up on Madison and California, Tuesday morning. You got it?" "Yes sir, yes sir" was the reply, as the young man stepped off the train. 

Did Gerald show up this morning? Who knows. But this is the heart of community, where neighbors put themselves out there to help others and break the cycle of poverty. The positive effect of having a job is so much more powerful and sustainable than handing Gerald some loose change. Instead of relying on poverty to do good (ie, giving out money), a legitimate effort was made to halt poverty and give the young man a fresh start. This is the type of leader that I hope I will become, and will start to become today. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Chinatown, Chicago style

We took a trip to the South Side side today to check out the local Chinatown. It was really impressive, and felt way bigger than the Singapore version. A huge lunch, bubble tea, and egg tarts made it a fantastic culinary adventure. I definitely want to make a return trip, sooner rather than later.