July 21st, 2007



The words of Psalm 19 keep coming back to me.
Is it because I have come before God in the mornings before dawn and followed the rising of the sun?
Is it because I need a warning against my prideful sins?
Is it because I seek to know the spring of living waters that brings life to the soul?
I pray that I may know Him and keep His commands - "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." (I John 2:3)

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
       And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
       And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
       Where their voice is not heard.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
       The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
       The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
      The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
      Yea, than much fine gold;
      Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
      And in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors?
      Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
      Let them not have dominion over me.
      Then I shall be blameless,
      And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
      Be acceptable in Your sight,
      O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
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Pleasant Afternoon in Arlington

What a pleasant day!

I left from College Park to catch the metro to Alexandria at about 10 am. My roommate was kind enough to drop me off at the station! :) (She is so nice!) Once I got in, I studied the ticket machines so as to figure out how to buy a fare card. With some patience, I figured it out and got my ticket for $3.90.

Armed with ticket in hand, I jumped to the escalator and rode to the top to wait for my train. The skies were glorious today! Hundreds of great white clouds shining in the cool summer air. While I stood, I got to listen to a young French family chat. The children took a lot of photos as their siblings and parents posed. It was so cute.

Soon, the train came and I got on. I planned to transfer at Fort Totten and so I stood by the door. I found that I have lost my delicate sense of 'public-transportation balance' that I picked up from Croatia buses and trams. Anyway, when I got off at Fort Totten, I looked around to see where the yellow metro would come. To my surprise, it pulled up right where my other train had left me off. What an easy transfer! :)

On the trip from there to my destination, I sat in front of a pair of Japanese ladies. They talked softly to one another, but I picked up a little of what they were saying. Eavesdropping on a foreign language is exciting^^ I caught words like 「最高」 and 「大丈夫」 and 「すごい~」 when we passed over the river and saw the sparkling waters spread under the bright blue speckled skies.

I arrived in Alexandria early, so I gave my mom a call to see how packing was going for their trip. I stood in the sun for a while, then under the shade of the white-flowering trees outside the station. Shortly after this, my friend called me and picked me up. We drove from there to Shirlington.

In Shirlington, we started by getting our movie tickets. We planned to watch the film 'Evening'. Once we had our tickets, we stopped by the Shirlington library. It is pretty neat! The walls are bright energetic colors, the computer stations are shiny and new, and the stacks are cool contemporary in style. I wish my library was like this! Outside the library are cute benches which flank mosaic-floored fountains. It was so pretty! The streets of Shirlington are paved in brick and are so clean and quaint. I loved the flavor of the place.

After browsing through the library, we walked up and down the main street. We decided to get a drink and a pastry to pass the time until the film began. My friend got a pumpkin cookie and I had to try the banana-chocolate muffin. We took these to the Carlyle where we each ordered an iced tea at the bar. The Carlyle is such a neat cafe/restaurant. The large lamps remind me of the lantern outside Kurama-dera. The colors and style were very unique and lively. We chatted together about our families as I ate up the delicious muffin and my friend sipped at her tea. The bartender was so kind - he gave us our drinks for free! :) (Thank you!)

After finishing, it was time to go see the movie. I found 'Evening' to be rather interesting. It seems to me that 'fear' and 'acceptance' were the big themes examined through the story. The actors all did a wonderful job playing their parts. I have been thinking a lot about it since seeing it. I am glad we chose that movie.

Once the movie was done, it was time to eat lunch/dinner! We drove from Shirlington to the Minh's Vietnamese restaurant. My friend followed the waitress' recommendation of 'Five spice chicken' and I got the curry chicken. My friend was very satisfied with her meal - and I must say that it was quite delicious chicken!! I, too, loved my curry chicken (which included onions and coconut milk!). It was a very satisfying meal and the atmosphere was peaceful and quiet. The lamps and fountain were a great touch!

And with this, the day was concluded. My friend took me back to the station where I rode the metro to College Park. From CP metro, my roommate drove me home. My friend was so kind and paid for the expense of the movie and meal. I am so grateful to her! :) (She is so sweet!)

Upon arriving home, I called my grandparents, my brother, and have been chatting online. It was a full day and I am worn out from all the pleasantry!