Christmas Tree for $40 Or Less

Christmas is just around the corner!!!

Are you looking for a way to get into the Christmas spirit? Do you miss the soft glow of the Christmas tree at night? Does the thought of this year’s festivities give you a slight tingle in your pants? (Yes, Yes, and Yes!)

Every year, I try to get into the Christmas spirit, but the truth of the matter is Christmas will never be just like it was at home. I don’t have the funds, the storage, nor the vast collection of previous year’s decorations at my disposal. I always try to decorate the house and get into the Christmas mood, but it seems like each year I find myself living in a new place, and starting from scratch.

Which is why I was determined to have my own Christmas Tree this year AND not spend a fortune on it. I ended up with my very own Christmas tree, all for under $40! How did I do it? and The Dollar Store.

First off, I bought a 4 foot Christmas tree from I don’t necessarily have space in my house for a full tree yet, and in the interest of saving money I decided to go with the fake tree, as much as it hurts to do so. The best option is the 4′ Charlie Pine Artificial Christmas Tree. It costs roughly ~$12 plus shipping, which is a steal if you ask me. It’s perfect if you have a little table or a stand that you can prop the tree up on to get the “height” typical trees should be. Although the tree in the above link is a little sparse, with the right kind of decorations and additional pine garland, you can really fill it up.

A look at the 4' Charlie

A look at the 4′ Charlie Pine Artificial Christmas Tree

After you get the tree, it’s time to decorate it! This is where a trip to your local Dollar Store will be very helpful. Stores like The Dollar Tree carry TONS of Christmas decorations, all for –yes you guessed it– a dollar! You can see their collection of Christmas tree decorations and other items here. Here are some of the items I bought recently:

Items, from left to right:Bow

Items, from left to right:
Bow, Candy Canes, Ribbons, Metallic Ornaments, Tiny Bows, Specialty Ornaments, Christmas Lights, and Metallic Garlands

The decorations cost all but $17 bucks. The lights cost $3 from my local supermarket.

And a look at the final product!

Placed near a window it looks like a full 6'-8' tree!

Placed near a window it looks like a full 6′-8′ tree!

Happy holidays!

Yu Live, Yu Learn


Bro Tank Missing; Owner Mourns Loss

(Seattle, WA) A 911 call was placed on the 3600 block of Whitman Ave North early yesterday morning that alerted residents of a high profile felony theft that shocked the neighborhood of Fremont. As the crowd gathered, a distraught man, in his mid twenties, is found crying on the sidewalk.

He stares at the sky, and proclaims upwards, speaking to a higher being, perhaps.

“Why??!” he belts, then running indoors to hide from the crowd that has gathered outside. Murmurs grow, as bystanders wonder what has happened that has caused the one lane Avenue to be blocked by Seattle PD, SWAT, MI-6, and the Department of Homeland Security. Even the sassy nighttime security guard at nearby B.F. Day Elementary School, Shoshanna, is found in the crowd. After being briefed on the situation, she remarks, “This is the worst crime I’ve seen in months. I don’t know how anyone can rebound from this.”

The victim, Alex Yu, also known as “Seattle’s Finest Bro” is calmer, but not completely stable, after 36 hours of psychological counseling.

“He was my best friend,” Yu mourned, as he tossed hangers left and right in a final attempt to look for it.

The scene of the crime is one of a housekeeper’s nightmare. Clothes are everywhere. Travel gadgets, empty luggage, and discarded trash is strewn across the room. One can sense the tragedies that have taken place, as if essence of the tank-in-question was still in the air, if not just ever so slightly.

This is not the first time a crime had been committed on the premises. Just two days ago, a canine criminal, only known to the underground community as “Roddick,” was found defacing travel equipment, a Kenneth Cole carry-on. A haz-mat team was called to the scene early Saturday morning, and the area was cleaned of residual “marking urine.” Officials have declared the case an act of passion, and does not see this as a repeat offender.

Roddick is not a prime suspect for the theft, but no one has been ruled out indefinitely. A Missing Brotank Report was filed as soon as Seattle PD arrived to the scene. These MBR’s have a high percentage of RTO, or return to owner, but only if reported immediately. 80% of all missing Brotanks are found, typically in the laundry or under the bed within a 48 hour window. Outside of that, both probably and hope dwindles to a measly 3% RTO.

Authorities are asking for all residents of Seattle to be on high alert for a medium blue Quicksilver Brotank. Medium in size, the Brotank has always known to be gregarious in nature, kind-hearted, and always willing to help a Bro in need. A picture of the last known whereabouts are shown below. Any information leading to the possible safe return of the Brotank should be reported immediately.

The missing Brotank has been gone for 24 hours. Please alert authorities for any known whereabouts of said Brotank.

The missing Brotank has been gone for 24 hours. Please alert authorities for any known whereabouts of said Brotank.

A candlelight vigil will be held on October 15th, when the owner gets back after fleeing the country in disdain.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Quicktips # 22 ‚Äď Spaghetti Matches

Thought pasta was only good for Italian food and macaroni beads? Wrong! Here’s a handy little Quicktip that I’ve picked up recently. If you need to light a candle or a barbeque and don’t have a long reach lighter or matches, you can use a piece of spaghetti to fire them all up in one go!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

Roddick’s Pregame Outfit

39 days and counting until the season opener game for Michigan. In honor of the soon to be classic game against defending national champion Alabama in Jerryworld (Dallas, TX), I’ve decided to put Roddick in some college game day attire.

He didn’t like it very much.

But whatever, he knows who feeds him ūüôā

Dressed in a blue J Crew V-Neck sweater and a maize and blue tie, I gotta say, the SOB is quite dapper looking, don’t you agree?

Yu Live Yu Get Bored and Dress Your Dog.

Quicktip #21 – Visine For Your Zits

Got a crazy, red, blotchy zit? Here’s a quick tip… put some Visine on a cotton ball or a Q-Tip, and hold it on your zit for a minute. Turns out the active ingredient that decreases the redness in our eyes will also decrease the redness of your zit, and make it much less noticeable!

I wish I had known this in my teens…

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

Drinking and Running: My First 5K!

On Tuesday I ran my very first 5K, the Firecracker 5000 5K!!¬†As the only midnight run in Seattle to celebrate the 4th of July, the¬†Seattle Center run seemed like an awesome way to kick off the “Seattle Summer” (locals say summer never starts until July 5th, ever). The Independence Day themed run will began at 11:55 p.m., when an over 1700 runners ran around the streets of Seattle Center in 4th of July spirit!

Oh, did I mention I went to the bar first?

Are you surprised?

I signed up for the race with my friend Lisa (who runs marathons and the like) and had our own cheering crew comprised of Kip, Casey, Ang, and Chris. Since the race didn’t start until 5 minutes before midnight, we figured we had plenty of time to pregame (prerace?) for the event!

What a great experience! Now I have the runner’s itch (no not the kind of itch in your shorts)… I want to run another race!!! I may just sign up for the Warrior Dash, or maybe even the¬†Tough Mudder now. Did much better than I thought I would (I wasn’t even 100% sure I would finish it) but I did a 7:53 mile!

Yu Live, Yu Drink and Run

Photo from here.


In honor of our country turning 236 years old, I thought it would share some awesome things that are made in the shape of the 48 contiguous United States (sorry Hawaii and Alaska)!

Bookshelves in the shape of the states

Skillets in the shape of the states

License plate map of all 50 states

And just cause this is awesome, a footprint shaped pool!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here, here, here, and here.

How Captain America’s Penis Hijacked My Blog

Yes, you read that right.

Let me explain.

I’ve been blogging for about 10 months now, on and off, and I think I’ve made pretty good progress. It’s been a struggle at times, but mostly, it’s been a nice way to blow off some steam, be a bit creative, and rant about my new favorite things, like the Batman Wallet or how awesome the Furminator is. Sometimes a couple of dozen people read my blog, sometimes a hundred or even two hundred read my blog, as was the case on the days I posted about mispronouncing “all intents and purposes” or about long distance¬†friendships. On days like that I felt like the next best thing, even coming up with new names like “The Yuington Post” and “The new YOLO: YLYL (YuLiveYuLearn).”

Which is why I nearly died when I found out I got 500 hits on my blog yesterday.

500 hits! That’s nearly DOUBLE what I had on my most popular day! Did I finally make FRESHLY PRESSED? Am I famous now? Was all this blogging finally going to pay off?


As it turns out, Captain America’s Penis had hijacked my blog.


You see, a couple of days ago I had posted a video (my first) to my blog showing the naked bicyclists during the Fremont Solstice Parade. It was a cool experience, which I had never witnessed before, so I thought it would be nice to put up on my blog. It was just a good way of documenting something cool in my life and then I kinda forgot about it.

Well, little did I know, I had accidentally videotaped someone with a little bit of clout in some communities. Yes, I had videotaped Captain America. I wouldn’t have found this out if I didn’t check where all these hits came from, and it turned out about 400 of them came from a website called, which turns out to be a gay-friendly site. They had done of of their own reporting, and showcased slideshow of the people at the parade here: PHOTOS: Freak Flags, Bare Buns Fly at the Fremont Solstice Parade. Curious as to why so many people had been referred to my blog from that specific site, I checked it out and I soon realized someone had put a link to my website in the comments section, amidst the outcry that had censored the photos.

So, there it is. 400 people came to my blog to watch a video to find the half second where naked Captain America zooms by, and to see if they liked what they saw, if you get my drift. All I have to say is, Captain America, whoever you are, thank you for generating more hits to my website in a split second than I have in about a month. As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity, right?

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here.

Roddick: A Story of a Dog’s 3rd Birthday and His 21 Shots

I’ve officially become that guy that celebrates his dog’s birthday, and I have absolutely no shame (this is also making up for last year, when I totally forgot about his 2nd birthday). Roddick turned 3 this weekend, which meant spending a full day doing awesome dog things! Went to a dog-friendly restaurant, Norms, where Roddick accepted way too many treats under the table. Next, off to¬†Petpalooza¬†where Colin, Jen, and I treated him to a slew of new toys and bones. Then off to Magnuson Park,¬†a 9-acre doggy Disneyland complete with water access (Lake Washington‚Äôs freshwater shoreline). After wearing him out, we gave him the surprise of a lifetime and a gift quite appropriate for his 3rd birthday, 21 shots of his favorite foods!

Check out the pictures here:

Yu Live, Yu Celebrate Birthdays!

Fremont Solstice Parade (Part 3) THE WACKIEST CARS YOU’VE EVER SEEN

Aside from the whole naked bicycling thing…

The Fremont Solstice Parade actually has one of the coolest collections and presentations of Art Cars in the Northwest. There are over 75 decorated cars are on display in the Burke Building Parking lot on the Rocket Block.¬†Seattle Art Cars is a loosely knit group of ‚Äúcartists‚ÄĚ best known for organizing the annual Seattle Art Car Blowout (SACBO). Forming in 1998 to participate in ‚ÄėArts Edge‚Äô at the Seattle Center, Seattle Art Cars gathered 28 artists together to display their Art Cars. The following year, they became part of the annual Fremont Fair, where up to 75 decorated cars are on view as part of the Seattle Art Car Blowout.

Yu Live, Yu See Funny Cars

Fremont Solstice Parade (Part 2) VIDEO – NAKED BICYLISTS

Happy Summer Solstice everyone! 16 full hours of sunlight in Seattle today!

Check out Part 1 of my three part post of the Fremont Solstice Parade here: Fremont Solstice Parade (Part 1) PARADE

But I bet what you’re really interested is the video of the naked bicycle riders that makes the Fremont Solstice Parade truly “Seattle.”

You can watch the video below, but of course, note that this is NSFW! ūüėČ

And some random pictures too:

Yu Live, Yu Might Ride Naked Next Year

Fremont Solstice Parade (Part 1) PARADE

Oh Seattle, you are ridiculous.

I have the pleasure of both living and working in the wonderfully hip and eccentric neighborhood of Fremont. Each year, the Fremont Arts Council sponsors the Fremont Solstice Parade, an event that hosts has over 50,000 people crowded into a neighborhood (guessing) maybe 10 blocks by 10 blocks. The parade kicks off the Fremont Fair, a benefit for local organizations.

For more information on Fremont, check out this link.

Though the entire Festival and Fair lasts all weekend, the main attraction is the pageant, a large-scale community play using over a hundred dancers, musicians and giant puppets, follows the parade at the end of the parade route at Gas Works Park, where I’m TOLD people just light up and smoke weed all day long.

Admission to the fair is free.

The parade is famous for its wild and creative floats and ensembles and for the Solstice Cyclists who strip down before the parade and paint their bodies unofficially start the parade every year.

My video of the naked cyclists can be found HERE! ūüôā You know you’re going to watch. NSFW, obviously.

Check out pictures of the parade below!

Yu Live, Yu Enjoy Summer Solstice

Mariner’s All-Star Club Seats

Sweet Jesus, this is what baseball should be like! Last Saturday, we were privy to 4 All-Star Club seats for the 2nd game of a 3 game series against the San Francisco Giants. Prior to this I had never had great seats to any baseball game (except once at Shea Stadium) let alone box seats right above the first base line with a private bar and an all-inclusive buffet. Also, having sat in Michigan Stadium for most of my adult life, you forget how nice it is to sit on a wide leather chair, and not 18 inches of cold metal planks… jus’ sayin’…

Check out some of the pictures from the game below!

Batman Money Clip

How cool is this!?!? I recently wrote a post showcasing another wallet, from Dosh International, here. But as slick and awesome that wallet is, this one trumps them all. It’s a Batman money clip! It’s die cast with a magnetic locking mechanism, with a total of 4 inches open winged. Best of all, its only $25, courtesy of

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

God, Remember Floppy Disks?

Remember when you used to put your papers and stuff on floppy disks? And then had to split your file cause it was too much to be stored on one 1.44MB disk? And now you can put a 64GB into a thumbdrive¬†for about $39.99.¬†For those math geeks out there, that’s a ~4,444%¬†improvement!

Guess the only cool thing to do with those now are to make nostalgia-filled pen holders…

But at least they’re not as bad as these. I feel old just remembering them! I used to have to go rifle through these 8 inch floppy (that sounds dirty…) disks to go find my Oregon Trail and Mavis Beacon typing game.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here and here.

University of Michigan: An Uncommon Campus

Amazing video posted by the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. It covers the Angell Planetarium, the Museum of Natural History, the science labs, the new North Quad, and of course¬†the Nichol’s Arboretum. God I miss college!

Yu Live, Yu Bleed Blue

Fancy Wallet Irony

Have you ever thought about how ironic buying a wallet is? You purchase a wallet to hold your money, but then don’t have anymore money cause you spent it all on a goddamn wallet. #firstworldproblems.

Which is why someone should buy this for me. Please buy this for me. Please? You can buy it here and then overnight it to me. K thanks.

Yu Live, Yu Loves Wallets

Photo from here.

That Horrifying Moment When You Realize You’ve Been Mispronouncing Something Forever

Well, I just learned something new today… I’m typically pretty good with words (the geek in me will tell you that I’ve been doing a NY Times crossword puzzle every night for the past week before I go to bed).

Apparently it’s not “for all intensive purposes,” it’s “for all intents and purposes!”

My jaw literally dropped while reading this article about the decline of Facebook. I’m just glad I didn’t write it down on say, my thesis, or yell it out during a debate of sorts…

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

Mailbox Peak!

Finally put some pictures up. Check out our awesome hike up to Mailbox Peak May 26th, 2012! 100 times harder than my hike to Rattlesnake Ridge earlier this year. From the Washington Trails Association:

Wimpy hikers, turn the page. This trail offers nothing for you but pain and heartbreak. If you think you’ve got the goods to scramble up more than 1000 feet per mile, read on. Mailbox Peak brings a serious burn to the thighs of even the best-conditioned athletes, but the rewards make it all worthwhile. From the top of this jutting lump of rock, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the lower Snoqualmie River valleys. The entire Issaquah Alps range sprawls at your feet, with the rocky-topped Mount Si directly across the Middle Fork Valley and the sheer wall of Rattlesnake Ledge just across the South Fork Valley. After soaking in the views, pull the summit register out and leave your signature–you’ll find the tattered pages of a notebook in an old metal mailbox wedged above the summit rocks.

The trail leaves the road and turns near vertical, climbing ever-more steeply over the next 2.5 miles–the first 0.5 mile of road walking gains only a few hundred feet of elevation, leaving about 3800 feet for the last 2.5 miles. That means you’ll be climbing about 1500 feet per mile, and most hikers consider anything over 1000 feet per mile to be steep!

The first mile of climbing makes use of a few switchbacks–though a few more would moderate the pitch more reasonably. From there on, turns and twists become fewer and farther between. The trail climbs with ruthless focus–to get to the top in as direct a line as possible. As you move above 4000 feet, the forest falls away, the views open, and all pretense of switchbacks disappears. You’ll now be scrambling up steep, open hillsides. An old forest fire scoured the slope here, removing the tree cover but making space for a wonderful mix of heather, beargrass, and dense huckleberry thickets.

Finally, after one last scramble through the rocky crown around the summit, you’re there, standing beside the battered mailbox on the top of Mailbox Peak. After you catch your breath, pat yourself on the back–because if you’re on the summit, you’ve conquered perhaps the most difficult hike in [Seattle]!

Yu Live, Yu Hike

Vans iPhone Case

I would buy this in a heartbeat if I still had an iPhone…

Definitely putting it on my Want List, for when I do (and I probably will) one day get another iPhone. Interested in buying one? You can check it out here.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.