Pretty Awesome Hipster Proposal

Ever since first hearing Bruno Mars’ song Marry You, I knew there would be some baller lip-syncing proposal, but I never thought it would be this cool. I think the best part about this proposal is the fact that it’s not in some public park or on a sidewalk… just at his brother’s house and the residential street. Sometimes public fanfare can go so wrong, so it was good that all the people in it were friends and family, and not awkward bystanders. Check it out!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo and Video found here and here.

Oh, so THAT’S what a Swiffer is for!

I’ve just come to the realization that Roddick has no idea what a Swiffer is for. The only thing he knows is that every time it comes out, it means he gets to retrieve all his lost toys from under the couch! Maybe that’s  why he always chases it around the room!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Quicktips # 20 – Plastic Bag Glove

Tired of always getting your hands dirty while playing with your dog? Realize that it does in fact rain a lot in Seattle and that you will most likely have a muddy dog (and ball) on your hands anytime you go outside before 8am? Want to fix all of that?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a Quicktip I’ve come to use quite often… If you want to keep your hands clean, take a baggy (which you should be carrying with you anyway) and put it over your hand (just like picking up poops). You’ll keep your hands clean/dry/warm, and when nature calls, you’re already primed to pick up the mess!

Huzzah!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

MLA Swag

I attended my first conference ever yesterday, the very exciting Medical Library Association annual meeting, held this year at the Washington State Convention Center in my new hometown of Seattle! Though I’m a sucker for odd events like this, I found that one of the cooler parts of this convention was the ridiculous amounts of useless swag readily available for everyone to grab.

*DISCLAIMER: I am by no means saying that these items are cool or particularly swagger-ific, but as a future hoarder and collector of useless items, I am indeed excited about my loot. Yes, I know this makes me less cool. Trust me, I know.*

Here are a couple of items I picked up. Be jealous. Or don’t be, doesn’t matter.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Bumbershoot: When Are YOU Going?

Seattle Bumbershoot lineup is now available! Which days are you going to go?

Luckily, the only day I can go is the day that I would go anyway. Getting back from Dallas after the College Football’s most anticipated game: the Michigan/Alabama Cowboy Classic Season Opener!

Here’s the lineup for Monday:

Monday’s Lineup

Bumbershoot is an annual music and arts festival held in Seattle, Washington. One of North America’s largest such festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend at the Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

Office Post-Its

As most of you may know, there have been some very elaborate Post-It wars going on. You can check them out here, http://www.postitwar.com/. Here’s a couple of modest contributions of Post-It artwork at the office.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

30 Days to Hawaii: Leaving on a Jet Plane!

Countdown is finally done. See ya’ll when I get back!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: The Importance of Traveling Lightly

The importance of traveling lightly should not be taken lightly! I’ve gone on weekend trips and month-long trips, and what I’ve realized the following regardless of any type of traveling you do:

The lighter your luggage, the happier the traveler.

Which is why I haven’t checked a bag in 4 years. I find that by limiting yourself to a carry-on sized bag, you will keep yourself from overpacking, and thus avoid having to lug around far too much weight while traveling. So whereever you go, try to limit yourself to just a carry-on bag as your main source of luggage.

A 9″ x 22″ x 14″ duffel bag is an ideal carry-on bag good for any purpose. It provides you with the pleasures of mobility and freedom, and you’ll never go any other way.

Here are some of the reasons why sticking strictly with a carry-on is beyond clutch:

  • When using a carry-on, you are less likely to have your bag lost, stolen, or broken mid-transit.
  • If you have less weight on you, you will have more opportunities to travel more without wearing yourself out.
  • Flight changes will become a breeze, since you don’t have to worry about your baggage not making it.
  • You don’t have to pay for baggage fees on planes, buses, taxi, etc.
  • You don’t have to wait in line for baggage check (especially helpful if you are consistently late for your flight like I am).
  • You can get out of the airport the moment you land, instead of waiting (for what seems like hours) at the baggage carousel.
  • They don’t weigh your carry-on bags (again, less fees).
  • You don’t have that awkward moment with the bellhop at the hotel.

An interesting fact about traveling light is that this way of traveling life is no longer a secret. As baggage fees have increased (and as tens of thousands of people read my blog… I kid, I kid), more people are foregoing checked bags and opting for carry-ons instead. This has created a free-for-all (codename: nightmare) for overhead space, so make sure you try and get preferred seating through your frequent flyer miles (or you know, fly first class…)

So the next time you go on vacation, think: do I really want to carry ALL of this stuff with me while I’m constantly on the move? Do I really need all this stuff? Can I get any of this while I’m traveling? Asking these questions will allow you to get rid of your clunky suitcases, opening the doors to a new type of travel, one that will give you freedom to bypass luggage handlers, lower the chances of losing your bags, and save you the hassle of lugging around additional pounds of unnecessary weight.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: The AMT Workout

I recently tweaked my knee running around the steep hills of Queen Anne, and after consulting with dear old Dr. Google, apparently the best thing (and possibly only thing) I can do is just rest my newly bum knee and keep off of it for a while. Unfortunately, Dr. Google doesn’t know that I am on a strict Hawaii-bound schedule, and to me, being inactive before heading to the beach is as big of a faux pas has a surgeon getting high before a surgery.

So dealing with my aging body, I’ve decided to try something new for a change. I hopped one of the new AMT machines, or the Adaptive Motion Trainers, at my gym and gave it a go.  It’s like a weird hybrid stairmaster/treadmill/elliptical that lets you switch from short to long strides or move in to deep lunges pretty ergonomically. It helps you mimic a running motion without the impact of a treadmill/sidewalk, but still gives you the flexibility of adjusting your strides, unlike an elliptical. You also can shift from walking to running and it will automatically adjust to your movements. It also has two dual action arms for a total-body workout. In addition, I’m lucky enough to have one with a personal TV right on it, so any workout is a breeze.

The AMT, or Adaptive Motion Trainer

Armed with my new machine pal, I decided to challenge myself to adding an hour of this machine workout in addition to any workout I would normally do. I found that the calorie calculator (though I’m not sure how accurate they are) actually noted that I would burn more calories than I normally would on another machine within an hour, typically within the 680-750 cal/hr range. And since it only takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat, I decided it would be cool to see if I could shape up a bit before going on my trip. Besides, having packed on the winter weight, it was time to get a little more active anyway.

Some Notes

  • Since deciding about Hawaii 25 days ago, I’ve used this machine 18 times.
  • In total, I have done 19.5 hours on the AMT, typically in 1 or 1.5 hour increments.

In the Meantime… Multitasking.

  • I read 14 magazines
  • I watched 8 March Madness Basketball games
  • I read 2 books (1/2 Catching Fire, Mockingjay and 1/2 The Dogs of Babel)
  • Watched ~10-15 episodes of How I Met Your Mother, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report

Measurable Results

  • Burned 14318 calories
  • Traveled 114.12 miles

Having done this on top of my typical workout, whether it be boot camp, yoga, or weight training, I can honestly say I was able to drop ~4 pounds just because of this machine alone. My knee doesn’t hurt nearly as much, I got a lot of reading done, and most importantly, it doesn’t feel like I spent a ridiculous amount of time working out. Part of it was having reading material or TV to watch, since for me it makes the time go by quicker and I feel twice as accomplished versus just working out. For anyone looking for a low-impact, measurable, and steady machine to add to your workouts, the AMT should be it.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: First Time Hiking in Washington

It’s 7 days until Hawaii… I am so pumped.

One of the things we’re going to do is hike up the mountains in Oahu and Maui, so I figured it would be good to get some practice doing so while here in Seattle. I had actually not gone hiking in Seattle (but  have gone snowshoeing!) so it was also my very first Pacific Northwest hiking adventure.

A couple of my coworkers were going to Rattlesnake Ridge in North Bend, WA, so I decided to invite a couple of friends, Brandon and Stuart, to come with.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

30 Days to Hawaii: Flying on Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

It’s not uncommon to know someone who is superstitious about this day; it’s estimated that over 17 million people in the world have friggatriskaidekaphobics, or the fear of Friday the 13th. This irrational (at least to me) fear has resulted in the absence of the number 13 from airplane rows, entire floors on high rises, and hotel rooms.

Another effect of Friday the 13th is a dip in airfares! According to Kayak, prices on airfares drop by as much as 20% on this date, so if you’re looking for a good discount, simply fly when everyone else is afraid to so do! This is definitely good news for the un-superstitious flyer, as the lack of demand often means cut price deals on last minute seats.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: Cold Water Diet, Fact or Fiction?

Did you know that drinking cold water versus room temperature water can help you lose weight?

A couple of facts:

  • Your body burns calories warming up the water in your body
  • A calorie is defined as the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
  • Calorie, or kilocalorie, are what we normally think are calories (so whatever number you’re thinking, divide by 1000)

According to Discovery Health, when you drink a 16-ounce (0.5 liter) glass of ice water:

  • The temperature of ice water can be estimated at zero degrees Celsius.
  • Body temperature can be estimated at 37 degrees Celsius.
  • It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
  • There are 473.18 grams in 16 fluid ounces of water.

So in the case of a 16-ounce glass of ice water, your body must raise the temperature of 473.18 grams of water from zero to 37 degrees C. In doing so, your body burns 17,508 calories. But remember, we have to divide by 1000, so that’s only 17.5 additional Calories burned by drinking ice water versus room temperature water.

Multiply that by the 8 glasses of water you should be drinking a day and over time, 70 additional Calories burned a day adds up. If you drink ice water for one year instead of room-temperature water, you can lose up to 9 pounds of fat alone. So, while you definitely shouldn’t depend on ice water consumption to replace exercise or a healthy diet, drinking cold water instead of warm water does, in fact, burn some extra Calories!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: Swimsuits

I need a new swimsuit.

Most of us not living in Florida or California have been cooped up indoors throughout the entire winter season and just can’t to get to the beach. With my trip to Hawaii fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about the swimsuits I’ll be bringing along. Most men generally keep the same bathing suit for an extended period of time, and I’m no exception. I mean, why buy a new pair every year when you only wear your swimsuit a couple times a summer?

Though financially correct, this mindset can be a disaster for your and your ultimate beach persona. The last time I put on a swimsuit was 6 months ago, when I went to Hainan Island with my family for a little beach vacation. And if it weren’t for that trip, it would have been about 11 months ago, when I went last went tubing down the Huron River in Ann Arbor. Think about it, when was the last time you put on a swimsuit? Over time, bodies change, styles change, fabrics change. It may be time to get a new, more updated, and better fitting swimsuit.

Here are a couple that I want. Click on the pictures to take you to the page.

Bonobos, $45 (sale)

Tommy Bahama, $88

RVCA, $55

Though I’m still debating on ordering a swimsuit before I go on this trip, I’m thinking that another option could just be to bring what you have, and if it doesn’t work, toss them and buy new ones! If you’ll be somewhere where you need a swimsuit, you’ll be somewhere where you can buy a swimsuit. However, remember that the rules of swimsuits are the same as clothing: black is slimming, bright colors attract attention, ridiculous patterns are never cool, and anything too tight will always be uncomfortable.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here, here, and here.

30 Days to Hawaii: Quicktips #19 – No Speakers? No Problem!

I have a set of portable speakers that I bring anytime I travel. The speakers are the size of a small book, and can run off of outlet power through the AC/DC adapter or through AA batteries. Having them has come in handy so many times in the past and at only $39.99, using it for the past 8 years has definitely made it a solid investment.

But I got to admit, it’s a little unnecessary now.

I was staring at these speakers the other day, deciding if I should bring them to Hawaii, when I realized that I really don’t need to anymore. At the time, I bought them because there was no such thing as a smartphone, and iPods didn’t have speakers built into them. All you could do was to plug in your MP3 player to a speaker to play music out loud, otherwise you would be relegated to only listen in solitude through your headphones. But now, smartphone speakers are exponentially better, both in quality and volume, so portable speakers have almost become expendable.

But what if you still want an extra “oomph” for your phone? Want to hear your music throughout the entire hotel room? Over the crashes of the waves on the beach? If you don’t have a set of speakers with you, don’t worry! Here’s a Quicktip: Just put your phone or iPod Touch in a bowl and crank up the volume. The concave shape of the bowl will amplify the music. Make sure to aim your speakers at the bottom of the bowl so it reflects the sounds up the sides and out with a significantly greater volume.

On top of that, since there won’t be roaming in Hawaii, I’ll be able to access anything I want through my phone! So, dear old speakers, I won’t be bringing you on my trip. It’s been real.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: An Unexpectedly Awesome (and Healthy!) Lunch

“But I HATE salads.”

That was the first thought that popped into my head the moment I decided it would be wise to go on a healthier diet before my trip to Hawaii.

Up until now, I have always been proud of the fact that I have never had to go on any type of official diet. Luckily, I have always had the metabolism of an Olympic athlete, so it never really mattered. I have always eaten what I want, when I want, and as much as I wanted, and been blessed with the ability to always remain the exact same weight. Some of my ridiculous culinary habits include:

  • Buying “Family Size” portions of rib-eye steak (about 3 pounds) and eating all of it in 2 meals
  • Adding butter to EVERYTHING
  • Spending just shy of $10 each time I go order from the Wendy’s dollar menu – 2 Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, 2 Orders of Chicken Nuggets, 1 Chili, 1 Medium Fries, 1 Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Baked Potato, and a Caesar Salad (you know, to be healthy)
  • Two Words: Dim Sum

The worst part about this is that I’ve never really had a reason to stop either. I get blood work done every year, and while it may sound like I’m bragging (I am), every cholesterol, blood sugar, etc test I’ve gotten has been stellar. I do not gain weight beyond the typical 1-2 pound daily fluctuations either (trust me I’ve tried). I think part of the reason is because I am ridiculously active in my everyday life anyway, but seeing that that isn’t going to change, nothing I do would result in weight gain and an overall unhealthy body. Reasonably so, I really saw no need to change my diet in any way.

But the truth is, even if it’s not technically hurting your body (or at least not bad enough that it shows up on your blood tests), you should always aim to be healthier. Having moved out of the Midwest (ie Ranch Dressing region of the world), I began to realize that eating the way I have previously is not the ideal way to live. Stopping by Papa Johns every night is no way to go, and neither is eating without any portion control. And though anyone that knows me here in Seattle knows that I’m still working on the “portion control” aspect, at least for what I’m ingesting, more wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world.

Which brings me back to salads.

I really do hate salads. They’re usually terrible, doused in some dressing that negates all the vegetable goodness in it. It’s always cold (not a big fan of cold food in general), typically full of foods I would never eat to begin with (why in the world would people want to eat chickpeas?), and it never leaves you feeling satisfied.

But now that I’m on my health/diet overdrive for this trip, I decided to skip the idea of the salad, but still getting my daily fruit/veggie that the ever brilliant food pyramid. Now, nearly 50% of my purchases at the grocery store are in the produce aisle, and I’ve decided to make a “salad” with my favorite fruits and veggies. Everyday, I bring 2-3 pieces of produce to work, and munch on them during the day. One day, I literally had no time for lunch, so I decided to eat them all at once and just make a meal of it. And surprisingly, it was good, healthy, and satisfying.

Here’s an example:

image

Two Navel Oranges, 1 Red Bell Pepper, and 1 Avocado

Though normally I would scoff down a couple of slices of pizza, or a giant sandwich, or an $8 Thai Pad See Ewe, this time, I just had some fruit and vegetables. It cost me $3 total, was healthy, and most importantly kept me full. It’s something that takes seconds to prepare and you can take it on the go. And when you eat it all at once, it doesn’t feel like a snack, but in fact feels like you ate a whole meal. I mean, it literally fills up a tub, so there is no question about whether or not it fills you up.

Additionally, if any of you are currently on a diet, or are concerned about your daily intake, you can check out nutritional information on fruits and vegetables from the National Food and Drug Administration here. My lunch? One red bell pepper contains 1.9 grams of protein, 46 calories, and 3 grams of dietary fiber, one medium orange contains 1.23 grams of protein, 62 calories and 3.1 grams of dietary fiber, and one medium avocado contains 4.02 grams of protein, 322 calories and 13.5 grams of fiber. All together, that’s roughly 9 grams of protein, 500 calories, and over 50% of my daily suggested fiber intake. All for $3 and 1 minute of prep.

The best part is that this “recipe” is customizable to every single person! Just buy the foods you like, remove the mental stigma that “fruit can’t be a full meal,” and just go for it!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

30 Days to Hawaii: Brief Itinerary

ALOHA.

oahu.
oahu.
maui.
maui.
maui.
maui.
oahu.
oahu.
oahu.

ALOHA.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

30 Days to Hawaii: Things To Do in Maui

I recently got the following “Quick Traveler’s Guide to Maui” in an email. Looks like I’m pretty set for our 4 day mini-vacation!

I haven’t been to any of these places but if you have any suggestions, comment below!

To Do:

  • Haleakala Sunrise
  • Lavendar Farm
  • Ia`o Valley/Needle Hike
  • Drive to Hana (there are cool hikes along the way – 7 pools trail) – Scenic magical drive
  • Tedeshi Vineyards

Haleakala Sunrise

Best Beaches:

  • Big Beach
  • Ka`anapali
  • Ho`okipa Beach

Ka’anapali Beach

Towns to Visit:

  • Makawao (cute upcountry town)
  • Lahaina (tourist area to sleep and shop and party)
  • Kaanapali (resorts and awesome beach)

Lahaina

Places to Eat:

  • The Gazebo (breakfast)
  • Mexican restaurant in Makawao
  • Kobe Sushi in Lahaina
  • Lots of good places in Lahaina

The Gazebo

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here, here, here, and here.

30 Days to Hawaii: And the Winner Is…

Guess I’m going to Maui!

I recently asked a ton of people if I should go to Maui or Kauai, and I got a great amount of feedback. Those who go to Hawaii often have told me Kauai, as it offers more of a paradise than Maui. In fact, most people who have been to both Maui and Kauai have told remarked on how beautify Kauai is, and how I should definitely go.

Two reasons why I chose Maui:

  1. I’ve only been to Hawaii once, and I only went to Honolulu. This time around, I want to get the full tour of Hawaii, which in my case, includes seeing touristy places as well as the secluded alcoves. Both Maui and Kauai have an abundance of these secret spots, but only Maui has the nightlife, attractions, and resort-style beaches that I want.
  2. Destiny had been to Kauai but she never been to Maui, and I wanted us to both go on a new adventure together. She’s already taking 5 days off to show me Oahu, so I figure this would be more fun for her.

Boom.

Maui here I come!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.

30 Days to Hawaii: Vancouver Detour Day 3 (Photo Collage)

Photos from here and here.

30 Days to Hawaii: Vancouver Detour Day 2 (Photo Collage)