Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs

How is it that you still manage to work your way into my head?

One night and one more time
Thanks for the memories
Even though they weren't so great
He tastes like you, only sweeter
One night, yea, one more time
Thanks for the memories
Thanks for the memories
See, he tastes like you, only sweeter

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blimpy Burger on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"!

Click on the above link to check out airtimes where Ann Arbor's favorite burger institution will be featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network!

Courtesy of ArborWiki:
Double, triple, quad, quint. With cheese? Anything Grilled?
There's a fine art to ordering these burgers.
Blimpy has a dedicated and loyal following, and has won several awards such as "best burger in town" from Ann Arbor publications like The Michigan Daily and the Ann Arbor News. Their slogan for 50+ years has been 'Cheaper than Food' -- but the price of a typical 3-patty burger (don't be surprised, they're tiny) is somewhere around $4. You certainly get you pay for, and if you need just a tad more convincing, as stated on a sign on the door, they grind their own beef daily!
Jim Shafer, the founder, died in 2004.

Advice for Blimpy Newbies: Always grab a tray. Unless you're getting your food to go, that is. But if not, remember: it's one tray per person. Even if it's just a young child who is half the height of the counter, everyone must have one. Typically, avoid anything that isn't a burger for your main meal. With sides (like fries, onion rings, fried vegetables) being an exception, personally I would stay with the tried and true, which are their burgers. Don't order the cheese when you order your burger. This may sound strange, but there is an extremely particular order and format which you must follow in order to successfully order your meal, and avoid being scolded (no joke):
1. First, you'll want to grab a drink from the cooler, or as of late, get a cup and fill it up at the fountain (Coca-Cola and Coke products are exclusively available here).
2. After getting your drink and grabbing a tray, you'll be asked for your selection of items from the deep fryer, I suggest fries or onion rings.
3. Now is the moment you've been waiting for: ordering the burger; now pay attention here.
This is how you order your burger: State the number of patties you'd like (1-5, with it costing a dollar extra for each one after that), the type of bun you'd like (plain w/ or w/o seeds, or an onion, kaiser, or pumpernickel roll), and if you'd like anything grilled. DO NOT MENTION CHEESE, yet.
But there's more explaining to be done than just this. First of all, as stated earlier, the patties are quite small. Ordering just one isn't even allowed, unless you're under five. A double is a good amount for some, generally younger kids, ages 5-8, but everyone's different. Triples are the most popular, and in my opinion the perfect size. There's not any explanation needed for the bun, and as for grilled items, people have varying tastes. Grilled items include onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, bacon, egg, and salami. Shifting back to the ordering process, although you now know the format of an order, it's quite discourteous to the over-worked Blimpy staff to dawdle while you're ordering. Everything else is very fast-paced, so the ordering should be too. For instance, you shouldn't say, "Well...I guess I'll have a burger with some onions, and um...a regular bun, oh yeah, and make that a triple." It's not that that isn't a correct order, it's just too drawn-out. A good order would be, "I'll have a triple, regular bun, onions grilled."
4. As the burger is almost done being grilled (and this is entertainment in and of itself), you'll be asked what kind of cheese you'd like. There are quite a few selections, american, cheddar, swiss, provolone, blue, and feta.
5. After this, you will be asked for your condiments. Start with the wet stuff first (mayo, mustard, ketchup) then anything else you'd like (lettuce, pickles, tomato, olives, peppers, etc.) Don't just say you want everything because you probably don't. Then, finally, you are ready to feast upon your luscious burger. But don't forget to pay, and if you're feeling nice, give those great folks at Blimpy a tip.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

you're still the missing line in my favorite song

I've started logging my workouts again, especially now that I'm back training on my own. Here's the link to my workout blog: Get Some, Go Again! Take a look, try some workouts, and let me know how it goes! As you'll see on that blog, I did a "Filthy Fifty" today, one of the CrossFit oldies-but-goodies, but I had to change some of the exercises because of equipment limitations. That didn't make it any easier, though. I must say doing 50 burpees as the next-to-last exercise on the WOD was the real kicker. I mean, 50 burpees for time is a pretty nasty workout in itself!

Other than that, not much to report. Although my roommate and I cooked dinner tonight - she made shepherd's pie and I baked this (courtesy of It's a pretty tasty and easy recipe - you should try it for yourself and see how it turns out! Of course, it's probably not something you'd eat everyday (oh, the sin!) but it's great for kicks.

The moon blindsided the sky again
As we grabbed loose ends of the tide and then
The slippery slide
You know, I can't say when
I ever took a ride that could slap me this silly
With roiling joy
Lazy as sin
Lyin' up in heaven with my special friend
And the space he's in
It can make a girl grin
In the beginning of a lifelong fling

Over the Rhine - Lifelong Fling

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

hit me with your best shot

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Helen Keller
US blind & deaf educator (1880 - 1968)

I know everyone has probably seen or heard this oft-used quote in one form or another, but I have to say it resonates with me. The past three weeks have been, frankly, one of the hardest times ever, but things are definitely looking up now and there are so many opportunities, far more than I ever imagined that there would be! It's funny how resourcefulness kicks in only when humans are pushed to their limits or their wits' ends. And after I've searched, I've realized that there are far greener pastures out there, just waiting to be explored. I've also come to realize that there are all sorts of people out there, some who are truly, indubitably great friends and people I'm incredibly thankful for, and others who are just looking to bring you down. To the former, thank you with all my heart. To the latter - I say it'll take far more than that to bring me down, and I only hope that you won't succumb to your own follies. Here's to great friends, an awesome final semester at U-M, CrossFit, olympic weightlifting, and everything God has blessed me with!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Isaiah 40

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oceanside, CA

I flew into San Diego this afternoon to attend a CrossFit Level 1 Certification which begins tomorrow at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. The first thing that struck me when I reached California was the abundant sunshine and balmy temperatures - as always, a welcome change from the frigidity of Michigan. Somehow the lady at Enterprise Car Rental managed to wheedle me into renting a gleaming white '07 Kia Sportage SUV (I know, I know... but it handles well) for the three days I'd be here. I should have rented the Dodge Caliber instead - I've always thought it looked interesting, if not a vehicle that I'd want to drive in the long term - and it was probably cheaper. Oh well. I drove up I-5 to my hotel at Oceanside, CA, spent some time unloading, checking in, and expressing dismay at the high gas prices here, which were around twenty to thirty cents higher per gallon compared to back in Ann Arbor. I dropped in at CrossFit Encinitas, about twenty minutes south of Oceanside, to check out the facility and join the 5:00 pm class. The workout was simple but good - 3 sets of 5 shoulder presses, followed by a metcon component that comprised 3 rounds of 15 24-inch box jumps, 15 Russian KB swings with a 24 kg KB, and 15 ball slams with a 20# D-ball. After that, we did 5 sets of dead hang pullups to failure and practiced Turkish getups with a KB.

On my way back up north to Oceanside, I decided to drop by Pollos Maria, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place that specialized in charbroiled chicken. I had made up my mind to sample some authentic Mexican food while I was in Southern California, and a search on revealed this well-reviewed gem. I ordered a fish taco (I've heard you simply have to try fish tacos while you're in the San Diego area), a veggie taco, and a sweet tamale to go, and drove back up to Oceanside, parked a ways from the beach, walked down, and savored dinner amidst the cool night air and the sound of the crashing waves of the Pacific. Oceanside seems to be a favorite of skater kids too, and as I was eating at a stone table by the beach, a gangly kid in skater garb told me to join him and his friends for drinks and more food if I hadn't had enough by the time I was done. Pollos Maria more than did the job, however (the fish taco was especially lovely, and it was my first time eating a tamale flavored with juicy chunks of pineapple and raisins), but I must say the casual invitation proffered by the youth really did make my day. Especially when I'd spent much of the rest of the day alone and had found it difficult to keep my mind from wandering towards the thoughts that had been plaguing me for a good while now. After dinner, I spent some time on the streets of Oceanside, dodging vehicles to cross the streets, and soaking in the atmosphere of the town. There were numerous watering holes, most of them seedy-looking -interspersed with military outfitters and barber shops who presumably catered to the large number of Marine servicemen in the vicinity. I wandered around for a bit, noticing the disproportionately large number of males who sported flat-top haircuts, before returning to my car and driving back to the inn. I'm looking forward to Day 1 of the CrossFit Level 1 Cert tomorrow. Imagine, seven full hours' worth of technique, skill instruction, and workouts! I'm pretty psyched.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Philippians 4:7

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"peace... which transcends all understanding..."

We're driving, just me and God.

We're driving, just me and God
It's raining, it's raining hard
The windows are steaming up
The bridge engulfed by fog
The rust of the metal bridge
It beckons, it blows me in
I argue, I scream at God
And what he's offering

My hands fly off the steering wheel
Can't recall getting here
If I could, I would reach behind
And turn my light on
My thoughts run off the beaten track
There's no light
How's the way back
Take the hand of God and bite the feeder
No more lingering

This song from Darren Hayes' latest album, "This Delicate Thing We've Made", is achingly beautiful - it's been on repeat ever since I first listened to it four days ago. Just a couple evenings ago, I was sitting in my car in an empty, darkened parking lot with the engine running and the headlights turned off, as the haunting melody cut through what seemed at that moment (oh the irony!) to be an interminable silence.

I'm driving, I talk to God
He's screaming, I only nod
I need to be where you are
The leaves and trees are shaking
It's raining, the bullets melt
The hunger, of hunger itself
It's draining but pain has reservoirs
It keeps for itself

I'm falling, I'm not myself
I'm diving, I'm underneath
The huddle of a mighty ship
That steams away from here
The bubbles, the surface waves
They're shining, they replicate
I hear it
The voice of God is laced with
Sarcasm in your head

I'd give anything to retrace my footsteps and start all over again. I should have stayed, stopped to smell the roses, and bent over to retie my loose shoelace, before continuing on my way - instead of rushing along blindly and tumbling headfirst into a thorny bush after tripping over my undone sneaker.

My thoughts run off the beaten track
There's no light
How's the way back
Take the hand of God and bite the feeder
No more lingering

My hands fly off the steering wheel
Can't recall getting here
If I could, I would reach behind
And turn my light on

Sunday, January 13, 2008

i'll be calling your name as i float through your window

Today was a good day.

Benchmark WOD:
2000 m row

5 sets of 5 reps -
Front Squat
Overhead Squat

Finished my 2k row in 8:01.3, giving me a split of 2:00.3, which is better than I've ever done in my life, even when I was rowing for Michigan. I think my previous PR was 8:08 or so. I surprised even myself there! The squats were good as well. I worked up to 145# for my last set of 5 front squats, and up to 105# for my last set of 5 overhead squats. After that, I stayed behind to practice clean and jerks under Patrick's expert eye. My previous PR for the C&J was 125#, but I amazed myself once again when 130# went up without much difficulty. On my first attempt at a 135# C&J, I made the clean but missed the jerk. On my second try, though, I made both! And so now I have a PR of 135# for the C&J. Sweet. It's funny, because I took about a month off O-lifting as well as hardcore CrossFitting since returning to Singapore (where I did more middle-distance running and long swims, and only one CF WOD a day, which was more metcon and less strength-centric), and yet everything seems to have improved. I remember being slightly burnt out right before I left for Singapore, and so I cut back on the CF WODs while incorporating more endurance training. Maybe I've discovered what it is that makes me tick.

I only wish the rest of my life would sort itself out as nicely. I can't believe the number of times I've been hitting the "refresh" button today. It doesn't make any difference at all, I know it doesn't. Sigh.

We're driving
Just me and God
It's raining
It's raining hard
The windows
Are steaming up
The bridge
Engulfed by fog

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Darren Hayes - Sing To Me

You step behind a curtain
In a moment you were gone
Nothing's ever certain
And it's hard to carry on

This is not what we planned
And I know it's hard to understand
But if this isn't what you want then
If this isn't what you need
Pry my fingers from your hand

And maybe it's just meant to be
Maybe you'll find a way to haunt me
Come back and sing a melody to me

Maybe we're just lost at sea
Maybe I'm holding on to driftwood
And I'll be alright if you could
Sing to me
Sing to me

You step beneath the landslide
Nothing feels right when you're wrong
And try to find an upside
Try to sing without a song

This is not what we planned
And I know it's hard to understand
But if this isn't what you want then

And maybe it's just meant to be
Maybe you'll find a way to haunt me
Come back and sing a melody to me

Maybe we're just lost at sea
Maybe I'm holding on to driftwood
And I'll be alright if you could
Sing to me
Sing to me

I keep seeing flashes of your hands
When I close my eyes
And I don't know why
And I don't know why

Help me make sense of what I don't understand
'Cause I've gotta know why
I've gotta know why
Tell me
Why do you sing to me

And maybe it's just meant to be
That you would sing to me
Maybe we're just lost at sea
Could you come sing for me

And maybe it's just meant to be
Maybe we're just lost at sea
Would you come sing for me
Sing for me

Thursday, January 10, 2008

can't believe that i'm the fool again

i'm so tired. and upset. and disappointed. in myself.

tell me, what will it take to make you come back?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

that girl, stealing every daydream

Time in Singapore has gone by like a whirlwind. I can hardly wait to be back in Ann Arbor, though (despite the snowstorms, blustery winds and the thought of having to excavate my car from beneath the snow and ice). Last term as an undergraduate! I must treasure the remainder of my time in Ann Arbor, quite possibly the best college town in all of America. I know there'll be people who might be disinclined to agree, but personally I think Michigan has been an excellent fit for me. Go Blue!