OakMonster - Run for A Claus

10 Goals for 2015

What an interesting year 2014 has been. 2015 goals are less lofty but more personal. But first, a recap.

2014 Goals Recap: 5 out of 10 + Extra Credit

Last year’s list was quite and ambitious one. Let’s start with all the fails, shall we?


I did not run 5K under 40 minutes at any of the 5 races I did this year. Nor did I finish reading “S”. I don’t even know where I’ve put the book at this point!

I did not learn new phrases in Quenya or Klingon, which, ironically, is the opposite of the only one Klingon word I know, Q’apla which is used as a goodbye/good luck but literally means “success”.

Nor did I seek out “long lost” friends to hang out once a month but I had a few connections.

And obviously, the blog did not get revamp. It got broken but it did not get fixed.


I finally made a pie crust from scratch! Delicious, buttery, crumbly quiche crust for Thanksgiving. One more thing off my Bucket List. Woohoo!

OakMonster - Brussels Sprout Quiche

I completed the Hobbit Diet Challenge in grand style, and took Brandon on an adventure once a month, almost. I cheated a bit on eating fruit and/or vegetables daily with Jamba Juice and smoothie pouches. But hey, I’m doing it!

Finally, I read more than 12 “books” this year. Okay, seven actual books with a good number of graphic novels and comic series. I didn’t say it in the goal last year but I wanted to get into comic books a little bit. After all, how could you cosplay Wolverine effectively if you don’t really know him?

  • Lucky Us – Amy Bloom
  • Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
  • School for Good and Evil: A World without Princes – Soman Chainani
  • Dresden Files: Skin Game – Jim Butcher
  • The Fault in our Stars – John Green (Audio Book)
  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
  • Gwen Stacy: Spider-man. Edge of Spider-Verse #2 – Jason Latour
  • Harley Quinn: The New 52 – Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Wolverine: Killable – Paul Cornell
  • Wolverine: Weapon X – Barry Windsor-Smith
  • Wolverine Origin – Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada and Paul Jenkins
  • Old Man Logan – Mark Millar & Steve McNiven
  • Wolverine – Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
  • Deadpool Complete Collection Volume 1 – Daniel Way
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind –  Zack Whedon


I didn’t plan on participating in Nerdvember, but then I did. What a month of creative expression! I’ve learned 2 things from this exercise: I hate doing a daily selfie and trying to find something new to wear everyday (that is not t-shirt and jeans) is hard.

2015 Goals

Well, here’s what will get a little tricky. Some of these are actual, quantifiable goals. Some are more of a behavioral shift I want to make. We’ll see how we do!

Run 5K under 40 minutes

I’m still going to try! I have to do some more research and find some more training methods to try out.

Learn to make fried chicken

I’ve tried so many different ways and still can’t seem to get the chicken to cook through. I don’t know what my problem is. Many friends have offered to show me the way. So, there will be a lot of fried chicken in my future. This is also an item in my Bucket List.

Cook one new recipe each month

I’ve set this goal back in 2012 and failed. But it was set as cooking a new recipe AND blogging about it. It’s the blogging part that led to the fail, I believe. If I just COOK the meal and not plan a blog around it would have probably worked out better.

Revamp the blog

About damn time, right? ;-)

Play piano/guitar once a month

At a recent Christmas gathering at Tamara’s house, the party broke into a sing-along. At one point, Ken, Wyatt, Heather, and I got a four-part harmony going for “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with everyone singing along.  That definitely inspired me to get back to MAKING music.

Here’s the video of the second go-around of the song after I had left the party.

The feels

A video posted by Tamara Hooper Greet (@tamarakayeg) on

Downsize and simplify everything

I don’t necessarily hoard things. But I have a “let’s keep it just in case” problem. I’ve started working on this process already by moving some of the clothes into the costume closet (because, well, I kind of saved them for THAT reasons) and giving away most of my earrings since I will not re-pierce my ears. I hope to clear out more clothes, gift wraps, arts and craft supplies (there must be some dead tubes of water colors in the box somewhere!), and possibly some books too.

Stop wasting time and energy on those who don’t deserve it…

You already know I’m a year-round gifter and generally a helpful individual. I don’t expect anything in return–it’s just a thing that I do. I don’t usually keep tabs but recently, someone did something that made me reevaluate my good intentions.  It dawned on me I was being taken advantage of. There are people who a) expect me to treat them to things ALL THE TIME, b) keep me company because they get things from me, and, the straw that breaks my back, c) take my generosity for granted.

Fuck that. I’m not doing those fuckers any more kindness.

Stop swimming across oceans for those who won't jump a puddle for you

…and spend more time and energy on those who do

That’s right. I’m going to spend more time and energy on REAL friends from now on.

I may have been guilty of the same crime of not paying attention to some friends, thinking that they’d always be there for me. To that I also say, no more. I will pay more attention to those around me and make an effort to be a better friend.

One adventure a month with Brandon

Sure, I sort of accomplish that last year. But it also comes to my attention that I went gallivanting alone a lot last year, and not putting as much attention into OUR relationship. Well, I’m going to fix that too.

Read 12 books

A permanent goal. If I don’t set it, I won’t do it!

Alright kids. What’s on your 2015 list? Share!

Nerdvember: The Final Days

It’s kind of hard to finish off Nerdvember during Thanksgiving AND the last USC football game of the year. But I did try.

Day 28: Elf from Rise of the Guardian

Inspiration: Christmas tree decoration at the office! I wasn’t going to wear the same ol’ elf hat for that. ;-)

Components: The beautiful, handmade shrug from Pandoras Kloset. (Same person that I got my Jayne’s arm warmers from. And no, I cannot afford a full coat.) Red t-shirt. Red leg warmers.

Challenges: Remembering to pick up the long hood–goes all the way down to my butt–before going to the bathroom, or sit down at my desk. Comments from Muggles: I thought someone would’ve commented on the weird/funky shrug, but nope. Nothing. I think my coworkers are getting used to my “sense of style.”

Day 29: Helen of Troy/Lady Trojan

Inspiration: I first brought out Helen last year at USC Homecoming. Since I missed it this year, I was hoping the weather would be warm enough for Notre Dame game to bring her out. And it was! Components: The dress. The cape. The underbust corset. The sandals. The helmet. Extra point for my grandmother’s red shawl with gold embroidery, not shown in this picture, and the red leg warmers I wore over the sandals earlier in the day, you know, at 6:30 a.m. when I arrived on campus to set up the tailgate party for USC Alumni Club of LA Beach Cities.

#settostunning #Nerdvember Day 29: @uscedu edition: Helen of Troy. #FightOn #BeattheIrish A photo posted by oakley boren (@oakmonster) on

Challenges: I was going to wear this to the Coliseum, but having some drunken Irish fans hollering at me on my way to my last tailgate changed my mind. I know, it sucks. And the world shouldn’t be that way, but it is. I’m not going to put myself in a situation. Besides, short skirt going up and down the Coliseum steps is just not good sense. Heh.

Comments from Muggles: “Fight on!” naturally. :)

Day 30: Hulk at Home

Inspiration: Nothing. Nada. It’s the last day before we go back for the full work week. I’m going to be lazy about it.

Components: Purple shorts I bought for Hulk Bunny which is now my lounge around the house shorts. And Hulk t-shirt Christine bought for me.

Challenges: Getting out of my comfy pink robe to put that on. LOL

Comments from Muggles: No muggles here, fool. Just me, B, and Burt the Hippo.


Nerdvember Day 27: Han Solo

Inspiration: We were going over to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving dinner. Since we don’t have many Nerdvember days left, I really, REALLY want to wear my brand new Gold Bubble Clothing’s Sherlock Holmes dress since I didn’t get to do it last time. The dress looks AWESOME because it’s nice and snug. However, I thought about all the eating we were going to do and then I reconsidered my choice of attire. An A-line dress that does not restrict the belly is a much better choice!

Components: Her Universe Han Solo dress I bought from Hot Topic. Star pendant. And my very own Mandalorian. ;-)

Challenges: Accessories, man. Accessories. I don’t have ANYTHING!

Comments from Muggles: A few people at dinner recognized the dress as Han’s. Success!


Nerdvember Day 26: Firefly

Inspiration: Working half day! I wasn’t going to put too much effort into it. ;-)

Components: Jason Palmer’s Firefly t-shirt. Another ThinkGeek vintage Jayne zip up hoodie. There was a fluffy pompom on top of the hood but I lost it years ago.

#Nerdvember Day 26: #Firefly. #settostunning Classic @thinkgeek Jayne hoodie + Jason Palmer’s tee. #Browncoats

A photo posted by oakley boren (@oakmonster) on

Challenges: Wearing geek t-shirt feels a little bit like cheating. LOL

Comments from Muggles: Nada banana just as expected.


Nerdvember Day 25: Iron Man

Inspiration: My hair. I didn’t want to wash it so I started going through the closet for an outfit that I would work with a fauxhawk pony tail.

Components: Biker-ish boots. “Powered by Stark” from ThinkGeek. Iron Man fingerless gloves I bought from Geeky Mamas when it was still in Cerritos. However, I think they got it from Nerdifacts. And of course, the fauxhawk pony tail, a tribute to Tony’s awesome hair.

#Nerdvember Day 25: Iron Man. #settostunning Gloves from @geekymamas_official #marvel #ironman #starkindustries

A photo posted by oakley boren (@oakmonster) on

Challenges: I went through THREE outfits (Finding Nemo, Twisty the Clown, and even Jareth the Goblin King) before I landed on this one.

Comments from Muggles: Got quite a bit of “Hey, Stark Industries!” but not quite, “Hey, Iron Man.” Good enough for me!


Nerdvember Day 24: TARDIS

Inspiration: My brand new Optimystical Studios St. John Ambulance pendant. I bought it specifically for my Victorian TARDIS cosplay.

Components: The pendant. Blue shirt. TARDIS socks. The long cardigan and my Converse (not shown) were a throw back to the Tenth Doctor.

#Nervember Day 24: #TARDIS feat. Pendant of St. John from Optimystical Studios. #settostunning #DoctorWho

A photo posted by oakley boren (@oakmonster) on

Challenges: These socks and the Converse don’t seem to like each other very much…

Comment from Muggles: Not even a “You look cute today!” Oh well. :)