2012: Oakpocalypse

OakMonster.com - 2012 Year In Costumes

Father Time apparently drives a Bugatti Veron in 2012.



Anyway. Here’s my obligatory 2012 year in review. I’ve changed a few categories from the past years but you’ll still get the idea.

2012: Year of Costumes

Instead of giving you 12 pictures from the 12 months, I’m giving you the pictures of all the cosplays I’ve done and costumes I’ve worn this year instead!

OakMonster.com - 2012 Year In Costumes

Mosaic maker: http://bighugelabs.com/mosaic.php

Row 1:

  • 5-minute Zombie make-up for REI Zombie Preparedness class
  • Wolverine for a Halloween which we showed up more or less after the fact due to a miscommunication.
  • Steampunk TARDIS at the Renaissance Faire’s Steampunk and Time Travelers weekend.

Row 2:

Row 3:

  • Hulk Bunny with Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara at Stan Lee’s Comikaze.
  • Dressed up like a kid at a costume birthday party.
  • Fluttershy with Brandon as Wolverine for yet another Halloween party.

Row 4:

  • Captain Oakmerica at Wondercon. I volunteered at the event so I didn’t get to play dress up. This is the closest I came to it!
  • Captain Bubbles for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
  • Chinese opera “mask” for the Asian version of Captain Bubbles at the Renaissance Faire’s Masquerade weekend.

And I’m already starting to think about the costumes I can play with for next year!

Drinking Buddy of the Year: Myself

Yay! Me!

Now, since I have now been mostly unemployed for most of the year, I haven’t gone out drinking with anyone or done anything much. And then most of my usual suspects either moved away, changed jobs, or got pregnant.

It’s been a sad year for my social life.

Newcomer Award: Bourbon

That’s right. I’m now okay with drinking bourbon…as long as it’s mixed with something else. (My very first Manhattan!) Maker’s Mark is my gateway bourbon.  I can’t quite do it on the rocks or straight up just yet, but Manhattan has replaced my dirty martini for cocktail of choice.  And I continue to experiment with different ways to fix it up…which leads us to the next category.

Bar of the year: My house

I’m still far away from becoming a decent bartender but since I’ve been collecting different kinds of liqueur for fancy cocktails like St. Germain, Pernod, and Calvados.  Of course, now I have sweet Vermouth and orange bitters for my Manhattan.  (Yes, orange. I’m too lazy to keep stocking the house with oranges just so I can have a twist for the Manhattan. I figured I’d cheat a little. Hee.) I even made my own Maraschino cherries! 🙂

I know. These few categories make me look like a wayward alcoholic, but hey, that’s the best I can muster. Le sigh.

Best Meal of the Year: Milos Las Vegas

Milos Las Vegas $20.12 Lunch

Best meal I had this year was the $20.12 lunch menu at Milos in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. It was a 3-course tasting menu with the portion size that is perfect for me so it’d be a light lunch for most people.  It was worth every penny.  And such an enjoyable experience too. I mean, some people beeline for the buffet. I’d rather have this!

My choice for the appetizer was fresh diver scallop skewer with green bell pepper, sweet onion and couscous. Succulent, sweet, cooked perfectly.  Main course was Honjake salmon with steamed vegetables. Nothing to write home about but everything was perfectly done. And finally, Milos’ famous yogurt martini dessert.  So luscious.

The bartender also offered up a taste of Skinos, a Mastiha liqueur which is made from resin of a tree. All pine, anise, and sweet and delicious. With that and a Manhattan I ordered earlier, I clambered off the bar stool and stumbled back to the hotel for a nice afternoon nap.

Restaurant of the Year: Shin-sen-gumi Hakata Ramen

On an average of once or twice a month, you can find Brandon and I perched at the counter of Shin-sen-gumi in Fountain Valley.  With liquid pork for a broth, it’s hard to not dream about a bowl of noodles from this place.  Lunch is pretty simple and straight forward. The adventures happen at the dinner time when you can order their dinner-only specials like deep fried chicken skin or pork’s ear.  Happy hour on the weekend afternoon when beer is cheap totally justifies having a very late lunch or early dinner.

High Point of the Year: Thailand Trip

I have not been home for more than 2 weeks at a time for ages. (Except the time we actually couldn’t leave in 2008.)  When I went home in May for the grand opening of my family business, the Portico Langsuan, I thought I’d spend just 2 weeks too. And then I realized I didn’t have any job prospect lined up and I was doing some of the work for a client remotely anyway, so I stayed another week.

I had such a wonderful time hanging out my dad, going shopping with a group of my mom’s best friends, connecting with friends I haven’t seen in years, and partying with my friends every Friday I was there.  I even got to put in a day trip to the groundbreaking blessing ceremony of my BFF’s family business and an overnight trip to the resort town of Hua-hin with my oldest brother and his wife.

Partying was truly epic. Check this out…

Low Point of the Year: Unemployment

Much like last year, I was employed for a few months out of the year for some tremendously talented and awesome people at Ignited USA and thinkLA. For the rest of it, I’m just trying to occupy myself with projects just to keep me sane and fight off the feeling of worthlessness.

Song of the Year: Back It Up: Caro Emerald

Sure, I’m a Gangnam Style nut. But I only heard Caro sang this song once on XM radio and I scrambled upstairs to find her music.  I’m liking the entire album now.

Favorite Movie of the Year (so far): The Avengers

I haven’t seen Les Miserables yet.  And I like The Hobbit too, but I didn’t want to watch it again instantly right after the first viewing!

And so, the Hulk and gang won for the year.

Well, this is NOT the actual Avengers movie. But you’ll enjoy it anyway. 😉

Gimme My Money Back Awards

New category this year for the movies that had such good promise but then sucked so bad I was laughing inappropriately in places.

  • What the fuck was that shit, Prometheus? That’s all I have to say about that.
  • While I didn’t really in love with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as a book, I thought it could make for a decent movie. However, something went really wrong between the book and theater.
  • As for Residence Evil: Retribution,  we at least had the sense NOT to see it in theater. Brandon couldn’t wait to get it on streaming so we rented it on Per-Per-View. I made it 10 minutes in. He got to 20 before turning it off altogether.

I wonder how many of these will end up getting the Razzies…

Book of the Year: The Snow Child: Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child is one of those books that stays with you. It’s a little slow at the beginning but once the title character shows up, it gets going. I read the last few chapters a few more times.

The Snow childAlaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

TV Show of the Year: American Horror Story: Asylum

Sure, there are some good shows out there but the only one that had me superbly hooked is once again the sick and twisted AHS. Now even sicker and more twisted!


  1. Olaina   •  

    “Sure, there are some good shows out there but the only one that had me superbly hooked is once again the sick and twitter AHS. Now even sicker and more twisted!”

    Do you mean “sick and twiSTED AHS?” Or really twitter. Because I can see how you’d typo twitter… I’m just confused because I could easily be out of the loop in some pop culture/geek culture areas… 🙂

  2. OakMonster   •  

    Oh no. You’re right. That’s a typo. Thanks!

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