Category Archives: Go Trojans!

USC related

OakMonster.com - The Sticky Pig

Five for Friday: Bacon, Booze, Porn…and Running

This is NOT an SEO bait, I promise you. I never bait!  Well, maybe when I get y’all over here to see my Slave Leia photo. But that’s more of a nerd bait, really. *ahem*

And now we talk about bacon.

The Sticky Pig Ice Cream Cart Kickstarter

OakMonster.com - The Sticky PigI just learned that my friend Tara–the great Paleo dessert queen, Bacon Vixen, and the owner of The Sticky Pig Bacon Confections–is looking to branch out into ice cream treats with a Kickstarter campaign.

Y’all, she’s looking to get an ice cream cart.  More ways to get Tara’s super creative bacon treats into the mouths of the people? Yes, please!

For the love of bacon, please support her.  And in a way, support my addiction to her bacon pecan caramel tarts.

And here we talk about booze.

Incendiary Hand Grenade

The first time I met Shotgun (@shotgunspr) at Psychogate, he was asking people to do the “Hand Grenade” with him. It involves tequila, Jagermeister, and Red Bull. As I am not entirely insane, I politely declined.

Now that we get some support from Fireball Whisky at the tailgate, Shotty came up with an even more brilliant way to get us all fucked up.

Say hello to the Incendiary Hand Grenade.

And, more booze.

An Afternoon at District Wine

I’ve loved District Wine forever. Now there is more reason to love this cozy and friendly wine bar in Downtown Long Beach: they serve lunch Tuesday through Friday!  Olaina and I actually were their very first lunch customers a while back.  But this week, as I was getting stir crazy at home, I dashed out to the bar.  With a book.

Three hours later, I rolled out of the comfy armchair to go home. I had a glass of bubbly and a cheese plate while I got lost in my book.  Angela, the co-owner, offered to run out to my car to put the quarters in the meter for me so my reading doesn’t get interrupted.  LOL  A bar that feels more like someone’s living room, that is what District Wine is like for me.

I mean, why go sit at a coffee place when you can lounge around with a glass of wine and a plate of nosh, listening to some vinyls, for the afternoon?

And here we talk about porn.

Long Beach: the New Porn Capital?

As it turns out, Measure B, which requires porn performers to wear condoms, does not apply to Long Beach, Pasadena, or Vernon because they have their own health departments independent of LA County.  THAT I didn’t know. And apparently most people did not know that either. Read all about it here.

If Santa Monica is Silicon Beach to Northern California Silicon Valley, Long Beach could be Porn Beach to the San Pornando Valley.

It could happen.

Finally, we talk about running.

I’m DEFINITELY A Morning Runner

Since I slept in on Sunday, I decided to go for a run in the afternoon.  Brandon suggested that if we go to the little neighborhood park, we can both get our work out in, me running and him walking. Good idea!  And so we were out around 4 p.m. on a warm November day.

I am now on Week 6 of the 9-week Couch to 5K plan which is run for  8 minutes, walk for 5, and run for 8 more. And that’s it.  It’s a endurance building exercise at this point.  (Yes, I know. I’ve been running for longer than 6 weeks but that’s where I am on the program so shoosh.)  And so, off I went.

While I accounted for the warmer temperature, I didn’t think about the drier afternoon air.  My lungs didn’t like what was going through it.  Sure, I made it through the 8-minute interval but I started to gasp for air like a fish out of water for most of the 5-minute of walking.  So I heaved and coughed a little bit, and that seemed to have stirred up another afternoon run problem.

The lunch I had eaten well over 4 hours before threatened to come back up half way into my second run. That was also new as I usually run on almost empty.  My pre-run breakfast is a handful of dry Cheerios 15-30 minutes before hand and a big spoonful of raw honey right before I head out the door.  I never had a meal before a run. This was the first.

Needless to say, I gave up the rest of the routine and started walking toward Brandon to catch up.

Then the top of my foot started cramping. All the way half the park to get to Brandon and most of the way home.

Yeah. Not running in the evening. Ever. Again.

OakMonster.com - Hockey Lock Out, Slave Leia, Captain Kirk

Five for Friday: Halloween 2012

Since Halloween is my most favoritest holiday, it is appropriate to do a Five For Friday for it, don’t you think?  After all, there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

Oh, and my album is on my Facebook right here.

Double Check With Your Friends About Halloween Party

When Halloween falls on a weekday, make sure to check with your friend who said he’s having a Halloween party exactly WHEN that is.

For example, the invitation to a party on Friday before Halloween was clearly stated that was indeed on Friday, and Friday we were there.

Saturday night, I came home from watching USC football with USC Alumni Club of Long Beach, which was also a costume party, to zero plan for the evening.  I took the advantage of my hair already having gel in it to do a dress rehearsal for the Wolverine hair for a party we were going to on Halloween night.  Or so we thought.

A take-out dinner and a few TV shows later, my phone started buzzing.

OakMonster.com - Party. Now.

When the Friend said “Halloween Party” with no specific date included, we assumed it was on Halloween night.  On the flip side, he assumed that we’d know the party would be on Saturday because, you know, it was when pretty much everyone else was having a party and not in the middle of the week.

*sigh*

And so we scrambled out to his party anyway since my hair was already done, just to get there 15 minutes after the DJ and just about everybody had left.  Oh well. We had a good visit with the Friend anyway.

Never Work for a Company that Bans Halloween

A friend talked about not being able to dress up for Halloween at her work because the company deems dressing up and overall festivity unproductive. Another friend in another state said they banned Halloween in their office because it makes some people *cough*cough*fundamentalist Christians*cough*cough* uncomfortable.

I don’t think I can work for a company that does not celebrate Halloween.  Yes, future employers. I am telling you now. And here’s why.

I am not interested in being just a worker bee who only comes to work and then goes home.  I want to be a part of your company, a part of the family.  I want to be passionate the work I do and the company I do it for.  To be able to do that, we have to be the right for each other.

My skills come with this personality–it is not sold separately. I celebrate Halloween and embrace all the creative energy that comes with the holiday. If you don’t do Halloween, we are not going to work out.

So when I went to an interview on Halloween, I wore my cat ears.

The receptionist was a clown, so that was a good start. :)

The Magical Property of Wire Coat Hangers

This Halloween would not have been possible without the coat hangers from my dry cleaner. You see, I was saving them to take back to the cleaner to get recycled.

When I settled on being Fluttershy for the Friday party, I used one to support my wings.

OakMonster.com - Fluttershy's wings OakMonster.com - Fluttershy and Wolverine

And then we decided last minute to join Olaina, Justin, and Ella for trick-or-treating. The family was going as Tigger, Eeyore, and Pooh, respectively. To go along with the 100 Acre Woods theme, I threw a pair of bunny ears on Brandon for Rabbit and clipped on my fox ears for Roo. I was just missing a tail.

It’s amazing how 2 hand towels, a few safety pins, and a coat hanger can make for a damn good kangaroo tail.

OakMonster.com - Tigger, Pooh, and Roo

Secret Ingredients of Paul’s Bloody Mary

Our friend Paul makes the best Bloody Mary I ever had. Of course, he is willing to share his secret ingredients, but not the proportion.

Not so typical ingredients in this Bloody Mary: Bold & Spicy mix, Clamato, Angostura bitter, and a non-commercial smokey hot sauce. Then there’s horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and celery salt in there somewhere too.

So. Much. Yum.

Oh, and good luck trying to duplicate Paul’s recipe. ;-)

OakMonster.com - Eeyore and a Bloody Mary

Slave Leia Is Not Recognizable Outside of Nerd Bubble

“Are you Princess Jasmine?”

“You can’t be a belly dancer. You don’t have a belly!”

“Princess Leia wore THAT in Star Wars?”

*sigh*

Just…move along, muggles.

OakMonster.com - Hockey Lock Out, Slave Leia, Captain Kirk

Hockey Lock Out. Slave Leia. Captain Kirk.  Photo credit: Hockey Lock Out

OakMonster.com - Hulk Bunny and Grant Imahara

Five for Friday: Retro Hair, Les Miz Surprise, and Hulk Bunny Thump!

Five for Friday is a weekly series about the five new things I learned each week. It could be anything from a new recipe, new skills, or a new life lesson.

Stan Lee’s Comikaze is actually quite mellow…for now

The Hulk Bunny had a great time last Sunday. I ran into a little girl Hulk, and that was awesome.  Lou Ferrigno was there at his own booth and people all rushed up to see him and get a picture. He grinned and pointed at a sign that says it’s $40 to have a photo taken with him.  I understand that the actor needs to make his money, but $40?! I should’ve taken a photo of the half circle that was formed around his table.  People were just standing around, looking at him like some caged animal, waiting to see who would actually pay $40 for a photo.  I mean, at that price, unless you’re a huge fan, nobody is going to approach the guy.  It was quite a spectacle.

On the other hand, Hannah Minx charges $10 for autograph and $5 for a photo. I’ve got both for Brandon!  And from a few booths away, I found the artist who drew Brandon’s favorite version of Harley Quinn. Jamie Tyndall signed the print that will now be hanging at this desk.

Booyah! Wife of the year award, right here.

OakMonster.com - Hulk Bunny and Hannah Minx

Hannah Minx and Hulk Bunny: the odd couple

The highlight of the Expo is finding Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara quite by accident. I was actually squeeing at the life-size R/C Wall-E when I looked up to find Grant at the control!  I abandoned my idea of getting a picture with Wall-E and B-lined to Grant instead. Hee.

OakMonster.com - Hulk Bunny and Grant Imahara

Hulk Bunny <3 Grant!

It was the Best Sunday so far this year! :)  You can see the entire gallery of photos on my Facebook page or my Flickr set.

Doing origami wearing a zentai suit is hard

While at the Comikaze, I bought a Star Wars Origami book and the author offered to teach us how to make Yoda right there at the table. As you can see in this picture Annette took of me, it really is difficult to do origami wearing gloves. As a lifelong student of origami, I felt so lame asking the author to help me do some of the smaller folds because I couldn’t feel the paper.

OakMonster.com - AnnetteHolland.com - Hulk Bunny vs. Star Wars Origami

Victory rolls

I’m working on some ideas for my Halloween costumes. For one of them, I thought the 1940s pin-up girl hair would be perfect. I found out that what I want to do is called Victory Rolls.

Victory Rolls - TheFrisky.com

So, I’ve been going through YouTube videos in search of the best way to do up my hair without using a curling iron–since I don’t own one…or know how to use it.

And wow, rolling your own hair and pinning it up requires a lot more strength than I ever thought!  Seriously. Try holding your arms up above your head with your elbow bent for a few minutes. It gets really tiring!

I have about a month to learn how to do this right or I have to scrap this costume idea and going with something else. So we shall see…

One can never get used to rejections

After almost two years of not having a permanent, full-time job, you’d think I’d be used to rejections by now.  Within one week, I was turned down for a permanent position, a freelance full-time position, and a small contract.

Oh, and USC also lost to Stanford because Barkley decided to grow a mustache. (The USC QB Mustache Curse. It’s real.)

I have written about how to battle those days when you feel like you suck at everything before, but when it was a combo punch like this, it was a little hard to choke down.

Oddly enough, even though I’ve only been running for 3 weeks, I suddenly understand why some people go out on a run when they’re upset.

I guess I need to grow a thicker skin and/or build better endurance.

Les Miserables is way more awesome than I thought

My favorite musical and highly anticipated movie has just gotten more awesome after I saw this clip.

What’s your weekend plan?

OakMonster.com - Matt Barkley - USC QB Facial Hair Curse

Shave THAT Barkley!

Dear Matt,

Oh Matt. Matty Matt, Matt.

What’s with the ‘stache, bro? WHAT’S. WITH. THE. ‘STACHE?!?!

OakMonster.com - Matt Barkley - USC QB Facial Hair Curse

Photo: ESPN – Bob Stanton/Icon SMI

When are people going to take this USC Quarterback Facial Hair Curse seriously? It has been consistent almost every year!  Sanchez. Booty. Leinart. Palmer.

“What is WRONG with the team today?!?”

“Wait. Was that…? Is that…?? Oh my GOD, it’s the fucking mustache!!!!”

“Nooooooooo!”

With at least once per quarterback, this happened.

Gridiron Goddess Amy and I have the same discussion every single year when USC football team crashed and burned when they shouldn’t have.  It’s been YEARS of this and nobody ever paid attention.

“Uncharacteristic suckage” is what I called the effect of the Curse.  It’s not like the team consistently suck. This ain’t Hackett years. We are a good team. A GREAT team, even. But out of the blue, something went horribly wrong. Either the QB got injured or the team suffered a loss even the players seem to not know what happened.

The mustache has strange, mysterious, dark powers.

It wasn’t like we were lamb to the slaughter against Stanford.  We went in a lion but somehow your attempt at a mustache magicked us into kittens who couldn’t hold on to a ball, tackle our opponents, or protect our QB.

Football Cat

I can has!!! Oh noesss…

Our mojo. Whoosh! Out the window. Gone.

It’s the mustache.

If you don’t trust us, yank a few hair off that lip fuzz and give it to a friend. If they started acting out of character, then you know we’re right.  (Then again, it might only work because the ‘stache is on your face. Effects may vary, I guess.)

So, Matt, darling. Listen to Aunty OakMonster.  Shave the patch off your face and I guarantee you, you will lead USC to victory on Saturday and dance right back down the road to Heisman.

Fight on!

ETA: For a complete Cal game preview that is not completely based on superstition, head on over to read Amy’s on Bleacher Report.

OakMonster.com - Run Disney

Five for Friday: Running, Camping, Drinking, and Chris Hardwick Envying

Five for Friday is a weekly series (and at the rate I’m blogging…pretty much the only posts these days it seems, LOL) about the five new things I learned each week. It could be anything from a new recipe, new skills, or a new life lesson.

Fireball Whiskey

When I go to USC football games, I hang out at Psychogate, the official tailgate of Roy “USC Psycho” with whom I’ve been friends since college. While Jagermeister has been the alcohol of choice, this week, we were introduced to Fireball Whiskey.

I feel like calling this sweet cinnamon awesomeness a whiskey is a misnomer. It tastes like a sweeter and smoother Goldschläger, and NOTHING of whiskey.

Oh, and that was the dangerous thing. It’s so tasty, you didn’t think it would kick your ass. I had 2 little shots of those and a Jager, chased by my cider. I almost didn’t make it across campus to the other tailgate…

…where my Trojan brother was waiting to get me drunk on his famous Mai Tai.

Thanks to 2 spam musubis I scored along the way, somehow I managed to survive the day and wake up really early the next morning for my friend Amy.

Importance of Just Showing Up

Disneyland’s Half Marathon was Gridiron Goddess Amy’s first race. Her friend Sigrid from Canada and my cousin Nick were also running.

Considering that I live 15 minutes away from Disneyland, that USC’s first home game was the day before, and that the race was starting at 5:45 a.m., I KNEW I would be the only person who would show up to support Amy on the route.

That Sunday morning, I could’ve slept in. I could’ve just posted on Amy’s page to cheer her on. I could’ve joined her other friends up in LA later on in the day for celebratory lunch.

But instead at 7:30 a.m., I was in the Angel Stadium parking lot in my USC Dr. Seuss hat with signs on my windshield, waiting for the email notification from Sigrid, Nick, and Amy of their respective arrival at the 15K mark inside the Stadium.

OakMonster.com - Run Disney

When they came around the corner, I screamed their names, waved the sign about, and jogged along side them as far as I could go.

All of them told me just seeing a familiar face there was the boost they needed to get through the last few miles.

Sometimes, all you have to do is just show up.

Couch to 5K…with a Water Belt

While we’re talking about running.

My goal with the running is so that I can run to/from the Los Alamitos Joint Training Base. That comes out to be about 3.5 miles…and that’s pretty much 5K. So guess who is on the 2nd week of Couch to 5K training schedule now? Can you believe it?

The reason why I almost died trying last week was because I remembered the interval wrong. Run 90 seconds and walk 2 minutes for 20 minutes. I was running 2 minutes and walking for 90 seconds. No wonder why I couldn’t catch my breath!  Now that I got that figured out, training has been more manageable.

So, I was going to be all macho and ran with just my music and a watch, but Brandon insisted I take water with me.  (And thank GOD he did!) I don’t like running with stuff in my hands so I bought this Cambelback Delaney Fit water belt. Now, I can take my phone with MapMyRun with me.

Yesterday, I put $10 in the pouch and set my eyes on the local McDonald’s as my stopping point. Brandon was very grateful for the surprise breakfast in bed.

I want Chris Hardwick’s Life

A day in your bowling shoes, man…

Dude’s living a nerd’s dream! Especially this nerd. I should’ve stolen his life when I met him on the set of Attack of the Show! 2 years ago. Gorram missed opportunity…

OakMonster.com - Chris Hardwick

Comfort Camping

Brandon and I got out of a town for a few days earlier this week. We wanted to go camping and had picked some fantastic destinations like Sequoia National Park and even Redwood National Park. But being a vacation, Brandon decided that a long road trip wasn’t what he wanted.  We also settled to car camp instead of hike-in to keep things stress-free.

We ended up almost glamour camping just outside of Santa Barbara at Ocean Mesa Campground and RV Park.  Super clean and well-lit bathrooms and hot showers. Pool and hot tub. Free wi-fi. A convenience store. Massage service.  And if you don’t want to cook, you can hike down to the real glamour camping sister site’s general store which has a restaurant in it.

Tent campsites are steps away from all the convenience but far enough that you still feel like you’re actually camping. Except your neighbors are kind of close by and there are not a lot of bushes to separate you or trees to provide shades. And you’re right on the road in and out of the place so you’d hear folks coming and going.

However, we were there during the weekdays so the place was pretty much empty except a few of groups of European tourists and a couple of RVs. Squirrels rule the place but we also spotted quails, bluejays, hawks, and even a couple of condors circling nearby.

We also got to pretend we were REALLY camping, using Swedish fire steel to light our fire pit and firing up the awesome BioLite camp stove to cook some of the dinner AND charge our phones.  Brandon proclaimed my “Tandoori” chicken (got the char from the campfire then finish in the pan over BioLite’s tornado of flames!) with basmati rice and carrots the best camp food ever.  We crawled into our tent well lit by a VERY bright moon.  An hour or so later, we got sprinkled on, and that kept up on and off throughout the night.

The next day, we explored Solvang and Los Olivos before wrapping up with a bowl of Andersen’s split pea soup as a part of our tradition.  A few more hours in the pool and before we had to start thinking about dinner, we decided to just go home.  At this point we did all we wanted to do. And it was effing hot and there was no place to hide at the tent camping site.  Sure, we lost our the fee for the day which we wouldn’t have if we had decided on that before check-out time at noon. But we were done.

We found that we love going completely rugged or being completely spoiled. It didn’t satisfy either of that love when it’s half and half.  We did what we needed which was to get out of town and out of reach for a few days. It was time to go home.