Category Archives: Hobbying

Hobbies and extracurricular activities

The Fail Wailers - Fitzgerald's - Huntington Beach

6-Month Check Up

Hey hey party people! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Frankly, I haven’t blogged because I’m ashamed of the state of my blog. JUST LOOK AT IT!!! I know it’s been broken for quite sometime now and I have all the intentions to fix it. But I couldn’t bring myself to the computer. Part of that is also literal, as in my office is a total FEMA disaster zone with all the cosplay and arts and crafts stuff everywhere that getting my desk is like a Spartan Race.

As a part of my reorganizing, I can’t really put much away yet either. So everything is just kind of…there. I just need a weekend away from the couch. Ahem.

That’s besides the point. The point is for me to check in on my progress for the year on my goal. Aren’t you curious about that? May be just smidget? I know you are!

Run 5K under 40 minutes

Still a hurdle, this one. So far the first few races of the year, I’m still consistently at the same time. But I haven’t changed much in terms of training. So that explains…everything. LOL

Learn to make fried chicken

I have been in the kitchen a lot less lately too! Tamara has offered to teach me to fry some chicken so I must take advantage of that before she moves to Oregon in July.

Cook one new recipe each month

I’ve been whipping up new drinks. Does that count?

I’ve gotten so horrible with cooking, and California heat is not helping with that.

Revamp the blog

I bought a new theme tonight! It’s coming. For realsies.

Play piano/guitar once a month

Now THIS has exceeds all expectations. Remember that whole impromptu Christmas gathering thing? It turns into a band. Say hello The Fail Wailers!

We have tested the waters at a few open mic nights around the OC, but earlier this week, we played a 30-minute set at a bar in Huntington Beach. Not only did we not get booed, we are invited back! See you at Fitzgerald’s on July 29, yo.

The Fail Wailers - Fitzgerald's - Huntington Beach

Heather (The Voice), Ken (Dear Leader), Wyatt (The Beard). and yours truly (The Token).

Downsize and simplify everything

I’m slowly but surely going through the house and getting rid of stuff. We dumped the dinner table that my aunt passed down to me that I’ve had for 18 years. Instead got another Ikea shelving unit with a table attached. That significantly cut down on clutter big time. But I still have a LOT more work to do especially in my office. See earlier point about not having been able to walk to my desk.

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

Saying no is a powerful thing. I know that now.

…and spend more time and energy on those who do

Yet, it’s still hard to say YES! I’m clearing the deck as much as I can. But when everyone’s schedule is equally insane, this is getting to be a lot harder to accomplish.

One adventure a month with Brandon

January: Sycamore Mineral Springs & Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo.
February: Brandon’s first Race on the Base!
March: Seal Beach 5K.
April: WonderCon, Star Wars Celebration, and two rounds of Renaissance Faire.
May: Epcot and Kennedy Space Center, Florida
June: OC Night Market
July: We’re heading out to Brandon’s sister’s wedding in New Mexico.

So, we’re pretty much on track here adventure-wise. :)

Star Wars Celebration 2015

HarLeia Quinn and Jokerlorian. Live from Star Wars Celebration 2015!

2015-04-05-Wondercon-Disney-Photoshoot-10

Suit Up Disney is busy making business deals. Photo by Robert T Photography.

Read 12 books

I’ve developed a comic book habit, so this list is going to get a little more complicated. You wouldn’t think reading comic books should count as books, but when you read a series, it does take quite as much time. So, I’m just going to list everything together.

  • Currently: The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • Death of Wolverine – Charles Soule, Steve McNiven
  • Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America – Gerry Duggan
  • Ongoing – Thor (I’m on #6 and pissed about it.)
  • Ongoing – Harley Quinn New 52 (whenever it comes back)
  • Ongoing – Spider-Gwen (Well…not much longer. We’re not digging the direction of where this is going.)
  • Ongoing – Silk (…we like her more, actually.)
  • Incoming – Groot, drawn by one of my favorite people, Brian Kesinger!
  • Incoming – Mini Marvel, drawn by one of my favorite artists, Scotty Young!

I still have a bunch of classics I want to read on my shelf along with a few business books. Next on my list is finishing The American Gods before the TV series come out.

Now, back to you. What have y’all been up to these past 6 months?

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?

Fails

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.

Wins

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

Bonus

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!

OakMonster.com - Reach for the sky

Day 25: Easy Like Sunday Morning

5 Thoughts

  • It’s Sunday. Why am I up at 7 a.m. without the alarm for no reason at all? Oh right. I started coughing. So much for going to bed without Nyquil for the first time in a week.
  • What a beautiful day outside and pleasant inside. It’s a great day to do whatever!
  • And so we went mattress shopping. And it was virtually painless (except for when I cut my thumb on the laminated price sheet). We were in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes. Our new mattress arrived within a few hours.
  • TV Binge damage list. On TV: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Graham Norton Show, X-Men: First Class. Netflix: half of Supernatural pilot, Down Periscope, 2 episodes of Doctor Who, 2 episodes of Farscape, and Room 237.
  • And talk about how people want to see whatever they want to see, there are some crazy theories about The Shining movie. This is beyond the obvious stuff we already discussed in film school and communication classes. And *whistle* people put wayyyy too much thought into this.

Today’s Photo

Our new mattress and frame is a lot taller than our old one. Standing on the bed, I can now touch the ceiling.

OakMonster.com - Reach for the sky

Breakfast

Leftover foolproof frittata from yesterday.

Second Breakfast

Goldfish crackers.

Elevensies

Roasted Shishito Peppers, and half of tuna salad made with olive oil, lime juice, and capers.

Lunch

An El Pollo Loco chicken taco.

Afternoon Tea

The other half of the giant cherimoya from last night. Boozy Chirimoya Alegre round 2!

Supper

2 El Pollo Loco chicken drumsticks and 2 flour tortillas, and more Shishito Peppers. (Brandon likes them. YAY!)

Dinner

Strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar.

*

For those who just now joined in, here’s why I’m going on “The Hobbit Diet” of eating seven times a day for a month.

OakMonster.com - Lord of Chaos and Captain Bubbles at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Day 11: A Hobbit at the Renaissance Faire

5 Thoughts

  • Need to eat 7 times a day is easy when you’re at a Renaissance Faire, I tell you. There’s food EVERYWHERE and tavern at every corner! And I want to eat EVERYTHING!
  • Fortunately for me, there’s only so much cash in my wallet…
  • …and even less room underneath my underbust corset. LOL
  • Seriously. There must be a study somewhere about how women get drunk faster and/or feeling the effect of alcohol more while wearing a corset. I had 2 drinks and I was well schnookered when I got home.
  • How about that Tyrion Lannister, eh? What a bad ass.

Today’s Photo

Thanks Ken for a rare photo of Lord of Chaos and Captain Bubbles. We took so many photos of everyone else, we rarely had any of our own!

OakMonster.com - Lord of Chaos and Captain Bubbles at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Breakfast

Half of the stuffed cookies from the Deli News.

I bought THREE of those. Hee. So yes, I still have some left.

Second Breakfast

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.

Coconut water is the best thing to gear up for day drinking! Between having worked on a project for another coconut water company and having grown up on fresh Thai young coconut, I am a bit of a coconut water snob. But I have to say that Harmless Harvest is the BEST tasting coconut water by far. It tastes like it came right of the coconut!

Elevensies

Fried oysters and chips and the Evil Queen’s Kiss (raspberry pear cider with chocolate port floater).

Best. Elevensies. Ever!

Lunch

Nutella and strawberry crepe with loads of whipped cream. And another Evil Queen’s Kiss.

Best. Lunch. Ever!

Afternoon Tea

A large McDonald’s fries.

I inhaled it. Talk about alcohol-fueled binging. Sheesh…

Supper

Home made beef stroganoff.

Got up off my butt to do it after eating crap all day.

Dinner

I didn’t have any because I was asleep by 7:30 p.m. LOL

*

For those who just now joined in, here’s why I’m going on “The Hobbit Diet” of eating seven times a day for a month.

 

 

OakMonster.com - Justin Davidson Photography - Wolverine of the Bombshell Avengers

Day 9: Wolverine Doesn’t Care About Calorie Counting

5 Thoughts

….well, screw the five thoughts for today. I have ONE major rant.

Whoever said that keeping a food journal and tracking your calorie intake is good for your diet must really and truly hate food, and therefore hate life.

I mean, look at me. I have NEVER felt guilty about my food choices or what I eat. For the past few days, I have been anxious and upset over the fact that I’ve exceeded the 1,550 calories per day limit MyFitnessPal had given me. Sure, I gave myself room to be able to go up to 1,773 as it is an average of all the of daily calorie limits I gathered in my pre-challenge research. But by merely looking at the negative numbers in red on MyFitnessPal, I feel the scarlet numbers burning on my chest.

-200.

-267.

Hester Prynne ain’t got nothing on me with those letters. Check out my extra calories, bitch!

And all of the sudden, I felt fat and defeated.

Have you ever heard me talk about gaining weight or feeling guilty about food? I thought so!

See what this calorie counting business is doing to my psychological welling being and sense of self?  And I am NOT supposed to feel guilty about food and eating especially if I’m eating SEVEN times a day! Effin’ eh.

So yes. I hope I come out this without gaining a permanent eating disorder.

Sheesh…

Today’s Photo

While I was already feeling guilty about my supper choice at Deli News before I even entered it into the app, I immediately sought retail therapy at Amazing Comics next door, and bought myself two more books to add to my Intro to Wolverine collection.

I think I might be a little obsessed after having cosplayed him at Wonder Con (as featured on The Mary Sue).

OakMonster.com - Justin Davidson Photography - Wolverine of the Bombshell Avengers

And you know what? Wolverine would NOT be caught dead worrying about his weight or his calorie intake.

Damn right, bub.

I’m motherfuckin’ Wolverine. I can handle this.

Breakfast

Half of Jamba Juice Sweet Belgian Waffle and half of Jamba Juice Carrot Orange Fusion, small, with C and Zinc, and 3G Caffeine booster.

I cheated a little bit today by going to Jamba Juice and splitting the orders to cover my first three meals.

Second Breakfast

The other half of that waffle.

Elevensies

The other half of that smoothie.

Lunch

The last little bit of the prime rib and corn on the cobb from Wednesday night.

Afternoon Tea

A few pieces of Hot Cheetos chased by a handful of dried blueberries and a passion fruit iced tea.

Supper

Not even a quarter of the order of fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli…but I did eat a whole meatball. Heh.

Dinner

A few bites of Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone ice cream.

*

For those who just now joined in, here’s why I’m going on “The Hobbit Diet” of eating seven times a day for a month.

OakMonster.com - Geoff Boucher & Jon Favreau

Day 3: Eating Around A Nerd Adventure

5 Thoughts

  • I foresee interesting substitution meal and weird scheduling in the future if I don’t start the day with 8 a.m. Breakfast.
  • I’m getting hungry almost to the minute of my schedule now. It’s kind of creepy…
  • I stuck to the schedule quite well considering that I spent half a day running around LA on geeky adventure with my Team Wicket partner Christine. Hooray for Free Comic Book Day!
  • I fucking hate LA.
  • I did exceed the 1,550 calorie allotment by a little bit, but still within the 1550-1773 range. Considered that I was under the limit for the first few days, I think I’m alright.

Today’s Photo

Yes, I’m short. And yes, that is Jon Favreau.

The man responsible for this picture is on your left. That’s Geoff Boucher, alpha geek and now the host of The Nerdist’s newest podcast Humans from Earth. (Not on their site yet but keep your eyes out.) I’ve been following Geoff since his very first coverage of Comic Con for the LA Times which launched the Hero Complex blog and  the film festival. When he did the same for Entertainment Weekly’s Cape Town, I was there too. I finally get to meet him in person here at his third reincarnation at The Nerdist.

And he introduced me to Jon Favreau as his first fan. It’s kind of insane.

Breakfast

A cup of tea with sugar and cream and a nectarine.

Making room for Second Breakfast…

Second Breakfast

French toast made with 7 grain bread.

I had to wait for Brandon to wake up so I can make breakfast for both of us. Hee.

Elevensies

About a quarter of a Jicama.

Team Wicket was going out on an adventure so my plan was starting to get thrown off right here.

Luncheon

Half of Alternative Baking Company Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookie.

Team Wicket was on the move when lunch time rolled around so I pulled into a Taco Bell and grabbed a burrito. I took two bites and threw it out so I’m not counting that as a meal. It was disgusting. So when I got to the theater, I got me a cookie.

Afternoon Tea

At the Pig ‘n Whistle: Half a plate of fried calamari and half a plate of the Roasted Brussels Sprouts salad.

Hmmm….roasted Brussels Sprouts. So good. Sooooo good.

Supper

At Starry Kitchen: One crispy tofu ball, one piece of the clay pot caramelized striped bass with pancetta, and house cured roast pork belly XO fried rice.

Christine and I split the dinner and we both took home leftovers. Glorious, glorious, leftover.

Dinner

That other half of the vegan cookie.

*

ETA: For those who just now joined in, here’s why I’m going on “The Hobbit Diet” of eating seven times a day for a month.