Category Archives: Hobbying

Hobbies and extracurricular activities

Hooters Peanut Butter Pie is no more

Five For Friday: So long peanut butter pie, hello dance walking

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.

Welcome to the Five For Friday: Saturday edition! Because I’m a dork and I sent the publishing time wrong. LOL  I also learned something else new when I went out for a walk this morning. So…here you go!

I Gained 10 lbs. For Nothing

Well, I’m sure you’ve already read about my disappointment of not being able to donate blood despite finally having met the weight requirement. Le sigh…

Hooters No Longer Serves Peanut Butter Pie

Yes, I like Hooters. The wings are good. The beers are cold. The girls are friendly. And I kick ass on video trivia most of the time. But what I like best about Hooters is the chocolate peanut butter pie.  I haven’t been there a while, so I didn’t know that the menu has changed.  First, I couldn’t find the 1/2 lbs. of shrimps I usually get. And then, I looked at dessert.

Peanut butter pie is gone.  Instead of the luxurious, creamy, chocolaty deliciousness, you can get a caramel cheesecake.

What the fuck is THAT shenanigan?!  Well, I guess now I have to make my own pie now…

Hooters Peanut Butter Pie is no more

Goodbye lover. (Photo credit: Yelp)

Pinterest Lab Success: Linoleum Cleaner

My hands HATE strong chemicals. That is why I have switched to using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day dish soap a few years ago. I still do have a bottle of Dawn under the sink when attacking baked on aftermaths.  And it is also why I’ve been experimenting with homemade, less toxic cleaning products.

The Dawn (apple), baking soda, and vinegar (I bought a big bottle of cleaning grade kind) combination worked well for me. I only did half the recipe because we only have 3 small areas to mop.  The floor looks great and it smells pretty good.  You can get the full recipe through my Pinterest Lab board.

Core a Lettuce in 3 Seconds

Mind. Blown.

Sprinting and Dance Walking

Well, this is not really something new I learned, but it is confirmed.  Sure, I haven’t the drive or motivation to run a 5K. The total walk to the park, do a couple of laps, then walk back home takes total of 30 minutes right now. But at least I’m moving.

I went for the walk/run combo again today. While I have succeeded in slowing myself down so I managed to jog longer distance per interval today, I still find jogging boring.  I decided to sprint the width of the park, back to where I left my water bottle, to end the work out. That there, was probably the most fun 15 seconds I had the entire session.

That and climbing through the kid’s jungle gym was fun. I totally can NOT swing on monkey bars any more. But running around in the playground was totally fun.

Now, I am thinking about forming a new fitness routine, combining sprinting, climbing through kid’s playground, and, naturally, dance walking.

How has your week been?

Know your meme. This is from Hyperbole And A Half.

Five for Friday: New Things I Learned This Week

Of course, I’ve been stuck on a writer’s block lately despite having all the time on my hand. So, I thought writing about 5 new things I’ve learned or am learning during the week would be cool.

15 minutes a day to a clean house

Know your meme. This is from Hyperbole And A Half.

Sure, I have all the time in the world now that I’m going on the 17th month of being mostly unemployed. But cleaning is still not my favorite thing to do.  Pinterest proves to be a useful and inspiring time suck as I found a few tips to help me get on top of this whole cleaning the house business.

Instead of taking most of the day to clean everything, these tips suggest that the chores are broken into small chunks so you spend less than an hour to work on something everyday. Like this one and this one.  I set mine up like this.

  • Monday: Dusting. Bathroom counters and mirrors. Windows.
  • Tuesday: Laundry. Toilets, tubs, and sinks.
  • Wednesday: Mop. (I don’t have a lot of floor space to mop. Kitchen and 2 bathrooms are simple enough with one bucket!) Clean the piano.
  • Thursday: Vacuum floor, sofa, and fans. Spot clean carpet.
  • Friday: Clean the kitchen, dining room table, and the pantry area.

So far, so good. I have stuck with the schedule except that I forgot Wednesday altogether. LOL  Give me a little break though, it’s my first week! I’m going to catch up with that today.

Pinterest Lab Successes: Clothing and Carpet Stain Removers

Not all things on Pinterest actually work. So I have been experimenting with a few “recipe” here on my Pinterest Lab board.

First, the clothing stain remover. It’s essentially homemade Oxyclean in a liquid/gel form. Mix fresh to use 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part each baking soda and Dawn dish soap. (People swore by the original blue. I use clear so I don’t run the risk of turning anything blue.)  Rub this onto gnarly yellow arm pit stain on white clothing or the stubborn grease stain on dark clothing. Scrub with a brush if you have if. Then wash with everything else. Voila! Clean clothes!  Because this mixture bubbles up, you just have to mix per use.

Second, the carpet stain remover. I didn’t do the whole procedure. I just mix the solution in a squirt bottle, dribble a little on and rub with paper towel, then again with clean water, and blot dry. Works like a charm!

Learning to Run…kind of

For those of you who’ve known me a while, you’d also know that I’m not sporty one bit. You would also know that I have tried and failed at distant running at least once a year. Most of the time, I failed spectacularly mostly because two reasons. One, I wuss out because of my ankle injury or the weather getting too cold. Two, as a former sprinter, I ran myself out of the long race.

Let me put it this way. What I did earlier this week with “walk half a block then run half a block” method, I did it with Adele on my playlist. That’s right. Adele. I was training to slow ballad in attempt to slow my ass down when I get to my half-block of run.  I still found myself sprinting after a few steps anyway.

I walked half a block and ran half a block for 3 blocks, damn near passed out, and was pretty much out of breath all the way walking home. I’m pathetic.

Maybe long distance running isn’t for me after all. Who says I need to run for miles and miles, right? I mean, what really matters in a zombie apocalypse is that few blocks. If you’re not faster than the zombies…or the other guy…in a few blocks, you’re dead anyway.

New Favorite Wine: Erath Winery Pinot Noir

I’m a part of Thirsty Girl twitter tasting crew. They occasionally sent wine to me to taste along with many others online and review them. (Check us out on #TGTaste!) This month, I was set  Erath Winery from Oregon pinot noir and pinot gris. I’m not big on dry white wine but I adore the pinot noir. Lightly chilled, the pinot noir is absolutely lovely on hot summer days like these.

OakMonster - TGTaste - Erath

Sarah Barelles’s Gravity

Back on the piano! Seriously, I need to do this more.

This song so simple to play on the piano yet so difficult to get right. So far my neighbors haven’t  reported any “cat being murdered” noise to the police yet so I must sound alright. Either that or they’re really polite folks. I’m betting they’re really, REALLY polite folks…

What about you? What have you been up to this week?

Be A Better Pinner: Click it before you repin/like it!

Be a Better Pinner in One Step

There are several websites out there, in addition to the official Pinterest Etiquette, that will tell you the many steps you need to do to be a good Pinterest citizen.

Yes, you should be respectful, be authentic, and report objectionable content. Don’t copy the recipe/instructions/part of the article into the comment. Be clear with your comment. Consider your audience. etc. etc.

But the cardinal sin of Pinterest is to pin blindly and not checking for the source of the pin.

Hello, my name is Oakley. I have been a bad pinner.

When I see something cute/funny/yummy/geeky/awesome on Pinterest, my instinct tells me to click “Like” and possibly “Repin” right away without even knowing what that image is linking to, or to whom it belongs.

I see your mouse hand twitching. You know what I’m talking about then. Don’t be shy. We all have done it at some point.

A few days ago while on a Pinterest binge, I actually followed through a few pins to check out the recipe or the story behind the image.  I landed on Google Image a few times and a few more Tumblr images that were NOT linked to the respective sites. The grand finale was that I ended up on some random websites that people set up just to trap wanderers like me and cash in on the website traffic.

That is when I decided to write this post and made this nifty graphic.

Be A Better Pinner: Click it before you repin/like it! A friendly reminder from

Being a blogger, amateur photographer, and graphic arts hobbyist myself, seeing someone’s gorgeous work pinned and repinned as an image lifted from Google Image or Tumblr just breaks my heart. And those misleading links people put on great images just make me angry.

So let’s put a stop to it.

It’ll take you just one more minute to find out if the Pin is a good one, the one that is really worth sharing with your friends.

Yes, it will take a bit of adjustments. But after a while, you’ll start doing it automatically.

If we all do it, then going forward, we will put an end to the sharing of bad links and uncredited work.

So, from this point onward, I pledge to no longer like or repin any bad pin. I will also inform the pinner in the comment that s/he has a bad pin. If I have time, I will also find the original link for the poster so the pinner may make the correction. If the pin’s link is misleading, I will also report it to Pinterest.

If you agree to help stop bad pinning and would like to pledge to be a better pinner, please pin this image on your board and/or leave a comment below.

Have fun pinning consciously!


OakMonster Rises

I’ve been keeping busy since we last discussed about how my creativity has been stoked. I’ve played with Instagram a lot now that it’s available for Android. And I’ve been making some fun stuff. Kind of like found object art in a way. Whatever image strikes my fancy or something someone just said, I just whipped up something.

My Tumblr account hasn’t seen this much activities in months! And guess what? I’m having so much fun it’s ridiculous. :)

Pin away, interweb. Pin away!

bacon lover mantra

99 Darth Balloons

From the set of Star Trek 2 Spock in Space

eeyore and pinterest

george takei birthday


tardis steampunk hat project

Freeing My Creative Mind

It’s  been over 10 years since I worked in a truly creative environment. I had given up on being creative professionally.  When I got home, I didn’t do much either except for the costuming for Halloween/Renaissance Faire, food gift labels for the holidays, and the now-tradition Christmas e-card. Oh, and occasional alcohol-fueled rock star moments at the piano.

It only took three months working with and for these guys at Ignited to get me to WANT to be creative. All. The. Time.

I was tasked with reviving the company’s social media presence. So, for the next month, I read several articles on advertising and creativity daily. Some were passed along through tweets from the company’s executive creative directors Troy and Jordan and some I found sifting through our Facebook feed.

One of those articles I skimmed through pointed to a book, How To Steal Like An Artist, which I bought and read through in one afternoon.  Another book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, has been ordered and is on its way. I never thought I’d be buying and reading books on creativity. But I am doing it now.

To add more fuel to the fire, just about a month ago, Jeff Marx, the creator of “Avenue Q” came to speak to the company about finding creativity and passion in what you do. He discussed how he came to write the Tony Award winning hit.  A part of his talk was that he made a list of the 100 things he wanted to do before he dies. That extensive bucket list somehow helps him focus on what really makes him happy. It seems musical theater was it and not practicing law.

I started a list too as a part of my upcoming post. But as you can see, I haven’t posted it yet.  Well, I didn’t need a list to know what makes me happy. I have always known working in a creative environment makes me happy.

I just forgot about it for the past decade of working at jobs where the most creative thing I got to do was creating a monthly birthday flyer.

My time at Ignited both inspires and spoils me.  Now that I had worked in the creative industry, it’s hard for me to look at job descriptions that don’t involve creativity.  I want to find a job where I can let my crazy ideas fly and where people embrace my quirks instead of ridicule them. I want to work where I can grow and where I’m encouraged to learn.

Of course, you could argue that working at a non-creative place should NEVER stop me from being creative and working on my own stuff at home.  But that’s exactly what I said all those years ago too before I lost almost all of my inspiration and got my soul partly crushed.

But that was years ago. I know better now than to neglect my creative drive. Never again!

Yesterday, I went into Michael’s to get a few pieces of felt to make my new decorative little hat to top off the TARDIS corset for the Victorian/Steampunk look.  I found myself lost in the store for an hour and emerged with a whole new idea of a full scale top hat with steampunk doodads.  I spent another hour this afternoon getting the first part started.

And what an hour it was! I haven’t been this happy in quite sometime. Then again, I haven’t made anything in quite sometime.  It’s great to get to work on creative projects again.

Now I want to make more stuff. I want to play the piano. I want create more graphic arts. I want to make some videos. I want to write articles.

I want… I want… I want…


I’m going make the best out of this unemployment period, I tell you. Who knows, while I continue the search for the permanent professional habitat, I might end up with an Etsy storefront selling top hats made with felt and foam.

Speaking of which, I’d better check on that long dormant Cafe Press store I have…


It’s All Happening At Once

Got this from

Today through Sunday, I will take my first step toward one of my bucket list item.

I’m volunteering at WonderCon, a pop culture/comic convention that usually takes place in San Francisco, but it’s just down the way in Anaheim this year.  Pam got me involved in this because a) I’ve NEVER been to a Con of any kind, and b) If I do well, I might get a chance to go to volunteer at San Diego Comic Con in July.

SDCC is on my bucket list. Nerd Mecca must be experienced once before I die. Some people have Paris and Tuscany…well, I actually have those too…I have Comic Con.

But then as it so happens, all these other things are also happening this weekend.

My St. Patrick’s Day open house tradition must continue despite the insane schedule. So Friday after the Con, I will be cooking a vat of Guinness Stew and baking 2 Guinness Chocolate Cakes. (Wait…would one be enough?!)

Saturday after the Con, I get to throw the party.  However, Brandon will start getting the place ready and David will help with reheating the stew. Party will be rolling before I even get home.

That leaves me only Sunday night to put together a video project for my dad’s 70th birthday. (Shhh! Don’t tell him yet!) I wanted to be home for his big birthday but not having a full-time job does put a stop to that plan. So, instead, we’re sending him a video.

This past week I’d been driving up and down the county to collect videos of our family members and dad’s friends. I’m also waiting for footage from my cousin in New Zealand, my other “cousins” just over here in Orange, and my nephew in Redlands. As it turns out, I only have one day to put it all together.  Dad’s birthday is March 21 but I have to get it on Facebook by Tuesday night because of the time difference.

On top of that, originally, I was going to work on a different video project this weekend to try to convince the current company that I’m worth every penny as a full-time employee. Oh yes, this “Hire me!” video was going to be the prototype of a more generic version for the hiring masses. But then I got the news that my current contract will not renewed. Damn shame, really. I was excited to make that video. LOL

Oh, and I almost forgot that have this side job I’m wrapping up which might also go down Sunday night.

But wait, there’s more!

Monday afternoon, I have to run from El Segundo to an appointment in Irvine and THEN the USC Town & Gown Junior Auxiliary meeting, finalizing details for the big fundraiser dinner we have coming up. So, Monday night is shot for doing either video work or much of anything else.

It’s unfortunate that I really like sleep. I need more waking hours this weekend to get everything done.

Like the hubby usually tells me, “You brought this crazy schedule on yourself”. True. But I know I’d be happy with the results of all that I’m doing in the end. I will have a house full of friends having a good time on Saturday night. I will have a great video I can send home to my dad for his big milestone birthday since I can fly myself there.

And eventually, I’d get to sleep in…NEXT Sunday.  Saturday is USC Alumni Day of SCervice and I’m picking up donation from ZICO coconut water Friday night…


What are you doing this weekend?