Category Archives: Picture Perfect

An image speaks a thousand words


A birthday message from my 5.5 month-old “nephew” Jett (my best friend Joy’s son):

Jett says

More birthday pictures to come through out the day.

ETA – 9 p.m.: To quote Gridiron Goddess Amy, I am drunkity!  One beer, a few bites of fries and an Irish car bomb on the house later, I’m done for the night.  Will recap tomorrow but man, this birthday ranks up there with last year’s!  Fantastic!


It’s NOVEMBER!!!!!

The Big Gala is now 5 days away!!!!

My birthday is in 2 weeks!!!!

And Thanksgiving a week after that!!?!?!?!?!


Before I really panic, let me tell you about MY Christmas yesterday. Something to distract me from the stress of the Big Gala.

Brandon’s office, despite what is going on with their boss, still had some Halloween spirit.


Mine did too but it didn’t manifest as a costume party. I may be the only person dressed up full on in the office with a few who don the orange and black and putting on the “ears” I brought, but every inch of our our break room table was filled with snacky food. We have my Absolutely Weevil cookies, Celeste’s banana nut bread, Nhien’s spinach dip, Pat O’s old school recipe pumpkin dip, the CFO’s giant platter of mini egg salad sandwiches, and a whole lot more.



I even got invited over to watch the costume contest at Janetta’s office on the lower floor of our building. Those kids know how to have a good time, I tell ya! I showed up, and some folks was like, hey we got one more for the competition. Oh no, I’m so sorry, I said. I don’t even work here. LOL. They were so nice and let me stay. Their company actually is one of our investors. The Owner told me I’m welcomed to come down to their office party any day. LOL.

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Surely you have seen Padawan OakMonster and Nerd Herder Brandon. Sure, Brandon’s costume was still a bit obscure as only 4 people called him out as a character from “Chuck” that he was.

Nerd Herd


Most people told him that he was missing a helmet, a bike and a bible. Yes, people were mistaking Brandon’s Geek Squad imitation for a Mormon Elder.


My fantastic home made Jedi gitup got a raving review by everyone. But I was totally stumped when a guy from our Long Beach office called out:”Nice costume, Oakley. Are you Peter Pan?”

Now, even our friend Paul who, possibly the only one in America, hasn’t seen any of the Star Wars film, knew at least that I was a Star Wars character. Clearly, the LB Guy has been living under a VERY big rock for 30 years.But seriously though. I’m not even green, dude!

Talk about Peter Pan, that was the theme for our friend Jim and Karen and their 2 young kids.Their 3-year-old son was Captain Hook. Their 2-year-old daughter was Tinkerbell (okay…she just had wings on and she was just adorable!). Mom was Tiger Lily and Dad was Peter Pan. Soooooo frickin’ cute!

ETA: Pictures!


We joined the Peter Pan Clan and James and Aurora at Paul and Lupe’s house. Shane, Tamara and their kids showed up later. My original Trick-or-Wine plan turned into a one-stop shop as everyone was congregating at Paul’s.

ETA: Pictures.


All in all, it was a fantastic Halloween.


She cooks. She sews. She celebrates!

While Brandon was down at Miramar with Justin and Erik, having a boy’s day out looking at planes at the air show and turning themselves into cooked lobsters, I labored away at my first part of my Halloween costume while watching Top Gear and Dr. Who marathon.

Behold, the Jedi robe, made from scratch!


Brandon helped me pin the bottom hem. It was curved so I couldn’t quite just measure 8-inch to cut all the way around and have the same length. My poor sun burned husband was at my feet, helping me shorten my robe. But it’s finished, finally.

It took me long enough to finish the damn thing. I mean, it really wasn’t all that difficult to pin things together, baste them and run them through the machine. But like Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” You just have to do it!

Sure, this is not 100% accurate for those serious about cosplay but it’s better than store bought, I tell ya. Why? Because first of all it costs me more to buy materials than actually purchasing a out-of-the-bag costumes. And more importantly, this robe is a product of my very own blood, sweat, and tears, and hours of hard labor.

But for a great looking Jedi costume I can wear for years to come? It’s totally worth it.

Now, on to the “Gi” part of the costume. The top, that is. Now, the pants are a pair of my new khakis, tucked into my favorite boots. The lightsaber will be borrowed from my coworker’s son.

Oh, and I also made dinner of epic proportion. Having now learned the value of frozen homemade chicken soup, I made a huge pot of Italian chicken stew this time around, and it simmered through the evening. Super. Tasty.

So, now that I’m all done. I’m going to go reward myself with some Haagen Daas and a shot of limoncello.



I have done a LOT this weekend, well, aside from throwing up bad fish and chips.

For one, we got ourselves a new couch…


…and a new “computer station”.


Brandon and I haven’t had a new couch since we have gotten together, so this is quite a big deal for us. We don’t really own much of any “real” furnitures. It’s either Ikea, Target, or someone gave us something. It’s quite a huge leap into respectable adulthood over here.

Now, the TV stand, replacing a folding card table, is acting as Brandon’s computer station for the moment. We’re looking into a computer armoir so he can hide all of his computer gadgets when he doesn’t have a project to work on. Once we get the armoir, that TV stand is going to replace our current 10-year-old Ikea entertainment center, which will in turn allow us the room to upgrade our TV to an HD, which will in turn provide a justification for us to get a Playstation 3.


With all of these new additions to our humble apartment, we have been busy all weekend rearranging our space. Well, mainly me, reorganizing my closet and office to move things in and out. So far, it’s working out great. I actually have more room in my closet now than I need, but we’ll see how long that’ll last. LOL

So while we waited for the couch to arrive, I watched my Boys in Cardinal and Gold owning Washington State 47-14 while making dinner of home cooked chicken soup made from scratch (Thanks Martha Stwart!) and organizing my room at half-time. With the protection coating on the couch, we couldn’t even sit on it last night. I spent the rest of the evening watching Torchwood on the floor.

Brandon still can’t quite get into Torchwood but I’m all over it because I’m hooked on Gwen, the police officer turned Torchwood agent. I still didn’t like Captain Jack Harkness that much in this. He felt all stiff too me, but I was just starting warm up to him this last episode. (The gun range scene…me-ow! Sign me up for lesson anyday, Captain!)

But having just seen Dr. Who’s “Utopia” episode where Jack’s running wild, flirting with everybody and every species, I REALLY do like his character. I mean, where is THIS Captain Jack in Torchwood?!? It makes me wonder what happened between now and then that makes him all cold and bitter. It was more like he was trying hard to appear Vulcan. A charismatic guy walking around trying to be all emotionless, and what you have was a walking piece of hardwood flooring. That explains what I thought was bad acting…he was just trying so hard to not show any emotions! Ah-ha!

Finally, by popular demand, here are the pictures of my cupcake creations.

The Pirate Cupcakes (Devil’s food cake with chocolate rum frosting)…


…and my Little Piggies made with the Pig Pickin’ cake recipe.


Picture Me

You all know my obsession with getting into cardboard boxes. I think it’s time to share my passion with the world at large.

Join me at my Flickr group, People in a Box, where we celebrate people of all ages, shapes, sizes and species (because some of us think our pets are people too) getting inside a really big box.

I also added some random pictures I took around my house on my Flickr album as well, so go check that out too.  Okeedokey?

And here’s an interesting view of Downtown LA the other day.  Please excuse my giant finger…


Droplets of joy

A surprise gift in the mail.
* Olaina sent me Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warrior band that was just a wee little bit too big.


A REALLY big plastic bag.
* Not as much fun as a really big box though.


A cake you successfully baked and prepped the night before and frosted at 5:30 a.m.
* Giada rules! And before y’all think I’m crazy, this cake was for my company potluck. I can’t frost it overnight because the hazelnut brittles would’ve melted into the frosting and it won’t be any good.


Jason Chambers, my newest “celebrity” crush.
* Well, he’s not a big time celebrity yet. He’s a host of History Channel’s Human Weapons which we have become addicted to. Brandon may have gotten us watching the show as a martial arts education for both of us, but now it’s become like an occasional soft core baw-chi-ca-baw-wow for me. Heh. (And this delicious picture is borrowed from his website.)

Jason Chambers

And finally, Reggie escapes AGAIN.
* Well, he did got caught eventually and put back in his new “home”. Has anyone checked to see if he’s not Houdini reincarnated? The t-shirt here borrowed from

Free Reggie by