OakMonster Hangout

Geek-style Brunch

OakMonster Hangout

I might have just done one of the geekiest things so far.

A few Saturdays ago, I joined a tweet up tequila brunch via Google+ Hangout.

Flash back about a year or so ago when Annette/@dananner, being the instigator of all things social media, introduced me to a very small group of tweeps who get up with the birds to go to work. Our little group  greet each other daily at the crack of dawn.  And once in a while we’d joke about having tequila for breakfast.

So I said, how about we all meet up for a tequila brunch? We thought it was a brilliant idea, and I managed to find a restaurant who actually has tequila brunch and is located centrally as we would be hauling in from all different directions and distances.

We finally picked a date that most people were free and Malo in Silver Lake as a central location. And the plan was set. But then, the day of the brunch was during the time when SoCal decided to be Seattle for the week. I drove through the storm up to town from Orange County. An hour later, Annette and Hank came in from Lancaster.

That was it for the grand plan of the Great Tequila Brunch Tweet Up.

It’s been about a year since then. And the weather looked like it was going to hold the summer pattern all the way through Halloween at this rate.  I decided to try putting the brunch together again. This time in Downtown LA at Mas Malo, the second location of the same restaurant.

Alas, I missed my own party.

The crab I ate the night before decided to fight back. I couldn’t leave the house.

But being a nerdy little group that we are, we already had plan to have other non-LA-based folks join us over Google+ Hangout.

Annette came to the party armed with her laptop as she withstood some weird looks from the waitstaff when she asked for a table with an outlet because “my friends are joining our brunch online.”

I dragged myself to the home office and popped in to say hi to my online friends (@hankito@phatemokid, @scbound and @LoveMeDeux ‘s daughter @TheMads), and watch everyone eat for a few minutes before I retreated back to the couch.

Yes, I got to see all of them. Yes I got to see what they were eating. And yes, it was an absolutely nerdy good time.

Sure, I’ve done video chat before, but I haven’t done much of it until Hangout came around, making things easy for everyone.  However, I never did a video chat as a social event.

This little geeky experiment is now giving me an idea to “have a meal” with my friends somewhere else around the world.  You know, we schedule a time (according to the internet, 9 a.m. PST seems to be the golden hour of social media) and bring our meal to our computers.  Heck, we can even cook the same thing and share our experience!

But of course, said friends will have to get themselves a Google+ account.

Would you be interested in doing a virtual Sunday brunch with me sometime?

Getting a new perspective

Getting My Eyes Opened

Getting a new perspective

It’s been 6 months since my career change.

I have experienced so much in half a year than I’ve ever had in a long time. Obviously, I’ve experienced being completely and totally unemployed. I’ve experienced life as an independent contractor, working with a few clients on a few small projects; as a hired hand for any odd jobs; and as a party hostess and promoter for a product. And now as a full-time freelancer at a huge advertising firm.

I’ve always wanted to work in advertising since I made up my mind in 8th grade. I did summer internships at Ogilvy & Mathers in Bangkok the summer before college, and the following summer with Leo Burnett. I applied to any and all advertising jobs fresh out of college. But the dream veered into the dot com right before the peak of the boom and I found my true love in technology instead.

Now that my feet are in the door in an advertising firm working on tech projects, it is indeed a full circle.

This freelance gig is a huge eye opener for me for many reasons. This is my first freelance full-time contract job. This is the largest company I’ve ever worked for. This is also the most fun office I’ve been in. Well, since the dot com glory days.

It’s weird driving to work at 9:30 a.m. to a bustling office instead of shambling off the bus into an empty one a 7:30 a.m. Then again, I also never got to experience the empty 405 freeway at 2 a.m. either.

The hurry-up-and-wait, almost manic-depressive in nature, really, needs some adjusting to. I feel useless some times and I couldn’t leave my desk for a bit some other times. Never quite like that at the old gig.

It’s weird when we are encouraged to use instant messenger to talk to your colleague a few desks over when the old work place doesn’t even officially sanction Google Chat.

It’s weird not knowing everyone on your floor. But yet, there is always somebody walking around sharing donuts or cupcakes or some other food treats.

I often griped about having to dress professionally and rebelled against it with my knee socks and platform maryjanes to keep it lively. It’s weird now that I actually have to make a decision about which t-shirts to wear with my jeans. I never thought I’d be in a wardrobe dilemma when I can wear jeans everyday, but here I am.  Then again, when you were getting really comfortable with your boxer shorts and fuzzy slippers working at home, putting on jeans and t-shirt seems to be a bit of a hassle. LOL

Everything is different now than what it was six months ago. Heck, it’s even different now that just a month and a half ago!

And in a month’s time from today when my contract comes up again, things may change once more.

I thought this whole experimenting with companies and career choices should’ve been wrapped up by the time you turn 30. Here I am, 2 months from turning 35, learning something new everyday and adjusting to a life completely different what I had 6 months ago. It’s definitely weird.

But, well, ya know, I will survive and all that.


Powder Blue Panties in a Twist

USC Marching Band drum major has been stabbing his sword into the middle of the football field for god knows how long as a part of the band’s act.

Our field. Their field. Any field.

We have been taking special pleasure when we play at the Rose Bowl because our Trojan ALWAYS gets to stab through fucla logo in the middle of the field.  I don’t know where the bRUINS have been this whole time but we’ve ALWAYS noticed.

Now that the familiar scene to us Trojans got included in the PAC 10+2 promotional video, suddenly the fucla athletic director got his panties in a twist and bitched, as reported by the LA Times. Somebody’s excuse was that this is so much more offensive to them than watching it live in the stadium or having the same footage broadcasted nationally during the live game every other year because the promo will keep repeating. Blah blah blah…

So PAC 10+2 actually pulled the footage from the promo.

But not before someone got a hold of the clip…

For Trojans, you can enjoy the whole video. For those non-fans, you can skip to 1:25 on the time code.

Fight on!


Ghirardelli Intense Dark Pairings

While I *am* indeed the official partner of Ghirardelli and a hostess to the upcoming Ghirardelli Intense Dark Pairings event for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there was a glitch in promotion and folks are being sent here to OakMonster HQ for information on the event instead of to Food.OakMonster.com where all the coverage of the event will be. Click on the banner on right or…

Click here and head on over to Food.OakMonster.com now!

Get the information on the event and see how you can get on my invite list.

Ah. The woes of having an internet empire. ;-)

Disclosure: Posts on the blog and twitter about the Ghirardelli Intense Dark Pairings event are based on an advertising relationship. I have been paid to host and promote the Intense Dark Pairings event for Ghirardelli. However, the opinion about the products are all mine.

Amy and Oakley

Here come the USC Trojans

Shift your gear, people. We’re coming out of the summer movie geek out and going into fall USC football madness.

From tomorrow through Thanksgiving, count me out for any Saturday activities.  Thankfully, many games this season will be in the evening, so I won’t have to miss much of my Italian lessons starting up in a few weeks.

What? Italian classes on Saturday mornings during football season?  Are you mad!?  As my husband would say, “you did that to yourself.” Yeah, I guess I’m masochistic that way.

First game of the year lands on Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, a lot of fans are out of town. Fortunately, many out of town fans are finally in town.  Many of my Trojan Tweeps I haven’t met before will converge at USC Psycho‘s famous tailgate, dubbed #Psychogate.  BYOB and bring extra stuff to help Roy out. Or buy his shirts.

Gridiron Goddess Amy (@gridirongoddess) and I will make our usual appearance there first before slinking off to another destination.  Amy with her many creative flavors of Jello shots and me with caramelized bacon-wrapped Lil Smokies.  All the new folks are bringing goodies too. This is going to be so much fun.

Among those I will get to meet finally are @fightontwist, @TrueBlueLowry21, @ScottEnyeart and @TrojanMikeG.  And of course, it’s always good to see usual suspects @vicorly and @kyle4sc. I’ll miss @maliburumbarbie though. Hopefully, I’d also get to meet Zack, the fouinding father of Arrogant Nation (@lost_angeles). But that boy’s too goddam popular now. ;-D

Oh, and all of this partying is going down starting at the usual time of  6 a.m. Kick off is at 12:30 so it’s not quite a long of a day as it usually is.

Well, the tickets were bought long time ago. I’m not going to worry about the money already spent.  Since the Coliseum is dry, and you get to marinade yourself with your booze and food before hand, there is not much more to spend. Except for occasional munchies. And appearances by food trucks.

The highest cost of the games is the parking, really.  Last year, I haven’t known too many folks I could carpool with but this year is different.  I’ll be packing my lunch for the rest of the season to do this, but this will be my splurge for the next few months instead of some fancy dinner.

Oh, all the things I’d do for USC football. :)

Amy and Oakley

Gridiron Goddess and the OakMonster at the top of the world. (Photo @ Gridiron Goddess)