September! 30 yoga classes, 24 dance classes, 12 dances, and lots of friends


atomic ballroom

Happy October! While I didn’t get as much reading done in September as I wanted, I did a lot of other things. I took 30 yoga classes in 30 days at Purple Yoga, which was fun! When I realized I was close, I decided I could totally do it. And it was easy!


I also got the New Student Special at Atomic Ballroom, giving access to unlimited classes for a week. I took 24 dance classes and went to 12 dances, including evenings at Atomic Ballroom, Folly at Dapper Day, and dancing in Downtown Disney. You can see a lot of wristbands in the photo at the top. Alicia took this great photo one of the nights we went to Atomic. Yoda tried to squeeze into the photo too.


I don’t know who Cynthia is, but I’m stealing Luke’s Snap since I’m in it too.

I tried 6-Count Lindy Hop, 8-Count Lindy Hop, Salsa, Country Two Step, West Coast Swing, Country Line Dancing, Collegiate Shag, Bolero, Foxtrot, Milonga, Argentine Tango, Cha Cha, and Charleston classes. I already like Lindy Hop, and it’s still my favorite, but I found that I really enjoyed Argentine Tango and Country Line Dancing too – all for completely different reasons. Oh, and I might have tried to belly dance too. There’s totally no video. Thanks gem, Anela, Luke, and new friends for making the week fun! I ran into old friends and acquaintances and met a lot of new, cool people at Atomic too.

And I did squeeze in two tragedies by Euripides and some of The Aeneid as well as picking up Super Mario Maker. My body’s ready for tomorrow’s vacation! Time for Michigan with Duncan! I’m going with him on his yearly trip, leaving Friday and returning a little over a week later. Plans include a cottage, dinner with old friends, Canada, Niagara Falls, and Detroit – a nice combination of staying busy while also resting. Let’s go!


Atomic Ballroom Student Showcase: Celebrate the Magic

Atomic Ballroom Student Showcase: Celebrate the Magic

Atomic Ballroom’s Student Showcase was this weekend. Because gem’s loud and quick to yell when told that the loudest person wins tickets, she won tickets to the show. The theme was “Celebrate the Magic” featuring Disney music. It was pretty awesome! I particularly liked watching the shadows dance when these two were in the right position on stage. Besides this, I didn’t take many photos.

Atomic Ballroom Student Showcase: Celebrate the Magic

The performers were really good. It was nice to see people of so many different levels dance. I’m sure it took a lot of guts for some of them to get up there. I really enjoyed pieces such as “Kiss the GIrl” from The Little Mermaid, featuring a shimmery, mermaid-tail-like dress, “Strangers Like Me” from Tarzan, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan, and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin with an awesome dance (that suddenly made me really sad when I thought of Robin Williams and then the closing of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular. I just noticed while looking at the program that one of the dancers in that Aladdin piece, Jeff Glass, is a psychiatrist at the Long Beach VA. How cool! For all I know, he could have helped my father.

Oh, and I have to add that there was an adorable little girl doing some of the transitions. One time she was a mermaid, one time she ran across the stage dressed as Indiana Jones and running from a “boulder,” and one time she was Rapunzel.

After the showcase, there were complimentary refreshments. I ate too much, but the food was delicious. It was a lovely evening!

Folly at Dapper Day

Folly at Dapper Day

Dapper Day was here this weekend! I was the expo for about 15 minutes right before it closed due to traffic. Ugh! On the bright side, I won a free bow tie from xoelle through an Instragram repost contest and got to pick it up!

There was some stress as I waited in line to see if we could get tickets to Folly, the after party, while gem spent a good hour trying to park. Luckily, we did get inside the party. Folly had drinks, a live swing band, a keyboardist and bassist in another room, and lots of dancing upstairs at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.

gem captured me enjoying my White Russian.

Folly at Dapper Day

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, because I still wanted to share this photo of us in line.

Folly at Dapper Day

Here’s another shot of us while we waited in line.

Folly at Dapper Day

gem enjoyed the fireworks while wearing xoelle’s business card in her hair.

We were hoping to meet some other friends there, but no one came. However, we made some new friends. It was an awesome night anyways with drinks, lots of dancing, and great music. Super fun!

Cauldron Ice Cream’s beautiful and delicious desserts

S'mores puffle from Cauldron Ice Cream

Is it time to go back to Cauldron Ice Cream yet? No? Oh well – hopefully soon. I went on the weekend, and it was really cool. This is the s’mores flavor in a puffle. The puffle is a waffle cone, but it’s definitely different than what you typically imagine for ice cream. It’s apparently “Hong Kong style,” but I don’t really know what that is exactly. I expected those bubbles to literally be bubbles filled with air, but they aren’t hollow at all. They’re pure, soft deliciousness, perfect to soak up the ice cream flavor. I’m sure it’s more carbs than a typical cone, but it was great. I actually had a dream about the puffle the night before I got to try it. It didn’t disappoint.

The ice cream flavors were quite good and very interesting as well. Most of the ice creams came with toppings as well with balanced flavors combining beautifully. I ordered the s’mores ice cream. “Double chocolate ice cream layered with graham cracker. Topped with marshmallow fluff cream and then toasted for the full campfire experience.” S’mores are one of my favorite desserts, so I knew I had to try it. I love the incorporation of the graham cracker and marshmallow fluff cream. I wouldn’t expect to need the graham cracker given the similar puffle, but I appreciated the crunch (and of course the authenticity of the s’more). The marshmallow fluff cream was great; it wouldn’t have been a s’more without it.H2O Rose from Cauldron Ice CreamThe H2O Rose was also quite impressive with its notable floral flavor. It truly tasted like roses. It looked the part as well in a beautiful pink and sprinkled with rose sugar. While I didn’t take a photo of it myself, Anela provided me her photograph! While I have a thing for chocolate, the H2O Rose might have been my favorite item as an artistic whole and my second favorite flavor I tasted. See how it’s arranged like an actual rose? I should try a new flavor next time I go, but I’m really tempted to order this.

I tried more than that though. I was also impressed with the taste of the Vietnamese Coffee. Although the presentation wasn’t quite as special, it was my third favorite flavor. The Earl Grey Lavender was another floral flavor that was fun to pair with the Vietnamese Coffee. Rainbow Road was milk ice cream and Fruity Pebbles. I believe it was supposed to be topped with Fruity Pebbles as well, but they missed that in our order. While good, I think it was my least favorite flavor of the six I tried. On the plus side, it made me get a song about Rainbow Road stuck in my head. Lastly, I tried Strawberry Shortcake. It sounds like it should be unexciting, but I suppose classics are classic for a reason. This was one of the better strawberry ice creams I’ve had.

Their menu lists “September 2015 flavors,” seemingly implying that the flavors change monthly. I don’t know if they all rotate or only some, but I’ll be interested to see what happens next month However, there’s more I want to try in September still such as the Sea Salted Caramel Crunch, featuring caramel ice cream and pretzel bits. There’s also the Cirque de la Crème: “Pieces of circus animal crackers mixed throughout, for a taste of nostalgia in every bite. Topped with rainbow sprinkles and a mystery animal cracker.” Doesn’t that sound adorable? As if they hadn’t already hooked me, they end the description with “a mystery animal cracker.” Yes, please!

Wakeboarding at Puddingstone

I went wakeboarding with my family this weekend at Puddingstone in San Dimas. I’ve wakeboarded twice before this, but it was my cousins’ and brother’s first time. It’s a ton of fun, but I can definitely admit that I’m sore the next day. That video was my longest go. Thanks to my cousin Haley for recording!

Here’s Mitch. He was definitely getting much better near the end, but I stopped recording when my phone got close to dying.

Here’s Haley, who actually stood up briefly on her first attempt. She was pretty amazing.

Lastly, this is my brother, James. He’s been on the boat previously, but this was his first time wakeboarding. I’m glad he tried it!

SoCal Paddle Yoga

SoCal Paddle Yoga

I took a sunset flow paddleboard yoga class recently that was an absolute blast. The class was led by Kelly Huck of SoCal Paddle Yoga. She was great, so if you’re interested, I recommend check that site. She also took the photos in this post!

SoCal Paddle Yoga

It was on a lake in Mission Viejo, which meant it was relatively calm, making for easier yoga.

SoCal Paddle Yoga

It was kind of weird following pose after pose while slowly drifting apart and sometimes facing haphazardly away from most others. I kind of liked the disconnect. It made it feel like I was in my own little world.

SoCal Paddle Yoga

I like headstands, so I couldn’t resist.

SoCal Paddle Yoga

Crow is definitely much easier on a lake than in Newport.

SoCal Paddle Yoga

Unfortunately, the class had to end. I’ll need to go again!

Birthdays, Long Beach Sand Sculpture Festival, and games

This weekend was fun for a couple reasons. First, there was a party for Duncan and Matt’s birthdays. We had dinner, socialized, and played some games.

Reese's s'more

This is probably the only photo worth sharing. Yep, that’s a s’more with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and giant marshmallow.

Picnic in Long Beach

This weekend was also the Long Beach Sand Sculpture Music & Art Festival. It was so much fun! I probably would have had the same amount of fun even if the festival wasn’t there and we just went to the beach haha.

Picnic in Long Beach

We had a tasty meal of Korean BBQ burritos from Seoulmate in the park before heading down to the beach. I used one of those giant, human-sized hamster balls and slammed into people. I don’t have any photos yet because they weren’t on my phone. It was fun, but it was hot. So hot. I also jammed my thumb back while inside, and it was aching all day (and more). It’s getting better though! When I got out, I was feeling dizzy from the heat and dehydration. We got some water and then went into the ocean to cool off.

There were lots of cool dogs to watch as well as the sand sculptures themselves of course. I brought my DSLR out for the first time, and Luke helped me a ton. It was a hand-me-down, and I didn’t have the manual nor did I know much about it. I might not have the skill, but at least Luke explained what most things mean. I feel much better about using it now!

We also visited a skateboard stand. Anela and gem got skateboarding lessons! They didn’t care about the guys.

Oh, and I played with hula-hoops! It was super fun actually!

I also got to playtest Joe’s new super hero board game. It’s pretty amazing. He’s really talented in a lot of different, creative ways. I’d share photos, but I wouldn’t want to leak an unreleased game. :)

Spotify’s Discover Weekly, a great way to discover new music

Spotify introduced the Discover Weekly playlist, giving users custom playlists of new music based on their usage. So far, it’s been pretty amazing for me. If you haven’t tried it yet, check Browse > Discover > Discover Weekly.

Checking my reveals that in the last week, nine of my top ten played songs were from my Discover Weekly playlists from the last two weeks. Spotify’s algorithms seem spot on; they certainly know what I like. Discover Weekly is a single playlist that’s updated every Monday. Because I want to save them, I make a new playlist that’s a duplicate of my Discover Weekly. When the Discover Weekly is changed, I still have my duplicate.

One song it recommended was Obsessed With You by The Orion Experience. It recommended it to me two weeks ago with the introduction of Discover Weekly, and it’s now my 38th most played song ever according to That’s crazy. I guess I listened to it a lot. Whoops.

I’ve been looking for ways to discover new music, especially since there are some kinds of music that I enjoy but about which I don’t know much. This is a perfect way to discover new music! And in the interest of discovering new music, here’s a selection of tracks that I’ve enjoyed from my Discover Weekly playlist:

  • The Orion Experience – Obsessed With You
  • The Bird and the Bee – F-cking Boyfriend
  • I Fight Dragons – The Geeks Will Inherit The Earth
  • MisterWives – Twisted Tongue
  • Beautiful Small Machines – Counting Back To 1
  • Crayon Pop – Bar Bar Bar
  • Garfunkel and Oates – Gay Boyfriend
  • Morgan Laurence – Come On! Come On!
  • Dixie Flatline – Just Be Friends
  • Noah and the Whale – 5 Years Time

If you use Spotify and haven’t checked out your Discover Weekly playlist yet, you’re missing out every week you don’t take a look!

Pan-frying Pizza Rolls with Totino’s x MBMBaM

My favorite podcast, My Brother, My Brother, and Me, recently had a entire episode sponsored by Totino’s. That’s hilarious all by itself, but the episode was pretty great. One fan wrote to the show discussing how he prefers to pan-fry his Pizza Rolls.

“A few years ago I brought home Pizza Rolls to discover my roommate had broken the toaster oven. At the time, we didn’t have a microwave, and I didn’t want to wait for the oven to preheat. My solution was to grab a frying pan and some extra virgin olive oil and fry my Totino’s Pizza Rolls! They came out great, and now that’s the only way I prepare my Pizza Rolls. I cannot think of another podcast more suited for this anecdote.”

I’d be crazy not to try it, right? Last Friday was Pizza Day as The Aquabats would say, so it was the perfect day to try it out. Thanks to gem and Anela for helping make the video and eat delicious Pizza Rolls with me!

And the results? gem and I both preferred pan-fried Pizza Rolls. I thought they were awesome! We were in agreement that baked were next and microwaved were the worst (but still totally worth eating). Anela preferred baked over pan-fried but agreed that they were both better than microwaved. Well, two out of three isn’t bad. Thank you, Totino’s, McElroy brothers, and mystery writer to the show!

iHookah, relaxing with friends, and more


In addition to the OC Fair about which I already posted, my weekend was full of some other things too. For starters, Antonio and I went with Anela to iHookah, where she danced.

Thankfully, that’s a still photograph and not a video. In that case, let me assure you that Antonio and I are amazing dancers. Thanks to iHookah for posting photos! It was Antonio’s first time smoking hookah, and it was a good time. I really like iHookah too; they have great service, and the staff is super friendly. It’s fun to watch Anela dance too!

I also hung out at gem’s a few times. On Friday, gem, Anela, and I had dinner, watched TV, and played Super Mario 3D World with gem’s brother. Sunday night, after the OC Fair, gem, Antonio, and I took turns playing Splatoon. It reminded me of being a kid!

As usual, what a terrific weekend!