Category Archives: Videos

SDCC 2017

SDCC was last month, and despite not getting tickets in the first round, I did manage to get a ticket again this year! I debuted a new full cosplay and a new pseudo-cosplay, which was very fun.

Antonio, gem, and I drove down Wednesday after work and had Berkeley Pizza for dinner. It was a short night, because we didn’t get down there early.

Thursday was the first time I wore my Tamatoa (the crab from Moana) cosplay. It was way too hot for it, but I enjoyed wearing it.

We met up with Tram and her friend Christian, and we spent most of the day with them. Maybe they’re good luck, because we got into Hall H for the first time. For reference, usually people line up overnight to get into Hall H. We heard an announcement that Will Smith would be in Hall H, which I just found silly. So what? It’s too late now. Antonio pointed out that maybe they announced it because it wasn’t full. He was exactly right. We walked right into the Netflix panel about Bright and Death Note. Will Smith was on the first half of the panel for Bright, and the whole thing was moderated by Terry Crews. It was pretty cool to be in there with them!

After Hall H, it was time for the Lick King’s Ice Cream Citadel! We got some tasty ice cream and posed with the Lich King! By then I was tired of my Tamatoa costume, so I changed into normal clothes because it was so hot. We had Greek fusion for dinner at Meze, at which we ate the last two years as well.

On Friday I wore my Magikarp Jump cosplay. It wasn’t 100% authentic at all, but it was fun. gem had the idea to use Boomerang for the video. Nice suggestion! We met up with our friends Krista, Kaitlyn, and David. I always run into Krista and Kaitlyn at the coolest places!

This was a day mostly for panels. I saw Robin Hobb: Beyond the Page first followed by Dare to Be Dynamite: Creative Vision with Pierce Brown, an author that gem loves. In the evening we watched a Mega64 panel and the Super Geeked Up Improv show, which was fun, although I wish there was more improv.

My favorite panel was Superstars in Children’s Fiction with Greg Grunberg, Lucas Turnbloom, R. L. Stine, Jarrett J. Krosocka, Jenni Holm, Matt Holm, and Molly Ostertag. We went because we thought it would be fun to see R. L. Stine, but we had no idea that Greg Grunberg, Parkman from Heroes and Wexley from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would be there and is now a children’s fiction author. He was super nice! We chatted with him after the panel, and when I asked to take a photo of him and gem, his son (I think) offered to take one of the three of us.

My favorite part of the panel was when Greg asked R. L. Stine about the future of Goosebumps TV shows or films. R. L. Stine said he couldn’t comment. Greg told him that he’d trade him information about the next Star Wars movies. Too awesome.

gem wore her Woody costume, which was modified since last year. Previously she tried to keep it authenticate. This year it was more interpretive with a dress. I think she rocked it!

On Saturday, Antonio and I snuck in as professionals to skip the line. Yay. gem took some cool photos of me by the water in my Tamatoa costume.

I had to fight Maui of course. Why wasn’t he transforming? “Well, well, well. Little Maui’s having trouble with his look…”

There were a lot of great Moana cosplayers! Thanks to gem for taking so many wonderful photographs 🙂 There are more on my cosplay page.

We went to another tokidoki signing as always where Simone signed my tokidoki x Overwatch notebook. We also chatted with Jaycee, who worked for tokidoki. She remembered us from previous years, and we followed each other on Instagram.

Let’s not talk about waiting in line over an hour for a Star Trek panel but not getting inside. At least I got to chat with some cool people in line!

Kaleigh joined us that night, although we split up for a bit. gem and I hung out while Antonio met with her at the train station. We all met up briefly, but then that evening gem, Antonio, and I went to see the best brothers around, the McElroys! We watched My Brother, My Brother, and Me live in San Diego! It was really fun to see them in person. Too bad we didn’t get to talk to them. I had a question ready to ask, but there weren’t microphones on the balcony where we were sitting unfortunately.

On Sunday I wore a tried-and-true cosplay, Fix-it Felix Jr.! During a panel, I ran into Erin, a Vanelope von Schweetz cosplayer! We took some photos together after the panel. Her car was super amazing!

After chatting with her, we went to a Disneybound panel with Leslie Kay, Kit Leitmeyer, Loni Clark, Neil A. Williams II, and Sara Katz-Scher. It was pretty interesting to hear about how they come up with their outfits.

I ended the convention at the Disney group shoot! It was organized by Robert T Photography, who also took the photo above. You can see more of his photos from the event here on Facebook.

One videographer took video of us for the end of his cosplay music video. I’m in it briefly at the end as I dance around 4:51, but I’m right in front so you can see me clearly, haha!

 

Look how amazing this little Dopey cosplayer was! He seemed to have a great time with the other Disney cosplayers.

Antonio took this photo of me and gem in her Steven Universe cosplay! I think she did a great job with this. A lot of Steven Universe cosplayers carry a ukulele just as a prop, but this cosplayer can actually play it! Yeah!

There are plenty more photos of my Fix-it Felix Jr. cosplay here.

On our way out of San Diego, we stopped at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate for Russian dinner. This is the khachapuri, which was filled with delicious cheese. Oh my god, I definitely need to eat this again. I also had chanakhi (lamb stew) as my entree.

And for dessert, I had sweet vatrushka with sour cherry and farmer’s cheese. Yum!

Until next year, SDCC!

DMV server installation job and Nor Cal trip

I recently finished a temporary, contract job as a field technician for Form 10 installing computer hardware in California DMVs. Each day, two technicians would arrive at a DMV at 2:30 PM. We’d install new a new uninterruptible power supply and rack server, remove the old UPS and server, remove the old camera workstation, install and configure a new one, install new fingerprint readers at every window, and remove the old fingerprint readers. We’d leave whenever we were finished (usually between 7 and 10 PM), and then one of us would come the next morning to watch from 7:30 AM until 10:00 AM. And then we’d drive to the next DMV. As the team lead, I also had a bit of paperwork.

It was nice experience installation the rack servers. The hardest part was the physical act of getting it racked. It was also interesting seeing the DMV from the other side. DMVs have a reputation for being slow and boring, but in reality they’re staffed by normal people who are for the most part trying to help customers. And some of those customers are pretty bad.

The real difficulty of the job was the hours. Every other day I didn’t work until 2:30, which sounds good. However, when you consider that I’m in a different hotel each night, waking up, eating breakfast, working out, checking out by 11, and then driving to the next DMV by 2:30, there wasn’t much time for anything. There were tiny pockets of time. Maybe I could work out quickly enough, check out early, drive to the next DMV as soon as possible, and get there by 12:30 or 1. That gave me maybe two hours, but those free hours were in an unfamiliar place without any physical space for me to use. It was tough, especially being in Northern California or the Central Valley for a few weeks without being home.

Surprisingly I ran into three emergencies. First, one of the security staff members at one of the DMVs was taken away on a gurney. I don’t know what happened to her, but she was able to walk to the gurney herself. At another DMV, I heard a bit of a commotion between the staff and found out that an ambulance came for a woman who fell in the parking lot. It was raining hard that day, and I heard she fell unconscious. I don’t know if she slipped in the rain, hit her head, and was knocked unconscious or if she suddenly lost consciousness, causing her to fall. What I do know is that I saw security coning off a part of the walkway the had a puddle of blood. Apparently she broke her nose. Lastly, my partner and I witnessed a woman pulling away from a man, yelling things like, “get away from me” and “don’t touch me!” I got security, and my partner brought her inside while the man followed. It seemed to be a domestic dispute. Maybe she was overreacting and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Maybe he was doing something wrong. I don’t know. But I do know that at the end of the day, she was okay, and that’s what matters. The police came and talked to both me and my partner, and they reviewed the security footage right next to me as I installed the server. It was an interesting day.

There was some chance for fun as well. I had some down time one day and decided to visit the local university, Stanislaus State.

I had never even heard of it, but I enjoy universities, and this one was certainly beautiful.

I also saw some cool wildlife. Yes, this photo is terrible. But there are wild turkey in the center!

And here’s a terrible photograph a baby deer! It’s right under the bush in the center at the top.

While in Sacramento, I had the chance to visit the Capitol Building.

I had to take a photograph with the bear! Former-governor Schwarzenegger bought this and left it in the Capitol Building.

I met an interesting woman with whom I went out twice while in Sacramento too. She teaches fifth graders, including many who have hearing impairments. She uses ASL in the classroom. I found it particularly interesting to realize she has to watch for children signing during tests as a way of cheating. She also plays roller derby in Sacramento, which is pretty sweet!

Chuck Sommerville, creator of Chip’s Challenge, lives near Sacramento. I asked him if he’d like to join a fan for lunch, and he agreed. It was awesome. Chip’s Challenge is one of my favorite games; I have an autographed copy of the original Lynx version. The lunch was a pretty amazing experience. He’s a bit of a personal hero of mine and has done a lot of cool things. He always has fascinating projects and shares progress on Facebook. Over lunch he told me a lot about the development of Chip’s Challenge, Chip’s Challenge 2, and Chuck’s Challenge 3D. I also heard about some more of my Lynx favorites like Klax, Todd’s Adventures in Slime World, Gates of Zendocon, and California Games (Chuck designed the skateboarding game). He also told me about John Romero (designer of Doom) and how they were both huge fans of each other’s work.

Chuck now works with LEDs. One installation of which he was particularly proud was the “Sensing YOU” installation in San Jose, which I had a chance to check out. It interacts with the phone game, Ingress, and responds to the motion of pedestrians passing under it. He actually got me playing Ingress now too. It’s a location-based game made by Niantic, the same developer who later made Pokemon Go. Ingress and Pokemon Go use the same underlying data.

Here’s a video of the installation that I took! I was with Matt and Katie, who I stayed with one weekend. They were very gracious to let me stay in their home and are truly terrific people. I had a wonderful time with them!

I’d never put up Christmas lights and enjoyed the opportunity to help them.

They looked great!

Matt has an arcade cabinet at home that his brother gave him as a gift. Here’s Matt and Katie playing Bomberman together. This photo makes me really happy honestly! They’re wonderful together, and I might have a soft spot for arcade cabinets too.

Visiting them was really fun. I got to see my friend Marc a couple nights that weekend as well. It’s practically unbelievable to me that I originally met these great friends through World of Warcraft!

That’s my trip! I got to add rack server installations to my resume, see all sorts of the more rural parts of California in which I had never stopped, visit Sacramento, and even meet Chuck Sommerville. It was a pretty good gig!

Shimmy Shakedown

Shimmy Shakedown

Shimmy Shakedown 2016 was on Sunday, and I was really looking forward to it. I hadn’t yet seen Anela with her new troupe, and Melissa’s part of the same troupe, giving me another reason to be excited.

Shimmy Shakedown

gem and I drove up early so we could have lunch. We ate at King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant. So much food. Oops. Too bad watching people shimmy doesn’t actually burn as many calories as actually dancing.

Shimmy Shakedown

Here’s Anela and me after the show. The show itself was fantastic. Dancers included Richy, Emily Iman, Jasmina, Delyla, Aubre Hill, Akasha Starr, Jizzelle, Fahtiem, Jillina, Amirat Al Sharq, Tonya’s Treasures, Meera, Tina Enheduanna, Rania, Stefanya, Ana Edith, and Atlantis. Fadi El Saadi, Ozzy, and Diana Rash also provided live music and singing.

Shimmy Shakedown

Here’s gem and Anela!

I wish the lighting was better in the lobby for photos though!

Everybody was really talented. I especially enjoyed Jillina second set, Meera, and Jizzelle’s last set. Some of the costumes were truly amazing too.

Shimmy Shakedown

My favorites, however, were these two. I suppose it’s no surprise; I’d always prefer to watch people I know and care about do something they love.

I recorded their performance too. It actually starts out shaky before the dancers come on stage, but luckily my hands get steadier. I especially enjoyed the transition between pieces. It’s making me laugh as I rewatch it now!

All the performers came out for the finale, so I had to record that too!

It was a fantastic evening, and I can’t wait for the next time I can watch my friends dance.

The last day of gem’s twenties

gem's birthday

Last month we celebrated the gem’s birthday by celebrating the last day of her twenties! She wanted to do something that reminded her of her twenties (although we modified for out appropriate ages).

gem's birthday

We started with Jell-O shots! But as it was a work night, we started early… and used champagne. gem gave me the calorie count too, because that’s what’s important now, haha.

03

Dave & Buster’s was the perfect location for the celebration. We started with dinner (after snacking at her place). When gem couldn’t decide on a dessert, Edward and I insisted on ordering two.

gem's birthday

Squeezing into a photo booth, we did our best to all get in the frame. The birthday girl’s best wasn’t good enough. You’ll notice she’s the only one not visible in any of the photos.

gem's birthday

Round two was better. Now we can see gem! We’re a really gorgeous bunch.

gem's birthday

gem played some Kung Fu Pando Dojo Mojo by following along with Po and punching the sensors. She was a lot better than I was! We also played a few rounds of air hockey, some trivia, and my favorite – Pac-Man Battle Royale.

I think Anela’s ready to play professional football after this. She seemed to get into it! I played a game with Anela that involved hitting lit up sensors faster than your opponent that was pretty fun. gem and I also played a DDR knock-off. I didn’t catch the names of any of those games. Edit: Thanks, YouTube! It’s called Gridiron Blitz!

gem's birthday

After D&B’s, we headed back to gem’s to eat some macarons. We split them five ways, hence them looking all cup up and ugly here.

gem's birthday

It’s not a birthday without “Happy Birthday” hats! Most of us even sat up for the photo…

gem's birthday

Even some of gem’s stuffed friends joined in the celebration by wearing hats.

gem's birthday

Speaking of hats, my gift to gem involved hats in a way. These are characters from Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back.”

Okay, this is embarrassing. “I Want My Hat Back” is a children’s book that gem and I both like. I already had voices for every character, so performing it as a stick puppet was the next logical step. You should support Klassen by purchasing it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

It seems to me that gem ended her twenties with a pretty terrific night.

My top music in 2015

I thought it might be fun to look at what I listened to in 2015. I use Last.fm, which tracks music you listened to by linking to Spotify, using a Chrome extension for YouTube, and getting play counts from iTunes. You can find me on Last.fm here if you’re interested. This is Make a New Dance Up by Hey Ocean! at the top. It makes me happy; It’s very upbeat, and it really does make me want to dance. Sometimes I listen to it when I’m about to go dancing.

last.fm top artists in 2015

Here are my top artists played in this last year. What a good-sounding bunch.

My top artists aren’t a surprise. However, I guess I should admit that I think all 214 plays of The Orion Experience came from a single song. Wow.

last.fm top artists of 365 list

Here are some more interesting notes. Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox is tracked under two different names.

Combined, they’d beat Suburban Legends for the most played artist.

I don’t own any music by Taylor Swift, and her music is on Spotify. All of her plays are from YouTube. While I already liked a few of her older songs without really knowing who sang them, her recent rise in my listening habits can be attributed to Anela playing the music videos in Daniel’s apartment. Kat DeLuna and Priyanka Chopra are also from her.

The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, My Crazy Girlfriend, Hey Ocean!, It Boys!, Hailee Steinfeld, and Kerli all came from Spotify’s Discovery Weekly playlist that changes weekly and is customized to each user. It’s fantastic.

Colt Ford is all Crank It Up. I line danced to it at Atomic and had to go listen to it a thousand times (well, 156 times).

Suburban Legends and Half Past Two are two of my favorite ska bands and local to the area. They’re not new to my listening this year. Half Past Two is taking a break, and Suburban Legends just announced that their current tour is their last, so I’m mad at them! (I’m sorry; I’m not mad. I love you. Thanks for making my ears happy.) Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox and Regina Spektor are both favorites of mine for longer than 2015, and I actually saw the Postmodern Jukebox in early 2015.

I was introduced to Daniela Andrade by gem. At first, I mostly listened to her cover of Crazy, which is crazy good. She’s very talented.

Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy is actually the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. I don’t know what they have against the Oxford comma.

What can I say about Carly Rae Jepsen? I really, really, really, really, really like her. (Do you get it?!)

last.fm top all time artists

Here’s my all time top artists in 2015. Again, no surprise, but there is one caveat. My play counts in iTunes were also increased by gem, and she went completely crazy on Owl City for a while. That was the only album she listened to for far too long. I couldn’t stand them for a while. I like them again, but they wouldn’t be this high without her.

last.fm top all time artists list

When I look at my list of all time top played artists, it makes me want to listen to some of them more. I need more Liz Phair and Vampire Weekend.

last.fm top songs of 2015

These are the songs I listened to the most in 2015. I can’t say much about them. Obviously I love all of them or I wouldn’t have listened to them so many times.

last.fm top all time songs

These are my top all time songs. Some of these are artists that made it on my top artists of 2015 list. Some, like Suburban Legends, already had a lot of plays from previous years and continued strong with me in 2015. Others, like The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, Colt Ford, It Boys!, and Hey Ocean! I only learned about this year and they already shot into my all time list. I knew of Taylor Swift, but Shake It Off was new to me. Again, Owl City has infiltrated the list thanks to all those dang plays from gem.

last.fm top albums of 2015

Less interesting, but for completion’s sake, here’s the top albums in 2015.

last.fm top albums in 2015 list

This is the top 20 list.

last.fm top all time albums

Here’s the all time top albums. Ugh, Owl City! You’re a fine band, but you make me angry that you’re so high.

last.fm top albums of all time list

And here’s the final list for all time top played albums.

This song didn’t make it on the list, but its album did at least. I want to share it anyways.

I wonder how these lists will change next year! I think it’s fun to look back at what I’ve been listening to!

Ending 2015 with the Ska Luau VI and a NYE party

Following tradition, I ended 2015 by attending the Ska Luau on the 30th and going to a New Year’s Eve party at the Carters’ on the 31st. It was a lot of fun!

Ska  Luau VI

gem and I were looking good at the Ska Luau. I need to work on evening my tan.

Ska  Luau VI

The two of us were rocking our Suburban Legends shirts! The Luau featured the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe, Karate in the Garage, Hooray for Our Side, Suburban Legends, and Starpool. What a sweet line up!

Ska  Luau VI

We ran into our friend Bryan who’s the trumpet player for Skapeche Mode and Failed to Victory. All the bands performed amazing sets. I’d never heard Karate in the Garage, so that was a treat. I’d only seen Hooray for Our Side once, and they gave a great performance. Suburban Legends and Starpool are two of my favorite bands, and they somehow always exceed expectations. I didn’t take many photos of Suburban Legends. There choreography is so awesome that still photos wouldn’t do them justice. However, I have some videos of them playing and dancing in the playlist at the top of this post.

Ska  Luau VI

Starpool came out in a bang of confetti!

Ska  Luau VI

Throw my hands up and shout! I love when they perform this. You can see T-bone Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa on stage too. My ears were ringing all day the next day.

New Year's Eve Party

I brought a lot of food to the New Year’s Eve party – brownies, lemon bars, and biscuit pizzas.

New Year's Eve PartyI told Henley that I had a gift for him in the car, and he was pretty excited. He was so adorable asking if it was time to open it yet. He needed some help getting it unwrapped! New Year's Eve Party

He seemed pretty happy with his new Buzz Lightyear! As it turns out, he had really wanted one too. While I was undoing the ties to get Buzz out of the package, Henley repeatedly gave me hugs. He’s so cute.

We suggested he open gem’s gift while I got Buzz out of the box. gem gave him a jacket that looks like a polar bear, complete with bear ears of course. He’s wearing it in that photo, although he didn’t want the hood.

New Year's Eve Party

Dev’s dog, Happy, is totally a lap dog.

New Year's Eve Party

Here’s me and Dev! He’s one of my oldet friends. We met in 8th grade.

New Year's Eve Party

I guess Mike likes my brownies! Actually, he was wondering why Dev scooped them out of the pan with a spoon.

New Year's Eve Party

gem made cheesecake ice cream as gifts and left them in a freezer. I realized that Gracie and Jon forgot to take one, so we began discussing the ice cream. Somehow we realized we could heat up my homemade brownies and serve them with gem’s homemade cheesecake ice cream.

New Year's Eve Party

Super success! A picture doesn’t really do it justice, but trust me that it was delicious.

And that was my New Year’s Eve! Thanks to Alex, Darnell, Henley, gem, Devin, Lorena, Gracie, Jon, Mike, Dev, and a couple people who I didn’t really know (sorry, I forgot names after a day already) for a fantastic end to 2015!

Thanks to 2015 and everyone who made it great

Crow on the lake

This was quite the year filled with many fun activities. It seems like a nice time for some reflection. I went to Michigan, which was beautiful, with Duncan. I’d never been that far north or east.

Niagara Falls

On that same trip, I left the country for the first time to visit Niagara Falls.

Lee's Palace

I also visited Toronto! It was an awesome city.

Holland Tayloe Gedney as Elsa

I went to San Diego Comic-Con again. Here I’m dressed as an Aquabat with Holland Tayloe Gedney’s Elsa.

The Aquabats!

It was also my first year cosplaying – not counting the Aquabats costume I’ve worn to SDCC previously for concerts. This is Professor Monty Corndog from the Aquabats (with the Aquabats)!

Snapchat magic by gem

And let’s not forget Fix-It Felix, Jr.

Bay Area friends

I visited friends in the Bay Area when I went to San Francisco for a conference.

SoCal Paddle Yoga

I did a lot of yoga, including paddle yoga. I started practicing yoga in the summer of 2014 and continued in 2014. Starting in June, I did yoga daily, never missing a day. I took over 130 yoga classes in 2015. My wrist is still healing but is feeling much better. I think the glucosamine sulfate (thanks to the pianist from Intergalactic Nemesis for the suggestion) and vertical mouse is helping quite a bit. I also hurt my knee, so for the past few months I’ve only been doing restorative or yin yoga. Honestly, I can see the good in this. I’ve learned to appreciate yin and restorative so much more, which helps give me a deeper understanding to my practice and myself.

dancing

Speaking of hurting my knee, I’ve also been dancing a lot more. I took 40-something dance classes this year. While I tried a lot of different areas, I like Balboa, Argentine tango, and Lindy Hop the most. I’m glad I have fun friends who like to go dancing.

Ooey Gooey Berry PieI baked an ooey gooey berry pie for Anela to celebrate the fact that she passed the bar. I also got to attend her bar admission ceremony and law school graduation. Folly at Dapper Day

gem and I went to the Dapper Day expo at Downtown Disney and to Folly, the afterparty.

gem on stage with Suburban Legends!gem and I were extras during the filming of The Big Day, and gem got this great photo of her with Suburban Legends. Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

I saw so much talent in my friends. This is Free Comic Book Day show at ImprovCity with my friend Alex Bower front and center. Besides some regular shows, I saw him in Scary Pants (which he wrote), Millennial Falcon at Second City, and HIStory/HERstory.

UntitledSpeaking of talented friends named Alex, I saw Alex Foster clowning around and got pulled on stage for more participation (just like the last clown show I saw before this one). Little Jimmy the Robot of the Aquabats

I painted a little Jimmy the Robot.

Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_CoreI also painted this Adventure Time mug. Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_Core

You have to see both sides.

That’s not to mention the cool Christmas gifts and cards I made this year. I haven’t given them all to their recipients yet, so I don’t want to show anything.

IMG_3833gem took me to a sushi class where we prepared sushi rolls! She’s the best 🙂Coup de Comedy 2015

We also saw Kindred Throats, an amazing musical comedy duo. She liked them so much, she baked them cookies. Twice.

Anela's graduation

I attended Anela’s law school graduation from Chapman.

bar admission ceremony

…and her CA Bar admission ceremony.

Kurios

gem and I saw Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS! Amazing!

Me and Anela at the Bellydance IDOL presents Om Kalthoum Tribute Show

I saw Anela dance a number of times, including the really fun Bellydance IDOL presents Om Kalthoum Tribute Show.

watson adventures

I helped solve a mystery at the Watson Adventures.

Blacklight Run

I ran (jogged/walked) a Blacklight Run with these two fun people.

Snow photo shoot with gem and Anela

I even got to see snow for the first time.

Heck, the year even started with my friends getting engaged.

I did so many other cool things too such as…

  • Reading all surviving plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides that I hadn’t read previously.
  • Having agents draft social media responses for me at work
  • Participating in a behavioral study
  • Becoming friends with Bryan Lackey, awesome ska trumpet player
  • Wakeboarding
  • Watching my brother perform in the Spectacles Improv Engine’s Student Showcase
  • Seeing a meteor shower
  • Attending a sand sculpture festival
  • Jogging/walking a Blacklight Run
  • Running the Walking Dead Experience
  • Seeing bands such as the Aquabats, the Interrupters, Starpool, Suburban Legends, LA Swing Barons, Imagine Dragons, Metric, Halsey, the LA Philharmonic, and Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox
  • Vacationing with my roommates and friends in Vegas
  • Swing dancing in Downtown Disney
  • Visiting the OC Fair and OC Night Market
  • Watching Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Lots of blogging (see my earlier post)

And I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention a thousand things. Thanks to everybody who helped make 2015 such an amazing year.

My Merry Christmas

Christmas 2015

My Christmas was certainly merry, and I hope everyone else’s was too. This is my little Christmas tree. I hadn’t put the homemade ornaments on it yet, but I forgot to get a photo with them and the gifts. Whoops.

Christmas 2015

This is at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve. We do our main celebrating and gift exchange on Christmas Eve, while Christmas day is more relaxed. This photo was just my generation of the family. That’s my cousin Haley on the left, my cousin Mitch under his gifts, and my brother on the right.

Christmas 2015Here’s another of Mitchell. He’s pretty awesome. Christmas 2015

Now I’m standing with my grandma, my aunt, and my mom. My grandpa is on the right.

Christmas 2015Here’s one of me and Pete. He’s trying to hold up a photo on his phone he took of my grandma’s butt.

What happened to grandma’s shoe? Weird. Christmas 2015

Here’s a couple gifts from gem! She gave me a Bluetooth speaker, a set of bear sheets (I can’t wait to get into bed tonight), and a ukulele! Amazing! I brought my ukulele with me today when I went to my parents’ for Christmas day to practice. I’m trying to play Martian Girl by the Aquabats. Yes, gifts from me are missing from this post. I’ll talk about them some other time!

Lindy Christmas was a lot of fun

Last Friday was Lindy Christmas at Atomnic Ballroom, and it was a lot of fun. I met Carrie, Edward, and gem before dancing for dinner. After we finished, we all headed to Atomic where we met Jessica for a 6-count Lindy Hop class. Once the class ended, the Lindy Christmas dance started featuring the LA Swing Barons. Edward and Carrie didn’t stay too long, but Jessica stayed with us.

At 9:30 we headed to the other room for a free tango lesson and practica. I’m glad Jessica tried both! She seemed to have a good time; hopefully she did.

Santa even showed up for some dancing apparently! I didn’t see him at the dance, but I saw him in photos later. It was a good time!

Christmas musical and party

alpaca

This weekend I met an alpaca. I’ll get back to that.

the loaned manger

The Compass Kids of Compass Bible Church performed The Loaned Manger this weekend, and gem’s nephew, Micah, was one of those kids. We saw the first performance, and it was a lot of fun. Some of the kids were super talented! We even got to sing some Christmas songs before and after the show.

Here’s one of the songs.

camel

There was a petting zoo outside, so after the musical, we got to hang out with some animals. This camel was pretty cool, but he really wanted my coffee.

tortoise and the hare

gem met the tortoise and the hare! I guess the hare won the race, because the tortoise didn’t really move.

alpaca

I might be blurry, and he might be derpy, but I still like this photo.

alpaca

Here’s gem with the alpaca too!

twelve days of christmas

This weekend was also my friend Demian’s annual Christmas party! I had a blast, and I ate a ton. Rice Krispy Treats are good, but have you ever had Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries treats? Wow. Also – pickleback shots! They’re a shot of whiskey chased with a shot of pickle juice. Pretty delicious actually.

The party was also a good time to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas. Pete made these signs about twenty years ago, one for each day of the song. Singing was a family tradition. Everyone sings the song until it comes to a day and then the person with the sign sings his or her part. For example, we’d all sing “on the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,” and then I’d sing alone, “ten lords a-leaping.” Unfortunately, less people are coming to our family Christmases, so we don’t get to do it. It went over really well at the party though!

twelve days of christmas

gem even accompanied the singing on her ukulele. It was so cool! It was a great party, and it was also cool to catch up with friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while.

Blacklight Run and Ooey Gooey Berry Pie

Blacklight Run

This weekend I went to a Blacklight Run with gem and Anela! It was totally fun; we got covered in paint, glow powder, glow sticks, and good vibes! This is what we looked like at the end of the night.

Blacklight Run

We jogged a bit, but mostly we walked and talked while enjoying the party. Periodically there were stations where staff members would throw more glow powder on participants. Blacklight Run Of course, you can also grab handfuls of the powder and throw it yourself!

Blacklight Run

I got fairly covered.

Blacklight Run

At the end of the run was a big, glowing party with a DJ and tons of glow powder and glow sticks!

Blacklight Run

It was fun!

Blacklight Run

This guy was pretty sweet.

Blacklight Run

Anela looks like a neon flower child. I love this.

Blacklight Run

I think you have a little something on your face.

Blacklight Run

Watch out, gem!

I have no idea who these two women are. Nope.

Blacklight Run

Despite not being super close the party, the cars still got covered in glow powder.

Blacklight Run

These were taken the next day in the light.

Ooey Gooey Berry Pie

When we were done with the Blacklight Run afterparty, we headed to my place to watch a movie and eat. I dropped gem off at her place to shower and then picked up tacos from Del Taco. The guy at the drive through said something like “what the…?” when we pulled up. We were still pretty glowy. We took the tacos back to my house, and once we all showered and gem was with us again, we popped a pizza in the oven too. gem brought two homemade ice creams, a cookie from New York, and a tasty new kind mashed potato creation. Anela’s bar results came out this weekend, so I had baked her a pie – either to eat in celebration or in which to drown her sorrows. Luckily it was the former, because she passed on her first try! Ooey Gooey Berry Pie

She said she preferred “ooey gooey berry” pies, so that’s what I tried to bake.

Ooey Gooey Berry Pie

Here’s Anela with her celebratory pie. It turned out delicious, and everyone enjoyed it. Hooray! Congratulations, Anela!

It was an awesome night with full bellies and happy memories. Thanks to gem and Anela for making it so epic!

Henley’s second birthday party

Henley's second birthday party

This weekend was Henley’s second birthday party! He’s getting so big!

Henley's second birthday party

It was at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney. I was very full by the end! It was great catching up with Alex, Darnell, Gracie, Jon, Daniel, and Mike. Mike even gave me lots of useful vacation information!

Henley's second birthday party

Henley seemed to like his cupcake from Hapa Cupcakes. He has a much better understanding of desserts than he did last year.

Henley's second birthday party

Grandpa got him a matching shirt.

IMG_359Henley's second birthday party0

Dad seemed to like opening gifts as much as Henley did.

Henley's second birthday party

I bought Henley this Disney train with mat, and he seemed to have a lot of fun with it. Watching him made my heart melt.

Here’s a short video of the day. If I have a child have as awesome as Henley, I’ll be a lucky man.

Wakeboarding on 9/12/15

wakeboarding

In September, gem, Anela, and I went wakeboarding with my parents and brother. I was a bit slow posting photos from it, but I wanted to make sure to get these online.

Wakeboarding

The ukulele survived the trip unharmed!

Wakeboarding

Here’s my mom with Anela and gem.

Wakeboarding

Pete looks pretty happy with his boat here! This might be our last wakeboarding trip, because he wants to get rid of the boat. Maybe he won’t manage to sell it, and we’ll get to go out again. It’s already November, and it’s best to sell it when it’s still the best season to go out on the boat. I don’t mean to root against him selling it or anything…

Wakeboarding

gem took a few photos of Anela at the back of the boat while Pete worked on the engine.

Wakeboarding

Shes pretty much looking right at Pete here, so I’m sure he said something hilarious – typical Pete.

Here’s our rescue team! First there was the Rescue Anela, but then Rescue gem joined her!

We were all in varying states of injury, so there was actually much less wakeboarding than usual, and slower wakeboarding at that.

Here’s some evidence that there was indeed some wakeboarding at least. – Anela wakeboarding.

And here’s me wakeboarding. I tried touching the water a few times. Less than graceful, but so what? I don’t think it’s in the video, but they wanted me to switch hands turn around while wakeboarding. It didn’t go so well, but I still had a great time wakeboarding that day!

wakeboarding picture frame

After we finished wakeboarding, we headed to Michael’s (after a brief detour to a pet store). I like this photo quite a bit. We ended the evening with both Eiswelt Gelato and Yogurtland and then some Super Mario Maker. It might have taken me a month and a half to post about it, but it was a fantastic day.

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!

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. 🙂

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!

OC Fair 2015

OC Fair 2015

It’s that special time of the year where I eat terrible fried foods, watch bunnies, and look at all the cool competitions – the OC Fair! This weekend I went with gem and Antonio and had a great time!

OC Fair 2015

I definitely ate some bad food, including some fried Oreos. It’s not a fair without high calorie food. It was delicious, but my stomach did seem a tad confused at the terribly unhealthy food it received.

OC Fair 2015

I really enjoy looking at the collections every year.

OC Fair 2015

This ticket collection by John Dettle was one of my favorites (probably because I have my own). I assume they’re all tickets of events he attended himself, but I guess I don’t know for sure.

I also love looking at the other competitions – food, place settings, photography and other visual arts, crafts, it’s all so cool. There were a lot of cool photographs and paintings, giving me a lot of cool inspiration and ideas despite not being super artistic myself. The place settings are always interesting too. This surprised me the first year I saw them; I didn’t expect to care, but I do! There were lots of neat crafts too. I especially like the scrapbooking!

This rabbit was my favorite. He was super energetic, running in circles, climbing on his box, and jumping over his box. As soon as I had the idea to record him doing it, he stopped jumping over it. I was patient, and he eventually jumped over it for me!

We played a coin tossing game, and gem won a small prize! She intends to give it to Sumo. I was hoping to win a minion so I could send a video to my cousins of Sumo chomping it, but I wasn’t good enough to win one.

OC Fair 2015

I ended my fair trip by taking photos of flowers!

San Diego Comic-Con 2015

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 was super awesome! It was my first time cosplaying besides wearing my Aquabats costume one day last year, and it was really fun. My favorite part of these conventions has always been looking at the cosplayers and getting photos with them; it’s interesting to participate now. I attended with gem and Antonio as usual. I cosplayed an Aquabat, Professor Monty Corndog from the Aquabats, and Fix-It Felix, Jr. from Wreck-It Ralph while gem cosplayed Sadness from Inside Out, Woody from Toy Story, and Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph. Here are some of the cosplay highlights! Thursday I wore my Aquabats costume. It made the most sense because I was going to their concert later that night. 19679329421_208dc2019a_o The first photo I was asked to join was this one, shot by Kenneth Yeast. They were posing near me actually! The photographer took a photo of my business card and was nice enough to e-mail me the photos. From left to right, that’s me, @freeddc, @kaitlynfreed, and @lilbelle74 from Instagram. I’ve seen them on Instagram through Aquabats tags and concerts for a while, so it was especially cool to get photos with them. Aquabat and Elsa at SDCC 2015

This is @hollandtayloegedney (Instagram) who won an award this year for her Elsa cosplay. She was really nice, and it was fun talking to her.Aquabat, Finn, and Fionna at SDCC 2015

After I posed with Finn and Fionna from Adventure Time, gem worked her Snapchat magic to turn them into Aquabats!Aquabat versus WalkerWalkers can’t stand the might of an Aquabat.Aquabat, Joker, and Harley at SDCC 2015


I wouldn’t want to be hit with that hammer! Aquabat and Dangerous Pixie Harley Quinn at SDCC 2015
*boink* Ow, my head! Edit: When I first posted this, I didn’t even realize that was Dangerous Pixie!Daredevil and Aquabat at SDCC 2015


I also met my favorite hero, Daredevil! Edit: This is Tony Rios, @EL_LOBO209Aquabat headstand at SDCC 2015
I got in some yoga too.Aquabat crow at SDCC 2015


And a little more. On Friday I cosplayed Professor Monty Corndog from the Aquabats.Professor Monty Corndog of the Aquabats
While in line for a panel, some Aquabats lined up behind me.Professor Monty Corndog, Woody, and Minions at SDCC 2015


Woody (gem) and I posed with some minions too!

Clay Carmine of Gears of War chainsawed me in the neck! gem performed some Snapchat witchery again. Professor Monty Corndog of the Aquabats
Professor Monty Corndog of the Aquabats meets Professor Utonium of the Powerpuff Girls!Professor Monty Corndog and Breaking Bad at SDCC 2015


Breaking Despicable? I guess this minion found someone despicable to follow. When I asked for a picture, Jesse said “yeah, bitch.”Professor Monty Corndog of the Aquabats
And here I am with the Aquabats! Professor Monty Corndog is much more obscure than just the Aquabats costume, so I knew no one would really recognize it. Luckily the Bat Commander said, “Professor Monty Corndog… is that you?” It was so worth it to get this photo with them!

My final cosplay was Fix-It Felix, Jr. from Wreck-It Ralph, which I did on Saturday and Sunday.

Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015


More Snapchat voodoo from gem. I really love this.Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 with Mario Kart
Here I’m fixing up this kart. Awesome Mario Kart cosplays!Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 with Companion Cube and Chell


I also fixed this adorable Companion Cube while posing with her and Chell.Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 with Maleficent
Speaking of adorable, isn’t this Maleficent just the cutest? I think this was my favorite cosplay of the con. My heart kind of wants to explode.Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 with Fix-It Felicia


I high-fived Fix-It Felicia!Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 with luchadores
Later I got in a wrestling match.Fix-It Felix, Jr. at SDCC 2015 and the Flash


I even tried to fix the Flash right in the head!

I wasn’t in costume for these, but I saw some cool cosplays while I eating dinner too.Seymour Krelborn at SDCC 2015
Feed me, Seymour! Feed me all night long! Check out that Audrey II!Globo-Gym Purple Cobras at SDCC 2015


I couldn’t resist a photo with the Globo-Gym Purple Cobras!

Woody and Dhalsim
gem even did yoga with Dhalsim!

The Aquabats concert was amazing. Here they performed a cover of The Pixies’ Where Is My Mind. They also showed a video they’re going to pitch to TV execs to try to get The Aquabats! Super Show! picked up. It showed the MCBC begging a cloaked wizard to help. He reveals himself to be Jack Black, absorbs the Commander’s powers, and transforms into an Aquabat. He agrees to help and talks about how we’re all Aquabats before using his magic to transform a bunch of celebrities into Aquabats, including Weird Al Yankovic, Tony Hawk, and more. It was very cool.

Aquabats Set List


They even signed my set list!

The MCBC
I also met this guy who isn’t wearing a costume because he’s a regular guy. It couldn’t be the Bat Commander. The Bat Commander doesn’t wear normal shirts like that. He was really nice, and he talked with me about getting more involved with the Aquabats. It probably helped that gem gave him a bunch of snacks! And speaking of gem giving snacks, she gave care packages to other people, such as Todd from Toddland. He was super cool. Technically gem got his number!

gem and Allie Brosh


We saw Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half. Her panel was moderated by Felicia Day, and it was super great. gem gave Allie some cookies and snacks, and Allie was very appreciative and nice. They hugged and took a photo together. We also saw a panel about Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Invader Zim. He was very down to Earth and discussed how scary it is that some people identify with parts of his crazy comics.Aquabat and walkers
We ran the Walking Dead Experience, and I did it in my Aquabats costume. It was really fun.

We arrived in Petco Park as survivors, and someone escorted us inside, claiming it’s safe. Of course, walkers showed up, and we had to run. They’re all played by volunteers who couldn’t really hurt us, but I got into it and definitely ran hard and dodged walkers. Eventually we met a second group of survivors who weren’t as friendly. They killed our leader when they found out we didn’t have supplies. Our talks were cut short when walkers approached, and we all had to run again. At the end, they decided to cull the weak. They chose someone from our group to kill, and it ended up being Antonio. They had him kneel as they raised a club to kill him. Luckily for him, walkers arrived once more, and we ran for it. Antonio said that as the walkers arrived, someone (presumably staff) lifted him to ensure he didn’t get trampled. It was so much fun!19648644496_d9eee621fa_o


Let’s see… what else. We ran into Bryan Lackey, a fantastic trumpet player. I know him from Skapeche Mode and Failed to Victory. He was really friendly and stopped to chat with us for a while before taking a photo and friending us on Facebook!

Spaceship Warlock
We also went to an art exhibit called Super Video Game Land by Anthony Bulcao at the Mission Brewery. He paints scenes from video games and is really talented! He had two painting from Spaceship Warlock, an old adventure game I loved as a kid. I was most excited for those two. He said he wasn’t confident about including them, and that I was the only person who talked to him about them. I’m glad I did!

I also participated (badly) in a kazoo and ukulele play-along, met Rikki Simons, voice of Gir (and more) from Invader Zim, played games at the Nintendo Lounge, and sang along with gem while she played Martian Girl in a line. Such an awesome weekend!

I know they’re not going to read this, but thanks to all the people who asked for photos and appreciated my cosplay – the Aquabats group photo, the jedi, the dude with the swords, and the three or four other people who liked my Aquabats costume, and the Nintendo employee, Quailman, the little Captain America, Ariel (who was excited and wanted a photo after I asked her first), and the other 14 or so people, especially the little kids, who liked my Fix-It Felix, Jr. It made me very happy!

Bellydance IDOL presents Om Kalthoum Tribute Show (and other weekend fun)

Me and Anela at the Bellydance IDOL presents Om Kalthoum Tribute ShowThis weekend was full of fun! The big thing on my calendar was the Om Kalthoum Tribute Show on Sunday. Anela had told me about it a few weeks in advance, and I was really looking forward to it._19528523815_9362d91743_o

Duncan and I picked up Anela and her friend Marina from Anela’s place. It was my first time meeting Marina, and it was very nice getting to know her during the ride! She danced with Anela in the same set.

They performed a shamadon, which is an Egyptian candelabra dance. I hope I got that terminology correct! I was sure to have at least taken photos, but Anela asked me to record it, so I did that. I couldn’t get closer due to some distractions on the side (which also caused kept causing me to lose alignment sometimes), but at least I got it recorded! It was really awesome, and the dancers were quite skilled. The amount of talent my friends have is amazing._18907669373_862454d127_o

After their set, I went to the bathroom and found the dancers in the back. Of course, I had to stop for some photos._19532771991_94c3812f55_o

And I had to get one with another dancer at the end of the night too, Bethany Rose, who was also one of the organizers!

The event was held at Byblos in Los Angeles. The food was delicious, and it just kept coming too. They were also very accomodating. The show started at 8:00, but we got there at 5:40 or so because the dancers needed to be there by 6:00. I asked what time we could come back, and they ended up letting us wait inside, even opening the bar so Duncan and I could have some drinks while we waited. During dinner we met a man and his date who were very pleasant and talkative. Shortly before the show started, we met two other people as well, one of whom is actually part of the dance troupe but wasn’t dancing. It was great talking to them as well, although we didn’t get a lot of time.

Okay, but what about the Fourth of July?!

Untitled

Whoops, I didn’t take a lot of photos. Kaylin and Andy hosted a party at their apartment. Here’s one photo I took – burgers, tomatoes, and bacon cooking in delicious bacon grease. When gem, Duncan, Matt, and I arrived, Mariam was already there. I don’t know her well, but we’ve talked before, and it was nice chatting with her. Collin, Niki, Joseph, and Mariana arrived later. We ate a ton of delicious foods, had some great conversation, and played Werewolf and Cards Against Humanity. gem and I also took a short break from the party in the middle to visit Anela for costume help (and to deliver some food). It was a great Fourth!

And there was also Friday.

19340645318_790de033da_z

I went ice skating in Anaheim and climbed on this bike outside.

ping pong

I also played ping pong at the Anaheim Packing District. Did you know you could rent paddles and a ball for free? Awesome!

What a fantastic weekend! And now I’m off to San Diego Comic-Con for what I can only assume will be another great weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day weekend was pretty packed. In fact, it started before the actual weekend. Duncan and I went to happy hour at Gina’s Pizza Wednesday, which turned into a fun night. While Thursday was a nice day, Friday was busy again. That was Anela’s graduation, which I already talked about in another post.

However, when I got home, I found that my roommates were enjoying some cocktails by the fire pit outside with music. We ran out of wood to burn, so eventually Duncan started finding wood to burn in the garage – a single plank, pieces of old furniture, etc. His sword also made an appearance in an attempt to cut some wood. Not only did that fail, but the sword got damaged.

Memorial Day BBQ

Saturday night we had some people over to hang out. Alex came over, and while Haley didn’t make it, she did send a chocolate pecan pie with him. Delicious!

Memorial Day BBQ

On Sunday I went to Melody’s yoga class, which was fantastic. Later that evening, I met up some friends. Matt, Katie, and Marc were in town from Fremont so we had dinner at Umami Burger and went bowling. I was not very good at bowling, but it was great seeing them! It’s too bad I don’t get to see them more often, but I’ll actually get to see them in a few days when I go up north and stay with them for the weekend!

Memorial Day BBQ

Monday was Memorial Day, so of course we had a barbecue.

Memorial Day BBQ

gem created the jalapeño bacon s’more. Besides being incredibly spicy with all the seeds, it was very good.Memorial Day pinata

Did you see the piñata at the top of the post? Jessica brought a piñata. Heck yeah. We took turns swinging at it with my Anime Expo Yaoi Paddle without any of that spinning around or blindfolding nonsense. To make up for it, we had some rules about how to swing, and we also agreed to all take it easy for the first round so we could all get a chance to hit it.

Memorial Day BBQ

When the loop ripped off his head, we had to attach him through his butt using the hole that’s for stuffing the candy in him.

Memorial Day BBQ

When that tore too, we reattached him again with a sort of makeshift noose from duct tape.

Memorial Day BBQ

gem earned first blood.

Memorial Day BBQ

When the legs were torn from the rest of the body, we decided to burn them.

Memorial Day BBQ

gem had to show off her spoils of war.

Jessica made the candy pour out, and then it was time to collect!

Memorial Day BBQ

Once all the candy was bashed out of it, we roasted the carcass. I felt like a true Greek – a feast and a burning sacrifice.

Oh, but what about the head?

Memorial Day BBQ

Our prize was mounted.

It’s quite fitting for Robot House.

Belly dance trip to iHOOKAH

belly dance at ihookah

Friday night, Daniel and I accompanied Anela to iHOOKAH in Riverside where she was performing. She invited us so there could be some friendly faces with her. Here she tries to teach me to dance with her while I awkwardly fail at it.

Belly dance trip to iHOOKAH in Riverside

As we were leaving her place, there was a DUI checkpoint. If she’s not going to take a selfie, I’ll grab a quick snapshot!

Anyways, iHOOKAH was a pretty chill place. Daniel and I split a hookah and each had a beer, and it was only $20 or so excluding tip. The people around us were pretty fun, and there was even a small birthday party sitting next to us. They brought a cake! And of course, it was fun to watch Anela perform.

iHOOKAH even recorded it!

It’s been years since I’ve been to a hookah lounge – nine years maybe? I think it was back when I worked at Albertsons. I wouldn’t mind going a little more often.

My 29th birthday weekend!

Snapchat banana gunsI had a super awesome 29th birthday weekend! My birthday was Friday, and I worked from home. After work, I took Alice’s yoga class, which was really great. Anela was covering someone’s shift, so I got to see her while I was there too. After yoga, I met with gem for dinner. She gave me these guns that might or might not have been bananas. She’s good at Snapchat edits.

29th birthday!

We went to Sake 2 Me and ate way too much sushi.

29th birthday!

I don’t remember exactly what the one on the left is called, but it has fried onions on top and is tasty. The one on the right is the Green Goblin. It’s amazing; sorry people who don’t like cilantro!

29th birthday!

For dessert, I got a cherry pie from Polly’s Pies. gem lit this candle for me and sang to me!

29th birthday!

Mmmmm.

Untitled

On Saturday, gem and I had lunch with our friends Matt and Katie. They were in town from the Bay area to go to Disneyland! We ate at the Anaheim Packing House. I forgot to get a picture of us, but I did get a picture of the crepe we split. I guess we know my priorities 🙁

Untitled

Later that night, Jonathan came to the house. He joined me and the other roommates in a game of Power Grid. It was pretty fun!

29th birthday weekend!

Sunday was a day for Huntington Beach! This mailbox looked pretty cool.

29th birthday weekend!

Looks beautiful, huh? It was actually pretty chilly and overcast most of the day, but it was still fun.

29th birthday weekend!

Anela and Edward ended up meeting gem and me there. We had some tacos at Sancho’s Tacos. They pretty much make the best tacos ever.

29th birthday weekend!

I also tried their nachos for the first time. The nachos were good, but I still wouldn’t dare order something without getting the O.G. tacos.

29th birthday weekend

After we finished eating, we decided to go to a restaurant and get more food. Don’t worry, it makes perfect sense. This was some sort of tangerine ice cream with a chocolate chip cookie from Zimzala.

29th birthday weekend

And ganache! So rich!

I tried an apple blossom cocktail with apple brandy, apple juice, lemon, and cinnamon syrup; a cucumber cooler cocktail with Grey Goose pear vodka, agave, cucumber, lime, and soda; and tequila shots. The apple blossom was good, and the tequila shot was surprisingly smooth, but the cucumber cooler was absolutely delicious and quite refreshing and crisp!

The main reason I wanted to go Sunday instead of Saturday was because Danny Maika performs on Sunday. I requested some Sublime.

gem asked for some ukulele music. It’s no surprise that this was one of the songs he played!

gem also asked him to sing me “Happy Birthday!” Yay, thanks gem and Danny!

29th birthday weekend

There was a Connect Four board out, so we had to play some games. Edward had left by this time, but the three of us had fun playing. Anela is better than gem or me!

The Shorebreak Hotel also had these neat little fires outside. gem noticed they look like sunflowers!

On the way back to our cars, we also two cats. One didn’t want to hang out with us, but one was super friendly. We got to pet him a bunch!Danny Maika

From left to right, here’s Anela, gem, Danny, and myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get a photo until after Edward left. It was a rad day and a super fun weekend! Thanks to everyone that made it great!

Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

This weekend I saw Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. I’ve loved them since gem introduced me to them, so I was excited to see them. It was also great that this was the first show I’d seen in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall despite having seen many shows at the Segerstrom Center. I didn’t tell gem what we were seeing, and she got surprised that they were playing Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox from the speakers outside the concert hall. I acted surprised until the usher confirmed with us that we were there for Postmodern Jukebox, and then I think she was happy.

Scott Bradless & Postmodern Jukebox performs covers of modern, popular music in various other, older styles. Die Young in a “bluegrass / country western / saloon-style” is one of my favorites.

I’m also a fan of their motown cover of Shake It Off!

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

We had a half hour before the show started, so we took some photos inside the hall.

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

It was pretty!

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

Here’s gem with a swirly background.Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox

We asked someone to take our photo. Trying to hide the program behind my back just made it look worse. Whoops.

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

They had chalkboard speech bubbles and the OFf Center Festival backdrop for photographs. I think it was supposed to be for feedback.Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox knock knock joke

gem decided to do a knock, knock joke. We ran low on time, but this is what we did!

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

Here they are performing! They were super entertaining! Besides great music, there were some burlesque dancers and even retro, radio advertisements. For example, we learned about the newspaper feature for finding good, conservative men – Tinder – as well as a service to experience horseless carriages with semi-professionals – Uber!

I didn’t recognize every song, but I knew many of them; there were a huge variety of styles too. The tambourine man went crazy with energy, and I totally loved him for it. In my photo, you can see man in a white shirt reaching toward the stage. He seemed totally into it, constantly reaching up at them. At one point the tambourine man invited him onto the stage and gave him a tambourine. Pretty cool!

Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox ended the night with Shake It Off!Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox knock knock joke

After the show, we went back to finish our knock, knock joke.

Let’s end this post with their rendition of Call Me Maybe!

ImprovCity’s Thursday Nightmare performs four hits

Thursday night I saw ImprovCity’s second Thursday Nightmare. They take a name and short synopsis of a B-movie horror films and improv a performance of it. It’s pretty hilarious! My friend Alex Bower came up with it, and I was super excited to see it, especially because I missed the first one due to being sick (stupid bees).

At the request of another friend who couldn’t be there because… well, the poor woman is being forced to live far away from home in some strange land known as “Paris, France,” away from ImprovCity and… well, it’s just so sad that I can’t continue. But she asked me to record it so she could watch! Here they are! And don’t forget to change the quality setting so it doesn’t look too blurry.

First there was Night of the Leapest. Watch out!

Next was Ice Scream with a very strange premise.

C.H.U.D.? This is pretty great and should be the official version.

The night ended with The Host. And no, it’s not the the Stephanie Meyer title.

Thanksgiving!

me and my aunt

Quick Thanksgiving post! My aunt realized she almost wore the same shirt as me, so she went and changed into it so we could match!

me and my aunt

This was the first photo my mom took. What wonderful composition!

Pete, my stepdad, also attacked me with Tommy’s (the dog) alligator. I had no idea he was doing it until he showed me the video later. It looked much better on his phone, so I think he sent it compressed and lost quality.

Also there was lots of food and family fun! Yay!

Prom Night of the Living Dead

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

Last weekend was Pizza Beat Entertainment’s Prom Night of the Living Dead! They’re the group that held Ska Day at Disneyland as well.

By the way, even with makeup remover (which I did not buy before trying on the make up the first time), it’s really difficult to get that eyeshadow off. Also, I splashed blood on the flowers.

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

Once I was a zombie, I had to go after Angel for her delicious brains.

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

Unfortunately, I forgot that she was dumb.

Prom Night of the Living Dead

Here’s my wounded hand. I guess I didn’t do that great of a job blending it to my skin.

Prom Night of the Living Dead

Victim’s point of view!

Prom Night of the Living Dead

The prom king and queen were pretty cool! gem went after them while I took their photo.

Here’s how zombies dance. gem even requested Dead Man’s party.

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

Feeding time!

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

The pursuit.

Zombie at Prom Night of the Living Dead

Animated!

Prom Night of the Living Dead

I kind of like what happened to the undershirt more than my visible shirt. It looks more “natural,” like there’s really blood soaked on my shirt.

There are more pics in my Flickr album.

Wakeboarding and visiting the OC Night Market

WakeboardingI went wakeboarding with my friends gem and Anela this weekend! We went to Silverwood Lake with my parents on their new boat. I’d been wakeboarding once a few weeks ago, but it was gem and Anela’s first time.

gem wakeboarding!

It’s hard to make us out in the photos, but that’s gem.

Anela wakeboarding!

And here’s Anela on the board.

Lunch time with Anela

Here’s a great action shot of Anela eating lunch with a bonus bunny ears from Pete.

Super gem?

This was cooler in person with the wind.Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is fun, but lying in the sun with your eyes closed is also fun.

Me and my mom

I’m going to guess someone said something funny right before this photo, because my mom looks really happy.Wakeboarding

Here I am wakeboarding!

Wakeboarding in action! Woohoo!

OC Night Market

After some delicious shrimp, potato, and corn soup at my parents’ house, we met Anela’s friend Daniel at the OC Night Market.

We ate, as gem would say, all the things!

Dumplings!

Multi-colored dumplings with multiple dips! Mmm!

So soft!

Delicious baco – soft!

Crunchy and tasty

Delicious baco – crunchy!

Cute sign!

We saw this super cute sign with a rad dino on it.

Macaroni and cheese

Fried macaroni and cheese with garlic aioli and sausage is tasty.

Eggporn?

We also tried what was being marketed as “eggporn.” The egg is cooked inside the jar in boiling water along with cornmeal, bacon, and green onion. I think. Anyways, it was pretty good.

Super delicious cookies

See these cookies? They’re amazing! There’s actually two kinds in that photo – habanero peanut butter and jelly and salted caramel apple oatmeal. They’re from the Velvet Rope Bake Shop. Check them out and get some cookies!

I also had some other things that I didn’t photograph (or the photos came out badly) including a fried squid, ice cream in a plant pot, fresh potato chips with Thai coconut curry toppings, some sort of corn dog, Brussels sprouts, spam musubi, and probably more about which I’m forgetting. Tasty! There was also a lot of cool art to see, a costume contest, some kids dancing, and live music. I heard a girl with a guitar do a great rendition of the Pokemon theme song, and I also some cosplayers throwing a pokeball at each other.

Oh, and then there was this wookie.

More photos here.

The Scott Pilgrim Picture Show

The 2nd Scott Pilgrim Picture Show!

Friday night was the 2nd Scott Pilgrim Picture Show, an amazing interactive film screening by CinemAttack at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana. The idea is similar to screenings of the Rocky Horror – a movie with lots of audience participation. I bought this poster along with a poster representing the original Scott Pilgrim Picture Show from last year too. I didn’t even notice until later that the one for last year was signed by Tyler Jacobs, the creator, and numbered.

Audience participation, a costume contest, garlic bread, a light show, and more. What’s not to love?

Scott Pilgrim Picture Show Marquee

gem and I got there about 45 minutes before the doors opened so we could hang out. I had to get a picture of the marquee!

Bread makes you fat?!

Even though bread makes you fat, they handed out garlic bread to the people waiting in line. Sweet!

Flyers!

The walls were plastered with flyers for the Toronto International Battle of the Bands, the Katayanagi Twins, Sex Bob-omb, the Clash at Demonhead, and more. It was a pretty nice touch.

Scott Pilgrim photo op

There was a photo op with Scott Pilgrim and a photographer. They said they would post all the photos on Facebook and then you could go find and tag yourself and save the photo. However, I’ve yet to see them posted. In addition, only a handful of people got to take pictures with this before everyone filed into the theater. After the screening, it was already gone. They said people could take the flyers, so I suspect someone might have grabbed this early. Oh well.The Scott Pilgrim Picture Show

Edit: They posted them! Here I am chilling with Scott! The photo was taken at the CinemAttack photo booth, so credit goes to their photographer whose name wasn’t mentioned. They encouraged sharing the photos, so I think it’s cool that I’m posting it here.

The Chaos Theater

Overhead, a CinemAttack! banner was hanging. CinemAttack is the events company hosting the Scott Pilgrim Picture Show. It was created by a man named Tyler Jacobs. While I’d been looking forward to the event for some time, I hadn’t realized until the night before the show that Tyler Jacobs is Christian Jacobs’ (the MC Bat Commander, lead singer of the Aquabats) and Parker Jacobs’ (lead singer of GOGO13) brother. The a pretty rad family. I’m also glad I found Tyler Jacobs’ independently of his brothers. I had a moment to stop and say hello to Tyler as well, and he was quite friendly. I’m glad I did.

You’ll also notice the movie was being shown in the Chaos Theater!

Coins for throwing!

With the posters I purchased, I received two bags of “coins for throwing!” When an evil ex is defeated, you’re supposed to toss coins in the air. It was fun and definitely added to the experience.

Scott Pilgrim Cosplay Contest

Yes, yes, this photo is horrible. Anyways, there was a costume contest as well. There were a number of Scotts and Ramonas as expected but also a Gideon and even a Vegan Police! The guy who came as the Vegan Police even had a green laser.

The movie was a lot more fun to watch in this setting. Words on the screen would direct you to yell lines aloud, and during songs, they would progress karaoke-style. There were also instructions sometimes, including high-fiving a neighbor or jumping up to pretend to play DDR along with Scott and Knives. When an evil ex was defeated, they’d remind you to throw your coins in the air. There were also light shows during the scenes with the bands playing, which really added to the awesomeness. When the Vegan Police came to depower Todd, green lasers shot out everywhere. It wasn’t enough for the fans as they began to cry out for our Vegan Police. Luckily our cosplayer saved the day; when we saw his green laser hit the screen and track Todd, everyone cheered!

Scott Pilgrim or gem?

After the movie, gem stopped to pose with her ukulele like Scott does with his guitar. I wasn’t sure it was going to come out, because the lighting wasn’t great, but I’m pretty happy with the photo. gem actually hasn’t seen it yet. Hopefully she likes it too.

There are some more photos in this album.

And now I get to look forward to their next presentation: The Teenage Mutant Pizza Party!

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra with Viernes 13 and Skapeche Mode

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra sign The Observatory in Santa Ana on 10/9/14

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra gave an awesome performance yesterday at The Observatory! Half Past Two posted about it, but I wasn’t planning on spending money. However, when Max talked to me about it at this week’s Ska Parade Lounge on Wednesday, he convinced me to go. I’m glad he did!

I’d never been to The Observatory in Santa Ana, but it was a pretty sweet venue. Reviews on Foursquare seemed pretty negative honestly, but I thought things were fine. There was a lot of space and multiple tiers as well. Multiple tiers also means multiple walls on which to lean so there’s a lot of room for people who want to take it easy.

Viernes 13 The Observatory in Santa Ana on 10/9/14

The show opened with Viernes 13, a ska band from LA. Before they started, I noticed that the woman next to me was with a man who kept leaving for long periods of time. As it turns out, he was the keyboard player. I seem to be running into a lot of Spanish ska lately! They were fun with a good variety of music, including a Skatalites cover. I talk to the guy on keys, Francis “The BubbaMaster” Sanchez (assuming their Facebook is current), a little after the show too.

Skapeche Mode The Observatory in Santa Ana on 10/9/14

Skapeche Mode performed second. Given their name, it should be no surprise that they play ska covers of 80’s music. Their Facebook says that they’re “Committed to ruining both the eighties and ska, one show at a time.” Well, they certainly weren’t ruining either because they were awesome. Skapeche Mode had awesome stage presence – especially the singer and horn section. Is the trumpet played Bryan Lackey, the same trumpet player from Failed to Victory? Did I somehow see him two nights in a row? Rad, because he’s great!

I know what you were thinking. You wanted to check out what they sound like considering these jerks aren’t on Spotify. There you go.

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra The Observatory in Santa Ana on 10/9/14

Last but not least we have Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, a ska band all the way from Japan! Composed of drums, percussion, trumpet, trombone, tenor sax, baritone sax, vocals, guitar, bass, and even a melodica, they really rocked! They just had so much energy and really commanded the stage and enthralled the audience. I particularly enjoyed the bari sax player. Also, and I’m sorry if it’s weird that I noticed, but their clothes, especially their jackets, fit. It’s rare.

I know you’d be sad if you got to see a bad video of Skapeche Mode but no bad video clip of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, so there you go. They do have an album on Spotify too, so check them out. One thing I really liked them about them is that despite having guitar, bass, and vocals, I really felt like the horns stood in the spotlight. Their line up isn’t very different than a lot of full ska bands (besides the melodica), but normally it seems like vocals take center stage with guitar and horns standing side-by-side. I liked the feature on the horns! They also did a fantastic rendition of the song from Tetris. How could I not fall in love with that?

Another successful ska night! At the beginning of the night, I’d never seen these three bands. By the end of the night, I have three more bands I’d love to see again in the future!