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.
On that same trip, I left the country for the first time to visit Niagara Falls.
I also visited Toronto! It was an awesome city.
I went to San Diego Comic-Con again. Here I’m dressed as an Aquabat with Holland Tayloe Gedney’s Elsa.
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)!
And let’s not forget Fix-It Felix, Jr.
I visited friends in the Bay Area when I went to San Francisco for a conference.
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.
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.
I 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.
gem and I went to the Dapper Day expo at Downtown Disney and to Folly, the afterparty.
gem and I were extras during the filming of The Big Day, and gem got this great photo of her with Suburban Legends.
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.
Speaking 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).
I painted a little Jimmy the Robot.
I also painted this Adventure Time mug.
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.
gem took me to a sushi class where we prepared sushi rolls! She’s the best 🙂
We also saw Kindred Throats, an amazing musical comedy duo. She liked them so much, she baked them cookies. Twice.
I attended Anela’s law school graduation from Chapman.
…and her CA Bar admission ceremony.
gem and I saw Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS! Amazing!
I saw Anela dance a number of times, including the really fun Bellydance IDOL presents Om Kalthoum Tribute Show.
I helped solve a mystery at the Watson Adventures.
I ran (jogged/walked) a Blacklight Run with these two fun people.
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
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
Saturday night was Hatha for Hunger, a Halloween gala hosted through Purple Yoga to raise money for hungry children. It was held at the Long Beach Museum of Art and kicked off with two yoga classes – an outdoor sunset vinyasa flow and an indoor gentle flow.
I chose the outdoor class and had my mat near the front so I could easily see the ocean. It was quite beautiful and hosted by two of my favorite instructors, Alex and Sean, as well as Scott, who I didn’t know.
Here’s the view at the end. It was one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve even taken.
I took the easy path and wore my Aquabats costume. I didn’t put together a new costume, and this seemed like the easiest costume in which to do yoga. gem went as a mermaid!
Here’s a photo of me and Alex after the class.
Sean didn’t club too many people during class.
Here’s a great photo of Sean and gem. I’m glad I got one in which you can actually see gem’s costume.
Here I am with Sterling the wrestler and Megan as a… okay, I think I can remember it all… mermaid, butterfly, unicorn… and Flavor Flav if you consider her clock purse (not shown).
Oh, and I wore the socks my grandmother gave me a few months ago because she confused me for someone else and thought I loved crazy socks. One has burgers and the other has fries. I think it goes well with the Aquabats costume.
I squeezed into the frame with gem, Jai, and Kel for this great photo.
Last but not least, I danced with Forrest Gump (JT). Such an awesome costume!
It was a super fun evening. Besides yoga and taking photos, there was also some wine and champagne, great music, and lots of socializing. DJ Dory was there, playing music for the outdoor flow and the party afterwards. I also made some new friends, talking about yoga, working out, music, dancing, and more. Yay for new friends! I’m thankful to everyone who helped make it what it was, including staff and attendees alike!
(But sorry to my other friends at Rita’s party that I didn’t see, heh. I was too sleepy.)
Cirque du Soleil was in town this weekend, and there was no way I’d miss it. I went with gem Friday night to watch Kurios under the Grand Chapiteau!
Everything I read indicated that this was one of the best Cirque du Soleil presentations to date. It really was fantastic, but it’s hard to conclude any sort of “winner” when every Cirque show is amazing.
I really had to resist purchasing goggles and a hat. They would have integrated with an Aquabats costume in a fun way!
The show had a steampunk aesthetic and was filled with lots of typical performances, great music, and some more novel performances.
I particularly enjoy the scenes that involve some extreme showcase of the human body with which I have some personal familiarity in a minor way. For example, the aerial bike scene that involved a woman riding a bike that was attached to a cable. She rode it around the stage before riding it through the air, and then performed a trapeze-like act on it. It reminded me of aerial hoops, and while I’ve never done that, I know people who have. The contortionists were another example. The back bends they did were so amazing. When I do back bends, they don’t look like theirs!
One act, the invisible circus, has one perform showcasing a variety of “acts” involving invisible performers and animals. It’s all about his reaction and some prop movements. I particularly enjoyed the invisible lion, mostly because it’s an interesting consideration of animals in the circus.
Of the more atypical acts, there was a chair balancing act that had an inverted version happening concurrently from the ceiling with a performer stacking chairs downward. At first, I thought it was a projection, but nope, it was happening! There was also a performer in another act using his hands like puppets to act out scenes. This was filmed and projected above on a floating balloon that was really cool.
Kurios was an excellent show that was truly inspiring. I just wish I had another Cirque du Soleil show approaching to anticipate! Whatever comes next, I know I’ll love it too.
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!
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. 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.
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.
After I posed with Finn and Fionna from Adventure Time, gem worked her Snapchat magic to turn them into Aquabats!Walkers can’t stand the might of an Aquabat.
I wouldn’t want to be hit with that hammer!
*boink* Ow, my head! Edit: When I first posted this, I didn’t even realize that was Dangerous Pixie!
I also met my favorite hero, Daredevil! Edit: This is Tony Rios, @EL_LOBO209
I got in some yoga too.
And a little more. On Friday I cosplayed Professor Monty Corndog from the Aquabats.
While in line for a panel, some Aquabats lined up behind me.
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 meets Professor Utonium of the Powerpuff Girls!
Breaking Despicable? I guess this minion found someone despicable to follow. When I asked for a picture, Jesse said “yeah, bitch.”
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.
More Snapchat voodoo from gem. I really love this.
Here I’m fixing up this kart. Awesome Mario Kart cosplays!
I also fixed this adorable Companion Cube while posing with her and Chell.
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.
I high-fived Fix-It Felicia!
Later I got in a wrestling match.
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.
Feed me, Seymour! Feed me all night long! Check out that Audrey II!
I couldn’t resist a photo with the Globo-Gym Purple Cobras!
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.
They even signed my set list!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
This weekend held a few fun things – like stand up paddle boarding! First, I had the wrong address number, and we drove 10 minutes out of the way. Next, we used East instead of West in the address and drove 10 minutes incorrectly again. Finally, we got to the board rental place and locked the keys in the car. We decided to worry about that later because it was time for Kaylin, gem, and I to have fun!
gem wanted to do yoga, and then I wanted to do yoga too.
Due to wrist pain, I’ve been avoiding anything that puts pressure on my wrist, but you put a paddle board under me, and I decide I don’t care.
I tried for a while to balance on one foot, but I just couldn’t do it. I guess that’s no big surprise.
We got to see lots of cool animals while on the water such as this SUP dog! It fell off the board once while we watched and just swam back up to the board. It had a handle on its harness, so its owner just picked it up and put it back on the board. Adorable! We also some saw some birds of course as well as seals or sea lions. I can never tell the difference, but they were cute and liked to aarf. One kept trying to jump onto a boat; we watched him a fail a few times while we cheered him on, but he gave up. Another was just napping and started aarfing at us when we got too close.
It was a ton of fun! The wind picked up near the end, making us take forever to get back. We were on the water for a bit under three hours, and I guess it was a pretty good work out. Unfortunately, I did get sunburned, but gem gave me aloe from her aloe plant! When we got back to the beach, Kaylin stayed with us while figured out the keys. Hooray for AAA.
After paddle boarding, gem and I grabbed lunch at Akropolis. The Greek food was amazing! We started with this huge appetizer platter. I was really craving dolma, and this platter delivered it and more. Everything was amazing.
We also had a Greek pizza, which I considered the best pizza I’d ever eaten. gem said it was just because I’m hungry, but I think that’s a valid factor. Experience counts.
It had sauce, cheese, gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and tzatziki. Oh, wow. It was really amazing.
I also talked with the guy working there a bit. He confirmed that it was Greek owned. He’s actually half Greek and half Persian, and he asked if I was Greek because he noticed my name on my card. Neither of us were taught Greek, although he knows Farsi, which is cool! I’d love to come back here.
That night I went to the OC Night Market with these awesome people, gem, Anela, and Jonathan.
We ate a bunch of tasty things like this donut with ice cream in the middle topped with chocolate chips and mini Oreos. Actually, it was just kind of meh. I don’t think the donut added anything except unneeded carbs, and I’ve had much better mint chocolate chip ice cream. But it was fun to eat it anyways haha. We also went back to the same booth that took an hour with our order last time; this time it only took a couple minutes, and the servings were much larger! Anela craved fries, so we ended up getting curry fries, garlic crab fries, and Spam fries. We all expected the Spam fries to be fries topped with Spam, but they were more literal. It was Spam cut likes fries and fried. Yummy but salty!
My biggest goal for the night was to find Orion’s Cookery and get their new Hot Cheetos Brick, essentially a Rice Krispies Treat made with Hot Cheetos instead of Rice Krispies. They only had two left when I bought mine. Huzzah! After my first, small bite, I thought it was a little odd – not bad but not amazing – and maybe slightly stale tasting. Then I ate more, and as I took a bigger bite, I was pretty impressed. Win!
Anela wanted the Turkish ice cream, with which she was familiar. I’d never heard of it. According to Wikipedia, it’s called dondurma and is also popular in Greece as dudurmas or kaimaki. It’s thicker than normal ice cream and more resistant to melting. The vendor let me take his picture before he got our ice cream. I liked his clothes! He makes a bit of a show of serving it, which also shows off how it’s different than our typical ice cream. He’d put it in a cone, swing it around such that typical ice cream would fall from the cone, hand it to Anela, twist and grab it back, etc. It was fun!
And how was it?
Tasty, tasty! I’d definitely get it again, especially given the show of it. Wikipedia also mentions that that showmanship is typical of dondurma vendors. Buy some if you get the chance!
Friday night was the first screening of Rude Boy the Movie at the Frida. It follows Rudy, a Mexican-American teenager from Anaheim in 1984 who doesn’t fit in at school. He eventually finds ska and rude boys. It was a lot of fun!
Saturday was Wayzgoose at UCI! I walked to campus and spent a little time wandering around, taking in the festivities. It seemed a lot smaller than previous years honestly.
The Psychology Student Association had this awesome Adventure Time booth with sweet cosplay. I had to get some tacos from them for that! I hope tons of people bought from them.
Some people seemed to be practicing quidditch too. It wasn’t a full game, but they were definitely out there having fun. I talked with them a bit, and they seemed really cool. Quidditch sounds like a pretty fun activity, and it’s cool to see people at UCI playing! Thanks for all the info, Anteater Quidditch!
I’ve been going to Wayzgoose since 2007, and every year I get a shawarma from the Muslim Student Union. Yum, yum, yum. Besides the tacos and shawarma, I also had horchata, a churro, spam musubi, and a brownie. It was a delicious day.
The 3D printing club had a booth showing some of the neat things they made. Here’s a bulbasaur.
And here’s a squirtle. I like the bulbasaur more. I didn’t see a charmander even though charmander was clearly the best of the three.
The anteater was pretty cool though!
On my walk back home, I decided to walk through Middle Earth. I stopped to take a picture from Gondolin.
I also saw cool restrooms in Middle Earth. When I lived there, they were men’s and women’s. Now they’re both all-inclusive. Pretty cool.
I had to stop by my old dorm too. It seems weird to think that I lived there a decade ago.
Later that night I went to Sean’s reggae yoga workshop. It was a two hour yoga workshop with DJ Tory playing reggae music. It was a lot of fun. After the workshop, I went to an after party. There were a couple people I knew and a lot more that I didn’t. Everyone seemed really cool, making a really awesome night!
I 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.
We went to Sake 2 Me and ate way too much sushi.
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!
For dessert, I got a cherry pie from Polly’s Pies. gem lit this candle for me and sang to me!
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 🙁
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!
Sunday was a day for Huntington Beach! This mailbox looked pretty cool.
Looks beautiful, huh? It was actually pretty chilly and overcast most of the day, but it was still fun.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Last year was a pretty fun year. I was pulled on stage during a clown show, went stand-up paddleboarding, and went wakeboarding. I attended Katie and Matt’s wedding. I started doing yoga this summer and have stuck with it consistently. I switched to a bodyweight workout routine and have been doing that regularly. San Diego Comic-Con was a lot of fun, and for the first time, the roles were reversed; people asked me for pictures. (I was in my Aquabats costume.)
I attended a ton of concerts, including but not limited to Reel Big Fish, The Maxies, The Originalites, The Aquabats, Koo Koo Kangaroo, GOGO13, Half Past Two, Sugar Stems, The Interrupters, The Holophonics, The Skatalites, Suburban Legends, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Los SuperSpies, and so many more. I watched a bunch of improv, mostly at ImprovCity and Spectacles. I attended some Risk! Live. I went to a Teenage Mutant Pizza Party and the Scott Pilgrim Picture Show with CinemAttack! There was Dapper Day, Walking with Dinosaurs, a Civil War reenactment, The Great Gatsby party, the OC Fair, and LA Kiss. There was some Yadi Presents burlesque, a performance of Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Big River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Man of La Mancha, and other performances. Lots of fun stuff.
Edit: Oh, man, how can I forget the Tall Ships Festival or being a guest on the Twisted Nether Blogcast?!
Work continues to go well. I cleaned out my closet. And yes, that’s worth mentioning. I attended Henley’s first birthday party and gave him a big smile with his present. I finished off Mists of Pandaria and started Warlords of Draenor. Sorry, but a little video games had to leak into this too. I got my backlog (my list of games, books, movies, etc.) that were purchased but never finished down to 340, which is pretty good. When I started counting in April, I had 471 items that needed to be beat/watched/read. I got rear-ended while driving for the first time. That’s not really much of an accomplishment, but I handled it at least. It was my 10-year high school reunion a few months back, and that was a lot of fun. I also cooked a bunch – stuffed bell peppers, pizzas, calzones, salads, salami wraps, pork chops, steaks, a cake, lemon bars, brownies, and more delicious things. I, a straight man, went out for a drink with a man I met on a dating site. I got stung by way too many bees.
It was a cool year.
2015 started with a party with close friends. Just a minute or two into the year I got to witness a friend propose to his girlfriend.
What a super full weekend. Friday was Halloween, also known as Jonathan’s birthday! After work, I rushed through some last minute Hallow’s End activities in World of Warcraft and Mad King Thorn in Guild Wars leaving for the long journey to Jonathan’s party. It was downstairs. I might have had about 3900 calories worth chips, wings, pizza, alcohol, and other food that day. Maybe. And that might have been way too many carbs yet still under my protein goal. Whoops. Anyways, it was fun hanging out and watching Jonathan play scary games. I got to give some candy to trick-or-treaters too!
On Saturday morning I headed to the farmer’s market and picked up some usual treats – hummus, feta, and dolmas. When I was about to leave, I saw this donut and had to get it too. I can happily report that it was tasty.
Saturday was also my mom’s birthday, and my brother had the idea that we could take her to a show. The Man from Earth was playing at Stages, so I picked up some flowers and met them at their house before we went to the play. It was really good! It’s basically the story of a man at his going-away party who explains to his friends that he’s a caveman who has survived for more than 14,000 years. It was very interesting even if the quick summary there sounded kind of dumb. After the show, we ate at Angelo’s & Vinci’s Ristorante, where I had eaten once previously. The service was kind of iffy, but I liked our waitress anyways, and the food was delicious.
gem found out about a free yoga class on Sunday at the Anaheim Packing District. I went with her and definitely enjoyed it. The instructor owns a nearby studio, and a woman in the class just got back from China because she works for Disney and was there for the new park. After the class, we went to that farmer’s market, because you can never go to enough farmer’s markets in a weekend. Oh man. So many good foods. I bought spicy feta, olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pluots, persimmons, strawberry Greek yogurt, and cheese crisps.
Next we went in the Anaheim Packing House for lunch. I had an amazing grilled cheese with salami from the Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar. The salty flavor of the meat went so well with the grilled cheese. I’d definitely eat there again.
I keep hearing so much about Popbar’s gelato, sorbet, and yogurt bars, so I had to stop there. Somehow I thought gem was raving about, but she’d never been there. I think all the great things I’ve heard have actually just been from Anela. But she was right, because it was pretty fantastic. I had a pumpkin gelato bar dipped in white chocolate, drizzled in dark chocolate, and covered in waffle cone crumbles. Man. I want another one right now.
Sunday was later filled with chores around the house, video games, Netflix, and of course, more eating. This time it was just eating a bunch of the foods I purchased at the farmer’s markets. And then I needed to sleep it off!
Wednesday evening I went with gem to the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s “Sunset Yoga in Bommer Canyon,” a hike with outdoor yoga. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and she’d never done it. We set up our yoga mats under the trees before leaving for the one-mile loop.
The hike was about a mile and took 20 minutes, so it was fairly leisurely. It was a nice evening, and it was interesting to learn about the area and what else we could do there. It sounds like there might be some good hikes there.
I stole gem’s Snapchat. Anyways, after the hike we did about an hour of yoga. It was definitely a different experience than my usual. It was much more relaxing. The yoga accommodated a wider range of age and skill level than that with which I’m familiar I think. While not an intense workout, it was nice to relax outdoors under the trees. They do this event regularly, so I think I’ll try to attend more.
Afterward we went to Slapfish, a seafood restaurant in Huntington Beach that she’s been mentioning. Each dish we ordered was brought to us when it was ready. The first was the lobster dip and chips. Why would I ever want chips and salsa again when I now know about chips and lobster dip? It was amazing. Even the seasoning on the chips was good!
Next came the chowder fries. I feel stupid for even wondering what this was – fries covered with chowder and bacon. It was pretty tasty too.
The lobster grilled cheese was a delicious sandwich featuring an ample amount of lobster. It came with chips and a dipping sauce, but I wasn’t sure whether the sauce was for the grilled cheese or the chips. I tried it on both and decided I liked the taste of the sandwich without the overpowering sauce. gem had hyped this up quite a bit, and she was right to do so.
Lastly, we got these little lobster toast bites free for liking Slapfish on Facebook. Crunch, crunch! The staff were friendly, and the food came quickly. I could definitely eat here again!
Last night was this month’s Ska Parade Lounge, which also marked the one year “SKAnniversay” of the Ska Parade Lounge at the Slidebar in Fullerton. After work, I went straight to yoga (in which I felt like I really got by butt kicked). I hung out afterwards talking to Sean, the instructor, for a while about music, life, and spirituality, and then headed to Fullerton. I had a lamb pita at Kentro Greek Kitchen, which is just a restaurant or two down from the Slidebar.
The first band to play was Oceanside Sound System from San Diego. I enjoyed them, and they even gave out copies of their CDs, which was pretty cool of them. The band consisted of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums.
Next up was Hooray for Our Side, a local ska band from Orange County. They consisted of vocals, guitar, bass, trumpet, trombone, and drums. I was happy to see some horns.
Oh, man. The Holophonics. These guys came all the way from Texas to show how amazingly awesome they are. The band consisted of guitar, trumpet, trombone, sax, bass, and drums with the guitarist and trumpeter both providing vocals. They played a lot of amazing songs, and they do covers too. In fact, I heard a bit of Aquabats sampling in there! It was also cool that they all had DC hero shirts.
Not cool enough for you? You’re not convinced? Not only was the saxophonist switching between two different saxes, but at one point the guitarist and bassist also joined the horns by picking up trombones! Five horns! Amazing! You can see their mega-horn-section in the photo at the top.
They also gave out CDs, which I listened to on the way home. I’m listening to The Holophonics on Spotify now in fact. After their set, I made sure to tell them how much I loved them. So good.
The concert ended with The Interrupters who were also celebrating the fact that their CD was released that same day. I’d seen them once previously, and they great this time just like last time. The skank circle also quickly became full on moshing, including security getting one guy in a headlock. Good times.
It was an awesome night; Tazy Phyllipz did a great job as usual!
On Sunday I went stand-up paddleboarding with Kaylin, gem, and Anela. I’d been wanting to do so for a while, and I’m glad I had the chance. It was a lot of fun and not very difficult at all really. However, my toes really wanted to grip the board! I managed to avoid falling in the water not that there’s anything wrong with that… I didn’t even hit the water when attempting L-sit practice on the board.
One house near the beach kept a bowl and dog treats outside near their gate! It was a pretty cool idea. They must be dog lovers!
After we finished stand-up paddleboarding, Kaylin had to leave, but gem, Anela, and I had lunch at Bear Flag Fish Co. Delicious as usual! Afterwards we headed down to the beach. It was a great day.
These two got scared by a ghost (or possibly thought it was bright). Who can know for sure?
Afterwards we did hot yoga at Purple Yoga because gem’s been raving about that instructor. She was right; he’s pretty great.
When I got home, I wanted to collapse, but I also wanted to eat, so I ate/collapsed.
And then gem showed up to drop off some blueberry bread she baked. It was thick, so she told me that it was basically two slices. I had already brushed, flossed, etc., but it was warm so I had to try some. And then I ate the whole thing. It’s a good thing bread doesn’t make you fat (otherwise Scott Pilgrim would be fat).
I did a couple other things over the weekend too. On Friday I went to ImprovCity with Jessica, and we saw Alex host. Woo! He’s a great host. On Saturday I went to the Dub with Collin and Niki and met Mimi there to watch the World Cup. Jamie tried to get by with just shaking my hand, but I wouldn’t allow it. He’s a good hugger, too!