Wine Robots

"Welcome, Friend."
Do you wish you had a robot butler, but one that WOULDN’T try to kill you all the time? I know, right? Mine, too!
I found 'em! There is a wine store in Orange, off of Tustin Ave, called the Wine Exchange. You know who lives there? ROBOT BUTLERS!!!
The sign is a lie.
Before you slam your computer closed (If you’re on a laptop. Don’t do that with a PC. Bad things will happen.) and jump into your car, I should clarify. They don’t so much as do things for you… as much as give you samples of wine. I mean, my robot butler’s only job is to bring me wine (it’s a lot of wine), but some people (confederates) expect more from their animatronic servants.
Anyway, you go into this store (which is basically what it would look like if your parents opened a bev-mo and decided shelves are too expensive) and ask the clerk for a card for the wine robots. You give the guy some money and he gives you a plastic card. Then, you go into the back of the store. There, you’ll find them. They’re all lined up and they have wine bottles in their tummies. You feed one the card, push a button, then he regurgitates 1, 2, or 4oz of the wine in his belly. IT’S SO COOL! 
The wine gets switched around almost daily and they have special themed wine tasting nights from time to time. But, they usually have a human do those (for now).
Care for some bread sticks?
In Germany, wine is produce.


Twilight Midnight Screening

Umm... This isn't me.
No. Eww. No. I am NOT a Twi-hard. Gross. I HAVE a life.

I just find Edward sexy. Okay? That's it. OKAY? I'm not into the story. I just like to look at the pretty men.

So, now that you know that... The Midnight screening for Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is coming up.

November 17th/18th midnight. I will be at Irvine Spectrum. No, not alone. I will be with several others. No, they're not all girls. No, they're not all single. Wow, you are really judgmental.

Having read the books, I can tell you that this one is pretty juicy. Yes, I read the books. No, only twice. But you don't need to read the books to know what's going to happen in this one. It's ALL in the trailer. Seriously. This is the most revealing trailer I have ever seen:

Anyway, I'm not dressing up. And, it's because I don't care very much, not because there are no iconic costumes in the series. 

I may have put a shirt on my dog that said, "Team Jacob" at the last Twilight midnight screening, but that was HER choice. SHE is a NERD.

Improv Cup 2011

Some of you may remember that I entered the Improv Cup last year. It was way fun and all done for a charity.

This year I entered again. Did you see that coming? I did. Only, this time, I have a partner. A GREAT partner. The GREATEST partner. We will likely win. Why? Because I can see the future. And, in the future, there is a 70% chance that myself and my partner will win the 2011 Improv Cup. Notice, I chose the word 'likely' and not 'absolutely'. I believe these are the rules weather forecasters play by. I know what you are thinking, "but you are not a weather forecaster." This is true, but I strive to be as upstanding as those fine human examples of morality. Also, now would be the time to tell you that in addition to seeing the future, I know what you're thinking, as previously demonstrated.

Your next question, "Blaire. Who have you partnered with?" For that, my sweets, you will have to wait. My mystery partner is... a mystery. For now, you may guess. I will guess, too. But all of my guesses will be correct. Because... I can see the future.

I will give you a hint. 


Is not him.

The OC Improv Cup
Stages Theater in Fullerton
November 11th and 12th

I Own A Business!

If you've been wondering where I've been, well, first of all, thanks for caring about my web personality that much. That's sort of sweet. Aww. I'm glad you care.

If you haven't been curious about me... TOO BAD.

You're about to find out where I've been.

I launched my own business!!! Hurray! I am now the BEST personal documentary service in the world.

That's right, I make personal documentaries. They're fantastic and I LOVE doing it. People have such wonderful stories. I love it.

So, it's called Emblem Documentaries.

Visit Emblem on the internet (she gets lonely) www.EmblemDocumentaries.com

And, if you'd like to have a documentary made by ME, BLAIRE 'the beautiful' BYHOWER, then mention you read Geeky OC to me when booking and you'll get the friends and family rate (through 2011 (that's as far in advance as I can plan right now. Who knows what kind of adventure I'll be on in 2012. Maybe mustang breeding in the Alps, maybe train-hopping through the South, maybe (hopefully) raising my prices.))

I love you (like a brother (a step brother (that I see very seldom-ly (you know, like on holidays (every other year))))).


Medieval Times

Black and White!
This is totally real.

Guys. Black & White is the BEST knight. Okay? So, what if he had an off day? No, I know he died first. It was because YOU weren’t cheering loud enough for him. Yeah. You just don’t know him like I do… he’s usually the best.
Buena Park. What’d you just think of when you read that? Was it Knott’s Berry Farm (BTW, where the heck are all the berries? Are they all in the freaking Jam? What if I don’t like jam?) or, was it MEDIEVAL TIMES?
If you don’t know what Medieval Times is, it’s a newspaper renaissance fairs print… probably. And it’s a themed dinner and show event!
If you’re a child at Medieval Times, you believe you stepped out of a time machine into the middle of a 100% accurate and 150% awesome knights-proving-their-bad-ass-ed-ness competition. If you are a drunk adult – you will have a very similar experience. Which is why I recommend you go ahead and arrange a ride home.
Because the show is family-friendly, they serve HUGE souvenir mugs full of booze (happy face), and the actual event is only 90mins long (SAD FACE).
Also, the tickets are a little pricey at $58 a piece. Then there are all sorts of upgrades you can buy on top of that, too. None are really worth it. Unless it’s your life’s dream to wear rarely washed renaissance garb in front of a green screen for a photo.
Get a group of friends, pre-game it, and fork out the minimum amount for tickets.
Also, whatever knight you’re supposed to root for is not as good as the black and white knight. I’m just saying.
"Things are happening over... there!"


The City of Orange Thursday Afternoon Farmers' Maket

“Yes, yes! Step right up and enjoy a sample of this tasty orange!”

“No, step up over here and taste THIS orange.”

“Hey, don’t listen to those guys, that’s poison. They want to kill you.”

“You, Ma’am, taste my berries!”

“Don’t listen to her, taste MY berries.” 

“No, taste THIS orange.”

“Did someone say ‘orange’? I have oranges!”

“They all are trying to kill you.”

“Look at these fruits, will you! MMMM… Tasty samples!”

“Taste my FREAKING oranges!”

“Why isn’t anyone tasting my berries? I feel bad about myself.”

“Shut up, Nancy. Miss, would you like a sample of my oranges?”

“It’s all poison!”

Farmers’ Market!
Nancy's Berries
The Thursday afternoon City of Orange Farmers’ Market is adorable. It takes place in a 200ft stretch of alleyway adjacent to old towne Orange. This allows space for about 10-12 stands. 2 of them are general fruit and vegetables, one is honey, one is mini bundt cakes, one is exclusively citrus, one is homemade bread, one is peanuts, one is flowers, one is bagged various snacks, and I don’t remember the rest.
The citrus guy at the end is VERY nice and his oranges are the BEST I’ve ever had. He grows them in Riverside and knows quite a bit about his fruits. He and his oranges are my favorites!
The Orange Whisperer
I wouldn’t say to make a special trip to this market because it is so small. I do, however, recommend that you visit it if you’re local or you happen to be looking for veggies on a Thursday afternoon between 2pm and 6pm.

Photo Credit - Bert Brown

Loving Hut

The evil vegan orders her lunch.
Once upon a time, a mommy and daddy yam-shrimp noticed how empty their yam-shrimp-house was and wanted very badly to have a baby. On a beautiful ocean day, their little yam-shrimp was born. They loved him very much and they named him Christopher. Christopher was the nicest yam-shrimp in his class. One day he was playing fin-ball in the yard when an evil vegan yam-shrimp-napped him. He screamed for the vegan not to hurt him. The vegan ignored Christopher. He cried as he accepted the inevitable – that he would never see his parents again. The vegan had a tasty lunch.
Wait a second. Yam-shrimps are made from yams! Christopher must be a shrimp-shrimp.
That means, when I go to the Loving Hut Restaurant in Orange, I won’t eat anyone’s son or daughter!
The Orange 'Chicken'
Located in the middle of a strip mall on Tustin, the Loving Hut is serving FANTASTIC 100% vegan cuisine. I mean, AMAZING. My favorite is the orange ‘chicken,’ but I haven’t disliked anything I’ve tried. I‘m a little wary of the philly cheese steak. How the heck do they make that vegan? I think maybe they use magic to make their ‘meat’ seem so meat-like.
I’m okay with eating magic: As long as I’m not eating Christopher.
Photo Credit - Bert Brown


Max Bloom's Cafe Noir

“It was a dark and stormy night, when SHE walked through my door. Legs as long as the Mississippi and eyes sharp enough to cut glass. She strutted right up to me with tear-stained cheeks and told me that I was the only one that could help her. Help her with what? Help her find Max Bloom. I didn’t know if I should tell her that I am Max Bloom. Who did she think she was coming to see if not Max Bloom? Was she planning on asking the dry cleaner downstairs for help but accidently made her way up here? Then I wondered if she was illiterate, because it says my name on the door of my office. Then I realized... this woman was very, very, dumb.”
Behold! Mecca!
Max Bloom’s Café Noir in Fullerton is PERFECT. This is the most awesome place I have ever discovered.
Coffee shop? Yeah, it’s a coffee shop. But it’s so much more!
Along with coffee, they serve vintage sodas, snacks, and root beer floats!
They also have “an eclectic selection of DVDs and CDs for sale.”
AND the décor is fantastic: old style movie posters everywhere.
BUT THE BEST PART is that there is something going on (FOR FREE) almost every night.

Monday: Actor and/or French poet open mic
Tuesday: Movie night
Wednesday: Open mic
Thursday: Open mic
Friday: Comedy open mic
We caught the comedy open mic night. It was awesome! Nothing but funny (and not funny) geeks stretching their comedy muscles in a warm, comfortable environment. 
That’s right, comfortable! I will be here a lot.

This is what Heaven looks like.

Fullerton Art Walk

Kc makes a pretty Wonder Woman.

If there’s one thing art patrons enjoy, it’s walking. You know who figured that one out? The city of Fullerton.
The first Friday of the month (from 6pm – 10pm) is the Friday that belongs to the Fullerton Art walk. Selective stores in downtown Fullerton participate by inviting an artist or two to turn their mild-mannered shop into a crazy, out-of-control art gallery!
It’s up to the shop to dictate how they want to participate in the event. They might offer wine and snacks, or not. They may have a musician or band to set the mood, or not. They may have an acrobatic dragon handing out balloon animals, or not.
My favorite!
My favorite show was “Heroes & Villains.” Instead of just one artist’s work on display, this temporary gallery featured work that had to do with the theme. There were a lot of superhero and Disney related pieces.
Anyway, there were a ton of cool geeks wandering around and a lot of neat art to look at.
I recommend taking a smart phone to the walk so that you may access the Art Walk map in real time. Oh, technology. You’re neat.

Tranquil Tea Lounge

“Yes, yes, step right in! Good to see you. Now, what’s ailing you? Is it a young lady’s heart you desire? Or maybe it is luck you crave? Perhaps you’d like to sleep less and work more? I have a potion for every ailment and an elixir for every wish. All you have to do is choose one by sight and smell, only!”
Choose wisely.
Tranquil Tea Lounge in Fullerton boasts an entire wall of colorful, scentiful, loose-leaf teas. That’s fun. Flavors ranging from Mardi Gras to blueberry muffin. Grab some blindfolds and you have yourself a party game!
Selecting your tea is the most fun part. After that, the experience has nowhere to go but down. Oh, wait, except for the tea pots and glasses, they’re adorable!
The eatery area is not very comfortable or private. Also, their use of Papyrus is frustrating.
But, picking out the tea is fu-u-un.


Food Trucks

I want the one with the mostest fruitests.
One day I’d like to see a movie version of a food fight escalate to the point where a food truck crashes through the wall - just a dream I have.
Food trucks are neat. I like them mostly because the portions are small enough to taste lots of different things. I think restaurants should allow me to choose several different entrees to have tastes of instead of having to commit to one. I’m indecisive.
Fullerton has a few food trucks hang out downtown on Tuesday nights from 5pm – 9pm.
Fun Fact: Not all trucks serve food.
My friend, Bert, and I investigated. (He’s somewhat of a food truck expert as this is the SECOND truck-based dining event he’s taken me to.)
We got there around 8:30pm and some of the trucks were closing up or had left.
We did get to have some herbivore fries at the OC Food Truck. And Bert got a lychee berry drinky thingy that was way delicious.
I was really looking forward to getting snacks at the Bakery Truck, but they closed up.
I will definitely go back – but earlier in the evening.
Oh, and FYI, if you’re into food trucks like Bert, he recommends the iPhone app: Truxmap. Pretty cool.

Westside Bar and Grill

I heart dive bars.
The Westside Bar and Grill describes itself as OC’s nicest Dive Bar. I have to agree.
Plus, there’s usually some form of entertainment. Comedy, Karaoke, or Bands.
My friend Crysta (you may remember her from such posts as ElecTRONica) and I went to see two of my friends, and former Cherry Spitz members, compete in a stand up comedy competition.
They, unfortunately, didn’t win. However, the winners did go on to perform at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. Good for you Westside: helping local comics.
There’s plenty of space in the bar, it’s always bumping, the food and drink is good, and the service is friendly.
Kevin Stevenson, last month's winner.
Westside Bar and Grill – you’re doing a great job.

Little John's

So, I’m a little bit afraid of guns.
It’s because of movies. When do you ever see a gun in a movie that doesn’t eventually shoot someone? Right? Therefore: Gun = get tense, someone be getting shot, Yo (as the character with the gun might say).
Yeah, this thing shot some Nazis.
BUT my dad found one of my grandpa’s WW2 guns. Wow. So we went to a gun store (obviously) to try and sell it. And, in true gun store style, the owner explained, “What you got there is an antique. You need to go see Little John.” Like we were suddenly transported into a video game. “Little John can tell you all about any gun – practically tell you the color of the shirt of the guy who last used it. Hehe…”
“Oh… okay. How do we find this… Little John.”
“He’ll find you.” No, I’m kidding. He gave us directions.
And the pliers are for, what? Retrieving bullets?
Walking into Little John’s Antique Arms is just like being a kid in a Nintendo store IF you’re a 19th century pirate.
Seriously, if you’re a Civil War reenactor, a renaissance faire attender, a cowboy, or just a seriously creepy dude – go see Little John.
Little John stands 8 feet high, speaks with a lisp and is missing an arm. Sort of. In reality he IS very tall (taller than me, at least) and had his arm in a sling. The man is quite learned about antique guns. But to an outsider who didn't know there was SO much to know about weapons – watching Little John with this gun was like watching a psychic touch an article of clothing belonging to a missing child and then spew out a description of where he is. Magic.
They have auctions about every three months. I bet those are fun. My grandpa’s gun will be in the August auction.



Have you ever found yourself staring into your refrigerator at the contents of a fantastic sandwich only to remember that you’re out of bread? What do you do in that situation? Do you give up on the sandwich pipe-dream? HECK NO. You improvise. “Maybe I could use a tortilla instead of bread, or I could cut all the ingredients up and make a salad-y thing. Oh, do I have any frozen bagels?”
I believe the founders of Bruxie the restaurant were once in this very situation. You know what they use for bread on their sandwiches? WAFFLES!
The Bruxie Burger
Bruxie is, according to the website, “A new take on the authentic Belgium Waffle. The "Bruxie" is unlike any waffle offered: the Bruxie is light, crisp, yeasty and not sweet. It's street food that's perfect for breakfast, lunch, mid day snack as well as a dessert or late night treat.”
Boy, do they have that last part right. There is ALWAYS a line at this sandwich stand. Most line placeholders are Chapman Students, as the restaurant is directly across the street from the school. The quality of these treats, however, is not that of top ramen, mac & cheese, or any other college staple. These are GOURMET waffle sandwiches. For example, these are some of the ‘savory’ options: Prosciutto & Gruyere, Smoked Salmon & Dill Cream Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese. That last one is my favorite. 
They also have sweet Bruxies: Nutella and banana
OH, and these guys MAKE their own soda: Delicious cane sugar sodas. Yum.
AND, despite this being an “order here” “pick up here” kind of place, the service is unbelievable. They really take hospitality to a new level. IE my friend wasn’t crazy about what he ordered. The owner (I’m guessing) INSISTED that he replace the sandwich.
Blythe Hill (photographer), Jordan Sabolick, Kc Wayland, and I left feeling happy and satisfied.



“Hi. I’m a market researcher for Disney. How do we get you, random Disneyland guest, into California Adventure?”
“Your park is lame. You need to make it like Vegas.”
“Ha, yeah, okay. Thanks for your time… D-Bag.”
Back at headquarters:
“Well minions? What did you learn from your 25 hours of polling guests today? Anyone? Did anyone here get to talk to a guest?”
“I did talk to ONE, sir. But it’s a really bad idea.”
“What is it? Make a 4th Cinderella? Hey, that's a great idea!”
“No. He uh… He said we need to make California Adventure more like Vegas. Ha. Can you believe…”
“You. Are. Promoted.”
And that, boys and girls, is how ElecTRONica was born. You see what they did there? The ‘Tron’ bit is in CAPS.
Tron is a cult classic 80s film about people fighting computers, from the inside, that are trying to take over (Which I have come to understand from science fiction of the day, was a legitimate fear in the 80s).
As you know, Disney has recently released a modernized sequel: Tron Legacy. Here’s the thing, when studios know that a movie is going to well, not be good, they spend A TON of money on advertising. That way, when people find out the movie sucks, it’s too late, because the studio made back all its money on the opening weekend. I’m not saying the movie is ALL BAD, but there sure has been a lot of studio-generated hype for Tron. I remember seeing the first teaser trailer YEARS AGO.  And what about Tangled? That movie came out of the same studio around the same time. How come Tangled isn’t the theme of a Disneyland nightclub?
Anyway, the Tron nightclub in Disney’s California Adventure is actually a lot like the movie. In that, the special effects are awesome, but the content is lame.
Standing in the middle of the Hollywood portion of DCA when the Nightclub turns on is pretty neat. Bass shakes us to the core, screens all around us show abstract Trony stuff, the lights set the mood, and Tron gogo dancers lead us to the dace floor.
"Dance for me."
Then we head toward the main event, the dance floor – over by Muppets (That’s right, you too can get down next to Kurmit and the gang). The Dj is up in his cylindrical tower spinning tunes. Clearly, a lot of this is inspired by Daft Punk (Daft Punk did the music for Tron, this decision was awesome, but really unusual for Disney). Daft Punk and Disney sittin’ in a tree S-I-G-N-I-N-G an exclusive contract.
"No one can touch this."
Here’s the thing about the dance floor. It’s just out in the middle of this whole thing. And you’re meant to dance AROUND the Dj’s tower. The floor is set up so that all eyes are on whoever is brave enough to do the dancing at the moment. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to dance I want to do it in a nice back corner.
Now, I don’t know if you know this, SoCal locals, but Disney has a thing for profit. I’m not saying I mind. Heck, I’ve had an annual pass every year for as long as I can remember ($329). But, Isn’t that enough? Do I really have to pay $15 for a 6oz cocktail? At least cough up a little more for quality booze. And don’t you dare play ignorant: “We’re Disney and we’re so wholesome that we don’t even know what alcohol is. How do we make a mojito? With battery acid?” There’s no way Mickey doesn’t appreciate a Whiskey Sour every now and again. I mean he has a lot on his plate. He puts up with international fame, running the most trusted and recognizable brand name of our day, and Minnie seems like a real piece of work. Maybe it’s different for mice, but that kind of stress would turn any human into an alcoholic.
"What does this game want from me?"
If you’re not into dancing in front of EVERYONE or spending a million dollars on bad mixed drinks, there’s FLYNN’S arcade. FLYNN’S is really cool. Old 80s videogames and 80s tunes blasting throughout. I really enjoy the scene in there. I couldn’t bring myself to actually pay for any of these games that I can play for free online, but my friend, Crysta, had a go at a couple and it was great fun.
After about half an hour of ElecTRONica, we gave up and went on Tower of Terror.
Now that's what I call fun!