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Friday, July 10, 2009

baconfest, AKA heaven for wan

i originally had a lovely, relaxing, ladylike evening planned for last night with a few of the SFAMily at the langham pasadena's "spa-tini thursday" - spa treatments with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in a beautiful, refined setting. i'd been looking forward to it for at least a month. \

and then last week, i eyeballed the ol' checkbook after paying a stack of bills that had been threatening to bury me alive, and i knew i couldn't swing it. i was so freaking disappointed and felt like a total ass as i typed out the e-mail announcing my cancellation. luckily, i wasn't shunned and blacklisted from the group, as others chimed in to report that they'd found themselves in similar situations. whew. still a bummer, but i took some comfort in knowing i wasn't suffering alone. is that bad? i guess it's kind of like benefiting from others' crappy situations. but i think they'll forgive me. at least, i hope so.
on the heels of those e-mails came another one, this time from my cute OC friend claire. seems she's a member of yelp's elite, and had been invited to a private event at the OC fairgrounds for a fun party for the very same evening as my ill-fated spa outing.
a BACON-themed party.
she was allowed to bring two guests, and you already know that in my friends' minds, bacon = wan. the e-mail was sent to me and a small handful of other friends, and the first two takers were in. so you know my ass didn't hesitate for a second before hitting "reply" and typing "I'M IN!" and lucky me - i was the first to respond (i think)!
i spent yesterday alternating between delirious excitement and neurotic wardrobe pondering. i really suck at dressing myself, and it doesn't help when the ol' wardrobe doesn't really have much to offer. i'd sent a couple of e-mails to the baconfest group asking what they were planning to wear, and i know i probably ended up making myself sound like a total nut. of course, they already knew that, but i just solidified it for them. oh, well.

in the end, after debating between one of my old reliable maxi dresses and a super casual top and jeans, the latter won out. after all, it was at the fair - not exactly fashion central! and the others assured me they'd be in similar attire.
i met up with some of the girls at the yard house in costa mesa's triangle square (i always think that's such a silly name) for a little pre-bacon partying. i was extra excited, because sweet rachael was going to be there, and despite the fact that we've been chatting via e-mail and online for over a year, i'd never actually met her in person. but this also sent me into a slight tizzy, because rachael is a make-up artist. and i was rolling in with eyebrows that haven't been shaped in longer than i care to admit, boring, blah make-up that i was already sweating off, and hair that i'd flatironed the shit out of and wasn't sure i liked. it didn't help that all that flatironing emphasized the fact that i'm even more overdue for a gray hairs cover-up than that eyebrow wax. damn.
i found triangle square easily, having driven past it a zillion times with the hub over the years, and pulled into a parking spot in the garage. i went up the elevator, texted claire to let her know i was on my way, and stepped out to find that i had no idea where yard house was.

luckily, i caught sight of these chicks, and i knew i was on the right path. heh.

i followed them and along the way passed this place, which i recognized from one of my many guilty pleasures, "real housewives of orange county."

i hadn't thought i'd make it down to the OC early enough because the bean took a super-extended nap, but yay - i was here!

i found the girls easily, and i ordered my usual - a nice, tall glass of ice water. heh. in my defense, i knew we had lots of food and drinks ahead of us - for free, even.

we laughed and chatted for a while, and when it was time to pay the bill, we all just about fell over with laughter and disgust when diame pulled some nasty ass 3-day-old KFC out of her bag.

i literally gasped and pointed when rachael whipped out her card to pay her share of the wonderfully lucky check. i. must. have. one. of. these. the card, not the bill.

as we left, i found myself right behind her on the way to the fairgrounds. i had a good idea of how to get there (and i had the navi on my trusty iPhone anyway), but having her to follow was great. i totally forgot to thank her for leading the way. oops.

we all managed to find parking spots near each other, and as we got out of our cars, i saw the line to get in. there was a TON of folks here, but it was a free event, and you don't pass that up if you can help it. i joined claire and her friend the reporter, already in line, and we chatted excitedly about what was waiting for us inside.

because i am a super nerd, i'd stuck these in my bag - you know, just in case someone got an owie and needed a band-aid. hey, it could happen.

check out diame and her ultra cool "ed hardie" [sic] glasses! wow, those are some colorful lucky fish right thurr. and although it was taken much later in the evening, jessica modeled them too as we all giggled.

FGD, whose husband is also member of yelp's elite, found us and stole diame away as all parties had to be together to check in. they were somewhere up closer to the front of the line, and diame waved happily as they left to join mr. FGD.

finally, we made it to the check-in table and got our wristbands and name badges. do you love how i bypassed the plain ol' yelp badges and went right for the elite version? i AM an elitist bitch like that, after all.

i tried to avert my eyes as we passed the scary ass clown, but my desire to capture him for your viewing pleasure trumped my fright. do you see what i do for you?

it was fun to walk through the fairgrounds sans crowds, bad stroller drivers, and children hopped up on sugar and soda.

claire, the reporter, and i laughed our asses off as we approached this sign, which featured a supremely unfortunate choice of fonts. what does it look like to you? heh.

weird al was the focus of one of the fair's attractions - an educational 3D movie. and i didn't get to see the man in person, but jessica did - i totally swiped the picture she took of him to share.

stopping for a potty break before hitting the party, i was pretty amazed at how nice and clean the restroom was. "the fair hasn't started yet, though," claire reminded me. oh, yeah.

these signs outside the "baja blues" building told us that we were finally there.

for a non-drinker, i was sure excited for this stuff. and i didn't hesitate to snap up one of each of the two specialty cocktails, the "bakon mary" (sprinkled with bacon salt) and a "bakon chocolate martini":

the bakon mary was really good. in fact, that's exactly how i'd always envisioned drinking bacon-flavored vodka. the chocolate martini was a little odd - FGD hated it, but diame seemed to dig it. she drank hers and mine. heh.

along with the bacon extravaganza, the event also featured a taste of some of the deep-fried goodies that the fair is offering this year. check out this gastronomic delight - a corn dog with a healthy-ish twist. i give you - the zucchini weenie.

it was SO good. i'm already contemplating making some at home. yum. and then we hit up the real stuff - bacon wrapped meatballs, bacon wrapped cocktail weenies, bacon wrapped shrimp, and bacon with brown sugar and cayenne pepper. i was in hog heaven. i ate myself silly, but i eventually wound it down when i realized that everyone else was stuffed and had stopped eating. i swear - i have a bottomless pit freaking stomach. i could totally have kept going.

later, as claire and the reporter and i stood in the redonkulously long line for a bacon burger, we spied this dude in front of us rocking quite a unique boy-bedazzled hoodie. with my camera around my neck the entire night, i picked it up and snapped away - with a piece of chocolate-covered bacon in hand.

i don't know how long we waited, but giggling and gabbing helped pass the time until we finally got to the table and caught sight of what awaited us: a burger created with 50% ground beef, 50% bacon, topped with avocado and a fried egg, and served with a dollop of baconnaise and a pumpkin dipping sauce. it was totally worth the wait - the burger was super delicious (yes, i love that phrase), and the baconnaise is so yummy. i know, i know, it sounds disgusting as all hell, but man, did it add some fantastic flavor. i hope i can find it somewhere and not have to order it online.

here's a bunch of stuff i didn't actually try. i saw no bacon in those chips and salsa, the BLTs didn't look appealing, the lobster mac & cheese had already received bad reviews from the group (how sad!), and, well, i don't do maker's mark.

a funnel cake eating contest was supposed to happen, but it either didn't happen or i just completely missed it. they did put out three of these gigantic funnel cakes, and while i love that stuff, i don't do community food. at least, not when 97 other people are involved. and, that dude had his hands all up in it! gross. what if he'd just taken a dump to make room, and then headed to the table to reach for a little dessert? no, thanks.

this next bit is either going to gross you the eff out, or make your mouth water. obviously, you know which reaction i had. and while i still want to try that vosges bacon bar, this was a great sneak preview of what i anticipate it to taste like. everyone at the table admitted that it was really good - especially with a sprinkle of salt on top, as the girl who served it suggested.

"dammit! i should've brought a ziploc bag to take some of this shit home!" i'd half-jokingly muttered to claire. and then i thought, OMG. i'm SUCH a filipino chick. holy shit. that's the kind of thing my mom or grandma would do.

(and at the end of the evening, there was a plate with about four pieces of uneaten chocolate-covered bacon on it. i swiped that shit and put it in my purse.)

deep fried oreos! i'd actually sampled this before, at the l.a. county fair a couple of years ago, but it was new to the others, and it was a huge hit. i mean, what's not to like? oreo - good. sweet, deep fried batter - good. a sprinkle of powdered sugar and drizzle of chocolate syrup? good! diame said it was like an oreo donut. indeed.

claire was quite proud of herself for scoring not just one, but two deep fried oreos. i asked her if she'd flashed the guy, but it seems she just gave him one of her dazzling smiles. mr. FGD was also quite a fan of those oreos, and i enjoyed meeting him. he's a super nice guy, and he and FGD are a perfect couple. aside from her biting wit and awesome dry, sarcastic humor, FGD is one of the sweetest people i know. huh, maybe i shouldn't say that. she probably wants to keep that under wraps. oh, well. sorry, dude. your secret's out.

yay for OC BFFs!

until jessica showed these off, we had no idea there was a photo booth at our disposal.

sponsored by red cheese, a vendor i'd heard of from my wedding planning days, this photo booth is available for rental for parties, weddings, private use in whatever way you can imagine. bow chicka bow wow.

we decided to be courteous and ask the folks standing in line behind us if they minded us taking three sets of pictures, so we could each have one. luckily, they were quite accommodating, and as jessica jumped in with us, we snorted and giggled our way through twelve different shots. i only have two of the sets here, but you get the idea.

the evening began to wind down, so we stopped to snap the requisite group photo.

as we made our way out of baja blues, we paused for a few more photo ops. i LOVE hanging with folks who love to take pictures [almost] as much as i do!

we'd all seen this dude wandering through the party and loved his shirt. i hadn't had the balls to ask him if i could take a picture, but claire sure did. "he's a chef," one of his friends explained. mmm-kay.

noting that i'd managed to score a hug from the normally-non-huggy diame, claire tried to get one, too. do you love diame's face here? i sure do!

along with mr. FGD, jessica's hub was the only other male in our group. i'd met him once before, and he was as nice as ever. lucky for me, he didn't smack me upside the head for the zillion times i handed him my camera and asked him to snap a shot for me.

this sign was just wrong. so wrong that claire ran to pose in front of it.

more silly photo ops. whee! i'm an honorary OC'er.

another must-take. of course.

i was trying to take a picture of another silly fair sign that i thought was funny and this random ass dude jumped in. and then i decided that the sign wasn't really funny at all and didn't bother to do a retake. oh, and here's a story about how gullible i am: as i snapped it, i guffawed and growled "oh, nice." he glanced over at me, pointed at my nametag, and said "hey, wan! i read your reviews all the time!" i was all "oh, cool, really?" he kind of snickered and said "well, yeah, i think so. but i'm thinking there may be other "wan"s on yelp." oy. my name IS super common. butthole.

in the parking lot, there were hugs all around, and that was it! i was so grateful to claire for including me in the pork party. i had pilfered pig candy, three yelp-themed reusable grocery bags, a handful of yelp buttons and stickers, and even a yelp lip balm in my bag. i'd grubbed down on a ton of bacon-wrapped and deep-fried delicacies, and i was one happy camper.

life is good.


  1. LOVED the recap. I am still cracking up! I'm so glad you could come, and that you could commemorate the rare sighting of a Diame headlock, er, hug. :)

  2. That's some crazy bacon love. Beyond perfect for you!

  3. Bacon craving + this entry = pregnancy fail.

    At least my house now smells like bacon.

  4. great recap.
    ew to diame's purse chicken.
    my MALE classmate who is in his mid-30s has that check card. his wife picked it for him. there's a really cute WWF one with a panda on it (that's the wildlife group, not wresting) that also donates money every time you use it. eee!

    i want bacon now.

  5. whaaaaa????? u don't carry ziplocks in your purse! lol! i have them in the diaper bag - pinoy power!

  6. "OMG. i'm SUCH a filipino chick. holy shit. that's the kind of thing my mom or grandma would do."

    i seriously brayed like a mule over this! lol

  7. OH.MAN... fried bacon-y goodness
    ::insert drooling emoticon here::

  8. I am seriouly dying at the fact that you were nervous about your hair/makeup around me. Don't you know when you make people pretty for a living, that is the last thing you want to do to yourself? You were totally cute! A+!!

  9. Looks like it was so much fun! I'm jealous you got to meet The Reporter and Mr. FGD!

  10. um, corndogs and fried oreos please!

  11. diame did a cheefy! diame did a cheefy!

    I want that zucchini/corn dog thing.

  12. FUN!

    The culinary boner shirt is from Top Chef. One of the contestants said that. It was popular enough for Bravo to make a shirt to sell in their online store. :)

  13. so jealous of your bacon themed adventures!!

  14. How fun! So grossed out by D's 3-day-old chicken. Ewww. I once asked about the HK card, but apparently since my husband and I share the same credit card account we have to have the same design . . . and there was no way in hell he'd ever carry a HK card. D's sunglasses cracked me up. I would be nervous meeting Rachael too. Yummm chocolate covered bacon and fried oreos. How I miss you.

  15. I am totally creeped out. Well, not really. I think I'm friends with your friend Jessica on SparkPeople. That's just kind of wild because, while I know a truckload of people are on both SP and TN, I recognized her from a picture of her husband that was on her SP site. Whatever. I realize this makes no sense. Looks like you had a super crazy fun time and I am patiently waiting for my piece of chocolate covered bacon. Mmmmmm...
    PS - IHO of WeeMo's poll, I read this fabulous trash religiously.

  16. omg, a bacon festival?? i am soo jealous!!!!!


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