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Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars (No Spoilers)

Along with Disney we have always been big Star Wars fans. It is fitting that Disney has bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise. Angela and I (as most of our friends know because we've told them so much) own The original Star Wars Episodes 4-6 on Laser Disk. Something people don't realize is the Digital copies for the making of the laser disks are the best and Only digital copies of the original film. The later released "original cut" DVDs were made using that same digital image ported at a lower resolution.

Whether or not that last paragraph read like it was written in Greek you understand how much of dorks Angela and I can be and how excited we were that there was a possibility for new good Star Wars. Without giving anything away it was as good as we could have hoped. I think the best review of the movie I have read was from our friend Hannah,

"Of Star Wars VII:
-Much was very satisfying.
-Some was very annoying.
Is it still worth seeing:

I may update this post later after everyone has seen the movie to give our thoughts on it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Beauty and the Beast at the Pantages!

When I was a kid my mom was a reporter for the LA Times. Sometimes she would get extra tickets for her family. One such time was when I got to go and see Beauty and the Beast at the Civic Arts Plaza. It was an amazing time and one of my favorite childhood memories. Angela and I are Disney obsessed... OK I said it, obsessed! We love everything Disney we can get our hands on; it's kind of our thing. So naturally I've wanted to share this childhood memory with her.

A few months ago I found out that that same production would be coming to the Pantages theater. There are no words to describe the historic Hollywood theater, it's just magical. The show was spectacular, as I would expect from any good touring show. The theater itself was phenomenal. The decor is absolutely beautiful and the carvings along the wall/proscenium were quite intricate. The theater is reminiscent of grandiose days gone by and this feeling really hits you once you walk through the doors. It's definitely a place to experience for live productions.

The play itself was everything I remembered and more. Angela and I had a fun time laughing at Gaston. He did a very well at playing the narcissistic muscle head in such a way that you hated and loved him at the same time.
Angela's and I had a magnificent Disney date. We love that we can do things that both of us enjoy so much. It's nice to dress up and get out on the town. The whole way home we shared passionately our opinions. I love that with Angela my mind can be energized by art that we can express and communicate so well.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend Road Trip

Angela and I went on one of our most fun road trips yet this past weekend! We didn't know we could have Friday off from work until Wednesday. Having 4 days off in a row is unheard of for us and we knew we had to take this moment for all its worth.  But where to go?! As most know Thanksgiving weekend is one of the worst times to travel because everyone floods onto the road and crazy traffic ensues.

I served a two year LDS mission in Idaho a few years ago and made lifelong friends. Since then, thanks to social media, Angela has been able to make long distance friends as well. However they live in Idaho...This golden opportunity presented itself when we realized freeways 14, 80, and 95 cut straight to where we wanted to be without going to populated places other people wanted to be, like Vegas. We contacted our friends in Idaho and they seemed very happy to see us; so off we went.

We were right! Our trip there was 13 hours with no traffic whatsoever! One thing that never occurred to me before was everywhere we went other than where we're from was around 20 degrees. I don't know why I assumed the temperature would raise and fall more drastically however it did get down to 5 degrees at one point. Just for reference its 65.5 degrees here and I can hear someone complaining how cold it is a few feet from me...

We stayed at a hotel in Ontario, Oregon Thursday night where they had an indoor swimming pool and spa. Also it was so much fun to do our Black Friday shopping where there was no sales tax! But the real fun began when we arrived at our friend's house. What an amazing family! Melissa may be the best mom I have ever met and I do not say that lightly. We love her family to pieces and wish we could live closer to them. I admit to having a little social anxiety before we arrived but once we got there we felt so welcome it melted away.

They had me read "The Book With no Pictures" to the kids, which was a lot of fun. The youngest kid, Lydia kept running up to Angela giving her big hugs! We talked about anything and everything it was so comfortable for me to pick up where I left off and they were so good at making Angela and I feel like part of the family. They are so adorable when we woke up the next morning they even brought us breakfast in bed!
Peter and Lucas love to play video games on the computer and Wii. I was able to talk to them about this just long enough to find out that they like to play Steam games. We should find out their steam names so we can play together one day. On our way out Lydia gave Angela a friendship bracelet she made and Whitney waved us goodbye as we drove away. Angela and I love to just get up and go places. I am so thankful for this because it provides us opportunity to see such amazing people. This last weekend we drove 2,300 miles for a total of 36 hours of driving time. As you can tell Angela got some wonderful photos as well. We are so glad we went and would not trade our experience for anything!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hunger Games Date

We saw the first Hunger Games movie they day it came out March 11, 2012. We had both read the book and I bought her a much sought after mocking jay pin for her to wear the movie. At that time I was just learning how to braid her hair and for that showing Angela braided her hair perfectly with the Katniss braid. She looked gorgeous!

Fast forward. The last of the Hunger Games movies were coming out and I felt I had to do something special. So I secretly bought tickets to The Hunger Games Mocking Jay part two at the city walk I max theater. I got them 2 months in advance so we could have the best seats in the house. We had lost Angela's mocking jay pin so I ordered a new one. I also learned how to do the Katniss braid so I could do her hair up for our date.

Everything fell into place so nicely. I was afraid after working I would not have enough time for a proper surprise. I had to do her hair that morning before work so she got to be excited all day. On they way to the movie I surprised her with the new Mocking Jay pin. SHE LOVED IT! The happy look on her face was so cute as I described why this movie meant so much to me.

Every moment I spend with Angela is a magical time. I cherish every memory I have and make with her. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity's to do amazing things with such an amazing person! I can't wait for the next chapter in our already fantastical book. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Secret of Appreciation

We heard the news that Disneyland is raising their prices. This is really bad news for me because I bought the premium passes for Angela and I last Valentine's day and I was hoping I could do this again this year. We love Disneyland! I understand that at their current prices they still have overcrowding and something needs to be done. Last time I was there I waited in line for 20 min to try a Disney corndog for the first time. (Personally I was underwhelmed but that's another story.) I can't help but picture the meeting to raise prices going exactly like the scene in Jurassic Park were the lawyer suggests coupon day.

Video found here:

We have done a lot since my last blog post. We have had a girl's night and we went to see Billy Joel in San Francisco. Angela and I have been playing and having a lot of fun and we could not be happier people. Maybe my next blog post will be about our adventures in San Fran but for now I want to talk about something very important to my happiness that I haven't really touched on in my blog much; appreciation.
My mom used to tell me I was really good at cleaning. Whenever there was a mess she would praise my ability to clean and organize things. Yes, I did have a natural knack for it but what really motivated me was this praise. Soon I would look forward to cleaning my room because I felt fulfillment in being able to actually be good at something and as a kid you don't have many things you feel you can do as good as adults.

To this day I love to organize, our apartment is filled with little tubs labeled and put away. I have had several people tell me "Hey when are you coming over to my house to help me organize?" Another great thing that my wife does is she has carried over this praise of my ability to clean. Every time I unload the dishwasher or do our laundry Angela will tell me how wonderful I am. It's taken me a long time to realize this is not normal practice. When people do well on a regular basis people get complacent and start taking them for granted.
I think a lot of people are drawn to nitpick because it makes them feel superior. It puts them on a pedestal to tell someone else all the wrong things they are doing and leave out the good. It takes a strong person to tell someone they are doing well because that puts them on equal ground and people like to take the high ground whenever they can.

Which brings me to the secret of appreciation; it's to not take this high ground. People don't take the high ground because they are bad people they do this because it makes them feel more comfortable. People want to fix flaws but hardly ever take the time to see what they or others are doing well and I am so glad Angela and I don't nitpick.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I know art comes in many different ways
Mine expressed in many adjectives and verbs
You see now my words have changed to colors
They bleed down the sides of every page
Go ahead and splash more colors
I feel everything at once

You see we kissed in the rain of all your colors
Not one has run down my face
Now all words run together
I live in your sea of mixed red, green, and blues
Every one of them a living breathing eternity
My words they’re gone forever
And I never want them back

Words express one set meaning
Definitions never run too long
I can see your colors forever changing
And I will be there for every one.

I thought black ink was forever
One word for one time
Now my book has every color

I don't think I've ever thanked you for that

Monday, August 17, 2015

Girl's Weekend!

As all of you that keep up with my blog know, Angela and I have girl's nights on a regular basis. It makes us sad but some of our friends live out of state and can't make it. This weekend we decided to bring girl's night to one of our favorite people and this plan resulted in the most fun girl's weekend trip we could have ever imagined!

We left Thursday night and drove though the desert. We made a detour to a very unique place when we stopped at Joshua Tree National Park. I have never seen Joshua Trees that big, they looked like alien Dr. Seuss trees and driving though made me feel like I was driving on the ocean floor.
When we made it to Phoenix it was 4 in the morning and 104 degrees outside. We made sure to bring in everything from our car so nothing would melt when the sun came out. We woke up a few hours later and got ready for the day. By the time we got back into the car to go pick up a few provisions we saw this...
Unlike the heat, it was amazingly comfortable for us to be around Ashley. She's truly is a sweet, kind, wonderful soul. She works all the time and rides her bike to work in this weather. When Angela and I got back to the hotel we had fun decorating our hotel room for a Disney themed girl's night. If any of you know Ashley then you know that she absolutely loves everything Disney. Before we left for Phoenix we had to make a special trip to Disneyland to pick up a present for her and some caramel apples for us to eat. Here are some decorations we put up for our Disney Princess theme.
This is a candid photo of her opening her Disneyland 60th anniversary water bottle we got her.
We had foot soaks and stayed up all night watching Mulan, Mean Girls, and talking about anything and everything. When we woke up we had our second complimentary breakfast and spent the rest of the day at the mall trying on clothes at all the stores and smelling delicious smells at Bath and Body Works.
My wife and I have had some wonderful opportunities to road trip lately and I am amazed at how blessed we are to have the friends we do. I can't thank Ashley enough for the time she spent with us. She is so cute and bubbly and deserved to have some fun time off.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Love is a Package Deal

Angela and I saw Phantom of the Opera last week to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. We have both wanted to see that play since we were very young. Angela has been fortunate enough to see it three times now. I related life experience to Christine's struggles and it helped me see life more clearly. It taught me just because something feels good at the time does not mean it will grant someone lasting joy. It's amazing how the wisdom from other people's experiences (like the ones portrayed in Phantom of The Opera) can save you unimaginable heartbreak.

The Phantom exploited Christine's naivety and let her believe that he was the Angel of Music sent by her late father to watch over her. After all she was a young wide-eyed little girl willing to except anything that hid her from cold hard reality. She grew up very lonely without her parents but the Phantom of Opera was there to ease her mind. However while satisfying both their needs for companionship Christine was blind to the treachery caused by the Phantom's other desires.
You pity the Phantom for his dark past and hopeless future but you realize that does not excuse him of his actions. Life is hard and everyone deals with it differently. I find with life most things come in package deals. All you see at first is a box labeled "companionship" and you think I NEED THAT! But what you get with that companionship can be toxic. That's why you need to be careful how you choose your friends. It may feel right because you're getting what you need but you may get more than you bargained for.

It's easy at the beginning of a relationship to just focus on your loneliness being relieved. It's easy to feel special just from someone's desire for them to be around you. And if they are charming you may be enticed into more than friendship. Unfortunately for a lot of people long term relationships are very complicated.
You need to keep bettering yourself or else what is the point of a new day? Angela and I have been through enough to know hiding in the shadows gets you nowhere. I wish I could shake some people that give their love blindly. In this play the Phantom is a person pulling the strings and it may be for you too, but in most of our lives it's subtle things. Everyone has their phantoms to soothe their minds. It can be an idea or obsession but eventually reality will catch up with you.  It saddens me that some people think that ignorance is bliss, they may never experience true bliss that way.

Angela and I live our days in the light discovering new things about ourselves and each other daily. We live each day living for the future. Christine only dreams of being hidden from her problems not to rise above them. Even when dreaming of the light she wishes to be hidden. Angela and I make effort to rise above all obstacles daily. Our love is not blind but pure thanks to being ever watchful for impurity. We know 2 years is not very much time and we have much to face ahead but we will do it head strong and most importantly without darkness in ourselves.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today is Our Wedding Anniversary!

I know too many people that never find out who their spouse is the entire time they are married. I have understanding now that everyone is different and you can't cut any corners to know your spouse, it takes hard work to find things out for yourself. You have to weed though fears and walls but as I do this I grow closer than I ever imagined with Angela.

Angela and I had one of our best days ever on Saturday the 18th. We got to go to Disneyland in the rain. To a lot of people that would sound awful but we loved it. We were taking a selfie by the castle and a lady informed us that it was raining like we were dumb for not seeking shelter. Everywhere else may be jaded by rain but southern Californians have good reason not to be. This drought is terrible, all our hills are brown and we need water to live. 
You will never be happy until you count your blessings you have. I don’t know what it is about growing up that makes it so your goals get bigger. You start to get ungrateful for the things you already have. When I got married all I wanted in the world was someone to love, a place to live, and food. Now we’ve added buy a house have kids and go on vacations. Angela and I used to sneak into our apartment before the move in date on the lease; lay on the floor where we imagined our bed would go and stare up at the ceiling like it was the night sky. We would dream of living together and even though we didn’t know if we could afford our one bedroom apartment at the time just being together was what mattered. Now we lay on our floor of our apartment sometimes together to remind ourselves how far we’ve come and what’s important.
Today is Angela and I's wedding anniversary. I love my life more and more every day I spend with her. It's almost like things don't happen unless I share them with her. I am so grateful for all the time together these last few years. I love that we can play like little children and then if need be work together to take on the most serious of tasks. I love that we are whole now because we have found our other halves. 3 years down ∞ to go. <3


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fears Start Creeping in

This one goes out to all my fellow introverts out there that wish they were extroverts. Social anxiety has a lot of paranoia. Some people see someone they have not seen for a while and it brightens their day. When we see someone that we haven't seen for a while fears start creeping in.

The world is not out to get you. I know it seems like:
One wrong move and people hate you.
One sentence misunderstood can break you.
One stumble and you fall forever.
One wrong step you will never go the right direction again.

Many introverts hide their emotions under a week facade of not "caring" when really they care too much. We are sensitive thinkers. It's a stereotype that introverts read and stay home all the time. This is because it's easier to over think and obsess over characters of a book because there's no danger that those characters will judge you. We find a need to connect with people but have a fear of rejection.  We tend to over think things and relive the same mistakes over and over again.  We have a lot of internal monologue and say very little of it. Every time we walk outside it's like walking out on stage.
I know introverts that compensate by an over cavalier attitude and go out of their way to ruin their reputations. This is because they believe if they get rid of that social standard the fear will go away. It's very easy to gain the attitude that you "hate people" I have both heard and said this before. Truth is though that I love people. Like most bad things the root is miscommunication.  It's not knowing people's feelings that gets to us the most, and the hopelessness of the inability to find out.
I just want everyone to know with this post that you're not alone. I'm an introvert that's blessed with an understanding wife and wonderful friends. When I start overthinking things I can turn to them for support and my life is so much better than it was without them. Angela is my rock when my mind starts to wander and I really hope I'm hers as well. I tell all my friends that they can contact me when they start over thinking things because I know how bad it can get. A little reassurance goes a long way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our 2,000 Mile Road Trip Weekend!

We left Thursday night and stayed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We left too late and ran into 3+ hours of traffic. We ended up getting there at 4 am. They waived the resort fee for us because we were only going to stay there for a few hours which was nice. We went up to our room in hopes to go straight to bed. When we got there however a couple of things were missing from the mini bar and the window shade was stuck in the down position. I thought I might as well call downstairs to make sure we were not going to get charged and to tell them about the window. They basically laughed at me and said "what are we supposed to do about this at 4 am?" We thought, "Okay we can't do anything more today let's just go to bed."

We awoke at 5 am to knocking on our hotel room door, and then a guy just came into our room! It was the engineering department to fix the window. I was too out of it to stop him and sat there well he finished up. He said "here's some chocolate for you guys" and handed us chocolates from his pocket. It was totally weird and random that he gave us chocolate from his pocket. Angela told me to not eat candy from strangers. We were incredibly tired so we went back to sleep. Then we woke up to 2 phone calls from the front desk. I missed the first one but picked up the second one. They asked "Is there anyone in this room? It says you guys already checked out. I assured the lady on the phone that we had not checked out yet and were planning to be staying for a few more hours... I'm glad I picked up the phone because had I not I think they would have sent someone else in our room.
So our stay at the MGM Grand was not that grand. We got back in our car passed a lot of cars headed for EDC and made it safely to Cedar City. This is where our trip really got a lot better. I've never felt more welcome going anywhere. It's amazing how wonderful our friends are. We made peanut butter cookies and we played Super Smash Brothers U and Mario Kart U and they let us stay in their extra room. We went to the store and bought some things that you can't get where we live and drove around in an awesome 70's Nova.
We parted ways the next morning and made our way to Salt Lake City, or the Mormon Mecca as we kept calling it. We walked around Temple Square and toured the old and new conference centers. Then we drove around Sundance and it was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. After that we made our way to our final destination of Provo. Our friend there said we could stay in their spare room as well but we know how bad traffic can be on Sunday's during the day on the I-15 South. But we did get to play Mario Kart 64 and got to tour their cool basement apartment.

On our way back we got to see the stage and lights from EDC. Our trip was fun but fast, there was so much more that we wanted to do that I'm sure we will be back. Everyone was so accommodating and it was such a pleasure, I just hope that our friends liked us visiting as much as we did. Our trip may have only lasted for 60 hours but my beautiful wife and I were able to go so far and see so much. I can't wait until our next adventure! Who am I kidding? Every day is an adventure <3 <3 <3

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Project Morpheus and E3

It has been an amazing opportunity to go to E3 and I've had a blast annually for 4 years in a row. I get to try out all the new tech sometimes years before anyone else gets their hands on it. This year I took off work for one day to drive down to the LA Convention Center to go and I got to try the new virtual reality called Project Morpheus. It was fun to see where the entertainment industry is headed. There were two things I wanted to try this year at E3, one was Project Morpheus and the other was Starfox Wii U.  And I got to try them both.
Starfox was a lot of fun, they had big pods that looked like cockpits for you to sit in and after I played the game they gave me an exclusive Starfox pin. At this point it occurred to me that I had tried everything I needed to try and I wished Angela was there with me. I thought to myself I could go and try something else or I could go home and do something special for Angela. So I left early to beat traffic and cleaned the apartment.
I went to 4 stores to try to find peonies which are Angela's favorite flower, but I couldn't find them. I ended up going with the tried and true red roses. Also I picked up things to make dinner and some penguin gummies from Trader Joe's. I hung up all the laundry, fixed the clogged disposal, vacuumed, scrubbed the kitchen, took a shower, and rearranged the apartment so the treadmill could fit inside. Angela came home from work just in time for me to have finished shaving and to have a rose in my hand.
Angela came in the apartment holding a Trader Joe's bag... She had planed to make me dinner as a surprise when I came home from E3. We are so much alike and so much in love! Angela convinced me to let her make me dinner because I had cleaned, but I still plan to make her dinner tonight. :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Trip to the Sequoias

This last weekend we just picked up and left, and it was such a good idea. I LOVE our spontaneous trips to random places. Angela and I love the freedom of just going anywhere we want. Angela and I went to the Sequoias this time. We still have a rental car because our car is still in the shop so it was fun to get the opportunity to try out a different car. We are glad we paid for the extra insurance because someone for no reason threw a shoe at us on the freeway and it scuffed our hood.  

Both Angela and I had never been to the Sequoias so we didn't know what to expect. When we went through Bakersfield it was 100 degrees outside. Everything was dead except the trees in the orchards. When we got to the gate of the national park we had to ask "Is there anything to look at or is there just more of this?" gesturing to the dead plants and hot weather. The guy behind the counter just smiled and said "Well this is the golden state." As you can imagine that didn't give us much comfort.

Photo credit Angela ^^

We paid the $20 to get into the forest anyway because we drove all the way there. It did get a lot better as we went up in altitude, the temperature dropped and the trees got prettier.  We pulled over and had a picnic on one of the picnic tables near some big trees. It's amazing how comfortable it is to go on a road trip with Angela we just do our own thing without a care in the world. On the way home we picked up pizza from my favorite pizza place Papa Murphy's take n bake pizza which we look forward to eating tonight.

My relationship goals for my wife and I are to get to an old age where people look at us with admiration saying, "those two people are the most in love couple I have ever seen".  So far it's been really great. We are not necessarily PDA but anyone that knows us can tell we are inseparable. We will definitely be that old cute couple you see holding hands swinging on their front porch.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Our Romantic Date to....Walmart???

So my plan last night was to surprise Angela with taking her to get sushi. I am by no means a sushi connoisseur and do not know the best place to get sushi. Angela has mentioned getting sushi for a while so I felt like it was time to make it happen. I looked at reviews of sushi places in the area and called some of them to get a feel of if I needed a reservation or how crowded they were. Angela and I don't really eat out much, we prefer to spend our money on activities rather than food most of the time, so I was pretty lost when it came to finding good sushi which I have heard is tough to do for anyone.

I felt like it would be less romantic to ask Angela where she wanted to get sushi because I knew she would be as stressed out about finding a place I was. So I took on the battle myself so she could enjoy something she wanted without the stress. I decided on Minato Sushi in thousand oaks and let Angela know that I was taking her out on a date to get food and to not expect anything fancy.
Angela spent a little extra time on her makeup and picked out something cute to wear. Soon we where on our way. We pulled up to Minato Sushi and something unexpected happened. We started talking in the parking lot about other things and soon Angela decided that she just wasn't feeling sushi. Me without a plan and her dressed up I asked her where she would like to go, I would have taken her anywhere.

A few minutes later we were on our way to Walmart... I know, I know it was supposed to be a date and we were going to end up at Walmart. I felt like the least romantic person ever, like I failed somehow in relationship 101. The reason we were headed to Walmart was because we read that they had Star Wars cereal with Darth Vader on the front.

It occurred to me that I was worrying to much. Angela and I are in love and it truly doesn't matter about the activity. That being said, had I have told Angela that it was a date and I knew the destination was Walmart I may have dropped the ball. But I had something nice planned and we are comfortable enough with each other to change plans. My goal was to make Angela happy and had you seen her face when she was eating little tie fighters and light sabers you would know I succeeded. As an added plus we decided to buy the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on blu ray and eat pizza as a date. We are such dorks, but in the best way. :)