Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Japanese John Wayne

So this a week ago today my Grandpa Jimmy Shinoda passed away. It was a very sad time for my family but I feel so lucky that I was able to say my goodbyes before he passed unlike some of my other cousins and sibling. Between the time he passed and the funeral I was in charge of creating two poster boards. One board was a timeline of his life through pictures and the other poster had everyone's memories of grandpa Jimmy. I would like to take a moment to share some of the memories people shared.

The first one is mine...
One of the things I loved about Grandpa was his sense of humor and his creativity. Every Christmas and birthday Grandpa would come up with awesome gift wrapping ideas. He never used the typical wrapping paper, ribbon or even scotch tape. Instead he used super glue, packing tape, bubble wrap, warehouse boxes or other miscellaneous things he found. It was always an adventure trying to open up our gifts. I could tell that Grandpa always got a kick out of watching us try as hard as we could to get our presents out of the mess he called wrapping. One of his most memorable gift wrapping ideas was when he put a fifty dollar bill and some change into a little cookie tin and super glued the top on. I think that was his best because I remember trying to open up this small tin for 20 minutes so I could get my money. It wasn't until my dad got out some pliers that we were able to open it. I'm sure that in Grandpa's mind he thought that I had cheated because I didn't technically open the tin by myself.
After many years of Grandpa's gift wrapping I thought that it would be funny if I came up with my own creative wrapping for Grandpa's birthday present. I had bought Grandpa a pair of Rainbow sandals (since he tried on mine and loved them) and thought it would be hilarious to put them in a grocery bag and then put bubble wrap around that. Then for the final touch I wrapped packing tape around the whole thing. I was very proud of myself and I gave Grandpa his present thinking it was soooo funny. But Grandpa showed me that I shouldn't mess with the master because he whipped out his pocket knife and cut a big slit in the side and pulled out the sandals. I'm sure that at that point he was laughing on the inside at me and thinking, "Nice try." This one thing that I loved about Grandpa will definitely be something that I will try to incorporate into my gift giving at Christmas.

The next memory is from my cousin's fiancee Chris...
For the first day in a long time, the world is without Grandpa Jimmy Shinoda, aka Catherine’s Grandfather, James Shinoda.
And that is a damn shame.
So I thought I’d share a story about Grandpa Jimmy that will probably almost make me cry (EDIT: did. That’s twice in one year now) while writing and in subsequent readings of it. It’s not a sad story at all. It’s actually pretty awesome. But usually it’s the awesome stories that make you the saddest, because they remind you of how awesome something was that will never be again.
In 2006, I took my first trip out to meet Catherine’s family in California. I had never been to California, I was totally in to Catherine, and I was about to meet all the people that were important in her life. Needless to say, this was a big trip for me. We had also decided to tie-in a trip to the World Series of Poker so that I could play in a $1000 tournament. I get nervous for that tournament approximately 12 months in advance, so you know, no biggie.
Then I discovered that Catherine’s grandfather would be meeting us in Las Vegas. At this time, I barely knew Catherine’s mom, dad, sister, etc. let alone her grandfather. However, I did know that Grandpa was a big deal, and, like the godfather, if he thought I was cool, others would think that. Or at least that’s how I pictured it in my head.
I was really into this mohawk that I had at the time (photo not found), and the only thing I could think about when I arrived in Vegas was how I was going to make the final table of my tournament, I was going to get on TV, and I was going to have a mohawk while doing. How cool was I going to be?
I totally forgot that Grandpa Jimmy would be showing up at the tournament to meet Catherine, and that by meeting Catherine, I would be meeting him. Shortly after that, I realized that I had a mohawk, I was fairly shabbily dressed, I was playing in a poker tournament with a bunch of really really classy people who alternate between hurling things and obscenities, and I was playing with some of Catherine’s money since she had decided to help back such a classy guy like myself. I was also, of course, wearing shorts so that my tattoos were visible.
If I were Grandpa Jimmy, I probably would have punched me and rescued Catherine.
But he didn’t. He shook my hand and asked if we wanted to get something to eat. I was so wowed by this. Either Catherine had brought a slew of bad boyfriends before Grandpa Jimmy, and he was willing to accept whatever was put in front of him, or he was willing to judge me when he actually knew me.
As it turned out, I really hit the jackpot by meeting Grandpa Jimmy. I told Catherine later that I thought he was like John Wayne, if John Wayne were Japanese. He used to play poker in Vegas before every kid like me thought it was cool. He told me about playing 5 card draw in some of the casinos. Five card draw? Like, with six shooters too or just regular?
He said very little that night, but when he did, I was on the edge of my seat. And he had this walk. I can’t even explain it. I mean, he was John Wayne. That’s all I can say. In my mind, from that day on, I knew John Wayne, and he actually lived in Santa Ana, California, and he was Catherine’s grandfather. This is good.
Luckily for me, I got the chance to go back to Grandpa Jimmy’s house many times. In subsequent meetings, I learned that John Wayne liked to crack jokes, talked more than John Wayne and lots of other people do, and definitely enjoyed playing Spider Solitaire, almost as much as he loved being around his family. And even though Catherine thought my John Wayne assessment was way off, his house was the hub of activity for the whole family. I was definitely not the only one who thought Grandpa was cool.
I only knew Grandpa Jimmy for a few years, so I can imagine what the people who were close to him for a lifetime are feeling right now. I can only say that I have some sliver of understanding as to why you feel the way you do right now. I wish I could have known him longer.
Two things are certain. First, I will never cruise the strip in Vegas without thinking about him and that memorable first meeting. It’s hardly a bad thing to think of John Wayne when you’re in Vegas. And second, I’ll always remember to try to think like Grandpa Jimmy when my daughter or granddaughter brings a boy up for inspection.
I’m so glad he did that for me.

I love Chris' Japanese John Wayne reference! The last memory I wanted to put up was one of Joseph's...

Grandpa ate everything except for duck feet because it was too chewy. One night while on a business trip in Dallas Debbie, Bambi, Grandpa and I were eating at a Chinese restaurant with the family from Lin's. I am not a fan of seafood and with my luck I was not in control of my meal choices. For dinner we would be eating family style and one person decided what we were going to eat, which was mostly seafood. I turned down many dishes that were passed to me and I felt bad because I was a guest. One of the last dishes brought out was duck feet boiled and dipped in a very light almost tasteless vinegar sauce. I was offered one and I saw Grandpa take one so I said to myself, "If Grandpa has one then it is probably somewhat edible." So I took one.
Shortly after I took a duck foot Grandpa said that he couldn't eat it because it was too chewy so I was running solo in the game of Fear Factor. I was amoured with only chopsticks so I knew that I couldn't cut it into little pieces. The only way to eat it was to put the whole thing in my mouth. I was able to eat other gross things or 2 years in the Philippines but this was the worst thing I have ever eaten. There was no taste but the texture was so bad that just writing this still makes my stomach churn. As I broke down the cartilage broke but was incased by strong rubbery skin and I was forced to swallow it whole. As I chewed my eyes watered and I looked over at Grandpa. He was watching me with great enjoyment while I was about to puke. After dinner I asked him why he didn't eat the duck feet and he said, "I would never eat duck feet. It's gross." I was puking up all that night. I was sharing a room with Grandpa and he would wake up, eat a piece of hard candy and watch me go back and forth to the bathroom. Everytime he would look at me for the next couple of days he would smile and start chuckling. That was the last time I tried matching his food consumption.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Diamond Club

On Friday night it was Mormon Night at the Angel's game and so of course we went with our friends Scott and Melinda. We were orignially going to sit with the season ticket holders in the outfield which are really good seats. Then when we were on our way to the game a couple who use to be in our ward called and said that they had four extra tickets to the game that night. Once we figured out where their tickets were somewhere along the bottom of the stadium we accepted the tickets. When we were coming in we realized that our friends were sitting the Diamond Club which is this exclusive area behind home plate on the bottom of the stadium. We were super excited to get to go there. It was a bad game but it was really fun to get to sit down there. They had a fancy restaruant and in-seat service. There were waiters to come and take your order and bring you food and drinks. But of course everything was super expensive. The whole experience was fun and a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wild Animal Park

Last Monday Joseph, Jesse (Joseph's brother), Heather (Jesse's wife), Aprilon and I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Joseph and I both have not been to the Wild Animal Park since we were like 5 years old. So we were really excited to go. If you haven't been to the Wild Animal Park I suggest you go because it is really awesome to get to see a bunch of animals roaming around together in one huge place in the park.
When we went we got there when it opened and headed straight for the tram which is the main attraction there. We were on the first tram of the day and it was very cool. All the animals were out because it was still cool outside. We saw so many animals like antelope, giraffes, cheetahs, wildebeests, zebras, tigers, condors, rhinos and many more! On the tram ride we saw baby animals being nursed by their mothers which was really cool. Everyone had a lot of fun even though it was like 100 degrees out there. Here is a great picture of Aprilon...he's holding a lorikeet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

13 hours at the beach

So Joseph and I spent 13 hours at the beach last Saturday. Some of you may be asking yourselves why and here is the answer....

Joseph and I thought it would be fun to have a bonfire and cook hotdogs and s'mores. So we invited some of our friends to join us. In California this is an extremely popular thing to do during the summer so if you want a beach pit then you better be at the beach before 9am. So we did. Joseph and I spent the whole day at the beach together. It was a great day! It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze. The water was cool and refreshing. Around dinner time all our friends showed up for s'mores and a bonfire. By the time Joseph and I left we had been at the beach for 13 hours. Joseph was burnt in many places one his back where he could not reach to reapply his sunbock. I didn't get burnt at all! It was amazing!

Here are some pictures we took of the kids...
There's Lizzie (our niece) and Don (Joseph's older brother) playing in the waves. Here's Bella (niece) finding shells in the sand.

Here's Donny (nephew) and I hanging out on the blanket.Here's Donny (obviously a different Donny) eating a blueberry. He's so adorable.
And here is the teepee that Joseph build from broken down pallets (compliments of Shinoda's).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Honorary Citzens

Joseph's friend from the Philippines is here! Aprilon is from the Philippines but has been living in Hawaii for the past three years. He has just finished his Bachelor's at BYU Hawaii and is trying to stay here for an extra year to work and gain experience in his field. Joseph decided to take him to Disneyland last Thursday. So we bought his ticket online which was great because then they didn't have to go to the box office. So I dropped them off at 8am when Disneyland opens on my way to work. Then later I met up with them at 6pm. Joseph ran Aprilon all over Disneyland and California Adventure. They had practically done everything by the time I got there. I went on Big Thunder Mountain with them but that's pretty much the only ride I went on. When I got there Joseph and I decided that we needed to get Aprilon a button that said 1st Visit. So we went to City Hall and got Aprilon a button but then the cast memeber asked if Joseph and I were showing him around and we replied, "Yes." After that response the cast member said that we needed special buttons too and our buttons said Honorary Citzen. Joseph and I felt very cool sporting our buttons. Later we watched the fireworks while we ate dinner and we were very disappointed when Tinkerbell and Dumbo did not come out during the fireworks due to a strong wind. Joseph and I had talked up Tinkerbell and Dumbo flying across the sky on this little wire and then they never showed up during the firework show. Then right after the fireworks we went straight to the lake for Fantasmic which was great because Joseph and I have not seen that show since we were like 7 years-old. On our way home we all came to the conclusion that we had a very successful day, we were all extremely tired and ready for bed.

24 Hours

So last Tuesday I was up for almost 24 hours. It was not a great day. I woke up at 5:30am because I had Jury Duty in Santa Ana. This was my second time being summoned but my first time having to go to the courthouse. So after orientation they called people up for the trials that will take like 2-3 months. But right after that they called up the first group to the courtroom which I was in. When you are inside the courtroom you CANNOT do ANYTHING! No texting, reading, or computer. You just have to sit there and listen. I sat there all day until 5pm. I was never called up to the jury box or anything! I even had a bunch of stories and excuses to say so I wouldn't be put onto the jury. Well at least they cannot summon me for another 12 months.

Later I went to sit in line for Harry Potter with Erin and our friend Michelle. First of all I didn't really want to go see Harry Potter at midnight because I had Jury Duty but Erin convinced me to go with her. Go thing she did because after waiting in line for 6 hours Erin and I found out that our friends, Leola and Michelle, had tickets to the 12:05am showing and not the 12:01am showing like us. We were so bummed when we found this out. Overall though sitting in line with Michelle and Erin was fun. We played Harry Potter clue, spoke with English accents and read aloud Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Here is Michelle and I playing Harry Potter clue. It's a nice alternative to regular clue.

Here is Erin reading aloud in line.

Sister Picture

Overall the movie was good. There were some disappointing parts but it was funny and it got the main points of the series across.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Picnic

Last Sunday our friends Scott and Melinda invited us to go on a picnic in Dana Point. So right after church we got our sandwiches, chips, drinks and potato salad ready and headed off to Dana Point Harbor. We ate lunch and then we played some croquet and bocce ball.

Here is Joseph and Melinda playing croquet

Here I am trying to hit my ball towards a hoop.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Can you believe this guy?!

In case no one has been watching this season of the Bachelorette this guy is a jerk! He came on the show to promote his country singing career and he had a girlfriend! I cannot believe that he stayed on the show until the final four! There were many other guys who were more worthy of the Bachelorette's time then him. He is the new scum of the Earth!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I went to Utah and came home with this...


which is an infection with severe inflammation in your skin. It itches like crazy and it hurts when I stand or walk a lot. I went to the doctors today and he gave me some that should make the inflammation go away in a couple of days but it supposedly takes several weeks for it to completely heal. In my pictures you will see a circle that I drew...that is just so I can see if it is getting worse. But you can see how it is really red in my circle and a little reddish around my ankle which is a little swollen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Porsche out, Volvo in

We sold this

And got this

No I am not pregnant. Joseph just wanted a Volvo because our friend, Seth, is a mechanic at a Volvo dealership. So that means if we need to replace something then we can get it done for less money.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Anthony Imports

Joseph has started a buisness. He is selling these hand crafted wooden stautes from the Philippines. If you want to buy one then you can go to ebay and he has a store online. Here are the products he sells...these pictures don't really do the statues justice.
Captin Moroni with the Title of Liberty

Abinadi chained (most commonly shown standing in front of King Noah)

These are book ends that are pretty cool. It's Moroni burying the plates on the left side and Joseph Smith unburying them on the right side.

The Angel Moroni

These statues would make great birthday or Christmas gifts. They are very unique because they are each hand crafted by a member in the Philippines. All he has is a chivel to sculpt these great statues.

This Weekend

For the weekend we watched her...

On Saturday we went here for samples and movie tickets...We saw this...

Then we saw this...

Monday, April 13, 2009


The Easter weekend was great! On Saturday Joseph and I had brunch with the Anthony family. It was delicious! Then later that night we went to my Auntie Deb's house to a triple birthday party for Grandpa Jimmy, Allyson, and Ryder. It was also delicious! On Sunday Joseph and I went to church to teach our cute primary kids. Then we went to my Great-Auntie Helen's house for a huge Shinoda family get together. It was a lot of fun! Everyone got to do the Easter egg hunt because all the cousins and grandchildren are older now. Almost everyone is in college so if there was an age limit then there wouldn't be an Easter egg hunt. Erin found the corner of the fifty dollar bill so she won fifty dollars. After the egg hunt Joseph, Erin, Uncle Tom and I sat at a table where the desserts just happened to come to us. We sat by the desserts and were helping everyone get pies, cake, chocolate covered strawberries and spoons. While we were sitting there my dad came up and asked who left a bunch of yokes on a plate at our table. Erin blurted out that it was Uncle Tom. For the rest of the day Uncle Tom was making fun of how Erin threw Uncle Tom under the bus.

Everyone Else's Spring Break

It seems like everyone always comes to visit us during spring break. The problem is that Joseph and I always have work or school during everyone else's spring break. During Markie's spring break he and Tiffany came to visit. While they were here the whole family, except Erin, went to Universal Studios. We were able to do everything there in like five hours. It was pretty fun. Here's Tiffany, Markie, Joseph and I in front of the Universal Studios sign. Markie and I left a gap for imaginary Erin. She was way fun!

During my cousin Allyson's spring break she decided that she wanted to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain. James (Ally's dad) went but he only went on two rides. So pretty much Joseph, Erin and I showed Ally and her friend the best rides. Joseph and I hadn't been since high school so it was a real treat that we were able to go with them to Six Flags. Here Joseph, Erin, Ally, Ally's friend and I are waiting in line for Tatsu which was the only ride that Joseph and I were actually a little scared on.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

House Hunting

So since the house market has been going down Joseph and I have been having fun going around the area looking at open houses for fun. We first started doing this when our friend Keith was looking for a house to buy and we just started going to open houses again since our friends Scott and Melinda are looking for a house for Melinda's parents to fix up. Melinda's parents seem pretty cool because they are letting Scott and Melinda find a good house to fix up in the Tustin area and then Scott and Melinda will live there and fix up the house for her parents.
So last weekend we went with Scott and Melinda to look for open houses. We decided to go up into the hills to look around for fun and to see how much they were going for since we had seen a bunch on So we went to a street where there were two open houses. The first one we went to was great. The property was really nice and the house was really cool. Then we walked down the street to the other open house.
The house we walked to was obviosuly currently not being lived in. So Melinda and I were ahead of the boys and we walk up to the front door and it is all boarded up with a paper on it. By that time the boys caught up we were walking to the garage because there was a door open. We looked inside and there were a bunch of big empty flower bed looking things. Scott walked in first and we heard voices talking so we went inside. We walked inside and found the realtor and another man inside talking. Scott said hi and asked about the flower beds. The realtor said that there were a lot of those throughout the house. Joseph immediatedly said, "They were growing some pot in here." I started laughing and how blunt Joseph was and we walked around the house. We walked by the front door and we could see that the police had banged it in when they raided the house. we walked upstairs and saw all the foil that the owners had put up to heat a room. We found water damage in rooms where they probably watered the plants. It was so crazy! Who would have thought that in a nice affluent neighborhood that someone would be growing pot. Crazy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Years

We have been married two years today! It is safe to say that we are still very much in love and our adventures just keep getting better. I honestly don't know what we would do without each other. It has been such a wonderful day. Joseph and I decided that in order to save money we wouldn't get each other gifts but just go out for a wonderful lunch. So we went to my favorite place, Maggiano's. It is this awesome italian resturant that I love. We had a nice relaxing day going to the gym and hanging out watching movies at home. I know it sounds kind of boring but it was great because with our busy schedules we never really get to just hang out during the day with each other. It was overall a perfect day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I just wanted to take a moment out of Superbowl Sunday to wish my mom a Happy Birthday! She is someone who is always there for me when I have a problem and she lets me borrow her car when mine is being stupid. Thanks for being such an awesome mom!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Just Not My Month

This month has been no good for me. Everything has been breaking. First my computer broke down and then this past weekend my car decided to be stupid. My poor car, Steve, (yes I named my car but only because on the license plate it looks like it spells out Steve.) had a comouter problem. On Friday night Joseph and I were driving home and half way home the "Check Engine" light came on and then suddenly my car would not accelerate normally. My car would slowly accelerate and only get up to 30 MPH. On Saturday our friend, Seth, who is a mechanic looked at my car and found that something was wrong but there was nothing he could do about it. Then magically my car was working fine all day Saturday. Then on Sunday Joseph and I didn't drive it at all. Then today (Monday) I was driving home and my car started acting up again. So later in the afternoon Joseph took it to the dealership and they found th problem. The computer in my car that regulates how much gas and oxygen goes into the engine. So luckily the dealship fixed the computer and it was under warranty so we didn't have to pay for it. Thank goodness. Hopefully next month will be better.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Family Portraits

So during winter break when all of Joseph's brothers were in town his parents decided to do family portraits. So we hired the same photographer who took our wedding pictures. And I think that they turned out great.
Joseph and I took some pictures

Here is one of the whole Anthony family

I'm here with my mother-in-law and fellow sister-in-laws

Joseph with his dad and brothers

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Holiday Wrap Up


This blog is really ridiculously long!

Okay so here is a hopefully sort of quick update about our holidays. We will begin with Christmas Eve...

On Christmas Eve we went over to my parent's house. They had some friends over and my mom made her special curry! (She makes it from scratch and it is awesome!) So after we ate some yummy curry we went into the living room and played some Christmas songs with the hand bells accomplanied by the guitar. It was great! I love doing this on Christmas Eve. Of course Joseph wasn't into it but I told him that when we have a family this is definitely going to be a tradition and then he will HAVE to participate. But for now he gets to pass on it.


For the winter break all of Joseph's brothers came to town (Joseph has four brothers which makes five boys in his family.) This was the first year in abotu eight years that they have all been together (There is two years in between each sibling and almost all of them served missions.) So it was a pretty big deal. It was a lot of fun having almost everyone under the same roof at my in-laws'. So Christmas morning we woke up and went downstairs to open presents with everyone at my in-laws'. Joseph and I were pretty dang excited because this year we made our niece, Lizzie, a WALL-E costume. Right now she loves WALL-E so we thought that she would ove it! We also bought her these WALL-E arms that are sort of like those extended claws. So we worked really hard on her costume and we pull it out on Christmas morning for her and she says that she hates it. For a little girl who is only 4 years old she really hurt Joseph and mine's feelings. She we left to go to my aunt's house all sad. I think that Lizzie actually felt really bad about it because when we were at my aunt's house she called Joseph's cell and apologized and later when we went back home she came running up to us with pictures and presents that she made. So it made me feel a little bit better that she felt bad for what she said. Finally a couple days later she did put on her WALL-E costume and she loves it now.

When we were at my aunt's house we got together with the whole Shinoda clan and hung out opening presents and talking and eating. Then later we decided to go see a movie. So we all decided that we would go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I really liked that movie but it was a little long (3hours!) I only wish that I knew it was going to be that long so I could prepare myself and Joseph.

Blasting forward to New Year's Eve...

So for New Year's Eve we ate dinner with Joseph's family and his aunt and uncle came over with their family. We had a delicious Mexican dinner and we got to do out crackers. FYI those are these tube things that you can buy at Costco. It is some kind on English tradition where you have this tube that is sort of shaped like a tootsie roll and you have someone hold one side and you both pull on it. Then a little prize and a paper crown pop out. So we did that and played some games.

Later we went to a party at our church building for young married couples. It was a lot of fun because we rented a blow up boxing ring and everyone brought game systems, board games and snacks. Joseph and I were some of the first to get into the boxing ring. We decided to box each other; you know spouse on spouse. It was a major hit because later everyone started boxing their spouses. We are such trend setters. I found it a very healthy way to get all my anger and fustration out on Joseph. Then when it got closer to midnight everyone stopped playing games and we got out the Martinelli's to countdown. Before we ended our countdown one of the husbands made a friendly reminder that you can only kiss your spouse. It was pretty funny.

On New Year's Day I was a mochi making machine. It is Japanese tradition to make mochi on New Year's Day and eat it. So that is what the Shinoda family did. It was fun. we got the whole family together again and we hung out at my grandpa's all day.

On the 2nd Joseph, Tim (Joe's bro), Erin (my sis), Catherine (cousin), Chris (Cat's bf) and I went to Knott's. We had it a lot of fun. It was not crowded at all so we pretty much got done with the park in 1 1/2 hours. But we decided to stay almost the whole day so we could ride everything twice. I think that one reason that it was probably not so crowded was that it was super cold and overcast. Who would want to go on a bunch of rollercoasters when it is freezing outside? We did. Then we took a little break and went to eat at this great fried chicken place which is well known at the park. It helped up get out of the cold for a bit. That day was pretty fun.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Computer Problems

This past week I have had major computer problems. It is safe to say that I hated technology for a few days. My laptop decided that it didn't want to load Microsoft onto my computer anymore. So when I turned on my computer it was not loading completely and I would be left with a blank screen. So of course I call the HP technicians and they were no help at all. I got this lady with a really heavy accent who mumbled. Then to make matters worse when she told me do press a button and I told her nothing was happening she would get upset with me like I did something wrong. It was so crazy. It was by far the worse experience I have had with a computer technician.
*Hopefully soon I will have pictures from the holidays.