Shimmy Shakedown 2016 was on Sunday, and I was really looking forward to it. I hadn’t yet seen Anela with her new troupe, and Melissa’s part of the same troupe, giving me another reason to be excited.
gem and I drove up early so we could have lunch. We ate at King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant. So much food. Oops. Too bad watching people shimmy doesn’t actually burn as many calories as actually dancing.
Here’s Anela and me after the show. The show itself was fantastic. Dancers included Richy, Emily Iman, Jasmina, Delyla, Aubre Hill, Akasha Starr, Jizzelle, Fahtiem, Jillina, Amirat Al Sharq, Tonya’s Treasures, Meera, Tina Enheduanna, Rania, Stefanya, Ana Edith, and Atlantis. Fadi El Saadi, Ozzy, and Diana Rash also provided live music and singing.
Here’s gem and Anela!
I wish the lighting was better in the lobby for photos though!
Everybody was really talented. I especially enjoyed Jillina second set, Meera, and Jizzelle’s last set. Some of the costumes were truly amazing too.
My favorites, however, were these two. I suppose it’s no surprise; I’d always prefer to watch people I know and care about do something they love.
I recorded their performance too. It actually starts out shaky before the dancers come on stage, but luckily my hands get steadier. I especially enjoyed the transition between pieces. It’s making me laugh as I rewatch it now!
All the performers came out for the finale, so I had to record that too!
It was a fantastic evening, and I can’t wait for the next time I can watch my friends dance.
Today we had to say good night to Angel for the last time. She was a sweet girl, and I’m glad I got to spend eight years with her. This was the day they came home with us.
Today we took her to the grass down the street to enjoy some treats and take in the scents. Look at the size of that bone gem gave her!
She used to always sleep in the most awkward positions – twisted, on top of things, or upside-down (her favorite).
She didn’t seem to mind when gem and I joined her.
She was quite the dashing young lady with her gorgeous scarf!
Sumo was always the one to enjoy toys. Angel wouldn’t really care, but every once in a while, something would click. She never understood how to play with toys though. She’d get excited and pick them up but not know what to do with them. We gave her so much praise anyways! She also used to like to collect all the pieces of stuffed animals that Sumo destroyed. I don’t just mean putting them in one place; she’d like to get all the pieces in her mouth at the same time. Then she’d get confused and drop them.
Man’s best friend. This is today again.
gem gave her a pretty huge bone that Angel loved. I think she enjoyed the grass, sun, and bone.
Actually, gem shared her whole lunch with Angel. Today Angel even got to try some cheese ravioli and sushi!
Angel was so content sitting in the grass, belly full. This might have been the first time Angel ever experienced being completely full. The bottomless pit actually had a bottom! She had a very loving day. Her friends Anela and Jonathan came to visit her in the morning, then Collin, Niki, Duncan, Leah, gem, and I went with her to the animal hospital.
Last month we celebrated the gem’s birthday by celebrating the last day of her twenties! She wanted to do something that reminded her of her twenties (although we modified for out appropriate ages).
We started with Jell-O shots! But as it was a work night, we started early… and used champagne. gem gave me the calorie count too, because that’s what’s important now, haha.
Dave & Buster’s was the perfect location for the celebration. We started with dinner (after snacking at her place). When gem couldn’t decide on a dessert, Edward and I insisted on ordering two.
Squeezing into a photo booth, we did our best to all get in the frame. The birthday girl’s best wasn’t good enough. You’ll notice she’s the only one not visible in any of the photos.
Round two was better. Now we can see gem! We’re a really gorgeous bunch.
gem played some Kung Fu Pando Dojo Mojo by following along with Po and punching the sensors. She was a lot better than I was! We also played a few rounds of air hockey, some trivia, and my favorite – Pac-Man Battle Royale.
I think Anela’s ready to play professional football after this. She seemed to get into it! I played a game with Anela that involved hitting lit up sensors faster than your opponent that was pretty fun. gem and I also played a DDR knock-off. I didn’t catch the names of any of those games. Edit: Thanks, YouTube! It’s called Gridiron Blitz!
After D&B’s, we headed back to gem’s to eat some macarons. We split them five ways, hence them looking all cup up and ugly here.
It’s not a birthday without “Happy Birthday” hats! Most of us even sat up for the photo…
Even some of gem’s stuffed friends joined in the celebration by wearing hats.
Speaking of hats, my gift to gem involved hats in a way. These are characters from Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back.”
Okay, this is embarrassing. “I Want My Hat Back” is a children’s book that gem and I both like. I already had voices for every character, so performing it as a stick puppet was the next logical step. You should support Klassen by purchasing it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble!
It seems to me that gem ended her twenties with a pretty terrific night.
Murphy Ranch is a compound built by Nazi-sympathizers in Los Angeles. Local police seized the compound, and it’s currently owned by the city of Los Angeles. After hearing that it was going to be demolished (I’ve since learned that only parts of it were removed), Anela and I decided to pay it a visit. Thanks for taking our photo, kind stranger.
It was definitely a bit of a hike with a lot of stairs, but it was also very enjoyable. There were a number of people out to see it, and it was fun to run into the same people throughout the day.
The building was completely covered in graffiti and very pretty.
Kitty Pryde enters the building through the wall. Either that, or I embrace mistakes.
Here’s the wall without any X-men. There were a few people spray painting while we were there. I got a few photos as well, but I’d rather not post them.
This was Anela’ favorite piece of art, which I find beautiful as well. She reminds me of tokidoki art.
This was the back wall on the outside. I like the minion.
This was, I think, a water tower behind the building. Not quite as neat as the building itself. Photo credit to Anela!
Here’s a look at the back side of the building as we returned from the water tower.
There was a ladder that went up to some catwalks that I used to take more photos. You could use it to access the roof as well, although I didn’t climb out there. I like this shot looking down at Anela. Yes, I removed a word from the wall.
Why were there metal bars on the windows? I don’t really know.
We saw this guy on the way to a second building. While I liked this, the building itself wasn’t anywhere near as cool as the first so I won’t bother posting any photos of it here.
More photos are in my Flickr album, but it doesn’t include any photos I didn’t take myself.
It was a really fun day. I should check it out again to see what’s changed!
Back in January, I visited the snow for a fun and chilly afternoon. Anela wanted to do a photoshoot in a new, purple dress she made. She invited gem to take photos, and I took a few as well. I don’t want to post many or show off the dress much. I’ll let Anela make any edits and decide when to release them, but she said I could post these. This was my favorite shot.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes of the photographer at work! gem’s so tokidoki’d in this photo. I love it.
Anela took this of gem and me. Is it too nerdy to admit that gem reminds me of a jedi?
Awkward selfie time. There were some better ones, but I thought this one was funny. There were also some far, far worse ones that I thought the girls wouldn’t appreciate being posted.
gem took this photo of Anela and me. Thanks, gem!
We’ll end the post with this derpy little snowman we found. This was only my second time seeing snow – both thanks to photoshoots of Anela. It was a fun day!
Look at this good boy! This photo was taken at the shelter over eight years ago. He looks so young in this photo. We got to enjoy his company for eight years to the day, but sadly, today he left us.
This was Sumo and Angel’s first day with us after Collin adopted them exactly eight years ago today. He wasn’t a young dog when we got him, although he certainly had the heart of a puppy!
Try as he might, Sumo was never able to bite that pesky stream of water.
Here he’s enjoying some flowers.
For Halloween this past year, Sumo dressed as a pirate… in Snapchat at least.
Back in 2010, I won a Tails doll at the OC Fair. Sumo seemed to have it out for him. He loved destroying toys and leaving the fluff everywhere. It’s been years since I’ve seen him do something like this.
He always knew how to get more pets, too. He’d roll from his side almost to his back, front legs up sort of like a begging position. We’d call it “dinosaur,” because they were like little t-rex arms. We’d rub his belly and give him pets, and he’d put his legs down. When we tried to walk away, he’d just dinosaur again, trapping us there.
I remember once there was thunder, and I was the only one home. Sumo and Angel ran upstairs to come to my room. They were pretty scared from the thunder and ran under my desk to stay near my feet. If I tried to walk around my room, they’d crowd around my feet to stay with me. I’m glad I could make you feel better, sweet boy.
Look at my tired boy taking a nap. You were always a good boy, Sumo – the best boy! I love you.