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Alethea & Athena
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18th-Oct-2016 01:56 pm - Devil Survivor volume 7
Oh man, it's so nice to work on a fluffy non-talkative shoujo manga after the walls of text in In/Spectre that require a trip to the dictionary at least once per sentence... It's not even two o'clock and we already finished our first draft! And we even set the alarm for twenty minutes later this morning, and had cat shenanigans at breakfast and lunch.

This is especially helpful because we have plans to go to Mickey's Halloween Party tomorrow, which means there's no telling when our regular schedule will be swapped out for our visit from Gaston schedule, and we have some things we need to take care of before the party. Things including posting a review! We're pretty sure we'll be unavailable all day tomorrow, so we're going to go ahead and go with a Reviewsday this week instead of a Review Rednesday. Up next on our list is Devil Survivor, my old friend. It once dominated our lives, but now we haven't seen it in months. Time for a trip down memory lane... (she says, as if that's not what all these reviews are.) Spoiler level: high.

Devil Survivor volume 7Collapse )

And there you have it. Just one more volume to go in this series.

Today I'm thankful for nice relaxing shoujo manga to work on, finishing work early today, getting to go to Mickey's Halloween Party, still having adorable fox plushies to sit on the desk while we work on Wolf-Boy, and singing in harmony.
17th-Oct-2016 05:34 pm - On the roof
I feel brain-drained... We just finished volume two of In/Spectre, and boy howdy, that series has a lot of words. Even the final read-through took a lot of energy...but that might just be because we're already tired. When will we ever recover from last week? The answer: probably not this week.

Anyway. Last night I had a fun surprise when I walked outside to open the patio gate for Page. I glanced up to the eaves of the roof and saw one of the neighbor kittens looking down at me! It was the cutest thing ever! And then it got even cuter, because when I turned around, I saw another one of the neighbor kittens also on the roof looking down at me. Then I was all happy because of the cuteness until I thought, "Oh, no, what if they can't get down!?"

Meanwhile, now that the front door was open, all the cats wanted to go through it. Page went outside, Bamboo came inside, the littlest kitten came inside followed by his mom. Eventually, one of the kittens who had been on the roof came inside, which helped us feel better about that situation...until time passed and we still saw no sign of the first roof kitten, Tangles, who is also the second most bold about coming inside our apartment. That was the really weird thing; the second roof kitten is usually the one who's like, "Nah, I'll stay out here, thanks."

Now I was starting to get worried, especially since enough time was passing that all the neighbor cats had lost interest in being in our apartment anymore. I went outside to check on Tangles, and sure enough, there she was, still on the roof. She decided to hang out by the chimney, and she looked rather stately, pretending she meant to be there all along. But when I walked by, she followed me, with a look in her eyes that seemed to say, "Are you going to help me now?"

So we went inside and retrieved a chair. It wasn't a very high chair, so I could just barely reach up high enough that my fingers were above the roof. The idea was that if I held my hands next to the roof, maybe she would come up to them, and then I could grab her and safely bring her down to the ground. She wasn't interested in this plan, and remained steadfastly at her post by the chimney. We piqued her interest by rubbing catnip on my hands, but she was determined that that was not how things were going to go down.

At this point, we did consider calling the fire department as per the cliche, but we'd actually just called the fire department the night before, because a smoke alarm had gone off in one of the vacant apartments nearby and since it wasn't turning off I figured better safe than sorry. I've been in an apartment complex that caught fire before, and I wasn't interested in a repeat of that.

We also considered letting Tangles stay on the roof all night, and then, if the long hours weren't enough to motivate her to take her life into her own paws and jump like her sister did, we could figure things out in the daytime. But the forecast was predicting a 50% chance of rain, and we weren't too keen on the idea of leaving her defenseless on the roof, which could also get slippery and cause her to fall and seriously hurt herself.

But Athena noticed, when I went inside to wash roof bits off my hands, that when the chair had been abandoned, the kitten investigated it (from her vantage point on the roof) to see if it was a viable landing pad. She determined it was not, but that gave Athena an idea! There are bushes beside our apartment, which may or may not be how the other kitten got down, and maybe if we could make their surface more solid, Tangles would be willing to jump onto it. So we found some fabric that I probably am not going to use for anything (in case it had to be left there overnight in the rain, or possibly to be stolen or taken by groundskeepers), and laid it over the bush, then we came back inside so she wouldn't have an audience.

Several minutes later, I just had to check. So I went outside, and the fabric seemed completely undisturbed. Well darn it. But the cat wasn't at her post by the chimney anymore... Hmmm... I turned around to go back inside, and there was Tangles! She made it down! Yay!!! And it ended up raining (relatively) a lot last night, so boy are we glad she was on the ground. We don't know if she jumped on the fabric or if she found another way down, but the important thing is that she's okay.

Today I'm thankful for Tangles making it safely down from the roof, finishing our In/Spectre translation on time, Page finding a super cute snuggly place to hang out today, having a bag of Reese Sticks bites, and all the rain we got last night and this morning.
15th-Oct-2016 02:36 pm - Whoosh!
kid flash
Yesterday got swallowed up in busyness again. We have a translation due on Monday that we were behind schedule on, and fortunately the edit was going well enough that we were almost back on schedule...by the time we had to leave for an orthodontist appointment. After the orthodontist, since we were out and about anyway, and since we'd been seeing Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree on Netflix, we thought, "What!? There's a new Equestria Girls!? We need to get to Target and buy the DVD!", and went to Target to do just that.

Well, for whatever reason, there was no sign of any Equestria Girls DVDs at Target. We spent probably an much too long looking at all the DVDs to make sure it really wasn't there, which meant we did discover the Blu-ray for the Final Fantasy XV movie. I figured that since we were there to buy a movie, and that movie wasn't there, we might as well buy another movie, and it's Final Fantasy, so we bought it. I don't know if we'll like it, but I'm sure the visuals will be stunning either way.

After that, we were determined to stop by Joe's Italian Ice, because Halloween season, as far as I know, is the only time you can get the monster mash flavor, which is the best flavor of all time. Nevertheless, they don't have it every day during Halloween season, so our hopes for that were disappointed yesterday. But they did have some other good flavors, including peach fusion, which is peach and like a million other things (the employee listed them, but the list was so long I stopped registering it in my memory after about two fruits; there was mango and kiwi and other tropical things I think) and pink pixie, which also had more ingredients than I remember, but it was strawberry and a little lemon and maybe some kiwi and also soft serve ice cream. It smelled like red Skittles.

We finished our water ice and then rushed home so we could order a pizza in time to serve it to the sister missionaries when they arrived for dinner. Naturally, while we waited for pizza and guests, we tidied up.

We had a lovely dinner with the sister missionaries, and since it's a new set since the last time we had missionaries over for dinner, we got to give them our whole spiel about how Disney princesses are way better role models than the detractors give them credit for. Right now, their focus is on creating unity within the ward, so they're encouraging everyone to think of someone in the ward that they can do service for. Normally this would have us freaking out because we're so afraid of approaching people, but fortunately we've been thinking about how we really need to get on the ball with our visiting teaching anyway. We're going to write letters to the sisters we've been assigned, even though one of them lives in our complex (eh heh heh...), because who doesn't love getting fun things in the mail? Also we have a ton of cute stationery right now.

After all that, we got back to work so we could feel better about not working today, and now we are thoroughly exhausted, so I think we're going to open our Tokyo Treat box and then crash or something.

Today I'm thankful for managing to get everything done yesterday, having a lovely dinner with the sister missionaries, getting to have Joe's Italian Ice, being back on schedule with that translation, and all the chocolate we bought on sale at Target yesterday.
Thanks to forgetting to set the alarm, we slept an hour late this morning and I think it's done wonders for helping us recover from our Disneyland trip. Whenever I say it like that, it sounds like it's Disneyland that wears us out, but it's not, it's the fact that we never get enough sleep when Disneyland is involved, especially when we want to eat breakfast at the Pancake House but still get to the park by the time it opens at eight.

Now, eight seems like an odd time for the park to be opening in mid-October, since the park never opens earlier than eight, and it usually only opens at eight on the most crowded days, and October tends to be part of the slightly less on season. But when we went to Disneyland on Tuesday, we got there after the time the crowds start to pick up...and we were still surprised by how crowded it was. The line to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was an hour long! And there was another line just to get fastpasses! I mean, I'll be the first to say that the crowds are getting out of hand these days, but this was just ridiculous. According to Farley, who likes to ask guests where their from, most of the crowds were the result of Arizona having a "fall break" this week. Apparently the whole state figured that would be a good time to cross the state line and go to Disneyland.

So we all decided we didn't want to deal with it anymore, and we fled. Our original plan was to flee to California Adventure, but Farley told us that while Disneyland was at 80% capacity, California Adventure was at 88%. It was madness! So we gave up on that idea and decided to hang out in Downtown Disney for a while, partly because we didn't want to leave the fun entirely and partly because there was food there. We got some pretzels at Wetzel's, and then we realized that oh yeah, they recently opened a hat shop. We were about to go check it out when we noticed a bunch of people crowding (but it wasn't nearly (not nearly) as big a crowd as the ones inside the parks) around what turned out to be a magician.

He was about to do his last trick of the set, and he was a mostly silent magician, so he held up a sign asking for a $100 dollar bill. The other side of the sign promised it would be returned. Nobody gave him one (of course), so he asked for a $50 instead. I think there might have been a taker on that one, but the magician politely declined and pulled out a sign asking for a $20. When he finally got the bill, he called up a kid from the audience and asked him to write his name on the money. I think that's illegal, but I don't know. Anyway, the magician then folded up the money and put it in a tiny envelope. Then he took out another tiny envelope and he switched the envelopes around and around and asked the kid to guess which envelope had the money. The kid guessed, so the magician took the other envelope and put it through a portable shredder. Then he opened the other envelope...and it was empty. Well, hm.

So the magician was going to fix it and he and the kid made some hand gestures and banged on a little table like it was a drum, and there was a covered platter on the table that they banged on, and the magician opened it up and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He unfolded it to find...an IOU! Oh no!

Something had gone wrong with the trick. A robotic voice came on over the speakers and introduced herself as Gerry, I think, and said she was a magic assistant and was going to figure out what went wrong so the magician could fix it. This would require two adult volunteers, and when the magician pulled some people onto his makeshift stage (it was a rope on the ground marking the stage from the regular ground), she informed the magician that the first volunteer liked sunsets and walks on the beach, and the second volunteer was angry to have been pulled onstage and was contemplating ways to hurt the magician when it was all over. But she had figured out that they needed to do an ancient magic dance in order to fix the trick. So they did some silly moves that ended with doing the Robot, and then she said that that actually had nothing to do with the trick; she just wanted to see if they'd do it. And now she'd figured out what went wrong, so I guess she went into "magicians only" mode and the magician continued the trick.

He pulled out the IOU and continued to unfold it, revealing the completed message, "I O U a snack." So he called the kid back up from the audience, then got out a little box. Inside the box was an orange. The magician cut the orange open...and there was some money inside! He let the kid unfold the bill to reveal that it was the very same $20 bill that the kid had written his name on before. Tadah!

So that was pretty entertaining, and then we went to look at hats. This store was pretty cool; it had hats for everyone! It had baseball caps and fedoras and all kinds of ladies hats and hats with cat ears and top hats and fascinators and steampunk hats and hats like the ones Minnie wears on Buena Vista Street and caps with rhinestone American flags. Seriously, something for everybody. It almost makes us want to get into hats, but it also made us realize that hats are expensive.

Anyway, after all that, we went home and watched Waking Sleeping Beauty.

The next day, we tried Disneyland again, but because most of the crowds were from out of town, and not locals with annual passports, the early morning thing wasn't quite as effective as usual (although maybe I shouldn't blame the out of towners; I saw plenty of AP holders, too). But the only reason I even bring it up is that we had the oddest experience on Pirates of the Caribbean. It had been broken down earlier in the day, but it was up and running again when we got off the Haunted Mansion, so we went on it! We had a rather pedantic discussion about the alligator/crocodile in the swamp at the beginning, and whether it was an alligator or a crocodile and stuff like that, and that's why we didn't notice anything to be amiss until we got to the talking skull before the ride starts in earnest.

The problem was the skull wasn't talking. His mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out! Gaston said he was trying to read his lips, and we started doing a Lassie sort of thing: "I think he's trying to tell us something! What is it, boy?"

Then we went down the drop and Gaston was the first to point out that hey, wasn't there supposed to be singing at this point? Clearly something was wrong with the audio. So we decided to make up for the loss, and tried to say all the lines and stuff, which is how we realized that we don't have the ride memorized word-for-word. (Actually, I already knew that.) We thought we could manage when they were trying to drown the mayor for information, because those lines really stand out, and I was looking forward to trying my hand at the auction, but it was right around then that they fixed the problem and all the sound came on all at once. It was a striking difference, and it really emphasized just how much is going on in that ride audio-wise as well as visually. That Walt Disney, he was all about the detail. It was fascinating going through without the sound, though. Maybe a little eerie.

When we got back to the unloading area, Gaston asked if we could go again because of the sound issue, and the cast member asked the rest of the boat, "Do you all want to go again?" and the people behind us had also seemed perturbed by the lack of sound, so they said yes, so we all went again, and that was especially nice because by then the line had gotten a lot longer.

It is a mystery, though. Why would that kind of thing happen?

After that, we used our fastpasses for Space Mountain, and then we fled the madness once more. Gaston went home, and we got back to work.

Today I'm thankful for the fascinating experience of getting to go on Pirates of the Caribbean without the sound, managing to finish our work today without working overtime (the book finally got actiony! yay!), the monster mash flavor being back at Joe's Italian Ice, having a store full of neat hats, and Page once again being adorable.
12th-Oct-2016 07:19 pm - Your Lie in April volume 9
The last couple of days have really reinforced in my mind the importance of getting enough sleep. Maybe someday that will be a real possibility...

Anyway, it's Review Rednesday! Tadah! And in honor of today's review, we wore our special Your Lie in April shirts to Disneyland! And I didn't even remember that I was going to post a Your Lie in April review today! Here's our thoughts on volume nine. Spoiler level: I don't even know. We'll go with moderate.

Your Lie in April volume 9Collapse )

Today I'm thankful for sleep, having a lovely time hanging out with Gaston, getting to go to the Pancake House for breakfast, making at least some progress on work today, and having Milanos to help us survive the exhaustion.
11th-Oct-2016 10:01 am - Checking in
We hadn't intended to disappear; we've just been really busy. On Sunday, we had the regular Sunday stuff plus we had agreed to do the music for the priesthood preview that night, which was not only awesome for the meeting itself but for the sundaes served afterward. We each had two.

In retrospect, we could have updated after the event, because Gaston called asking if he could stay the night at our place before continuing on to San Diego, but we chose to read manga instead. I mean, it was Skip Beat! and Alive; how could we resist?

Then Gaston showed up after midnight and instead of doing the smart thing and going to sleep, we stayed up talking. We did manage to get to sleep before four. So of course we ended up sleeping late yesterday, which meant working all day to finish our translation on schedule. We still have to go over it one more time, but it's not due until Friday, and the third read-through usually goes pretty fast.

And today we should be working on our next assignment, but plans have changed and now we'll be going to Disneyland, which is why I'm updating now instead of later in the day. We just figured we should probably check in to let people know why we haven't posted in the last couple of days. And there you have it, tadah!

Today I'm thankful for getting to talk with friends, the super cute manga we were working on yesterday, getting to go to Disneyland, having our Halloween Danny plushes on our pin lanyards, and getting to wear our shiny DisneySea t-shirts.
8th-Oct-2016 04:20 pm - Still trucking
The initial shock of yesterday's news has worn off, and now I think we're feeling pretty optimistic about everything. We're also very sleepy, for unrelated reasons (like, we haven't been getting enough sleep for the last week and we stayed up late last night), which can sometimes lead to, "Is it an unreasonable amount of fatigue? Is there something wrong!? Oh no!!" But it really is not an unreasonable amount of fatigue.

See, since we had so much time last night, we figured it would be a good time to watch Zootopia. I might have actually liked it if I weren't currently biased against Disney movies, except for the enormous plot hole which I probably shouldn't go into right now because I don't want to put it behind an LJ cut. There's also the fact that Hopps and Wilde are basically animal versions of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, which isn't necessarily a problem, but does emphasize the idea that Disney is not super original these days. It was kind of fun--whenever a new scene started, we were able to quote the same scene from Tangled. That miiiiiight be an exaggeration, because we only did it once, but I think that's only because that was where it had been going on long enough that it started to come more automatically. Anyway, it did have some cute jokes and interesting story points, so I have to give it some credit.

Nevertheless, our bias had us annoyed at the end (that and the oddly slow credits), so we wanted to watch some anime even though it was already past our bedtime. And then I wanted to see if "How It Should Have Ended" had made a Zootopia video yet. It hadn't, but of course we inevitably stumbled across several of their videos that we hadn't seen yet, so we had to watch those, and that's why we were up too late. But oh man, the Age of Ultron one was so true. (Here, check it out!)

And now today we have a bunch of stuff to do and we're sort of on top of it and sort of stalling. I think we're mostly just down to writing our talks for the Primary Program, which of course is the least appealing activity and why we saved it for last. But if we stop slacking, we can do more fun stuff later, so I guess we should get to work.

Today I'm thankful for How It Should Have Ended (by the way, if you haven't seen the Frozen one, I would definitely recommend it), ice cream being on sale, finally putting that contract in the mail that we kept forgetting about, chocolate milk, and the idea of being done writing talks fairly soon.
7th-Oct-2016 04:10 pm - Stuff
Today is a bit of a mixed feelings sort of day, I guess. Dad called this morning and asked about our trip to Japan, and we talked about translating poetry and all the double meaning there is in stuff (he's been reading books about the poetry in the Bible), and it was all nice and happy until he got to the part about why he really called, which was that his doctor told him to tell his family members that they should start getting colonoscopies early because now there's a history in their family for colon cancer. I'm not sure if I should say it was brilliantly played or what, because basically what this delivery did was make me not worry about him quite so much because the first part already had me freaking out about my own health. But I don't know if he was going for a, "Don't worry about me," sort of thing or not. Maybe he was, based on the fact that later in the conversation he said he was just sorry to saddle us with the prospect of colonoscopies.

There was another reason I wasn't too worried about it either, and I think it's because last year at the ward Halloween party, we asked a lady in our ward how she was doing, and she was talking about everything that was going on in her life, and she was like, "Oh, and I have cancer, so I have to go get treated for that," like it was just another annoying thing on her list of chores. A year later, she doesn't seem any worse for the wear, so it put this idea in my head that maybe cancer's not that scary after all. On the other hand, he didn't tell us how far along it was or anything, all he said was that he gets tired more easily.

And basically I just don't know what I feel about the whole thing. Mainly I think about how scared I would be if I were in his position, and I think that's what makes it the hardest. And then I remind myself that he's read up a lot on near death experiences, so maybe he's not as scared as I would be. But that's just another can of worms I don't want to worry about, and so the whole thing goes in circles again.

As for the worst case scenario...well, thinking about that (in the case of Dad in particular) involves confronting a lot of issues that I don't feel like I have the time to confront. But I do believe that death is not the end, so if the worst does happen, it will be sad, but I believe everything will be happy again. And in the meantime, we hope for the best.

On a happier note, one of the reasons I haven't had time to process all this is that we've had to keep working. But! the book we worked on was really easy and we finished our first draft really fast, even though it's for Seven Seas so it was the annoying format, so now we can have a nice relaxing evening. I think the first order of business is reading manga.

Today I'm thankful for the plan of salvation, getting to work on a fun new series, said series not being too chatty, having time for a relaxing evening, and having a lovely chat with Dad on the phone.
6th-Oct-2016 08:16 pm - The feline invasion
I dream of a day when work ends at a normal time, and we can do other things in our day... Actually, we did get to do something else today! We got to herd cats!

See, yesterday was pretty chilly, so Page spent most of it snuggled up in various warm places inside the apartment, but then at about bedtime, she decided she wanted to go outside. Athena wasn't too keen on that and ignored her pleas, partly because she was in the other room anyway, and partly because she didn't want to deal with another accidental overnight visitor. Page protested in her usual way, and we decided not to reward her bad behavior, so she didn't get to go outside last night.

She did not forget this morning, though, and so she asked us to open the door. We didn't want to deprive her forever, so we went ahead and let her outside, and of course all the neighborhood cats took advantage. It was kind of cute, actually. Sometimes other people would walk by outside, and the neighbor kittens, who are usually stuck outside anyway so I have to wonder why it even bothers them, would dash back inside to hide. So it's nice to know that the cats are less afraid of us than other people (although I'm sure if the kittens got to know those people like they gradually got to know us, they wouldn't be afraid of them, either).

The cutest part was that the little beige kitten has gotten bolder about exploring our apartment, and sometimes his mom comes to hang out with him, so this time she came in and explored with him. It was sweet.

In the meantime, we had a ton of work to do, so we pretty much just let them have the run of the apartment until we could no longer stand the idea of so many cats running around our space unsupervised. Especially because we didn't want the older toms coming around and trying anything funny. And we couldn't police the situation and work. So we would try to herd the cats outside. And then Page would go outside with them. So then Bamboo would come back inside, because if the door's going to be open, she wants to hang out in here. And if Bamboo is inside hanging out, then Tangles and the little beige cat want to come in, too. They even convinced the shyest of the striped litter to come in with them. And then Page would finally come back inside, so we'd try to shoo everybody back out again and the whole cycle repeated itself until we really got fed up.

But they sure are cute.

Today I'm thankful for finishing our work despite cat herding, Page being all cute and curled up on the Hide-a-Mat, salted caramel Milanos to help boost morale, getting to see all the kitties, and managing to get all the kitties back outside.
5th-Oct-2016 05:30 pm - Corpse Party Omnibus 2
We definitely got off to a better start today than yesterday, but man editing can be hard. Or maybe I should call it "revisions," since that's what I just found out they call it in the novel-writing world. But maybe it's different, because we still need everything to say basically the same thing; we don't get to make drastic cuts or add scenes or anything. But the important thing is that we found out because our sister wrote a book, and she managed to successfully get an agent for it, so it's going to be published! And what little we know about it makes it sound like a pretty cool story. Anyway, if you want to read more about that, her blog is over here!

In other news, it's Review Rednesday! And that means a review! Up this week, Corpse Party! Spoiler level: this is the one where I realize that not many of our readers are going to be familiar with the series, so I pretty much tell everything that happened.

Corpse Party Omnibus 2Collapse )

Wow, reading that reminds me that by the time the series ends, there are still a bunch of unanswered questions! Dun dun DUN!

Today I'm thankful for meeting our quota for work today, having alternatives to our usual lunch (we usually have grilled cheese sandwiches, but I forgot to put out butter to soften and using the microwave makes it all weird), getting to see Page snuggled up in one of her boxes, Page not asking to go outside so far today, and making progress on Project: Defrost the Freezer.
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