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Alethea & Athena
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22nd-Jan-2017 05:16 pm - Choir problems
It's raining, it's pouring, the...actually, as far as I know, no one is currently snoring. But it is raining really hard. We've been in a drought, so we didn't realize until a couple days ago, but apparently our apartment complex could stand to have a much better drainage system. There are massive puddles all around our unit, and we're just a little bit worried about the water seeping into our home. That's right; we are so unacquainted with the ways of rain that we're afraid it will soak through our walls. A slightly more realistic concern is the idea that it might creep as far as the front door and start to flood our living room from under it, but we've still got a ways before we need to worry about that.

And I just think of that song from Winnie the Pooh: And the rain rain rain came down down down...♪ Seems like a good day to watch that movie, but for some reason it puts us to sleep.

In other news, the choir is performing in church next week, and we got a little ambitious. We thought it would be neat to do a medley of songs for which no prearranged medley currently exists. Or at least no prearranged medley that we could find on the internet. So we got fancy arrangements of all three hymns, and yesterday I spent the afternoon with one of my first ever musical composition projects, writing transitions between each of the songs. Today we practiced it with the choir all together for the first time.

Technically, it shouldn't be anything difficult for the choir--they just need to sing the melody of the verses, straight out of the hymn book, no tricks. All the fanciness is in the piano part, which is also where the transitions were. But! there was trickiness for the choir, in that one of the songs is one that we rarely sing in church anymore, possibly because the melody goes up so high. But it's such a pretty song, and it goes so well with the theme of ward conference...

Anyway. A certain member of the choir was having a hard time hitting the notes, so he asked if I could just transpose that one song into a lower key. He's an organist himself, and he knows how to improvise and stuff, so in his mind, it's probably a simple matter of looking at the notes on the score and playing the corresponding ones in the lower key. This is not a skill that I have mastered, so for me to pull it off, we'd have to rewrite the whole song. (Technically, we'd copy the song onto a different score, but with lower notes, and we'd either have to do it by hand or with musical notation software, and past experience with that tells me it's at least as annoying as doing it by hand. Does anybody know of software that will take a PDF of sheet music and transpose it automatically?)

And of course, that would completely destroy the modulation I wrote leading into the next song. Someone suggested he sing the alto part, which is seeming more and more like a brilliant idea, but for some reason he didn't seem to pick up on it. Maybe for the same reason it never seemed to register that the song in question is in B flat and not E flat...which I think is why he kept suggesting transposing it to D (half a step down), but I'm not sure, so I'm like, "If I give him what he's asking for, there's a strong possibility that he won't actually be getting what he wants, but since I'm not in his head, how can I know for sure?" I guess the obvious answer is he wants a lower key, so just pick one.

And you may be asking yourselves, "Why does his opinion even matter?" And I'm sort of asking myself the same thing, but he's also one of our strongest singers, and he's a musical guy, so I feel like he's going to be more judgmental...or something. But he's not the only one who wasn't hitting those notes, so it seems like, if we want the choir to sound good, I really should transpose it lower. I don't know, but the whole thing is stressing me out immensely.

And the worst part of it is this arrangement isn't exactly the easiest thing to play on the piano, so it would be nice to have as much time to practice as possible, but now I have to think about transposing, which feels like it's going to be a massive time sink, and is so daunting that I just want to run away from everything and not worry about it at all...but we only have a week before the performance! Arrrrgh!

And those are only the accompanist's concerns. Athena's got a whole other set of worries as the choir director.

Today I'm thankful for having an extra Bread Day today, having a lovely chocolate cake to look forward to, not having a stampede of cats enter our apartment when Page insisted on us opening the door to prove to her that she really didn't want to go outside in this rain, having some lemon poppyseed mini muffins for breakfast in case we run out of milk before we can get to the store, and getting to watch some fun TV last night.
21st-Jan-2017 04:55 pm - We're helping!
Last night we watched The BFG. We kind of wanted to see it when it was in theaters, but we never got around to it, and then it was the featured title at the Disney Movie Club when we wanted to order DVDs anyway, so we bought it, and now we have it on Blu-ray. So we watched it last night, and...

We didn't like it that much. I actually don't think it was a bad movie. Sophie was a little upstart know-it-all, but the BFG was a great character, and for a while, the pacing was pretty good. But then the pacing wasn't good, and after that we got impatient for it to be over. But, and you may have already suspected this, the visuals were stunning.

Overall, it made me think of two things. First, why didn't everybody go to see this movie? We're always talking about how we need more strong female characters to be role models for the little girls in the audience, and the main protagonist of this story was exactly that! She had a bad habit of insisting on getting her way even when it wasn't a great idea, and of correcting people's grammar, but who doesn't have those habits, am I right? And this little girl wasn't afraid to yell at a bunch of drunk grown men because they wouldn't shut up. I guess people only go to see the movies that society has already told them to see, like Marvel movies and Star Wars. This feeds into my theory that people who don't like princess movies as role models for girls want role models for girls that the boys in their lives can approve of.

But anyway. My other thought was about how, wow, we really don't like anything these days. The other day, we were on the phone with Mom and somehow Moana got brought up and we talked about how yeah it wasn't really our thing but you know us and movies. So Mom asked how many movies we've seen in the last three years that we liked, and I was like, "Uhhh..." We liked Big Hero 6 the first time we saw it, but not so much the second time, and we liked Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: Road Chip. But we've also watched a bunch of old Disney movies that we liked, like The Three Lives of Thomasina and Big Red. I don't know what to do about it, but on the bright side, we save a lot of money on movie tickets.

As for things that we do like, something a little bit exciting happened! And it actually happened a while ago, and we would have known about it for months if we'd bothered to pick up a volume of manga and open it. But I think the first one it happened in was Fire Force 5, and we only just turned in volume four.

So, back around the time volume five came out in Japan, our editor on the series emailed us saying the Japanese publishers wanted us to translate something that was kind of tagline-ish. We're always up for random requests from Japanese publishers, so we did it! And we wondered what it was all about. Then a couple of months later, it happened again, and we still didn't know what it was about.

Well, yesterday, we got an email from our editor, who had figured out what it was about. She asked us if we'd managed to look through the future volumes of the series (five and six), and we read that and thought, "Oh no, should we have? Would that have helped answer these questions that we just bothered you with? Ooohhhh noooo, we have faaaaaiiiiled!!" But then Athena realized it was a little odd that our editor specifically told us to look at the splash pages--like, what would that have helped, seriously. So she opened up one of them and looked at the splash page, and lo and behold, there was one of the taglines we had translated! Right there, in the Japanese book, for all of Japan to read!

So that's kind of exciting. It's a little embarrassing, because we actually submitted a few different options of translations, and because we didn't communicate properly, our favorite one didn't get used, so even though, thinking about it, I don't think we had a problem with the one they did use, because it wasn't the one we thought was super ultra hyper the best, we're like, "Ooooohhhh nooooo, we have faaaaaiiiled!!" Which is why we haven't glanced at it more than once. In fact, neither of us actually read the whole thing. Maybe if we did read it, we would be like, "Oh hey, that's pretty good. Nice work, everybody!" (The embarrassment is probably also related to why we were so averse to reading manga that we ourselves translated way back when we first got started. It's a brand new way for people to enjoy(?) our work, so it's unknown and frightening.)

Anyway. When volume five comes out, then English-speaking readers will be able to see it, too, so then you can all see if it turned out okay or not.

Today I'm thankful for getting to help with the Japanese release of manga (that part's pretty darn cool, no matter how I look at it), getting to see The BFG, having reasonable facsimiles of musical transitions between the songs we want to have the choir sing all together at ward conference next week (we cobbled together our own medley!), getting to see our little bird friend again, and getting to see another cute little bird.
20th-Jan-2017 02:20 pm - Rainy day
The original plan for today was to take the day off and go to Disneyland. They're kicking off their Lunar New Year celebration, and we did not want to miss it! Fortunately, the event is lasting more than a weekend this year, because when we woke up, it was pouring down rain. We thought it may not be the ideal situation to go to Disneyland in, and indeed at lunch time, it was coming down very hard and we knew that if we had decided to go to the park, we would have been very wet and miserable by that time. On the other hand, the sun was out about an hour ago, which did make me question our decision, but that's just silly, really. They probably would have canceled all the performances for today anyway, or at least all the ones that would have happened before we decided we were miserable enough to just go home already.

Anyway, instead of going to Disneyland, we stayed home and worked, and as a result, we have now finished or fourth translation of the year, before the third week of the year has ended! Tadah! And we really haven't been pushing ourselves very hard as far as work is concerned, so that's kind of nice. Hopefully it doesn't mean we've been phoning it in. The best part about it is we finished early, so we can take advantage of this glorious rainy weather to bundle up and do rainy day activities, while there's still enough light out to tell that it's a rainy day.

And that's pretty much it for us. We haven't really been following the inauguration, except for what people have been posting on Facebook. We did get to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "America, the Beautiful," and it was a very lovely performance. I was kind of amused, because at the second half of the second verse, they did a split-screen thing where they showed the new president, and he was singing along! And it was kind of cute, I thought. And then it changed from, "America, America," to "God mend thine every flaw"...which the president did not sing. You could take that to be symbolic, but on the other hand, how many people really know more than one verse of "America, the Beautiful"? I read in a Terry Pratchett book (it was one of the ones with the witches, I think, but I don't remember which one exactly; it might have been one of the ones with the Watch) that everybody knows the second verse of any national anthem--it's "uhh uhh uhh" and a rousing version of the chorus. (That wasn't the line exactly, but you get the point.)

Anyway. I think "America, the Beautiful" was a really good choice for the choir to sing, because it's basically about how this country is beautiful, but only if we work to keep it that way. I took it as kind of a, "Nudge, nudge, remember that, Mr. President." I especially like the first half of the third verse:

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

So...I feel like I should say something poetic about my love for my country, but I'm already getting embarrassed. The point is, I do love this country, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the future. Somebody posted on Facebook a reminder that we're not crowning a king or an emperor; we're hiring a new employee and we are his boss. So let's all make sure he does a good job, and if he doesn't, he's fired.

Today I'm thankful for the glorious rainstorm we had today, finishing another translation, having a little extra free time today, America the Beautiful, and shelter from the rainstorm.
19th-Jan-2017 04:25 pm - Occupational hazards
There seems to be a rash of internet articles that post images of Japanese manga pages with English translations underneath them. ...Okay, so there have been two...that we know of. There might be more. But the point is, and maybe this is just an occupational hazard and a sign of our gigantic egos, but the problem with the ones we've seen, which we don't want to single out because it wouldn't be fair to the translators, is that the translations are not very good.

Well, the one was fairly accurate for the most part, if you're only talking about sterile information, and the other one was generally okay translation-wise, except that it seems to have mistranslation in kind of a key part of the script. And you'd think the responsible thing for us to do would be to comment, nicely, on these articles about how the translators could improve. But we're cowards (and the mistranslated one was posted a while ago, so I was like, "This article's so old, nobody cares anymore!"), so instead we come over here and talk about it in the privacy of our own LiveJournal.

And in all honesty, I cannot deny the possibility that part of my motivation in mentioning it at all is that my ability to spot the flaws in the other translators' work is proof to me that I have superior skills. Of course, I like to say that it's just that translation is a huge part of our lives, and so it interests us as a topic. And that's certainly not untrue. I haven't really thought about it much this time around. Mostly what I've thought about is how we really have been kicking around this idea to start reviewing manga translations and seeing how that goes.

So what am I doing here writing about thinking about doing it (again), instead of actually doing it? Well, today we actually have dinner plans (with the sister missionaries, assuming the plans were communicated properly), so we go back to the old excuse of not having time. But! I can at least go a step further today and tell you what we have done.

There was a time when I was actually motivated enough to track down our copies of My Heavenly Hockey Club! ...Or at least the ones that are easily located. And it turns out that our Japanese copies are fairly easily accessible, but our English copies are...somewhere? Anyway, some of you may remember that My Heavenly Hockey Club was going to be our first review, because if we're going to do this anyway, we might as well throw ourselves under the bus first.

Anyway, I did find out that both language versions of minima! volume four are within our grasp, so! if people would be interested in a translation review of that, maybe we can find some time to reread it in the near-ish future. Alternatively, our mother will be coming down for a visit very soon, and we could ask her to grab one of the English copies of My Heavenly Hockey Club that are sitting in her house.

So...it looks like this project may be moving forward, with very slow, very hesitant baby steps. At some point, we're going to have to figure out where we want to post these reviews...but I guess we might want to get some written first.

Today I'm thankful for the super cute little bird we saw while we were out getting the mail, making good progress on our edit today, having a lovely Relief Society activity last night that reminded us to look for things that make us happy, getting more rain last night, and having a visit from our mother to look forward to.
18th-Jan-2017 04:20 pm - Corpse Party Omnibus 3
It's that time again! Time for Review Rednesdays! And this week, we have everyone's very favorite series, Corpse Party! Spoiler level: pretty high, I guess.

Corpse Party Omnibus 3Collapse )

This is another week where nothing we translated is being released, so no news on that front. Tune in next week, for our review of Complex Age 3!

Today I'm thankful for a very actiony chapter of Persona Q, actually getting to go to our ward's Relief Society activity this month, finishing another chapter of Ace Attorney 6 (one day, we'll finish that game...), very cute developments in My Monster Secret, and being done changing the water filter.
17th-Jan-2017 03:42 pm - Thinky thoughts
Today's schedule turned out to be a little weird because I have an orthodontist appointment today, and I scheduled it at kind of an awkward time. So now we're all ready to go, but we have about twenty minutes, which isn't really enough time to get back to work, and also isn't enough time to watch an episode of anime. So we figure we might as well update LiveJournal.

...Not that I know what to talk about. There is one thing that's been on my mind, but it's kind of a hot button issue. There's a lot of talk going on about the inauguration, and whether or not you'd be supporting Hitler to go. ...Actually, most of what I've seen is people saying that yes, you would be supporting Hitler to go to the inauguration. This was especially big on our Facebook feed because the Mormon Tabernacle Choir agreed to sing there, and a lot of our LDS friends--both liberal and conservative--were pretty upset about it. I've thought about it a lot, and in my mind, I think performing at the inauguration, in this case, is less about honoring the new president and more about honoring our nation. But I guess that all is going to depend on what they sing.

But anyway, someone on Facebook made a point that I think is very important. He said that the inauguration isn't so much a celebration of a specific person as it is a ceremony where the new president takes the oath of office, and the public, by witnessing the ceremony, binds them to that oath. They promise to do their best to be a good president and to honor the Constitution. Attending the inauguration, then, isn't necessarily a way to say, "Hey, I think this new president is cool!" It can also be a way to say, "I'm not so sure about this guy; let's at least make sure he takes the oath of office so we can hold him to it."

...On the other hand, if he does start doing things against the Constitution, it's not like he's going to say, "Gotcha! I never took any oath!" So maybe it's kind of a moot point. But I do think that attending the inauguration isn't necessarily a sign that you like the new president.

And that's my brief thought for the day.

Today I'm thankful for making good progress on work, having plans to go to Joe's Italian Ice, having warm layers for after we've eaten water ice, not having a cat stampede when Page decided she wanted to open the door and not go outside at lunch time, and Asahi turning out not to be entirely clueless.
16th-Jan-2017 05:12 pm - Memory lane
Watching My Little Pony last night got me thinking about way back when Athena and I were in Girl Scouts. We weren't really getting along with our old troop (though thinking back on it now, maybe we could have stuck it out, but I don't remember many details, so), so we became the big sisters of our little sister's troop. And for whatever reason, we decided to put on a play!

The troop leader was from Louisiana, and back in Louisiana, she had a friend who had written a Rapunzel play for the stage. It was really cute, with the witch and the fairy godmother, and the prince who had two sidekicks. It even had songs! Like "Where Is My Prince," which is the impatient version of "Someday My Prince Will Come." You can't really blame Rapunzel for it, though; she'd been stuck in a tower all her life. Meanwhile, Snow White had stuff to do. The witch and fairy godmother were Tacky and Tinsel, respectively, and they constantly made fun of each other's fashion sense. This was also our first foray into e-textiles--we had a string of Christmas tree lights and a portable battery pack that we attached to Tinsel's costume.

Athena played the prince, because none of the ten-year-old girls wanted to play a boy, and I was the director. The main thing I remember about directing was shouting at everyone to put more energy into the performance. Even back then, I hated it when performers seemed tired.

The other thing I remember was making the sets for the enchanted forest. I don't know why Rapunzel had to take place in an enchanted forest specifically...maybe to explain how her hair got so long. But the forest was enchanted. So, with the help of the troop leader's set designer husband, we made some trees from plywood and used construction paper as leaves...or petals, as the case may be. See, when the play was first performed, because it was an enchanted forest, it was populated with giant sunflowers instead of trees, and that's how the troop leader wanted to do it. But I was the director, and I was firmly of the opinion that it was an enchanted forest, not an enchanted garden, okay? There was some discussion, which I think was ultimately resolved by finishing the trees when Athena and I were away at some church thing, and making them flowers, of course.

So we got back from...I think it was Girls' Camp...to find that our enchanted forest was now complete with three giant flowers. We examined the flowers and realized it really wouldn't be too hard to make them into trees if we just covered the centers of the flowers with more construction paper leaves. Of course, I may have been opinionated, but I wasn't one to do things without permission, so Athena and I, and one of the girls who would be playing Athena's sidekick, went to the troop leader and explained our idea. I warned the girl ahead of time that if we really wanted to make this happen, we were going to have to be willing to cut out that construction paper and glue it on ourselves, and sure enough, the troop leader, impatient with all our nagging, snapped, "Fine, but you have to do it yourselves!"

Perfect! That's just what we wanted. But the other sidekick (who was also the troop leader's daughter) liked the giant flower idea, and since it was the prince and his two sidekicks who spent all their time hiding behind specific trees, we left her tree as a flower, and Athena and the other sidekick had trees, and thus we see the beauty of compromise. Or something.

I don't really remember much about any of the performances, but I seem to remember them being a success. It was a lot of fun, anyway.

Today I'm thankful for fond memories with the Girl Scouts, finishing our Fire Force translation, getting to watch some new (to us) My Little Pony, the episode with Thorax, and stick-to-it-ivity.
15th-Jan-2017 04:32 pm - Looking back
Well, other than the usual tiredness from actually having to pull ourselves out of bed, today was not especially eventful. ...Okay, so there was choir practice, which was sort of novel, because we met on the stage instead of in the chapel, but that's about the only thing to report about that.

Anyway, we've been thinking about the trip we took to Japan last January, because it was just about a year ago. A year ago today, we were hiding in our hotel room from the reality that we were actually in Japan (and working on UQ Holder!). Of course, that's speaking only of the date and time on our calendar here in California. If you convert it to Japan time, a year ago today we were almost at the Fox Village.

And since we're thinking about it, and realizing that we never finished posting all our pictures from that trip, we figured we might as well post some more! Oh my gosh, you guys, we took so many pictures. For today's viewing pleasure, we present the second half of our trip to the Sunshine Aquarium. You can see the all here! (Since we started sharing those pictures on Shutterfly, we figure we might as well keep it up.) After that, we still have the pictures from the Bizarre Creatures exhibit, then Disneyland, DisneySea, and Otome Road. And we took so many pictures at Disneyland. It's kind of overwhelming to think about, so I'm going to just walk away right now.

Today I'm thankful for the ability to take pictures, having fun memories to look back on, finishing the book we were reading, new episodes of My Little Pony, and having plans to bake some lemon blueberry cookies.
14th-Jan-2017 05:12 pm - Fire Force love
Today has mostly been a day of escapism...although, come to think of it, it's not like we did a lot of that, either. Saturdays go by so quickly, due in large part to our usually sleeping two hours later than we do on weekdays.

But yes, escapism. It mostly came in the form of watching anime and letting ourselves be distracted by things like interviews. I don't even remember why it came up, but in the volume of Fire Force we're currently working on, Atsushi Ohkubo says something that has us really wanting to see the rumored TV spot about the English version of the manga. (For those of you wondering what I'm talking about, we've been told that they did a TV spot about the English version of the manga. That's all we know about it. We don't know when they did it, or if it's already been on TV, or what network it is/was on, or anything. Only that it exists.) So we thought, since Kodansha has a YouTube channel and everything, maybe it's up online and we can watch it. (And speaking of letting ourselves get distracted, we went to look up said channel and stopped to watch Studio C's Greek gods sketch. When it was over, I totally forgot what we were doing.)

We didn't find anything about the TV spot, but we did find Ohkubo-sensei's Twitter, so we followed it for a while, and it had a link to an interview with him and Mamoru Miyano (who played Death the Kid in Soul Eater). We may have mentioned an interview like that being in Weekly Shonen Magazine, and we tried to get our hands on it but ended up getting the issue right before the interview! But now here was either that very interview or one very much like it, so we read the whole thing! And I remember there being some things that I wanted to share on LJ, but I'm not sure what they are now. There was one part that I definitely remember, but I gotta save that one for the review of volume three or it will be a spoiler.

Okay, I think I remember some of it! The interviewer mentioned how in Soul Eater, they pretty much just kill people willy-nilly, while in Fire Force they seem to value life more. Ohkubo-sensei explained that yeah, back when he started Soul Eater, there was a lot of manga out there that was really serious about the value of life, and he was like, "Dude, you're so preachy. It's just entertainment, let's have fun with it!" Then when he started Fire Force, there was a lot of manga out there that was just killing people left and right, so he thought, "Guys, let's value life a little more." He also said that the idea for Fire Force came from his desire to come up with a new kind of zombie, and the idea that zombies on fire would be pretty scary. But since he's not a movie director and couldn't make a movie with zombies on fire, he made a manga instead. And he said he's deliberately giving it fantasy elements so that people won't be like, "Why don't you just do a live action thing?" As a fan of animation, I appreciate that kind of thinking.

Naturally there was talk about Soul Eater. We discovered that it was Takehito Koyasu (who voiced Excalibur) who wrote the Excalibur theme song, which has brought us much amusement whenever we remember it. It's hard to stay upset about something with that piece of ridiculousness going through your head. Although, I guess if you were the type to be upset by that brand of ridiculousness, it would only exacerbate the problem. Legend has it, in the episode where they use the song for the eyecatch, they didn't only play it during the eyecatch, but throughout the entire commercial break. Ohkubo-sensei admitted that that was his idea, and Miyano-kun commented that wow, when adults mess around, they can pull off some amazing things. #adultinglikeaboss

And of course, since they were talking to a voice actor, they asked him who he'd like to play in a Fire Force anime. His first answer was Shinra, and Ohkubo-sensei said the two are a lot a like in his mind. He'd also like to play the captain of Company 7, who first shows up in volume four. And Ohkubo-sensei suggested that he'd also make a good Lieutenant Hinawa. So now when you read Fire Force, you can pick one of those characters and imagine Mamoru Miyano's voice! (Arthur was also mentioned as someone he could play, because he's sort of the "Death the Kid" of Fire Force...which reminds me, Ohkubo-sensei did say that Company 8 was like a family, with Captain Obi as the father, Hinawa as the mother, Maki as the big sister, Iris as the little sister, and Arthur...as the pet. There was a reason he needed to be the pet, but I don't remember what it was. Miyano-kun commented that he'd make a good watchdog.)

And there you have it for our report of that interview. The rest of our escapism involved watching Fuuka on Crunchyroll. We decided we need to be up on all the Kodansha anime, since for two years in a row now, there's been a Kodansha manga artist at Anime Expo, and both times it was one who had their work animated. So we also need to watch Interviews with Monster Girls, and find out what all else is out there. They seem to mostly animate stuff we're not translating. What's up with that?

Today I'm thankful for finding that Fire Force interview, having more fancy new cookie dough to try (lemon blueberry!), getting to watch some new anime (we still need to finish the second season of Bungo Stray Dogs...), the Studio C Greek gods sketch, and the Excalibur song.
13th-Jan-2017 05:16 pm - Awkward
Back when we were heading up north to visit family for Christmas, our bus arrived at the train station early, and our train was running late. So we had a lot of time to sit and hang out while we waited to continue our journey. Meanwhile, other buses were still arriving, so people were constantly coming into the station. As we sat there in our matching jackets, one woman came into the station, noticed us, and smiled. Pleased, I commented to Athena about how we can make people happier just by being around. And Athena responded, "Yeah, until one of us opens her mouth."

The truth of her statement was illustrated a little while later, after the train arrived. The station attendants had told us repeatedly over the PA system that when the train got there, we would have to wait for all the passengers to get off, then give them about fifteen minutes to clean the train before they let us on. Nevertheless, there had been a mass exodus from the station, and it was making us a little eager to get close to the train, too. So we went outside, looked around, and found a place we figured it would be okay to stand around without bothering anybody. As we made our way over there, I said, "We'll just go stand over here, out of the way."

The problem is I paused before I said, "Out of the way," so it didn't sound like it was part of another thought when it came out. And one of the station attendants, who happened to be passing by right at the moment of the pause, apologized and quickened her pace. But I wasn't telling her to get out of the way--I was talking about how I wanted to make sure I was out of the way. And thus we see my penchant for accidentally acting extremely entitled and very much a whatever -ist you can think of. I am the queen of unintentional microaggressions.

Let me refer you to example number 2. We were at the grocery store. I don't remember if it was an especially crowded day or not, but the point is, we were following our usual route through the store and turned to go into an aisle. I saw a family in the aisle and turned around, saying, "We'll just go to a different aisle." We don't like shopping in aisles with other people in them. Call it an introvert thing, call it a personal space thing, call it shyness, call it whatever you want, but generally if there's even one other person in an aisle at the grocery store, we prefer to wait for them to finish and come back later, so none of us will get in each other's way. But I really should have not said anything as we left, because I realized after I said it that the family was black. I can promise you up and down that I would have had the same reaction if it was a bunch of white people, but they don't know that. All I can do is hope they didn't hear me, or hope that if they did it didn't ruin their day. Maybe they have similar personal space issues, and so understood the real reason I said what I did.

Of course, there are other times when I think it would really count as not just a microagression, but a downright insult. Observe example number 3.

We'd just finished another day at Disneyland with Gaston, and for whatever reason we decided to walk all the way back to the parking lot instead of taking the tram. (It probably had something to do with crowds.) For whatever other reason, we were talking about going slow. This may also have had something to do with the crowds. But Athena said, "At least it's not as slow as our little sister walking home from school." I remembered the absolute frustration we had, when we'd be like a whole block ahead of her and we'd have to stop and wait, and I replied, "Oh my GOSH can anything be so SLOW!" Then we went on to talk about other people who have had a tendency to walk slower than a snail.

And our good, kind friend Gaston waited until we were away from a certain group of people to inform us, "I think that person in the wheelchair thought you were talking about them." Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Thanks for telling us when we could have apologized, Gaston! I totally didn't even see them. I have no idea what this person looked like or how many people were in their group or anything--their existence didn't even register in my mind. ...Of course, that could be considered rude for other reasons, but generally when you're surrounded by a crowd of people, you're not going to notice every single person around you. It's like the "how many waitresses" question in Noragami.

So I guess the moral of the story is to be more aware of the people around you. And also to be forgiving of people when they say stupid stuff...is my humble plea.

Today I'm thankful for my Chip blanket, realizing last night that we weren't out of chocolate after all, the mini Kit-Kats we bought several weeks ago, progress picking up on today's Fire Force edit, and not living in an area with face-eating parasites.
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