Out of batteries

The tiredness is really getting to us. It's just after six, and we're thinking it might be bedtime. We performed with the choir today, and practiced with the choir and the Spanish speaking group after church, too, and I really felt like I was struggling to keep up more than I would if I were properly (or at least better) rested.

After church, we went to another baptism. It was really nice. A recent convert got to baptize his kids. I'm glad we got to go. But dang, as soon as they said "amen" in the closing prayer, my energy was completely gone. We had an early dinner when we got home, and now we're ready to hit the hay. But we're also chatting online, so we'll see if that really happens.

Today I'm thankful for the choir performing rather nicely, some people actually sticking around for the other song practices, getting to go to another lovely baptism, emotional support, and the realization that in a week the Christmas program will be over.
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Today we refused to let the overwhelmingness of our schedule overwhelm us! We played Pokemon anyway! I think my iPad has helped me identify what's going on. The power got low, so I would plug it in, but then I'd need to get it away from the wall, so I'd unplug it even though it hadn't fully charged, which of course meant I needed to plug it in again that much sooner, but then I needed it again and it still wasn't fully charged, so when I was done, I plugged it back in only I didn't do it right so it didn't actually charge, and it just keeps getting tired that much sooner. And all of that kind of thing is the kind of thing that's been going on with us and work. We need to stop and recharge, but we don't have enough time to recharge fully, so we have to plug in again that much sooner. And it just makes everything more tiring.

But anyway. Our ward has been having a ton of baptisms lately! And Athena and I have been blessed with the opportunity to help with the music for all of them! Today was extra special because it was all in Spanish. We went to a mostly Spanish baptism a little while ago, but this one only had English when people were chatting before and after. It was kind of a neat experience, but also it meant we didn't understand most of what was going on. I mean, there are some words in Spanish that sound similar enough to English that we can pick stuff up here and there, and talks at baptisms are pretty much all the same, so we were able to get the gist of everything. But most importantly, we could still understand the emotions that went with the words. We could tell that both of the speakers had really strong testimonies. And the best part was how happy the person getting baptized was. It was really nice. And then there were Bagel Bites!

And now we need to go to sleep, because I'm already falling there! And we have to get to church early tomorrow for choir practice!

Today I'm thankful for managing to get everything done that we needed to do (we maybe should have done more work, but we also should have rested, so), getting to play Pokemon, getting to take part in another beautiful baptism, not getting rained on, and Bagel Bites.

So much Disneyland

We're back! I think I mentioned we had plans to go to Disneyland yesterday? Maybe I didn't but that's where we were. It was kind of tiring, actually. ...Actually, that's not a surprise, because it's always tiring these days, but this time it was maybe a little moreso. The plan was to meet up with a friend of Gaston's and her husband, first to have lunch at the Trattoria. Our recent (and seemingly constant) wanderings around the park in search of The Perfect Meal (I guess) have brought it to our attention that there are experiences at Disneyland that we haven't experienced--namely, restaurants. Well, we can't do restaurants without Gaston, because restaurants are our weakness (hence our not having yet experienced them).

So we had a lunch reservation at the Trattoria, and it's an Italian place, so we didn't even have to order off-menu! ...which is good, because I'm not sure if we can get away with that anywhere outside the super super fancy places. Anyway, we had chicken Parmesan. It was good. Gaston had linguine with clams. The significance of this is that, while he was enjoying his pasta, he crunched on something so hard he was afraid he might have broken a tooth. (We still don't know if he really did or not.)

So he told our server about it, and she told the chef about it, and by way of compensation, the chef gave us tickets for the preferred viewing area of World of Color! Tadah! ...We actually had been hoping to use the fact that Gaston's friends were there to say, "Ya know, we've seen this already; we'll just go save us all a spot for the fireworks at Disneyland while y'all enjoy the show." But this changed everything. Fortunately, it was for the later World of Color show, because I really like the holiday fireworks at Disneyland, so we got to see both! And we learned that World of Color really is designed to look great from just the right angle...which you can't really watch it from unless you get preferred viewing...which costs $50 per person unless one of you breaks a tooth. And the thought that you can't see the show the way it's meant to be seen unless you shell out the big bucks kind of bums me out.

Oh! we also had some really tasty panna cotta, which was a little disappointing because the server called it "chocolate" panna cotta, but it's at least half caramel. I feel like the people at Disneyland right now are afraid to commit to chocolate. All their chocolate stuff either has peppermint, something that's either cream cheese or sour cream, or some other flavor that's not chocolate. I think they even stopped selling the brownies at Starbucks.

It reminds us of a couple of times when we ordered the double chocolate bread pudding from Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, and they ask if we want ice cream on it, and we're like, "I dunno..." and they're like, "I think you'll want it there to cut the chocolate," and then we get the ice cream, and it's good ice cream, so there's no regrets, but the bread pudding itself is far from chocolaty enough (for our palates) to require cutting. We always (two out of two times) finish the bread pudding and then take a spoon to the leftover chocolate sauce that came with it because we haven't had enough chocolate. So next time we go to the Jazz Kitchen, I want to order the double chocolate bread pudding, and if I can't get it with chocolate ice cream, order an extra side of chocolate sauce, just so we can be like, "Look, some people want a lot of chocolate."

But anyway, once I got over my disappointed expectations and decided to enjoy the dessert for what it was, I found it to be quite delicious.

Other than that, the day mostly consisted of the usual aimless wandering, only we went on more rides because there were people with us who don't get to go all the time. And we ran into a security guard who was totally white but had a nametag claiming he was from Japan and could speak Japanese, so we asked him about it and started a conversation. We talked about a bunch of stuff, he showed us his inkan seal, we confessed we still haven't seen Your Name. He kept throwing out slang to see if we knew it, and of course we did, and since we'd already told them we're manga translators, his partner was like, "Dude, it's their job," and I was like, "I'm glad somebody understands." (On the other hand, I'm also glad that people understand that just because I'm a translator doesn't mean I automatically know every Japanese word.)

Then today we slept in and tried in vain to catch up on work. And now we are tired and braindead, but still very busy. And we really want to go to Disneyland on Monday to take care of some things, and I feel like it's a bad idea, but I really want to. We have to get a Christmas gift for Celeste, after all. And we still need to take pictures of Snow White's Scary Adventure.

Today I'm thankful for at least catching up a little bit on work, getting to watch a pretty cool episode of Fire Force, getting to try a new restaurant at California Adventure, getting preferred viewing for World of Color (incidentally, the $50 viewing (okay, to be fair it also comes with a meal) does not come with seats), and getting to sleep in (again) tomorrow.

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight volume 10

The good news is we got one of our deadlines moved back to January. The bad news is that that prompted us to look at our January schedule, and it's kind of really packed. Sigh. I'm sure we'll survive. But in the meantime, it's Review Rednesday! So here's our review of Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight 10! Spoilers ahead!

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Aww, what a cute series. This was one of this week's new releases, so tadah! We also have the 19th and final volume of Missions of Love, so tune in for our review of that next week! Our list says we also have a volume of AICO Incarnation out today...and we haven't written a review of it. And next week they'll be releasing a volume of Saint Young Men that we...started to write a review of while we were waiting for something, but then the thing happened (was Gaston coming over? I don't remember), and I only had like a sentence or two written, so I don't know if I saved it. It's really getting to the wire--we must decide whether or not to declare review bankruptcy. ...But not for another few weeks, because in two weeks is Christmas and we'll be out of town! So we'll see. I think it mostly depends on whether or not work crushes us.

Today I'm thankful for meeting our work quota for the day, getting a nice intense workout on Ring Fit Adventure, having plans to try another restaurant at California Adventure tomorrow, having a brilliant plan to help morale not be destroyed while editing Sailor Moon, and having a deadline get pushed back.

The Miraculous Sailor Moon

I don't remember if it was last night or two nights ago that my mind was wandering and it hit upon the realization that Adrien (like from Miraculous) is an anagram of Darien (like the DiC dub name of Tuxedo Mask). We've known all along that there was a method to at least some of the names in Miraculous (Marinette is a variant of Mary, and ladybugs are associated with the Virgin Mary, for example; Chloe Bourgeois's last name should be obvious), and we'd been wondering where they got the name Adrien (we read somewhere that in the early stages, there was a character named Felix (after the cat, we imagine) who would have been the black cat character). With all of his fanboy's shouts of "Adrian!" we thought maybe one of the creators was just a really big fan of Rocky. But the connection between Adrien and Darien has us wondering now...although we're pretty sure Tuxedo Mask's secret identity was not named Darien in the French version.

This theory is supported by our current work on the final arc of the Sailor Moon manga, where we discover that Galaxia wants to combine her crystal of ultimate destruction with Sailor Moon's crystal of ultimate rebirth (or creation), and we were like, "Hey, just like the Miraculouses!" And of course it doesn't take much Miraculous viewing to think the creators were probably fans of Sailor Moon (the French voice of Marinette is even the French dub voice of Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal).

But we don't know. It's not even that important, because both serieses are super great whether they're related or not (like Tomokazu Seki and Toshihiko Seki). But since we are working on Sailor Moon right now, and we're just as obsessed with Miraculous as ever, it makes us happy to make connections between the two series, whether the creators intended them or not.

We think there's a good chance we'll have to wait until February for more episodes, so it's a good thing we have Pokemon to distract us in the meantime. We caught no less than seven new Pokemon today! And our Bounsweet evolved into Steenee, and I don't know what's up with that name, but the Pokemon itself is super adorable! The way she turns her head is so sassy!

Today I'm thankful for making pretty good progress on Sailor Moon today, getting to watch an episode of Miraculous, the Rudolph sketch in the Studio C Christmas special, catching lots of Pokemon, and getting to play lots of Ring Fit Adventure.

Double choir

The water heater has been replaced! It didn't even take all day! Huzzah! The new one makes noises after we use hot water, but there's no sign of leakage, so we're just going to hope it's still getting settled in. And now we're still plagued by the sleepies, so we pulled ourselves away from Pokemon and Miraculous in the hopes of getting more sleep tonight. I'm not sure I have anything else to talk about today.

I will explain yesterday's double choir practice thing, though. After sacrament meeting yesterday, a woman from the Spanish speaking group came up to us with her son as an interpreter and asked if we could help the group with their performance of Silent Night--or rather, Noche de Paz. They, too, had been asked to sing a specific song for the special Christmas sacrament meeting on the 22nd.

We're always happy to help with music (okay, sometimes less happy when it takes time out of our Saturdays, but usually!), so we agreed, and they were like, "Cool, our first practice is right after church today." ...That was also when we had scheduled the regular choir practice (to which they're all invited, of course, but I think the language barrier prevents them from knowing that, or if they do know, I can understand not wanting to go). But it all worked out, because the regular choir had to wait to use the chapel, and the Spanish-speaking group was ready to get started right away.

So now Athena and I are responsible for three choirs for the Christmas program! Woohoo!! Oh, but I'm only an understudy for the Spanish-speaking group. One of the moms is having her eleven-year-old kid practice the accompaniment on the piano. I've heard him play--he's really good at the pieces he's memorized--but I've never heard him accompany anyone, and he seemed nervous about it, so I'm sticking around as a safety net. His mom seems to encourage her kids to do hard things, so we're not super worried about preventing him from growing by letting him run away. Anyway, it's good times, I guess.

Today I'm thankful for having a new water heater, having the water all vacuumed out of the water heater closet, not having to deal with the water vacuuming noise anymore, managing to get our translations done (except potentially for some flashback panels that may need more work), and Page bravely hanging out with us while all the noise was going on (she hid under a bed in the other room for the first part, but she came back to join us later).


Guess who's going to be getting a new water heater for Christmas! That's right, it's us. When we went out to start getting ready for the day yesterday morning, the water heater was making a sound, like boiling water, or like when the toilet is running, and I was like, "Oh dear, I hope that's nothing serious, because we got stuff to do today." So we ignored it and did our stuff, hoping it would resolve itself. When we got done with our stuff, it was not resolved.

We still had hope that we wouldn't have to Take Action, so we first asked family if water heater noises meant trouble, and then to be doubly sure we asked our fix-it friend Gaston. The general consensus was that if we still had hot water there shouldn't be a problem, and Gaston added that oh yeah if there's water coming out of it, that's probably an issue. I was like, "Well, when I glanced looked at it, there was no water coming out, so it's probably fine."

A few hours later, after the management office was closed, I thought maaaaaybe I should do a more definitive check. So I opened the water heater closet, and because I wasn't smart enough to get a flashlight, I took a paper towel and dipped it toward the closet floor. It came up wet. Well darn. Further investigation revealed that there actually was quite a bit of water in the water heater closet floor. But now it was too late to report it, and we figured it was probably still leaking, and we had to do something to stop that, probably, and it was just an incredibly stressful situation. It was actually one of those situations where if you decided to forget about it, you could go about your day without too much trouble, but you had to remember it because if you don't do something about it when the time comes that you actually can do something about it, then your life explodes.

So after church today we reported it. The verdict is yes, it's definitely leaking, tomorrow the maintenance guys will go to Home Depot to buy a new one, and hopefully they'll have it fully installed by the end of the day. Barring that, they'll give us the key to another apartment so we can still have hot showers.

So last night was super stressful, but today actually went pretty well, except for the fact that we still have a leaky water heater. We're using the cold water anyway, which probably isn't helping that. But! the maintenance guy was really nice as always, and he pointed out that the leak has probably been around for weeks, which is sort of good news for two reasons. First, it means that one more day of using the water anyway probably isn't going to be the last straw (we hope...), and second (and more importantly), we're thinking there's a good chance it was the puddle from the leak is where all the mosquitoes were coming from that have been plaguing us for the last I don't even know how long. And now that we'll have a non-leaky heater and the water will be cleared out, the mosquitoes will have nowhere to breed and we might be free of their curse (we're really really hoping).

On the less bright side, it means there's some water damage to the closet, but we're pretty sure those are not main support walls, and the floor is concrete, so hopefully it's nothing too damaging, and they can maybe wait to worry about it until we move out and they want to spruce the place up. (When we pay a deposit on an apartment, we don't usually expect to get it back, so we're not too worried about that, either. Not that we trash our apartment or anything, just that we find it safer to never expect money when the agreement is tentative.)

So the maintenance guy tossed some towels into the closet as a temporary measure, and then we relaxed for the rest of the day. And we needed it, because oh my heck are we tired. We should go to bed now, actually.

Today I'm thankful for having a good time at two choir practices (oh yeah, that's another thing that happened), being on the road to having a working water heater again, getting to watch the Christmas devotional, having a relatively relaxing Sunday (considering), and having really nice maintenance guys.

Here and there

Today was our ward Christmas activity. It was a breakfast, and we were not prepared to wake up early, so we had a super hard time getting into it. But after we had some food, and they decided not to make us lead the children in a song, we were feeling much better. We had a nice time chatting with people, and we even got some details worked out as far as Christmas performances in sacrament meetings, so life in general is seeming a little better. We're still unreasonably tired. I think it might have something to do with air pressure or something. I don't know.

More importantly, after the breakfast, we went to Chara Expo. We found out about it because ad for it popped up on our Facebook feed, and it was in our area, so we figured why not? Basically it's the tiniest anime convention we've ever been to. It was at the Anaheim Convention Center, and they seemed to be having two other conventions at the same time, and all three of them seemed to be contained on the first floor. (One of them was Sneaker Con, so later we saw people walking around carrying SO MANY shoeboxes.)

There were panels, but only one at a time. We caught the end of the opening ceremonies, then a panel about Vanguard, the trading card game slash anime. They talked about all the shiny cards they'll be releasing soon, and then they had a voice actress sing the newest theme song! And she was adorable. Later, we watched the BanG Dream! panel, where they had the producer, the director, the editor, and two of the voice actresses, and it was so lovable. You could really tell they put a lot of love into making the series. We haven't seen it, but maybe now we'll check it out. If we have some extra time and aren't too obsessed with Pokemon.

There was cosplay, too! We didn't cosplay because we didn't want to bother, since we've been so tired and we were already late because of the ward breakfast. But man, the cosplayers who did cosplay were really good! We only took one picture, though (Shinra from Fire Force), because we didn't recognize most of the other costumes. Mainly this convention served as another reminder that our tastes are niche even in a niche hobby. Sigh.

But we had a good time. Then we came home, ate our complimentary Pocky, and eventually got back to Pokemon. We finally got our first gym badge! Tadah!

Today I'm thankful for having a good time at the ward breakfast, our friends in the ward choir, getting to go to a neat little anime convention, not getting rained on, and the giant floof that is Dubwool.

Mental health day

We decided to blow everything off and go AWOL today. But we're not even good at that, either, because we went grocery shopping first. On the other hand, we didn't officially decide to blow everything off until we were grocery shopping. We had plans to maybe do a little work today, so that we could go to Disneyland on Monday with clearer consciences. But when we got home, we checked our blockout dates and realized we will have an opportunity to go again after next weekend, so we can work on Monday and go to Disneyland the next week. (We have to get there before Christmas, because we need to take pictures of the Snow White ride.)

So we got home from the grocery store and spent the rest of the day playing video games. Mostly Pokemon, of course, but with a little bit of Ring Fit Adventure, because even though that is technically a responsible thing to do, it is also a fun thing that we've been wanting to do and haven't been able to. And then it took just a little longer to get to Turffield than we wanted, so we stayed up late to watch an episode of Miraculous. We almost went without it because we have to get up early (on a Saturday! grrrr!) for our ward Christmas activity, and we weren't really on an episode with a lot of Adrien, but we decided to watch it anyway, and we're so glad we did. Miraculous is <3.

And now instead of going to sleep we're getting into a discussion about Japanese grammar in song lyrics. We just don't know when to quit.

Today I'm thankful for having lots of time to play Pokemon, getting to play some Ring Fit Adventure, Gossifleur, finishing our grocery shopping before the rain hit, and being prepared to go to Chara Expo tomorrow.


We took the day off today! And it was lovely, but short as always. We spent part of it cleaning! Woohoo! And then we set up our Christmas tree! It's so nice to have a sparkling light-up tree in the living room. Of course, these days we spend most of our time in the bedroom, because that's where the fancy TV is. But we have plenty of import DVDs we haven't watched yet that will have to be viewed in the living room, because that's where we have the region 2 DVD player, and this will be a good incentive!

That's not what we did today, though. After the tree got set up, we spent the rest of the day playing Pokemon. We got our Nickit to evolve into a Thievul, which is a great name because it has a pun on at least three levels. It's a fox (vulpine) Pokemon that's a dark type and likes to steal things. And the best part is that it has a burglar's mask and twirly mustache!

And Page was sitting in someone's lap all afternoon. It was lovely. We still watched an episode of Miraculous, of course. Now we're exactly where we were when the first set of season three episodes interrupted us. Will the second set interrupt us in the same place?!?!? ...Probably not, but we sure are eager to see those episodes. It's a good thing we have Pokemon to distract us in the meantime. ...Or I guess we could write manga reviews and translation blog posts...but we're still on vacation. We're not sure yet if we're going to work tomorrow or not. We don't have a lot of deadlines for December, but we have a couple that could end up taking forever, so it's probably not a great idea to slack off for too long. We'll just have to pray about it.

Today I'm thankful for getting the day off, having our lovely Christmas tree all set up, getting to play plenty of Pokemon, Page hanging out with us all afternoon and evening, and finally getting back to Ring Fit Adventure.