Anyway, on Friday, we did decide not to work after all. We're still not sure it was the best idea, since we didn't make as much progress on Fire Force last week as we wanted, and we're going to be interrupted tomorrow by a dentist appointment (the problem(?) with going to a dentist once is that then they hook you for regular cleanings). But we also figured our schedule's fairly light right now, and we really just did not want to work anymore, so instead, we played Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi, followed by some Pokemon, and then we went to Disneyland.
But speaking of Pokemon! We did not realize that they let you choose what language you want to play in. We figured for our own purposes, wherein fluency in Japanese is kiiiiiind of important, we might as well play it in Japanese, with the unfortunate side effects of our failure, once again, to learn any of the English Pokemon names. So we'll probably talk about, like, a kyamome, and everybody'll be like, "What?" and we'll be like, "You know, kyamome!" and they'll be like, "No, seriously," and we'll be like, "The one that looks like a seagull and an airplane...?" and they'll be all, "Oh, you mean [whatever it's name is]!" Meanwhile, they'll be talking about all the Pokemon in English, and we'll be all, "I have no idea what you're talking about." For example, we have a friend on Facebook who sometimes shares College Humor's web comics about Pokemon, and there was one about shiny Pokemon, and we were like, "I don't even know what that is." Now we think maybe it's the iro-chigai Pokemon that got introduced in Gold & Silver, but since Pokemon Silver was our first imported video game, we don't know the English names of most of those Pokemon, either.
The other odd thing about playing Pokemon in Japanese is that, since the game is made to be enjoyed by children, even when you opt to play it with kanji (you can play it in all hiragana, which is surprisingly difficult once you're used to reading kanji), there are spaces between the words, which is totally a thing in English, but not so much a thing in Japanese. So when I'm reading all the dialogue in my head, I keep adding pauses where all the spaces are, and it makes for some very stilted language. I'm learning not to do that so much, though.
Other than those silly complaints, we're really enjoying it, though. But I also wanted to talk about Disneyland. The idea was to go in the early afternoon, get ice cream, maybe catch a ride or two, then find a place to sit and wait for the 7:45 parade. This seemed like a prime opportunity to make use of our Chandu blanket backpack! (It's a plush Chandu (from Sindbad's Storybook Voyage) with straps to make it a backpack, but that are adjustable so you can carry it on your shoulder instead if you want, and Chandu's arms have snaps on them that attach to a blanket that he carries. This is one of the best ways to carry a blanket around that I can think of.) So we picked up Chandu and headed out the door! And while we were walking to Disneyland, we saw an interesting phenomenon. There was a UPS truck driving along, and suddenly it did a U-turn, right there in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. As we were marveling over this event, I did notice that the driver looked like our regular UPS guy. And sure enough, he got out of the truck and handed me a package to sign for! So that was highly amusing, and then we turned around and deposited the package back at home before setting out again. (It was comp copies of Complex Age 3, the series that everyone loved until volume two came out and suddenly their interest evaporated.)
The delay may or may not be what caused our perfect timing for arriving at the park. See, the schedule we were looking at turned out to not be the one Disneyland was actually using, which was surprising, because the one we looked at was at Disneyland.com. Maybe they updated the app to let people know what was up but forgot to fix it on the website. But the point was, the parade was actually at 4:15, and the cavalcade to sing Happy Birthday to Mickey was an hour before that. And we got there right before the cavalcade made it to Main Street! It was kind of neat and kind of meh. They had the Disneyland Band marching along, playing their regular set pieces, only this time they were joined by some dancers in red polka dot dresses a la Minnie, and three cars containing Mickey and Friends. Every so often, they would stop, and Minnie would direct everyone in singing Happy Birthday. It was a simple thing, and it was kind of nice, but it would have been that much nicer if the band had played the Mickey Mouse Club March or something more specifically Mickey-related (the two songs they played were "Welcome to Our Family Time" from Brother Bear and "Be Our Guest", which is what they play every day). Incidentally, it was also Minnie's birthday, but nobody said anything about that. (They do wish her happy birthday every day at the Disney Jr. show in California Adventure, though.)
After that, we followed the cavalcade for a while to see if they did anything different in front of the camera we noticed as we came into the park... Oh, I forgot to mention that they did shoot confetti out over the crowd at the end of each song (a la Pinkie Pie's party cannon), so that was an added bit of fun.
And then we went off to see if Farley was around, because we had (vain) hopes that the ice cream line would go down once the cavalcade crowd had cleared out. He was around, so we hung out with him and some of his other regulars for a while. We learned a new joke! What's the fastest liquid? Milk--it's past yer eyes before you ever see it! Aaaahh ha ha ha! Technically you're supposed to have a new joke whenever you go see Farley, but we never do. We should maybe fix that. Anyway, he also played the Baroque Hoedown (the Electrical Parade music) on his fiddle, which was pretty impressive.
Next it was off for some sundaes! ...Or one sundae, actually, because the Mickey Mouse birthday sundae turned out to be sixteen dollars, so we were like, "Yeeeah, we'll just split one, thanks." It was a serious dessert, though, so I don't feel like it was a total ripoff. It was three scoops of birthday cake flavored ice cream, with hot fudge, a Mickey Mouse-shaped brownie (with ice cream cone party hat), and a red velvet cupcake with lard yellow frosting, all served in a red plastic sink made to look like Mickey's shorts. I've never understood why that was a thing, and why people don't find it incredibly unappealing to eat out of someone's pants, but that's what it was, and we just appreciated the whimsical colors and didn't think too hard about it.
When they delivered the sundae to us, they asked us if we wanted to take a picture of us holding it in front of a giant cardboard version of the "happy birthday Mickey" buttons they were handing out all day, but I explained that I think that particular design of Mickey Mouse (the one for all the new shorts that look like Ren & Stimpy) is ugly, so thank you, but no. Incidentally, the sundae also came with a certificate, which I guessed was to let people know that you spent sixteen bucks on a sundae, until I actually read the text and discovered that we got number 68 out of 300, which means it was an even more limited time offer than I thought and now we had proof that we got one! Except that it was already almost four o'clock and they still had about three fourths of their sundaes left, so maybe it wasn't that limited after all. Anyway, a tragic(?) turn of events led to the accidental and unnoticed dropping of the certificate, so at some point during the evening, I'm sure a Disneyland janitor picked up a trampled sundae certificate with my name on it, but we no longer have any proof that we got sundae 68 out of 300. I did take a picture of the sundae with my phone, though (we broke our camera again and I forgot to bring my iPad).
As for how it tasted...it was pretty good. The frosting on the cupcake tasted about the same as if I were to lick the plastic shorts, but it was good ice cream, and Disneyland makes good hot fudge and good brownies. But we were distracted while we finished it off, because...the parade had started!
Gaston never likes to watch the holiday parade, claiming that he hates the music for it, and now that we've watched it again, we have to state that he's just plain wrong. The music is awesome, and he doesn't know what he's talking about. I mean, the same song played over and over again (that's what happens at Disney parades), but it still made us tear up every time it got to that one part of the song. ...Of course, that may have less to do with the quality of the music and more to do with the fact that this is the parade we watched on one of the last days I remember our whole family (including both parents) being happy together. But those soaring violins, man. Come on. And this year had the added bonus (which may have been a thing before, but as I mentioned, we haven't taken time out to observe the parade in a while) of a really nice upgrade to the Beast costume, which could be seen on the princess float with Belle.
After the parade, we wandered around in search of a non-crowded bathroom where we could rinse out Mickey's shorts and wash the ice cream off our hands (people can't take us anywhere, seriously). This proved to be a more difficult endeavor than we imagined, and ultimately it failed, because we thought, "Hey, let's just go to the one by the Fantasyland theater--that one's kind of hidden!" Only it wasn't, because they were actually showing Mickey and the Magical Map at the theater that day after a hiatus. Or at least for the first time we knew about since the last time we cared.
We decided not to go on It's a Small World Holiday, because the line wasn't very short and the crowds were making us grumpy, so we thought, why not just get home and play Pokemon. But! since the Fantasyland theater is right there by It's a Small World, we were able to learn that we were there mere minutes before the Small World lighting ceremony. It's not really much of a ceremony--just an announcer going, "Join us as we light up It's A Small World," or whatever it is he says, and then they count to three, and "PAH!" (<--the Japanese sound effect for lights going on), and suddenly there were lights everywhere, and it was beautiful and magical and aaaahhh... It was nice.
And then we left and made it home right in time for dinner. And we had dinner and played more Pokemon, and it was a lovely day with lots of good timing. And the next day we had to work on Persona Q, because we didn't check our email after noon on Friday, and therefore missed the one asking us to turn in this chapter of manga by tonight. But maybe that's good timing, too, because if we had decided we needed to work on Persona Q on Friday, it would have been a little bit maddening. Especially because this was the chapter where the one character explains all the everything, so there was a lot of talking.
And this entry has taken longer to write than expected, which is why we didn't post yesterday--we wanted to get back to Pokemon.
Today I'm thankful for all the good timing we had on Friday, getting our package, getting to try the Mickey Mouse birthday sundae, getting to see the holiday parade, and getting to see the lights go on at It's A Small World.