In our many travels to Disneyland, they happened to introduce a new product. They're very popular now, and you can find them just about anywhere, but back then (about 2002), the only places we had ever seen them were Disneyland and one place in Salt Lake City that sold a bunch of stuffed animals. It was those monkeys that have velcro on their hands so you can hang them from stuff, and they are the cutest things ever! Especially the ones that look like real monkeys; the flourescent ones aren't as cute.
Athena had wanted one for a very long time, and she almost got one when we went to Disneyland in the summer of that year, but for some reason they closed the one shop that sold them (Tropical Imports--now they sell food and candy there, so you have to get the monkeys at South Seas Traders across the street. And yes, I am only saying that to show off my knowledge of Disneyland.) early that day, and we missed our opportunity. But when we went to Disneyland for Christmas, we were determined, and we purchased the monkey as soon as we could. We decided to go with the smallest kind (as a friend of ours put it, the bigger they got, the bigger the "blah" factor), and chose a capuchin. Sooooo cute!
Now, we have a thing about naming things. Our computer doesn't have a name, because we don't want to give it the wrong name. So we're very careful. But a stuffed animal is kind of like a pet (in an imaginary sense), so you have to give it a name. We had just gotten volume one of Lagoon Engine, and since it's by our favorite manga artist, we thought there might be a good name in there, so we waited until we got it translated. It was Athena's monkey, and she thought Sora might be a good name, after Jin's Maga (basically, his familiar).
But then someone reminded us that that's the name of a character in an anime that we had an unfair bias against (the plot wasn't interesting enough as of the fourth episode, and the music in all the files was too loud for us to make out any of the voices), so even though it was a pretty good character, we scrapped the name.
And then, we played Kingdom Hearts. And Sora was such a little monkey!!
(Actually, we were flipping through a Kingdom Hearts Ultimania at Kinokuniya a while after that, and apparently Sora was originally going to be half-Moomba (or that's what he looked like, anyway, and I don't know if that was a drawing from the early planning stages or what; I really should have read the captions. We should have bought that book; it had an interview with the three main voice actors).)
And so we could no longer deny the monkey the name Sora. And it's very cute, and sometimes Athena will velcro his legs around her neck and one of his hands on her hair, so it looks like he's sitting on her shoulder.
That summer, they introduced another new product. This time, it was a snake that would coil around your arm. Very cute! So we got one of the little boas, and it was just too perfect to name him Riku.
So now we have a monkey that jumps around in the trees like he's flying named Sora, and a snake that crawls on the ground named Riku. Now we need a Kairi. We have a little frog that we got at the BYU bookstore, and I guess a frog would be appropriate, since it goes in the water, and a fish really just wouldn't quite work. But we had to name the frog Aoi after the main character in Kero Kero Chime.
Long story short, Riku's a little stuffed snake (by little, we mean about three feet long). He's been hanging out with me all evening because I totally blew him off earlier. Our apartment complex was having a St. Patrick's Day party, and all the fliers say stuff about wearing green. It was then that I realized that the only green in my entire wardrobe is a pair of shorts (for a Final Fantasy: Unlimited Yu costume), a sweatshirt with a green sailor collar (also for the Yu costume), and Eisen's donjiki and sashinuki.
It's a little bit too cold to cosplay, so I was kind of at a loss. Athena suggested taking Riku with me, but I thought that might not be in good taste, since St. Patrick is celebrated for getting all the snakes out of Ireland. So I took Treecko the Pokemon instead. And then the St. Patty's Day quiz they had didn't even mention driving all the snakes out of Ireland! Oy.
And so, to make it up to him, I let Riku sit with me while we watched Avatar and Danny Phantom. And now I've gotten myself started on Avatar. No! Stop! Good girl.
Also, all that talk about Kingdom Hearts has gotten us wanting to play. Again. We might really just break out Chain of Memories this time. We've been holding off on the video games because, since we only play a couple hours a day at the most, and we were hoping to get a lot of work done this month, we weren't convinced we'd finish anything before Kingdom Hearts 2 came out. But the way we keep not being able to work, things are getting iffy. But the Reverse/Rebirth side of CoM is really short, and the awesomest part of the game. Maybe we'll do that.
Anyway, tonight I'm thankful for being able to eat Honey Bunches of Oats, Sora, Riku, green cupcakes, and saltine crackers.