May 29th, 2014


Costa Mesa

Oh man, today. It was a good day, but it was unusual, which takes energy, and what takes even more energy, whether we focus on it or not, is the fact that we'll be babysitting again tomorrow. Last time, the children arrived half an hour earlier than we expected them, so this time we asked the mother what time they would be showing up, and she told us I don't know, eight or nine. I really should have asked for a more definite answer. Sigh.

Anyway, the rest of the day was pretty good, except that we ended up working way later than we wanted, and still didn't quite finish what we wanted to finish. Our home teacher picked up on the fact that we don't tend to wake up early, so our plans to go to Costa Mesa began at ten o'clock. We went to a place called Mitsuwa, which is like a Japanese mini-mall, I guess. It had a Kinokuniya, which was kind of torturous, because there are so many books! Aaaaahhhh! We want them all!!! But they all cost money!

So we settled for the newest volumes of Tenshi 1/2 Houteishiki and Ouji to Majo to Himegimi to (we were kind of surprised we didn't have that one yet; I guess we've been slipping in keeping track of things), and since they had the last three volumes of Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden and we didn't, we got those. We also picked up our missing volume of Durarara!!, even though at the rate we're going, we'll probably get to it in about four years. Actually no, maybe just two. Anyway, we also noticed a couple of Kodansha titles that looked interesting, but we thought we should do a little more research on them before spending our money. Since Kodansha is the one publisher we're almost guaranteed to get titles to translate from, we figure we ought to pay more attention to them.

Then we looked around the grocery part, and bought some snacks. There were a ton of snacks we wanted to try, too, but for some reason we were too afraid to buy them. We settled for some Milky, Kinoko no Yama, and Takenoko no Sato. Our home teacher is a foodie, so he's pretty excited to explain to us all the snacks he's tried, and all the different types of soy sauce and stuff. Despite our fear of eating, like, anything, I'm fascinated by food science, so it was kind of neat.

The mall also had a couple of confectionery type places, just like the ones we see in manga, but again, we were too afraid to investigate very far. Mostly we know that the one had a bunch of dumpling type things of different flavors that may or may not have been daifuku. They also had baumkuchen.

When we finished up there, we went to another shopping center that contained a Book Off. We had heard stories of Book Off, and now here it was in real life. We had also heard that Book Off is the enemy of manga artists (via Tachibana Higuchi's Twitter), but we figured it was okay for stuff that was, like, way out of print. For example, we got a Candidate for Goddess CD that we didn't know existed outside Japan. We also thought it would be a good place for stuff like our missing volumes of Happy Cafe...which it sort of was and sort of wasn't. We wanted volumes eleven through fifteen. Of those, they had eleven and thirteen. We also got the Pretear manga, and a DS game that's designed to help Japanese people improve their Japanese.

After that, we went to Marukai, the Japanese-Hawaiian supermarket. It was like the grocery store at Mitsuwa, but bigger and with more Hawaiian type stuff. And there, we were finally able to buy an exotic flavor of Kit Kat. (They had green tea Kit Kat at Mitsuwa, but we're not sure if that's Mormon kosher.) The flavor we got was...flan! Tadah! And they had instructions for heating it up, so you can get that nice little caramelized top that flan has. We've tried flan before and didn't much care for it, but it was mostly a texture thing, so I'm hoping with Kit Kat it's better. Someday we'll have the yoyuu to try it out.

After that, we came home and, instead of getting to work, we spent an hour or so playing Kingdom Hearts [chi]. They just added new story last night! And we would have done it this morning, but we weren't home. And we got the cutest SR+ assist card out of it.

Finally, we got to work, and to make up for lost time, we worked until just past dinner time. And now it's time to do something relaxing.

Today I'm thankful for our home teacher being happy to take us to otaku places, getting to buy shiny new manga, getting to buy shiny used (but in excellent condition) manga, having some Japanese snacks to look forward to, and the super cute SR+ cards we got today.