After the barbecue, we played Final Fantasy XI, as if that's any surprise. But last night we had encounters with other players, which was pretty awesome. We were out fighting, and somebody came up and asked, "Besoin d'aide?" which was just the coolest thing ever. But unfortunately, we were distracted and then died, so Athena wasn't really able to respond. She was going to say no thank you, but then she realized she was dying, so she was trying to figure out what to do, and then she died.
Later, we were fighting and this party of two comes up, and the girl cast Cure on Athena (or rather on Araphie, our character), and then Protect. She thanked them, but they didn't say anything, and just kept watching while she fought, which was a little unnerving, but helpful, because the girl cast Cure again. Then Athena won the battle and Araphie raised a level, and the girl congratulated us, and the two of them ran off. It was very strange.
But then later we were wandering around town, and since we were just going to our Mog House, Athena hadn't bothered to fill up her HP, so another random player came up and cast Cure II, and ran away. So apparently it's not an uncommon practice to find other players and heal their HP for them and then vanish into the night. Or day, or whatever time it happens to be. I wonder if it's to level up spells. The leveling in FF11 is actually a lot like in FF2, where your spells and weapon skills and everything get stronger based on how much you use each thing, and not just with your level and equipment. It's pretty awesome. The battles are a lot like in FF12, only you're not controlling as many characters, so I figure that's why they "suddenly" jumped to the wacky battle system for XII--to make it more consistent with XI.
And then today we went shopping! It's been a long time since we've been able to go shopping in a real store, so it was pretty exciting. We were at Best Buy and they had the perfect office chairs on clearance, but we weren't sure if we had quite enough room for them (our computer area seems pretty small), so I just sat in the sample chair for a while, in awe, as we talked it over, but eventually we decided we should make sure we had the space. But we did get a microphone, which is why we were there to begin with.
Next we went to Michael's, because we were very sad when we translated Saiyuki Reload 8, because it mostly focuses on Goku, and our gold gel pen was dying, a very sad death. So even though we'd already turned in that translation and the book, we decided it would be best to have a gold pen on hand in case we need it for something else. At the very least, we'll have it for Reload 9. We were also hoping to get stationery, but we couldn't find any, so instead we got a medium sketchbook and a tiny sketchbook and a little mannequin guy. We don't do a whole lot of drawing, but a big part of that is that when we think about it, we're like, "I don't have anything to draw on!" and another part of it is that we never know what to draw. So now we have things to draw on, and a little guy we can put in random poses to draw. Tadah!
There was also a bookstore nearby, and we've been thinking that we want a fairy tale collection, but we opted not to go there because Athena was nervous that we were spending so much money (even though we really didn't spend that much). It wasn't until we were halfway to Arby's for lunch that we realized--Bookstores are where you buy stationery! Augh! Oh well. Maybe we can go when we go back to Best Buy to get those chairs. And it was just as well, because our anime buddy, who was doing the driving, had to get the van back by two, and we only just made it as it was.
And finally we bought some groceries, and now we are home with new toys, but instead we're going to watch some of the anime we downloaded and probably go back to FF11. Oh! But I forgot to mention that we had a package slip when we got back! So now we have Strawberry Marshmallow, which is tempting us very sorely but not enough to shake our resolve. But if any of you were in the area, we would so be having a party.
Today I'm thankful for our anime buddy being kind enough to drive us all around town, helpful strangers in FF11, a chance to try Mamba candy again for the first time in forever, sketchbooks, and little mannequin guys.