As I mentioned a few days ago, we went over our finances for the next three months (three months is the maximum amount of time it takes for us to get a check after turning in an assignment, so it's basically the amount of time before we get paid for whatever we're working on; after three months, things are less certain, as we don't know what our work schedule will be), and determined that, unless we get a big paycheck sooner than expected, we can afford everything we need... and that's it. No fun splurging, or we can go without food for a week. That is not a fun way to live (though I realize that even that much means we are extremely blessed).
So we came to the conclusion that we need to a)find a cheaper apartment, b)get another job, or c)both. Since the Japan thing is so uncertain, we need to proceed as if it's not going to happen, but we still have to allow for the fact that it might happen, which makes things just a little bit trickier.
Back in April, we had firmly resolved that if work didn't pick up, we would apply online to work at Disneyland. On the one hand, it's a part-time job that requires almost no education, so it kind of seems like a step backwards (or maybe several, I don't know). But on the other hand, helping people enjoy Disneyland is like a hobby of ours, so it wouldn't feel like work. We were right about to head over to the Disneyland career site and apply when we realized that we were still under lease, and we might want to wait until we didn't have to buy it out before leaving town. That is no longer a concern.
What is a concern is that Mom hates the idea of us leaving Fresno. We're scared of just about everything as it is, and Mom's fears exacerbate that. She reminds us that here, we technically have people to help us out when we need it. I think that we'll probably be able to find just as much help in SoCal, because we can always turn to the Church, but we would still have to figure out transportation. We're willing to get over our general fear of public transportation if we really need to (either take the bus or never read another volume of manga again! rarrrrr!!), but just the other night I realized that working at Disneyland can involve reeeeeally late hours. Taking the bus at reeeeeally late hours sounds even scarier, especially since, during the one month I worked at Disneyland, we had a friend who applied and got hired at the same time, whose parents refused to let her take the bus home when she was working a late shift. But on the other hand, she was riding the bus much farther, and through downtown LA, and we're aiming to stay in the Anaheim area.
As for where to live... Well, when Gaston called the other day and we talked about Mickey's Halloween Party, we decided to go on a Friday, and he suggested sticking around on Saturday and doing stuff in LA or something. I don't remember the flow of the conversation exactly, but eventually it led to, "Hey, we can look for apartments for you!" This is a pretty heartening development, because Gaston knows what to look for in apartments, and he seems to not get annoyed about driving around everywhere. Plus it was his idea, which helps us to not feel like we're imposing.
Our getting an apartment close to Disneyland would actually be very helpful for Gaston, too, because he and his wife are thinking about moving back to Central California, but, like us, Gaston doesn't want to leave Disneyland behind. But if we're down there, he'll still have a place to stay when he does come to Disneyland, so he'd save on hotel costs. In fact, back in April, one of our main motivators for working at Disneyland was that every time we would say, "Hey, we should all go to Disneyland!", everyone else would say, "But I can't afford it..." If we worked there, eventually we'd be able to get people in for free, and we'd be living close by, so people wouldn't have to spend money on a hotel. They'd just need to pay for transportation down there and food. And maybe admission for anyone we can't get in, but it would be a lot cheaper.
On the other hand of all this, Mom really wants us to stay here. And our apartment manager said they'd hate to have us go. And when people want us to be around, we want to be around. Mom always suggests we apply to work at the IRS. That would just be data entry, which is something we've been rehearsing every Friday with name indexing for the past couple of months or so. And we hear it pays really well.
But the main problem is that we don't feel like we're getting anywhere. Not that we're entirely unhappy with where we are--just with the financial aspect. And we feel like we probably need to make more friends or something, and working outside of home would really help make that happen. If we're going to be working outside of home, we might as well be doing something fun, right? Plus, moving to Southern California would put us that much closer to a lot more game companies, which would give us more translation opportunities.
Speaking of such things, while we're trying to decide what we want to do, parkcooper was kind enough to send us a link to this job posting. TokyoPop is looking for a Manga Editorial Line Coordinator, and we think we might be qualified. Even if we're not perfectly qualified, we have a good(?) rapport with TokyoPop, and we think we can do it. Plus it's full-time work, which would definitely improve our financial situation, even if only one of us gets it. I think most people would say we would be crazy not to apply (except that, again, it would require us to move to Los Angeles).
On the other hand, full-time work might get in the way of translating, which, to us, is the most fun part of publishing manga. Plus the idea of working regular hours is more than a little intimidating, and would take away our ability to just pick up and go to Disneyland whenever we're not too busy. And would it eliminate the possibility of going to Japan, should the agent call and say they'll hire us? (Of course, any job would make that a little tricky, but it seems worse with full-time jobs, for some reason.)
And so there it is. Three potential options and we have no idea which one would be best. Maybe there isn't really a "best" option in this case. Maybe none of them will matter, because the agent will call and we'll end up going to Japan. I don't know. It's still hard. But I'm sure we'll figure it out when we have to. Call me crazy, but we're still leaning towards Disneyland.
Today I'm thankful for thoughtful friends who send us links to job listings, finally coming up with a good way to translate "kejime," getting our column done last night without too much trouble (though we did get gently chided for waiting so long to turn it in, eheh), finishing the translation we were working on, and Steve Martin on Twitter.