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Alethea & Athena
Excited, in the Bambi sense 
2nd-Feb-2015 06:52 pm
So a thing happened, maybe. There's still a chance that it's all an illusion. It's really not a long story, but I feel like it needs a detailed lead-up, to explain our state of mind when we got the news.

It all started last night, with stake choir practice. The rehearsal went great--everyone was motivated and wanted to learn their parts, and whenever there was downtime, someone would notice a piece of sheet music that I had, or start practicing the sign language we're going to do in this year's Primary program, and then I'd start playing the song in question on the piano, and all the little girls (and some of the adults) who were there would gather around and sing. That's one of my favorite things to do--impromptu sing-alongs. And we don't get to do it very often, because it's less fun with just two people, and in most other social situations it just doesn't come up.

So we had this wonderful choir practice, and we were getting along with everyone, but maybe there was a little bit of a mental strain from being In Charge of stuff. As the choir director, Athena has to do a lot of talking, and she's not used to being the one that talks. Then we were talking about...okay, so the choir is rehearsing for a big two-day celebration for the stake's fiftieth anniversary. It's kind of a big deal, and even the mayor is going to attend one of the sessions! But the idea is to sing for both of the two sessions, and we only have one song so far, and the two of us and the stake music director were trying to come up with ideas. Stake Music Director--I'll call her Rose, because she likes Sleeping Beauty but Aurora would be confusing. Rose likes a song by Kenneth Cope, which brought up some interesting feelings from the past, especially because the song was arranged by Randy Kartchner (not sure on the spelling), whose wife used to accompany our stake choir when we were in high school. She was the reason I thought I would never be a good enough pianist to accompany a choir, because she was so incredibly amazing.

I had always thought it would be neat to have a choir sing a medley of "Ye Elders in Israel" and "As Sisters in Zion," because those are two songs that half the church hears all the time and the other half hears not at all--the former is sung primarily at priesthood meetings for men, while the latter is mostly only sung at Relief Society meetings for women (but sung very frequently at those meetings). We were trying to figure out if anyone in the ward could provide an arrangement of such a medley, and the name of our ward music director came up. So I called her, and was reminded that she's kind of home-bound, because her father is home-bound and she needs to take care of him, but she sounded so sad and so in need of company, and I was feeling bad for her because we can't just drive over there and say hi.

That was on the car ride home from choir practice. In an attempt to lighten my own mood, I changed the subject back to this medley and how surely someone out there has one or can write one. That's when I remembered our cousin who is a professional musician and has lots of professional musician friends, including composers. We thought he could probably help us, but it would be pretty funny if that's where we got the arrangement from, and to clue Rose in on why that would be the case, we said, "He's a progressive Mormon." Not to say that being progressive is bad, but based on our Facebook experience, we tend to disagree with progressive Mormons specifically, because they define themselves as Mormons who don't necessarily agree with the LDS church. It's just a difficult concept for us to swallow, because if you don't agree with the church, why do you insist on being a part of it? They probably have their reasons...it's complicated.

Anyway, that being the case, we thought it would be pretty funny if a progressive Mormon--i.e. someone who doesn't really like the LDS church--provided us with a cool arrangement of some LDS songs for our stake anniversary celebration. But! we were so horrible about how we said it in the first place (we didn't really mean anything by it; we just thought it was amusing, but that doesn't make it better), and then it occurred to us that what if Rose identifies as a progressive Mormon? That would make it even worse! And we didn't have time to discuss it because we were at our apartment and it was time to go! Aaaaaaaahhhh!

So even though we were able to convince ourselves that she's cool and probably wasn't offended either way, that one little thing hit the switch to our fear of people. We're just too afraid that people will be our friends for a while and then decide that you know what, it wasn't that great after all and actually I hate you a lot and don't want to talk to you ever. Apparently 2004 has done a lot more lasting damage than we care to ever think about for too long.

But the point is, we got onto one of our fear of people spirals, and even after talking about it, we couldn't really make it go away, so we just wanted to crawl deep, deep into our comfort zones and never come out until it was safe. Or until Gaston called to say he was on his way over. Or until next Sunday, when it was back to being In Charge. So we figured let's just go to bed and then we can lose all our troubles in work.

So we visited all the websites we like to visit before we turn the computers off for the night, but since we don't play Kingdom Hearts [chi] on Sundays, we had a little bit of extra time. We realized that the Otaku Mode Manga Translation Battle results should be announced any day now, so we went over there to see who won the trip to Japan so we could get on with our lives. If we were lucky, maybe we'd have won a tablet so I could show videos to my Primary class. (We have a Kindle Fire, but there's a complicated situation involved.)

So we went to the website, and there, finally they had announced the results! The grand prize winner had translated the same series we translated, and the names under the picture looked strangely familiar. Wait a second, those are our names!

My reaction was a lot like Rizzo's reaction in Muppet Christmas Carol, when they just got down from the harrowing flight to the past and he was so relieved...and a cat shows up. And he goes, "No." You have to say it in the right tone of voice though, so if you haven't seen Muppet Christmas Carol, I totally recommend it.

But the point is, it's a super exciting thing! ...But we were not excited, because of the long ordeal I just described. Well, that and a look at our schedule. Did I mention we agreed to a new series last week? I'm pretty sure I didn't, but I'm mentioning it now! Oh my goodness, we were so relieved not to get any surprise(ish) work this morning. So we kind of panicked.

Then three things happened to calm us down. First, we remembered that when we got to the computer last night, the wallpaper had a picture of Hyuga from Neo Angelique. Last time we went to Japan, we got the CD single of the opening theme from that anime at the Ikebukuro Animate, and it came with a collector's card, because it was a first print. And we got a card of Hyuga, who was our favorite of the main four guys! The trip to Japan was very stressful because of our natural timid personalities, but that card helped reassure us that it was all okay. And now our wallpaper was reminding us of that reassurance.

Second, Athena remembered Fantasmic!. Rumor has it, Fantasmic! at DisneySea is different than Fantasmic! at Disneyland, and we're not the types to just watch YouTube videos of things. We want to see it live! So now we have a little motivation.

Third and most importantly, we realized that the people who put on this contest haven't contacted us yet, so it's possible that they'll take it all back. Maybe it's all been a spoof the whole time! In other words, for now we're not counting chickens or freaking out about how having chickens is unreasonably terrifying.

Today I'm thankful for having a wonderful choir practice, the judges thinking favorably of our translation even if it might not really be the grand prize winner, finishing our first draft of Chaika 2 (that takes a little tiny bit of pressure off), the reassurance of Hyuga, and Athena scoring jumbo peanut butter cup cookies at Bread Day yesterday (those are helping, too).
3rd-Feb-2015 01:14 am (UTC)
AHHHHHHH!!!!!! :D I read through the whole first part of the post without trying to skip ahead and when you suddenly started talking about the translation battle I was totally thrown off and then surprised and then excited for you!!!! Ahhh!! :D But you totally deserve the win! I'm so happy people are recognizing your talent and experience and hard work!!

I don't think you need to have any fear of them taking it all back at this point, though it is a little odd you haven't been contacted yet. I hope that as things sink in and start to feel real, you won't be overwhelmed or anxious but enjoy whatever new opportunities come out of it! I'll always be rooting for you!

I also don't think you need to worry about your friend Rose being offended by your comment about Progressive Mormons. (I don't know the practical details of what that means, but I can kinda understand why the term itself might annoy you, maybe like when people say they're Christian but not religious, or they believe in Jesus but don't call themselves Christian, or whatever the cool thing to say is—like they feel this need distance themselves from the label because popular culture says that "everyone in this group believes [whatever socially unpopular thing] and/or is hateful and/or ignorant" rather than maybe trying to show that you can be [label] and still actually a good person, and that basing such an opinion on a handful of extremists is itself kinda ignorant... but anyway.) If you're still concerned about it, though, maybe you could bring it up in a casual/nice way to explain you said it jokingly and hope she wasn't offended.

Like, the other day I was talking with my mum about paint colours (for my living room, someday...) and I mentioned one idea I had, comparing the colour to something I was wearing, and my mum thought that it was too dark and wouldn't look nice in a room, and stuff. And then later she called me on the phone and told me she needed to apologize for what she'd said on the topic and she hoped I hadn't been upset or discouraged by her negativity. But I hadn't given it a second thought at the time (I got as far as, "well, the thing I was wearing wasn't exactly the colour I had in mind so I'll find a better example.") and was totally surprised that she felt any need to apologize. So my point is sometimes you can blow things out of proportion and the one you're worrying about doesn't even care, and also just that if it's making you anxious, you'll probably feel better getting it out in the open, either way.

I like your medley idea too, blending two songs that are normally somewhat separated! I hope you're able to work that out somehow!
3rd-Feb-2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
Mwa ha ha ha! We hoped that would happen, but I wondered if the fact that I started talking about it would give it away. We're glad you were surprised! And thanks for the congratulations!

The announcement has been made on Twitter now, so we're pretty sure it's real, but we still haven't been contacted by anyone with details.

Thanks for your comment. You make a good analogy about progressive Mormons. That covers it pretty well, but to add to it just a little, they also seem to spend a lot of time on Facebook criticizing everything the LDS church does, and it feels like a lot of negativity for negativity's sake. In fact, the reason we tend to assume people we associate with in real life (as opposed to Facebook) are not progressive Mormons is that progressive Mormons (from our experience on Facebook) are so unhappy with the church that it seems unlikely that they would be at church, much less helping to organize church events.

Anyway, you're right about talking to her! If it feels like she's more distant next time we talk to her, we'll bring it up. Thanks for your support!
3rd-Feb-2015 04:40 am (UTC)
That's so cool that you two won! Congratulations!
3rd-Feb-2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
3rd-Feb-2015 12:23 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on winning the tablet! And I'm fairly sure that it isn't a spoof, because that would be just too unkind, wouldn't it? Still, I do know that feeling of, "This can't be for real!"; but I think it is. :)

I don't know what happened to you in 2004, because I didn't know you then; however, I had some unpleasant things happen to me (actually to someone very close to me, but it affected me greatly) during the 90's, and when I'm anxious over anything, they come to mind and bother me, so I think that's fairly normal, if unpleasant. I don't think it means that you haven't moved past it; I think it means that, as you said, it did some damage that changed you in some way, whether for good or bad.

Also, I think that most reasonable people can disagree on issues (such as being "progressive", or whatever) and still be friends. I honestly don't think WE agree on a whole lot of spiritual and social issues, and yet, we manage to be friends. I know that you are good and kind people, and that your beliefs are sincere, and that you may not agree with me on everything, but that doesn't mean that I can't like you and want to be friends with you; and I hope that you feel the same about me. ♥ If what you said to Rose is bothering you, perhaps you should speak to her about it; and I know that's easier said than done, because when I've said or done something that I'm afraid has offended someone, I am much like you - I fret over it, and want to crawl into my social anxiety Pit of Despair, and pretend it never happened, and let it eat me alive. But I do believe it's generally better to get it out in the open, and then you'll know where you stand; and most likely, she wasn't offended, and has forgotten about it, but if not, she'll surely appreciate your effort in trying to remedy the situation.

Also, the music for the anniversary celebration sounds great, and I think you have some really good ideas going. So good luck with that!
3rd-Feb-2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It looks like I failed to include some important information about the contest, and I'm going to have to fix that. I'd just tell you what I left out, but that would ruin the drama. XD

Thanks for your support! You are one of the few people we know who gives us hope that it is possible to get along with people who have differing views on things, and we always appreciate it. If our friend seems extra distant next time we see her, we'll probably bring it up.
3rd-Feb-2015 01:41 pm (UTC)
What coastal_spirit said!

And the translation battle win is awesome! (I hope they contact you ASAP to make it feel properly official.) Congrats!
3rd-Feb-2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks and thanks!
3rd-Feb-2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
That's great that you won. Congratulations. It's wonderful news :)
3rd-Feb-2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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