So here's how our weekend has been. Christmas was on Friday (as you all know), and we thought it was going to get off to a horrible start because we poured ourselves some cereal then went to get the milk...and discovered that our refrigerator went on hyperdrive again and the entire half-gallon of milk we needed to open was frozen solid. And this was Chocolate Chex here, so it would have been a real shame if it had gone to waste. Fortunately, quick thinking won the day, and we thawed enough milk for our cereal by holding the jug under hot running water for a while.
We figured it would be nice to have a bit of a gift-unwrapping party on Christmas morning, but we didn't have the foresight to buy each other anything. We did, however, have four unopened boxes of comp copies from our various publishers, so we opened those! We also pulled out the fuzzy slippers and plush toys we bought at Knott's Berry Farm (that had all been sitting in the souvenir bags since we got home), and some cat toys we bought for Page. One had some high-powered catnip that drove her nuts, but also seemed to make her jumpy, so on the one hand she acted desperate to get at more but also like, "Aaaaah, what's wrong, I don't like it!" So we're not sure if we'll give her much more of that, but we'll keep an eye on the situation. Also, a text from our mother reminded us to check the mail, where we found one of the two packages she had had sent to us.
So for the surprise Christmas gifts, we each received a new dress, and we got comp copies of First Love Monster, Final Fantasy: Type-0, My Monster Secret, and a bunch of Noragami (that was the "big gift" of the year (until we discovered that Mom's package had arrived after all)). My Monster Secret is the real dangerous one, because in all our time as translators, we've never received comp copies of something we'd done that's been adapted. ...Okay, that's not entirely true; we have Fruits Basket 1-13 (obtained for research purposes when doing the fan book) and a couple volumes of Lagoon Engine. So what I mean to say is they're the first adapted comp copies we've received since we've gotten so keen on doing our own adaptations. The point is, it's tempting to pull them out and compare them to the scripts we turned in. But we think that would be a bad idea for many many reasons.
Anyway, moving on, Sister D from our ward had invited us to join her family for Christmas dinner, and we said it depended on how social we were feeling, and it was agreed that we would call if we wanted to go. We thought about it and decided it would be better to go than not to go, but then I got sick with a sore throat, and the last thing I want to do with a sore throat is call someone on the phone. I also decided I wouldn't mind so much if we never left our apartment on Christmas day, so ultimately I decided that if she or her husband called us again, we would say yes, but if not, we would just stay home and relax. Well, her husband called so off we went to join their family for Christmas dinner.
It was a pretty laid-back occasion, and we mostly spent it chatting or staying out of the way (there were a lot of people), but the Grand Grandmother decided that everyone would be participating in the gift exchange whether they brought a gift to exchange or not, so we did join in on that. (We had been warned about it and considered bringing some manga to give, but we didn't get any comp copies of Noragami 1, and we couldn't think of what else would be good.) It was the type of exchange where you all draw a number, and whoever gets 1 (or 2, if no one pulled 1, etc.) picks a gift and unwraps it, then the next person can either pick another gift to unwrap or take an already unwrapped gift from someone who chose one earlier.
Athena got to go first and picked a little gift that had a harmonica, which we thought was pretty cool...but so did some other people so we didn't get to keep it. Fine, we'll just go home and buy our own harmonica. Other cool gifts included a set of dinner plates that looked like the planets, and a game called Gravity Maze where you build little vertical tunnels and drop a marble through them. In the end, I had a copy of A Christmas Story on DVD and Athena got a pancake maker. We don't usually cook, but the kid who had it seemed so desperately to want something else that when Athena got a chance at the end to steal any gift (since she went first and didn't have that chance before), she went ahead and took it from him. We do like pancakes a lot, so maybe this will be a motivator to make them.
After the gift exchange, we chatted some more, and then Sister D drove us home. On the way, we discussed the fact that Disneyland was full to capacity (we drove by signs saying as much), which led to the inevitable discussion of how much we hate the crowds and why oh why oh why can't there be an off-season anymore and y'know, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the walkways were clogged with only people and not thousands upon thousands of strollers. That's when Sister D told us that she'd read about (she actually reads the news) a wave of stroller thefts that were going on in the parks, and we were like, "Really!? Because we would totally help with that. We are behind that cause 1000%." She went on to say that the thieves would go out after stealing a high-end stroller and sell it to someone else, and we were like, "You mean they're putting them BACK in circulation!? Never mind, we are so done with those people."
I realize that some people would hear our opinion on strollers and think, "You can only talk like you're so much better for not using strollers because you don't have kids!" And it's true that I don't have kids, but I have been a kid, and in all our years of going to Disneyland I don't remember ever going there in a stroller. Athena remembers being at Disneyland in a stroller once--when Mom and Dad brought us before our third birthday (it was tradition; three is when you start having to pay to get in). And don't say, "Oh, well, they just didn't have that many kids!" because we have three other sisters. (Neither of us even remembers having a stroller the time we went and our youngest sister was a week old, but we were seven and at Disneyland, so we could easily have been distracted.)
...And thus you see how passionately I hate strollers. Ha, ha, ha.
Aaaanyway. Then we went home and played video games. Tadah!
The next day, we woke up early to help clean the church, and it's a good thing we did, because only four other people showed up! Nevertheless, we were not a heck of a lot more helpful than usual. We usually just do all the windows, but this time we vacuumed one room (just one), and helped a little bit with the trash in the kitchen. On the way home, we went grocery shopping and discovered that the plush toys they had been selling all season were in fact on clearance, so we got three nutcracker bears!
Then we had to come home and do chores in our own apartment, which had been neglected during the long, busy month, so we told ourselves no Chipmunk movie until after chores are done and we really wanted to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, so we did our chores. And then we went to the movie! It was a lot of fun. We still like Chipwrecked the best, but this one was fun, too. And it made me cry *sniffle*
Finally, we had just enough time to come home and eat dinner before the missionaries were coming so we could all go visit the newest member of our ward. She's about our age and works at Disneyland, so we figured we'd all get along, and then we went to her place and saw her Sailor Moon DVD collections and voila! We spent the whole evening talking until the missionaries' curfew. I feel a little bit bad, though, because somehow it ended up with Athena and me and one of the elders doing most of the talking. Our new friend seemed interested in the subject matter, though, and the other elder indicated that he wasn't completely bored.
We brought up the one time we were at Disneyland and one of our Disneyland associates saw one of the Mickey Mouse balloons they sell that's a Mickey-shaped balloon inside another clear round balloon, and our associate said he wanted to know if he could pop just the inside balloon. The talkative elder said exactly what we said then--you put some tape on the outside balloon and poke a needle through to the inside balloon. He added that you put another piece of tape on the outside balloon when the operation is complete. Apparently he's really into physics. But then our new friend pointed out that the outside balloons are made of a harder, less elastic material, and all three of us were like, "Ooh, I didn't factor that into my calculations..." And then we started discussing ways to procure several balloons for experimental purposes. They're eight dollars each, so most of the methods were completely dishonest and will not be implemented.
Today I'm thankful for having a lovely Christmas, Sister D and her family being kind enough to invite us into their home, the lovely dresses Mom gave us, Mom also sending us lots of new Heat Tech clothes, and having a new friend in the ward.