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Alethea & Athena
The Christmas report 
27th-Dec-2015 07:25 pm
Even our relaxing is busy! Although it's true we could have taken some time on Friday to update LJ; we were just playing video games. But when we want to rest and relax, sitting at the computer is one of the last things we want to do, especially if we've just been out and about.

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.
28th-Dec-2015 02:52 am (UTC)
I'm glad that you had a nice Christmas. (We did, too, but this is not the time to go into that. ^_^)

I would love to see pics of your new clothes. :) I used to love getting clothes, but it's a hassle now that I'm overweight. However, my sister-in-law (well, they're not married, but she's been with Wes' brother for over 30 years, so she's certainly "family" to me, even if not legally) got me a sort of shawl that has arm holes in it, and it's very comfy and soft and pretty, so I was pleased with that. I can wear it if I'm cold inside, and certainly outside, if it's not freezing.

I'm so glad you got your milk unthawed! I think that's what I would have done. I hate it when my fridge goes psycho and freezes everything (and, generally when that happens, the freezer part doesn't freeze, and everything defrosts, and I have to get someone to repair the whole thing. My pocketbook does not approve. >_<)

I've participated in that type of gift exchange. We call it a "Yankee Swap" here, for some reason. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't. I hate it when you get a really cool gift and then someone takes it. :( Making pancakes is fairly easy if you use Bisquick.

Strollers. Found them handy when I had a kid to put in one. Don't like them so much when I have to deal with other people using them, especially if it's crowded. When I was 10, we went to the New York World's fair. They had these strollers for older kids that looked like little cars, and my brother (who was 4) got to use one. I was a little jealous, because they were kind of cool, and because I usually got tired by the end of the day. However, even at that age, I realized that I would have looked ridiculous in a stroller, and it kept my brother from whining all day long, which was a definite plus. ;)

Hope your week between Christmas and New Year's is happy as well. :)
28th-Dec-2015 09:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We're glad you had a nice Christmas, too, and I hope you have a swift recovery!

Actually, we did take pictures of us in the new dresses! They are on my phone, though, which has no access to Facebook, so posting them may wait until such time as we feel enough free time to mess with getting pictures from my phone to the computer. That shawl sounds lovely!

Fridges can be so tricky! Our settings are just so that if we don't have it a little bit too cold, the milk will start to smell just a teensy bit funny in a few days, so we prefer to keep it there. Usually if we keep the milk at the front of the refrigerator, it will stay unfrozen, but it's crowded these days with extra holiday stuff, so we got careless. Ah, technology.

Yeah, I think this type of gift exchange has a little bit too much pressure involved. We grew up on Bisquik pancakes, but flipping them always terrified us, so we never made them if we could avoid it. This pancake maker seems to make the flipping part easier, so the next hurdle is to keep a supply of eggs. We usually don't do that because we're afraid of walking home with them (we have yet to trip and drop all the groceries on the walk home, but we did have a bag tear on us a couple of times), but we happen to have half a dozen now so we can make cornbread to use with our boysenberry honey, so now would be a great time!

Oh man, I know that feeling about the car strollers! They came out with the car shopping carts when we were about 10 or 12 (or we started seeing them more, anyway), too, so we felt exactly the same way...only it was less about looking ridiculous (that wasn't ever much of a factor in our thinking) and more about being too big to fit in them.

Thanks, we wish you the same!
28th-Dec-2015 09:57 pm (UTC)
I don't understand why you'd want to pop the inside balloon and not the outside. Isn't the inner one the more fun one??

"never received comp copies of something we'd done that's been adapted..." Sorry, I just (re?-)realized that means Tokyopop didn't give you comps. That's sad, even if you didn't plan to read them. Or did you not want them? I'm sure you said before but I forget how it goes. ...anyway I can understand not wanting to look at an adaptation of your work. It would take a very deliberate, distanced mindset (or a bad memory) to be able to do so without judging or comparing.
28th-Dec-2015 10:16 pm (UTC)
Mostly to be weird, I guess. Or for the challenge.

Yeah, it is a little sad, thinking about it. We usually got them when we asked, though, and we were never interested enough to ask. Comp copies of DN Angel would have killed us, so that might be part of why. We actually do tend to forget a lot of what we wrote, like there was a line in Lagoon Engine that had us going, "Gasp! That's so funny! Why didn't we think of that!?" And then we checked our script and it turned out we did. (Lagoon Engine was one that went straight from us to an editor, or so we were told.)

But! reading an adapted manga, we would never be sure if something was what we wrote or something the adaptation writer wrote, and the uncertainty would be frustrating...so then we would end up comparing it to our original script anyway, and inevitably judge everything and pick apart the adaptation to tell ourselves why ours was better, and then get depressed that it didn't get published that way. Or we might actually decide the adaptation was better and then get depressed that we didn't write it better to begin with. For some reason the option of deciding the adaptation was better and learning from it is never on the menu.
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