Today's manga: Suncoast supplied Kill Me, Kiss Me 3, Negima 2, and Mermaid Saga 1, which I figured I might as well get as long as I'm collecting the various Rumiko Takahashi series. I'm sure Viz will get around to publishing Urusei Yatsura in their new format soon enough. After all, they couldn't wait to finish any of their other series before switching them and pissing off collectors everywhere (seethe seethe grumble). Then I went to Waldenbooks and nearly missed a few titles on first pass. Video Girl Ai 8, Steel Angel Kurumi 6, Those Who Hunt Elves 5, A.I. Love You 4, Lupin III 14, Prince of Tennis 2, and Comic Party: Another Round leapt right out at me. Getbackers 4 and Mink 3, I didn't spot until after I'd picked out all of those and decided to check one more time just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I also figured I'd pick up the new Mysteries and Secrets Revealed about Evangelion... unfortunately, far from being an authoritative source of answers, it appears to have been written by people who watched the anime and all its various incarnations and puzzled out what they think it all means. Most of it more or less confirms what I've come to expect, and the rest of it (even some of that) is completely inconclusive, and the book even says so. They quote from the anime as if quoting from the Bible, then go on to put passages together and explain what the evidence APPEARS to suggest. Half of the questions raised as topics in the book aren't even answered... the book just lists the facts that the anime provides and leaves it up to the reader. Good news for me, I suppose... it doesn't contradict the Eva story I was writing or the GTP tie-in. At least, not in any fashion comprehensible enough to constitute a threat.
Other than that, Curt and I hung out for a while, watched all of Magical Play, and enjoyed the lunch buffet at Happy Dragon. Amazingly, I managed to eat more at the lunch buffet for $6 than I usually manage at the dinner buffet for $8... although we ate there last time I was in Terre Haute, and due to mutual confusion, we ate much earlier than I'd intended. Explains why I only managed one plate and a few dessert items. Wish I'd had a bowl of soup, but they didn't have one that I really wanted out. I could have had what appeared to be Crabmeat and Corn, but I wasn't in the mood. I did, however, realize that I need to take much less rice from now on... I usually cover my plate with a bed of rice, top it with lo mein, and then pile on a bit of each entree that looks good. I end up with a giant pile of rice with various sauces at the end, which is delicious but far too filling and doesn't leave me room for additional courses, like the Mongolian barbecue and the wide variety of dessert items, including cookies, fried biscuits, and additional entrees. I'll have to strategize carefully when we return there for New Year's Eve this year... assuming we do that and don't end up at home that night. We'll see... it's a pretty long time to be away from work, and if I manage to switch to the government side of things, I won't have very much leave saved up. Doubt they'd have a problem with me taking a week of leave without pay, considering the situation and the timing of the whole thing, but I'd rather not have to do that. Also, I don't like being without leave... I never know when a situation will come up and I'll have to take time off, so I always like to keep some saved up. I could conceivably put in some overtime and earn comp time that way, but I'd burn myself out quickly and neglect my responsibilities/enjoyments at home, which is something that I very carefully avoid. I don't let myself devote too much time to work or to fun.
Speaking of work, I think it might be time to post the first excerpt in a very long time... I was reading over some old posts and liked having the excerpts around as a nifty record of how my writing was progressing. So here comes a giant spoiler for the second chapter of FCM. I don't think it's nearly as emotional as I want it to be, but aside from having characters cry, which would destroy the mood rather than build it, I can't really think of a way to do that. Maybe give the character speaking in the last paragraph some actions to break up the dialogue, but... anyway, here it is.
The visions flashed through Sailor Moon's mind in rapid succession, all the horrible images that had haunted her dreams. "I told you not to come here."
Rini put her hands on her hips. "Yeah, I caught that. I was wondering why you kept encouraging me to go on missions with you all this month, and why you suddenly wanted me to be Sailor Crystal Moon when you usually keep telling me to go home and never get involved in your battles again. Then I figured it out... you wanted me to waste my power so I wouldn't be able to get here. Well, I wasn't going to miss the big battle for anything. You NEED me."
Sailor Moon glared at her yet-to-be-born daughter with equal parts love and venom. "Rini, I did that to protect you. Don't you understand? Uranus and Neptune told me that something horrible would happen if you came to this place!"
Rini met Sailor Moon's gaze without flinching. "I don't care what Sailor Pluto told them to tell you. You're the one who taught me to have faith in every situation. I believe in Planet Power, and I believe in destiny. Everything's going to be fine."
"Everything will NOT be fine!" shouted Sailor Moon. "Don't you understand that? You're going to die!"
"Like you were about to before I saved you?" countered Rini. "Look, we've been through this speech a hundred times before. I know you don't care what happens to you as long as I'm safe. BUT I DO. I know exactly how you feel about me risking my life all the time, because I feel the same way about you. You may not have given birth to me yet, but you're still my mother, and every day, you remind me more and more of the woman who sent me to the past to become who I am now. But the world needs you... a lot more than it needs me. I can only be Sailor Crystal Moon once a month. If I was the only one who could heal Treespawn, there'd be hundreds of Tree of Death seedlings in every country in the world, getting ready to spread millions of spores and infect every living thing on Earth. The world needs YOUR power."
By that point, everyone probably knows what conclusion I'm building toward, but I think the important elements of it will be sufficiently unexpected that it'll be worth the buildup. Now... will I work on it tomorrow night for the challenge? Anyone out there have any requests? Anyone out there care enough to say anything? I don't usually get responses to questions like that, but I haven't figured out whether it means nobody who reads the journal cares about my writing, or those who do don't have a preference. I know there are a few people who read both...
There's another day of weekend left... that surprises me more than anything else at this point.