A wrapup of miscellaneous observations from my Christmas festivities:
Becki and I wanted to take advantage of the presence of family and try to get some of our running done during the daytime. So, on Christmas Day, I called the first annual Family Fun Run. I got almost every able bodied person to go out and do our Tuesday run (run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes, repeated 5 times total). I wore my short short running shorts for the occasion, but no one thought to take a picture, which is lucky for me.
One of the presents I got was a couple CDs from Christopher O'Riley. He's a classical pianist who's made a little side venture into arranging and recording solo piano versions of contemporary artists' songs. His first two were both Radiohead compilations, and his most recent two (the ones that I got) are recordings of works by Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. These aren't novelty records, though. O'Riley is sincere about his treatment of these songwriters and believes the compositions are every bit the equal of the classical works that he performs. In the liner notes to the Elliott Smith record, he writes that when Elliott Smith died, “America lost her most important songwriter since Cole Porter or George Gershwin." Anyway, I highly recommend it.
The other present I was really excited about was a nearly one pound bag of Cinnamon Imperials (aka Red Hots). I don't know where Santa Claus found them, but I'm sure he got a better deal on them than I did.
Miranda loves clementines. And tangerines. And mandarin oranges. Basically anything that's like an orange but smaller. We can open a large can of mandarin oranges, and she'll easily eat the whole thing in one sitting. There were a lot of clementines sitting around my family's house at Christmas, and she spent the whole day finding them, picking one up, and then carrying it around from person to person saying "Thank you, thank you" until someone would peel it for her. If no one peeled it fast enough, she would just bite into it and eat the whole thing straight, peel and all. I saw her eat about 6 clementines on Christmas, and I'm sure she had several more when we weren't looking.
The day before Christmas, we went running in Becki's mom's neighborhood. That particular day we were running 3 laps of 7 minutes each. I try not to look at my watch too much during a lap, because I don't want to be disappointed to find out there's much more time left in a lap than I thought. However, I allowed myself one look during each one of these laps. Each time I looked, there was exactly 5 minutes 38 seconds remaining. It was weird.
The day after Christmas, much of my family went to the paintball field to play paintball with many others from my parents' ward and elsewhere. It was exhausting but fun. The most entertaining part of the game for me was when I was coming around the corner of a building intending to fire a few shots at a guy (one of the high priests in my parents' ward) who I last saw 50 feet away. Unbeknownst to me, he had also approached the same building, and was coming around the same corner in the other direction. So, when I whirled around the corner and fired, I hit him on his exposed forearm from about 1 foot away. The dude snapped, totally lost his cool, and started yelling while firing about 10 shots into me nearly point blank. Driven by instinct, I kept pulling the trigger to fire back. By the time the ref ran over to pull us apart, we were both pretty messed up.
After the game was over, he apologized for losing it, and I apologized for removing a whole square inch of skin where I hit him on the forearm. It was really bleeding something awful by that time. In my defense, though, the dude had a long sleeved sweatshirt on, but had the sleeves pushed up, leaving his forearm totally vulnerable for some reason. It's only been in the last day or two that I can no longer see all the welts on my body from that little exchange. I'm sure his arm is still healing, though.