• The morning after our epic night of Hunger Games I ran the annual stake 5K (Julie opted out of this one this year). It's a fairly nice course, and there was a much higher attendance than last year. This also means that I didn't place quite as high as last year, but I was still in the top 10 (6th place overall, 21:14, after adding a little to make it a full 5K). They even had age groups, the "Senior" division breaking off at age 40, much to the delight (and probably request) of the stake presidency and such. There were a lot of runners from the ward, which was fun.
|Me after the run.|
|How I really felt after the run (we stayed up too late the night before).|
As for the show itself, um... So apparently, as it's been running for some fifteen years, they decided it was time to update the production, or, as they call it, "streamline," I guess. I was interested to see what this would mean, and after seeing the new show, as far as I can tell, that basically translates to cutting some songs, making the rest of the songs REALLY fast, adding and expanding some scenes (complete with deep, psychological, sort of out of place dialogue) and therapy between Belle and Maurice or the Beast, scaling back the sets and costumes and cast significantly, and adding a few puppets in place of previously cooler special effects. We were assured by the souvenir stand girl that we wouldn't be disappointed, but secretly we were a little. It was still fun, and Be Our Guest was still cool, we just wanted, and were expecting, a little more spectacle. But it was great to go out anyway! I'm glad I was diligent and was able to find such an awesome deal on tickets and surprise mine wife with them. (She wanted to go so very much this time.)
|I'm pretty sure our seats were season ticket spots, and every seat had a long-stemmed rose placed upon it.|
(I realize I also posted this video in the link above, since we apparently sang it last year before I was director. Eh, the ward changes so much and so quickly I doubt anyone realized it, or if they did, I doubt they minded.) It was probably my final hurrah as ward choir director, and it was great to leave on such a positive note. This ward has always had pretty great talent, and (when I was able to corral them up for rehearsal, which was at times quite a task), they could do some incredible things. That Christmas program is one of my very favorite ward choir director experiences ever.
• The weekend following was General Conference. We decided to go up and try to get tickets for the Saturday afternoon session, which of course we were able to, and then for the Priesthood Session I did my usual bit of translating. President Uchtdorf stayed on his script mostly, but even when he jumped around I was able to keep up with him more or less. And no aviation vocabulary to try to wrangle! *Phew.* On Sunday we were able to enjoy both sessions in their entirety in our jammies in our living room, just as it was always meant to be (ha ha), and then we spent several more hours on the couch rewatching Pride & Prejudice, which of course is fantastic.
At some point on Sunday, this little event took place:
|... then we went running in it, which was a little less delightful.|
• Last weekend we took a little weekend jaunt to Park City. Here's the story: Last fall there was a Living Social deal that offered a night at a Park City resort for a great rate, with a few little perks thrown in, so I bought a couple of nights, sure we would be able to use it for a little getaway sometime the next winter or spring. Well, imagine my surpreeze when a few months ago I realized that they expired in an incredibly hasty fashion, so here I was thinking I had just wasted a nice couple hundred dollars, which vexed me greatly. I tell you, I put on my squeaky wheels, and was definitely rewarded with some appropriately applied grease. They let me know that I couldn't get exactly the same deal, but I could use the vouchers for a couple of nights in the future, up to the amount I paid for them, and then pay the difference for a stay at the place, which of course varies based on the time of year. We estimated after Easter and General Conference we would be ready for another weekend away, and it worked out pretty well.
So on Friday night, after dinner at a favorite Mexican place in Midway, which features a most beloved salsa bar, we head up to the Park City Peaks Hotel, which was fairly nice (though not as nice as where we stayed for our last Park City/Midway getaway). But we had a great time relaxing and staying cozy while the occasional snowstorm swirled outside our window. We went to a couple of movies (The Hunger Games again--still awesome, and Wrath of the Titans--at the request of The Wife), watched The Aviator in our room, enjoyed a discount at the (so-so) on-location restaurant, took advantage of the indoor/outdoor hot tub/pool (outdoor hot tubbing while the snow gently falls FTW), did some fun shopping, including the discovery of a new and exciting store to us, World Market. We didn't take many pictures, as it turns out, but we did have a great and relaxing time, and it was fun to stay somewhere new and actually understand the geography of downtown and local Park City a little better. It seems like until now I had mostly just gone out of the way into the outlets part of town.
• Just a few days ago, we participated in another stake 5K, this time at the old home stake with Mom and Dad. It was a pretty good turnout, and there were runners of all ages. I started out pretty strong, then still managed to pass one or two more people to finish 2nd overall (20:34), and was rewarded a ribbon and a watermelon for my efforts. Right on! Great prize. Julie and Mom and Dad all did really well too! It was a pretty good course through the old neighborhood, though those last couple of laps over grass around the elementary school soccer field were pretty brutal. Give me pavement or give me death! Okay, not death, but still, I prefer to run on pavement.
And that's about it! Some fun weekend happenings. Stay tuned for bewildering, bothersome news, followed by exciting, excellent news.