This time around I got to meet a few more friends of the family (Bill S's) who included a little person, his little person wife, and their average-sized son. I'm putting average in italics because I have this tendancy to use the word 'normal' instead and actually did it once while talking to the guy about the genetics of little person-dom, something he quickly corrected. I'd never really had a huge amount of interest in the topic but was fasinated to discover that it's actually a dominant trait apparently. Only the heterozygous individuals survive so when any two little people have a kid, it's 2/3's likely to be a little person too and 1/3 likely to be average sized. I had always assumed because it was generally rare that it was a recessive trait. It turns out that a lot of them are also just spot mutations, which I guess only makes sense from the whole heterozygous thing.
As an aside, I find something incredibly belittling about the term 'little people'. I know it's what they apparently prefer and I guess it has to be better than dwarf or munchkin or leprechaun, but you'd think that they could come up with something better than little people. It makes them sound a bit like magical wee folk and you can't say that the world 'little' dosen't have an infantilizing ring to it. Maybe we could just call them short people or something.
Oh well, that whole thing aside, the only other thing I did was play Rock Band. I had realized at Matt and Joyce's Christmas get together that the drums were never going to be my thing. I tended to struggle even on easy. So this time around I gave the guitar a whirl and found I really liked it. I was competant enough to play on medium without getting boo'ed off the stage and usually managed a score in the high 80's. Not fantastic for sure, but not bad for a first night's try. There was something thrilling about playing the actual melody of a song, note for note. Of course, there were a few times I ended up flubbing those parts so badly that the song essentially had no melody for a bit. It always took a while for me to feel the beat of the song. As far as timing, I end up playing more on instinct than watching exactly when those colored bars hit bottom. In fact, when I had to rely just on the colored bars, that's when I usually ended up having issues.
We also ended up exchanging some christmas presents at the party. Frankly, this is part of the party that always causes me some amount of angst each year. I don't much like holiday shoping in general and I really don't like the fact that so many people end up showing up to this thing and there's this differing levels of friendship thing. It makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable when I see someone not get anything to get something and not give anything to someone or vice versa. I'm sure most other people don't even spend much time thinking about it, but it's something that I end up pondering. So this year, basically I just decided to load a pillow case with whozits. I bought a case of those bigass solid Hershey's kisses, a few tins of some fancy schmancy truffle whozits, and $75 worth of gift cards in $15 incredments. I then proceeded to toss the items about, hitting at the very least the major individuals and then anyone who didn't seem to have gotten much or anything. Lori ended up doing practically the same thing but went all gift cards. She was telling me she ended up picking up 15 of them from Target just to make sure that she had every possible person on the darn invite list covered. I have no clue what denomination is on the card, but that had to have been a pretty pricey endevor overall.
The only non-generic item I picked up was from Randy, who continued the tradition. This is the third christmas in a row where he's gotten me musical CD's. This time around it was Evita and the movie version of Sweeny Todd. I'm pretty excited about the later since it's one of those that I've always meant to get around to listening to. In fact, I'd love to get a group together to actually catch it in theaters. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and a musical about killing people and baking them into pies. What is there not to like? Bob also came along with Randy and I got a chance to have a good talk with him as the night wore on. It's a shame that I don't get to see more of them in general, but Bob has no interest in gaming and generally avoids those events and even Randy dosen't pop down as often anymore. Shame really.
I ended up taking some pictures but they're still in the camera. I'll try to find some time to upload and resize them in the next day or two and pop them up.