woke up at noon, wrapped up some presents in my usual brown no-frills wrapping paper, and then went to my godmother's house to deliver the gifts. the only person there was jack, i left the presents with him (a couple of dvd's, a subscription to boston magazine). he told me he's been playing starcraft. "why don't you play the expansion set?" i told him. "i am playing the expansion set," he replied. i left, my sister waiting downstairs in the car to drive me back home (i would've came on my own, except the maxima was sitting in the garage with a dead battery).

adam aim'ed me today, wanted to show me this 3d photo he created using nothing more than a digital camera and sweet photoshop of horrors. he told me the secret formula, which is essentially take the left view of a stereo pair and pasting that as the red channel for the right view. it's so easy, i was able to quickly create one on the fly. i was hoping for some opportunities to get some more stereo pairs but the weather was kind of drab today i didn't get the opportunity to go out and take photos. however, i will be on the lookout for good possible subject matter to be made into a 3d photo!

i got a ride to harvard square, where i went to the museum store to check up on the prices for preserved insects. that colorful cicada i wanted to get, just way too expensive at $85. besides, they had some new shipments of fresh bugs, and now what i really want is a glass display full of iridescent insects, not just one. cost? $500. until that time i can afford to buy the deluxe insect collection, i will have to make do with mere photos and the few live specimens i find during the summer months. after that setback in my desire to acquire entomological samples, i took a quick hop to central square, bought a new journal pad, and then came back to harvard, where i caught the bus to belmont.

when i got back home, 3:30pm, i went out running in the cold drizzle. the temperature was in the upper 40's, which might sound cold, but once i started running the conditions were just right. i felt really good today (despite the fact that i haven't eaten all day and was basically running on an empty stomach) and the weather definitely helped. the drizzling mist kept me from overheating. i was dressed in a pair of running shorts and a turtleneck, the sleeves of which i rolled up just to keep cool. there was nobody else running, although i did see a few people dressed in rain gear walking around. i started to get saturated and i wasn't sure whether it was the rain or the sweat. my wet hair came down in strands over my flushed face. i ran my abbreviated route (didn't go down the belmont center loop) non-stop, up and down hills, breathing heavily, crashing through puddles, and glancing at the sky periodically in exhaustion. when i finally finished running i stumbled into the house, into the bathroom, into the shower. completely spent, totally soaked, i haven't felt so good in a long time! now when i think about running, there is a tickle in heart that yearns for that relentless punishment that i know will end in a brief moment of physical catharsis. i want to run faster and faster, because i know the more exhausted i am the better i'll feel. it's so masochistic, running that is. my next scheduled run is wednesday.

at night my aunt and grandmother came over for a christmas eve hotpot dinner. i had my share of lamb slices, quail eggs, sour cabbage, tofu, tripe, and enoki mushrooms - the perfect meal for a cold night. later i gave them their present, a deluxe edition mastermind, for those boring hours at the cafe when they don't have anything else to do. it's also a nostalgic gift, because the very first time i played mastermind (actually i didn't play, i watched my cousins play, i was just fascinated by the assortment of colored pegs) was at my maternal grandparents' apartment in taipei. i must've been age 5 or 6, one of my few pre-immigration memories.