Yesterday we celebrated my birthday with our friends Aaron and Melissa first with a meal at Buster’s Texas BBQ and then later with a visit to Cinetopia to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As ever the food at Buster’s was superb. If you’re a fan of BBQ I’d highly recommend a visit. We always have a great time there. After our meal we drove to see the movie. Unfortunately we got there a little later than expected and were unable to sit with our friends. We still had a fantastic time with the movie though. I hadn’t read the book beforehand and really enjoyed the story. The acting and production quality were top notch. Some folks might be offended or disturbed at a couple of the scenes, but there was nothing gratuitous. It was able to very well deliver the poignancy of a great story without going over the top. It was great to double date with our friends and I’m looking forward to returning with them to see the second movie.
Friday night Meaghan had arranged a surprise party for me at Ground Kontrol with our friends. I had a slight suspicion that something was amiss when she wouldn’t nail down the name of the restaurant we were going to, but I had no idea she’d organized to meet with our friends or of the great location. It was wonderful to walk in and see everyone there. What ensued was a collection of beer drinking, great conversation, and of course old school nostalgia gaming at a truly classic arcade. Amy and Dan had a Ms. Pacman competition. I watched Laura flexing some skills for Bryon on the BurgerTime cabinet. I had to rekindle an old love with a few runs on the Dance Dance Revolution machine, and Matt, Dan and I tore up a few rounds of Gauntlet Legacy. It was a great night, and were it not for Sagat ending my clean run on SF II I would have had a chance to clear arcade mode in a single quarter (I find M. Bison much easier than Sagat).
After Ground Kontrol we retired to the Portland City Grill for some nightcaps and more conversation. Amy, Dan, Matt, and Holly got my The Camera by Ansel Adams; a great compliment to the new lens I got for Christmas and the new camera bag I received for my birthday from Meaghan and my parents. I’ve already studied a couple of chapter and can see why Mr. Adams was considered such a pivotal part of modern photography.
Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes for my birthday, via phone, email, FaceBook, or in person. I truly appreciate it and I feel extremely blessed to have such great people in my life. Here’s to making another great rotation!