24. A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That: Part I

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March 6, 2013 by bdetienne

Burtogram Top Ten!  Burtogram Top Ten! Party Time! Excellent!

Burtogram Top Ten! Burtogram Top Ten! Party Time! Excellent!

In my last post I told you that during our extended furlough from blogging we experienced several noteworthy events, too many to list here. After debating the pros and cons of each, we put together a top ten list of these moments for your reading pleasure and why each were special. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the ride as we detail these moments over the next couple of posts.

1. Bond, James Bond

The incomparable James Bond starts and ends our vacation time. Last November, Skyfall was released and the entire Burtogram staff was stoked to see it. We were so excited that we gathered a few of our friends together and hit up the midnight showing. Despite the bar being set high by its two Daniel Craig-led predecessors, Skyfall not only maintained that bar but also pushed it up even higher. It was that good. I am not sure whether it beats out Casino Royale for my favorite Bond film ever but if not, it is a close second. Full disclosure, though: before Skyfall, I had only seen the two films with Daniel Craig, the five with Pierce Brosnan, and one with Timothy Dalton. That brings me to the end of the vacation time when I was first exposed to Sean Connery as Bond in Goldfinger. It was fantastic. (Sidenote: a special thanks goes out to my buddies Dylan and Glen for suggesting the flick.) It has a different feel than Skyfall, but a very enjoyable movie nonetheless. I am hoping to continue making my way through the other Bond films as the year progresses.

2. Thanksgiving

My sister has the worst luck flying. If you know her, make sure that you take the flight before or after she does because for some reason, the planes she is scheduled to fly have some issue arise that cause delays or cancellations. This past Thanksgiving was no different as a canceled flight (due to mechanical issues) caused her to have to fly into a different airport several hours after she had originally planned to be here. Thankfully the airport was nearby and we were still able to spend some of the holiday together with our family but for awhile there, I wasn’t sure if she would ever arrive.

3. Pedicures

During our family hangout at Thanksgiving my sister brought up her need to get her nails done. This led into a discussion of where the best place was to get them done (my sister has not lived in the area in four years and immense growth in retail has been realized near where we were). The surprising part was not the feedback that she received but where she got it from. My cousin and aunt had suggested a place and then my uncle agreed vehemently with them! What? He told me that I should try it and that I would not regret it. Well, when in Rome… The next day, my parents, my sister, my wife, and I drove to the place and purchased pedicures. I mean to tell you, it felt really nice. You sit in a special chair that is massaging your neck, shoulders, and back. Before the attendant dives in, your feet are soaking in a warm bath. Then they go to work. I am not afraid to admit that my uncle was right- it was incredible. My feet felt and looked great. I will be back.

4. Kindle Paperwhite

Ever since they first hit the market I have been curious about e-readers. I have always counted reading as one of my favorite hobbies and love the feel of a book in my hands. Would that experience translate over to an electronic device? Furthermore, there are several different brands out there; which one do I choose? I decided to ask a couple of friends of mine who I knew had Kindles whether they liked it. The feedback was extremely favorable. Not only was it great to carry around several books in one device, but it was lightweight and portable and battery life was exceptional. One of them suggested that I look at the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon’s newest e-ink reader that has a backlight built into the screen to allow for easy reading despite the amount of light present in the room. After my research into the Paperwhite gave similar praise, I pulled the trigger and got one. Now a month into my ownership of it, the praise was justified. I love it. The only downside is that with flying, you lose about 15 minutes at the beginning and 15 minutes at the end of the flight in reading time because “portable electronic devices must be turned off.” But it is great knowing that whether I am in bed, at the coffee shop, or on vacation, I have a small library of books at my reading disposal. (Special note of thanks goes out to Jeff and Jason for helping convince me that a Kindle was a wise investment.)

5. Cinema Suites

Christmas was a little hectic due to my wife’s work schedule and we really only had one day to celebrate it. This being our first holiday as husband and wife, we wanted to make sure to have some time to ourselves and make the time special. We ended up taking two days off of work the following week to hold “our Christmas.” It was a brilliant idea- sleeping in, making fancy breakfasts, hanging out in sweats all day, and so on. But arguably the best decision we made was to head to the movies. My wife wanted to see Les Miserables and since it was a special occasion, we splurged on the tickets to the Cinema Suites. If you are not familiar with this, the AMC theater in our area has a few theaters that are adorned not with the traditional movie seats but recliners instead. That’s right, you have your own recliner to enjoy the movie in. Servers come around and take food and drink orders. A tray table swings out and allows you to put said food and drink in front of you as you view the film. Winning. The movie was incredible, but it was enhanced by the experience of the comfort we were served with (even if it effectively ruined a normal theater outing for me going forward).

Our next offering will detail the second part of the top ten list. Here’s a hint: it involves a preacher, an unplanned vacation, and duck calls. Stay tuned.

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