a saturday of history

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saturday i got up fairly early (for me, on a weekend...around 9am) and eventually drove down to league city and retrieved my charles daly 1911 from the arms room. he said they were returning it to me in the condition they got it, so i guess if any work was done it was undone before the gun was returned to me. he did say they'd tried to do some stuff but it wouldn't fit without mods, and they were trying to keep the costs down. all i know is they had it for 3+ months and they never called me once. even after i'd called them after waiting a few weeks, and had driven down there a few weeks after that. so it's possible they did try things, or did some work of some kind, but at the very least the communication was nonexistent. now i'll have to find somewhere else to take it, or trade it for something else.

before i went to the arms room, i stopped at village pizza and seafood and had a cheeseburger sub. mmm. this is just for ash:

21-jul-07_villagepizsea.jpg


(yes, it's the one on 518 in league city. the one ash and i used to eat at sometimes.)

afterward i drove by a couple of places i used to live. first i made a stop by 216 maple leaf in league city:

21-jul-07_mapleleaf.jpg


i lived there for one year, from (i think) december 1996 through december 1997. amazingly (at least to me), it looks pretty much exactly the same. i lived there with kirk heuiser and ash. we (being three nasa engineers) set up stadium seating in the living room. we collectively had two couches so we built a platform out of plywood, 2x4's, and 4x4's for one couch to rest on top of, then took the back legs off the one on the floor so it had a slight recline. that way, the 36" tv on the 3 feet riser was in direct line of sight for both couches. the sub was placed under the platform, so the couches felt explosions and rumbling. we also made a walkway on the platform leaving space between the two couches, and in the middle we left a hole just the right size for a big rectangular igloo chest. just add some ice and your beverages of choice, bring over some bags of chips or whatever, and you were ready for a movie marathon. yeah, as everyone suggested, it was completely designed as a bachelor pad. the living room wasn't for talking -- it was for watching movies.

this became somewhat of a problem when we went to move, as we learned the igloo had leaked, getting in the carpet and the padding, and sitting for a long time on the metal of the lower couch that had had its back legs removed. a very nice, deep, 6+ feet long rust stain was left in the carpet, right in the middle of the living room. (did i mention we were all a&m engineers?) a couple of hours of scrubbing and work with various chemicals eventually got mostly rid of the stain. i guess it was decent enough because we got our deposit back.

what else...i had lots of blue christmas lights around the perimeter of the ceiling in my bedroom. i liked to use them as lighting instead of the regular light. we had an absentee landlord. we never saw him once. we were given 12 envelopes with deposit slips by the realtor, and we mailed our rent off to his bank every month. the rumor was that he'd gotten divorced because his wife had left him for a nasa engineer. we always nervously joked that we were going to wake up one night and find a crazed guy wielding some frightening weapon and raging about how he was going to get revenge on those d4mn nasa engineers.

i started dating tamara while living here (august 1997). we got engaged while i was living here also (october 1997...halloween, actually). (wonder what made me think of that?)

after going by maple leaf i headed over to the other side of league city to get a shot of the crow's nest on davis road:

21-jul-07_crowsnest.jpg


i moved there when i left maple leaf. it was f-204 -- a 2 bedroom apartment on the second floor (right in the center of the picture). i can't remember the timeline with ash...i think he left the country before we left maple leaf. but then i seem to remember him helping me move stuff into this place. maybe he left, but ended up coming back before the lease was over at maple leaf. i think that's it. ash lived with me for a number of months, then he moved before my wedding. after the wedding in june of 1998, tamara moved in with me. moving her stuff up the stairs with just me and her wasn't much fun. but my time in this apartment was good. we moved out of it when we bought 9023 in alief, august/september 1998.

i also stopped by where coffee oasis used to be. (the original one, on el camino real.) it's been gone for years. that's the place ash and i used to always hang out. it's where i met tamara. it's one of the only places i've ever really felt like a regular at (which i think is a cool feeling). everyone who worked there knew us, and most all of us regulars knew each other. that was a good time. lots of quoting of reservoir dogs (as well as bottle rocket, pulp fiction, etc.) the place is now a japanese fusion restaurant. since i was thinking of coffee, i decided to stop by diedrich's for some coffee on bay area blvd., but they evidently closed. here they both are, in their current glory:

21-jul-07_coffeeoasis.jpg 21-jul-07_diedrich.jpg


so instead i stopped by the dairy queen on el dorado and got a snickers blizzard.

saturday afternoon i hung out with jamie. we went to soundwaves, where i ended up buying three cds:

  • van lear rose - loretta lynn (interscope)
  • sliver: the best of the box - nirvana (geffen)
  • ill communication - beastie boys (capitol)

saturday evening i went to pueblito for natalie's birthday dinner. there were a few people i knew there and a lot i didn't, but i managed to have a good time talking with the people sitting around me. i determined i'd had enough social interaction after that and decided to not head over for the night of karaoke. i spent some time talking to jamie under a streetlight about my shortcomings as far as male/female friendships and relationships go. then jamie and i decided to go to empire, but they're stupid and close at 11pm on saturday night. so instead we went back to my place and i forced her to watch little miss sunshine. she's a believer now.

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i forgot to mention about the electricity at crow's nest. it was expensive even though we didn't run the a/c. it was like you started off at $50 for the month even if you ran nothing. one month i actually didn't run the a/c at all and even turned off the water heater for most of the month. the bill was still $78 or something. we went to complain, but they kept saying their bill was expensive too and the building didn't have good insulation. we couldn't get them to understand insulation didn't enter into the equation if you never turned on your a/c. they also suggested it could be the water heater, or several other things. we eventually decided they were getting a kickback from the electric company or we were all paying for communal property electricity or something. one time we got a check in the mail from the electric company with our address and apartment on it, but made out to the complex. we took it to them and they said it should have gone to them. it all seemed rather fishy.

Empire IS stupid - do you remember, that was not the *first* time that has happened to us? Natalie's b-day dinner was WAY fun - I want to go to another one soon. Well maybe not another Natalie b-day dinner (because I get that we'd have to wait a year - I'm smart like that) but something similar.

Little Miss Sunshine was teh stuff.

using my google-fu, i ran across at least one blog/site questioning the fate of diedrich's on bay area posted july 23. a commenter on that site, plus another site i found, said it closed on july 17th. i would assume the liberal peppering of starbucks stores in the clear lake area that started happening in 2000 or so probably helped do them in. i know ash used to hang out at that diedrich's a lot, so he may weep a bit. with the one on westheimer having been kicked out a few months ago, that leaves only the one on montrose. i wonder if it'll hang on?

as far as empire goes...it's stupid, but it's a nice place too. i wish they would have kept more of their coffeehouse vibe instead of becoming pretty much a restaurant that has a coffee background. oh well.

dude!!!What a great post. I almost cried when I saw the seafood & pizza sign. Then when I saw 218 maple leaf, I could hear Kirk's nervous phone laugh (which he used as a punctuation to each sentence). You also forgot to tell about your car which sat in the lot at the crow's nest for a year or more? Well, I guess we can count all that free parking as making up for the insane electric bills. Also, there was the really hot woman who worked at the manager's office who was like $40k in debt. It's sad that dietrich's and oasis are gone. Clear Lake sucked to start out with and now it sucks even more (didn't think that was possible). I'm really glad I decided to get "caught up" on your web log (notice the intentional space between the two words). I got really busy for a while and didn't have the energy to read anything that I didn't absolutely have to. Great walk down memory lane. Ash

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