“he remembers those vanished years…”

thursday i took a vacation day from work and made a trip to brenham with the potts. they were going to take some family pictures for easter. they had a full mini-van with them plus sarah, and they were planning on leaving earlier than i wanted to, so i ended up taking my motorcycle. i had no sunscreen and got a bit more sun than i’d thought i would, but that’s what is supposed to happen on the first spring road trip i suppose. we met at der weiner haus and biergarten in downtown brenham for lunch. i had a brat with sauerkraut, some german potato salad, and a couple of shiner bocks. after that we headed to the blue bell creamery for their tour. it was interesting, but i didn’t think it was awesome or anything. from there we headed out 105 to the franciscan poor clares monastery. the nuns who live there raise miniature horses. i got very little sleep the night before, so i actually ended up opening the sliding door on the potts’ mini-van and getting in a seat and sleeping for an hour or two while everyone else looked around. we left there and headed down 105 to the washington-on-the-brazos state park. sarah and sue had been trading riding with me on my motorcycle, so on the way there sarah took some pictures of sue with me riding down the highway. when we left the park, jack took a few pictures of me, and me and sarah, on my bike in front of an old metal shed building. hopefully i’ll be able to get copies of all of these pictures, and maybe i’ll put some up. the plan was to eat at some buffet place, but we we ran long at the park so they were going to be closed. instead, we headed toward navasota and ended up finding a mexican food restaurant near where 6 and business 6 meet. it was pretty good. the ride back to houston was kind of chilly, but fortunately i’d taken my leather jacket and a knit beanie so it wasn’t too bad.
friday when i was on my way to lunch in my pickup, i came up to a red light on montrose. a car pulled up next to me and the guy wearing a fedora driving the car looked over at me and said “bob wills is still the king.” that was nice.
friday evening chris had invited me to hang out with him and some of his friends. they were celebrating a couple of their birthdays. i know most of that circle, but not real well. so normally i would have politely passed, but the place they were going seemed too possibly cool to skip. the place is called joystix, and is in downtown houston on franklin near minute maid park. the guy buys, repairs, and sales arcade games and pinball machines. the showroom probably has 100+ arcade games and 50+ pinball machines. the first and last friday of every month, they open up the showroom and for a $15 flat fee you can play all of the games between 9pm – 2am. they have a cash bar, and even have staff that will let you order at the games and bring your drink to you. pretty slick. i played frogger, asteroids deluxe, tempest, donkey kong, donkey kong jr., joust, centipede, tron, deer hunter ii, mortal kombat, simpsons pinball, and family guy pinball. but the best thing of all was an original stand up version of wizard of wor. i pumped so many quarters into one of those back in 1982 or so. it was awesome to see the game and play it again. i recommend checking it out.
saturday afternoon i headed to the potts and had supper there, then we all watched winged migration. it’s a very impressive film following various types of birds in their migratory patterns. the cinematography is incredible. it said they spent four years collecting the footage for the movie. a lot of the shots were of birds taking off, landing, and in flight. they had to have used gliders or drones or something to get the shots they did. (i haven’t watched the extras yet, they probably go into that.) there are a lot of really beautiful shots, along with a bunch of amazing sequences of birds in flight.
sunday i slept in late, then in the evening i headed to the potts because they were grilling and asked me to come over. i brought beer brats, jalapeño hot links, and some andouille sausage. i had some of each of those and a couple of big reds while we sat outside and talked.
this evening i watched kar wai wong’s in the mood for love. a beautifully shot movie, but jeez how sad. it’s set in hong kong in the early to mid 60’s. two married couples move in next to each other. the husband in one couple is gone a lot, as is the wife in the other. the two left behind eventually discover their spouses are having an affair with each other. they end up spending a lot of time together and become close, but they don’t want to be like their spouses. i don’t really want to lay out the whole storyline. but i will say i think it was a really cool decision to never really show the faces of the spouses who start off having an affair with each other. and d4mn, it’s a sad story of possibly prevailing morality leading to utterly heart-breaking missed moments in a fscked up situation. okay, i guess i couldn’t help but mention that.
that era has passed.
nothing that belonged to it exists any more.
he remembers those vanished years.
as though looking through a dusty window pane,
the past is something he could see, but not touch.
and everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.
(texts used in in the mood for love, from “intersection” by liu yi-chang)

9 comments on ““he remembers those vanished years…””

  1. Dude! I love ‘in the mood for love’ (and I’m always in the mood for it!). Wong kar-wai rocks! (it’s very weird to see his name written kar-wai wong, but I guess that’s would it would be in ‘english’). 2046 is supposed to be the dark side (read: dark parallel universe) version of itmfl. Tony Leung’s character in 2046 is also a writer, but instead of being a stand-up guy, he’s a womanizer. The music for itmfl is great and as well as the colors, not to mention the 60’s clothes. His movies are also great from a language perspective. Wong kar-wai was born in Shanghai, but grew up in Hong Kong. So, his movies usually have at least one character that speaks Shanghainese (in itmfl it’s the landlady as well as the really old lady, her mother?), then obviously Cantonese (HK) and often some Mandarin (the lady T. Leung meets in Singapore). Then Japanese and English get thrown in sometimes as well. The really interesting part, is that characters speaking different dialects just talk to each other in their own dialect and everyone understands. It’s like having French characters speak French to Spanish characters, Italians speaking Italians to Portuguese people, etc. In real life, it happens to a limited degree, but for instance, a Hong Konger would never actually understand someone speaking Shanghainese without having learned Shanghainese (which the characters in itmfl almost certainly wouldn’t have).

  2. Joystix?? You went there!!!??? I heard about that place but never heard what it was called or where it was. I can’t even finish reading this entry because I’m so excited. I’m doing this at the very next possible opportunity.
    !!! How awesome is that???
    Okay, I’ll go and read the rest now.

  3. ash: i usually hear it pronounced wong kar-wai. i just wrote what was on the netflix sleeve though. maybe they put last name first and i didn’t notice? i noticed a lot of similarities between itmfl and 2046, but i already knew they were supposed to be part of a loose trilogy. the colors and visual style are really wonderful. his ability to create a mood or emotion visually and with the character’s actions and body language is very impressive. i didn’t notice the various languages being used. 🙂
    jamie: yep, it was pretty cool. not like being in a perfect dream, but pretty nice.

  4. so tell me about Der Weiner Haus. was it good? worth checking out? since I’m in the Brenham area from time to time these days, I’d like to know more. I don’t remember having noticed it before.

  5. Heh. Speaking of reminiscing and sunburn… made me recall that TAMU football game in the afternoon sun right after you shaved one side of your head. Remember Tom & Colin and me looking over and going “Oh Terry…. oh man, geez…” 😀

  6. linc: der weiner haus was alright. it looked like it was pretty new. it looks like there used to be a small drive-thru bank on a long slice of a lot there. another business is in a small building in the front, then the drive thru portion and the back of the lot is der weiner haus. it’s a small shack where they serve hot dogs and brats and such. all of the seating is outdoor. they have a number of picnic tables, and some concrete bar seating with fixed barstools. parts of it are covered and have ceiling fans. i didn’t think it was anything incredible, but it could be nice during good weather. the food was okay. you might want to check it out just to see what you think of it.
    vance: i remember that. but not as well as i remember my poncho at the games and the reactions it got. 🙂

  7. OMG, I’m right behind Jamie at Joystix. What memories it brings back to think of all of those games and the early heyday of the video game arcades.

  8. I don’t remember you wearing a poncho, but then I don’t think I was ever at a game with you when it rained.
    Joystix sounds like a place I would enjoy. The games I remember most are Frogger and Missile Command. The Koreans here are real big gamers. They even have game tournaments on TV.

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