Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday weekend and HK goodies

My birthday was this weekend and it was a goodie. Above, you can see the b-day swag I got from Wei. 115 HK laser discs! I think she's a keeper?! Last week I came across an Ebay auction for these laser discs and easily persuaded Wei to buy these as my b-day gift. The seller lived only 45 minutes or so away, in Queens. So, instead of paying an extra 60 bucks for shipping, we arranged for me to go to his apartment and pick the discs up. I felt a bit uneasy about meeting the seller in person. Through a few email contacts back and forth, it was clear that he wasn't a collector and was just some lucky shlub to have come across these discs and wanted to parlay them into a quick buck. He obviously didn't know what he had as I've seen some of these discs selling on Ebay for mucho dinero. But, who knows how much they are worth? And I don't really care about their monetary worth. They are more valuable to me as a HK cinema lover and shithouse collector.


So, Wei and I were heading into Flushing for a b-day dinner at a great Taiwanese restaurant called Red Chopsticks, when we made a detour to go pick up my b-day gift. Driving to this fellas house I had flashing visions of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and Buffalo Bill. My mind worked out a scenario where I would knock on the sellers door, he would answer with a candelabra to my noggin', drag my lifeless slab down into his basement, shove me into a deep trench, change into female underthings, apply lipstick, stick his shmeckle between his legs, turn up the Q Lazarus on his hi-fi, stare at himself in a mirror exclaiming, "I'd fuck me!", lower a basket of lotion down to me, request that I apply it liberally all over my man boobs while saying, "It rubs the lotion on it's skin or else it gets the hose again", and then holler bloody murder, "Put the fucking lotion in the basket!" After I snapped out of my personal horror with a shudder, we pulled up to the gentleman's home. I asked Wei to keep the car running and have 911 typed into her phone, ready to send.


I rang the doorbell, stepped back, palms sweaty and ass clenched a tad too tight from fear. He answered the door and was every damn bit of the 'Buffalo Bill' that I had envisioned. Tall, round body, long scraggly gray hair, baked bean looking teeth that were widely spaced out, long and curiously neat manicured yellowish fingernails, nose hairs like unkempt pubics running amok, and a lonely mans smell. The smell of Vaseline. I almost shit myself. He said hello through the screen door, turned, and waved me in. I paused, looked back at Wei for a sec, and then reluctantly entered his home. The box of laser discs were in his foyer and he lifted a few out to show me the quality. He said he had a few more upstairs that he would give me for free. I prayed he wouldn't ask me further into his home, "Please don't invite me upstairs! Please don't invite me upstairs! Please don't invite me upstairs!" And he didn't. He went to get the other discs and I took my box of goodies back into the god lovin' fresh air and sunlight. Back to Wei. Avoiding a dark trenched and lotioned man boob fate. He came back with the other discs, bent my ear for a few minutes about immaterial matters, and asked, "If I get more Chinese laser discs would you buy them? A dollar a piece?" I said I definitely would. Shook his hand with a "Thank you," and returned to Wei's car where my ass declenched and I exhaled with a sigh of relief.



Now it was on to Flushing and my b-day dinner. Did a little more HK movie shopping and took a gamble on a mainland copy of the new Shu Qi/ Aaron Kwok big budget craptioner, CITY UNDER SIEGE, for $8. Headed over to Red Chopsticks and devoured some porkchop on rice, jellyfish, oyster pancake, and stinky tofu. My post traumatizing Ebay laser disc experience dinner is pictured below. As for the CITY UNDER SIEGE disc, when I got home later that night I popped the disc in to check the quality. Wonderful quality but, alas, no English subtitles. Sometimes Chinatown is a gamble. This time I took the gamble and lost. Damn you C-town. Damn you straight to heck! A few of the laser discs that were part of my b-day swag are pictured above.

Red Chopsticks. Flushing, Queens, NY

B-day backyard Korean BBQ

Later in the weekend we finished celebrating my b-day with a backyard Korean BBQ that the future in laws and family threw for me. The food was delicious and the conversations throughout the yard were loud, funny, and interspersed with the sounds of English, Mandarin, and Mandarish. As the sun fell, the beautiful September air became more crisp. Layers of clothing were added and a lot of warm Green Tea was downed. Green Tea being Wei's fathers specialty. As the darkness progressed and the party crowd became thin, in the nighttime sky to the west, was a beam of light. The 9/11 tribute lights that pushed through the darkness and reached wondrous heights could be seen from Wei's backyard. It was once a melancholy day, celebrating my b-day on the same day as an international tragedy. Without minimizing the days place, reflection on that horrific day will always linger, but my birthdays are now a more joyous occasion being surrounded by a warm family and new friends who genuinely care about me. The inclusion of Hong Kong films helps as well, of course.


  1. That was just a great post! I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

    Now the big question is: who's gonna get you the LD player so you can play all that stuff?

    Flash forward 25 years and it could be you opening that door to a Jetsons-esque kid out to collect your stuff as it was just taking up too much space in the astro-pod.

    BTW, I got burned a few times with Chinese stuff w/o subs that I got at a shop in the Eden Center (Vietnamese hub of stores in NoVa). I gave up and just wait now for the real ones from YesAsia.

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Happy birthday! You're a lucky guy -- and I'm not talking about the laser discs. Maybe "Mrs. Santa" will get you a player for Xmas.

  3. Glenn, I'm glad to give you a laugh. I sure hope i'm not that guy in the future. I failed to mention that he told me he lived with his mother, Roxy. I kinda felta bad for this guy but he was the one with the huge wad of cash in his hand and Wei and I were that much poorer. I stopped feeling so bad.

    C-town is notorious for burning people. It happens every now and then. It sometimes works out well, though. In this case I knew I was getting a mandarin dub of City Under Siege, since the film was just recently released and the HK disc wasn't out yet. I have bought mandarin dubs before on a quick turn around from the actual release and some are very good prints with great subs. It really is a gamble.

    Dave, thank you! And the mention of a LD player has already been brought up to Ms. Santa. And if I'm REALLY itching for one, I also have calls into Ms. Hanukkah Harry and Ms. Great Pumpkin. =)

  4. I can't decide which is funnier--the Buffalo Bill scenario or the description of approaching the door and your reaction when he opened it.

    Thanks for a great post--it seems as if you had a delightful birthday.

  5. nice post great blog and LASERDISCS!! sweet!

  6. ewaffle, thank you very much. I did have a great birthday. It started off a little scary with the Buffalo Bill incident but ended very, very delightful! haha

    OCD, thanks! I really dig your blog and collection as well. Keep it up!

  7. CRAPTIONER - what a great word! :)

    I'm relieved you escaped a fate worse than death but findit odd that you'd go straight on to the other fate worse than death, stinky tofu. King Who lives life on the edge!

  8. "Close-craptioned for the...bowel-impaired"?

    I am wondering along the lines of Glenn's thinking as to where the devil you'll find a LD player. On the other hand, you will have a better chance than anyone pining for a mint, in-box player for their 8-track tapes!

    Happy hunting!

  9. Hi Fang Shih-yu. Thanks for stopping by! Have you seen City Under Siege yet? Was it a real craptioner for the bowel impaired? haha

    As for an LD player, Ebay sells quite a few of them. I'm just going to have do my research and look for the right one. I don't want to overpay either. I have seen a few still on sale in Chinatown but they are really expensive!

  10. It'll be a while before I can get to see City Under Siege, and that will happen the moment it hits on DVD.

    Not knowing if more Shaw reissues will make it to domestic form, I'm focusing what I money I have to burn on getting what IVL DVDs I can buy up yet; that means I've put purchases of most newer movies on hold unless real bargains abound!

    I'm picking up "Category III" movies here and there. A recent Shaw purchase, Lady of the Law, had more exploitative stuff in it than I imagined; Shih Szu and Lo Lieh have to deal with a murdering rapist!

  11. I also have a ew CAT III Shaw Bros. films. Are there any that you recommend, Shih-yu?

  12. Kingwho?, some good exploitation Shaws are The Kiss of Death, The Sexy Killer, The Killer Snakes, The Delinquent, Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan and Black Magic!

    The first two feature Chen Ping, a lady synonymous with Shaw CAT III films, so any other title with her in it is bound to be good. Some go on about her 'cause she was one of a handful of Shaw actresses to do nude scenes with some frequency, but she possessed decent acting skill!

    The Delinquent is a great underrated work of Chang Cheh and Kuei Chih-hung! One hell of an ending with a bravura performance by Wang Chung!

  13. Thanks, Shih-yu. I have all of them but the only 2 I haven't seen are The Delinquent and Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan. I will move them up to the front of my queue. Thanks again.


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