Sorry about the lack of life

Been super busy these last couple of weeks. I managed to make it out to Berkeley and San Francisco last week for three days, which was a breath of fresh air after being stuck in Los Angeles for six months. I had two great nights of beer drinking and general friend-seeing, and also had to interview a number of people for the documentary I was working on.

Besides that, I also got to witness the resentencing of Pavel Lazarenko (look him up), which was a rather interesting experience. I have to say that being in court is a rather exciting experience, contrary to what I had believed. No wonder people like court room dramas. Lazarenko’s defense attorneys are very talented people, and I finally understand how justice is not really about the law, but about who makes the more compelling argument.

Cool leg, cute dog, hot mom, great family

On Halloween, I was in Westwood with my buddy Chris, eating at a place I had gone to in 2006. I hadn’t been to Westwood for about two years, and considering I used to go there every day to see my girlfriend (a two hour commute one way), it was a pretty important place for about a year.

Chris and I went to a really funky thrift store called the Thank-You Mart and bought a bunch of stuff for our Halloween costumes (read: bought ultra glam clothes for him, pink ultra tight girl’s shirt, beret, sunglasses, and bandana for me), and then we walked around the UCLA campus for a bit. Between our shopping (I also got an awesome purple polka dot tie for $4) and our excursion on campus, we went to this cafe. We probably should have gone to the place next door, which looked more expensive but also looked like it had better service and better food, but what can you do when nostalgia strikes?

It turned out to be a good thing that we ate at this cafe, because right as we sat down, I saw the coolest family. A woman and her husband and their two sons sat down next to us, and the older son, who was about five (I’m notoriously bad at gauging kids’ ages) had a prosthetic leg. The amazing thing about his leg was that it looked like a multi-colored robotic leg, like something you would build out of Legos when you were a kid. It was so awesome. I wish I had taken a picture. It didn’t even try to hide the fact that it was a prosthetic leg – even the joints were super visible, so it totally looked colorfully makeshift (it was purple, I think). I ended up telling his mom (who was gorgeous, by the way, and looked like little running water), that the boy’s leg was cool, and she asked him, “What do you say to that?” He ended up saying thank you. I don’t think he was mad at me for bringing it up. At least his mom wasn’t.

What’s nice about this experience is that this kid’s mom and dad are treating him like a normal person and taking away the stigma of disability. I mean, who wouldn’t want a robotic leg!? If I’m jealous of this kid’s fake leg, the parents are doing something right! I watched a great TED talk about prosthetics and disability by Aimee Mullins (who had both of her legs amputated below the knee) recently, during which she elaborated on her twelve pairs of prosthetic legs. She told a great story about how she has legs made that can make her taller, and that when she wore them to a party, her friend said that it wasn’t fair that she could make herself taller at will. I think that’s an important thing – that we’re no longer seeing disability in a negative light, that we’re no longer projecting negative stereotypes onto people who are wholly capable of functioning in our society, even without legs or arms, etc.

While we were eating, the little boy kept running around his father, who was holding his younger brother, playing peekaboo and generally having a really good time. They also had a really nice black poodle, whom the mother, in response to my “Is that your dog?” described as, “Well, it’s really his dog,” referring to the boy with the super amazing leg. She was also super hot. Did I mention that?

I was totally jealous of how happy their family seemed to be, even in the midst of what could have been something really negative. It’s not often that I see such a well adjusted family. To be honest, I rarely see happy families, which made this encounter all the more amazing. I guess I’m also reflecting on my own lack of family, or at least my own lack of caring, stable, happy family. Let’s not even try to bring in the inevitable Tolstoy allusion.

I was thinking about LRW a lot that day, seeing as we were in Westwood and all. I told Chris that she looked like the hot mom, and he was impressed (although I don’t want to play to assumptions about how I want to potentially show off this whole age difference, which I don’t care about), but I obviously was not telling the truth. I mean, sure, they look kind of alike, but not necessarily so. LRW is paler and has nice eyes and never calls, but that’s just the selfishness talking right about now.

Little running water is also a stupid codename, because it has no relation at all to anything, but I like it. Don’t you?

You don’t want to waste your life, darling

You said you wanted to quit your job. I think, in some ways, quitting would be such a great thing. Your job will not tell you that you are beautiful, but I will. Will your job tell you sad stories about Russian history, about poets who commit suicide after they return from Berlin? Will it tell you all those sad stories? Will it write about you?

Forget buying things to be happy. Forget about working seventy hour weeks. Forget about not returning phone calls. Let’s just go to the Getty or see a movie. I’m not asking you to marry me; hell, I’m not even asking you to be my girlfriend, and I don’t care how old you are. I almost got you though, when you said your sister is five years younger than you, and I asked, “So, how old is your sister?” and you laughed. I am glad you laughed when I said that, and when I sad that, for Halloween, I would go as the guy who looks really young. No costume required.

I need to hear you say something other than, “Well, good luck,” “Well, it was nice talking to you,” “Well, I should go to sleep,” and other meaningless things. Do we not have other things to say?

All we can do is wait

I’ve been preoccupied with waiting lately. Waiting through the green card process, waiting for phone calls, waiting for work, etc.

Last week, my sister finally got her green card. She can now travel to Russia with my mother at the end of the month. I will stay here. Even if I could go, I probably wouldn’t want to go to Russia for a while. I’d rather go to Vancouver.

I’m having a really hard time sitting down to write. Been thinking through a couple of pieces in my head but my schedule is such that I just don’t have the time for it. We’re working on a documentary about a Ukrainian Prime Minister, and it has to be done within the next four to five weeks, so it is really short notice. I will most likely be in the Bay Area within the next two weeks, which will be a great way to see all of my friends.

I’m so apathetic right now. Just want to sleep but I slept for six hours instead of napping for an hour. That was one huge stress dream, full of deadlines and angry people and heads rolling on the floor.

Let’s see if I can fall back asleep.