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?

Surfer girl, surfer girl

Love random allusions to old Beach Boys’ songs. Nevertheless, this isn’t about the Beach Boys.

Since I’ve never really been the type to ask people out in person, I’ve always been rather interested in online dating. Sure, there’s a stigma against it, but if you find someone great, it’s hard to judge whether meeting them in person would have been a better alternative. We use the internet every day, so why not put it to use in another potentially productive way?

Anyway, I’ve used craigslist for a while, for everything, and there are some decent people posting ads there. Sadly, most of the ads posted now are spam, so it makes it hard to find legitimate postings. It’s funny, because as a guy, my chances of getting a reply from anyone are something close to 1 in 30, for two reasons: women get something like 200 messages in 24 hours, while men of the same potential caliber may get 5, and then of course, people always want a picture.

There’s the horrible tendency to make lists on craigslist, and it is hateful. If you don’t fit someone’s list of qualities, which for women is exactly the same – at least 6ft tall, tattoos, etc. – then you’re pretty much fucked, but that’s if you even get past the part where they look at your photo or bother to open your email.

I like craigslist because once in a while there will be a really cool ad that catches me by surprise and exhibits some sort of individual quality. I swear, every ad has the same bunch of interests, which include “staying out and also staying in.” That’s the best fucking cliche I’ve ever seen. Who doesn’t like to stay out or stay in? When there’s a good, ad, it’s really good. It’s like reading someone’s facial expression.

I like craigslist and other sites because it’s easy to just send someone an email and not have to worry about being rejected in person. I know, it would be better if I went out and met someone and had the nerve to talk to them, but I’m not that kind of person. I have met some great people online. One was my ex, two were people I dated, others are current friends, etc.

To get to the subject of the post: I emailed someone and also posted a satirical ad (because I was angry with all the listing going on) that was a huge list of the most vapid shit I’ve encountered. I actually got a response from the person I emailed, and responses from the ad I posted. Strangely enough, two of the responses were from girls who spoke Russian, which is kind of cool. I’m not usually interested in girls who are Russian or speak Russian because I sometimes feel intimidated by them because my Russian isn’t exceptionally good. It’s also weird to meet them and to wonder which language you should speak to them in. Then again, I dated a Russian girl with whom I was able to speak in both languages, and it was awesome because we could talk in Russian around English speakers and not have to worry about being overheard.

One of the girls is planning to move to LA, and we’ve had these wonderful email exchanges about Russian literature and surfing and whatnot, and she’s tall, which I find really endearing, seeing as the last girl I dated was 4’11”, and this girl is 6 feet tall. I can’t tell you how annoying it sometimes was to date the really short girl.

So, surfer girl seems like a connection worth having. She actually knows who Bulgakov is! I can’t tell you how amazed I am.

Now that I’ve gone and embarrassed myself, the next post won’t be so interesting.

Hobbies

I’m a rather boring person. I don’t have any hobbies, unless reading and drinking coffee count as hobbies. I don’t go clubbing, I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs. I know how to salsa (not very well, but well enough to stay with the beat). I can speak to you in Russian and I can tell you where we are if we get lost. I can read sheet music but I don’t play any instruments anymore. I can’t sing for shit.

I wonder if hiking is a hobby. If so, then I can say that I’m an excellent hiker. I take photographs, but I think that’s mostly an exercise in frustration, and not a hobby.

On an unrelated note, I hope to start dating when I get to Roanoke. Unfortunately, I’m kind of boring, which doesn’t help my case. Surprisingly, after being single for almost nine months, I feel much better about myself. I’ve always needed to be with someone. As a kid, I imagined being married at 25.