I spent a full decade of my life putting on tailored suits, hanging out in nightclubs, chasing women and doing a whole lot of drugs. While fun, it was the cab ride home that was the worst. It was usually right about now, around six in the morning. Fighting back the runny nose and trying not to fall apart at every red light and more than anything praying that I could get up five flights of stairs without seeing any of my neighbors.
Once again I find myself up at this hour. However this time I have freshly brewed coffee as my drug of choice. I have already set up some bread dough to rise and have a green curry rice pilaf simmering in some homemade lamb stock. Once the baby wakes I’ll take her over to my butcher and have him cut up some meat for our barbecue tomorrow.
Life changes, people change. No regrets at all but I am glad I’ve gotten to where I am.
— Bob Balaban aka the nicest guy I’ve ever met
— Bob Balaban, getting deep when discussing which laundromat to film in
We took Harper to the first birthday party for her buddy Leo today out in Northern Bergen County, NJ. Suburban USA. While Leo’s folks are hip, the family wasn’t. Everyone there was ex-military, coached wrestling at the local high school and golfed. People kept “complimenting” Harper’s dress. It was only later that I realized it had a pattern made up of vintage tattoos. Lots of skulls, knives, naked hula girls and bottles of rum.
We are still pals. Maybe I’ll DVR it in case she gets to give a speech.
Over the years I have employed hundreds of people. I like giving people a start in the business, much as someone did for me long ago. Right now I have a kid working for me named Vladimir. He’s a hard worker who gets things done, and I’m lucky to have him on my team. Vlad happens to be a brother who lives in Bed-Stuy, so how he got that name I do not know.
I currently find myself involved with some really shady Russians from Brighton Beach, and wound up needing to pass them an envelope full of cash. So I arranged to have Vlad drive the payoff out to meet this cat Yevgeniy. The Russians are a pretty insular crowd so when I set the meet up Yevgeniy said “Your man is Vladimir? Eh, very good”. I so wish I could have been there when they met.