Monday, December 31, 2012

Chapter 82 - December 27, 2012

It's pretty bad when you go to your local emergency room and the staff says, "Hi Brian!" Hi everybody. Kind of a bummer, but I had a seizure last week. It's one reason why I didn't blog with you last week. That, and it was Christmas. Anyway, everything's OK. A seizure is kind of like a reboot. I talked a little bit about it before,  but things like stress can bring on a seizure. I'm under a lot of family stress. Anyway, it's kind of like dropping a computer. It'll reboot and reorganize. It's weird going through a seizure, cause I don't remember anything. One minute I'm on my yoga mat with my therapist, the next moment, I'm in the emergency room at the hospital. I didn't remember anything. Probably a good thing.

One thing that might be really helpful to someone is my mother carries a prescription for Valium. It's in a syringe form and it's administered as a suppository. Kind of gross, but it'll be very helpful. Anyway, ask your doctor about this. It can be very helpful. It shortened my seizure and helps me.

We also had a great Christmas. Some friends came by. I saw a lot of my family. It was a great day. You know, I'm kind of tired of talking about my condition. Let's tell a few stories.

My friend here included some cartoons of Capetown. They are from a commercial photographic shoot I did. I remember one day we got done shooting early, so I went for a run. Not a good idea unless you know where you're going. Anyway, I ended up in an area that wasn't so good. Especially for a skinny white kid with long blond hair. I guess you'd refer to me as "Cream puff." Anyway, I got lost and next thing you know, some guy starts chasing me. It was a good work out. I managed to find the hotel. I didn't run after that. But running was a great way to find locations. I used to do it all the time. I found great spots for my shoots. I remember one time I got done running, I went down to the bar at the hotel to grab a beer and it was in the Bahamas. The light was fantastic. How convenient. We ended up everyday, at the end of the day, at the bar on the beach. Oh, yeah, there was great music too. Anyway, it was a good spot to shoot. I wouldn't have found it unless I went for a run.

I'll tell some random stories. I said it before, but I'll say it again, when you're in a state like this, it's good to think about stories to keep your mind preoccupied. When you're like this, it's easy to freak out. People often ask me, what's it like, how you are. I often tell them, it's kind of like being really wasted. Kind of like how you would feel just before you pass out. Luckily, I had a lot of training in this area. Hey, some people pay a lot of money to feel like this. As long as you go with the flow, it's OK. Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but I'll tell a few stories.

I used to stay with a friend of mine in Australia. He was a really good windsurfer. He said, "The wind's blowing really strong from the south. Let's go to Bondi Beach and windsurf in the waves." We went down there, made it past the shore break, went out into the open ocean. He was well far in front of me. I followed him like a young idiot out to sea. All of a sudden, I see him turn and come back towards me hauling ass. He said, "Go back, go back! Sharks. Big sharks!" as he went past me. I thought Oh my god. So I turned around as carefully as I could, but everywhere I looked I imagined fins. I was kind of freaking out. Anyway, I started heading back to shore. It's really difficult to hit a certain spot when you're on a windsurfer. Especially when you're afraid of being eaten. Anyway, I managed to get back to the beach. It was tough. I got beaten up by the waves pretty bad. Anyway, I got back to shore. I got washed up on the shoreline. I was throwing up saltwater. I was a mess. My friend came over to me, he said, "Did you see the big shark?" I looked up at him, I said, "No." He said, "Yeah, that's because there weren't any. That's to get back at you for the fake spider you put in my bed." The bastard got me. We were always playing tricks on each other.

That reminds me of another shark story. I was photographing a model jumping off a boat into the ocean. I was shooting swimwear. I was on the bottom of the ocean wearing a scuba outfit photographing the model as she jumped in the water. The shots were pretty cool and working out great. All of a sudden, I didn't see the model anymore. There was a big noise on the boat. I thought, "What's going on?" and then that big noise got louder and louder. I looked around and just behind me was a huge shark just checking me out. Well, I was a little scared to say the least. I slowly made my way to a big coral head and tucked myself into the coral. The shark came over, checked me out and swam away. I stayed in my spot for a while, and finally came up to the boat. Didn't say anything. Grabbed a beer from the cooler and just said, "OK, let's go home." I had to check my wetsuit after that. That's for sure. What a way to end the day.

My friend here asked me if I had any other shark stories. I've got so many. One time I was in Australia. I was just learning how to windsurf. I pulled up in my 4 wheel drive Jeep while my friends were standing around at the beach. One guy had a pair of binoculars out. They were looking out to sea where we windsurf. I walked over and sat on my board and sail and then walked over to them. I said, "What are you guys looking at?" they were all looking out to sea. The guy with the binocular kept looking out to sea. He said, "Mate, there's a shark feeding on something out where we're about to go." I said "Oh." I turned around, got my board, put it on top of my car, rolled up my sail, put everything away and went home to have a beer.

My friend here will include some cartoons from the past. I don't know if I explained, but these are cartoons I did when I could draw. I hope you enjoy them. She will include the link to my next project. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chapter 81 - December 18, 2012

Olaf the Wonder Cat. My friend here asked me, "Who is Olaf?" (See previous Blog.) Olaf was my friend's cat. He used to torture me on a regular basis when I would visit my friend in Paris. He's a good friend. He made the mistake of saying, "When you come to Paris, look me up." Little did he know, I went to Paris the following week. I looked him up. I looked him up. I think I called the guy every day. I didn't know anyone else to call. Anyway, it was fun hanging out with him. One time he got a big job for a big magazine. Oh yeah, he's a photographer. Anyway, he got a big job, and he said to me, "Will you be the assistant?" I said, "Sure, no problem." But the guy was so damn excited, he showed up for the job without his cmaera. I brought the cameras to him and we all had a great shoot.

No good deed goes unpunished. Sorry to be a bummer, but it's kind of true. I stopped recommending models because of the following stories. I got booked to do a fashion shoot in the Bahamas. They didn't have a model. I said, "I know the perfecct girl for the job." Well, they booked her. She was perfect for the job. But the first day was terrible. I said to her, "What's going on? You seem so distant." She said to me, "I just found out I'm pregnant." I thought...great. Well, is that good or bad? She was totally freaked out. She didn't know what to think of it all. She just stood there like a rock for all the pictures. Needless to say, I never worked for that magazine again. Another time I recommended a girl for a big commercial shoot. We were in Puerto Rico. The girl was not there. She had a vacant look on her face the whole time. I said to her, "Are you all right? What's wrong?" She said, "I just found out my brother died." It was eerie. All the film, it looked like she was looking right through you. One of the scariest things I've ever seen.

Sometimes booking a girl for a job can work to your advantage. I was in Los Angeles working for a Japanese client. They wanted to go out to dinner to a specific place. Well, this specific place needed about a 6 month in advance reservation. I thought great, what am I going to do, but we showed up. I thought what the hell, let's just give it a shot. I showed up and asked for a table for 6. The maitre'd said, "Do you have a reservation?" I said, "No." They looked at me like I was from another planet. All of a sudden, the hostess, she recognized the girl I was with, the model. They knew each other from school. Next thing you know, we're at the VIP seats at the sushi bar. We had a great meal. It was a great night.

I'm a little frustrated right now. Waking up is really difficult. It's hard to go from deep sleep to being awake. It's tough. I guess I'll reflect on what I did this week. It's important to get vertical as often as you can. You know, stand up. I have a thing called a Sure Lift. It helps me stand. It also helps me get onto the floor. On the floor I can do stuff like yoga. Do cobra, etc. I talked a little about that in the previous blog. They're all small and simple things, but they all add up. You gotta stay active. You know, everyone's different. A friend of mine just had brain surgery. She went in on Tuesday, went home on Friday. Amazing. Everyone's different. Everyone's outcome will be different. It was strange. I went to the hospital to see her. It was the same hospital I've been admitted to 3 times. It was strange going there as a visitor. It was kind of funny. We were in the lounge just having a chat. The nurse came in and said time for your medicine. I automatically opened my mouth like a bird. The nurse was talking to my friend.

I'm gonna tell some random stories. When you're in a state like I am right now, it's always good to think of the past. Think of stories or preoccupy your mind with things that are pleasant. Hey, it's better than staring at the wall.

One time I was in Paris. I had just gotten there. I was lucky. I started working right away. Anyway, I was on a photographic shoot with a famous magazine. The whole crew was new to me. The morning went really well. We broke for lunch. A two hour lunch. We sat down at a great restaurant. I said to my assistant, I'm a little nervous. This is all new to me. I don't know anything about wine. The guy handed me a wine list that looked like a weapon. It was huge. Anyway, I said to my assistant, "I don't know what wine to get." He said, "Breean, it's very simple. You're looking in the wrong column. Don't look to the left. Look to the right. Look for a big number. That's the wine to get." He was right. It worked.

I used to love to scare the shit out of my assistants. It's kind of twisted, but funny. One time I was on vacation on a photographic shoot. We hired a big generator to power my lights. Anyway, the generator cut out. My assistant went down to check it out. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, we were shooting at my parents house. Anyway, when my assistant went to fool around with the generator, I thought ah ha! this is the perfect time to get the M-80 fireworks I found in one of my drawers. (An M-80 is a firecracker with a quarter of a stick of dynamite.) Anyway, I lit the M-80 and tossed it under the generator. The reaction was priceless. The guy dove for cover when it exploded.

Another time I actually got in a lot of trouble. I had a fake snake in my bag of tricks. We put it out in the grass. The model I was trying to scare had a phobia of snakes. She ran into the location van and wouldn't come out. I got in a lot of trouble.

I guess I'll end this where I started. I was talking about my friend in Paris. I met him in Australia. A makeup artist friend of mine said, "Will you guys meet up?" She thought it would be helpful for the Parisian guy to meet me. I said, "Sure. No problem, just meet me at the cafe at the end of the beach." Well, I forgot to ask what he looked like. I arrived the next morning where I was supposed to meet him. The whole place was packed with people. Then I noticed at the far end of the cafe, a guy pasty white, dressed in black, long dark hair, wearing dark ray bans, not talking to anyone. I thought ah ha! French photographer!

I'll talk to you guys next week. Remember, stay positive. Love, B. Nice

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chapter 80 - December 11, 2012

Wow! Chapter 80! My friend here and I have been doing this for a while. Pretty cool. I hope it really does help someone out there with traumatic brain injury. That's why I'm doing it. Anyway, this past week, my sister had a party at her therapy stable. It was a party for all her volunteers. Nice party. Anyway, I was talking to one of the volunteers and she said she follows the blog from time to time. She said to me, "I didn't know you have a sense of humor like you do." I wasn't sure how to take that, but I guess it's good. You know when you go through something like this, TBI, you have to have a sense of humor. You have to laugh about it. Have a laugh. You know, I was thinking some really depressing stuff. I've seen death. I've heard death. I've saved people from death, and I've fought off death many times. The point is, you gotta make fun of it all. Make light of it all. I guess that's how I deal with everything.

I was going through my previous blogs and toward the end I kept using the word "was" about a good friend. Like, he 'was' a good friend. I should change that to is, because it could sound like the guy's not around anymore. He's around, and he is a good friend. I have another friend that I could use was about. He's not with us anymore. He was a good friend. One day I came into his room and he had a really nice Samsonite suitcase on his bed. I looked a little closer and the whole damn thing was filled with weed. Not a good look, especially when he's in my apartment in Sydney, Australia. I said, "Get that thing out of here, are you crazy?" I said, "What are you doing with that thing in my apartment? You have to get out of here and take that suitcase with you." The guy was an interesting guy. Talk about a stoner though. One day, he came back to my apartment in Sydney, Australia. I used to live in a big apartment building right on the beach. All the apartments looked at the sea. Anyway, he went to my door, opened up the apartment door, sat down, turned on the television, went to the fridge, got a beer, sat down, started going through magazines, went to the bathroom, and as he was peeing he saw a big jar of Vaseline, then he saw a big dildo, and some other sex toys. He thought to himself, man, Brian is into some rally kinky stuff. Then he went into the bedroom and started looking around more. Then he thought to himself, wait a minute, this isn't Brian's apartment, looked around some more, and thought this is definitely not Brian's place. Then he went to the front desk and found the right apartment. A year later, I was in the new apartment, he went to meet me at my apartment, walked in because the door was open, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, sat down, started to watch some telly, and then all of a sudden a woman walked in with some groceries. It wasn't Brian's wife he thought. Well the woman dropped all of her groceries and just started screaming. He was all confused. Started looking for windows doors, anything to get out. She started to try and beat him. He ran outside screaming. I came home to a scene of chaos. He walked into the wrong apartment again. Great guy though. I would always have fun with him.

Today I went to to the Mall to do some Christmas shopping with my mom. We also stopped by the phone store because my phone was trashed. I got very frustrated, in fact, I'm still frustrated. It was kind of like a marker for me 'cause I was there a year ago. I thought by now I'd be much better, you know, walking and stuff, but my advances are so subtle, it's all so frustrating. I have to practice what I preach and stay positive. My friend here typing this reminded me that I couldn't even sit up straight a year ago, so I guess, yeah, I'm getting better, but it's so damn slow. 

One good thing that happened to me this week was that I crawled a little bit. I was able to do this for a couple of reasons. One of them is I'm getting my strength back, strength through training is so important. When you're like this, go to the gym as often as you can. You've got to get your strength back. Next thing I have to work on is my balance cause my balance is a bit off right now. You know, eventually, your insurance and your therapy will stop, but you still need to train. Just because your insurance stops doesn't mean you should stop training. You're going to have to do a lot of it on your own. I'm kind of there at the moment. I do a lot of stuff on my own. It takes a lot of self determination. You really have to keep at it. It works. You know you put the effort in, you get positive results.

You know, I spend most of my day just sitting in my wheelchair. I guess you'd call it meditation. I guess I'm doing what most people try to achieve. Peace. What a high price to pay to get to this level. Anyway, my friend here will include some cartoons I did in the past and the link to my next adventure. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

P.S. One last thing:  what do you think of this? I'm thinking of starting a new business. It's called, "I'm With Him..." I notice when you're in a wheelchair, it opens up a whole new world. I get greater parking, great seats at restaurants, great service when I travel, it's really easy to talk to girls. I've got some really good pick up lines. The point is, I could open up a whole world to someone that's with me! In other words, I could hire myself out. Just another crazy thought. Of course I'm just kidding...right?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chapter 79 - December 5, 2012

Hi Everybody. Can you believe it's December already. Time goes by when you're having so much fun! I'm kind of being sarcastic, anyway, hey, I was looking on my previous blog, and the last cartoon is a true story. I was in the Keys in Florida. I was shooting a photographic job in my favorite place in Islamorada. Anyway, I got done with my photographic shoot early. I had time to go for a quick windsurf. I was going to meet my friend Hubert in front of his house. Well when I got there to meet him, the manager of the resort told me Hubert was in the hospital. I rushed down there and they told me a damn fish went right through his leg. Talk about surf and turf! Anyway, I obviously didn't go windsurfing that day.

So now, here I sit, with my little dog. We have a french door in the kitchen. The little dog is always sitting by the door looking out. He's looking at the squirrels get fat on the birdseed. The damn dog shakes so much, he'd be a great drink mixer. All I got to do is make a harness for him, put a drink holder on it, put some ice in the drink holder and voila! I have a good Margarita mixer. Kind of sick right? That's the kind of stuff I think about when I'm stuck in the wheelchair studying a dog for a couple of hours.

Last week was Thanksgiving. It was pretty cool. We had my whole family here, except for my little one. Boy did I miss her. Anyway, we had a good thanksgiving. And I was thinking it's a good time to really give a thanks. Like for example, I'm thankful I'm still alive. I'm thankful to have such a great family and friends. I very thankful to my friend right in front of me who's typing this all for me, and I'm especially thankful for all the constant small advances I'm making. For example, just the other day, I sat on the floor, and I sat up in Lotus position. I did Yoga and sat up with my legs crossed. I had a little help getting there, but I sat there on my own for, I don't know, 5 minutes? Felt great. It was the first time I sat up on my own. First time in 2 years. Then I fell over. Anyway, it's a good time to be thankful.

This past week, I had a lot of small advances. Like I said before, I feel my body starting to wake up. It's kind of good and bad. You feel your hands more, but you also feel the pain more. You feel like you're getting worse, but you're actually getting better. My eyesight is getting better. It's slow, so damn slow, but I'm getting there. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm getting there. Like I said before, when you're in a bad way, try to think of other things. I would often think about things that happened on photographic shoots. The following stories I feel a little awkward about, but I'll tell you anyway.

I was assigned to shoot a beauty story for a well known magazine. I was supposed to shoot in the Bahamas. Well, like a young idiot, I booked my girlfriend. She was definitely not right for the job, but you know, hey, it sounded like a good idea at the time. Anyway, the art director said to me, "Hey, we have to shoot an extra shot and tack it on to the beauty shoot in the Bahamas." Well, the shot, what I was to do, had to be cast so they brought in the model, you know, my girlfriend. They said to her, here put this on and the photographer, Brian Nice, will do a picture of you. Oh yeah, they didn't know the model and I were going out. Anyway, they said, "Brian will do the photo of you for the art director." Well, the photo was very specific. I had to do a butt shot. And they handed her a G-string. The looks from her to me ranged from instant death to why are you doing this to me? And even worse. I took the photo and I said, "Oh she's terrible. We've got to book another girl for the butt shot." This did nothing but make my assistant laugh, and her, the model, my girlfriend, want to kill me even more.

We often book models for the body parts. For example, we would photograph a girl and have another girl come in with her hands. I was to do a shoot like this. We already had the girl for the head shot, but I needed to book a girl for the hands. The girl that was to do the head shot had terrible hands. Anyway, I was doing my casting, you know, looking for girls with nice hands, and it got to be rather late. The casting was over and I hadn't found anyone. All of a sudden, a doorbell rang, late at night. A girl showed up wearing white gloves. She said, Hi, I'm here for the casting, sorry I'm late. Well we sat down, I said, "OK, let me see your book." She did have nice hands. She did have nice legs. She did have a nice butt. She did have nice everything, but her face. Sorry to be rude, but that's the way it is. Anyway, on the last page was a photo of her topless, and then a close up of her chest, bare. She said to me, "Do you want to see them? I get many compliments on them all the time." I can feel my ears burning. I must have been bright red. I looked up to her. I was about to say something when she whipped off her gloves and started modeling her hands. She was talking about her hands! Thank God!

The following story took place in Paris, France. I was photographing for an assignment with a famous lingerie label. We were shooting in Monte Carlo. It was a good shoot and going even better. Anyway, we got done and the client that handled the company showed up. He wanted to see the Polaroids, examples of shots we did from the day. Anyway, I opened my diary to show him the Polaroids and all I found was underwear in my book. My assistant put the models underwear in my diary. Even worse, the model came over and said, "Oh, there's my underwear," and ripped it out of my book. It was all a little awkward. I don't think you could have planned it better if you tried. The head client looked at me and he had a very serious look on his face. He looked at me and he said, "Bravo Breean, Bravo." I got my assistant back. 

I mentioned this before, but it really does help to think of other things when you're in a bad way. Think about things that make you happy. For example, I have one friend who was an awesome windsurfer. I used to follow him like a young idiot. He would say, "See those waves over there mate? Follow me, we're going to big surf." Or he'd say, "See that big tanker over there, we're going to duck in behind it and windsurf past it." I'd be like - OK. And being a young idiot, I'd just follow him. Actually, have you ever see an empty tanker before, up close, it's amazing. The blade in the back is like the size of a 4 story house, with water falling off of it. It's unbelievable. Thank God I didn't fall. Anyway, I would think about little adventures like this. I would think about it all the time. He was a good windsurfer, a good friend and a good photographer.

Below is a drawing I did of something I'm not so proud of. Imagine this - imagine having a really good dinner in the Caribbean. We were all on a photographic shoot. We got done with dinner. We're walking back to our rooms. Well, the pier into the ocean looked beautiful at night, so we walked to the end of the pier. The pier went down about 20 feet into the dark ocean. It was a beautiful night. We were all standing there. I was there with an editor I had never worked with. It was a dark night, but the water looked really sharky. I looked over at the editor and pushed her in. She screamed, "OH my God you're crazy!" and I jumped in after her. I helped her to the ladder, and we climbed back up onto the pier. Everyone started running away from me for some reason. That's it.

Not much else to report. I'm still working hard sunrise to sunset. I continue to get better, and I really, really appreciate all the nice emails I get. Everywhere from Australia, Paris, everywhere. Thank you so much. You guys are great. Anyway, it's back to work for me. I'll talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Oh yeah, my friend here will post some more drawings from my diary and she'll enclose my link to my next project.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chapter 78 - November 27, 2012

Hi Everybody. Another week goes by. They all seem to be the same and blend together. It all gets a bit monotonous. People often say, "Hey, how ya doing?" I always say, "I've felt better. But I've felt worse as well." Ha. Remember, when you're in a bad way, think of something real good. I always do. The first thing I think of is when my little one was born. I was there in the delivery room. She came out from behind a sheet. They suctioned out her nose and her mouth, and then she opened her eyes and I said, "Welcome!" and she smiled. Then, I think about things like a crimson sunrise on the top of Ayers Rock in Australia. You see the sun warms up the rock at sunrise and the hot air rises and all the air from around the desert comes rushing in to fill the void. It creates its own windstorm at sunrise. It's pretty cool, especially on Christmas morning. I've witnessed things in New Guinea. Two tribes have been fighting for 200 years. They decided to make peace with each other. It was a great party. I've seen countless sunrises while surfing. I could go on and on. The point is, think of something really good to get you through rough stuff. Or you could think of other things to keep your mind preoccupied. I often would think about things that scared the shit out of me. For example, once I was coming back to my apartment. Oh yeah, I was walking with a girl I was kind of having an innocent flirtation with. Anyway, we were walking back to my apartment in Paris, and she stopped on the corner. I said, "What's wrong." She said, "Oh my god, see that big car over there?" I said "Yeah. That big Mercedes with all the cigarettes outside the passenger window?" She said "Yeah, that's my husband's car." I said, "Your HUSBAND? You didn't tell me you had a husband." She said, "You never asked." I said, "Well, thanks a lot. What does your husband do?" She said, "Oh, he's in french construction." I saw a pair of concrete boots in my future. Anyway, that relationship obviously didn't go on past that. Other things that scared the shit out of me was ghosts. You guys believe in ghosts? I don't know if a ghost really exists or what, but the following happened to me.

You know, we travel a lot in our business. We're always going somewhere new. Anyway, I used to shoot in Charleston a lot. I would stay in an old hotel. We got in kind of late one time. I went to my room and when I walked in I didn't like it immediately. Something was not right. Anyway, I put down my bag and went out to grab a bite with the crew. After dinner I came back and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night. I was on my back and there was pressure on my chest. Remember this all happened really quick. Anyway, I felt pressure on my chest and felt like there were knees on ether side of my knees. There were two hands by my ears and there was something or someone face to face with me growling. It wasn't happy, whatever it was. And I said, Well, I'm just having a nightmare so I'll wake up and move. I tried and tried to get up but I couldn't. I finally yelled, "Get the fuck off of me," and whatever it was holding me down vanished. Well, I sat up and I thought, well that was a pretty heavy nightmare so I lay down to go to sleep and as I was drifting off to sleep, I felt the edge of my bed sink down like someone was sitting on my bed. I got up and said, "OK, that's it!" And I grabbed my stuff, went down to the front desk in my pajamas at 3 in the morning, and explained to the guy at the front desk what just happened. He looked at me, looked at my key and he said, "OK," put the key down, got me a key for another room in the new section of the hotel. He said, you'll be much more comfortable over in the new section. And I was.

The following story took place in upstate NY. We were shooting at a really nice house but we had to stay in a not so nice hotel. Anyway, I was going to sleep in my room and it felt like a dog was going back and forth rubbing its body against the bed. I thought to myself, dammit, my assistants put a dog in my room. I was convinced there was a dog in my room. I turned on the light and there was no dog. I was thinking, well, that was really real. That felt real. I thought, well, I'm just having a nightmare. So I turned off the light and drifted off to sleep. Well, as I'm drifting off to sleep, I got the same feeling of a dog rubbing up against the bed, then whatever it was jumped on the bed, jumped over me and jumped through the wall. I sat up, turned on the light and thought, man, I've got to stop drinking. Well the next morning I overheard one of the models talking to the hairdresser. She said she had a strange dream of a dog coming out of the wall jumping on to her bed and jumping through another wall. I said oh my god, what room are you in? It was the room right next to mine.

I've got plenty of ghost stories. I could go on. I'll tell one more. I was staying at an old inn. It was in Maine. The room I had was really nice. Really big. Anyway, I was going to sleep when all of a sudden I felt a draft come over my head, forehead and swirl around my chest. I got up turned on the light looked outside. It was dead still. There were no windows open. There was no AC unit around me. It was a strong wind. Well, I called downstairs and they said to me, "Oh, that's Mrs. So and So. She hasn't been reported in a while. She must like you." And they started laughing. I started laughing very nervously. But I packed my pack went down to the front desk and said to them, "Where are my assistants staying?" They described the house. Well I went there and said, "Let me in you guys." I slept on the couch.

I've got plenty of ghost stories. But one of the most important things that happened to me was I met a very special lady in Paris. It was my girlfriend's friend. You see, she was very talented. She had the ability to help people. She was gifted. I don't know how to describe it. You could say she was a clairvoyant, or an intuitive, or whatever. I don't know how to describe her, but she was cool. Anyway, I went over there to say hi, have some wine. She described to me what she does and she said to me, "What do you want to know?" And I thought, my god what do I want to know? That's like being a little kid in a toy store. I said, well, I don't know. What am I going to be doing in a few years. She said, "Oh, that's easy. Well you're going to have a new dog. You're going to build a house by the ocean. You're going to be a successful photographer." My girlfriend at the time, she said, "What? we're going to live by the sea?" And the woman said to her, "Honey, it's not you." Ha, well, that was the end of that relationship. The bottom line is, there's something out there. I don't know what it is. Energy. Good imagination. I don't know. All I know is there is something out there. Oh yeah, she also said to me, "Brian, in ten years you re going to be admitted to the hospital. You'll almost die, but you'll make it." Pretty wild huh? Was it a self fulling prophecy? I don't know, but she saw it coming. So the moral of the story is, never ever think of someone naked. On a more important note, I'd like to say, always follow your intuition. That's the most important thing I got out of my meeting with that woman. And you should always follow your intuition. My friend here will include some drawings I did in the past. She'll also include the link to my next project. It'll be next year. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chapter 77 - November 20, 2012

A dog with a bone was crossing a bridge. The bridge was crossing a lake that was super smooth. There was no wind. The water was super smooth. The dog got to the middle of the bridge and looked down in the water. Oh yeah, the dog was carrying a big bone. Anyway, he looked down and he saw another dog with a big bone. He thought, "Well, I want that bone as well." So he quickly tried to grab the other bone. It turned out to be his own reflection and he lost everything cause he tried to be greedy. The moral of the story is, don't be too greedy. I have no idea why I thought of that, but I thought I'd share it with you.

Hi everybody! Welcome to another week in paradise. Man, I'm getting tired of this traumatic brain injury stuff, but I've got a new therapist who's pretty cool. He got me on my stomach again. Remember, a couple blogs ago I mentioned I got on my stomach? Well, it's a bit of a strange feeling because I've been on my back for 2 years. Anyway, I did some yoga stuff on my stomach, and my next thing is to try and crawl. I can afford a new therapist because of my spend-down from Medicare. Let me quickly explain what spend-down is. When you get Medicare, they will pay for your therapy, but you have to also in effect kick back to them a large amount of money. I can deduct some therapy from this kick back. It's all, how do I say politely, it's all, um, bullshit. It's also confusing, but, hey, I'm just playing by the rules. I didn't make them up. Anyway, therapy is going good and my eyesight is getting better. It’s hard to describe, but it's like my body's waking up. I mentioned it before, but it's a long, slow process. It's like when you wake up in the morning, but it goes on for months and months.

I'm pretty tired of talking about this traumatic brain injury. I'm going to tell a few stories. Remember, I've been on my back for a long time and when I kind of freak out I think of things from the past. Here are a few random things that happened to me. These are 3 random stories.

The following story took place in Paris, in the '90's. My friend had a restaurant and at the end of the night, we would lock the doors, pull down some curtains, break out the calvados, turn up the music and party. Well, my friend had a big dog. A big Great Dane. It used to sleep under the spiral staircase in the bar. Anyway, I was sitting at the bar one day and I said to another friend, "Hey, see that dog over there? If you touch his balls, it'll bring you good luck." I was a bit drunk. Well, my friend said, "I need some good luck," and he went over and touched the dog's balls. Well the dog looked at him like - did you just fucking touch my balls? I thought the guy was gonna lose his hand but it all happened so quickly, I don't think the dog had time to react. Well, the next day, out of the blue, my friend got a phone call. He was a photographer and he got an assignment to photograph a famous actor on the cover of a big magazine. He was psyched. Well, we had to celebrate so we went back to the restaurant and partied all night, and he said to me, late, at the bar, he said to me, "It works! Touching the dog's balls will give you good luck." I said, in a drunken state, "Well, I need some luck." and I went over and touched the dog's balls. Well the dog raised his head and in a Scooby Doo voice he said "Hmmm?" He looked at me like; you didn't just do that did you? Anyway, it worked because the next day I got an assignment to go to Italy and photograph for a famous fashion magazine. It worked. Well, I got back from my trip, we went to the bar to celebrate. There were some cute girls at the bar, and I was trying to explain to them, in my drunken state, I was trying to explain why it's good luck to touch the dog's balls. That didn't go over so well. For some strange reason, they wouldn't talk to me.

The above reminds me of many nights at that cafe. One night I was talking to my friend and over his shoulder, out the window, I saw a beautiful Mercedes going by, upside down. Sparks going everywhere. The car hit the median strip and flipped over. Well we all ran outside and being the drunken idiots we were, we pulled the driver out of the car. He was covered in blood. We said, " Are you all right man?" He said, "Oh man, my friend is going to kill me." He smelled like he had had a few drinks. Well, we rushed him into the bar. "Quick, drink some of this," and we poured him some of our favorite drink, calvados. He started drinking and the police arrived. They said, "Who's Mercedes is that upside down in the middle of the street?" The driver slurred, "It's mine." Well, you can use your imagination. It was a crazy place, that cafe.

I'll tell a few more stories.

The following story took place in Texas. I was on my dirt bike with my brother in law at the time. We were driving up a dried up riverbed. I saw a path leading to the riverbed. I stopped my bike, went out to check out the path. It looked like it was well used. I decided to explore the path. My brother in law came with me. Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you the reason why we were on our dirt bikes out in the middle of nowhere was because we were looking for arrowheads. It was kind of mini adventure. Anyway, we started walking down the path and the path led to a small hill in the middle of the desert. We followed the path up the hill and it led to a cave. The view from the cave was a mazing. I had my camera and I started to set up to take a shot. Then, I looked down to my right. There was a clear area where something large had been sleeping. There was fur matted down everywhere and there were bones scattered around. I thought to myself, oh my god, I'm in a mountain lion den. Not good, so I said to my brother in law, "I think we should go." Well, we started to leave. I have heard that if you face a big cat, you're chances are greater for survival if you facing him, so my brother in law faced backward I face forward. We were back to back walking down the path. We looked like a couple of young idiots. Thank god no one could see us. Anyway, this moveable feast was going down the hill. I looked down at his feet. He was wearing cowboy boots. He was a big guy, a big football player. I was a slight, shorter runner, and I had my running shoes on. He looked at me, and he said, "What are you looking at? Your running shoes?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "You think you can outrun a mountain lion? I said, "No, I can't outrun a mountain lion, but I can outrun you." Just kidding. I would never leave him behind. Anyway, we got to our dirt bikes and took off.

OK, I'll tell one more story'

The following story took place in the Bahamas. It was the late 1980's. I was on assignment to shoot a beauty story for a famous British magazine. I was shooting a girl in a beautiful dress underwater. Every once in a while, I would come up to the surface and direct the girl. Well, I looked over to my left, there was a very famous actor. He was just taking a swim. Well, I got bored with the model and I thought, I’ll scare the shit out of the actor. I swam under water over to him, and as he was swimming on the surface, I came out of the water like a Polaris missile and said, "Cheese" and showed him my camera. For some reason, he didn't think it was funny. The guy almost had a heart attack. Well, I apologized to him. I didn't mean to scare him, but then he started getting feisty and we had words. I think the last thing I said to him was "Why don't you shave your back?" I've never seen a hairier back in my entire life. The guy looked like he was wearing a sweater vest.

Anyway that's all for this week. I continue to work hard and do therapy. Remember, I'm doing this to help people who might have traumatic brain injury. Remember, when things get tough, remember some event or things that have happened to you. See you later. Love, B. Nice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chapter 76 - November 14, 2012

This is an unprecedented event. My friend and I are going to post another blog this week. Amazing huh? Anyway, we're going to post another blog because I'm taking care of some legal stuff right now and she is helping me. You see, when you have traumatic brain injury, it doesn't mean you're normal life is put on hold. You still gotta deal with everyday shit. It makes things real tough. It's not easy, but I get through it. I want to reinforce that stress is not good for you right now, if you have traumatic brain injury. Anyway, I wanted to tell some stories because it'll get my mind off the day.

Oh, I forgot to say, Hi Everybody! I want to dedicate this blog to all my friends that have helped me. It helps a lot to have so much support. I can't list them all. Many of you have emailed me. because of the way I am I can't email you back, but I read each and every email and I appreciate your support and your love.

Now I'm going to go back to telling a few stories. They're random stories.

A good friend of mine used to have awesome fishing boat. It was a time when I lived in Montauk, New York. He would often go off shore to fish for tuna. Sometimes he'd call me up and invite me on a fishing trip. Anyway, we would catch a lot of really good fish. I wasn't into fishing so I drove the boat and drank the beer. One day we were about a hundred miles off shore. I said to my friend, "I'm going to go for a swim." He said, "Not a good idea." I said, "Why what's the big deal?" He said, "Trust me. You don't want to swim out here." So I went back to driving the boat. Well, everyone started catching tuna. They were a good 70 pounds. They all caught one except for me. And they said, "Brian, come on, you gotta catch one. Come on give it a try." I reluctantly said OK, I got in the chair and they gave me a pole and I got one on the line. It was another 70 pound tuna. I started to reel it in. It was really fighting. I got it close to the boat when all of a sudden a white mini van came out of the water. No, it wasn't a mini van, it was a huge mako shark and had its mouth wide open. It ate my fish in one gulp. I reeled in an eye and some lips. My friend said, "See, that's why you don't swim from the boat out here." I went back to driving the boat. Oh, yeah, and had a beer. It was crazy.

I'll tell one more random story. When I was a kid, I had a good friend that I played with. The house I lived in with my family was a big old federal house. Anyway, it was around during the revolutionary war. My friend and I were in the back yard playing when all of a sudden the guy who was cutting the lawn got his tractor stuck. We helped him pull it out of the lawn. We cleared the grass away, we found a door. We cleared more grass away, opened the door and there was a big pit that went down around 10 feet. I went and got my dad. We determined from the mortar that it was built a long long time ago. There were many munitions storage in the area during the revolutionary war so my friend and I thought we found one. When we both got down to the bottom with a ladder, we started digging and found another door. There wasn't enough room for both of us so my friend said, "Please, please let me open the door. It would be so cool." So I said OK. I went up the ladder and lowered a crowbar down to him. he tried with all his strength to open the door. He finally got it open and I hear a big whoosh some gas escaping, then I heard him scream, "Oh, my God," and a geyser of shit came up. It covered the ladder, he crawled up the ladder screaming. He was covered in shit and toilet paper. We had discovered the septic system. My father wasn't very happy. Anyway, that's it for now. I gotta get back to life. My friend here will include some more cartoons and a link to my project. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Chapter 75 - November 13, 2012

Monotonous. Tedious. Claustrophobic. Never ending. Schedulized. Repetitive. No, I'm not talking about marriage. I'm talking about traumatic brain injury recovery. See, it takes time to get better. This routine reminds me of a period in my life called pre-season cross-country. You see, we would give up August to run pre-season. We did this at our own will. We would give up 3 to 4 weeks to train. We always stayed at our coach's house. Our schedule was pretty much this: Get up at 7. Have a light breakfast. Train from 8 to 11. Have a lunch. Take a nap. Train from 3 to 6. Have dinner. Watch TV and go to bed. We did this for about 3 weeks. My schedule right now is pretty much the same. But I've been doing this for 3 years! Anyway, I said it before, but I'll say it again, there's some periods of my life that got me ready for this. I believe pre-season got me ready for what I'm going through right now.

Hey, talking about college, let me tell a few stories. I met this girl, kissed her and thought, hey, let's get a place together. So we moved in together, being the young idiot I was. Anyway, on the weekends, I would always go to track meets to compete. I was pretty good. I would run the qualifiers on Saturday and then run the finals on Sunday. I would always make the finals. But one weekend, I didn't feel so good. I didn't make the finals in any race so I decided to surprise my girlfriend and go home early. (Never surprise your girlfriend.) Surprising her was to turn out to be my second mistake. My first mistake was moving in with her. Anyway, I got home early, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, sat down at the kitchen table and started to go through the mail. I looked over to my right and there was a leather jacket on the chair. I thought to myself, "That's not my jacket. It's an ugly jacket, but that's not mine." Then I heard some noise coming from the back bedroom. Our bedroom! I went back there and pushed the door open. Very slowly. Creaking sound.... I opened the door slowly and there he was, my neighbor, in bed with my girlfriend. He pulled the sheets up to his chin and he said, "Don't do anything stupid man." And I said, "I think you beat me to that." I turned around, walked to the table, grabbed my beer and left. I didn't know where to go, so I thought, well, I'll go to the movies. I saw Outland with Sean Connery, three times. No one would sit next to me. What's wrong with a guy with a beer and popcorn crying at a science fiction movie? Anyway, the whole thing I think kind of freaked me out. I got my own apartment, built a full on bar in the living room, complete with beer on tap 24/7. I bought a rabbit and named him Andrew. I bought a water bed. (Never buy a rabbit and a water bed at the same time.) Anyway, I had lots of girlfriends, lots of parties, I got to know campus security quite well. PS. I have a lot of stories about the rabbit, Andrew, the water bed was just one story. I guess he was pretty thirsty one day and he wanted to get some water so he burrowed into my water bed. I'll let you use your imagination. I had strange dreams that night. Anyway, Andrew was one situation that always comes to mind. I'll just throw some random things out there. There's Andrew the Rabbit. Campus Security. A 442 Cutlass Oldsmobile with mag wheels. Campus Paramedics. 21 shots of tequila on a 21st birthday. A roommate trying to bring a skunk home because he thinks it's a kitty cat. A Dodge Dart that goes 100 miles an hour. Going through a tollbooth pushing a car. A fake cast on an arm. The list is endless. That period of my life was quite an adventure. Thank god it was only 4 years. Anyway, my friend here will include some drawings from my journals, and check out the link to my new project:

Other than that, I don't have much else to report. I keep on working hard. I'll talk to you guys next week. Love, B. Nice

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chapter 74 - November 6, 2012

I'd like to dedicate this week's blog to my mother. See when you have a traumatic brain injury, you really need a point person. I mentioned before, my mother is my point person. You will be assigned a social worker, that's for sure. But you also need a point person, someone to basically look after you. I said it before, but I just want to remind you how important it is.

Hi everybody. Welcome to another week in paradise. I'm sorry I missed last week. We had a huge storm. They even gave it a name, Superstorm Sandy. We were lucky. We only lost power for a week. It worked out OK. We only lost a few trees. But it's why I missed blogging you last week. I went to a party this week, and I met a gentleman that bought one of my photos. He turned out to be very ill. You would never know it from looking at him, but he had a serious illness. We got to talking and we both agree, it's so important to stay positive. It'll really get you through the tough times. You see, there's a positive for every negative. The reason I say that is I had a good friend visit me. He was supposed to stay for 2 days, but because of Superstorm Sandy, he was stuck here for a week. When I look at him, I think of 2 words: Party Animal. He and I did enough drinking back then to make up for an entire life. Let me just tell you a few stories. Once we were at a bar. We got in his truck and we realized we shouldn't drive. So he elected to sleep in the cab and I slept in the back. Well, I woke up to someone shaking me. I looked up to see a police officer. He said to me, "I'm glad you decided not to drive, but you've got to pick up all your trash." I looked at the parking lot and I guess to make room for my sleeping bag, I had thrown out all the empty beer cans. The whole lot was filled. Another time was in college. We decided to go to a fraternity party. When I say we, I mean my track team. Anyway, it was close to closing time and we got in a small altercation with the fraternity boys. They pushed us outside and then surrounded us. They wanted to pick a fight. Well, I was ready to leave, and then all of a sudden, someone came out of nowhere and punched my good friend in the head. He punched him so hard, he knocked him down and my friend hit his head on the ground. An ambulance had to be called. Next thing you know, I'm in the hospital with my friend. Well, this really pissed off my other friend who was a quarter miler. He said to me, "Come on, let's go back to the fraternity." And being the drunk young idiot that I was, I said, "OK." We went back to the fraternity, went to the exit stairs. I was going to go up with my friend, the quarter miler. He turned to me and he said, "No, you stay here. I work better alone." He went up the stairs. All the fraternity boys were at the bar on the top floor. My friend, the quarter miler, went behind the bar and he said to a guy pouring beer, he said, "Are you the guy who punched our friend?" They were all in shock that he was there. The guy pouring the beer said, "Yeah, that was me. So what?" Well, my friend, the quarter miler, punched the guy in the nose so hard he dropped him. All the other fraternity boys, the whole house couldn't believe it. Then they jumped over the bar to get my friend, he slipped out, I don't know how, but he got away from them. They chased him. He grabbed a big chair. He said, "Stop, or I'll throw this through your stained glass window." They all stopped. They said, "No No, not our stained glass window!" And my friend, the quarter miler said, "That's a nice window," and then he said, "Well fuck you," and he threw the chair in the window. Well this really got them upset. They chased him down the stairs. As he jumped past me, my friend the quarter miler said, "You better start running." It sounded like a herd of cattle running down the stairs. Well, I followed my friend. He was fast. I was fast as well. I used to be a miler and 800 meter runner. Well, we got away from them pretty quick, so quick I had time to stop, turn to them, they stopped, I said, "Wait, hold on one second. I've got something for you." I reached into my pants and I pulled out my hand, produced my middle finger and said, "There, that's for you, fuck you," and then laughed and started running. They never did catch us. I still get chills when I hear the name of that fraternity. That's why I call my friend a Party Animal. Oh yeah, that reminds me of one more story about my friend the quarter miler. I used to always have parties at my apartment, but there was this guy that lived across from us. He always called the campus security. He was a big tattle tale. He would always laugh and stand in the doorway as the police came to break the party up. Well, one time, the quarter miler was really angry that this guy called the police. He interrupted a really good party. Well, we just happened to have a large rocket in our apartment. You know, the kind you have on the 4th of July. Anyway, we fired the rocket at the guy. He screamed, "OH my God!" and dove into the bushes. The rocket, thank god, missed him, but went into his apartment. All I saw was white, yellow, red, blue. The whole place was light up. The police arrived, and the fire department. Funny, the guy never turned us in again.

So here we are today. My friend who I knew in college is here with me as we sit in front of the fire. I'm like an old man in my wheelchair, and he's stoking the fire. Funny, you know, we both don't drink now. He has one of the most responsible jobs in the world. I don't. We both have kids. Things change. Now I look at him and I think of 2 words: Responsible Adult. I still think he's a party animal. He won't admit it. Anyway, he reminds me of an image I have. The man in the suit. I'll tell this one more story.

The man in the suit. I was windsurfing one fine day. I was on long Island Sound. Out in the middle of nowhere. It was your typical fall day. Strong currents leaving the bay. Big rolling waves coming in. It was a really good day. Anyway, I was playing in the waves windsurfing and I need a little break, so I went to the beach, turned my board over. Laid under my Mylar sail. It's kind of like being in a greenhouse. You're shielded from the wind and the sun keeps you warm as you lay there. Anyway, I was resting, taking a little break when out of the blue I hear, Hey how's it going?. I couldn't believe it. I look up and there's a man in a full on beautiful fitted suit. The guy was on a dirt bike. I was in the middle of nowhere and so was he. It was all surreal. He said, "You look like you're having fun out there." I said, "Yeah." The guy was disheveled. He had a nice suit on, but he had burrs, grass in his hair, a slight beard. But he had a big smile on his face. Actually, he was a little scary. And then all of a sudden, I heard police cars. The guy said to me with a smile, "Oops, I've got to go. Have a good day," and he took off on his dirt bike to the horizon. It was all a bit strange, but I continued to windsurf in the waves. I got back to my car when I police car pulled up. He was looking for the guy in the suit. I told the police officer what happened and the cop took off.  Anyway, that guy reminds me of my friend, the Party Animal.

I really don't have much more to report this week other than the fact that I go through peaks and valleys. I know it's normal when you're like this with a traumatic brain injury. You recover, but it takes time. It's frustrating, but as long as you stay positive, and make small goals, you'll get there. You'll get better. Anyway, I'll talk to you guys next week. Love, B. Nice

P.S. Here is a picture of my family about the time we set off on our world adventure (see Chapter 72).