Friday, March 29, 2013

Chapter 95 - March 27, 2013

Hi everybody! Hey, I was looking at the previous cartoons in the previous blog. There's a mention about shrimp. I used to work with this make-up artist all the time and she mentioned to me an act called "Shrimping." It's a specific sexual act (this act was recently illegal in some states). It involves a specific sexual act and a straw. Anyway, shrimping became an ongoing joke on each shoot I did with her. We were putting shrimp in peoples' beds, straws under peoples pillows. You know, it was an ongoing joke of the photo shoot. Anyway, on the last day of the shoot, we were in Miami Customs saying goodbye to each other. My assistant snuck a whole bunch of shrimp and straws into the makeup artist's purse. That was the last straw! No pun intended. She went ballistic. She totally lost it because she had reached into her bag to get her passport, she pulled out a bunch of shrimp. She started beating my assistant with her bag and swinging at him. Mind you, we're at US Customs Hall. She started chasing him around the hall, screaming at him, throwing shrimp at him. Knocking things over. She totally lost it. But the most remarkable thing was, no one did anything. The officers just stood there and watched them wreck the place.

We used to all play practical jokes on each other all the time. You know, stuff like fake cockroaches. Stuff like that. I would remember this stuff as I was lying on my back for years. Shrimping wasn't my thing, but hey, there are some people I know that would enjoy a shrimp cocktail now and then... Ha, ha, ha.

Recently it was St. Patrick's day. It's a big event in the village I lived in, Montauk, NY. Anyway, they have a real kitsch Americana parade every year. I got a place in the parade as a local fashion shoot. What I did was I got an actress and some clothes together and I put her in the parade. I had a chat with her before the parade. I said, "Look, this could either bomb or be really fun. It's all up to you." We started out doing portraits with everybody, and playing with the band. I said to her, "Treat it like a dream. Just have fun." Well, the people in the parade had no idea what the hell was going on. This pretty girl in clothes would go up to them and pose with them and then she was off. I overheard one judge say, "Clearly this girl is out of her mind." It was fun, kind of funny. But it worked. I really liked the pictures. I would do things like this all the time. And I would think about them when I was in the state I'm in. It helps get your mind off what you're going through.

I'll give you one other example. I'm planning my cross country road trip. It's called a Point of View. I've been planning it with my friend for quite some time now. But I need a distraction like this trip to get my mind off of the way I feel.

I'll talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury now. It's weird, this week has almost been like a turning point for me. I feel more awake. I keep saying it over and over again, but I feel like I'm waking up more and more. Like I said before, it's bittersweet. I think I felt better not knowing what's going on. But there are clearly some advances. I'm better in my fine motor coordination. I stand a little better. They're all little advances, but they add up.

The other cool thing is, I am moving upstairs, out of the living room. I'll go back to my bedroom. It's been two years I've been living in the living room so I'm looking forward to it. You know, there's not much else to report. I am getting better. Just have to be patient. I'm going to make it a short one this week. My friend here is going to include some drawings I did from the past. And the link to my project, A Point of View. Happy Easter. Love you guys. Talk to you soon, B. Nice

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chapter 94 - March 19, 2013

Hi everybody. Another week goes by. I'm gonna name this chapter, this blog, I'm going to name it, "My first time." Get your minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about the first time I tried to lie. I lived in Brooklyn Heights when I was little. Brooklyn Heights, New York City. Anyway, I was walking down the street and there was a one dollar bill in the middle of the sidewalk. I picked it up and immediately went to the corner store. I went to the cashier, slapped down the dollar bill and I said, "I'll have 100 pieces of gum from the penny candy counter." The guy looked at me and he said, "Does your mother know you're here?" Oh yeah, this was last week... just kidding. Anyway, I said, "I'll have 100 pieces of gum." After he said, "Does your mother know you're here?" I looked at him, there was an awkward moment of silence. I was about to lie and say, "Yes," when I grabbed the dollar bill and started running out the door. I still remember this as though it just happened. The point of the story is, the easiest thing to remember is the truth. Every time I hold my little one, I remind her that the easiest thing to remember is the truth. Always tell the truth. Everything I have told you, I remember because it's all true. I also believe all these things happened to me to get me ready and stronger for now.

This week was a pretty cool week. I got the stair chair installed and going so I can sleep upstairs. I went upstairs the other day. It was the first time in 2 years I've been on the second floor. I've been sleeping in the living room. Anyway, it felt great to go upstairs. I saw all the stuff from my house in Montauk. Man, I got a lot of stuff. The other cool thing that happened was my friend here did a video of me and my story. It's bittersweet videotaping yourself. you see how far you've come, but you also see how messed up you are. The other thing I see is how devastatingly handsome I am. Just kidding. I do have a hard time seeing myself all messed up. Remember, mentally, I'm all there, but physically, I'm pretty messed up. Anyway, it's a good bench marker. I would highly recommend that someone videotape you when you're in a condition like mine. I tend to repeat myself. Always have, so if this stuff sounds familiar, sorry. It will drive home a point.

My friend here was reading to me what I wrote. I just want to tell you about a couple things. They all happened in Brooklyn Heights when I was little. You know, back then, we all ran around like The Little Rascals. It was pretty safe back then. Anyway, I was on the Promenade by myself. It overlooked the highway. My favorite thing was to stick my head through the steel bars and spit on the cars. Real intellectual stuff, you know. Anyway, a cop was walking his beat came by, and he said, "Are you all right?" I said, "No, my head is stuck." Well, he got another police officer to get a car jack and they spread the bars and got my head out. I never told my parents about this. I think that was my IQ test right there. Another time we were on back of Montague Street where we lived and some guy tried to lure me and my friend into his apartment. I said, "My dad told me about people like you." And we immediately went to the police. Well, the police officer that was working the beat brought us back to the apartment. He made us show him where the guy was. While I stood on the sidewalk I heard a lot of noise and someone getting beat up, and next thing you know, the police officers come out with a guy who was handcuffed and they had a box full of stuff. They put him in the back of a squad car and drove off with him and the box. Another time we were at the playground and we were sitting against the wall. Well, some kid came over the wall grabbed my friend's bike. So what did we do? We reached into our back pockets where we carried sharpened popsicle sticks and we stabbed the guy in the calf as he was trying to get away with the bike. We got into a lot of trouble. I've got a lot of stories. Did I mention the neighborhood was pretty safe?

You know, sometimes I can't think of what to say to you guys. You know, I spend a lot of time thinking about the past. When I get confused about what stories to tell, my friend and I look at cartoons from the past. I used to always play practical jokes on everyone, but my crew got me back one time. They short sheeted my bed and put shrimp at the bottom of my bed. I'll include a cartoon here.
I'll have my friend here include some other cartoons. You know, in this blog I always think about the past, but in my trip coming up, I'll have a blog and I'll think about the future. You know, where I want to be. Think about where you want to be, and you'll get there.

Love you guys, talk to you next week. Oh yeah! I want to dedicate the blog to my friend. He comes over once a week to take me out to lunch. It's cool. You know you really need a distraction. Get out of the house. It's good to have friends, like my friend in front of me and my friend that takes me to lunch. I've got lots of good friends. Anyway, I thought I'd share that with you. It's really important. Otherwise you feel like you're under house arrest. Talk to you guys next week. Love, B. Nice.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chapter 93 - March 12, 2013

I can't get lost because I don't know where I'm going. Actually, I do know where I'm going. I'm gonna get better.

Hi everybody, welcome to another week. Man, I woke up this morning and I felt terrible. So I had my mom turn on the TV. We turned on the weather channel. And you know what they said? They said, Today was National Nap Day. No, I'm serious. Today is National Nap Day. I looked outside. It's raining. It's really gray out. Overcast. There's a big low pressure system hanging over us. I would say it's nap day. You see, when you're like I am, traumatic brain injury, things really affect you, like low pressure systems. They really bring you down. Or something like sugar. That will really affect you. And coffee, oh my god. A cup of espresso feels like it will kill you. So today, what did I do? Like a young idiot, I had a double espresso with 2 spoonfuls of sugar on a low pressure system day. I feel like I'm on Mars. I should have just had a chamomile tea. So as you go through something like this, you'll learn as you go what affects you and what doesn't. I'm learning the hard way. Maybe this info will help someone out there.

It wasn't really an eventful week. I don't have much news to report. In a situation like this, no news is good news. I have been doing water therapy. It's really helpful. I've been doing that to get ready for my trip coming up. My friend here will include the link.

The other thing I've been working on a lot is my machine called the Up and Go. It basically teaches you how to walk again. It's an excellent machine. I highly advise using it. The other thing I've been doing is I work with a guy doing yoga and stretching. That's been really good as well. Other than that, it's the same old routine. I do therapy from sunrise to sunset. Thank god the days are short this time of year.

You know, I spend a lot of time just sitting in my wheelchair staring at the dog or a wall. I remember things from the past to preoccupy my time. I spent a lot of my previous time traveling. I used to actually love to travel. It gave me time to do my cartoons, like the ones I've been showing you. When I was little, we took the steamship, the SS France from New York to France. It was a great trip. Back then, you had a cabin with a personal steward. It was a great way to travel. Now everything is so rushed. I miss those days where you would take a steamship. I have a feeling I'll be reliving those days. You see, under doctors' advice, I can't fly.

Man, one time, when I was flying, all of a sudden comes an announcement that we had to make an emergency landing. I guess the pilot lost his radar. He had to land somewhere clear so he could land by sight. Anyway, we landed at some airport in the desert somewhere near Phoenix. Oh, yeah, we were going from LA to New York. We got to the terminal, everyone unloaded the plane. They put us in the departure lounge. I went to the window to take some photos. The pilot was up on the nose cone talking to some technician. The technician got a ladder, opened up the nose cone and a radar dish fell out and hit the ground. I felt like booking a car back to New York. Anyway, the technician got a new radar dish, put it in with a screwdriver, hooked it up, closed the cone, locked it and off we went.

Another time, I was flying for work and an announcement came over the speaker that we had to make an emergency landing. This was going from Indonesia to Sydney. We landed in some strange airport, in the middle of the night. The flight attendants came around and shut all the shades. I was curious so I opened my shade to see what the hell was going on. The pilot was standing by an engine. The pilot looked like he was 12. He was looking at the engine, took off his hat, scratched his head, and looked up at the engine as fuel was pouring out of it. Another announcement came on and said, "Well, we have to spend the night here and order another engine from Japan."

Another time we were traveling we had to take a boat from Brisbane, Australia, to Heron Island. When we left the port it was a beautiful day, very calm. All of a sudden a storm kicked up. The swells were huge, but we were already more than half way through the trip. The captain of the boat was already committed to finishing our trip to Heron Island. Anyway, the swells got so big they were going over the top of the boat. We all got on the floor and held on to anything we could hold on to. At the back of the boat, the male model who was 6'8" was holding on to his bench going, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." We all had puke all over us. It was real bad. Anyway, a girl that worked on the boat started handing out life jackets and throw up bags. She seemed fine. She said to me,"You know what works in a situation like this?" I wiped the vomit from my face and said, "What?" She said, "Think about sex." I said, "You gotta be kidding me!" I was covered in my own vomit. We got to the dock and the captain said over the speaker, "We're going to try and dock. If we can't make it, we'll have to go back." When I heard this, I went upstairs, threw my camera bag to my assistant and jumped off the boat. I got in a lot of trouble, but there was no way I was going back through that. You should have seen the expression of the tourists ready to board the boat going back.

OK, I'll tell you one last story before I sign off. It was pretty wild. I was flying over Laos. This was at the end of the Vietnam war. I was a little kid. Anyway, the flight attendants came around and shut all the blinds. We were at 30,000 feet, something like that. Then the captain came over the speaker, he said, "Taking photos out the window is prohibited. You're not allowed to look out the window." So, what did I do? I immediately open my window and looked outside. Remember, we're 30,000 feet, as far as the eye could see there were bomb craters. Cheerful huh? Anyway, I hate to leave you with this. To lighten it up, my friend here will leave you with some cartoons that should make you smile. Talk to you next week everybody. Love. B. Nice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chapter 92 - March 5, 2013

I don't know how to tell you guys this, so I'll just come out and say it. I'm actually OK. I have no brain injury at all. I just like people to feed me, bathe me, look after me, spoil me, drive me everywhere. Ha, ha, ha. If only it were like that. Just the other day I went out for a pedicure and a manicure, and I realized how messed up I am. But, you know, I remember what I was like a few years ago. I couldn't even breathe on my own, so I guess you gotta remember where you were. Think of the positive things.
Oh Yeah! Hi everybody, welcome to another week in Paradise. I'm going to name this blog "London Calling." I'm going to call this blog "London Calling," because, well, it was really weird. I was looking at the cartoons from the previous blog and my phone rang. It was my agent in London. I haven't heard from this guy in four years. It was so bizarre. Great to hear from him. He sounded great. But how strange is that? I'm looking at cartoons of London and London calls. I guess you just gotta put ideas out there and things will happen. You know that's kind of how I live my life now. My friend here remarked that's how I've always lived my life. I guess it's true. This blog that I'm doing is kind like looking back at the past. But my up and coming trip will have a blog on it and it will be concentrated on looking at the future, where I want to be, where I'm going. That sort of thing.

It's good to have an idea of where you'll end up. Then everything becomes automatic. You eventually get to where you want to be.

This month was Traumatic Brain Injury month. The month of March. I don't know who thinks this shit up but good on them. It's good more people are aware of Traumatic Brain Injury You know, there's going to be a lot of people with TBI what with the smart phones and driving and the soldiers coming back from the wars. It's going to be on the increase. Watch you'll see. I'm going to pull out my soapbox and megaphone again. This is going to be a public service announcement, but I'll tell you this, it's a little unnerving to have breakfast with a young person that's missing part of her head. I used to have breakfast with this one girl who was all messed up from a single text message she was sending while driving.

I'm gonna tell a couple of fashion confession stories. Right now I'm remembering the past to try and forget how I feel right now. Once again, I feel like shit, but here's a couple of fashion confessions.

I was on the west coast doing a commercial fashion shoot. This was a time before cell phones. I guess that kind of dates me. Anyway, I was inside the location van when I heard the art director say, let's reshoot just 6A, 7A and AB. I thought to myself, Holy Shit! are they crazy? I jumped in my car and told my assistant to throw everything in and drove off before they could find me. Oh, yeah, did I mention, this was at the end of the day, when they said we were finished. Anyway, I got the hell out of there. Funny, I never worked for them again.

Another confession I have to make is, well, it could have been kind of serious. I was doing a photographic shoot around my house in North Bondi, Sydney, Australia. I was shooting with a Japanese client. They wanted me to reshoot like 4 outfits. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't say no. I went up to my apartment to tell my agent I'd be working longer. Well, I looked out the window and there was a couple of older guys, like 28 and they were playing with water pistols that looked like real weapons. they must have had vodka in the water pistols. Anyway, in my infinite wisdom,  I called the police. I told them there were some guys with handguns right next door to me. Well I think the whole police force in Sydney showed up. They shut our shoot down. What a shame. Anyway, I didn't have to do those extra shots after all. Oh yeah, you should have seen the look on the guys faces, you know the guys that had the squirt guns. It was pretty funny. Dangerous but funny.

I'll talk a little about TBI. You know, I always joke around about my condition, but it really sucks. I think right now reality really sets in. I  had a great life in Montauk, NY. My houses I had were basically my investment in the future. But since my brain injury, everything is gone. And oh my god! The worst part of it all is I'm living with my parents. I'm 50 years old and I had to ask my parents if I could move in. I joke around all the time, but you know what, you have to joke around. Otherwise, you go crazy.

OK, I'm gonna lighten it up a little. Sorry, I was getting kind of heavy there. Anyway, you know, I go to the wellness center for strength building and to stay healthy. It's in the middle of the day, so most of the other people, they're like 70 or so. Anyway, I heard these two women talking, one older woman said to the other, "How come married women are heavier than unmarried women?" The other woman said, "I don't know. Why are they heavier?" And the other women said, "An unmarried woman comes home at the end of the day, she has a look in the fridge, has a snack and goes to bed. A married woman comes home, has a look at what's in bed, goes to the fridge and eats and eats and eats."

Talk to you guys next week. Love, B. Nice

P.S. I read the blog, or I should say, my friend read it to me, and I came down kind of heavy on my parents. Hell, they took me in, saved my life. Otherwise, I'd be in a nursing home. I just wanted to say, "Thank you."