Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chapter 98 - April 16, 2013

Hi everybody. Another week goes by. I'm gonna name this chapter "There are no problems, just solutions." That's something that John Lennon said. There are no problems, just solutions, and I agree. You see, the trailer I wanted to get I can't get. The car I have won't pull the trailer. I was misinformed. Anyway, I gotta look for another solution. You know, I had a vision of an Airstream trailer and all that. It was a good visual but now I have to adapt and think of something new. I think I might rent an RV and go in my car as the back up. I don't know. I still have to think about it. The whole situation is kind of a metaphor to my life right now. You see, you have to learn to adapt. You have to solve problems that are presented.

I'll continue on with Traumatic Brain Injury. You see, I keep saying it over and over, but therapy is so important. I just got OK from my out patient therapy to go back and get a touch up. It's kind of cool. I'll go back to physical therapy. They'll do an evaluation and update me. It's been since what? September I've been there. But it'll be cool though, seeing as I've made some improvement and they'll give me some new therapy to do. It's kind of an update. The other thing is, you know, I continue to do water therapy. It's so important. The other thing I realize, I was sitting at home and looking at all my therapy tools. They're all for a 5 year old. If you don't have the luxury of getting therapy, just use your 5 year old's toys. I work with blocks and sippy cups. Stuff like that. It kind of works out good 'cause I've had a few girlfriends that say I act like a 5 year old.

My friend here came over to my house to do the blog. It was a little earlier than we usually do it. I'm so tired. It's remarkable how tired one gets after lunch. Maybe it's a blood sugar thing. I don't know. Either way, it's really difficult to stay awake. Just an observation.

My friend here's going to put a link of my pitch for the trip. You know, it's really tough to see yourself as I am because, from the inside looking out, I don't feel like I'm disabled. It's kind of like when you get old. You know, you don't feel old, but you look in the mirror and you go "Holy Shit, I'm old." It's kind of the same thing. I don't feel disabled. I don't feel any different than I used to be, but man, I'm messed up. I've got a lot of work to do. I realize this when I see the video. Anyway, check it out.

Enough of this heavy stuff. Let's tell a few random stories. In the early '80s I worked for a great photographer. When we were shooting in the studio and he said to me, "Go check the back lights." I said, "What? They're fine." and all the other assistants as well as he said, "Go check the back light." So I said, "All right all right. I'll check them." So I went to the back of the studio to check the back light and what did I see but a big bowl of cocaine. I don't like coke because it makes people talk and talk and talk and they say things like "I love you man." It's all bullshit. Anyway, I looked at the coke and there was a big bag of plaster back there as well. So what did I do? I took a handful of plaster and put it in my hair, on my face, on my shirt and went back to the camera. The photographer looked up at me and he said, "Oh my god, you've got coke all over you!" I started laughing and showed him the bag of plaster. He laughed kind of nervously. 

Another time, I was working with another photographer. I was really drunk. I was trying to sneak in with one of the models. The only way to her room was the outside balcony. Well, I got outside, started shimmying my way to her room and I had to pass a window. Who was in there? The photographer and some other girl. I quickly went past them cause they were making out. I got to the other girl's room and she wouldn't let me in. I said, "At least let me in to go back to my room." She said, no way. Get out of here." So I made my way back to the room I was in. Once again I had to go past the photographer's window. Well, he was doing something with the girl I can't talk about, but it made me fall... I fell 2 stories into a snowbank. Thank god there was no fire hydrant or car in the snowbank. 

OK, I'll tell one more story. I was out looking for work, cause I was a freelance assistant at the time. Anyway, I would often just show up looking for work. I was on my way to a photographer's studio, I got in an elevator and all of a sudden the door got held up by some one's hand. It was a bunch of girls and guys. they came into the elevator. I couldn't even fit hardly. We were packed in there like sardines. Anyway, on the way up to the studio, the photographer's studio, they all started stripping down to their swimwear they had under their clothes. By the end, I was well, well, I felt like I had been assaulted. Did you ever see Gary Busey's mug shot? Well, that's what I looked like. It looked like someone hit me over the head with a 2x4. Anyway, all the models went off to their casting in the studio. I wandered around the studio looking like a stunned mullet. Needless to say, they threw me out and I didn't get the job.

OK, I'm gonna tell one more story. It's about my assistant Peter. Well, way back in high school, Peter had a girlfriend. He would often go over to her house for dinner. Oh, yeah, the family had an African grey parrot. Anyway, he was there on Thursday and the father said, "I'm going on a vacation with your mother. There are to be no parties, no boys, no visitors. Just you behave yourself. I'll be leaving Friday night and coming back on Sunday afternoon." So, fast forward to Friday. The parents leave and Peter moved right in. He stays at the house until Sunday midday, and the parents came home at 3:00 on Sunday. Anyway, they were all having a snack in the afternoon and the father said, you know, to the daughter, "You know, you haven't' seen Peter all weekend, why don't you invite him over for dinner tonight." So Peter came over for diner and they were all sitting around the table. At the desert the parents said, "Peter," in the girl's voice, and the father said, "Well, listen to the bird. He said your name. You're one of the family now." And then the bird said, "Peter Peter oh yes right there Peter, oh my god." Well, I don't need to say anymore. Talk to you guys later. Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure that story peter told me is a wives tale, but knowing the guys I worked with, it could be true. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chapter 97 - April 9, 2013

Hi everybody, welcome to another week in paradise. I'm going to name this blog, "You little spoiled brat!"

I was talking to a client the other day. She said I had a bad boy image. And then I was talking to another client. I said to her, "Did I have a bad boy image?" She said, "No, you're more of a spoiled brat." I guess I should have seen the writing on the wall. You see, one time I was doing a photoshoot in a studio. The Studio manager handed me a fax to give to the editor. I looked at the fax to see if it was for me. The subject said, "Is Mr. Not-So-Nice behaving himself?" Another time, I was shooting a fashion job in the Hamptons. As I was shooting the producer said to me, "We have to go to Miami tomorrow. Get yourself to the airport and buy yourself a dinner, and the dinner you will have to pay for." Well, I stopped shooting. I looked at her. I said to her, "Are you serious?" I said, "You guys have been nickel and diming me to death. I  have to think about what you said. I'm going to take a stroll down the beach and think about what you said." Well, the beach was about a mile long and I walked all the way to the end. On the way back, I saw her running to me. She said, "All right, I'll buy your fucking dinner, now will you please get back to the shoot?!" Another time I was talking to a creative director in New York City. She was the creative director to a big account I had. Anyway, she handed me two envelopes. One contained information I was to give to the art director. The other envelope was for a surprise birthday party the same art director was going to have. The creative director stressed to me, "By no means show her this envelope with her birthday party information inside." So what did I do with my infinite wisdom? I handed her the wrong envelope. She opened it up. Her eyes got really big. She shut the envelope and she said I don't think I was supposed to see this. I kind of felt like throwing up. What was even worse was gong to the party. There were about 200 people there and I was talking to the creative director. She said, I've been planning this for about 6 months. If I ever found out someone gave it away, I'd kill them. The art director arrived and acted really surprised. She winked at me. I checked my shorts.

Another time, I was getting ready to go on a photoshoot. We had the location van set up in central park. It was early in the morning. Man, I was hung over. I went outside and laid on the sidewalk. I felt so sick. The model came out in a one piece jumpsuit, leopard print. She was wearing lots of gold and had gold slippers. Mind you, this was the mid '90's. Anyway, she started massaging with her heal. I started groaning. For some reason everyone walked around me. It must have been really strange to see out of context. Everyone that walked by avoided me.

OK, I'll talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury. Hey, guess what. I saw the motor home, the trailer I want to use for my trip coming up. See the link attached for My Point of View. Anyway, I managed to stand up and get inside with the help of 3 people. It was like an Olympic Event getting inside, but I did it. I've been spending like 6 months learning how to take 3 steps, turn around and sit down. I was so proud of myself. You see, it looks simple, but man, it was a lot of work and scary as hell. What's even scarier was I sat there and I thought, OK, I got in, but how the hell do I get out? I never thought about that. So I improvised.

My friend here asked me, How did I get out. Well the same 3 people that helped me get in just threw me out the door. Just kidding. I just walked backwards out the door into my wheelchair.
It's a trailer I'd like to use. The other thing is, I've stepped up my water therapy. I can't really walk on land, but I can walk in the water. It helps me get ready for land. Let's see, what else is new. Well, I've been trying to feed myself. It's working out. Feels good not to stab myself in the face. Basically, everything is improving it's just in baby steps. Everything is so slow. The guy with the trailer said he can modify the trailer to me. I looked at him, I thought for a minute I said. You know, I like it stock, as it is. I'll modify myself to the trailer. It takes some time, but I'll do it. You gotta know your limits. Anyway, I'll talk to you guys next week. My friend here will include some drawings I did in the past. 

My friend here will include a drawing I did about a Turkey Shoot. It's no big deal. I just had to work on Thanksgiving day. It was just me and my turkey in Naples, Florida. We often had to work on the holidays. Oh well. At least I got a good drawing out of it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 96 - April 2, 2013

I'm going to name this blog, "Angry Butterflies." I'll explain more later.

Hi everybody. Welcome to another week. Oh man, I'll tell you, each day is distinctly different from the other. Talk about going rail to rail in emotions. Just the other day, let's put it this way, if I think about a kitten in a field full of butterflies and flowers, I'll be a big mush and cry. And then, I think, who the fuck put a kitten in a big field like that, and what's with the butterflies? I get real angry. My emotions are all over the place. I guess it's another sign my body is waking up. Every morning I wake up, I open my eyes, look out the window, I say good morning to my little one, and then I'm thankful I'm still here. And then I think about what therapy I have to do today.

Therapy, that reminds me. You know, I was in the rehab hospital like what? 3 times, in total over a year? They work you real hard there. Every hour of the day you're doing something. It's hard but you have to continue. What I'm saying is, you gotta keep going. I've been working hard now at home for about 3 years, but you know what? It pays off. Just today, some friends stopped by. Mind you, I haven't seen them in about a month, but they remarked I've gotten so much better. You know, living the way I do, I don't see advances, but they noticed. The other thing that happened this week is I got what they call a junk wheelchair. It's a generic, all purpose wheelchair. In other words, it's not custom made to you, but I use it all the time. It builds up my core strength which is very important. I've been practicing the chair-lift. It's a chair that goes up the stairs on a rail. It's a fun ride for my little one as well. The other thing I do every hour is I try and stand. It's good for the body to get vertical any chance you get. I stand for as long as I can, like ten minutes or so. It's frustrating. You know, I watch my friends do things like build fires and do the dishes and do the housework. all I can do is just sit there and breathe. Hell, I can hardly raise a towel to my face. It's frustrating because mentally I'm all there, I'm just stuck in this body. I don't know if I told you earlier, but, you know, I had a bad vein on my brain stem. The vein was a slow bleed, so basically, it affected me physically. I do other things whenever I can, like, make bread with my assistant. I draw and paint with my father. I supervise cooking dinner with my mother. You know, like I said before, any small chore becomes therapy. Hell, life is therapy.

OK, I'm gonna have just a little bitch session here. You know what really pisses me off? Before this event, I was playing guitar all my life. I picked up one of my many guitars the other day, and it was like an Olympic event just to strum it. I gotta learn guitar all over again. Hell, it took me 30 years to get halfway decent, and now I gotta start all over again. That really pisses me off. Uh oh, here comes the kitten in the field again. Here we go. All right, I'll cool my jets. It's just an observation. OK, let's tell some fashion stories.

I'm starting to run out of stories to tell you. Can you believe it? I don't know which category I'm going to dip into. Adventure? Romance? Oh wait, there wasn't much of that. Um, let's see, Travel? I'll ask my friend here... My friend here wants to talk about adventure... Which type of an adventure. My friend here wants to talk about my grandfather's ranch in Australia. Well, what comes to mind is this: When I pulled up to the ranch for the first time, this really strange couple came up to our car. They were the caretakers. They said to me, "Oy mate, here put these on. They should fit you." They were boots that went up to my knees. I said to the woman, "What's with the boots?" and she said, "Well, there's lots of macadamia nuts here and the nuts attract the rats and the snakes are attracted to the rats." Use your imagination. Well, I got out in the field and there were bloody snakes everywhere. Not little tiny snakes you find in like Santa Barbara hills, but big vipers. There were a few pythons here and there. It was quite the farm. The old woman told me a story. She went out into the field once to do some work. Anyway, she leaned over to pick up a stick and a viper struck her in the chest. If you don't have anti-venom, you've got about 15 minutes. Well, she made her way back to the house. She sat down on the porch to die. Half an hour went by and she was still alive. She thought to her self, I should be dead by now. She reached into her shirt and she pulled out a pack of cigarettes the snake struck. Imagine that, she was saved by a pack of cigarettes.

It was fun going there as kid. Hell, at night, it was so noisy. Everything seemed to be eating everything else. 

You know, I always loved Australia. If you guys get a chance to go don't pass it up. It's an amazing place. I really miss it. Imagine this, it's like the same size as the United States, but there's only the population of the greater Metro New York area. Imagine making everyone in the United States leave and just sprinkle the population of New York around the Australian coast. That's what it's like. Or at least that's what it was like when I was there. Either way, it's a great place. I kind of got sidetracked there. Sorry. I was talking about fashion stories. I'll tell one and then we'll call it a day.

Let's talk about fashion romance stories. Oh, yeah, I forgot. I don't kiss and tell.

Oh, I'll tell a story about a great hair dresser I worked with. He was shooting with a client that was very conservative. She didn't like the hair. He came up to her and he said, "What? She looks gorgeous. I'm a fucking good hairdresser. I know what I'm doing. She looks great. She looks sexy. She looks like she just got fucked." I thought, well, there goes that client. She took a step back, looked at the model, looked at him, looked at the girl again. There was an awkward moment of silence and she said, "You know what, she does look sexy. I'm gonna go with it." And that was that.

Well, on that story, I'm gonna say goodbye. You know after telling that story, it reminded me of a few others, but I'm gonna save them for you. I'll talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

My friend here will include some paintings I did around Easter. We opened up the front room and I found a suitcase full of old journals too. Good stuff. Talk to you next week.