Chapter 51 – May 29, 2012

Hi Everybody!  I’d like to give you a quick example of the cartoons I used to do.  I’ll explain more later, but here’s a good introduction.

That was then.  Now this is my last night at the hospital.  It’s been a very entertaining night.  I woke up to a pretty girl asking me, “Is it was ok if I tap dance?”  It was my room mate’s wife.  She was a Broadway dancer and she was practicing for her performance.  Was I hallucinating again?  Very entertaining.  Just when I thought things were getting weird, two state troopers showed up at my bedside.  They started askimg me questions.  Were the drugs kicking in?  That was very very entertaining.  It turns out they were questioning me because my roommate’s ipad had gone missing.  I said.  You’re welcome to search my room, but listen, guys, there’s a drug addict down the hall.  Let’s put one and one together.  We got a drug addict and we have stolen property.  They spent a few hours searching the floor.  They finally found the ipad conveniently it was left in a communal area.  That was entertaining.  And when things didn’t get bizarre enough, the drug addict showed up in my room and started giving me a hard time.  Never a dull moment, I’ll tell you.  I often forget this is a state hospital.  It’s like a New York City bus.  You have a full spectrum of people, from drug addicts to federal judges.  The cool thing is, the staff and the people who work there are really cool.  They treat everyone the same.  You never know who you’re sitting next to.  I just want everyone to know that the people that work there at that state hospital, Helen Hayes, they are great.  I can’t believe the patience they have.  Anyway, I went off on a tangent there.  I’m just impressed by the staff.

I’m home now.  They figured out the right cocktail of drugs to prevent seizures and do not get me wasted.  Everyone is different.  It just takes time to find the right combination.  I am going to go see a specialist though.  It’s important to have a second opinion.

Let’s tell a story.  It’s about a place I used to shoot at called Palau.  It’s halfway between Guam and the Philippines.  A beautiful group of islands.  If you’re a diver, or a snorkeler, I highly recommend this place.  But check on the dates that it would be safe to go there.  The tides can be really dangerous.  Anyway, I have a cool wood carving from Palau.  The way I got the wood carving is an interesting story.  I was in my hotel talking to my guide and I said to him, “What’s cool and well known from this group of islands?”  He said, “Oh, the story board wood carvings are really popular.”  They’re basically a piece of wood that’s carved they pass around the campfire.  An Elder would tell the story that’s on the wood carving.  It’s basically a story board.  Anyway, the only place you can buy one is in prison.  So I gave the guy some cash and he took me to prison.  The make up artist overheard me and said, I want to come too.  I said, all right. No problem.  So we all went off to the prison. When we got there, our guide paid off one of the prison guards and we went inside.  There was a group of old guys carving some storyboards in a small square courtyard.  I picked one out I really liked and bought it from the elder.  Then, I look over and the hair and make up artist is scorinig some weed.  I was like, “What on earth are you doing? You’re buying weed in prison.”  She said, “Sure, they’re cool with it.”  I thought, my God, I’m never going to leave.  They’re just going to keep me here.  But she bought a little weed and we quickly left.  Was all a bit bizarre, but I still have the wood carving.  The story of how I got it is more interesting than the story carved into the wood.  Oh, yeah, when I went through Australia customs, they asked if I had any wood carvings.  I left that box blank.  The customs agent said to me, “Nothing to declare Mate?” I said, “Nope.” He said, “All right go on then.”  Then he said, “Hold on Mate, you forgot to fill in this box. Do you have any wood carvings?”  I said, “Nope.”  He said, “All right then, open everything up.”  I said, oh shit.  So, of course the first case I opened had the wood carving in there.  So he pulled it out and he yelled at me, “What’s this Mate?”  So I looked at him, I looked at the wood, I looked back at him and said, “That? That’s art.”  He said, “That’s a wood carving.” I said, no that’s art.  We argued back and forth.  They finally x-ray’d it and gave it back to me.  They were actually pretty cool.  It was a great trip.  I have lots of other stories from that trip, but not enough time.  The other stories involve a big shark, deadly tides, multibillionaire’s yacht, a Japanese Zero in the water, a Japanese airbase from world war 2. Lots of stories, but I’ll tell those later.  I’ll just tell you one other story, real quick.  I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you, but it came across my mind.

I was in India.  I was very young and with my parents.  We went to a fortress outside of New Delhi.  It was very windy.  I got lost and separated from my parents.  It was kind of scary for a young boy.  Anyway, I kept hearing little bells.  Bells.  And I would look up and through the dust and the windy red soil I’d see a bunch of temple girls giggling and laughing.  They were dressed in bright silk robes.  Very colorful.  They were waving me on showing me which way to go.  I followed them for about 15 minutes.  They kept appearing and disappearing around each corner.  They finally lead me to my parents.  It was pretty cool.  I told my mom, we looked around but we didn’t see any temple girls.  I had forgotten about that event until recently.  I was photographing an indian princess.  She knew of the fortress which I was speaking about.  She said to me there’s no temple girls there.  And no one dresses like that, at least they don’t now. She said, oh, you probably saw some ghosts.  It kind of freaked me out.  Anyway, whatever it was, or whoever it was, it did lead me to my parents.  It was a pretty cool adventure.

Just another story I would think about when I was lying on my back.  I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to sign off.  I’ll talk to you guys next week.  Love, B. Nice

Chapter 50 – May 23, 2012

Hi everybody. I’m still here at the hospital. What a drag. I’m ready to get out of here. It’s definitely different from the first time I was here. It seems budgets cuts have affected everybody and everything here. But that’s a whole other story. For now, I’ll talk about fun things like the drugs they are giving me. Man! Some people pay a lot of money to feel like this. I’m wasted. But it must be easier for them to deal with a drooling piece of meat. I’ve got to lower the stuff down but still keep the drugs going to stop the seizures. It would have been great to take this stuff in the 80’s on a Saturday night but right now it’s a bit much. I’m kind of tired of getting freaked out by my own hand every night. Let’s talk about a time that was a bit more carefree and fun. I was on the island of Capri off the coast of Italy many years ago. I was on a photoshoot for an Italian fashion magazine. I arrived to a note that said, “Brian, the model you wanted is not going to come. We have to find someone new. Wait for us there.” I waited for 5 days. Not a bad way to spend 5 days. I was in Capri. I had a motorcycle and a lot of good food. They finally showed up 5 days later. They didn’t say anything bit lets start shooting. It was a fun shoot. Anyway, it’s times like that I think of when I’m stuck here. I have lots to tell, but I’m really tired. It’s a bit of an effort to do this. But I’m not doing it, my friend is. Anyway, I’ll talk to you next week. PS: hey Rick and Cheryl, and any other crew members (you know who you are), thanks for the ipad. I listen to music every night. I’ll talk to you all soon. Love, B. Nice PSS: Thanks everyone for your positive support. I can’t get back to you all, but I appreciate it.

Chapter 49 – May 18, 2012

Hi everybody. I'm still here at the hospital. They're trying to figure out what 
the hell happened.  As I said before, my MRI and cat scan were all ok.  It might 
be scar tissue or medication. Either way, it's a drag. It prompts me to remind
us all about something. It reminds me how important our mothers are. When you're
in a state like this, you'll have one person who really helps you. In your case
it might be your spouse, your partner, your parent, a relative, a relation. Who
knows. In my case it's my mother who has taken care of me. She should have a big
"S" on her. She's done everything for me from being my photo assistant to
social director. I can understand. Being a father makes me realize why she's
doing it.

I just spoke with a doctor. They're leaning toward the idea that I had 4
seizures because of the scar tissue and medicine. My friend here and I agree,
they're just hedging their bets. It's just brought me back to square one. I'm
pretty close to starting over again. It's a pain in the ass, but when I get
knocked down, I gotta get up again. At least I feel I do. There's lots more to
tell. I got some good stories for you, but I got to make this one short.

I miss all you guys. Can't wait to get out of here. See you soon. Love, B. Nice

Chapter 48 – May 10, 2012

Everything will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.

Hi everybody.  That was my roommate’s mantra at the hospital in New York.  He got the quote from some movie.  It’s now my mantra.  Pretty cool.  Anyway, I forgot to mention something last week.  When I was in bed having my first seizure, my dog jumped up in my lap and started barking at me.  I looked at him with my coffee and said what the hell are you barking at?  Next thing you know, I woke up in the hospital in New York City.  I don’t remember anything, little bits and pieces are coming back.  Right now, I’m back at my old rehabilitation hospital.  They’re telling me I’m here to recover from the seizures.  It’s very early yet, like they think my medicine may have had a lot to do with it.  I just keep working hard and do what they say.  It’s a surreal experience coming back to the place you were before.  It’s like I said, life sometimes is like playing shoots and ladders.  You get stuck back at start again.  Anyway, I have to keep it short because I get so tired so quickly.

Oh, by the way, a friend of mine worked at the hospital in New York.  It probably helped saved my life.  Very cool.

Oh, well, another story.  See you next week.  I’ll talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

Chapter 47 – May 9, 2012

Hi Everybody.  Well, this week has been interesting.  Never a dull moment.  I’ll tell ya.
On Friday morning, April 27th I had a couple of seizures it’s now Wednesday afternoon and I’m still in the hospital. I feel like I’m starting all over again like after my operations. It’s been a real downer.  The doctors think I had a seizure because I had a break through from my anti seizure medicine. In other words, my body has gotten use to the anti seizure medicine. They are trying another anti seizure medicine with my old stuff.  It’s been a downer, but I try to keep a positive attitude, not easy.

The positive thought I always think about is surfing!!!! I have had some beautiful days surfing. When I get blue I just imagine myself on the board on the water.  It always makes me happy.

I look at it this way…..it’s just another story. I do have time on my side.  Let’s think about another story something that will take us away from this nightmare.
In the 80’s I worked for a famous fashion photographer.  I had to fly to New York City from Paris where we were on a shoot. I had to go earlier with the photo equipment and film. I had a lot of carry on luggage. The photographer who I worked with gave me a number 20 Valium to take for the flight which I took before take off thinking when I woke up I would be in New York. Upon take off one of the engines blew out.  Next thing I knew the plane was back at the gate.  I was still in Paris.  I was the last one off the plane.  The flight attendant tried to help me get back to the gate.  We had to get off the plane.
I could hardly stay awake. I saw an espresso bar and headed toward it with all my carry ons.  It wasn’t easy. I was surprised I didn’t have a heart attack.  I had had that 20 Valium and three espressos.  Not a good combo. The equipment was heavy and I seem to have a lot stuff. I dragged everything everywhere tied to my limbs, body legs,etc…slipping and sliding and all tangled up.

By the way the trip home was terrible.

More later I don’t have any energy left right now.