Chapter 65 – August 28, 2012

65 girls.  Ahhhh, to be a successfully working young fashion photographer based in New York.  Oh man, this one time, in Paris, I knew this girl… pause (I’m going to take the 5th amendment on this one. I fear anything I say, I’ll get in trouble).  Oh, yeah, I also had a killer loft right on the river with its own roof deck. I’m not going to make any comments on my past relationships, but I will say a couple things.  I really wasn’t one to fool around. It wasn’t my thing. If I was married, I was married. If I was single, I was single. You know what I mean? But I did observe my friends.  You know everyone does their own thing and everyone is different.  Some of my friends liked to fool around. I knew this one girl, a model.  She was a beautiful girl, but she had one drawback. She had 3 boyfriends in 3 different cities, and I’m not talking about casual flings. I’m talking about serious relationships. I guess she got away with it because she traveled so much. She had a boyfriend in London. She had a boyfriend in NYC. She had a boyfriend in Los Angeles. One time she invited her boyfriend in LA, oh, yeah, her boyfriend was a high profile actor. Anyway, she invited him to NY for the long weekend.  Just the thought of it makes me want to throw up I get so nervous. But you know what? she got away with it.  One day I said to her, how do you get their names straight.  She said, “Oh, that’s easy. I call everyone Baby.”

The next story I’ll tell really makes me nervous. When I think about it, I definitely feel like throwing up. It was crazy. I knew this French photographer. He had a girlfriend, we’ll call her Jane. His girlfriend Jane had a girlfriend we’ll call Doe. Anyway, my friend, the French photographer decides he likes Doe, so what does he do? He has a torrid affair with Doe. Not only does he have an affair, but he invites her on the next photographic shoot on the other side of the world. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention both Jane and Doe are models.  Anyway, he takes Doe on a photographic shoot. The shoot goes well. He came back to NYC where he lives now and he had his assistant process all the film and put it in order for him to edit. (Back in the day, we used to shoot slide film. Usually, Kodachrome 64.) Anyway, after the film was put in order, he goes through the film the next day. He freaked out, on every single frame, every single slide, there was a perfect pinhole through the head of Doe. The whole job, the whole 2 weeks of shooting was ruined. Jane had stayed up all night and did a perfect pinhole through the head of Doe and carefully put the slide back into it’s box, and put the box back in order.  My friend, the French photographer screamed at Jane, “What have you done? You’ve ruined my whole job.” Jane was sitting on the couch smoking a big joint. She took a hit, uncrossed her legs, put the joint out, picked up her suitcases and said, “Well, my love, you shouldn’t have fucked my best friend.” And she walked out.  Now you see why I feel like throwing up. I learned a lot from my friends.  What to do and what not to do.  I learned not to fool around and don’t, definitely don’t fool around with your best friend’s friend.

Hi everybody. Well, that was then, and this is now. I’m sitting here with traumatic brain injury thinking, man, this really sucks. I can totally see why people give up. It’s like ongoing torture. But, you know what, I’m not going to give up. It’s a good thing I had a background of being an athlete. Then thinking about my daughter keeps me going. You know, being a middle long distance competitive runner really has helped me. Not so much with the physical side, but the mental anguish. Mentally, it is tough. I would almost say it’s like mental anguish or torture. Wait, are we talking about marriage or traumatic brain injury. Anyway, sorry, I got sidetracked there. The point is, don’t give up. You’ll make it. There are small victories every day. You just have to recognize them. Hell, just today, the county nurse came by and remarked how well my speech has gotten, and my eyes are getting better. My eye doctor called me yesterday and he wants to use my case as an example. He wants to put my case in a medical journal. He said it was really rare and exceptional. Is that good or bad? I don’t know. Either way, if it helps somebody, I say, go ahead, publish it.

I guess you just gotta keep moving forward. At this point, it seems any doctor you talk to will just make their best educated guess. You just have to stay positive. That, and have a lot of good friends with support. I can’t emphasize that enough.

I’m going to remind you and myself, I want to tell you about a few location confessions. You see, we used to use houses, apartments, lofts as a location. I did some things I’m not proud of. One story involves a female vibrator. Another story involves an obsessive compulsive woman and her house. Another story involves a man’s loft and what’s left of a beautiful stereo system. That’s all for now. I hope you guys have a good week. And remember, don’t take anything for granted. Cherish every small thing. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice

P.S. I’m going to give my friend here one of my journals from the day. Maybe she’ll scan a few pages and share them with you.

Chapter 64 – August 21, 2012

“You must work Mr. Brian.  You must not fool around.  You must work,” he said with a heavy Japanese voice.  I used to work for the Japanese a lot.  I have one client in particular that didn’t like me to joke around so much.  I used to love to play practical jokes.  People used to play practical jokes on me.  I figure it was a good way to loosen everyone up and just to have a good time.  One thing I did was I had a book of scares.  It was a book of photographs I did when the model was getting ready to shoot, I would lower a spider onto her shoulder or I would pull a fake snake out of the bushes.  Or I would use a fake rat.  The results were perfect.  The girls would scream and right when they would scream I’d do a polaroid.  These polaroids, if they were good enough, they made the cover of the film case we had.  It was quite a collection of scares.  Going back to the Japanese client, they once took me to Tokyo to do a photo shoot. It was unbelievable. I could go on and on with story after story.  It makes that movie, “Lost in Translation” seem simple. I had a good time though. I can’t put any of the stories on this blog.  I might get in trouble.  I will tell one story:  I was in Los Angeles at a photographic shoot with this Japanese client. We were on our last shot and I was in a parking lot shooting around cars. When we got done, the sun set and I went “Yippee, we’re done. Thanks everybody, it was a good day.” Everyone but the client was cheering. I look over and I see the client with the stylist.  They had a garment bag and their heads were bowed.  They said, “Mr. Brian, you have one more photo for today.”  I said, “Look man, the sun is gone, we’re done.”  He said, “I hear you, Mr. Brian, but you have one more photo, please.”  I didn’t know what to do cause this was a daytime shoot.  I had no lights.  So I said, “All right, let me see the outfit.”  It was a raincoat, metallic grey, a 3/4 trench coat.  I thought for a second I said all right, get the girl dressed.  So the girl got dressed and I got every car we had and I surrounded her with all the vehicles, turned on their lights and lit her up.  I was pointing my camera to the setting sun.  I thought to myself, this is crazy, but you know what, the shot looked pretty cool.  Anyway, it was a little mini adventure.  Now I see where they got the term, “a deer in the headlights.”

I’m gonna talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury.  You know, this week was a mark of an anniversary.  It was exactly 3 years ago that I had a brain bleed.  I had 2 brain surgeries, 5 operations, 4 serious seizures, all in a row.  I’ve been in the ICU 3 times.  I’ve been to the emergency room 3 times.  I’ve gone through rehabilitation 3 times.  My friend says, 3 seems to be the magic number.  It’s true.  The point is, I’ve gone through a lot, but you know, each time is different.  Even though I had a brain bleed on the brain stem, each time I had different results, so the point is, even if you’re diagnosed with the same thing, you may have different results. They’re all dramatically different.  Right now, it seems to be taking me longer to heal.  I’ve been getting better, no doubt, but it just takes a long time.  Oh yeah, having a divorce and having your kid taken from you doesn’t help either.  But I’ll get by.  You gotta keep yourself distracted, like my photo show I just did.  It went really well.  I’m going to attach a link to an article that was done on the show.  It’s a pretty good article.  I hope you read it.  http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012308110049&nclick_check=1

I was sitting here trying to think up a story to tell you, but I got so many stories left, I don’t know where to begin.  It’s been pretty crazy up until now.  I had a remarkable life.  I spent pretty close to 3 years lying on my back thinking about things.  Thinking about stories and memories.  That will get you through the tough times.  So when you’re in a bad way, think about something from the past.  Even something happy.  You know, I always talk about funny things that happened to me, my adventures, but I saw plenty of amazing things, beautiful things that I’ll never see again.  You know, like amazing sunrises, amazing sunsets.  But, you know, you can go all over the world and look for beauty, but sometimes it’s right in front of you.  You just have to take time to look.  Hell, I’m kind of forced to look.  I’m stuck in this wheelchair staring at a freakin’ tree all afternoon.  It’s a pretty tree though.  Anyway, that’s about it for this week.  I’m glad I made it through the week without any problems.  It seems that whenever I have an anniversary, something happens.  So, maybe my friend here is right, it’s progress.  And I’ll see you guys next week.  Love, B. Nice

P.S.  Here’s a drawing.  I draw a star, a heart for my daughter and a circle every day.  See you next week.

P.P.S.  It’s official.  I’m one step above a corpse.  I was sitting in my parent’s kitchen looking out the window when I felt a slight pressure in my left nostril.  Remember, my face is numb from the operations.  Anyway, I felt pressure in my nose so I got a tissue to blow my nose.  I blew my nose, and you know what came out?  A fly.  It did a loop T loop and flew away.  How depressing is that?

Chapter 63 – August 14, 2012

Hi Everybody.  I was reading my last blog with my friend here.  I was talking a little bit about fear.  But I gotta tell this story.  I forgot to tell you in the last blog.  This story took place around high school time.  I had a summer job renting out boats.  It was a good job, but it was full of physical and mental abuse. Heh.  It was a tough job but good.  Anyway, there was this one kid that used to hang around all the time.  A little pudgy kid.  He used to constantly ask me questions.  He would just hang out all day long.  I had no idea where he came from or where his parents were.  It was a bit annoying, but I felt bad for the kid and let him just stick around.  Well, it was really busy one weekend.  Full of people.  We had one definite rule:  No swimming from the boats.  The reason why we were so strict was people died like flies swimming from the boat.  Anyway, this group of young boys came in and they tried to collect their deposit.  They were soaking wet and so was their deposit receipt.  It was obvious they were swimming from the boat.  I told them, “Look, you forfeited your deposit when you swam from the boat.”  Well the head of the group of guys didn’t like what I was saying.  He tried to force his way into my shed mumbling something about his money.  Then he tried to grab me and tried to pry open the door.  So being the young idiot I was I grabbed an oar and crushed his hand.  This did nothing but break his hand.  There was a moment of silence.  He looked at me and he took out a knife and he said, “OK, now I’m going to cut you good.”  And then he tried to stab me.  Well, I wasn’t that nervous.  At least I didn’t show any fear because I had my police radio in the shed.  All I had to do was click it three times and the police would come.  I reached down for the radio and there was no radio.  Just a note saying, “Your radio is in for service.  I’m sorry.  Have a nice day.”  Well, I looked up and there was obviously fear written all over my face.  The guy saw the fear in my eyes and he went crazy trying to attack me.  Everyone, all the kids/gang, they tried to attack me.  I yelled to the little pudgy kid, “Run, get out of here. Get help.”  Well, I never saw a little kid run so fast.  The kid was like an Olympic athlete.  He ran down the beach and got the police.  They arrived very quickly.  The gang scattered except for the leader who was still trying to stab me through the wire.  Hey, maybe this is where cage fighting started. I could put that on my resume.  I’m a cage fighter.  Anyway, I went off on a tangent there.  The police showed up and the gang leader started running down the beach.  I’ve never seen this before, but one of the cops got out of the car, took out his billy club and threw it at the kid sideways.  It took the kid out by the knees.  It just dropped him in a split second.  Well the other cop cuffed the guy, brought him back to my shed. One cop said, “OK, let’s go.” I said, “Where am I going?”  He said, “You’re gonna have to make a statement.”  I said, “I’m not going anywhere.  I gotta stay here.”  The cop said, “You’re not going to press charges?” I looked at the kid. He was a mess.  I figured, the guy’s got punished enough, so I said, “Nah. I’m not going to press charges.”  The point is, try not to show fear.  Hell, my surgeon even showed no fear when he was talking about my operations.  It was comforting to see him so confident as he talked about draining the fluid from my brain and spine.  Just an observation.

I’d like to talk a little bit about incentive.  You see, we have three family dogs all Jack Russell size.  One of my occupational therapy guidelines is to eat a saltine cracker off of a plate.  This is so I learn how to pick up my food with the right pressure and feed myself.  Well, the family dogs all sit around me like wolves and they look at me, watch me try to eat the cracker.  Talk about pressure.  Not only am I hungry, I’m trying to feed myself.  All they’re doing is thinking, “I hope he drops it again.”  Anyway, they’re getting pretty fat.  I’ve been shaking a lot lately.  I’ve been going to the pool to combat my shaking.  It’s really good therapy.  Feels great to be in the water.  They’ll work on balance, walking, movement of your arms.  It’s different but real good if you have a traumatic brain injury. I highly recommend it.

I’m gonna finish up by telling you about my photographic show.  It went real well.  I had great support from my friends and everyone in the town. It was a great turnout.  The gallery looked amazing.  I used to go there when I was a kid, and I’ll tell you, they sure turned it around.  Good job, my friend the director who runs it.  She’s done a great job cleaning it up.  Anyway, the show went real well, and my friend here who’s typing this turned out to be my biggest fan, and I mean that literally.  She fanned me with a real fan. It was pretty hot and humid. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I hung the show at wheelchair eye level height.  It was a bit unusual, but I wanted to show people not only how I see things, but at which level I see things. Some of the people I go to therapy with at Helen Hayes, they showed up in their wheelchair.  I’m sure they will appreciate it and I’m sure anyone else in a wheelchair would enjoy this.  I hope you get to see the show.  The details are in a couple blogs back.  It’s up until September 2nd.  Some friends of mine photographed it.  I’m under Brian D Nice on facebook.  Some photos are up on this wall.  I will also film it for those that couldn’t make it.  But that will be later.  I hope you guys have a good week.  Talk to you next week.  Love, B. Nice

Chapter 62 – August 7, 2012

Hi everybody.  I hope you’re having a good summer.  OK, so I looked back at my previous blogs.  My friend who’s typing this printed them out for my father.  I notice that previously I talked more about my condition, and now, I tell more stories.  I think I enjoy telling the stories more.  So, I’ll continue with the stories.  I will talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury.  You know when you have a traumatic brain injury like this, it’s good not to show everyone fear.  Fear is contagious, and it makes everyone uncomfortable.  I know a little bit about fear.  Here’s one story.  I was at a traffic light.  This is around college period.  Anyway, I was at a traffic light coming back from a track meet.  My roommate pulled up next to me in his dodge dart.  He yelled at me, “Get off the road with that car you idiot.”  So what did I do?  I reached into the glove box and grabbed my coaches snubbed nosed .38 calibre detective special handgun which he uses to start races.  It had been modified to fire .22 mm blanks.  Anyway, I pulled the handgun out of the glove box, got out of the car and screamed at my friend. “Eat this motherfucker,” and fired off 6 chambers at him.  Everyone at the intersection went crazy.  It was pandemonium.  People were running red lights.  Screeching tires.  It was total fear and panic to get out of there.  I thought to myself, maybe this wasn’t a good idea, and I got in my car and went home.

So, basically, try not to show any fear.  In surfing you try not to show fear.  Tennis, running competitively, skiing, scuba diving.  Basically, don’t show any fear.  It’s what I’m trying to do for this whole experience.  I think I substituted my fears with trying to be a stand up comic, or in my case, a sit down comic.

I’d like to talk again about how important it is to have good friends come by.  Having good friends is so important.  It can really brighten your day.  Everyone has their different way of supporting you.  I have one good friend in Australia.  I won’t’ mention names because I want to protect the not-so-innocent.  Anyway, this friend in Australia has been so supportive.  I just wanted to say thank you to her.

Thinking about her reminds me of 2 things.  Sorry about this my friend, but I have to share with everyone this story.  We were all sitting around her table after dinner and being as drunk as we were, we decided it would be a good idea to book a mini holiday hiking and camping.  She booked us a trip hiking and camping in the forest of northern New South Wales.  It’s beautiful.  Kind of like a rain forest.  Anyway, the first morning started out great.  We were hiking in a beautiful canopy rain forest.  All of a sudden, the girl at the front started freaking out and screaming.  She ran behind a tree with her boyfriend.  I went to see what was going on.  She was looking into her pants.  There were leeches everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  She was freaking out, and they all looked at my waistband, and my shorts. and I was covered with leaches.  Then I told everyone to check themselves.  They were covered in leaches.  The guide had lead us into a leach infested area.  Well, it seems table salt will make them come off, so we used our salt to get them off.  We continued walking.  Pretty soon, it was time to rest and have lunch.  We did and we continued hiking.  Just then, the trail entered an area of total destruction.  A couple large Ghost Gum trees fell over.  Took out an area about one city block.  Was crazy.  The guide freaked out.  He said, “I gotta get my mapping compass.”  He frantically looked for his map.  The idiot left it behind at the lunch area.  Then it started to rain.  He ran around yelling, “Keep your face dry,” as he was looking for his compass.  Well he lost that as well.  The guide started panicking.  He started mentioning helicoptors, search crews, dogs, police.  I thought, this isn’t good.  Then I looked down and I was covered in leaches again.  The girl started screaming.  Everyone was freaking out.  Well, my friend, she kind of took control and said, All right, we gotta find the trail.  So she and I set off into the destruction zone to find the trail.  She and I were climbing the downed tree.  We were over them, under them.  It wasn’t that safe, as the trees weren’t totally settled.  Anyway, she eventually found the trail on the other side.  We went back to get everyone and we eventually got back on the trail.  We were covered in blood and mud.  Not a good look.  We got back to the camp and started taking showers.  All I remember hearing is Salt, Salt, Salt, Salt.  The next day was beautiful.  We ended up cutting the trip short.  Ended up on a highway where I proceeded to say, “I’m Out of Here,” and proceeded to try and hitch hike back to my car.  The guy I was with and his wife were also trying to hitch a ride.  I got picked up right away by an elderly couple.  They could have been my grand parents.  They were like a gift from above.  I couldn’t believe it.  They were so nice.  They treated me and my wife at the time, to some tea and some crackers, the blanket, it was very comforting.  I remember drinking my tea and driving by my friend who was still trying to hitch hike.  I thought, to myself, no wonder why no one will pick him up.  He was covered in mud, blood, his hair was crazy.  They guy looked like an ax murderer.

One more story about my friend in Australia.  I think I told this story before.  I definitely shared it with her, but I’m going to tell it again anyway cause I think I told it a long time ago.  My friend, she was to go on a trip, so she asked me to look after her son, so I said, sure, no problem.  Well I took her son down to the beach with me.  I went down there to check out the waves and the wind.  I had the kid, he was about 2 at the time.  Anyway, I let the kid play on the grass while I talked to my other friends who were there.  Just then, one of my other friends said, “OY mate.  Have a look over there.  That doesn’t look right.”  I looked over and to my horror I saw my friends little boy eatining a huge big dry dog turd.  He was scarfing it down.  By the time I got to him, he ate half the dog turd.  So what did I do?  I got some water, cleaned off his face and gave him a drink to wash it down.  There was nothing else I could do.  I just kept an eye on him for the rest of the day.  Well, at night, my friend, she came home and she proceeded to change her little boy’s diaper.  I heard from the back room, “Oh my god! What did you feed this child for lunch.  It smells so bad.”  Well, I got nervous and lit up a joint and said, “I don’t know.”  I still feel guilty.  Sorry my friend.

I’m going to talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury.  You know, I had 2 brain operations.  7 other operations.  4 seizures.  I’ve been through a lot.  I’ve learned many things, but one thing that stands out above everything is everyone is different.  Each situation is different.  It’s not like having a broken arm where the doctors can say you’ll be fine in so many days.  You don’t know how long it will take to heal.  Every situation is unique and different.  Hell, even the doctors don’t have all the answers.  You will become your own doctor.  Anyway, that’s about it for now.  I still get tired talking, and I’m sure my friend is tired of typing, so I’ll leave you with another of the cartoons I used to do.  See you next week.  Oh, yeah, come to the show if you can make it.  The details are in my previous blog.  I saw the photographs today.  We laid them out to hang.  It looks great.  It reminds me of why I started taking pictures in the beginning.  It makes me happy.  It’s not about the money.  Hell, we’ll barely break even on the show.  It’s not about money.  It’s about the art of photography.  See you next week.  Love, B. Nice

Chapter 61 – July 31, 2012

Hi everyone.  After reading my last blog, I forgot to tell you a story.  I was in St. Bart’s shooting a photo job.  We were on our way back to New York City.  When we arrived I had 14 messages.  They started out calm and ended up frantic.  We had left some film behind.  I jumped up and looked into my film bag.  It felt light.  No way was there one weeks shooting in the bag.  Sure enough my assistant had left half the film in St. Bart’s.  I said to him, “Hey, let me see your frequent flyer card.”  He looked at me confused.  “Can’t we fed ed the film?”  I just looked at him and kept dialing.  We booked him on a flight for the next morning to go over there and get the rest of the film.  He had to get up early.  What a shame.  Fly direct.  The director handed him the bag of film and he left on the returning flight.  What a fun way to spend a day.

I’d like to tell you another assistant story.  I was on a photographic shoot in Santa Fe New Mexico.  As I was shooting, I said to my assistant, “Hey, can you please book a massage tonight?  And book one for yourself as well.  If you can take us there I’ll pay for it.”  Well, he called a famous spa in Santa Fe.  The only massage available was a couples massage.  I thought Couples, Singles, what’s the difference?  So I said, book the couples massage.  Big deal.  Anyway, we got done shooting and went back to the hotel, had dinner and then went to the spa.  I should have known something was up from the reaction of the receptionist at the spa.  She said, “Are you two having a nice time in Santa Fe?”  I looked at her puzzled and said, “Sure.”  She handed me a towel and my robe, which looked like something from a 1960’s James Bond film.  It was a very short robe.  After changing into the robe, oh, I was wearing nothing underneath it as well.  I was told this is what you do.  Anyway, I get to the waiting room and waited for the therapist.  I felt rather uncomfortable cause the robe was so short and I was naked underneath, so I went over, got a magazine and stood by the window to look outside.  My assistant came over and said, “Dude, you are totally back lit, do not stand by the window.  Your robe is totally see through!”  Just then, the therapist came in and called my name and my assistant’s name.  She said, “Oh, couple’s massage.  Come this way please.”  We got into the massage room and she said, “Are you both having a nice time in Santa Fe?  I thought, why does everyone keep asking me if I’m having a good time.  Anyway, I look at the spa room and I see two tables, some candles, some incense, and then she puts on some music.  Marvin Gaye, how appropriate.  How romantic.  And then, the other therapist comes in.  He says, “OK, which one’s mine?” and pushes the tables closer together.  She told me to lay down.  He told my assistant to lay down.  I said to my assistant, “Can you read my lips?” He said, “Yeah.”  And I said, “I’m going to kill you.”  Well, I learned two things from this:  1.  Do your own booking; and 2.  My assistant grunts when he’s getting a massage.

Well, let’s talk about traumatic brain injury.  You know when you’re messed up like this, it’s good to have distractions.  You know, do what you love to do, at least try.  I’m having a photographic show to show the world how I see things.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I’ve been putting it together for some time now.  My Mom has been a great help.  I’ve also got some great help from my friends.  Anyway, I hope you can make it.  I’m going to attach an announcement with all the details.  I hope you can come.  If not, I’ll put a video up of the show in a later blog.

Going back to Traumatic Brain Injury, I found that at this stage, 3 years into it, my emotions swing wildly from depression to happiness.  It’s amazing.  I just wanted to share that with you.  You know what, I really don’t feel like talking about it.  I will say one thing, I’m getting better.  It’s been really slow, but this week I see a great improvement in some things.  Remember, baby steps.

Let’s tell a few stories because it really seems to cheer me up.  I’ll tell a couple of stories from when I lived in Paris.  The first story that comes to mind happened when I went back there to visit.  I was in the Tuillerie Gardens with a famous actress and her ex husband.  We were all sitting at a cafe taking in the sun with our Hollywood sunglasses.  It was really quiet.  We were sitting there, me, her and her ex husband, and she said, “Oh my god.  It’s so beautiful.  So romantic, yet here I sit with a married man (I was married at the time), on my right and my gay ex-husband on my left.  I’m so f_______.”  He leaned over, touched her knee and said, “Honey you’re not f______, that’s the point.”  We all laughed.

Another story happened when I first arrived in Paris many years ago.  I sublet an apartment from a friend of mine.  I’d never been there before, I just took the apartment sight unseen.  I just had the key.  He told me it was on the top floor.  Well, I went to the top floor and all the apartment doors had skeleton keys for locks.  My key didn’t fit in any door.  My key was more of a modern key.  I thought, do I have the wrong building?  And then, I remembered, at the last turn of the staircase was a door that looked like a utility closet.  I went over to it, put my key in.  It fit.  I thought, oh no, and I opened it up to find another flight of stairs/ladder going up to probably where they stored the summer furniture.  I climbed up and sure enough, it was the apartment.  It had great views of the Eiffel Tower and Paris, but it was so small, you couldn’t swing a dead cat around in there.  There was another door.  I thought thank god another room.  I opened up the door and it was what you’d call a bathroom.  Hey, at least I could use the toilet and brush my teeth at the same time.

OK, one last story about Paris.  It’s probably why I’m based in New York.  The whole time I was there, I worked for a certain fashion magazine.  Well, you know, the grass is always greener on the other side.  I wanted to work for their competitor.  I kept bugging them until finally the competitor gave me a story to do.  It was lingerie.  Simple right?  Well, I booked a beautiful chateau in Paris.  We had an idea for a story.  It was simple.  A girl, a big empty chateau, beautiful light, some moving boxes and a few puppies.  Well, I woke up on the day we were to shoot.  It was raining so hard.  And it was freezing.  It was December 12.  Probably the shortest day of the year, or at least it felt like it.  Anyway, I get to the chateau.  It’s so dark you can’t believe it, and cold too.  Freezing cold.  Like an ice pop.  The hair and makeup artist arrived.  I knew him.  I couldn’t believe he was working.  The poor guy was dying from AIDS.  He was really good friends with the stylist who arrived.  They looked at each other and started crying.  So what did she do?  She went and got some wine and got ripped.  They were in the corner drinking and crying.  Then the woman arrived with the puppies.  She was ripped, and it’s only 9 am.  The puppies were not even puppies.  I think they were just born.  They looked like slugs.  She was drunk and they would like slither across the floor, and she would kick them back to the middle.  And then she saw the other two were drinking so she thought, “Oh, it’s OK to drink,” so she started drinking.  She continued to… Then, the model arrived.  She was pretty, but sheas like 3 feet tall.  She had a chest like a double D.  Huge chest and long long hair.  I thought, oh my god, I might as well go back to New York right now.  We ordered some lights, but it was just disastrous.  Chalk it up to experience I guess.  I should have stopped the job when I saw the rain.  Anyway, they never ran the story.  Gee I wonder why.  Anyway, I knew it, but the magazine I worked for found out I was working for their competitor and everything went downhill from there.  Needless to say, I went home.  Back to New York, after some red wine.

Well, that’s it for now.  Oh, Yeah, I had a request to talk about the drawing of the mask in the previous blog.  It involves a primitive old mask from New Guinea, lots of blood and screams.  That’s it for now.  I’ll talk to you guys next week.  Here’s a drawing from way back when.