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.