Chapter 73 - October 23, 2012

Happy birthday Henry! I'd like to dedicate this week's blog to my cousin. He was an awesome coach during my operations. When you have traumatic brain injury and you go through an operation, you really need a coach, someone to get you through the tough times.  I don't remember much about being in the hospital during my operations. I do remember I almost died and my cousin jumping up on my chest. He basically kept me from slipping away. He also "borrowed" a janitor's uniform to sneak into my room after hours. He and his wife were there all the time, by my side. He was a great coach. No, it's true, he's a real coach. He coaches soccer. The last soccer coach I saw was when I was in high school. I was a freshman. After we played a scrimmage, he said, "Nice, come over here." He called me over. He said, "Brian, I've been coaching for about 25 years, and you are by far the worst soccer player I've ever seen, but you can run like the wind, so go see that guy over there," and he pointed to the cross country coach. That was one moment that was to change my life.

Hi everybody. Welcome to another beautiful week in paradise. Well, I just would like to benchmark where I am and what's been going on. I have to practice what I preach. Man, I gotta be patient. Having this traumatic brain injury is tough. Recovery is tough. Like I said before, I seem to be more aware of my surroundings and my body. It's slow, but I'm getting better. My eyesight is getting better. And my feeling is getting better. Just the other day I rolled over onto my stomach, and I tried to do a cobra pose, it's a yoga pose, and it stretches out my back. I did it. It felt weird because I haven't been on my stomach for like two years, but I did it. Scared the hell out of me, so I rolled back onto my back. I try to do this every day after my midday nap. My mother always looks at me with calm as I try to do my cobra, really freaking out inside. It's weird. Not much else to really talk about other than the fact that I do painting with my father. I think I get more paint on me than the canvas, but it's good exercise. It's great to see the progression from two years ago to now. I've been doing almost every day the painting. (My friend was reading back to me what I wrote and she's right, I sounded like an Italian man. My writing, she is a not so great.) I've been doing the painting almost every day. I do a heart for my daughter, and then I do a star, and then I do a circle.

The other day my friend came over with his wife. They took me out to lunch. It made me realize how messed up I am. I felt a bit strange cause he basically had to feed me my lunch. I felt like a baby sparrow. But it did feel good to get out of the house. I would highly advise little day trips like this. Anyway, enough about traumatic brain injury. You know I do this blog because it might help someone. I know it helps one person at least, me! ha! It helps me to write this stuff down. I like to go back and see where I was, like a year ago. Now I'm gonna tell just a few stories from the past. As I said before, I spent a little time on my back thinking about the past.

I think I mentioned before, I lived in Paris. I started working right away. I guess I got lucky. Anyway, I worked with really good people. One guy was an awesome hairdresser, but like me, he was a little kid inside. Often I would book a location van and shoot on location. The van was like a mobile studio. We would sit in the bench seat. He would say, "Get a shot of this with your polaroid camera," and he would change his water spray bottle to jet-stream and he would say, "Get a shot of this over my shoulder." He would bring out his spray bottle and he'd spray the people in the face. And he'd say, "Now, take the pciture," and the results were perfect. I don't know if you've ever seen someone getting sprayed in the face, but it looks pretty funny. This is what inspired me to do my scare polaroid book. Probably the most inspiring moment out of Paris. Pretty sad huh? That reminds me of something I used to do just before I got sick. My nephew had a machine called a fart machine. Well, I kept it in my bag of tricks. I would make my assistant put it in his back pocket, and then at the most convenient time I would activate the fart machine with a remote. The results were fantastic. My favorite time we used this was out west. We were shooting at a catholic mission. There were plenty of nuns there to torture. I think my assistant really enjoyed it. I'll let you use your imagination.

I'm trying to think of other random stories to tell, but there are so many. My friend here reminded me about the saltwater crocodile. There isn't much to tell. I just arrived in my room at the hotel, put down my bag. I thought to myself, oh, I have a sun deck. I went to go to the sun deck and as I was about to open the door, I noticed there was a very large saltwater crocodile on my deck. He was sunning himself. He must have been ten feet long. He was big one. Well, I stayed inside. Had a beer, turned on the news. Crocodiles don't really freak me out. The sharks I've seen, those are the things that freak me out. They're really unpredictable. I've scuba dived with sharks, I've been chased by sharks, I've come up on sharks on my windsurfer. They're kind of like wild dogs. They're curious. They'll come up and try and give a little nibble, see what's going on. But like bees, if you leave them alone, they'll pretty much leave you alone.

Anyway, that's it for this week. I'll talk to you guys next week. Oh, yeah, I'm getting ready for another photo show. I have a few pieces to put in a local group show. It should be fun. Remember, do what you love to do. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice