This is matthew posting for London. It has been maybe four days for me on this road trip. I wish there was a way for me to explain to you how much you can experiance - within a four day period - with this woman. Also, I wish I could figure out how to take pictures with my camera so that I could translate all this madness and beauty fit into a four day period. I will however use words, lets see what I can acomplish.......
I met am man who acts just like you and me...... but he loves seeing cakes and pies smeared all over a woman's body. His passion lies in seeing girls get covered in syrup, pudding, and marshmellow cream. He runs messygirl.com and he's really fun..... London and I wandered all around Houston the first night we flew in. Houston is just this huge, dead city filled with filled with crazy fountians. We spent a lot of time swimming at the condo.... doing headstands and flopping around like fish.
Next stop was a very kind man who has dedicated his life to a love of exotic plants, glass, pipes, photography, two dogs, and a crazy rooster. He wore overalls. I didn't want to interfere with the shoot, so I ended up getting lost in a bamboo forest behind his house. London got attacked by fire-ants when she was all dressed up like a cowgirl....and now she's all covered in big red welts... We both got eaten alive by mosquitos, big monsterous things. She's living on lots and lots of coverup makeup. Then we headed to a woman's house who I feel I was meant to speak to.......London shot with a really talented painter who needed content to paint from. At this nice lady's house we met an incredibly famous oil painter from china who was teaching a class to the community that she had set up in her painters studio. Her house was gorgeous, I got so caught up in talking to her that I forgot London's wardrobe.... we had to drive back in the morning to get it.
Now we are in one of the most stunning cities I have ever laid eyes on. It is the Venice-America. Old houses and resturants lining a walk which hugs the river. Ancient trees hang over head lit by romantic lamps. This city preserves beauty. London and I are staying with the man who has a million stories and a head full of some fantastic information to listen to..... He says that San Antonio has a huge war going on that no one knows about, a war of both good and evil, with christians and devil worshippers. That part is kind of scary - but I hope you come here one day, San Antonio is beautiful.
London just made me tea I am shocked....... Its chamomile mint very exciting. The rain is pouring down and I love to feel at home when I am nowhere. London's life is her own without comprimise, without question and I am happy to be her sidekick in this journey...... perhaps she will update later, she still has another shoot tonight...... --Matthew
So Bonnaroo was a lot of fun. It was a swirl of pretty women in itty bitty clothing, many mind altering substances, temperatures that made you pass out, happy hippie people in rose colored glasses, and music music music...... loud music, pretty music, floating music, all kinds of music, all day and all night. You washed yourself in big tin sinks, your tent heated up like an oven at 8am, your snot was a funny black color, and people sold bloody mary's on the street.... it was quite the place to be.
Leaving Long Island again. Two weeks was just about what I needed.... back on the road - this time, with Matthew in tow. Yay! I have a friend on the roadtrip!
I didn't really know if he was going to make it at first. There was all this crazy drama going on, and he didn't have a cell phone.... but alas, as the plane was taking off, here I was sitting next to him, while he was looking through SkyMagazine for his daily message from the universe. "Pick a page, and then read it and interpret it.... that's what the universe is trying to tell you.' Apparently........ all this time, the universe has been wanting to tell me that I am a small iron skillit, great for outdoor cooking.
Last night Matt and I walked about 5 miles through downtown Houston.... The weather here at night is probably the closest that you can get to perfect (when it isn't all full of smog)..... things are good. I'm shooting with one of my funny character photographers this afternoon... should be fun. I'll update tomorrow afternoon with some fun photos that I got back yesterday...... whoooo. Stay clean and think peterpan type things....x0
So the past few days, I have just been holed up in a basement in Long Island, sprawled across a bed.... booking booking, madly booking. As of right now, I have a great line-up of photographers from Houston to Santa Fe - they will be keeping me on the run-around, two-three shoots a day....... The best news is - that I actually booked a really great guy in Albuquerque who is going to take me flying in his little four man plane, just for the fun of it. How cool is that? A free plane ride across the New Mexico desert! Whoo hoo!
Alas, amist all this postive - there must be some negative.....
Because, let me tell you, Colorado isn't booking at all. I mean, nothing. Like, at all. Therefore I will be going an entire week, maybe two without pay and that is going to make things quite difficult. I can only hope that our friends in the Mormon Country of Utah - own some camera gear or that they like to give out free buggy rides. Free buggy rides across the Utah desert! Whoo hooo! (not nearly as cool as the plane, huh).
So I haven't mentioned it yet, but my best friend, Matthew... the friend who moved to NYC to model - he's accompanying me on the rest of the trip crosscountry. He's going to be flying into Houston with me on the 24th and will be doing the entire trip back to our native land of Syracuse - Arrival date is set for Mid October but it could even be November.... we'll see. I planned out a lot of my schedule on half work/half sightseeing. We're hitting up Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Elephant Butte, Garden of the Gods, Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Moab Desert, Salt Lake (gotta float in the lake!), Bryce Canyon, Zion, Hoover Dam, Vegas, Grand Canyon, and like a million other things...... lots of funny tourist attractions. Like the largest ball of twine.
When I haven't been working on emails, I've been reading. In the past week, I've finished three books: Jitterbug Perfume, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and Way Off the Road.
Way Off the Road was written very poorly and full of lame seedy humor. But it had some great stories about traveling across the US..... examples:
There is a place in Alabama where all lost luggage goes (Lost Mail, lost suitcases, lost packages). The lost luggage is bought, opened up, and stocked on shelves! You can go shopping in this giant warehouse of stuff.
There is also a festival held just above Denver Colorado - that celebrates a frozen dead guy on ice. You can buy t-shirts, hats, and jump into a hole in the ice to celebrate the day!
In Fruita, a town West of Grand Junction - they have dedicated themselves to a headless chicken named Mike. And they hold a festival for him, with people dressed up like chickens! Some without heads!
In a town where only 5 percent of the people have attended college, there is a Schoolbus figure 8 racing! Good way for people who hate school, to get rid of some steam.
There are 3 more days till Bonnaroo...... they say they have free wi-fi there, but I don't believe them. Mud dust and music.....
I spent the better part of this morning dumping vanilla icecream, brownie mix, and cake batter all over Miss Liz Ashley. The goal was to create a MessyGirl A La Mode out her.... haha.
Messygirl.com is a fun site to work with. I've been to Houston at least three times this year to work with them. Not because I am all that into WAM (Wet and Messy fetish) but just because it's such a great break from Art photographers and Glamour photographers (Liz also does it for that reason).... I mean, would you rather sit around posing for 3 hours or would you rather be dumping vanilla icecream, brownie mix, and cake batter all over a sexy girl like Liz..... we spent at least 3/4ths of the shoot just giggling.... you just can't help it. "Oooohhh baby, you know it. Hit me with that pie. Oh, that's just too hot. Do it again!"
Tomorrow I do a 35 gallon pudding bath. It's going to be insane. Wish me luck, and hope that I don't drown.... what an obituary that would make, ha!
It was really hard leaving New Orleans.... not so much because of the city. But mostly because I found myself so comfortable in one place..... Normally when staying at a motel, I am dying to get on the move in the morning because the place is just so skeezey. The rooms reek of one-night stands, prostitution, affairs, drug dealers, and old people's flaky skin - or if I crash at photographer's places.... I never want to impose more than I already am. So on the road, 9am sharp....... In the condo though, it was like time stopped moving. I wanted nothing other than to sit and watch re-runs of Sex in the City on my laptop...... without having to move anywhere but the couch to the bed and back to the couch.... talk about lazy.
.... oh well, somehow I pulled myself from the void, packed myself into my car - headed towards that Lone Star State. Where the sky just seems to go on forever... it really does. I've been down this way several times in the past year and half.... and minus Houston's poor air quality..... the entire state is quite enjoyable. I like how the land sprawls from mountians to fields to lakes and then desert... it's like driving crosscountry but seeing everything corralled into one place. If you want to see the US, drive through TX for a week....
Hung out with a really nice photographer, the other night while in New Orleans He took me out biking and showed me St. Charles rich neighborhood - Was quite a grand time.... he took photos!!!
And we all like photos, right!? Even if I look like I belong on the short bus.... and you're jealous of my helmet.... .......it's ok. We can't all be cool. : )
The secret to shooting
for more than three hours?
........Change of scenery.
Shooting more than one setting, breaks the shoots into mini shoots -
and therefore, I am more apt to being able to model longer.
The photographer today had a Katrina story...
... which led me to think that for people down here, Katrina is pretty much equivalent to the Twin Towers falling in NYC. Everyone down here remembers where they were, what they were doing, how their life changed....
He survived the storm, only to find out that the Levee had broken and that water was making its way into the city - both him and his wife, who is the head nurse at a local hospital, helped vacate their hospital .... over 20 cars, evacuating patients who were on respirators and couldn't evacuate themselves..... both him and his wife returned to help a local Hospice which needed help, 1/3 of the patients there had already perished because generators had failed.... To get to the hospice, they had to take buses with an escort from a bunch national guardsmen.
Aside from his story, while he was in New Orleans during Katrina.... he took some really amazing photojournalistic photos...... This one is my favorite.... There was a guy who went around saving people who were stuck in their flooded houses.... He paddled in a canoe from house to house. While passing by a rich guy's place who had evacuated - he found some keys and borrowed the rich guy's bass boat. Eventually the water dried up, and written on the side was, "This boat saved over 400 people." How fucking cool is that....
I love stories.
People are nothing but stories.
Your life is one big story...
It really is.
I bet you could tell it from the beginning to the end
Whether the beginning was when you
fell off a stool when you were two
or if the beginning started when you
just missed getting hit by a car last week.
And it ends when you blink....
Stories stories stories.....
Anyways........I liked the photographer's story so much.....I set out on locating some more. I jumped into my car and headed to some random cafe a few streets down. Started up conversations with lots of strangers at the bar.....
My favorite story of tonight was this one girl. She vacated her house in a nice neighborhood - packing her husband, two kids, two dogs, three chickens, and an iguana.... to a hotel in Arkansas. And she lived there for 5 months with the chicken eating crackers on the bed, cocking it's head to the left, while watching TV (she acted that part out, and it made me laugh... it was very chicken-esq). Anyways, She said when she got home, she barely recognized her house. Her grass was 4 feet high. And her refrigerator - which she didn't even open, had crab legs, hamburgers, and pork inside it for 5 months in 80 degree heat. She had her husband tape it up and put it out on the street..... FEMA sent her a $2000 check total for her 5 month and now they are sending her letters....asking her to pay them the money back. They believe she misused it because she bought a new refrigerator with it....... She sums it up best, all southern like....., "So I wrote them a letter back and I said, 'Well I'd like to pay you back. But lets see you squeeze blood from a turnip.'" Ha.
SAfter hanging out at the cafe, I drove over the lake, sat in a little patch of grass right across the street from all these condos (just like the one that I am staying in)...13 out of the 19 windows that I could count were watching TV.
Don't be the chicken.....
Stay away from the blue light... it's poison.
It will suck everything that is meaningful from your life.
Traveling from New York to Gulfport, everyone cautioned me about Louisiana...... "You're going to New Orleans?," they'd say, "It's so dangerous there right now.... stay away from Bourbon Street at night! You will get raped! They will steal your money and spend it on crack-whores and midget porn!" - Point is, all these stories and requests of caution, eventually got to me.... It got to the point where I didn't want to venture out........... because I convinced that the city was at odds to kill me.
Haha... until, I sat in the condo for two days
Cleaned the entire apartment...
and decided I was being terribly stupid.....
Like every other city, New Orleans is full of interstates and exits.... Got in my car and started driving.... Found my way to the French Quarter pretty easily.... I was terrified - Not about being robbed, but because everyone was wearing Disney hats, and multicolored fanny packs, pointing and shooting with their tourist cameras. (not so scary afterall, huh?)
So I walked around, bought a few postcards and things to send home to Mom (half naked girls wearing nothing but beads!) I've been trying not to spend too money though.... lack of shooting from Tallahassee to Gulfport really hit my account pretty hard. Decided to get some grub.... Ended up going to this fantastic little place called Mr. B's...... now this is the weird part, right?
No one is at Mr. B's.......vAs I walk in and there's a lady in front of me. She sits at the bar, I also ask to sit at the bar. She orders my favorite drink, I order the same drink. She asks for the soup, and I also love soup.... so that is what I order.... We are the only people at the restaurant.
Somehow we get to talking and she tells me that she is a 'messenger'.... She says that the universe brought us together. "We have been pulled by the same force..... you are on a journey."... Her and I get to talking and she starts telling me about all these things that I am going to see. Places that I need to go. She said that I will find my spiritual leader in Zion (National Park, that is)... everything she told me, she wrote down on a bunch of little napkins, covered in the Whiskey she was drinking..... So funny! I walked out of Mr. B's with a purse jam packed of scribble napkin writing. All I know, is that she kept stressing that I am supposed to record all the positive things that I experience in my life, take all that information that I get from it and give it back to the world so that they can feed off my posistive words..... She told me to write a book, "It could change the world".... I can't see how my traveling will change the world. But she said she was a messenger and she bought me dinner that night and she could probably even read my mind - so perhaps I will try to some day.
Bourbon street was madness.... Since I was all by my lonesome, I had to become my own babysitter and hit up a handful of bars serving Hurricanes... Around 8, I put down the top, drove back to the condo, jumped in the pool with all my clothes on (totally sober, it's just really hot down here right now).... Somehow locked myself out on the balcony of the condo I am staying at (with a Mojito in-hand, not so sober), I called to anyone who walked by, until some nice stranger walked up the stairs, into the apartment and unlocked the balcony door for me. He said, "One too many on Bourbon street, eh?".... And I think he was right....