Saturday, January 26, 2008

Naples, FL

Is a place full of millionaires, meth addicts, and far too many cops - Surprisingly though, it also breeds really wonderful people.... two nice individuals under separate circumstances insisted on paying my dinner tab, a luxurious spa lady sent me to the best motel (not the meth motel) in town which boasted a real fireplace and fridge. Then, the motel only charged me $20 for the night.. somehow, someway, without anyone knowing my financial situation... good things have been happening when I really need them to.

How random is it that while booking work the other day, this nice kid that I struck up conversation with, invited me out to dinner? I piled him into the mustang and we drove to a little seafood place on a waterway, split a pitcher of Bud Light, and ate Blackened Grouper until the sun disappeared - it was a lot of fun, really random. He was saying that meeting me was the most entertaining thing that had happened to him since he moved to Naples a few months ago..... We went out and saw Sweeny Todd together... I don't know. Randomness. Adventure. Good company. A six hour sidekick is better than being alone anyday...

I did not originally want to post about it (because we all know, if I do, it never happens) but I finally got to shoot with Oliver Regueiro (work on left) out in the Everglades yesterday for the EnvironmentalRefugee Project .... It is really exciting for two reasons - one, because how many models get to shoot in the Everglades? .... and two, how many people get to shoot with Oliver? Ha. We did not get eaten by alligators or mauled by snakes... so I figure, the shoot turned out pretty decent... also good company. I want to kidnap him and bring him on the roadtrip....

Sarasota has a real Oyster Bar.... like, a bar (with lots of things to drink) and real Oysters - how perfect is that? Went out with a photographer and his chica last night, had quite the time - I learned that some dildos are made from airplane parts and you can boil them in acid, and they don't change form. Isn't that a fun fact? Really excited because I get to see the two of them again on Sunday, when his girlfriend takes place on the rollerderby team... I have a team to cheer for!

Sarasota. So, I am staying with a Couchsurfer here in Sarasota.... who is moving to Portugal this weekend to study spiritual massage for three months. She is amazing. She has a Mary Poppins trunk... you should see all the stuff she can fit in her car. A's job is almost as fun as mine - A Personal Shopper. Meaning that she goes to fancy upscale stores, buys people clothing, and gets paid for it.... Tonight we are having a going-away party. I am going to bring the cheese, crackers and wine - she is supplying all her friends and lots of Key Lime Pie... It's going to be a shin-dig. I think that is the perfect explanation. She is also going to the rollerderby on Sunday.....

I might go visit my crazy aunt while I am in town, but I am still deciding...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Everglade City, FL

Now that Miami is over.... I can move on to the awesomeness of the last two days..... Yesterday, I went to the everglades and did a two hour tram tour with a very attractive tour guide. Twenty five old folks and myself, "Oooohed" at birds and "Ahhhed" at Otters and "Gasped" at the fish. I made a friend. I met a man in his late sixties who bought a giant motorhome after his wife passed away and now he travels all the time. We were both lonely and happy to have someone similar to talk to.... we spent the entire ride back to the tram station talking about National Parks and all the places we want to visit..... He says that I need to Big Bend in TX, so Big Bend is officially on my travel schedule......

Last night I stayed at The Meth Motel... ha. Not really, but I walk in and the lady at the desk is like, "Do you do drugs?" And I am like, "No"... and she goes, "Are you sure? No meth? We don't let people who do meth stay at our motel." And I am like, "No." So then she continues to go on about all the people staying at the motel. "The guys in room #3 - they are Golf Caddies and they have Homosexual-Sex at night.. they can be loud. The lady in room #10, huge fat jiggly blonde woman, she had her kids taken away because she drank too much.... The guys in room #8....." I was just so enthralled with all this gossipy info on something I could care less about - that I sat around and talked to her and the toothless owner for about two hours.... I went to bed that night, knowing every single-sided story, for every single person that night....

Being in FL, I have to compromise my rates to $20-50 an hour...... I barely had enough money to leave Miami the other day and I absolutely hate using my credit card, like I feel like I am scrawling out the dollar signs in my own blood when i use it - just that painful. Hopefully this will all get better, because right now it is just not good, not good at all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jacksonville, FL - Big Talbot

This is a place - You can walk down that beach for a good mile - Covered in driftwood, giant toppled trees, lava rocks with tide pools. Big Talbot Island State Park is like a dream - beautiful. Shot there yesterday - half way down the beach, Don and I were approached by a park ranger who said 'You must stop shooting - the law - illegal - blah blah blah.' So we packed up all our stuff and pretended that we were finished with the shoot..... and then, of course, the ranger left and we kept on going .... : ) I love that recklessness.... because you know that the photos are to-die-for..... The drive out there was totally beautiful, I stopped and talked to some fishermen for awhile on the way home, so many stories.... such a great drive.....

Mom was going to send me my tent, but she forgot to get it out early enough... so instead of camping, I need a Plan B for Key West... Anyone know of some cheap, fun place to stay while I am down there? I don't want to do Motel 6 in Key West (just shoot me now!)

While in Jacksonville I am staying with my aunt, who is part of this Notorious Biker Club called The Outlaws - I guess the club originated in Chicago, and has spread all over the world - starting with France and continuing throughout Europe. She used to mention that she was in 'a biker gang', I used to be like, "Yea... whatever. There are a bunch of people in FL who ride bikes...." But seriously, last night she invited me to tag along with her - and let me tell you, it's not like a biker gang, it is a biker gang. Crazy individuals there that you would never in your life want to cross..... I had a really good time, they have a full bar in their club house, with surveillance cameras and everything - Not people you want to cross, though.... fo sho....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Into The Wild....

Because I spend so much time on the trains, riding between Long Island and NYC, doesn't come as much of a surprise that I have been devouring more books than usual - Finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Water for the Elephants by Sara Gruen a few days ago (which was incredibly hard to put down). This week was Into The Wild...perhaps you have seen the movie?... Other than the fact that I cannot stand the dry, factual based writing of John Krakaue - the story itself was moving. I am nothing like Christopher McCandless's character, yet in so many ways, he is someone whom I identify with completely.... I wish I had known him....

Been working a lot - Eating lots of Gummi Bears - Had to try to learn how to pee upside down for Aeric, that was... interesting. The Central Park topless pretzel guy.... chased me for twenty blocks screaming, "Me love you! Me want yo numba! Give me time, give me time... Me love you!" It was silly and perhaps a little bit scary but nonetheless silly.... Went to a photographer's house, asked to use the bathroom, and he informed me "The toilet paper is just for show, please do not use it. Use the one under the sink." Stop - ponder - think? Huh?

The Staten Island Ferry is free, did you know that? You can ride it back and forth all day - not a dime needed... You can feed the birds, see the Statue of Liberty, the NYC skyline, see a sad excuse for a harbor, maybe some floaty fish - any time, day or night - it is really neat... I am going to catch it late at night in the summertime, sneak on some champagne, celebrate life with Matthew for awhile.....

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nekkid Party in the Subway....

Holidays ended pretty decently. Spent most of my time sippin Yogi tea - sleeping in until Noon -Popping my new pink tent in the livingroom (yes, my mom bought me a 3-person pink tent for Christmas.. whoo! Camping in Key West!). Flew the coop - jumped on a greyhound bus headed to NYC for New Years - Been in the city for just over a week now.....

Got naked on the subway the other night with photographer Will Springfield... For 2am - the subway was surprisingly packed... we dragged Will's coffeetable to the end of the D-Line - found a bar and wasted a few hours shooting Nerve.com stuff, tried the subway again and managed a car with only one persont..... Set up his lights, train started moving, dropped coat - shot 50 frames. Train stopped, went to put my coat on.... Will says, "Wait! Lets just keep shooting... I don't see anyone out there" Yea, so Will is shooting... four or five people get on the train behind him..... People are watching from the other trains.... MTA cop boards our train.... and I am sure that we are screwed.... but Nope... The cop just goes, "Ooooweeeee... this makes my night, mind if I watch?" Fucking crazy....