Dec 31, 2011
While we were in New Orleans, all of us made a trip to the swamps. It's such a freaky cool place. I managed to do a drawing which was not easy on a swamp tour boat but I did it. I also made a little video of the trip to Louisiana. The section in the swamps is quite beautiful. See what you think.
The great thing about going to New Orleans was to see how well they have come back from Katrina. Every restaurant we went to had lines of people wanting to get in. The bars were packed. We toured the ninth ward and the progress is remarkable. Even the oil spill can't dampen the hopes and spirit of Louisiana. The place is as fun and crazy as I remember it 20 years ago.
My cousin Eileen married a guy I went to high school with. His name is Mike and he knows what he likes. What he likes is horseradish. New Orleans happens to have lots of horseradish. Really good horseradish. Turns out New Orleans is his kind of town. If you've been there you know you can get oysters everywhere you turn. The tables have what looks like a giant jar of mayonnaise on them. It's actually very strong horseradish. Once we started we couldn't stop. We ate dozens of oysters like they were candy. Mike would even ask for extra horseradish. New Orleans makes people do crazy things. Good thing there was plenty of cold beer to wash everything down with. I'm still recovering.
There is a very famous restaurant in New Orleans called The Commanders Palace. Yun and I were in New Orleans for the holidays with my cousin Eileen and her husband Mike. We were all reading the lunch menu when Mike noticed that martinis were 25 cents. Say what? There it was in black and white. It seemed like a challenge so we had to order them. We noticed the waiters carrying these tiny little cute drinks so we figured that the martinis were little, like sliders. To our surprise, when they arrived they were regular martinis. There was a limit of 3 per person. We only had 2 each. Later Mike regretted that we didn't go the distance and get 3 each. It was hard to do because we had to survive more drinking later on into the evening. Anyway it was a nice start to our vacation.
Dec 7, 2011
I have a cousin named Justin Klein. Turns out the guy is an amazing artist. He contacted me out of the blue recently and suggested we collaborate on something. A bell went off in my head and I thought he would be great to film for the sketchbook videos I've been doing with Danny and Jack Gregory. The reason I thought he would be great is because Justin is a tattoo artist. Danny was very excited when I suggested Justin. Neither of us would have ever thought to use a tattoo artist to explore how drawing and sketching are critical to the art of tattooing. Justin's work is very elaborate, so filming him working was going to be a long day. He worked for about 8 or 9 hours straight without taking a real brake. Danny and I were blown away. If I draw for 3 or 4 hours, I'm done. This guy is a rock. Now think about the poor guy getting tattooed. He was Justin's friend and his name was Mike Messick. Justin chose him because of how much pain he would have to endure. He said Mike was as tough as nails and could take it. Justin was right about that. There was some moments of true pain after 8 hours or so. I must say it is not easy to perform while Danny and I are filming with cameras a few inches away while someone works. Justin was such a pro that he never broke a sweat. I'm very proud to have Justin as my cousin and fellow artist. If anyone lives in the tri-state New York area and is interested in a tattoo from Justin, contact him on Facebook. Here is his page. If you don't need a tattoo, you could just give him a shout out there.
Sometimes I get to cast models. It's interesting because the models get about 30 seconds to sell themselves. The whole thing happens in an instant. You take a few photos to see how they move and interact with the camera. When the show is over you must decide on who to put in your ads. They are all great as far as I am concerned.
Dec 1, 2011
One of the greatest world leaders had to have been Mr. Berlusconi. I'm sure everyone would agree. Finally I can write something that is not controversial. Anyone who can ruin an entire country right before everyone's eyes and still get them to continue to come out and vote for him is quite talented. I think he really only had one idea for the country. Put hot girls in every job on his television networks and fill every empty seat in government with even hotter girls. The people seemed to love it. I once asked my friends in Italy why Silvio was able to stay in power. They said that deep down people sort of liked that he was a crook, on the take, tax evader, spouse cheater and all, because it gave the average Italian citizen a reason to not pay their own taxes. My friends said they didn't even pay their building maintenance. People all felt like they were getting away with something. Over time though, everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Just like everyone before him, at some point the jig is up. Given time, I'm sure the people will miss old Silvio and his bunga-bunga partying ways. For now, they will have to start paying taxes and maintenance fees. Worst of all, the women on television will start to look normal again. Too bad because now everything is in high definition.