Where have I been? It’s hard to believe, but I had pneumonia AGAIN! I just had it in November, and when I got back from NY, I got it again, but worse than I may have ever had it. I wound up in the hospital this time. Oh, it was baaaad. I still have it, but I am much better since I got out of the hospital this past Monday. Tomorrow is my last day of antibiotics and steroids. I was on them via IV while in the hospital for five days. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick. I could not breathe. It was terrible. I am never smoking again – so at least that is something very good that has come from all of this.
I smoked practically my whole life, then I quit when I was 29 for a year. I was back on again for four months, then I quit for 10 years. 10 years! You’d think it was totally over, wouldn’t you? But then when my father was dying in hospice, I had such friction with my brother about his care, that the stress drove me to smoking again. I smoked for two months, but quit again before it got real bad. Then three months after that, my mother got into a horrible accident and I started smoking again on the night it happened, and from then on out, I just kept smoking. I quit a couple times, but when she died, I just went back and continued to smoke out of sheer depression. That was two and a half years ago and I’ve had absolutely no excuse other than just being hooked.
Now I am free. I’ve seen the dark side. I now know what it’s like to not be able to breathe, what it must be like for someone with emphysema. I don’t want to wind up like that one day. I actually have asthma. I was a fool to smoke at all. Why do we do stupid shit to ourselves? I have no idea. It felt connected to my personality. Isn’t that so ridiculous? I say that, and it’s so stupid, but I really felt that way. And I know when I feel all the way better, I’m going to have a hard time not incorporating it into my life – mentally (not physically).
But anywho… New York was GREAT! You know, before I got so sick. I felt it coming the very last day I was there. I may have partied a little too hard, but I was alone in NY with three days to do everything I could fit in, and we all know that’s just not enough time. I went overboard. I don’t usually drink, but I drank. I don’t usually stay up late, but I stayed up really late. I don’t usually walk around in 38 degree weather, but I did that too. I don’t usually walk around much at all (I live in Los Angeles after all!) so my legs were starting to collapse near the end of my stay. But I got to see a lot of art and a fair amount of NY that I had not yet seen. This was my 3rd time to NYC. I stayed at my regular place in Chelsea, the Chelsea Lodge – which was so perfect (2 blocks from the gallery).
I had never been to the Lower East Side, so I went there. I had a light dinner with Oriane Stender at a local wine bar and then went to see an art show at Mulherin + Pollard. I have been following Katharine Mulherin’s projects for some years. I’ve bought artwork from her in the past when I saw her at the art fairs. She’s a Toronto dealer. It was nice to see a gallery there in NY with her involved. I found out about it through a fellow artist friend, Brian Novatny, who I show with at George Billis in Los Angeles. He lives in Brooklyn and we hung out a bit in NY while I was there. He has begun to work a bit with Mulherin + Pollard. It was a cool little gallery and the Lower East Side has a nice up-and-coming contemporary art vibe to it, like Chelsea used to have before it got super popular.
A lot of people came to the opening at Denise Bibro, and I met some wonderful peeps, namely Judith Braun from the first season of Work of Art. She is so cool! I talked to her for a long time and really enjoyed her company. I also sat right next to Bill Gusky at dinner, who was in the show with me. He and his wife are cool peoples. And of course Nancy Baker, who made the entire exhibition happen in the first place. She is my Jewish sister and I owe her a giant birthday cake. I love her, and her amazing artwork.
Jeez, I could go on a bunch about NY, but I’d be here all day.