A year ago I got news my friend Ethan committed suicide. The news completely rocked my world. The next few months I’d just wake up at 2 or 3 and just cry. I may have a dream about him hearing him and then wake up realizing he was still gone. When it first happened all I could do was read. About a month in I started listening to Mat Jones Kentucky Sports Radio podcast and when I could catch it live on the radio. Honestly go read the day after Kentucky lost to Wisconsin and you’ll see my heartbreak. Watching them was like this mask so to speak. I cope with these things by watching sports, because it’s the one thing that has always been there. I still really can’t watch the NFL much I am trying this year, because I know Ethan wouldn’t want me not to watch it’s just hard.
I’ve heard so many things talking with friends that try to help but most didn’t know him and most don’t understand suicide. I’ve heard things like I don’t know why people would do such a thing? That just pisses me off quite frankly, because your not in that persons shoes. To me actually doing it is probably a real courageous act. It might not be the best thing, but it takes guts. To be in that much pain and whatever. I stopped talking about it around most, because I didn’t want to hear there ignorance.
I don’t wake up crying anymore, but I do think about him and wish he could still be here. I think about texting him about a Colts trade, or to laugh about something that would have been an inside joke and then let my phone fall back down.
Saying goodbye was the hardest for me. I remember the funeral seemed like a dream I couldn’t get awake from. You never picture saying goodbye to your best friend when he was 27. You never think this will be the last time we texted or talked. I cherish every memory I have of him, and I lost someone who no matter what I could count on if I needed something.
I wrote a memory about him, and it pained me to do so. I didn’t think it would be hard to share something, but I found it hard to focus on one thing or one instant. Here I share pretty personal feelings, but even now I am holding back a bit. I think about him every day, and I don’t think that will change. He always included me which I found special looking back a lot of people don’t so yeah.
I was going to write 2 posts, but I feel like shit. My throat hurts and my head is aching. Small problems I know. This weekend I went to the Kentucky game with Robin. When I got there the seat I had bought wasn’t big enough for her to fit down in between. I panicked because I requested special for accessible seating. They told me everything was sold out, but they had room in a box. I got up there and it was amazing. They had free hotdogs and soda. It had it’s own bathroom, and about 18 other people who knew I didn’t belong. No one really talked to me so that was a bummer. I did meat Rodger the concession guy we talked most of the night. On one play in particular I tossed my radio in front of me a little hard and it flew in to the wall. This lady came over and said here I think this is yours? I said thank you and couldn’t think of a disability I could claim to blame it on. The radio still worked Tom came over it just fine. Kentucky’s quarterback completed 8 passes the entire game and yet they still had a shot to win on the last drive. Overall I enjoyed the box, but I missed being in the noise. There were windows, but not quite the same.
Finally I will talk about this girl I met named Abby. We’ve been hanging out the last few weeks, and things are going really well. With her things are just really chill. I mean like I’ve always felt like I’’ve put in work and the other half has come up short or taken advantage of my kindness. I really like joking with her, and I’m excited to see where things go. I am taking things one day at a time, but I really enjoy spending time with her. She actually watched the entire football game and is catching on really quickly. I am planning on taking her to Lexington to watch a basketball game this year she loves the basketball team. The bus I took this time was real smooth and I was able to connect with a bus in Lexington that got me to the stadium.
I might as well say this now I had a job interview in Nebraska but thankfully I didn’t get the job. It would have been working with blind people something I want to do again soon. I just couldn’t imagine leaving Louisville and my home. The older I get the less diserable that becomes. I was freaking about everything moving Robin again, learning a new city, and what the hell to do with my house? Things work out though.
Before I go I just wanted to say hold those close to you tight. Even if you fight say I love you and hug them more, because you never know when the last time will be. I got let down by the Colts and Packers exit last year, but if the Cubs win the world series this year I know you played the best card up there sir. I’ll never replace him there will always be a spot for him no matter how many years pass. I loved the person he was and the prints left by him. I’ll see him again one day, and he can by me drinks pretending there from women to get me drunk and feel better about myself. I miss you buddy.
Day 3 was interesting to say the least. I woke up at 6:45 because I don’t really know why. I slept like a rock I forgot my melatonin, but the few hours I got were great. Robin was wining so I put on my shoes and took her out. We went to a nice little place for breakfast.
Denny and I need to find a way to podcast 96 percent of are conversations are funny the other 4 you wouldn’t care about. Anyway he has been telling me I care way to much about things so I am trying to relax. I thought this was cool but for breakfast she took me to this painting and coffee thing. Now I am not a great painter, but I made it work. She held my hand and we brushed together. While she wasn’t holding my hands I painted where ever I wanted. It’s safe to say her half looked better. It was a lot of fun though. I let her keep it. She traced my finger along the canvas once it dried and she made the city of Toronto. She said she wanted me to feel how it was shaped. It was beautiful, and I thought really sweet.
After that we went back to the hotel, and she left to get a change. She didn’t want to show up to work in the exact thing as yesterday. I had a meeting a friend of mine arranged at a station so I went over to that. It ran way long, because I was recording a radio thing. Anyway I met Monica back at the Jays game. It was a crazy game the parts I got to see. I had to eave early so I missed the ending my scores alerts tell me they lost. I wished Monica well and told her she made the trip a lot of fun. She hugged me and we kissed and I left. Truthfully I’m not good at these things at all. Maybe are paths will cross again maybe not, but she helped me realize things about myself. I think we can be are worst critics. As people we tend to group bad events and let them dictate how we view things. I’ve been on a lot of bad first dates, and have had crazy things happen and it was nice not to have that. Whatever the future is I will be patient and stop looking for it because if loves meant to be it’ll find me. That’s what I’m taking away from this experience. See Denny I do listen to you. Happy fathers day to you, Phil, and my dad. I sent my dad a text on Verizon which means I sent a international text I’m sure that will cost me. Oh well nothing will ever cost as much as when I was voting for Sanjia on American Idol in college I learnt the meaning of a $2 text. Thanks Howard Stern. haha I wanted to go see the Niagara Falls, but didn’t make it there. Meeting Monica my plans changed quickly. The flight home was great. No one really bugged me about Robin the entire time it was really smooth. Well I guess now it’s back to work….
I wanted to give you the most personal account of what I have to do when traveling. I’m sure being sighted you may do some research on the area, but that’s probably about it. When I first settled on Toronto I had to do a few things. The first was to make sure I could bring Robin I alluded to that earlier so I will skip it. I called the hotel to see a few things like are there restaurants with in walking distance and or a bus stop close. Now this even if someone says yes doesn’t always tell me what I need to know so you have to sometimes hope for the best. What I mean by this is when I went to Denver I asked if there was anything in walking distance and he said oh yes a bbq place next door. What he didn’t tell me was that for a sighted person yes it would be easy, but for a blind person not so much. To be fair he wouldn’t have any idea so I wasn’t mad but it can be frustrating. To walk to that bbq place I had to climb a fence to do it by walking. There was no sidewalk that lead over there. They were actually really nice though both places and I made it with some assistance.
Anyway back to current times. My biggest concern was getting cellular data for my GPS. I actually want to disconnect a little from the net while I’m here, but I need data to find my way around. I had to call Verizon and unlock my phone for overseas travel. I then had to contact Rogers communications to get what I needed here. Everyone pretty much has to do that though so that’s not nothing unordinary. I use this app called blind square to navigate with it’s my favorite. What it does while walking it announces your next cross street. You can also look around by pointing the phone and seeing what is near. It’s been a game changer for sure. Sometimes having that confidence of knowing your crossing the correct street helps you relax a bit. That’s pretty much all I did to get ready to come here, once I landed it’s been just me blind exploring and asking for directions if I get lost.
The flight went well Louisville is always nice, and they actually bumped me to first class so Robin could have more room. They usually do this if they can which I really enjoy. Not because I’m first class but rather so we both have some room. The stewardess and I had a good conversation she asked me about Robins training, and we laughed a lot about some entertainment stuff. She brought me 2 free beers which was nice of her. Anyway once I landed I stayed in my seat until a worker assisted me to where I was going to catch my bus to the hotel. The person didn’t talk much, and he did help me find a relief area for Robin. I got on the bus and told the driver where I needed off and turned on blind square to watch the cross streets we were crossing as he drove. Not that I know anything about the city, but I did have what cross streets I needed. I got off and got inside to the desk. I asked if they had a room that would be close to a landmark or something easy for me to find? They did the first down a hall. The person showed me where it was, and I asked to show me where the thermostat was, as well as the soda machine. Once they did that I had pretty much what I needed for now.
I unpacked feeling a bit nervous, because the easy part was over. I am now in a city where I really know where nothing is. Well it can be overwhelming. I did have 2 beers, but I don’t often drink when traveling on my own, because it’s stressful enough. I will probably drink at the hotel bar later, because that’s easy I do not want to drink and have to walk home on the streets that’s not a good idea. Anyway I thought I was staying in Rogers stadium, but I wasn’t. My hotel was a few blocks away. I fed Robin, and went back to the desk to ask where a good spot to take Robin out to the bathroom would be? A girl showed me, and I asked are there any trash cans near so she showed me that too. So far everyone I’ve encountered was really helpful not normal. haha
I left the hotel asking the desk person if my directions were fairly accurate? He said yes. I got out on the street and man it was busy. Robin did so well though it’s why I love her. We walked at are normal pace. It was 64 which in Louisville all week it’s been in the 90’s so I bet it felt really good to her. I just love that feeling of passing people or feeling her somewhat hold up for someone cutting us off, or maybe someone slower. I wish you all could feel that feeling once. Granted I don’t really wish that, because you’d have to be blind but it really is an amazing feeling. The entrance was hard to find exactly or at least know if I was on track. I heard people going off to my right so I did the same. I found a ball park worker thankfully, and asked him for assistance to my seat. he radioed someone, and so I waited. A lady named Monica came and showed me to my seat. She gave me her cell number and said if I needed anything I could text her which blew me away. I’ve gone to several bakl parks, and no one has ever done that. Basically usually once they get you to your seat you have to either ask a fan to give you some directions or find an usher. I sat down and just listened to the ball park. It’s my favorite time because I try to hear as much as I can.
About the third inning I wanted a hotdog, but wasn’t going to bother Monica, so I stood up and an usher quickly approached me. It was a little weird, but I welcomed it, because honestly I would rather have people be to helpful rather than act as if I didn’t exist. I have to worry about so many things if someone makes it a bit easier than fine by me like Mel said I have nothing to prove to anyone. I followed the usher and got a hotdog it was nothing that stood out, but I do enjoy a great ball park hotdog.
The game was amazing. I’ve been lucky to see great players, but I really enjoyed watching Adam, and Jose. The Jays had a no hitter going in to the 8th which was cool I was excited because I was witnessing history. It wasn’t meant to be though and the Orioles broke it up in the 8th. It ended up being 5-4 and a really good game. I loved the atmosphere of the park. I engaged with a few fans around me, but mainly tonight I kept to myself. When I stood up to get my hotdog some people said oh theres a dog here? It always makes me feel good when someone didn’t know Robin was even there.
Leaving I didn’t have to call Monica she came back and assisted me out. Once I got back on the sidewalk I made my way to a sports bar, and got a burger. It was kind of loud in there, so I didn’t stay long. I made my way back to the hotel, and got in to my room. I took Robin off harness, and we played for a bit. they had these long pillows I think you put them under your butt or legs but anyway I took them and robin would try to jump on it while I swung it. She had fun with it I don’t know what made me even do that.
Day one was successful so tomorrow I am going to the aquarium, ball game, and then a brewery. I’m excited, and I will write part two and hopefully give you an understanding what it’s like traveling. I’ve not done well with this, because things I do naturally now I don’t think is important to say. I didn’t bring a jacket which may have been a mistake. It’s crazy how fast your body reacts to heat change. I couldn’t sleep so I woke up at 4 and started writing. Robin is sleeping next to me it’s a king bed, so she got up here and curled up by my legs. So quick update I couldn’t figure out why my texts are not sending I just did because when I got my Sim card from a Canadian provider I have a new phone number in Canada. My American things are not working. I researched Verizon data plan and it was crazy expensive this I have to get a data for around $25.
Okay without any further delay here is my Kentucky Derby 141 weekend in a nutshell. Friday I did some house work going outside and removing the vents on my crawlspace, and then getting in the crawlspace and exploring. I sent in Robin first to scout things out for me, I’m just glad she didn’t poop in there that would have been horrible. I just wasn’t sure if anything was nesting from the winter down there. It was all clear.
I met Amanda, Matt, and Natalie for lunch at fourth Street live at Friday’s. I left before everyone else, and took a Lyft back to my house. When I walked out of Fridays I was passing another bar and a guy said theres a blind guy. I all most said really? Where? It’s just weird when you hear things like that.
Quick joke what causes Kentucky from falling in to tennessee? Indiana sucks!
I am from Indiana, but I digress. Saturday I friend Kevin came over around 10 with McDonald’s and we watch the first two races of the Kentucky Derby. We then went to Kroger and bought some derby pie my new favorite by the way I had 3 pieces such goodness! We went to my friends Matt and Amanda’s house for a party. My friend Butch had twin spires up placing bets which is pretty cool. I then had a drink Kevin made that I called Bourbanaide. Now I had 5 beers right when I got to Matts then changed to Bourbon that was a horrible idea. I should know myself by now. I may have been a bit of an asshole, so I am sorry to anyone I may have been a bit mean to. Furthermore apparently I gave a lot of hugs to Bill I’m not that sorry for that your a total package Bill Brandy is lucky. hahaha
I fell asleep a half hour before we came home. They woke me up and I just remember becoming alert in the car wondering where Robin and my phone were. I found both. I got home, and called a few people then Pilot Niel came by after his winnings from the track. We watched the fight on the net for free, and then we joked around. I apparently was digging that body song by Tove Lo, because I bought tickets to her show in Tennessee somewhere. I am still trying to get my money back, but I might just have to go to that one.
I was ready to give you a rundown on my girlfriend situation which there is no situation, but then something happened tonight. I’ll just say this I really just want to find a person that I can make laugh and share memories with. I am tired of finding these disasters, and I’m hopefully going to be able to say I love you and hear it back and have it be meant down the line. That’ll probably be later than sooner.
Finally turning my attention to memorial day weekend I think I’m going to try to challenge myself in a new way. Robin is getting older, and I think there’s one more thing I want to do with her, because were a great team. I talked to pilot Niel about it, and he isn’t sure, so if he is out I’ll do it alone. That is get to a Dodgers game. It’s either now or 4th of July. You’ll know I will blog my entire trip. I know with my GPS and my ears, and of course the best ship I could ask for as eyes Robin the captain will succeed. I’ve been studying up on my knowledge of LA, but if I do it it’ll all be on the fly, or mostly. I just have this dream of sitting listening to Vin on my radio from the bleachers or seats whatever i can get.
Sunday was a rough day just drank the Ohio river down about 10 inches, but I feel fine now. Next year going to take it lighter on the bourban.
I’ve been feeling a little fat lately, so I decided I would take a yoga class. Ethan used to call my stomach the circle tummy. I hate running, so that was out and I would ride a bike, but I don’t have someone to ride tandem with. My friend Kelci taught me some yoga poses a few years ago, so I thought why not. I called ahead to the class well emailed know one really calls anymore. Anyway I emailed the instructor advising I was blind with a little yoga knowledge. She was receptive and said I was welcome so I showed up.
It was great I learned a lot of the poses, and got a little one on one training if I didn’t understand what they meant by something. I was a little nervous, but it went well except for one thing. So during the yoga part I got relaxed, and farted. I couldn’t tell how dark it was or who knew it was me. Time passed and I thought yes I’m in the clear well after the class I went to untie Robin from her spot, and this lady came up to me and said don’t worry it happens to all of us. At first I was lost because I had moved on, so I said something like what? She said we’ve all passed gas in here from time to time. I just all most lost it.
This weekend is the frist of my Reds 6 pack games going to go see my Cubbies hopefully. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain. I took a video over the weekend and sent it to a few of my friends that work with the Tigers. I got a responce today that was nice to hear from my friend Jim. He told me he watched it with his wife, and he said I was calling the game before Len announcer from the Cubs did. He told me to keep working, and someone will put me on. Coming from him it meant a lot.
Hopefully my last post will help it was forwarded on to Frankfurt. Kentucky housing Corporation has had six months of notification in which they told me they’re going to do something but haven’t. They’ve missed two deadlines. Hopefully I can gain equal access soon as well as other blind people.
The other night after work I decided to go to the Louisville bats game. I had a ride already going to Best Buy so I took that and then left Best Buy to the game downtown. From Best Buy I decided to take Lyft, and had a great driver. We joked a lot and it’s why I like ridesharing services because you can meet someone nice.
The game was a blow out, so mainly I enjoyed beer, and talking to people. I didn’t go with anyone, because my friends are either married or away in another town. I’m trying this new thing where I am trying to just meet new people. College it used to be so easy. I will tell you this story only because it shocked me.
After the game I went to a bar downtown and started talking to a group of people. This girl was talking about how she got a new tattoo and asked me if I would like to see it? Of course I responded in a smart ass way and said well I’m blind so I don’t know how that would work? She then got up came over and said come with me. The restaurant had one of those single bathrooms with the door. She took me in there and shut the door, And I was like what is happening? I didn’t really ask that out loud. She said I’m wearing a dress so I’m going to have to lifted. I swear to god this happen. She takes my hand and puts it right above her butt so it’s basically a tramp stamp. She starts telling me the design of it and what it is it something with the dragon and fire and a whole bunch of other shit that I don’t really understand why you would put on your body but anyway. She said can you feel anything? I was honest and said no I couldn’t really feel anything maybe a little roughness but it was the first time feeling her back so that might’ve been normal who knows. It just felt like flesh to me. She then asked me what do I see when I meet someone for the first time? I told her I have some methods that can be wrong, but I think for me I am more attracted to personality. If someone is upbeat and funny I am probably going to be drawn to them easier than a shy quiet person. Again though that’s not always correct but I think it has a part and it. She said well we’ve came this far, so would you like to feel what I look like? Now I don’t really like this notion that I have to feel someone to get the picture I’m not sure where that came from, but this moment was already awkward, so I thought what the hell. She had a nice kaboose I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog. That just made me laugh for about 2 minutes.
I don’t know how I meet these people. I think people just loose themselves when they meet a blind person. Maybe this is normal I don’t know I tend to stay in and keep to myself a lot at nights.
I’ve been talking to Opie a good friend of mine, and I found a man therapist to go to to work out some problems. The last one I had didn’t go so well when she tried to date me. I’m trying to work on some of my issues no ones perfect. I struggle with things in my childhood that are hurting me now since I’ve never delt with them. I commented on it a few posts a go, but growing up in a public school where no one else was like me was difficult and took it’s tole on me I think as I’ve gotten older. I don’t think blind people should all go to a blind school, but it would have been nice to be around people going through puberty who were also blind. Even now I’m not appealing to a lot of people because I’m blind and thats frustrating to be just written off or judged unfairly. Even though her doing that was unexpected, and I am not sure how to feel it was nice not be ignored like I am sometimes. It wasn’t a Best Buy experience where I can walk around fro a half hour and no one seems to think maybe I should ask that blind guy wondering around if he is looking for something? Apparently Best Buy must have situations where blind people come in and just exercise in there store.
I’m still dealing with some of the fall out of being mugged. I’m aware more now, but I’ve been afraid to walk at night on my own. I’m working through that by taking little progress steps. People have been dogging the Apple watch, but for me if I Didn’t have to take my phone out of my pocket to read a text or check where I am by GPS it might be worth it. People aren’t going to think twice for a watch. Maybe I am wrong, but I can see some benefits.
I moved to Kentucky three years ago I chose Louisville at first, because I graduated from Ball State and they were the cardinals so it seemed fitting. Obviously from being not from Kentucky it’s difficult to be part of the rivalry, Because you don’t have the years of being annoyed with each otherFanbase. I would always watch Kentucky games and keep up with them along the way for different reasons. I had been to Rupp Arena the last two years to watch a few games but never really took much interest to the team. In September Ethan died and I felt isconnected loss sad. I would read books just sit not turning on the television not reading twitter or Facebook just sit. I never imagined going through that type of loss. You never really can be prepared to lose someone your own age.
One night after work I decided to check out the Kentucky sports radio podcast. My friend Jerry and I were talking about Mat Jones, recently, so I grabbed it because I was tired of reading. It was like a slow love that grew from doiing that. A week went buy I started watching a little Kentucky football which I never imagined. I did this so I knew who the hell Matt and Ryan were talking about. Then I started liking Tom the play by play man for the Wildcats. The show help bring a little normalcy back into my life it’s weird that it did that but that’s what happened. Along the way I started hearing stories about the guys on this basketball team. WCS volunteering at children’s hospitals, the Harrison’s being the first in line for disabled children, and it just made me feel good. Yes I probably could’ve seeked out some great stories from Louisville, but there are not many radio hosts like Matt and Ryan. Drew and Tyler do a great job withe website. I didn’t think as time went on i thought I’d eventually stop listening or as things got a little easier I would lose time for them. The truth is I enjoy listening to the callers and how Mat works with them, doing a little radio myself not many people just take calls on the air anymore. I can tell Ryan isn’t scripted like other shows seem to be.
Months flew by and we ended up all being let down last night. I’m a little sleepy I didn’t sleep much at all I found myself feeling weird after the loss. I have the teams I root for but I love the game first and foremost of basketball, baseball, football. My grandpa introduced me to sports really, because my mom and ddad hate them or at least don’t watch. For me sports have been where I’ve hidden my pains of growing up blind in a place where there was no one else like me. I was mainstreamed all the way through, so the puberty years can be hell. With the loss of Ethan I just wanted something positive in the universe to gravitate to, and I found KSR. After the game I sat in my chair for a long time just not sure what to say. Wisconsin was a great team and you can’t be disappointed with losing to them. Somehow I found my way on Facebook and I kept reading people calling Cal a cheater laughing that Kentucky just lost. I Felt for these kids because the rest of their life they’ll have that memory of all most being there but that’s the beast of college basketball. I got pretty worked up by some Indiana fans just talking trash. I found myself on one hand it being like it’s not like I’m a lifelong Kentucky fan but on the other hand I hated reading people saying things that don’t have any fat. What if I just went on here and said Smelly Melly slept with John? For any school to question integrity it would be Indiana does anyone remember Mike Davis? You guys hired a known cheater as well, but who cares about history? After all we lost in the first round, so now I’ll just laugh at Kentucky for losing to Wisconsin something that happened to us as well this season. Oh and don’t let me forget Cal is a cheater.
I know you’ll never understand just loving a game, and getting lost in it. My grandpa before he died turned in to a Tigers fan also. He made me a Cubs fan, and I remember asking him once how can you route for the Cubs and the cardinals? He just said I love baseball, and if it’s on I can find someone I like. Maybe as I get older I realize what he meant more. While I watch the game it takes me away from the fact it’s hard to move up in my job because of technology issues. It takes away the stinging I still feel from Ethans passing, and finally I watch because sports have been with me so long. Last night I realized after talking with Denny to do are picks for where we think the divisions will shake out in baseball I realized maybe I am a bit angry. Why do I care if Indiana fans talk shit when they haven’t been to a final four since 2000 I just looked it up. There should probably be a question mark there but who cares. I just want to thank KSR and this group of guys for helping me get back in love with the game I pushed away for a while. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same person I was a year ago but I’m just trying. When I first moved down here I would get homesick and then Ethan would come down a weekend and it helped me feel more at home. It just brought something familiar back in my life. Since he September I don’t feel homesick, because Louisville is now home I just feel lonely. Anyway I don’t know why all this came out or what exactly it is, but I’m a little sorry for calling my friends who are Indiana fans douche bags just stop spreading rumors that aren’t true and have no fact.
When I was probably four years old we went to a Purdue game where I got to go on the floor meet Jean Katie and the whole team. I remember this pretty vividly, because as I’ve commented before in my underwear basketball league I would always be Purdue and take them to the tournament. You really should’ve seen my game. Before my mom crush my dreams telling me no blind people can play in the NBA. It’s really her fault I have low self-esteem, a bit fat, and have a difficult time playing basketball today. i’m just kidding I love my mom there will be no Marshall Mathers album here. Anyway we got to the Arena around the same time Coach Katie did. I remember being on the court sitting on Craig Riley’s knee and we were just talking basketball he was my favorite. He spent probably about five minutes with me and then asked would you like to meet Matt painter? I don’t exactly know why I said the following I think he missed a shot last game that upset me. I said no he stinks, and of course being blind I didn’t realize he was right there. I may have said sucks I don’t really recall but it was one of those two words. my parents told me his face turned bright red and I’ll Riley could do was laugh. I do remember saying sorry and he gave me his autograph and I sat on his knee as well.
After the game I got to meet Coach Katie before he left and I told him I thought Bobby Knight sucked and he was the best coach in Indiana. I still stand by that. Since I’ve left Indiana I do like to see them do okay now but for a long time I really despise them. Truthfully I just love the game of basketball college that is nothing beats the competitive back-and-forth tournament game. I still remember the guy that rub me the wrong way that day was Woody Austin. I was right in front of him and rather than sign my dumb little sheet he said he had a party to get to funny the things you remember from being a kid. I went to Purdue one more game I think it watched Glenn Robinson he was another one of my favorites. I did see Riley in Fort Wayne a few years later and he remembered which I thought was cool. I’m never got to see Coach painter but if I did I would tell him I think he’s doing a great job and he learned from one of the best Bruce Webber. I would probably throwing a joke and tell him he’s a better coach than basketball player just to remember the old times but I do have a lot of respect for him. He could’ve just ignored me but instead I remember him being nice after I realized he was there.
That definitely is one thing about being blind you always have to be careful what you say because you never know who is around. That burnt me a few times. And middle school my friend Lance created this game where he would say a codeword to let me know when teachers were around if I was talking inappropriately. I am actually surprised we didn’t get into more trouble as kids. I think the blind think probably helped a few times. I had a cane that had a skinny tip on it so Lance I believe got the idea to put it in a pencil sharpener so basically the end of my cane was sharp like an arrow. and had an elastic string so we would pull it back and shoot it at the ceiling making marks in our school I wonder if they’re still there. We would also sometime shoot it across the room that thing was pretty dangerous. I was sad when I left it in a Burger King bathroom on a field trip never did get it back.
My friends always encourage me to try new things. My friend Lauren let me drive his car that was probably my first time driving. I think I was 15 and I drove it down town and my hometown. My friend Sean had a Mustang and I forget exactly why we did this but we went offroading through a field. Then of course my friend Brandon always try to get me to mow the yard for him they never let me do it fully though I think I would’ve been a great person to cut the yard of course I would have missed spots. Sometimes I get these notions to write a book and then sometimes I think my life isn’t that entertaining so it’s always a back-and-forth battle but one thing I remember admiring about my childhood versus now is the way I’ve grown with independence. When you live in the country as a blind person unless you can teleport you have to rely on someone to get you places and I was not very independent as a teenager to be honest. I was also not very good at science so teleportation was out. I remember going to Ball State with my mobility instructor it was big to me, because I had all these buildings and space but by the second day of being there or third day I made a lot of friends got lost A lot but somehow found my way I’ll never forget those days. in high school for your first year it kind of feels different because we had an upstairs I guess. It was one building though so it was completely different from college. I remember being at orientation at Ball State and I thought to myself while walking around holding onto someone’s elbow because I didn’t know my way that can I really make it here can I do this? It just all felt so big, but I did. I never share those feelings with anyone no one really cared that’s not me being cynical just truth lol.
I still feel that way like when I flew into Atlanta I sometimes get nervous about traveling somewhere new because everything is foreign. I commented last post about not wanting to walk around a lot that probably has to do with my mugging things of change for me since Ben I’m not as adventurous. I can explain to you the rush I feel when I get to the airport and we board to take off and then we get to the new place and just everything else is in the air. I’ll just put my idea here so if it gets taken I’ll sue you really I will. I always thought the greatest thing would be to have a television show where it shows blind people navigating because I think it’s fascinating. People often think I feel sorry for myself I believe or that I hate being blind. I don’t feel either one of those things I just find it fascinating that blind people fight audio signals or deny help because they want to look as independent as possible. People who can see have all the signals it’s not like they just have a greenlight they have a sign that says walk I’m surprised you don’t have someone usher you across the street by now. People complain about having to sit and 15 minutes of traffic meanwhile when we go to the grocery store it could take us up to three hours and still not get everything we need. Do you want to know my biggest annoyance? I don’t think I’ve ever talked openly about it so here it is. it’s when people offer things and don’t mean it. For example I will be somewhere and someone will say oh you could call me for a ride anytime. I’ve never relied on people that say these things because if you ask them there’s always some kind of excuse. I would rather you not even mention that if you don’t mean it. It’s not really that big of request. I don’t think me saying this probably translates properly I think it’s just you have to be blind to understand that. This blog is been interesting I’ve had people wonder why I remain or try to be independent if that’s the right thing to do all the time my notion is does it really matter? At the end of the day if I have a job if I own a house if I make all my payments or if I’m a good person or not a good person it doesn’t really matter because I’m blind. again that’s not anything about Pity it’s just being 100% honest. I struggle at times in my life because people who mean a lot to me say things that I don’t know how to interpret all the time. And college a few people would want to take me to bars because it would look good to women or maybe it might boost something going on in them. traveling around even today when I go to Atlanta or walk down main street here it’s amazing how many people don’t understand a service animal even more amazing how many people know very little about blindness. And college my friend Bryant told me something that I’ve kept with me. He call me sweetness but we’re having a conversation about how blind people or myself did something and he said that I was the first blind person he’s ever met I imagine that to be the case in most situations. I know I stand out which is nice and you can use that to your advantage definitely in certain situations but often times it’s a hindrance because people will exploit you but people also can be nice. I’ve really grown up and an interesting time where we sit with things becoming more and more speech friendly and more and more accessible. for example when I started college all of the ATM machines were pretty much unusable, but now Chase fifth third and other banks have fully functioning accessible ATM machines. Which meant or means I remember a time where either I had to remember all of the prompts to get cash out of an ATM machine or I had to trust somebody to read the screen and give me the correct amount of money which takes a lot of trust. Of course when you’re drunk and you wake up the next morning with weed in your pocket and you don’t remember how you bought it I apparently trust a lot of people. Haha. In 2004 I remember meeting a blind person who told me they just voted for the first time independently with a talking machine it’s just amazing. Tonight another dream of mine might be coming true by December 2016 I samite because I still don’t know what happens if they fail to comply the FCC didn’t tell me. however the top 10 cable companies or television providers I should say are going to be required to have a talking set box it’s about time. And smaller markets it’s December 2018. I literally went all over the place in this post. that’s why I’m great if you like sports you get a little bit of that, alcohol deathly talk on that, real-world problems I give you that it’s all here.
I got Robin from the Seeing Eye in 2008 July to be exact. I keep up with things time to time by reading friends Facebook statuses or seeing Twitter posts about the organization. I admit it’s been probably five years too long since I’ve made a donation, I don’t know why I guess life just gets in the way or things get busy. I’m very grateful for the experience and the freedom that it’s given me, but I mainly focus on technology and reality of where blind people actually are. Since I’ve gotten Robin and started this blog I’ve pretty much pulled no punches that traveling with a guy dog can sometimes be difficult because no one is holding companies accountable for actual loss. 98% of the time everything is fine it’s just that 2% that really frustrates me. You’re constantly in advocate which is fine I like to keep on people. Other than the transportation companies I’ve talked about Louisville has been fine, Muncie was fine, but when I’ve traveled to Arizona when I go home people follow you around stores it’s very interesting at times. This all being said I joined a Facebook Group recently related to the Seeing Eye. A question was raised from a person that made me interested for retraining someone said they were only staying for two weeks, so I asked if this was new practice because it used to be 2 1/2 weeks? One of the administrators pointed me to a conference call saying listen to this and you’ll have your answer. Now again I’m not being ungrateful when I say this, but I have far more better things to do than to listen to some stupid conference call that doesn’t really relate to me in anyway and why would I seek that out? I maybe that was a little harsh I’m in a bad mood from watching the Arizona game yesterday. I figured there was something completely astonishing that comes out it will make the rounds and I’ll hear about it otherwise I don’t seek out conference calls from any organization not just the Seeing Eye. I just thought the response was a little weird, but maybe I should just follow things better than I do. There’s a lot of people that talk shit about which school is better for getting service animals it happens on all sides even the people from the Seeing Eye get blamed more but I just stay out of all of that I don’t care. It was the first however so I will say that. Haha that actually is one of the reasons I chose it. Not to mention I had seen a lot of successful cases around me at the time from people who graduated from there. There are other good schools but I’ll continue to go to the Seeing Eye. I was telling my friends Jerry and Lee that I feel a little bad from time to time and I don’t know if I’ll get a second dog, because I don’t take Robin on 4 mile walks which seems to be the normal from the lists I read. Maybe is just being from the country, but if I don’t have a purpose or destination I don’t just go. When I was discovering GPS like playing with different units and things I would just go discover roads and I might do that here in the spring since I moved to my new neighborhood but it’s hard just to go out and walk for no reason at all. I mean this week for example we had wind chills in the negatives why take my dog out and make her freeze just so she can walk 4 miles? I don’t understand that philosophy. Then again maybe that’s why I’m a little fat. See I see things from all angles or least try to. Robin I travel a lot together and were at work a lot but when I get home I honestly don’t feel like walking around tons. I don’t know if that’s normal and I’m not sure if it’s fair to get another dog where people are putting a lot of money into for me to do so. There are these types of people that have to know everything about something if that makes sense maybe that’s what I’m seeing on the list I just don’t get that involved.
Robins been with me for seven years now going on seven I guess this year. There’ve been things in life that definitely make us closer at times whether it be moving somewhere new, someone dying, traveling, and just a whole bunch of other things. When I first got Robin I would come home we would play and then she would go to her room and do her thing and I would be in another room doing my thing but now she’s always usually in the room with me. Once in a while if I making a lot of noise or annoying her I guess she’ll go lay in my room but if I sneeze or get up and go somewhere else she usually comes running. I think I’ve always been close to her but definitely moving to Louisville submitted that because she was something that came with me if that makes sense. I’m kind of weird so maybe that’s why I struggle with relationships but I never really talk to her much or I didn’t used to because some people carry-on full on conversations with their dogs and that’s kind of weird to me. In the past I only talk to her when I needed her to do something or if I was congratulating her on something or we were playing. Some handlers really go on and on with their dogs. when Robin and I are working together I say good job tell her her direction, and that’s about it mainly because I don’t want to be distracting. My thought is if I’m dating somebody or in a relationship does my partner want to hear me say everything that’s on my mind or constantly hear my voice? Let me rephrase that so say your partner is reading and you come home and they’re really interested in what they’re doing if you keep talking to them throwing them off you’re going to get vague answers that’s how I feel it would be with the dog because they’re supposed to be watching out for you and being your eyes so why when I walk down the street constantly singing or doing something with my voice to be distracting. rereading that May have been a question but this isn’t your best grammar blog.
As I was saying I’m not the best with relationships. I honestly do try, but maybe it’s my communication skills maybe I just like batty people. here is my side of what is going on in my life. Soap for Valentine’s Day I met my friend Kevin and Lexington and went to the game which is all known to my friend Taylor. We went out to eat the week before and I know she doesn’t like to go out on the actual day because of crowds. I told her my plans because Kevin hasn’t had Valentine’s Day plans for a few years now and she seemed fine. We even made plans when I got back for me to make crab legs and some vegetables and watch a movie. So let’s go to the actual day of Valentines. I get a text message during the Game asking where are you? I responded I’m in Lexington. She then started texting me crazy things like I thought we’re supposed to hang out together today and it’s Valentine’s Day why would you be gone and then she threw in the dagger sports are more important to you than me. Alright therapy time I will admit something here that I don’t know that I’ve said very many other places. In the right situation I could walk away from any sport even baseball, but if someone cared enough about me they wouldn’t make me choose. Anyway she told me that she was going to her house and to forget any plans we have for the day. I couldn’t really call her then there were too many people around too noisy. I’ve sent her a few text messages since then with no response so I don’t know really what’s going on. Apparently though I miss something like a sign men do that we just drive around until we find it. We actually did speak yesterday for the first time. That’s just weird for me and my relationships is it seems that if something occurs the women I like don’t want to talk about it but rather space themselves from the situation or we completely break it off. It’s an observation I’ve made along the way. apparently she wanted to just lay on the couch and watch movies all day and rather than do that I went to a basketball game which created this how I’ve been living in for two weeks. I asked her why she didn’t just say that? Her response was one that just drives me nuts about people she said you should’ve just figured it out. I was in shock I told her the story about how my friend survived cancer how is going to be with him we were going to make something special happened on Valentine’s Day for the both of us we celebrate our Valentine’s Day we Carly and I’m just supposed to know you want to lay on the couch all day and watch movies? You could’ve worked that in somewhere.
Between that situation and not following organizations correctly I’m having a rough morning. Not to mention how irritated I am with Arizona fans. Actually just make that sports fans in general saying Kentucky’s one and done situation isn’t fair. Really? Don’t the rules encourage that? are they cheating? If you’re so mad at the rule why doesn’t it change and be more like the NFL? you shouldn’t be mad at Kentucky or the way they operate rather than you should be mad at the NCAA for their dumb rule change. actually you should also factor in the NBA because I think they’re the ones who really made that change. As a fan I don’t like the real personally myself but I’m not going to sit on sports radio and I wouldn’t be a sports radio host and allow people to come on the airwaves and say that Kentucky cheats how does a cheat? Because they enforce a rule that is already a rule? I’m sorry Indiana fans, Purdue fans, Wisconsin fans, Ohio State fans, and any other team that sits in denial that they’re going to take for year kids and eventually make a team. You have this archaic notion the Big Ten is tossing out about making freshman teams. Sports in general already don’t make much money besides basketball and football every other sport pretty much is a losing entity, so you’re going to make the system bogged down by adding freshman basketball? What is that proving? Can you imagine if Anthony Davis for example had to play on the freshman team? The big 10 in my opinion might be the best basketball conference in the United States, but to think like that is just so backwards. I guess Kentucky and Louisville winning the tournament the last few years has made the Big Ten hungry. how Ohio State forgets the year they had Michael Conley and Greg Oden who reportedly did not go to class at all funny isn’t it? I guess since they didn’t have the success Kentucky has with the system things have to change. Maybe before you start hating on a guy or saying a program is it legit maybe you should look at the overall system and see how it’s failing. The real joke is that you watch these major sports and think a kid has to graduate college that’s not really the intent I don’t care who or what the propaganda tells you anyone who’s playing basketball or football that has a shot for the pros is going to go to the pros only a select few actually care about the education. I love those commercials of course if you’re on the swimming team you’re going to graduate they’re not throwing $40 million at swimmers unless your name is Phelps. A basketball team has what 13 players? Even at that how many players are in the NBA so if you have a talent of a Bryant or James or Wade you’re going to go where the money is and of story. Colleges mask the sports programs as a good deed let’s face it all it is is a free training process for the majors while the universities make millions and the student athletes may Jason education. look at the video game market they were selling video games where colleges we’re getting paid the NCAA was getting paid but the player got nothing until a lawsuit which still the players who were in the game probably won’t get anything. Lol and I love college basketball but you just have to look at the facts the one and done rule doesn’t benefit anyone except for a coach who is smart enough to take advantage of the system that’s it and I’m not hating nor should you. All this talk about where a team ranks against a team from the 70s it’s just boring talk to me things change in the 70s they didn’t have a shot clock how can you compare a team back in the four corners offense days to a team now it just doesn’t make any sense.
If you can or if you would like please go to http://www.seeingeye.org and make a donation it is a great cause and I thank them dearly for what they’ve given me.
Last night I was talking to my friend Denny and he made a good point. He said that I should choose either Louisville or Kentucky and that be my home team. it’s very difficult and I haven’t thought about it a lot other than I enjoy watching them both play men’s and women’s. If you’re asking me which announcer I like better definitely Kentucky Tom is great where Paul seems lost and a bit boring. My love for Kentucky sports radio also has fueled my Kentucky interest lately. Also when I took Kevin to the game over a year ago the Harrison’s were amazing they talk with him, and were very nice for young men. Even the last time I went they saw Robin and said something about their favorite dog. Kevin hasn’t been feeling well and they’ve gone above and beyond for that two minutes that they speak with him to make him feel normal.
I don’t really have the same contacts that I do in Louisville other then it’s my home court. It’s a hell of a lot easier for me to go to games then catch a greyhound to Lexington. I do have a nice usher that I know and half the time during the game he comes and sits by me and we just talk about sports. So this leads me to my first problem. The pizza guy came today which I tipped big because it sucks ass outside. anyway I answer the door with my Kentucky had on and he says go Big Blue! we proceeded to do a go cats chant. After he left my Louisville hat was sitting on the table and I had a hard time eating my pizza okay not that hard but it put me into some decision-making for the first time. Can I continue to go on supporting both or will I have to choose? I don’t know! That’s an open question. Maybe next time I’ll have my Louisville hat on and we can do at go carts chant.
I went to Atlanta on Thursday and did some advocating for a travel company for service animals. I gave a half hour speech and I think it went well. I don’t know what will come of it maybe a job I’m just keeping quiet for now. The travel really killed me I left Thursday morning and return pretty late Thursday night and I’m just not built for that like I used to be. I’m going to continue watching this Minnesota Wisconsin game hoping the badgers lose so Purdue has a chance but it doesn’t look like it right now. This snow and slush really sucks I’m going to have to go out and shovel my drive again, but the drivers that of pick me up I have all commented that my driveway is clean and they have a path they actually thought I paid someone to do it which felt nice that they said that.