Tag Archives: blind

Chapter begins

Frasier and I’ve been back for about 2 weeks now. Were doing well. I’ve taken him for several walks, and he has gone through several work days with me. I love him. I forgot about how bad the public is with dogs talking to them. They will literally say out loud I know I’m not supposed to pet, and then either go ahead and pet the dog or ask. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just walk away. There is a guy at work who annoys me, because he will walk by and make eye contact with Frasier, and then say good morning Frasier. I’ve said just ignore him yet he does this anyway. Today Frasier stood up and he was like no lay down. I just spoke up and said see that’s why you should just ignore him so he doesn’t get excited. He now is ignoring me to, but honestly I have way more important shit to deal with. I don’t know if people just don’t take me seriously or what?

He loves to play my living room looks like a pet store. I’ve had to toss several toys, because they didn’t stand up to his chewing on them, and I didn’t want him choking. He gets along with Abby’s dog just fine. Bancroft is 7 all most 8, and is quieting down with playing so I think Frasier is good for him also. Watching them play tug is awesome.

My next airport trip wwich will be soon I’m going to Washington I am going to not ask for assistance to the gate. We now have the Louisville airport mapped for Nearby Explorer. This means with my Iphone I can hear the gates or terminals as I pass them. We’ve been working on indoor navigation at the Printing house, so I will test it out for real. I’m excited if successful that will be the first time I’ve done that on my own. I know some blind people do it already, but without some sort of feedback from either gps or something I wouldn’t want to try. I just want things to go easy, but now that this is ready I figure why not. I think Frasier and I are up for the challenge.

In a lot of ways his work is similar to Robin’s, but in other ways they’re different. It is so hard going from an older dog to a newer dog. Not hard, but a lot of work, discipline, and praise. Getting back in to the mindset that I have to treat him like a baby, because he is. For example, my back yard I could trust Robin out there she wouldn’t jump I knew where she was him I think he’d be in China if I left him out there for a minute. He pays attention to the neighborhood like she did, and I’ll be honest just with him around I’m sleeping way better when Abby isn’t there. Before I got him the only time I slept well was when Abby and Bancroft came over, because someone else was there and I was comfortable. He also doesn’t come when I say to come he’s testing me and such, but were working on it. Those things tend to frustrate me most, because it’s hard to rationalize hey this is someone new. He loves to play as I stated before, and I think bonding with him in this way helps us.

We went and got lunch during work, and feeling him navigate around things in my hometown was again so refreshing. I hated the cane. I also noticed my confidence was back up. I am a bit nervous crossing streets that’ll probably take me a bit to feel good again with him, but so far he is doing so good.

I wrote this over several days, but yesterday I took him out on a longer leash to explore the back yard. He is in love. This morning after he ate he made noises at the back door like please let me out.

It’s blindness month, and I see a bunch of blind people writing crazy long posts on Facebook about remarks how they’re normal and bla bla bla. Look I get annoyed to at the public and sighted people, but you have to remember were not even 1% of the population. Other than observing you on Facebook most have never encountered a blind person. What annoys me most is when sighted people work for a blind company, and try and act as if they’re know all of all things blind. At the end of the work day sir or ma’am you go home and use a TV without speech, or write and read things on paper or a computer without a screen reader that doesn’t face any inaccessible issues. Yet you’re going to speak for me or us pretending you know what a day in our lives is really like. We were talking recently about flattop stoves. I used to be nervous about them until I met Abby now I wouldn’t live without one. Anyway the sighted people were like we have to do something tactile so blind people can feel where they’re at on the stove. I spoke up and said no I have one now, and I just wave above the heat then I place my pot. After I set it down I then feel around the pot to make sure no extra heat is coming from one side or the other. All of the sighted people were so amazed they were like oh were taught to stay away from that. These are people who stove makers are talking to for designing something to make my life better yet they don’t even know how were using the products we use now? Here’s a brilliant idea instead of talking with the sighted guy why don’t you talk to me? They don’t because of dumb sighted person who’s worked for a blind company 5 years feels he is an expert. That’s the type of thing that drives me nuts, because your addressing an issue that isn’t an issue for us. You know what is? The touch screen with 50 options I can’t read not the burner that heats up that I can feel.

Sighted people have blindfolded themselves and used a screen reader for a month or two, and yet this still gives you know real experience because you know at some point that blindfold is coming off. Unless your permanently in a situation you can’t be an expert. It’s like people who read braille with their eyes congratulations, but that’s not being an expert. Yet these eye braille readers chime in on quality, or even changes to the code itself.

I think I’ve written enough for now, but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time out to write me while I was out training with Frasier. Also thank you again to Jenny, and Dawn from Wave as well as anyone else who donated or took the time out to make things easier. As I finish this he is laying on my foot chewing on his bone. I really missed having a dog laying on my foot. I’m proud of myself for being able to look at him as a different dog, and allow him to be himself without expectations he will replace Robin. Dogs to me are like humans you can’t really replace them. After Ethan died Whitney wrote some things on Facebook and it’s a different chapter now. You cherish the old chapters and never forget, but it’s great to have my vision back, and move so freely again. I met this lady who has had 9 dogs in her life time, and I thought that was so neat. She was 80 years old and was in great shape I hope to hell I could do the things she did when I’m 80. She’d walk 2 miles like the rest of us.

The ending with a dog is so difficult, but give yourself sometime between them. That moment when Brian brought Frasier to me I was so nervous to see what he’d feel like or act like. I hugged him and petted him for about 30 minutes, and then I put the harness on him, and we went out for a quick first walk. That moment when your hitting your normal pace, and your maneuvering obstacles not even realizing they were there is just amazing. Brian would be behind us saying he just moved you around some chairs or a flower pot, and you didn’t have to bump it with your knee or your cane. Having a dog requires more work than a cane, but I’m glad I did it again. Not only was I sad after Robin died, but also I hated going out, because I had been to my Kroger a thousand times with her. I could always get to the service desk, but my ability to feel her move around carts or even at my normal pace vs a cane pace things were just off. I’d turn to soon thinking I had reached the place I needed, because in my head with my cane I still moved as fast as Robin and I. In my head I felt her moving me around things or the turns she’d make, but in reality I’d be so far off target. Now it’s just getting him used to the baseball park or Kroger. The first 6 months a lot goes in to learning how we communicate.

I haven’t posted this, so more and more happens. Today I went up for lunch a few blocks away, and coming back I was crossing a street and he pushed me to the right. Last week he did this on the sidewalk to try and say hi to a dog. Without thinking I dropped the harness something was taught not to do. I had a panic moment I’ll freely admit. As I reached out my hand to give a correction I felt a car blocking the sidewalk. I couldn’t hear it, because it was a blind killer or Hybrid. I picked up the harness quickly and told him to hup hup which means find a way around it. He continued right and got me to the curb. We really hadn’t had any issues before, and I gave him a bug hug once we got up on the sidewalk. I don’t know why I didn’t just follow him when he was doing it. I guess that’s that trusting thing. I went out about an hour later to try again, and another car pulled out of a parking space and did the same thing except this time it was on the other side. I followed him this time. I try to tell myself I’m a hundred percent comfortable, but this is a reminder we as a team have growing pains to work through. He pushes me pretty forcefully which is different from Robin. I like it just different. I will stop blabbing now.

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Happy anniversary Robin

On July 20th 2008 I received one of the greatest gifts in my life my Seeing-Eye dog a German Shepard named Robin! We worked for about 8 and a half years before she passed in December of cancer. She worked up until the end we took it easy the last 6 months, because I knew something was wrong just had no idea it was cancer until about the last week. For this post I want to focus on the first days and months after receiving Robin, because I think people would be interested in that. Some of the things I’ve said before, but hopefully you’ll learn something new. Before I start my girlfriends first dog that passed celebrated a birthday a few days ago. Even though I didn’t get to meet you I hear stories, and I bet we would have been great friends so happy birthday Alice!

I got to New Jersey on a Saturday in 2008. For the next day and a half, we would walk where trainers would watch your pace, personality, and get to know you. You got your dogs on Monday back then I think it’s changed I will soon see hopefully, and blog along the way. On Monday after lunch we all went back to our rooms, and waited to be called in to receive your dog. I remember that moment being nervous not sure what to expect. Rivi called me in she was my instructor, and described Robin to me. She then brought her in and she licked my hand and seemed excited. We went back to my room where that excitement melted a bit, because now Rivi was gone, and I was alone with her, and Robin wanted Rivi not me. I would sit on the floor and pet her and she would move as far away from me as she could. I’d scoot to her again, and she would again move away from me. During training she was always on leash for the most part or on tie down. We would do obedience every day where you practice sit, come, rest, and down. She was really good at it, but tested me the first few times to see what she could get away with.

We would get up about 5:30 and take them out to park and feed them. I remember the first morning I woke up and Robin licked me in the face. That was the first time I felt like she wanted me. For the next few days she would cry when Rivi was near, but she was pretty good about it for the most part.
After we first get them you go on your first walk where you walk around the Seeing-eye’s leisure walking course. It’s basically a circular shape with a gazeebo in the middle. I may not be accurate it’s been 9 years. Anyway we had to put the harness on and go outside. I ended up putting the harness on upside-down somehow. Robin was so patient not carrying she knew what the harness meant though we were going to go somewhere. We went out and walked, and man it was so neat. For the first time I didn’t have a stick I had to rely on her to tell me what we were approaching, and feel her to know what to do. I never had been out there without a cane, and we moved so fast. I felt really great after that walk.

The next few weeks we would go in town and walk around sidewalks doing routes learning each other. I remember one-time Robin told me to stop, and that I should turn I didn’t listen so I said forward and she wouldn’t go. I started moving forward and fell over a bush. Rivi said I needed to start to listen to girls because there always right or something to that affect.

There was part of the training where I felt like maybe a dog isn’t for me. I was so used to the cane, and being without it was difficult for me. I wanted a dog, but I just felt lost, and unclear of what to do. I have this dog stopping and communicating, but I couldn’t understand it to a degree. For 21 years all I’ve ever known is cane travel, and I’m good at it with the dog I am falling and tripping on things is it for me?

We went out for a night trip, and I remember we did really well. We got to a part where Robin thought I would clear a sticking out step and I didn’t and I fell. We continued on and on the way back she slowed down and watched for me I felt that. We went in to New York City, and that was the first time I really felt like man I couldn’t walk this with a cane. To feel her weave around people was amazing. I felt sighted I was passing people. You know people were actually in my way for once! Robin would slow down or bump them with her nose, and we’d move around them. I loved that trip I think that’s where I made my decision that I wanted to keep her.

When we got home to Muncie I had to walk her and practice some routes. I remember I took her on a bus route I did a lot, and I got turned around. With the cane your traveling and it’s objects you feel along with changes in pavement. Your mind is always processing things. With the Robin I could just sit back, and she’d get me by something and I never knew it was there. I got off the bus to go home from Wal-Mart, and we got turned around somehow. I had to ask someone where I was. I felt frustrated, because again I’ve done this successful hundreds of times why with Robin can’t I do it? The answer is you have to pay attention to what the dog is doing I know longer feel trash cans or brick columns at corners I am just on the curb. It took me the longest time to get that. I’d say about 6 months and we were fully in sync with each other.

One thing I remember I had to take a test my final writing assignment at Ball State, and I couldn’t sleep. I laid down on the floor with Robin, and she let me hold her which she never let me do before. That was like are first moment where we had been together for a while and she trusted me. I did things with Robin I hate doing with a cane or now I can’t even imagine trying with a cane. I will do it, but I hate it. Example we went to several Louisville Bat games together, and crowds never bothered me, because Robin would get me through them. I took my cane out about a month ago, and people are tripping on it, or I’m having to hold on to Abby and Bandcroft I just can’t do things as easy as I could when I had Robin. It’s funny how my thought process changed from thinking I couldn’t be without my cane to not wanting to have to use it.

That bond you share with a guide dog is so incredible. She was never too far from me I will never forget the last week we had together. She followed me everywhere I miss that. I miss her I still can work myself up and cry about it.

I’ve shared this story several times, but my first job interview was with an Apple Call Center. I had some interviews when using a cane, and they were uncomfortable, because I had to use sighted guide where you grab someone’s elbow. My thoughts on that are that person already thinks something of me, because they have to lead me around. When I went on this interview Robin followed the guide, and I was just part of the group. I was so amazed by the end of that tour I was speechless. It was the first time in my life where being blind really wasn’t mentioned other than people asking about the dog. I felt sighted. When we would walk in to restaurants, and I could tell her to follow the hostess to the table without having to do sighted guide it was such a confidence builder. With a cane I don’t have to do sighted guide I’m not saying you have to rely on it, but for me why struggle with saying where are you hello I lost you. I just take their arm to each blind person to their own I just want to get to my table or to an Airplane and move on why add stress.

I wish Robin could be with me at my new job she’d love being back downtown. I’d like to explore the area more, but I’m a bit nervous to do it with the cane. Abby and I walked to a bar the other night, and I lead the way for some of it, and it was okay, but man nothing beats walking with a guide. I learned Louisville with her I never used a cane here until now. Anyway happy anniversary to my girl, and thanks for every memory I cherish them all.

I used to think about how I’d react when the day came when Robin would pass, and nothing could or can prepare you for that. Time has helped, but I still find myself randomly getting sad wondering about her. Is she okay? What happens to us? People say it’s hard to lose a child as blind people we outlive are guides so I think that we really feel that loss. Abby and I often talk about Alice and Robin. I’d say once a week we share a story or rehash a memory. It’s nice she understands that I’m not sure someone sighted would. I know Abby thinks about Alice as much as I do with Robin. I have 2 videos I watch about once a month one is of Robin barking. Another is of her eating her last meal. Abby brought Doab over, and Robin had a kids Chicken and Rice. She couldn’t keep anything down for long anyway, so I wanted her to enjoy it. She did she licked the bowl clean. Then I gave her chips which she loved. In retirement I planned to spoil her a bit with people food something I never gave her. I am really strict and will be with my next dog on that. They have their food, and I have mine. Lol

Happy anniversary to are partnership!!! I plan on cooking spaghetti and trying out a new beer delivery service tonight. They charge normal store pricing then $5 to deliver. I don’t drink that much anymore, but it will be nice to be able to see all the beers they have. Nothing frustrates me more than asking what wheat beers they have or what loggers they have and only getting one choice. I wish sighted people could experience that one time maybe things would change. Say I go grocery shopping I have to know what brand and exact thing I want. If I go to a coffee isle and say what types of coffee do you have? That person would think I was nuts or they’d fire back with what do you usually drink? I don’t blame them, but we often miss new products or aren’t aware something is even available. Anyway just wanted to rant about that. The internet has changed this that’s why I love Amazon so much. I will report back on how this goes tonight! After I have one or two for Robin!!!

I love love louisville

Recently I was denied a ride while taking Uber. I just got my haircut, and went out and requested. I texted the driver saying I am blind and I are outside with my service animal. He was 10 minutes away, which is normal so I didn’t mind. He shows up and says is the dog coming with you? Now I am outside a business, so what do him really think? Maybe I Robin can scamper off and when I need her I can wave my wand and she magically appear at my side. He then says well I have an allergy and so I will cancel the ride and my buddy down the street can come get you he’s like 5 minutes from here. He cancels the ride and takes off. I requested another ride and got a girl Jennifer who was pretty resourceful. She didn’t know Steve at all. I complained to Uber and got 20 dollars in credit. However after talking with a driver that drives for both Uber and Lyft I don’t think this will change things.
 
Lyft has been real receptive to service animal training, and even has read this blog to see my complaints. When you drive for Lyft you actually ride with someone and receive a little training. Uber on the other hand you send them your info to apply, and then they do somewhat of a background check and then you can drive. No ride around or car inspection or anything. I am assuming they send you links to their policy, but that’s just like reading terms and agreements no one really does that. No wonder why this issue keeps happening with no training on service animals the public will do what it wants. I’ve pointed out here in this blog the ignorance Uber drivers in particular by linking to a message board where drivers were talking about picking up service animals. I think if Uber wants to change things training drivers is the only way. Robin doesn’t get on the seat, and taking a dog isn’t that difficult as most make it out to be. Uber just recently put a blind athlete on a commercial promoting how blind people use their service to achieve greater independence which is such crap by the way. They’re only doing that because of the bad press they receive do to service animals. Google Uber and service animals and you will see tons of negative. I guess if I practice one thing and does another it’s all fine ask Josh Duggar about that he seems to be the king of it.
 
I do like Uber, but if they’re not going to actually do any training of their drivers on anything not just service animals I don’t really want to take that service. I think as a business you need to at least train somewhat. This driver I had yesterday was really cool with Lyft and he told me he’d been driving for Uber as well for 6 months and other than them excepting him has heard nothing from Uber. I just find that alarming. Uber says they’re educating the drivers about service animals, but how? You can write anything you want on a webpage, but if you’re not teaching it to any of your drivers than how will it stop? Recently the NFB of California took them to court, and I imagine the NFB will make money off of it, and then Uber will do something like put a blind person in a commercial, and then it will be business as normal. Oh wait that already happened, so hey. I’ve fought with other blind people who love to toss the Uber policy in my face, but again when no one is reading it what well is policy?
 
Anyway changing gears to a new subject. I went golfing I didn’t really enjoy it. After the first drive on the first hole everything else was just in repeat. I enjoyed hanging out with Drew and some others, but I won’t be golfing much.
 
I recently have thought I might be better off alone. I like the idea of a relationship, but finding that one person is proving to be difficult. When I was younger I just thought magically I’d meet someone and things would just click, but obviously that hasn’t really happened. The older I get the harder it becomes I think to give up living alone. I get lonely, but I do enjoy it at times.
 
Work has been really busy lately, so that’s why I’ve been so silent on the blog. Typing all day and listening to Jaws and callers at the same time has gotten me tired at nights. It’s getting better, but when I get home I just want to do something different than type on a computer. I can’t believe this is the start of my fourth year in Louisville. On September 1 it’ll be a year that I’ve moved in to my house. Time moves so fast. I remember thinking at the time in Muncie that this would be a great job to get out of Indiana, and so I could spread my wings a bit. I’ve been looking at an application to a job that would take me somewhere else for the past few nights wondering if I really want to move or if I really want to just start over again. I am not necessarily tied to anything here, but I love Louisville. The food is unbelievable look at how fat I am now sitting for 8 hours a day doesn’t help that either. At one time in my life I would have loved to just go different places, but moving sucks. I am a contractor, so basically my years don’t say hey let’s move you over to a full time employee for insert company name. Jobs for us blind folk are not the most common thing, so I just don’t want to get in a situation where I am back to living off the government, and can’t find anything. Louisville offers other opportunities, but it’s all just so overwhelming. I’d also like the opportunity to move up or have a goal to work for, and that’s just not how things are now. I still love the job, and am thankful and have never regretted the move but it has me pondering things. I’d really love to help blind people get to a better place, and think I would succeed at that. I just don’t know if I want to move out west to do so, but if I submit it and get chosen I guess that will just have to be a choice I have to make at that time. Just so you know it’s causing me stress just completing the application.
 
I’ve thought about going back to get my masters forever now. I hate school honestly, but I’m thinking of enrolling at UK online for graduate classes in January. With focus I can do it. I will keep you posted.
 

My call to T-Mobile

Usually I share something to Facebook then don’t post it here, so I am reversing that today for this one. I figured this would be the best platform to describe this story. People often ask me questions about being blind, and that’s fine. Honestly I love educating you, and if you don’t ask you don’t know. Then I get guys like what I am going to talk about below. I just don’t understand it, and how you can be so clueless. I am a human after all, and the way he went about it made me feel all most like different. I know not everyone thinks like him, but it really is disturbing.
 
I called T-Mobile to see about switching, and kind of learn about the coverage map with some zip codes I would be in. I get this guy named Don. I tell Don that I am calling in to ask about coverage areas, because I am blind and can’t see the map online. He then proceeds to ask so are you half blind or all the way blind? I answer totally blind because of cancer. He says man your blessed. Me yeah I guess.
Don I have to ask what’s it like being blind?
Me I don’t remember sight, so it’s all I know.
Don that’s crazy. I’m just trying to picture being blind.
Me I don’t know that you could do that.
Don so if you didn’t have to sleep would you do that?
Me I think sleeping is the body’s way of resting so I think I need it.
Don Let’s just says you didn’t need sleep though would you?
Me I guess so since I could get more done.
Don How do you know you’re awake?
Me what do you mean?
Don I mean how do you know you’re not dreaming?
Me I am moving and talking to you.
Don what tells you you’re awake and not just dreaming.
Me thinking I just want to know about T-Mobile now. I hear my alarm and wake up.
Don do you live in a different reality?
Me No if I could though I just wouldn’t pay my bills and skate right on through.
He doesn’t laugh
Don what do you see?
Me Nothing
Don I can’t imagine not being able to see nothing. What’s it like?
Me if you put your hands behind your head what can your hands see? I don’t remember color for me I don’t think about it much.
Don your blessed man.
I thinking I thought we already established this.
Don Would you want to see again?
Me No I don’t think so I’ve researched and read about people who regain some sight, and it’s painful for them. Because they’re used to not seeing anything and then they can see light all the time. Even if you have a blindfold on you still have light perception.
Don yeah what was your zip code again
I thinking was finally done with this.
Don Do you have friends?
Me yes I have some friends
Don that has to be hard I mean to find someone who just could understand you.
Me I can still communicate verbally.
Don You must be able to feel things really intensely?
Me I’m not Daredevil, I think I notice more but my senses are not heightened.
Don kept going on for a total of 55 minutes before getting back to T-Mobile.
 
I put most of this conversation down; because Don was a guy I’d say by his voice in his 30’s and honestly had no idea about how a blind person could do anything. I don’t know what number of sighted people feel this way, but it’s really alarming to me. I understand you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be blind so you have questions, just like I don’t know what it’s like to see. I guess the only difference is most of you seeing so it is what it is. To think though that I live off in some la la land is just interesting. Needless to say I am staying at Verizon. Big red all the way at least I think there color is red. Maybe I should ask Don?
 
 

I haven’t had an epic rant for a while so here you go

I want to first off by stating RIP to jenelle a guide dog for my friend Matt. She Died on Sunday. She was 14 and a great dog. I have so many stories, and I can’t even begin to understand what he is going through. I understand it but I’ve never lost one yet. She went peacefully though which is good. Anyway if you could put Matt and Amanda in your thoughts. I remember her she’d wag her tail any chance she got. One night when I was going home Robin tried to steal her toys because I guess humping her all the time wasn’t enough. Haha Robin is quite the dominating girl. Anyway when I stepped outside the house I heard this thump thump as the toy went down the stairs. I got it and took it back in. Anyway I know you’ll be missed by Robin and myself.
What I want to talk about today is why blindness is viewed as this helplessness agenda. I am watching this video of this soldier who went blind, and no disrespect but what his fucking wife said really set me off. She said in a CBS video was she could either say were done he can’t do anything anymore or she could become his biggest cheerleader. I know obviously he went through some depression, and maybe even had thoughts of killing himself, but her notion that he couldn’t do anything where does that come from? Maybe again I’m digging at something she didn’t mean, but sighted people in general look at a blind person and say I couldn’t live if that happened to me. Being blind isn’t that bad. Yes you can’t see shit, but you can still do shit. I might not see cake baking in the oven rising to that beautiful doughy perfection, but I can taste it. I was talking to my friend Linda and Reggie this week about how summer bombs the fuck out of me sometimes. I know it’s stupid right, but I miss all the fashion women show off. I always hear from women I hang out with or dudes who stop paying attention to me because there watching someone all most be naked. Before I started watching described video again I didn’t realize how much sexual persuasion is always there. When your blind unless someones rubbing on you it’s not as stimulating. You can be ab oblivious to what is going on. As I get older my appearance becomes more important as I try to meet people or find new jobs. I walked around with a fucking stain on my shirt all day Friday. Thankfully I was in a place most others were to but still.
I think I offended my dad the other day, because I went home over the weekend and stated I wasn’t used to that long of a car ride. He said sorry I don’t own an airplane and can’t fly you home. That wasn’t what I met at all, but okay. Maybe again he doesn’t think about my situation because he doesn’t have to, but I would love to get in a fucking car and drive to Washington on a roadtrip, but the fact is I can’t. I guess I could maybe find a friend who wanted to go somewhere and tag along, but most of the time that means you lose a lot of freedom. I’m not in a relationship so at this point I don’t have that connection to share with. For me flying or cabs or busses is what I get. I don’t have the luxury of just getting in a car in my drive way and drive where I want. Most things I do I have to plan out or pay for a cab or Lyft. Yes I have a pilot friend and things work out, but it’s not always easy. When I was in Toronto do you know how tiring that really was? I mean I have just my phone, with GPS anything could have happened. I would love the security of just having a car christ.
Anyway back to the soldier. I think it is great what he did, but his wife pissed me off a little. I guess I can love you but if you go blind then I got a real fucking choice to make. Never mind you lost your sight fighting for my right to be a complete bitch. I’m just taking out some anger I have, but seriously man divorce her now. I just don’t know where this logic comes from that because your eyes stop working things constantly suck. Yes his situation is way crazier than mine I don’t remember anything, but life goes on. Is he still the man he was before the war probably not, but seeing his motivation by finishing the ironman shows he has a heart of a champion. I know sighted people as a whole really don’t know how to deal with blind people, and at times it’s weird. I’ve stated before I can go to a restaurant, and the waitress might open my straw for me which okay is nice right but does she do that to the sighted person? I’ve been on dates or hell even out with friends and they will look at the person and say what does he want? I’m a grown man just please ask me. Again my eyes and brain are completely different organs. My penis works too. I probably should have skipped writing tonight.
My final thought is I went home as I said earlier. I sat at the Finucanes house remembering the olden days. Before Ball state, before Louisville, and before Robin. I remember being just stuck in the country with no transportation other than my family. My brother would take me to school, and bring me home or I would ride the bus. If I was at wrestling someone would pick me up after that. I was so different back then, because I had to depend on others which is probably why I had being having to depend on people now. Hanging out at Brandons house helped me in ways I don’t really want to get in to here, but they helped me get out of bad situations at times. His family pretty much excepted me. I love them still. I’m sitting in there living room remembering my dreams of wanting to live in the big city, and work, and it’s somewhat weird it came true. I remembered struggling after college when no one would hire me. It’s just weird how things work out. I’m learning to just take things in strive and pick my battles. I can’t win them all. I will just say this. Why do we focus on the amazing accomplishments still of the blind, and rather not look at the struggles they face today? It’s easy for me to Google blind in the news and see a thousand feel good peaces, but I don’t see the poverty or the technology challenges we face. For that matter I have to read about how gay people are discriminated on at a job, but yet when I go to an interview and we talk about the dog rather than my accomplishments somehow this is executable and not wrong. I can’t hide my dog or my cane I am what I am. Not saying it’s unfair for gay people to face there problems at the end of the day it’s your choice what you display. I’m okay with you being you, but why can’t we ever get to a place where your fine with me being me? I find myself not being to religious, but one thing that’s always bothered me is people will tell me I’ll be perfect again when I get to heaven because everyone is. Why in theory then aren’t we all perfect in gods eyes for the way were made? I find myself watching people who can maybe get there sight back and even if it is just a sliver put themselves through major operations just to say they can see light again. Is it really worth it? I hear about these people who talk about using cameras possibly strapped to there heads and then that could somehow stimulate your brain in to seeing immages. Call me crazy, but you walking with cameras on your face is that going to make sighted people respect you more? I just wonder when will blind people start getting covered fairly? I know we are out numbered but in theory isn’t it crazy when I have to hear about a transgendered kid figure out which bathroom they want to use or can use and yet I hear nothing about blind struggles. I said to Linda I think there are more transgendered people in the country than blind people and that’s just weird to me sorry. Do I think science or god or whatever you believe can mess up sure, but not to the extent your seeing it in are country. Furthermore most of my friends on Facebook get all obsessed with gay rights something that affects none of them personally. Yet when it comes to blind people they have no clue. Do they get upset that i can’t tell apart a dollar bill from a five dollar bill without an Iphone? Do they get mad that the United States basically paid the National Federation of the Blind money to say that wasn’t important? Funny how they fought that cause in the 1990’s isn’t it? know one asked me or any blind people I know what are thoughts were on having accessible money. Again I see no support from my friends on trying to fix it, but if I were gay I’m sure you’d fucking march at my parade. I’m not being mean or trying to offend but rather just ask why people get involved with certain issues that don’t pertain to them, but then others just completely block it out? 

Where’s my wallet?

Today I had two blind moments I haven’t had in a while. Especially the first one. I haven’t felt well all day today maybe it’s the cloudy weather or something so for dinner I decided to make soup. I thought I organized my soups so I knew what was where. Before the Iphone life really was a free for all I had no system in place to determine what soup was what. Barcode scanners were around but to get one that was voice active cost 1200, and I never felt it was worth it. When the iPhone came out and a barscanner cost 30 I jumped at it. Anyway I thought I was grabbing a tomato soup but it turned out when I opened it it was new England clam chowder! As soon as I opened the can I knew I picked wrong and my tomato soup dreams would have to wait. It just reminded me how far technology has come. Older blind people used to give me advice like separate them while at the checkout, but I just never found time to do things like that. I was managing my cane catching the bus and of course paying I just didn’t feel like asking a store clerk to bag things smaller. Not to mention taking things home on the bus was difficult I wanted as few of bags as possible. So tonight I relived my college days it’s a great reminder.
The second thing happens more than I’d like. I put my wallet on the table when I got home from playing the guitar downtown today. I was looking for it later on and couldn’t find it. I started brushing the counter and going over the entire table. Literally when I pulled out my chair to eat my soup I sat on it. I spent a good 8 minutes searching, and when I didn’t want the damn thing anymore I sit on it. I haven’t been posting many blind observations lately, so I thought those who like those would enjoy.

Robin ate a hotdog

On Friday I called a Lyft to go home from Matt and Amanda’s house. I got in the car, and the driver asked me how I became blind and how long? Her response after I told her annoyed me, but it’s the normal. I told her I had cancer when I was a year old, and they had to remove my eye to keep it from spreading to my brain. She says I’m sorry. Then she gasps, and I asked her what? She said I looked back in the mirror at you, and I was nervous you wouldn’t have any eyes. Really? I just don’t understand the responses people give me just because I can’t see. I am still amazed sometimes. I talked to my friend Denny on Saturday, and he gets the sorry thing a lot too, and he said why do they say sorry? Were they the ones who caused it? I thought that was a funny response, but true. I used to love to talk to Ethan about that he always would listen and would just get it. I feel like there a hand full of people that do, and then there’s everyone else. Truthfully I’m doing better than at least 40% of people that can see, but regardless it’s just different. You just have to stay positive though that’s all we can do. One thing that always bugged me was I was interviewing for a radio gig in Lexington with the baseball team. The guy during my interview asked me what a blind person could bring to the broadcast? My resume was packed full of people in the Tigers organization who said great things, an audition tape, and I even did some live play by play of a game on the television. I just felt 

Saturday was a weird day. I stopped drinking Mountain Dew again my one real addiction. I’ve drank it since I was 4, so it is really a problem. I’ve been working out, and trying to cut out pop. It’s now Monday and I have a huge headache, but I am pushing on. I did give in and get a coak today, or it wouldn’t have been pretty. I just watched movies and slept. I watched Flight, Homeword Bound, and Old Yeller.

 

Sunday I went to the Reds game. I caught a Gray Hound bus to Cincinnati, and saw one of the best games I’ve seen live yet. I thought the Reds were going to win, but they choked as usual. I caught the bus home and got home around 8:30. I got a little wet, but it was kind of refreshing. Robin didn’t likethe rain at all.

 

Facebook has this day in history, so today I posted a post I wrote a year ago about a sign that said blind child in area. It made me laugh. I was dating Erica then, and rereading that brought back memories I hadn’t really thought about in a while. For a long time I thought we were going to work out lol was I wrong.

 

Last night I took Juan a boy I met a last weeks adventure to the Bats game. He is 5, and I thought his mom was coming, but she met me at the gate and said have fun. I’ve not had a lot of experience with kids, but I just used my head. I made him take my hand, so I didn’t lose him that was first and foremost. We got to are seats, and I got him a hotdog. Well Robin got that one I didn’t realize or really think that kids might have a hard time eating something like that. He started to cry, so quickly I gave him mine. I held the end of it so we didn’t have another dog on the ground. Man Robin pounced on the one that fell I never feed her table scraps so I’m sure she was in heaven for the 3 seconds she chewed on it. He really enjoyed the game he has been doing surgery for the last two months, and said he hasn’t really gotten to go out and play or do normal things. He was really smart, and I hoping for the best for him. I gave him my phone number so maybe we can go to dinner or go to the zoo or anything he wants to do I said he could come with me. We talked a lot about Ninja Turtles those were his favorite. I didn’t know they remade that until I got home and researched things. I used to watch that show when I was like 5 or 6, but now they’ve remade it like everything else. I took a bus with him again holding his hand to make sure nothing happened and returned him to his mom. I then caught a Lyft home and fell asleep pretty quickly.

 

Memorial day has become this real challenging thing for me. I have wanted to go to LA forever and that is still there, I could go home, or Niel is going river rafting and camping so I could do that. My final option is I could just stay at my house. I really need to decide, but I just can’t for some reason. I am thinking about going to LA, because it would really boost my confidence. After being mugged a few years ago I haven’t taken to many trips on my own. We’ll see I will blog about whatever on Monday night.

 

 

Do you want to feel my tattoo?

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.

Abortion and disabilities

I’ve been pretty bothered by a Facebook argument I had last night. I usually reframe from having political discussions on Facebook, because people really are sheep when it comes to politics. Most people find themselves left or right, when reality should tell you that you should have a bit of both in you. If you only see things as a republican or as a democrat it quite honestly scares me. Being fair to my viewpoints I guess I would lean more right, but I can see things from the lefts point of view. I’m going to break my normal and discuss an issue I never thought I would bring up on this blog and I’m even typing today because I want to be clear and accurate with my points. The topic is abortion and should you be able to abort do to disability?

 

Basically my argument got met with a lot of propaganda that is normal from people on the left assuming I think one way, and not really knowing me. I got out of the argument, because you can’t win with someone who is just screaming at you for being a republican a fact that isn’t quite true. There is more to me than just being republican or being a democrat. If we’re going to have an argument let’s bring facts to the table and let’s keep it at abortion doesn’t attack me on other false pretenses. Anyway that being said I want to give you my thoughts on being able to have an abortion because of a disability.

 

Lately on my mind I’ve been reading a lot on suicides, so this is coming from a different perspective. I am not a woman obviously, so I never thought I would talk about abortion in this manner. I’ve never gotten a girl pregnant, or ever had to face that issue. I was close once, but that’s another story. I was nervous for a few weeks. Anyway this guy’s argument was republicans keep trying to interfere with choice and are bodies. They’re the world’s problem. Okay yes because democrats aren’t attacking foods, and health? So it’s my choice to abort a baby, but heaven forbid I eat some Oreos. After all it’s my body I should be able to do what I want with it except eat fatty foods. Stop using your party to defend something and actually give me an opinion. Let’s actually have a discussion.

 

I look at things as good and evil. I’m not a real religious person, but I do think there is a god or higher power. I also think the world should run with some moral structure. Without morals of some kind regardless you have kayos.

 

I was born with sight, and developed cancer at 11 months old. My parents didn’t catch my cancer early enough so I went to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Doctors didn’t think I would make it they wanted to use me for experimentation, except for one doctor. His name was Dr. Havelston he said lets go ahead and remove the eye, and see what happens. Still the thought was I wouldn’t make it, and if I did cancer may come back. Obviously I lived or you wouldn’t be reading this just thought I’d point that fact out. Let’s say though if my mom had gotten tested and they were able to predict my cancer would they have told her to get an abortion? Yes I’m blind and while some advocates of abortion would tell you that I would probably like to be sighted rather than blind I would also like to be alive. I’m not saying I’ll make an impact on the world, but maybe I’ll help someone understand blindness a bit better, or I’ll just be a good friend. Sure if you’re telling me by abortion you can eliminate blindness all together fine, but the reality is you’re not removing blindness you’re just removing blind babies. It’s not curing the issue. See the cure would be for them to be able to transplant eyes or create technology to become an eye.

 

I can’t be an advice for all the disabilities, because I only have one. According to the guy last night I have two the other being a republican, but that’s his opinion. I’m just being me and stating my opinion. It scares me that we’ve really come to the point in life where were playing god in what we want with are children. If they’re a boy nope don’t want a boy so bye. My argument is so we want to create a perfect race where in history has that been tried before? That’s really at the end of the day the argument by people is we can weed out the so called weak. I know people look at me and view me as less than them it happens in dating or in society, but that’s your opinion. People actually feel sorry for me and that’s sad to me, because I probably have a better life than them. Not bragging but just an observation. Life for me is what it is. I’d like to have my friend back. I’d not like to think about losing Robin, but we can’t play god and I and other blind people have worked hard to get where we are, and have a quality life. It’s not all about being perfect because even if I could see I’d have something else to deal with. No one walking this earth is a perfect specimen. Arguments I’ve heard about abortions is that they are 98% sure they can figure out if someone would be disabled what about the other 2%? Also how many doctors didn’t give me a chance to beat cancer when I was a baby? We can’t predict the weather hardly and isn’t that scientific? Yet you make me believe that someone with testing can do it accurately all the time? That’s a weaker argument but I’ll still use it. 

 

I don’t have all the answers, and we could disagree. I think abortion has its place, but when we get so specific in choosing gender or if someone is disabled I get nervous. You start here and then end with Euthanasia. It just seems to me when looking at all things considered I’m not seeing the benefits. I know I’m just looking at this from a small percentage of abortions, but it’s that control and the selection of who people think matters that bothers me. Below I put in an article I found from a blind pianist I found that I thought was interesting. It’s hard to argue with myself, but I think I was fair. I stayed on point, and I just kept it towards disabilities. Sorry if you hated this I will get back to being blind and my adventures tomorrow.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1285017/Blind-tenor-Andrea-Bocelli-praises-mother-rejecting-doctors-advice-abortion-disabled.html

I’m dictating now but for me it’s sad that this person thought I was labeling women sluts for getting an abortion or even thinking badly of them that’s not my point i’m going to post this and I’m sorry if you were offended but I just thought it should be said 

Having trouble sleeping tennis might be the best blind man’s porn

So lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping I’ve been having a reoccurring dream and I wake up thinking someone is breaking into my house and then I can’t get back to sleep. Robin has been really sweet the last few nights when this happens she comes in and lays beside me which usually helps, but today it did not. so I opened up my radio app on my iPhone and pulled up the Australian open. I fell asleep pretty fast, and woke up to women’s tennis. Maria i’ll butcher her last name but you’ll know who I’m talking about if you Google was playing. No tennis is a game that requires site I would believe I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a blind tennis league but I would be down to try that being said why do you have to have an orgasm every time you hit the ball? I could understand if you have to run across the court and connect but every time? if the Australian guy wasn’t talking it would’ve been softcore porn. even with him talking I could’ve made believe I was in the outback. Tomorrow it is confirmed I’m taking Robin to get a bath and I’m going to shoot guns so I’m sure I’ll have something event full on Monday. I also have a first date tomorrow night so we’ll see. Honestly I don’t know why I keep trying you think I’d learn a lesson from the past relationships failing that maybe I’m just not good at it or I’m interested in the wrong people but part of me still believe love can exist so I guess we’ll see.