Tag Archives: muncie

Trip to Muncie.

Last Monday I caught the bus and got off at my transfer point. I use an app on my phone that tells me when my next bus is approaching. It goes off alerting me it is 1 minute away. The bus stops but is in the street it didn’t pull all the way up to the curb. I start walking towards it to get on because I thought it was my bus. My cane went around the poll but my face didn’t. I smacked it hard and started to bleed. THis guy gets off the bus and is like are you okay? I’m saying every 4 letter word I can think of in my mind, but I reply yeah. Ending up it was the wrong bus. So I got a bloody forehead for nothing. God that hurt.

Last weekend Abby and I traveled up to Muncie it was a lot of fun. I hadn’t been back for 7 years. I was hoping to fit seeing some people in to the schedule, but we did good. Are time in Indy was so short so unfortunately I couldn’t see Monica and her family, Collin or Jonathan.

We got to Muncie on Friday and we met Carlos for lunch at Scotties. That wrap was so good. I didn’t get a beer that would have been truely nostalgic, but it was good. I told Abby about some of my adventures there. I’d meet Ethan and some guys and on pitcher night and then stumble home. Then when I got Robin I’d walk there have a beer and walk home not so tipsy. After that we took a shuttle ride to the Bell building. I saw the new accessible tech lab man it is so different from when I was there. Carlos has done a fantastic job keeping it up.

One thing I did was get the door to door service set up so we could get around cheaper and more reliably. Muncie is a small town so Uber is setup there but you may not always have one available. We rode out to the Best Western with a driver named Viola. I actually rode with her back in the day to work. She would keep dog treats for Robin and hand them to me when I’d get off so I could give her one when I wanted. Needless to say Robin adored her. Thats one thing I miss we have so many drivers here in Louisville we get to know some, but there it’s more like a family feel.

Anyway we went in to the Best Western and found the desk. The person behind though made no noise and we stood there for about 5 minutes. Abby said this isn’t good maybe no ones here. Finally the guy cleared his throat. Can you believe that shit? Seriously if we were sighted this wouldn’t happen, but my guess is he didn’t know how to deal with 2 blind people. Later Abby and I joked that blind people just walk in and hang out in hotel lobbies for the fun of it. After awkward guy checks us in I ask him what direction is the room? He fucking points and says it’s that way. I say to the right? No it’s that way. Finally I just start moving. We walked through a door and I guess he finally maybe understood we couldn’t see and he met us and showed us where the room door was. You just never know what your going to encounter. The hotel though was easy to navigate and I found the pool hot tub, and vending machines all with ease. I used AIRA to learn what was in the soda ones, so that was cool.

For dinner we went out and celebrated my long time friend Phils birthday at Red Lobster. I saw some folks I hadn’t seen in years and one in particular made me laugh. This lady named D is visually impaired so she can see a bit. I said hi D and she sort of hesitated so I knew she didn’t recognize me. I said it’s Joe. She says Oh my gosh I didn’t know you since you put on so much weight. Lol when you can’t see yourself people calling you a fat ass makes you feel good.

After Red Lobster the driver Steve said he enjoyed me and Denny going back and forth. He took us back to the hotel and said he could come get us in 40 minutes saving us a cab to Denny’s. Again that small town kindness was just so nice. We went back out and hung out with Denny for a bit. Our first night went well.

Saturday we went to Dina’s Christmas party. I have so many memories over the years of this. So back in the day this event was my first gathering of mainly blind folks. Maybe at a later time I will talk more in detail about this, but being around folks that are going through the same struggles is comforting. Over the years it’s become like a family event. I also got to see Sue and M’lee Sue’s daughter. M’lee I forgot to mention this to her the fact she has an ‘ in her name just rules. Anyway the party was lots of fun and I really enjoyed seeing everyone.

Alright now to the fun part. After the party I asked some folks to come over and we would just hang out and drink some wine. Phil, Dina, Steve, Sue, Carlos, and Denny all coame over and man it was a blast. Carlos brought 12 beers honestly I thought to myself no way were drinking all of those. He got me some Gumb Ball head from 3 Floyds oh my gosh so good. Needless to say we finished them all. I was bar tender. Abby, Phil Dina, Steve, and Sue had wine. I thought we may get in to trouble for being loud, but no one said anything. I know I don’t see those folks much, but I love seeing them and being able to tell old stories as well as new ones. I love them al, and it was a great trip.

It’s funny since the anniversary of Robin’s passing in my head I try and go over old memories and being back in Muncie brought up a lot. I’d say Robin not only increased my independence and made me more confident, but she provided stability and made me grow up. It’s like when you have a kid you can still drink and probably more, but your responsible for something else. Robin helped me realize that and made me grow up. I wanted to make the Seeing-Eye proud and wanted to have her on display working and doing a great job.

Carlos and Kelly took Abby and I downtown after we had some breakfast of course and we caught the Gray Hound home. It was great seeing Kelly I wish she could have come to the hotel also. Abby and I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed sharing that part of my life with her. We plan to go back again it won’t be 7 years. Abby and I are wanting to go to Portland Maine next summer. Some of that depends on when I get my new dog, but we really want to explore and see some places we haven’t been to. Plus I want some fresh Lobster. Anyway happy holidays to y’all.

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The vacation is over sort of

When I started writing this blog I felt I could be real and speak honestly about blind issues and just life as how I see it. I believe the last several posts I really haven’t been myself. The last week or so I’ve just wanted some privacy to work on some things in my life. When you talk about stories from your past sometimes they can become haunting. Then when family members figure out your blog address it can become even worse. haha I want to dive into a topic today touched on a lot but I will make myself more vulnerable than ever and speak Freear than I’ve ever spoken about it. It’s easy for people to tell you to just move on or let it go but when it is the common perception it’s very difficult.

I remember being 13 we would go every year to the fair or two these lamb shows. You got to be around the same group of people because after all 4-H is a club. I remember even back then feeling different not quite the same as everyone else. If you will that people viewed my abilities different from others. I’ve never been able to see myself so obviously you have to have a little self-confidence I’m probably ugly as shit but I don’t know that so I try and walk around positive. I really am a half glass full thinker. I remember one day talking to a friend of mine at the fair about asking another girl out and she told me the following she said to me that she had talk to this girl and she didn’t want to date me because of how people would view her for dating someone blind. Now I know you will think that that is shallow and ridiculous but this repeated offense keeps following me around to a degree. It happens to others as well it’s something I talk about with my friends quite often. Obviously at the end of the day there’s nothing I can do but this thought process troubles me. There are people that get it but when dating your selection is narrowed quite a bit. Again I could subscribe to the thought that I’m just ugly as shit but I don’t think that’s all of it it probably contributes to 75% of my rejections but I still think there is something else. I’ve done well for myself I live alone I can support others but yet somehow I’m not that desirable to many women. I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve but again getting that first date getting to that point where they won’t even look at you as a candidate is so difficult when you can’t see. My teenage years are full of these stories and then it’s followed me into the 20s and probably the 30s until I find a girl in rehab who need someone to help her finance her habits. Alright that was a bad joke I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.

My parents always installed the belief to me that one day they will be gone so I need to be self-sufficient and take care of myself. I guess I’ve done pretty well at that. My sister lives an hour and a half away from me the only times I’ve seen her is when she comes with my parents. When I talk to my family we talked mainly about them or a little bit about work for me but no one really has any idea of how I live day today that’s one reason I thought about this blog. The last two years I haven’t been home for any major holiday I’ve hardly been home at all. I remember before I move to Louisville I was met with all this opposition like why are you going to leave Munssee your stupid you should just stay where you are. I wanted to leave and experience something different plus Muncie only really have Ball State so if you don’t work there it’s hard to find a job. When I moved I sold a show to MLB network intern with the tigers and I’m making about 15,000 more than I would’ve in Muncie. Creatively for me I needed to get somewhere new and start my adult life if that makes any sense like for me Muncey was my college life.

Going back to where I started a number coming home when you’re from college for summer break and I went to a football game at my old high school. I ran into an old friend and he asked me what I was doing so I told them I was a freshman at Ball State. He actually said the following to me really that’s amazing we thought you would just sit around and play video games the rest of your life. Again that perception that somehow were weaker or we possibly can’t make something from ourselves. I guess the thing for me is so many people that I hung around on a personal level from kindergarten expected so little from me that’s quite haunting for me. My friend Charles who moved it in the eighth grade got to know me and he never had any of these perceptions that’s what’s weird for me to understand how certain people can just get it and 99% of others can’t. Maybe because I wear my heart on my sleeve or whatever I just start to realize how fake a lot of people are or how shallow people can be. People still ask me to this day why I go to baseball games when I could just watch them on the radio excuse me listen. I’m amazed I even have to answer that question but it’s why people do anything for the experience there’s nothing like being somewhere live. Part of me wonders when people ask that is that more of a question as to why am I putting myself out in public? I was reading an article on Isaiah Austin on Thursday was a Baylor center going to the NBA draft who is blind in one eye when teams learned that he was blind in one eye is draft stock fell tremendously. He’s had a great college career and is playing through his blindness but somehow teams feel he’s less than someone with two eyes. Maybe that’s where my thought perception is these days and ultimately me being myself I can only control so much but there are a lot of people that devalue me because I have no site and that’s just the way it is.

In the past week I’ve thought a lot about do I want to continue riding in this blog and being so honest with my thoughts? It took me a while but I realized with this blog we’ve touched countries that have way worse perceptions than America about blind people. Places where blind people are denied adequate education and maybe one day one person that reads this will make a difference. Doing this mortgage has taught me a lot a lot of files are still incompatible and not working by now to me any PDF file should be readable for us but they aren’t. I’ve gotten some help signing documents as well as reading them at night since my iPhone and computer won’t. I had a brilliant idea on how to tie this altogether but I lost it so now this whole post just looks like me complaining.

I think overall right now I’m probably going through a stage of depression. This week I’ve been working my two jobs and sleeping and occasionally throwing in a little baseball. And life I think we can all make mistakes I make them on a daily basis. Where I work the two sides look identical so once in a while I’ll accidentally walked into the other side and go to sit at my desk and realized wait this isn’t my desk. Mel told me she made the same mistake once. I think as I get older that’s what I learned even though I’m blind you have to look past that and realize everyone makes mistakes. I wasn’t throwing you under the bus Mel I was actually saying here that you taught me a valuable lesson. If you toss away the things you see such as race disability what you have left is the fact that were human. We’re not really that different but because not even 1% of people are blind there’s just unawareness about it. That sometimes gets lost from my point of view since I’m blind. Being blind as a part of me it does contribute to who IM but it’s not all that IM. Some people may look at me and say why don’t you fight more for yourself or why don’t you protect yourself more but you know I get tired of doing that I get tired of fighting for rights that we should already have. Not being blind or not having a disability of any kind is easy for you because no one is telling you you can’t go somewhere because you have a service animal. You don’t get the notion to want to go somewhere but then in the back of your mind say what if I can’t get home what if I’m denied a ride? You look at my Lyft situation I reported to three different news companies and nothing is going to be done about it other than the fact I got a free ride. They aren’t going to train their drivers any better or train themselves on the law it’s just going to keep happening until more get involved. People actually told me after that happened that they didn’t realize it was a law that they have to take a service animal they cannot deny them arrive. I do think therapy dogs and things like that have to be reevaluated because people try and sneak them in the places when they are not service animals and that is blackening my situation. At the end of the day you’re not going to look through my eyes as much as I see how you get around because you don’t have to deal with it like I do. I read in the Washington Post how blind people when taking service animals and look at housing are denied or the apartment complex all the sudden doesn’t have room for them but that’s just a minor story I look at our unemployment rate again a minor story it’s just so baffling to me.

When I find someone that can look past or treat me like a normal person it’s difficult to lose that. I think everyone deserves a second chance we all make mistakes but there also has to be healing that goes along with that. I’ll just leave that thought there.