Tag Archives: thoughts

Shock

I got a big shock. My friend Jenny called me and asked if I wanted to do lunch. I said sure. I told her to meet me at the front office, and I would get her checked in. As I came up the steps she said hi Joe. I was kind of confused. since I didn’t sign her in. I think I even said how did you get past security? She said I know people. She then said she had a surprise visitor with her. I heard someone say hi, and Jenny told me it was Dawn Gee a local journalist/news Anchor. I love Dawn and all she does to help Louisville! She also had a little stroke earlier this year but it didn't slow her down I admire her resistance! Then she started putting 100 dollar bills in my hand. I was a bit overwhelmed lol. I know that might be hard to believe.

Dawn asked me to talk a bit about Robin. That was hard for me to sum up 8 years in a short time I could have talked forever. I shared some stories, and a bit about how much she meant to me as a companion and my eyes.

I did think about something later I wish I had said. After Robins passing I do the bare minimum to get through the day. I don’t like to take risks. I’ve always been a good cane traveler, but I hate crossing streets with my cane, because of veering fears. Crossing streets with Robin was so easy, and after the first 6 months I never worried about it. I think that’s why when Abby and I walked and crossed West Port I really realized if I want to do this I need a dog. I’m getting so excited, because were getting closer and closer.

Anyway Wave 3 donated money that will really help me pay bills while I am gone. I’m so grateful I was worried and doing calculations on how long I will be without a pay check, and I was really nervous. This helps so much, and makes that worry dissipate. I thank Jenny for contacting them and making it happen. By my calculations it’ll be something like 5 weeks without a full paycheck. I am working with APH now to see about doing some work on the weekends or when I can, but I also don’t want to get to worried about that. I want it to be about the dog first then everything else after that.
I went to my friend Joe’s house, and we talked about how Robin and I came to Louisville alone. I’ll never forget when we moved out of my downtown apartment to one off of New Lagrange road we were packing up, and we had moved my bed and Robins crate to the truck. Robin went in to the bedroom and my dad and I walked in, and he said she looked sad. I gave her a hug and told her we were going to a different apartment. I remember her just standing looking around. I know she loved moving to the house because of the yard.

Joe hasn’t had a dog in 20 years or so, but he still remembers his dogs so vividly. I know that’s how it will be for me. You never forget them. Trading stories about things your dog done or did is just so cool. He told me before his dog Timmy was put down he had some people over to say good-bye. I thought that was a neat idea. Even though you have no petting and things over time the dog becomes part of a group or people are drawn to it. If I hadn’t had Robin at Humana I may not have met Jenny, Leslie, or Michele. The reason I say this is I would have had my cane, and I walk in sit at my seat and walk to the bathroom, and then go home. I would have interacted with Mel, because she was my boss, but others I may not have found. Having Robin had me taking her out on breaks doing some things in the morning it made me more active as a person. I also think right or wrong some people just don’t approach you with a cane. Not all people are animal lovers, but it for those who are it sparks that wheelhouse. I would drop Robin off at the groomers and go to Walmart. With a cane waiting for my ride to go get her no one talked to me or said hi. My god though with Robin I had to be a therapist to some people they couldn’t stop talking. People would be like I had a dog named bla 10 years ago man she was a great dog. I would say yes sounds nice. Then they would go on with a story about their dog lol. I should have brought tissues with me.

As weird as it was at times with people you would encounter it created something I didn’t have before, and that was easy access to finding someone. If I stand somewhere with my cane appearing lost, because I am no one says anything to me. If I stood lost with Robin except in Arizona where no one spoke English people would constantly come up and ask if they could help which I didn’t always need, but was nice.

Okay one more thing about technology. Recently an app from Microsoft came out called Seeing AI. This thing is amazing as hell. I never thought I could have the abilities that this thing gives me. I also never wanted wearable glasses until this app. In the app it has several channels. Short text’ document scanning, bar codes, people, and scene. Short text is what I will focus on mostly here, but you can take your phone point it at something and hear it reading. It’s amazing. I took it to the Outlet malls in Simpsonville and it read me Bose as I was walking by Gucci or however you spell it as we were walking by. In Sam’s it read me office furniture when pointing it down the aisles. I asked my mom if something said office furniture, and sure enough she said there was a sign. This thing shows me how much text sighted people deal with constantly, and how much as a blind person I miss. I love this thing so much, and thank you Microsoft for boosting my confidence in you as a company, but for also pushing AI technology.

I am really excited to go get my dog, but I am sad about leaving APH for a little while. I really do enjoy coming in to work every day, and the working with the people here. It’s refreshing I’m sad to leave maybe they’ll realize they don’t need me. Also I feel like I am now comfortable here leaving again for most of the month then returning will be interesting. All that aside it’s worth it. I just post this part so you can see all of the emotions that play in to this. It’s not like buying a car. Imagine if you had to get fitted for your car based on personality then to drive it you had to go somewhere else and stay for 2 and a half weeks while you learned about your car. I think we’d have a lot better public transportation if this were the case.

Thank you again Wave 3 and Jenny that really was touching. The fact I can bring Robins story to others, and help them see how much these dogs play a roll in our lives is so cool. I think today we can get lost in ourselves and loose that community feel. I love Louisville, because it’s that big small town. I talk about moving in retirement, that’s a long ways off, but if not I love it here. Besides a major league baseball team I have everything I could ever need here. Growing up in Indiana a lot of people made fun of Kentucky, but I love this state so much. We have mountains, knobs, big cities, and lakes. What more could you really want? I want to get back in helping young blind kids get technology they need. I would really like to focus on eastern KY in particular. I’m not sure how to get something started that can benefit kids the way technology donated by the Lyons and Mr. Lanbright helped me, but I’ll come up with something. Also football is about to start lets go Cats! I bought tickets to Florida, but since I am coming home with my dog that weekend I decided to give my ticket to one of Abby’s family members. I want them to have fun the dog and I will cheer them on from home with Tom on the radio, and of course Kentucky Sports radio pre and post-game.

Wait did that brickwall move? My thoughts on the riots

At times in life you have to step back and look at yourself, and if you don’t like what you see take a different step. I am watching the nonsense in Baltimore last night, and the way people act and I realize it just makes me angry. Police brutality is a big problem that needs to be addressed, but on the other side the analogy I like best is if you shovel shit for a living and they reward you and give you a gold shovel you’re still shoveling shit. I don’t envy police at all because if they stepped in and did something and killed someone you’d focus on that if they did nothing you focus on that. I don’t know what it’s like to be black and to be frustrated, but I do know what it’s like to be blind and disabled. I know what it’s like to be denied services simply because I have a service animal, and it’s frustrating. I also know what it’s like to feel alone when you walk in to a busy place because know is the same as you. Blind people as a whole and lump in the disabled crowd constantly get ignored and play catch up to everything. The ADA didn’t pass until 1991 that’s long past the civil-rights movement.
Still even though there are laws I have to defend myself daily, and what was promised in 1991 were still fighting for today. America isn’t perfect the constitution said all men were created equal and then it didn’t allow for blacks to vote as well as women. Blind people couldn’t vote independently until 2004 and finally today talking machines have shown up all most everywhere. I get really frustrated that I went to college, and worked hard and have found the job market difficult. I’m happy where I am now, but I also would like to move up in a company. Currently thats impossible do to technology where I am. Again though I’m happy. Growing up people didn’t expect me to do much they put limitations on my abilities because I couldn’t see. Read back to last years first months blogs, and you’ll see some of the struggle I faced. When I listen to radio shows from the early 1930’s and 1940’s blind people were focused on more than I could have imagined. Most focusing on some act of kindness or in the case of the Lone Ranger the show actually demonstrated a blind person retaining a job they had when they could see. Going back as far as the bible what was one of Jesus’s claims to fame? He could make a blind person see. My whole life people pray over me hoping to heal me and rid me of this supposed problem, but in reality they’re the ones hurting because I’m fine and they’re praying for me to see. It’s why I don’t find myself being to religious because I feel exploited by the faith, and that gods supposed to somehow make me see someday and just fucking fix me. I don’t feel like I need fixing. If I die and I go to heaven, and I have to live there blind as well I’m fine with it.
My point in all of this is if you sit around and blame others for your failures in life your going to be is herbal. You have to eventually love yourself. I had teachers who didn’t believe in me along the way, but I always did. I also didn’t go to a vary supportive place where people wanted me to succeed ask the principal who openly discriminated against me. We all have a rough time, but burning things down isn’t the answer. That doesn’t fix anything. I don’t know the answer to the why things are the way they are, but I am here to say America’s been unkind to more than just one group of people along the way. Go read about how the Japanese were treated in 1940. How about the Irish when they were coming over. For me the fact I can own my home, but struggle to pay the damn water bill or actually have access to my house payments it’s crazy. The fact 60 to 75% of blind people are unemployed, and the poverty we face. Not to mention are technology costs twice as much as yours, so were not even close to being on the same playground.
I was in a cab earlier this week as a matter of fact, and the driver said to me. You live alone? Me yes. Driver in my country blind people have to have someone guide them around from place to place. Me they don’t have canes? Driver no and in my country they don’t think blind people can function on there own. He said my cousin has a degree, but it doesn’t matter because the country doesn’t feel he can work.
My moral to this story is that while I’d love things to be perfect here, and for more people to be educated on blindness I’m able to make something of myself. I have that opportunity. It’s not perfect and never will be I can try and attempt to chase the American dream like anyone else. I got lucky and sold a show to MLB Network, and have been blessed to say the least, but every person struggles with something. The beauty of America isn’t the flaws which there have been many along the way its the ability we have here to flourish. I think with technology now we can keep a better eye to brutality. Any group of people can make excuses for wrong doing, and it’s easy to be angry, but it feels good to prove people wrong, and become something. Imagine if people saw what I see when looking at each other, and just treated each other the same we’d probably be a better world. It’s never going to be that fairy tail, so you have to hope for small progress. Maybe one day that drivers cousin will be able to get a job, or be valued as a member in society. I still struggle with feeling productive myself, so I don’t know. I just feel fortunate to be able to have the things I have, because it could be way worse. I probably solved nothing with this, but I felt like it was some sort of therapy.
My other thing is I think I am finally going to leave Facebook. It’s been a long time coming I deleted it from my phone earlier, because it just really does annoy me. I am big in to the Twitter these days. My nose is recovering from an accidental run in I had with a brick wall I had headphones on, and thought I could navigate my porch I was wrong. Again sometimes I have way to much confidence in my abilities.

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.