I finally decided to blog and Blogger is temporarily unavailable. So I’ll blog anyway and save it and hopefully I’ll remember to post it someday. I blame Twitter because I tend to forget I can actually write more than 140 characters. In fact I think I might have forgotten how. I’ve completely neglected any and all writing, which my future self will not be happy about. Do you ever thank your past self for doing something handy? I did that yesterday when my favorite cereal bowl was clean. Thanks, past self. So since I haven’t been documenting my life, my future self is going to be unhappy with me. It’s Twitter’s fault. I’m sticking to that. In fact Twitter just distracted me since I heard Syrinx’s little flute noise. Ah, tweets…
Where do I even start? I wonder if I can access my blog to see where I left off. Ok, I last wrote on the twenty-fourth, my six years sober, three years blind anniversary, and the day Erik arrived. I’ll start there. This post could definitely be quite long, so grab a beer or some coffee and some broccoli.
Erik and I met online thirteen years ago when I sent his roommate a message on ICQ. Remember ICQ? Uh oh! Anyway, Erik responded, since he was on his roommate’s computer for some reason, and we’ve been friends ever since. We would lose touch here and there but we always found each other again. He’s always been on the east coast and I’ve always been in Arizona. He finally made his way out west though, to go work in San Francisco. An old friend of his was getting married in southern California and Erik knew he’d be making his way here to finally hang out with me in person.
We don’t like to say things like, friends in real life, because we are friends in real life even if it was never face-to-face. We’ve been with each other through all the difficult times in our lives, even if it was just over the airwaves.
We were lucky enough that he could stay in a model apartment at my complex. I’m not sure how the visit would have gone if he’d stayed in a hotel with no transportation. The day he arrived, he texted me when he had gotten a cab from the bus station and soon after, Jayden and I set off to meet him.
I wasn’t sure exactly where the model apartment was but I knew it was near the office on the other side of the complex, so Jayden and I walked there and just hung out. It wasn’t too hot. Erik was supposed to arrive at ten that morning, but things were delayed until nearly one. Jayden and I stood there and I listened for cars. Is that one? Yeah but it’s not the cab. Oh is that a car? It went the other way. Finally a car pulled up somewhere to my right and I heard the engine idle and faint voices. “Erik?” I called.
“Hey!” he replied. He thanked the cab driver and came up to me and we were laughing as he gave me a hug. We both just kept saying things like, this is crazy! Holy sh*t! Haha!
After about five minutes of that, it was like we had been face-to-face friends forever. There was no lack of communication, in fact we chattered non stop for the next week.
It was awesome, having a friend right here in the complex. Jayden was loving all the work and his pace was so fast it was like he was a different dog. Erik and I didn’t have much cash to spend so we just cooked food in the apartment, going back to college days with the ramen noodles haha! Erik knew ahead of time that baseball games would continue and he was actually looking forward to experiencing that live, since he’s always getting chat commentary from me during games.
We used to wonder if we’d end up on our computers if we ever hung out in person and sure enough, we did a lot of that. We played favorite youtube videos for each other and he finally got to see Alex at work, typing things in his chat program that I’ve laughed about in the past, so he could hear it too.
It was an epic week, a couple days spent at the pool, though it was pretty windy while he was here which doesn’t make for great pool weather. We went to Saavi so he could see the place I talk about so much, and we went for real Mexican food, which he loved.
Unfortunately I had quite a bit of fatigue while he was here. My body is very used to the routine I have with Jayden, long mornings to wake up and loosen up and the sudden change through me a bit. Erik was totally understanding, since he knew about the fatigues. I just wish it hadn’t happened while he was here, but what can you do?
Ding! Haha, perfect timing Erik. He just signed in to chat. We had several laughs about that noise while he was here.
After he left the following Saturday night, I completely crashed. I made it through Gamma’s on Sunday and just counted down until recovery days. That whole next week is a blur. Actually the whole week he was here and the following week are blurs. Fighting fatigue takes a lot of brain power and I was pretty much in a constant fog.
Jayden took the down time well as always but by the end of the week, I was beginning to get a little stir crazy and couldn’t wait to get back to the gym and routine.
The Saturday a week after the visit, GDB had a luncheon here at Saavi. I was looking forward to it even though I knew it would be interesting with all those other dogs at Saavi. I thought about putting the Gentle Leader on before we got there, but decided to give Jayden the benefit of the doubt. That’s foreshadowing, in case you’re wondering.
Paratransit dropped us off about eleven and the luncheon was starting at eleven-thirty. I’d forgotten there was stuff going on before hand though, for people interested in getting a guide dog. It was a really cool event. I forget what they’re calling it, but they were here doing work with local O & M instructors before the luncheon on Saturday, and Saturday morning they did Juno walks with interested people and even had some puppies in training with them so people could do live dog walks. Very, very cool.
We walked in and immediately I had to control Jayden. He listened at first as we were greeted at the door and Dave was there. But soon another dog was near and Jayden forgot he’s a service dog. I managed to get him into the restroom where we could have a time out. I felt like a mom taking her screaming child away from the public. I put on the Gentle Leader and rand through obedience, hoping to get his focus back. I made it clear I wasn’t happy. He did ok after that, as someone helped us to a seat at a table. Jayden settled down immediately at my side under the table and I was able to relax a little. I started chatting with people around me and then the luncheon started.
We all went around the room introducing ourselves and our dogs. I’m thinking there were about twelve to fifteen teams and then lots of people interested in getting a guide. The people next to me had a six month old baby and I was getting a kick out of listening to his baby talk. So cute! The mom was blind and her husband was sighted and I was intrigued listening to them talking about going out with the baby and the guide dog haha! She was saying that now that the baby is old enough to ride on her back, she can work her dog with the baby. A little later, the dad let me hold the baby and he was just bouncing bouncing bouncing and giggling as I held him. Got my baby fix; he was a dream!
GDB talked about changes and happenings at school and then opened up the floor for questions. It was a very loose and chill event and they gave us all boxed lunches of sandwiches. Even away from campus they fed us well haha!
They gave away some stuff and I got one of the little miniature stuffed guide dogs since I had a dog under three years old. Gamma was the recipient of that, since I’d wanted to get her one at school but never made it to the gift shop.
The event wrapped up forty-five minutes before the email had said it would so I called B to pick me up rather than wait on paratransit for an hour, and then as I tried to call paratransit to cancel the return ride, my phone turned itself off. It’s been doing that lately and I refuse to replace it with anything but an iPhone. That adventure will be a whole other blog post.
I turned the phone back on and it takes awhile to turn on so I was going to make my way to the restroom while it booted. Jayden lost all composure as we tried to walk through the crowd. I was trying to correct him when my field rep popped out of nowhere, just like instructors at school did.
I felt like I was back at school as a brand new team. When I get flustered and tired my first inclination is to cry. Ugh. I felt a little humiliated that I couldn’t control my dog and it brought back all those feelings from school. My field rep was awesome, giving me pointers on how to get Jayden’s focus back, tricks that didn’t even involve corrections or scolding. I wish I had been in a better frame of mind to remember what we did, but it worked like a charm and we made our way into a quiet hallway. I explained that I needed to cancel my ride, that sometimes people don’t and I think it’s inconsiderate, I babbled about my stupid phone dying and that my boyfriend was coming and then my field rep was asking someone in the hall if he knew the number for paratransit so I could use his phone but then my phone was working and I canceled the ride and then B was there and I said buy to the field rep and left. Whew.
I was so exhausted when we got home. It takes so much energy to wrangle a dog who is misbehaving. I was going out to eat with Gamma and my uncle later that night and I didn’t know how I’d manage it. I was near tears all after noon, so exhausted I just couldn’t function.
I somehow managed to get ready and be present for my family and it went great. Jayden was in full redemption mode, knowing he had let me down earlier. I hadn’t been angry at him, just disappointed and embarrassed that it had to happen that way at a GDB event. It was the first time he had ever misbehaved so badly but I can’t blame him. He’s still a young dog and he never gets to socialize with other dogs. Of course he would lose his head. Wouldn’t you? 😉
I went to Gamma’s the next day and then it was back to the gym Monday. This week has been much more like a normal week and I’m finally getting my energy and strength back.
Ever use WD-40 on something and even though you know it’s gonna be awesome, it’s so awesome you wish you had something else squeaky or sticky?
I got a little high using my nose to find the WD-40. I sprayed an aerosol can on a paper towel and sniffed. Nope, that’s Raid. Sprayed another paper towel, yep, that’s WD-40. Note to self: it’s the smaller can.
That was just some randomness as I’m waiting for laundry to dry before continuing this post, which is turning in to something epic. Blogger is still down, and Twitter keeps going over capacity. Coincidence? Ah! Can’t blog! Must type! Twenty tweets later, the thought is out there for the world to see. And yawn.
It’s now Saturday morning. I started this yesterday but got distracted by shiny things. I’m not sure there’s anything left to post in this one anyway. I’ve been playing around on youtube again and yesterday I recorded a demo about how I tweet since I’m blind. Roll the clip. Right at the beginning, I say, “ok” and you can hear Jayden’s tags jingle. He tends to think that word means food when I say it like that haha!
I’m in the processing of uploading two more youtube audio clips of me being a complete dork. I’ll post that later today.
I hope to not neglect the blog for this long again. There’s lots of baseball stuff I want to get down too, but decided to separate that from life updates for people who find my baseball talk boring haha! I check my stat counter and you guys are still coming, looking for new posts, so I’m sorry it’s been so long. Like I said, distracted by shiny things. Carol will know what that’s about.