Category Archives: youtube

When did I get so old?

I mean I know how I got to be as old as thirty-four almost thirty-five but when did my body get so old? It’s astounding to me because for the most part, I’ve taken really good care of my body. There was the five years I drank alcoholically, yes and I smoked for a decade but I’ve known of people who drink and smoke until they’re in their eighties and they aren’t as physically old as I am.

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, I don’t think. Obviously I can’t be sure since I’ll always look twenty-nine to myself but if you could somehow feel what it’s like to be in my body for ten minutes, you’d feel my physical age.

I’ve steadily felt like my body was aging ever since the MS diagnosis in 2006 but then I paid extra attention to the rest of my health, taking up exercise, seeing my doctor at least once a year which I had always done anyway, taking care of my hair and skin so even though I had this stupid disease, I really only noticed fatigue, not all this body pain.

This thing with my teeth has really just called attention to the fact that my body has gotten old. My knees were just killing me yesterday out of no where and I told B that once my teeth are done, it will be time to tackle my knees. It rained last night so that explained the sudden knee pain at least and today they’re fine again, but I woke up in the night gasping in pain since my right knee had been bent too long.

I recently looked up that old Baz Luhrmann speech that was turned into a song, remember that? Here it is on youtube. It was a graduation speech to the class of ’99 and it was very popular when I was in college. I remember a print version of it was pasted to the bathroom door in the ladies room I used in the dorm of this guy I got drunk with. That’s another blog post. Anyway, listening to it recently I had to chuckle when he mentions something about taking care of your knees because you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

I remember Gamma telling me I ruined my knees as a kid when I grabbed the braces under her table and slid on the tile floor on my knees. I’m not sure how true that is but I’m guessing carport basketball played a part in my knees going bad, and freaking genetics. Gamma herself has bad knees. Oh probably since most of my jobs involved lots of walking and standing, too. I was never all that sedentary until the last few years. So my knees took a lot of abuse in the past.

Wow this post went in a direction I wasn’t planning. I just wanted to write about suddenly getting old when I’m not even thirty-five. today I discussed with B the teeth extractions I need. Not only do I need three wisdom teeth pulled, my lower bottom teeth need to be pulled as well and I need a bridge.

A bridge At thirty-five. I’ll be thirty-five when I get the bridge since I’ll need to wait for my insurance credits to reset in January. The hygienist said something about how I probably don’t want to walk around toothless while I’m waiting for the insurance and I laughed.

Actually the dilemma I was feeling was B’s company holiday party in the beginning of December. The hygienist and I discussed having the wisdom teeth out this month and doing the lower front teeth after the party. She said that would work too because it would put me closer to the bridge.

The more I thought about it today though, it just makes more sense to do it all at the same time, deal with all the pain at once and get it over with. Not to mention the perfect timing of B’s usual November vacation time. It’s perfect because he can take me and he’ll be home for the recovery. If I wait until after the holiday party for the other two extractions, it won’t be nearly as convenient and I’ll have to go through the pain again.

So, it just makes more sense to have five teeth pulled mid November. Five teeth pulled. Before I’m thirty-five years old. See what I mean about wondering how I got so old? I’ve taken decent care of my teeth too, despite not seeing a dental professional regularly. I brush twice a day. If only I had known about the importance of daily flossing. If only.

Speaking of daily flossing, I haven’t done that today yet. Better post this and go floss.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dental Health, Gamma, NaBloPoMo 2013, spoons, youtube

“You know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for the waitresses.” – Mr. Pink

I don’t know any women who never worked in the service industry. In my early twenties, that was a job I could always get, be it at a chain like Village Inn serving pancakes and greasy fries or my favorite waitressing job, cocktail server at the pool hall.

Unlike most serving jobs, the pool hall paid us six bucks an hour instead of the usual two bucks and thirteen cents. The owner might have done that to show respect to his servers but in my case, being the budding alcoholic I was, that six bucks an hour just meant my tips went right back into the pool hall on my days off, drinking pitchers of Bud and playing nine ball.

I still worked hard for my tips even though my six bucks an hour paid the majority of my bills. I worked hard for my tips so I could have fun money but also just because I’ve always had a strong work ethic, especially when I enjoyed my job. For the most part, tips are an instant reward for hard work. Go out of your way to give great service and when you get a five spot on the table for a fifteen dollar tab, there’s a great since of pride. Not to mention those customers will seek you out when they return. I knew from experience from before I worked at the pool hall, that when I walked in the door to play, I’d look to see which side of the room my favorite server was working. When I started having customers do the same for me, it meant a lot. It also guaranteed I’d make some good drinking money.

Yes, the typical server wage is incredibly low, but if you’re good at your job, you can totally make it on your tips. Unless you have a customer like Mr. Pink, however.

(If you don’t like swearing, don’t click that Mr. Pink link. You were warned.)

Leave a Comment

Filed under random stuff, youtube

My Week in Five er, Six Songs

A fun sounding writing prompt came up yesterday but I wasn’t sure I’d do it. this morning a song popped in my head and I started thinking of other songs to fit into a five song playlist to describe my week. I picked last Monday to today. Can you guess the song before clicking the link? All the links are you tubes and they open in a new window.

Last Monday I had to go to the doctor and she wants me to have a procedure. It’s just a procedure and not surgery, but I hope the gastroenterologist isn’t like this surgeon.

Tuesday I tried to gather enough energy to get ready for an out of town guest. I tried to find a good song about out of town guests but all I found were songs about weddings. Huh? B’s dad was here for a visit Wednesday and we hung out until Friday afternoon when he and B drove up to Phoenix for Spring Training. He flew out this morning (B just got home and said his dad missed his flight. It was crazy in Phoenix this weekend with the World Baseball Classic and Spring Training and apparently it’s spring break this week too.) and B will be back today. (Yeah, he’s already back. Can YOu tell I started this post awhile ago?) I got to prepare some food for myself that I don’t normally eat much of when I eat with B, so I thought I’d find a song about cooking. It’s fun to sing while you cook. My shrimp was dead.

I was sad the night B and his dad left so after I cooked dinner I treated myself to another season of my favorite comedy. Happy making! The show kept me company for the weekend.

The rest of the time, I listened to my favorite sport. If you don’t know what that is without clicking the link, you don’t know me at all!

Last night I went to bed early so I could get up early this morning to get ready for Jayden’s wellness check vet appointment. (He earned a clean bill of health again!) I told B on the phone last night I felt really old going to bed so early and this morning my hips hurt and my knees were popping as I was getting ready and the song that came to mind let me know I had to follow the writing prompt and write this post. I could not find the original recording of that song on youtube, so I picked that cover out of the several I listened to. It reminded me of my dad sitting around singing country songs and playing his guitar while I was growing up.

Ok, bonus round. Back in my karaoke days my friend L did this song and I’ve tried to find it for years but never knew the artist or enough lyrics. The other day I found myself singing it to Jayden, replacing the word “ladies” with his name. I finally remembered I have the Sound Hound app and after humming the song to it, I finally found it! Don’t worry, the subject matter does not pertain at all to my life. 😉

How many songs did you guess? Leave me a comment and tell me. I won’t know if you lie, but your dog will. Huh?

9 Comments

Filed under apple Inc, baseball, cool product, doc, family, Jayden, music, num num food, plugs, vet visit, youtube

Carnival Post – Top Ten

Here is the complete Carnival!

***

It’s the tenth Assistance Dog Blog Carnival! Click here to read about what the blog carnival is and click here to read about this round and it’s topic. The ADBC has come full circle in this round, being hosted by the original host, After Gadget.

I have had the ultimate writer’s block but really wanted to submit since I submitted in the first round. I’m just going to write and not try to be organized haha! The topic for this post is “Perfect Ten”. I wracked my brains trying to come up with an idea but my inner creative chick is still sleeping apparently so I’m just going to jump in to some free form and see what comes out. Sometimes writing about Jayden is like trying to express gratitude. I tend to get very flustered when my heart is so full.

Jayden isn’t perfect and nor am I but I always say our match was perfect. Guide Dogs for the Blind was perfect in matching Jayden to me. I can’t imagine anything that is lacking from our partnership. When GDB asked me what I wanted in a dog I had no idea since I grew up with cats. I told them I just needed a chill dog who would be ok when my MS flared up and I needed to rest. I think GDB gave me the most chill dog available haha! He is cool with whatever I need. He loves to relax on the couch with me but when I need him to work he snaps to attention like a soldier. He has gotten so in tune with me that he knows exactly what I need, sometimes before I do. He’ll slow down on walks when he knows I’m tiring. Sometimes I try to speed him up and he disobeys and then I feel my fatigue. He knows before I do; it’s pretty crazy! He really was the perfect match in so many ways. I’m amazed at these schools and how well they do in the matching process.

I never imagined all the added bonuses (non guide work stuff) that would come with a guide dog. Let’s see if I can come up with ten added bonuses:

Good Potassium Numbers

When I was in the hospital when I went blind, my potassium was dangerously low. They gave me a pill and after I saw my doctor upon my release, she ordered a banana a day. That didn’t work out so well because I couldn’t make bananas last long enough; they went bad so quickly. After I got Jayden, I remember his raiser telling me Jay loved bananas. Now my potassium stays in good shape thanks to bananas and orange juice. How could anyone not want to share a banana with a dog who goes crazy when he hears the question, “do you want a banana?” (That link has audio) Oh and orange juice taste even better when it’s a banana chaser!

Tear Soaker Upper

I should have known what a comfort Jayden would be when I’m sad. Heck even my cats have soaked up tears over the years but they don’t hold still like Jayden does. Since Jayden and I have that incredibly strong bond of assistance dog and handler, he knows when I need him to just lay still and let me cry on him. It’s a good thing tears don’t hurt his coat haha!

A Schedule A Dog Makes

One of the hardest parts about going blind and being medically retired was the sudden loss of a schedule. Weekends were no longer anything special since every day was like a weekend. Working folk think this would all be a dream come true but when you’re twenty-nine and suddenly can’t be self supporting, it’s a huge loss of identity. It’s amazing what a schedule will do to add a sense of purpose, at least it did for me. Jayden is on a feeding and relieving schedule very similar to what he had at guide dog school. Working my life around his schedule led me to realize how great schedules can be for adding structure to my otherwise structureless life. I’ve since come up with workout and cleaning schedules that turn my week into a “work week” and allow me to enjoy weekends with B. Amazing how a pee schedule for my guide dog turned my day-to-day life into something more “normal”.

Fitness Lives

When I decided to get a guide dog I knew I’d have to do some work to build up my stamina. I needed to be able to walk a mile since I’m pretty sure that was one of the requirements for acceptance to GDB. Luckily the blind center has a gym and a health and wellness program and my name came up on the waiting list at the same time I decided to apply to GDB. Serendipity? My whole life I’ve wanted to be fit and healthy but it’s hard without guidance and I was never successful. I reached my goal of being prepared for guide dog school but I never stopped with the fitness. It has since become something of an addiction for me and since I no longer can work out at the blind center, I’ve developed a program for myself at home. I’m more fit that I’ve ever been and exercise has been the best form of treatment for the MS. This might be the most important added bonus!

Ex-Smoker

Ok this is easily a tie with the fitness as one of the best added bonuses. Anyone who smokes or used to smoke knows how hard it is to quit. For me it was easier to quit drinking than it was to quit smoking. Jayden became another motivation however, when I thought about what would happen to him if I wasn’t around. I also hated exposing him to that and I’ve now been quit over a year.

Someone To Watch Over

I’ve never wanted children. Ever since I was a teenager I didn’t want children. It’s almost as if something prepared me for my future. It’s not that I can’t have kids now,I’m fully capable, but I wouldn’t have the energy. The MS is definitely my primary disability, not the blindness. However as a woman, it’s in my nature to want to care for something. I worked in therapy about the choice not to have children because even though for years I told myself I didn’t want them, there was still this huge sense of loss when I realized I would never carry a child and rase an adult. Jayden has filled a huge part of that void and that is something I certainly never expected. I knew going into this partnership that Jayden would look to me to fill his needs but I never expected the fulfillment I get out of being that person for him! I take pride when the vet tells me how good his teeth look or when a fellow dog lover tells me how great he looks. Yes, he was raised by another before he came to me, but I’ve continued to mold and shape him and care for him and I think of him as my child. I think most animal owners think of their pets as their kids, I know I always did with my cats, but this goes so much deeper. I never expected my guide dog to fill most of the void left by the child I’ll never have.

Fear Management

The first summer after I went blind we had an insane monsoon season and during one particularly bad storm, I asked B to go into the spare room and get the cat out of there. I can’t remember why I wanted her out. B went to go get her and then I heard shattering glass and the door slam and I started screaming, not sure where B was. The wind had been howling and whistling, sounds I had never heard before. B was ok, he had just come out of the room when the wind blew the window in and caused the door to slam. After that I was terrified of wind. I was afraid I would transfer this fear to my dog so I asked at school what to do about that. I was told to just try and be as cool as possible and make storms fun for my dog. I never imagined how this would cure me of my fear! Now the wind has to be really bad to scare me but I don’t panic like I used to. I just calmly take Jayden with me to a safe spot in the house and “cuddle”. I feel safer and he doesn’t get freaked out. I love this added bonus! That fear of wind was getting debilitating before Jayden came around.

Ultimate Feet Warmer

As I’ve been writing this off and on over the last few hours, Jayden has been in several positions on the couch next to me. While I was writing the last bit, he got off the couch and lay down on my feet. It’s almost like he was saying, “don’t forget to include how much you love it when I lay on your feet!” There is just something so comforting about the weight of him on my feet and nothing is better at warming them! I love it when he does this. The only negative about when your dog is comfortable with some part of him resting on you is that you don’t want to disturb him and therefore don’t move. I’m pretty sure my feet are going to fall asleep haha!

Attitude Adjustment

It’s really hard to stay in a bad mood when you have a goober head constantly cheering you up. I might be feeling depressed and then it’s time for Jayden’s afternoon Kong Wobbler treat. I’ve taken to pronouncing “wobbler” so it sounds very French and you can’t stay in a bad mood when you’re asking your dog if he wants his Wobbler in a high pitched silly French accent. Then when he’s done with it and I ask him to show me and he takes me to where he left it, I get so proud and excited and he gets thrilled to get his reward “cookie”, that I find myself grinning so big my cheeks ache.

Fellowship

When I decided to apply for a guide dog, I told my friend Chupa that I wanted to start a blog to document the process. I jokingly said I could call it Doggy Diaries or something. She said I totally should and my old Blogger blog was born along with the Doggy Diaries category. Before I knew it I was a part of a fellowship of other guide dog handlers and puppy raisers and I felt so apart of the blind community, finally. I felt so alone when I went blind since no one I knew understood what I was going through. There was one woman I spoke with on the phone, a friend of a friend and it was actually her guide dog who was the first guide dog I met. This blog though, led me to the people who helped me feel not so lonely and they came with me on the journey of getting a guide dog. Some of those people are still my closest friends today and I bet some of those people are submitting posts for this very carnival. The fellowship in the guide dog community is certainly one I never in a million years expected when I applied to GDB in September of 2009!

Ok wow, my arms are aching something awful but look, I wrote the post! Haha, and it turned out more organized than I thought it would. I’ll come back and add a link to the complete carnival post when it’s up.

3 Comments

Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, blog carnival, cats, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, GDB, gratitude, guide dogs, intelligent disobedience, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, monsoons, num num food, puppy raisers, relieving, spoons, therapy, weather, working dog, workouts, youtube

Doggy Diaries – A Few Fun Dog Links and Brief Clicker Story

I kept two 1-800-PET-MEDS articles up today to blog about and share because I enjoyed them both. I’ve also had a youtube saved for awhile that I wanted to share but kept forgetting, so today I give you three fun dog related links.

This first one is about Dogs for the Deaf and how they’ve expanded into training service dogs for Autism and even classroom dogs. Possibly the best part? They use shelter dogs! It was heart warming to read about these dogs who might have been destined for euthanasia but instead become service dogs. How cool is that?

This next one is about teaching your dog tricks and the effect that has on the person. It is a really adorable story about how a woman trained her dogs to love her piano playing, or, ahem, something like that. Give it a read, it’s cute!

I don’t really teach Jayden tricks but I do sometimes teach him something new to either help me or enhance obedience. Either that or just turning something into a game. I recently got out the old clicker and showed Jayden that when I pat the couch and say “up!” that I want him to get on the couch. This might seem a little silly so I’ll explain.

Jayden was raised not to get on furniture unless invited. That part of his raising was apparently incredibly hardwired because there are times when he sits and stares at his side of the couch and waits for me to invite him up. Now since that’s his spot, I haven’t required him to wait until invited pretty much since bringing him home. Most of the time he gets right up when he wants but other times he refuses, to the point where I have to actually touch him and urge him up.

These aren’t moments of wanting affection, as he’s like a foot from me and sits on the floor staring at his side of the couch, sometimes even resting his chin on it. Sometimes I’m in the middle of writing something or eating or crocheting and I just need him to let himself up on the couch haha! So I did clicker training. It was so much fun for both of us. I’d have him sit facing his side of the couch, pat and say “up!” and when he jumped up I clicked and kibbled. Then I’d tell him “off” and at first he was confused like, but is this obedience? Look, I’ll lay on the couch. Haha! Then he’d finally leap off and jump around and we’d do the whole thing over. It worked like a charm! Now I just have to pat and say “up!” and he gets up. No more having to reach over and urge him up.

Then last night I thought we’d have to do the clicker training again. He sat there looking at the couch, I felt for a cat and didn’t find one so I patted and said “up!” and he wouldn’t. I repeated this a few times and he didn’t jump up. So I went to stand up and heard Timmy’s bell. Oh! He was curled up in the very corner of the couch. No wonder Jayden disobeyed haha! I moved Timmy and Jayden jumped right up. Training him is so much fun and so rewarding. I wish we could play clicker every day.

This last link might require some tissues or perhaps that was just me. The trainers at Southeastern Guide Dogs perform Trust Me Baby. I’m guessing the images are adorable. The lyrics had me sobbing the first time I heard it and when I opened the video to get the link just now I got misty all over again. The song is a take of Call Me Maybe which always gets stuck in my head when I hear it but now I get Trust Me Baby stuck in my head instead.

Hope you enjoyed the doggy links. I sure did!

4 Comments

Filed under Autism, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, intelligent disobedience, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, plugs, puppy raisers, Timmy, video, youtube

My thoughts on the RNIB ad that’s causing such a stir

I had been noticing several tweets referencing an ad the RNIB put out for fundraising. The RNIB serves the blind and visually impaired community in the UK.

Today I finally asked what the stir was and was directed to this youtube of the ad. The ad features the story of Emma, a little girl who is losing her vision. The stars fade away and one day she’s blind, calling out to her mother who she can’t see. The uproar over the ad is over the use of such a story to ask for money, because the story portrays blindness negatively and makes being blind sound like the end of a life, since Emma can no longer have the childhood she once had.

Here is where I will try and control myself. We all have different experiences. Someone who can’t remember seeing isn’t going to relate to Emma. Someone who is well adapted to blindness either because they’ve been blind since birth or have been blind for a long time, isn’t going to relate to Emma. Such people will be offended at the way blindness is portrayed.

I relate to Emma. The stars didn’t fade over time for me. The last time I saw the stars I didn’t know it was my last time. My surroundings faded away in the space of one day. I didn’t have the presence of mind to stare at my cat or a picture of my mom before my sight faded. I did stare at my boyfriend as my sight faded, and just made out the three lines on my three year sobriety medallion before my sight faded. So I relate to Emma.

Does my story make you misty? Do you think you might be more apt to donate to an organization that helps the blind? How about my guide dog school? Are you moved to help?

How is that any different than the ad featuring Emma, a child who will have to relearn how to do things with her friends? I had to relearn how to do things with my friends and I wasn’t even a child. I’m in awe of the fact that Emma will be able to ride a bike again and I’m blind. Should I not be in awe of her?

We need organizations like the RNIB, ACB, NFB, local blind centers etc. I wouldn’t have the life I have today without the blind center here or Guide Dogs for the Blind where I got my dog, and those places need money. A person with a lot of money to donate who isn’t blind or low vision or knows someone who is might just have a child Emma’s age and when they think about their own child losing their sight, they can personalize blindness, making it easier for them to open their wallets.

The RNIB wasn’t asking for four pounds a day or whatever it was to fund a vacation for the CEO. They were asking for help for future people who will need their help. I just don’t have a problem with it. I understand those who do, I suppose. I can try to understand, I guess, but all I have is my own experience which is very much like the child Emma’s.

Plus, the narrator sounded like the butler from Downton Abby and I love that show.

6 Comments

Filed under Adjustment to blindness, blind opinion, GDB, gratitude, misty eyes, mom, sobriety, twitter me this, youtube

Fleksy App for iOS

I just got the Fleksy App a few hours ago after following its development on Twitter for a couple months now. This app is amazing! I was so blown away by it that when people expressed some confusion on Twitter, I went and recorded a quick demo of it, having no real experience with the app aside from what I read from the developer’s instructions. I also had the beginnings of what is turning into a monster migraine, so when I say, “it’s so not user error”, it um, really was user error for the most part haha!

This app is incredible! Oh yeah, it’s for iOS devices. Click the link above for the the iTunes store page. Ok, I’m gonna go nurse this migraine and listen to some baseball, if that’s possible.

Direct youtube link

1 Comment

Filed under apple Inc, iPhone, iTunes, proud geek, twitter me this, youtube

Hanging With Ro Episode 7 – Baseball among other things

It was decided last night that another episode would be recorded today since Morgan wanted to give me ideas and she didn’t have school today. Sooo, I started recording before I was fully awake because I didn’t know what the day would bring and I wanted to get it done. It got interrupted before I covered everything I wanted, so there might be a 7.2 episode later, depending on things.

Topics include:

*Morgan’s blog post.

*Baseball, baseball, are you excited about baseball, baseball and baseball.

*Rays FanFest and calls from people like players named Sean Rodriguez.

*Twitter stuff, bombarding followers with giddy goofiness

*Is today the day after the president’s day holiday?

Of course there’s more and of corse Evan Longoria’s name was mentioned. I think even if you’re not a baseball nut, this is still a fun one.

Direct youtube link

Leave a Comment

Filed under baseball, coffeeholic, evan longoria, fellowship, gratitude, hanging with ro, Jayden, plugs, sean rodriguez, silly girl, twitter me this, youtube

Audio: Hanging with Ro – Episode Six – Rant sing baseball and stuff

This monster is forty-two minutes. Actually I’m writing this as I upload so that number might be wrong. The forty-two might have just been how long it’s gonna take to upload. Holy crap. I have no idea how long it is. There was something I was going to warn you about, towards the end of the recording I freak out over a song but I can’t remember what I was talking about to warn you.

Topics include:

*Rant about the show Stolen Voices Buried Secrets, the main reason for recording audio.

*Baseball, a spur of the moment season preview. There’s a plug to BRaysBallTalk.com so I thought I’d link it. Do I have that on my blog roll yet? I don’t think so. What the Fuld?

*Evan Longoria, naturally.

*Singing. Oh yes, there’s singing. Sorry.

*Brief mention of politics, but who wants to hear about that.

Twitter suggestions and things that made me laugh.

*Weird dream about a C-130

There’s probably more I’m forgetting. Grab a beverage and sit back, this is silly, as per usual.

Direct youtube link

Leave a Comment

Filed under apple Inc, baseball, coffeeholic, dream, evan longoria, hanging with ro, Jayden, matt joyce, music, plugs, random stuff, rant, Sam Fuld, silly girl, spoons, twitter me this, working dog, youtube

Doggy Diaries – Audio – Do you want a banana?

Yesterday when it was time to share a banana with Jayden, he freaked out and went on a run around the house. I had wished I had thought to record it, so today I tried to recreate it and it worked. It seems if I tease him a bit when he knows it’s banana time, he gets even more excited hehe! I’ve got a pretty nasty cold right now and he’s being a trooper about it. I’m glad I’m able to give him some fun.

Direct youtube link

1 Comment

Filed under Doggy Diaries, Jayden, jayden quirks, num num food, sicky sick, youtube