Archive for December, 2009

The Toyminator Strikes Again!

December 31, 2009

Yesterday, Nash and I filmed an interview for a Guiding Eyes For the Blind video, and Michelle gave Nash a Christmas present, a rubber toy shaped like a Christmas light. We got home, and Nash wanted to play with his new toy, well, it lasted about ten minutes. At first, he kept running back and forth in my apartment with the toy in his mouth, and then wanted to play tug with it, what can I say, Nash things every toy and bone is meant for tug. We did that for a little, and then Nash went off to play with his toy on his own. I was watching the Bowling Green Bowl game when I thought I heard Nash chewing on something. Sure enough he had managed to toyminate his Christmas gift. He had chewed off the end of the bulb into a bunch of pieces. You see Nash this is why you don’t have expensive toys! That sounds familiar. Unlike most toys that Nash toyminates, I have not had to throw this one out yet, so he is getting a little more play time out of it, I just have to keep a watchful eye on him while he plays with it, which ain’t easy when you are blind!

So early afternoon yesterday, Michelle and Aaron who was filming the interview met me at my apartment. Ends up Aaron also does a radio show in Westchester, and I had done an interview on his show promoting Laugh For Sight. They filmed Nash and me working together, as we went from my apartment to the subway. Nash did a fantastic job, and we got it all in one take, its so nice to work with professionals. Hey, Nash has been filmed doing this several times. He just keeps asking why is this guy with the Yankees cap in all of my scenes? I am ready for my close up Mr. Demille! Sunset Boulevard reference for those of you under 30.

We were waiting for our subway train at the 50th street station when they make an announcement that trains are running slow due to a bomb threat at Times Square. I don’t know if it is funny or scary that nobody freaks out about this, as it has become more and more common. I used to complain when trains were delayed, you know it would be nice for them to tell us what is wrong, now I am like, a little to much information. I guess I can’t be pleased.

We filmed my interview for the video at Gotham Comedy Club where I hold the Laugh For Sight benefit. Gotham has been so great to Nash and me, letting us use the club for interviews. They make a much nicer and aestetically pleasing backdrop than my studio apartment wall. We talked a lot about how much the puppy raisers due for us, and how important their job is, and how thankful we are. Shout out to Lorraine and Richard. The interview went very well, until Nash had to go to the bathroom. Hey, when he has to go, he has to go. Nash was wondering where his trailer was, I think Linda, Michelle, and Aaron were pretty happy with the footage that they got, and Nash and I were happy to give back. I told Nash, we need to do as much as this stuff to give back, because unfortunately, we have more time than money, so we can always give time to a good cause.

The four of us, excuse, I forgot Nash, the five of us then went out to lunch. It was very nice of the Guiding Eyes folks to take us out to lunch, and even nicer of them to drive Nash and me home, although looking back on it, they are probably regretting the latter. We got stuck in so much traffic, as they were already setting things up and shutting streets down for New Years, and what is normally a ten minute drive from Gotham to my apartment took us about an hour.

And today, what did we get to wake up to? They freakin took Nash’s garbage can again. Hey, I get the whole security issue, but aren’t all the damn tourists that have come to watch the ball drop going to have trash? I guess they will get to throw it on the street, and it will be more stuff for Nash to sniff and try and eat. Since there are no garbage cans in my neighborhood, does that mean that I don’t have to pick up after Nash?

Happy New Year’s to everyone, and thanks for reading and commenting..

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Filming an interview for Guiding Eyes For the Blind today

December 30, 2009

Nash, my four legged sidekick, thanks Bev for that one, I told you I was going to steal it, and I are filming an interview for a Guiding Eyes For the Blind promotional video today. I am not really sure what the context of the interview will be, but anything I can do to help Guiding Eyes, I am on board for. We will be filming the video at Gotham Comedy Club. Gotham has been so great to me over the years, opening their doors for us to host Laugh For Sight there every year, and allowing me to use the clubs for all kinds of interviews.  I guess Gotham makes a more interesting backdrop that the wall of my studio apartment. If you haven’t visited Guiding Eyes website, please do, and sign up for their mailing list at http://www.guidingeyes.org.

Guiding Eyes not to be confused with Guiding Light

It’s funny, I live two blocks from Times Square, yet I have never been to Times Square for New Year’s Eve. It must have something to do with the crowds, as I live in NYC, yet I hate crowds, go figure.  Not sure what Nash and I are doing for New Year’s, as I am not a big New Year’s person, as I have celebrated it in NYC, Las Vegas, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Los Angeles, so I think it has kind of lost its luster. I did try and stay home a few years ago as I had a cold, but the damn helicopters over my building were so loud that I couldn’t even hear the tv, and when you a blind, hearing the tv is kind of important. I would love to just make the rounds in the neighborhood, but the tourists crash in on our bars and restaurants making them too crowded to go into, so we shall see. I am pissed because one of my favorite things to do is veg out on New Year’s Day and watch all the bowl games, and just my luck, I have Time Warner Cable, and could be losing Fox on Jan. 1, and of course most of the good bowl games are on Fox. Damn greedy execs at Fox and Time Warner, you know the consumer will get screwed in this. Fox will end up getting there dollar a month per subscriber, and Time Warner will find a way to justify raising its customers rates 10 bucks a month to cover the dollar. Go figure. The worst part is I might have to find a bar that has satellite as my Gators play on Fox New Year’s Day Eve. None of the bars I frequent have satellite, so I will have to find a new bar, and you can imagine how crowded bars that actually get the games will be.

Well, I got to get ready as the Guiding Eyes crew will be here soon. Will let you know how it goes.

I had to get one Christmas gift, and I forgot to do that!

December 27, 2009

As Kyle once sang on South Park, “it’s so lonely to be a Jew on Christmas.” Well, not exactly, as it hit me a little late, but Nash I believe was raised Christian, so he probably wanted to celebrate Christmas. Sorry buddy, ba hum bug, I didn’t get a tree, and I didn’t think about until it was to late, I didn’t get you a Christmas gift. How about a belated Christmas? We did have a nice day together, as we had lots of play time, and as usual, Nash seemed very happy. We went out for a walk early Christmas morning, and it was like a post Apocalypse NYC, I loved it. There were no cars on the street, it was quite, and there were very few people. I always said NYC would be so great if it wasn’t for all the cars and people.  Go figure, I hate crowds, yet I live in NYC. I guess I am just an enigma.

We did have Chinese food on Christmas, well at least I did, and we did watch a movie, the Jewish Christmas. I saw the movie the Express, about the first black Heisman Trophy winner, a very good movie, but the movie made me realize that I am now old. I wasn’t born when the story took place, so you ask how did it make me feel old? Well, when I was a kid, I enjoyed Dennis Quaid as the Heisman Trophy winning running back in Everybody’s All-American, then when I was in my 20’s, I enjoyed Dennis Quaid as the washed up Quarterback being pushed out by the younger guy in that Al Pacino football movie. Now that I am in my 30’s, Dennis Quaid is playing the COACH! So yes, I tell my age according to what football character Dennis Quaid plays in a movie. I call my theory, age related Quaid.

Yesterday, Nash and I celebrated Boxer Day by getting together with my sister, her husband, and my niece Siena for dinner. Does that make me more Canadien than Christian since I did more with family on Boxer Day? We went down to a restaurant on the lower East Side. It ends up it was the restaurant where my sister and her husband had their first date, and of course, they didn’t want to let Nash in. The guy kept saying, “no dogs, no dogs”, and I guess he didn’t understang the phrase guide dog. They did let us in, and people wonder why I never go to the lower East side. It’s funny, because we were eating dinner pretty early, and there was only one other table in the restaurant. Siena was a little social butterfly, as she had to go up to everyone in the restaurant and say hello. Unlike Thanksgiving, she is over her fear of dogs, as she really liked being around Nash, and kept coming up to him. Nash eventually gave her a big lick, and she didn’t cry. Nash was on his typical excellent behavior, and sat by my side. He did keep trying to get to the food that Siena was throwing on the floor. I thought that was really nice of her, as Nash wasn’t going to eat dinner until we got home, and Siena was the only one who wanted to make sure that Nash got to eat with us. The cutest thing besides Siena was that I kept getting her to say the letter “B”. I got her to say it over and over again, as a lot of my friends just call me B, but unlike Siena, I think my friends can pronounce Brian. I got Siena to say it like a hunged times. The second cutest thing was I was in the back of the car with Siena, and when we got dropped off, and were getting out, Siena began to cry, so I think she really likes her Uncle Brian and cousin Nash.

We got home to some real disappointing news. I was wondering why my phone kept ringing, as I did not answer it in the restaurant and car. Ends up, our coach from Florida, who is the best coach in college football had quit. He had only been there five years, had won 2 National Championships, had just won 22 in a row up to the very disappointing loss in the SEC Championship game against Alabama. He quit for health reasons, so if that is true, you really can’t be mad or blame the guy. I am very skeptical in this day and age, as you always here rumors. We have never heard anything bad about Urban Meyer, so hopefully with some rest, he will be fine, and maybe he will come back to Florida one day, but in the short term, there goes the dynasty, and we had the number one recruiting class, so I wonder how many of those recruits we will lose.

I ended the day watching a very crappy movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. I really with if there was a higher intelligence out there, that they would come down to earth and stop Hollywood from making such bad movies. It would save me a lot of time.

Laugh For Sight 4 Photos!

December 24, 2009

It has taken me awhile, but here are some of the photos from Laugh For Sight 4 at Gotham Comedy Club. All photos courtesy of Mark Liflander. Enjoy!

1010 WINS Alice Stockton-Rossini, Brian and Nash

Brian and Nash at the silent auction

Brian and Nash before the show

Brian & Nash telling em how it is!

Keeping Em' Laughing Til There's A Cure

Eddie Brill, Audience Warm Up Letterman Show

Eddie Brill, 4 time Laugh For Sight performer

Rich Vos having fun with the audience

Rich Vos from Last Comic Standing

Legendary Comedian Robert Klein

Robert Klein keeping em laughing

Robert Klein Tony and Grammy Nominee

Friend sharing a laugh with Erica Greenhouse

Jessica Greenhouse and Matt

Bonnie McFarlane from Last Comic Standing

Bonnie McFarlane making em laugh

Comedian John Morrison getting the crowd going

Michelle Brier from Guiding Eyes with a puppy

So Cute

SNL Alum and Tough Crowd's Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn sharing a laugh with the crowd

LFS4 Emcee and 1010 WINS Alice Stockton-Rossini

Comedian Tim Young

I Now Know What They Do With All the Snow in NYC

December 24, 2009

On Monday, Nash and I had a check up for him with his vet. Our main reason for the visit to the Animal Medical Center was to get Nash’s Howard Hughes length nails clipped. Since we had to head all the way over to York Ave on the East Side, Nash got the full check up. We took the 57th Street crosstown bus which cuts all the way across 57th street and then up York Ave dropping us a block from the AMC. Well, the bus driver dropped us off right into a foot of snow. Not being able to see, I thought he must have dropped us off in the middle of the street as there was so much snow. Nope, amazingly, we were on the sidewalk. I couldn’t believe the amount of snow on the sidewalks two days after the storm. My neighborhoods sidewalks were completely cleared, and it got me thinking, where do they take all the snow in the city? After walking or attempting to walk the one block to the AMC, my only answer is they drop it all on York Ave. The snow went way up my shin, and Nash really had no idea where to go. I couldn’t even tell which way was North the one block to the AMC. I was beginning to think I should of canceled my appointment. Nash and I eventually got to the AMC, but my shoes and socks were soak and wet. Nash of course enjoyed all the time in the snow, and it was a good thing we went, as it ends up Nash has a real bad ear infection. When we left Guiding Eyes Nash had a right ear infection, this time it is a left ear infection, and his vet thinks it could be allergies. The ear infection was so bad that his vet wants him to take a 4 in 1 antibiotic that the AMC doesn’t carry, so I will have to buy it through a pet pharmacy. His vet told me it would cost 40 bucks, so that’s not too bad. The good news is other then the ear infection, he is completely healthy, and his blood tests all came back good.

We left the AMC and headed up York in the snow to the bus stop. The snow was so bad, that there was no way to get around the snow to get on the bus. We had to head all the way down to 57th street to get on the bus. Unbelievable. Amazing the difference in amounts of snow two sides of the city can have. We finally did get on the bus and got home, but it was quite the adventure. Being the responsible guide dog handler, I immediately called the pharmacy to get his meds, and guess what, the drops aren’t 40 bucks they are $199.99! Damn, that is a major difference. I have been trying to get his vet on the phone to find out if there has been some mistake, and I have spoken to the vet at Guiding Eyes to see if the drops are something they could get for me. No luck so far, and now I hear there is some holiday the next two days, so we will not be getting his drops til next week. As least Nash does seem like his usual happy self, and playful, so I don’t think he is in to much discomfort from the ear infection.

Besides the vet, it has been a pretty busy week as Monday night we had the Broadway Comedy Club Holiday Party, always a fun time, and we run into a lot of people that we haven’t seen in a long time. I didn’t get to make it last year, so it was nice to be able to go this year. It was pretty crowded, so Nash and I didn’t stay as long as I might have stayed without Nash, as he did get bumped into a few times.

The rest of the week I have had a few conference calls about Laugh For Sight in 2010, and their are some exciting developments, but nothing concrete yet. I will let you know as soon as I know more.

On a final note, today, I heard my new favorite excuse for running over a blind guy and his guide dog, “I have fresh meat here the dog is going to attack it!” The guy just ran right into Nash and me and kept going, what an asshole. Of course, Nash didn’t even flinch, or go towards the meat. It’s good to see the Christmas spirit makes for an asshole on 8th Avenue.

Happy Only Three Years to the Apocalypse Day!

December 21, 2009

It’s 12/21, and several groups have predicted the latest end of the world apocalypse to be 12/21/12. The Mayans, Hopie Indians, Nostradamus, and scientists have all predicted something terrible to happen on 12/21/12. I just hope its not as bad as Y2K. What a disappointment that was, it was like a big budget movie with amazing coming attractions that just goes nowhere. So lets examine some of the info on the upcoming apocalypse. Most people point to the Mayan calendar ending on 12/21/12 as a warning to us that the world would end. Of course they designed this calendar like 4000 years ago, and I have put a lot of scientific research and study and come up with an amazing hypothesis that people brighter than me need to investigate. My theory you ask, what if the Mayan who designed the original calendar ran out of rocks while designing the calendar when he came to 12/21/12? I mean he had to be using rocks to design a calendar that ran 4000 years, how many rocks could they have? I assume they had to keep some of the rocks to use as weapons to defend themselves. Maybe they used to many rocks to design the calendar, and didn’t keep enough to defend themselves and that is why they became extinct? Something to look into.

Now lets examing Nostradamus. I do not recall what his quantrant says about 2012, and I am sure you can look it up somewhere online, but come on, how many times did this guy predict the end of the world? Yeah, so he did get some things right, but how many things has he missed on? I still do find it pretty interesting that he did supposedly predict Hitler and 9/11, and a lot of other calamities. He had to be a lot of laughs at a party. All that gloom and doom, I am surprised his head didn’t explode from all the stress.

Finally, lets explore the scientific phenomeon that will take place on 12/21/12. Our solar system will be in perfect alignment meaning that our sun will appear exactly in the center of the milky way, an event that happens once every 26,000 years. My question, where did the notes come from from the last time this event took place? Like I have said before, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am pretty sure they don’t have any written date from 26000 years ago, and last time I checked science was based on fact.

In conclusion, I am kind of curious will the end of the world be a time zone specific event? Will China and Japan be hit first at midnight on 12/21/2012 and will the apocalypse than move West across Asia, Europe, and eventually hit North America? This is something you never hear about, because after all, it will be 12/21/12 a lot earlier in China. If all of this is true, I am just pissed that California will get hit last, it just isn’t fair that they out last us New Yorkers by three hours. I am just so very happy that the creationists and evolutionists can finally agree on something, the shit is going to hit the fan on 12/21/12!

Is it wrong to throw snowballs at your dog?

December 20, 2009

We have gotten about a foot of snow from the Nor’easterner here in NYC. I have always loved snow, and it is good to see that Nash really loves the snow to. When I was a kid, I would come up to New York from Florida, and I would stay with my Grandparents in Yonlers. One of my favorite stories that my Grandma used to tell me was that one time I came up, and I kept looking out the window, and finally my Grandma asked me, “Brian what are you looking for?” I said, “snow.” She said, “sorry Brian, it’s July and doesn’t snow this time of year.” What can I say, I wasn’t a very bright kid.

Nash and I had a fun adventure yesterday with all the snow coming down. Luckily, we didn’t have any where that we had to go. We did go to Duane Reade which is a block away, and the snow wasn’t coming down hard yet. By late evening when we went out for Nash’s walk, it was really coming down, and it was difficult to just get to the street for Nash to go to the bathroom, as the sidewalks were covered, and I couldn’t tell where the sidewalk ended and the street began. As Nash did his business, I was just struggling to stay upright, and it hit me, Guiding Eyes never taught us what to with our guide dogs when it snows. I was feeling all around trying to find his poop, and finally said the hell with it. It amazed me that Nash did not sink into the snow, but his poop must have.

It hasn’t snowed today, and we have been out twice, and the amazing thing about NYC is the sidewalks are pretty much all cleared. At least today I can tell where the sidewalk and the street begin. Nash always goes to the bathroom in the street by the curb, and of course, that is where all the snow is, but he was able to pop up onto the snow and do his thing, but I still can’t seem to find it when he is done with it. Not sure how it disappears so quickly into the snow. Today Nash and I played a little in the snow. After he did his business, we moved down to what I thought was some fresh clean snow, and I let Nash run around in it. He was on his leash, but he was really enjoying running around in the snow. Then for some reason, I mashed up a snowball and gently tossed it at him. I began to shovel snow on to him, and what did he do. He actually began to shovel snow at me with his paws. What can I say, I guess he is smarter than me. I hope we have a lot of snow storms this winter, as Nash and I both enjoy them, and I think it probably has a lot to do with that I don’t have to travel that much in it, and I don’t have to shovel it.

Amazing that you can live in NYC for 10 years, and not know winter until you have a dog!

December 18, 2009

I have always loved the change of seasons, and on my long list of what is wrong with my, I have always loved Fall and Winter the most, but that may be changing, as I am beginning to think that I never really spent a lot of time outside during winter. The last few days it has been like they say in Boston, wicked cold. I take Nash out to do his business, and I am amazed how he likes to take his time, and enjoy the cold weather, but hey, he grew up in the Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York, so this is probably not even cold to him, but I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. Nash loves to dilly dally, and yes the phrase dilly dally is not used enough in every day conversation. He takes his sweet time while I am freezing my you know what off. I have been going out with four layers on and gloves, but you can’t put a glove on your right hand, as I am not skilled enough to feel his backside with a glove on to tell when he is doing his business, and I can’t put a glove on to put into the plastic bag, as I can’t get the plastic bag open with gloves on. They should have a class to teach us people who do not grow up in the North how to do every day simple tasks with gloves on. New York feels like the ice planer Hoth right now. Had to get the Star Wars reference in.

Today we are heading down to the village to help out at my friend’s jewlery sale, so it will be interesting getting there in the cold, as I am going to have to layer up. Nash is currently napping in my bed, so I am assuming he is a little cold, as normally at this time of day, he is next to me at my desk on my feet. I am assuming that he is in the bed because the hard wood floors are to cold for him. There is a big snow storm coming tomorrow, so that should be interesting as it will be Nash and my first time with snow. With all of his sniffing and having to stick his tongue at everything, my only advice to him is don’t eat the yellow snow!

What to do when your doctor calls in sick!

December 16, 2009

I have been waiting a good part of my adult life to have a doctor’s appointment, and to have my doctor call in sick. What can I say, I despise their 24 hour cancelation policy. I’ve wanted to use the oh, I’m sorry, I require a 24 notice when canceling an appointment with me. Then the doctor would have to pay me for canceling. Well, today, it finally happened! Unfortunately, the appointment was for Nash for a routine check up and to get his nails clipped at the Animal Medical Center, and more unfortunately, they treat Nash for free, so I finally get a doc to cancel on me, and because the AMC is so amazing, I can’t use my attempt to get paid! Just my luck. I hope that Nash’s vet is feeling better, because she is fantastic, and it is like 20 degrees outside, so taking the hike all the way across the city was not something I really wanted to do, so I am kind of glad they canceled on me. We have rescheduled for Monday, so Nash will have a few more days with his claws. His nails have gotten a little too long, and he is looking like the Howard Hughes of dogs. Unlike Hughes though, Nash goes outside to pee.

Friday, Nash and I are volunteering over at my friend Susan Michel’s yearly jewlery sale, Gems For Sight. If you are in the city, and looking for a great gift idea, come on by, as there will be 17 jewlery designers down in Soho with great sales, and proceeds from the event will be going to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Susan runs the silent auction at Laugh For Sight, and gets a bunch of her designer friends to donate pieces. Nash and I will be selling raffle tickets. Here is the info on the sale.

Susan Michel, a New York City chapter leader, is producing her eighth annual sample sale.  This successful event has been renamed Gems for Sight.  A portion of its proceeds are being donated to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Michel has been a jewelry designer for the past 25 years.  She began losing her vision five years ago due to a degenerative disease of the retina. Now legally blind, she continues to produce gorgeous designs thanks to a dedicated team of employees.  One of her staff members is an artist who sketches her ideas and projects them onto a large screen where Susan, who retains less than ten percent of her of vision, can view them.

Gems for Sight is supported by sixteen award-winning jewelry designers, each with a full showcase of fabulous designs offered at reduced prices for two days only: Amali Jewelry, Alberian & Aulde, Catherine Iskiw, DanaDavid, Diana Widman, EDE Studio, EmilyAmey, Emily Kiefer, Jessica Fields, Joyce Goodman, Kathleen DiResta, Maija Neimanis, Pearl Works by Sandy Jones, Robert Lee Morris, Susan Michel and Tarra Rosenbaum.
Divine Studio
21 East Fourth Street, Suite 6
New York, NY

Friday, December 18
and
Saturday, December 19

11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Were Gonna Need A Bigger Bed!

December 15, 2009

It is no longer my bed, it is our bed, Nash and me. He loves to get into my bed before and after our last walk of the evening.  Now during winter, he is even learning more, as I lay on the couch watching tv with my big comforter from my bed. Since Nash started getting into my bed, he would be in it before I would get in it, and I would throw the comforter on the bed before going to bed and I would have this big lump of  Nash underneath my comforter. Then before getting into bed, I would have to get Nash to scoot down to the foot of my bed, and come out from underneath the comforter which would take some time. One night, Nash was even laying in my bed like me, he was underneath the comforter with his head on my pillow, and the comforter covering him from his neck down. It was ridiculously cute, and I wish I would have taken a pic of it. Well, you ask, how is he learning. Tonight Nash was in my bed. Then he got out shortly before I was ready to go to bed, came over to the couch, got into his bed, and waited. I shortly there after went and threw my comforter on my bed, and a split second after doing so, Nash went and hopped into my bed. It was like, ok enough of this covering me with the comforter, I’ll just wait you out. He is a smart guy. The only problem I forsee is summer time, as Nash is pretty warm, and I think him sleeping up against me is going to make me way to warm, so I to steal a quote from Jaws, and change the last word, “Were gonne need a bigger bed.”

Nash and I also did some good route work today working on breaking his sniffing habit. He did a pretty good job, but could do a better job, as he did try and sniff a few to many times. I am now walking with the leash in my right hand so I can get a better feel of when Nash’s head drops to sniff, and immediately hit him with a leash correction.

Nash was also very interested in sniffing everything in sight in Duane Reade. Why is it come holiday time, Duane Reade feels it is necessary to cover every square inch of the store with displays of crap people don’t need to buy? Going to Duane Reade is like a blind man’s obstacle course, and I have yet to make it through without knocking something over.