Archive for November, 2010

Watch Nash and Me on Top Gear Tomorrow Night 11/28 10pm The History Channel!

November 27, 2010

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and what a way to end your holiday weekend, with Nash and me. Please make sure to tune in tomorrow night 11/28 at 10pm to watch Top Gear USA on The History Channel. You won’t believe it until you see it, and even then you still may not believe it! If you are a regular reader of my blog, this is the big secret that we have mentioned over the last few months. Top Gear is a British show that is one of the most watched shows in the world. The BBC and History Channel have worked long and hard to bring the show to the U.S. and last Sunday night the show premiered. The hosts of the new U.S. version are Adam Ferrara, a two time performer at Laugh For Sight, Tanner Foust a two time world drifting champion, and Rutledge Wood a veteran of the Speed Channel. It was great to work with all three of them, and we had a ton of fun as you will see tomorrow night. Nash and I wish them nothing but a lot of success with the show. I am not going to go into any details about the segment that we did, as you will have to tune in to watch it. All I will tell you is that Nash was never in any danger, even if I was! It will be very intersting to see what clips make it on the air, as we filmed a lot of footage north of Los Angeles and in The OC. In case you didn’t get to see last weeks world premiere of Top Gear USA, here is the preview to my episode.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=167252506641278&oid=8429246183&comments

Nash and I had a very nice Thanksgiving with the family. We spent it out in Jersey at my sister’s. My parents were up from Florida, and my sister and her husband, and my niece had 18 people over, so Nash got plenty of attention. Even though they have a nice big house, Nash and I were relegated to the air mattress. Nash of course loved it, and tried to hog it. What can I say, the dog loves beds, and any kind. Nash even stole my spot and pillow a few times. Hey buddy, that’s my spot. Would you expect anything less from the spot thief?

Anyway, we got a lot to do as we leave for Florida on Thursday, and still have lots of prep work to do for the Inaugural Laugh For Sight South Beach with Jim Breuer, Bonnie McFarlane, Rich Vos, Nash and myself at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach on December 17th! It should be an awesome event, but as usual we do have our work cut out for us. Remember to follow us on Facebook at Laugh For Sight and on Twitter at @laughforsight and @blindgator! Tune in tomorrow night, and we will write more about Top Gear after the episdoe airs!

Does Your Guide Dog Sleep Around?

November 24, 2010

It’s hard enough being blind, and it’s hard enough having a guide dog as cute and friendly as Nash. I mean half the time we are on stage or out in public, Nash ends up stealing my thunder, or needs to be the center of attention, or say hello to everyone. Hey, he is a social butterly, which is what I wanted to a guide dog. But this takes the cake! A little over a year ago, I allowed Nash into my bed one night. Of course after that, Nash ended up in my bed all winter, and it was very nice, as he is cuddly, in fact, he is in my bed most of the day.  I guess it beats sitting on a hardwood floor, or in his tiny doggy bed. In fact, my bed has become known as Nash’s thrown. Over the Summer, Nash was very nice as he would go into my bed while I stayed up and watched tv, and then I would get into my bed, Nash’s thrown, and he would stand up, shake himself awake, and jump down into his doggy bed, as it was to hot for the two of us to share the bed. What an unbelievably thoughtful doggy. Well, in California, my friend Steve has a ten foot couch, and I would sleep on one end and Nash on the other, and if you read any of the blogs from my time in Cali, you know that Nash would even steal my spot when I would get up off the couch, which was cute and fine, but this now tops all. The last few days my parents stayed with Nash and me in NYC which was nice, and Nash and I enjoyed having them here, but last night was a first. Nash started off in my bed, which was fine, but in the middle of the night, he went down to his bed, which was also fine, as I do kick in my sleep, poor Nashie. Well, this morning I wake up and Nash is not in my bed, or his doggy bed. You know where he was? He was in the pull out sofa bed sleeping with my parents! Hey buddy, what are you trying to make me jealous?! And I guess it is working as I am writing about it. It’s bad enough that you are so cute that you are always stealing my thunder, but now you are sleeping around! What gives? Maybe Nash is like that bear story where he needs to test out every bed, and yeah, I can’t believe that I can’t remember the name of that story. Goldilocks or something like that. Oh and my parents have already left for NJ for my sister’s for Thanksgiving, as I am working today on Laugh For Sight and heading out to NJ tomorrow, so guess where Nash is as I write this? Yup, in his thrown.

Its been a very busy month, and I have been home for a whopping nine days, so forgive me if I have mentioned some of this before, as the days are beginning to blend together. Nash had his checkup last week, and we are very proud to report that he got a perfect bill of health. He also saw his allergist, and he did not have an ear infection, so his allergy meds are working. Nash got all his shots, and I got his records, as we will be going on a cruise a week from this Sunday. Hey, we can use a little r and r. We have been home for a whopping nine days, and now it is off to New Jersey tomorrow for two nights and three days for Thanksgiving and my niece Siena’s birthday party on Saturday. She will be turning two and we got her a great Elmo gift. No spoiler, as I don’t have to worry about her reading this, at least not yet. Once we get back from NJ Nash and I will be off to Florida for the cruise and to prepare for our inaugural Laugh For Sight South Beach on December 17th at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The cruise will go to Belize, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel, and I am not sure if I will take Nash off the ship with me or leave him in the cabin, as some of those countries are not the cleanest places, and Nash loves to eat everything in site, and we want him to continue to be safe and healthy, but we do have the option for him to go with me.

This past weekend, we met with two members from The International Guide Dog Council. One from Spain, and one from England, as Guiding Eyes is part of the council and undergoes an assessment every five years. I was surprised that they thought of Nash and me to be assessed, and show off a Guiding Eyes first timer. It is good to know that we are thought of so highly, and it was nice talking with the council and having them watch us work together. I haven’t gotten a phone call that GEB wants Nash back, so we must be doing something right! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Jim Breuer Joins Laugh For Sight South Beach Lineup!

November 20, 2010

It’s hard to believe that Laugh For Sight L.A. was only a little over a week ago, but no rest for us here, as we are thrilled to announce that Jim Breuer will be joining Bonnie McFarlane, Rich Vos, Nash and me at the Inaugural Laugh For Sight South Beach on December 17th at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. We are also thrilled to announce that Visionzone will continue to be involved with Laugh For Sight. Visionzone was integral in the expansion of Laugh For Sight to L.A. and we are very happy to continue the partnership.

Laugh For Sight South Beach will also feature a silent auction where our first auction items include autographed items from LeBron James and Tim Tebow, The House of Blues, and Kramer Portraits. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, November 29th through The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach and will be $50 general admin and $100 VIP which includes a cocktail reception prior to the comedy benefit presented by Bacardi. The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach will also have a special one night Laugh For Sight package for $349 which will include a one night stay on December 17th at their luxury hotel, two general admin tickets to Laugh For Sight which can be upgraded to VIP, parking, and breakfast for two at their Bistro restaurant.

As some of my loyal readers know, I have been keeping a big secret for several months, and I can now talk about it. Nah, forget about it, I don’t want. Kidding of course. Nash and I will be on the new Top Gear USA on The History Channel! The show premieres this Sunday on The History Channel at 10pm with Adam Ferrara from Rescue Me and a two time performer at Laugh For Sight (NYC and LA), Rutledge Wood, and Tanner Foust. I am not going to go into the details, as I want you to be completely surprised, and blown away, which I think you will when you see it. Our episode airs Sunday, Nov. 28th at 10pm. I think this show is going to be a monster hit just like the British version, and the three hosts deserve all the success in the world along with the entire crew, as they were fantastic to work with, and I wish we could have done more than one episode, although it probably wouldn’t have been in my long term healths best interest to do more than one episode. The hosts were on the Today Show on Friday, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they gave me a shout out, and I hear you can see a clip of me, but I will have to take your word on that. Here is a link to the Today Show clip. I will tell you more about the filming of the show either later this week, or after it airs. Nash was a little uneasy, and as usual, he had to steal the spotlight from me. He’s lucky he is so cute and friendly, or I may get annoyed with him constantly stealing the spotlight. I guess I am feeling like the proud parent of a guide dog.

Tomorrow, I am meeting with two members of the International Guide Dog Society from England and Spain. I guess Nash and I are doing pretty well together considering we will be representing Guiding Eyes For the Blind. I even cleaned the apartment for they are coming over. Ok, honestly, I cleaned the apartment as my parents will be staying with me Monday and Tuesday, but let the Intl. folks think it was for them, unless of course they read this, then I am shit out of luck!

Nash Likes L.A., but He Loves NYC

November 14, 2010

It was an interesting 26 days on the road, from NYC to South Beach to Boynton Beach to L.A. So what does a guide dog do during all that travel, and what does one do as personable as Nash? Nash was very excited to arrive in L.A., and he was even more excited when the Co-Founder of Laugh For Sight, Scott Wartham picked us up at the airport, as Nash has spent a lot of time around Scott this year, and Scott has been great getting Nash out on some runs with him. Nash doesn’t get to be a non-working dog when he is out with me, so it is nice for him to get out with someone else every now and then so he can just be a doggy.

While in L.A. we stayed with my good friend Steve and his fiance Jill. Nash was also very excited to see Steve as this was the fifth time we were staying with him in L.A. this year. Nash loves Steve’s apartment especially the ten foot couch he has that Steve allows Nash on and lets him sleep on it. Nash loves to curl up on the opposite end of the couch that I am sleeping on right into the corner. What was really funny is if a bunch of us were sitting on the couch, Nash would be like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, “You’re in my spot.” Every time someone got up off the couch, Nash would dart over and take their spot, and he became known as the spot thief! What was funny is Nash could get away with it because he is so cute. Nash also became known as the woobie thief. For those of you who don’t know what a woobie is, see the movie Mr. Mom. It’s what the little boy called his blanket, and Nash would steal Scott’s woobie every time we would be working late on Laugh For Sight, Scott would stay over at Steve’s so we could get an early start the next morning, and Nash would seek out Scott’s woobie, and curl up in it. Nash is a funny guy.

There was a big song in the 80’s that went something lie, “walking in L.A., Nobody walks in L.A.” Well obviously the group that made that song didn’t have a guide dog because Nash and I got a lot of walking in while in L.A. One day we headed over to a trendy restaurant on Melrose for lunch, and I don’t see people, but Scott saw Miley Cyrus reach out and try and pet Nash. Hey buddy, you got to tell me these things while they are happening, as I hear she is hot!

We had a lot of meetings at restaurants and were told four or five times, “No Dogs!” At least at each place, it only took telling them once, Nash is a service dog, and that was the end of it. Nash of course got his daily compliments, Good to see the L.A. folk didn’t get any of their I live in Hollywood attitude when it came to Nash. We didn’t really get to do a lot at night, as we were either working on Laugh For Sight, or at the Improv. Nash loved being at the Improv, and we did have to tell a lot of people not to pet him, and I think a lot of them didn’t listen, so we may have to be more stern next time we are out there. I think Nash did enjoy all th e different smells and scenery in L.A.

Something I forgot to mention in the blog recap about Laugh For Sight. Besides all the big comedians we had perform at Laugh For Sight, we had a bit of a celebrity crowd, and I am sure I will leave a few out. Katie Cleary who has been on Chuck and Two and A Half Men, Hurley from my favorite show Lost was there, I think her name is Jssica Hall, she played Ben Affleck’s love interest in the movie The Town was in attendance, James Preston from The Gates, and Owen Kramer Glickman were all enjoying many laughs at Laugh For Sight. I am sure there were a bunch of celebs there that I didn’t meet or wasn’t told about. Overall though, it was an amazing night that we really have to thank Visionzone for making it all possible. We will have some really big news this week about the upcoming Laugh For Sight South Beach on December 17th at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach this week.

Yesterday, Nash and I finally headed home to NYC. We got so lucky when we got to LAX, as when we checked in the woman said, oh let me give you a row with more room. Ends up she put us in a row alone. Wow, this is the way to travel. I ended up moving into the middle seat, and of course Nash spread out in style. Nash kept looking at me as if to say why isn’t it always like this? Nash slept for most of the flight. I am so jealous, as I can’t sleep on planes. We got back to NYC around 8pm, Nash got to do his business, got our luggage, and got into a cab by 830. Amazingly, as soon as we got across the Queensborough Bridge and into NYC, Nash popped up from laying down. He knew we were home. I guess I can never move out of NYC because Nash looked out the window the rest of the way home. When we got out of the cab and Nash saw our building, it is the most excited I have ever seen him. His tail was wagging so much it kept hitting me in the leg. We got into the building, and I had to keep telling Nash to slow down. He pretty much raced me down the hall right to my door, and as soon as I got him inside and got his harness and leash off, Nash took a race around the apartment. I think he was checking to make sure his bed, bones, and all of his toys were still here. I got Nash fed, and immediately afterwards, he went straight for my bed, his thrown. I think Nash is quite happy to be home, I know I am!

Inaugural Laugh For Sight L.A. Oh What A Night!

November 12, 2010

The Inaugural Laugh For Sight L.A. on November 9, 2010 at the Melrose Improv was a smashing success. A very extra special thanks to Visionzone and Optelec for making the Laugh For Sight expansion to L.A. possibility and a reality. For those of you who do not live in L.A. or do and were unable to attend the benefit, you really missed a very special night of historic comedy. The concept of Laugh For Sight is to put together an All Star lineup of the biggest names in comedy, and wow was our inaugural event in Los Angeles spectacular! All of the comedians who perform at Laugh For Sight donate their time. Their kindness and generosity is even bigger than the laughs they provide. I would like to send a major shout out and thanks to Alonzo Bodden, Adam Ferrara, Arianne Guido, Kevin Nealon, Russell Peters, Kevin Pollak, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Titus, and Daryl Wright. You guys are all the greatest, and everyone of you rocked the house and Laugh For Sight.

Launching Laugh For Sight in L.A. took a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and I am sorry if I left anyone out, please feel free to reach out to me if I do. A very very special thanks to Andre Hardy, Kelly Stewart, Scott Wartham, Reeta Piazza, Eddie, Dave, Peter, and the entire team at the Melrose Improv. Budd Friedman we were so honored to have you as our auctioneer at Laugh For Sight, and it was an honor to finally meet you. Our photographer Petra, you were awesome to work with and I can’t wait to see how everything comes out. A special thanks to Amy Abrams as you got involved with LFS very early on, and kept helped get us to L.A. Thanks to all of those who attended the show, and we hope that we gave you a memory to last a lifetime.

Sarah Silverman, Kevin Nealon, Brian Fischler, & Kevin Pollak at Laugh For Sight L.A.

 

A few highlights from the evening. Oh my God is Sarah Silverman a total sweetheart. Nash and I had a good set, and after it we came back to our table our home base for the evening, and I accidentally put my hand on someone’s knee. I said, “who’s this?” and a familiar voice said, “Sarah.” So that turned out to be an interesting way to meet Sarah for the first time. Sarah was amazing, and stayed for almost the entire night.

Adam Ferrara, our first comedian to have performed at Laugh For Sight NYC and L.A. It is always so great to see you and get to spend time with ya. Adam will be headling at Gotham Comedy Club from November 18th through the 20th, and if you haven’t gotten a chance to see him live, I highly recommend it. Additionally, Nash and I will be doing a guest spot for Adam at Gotham Comedy Club on November 18 at the 10pm show.

Alonzo Bodden who were the first comedian to commit to the L.A. benefit, and it was great to finally meet you in person. I can’t wait to see you again.

Kevin Pollak, wow, what an incredibly nice guy which could be said about all of our comedians. And yes, “It’s the difference between paper law and trial law!” Congrats on your show getting picked up, can’t wait to see it.

Christopher Tiitus, wow, you were amazing, and I was thrilled to get to spend the time talking to you that I did. Damn writer strike. I loved Big Shots, and hope to see you again soon.

Kevin Nealon, we were so thrilled that you were able to make it over to perform at Laugh For Sight. And yeah, I told my parents you asked how they were doing. You are to funny, but more importantly down to earth and nice.

Russell Peters, we didn’t get to spend much time together, but we were so thrilled that you popped in to Laugh For Sight, and we were honored to have you as a part of the benefit.

Arianne Guido, wow do you have a super bright future. Our youngest performer ever at Laugh For Sight. I can’t wait to say I knew you way back when you were just a kid. Don’t ever change, or let them change you.

And what can I say about my boy Daryl Wright. Wow, we started out in NYC together, and even though you are blowing up big time, you are still the same down to earth dude who is absolutely hilarious. You rocked it as the Laugh For Sight emcee.

I know for my readers who prefer to read about Nash, it has been awhile, but as you can see we have both been pretty busy with Laugh For Sight. I will get a Nashdate to the blog in the next few days, as our month on the road has been long, but adventurous. One more day in LA LA land, and we finally fly home to NYC on Saturday. Can’t wait to get back to the city. Good night L.A. and we had a blast.

Nash Believes In Californication!

November 3, 2010

After a great set on Friday night, Nash and I waited for Scott to pick us up on Saturday morning as we headed out to the Burbank Gators club to watch our Florida Gators take on the Georgia Bulldogs at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. You believe the PCers actually changed the name of the game? It will always be the Cocktail Party to me. We went to watch the game at Hooters in Burbank as a college buddy of mine had won a wing party by answering to most Gator trivia questions earlier this year. A special shout out to Walter for saving the party for when Nash and I were in town. If you guys think Nash is unbelievably well trained for sitting by my side while I am on stage, you would have been more impressed with how well behaved he was while Hooter waitress’es kept placing wing platter after platter after platter right above his head. My friends kept a watchful eye on Nashee as we know how bad a chicken wing is for a dog. Not to worry though, Nash got plenty of treats as we watched the thrilling Gator game, and beat Georgia to end a dreadful three game losing streak.

Afterwards, it was back to Steve’s pad in West Hollywood, as we needed to relax from our crazy cross country schedule, and a busy week ahead. On Sunday, we headed out for lunch on Melrose and walked around for a little bit and Scott and Nash got to enjoy some of the freaky Hollyweird Halloween costumes. Me being a blind guy, I just had to laugh from what Scott told me. We did find a nice hat store and I got a new smooth hat to wear on stage. Will probably wear it at Laugh For Sight L.A. on November 9th, so you will get to see plenty of pics of it. We then had a meeting with the Melrose Improv, as we had to go over a bunch of details for the inaugural LFS L.A. Trust me people, you have no idea how much planning and execution goes into each benefit. It is a full time job with extremely irregular hours seven days a week, with a lot of grief, but the night of the benefit, it is all worth it. I am not a Halloween person, so we just stayed in on Halloween and skipped over the Santa Monica parade, as it is a zoo, and I needed the rest as I was coming down with a cold. Ugh.

As I thought, on Monday the cold had arrived. It makes me think, do dogs get colds, and if so how do you know? Even with the cold, there was nice time to rest, as the benefit is a little more than a week away. We banged out a ton of emails, as we are still finalizing some of the details for the inaugural L.A. show, made a ton of calls, also for South Beach, and worked on securing some items for the live auction we will hold during the benefit.

In the afternoon, I got my first ever Raiki massage. It is a holistic massage with crystals, and was pretty wild, as I believe I went on a little bit of a spiritual journey. I am not going to go into any of the details as it is to personal for the internet, but I would highly recommend trying it. On Monday night we headed out to an underground comedy show as my friend Jill’s friend was performing. Normally, I would be all over the place networking, but with a cold, Nash and I just sat and enjoyed the show.

I’ll get you an update later in the week, as we have some exciting things brewing, but as usual, I like to get them confirmed before talking about them. Lots of meetings, emails to send out, and calls to make. The cold is a little better, and hopefully will be even better tomorrow. Nash and I will be over at the Melrose Improv Weds. night meeting with some people as long as we are healthy.

Well, I was going to heave on that note, but for my regular readers and Nash enthusiates, I’ll treat you to this. I just got up to get a coke, and I am staying on a very large sofa bed. Nash sleeps at one end where my feet are, and I sleep at the other end where the pillows are. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom came back half asleep went to lay down, and on my pillows was Nash, a Nash pillow, and as I got back from getting my coke, Nash just stole my pillows again. He quietly snuck over as I was across the way in the kitchen. What am I going to do with this guy. He gets away with murder because he is so cute. And now he is snoring on my pillow as I write this. Lucky guy, he can actually fall asleep, and without meds too! I guess Nash believes in Californication.