Posts Tagged ‘Guide Dog’

Lou Gehrig May Have Been the Luckiest Man On the Face Of the Earth, but I met the Dumbest Man On the Face Of the Earth!

July 10, 2012

Nash and I headed in to the city today, and what a relief as it was not for a doctor appointment or a hospital visit. We did start out going to the Animal Medical Center, but not for a Nash check up. We had to pick up his allergy meds. Unfortunately, they weren’t going to be able to fit him in to get his nails clipped. When we got to the dispensary only one set of Nash’s pills were there. Yup he is on two kinds of allergy pills. Poor little guy. They paged his vet, and she came out, and I snuck in a by the way, any chance you might be able to clip his nails? Of course, how could anyone resist the Nashee, and she was very kind to fit him in. His nails had gotten real long which was a problem, because when I would lay down with him within two hours of his feeding time Nash smacks me I assume telling me not to fall asleep as it is in the two hour window of his dinner time. I don’t mind the playful smacking, but the nails had gotten a little painful.

After our visit to the Animal Medical Center we headed over to the cross town bus. It really must have been our day because the bus pulled up immediately. Now Nash is trained to go to the door when I tell him the door, and like a good guide dog he went to the bus door, the only problem it was the rear door on the bus. I realized it and told him sorry pal unlike you, I actually have to pay to ride the bus, so we have to go to the front door. We were greeted by the bus driver, and he said, haven’t seen you in awhile. I said, ugh yeah we had to move to Queens. The people on the bus were so nice to move over and make room for Nash and me at the front of the bus. Wow, three things in a row going my way. As soon as we sat down, Nash let out a big sneeze, one passenger chuckled politely and said I’ve never seen a dog sneeze. Hey, he has allergies.

We took the cross town bus over to the Apple Store. My iPhone has been having a few problems, and I finally had some time to get over to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. I decided to test out a new app called Blind Square, it is another GPS specifically designed for blind people. I found the Apple Store on it, and set the tracking on to see how it worked. The cool thing about the app is even while we were on the bus it was telling me stores and restaurants we were passing, but I am not sure of how accurate the accuracy is, but it is nice to know what sores are around you. I had a blue tooth earpiece in, so I could hear what Blind Square was announcing. We got off the bus on 57th and Fifth Ave. I wasn’t sure what side of the treat the Apple Store was on as I had never been to this one. I have always heard that this particular Apple Store was an absolute mad house, so I have always avoided it. Another cool thing about Blind Square is the app will tell you the direction of the store you are tracking according to the hands on a clock. We were heading North towards twelve o’clock so when the app told me the Apple Store was at two and than three o’clock I was able to tell it was on the East side of the street. The only thing that didn’t work well, is it kept jumping between 200 and four feet sometimes telling me the latter number as I was getting closer to the store. When I was right outside the Apple Store the app still told me I was 60 feet away from the store. I have traded tweets with the developer of the app and this is something that is supposed to be fixed in the next update to the app. The app definitely has a lot of potential.

Wholly tornado of people Batman. It was packed Disney World style with people in the Apple Store. Of course, the Apple Store staff was very helpful and took us right over to the Genius Bar, but I was able to tell that it was an absolute zoo in there. The Apple Store reinstalled the latest version of IOS so hopefully that will fix the battery life, Siri, and speaker phone issues I have been having. Only time will tell. It is amazing how much you can sense going around you. I asked the man helping me if he knew how much all the Apple products in the store were valued at? He said, he couldn’t tell me. I said you don’t know or you can’t say? He said he wasn’t allowed to talk about it. I than said, so how’s your security? If that Apple store gets robbed tonight, I might be in a little trouble.

Nash and I then headed over to the Lighthouse on 59th Street. It was so great to walk all over the city today. When you get banished to Queens you really enjoy all the energy of the city when you are there. We got to the Lighthouse front desk and the man sitting there asked where we were going. I told him to the Light Expo. Of course he had no clue what I was talking about. I told him the exhibit going on here today. Still no clue. Then the dimly lit lightbulb in his head went off and must have told him the thing on the second floor that all the people are going to. He told me it was on the second floor, and said take the elevator. Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. He than actually said while working at the front desk of the Lighthouse an organization where blind people are coming through all hours of the day, and me who is standing there with dark sunglasses and a guide dog, he says, go where I am pointing! I said what, he says where I am pointing. The only thing that could come out of my mouth was you could be the stupidest man on the face of the earth! I know the Lighthouse isn’t going to shell out the big bucks for the people who work at the front of the desk, but are you kidding me, Go where I am pointing. And they say there are no jobs out there, well fire this moron and than there will be one job available.

Taking the Alpha Back From Your Dog

June 28, 2012

We all love our dogs. In fact most of us like them better than people. I even share my bed with Nash, well actually I think he has commandeered it as his own bed. During the day as I am on the computer he can be found in my bed if he isn’t underneath my desk on my feet. Some times I will go in and see if he wants to play. And it is funny, as at times he will let out a groan telling me that he wants to sleep. I don’t mind Nash sharing my bed. I do mind when he drools in it. Yes, Nash is a big drooler. My question is what do you do when your guide dog think your bed is his bed?

I go to sleep pretty late these days, so after our night walk, Nash will come by my desk expecting a treat because that is a habit we seem to have gotten in to at the end of the day. He will sit by my desk until he gets his treat. Then I have to tell him sorry buddy that is it for tonight. Some nights he will join me at my desk and sit on my feet until I tell him it past doggy bed time. Other nights when I tell him sorry buddy that is it for tonight, he then pitter patters off to the bedroom, and I can hear him make the leap in to my bed.

Nash has gotten pretty understanding that late at night when I come in to the bedroom that it is his cue to go down to his bed, as unfortunately my bed really isn’t big enough for both of us because we both like to spread out. One thing I have noticed is that Nash really likes to fall asleep right in the middle of the bed either at the head or the foot, but directly in the middle. This makes it pretty hard for me to get in to my bed comfortably. Every now and then Nash must be pretty zonked out because he doesn’t go down to his bed and will barely move. I have to attempt to slide in to the bed and maneuver the sheets. It is pretty funny.

The other night I got up in the middle of the night because I must be at that age where you have to get up to go to the bathroom. I came back in to my bedroom half asleep and plopped down in to my formally empty bed. Only to land on Nash who had settled in the middle of the bed at the head and he had even stolen my pillows. He wouldn’t move. I gave it a few minutes but Nash wasn’t going anywhere. He was pretty content with sleeping in my bed. I had one little area on the bed, and I think we were trying to determine who the alpha male of the house is. I eventually fell asleep next to Nash, but it does make me wonder does your dog ever try and tell you that he is the boss? If so, how do I take the alpha back?

Nash and My First Staycation

June 23, 2012

Wow, I never in a million years thought I would use the phrase Stacation or actually take one. So I am not even a hundred percent sure that I am using the phrase correctly, but I guess this weekend is my version of what a Staycation would be. And I do apologize in advance if my using of the term Staycation is spelled differently throughout this blog, as when you are blind using voiceover and have spell check enabled, sometimes you end up with some bizarre spellings.

Living out in Hell, Queens, Nash and I try to get away from home as much as possible. We do venture in to the city a lot, but not as much as either of us would like to. When ever we do venture in to the city, it is a round trip. So it ends up being a fairly long day. This upcoming Tuesday we will head in to the city for a doctor appointment, and we will have to head back. The last time I went in to the city for a doctor appointment and spent about 45 minutes with the doctor, it turned in to an 8 hour trip, so you can imagine that it can be quite annoying. This weekend a good friend of mine is here in NYC, and his company is putting him up in a hotel, The W, and we have plans to get together, and thankfully, he suggested Nash and I just stay at his hotel, so we wouldn’t have to worry about what time we headed home. Wow, a hotel in the city, and the W. This should be fun. Our Staycation will just be a typical night out in the city. We are meeting at my old local bar Matt’s Grill, and then will go from there, probably hit a few of the old local hangouts, and who knows, maybe even might venture in to some place new. I kind of prefer going to places where they know Nash and me, because even though it is illegal to refuse service to someone with a guide dog. A lot of the time, you still have to deal with an issue. Which is definitely strange because Nash is a giant cutie, so maybe they are just attempting to refuse service to me.

The great thing about getting away from home for the evening besides not just having to worry about what time and how I am heading home is a day and a half away from the planes. Oh my God the last two months it has been brutal as the planes fly directly over head every 34 to 45 seconds all day and night. Yup, I counted it. Then there is the neighbor who must either be going for a record on longest home improvements or is just the world’s worst home improvement project planner. Amazing how much noise they can make. It doesn’t help that the walls here must be paper thin, and even though they tell me the windows are double paned glass it must be the cheapest double paned glass ever used because I can hear people talking outside on the sidewalk of the apartment. That doesn’t annoy me, but when you do a lot of writing, you actually have to concentrate and focus what you are working on. The only quiet time, and this is if the worst neighbor I have ever lived next to isn’t banging away on something is from about 1130pm to 430 am. Needless to say, my hours have really gotten way off, as I need my quiet time. But for the next day and a half, we will not have to deal with any of this as Nash and I take our first Staycation!

You Can Take the Dog Out of the City, but You Can’t Take the City Out of the Dog

June 11, 2012

Living out in purgatory, I mean Queens, Nash and I do not get in to the city as much as we used to. It is a little bit of a hassle, and it is depressing not living in New York City anymore. Anyone who says they prefer Queens over Manhattan is either lying, or has never spent a good amount of time in NYC. I’m sure there are nice parts of Queens to live in, but I don’t live there, so for now we will just have to enjoy our trips in to the city.

On Friday, Nash and I headed in to the city for a meeting. We hadn’t been in to Manhattan in about a month. As soon as we got through the tunnel, who knew there was a tunnel to leave Purgatory? As soon as we got through the tunnel and in to Manhattan, Nash jumped up in the van we were in. He was so excited, and started looking out the window. I had told him the night before that we had a fun day planned, but I am not sure he believed me. Even though we got stuck in a lot of Friday traffic on the way to our meeting, Nash really enjoyed it, as he kept looking out the window. We got to our meeting location, and Nash was so excited to get out of the van. Since we were a little early, Nash and I stood out on 23rd Street, and Nash took in all the smells of the city and I am sure the sights. We then headed in to our meeting, and since it was at Gotham Comedy Club where everyone knows and loves Nash, they were so kind to quickly insist on getting Nash some water. Nash was so happy to be at a familiar place in Gotham, and of course he loved all the attention. He licked up his water, and then laid down during our meeting. I am excited to announce and more will be coming on this in the coming weeks, that I will be launching a podcast from Gotham Comedy Club. You will be able to download Gotham Comedy Radio on iTunes, and you can follow us on Twitter for all the latest announcements at GothamComedyRad. Again, more will be coming out about this in the coming weeks. Gotham Comedy Radio will give you a behind the scenes and up close and personal look in to everything and everyone in comedy. We will be bringing you exclusive interviews with the biggest names in comedy from Gotham Comedy Club. So stay tuned!

After our meeting with Gotham, we ran a few errands and walked around the city for a bit. Nash was walking at a great pace, as I think he was just so excited to be back in the city. We got on the subway and headed up to the old neighborhood. Nash recognized the old neighborhood immediately. We headed to one of his old bathroom spots, the one on 52nd Street, and he did his business. We then popped in to my old diner for an early dinner. They to were so excited to see Nash, and even asked if it would be ok to give him some ham. Unfortunately I told them that Nash is on a very special diet, as I don’t want Nash to get in to a habit of wanting human food. Not to worry though, as I had brought Nash’s lamb and rice with me, so he did get a meal at the diner. Of course they did give Nash some water, so after our dinner, we headed for his old prime bathroom spot. Before we could get there, Nash tried to take a detour to the old building as we were passing it. I had to tell Nash, sorry buddy, we don’t live here anymore. We then headed on to his old bathroom spot. Even though we don’t live on 8th Avenue anymore, Nash can still do his business anytime we are by the Late Show with David Letterman, at least for old time sake. So Nash did his thing, than we headed up to the old neighborhood bar, Matt’s Grill, where everyone knows your name, and Nash’s too!

As soon as we got in to Matt’s, Nash was quick to say hello to all the faces he recognized. Nash is kind of like a local celebrity at Matt’s Grill, or at least the most popular guy in the bar. I had planned our day in the city almost perfectly, and my buddy Damon came over to meet us for drinks. We hung out at Matt’s where of course, they insisted on giving Nash some water. I was told that Nash was smiling at Matt’s Grill, of course he was because you can take the dog out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the dog!

Is There An Overeaters Anonymous For Dogs?

April 4, 2012

Well, at least with the hit sitcom Mike and Molly, overeating is becoming topical once again and being discussed in open forums.. What do you do when it hits close to home and to someone you love? That is the situation that I am currently living in. Now my guide dog Nash definitely loves me, but there is something he loves even more than me, food! It is both unhealthy and hurtful. I guess I have known about it since we were introduced three years ago. I noticed that when it was time for Nash to eat, he would inhale his food. I thought to myself, how is he able to enjoy his food inhaling it like that. Well, it is now three years later, our relationship has blossomed, but he is still overeating and inhaling his food. To make things worst, he is constantly looking to eat something. I will take him outside to go to the bathroom, and he seems more interested in eating the grass than doing his business. Also, after I eat something, actually anything, Nash will come over to check out the area to see if anything dropped on the floor. He gives the area a very thorough inspection, than heads back to bed. If I am preparing something in the kitchen, and a piece of it drops on the floor, it is gone before it hits the floor.

It would be one thing, if Nash’s overeating and food addiction just affected me. It doesn’t. When we go to a family member or friends house, and someone is in the kitchen, there Nash is, giving them a false sense of affection. As he is really being sneaky looking for a handout that he can eat. And forget about holidays, as Nash will follow around the person eating the most. He especially loves it when there is a little kid around that he can take advantage of, and share whatever treat they are enjoying. He is a sneaky little guy.

This past week I think he hit rock bottom, as I think he was giving bulimia a try. He would eat his food and then shortly there after he would throw it up. Not a good look for a guide dog, but more importantly, not healthy for his stomach or his teeth.

We have gotten to a point where his overeating has become a concern, as he must have a really fast metabolism as he is still in great shape. One of us has got to stay in great shape, and it probably isn’t going to be me. Maybe an intervention is called for, where we can get a bunch of Nash’s friends and fellow dogs in a room, and everyone can go around the room and tell Nash why they are concerned about his overeating and how it is hurting them. then, maybe we can get to a point where one day, I can be sitting next to Nash and hear him say, Hi my name is Nash, I’m a guide dog, and I’m an Overeater!

DISCLAIMER: This blog entry was written completely from a satirical standpoint about a dog’s love of food, and more to the point a labs love of food. There is no seriousness intended or cause for concern.

Does Your Guide Dog FaceTime?

April 1, 2012

Guide Dog work is not all work and no play. For years, guide dogs have been tasked with leading blind people around. They are trained to go from corner to corner. Now I have no idea about the history of guide dogs. I am sure there was some caveman out there who was blind and slapped a harness on the back of a T-Rex. And that is how it all began. When dinosaurs became extinct, blind people had to find a new animal to lead them around, and who better than the family friendly dog? Then came guide dog schools to train the dogs, and the great people who raise the dogs before heading off to the guide dog school, the puppy raisers. And things have pretty much progressed since there.

With technology being what it is these days, and everyone having a camera and GPS system on them at all times, I am sure the future of guide dogs will be interesting. Guide dogs already have GPS chips in them in case they get lost, so they can be found by satellites. Pretty amazing, try explaining that one to World War II vets. With GPS becoming more and more advanced. I can see a time pretty soon where the guide dogs harness comes with a chip in it that will help a blind person navigate even down to the slightest millimeter. With my great guide Nash now, I still have to rely on the kindness of strangers to help me find the door to a business, especially a place that I have not been before. If there are a bunch of stores in a row next to each other, and I tell Nash left to the door, I can still be at the wrong store. With a GPS system built in to his harness where I can click a button and have a bluetooth earpiece in, I could find the door on my own, if GPS directions get down to it. That would be quite a nice world to live in.

Now that we have covered the work part, lets get to the play part. Does your guide dog FaceTime? For those of you not familiar with FaceTime, it is a program built in to all macs, iPhones, and iPads, allowing you to chat via video with someone else running FaceTime. I believe it is the same concept as Skype. The problem with Skype is it is no longer accessible, meaning that a blind person who uses a screen reader, in my case, voiceover over the mac cannot use it. There are several programs and websites that are inaccessible and we are not going to get in to that today, as that is a long topic. When a site or app is inaccessible it means that the site or app has not been properly designed where a screen reader cannot read the page elements. That is a novice understanding of it. I am sure a computer programmer could explain it in much more detail to you. You do have to remember I was in college at a time when the internet and email hadn’t blown up quite yet, and we were still just using it to download pictures from Entertainment Weekly. Remember Prodigy?

So now that you have a basic understanding of FaceTime, what good is a video chat to someone who is blind? None. Yes, the person you are speaking with can see you, but you can’t see them, but to a guide dog, it can be quite fun, and a way for him to see those family members and friends that do not live near you. I have Facetimed a few times with friends and family. And I know what you are thinking, how does Nash get anything out of it? I didn’t think he was either, until I noticed that every time I FaceTime with my Mom, someone who Nash knows quite well, he wants to lick the screen of the iPhone when he sees her face! Sorry to let you other people know, Nash doesn’t do that when he sees you. Pretty amazing, as I know he is color blind, but he is obviously differentiating between my Mom and everyone else I have Facetimed with. So, yes, my guide dog does FaceTime!

2010 A Recap What A Year

January 2, 2011

2011 has gotten off to a slow start, ok so it has only been a day and a half, but 2011 will have a lot to live up to, as 2010 was a great year, and I was sorry to see it go. 2010 was such an interesting and good year, that I felt a little reflection was due. Isn’t it ironic, no, I’m not quoting that Alannis Morissette song, but I do find it ironic that 2010 was such a good year, and it was my first full year with a certain furry four legged side kick named Nash. And for my regular readers, you will be happy to know that I have renamed my bed Nashville, as that is where Nash spends most of his time. And now, a look back

In January Nash and I headed out so San Diego. It had been years since I had been to San Diego, and Nash had never been there. We headed there to film a short film, VisionZone – You’re Not Alone Anymore. I had not acted in about a decade, and unfortunately for Nash, I was playing a character that had more vision that I really do, so no screen time for the Nash. I quickly learned that I was a second take or even thrid take actor, as it would normally take me a few takes to get the scene right and where I was happy with it. We had a blast making the film, and the Director Drew Antzis was a blast to work with along with the entire crew. I really enjoyed getting to act again, and quickly recalled how difficult a craft acting really is. I still wouldn’t call myself an actor, but I hope to get to do some more in the future. Come on Hollyweird, write more blind character’s and request that a real blind person play those character’s. After filming Visionzone, Andre Hardy, Kelly Stewart, and I headed up to L.A. to meet with the Melrose Improv to begin discussing Laugh For Sight expanding to L.A. in potentially November. Yes, it took 11 months to make it all happen. These things don’t happen over night. Nash and I ended up staying a few more days in L.A. at my friend Steve’s pad in Hollywood, and Nash got to meet his Uncle Steve and his Uncle Scott. Who knew that Nash would get to spend so much time with his Uncle’s in 2010!

February brought us birthday month, as mine is the 2nd, my Mom’s is the sixth, my good friend Greg is the 14th, and my Dad’s is the 24th. Thank God we are not big gift givers, or I would have been broke for the year. My cousins and sister wanted to take me out for dinner out where my sister lives in Livingston, NJ. So Nash and I began the fun trek, meeting my cousin Erica at Penn Station, then getting on a bus to meet my cousin Jessica at her boyfriend Matt’s apartment in Jersey City, as he was lending us his car to head down to my sister’s. As soon as I heard Matt giving Erica all the instructions on what she needed to do to get his car to run, I said, “are you shitting me, this thing is a death trap.” Not to self, in the future, keep your mouth shut. We made it about ten miles on the Jersey Turnpike, and then of course the car died. So I ended up getting to spend my birthday in ten degree weather broken down on the Jersey Turnpike. Hey girls, if you want to take me out for dinner for my birthday in 2011, I have plans.

In March, we headed down to Florida to see the parents in Lake Worth, as it had been a few years since I had been down there, and Nash had never been to Florida. Nash really loved being at his Grandparents house, as he normally does not have that much space to roam around. He was really good, not going into rooms that he wasn’t supposed to. I also think he really enjoyed having the option to do his business on the pavement or in grass. A pooch has to have options. Nash met a bunch of my parents friends and friends that I grew up with, and of course he was a big hit, and while we were doing a show at the New York Comedy Club in Boca Raton, we ran into the PR Manager for The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, and we began discussuing a Laugh For Sight South Beach. From Florida, we headed back to San Diego for the Premiere of VisionZone. Optelec put on a great big party for the release of the film, and of course Nash and I were the center of attention. Hey, one of us was the star of the film. My buddy Scott came down to San Diego for the premiere, and after a night of fun, we headed back up to L.A. Nash was excited to be back at his Uncle Steve’s. As Steve has a ten foot sofa that he lets Nash sleep on. We were in L.A. for a few days and some shows, and we had to head back to San Diego to meet with the Optelec team to discuss their involvement with the future of Laugh For Sight and the expansion to L.A. We had a real nice dinner, and I got some shrimp tacos which I due love, and we were now on our way to Laugh For Sight L.A. actually happening. Afer San Diego we headed back to L.A. for a few more shows. Wow this was a busy month, I couldn’t imagine the year getting any busier than this!

April was a month spent in NYC and beginning to plan for Laugh For Sight 5 to again be held at Gotham Comedy Club, but this year, it would be in September to allow for the expansion to L.A. in November. We set Laugh For Sight 5 for Sept. 20th and tentatively set LFS L.A. for Nov. 9th, We really had a lot on our plate, having to produce two Laugh For Sight benefits. It should be an interesting summer.

In mid-May we got a most interesting phone call. I was being asked had I ever heard of a TV Show, Top Gear? No, I hadn’t. They then explained the show and told me they were working on a project where they wanted to see if they could teach a blind guy to drive and drift! Sounds interesting, and I was quickly in. So Nash and I were headed back out to L.A. We headed about an hour north of L.A. to a race track, and it was explained to me what they wanted me to do. Uh oh, what did I get myself into. More importantly, what did I get Nash into. My friend and brilliant comedian Adam Ferrara was the host of the new Top Gear USA, and I was introduced to Rutledge Wood, and then finally to Tanner Foust who would have the interesting task of teaching me how to drive a stick and drift. Nash got lucky as he was only in the car while I was learning how to drive stick and was going very slowly around the track. For all the stunts, the burnout, the doughnuts, and emergency brake parking, Nash was a spectator on the side lines. I was fine with almost everything, as it was a blast driving again, and getting to learn how to do things with the Nissan 370z that most people could only dream of. The doughnuts did make me almost throw up, and put a good scare into me, as I had no clue if we were heading straight at something. After my day of driving, it was back to L.A. for Nash and me and to Uncle Steve’s. We spent a few more days in L.A., had some shows, and began laying the ground work for Laugh For Sight L.A. at the Melrose Improv. Uncle Scott also got to enjoy more time with Nash. Wow, L.A. is turning into a second home for Nash and me. We are quite fortunate for Steve to be so gracious letting us stay with him so many times and for weeks at a time. We ended this trip to L.A. with a Memorial Day weekend pool party, where Nash got to swim in a pool for the first time since he was with me. He was in heaven in the pool, and of course the most popular guy at the party. Every woman in a bikini had to pet the Nash and he would return the affection with a lick. Guide Dogs get to have all the fun.

The summer was spent in NYC, and what a brutally hot summer it was. The month’s of June, July, and August were not pleasant for Nash or me. I think 2011 is the year I will have to buy a portable AC, as the AC in my building is a joke, and I can’t go through last summer again. We did get a lot of work done these months, as we finalized Dec. 17th for LFS South Beach at the Ritz-Carlton, and we began booking LFS NYC and L.A. It was during these month’s that we booked Robert Klein to return for his fourth performance at LFS 5 at Gotham on Sept. 20th. We also confirmed Dave Attell, who I went to go talk to in person at the Comedy Cellar, Jim Gaffigan who we got to confirm in late August, John Oliver from The Daily Show, Jessica Kirson, Todd Barry who is now a two time performer at LFS, and after doing a show at Gotham, and seeing the amazing work of Ophira Eisenberg as host, we had to have her. Wow, what a lineup we had put together for Laugh For Sight 5. In August, we also booked our first comedian for the inaugural LFS L.A. at the Melrose Improv, Alonzo Bodden was the first comedian to come on board. In late August, Nash and I headed out to Guiding Eyes For the Blind and spoke to members of the Lions Club to give them some insight to what life with a guide dog is like. Nash enjoyed his time back at Guiding Eyes, got a bath, and I am sure chatted it up with some of the dogs in the kennel to fill them in on all of his adventures and travels.

September came, and Nash and I appeared on NBC’s Saturday Today in New York, Laugh For Sight 5,was then here,  and thanks to the hard work of Lis Perry, Scott Wartham, VisionZone, Mark Farrell, Guiding Eyes For the Blind, and several others, it was a smashing success. Along with the amazing lineup, this year’s silent auction was huge with donations from Comedy Central, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, La Costa Resort, Jummy Fallon Show, Kramer Portraits, The NY Yankees, NY Jets, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, NY Knicks, Philadelphia Flyers, NJ Devils, NJ Nets, Susan Michel Limited, and many more. There was no rest for us after the September 20th benefit past, as we still only had Alonzo on board for the L.A. benefit, and it was only five weeks away! September did end with some good news, as veteran actor and comedian Kevin Pollak and Christopher Titus came on board for LFS L.A. Ok, now we can relax a little in October. Not so fast!

We got a call in early October that I was needed back in L.A. for a day of filming the studio audience portion of our Top Gear segment. This was the now infamous segment of when I am introduced as the first Blind Top Gear Drifting Champion and then Nash had to steal the show by peeing on the top Gear logo. No, it wasn’t planned, and I was mortified at first, but with everyone in hysterics, and the cameras rolling what was I to do? Give Nash a leash correction in front of everyone or join in on the laughter. I choice the second choice, which I thought was the way to go. We were actually filming in Orange Couty, and I got to meet Buzz Aldrin while on set. It was pretty cool when I was introduced to him, and he said, “wait you’re blind and you drove!” Yup, Buzz who has been to the moon then said, “wow, that’s pretty brave!” That has to be hands down one of the greatest coolest compliments I have ever gotten. And as it ended up, meeting Buzz wouldn’t even be the highlight of the day, as when I checked my email, I found out that we had landed Sarah Silverman for the inaugural LFS L.A. Wow, what a day. After a day of filming, we had to fly right back to NYC, as we were giving a speech at Guiding Eyes For the Blind. This time we were speaking to all the amazing puppy raisers, and as an added bonus, Lorraine Chadwick, Nash’s trainer was on hand, so Nash got to spend some time with her which he always enjoys. Nash also got to spend some time with Susan Kroha, his trainer at Guiding Eyes. All in all, a great day for Nash and me. Oh yeah, and Susan gave Nash a bath. The following week, it was off to South Beach for Ability Explosion. I had never really liked South Beach, but had a blast, and the show went very well. Nash and I then headed North to Lake Worth, and some time with my parents. After enjoying a few days there, we headed back out to L.A. and had two weeks to prepare for the inaugural Laugh For Sight L.A. We were back at Nash’s home away from home, Uncle Steve’s. Scott and I were banging the phones very hard, as L.A. is such a different animal than NYC. It was during the end of October and the beginning of November we got the great news that Adam Ferrara, Daryl Wright, and Kevin Nealon were all on board for LFS L.A. We almost had to many amazing comedians for the show. Budd Friedman also agreed to handle a live auction for us. Wow, we accomplished what a lot of people told us we wouldn’t be able to, get comedians to perform at LFS L.A. and pack the house. After the Nov. 9th benefit, I was told by many that this was the biggest and best comedy show L.A. had seen in years. We spent a few more days taking meetings in L.A. after the benefit and began our prep work for LFS South Beach. We had just gotten the amazing news that Jim Breuer would be joining Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos at the inaugural Laugh For Sight South Beach. Wow, what an unbelievable two month’s. We headed back to NYC in mid November and then headed out to NJ to my sister’s for a big family Thanksgiving and my niece Siena’s Birthday Party. Since she loves Elmo, I got her the Elmo chair. It was a fun hectic few days with family, but I couldn’t wait for the Sunday night of Thanksgiving Weekend, as our Top Gear episode was airing. Nash and I watched the show at home, and after receiving several phone calls and emails after friends had seen the show, I quickly learned that I would not be known as the blind comedian who drove on Top Gear, but rather the blind guy whose dog peed on the Top Gear logo! Nash was letting me know who the real star is!

Finally December was here, and Nash and I were back on the road again, this time down to South Florida and to my parents. Uncle Scott flew in from California, as we were getting ready to head out on a Caribbean Cruise for a little r and r. But first, we headed over to Ft. Lauderdale, as Rich Vos who would be performing at Laugh For Sight South Beach was in town doing some shows. We went over to see him to discuss some things, and ended up opening for him at the new National Lampoon’s in Lauderdale. It was a great show, and we had a lot of fun relazing at the parents, and then set out to sea. This would be Nash’s first time out of the country as we went to Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. Unfortunately, we had received some incorrect info, and Nash was only allowed off the ship in Costa Maya. Nash really enjoyed his time at sea, and was of course the most popular guy on the ship. I think 70 percent of the ship had to pet him. It did get a little old at times. It was while we were on the ship that we got some disappointing news that Jim Breuer had to bow out of LFS South Beach due to family reasons. Oh boy, now we had to bang the phones and internet from the cruise ship, and we did run up quite a bill. Not a lot of fun. We still did have a blast at sea, but next time we go on a cruise, we will not have anything coming up the following week or two. We got back in to port and had to run to my parents house as we were doing an interview with CBS 12 Miami to promote Laugh For Sight South Beach. We got lucky as we replaced Jim Breuer with Bret Ernst who was in South Florida from L.A. for the holidays. We then did interviews on NBC’s Today in South Florida, and our other comedians appeared on ABC and radio, and before we knew it, LFS South Beach at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach was here and gone. Whew three Laugh For Sights in a little under three month’s. Now it was finally time to head back to NYC in late December with no plans to go anywhere and a lot to do to see if we can get Laugh For Sight to the next level in 2011. Now you can see why my blogs have been down this year, as it has been go go go. Overall, 2010 was an amazing year. Nash and I had a lot of adventures and travels. We couldn’t have imagined how busy of a year it would have been, so I guess not knowing what 2011 will bring could be a good thing, but it will be very tough for 2011 to top 2010, but who knows!

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.

The first few Laugh For Sight 4 pictures

December 2, 2009

It’s only Wednesday, and it already has been a very busy week for Nash and me. Been getting out the rest of the thank you letters for Laugh For Sight, as we had a lot of people to thank for donating and helping make Laugh For Sight 4 a big success. We are also taking meetings with a few companies and some organizations who are interested in discussing Laugh For Sight, and how they can be involved. We are exploring all of our options and deciding what is best for the future of the benefit. We already have had a lot of people inquire about 2010 and Laugh For Sight.

Yesterday, Nash and I headed to the east side for a meeting. I don’t go to the east side as much as I used, because afterall, as Kramer said to Jerry on Seinfeld, “Jerry, if you don’t want to be a part of society, why don’t you just move to the east side!” Yes, I believe that is an exact quote, what can I say, I have seen every episode probably twice, and have way to much useless information stored up top.  Nash and I had to transfer to head down town, and he did an excellent job getting me through the sea of people. He did keep trying to get a step up on me on the escalator, and i need to be ahead of him, so I can tell him when to get off. Not to worry, I did get ahead of him, and Nash did not get sucked into the escalator. He does seem to like riding the escalator, and the one in the subway is quite long, it almost seems like you are riding it up to heaven, that’s how long it is, and when you are taking it down, you can guess where it feels like you are headed. And in the summertime when you get down there, it is hot as hell! Coincidence?

Anyway, Nash and I met with a very interesting organization called Fight For Sight yesterday. They fund scientists who are starting out in their career’s, and cannot receive grants. While I would love for an organization to hire me full time to produce the Laugh For Sight benefits nationally, if that can’t happen, partnering with a large organization to get Laugh For Sight to the next level could be a way we go, but we still have a lot of companies we are in discussions with, and a few different cities that are interested in hosting a Laugh For Sight in 2010. If I didn’t have to worry about paying rent, it would make life a lot easier. I will keep you all aprised of where we are heading with Laugh For Sight 5. Wow, hard to believe we will be producing our fifth Laugh For Sight next year.

Here are a few pics from this year’s Laugh For Sight. Enjoy, and if anyone got some good pictures at LFS, please send them to me at info@laughforsight.com These photos are courtesy of Mark Liflander.

Alice-Stockton Rossini and me at the silent auction of LFS4Alice Stockton-Rossini and me at the silent auction of LFS4

Nash and me getting ready for the show

Colin Quinn Laugh For Sight 4

Robert Klein at Laugh For Sight 4

Come to Laugh For Sight 4 tonight 11/16 at Gotham Comedy Club with Colin Quinn, John Oliver, Eddie Brill, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane and more!!

November 16, 2009

Alice Stockton-Rossini of 1010 WINS radio will emcee this year’s Laugh For Sight 4, and will be joined by some of the biggest names in comedy; Robert Klein, Colin Quinn, John Oliver of the Daily Show, Rich Vos, Eddie Brill, Bonnie McFarlane, John Morrison, and Brian Fischler and Nash.

Guiding Eyes For the Blind will be greeting guests with some of their adorable puppies.!

Free cocktails during the silent auction provided by Diageo, Patron, and the Brooklyn Brewery!

Donors to the silent auction include Comedy Central, the Mandarin Ortiental Hotel, Eli Manning, NY Yankees, NJ Devils Tickets, “Rock of Ages” the hit Broadway Show, Second Stage, Exhale Spa, Hilton Hotels, Circle Cruise, Prada, Patron, Kramer Portraits, Robert Marc, Felix Rey, Vinyl, Grannine Cashmere, several items of fine jewlery, and much more!

Proceeds will benefit Guiding Eyes For the Blind and The Scheie Eye Institute at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Tickets can be purchased at www.laughforsight.com, www.gothamcomedyclub.com, or by calling 212-367-9000.

Tickets will be available at the door! For more information, please visit www.laughforsight.com, and for questions, corporate tables, donations, or ads, please contact info@laughforsight.com

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Laugh For Sight 4