Posts Tagged ‘guide dogs’

Announcing Laugh For Sight NYC 10/28/13 with Legends of Comedy Jerry Seinfeld and Robert Klein, Host Craig Carton, and much more!

September 4, 2013

It is my great pleasure to announce that we will have two legends of comedy at this year’s Laugh For Sight NYC on Monday, October 28, 2013 at Gotham Comedy Club. We are thrilled to announce that both Jerry Seinfeld and Robert Klein are confirmed for this year’s benefit! This year’s All Star Benefit will be hosted by WFAN’s Craig Carton from Boomer & Carton in the Mornings, and they will be joined by veteran comedian Hiram Kasten, and of course my guide dog Nash and me. And guess what? The lineup isn’t finalized yet! We will be announcing more of this once in a lifetime lineup as the date gets closer. If you are in or near New York City, you are not going to want to miss this night of laughs for a cause.

Please join us to help raise money and awareness about retinal degenerative eye diseases. This year’s Silent Auction and Comedy Benefit will kick off at 7pm with the Comedy Show starting at 830pm. Tickets for the All Star Benefit will go on sale on Monday, September 9th, and can be purchased through Gotham Comedy Club at http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, or by calling 212-367-9000. Corporate table inquiries can be sent to info@laughforsight.com, and donations for the silent auction are still being accepted. For the latest updates make sure to follow this blog, visit our website at http://www.laughforsight.com, and follow us on Twitter @LaughForSight.

Nash’s Spa Day

December 19, 2012

I know, I know, my daily blog has turned into more of a monthly blog. Hey, a blind guy has got to get paid to. I now write regularly for The Dog Whisperer, so please do visit http://www.cesarsway.com and just do a search for my name Brian Fischler, and you can pull up all of my articles there where I write all kinds of articles including a column about going through Guide Dog School for the first time, and Celebs and Their Biggest Fan, a column about what else celebs and their dogs. Interviews that have been published have been with Jenna Elfman, Denise Richards, Joe Pantoliano, Gabrielle Anwar, Kearran Giovanni, Henry Winkler, and Callie Thorne with many more soon.

Be careful what you tell your dog. On Monday, I kept telling Nash that we had an exciting day planned for Tuesday. I went to bed Monday night early for me at about 130, and at 450AM, I was awaken by Nash shaking himself awake. This never happens, so considering that we had an eventful day planned for Tuesday, I wasn’t thrilled, but what are you going to do. When you tell a smart dog like Nash that he has an exciting day ahead, he is going to get up at the crack of dawn all ready to go. Needless to say, we drank a lot of coffee, or should I say, I drank a lot of coffee, Nash doesn’t need the pick me up. We headed to Grand Central station at 10am to take the Hudson line to Yorktown Heights where Guiding Eyes For the Blind is located. I have gotten pretty good at navigating Grand Central Station since I have given into the realization that I have to ask for help to find my way around. It was very uneventful getting to our train except for Nash trying to eat something off the floor of Grand Central. Yuck buddy.

Along with taking Nash to Guiding Eyes for a spa day, I had a real fun day planned, as I had to go to the DMV to get my ID renewed. I can understand why a driver’s license expires, not sure why an ID card expires. Did I stop being me all of the sudden? My Aunt Lona was meeting us at the train and she was kind enough to meet us on the platform, as the platform at Croton Harmon is so narrow that a sighted person has to be careful not to fall off it.

My Aunt, Nash, and I headed out to lunch before going to Guiding Eyes. My Aunt told me when we were sitting there she went to say hi to Nash, and that Nash looked at her, then looked at me as if to ask is it ok? Pretty amazing considering my Aunt is someone that Nash knows pretty well. We had a very nice lunch, and then headed off to Guiding Eyes.

We hadn’t been to Guiding Eyes in quite awhile, and I have to admit, I kept thinking is Nash going to think hey wait a minute why am I back here, and where did Brian go? Yes, I over analyze things. It isn’t very often that Nash and I are apart, so being apart and Nash being at Guiding Eyes, I had to wonder if he thought he was being returned? Nash was there to get a bath and his nails clipped, a doggy spa day.

My Aunt and I didn’t have the same fun planned, as while Nash went into for his treatment, we headed off to the DMV.

Amazingly, we got in and out of the DMV in about 30 minutes, and yeah, being blind and standing there with a cane, I had to say, “I’m here to get my drivers license.” I’m sure they never heard that one before! That was the extent of excitement at the DMV.

We needed to go shopping, but we went back to Guiding Eyes before going shopping, as I was feeling a little guilty about leaving Nash there. I had let Susan the woman who trained Nash know that we would be there, so if she had time, I know Nash would love to see her, and vice versa. When we got back to GEB, Susan was already there with Nash, so I know the guy had to be happy to see a friendly face, but I think he was much happier to see me when I walked through the door. I got a little talking to as Nash does need to lose weight, and yes, we are working on it. It has been a really tough year living in the boonies, and not having anywhere to go. Susan got to play with Nash for a little bit, and we plan to go back in February, as I want to show GEB that Nash has taken the weight off, and he will be do for another spa day, as it had been much to long.

We headed off to the mall, as I needed a new winter coat. It occured to me that my main winter coat was now 13 years old, that’s in human years, and it might be time to retire it. My parents wanted to get me a new coat and snow boots for Chanukah, and when you’re blind it’s really best to shop with someone who can see. Not that I wouldn’t look fantastic in a pink polka dotted winter get up!

I was expecting the mall to be a zoo a week before Christmas, but amazingly, it wasn’t that crowded at all. We were at the mall that Nash and I trained in when we were at Guiding Eyes. It was so empty, I’m not sure how all those stores stay in business, so navigating the mall with my Aunt and Nash was very easy. After going through a few stores we finally found a great jacket and then winter boots. Living out in the boonies, if it snows or storms real bad, I will need the boots. Funny thing is I have never owned a pair of winter boots, as I never needed them. Wow, those things aren’t fun putting on and taking off. Maybe when I have to wear them, I can get Nash to help tug them off.

My Aunt was so nice to make some food for me to take home with me, so after stopping by her house, it was back to Queens. It was so nice of her to drive us home, as taking the train and then having to rely on Access A Ride to get all the way home can be a nightmare, and an all day event.

Overall, it was a very nice day, and there really isn’t anything better than having a nice clean smooth doggy sleeping in your bed.

Laugh For Sight NYC is this Monday December 10th at Gotham Comedy Club!!

December 7, 2012

It is almost here as only the weekend, well, and I guess the weather could stand in Laugh For Sight NYC Take Two, No Sandy’s Allowed way. The rescheduled benefit is this upcoming Monday, December 10th at the World Famous Gotham Comedy Club. The evening will be hosted by Celebrity Host Bonnie Bernstein of ESPN, and she will be joined by the biggest names in comedy, including Legendary Comedian Robert Klein who you might have seen on the November 12th The Late Show with David Letterman promoting this years benefit. Eddie Brill, the audience warm up comedian at The Late Show with David Letterman, Bonnie McFarlane from Last Comic Standing, the new film Women Aren’t Funny, Paul Mecurio an Emmy and Peabody Award winning writer from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and political satirist who can be seen on CNN and CNBC, Jim Norton from Opie and Anthony, Colin Quinn Saturday Night Live Alum and his Broadway and HBO hit, Rich Vos from Last Comic Standing and his podcast My Wife Hates Me, and of course my guide dog Nash and me from Top Gear USA and the soon to be released Gotham Comedy Radio podcast..

The Silent Auction will begin at 7pm and the Comedy Show at 830PM. Want To Be Comedian Mark Farrell will be hosting the silent auction, so make sure to get there early to see why we keep Mark in the basement at Gotham. Donors to the silent auction include Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Jimmy Fallon Show, The NY Yankees, Eli Manning, Susan Michel Limited, Exhale Spa, Felix Rey, C-Tech, Jackie Mason, and more. Tickets are $35 for general admin and $75 for VIP Reserved Seating.

For tickets please visit http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, call 212-367-9000, or visit the events page at http://gothamcomedyclub.com/show.cfm?id=191886&cart

Please make sure to follow all of the comedians who are donating their time on Twitter. @LaughForSight @BonnieBernstein @blindgator @BonnieMcFarlane @PaulMecurio @JimNorton @IAmColinQuinn @RichVos.

And you never know who else might stop by!

Nash’s Dream Day

November 20, 2012

I think Saturday night had to be Nash’s dream day. We headed into the city for dinner with my parents and Aunt and Uncle. My parents are up for Thanksgiving, but will be staying out in New Jersey. Hey, no one wants to live in Queens or come out here. We had dinner in my old neighborhood on 49th street at City Lobster. We met early as my parents and Aunt and Uncle were going to Broadway shows. Yes, eating dinner at 530 for me felt like an early bird special. Do they even still have those, or have them in NYC? 530 however, is 30 minutes before the Nash eats dinner every night, so we took his dinner with us, and he got to eat at the restaurant. I was very impressed with City Lobster and how friendly they were to Nash and me. Yes, this kind of thing shouldn’t surprise me, but hey every time we go to a new place, I still have to wonder if Nash and I are going to get hassled, as it does happen more than it should. Nash was very excited to see everyone, and at the dinner table, kept popping his head up to see what was going on. He must have wanted to be included in the conversation, or at least let everyone know, hey, I’m down here.

After dinner we all walked over to 8th Ave and said our goodbyes. Even though we were a few blocks from my old apartment, I definitely think Nash knew it. We headed up towards my old building, and of course as soon as we crossed 52nd street, Nash made a bee line to the door of my old building. I told him sorry buddy, we don’t live here anymore. Not to worry though Nash, just because we don’t live here anymore doesn’t mean we still can’t go to your old bathroom spot! So we headed around the corner, and of course Nash didn’t head to the corner, he made the right turn onto 53rd street and headed directly to his old spot. Even though he went to the bathroom at dinner, he saved enough to do number one and two at his old spot. He was a very happy guy.

After saying hello to his old spot, we headed up to the old neighborhood hangout, Matt’s Grill. As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by our favorite bartender John. It’s so nice not to be forgotten. We sat down at the bar, and of course John came around to say hello to Nash. Wow, Nash you are getting to see everyone today. A little later, my buddy Damon showed up, and Nash was excited again to see an old friend. Nash was very happy to be back at Matt’s Grill, and there was still one surprise left for him. A little later, the woman who nicknamed Nash Fluffy Face stopped by to say hello. Nash had not seen her in awhile, but again, dogs must never forget, as the tail started wagging right away. With all these friendly faces, Nash must have thought it was his birthday. Since it wasn’t, it had to be Nash’s dream day!

Laugh For Sight NYC Take Two, No Sandy’s Allowed! set for December 10th, Gotham Comedy Club.

November 18, 2012

We are very excited to announce that Laugh For Sight NYC Take TwoNo Sandy’s Allowed! has been rescheduled for Monday, December 10, 2012 at Gotham Comedy Club. It’s like deja vu to us all over again, as we have very fortunately landed the same lineup. LAugh For Sight NYC will feature Celebrity Host, Bonnie Bernstein, Legendary Comedian Robert Klein, Eddie Brill, Bonnie McFarlane, Paul Mecurio, Jim Norton, Colin Quinn, Rich Vos, and of course Nash and me. The Silent Auction will begin at 7pm and the Comedy Show at 830PM.

We were even more fortunate as Robert Klein went on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 12th to promote this year’s very special Laugh For Sight NYC. To watch the episode click here http://www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/video/2303919777/the-late-show-11-12-2012

Tickets for LAugh For Sight NYC can be purchased by visting http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, calling 212-367-9000, or by clicking this link http://gothamcomedyclub.com/show.cfm?id=191886&cart

Donors to this year’s silent auction include Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Jimmy Fallon Show, the NY Yankees, Eli Manning, Jackie Mason, Felix Rey, Exhale Spa, C-Tech, Rock of Ages, Susan Michel Limited, and much more. Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $75 for VIP Reserved Seating.

Please make sure to follow all of the talented performers donating their time and of course Laugh For Sight on Twitter @LaughForSight, @BonnieBernstein, @BonnieMcFarlane, @PaulMecurio, @JimNorton, @IAmColinQuinn, @RichVos, @blindgator, @NashtheGuideDog.

Someone Tell Nash There Was A Time Change

November 5, 2012

Now we all love Nash, as he is a very lovable guy. His cuteness won’t even register on the cuteness meter as it is to high. However, I do have a pet peeve with the guy. One of Nash’s little OCD habits is to start nudging me at around 4pm for his six pm dinner time. He does this every day like clockwork. Every day at 4pm Nash will start headbutting me with a lets go, feed me. I have to tell him it is not even close to his dinner time. If I had a four pm appointment I wouldn’t even have to set an alarm because Nash would be that alarm.

And it doesn’t stop with just the one headbutt. He will nudge me for about two hours and is like lets go what are we waiting for, feed me. It has gotten to the point where it is comical and I laugh because he knows he doesn’t get to eat dinner to six p,, and on the rare day where I might lay down to rest for a few minutes, Nash will hop into my bed and ram me with his head, as if he is telling me, don’t even think about falling asleep this close to my dinner time. He will then flop down in the bed and slap me with his paw. Don’t get me wrong I am not in an abusive relationship or anything, as Nash’s pawing at me is more playful than anything. Sometimes, after pawing at me, Nash will get up jump out of the bed, and head towards the kitchen, only to have me laugh, so he runs back and jumps into the bed giving me another headbutt. It is all very cute, but seriously Nash, every day?

So what happened today? Instead of beginning his nudginess at 4pm, you probably guessed it, as I was sitting at my desk working away, I got a headbutt at three pm! Hey Nash didn’t anyone tell you there was a time change?

The Calming of the Storm

November 3, 2012

I moved back to New York City from Florida in 2000 when my vision started to take a turn for the worse. After all, with NYC’s public transportation system, I like to say New York City is a blind man’s paradise. You can go where ever you want when ever you want, and don’t have to rely on other people to get there. I have lived in Los Angeles and dealt with earthquakes, Florida you get to deal with the hurricanes, and well, NYC you have to deal with the terrorists, but now NYC you get to deal with the hurricanes to. Not Fair. I thought I left Florida to get away from the hurricanes.

The storm blew in on Monday. We have all seen the damage it has done to NYC, Jersey, and the Northeast. Being a blind guy and living through a hurricane can be very scary. The wind is so strong and the noise it makes is quite chilling. You can’t tell how bad it is outside, and you have no clue if something can blow through your apartment.

Three years ago when I was at guide dog school, and I could still see fairly decently, I found it very funny when another totally blind student talked about her fear of tree branches. As sighted people, when you hear someone has a fear of tree branches, I’m sorry, but its funny. How in the world can someone be afraid of tree branches. Well, now I get it. I do not have a fear of tree branches, but lets just say I am not a fan of them. Hey, you try walking around with your eyes closed, and trust me after you take one tree branch to the head, you will get it. During Hurricane Sandy, my biggest fear was going outside having to walk Nash, and not knowing if something would be blowing down the street towards us. There are a lot of trees in our area, and last year when Hurricane Irene hit, a tree fell two apartments over and crushed a car. So yeah, walking Nash in Hurricane winds would not rank in my top ten favorite things to do. We did survive that bitch Hurricane Sandy without any incidents.

We all know that guide dogs are unbelievably trained to lead blind people around, but it is not Nash’s training that impressed me during the storm, it was his temperament. To Nash, Monday and Hurricane Sandy was just another day. We woke up, he ate breakfast, went for his walk. The winds got stronger during the afternoon, Nash began to get pushy at 4pm as he does every day. Yes, Nash’s dinner time is 6pm, and every day he starts to want to get fed at 4pm. On Monday, the news was reporting that the storm was going to be at its worst between 5 and 10pm, so Nash did get to eat early at 445pm. The storm picked up at 5pm, and Nash didn’t have a care in the world, and it was a typical evening for him. He spent part of the evening in my bedroom in my bed of course. He periodically came out in to the main room, spent time under my desk sitting on my feet. He wanted his belly rubbed and to play, and he wasn’t affected in the slightest by the howling winds outside. Nash was as calm as could be, almost a calming influence. That’s Nash.

Laugh For Sight 10/29 Gotham Comedy Club with Celebrity Host Bonnie Bernstein, and much much more Tickets on Sale!

October 20, 2012

I am very excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for Laugh For Sight NYC on Monday, October 29th at the World Famous Gotham Comedy Club. We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Celebrity Host will be Bonnie Bernstein from ESPN. She will be joined by the biggest names in comedy, including Legendary Comedian, Robert Klein (Emmy and Tony Award Nominee, Over 90 appearances on The Tonight Show), Eddie Brill (Audience Warm-Up at The Late Show with David Letterman), Bonnie McFarlane (Last Comic Standing, Women Aren’t Funny), Paul Mecurio (Emmy Award Winner, Former Writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Jim Norton (Opie and Anthony), Colin Quinn (Saturday Night Live and Host of Tough Crowd with Colin quinn), Rich Vos (Last Comic Standing, Women Aren’t Funny), and of course Nash and me.

This year’s Silent Auction will begin at 7pm with donations from the NY Yankees, Comedy Central, Eli Manning, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Jimmy Fallon Show, Exhale Spa, Felix Rey, Jackie Mason, Susan Michel Limited, and much more. The Comedy Show will start at 830PM. Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $75 for VIP Reserved Seating. To purchase tickets please go to http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, call 212-367-9000, or click directly on this link http://gothamcomedyclub.com/show.cfm?id=191886&cart

For the latest updates please make sure to Follow Laugh For Sight on Twitter at @LaughForSight and do make sure to follow all of the very generous performers who are donating their time. On Twitter @BonnieBernstein, @BonnieMcFarlane, @JimNorton, @PaulMecurio, @IAmColinQuinn, @RichVos, @blindgator.

We hope to see you there!

Laugh For Sight NYC 2012 Announced!!

September 20, 2012

We are very excited to announce that Laugh For Sight 2012 will be Monday, October 29, 2012, once again at the World Famous Gotham Comedy Club. Legendary Comedian, Robert Klein will be returning for a sixth year, and joined by Janeane Garofalo, Paul Mecurio, and of course, Brian Fischler and Nash. We will be announcing more of the details very very soon.

The Silent Auction will start at 7pm with the Comedy Show to follow at 830pm. Tickets have not gone on sale yet, but they will soon. Make sure to Follow @LaughForSight on Twitter for the latest announcements.

Nash Got To Enjoy A Weekend With His Grandparents

August 20, 2012

So I found a way that Queens isn’t all bad. Have your parents who can see and have a car with them stay with you. That’s right Queens and getting around isn’t terrible if you have a car, now I just have to figure out the blind thing, and get a car. Some of you might have heard about a Google Self Driving Car which is being tested out on highways in Nevada and California. This is a very exciting development. Of course me being a cynic, I have to assume that even if this Google Self Driving Car becomes a reality for blind people, the government won’t put a disclaimer at the bottom, only for legally licensed drivers, as we know the government will still want to have some kind of control over who is on the roads. Additionally, considering how inaccessible Google Docs, Google Plus, Google Groups, and many other aspects of Google are, can I really trust them putting me a blind guy behind the wheel? You would think they would first want to get a track record with something as simple as properly designing something accessible that you can use in the comfort of your own home when you are not going 65 miles an hour! Here is a link to the Google Self Driving Car, http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/google-self-driving-car-logs-300-000-miles-014608510.html

Another innovation in the blind community currently is something called Google Glass. From what I understand this is a pair of glasses you would wear and they would have a chip in it that would tell you everything around you. Rumor has it that these glasses are currently being tested, and might be available to the consumer as early as 2014. Again, I am sorry, but Nash has a much better track record than Google when it comes to leading me around, but these glasses could be a nice add on to walking around with your guide dog. Not sure if you will need to be connected to Wifi for these glasses to work, but I know Nash doesn’t need any kind of fancy technology to get me near my destination. Here is a link to the story on Google Glass http://www.techradar.com/us/news/video/project-glass-what-you-need-to-know-1078114

Got to love how I intended to write a blog about the nice weekend that Nash and I got to spend with my parents, and of course I turn it into a technology focused story. So for my Nash fans, here goes. My parents drove up from Florida, and arrived on Friday. We went over to Austin Street in I believe Rego Park. It is actually a very nice area of Queens, and would be a much more ideal area for me to live in as there are a ton of restaurants and stores. The area actually felt like New York City. Those of you who are not familiar with Queens are probably thinking, well can’t you just take public transportation there? Not exactly, as I would first need to figure out where both bus stops are to get there, and then here is the kicker, when I get off the bus near Austin Street, Nash and I would have to cross Queens Boulevard. That doesn’t sound so difficult. Well, Queens Boulevard is ten lanes, and I just found out today from a friend that Queens Boulevard has a nickname, The Boulevard of Death. No thanks, as I have said before, the one thing about living out here is I definitely don’t want to die in Queens. We had a real nice dinner. On Saturday, I put my parents to work, as we got tons of laundry done, and than ran plenty of errands. Nice to have access to that car. Nash also got his new bone that my parents bought for him. He was in heaven and really loved it. I think Nash enjoyed getting up in the morning, and my Mom taking him out for a walk. I am normally still half asleep when I wake up, so we just go out for a quick jaunt for him to do his business, than I have to drink a pot of coffee to wake up and get going. Sunday we got more things done, and as the weekend was coming to a close, and it was time for the parents to leave and head off to New Jersey to see the Grand Kids, I think Nash was really sad to see them go. Not to worry though, we are off to New Jersey next weekend for my nieces birthday, and Nash will get to see his Grand parents again.