Thursday, June 29, 2017

It is not a perk

One of the first times I met one of my good friends, I was wearing a T-shirt with the logo of the guy in a wheelchair (the International Symbol of Access) with the words "In it for  the parking." She said she knew then that we'd be friends.

I am not in a chair for parking.  I can, however, see how some people might see the parking as a perk of being disabled. They're idiots, of course, but8 I can think of a few things some people probably view as an advantage to a wheelchair.

Not me, but some of my friends with dogs have  people say to them, "I  wish I could bring my dog to X, Y, Z." Well, we wish we could walk.

I call a special number for tickets to an event, which seems awesome, avoiding TicketMaster. Of course, if the 50 accessible seats sell out, I am screwed. And 50 wheelchair seats in a venue is generous.

Unless you have a child or are wearing a wedding dress or something, though, it is hard for me to figure out why people use wheelchair stalls. This does not seem like a perk. You're in there for a reason that doesn't involve spreading out.

But I keep running into such people: at Awesome Con and yesterday at work.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well-played, bathroom, well-played

If a room can be one's arch-nemesis, mine is the work bathroom.

I don't fall in it as frequently as I do in the one at home (this morning, for instance), but the work bathroom finds innovative, almost ingenious, ways to screw with me.

I was headed out of the bathroom and heard a big clanging. I looked back and a floor-to-ceiing   corner piece -- one of those things that fit on corners and hide where the pieces of wall come together had fallen on my chair.

I am sure I didn't do it. I am guessing Fame's vest got caught on it, although how that brought it down is beyond me.

Like I said, my nemesis.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Mornings are just hard. I lie on my bed yo put on socks, then pants, then shoes. I then transfer to my chair and stand up again to pull up my pants.

On the best days -- when I am functioning like a well-oiled machine -- it is a cumbersome task. Then there was Friday.

Unlike Claren, who heard my alarm and only wanted to go out so she could eat, Fame hears my alarm  as a signal to leap onto my bed and "cuddle." I use quote marks because cuddle usually means lick me or push herself against me forcefully. Yes, she'd stop if asked, but I like it.

On Friday, I opened my eyes to see an adorable, if non-human, female face staring me in the face and a tongue sliding into my mouth. To be clear, that face belonged to Fame, it didn't belong  to Lady Sif, Gamora, Seven of Nine or other non-humans who have carte blanche to wake me up with a kiss.

After choking/laughing, I proceeded to get up and was still brushing my teeth when Dad came in to drive me to work.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wild Kingdom

On a trip to Great Falls with my uncle and then-girlfriend, I walked right past a big black snake curled up on a tree stump. My uncle pointed it out. The incident is burned in my brain. My uncle's, too, it turn out because it was the first time he brought his now-wifeto meet his mother.

I am glad to report that in 35 years or so my wildlife eyesight has improved a bit.

So when Mom and I were walking up the road a block from my house the  other night, I was the one who spotted the deer in the front yard of the house grazing on whatever.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

As usual, an Awesome experience

As far as Doctor Who companions go, Donna Noble has always been high on my list. She is so funny and comes across as full of joy.

She's even higher after yesterday's Awesome Con. She put an arm around me for the photo, And  when we came in, she chatted with me while rubbing my arm.

Even with her chattiness, the photo op is still kind of an assembly line, so the only bad part was that Fame got turned around and blocked by my niece (you can see Fame's tail between my niece and her friend).

But it was fun.

Fame did well for the most part. It was crazy crowded, and she was the best dog there. She has a tendency to eat everything, so if there is a scrap of paper on the floor, she'll eat it before I remember to keep her from it. She's weird, but a million times better than the alleged service dog who went batshit crazy at the sight of Fame. Her wheelchair-using owner had the dog in a headlock, another person was talking to the dog, and staff showed up.

Despite the crowds, people generally made way for me.

My niece seemed to have the most fun, but I did, too. I saw my nephew, the woman who helps run it, and Donna rubbed my arm.

Friday, June 16, 2017

He can it through the bathroom door

The new arms on my wheelchair need some work. They are too far forward, leaving a big gap between arm and wheelchair back.

But what a difference! I was zipping through doorways like nobody's business. Well, at least I didn't whack anything.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A teachable moment but not for Fame

I have decided after a year-plus of her carrying my lunch bag out of work that I want Fame to hit a button to open the door in the lobby. This is proving difficult.

Not with Fame, exactly. It's the helpful bystanders.

I can hit it fine, but I have to lean far to my left or drive so I am not really facing the doorway. An aside, this building is less than awesome with button placement. So if Fame does the pushing, I stay in the doorway, don't lean out of my chair, etc.

Easy-peasy, right?

Well, it's not a big square button, first of all. She pushes those easy.

It's one of those small rectangular buttons, maybe an inch by three inches. Fame rears up to push it, but she nudges the top or side. It needs a good push in the middle of the button.

No problem. I lean over and put a finger on the button to give her a target. At that point, a guard or someone comes over and pushes the button.

I say I am teaching her to push it, but the door is open. It seems silly to let it close just as a teachable moment for the humans.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A little break

On Thursday I had my last appointment with my awesome physical therapist for a while.

I'll miss it, but now that it is warmer I am better able to exercise on my own  -- or with the PT student who works with me. I have a new chair, lift, exercises and good ideas on transfers. And I save some money and benefits for when I need them.

I'll survive. I do have carte blanche to email her. She'll  no doubt be bored. I mean I won't be around to ask silly questions or for her to make fun of ...

Speaking of which: A while back I was complaining of some shoulder pain most noticeable while drinking. I meant drinking anything. She says, We're not doing PT so you can go out drinking. I respond that apart from champagne, I can recall just  about all alcohol I have had. To which she answers, well, you might want to live a little, Matt.

I'll miss her.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Flying poop

There is no use trying to figure out Fame's poop schedule. Usually, she'll poop in the morning and the evening. But every so often, she'll go at lunch, even on a day like today when I hardly walked her because it was drizzling.

I picked it up and headed to the trashcan with the poop bag in my left hand, my leash arm. On our way, Fame got a whiff of something in some tall grass and jerked over to get a better sniff. This cause the poop and leash to fall.

I called her three times, so she could get the leash for me, but she decided to go deaf. So I bent down, got the leash and poop, and called her agin. She saw I had the leash, so she half-turned but was too intent on whatever to really pay attention.

As we are trained, I gave her a leash correction, pulling the leash quickly and hard, then letting it loose while saying "Don't."

It worked. She came and  sat right next to me. Unfortunately, the poop flew out of my hand about 15 feet into some more tall grass. I had to text a friend to come get it.

And since then,  I have been unsuccessfully trying to stifle giggles at the idea of someone walking behind me during this and getting a face-full of bagged poop.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Matty McDreamy

I did nothing unusual last night, but from my remembered dreams, you'd think someone switched my restless legs medicine with lots of mind-altering drugs.

First, Matty takes on

I seemed to be part of a group of black-ops guys that featured me and a bunch of Hollywood archetypes. It was me and the tough guy, the joker, the heavyset guy, the minority, etc. We all boarded a bus, and a bad guy sniper immediately shot the bus driver in the head. The bus crashed, and there was a running gun battle through the streets with my group and the baddies until we reached a neighborhood where the baddies lived that had a big park.

At this point, the good guys seemed to lose our guns. The first good guy to buy it was the joker, who was also the minority, kind of an Aziz Ansari type. We all watched as a bad guy taunted him with what appeared to be a game -- a brightly colored ball on a big loop -- and yelled, "What are you going to do now?" Another baddie had a gun on him. In answer, Aziz grabbed a similar game piece and ran at the bad guy. The other baddie there cut him down.

Then they were after me. I got shot a few times but like any hero, just shook it off and kept running. The horizon (I told you it was a big park) really screwed me. I kept seeing the ground dip in front of me, and I thought, "Thank goodness, a hill. They won't be able to shoot at me." But then I'd get to "the hill," and I'd realize it was just the horizon.

This went on for a while until I escaped into one of the baddies houses. I wandered around for a bit, then hid on a porch. It opened onto a green that the baddies were walking down looking for us good guys. I couldn't squeeze totally out of sight, and they had me.

But they didn't kill me. I was the last good guy alive, and they were keeping me hostage for some reason. They even brought Mom and Dad and one of my brothers to have dinner. Really! There was a Washington Post with headlines about the incident, but apparently they missed the park and running gun battle through the streets because the headline was something like, "One killed and one dead in bus attack." The story had only the bus driver and one bad guy, who was actually a double agent.

After dinner, they let us go home to get a change of clothes. A few baddies accompanied us in their VW bus. We encountered a cop who recommended we take another way home, so Dad helped the driver plan a new route. We ditched the van at one point and I think the baddies.

That is all I remember of that one. So after action, a little rom-com.

Pranks turn to love

I was watching a movie preview. It seemed to be a mash-up of many things, so here is a recap. The first part reminded me of  The Simpsons episode when Homer is Mr. Burns' "prank monkey." An older Kevin Kline is the prank monkey, getting his orders by cellphone. His target is Felicity Smoak, who I know is probably young enough to be  Kevin's granddaughter. And I know Felicity is a character, not an actress, but the actress is not famous yet. The first prank involved getting her soaking wet, maybe by bumping her into a fountain. Next, he had to ask her out. Love then blossomed.

In the next chapter of our story, I seemed to have replaced Kevin. Love has blossomed but with unexpected occurrences with a number of influences:

  • Like  iZombie when Liz assumes the characteristics of the person whose brain she just ate, Felicity seems two people. For instance, she is now a health food nut who includes beef in her meals. 
  • She likes board games. 
  • There is a beach scene when someone who I think is my son wields a harpoon gun to bring down a kite. This seemed to be a game.
  • Sort of like Speed, Felicity escapes out of a bus using the escape hatch in the floor of the bus. I realize Keanu didn't escape out of the hatch but who knew it was there other than Speed folks. I seemed to be encouraging her to use it so maybe it was the same movie as the action one.
I am certain there was more, but all I care about is I was married to Felicity Smoak! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bad Leroy's bad daughter

I was for some reason thinking of Peaches today.

Not the fruit, one of my uncles dogs.

Actually,  I first thought of her brother Scooter. (Her father was Bad Leroy.)

Peaches was a bit of an acquired taste. She hated UPS trucks and minorities, although the only person I saw her nip at (sort of) was a Caucasian friend who thought he'd play "Let's Run Past Peaches." He lost.

She loved my uncle and my brother. I was a little frightened of her, but she never harassed me. And she always put up with my pats and didn't mind when I put her leash on before I fed her (so I didn't have to put my hand near her mouth when she was eating).

She was the first dog I got to know.

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