Seeing Eye Sasquatch


Sometimes people ask me if I have a seeing eye dog; I don’t.  I’ve been holding out for a seeing eye Sasquatch.  I don’t have one yet, and it looks like it’s going to be a while.  The training period for a seeing eye Sasquatch is notoriously long, mostly due to their tendency to tear the arms off their trainers.  I think they’re worth the wait, though.  A seeing eye Sasquatch can do so much more than a guide dog can do.  For instance:


When you’re visually impaired, guide dogs can make it easier for you to move around in unfamiliar places by directing you along the right path and making sure you don’t bump into things like flower pots and buildings.  A seeing eye Sasquatch makes it easier for you to move around in unfamiliar places by walking through things like flower pots and buildings.  It makes its own path, and all you have to do is follow along.  Just be forewarned:  the liability insurance can get a little steep.


Guide dogs can make it more comfortable for others to interact with the visually impaired; nothing breaks the ice like an adorable, fuzzy service animal with its tongue hanging out.  The thing is, not all people with visual impairments actually want to socialize more.  Enter the seeing eye Sasquatch:  not only do people never try to pet it (and, by the way, don’t do that with guide dogs either, unless you have the owner’s permission), most try to get as far away as they can, quite often leaving valuables behind in their haste.

This indirectly solves another problem affecting little blind girls like me that guide dogs can only do so much about: the tendency of guys to cop a feel while pretending to guide you to your seat/the door/what you hope is the right subway train.  This still happens when you’ve got a guide dog, though not as often, but when you’ve got a seeing eye Sasquatch, all the pervy strangers melt  away.  Unfortunately, so do any potential meet-cutes with guys who are genuinely trying to help, but you can’t have everything in life.


Guide dogs and their owners often form very strong bonds.  They depend on each other and spend lots of time together, and guide dogs accept payment for their services in the form of belly rubs (I suspect that pervy strangers do, as well, but guide dogs usually smell better).  The Sasquatch, on the other hand, has a reputation for being antisocial and— oh, what’s the word?— murderous.  It seems like guide dogs almost have to win this category, if only because it’s so much easier to clean up after their “accidents.”

When I get my seeing eye Sasquatch, though, we’ll prove that they can be as lovable as any dog.  We’ll find a field near the woods and I’ll toss a stick for him to fetch, and when he lopes back toward me proudly carrying a tree, I’ll laugh and give one of those sitcom shrugs like “What can you do?”  Then I’ll throw a frisbee really high so he can jump up and catch it in his mouth, but he’ll accidentally swallow it and burp and then give me a guilty look, and I’ll just smile and shake my head, and say, “That’s my Sasquatch!”

And when he’s asleep and dreaming about chasing leprechauns (because why chase squirrels when they don’t have any gold?), I’ll stand on my tiptoes and give him a good scratch behind his ears, because dogs aren’t the only ones who like that.  That’s how it’ll be when I get my seeing eye Sasquatch.

Guide dogs are great.  They make life easier and more rewarding for the visually impaired, and they’re also dogs, and dogs are awesome.  But this Little Blind Girl wants a seeing eye Sasquatch and will accept no substitutes.  When you’ve got your heart set on having a gigantic wild creature that may or may not exist as your therapy monster, nothing else will do.


[Image is BIGFOOT Concept Art by TimWade94 on, license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

Top 10 Things I Wish I Hadn’t Overheard

left-308715_640It’s not exactly true that having crappy vision means you have magic super-hearing to compensate.  It’s more that you learn to listen carefully because you have to make the most of the senses you’ve got.   At this point, my hearing is so sensitive that not only could I hear my cat peeing on the area rug one floor below my bedroom, it actually woke me up (true story).  I was only half-asleep, but still:  impressive, right?

Well, yes and no.  For one thing, I had to get out of bed before dawn to clean up cat urine I could have happily not known about for another couple of hours.  A bigger problem, though, is that modern social norms don’t really account for a sense of hearing that finely tuned.  You know those embarrassing conversations you have in restaurants that you think are private because you’re talking quietly?  I can hear them.  Every word.  If I could see, I wouldn’t know where to look.

It doesn’t end there, either.  I can also hear what’s going on in the restaurant’s kitchen, which has ruined more than one date for me, and I can hear both sides of the conversation when you talk on your cell phone in public (most common topic, if you’re curious:  how you really, really need to clean your apartment/house this weekend).  It’s been an educational, voyeuristic, traumatizing experience.  So, because I like you all just that much, I’m going to share with you the top ten things I wish I’d never overheard:

10. “I can’t file for divorce for another two months, so don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant yet.”

9.  “He took out 27 inches of the guy’s colon, and there was no sign of a tumor in any of it.”

8.  “Adult diapers are a lot more comfortable than they used to be.”

7.  “I wouldn’t say she’s my girlfriend, I mean, it’s just too soon for that.  She might be moving in, though.”

6.  “It’s on the shelf below your grandmother’s urn.”

5.  “The dry cleaner says she can’t do anything about the stain because it’s a biohazard.”

4.  “It had to be your hair; you were the only one handling the spaghetti.”

3.  “Yeah, I peed in his bed.  I don’t understand why he’s making such a big deal about it.”

2.  “Does the country of Europe have more states than we do?  I can never remember.”

1. “I’ve been uncomfortable all day because the hole in my underwear is in the wrong place.”

You’re welcome!  Feel free to share the things you wish you’d never overheard in the comments section.  Or you can just mutter them under your breath.  I’ll probably be able to hear you.


[image in public domain via]

All The Stars In The Sky


image in public domain via

One of the bad things about posting to a blog late on Friday, or at any point over the weekend, is that most people don’t read blogs on the weekend.  Blogs are for coffee breaks, or lunch breaks, or the-boss-isn’t-around breaks.  However, on the theory that when life hands you gators, you may as well make Gatorade, here’s the up side to that:  it’s Friday.  My blog post can be as bizarre and embarrassing as my little blind heart desires because no one’s paying attention.  As long as I publish another post early Monday morning, chances are my Friday post could be about how I think all the cutest kittens should have their fur shaved off and be shot into space (the kittens, not the fur) and it would pass without a single comment.

I don’t think cute kittens should be shaved and shot into space, by the way, just in case this no-one’s-looking thing ends up backfiring.  I think that’s what we should do with the CEOs of companies that use those full-screen pop-up ads that completely obscure whatever page you’re trying to see and have no apparent way to close them out. I’d shave those bastards myself.  It’s Friday, so I can say things like that.  Ironic side note:  while I was checking online to make sure I was using the right term for that ad, one of those ads popped up.  The real irony is that it popped up while I was viewing a site describing how to block pop-up ads.  Though you never know; maybe pop-ups have become sentient and that ad was just acting in self-defense.  The internet is a postmodern Neverland.

Meanwhile, back at my original point:  since it’s Friday and no one is paying attention, I’m going to tell you something about myself that I wish weren’t true.  Here’s where I usually chicken out and write something like “When I’m on a plane, I look at the other passengers and decide who I’d save in the event of a crash based on what book they’re reading and how annoying their kids are.”  This is true, but I wouldn’t waste a wish on changing it.  If I had a wish to spend, one I could only use for something selfish and fun (like with birthday money when you’re a kid), I would wish I could remember what the stars look like.

Let me explain that a little:  I’m surrounded by things I can’t see, but I know sort of generally what most things look like because I make sure to take a good squint at them when I get the chance.  In the event I don’t get the chance, there’s always Google Images.  It’s kind of nice, actually, because while it’s true that I can’t see any of the flowers in my neighbor’s garden, the garden I picture in my head has all of my favorite flowers in perfect bloom year round.  In the garden I see, there are no weeds, no bare patches where you can’t get anything to grow, no creepy garden gnomes, and (this is key) no chrysanthemums.  That’s the flower for the month of my birth, and I’ve always felt gypped in that regard because I think they look frumpy.  So when I walk by a garden, no, I can’t see it, but in my head it’s full of daffodils and roses and orchids and violets and tiger lilies and more daffodils, and no one gets pricked by thorns and all the bees are too happy to sting anyone and there are no chrysanthemums, ever.  It’s hard to call that a disability.

I’ve forgotten what the stars look like, though, and I can’t find a picture or video that does them justice–I may have forgotten what they look like, but I still remember how looking at them made me feel, and no image I’ve seen even comes close. Sometimes I almost remember them, or I remember being cold while I watched them, or I remember where I was one time when I saw them.  But the times when I saw the stars were too long ago and too many things have happened since then, and although I clutched those memories and hoarded them for years, one day they were just gone.  Dissolved or fell apart, or crowded out, I don’t know, but conspicuous to the point of indecency by their absence, and gone forever.

This is by way of an explanation to my friends (who will read this post despite its being published on a Friday), who have never understood how I can be afraid of heights but always want to live on the top floor.  It’s an explanation of why I kept climbing all those trees and convincing my aforementioned friends to help me sneak onto the roof of every building on my college campus, and by the way, I’m sorry about all the roof violations.  I just wanted to see if getting closer maybe jogged my memory or even helped me see, but I could never get close enough for more than a few faint gleams that in retrospect were probably airplanes and satellites.  What’s gone is gone.

Eventually I stopped climbing trees and sneaking onto roofs, and you can make whatever metaphor or broader theme you want to out of all this, but for me it’s simply the literal truth.  I wish I could remember what a starry sky looks like.  I’ve made my peace with my fuzzy worldview, and I made Gatorade out of all the gators I could get to sit still long enough, and I’m not asking for a miracle cure that lets me see again.  I just want to remember.  Sometimes I’ll wish so hard that I’ll dream about them, and I’ll think ‘It’s only a dream, you’ve had them before, this isn’t real.’  And then I’ll think, ‘No, this time it’s real, I can tell, I’m awake and I can see the stars.’  And then I wake up and I can’t even remember how they looked in my dream.  It’s cruel and it hurts, and I wouldn’t stop having the dreams if I could.

So if I had a wish that I couldn’t use for world peace or perfect vision or an honest politician or any other fairy tale, that’s how I’d use it.  Who knows?  The future is nothing but possibility, and I’ve learned to be careful about words like “never” and “always.”  I embrace the maybe and I keep hope alive.  I also still want to live on the top floor and I will always, yes always, keep looking into the sky at night, and I’ll never, yes never, stop trying.  For all I know, there will be a way in my lifetime for me to go and see the stars up close, and then I won’t have to remember.  And if that happens, let me just tell you how I’m filming the entire freaking thing in whatever they’re calling high-definition at that point, and I’m storing copies of the video in at least ten different locations, real and virtual, just in case I develop amnesia right at the same time that there’s a fire, a flood, and a tornado and also the entire internet gets erased.  I’m not taking any more chances.


Van Gogh, The Starry Night [image in public domain]

Happy Friday.  I hope you enjoyed my confession.  Now, if it’s Friday night and you’re actually reading this blog post, do me a favor:  go outside, look at the stars, and leave me a comment telling me what they’re like.  Do it again tomorrow night, and the night after that, and just every single night for the rest of your life because watching a starry night sky is one thing you should never, never, never take for granted.  And after you’re done, put on something fabulous and go have some fun!  That’s what I’m doing.  It’s Friday night, after all.

And if you’re asking yourself how I’m going to make this wish when I can’t see a star to wish on: that’s what faith is for.  I can’t see the stars, but I know they’re there.  How’s that for a broader theme?

Cripple Barbie

this is a picture of my Barbie doll

Picture of a Barbie doll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was playing with a friend’s kid the other day.  She’s awesome and smart and cute and funny, but she likes to play with Barbies.  She’s like I was at her age, though; she likes to shave their heads and pull off their arms and leave them lying naked and mutilated all around the house, so that’s all right.  She also likes to dress up Ken in Barbie’s clothes (which will only go on him if you leave them unbuttoned, if you’re curious), which is a refinement of the art that was lost on the pre-teen Little Blind Girl.  I was impressed.

She also likes to use props meant for other games and appropriate them for Barbie.  One of the props she reassigned this time around was a wheelchair; Barbie had gotten in a car accident driving her convertible after taking her “evening soothers” (don’t ask) and had to trade in four wheels for two and kick it in a wheelchair for a while.  This was fine until she got to her Dream House…and the wheelchair wouldn’t go in the door.

That’s right:  Barbie’s Dream House is not handicapped-accessible.  The imperfectly abled may not pass the threshold of Barbie’s home.  Gimps and cripples must sleep outside.  I was appalled at this message of intolerance and indifference to suffering that surrounds our children, insidiously infiltrating their still-forming minds and imparting a lasting disregard for the rights of others. We must stand up against this atrocity!  Well, not Barbie, because she’s now enfeebled, but the rest of us must stand up!

And then I remembered that, if Barbie were a real person, her height would be 7’2, her weight would be 101 pounds, her bust would be 39FF, and both her head and her waist would be 19″ around, and I was like, screw it.  Barbie can gimp it on the streets.  I’m done wheeling her bony butt around.  How’s that for a life lesson?