Follow-Up: My First Uber Experience

Ah, so I was quite fortunate and got my real hearing aid back sooner than I’d thought would happen. The call came in at around 11:20, just as my head began inching inexorably toward that sharp cutout that holds my light stick box as I fill it.

And fill them I was! I had to work quickly and keep thinking about any and everything in order to keep the brain working. And the harder I worked, the more aggressively they pumped material into the bins.

Anyway, at lunch time I knew I’d need to place a call to my supervisor and tell him I’d be exiting at 1 PM in order to retrieve the aids. Then, I made my way down that long, narrow corridor with its unusually textured floors to the front of the building.

In the receptionist’s office, I pulled out my iPhone to attempt summoning the ride via the Uber app. I hadn’t known how it would go, but I actually found it pretty cool. The app uses your GPS to give an approximate address, which you can either confirm or alter to read the actual address. I should have done the latter, but in the end it didn’t end up making much difference.

You can also get it to calculate your approximate fare. It said mine would be $16. Nice.

Once a driver is requested and confirmed, it gives you the driver’s name, license plate number, and make of automible, as well as an estimated time of arrival. I found that last to be the best part, for sure. Once it went to 0, the app sent a notification and the driver called to make sure he knew where I was. After a few seconds of sorting, he managed to find me. Oh, and because he didn’t know initially that I was blind, he’d just sat there for about two minutes before I tried calling his cell.

The vehicle was comfortable, and it felt and smelled up to standards. This guy was from Ethiopia, enjoying to talk about where I’d come from, what kind of schooling I’d had and the like. He said one of his favorite things about the US is that we get greater choice in which types of things we’ll study in school, whereas over there, according to him, the government dictates which topics you must learn about. “I don’t understand why more people don’t fully take advantage of this!” he said.

He located the building easily enough, and I hopped out and went inside. I launched the app, and it said I had been charged $21.45. That’s odd, as from what I’d understood, my first five rides were to be free. It isn’t a big deal though, as that is still cheaper than the amount a cab would usually cost. I also loved the convenience of the whole thing.

The return ride was also provided by a foreign person. I am uncertain from where he may have come, as he said little the entire way other than asking where I was going. He already knew where my apartment complex was and so I got home quickly and easily, also in a comfortable van. They didn’t in fact bill for this ride, which was nice.

So on the whole, I’d have to say I liked the service. It takes away a lot of the anxiety, again for me as a blind traveler, regarding when they might arrive and if I’ll miss them. I’ll have to use it a few more times to see if there’s always a noticeable difference between the quoted fare and what they actually charge, but even so I still liked not having to engage in any cash transactions. Finally, I appreciated that the app asks you to leave feedback on each trip you take. I suppose this could be used to weed out any bad actors, should there be any.

And those are some of my thoughts. Kudos to whomever came up with this idea. It is yet one more way that I can reap some major benefits from my third hand, the iPhone. And it is a potentially powerful tool to enhance independence, and decrease the need for me to try frantically to find drivers when I need to get somewhere quickly. I hope it continues to be successful.

Entering the Transport Revolution

Hurray! I’m sure you’ve heard some about the ride share services Uber and Lift lately, as they’re kind of taking the country by storm. The basic concept is that you put your pick-up location and destination into the app, (it said iPhone and Android, so I don’t know if other platforms support it), and it gives you a predicted fare and sends a driver. Your credit card is also linked, meaning that you don’t have to worry about paying the driver anything.

Well according to this article, Uber has now made it to my adopted town of Durham! Charlotte, my actual hometown, has had the service available for some time now.

It took me just a bit longer than after I’d completed the article to download the app to my phone and sign up. Registering was easy, and quite accessible with VoiceOver. I did experience a moment of trepidation though, when it said “your Uber ride will be there in two minutes”. Huh? I hope I hadn’t requested one at the moment, as I’m not planning to go anywhere! No one has shown up though, to my knowledge, so I guess all is good.

One of the coolest features I’ve seen so far is that you can attach a photo of yourself in the app, so the driver will know how you look. I imagine this would be very helpful for blind folks, in particular. And of course, it’s easy enough to do with the iPhone. All I had to do is remember the timestamps in my camera roll that I wanted to use. If I got it right, I chose the snappy picture taken of me when I visited NPR last summer.

RELATED: DC On Air 2: The Tours, NPR and Air And Space

And that’s it for now. I hope to try and use them when I have to go pick up my refurbished hearing aid. At present, it costs $23 to get from my job or home to the audiology clinic, so anything less than that will be very much welcome. I’m wondering though if they’ll transport me to just over the Chapel Hill line though? I suppose I should try and see how that works, bu if not it won’t crush me.

I know that many taxi drivers find this service to be upsetting and are attempting to stop it. But, I think they’re bringing an innovative, 21st-Century approach to the problems I wrote about in my recent taxi cab post. It says in the article that drivers are vetted and checked for insurance, so hopefully they’ll be as safe as anyone else. I think the thing I’m most curious about is the quality of vehicle I’ll see. Someone’s old, rusted pickup? Or a car with French fry boxes and kids toys that I must sweep from the seat. In any event, it should be fun!

The article notes that both Uber and Lift are available in Raleigh, while Uber has expanded to Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and a couple of other smaller NC cities. If it’s in your area, how have you found it to be thus far. I suspect that it could vary a lot based on all sorts of factors. More once I’ve taken it.

The Caged Bird, and Other Reflections

I’m guessing by now that you know of the passing of Maya Angelou, one of the gratest and most inspiring writers/poets of all time. It’s funny, but to me she seemed like one who could go on and on for many more years. She certainly didn’t sound different in the last NPR interview I heard with her, though I grant that happened over a year ago. In any event, I guess all of our stories must at some point come to its end.

In an attempt to learn more about her, I read the first of her autobiographies entitled I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. It’s a powerful story, with the feel of fiction but accompanied by the heavy weight of many injustices. We watch as she navigates and tries to learn the confusing roles of “black person” and “female” in the deep south.

On the former, this is one of the first books that really got me to understand a bit of why there was, and sadly still is in some cases, so much mistrust between individuals of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Maya, (real name Marguerite) and her brother Bailey to whom she was very close, are called all sorts of names by the few whites that visit them. They also are forced to watch as some of the visitors attempt to disrespect their grandmother, because social norms dictate that she can do little or nothing about this treatment.

Meanwhile, they also grow up seeing white people as not human, primarily due to the infrequent and charged interactions among and between them. I find this very sad on all counts, and hope that we as members of this great but sometimes misled species jostle to survive and thrive on this planet.

As to the latter role of female, I’m sure most have heard the part of the story where she stops talking after having been sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, who was subsequently killed by the family. She feels as if she has caused this killing by what she uttered, and thus refuses to talk with anyone but her brother for a long time.

This event was definitely awful, but what makes it worse for the reader is that Angelou manages to view it through childlike eyes again: not really able to understand what is happening or its meaning.

I think it is her ability to assume this perspective that makes her entire bio more poignant. If you’ve not read it, I’d recommend. For along with the sadness, there are rather humorous stories speckled in. It also gave me much to reflect on regarding my own life and its happenings.

It especially gave me cause to recall my own project on the lives and societal standing of African American males that I completed as a Ronald E. McNair Summer Research Internship Scholar. This program was created to honor Dr. McNair, one of the astronauts who lost his life in the Challenger explosion, and I believe the first black astronaut. Its aim was to improve the attendance rates of graduate school for minority/underrepresented students. I still remember that summer of 2001 as being one of the best I’ve ever experienced, especially from a social standpoint.

As I benefited both academically and financially from that program, I’m still hoping to, if not attend grad school, find some way to carry out enough of its mission to be more successful than I currently am. I’m wondering if, by extension, it might work for me to advise others on a college campus on how to strengthen their good points and maybe avoid pitfalls. It’s definitely something about which I’ve thought for years.

RELATED: Thinking of Attending Grad School? Some Advice

I know it isn’t the only path to such a career or maybe even the one I’ll end up taking, but one of my Twitter followers suggested I look into a master’s-level program in Student Affairs at the University of South Florida. From what I’ve seen of that program, it looks pretty good. They take seriously placing individuals who complete it, requiring also that one work while studying the theories and other classroom stuff. So I’d feel pretty confident about my chances upon completing it.

I think the primary issue here is that I need to somehow make sure that I’m cut out for this sort of thing. Perhaps the most feasible way to do this would be to mentor an incoming first-year student and just see how well I can make suggestions that might actually be helpful. I would also like to get a taste of my potential leadership skills.

So I think this is one of the reasons I keep reading these days, looking for that one piece of information that will set me on the right path. Does such a thing even exist? I intend to keep trying to find out.

Summer Time, Current and Past

Welcome to summer! My most favorite season of the year, when the hot days don’t end and the cold beverages flow freely. When I can sit outside all day and meet so many different people it makes my head spin.

I’ve spent much of this weekend, which has turned out to be superb weatherwise, sitting outside and reflecting on the summer camps I attended as a child, back before I had any conception of the kind of work I’d likely be doing as an adult.

The first of these was a five-week program at the Governor Moorehead School for the Blind in Raleigh that had been designed to help us not only have fun, but also be further educated on daily living skills, academic material, and sports pursuits. The thing I remember most, and remember hating most, was being taught to swim! I bet some of the poor folks who had to teach my crazy cousins and me to do that still bear the markings on their wrists.

RELATED: A Step Back in Time: My Trip to a GMS Talent Show

After about five years of that fun, we began to age out of GMS and started attending another place called Camp Dogwood in a small town near Lake Norman, about 45 minutes away from Charlotte. The thing that still amuses me about that was how fearful I had been when my sighted peers told me that I was going to a place where I’d be learning to hunt and shoot ducks and other land and water animals. Like they had any idea.

What we did do, and the activity that I’d say was most prominent in my mind, is go tubing. This involves sitting in a circular tube that has been tied to a speed boat with a rope. The tube is then sucked through the water, bouncing and threatening to jar its occupant into the air. This was doubly fun for me, a small person, as the boat’s driver, often a lifeguard, tried valiantly to flip the bigger person who rode in the tube beside me. Many times he would indeed be tossed, as I still hung on white-knuckled and nearly sideways in the water. I think it’s actually a lot harder to get a small person off. Ah, what fun!

We also went horseback riding. Usually, we’d just lope around the corral at a leisurely pace, but once the person walking my horse said she was bored. I thought she’d taken me on a gallop, but have since been informed by an avid rider that if I found it bumpy, it was most likely only a trot. A gallop should feel pretty smooth somehow. Ok? Well, I need to experience that someday, too.

Nowadays, my summer excursions tend to look less like that, and more involve a trip to an urban area where I can indulge in all sorts of fun events around me. I currently have twenty days till my big trip of this season and the year: a jaunt to Las Vegas to attend some of the American Council of the Blind’s conference and convention. I’ve planned a fairly light itinerary, so that I have a lot of flexibility to meet people and hang out on the fly. I might choose to register for more events once I arrive, if I am still able to, but if most of them are full I won’t mind. Even just chilling in the hotel with new friends would be fine. A list of my planned activities are below, for those who want to meet me there:

  • 7/12 8:35 PM Arrive aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 3112 (Please no delays!)
  • 7/13 8:30 AM Probable wake-up time (How hard will I get hit by jet lag?)
  • 7/13 1-3 PM City Bus Tour 3 (I know they’ll prob describe on PA what we pass, but the GPS nerd in me can’t wait to use it to follow along!)
  • 7/13 5-6 PM How Tweet It Is (What they’re calling their tweet-up, I think this is where I’ll meet most of you for first time. Talk loudly to me! Ok!)
  • 7/14 4 PM (I think?) Talent Showcase Auditions (I’m not entirely sure if I’ve got the guts to do this or can even still sing these days. If not, maybe I’ll just go watch)
  • 7/16 9:30 AM Depart Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines Flight 4135

So as you can see, I have a lot of blank space to fill in. Help me do so!

Other than that, I hope to do something for my birthday. I want either to go back to DC, because I still have many to meet there; to Chicago so I can finally attend the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me show that I’m supposed to catch; or perhaps down to the ocean. Really, I’d like to do all three! Sadly, my place of employment doesn’t give me enough days off for that. Bah-humbug.

Writing 101-8: What They Said

Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

I think I shall have any idea of myself as a writer revoked by admitting that I am not sure what an adverb is. At least not entirely so, and yes I know that entirely is in fact one, but I’m not actually into the piece yet.

To try and help my non-grammar-knowing self out, I turned to the usual source of all things online: Wikipedia. I guess we will discover together whether or not I’ve actually learned anything from that article.

Unable to see what individuals are doing, of course, I call what I do “people listening”. Being good at this serves as part of my strategy for capturing what is happening around me, and I hope will lead to the creation of my novel someday.

SIDENOTE: It’s hard not to use adverbs as I write! I think I describe most things with them.

I sit in a Chapel Hill Starbucks, as is usual. The place is bustling: I can hear the folks across the aisle from me discussing the nature of an upcoming project, and others are running by with enough force to make my seat shake.

The floor is wooden, giving it an older-fashioned feel that I find great for writing. Music plays in the PA system, and baristas call out orders. I wonder if there are any eyes on me, and think I feel a presence just behind my chair. If you are watching this screen, identify yourself.

I have just gone to get my hearing aid fixed, learning that they would charge me $218 to make the repairs. Ouch! This means that I am at present not as able to hear what is happening around me as usual. I enjoy listening to people though, and picking up snippets of conversation that don’t make much sense when taken out of context.

And I guess that’s all I have for this exercise. How did I do? How many adverbs did you catch, other than the ones I’ve already noted. I know I’m kind of doing the challenge out of order, but I want to take entries that inspire me to put something first, then I may come back around to the ones about which I need to think harder for content.

Writing 101-5: Rejection

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

I see it. The tear-stained envelope for which you’ve worked all of your life.

I feel it. The anguish that creeps into your voice everytime you ask mom again “did it come?”

I hear it. The great and grating sadness you already feel as you anticipate that, sure enough, you have come up short.

“We regret to inform you, but…”

I don’t know what mom intended to say. She’d have to tell you at some point, right? I sure wish I could go back to unknowing, but I do promise I’ll be here to console you.

I understand the weight of disappointment. But don’t worry, there are opportunities as good as or better than that which was lost. That school don’t know what they missed anyway. We still love you.

Writing 101-4: Trust

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Over the last few months, I’m really making an effort to become less of an antisocial and hopefully more of a prosocial person. I figured one of the first areas I needed to work on in accomplishing this is to decrease my level of sself-centeredness. I don’t think, at least I hope, I’m not a horrible person. But I can admit to a tendency toward having a hard time seeing things beyond my perspective. I think this shortcoming, if not at least brought down a few notches, will mean that I will not get close to many if anyone.

So, I met someone in this neighborhood, a seemingly nice individual who had been spending time chatting with me and buttering me up as I sat outside. This person comes from a different, more aggressive region of the country, and as such may have been more primed to noticed my attempts at kindness and position herself to take advantage of them.

Remember how I wrote in a recent entry about the difficulties inherent in a blind person really trusting another in extracting cash from an ATM? Well, I certainly have more fotter to worry after this incident.

She asked me if she could borrow $20, because she had some emergency payment or other to make.

“Sure,” I said: “we can just run up to this gas station and I can get some cash I need as well.”

So, we did that. I had told her repeatedly that I could check the statement, and would feel wary if her stated amount differed even slightly from what I heard when calling in. Unfortunately, when I checked, it appeared that she had indeed taken out an extra $10. Not much, of course, but then that’s how someone who wishes to get away with such a thing would operate.

But wait, there’s more! Shortly after she tottered off to make her purchase, she returned saying that she’d lost the money I’d just given her and needed it replaced. Clearly I wasn’t silly enough to fall into this trap.

“Well I’m sorry,” I replied “but I can’t help you with that. Plus, I indicated that my trust in this sort of endeavor is very fragile and could not easily be restored if shattered.”

She continued to beg, becoming more insistent until I had to tell her that if she didn’t leave me be immediately I was going to have to call the law. Finally, she relented.

I know what anyone who reads this will say. “O, how gullible you are.” “You just can’t be that way with people!” And perhaps they would be correct. But it is and always has been hard for me not to initially believe that a person will be as good as her word. I’m not sure if this ability is completely lost as a result of the noted occurrence, but it’s pretty doggon close! I might be kind of stupid sometimes, but my stupidity meter can only be pushed so far before it breaks.

I was just trying to be helpful, as one who has fallen on hard times myself and been helped by people who were willing to lend a hand to me as well. I sure hope I’ve never come across as trying to take advantage of their generosity though, and think that if I ever do I should be called on it as anyone else should.

Writing 101-3: Off Da Top!

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Hmmm, I’m not entirely sure about three important songs. I would say though that it isn’;t a stretch to think that all of my favorite stuff came during the best musical decade ever, the 1990s. And one of my favorite things about the Internet is that it allows me to live in that decade continuously, the same way that adults listened to their oldies stations as I grew up.

I can think of at least one song that defined my life for a stretch: In The Still of the Night, by Boyz II Men. This is because its random singing led my two cousins and I to create a singing group. Remember that concept? I don’t think many of those exist these days, as most are solo artists. But, I suspect that history will bring it back in eventually.

I’d told this story in my other blog, the one that has since met its end, on the day Soul Train’s Don Cornelius passed. Perhaps it’s appropriate to try capturing it again on the day we lose another major music icon: Casey Kasem. If you didn’t grow up listening to his distinct voice deal out the top 40 songs of each week, well you missed a treat. I always looked forward to either his countdowns or Walt Babylove on the R&B side, which he did until deciding to emphasize gospel more.

Anyway, back to the formation of our little group. My cousins and I had just completed a rousing game of basketball with an adult, one of my cousin’s fathers in fact. How appropriate for Father’s Day? We then piled into his car to go and find some delicious, refreshing ice cream, probably at Dairy Queen.

Said song came onto the radio, and for some reason we don’t entirely recall we just began singing it. My youngest cousin took the lead vocal, I sang bass and my other cousin did the “shoo-wops”.

“Hey, that was fun!” we said once the song concluded.

It really surprised me that I was even able to do this. All of my life, I’d been told by many that I couldn’t really sing, or play instruments, (have tried to learn the piano from time to time and had gotten decent at the trumpet when in elementary band) so I’d largely become discouraged from even trying. My cousins told me more than once to stick with it though, and working with some fantastic choral instructors and singing in a couple church choirs, I began to expand my range.

RELATED: Sang With The Choir!

Due to our group’s origins, my dad suggested that we should’ve called ourselves the Backseat Boys. Lawsuit, anyone? We instead went with the name Off Da Top, because of course we wrote songs off da top of our heads! My Aunt chided us for the less-than-professional spelling, but hey why can’t we have a little fun. Like Musiq. Or Xscape.

Over the years, we continued to develop. Naturally, many of our initial favorites were Boyz II Men tunes. I especially remember singing It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday onboard the Catawba Queen as we cruised Lake Norman while at a summer camp sponsored by the Metrolina Association for the Blind (MAB). The restaurant area was staffed by college-age women, and one each came to rub on our backs as we sang. I nearly lost the ability to stay on the correct notes. Haha. They also shut down the PA music, so that everyone onboard could hear.

There was another time at a Raleigh ice skating rink. My cousins and I weren’t particularly big fans of this recreational activity, so we sat at the table with drinks in front of us and worked on Chi’s Baby I’m Yours. We’d made an error, and as we stopped to retry that spot we suddenly heard a loud burst of clapping. There had appeared a rather large contingent of young women, traveling with some kind of youth center. They opted to join us in singing Kirk Franklin’s Stomp. The preacher and leader of God’s Property? I think many members of that group came from Charlotte’s Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, our family’s original home church.

Our dream, like anyone who would have been doing such a thing, was to achieve stardom. I think in retrospect that it is quite fortunate we did not, as we had no idea what that would have actually entailed. The great memories we do have though, like winning a talent show at UNC Charlotte, performing to an incredibly excited congregation at First Missionary Baptist in Southern Pines with our own rendition of We Shall Overcome in celebration of Black History Month, and the like may in fact never be surpassed.

Even as my disorder continues to take away my hearing and make singing more of a chore than a joy, I will always continue to enjoy music. So, if I’m a bit flat or sharp or slightly off rhythm, try not to be too harsh! Off Da Top hasn’t performed in many years, but we have floated the idea of giving it a shot again someday. Who knows.

What about you? Can you sing, at least as we define it? Heck, to me anyone who sings just to feel that passion flow is good enough in my book.

Writing 101-2: Expanding Presence

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Ok, I’ll take this post sort of literally, because I am not as good at waxing poetic as perhaps I’d like to be. It is an interesting concept.

First, I never cease to be amazed at how large the universe really is. Heck, how large even the solar system even is. Millions of miles separate us from our nearest planet, and thousands of years lie between us and the nearest star at any speed we could currently travel. I’ve just read somewhere that the fastest moving object in human history was one of the Pioneer space crafts, clocking an incredible 52000 miles per hour. This may have been eclipsed by the Voyager craft, but I’m not sure.

I do often wish we could at least move at the speed of light, and survive touching down on another planet’s surface. Ah, to walk around on Mars. Or feel the steamy impossibility of Venus. And I thought it was cold? How about Neptune, or the recently demoted Pluto. I’d not feel much of any sun from that distance.

Ultimately, I’d like to achieve this concept of hyperspace that most science fiction writers employ to get their characters across vast interstellar distances. It’d be humanity’s next great chance to explore an area thought to be far beyond itself, and one in which we are not sure where or if other life exists. It is hard for me to believe though that in a sky filled with more stars than there are grains of sand down here, that something or someone else isn’t out there.

And if not? Well, I’ll start a colony on one of those far away worlds in which we’ll try to get it right. A utopia where war is not permitted, a place where we agree to settle disputes through peaceful, diplomatic discussion. And of course, a place where the sun always shines! Join me?

Writing 101-1 Unlock The Mind

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

I’m taking on this challenge, having been inspired by the great Amy Juicebox. I think it technically has some sort of actual time limit, but I’m starting way later than most and don’t really care.

Why am I doing this? Well, because I feel myself entering a slightly dangerous period of my life where I could really get so bogged down by the day-to-day minutiae of surviving my current employment that it becomes my permanent employment. And we all know I can’t have that! So, bear with me as I perhaps make false starts and maybe have some posts that are a little lower-quality than I’d like. I just want to get myself back to writing, and to that motivation that looked like it was going to carry me somewhere at this time last year.

So the object of today’s post is to just keep pressing buttons for 20 minutes. Hmmm, what to talk about.

I’ve set the timer on my iPhone, actually set it for 22 minutes to give myself enough time to load Pandora and the jazz music I now have streaming.

I loaded a station by a jazz artist named Jimmy Scott who, according to an NPR reporter, died today. She states that he’s a man, but the songs I’ve heard thus far that are attributed to him have been sang by a woman. I suppose he plays an instrument or something, though. In any event, it’s nice sounding stuff.

This follows on the heels of my reading Heidi Durrow’s book The Girl Who Fell from the sky, a poignant examination of the challenges that sadly still exist when conducting relationships that involve individuals of different races. Told from the perspective of the mother, her daughter, one of her previous lovers, a bystander who happened to witness the tragedy, and a couple others; it chronicles an unfolding event that the reader isn’t able to fully conceptualize until the book ends.

The mother is from Denmark, and she is employed in Chicago as the story begins. We learn of what happened to her through her journal. Once the event happens, the daughter Rachel is sent off to Portland to live with her grandma. Here, she grows from a 8 or 9-year-old child to a high school teen.

I love that the grandma, as well as one of Rachel’s Aunt’s lover’s daughters, speak in dialect. It helps to add character to the story.

The reason I mentioned it in connection to the music though is that Durrow has Rachel get introduced to another blues great, Etta James. This caused me to create a Pandora station of her too, which I’ve been rocking out to for the last week or so. I’d heard of her via an NPR profile when she passed, but hadn’t really checked out any of her stuff.

And yeah I know that was probably not the best book review I’ve ever written, but I’m not allowing myself to stop and pretty it up. I’d recommend grabbing a copy of the book anyhow. And, Durrow’s putting on something called the Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles tomorrow. I wish I could go, as it sounds interesting.

Four minutes left! What else to say? If you stroll in from somewhere else as a result of this post, please feel free to read some of my other stuff as well. I think it’ll be more interesting. I like doing the occasional book review, as well as talking about disability-related issues, music, and of course travel. Though I don’t really get to do as much of the latter as I’d like these days.

Taking a trip to Las Vegas and the convention of the American Council of the Blind in 29 days though! I’m already bummed that I chose to stay only through that Wednesday, having to leave on an early 9:30 flight, because I will miss the presentation of the NLS narrator, usually my favorite part. But such is the way that west to east air travel works: I’ll lose so much time coming back that I couldn’t afford to depart later in the day than that.

So, nice to meet you? Say hi, drop your email in the subscribe box, and help me keep this thing going! Thanks, and have a great weekend.