Friday, September 07, 2007

the kid is alright

two weeks ago i started teaching at the new job. it's been good so far. the week before that, when i went in to do paperwork, find my workspace, etc. it was awful. i'm learning that things are just done differently here. i was taking things kind of personal, but i shouldn't have been. i really love my colleagues A & L. they are just honest, straightforward, no-shit-taking people. those are the kinds of folks i really love.
everyone is in love with ainsley. everyone. i wish i had that effect on a few select men. keanu reeves to be exact. no kidding! i love riding the subway and seeing all these people break out in a big grin when they see her. just seconds before they were walking around in their "new york bubble" just trying to get from point a to point b without being fucked around or over, then BAM! there's ainsley and her "the world is a shiny happy lovely wonderful place and i love you SO MUCH!" attitude. it makes me feel good that my little muttmeister can make a few smiles each day. of course there are some asshoolios who are just ignorant and i try my best to just ignore them. i don't wear the bionic ear on the commute in the AM so that's easy then and i'm considering not wearing on the commute back in the evenings if i get another smartassed comment from someone who doesn't want to hear anything but the sound of their own voice. ainsley is a service dog--much like a seeing eye or guide dog, she alerts me to sounds that i cannot or don't hear. she is protected under access laws like civil rights legislation, animal/pet legislation, and disability specific legislation. she CAN go anywhere with me include in food establishments, transportation, etc. i have a feeling that i will be taking my place on the soap box to educate people and organizations about the access rights of service animals and their owners and trainers. i have run into a couple incredibly alarming situations at one particular local retail establishment. they will be hearing from me at the local and corporate levels.
i have been making an effort to become more informed and knowledgable of the transportation options and i've toyed around with various commuting options. i will continue to do that as time goes on. in fact, i plan to try a different commute at least once next week to see how it goes. so far, the commute isn't bad. it can be a long wait at certain times, but there are different options that i have not been aware of and i'm sure there are other options that i'm still not aware of. ainsley does great on the commute. she is completely unaffected by it all. she is taking all this change and all this excitement in stride. she is having to adjust to seeing more dogs being walked and packs of dogs being walked by dog walkers--an uncommon sight for us. i'm also having trouble at the local dog park. all the male dogs have been clamoring to gang bang my sweet pup. the owners have decided that i am an idiot who is bringing a dog in heat to the dog park and that i am just asking for trouble. wrong. ainsley was fixed years ago. she has the scar to prove it. unfortunately because she is so submissive, she won't communicate to the gang bangers to knock it off already. i think park of her thinks it is a big game because she can make them chase her (which she LOVES!). as long as they are not hurting her and none have penetrated (gawd that sounds so disgusting!)--she won't make a sound or nip or bark or growl or anything. we may have to go to a different dog park all together since i have heard from two people that their male dogs did not hump other dogs until they started going to this park. poor ainsley.
while at work, i havewalked ainsley down to central park a few times since there are green spots and dirt spots around trees in the sidewalks in that direction--hence places where she will "potty" or "hurry" as the command is for us. she loved central park and i am checking out different sections of it online to check out during our long days in the city. i'm also trying to figure out a quick route to carl schurtz (sp?) park where there is a supposedly a nice dog park.
i steered clear of the city yesterday and today due to a taxi strike and fashion week at bryant park. as i become more comfortable with my surroundings, i will extend my comfort zone little by little in the city. i have not seen any famous people yet, but my mother called me and told me that brad pitt and his daughter were in central park the same day that i was walking ainsley there. see. now my mother is a celeb-watcher because her daughter works in nyc!
my new apartment is really an old old place but it has character and it is cheap for the area. i got rid of a lot of my belongings prior to moving here--perhaps more than i should have, but i actually feel quite refreshed and less stressed with fewer belongings since that means less clutter and less chaos. things are slowly coming together and i am having to pinch my pennies until my first payday, but this experience is teaching me to live with less and to live more simply. there is still some work to be done to fix up the apartment (painting, fixing, cleaning, etc), but i am comfortable and safe. those are the most important factors.
i am looking forward to my first real guest in november. my friend susan will be coming to cheer on a scottish friend in the NYC marathon. as luck would have it, my cousin's wife, jamy, will also be running the marathon. we will all get together and have a blast i am sure. susan is always so much fun.
i have made a decision about a few things in my life that will change many things drastically, but i also know that the changes will be for the very best. in the days and weeks and months that follow, i am focusing on living and not hiding. this has become a struggle for me. it has, over the past few years, become much easier for me to withdraw and hide from life and living and from engaging with others. i don't want to continue like this. i want to be ME. the real me. the me that is engaging, curious, and all about experiencing the world. i am in the center of the universe (or at least a few miles from there) so it would be criminal if i didn't take advantage of the opportunity.
dear friends and readers, i'll be posting more regularly now that i've settled into my new life a little bit. i'm looking forward to getting feedback from you all on things i need to do and see here on the east coast and in NYC. i'm clueless, so clue me in!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

My Dear Jac...Having spent the first 29 years of my life living in the greater NEW YORK area, and later living there, too...IT IS, One of the greatest cities in the world. So much going on there....Museums...Theatre.....
Music....Etc., Etc. Think how fantastic it is that there is a HUGE Park, right in the middle of this great great city. Restaurants, Shopping that is extrarodinary beyond belief....Anything your heart desires is THERE, right there, in New York City.
I'm thrilled for you, my dear...Just Thrilled!

Ainsley...I want to see a picture of her!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

ART...Yes, ART! How could I forget that...!

And in case I forgot...Michele sent me today.

The Hawk "Pale Mal"e....Google this....
This us what makes New York the Great Incredible City it is...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Forgive me...

PALE MALE....! One of the treasures of New York City.

Arwen said...

Sounds amazing! I can't wait to hear more and I'm certainly glad that you are smiling when ainsley brings smiles to others!