Next up on the TU schedule is New Mexico who is coming off a pounding by Texas a&M last week. The game is in Albuquerque and TU is a 17 point favorite. It would appear to be a win for Tulsa, but who knows? Anything can happen on the road and I’m sure New Mexico is itching for a chance to get revenge for the pounding they took in Tulsa last year. Not only did TU kill the Lobos, but UNM’s quarterback suffered a season ending knee injury. That’s some serious motivation for revenge but I think TU will be ready to take care of business. I am looking forward to the trip, not only because it’s TU, but also because it will give Cinnabar an opportunity to do her business in her 10th state. I love it when my dog gets the chance to boldly go where she’s never gone before. I’m easily amused.
Now for the interesting part of the weekend… New Orleans was a blast. We spent the whole weekend kicking through the French Quarter. We spent most of our time on Bourbon Street but wandered on to some of the adjoining area as well. As it happened, the TU/Tulane game coincided with “Southern Decadence”, an annual gay pride celebration. Basically,it’s Mardi Gras but with thousands and thousands of gay, mostly men, and women. It was completely awesome. Dudes were walking around in all kinds of costumes and skimpy attire. There were lots of guys in very short black leather shorts, black leather boots and nothing but black leather cross belts over bare chests. Of course there were dudes in drag as well. We saw guys dressed as sailors, firemen, a dude as Captain America and all kinds of stuff that I can’t remember. What I really loved about it is how accepting they all were. I of course got a lot of attention because of Cinnabar, but the majority of people I spoke too actually spoke to me instead of my parents and didn’t treat me like I was invisible like most people do. In fact, the only times I was treated like I was invisible was by straight people. Cinnabar got beads from some lesbians, I got hugged by random dudes who came up to tell me how beautiful my dog and I were, and I loved every minute of it. It was really an awesome experience being surrounded by such a diverse and accepting bunch of people.
Not surprisingly, a massive gay pride gathering also brought out the idiotic protesters spewing hate and discrimination all in the name of religion. These morons walked up and down Bourbon Street all weekend quoting the Bible and telling everyone they were going to Hell. And they weren’t just piling on homosexuals. They carried signs with a long list of things they were opposed to including: liberals, fornicators, masturbators, all religions other than Christianity, sports fans, money lovers, dogs and swine. There were many more things on the list, but those are the ones I remember. Basically, they were being judgmental jack offs. I have no problem with religion or religious people. I don’t happen to be particularly religious myself but I totally respect people who are and who practice what they believe. I do have a problem with people who use religion as a justification for hate which is what I believe this particular group was up to. It’s not my or anyone else’s place to say whether homosexuality is right or wrong. It’s a personal choice and it’s no one else’s business to pass judgment. No one lives a perfect life. I guarantee that everyone in that group of protesters has committed some act in their lives that they were protesting against. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to answer for the choices they make. If you believe homosexuals are going to Hell, fine. That’s your business. But don’t go around trying to force your morals on everyone else. There’s no reason why we still can’t all get along and respect one another. They aren’t asking you to be homosexuals so why is it your business to try to get them to convert to your particular set of morals? Personally, I prefer to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If you’re cool to me, then we’ll get along fine no matter whom or what you do and no matter what you believe. It’s really just all about mutual respect as far as I’m concerned.
Of course, as much as I disagreed with everything these protesters had to say, I fully support their right to come out and say it. I found it obnoxious that they were just trying to spoil everyone’s good time and I don’t believe they changed a single person’s mind, but if it makes them feel better, then whatever. It made me feel better to yell back at them and I yelled with gusto. I heckled these guys until I was hoarse and when one of them mouthed off at me, I gave him the finger accompanied by a profanity or two. I probably shouldn’t have done that, but I’d had a Hurricane so I was a bit bolder than usual. While I was heckling, there were lots of gay guys standing around laughing and applauding. I started chatting with a couple from Florida and we had a lot of good laughs together. I let them pet Cinnabar. One of the guys really liked Cinnabar and the feeling was mutual. She was licking him all over his face. When she started up with the licking, the guy’s partner turned to me and said, “I like to do that too.” I cracked up. That was seriously hilarious.
As I mentioned, one of the signs these clowns were carrying listed “dogs and swine” for some reason. Since I am accompanied by a dog 24/7 and am quite fond of dogs in general, I was curious to find out what their beef was with dogs. Dad and I went up to one of the protesters and asked what they had against dogs. The guy said he didn’t have a problem with dogs so Dad pointed out the sign in question. The guy said it was a reference to a Bible verse and quoted it to us. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the cite and I don’t care enough to look it up. His explanation was kind of hard to follow, but from what I gathered, dogs and swine were just a metaphor fore evil doers. I asked the guy if this was the case and he just froze and seemed all confused. I’m pretty sure he didn’t know what a metaphor was. He stammered and babbled a bit and never really answered my question. It was clear that the guy knew his argument was wrong and didn’t know how to handle being confronted by a blind person with a service dog. We finally just gave up and walked away. It was a really good time. I love confusing idiots.
The only negative thing about the weekend was all the trouble I had with access issues. I guess they don’t see a lot of service animals on the French Quarter because I had more people tell me I couldn’t bring my dog into stores and restaurants over one weekend than I’ve had in 2 years of traveling with a dog. It was nuts. I had to argue my way into 2 or 3 stores and 1 restaurant. At the stores, I got the owners to agree that I could stay then announced that I’d spend my money elsewhere and left. At the restaurant, the guy caved in but made us go in through the bar entrance and sat us in the bar instead of on the restaurant side. I shouldn’t have let that happen, but honestly, this trip was the first time I had had a real challenge to my right to be accompanied by my dog. I’ve been questioned a couple of times but never really been told “you can’t bring that dog in here.” It is a really strange experience. It’s humiliating and makes me feel like I am inferior to the rest of humanity. I know I shouldn’t let people make me feel like this, but it’s hard not too when you’re being treated like garbage. It’s very unsettling to face blatant discrimination like that. Every time it happened, I was almost too shocked to know what to do. I finally started carrying my ID and my cards with access laws in my front pocket so I could get to them easier. For some reason, I just had a feeling I was going to get hassled in New Orleans but I was still surprised it happened so much. I’m not totally satisfied with how I dealt with it, but I think I’ll be better prepared to deal with it next time. I think learning how to deal with access issues is just something you have to learn with experience. I have talked about it with other dog handlers and have been told what I should do, but I think it’s one of those things that takes real life experience to really get the hang of. Although, I’m not sure anyone can really get the hang of being discriminated against, but hopefully I’ll at least get better at confronting it.
I think that covers the major highlights of the trip. I ate like a pig and gained 4 pounds. No worries though, It’ll come back off. I really enjoyed myself and had lots of tasty food. I also had a couple of hurricanes, spent a ridiculous amount of money buying beads and wore myself and Cinnabar out with hours and hours of walking.
In other news, we had the fantasy football draft last week. I’m sharing my team with Mom again. We’re calling our team “Raisin’ Cane”. I’m not crazy about our team, but I think it’ll turn out all right. I never like my team’s right after the draft then I always end up in the playoffs anyway. My quarterbacks are Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. Everyone laughed at me when I drafted Flacco, but I’ve read a lot of really good stuff about him and the Ravens and I think he’s going to have a breakout year. If not, he’s only my backup and I’ll survive. My running backs are Brian Westbrook, who I swore I’d never draft again, Kevin Smith at Detroit, Felix Jones from Dallas, Leon Washington from the Jets, Willis McGahee from Baltimore and Chris Wells from Arizona. At first glance, I’m not very deep at RB, but again, I feel like Jones and Washington have potential to step up and have breakout seasons. Wells is in a good position too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a starter before long. My receivers are Larry Fitzgerald, Marcus Coulston, Chad – I refuse to call him Ocho-Cinco- Johnson, Derrick Mason and Nate Burleson. I’m feeling pretty decent about my receivers except for the fact that Fitzgerald is on the Madden NFL cover. That Madden curse is pretty creepy. I hope my guy doesn’t end up on injured reserve.. The rest of my team consists of the Philly defense and Chicago’s kicker. Not a great team but maybe I can make it work. We’ll see how it goes.
I have another team this year that I am sharing with my friend Benny. We’re playing in the KREF fantasy football league this year with Toby Rowland and TJ Perry from the T-Row in the Morning Show. There’s no money on the line but I’m looking forward to annoying people and generally kicking ass. We’re calling ourselves Blind Rage. Yes, we are hilarious. To get in the league, Toby had people call in and give reasons why they should be allowed to play. I was just going to call in and tell him why Benny and I should get in, but then a poem just randomly sprung into my head and once I got going it just sort of came together. I’m not really the poetry type, but I hate to waste a rare creative outburst so I called in and read it on the air. It was well received and was good enough to get me in. Of course, the competition was rather weak so I’m pretty sure I could’ve just belched or something and gotten in. The poem had some inside jokes about other callers and crap that has happened on the show. I thought it was pretty funny, but what do I know? I’m just a dork who calls into a sports talk radio show. It’s just one show and only because I enjoy the host and all the contests they have during football season. Generally, I have no patience for talk radio of any kind. As for our team, it basically sucks balls. There was a live online draft but unfortunately, when I went to log in for the draft, I discovered that my internet service was out. I had no choice but to let Yahoo draft my team automatically. The results were marginal at best. My starters aren’t too bad, but my bench is awful. I have no depth at all and am going to have to be good on the waiver wire to salvage a decent season. Thanks a lot Cox High Speed Internet. You jerks owe me a fantasy draft.
I need to mention that Dad finished the Hotter Than Hell Hundred the last weekend in August. It was in Wichita Falls, TX and is one of the biggest bike rides in the region. He had some mechanical issues but powered through it and finished the ride. He popped a spoke just after the 40 mile mark. This caused his wheel to get out of alignment and it started rubbing on the bike frame. He eventually popped another spoke. He rode 60 miles with his tire rubbing on every stroke. Not only did this create additional resistance and make it harder to pedal but he also had to fight through the mental aspect of knowing that he was having to work harder plus worry about whether his bike was going to totally fail and cause a crash. There were mechanics along the way for repairs, but the lines were really long. By the time he finally found a line that wasn’t too bad, the guy wouldn’t fix his bike. Dad finally just decided to go and hope for the best. He made it. He wasn’t as fast as he’d hoped but he finished under circumstances that would’ve caused most people to quit. Way to go Dad! You’re the man. Next year, we’re taking the tandem.
OK, I’m outta here. I can’t believe how long this is. Hope you all enjoyed. I’ve gotta go work on my laundry and get ready for the big road trip to New Mexico tomorrow. Go TU! Toodles.