A pox on this house

February 26th, 2011

Sorry to have vanished like that. I read your stories about going outside the comfort zone, and I want to respond to your comments and thank you for your stories, and to say that I’ve agreed to help out next season, and to come clean about my social anxiety issues that I’ve obviously underplayed here, because clearly I did not convey just how nervous I can make myself about these sorts of things, and to tell you about our vacation in the mountains last week – which is why I vanished last week – but the Small Boy got sick on Tuesday and was diagnosed with chicken pox on Thursday (German lesson: Windpocke. Swiss lesson: Spitzeblasen) – and that is why I’ve disappeared this week.

Let me tell you a little secret about the chicken pox. It’s not the pox that’ll kill you, it’s the cranky. And the boredom of a 10 day house-bound infectious period. Which leads back to the cranky. Also, the knowledge of impending doom ringing in your mind like overwrought background music in a horror movie: there is no way that 17-21 days from now Boychen’s not going to come down with this too and we’re going to go through the same thing all over again.

This, my friends, is why we own a TV.

Walk with me outside the comfort zone

February 8th, 2011

The boys’ hockey school is losing some trainers at the end of this season. The two trainers – husband and wife – who work with the littlest kids, with the kids who have maybe never been on skates before and who begin the year unable to stand up and who end it at least able to walk across the ice on skate if not to properly glide across it, are leaving. She has been trying to leave since Small Boy started, actually, but the school has always begged her to stay and for two years she has but now she is standing firm. He is leaving at the end of the year; I don’t know if he has wanted to leave before this. The school is losing a third trainer as well, my favorite trainer, and I don’t know if that is common knowledge yet; I won’t even get into what a blow that will be. He’s an amazing trainer. I only know he’s leaving because the woman who trains the littlest ones called me to ask if I am interested in taking her place next year, and it came up in the conversation.

I’m interested. Hockey has given my family a lot over the years, and this school in particular has given Small Boy some wonderous things, and I’d like to give something back to the sport.

I’m also kind of terrified. My natural tendency is to curl inward and to stay in my comfort zone. I like to live in my head but this. This is out there. This is public. This is way outside my comfort zone. This is in Swiss-German. This is important. This is scary.

Tell me your stories about the time you went outside your comfort zone. How did you do it? How do you psych yourself up for it? How did it work out? Were you glad you did it? If it went badly, how long did the I Can’t Believe I Did That moment last? If it went badly, did you try again? Tell me your stories. I think I want to do this, but I’m awfully good at talking myself out of things. Help talk me into it.

Swiss, French, Italian readers please help spread the word about these missing twin girls

February 7th, 2011

Could you Switzerland, France, and Italy based readers please help spread the word about these missing twin 6 year old girls from Switzerland. I’m calling on those three groups in particular because the girls are from Switzerland, they were possibly in Marseille with their father a week ago, and their father committed suicide in the south of Italy Feb 3.

You can find more information, including pictures of the girls, here.


One step forward…

February 3rd, 2011

…one step back. Rejection email today. Sigh. I was invited to submit again in their next reading period, which I know from an interview I’ve read with the editor is not a statement they blankly attach to every rejection, so these particular poems didn’t work for them, but they have some faith in my possibility as a poet. I can summon up a glass half-full attitude about that. But first I’m going to pout.


February 2nd, 2011

It’s been a long depressing run of rejection letters lately, so I’m pretty happy to be able to say I have two poems up at Shot Glass Journal. “Reading the Book of Psalms Behind Closed Doors” is oldish and I’m happy that it found a home and “Meanwhile, at Departures, We Bow to a Twenty-First Century God” is one of the new poems I’ve been writing since Wellfleet, so I’m very glad to have a positive response to this new direction.

I know it’s about the writing, but a professional pat on the back now and then is very, very encouraging. I really needed this.