Whew! Its been a while since my last blog post and while I know no one is sitting around waiting for my words with bated breath I still want to recognize the lapse. So what’s been up since December? LOTS of travel.
At the end of December I headed down to Floriduh to visit my family for Christmas.
It was 80 degrees and I was walking around in T-Shirts. It made me question my sanity walking dogs outside in Brooklyn in the winter. One day I went running and actually got bit by a mosquito- crazy Floridian jungle bugs. It was fun to see my parents, and my brother’s family. My nephews are super cute and I dig being crazy aunt Susie from New York. I’m pretty sure the aunt role is as far as I want to go kid-wise. I like kids but I like writing and traveling more. The only maternal instincts I seem to have is manifested in my desire to someday have my own dog again- When I’m married and more settled and Itty Pity has gone. She’s not a big fan of the dogs and expresses this through peeing on things any time I bring a dog into my apartment. I can’t have nice things!
When I got back to New York I headed out to Merida, Mexico for US Poets in Mexico. We went last year and had a good time. Its a great conference because its still small and intimate and because of that you actually get to know the participants and faculty pretty well over the course of a week. Last year I worked with Monica de la Torre, Jack Collum, Forrest Gander, CD Wright, and Bob Holman.
One of my favorite thing this year was swimming in the beautiful cenotes. We of course went back to La Casa de Frida to eat Chile en Nogada a seasonal dish which is a poblano pepper stuffed with meat and fruit and covered in a creamy walnut sauce. Its amazing, yet impossible to find, even in NYC.
We also enjoyed going back to La Flor de Santiago on of Merida’s oldest cafes for Sopa de Lima and good coffee.
This year despite all the poets, I only got and opportunity to work with Mark Doty and Cassandra Tribe. Part of that was due to workshop structure the other part was because I came down a serious bout of Montezuma’s revenge and/or food poisoning from a fish dish spent a night with my head etc. in the toilet. The whole next day I spent in bed. It was rough! Prior to that I thought it would be a good idea to go running on the crumbling streets of Mexico and of course I twisted my ankle and totally bit it, skinned my knee, the whole nine. This led Dennis and I to recount all of my travel debacles. On our first trip together I got a UTI in Berlin- oddly enough going to the doctor there was a lot easier and cheaper- Thank you socialized medicine! Then right before we went to Rome last year I was walking down the street and got hit by a car and got a concussion. Which cause me to spend most of our Roman Holiday in a daze.
The last time we went to Mexico I almost made it out without any ailments but I got motion sick on the small plane out Merida to Mexico City. When we hit Mexico city the nausea was overwhelming, I asked Dennis to ask one of the stores for a plastic bag and when he came back to look for me I already had my head in a trash can. Its a wonder he puts with me at all. In the first year of our relationship he spent way too much time in the hospital with me when my appendix burst then 4 months later the ER again for the car accident. But he insists I’m a good travel companion and jokes that maybe we should just plan for one sick day for me per trip. I don’t like this idea, I don’t want to encourage this trend to continue. I’m actually working on a poem about throwing up in some of the most fascinating places in the world. Its a wonder I even leave the house.
So January 9th we returned to Brooklyn and my dog walking assistant, Matt, moved to Seattle. I was sad to see him go but understand the need to get out there and explore the world. I hired a new assistant Nathan who is working out great. He’s very reliable and good with the dogs. Business has been really good but with more comes more responsibility. I went to see a lawyer to see about converting my business over to an LLC. I also want to have independent contractor contracts with my employees and contracts with my clients stating that they are responsible for their dog’s behavior. Especially after one of my employees got bit last month. She’s okay, but liability is a definite concern in this business where animals can be unpredictable. I do all I can to put the safety of the dogs and employees first but occasionally stuff happens. I’m hoping that contracts will help business go more smoothly and keep me from getting an ulcer worrying about everything.
I’m finally trying to get back on the beam poetically. I have been in a serious writing lapse but it happens. Inspiration is irrelevant. I know that, all I have to do is make time to show up to the page and eventually something will come out. I’m starting to post interviews on BOMBlog again and here at Dog Poet Laureate. Hopefully, this will get the brainwaves back on track. Thank you for your readership and support!