Well, This is Nice to Receive!

Not much interesting material comes in the regular mail these days. And I’m sure you’re all familiar with the solicitations that are produced by machines that make it appear the envelope has been hand-written.

So imagine how I felt when I received a small envelope last Friday, postmarked from Oakland, CA, a city in which I don’t know anyone. And imagine how I felt when I opened it and found this inside:

Yep, that’s right, Michael Chabon thinks BARDBALL is “very cool”! He’s one of my favorite writers in the entire civilized world, and he took a moment to write — IN PEN! — that he thought our little baseball poetry blog is very cool. If you haven’t read his Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, then you are depriving yourself of a massive treat. I also enjoyed the hell out of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Summerland, and Maps & Legends.

I mailed him a copy of the 2010 Bardball chapbook in the spring, with no greater intention than thinking he might enjoy it. And spank my ass and call me Bieber, but he did! This is going up on the wall, next to my fan letters from Ernie Harwell and a certain ex-president who will not be named but did get impeached.

After all, I can’t namedrop ALL DAY! He he he!!

Whining about Insomnia

Well. there goes another Monday morning. Any productivity shot down by a night of sleeplessness.

I just don’t get it. This year has actually seen fewer problems than last year, yet since my 50th birthday, I can count on a good bout of insomnia about every month or so. Usually hitting on Sunday night, because of the upcoming workweek, I suppose. This weekend I got it twice, even on Saturday night, after a day with two hours of driving and about 5 hours of hiking around state parks. Despite all that exertion, at midnight my body felt like it was poised to walk into a slam-dunk meeting or defend the house from raccoons or something.

So last night, it should’ve been easy to fall asleep, right? I took it easy, did some stretching before bed, read for 40 mins — and didn’t fall asleep for another 2.5 hours, even after warm milk and a couple of Tylenol PMs.

How ironic is it that the only thing weighing on my mind lately is that I’m not being that productive? That I’m still waiting to get answers from other people before I release my projects for public consumption? That I’m the person in the household with the least amount of pressure in their lives, and still sleep simply avoids me?

And how stupid is it that I feel like a failure for not being able to sleep? That’s the dominant feeling in those empty hours, that I am failing at something that the entire city has somehow been able to do. Grrrr. This is one aspect of getting older that I’m really detesting.