Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I haven't blogged as much as usual in the last few weeks (defining "usual" very loosely). I've decided that rather than form a coherant thought, I'd catch you up on my comings and goings in bullet-point form.


I recently went on a whirlwind trip to Yellowstone. All summer we've been promising the kids that we'd go camping, but all manner of time commitments have stood in our way, so two weeks ago we packed up and spent a quick weekend watching water boil.

By strict definition, it wasn't "camping". One night we stayed in a one-room cabin in the woods, and the other night we stayed in the Marriott. But, we totally looked at trees out the window, and I think there was a show about nature on our plasma screen TV.

Being August, there wasn't a lot of wildlife to be seen. If you go to Yellowstone in early summer all the elk and buffalo are hanging out by the roads, hoping to see and be seen. But by August they've decided they hate tourists. This is all normal and we've experienced it before (we go to Yellowstone a lot). What we haven't experienced before is that all the geysers were taking summer vacation, too. My theory is that there's less water due to the hot weather, so they don't erupt as much, but the other theory is that we didn't spend a ton of time and our lack of patience was our downfall. Either way, the hikes were dull, with no geysers, just steamy puddles. That said, we managed to see all the animals we wanted to, including a huge grizzly on the shoulder of the road. They were just fewer and far between.

The Emergency Room

My next trip was to the ER on a Sunday evening. In the morning I'd been experiencing some weird symptoms which I described to my wife as "a migraine without the headache". It was all nausea and pressure and lightheadedness. Then, at church, she said I looked pale and my lips were blue, so I went home and discovered my blood pressure was really high. (Those of you who know me might not be surprised at the high blood pressure, since I shower in bacon grease every morning, but I've actually never had high blood pressure in my entire life, ever. And yet this was REALLY high.)

And then the kicker: after a few hours of weird symptoms and high blood pressure, my face started to go numb. A quick consultation with Dr. Internet indicated that I was having a stroke and that I needed to visit the hospital and an estate lawyer.

Fortunately for all, it wasn't a stroke. I had an EKG and a CT scan, and the doctor and nurse had a long conversation where they tried to find something sharp to run across the bottoms of my feet. In the end, I can't remember what they chose. But I flinched several times during the conversation, so it wasn't needed.

The ultimate verdict was: A Complex Migraine. It's like a migraine, but with more random crap they can't explain. Then they paged the crazy doctor for a consult, and he came in and told me that my body was filled with toxins caused by aspartame and food additives, and the only possible therapy was to give me an expensive placebo (and to make me an independent placebo distributor!) Or maybe I made that part up. But it was a Complex Migraine.

The Edits

The first round of edits for Variant are in the bag, and I still have a few days before the second round begins. Overall, the edits weren't bad at all. They certainly weren't like my third book, when the main edit was "We like it, but make it more like The Da Vinci Code."

There were three main revisions, one of which was to knock off the repitition. And, as I looked at my editor's notes, I discovered that I repeat stuff constantly. Constantly. I repeat stuff constantly. What I'm trying to say is that when I say a thing, I will repeat it. Constantly.

We're Moving

I move a lot. In ten years of marriage, we've had nine different addresses (though that includes a few quick little moves, like when we house-sat for someone for four months, and when I interned for my MBA). This time, however, we're moving to a far more stable place--a house. It's a marvelous house in a good area with a big yard. It was built and decorated in the fifties, and it has a fine selection of gold and baby-blue carpet.

Also, we discovered yesterday, it has a chubby rat lounging on the back lawn. So, hooray! Watch out, Mrs. Frisby! The exterminators are on the way!

Another thing the house has: a walnut tree. I cut open one of the fruit to figure out what it was (because it looked green and round, not walnutish) and the juice permanently stained my hand. It's been six days. Dang walnuts.

Anyway, the important thing about moving into a house is that now you can help me carry the piano up the front steps. Come one and all.


At 8/18/2010 1:52 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

With nine minutes to spare before midnight! Let it never be said that I don't fulfill all of my obligations (some of the time).

At 8/18/2010 10:59 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

I'd love to come help you move that piano. Too bad I live in Virginia...

At 8/18/2010 11:29 AM, Blogger Jennie said...

I'm too wimpy to move pianos, but I want to say you should see a good cardiologist. I know three different people, my husband included, who had migraines like yours, thought they were having a stroke, and their cardiolgists discovered tiny holes around the valves in their hearts. Once the holes were plugged, no more migraines. (My migraines only needed a better diet, more exercise, and to get older.)Good luck with the house. Which area is it in? Are you sure you spotted a rat? Gophers, voles, and chucks are plentiful in many neighborhoods and gophers are harder to get rid of than rats.

At 8/18/2010 11:41 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Thanks, Jennie.

Back when they were looking at my chest pain (which is almost completely gone now, hooray!) the cardiologist investigated the heart/migraine connection and she found no evidence of it.

As for the rat/gopher/vole, I haven't actually seen it--my wife did. Personally, I'd be happier if it was a gopher, because gophers don't (I think) want to come in the house.

The house is in Holladay. It has an enormous garden that hasn't been tended for several years. I'm sure there's all kinds of things living in there.

At 8/18/2010 1:43 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Rob, I'm gonna say that you have an officially weird life. A rat in your backyard AND a Complex Migraine. I don't know anyone who's done that. Old houses can be great and a lot of work. Mine will turn 100 yrs. old in five more years.

But it might be a gopher. We had one that waited on our back step everyday. My husband thought it was someone's lost pet. He put it in a box and took it house to house looking for the owner. It was all good and well until the thing tried to bite him.

It took him two days to figure out it was a gopher, and that was two days of keeping it in a box on our back step. Doh. I almost died laughing when he figured it out. "Did you lose your pet gopher?"


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