I Got the Boot

Let’s play a game. I’ll tell you three things about me, one of which is true.

  1. I am really good at karaoke
  2. I have never broken a bone.
  3. My least favorite candy flavor is orange, followed closely by grape.

If you had looked at this list on Wednesday, we’d be playing a difference game. We’d be playing “Spot the false statement.” As of yesterday, however, now it’s “Spot the true statement.” That’s because Item #2 got downgraded to a lie yesterday, when I found out I had broken my very first bone.

It all started two weeks ago, after a nice long run. I stepped off the treadmill and felt pain in my left foot. The whole top of my foot was burning, and it made unhappy little lightning zips every time I walked on it. I finished my workout, went home, and consulted Dr. Google, who diagnosed me with a metatarsal stress fracture.

I shrugged and tried to stay off it for a couple weeks. When the pain subsided and was replaced by a different kind of pain, I decided to consult a foot specialist, who confirmed the stress fracture and gave me a big fancy boot to wear.

This big fancy boot, pictured on the left, will be my more or less constant companion for the next 6-8 weeks. I already dislike it. How am I supposed to keep my carpet clean when I’ve got this big Storm Trooper boot tracking who-knows-what in from the great outdoors?

Also, it gives my left foot an extra inch in height, meaning I either have to walk around with my right foot on tiptoe to compensate or else walk like a lopsided freakshow through the house, boot thunking away like some kind of pirate peg leg.

So now my cardio options are limited to the bike (which sounds like so much fun with a gigantic boot!) or swimming (which I love but have no access to). Still, it could be worse. I could have tried to run on the foot, snapped my metatarsal, and needed surgery to repair the horrible, horrible damage.

I was all giggles at the podiatrist’s office yesterday, though. I just thought it was so silly, this being my first broken bone. I felt like I was going through a rite of passage, and now that I’ve bumbled my way through bringing groceries in with a boot on, I can see that this particular rite of passage kind of sucks.

I’ve got a plan, though, I’m going to mainline calcium, swear undying allegiance to my boot, and rest the heck out of that bone. I’m hoping that at my three week check-up the doctor’s going to take one look at my x-rays and ask me where I found adamantium, and then inquire whether it hurt to have it injected into my foot.

I just have to hope that between now and then I’m not require to be nimble.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, the only true statement from our game above is #3. I’m actually atrocious at karaoke.

A Preponderance of Rambling

Please excuse the dust around here, I haven’t touched my blog in almost two weeks and the neglect is evident. I can barely remember how to type, my laptop is moping, and I’m fairly certain when I publish this post it’ll appear on the wrong website entirely because that’s how out of practice I am.

Serves me right for unplugging for a week, though. I should have known there’d be a price to pay. A full week of reading, chasing Aidan around, and marveling at the absolute worst July weather I’ve ever seen (rain! wind! thunderstorms! I even saw a locust, but there was just one of them so it didn’t qualify as a plague. Wes says it was a cricket, but I’ve already established that he doesn’t know things) and all I have to show for it is an alarmingly decreased work ethic and the hint of a suntan.

I’ve had adventures, though! I climbed a very steep hill made of discarded coal (it sat atop the bones of a defunct coal mine) and shared a hiking tip with Wes that my Dad taught me. I did drunken crossword puzzles with my sister-in-law and her husband (I’m decidedly better at crossword puzzles when I’m tipsy). I tried a Bacon Bloody Mary that was absolutely, positively disgusting. I ate approximately four million salted caramel macadamia nut clusters, and I listened to Aidan say, “Water” when we went to the pool.

Admittedly, my adventures are of the tame sort. That’s just how married suburbanite mothers roll, though, I’m afraid.

Slightly less tame was the handgun class Wes and I took before we left. We shot a variety of .22 and 9mm caliber semiautomatic handguns, and I learned two things:

  • The .22 caliber Colt 1911 handgun is my most favoritist ever, and I want to write it pen pal letters I miss it so much.
  • Glocks hate me. And I hate them. I might as well not even fire them, because I’m fairly certain I’m far more likely to hit the target by chucking the Glocks themselves than by trying to aim and fire them. Ridiculous.

The gun class was odd though. I expected the class to be mostly dudes, but there was an alarming preponderance of women in the class. Pretty women. Like, the kind who wear makeup, do their hair, and wear the kind of pants that sit so low when they sit guys like sitting behind them because then they know what kind of underwear the girls are wearing.

I later found out that the women were all of a group of friends who’d bought the Groupon together, but still. Do attractive women flock together or something? And why do they look so natural holding handguns?

On the writing front, I finished my short story before I left. I’ll edit and revise, and then make it available free for download because it’s fun and short and good practice for me. I’m scheduled to start writing Novel #3 in September, I’m attending a writer’s conference in August, and PWNED is likely going to be available in print format in four weeks or so. Woo hoo!

As for my second novel, Enemy Accountant, I’m still revising it so it won’t be available for public consumption for awhile. It’s good, though. I’m excited to share it.

And that’s about it. It feels good to stretch my neglected blogging muscles, albeit at the expense of a post that has a point. Maybe next time, eh?

No Bleaching the Baby

Sometimes I’m lazy and it pays off, like when I don’t feel like getting off the couch and Wes bring me a water refill and then the water tastes better because everything tastes better when someone else gets it for you.

Sometimes, however, laziness bites me right on the meatiest part of my backside. I took Aidan to run a few errands today and we made it to our last stop, Barnes & Noble, without incident (I wanted to pick up a book of crossword puzzles for our upcoming vacation. What has four letters and fits this sentence: Erika is a huge ____. Hint: The third letter is an R).

I was tired from schlepping him in and out of multiple stores, and when I saw that his stroller was way back in the third row seat, just out of reach, I decided to just carry him. It was going to be a quick stop, in and out. No need for a stroller,

Or so I thought.

I decided to make use of the restroom facilities before completing our shopping, so I set Aidan down in the handicapped stall with me and tried to do my business as quickly as I could. Fiendishly fast troublemaker he is, though, he managed to dip his hand into the toilet water of the public restroom in the .00025 seconds it took me to undo the top button on my pants.

His hand. Was in. The toilet.

Public bathroom.

UNKNOWN FECES CONTRIBUTORS.

You know that screen that comes on the television when they’re testing the emergency broadcasting signal? That’s what flashed through my brain the instant his hand touched the water. It was all I could do not to improvise a Silkwood Shower for him on the spot. My brain was screaming “Bleach his hand! Bleach it! Bleach it good!” But my common sense was there too, so I settled for good old-fashioned soap, water, and some more soap and water.

So now all I can hear in my head is George Bluth’s voice telling me, “And that’s why you always bring a stroller.”

This is Where a Grave-Faced Face Slapper Would Come in Handy

I’m working with a printer to do the layout for my book, and I’m having the hardest time just saying yes to proofs. They look great, and I couldn’t be more excited to see my book in print, but it’s really freaking hard to tell them to go ahead and print the darn things.

Because then they’ll be set in stone done. As in finished. As in, I can’t muck around with them any more. Paul Valery once said, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” The same can be said of novels!

I think I’ll well and truly be done with revisions after this round, though. Honestly, it’s not like I have a problem or something. I can stop revising whenever I want to….

Just let me fix one more comma splice! Just one more! Don’t cut me off, man, these revisions are all I have left!

This is where it would be helpful to have a grave-faced man spring from the pantry to slap me across the face and tell me, “Get yourself together, woman!”

In other news, now that Aidan is almost 18 months old there’s been an uptick in interest in the contents of my womb. Or, rather, the prospect of womb contents. Womb is a weird word.

This could be because I’m not shy about saying that Wes and I will start trying for Future Baby starting next month (egads!). Or it could be because 18 months is one of those milestones where your baby isn’t really a baby any more so why not make another one?

Either way, five people have asked me about Future Baby’s timeline in the last week. Even I have to admit, I’m getting excited too. My brain knows how all-consuming and exhausting babies are, but my hormones have hijacked the joint so I guess I’ll come back to my senses in about a year and a half. I look forward to seeing you then.

Not even the grave-faced face slapper can help me now.

Between now and when a tiny fetus takes over my whole world, I plan to a) go on vacation, b) release a fun short story I just wrote, c) attend a writer’s conference, and d) write my third novel during the month of September.

September should be a fun month. I’m doing my own little NaNoWriMo during September because I have no guarantees I won’t be in mt first trimester come November and there’s no way I’m doing NaNoWriMo during my first trimester.

I guess what I’m saying is that I hope to have a brand new manuscript and a brand new fetus by the end of the year. Plus a printed version of my book. Not for the fetus though. For me. And maybe for you too if I can just bring myself to approve the fracking proof already!

Grave-faced face slapper? Do your worst.

Excitement Fidgeting

Have you ever been so excited you started fidgeting just a little bit? And then felt silly because the thing you’re all excited about is still a month away and so now you’re all fidgety for no reason? But you’re still so excited you don’t care as much as you should?

And thus ends my tribute to the hard-working question mark.

The reason I’m so excited is because Wes and I are packing up the baby and some clothes and heading out for a family vacation next week. Man sakes alive, it’ll be a good time. Ping pong (I am a ping pong ninja), reading outside in comfy chairs while soaking up sorely-needed sunshine, swimming, eating, and relaxing. It’s going to be legen-wait for it-dary.

And then, AND THEN, we leave next month to go to Victoria. Just the two of us. As in, Aidan gets to hang out with his grandparents all weekend while Wes and I escape. Things I am looking forward to most about the first vacation I’ve taken with just my husband in over three years:

  • Eating meals for three days in a row without anyone screaming at me/demanding things from me.
  • Sleeping in every morning.
  • Being able to pay attention to my husband without also paying attention to a busy toddler.

Things I’m dreading just a little:

  • How much I’m going to miss Aidan’s little face and kisses and hugs. I give me about 24 hours before I start missing him.
  • How long it’ll take him to warm back up to me after we get home. Maybe it’ll be an instantaneous, joyful homecoming. But maybe he’ll have forgotten me already. Time will tell.

Either way, this trip will be a good thing. Wes and I could both use some down time, and I’m really looking forward to missing my son, if that makes any sense. Absence makes your heart a transponder, or somesuch.