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When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On long-standing relationships

I'm not someone you'd call a shoe fancier, so when I find footwear I do like, I tend to stick with it -- for a really long time. These sandals have been with me through five cities in the last eight years. They've had three sets of new heels, one set of new soles, and tons and tons of miles under them.

I'd been looking for a long time for replacements and hadn't found anything I liked (much to my mother's dismay -- "Can't you just throw those away?" she kept asking after about Year Six, when the soles had to be relined to keep them from scraping the balls of my feet). But without a successor for my wardrobe staple, I couldn't really justify tossing them. And they still did their job and were more comfortable for walking than any other sandals I had. Never mind the stitching that was coming out, the cracking leather, the fact that the straps had stretched enough for them to be a pedestrian hazard ...

Then two weeks ago, I happened upon this version of the style while I was running errands. I knew as soon as picked them up from the display table that my old pair was doomed. I took D to see them when he was visiting and he confirmed the worst: they were perfect.


These have a slightly higher heel and a dressier look, but they'll serve the same purpose. So it's time to say goodbye to my faithful friends. It's amazing how many major events in my life these shoes have witnessed: college graduation, starting my first job, starting my second job, my honeymoon, a cross-country road trip. They almost need to go into the "family museum" -- a collection of retired objects my sisters and I have saved from the garbage because of their long history in our lives. Included among these are a wooden spoon my mother used to scoop rice with (washed so many times that it was on the verge of cracking because it had gotten so thin), a white plastic one-cup measure we used to use every Sunday when making pizza (the bottom broke), and the comb my dad used on his hair every morning for at least thirty years (a gift from his mother before college -- I think it either lost too many teeth or snapped in two).

The store didn't have my size in the new sandals, so I ordered a pair. They arrived this week, so now there's really no excuse for hanging on to the old ones anymore. Eyes, look your last! Oh, silly sentiment. In honor of favorite things past their prime, check out these verses by Jack Prelutsky (wonderful children's poet). He knew what he was talking about.

2 comments:

Jacqueline said...

OH MY GOD You're retiring the shoes?!?!

Btw as a sign of good fortune, the security word that prevents spammers from commenting is "hotai" - aka "ho tai!" like "gey ho tai!" Like your hot new shoes!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Oh that's hilarious. And yes, I'm retiring the shoes. D is offering to take them back to Seattle to dispose of them for me, but I think I have to do it myself or I'll never get any closure!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

On long-standing relationships

I'm not someone you'd call a shoe fancier, so when I find footwear I do like, I tend to stick with it -- for a really long time. These sandals have been with me through five cities in the last eight years. They've had three sets of new heels, one set of new soles, and tons and tons of miles under them.

I'd been looking for a long time for replacements and hadn't found anything I liked (much to my mother's dismay -- "Can't you just throw those away?" she kept asking after about Year Six, when the soles had to be relined to keep them from scraping the balls of my feet). But without a successor for my wardrobe staple, I couldn't really justify tossing them. And they still did their job and were more comfortable for walking than any other sandals I had. Never mind the stitching that was coming out, the cracking leather, the fact that the straps had stretched enough for them to be a pedestrian hazard ...

Then two weeks ago, I happened upon this version of the style while I was running errands. I knew as soon as picked them up from the display table that my old pair was doomed. I took D to see them when he was visiting and he confirmed the worst: they were perfect.


These have a slightly higher heel and a dressier look, but they'll serve the same purpose. So it's time to say goodbye to my faithful friends. It's amazing how many major events in my life these shoes have witnessed: college graduation, starting my first job, starting my second job, my honeymoon, a cross-country road trip. They almost need to go into the "family museum" -- a collection of retired objects my sisters and I have saved from the garbage because of their long history in our lives. Included among these are a wooden spoon my mother used to scoop rice with (washed so many times that it was on the verge of cracking because it had gotten so thin), a white plastic one-cup measure we used to use every Sunday when making pizza (the bottom broke), and the comb my dad used on his hair every morning for at least thirty years (a gift from his mother before college -- I think it either lost too many teeth or snapped in two).

The store didn't have my size in the new sandals, so I ordered a pair. They arrived this week, so now there's really no excuse for hanging on to the old ones anymore. Eyes, look your last! Oh, silly sentiment. In honor of favorite things past their prime, check out these verses by Jack Prelutsky (wonderful children's poet). He knew what he was talking about.

2 comments:

Jacqueline said...

OH MY GOD You're retiring the shoes?!?!

Btw as a sign of good fortune, the security word that prevents spammers from commenting is "hotai" - aka "ho tai!" like "gey ho tai!" Like your hot new shoes!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Oh that's hilarious. And yes, I'm retiring the shoes. D is offering to take them back to Seattle to dispose of them for me, but I think I have to do it myself or I'll never get any closure!