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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.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A sprint to the finish

Hello, Seattle, it's good to be back.

Yes, we made it out of Texas on the original flights we booked -- though for a few moments along the way, it wasn't clear that it was going to work out. More travel drama? But of course. Fortunately, this is the last of it as all our airport-hopping is done (until I return to school in two weeks), and the ending to the story includes a pleasant surprise, so I figure it's worth mentioning.

D and I had a fine week at my parents' place. The weather in the panhandle is pretty capricious (as the locals say, if you don't like it, just wait five minutes), so we enjoyed brisk temperatures and balmy ones all within a few days. When my sister left about 36 hours before we did, it was 75 degrees out. On the morning of our departure, it was just above freezing.

The crew at the airport didn't know it had gotten into the 20s the night before, so the electrical system had to be warmed up, which delayed our flight to Dallas. We had a tight connection to our Seattle flight to begin with, so D and I were more than a little antsy when we landed. Then, our plane had to wait for another to pull out from a neighboring gate -- it never did, but we lost about ten minutes sitting on the tarmac. By the time we got into the terminal, we had less than 15 minutes to get from one concourse to another.

We made a dash for it and got to our connecting gate just as the agent closed the flight in her computer. "It's gone," she said with that all-too-familiar sorry-but-I-can't-help-you look we've seen more and more in the last year of travel snafus. At that moment, though, another agent at the counter spoke up. "We're delayed for mechanical problems," he said. "We've got seats for you."

As it turns out, they were in first-class.

D and I have never flown anything but coach together -- not even for our honeymoon -- so this was a first in more ways than one. We had no idea how our names got put in for upgrades on our original tickets, but after all the craziness in the last two weeks of cancellations, we weren't about to say no. Once the mechanical issue was resolved, we were on our way. And that, if you're still reading, is how we finally made it home.

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

That travel anxiety when one has a connection to make is a terrible one. How many times did you look at your watch?

Good news about the upgrade. The only time I've flown first class was when we were upgraded on my birthday and we were going from Heathrow to New York. It was fabulous but it really does spoil you for the future.

Glad you are safely back

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thankfully, I had no watch, just a cell phone that had to stay zipped in my coat pocket while we were running through the airport. The only reason we were able to check the time between gates was that we had to take a monorail from one terminal to another, and there were clocks inside the cars.

Flying first-class was lovely indeed. I think D is going to have a harder time going back to coach since he has long legs! He tries to get exit-row seats when he can.

French Fancy said...

I've got a long-legged man as well :). It must be awful to feel squashed up but, as a shortie, I never have the problem.

Jacqueline said...

OMG that card looks SO beautiful in photooooo!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

A sprint to the finish

Hello, Seattle, it's good to be back.

Yes, we made it out of Texas on the original flights we booked -- though for a few moments along the way, it wasn't clear that it was going to work out. More travel drama? But of course. Fortunately, this is the last of it as all our airport-hopping is done (until I return to school in two weeks), and the ending to the story includes a pleasant surprise, so I figure it's worth mentioning.

D and I had a fine week at my parents' place. The weather in the panhandle is pretty capricious (as the locals say, if you don't like it, just wait five minutes), so we enjoyed brisk temperatures and balmy ones all within a few days. When my sister left about 36 hours before we did, it was 75 degrees out. On the morning of our departure, it was just above freezing.

The crew at the airport didn't know it had gotten into the 20s the night before, so the electrical system had to be warmed up, which delayed our flight to Dallas. We had a tight connection to our Seattle flight to begin with, so D and I were more than a little antsy when we landed. Then, our plane had to wait for another to pull out from a neighboring gate -- it never did, but we lost about ten minutes sitting on the tarmac. By the time we got into the terminal, we had less than 15 minutes to get from one concourse to another.

We made a dash for it and got to our connecting gate just as the agent closed the flight in her computer. "It's gone," she said with that all-too-familiar sorry-but-I-can't-help-you look we've seen more and more in the last year of travel snafus. At that moment, though, another agent at the counter spoke up. "We're delayed for mechanical problems," he said. "We've got seats for you."

As it turns out, they were in first-class.

D and I have never flown anything but coach together -- not even for our honeymoon -- so this was a first in more ways than one. We had no idea how our names got put in for upgrades on our original tickets, but after all the craziness in the last two weeks of cancellations, we weren't about to say no. Once the mechanical issue was resolved, we were on our way. And that, if you're still reading, is how we finally made it home.

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

That travel anxiety when one has a connection to make is a terrible one. How many times did you look at your watch?

Good news about the upgrade. The only time I've flown first class was when we were upgraded on my birthday and we were going from Heathrow to New York. It was fabulous but it really does spoil you for the future.

Glad you are safely back

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thankfully, I had no watch, just a cell phone that had to stay zipped in my coat pocket while we were running through the airport. The only reason we were able to check the time between gates was that we had to take a monorail from one terminal to another, and there were clocks inside the cars.

Flying first-class was lovely indeed. I think D is going to have a harder time going back to coach since he has long legs! He tries to get exit-row seats when he can.

French Fancy said...

I've got a long-legged man as well :). It must be awful to feel squashed up but, as a shortie, I never have the problem.

Jacqueline said...

OMG that card looks SO beautiful in photooooo!