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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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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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's official

... I'm home!

I got in very late last night after traveling for fifteen hours. Left Little U. shortly after 9 a.m. to drop the car off at D's parents' place in Illinois. Had a quick lunch with his mother, then headed to the airport for my 3:30 flight. That ended up being delayed an hour and a half, which made me a teeny bit nervous -- missing my connection would have meant not getting to Seattle until today, and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled this morning (more on that later) -- but I managed to reach Chicago with just enough time to get to the other plane. That was followed by a very long four hours (I got sandwiched between a screaming baby and a lady who snored through the ruckus!), during which I attempted the crossword puzzle in the in-flight magazine to distract myself. Not enormously successful, but given the circumstances, not a surprise. Needless to say, falling into D's open arms when he arrived at the airport was a very, very sweet end to the day. So was coming home to a house whose interiors are beginning to take on the shape of a proper nest. Pictures as we get things set up, I promise!

I haven't had a moment to do anything in that area as I had my second appointment with my endocrinologist this morning, and I'm now at the library since we don't have internet at home yet. The news from the doctor was good and bad -- I'm doing a great job of keeping track of my sugar levels and managing my diet and exercise as he's asked, but there are some new pieces of not-so-great information we received from my last round of tests he ordered in March. Remember that inconvenient little kidney stone incident that happened right before my spring break visit? Well, it turns out that my oxalate and phosphorus levels are off the charts (the former is over 270 units when it's supposed to be under 30 and the latter is over 2100 units when it's supposed to be under 1300). This is nothing to be alarmed about at the moment, but if we want to prevent more stones from forming, those levels must come down. Which means cutting back on tea, instant coffee, nuts, chocolate, and spinach.

D: "But those are staples for you!"

Yeeeeees ....

I can manage the cutting back on chocolate as I wasn't eating much of it to begin with, given the sugar that normally comes with it. But nuts? They're my fallback snack since they're so much lower in carbs than the usual munchies I can't have anymore. And spinach? Grrrr. I do love fresh spinach salads -- guess I'll be switching up my greens. Instant coffee, sigh. The fun flavored kinds were a replacement treat for hot chocolate when this prediabetes thing started up. Time to start brewing the real thing. This isn't exactly a bad change in terms of quality, but when I'm running off to class and need my caffeine quickly --

Oh wait, I won't be running off anywhere for the next year. Mm, okay, that's doable.

As for tea, well, an occasional cup, which is what I tend to drink, will be fine. But I hope that's it on the diet adjustments! Very glad I'm home for good and can get used to all of this in one place.

I'm going to pick up some reading for the next few weeks (all recommendations from professors) since we'll be doing more air travel soon. News on that front as well in the near future.

5 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

I wish I was in Seattle, secretly putting housewarming gift outside your door, wherever that door might be! Yay! Happy homecoming. And it's so fabulous that you have TIME ahead of your. I hope you'll share your reading list with us.

Oh, and I was just thinking about new titles for your blog. "This Homantic Life" came to mind, what with the home and all, but I see that it has several potential problems as a title. ;)

Sherlock said...

I know you're glad that trip's over!! Good job on the blood sugar numbers but sorry to hear you have to make even more adjustments. I have recently had to make some adjustments in diet as well (i.e. give up more stuff I really like that was okay for a while). Oh how I hate air travel. I'll drive two very long days to avoid a 4 hour flight!! Have a great weekend!

French Fancy said...

Hurrah for you being together and in your new place - I am so happy for you. Boo for the medical results but at least they are monitoring you carefully -shame about the nuts though. Well, shame about it all really.

Good luck with getting through the academic books when there is bound to be so much else you would rather be doing.

x

hypoglycemiagirl said...

Now look, cutting back on (or completely) instant coffee is a treat! A luxury! Life is too short to drink anything else than high quality coffee!

Good to see that you're home! Turns out to be a lot of exclamation marks in this comment!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- how sweet of you :). I am indeed working on adapting the blog a bit since we're no longer commuting. Once we have internet at home and I don't have to get all my online stuff done at the library, I can focus on that more.

Sherlock -- yes, air travel is something I'll be glad to cut down on! Though this summer is packed with trips (weddings, research, etc.), so I guess it won't really slow down until October. Hope your diet adjustments haven't been too hard to adapt to.

FF -- I'm actually looking forward to the reading. I've been tied up with assigned reading this semester that wasn't particularly relevant to my thesis, so this list will be a nice change.

hgg -- I need good coffee recommendations! I bought a bag from the local grocery that has too sour a finish for my liking. But it does smell lovely while it's brewing.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's official

... I'm home!

I got in very late last night after traveling for fifteen hours. Left Little U. shortly after 9 a.m. to drop the car off at D's parents' place in Illinois. Had a quick lunch with his mother, then headed to the airport for my 3:30 flight. That ended up being delayed an hour and a half, which made me a teeny bit nervous -- missing my connection would have meant not getting to Seattle until today, and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled this morning (more on that later) -- but I managed to reach Chicago with just enough time to get to the other plane. That was followed by a very long four hours (I got sandwiched between a screaming baby and a lady who snored through the ruckus!), during which I attempted the crossword puzzle in the in-flight magazine to distract myself. Not enormously successful, but given the circumstances, not a surprise. Needless to say, falling into D's open arms when he arrived at the airport was a very, very sweet end to the day. So was coming home to a house whose interiors are beginning to take on the shape of a proper nest. Pictures as we get things set up, I promise!

I haven't had a moment to do anything in that area as I had my second appointment with my endocrinologist this morning, and I'm now at the library since we don't have internet at home yet. The news from the doctor was good and bad -- I'm doing a great job of keeping track of my sugar levels and managing my diet and exercise as he's asked, but there are some new pieces of not-so-great information we received from my last round of tests he ordered in March. Remember that inconvenient little kidney stone incident that happened right before my spring break visit? Well, it turns out that my oxalate and phosphorus levels are off the charts (the former is over 270 units when it's supposed to be under 30 and the latter is over 2100 units when it's supposed to be under 1300). This is nothing to be alarmed about at the moment, but if we want to prevent more stones from forming, those levels must come down. Which means cutting back on tea, instant coffee, nuts, chocolate, and spinach.

D: "But those are staples for you!"

Yeeeeees ....

I can manage the cutting back on chocolate as I wasn't eating much of it to begin with, given the sugar that normally comes with it. But nuts? They're my fallback snack since they're so much lower in carbs than the usual munchies I can't have anymore. And spinach? Grrrr. I do love fresh spinach salads -- guess I'll be switching up my greens. Instant coffee, sigh. The fun flavored kinds were a replacement treat for hot chocolate when this prediabetes thing started up. Time to start brewing the real thing. This isn't exactly a bad change in terms of quality, but when I'm running off to class and need my caffeine quickly --

Oh wait, I won't be running off anywhere for the next year. Mm, okay, that's doable.

As for tea, well, an occasional cup, which is what I tend to drink, will be fine. But I hope that's it on the diet adjustments! Very glad I'm home for good and can get used to all of this in one place.

I'm going to pick up some reading for the next few weeks (all recommendations from professors) since we'll be doing more air travel soon. News on that front as well in the near future.

5 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

I wish I was in Seattle, secretly putting housewarming gift outside your door, wherever that door might be! Yay! Happy homecoming. And it's so fabulous that you have TIME ahead of your. I hope you'll share your reading list with us.

Oh, and I was just thinking about new titles for your blog. "This Homantic Life" came to mind, what with the home and all, but I see that it has several potential problems as a title. ;)

Sherlock said...

I know you're glad that trip's over!! Good job on the blood sugar numbers but sorry to hear you have to make even more adjustments. I have recently had to make some adjustments in diet as well (i.e. give up more stuff I really like that was okay for a while). Oh how I hate air travel. I'll drive two very long days to avoid a 4 hour flight!! Have a great weekend!

French Fancy said...

Hurrah for you being together and in your new place - I am so happy for you. Boo for the medical results but at least they are monitoring you carefully -shame about the nuts though. Well, shame about it all really.

Good luck with getting through the academic books when there is bound to be so much else you would rather be doing.

x

hypoglycemiagirl said...

Now look, cutting back on (or completely) instant coffee is a treat! A luxury! Life is too short to drink anything else than high quality coffee!

Good to see that you're home! Turns out to be a lot of exclamation marks in this comment!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- how sweet of you :). I am indeed working on adapting the blog a bit since we're no longer commuting. Once we have internet at home and I don't have to get all my online stuff done at the library, I can focus on that more.

Sherlock -- yes, air travel is something I'll be glad to cut down on! Though this summer is packed with trips (weddings, research, etc.), so I guess it won't really slow down until October. Hope your diet adjustments haven't been too hard to adapt to.

FF -- I'm actually looking forward to the reading. I've been tied up with assigned reading this semester that wasn't particularly relevant to my thesis, so this list will be a nice change.

hgg -- I need good coffee recommendations! I bought a bag from the local grocery that has too sour a finish for my liking. But it does smell lovely while it's brewing.