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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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Settling in, sort of


I know I said I was home, but that hasn't been completely true for the last few days.

My aunt got married over the weekend, so D and I flew down to San Jose for the festivities on Saturday. All four of Troubadour Mom's other siblings (two other sisters and two brothers) were there with spouses, which made for quite a family gathering -- haven't had such a reunion since Troubadour Grandma's 90th birthday back in 2006. As always, there was lots of catching up and not much sleep. Though the shut-eye I did manage to get was blissful, especially on the feather mattress that came with the giant log-frame bed at our hotel (see above).


The wedding itself was in Monterey, about a two-hour drive south of San Jose, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The bride and groom gave their vows under the sparkling bellies of anchovies swimming in an overhead tank. The effect was like having a disco ball throwing shimmery light everywhere (the photo doesn't capture it, but you can see the fish zooming around above the quote on the wall).

After the ceremony, guests were free to wander throughout the aquarium during dinner. Each room had at least one huge tank taking up an entire wall, which made for a gorgeous backdrop. D and I checked out the marvelous seahorse and jellyfish exhibits. Unfortunately, those really didn't photograph well close up in the dim lighting (we didn't bring the big camera with us that can handle those conditions), but here's a shot with some jellies behind the dessert table. They look like they want a share of the panna cotta, no?

We stayed an extra day to go wine tasting with the family here and here, among other places, and picked up a few bottles to put away for a special occasion. Now that we are almost completely moved into our new home, we can start thinking about a housewarming party! That may not happen until it's practically September, though. Next week, I'm heading to Boston for my sister's college graduation and some thesis research, then D's parents are visiting for two weeks at the end of June. After that, I'm going to Newfoundland for my cousin's wedding the second week of July, and D's brother may be visiting when I return. Finally, D has a conference in New Orleans at the beginning of August, and then my parents will be in town.

So yes, the summer is going to be busy and I have no idea where unpacking my boxes from Little U. will fit once those arrive in two weeks. First things first, though: getting some kind of start on my reading list. I've got a stack of items from the library to make my way through (convenient since I have a few cross-country flights coming up). I'll post some thoughts on each book as I finish it and add the titles to a list in the sidebar. Stay tuned for that as well as some revisions to this blog now that we're no longer a commuter couple -- but nothing drastic, don't worry.

4 comments:

Bev said...

I LOVE your bedroom furniture! Very Pacific-Northwest :). Glad to see you home <3

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We thought it was neat too -- though definitely not something we'd buy for ourselves. Fun to have for a getaway weekend!

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh my. I'm wound up just reading about all of the events and activities to which you must travel! And you seem so positive about it, which is AMAZING after all of the commuting you've done over the past years. I would just want to curl up with my books in my new house and NEST.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW, I'm definitely wound up about June. If I can get through that month, I think I'll be all right. It helps that there isn't a lot of nesting I can do until my boxes arrive. Alas, they're going to get here right when I'm supposed to be hostessing! Oh well, at least I'll have an excuse for not having the house totally clean -- where does one hide 40+ boxes? Obviously the guest bedroom (currently acting as a giant closet) is not an option ...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Settling in, sort of


I know I said I was home, but that hasn't been completely true for the last few days.

My aunt got married over the weekend, so D and I flew down to San Jose for the festivities on Saturday. All four of Troubadour Mom's other siblings (two other sisters and two brothers) were there with spouses, which made for quite a family gathering -- haven't had such a reunion since Troubadour Grandma's 90th birthday back in 2006. As always, there was lots of catching up and not much sleep. Though the shut-eye I did manage to get was blissful, especially on the feather mattress that came with the giant log-frame bed at our hotel (see above).


The wedding itself was in Monterey, about a two-hour drive south of San Jose, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The bride and groom gave their vows under the sparkling bellies of anchovies swimming in an overhead tank. The effect was like having a disco ball throwing shimmery light everywhere (the photo doesn't capture it, but you can see the fish zooming around above the quote on the wall).

After the ceremony, guests were free to wander throughout the aquarium during dinner. Each room had at least one huge tank taking up an entire wall, which made for a gorgeous backdrop. D and I checked out the marvelous seahorse and jellyfish exhibits. Unfortunately, those really didn't photograph well close up in the dim lighting (we didn't bring the big camera with us that can handle those conditions), but here's a shot with some jellies behind the dessert table. They look like they want a share of the panna cotta, no?

We stayed an extra day to go wine tasting with the family here and here, among other places, and picked up a few bottles to put away for a special occasion. Now that we are almost completely moved into our new home, we can start thinking about a housewarming party! That may not happen until it's practically September, though. Next week, I'm heading to Boston for my sister's college graduation and some thesis research, then D's parents are visiting for two weeks at the end of June. After that, I'm going to Newfoundland for my cousin's wedding the second week of July, and D's brother may be visiting when I return. Finally, D has a conference in New Orleans at the beginning of August, and then my parents will be in town.

So yes, the summer is going to be busy and I have no idea where unpacking my boxes from Little U. will fit once those arrive in two weeks. First things first, though: getting some kind of start on my reading list. I've got a stack of items from the library to make my way through (convenient since I have a few cross-country flights coming up). I'll post some thoughts on each book as I finish it and add the titles to a list in the sidebar. Stay tuned for that as well as some revisions to this blog now that we're no longer a commuter couple -- but nothing drastic, don't worry.

4 comments:

Bev said...

I LOVE your bedroom furniture! Very Pacific-Northwest :). Glad to see you home <3

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We thought it was neat too -- though definitely not something we'd buy for ourselves. Fun to have for a getaway weekend!

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh my. I'm wound up just reading about all of the events and activities to which you must travel! And you seem so positive about it, which is AMAZING after all of the commuting you've done over the past years. I would just want to curl up with my books in my new house and NEST.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW, I'm definitely wound up about June. If I can get through that month, I think I'll be all right. It helps that there isn't a lot of nesting I can do until my boxes arrive. Alas, they're going to get here right when I'm supposed to be hostessing! Oh well, at least I'll have an excuse for not having the house totally clean -- where does one hide 40+ boxes? Obviously the guest bedroom (currently acting as a giant closet) is not an option ...