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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, June 21, 2009

It's good to be (coo)king

Yep, the in-laws are here.

They (D's parents and youngest brother) arrived Friday afternoon in my car, which they kindly drove from Little U., saving us enormous shipping costs and eliminating their need for a rental on their tour of national parks en route. D's aunt flew in from Chicago yesterday morning as well. The plan for the next week: day excursions with possible overnights around the Olympic peninsula. D and I won't be going, but we'll spend evenings with the family in the new house.

Cooking for six instead of just two has worked out well so far -- we had soy-ginger barbecued chicken with a field greens salad the first night and broiled halibut steaks with stir-fried zucchini, summer squash, and broccoli yesterday. Tonight, we'll have a pork loin roast with red pepper gravy. That calls for a little more prep, but it is Father's Day. So while the crew is out enjoying the Fremont Fair, I'm going to get that ready along with individual meringues to go with the fresh berries we picked up at Pike Place Market. This works out well, as there are only five seats in the car, and I'm frankly in need of some alone time. Being the primary cook is a lovely excuse not to venture with everyone else into the throngs that will surely await them.

I haven't had a moment to write about the thesis reading I've done so far in the last month, but the ideas are in notes form somewhere with my partially unpacked Boston luggage. I'm hoping to have some more extensive thinking time Monday and Tuesday while also figuring out where to get my driver's license changed and what gift to get for my cousin's wedding, which is the next big trip on the horizon. Why does summer somehow feel less restful than the regular academic year? It must be the constant interruption of routines. I do like the occasional break from the usual grind, but everything gets accomplished in fits and starts with so many special summer activities stacked back to back. I think I'm becoming thoroughly convinced that everything in moderation really is my preferred way of living.

On a completely unrelated note before I head off to the kitchen, a big thank-you to Sherlock of Sherlock's Stuff for the One Lovely Blog award. Such a nice surprise to come home to -- and even after such sparse posting from me in recent weeks!

The rules for accepting this are as follows: (1) Accept the award and post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award as well as his or her blog link. (2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

There's no way I can nominate 15 blogs in one round, so I'm going to do a few with every post till I hit the mark. So at this time, I'd like to share this award with Mrs. Whatsit of I Love Science, Really. She's just been reunited with her husband after doing the long-distance thing for what, I imagine, felt like an age. Props for all the effort that went into that experience as well as the decision to move back while still working on a Ph.D. She writes with a candor I love.

To the ovens ...

3 comments:

French Fancy said...

I feel very pleased for you playing hostess for the first lot of visitors to Your New Home. I'm so with you on the cook being legitimately able to avoid excursions and just relish being alone in the kitchen - it's a role I love to take. That chicken recipe sounds lovely - do you marinade it first?

Clue about the thesis subject please - or would you rather not say.

Sherlock said...

So glad you're enjoying the family visit and the break from routine. It is difficult to get much done in fits and starts. I've found that in situations like this, good ideas pop into my head and then I forget about them later. So I've started keeping a small notebook handy so that when I think of something and can't get to it right away, I just make a note and it jogs my memory later. Enjoy the week!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- I do use a marinade, just liberal amounts of soy sauce, minced ginger, and green onions. I add salt and pepper as well, but only a little of the former since soy is already salty and just enough of the latter to give each piece of chicken a dusting.

Thesis subject in my next post :). I've been meaning to write about it for a bit but haven't been able to pull together my thoughts till recently.

Sherlock -- the notebook sounds like a good tool. I'll have to give it a try. As it is, my food log is usually with me, so maybe I'll just have it serve dual purposes. No one else (for example, my doctor) sees it, so it won't cause any confusion :).

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's good to be (coo)king

Yep, the in-laws are here.

They (D's parents and youngest brother) arrived Friday afternoon in my car, which they kindly drove from Little U., saving us enormous shipping costs and eliminating their need for a rental on their tour of national parks en route. D's aunt flew in from Chicago yesterday morning as well. The plan for the next week: day excursions with possible overnights around the Olympic peninsula. D and I won't be going, but we'll spend evenings with the family in the new house.

Cooking for six instead of just two has worked out well so far -- we had soy-ginger barbecued chicken with a field greens salad the first night and broiled halibut steaks with stir-fried zucchini, summer squash, and broccoli yesterday. Tonight, we'll have a pork loin roast with red pepper gravy. That calls for a little more prep, but it is Father's Day. So while the crew is out enjoying the Fremont Fair, I'm going to get that ready along with individual meringues to go with the fresh berries we picked up at Pike Place Market. This works out well, as there are only five seats in the car, and I'm frankly in need of some alone time. Being the primary cook is a lovely excuse not to venture with everyone else into the throngs that will surely await them.

I haven't had a moment to write about the thesis reading I've done so far in the last month, but the ideas are in notes form somewhere with my partially unpacked Boston luggage. I'm hoping to have some more extensive thinking time Monday and Tuesday while also figuring out where to get my driver's license changed and what gift to get for my cousin's wedding, which is the next big trip on the horizon. Why does summer somehow feel less restful than the regular academic year? It must be the constant interruption of routines. I do like the occasional break from the usual grind, but everything gets accomplished in fits and starts with so many special summer activities stacked back to back. I think I'm becoming thoroughly convinced that everything in moderation really is my preferred way of living.

On a completely unrelated note before I head off to the kitchen, a big thank-you to Sherlock of Sherlock's Stuff for the One Lovely Blog award. Such a nice surprise to come home to -- and even after such sparse posting from me in recent weeks!

The rules for accepting this are as follows: (1) Accept the award and post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award as well as his or her blog link. (2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

There's no way I can nominate 15 blogs in one round, so I'm going to do a few with every post till I hit the mark. So at this time, I'd like to share this award with Mrs. Whatsit of I Love Science, Really. She's just been reunited with her husband after doing the long-distance thing for what, I imagine, felt like an age. Props for all the effort that went into that experience as well as the decision to move back while still working on a Ph.D. She writes with a candor I love.

To the ovens ...

3 comments:

French Fancy said...

I feel very pleased for you playing hostess for the first lot of visitors to Your New Home. I'm so with you on the cook being legitimately able to avoid excursions and just relish being alone in the kitchen - it's a role I love to take. That chicken recipe sounds lovely - do you marinade it first?

Clue about the thesis subject please - or would you rather not say.

Sherlock said...

So glad you're enjoying the family visit and the break from routine. It is difficult to get much done in fits and starts. I've found that in situations like this, good ideas pop into my head and then I forget about them later. So I've started keeping a small notebook handy so that when I think of something and can't get to it right away, I just make a note and it jogs my memory later. Enjoy the week!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- I do use a marinade, just liberal amounts of soy sauce, minced ginger, and green onions. I add salt and pepper as well, but only a little of the former since soy is already salty and just enough of the latter to give each piece of chicken a dusting.

Thesis subject in my next post :). I've been meaning to write about it for a bit but haven't been able to pull together my thoughts till recently.

Sherlock -- the notebook sounds like a good tool. I'll have to give it a try. As it is, my food log is usually with me, so maybe I'll just have it serve dual purposes. No one else (for example, my doctor) sees it, so it won't cause any confusion :).