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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, July 29, 2009

Yow!

This thermometer was left behind on the porch by the previous owner of our house. We've been using it this week to determine when to open the windows -- it's silly to let air in while the outside temps are higher than what the thermostat reads indoors. But I wondered if the thermometer was working, especially given what it was reporting in the shade this afternoon (see photo).

Well, it apparently isn't off by much. At my last check, weather.com was reporting a current temperature of 104 degrees with a heat index of 109.

We're managing -- lots of caprese salads, cucumbers and hummus, fresh berries, and of course, water. The air conditioner in our bedroom is keeping us comfortable at night, and we try to do as much work around the house as possible during the cooler parts of the day. And that works quite well for two people in our space.

The forecast is not inspiring confidence for next week, however, when Troubadour Mom and Dad are slated to arrive. This heat wave was supposed to crest somewhere in the vicinity of yesterday and ease its way out of the area, leaving behind temperatures in the low 80s. At this moment, I'm seeing reports of much less comfortable highs all the way into Monday. Troubadour Mom and Dad land on Tuesday.

We'll take a few days in Vancouver in an air-conditioned hotel (Troubadour Dad needs his authentic Chinese-style seafood fix), probably returning Thursday night. May the weather gods be merciful by then -- I have no idea how I'm going to magically procure climate-controlled sleeping quarters for everyone.

8 comments:

Sherlock said...

Whew that's some kinda hot!! We have mid and high 90's frequently during the summer and our problem is the humidity, which can make for a heat index of 105-110. Not pleasant at all. Glad to hear you have AC in the bedroom and hope the heatwave is over soon!! Stay cool!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yikes, I remember the humidity all too well from my days in the Midwest. Highs in the high 90s and enough moisture in the air to feel it condensing on your hands as you fanned yourself with them! Hope you're getting nicer weather in your part of the U.S., Sherlock!

hypoglycemiagirl said...

In Scotland these days it's around 15 degrees celcius. And rain. Nice and cool....

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Ahhh, HGG, that sounds wonderful. Lucky, lucky you.

French Fancy said...

So you've got the hot weather that Northern Europe was meant to have this summer. For the last few weeks the temp has not got much above 68 with rain and clouds.

Poor you - I' rather be cool than hot

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Agreed, FF! If you feel cold, you can at least do something about it with an extra sweater or a pile of blankets. If you're too warm, though, you can only remove so much ...

Marie Antionette said...

Hi,most of the summer down here in Southern Miss,Has been in the triple digits.But right now we have been cooling down with much needed rain.So far so good with the hurricans,this yr.Its so humid here you can't breathe sometimes.Regards Marie Antionette

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi, Marie A., thanks for stopping by! Glad you're enjoying cooler temps. Crossing my fingers on the hurricanes for you -- I was living in Dallas when Katrina and Rita came through, and the stories we heard from the folks who relocated to our part of Texas in the aftermath were scary and sad.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yow!

This thermometer was left behind on the porch by the previous owner of our house. We've been using it this week to determine when to open the windows -- it's silly to let air in while the outside temps are higher than what the thermostat reads indoors. But I wondered if the thermometer was working, especially given what it was reporting in the shade this afternoon (see photo).

Well, it apparently isn't off by much. At my last check, weather.com was reporting a current temperature of 104 degrees with a heat index of 109.

We're managing -- lots of caprese salads, cucumbers and hummus, fresh berries, and of course, water. The air conditioner in our bedroom is keeping us comfortable at night, and we try to do as much work around the house as possible during the cooler parts of the day. And that works quite well for two people in our space.

The forecast is not inspiring confidence for next week, however, when Troubadour Mom and Dad are slated to arrive. This heat wave was supposed to crest somewhere in the vicinity of yesterday and ease its way out of the area, leaving behind temperatures in the low 80s. At this moment, I'm seeing reports of much less comfortable highs all the way into Monday. Troubadour Mom and Dad land on Tuesday.

We'll take a few days in Vancouver in an air-conditioned hotel (Troubadour Dad needs his authentic Chinese-style seafood fix), probably returning Thursday night. May the weather gods be merciful by then -- I have no idea how I'm going to magically procure climate-controlled sleeping quarters for everyone.

8 comments:

Sherlock said...

Whew that's some kinda hot!! We have mid and high 90's frequently during the summer and our problem is the humidity, which can make for a heat index of 105-110. Not pleasant at all. Glad to hear you have AC in the bedroom and hope the heatwave is over soon!! Stay cool!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yikes, I remember the humidity all too well from my days in the Midwest. Highs in the high 90s and enough moisture in the air to feel it condensing on your hands as you fanned yourself with them! Hope you're getting nicer weather in your part of the U.S., Sherlock!

hypoglycemiagirl said...

In Scotland these days it's around 15 degrees celcius. And rain. Nice and cool....

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Ahhh, HGG, that sounds wonderful. Lucky, lucky you.

French Fancy said...

So you've got the hot weather that Northern Europe was meant to have this summer. For the last few weeks the temp has not got much above 68 with rain and clouds.

Poor you - I' rather be cool than hot

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Agreed, FF! If you feel cold, you can at least do something about it with an extra sweater or a pile of blankets. If you're too warm, though, you can only remove so much ...

Marie Antionette said...

Hi,most of the summer down here in Southern Miss,Has been in the triple digits.But right now we have been cooling down with much needed rain.So far so good with the hurricans,this yr.Its so humid here you can't breathe sometimes.Regards Marie Antionette

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi, Marie A., thanks for stopping by! Glad you're enjoying cooler temps. Crossing my fingers on the hurricanes for you -- I was living in Dallas when Katrina and Rita came through, and the stories we heard from the folks who relocated to our part of Texas in the aftermath were scary and sad.