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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.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roll modeling

That's what Newly Graduated Sis is about to begin at left. Yep, we painted the garage.

It took nine hours, three snack breaks, two paint rollers, one very useful ladder, three cans of self-priming paint, and some super-energizing music. By the time we were done, we were splattered and spent, but the results were well worth it.

NG Sis had insisted before her arrival that she wanted to help us with some kind of home improvement project, and painting was high on our wish list in several of the rooms as it would then allow us to put up much-needed shelving. Since neither of us had ever painted before, the garage seemed like the safest place to learn as we went. We pulled the cars out and parked them on the street, taped up the wall plates on all the electrical outlets, moved all the random stuff in storage to the center of the floor and then got to work with the rollers. Here's the obligatory before shot:


It was pretty quick work until we had to start using the ladder -- only one person can be on it at a time. But that gave us breaks to work the kinks out of our arms and shoulders, which was necessary by the time we got to that point. The garage is 12' by 12' by 13', so it's not a small space by any means.

The project wouldn't have gotten done so soon had NG Sis not come out a few days ahead of Troubadour Mom and Dad (they were less inclined to join in the DIY fun). D was away at a conference as well, so he and I would have had to put off the job until at least today. Instead, we're now ready for the next step: mounting shelves and -- more importantly -- moving as much as we can from the house into storage here. It will be so nice to have closet space again!

Here's the after shot -- wish I'd had a fish-eye lens to get a picture of the entire room. In any case, it may not look like much, but we're very proud of it.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

What a lovely sis you have to want to come and actually get stuck in with something like this. You've done very well and should be proud. I am such a messy painter - I get as much over me as the floor and do not really have even brush strokes. I don't even mess it deliberately so that I don't have to get involved - I *want* to be involved but get banished to make tea instead.

Glad you are getting the nest all sorted out

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Newly Graduated Sis is AMAZING. She loves transforming spaces, so this was actually something she begged us to let her do. She was the one who instructed me on the whole painter's tape thing -- a very good teacher, she is.

I had paint in my eyebrows when we were done with the whole project. It was hilarious.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roll modeling

That's what Newly Graduated Sis is about to begin at left. Yep, we painted the garage.

It took nine hours, three snack breaks, two paint rollers, one very useful ladder, three cans of self-priming paint, and some super-energizing music. By the time we were done, we were splattered and spent, but the results were well worth it.

NG Sis had insisted before her arrival that she wanted to help us with some kind of home improvement project, and painting was high on our wish list in several of the rooms as it would then allow us to put up much-needed shelving. Since neither of us had ever painted before, the garage seemed like the safest place to learn as we went. We pulled the cars out and parked them on the street, taped up the wall plates on all the electrical outlets, moved all the random stuff in storage to the center of the floor and then got to work with the rollers. Here's the obligatory before shot:


It was pretty quick work until we had to start using the ladder -- only one person can be on it at a time. But that gave us breaks to work the kinks out of our arms and shoulders, which was necessary by the time we got to that point. The garage is 12' by 12' by 13', so it's not a small space by any means.

The project wouldn't have gotten done so soon had NG Sis not come out a few days ahead of Troubadour Mom and Dad (they were less inclined to join in the DIY fun). D was away at a conference as well, so he and I would have had to put off the job until at least today. Instead, we're now ready for the next step: mounting shelves and -- more importantly -- moving as much as we can from the house into storage here. It will be so nice to have closet space again!

Here's the after shot -- wish I'd had a fish-eye lens to get a picture of the entire room. In any case, it may not look like much, but we're very proud of it.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

What a lovely sis you have to want to come and actually get stuck in with something like this. You've done very well and should be proud. I am such a messy painter - I get as much over me as the floor and do not really have even brush strokes. I don't even mess it deliberately so that I don't have to get involved - I *want* to be involved but get banished to make tea instead.

Glad you are getting the nest all sorted out

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Newly Graduated Sis is AMAZING. She loves transforming spaces, so this was actually something she begged us to let her do. She was the one who instructed me on the whole painter's tape thing -- a very good teacher, she is.

I had paint in my eyebrows when we were done with the whole project. It was hilarious.