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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, September 16, 2009

Recent reveille-ations, or the diva cracks the whip

So it turns out that Jada is very much a morning kitty. And by morning I mean any time after 3 a.m.

Within her first week here, we've gradually introduced her to more and more areas of the house such that she now has the freedom to wander around most of it, but at night, we keep her in the upper hall and the laundry room just so she doesn't get herself into too much trouble while we're not supervising her. This has worked out well, except that the upper hall is not soundproof. So in the predawn hours, when Jada decides it's time to get us out of bed with her dulcet but insistent meows, it's impossible not to hear her.

The good thing, though, is that she does get me out of bed, and I've found that I do my most focused work before D is up -- no distractions, just me and my (small) bowl of cereal, a mug of freshly brewed coffee, and my laptop. And since Jada's become friendlier, she'll accept an invitation to snooze across my knees while I'm typing away. (Yes, she wakes us up not for her breakfast but just to have company.) It's not a bad deal: a warm kitty cuddled against my body in exchange for early morning thesis work. Really, I should thank her for the progress she's helping me make ...

We've also determined that Jada is quite the butterball -- she came to the shelter at nine pounds and entered our care with an additional three! So we've been asked to get her moving to help her avoid any further weight gain (I have great sympathy). D is in charge of exercising Jada as he's really good at enticing her to stalk and pounce on things, and a few days ago, he decided to see how interested she'd be in some Mardi Gras beads. Well, she was interested:


Just not in chasing them.

5 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh what a sweet necklaced cat. I think you can get little play units for cats - or maybe that's just on the Sims :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We've been considering whether a cat gym (they sell these climbable structures at pet stores) would be suitable, FF. I think a reconnaissance trip is in order ...

Sherlock said...

I'm with you -- I love the early mornings before anyone else gets up! I don't know anything about cats except that the ones in our neighborhood get lots of exercise stalking and catching mice and moles and chipmunks. Then again, some of those cats are right hefty too. I don't know how you exercise cats. Can you walk them on a leash? I've seen people doing that at our campground.

Good Enough Woman said...

She likes bling!

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking our dog and came across a lady walking a cat on a leash. I approached her warily (my dog won't eat cats, but he'll run up to them to play), and the lady said, "Oh, we don't run from dogs," basically letting me know that she and her kitty hold their ground. Which they did!

I've never had a cat that did the leash thing.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- some cats are supposedly very good on leashes, but we've been asked not to take any of our fosters outside. Indoor exercise it is ...

GEW -- how impressive! I have a feeling Jada would keep her cool, but I guess it would depend on how much of a barker the dog happened to be. When the vacuum gets too close to her, she gets quite hissy.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recent reveille-ations, or the diva cracks the whip

So it turns out that Jada is very much a morning kitty. And by morning I mean any time after 3 a.m.

Within her first week here, we've gradually introduced her to more and more areas of the house such that she now has the freedom to wander around most of it, but at night, we keep her in the upper hall and the laundry room just so she doesn't get herself into too much trouble while we're not supervising her. This has worked out well, except that the upper hall is not soundproof. So in the predawn hours, when Jada decides it's time to get us out of bed with her dulcet but insistent meows, it's impossible not to hear her.

The good thing, though, is that she does get me out of bed, and I've found that I do my most focused work before D is up -- no distractions, just me and my (small) bowl of cereal, a mug of freshly brewed coffee, and my laptop. And since Jada's become friendlier, she'll accept an invitation to snooze across my knees while I'm typing away. (Yes, she wakes us up not for her breakfast but just to have company.) It's not a bad deal: a warm kitty cuddled against my body in exchange for early morning thesis work. Really, I should thank her for the progress she's helping me make ...

We've also determined that Jada is quite the butterball -- she came to the shelter at nine pounds and entered our care with an additional three! So we've been asked to get her moving to help her avoid any further weight gain (I have great sympathy). D is in charge of exercising Jada as he's really good at enticing her to stalk and pounce on things, and a few days ago, he decided to see how interested she'd be in some Mardi Gras beads. Well, she was interested:


Just not in chasing them.

5 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh what a sweet necklaced cat. I think you can get little play units for cats - or maybe that's just on the Sims :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We've been considering whether a cat gym (they sell these climbable structures at pet stores) would be suitable, FF. I think a reconnaissance trip is in order ...

Sherlock said...

I'm with you -- I love the early mornings before anyone else gets up! I don't know anything about cats except that the ones in our neighborhood get lots of exercise stalking and catching mice and moles and chipmunks. Then again, some of those cats are right hefty too. I don't know how you exercise cats. Can you walk them on a leash? I've seen people doing that at our campground.

Good Enough Woman said...

She likes bling!

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking our dog and came across a lady walking a cat on a leash. I approached her warily (my dog won't eat cats, but he'll run up to them to play), and the lady said, "Oh, we don't run from dogs," basically letting me know that she and her kitty hold their ground. Which they did!

I've never had a cat that did the leash thing.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- some cats are supposedly very good on leashes, but we've been asked not to take any of our fosters outside. Indoor exercise it is ...

GEW -- how impressive! I have a feeling Jada would keep her cool, but I guess it would depend on how much of a barker the dog happened to be. When the vacuum gets too close to her, she gets quite hissy.