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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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And now, we celebrate

Yep, the endoscopy went smoothly -- I have no memory of the procedure, and there were no unexpected allergic reactions. So now, we wait for the results from the biopsies.

In the meantime, D and I are having a party -- a housewarming, to be precise. It's slightly belated because of our hectic summer (couldn't find a large enough window between family visits and weddings to throw a proper shindig). But no matter. We've finally managed to pull together plans for a fun evening celebrating our move to our new place and our long-awaited reunion.

In keeping with this, the theme for our party is East Meets West: we're honoring traditions from Oktoberfest and the Mid-Autumn Festival as an homage to our heritage. (Even though D's family name is Dutch, he's a good part German from his mother's side.) This means there will be many a German beer, all kinds of wurst, and pretzels the size of your head, to be served alongside a variety of Chinese dumplings and, of course, mooncakes. In the spirit of true fusion, we're also making Asian cole slaw and serving a fine Riesling by Pacific Rim.

We are hoping the German province flags that D ordered will arrive in time for the celebration. For now, we've got Chinese lanterns already in place:


(It took some creativity to get the two to hang between the lights in the background of the photo with just fishing line and no nails; I think that was our biggest accomplishment this week.)

So I'm off to finish doing what I can ahead of time to prepare for 30 guests (thus far -- there are still some RSVPs that haven't come in yet!). More on how it all turns out very, very soon.

5 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

Sounds like quite an extravaganza, and you're lanterns look awesome! Really stunning and beautiful.

So glad the procedure went fine.

Sherlock said...

Glad everything went fine. I may be having to get that done sometime in the next few months. Hubby has had two and has no memory of either.

Sounds like a great time coming up with the party! Have fun and looking forward to more pix of the decorations and FOOD!!!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- thanks :). We found them at World Market! Amazing steal, and they don't need to be plugged in.

Sherlock -- if you have to have it, it's definitely not bad. Hope you don't have to all the same, though.

As for more pics of decorations, I will try to get some before the house is inundated with people. And as for the food, I will try to take a few snapshots before it all disappears ...

French Fancy said...

How come I missed this post of yours? There were a few days when it was difficult to sit down and that must be when it got published - sorry about that.

I love the Dutch and oriental fusion - okay, German/Dutch/Oriental fusion - and I'm also very very pleased for you re your results.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, it's been busy here too! Glad you had a chance to stop by :). Thanks for the good wishes.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

And now, we celebrate

Yep, the endoscopy went smoothly -- I have no memory of the procedure, and there were no unexpected allergic reactions. So now, we wait for the results from the biopsies.

In the meantime, D and I are having a party -- a housewarming, to be precise. It's slightly belated because of our hectic summer (couldn't find a large enough window between family visits and weddings to throw a proper shindig). But no matter. We've finally managed to pull together plans for a fun evening celebrating our move to our new place and our long-awaited reunion.

In keeping with this, the theme for our party is East Meets West: we're honoring traditions from Oktoberfest and the Mid-Autumn Festival as an homage to our heritage. (Even though D's family name is Dutch, he's a good part German from his mother's side.) This means there will be many a German beer, all kinds of wurst, and pretzels the size of your head, to be served alongside a variety of Chinese dumplings and, of course, mooncakes. In the spirit of true fusion, we're also making Asian cole slaw and serving a fine Riesling by Pacific Rim.

We are hoping the German province flags that D ordered will arrive in time for the celebration. For now, we've got Chinese lanterns already in place:


(It took some creativity to get the two to hang between the lights in the background of the photo with just fishing line and no nails; I think that was our biggest accomplishment this week.)

So I'm off to finish doing what I can ahead of time to prepare for 30 guests (thus far -- there are still some RSVPs that haven't come in yet!). More on how it all turns out very, very soon.

5 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

Sounds like quite an extravaganza, and you're lanterns look awesome! Really stunning and beautiful.

So glad the procedure went fine.

Sherlock said...

Glad everything went fine. I may be having to get that done sometime in the next few months. Hubby has had two and has no memory of either.

Sounds like a great time coming up with the party! Have fun and looking forward to more pix of the decorations and FOOD!!!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- thanks :). We found them at World Market! Amazing steal, and they don't need to be plugged in.

Sherlock -- if you have to have it, it's definitely not bad. Hope you don't have to all the same, though.

As for more pics of decorations, I will try to get some before the house is inundated with people. And as for the food, I will try to take a few snapshots before it all disappears ...

French Fancy said...

How come I missed this post of yours? There were a few days when it was difficult to sit down and that must be when it got published - sorry about that.

I love the Dutch and oriental fusion - okay, German/Dutch/Oriental fusion - and I'm also very very pleased for you re your results.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, it's been busy here too! Glad you had a chance to stop by :). Thanks for the good wishes.