Blogroll

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, November 1, 2009

And the reveal

We had nearly 200 trick-or-treaters last night.

I kid you not! Between 6:30 and 7 p.m., which seemed to be peak time, there was a veritable parade of small children up and down our front walk. At one point, I think D opened the door to a group of ten -- and that's if you don't count the parents who were there as well.

D had a lot of fun scaring the people who came to our place. Whenever the doorbell would ring, he would open the door very quickly and shout a gleeful "AH HA!" This was highly entertaining for the parents and somewhat startling for the kids. Most, after they recovered, got a good kick out of it. But the two-year-olds remained a bit nonplussed, and one younger kid was so thrown off that he said "Merry Christmas" instead of "Trick or treat"! D now claims that he frightened the poor guy into another holiday ...

Oh, what fun D's going to be when he has kids of his own.

Our pumpkins were a hit too. In fact, half the time when D threw the front door open, the trick-or-treaters weren't actually standing directly in front of him -- they were peering into the library window to get a closer look at what we'd carved.

So now, the part you've been waiting for: the costumes we wore to the Halloween party.

Here's D in his bald cap. He was Hitman from the game of the same name. The bar code is actually from a UPS return shipping label -- already adhesive!



And here I am, as a dragonfly.


Props to Good (Enough) Woman for guessing that I was a fly -- she couldn't have gotten closer without knowing the exact shape of the wings. The sparkly hemispheres were my eyes, which I stitched to the headwrap.

We also used binder clips to attach an iridescent scarf to the back of my halter top (see below) to mimic the colors you might see on a dragonfly. Yep, we're all about minimal sewing.


So there you go! I will post directions on how to make compound eyes soon. Also some news on what my advisor had to say. It wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for, but it wasn't a total no either ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

VERY cool! And I really should have figured out the dragon fly part since, as I mentioned, the wings are so pretty! I love it! And those eyes are SO cool. I will have to show the boy. And I haven't seen The Hitman game, but that costume seems quite formidable.

Did I tell you that the Girl was a kitty and the boy was an astronaut? They had a blast.

Thanks for sharing the pics!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I didn't know the Girl was a kitty, GEW! Very cute. I'm guessing the Boy's astronaut costume arrived on time too :).

Glad you liked the costume. It was fun to put together.

French Fancy said...

Oh what fabulous costumes - I so wish I could see you both from the front view - but I understand why you chose not to do so.

I do not like this trick or treat custom at all - well least not the version that has come to this side of the pond. In the UK lots of teenagers have hijacked the event and if a householder does not give them enough sweets (or money) they throw eggs at the house or car. I'd like to see trick or treating banned in the UK and the rest of Europe. It's one of those hols that you Americans do better than us lot.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

That's a shame about the egg-throwing, FF. In some places in the U.S., I'm sure there's much more tricking that goes on, but our neighborhood is largely full of children under 10. So they're well-supervised when they come -- or they're wearing Bluetooth earpieces to stay in touch with their parents! That's something I wasn't ready for.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the reveal

We had nearly 200 trick-or-treaters last night.

I kid you not! Between 6:30 and 7 p.m., which seemed to be peak time, there was a veritable parade of small children up and down our front walk. At one point, I think D opened the door to a group of ten -- and that's if you don't count the parents who were there as well.

D had a lot of fun scaring the people who came to our place. Whenever the doorbell would ring, he would open the door very quickly and shout a gleeful "AH HA!" This was highly entertaining for the parents and somewhat startling for the kids. Most, after they recovered, got a good kick out of it. But the two-year-olds remained a bit nonplussed, and one younger kid was so thrown off that he said "Merry Christmas" instead of "Trick or treat"! D now claims that he frightened the poor guy into another holiday ...

Oh, what fun D's going to be when he has kids of his own.

Our pumpkins were a hit too. In fact, half the time when D threw the front door open, the trick-or-treaters weren't actually standing directly in front of him -- they were peering into the library window to get a closer look at what we'd carved.

So now, the part you've been waiting for: the costumes we wore to the Halloween party.

Here's D in his bald cap. He was Hitman from the game of the same name. The bar code is actually from a UPS return shipping label -- already adhesive!



And here I am, as a dragonfly.


Props to Good (Enough) Woman for guessing that I was a fly -- she couldn't have gotten closer without knowing the exact shape of the wings. The sparkly hemispheres were my eyes, which I stitched to the headwrap.

We also used binder clips to attach an iridescent scarf to the back of my halter top (see below) to mimic the colors you might see on a dragonfly. Yep, we're all about minimal sewing.


So there you go! I will post directions on how to make compound eyes soon. Also some news on what my advisor had to say. It wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for, but it wasn't a total no either ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

VERY cool! And I really should have figured out the dragon fly part since, as I mentioned, the wings are so pretty! I love it! And those eyes are SO cool. I will have to show the boy. And I haven't seen The Hitman game, but that costume seems quite formidable.

Did I tell you that the Girl was a kitty and the boy was an astronaut? They had a blast.

Thanks for sharing the pics!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I didn't know the Girl was a kitty, GEW! Very cute. I'm guessing the Boy's astronaut costume arrived on time too :).

Glad you liked the costume. It was fun to put together.

French Fancy said...

Oh what fabulous costumes - I so wish I could see you both from the front view - but I understand why you chose not to do so.

I do not like this trick or treat custom at all - well least not the version that has come to this side of the pond. In the UK lots of teenagers have hijacked the event and if a householder does not give them enough sweets (or money) they throw eggs at the house or car. I'd like to see trick or treating banned in the UK and the rest of Europe. It's one of those hols that you Americans do better than us lot.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

That's a shame about the egg-throwing, FF. In some places in the U.S., I'm sure there's much more tricking that goes on, but our neighborhood is largely full of children under 10. So they're well-supervised when they come -- or they're wearing Bluetooth earpieces to stay in touch with their parents! That's something I wasn't ready for.