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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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A cozy weekend

I wish my sisters and I lived nearer to one another. We had such a wonderful time over Thanksgiving just catching up on sister-news, getting giddy on sister-humor, and sharing sister-time. Did I ever mention that my sisters and I are close? We are. And that's why it's so hard being on opposite coasts.

Almost Dr. Sis arrived on Tuesday with her boyfriend (such a sweet guy!). I picked them up at the airport and got them settled in our newly crown-molded guest room with bonus new light fixture (we replaced the old one right before they arrived as it was missing a cover for the light bulbs -- kind of ugly). Marketing Sis got in the following evening.

We had already done much chatting over e-mail to determine what we wanted on the menu (besides the 20-pound turkey we got from Safeway). In the end, we made farro with goat cheese and butternut squash, roasted herbed potatoes and pearl onions, cranberry sauce spiked with rum, D's great-grandmother's cornbread, and stuffing. It was epic. I am pleased to say the turkey was juicy and flavorful thanks to the amazing broth-and-butter seasoning method Almost Dr. Sis recommended from a cooking demonstration she got to see. We also spatchcocked our bird to shorten the roasting time. Even so, it took three hours to reach the proper temperature since it was so huge, but it was worth the wait. Here's a look at the feast in its final stages from stove to table (thanks to Marketing Sis for the photos):





Now all our visitors are gone, and I'm feeling a little sad about that, but overall, I'm still enjoying the memory of a really lovely gathering. I think Troubadour Dad is hoping we don't turn this into a regular thing (sisters-only for Turkey Day), so it will probably be a whole-family event next year. But we are definitely going to pick a holiday to do on our own at least once yearly. It was too much fun not to make it a tradition.

Work calls -- I've been away from the thesis over the holiday and my advisor wants another installment by the end of the weekend. I'd much rather be doing what Simone seems to love (see below), but that'll have to wait. More news shortly ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

So glad to hear about your wonderful Thanksgiving. The food looks yummy and the table gorgeous!!

Never heard of the turkey thing so looked it up. Great to know!! I cook a turkey breast in the roaster about every month or so and this will be a real time-saver!!

French Fancy said...

Oh that looks and sounds a delicious meal. I also love your roasting tin - wish mine had handles.

I love corn bread and have tried to make it but you can't get the right sort of corn here.

TKW said...

I think it sounds so amazingly fun--a sister's-only Thanksgiving! How lucky you are to have each other.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- D loves setting a nice table. He gets that from his dad :). And the spatchcocking technique is excellent on a normal-sized bird. We've used it before on a 12-pounder and it worked very well.

FF -- the handles are so helpful on that roaster. I was afraid the turkey wouldn't fit inside, though! We had to convince it. Too bad about not having the right kind of cornmeal. Maybe Mr. FF will have to pick up some when he's in London?

TKW -- having sisters in town was the best part of the holiday for sure. I think we're going to try for Labor Day weekend in the future or something like it.

Good Enough Woman said...

Yay for sisterly-love, which I, myself, do not have. But I do have a cousin with whom I am close, so I have SOME sense of the concept. I'm glad you had such a great time and such a great meal. Cheers!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Cheers to you too, GEW! Being close with cousins is lovely. I do sometimes envy my mother's nieces and nephews (children of her five siblings), most of whom grew up near one another in Canada. They are close as well -- my sisters and I are those rarely seen U.S. relatives when we have family reunions with them. Still, it's always fun to see everyone again.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

A cozy weekend

I wish my sisters and I lived nearer to one another. We had such a wonderful time over Thanksgiving just catching up on sister-news, getting giddy on sister-humor, and sharing sister-time. Did I ever mention that my sisters and I are close? We are. And that's why it's so hard being on opposite coasts.

Almost Dr. Sis arrived on Tuesday with her boyfriend (such a sweet guy!). I picked them up at the airport and got them settled in our newly crown-molded guest room with bonus new light fixture (we replaced the old one right before they arrived as it was missing a cover for the light bulbs -- kind of ugly). Marketing Sis got in the following evening.

We had already done much chatting over e-mail to determine what we wanted on the menu (besides the 20-pound turkey we got from Safeway). In the end, we made farro with goat cheese and butternut squash, roasted herbed potatoes and pearl onions, cranberry sauce spiked with rum, D's great-grandmother's cornbread, and stuffing. It was epic. I am pleased to say the turkey was juicy and flavorful thanks to the amazing broth-and-butter seasoning method Almost Dr. Sis recommended from a cooking demonstration she got to see. We also spatchcocked our bird to shorten the roasting time. Even so, it took three hours to reach the proper temperature since it was so huge, but it was worth the wait. Here's a look at the feast in its final stages from stove to table (thanks to Marketing Sis for the photos):





Now all our visitors are gone, and I'm feeling a little sad about that, but overall, I'm still enjoying the memory of a really lovely gathering. I think Troubadour Dad is hoping we don't turn this into a regular thing (sisters-only for Turkey Day), so it will probably be a whole-family event next year. But we are definitely going to pick a holiday to do on our own at least once yearly. It was too much fun not to make it a tradition.

Work calls -- I've been away from the thesis over the holiday and my advisor wants another installment by the end of the weekend. I'd much rather be doing what Simone seems to love (see below), but that'll have to wait. More news shortly ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

So glad to hear about your wonderful Thanksgiving. The food looks yummy and the table gorgeous!!

Never heard of the turkey thing so looked it up. Great to know!! I cook a turkey breast in the roaster about every month or so and this will be a real time-saver!!

French Fancy said...

Oh that looks and sounds a delicious meal. I also love your roasting tin - wish mine had handles.

I love corn bread and have tried to make it but you can't get the right sort of corn here.

TKW said...

I think it sounds so amazingly fun--a sister's-only Thanksgiving! How lucky you are to have each other.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- D loves setting a nice table. He gets that from his dad :). And the spatchcocking technique is excellent on a normal-sized bird. We've used it before on a 12-pounder and it worked very well.

FF -- the handles are so helpful on that roaster. I was afraid the turkey wouldn't fit inside, though! We had to convince it. Too bad about not having the right kind of cornmeal. Maybe Mr. FF will have to pick up some when he's in London?

TKW -- having sisters in town was the best part of the holiday for sure. I think we're going to try for Labor Day weekend in the future or something like it.

Good Enough Woman said...

Yay for sisterly-love, which I, myself, do not have. But I do have a cousin with whom I am close, so I have SOME sense of the concept. I'm glad you had such a great time and such a great meal. Cheers!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Cheers to you too, GEW! Being close with cousins is lovely. I do sometimes envy my mother's nieces and nephews (children of her five siblings), most of whom grew up near one another in Canada. They are close as well -- my sisters and I are those rarely seen U.S. relatives when we have family reunions with them. Still, it's always fun to see everyone again.