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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, November 11, 2009

It's prime time

Yep, the next stage of painting chez Troubadour is about to start, which is very exciting. But before we can pick proper colors for the two bedrooms we're going to tackle, we have to cover up the stuff that's already there. And it's not going away without a fight.

To whoever thought it would be a selling point to paint one of the bedrooms Wal-Mart blue and the other Pepto-Bismol pink: it's not at all charming. Here's what each room looks like with a patch of primer (two coats):



The gray-tinted stuff seems to be quite effective on the blue, but the white is hardly affecting the pink (can you even see where it is?). D's added another coat of white this evening; hopefully that will be enough. Tomorrow, we'll test out some color samples.

To Almost Dr. Sis and Marketing Sis, who will be staying here over Thanksgiving: we promise the guest room will be dry before you arrive in two weeks. But you might have to leave the painter's tape in place -- we're not expecting to get to the actual top-coat color until after Turkey Day, given how slowly this is going ...

7 comments:

Sherlock said...

LOL this made me think of when bro-in-law and family moved into a huge new house two years ago, sis-in-law hired painters to do the inside of the entire house. She couldn't wait to show off the house when they were done. OMG the colors made me shudder!!!!! It was horrible to say the least.

Have fun with the painting -- can't wait to see the end result :)

TKW said...

Oh man, that pink is powerful stuff! Good luck!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- yikes. We also gave a tour of the house when we had our housewarming (at the insistence of our guests). There were some odd looks when they saw these rooms. Until we clarified that we weren't keeping the colors, that is :).

TKW -- thanks, we're going to need it! Happy to report that the third coat of primer seems to have done the trick.

Good Enough Woman said...

So glad the third coat masked the pink. Wow. That stuff really wanted to shine its light, no?

Can't wait to see the finished walls!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Me too, GEW! We actually discovered that there is ANOTHER color under the pink -- some nasty shade of turquoise, visible where the previous residents missed some spots around the baseboards, in the closet, etc. And we think the pink is a home-mixed shade to boot. We found a can of paint that had a label indicating it should be white, but it had dried up Pepto-Bismol drips on the outside. I'm guessing they threw in a little red, stirred it up, and called it a day. Amusing, no?

French Fancy said...

goodness, isn't that blue dark! I wouldn't like to sleep in such a dark room. Good luck with the transformation

x

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thank you, FF -- fortunately no one has had to sleep there since we moved in. D uses it as his office.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's prime time

Yep, the next stage of painting chez Troubadour is about to start, which is very exciting. But before we can pick proper colors for the two bedrooms we're going to tackle, we have to cover up the stuff that's already there. And it's not going away without a fight.

To whoever thought it would be a selling point to paint one of the bedrooms Wal-Mart blue and the other Pepto-Bismol pink: it's not at all charming. Here's what each room looks like with a patch of primer (two coats):



The gray-tinted stuff seems to be quite effective on the blue, but the white is hardly affecting the pink (can you even see where it is?). D's added another coat of white this evening; hopefully that will be enough. Tomorrow, we'll test out some color samples.

To Almost Dr. Sis and Marketing Sis, who will be staying here over Thanksgiving: we promise the guest room will be dry before you arrive in two weeks. But you might have to leave the painter's tape in place -- we're not expecting to get to the actual top-coat color until after Turkey Day, given how slowly this is going ...

7 comments:

Sherlock said...

LOL this made me think of when bro-in-law and family moved into a huge new house two years ago, sis-in-law hired painters to do the inside of the entire house. She couldn't wait to show off the house when they were done. OMG the colors made me shudder!!!!! It was horrible to say the least.

Have fun with the painting -- can't wait to see the end result :)

TKW said...

Oh man, that pink is powerful stuff! Good luck!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- yikes. We also gave a tour of the house when we had our housewarming (at the insistence of our guests). There were some odd looks when they saw these rooms. Until we clarified that we weren't keeping the colors, that is :).

TKW -- thanks, we're going to need it! Happy to report that the third coat of primer seems to have done the trick.

Good Enough Woman said...

So glad the third coat masked the pink. Wow. That stuff really wanted to shine its light, no?

Can't wait to see the finished walls!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Me too, GEW! We actually discovered that there is ANOTHER color under the pink -- some nasty shade of turquoise, visible where the previous residents missed some spots around the baseboards, in the closet, etc. And we think the pink is a home-mixed shade to boot. We found a can of paint that had a label indicating it should be white, but it had dried up Pepto-Bismol drips on the outside. I'm guessing they threw in a little red, stirred it up, and called it a day. Amusing, no?

French Fancy said...

goodness, isn't that blue dark! I wouldn't like to sleep in such a dark room. Good luck with the transformation

x

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thank you, FF -- fortunately no one has had to sleep there since we moved in. D uses it as his office.