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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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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

To search this blog, type in the field at the top left of the page and hit enter.

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.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun with some sun

SuziCate of The Water Witch's Daughter has given me a Sunshine Award. Thanks, SuziCate!

The award is supposed to be passed on to twelve other bloggers (no other rules as far as I can tell). But I've noticed that, within my blog circle (small but growing), this award has been handed around to many deserving people. Some folks have even been tagged multiple times! I do want this to remain fun and special when I pass this along, but if this is your fourth nomination, you're probably wondering, "Twelve more blogs to pass this to? And I thought the first thirty-six were hard to come up with."

So. In consideration of so many of you who have received so much well-deserved Sunshine, I'm revising the rules a bit.

I'm sure some of you, when you were growing up, heard this medley by The 5th Dimension at least once on the radio (and if you remember the second half of it, then you know why I'm mentioning it here). It won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group at the 12th Annual Grammy Awards. I was not yet around to remember that, but the recording has also, according to Wikipedia, been referenced in the media as follows (and I quote)*:
  • French's mustard used portions of "Let the Sunshine In" for their commercials in the late '80s.

  • Hans Zimmer created a version of the song for the opening sequence of the 1990 film Bird on a Wire.

  • In the third season episode of The Simpsons "Bart the Lover" from 1992, the Twirl King Yo-Yo company uses the "Age of Aquarius" portion of the song during their school Twirl King Champions yo-yo exhibition assembly.

  • The song appears as the fifth track of the second disc of the soundtrack to the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

  • In 1998, Burger King used this song to promote their breakfast menu.

  • The 1999 remake of The Out of Towners used "Aquarius" when Steve Martin's character has a psychedelic scene after ingesting a hallucinogenic.

  • In the 2001 Disney movie Recess: School's Out, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" plays during the end of the movie, moving into the credits with the chorus "Let the Sunshine In."

  • "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" is performed with dancing at the conclusion of the 2005 movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin after the lead character's first sexual encounter.

  • Société Bic (brand name, Bic) also used the song in the 2007 advertising campaign for the debut of their "Soleil Triple Blade Razors" in America.

  • The "Let the Sunshine In" portion of the song was used as one of the official theme songs for the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama.

  • "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" is also used in commercials for the Kia Rondo.

  • The "Aquarius" song is used in commercials for the Aquarius sports drink.

  • William Shatner sang a version of "Aquarius" in a commercial for Priceline.com.

  • Used in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, 2001, second walk.

Okay. Here's what I'm asking you to do. Examine the bulleted list above and give yourself a point for each item you can count in your own viewing/listening experience. Then report your point total in the comments below and tell us about at least one of those experiences! (Seriously, I want to know if you've seen William Shatner's performance and/or remember that French's mustard commercial -- what was going on in your life then?) Ten bonus points to anyone who has heard the medley performed live by The 5th Dimension. (Anybody know if they did that at the Grammys? I'm guessing they did, but ... ?)

Once you've done that, feel free to grab this award and pass it along as you see fit (by offering it to twelve deserving bloggers, if you so choose, or by using the modified rules I've created). You are, of course, still welcome to play even if you don't want to pass the award along. Enjoy!

* Clearly I have not verified said media references, but I am supposed to be working on my thesis, people. Forgive me?

12 comments:

SuziCate said...

Now, that is a cool twist, wuite creative I must say!

Good Enough Woman said...

Well, I'm not aiming to grab the award, but I wanted to say that I do, in fact, remember the mustard commercial. But I wanted even more to say that I LOVE the last scene of the 40-year-old virgin when that songs plays. Classic!

TKW said...

I'm a loser! I only remember the mustard commercial and the 40 Year Old Virgin!

But I do love Jesus Christ Superstar!

French Fancy said...

A good and novel spin on the usual tagging - well, we do have the (very funny) film '40 Year Old Virgin' and that is almost the only time I can positively remember hearing the song.

Of course there are zillions of times that it has been playing and I have heard it but that is almost the only time I can actually pinpoint listening properly to it.

My parents went to the London show of Hair and my mother came back singing the song - if that can count as well

xx

BigLittleWolf said...

Comment ça se fait que vous parlez français ? Et j'en suis ravie ! Quelle surprise, le commentaire chez Kristen que je viens de lire !

Quant à ces honneurs, moi aussi, j'en ai plusieurs à re-donner (mon dieu - regifting), et je n'arrive pas à en donner une douzaine. C'est trop de trop.

Cela dit, if all I remember is William Shatner in the original Star Trek (when he was cuter than doing Price Line commercials) - does that make me ANCIENT or simply a child prodigy at age two in the late sixties???

Yeah, yeah. A girl can dream...

Drôle de post ! Génial !

Contemporary Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- glad you approve :)

GEW and TKW -- that's more points than I can claim! No recall of said mustard commercial, and shockingly, that final scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a blur for me. Maybe I'm still remembering the moment when the teenage daughter catches Steve Carell in the nude ...

FF -- of course that counts!

BLW (ou Grand Petit Loup) -- bienvenue! J'ai commencé mes études en français quand j'avais neuf ans et je les ai suivis jusqu'à ma troisième année au lycée. A l'université, j'ai pris quatre cours de littérature française absolument merveilleux, et voilà. Maintenant, je lis ce que je peux pour ne pas oublier tout. Trouver quelqu'un d'autre qui veut causer avec moi comme ça -- ravissant :)

Alors, regifting, comme c'est vrai! Une douzaine n'est pas vraiment pratique, je crois.

BigLittleWolf said...

Alors, je vous encourage de me laisser des commentaires en français (pourquoi pas?) eh non, une douzaine - pas pratique du tout.

Un blog, déjà c'est beaucoup de temps. L'idée de recommander les autres, elle est bonne, mais cela devient un peu trop quand c'est plus que quelques personnes.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Bon d'accord, BLW. J'en essayerai heureusement -- en fait, il y a des choses qui s'expriment mieux en français qu'en anglais (à mon avis).

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I remember the dance number from 40 Year Old virgin very well. I still own the soundtrack to Forrest Gump and am embarrassed to admit that I recently uncovered a high school journal in which I dubbed Forrest Gump "one of the greatest movies ever made." It's a good movie, sure, but my taste has changed a bit since getting older. :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

High school journals are such squirm-inducing labors of love, no? I've saved my old notebooks and blank books and whatever else I felt was worthy of all that ink at the time, but I don't quite have the courage to open them yet. Or to translate the one I put entirely in code. (And I thought I could put that geek behind me!)

Good Enough Woman said...

You speak French!

BTW, I've been meaning to tell you how I knew you were the one in the middle of the photograph on your blog header photo: Well, first I thought it might be you on the left (my left), but then I thought about the picture of you with the icy braids, and something about your eyes or face shape in that photo suggested the middle face, and THEN, I thought, "Oh, I think she's the oldest of her sisters, so it would make sense that she would be in the middle and that they would be leaning in towards her."

I have no idea if that logic helped me. Maybe just a lucky guess?! :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I do, GEW! Or at least I try. I'm better at reading it than speaking/writing it, but one reinforces the other :)

Awww, your interpretation of the photo is so sweet. I never considered how anyone might read body position in that shot! Good guess.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun with some sun

SuziCate of The Water Witch's Daughter has given me a Sunshine Award. Thanks, SuziCate!

The award is supposed to be passed on to twelve other bloggers (no other rules as far as I can tell). But I've noticed that, within my blog circle (small but growing), this award has been handed around to many deserving people. Some folks have even been tagged multiple times! I do want this to remain fun and special when I pass this along, but if this is your fourth nomination, you're probably wondering, "Twelve more blogs to pass this to? And I thought the first thirty-six were hard to come up with."

So. In consideration of so many of you who have received so much well-deserved Sunshine, I'm revising the rules a bit.

I'm sure some of you, when you were growing up, heard this medley by The 5th Dimension at least once on the radio (and if you remember the second half of it, then you know why I'm mentioning it here). It won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group at the 12th Annual Grammy Awards. I was not yet around to remember that, but the recording has also, according to Wikipedia, been referenced in the media as follows (and I quote)*:
  • French's mustard used portions of "Let the Sunshine In" for their commercials in the late '80s.

  • Hans Zimmer created a version of the song for the opening sequence of the 1990 film Bird on a Wire.

  • In the third season episode of The Simpsons "Bart the Lover" from 1992, the Twirl King Yo-Yo company uses the "Age of Aquarius" portion of the song during their school Twirl King Champions yo-yo exhibition assembly.

  • The song appears as the fifth track of the second disc of the soundtrack to the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

  • In 1998, Burger King used this song to promote their breakfast menu.

  • The 1999 remake of The Out of Towners used "Aquarius" when Steve Martin's character has a psychedelic scene after ingesting a hallucinogenic.

  • In the 2001 Disney movie Recess: School's Out, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" plays during the end of the movie, moving into the credits with the chorus "Let the Sunshine In."

  • "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" is performed with dancing at the conclusion of the 2005 movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin after the lead character's first sexual encounter.

  • Société Bic (brand name, Bic) also used the song in the 2007 advertising campaign for the debut of their "Soleil Triple Blade Razors" in America.

  • The "Let the Sunshine In" portion of the song was used as one of the official theme songs for the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama.

  • "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" is also used in commercials for the Kia Rondo.

  • The "Aquarius" song is used in commercials for the Aquarius sports drink.

  • William Shatner sang a version of "Aquarius" in a commercial for Priceline.com.

  • Used in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, 2001, second walk.

Okay. Here's what I'm asking you to do. Examine the bulleted list above and give yourself a point for each item you can count in your own viewing/listening experience. Then report your point total in the comments below and tell us about at least one of those experiences! (Seriously, I want to know if you've seen William Shatner's performance and/or remember that French's mustard commercial -- what was going on in your life then?) Ten bonus points to anyone who has heard the medley performed live by The 5th Dimension. (Anybody know if they did that at the Grammys? I'm guessing they did, but ... ?)

Once you've done that, feel free to grab this award and pass it along as you see fit (by offering it to twelve deserving bloggers, if you so choose, or by using the modified rules I've created). You are, of course, still welcome to play even if you don't want to pass the award along. Enjoy!

* Clearly I have not verified said media references, but I am supposed to be working on my thesis, people. Forgive me?

12 comments:

SuziCate said...

Now, that is a cool twist, wuite creative I must say!

Good Enough Woman said...

Well, I'm not aiming to grab the award, but I wanted to say that I do, in fact, remember the mustard commercial. But I wanted even more to say that I LOVE the last scene of the 40-year-old virgin when that songs plays. Classic!

TKW said...

I'm a loser! I only remember the mustard commercial and the 40 Year Old Virgin!

But I do love Jesus Christ Superstar!

French Fancy said...

A good and novel spin on the usual tagging - well, we do have the (very funny) film '40 Year Old Virgin' and that is almost the only time I can positively remember hearing the song.

Of course there are zillions of times that it has been playing and I have heard it but that is almost the only time I can actually pinpoint listening properly to it.

My parents went to the London show of Hair and my mother came back singing the song - if that can count as well

xx

BigLittleWolf said...

Comment ça se fait que vous parlez français ? Et j'en suis ravie ! Quelle surprise, le commentaire chez Kristen que je viens de lire !

Quant à ces honneurs, moi aussi, j'en ai plusieurs à re-donner (mon dieu - regifting), et je n'arrive pas à en donner une douzaine. C'est trop de trop.

Cela dit, if all I remember is William Shatner in the original Star Trek (when he was cuter than doing Price Line commercials) - does that make me ANCIENT or simply a child prodigy at age two in the late sixties???

Yeah, yeah. A girl can dream...

Drôle de post ! Génial !

Contemporary Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- glad you approve :)

GEW and TKW -- that's more points than I can claim! No recall of said mustard commercial, and shockingly, that final scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a blur for me. Maybe I'm still remembering the moment when the teenage daughter catches Steve Carell in the nude ...

FF -- of course that counts!

BLW (ou Grand Petit Loup) -- bienvenue! J'ai commencé mes études en français quand j'avais neuf ans et je les ai suivis jusqu'à ma troisième année au lycée. A l'université, j'ai pris quatre cours de littérature française absolument merveilleux, et voilà. Maintenant, je lis ce que je peux pour ne pas oublier tout. Trouver quelqu'un d'autre qui veut causer avec moi comme ça -- ravissant :)

Alors, regifting, comme c'est vrai! Une douzaine n'est pas vraiment pratique, je crois.

BigLittleWolf said...

Alors, je vous encourage de me laisser des commentaires en français (pourquoi pas?) eh non, une douzaine - pas pratique du tout.

Un blog, déjà c'est beaucoup de temps. L'idée de recommander les autres, elle est bonne, mais cela devient un peu trop quand c'est plus que quelques personnes.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Bon d'accord, BLW. J'en essayerai heureusement -- en fait, il y a des choses qui s'expriment mieux en français qu'en anglais (à mon avis).

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I remember the dance number from 40 Year Old virgin very well. I still own the soundtrack to Forrest Gump and am embarrassed to admit that I recently uncovered a high school journal in which I dubbed Forrest Gump "one of the greatest movies ever made." It's a good movie, sure, but my taste has changed a bit since getting older. :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

High school journals are such squirm-inducing labors of love, no? I've saved my old notebooks and blank books and whatever else I felt was worthy of all that ink at the time, but I don't quite have the courage to open them yet. Or to translate the one I put entirely in code. (And I thought I could put that geek behind me!)

Good Enough Woman said...

You speak French!

BTW, I've been meaning to tell you how I knew you were the one in the middle of the photograph on your blog header photo: Well, first I thought it might be you on the left (my left), but then I thought about the picture of you with the icy braids, and something about your eyes or face shape in that photo suggested the middle face, and THEN, I thought, "Oh, I think she's the oldest of her sisters, so it would make sense that she would be in the middle and that they would be leaning in towards her."

I have no idea if that logic helped me. Maybe just a lucky guess?! :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I do, GEW! Or at least I try. I'm better at reading it than speaking/writing it, but one reinforces the other :)

Awww, your interpretation of the photo is so sweet. I never considered how anyone might read body position in that shot! Good guess.