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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 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.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy, but still !!!

So the first week of July was quite packed. There was the long holiday weekend with company in town and then a quick getaway trip just for us the next weekend. As a result, I’m behind again here.

But I’ve been keeping track of things. The camera’s been with me for much of the time, so what’s better than a little !!! to help with catching up?

If you live anywhere nearby, you know we had a bit of a heat wave last week. In a house without central air, that means retreating to the one room with climate control or putting together alternate cooling aids. Straight from the inspirational binder, I present:


Why all the excitement about watermelon? Because it’s been soaked in a tequila-based marinade with orange zest and some other tasty additions. For the recipe, click here. (We didn’t have Triple Sec, hence the addition of the orange zest. We also substituted Splenda for regular sweetener to make it blood-sugar friendly.)

Also excellent for bringing the temperature to more manageable levels:


I actually put this on to add a little color to my otherwise naked face (I’m not a frequent makeup user). I was headed out in the middle of one of the hottest afternoons and swiped some on my lips without thinking about much -- except how I wished it were ten degrees cooler. And suddenly, it was! For my mouth, at least, and the rest of me followed somewhat for a little while. Yay, peppermint oil! (Hey, I’ll do anything to feel more comfortable without having to pay the power company.)

Which brings me to another heat-busting option:


Yes, that is Canada. Or the gates to the ferry that took us to Canada for our wedding anniversary. More on that trip in a separate post -- it didn’t actually turn out to be that much cooler, but the idea of a cooler destination (no matter how small the temperature decrease) was extremely !!! by Friday morning.

Believe it or not, I still have some !!! shots (specific to our getaway), but I’ll sprinkle them into the larger story later this week. That’s fair, right? I figure it’s a good thing if an anniversary gives you things to be happy about even after it’s passed ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

Glad the heat wave's eased up (at least it has here and I'm several states south of you. Can't wait to see the pics. Stay cool up there!

Bev said...

I am SO excited about this watermelon.

SuziCate said...

hope you had a happy anniversary! HMMMMM...wish I'd have thought to doctor up my watermelon! Love Burt's Bee's lip balm..the kind you have with the flavor and color, even though it tingles my lips!

C. Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- windows and fans, windows and fans! Essential survival tools :)

Bev -- have you tried to make it yet???

SuziCate -- thanks! We still have half a watermelon as yet undoctored. Perhaps this weekend, round two on this recipe. It heated up again today.

Sarah said...

HOly crap I need me some of that watermelon. Seriously, that is genius right there. GENIUS! Intentional, inspirational, whatever you call it, I'm IN!


!!!

C. Troubadour said...

Sarah -- my next impulse is to puree the other half of the melon we didn't use to make a mixer base for fruit-flavored margaritas. Less mess, just as tasty!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy, but still !!!

So the first week of July was quite packed. There was the long holiday weekend with company in town and then a quick getaway trip just for us the next weekend. As a result, I’m behind again here.

But I’ve been keeping track of things. The camera’s been with me for much of the time, so what’s better than a little !!! to help with catching up?

If you live anywhere nearby, you know we had a bit of a heat wave last week. In a house without central air, that means retreating to the one room with climate control or putting together alternate cooling aids. Straight from the inspirational binder, I present:


Why all the excitement about watermelon? Because it’s been soaked in a tequila-based marinade with orange zest and some other tasty additions. For the recipe, click here. (We didn’t have Triple Sec, hence the addition of the orange zest. We also substituted Splenda for regular sweetener to make it blood-sugar friendly.)

Also excellent for bringing the temperature to more manageable levels:


I actually put this on to add a little color to my otherwise naked face (I’m not a frequent makeup user). I was headed out in the middle of one of the hottest afternoons and swiped some on my lips without thinking about much -- except how I wished it were ten degrees cooler. And suddenly, it was! For my mouth, at least, and the rest of me followed somewhat for a little while. Yay, peppermint oil! (Hey, I’ll do anything to feel more comfortable without having to pay the power company.)

Which brings me to another heat-busting option:


Yes, that is Canada. Or the gates to the ferry that took us to Canada for our wedding anniversary. More on that trip in a separate post -- it didn’t actually turn out to be that much cooler, but the idea of a cooler destination (no matter how small the temperature decrease) was extremely !!! by Friday morning.

Believe it or not, I still have some !!! shots (specific to our getaway), but I’ll sprinkle them into the larger story later this week. That’s fair, right? I figure it’s a good thing if an anniversary gives you things to be happy about even after it’s passed ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

Glad the heat wave's eased up (at least it has here and I'm several states south of you. Can't wait to see the pics. Stay cool up there!

Bev said...

I am SO excited about this watermelon.

SuziCate said...

hope you had a happy anniversary! HMMMMM...wish I'd have thought to doctor up my watermelon! Love Burt's Bee's lip balm..the kind you have with the flavor and color, even though it tingles my lips!

C. Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- windows and fans, windows and fans! Essential survival tools :)

Bev -- have you tried to make it yet???

SuziCate -- thanks! We still have half a watermelon as yet undoctored. Perhaps this weekend, round two on this recipe. It heated up again today.

Sarah said...

HOly crap I need me some of that watermelon. Seriously, that is genius right there. GENIUS! Intentional, inspirational, whatever you call it, I'm IN!


!!!

C. Troubadour said...

Sarah -- my next impulse is to puree the other half of the melon we didn't use to make a mixer base for fruit-flavored margaritas. Less mess, just as tasty!