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!)

Archives

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.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The writing on the wall

It's not a good sign when you wake up and the first thought that flits through your mind is oh no.

I admit, I'd gone to sleep feeling anxious. Despite all the effort I've been putting in to take care of myself in preparation for next week, there's still this panicky thing doing jumping jacks in my guts, and no number of countermeasures will get it to calm the hell down. You can only trick the mind and body so much. Add to that the usual random obstacles life offers and suddenly the reserves I thought I'd been storing up look so much smaller.

I've been trying not to dwell on the less than pleasant stuff (and I'm good at dwelling, so this takes effort). But after a certain point, I can't ignore what's right in front of me.


So, my beefs with the universe, some trivial and some not. Because it all takes energy to deal with, and I really can't devote what's meant to be for my parents to this:

  • Introducing us to the most sweet-tempered, affectionate kitty on the planet but having her hate catnip and all manner of kitty treats, which are essential strategic tools for getting a cat to scratch her scratching post instead of the furniture. Also having her general aversion to drinking water and the aforementioned treats foil the administration of preventative dental care. (There are specific water additives and dental chews that can help if your cat is prone to tartar buildup.) Am I a bad parent for thinking dental care for a cat is a wee bit of a racket? You don't want to know the quote I got for the cleaning our cat supposedly needs, just in case her gums are reabsorbing one of her back teeth.

  • Making the price of a central cooling system so ridiculously high that even over the course of ten years, it will not pay for itself. We're lucky enough to have cooler summers out here, but during those few weeks when the temperature spikes, it's more than a little unpleasant in the house. This has been one of those weeks. As a result, I think my body has retained enough water for both me and the cat who will not drink. Which brings me to ...

  • Bloating. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? As if I really want to manage a visit from my food-obsessed parents while also feeling how uncomfortable my waistband is before being taken on a traveling smorgasbord with them.

  • Mildewing. Back in May, when we were visiting our friends in Portland, we stayed at their place. Well, they had a bit of a moisture problem in their linen closet (and their apartment in general), so the sheets we slept on definitely reeked of something foul. No worries, we said -- two nights and we'll go home, wash everything we're wearing, and all will be fine again. Well, we've put some of those items through the laundry three times now, and they STILL begin to smell after a few hours of wear. I'm at my wits' end (and it's time to do another round of general wash before my parents arrive). Do I take ye olde fashioned approach, boiling the clothes and whatever they're harboring in a pot on the stove? And how are we supposed to get around future invitations to stay for a weekend when we do very much want to hang out but obviously can't throw away what we wear after each visit? They'll think it odd if we book a hotel next time around, won't they?

Okay. I think that's all that's bloggable. Now I'm off to check on the kitty, in hopes that maybe, just maybe, she's gotten hungry enough to try the treat I left in her food bowl in lieu of breakfast this morning ...

6 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

In haste: I fully respect the idea of dog and kitty dental care, but puh-lease. I, too, get skeptical of all of the costs. My dog lets me tap on his teeth, so I'm hoping he'll let me brush them, too.

Also, have you tried putting just a bit of clorox in the laundry? If it's not too much, it probably (*probably*) won't be enough to bleach the clothes, but it might be enough to kill the microbes.

(((Hugs)))

C. Troubadour said...

GEW -- I suspect our kitty will be less keen on having us put our fingers in her mouth. But I'm crossing my fingers that she'll eventually get used to the dental chews the vet recommended.

As for the Clorox suggestion, that might have to be our next stop if this weekend's wash turns out to have been in vain. If our most recent experiment did work, then do I have a story to tell!

BigLittleWolf said...

Great list.

Oh so many things one could add. (I'll restrain myself.)

Hope it is a good week!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, BLW. You know I wouldn't mind if you wanted to add a few of your own beefs too :)

TKW said...

No kidding--teeth cleaning for kitties? Please.

Those sheets sound n-a-s-t-y.

Wishing you the best of luck on your next parental adventure.

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, TKW. The adventure's mostly over now -- and it went all right.

Hope all's well chez vous.

Posts by date

Posts by label

Air travel Airline food Allergic reactions Astoria Awards Bacteremia Bacterial overgrowth Baggage beefs Bed and breakfast Betrayal Blues Body Boston Breastfeeding British Columbia California Canada Cape Spear Clam-digging Colonoscopy Commuter marriage Cooking CT scans Delays Diagnoses Dietitians Doctor-patient relationships Doctors Eating while traveling Editing Endocrine Endoscopy ER False starts Family dynamics Feedback Food anxiety Food sensitivities Gate agent guff GI Halifax Heart Home-making House hunting Hypoglycemia In-laws Intentional happiness Iowa Journaling Kidney stones Knitting Lab tests Little U. on the Prairie Liver function tests Long Beach Making friends in new places Malabsorption Massachusetts Medical records Medication Mentorship MFA programs Miami Monterey Motivation Moving Narrative New York Newark Newfoundland Nova Scotia Olympic Peninsula Ontario Ophthalmology Oregon Oxalates Pancreatic function tests Parenting Parents Paris Pets Photography Portland Prediabetes Pregnancy Process Professors Publishing Reproductive endocrine Research Revision Rewriting Rheumatology San Francisco Scenes from a graduation series Scenes from around the table series Seattle Sisters Skiing St. John's Striped-up paisley Teaching Technological snafus Texas Thesis Toronto Travel Travel fears Traveling while sick Ultrasound Urology Vancouver Victoria Voice Washington Washington D.C. Weight When words won't stick Whidbey Island Why we write Workshops Writers on writing Writing Writing friends Writing in odd places Writing jobs Yakima

Friday, August 6, 2010

The writing on the wall

It's not a good sign when you wake up and the first thought that flits through your mind is oh no.

I admit, I'd gone to sleep feeling anxious. Despite all the effort I've been putting in to take care of myself in preparation for next week, there's still this panicky thing doing jumping jacks in my guts, and no number of countermeasures will get it to calm the hell down. You can only trick the mind and body so much. Add to that the usual random obstacles life offers and suddenly the reserves I thought I'd been storing up look so much smaller.

I've been trying not to dwell on the less than pleasant stuff (and I'm good at dwelling, so this takes effort). But after a certain point, I can't ignore what's right in front of me.


So, my beefs with the universe, some trivial and some not. Because it all takes energy to deal with, and I really can't devote what's meant to be for my parents to this:

  • Introducing us to the most sweet-tempered, affectionate kitty on the planet but having her hate catnip and all manner of kitty treats, which are essential strategic tools for getting a cat to scratch her scratching post instead of the furniture. Also having her general aversion to drinking water and the aforementioned treats foil the administration of preventative dental care. (There are specific water additives and dental chews that can help if your cat is prone to tartar buildup.) Am I a bad parent for thinking dental care for a cat is a wee bit of a racket? You don't want to know the quote I got for the cleaning our cat supposedly needs, just in case her gums are reabsorbing one of her back teeth.

  • Making the price of a central cooling system so ridiculously high that even over the course of ten years, it will not pay for itself. We're lucky enough to have cooler summers out here, but during those few weeks when the temperature spikes, it's more than a little unpleasant in the house. This has been one of those weeks. As a result, I think my body has retained enough water for both me and the cat who will not drink. Which brings me to ...

  • Bloating. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? As if I really want to manage a visit from my food-obsessed parents while also feeling how uncomfortable my waistband is before being taken on a traveling smorgasbord with them.

  • Mildewing. Back in May, when we were visiting our friends in Portland, we stayed at their place. Well, they had a bit of a moisture problem in their linen closet (and their apartment in general), so the sheets we slept on definitely reeked of something foul. No worries, we said -- two nights and we'll go home, wash everything we're wearing, and all will be fine again. Well, we've put some of those items through the laundry three times now, and they STILL begin to smell after a few hours of wear. I'm at my wits' end (and it's time to do another round of general wash before my parents arrive). Do I take ye olde fashioned approach, boiling the clothes and whatever they're harboring in a pot on the stove? And how are we supposed to get around future invitations to stay for a weekend when we do very much want to hang out but obviously can't throw away what we wear after each visit? They'll think it odd if we book a hotel next time around, won't they?

Okay. I think that's all that's bloggable. Now I'm off to check on the kitty, in hopes that maybe, just maybe, she's gotten hungry enough to try the treat I left in her food bowl in lieu of breakfast this morning ...

6 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

In haste: I fully respect the idea of dog and kitty dental care, but puh-lease. I, too, get skeptical of all of the costs. My dog lets me tap on his teeth, so I'm hoping he'll let me brush them, too.

Also, have you tried putting just a bit of clorox in the laundry? If it's not too much, it probably (*probably*) won't be enough to bleach the clothes, but it might be enough to kill the microbes.

(((Hugs)))

C. Troubadour said...

GEW -- I suspect our kitty will be less keen on having us put our fingers in her mouth. But I'm crossing my fingers that she'll eventually get used to the dental chews the vet recommended.

As for the Clorox suggestion, that might have to be our next stop if this weekend's wash turns out to have been in vain. If our most recent experiment did work, then do I have a story to tell!

BigLittleWolf said...

Great list.

Oh so many things one could add. (I'll restrain myself.)

Hope it is a good week!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, BLW. You know I wouldn't mind if you wanted to add a few of your own beefs too :)

TKW said...

No kidding--teeth cleaning for kitties? Please.

Those sheets sound n-a-s-t-y.

Wishing you the best of luck on your next parental adventure.

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, TKW. The adventure's mostly over now -- and it went all right.

Hope all's well chez vous.