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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unplugged

I'm not totally off the grid these days, but it feels like it after our two-week Thanksgiving trip, which ended with the discovery Sunday evening that our refrigerator had died during our absence and left its rather pungent ghost behind. Not the warm welcome we were hoping for! Everything I'd been depending on for the last few months of allergen avoidance -- organic meats amassed on sale and frozen for later use, homemade soup stock, all the gluten-free baking I'd done -- had to be tossed.

This elimination diet thing is getting a bit too literal for me.

After a day of research, we chose a new fridge last night, which will be delivered tomorrow, but until then, any foods that need chilling are crammed into a cooler on the back porch. Believe me when I say I'm counting the hours until the delivery truck shows up.

With the exception of this electronic snafu, our Thanksgiving was a good one. D and I spent the holiday and then some with his family in central Illinois -- we're trying to alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with his parents and mine so that we don't have to do one marathon multi-city trip at the end of the year. So far, I think I like the change. We did throw in a small road trip to visit D's brother and sister-in-law in Michigan, where both are graduate students, but that was a relaxed six hours in a borrowed family minivan with leg room, rest stops, unrestricted access to personal electronics, and no worries about someone else's seat back reclining into my lap.

Of course, the view was a lot less impressive than it might have been by air, but the road did offer some scenic gems. Seriously, how can you not appreciate the comic irony in strip malls like this one?*

* I have no idea who took this picture -- we didn't have time to stop to take one ourselves -- but I am thoroughly impressed that Google, using only a search string that contained the names of the stores shown and "strip mall Indiana highway 30," was able to provide me a link to a discussion board where this image was posted.

4 comments:

French Fancy... said...

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to one of my favourite American bloggers. Shame about the fridge xx

C. Troubadour said...

Thank you, FF! I didn't know I held such an honor :). I was glad to see the update at your place -- happy so much has turned in such a good direction for you.

Our fridge situation is nearly back to normal. We are most thankful that we could arrange delivery within such a short time -- living out of a cooler was (ahem) no picnic!

Good Enough Woman said...

Our fridge once went kaput while we were gone! My poor parents discovered it while house sitting for us. It was already toxic. They cleaned it and called for repairs. Can we say ABOVE and BEYOND?!

And I love road tripping. I love the control of being in a car over being on a plane--my own schedule, etc. And I love the quirky things along the road like that awesome but scary strip mall!

Glad your trip went well. Hope Christmas is going well, too.

C. Troubadour said...

Wow, GEW. Your parents ROCK. Toxic was exactly what we returned to -- the fridge was trying desperately to run its compressor and in the process HEATING everything inside. The horror.

Hope your holiday is going well too!

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 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 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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unplugged

I'm not totally off the grid these days, but it feels like it after our two-week Thanksgiving trip, which ended with the discovery Sunday evening that our refrigerator had died during our absence and left its rather pungent ghost behind. Not the warm welcome we were hoping for! Everything I'd been depending on for the last few months of allergen avoidance -- organic meats amassed on sale and frozen for later use, homemade soup stock, all the gluten-free baking I'd done -- had to be tossed.

This elimination diet thing is getting a bit too literal for me.

After a day of research, we chose a new fridge last night, which will be delivered tomorrow, but until then, any foods that need chilling are crammed into a cooler on the back porch. Believe me when I say I'm counting the hours until the delivery truck shows up.

With the exception of this electronic snafu, our Thanksgiving was a good one. D and I spent the holiday and then some with his family in central Illinois -- we're trying to alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with his parents and mine so that we don't have to do one marathon multi-city trip at the end of the year. So far, I think I like the change. We did throw in a small road trip to visit D's brother and sister-in-law in Michigan, where both are graduate students, but that was a relaxed six hours in a borrowed family minivan with leg room, rest stops, unrestricted access to personal electronics, and no worries about someone else's seat back reclining into my lap.

Of course, the view was a lot less impressive than it might have been by air, but the road did offer some scenic gems. Seriously, how can you not appreciate the comic irony in strip malls like this one?*

* I have no idea who took this picture -- we didn't have time to stop to take one ourselves -- but I am thoroughly impressed that Google, using only a search string that contained the names of the stores shown and "strip mall Indiana highway 30," was able to provide me a link to a discussion board where this image was posted.

4 comments:

French Fancy... said...

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to one of my favourite American bloggers. Shame about the fridge xx

C. Troubadour said...

Thank you, FF! I didn't know I held such an honor :). I was glad to see the update at your place -- happy so much has turned in such a good direction for you.

Our fridge situation is nearly back to normal. We are most thankful that we could arrange delivery within such a short time -- living out of a cooler was (ahem) no picnic!

Good Enough Woman said...

Our fridge once went kaput while we were gone! My poor parents discovered it while house sitting for us. It was already toxic. They cleaned it and called for repairs. Can we say ABOVE and BEYOND?!

And I love road tripping. I love the control of being in a car over being on a plane--my own schedule, etc. And I love the quirky things along the road like that awesome but scary strip mall!

Glad your trip went well. Hope Christmas is going well, too.

C. Troubadour said...

Wow, GEW. Your parents ROCK. Toxic was exactly what we returned to -- the fridge was trying desperately to run its compressor and in the process HEATING everything inside. The horror.

Hope your holiday is going well too!