January 10, 2010
where i've been (writing)
abandoned blogs are not all the same, you know. some are like pieces of lovely driftwood; floating into and out of the life of the writer with peaceful ease. others are like an old pair of socks, pushed to the back of the internet dresser by newer concerns, eventually forgotten but still there. then there are the ones that are like an old dirty jacket on the side of the freeway; who knows how they got there, but when you see them, there's a sort of embarrassed pathos surrounding them.
I'd like to hope that if you're reading this, you see that this wasn't so much an abandoned blog as it was simply lying dormant for awhile. in the beginning, when I didn't have much to say here, I felt like I should apologise for this (see two posts ago) but beyond that, I felt rather mute. you see, life took some very unexpected turns and most of my writing energy went into making sense of it.
I still can't tell you what will become of this blog, HadashiWorld, but I don't feel like it's become driftwood yet, and I'm not going to toss it out the window of the speeding car of life. meanwhile, if you'd like to see what I have been writing, you can look over at www.tummymuffin.net. it began as a private sort of communication with my "village," but that village has expanded in ways I didn't expect. I will warn you that its primary topic quickly becomes about two very basic human experiences: loss and grief - but maybe that's what we sometimes need to read about -- and write about -- because we are human. and you need this invitation because although grief is personal, it needs to be worked out in community; however, unless you're invited, it's too uncomfortable to look at. it's like seeing someone's underwear in public.
so here's my (clean) underwear, I suppose; why you haven't heard much here for awhile. I hope to find more to say here in 2010, and have the time and interest to perhaps experiment a bit with what that may be.
wish me luck.
September 29, 2009
fish or fowl
"Perhaps I'm neither fish nor fowl because the world now accommodates flying minnows."
-me, in a recently-unearthed journal from years ago
August 16, 2009
there's been a great void of silence here at HadashiWorld, more than ever before. i'm not giving up though; it's just that due to some unforeseen life events, including a pregnancy loss, i have done most of my blogging elsewhere and haven't felt like i've had a whole lot to say here. i'm hoping that will change soon and that i can come back here to reflect, comment, and otherwise spout off my opinionated thoughts. thanks for your patience; sorry for the hiatus.
February 6, 2009
the goldening of America
i've written here before about interracial relationships and racial identity, but just in a few short years much has changed. there are now a million more Americans identifying as mixed-raced than only 8 years ago, in 2000 , when the United States census finally allowed people of multiple races, like myself, to come out of the "Other" shadows and into the more honest daylight of "Check All That Apply." the dawn of the Obama presidency has caused an immense amount of national reflection on race & identity, and i rejoice that the most powerful and public face of America is not only dark-skinned, but a mixed-race and mixed-culture one at that.
December 31, 2008
new year's litany
it has not been an easy year. certainly there were many good things about it, and much to be grateful for, but especially due to the events of the last month (in which i lost three people who were extremely dear to me only weeks apart from one another), i find myself simply wanting to quietly say goodbye to 2008. and as i just as quietly say hello to 2009, i'm glad that i know that at least i am a stronger person than the one who greeted 2008 a year ago.
what i've realised this year is that it's too easy to recite a litany of all that is lost -- people, dreams, health, hopes -- until i feel lost in the howl of grief, crushed under the weight of my own fear and sadness.
however, it is also easy to recite a litany of all that i've gained -- from the generosity of others, from my own life choices, from the hand of God, and yes, even from the losses.
it is entirely my decision if these litanies become a pleading against fear, or an invocation of gratitude. both are part of my story. both must be acknowledged.
but i'm leaning towards the gratitude side...
November 17, 2008
this morning, Yu-Ying Eva Lee Chan(g), known to her grandchildren as "Bobo" -- the English transliteration of a Chinese word for "grandmother" -- quietly died. to everyone's surprise, most of all her own, she'd made it to 99 years old, or 100 Chinese years old, since you are counted as 1 year old at birth. she was in her own bed, sleeping (not in the hospital connected to a bunch of tubes), and most of her family had said their goodbyes. she knew she was loved. we knew we were fiercely loved by her. her life was rich and amazing and full of courage: from fleeing the Communist advance in Shanghai to making a new life with a new language and culture in America; from rejecting the old ways of her parents by getting an education and becoming a Christian, to working in nursing until well past traditional retirement age...and most of all, raising my mother along with many other children, both hers and others' -- Eva Chan was a phenomenal woman. i hope i can pass on even a fraction of her strength, faith, and love to my own children.
i'd like to think that this morning when she woke up in heaven, she was quite delighted. Jesus would lean over her: get up, Eva. get up, Yu-Ying, you're home! he'd say. she would laugh: ah, finally! it's about time i got here! Jesus chuckles: it's those long life noodles you ate all these years, he'll kid her. look, you made it to the ultimate Chinese long life year, ninety-nine! my grandmother will lean into Him, still laughing, His arm around her now straight and tall shoulders. Yu-Ying, He'll say, come and see your new home. it's got an amazing kitchen, and i know someone who grows the best tomatoes this side of heaven. i think you'll like seeing him again...
goodbye, Bobo. the day i come join you, i won't be surprised if you're waiting for me there, like you always did here, with a fresh homemade batch of char siu bao...
September 26, 2008
yesterday T.T. and i celebrated our wedding anniversary. it was a little rushed -- i've been working pretty steadily on another show, so after wrapping, i rushed home and did my Hadashi's Lightning Makeover, in which i go from being tech girl in show blacks and boots to being a fabulous young thing going out on a hot date with her splendid husband. we had a lovely dinner out, and enjoyed the summery-feeling night (we must take advantage of our SoCal weather, after all), lingering over our meal and catching up with each other...until about 10pm. honestly, we were just too sleepy to stay out any longer. later, as i brushed my teeth, i thought: wow, i'm ending my Big Night Out at 10pm, celebrating a Wedding Anniversary (not a dating one), planning when to do laundry tomorrow, and taking the WaMu collapse rather seriously. how adult! how old!
but looking in the mirror, i still saw a girl staring back at me, toothpaste foam and all. she seemed pretty mischevous -- too much so to be a "woman" -- and clearly was enjoying the discomfiture of her own brain. how could i be simlutaneously a responsible adult and a crazy kid? how am i someone's wife, have a long and satisfying career, and be a responsible grown-up, but still feel, deep down inside, like a barefoot little girl who's just happy to be outside in the sunshine?
recently, i came across a list in a women's magazine titled "you know you're a grown-up when...". i was vaguely horrified to discover, that according to this random collection of criteria, that i was most definitely a grown-up. "you retire your short-shorts, even though you've got great legs, if you do say so yourself." uh, check. "you pass up the cheese fries with the ranch dressing not because they're fattening, but because they're not good for you." check. "the idea of staying in is just as appealing as the idea of going out." well, now that i live with that hottie boyfriend of mine, sure. "it is completely impossible for you to ignore a sink full of dirty dishes." double-check. "rocking out along with the radio no longer embarrasses you. in fact, you turn it up." hey, yeah, check! this one is when it all made more sense: being a grown-up doesn't necessarily mean being boring or having no fun. maybe it's that you're old enough to have the confidence to be who you are without apologising so much for it. and understanding that practicality and joie de vivre are not mutually exclusive.
sure, this is not an earth-shakingly new discovery or a deep new philosophy -- it's something i've suspected for a long time. but somehow, there in the bathroom with a toothbrush in my mouth, it kind of crystallised for me: being a grown-up isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as i don't lose the girl inside me. as author Ursula K. LeGuin has said, "the creative adult is the child who has survived. " maybe being an adult really just means knowing when to throw some pragmatism into the mix so you can live to play another day.
anyway, i'm still trying to figure this all out, but not too hard. besides, i have a sink full of dirty dishes to deal with -- but i'm going to crank the music and sing along at the top of my lungs while i do them.
August 31, 2008
the omnivore's hundred
last night, over a lovely meal that Ms. Jen made (involving an heirloom tomato, dates and manchego, and an '06 Zinfandel), we discussed Michael Pollan's excellent book The Omnivore's Dilemma. this morning, i saw this meme on Maki's excellent blog, Just Hungry. here's the idea:
-take this list of one hundred edibles and boldface the ones you've eaten.
-cross off the ones you'd never consider eating for whatever reason.
-Maki put the ones she loves in red. i think this is an excellent idea. i'm going to put the ones i love in a slightly larger font.
-you can then link to your list at Very Good Taste, where this meme originated, check out the initial follow-up of results, and have all questions related to it answered. yes, it's kind of Anglo-centric; it was meant to be. no, i did not know what all these foods were, and that's part of the fun! so here goes: