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!)

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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.

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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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Because I needed to take care of at least one of the items on my list of beefs just to get back some peace of mind over the weekend, I waged war on the mysterious (and impossibly hardy) microbes in our laundry.

I think we have detente.

We won't know for sure until D tries out the most seriously affected item (a t-shirt), but so far, everything else has proven to be odor-free. So, for your amusement -- and actual use, if you ever run into this problem -- here's what I did on Sunday morning. N.B.: this approach is only recommended for clothing appropriate for the regular hot cycle in your washing machine.

Materials

large pot with lid (ours was a 6.5 quart)
distilled white vinegar
water
measuring cup
stove
large mixing bowl or other similarly sized receptacle
tongs or chopsticks

1. Using measuring cup, fill pot about halfway with hot water from tap (this will reduce time required to bring to boil). Note quantity of water and add about 1/12 this volume in vinegar. Cover and heat on stove until a rolling boil is achieved.

2. Place one laundry item in pot. Poke with tongs or chopsticks until completely immersed. You may add more if the items are small, but dyes do come out of fabric and may discolor other garments.

3. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, 10 for garments with especially resistant odor problems. At the halfway point, stir garment to resoak any parts that may have puffed out above water line from steam.

4. Carefully lift garment with tongs or chopsticks and transfer to mixing bowl. Empty pot and repeat boiling process with fresh vinegar solution for each remaining garment.

5. Place boiled items in washing machine and launder on regular hot wash cycle with detergent. DO NOT add bleach as this will mix with the vinegar to produce poisonous fumes. Select the extra rinse option on your machine if you have one -- this should help prevent any residual vinegar smell from remaining.

6. Tumble dry as usual.


And now, I'm off to the airport. Life will be unpredictable here for a little while, but I'll be checking in as best I can ...

3 comments:

SuziCate said...

That must've been rank to have to go through all that to remove the scent! Hope it works. Hope you have a "relatively" calm and enjoyable week!

BigLittleWolf said...

WOW. This is impressive, CT!!!

C. Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- ha! Thank you. Things have been manageable for the most part. The heat wave is the biggest challenge at the moment.

BLW -- I was that desperate! Happy to report that we have real confirmation that this technique works. D's shirt has passed the test of a full day's wear, a good portion of that in 90-degree heat. I think we've gotten rid of those nasty nasties at last.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Because I needed to take care of at least one of the items on my list of beefs just to get back some peace of mind over the weekend, I waged war on the mysterious (and impossibly hardy) microbes in our laundry.

I think we have detente.

We won't know for sure until D tries out the most seriously affected item (a t-shirt), but so far, everything else has proven to be odor-free. So, for your amusement -- and actual use, if you ever run into this problem -- here's what I did on Sunday morning. N.B.: this approach is only recommended for clothing appropriate for the regular hot cycle in your washing machine.

Materials

large pot with lid (ours was a 6.5 quart)
distilled white vinegar
water
measuring cup
stove
large mixing bowl or other similarly sized receptacle
tongs or chopsticks

1. Using measuring cup, fill pot about halfway with hot water from tap (this will reduce time required to bring to boil). Note quantity of water and add about 1/12 this volume in vinegar. Cover and heat on stove until a rolling boil is achieved.

2. Place one laundry item in pot. Poke with tongs or chopsticks until completely immersed. You may add more if the items are small, but dyes do come out of fabric and may discolor other garments.

3. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, 10 for garments with especially resistant odor problems. At the halfway point, stir garment to resoak any parts that may have puffed out above water line from steam.

4. Carefully lift garment with tongs or chopsticks and transfer to mixing bowl. Empty pot and repeat boiling process with fresh vinegar solution for each remaining garment.

5. Place boiled items in washing machine and launder on regular hot wash cycle with detergent. DO NOT add bleach as this will mix with the vinegar to produce poisonous fumes. Select the extra rinse option on your machine if you have one -- this should help prevent any residual vinegar smell from remaining.

6. Tumble dry as usual.


And now, I'm off to the airport. Life will be unpredictable here for a little while, but I'll be checking in as best I can ...

3 comments:

SuziCate said...

That must've been rank to have to go through all that to remove the scent! Hope it works. Hope you have a "relatively" calm and enjoyable week!

BigLittleWolf said...

WOW. This is impressive, CT!!!

C. Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- ha! Thank you. Things have been manageable for the most part. The heat wave is the biggest challenge at the moment.

BLW -- I was that desperate! Happy to report that we have real confirmation that this technique works. D's shirt has passed the test of a full day's wear, a good portion of that in 90-degree heat. I think we've gotten rid of those nasty nasties at last.