So now I can start taking pictures like this again:
And even this:
It feels a little like my arm fell off five months ago and the doctors were just now able to sew it back on.
In other news, I took this little style quiz that I found over on YHL because, as much as I hate spending money on decor, I still like to fish around the web every now and then for ideas of what I’d like if I did enjoy spending money on decor.
I’m doubting there’s any merit to the quiz results, considering they’re based on picking the most appealing images from some random photos. I mean, what’s with the one with the hats? But the whole thing takes about 30 seconds to complete, so if you’re bored, I just found a way for you to kill 30 seconds.
I went around picking photos like this one:
And this one:
My result? Swank Aesthete.
My reaction? WTF is that?
At best, it sounds like some debilitating foot fungus. At worst, it makes me sound snooty and shallow.
But then I read the description, and I have to say… I kinda like it.
“Cozy… not oversized – a hand crafted gem.” Yes, please! A craftsman bungalow would be my dream home.
The quiz results also stated that I’m “Blown away by the handcrafted nature of art,” and that couldn’t be more spot-on. Whether it’s music, photography, painting, or architecture – when someone takes the time to create something beautiful, I take the time to see it.
But then the results get a little… confusing.
“…you enjoy your niceties. A cool refreshing drink – and often more than one!”
Now what is that supposed to mean? Okay so it’s true, but that doesn’t mean I want some know-it-all style quiz rubbing it in my face.
I mean, it might as well be saying, Why don’t you go ahead and pour a little more bourbon into your morning coffee, Alchie?
Talk about judgmental.
The quiz redeemed itself at the end. Immensely.
Apparently, because the quiz knows all, I have the same style as Cate Blanchet, Ingrid Bergman, and Johnny Depp!
So basically, this means I could share a home with Johnny Depp and we totally wouldn’t argue about aesthetic or design because we have the same taste. And we could afford a pre-war apartment on the upper-east side (which the quiz thinks I want) because, come on, I’d live with Johnny Depp. Although I’m thinking he might prefer Paris.
Oh, and I made something good last night. Really good. And it was unfortunate because I mis-timed the recipe, which left me approximately 1.4 minutes to inhale a steaming plate of it before running off to work, resulting in burning the top layer of taste buds off of my tongue.
But it was so worth it.
*Nate, as per usual, I did not ask permission to steal another blogger’s photo because I didn’t know I’d be posting it until just now. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like me to remove it!
When one of my old college roommates (and good friend) Marisa (I might have mentioned her yesterday) wrote me a couple of days ago insisting that I simply “must blog for International Women’s Day on the 8th of March or it will be a crime! A crime!” my response was obvious:
Me: What is that?
Mari: International Women’s Day. Tomorrow 8th March.
Me: That was very helpful. Thank you.
Okay, maybe that’s not quite what I said. But you get the idea.
(I feel it’s important to note that while Marisa thinks she only gave me one day notice, she actually gave me a day and a half. She’s currently living in Australia, which makes her inadvertently more considerate than she originally intended. )
She wrote me back and explained that today, the 8th of March, is the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD) and that I should write a blog post and link it to a website commemorating the occasion. Unfortunately, I tried to become a “member” of said website and still haven’t received approval.
Story of my life.
But I figured that just because I haven’t been accepted as a member of a prestigious Australian site for young professionals, it doesn’t mean I can’t post something for IWD.
I thought of the many things about which I could write:
Hot topic women’s political issues
Gender inequalities in the work place
Women in abusive relationships
Sex slave industry
Then I realized that these issues have been tackled ad nauseam, by people far more qualified to tackle them than me. Furthermore, I really don’t want to isolate my male readers.
As Marisa pointed out in her extremely insightful article (if she sends me a non-Facebook link I will post it here), it’s difficult to write or talk about women’s issues without inadvertently (or intentionally, for that matter) blaming them on men.
Hell, even the phrase MENstrual cramps has a certain accusatory tone.
Know what I mean?
And the second I start sounding accusing, the men will start getting defensive, and then no one will really learn anything at all, will they?
And that’s not what IWD is about. It’s not about “chicks before dicks” – It’s about “chicks WITH dicks!”
Wait. That’s obviously not right.
But my point is that it shouldn’t be about the typical blame games and anger that have become associated with the word feminism. It should be about the beauty of women and men, and how a better understanding of and respect for each other could make us all much happier people.
So, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to celebrate just one of the effervescent, brilliant, worldly women in my life (and I’m lucky to have many).
And, I hope that you, all of the women and men who read Domestiphobia, will take some time today to appreciate the women you love or have loved, the women who’ve made you think, the women who’ve brought you joy, and even the women who’ve brought you pain. Because, in the end, none of us would be the same without them.
Marisa Wikramanayake, thank you sincerely for being a role model for women internationally. You are a prolific writer, incredibly intelligent, inexplicably fearless, and just as beautiful outwardly as you are inside.
I am bored. I am so bored right now, that I’m thinking about climbing over the railing of the loft area here in the coffee shop and balancing on one of the beams that crosses the loungy room below, just to see what happens.
I felt the need to leave the house because Justin is working nights this week, which means I’m supposed to somehow find it within myself to remain eerily quiet while he sleeps throughout the day, which – let’s face it – doesn’t come naturally to someone like me.
Yep, I’m one of those people.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t generally get invited to formal events or fancy work dinner parties because I believe using things like “inside voices” and “refinement” and “muted chuckles” as opposed to boisterous enthusiasm and inappropriate comments and uncontrollable laughter is for pussies fictional characters.
Unless you’re at a funeral, or something.
But if it were my funeral, I hope you’d laugh. Most likely because I would’ve died trying to walk the second-story balance beam at my local coffee shop.
Now wouldn’t that be embarrassing?
But you know, the older I get, I’m realizing that the idea of “embarrassment” is really only a state of mind. And I can say that because I’ve done plenty of embarrassing things. Like this. And this. Oh yeah, and this.
And I’m really not afraid to share those stories, because, you know, they happened. And I can choose to curl myself up into a little ball or worry and regret and wait for people to stop looking at me, or I can just say, So? What are you gonna do about it? And I hope the answer is laugh, or at least learn, because otherwise I just completely wasted a really good embarrassing story on you and your dry sense of humor.
I will admit that I’m not completely immune, however. There are some events that have been so ridiculously mortifying that my mind has done everything in its power to repress memories that would serve no purpose but to form an imprengable mental wall of blushing shame. Events that, when someone unexpectedly brings them up, I can actually feel my throat dry out and heart stop beating – but it only stops for a second, because the relief of dying in the moment of reliving that embarrassment would be only too kind.
My friend and former college roommate Marissa was nice enough to remind me of one of those moments the other day when, as an introduction to her response to this game of internet tag, decided to say this in reference to me:
This is the woman who borrowed my metal pot to make popcorn in and put in the microwave thereby setting the alarm off and directing the wrath of our dormmates and fire brigade at me.
Okay. Whoah. First of all, Marissa – low blow.
Second, I was making Ramen noodles – not popcorn.
Third, I’m pretty sure the wrath (which wasn’t really wrath, but mild irritation, disbelief, and intense laughter) was most definitely directed at me, not you.
But no, I’m not really mad. Everything else Marisa said was completely complimentary. And you know, sometimes it’s good to be reminded of these things. Humbling, even.
In my defense, I have been nothing but honest in saying that I didn’t start learning to cook until around 2006 – well after the metal-in-the-microwave incident. The incident that, much to my horror, forced all of our dorm mates (thank god there were only like 23 rooms in our dorm) to pile out onto the grassy lawn in their pajamas because I had a hankering for some thirty-nine cent beef-flavored goodness.
What can I say? I thought that the pot (the cooking pot, not the other kind – though wouldn’t it be nice if I could blame that?) was a shortcut. A means to and end of my hunger.
Turns out it was a means to meeting one of the hotest guys on the campus fire department.
I only wish the circumstances had been a little better. Like… you know… I hadn’t just almost burned down the dorm.
But, like any other embarrassing moment, there’s a lesson to be learned:
Kids, don’t put metal in the microwave. And, if you do, make sure you at least look cute when the firemen show up.
So raise your glass if you are wrong In all the right ways All my underdogs We will never be never be Anything but loud, and nitty gritty Dirty little freaks!
Do you have an embarrassing story to share? Let it out! It can be therapeutic.
Have you ever noticed that when television shows or Hollywood movies want to make you feel sorry for a female character, they usually cast her as a waitress?
I mean, really, the biggest thing that makes waiting tables a crappy job (besides the minimal pay, odd hours, and cleaning up other people’s messes) is that obnoxious woman who, as I tell her our specials or bring her another wine spritzer, lets herself think that she’s better than me.
It doesn’t happen often, but I can tell which ones they are. There’s this expression of relief that washes over her face as she makes the conscious decision to not say thank you and instead, turns to her dining partners (who, more often than not, look embarrassed to be seen with her), so she can regale them with stories of her own personal intelligence, wit, and charm.
Because she, after all, did not end up a food server.
(Is that the same blonde actress giving our leading lady the evil eye in both movies? If there’s anything worse than being the waitress we feel sorry for, it’s being the waitress we don’t even think about.)
But I’m here to tell you, friends, that you should never make that mistake. Not only do you portray yourself as a repugnant, judgmental ass, but it’s just plain not nice.
Believe it or not, I actually have a bachelor of science in environmental geoscience with a minor in geology.
I even took a class called Geomorphology.
I could go to grad school, if I felt that would make me any happier.
I’ve worked for both the U.S. Air Force and the Army, as well as a private environmental consulting company – a job that, may I remind you, was not easy to get.
Does this make me better than you? Of course not.
It just makes me better than you think.
In fact, some of the most intelligent people I’ve known have worked in the food service industry at one time or another. A girl with whom I work right now is an RN. So, snobby waitress-hater at my table, the good news is she can save you if one day you choke on your snide-laced pride.
Whether they’re doing it for the social aspect, as a transitional phase, or because it was the only thing preventing them from knocking over cubicle walls or beating the crap out of copy machines, it doesn’t really matter.
More often than not, it’s the catch-all career for those who, while pursuing all of the “shoulds” in their lives, realized they lost sight of the “wants” and decided to try again.
Is that really so degrading?
They’re biding their time until the next big thing.
But, most important, they bring you your food.
And if you’re as smart as you think you are, disparaging woman at my table, then you already know that you should never, ever bite the hand that feeds you.
Rest and Relaxation? Definitely not. Not after my browser decided to eat my post and I had to start all. Over.
Nope, this “R&R” stands for Rant and Recipe. Because that’s what I’m sharing today. Feel free to skip on down to the recipe (it’s really good) if you don’t want to read the rant. I won’t mind. Promise.
And, if you didn’t read my post extremely carefully, you might be wondering the same thing: Why all the cooking if I’m Domestiphobic? It seems kind of counterintuitive. And you (and Dennis) would be right.
It’s not what you would expect.
But here’s where I feel like I need to explain a little something about myself. I don’t like to be told that I can’t do something – that there’s a particular goal or challenge or achievement that’s beyond my reach. Cliché as it sounds, it’s just a fact.
Don’t get me wrong – I know my limits. I know I’m not going to ever play for the WNBA or become a famous singer. There’s a difference between natural talent and learned skills. It’s the same reason I know I will never cook at a Michelin star restaurant. I’m just not that good.
Like I’ve said before, I’m a follow-specific-instructions-and-hope-everything-comes-out-edible kind of girl. And I certainly don’t create the recipes myself.
But I like cooking. So I cook. Simple as that. I used to be afraid of it, then it became a challenge, and then I started enjoying it. And if you’re still wondering how that can be possible for a Domestiphobe, the reality is that it falls in with my goals quite nicely:
1. Cooking helps me “tie together the things I’m fortunate enough to have” (family, nice kitchen, drive to learn) “…with the things I’m crazy enough to want” (new skills, variety in my life, experience new foods).
2. Not only is cooking a valuable skill to have, it expands my knowledge of world cuisine. While I’d love to taste ethnic foods by traveling all over the world eventually, cooking at home makes it so I don’t have to wait.
3. Cooking is therapeutic. Instead of going home from my old job, ordering takeout, and plopping my ass in front of the television, I chose a recipe before I left work, picked the ingredients up from the store on the way home, poured myself a glass of wine and turned on the tube or the tunes, made the dinner, and then plopped my ass in front of the television. I still unwind this way at the end of many days, even though I no longer have the 9-5. I even do this when Justin’s out traversing the world with the military. I do it for me.
4. I like food. I like to know what’s in my food. I’d like it to be relatively healthy. And, when it’s not (which is quite frequent), at least I can control the amount of additives, preservatives, hormones, steroids, etc. that are going into the individual ingredients. If I’m eating something that I know is going to congeal in my arteries, I at least what to be able to pronounce what’s congealing in my arteries.
So, with that long-winded introduction, I have a recipe for you today. It’s one of my favorites EVER. Spinach Feta Quiche.
I know quiche sounds fancy if you’ve never made it before, but it’s just a savory (aka. not sweet) pie with some fillings and egg thrown in. Even those of you who say you can’t cook (I’m talking to you, IWOM) can make this quiche.
It will definitely impress any people you whom you try making it.
Unless they don’t like cheese, sautéed mushrooms, or spinach. In which case, you’re probably better off without them. (The people, not the mushrooms.)
The original recipe is here. I change the seasonings a bit and use fresh mushrooms instead of canned, but otherwise it’s not too different. You will need:
1/2 cup butter (I know… but butter is good for the soul.)
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped (The recipe calls for 3, but you know how I feel about garlic: go big, or go home.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I cut a slit in the plastic and microwave it for a couple of minutes until soft, then I squeeze the plastic bag to drain all of the liquids.)
1 container fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced (The recipe calls for a 4.5 oz. can of mushrooms, but why would you do that when you could have the aroma of fresh mushrooms sautéing in butter floating around your house?)
1 (6 oz) package herb and garlic feta (I can never find this, so I buy plain feta and throw in some Italian seasonings)
Italian seasonings (optional)
8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (The recipe calls for the pre-shredded stuff, but I prefer to buy a block and shred it myself.)
1 (9 inch) deep, unbaked frozen pie crust
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 375-degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion in the melted butter for a couple of minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms (if you’re using fresh mushrooms) and sauté for 3-5 more minutes, until the onions are soft.
At this point, your house will be filled with one of the best aromas you could possibly create. Take a step back, enjoy a sip of your wine (or beverage of choice), and bask in it for a minute.
This is why you try to cook. You can’t buy this smell.
3. Stir in the spinach, mushrooms (if you’re using canned mushrooms), feta cheese, and just 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese (don’t worry – you’ll use the rest soon). Also add whatever seasonings you plan on using.
This last time, I used these:
4. Spoon the spinach mixture into your frozen pie crust.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 4 eggs and 1 cup of milk. You can use a fork if you don’t have a whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour as much of the egg mixture into the pie shell as you can, moving the spinach filling around with a fork to create “holes” where the egg mixture can seep in. You probably won’t have room for all of the egg mixture, so just pour in as much as you possibly can.
6. Now. This is the only difficult part of the entire recipe (unless you decided to make your own pie crust for some crazy reason). VERY carefully, transfer the quiche to the oven. It’s a little nerve-wracking because it’s flimsy, and liquidy, and very near spilling all over your floor or the inside of your oven, but you can do this. I have faith.
7. Bake it for 15 minutes so it starts to set up. Then take it out and add the rest of the Cheddar cheese.
It seems like a lot of cheese. That’s because it is a lot of cheese. And it’s delicious.
8. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until you can insert a toothpick or knife into the center and it comes out clean. Then let it stand for 10 minutes (if you can stand it) before cutting and serving!
*If the crust or the cheese starts to burn while it’s baking but the center still isn’t cooked, just cover the top with foil until it finishes cooking.
The cheddar forms a soft “crust” on top of the quiche, which is absolutely outstanding. I didn’t take a picture of my piece that night because it somehow ended up in my stomach before I could pick up the camera, but I did get a shot the next day:
It’s excellent re-heated, and it’s one of my all-time favorite dinners. Or lunches. Or breakfasts.
It doesn’t really matter when you eat it, just as long as you eat it.
I was debating on either sharing a quiche recipe with you today or ranting some more about my job, when the intriguing International Woman of Mystery tagged me in my first ever game of, well… Internet Tag, I guess.
Can you believe I’ve been a blog tag virgin for almost an entire year?
So the deal is I had to answer a bunch of random questions. Nineteen, to be exact, which makes me think that someone somewhere along the line decided to delete one of the questions.
Read carefully – you might just learn something about me that you never knew.
Here we go:
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are the members of your family?
Family. Sounds crazy, but my dogs understand my moods and act accordingly.
But kids? Kids just don’t get me.
2. If you can have a dream come true, what would it be?
Small scale: My hard drive, which I still haven’t had the heart to throw out, will magically restore itself and give me my life back.
Large scale: I’m an internationally famous world traveler, eater, and t.v. personality who has all her shit together and makes everyone around her happy all the time.
3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
I don’t really hate much. I guess it disturbs me when people misunderstand me or overreact or don’t give me the benefit of the doubt or tell me to “chill.”
I am chill. WTF is your problem?
4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I’d buy you a monkey. (Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)
Oh wait, that’s a million.
You said a billion. That’s a lot of money. I’d travel. Buy art. Pay off my loans. Buy each of my parents and in-laws fabulous vacations (but not to the same place at the same time – that would be cruel). Charities. Investments.
Pour millions into researching ways money can, in fact, buy happiness.
5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Happy people. And puppies.
6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Although I’m sure this question is referring to parents unconditionally loving their babies or a husband still loving his wife after 30 years of marriage even though she doesn’t remember him because she has Alzheimer’s; however, those situations aside, IF you love someone who doesn’t love you back, that could truly feel like a curse. So I’m gonna have to go with being loved, even though that sounds like the more selfish answer.
I guess that’s because it is.
7. What is your bedtime routine?
Remove contacts, wash face, floss, brush teeth, put on chap stick, get naked, sometimes read or watch t.v. while Justin rubs my back, go to sleep. There are other factors that vary, obviously, but those items are the most… routiney.
8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
At an Irish pub, introduced by his sister. He wiped off my boob when I spilled some of my drink on my shirt.
Instant connection. ;)
9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
Oh, wow… Way too many choices on this one. Kurt Vonnegut writing a book. Kellie MacQuoid creating a painting. Avett Brothers composing a song. Anthony Bourdain doing anything he does. (Well, not quite anything.)
10. What kinds of books do you read?
Anything I find that looks interesting. Fiction and Nonfiction. I realize that’s vague, but there ya go. My favorite book is still Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. I don’t know why.
11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
I don’t know what I’m doing this afternoon, let alone in 10 years.
And the sound biscuit tubes make when they pop open because you never know when they’re gonna pop.
And Sponge Bob Square Pants. Has there ever been a scarier creature in all of cartoon world?
13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
Gut reaction? HELL to the YES. But I think I would need a more concise definition of “junk food” before I could 100% commit.
14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
Well that’s kind of an unfair question, considering I am married, which means I have to say “married but poor” so my husband doesn’t think I’m telling him I want a divorce. BUT, if I were answering this question 5 years ago, I probably would’ve said “single and rich” due to the lack of qualifiers in the original question.
Allow me to explain: Since financial problems are one of the biggest issues with unhappily married couples these days, and the question doesn’t specify that the marriage would be happy, I can only presume that if I answered “married but poor,” not only would I be completely miserable with my spouse who’s probably developed drug or alcohol abuse problems to emotionally deal with the fact that he squandered the last of our savings at the race tracks trying to fund his next big idea, but I also wouldn’t be able to buy things like flat screen t.v.s and big houses and nice cars that would at least allow me to pretend that I’m happy.
Oh, and he’d probably hit me. Because I tend to mouth off.
So obviously the better choice here would be “single and rich.” I could live comfortably, pay friends to like me, give money to charities to make me feel good about myself, and have a hot, young cabana boy named Alejandro to take care of my “other” needs… like back rubs and foot massages.
And let’s be honest here: single does not imply loveless or sexless. But sometimes, marriage does.
Think about it.
15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Start wondering whether it’s actually time to get up and debating whether opening my eyes to check the clock is worth the risk of not being able to fall back asleep.
16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
I wouldn’t. I’d change me.
17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
I already did that, when I got married. It wasn’t a fun process.
Besides, if nothing else, I’m always Katie.
18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
No matter how horrible? Seriously? Of course not.
Like… If Justin tied me to a chair and force-fed me French toast and simultaneously made me watch Sponge Bob while opening refrigerated biscuit tubes, I could never forgive that.
19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
I seriously think only eating one thing for 6 months would be torturous. I need variety in my life.
But I’d probably have to say Reese’s Peanut Butter EGGS. They’re peanut butter cups, but in an egg shape. And everything’s better in an egg shape.
Which means I’d have to start stocking up like… right now.
Oh, and all the calories wouldn’t matter because my body would probably try to physically expel that crap even faster than I could take it in.
So weight loss would be like a bonus.
I know this is a bum thing to do, but I’m not going to tag anyone specifically. If you follow my blog, have a blog of your own, and want to answer these questions, I’d love to see your answers!
This month will mark one year since I started this blog.
When that realization hit me last night, I decided it was time to do something I’d been putting off this entire time.
That’s right. I needed to define domestiphobia.
What does it mean, anyway?
The truth is, I’ve never really known, because I’ve never taken the time to define it myself. Until last night.
And honestly, I think its meaning to me has morphed and evolved a great deal over the past year. The word is fluid and subjective, and when you read it, it might mean something different to you than it does to me.
The following is my current perceived definition and subsequent explanation that I wrote on my newly revamped “About” page:
: the exaggerated, inexplicable and/or irrational fear of domestic life
Example: Her fear of leading a stagnant, lethargic life devoid of personal growth and meaningful experiences could be described as a mild case of domestiphobia.
1 : tame, domesticated <the domestic cat>
2 : of or relating to the household or the family<domestic chores>
3 : devoted to home duties or pleasures <leading a quietly domestic life>
My name is Katie, and I’m a domestiphobic.
I didn’t know it when I married my wonderful husband in 2006 at the ripe age of 23. But, for reasons I didn’t yet understand, I slowly began to feel a terrifying sense of suffocation as all of the “expected” pieces of a “normal,” domestic life began falling into place.
These were the things I was supposed to be doing, but did I really want them at all? My actions were leading my life into a revolving door of repeated days, weeks, years. The same morning traffic, the same weekly meals, the same company parties, the same family gatherings. Maybe it’s because traditions are one of the most painful castrations in a divorce-torn family like mine, but my newfound sense of repetition provided me no comfort.
In fact, it was quite the opposite.
In what can now only be described as a quarter-life crisis, I quit my job in 2010 to travel to Costa Rica with a dear friend (and temporary blogging cohort) for a couple of months. The experience only further spurred an itch I’ve been longing to scratch for a long, long time.
Now I realize some things. I have some wants that lethargy simply won’t feed: I want to be a better person. I want to be a better partner. I want to change, and grow, and experience new people and new cultures and new cuisine. I want to learn how to play the guitar and become fluent in at least one other language. I want to write and make people think. I want to inspire. I don’t ever want to leave without leaving something good behind.
I’m not afraid to say what I want. I’m not afraid to be selfish or make mistakes.
Because, it turns out, I can’t be who anyone else needs me to be until I embrace who I need me to be.
Today, I still live in the ‘burbs with my (astoundingly supportive) husband, the mutts, and zero babies. But now I’m trying to find that thing that feeds my wanderlust – both physical and emotional.