Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Behind the Apron: an auto-biography of sorts

I am participating in 28 Cooks' round-up called "Behind the Apron" where bloggers reveal their true identities and spill their guts about their life thus-far, or so I interpreted it... My name is Kati (no, it’s not short for anything) and this is my story...

birthday: 11/19/82
hometown: Cortland, NY
education: high school class of 2000; BA in architectural history from Binghamton University, August 2003 (I graduated at the ripe old age of 20…in retrospect, I totally rushed through, getting mono in the process :P)
meeting Jonathan: He was attending NYU film school – we met through a mutual friend. Thus began a year and a half of long distance phone calls and Greyhound bus rides…we’ve since been together for 4.5 years.
post college: Professors advised me to go to grad school due to the poor economy and my chosen field of study, but I was disillusioned, sick of classes, and ready to see the world. My first stop on this exotic adventure? Oklahoma! J and I didn’t know where to go when we graduated, so we trekked down to the central plains, where he is orinally from and where his family lives.
work: Upon arrival in Tulsa, what did we discover? Eep! No jobs! J’s parents saved the day when they revealed that they had an opening in their office…I’ve been working for them ever since. My techincal title is the Electronic Case Filing Administrator for the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee in the Northern District of Oklahoma. Now I telecommute, which means I work at home on a computer all day.
going vegetarian: I was diving more seriously into my yoga practice and studying Eastern philosophy. The choice to give up meat came rather abruptly one day in October of 2004, as I was cooking up a pot of ground beef. I looked into the pot and thought “my god, what am I doing?” I discussed this new dilemma with J over dinner and we began the next day together as newly converted vegetarians.
going vegan: Blame it on growing up in upstate NY or something, but I had always consumed massive amounts of dairy products. I never (ever ever EVER) thought I would be willing to give them up, especially cheese, but after about nine months of being vegetarian, something still didn’t feel quite right. I was buying organic milk and organic eggs, but I knew this wasn’t the solution. Again, I talked to J, and I glanced around PETA’s website, watching horrifying videos of veal calfs and chicks getting sent to the “grinder” (male chicks unsuitable to the industry because they can’t lay eggs). I’ve always loved animals, but up until then I had somehow managed to separate the ones I petted from the ones I ate. I tentatively decided to go vegan and read Diet for a New America and Animal Liberation within the same week, both of which totally sold me [forever]. My last non-vegan meal was in August of 2005 and consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich. I haven’t looked back since.
what about Jonathan? He was a surprisingly good sport about all this and gave up all the same things I did. We’ve both been vegan for a year and a half now. We have a total "Supersize Me" story – in college, he ate McDonald’s twice a day (though you never would have known by looking at him) and now he’s on what most people would consider a pretty detoxed diet. Success!
a year of my life: I spent the last year we were in Oklahoma completing a yoga teacher training program, although I’ve been rethinking actually teaching. Once the practice became work, it kind of sucked all the joy out of it, as Work-with-a-capital-W tends to do. My personal practice is still attempting a recovery, but it is difficult with this Yoga Alliance certified albatross around my neck saying that I’m supposed to teach now…

weary after days of packing, we're ready to hop in the Penske and head to Chitown

the big move: We were itching for a change and were tired of living a vegan lifestyle in a very un-vegan place. We packed up and headed to Chicago in August of 2006, though I don’t think this is our final destination. My nature-withdrawal keeps getting stronger, and I don’t think I’m as cut out for city life as I once imagined. Stay tuned for big changes in the next couple years – I see quite a few new things on the horizon, even though I can’t quite make out the shapes yet.
what’s for dinner? Even though I’ve been baking and doing crafty things since I was a kid, the art of cooking always eluded me. I made some Betty Crocker type dishes when we ate meat and I had my first apartment, but when Jonathan and I went veg we relied on a lot of packaged foods. Sad, but true. I always had the desire to really learn to cook, but the methods and ingredients seemed foreign and a bit overwhelming. Finally when we moved to Chicago, I decided to learn to cook, this blog was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.
things in general that interest me: cooking and baking (duh), health, nutrition, animal rights, architecture, design, art, yoga, nature, writing, knitting, music (10 years of classical piano training under my belt, plus percussion through school, including college – band and percussion ensemble, oh yes), water, snow, Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, traveling, photography, Eastern Europe, ancient astronauts, conspiracy theories, etc etc etc

…oh yes, and our wonderful wonderful cats, Uma (1 ½ years old) and Dexter (6 months old)! Love you guys!

Now, what else could you possibly want to know?


Veg*Triathlete said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, Kati! It's good to be getting to know you :-) In response to your question, I haven't been adding any oil to the rice cooker; I just kind of keep an eye on it and pop open the lid once in a while to keep things from bubbling over... I'll try the oil trick, though!

SusanV said...

Uma and Dexter are gorgeous! Thanks for visiting my blog and asking about my cats. I answered your question more in-depth there, but the short answer is that both of mine are some kind of Siamese mix who just happen to look like snowshoes.

Nice blog! I'm going to have a look around.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

This is a wonderful idea, plus it has a photo of your cats. Kudos! I will try to do this as well.

springsandwells said...

Hi Kati,
I really liked reading more about you... I'm especially interested in your yoga experiences, because I am also a yoga (teacher & student). I've been veg since I was 14, but it was definitely my yoga practice that moved me into veganism.

I can definitely appreciate what you say about reconsidering teaching. It requires so much energy. What saves me is having a wonderful teacher who I can study with a couple of times a week. He continues to push me and inspire me and teach me, which keeps me going. But still, I am often wondering if I will find something else to do with my life. I love having another vegan yogi out there in blogland...

love & Namaste

bazu said...

Oooh, I'm having such a good time hopping from blog to blog and reading everyone's 'behind the apron' stories!
I love that picture of you guys in the car window- it captures the energy and exhaustion that goes into packing and moving to a new place.
I really enjoy reading about your thoughts and evolving attitudes about food and other things- I think we all go through these journeys, and it is so nice to share with others!

I giggled at your comment about the whites of our eyes, because I woke up this morning and my eyes were absolutely bloodshot-I've had lots of deadlines this week. It's good to know that at some point, my eyes looked healthy though!


Vivacious Vegan said...

Wow, this was so informative. I have really enjoyed getting to know you better. I understand your dilema with yoga teaching. I liked computer programming when tinkering around for myself so that's what I got my degree in. But when I had to do it in the real world, I hated it with a capital H. You and Jonathan are so cute together and your cats are precious. I love your green chair! It looks fun and alive - just how I imagine your life is. :)

laura jesser said...

Great post! I feel like I "know" you already! You and Jonathan have an awesome story. And Uma and Dexter are gorgeous kitties!

Vanessa said...

Glad you participated in the round up so I could "discover" Veggie Voice. I lived in Chicago for a few years and while it's a great city, it doesn't do much to stave off the nature cravings. I do miss the Chicago Diner! would love to hear more about ancient astronauts...

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Well it's an original photo - and one that doesn't give too much away!

Still, great to see you.