What this blog is about. (With a title like that, who knows?)
Well, first-things first: I blatantly stole the name Bang-Bang from Rinko Kikuchi’s character in The Brothers Bloom. My version adds a hyphen that I feel is vital.
My real name is Alecia. Hi. :)
I am 31 years old and was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. And extremely glad I don’t live there anymore. Yeah, yeah, yeah, go eat your goetta, do your chicken dance, yell “Who-Dey!” up and down Main Street and leave me the hell alone. (But save me some Grippo’s, Melt, and Dewey’s for when I visit…? And take me to a Reds game, even if you think they’ll lose?)
My boyfriend, Andrew, and I have been in Paris, France (have you heard of it? Cute little town) for the past month and will be here until January 8. Before Paris, we were in Marrakech, Morocco. Before Marrakech, we were in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before Copenhagen…
Last August, we sold all our stuff and moved out of our apartment to do some traveling and have been “homeless” vagabonds ever since, bouncing from one country to the next. Joining Andy in Copenhagen (after a monthlong “break,” during which I headed for Maui and he went to Berlin) was my first international trip. It’s amazing how well we both adapted to life on the road, but homesickness has crept in recently.
Next week we’re going home for a few weeks and then hopefully on a roadtrip around the US and then on to another country–or maybe back to Paris.
You know what? I can be a little slow. After four months I only recently realized that travel presents a real opportunity to change certain aspects of my life that I am not 100% satisfied with.
For starters, I am, um, sans career. Calling myself a dilettante in the subtitle was my way of being nice–I’m really just your garden variety flake. I’ve had literally dozens of jobs, numerous “side-hustles,” and millions of hobbies, schemes, and plans. But I lack the passion and attention span to want to stick to one thing and perfect my skills at it and see things through even when they aren’t always fun. Once it stops being fun fun fun all the time, it’s over for me.
Andrew has gracefully accepted my flakiness and works his ass off to support us, and at this rate I am on the road to housewifedom. In the apartment we’re subletting now, for example, I cook, I “clean” (yeah right, I’m a slob), I shop, I help with making travel arrangements, etc. Which is certainly not a bad life to lead…but I’d like something else if that’s possible.
I feel as if something is missing–a piece of my brain? I’ve been floating through life, and this year I’ll be 32 and will have very little to show for it.
The closest thing I have to an actual passion would be…
I fetishize it, talk about it constantly with a twinkle in my eye, plan the next meal before I’ve even finished the one in front of me. But though I’ve been cooking my whole life and have launched a few foodie business ventures–including, most recently, a cupcake business–I don’t spend nearly enough time in the kitchen. I collect cookbooks and haunt food blogs like a fiend, but to look at the purty pictures rather than try any of the recipes or learn new techniques.
Somehow I’ve always had the fear that testing recipes all the time and playing with food was an expensive, fattening, messy and risky venture. I don’t always have people to test recipes out with–what am I gonna do, cook all that food just for myself? And what if I mess up? Then I’ve wasted all that money and food. Best to stick with the tried-and-true, right?
Anyway. Over the course of the previous year, I’ve also begun to feel… frumpy.
There’s a certain sophistication that has gone missing from my wardrobe, if it was ever there to begin with. I often dress like someone at least ten years younger. I am usually too casual–jeans, jeans, jeans (Old Navy!! Bah!!) and sensible (read: ugly yet comfy) shoes. I hate my hair. I’ve gained a few pounds. I’ve stopped shaving. For most of the year I relied upon glasses instead of contacts.
Being in Europe–where it seems as though everyone is tall and thin and dressed like a store mannequin–makes me uncomfortably aware of and slightly embarrassed by my outward appearance. When I look in the mirror, I would like to think: “sophisticated yet somewhat quirky and fun” (if that’s possible, ha). Right now, I think it’s “quirky yet somewhat sloppy.”
And it’s not just the outside. I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’ve been burned too many times (self-inflicted). I’ve stopped trying. I hide too much, I hold back too much. I’ve settled…?
And with regard to travel… Although Andy and I are seeing a lot of cool things, have learned a LOT, and have enjoyed the luxury of being able to spend a month (or more) in each country, we aren’t having the type of travel experience I envisioned when we began this journey.
We aren’t having deep conversations with people from other countries, learning about their cultures and seeing ours reflected through their eyes. Because I’m a vegan and Andy eats very little meat, we haven’t enjoyed much authentic local cuisine. Which makes me want to cry, being in PARIS!! Because of his work and other factors such as illness or bad weather, we don’t have time to allow ourselves get lost in the streets, walking hand in hand. In some ways, we’re there but not there. Does that make sense?
SO. It is now January 1, 2010, and Andrew and I still want to travel for at least another year. What a wonderful amount of time to work on some things:
YAY. It is a word I say a lot, both online and face-to-face. Sometimes I say it in a sarcastic, low-pitched way, but mostly I clap my hands and say “yaaaaaaaayyy!!” For the purposes of this blog, the word stands for happiness, pure bliss, and it is something I would like to be able to say all the time. I hope to find my “yay” by working on the other two Y’s.
YUM. Also a word I use often, and in this blog I suppose it will be the easiest one to hunt down. This year I would like to explore the lovely land of food and become a better cook instead of just pretending to be one. I would like to take cooking classes in every city I visit, talk to lots of other cooks, try recipes on my own, and maybe throw a few dinner parties. If food is my passion, I want to start acting as if it is, instead of BSing.
YES. Does this word exist in my vocabulary? Of course it does but it likes to hide. I want to shout YES from the rooftops, I want YES to radiate out from my belly, I want to make other people say YES. It’s about my sensuality, joie de vivre, love of beauty and the desire to give of myself.
And that’s it. I have more specific “New Year’s Resolutions” but I’ll wait until next time for that.
So there will be a lot of travel stuff in this blog, but it’s not a travel blog. And a lot of food in this blog, but I won’t call it a food blog either. I realize that I’ll probably gain a lot of readers who just want to read about travel and food, but…
I guess this blog will be more about me trying different things, failing miserably at some, succeeding at others, and hopefully becoming a more fulfilled person on the other side. Is there a category for that? I dunno. But I’m glad you’ve joined me.
I’m hungry. When do we eat?