I Will Now Tell You Where the Hell I’ve Been. You’re Welcome.
After almost three months of not a word from Bang-Bang, I’m sorry that I don’t have any recipes or food wisdom. Just wanted to say hi, I’m back! And just where the hell have you been, missy? you may be wondering, if you were one of my 5.2 regular readers. (Of course, if you’re referring to me as “missy,” you’d probably be my mother.)
On May 11, four days after I wrote my previous post, I went to Salt Lake City, UT to embark upon the frightening experience known as flight attendant training. 24 days of sheer paranoia, exhaustion, and drama. Two days off. Having worked for another airline, I did feel a bit less anxious than many of my classmates–it was easier for me to predict what was coming next, and I knew that actually being a FA is nothing like the scenarios they dream up in the classroom. But, all in all, training was like a dance contest: all of us were doing our best hustles and shuffles, wondering if a judge would sneak up, tap us on the shoulder, and tell us we’re out. However, though there were a few contestants that got the hook, most of us made it through and got the prize: wings! I’ve worn two of the pins in the above picture (separately) for my previous airline… can you guess which two? ;)
Wish I could show you pictures of me in my uniform, but I might get in trouble for that. You’ll just have to imagine what a sexy beast I am in it.
Since June 11, when I finished my training flights and all that stuff and became a fully-fledged flight attendant, work has become my life. It’s rough being a newbie because, unlike more senior FAs, I don’t have a set schedule for the month. Four or five days every week, I’m on reserve from 9am to 9pm. If another FA can’t make it to work, I get called in to take their place. The most advance notice I get is 3-4 days, maybe a week if I’m lucky, but it can be as little as two hours before I have to be in uniform, at the gate, ready to go.
Where have I been going? Um, well, keep in mind that I work for a regional airline. There’s no Paris or Brazil unless I go there on my own time. But who needs those places when you can go to: Little Rock, AR; Steamboat Springs, CO; Bozeman, MT; Huntsville, AL; Wichita, KS…?
Plans change in the blink of an eye–Crew Support will manipulate my schedule to turn a one-day trip into a four-day trip, or bad weather can cause delays. I’ve already had a few sad moments where I’ve had to call my boyfriend, Andy, and tell him I’d be home two hours late, or 72 hours late. Yeah, go ahead and have dinner without me, sweetie!
I flew 95 hours this month. That’s flying time, not sitting in the airport, going to/from the airport, resting in the hotel, etc. Time away from home? 350+ hours.
But things will get better with time, as more FAs are hired to relieve me from reserve status. In the meantime, I love my job for so many teeny-tiny reasons.
I love doing safety equipment demos.
I love the satisfying slam I hear when I close the aircraft’s main cabin door.
I love hearing why people are going where they’re going.
I love waving to the ramp/gate agents when we arrive in a new city, and seeing familiar faces in cities I’d previously visited.
I love waiting until the first class passengers are done with their snack boxes, calmly taking the boxes into the galley, and descending upon the unopened remains like a ravenous vulture (most of it isn’t vegan and therefore doesn’t interest me, but I really like the olives, I live for the olives!!).
I love holding old ladies’ hands and helping them onto the aircraft and to their seats. I pretend they’re my Nana. I never had a Nana, so this is fairly easy to do.
I love first-time flyers! (Except when they get sick.) Every bump and squeak the aircraft makes, they look for me, their eyes filled with terror. “Oh, that’s just the landing gear going down,” I assure them, and they smile.
I have a love/hate relationship with children–and parents, for that matter–but when they’re good and don’t mess/stink up the cabin, they’re fabulous and I adore them. And they’re always cute to look at, no matter how jerky they are.
I love going into the flight deck! Especially at night, I like seeing all the control-panel doodads lit up and of course, the view out the window can’t be beat. Hello, Milky Way! The view from the “office in the sky” is the only reason I’d ever consider becoming a pilot. (Well, that and the fact that I would look like a sexy beast in that uniform, too. Those epaulets are hot. Count my stripes, bitches!!)
And the best part of all (and I remember saying this during my interview): Depending on the size of your base, if you don’t like a crewmember you’re working with, the chances may be slim that you’ll ever have to work with them again after the trip is over! Mwahahahaaa
Anyway. As you can probably imagine, though I never stopped loving food, this new lover (work) has robbed me of the time or energy to do all the stuff I used to do–spending hours looking through cookbooks, writing down recipes, making menus, making shopping lists, going shopping for those recipes, cooking fabulous meals, plating the food attractively, taking sexy, naughty photos of the food, and blogging about the whole experience… Just thinking about all that exhausts me!
And that’s just cooking, forget about looking for “guest stars” for the blog, doing restaurant reviews, saying cute things on Twitter/Facebook, etc. It was so much easier when I was unemployed, that’s for sure.
Lately we’ve been eating a lot of prepared/canned foods, unfortunately. LOTS of veggie burgers. But every now and then I get somewhat fancy.
Oh yeah, and I made my own vegan ranch dressing!
I thought about giving up on the whole thing. Maybe I don’t have time for a blog…?
But Bang-Bang’s Quest for Yay, Yum, and Yes isn’t over, my friends.
One conclusion I came to yesterday as I stood in the cabin after my first flight of the day, clutching a garbage bag, paralyzed, eyes wide as the captain knelt on the ground in front of me cleaning toddler puke off one of the seats (“I have five kids, I’m used to it!”) is: I will not be doing this forever.
This exciting new love affair may turn into a full-blown relationship lasting a few years, but only as a means to an end.
I want to go to culinary school, and I want to be a chef. Maybe one day I’ll open a little cafe with Andy, but first I’d like to become a personal chef, teach cooking classes, consult clients who are new to veganism, and maybe write some cookbooks.
Whew! I finally said it aloud (er, in print), this career that I’ve been wanting for such a very long time but have been too unfocused and afraid to truly go after. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go to an expensive school to do it, but I think I do. Sigh. And I’ll enjoy every minute.
While I’m saving money to go to school (no more student loans for me! Cash or nothing!), there are still plenty of things to write about.
Obviously, I’ll have to change my goals for the year (on the right side of your screen). Again.
Will I be able to do my Recipe of the Week? Probably not every week, but…
Next month, I’ll be off Mondays and Tuesdays–will there be some Tuesday Seitan Worship in our future? Hmm…
Most of the crewmembers I’ve spoken to about being vegan seem to think it’s extremely difficult and/or impossible to do so with our crazy schedules, the lack of health-food restaurants (ha) in airports, etc. Or, they think vegan food is boring. Yet somehow my lazy ass is still alive and not any more bored with my diet than the next person. So in the near future I’ll discuss what I do to keep myself fed, and whenever I go to a new airport I will try to discuss the veg options therein.
OH! OH! And you’ll never guess where my base is! (By “base” I mean the city from which all my work flights originate.) DENVER!!
NO!! YES!! And I chose to come here, because I didn’t want to go to Chicago or Salt Lake City–my other two main choices. You may (or may not) remember that I didn’t like Denver so much in February, after having only seen a few blocks of the downtown area. Well, obviously I will need to write a formal retraction because I live in a sweet apartment in lovely downtown Denver now and it’s fantastic. Summer is the best time to be here!
I just hope you’ll bear with me, I won’t be on reserve forever! I hope you’ll keep reading–even if I can’t write as regularly as I used to–and let me know if there’s anything you would like me to write about.