Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger than Fiction Plus a Bra

Who am I?

Alana Margaret. Baker. Pastry Sous Chef in the most competitive food city in the world. But in my head, just a baker, creator, recipe writer.

Quiet, shy, sensitive, bookish but if I have my way you'll never know it. I never outgrew those things, but I got better at pretending, which I guess, is a lot of what growing up is about. A sometimes broken, bitter, midnight crier and sometimes the one who has weathered much and come out more whole than anyone had any right to expect.

I cling to schedules, routines, normalcy the way those of us with hectic childhoods do, trying to keep control, always. Hating when I'm not in control, always. Life has a way of not letting you be in control. It's tricksy like that.

Blunt, harsh and honest. To a fault. But once you're in, once you make it under the layers, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you, nothing I wouldn't give. Happiest as a care taker, food maker, present giver.

Small but curvy. Dark haired and light eyed. Fair Irish skin. Thankful for Eastern European cheek bones adding definition to a round, dimpled face. Rosy cheeked and dark lashed. Arms and hands covered in burn scars and knife nicks.

Not so secret lover of all things living and adorable. Small children (not babies, they still mostly look like aliens), puppies and kittens especially, though if I thought a baby polar bear or tiny penguin wanted to cuddle me and I lived in the right climate, they'd be right up there on that list.

I find equal comfort in the quietness of museums and the way words string together. Sentences over stories. Phrases get stuck in my brain the way songs get stuck in other's. Flavor combinations too. Repeating until I find a space to let them out.

Somewhat impulsive while taking life far too seriously, harsh to strangers while overly compassionate to friends, a little punk rock with a penchant for pearls and secretly ready to fall in love with everything and everyone, always.

I'm not a player, I just crush a lot.

Alana Margaret, twenty-six. New York City born. California raised. New York City returned. Baker pretending to be a Pastry Sous Chef. Reader pretending to be a writer. Unabashed liberal. Rule follower and authority hater. Goody two shoes with a foul mouth. A pile of contradictions, just like you, and at the same time, not at all.

How did I get here?

Spend a year abroad, go to culinary school instead of college, live with your best friend, finish school, become a chocolatier and Pastry Chef at twenty one, move back to Sonoma County, live with your high school sweetheart, learn how to not run a small business, get a job at one of the five dream bakeries you listed at culinary school graduation, move to Berkeley and back with your best friend, throw dinner parties a lot, learn what a successful small business looks like, change your mind, break a boy's heart, break your own, move to a cabin in the woods, learn to be around your family again, start going to community college, let a boy jerk you around when you know better, become a chocolatier again, give away too much creativity for too little money, school your boss in labor laws, switch to working in a group home, love it, start focusing on social work, start dating a boy that's really nice but not at all right for you, move in with him anyways, exhaust yourself working 45-50 hours in 4 days while going to school the other 3, wonder why you're not happy, take a break by visiting New York City, decide twenty five is the year to move across country, do it three weeks later, work a lot, drink a lot, try being a floozy instead of being a girlfriend, realize for the first time in a while you've got your shit together, you don't feel like you're drowning, you can choose to not sleep instead of lying sleepless wracked with insomnia and anxiety, become a pastry sous chef in New York City, bake, develope recipes, pass on your skills, realize you will never stop missing California but that you have no idea when or why you'd move back. Realize life is good.

Like & Dislikes:

Things I really like:

1. Fried things, especially potatoes

2. Brunch

3. Afternoon drinking (or morning, see #2)

4. Vintage dresses

5. Nerdy TV shows (because you haven't noticed my usage of "frak" yet)

6. Museums (favorites: American Museum of Natural History, Musée Rodin)

7. Cadbury Eggs (not so secret candy weakness)

8. Going to the ballet

9. Nutella

10. Whiskey, Wine, most forms of booze (Exception: Anything Anise flavored. Gross).

11. Feminism

12. Russian Literature

13. Cardigans (seriously, best clothing item ever)

Things I really don't like:

1. Sea food (exceptions: tuna & salmon in pretty much all forms of raw or cooked, sometimes other raw fish)

2. Coconut (exceptions: there are none, that shit is gross)

3. Growing out my bangs

4. Leggings as pants

5. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (yes, I dislike this book that much)

6. Vacuuming