Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The measure of all things

From the iPhone journal:


It's the first thing to go in a relationship that's in trouble. 
Once you stop doing the little things just because doing something for each other brings you joy, once you start counting favors, keeping track, that's when you know. 

Sometimes you don't see it until it's too late, and sometimes you get to witness it happening up close, in real time. 

When it's you shutting off, it's a relatively easy fix. 
Remember why you love doing something for this person, start over, try to get the feeling back. 
Be kind. 
But what about when it's being done to you? When you notice that someone is over you, that they're suddenly noticing only your flaws. 
When the feeling of gratitude for what you bring into their life is replaced by irritation? 
I don't know. 
Maybe you let go, give up.
Or maybe the answer is to do more. 
Try hard.
Be kind.

So maybe you're wondering how i ended up in Firenze?
Although pretty and popular, it was never on my list, so what on earth was i doing walking all over the city this past weekend?
Obviously i'm about to tell you.

Remember how i had a third roommate for a while?
American girl that would appear in group selfies on occasion?
Whether you do or not, that was Victoria, and after staying for a few months at the apartment in Berlin, she moved to Firenze to work for a travel agency.
But before making the move, she was to travel around Europe for a few weeks.
Which is always great, unless of course you have numerous very large suitcases, and you're a tiny, tiny person.
So that was a problem for her, and one afternoon in Leipzig, we started talking about possible solutions to that particular problem.
First one we came up with was for her to leave a giant suitcase in Berlin, and come back to pick it up at a later time.
The second possibility was for her to get me a cheap ticket to Firenze, and for me to just come drop her luggage off there.
We decided then and there that the latter option would be the most fun for both of us, and once back in Berlin, we booked the tickets. 

I went there on Thursday, came back Sunday night.
I turned in my cheap Kodak films from Rossman on Monday, and got the pictures back Tuesday afternoon.

These are the first of them, but i have more... and then there are the iPhone photos too.
And of course i also have a few stories to tell about the trip, so expect a couple more Firenze related posts in the new future!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Change up

There's a smell in my neighborhood.
A constant smell that i haven't yet been able to identify.
If my German was better, i'd ask an old local person, but for now, my neighborhood has an unidentified smell.
And it's not a pleasant one.
It's not a poop smell though, like in much of the city.
And it's not from bad city plumbing or trash left to rot in the street.
Some days it smells like burnt toast, if toast was made from some nonorganic material.
Other days it straight up smells like someone is burning medical waste.
Other days it's more like... wet paprika?
Like our own version of the Springfield Tire Fire... the Neukölln Burnt Toast Factory?
That's what i'll call it for now.
Sometimes it's just a faint smell, but recently it's been so strong i can still smell it when i walk up the stairs, and unlock the door to my apartment.
On days when it's that strong, my walks with Lucifer are short and efficient, so i can get back inside quickly, away from the smell.
And away from the rain. And the grey, slushy snow leftovers. And the people.

As i was walking the dog yesterday, i looked around at all the industrial greyness, i smelled the burnt toast factory, and i saw the ground covered in wet dog shit and thousands of cigarette butts, and i started laughing.
A "what the fuck am i doing here?" kind of laugh.
The kind that'll turn into a sob if you're not careful, and i never am.
"I don't even speak German!" i laugh-cried out loud.
That's the good thing about my neighborhood, i guess.
It's sketchy enough for people to ignore outbursts of that kind.
Outbursts of any kind.

From the iPhone journal:

It's late at night and i'm watching the snow fall outside my window. 
Big, fluffy flakes, making the street even brighter than usual. 
There's a dog by my side, and there's television, and he called me before he went to bed.
And just like that, for at least a moment, i feel happy and safe. 
After days of loneliness and misery, i get a brief respite. 
A moment of absolute peace.

As you may have guessed, seasonal depression has set in, and living in Berlin is really not helping.
I was warned about the winters before moving here, but after three years, they still catch me by surprise.
So much grey. So little sun. 
I take my vitamins and go for walks and focus on the fact that this isn't permanent.
This winter, like all the winters before it, will soon come to an end.
But hey, apart from all the gloominess, outside my window and inside my head, this year has been pretty good so far!
Starting with an epic New Years Eve, and continuing with parties, coffee dates with my dog, paint nights, sci-fi marathons and cuddles with my guy, and soon to come, the first travels of 2016.

Maybe that's all i need?
A little order, a lot of coffee, a tiny bit of purpose, and most of all, a temporary change of scenery.

New Years Eve, at a costume party somewhere between Poland and Berlin,  dressed as leopards

The party was at a beautiful estate with lots of little details to please a decor nerd such as myself

I'm a sucker for the red brick/blue door combo

Turns out i love doing animal make up... who knew?

Socially awkward leopard caught in its unnatural element aka not yet hammered

The only kind of fireworks i fuck with

I may have cursed the outdoor toilets when i was trying to slide out of a catsuit in temperatures that were well below freezing, but i appreciated them for the view and decor the next day

First day of the new year

And the first night, spent in the tub, trying to get warm again

Another day, another landscape... last week it snowed and i took my little arctic fox to the local park 

He loves playing in the snow when it's still fresh

I'm a summer person at heart, but clean snow is irresistible , isn't it?

My spider plant was having so many babies i started giving them away to strangers on facebook

Rare blue skies calls for longer walks

A new café has opened in my kiez, and the food and coffee is so good i have to suppress the urge to go there every day

A painting i made yesterday

Just wake me when it's spring