The meat grinder

Mars opposite Jupiter with Venus caught in the crossfire. Temperatures grazing 38 degrees Celsius. That's 100 F. I'm a refugee from the sun, huddled indoors in the relatively cool confines of my home. Working from home because the office is not equipped to handle a day this hot. 

Feeling absolutely lost and questioning the decisions of the past. There are no do-overs, only forging ahead, hoping for the best. 

Have contacted an artist consultant to help me get my artist career on track, am floundering desperately, definitely in need of coaching and guidance.


Bullets

• Had an open studio party at my studio on my birthday three weeks ago, it went well. A good turn-out, about 30 people showed up over the course of the night.

• I uploaded a bunch of new work to https://www.saatchiart.com/kretchmer. This is one, a portrait of Marie Antoinette:

• Started a new painting on Friday evening, a second Marie Antoinette piece, this time with a blue stripe across the lower right.

• Major astrological event about to take place, beginning on the 17th. The "loosing of the bond". This portends a once-in-a-lifetime major change of some kind. Going to hold on tight and see what transpires.

• Stomach issues are finally under control. Taking supplemental HCl to boost my failing levels of stomach acid has helped enormously. Still can't digest carbohydrates, but whatever, I'm used to it now. I've been on a Neanderthal style diet of my own design since the beginning of September with great success. I may never eat cake again, but at least I won't be bedridden.

• The company where I'm working is showing signs of instability. Will need to update my portfolio and resumé over the holidays in case I need to start looking for something new at the drop of a hat.

• Am meeting up for dinner with four individuals who practice cerimonial magic this evening.

Potatoes

Just got back from the doctor, one that a friend recommended. I brought all my medical records and walked him through my symptoms and history*. 

The doctor's measured response was that I did not need a doctor, that my problems can not be solved by medicine, but by natural practices, namely a lengthy fast, followed by a strict diet of potatoes, rice and oil, slowly introducing new food elements every few days to determine which are the offenders and which are not. This process of slow detective work could take several months to unfold. He offered to supervise my water fast if I should choose to go this route, although told me that I would need to find a Heilpraktiker (natural medicine/osteopath) to be my primary guide in the process.

I'm going to do it. 

I did a 21 day juice fast last year, and a 6-day water fast more recently, so fasting won't be the hard part, I'm familiar with that. 

It will be the endless potatoes and lack of social life that pose a challenge. That part will suck, especially as it will coincide with the holiday season. No Christmas or birthday for me this year, just a sack of potatoes. But come to think of it, I was so sick last year I couldn't celebrate anyway. So bring on the potatoes! If this treatment actually gets me better it will be worth the trouble and more.

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Slow-mo

I made this running unicorn for my actual job. It's a loading animation for one of our apps :) 

I'm trying to figure out why it's moving so slowly, the unicorn shouldn't look like it's running under water.

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I'll be spending all day Sunday on a train to Brno, Czech Republic, and then staying there for a week. I'm equal parts looking forward to this and dreading it. It's a work trip, and while I like my team and enjoy Brno, I don't like leaving my bird alone for long stretches like this. My friend Alison told me she'd look in on him from time to time, so at least he'll get fresh water and know he hasn't been completely abandoned. 

The other thing I'm bracing myself for is the heavy drinking my team always indulges in during these trips. I wish I could excise these events from my timeline. To be clear, no one is putting a tube down my throat and forcing booze into my stomach, but it would also be socially awkward to get through the night without imbibing.

I have already witnessed a colleague here try to put up a fight and drink sparkling water, only to cave two hours in and get trashed with the rest of us. 

It's not easy being a teetotaler in Berlin. When I quit drinking for several months back in 2012 I remember everyone making the quiet assumption that I was pregnant. 

I'm going to get some alcohol-free wine and bring it along. No one will be the wiser, and that way I can avoid the peer pressure and weirdness. And slipping out after the third drink when everyone's mind starts to get fuzzy is also a strategy I intend to employ.


 


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The acid-reflux cough is back, shortness of breath is driving me mad. Started taking medication for it last Friday, but it takes 8 weeks to work. So I have just over 7 weeks to go. I just popped a baking-soda tablet and am feeling some relief, so maybe there's hope.

Dinner with Cony this evening, finishing the formatting for Sophie's project Thursday evening, beer with Julia in Charlottenburg on Friday. Errands, cleaning and packing on Saturday, train to Brno, Czech Republic on Sunday. 

Today we have sun and warmth but it will all be gone by tomorrow, replaced by rain and cooling temperatures. It was a good summer, I suppose. 

Currently reading "Wir Kinder von Bahnhof Zoo." Fantastic book.



Things / stuff

Feeling the first hints of chill in the air, autumn is just around the corner. Something about this time of year instantly conjures memories of the past, nostalgia for earlier times. Pumpkin patches, witch circles, old woollen sweaters, dried wildflowers, essential oils and crooked brick roads, increasingly covered in fallen leaves.

This weekend I don't really have plans, but I do have a number of things I'd like to accomplish, like getting my tax papers in order, formatting a friend's book, purchasing more masking tape, working on my sigil paintings, and generally staying out of trouble. I need to spend some time thinking about and setting larger goals and determining a loose plan for taking small steps to accomplish them. I've been feeling directionless for far too long. 

I don't have any holiday time left to take this year, but as soon as next year rolls around I'd like to register for an ayahuasca retreat in Amsterdam. I spoke to a woman last winter who recommended a retreat centre and swore that in a single weekend her entire life perspective was changed. Once I can muster the time and money I plan to do this, probably in January or February. I'm too curious not to.  There are similar retreats available here in Berlin, but they're more expensive, and I've heard mixed reviews. If I'm going to do this I'd like to do it 'right', and I'd rather go to Amsterdam, anyway. I think a change of scenery is good for the soul regardless of what else is going on.

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Went to the Berlinische Galerie on Sunday for inspiration. Was worth the 10 €, I think. I should go there more often, it's not difficult to get to at all.

On Monday evening I discovered that Rasputin has a terrible festering wound on his foot. He landed on a hot stove burner two months ago, and I think this is how the injury initially occurred. I wish I'd noticed it sooner, it's deeply infected now. I only noticed because there were little bloody footprints all over the house when I got home. I was horrified. He hadn't been acting out of sorts, so I didn't realize anything was wrong.

Took him to the avian vet immediately the next morning. The vet cleaned & bandaged the wound, gave him a pain killer and antibiotic, and sent me home with the same, to be administered by mouth twice daily. Which kind of sucks, because he hates it, and I hate having to force medication down his throat, it's traumatic for both of us.

Harvey, Sophie and Brogan came over for Art Night last night. Was fun, I didn't get much art accomplished, but was nice to have people over nevertheless. It's more about just doing something, not really about being super productive. Anyway, Harvey's dad was a vet, so she has some experience with animals and held Rasputin for me while I did the syringes down his throat. This morning I managed by myself. A week more to go and then back to the vet for a follow-up exam. If the wound does not improve we will need to amputate the toe, but hopefully it won't come to that, pigeons are sturdy creatures.

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Had a dream that I met a great friend at a cafe. We hugged and eagerly chatted about our lives and what we've been up to. I woke up and realised that this dream person is someone I do not know in real life, but I missed them nevertheless. 

Work contract: Signed!

Just signed and submitted the work contract for the new job, so now it's completely official. This is mind blowingly fantastic. It means I may be able to make permanent residency here this year after all.

I feel like I have accomplished the fuck out of this year.

• UX Designer certification
• B1 German language test passed with flying colours
• New job at awesome agency
• Sent in my absentee ballet for the U.S. presidential election
• Completed German taxes on time
• Completed U.S. taxes on time
• Fell into what is turning out to be a great relationship after 7 years single

If I can get permanent residency here that would be the cherry on top. Going to email my lawyer now!