Friday chickenBecause it’s Friday AGAIN. And because traditions are important. In which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

In Berlin.

Having the hardest of hard weeks.

Oh, the hard. Thank goodness for the Friday Chicken or I’d have repressed the good stuff completely.

The hard stuff


I can’t get to bed until crazy late because of the jetlag.

There’s construction at the building where we stay so I wake up to jackhammers. The noise is overwhelming.

I can’t write or do yoga or meditate, which are normally the things that keep me centered and grounded.

The tired knocks me off balance. I also have a cold, got stung by a wasp, twisted my ankle and got something in my eye.

My gentleman friend and I are roaming around from cafe to cafe all day, trying to get even a little work done.

It sucks.


I have issues with it.

Between all the traveling and the headaches and the teaching, a week went by with hardly any work getting done.

Not that I didn’t work. Because I was able to set aside a few hours a day on the non-travel days.

But the finishing things. Not very much.

Some other hard stuff that I don’t feel like talking about.

It has to do with Berlin and I’m still working on it.

Let’s just say that it’s challenging, and leave it there for now.

Change. Augh.

I know it’s part of life. I know it’s often for the better. And I really don’t want to take a stand on any side in the general discourse on gentrification.

Hell, I don’t even get involved in that conversation in Portland so I’m definitely not going to in Berlin.

So I’m not talking about the trends themselves. I’m talking about my own personal body sensation of oddness when encountering and assimilating change.

Walking around in my old neighborhood — in streets that used to be filled with mostly punks, nazis, junkies, old people and queer performance artists — and man, it’s so different.

Not surprisingly different. I’ve seen the signs of this change in every subsequent visit.

But being there now, the streets filled with trendy mommies, happy dogs, and cute little shops full of expensive … cuteness, it just feels weird.

And I’m taking my time with that.

The good stuff

The being back again part.

My gentleman friend and I spent the whole first day (not counting the day of arriving-and-crashing, of course) wandering our favorite neighborhoods.

And the second.

And the third.

Exclaiming over all the changes.

This place where I used to teach has moved! Wait, that place where I used to teach has also moved. That place where I used to do yoga is gone. But there is a new place to do yoga here. Hey, that building is blue now!

And so on.

Some stuff is still wonderfully, comfortingly familiar.

My favorite cafe? Still here. The other day my gentleman friend and I were there for seven hours straight. Love that place. Love.

Second favorite cafe? I’m there right now.

Also still here: two of my most beloved bookstores.

Dinner with Lars and Andreas.



The first workshop went well. As did the course I taught for a local yoga teacher training program.

Selma is happy to be back. And she looks great in her fancy new scarf.

I got to see my best friend yesterday.

By a miraculous series of coincidences, my best friend is also in Berlin. We haven’t seen each other in years. It’s amazing.

The street smarts: still there.

I was inordinately pleased to note that I can still spot the undercover train ticket inspectors … a mile off.

Not that I would be traveling without a ticket.

Just glad to know that some life skills don’t die from lack of use.

And glad (very) that the time in my life when I needed those skills is over.

Ohmygod. Finally. Sacramento.

I’ve been insanely excited about the genius biggification workshop we’ve been setting up in Sacramento for December.

And then weird things kept happening to keep us from being able to actually tell people about it. Not an official announcement or anything, but as of today it exists. Huge relief. Huge!

The hysterically ironic stuff

The international fireworks competition? It’s in Berlin.

Remember when the fourth of July fireworks launched my post-traumatic stress stuff?

Well, it just so happens that my first week in Berlin included the four day international fireworks competition festival.

Actually eight days since there is a formal, official one and the unofficial one where (supposedly) all the cool stuff happens.

And of course it’s right nearby and it’s loud.

I have only one thing to say and that’s hahahahahahahaha. Thank you.

If anyone says anything about me asking for harmony and ease the other week, they will pay. Seriously. It’s not worth it. 🙂

And … playing live at the meme beach house!

Yes, that’s a Stuism too.

My brother and I have this thing where we come up with ridiculous band names and then say in this really pretentious, knowing tone, “Oh, well, you know, it’s just one guy.”

So this week — thanks to the genius that is Twitter — I bring you:

Prolonged Stink-Eye

Me: “And that’s why I’m not allowed to drive produce trucks.”
Robert: “I crashed into the awning of a flower shop the first day on my job delivering flowers, many many years ago.”
Me: “That’s very reassuring, somehow. I hope you were okay! And the poor sweet flowers?!”
Robert: “Oh yeah – it all turned out good; except for the prolonged stink-eye from the shop owner, but couldn’t really blame ’em.”
Me: “Glad to hear. Also … Prolonged Stink-Eye? Is that a band? Because it totally should be.”
Robert: “I bet it’s totally one of those a capella punk rock bands doing songs based on old X-Files episodes.”

Yup, it’s just one guy.

And Robert is Robert Myers aka @PostcardCopters on Twitter. Go listen to his stuff.

And … STUISMS of the week.

Stu is my paranoid McCarthy-ist voice-to-text software who delights in torturing me misunderstanding me. I can’t stand him.

  • “some bigger fires say watch out for although 12” instead of some biggifiers say blah blah blah or blah blah blah
  • “This last geek was all about Carmine and deeds” instead of if last week was all about harmony and ease
  • “practiced a hen” instead of depressed again
  • “In Toronto I supposed you” instead of to run the way it’s supposed to
  • “Crumbled about Whitewater” instead of in our grumblebug whine bar
  • “oh yeah, Otis” instead of I want to give permission
  • “ghjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjffgfjhfjhhhhhhhhhhklkklhhg” instead of hi (and then I think I must have coughed).

That’s it for me …

And yes yes yes, of course you can join in my Friday ritual right here in the comments bit if you feel like it.

Yeah? Anything hard and/or good happen in your week?

And, as always, have a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious weekend. And a happy week to come.

The Fluent Self