Dear Diary

the inappropriate weather

An acquaintance of mine has a yorkie, the smallest yorkie I’ve seen in my life. They named him Biden, and when I asked why, they said it’s because when Biden was a puppy, he’d keep falling over and pissing himself. Do what you will with that bit of information, but I had a hoot and added it to Top Ten Funniest Things I’ve Heard This Year.

… Admittedly, 2023 hasn’t been a particularly prolific joke machine.

The current US President, and especially his spouse, actually have my sympathy. The bigger the pressure, the quicker the condition progresses. I wish him a peaceful resolution to his period of service and a calm dignified retirement away from the public scrutiny.

It has occurred to me that I no longer have an understanding of what the appropriate weather is for the day, or the season. Yes, I can still tell the extremes apart from the rest. Like when it’s been in the 40s here for two weeks. and it’s just something that shouldn’t happen in the region. But the moderate fluctuations of coolness or warmness? As long as I’m comfortable, I can’t tell if it’s okay or if the dumpster fire that’s been our environment had been fanned even more. The longer I observe it, though, the more I realise that it’s not right.

I use Windows 11 at work, and most of the settings I left on default, because I can’t be arsed. Well, one of the features is a weather notification that pops up in the left corner of your screen on the task bar. Apart from telling you the temperature, it also tells you if it’s a ‘record’ or ‘near record’. And, well, today’s 18C at 1 am is apparently a ‘near record’.

20 degrees on the night of Autumnal Equinox is kinda warm, isn’t it?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the unrelated photo of Berlin Airport at the top of this post. I just happen to like it.


things to do for free

A follow-up on previous post, I came up with a list of things I can do for free, or near-free, whenever I find myself in a financial pickle. I just wish I have the sense to return to it when needed.

  • Read the books I own.
  • Write in my journal.
  • Work on the blog.
  • Clean the house.
  • Deep clean the house.
  • Plan outfits.
  • … or just play dress-up.
  • Cook.
  • Play with cats.
  • Take walks up and down streets that don’t have many shops, leave wallet at home.
  • Play piano using free music sheets – find the ones from my olden days of music school, use office printer to print out the ones I find online.
  • Draw.
  • Exercise.
  • Play with makeup.
  • Learn languages.
  • Improve skills in the languages I already know.
  • Talk to brother.
  • Get back to running. (This one requires an investment – decent running shoes.)
  • Unfortunately driving isn’t free what’s with the rising fuel prices, but it’s still cheaper than a lot of other shit, so – drive.
  • Write book reviews.
  • Watch movies and tv shows with all the subscriptions that I’m paying for.
  • Do no-spend challenges.
  • Write recipes using pantry foods.
  • Ride public transport in off-peak hours, choose a random stop to get off on, explore the nearest three blocks.
  • Take DSLR out to play.
  • Write beauty reviews for [redacted].
  • Take good pictures of beauty products too.
  • Write up the history of my travels.
  • Resurrect [redacted].
  • Volunteer? (Question mark, because there are not many options here, but I’ll be on the lookout.)
  • Study Tarot.
  • Practise witchcraft.
  • Work on grimoire and book of shadows.
  • Study psychology.
  • An elaborate skincare routine using all the products I bought.
  • An elaborate hygiene routine.
  • Take baths (water is “free”, as in I pay a set amount per month, regardless of how much I use, so the only limit here is my conscience).
  • Assemble all the puzzles and Lego that I have that are still waiting for attention.
  • If I go for drives, do ‘drive with me’ videos. I need to get a car mount for that again, though. But that’s the only investment, so to speak.
  • Study art history.
  • Go on dates and freeload off of people.

(Well that escalated quickly.)

(Actually that one won’t work, unless I do plan to sleep with the person. That would make the relationship transactional, and everyone could go on their merry way at any given moment.)

Let’s continue.

  • Clean up and take good care of the graves of my ancestors. I have… eight to take care of.
  • Organise – like, seriously, retentively – my library.
  • Go to church, both orthodox and catholic. Service/ mass relax me.
  • Film vlogs.
  • Listen to music.
  • Go to museums and art galleries again and again. This is not free, but as far as entertainment in the city goes, this is the cheapest.
  • Indulge in piracy.
  • Go to the library.
  • Bribe what’s left of my friend circle with homemade baked goods and go on home-brewed coffee dates in the park.

Shit, Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Solo Violin rips my heart out.

  • Study ikonography.
  • Learn tiktok dances.
  • Practise asanas.
  • Read the bible.
  • Bum about in SkillShare and do a metric tonne of courses on subjects that look vaguely interesting/ useful.
  • Do all the exercise videos stored on my computer until I can complete them start to finish without hyperventilating.
  • Work on my car – clean, organise, read about it, etc.
  • Learn software I pay for – i.e. Adobe.
  • Organise decades of photos, both digital and printed.
  • Origami.
  • Paint with supplies I have on hand.
  • Run my photos through Spiral Betty and pencil them in.
  • Sleep.
Dear Diary

hot days

It’s hot here these days. I have 4 days left here, and on the 5th, Sunday, I am leaving for the capital, and then for home. My flight got rescheduled about two hours late, but it’s fine. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to the supermarket in time to get cat litter and food. Thinking if I should maybe buy food here, but what can I get here that’s shelf-stable?

I think I have like a can of beans at home, I could eat that with rice or pasta.

Cat litter will just have to wait until next day. I’ll wash litterboxes and that would be it.

I really hope that father won’t come on Sunday, but I’m afraid he will. Which means there will be no rest for the wicked, and then a five day work week, and then maybe, MAYBE, some quiet next weekend. The heat is supposed to dissipate at least a little, but it’s still going to be in the low thirties to high twenties. At least the nights are cooler now.

I also need to go get a hair cut and dye job sooner rather than later, but again, not happening on Sunday – wasn’t supposed to happen – and likely won’t happen on Monday. So next time my hair will be sufficiently dirty is… Thursday? Or maybe just wait out until Saturday/ Sunday. We’ll see how my sleep pattern is going to be.

It appears that I’m just sitting listening to music. My new jam is slowed/ reverb playlists. Trying to get my mind to focus has been difficult for the past couple of days, I wonder why. Yesterday it was probably a migraine. Today I don’t know, maybe I’m tired from all the social activities.

Job hasn’t been bothering me very much. On the contrary, some tasks I had to do were pleasant. Yet I am triggered – incompetence and greed surround me.

Wrote about it in the other doc yesterday, but I find myself at a financial disadvantage once more. I suppose that’s the consequence of my constant indiscretions.

I’ve got about 11k left + 2 more on the way for rent. That’s enough to pay subscriptions and two credits + pawn shop, with about 3-4k to spare. These 3-4 k would need to be distributed very wisely for daily necessities and at least SOME of the utility bills.

I mentioned it before here, there, and everywhere, but my default should be not spending. Like, every time I want to spend money, my thought should be, ‘how can I do this without money?’ Do I have a substitute? Can I do without? Can I ask somebody for a favour/ barter for skill? If there’s no choice but to spend money, then I should look for the cheapest option. Maybe I need less. Maybe I can use something that’s less expensive.

Of course there will be slips, and of course I will spend money. But I guess I just need to be very selective with the usual list of my indiscretions, and learn to control my impulses.

I think one of the things that can be very helpful in the matter is keeping myself busy instead of spending money. I do need to keep in mind that keeping myself intentionally busy usually results in hypomania, though.

Dear Diary

how to pay off debt

I keep thinking about that 1 mln debt that I have, and I wonder how it makes me feel. I guess we can say that all the depression, all the anxiety, all the uselessness and emptiness, it all stems from me having that debt – but it’s never on the forefront of my mind, like it’s been on the forefront of my mother’s.

Mine is there, but I don’t think about it explicitly or even implicitly. It just quietly eats at me, manifesting somatically and psychologically.

I am so used to the idea of having debt, I don’t ever imagine a future in which I don’t have it. But it would be glorious, that future. Even my salary would feel luxurious – as it should, technically, since the average salary here is half of mine. I make twice the amount, and I feel like I’m drowning. Imagine living on a fourth of that. Even when I take out all my monthly debt payments, I still have more than the average left.

I suppose that’s where half of my hatred for the 9 to 5 stems from as well. It’s this constant thought that I’m doing all the work in vain. Like it doesn’t matter even if I will get paid more. I’ll just accrue more debt and will increase my payments.

But certainly it’s not my job that’s at fault for all the debt. Sure, like any 9 to 5 it’s soul-sucking and requiring peculiar methods of reset and relaxation. But I don’t do drugs. I don’t abuse alcohol, I don’t gamble, I barely smoke. I don’t club nearly enough for it to become a financial burden, don’t pay for sex. I don’t buy expensive gear, or clothes, or even makeup. And even things that I buy, I don’t enjoy anymore – apart from books and comics.

Where does it all go? Why do I do it? Jesus, why? What hole, what void am I trying to fill?

I sat down to mind dump how I’m going to decrease that debt, but it just ran away and turned into an emotional gush of self-pity.

But really the answer to debt eradication is simple. You don’t spend on anything apart from necessities. You give yourself an allowance for fun so you don’t go mad. You slowly but surely build savings so you don’t have to get another credit line when something like a washing machine inevitably breaks down. Anything extra you put towards killing debt. Don’t look at what’s the most ‘profitable’ way to do it. There is no profit in this until you pay it all off, and if you think too hard about the differences in interest and principal, you will become paralysed and pay nothing at all.

Just start, just do it. Endure voluntary austerity. Curb your desires. Build will, self-control, stamina. All the things you dream of having anyway.

I just wanted to add a positive note about today being a free day in capitalism, but then I remembered that the automated debit cleared out all my accounts in a try to cover this month’s last credit payment. It didn’t have enough, so it will keep trying daily until it gets what it wants. The salary is supposed to hit this week, so it will get what it wants soon.

Until then, I suppose, my days in capitalism are free.

I have no money left to give.

Dear Diary

tick tock, it’s fuck this shit o’clock

Lately there’s been something so traumatic about travel. I don’t know what it is, probably just me being stuck in a cosy mossy swamp that is my comfort zone. Probably just this idea of giving up control, and be at the mercy of airlines, railroads, and people I’ll be staying with. Whatever it is, one thing is certain – my flight departs in about 7 hours, so that means that I need to be at the airport in 5, leave in 4, I’ll be gone for two weeks, and not a smidgen, not a modicum, not a stroke of fuck was given about the packing. Granted, I don’t have much to pack. My t-shirts are still drying, my souvenirs are few by the request of recipients, I plan on taking one pair of additional footwear. I could probably stuff all that shit in my ‘personal item’ if I were so willing.

I could be done with it in 10 minutes.

I read somewhere that we procrastinate on shit and self-sabotage ourselves, because it gives us the illusion of control over the outcome. I don’t do anything, so nothing will get done. Bam. This sounds backwards, but this is also very true. The familiar outcome of ‘shit didn’t change’. If shit changes, it will be unfamiliar. If I do something, even if I control the ACTION of DOING IT, the OUTCOME is going to be DIFFERENT from BUGGER ALL CHANGED. And that is terrifying.

But isn’t that what I want? A different outcome to ‘fuck-all happened’.

I’ll think about the gravity of this discovery as I’ll be packing up the three pairs of underwear and DSLR.

In other, yet still related, news – each act of travel has been accompanied by an all-nighter lately. Shouldn’t a traveller be well-rested before their jolly exploration of new places? And I’m not 18 any longer, I can’t run on redbulls and goodwill. I can’t even run on espressos, green smoothies, and a prayer. Like in all the good memes, I need a special pillow and a triple dose of melatonin.

(Which has just reminded me to add medication to the three pairs of underwear and DSLR that I plan on packing.)

Yet here I am. I might just sleep the 2 hours that it takes to arrive in Berlin. Then I might sleep 1 hour on the train to my ultimate destination, though that’s a little bit more dangerous, in more way than one.

It’s 6 o’clock, so it’s official – I need to start packing.