Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks Giving...

It's Thursday, the 24th of November, 2011, here in Berlin. Back in the United States, where I come from, that means it's Thanksgiving Day. And so, I thought I would write a little post, expressing some thanks.

Of the first priority, I think, is to thank all the CouchSurfers (and a few others) who have opened their homes to me over the past 3 months or so. I've stayed in Seattle, 4 of the 5 Burroughs of New York City, a couple places in Massachusetts, and at least a half dozen neighborhoods (and more places) in Berlin. And I look forward to many more locales, hopefully all over the world, in the future. Not a cent (in USD or EUR) have I spent on housing costs with any of these generous individuals (and in some cases families, or other multi-individual households) -- I can only hope that I've given them each something intangible which has rewarded their generosity... Because without it, I might already be out of money and... Well, I don't know what I'd be doing then.

Next, I'll turn my attention to someone for whom this particular day is a meaningful one. I've been thinking for days, maybe weeks, of writing her an email this day: it was our anniversary. But it *was* our anniversary. Or rather, it is the anniversary of the beginning of the relationship that has since ended. And we're nearing the anniversary of the ending, even... So it's kind of a past tense thing. Yet still, I feel compelled to express my thanks to that wonderful individual. For many things... From the fact that it is she who has given me the bag that I carry with me every day, with all my daily essentials. Or that it is she who gave me so much support for so long. It is she who I think so often of, when seeing certain things upon my travels. She that... She that someday I'll be able to let go of, but who has been patient with my lack of ability to do so, so far. There are many other things I could thank her for. That I do thank her for, silently, when I'm reminded of them. So Laura, if you still read this blog (or somehow ever do read this entry): Thank you. For everything. And for, I hope, appreciating and understanding my choice to say this here, rather than writing to you directly.

Following that, I think I must turn next to Miriam, who has also housed me in the past couple months - for a while in New York, and also even a few days in Berlin, when she came to visit me here. I thank her for those things, but also I must thank her for tolerating things like the above... Tolerating my continued feelings for another, my expressions thereof, etc. And of course that's not all. I also thank her for another daily item that I also wear: a lovely crocheted scarf. It's been pretty cold in Berlin lately, and it has been most appreciated. And... Well, I thank her, too, for many things, which I shan't trouble this blog post with. I still talk to her daily, so I'll let her know directly.

Moving on, I'd next like to thank those of you who still follow me on Plurk,and especially those who still reply now and again to my posts. I somehow seem to have driven a number of folks away in that forum, and so I'm especially thankful to those who have stayed with me there.

Less a part of my current daily experience, but perhaps even more important, I thank those of you have stood by me in the physical world... Visiting me during my stay in the hospital, visiting me at my home (back when I had one), joining me for Lunch or whatever, calling me to get together, or answering my calls when I initiated them. I have more friends out there than it's sometimes easy for me to remember... But at times I surely do, so if you're one of them, I hope you'll forgive my leaving your name out of the thanks, and just know that there's a very good chance that I've actually thought of you in particular when writing this paragraph.

There are many others, as well. Some of them nameless, even to me. Others whose names are known well to me, and to whom I have specific reasons to thank, but not the words right now to do so. And still others, in between.

Finally, though, I thank everyone who takes the time to read this post. For no matter how many others I do or don't take the time to thank, if it weren't for *you*, right now, reading this post... Well... There just wouldn't be any use in having written this, would there? Because while part of me might be writing it for myself... A very real part of me is writing it to be heard. And you, dear reader, have just heard me. And for that, I thank you.

Foxes in Berlin?

I just saw a fox, crossing the street... On the U7 replacement bus (construction...) between Möckenbrücke und Mehringdamm. Wow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012: a year without money?

I predict that in our not too distant future, it *may* transpire that *all* current monetary systems will collapse. Or at least the "Western" ones that I know anything about. This is not to say that idea of money itself will collapse; I don't foresee that as being very likely, though I do imagine some backlash that might make it seem that way for a while.

My point, though, is not to predict what will or will not happen. And for now, I'm going to dodge the obvious question of why I've come to believe what surely sounds to many like a very bold claim (even if I do couch it in the parlance of possibility, rather than certainty). Perhaps I'll get back to that question some day. For now, though, my point in stating the prediction above is merely to give context to (edit: though perhaps it's worth noting that that's not my only reason for considering) what I'm thinking of doing about it:

I think it might be interesting to try to live all of 2012 (and beyond?) without directly using any money. At all. I would instead survive on a combination of gifts, exchanges of time, effort and energy, etc. I don't know if I could really pull this off. I don't even know yet if I'm going to even try. It's just an idea I have, that's percolating.

If people have thoughts about it, I'd love to hear them. Leave a comment, or contact me by whatever other means you have at your disposal.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two small glimpses of minor celebrity...

Tonight (technically last, I suppose, but I'm still out), I had two small glimpses of fame. Or not really fame; that's probably too strong a word, but minor celebrity, in some form or other.

The first form was someone getting onto the U-Bahn in Berlin that I recognized... from his role in one of my favorite movies, a movie that actually played some role in inspiring me to choose Berlin as a destination: Lola Rennt (or Run Lola Run, as it's called back in the states). Well, at least I'm pretty sure it was him.

The second brush was of a quite different sort. It seems that I'm still occasionally recognized by Berliners as the guy "from New York" (hardly, but that is how I got introduced), who brought the Human Mic to Berlin on the 15th of October, for the Occupy Together protest that day.

I suppose it could perhaps be argued that I had a 3rd brush... I technically could say that I had a short film of mine shown at an international film festival. Here's hoping I'll remember to go back and add links to this post later... Or just more details. But I'm typing this from my phone, and I'm now off the bus so this'll have to do, for now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another tidbit of sanity.

Ein Kugel Eis: 1€

One scoop of ice cream: 1 euro (at least at some places). But that's not the best part. The best part is that, provided you get it in a cone, the cone has no paper wrap, and they don't automatically hand you a paper napkin... So it's potentially zero waste... At least as far as what I might call "pure waste"... I'm sure there's energy "waste" for freezing, etc., but no just purposeless waste. Or waste only for advertising purposes. Or waste "just in case you might need it (the napkin).

Just a little tiny step away from the "Disposability Consciousness" that I recently heard being talked about by someone named "Julia Butterfly Hill", who I intend to learn more about in the near future.