One was an after-work drinks that involved me losing my (work) laptop, my phone and a bunch of money. Fortunately later that night i drunkenly decided to continue on to a refugee solidarity party where i bumped into a random Sunday afternoons party friend who escorted me back to one of the previous bars where i at least recovered my laptop. And then i proceeded back to dance in solidarity until 10am, when i realized i should probably call in sick to work. Without a phone.
Another was my Christmas in Vienna. I went to Minimal on the 24th as a "Berlin tradition", since i spent last Christmas there, but flew out to Vienna Christmas morning with a blistering hangover. Where i met my step family for the first time in almost 20 years. Half of them had never seen me as a girl, and one of them wasn't even born last time i visited New Zealand. It actually went much better than i expected and we pretty much continued where we left off. Of course that also meant getting insanely drunk with my step-brother the night before i had to fly back to Berlin on a 5am flight. I completely blacked out. I have no idea how i got to the airport, but i have flashes of walking up and down corridors and trying locked doors in complete confusion. When i came to i was surrounded by burger wrappers and had lost my new phone i had bought literally a week before. Obviously i had missed my flight and had to pay for a new one, which was entirely miserable.
Back in Berlin, i bought my second phone in two weeks, and within a couple of days, completely sober, had dropped it and smashed the screen. I spent New Year's on Skype with R, then went out to party for the tail-end of the celebrations at Kater, which was a truly fabulous Friday. Shortly after that i caught a terrible flu that continued on and off for almost 3 weeks. I didn't go out clubbing all of January and spent a lot of days home from work, only to go in again and get worse again. Due to being housebound so long i started to play video games again, but of course when i get into video games it's worse than drugs, i can forget to eat, forget to sleep and then 32 hours has passed and i feel sketchy as all hell. I really enjoyed playing some amazing games that i missed over the last few years; there are some great stories out there that top most of the TV shows i watch. That said, it wasn't helping my recovery any. I actually might have been better off going out drinking and dancing instead, since at least i would have maintained more normal sleeping hours. But eh.
This weekend was my birthday, and i took Monday off so i could rage hard. Of course, i am still kicking the gaming habit, so i ended up only getting to the club around 21.00 instead of my usual noonish. It was a great night, Acid Pauli is truly one of the masters. Diverse music but never randomly diverse. Melodic, synth-heavy, spiritual, deep, hard, soft... A selfish part of me wishes he wasn't as big around the world and could play here more often. But what a birthday gift. Canson played after, which was great, wie immer. Unfortunately then it hit the 2-3am time where usually i am no longer at the club, and the music got more predictably Panne-ish, boring big name techno/tech house/deep stuff that tourists and "traditional" techno fans go nuts for but generally bores me in its lack of humor and whimsy. So i left, still with the drinks cards in my pocket that the door guys had given me as a welcome back and happy birthday. But it was truly great while it lasted. And going out for only 6 hours, most of which i was dancing, left me relatively sober and today happily hangoverless.
I realize that when i go out alone i can get quite destroyed, but it is never out of control. I make sure i am in a place i love with people who look out for me, and i know when it's time to leave. It's when i am with work buddies and other "non-scene" drinkers where it turns into a binge and things really start to go downhill. I really should avoid those things. But sometimes you have to do it, especially with work stuff, it is a bit of an "equalizer" that helps you bond with the guys back in the office.
One up-side from not going out for a month is that i have finally quit smoking. When i first started e-cigarettes it would get me through the week, but once i hit the club i would get cravings for real cigarettes that i always regretted the next day. Now i have been vaping exclusively for a month, and even dropping down to 6mg from the 11mg i normally order due to there not being enough stock... I went clubbing last night and had no desire at all for a real cigarette. Awesome. We'll see how it works out at a festival or bigger 24-hour-plus weekend when i will undoubtedly run out of battery halfway through.
On Friday i resolved to quit my job. I have been here 15 months now, and with my 3 months notice that makes 18, which i find a reasonable effort. I really want to like this place, i have been able to make some very positive changes that have impacted the guys on my team, but there is an institutional apathy and lack of commitment to the values we are being paid to uphold. This an sich is not a problem, but then we hired that new VP last year. He did realize we needed strong leadership and some big changes, but instead of trying to "culture hack" and improve the processes, he instead decided that every problem has a purely technical answer. The importance of the product and serving our customers (internal and external) has been left by the wayside in favor of fixing stuff that isn't broken because it doesn't match this guy's technical world view.
My privilege as a skilled worker in a field with labor shortages is that i can choose to work for an employer that shares my values instead of one that leaves me coming home miserable and frustrated each day. So why not exercise that privilege? Worst case scenario i could find work for another employer that doesn't share my values, but at least i would get paid better and have better perks (our company is renowned for being one of the cheapest in Berlin on those fronts). I am not sure whether to just quit without having another job lined up or start applying in earnest first. The three-month-notice thing gives me plenty of lead time. And honestly i already live such a modest lifestyle i could survive for at least a few months without a job. So, meh. I'll see how i feel next week. Maybe i should take a vacation.
But yeah, sonst there isn't much going on with me. I have spent a month being far more of a hermit than usual, and as much as i have enjoyed playing games and being a bum, i really miss closing my eyes and letting go on the dancefloor. I need to take more Mondays off. Even without a hangover, it is so much nicer to be able to spend the morning daydreaming and reliving those beautiful moments.