Posted on 26.11.2012


Hello there, time for some updates and random bits and pieces…

I think I can safely say that I am FINALLY settling in to my new place. I’ve been there for a while now, but was still coming to terms with the differences between this place and my old apartment. Specifically, the kitchen and the bathroom were hard for me to deal with, since I use them often and had to get used to a new organization and space. But now things are starting to feel more comfortable (possibly because we turned the heat on?) and I noticed last night in the shower that I wasn’t so uncomfortable being there, period. Which was a nice feeling. I’m starting to get the hang of things. A good sign, since I have about 3 months to go.

Also, I finally invested (5-Euros) in a standing clothes rack (and hangers, of course) for me to hang my clothes, and I can’t say enough how RELIEVED I am to finally have all of my things hanging up and in plain view, so I can think clearly about what the EFF I am going to wear the following day. It really is hard for me when it’s all packed away in drawers and out of sight. I don’t know how people do it.

I feel like this week is the week that I finally ‘woke up’. Not in general, but it’s something that tends to happen around my birthday each year: in the weeks leading up to the day, I usually suddenly have a clearer mind, am more motivated and it’s easier for me to get things done. Like New Year’s Day for other people. That wasn’t the case this year leading up to the day, but it seems to have ‘turned’ for me sometime yesterday while I was stuck at the apartment, not being able to do much. I have been feeling really weak the past few weeks, and this past weekend was exceptionally bad for me. And I woke up, made the decision to REALLY not do anything, and then after that, it was like I could suddenly get everything done. It feels good to be ‘back’, because before, it felt like walking through thick fog, trying to keep up, and always being slightly behind.

Not today, not this week, I feel like I am back at normal speed (even if I’m feeling weak). And that’s exciting. About time, too.


Another cause of issue for me in the past month or so has been the impending arrival of my birthday, directly followed by Thanksgiving, etc. All of the planning for my trip and the dinner right afterwards back here was making my daily life difficult. This year it was added to by the absolute nail-biting that was taking place regarding my work visa and the freelance teaching job at the University. I was SO convinced (thanks to certain people making me worried) that I’d have to change my visa, or get private health care, or something ridiculous just to do the freelance job…

But I finally got in to the Foreign office last week and was told (smilingly) that I have nothing to worry about, as long as I enjoy what I do and am making money. Which was so nice to hear and SO unexpected, since the people there are usually only coolly cordial with me. I got a new guy (new for me, not to the office) and he was kind of laughing at how worried I was about this extra job and what it might mean I’d have to do to keep it. He was really sweet, broke into English here and there, and was overall very helpful. He just handed me a form, told me to have the Uni fill it out, and then they’d have it taken care of with the Employment office.

I hope it goes this well the whole way through. How gd easy it was is amazing to me and a definite plus, should I decide to come back if B-more doesn’t work out later on…


This is also wildly helpful, since as it stands I’m somehow making barely enough to get by month to month. I have a feeling that my pay from the University isn’t going to go towards my Japan trip at all, but rather towards just being comfortable while I’m here. Which is honestly fine with me, considering it wouldn’t have made a HUGE dent in the Japan expenses anyway. I know what I’ll have to do to go to Japan. I’m not happy about it, but I know I can do it, so why the hell not…


I finally broke down, admitted I was having issues following through, and bought some stuff to put on my nails to keep me from biting them.

There’s only one downside to it, which is that I can no longer eat with my hands… The taste is horrible and there, which means I have to eat my leftover Thanksgiving chicken legs with a fork and knife or with a napkin around both ends to keep the stuff from getting on my food! Believe me, it is downright terrible and is definitely keeping my hands out of my mouth. It’s SO gross.

Thank goodness. If I were a nose picker, I imagine it would help with that, too. As it stands I don’t even want to pick food out of my teeth these past few days, so I guess it’s doing what it’s made to do.


I got the results back of my food allergy tests: I am absolutely lactose intolerant, but apparently NOT gluten-intolerant? I’m not sure I really believe that blood test, since I KNOW how it feels and what happens when I eat whole wheat. But in ‘celebration’ (or, as an excuse, actually) after I heard my gluten results, I decided to take a trip to Subway and have myself a sub. I have NEVER walked into Subway here in Germany, so it was fun to do that for the first time today and eat the sub without too much concern.

The test being negative is a great thing, but it’s not going to change how I eat. I know I feel better without gluten, and that’s how I’m going to stay. Odd though that the test came back saying NOT intolerant, because whatever happens to me after I eat whole wheat must then happen to everyone… and if that’s the case, then that really, really blows.

But I don’t think that IS the case, personally, and I think there are probably other tests that could be done.

I had an interesting discussion with some friends the other night… they were over, and I offered them some of my gelatin- and gluten-free candies. They liked them, and were asking where they came from, etc., so I told them. I got them from a shop on the Marktplatz, it was a 100g bag, and cost 3,20-E. I didn’t think anything of it, but my friend said ‘oh my god, that’s SO expensive!’, and I was like, ‘really?’. I mean, yeah, I know it costs more than the Haribo gummy bears, but this is good stuff and gelatin- and gluten-free, so I just expect to pay more for them. My friend was like, ‘yeah, oh my god, I won’t eat too many of them then’, and I felt bad, because I wanted her to enjoy them!

Then I realized that most people don’t really care about gelatin-free, or have food allergies in general… and we got to talking about how eating well is a priority for me and I don’t like to put shit in my body… no factory-farmed eggs, ethically killed/caught meat when I eat it, gelatin-free candy. These things still end up translating to ‘more expensive’, even though I know eventually they won’t be. But it was funny to talk about, since I had just been thinking a few days before that if I ate like shit, I’d probably be able to save some money each month, but since I eat well and don’t buy stuff that’s bad for me, the money goes a lot faster.

Priorities are very interesting to me. And it’s funny to think about how many people have health issues and don’t eat well, and don’t make the correlation between the two. Especially because of my disease, I need to eat well. If I don’t, I will certainly end up like my mother did, and that is not something I ever want.

It’s interesting to me how it takes a disease, or some near-death experience, for most people to consider things like this. I ended up just telling my friend that since these are really the ONLY candies I eat (aside from some dark chocolate now and again), I don’t mind paying more for them and making them last as long as possible. When they are more expensive, as she so rightly stated, we don’t want to eat them as quickly. So maybe that means I enjoy my candy more because I take so much longer to get through a bag?



One of my Cultural Studies students came to me last week and told me she’d be giving her presentation this week on the Flying Noodle Monster phenomenon in the US and I just about hugged her while laughing.

So of course, I sent her this photo I took for Kristi in 2009 just before moving to Germany, and then explained it to her (‘believe’ and ‘hon’ having special significance for Baltimoreans) and told her she was allowed to use it for her presentation, if she wanted to.

Also, my students in class today did their presentation on Damien Hirst. And they did well, and I LOVED them for it. 10/10, no questions:) My new students are great, and I’m kind of loving teaching college students. It’s been fun so far.


That’s about it for now. I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the lovely cooler weather:) I know I am! xo

Posted in: food, GF/DF, life