Category Archives: Films

The Apparition: Sebastian Stan Pictures

Tonight I watched my first non Marvel Sebastian Stan film. I borrowed it from someone who’s a huge fan of him and they assured me it was scary so I was excited about getting to see it. I don’t watch many horror films because I don’t scare that easily so I don’t see the point. Other than getting a lot of cute Sebastian pictures this film was a disappointment in pretty much every way. Sebastian was ok, I don’t want to criticize not just because I like him but because he didn’t have a lot to work with. It was a pretty weak script, it’s not so much that I can’t find anything good to say about it but that I can’t really find anything to say about it. It was just kind of meh, for lack of a better word. I could see the moments where it was meant to be creepy but I wasn’t feeling it, I didn’t jump or get scared at any point during the film. And I didn’t cheat, I watched late at night with all the lights switched off but still no reaction.

It wasn’t scary and not interesting either. The story is when Sebastian’s character Ben was in college he and some fellow students attempted to conjure up a spirit of some kind. It went wrong and now that spirit is haunting them both. Tom Felton who’s best known as playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films plays his friend Patrick. So strange things start to happen, furniture moving, doors being left open and plants dying until things start to get steadily worse. Long story short his girlfriend Kelly finds the video of the experiment and she asks him to leave because he didn’t tell her about it.

They end up in a hotel where the spirit tries to kill her, because it’s not the house that’s haunted but them. Ben and Patrick try to send the spirit back where it came from but it didn’t work. Patrick gets taken by it and so does Ben when he and Kelly go to Patrick’s safe room. They get in the room and then he disappears. I have to admit that was kind of a neat trick. You think they’ve got to the safe room, so they’re safe. After all it’s where Patrick’s been hiding these past two years. I wonder if that means the spirit could have taken him anytime he wanted, if he was just toying with him. Because that is the worst thing such a spirit can inflict upon people, that kind of mental torture where they don’t what to trust or what’s going to happen next, the never knowing of if you’re safe. So I guess there is one good thing about the film other than how cute Sebastian Stan looked. Kelly gets taken by it too, though it’s not at all clear where she is. They didn’t show what became of Ben and Patrick. He mentioned purgatory, I wonder if that empty mall was her version of that. She hides in a tent but it gets her anyway. I don’t know what the point of that was. If maybe by putting the tent there it was providing her with the illusion she was going to get away. Toying with by making her feel safe and then scaring her to death. Or if it was meant to be symbolic of her denial of the situation. I don’t really care what happened to any of them, the film didn’t do a great job of making you care for any of them. If I didn’t like Sebastian Stan I wouldn’t have cared what happened to him.

Anyhow, to the good stuff. I figured since I put up pictures of Jogi from every match I watch why not do the same for Sebastian Stan and his films as I see them:

Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 1 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 2 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 3 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 4 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 5 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 6 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 7 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 8 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 9 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 10 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 11 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 12 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 13 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 14 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 15 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 16 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 17 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 18 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 19 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 20 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 21 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 22 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 23 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition 24 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition interview 1 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition interview 2 Sebastian Stan - The Apparition interview 3

 

The Winter Soldier Obsession

For a while I’ve been thinking that I want to write something different, something that isn’t connected to Jogi, Hansi or Manuel. I’ve had a few ideas but none that have stuck and the two I had last week are too depressing. They are good ideas and I think I might use them in the future, they just don’t feel right for now. I don’t need anything to encourage such feelings. I was starting to think I’d never get a non-obsession related idea. I was partly correct. Because I do have a new idea but it’s an obsession related one. Though as the title suggests, it’s most definitely not a Jogi or Hansi idea. For the first time in a long while I have an obsession which is unrelated to football. It’s ironic because my previous film related obsession was connected to CA:TWS too, my last film related obsession being Thomas Kretschmann who played Baron von Strucker.

The past week I’ve been reading Bucky fan-fiction. I read it on someone else’s recommendation and I have to admit I wasn’t keen at first. In the end I couldn’t resist, especially seeing as how CA:TWS is my favourite Marvel film. As it turns out combine the winter soldier and autism and you have my complete attention. So much so that I’m very disappointed it’s just fan-fiction, I can easily picture it as I’m reading it and I’m disappointed that I’ll never get to actually see Bucky in those scenarios.

Whilst I’m enjoying it I’m not entirely happy with it and thinking over some of the things which bothered me I started to wonder how I thought the story should be and how Bucky should be. For one thing I don’t like the idea Bucky is so quickly back to normal in some ways. I started thinking about how much more drawn out I’d like the process of his recovery to be. I made a note of an idea last weekend, it was intriguing but not quite right. The basic idea was there but the pieces didn’t fit. Now it fits, now I have my complete idea. Not only that but I have a few pages of notes and a working title, all I have to do is get started.

It’s good timing because my transitions story has hit a wall, I’ve got the next few chapters outlined but I’m having trouble getting back into it. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, I’m up to 81 completed pages. I think I may have been spending a little too much time with Matze lately, taking a break wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. The last chapter I just finished was more than a little intense. As it turns out writing about meltdowns can be almost as intense and exhausting as experiencing them in real life. Though it was worth it to write it and a most fascinating experience, to see the situation from someone else’s point of view. To see how scary it can be when you have to protect someone from themselves.

I just watched CA:TWS last weekend but I had to see it again so earlier this morning I watched both it and the first Captain America film in one sitting. I wanted to test a theory, to see if I like Bucky as much as I do the winter soldier. Or as my Marvel obsessed friend likes to say, to see if I like 40s Bucky yet. I also wanted to see if my view of the film had changed because the first few times I saw it I didn’t enjoy it that much. I’m not that much of a fan of Captain America and I found the film rather unsubtle and lacking the humor of the others which is what I enjoyed the most. But Bucky changes everything and I now like the film a little more, meaning it gets bumped up a few places on my list of Marvel films. CA:TWS is still my undisputed favourite. But the list goes like this now: CA:TWS, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Thor 2, Avengers: AoU, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Iron Mans films in no particular order. Ant-Man is missing from the list because I haven’t seen it. I’m predicting Captain America: Civil War will be my no.1 favourite come April, it will be providing nothing happens to Bucky anyway.

Another thing about Captain America I wanted to see was the scene where Captain America rescues the 107th and getting back Bucky leads the cheers for him. Reading discussions online and listening to rather endless theories from my Marvel friend I learnt that some people think Bucky looks jealous of Steve in that scene. Now I know I’m not always the best at reading facial expressions but he didn’t look jealous to me. I thought he was proud of Steve but also a little angry maybe, not at Steve but at the others. Because it took for Steve becoming Captain America for them to see what Bucky could see all along. It’s like people don’t truly appreciate Steve for who he is. It’s wrong but people take him more seriously as Captain America. Simply doing the right thing or having morals isn’t enough, they shouldn’t but people judge on looks. Character is what should count but the world just doesn’t work that way.

I thought the scene a short while later in the pub makes it quite clear that Bucky’s not at all jealous of Steve and he doesn’t harbour any feelings of resentment. When Steve asks if he’ll join him Bucky says he won’t follow Captain America, but he will follow that “dumb little guy from Brooklyn who wouldn’t run away from a fight.”

Unlike everyone else he remembers the guy behind the shield because he knew him before, he knew that he always had it in him to be the man he is now. Which is kind of fitting because it seems that after the events of CA:TWS Steve will have to do just that for Bucky. He’s going to have to help him remember the man he was, that Bucky is still in there.

I love that scene in CA:TWS during the final battle when Steve is trying to get Bucky to admit he knows him. He tells him exactly what Bucky said to him after his mother’s funeral, “because I’m with you to the end of the line pal.”

In my previous post about revisiting the Marvel universe was well as trying to work out what my favourite film is I also tried to figure out who my favourite character is. Back then I decided Dr. Erik Selvig is my favourite character and that if I absolutely had to pick a favourite Avenger it would be Thor. Both those facts are still true, I still adore Erik. But he has to take second place because Bucky now tops the list for me. Meaning my list of favourite Marvel characters goes like this: Bucky, Erik, Thor, Nick Fury and Baron Zemo.

Hulk gets struck from my list because I don’t like his newfound friendship with Tony in AoU. Hawkeye I also like but that’s based more on fan-fiction than the films so I don’t think he should be on the list. As for Baron Zemo you might ask how he can be on the list seeing as how the film isn’t even out yet. Simple answer is I love Daniel Brühl and he’s not disappointed me yet so I’m counting on him being awesome.

As for why Bucky is my favourite all of a sudden the logic is similar to my liking of Hulk. I felt a kinship with Hulk in regards to controlling his anger. With Bucky I can’t identify with him at all before what happened to him. It’s after he becomes the winter soldier that I can identify with him a little. Not so much the film version of Bucky because obviously no-one knows what he’s like yet. It’s the fan-fiction and because it’s so good to me that’s Bucky, whatever happens in the films. It has it’s flaws and I don’t agree entirely with certain aspects of it but they’ve done well in creating a well rounded version of Bucky from the fragments of what is known about him. He’s unsure about who he is, has nightmares, can’t escape from his memories of the past, is worried about hurting people and controlling himself and he can’t sleep. Whilst my nightmares and the memories which haunt me are nowhere near as bad as Bucky’s I understand a little what it’s like to have your mind dominated by memories of things you’d rather forget. As for the having trouble sleeping, I certainly know what that feels like.

When you start to write a story you’re committing not just to the story but to spending time with the characters in question. I have no idea how it works for other people but for myself when I get attached to a character they become a part of my inner universe. They become a part of my thought processes as a whole whilst I’m working on the story. There is much simpler way of putting this and it’s something I’d never say in real life because people can and do misinterpret it but I guess I don’t have to worry about that here. What I’m getting at is they take up residence in my mind, I hear them as easily as I do my own thoughts. I spend time with them, talking to them and testing out scenarios to see if they work before committing them to paper. If something doesn’t flow in my mind then I don’t even bother writing it down.

I feel like I can spend some time with Bucky right now, I don’t see why not given I’ve spent the past few days dreaming about him. It sure feels strange to be dreaming about someone who isn’t Jogi, Hansi or Manuel. But then that’s a sign in itself, if I’m daydreaming about him then I like him enough to write a story centered around him.

Witness Protection

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

This is yesterday’s prompt but I didn’t have any thoughts on the matter then. Also I didn’t find today’s prompt particularly interesting which is ironic given the prompt in question asks what bores you. Logically it would be better to be surrounded by strangers, after all if you do something stupid or make a mistake then you’ll never have to face them again. But on days like today being surrounded by friends is a better idea. Well not surrounded, I don’t want to be surrounded by anyone. I don’t like groups of people, no matter how many people.

Today I went to an unfamiliar place, a cinema I’d never been to before and one I never plan to visit again. All of this was in aid of seeing The Hateful Eight, and it pains me to say it but it wasn’t worth it. I never thought I’d see the day when Quentin Tarantino disappointed me. I missed Freiburg’s friendly against FC Basel for this. For three mind numbing hours I had to be subjected to scenes which from a visual perspective felt very familiar, plenty of long and over indulgent scenes and substandard dialogue. The former I can live with, I actually quite enjoyed picking out the similarity of certain shots to scenes from Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. But the latter is not acceptable at all. It’s not the violence I have a problem with or the racist language used. Django features a lot of both those things, difference is in Django it had a purpose and was in context. Here it was just a gore-fest. And Tim Roth was doing a bad impression of Christoph Waltz, he was veering between Hans Landa and King Schultz.

But none of that is my point. My point is today wasn’t easy to deal with, having to deal with change or an unfamiliar situation of some kind never is. One thing which made it slightly easier is the thought that I was doing it for a good reason. That I would be rewarded for my suffering. Whilst that wasn’t true today wasn’t a lost cause. Today did prove to me that sometimes it’s good to have other people around, not only that but it’s ok to let them help you. It was just a small thing they did to help me out. It’s not what they did that’s so important to me, it’s how they did it. I’ve been on edge the past few days, mostly because of today and partly because of Friday. I’m both excited and yet apprehensive. More than anything I just don’t want something to go wrong. But getting back to today, being on edge and not having gotten much sleep meant I’ve been a little bit more twitchy and uncoordinated than usual. My friend was worried I would drop my popcorn and drink, as they put it “it was an accident waiting to happen.” Like I said it’s not only what they did but how. They didn’t make a big deal of it, they didn’t fuss over me or anything like that. They just took it from my hands and gave it back to me when I could take hold of it properly. I’m not good at letting people help me but I didn’t really have a choice. It was either let them take it or risk having no popcorn to eat. Sometimes practicality has to trump my own stubbornness and need to do everything myself. Even better is the fact I’m not beating myself up about it which is what usually happens. It’s odd that way, whenever I need someone to speak for me or help someone else understand what I’m saying I feel stupid about it and obsess endlessly over it. But when it’s something that requires physical help I’m less obsessive about it. I wonder why one is easier to accept than the other.

There’s also two other good things about today, one of which might not have happened if I’d stayed at home. Talking about how unsatisfying the new Millennium book is we naturally got to talking about August. It’s my view that August would be better off far away from his mother and that she doesn’t deserve a second chance at taking care of him. In discussing how lackluster the ending is I got the idea of writing my own version. Not only that but writing a back story of sorts for August. I came up with the idea partly because of a comment made by someone else about one of my stories. They want to know more of what the autistic character is thinking. I told them I’m not doing that, not yet anyway. Because the reader not knowing what he’s thinking gives some idea of how his parents feel. Why should the reader get to know things they don’t? Not knowing what he thinks gives the reader a better understanding of how frustrating such a situation can be for all parties. Despite my position on that story I do like the idea of doing such a thing for August. The second good thing was getting someone else’s opinion on the first Matze chapter. Not only am I happy they liked it but their comments really mean a lot to me.

December: The Month of Dieter

December could only be named for Hans-Dieter Flick and it’s quite fitting that I start writing this post now because on the day I started writing it there was a new video of Hansi posted on the DFB site. It’s also fitting in the sense December is the month you get gifts in and he and Jogi have certainly been the source of many gifts this past year. And now Matze too of course. In fact at the moment I have more Matze chapters in progress than Jogi or Hansi ones. He’s proving to be quite the little character.

Despite the month being named for Hansi it’s not exactly my favourite time of year. I’ve never been a fan of Christmas and I’m still not. But I did have a little fun this year, the Bundesliga took care of that because on TV Christmas morning was a repeat of Freiburg’s 6-3 opening night win against 1.FC Nürnberg. Seeing it again didn’t take the sting out of losing the reverse of the fixture two weeks before Christmas but it was still a lot of fun.

The only gift I really wanted for Christmas this year was for Freiburg to be autumn champions, they just missed out on that honour with RB Leipzig in pole position instead. It would have been nice but it is ultimately meaningless, what counts is where they are four months from now. That’s all that counts. At least they did get to start and end the month with a win, two routine victories in both cases. First a 3-0 win against 1.FC Union Berlin and then against 1860 München.

As things stand the gifts I did get turned out to be quite nice. A few books including the kicker Almanach which has almost all the German related football stats you could dream of. A most useful gift. I also got two DFB calendars, two Dortmund programs one with Thomas Tuchel on the front and one with Matze Ginter on there. Plus some Matze Ginter cards. The real highlight however for me was the wrapping paper. I love all my gifts but I love the wrapping paper the most. Three kinds this year, Freiburg, Dortmund and the by now traditional Jogi & Hansi paper:

IMG_20160111_182837IMG_20160111_183337IMG_20160111_183434IMG_20160111_182926Matthias Ginter - SC Freiburg 2011-12 signed card Matthias Ginter - SC Freiburg 2012-13 signed card Matthias Ginter - Borussia Dortmund cardAs I expected it was a rather strange month, even more so than usual. For one thing I watched thirteen films. Nothing I watched could beat the first film of the month which was The Secret in their Eyes. Every time I watch it I just fall in love with it a little bit more. It gets more perfect every time I watch it. I also saw a very odd filmed named Stuart Saves his Family late one night when I couldn’t sleep. I watched it purely because Vincent D’Onofrio was in it but it ended up being quite an interesting film and certainly gave me something to think about.

I’m not sure I’d say I liked the main character Stuart, in fact I’m not even sure I enjoyed the film but it did intrigue me. So much so I drafted a post in relation to some of the themes it covered. Gist of it is Stuart is a little addicted to self help groups and is a little overbearing. When you meet his family you understand why. He has his own TV show which is not at all popular and when it gets cancelled his life falls apart. In between dealing with the dramatics of his family he gets another chance at a similar endeavor. The second time round it works out. And it’s partly because of what he learned from his family that it does. Eventually he realises that you can only help someone up to a certain point, if they don’t want your help or are unable to recognise they need help then there’s not a lot more you can do. Sometimes when it comes to your family you have to just accept them as they are and stop trying to fix them all the time. Which is what Stuart does, he’s always trying to fix things. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you’ve been dealt. His motto is “Progress not perfection.”

This is what I meant to entitle the post but as I mentioned I’d been up late when I watched the film, thus it was even later when I drafted that post and as a result I ended up typing “Perfection not Perfect.” It amuses me but I’m not sure why, perhaps because I’m so much of a perfectionist that I couldn’t even contemplate typing the real title and accepting that something could be anything less than perfect.

At the cinema I saw Star Wars which I have absolutely nothing to say about, a disappointing Christmas film called The Night Before which I only went to see because Michael Shannon was in it (he was terrific, as always) and Black Mass which was the true story of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. I know the film got quite mixed reviews but I quite enjoyed it. It was certainly a passable film for an evening at the cinema anyhow.

Other than that I revisited some old favourites. In the spirit of Christmas tradition I watched one of my favourite James Bond films Goldeneye. I also watched Ratatouille which is surprisingly moving for what is essentially an animated film for kids. The scene where the restaurant critic is served  the dish ratatouille and it takes him back to his childhood memories always makes me cry.  On the subject of childhood memories I also watched Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I’ve seen them at least twenty times each but I’ve only watched the third one twice, and I never watch them as a trilogy. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a good film or because I don’t like it. I think it’s more because in the third one Andy grows up and gives his toys away, I’m not good at accepting change of any kind. I think it bothers me that Andy grows up and gives away his toys. That’s the whole point of the film, about moving on, accepting changes, starting a new chapter in your life and all that. Except it’s quite so cut and dried for me. There is no clear delineation between chapters because the events which normally mark the beginning or end of a chapter aren’t happening for me that way.

Book wise it wasn’t a good month, I know I read The Book Thief but I can’t recall what else I read. I certainly hope I did read another book and I just can’t remember because if I really did read just the one then that’s a new low for me. On the other hand reading The Book Thief was extremely important. I did so to test a theory, to see if I still loved it as much and whether or not the plot hole bothers me. I’m happy to say it doesn’t, that I’ve fallen back in love with it. Though I don’t think I ever stopped loving it. I like to think of it like this, no person is perfect, everyone has their quirks and annoying habits but when you love someone it doesn’t matter. So why should a book be perfect.

It’s like two of my favourite games Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed. Neither of them are 100% perfect but I love the first one in the series for both way more than the others. Because for me the other games don’t have the same feel to them, they don’t have the same kind of charm. I don’t care that Assassin’s Creed is a lot more repetitive than AC2. I love the setting, the characters and everything about it. I know the flag missions annoy some people but I actually quite liked them. I’m not saying there’s nothing good about AC2, there is and I did enjoy playing it. I must have done since I’ve completed it three times. But it just doesn’t conjure up the same kind of feelings and excitement that the first one does. Same with Mass Effect. It’s why I’ve played through Mass Effect at least six times and why I haven’t done the same for Mass Effect 2. Though I have to admit part of the reason I don’t love Mass Effect 2 is because I’m still annoyed at not being able to have Kaidan in my squad. I was doubly annoyed because on my play-through with the female version of Shepherd he was my love interest. I really missed Kaidan and as much as I like Garrus, I would have preferred having Kaidan back.

Back to the topic at hand reading The Book Thief again was important for another reason, I found out just why I like it so much. That it’s not because the book is narrated by death or because it’s set in Nazi Germany. The person who recommended I read it told me just those two facts about it. As if that’s all I needed to know. They weren’t wrong, the first part alone would have made me read it. But reading it again lead me to think of it a little differently, a little deeper. Only this time around did I think about what I have in common with the book thief Liesel. I didn’t have many books when I was a child, though to be fair no matter how many I owned I wouldn’t have thought it enough. The books I did own I treasured. As much as I loved my Playstation and my Gameboy it certainly wasn’t as much as those books. And considering my Gameboy was like an extension of my right hand during my Pokemon phase, I mean  a lot. In fact I still have most of them in storage. But it’s not just about the books.

It’s about the words, about being able to tell your own stories. Unless you can read and write you can’t do that. When we meet Liesel for the first time she can’t read or write. It’s her foster father who teaches her to read. But that would never have happened if her brother hadn’t died, if she hadn’t stolen the book from a careless grave digging apprentice who dropped it and didn’t realise. And if the war didn’t happen she may never have met her Papa Hans who taught her how to read. She never would have met Max who helped her realise just how important words can be.

I didn’t have that problem, I taught myself to read before I started school. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. And I think sometimes I take them for granted, not just the books but the written word in general. Not only being able to read but being able to write my own adventures. Just like some people overestimate the importance of being able to read and write so I underestimate it. Because whilst those people are wrong, whilst they are over simplifying the issues, words do matter, they do help. Because as I’m coming to realise when it comes down to it they are all I really have. At least words of the written variety anyway. Because when it comes down to it a lot of the time it’s the only way I can reliably express myself. For someone who talks a lot I actually say very little. That is whilst I can talk about my special interests until I tire myself out I can’t talk about what’s bothering me. I can’t explain what’s going on in my head. For that I need the written word. I need my stories and my characters. Without them I can’t make sense of anything.

As well as being a quiet month book wise so it was in terms of collectibles as well, obviously with it being Christmas I didn’t have as much spare cash as I would have liked. That didn’t stop me from purchasing one very important item however, something I’ve dreaming about getting since last year. The item in question is one of the newer DFB polo-shirts, the ones for the Euro qualifiers. It’s not a blue one like I wanted but the white one is quite nice too. The other small notable items I got include two signed Match Attax cards, one of Roman Bürki and the other of Vincenzo Grifo, a card signed by Joachim Löw and a signed Nils Petersen Bremen photo:

IMG_20151211_171831IMG_20151211_171922Roman Bürki – signed Freiburg Match Attax cardVincenzo Grifo - signed Hoffenheim Match Attax cardJoachim Löw – signed Eintracht Frankfurt cardNils Petersen signed Bremen photo

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario

Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

Beyond the internet going down I’m not sure there is a worst possible thing that could happen today. Despite the disappointment of yesterday and the fact I haven’t seen The Hateful Eight yet I’m in a surprisingly good mood. Though I think what I woke up to has something to do with that. A dream about Manuel Neuer and a Germany program in the post, what more could I want? Even better the program is from the Luxembourg friendly back in 2004, a game which was played at Freiburg’s stadium. I have the ticket, the program and a video of the highlights. Now all I need is a copy of the full match. I don’t hold out much hope in getting one, but never say never.

As for the best possible thing to happen today. Well there are a few of those. Top of the list would be to wake up and find that my dream about Manuel Neuer was not just a dream. A little more realistically would be for my package from the DFB Fanshop to arrive today. I don’t normally like surprises and I don’t really want any more this weekend, I had all the excitement necessary from watching Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool scrape a replay in the FA Cup last night. The lack of Bundesliga has left me resorting to English football to fill the gap. Despite liking hearing Klopp speaking English in his pre-match interview next time I will watch the German broadcast. I’d forgotten how annoying I find English commentary. If I hear the phrases “it’s their cup final” or “the magic of the FA Cup” one more time my thoughts may turn to ways which to use said trophy as a murder weapon. But my package coming today instead of Monday would be a pleasant surprise. It would be the kind of a surprise to make me a happy  and only slightly anxious flapping wreck instead of just an anxious one which is what The Hateful Eight did.

Back to more unrealistic possibilities, I wish I could wake up and find out that all the problems about The Hateful Eight have either been solved or just don’t exist. I’m no longer so worried about it all and I’m not quite so anxious, now I’m angry instead. I guess that’s progress of a kind, moving up a stage at least.

It’s not all bad, not at all. I have two new books winging their way to me. And for once I didn’t go over budget in buying them. I actually kept a little in reserve for this eventuality. On someone else’s recommendation I bought The Girl in the Spider’s Web. I was close to changing my mind when I read through the reviews but then I read there’s an autistic character named August. Ok, so now I’m sold. I also bought a book titled A Man Called Ove. He’s a seemingly miserable man who’s disliked by everyone and complains about everything. Definitely sounds like the kind of thing I would want to read.

Two new books, a Manuel Neuer dream and a FIFA Street marathon, I really can’t complain. Especially when my team contains Jogi, Hansi, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Mesut Özil.

Dealing with Change: The Hateful Eight Disappointment

Today was my first football free Friday, well sort of. There was football on, just not the Bundesliga. First a friendly, Nils Petersen’s old team Energie Cottbus played Wolfsburg. And there’s FA Cup action with Liverpool visiting Exeter City. It’s not a day which has gone particularly well, I had it all worked out in my head. Seeing an early showing of The Hateful Eight so I could be back for the friendly. But the universe had other ideas. Distribution problems mean that the film is not showing at my regular cinema, the one I have a loyalty card for. In order to see it today not only would I have needed to fork out extra cash for a ticket but would have gone to a cinema I’ve never been to before. Not only that but by myself since there was no-one available to take me.

I’ve spent the better part of the past two days trying to be ok with the situation. Either trying to convince myself into going to the new place or to make my peace with not seeing it just yet. I thought I was close to making some kind of peace with it. This morning’s events proved otherwise, I got up to set up a recording of a game to watch later and then went back to bed. I guess it was easier to deal with if I didn’t have to fill the time, if I just avoided it all together.

I’ve been trying for a while to get used to unexpected changes, working on accepting that things don’t always go as you want them to. In all honesty it’s not going particularly well. Other people try to help and they mean well, they really do. Like the person who tried to explain the layout of the new cinema to me. But I had to make them stop, it was just too much information and didn’t prove to be particularly helpful. At least I asked them to stop without snapping at them. I’m bothered by the whole thing but I’ve not taken it out on anyone else or taking it out on the people who weren’t available for today. That’s a good thing. Though I suppose it helps that I’m trying wherever possible to avoid other people completely. I just don’t think I can handle any conversation that’s not absolutely necessary. It’s really thrown me into a tailspin. I know things can and do change without warning, I remind myself of this fact a lot. I just never thought a Tarantino film would be the source of the problem.

I just have to keep reminding myself that I will get to see it at least. Just not on the day I had planned. In doing this I’m borrowing something Hansi said, he was talking about tactics but the principle is the same. His point essentially was the that the system, the approach to the game does not change, the principles which the system is founded upon are unalterable. What can, does and should change is what he calls the playing concept. That’s what changes from match to match, specific plans which are drawn up for each opponents. You don’t approach each opponent in the same way because they don’t play the same way, it won’t work. Point is the system does not change, I will get to see the film. I just have to accept the tactical alteration, the day and the time changing and who I see it with is what I need to accept. If you want to win you have to adapt to the situation at hand. Which is of course easier said than done. I know I get fixed on things happening a certain way, I know it’s a problem. I just never thought it would need to be solved in this context. There are things you think you can count on. Just goes to show you should always be prepared for the possibility of things not going your way, you should always have a back-up plan.

I like the idea of using what Hansi was talking about in dealing with things like this, and not just because it’s Hansi related, I really think it could be helpful. It hasn’t changed how I feel about it today, I’m not that far off the nervous flapping wreck I was yesterday. But at least I’m not obsessing over it so much. I still feel unsettled but there’s room in my mind for other thoughts, it’s a start. I talked a lot about this kind of thing with the psychologist I talked to a while back, we talked about lots of different ideas to help with situations which make me anxious and about dealing with change. But none of them ever stuck. They all sounded like good ideas when we came up with them but they didn’t stick. I think for that to happen they have to be connected with a special interest in some way. That’s the case here so maybe this one will stick, it’s worth a shot at least.

There is however a silver lining to today, because whilst I may not have gotten much sleep last night I did have a Jogi related dream. I have little clue of what it was about, something to do with a match which he was unhappy about, but I’ll take it. Especially seeing as how it was on the seventh as well.

Vampire Jürgen and other Random Musings

Usually when I dream about a team near to a game they lose, I can think of only two exceptions to this pattern, happily on both those occasions it was Freiburg I dreamed about. I know there’s probably nothing to such things but I like making a note of them regardless, I like patterns like that. Last night it was Jürgen Klopp I dreamed about. Today Liverpool lost 2-0 to West Ham United. The pattern holds. What I don’t like is first dream of the year that I remember and it’s Klopp in it. Not Jogi, Hansi, Christian Streich or even Thomas Tuchel, but Klopp. It was I have to admit a most amusing dream. It took place at a school for vampires and Klopp himself was one, as was I. Also there was someone named Daniel. There’s three possible choices for who that could be. The real life one can be ruled out, it was definitely not him. That leaves Daniel Brühl and Daniel Siebert, the referee. I’m certain it wasn’t the former, but not entirely certain it was the latter either. It’s most disappointing that’s all I can remember, I would have loved to know what the story was. As for what the message was I don’t know. But there is one I’m choosing to take from it. If I got to bed at a decent hour and got enough sleep then maybe I would be sufficiently rested upon waking to remember more of my dreams. I don’t need to be told twice. Maintain a vampire schedule and you don’t get good dreams or to remember them. All you get is Klopp, albeit a vampire version. But go to bed at a decent hour and be rewarded with your favourite Germans, at least I hope so. In fact with how tired I feel today I could most likely happily fall asleep right now. The only reason I’m not is that there’s a repeat of an old game on later this evening that I want to see. After that I’m going straight to bed.

It’s the first of three football free weekends and it’s a very strange and disorientating experience. Combined with being tired and it only being the second day of the new year it all makes for a very confusing day. When I was watching part of Liverpool’s game earlier I got to thinking how slowly time was moving and how I never feel like that whilst watching Freiburg or Germany play. Then it’s like it’s over before I even know what’s happened, it feels like it’s just started and then all of a sudden it’s over. I feel that way about time in general, you spend a lot of time wondering where it went. Right now with there being no football on and having no fixed schedule for the weekend I feel the opposite way. Like there’s all this time to fill and I have no idea how to fill it. There’s plenty of things I could be doing. I just don’t want to do any of those things. I should be catching up on my Bundesliga posts, I need to do that before the season resumes. I can put that off for the weekend at least and get back to work on those on Monday. I also keep putting off rewatching the final two episodes of The Bridge and writing the final post about them. I’ve had enough time to do so, but I keep putting it off. It’s almost like if I don’t watch the final two episodes again then I won’t have to let go of Henrik and Saga. And I won’t have to admit that Hans is gone. I still can’t believe that. That they killed Hans off. For me that reason alone makes me wish there’s not going to be another series. Her having a new partner in the form of Henrik is one thing, but the thought of replacing Hans in anyway is unbearable.

Along with counting down the days until the season resumes I’ve been trying to work out what film to watch next. I keep thinking about Inglourious Basterds. Partly because that film is never far from my thoughts and partly because I read an article in which Tarantino said that the opening scene of that is his most favourite scene that he’s ever written. I would say it’s mine too but the truth is any line or scene he’s written that has Christoph Waltz in it is my favourite. Tarantino’s right about that, Christoph really does make his words sing. I’m not sure I could pick a favourite but if I really had to I would say the “That’s a bingo” line is the best of them all. There’s just something priceless about that scene.

The only thing holding me back from watching it is that the last time I watched it was the last but one week of the previous season. It was the night before Freiburg beat Bayern, or to be more precise since it finished so late, it was the very same day. It’s almost like a curse of some kind, I know Freiburg did beat Bayern but it didn’t matter in the end. On the other hand it seems like that’s exactly why I should watch it now, when the season is on break so I can watch it and not feel like I’m cursing anyone. Plus it would be a good time to watch it and Django Unchained, as kind of a preparation for The Hateful Eight on Friday.

I may be feeling a little lost today but at least I’m not worrying quite as much as I was yesterday. I think getting some sleep helped on that count, as did the Matze adventure I’m working on. I didn’t get enough sleep but enough to be of some help. The problem is still there and I’m still avoiding dealing with it but that’s ok for the moment. It will still be there on Monday. Right now my mind is focused on other things, I know all I’m doing is running away from it but that’s not always such a bad thing. I don’t think I come up with a solution just yet so surely it’s a good thing I’m not obsessing over it. Nor am I sure that I should allow myself to make up my mind right now, not when I’m feeling so confused. Allowing myself to be focusing on Matze and making character related decisions is not the worst thing to happen. Though it’s probably a little misleading to say I’m letting it happen, that implies I have any control in that matter. When truth is that couldn’t be further from the truth. Normally when I wake up I write whatever I can in my dream journal and I may make a few story notes if I have any random ideas. This morning I wrote a full three pages of the the beginnings of a new story for Matze. That was before doing anything else, it was after waking up and writing about the vampire dream, the third thing I did this morning. Writing the start of that story was apparently important enough to put off getting breakfast. Given how hungry I always am in the morning that means he’s pretty important then.

There are two other things which brightened up my day today besides Matze. Whilst I don’t yet know what Freiburg and Dortmund have planned for the winter break I do know that Bayern are playing Karlsuher SC in a friendly two weeks from today. So I will at least have one Saturday accounted for in the next three weeks. The other thing is something I got in the post, a very special signed picture of Hansi. I always like it when he smiles but I especially like it in this picture. I have by now quite a few pictures of him from when he was younger and active as a player, in many of them it doesn’t look like him. In this picture not only is his smile as wonderful as it always is but it looks like him too:

Hansi Flick – 1.FC Köln signed photo