Tag Archives: Christoph Waltz

Advent Calendar Day 7: Double Jogi Day

I don’t want to write about anything bad on a Jogi day, which leaves me wondering what I am going to write about. It’s not that anything bad has happened today, more that nothing has really happened at all. It’s not really possible for anything bad or good to happen when you’re asleep. Besides today isn’t the day I need to worry about anyway, that’s tomorrow. Jogi day is not the only reason I shouldn’t write a word about that. Whatever I do or don’t write it’s not going to change what happens, there isn’t anything to do but wait. Obsessing over it isn’t going to help. One thing I can’t help but obsess over is related to the title. Behind door number seven was one sticker; Mario Gomez (not happy about him being in there but that’s another story) and two cards. All normal so far, until I look at the cards. In this order I find Joshua Kimmich, Joachim Löw and Joachim Löw – two of the exact same card. Now I can’t believe I’m objecting to this but I hope they really didn’t screw up here, as happy as I am having an extra Jogi card all I can think about whether or not one is missing now. And of course I have to wait until the 24th to find out just who if anyone is missing, it’s not very Germanic of them that’s for sure. I won’t be losing any sleep over it, but only because I don’t expect to get any tonight anyway. Right now I’m watching Epic, which is ironic given that one of the main themes is balance. I’m watching it because I love Christoph Waltz as Mandrake, it’s something safe and familiar, something I know the words to. Mandrake is sick of balance and of the green, the good guys. I know the feeling, it would be easier to just let the dark side take over. But I can’t write about that now, no bad or depressing stuff on a Jogi day.

At least I didn’t miss seeing Hansi tonight, though it would have been better if he had looked a little happier. But then today wasn’t a very happy day for him and Hoffenheim, for tonight marked the end of their European campaign and they couldn’t even go out in style and win their last game.

Hansi Flick at Hofffenheim v Ludogorets 2017/18

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

Advent Calendar Day 8: The Two Lukas’s, Two More Books & The Sweetest Story Ever

Behind door number 8 in the Freiburg calendar was right winger (and occasional striker and right-back when needs be) Mike Frantz. In the DFB one there was a most amusing coincidence, behind the door with Lukas Podolski’s face on it was indeed the card of Lukas Podolski. A fact made even more amusing because in the Dortmund calendar was Polish defender Lukasz Piszczek. A situation made even funnier because of course Podolski was also born in Poland but he grew up in and chose to play for Germany:

Lukas Podolski - DFB card 2015-16 1 Lukas Podolski - DFB card 2015-16 2 Lukas Pisczezk - Dortmund advent calendarAs well as having two of Lukas I also have two more books to add to my collection. This was not entirely planned, just yesterday I was writing about how I think I have too many books but that didn’t stop me from picking up these two. One about ancient Greece and the other about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It’s technically three if you count the one I got in the post but I don’t count that one. For two reasons, firstly I didn’t know it would arrive today and secondly it’s been on my wishlist for over a year. The book in question being Berlin Noir, consisting of three Philip Kerr novels, March Violets, The Pale Criminal and German Requiem. I don’t know whether or not I’ll find time to read it between now and Christmas but regardless I had to buy it now. I felt like I’d just keep putting it off. I’m meant to be reading The Man from Berlin but I’m not making much headway with it. I’m not sure if it’s the book or if it’s me. A few days ago I finished reading Savage Continent and it was a very intense read. Maybe I need to take a break before starting on another book, especially one that touches on such dark themes. I would say I should read something lighthearted but I’m not sure I could find something that fits that description.

This is exactly how my collection got like this. You stop off at the bookshop just to see if they have something you’ve been looking for or to see what’s new in stock. You do so full well knowing that as long as you have cash in your pocket you’ll find it impossible to leave without buying something. Truth is if I hadn’t bought those boxes of stickers last week  I could have bought six or seven books today, and I still wouldn’t be completely satisfied. There’s always something else to read, something else to learn about. I suppose in a way that’s a good thing, that I still have some enthusiasm for something.

Right now I feel guilty because I’m not getting a lot of reading done and it’s not because I’m spending too much time watching football or playing Playstation, though I will admit the former does take up a lot of time. But it’s not the main thing coming between me and my reading time, because I find it easy to switch off from football, to not think about it for a little while. Or at least if I am thinking about it then it’s not dominating my mind in quite the same way as the real reason. Which is that for the most part I’m too wrapped up in my own adventures to be following someone else’s. This is part of the reason I have little interest in reading fiction right now, even when the book in question has Nazis in it like The Man from Berlin does.

I’m not sure what if anything I should do about this state of affairs, whether or not I should simply allow it to continue like this or try to change it somehow. I’m not sure that forcing myself into reading is a good idea. But then equally I’m not happy with reading just three books a month. I think that’s part of the problem, that I’m trying to quantify this, that I think it matters how much I read. Surely what you read is just as important as how many books you get through. I’m a little frustrated I guess that I no longer get through at least two books a week. But I’m being harsh on myself, I wasn’t writing anything back then and had a lot more free time. So it’s not really comparing like for like.

When it comes to obsessions I’m not sure what’s best, whether or not one should be reined in, to attempt to create some semblance of balance. If it’s a good thing for one thing to be dominating so much. I’m not sure if I have much if any choice in the matter. There’s an interesting exchange on related matters from the film The Prestige that I like to quote:

Angier: “Haven’t you followed your obsessions?”

Tesla: “Yes, for too long. I am their slave and one day they will choose to destroy me.”

That used to freak me out, it doesn’t anymore. Because now I know the pattern. I know that at the end of every special interest or obsession I kind of self destruct. It’s just how things go. There’s no point wondering what things would be like if I didn’t get so obsessed and focused on one topic to the complete exclusion of everything else because then I wouldn’t be me. I follow my obsessions partly because I want to and partly because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know who and what I’m supposed to be. I have some idea what other people want from me, I know what they want me to be. And I know I can’t live up to their expectations, I can’t be what they want me to be.

Not because I don’t want to but because I really can’t. The two conversations I had today in relation to the story referred to in the title is a perfect example of this.  The story originates from my dislike of the new Champions League album, I decided to turn my rants about it into a Jogi adventure. It’s not just about the sticker album, it’s about lots of different things changing and about him missing Hansi. It also has little Matze in it which means there are some sweet moments. It’s these moments which were the focus of the conversation because such things aren’t like me at all. For one thing everyone is of the impression that I’m not particularly fond of kids, which I have to admit is sort of true.

Both people who read it liked the story and both came to similar conclusions, firstly that it’s not at all like me and secondly that it’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever written for Jogi and Hansi. This kind of sweetness and sensitivity is not particularly evident in real life so when people read these kind of stories they are seeing a side to me they didn’t even know existed. And what frustrates some of them is that it doesn’t seem to transfer to real life. That whilst writing such things has caused me to become more aware of feelings and in some ways to better understand my own, it’s not had any effect on my ability to express them or to demonstrate any kind of attachment to some of the people in question. I understand that it hurts their feelings in a way. I get that it hurts them to think that I have more of an emotional attachment to my football team than I do them. That I can talk all day long about how much I love Jogi, Hansi, Manuel, Matze or any of my other favourite players but I can’t express or show in the way they’d like such feelings for real people. I don’t have a simple answer for them or really any kind of answer at all. Actually I’m not even sure what my point is. Maybe my point is that I know I can’t provide that kind of emotional fulfillment for another person and that I don’t expect them to provide it for me, not that I’d be capable of receiving it anyway. That I’m well aware I have to seek it elsewhere, hence why I have such a great attachment to my characters. I don’t know, maybe this is just more random ramblings on the subject or maybe I’m actually making some sense for once.

To completely change the subject today went about as good as it could have gone. Especially considering I only got three hours of sleep last night. In spite of that I got up just in time to record the Christoph Waltz film I wanted, though I hadn’t meant to watch quite so much of it. I was meant to be getting to ready to leave but there was something oddly alluring about him in this particular film. I’ve not been a fan of his post Django stuff so far but I’m finding his older German roles to be quite interesting. It was however I have to say a slightly surreal experience, seeing Christoph as Father Christmas. One good point about the film is that whilst he was his usual slightly sinister self I didn’t detect a trace of Hans Landa which I so often find in his later characters:

I think that lack of sleep played a part in how the rest of the day went, as did the fact I’ve not been spending a lot of time outside in recent weeks. All day long I’ve been on edge, feeling like I’m being watched and jumping at the slightest noise. Hearing people laughing has been one of the things that’s set me on edge today. I don’t know why, nothing has happened lately. So it’s most likely just the lack of sleep and not having spent much time outside. Also a source of anxiety was my worry that the person I was meeting would not show up. I had no rational reason to think this but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. To the point where I wished I’d stayed home and watched Gladbach’s game instead. This is what I hate about being so anxious, it makes people think I don’t trust them. That I don’t trust them to show up, or not to be too late, or to believe them when they are telling me something. Except it’s not me, I’m not choosing to be this way. I don’t like it either.

Now it’s all over and done with and I’m glad I didn’t stay in tonight. I’m happy I got to give them their presents and that they’re happy with them. I’m happy they like the books, more importantly I’m pleased they liked the card I made. But then how could they not when it had these two pictures on the front. I think this picture of Jogi may just be the sweetest picture of him in existence:

joachim-lc3b6w-e28093-sco-deu-press-conference-7 hansi-flick-dfb-interview-06-08-2015-13

I saw two films today, The Night Before and then Black Mass. The first was not so good though I did enjoy seeing Michael Shannon in it and he had a bigger part than I anticipated. It’s always fun to see him get to be something other than the crazy bad guy. He may have been a little off here but he wasn’t crazy and he most definitely wasn’t a bad guy, he was an angel in fact complete with wings. I just don’t think the humor of the film appealed to me. I get that it was just meant to be a lighthearted Christmas film, but I just found it too juvenile for my tastes. I also think it dragged a little and that some aspects of the plot didn’t really fit the tone of it. Or maybe it was just that they were less engaging than the other characters. For example I didn’t think much of Issac and Betsy’s parenting worries, I just didn’t like a lot of their scenes for some reason. Like I said I’m not sure it was my kind of film to begin with. Michael Shannon on the other hand as their old science teacher Mr Green, well to riff on a Dude quote a little, he really tied the film together. He was my main reason for seeing the film and he did not disappoint.

Black Mass did also not majorly disappoint and neither did Johnny Depp surprisingly. The film tells the story of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger who became an FBI informant. Crime and mobster films like this are dime  a dozen but this one is worth seeing if not just for Depp’s performance as the truly terrifying Whitey Bulger. It’s not a great film but it’s still worth watching. The acting was great but the plot is a little lacking. I feel like they could have got more story into the two hour running time, perhaps show a little more detail as to how he rose to power. In fact a little more detail and focus in general would have been welcomed.

Same as always after such an evening I find myself unable to sleep. This time however it’s also part of a bigger problem, I’m unable to shake the problem I’m having with sleeping at nighttime. I can’t manage more than two or three nights in a row. It’s been almost a month now since the incident which caused all this happened and it’s showing no signs of changing. I thought the league resuming and getting back into the usual routine would fix it but it hasn’t had the effect I hoped it would. It’s been made worse by the nightmare I had two weeks ago involving being chased by rifle-wielding terrorists. I still don’t really understand it or, it makes no sense to me why I should react this way or have such trouble dealing with it. I mean I wasn’t there, I wasn’t in any danger, the team was. In fact I wasn’t even in the same country as them. It makes no sense at all and I have no idea how I’m meant to handle it, if I’m supposed to do anything or if I should just wait it out. How can I do anything when I don’t even understand what it is?

The Spectre Affair

Mission accomplished in one sense, I did everything I was supposed to do yesterday. Everything but one small but very important thing, I didn’t get any sleep yesterday. Regardless I still went anyway, maybe it wasn’t the best choice. I think getting some sleep and then getting up in time for Bayern’s Champions League game would have been a better choice, but it’s not the way I went.

I saw the film, had the much dreaded conversation, saw the game, recorded two of my three copies and got the all important Jogi video, though sadly no interview to go with it.

It’s strange, when I got interested in Christoph Waltz a few years ago I was fixated on the idea that he had to play a Bond villain, he simply had to. It’s the kind of part he’s born to play. And now he has, and I no longer care. The film was just ok, not as bad as the previous two but nowhere as near as good as Casino Royale. I feel like I should go and see it again to see if it grows on me the second time round but I don’t know if I can sit through it again. How things change, if I still liked Christoph Waltz I would have gone to see it on the day it came out and would most likely have seen it three times already. These days I’m lucky to get to see a film twice, let alone see any film more than ten times, which I did for both Django Unchained and Rush.

Whether or not still going yesterday was a wise choice or not I don’t know, but I am up and dressed before 9:00am today. Which in light of recent events is quite impressive. Shame then it’s not my doing, getting up today at this hour was not optional. It’s not my schedule but one which has been imposed upon me for the day. That may be true, but I’m still glad at being awake. Yesterday was a long day, so I do feel terrible, but then if I had done it my way then that would still be true.

One thing I do regret is that being somewhat sleep deprived yesterday I remember very little of the conversation. I know what we talked about roughly but not the details. More importantly I’m not at all sure of what I said or what the point of it was. But then would that be any clearer even if I had gotten some sleep? Because I’m not sure any of this makes sense. They finally got what they did wrong and why I reacted the way I did. And I understand precisely what hurt their feelings. In addition they actually have an idea of what I’m thinking. Problem is I didn’t tell them,  Jogi did. That is he told Hansi in a story which they read. After reading that they said all of this finally makes some sense to them. Thanks to what they read they finally know that yes I do have feelings, I just can’t express them. Understanding all of this means they are no longer feel quite so pushed out by my favourite Germans. Because they finally get that it’s not a question of loving them more. It’s simply a question of being able to show your feelings, of being able to express them. And that they are predictable in a way real people can never be. Because of that they are safe and don’t terrify me in the same way real people do. It’s not that I don’t trust him, I don’t trust anyone. Because I’m very aware of the fact that people don’t always say what they mean and that people often say one thing but are really thinking another.

I’m also very aware that it’s difficult for me to form an idea as to what someone may be thinking. That my perspective is to put it simply, often wrong. It’s not just that I don’t trust other people, I can’t even trust myself. With my stories there’s none of this, in them there’s only confusion if I want there to be. And in them Hansi always knows what to do and say.

So, great, everybody understands other. But what difference does that make? That doesn’t solve the problem. Our requirements aren’t compatible, the problems still remain. All we’ve done is understand the theory side of things better, we’ve gone no way to solving the practical side of things. Because there’s no way to do that. They’re the kind of person who is very much in touch with their feelings, they’re a very tactile kind of person. So they need someone who can comfort them, both emotionally and physically. I can’t do either of those things.

More to the point they want things to get back to normal. For our friendship to resume. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. When thinking of yesterday my thoughts went as far as staying awake for Bayern’s game last night and getting to see Dortmund’s today. I’d given no thought whatsoever to next week or the one after it. I certainly hadn’t figured on other people fitting in anywhere. Next week is the international break. Two Germany games, the new shirt which is being released in time for then and my birthday. But I’m still not that excited about it. Perhaps that will change when the day actually comes.

To get back to the subject of problem solving, there is another problem that has gone unsolved. That of differing interests. They don’t like any of what I’m currently interested in. Which is a problem because I can think of little else. They want to go back to hanging out, what am I meant to do, just not talk about any of it? So then what do we talk about?

I’m trying hard not to obsess over this, that won’t help. It’s doing that which got me into trouble in the other situation. Overthinking things like that is dangerous. For the moment I should focus on getting everything straight again, on getting a good night’s sleep, and trying once more to start getting up before lunch time every day. There’s too much in flux at the moment to get into any kind of routine. One day at a time. I don’t need to rush into any decisions, not when I have no idea what’s going on. I need to catch up on some sleep. Some quiet time would be helpful.  Having gadget free day is most likely over ambitious, maybe just one night. I could read before I go to sleep, like I used to do. A good old fashioned book instead of a Jogi and Hansi adventure on my tablet.

Milk with the Colonel

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

It goes without saying who would be at the top of my list of companions. All my favourite Germans, Jogi, Hansi, the current national squad and a few recently retired players like Miroslav Klose, Per Mertesacker and Philipp Lahm. Plus a few Swiss and Austrians. Not forgetting Christian Streich of course.

But none of them would be the main guest of honour, the person the title refers to, Colonel Hans Landa. To be clear I mean Landa and not Christoph Waltz. The reason being that Christoph Waltz does not like milk so I could not share a glass with him. Inviting Landa to dinner, indeed the very last dinner does not signal any approval of his beliefs, or to be more precise his pretended beliefs for he is as the end of the film proves, very flexible with his ideology and beliefs. I know he’s a fictional character, but the prompt didn’t specify that the people had to be real, so my last dinner, my rules.

If at this last dinner you get to drink a glass of milk with Landa then you have to have Dr. King Schultz there as well, it would be undeniably cool to drink a beer with him. In addition, if you’re having two QT characters there, then the man himself should make an appearance, if not just to share a glass of milk with him too.

As for the food, something of a mixture, Bratwurst and mustard of course. And spaghetti and meatballs and pizza too. Apparently spaghetti is a favourite of Jogi Löw’s. There’s a restaurant I read about in his home town that has on the menu a spaghetti recipe named after him. It would be on the menu whether he liked it or not, spaghetti and German-Swedish meatballs is a personal favourite of mine, at least it is when the meatballs don’t come from Hannover. For desert chocolate cake and white sauce, simply unbeatable.

I read somewhere online once that Hansi Flick likes to cook, in fact it’s the only thing I’ve ever read about his hobbies at all, on his Hoffenheim card under hobbies it simply says “football.” Very helpful Hansi, he’s more secretive than Jogi is it seems. Back to the point, he would be the chef. And Thomas Müller can get out his dress once more and he can be the waitress.

The setting, I’m thinking you’d need a decent sized hall to get all those people in. How about a nice old Germanic castle, one that is still intact preferably. I think we can skip the traditional dress codes though, I wouldn’t wanted to be cheated of Jogi and Hansi in their always perfect suits. I can picture it now, a table on a platform looking down on the rest of the room, the guests of honour would sit there, Jogi and Hansi at the center of course. With the players and everyone else seated at the tables below.

Conversation wise, football and then more football I would suppose. Plus I could finally get an answer to all of my questions, not least my sticker related ones. So many moments that I would love to get some insight on. To name one in particular, I would really like to know what if anything he was thinking when he kept going on at the fourth official in the Austria game in 2008 and what made him lay a hand on him. And to know what the hell they were talking about during one of my all time favourite moments from the 2014 World Cup.

Jogi_und_HansiI wonder if some people may question or wonder about why it is that there are no people in my immediate reality that are part of this picture. Like I said earlier, my last dinner, my rules. It’s not like there aren’t any people in real life that I like, I’m just not sure I would want to spend my last meal with them. Though some of the people I know would love to meet some of the people on my list, which means they should really be invited anyway. For example, I know someone who would trade just about anything to sit next to Manuel Neuer for a while regardless of the circumstances. I still don’t think I’d invite them, I think I’d like to keep my Germans to myself, all of them.

On the subject of things I like, I like very much that this  is post number 477. My favourite and now very Germanic number. I know it held no luck for Freiburg, but I can’t stop liking it, seven will always be special. It’s funny talking about how special seven is when the GIF above is from that very game, the Brazil one.

2. Bundesliga count-down- 48 days to go.

What grows in the Darkness belongs to the Darkness


Tell us about times in which you linger — when you don’t want an event, or a day to end. What is it you love about these times? Why do you wish you could linger forever?

The line in the title is one of Mandrake’s (voiced by Christoph Waltz) lines in the film Epic. I like that film very much, enough to go and see it at the cinema at least six times, several of those in 3D even though it gives me a headache.  I picked that line because it’s the cinema that is one of the places that I like to linger at. When you’re watching a really good film or even just an average film that has someone you like a great deal in it and you never want it to end. The cinema is perfect, the big screen, popcorn, the dark and no-one expects you to talk. It’s the only place I’m fully immersed in something and thus have no opportunity to think about football. Well not much anyway, sometimes it’s really not my fault. Like for example when I went to see In Order of Disappearance and there was a Serbian character called Miroslav. At the time I was bidding on a coin of Miroslav Klose and I had just bought a Serbian sticker of Jogi Löw. To make it worse Bruno Ganz played Miroslav’s father, the connection there being the Hitler Parody videos of which there are several world cup related ones.

I say that no-one expects you to talk, that’s not strictly true. In the past other people were constantly reminding me not to talk at the cinema, not to tell them every little reference I thought I’d spotted right there and then. Fair enough, they didn’t want me disturbing other people, I get that now. So why then do they do the same thing, except instead of reference spotting they want to tell me how cute Matthias or Daniel looks. How is that not the same thing? You can’t teach me the social rules of a particular space and then disregard them yourself. I like knowing that I’m not expected to talk there, it’s the only place I can be around other people and feel something close to being comfortable around them. For one thing because it’s dark, they can’t see you being “weird,” if they can’t see your tics and stims then they can’t comment on them or stare at you. I think that part may have turned into more of a rant than I intended.

But none of that is the real reason I like to linger at the cinema, the real reason is a very nerdy one, I like to stay and watch the end credits, not just because I like to listen to the music or because there’s usually an actor’s name I want to look out for, no I like to count Germans, Austrians and Danes and any other nationality I happen to be partial to at that moment. It must be a fun thing to do because I’ve gotten NTs in on the act sometimes. Though their enthusiasm does not extend to partaking in such activities more than once, that is if it’s a film that I’ve already seen and I’m seeing it for the second (or fifth) time, they expect me to leave without doing this, no chance of that. Then it’s all the more fun for me because I know what is coming and that just makes it even better.

Another time I like to linger is when you come to the end of a really good book, when I get to the last few pages I try and usually fail to read slower. I don’t want to let go of it, not just yet, you can’t bear the thought of not seeing the characters anymore. I know you can re-read it, but it’s the not the same, it’s never the same as the first time. Sometimes knowing what’s coming makes something better and sometimes it completely ruins it.

I do have a football and a Jogi and Hansi related answer too. Not like I’d leave them out.  When you’ve had a really good dream, one you just don’t want to wake up from. No matter who it was that was there,  whether it be Jogi, Hansi, Roman (Bürki or Weidenfeller) or Manuel. You try to stay asleep as long as possible, to put off getting up, so you can bask in the feelings that the dream created just a little longer, so you can hold on to the memory of their presence for just a few seconds more.

And now moving from the darkness to the light, part of me wishes I could stay in the summer forever, more specifically last summer. I know if that were to occur it would mean Germany would never win their fourth world cup, but on the flip side it would mean Hansi would never leave.

I also wish the football season would not come to an end as it does this weekend, I wish it could go on forever, not because it’s been  great season for us, it really hasn’t. Though there is a silver lining in the presence of Roman Bürki, he’s certainly proved himself, now no-one cares about the guy he replaced, Oliver, Oliver who? He’s just a distant memory now, as he should be, Roman has been one of the best keepers in the league this season.

Normally I would say Auf Wiedersehen….

Silver Screen

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

but since what Auf Wiedersehen actually means is until I see you again and I have no wish to see you again, to you sir I say goodbye.

Django Unchained is not my favourite film right now but that is my favourite line from it. I don’t have a favourite film right now, which is very weird for me. It took me almost fifteen minutes to come up with something which is even weirder. But once I started thinking about Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds I couldn’t stop quoting them, chunks of dialogue, word for word. Damn Tarantino and his über-quoteable dialogue. The source of my annoyance is that almost all of those quotes are lines of Christoph Waltz, whom I have no wish to see again as a special interest, hence the reason for the quote I settled on. Not just him but that type of special interest, that focus on one person.

I know Joachim Löw as a special interest is not perfect but at least I’m not just focused on him and at least it’s a little bit closer to reality than the CW one was. Though only a little bit closer, it seems I’m not actually ready to step into the real world yet. I keep trying to make plans to save for a trip to Germany and yet I keep wanting to spend my money on football stickers, trading cards and football shirts. I don’t get it, don’t I want to go to Freiburg and see the Schwarzwaldstadion in person and to go to Dortmund to see Signal Iduna Park? Or to see a Germany game live in person?

The only drawback from my interest in Joachim Löw is the fact that I now like Hans-Dieter Flick equally as much as him. A most troublesome fact given that he’s not his assistant anymore. I don’t know why but it’s like I just got that, like my brain has only just registered that fact. Schneider has been there for I think three games now, and only just now did I realise that he’s going to be there for the foreseeable future. At least I have plenty of old games to watch but to quote Monk that’s “a blessing and a curse.” A blessing for obvious reasons and a curse because it just reminds me that there will never be anymore of Jogi und Hansi.

It’s a shame it said from a film and not from a TV show, if it had been TV I would have picked the line from Columbo, “just one more thing.” A line which is also used a lot in many guises by one of my favourite detective characters, Robert Goren. The reason I would have picked that is that there’s always just one more thing with me. Always just one more thing I must have for my collection, this time being a Karlsruher SC card. Or like now for example, I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago, but I’m not, I’m here writing this because as Dr Schultz said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. I may not be the film nut I was a year ago, but traces still remain it seems. Some things really do die hard.

My first choice was a line from Inglourious Basterds that isn’t actually in the film, it’s the result of a mistake by a journalist from Sight and Sound. When Hans Landa says “I love rumors” they thought he said “I love numbers.” A line which is better than the real one, that is so funny in a very dark way, I appreciate that it may be too dark for most people, the Jew hunter saying that he loves numbers, but I got a kick out of that mistake, in fact I like their mistake better than the real line.

Another possible choice was a line from Reservior Dogs: “alright boys let’s get to work.” After coming up with that I pictured Jogi, Hansi and some of the team dressed up in the suits from the film and walking out onto the pitch like the opening credits, but other than that I had absolutely nothing to write about, so that got nixed.

I also thought about chosing a quote from The Miracle of Bern, maybe “Tor, Tor, Tor, ein Tor für Deutschland” or “Toni, du bist ein Fussball Got” but I decided against it, too obvious. Then I thought of Rush, but most of my favourite Niki Lauda moments are ones that don’t involve dialogue, like his reaction after driving a Ferrari for the first time. That would make a good GIF though, I think I’ll add that to my list.

On the subject of GIFs I’ve been having plenty of fun making GIFs of Jogi, like these:


Jogi und Hansi 2

JogiJogi 1Jogi 2

Euro 2012 sticker album/The week of Hansi

The latest addition to my collection, a special hardback Germany exclusive Euro 2012 sticker album, complete with a special section at the back for Manuel Neuer:


To go with it I also got 150 new and un-opened packets of stickers plus 10 packets of the special Manuel Neuer stickers. Fun, fun, fun. Repetitive activity galore, a sure-fire way to make an Aspie happy. Opening all those packets of stickers and then the hours of fun to be had perfectly lining them up in the book. I can’t wait to get more. I’ve opened about 40 packets so far and already had some great finds:

Deutschland - EM 2012 sticker Deutschland 2 - EM 2012 sticker

Deutschland 3 - EM 2012 sticker Toni Kroos - EM 2012 sticker

Philipp Lahm - EM 2012 sticker Lukas Podolski - EM 2012 sticker

Mesut Özil - EM 2012 sticker Mats Hummels - EM 2012 sticker

Danmark - EM 2012 sticker Danmark 1992 - EM 2012 sticker






Robert Lewandowski - EM 2012 stickerWojciech Szczesny - EM 2012 sticker

Sverige - EM 2012 sticker Zlatan Ibrahimovic - EM 2012 sticker

Along with my sticker collection, my Hansi collection is coming along nicely, I now possess all of the DFB Autogrammkarten, both Jogi and Hansi. I don’t have any of Oliver yet, but he’ll have to wait. At the moment I’m working on getting a Köln card of Hansi and a very special box of cards from the DFB fanshop. I’m going to be counting down the days until I can buy them, I can’t stop checking the site, I’m so worried they’ll all sell out. I know you can buy the cards individually on eBay but what I really want is the box they come in. Another interesting addition to my collection will be  Hansi Flick rain jacket, I can’t believe I got to type that. Well, I have a Jogi rain jacket, so why not a Hansi one too? If I play my cards right I may also fulfill my ambition of owning a Jogi Löw action figure, thought not a Hansi Flick one. I wonder if you can get those kind of things custom made? The possibilties if you could, why stop with Hansi, why not Roman too. And Robert Lewandowski, Mathias Ginter and maybe Max Kruse.

All week-long I’ve been thinking about Hansi, I think he may be becoming a special interest in his own right, independent of Jogi. A most interesting development.

I started watching my collection of Germany games today, starting right back at the beginning with Jogi’s first competitive game in charge, a 1-0 victory against Ireland. An interesting bit of trivia I learnt from the game, Jogi’s first game for Stuttgart was a friendly against Liverpool and in that friendly he collided with the goalkeeper Ray Clemence and broke his leg. According to the commentator anyway, given that he also said that Jogi started his professional career with Stuttgart I don’t exactly trust any other random trivia he decided to share because of course he didn’t, he played for Freiburg for a season first, but he couldn’t be wrong about a thing like that, could he? It would make perfect sense if it were true, given that he only played four games for Stuttgart, the story fits in that sense. I know a Liverpool fan in real life, next time I get to see them, I’ll be sure to interrogate them for any and all details they recall about the game.

I also watched San Marino v Germany, a 0-13 victory, four of those goals were scored by Lukas Podolski and one of them was almost scored by Jens Lehman. Germany got awarded a penalty in the last minute of regulation time, Lehman was going to take it but for some reason he didn’t, shame it would have been fun. Was it sportmanship as the commentator suggested, or a case of not wanting the potential embarassement of missing a penalty against someone like San Marino?

I was going to spend Saturday catching up on my ever-growing list of films, one of which is Big Eyes. Christoph Waltz doing his usual villain act, or screen capping and making videos of Jogi and Hansi, I think Jogi and Hansi win on this count. I’m not watching nearly as many films as last year or the year before, at home or at the cinema. Last year I saw eight films at the cinema in January, so far this year I’ve only seen one and am likely to see at the most four more. It’s probably not a good thing that I’ve been spending so much time inside and am showing little inclination to go outside, especially since spending more time outside is on my to do list this year. Obsessions are funny that way, I have an obsession that’s rooted in reality and yet instead of making me spend more time in the real world, it’s having the opposite effect. Last year when I had a non-reality based obsession, it was the other way around. How am I supposed to actually go somewhere, or want to go somewhere, such as Freiburg to see an actual live match when I keep getting waylaid by stickers, trading cards, Germany shirts and now rain jackets. Though with the last one it’s not so bad, I mean it’s not like there’ll be anymore, why would you need more than two of them? Of course the answer to that is, when you see one that’s Jogi/Hansi/Germany related and you cook up some reason why you just have to have it.

What is it with Aspies and collections? What’s worse being addicted to video games or being addicted to collecting things?

With video games you end up with a virtual collection of things that are essentially meaningless, and if you’re into collecting special editions of games, you end up with a lot of crap in real life as well. That’s one thing I don’t regret, getting rid of all my special editions. Yes, they looked nice on the shelf, but when I sorted them out to sell them I realised that I hadn’t even read the books that came with the Assassin’s Creed games, nor the graphic novels that came with some of the others. I just like to collect things. Most of my collections end up being rendered useless at some point anyway, with real or virtual. The stupid thing is, special exceptions aside like the special editions of the games, I can’t get rid of anything. I still have all of my Christoph Waltz stuff, and most of my Thomas Kretschmann stuff too. I keep thinking about what Bobby said in the pilot of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, “diamonds don’t keep you warm at night.” My collection may not do that, but I think it makes me happy, or at least it makes me think I am. I don’t know, when I’m wrapped up in an obsession, I don’t really care about any of that stuff which is the main attraction I suppose. To be so focused on one thing that nothing else matters. Question is, do I care about the downsides?

Random tangent, not that any of the above wasn’t a series of tangents, I somehow ended up reading about ADHD the other day for reasons I can no longer recall. It’s been mentioned to me before, I dismissed it, what do I need another “label” for? Especially when everything can be explained by Aspergers. It came to me just now because earlier I was showing someone a video of Jürgen Klopp (luckily on the DVD of the San Marino game the half-time show was included) and they said that he sounded just like me, that is he seems to be able to talk and talk without seemingly drawing a breath. I dismissed any talk of ADHD because I was thinking of it in terms of physical hyperactivity only. Looking around the chaos that is my belongings (though not my Germany stuff, that is of course in perfect order) and the half-finished and barely started projects that are lying around, the reckless and yet calculated way in which I deal with the money available to me, the way in which I flit from one obsession to the next, the fact that I constantly feel like I’m a bundle of nervous energy, and of course the rapid fire speech that according to other people, tires them out just listening to it. Putting all that together with my absolutely pathetic short-term memory and yet excellent long-term memory, the person who suggested it may have been on to something.

To finish with Germany and Jogi, CW was in a TV show in the early nineties called The Gravy Train. It’s a well written political satire set within what is now the European Union, I think it was called the EEC then, anyway that’s not so important. The point is, in the first episode a girl takes him out for a drink and he utters the hilarious line: “I like this pub, it could be part of Germany.” The girl tells him to be careful and not to say things like that. It’s relevant here for two reasons, the first is that CW’s character is named Hans-Joachim (yes really) and the second is that Jogi took over another shelf. I would make the obvious joke but given the reaction to Hansi’s steel helmets remark a few years ago, and the fact that I was told in real life to be careful who I told such jokes to, I won’t repeat it here.

Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France

That was apparently what Tarantino wanted as the title of Inglourious Basterds, as much as I like the actual title with its characteristic Tarantino-esque misspelling, I really like that and wish they had kept it. I was also tempted to title this post “I love numbers” which isn’t actually a line from the film, it’s a comic mishearing by a critic (from Sight and Sound I think). They thought that’s what Landa had said when he uttered one of his best lines (I know all of his lines are his best lines, but it’s my favourite in particular) “I love rumours.” Though for obvious reasons it would have been, in a very dark way hilarious, if that’s what the Jew hunter had said.

Inglourious Basterds delivers upon what if offers on the poster, an uproarious, inglourious thrill ride of vengeance. It’s enjoyable for film buffs and casual fans alike, if you get the references it just adds to the fun and if you don’t it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

Some people have voiced the opinion that whilst the first twenty minutes or so is undeniably sheer genius, that the film loses its way later on, in particular what QT refers to as the “French film” segment being criticised for its slowness compared to the rest of the film. I don’t think so; my view on it can be summed up with a quote from The Wire: “and all the pieces matter.” I think it all fits together perfectly; each and every segment is required. The film is pretty long, two hours and thirty-two minutes (including in the credits) and yet I couldn’t imagine a single thing that could be cut or that would need to be.

Nor do I think that the film suffers when Landa is not on-screen, despite my considerable appreciation for the character, it’s almost a relief when he’s not on screen for the simple reason that the scenes he is in are so fraught with tension that it’s a relief not to see him for a while. The relative calmness of the French section counteracts the intensity of the rest of the film nicely I think.

I honestly don’t have a single thing to criticise, there isn’t anything I think could have been done better or improved in any way. From a writing perspective, I think it may be the best thing QT will ever do and maybe from a directorial standpoint as well. The casting was simply unbeatable, I obviously hugely appreciate the fact that you have Germans playing Germans; in fact my favourite thing about the film is that the correct languages are spoken. I also like how speaking or not speaking a particular language, or rather speaking it correctly is an important part of the story. On this note my favourite scene is the one with the solider in the bar after Hicox and the two Basterds have been shot. The exchange goes something like this:

Aldo: What are you?
Werner: I’m a German you idiot.
Aldo: You speak pretty good English for a German.
Werner: I agree.

To me, that was QT mocking all of the films that have had English speaking actors play Nazis over the years.

Overall, the film is so perfect it really is impossible to pick a favourite scene. If I were to list my favourite scenes I would just ending up describing the film from beginning to end. Nor could really I pick a favourite character, Landa I obviously like, but I equally like Wilhelm Wicki, Lt. Aldo, Frederick Zoller and there are many I like amongst the characters who don’t have a great deal of screen time as well such as Richard Sammel as Seargent Werner Rachtman, Christian Berkel as the bartender and Denis Ménochet as the farmer in the very first scene. And not forgetting the truly disturbingly perfect Sylvester Groth as Joseph Goebbels. Nevetheless Landa is the one I have written pages and pages about, in fact I have so many notes on him and my interpretation of his character that I think it’s best to give him a post of his own so that he doesn’t steal this post like he stole the film.

The film ends with the words “you know, I think this may be my masterpiece”. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. He may have won the Oscar for best original screenplay for Django Unchained but in my mind, he should have won it for this. Whilst both films have great quotable dialogue, Django obviously having the advantage given that almost all of the film is in English, for me it’s Inglourious Basterds that is better overall and that showcases Tarantino’s talents as a writer.

The day of Roman

Three films at the cinema and all I can think of is Roman. Well not entirely, during the second film my mind turned to Die Mannschaft, the documentary because in Christoph Waltz’s office was a framed shirt of Franz Beckanbauer so that’s not really my fault. Outside before the film, after getting my Düsseldorf burger, I thought I heard someone say Weidenfeller but given that I’ve only had two hours sleep, maybe what I hear cannot be trusted.

The reason I’m declaring this the day of Roman is undeniable though, in my fifth packet of Champions League stickers I got exactly what I wanted, a double of Roman.

And I can’t get that video out of my head, finally something to compete with Gimme Hope Joachim.

The first film, I’d seen before so I knew it was good, What We Do in the Shadows. Still funny the second time around.

The second Horrible Bosses 2, Christoph Waltz I really do not like you right now, he’s the reason I went to see it and I was doubly disappointed. First because the film was as terrible as I expected (that’s what passes for humour these days?) and secondly because he was terrible, it was like King Schultz but with a moustache instead of a beard. His speech patterns and everything were pure King Schultz.

The Drop, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that. It was not what I was expecting but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Nice twist towards the end with Tom Hardy’s character but I’m disappointed that there wasn’t more of Mathias Schonearts. One thing I know for sure, Bullhead is a better film.

Excellent conversation as always, I’m glad they liked the new chapters of the Jogi und Hansi Adventures, the next instalment being titled:  Verbotene Liebe – Dressing room adventures.

I know it seems like I don’t care about other people’s opinions, but sometimes and this is one of them, some people’s opinions are important to me. In this case their opinion is of such importance that it’s because of what they think that I’m posting it on here, I was going to before but hesitated, I’m not finding any more excuses, every once in a while you should do something that scares you, take a chance, so that’s what I’m doing.