Things haven’t exactly been good on the writing front (or any other for that matter) so taking on the challenge of posting every day may not be the best thing to do right now. Not least because the challenge is incomplete anyway because for reasons I don’t understand it proved impossible to get a Freiburg calendar. At first that gave me the perfect excuse not to even bother trying doing this, though I didn’t really need an excuse. The same excuse I use for everything else these days probably would have sufficed, that is the excuse of “I can’t be bothered.”
But seeing the contents of the DFB advent calendar I decided I had to at least give it a shot, even more so when behind door number one I got Jogi’s sticker and Manuel Neuer’s card. In place of the Freiburg calendar I had to get something and seeing as how the Bayern one was too expensive and there’s no reason to get a Dortmund one anymore I took the only logical option, I went with Matze and got a Borussia Mönchengladbach one. Though on that count I was to be disappointed because the Gladbach one is not like the Freiburg one at all, there are no cute little faces behind the doors, just wrapped pieces of chocolate. As for Freiburg whilst I may not have them in chocolate form this year I won’t be abandoning them, even though it looks like they are destined to spend Christmas in the relegation places again and relegation itself is looking more and more definite with every passing weekend. It’s not a lot of fun watching them at the moment but I’m not going to abandon them just because of that. I could never envision following another team anyway, so no matter what I wanted I’m with them.
Ever since I got back from London I’ve been saying I’d write a post about the trip and the game, and post pictures of the autographs I was lucky enough to get. Not to forget the pictures I got of Jogi which are even more precious. But like so many other things I just let it slide. It’s not just that I don’t care about anything, it’s that I can’t even pretend I care. So since I got back I’ve pretty much done nothing. Unless you count of course writing extremely depressing stories late at night when I should be asleep, that I have no problem doing. The helpful insight I got from someone on that count was “maybe you’re writing depressing stuff because that’s how you feel.” No really, because I hadn’t worked that out. Just how stupid do people think I am? Anyway that sounds suspiciously like the beginnings of a rant so I’ll stop that there. Point is I haven’t done a whole lot, I’ve kept up with my Jogi videos but it doesn’t feel the same anymore. It feels like I’m just doing it because I don’t know what else to do. Which is pretty much how everything else feels too.
I’ve tried to resist the temptation of simply sleeping all day but it’s not easy, especially when I can’t get a decent amount of sleep at night. So that I don’t get stuck thinking obsessive thoughts I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, that’s probably the only good thing to come out of all this. The fact I’ve started reading like I used to again. I can’t even remember the last time I got through ten books in a month. That was my target for November, to read ten books. Just so I didn’t feel like a complete failure and that I could at least do that.
Though even that has slowed down over the past few days. All of a sudden out of nowhere everything just came to a shuddering halt, reality once more making it’s presence felt and reminding me that life sucks and this is the way things are. Almost like the universe is putting me back in my place, reminding me not to be too happy after all the excitement of the London trip. It doesn’t seem like it at all right now but I had been trying hard not to feel sorry for myself. But the truth is things have been slipping and I can’t ignore it anymore. Stuff is piling up everywhere, both in a physical and a virtual sense. I dare not even look at my main e-mail inbox anymore because from the few times I have been brave enough to take a peek I’ve seen the ever growing piles of increasingly irate messages. I should have known something was really wrong when I stopped opening, sorting and otherwise dealing with my sticker collection. When I don’t care about or have energy for simple repetitive tasks like that then I know I’m really in trouble. But still I keep collecting things because what else would I do? I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s not like I’m going to go outside and make friends or something, there is no real life to be had. It’s the collectibles and the stories or nothing. Maybe if I wait this out they’ll make me feel happy again, like they used to do.
Posted in Autism, Books, Die Mannschaft, Fußball, Germany, Jogi Löw, Manuel Neuer
Tagged Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Depression, Jerome Boateng, Joachim "Jogi" Löw collectibles, Manuel Neuer collectibles
In the case of Germany at the Olympics their silver lining was a literal one, coming home with silver medals rather than gold. I can’t say I’m disappointed because I gave little thought to them reaching the final at all. Just them being at the competition was something of a novelty so I didn’t really have any expectations. Regardless of how I pictured the summer ending I really wish it hadn’t happened that way, Germany losing to Brazil hurts a little but it being Nils Petersen who missed the all important penalty hurts even more. Not that I’m disappointed in him but rather for him, that’s not how you want to end your time in a German shirt. But at least he stepped up and took one, he didn’t shy away from the responsiblity, he never has as far as penalties are concerned. It’s painfully ironic that the same day Freiburg played in the first round of the DFB Pokal and won 4-0 without him, the first goal coming via a penalty which in Petersen’s absence was taken by Vincenzo Grifo. The next time I see him and Matze Ginter together they’ll be on opposite sides, here’s hoping they can avoid losing too badly this time round. Though with how good Dortmund are looking I fear that may not be an option.
Jogi Löw’s words on the matter are the right way to look at it, “You didn’t lose goal but you won silver.” He’s right and it’s a healthy attitude to have but it doesn’t make you feel much better. It takes thinking of all the goals Nils did score to even start doing that. That’s not the penalty I remember when it comes to him, the two he scored against 1.FC Nürnberg will always be the ones in my mind. And as happy as I was to see him in a German shirt these are always the first pictures in my head when I think of him:
On the subject of pictures and silver linings I didn’t have to look to hard to find today’s, with two days to spare my kits arrived from Freiburg. In honour of Petersen being chosen for the Olympic squad I got his name put on the white away one and Grifo on the home one. I’d already decided to have Petersen’s name on there and in fact placed the order before that game, but even if I hadn’t I still would have done so. I’m still happy and proud to wear his name:
I’m almost all ready for the new season now, I’ve got my new kits, the first round of the Pokal has been played and more importantly I’ve seen Freiburg, Bayern and Dortmund’s games. Tomorrow Bayern will play Bremen in the opening game and Jogi Löw will announce his squad for the first international break, including the game against Finland which will be the swansong for both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski. Together they represent the last of the old gurad, the two players in the squad who didn’t get their first cap under Jogi Löw. Today of course an equally important event took place, the group stage draw for the Champions Leage. But before I get to that I have to mention one more thing, one final silver lining to today and that is my newly obtained figurine of Jogi Löw. An addition to my collection which makes me very happy indeed, a good thing really because real life sucks at the moment.
And now to the draw, today may be a total bust but the draw most definitely was not. It’s no less exciting than last year, though exciting as it is I’m not sure whether or not to feel bad for Gladbach or be excited by the possibilties. It’s curious anyway, the fact three out of the four German teams have all been drawn with a Spanish team. Bayern v Atletico should be a lot of fun and I can’t help but think of Bayern winning and getting some sense of vengeance out of it, becuase of Antoine Griezmann. Similiarly I cant’t help but think of Dortmund’s clash with Real Madrid and Sporting in the same way. I don’t want to curse either of them but I cant’t help it. I might have gotten over the summer in the sense I’m not obsessing over it but I’m not completely over it, not yet. I don’t know if you ever do get over it completely. Well at least there’s plenty to look forward to, not least Freiburg being back in the Bundesliga, just two days to go until their first game against Hertha BSC. Or to be more precise two days, 16 hours and 50 minutes until kick-off.
Normally this would be the kind of prompt which is tailor made for me, after all I always have plenty of good dreams to write about. Not lately though, the past few days I’ve had more nightmares than anything else. Even when it has been football related it’s not been good and not involving one of my favourite Germans. The last one I remember involved Jürgen Klopp and getting yelled at by his psychotic friend in a disagreement of some kind about terrorism. The last one before that which I actually remember details of involved among others Andre Schürrle and Julian Draxler. The latter’s presence is especially amusing because I just stocked up on some fan-fiction to read and one of the pairings is him, Matze Ginter and Erik Durm.
The nightmares have involved being chased, accused of betraying people I care about and of abandoning someone. No gunmen or assassins yet, so I suppose that’s something. Nevertheless it hasn’t been any fun these past few days. And thanks to Microsoft my waking hours have almost been as nightmarish as my time asleep. I was determined that this week would get off to a better start than last week. Back then I almost lost all my word files and had to fix a whole set of other technical problems. This week didn’t get off to much of a better start, Windows 10 decided to install itself on my laptop against my will. I’ve spent most of this afternoon trying to fix it. I knew how to fix it, only problem was my laptop kept freezing up which made it a painfully slow process. All of this almost resulted in me missing Frankfurt’s game too, though luckily that didn’t happen. I had to resort to watching it on my old laptop. It’s not perfect but at least I didn’t miss the game. Now peace is restored in the universe, I’ve gone back to Windows 8 and it’s what I’m going to stick with. I’ve been looking at new laptops, not for now but for later in the year. I’m going to have pay a little extra to avoid having one which comes with Windows 10 but it’ll be worth it. In fact it’s worth it just for the principle. Your program must really suck if the only way you can get people to take it is tricking them into doing so.
As for the game it hasn’t been one of those which you absolutely have to watch, it’s been nothing of the sort. But Eintracht Frankfurt got their goal, their Bundesliga status is secure and 1.FCN won’t be joining Freiburg and Leipzig in the top flight. I’m relieved, not least because had Frankfurt lost then Niko Kovac would be out of a job. I don’t know if he’s going to stay but at least there’s a chance now. It’s great, now Freiburg get to visit Frankfurt once again. Maybe Petersen can put another couple of goals past them to go with his hat-trick from the previous season.
I’m done being angry about this afternoon’s events, I meant it when I said I want this week to get off to a better start. I’m not going to hit anything again, not my keyboard and not my laptop. I’m going to do the best I can to straighten things out sleep wise for the rest of the week. Being wound up is not going to help with that. Letting things go is not the easy for me but it’s what needs to be done. One day does not have to ruin the rest of the week. And this week is going to be fun, the team meet up tomorrow for the international break. Matze’s not in the squad but at least all my other favourite players are. Today has been far from a dream but I got something in the post which is most definitely dreamy:
I haven’t written anything for the past few days, I’ve had ideas but every time I actually sit down to get started nothing happens. I decided to write something today because I’m worried I might get out of the habit. Taking a break from something is not necessarily a bad thing but with the way I feel it wouldn’t be a good idea. At the moment if I stop doing something then it’s very difficult to get back to it. I take any excuse to get out of something and then can’t get used to it again. Other than writing top of the list is being around other people. I can’t say I’m lonely because I have no idea how I feel or what I want. None of it makes any sense to me but then when do feelings ever make sense. I’m sure I’m putting too much thought into the matter. It’s a bad habit of mine. Self reflection can be a good thing but like everything else I take it to the extreme. Surely there’s a balance to be found between my obsessive over analysing and not thinking about or dealing with reality at all. If there is I haven’t found that equilibrium yet.
On the matter of thinking too much I wasn’t quite sure what pensive meant so I looked it up in the dictionary, only I didn’t find the definition there helpful so I googled it instead. I shouldn’t have done that because doing so created another thing for me to overthink. There’s so many different definitions and so many of them say different things. So how do I know which one of them is right? It made me think, how many other words are there that you use but don’t really know what they mean? Sometimes the entire English language feels that way, as if I don’t know what I’m saying, just that it’s the right thing to say. All this because I wasn’t sure what a word meant. At least it’s not as bad as yesterday. I went to see a film called Our Kind of Traitor and I really wish I hadn’t bothered. I didn’t enjoy the film and I now hate the sight of Ewan McGregor, plus it made me dislike Stellan Skarsgard which is not a good thing at all. What bothered me the most is the fact halfway through the film I started thinking about what the point of being there was. What was the point of seeing a film which just reminded me of several other films. Why bother watching films at all. Such thoughts of course led to me thinking why bother doing anything. I wasn’t in such a bad mood when I went out so I don’t know exactly where all those thoughts came from. At least if you cry at the cinema no-one bothers you and it was a film which had some sad moments too so I had a good excuse.
I can’t solve that mystery right now but at least I’ve written something today anyway, so the day’s not a total write off. Though even if I hadn’t done it wouldn’t have been anyway. No matter what else happened today could not have been a bad day, not when I got the all so special addition to my collection. Is it crazy? Beyond any doubt. Could the money have been better spent? Absolutely. But no amount of logic was going to stop me from getting this collectible. Getting it doesn’t fix everything, the happiness it provides will be short-lived, I know that. But I don’t want to think too deeply about it, that always leads to trouble. Right now I just want to enjoy how happy I am at getting this wonderfully awesome addition to my collection and to look forward to the DFB Pokal final which is on Saturday night. I would say I’ve crossed a line by buying a shirt actually worn by Jogi Löw but then I did that a long time ago. About eleven months ago to be exact. Back then I obtained a training shirt which once belonged to Hansi Flick. So in the words of Joey from Friends “Over the line, you’re so far over the line you can’t even see the line. The line is a dot to you.” I said a while ago when I bought my first white shirt that I wasn’t that kind of obsessive, making it clear that it was a shirt like Jogi’s, not actually his. This time however it really is his. So I guess I was wrong about that. I suppose there’s little difference between this and buying a Ginter match-worn football shirt. I mean it’s not like I’d ever get such a thing of Jogi’s so I guess this is the next best thing. Or maybe that’s just my attempt at rationalizing what is obviously a crazy addition, even for me. Either way, who cares. There’s not a lot which makes me happy in life, even if it’s only temporary I’ll take it. I think actually this is all there may be, this is what life is. Real life makes me unhappy or something goes wrong, then I get a new collectible or see a great match and then forget all about reality for a while.
It’s not the only collectible I’ve gotten recently, the other one is a great deal smaller but no less important. No matter how bad I felt yesterday I could not fail to be cheered up by this. Finally I got my very own Lego Man Jogi. I still can’t stop thinking how they missed an opportunity, Lego Man Hansi would have been brilliant. Him and Jogi standing side by side, just like it should always be, even in Lego form. As things stand there is of course no Lego figure of Hansi but then there’s not one of Schneider either which I’m naturally grateful for. Instead Jogi is standing next to Manuel Neuer. It bugs me that they’re all the same height, Manuel Neuer is way taller than everyone else but not in Lego form. I’m overthinking this I know but then what else is new.
Posted in Die Mannschaft, Fußball, Germany, Hansi Flick, Jogi Löw, Manuel Neuer
Tagged Hans-Dieter Flick collectibles, Joachim "Jogi" Löw collectibles, Lukas Podolski, Manuel Neuer collectibles, Mario Götze, Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos
The main thing I was hoping that would happen this week is now an impossibility because Bayern were knocked out on Tuesday night and Man City lost to Real Madrid earlier tonight. It would have been all so perfect and not just because it would have seen Pep Guardiola going up against his new club. I was thinking of a it a little differently, what I found so amusing about the prospect of Bayern reaching the final is related to where it’s being held. This year’s final is being held in Italy so it would have been perfect for a German team to be there. A few months ago Germany beat Italy for the first time in 21 years and it happens to be the year the Champions League final is being held in Italy. Not to mention the fact that last year the final was in Berlin and Juventus an Italian team were the runners-up. Now it’s an all Spanish affair, whichever way it goes the trophy will be going to Madrid. There is at least a German still in the competition in the form of Toni Kroos for Real Madrid.
Despite the disappointment the week and indeed the night is not a total loss, not least because I got not one but two Jogi interviews. But the reason the week is not lost is an even better reason. Today I got the new DFB album and 50 packs of cards. So far I’ve got three of Jogi, two of Matze and Manuel. And I hate to say it, two of Schneider as well.
Football aside my biggest hope for this week is avoiding doing anything else particularly stupid between now and the end of the week. I already have all my stupid planned for the rest of the week, one more insane obsession related decision which I’ve committed to. It’s absurd enough to fill my stupid quotient for the week, enough for the month really but I can’t say no, not to the possibility of such a unique addition to my collection. Speaking of collections there’s one other thing I’m hoping for, the safe arrival of my Jogi advertising board. I keep obsessively checking the tracking status of it. I don’t know why because it hasn’t changed in the last 24 hours. But it’s freaking me out, the updates are not helpful at all. It went from telling me it’s on it’s way to saying “it hasn’t arrived yet.” It’s really freaking me out because both updates show the same location, how can it be on it’s way and then not have arrived. I can’t bear to think they may have lost it, surely it has to be a glitch of some kind. And it has to be the one courier company that is renowned for not being able to speak to an actual human being. Last time I dealt with them it was a shipment of German food they failed to deliver, it did eventually show up but had it not done I could have gotten over that. This on the other hand is a one of a kind collectible, not the kind of thing you get over. I know I shouldn’t be thinking so negatively but that is easier said than done.
To say last night’s events were something of acurve-ball would be somewhat inaccurate because the past two days have been nothing but one giant curve-ball, the fact that it was an expected one didn’t make it any easier. I did manage to get some sleep early Friday morning and I got to see Civil War again, but that doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is I managed to stay awake long enough to see Freiburg’s game, long enough to see them win 2-1 and to be promoted back to the Bundesliga, hence the title. With two matches to spare they’ve confirmed their return to the Bundesliga. There is however one Captain America related fact I have to mention. Today on die Konferenz they had a very amusing video of a Wolfsburg player done up as Captain America, in place of a ball to kick he had Iron Man’s head in his hand, which he promptly smashed into the goal. I am so making a GIF of that when it’s finished recording.
Last night also saw another surprise, an actual one this time since I knew promotion being confirmed was possible. This one is Hansi related and very strange indeed. I never watch the simulcast for 2.Bundesliga games, I don’t want any distractions from Freiburg’s game. But yesterday I made an exception, if something important happened in Leipzig I wanted to know about it right away. As it turns out something important did happen, Bielefeld’s equaliser. I can’t believe I was right about that, I never though they’d actually hold them to a draw. But before that was Hansi, he was at the game and if I hadn’t had the simulcast on my second screen I never would have known, let alone get pictures and video. He doesn’t l look especially happy to be there but then neither am I. The way I see it he’s on enemy territory, as pleased as I am to get another video of him I wish he hadn’t been there. It’s going to require some creative thinking to write that in:
Last night had everything, a Petersen goal, an angry Christian Streich providing perfect GIF material once more and plenty of drama. And not just in Freiburg’s game either, Paderborn losing was bad enough for them. But misery was heaped upon them with both Duisburg and 1860 winning, pushing them down into 18th place. That’s harsh, 2015 they finished in 18th place in the Bundesliga and now in 2016 they face the same fate in the 2.Bundesliga, they don’t deserve that. I am happy Freiburg won but at the same time I can’t help feel a little sorry that Freiburg had to score the goals which might consign Paderborn to the third division. The goals that confirmed Freiburg’s return:
With promotion secured I find myself wondering about what to do with last season’s shirt, the so called relegation shirt. After the game against H96 in 2015 I hung it up, left it there for a while and then eventually put it away. Promising that I’d only take it out it when they were back in the top flight. Well now they are and H96’s fate is confirmed, Freiburg won’t have to play them next season. Yet I still haven’t taken it out yet. I think I may hold off on that, waiting until the final day of the Bundesliga season. On that day H96 play Bayern, I think I’ll wear it then. Today I had no difficult decisions to make as to what shirt to wear, my mind was made up for me with the arrival of my new Jogi t-shirt:
To finish I have to include some pictures and GIFs from last night, the first two are my favourites, Patric Klandt looks so sweet the way he’s holding on to Vincenzo Grifo:
One of the reasons I kept putting off catching up with the Bundesliga posts is the thought of doing something out of order bothered me. It’s only when I realised that both options bother me and I’m the only one it bothers anyway did I realise it didn’t matter. Giving it some more thought I realised there’s another reason it’s not so important, I write fiction out of order so why not other stuff too? If I can live with writing stories out of order then I can live with this too. Besides everything else right now is all wrong anyway so it doesn’t really matter. It’s just one more thing to feel uncomfortable about. But I’m not stressing out about it or anything right now which is a nice feeling. The only bothersome thought on my mind is one which should be there, Freiburg’s game tonight with league leaders RB Leipzig.
The weekend has been a good one and pleasantly a very quiet one because the house has been a teenager free zone all weekend. I’ve always worried I would find living by myself too quiet, that the silence would get to me. Now I’m starting to feel a little differently about it. It was kind of nice. Besides having plenty of quiet time for reading there was also the fun of der Klassiker and the excitement of getting a new Jogi interview. With that and all the stickers I got at the weekend I can’t have any complaints really. My sleeping patterns are still far from perfect but there’s always going to be something that’s not quite right.
I did however get some sleep last night, too much in fact. But I’m not complaining because of the dream I had. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a dream with Nils Petersen in before. Not just him but also Karim Guede, Andre Schürrle and Julian Draxler. The scenario was a very strange one and had it not been for their presence it would have been a nightmare, dreams which are school based usually are. But not this time. The main event of note was some unknown person pointing out that Petersen was wearing a Freiburg shirt, which he was. Weirdly it was inside out. The person said they could tell because they could see the eagle. This makes no sense because it’s a griffin Freiburg have on their shirts, not an eagle which is what Eintracht Frankfurt have on theirs. At that point Petersen who was sitting across from me leaned over and offered his hand for a high five, saying that we were “t-shirt buddies” because I was wearing the same Freiburg shirt as him, the home red and black one.
It’s really random but then so is everything else, including the presence of Draxler and Schürrle. Had it been their fellow Wolfsburg players Max Kruse and Daniel Caliguri it would have made sense, since both of them have played for Freiburg. But I can’t work out why they would be there or what it could mean. I wonder if the money aspect has anything to do with it. Because obviously money would have been one of the chief motivators for both of them in moving to Wolfsburg. Or is it a message about being careful with your expectations of something. Because last season Wolfsburg had a great season, finishing second in the league, qualifying directly for the Champions League and winning the DFB Pokal. And they started off this season by beating Bayern in the Supercup final. So far that’s been their only major success, along with getting through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and the winter signing of Julian Draxler. The league form however has been terrible and nowhere near as good as last year. Maybe that’s the message, one good year doesn’t necessarily mean another one is going to follow.
Whatever it means and however tonight’s game goes I already have my consolation prize. Two new Jogi related clippings and some new Bundesliga stickers including the Heidenheim kits (important because of Niederlechner), Max Kruse and best of all Manuel Neuer. Just to round things off I secured a deal which will see me get Niederlechner’s Heidenheim card. I hope that’s a good omen for tonight.
Posted in Autism, Dreams, Manuel Neuer, Stickers
Tagged Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Bundesliga 2015/16 stickers, Dreams, Florian Niederlechner, Joachim "Jogi" Löw collectibles, Manuel Neuer collectibles, Max Kruse, Nils Petersen