It’s not quite the case that Christmas is cancelled because Freiburg got knocked out of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday, but it’s certainly not the way you want the first half of the season to end. Then again it’s not the fact they got knocked out, more by whom and how. Losing to Bremen was bad enough but doing so because of a goal which wasn’t a legal goal, well that’s going to hurt for quite some time. It’s funny, ever since the season started I’ve been bemoaning the existence and use of VAR and on Wednesday night I was angry because it wasn’t in use. Had it been in use it might have affected the outcome of Gladbach’s game against Leverkusen too, and the player who elbowed Matze in the head would have been sent off like he should have been. Though I’m not sure the VAR would have helped in the peculiar situation of the diving coach. That was truly bizarre, Leverkusen’s coach seemingly taking a dive after a Gladbach player almost clattered into him but just avoided him the end. Definitely the funniest moment from this week’s games.
But there’s point obsessing over it, they’re out and that’s that. I guess I should see the good point of the situation, it’s one less distraction from the all important task of staying in the league. First up after the winter break is Eintracht Frankfurt, a fixture that holds some very good memories indeed. Back in 2015 that was Nils Petersen’s first game as a Freiburg player, first game, first hat-trick. He didn’t take the penalty though, Vladimir Darida did that.
As much as I’m looking forward to that game I don’t really want to be thinking about January right now. Thinking so far ahead counts as thinking big and that’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want to think big or make plans, all I want is for just a few months to have a nice quiet, peaceful existence, nothing more. I’m not making any new year’s resolutions and it’s not only because I see no point in doing so, more that for a while I don’t want anything to happen. Last year I got sucked into thinking everything was fine in December and then everything fell apart in January. So I don’t want the same thing to happen again, I don’t want to make any assumptions.
On the subject of things happening I made a decision earlier this week which surprised myself, not only me but the other relevant parties as well. I don’t know if it came out of nowhere or I’d already subconsciously decided this but either way I made the decision for the next appointment to be the last. It’s not entirely for the reasons I stated on Wednesday though. It’s not because I think I don’t need to talk anymore right now. Actually it’s the opposite, I’m tired of talking. I’m tired of having to go there knowing I won’t really tell the whole truth anyway. And I know that’s partly my fault, it’s just not easy to be honest and trust someone when for years you’ve gotten used to the fact that’s not an option. To borrow a quote from one of my favourite shows The Bridge, “my plan is not to have a plan.”I just want to read books and sleep. Mostly I just want to be left alone. I don’t know if it’s people I’m tired of or rather the pretense I feel like I need to put on in order to be around them. Either way I really wish I didn’t have somewhere to go tomorrow. I wish I’d been brave enough to say no when I was invited. I should be grateful I have friends yet right now I just want everyone to go away.
I want nothing more than to stay inside and lose myself in books, to just escape from reality completely. That’s one of things I talked about on Wednesday, how books are a better distraction for me than anything else. Playing Playstation is a good way to pass time but not to occupy my mind in quite the same way. No, playing games is more like anesthetizing yourself in a way but books are something else. At least that’s one good thing about the past few months, I set myself the target of reading 75 books this year and I’m one off reaching that goal. I just finished reading Going Underground, a book which features an autistic detective. I know, I shouldn’t even be reading books with autistic characters in them when they’re written by NTs because I invariably end up ranting about them. And this one did frustrate me a little, though not as much as Rubbernecker did. I suppose the fact the author actually has an autistic son has something to do with that. One good thing about the book is the writer takes the time to make it clear that Jonathan is an investigator, not a policeman. That’s important because the idea of someone like Jonathan being a policeman is absurd.
I am though unhappy with certain aspects of his character, like the fact he doesn’t seem to understand humour at all and that he’s completely oblivious to popular cultural references. I know some people with autism either don’t get or just don’t do humour. But I hate it when an autistic character is portrayed that way because it’s so stereotypical and it reinforces the view the general public holds that autistic people don’t get jokes. And even more importantly sometimes you come across parents who actually believe their child can’t be autistic because “my son is nice, friendly, intelligent and has a fantastic sense of humour.” Yeah, none of that precludes a person being autistic. I find that so offensive, the implication that we’re all unfriendly, stupid, unfeeling people who have no sense of humour whatsoever. Similarly I find it equally offensive that somehow autistic has become shorthand for “socially awkward/pedantic/weird/obsessive/mean/critical. Basically some NTs are using autistic as a synonym for any trait they don’t like or consider to be a negative trait. And that’s the other trait I wish writers would use less of when writing autistic characters, emotional detachment. Lots of autistic people have the opposite problem, feeling too much. They might not be able to actually express that however.
At least I knew the other book I was reading wouldn’t let me down, Bernie Gunther never has, well not so far anyway. I just finished book seven, Field Grey. From what I read of the reviews it seems to be a book which divides opinions. I have to admit it is the most challenging of them so far but it was interesting, I didn’t find the couple hundred pages of interrogations boring. I liked seeing the puzzle being pieced together and learning what happened to him after the war ended. Though it got a little confusing in the end with all the double crossing, I will admit that. It hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm any, I can’t wait to start reading the next one. I can take some comfort from that, the fact I’m looking forward to something.
It would be today of all days that I get not only Benedikt Höwedes’ sticker but the card of Jonas Hector. How perfect is that, getting them in the same calendar door when their teams play each other. And they end up drawing 2-2 just to make it that little bit more perfect. Well Schalke is only technically Benedikt’s team at the moment, with him being on loan to Juventus. And Jonas of course is still out injured so didn’t play. Though in a way it’s a good thing Benedikt isn’t there because I don’t like Schalke very much and I would under the circumstances feel compelled to root for Cologne anyway, even though they are in the relegation fight along with Freiburg. But I don’t feel too bad for doing so, simply because surely Cologne are too deep in trouble to be of any danger to Freiburg, Bremen or HSV who are also stuck in the relegation fight. At this point forget about fighting relegation, they’re fighting against having the unflattering record of being the worst Bundesliga team of all time. I bet no-one ever thought Tasmania Berlin were in danger of losing that record. But with three points and six goals after fourteen games Cologne are giving them a run for their money.
Rumor has it they’ve parted ways with Peter Stöger though that hasn’t been confirmed officially. I at least hope it’s not true. In the poll I voted in 71% of people agreed sacking him would be the wrong way to go. But then maybe I’m a little biased, I like the underdog after all. I don’t have to worry about the same thing happening at Freiburg. On the news last week the club president said that Christian Streich is going nowhere, that they stand by him “through thick and thin” which was reassuring if unnecessary to hear. For the simple reason Freiburg aren’t the kind of club to go sacking a coach just because things aren’t going so well. Whatever happens he’s going nowhere. Obviously I don’t want to think about them getting relegated but it would in a weird way be funny, a Jogi team and a Hansi team getting relegated together.
As what I’ve written so far suggests today has been all about football. And I know what they’ll say, fixating on one thing to the exclusion of everything else isn’t good, you need some balance in the day/your life in general. But you know what I don’t really care right now. For two reasons, first it got me out of bed and secondly it was a distraction from all the stuff I’m worried about at the moment. It’s a good thing I did get up too, I wouldn’t have gotten my new Hansi video if I hadn’t and I would have missed Peter’s pre-match show. It’s funny that is. Whilst I’m beating myself up for having obsessions at all and worrying how immersive they are I end up adding another one to the list. This one is kind of new too, I’ve never been obsessed with a reporter before. Seems I’m not done collecting things and that includes obsessions. In one way I suppose it’s a good sign, the fact I’m still engaged enough with something to form a new interest and to care about something. Even the stupid psych can’t argue with that. Though something tells me they’ll find something to complain about. They’re supposed to be helping but it feels like they’re doing the exact opposite. Surely it can’t be a good thing that I worry so much about what they think, then again I do that for pretty much every social situation, so it’s kind of hard to tell. I’m not even sure why I keep going, I guess I’m just used to going where I’m told when it comes to this sort of thing. I did at least manage to write something today, only three pages but it’s better than nothing.