Tag Archives: Lukas Piszczek

Advent Calendar Day 8 & 9: The Double Day

Writing a double post like this means I’ll only have 23 instead of 24 posts but I think it’s better this way because Wednesday and Thursday really were one long day for me. No matter what I did I would have been wrong and I would have been annoyed with myself either way. It was just the case of taking the least worse course of action, I guess damage control in a sense. So I’m not going to bother obsessing over whether I shouldn’t have gone or not which is what I’d usually be doing. There’s no point in doing that. It’s just a case of stupid person does yet another stupid thing. And I feel exactly as I expected to feel. Of course I was tired when I got home, tired enough to have spent all day in bed too. I needed the sleep yet it puts me back at square one. Having gotten up so late I’m not going to be able to get any sleep between now and the game. Not that I ever would miss a game but this is one I really can’t miss, it’s the last home game of the Hinrunde. And with their  poor away record it’s a must win game, I mean they all are but it’s extra important. Not least because Darmstadt sacked their coach after last weekend’s defeat to fellow strugglers HSV. Usually a team get a boost from having a new coach in charge, though not always. Obviously I’m hoping that won’t be the case for Darmstadt, for one thing it’s not nice to end the year at home with a defeat.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ve got the rest of the night to get through first. It’s just how I expected it to be, how it always is. Tired last night and not at all tired now. Despite being so tired when I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about everything that happened. Looking back on  it now I realise what I hate the most about the way I obsess over everything. I constantly worry about being a good enough friend, and in allowing myself to obsess the way I do then I’m not doing that. I allow the anxiety to take over and question things I know to be true. I shouldn’t allow myself to doubt whether they’re my friends or not. Because that’s what I always think about, if they really are my friends or not and all the rest of it. And with regards to this particular person I really shouldn’t question anything. After all they’ve survived several of my obsessions and that is a rare thing indeed. Our friendship survived beyond the initial interest which first brought us together.

Plus they kept their word, they promised me if it was too loud then we could leave, and when I said it was they said ok, no questions asked. Sometimes people can be funny about that, but they’ve never been anything less than patient with me. Which only makes it more absurd that I allow such worries to get to me. If I wasn’t being a good enough friend in some way they would call me out on it. They’re not the kind of person to let themselves be walked over that way. The fact I’m sitting here thinking about all this makes me laugh. The reason being an article someone sent me a few days ago about how people with AS aren’t capable of empathy and how they destroy everyone around them. If I didn’t care about other people then how come I worry about them so much? How come I worry so much that I don’t care enough about them? It’s not caring about other people I have a problem with, it’s showing it. I think it’s kind of unfair me to be judged on how well I’m able to show and understand my feelings in regards to other people when I struggle to understand my feelings in general.

In thinking over all this friendship stuff it’s made me realise something else, another reason why having friends is a good thing. They give me a perspective on things I wouldn’t otherwise have. And just last night I had that pointed out to me. It seems how I percieve myself differs from what other people see, there are things about myself I don’t even know. For example I was telling them about something from one of my stories, something which another person found funny and I couldn’t understand why. I had written it to be slightly humourous but not laugh out loud funny yet that’s exactly the reaction I got. Thing is they weren’t even surprised I didn’t get it, apparently I don’t see or understand that I can be quite funny. That surprised me, I have to admit it really did. I know I make sarcastic comments which make people laugh but I would never describe myself as being funny in any way. I appreciate them for a lot of reasons but for their insightful comments about my writing most of all.

Point is I don’t think it’s just my decision in whether or not to have friends. You can’t just cut people out of your life that way, it’s not just about my feelings. When I’m thinking this way I often wonder if I’d be doing them a favour by ending the friendship but all I’d be doing is hurting them. I’ve done that before and I hope the person in question can forgive me for it, though I can’t forgive myself. To disappear like that is unforgiveable. Ending a friendship is one thing but you should at leasts have the decency to explain why and tell them. It still makes little sense to me why I did that, but then things don’t make much more sense now. Not much does in fact and it’s not because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Right now I feel like I’m a daze, awake but not really there. My mind is relatively quiet which is a good thing but it’s not the way I want it to happen. What’s left of Friday and Saturday will be another double day. It’s messed up but it’s the way it is. I can’t do anything about the schedule at the moment. You have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and not what you wish you had.

And now to the final part of the post, the calendars. Behind door number 8 for Freiburg was midfielder Onur Bulut who they signed from Bochum in the summer. It’s unfortunate that one of his major contributions to the campaign so far came in the Leverkusen game last weekend. He’d barely been on the field for a minute when he brought down a Leverkusen player to give away a penalty. But maybe him doing that wasn’t such a bad thing, if he hadn’t made that mistake Schwolow wouldn’t have got to save the penalty. Good can come out of bad. In the Dortmund calendar was Spanish defender Marc Bartra and I have equally mixed feelings about him because he’s a potential threat to Ginter’s place in the starting 11. Behind door number 9 was the Dortmund man Pascal Stenzel, but not in Dortmund’s calendar because he’s on loan to Freiburg and has been since last winter. Now him I don’t have any mixed feelings about and I’d very much like Freiburg to keep hold of him, how realistic that is I don’t know. But I would like it to happen, he’s a great addition to the team. Joining him was Dortmund and Poland player Lukasz Piszczek. Quite fitting giving his nationality because that was my Christmas present, the one I recieved on Thursday consisted entirely of very tasty Polish snacks.

20161210_014904-1onur-bulutFinding a good picture of Pascal is no problem, in fact I have the opposite problem, picking which one to use. You could fill a whole post with nothing but pictures of him. The first one from the KSC game last season and courtesy of the Südkurier is a particular favourite of mine:

pascal-stenzel-alexander-schwolow-sc-freiburg-v-ksc-2015-16pascal-stenzel

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?