Tag Archives: Routine

Advent Calendar Day 16: The Right Roman/The Time & Space Problem

In the Freiburg calendar today was Immanuel Höhn who’s not to be confused with Jonas Fõhrenbach, I’ve never confused them in a game but I did with their pictures and only just realised my mistake. With Jonas I have an excuse, he’s new to the senior team. I have no such excuse with Immanuel.

There was however no confusion with the Dortmund chocolate wrapper as the title suggests, I finally have the right Roman. It’s also very fitting that today is the day I got the card of defender Mats Hummels in the DFB calendar, because today is a Dortmund day after all. From a Roman point of view it’s all the more important to me personally, I’m hoping that he and Matze as former Freiburgers can make me feel a little better and knock FCA out later tonight.

Mats Hummels - DFB 2015-16 card 1 Mats Hummels - DFB 2015-16 card 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund advent calendarEarlier when I was thinking about who today’s DFB card would be and wondering if they’re saving Jogi’s card till last it occurred to me that I’ll never get a Hansi card from an advent calendar. Not unless I made one myself, I wish I had come up with this idea a month ago. I would have done so for this year, not just for myself but for the other two people I know in real life who are fond of both Jogi and Hansi. Now there’s a fun project, making pictures for the wrappers, perhaps a trading card as well. And making chocolate, foil wrappers and then the pictures on top. This is definitely going to be a lot of fun. I may not be able to make it for a whole year but I can certainly plan for it, and maybe in a few months make a prototype.

In one way it’s a good thing I didn’t come up with it now, I have more than enough to do and I’m not even keeping up with that. This week is about three things only, the DFB Pokal, writing and sleeping. Anything else is irrelevant, until Sunday that is when Freiburg play 1860. It’s most likely not a good idea to let an obsession dominate like this but it’s better than the alternative, than wandering around not knowing what to do. On one hand there’s no room in my head for anything else and there’s no time for anything else but at least I know what I’m doing, I know what’s happening and what’s going to happen. Plus one advantage is that when I go to bed I fall asleep pretty quickly, something which doesn’t happen most of the time. The downside is that no matter how sleep I get it never feels like enough, but then it rarely does.

I just want Christmas over and done with, not so I can get my hands on my presents quicker, not even because I want to hurry up the return of the Bundesliga. No it’s more because I want to get back into some kind of routine. It’s impossible to do so with Christmas thus I haven’t wasted any time trying. The disadvantage however to not trying is that there’s plenty of room for my obsessions to have free reign.

I never thought I would have this problem, that the thing keeping me awake at night is a notebook. I’ve had similar problems before but they involved games or TV. I never thought that instead of almost falling asleep in front of the TV with a Playstation controller in my hand that I’d be doing so with a pen and notebook. Thinking about this I remembered all those conversations online about games, the people who say that games are for kids, that ruin your life, make an addict of you and that serious grown ups or people who have a life don’t play them. And someone who stays up half the night playing games always gets mentioned and used as an example of how pathetic they are. Well I’ve stayed up all night for many reasons, playing games, watching TV or football, reading a good book and because I’m writing something that I have to finish there and then. Is it somehow better or more worthy that I stay up all night writing instead of playing games? I don’t think so.

To get back the topic of being unsettled Freiburg losing to 1.FCN on Sunday did not help. I wasn’t arrogant enough to just assume they would win, I would never do that even when I’m close to 100% certain they will. It’s not just the fact they lost but how they did. Two cases of bad luck and both of them involving the same player. As luck would have it that player is the one I got mixed up with Immanuel Höhn.

On Sunday night partly I think because of the result of the game I made a somewhat rash decision, for once it wasn’t one which involved money and it wasn’t a bad decision, just a slightly surprising one. Feeling a little off after the game I decided I needed something to do, something to focus on. Preferably some kind of repetitive task, so with that in mind I decided on putting all the blu-rays from my football archive in the case I bought. But I didn’t do that, I changed my mind. Instead I cleared one of my shelves of DVDs, removed them from the cases, put the discs in the case and threw out the cases. A surprising decision because whilst I’ve been convinced of the logic of such a decision for a while I’ve been resisting doing so. Partly because I didn’t want my room to change anyway and partly because I’m quite partial to DVD cases. I like seeing them all lined up on the shelf and I like going through them. Apparently I changed my mind, deciding all of a sudden it’s a good idea and one I can make my peace with. It didn’t take long to make best use of the space. After some moving around I now have a sticker shelf and a place to put all my German books, newspapers and press clippings. Not to mention that I finally got to clean up the ever growing pile of books from the floor.

I haven’t got rid of all the cases for my DVDs, only about 300 of them. I think there’s at least another 250 plus an unknown number of blu-rays. The blu-ray cases I’m keeping, I like those too much. As for the remaining DVDs I suppose I’ll repeat the process, except for my German and Danish collection and any special ones. Having made progress on this front I’ll soon have no excuse to avoid sorting through my books. Though this will be a lot more difficult. I’ve already started thinking about ones I don’t need to keep and ones I could give away. I’ve made no progress whatsoever because with almost every book I look at I think of the time I last read it, of the memories associated with it, of the time I bought it. It’s a lot harder to get rid of books that I bought in person. Though some of them I would never get rid of anyway. Like “All That I Am” for example, this has three very good reasons why I would never part with it. Firstly it belongs on my German shelf, secondly it’s a great book and thirdly I bought it on a very special winter Saturday. That is the day it snowed and I saw Django Unchained for the very first time. Every time I pick up the book I remember that day and the other two books I bought with it, HHhH and The Killing 3.

Sorting through my books is going to be a most difficult project indeed. I think I should start first with books I bought and never read, ones I’m not so attached to. It may make it easier.

On a related note whilst I was sorting out the DVDs I realised that I might as well tidy up my desk as well. A task I’ve meant to get to all year, I’d almost forgotten what it looked like so long has it been since I’d seen it. I found some most interesting things there, an issue of Der Spiegel from January, the remaining piece of last year’s Jogi themed wrapping paper and a note for The Dressing Room Adventures which was sadly undated. I would have liked to know the day I came up with that idea.

Today is a Dortmund day but also as it turns out a Darida day, that is Czech midfielder and former Freiburg player Vladimir Darida. How ironic, in the summer he moved to Hertha BSC and tonight they are playing 1.FCN, the team Freiburg lost to on Sunday. As I’m typing this 1.FCN are currently 1-0 down to Hertha BSC courtesy of a Darida goal in the 32minute.

Yesterday was Bayern’s day but it’s not the game which served up the most excitement, though I have to say Xabi Alonso’s goal was a work of art. There may have only been one goal but it was a very special one. The most exciting thing last night was the laser show, which unfortunately they didn’t show all of but some of it is better than nothing. And it was worth it just to see Manuel Neuer in a Santa hat:

Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 1 Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 2 Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 3 Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 4 Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 5 Manuel Neuer - Santa hat 6

Why we do the things we do

I only went to see Burnt because Daniel Brühl was in it. In fact if it weren’t for this fact I wouldn’t have gone out at all. Daniel was his usual excellent self but the film was as I expected terrible, the sticker album I’m so looking forward to getting isn’t in stock yet and to make it worse I didn’t even get to have Bratwurst from the Christmas market.

Halfway through the film I started to get bored and wondered why I’d bothered going out at all. I could have waited for the DVD, if I’d done so I could have fast-forwarded through the scenes I found to be annoying. Maybe if I weren’t so tired I would have been in a better mood. I probably just should have stayed in bed. I started thinking similar thoughts on the way home, about why I bother to do anything, especially anything that involves going outside and being around other people. I try my best to remember social rules and what I should and shouldn’t do, but apparently it’s ok for other people not to make the same kind of effort. I certainly don’t appreciate being stared at. You bought a train ticket, not a ticket to a freak show. You think I’m strange, fine, whatever, I certainly find other people strange a lot of the time but I’m not allowed to (and I don’t) sit there staring at those people. It’s somehow worse when they do this but don’t say anything, at least when they call you names you know what their problem is or just what it is you’ve done for them to consider you strange. What makes it worse is the more they stare, the more nervous I get and the more nervous I get, the harder it is to keep still. Though I have to admit I was on edge anyway so it probably wouldn’t have made much difference.

Back to my main point, I knew how the film was going to go, you have an idea of how most films are going to go, so what’s the point? Why bother watching them. In fact why bother doing anything. I got to thinking about the upcoming week, about the press conferences and the videos and the pictures I like to collect and upload. Why do I do any of it, because it’s fun and because I really like doing it or because it’s familiar and safe. How many other things does that apply to, where you do it because it’s the safe option and not necessarily what you really want to be doing? I remember reading in a book once that the difficulty with the author’s autistic son wasn’t that doing something twice would create a routine that he would want to stick to, but that doing it once would be enough to have that effect. I’m not exactly certain what my point was, I just felt like that belong here somehow. I guess what I was trying to say was do I do the things I do because it’s what I want to be doing or because they’re safe and familiar and I don’t know what else to do?

I’m not especially enthusiastic about this international break and yet I’m doing it anyway. Why, because I couldn’t bear not to, it would be unthinkable, it’s an international break. I have to do what I always do, it’s been almost a year now and it’s become routine. Therefore it has to happen because I expected it to. One thing was cleared up today anyway, I was reminded of a reason why I might not have been looking forward to this week. It’s not that I’d forgotten about the reason in question, more that I didn’t want to remember. Today is six years since Robert Enke died. Birthday’s are always tricky anyway, all the more so because mine is so close to Christmas and it’s generally an unsettled and difficult time anyway. But what happened to Enke makes it all the stranger and all the more difficult. Ever since I read that book last year I haven’t been able to let go of it, of what he did.

I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, what the point of it is, or what anything means. When everything seems like such hard work it’s tempting to think that it’s easier not to do anything at all. But not doing anything at all just makes it worse. I don’t know what I’m doing or why. I just know that I have to keep doing it, to keep doing something. Whatever gets you out of bed everyday. Forget about other people, forget about whether they think what you do is a waste of time or not. It’s not important. You have to do what you need to do. Other people’s expectations and standards aren’t important here. That quote from the book about Enke is still worth remembering: “in the morning you don’t feel like you can do anything and so don’t try to do anything, then in the evening you beat yourself up for not having achieved anything.”

Maybe none of it never will make any sense. Regardless you still have to keep moving. Maybe accepting that little of it makes sense is what you need to do.

On the subject of making sense and accepting things, the penultimate episode of River was on tonight. One step closer to getting some answers, one step closer to letting go of River. I don’t want to, he’s a fascinating character and I’d happily spend more time watching him. But I don’t think it’s the kind of show they’ll make a second series of.

In tonight’s episode his partner Ira points out to River that he could talk to him instead of Stevie, that he’s right there in front of him. River admits he knows he could, but then he’d have to come up something interesting to say.

It made me remember something in real life, a conversation where a friend told me they wished I would talk to them a little more, that I would share more of what I’m thinking. There’s one obvious difference here, my friends are imaginary, I know that, they aren’t delusions or anything like that. But the point is the same. I should talk to the person who’s actually there in front of me. But I can’t and in truth they wouldn’t really want me to. I can’t because I can’t talk out loud that much. And as for why they wouldn’t want me to, well because they’d be bored.

Back to the topic of River I’m still not that interested in the case, I mean obviously I want to know what happened to Stevie and who killed her but the real fascination is River and him dealing with her death. This is what makes it worth watching and Stellan Skarsgard certainly makes for compelling viewing.

He’s starting to accept that Stevie isn’t there anymore. At the beginning of the episode in the car he doesn’t talk back to Stevie like he usually does. He looks back at her but says nothing. Then she’s outside of the car, it’s the first time we’ve seen her when she’s not actually with River. She’s outside of the car and he hears the shot again. He knows she’s starting to slip away and he can’t accept it. He’s not ready to let her go yet. But the blood on his hands, what’s that about. I get the symbolism but whose blood is it, Stevie’s or the guy who fell to his death?

Whatever it means I liked Ira’s reaction to it, the way he didn’t make a big deal out of it. He didn’t get freaked out or get mad at him. He didn’t call him names or make a big deal out of it at all. He just calmly asks if he’s ok and then offers to drive. Him and Ira are good together, I just hope nothing happens to either of them in the final episode.

One final thing I have to mention, I know what the shirts look like now. I don’t have to wait until it gets here to find out. There was a presentation and a whole big show in Berlin today with some of the players. The home one is still white and I guess it looks ok, it has kind of a retro 90’s feeling to it, the away one not so much. I don’t like the grey and green. The goalkeeper one is a dark navy blue, it’s nice but I liked the green. I was right about one thing, not expecting it to be here in time for Friday, that is almost certainly not going to happen. So it’s a good thing I prepared myself for the possibility. Some pictures of the shirt and some from the presentation:

Heimtrikot EM 2016 Torwarttrikot EM 2016 csm_84429-GettyImages-496423798_0ea66fdb1a csm_84430-GettyImages-496423808_ba887b1f13 csm_84427-GettyImages-496423500_056aa28350csm_84426-GettyImages-496421354_d568cc633b