Tag Archives: Sleeping patterns

Fighting the Good Fight

I could be fighting against a lot of things right now, god knows there’s enough idiots on the internet to contend with and in real life for the matter. Autism stuff, politics,  not to mention football related disagreements. There’s plenty I could be getting angry about. But I’m not, the fight I’m thinking about right now is not my fight. Not really since it’s not my team. It’s not my team but I know whose side I’m on, Matze Ginter v Emre Can. Team Ginter all the way.

The fight in question being what I’ve been dreaming of ever since the beginning of this season’s Europa League. Now it’s finally happened, Dortmund being drawn with Liverpool. I’m pretty sure I know how this story ends but it makes it no less exciting. I have a new name for Klopp now, from now on I’m going to call him Prophet Jürgen. Because last night he said of course we don’t want to be drawn with Dortmund, why would we want to be drawn with the strongest team in the competition.

Right now I’m dealing with a different sort of fight, that of trying to stay awake. It’s no doubt a waste of time but I’m trying anyway. It’s not just this task which is pointless but the bigger picture too. I could stay awake now but it’s no guarantee it’ll get all of this straightened out. I keep things straight for a few days and then it goes back to how it was. To sleeping in the day instead of at night. Sometimes I wonder why I’m even bothering, why I keep putting myself through this. Then I remember, the team. Everything else can be let go, it doesn’t matter a whole lot if I don’t go outside so much or if I’m around other people. But missing  a game is not an option. I’ve seen every single competitive game this season, both league and cup. I’m not going to screw that up now just because things have gotten a little difficult. I wish it weren’t such a battle but then I wish so many things were easier. I guess you just have to take it one day at a time. And be grateful that I have something to look forward to, that there is something which still motivates me. When you run out of reasons to get out of bed, then you’re in trouble. I’m not quite there yet, I may need to occasionally remind myself I have a reason but that’s all.

It would be all too easy to just sleep as much as possible in order to hide away from reality, like I don’t do that enough already. There’s nothing strange about that, what’s strange is specifically what I’m trying to hide away from. Next week is the international break, the first since the last one which went so badly wrong. I’m not looking forward to it, it doesn’t feel like I can enjoy it in quite the same way. Part of me just wants it to be over already, Which makes no sense, in thinking that way I’m wishing away my favourite part of the whole week, my Jogi videos. It has to feel right again at some point, doesn’t it? Or am I fighting yet another losing battle?

Snow King Florian & the Otherwise Quiet Week

Florian Niederlechner’s goal is still the highlight of the week, there’s little that can beat it. This week has been strange and not just because of Monday night’s snow filled adventures. Despite not getting a good night’s sleep and not really having a routine to speak of I’m actually quite relaxed. Which would be odd enough anyway. My first instinct was to pick it apart and work out why. I resisted such temptations, thinking that I should just enjoy it whilst it lasts. I can’t help but think of what Sam said in CA:TWS, about how everyone has their issues and problems but you have to decide how much of it you’re going to carry around with you. Whether you’re going to need a little man purse or a holdall. Normally I’d say I need the latter but not right now. Sleeping problems aside everything else is ok, for once I have some sense of balance. That is I’m not spending all my time focusing one thing to the exclusion of everything else. In the past few days I’ve found time for football, watching a film, reading and playing Lego Marvel Superheroes. The game in particular has proved to be a great source of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a Lego game and I’d forgotten how relaxing they can be. Sure they have their frustrating moments as well but there’s little as fun as smashing stuff up and collecting the proceeds. Equally pleasant is the ever familiar sound of Lego bricks being put together and the sound effects when you collect a mini kit. Some things never get old and Lego games are one of those things. With all the collectibles to get it should tide me over until I can afford to buy the Deadpool game.

I have to admit it’s strange not to be freaking out over anything. Not that I’m complaining, I just can’t help note how odd it all feels. I’m not even beating myself up for having not written a great deal. I figure a few days without having done much is no big deal. The only thing on my mind has been the decision over what to name my YouTube channel, I’ve been trying to come up with a new name since just after Christmas but nothing fit. Until now that is, it’s not something I came up with by myself, not entirely anyway. On the highlights the commentator called Florian a snow king. I found it amusing and evidently liked the nickname because a few minutes later without even trying I came up with the the new name, “SnowKing Schwolow.” With the save he made in the 93rd minute he deserves such a title too. It’s funny, now both my YouTube channels are in someway named after him and both names are Freiburg related.

As great as all this is it’s not a solution and not just because being unable to sleep at night makes everything difficult, like seeing Freiburg’s game on Sunday for one thing. I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. The reason this isn’t something which can continue too long is because the only reason things  are quiet is because I’m not dealing with anything. I haven’t talked to anyone or conducted any kind of interaction which wasn’t absolutely necessary. It feels great not having to talk to anyone, knowing that there’s no possible mistakes to obsess over. But I can’t hide away forever, I know that. It just makes it clear how impossible all this is. Stay inside and have little to do with the real world and I can for the most part avoid getting stressed out. Don’t do that and I can’t. But then of course you’re not dealing with anything or taking care of yourself. I don’t know how to resolve that or if it’s even resolvable. In order to have any kind life in the real world and be responsible for myself does that mean having to accept that I’m going to be anxious and on edge a lot of the time? Which option is worse I wonder. Dealing with that or not having any kind life and being free of it all. I wonder if such things are part of the reason for the rift that’s developed with one of my friends. If it’s because they’re growing up and it seems like I’m not. Whatever the reasons I’m not upset about it, I’m relieved. It was starting to feel like just another obligation. It may have not been the best way for it to happen but I’m glad I was able to be honest about my feelings for once, or to be more precise a lack of them in this case. It’s nice knowing I no longer have to lie or hide anything, that I don’t have to pretend not to be interested in things that some people consider childish. Forget about hiding them I have a new sticker album on the way. It’s the Serbian one for the European Championships and is superior to the Panini version for one simple reason, there’s a sticker of Jogi Löw. There’s another cool thing about it too, there are packets with different designs and Manuel Neuer is one of them which is the coolest thing ever.

Cool Like Kroos/Step One

This Friday is already going better than last week did, out of bed and dressed before midday. It seems the Europa league L16 draw was sufficient motivation to get out of bed. It’s a good thing too, I can’t get up late tomorrow because Freiburg are playing. I know I said I was going to take a  live and let live approach as regards to my sleeping patterns but if the pieces come together themselves that’s not a bad thing either. Maybe that’s what I need to do, to stop overthinking it and just let it happen. Today is so far going fine which is just as well seeing as how yesterday was something of a nightmare. I certainly needed to keep in mind that dream about Toni Kroos, keeping cool was the order of the day. Though I didn’t entirely succeed on this count. Still the rant wasn’t so bad, at least I wasn’t ranting about the person I was talking to. I managed to keep all of what I was thinking to myself. The rant in question was about how I’m sick of hearing the words “high-functioning autism” and how annoyed I am by it’s constant repetition online. It’s a phrase which has little real meaning and is not a diagnostic term yet it’s one which continues to get used, and it drives me nuts. Partly because people seem to think it equates to “mild autism” or to just being a little socially off, quirky and obsessive. But that’s a rant for another time, I’m not getting angry now. Not about that and not about anything else.

I knew the day wasn’t going to go well when they didn’t show up in the place we agreed to meet. Part of wishes I’d just gotten on the next train home and forgotten about the whole thing, I was tempted to do that. But I didn’t, as regards the film I’m glad I didn’t. As for the rest of the day, I wish I took the train home. It happened exactly the same as last time, I got in my head that they weren’t there and adjusted my plans accordingly. Then of course they showed up at the cinema and I had to adjust again. I know what the problem is here, I know I have issues with being flexible and being too rigid in my expectations. That’s not the issue, the problem is I wanted them not to be there. I wanted to see the film by myself and just generally be left alone. The first time I wanted them not to be there because I was mad at them. This time I’m not mad at them for being unreliable, I just didn’t want to see them.

I didn’t have to worry so much with talking too much, instead I had the opposite problem, that of finding any words at all. Except for the rant which wasn’t planned at all I had no idea what to talk about. I think the friendship is finally coming to and end. I have a hunch they might feel the same way. At least I hope they do, it’ll make what comes next easier. They themselves summed up the problem, I don’t know if it was deliberate on their part. If their words were meant to tell me something, whether it was deliberate or not I got the message. They talked about someone new they’ve met and whom they like. The gist of their point was that conversation with the person in question is easy and flows naturally, it just builds itself. Not like us then, not anymore anyway. Though as of late I feel that way with a lot of people but more so with them, it’s true.

It’s kind of weird that we saw Deadpool in light of recent developments. In the film Deadpool in his previous life falls in love in an unlikely set of circumstances. But it works for them, until he gets sick anyway. He left for her, because he didn’t want her to see him suffer. Everything he did was for her. I can only imagine what it must be like to love someone else that much. At the end after everything has gone wrong and she sees him for who he is now she accepts him back. He was scared she would reject him because of the way he looks and I guess because she’d be angry at him for leaving, which she was. I’m not sure what my point is, just that it felt weird to be watching that film now.

The journey home was the worst point, this was the problem the last time I went out as well. Though it turned out to be a little different this time, at least I didn’t have to deal with feeling like I was going to suffocate. In a way that would have been easier to deal with, at least with that you know what’s going on and what to do about it. I hate not knowing how I’m feeling, just having a general idea that I’m on edge about something. I’m not quite sure what prompted such a reaction, I was a little stressed out on the first part of the journey but not so much. Nothing that my headphones and some fan-fiction couldn’t fix. It might be their unexpected presence, it wasn’t planned for them to be a part of the return journey. I don’t like surprises or deal well with them at the best of times, so that may be the reason.

I just wanted them to go away, I was trying and failing to listen to them. At the same time I was trying to remember Toni Kroos, about being as calm and collected as he is known for being. Being afraid and worried is fine, letting other people see that is not. I was also thinking about what the Hulk said to Captain America when he told him it was time to get angry: “That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry.”

I’m not always angry but I am always very close to the edge of being so. Most of the time it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge.
All I had to do was to get through it, to keep calm and remain as much as possible in control. This is the kind of situation Jogi cards were made for. Somehow I got through it in one piece, though not without them picking up on the fact something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t appreciate their remark about selective hearing though. That really upset me, I thought they of all people would know how difficult it is to listen to other people, let alone when you’re in an environment you aren’t entirely comfortable with. At that point I decided on giving up on putting so much effort into it. If they don’t appreciate the effort you’re making then it’s not worth it. I shouldn’t even have been trying anyway, I should have just told them the truth and admitted I can neither listen nor talk right now. I should have saved my resources for more important things.

All things considered it wasn’t a good day but it could have been worse. I can see that now. After all I did get home in one piece, I couldn’t pay much attention to Dortmund’s game last night that’s true but I can watch it again. The main thing is I didn’t spend all of today in bed because of it. The events of one day are not going to be allowed to dictate how I feel about the rest of the weekend. No, that’s Freiburg’s job. They play Kaiserslautern tomorrow. How I feel about the weekend will instead rest upon how well they play and the result of the game. Just like it should be.

A Bad Moment or a Bad Day

I can’t remember which prompt or even which day but I remember reading something which more or less made the point that one moment is just that. The day is made up of a thousand and one tiny moments, why do you have to let the one bad one dominate everything else. I’ve had plenty of time to ponder such thoughts this morning having woken up at around 4:00am. It’s not so bad, I did get to bed early so it’s not like I’ve only had six hours sleep. And it’s only thee hours before I was meant to be getting up anyway.

I went to bed in a none too happy mood so it’s not at all surprising that I woke up in one. It took a while before I realised that what happened yesterday really is just a minor disagreement. Certainly not something to still be obsessing over now. Their comment may have been a little thoughtless but that’s all it was. It still hurts but there’s no point in getting hung up on it. Which I know is easier said than done, I’m trying at least. It’s just such a painful reminder, that in other people’s happiness is a reminder of the things I can’t yet do. I’m happy for the person in question, I really am. Making the step towards living by yourself is a big deal and for them it’s a bigger deal than for most. They aren’t the problem, it’s other people making careless remarks and asking questions without really thinking about what they’re saying that’s the issue.

I resisted getting up at first because it was so early. Now I see I should have just gotten straight up regardless of the time. All staying in bed and trying to get back to sleep achieved was providing more time for such obsessive thoughts to take root. It’s better to get up and do something, even if that something is just watching TV. Now I’m all woken up and busy worrying about today. Staying out of trouble is a lot easier when you don’t spend that much time around other people. Today it’s going to be put to the test, spending half the day with someone and avoiding any difficult topics of conversation. Plus remembering not to talk about, well almost everything I like. Which makes me wonder, why are we friends again? Or are we even friends anymore. I just have to remember, it’s just a few hours. Soon enough it’ll all be over and I can get back here to see Dortmund’s game against Porto tonight. And if I need any help in staying cool I should just think of Toni Kroos. Just because you’re under pressure doesn’t mean you have to show it, not at the time anyway.

Yesterday I was trying to work out what the problem is with Monday’s, lately they’ve been a particularly non-productive day. I went through all of the days of the week and noticed the pattern I’ve fallen into. The start of the week is readjusting, the middle point of the week is starting to think I might be getting somewhere and then along comes Friday and the weekend and I’m back to square one. I could as I’ve been doing try to change the pattern, which hasn’t been going at all well. Or I could just write off Monday, accept I won’t get much done and make the most of the days I can actually do anything.

In trying to straighten out my schedule I think part of the problem is how I react when I can’t sleep. I get impatient and want to get out of bed and do something, feeling like it’s wasted time and if I’m not going to sleep then I may as well be getting on with something. But then I don’t know that because I give up long before I should. I think reading fan fiction or anything online when I’m in bed is bad idea. Reading is fine in itself, but it has to be an actual book. Of course I’ll have to pick what book it is carefully. The two books I’m reading right now certainly aren’t of any help. One is about Colombian drug cartels and the other is about a man who wants to kill himself so he can be with his recently deceased wife but the world and well meaning people keep getting in the way. I’m not sure I even own any lighthearted books which won’t give me nightmares or cause troublesome thoughts which will just keep me awake even longer. I wonder if comics will be suitable. I’ve never been a fan of them but I’ve giving it another shot, I just bought The Complete Winter Soldier. The reason being my recent fascination with Bucky and Sebastian Stan. It’s a worth a shot I guess. Who knows maybe I might dream about the winter soldier as a result. Even if it’s a nightmare it would be worth it, just to have him in my dreams.

Halfway Back to Normal

Almost there now, the Bundesliga is back and in full swing. Now all I need is for the 2.Bundesliga to resume and everything will be back to normal. Freiburg play their final pre-season friendly this Sunday, their first game back at home. They’ll be playing Amir Abrashi’s former team Grasshopper Club Zurich. It’s their final test before the league resumes and they play Bochum on the 5th February. I’m grateful they’re playing on a Friday the first week back, it’ll take a while to get used to having to get up early on the weekend again.  There won’t be any time to waste in readjusting after that, Freiburg don’t play on a Friday for the next three weeks afterwards. They won’t be playing on a day which isn’t Saturday or Sunday until March when they have a midweek game right at the start of the month. By then everything really will be back to normal, more of the DFB Pokal, the Champions League and the Europa League. Not to mention the international break in March. There will be plenty of games to watch, too many in fact. But then it’s better to have too much to do than too little. One game I am really looking forward to is the clash with RB Leipzig on the 7th March. Once again the tie gets the honour of being the game of the week and thus they play on the Monday night.

Tonight the second weekend of the Rückrunde kicked off with Mainz playing host to Gladbach. Both of them were looking to bounce back from a defeat, Mainz in particular needing a win after only taking one point from their last three games. They certainly worked hard for the three points they collected tonight, keeper Karrius in particular having another excellent game. His save in the 71st minute was nothing short of outstanding, so good was it in fact that I needed to make a GIF of it:

Karius_save_Mainz_v_GladbachHopefully when Freiburg’s season resumes I can get back into a good routine in regards to sleeping patterns. Because in truth this week has been something of a disaster. Not only do I not remember a great deal of it but I’m not happy with how much I’ve gotten done either. I’m sure if I’d gotten more than one good night of sleep along the way I could have done more. I’ve had plenty of ideas story wise and I’ve made lots of notes, I just don’t feel like actually doing anything with them yet. So I’ve only gotten started on one of them, I have nine pages so far of “Hansi’s Busy Day.” Other than that my major achievement of the week is collecting all 100 steel ingots in Fallout 3. I’m also thinking about the video I’ve got planned in celebration of Jogi’s birthday next week, it’s close to completion. I’ve got about a minute left to find pictures for. The one for Hansi’s birthday is already done ironically, given his birthday is towards the end of the month.

Getting that finished is my number one priority, everything else can be dealt with afterwards. I know I should be trying to think a little more long term but it’s just not possible right now. This week getting dressed has been enough of a challenge, I’m not looking for extra ways to put pressure on myself. I’m trying not to beat myself up about the fact that I don’t think I’ve gotten out of bed before 10:00am this week. The one day I know I was up in the morning doesn’t count because I’d been up all night, so it was a question of still being up rather than getting up.

I think I may have done a little too much last week and gotten a little too excited about the return of the Bundesliga. I probably should have skipped seeing The Hateful Eight. I’m certainly paying the price for it now.

The one advantage to being too tired to do anything means I haven’t really talked to anyone. Which in theory should mean I have nothing to obsess over right now. But I do thanks to the internet and my own impulsiveness. Though I’m trying not to see if that way. Instead of focusing on it as just a mistake to obsess over I’m trying to see it as something I can learn from.  Whether I did anything wrong or not I don’t know and I have no way of being sure. I have to make my peace with that. I did what I did and there’s no going back on it. Working out if I’ve done something wrong or not and just what that might be is not what I’m trying to work on. What I’m trying to work on is that sometimes the answers you seek aren’t there, sometimes you just have to let it go.

One thing I can’t stop thinking about is an article someone mentioned online, about asylum seekers being made to wear wristbands in order to receive food and being threatened with being reported to the authorities if they didn’t comply. Apparently the practice has been stopped now and the company in question has apologized. I find that of little comfort because they only did that after it was reported on in the media. If it hadn’t been brought to their attention no doubt they would have continued with the practice. Whilst the idea in itself is somewhat troublesome it’s not what I found most troubling about the whole thing. What bothered me the most is the comments I read online. It’s troublesome that many people don’t see a problem with it. Not only do some people not see a problem with visually identifying people in such a way but even suggesting they should just be grateful they’re being helped at all.

It’s troubling they can’t see how dangerous it is, that separating people out that way is never a good thing and can easily lead to other more troublesome practices. I found it disturbing personally because of another similar idea a while back in relation to disabled people. A local politician got this harebrained scheme about how disabled people, particularly those who don’t have visible disabilities should wear some kind of identification to identify them as such. When they were of course roundly criticized for it they claimed not to see the problem, claiming that it would be helpful for other people to know, like if they were in a situation they needed help and couldn’t tell people they had a disability or that they required assistance. I don’t buy their explanation, not least because what they describe already exists. I have something to serve that very purpose, it’s an autism alert card which has on it all the relevant details plus emergency contact information should it be required. The point is it’s a card I keep in my pocket, I use it when I choose to. I don’t wear it round my neck or have it pinned to my jacket for everyone else to see. Because in no world should anyone have to do that, to tell everyone they encounter about their disability or that you even have one. It’s your right whether you chose to disclose it or not, you don’t have to tell everyone you meet. Their crazy idea would take away that choice.

Not to mention it could have disastrous consequences. In a perfect world no-one would get picked or on or pushed around for any reason. Meanwhile back in the real world ideas like these wristbands and wearing identification of that sort can be a short cut to getting more attention than you’d like drawn to you. The last thing you need is another reason to stand out. I know that from personal experience at school and college. Whatever school I’ve gone to I’ve found that being associated in any way with the special needs class puts a target on your back that it’s impossible to get rid of. Personally I’m not bothered about that or ashamed of it any way, I wasn’t then and I’m not now. I really don’t care and if someone was willing to judge me on that basis then they’re not worth knowing anyway. What I do care about is getting hassled.

The other reason I can’t stop thinking about it is because of a book I just finished reading called “Ajax: The Dutch, the War.” It tells the story of Dutch football throughout WW2 and beyond, it also looks at the relationship between certain clubs, the role Antisemitism still plays in Dutch football and how political changes in Holland affect such things. One of the most interesting topics the book addresses is whether or not the Dutch were good or bad during the war. Like other countries in Europe they had a system set up to deal with collaborators and to assign appropriate punishment to those deemed to have worked with or for the Germans, particularly when they didn’t have to. One of the myths about Holland during WW2 is that they tried hard to save their Jewish population and also that the population was heavily involved with the Resistance. In actuality the Dutch were surprisingly efficient about co-operating with the Germans and their efforts to help got them a special mention by the Germans in correspondence regarding the operation. Despite the reality the myth was somehow propagated that  the Dutch were good. In truth the majority of the Dutch population was not particularly good or bad. For most people life simply carried on as normal.

It’s a fascinating read and I’ve learnt a lot from it, not just about the Dutch clubs and the culture of Dutch football but about politics in Holland too. Also I learnt a few new things about WW2, particularly in relation to Denmark. I’d heard the oft repeated myth that King Christian wore the Jewish star in solidarity with the Jews. It’s a myth because the star was never imposed in Denmark. But there is a bit of truth in the myth. What actually happened was that King Christian said he would wear it in the event it was introduced. Trivia aside there was another interesting point the book made. Denmark saved the majority of it’s Jewish population, helping them escape across the Sound to neutral Sweden. And the ones they didn’t get out of the country they still helped, making sure they stayed at Theresienstadt instead of being sent to a death camp. But Danes don’t like to talk about it or make a big deal about it. The book mentions a quote from the first major book written on the subject which praises the “special character and moral stature of the Danish people.”

Unsurprisingly Danes were embarrassed by that kind of talk,  it is quite over the top. What bothers me about it is the idea that saving someone makes the Danes or anyone else special for doing that. The idea that helping out a fellow human being is in some way special or remarkable. It should be normal, but I know that’s a very naive way of seeing things.

Getting back to the point, the author mentioned the Danes to make a comparison. His point is that the Dutch for years told a false story of having done all they could to help the Jews, yet the Danes did actually do it but they didn’t like to talk about it. In a way I do understand why the Dutch or anyone else would have liked to tell themselves they and their fellow countrymen did something to help. It’s certainly more palatable than the truth. To admit to yourself that you didn’t even try to do anything. From that perspective it makes sense someone might not want to be honest about the past. A review I read criticized the book for being too angry and too over-critical of the Dutch. I don’t agree with that at all, but if the author were a little angry I think it’s understandable. After all why wouldn’t someone be angry about what happened during WW2, I know it made me angry to read about policeman willingly helping German soldiers rounding up people. Not because they were threatened, not them or their families. Nor were they threatened with being sent to a camp or to work in Germany. No, the only punishment which awaited them was losing their holiday time. If that doesn’t make you angry then I think you should question why that is.

The Good, the Bad & The Hateful Eight

So far the month has been somewhat mixed, not bad but not particularly good either. Today is not shaping up to be an especially good day either. I’m happy about finally getting to see The Hateful Eight and about some social time, not to mention getting to share my latest Jogi videos. What I’m not happy about and still very anxious about is where we’re seeing the film. I’ve finally made my peace with having to wait so long to see it. Hansi’s playing concept helped on that count. But it’s not of any help in dealing with being nervous about going to a new place. In fact the enforced change of location may have something to do with the trouble I’ve been having getting to sleep the past few nights. That however is not the worst thing of all. The worst thing of all is the news about Nils Petersen, four weeks out with an ankle injury. I know it’s a good thing that it’s only a month and not longer but still, he’ll miss the very important and no doubt difficult trip to Bochum straight after the winter break. The silver lining is he’ll be back in time for game against Leipzig. It’ll be interesting and a little worrying to see how the team deals with his absence. In the league he’s scored fifteen goals and is indisputably their top scorer. Vincenzo Grifo has eight goals so he may be able to step in somewhat. Hopefully new signing Harvard Nielsen may also prove to be of some use.

Whilst I’m not happy about having to wait so long to see the film it is kind of fitting that I’ll be seeing it today. On the day I was meant to see it I ended up staying home and watching Liverpool play Exeter City in the FA Cup. It’s fitting because I watched some of the replay of that game last night. Strange how things work out. It’s also funny in light of the dream I had yesterday. Whilst I have no idea what exactly it was about I do know that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was there. He was wearing the Batman undershirt and he uttered the words “Do you remember?”

To get back to today’s events it’s odd that I’m looking forward to it because I’ve got an ever growing stack of messages that I haven’t replied to. I keep saying I’ll do it and then I don’t. And of course the longer you leave it the harder it gets. With one person in particular I just have no idea what to say to them. It’s just too much work right now, both the prospect of finding the right words and of spending time with them. I suspect the difference is that I know I won’t be able to talk about anything special interest related and I don’t have the resources to do that right now. There’s something very troubling about the whole situation. How is it that it’s the autistic friend who’s putting pressure on me to act normal and not a NT one.

I read somewhere that every once in a while you should do something that scares you. I think it’s in the book Send in the Idiots that the author talks about how for him and some autistic people speaking to strangers or making small talk is kind of like an extreme sport. It’s a very apt description. I try to do that one in a while, something that scares me that is, not talking to strangers. Challenging yourself is a good thing, attempting the possible is pointless. I only talk to strangers when it’s absolutely necessary. The problem with the idea is that when a person is scared of so many things it’s hard to pick something which actually makes you feel like you’ve made some kind of progress or really achieved anything at all. Because I’m aware of how absurd other people consider such things to be. I’m also aware that there’s some truth in that, a lot of my fears are ridiculous. But that doesn’t change how I feel at the time. One of the things I find most difficult is saying no to someone. I don’t know why, I’m very blunt and to the point in other ways.  I’d like to be able to do that, to just come right out with it and tell someone I can’t or don’t want to do something. Without all of the obsessing and panicking that normally proceeds such a thing. Or worse me avoiding saying it until they figure it out by themselves.

On a good note there’s just one more day till the Bundesliga returns. On Friday night Bayern will visit HSV. It should prove interesting, last season Bayern drew 0-0 in Hamburg and they are much improved this season. Whether or not they can hold off Bayern again remains to be seen. I personally wouldn’t place any money on it. Of course last season Bayern went undefeated in the first half of the season, not so this year. They’ve already drawn once to Eintracht Frankfurt and lost to Gladbach. It’s the latter that is part of the other big event of the weekend when they play Dortmund. I’m looking forward to Bayern’s game mostly because I’m hoping I’ll get a Jogi video but it’s Dortmund’s game I really can’t wait for. Not to mention Köln v Stuttgart. At least it looks like a fun filled first weekend back. I don’t anticipate getting a lot of sleep which strangely enough is what happened on the first weekend of the season. Though the advantage of the 2.Bundesliga starting a little later is that I don’t have to get up so early on Saturday and Sunday. Despite being aware sleep will be hard to come by I am at least prepared in every other way. I have plenty of snacks, German beer and more importantly will be watching and recording the game on two channels. Meaning there won’t be a repeat of the disaster of what happened on the first weekend of the season, I won’t be making that mistake again. On the subject of Hamburg I found out yesterday that Germany will be playing their first WM 2018 qualifier against the Czech Republic there, much to my displeasure. Even worse they’ll be playing Northern Ireland in Hannover. They’ve also announced the dates for two other friendlies, one before and after the Euros. The former is their final warm up game before the tournament and will be played in Augsburg on the 4th June. No words on the opponents yet though.

I certainly don’t have to worry about getting up early today, thanks to my unusual sleeping patterns this week I have a rather different problem to contend with. Having gotten to bed at an absurdly late hour the previous night I got up very late yesterday. So of course getting some sleep today is going to be something of a challenge. I need to get some sleep before going out but it’s not easy to switch off. At least I’ve put the time to good use and haven’t been up half the night playing Playstation. Instead I’ve been doing some research for my latest story. As it turns out I know nothing about neurotypical five year olds, or really typically developing children of any age. Which is only natural given that I don’t have any NT siblings and have had more non-NT friends than NT. I’ve not needed to do much research at all for the other child in the story. It’s not like I would, I know enough about autism and can remember enough to know what’s it’s like to have an autistic child around. What I don’t know is how a NT child would fit into that situation and how they might feel about their sibling. It’s an interesting challenge, not an easy I have to admit. Seeing things from someone else’s perspective isn’t exactly a strong point of mine. With this in mind I plan on seeking out some NTs, or as many as I can round up anyway to hear their thoughts on the matter. I may be short on sleep today and slightly anxious about the alteration to my plans but at least I’m not short on ideas.  I already have an outline for my next three chapters, so even if I don’t get anything done writing wise over the weekend (which is a very real possibility) at least I can console myself with the fact I’ve got something done. Besides the transitions story ended up running to 42 pages so I can’t complain, and it’s not even finished yet.

Advent Calendar Day 22: Weihnachtsgruß von Joachim Löw/King Neuer

Behind door number 22 in the Freiburg advent calendar was Spanish defender Marc Torejon. As the title suggests I finally have Manuel Neuer’s DFB card and he was well worth the wait. And joining them from the Dortmund calendar is Henrikh Mhkitaryan:

Manuel Neuer - DFB 2015-16 card 1 Manuel Neuer - DFB 2015-16 card 2 Henrikh Mhkitaryan - Dortmund advent calendarAs well as these I also have Christmas greetings from Jogi Löw, from a short but sweet little video from the DFB site:

Weihnachtsgruß von Joachim Löw 1 Weihnachtsgruß von Joachim Löw 2Yesterday I was angry, today I’m just confused. I can make no more sense of why I was angry today than I could yesterday. At least I’m in a slightly better mood, the weather has something to do with that. It’s been raining all day long. I didn’t wake up angry at least which is a good thing. Though I didn’t manage to get to sleep by a decent hour, in bed but not asleep. That’s not so good but I don’t have any real complaints about that because of how the time was spent. I couldn’t get to sleep so easily so I turned to a tried and trusted method. I wrote a Matze adventure, at best it would help me to figure out why I was angry, at worst it would at least give me something to do with said anger. It didn’t help me work out why but it must have helped on some level because I did fall asleep eventually. It is a shame however that I spent the whole day asleep, had I not done do I would have had the place to myself all day.

Last week I was confused as to what day it was because of my odd sleeping patterns and because of the DFB Pokal. Now I’m equally confused though I don’t have football to blame, at least not in quite the same way. One way it is to blame is that there’s no countdown to match-day, because there isn’t one. Not yet anyway, for the Bundesliga it’s at the end of January and the 2.B the beginning of February. Last night after I’d finished writing the post I was working on and decided that an early night was best all of a sudden I wanted to stay up all night and I had plenty of ideas I could have started working on. But I didn’t and I can’t help but wonder if staying up would have been a better option. Truth is it probably wouldn’t, it doesn’t really matter. Stay up and it would have felt wrong and I would have been annoyed with myself, spend the day in bed as I did and the same would still be true. Whatever I do these days it feels wrong.

In fact I’m not sure what I’m doing right now is right. Today or tomorrow depending on your perspective, to me it feels very much like tomorrow because of how late I got up, I’m going to see Star Wars and to finish off the last of my Christmas shopping. I have no idea where sleep fits into the equation, if at all. I don’t even know if I’m tired or not. I’m not really sure how I feel or what it means. My head feels strange but then it has done these past few weeks. All I can think is that I wish I could cancel, maybe still do the shopping part but not the cinema part. I’m not particularly enthused about being in the presence of another person nor having to focus on a film for 135mins. I wish I could stay at home and half watch several films whilst typing up more story notes. That’s what I plan to do when I finish this post. I have Big Hero 6 on right now, I still don’t like the film that much but Baymax is still awesome. The scene at the police station is comedic genius, the tape and then Baymax acting like he’s drunk because he needs charging, funny beyond words. And him sitting there holding the cat, “hairy baby.”Like I said too funny for words.

I may not know how I feel or if I’m doing the right thing right now, or what to do about the final sticker for my Road to Euro 2016 album but I do know one thing for sure. The Book Thief is definitely the book I’m going to read next. I can test my theory as to whether or not the plot point which bugs me does so enough to compromise my enjoyment of it. After how trying The Man from Berlin has been it’ll be a nice change of pace, reading something which is very familiar. Plus it has a very pleasing easily readable feel to it anyway which will help. I’m down to the last eighty pages of The Man from Berlin now, all the pieces are starting to come together. I know who the killers are and for one of them I know the reason why. But I still don’t feel like I know the main character any better or understand his motivations. It just all feels very generic and it doesn’t do it’s setting any justice. The Kite Runner for example got me interested in Afghanistan and created a genuine enthusiasm for the country and it’s history.  And whilst I didn’t like the main character at all I was at least invested in finding out what happened to him. Not so with Gregor Reinhardt, I really don’t care. The only thing driving me to finish the book is my need to complete everything. Maybe The Kite Runner should be next on my list after The Book Thief, I haven’t read it in a while. Over Christmas I usually have a video game marathon but I’m not very interested in gaming right now. I think a stack of books is the way to go. It’ll be the better option I think, reading doesn’t give my mind the opportunity to wander like gaming does. Plus it’ll be good to have some screen free time and to make some headway on my ever growing to read pile. I got an unexpected gift today in the form of some extra Christmas money. I could be responsible and put it in the bank or I could visit the second hand book-store and pick up a few random and interesting titles. Obviously it’s the latter I’ve decided upon, I can be responsible in January. Right now I want to buy some more books.