Tag Archives: Writing

Hiding Away

I haven’t yet learnt from the mistakes I made last week or really all of the month which just passed. Getting into a good sleeping pattern is proving to be quite elusive, as is getting much sleep at all at night. I can sleep fine just not when it’s dark. It’s proving difficult to break that pattern and has been a challenge ever since it started in November.

I keep telling myself that I’m fine, a little scattered and distracted but otherwise fine. I don’t know if it’s everybody else I’m trying to fool or myself. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m not sad, angry or worried about anything. I’m just tired that’s all. There’s nothing in particular that’s bothering me. Just the usual little things but that’s normal. Making mistakes in social situations is a pretty routine worry. It’s not the mistakes I’ve made which bother me so much. It’s the complete lack of interest I have in spending any real time with other people. I’ll finally have some money in my pocket at the end of the week to go to the cinema and there’s a few people I could invite. Yet I’ve asked no-one because I’m not even sure I want to go by myself, let alone with anyone else. I don’t want to have to go through the motions of making conversation and just being around someone else. Replying to e-mails has been bad enough, who would have thought that writing just a few short lines could be so much hard work. I spent more time obsessing over them and thinking about what I should write than I did working on any actual projects. Time which could have been put to better use. And it didn’t help any, it’s just my usual anxious obsessing over whether or not something is the right thing to say or not. It wasn’t constructive at all , the only thing I learnt from it was the pointlessness of doing so.

Forget about inviting anyone else the thought of going outside is enough to fill me with dread. Which is natural since I’ve been avoiding doing so, thus making it even more difficult. I went out a grand total of one time last month and I still regret doing that. I keep getting told that it’ll be good for me to get out, that the longer I leave it the more difficult it’ll get and that spending time with someone would be good for me too. They may be right on the first two counts but I don’t think they are on the third. I think the last thing I need is more confusion and something else to obsess over.

Like I said I don’t know if I’m fine or not. From my point of view I’m only not fine when I have to think about talking to someone or going outside. Question is whether that’s a problem or not. If I’m ok with it then surely it’s not, regardless of what other people think. They most likely think I’m starting to slip back into my old habits, of spending all my time indoors, avoiding other people, sleeping too much, sleeping in the day instead of at night and just avoiding the outside world in general. They’re not exactly wrong but there is one difference, I didn’t choose for this pattern to take over again. I don’t want to be asleep in the day. I’m trying to stop that but it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle. Whilst I’m not able to get everything straight on that count surely it matters that I’m not just spending my time gaming all night. I am actually doing something which can be construed as constructive. True it’s something I’m being quite obsessive about but then I don’t think it can happen any other way. The only way I can commit to something is when I’m obsessed with it. Truth is I wouldn’t mind writing something a little different, but I can’t find the space in my head to think about anything or anyone else.

In a conversation on the subject of relationships and taking the next step someone told me that if I wanted to find space for someone else I would. That if I really wanted them around I would make room for them. I guess the fact I haven’t done that answers the question. Simply put my stories are meeting my social needs right now. I can spend most of the day with my characters and that’s enough. They don’t stress me out like people do in real life. The story I’m working on right now is very much all consuming. Most of my ideas are for it and most of thoughts are centered around it. A lot of my internet time has been taken up by it too, in the form of reading about autism and language development.

I’m fine with it being so all consuming right now because eventually it will be finished. Not only that but I’m kind of glad it is because it prevents me from having to find something to do with my time. Though on the subject of it meeting my social requirements I can’t help but think about that conversation I had last month about similar matters. One of the points made was that maybe because these particular characters are so all consuming that by the time I’m done writing there’s little left in terms of energy or motivation for anyone or anything else.

I would say I’m rambling now so I’ll end this post here, but then I think all of this post is most likely rambling. Sometimes you need to do that, to write randomly about something, not knowing what or why. Maybe looking back on this a few weeks from now it’ll make some sense and maybe it won’t. Either way it helped to write it. On the subject of randomness there is one thing I have to mention. Today Germany’s opponents were announced for their last two preparation games before the Euros. They’ll be playing Slovakia and Hungary. It’s amusing to me because at the end of last week I watched the Slovakia-Germany game from 2006 and made the usual Jogi video from it. In fact it’s that video which I’m putting online for Jogi’s birthday on Wednesday. Two important days this week, Wednesday and then the really big day which is Friday. Finally Freiburg’s season will be resuming when they visit Bochum. I’m more nervous about it than looking forward to it, but I am excited the league is back. I can’t fix anything right now but I can be happy about that. At least I know there is one guaranteed good thing this week. Regardless of how well or not the rest of the week goes at least I can see them play come Friday evening.

More Mini Men/Rückrunde 2015/16

I want to start the post the same way I did last year, with a picture of some more mini-men. Though these are a different kind, compared to the Jogi and Klinsi ones I got last year they really are mini. That is in size, they aren’t actually called mini-men like the others. The other difference is that they’re of Manuel Neuer and Jogi. I’m not sure the Jogi one is a good likeness but Neuer’s isn’t bad.Though the height of them is all wrong, Neuer is way taller than Jogi and pretty much everyone else (except for Mertesacker of course). For fun I added a picture of last year’s mini men too:

IMG_20160122_210706IMG_20150130_114505I also got another Manuel Neuer collectible recently, his shiny sticker from the new Champions League album. To make it even more perfect in the stickers I bought on Thursday I got the shiny sticker of none other than Robert Lewandowski. I kept them to open just before the game started, for good luck. He really does have excellent timing:

Manuel Neuer - shiny Bayern CL 15-16 sticker Robert Lewandowski - shiny Bayern CL 15-16 stickerThe first day of the second half of the season went much better than the first, not so much for Bayern but for me. I learnt my lesson from that day to always have a back-up plan and this time around I got the video of Jogi’s half-time interview plus a short video of him with Pep Guardiola. At least I know that if I don’t get much sleep tonight that won’t be the cause, I won’t spend half the night trying and failing to get that video like I did back on MD1. I can have no complaints about how today went, not everything went perfect but that’s not so important for once. What matters is the things that were most important went right, and as a bonus I got a new Hansi video too.

The game may not have been much fun and Bayern certainly aren’t at their best yet but at least Jogi was right this time around in his prediction as to who would win. Last year he predicted Wolfsburg and Bayern would draw 2-2, in reality Wolfsburg won 4-1. This time he was right but only just, he said Bayern would hold on to their lead if they didn’t lose concentration. They managed to pull one back after Xabi Alonso’s own goal not long after the first of the second half and that’s how the score stayed, 2-1 thanks to Lewandowski’s second goal. He scored their first as well which was a penalty, given after Adler brought down Müller in the box in the 36th minute. So it’s Robert Lewandowski who gets the honour of scoring the first goal of the Rückrunde. The second goal I particularly like because the first move was a long and(as usual) exceedingly accurate pass from Manuel Neuer to Thiago. Neuer was where he’s often to be found, up near the half-way line. The goal itself was excellent, as was the final pass from Müller, in both cases showcasing their quick thinking. But it’s Neuer’s part in it that I like. Firstly because I always enjoy watching his terrific ability to pick out a pass and secondly because the last time Bayern played HSV in Hamburg he was involved in another incident in the same place. He got a yellow card for a tackle made just before the half-way line. It’s good that this time I’m writing about something positive and not another incident like that.

Robert Lewandowksi penalty – HSV v Bayern – first goal of the Rückrunde 2015-16

Robert Lewandowski goal – HSV v Bayern 2015-16

Manuel Neuer - HSV v Bayern 1 Manuel Neuer - HSV v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowski - HSV v Bayern 1 Robert Lewandowski - HSV v Bayern 2One final picture I have to add to this post to make it just like last time is a screenshot from YouTube. Last year I was obsessed with one of my Jogi videos beating a Kretschmann one in my stats. Now of course TK has been outnumbered by Jogi several times over. But both of them have been overtaken by the man of the hour Robert Lewandowski, that’s thanks to his two post-match interviews after the Wolfsburg game in the first half of the season. With those two videos alone he racked up precisely 232,846 views. So it’s fitting that he’s at the top of this week stats:

screenshot-www youtube com 2016-01-23 05-00-42On the subject of videos I made and uploaded a special one to celebrate the return of the Bundesliga, one which contains some of my favourite Jogi & Hansi moments:

As expected I got close to nothing done today but I did come up with a few interesting ideas and make some notes. The most important of these being a new alternate time-line. I currently have two Jogi & Hansi time-lines for their adventures, one starting in 2014 and one starting in 2008. I now have another one which starts in 1996 thanks to a very random conversation which I had earlier. Originally I hadn’t planned on talking to anyone at all today but they drew me in talking about some thoughts they had on a story. So intriguing was the following idea I had to make a note of it right there and then, before I even had breakfast. You know an idea’s a good one when it’s more important than getting something to eat. I just wish I could remember the conversation which led to it. I have all of the idea down on paper, all of my thoughts. But I’d really like to know what they said which led to me coming up with this idea. It’ll have to wait, they’re not going to be pleased if I wake them up at 6:00am to ask them about it. Waiting patiently is certainly not going to be easy, it’s hard enough to switch off as it is without that on my mind. I am way too excited right now, mostly because of the prospect of the Gladbach game and also because I can’t wait to get started on my new idea. But I have to get some sleep, at least four hours. I promised myself at the end of the summer that I wouldn’t let what happened on the first day of the season happen again.

Witness Protection

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

This is yesterday’s prompt but I didn’t have any thoughts on the matter then. Also I didn’t find today’s prompt particularly interesting which is ironic given the prompt in question asks what bores you. Logically it would be better to be surrounded by strangers, after all if you do something stupid or make a mistake then you’ll never have to face them again. But on days like today being surrounded by friends is a better idea. Well not surrounded, I don’t want to be surrounded by anyone. I don’t like groups of people, no matter how many people.

Today I went to an unfamiliar place, a cinema I’d never been to before and one I never plan to visit again. All of this was in aid of seeing The Hateful Eight, and it pains me to say it but it wasn’t worth it. I never thought I’d see the day when Quentin Tarantino disappointed me. I missed Freiburg’s friendly against FC Basel for this. For three mind numbing hours I had to be subjected to scenes which from a visual perspective felt very familiar, plenty of long and over indulgent scenes and substandard dialogue. The former I can live with, I actually quite enjoyed picking out the similarity of certain shots to scenes from Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. But the latter is not acceptable at all. It’s not the violence I have a problem with or the racist language used. Django features a lot of both those things, difference is in Django it had a purpose and was in context. Here it was just a gore-fest. And Tim Roth was doing a bad impression of Christoph Waltz, he was veering between Hans Landa and King Schultz.

But none of that is my point. My point is today wasn’t easy to deal with, having to deal with change or an unfamiliar situation of some kind never is. One thing which made it slightly easier is the thought that I was doing it for a good reason. That I would be rewarded for my suffering. Whilst that wasn’t true today wasn’t a lost cause. Today did prove to me that sometimes it’s good to have other people around, not only that but it’s ok to let them help you. It was just a small thing they did to help me out. It’s not what they did that’s so important to me, it’s how they did it. I’ve been on edge the past few days, mostly because of today and partly because of Friday. I’m both excited and yet apprehensive. More than anything I just don’t want something to go wrong. But getting back to today, being on edge and not having gotten much sleep meant I’ve been a little bit more twitchy and uncoordinated than usual. My friend was worried I would drop my popcorn and drink, as they put it “it was an accident waiting to happen.” Like I said it’s not only what they did but how. They didn’t make a big deal of it, they didn’t fuss over me or anything like that. They just took it from my hands and gave it back to me when I could take hold of it properly. I’m not good at letting people help me but I didn’t really have a choice. It was either let them take it or risk having no popcorn to eat. Sometimes practicality has to trump my own stubbornness and need to do everything myself. Even better is the fact I’m not beating myself up about it which is what usually happens. It’s odd that way, whenever I need someone to speak for me or help someone else understand what I’m saying I feel stupid about it and obsess endlessly over it. But when it’s something that requires physical help I’m less obsessive about it. I wonder why one is easier to accept than the other.

There’s also two other good things about today, one of which might not have happened if I’d stayed at home. Talking about how unsatisfying the new Millennium book is we naturally got to talking about August. It’s my view that August would be better off far away from his mother and that she doesn’t deserve a second chance at taking care of him. In discussing how lackluster the ending is I got the idea of writing my own version. Not only that but writing a back story of sorts for August. I came up with the idea partly because of a comment made by someone else about one of my stories. They want to know more of what the autistic character is thinking. I told them I’m not doing that, not yet anyway. Because the reader not knowing what he’s thinking gives some idea of how his parents feel. Why should the reader get to know things they don’t? Not knowing what he thinks gives the reader a better understanding of how frustrating such a situation can be for all parties. Despite my position on that story I do like the idea of doing such a thing for August. The second good thing was getting someone else’s opinion on the first Matze chapter. Not only am I happy they liked it but their comments really mean a lot to me.

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.

Reason to Believe

Reason to Believe

In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

The first thing that came to mind is the idea that one day all of this might make sense.  After a late night and some video related frustrations (which thankfully have now been resolved) I was not in a good mood at all. Last night I was already starting to wonder what the point of anything is, the video problems made it all the worse. But then thinking of how I should be grateful I could see the game at all I snapped out of it. Not to mention the fact that it was just a friendly, I did technically miss the first goal of the year that Freiburg scored but it’s not a competitive goal so it’s not so bad. The other two things which helped change my mind was a scene from the episode of Deutschland 83 I saw last night and two new pictures of Hansi I got over the weekend.

In last night’s episode Moritz drove General Edel to a conference in Brussels and in between driving him around and planting a bug on a desk meant for a security analyst he found some time to have a bit of fun. Fun which included the purchasing of a Walkman. He’d never seen one before and he didn’t know what it was, the look of wonderment on his face was incredible. Truly wonderful, so much that I felt compelled to add some pictures to this post:

Moritz - Deutschland 83 E3 1 Moritz - Deutschland 83 E3 2The look on Moritz’s face in that moment is part of my answer. Moments when you feel that sense of wonderment and happiness are the reason to believe. Because things may never make any sense and they may never go as I want them to. But as long as you can find a silver lining then it doesn’t matter so much. Like with Freiburg this past season. They got relegated and lost a lot of good players and that really hurt. But Nils Petersen came back. And they got Vincenzo Grifo and Amir Abrashi. Obviously I would have preferred for them to stay in the Bundesliga, but I have to admit Grifo is a most excellent silver lining to the situation. He is the gift that keeps on giving. As long as there are moments like that then the rest is worth putting up with. And now to the Hansi pictures, it’s not the fact I’ve added these pictures to my collection which makes me so happy. It’s not even how perfect his smile is in the first one. It’s that it reminds me of how happy it’s possible to be. A reminder that it’s possible to be happy at all. And of the fact that when such a small thing as a nice picture of Hansi can make me this happy then I don’t think there’s anything to really worry about. I may have been in a terrible mood last night and when I got up but now I don’t even remember why. So it couldn’t have mattered really.

Hansi Flick - signed photo Hansi Flick & Jogi Löw signed photoOver the weekend I was trying to make a character related decision, to finally pick a new name for Hans-Peter. Funny thing is after all the time I spent on it, including reading through several lists of German names I decided upon sticking with Hans-Peter. One might think the whole exercise was a waste of time. But it wasn’t because I found out a few interesting facts which more than made it worth it. First I found out that Jens which is actually a Danish and not a German name is short for Johannes which apparently means “God is gracious.” The reason this amused me so is that Hans is also derived from Johannes and Hans apparently means “Gift from God.” Well I won’t argue with either of those definitions that’s for sure. As Leo likes to say in The West Wing, “I like the little things.”

Those little moments of amusement are the reason to believe. Last night I started wondering what the point of everything is and I don’t really have an answer. But then maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. Like that joke from last night’s episode, about the drunk man who’s searching for his keys under a street light. A policeman sees him searching and asks him what he’s looking for, the drunk tells him and so he starts to help him. After a while he asks where did you have them last and the man answers in the park. So why then is he looking under the light? Because he can see there. If I keep looking in the places I’m told to look in my quest for happiness or whatever it is I’m looking for then I’m not going to find it. How can I when the people telling me where to look have no idea of what makes me happy.

Right now I’m reading a book about an autistic boy named Gabriel. He has no interest in toys, instead he prefers what his mother calls “twirlers”. That is bits of fabric, grass or other plants that he likes to twirl and wave about. He collects them and has a pretty impressive collection as you might imagine. If there’s one thing I know about autistic people it’s that we’re experts at collecting stuff. Most people find his collection and other such collections baffling. They find his habits even more so. They don’t get how it amuses him so completely. I don’t have a habit like that, though when I was younger I used to collect things like labels and batteries. Now I collect trading cards much to the amusement of some people. Given how baffled they are at the fact I even own them it’s for the best that they have no idea what I do with said trading cards. Because they don’t just sit on my shelf doing nothing. I like to get them out and flick through them. Not to see Jogi and Hansi, I don’t need to look through them for that. Theirs are on top, as always.  I like the feel of the cards and the way they smell. I like the fact when I’m looking through them I’m not thinking of anything. That during such times I don’t need anymore reason to do it other than because I want to.

December: The Month of Dieter

December could only be named for Hans-Dieter Flick and it’s quite fitting that I start writing this post now because on the day I started writing it there was a new video of Hansi posted on the DFB site. It’s also fitting in the sense December is the month you get gifts in and he and Jogi have certainly been the source of many gifts this past year. And now Matze too of course. In fact at the moment I have more Matze chapters in progress than Jogi or Hansi ones. He’s proving to be quite the little character.

Despite the month being named for Hansi it’s not exactly my favourite time of year. I’ve never been a fan of Christmas and I’m still not. But I did have a little fun this year, the Bundesliga took care of that because on TV Christmas morning was a repeat of Freiburg’s 6-3 opening night win against 1.FC Nürnberg. Seeing it again didn’t take the sting out of losing the reverse of the fixture two weeks before Christmas but it was still a lot of fun.

The only gift I really wanted for Christmas this year was for Freiburg to be autumn champions, they just missed out on that honour with RB Leipzig in pole position instead. It would have been nice but it is ultimately meaningless, what counts is where they are four months from now. That’s all that counts. At least they did get to start and end the month with a win, two routine victories in both cases. First a 3-0 win against 1.FC Union Berlin and then against 1860 München.

As things stand the gifts I did get turned out to be quite nice. A few books including the kicker Almanach which has almost all the German related football stats you could dream of. A most useful gift. I also got two DFB calendars, two Dortmund programs one with Thomas Tuchel on the front and one with Matze Ginter on there. Plus some Matze Ginter cards. The real highlight however for me was the wrapping paper. I love all my gifts but I love the wrapping paper the most. Three kinds this year, Freiburg, Dortmund and the by now traditional Jogi & Hansi paper:

IMG_20160111_182837IMG_20160111_183337IMG_20160111_183434IMG_20160111_182926Matthias Ginter - SC Freiburg 2011-12 signed card Matthias Ginter - SC Freiburg 2012-13 signed card Matthias Ginter - Borussia Dortmund cardAs I expected it was a rather strange month, even more so than usual. For one thing I watched thirteen films. Nothing I watched could beat the first film of the month which was The Secret in their Eyes. Every time I watch it I just fall in love with it a little bit more. It gets more perfect every time I watch it. I also saw a very odd filmed named Stuart Saves his Family late one night when I couldn’t sleep. I watched it purely because Vincent D’Onofrio was in it but it ended up being quite an interesting film and certainly gave me something to think about.

I’m not sure I’d say I liked the main character Stuart, in fact I’m not even sure I enjoyed the film but it did intrigue me. So much so I drafted a post in relation to some of the themes it covered. Gist of it is Stuart is a little addicted to self help groups and is a little overbearing. When you meet his family you understand why. He has his own TV show which is not at all popular and when it gets cancelled his life falls apart. In between dealing with the dramatics of his family he gets another chance at a similar endeavor. The second time round it works out. And it’s partly because of what he learned from his family that it does. Eventually he realises that you can only help someone up to a certain point, if they don’t want your help or are unable to recognise they need help then there’s not a lot more you can do. Sometimes when it comes to your family you have to just accept them as they are and stop trying to fix them all the time. Which is what Stuart does, he’s always trying to fix things. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you’ve been dealt. His motto is “Progress not perfection.”

This is what I meant to entitle the post but as I mentioned I’d been up late when I watched the film, thus it was even later when I drafted that post and as a result I ended up typing “Perfection not Perfect.” It amuses me but I’m not sure why, perhaps because I’m so much of a perfectionist that I couldn’t even contemplate typing the real title and accepting that something could be anything less than perfect.

At the cinema I saw Star Wars which I have absolutely nothing to say about, a disappointing Christmas film called The Night Before which I only went to see because Michael Shannon was in it (he was terrific, as always) and Black Mass which was the true story of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. I know the film got quite mixed reviews but I quite enjoyed it. It was certainly a passable film for an evening at the cinema anyhow.

Other than that I revisited some old favourites. In the spirit of Christmas tradition I watched one of my favourite James Bond films Goldeneye. I also watched Ratatouille which is surprisingly moving for what is essentially an animated film for kids. The scene where the restaurant critic is served  the dish ratatouille and it takes him back to his childhood memories always makes me cry.  On the subject of childhood memories I also watched Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I’ve seen them at least twenty times each but I’ve only watched the third one twice, and I never watch them as a trilogy. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a good film or because I don’t like it. I think it’s more because in the third one Andy grows up and gives his toys away, I’m not good at accepting change of any kind. I think it bothers me that Andy grows up and gives away his toys. That’s the whole point of the film, about moving on, accepting changes, starting a new chapter in your life and all that. Except it’s quite so cut and dried for me. There is no clear delineation between chapters because the events which normally mark the beginning or end of a chapter aren’t happening for me that way.

Book wise it wasn’t a good month, I know I read The Book Thief but I can’t recall what else I read. I certainly hope I did read another book and I just can’t remember because if I really did read just the one then that’s a new low for me. On the other hand reading The Book Thief was extremely important. I did so to test a theory, to see if I still loved it as much and whether or not the plot hole bothers me. I’m happy to say it doesn’t, that I’ve fallen back in love with it. Though I don’t think I ever stopped loving it. I like to think of it like this, no person is perfect, everyone has their quirks and annoying habits but when you love someone it doesn’t matter. So why should a book be perfect.

It’s like two of my favourite games Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed. Neither of them are 100% perfect but I love the first one in the series for both way more than the others. Because for me the other games don’t have the same feel to them, they don’t have the same kind of charm. I don’t care that Assassin’s Creed is a lot more repetitive than AC2. I love the setting, the characters and everything about it. I know the flag missions annoy some people but I actually quite liked them. I’m not saying there’s nothing good about AC2, there is and I did enjoy playing it. I must have done since I’ve completed it three times. But it just doesn’t conjure up the same kind of feelings and excitement that the first one does. Same with Mass Effect. It’s why I’ve played through Mass Effect at least six times and why I haven’t done the same for Mass Effect 2. Though I have to admit part of the reason I don’t love Mass Effect 2 is because I’m still annoyed at not being able to have Kaidan in my squad. I was doubly annoyed because on my play-through with the female version of Shepherd he was my love interest. I really missed Kaidan and as much as I like Garrus, I would have preferred having Kaidan back.

Back to the topic at hand reading The Book Thief again was important for another reason, I found out just why I like it so much. That it’s not because the book is narrated by death or because it’s set in Nazi Germany. The person who recommended I read it told me just those two facts about it. As if that’s all I needed to know. They weren’t wrong, the first part alone would have made me read it. But reading it again lead me to think of it a little differently, a little deeper. Only this time around did I think about what I have in common with the book thief Liesel. I didn’t have many books when I was a child, though to be fair no matter how many I owned I wouldn’t have thought it enough. The books I did own I treasured. As much as I loved my Playstation and my Gameboy it certainly wasn’t as much as those books. And considering my Gameboy was like an extension of my right hand during my Pokemon phase, I mean  a lot. In fact I still have most of them in storage. But it’s not just about the books.

It’s about the words, about being able to tell your own stories. Unless you can read and write you can’t do that. When we meet Liesel for the first time she can’t read or write. It’s her foster father who teaches her to read. But that would never have happened if her brother hadn’t died, if she hadn’t stolen the book from a careless grave digging apprentice who dropped it and didn’t realise. And if the war didn’t happen she may never have met her Papa Hans who taught her how to read. She never would have met Max who helped her realise just how important words can be.

I didn’t have that problem, I taught myself to read before I started school. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. And I think sometimes I take them for granted, not just the books but the written word in general. Not only being able to read but being able to write my own adventures. Just like some people overestimate the importance of being able to read and write so I underestimate it. Because whilst those people are wrong, whilst they are over simplifying the issues, words do matter, they do help. Because as I’m coming to realise when it comes down to it they are all I really have. At least words of the written variety anyway. Because when it comes down to it a lot of the time it’s the only way I can reliably express myself. For someone who talks a lot I actually say very little. That is whilst I can talk about my special interests until I tire myself out I can’t talk about what’s bothering me. I can’t explain what’s going on in my head. For that I need the written word. I need my stories and my characters. Without them I can’t make sense of anything.

As well as being a quiet month book wise so it was in terms of collectibles as well, obviously with it being Christmas I didn’t have as much spare cash as I would have liked. That didn’t stop me from purchasing one very important item however, something I’ve dreaming about getting since last year. The item in question is one of the newer DFB polo-shirts, the ones for the Euro qualifiers. It’s not a blue one like I wanted but the white one is quite nice too. The other small notable items I got include two signed Match Attax cards, one of Roman Bürki and the other of Vincenzo Grifo, a card signed by Joachim Löw and a signed Nils Petersen Bremen photo:

IMG_20151211_171831IMG_20151211_171922Roman Bürki – signed Freiburg Match Attax cardVincenzo Grifo - signed Hoffenheim Match Attax cardJoachim Löw – signed Eintracht Frankfurt cardNils Petersen signed Bremen photo

If I Could Turn Back Time

If I Could Turn Back Time

If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

No doubt there’s a lot of mistakes I’d like to correct and certainly there’s a few moments I wouldn’t mind revisiting. But I wouldn’t do either of those things given the opportunity. Not even to return to before last summer to enjoy Freiburg being a top flight team again. Though it’s tempting to revisit that wonderful day when they beat Bayern. But still the answer is no because as wonderful as that day was there was something missing. Nils Petersen despite being the hero of that day was not a fully fledged Freiburger, he still at the time belonged to Bremen. Whereas now he’s a Freiburg man.

All the mistakes I made I wouldn’t go back and correct them, I’d like to believe that each of them means something. That there’s something for me to learn from each one. For things like this I like using a Samuel Becket quote I got from the pilot of Criminal Minds, “Try again, fail again, fail better.”

Some of them are so stupid and I’ve made them so often it’s not easy to believe there is a reason for them, but I’m trying to believe that anyway.

Seeing this prompt the first thing to come into my mind was the last episode of The Bridge. Emil wanted to correct what he saw as wrongs committed against him. The main wrong he wanted to correct was his own existence. As he put it he didn’t want to die, rather he wanted never to have existed to begin with. Whilst I think his actions are wrong, that is killing and torturing several people in order to avenge what happened to him as a child I think I get what he means. Because of the way he was conceived he thinks he was a mistake and that he should never have existed. I feel the same way sometimes though for somewhat different reasons.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of stuff ever since I read a post on a blog about whether or not you would make your child normal if you could. One of their points was that there is nothing good about autism, no upsides to all the difficulties and problems. I used to get offended by posts like that, they made me angry. They made me wonder if people in real life felt that way about me.

This time it didn’t make me so angry nor was I offended. In fact I can kind of see their point. It’s partly because of events in real life in which I’m once again being overtaken by someone younger than me in the independence stakes. And yes I know it’s not a race and everyone develops at their own pace and all the rest of it. But it’s not about that, it’s not about how fast things happen. It’s about realising that maybe you just aren’t going to be able to reach the same place they are. It makes me feel even worse when people, some of them so called professionals make comments to the effect that I’m lucky to be so high functioning. It sure doesn’t feel lucky.

The other reason I feel differently about it is because of the story I’m writing. It’s making me think about things I never considered before and see certain things from a different perspective. It’s odd that I even created a character like Matze, after all I’ve never been particularly fond of children. The direction his character has taken is bringing out all sorts of feelings I didn’t even know I had. He’s just a character but that doesn’t make me any less overprotective of him. Seeing all of this from a parent’s perspective means I have a different view of it. I want him not to be scared, to understand what’s going on around him, to be able to express himself. For his life not to be anymore difficult than it has to be. In the chapter I’m working on at the moment his parents are realising that they can’t protect him from everything. That as much as possible they have to teach him to stand on his own two feet. The problem with that is when you realise there’s only so much you can do. That they’re not going to be able to do everything they need to be able to. Then you have to consider the possibilities for them when you aren’t there to look out for them anymore.

I know it’s a pointless question because there is no magic cure. It’s not the only reason it’s pointless, the other reason is because I couldn’t even imagine being normal. I have no idea what it means. In some ways it’s easier to dream of never existing at all than what it’d be like to be normal.

It’s a topic of conversation which can get very heated very fast when discussed with other autistic people. Understandably it’s something a lot of people have very strong feelings about. I used to reside firmly in the “I don’t want to be normal” camp. Now I’m no longer so sure. It’s not that I want to be normal, it’s not that simple. It’s just I’m starting to question whether there are any good things. And if there is any good things, any upsides to all the problems, are they enough. Even if there are any upsides, if there’s anything you’re talented at or an expert in, sometimes it still doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much of an expert you are at something when you can’t speak up for yourself, talk to strangers or just deal with the outside world in general. If you’re scared of practically everything and you’re always terrified of making a mistake in social situations. When you can’t even enjoy being with your friends because you can’t stop worrying about getting something wrong. If you’re confused by the outside world so much that instead of trying to deal with it anymore you decide a full scale retreat is in order and you decide instead you’re better living off in your own little world with your characters.

2016: First Film of the Year and other Deliberations

Normally picking the first film of the year to watch would be a big deal. In fact it would not only be the topmost thought in my mind right now but it would already be decided by now. This year like the year just gone is a little different. Films are still important but they aren’t the foremost thought in my mind. Right now all I can think of is how many days there are till the Bundesliga returns and how many days till Freiburg’s next game. 21 days until it all kicks off again and Bayern play HSV. 22 days until a newly resurgent Gladbach play Dortmund. The prospect of that game is mouthwatering, unbelievably so. And most importantly and no less mouth watering is the game between Bochum and Freiburg, precisely 34 days from now. I’m happy they play on a Friday, it’s one less day to wait.

But of course there’s no football to watch right now, not live anyway. Not unless I watch the Premier League and so far I haven’t done. Back to the title, whatever the film I chose it was certain to be a German one. In the end it turned out to be a rather predictable choice, a by now very familiar favourite, The Lives of Others. Some films you just don’t get sick of, regardless of how many times you’ve seem them and how well you know them.What I love about The Lives of Other is it’s one of those films that makes me think every time I see it, that there’s always a new detail to notice. You really do gain something from every viewing. As for the first film at the cinema, I have a creeping suspicion that will be The Hateful Eight. It would be very fitting where that to be true.

Towards the end of last year I wrote a list of things I wanted to do in the year to come, some fun stuff and some serious stuff too. I haven’t done that this time round and I have no plans to. Not because I’m unhappy that I didn’t cross enough things off my list, I actually crossed off quite a few things, including the item at the top of my fun list. More because in the words of August from The Bridge my plan is to “not to have a plan.” I just don’t see the point, everything is all over the place and it’s close to impossible to make any plans, so I’m just not going to bother, not with any major overarching plans and not with any aims.

The first thing on my fun list was to learn how tie a scarf like Jogi Löw, which I am now able to do. The final point from that list was to write more Löw adventures. Well that’s pretty much taken care of it’s self, I have no worries on that front. In fact it’s taken over almost everything else. Everything but football itself that is.

Two things from my serious list were to save some money and to downsize my collection, that is my DVD and book collection. Saving money, not so much, but the latter I’ve had some success with and hope to move on to downsizing my book collection next. The most important thing on the list was to do the things which make me happy, regardless of whether other people find them strange or not. I’ve certainly done that, in fact I wonder if I may have committed to doing so a little too much. At the same time I can’t help but wonder how good the friendship in question was if it was almost broken over a special interest. And just what or who was in the wrong, If a special interest can really be more important than a friendship, And if you’re even asking that question, then surely the friendship doesn’t mean as much as you thought it did. Is it possible that I wanted an excuse, an out from it, and the special interest conflict just gave me the excuse I was looking for.

In a not so fun conversation a while back I was asked for my reasons for writing the Löw adventures, how it was that I who can’t stand romance in any form likes to write such things. And whether or not writing said stories made me have any interest in romance and relationships in real life. Or if it was the case that I was writing them precisely because I have an interest in such things but that I can’t actually have them, so I write stories instead. I do find them fulfilling in a sense but not like that, they haven’t given me any interest in pursuing such things. I do however consider my characters good company and they are a lot less anxiety provoking than real life people, that’s for sure. Which is most likely why I prefer them, I always know what they’re thinking, what they’re going to say and what they mean. There’s only confusion if I want there to be. How could I not prefer them to real life people?

One thing from that post I will repeat here is to list four things I’m looking forward to this year. I thought Euro 2016 would be top of this list, but I have very mixed feelings about it now because of what happened in November. But then I can’t figure out what else would top the list. So my four things to look forward to in 2016:

  1. Euro 2016, not to mention the U19 Euros and the Olympics because Germany qualified football wise.
  2. The second half of the 2.Bundesliga season and finding out what will become of Freiburg and their promotion campaign.
  3. The Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s next film.
  4. Writing more Löw adventures.

Were the list to have a fifth addition no doubt something sticker related would make the list, perhaps the prospect of a German album for Euro 2016. But then seeing as Hansi won’t be in there, perhaps not.

One thing which I’m not at all looking forward to or have a great deal of enthusiasm for is the prospect of spending time with other people. It’s barely the first day of the year and I’m already worrying about how to get out of something of this nature. I no longer have the excuse of being sick but I still don’t feel like being around anyone. I know part of this is because it’ll take some time to get back to a normal routine and I’m feeling out of sorts because of all this. With that in mind I shouldn’t do anything stupid or rash. Which I have to admit is unlikely anyway because that would actually involve me making a decision and taking decisive action. That’s not like me, that’s not how I screw things up. It’s more because of what I don’t do as opposed to what I actually do. I let things like friendships fall apart by doing nothing. It’s always a tempting proposition, to simply disappear. To allow everything to fade away. Not to make any decisions but to do nothing and simply allow old habits to creep in. Like they are now, avoiding other people and creeping around in the dead of night. Allowing such patterns to continue because you know you can avoid other people that way.

With all this friendship stuff I can’t win. It’s not a question of whether I want friends or not, or even of whether I’m lonely or not. It’s a question of which is more tolerable, because I’ll be anxious and worried about something either way. If I have friends then I’m worrying about getting it wrong all the time, and if I’m a good enough friend. And when I think something’s gone wrong which is a lot, I can’t let go of it. Whilst part of me is worried they’ll never speak or write to me again another part of me secretly hopes they won’t, it would make it so much easier on my part. It’s tempting to think that having no friends at all would be easier, at least I would have one less thing to worry about.

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

Advent Calendar Day 11: Mr Cool, the Second Roman & the Collectible Decision

Behind door number eleven in the Freiburg calendar was defender Marc-Oliver Kempf. In the DFB one was the card of “Mr Cool,” midfielder Toni Kroos and finally in the Dortmund one was my second favourite Roman, German Roman Weidenfeller who has of course found himself dethroned from his spot as no.1 keeper by the arrival of my favourite Roman, the former Freiburg keeper and current Swiss international Roman Bürki:

Toni Kroos - DFB card 2015-16 1 Toni Kroos - DFB card 2015-16 2 Roman Weidenfeller - Dortmund advent calendarToday went exactly as I didn’t want it to go. A late night last night because of a new chapter I started working on, it was one of those things I had to start just then. I could have just made a note of the idea and tried to sleep but I couldn’t let it go. As pleased as I am with what I’ve written I most likely should have left it alone and gone to bed. I didn’t mean to stay up so late but then you never mean to, it just kind of happens. So I have twelve new pages which is great but on the other hand I’ve wasted a whole day. A day which could have been spent writing my post on e5 & 6 of The Bridge, a post I’ve not even started yet.

Getting up so late meant I woke up just in time for Sandhausen’s game, not an ideal situation. Lately it feels like I’ve only been getting up to watch football, as if nothing else is worth getting out of bed for. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. Regardless of which it is I had to watch Sandhausen’s game, this weekend’s games are the reverse of the fixtures that took place on MD1, so as far as possible I want to see all the games I watched on opening weekend. Freiburg don’t play till Sunday when they visit 1.FC Nürnberg. As much as I want to see a good game I’d be happier with them keeping a clean sheet, or at least not conceding three goals like they did on MD1. Of course they did score six themselves but that’s not the point, at this point goal difference means everything. I don’t care how many they score, I can live without another nine goal thriller, I don’t need them to win 3-0 or anything like that. As long as they take all three points and they’re more organized defensively I’ll be happy.

I’ve not really needed to do anything so far today, the biggest decision I’ve had to make so far was whether or not to get up to watch Sandhausen’s game. That was up until I found a certain collectible online. Something which initially I thought I had to have. Upon giving the matter some more thought I realised that was not the case. Taking into consideration the financial side of things and whether or not having this particular item was a good idea I decided otherwise. As much as I feel like I need it, I know I don’t really. Having a card from a game that wasn’t even played, at a stadium I hate and with associations that I just can’t forget, it’s just not a good idea. Not to mention the fact that from a financial perspective it would have required some serious juggling, I could afford it but not without moving some things around and not without dipping into the money set aside for the Jogi and Hansi collectibles I’m in the process of obtaining. Pictures and clippings of them is a much better addition to my collection than that card, I know this, and in a few days I’ll know I’m right. Plus I’m meant to be getting over what happened, having in my possession a reminder of that night is probably not a great idea.

I may not have gotten that particular collectible but I did get something I want today, my new DFB polo-shirt. This one is rather special because it has the Mercedes logo on it and has Mercedes Benz written on the back, just like the ones that are officially issued to players and the coaching staff: