February – the month of Freiburg and Football stickers

I named the month after them but it really hasn’t been their month, one victory, a defeat, a draw and another defeat. To be fair to them, the two games they lost, the one against Dortmund was always likely to be a defeat and as for the Leverkusen one, one could say they were just unlucky especially with that missed chance at the end. They did play well at times and they managed to frustrate Leverkusen a great deal, it just wasn’t enough in the end. Other than the fact that they didn’t play terribly the only consolation they have is the knowledge that only two of the teams in the bottom third of the table picked up any points this weekend, Stuttgart who managed a draw at Hannover and Hertha who surprisingly beat Augsburg 1-0. All the others lost, Paderborn to Mönchengladbach, Hamburger SV to Frankfurt, Cologne to Bayern and Bremen to Wolfsburg. That last one was by far my favourite game of the week, 8 goals in total, 5-3 to Wolfsburg was the final score with yet another two goals for Bas Dost.

Freiburg’s woes and my mid month sleeping related craziness aside, I’ve had a fairly decent month, especially on the stickers front as the title suggests. I’ve started swapping stickers online, so my WC 2014 collection is coming along nicely and my Euro 2012 one is almost complete. Plus it means I can do something useful with my ever growing stack of Champions League doubles.

The month has gone a lot like January did, not too many films watched (only seven this month) and a lot of football watched. Some of the things that were on my mind last month are still there, the friendship stuff and the way in which time seems to be so slow and quick at the same time. In addition I still can’t get my schedule straight, I’m starting to think that maybe I’m thinking too much about it, maybe I should just let myself sleep and wake up when I want to and see what happens, surely it can’t be any much worse than how it already is? If nothing else it would be an interesting experiment.

As for being happy or unhappy or anything else feelings related, at the moment I’m taking the same approach as I am to my sleeping patterns, the less you think about it the better, take a step back from analysing everything and trying to make sense of it all. Maybe the best option is just to keep busy, make sure I have plenty of things to occupy my mind with, leave no time for such reflections.

On a collectibles front it’s pretty good, I got my much prized Hansi Flick coin and the 2008 Hansi sticker I needed to complete my collection. On the subject of excellent acquisitions I also got around to picking up Fallout 3 GOTY for the PS3. This is the source of my current happiness, wandering through the wasteland, hearing the familiar music once more, the joyful sound when you level up. Many happy hours I’ve wasted on Fallout 3 and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much this time around; some things really are exactly like you remembered them. Though I can’t say the same for the Harry Potter books, I read the first four over the past two weeks and yesterday I started on the fifth one. Either I’ve had enough of Harry Potter or it’s not as good as I remember it. The fifth one used to be my favourite but I’m not going to waste any time on persevering with it, not when I have so many other good books lined up to read.

I can’t wait for the next Fallout game, whenever that will be, I know that will be enough of a reason by itself to get a PS4. Not that I’ll be getting one this year as I’d previously thought about doing, not even at the end of the year. Maybe next spring is a more realistic time to get one, they’ll hopefully be a little more affordable by that point as well.

Seeing as how I’ve only watched seven films, it shouldn’t be hard to pick a favourite. I think Big Hero 6 would be my favourite of the month; I’m surprised by that because I didn’t want to see it when it came out and only ended up going to see it last week because there was nothing else to see and I really wanted to go to the cinema. I’m really glad that I did go to see it and I’m even gladder about the fact that I was the only person there to see it, I like having the place to myself. Then I don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable or like I’m being watched or anything like that, it’s a lot easier to relax.

I saw it in 3D and for once it’s a film that was actually worth seeing in 3D and it didn’t give me a headache (unlike the Avengers film). It was terrific, yes okay so it’s a Disney film and there are the usual predictable moments in a superhero type film, he’s really smart but doesn’t channel his intelligence into something useful, his brother dies and this becomes the catalyst for the big changes in his life and for him fighting the bad guys, he has a team of varying ethnicities and personalities to fight the bad guy, all of the predictable pieces are there. It’s nothing new in that sense, but it’s funny, it’s smart and the robot is simply fantastic. And even though the emotional moments are all very predictable and have all the subtlety of a freight train, it still works and it certainly worked on me, well the scene with the robot sacrificing himself did anyway. That probably says something about me doesn’t it? That his brother dying didn’t make me cry but that the robot sacrificing himself moved me to tears.

Another film that I enjoyed this month was Blitz, I can’t believe I find myself writing this but I actually enjoyed a film that had Jason Statham in it. Given that I was only watching it because Aiden Gillen and Paddy Considine were in it, I thought it would be something I would have to tolerate but definitely not enjoy. Ok, so it’s not going to win any awards but sit back and switch off and you’ll have a fine time. Aiden Gillen is his usual excellent self as the psycho cop killer and Paddy Considine is also good as the gay cop who took the law into his own hands. The story is a little predictable, that’s true and some of it you could see a mile off. Plus I don’t see what purpose the Falls character served or why so much time was devoted to her back story, that didn’t seem to really add anything to the film.

One thing I’m definitely happy about is the lack of a new special interest, it was in mid February last year that TK struck, so I’m glad that nothing like that has taken place, Jogi and Hansi are still king.

To get back to the subject of collectibles, I’m meant to be finding ways to save money and all I keep doing is finding more ways to spend money, there’s just too much cool stuff to buy, and now I may have another lead on a source of Germany games on DVD, a Frenchman this time and he has games that I don’t have and that no-one else has. I wonder if he has the 2006 Sweden game. I almost don’t want to write this because I feel like if I do it’ll curse it but I know that’s illogical and will have no effect whatsoever, I may be getting my hands on what would be the second most important piece (the first being my signed football) in my Hansi Flick collection, I’m not going to say what it is or post any pictures, not until it’s confirmed, hopefully the person in question will be amenable to shipping here. How devastating it would be if they didn’t agree, all that effort gone to waste. True I do have a back-up plan for obtaining this particular item, but it’s not at all definite that would work, far from it in fact. Though it would be useful in another quest of mine.

Given the number of games I’ve watched this past month, I think taking a short break will be a good idea for the coming month. It’s a case of perfect timing with the international break towards the end of the month, it means I’ll have a Bundesliga free weekend. Maybe a film marathon and whole day spent playing Playstation, splitting the day between Dragon Age and Fallout 3. And maybe getting in a little Wolfenstein time too.

The last week in March Germany have two games, a friendly against Australia in Kaiserslautern and the next EM 2016 qualifier against Georgia. It’ll be interesting to see who starts in goal against Australia seeing as how Neuer isn’t usually used for games like this, it definitely won’t be Weidenfeller, that would defy all logic, even if he was a part of their future plans with his current form he doesn’t deserve to be called up. Zieler is the obvious second choice but there’s whisperings online about both Kevin Trapp and Oliver Baumann. It would be for both of them their first full international cap were they to be called up.

I hope I can watch a few less games anyway, maybe just watch the 2010 qualifiers I have and save the actual tournament for April. Putting off watching it till next month will give me some time to decide between watching them in German or English, I have them on blu-ray in German but part of me doesn’t want to watch it knowing that I can’t make videos from it, not until I get an external blu-ray writer. I’ll most likely end up watching both versions in spite of that fact.

Maybe I can along the way find some more time for films and reading.  I’ve already made one important film related decision, Die Mannschaft was the first film I saw this year and it will be the first film I see this month, thanks to the many and varied wonders that the internet has to offer I now have a copy with English subtitles.  Another film I’m really excited about seeing is Chappie, it comes out this Friday and I can’t wait. District 9 is one of my all time favourite films and I really like Sharlto Copley. I have a feeling that if it wasn’t for Die Mannschaft, Chappie would be my film of the month.

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