feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
It's the first day of the World Cup, and I am perpetually without cable. Most of the matches will be on ESPN or ESPN2 (cable), but some will be on ABC. I guess I'll be befriending the folks at Italian Pizzeria III (super sketchy storefront, decent NY-style pizza) and/or Fitzgerald's (Irish pub) when I get back from Germany. Or doing what I usually do for the Bundesliga.

I leave for Berlin in 5 days. I have a packing list, and I'm working on a shopping list. I have most everything I need, but I'm almost out of protein bars (excellent airplane/travel snacks/emergency food), and my bathing suit doesn't fit anymore. (It never quite fit, but it was good enough. Not so much anymore.) But I hate buying bathing suits (because ones that fit my top are $75 wtf), and I'm not entirely sure I'd use it (while there are swimming areas in Berlin, I don't know if we'd have time to go to them, though our hotel has a sauna).

I'm worried that Luna will get sick while we're gone. The last 2 times we've been away, she's gotten stress-sick. So we started her on Prozac (which won't have built up enough to be effective before we leave), got a new Feliway plug-in, and have some xanax for her. We also have anti-nausea medication and antibiotics which theoretically will prevent diarrhea.

I really don't want to get a phone call from the cat sitter 3 days into an 11-day trip telling me the cat is sick as hell, you know? Argh. So we're doping her to the gills and hoping.

Blargh

26 Jul 2013 09:12 pm
feuervogel: Mesut Özil hugs Cacau (german team 10)
So, Ben's brother gave me a copy of Soccernomics for Christmas, and I've finally cleared my reading slate enough to read it. I'm enjoying it a fair amount. There's a lot of statistical talk (in layman's terms, mostly) and asides like, regarding Manchester in 1876, "the city so miserable it inspired communism" or "Many people believe that Manchester United is evil. No one thinks they're boring." (paraphrased from memory)

There's this one problem. When I was thinking of applying to grad school, I wanted to write a thesis on integration and German football. This is making me want to write it again.

I REALLY REALLY don't want to do a PhD. Really really. Some places won't even accept terminal MA applicants, and the places that do don't necessarily offer funding. And there's no way in god's green hell that I'll be taking out loans for this.

So I'm back to square one and confused again.

Middlebury has a program that fits me (4 6-week summer sessions of 3 courses each), but their big papers aren't independent research projects; they're related to a course. (As far as I can tell. There's a course listing for Thesis, but I can't find anything about such a requirement on the site.) They don't require the GRE.

Georgetown and Maryland both have thesis options. Georgetown says they're "committed" to funding all graduate students; Maryland's funding is "highly competitive." Both require the GRE.

I DON'T KNOW, Y'ALL. Blargh. Stupid brain.

Not that I couldn't, like, do some research, outline a nonfiction book proposal, and shop it around... Come to think of it, I know enough people (via twitter) who are involved in real football journalism that I might be able to get a tip or two.

Stuff

22 May 2013 09:42 am
feuervogel: (michel)
I made a to-do list last night because I feel like my ability to mentally organize things is gone. I keep meaning to do things and then either forgetting them or falling into the hole of facebook flash games.

I was feeling consistently awful and low-level migrainey for a few days a couple weeks ago, so I went into my doctor's office, and they took thyroid levels. They said I needed to go down on my T3 because my TSH is too low. So I've been taking 10 mcg instead of 15 for about 2 weeks now, and I don't feel all that great. No migraines or anything, just lack of motivation, dry eyes, mouth, and skin, and low energy. I can't focus worth a damn, either. (And because of my neurologist's verbot on caffeine, I can't just make some black tea and make some focus, either.)

It could be that 15 mcg is too much, but 10 isn't enough. Unfortunately, the medication comes in 5 mcg unscored tablets. Though it also comes in 25s, and 12.5 might work out. Except for reasons completely unknown to me, because I've never had 90-day supplies called in before, the nurse authorized 90 days with 3 refills on my last T3 rx, while doing 30 days with 3 refills on the Synthroid, because I don't even fucking know. Maybe she goofed and read the #90 as 90 days, but #90 and #270 are a lot different.

So I have a metric shit ton of 5 mcg liothyronine tablets (at 2 a day, they will last me 135 days, or approximately 4.5 months), and I refuse to pay for a new prescription when I already paid 3 months' copays for the bottle I have. So if my doctor agrees at my physical next Thursday, I'll see about either taking 2.5 every day or adding a third in the afternoon. Or going to an endocrinologist, maybe.

I have this writing idea that I've been letting float around in my mind for a while, and I finally had some insight into it last night. So I made some rough notes around which the idea can coalesce while I work on other things.

I'm going up to DC next weekend (via Amtrak) to see the US and German men's soccer teams play at RFK stadium. I am excite. I'm staying with my sister Fri & Sat, then going to the game and staying with Ben's brother Sunday, then coming home Monday.

I need to write a letter (in German) to a language school and ask if I can do a practicum there and if they meet the criteria set forth in my course description. I don't really want to do it, but I need to. Ideally, I'd do the practicum in winter when airfare is cheapest, but I don't know ... well, there are a lot of things I don't know, like whether they'll even accept non-native speakers as praktikanten or whether they'll have openings in winter or how far in advance I even need to make arrangements. Argh. (I am fairly certain that there are no practica that meet the course criteria in the US unless you are majoring in education and doing your student teaching. There is an alternative to the practicum, which is 120 hours of teaching experience, which would take me far too long to acquire, if I could even get a job without a certificate and experience.)

Anyway. Stuff. I need to get started on my to-do list before I lost the entire morning to faffing about. This has already taken over half an hour to write, in part because I got distracted and wandered away for a few minutes several times.

Words.

10 May 2012 03:22 pm
feuervogel: (writing)
+995, 47695/90000

Got my word count in less than 90 minutes, and now I'm watching football. (It's halftime right now.) We're up 1:0 in a two-legged battle with the 3rd-placed team of the second league to see who plays in the first league next year. Part 2 is on Tuesday.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Though I haven't really done much else lately...

I'm still liking the Legend of Korra and Mouretsu Pirates (there are actualfacts canon lesbians in the latest episode!).

Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) is another new series that I'm enjoying. It's about a few high school kids in the jazz age, and one of them is a complete nerd boy who doesn't get jazz initially (he's a classical pianist), then he transfers to a new school and meets this rough and tumble guy who's a jazz drummer. They hit it off, and nerd boy learns the art of not giving a fuck. There's a love triangle+misunderstanding plot in episode 3, and I spent half the episode saying "you people need to have a conversation" or "TELL HER YOU LIKE HER DAMMIT" then he did, and I was happy. (We don't know her response, though I'm assuming that's episode 4.) I'm not a fan of love triangle plots, and the misunderstanding that would be resolved if they took 5 seconds and TALKED "plot" drives me up a tree. So I was pleased to see a quick resolution there. The music is by Yoko Kanno, and it's directed by the guy who did Michiko to Hatchin.

That last sentence is how Ben explained this show to me, and I said, so, what's it about, then? And he was like "iunno." I don't particularly find "it's by the guy who directed X" a helpful description. All that gives me is an idea of what it'll look like.

Gundam Age has serious pacing issues, and I'm not a person who notices pacing issues, so that's saying something. Also, its underlying premise is extremely stupid, and Gundam series aren't really known for their brilliant plots.

Space Brothers is still kind of interesting I guess, though sad sack guy is starting to annoy me.

Lupin III: A woman called Fujiko Mine would be a much better show if it weren't all about Fujiko's tits or Fujiko being a sex object. (Though it seems to be portraying her sexcapades as a tool she's using to manipulate men, which is kind of like agency and less like being an object, but it's still a pretty sketchy depiction.) Fujiko's tits are also very perky for being as big as they are. I have friends with her proportions, and I can assure you their boobs don't look like that unless the woman's in a corset.

I read Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey. I enjoyed it a great deal. I'm currently reading TOR! The story of German football by Uli Hesse. I'm enjoying it, but it's kind of a special interest book, and I suspect most of you would be pretty bored with it. It's the definitive English-language book about the history of German football. (It's also the only one that isn't academic.) I also have a book on Eastern European football since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

My TBR pile isn't really getting smaller, but my to be reviewed pile is getting bigger.

[personal profile] anthimeria, I found the notebook where I made notes on Skywatch, and I'll email you soon.

Stuff

19 Dec 2011 11:29 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Someone on twitter mentioned that Amazon had the Blu-Ray set of Generation Kill for $23.99, so I had Ben order it. (Pay with Points is the best thing ever.) We're one disk in, and it's pretty interesting. It's about a Marine recon squad at the invasion of Iraq, based on a book by the Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright. They swear a lot and use a lot of ableist, homophobic language (which, I suppose, is pretty realistic...), and it's hard to keep track of who's who. Other than that, I like it fairly well.

I crocheted a cover for my Kobo. It's not as big as I'd wanted it to be, because I didn't have enough yarn, but it works well enough. I may decide to sew one, make it a two-sided thing with a spot for my phone on the other side. That'll require some planning & engineering first, and I'll need to make sure I have some good interfacing floating around (or go buy some).

I made some edits on Something based on the feedback I've gotten so far, and I'm mulling one suggestion that I think has merit but I'm not sure I can pull it off without being all telling. I'll see what the last two readers have to say when they get back to me later this week.

I need to write up several reviews and one set of beta notes. I think I'll work on that this afternoon.

Our neighbor brought us oatmeal scotchies yesterday. Nom nom.

My football club is full of drama and ridiculousness right now. The coach didn't want to extend his contract, the management wanted him to; he kept dancing around the subject in the media (which he said is because the management asked him to); this week the club said he hadn't told them months ago. He was fired, and they're talking about bringing this other guy in and he's not a very good coach (43% overall win ratio...) and BLAH DRAMA LLAMA GO AWAY.
feuervogel: (hertha)
Because I know you're all dying of anticipation to read some stuff I wrote about football for a twitter acquaintance's Bayern fan blog. One of you is, anyway. Have at it.
feuervogel: (hurra bier!)
- write a piece for [twitter.com profile] redrobbery on what to expect from Hertha next matchday (quick summary: parking the bus and a complete inability to defend set pieces). Thankfully I can crib from the season preview I wrote for the Bundesliga Fanatic.

- clean off my desk upstairs so I can start using it, since it's getting cooler outside and downstairs is cold

- watch TUR:GER

- clean off the coffee table

- wash the slip cover on the second couch and rearrange the living room to comfortably seat 6

- decide what I want for dinner tonight

- download & watch the BSC:KÖL match (first half)

- take a nap to try and recover from low sleep all weekend
feuervogel: Mesut Özil hugs Cacau (german team 10)
This is an interesting article, and it includes one of my favorite ads from the Women's World Cup this year (the one with Abby Wambach and the hallway diver. Makes me giggle every time.).
A few bloggers have already critiqued the big deal the program makes about Solo's strength and her struggle to get what reads as feminine grace into her movement. One judge couldn't help himself, and declared that Solo has "thighs that could crack a walnut." He basically called her a ball-breaker. Before we make a federal case of this, let's remember: This is Dancing with the Stars.

Everybody on that show is in drag. All contestants whose personae are at odds with ballroom comportment appear to be at sixes and sevens with their own bodies. This is especially true for certain kinds of athletes - those for whom appearing to float, for example, might go against everything they know about their bodies. Exit Metta (formerly known as Ron Artest).

Although this season features entertainment royalty transman Chaz Bono and the Queerest Eye for the Straight Guy Carson Kressley (whom we all hoped would be allowed to dance with a man), the most explicit gender panic has fallen on Hope Solo's magnificent shoulders.

Go read the rest.

(I need a generic football icon...)
feuervogel: (hetalia germany with beer)
Uh, hmm. I split and transplanted some phlox the other day, and in the process I got easily 2 dozen bug bites of some variety (possibly ants or spiders, because there were a bunch of them disturbed in the process). My gardenias are flowering, and I cut a few branches and stuck them in water, and my living room smells really good. My azaleas never really flowered properly this year, which is kind of sad. I'll have to remember to feed them this fall and early next spring.

I got the box of Hertha fanstuff my Goethe-classmate Joey picked up for me while he was back there last month (he put it in his suitcase and mailed it once he got back, much more economical that way! Seriously, do you know how much DHL charges to ship shit overseas?) I got 2 shirts, a little keychain of the away jersey, a mug with the signatures on it, a little flag they gave out at the match he went to (Augsburg! Lucky bastard), the program book from the match, and photo cards of the players. The program book is 150 pages, and I've only made it through about 3/4 of it. Oh, and a sheet of stickers. And a plastic bag from the store (which I made the mistake of thinking would be safe on the table overnight and Claire chewed a hole in the bottom of. So if I feel like living dangerously, I could attempt to fix it by holding it near my iron and melting it. Or I could just fold it up and be sad that I can't use it.) So yay, I now have football gear that I can wear while shouting at the pirated feed on my computer.

I'd watch it legally if there were a way that didn't involve adding $30 to my cable bill to get ESPN so I can get ESPN3 on my computer, not that ESPN3 even shows any Bundesliga matches that don't involve FC Hollywood, or spending a ton more to get digital cable or satellite for hundreds of channels we never use. Seriously, we watch one show a week, and I'm not interested in it anymore (House). We dropped extended cable a few years ago because we didn't watch but one of the 70 channels we got, and that only rarely. Digital cable would easily double our bill from what it is right now.

Despite American "libertarians'" fetish for competition and the market, cable companies and ISPs are effective monopolies. Only one company runs cable to my neighborhood, and they're also the internet people. Our phone company offers "high-speed" internet (at 800 Kbps), but Time Warner's broadband has them beat.

See also the NC law just passed disallowing municipalities to offer broadband internet as a quasi-utility and act as ISPs to offer competition with Time Warner (which is pretty much the only player in this game). The Republicans brought it up and passed it, and Bev Perdue refused to veto it.

Republicans and the libertarians who vote for them really just want to suck big business cock, not advocate "principles" like competition and prevent monopolies. For some reason, they believe that they'll be the corporate lords and masters in this neo-feudal society, when really they'll be shoveling shit with the rest of us serfs.
feuervogel: (hertha 2)
Markus Babbel pulled it off, and thanks to Ramos' goal at 27', in a game that was extremely boring otherwise, we've got 68 points and 7 points over 2nd place and 12 over third, and we're going back to the 1. Bundesliga this summer! Three matches left, and it's impossible not to go up.

It was an away game, but there were 2500 fans who'd traveled, and after the match, the boys celebrated with them, threw Babbel and Preetz in the air, and poured beer and champagne on pretty much everybody.

I'm so very jealous of [livejournal.com profile] kiwirazzi, who was there in person. If I'd had any doubts before yesterday that Hertha was my team, the tears of joy when Ramos scored and during Sky's coverage of the celebration with the fans would have put them to rest. It was beautiful.

My Goethe-pal Joey is going back to Berlin this week for another Goethe course, and he has a ticket for the sold-out final match vs Augsburg (currently second place). SO JEALOUS. I asked him to pick me up a Stadionheft; he said to remind him later. ♥ He's also going fan-gear shopping for me, because shipping from Germany is ridiculous (the online shop charges 30 Euro for anything up to 100 Euro!)

I hope Preetz and Babbel have a good plan to stay in the 1. Liga next year and afterward while managing the major debts (including a good bit to the city of Berlin for rent on the Olympic Stadium, deferred for this year because Mayor Wowi is a Hertha fan, which caused some grumbling over in Union territory...). We get to keep Ebert, Lell, and Niemeyer, though we have to pay Werder Bremen 700,000 Euro for Niemeyer. They're looking for 4 players (1 goalie, 1 defense, 1 midfield, 1 striker) that I've heard talk of in papers so far, and lots of names are being batted around, but nothing concrete yet. This season officially ends 5/31, as I understand it, so we'll know by June 1, I believe. Folks more familiar with the BuLi, correct me if I'm wrong.
feuervogel: (writing)
I revisited the scene I worked on yesterday and fleshed it out further, adding another 171 words for a total of 77699. I should come up with one more word to make it round, but I don't feel like it.

I got a parking ticket on a poorly-marked no parking zone today. Fuck you, Town of Chapel Hill. See if I ever go eat lunch in your fake-progressive town again. Every public lot was full, and there's so little street parking to begin with, so my $10 sushi lunch turned into $60. Assholes.

I went to the soccer.com warehouse sale (60% off EVERYTHING), and I got a Schweinsteiger/7 jersey for $30, including tax. They're usually $70 (or $100, with customization, but this one was tagged at $70, and I'm not arguing.) I also "liked" them on facebook to get a free shipping voucher (good through mid-July), which means I can save money on the Özil jersey I want. I looked, and they didn't have any on the racks, just lots of Bastis.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Saturday, a few friends and I went on the Big Boss Brewery's tour for my birthday. It was extremely popular, but the weather was nice - 70 degrees or so - so after it was over, there was a big open-air festival almost in their parking lot. There were two food trucks (OnlyBurger (the veggie burger was pretty good, but the fries were meh) and KoKyuBBQ (Ben enjoyed the duck bratwurst sandwich and tater tots fried in duck fat)).

I tried their new Dunkelweizen, D'Icer, and it was pretty good. It wasn't Weihenstephaner or anything, but it was drinkable. (Speaking of Dunkelweizen, I tried New Belgium's in their Lips of Faith series; it was black as Coke and about half as sweet.)

After digesting the beers and food, Ben and I went out to Sage for dinner, where I boringly got the fesen joon. The jokey waiter must have cut his hair since New Year's, because I didn't recognize him until he started talking.

2. I haven't gotten anything productive done on my writing in a while. I fixed the plot issue I think; I still need to propagate some of the changes, but I can do that while I'm doing the hardest part of the revision process: getting into the characters' heads and adding descriptions. What do they see/hear/smell/feel/etc? What can I say other than "he narrowed his eyes" (eg)?

3. SCHEISST EUCH IN DIE HOSEN, WIR STEHEN GANZ AM OBEN, UND WIR STEIGEN WIEDER AUF. HIER KOMMT HERTHA! Yesterday's match pitted the best offense (us) against the best defense (Fürth), and we got a 2:0 win out of it, extending our lead over our next competitor to 4 points. Unless we lose the rest of our matches (which is, of course, technically possible, but not terribly likely), we'll get promoted back to the first league. HA HO HE!

4. I got the results from my bloodwork last week. I'm currently overmedicated for my thyroid, so I get to take half the Cytomel for a while and see what happens. (My TSH was undetectable, and my T3 was above normal limits, but T4 was fine.) Hopefully this won't lead to a return of The Nausea. Inability to concentrate is one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, so that helps explain #2.

5. Reading one of the free books I got, Darkship Thieves. I'm not very far into it yet, but so far, our heroine has ripped her nightshirt in half to stop the men attempting to abduct her in their tracks and commented on how she knows the man whose spaceship she ends up in is a "real man" (I paraphrase) because he responds to the sight of her breasts. Said real man (who's got cat's eyes, which is actually kind of nifty tech) is from an anarcho-individualist culture (barf), and on p 87, there's this bit about "those wacky 21st century folks, thinking there aren't really gender differences in brains" which made me want to hurl the book across the room.

Frustratingly, Persecution of the Other (and the people the cat-guy is descended from are basically bioengineered to be smarter/faster/stronger/fit better in X situation and were, of course, persecuted and wiped out on Earth, except those who fled) is very frequently a liberal/progressive motif, where The Other stands in for queers or racial/ethnic minorities or other real-life disprivileged groups. I don't get the impression Ms Hoyt has any truck with that librul pansy nonsense.

At least I didn't pay money for it. (I did buy Mark Van Name's omnibus Jump Gate Twist, and I feel OK about that, because Mark admits to being Baen's token liberal. Also, it features a beefcake/emo shot of Jon on the cover.)

6. Still taking tai chi. I'm taking a break from weapons to go back to Dr Jay's 9th Street Dance Chen class for the current session. I can't take both, because they meet at the same time. I may go back to weapons over summer, because it doesn't look like he's teaching Chen over summer. (I could be wrong; it happens on occasion.) I'm also taking Nina's Tuesday evening class, which may ALSO be going on hiatus over summer.

So I'm going to have to self-motivate if I want to get my yellow sash this year. I'm awful at that.

7. Cats are evil.
feuervogel: (hertha)
A while back, [personal profile] acari (I think) posted a couple youtube clips of German political humor-cabaret (Kabarett), including Brandenburg (though a different video) (lyrics).

This video came across my facebook feed today, and the ca 10 second clip of music at the end sounded very familiar. I'd probably never have recognized it if it weren't for those clips in [personal profile] acari's journal.
feuervogel: (hertha)
I watched the Hertha-Düsseldorf match today. I'd planned to get up at 7:15 for the 7:30 show and shower when it was over, but I was awake at 6:30 anyway, so I showered and ate breakfast before the match. It was a heart-stopper, that one! First Düsseldorf scored on a major defense error on our part, then Ramos equalized, then Düsseldorf went ahead by one, then Rukavytsya equalized. Then Lasogga got us the 3:2 and in the last seconds of stoppage time, Ramos sealed the deal with the 4:2. The defense today was shaky as shit, and there were a couple close calls from Fortuna on top of the 2 goals conceded. But next week, Captain Mijatovic's 2-match ban off a dodgy red card will be up, so his unshakable solidity will be back.

I saw a link on twitter to an interview with my favorite national player, Arne Friedrich. Then, because I'm like that, I decided to translate the whole thing. It was longer than I expected, and it took me about 2 hours to get the first draft. Then I got a buddy to read over the English for me and mark the awkward/overliteral areas, and I cleaned it up this morning.

I kind of like doing translations, actually. It's fun. I have no idea how to make use of this skill, other than for translating interviews with footballers for non-German speakers on livejournal. Publishing houses likely have their own translation staff, and I'm not qualified at this point to do books. I've thought about calling UNCC and asking about their translation studies certificate (which is 4 courses during a regular BS/BA program), but they're in Charlotte, and that's far to go for a class. Also, I have no money for tuition.

I should come up with huge lists of pros and cons of moving to Berlin, though the pro side would mostly read "IT'S BERLIN, ISN'T THAT ENOUGH?"
feuervogel: (writing)
I got about 150 words in fifteen minutes, finishing up the last scene of chapter 4.

Then I put on what ended up being a really boring football match between Germany and Sweden. It was a friendly, so Jogi got to try out a bunch of new talent, and the forwards/attacking mids hadn't had a chance to gel after just 2 days of practice, so Sweden's "park the bus in front of the goal" strategy led to a scoreless draw and some really boring football.

Tomorrow I start in on chapter 5, which is back to our other set of characters.

And now it's time to get ready for tai chi weapons class.
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
Back in October, I had a few words to say about not being able to access ESPN3 on Time Warner.

Well, they just reached an agreement, and now Time Warner customers can access ESPN3! Yay!

... Not so fast, there. I still can't watch ESPN3.
Attention Time Warner Cable Customers

In order to watch ESPN3.com, you must receive ESPN as part of your television service. Please select Time Warner Cable from the list below and you'll be taken to Time Warner Cable’s web site to verify your account. The ESPN3.com video player will open automatically when you're done.

We dropped our extended (ie, beyond local channels) cable package because we were paying $35/month for a lot of channels we never use. Including Food Network, Comedy Central, CNN, and, oh hey, ESPN.

Fuck you, cable companies.
feuervogel: (giant robo gei)
First, a question: what sort of posts do y'all like reading? I don't get many comments, even to posts that I think might generate some controversy, or at least thoughtful discussion. I'm not trolling for comments, here; just wondering if I'm boring everyone to death.

Idea
I have an idea for a post based on something A said months ago, about the difference between liberals and libertarians. It's sort of the synthesis of his comment, some comments [personal profile] leora made on facebook, and months of my brain working on the whole thing. The words "monstrous" and "inhuman" may be involved.

Illness update
Tinnitus persists. Cognitive issues, like difficulty finding words, are also there. It's sort of like trying to think with a migraine, except without the icepick in the skull. I've slept poorly the last two nights. The eye doctor saw nothing in my eyes, so no eyestrain or vision changes or other signs of disease that are visible in the eye. I may have found a cyclical pattern that maps to my menstrual cycle, joy. Appointment with the headache clinic is in about a week. Should also be about a week till my period starts again.

Football
Hertha beat SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2:0 on Friday, making them the only undefeated team in the pro Bundesliga (1st and 2nd), and putting them nicely on the top of the league table with 23 points (7x3 wins, 1x2 draws). Only 25 matches to go this season, and if they keep this up, they'll be back in the 1st league next September. Unfortunately two of our top players were injured in the match. Nikita Rukavytsya strained a thigh muscle and is out for two weeks, and captain Andre Mijatovic will be out for six with a knee ligament injury (outer ligament, Außenband). They join usual goalie Maikel Aerts (ACL, at least four more weeks) on the injured bench. Coach Markus Babbel can put 17-year-old Nico Schulz in for Ruka, which he did a few weeks ago when he banned Ruka for coming late to practice, and he's got another option or two for Mijatovic. The other GK, Marco Sejna, has done well the last two matches, except for one spectacular fumble Friday that came dangerously close to a goal for Fürth. He's kept a clean sheet so far, and the Hertha defense has only conceded 5 goals in 9 matches, which, actually, is the lowest number of conceded goals in the entire pro Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg, on the other hand, lost to Nürnberg 1:2 on Saturday. After 9 matches, they have 10 points (3-1-5) and are in 13th place. The defense has conceded 16 goals, on par with 15th place Schalke, and better than Bremen (18 goals, 8th place), Stuttgart (17, 14th), K'lautern (17, 15th), Gladbach (27!, 17th), Köln (17, 18th). Apparently, last year's Wolves had some issues with their defense, so Dieter Hoeneß (Uli of FC Bayern's brother) went out and bought some defensive players, including young Danish international Simon Kjaer and German international Arne Friedrich. Unfortunately, Arne hasn't been able to play this season thanks to a back injury, but he hopes to be back for the second half of the season. Adding to the defensive woes is the injury of goalkeeper Diego Benaglio (Swiss international). The team doesn't seem to have gelled yet, especially the defense. After the match, striker/captain Edin Dzeko expressed his frustration, stating that "we're not playing as a team." I get that sense from watching them on the field, myself.

Writing
I'm still in chapter 1 on revisions. It's been difficult to concentrate at times, and the ringing in my ears doesn't help. I'm going to use November's NaNoWriMo as motivation. I'm not participating, but I'll be using the framework to motivate myself to finish these revisions. I need deadlines to get things done.

To be addressed in a separate post
Sanity/Fear rally plans!
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
Germany 3:0 Turkey

The first goal (42 minutes), scored by Miroslav Klose, was... lucky isn't the right word, since all goals require a bit of luck. Müller shot a header, which Demirel cleared into the left post, and Klose headed in on the rebound.

The second goal was from Mesut Özil, and he had some clear mixed emotions. Yesterday in interviews, he said he'd do his best to score. Today, every time he had the ball, the Turkish fans in the crowd booed. It didn't seem to keep him down, because in the second half, at 79 minutes, he broke away and kicked the ball into the back of the net, just past Demirel's foot. His celebration was subdued, with some high-fives and hugs around.

Klose netted the third goal (87 minutes) right between Demirel's feet. Polish-born Klose is now the 4th most capped German international (104), surpassing Beckenbauer, and the 2nd highest goal scorer (57), right behind Gerd Müller.

In interviews after the match, Klose said there's a huge difference between Beckenbauer and himself (Beckenbauer is one of the most revered names in German football). He's very humble, which is rare in sports stars, especially talented strikers. He also said he asks himself all the time why he can score for the national team but not for his club, FC Bayern. Maybe there's a tiny bit more luck with the nationals, he said.

It was a good match, and the boys showed confidence. For Bayern fans hoping their team will turn around, that could be a good sign that they're getting their game back together.
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
Today (14:45 EDT/20:45 CET) is the third match in the Euro Cup qualifying stage. Germany's in group A with Belgium, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Austria and Turkey.

They're playing Turkey in Berlin. Much ado has been made about whether it will really be a home match for the Germans -- a lot of Turkish people live in Berlin and are expected to turn out at the stadium to support the Turkish team. It's going to be an interesting match: the player who was key to our success in South Africa, Bastian Schweinsteiger, is out with a torn ligament in his foot. Still shaky is the left back position; Boateng and Westermann are both candidates for the spot, though it's neither of their best position. (And Badstuber may be better as center-back than left-back; we'll see how he does there. Arne's still recovering from his back surgery.)

A lot of the usual league-toppers are having problems so far this season. Bayern's off to their worst start ever, with many key players (like Miro Klose) off form. Schalke, GK Manuel Neuer's home club, is down in 17th place, right above Stuttgart in last. The media are talking up a crisis for Bayern. There could be a bit of World Cup factor involved: half of Jogi's starting XI play for Bayern, so they're tired from working while their teammates had a bit of a break.

One thing that's heartening, at least, is that no matter how crappy they're doing in the clubs, Klose and Poldi have always been able to shape up for national team matches. Basti's absence will be felt, though; he's very good at directing play and holding the team together. He's also the best defensive midfielder we've got; the others are likely to wander forward, as attacking midfielders (Özil, Müller, Khedira).

Football, culture, and politics

There's a lot of talk about Mesut Özil in this. He's a third-generation German-born Turk, and he chose to play for the German national team over the Turkish, while the other Bundesligisten of German heritage chose Turkey. Özil said that for him, there was never any question that he would choose the German team. He grew up in Germany, and he feels comfortable there.

Hamit Altintop criticized Özil for choosing Germany over Turkey, suggesting that he made the decision on which team would best advance his career and that Özil wouldn't be playing for Real Madrid now if he'd chosen Turkey instead.

On several occasions, Özil was asked whether he thought football was important for integration. He's been asked so many times, he has an answer memorized: we always had multi-culti teams, and we always got on well together.

Another player with a "migration-background" is Sami Khedira, whose mother is German and father is Tunisian. In a press conference yesterday, he was *also* asked about his decision to choose Germany over Tunisia and about football as integration-helper. He said he goes to Tunisia every year to visit family ("it's also a beautiful vacation area") and feels close to his Tunisian roots, but "I was born in Germany. I grew up in Germany. I consider myself German. I *am* German."

I'm getting tired of hearing the question be asked. I can't imagine how tired those two are.

ANNOYING.

3 Oct 2010 11:40 am
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
When I try to watch the BVB Dortmund-Bayern Munich match legally on ESPN3, here's what I get.
ESPN3.com is available at no charge to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection from an ESPN3.com affiliated internet service provider. ESPN3.com is also available to fans that access the internet from U.S. college campuses and U.S. military bases.

Your current computer network falls outside of these categories. Here’s how you can get access to ESPN3.com.

Please select your internet service provider from the list. If you can't find yours, select "Not Found" at the bottom.

Switch to an ESPN3.com affiliated internet service provider or to contact your internet service provider and request ESPN3.com. Click here to enter your ZIP code and find out which providers in your area carry offer ESPN3.com

(The ISPs in my area that carry ESPN3 are AT&T/U-verse and Verizon.)

I guess it's back to piracy.
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
As I've mentioned, I'm following two teams this year: Hertha because I ♥ Berlin, and Wolfsburg because I ♥ Arne Friedrich (who's out with an injury at the moment, which is sad. Thankfully the rest of the team is growing on me.)

Hertha's in the 2nd League after finishing dead last in the 2009/10 season (quite the upset after having finished 4th in the 2008/09 season!). 6 games in to this season, and they're at the top of the table. Yesterday they played Energie Cottbus in an "Ost-derby" (eastern derby). Energie is the 2nd in the 2nd league, and they've bounced in and out of the 1st league over the last 10 years.

[Aside: Cottbus is an interesting city, because it's home to the largest group of Sorbs in the country. It's almost on the border with Poland.]

In the previous matches, Hertha hasn't been challenged too much. They're still a 1st-league-class team (even if half the Kader left at the end of last season for greener 1st league pastures), and their opponents have been mostly 2nd-league-class teams. That's not to say they aren't good teams; the 2nd Bundesliga is still a professional league, but it's not the one the international/World Cup players are chosen from.

Yesterday's match vs Energie was anything but boring. Hertha couldn't dominate the field like they had in previous matches. There was amazing defending (and goal-keeping) on both ends of the pitch, and Hertha's single goal was at 59 minutes, off a long kick to a midfielder waiting to kick it in: it needed the right combination of skill and luck. There were a lot of close calls and near misses.

As of today, Energie deserves to be promoted to the 1st league. There are still 28 matches left in the season, and things can change, but I think this team deserves to be back in the 1st League. They've got the skill.

Energie is the only team from the former GDR to have ever played in the 1st League. Ever. Energie is the most successful team from the former GDR in the united Bundesliga. Dynamo Dresden and FC Hansa Rostock have also been in the 1st League, but neither team was in very long. There are still marked differences in the former East and the west: all the factories closed. They became redundant, for the most part, and many of them didn't meet the pollution standards of the west. It's a huge topic of debate in Germany right now: how do we keep the cities in the east from dying off because all the young people are going west where the jobs are?

Football is a very capitalist sport. Managers buy and sell players for heaps of money, and (in theory) the manager with the most money to buy the best players can put together the best team. (This is one reason I can never support FC Bayern. Yet Wolfsburg is the official team of Volkswagen... [No, really; the club began as the VW employees' gym/sport club in 1940-whatever. Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are the only teams excluded from the 50+1 rule, because they're grandfathered out. Pharmaceutical giant Bayer owns the football club Leverkusen.])

A whole 3 weeks ago, DW ran a story about the difficulty eastern clubs have in getting the money to get the good players. Sure, they can raise them up in the youth divisions, but there's no reason for a talented player to stay in the east, where they'll be stuck languishing in the second or third leagues, when they can move west to FC Bayern or Schalke 04 or Köln.

The transition at reunification was hard; harder on Ossis than Wessis (though decades later, with hindsight, a lot of the policies to ease the transition for the Ossis, like making 1 Ostmark equal 1 Deutsche Mark when the real exchange was more like 2 or 3:1, may have had negative consequences on the overall economy, but for someone living in Dresden in 1990, prices going up 3x without an equivalent increase in income would have been catastrophic. Those of you who would argue that it's A-OK to let people suffer because Government Intervention Is Always Wrong can kindly go fuck yourselves.)

In 1990/91, there were no private companies to make sponsorships in Leipzig or Aue or Cottbus, and, with the dissolution of the SED, there were no longer state subsidies. Twenty years later, there are still few private companies in the former east (the "new federal states," as they call them in Germany) with enough money to sponsor a football team with a payroll in the hundred-million Euro range, or to buy multiple contracts worth 30-40 million Euro each.

So the eastern teams live in the 2nd or 3rd leagues (or even in the amateur 4th and 5th/regional leagues), and they don't get the viewership that gets the kind of attention the Big League sponsors want, so they don't get the money they need to buy better players. It's a vicious cycle.

(FC Bayern has a big sponsorship from Deutsche Telekom; Schalke from Gazprom. Here is a list of all the sponsors from 2007/08 and at present (2nd link German only; "Trikotsponsor" is the name blazoned on their shirts; "Ausrüster" is who provides the clothing.)

It's a problem, to be sure, and an outgrowth of the highly capitalistic sport culture. I don't have any solution to the problem, other than wait and see what happens with Red Bull Leipzig over the next 5 years. Fans are (rightly) concerned about the commercialization of fan culture. [It's the difference between, say ComicCon and Dragon*Con, or Anime Expo and Otakon.]

In the meantime, I'll root for Hertha and cross my fingers for Energie Cottbus to place second and be automatically promoted. (Third place in the 2nd league plays 3rd-last in the first league, and the winner takes a spot in the 1st league.)
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
I'm a football fan. I'm also queer. I don't let homophobic commentary slide when I encounter it. Unfortunately, sports is a hotbed of homophobia. Even football.

So I joined [livejournal.com profile] rc_homophobia, and I've volunteered to write a blog post about a news article. I also volunteered to write something longer about some older articles from Spiegel.de, which may range from Becker's commentary that the MNT that went to SA this year was ugly and gay, and they're jealous of (his client) Ballack to FC St Pauli's official anti-hate (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc) stance. The club also has a long-standing association with punks and the counter culture.

Kick hate out of the beautiful game.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Last night I went to a Railhawks match. We had pretty good seats - right at centre pitch, behind the home team's bench. The field is small, and you could walk up to the railing and talk to players, if you so desired. You could hear the players yelling to each other, and the coach yelling at the ref (who did miss some egregious BS).

The team: there are a couple players who could do well in MLS, at least, though I wouldn't expect many of them to play for national teams or in UEFA or CONMEBOL any time soon.

The match itself: the first half was a lot better for the home guys than the second. Either they fell apart, or the opposing team decided to step up play.

Some ugly shit: the Timbers' coach subbed on this guy, Suzuki, around 65 minutes, and by 73 minutes, he had a yellow card. Well deserved, too, and it got a round of applause. First, he and a Railhawk collided, and Suzuki fell. The Railhawk offered him a hand to help him up, as is de rigeur in the sport, and Suzuki gave him attitude and got up in his face. The ref broke that up. Then he fouled another couple guys - deliberately - and the ref finally gave him a card, after which he stopped being such a dick.

How many substitutions do you *get* in USSD soccer, anyway? The Timbers made 5 substitutions. I'm used to three being the number of substitutions.

Watching football live, in person, is a lot more fun than watching it on TV. I might go to more matches next year, or I might not. It'll depend on how busy I am, I guess. Twenty-some bucks isn't too bad.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I'm starting my period, which is always a fun time for everything, and I felt a bit off all day, and somewhat nauseous earlier. Then I started getting the feeling like I have in the past that I'm sort of getting a migraine, with some facial pressure and general feeling-off-ness.

But since that's the way I felt during previous nausea-bouts, I'm thinking it may be a sign that this (presumed) sinus infection isn't all gone. I'll see how I feel tomorrow and either leave a message for the MD on call (if I feel badly) or wait until Monday morning and see if they can get me in (if I feel less-badly). My left maxillary sinus feels a bit tender and slightly swollen.

Right now I'm on 4 Advil and 2 Sudafed, and crossing my fingers that I don't feel badly during the football match tonight.

(On the topic of football, god damn Wolfsburg is sucking this season. Lost their first three matches. At least they're doing better than Schalke.)

Anyway, time to head out to find some food before the Railhawks game. Taking along my zofran just in case. Hope I don't need more than I took earlier today.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
So, since the terrifying experiences of Levaquin, I've gotten better. I took my last dose of azithromycin yesterday. I still feel congested a bit, but I'm taking sudafed and drinking fluids (and coughing up a ridiculous amount of crap). I'm going to keep taking Prilosec at bedtime until all my congestion is cleared.

I guess if I don't notice improvement in congestion in a few more days (Monday?) I'll call my doctor and see if we need to try another course of antibiotics. If these germs have really been loitering in my sinuses since mid-May, they could be nasty buggers.

I feel less tired, though, so that's a good thing. I went to weapons class last night, though I rested about half the time. (Master Jou's third principle: don't overdo it.) I wanted to go to Pilates today, but my legs were a bit tired when I got up this morning. So I'll see how I feel tomorrow (and the Friday class is at 10:30, so I have a bit more time to wake up).

Bought tickets for Saturday's Carolina Railhawks match. My friend K from high school, who moved out here last year, said she'd be up for it, and I confirmed, so it'll be the 3 of us. I have no idea about this team or their opponents (the Portland Timbers), or how they play. (NASL standings without the complication of divisions by conference. Apparently American sports fans can't handle a league without them, even when there are all of 12 teams.) And can I just say "eew" to the orange and blue color scheme? It makes Stuttgart's brown uniforms look nice.

Anyway. This Saturday is also the Big Boss brewery tour (2nd Saturday!), so we might go to that. It's at 2, though, so we'd have a lot of down time between then and when the gates open for the match (6 pm). Neither Ben nor I should really drink that much, since I'm still sick, and he just developed con crud. The alternative would be to swing over to the tap room after the match for a pint, though that would be around 9 pm, and see above re: sick people. Gmaps tells me it's about 20 minutes to get from Big Boss to WakeMed Soccer Park (which is also right by Toyo Shokuhin).

I might take a nap.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
The European club football season is just starting, and the US club season is just about ending.

So my thought of perhaps going to see a Carolina Railhawks match this season means I either go this Saturday, the 25th, or October 1, as those are the last 3 home matches this season. Tickets are reasonably cheap - $17-22 for reasonably good seats (cheaper if you want to sit behind the goal). They play at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

Anyway, anyone want to go with me? Or will I just have to drag Ben along kicking and screaming (er, playing his DS?)?

Not that I expect 2nd league US soccer to be as exciting as UEFA soccer, of course.
feuervogel: (happy)
The pocket program is out. I got my stuff packed. (Costume & clothes & 2 pairs of Fluevogs. Everything will be wrinkled, but there's an iron.)

I sent a big email of coordination stuff to the 7 other people sharing my rooms. I hope we can get rooms on the same floor, at least. That would be helpful. I just shared my GCal with them all. (Yes, I add everything I want to go to in GCal. This year I can check it on my phone rather than print it out. USEFUL.) And if everyone else puts their schedules in their GCals and shares them, I can have all the schedule info I want (and more ;) )

Still to do: get con food together. Granola bars, bread, PB, good coffee, maybe alcohol (depending on mah gutz).

Things I need to not forget: copies of Retro Spec, the printout of U8 to read from. Phone charger. Camera.

I discovered that I can listen to Bundesliga radio on my computer. Unlike streaming video, this doesn't get blocked every 63 minutes. No video, but that's OK. This match day has had like 40 goals. The new ball (essentially the Jabulani from the World Cup), named Torfabrik, lives up to its name. The BuLi is all sorts of messed up. Newly-promoted Kaiserslautern handed Bayern a 2:0 loss yesterday. This will be an interesting season, for sure.
feuervogel: (dfb logo)
Woo!

So, the Bundesliga is played on 34 match days. Each match day has 9 matches, between the 18 teams. Then there's the 2nd Bundesliga, which also has match days with 9 matches, between the 18 teams.

Then there's the DFB-Pokal (DFB Cup), which every DFB team, from 1st BuLi to the amateur 5th league clubs, plays, apparently at random draws.

That's not even getting into the other national leagues or the Champions League. There's a damn lot of football out there!

So I'm trying to make a decision about which team to follow. I have it narrowed down to Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg in the 1st league and Hertha Berlin in the 2nd. But since Werder and Wolfsburg are playing at the same time next Saturday, I can't watch both matches and see whose play I prefer. (Though based on this week, I'm not impressed with Werder, but it was just the first match. The next one might be better.

It's a very strange thing, picking a team. Apparently you just know which team is yours, and I can certainly believe that. That's how I know the German team is mine at WM time. (And I can't just, like, say "OK, these players I like on the MNT play for this team, so I'll follow them," because that team is FC Bayern, and, well, fuck the Yankees.)

I hope I can figure it out soon. There's not enough time in the day to keep up with three teams.

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