Jumble of Thoughts, October 2016

“A reminder you could always be a little bit better than this…”
(Get Better ~ Frank Turner, 2015)

I really need or at least want to get back into the swing of things here. Writing more. Not necessarily long post, but just get back to write more in general. Write more than just 140 characters I write on Twitter. So here are a few rather random jumbly thoughts which were/are running through my mind these days…

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Work is insanely busy at the moment, because we are having two major events next week. An experts’ conference and a public event with various information booths, but also food and drink and games and such. I’m constantly worrying that both events will be a disaster or at least not as huge successes as we are hoping for.  These past few weeks I have often felt overwhelmed or dissatisfied at work, because of all the work and responsibility and stress involved with these events. I feel like we (I?) didn’t do our best in preparing for them. Feel like I lost track of some of the balls we were juggling and that basically it will all fail, because I’m not cut out for this kind of work. The whole “glass half (or more) empty” routine I’m so good at.

When I voiced some of these thoughts to my coworker today I was kind of stunned by his positive and self-assured way of thinking. He is convinced that we did the best we could with the time and ressources we had available and in spite of the various other projects we still had to take care of at the same time, while we were planning these events. He isn’t worried. These events might turn out smaller than we had planned or expected them to be, but he doesn’t consider that a failure as such. Whereas I do. And am worried about having to justify myself and how we planned and did what we did. And it’s such a different attitude than my own. A much healthier one probably as well. I doubt he has trouble sleeping or that he feels as anxious as I do these days.  I wish I had some more of that self-assurance and confidence myself. I guess I have to keep working on that.

The thing that helps to keep my spirits up at work these days are my coworkers. In my team and the other one on our floor. They are (mostly) a great bunch and even when we’re insanely busy, like we are right now, we still manage to laugh a lot and we all get along well, which is so important. I have no idea how I would have gotten through these past few weeks if it wasn’t for the lovely chats and laughter in the hallways.

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Last weekend (Saturday night) there had been a rather horrible car crash on the motorway I have to take on my way to work. I read about it in details in the papers the next day and it felt so weird driving along that path on my way back home on Monday afternoon. A most probably suicidal driver made a u-turn in a road construction area and drove back in the wrong direction. He collided head on with a car and killed two people beside himself. Scary. And so sad. And like I said, if feels weird to pass that part of the motorway each day.

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I’ve finally started watching a few new TV shows, even though my go-to-show for immediate stress relief at the moment are the Gilmore Girls for the fourth or fifth time :-) I’m really looking forward to the “A Year in the Life of…” at the end of November.

I’ve really enjoy “This Is Us” so far, because it’s the right mixture of emotions and humour and drama. I’m neither a triplet nor a twin, but I’ve got siblings and I just like watching adult siblings interact, because I can relate to that. That’s one of the things I loved so much about the Bravermans on Parenthood. “Pitch” is another show I’ve started and enjoy so far, but I’m only two episodes in, so I’ll have to see where it goes.

The 2nd season of “Lucifer” hasn’t lived up to my hopes so far, I’m afraid. Maybe I’m too set in my personal religious education and I don’t mean beliefs as such. But I just can’t quite get on board with the Dad (God), Mom (?) and all their children (angels, fallen or not) idea. No idea how to explain why that bugs me a bit. What got me interested in this show in season 1 was Lucifer’s special relation with Chloe. Why is she immune to his intense mind reading stare? Why is he vulnerable in her presence? None of this was came up again in S2 so far. Lucifer has his hands full with his “mom” to even really flirt with Chloe. They work together and that’s it. I really hope that will change soon.

“Madam Secretary” also started a bit weird for my taste. The premiere was all over the place (timeline wise), the 2nd episode was okay-ish, even though I rolled my eyes a lot, that once again Henry’s religious / historical expertise somehow helps with defeating Islamic terrorism. Really? Whatever happened with Dimitri by the way? They got him out of Russia and probably reunited him with his sister, but wouldn’t it have been nice to have that at least mentioned? Or did they do that at the end of season 2?

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My Outlander Season 2 Blu-Ray will hopefully arrive tomorrow and then I might start a re-watch of that season for real. I’ve rewatched each episode in the week after it aired, but nothing really after the season ended this summer. Maybe because my mind had already moved on to book/season 3 “Voyager”? But I’m kind of excited to (hopefully be able to) start all over again with Season 2 this weekend.

On my busy brain there hadn’t been much space to think about Outlander these past few weeks, so I didn’t read about or saw the deleted scenes from season 2 until the “Episode 7: Faith” drama hit my Twitter feed, where I don’t follow that many Outlander fans in the first place. I think I noticed the drama, because Terry got hassled once again and took a short break from Twitter because of it. I admit I don’t have a clear memory of the original edited version of that scene, so when I watched the extended (deleted) version I didn’t really knew what had been left out. Because of that I didn’t ounderstand the whole drama about it. But I hated that it once again seemed to have turned nasty for some people involved.

Why can’t we viewers / fans give Ron and everyone involved with the show a break? They are doing the best they can! They care about the story. I still very much believe that and I’m so grateful we have this show in the first place, because it is such a great addition to the Outlander world. But even as this great addition it will never replace the books in my heart or mind. If I don’t like something on the show or if I miss something… I just return to the original source and enjoy the story as Diana had created it. And thanks to the TV show now Jamie and Claire and everyone else has a face in the movie that plays in my mind when I read the books. So all is well.

It’s also very well, that all the actors (and lot of the crew involved) seem to be lovely people and I love how active some of them are on Twitter or elsewhere. How open and warm and interested they are when fans encounter them anywhere. But I admit during the “deleted Faith scene” drama I wished some people (in this case Sam, Terry) would have thought twice about what they posted on Twitter or Facebook. And then I felt really bad for thinking that, because I don’t want them to censor themselves and to not speak their mind, because then all we will get from them are empty phrases and soundbites. But unfortunately sometimes their statements just keep adding oil to the fire, even though they are not intended like that. It’s the fault of some (minor) groups in this fandom who use this statements to keep the fire burning.

I have no idea how the actors and crew are supposed to deal with these aspects of the fandom. I just know that I don’t like reading about it. There are so many more interesting and exciting topics we could discuss in regards to this show, the actors and everyone. And as I’ve stated at the beginning of this long, rambling post, I have enough drama in my work life at the moment, so I don’t need it on my Twitter or in my fandom.

My Voyager reread has reached Edinburgh and I’m almost done with chapter 25 (House of Joy) and hope to manage gathering my thoughts on chapter 24/25 for a blog post this weekend. So much to write about. Like… might they relinquish the whole Mr. Willoughby storyline and thus his character on the show? When that thought crossed my mind for the first time a few days ago, I thought “No way! There is so much happening with him later on”, but then I thought, that might as well be cut from the plot as well. It’s not essential to the core plot line of Claire/Jamie/Young Ian. And I think it might be difficult to keep Mr Willoughby in just as a funny sidekick on the show. It might turn too much of a cliche, if they can’t get into his backstory.

Think about that until I have written my post in which I might make my case for just leaving him out of the TV show completely. We’ve only got 13 episodes to cover the whole book after all! :-)

Lovely Walk On A Beautiful Indian Summer Day

I’ve been neglecting this blog recently, I know. I had hoped to find the time – or to be honest the motivation – to write at least a “what I’ve been up to in the last few weeks” post these days. I might still do that later tonight. Or maybe not… we’ll see. I’ve been busy at work and felt overwhelmed a lot these last few weeks and there is yet no end in sight for that in the next couple of weeks either.

We had unusually warm and sunny and thus lovely October day over here in Germany, so when a friend suggested to head out for a walk I jumped to that opportunity. We took a long walk along a river and reservoir in our neighbourhood and had yummy waffles with icecream later on. I’m tempted to comment in detail on the incapable serving staff at the cafe, but that would put a damper on that otherwise happy blog post. The servers were friendly at least, let’s keep it at that ;-)

Anyway, here are a few photos from today.

Thoughts on Adapting Outlander for TV: Voyager 21 – 23

I took a kind of unplanned break from re-reading / re-listening to Voyager. Even these few chapter I have listened to some time ago and now only find the time (and motivation) to write about it.

21: Q.E.D | 22 All Hallow’s Eve | 23 Craigh na Dun

These chapters brought my thoughts back my pondering over the previous few chapters and how they will bring it back to the scenes from the season 2 finale. And more important how much of the search for Jamie through history we will actually see them do on screen. I have no idea actually how the writers will bring the various strings of plot together. Some of these scenes – like the “Deed of Sasine” document – were already included in season 2, where Claire finds it instead of Roger and Bree in the book. Roger and Bree get from that document to the article in a book from 1765, which they attribute to Jamie due to the handwriting. No idea how they will make that connection in the show then.

I’m curious to see if TV Claire will have some doubts and fears about going back as book Claire had. At the end of season 2 she was very determined, but of course that could be explained by a spur-of-the-moment “Jamie didn’t die at Culloden” thought. In the book the realization that he might be able still alive 20 years after they’ve parted comes on slowly once they’ve traced him through history.

I hope they will show some of how Claire with the help of Roger and Bree get’s ready for her trip back in time. Buying the “Jessica Gutenberg” dress, getting the old coins and such.

The actual departure might take place very similar to the way it’s described in the book with Claire stealing away at night and Bree and Roger still showing up at Craigh na Dun to see her off. They might include things from the letter Claire wrote to Bree, which we only read about in the next few chapters, I think. I also like to see some of the conversations between Bree and Roger, about Bree’s fear of having no one left who knows her.

Next up…. “Chapter 24: A. Malcolm, Printer” *sigh* But I’m not sure when I’ll be in the right mood to re-visit that chapter and to also gather the million thoughts I most probably have about how I want to see THESE scenes on TV :-)

Positive Things 4 Negative People: 022 – 026

I’m in a weird funk this evening. Dreading work tomorrow because there will be so much to do and I feel in way over my head a lot of times these days. So to cheer myself up and to remind myself of the good things, here are a few recent ones:

022: Hazel Osmond novels. I finished another one this weekend (“Who’s afraid of Mr. Wolfe?”) and loved it!
023: The new Keane Song “Tear Up This Town”
024: Falling asleep again this morning after I’ve feared I wouldn’t
025: Salted Caramel icecream with chocolate sauce
026: New episode of “Lucifer” and a promising new show “This Is Us”


Farewell Game for a Great Hockey Player

Just a quick post to share some of my photos from a lovely hockey event yesterday. I have to admit that supporting my hockey team – the Cologne Sharks – has moved down a bit on my list of priorities. I still follow their news and games and such, but with a bit less enthusiasm as I used to only a couple of years ago. No idea why that is…. :-/

Anyway, when the last season ended in the spring our defense player Mirko Lüdemann retired. At the age of 42 after having played 23 years. For the same team! If you know a bit about hockey or any physical sport like it, you have an idea how amazing that career was. For the farewell game a lot of previous team mates came back to Cologne to share that moment and it was a lot of fun. There was a autograph signing before the game and my friend and I got lucky that we entered the venue very close to the tables where the two players we mostly wanted to see again were seated. So we walked by, collected our autographs, snapped some photos, chatted a bit. It was lovely.

Before the game there were the usual speeches, presents, ceremonies and I didn’t really shed that many tears. I “had something in my eyes” for a few moments though ;-) But seriously, it was a lovely and fun afternoon in Cologne.