Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a happy holiday this year with lots of joy and fun. I also wish you all a happy new year!

Right now I'm in North Carolina, spending time with my wonderful girlfriend Hine and her family. It's been a very new, yet enjoyable time so far, and I hope it goes on. Good people here, and temperatures are above zero (Around two to 10 degrees Celsius).

Frohe Festtage an euch alle!

Regular blog posts will return January 3, 2012! 

Monday, 12 December 2011

EURO Finals - Group stage

Pardon me for being so late on this, but let's talk about the European Championship for a minute or two.

The EURO (as it's called) will be played next summer in Poland and Ukraine. I'm happy for those two countries, because Eastern Europe hasn't been up to the level of the western side, but the passion for soccer has been pretty big. So good on them!

The Qualifying stage has given us a few surprises, including Turkey unable to make it past the playoffs, and the Republic of Ireland and Estonia battling for a spot. Switzerland and Austria, hosts of the last EURO in 2008, both failed to qualify. I guess it's just easier to host a tournament than to qualify for it. Wait, it IS easier. But this is not the point today. 

Without further due, let's start with Group A of the EURO 2012: 

Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic

A mostly eastern-based group, but it does have potential for some great matches, especially Poland vs. Russia, and Czech Republic vs. Poland. All four teams are high in the FIFA rankings, so this can probably end up being one of the underrated groups of the tournament. And Poland, being one of the host nations, might be under a lot of pressure. 

Group B *gulp*

Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal

My "Nationalelf", in the "Group of Death", with Holland, Danish Dynamite and the Portuguese powerhouse. I was worried for a good hour or so after seeing this group, but from what I saw from my German boys, going flawless through the Qualifying stage, this should be a challenging group nevertheless. I actually welcome it now. Four great teams, all worthy of moving on. I hope Podolski and co. can pull it off, as biased as I sound right now. 

Group C!

Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia

Another fine group in my opinion. While Spain (World Cup 2010 and EURO 2008 winners) and Italy (World Cup 2006 winner) are the obvious favourites, Croatia cannot be counted out of the equation. And let's remember that Ireland is coached by legendary Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni, and he knows his soccer. We could be in for a surprise in this group, just saying. 

Last but not least: Group D

Ukraine, Sweden, France, England

Again, two obvious favourites for the quarterfinals (England and France), and I'm worried about how Ukraine will do in this group, being the other host nation. I don't have much hope either for Sweden, because I think England and France will go for the top. I think this group will turn out to be the obvious, I'm afraid. 

So there you have it! The groups for the EURO 2012! Should be another dandy tournament! 

Deutschland vor!!! (Sorry, I'm German. My obligation.)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Nike: soccer ad geniuses

This post will probably be loved by my Advertising/Public Relations instructor, so I hope you're reading this, Kenton!

In recent years, top sports brands has dazzled football ( fans worldwide with their original and catchy advertising. Puma has done pretty well with their "Football = Love", and Adidas showed they are "all in.". I'm loyal to the Adidas brand, but the "Impossible is nothing." slogan would've gotten an autofail. Flip it around and it would've made more sense.

Anyway, about three weeks ago, I had the pleasure to watch the best commercials in the world at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Many of them were fantastic, but nothing stood out to me more than Nike's "Write the future." spot.

Boy, was it powerful. To me, it portraited the influence and power the world's game has. A handful of the world's stars are featured in there too, including Christiano Ronaldo, Frank Ribery, Wayne Rooney, and none other than Ronaldinho. With the skill it featured and the emotions it caused, I felt like it showed the "beautiful game" as a whole. And what was also pretty great about it: It wasn't about the brand, it was about the game!

I think Nike wins the title for being the best advertiser in the sport.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Winter break approaching

Winter break approaches, and as a German soccer fan, it feels too long. The Bundesliga teams will hibernate into the new year and players get to spend time with their families, then head into the sunny south for training camp.

I'm still used to the routine, but when the break comes and comes again, the 5 weeks of no soccer seem forever. Even if my beloved Hansa doesn't live up to their expectations right now (17th...ugh), I still care about them, and can't wait to see them turn this ship around and out of the relegation spots. Sure, I might have my hopes up too high, but that doesn't mean these things won't happen. A fan goes with their team through thick and thin, and I wouldn't stop at anything to show my support to my team. I love this sport and I love my team, no matter how stormy it gets.

Anyway, it'll be another 5 long weeks. At least the Premier League and a few others around the world will still be playing. Oh, and of course the NHL.

Die Winterpause naehert sich, und als ein Fussballfan fuehlt es sich zu lange an. Die Bundesliga geht in den Winterschlaf und die Spieler werden ihre Zeit mit Familie geniessen, und danach in den sonnigen Sueden fahren, zum Trainingslager.

Ich bin dieser Sache gewoehnt, aber wenn es jedes Jahr wiederkomment, fuehlen sich die 5 Wochen wie eine Ewigkeit an. Auch wenn meine Hanseaten nicht ihren Erwartungen entsprechen (17. Platz....menno), Ich kuemmere mich noch sehr um ihnen, und kann es kaum erwarten, wenn sie das Ruder umreissen und aus den Abstiegsplaetzen klettern. Ich habe bestimmt meine Hoffnungen zu hoch gesetzt, aber das heisst nicht das diese Dinge nicht passieren. Ein Fan geht mit seinem Verein durch dick und duenn, und ich wuerde niemals aufhoeren, mein Team zu unterstuetzen. Ich liebe diesen Sport und ich liebe mein Verein, egal wie stuermisch es auch wird.

Jedenfalls wird es wieder 5 lange Wochen. Zumindest sind die Englische Premier League und andere Ligen weltweit noch am spielen. Oh, und auch die NHL.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dynamo Dresden excluded from German Cup

Yahoo! Sports blog - Dirty tackle - Dresden fans set Dortmund's toilets on fire

After the horrific incidents at the German Cup game between Western German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund and Eastern legendary club Dynamo Dresden, where Dynamo fans caused three game interruptions and repeatedly attacked police around the stadium, the German Soccer Association (DFB) banned Dresden from Cup competition next year, after a meeting held today in the Frankfurt main office.

I applaud this decision, but it also hurts a little, because the players were working hard for their fans, and this is what the fans repay them with. It doesn't seem fair from a fan's point of view, but then again, some people just can't learn to behave at a soccer game, so it seems.

Before the game started with a 15 minute delay, because the teams were stuck in traffic, the Dynamo fan section began a pyrotechnic showing, as they held flares in the air, clouding up the view of fans above them. I've been in a section before, where some guy would suddenly light a smoke bomb, and believe me, it's hard to deal with.

Even during the game, the fans from Dresden lit up and threw some flares onto the pitch at Signal-Iduna-Park in Dortmund, causing the match to be interrupted, as police tried to contain the fans.

Final stats: 17 injured, 15 arrests, 100,000 Euros in damage to the stadium, and Dresden eliminated, as Dortmund won 2-0.

Damn it, guys....

Eastern German fans have been a big problem for years now, and it almost unbearable to watch from afar. I was born in the East. I cheer on an Eastern German team (Hansa Rostock), and the fanatics of my team are known for being trouble makers. When you're on the outside looking in, you will still be misjudged as a fan of a team like that, as I told in my "Beer rain and broken glass" post.

Anyway, it was a good decision by the DFB. Time for fans to learn and behave, before they run their own team to the ground.

Monday, 21 November 2011

This blog has a new purpose/MLS

From now on, this blog is about my favourite sport in the whole wide world: soccer!

I'm such a soccer fan, and since I've been debating a lot about what the main focus of my blog should be, I've finally decided to talk about the beautiful game.

I've been a big soccer fan since I was six years old, when my uncle took me to a game of Hansa Rostock, my favourite German soccer team, and I've been a fan since. I play, I watch and I enjoy soccer as a part of my life. So yeah, here I am. Enjoy!
The MLS final happened on Sunday night, as the Los Angeles Galaxy with David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane took on the Houston Dynamo, who won two MLS titles since their birth in 2006. LA won 1-0, with Donovan scoring the lone goal of the game, giving them their 3rd title in their club history.

Congrats to the Galaxy on a great season. They've dominated for most of the season and won the Supporter's Shield (awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season) deservingly. In the end, it's no surprise they took the trophy.

I wasn't much into the MLS until this year, when the league expanded to 18 teams, with the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, two northwestern teams, going into their first season. As the season progressed, I got more and more into the action and it was really a great season to watch. Great games, many goals, and spectacular action highlighted one of the best seasons in MLS in my opinion.

How about Hassili's goal against Seattle, tying it up for Vancouver? Or that wonderful Nagbe volley into the corner to bring Portland within one against Kansas City?

Here's Nagbe's beauty, which won him Goal of the Year:

I can't wait for next season. The Montreal Impact will join next season, becoming the third Canadian team in the MLS and I believe the fans and the players can't wait either. It's gonna be awesome!

Oh, and by the way: Go Timbers! RCTID! 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Coffee, beards and rock: Craig Benzine and Driftless Pony Club

The chances of finding musicians you've never heard before on YouTube is pretty high, considering how much variety is on there. I've had the same pleasure, starting with watching my favourite video blogger, Craig Benzine, aka Wheezy Waiter.

"Wheezy Waiter" is a name that includes Benzine's asthma problems and his former employment as a waiter. A pretty creative name, considering how many users on YouTube have strange sequences of numbers or a scramble of upper- and lower-case lettering. That's what separates the amateurs from the pros.

Anyway, Craig Benzine is one of the funniest people on the internet. His humor is original, silly and it catches you quickly. He started his YouTube channel with vlogs of his life as a waiter and would reflect on some of the situations that happened at his workplace. Since then, he evolved to become a full time YouTuber and earns his money through making original content multiple times a week. Yes, you can earn money through YouTube. A dream job for most internet enthusiasts, I think!

To let you see what he actually does, check this out!

Benzine also happens to be in a band called Driftless Pony Club, an indie rock band whose fanbase origins from the YouTube community, and those who really dig deep into the music vaults. They have released four studio albums, with their most recent one being "Buckminster", which was released this year. Their music is influenced by many bands, including The Pixies, Modest Mouse and even Weezer. With his friends Matt Weber (Guitar/Backup vocals), Sam Grant (Bass) and Nate Bartley (Drums), Benzine created many great songs that have reached out to younger generations through the internet. Here's a pretty witty one, called "Inspectors of Inspectors" from "Buckminster":

When you browse through Benzine's videos of the tours the band went on, you can see for a few seconds, how teens and young adults fill the coffee shops and bars they play at, screaming frantically to the camera Benzine uses to capture the emotions during the concert. It amazes me to see how much good Benzine and his band have produced over the years. I'd see teens and adults taking a marker and drawing a beard around their mouths and on their cheeks and wink at the camera for Benzine to put it on his videos.

It's just great to see that inspiration can come from anywhere. Not to mention great music! Craig, thanks for entertaining us with your humor and your band!

Monday, 7 November 2011

German soccer: Beer rain and broken glass

Time to write about my favourite sport: Soccer.

I have been a huge fan of FC Hansa Rostock, my favourite soccer team, since the age of six. I got introduced to soccer when my uncle took me to the last home game of the season 96/97, when Hansa played powerhouse FC Schalke 04. They lost 1-0 but I was so amazed at the action that went down on the pitch. And it was loud, and I loved it. My dad, who traveled with me and my uncle, got me a hat and a scarf before the game. I still have the same items at home. They traveled thousands of miles with me, to Hansa games all over Germany, and to my new home in Canada.

But since I moved to Canada, I've noticed how some clubs back in Germany, including my beloved Hansa, quickly attracted some of the rowdiest fans out there. Sure, you had to expect some sort of hooliganism sometime, but over time, the rebellion and trouble-making got worse. Whenever a big rivalry came along, so called "fans" threw rocks at each other, called names and chanted preposterous things at each other. Some even caused physical harm.

A few years ago, when a Hansa game was postponed due to bad weather and field conditions, the fans were travelling back home by train, and stopped halfway through in a city. To kill time, they decided to do some damage and smash police cars and set things on fire before heading back on the train. Hansa's management received a fine in the thousands and their fans were prohibited to travel with the team to the next few road games.

When I read the news on these events, I could only hold my head in shame. The beauty of soccer received a cut on the cheek that day. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if I should still be a fan of my team. It's silly to think that way, but when so-called "fans" of my team wreck cars and break windows, and are NOT stopping, then I start to feel really ashamed about being a fan. Our entire reputation as a fan base is damaged. That's how society works. Once somebody does something stupid, everyone else is affected.

You have to wonder why they do these things. It's simple: politics. Hooligans like to settle their political differences through violence, so it seems. Since Germany's reunification in 1990, the difference between east and west has increased. The east has struggled to get their economy going, while the west has been booming. A large population of the east moved to the west for a better life, with few west Germans heading east.

When it comes to soccer, hooligans of eastern teams love to do riots against fellow other eastern teams, or western teams. They accuse the west for being unfair and taking away opportunities and jobs, and criticize capitalism. Hooligans of western teams, on the other hand, point fingers at the east for still being communists. I don't exactly know why these riots happen, but I've seen so many interviews where fans accuse the others on political levels.

I've just had enough of "fans" bashing others for their political views. Politics doesn't belong in sports. They are two separate things. Stop smashing glass, and scream at the referee, or do other stuff that doesn't damage property or people's lives.

Less this: 

More this: 

Alles fuer den FCH! Keep my sport beautiful, not violent. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

God or Darwin?

Who is right?

That question has two huge sides to it. Did God create us just with a snap of a finger, or is Charles Darwin true with his theory of our planet's evolution through time? It's highly debatable, so let me throw my opinion into this big boiling stew.

I am a christian, but unlike most of them, I believe evolution has occurred. Why do I think this? Look into the history book of discoveries and you can find findings of human-like remains. You can browse through a very neat timeline of human evolution on the Discovery website:

Human Evolution Timeline -

A lot of people probably still debate about the remains, but I'm one of those people that believes a lot of the stuff told to society. Anthologists have modern technology to back up their findings and can put an age on the remains, which is remarkable for science. It shows how greatly advanced our technology has become and how easy it now is to prove how new findings fit into the timeline of evolution and change our history even more.

But what about God? What about him? Well, to me, he's a lot more like a life coach. A guide to when you need wisdom and strength after a bad happening in your life. When it comes to him creating the earth, I'm sorry, I don't buy it. I know this is a very touchy subject, but this is only my personal belief. Feel free to express yourself in the comments below.

To me, God is like a heavenly father who started it all and watched us evolve and grow. We just didn't notice until thousands of years ago. He's not a punishing kind of guy, but someone that cares about every person, and has knowledge for every situation. God doesn't represent creation to me, but a guide.

But! "Let there be light!" speaks a lot to me. The Big Bang theory (NOT the show, although I do love it) might only be a theory, but I believe it's true. What doesn't sound cool about a gigantic explosion, that creates the earth? Talk about starting life with a bang, and so the party rolled.

Two different views, two separate believes, two human minds debating about who is right and who's wrong. Why can't we all get along? Creationists, God is powerful enough to have created the big bang. It makes sense to me and to you. Evolutionists, the evidence is big enough to show the world that we were as a matter of fact running on knuckles, having more hairs on our body, enough to replace a winter coat. You got a good case.

I guess that makes me the awkward person in the middle. I don't mind, because I expressed my values here on my very own blog, and exercised my freedom of speech. Enough said.

To summarize: I believe humans must have come from somewhere, millions of years ago. I think that the Big Bang theory was God's "Let there be light." and the rest was evolution. Creation and Evolution in harmony. Can't go wrong with that.

Here's a treat for you guys to conclude this blog: Hit it, Fatboy Slim!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why Twitter will endure

Twitter is a social media website, where you can post an update of 140 characters or less to your followers. You can follow other people and they can follow you back. It's a simple, yet very useful tool to get the latest news, friend updates and even get involved in interactive discussions (with some limitations.)

Personally, I love Twitter. It's very useful and my number one destination to get the lastest news updates and friend statuses. Unlike Facebook, every update is shown in a small rectangular box, along with the latest updates always showing up on top, so that you know what happened in the world recently. Updates without the clutter is what you want and get from it.

It's also a discussion tool. I participated in a journalism discussion (hashtag: #journchat) on Twitter last Monday, talking about the role of journalism while social media is dominating. One of my tweets during the discussion was re-tweeted twice, and I felt great about it. I felt like my opinion mattered.

It was a tweet about how social media can enable the creation of jobs in journalism. I believe Twitter can create new jobs in all kinds of industries. Social media is a common communication tool in modern society, and it's great business if your company is out there in the world wide web, presenting itself in a professional fashion while targeting a huge audience of internet and social media users. You absolutely cannot go wrong with asking your company if you can create a social media section for them. Your business could boom within days!

And what if you want to hear more about your favourite celebrity, musician or athlete? A lot of them use Twitter nowadays. You can look them up in a search, find their page, click the "follow" button, and voila! You are now enabled to see what your favourite celebrity has to say without looking like a creepy teenage Justin Bieber stalker!

What can I say? Twitter is a brilliant invention and I love using it. I can stay in touch with my friends around the world, and read the news on the same page! Wow!

Some Twitter terminology:

Tweet: An updated posted to your Twitter page

Hashtag "#": A tool used to identify a trending topic

"@": Identifies a person's username.

Followers: The people who see your tweets, and you are a follower, when you read the tweets you want.
If you are now convinced by me to use twitter, I suggest you follow me. My username is @BryanWrede.

See you on there!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Glued to the bandwagon

The life of a fan of the Jets hasn't been easy for the past 15 years. Nor was it for the first week of the regular season. 

The first game was a no-brainer almost. Our team was under stage fright for most of the game, because there was a lot of pressure on them. History was made for Winnipeg's hockey books, but it just wasn't what we wanted. Nevertheless, a standing ovation erupted and the fans saluted their new darlings and it made me so happy. Jets fans around the world were just glad that hockey is back where it belongs. 

The second game was much better, but they still didn't win. The Jets lead 2-0 after the first 10 minutes of the game in Chicago, and their lead was taken away from them when the Blackhawks scored 4 unanswered goals before Kyle Wellwood got the visiting Jets back within one, and they kept pushing, which wouldn't pay off for them. I felt more pride in my team that evening, because the Blackhawks are a big and respectable team, and the Jets showed they won't go down without a fight. 

The third game against the Coyotes...well, all I can say is: The heart of the team was missing. I didn't like watching the game, but I swallowed my pride and watched it through. I distracted myself by observing how cool the jerseys look, and stared at the nice brick red of the Coyotes home jerseys. 

I've seen a few people rage-quit (internet term for being very upset at something, then quit it) the Jets after that game, but I didn't let myself throw off the bandwagon. I'm not that kind of person who quits on a team for not being able to win. So let me tell those folks that gave up already: If you don't stick with your team if they lose badly, you are not a real fan. True fans stick with their team, no matter what, and that's the cold, hard truth.

Thus I chose to wear my Jets shirt to classes on Monday, because I kept my faith in the team. I had a feeling the Jets will be stepping up their game, and put some hard effort on the ice. And look at what happened tonight: They beat the Penguins. 

Told ya so.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Guten Tag!

Wie der Titel meines Blogs schon sagt, ich bin ein Deutscher. Und das stimmt auch.

Ich bin im Jahre 2004 mit meiner Familie aus Deutschland nach Kanada ausgewandert um ein neues Leben anzufangen. Zum Glueck hab ich beim Englisch lernen nicht meine Muttersprache vergessen. Ich war in der achten Klasse beim Umzug, und sich mit zwei Sprachen auf einen Mal rumzuquaelen war sehr hart. Es ist heute noch schwer, meine Deutsch-Kenntnisse unter Beweis zu stellen, besonders wenn ich 95% meines Alltags auf Englisch kommuniziere.

Na ja. Nach 7 Jahren in Kanada kann ich sagen das ich ein neues Zuhause gefunden habe, wo ich mich pudelwohl fuehle: In Winnipeg. Bitterkalt im Winter, Mueckenarmeen im Sommer, aber ich kann nicht klagen.

Boy, that was challenging writing in German again. Folks, Google Translate is your friend now.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A familiar snout returns

These are the three things that I love about NHL hockey:
1. The game itself, because I love playing and watching hockey.
2. The jerseys, because I find every one of them to be eye candy, due to their unique designs and colours.
3. The mascots

"What!? How could you like mascots over much more important details, like the players? Bawww, you're nuts!"

Let me explain. Mascots are not only one of the hardest working people...uhm, creatures on a team, but they also bring entertainment to the fans and bring a side to a franchise which kids can connect to. They're fun to watch, and are ambassadors of fun 24/7.

I personally enjoy mascots not only for the show they bring, but also the unique way they represent their franchises. Like Al the Octopus, the Red Wings mascot. His tentacles represent the amount of games a team had to win in the playoffs in order to win the Stanley Cup back in the "Original Six" era. Not to mention how many octopi are thrown on the ice at Joe Louis Arena during the playoffs.

Of course, some mascots some teams have don't make much sense, if any, like Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames. I'm sorry, Calgary, but I don't see a connection here. If you had a horse with flames as a mane and a tail, that would be an awesome mascot. I don't know what Harvey is supposed to represent. To me, mascots have to make sense, regarding connection to the team and to the city and province/state.

Which brings me to the NEW Winnipeg Jets mascot unveiled today. It's none other than...Mick E. Moose!

Yes, as read here: Jets recall Mick E. Moose, True North brought back the old Moose mascot. An awesome move in my opinion, because "Mickey" is already a widely-known mascot to Winnipeg and Manitoba, and embodies the history of True North and introduces it into the new Jets era. He's a fun character, and who doesn't love a moose wearing aviator goggles? That's badass, people!

Welcome to the big league, Mick E.! Stay awesome! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Election night

Oh boy, elections. This time, it's the Manitoba provincial elections. A much anticipated battle is upon us, as the main contenders for seats in the legislature are yet again the NDP and the PC. As a New Democrat, I hope that Greg Selinger wins with his party, but I do not think that it'll be by a mile. Hugh McFadyen has had a good run in his campaign too, because a lot of Manitobans are looking for change in politics this year and the PC party is the leader for change. As for Jon Gerrard (Liberal), and James Beddome (Green party)? They were the supporting cast all this time.

A lot of the attack ads this year repeatedly attack a party on a certain topic, and stuck to it throughout the campaign. Above is an NDP attack ad, accusing McFadyen of planning on privatizing MTS and Hydro, and firing 1000 nurses.

It's a good strategy used by the NDP, because Hydro and MTS are two companies that are dear to Manitoba, and privatizing them would hurt business in my opinion. It doesn't feel right to privatize a company that a province relies on. Firing nurses is wrong too, because health care is a huge issue here, and politicians would never put it on the back burner, because of how many people rely on efficient health care. It's a right to have good health care, and all political parties have their stance on it. 

The PC party also had good attacks on Selinger, but weren't as effective in my opinion. McFadyen has been throwing around rumors, telling that Selinger is continuing hallway medicine, and promises to build safer communities. I don't know how he will afford all his promises. Then again, all parties have made big promises, which made it hard to believe for a lot of people, if they can do it or not.

It's been an entertaining run from a people's perspective, and it'll be hard to predict who will win. I believe that the New Democrat era will continue.

The power of three-man music

Here's one interesting fact about myself: Once I hear a song that I love very much, I can't stop listening to it until the end of the day. This has always been the case for me. It just feels so good to take in the work of a great artist that is put into lyrics, rhythm and sound. And once you're in the vibe, it's almost impossible to get out. Here's one of them: Muse - The Resistance

Lately, the music of Muse has been stuck in my head. I really like Muse, and I really admire the effort that three-man bands like Muse put into their work. I love bands such as Rush, ZZ Top, The Police and so on, where it's just three guys making music together.

Three-man bands are not very common, and a lot of them are barely heard of. I admire bands like these, because of how hard they work together to make a song work and how much chemistry is produced between all band members. Of course, a lot of people are not aware of bands like these, but they should put their attention to them. What some bands can do with just three guys is simply brilliant, and I love it.

Here's a treat from my favourite band Rush: Bastille Day

Rock on!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

On Friday, September 25, my class went to see the movie "Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times", a movie following one of the biggest newspapers in the world through the events of WikiLeaks releasing secret  US military combat recordings and other hidden information to the public.

The movie itself was gripping and informative. They showed how a normal day at the Times is like, and gave an insight in the life of a journalist. The main role, to many people, was taken by David Carr, one of the most well-known journalists at the Times. He talks about his life and the things we has gone through, like his battle with cocaine addiction, and how he found new life when he started working in New York. Carr also talks about the relationship of a journalist to the public and his colleagues, which is catchy and touching.

The story of the New York Times itself was filled with significant events in the history of the paper, that included the Vietnam file publishings with the Pentagon and former U.S. President Richard Nixon, that lead to Nixon resigning. It's amazing, how a major newspaper evolved over the years and how much of an impact the New York Times still have today.

Overall, the movie was worth watching and was filled with humor, interesting facts and a great viewpoint of a major news corporation.

If you ask me about a rating, I would give it a solid 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Thin Air with flair

This week was different compared to the other weeks that I was at the college. The Winnipeg International Writer's Festival happened this week all around the city, including at our campus.

I have to admit to you guys: Before this festival, I wasn't much into literature at all. I have only read a few very familiar books, like the Harry Potter series, Dan Brown's books (Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code), and even The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Beyond that, I wasn't much of a reader. I either would bury my head into the sports news or watch the flickering, colourful motion pictures on the television set. But thanks to "Thin Air", I am motivated to read more. 

My experience started off with attending a session with Lynn Coady, a award-winning novelist and journalist  from Edmonton. In her session, she introduced herself to us, talked about her writing and even read from her newest book, "The Antagonist", which I found was worth listening to. The section that she read of us reminded me a lot of the things that go on in the rural town, where I used to go to high school, from how she displayed the characters and the setting. Her writing was really enjoyable and I could easily picture the events in the book in my head, as I have witnessed such things in my life before. Her session was enjoyable overall. 

Two days later, the class went to another session in the same room, and this time, it was with Glen Downie, a poet living in Toronto, who is actually from Winnipeg. He also wrote from his book "Local news" which features new poems of his. Quite a few of his poems are based of real-life events, which I found brave of him to do. Not many people want to read work based on their lives without breaking into tears. Another thing that really made this panel entertaining was his lengthy reading of his poem about the cliches of door-to-door salesmen, whose title I can't remember right now. All I know is that it was hilarious and it kept the crowd laughing. Glen Downie gave me a different view of poetry, and I like it. Sure, poetry is hard to do, but it's a form of art. 

Last, but not least, on Friday we saw Dr. Myrl Coulter, a non-fiction author who is also from Winnipeg, but now lives in Edmonton. Her session had a feel of nostalgia to it, as she read from her book "The House With the Broken Two: A Birthmother Remembers", which evolves around her experiences of being a mother in the 1960's. The reading I listened to gave me a little bit of an understanding of what it was like living in the 60's, aside from the hippies, Jimi Hendrix and the first man on the moon. Her reading involved a lot of retro visions in it, which I could picture with ease. 
What really fascinated me about her was her dedication to get her work published. It took her over 40 years to get her book "Willpower" published, and she won the National Screen Institute Drama Prize in 1995 for it. It was really something that I would take as an inspiration. Good things are worth waiting for, right? 

Overall, the panels I attended were interesting and worth remembering, because they were filled with different personalities and writing styles that kept the audience's attention and enabled them to ask good questions in the end. I look forward to next year already. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Local pride

I actually wrote this a few months ago for personal reasons, but I thought I should share it with you guys. It's about how I feel about living in Winnipeg. 

When you go out of your city and travel to a place that's relatively unknown to you, there comes a thought of how strangers would perceive you when you tell them where you from. How they would judge you, how they think of fellow citizens as you represent them in a way, and put an image in their head about what your place is like. There are many people out there that can view your home in different ways, good or bad, depending on how you are as a person.

I won't be talking about Germany. You already know that I'm proud to be of German heritage. No, today, I'll be talking about the city I live in: Winnipeg.

Winnipeg has a population of about 750,000, which is nearly 65% of Manitoba's total population (rough estimations of mine). It has it's tough spots, like spring floods, high car theft rate, cheap bastards, and *cough* the North End. Not many think that it's a beautiful place, when you look at the muddy Red River water, and the non-fancy skyscrapers. Even I thought that I wouldn't like it once I moved to Canada with my family in 2004. I have never heard of Winnipeg until dad booked the plane tickets.

In high school, I kept thinking about where I want to move when I'm older. Places like Ottawa, and Vancouver kept popping into my mind, as I thought they were more beautiful than Winnipeg could ever be. I visited Ottawa in 2008 and I was amazed by the beauty of the city, and how rich it was with history. I went to the Parliament and saw more of Canada's capital. I really wanted to go there again. Well, the main reason was because the Senators play there. What can I say, I'm hockey crazy.

But at the same time, I have grown to Winnipeg, and the province that I live in. Sure, it has its flaws, but what makes the city good makes me forget the bad things. We still have great shopping malls, big and clean parks, sports teams (Return of the Jets!), and downtown is growing! It has a great economy, tons of entertainment, and good people all in all. Not the most beautiful city in the world, but a beauty on its own.

So whenever I'm asked where I'm from or where I live, I have no shame to say I'm from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Because it's my home. Where family is. Where the heart is.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Retro soda

For nostalgic reasons, I believe that soda still tastes the best in a glass bottle.

There must be this certain retro feeling that you get from certain things. Whether it's an old hockey jersey, or an old school video game, it always seems to awaken the child in you, and it makes you feel super. It's what I get from sodas. I'd love to get a hold of a coke in a glass bottle. Soda in this kind of fashion just feels right to me. Cranking it open like a European beer bottle, and taking a sip of it as if you needed to cool down badly on a hot summer day.

Old school rocks!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I love jerseys

I love sports jerseys. It's the first thing on my mind when it comes to finding out about a team you have never heard of before. A jersey is all about representing who you play or cheer for, who you identify with, and where you come from. There is months of work behind every one of them, and fans should appreciate the hard work that the designers put into these amazing looks.

Today's unveiling of the new Winnipeg Jets jerseys was no exception of what I'm talking about. Their design is great and feels like a cold Slurpee on a hot summer day to the eyes of the passionate Jets fan. Two shades of blue, called "polar night blue" and "aviator blue", are featured on both jerseys, along with white and silver trimming. It is a unique blend of colors and make them stand out from all other NHL teams, especially the Canadian teams (Red used by the Habs, Sens and Flames, while the Oilers, Canucks and Leafs use very similar shades of blue). The logos were no surprise as they were revealed a little over a month ago, but I still find the logos "badass". There is so much meaning behind this look, and it makes every little detail about the jerseys and logos work.

Photo source:

As a Jets fan, I am very happy with the jerseys, as should the rest of Canada be, because it's a break from all the reds and blues that the 6 other teams have. I can't be thankful enough for "True North" for bringing us a team back where it belongs, putting much thought and hard work into this new look that the Jets will be rocking this fall and winter. I can't wait for the new hockey season to start!


PS: Oh, by the way, I'm now on twitter! Follow me: @bryanwrede! 

Friday, 2 September 2011

How small is this world?

Our planet. How big is it to us? Small? Humongous? I really don't know. All I know is that it's beautiful and that you can find anything, even love, as long as you don't give up looking.

Why did I mention love? Let me tell you why. Because I found it.

In Oregon.

Yes, Oregon, as in the 33rd state to join the United States of America, located in the Pacific northwest. That's where the love of my life lives. You probably wonder how I found her. I found her on an art website called deviantArt, and for a year or so, we just chatted and hung out in a chat room, just talking about our different lives and whatever comes to mind. But a year later, right on my graduation day, she confessed her crush on me. I was startled and surprised at the same time, because just 3 weeks earlier, I broke up with my ex from high school. I didn't have a good run with relationships in the past, but I guess that is expected when you're a rather quiet teenager in some rural high school.

I put some thought into it, and thought we should hit it off. And so we did. Over two years later, I'm still dating her, and proudly. All this time, we went through good and bad times, celebrations and arguments, and everything that normal couples go through. And finally, after two years of being separated from each other, we finally met in person. I flew out to Oregon in August, and had an absolutely wonderful time with her. We walked on the beach, visited a cheese factory, and she showed me the area where she lived, which was the Oregon coast. It is so beautiful there, and I definitely recommend to visit it. Here's a photo to proof that I'm not kidding:

You might think that our relationship is unusual. Well, it is. She's not only American, but also Maori, which are a native Polynesian tribe living in New Zealand. I've always wanted to date someone of a different heritage, because I do not like to limit myself to people that come from where I do, plus that makes the search for someone much more exciting. A German-Canadian dating a Maori-American. You don't see that every day.

It is one heck of an adventure with her, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you, Hine. More than anything in the universe.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mandatory introduction

Hello, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Bryan. Yes, it is an odd name for a German guy like me, but there's nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd, right?

Anyway, I grew up in Germany for 13 years of my life, before I moved to Manitoba, Canada with my direct family in 2004. It was a big transition, because we needed to learn the language by either going to school, which was in my case, and taking classes outside of work, which is what my parents did. Of course, we also went through culture shock, and other experiences that many immigrating families and individuals went through once we settled here. My family now lives an hour from Winnipeg, which is also my summer residence at the moment, but most of the time, I spend my days in the big city.

I also am a first-year student at Red River College, taking the Creative Communications program, and hoping to go into either media production or public relations, depending on what I will choose. This blog is actually part of the program, so this should be fun!

"That German kid" will not only be a blog about sports, but also life and things that happen around me, whether it'd be a random event at a bus stop or some adventures with my friends, you'll know about it here! I chose this theme, because I want to expand on my skills in writing and thinking, and not only write about my favourite things but also things that either satisfy or bother people around me, and I want them to be heard.

After all, life is one big adventure, and it's taking all of us somewhere.