LHBHS Moved!

11 Sep

I talked about my wanting to switch this blog onto a self-hosting service and that I did. After today, this blog won’t be updated anymore, instead you can find my ramblings over on:

http://williesun.com/

I would greatly appreciate if you followed me over there!! Thanks, guys!

Normalcy is overrated, right?

4 Sep

Today I came across a blog post by the lovely Emmy in which she talks about the difficulties she has about explaining where she is from/what exactly made her her. I couldn’t explain it either, there is only one thing I remember about growing up which is still with me in some way – wanting to feel normal.

There is not one single definition as to what makes a life normal and another one abnormal. There are definitions as to what the adjective ‘normal’ refers to but what is a normal human being? How does he/she feel? I guess many people think of themselves as different, so here is my tale.

The first time I felt different was in kindergarten when I was asked what my father’s job was and I couldn’t answer. At that time he still lived with me and mom but I had no clue as to what his job was since he spent most of his time at home but not like a stay at home parent. All I knew was that he was not really unemployed but not really employed either as he was doing stuff that wasn’t cool. Kindergarten!Me didn’t know what to make of it so I said I didn’t exactly know; the first of many such explanations. All I wanted was to be able to say, hey, my dad is a police man, a firefighter, construction worker, secretary etc. but I couldn’t because it wasn’t the truth.

I knew from an early age that my parents weren’t happily married; in fact one of my first memories is seeing my father shove my mom into a wall so hard it left a crack in it. I heard them yelling at each other too many times, mostly about money. To this day I don’t know everything but I know enough to be sure he was an ass. The rest, I really do not want to know. I have no idea why my mom didn’t divorce him sooner but once he moved out of the house I was glad. However it was another thing that said I wasn’t normal – my parents were separated whereas all my friends at school had mostly happy families with parents that were still married and living together without yelling at each other all the time. I wanted that so badly.

In 2003 I had to have surgery on my hip which meant I didn’t have to go on the class trip to France (which I was more than happy about) but it also meant I was running around on crutches for the better part of that year, having physical therapy and all sorts of stuff. Regarding medical issues one can have, my hip dysplasia is a light weight but nevertheless none of the other kids had to explain why they needed surgery. When they were on crutches, it was because they had broken a bone or sprained their ankle like normal kids/teens.

Of course this post couldn’t be complete without talking about being gay since it took me so long to accept that about myself. I have a very specific memory of thinking “Please don’t let me be gay, please, I want to be like everyone else”. I was in fifth or sixth grade by then, maybe even younger. So for the next ten years I wasn’t gay, I was trying to find boys exciting but I failed miserably. When a boy tried to kiss me (at least I think that’s what he was doing) in seventh grade, I just ran away. I had no problem flirting with him over text messages but heaven forbid we were face to face. Back then, I didn’t realise why I ran away from him, or why I didn’t feel what I was supposed to feel about the next one, in retrospect it makes sense though.

To this day I feel like the odd kid out, I frequently cannot remember German words while I know the exact right phrase in English. I watch shows that none of the people around me have watched whereas I don’t keep up with crappy reality TV like everyone else. There are things I feel like someone my age should have experience by now, like falling in love, being in a relationship, going on a date and all that stuff. I don’t have a father anymore, or a mother. I keep the biggest part of my online life secret from most people in my life except my closest friends because they don’t understand why I live online like this. I hardly ever felt normal. I still don’t. Maybe that is a lot of bullshit, lots of people have weird things going on in their lives, I am by far an exception and normalcy is overrated anyway. Just sometimes I’d like to be able to see the normal, easy road ahead of me instead of the unpaved road I usually travel on.

VEDA Takeaway

2 Sep

Over the last month I’ve participated in VEDA. For those who do not know what the acronym stands for, it’s Vlog Every Day in August (or April, depending on the season) and it has been an amazing experience, far better than I anticipated. It’s exhausting to make a video each day for an entire month while trying to keep up with the videos of your fellow VEDAians, being unemployed and not having lots to do certainly helped. Would I do it again? – In a heartbeat, yes!

In the beginning, I was quite overwhelmed by all the new people I was subscribing to on YouTube and Twitter. I noticed some of them were already friends, happily chatting away while I felt like being in high school all over, desperately wanting to fit in and be one of the crowd. It looked like an impossible task to know the people behind the names I had subscribed to but by day 2, maybe day 3 the least, I knew who was who which felt amazing.

Over the course of August you could see friendships being made while everyone tried as best to talk about the topic of the day. A lot of them required you to actually think about stuff, like what are your hopes and dreams and many more feels-y topics. As such, it was sometimes a very intimate experience making yourself be vulnerable for almost strangers to see or watching someone else express their insecurities for the world to see. It’s breathtaking and beautiful to watch.

On the last day it was a little bit like saying goodbye to all your camp buddies right before going home. While part of me is happy I don’t have to create a video each day anymore I’m also sad that I don’t have to do so. I’m even sadder that I won’t get to see all these people I met over the last month every day. However I forgot one thing, we are all people of the internet and it’s not like we will be losing touch completely.

What makes VEDA such a fantastic experience aside from meeting lots of cool people is that you are forced to be creative, to think about things you normally wouldn’t think let alone talk about. I’ve now got a months worth of vlogs on my Youtube Channel and a list of new friends. I also noticed that my editing skills (while still being rather rudimentary) have improved. I also don’t feel as awkward talking to myself on a camera anymore.

To conclude this post, here are some more things I learned about myself and the medium on a whole over the month of August:

  • I am a video snob. If your video’s quality is really crappy I’m more likely to lose interest in what you have to say. I realise that not everyone can afford fancy cameras and such but when your voice and movements absolutely do not match at all or I can barely understand you, I will probably stop watching your videos.
  • My patience is not very good. Part of VEDA is to watch and comment on as many videos of your fellow VEDAers as possible. If you’re a rambler and/or you are really boring to watch, I will stop watching your videos because ain’t nobody got time for that! Seriously though! Unless your as adorable as Sweeney, I will most likely lose interest after a while. I want to be entertained, damn it! Make an effort to not turn your videos into a snooze-fest.
  • Youtube is a little bitch. I’m sorry but when you’re commenting on 60+ videos each day and have to enter barely readable captchas every few comments, it gets annoying real fast. I get that Youtube does not solely exist for VEDA and there are lots of weird people on that site but there has to be a better way. At least make the captchas easier to read. I’m not too shabby at them usually but I sometimes need 3 attempts to get one right and that’s too many!
  • Way to kill the flow, Youtube! I don’t understand why it is not possible to align all the comments on a video, why only display the last or top rated comments with the replies and the rest are dumped below a cut in no usable order. It makes it really difficult to follow a conversation there.
  • Don’t make underlying music louder than your speech. I’m in general not big on music that runs through the entire vlog, intros and credits or so are fine but the whole thing? It can be quite distracting.

Yes, I realise I am a first time vlogger and some of these points might sound pretentious coming from me but I can’t help it. This month required me to be quite opinionated and that’s somthing you cannot just switch off. I like to think of my vlogs as half decent considering it’s the first time I tried my hand at such an endeavour. Feel free to make up your own mind, here’s the entire playlist with all videos.

something that is mine

30 Aug

I’m currently in a stupid situation where the job I really, really, REALLY want is dangling right in front of my nose but I haven’t heard back yet even though it’s the end of the month now and the decision was supposed to be made around this time. I am just going to assume it means I didn’t get it. However, it would have been nice to be put out of my misery by now so I can move on because right now there is still this slight little possibility nagging in the back of my mind that I could get it. Ugh, make it stop. This is not the actual topic for today’s post though, here it comes.

I’ve been thinking about moving my blog from wordpress.com to  wordpress.org for most of 2013. While I enjoy the hosted version very much I don’t use it as such. I already have more subscriptions to other blogs than I can read on a regular basis, I long-since stopped checking out the Featured Blogger site and barely scroll through the tags pages to find new blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I have met a great bunch of bloggers that way but I haven’t felt the need to find new ones which is probably a reason why I don’t get a lot of hits. Another thing is that even though I almost have 200 followers, only a minimal number of them visit or comment on here. Lots of bloggers I connected with have stopped blogging or are on indefinite hiatus which of course makes me sad but is something I can relate to. In the beginning I only followed people whose blogs were on wordpress.com because it was easier, keeping in touch with them, the whole comment system and everything. Over time, I started following all different kinds of blogs, some on Blogger, some self-hosted which has made me feel like a caged animal wanting to break out.

This blog is my little part of the internet that is me and for unbeknownst reasons I’d like to make it even more of mine, I want to lose the .wordpress.com part of my URL for one thing. Also, I don’t like my URL too much because it’s looong. All my other handles on social media sites are much shorter and I like the idea of having them all match so I want this one to be in the WillieSun-club as well.

The problem is that I have no idea where this blog is going, I make it up as I go along (as if you couldn’t tell that already). It feels though as if I got everything out if this site that I possibly could. I want to expand my knowledge, have more influence on the design of my blog and such. I want more possibilities!

Until now I haven’t made a definite decision but it’s probably coming. When I have a steady income, I’ll move onto wordpress.org. And see, this brings me back to the beginning of this post, isn’t it nice how it all fits together? If I had a steady income now, I’d probably think about this step less and actually do it but it feels irresponsible at the moment. I just want something that is mine…

‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green

29 Aug

Hey look, I can read a book fast, too! Seriously though, it only took me 3 nights to get through ‘Looking for Alaska’ and not because it was so easy to read or short but because it was enthralling. John Green really knows how to keep me interested and I am simply in love with the way he writes. That’s a totally legitimate think to be in love with, right? Good.

The novel is divided into before and after, each part covering  a span of 136 days. Granted, the before-part is a bit longer due to exposition and everything; one needs to know who is who and all, you know the drill. I won’t comment on what’s the event that breaks the lives of these boarding school students apart because that would ruin the story for those that haven’t read it yet.

I enjoyed ‘Looking for Alaska’ immensely, I understand Pudge’s interest in Alaska, I mean I would have most likely fallen for her as well… Somehow John Green even managed to not make me hate the characters for smoking because that’s something I judge most people by, at first. (If you happen to be a smoker, I’m sorry but I don’t condone your unhealthy habit and you don’t like me judging your life choices, this is like a vicious circle. Moving on.)

I am sure everything that could be said about this wonderful book was already said at some point, probably way more eloquently than I could ever do so. YA novels never interested me as a teenager but as an adult I quite enjoy them, not that I’ve read many but more than I did as a teenager.

Instead of trying to feign intellect and an ability to discuss books (I’m serious, if you’ve read any of my previous ‘book reviews’ you know that) and instead leave you with a couple of lovely quotes that particularly caught my eye:

(1) “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” Especially the last sentence sums up my whole outlook on life. 

(2) “[...] if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” This is probably one of the most famous John Green quotes. 

(3) “In today’s world, boys are much more likely to objectify girls’ bodies than the other way around.” I love you John Green!

I had two other passages marked but that would have given too much away in my opinion. Next stop, ‘An Abundance of Katherines’.

A to Z Bookish Survey

27 Aug

Another post, another meme. I recently stumbled upon this bookish alphabet survey on Books, Tea & Me and thought it would be fun to fill out.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

A local German author whom none of you will even have heard of. He writes crime novels set in my city and he publishes one per year these days so I have quite the collection by now.

Best Sequel Ever:

I like reading series so I’ve actually read a number of good sequels. Number 1 for me is probably ‘Lost in a Good Book’ by Jasper Fforde, followed closely by ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’ by Douglas Adams.  

Currently Reading:

 ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green and ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

A lot of the times I read in bed so I don’t drink anything or maybe water.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I want to buy an e-reader but I don’t see the e-books as cheap enough considering that I don’t get a physical copy of the book to carry around with me. I get that e-readers can be really handy, especially when you read and travel a lot but I haven’t made the jump yet.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Gosh, I don’t know. Hermione or Ginny probably, they would have been on my wish list at least.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

‘Alexander’ and ‘Alexander in Asia’ by Gisbert Haefs. My uncle gave me the book a long time ago and when I finally decided to read them it was very interesting. It’s a historical novel about Alexander the Great and I now know a lot more than I knew before I read that book.

Hidden Gem Book:

I don’t have any great picks that nobody has heard of bla bla bla. If you want to gain insight into why someone becomes anorexic and cannot leave that sort of thinking, go read ‘Unbearable Lightness’ by Portia de Rossi.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I don’t think there is one important moment in my reading life. Sorry.

Just Finished:

 ‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’m really not into vampires, also Fifty Shades and all his little crappy friends. Not because I dismiss erotica but this is nothing worth my time.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

See G I guess.  

Major book hangover because of:

Not that I remember.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Four-ish. I blogged about that before.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

‘Leaving Unknown’ by Kerry Reichs and also most of the Harry Potter books.

Preferred Place To Read:

My bed, the couch, on the balcony…

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

Reading Regret:

Probably the Twilight saga, especially the last one of them. Ugh.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

The Sherlock Holmes canon. I started strong with the novels but the case studies are a bit dull in my opinion.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen
‘The Eyre Affair’ by Jasper Fforde
‘Leaving Unknown’ by Kerry Reichs  

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Kerry Reichs, Harry Potter and John Green.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

 Not currently excited for any new release because I have no idea what’s coming out. I saw that ‘A Casual Vacancy’ is now out in paperback so I’m kind of excited about that one.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I don’t like it when the backs of books get rips or whatever you call it. You know, when you bend them too far. I get crazy over that. My books need to look pretty. I also solely use pencils to mark stuff in my books.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

 ‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce

Your latest book purchase:

‘Looking for Alaska’, ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ all by John Green.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

‘Looking for Alaska’ but more so because I took a nap and couldn’t fall asleep so I read a long time. Also, because it’s really good.

‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy

25 Aug

I finally finished ‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy. Finally more so because I fell into my typical summer reading hiatus and less because it was difficult to finish this book; it wasn’t. This has been my third Binchy novel and the more I read her books the more I want to read more. This is a weird sentence.

The novel centres around a well that may or may not have mystical powers in the woods outside of a place called Rossmore, Ireland. There are plans to build a bypass around the city that would run right through the well and thus destroy it. Throw in a lot of different characters that are all in some way connected with each other and have a relationship with that well of some sort and you got yourself a great story.

I enjoyed this novel very much because it tells so many stories of so many different people. You get the full spectrum of what humans are capable of, both positive and negative which is great. It doesn’t read like a made up story you get lost in, it resembles real life too much for that. It’s one of Maeve Binchy’s gifts in writing in my opinion, her stories always feel very real to me.

At this point, I don’t have so much more to say other than, read it if you like stories about people. You won’t regret it.

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