2017-06-06

My generation is uniquely inconspicuous

I just read a German article about my generation and i try to summarize it here: "Generation Y" has left its youth behind and is now getting into the professional life. Every generation has its own taste and interests. In 1975, people still met physically at social places. In 1995, teenagers at least talked to each other via mobile phones.
In many large cities in Germany the share of immigrants under 40 years old is over 40 percent. Just look at the German national soccer team. It is an expression of the change, which will affect the next generation. Generation Y, born between 1980-1994, is currently getting into higher positions in companies. In a phase of decreasing numbers of children my generation was born with participation, support and appreciation.
The mixture of constant praise and the awareness that nothing is given in life, lead to ambition. In an increasingly fast-paced time happiness is more important than ever. And if something does not work, it’s time for a change. The many possibilities are making it not always easy to choose the "right" path.
The childhood of the "Millennials" is generally regarded as the most peaceful time in Germany. Because of the "Baby boomer" parents, my generation developed a kind of ambition "to get ahead" in order to receive praise and appreciation, just like in the childhood. We want to be successful and "good", but not at any price.
The early integration into family decision-making processes made us attaching great importance to transparency, community, and decision-making on the same eye level. Generation Y wants to make a contribution to the society, without being too noisy. The revolution so far has been socially quiet, on the internet as "Generation Facebook", through a culture full of experiences, inconspicuous and with each other instead of "against each other".
2017-06-03

Documenting my trail of origami cranes

A large part of my trail of thousand origami cranes is recorded in video with a Canon PowerShot ELPH-150 as first-person point of view camera and a GoPro Hero4 Silver as third-person point of view camera. Most of the time i use a Walimex Table Tripod to hold the Canon. For the GoPro i use a custom stand made from Lego bricks to get a really low angle. I cover the logos with black tape, because i don't get paid for this.
I have three replacement batteries for each camera and charge them with a battery pack while i’m out there folding my origami cranes. I need to do it like this, because if everything is perfect, i can fold over hundred cranes a day, which drains the batteries. This is why i get around 700 cranes after a week of travel. The original size of the paper i use is A4, but i cut it down to A6 to make it fit.
Before i go to a city, i use Google Maps with satellite view turned on. I look for benches and other things where i can sit down to fold my origami cranes. Most of the time, i’m walking to the places, unless it’s in London or Hong Kong, where the Tube or the MTR is the first choice to get around. This way i get to see a lot and discover things i have not seen through my research.
After a day of folding origami cranes, i backup all the files from both SanDisk Memory Cards to two Samsung SSDs. I use a Lenovo Thinkpad 8 Windows Tablet with a Inateck USB Hub attached to copy the videos and check the file integrity via MD5 hashing algorithm. This is a lot of effort to keep it all safe, but worth it. At home i use custom code to organize everything and feed it into Windows Movie Maker as the last step before uploading it to YouTube.
2017-06-03

Holding a mirror up to the sky

In 2006, i started to study geography, but after two and a half semesters i stopped visiting the university, because of my burn out. Officially, however, i was a geography student at the University of Bonn for eight years, because of the discounted tickets for public transport and other perks. FYI, as a city child, i never felt the need for a driver's license.
I realized i was not confident with the decision and i could not tell people about it. I didn’t want them to worry about me, have questions, or judge me, being wrong or crazy. I was so fragile, and they could have broken me. I was embarrassed and i didn’t want anyone to see me as i was judging others. I had to put things into perspective, to let everything go i supposed to do. I asked myself, what that even mean, why do i care, and it was so freeing that nothing really matters anymore.
Between 2007 and 2009, i wrote two books about real life, philosophy, and art. I had several attempts to start a diary before, and they were the result of it. I published them via lulu, a online self publishing book and ebook service. There are not many copys of my books out there, because they only got printed on demand. At least two friends from my time at school bought them, and i’m grateful for this. I learned a lot while writing about others and myself. It was like holding a mirror up to the sky and seeing everything from above, but still standing on planet Earth.
I wanted to understand others in relation to myself better than anyone else can. I didn’t want to waste my time for something i wasn’t ready to be. I didn’t want to hate myself later for not falling in love with myself. I love the idea of being in love, but i was the only one who is available. Not just because i was overweight, but it was part of it. I learned that i can’t picture life without me, and that i’m complete, even when i’m alone. But i have dreams, and don’t know how. I'm a hopeless romantic, but i know it cost something to get somewhere.
2017-06-02

I was a member of the McDonalds Club

I loved junk food like nothing else, because my childhood was like a roller coaster ride. Everything changed all the time, and McDonalds or Pizza Hut were delivering a consistency, which was missing in my life. This is why i ended up with 110 kg body weight and i had to do something about it in 2009. I did not feel well in my body and decided to get rid of everything i don't need. In less than one year i got it down to around 65 kg, with a body height of 175 cm.
Back then, i was a member of the McDonalds Junior Club. This way i got letters from them with vouchers for a free meal on every birthday. In Germany the happy meal was called "Überraschungstüte", literally translated as "surprise bag", because of the toy you get inside. In hindsight it’s nothing special, but as a child i wanted it to be my whole world. I was wild and free, but luckily i ended up like me today, which makes me relate to: "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs."
When i was around ten years old, i regularly took the tram to get from the little town Ratingen to the big city Düsseldorf, just to watch Lego sculptures in department stores and wander around the shopping streets to the next McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Alone without anyone, like most of the time, because i didn’t feel something was missing. It was just normal and it was all i knew. At some point, i even tried to sell self-made bracelets on the streets, but nothing came of it.
2017-05-31

I collected The Simpsons comics

I have been collecting postage stamps ever since i can remember. Some regular customers of our restaurant brought me their stamps as gift and they have made my collection even larger. I often sat next to the aquarium in the restaurant and spend my time there. This way i got stamps from places i never heard of. In school i exchanged stamps with schoolmates and got even more diversity. But we moved in 1998 and i had to focus on other things.
The Simpsons was always something i was looking forward to. It has followed me everywhere. I even did crazy things to record and see all the episodes on VHS tape. Back then, nothing was automatic. And at some point, i bought a comic from my favorite TV series for the first time. But i didn’t get every new issue, because they were expensive. And my other passion was to watch movies in the cinema, which isn't cheap either. This is why i bought a box full of old The Simpsons comics on eBay in April 2004. I thought they would be worth something later, but i was wrong. FYI, i had to search through my mail archive in Mozilla Thunderbird to find the year of purchase. And i try to scan everything, which makes finding dates like this easier, as you can see on my blog.
But i’m happy that i collected stamps. It gave me a wider view on the world and got me interested in history too. This is one of the reasons why i decided to study geography at university. It all fits together and there are still pieces left. The stamps are not worth a lot, but i have many memories associated with them. They come from a time when i did not have much to worry about. A somewhat different world than today.
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