Hmm … Late 20s

Three reblogs without any original posts of my own. That was once the only way the simsian review was updated, but no more. In that same breath, this month has been a bit crazy and I don’t have any pop culture pieces (ready) to share, so instead a short jaunt on the topic of being in my late 20s.

What does being in your late 20s mean? A younger me would have said it meant I was firmly an adult. Chelsea might say so, and I might as well about half the time, but I’m thoroughly enjoying this new zeitgeist, wherein there is no longer a finish line between adolescence and adulthood. The grey zone goes on ahead indefinitely and I welcome it.

So what else might it mean? Hosting family gatherings? Hardly. Chelsea is the one with traditions. My family goes on barely recognizing regularity this time of year. It has meant more travel, which is great, but that is a function of a decent job more than anything.

It means marriage. No, not mine, but almost everyone I know. Until a year or so ago, Chelsea had never been to a wedding. She’s now been to three.

I suppose we’re just that age but they are all clumped together. Last Saturday, on our anniversary, we saw two great friends marry one another in a beautiful, simple, and uncharacteristically fun ceremony. There is always something to celebrate at a wedding, but this one was fun start to finish, even with the hangover I had from groom’s night out on Friday.

A week from Saturday, we’ll be attending the wedding of one of Chelsea’s oldest friends. She’s marrying a great guy and I get along with both of them very well. Chelsea is in the bridal party, which is great but for the expense.

But that isn’t all. In the middle (this Friday) I will be attending an impromptu wedding. My brother asked his girlfriend of three years to marry him last week and set the date for all of ten days out. This time two days from now, I’ll be watching them go down the aisle. That would be nothing but great news but for the fact that, unlike me, they are not in their mid twenties. They haven’t broken mid or even early twenties yet. They are 19 and I swear if they start popping out babies in the near future I’m gonna have some choice words with him and, more specifically, his baby making regions. On the plus side, I really like her and I think they’re good together. STILL TOO YOUNG.

As you might expect, this has led to no shortage of questions about Chelsea and I walking the same gang plank. We’re not engaged, but since when does that stop anyone. So on top of the cake that is e’rbody getting married, we have to chuckle along as a million people say, “you’re next.”

I think I’ll wake up to some Mario Kart this Sunday like the kidult I am.

BTW, I do plan on posting a bit about the New England trip (we ended up hitting New Hampshire and Maine as well as Mass) but I’ll save that for when I’m well. In the meantime, here is my lady in front of both of Louisa May Alcott’s Boston homes. The first is rather modest but her later home, atop Beacon Hill, was quite spacious and beautiful.imageimage

Technologies That Have Undoubtedly Affected Your Sex Life

I came back from the east coast, and a great—if brief—vacation, with the crud and am now enjoying my second sick day in a row. Bahhh, but here’s a post from the drafts.

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So I had the idea for this post after listening to a podcast about the inauspicious origins of SMS. I’ve wanted to start doing more researched blog posts and this one (very lightly researched and virtually uncited, I assure you) ended up being about more than just unintentional innovation. It is also about technology’s influence on our sex lives.

  • Text messages: Originally, text messages or SMS were meant to mirror in GSM (read: cellular networks) a similar capability from POTS (land lines and such) to convey switching information. Each bit of info that was passed along had extra room then being underutilized so someone had the bright idea to put that empty space to use. Then later to sell it. Use of SMS for switching moved on quickly to become a mechanism to notify subscribers of voicemail which led inevitably to charging for the service (even though, remember, that capability was already built in and costs providers almost nothing at all). The SMS was an add-on service for a while but eventually became perhaps the most prevalent way we use cell phones now. There was a lot of scoffing for a long time, but try to tell your friends, or potential sex buddies, that you don’t have texting on your plan. Just look at those face.
  • Frequency hopping: Ok, so this one is pretty cool. Hedy Lamarr was a star of MGM’s golden age. She was remarkably talented and starred in Samson and Delilah and Tortilla Flat and The Story of Mankind to name but a few. Even more impressively, during WWII she was awarded a patent for an early version of frequency hopping, and technology that was not only pivotal for its military applications but also for civilians. Without going into how important this has been to military technology, this theoretical work is a cornerstone of Bluetooth and wireless and many other technologies as well. If you didn’t hit up that booty call via txt, what are the chances you didn’t use a laptop or Bluetooth?
  • Internet: Okay, this one is pretty self-explanatory and might belong before frequency hopping except that it came later. The backbone of the internet was developed for reliable and fast dissemination of information pertaining to military movements and intelligence. In the days of ARPANET, it was unknown to the American public, though Moscow wanted it desperately. Since then, the Internet has become much, much more. With the advent of the WWW (Thanks, Berners-Lee) and the demilitarization of ARPANET, it has become to ultimate communications tool for humanity. Now it is the best way we have to convey cat pictures and porn, among other useful information.
  • 3M: Scotch tape, saran wrap, post-its, etc. I could pick only one, but I don’t know that I want to and I’d hate to stifle your kinky imagination. 3M (formerly the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) has a great history of accidentally inventing things we now find indispensable. Many of the amazing technologies for which 3M is known were designed for something else entirely. Spencer Silver was but one of the 3M innovators that made that company what it is today when he accidentally invented Post-Its while trying to make a near indestructible adhesive for NASA. The stories behind scotch tape and saran wrap are much the same and while I could give a link here for there, I’d encourage you to find some crazy 3M invention that hasn’t influenced your life in general and likely your sex life specifically. Excuse me, I need to go leave a sweet little Post-It note on my gf’s mirror.
  • Heroin: In the very late 19th and very early 20th century, heroin was derived and rediscovered (independent of its original discovery 2 decades earlier) by the company that would become Bayer and it was marketed as a less addictive, less dangerous substitute for morphine. They sure missed the mark on that one. Not sure how this has affected your sex life, but then I don’t know you. Doesn’t heroin make you incontinent and often impotent?
  • Dildo: The story of the dildo is long, complication, and unlikely to ever be fully known. They’ve been around since antiquity and for much the same use they are put today. A hundred years ago, following an age that many people call more conservative but which seems to have been more hush-hush without actually being all that different in some ways from our own, they were made a good deal more prominent in the US because they were used (towards an approximation of their intended purpose) to ward of hysteria (lady madness caused by an immoral sexual appetite). Like many social evils, we turned this around and now ladies and lads alike can enjoy them to their content. Still some weird laws regarding prophylactic peni, though. In Texas, it is apparently illegal to possess more than 6 at a time, supposedly because any more than that might mean your corrupting others or attempting to distribute, but for my money most people have between two and three places to put one, so isn’t that number a bit arbitrary?
  • Corn flakes: And now we make our way to breakfast cereal. John Harvey Kellogg was an interesting man, quite committed to wellness and cessation of sexual appetites. Along with many other big ideas, he co-invented corn flakes with his brother Will Keith Kellogg and used them at their sanitarium as way to tamp down sexual urges. How was he ever to know they were in fact a potent aphrodisiac? (NOTE: Corn flakes are in no way a sexual or marital aid. The writer of this post likes to imagine himself humorous and was attempting a rather flat joke).
  • Lysol: Sometimes the unintended use of innovations has some rather sad side effect connected intrinsically to the society into which they are introduced. Besides use as a disinfectant, Lysol was also meant for, or at least used on, lady parts, both to clean and to act as an abortifacient. Though originally intended for sanitization during the Spanish Influenza epidemic, it was later marketed as a feminine hygiene product. Unofficially, it became a way to terminate unwelcomed pregnancies and, quite often, led to long term complications for those women driven to such self-administered procedures. Hopefully it is having very little impact on your sex life anymore, but there was certainly a time when it was part of 20th century coitus.

Now it’s back to bed with me to think on future strange and half-baked ideas for The Simsian Review.

Where’s Your Spirituality?

I signed up to do 10Q this year. It is a sort of introspection and self-examination exercise that is followed up on one year hence so that one can better peer into their past self.  I’ll let them explain:

10 Days. 10 Questions.

Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection. Want to keep them secret? Perfect. Want to share them, either anonymously or with attribution, with the wider 10Q community? You can do that too.

Next year the whole process begins again. And the year after that, and the year after that. Do you 10Q? You should.

I was quite busy this weekend and they piled up on me but I thought I would share a brief version of my answer to one of the questions. Here is the question for day 5:

Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Now I am an atheist agnostic. There was a time when I begrudged others their faith, but that time has passed and I have no issues with anyone’s faith so long as it is their own and they harm no one else in its practice. Basically, no fundies.  That said, I’ve felt in better spiritual communion with some important people in my life in the past year and I thought I would share my answer to this question.

My girlfriend is a religious person but I have self-identified as an atheist agnostic since I was 18. Neither of us thought we’d date someone like the other and yet two years in we live together and have begun to plan for the future.

For a long time, religion has either been a taboo topic (with my family) or a point of disagreement. Neither of these was particularly welcome. Yet talking to my gf and her mother has been huge in rehabilitating my view of religious people if not organized religion in general.

In a talk with gf’s mom, I found that we could both speak very openly not only about religion and spirituality but also about philosophical differences in general. Through that discussion, we found that to a point we believe much the same about god (little ‘g’) though we come from different directions. It boils down to this. She believes in god and believe the old adage that “God is love,” a platitude I never much cared for myself. Except that, to an extent, I can believe in /god/ myself. For me, love is God and God in created between people to towards a great purpose and faith in humanity. It matters not at all that we come at this from different angles, only that it works for how we engage with others, kindly and towards understanding.

Interestingly, this led a month later to a similar reservation with my gf wherein we found that we have much the same conception of life after death, once again reached through vastly different philosophical mazes. It has been wonderful to find such communion with my SO and her mother through these talks. The devil, as they say, is in the details, but god (or any number of other words or ideas you might ascribe to this phenomenon) is found in generalities and in one another.

Sadly I’ve had no such revelations with my own family, but even so it has been nice to connect with adoptive family (as well as and including one of my oldest friends, TheJackoSpade) is such a way.

I’m looking forward to reading my 2014 answers in the Fall of ‘15. I may even share an answer or two at that time, along with updates.

itswalky:

totally disagree with this dave willis jerk

This actually made me feel a lot better about a work interaction I had earlier this week. Badly wanted to desk the jerk, but instead I asked if he’d like to door pulled to (as it had been before I went to his office).

itswalky:

totally disagree with this dave willis jerk

This actually made me feel a lot better about a work interaction I had earlier this week. Badly wanted to desk the jerk, but instead I asked if he’d like to door pulled to (as it had been before I went to his office).

Wedding Season is Upon Us

In the last year, my lady has been to two weddings. I found out recently that these were the first two weddings she’d ever attended. That was a bit surprising, given that we have two more coming up in the next month and at least one next year and the promise of more soon after. She is part of almost all of these and unlike the last two, I’m included as well.

Chels and I have an anniversary coming up as well, on the day of one of these weddings, and she has an anniversary of her own (life anniversary … if only we had a term for those). All of this makes for a month and a half of wedding and bridal showers, bachelorette and bachelor’s parties, and weddings with the odd birthday (there’s the word) dinner, anniversary dinner, and cross-country trek.

It’s going to be a busy one.

Why is everyone getting married now? In the middle of her favorite month? It just seems mean.

On the plus side, we have an upcoming trip to Boston not related to wedding activities.

On the other side of everything, we have Fall and Winter holidays coming up and Chelsea is big on every bit of it. I’m having a hard time seeing through to the next truly free weekend, but so far I’m pretty excited.

Is this adulthood? Does it start at 28?

##The Day We Fight Back code ##/The Day We Fight Back code