Thursday, January 21, 2010

Something Unsettling is Happening to Me...

I may be losing my ability to read. I don't mean that I can't read any sentence placed in front of me, I can, very quickly and read it out too. I am very literate still. My problem is in passages exceeding a paragraph lenght, if we define a paragraph as a passage of three or more sentences that go together. It starts feeling like the information travels through a fog to reach the relevant part of my brain for interpretation and absorption.

This has been going on for about a week now. At first I thought it was just the book I was reading, A Sudden Wild Magic, by Diana Wynne Jones. She is one of my favourite authors and writes young adult fiction so it should be an easy read but wrong. I have a lot of trouble keeping it straight in my head. I have trouble separating the characters and remembering where I am in the plot. Sometimes she is rather hard to follow because of her tendency to jump from one location to another, but not with out warning, so I figured that it was just the book. It was not. Last night I was reading my father's blog. Yes my about 65 year old father not only knows what a blog is but writes one. It is in Finnish and about personal theology (vs serious academic theology) and faith. I struggled to read it and the comments tacked to the end by readers, many very long. This morning I tried to read some friends personal blogs in English and ran into the same problem.

I hope this is only temporary. I really enjoy the printed word. I do not read as much as I did when I was a teenager due to some heavy debts to the local library along with an unfair charge of ruining a book that was already water damaged when I checked it out. I want to read more. I think the last books I actually finished was The Silent Planet and Till We have Faces, A Myth Retold both by C.S. Lewis along with The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashian. That was almost a year ago and then about a half year before that I read a book about the history of the evolution creation struggle written by some philosopher, it was very interesting and I learned a lot and right before that, actually a matter of hours, I finished a mystery novel called Raven Mocker. That is definitely not counting all the books I started and never finished. I may lack resolve and I am definitely that girl who in high school would read all night because she lived in the book she was reading and regardless of her slowness in reading would happily read Les Miserables (is that what it is called, I read it in Finnish and it is called Kurjat) by Victor Hugo for light summer reading.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Good Old Days, a repost from my MySpace blog

A very short time ago I wrote a blog on my MySpace blog. I don't really use it anymore because my computer is too old to handle MySpace anymore since it forced the new format of "home" on me. I still log in sometimes but the lack of spell check and ability to inform my 5 subscribers of my posts really makes it undesireable. Also two out of those five have left anyway. I am aware that coming here I kind of lost those subscribes, none followed exccept my husband but I am used to talking to myself, I do it all the time.

I like the job I did on this post. I know it has no evidence or anything, just expressing my opinion to contrast with other people's opinion and all that. I am too lazy to write researched blogs. I still put a lot of work into writing a good blog. Here it is in it's entirety, hope someone someday reads it.

The Good Old Days

One of my most hated phrases is "These days..." or a variation of when used to state that people were somehow different in the past morally or intellectually. I really think that no one really thinks about it critically when they make statements like these. So let us assume that people used to be fundamentally different and according to these statements people used to be more moral and intelligent, at least the ones I have read. It seems easy think that people were more moral than today but we need to think are we hearing about a mythical past that is the way we want it to be or perhaps people were just as immoral but doing different immoralities.

So, about sex it seems to be the elephant in the room. Were people better able to keep it in their pants until marriage? Did they stay more faithful to their partners? Did they not get divorces? Well, the short answer is: sort of, definitely not and, yes they did not get nearly as many divorces as we do today. I am sure many people out there know all about this and I am regurgitating well known facts but just play along, it will make me feel smarter.

Premarital sex. I am unsure as to how much the numbers of premarital sex today compare to those of say, 1950 or 1900 or so on. If you have any numbers share them but I would think them to be highly inaccurate because people lie. Today people do not lie as much because everyone accepts premarital sex as the status quo. Let's not be unclear about one fact, it has always been okay for men to have premarital sex, even in puritanical America. I bet a Puritan boy of the colonial era could still have easily married regardless of rumors of premarital indiscretions. We all know why that is, girls get pregnant, boys don't. A girl might have to visibly carry the proof of this on her body and later in her arms. Back then a woman would have been ostracized and later in the good old 1950's and there about would promptly have to be married to "make an honest woman out of her" or be sent away on a vacation from which she would return alone. As long as there has been marriage and prohibitions of sex outside it has been happening. The good old holy Middle Ages were filled with it and the premarital pregnancies to prove it. This has always been going on. I am making no judgments on premarital sex, one way or the other, just on the hypocrisy surrounding it. Besides, during WWI most of America had STDs when mass physicals were done in the military for all the men revealed that 20% to 30% of them had late stage gonorrhea or syphilis. Men would sleep around prior to marriage and then gave it to their wives and their children were born with it.

Did people stay more faithful to their partners in the good old past, definitely not. The only difference was that it was okay for men to have mistresses. Women, not so much. I guess they could have had affairs secretly but if they feared judgement and discovery, which could have been harsh, they would have given their husbands space and drowned themselves in social distractions and hobbies.

What about divorces? No, not really. They did not divorce as much and it was not because of their shorter life spans as some people claim because they married about ten or twenty years earlier, like as young as thirteen for girls and as quality life rose with its extended life spans so did age up on first marriage. The real reason there were no divorces to speak of was because it just was not done. People just stayed in miserable marriages and hated each other drifting apart or fighting like rabid dogs.

Then there are all important family values like mothers caring for kids and fathers working hard to provide. Well, if that is all you know you do it and some people were terrible at this and beat their children neglected them, gave them opium hired nannies to do the childcare for them. You know the iconic image of the child left on a door step? That came from our much cherished past. Mothers giving children up for adoption or just dumping them off at a relatives is nothing new or selfishly toughing it out until the child protection services comes. That is life and people are just as judgmental of it now as they were then. Sucks for the kids to know that they were not wanted by their parents but maybe it could have been worse the other way around. Personally I think it is great if a parent has the maturity to say that they can't do it if they can't having a child is hard and draining and not as much fun as commercials would have you think, but I am off topic here.

As for intelligence, we are not dumber. 100 or 200 years ago most people were illiterate, certainly a lot more than today. Also I read somewhere that people's IQ has been steadily rising. I do not trust IQ that much, to me it is nothing more than an approximate measure. So much more goes into intelligence than can be measured on a test.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we are no better or worse than our predecessors. We should always strive for better and we have in some ways like abolishing slavery, women's rights, children's rights etc. but we have not fundamentally changed on the inside and we still do the same things, society still gives it's harsh judgement just on different things. Maybe a sociologist could shed some more light on this.

If you finished this, thank you. Tell me one of your least favourite phrases, maybe we can loathe together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What We Do When Bored, When the Oportunity Presents Itself

Warning, this post is silly and possibly offensive and lacking in substance and writing talent.

You know what is fun, other than pledging your undying love to someone trolling your stuff on the internet, messing with wrong number texters. Well, tonight, it was not the funniest ever, but a guy named Gaston wrong number texted me. I asked him if he used antlers in all of his decorating and if every last inch of him was covered in hair. I must tell you, it really brightened up my day especially since he thought it was coming from someone else, that he knew.

Now Marcus is the best wrongnumber-tester-messer-with, I have to find a better name for that. Right after he got his current phone he received a text from some girl and let's just say it ended up with him impersonating the number's previous owner and asking the girl over for a night of carnal fun and it turned out he was talking to the phone ex-owners sister (he did not know it was a sister or even a girl). That was fun. I mean the reaction, not that she came over, no addresses were given or anything, of course.

Then there was the time some guy texted the same chick and after messing with him a while he revealed it was not her and let him guess about his real identity. He confirmed nor denied none of it so since it was a guy he started to assume he was texing to a busty, blond woman. He asked for a pic and Marcus said that he should send one first. It went back and forth for a bit and finally Marcus cave in, we never got another text from him.

Fun times, now to get a call from a telemarketer and sexually harass them on the phone. I have been waiting to do that for years now, they just won't call.

Monday, January 4, 2010


A facebook friend of mine posted this as a status message a while ago:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave w/ the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly worn out screaming, WOHOO what a ride!!"

Honestly it made me vaguely uncomfortable. I am glad that she can post such a happy status message, I am always glad when my friends and acquaintances feel happy about their lives, bodies and can live with things that aren't as perfect because everybody has imperfect parts about them and their bodies. The reason this made me uncomfortable is because I am a human, as is everyone else capable of reading this, I assume. Humans have a tendency to make everything about themselves. I made it about myself. I know she means no judgement, how could she. I still felt a bit vain.

I work out about four to five nights a week and have a physique that majority of people would consider attractive, except for those who prefer chubbier women. I am very thin and would venture to guess that if I were to stop working out I would probably gain only 5 pounds and get severe back problems. I have plenty of lattes and chocolate bars but youth, genetics and exercises keep me from gaining weight.

Would I honestly be able to scream "WOOHOO what a ride!!" if my knees were worn out and broken, my body half paralyzed from a stroke and other health problems associated from wearing out my body, would the ride be any fun in a thoroughly worn out body? I would rather die with full mobility and independence like my grand mothers. One went swimming twice a week until she died and the other was just fine other than the use of a cane and walked a lot.

Still I would be lying if I said that health and mobility were my only reasons for working out. In my opinion lying and self deception is a far more insidious of a sin than vanity. Still I can safely say that on most days looks do not enter in my top five reasons for working out. I think that the top five reasons I have right now for working out, in no particular order would be: (1) health in general but more particularly, my lower back (if I skip the core exercises for more than a week I get constant back pain), my heart (if I do not do cardio on a regular basis my resting heart rate in usually in the 90), (2) I wish to be a police officer in my native country of Finland and top physical condition is essential for that, (3) I enjoy working out, sure lately I have been doing less enjoyable work outs because my future goals include different physical prowess than my natural talents push me toward, (4) I like the sense of achievement, weather I complete a work out or move up a dumbbell size at the end of a work out I feel I accomplished something and everyone wants that in their lives, (5) like any parent I like to show a good example to my son and want him to grow up healthy and active.

True, I am vain, I like to be attractive and on some days I work out because my butt is not quite in the same place as it was when I was younger. Those work outs are never any fun and feel like a chore. I just can't manage it for the reason of vanity, I guess looks are a boring goal for working out. Keeping ones body well preserved for the grave is not anyone's goal, especially mine. We all want to live well, live fully and live healthy and have a few lattes and chocolate bars along the way.