April, 2013
Archive

  • You’re So Vain, I Bet You Think This Blog Is About You

     

    If I were to put a mirror right next your face while I was talking to you, 99.999999% of the time I would be looking at my reflection rather than you.  Humans are seduced by their own image, and we all secretly love watching ourselves.  If we were to watch a video of me and you eating cheese, I would be watching me, and you would be watching you, and the mouse we were hanging out with would be watching the cheese.  And then we would all make out because it was that kind of movie.

    No one wants to admit they are vain even when we all engage in vain behavior.  But the truth is that the human condition is to be obsessed with yourself, and vanity is a manifestation of that.  The problem with our current paradigm is that there are too many outlets to express our vanity.  Back in the day, the only way to catch a glimpse of yourself would be if you went swimming on a very still day.  But now not only are their mirrors everywhere you turn, there are all these technological outlets for exhibitionism and narcissism.

    Facebook, twitter, instagram, all provoke our vanity in a way that is too persuasive to ignore.  Look at me do this, look at me do that, look at me doing this and that.

    But the counter balance to vanity is insecurity.  If you are going to put yourself out there to be praised, you are also putting yourself out there to be criticized, or even worse… ignored.  If I posted a picture of myself that nobody liked – that would be worse than if someone said something rude.  To not be seen is worse than being judged harshly.

    And the more preoccupied we are with ourselves, the more we critique ourselves as well.  If I only saw my image once ever 9 years when I finally got to use the clean spoon first because my father Dwagfur and brother Shtupslnary always took priority, I would think I looked pretty damn good.  You know, underneath the dirt and scurvy.  But the more we expose ourselves to ourselves, the easier it is to notice every imperfection.  If every day of my life I look at my stupid face, then even eventually I am going to notice my flaws.  All 7,893 of them.  Not that I have counted or anything because that would be insane.

    The reason why I feel like vanity is an inherent trait rather than socialized is because The Munch has always been fascinated by her own image.  Ever since she was a baby she loved looking at pictures and seeing videos of herself.  I think it is natural to be enthralled by our own beings and to want to see what everyone else sees.  But I don’t want The Munch to acquire the inevitable emotional baggage and self-doubt when she starts looking in the mirror and judging what she sees.

    Here is my strategy to avoid this!! I think it’s working!!

    vanity-blog-(i)

    April 30, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 122

  • Women Be Communicating and Shit

    It is a common cliché that women are always wanting to talk about their emotions, but I feel like that is really unfair because that assumption makes me feel condescended towards and that makes me feel angry which makes me feel vulnerable because I am feeling like my feelings are not taken seriously, so then I feel like the whole stereotype is not only exaggerated but I also feel like it is not making me feel good.

    So… this weekend I went to a Kundalini woman’s circle to explore the idea of communication and talk about our feelings about it!

    The yoga teacher starting off by describing how 80% of communication is nonverbal – your body language, tone of voice, and even the way you present yourself all vastly contribute to the way you are perceived.  She went on to explain why it is really important to dress in a way that represents your true essence and soul – with grace and beauty to reflect your true self.  I thought about this point deeply, and then looked down at my shirt that read “don’t be a douche.”  Yup.  Looks like I am on the right path.

    She then starting talking about the importance of diplomacy, how that is a natural skill of women, but we have to be careful not to fall into the propensity of manipulation.  This really made me think.  What exactly is the difference between manipulation and diplomacy?

    On a micro level, they are both using tactics to persuade another to do what you want.  Is it the intention behind the coaxing that makes one more benign than another?  There are so many little ways women are taught to be manipulative, but it is a mostly innocent.  Flirting with a cop to get out of a speeding ticket, or coyly asking for help for someone to carry your suitcases.  Women use their sexuality as a means of manipulation but sometimes that is because it feels like a convenient weapon to use against those who have power over you.

    But on the macro level, comparing diplomacy and manipulation has much greater ramifications.  It isn’t like world leaders are harmlessly batting their eyes in the hopes for peace in Kashmir.  Most political discourse is manipulative rather than diplomatic, yet that has become a societal standard.  It’s hard to commit to the authenticity of diplomacy when the tactic of manipulation is not only effective, but also a cultural norm.  I think men and women often rely on their powers of manipulation because it is the easiest way to get what you want.

    Although women often fall back on the strategy of using sex appeal to manipulate men, in truth, it is only a superficial tactic.  You aren’t really being respected in those moments, but distracting them momentarily by the butt on your back or front.  In order to truly get long-term admiration you have to conduct yourself through the nobility of your soul.

    We then went on to do this meditation where we had to look at the tip of our nose and say a mantra 10,000 bagillion times.  And you know what came up for me? That I hated that stupid mantra, and I hated communicating, and hated a whole bunch of other shit too.  The entire time I was supposed to be one with all things sacred and holy while unlocking the secrets of communicating through my highest-self all I could think was “I fucking hate this shit.”

    So I think I am well on my way, what about you!! Check out my shirt! Don’t be a douche!!!!

    women-be-communicating-blog-(i)

  • Don’t Tell Me What To Do!

    No one likes to be told what to do.  Whenever someone tells me to do something, my first reaction is to do the opposite.  Probably why I always end up getting into trouble.  “Toni, don’t touch that bat, it carries diseases” well… not if you are wearing a condom.

    When you have a kid you are constantly telling them what to do, and sometimes they listen, and sometimes they are like “go fuck yourself.”  I can’t blame The Munch for not wanting to succumb to all of my demands.  Even though I am way smarter, and the majority of my requests are not only sensible but for her benefit, she will undoubtedly rebel.

    Sometimes I can anticipate here revolt, and sometimes she catches me totally off guard.  Her uprising against my logic can throw me off my game and confuse me.  Maybe she is right and I am being unreasonable? Does she really need to pee before taking a nap?  Should I risk the chance she urinates in my bed?  And then an hour later while ripping the sheets of my mattress I wonder why I let myself be manipulated by her mutiny.

    The insurgence of a toddler is intimidating.  It is never just “no thank you Mamma, I would rather not leave the park now.” If The Munch is pissed and doesn’t want to do something, I better get ready for battle.

    But now I have this new strategy.  You know how you might take a toy and talk as the toy’s voice to play with a kid right? And be like “Hey, its me.  Bear.  You want to smell my fart?” to make them laugh.  Well my friend Sarah told me, “just have the toys tell her to do things that she doesn’t want to do. If it’s coming from the toy, rather than you, she will do it.”

    Fuck yeah she will.  Even though my toy voice is undoubtedly creepy and out of a Stephen King movie, this method totally works!  I guess things are way more annoying coming out of my mouth… but when coming from her owl – no problem!  So for all you future boyfriends of the Munch, if she is not listening to you, just grab a stuffed animal and let them to the talking!

    talking-animals-blog-(i)

     

  • Puff Puff Pass… Wait, Not To You Mom or Dad

    My parents were pretty liberal when dealing with my “experimental phase” of smoking weed as a teenager.  I think they figured that if they made a big deal about it that would only encourage me more, and assumed it was a phase I would outgrow.  As long as I was doing well in school, they pretty much turned a blind eye.

    So if I happened to run into them after smoking pot, I would just play it cool, and they would placate me.  But thinking back to what they must have been thinking when they saw their daughter with blood shot eyes and reeking of pot trying to pretend I was sober– it must have been kind of hilarious for them.

    Example 1

    My friend Bitty and I were smoking weed outside while my parents were at the movies.  We decided we needed to eat raw cookie dough, so went into inside to make some.  The movie had sold out so my parents were home in the kitchen.

    Toni: “Oh. Hi mom.  Hi dad.”

    Mom: “Hi.”

    Toni: “Why is it so smoky in here?”

    Mom: “What?”

    Toni: “Were you guys cooking something? Why is it so smoky?”

    Mom: “What?”

    Toni: “Is the oven on? Its just really smoky in here.”

    Mom: “Ummm Toni, the only thing smoking is your head.”

    Toni: “Oh.”

    Example 2

    Again, Bitty and I were smoking weed outside, but this time we decided that we needed to eat raw cake batter and watch Alice in Wonderland.  My mom was adamant that we never ate in the living room, but we really needed to watch Alice in Wonderland while we ate the cake batter.  Since it was 3 in the morning, we snuck in the living room and figured my mom would never have to know.  But unfortunately she woke up and I heard her coming down the stairs.  So of course Bitty and I did the only logical thing.  Hide the cake batter behind the chair and tried to hide us underneath the table.

    Mom: “Toni? What are you doing underneath the table?”

    Toni: “Oh nothing.”

    Mom: “Are you trying to hide from me under a table? You know it is empty under a table right? I can see you both.”

    Toni: “Yeah, totally. We know you see us. We were just looking for something.”

    Mom: “Okay, well did you find it? Are you coming out from under there?”

    Toni: “We found it.  Yeah.  Coming out.”

    Mom: “Why is it so dark in here?”

    Toni: “We were just watching a movie.”

    Mom: “Well I am turning on the lights.”

    Toni: “Okay.”

    Mom: “Hey, were you girls eating in the living room?”

    Toni: “Nope.”

    Mom: “Are you sure you weren’t eating in the living room?”

    Toni: “Yup.”

    And then I looked over at Bitty and she had chocolate cake batter all over her face, as did I.

    Example 3

    We are smoking some weed outside on my parents terrace because I thought they weren’t home.  My dad opens the door seconds after I inhaled.  I exhaled into my shirt thinking he wouldn’t see the smoke billowing out of my armpits.

    Dad: “Its smells like roofers out here.”

    (Okay… so I lost my shit laughing.  It was too much).

    Toni: “Dad its reefer!! Not roofers!! It smells like reefer out here!”

    Dad: “Oh right! Duh”

    Its hard to say whether or not I will take the same approach as my parents did with The Munch.  I have no idea what it is like to have a teenager, and after what I put my parents through, I am sure I am really in for it.  But they were right in many ways, that it was just a phase, and it did smell like roofers.

    (Here I am at 15 going to my friend’s prom…. Yeah…. pretty sure that girl was trouble)

    pot-blog-(i)

    April 25, 2013 • 2 years old, Family Drama, Musings • Views: 56

  • Is She Sad?

    Most of the time when we talk about people we have the decency to do it behind their backs.  It is pretty rare to turn to the person next to you to gossip about the person across from you.  Usually that thought of being overheard is enough to keep your commentary to yourself.

    But The Munch doesn’t seem to have this filter.  If we are in public and she feels like talking about the strangers we come into contact with, she just does it.  With out any shame.  And always just loud enough that the hear everything.

    Munch: “Mamma, who is that girl?”

    Toni: “I don’t know Munch I have never met her.”

    Munch: “Is she a girl, or is she old?”

    Toni: “Ummmm I think she is in the middle.”

    Munch: “So she is not old?”

    Toni: “No Munch, she is just right?”

    Munch: “Is she sad?”

    Toni: “I don’t think so.”

    Munch: “She looks sad.”

    Toni: “She is fine Munch.”

    Munch: “Now she looks angry.  Is she angry Mamma?”

    Toni: “Probably.”

    Munch: “What is that man doing over there?”

    Toni: “Uhhhhh he is just shopping Munch.”

    Munch: “And he is wearing shoes?”

    Toni: “Yeah he sure is.”

    Munch: “And his shoes are dirty?”

    Toni: “I guess they are, yes.”

    Munch: “So he can’t wear them in his house? Or is his house dirty?”

    Toni: “I am sure he just takes them off before he goes inside.”

    Munch: “Is he angry? Is that man angry?”

    Toni: “Yeah, I think he is.”

    Munch: “Mamma, is that girl hungry over there? Or is she full?”

    Toni: “I think she is hungry Munch, that’s why she is ordering a sandwich.”

    Munch: “She looks full.”

    Toni: “Well, she is not full.”

    Munch: “Mamma is that girl angry?”

    Toni: “For sure.”

    (What’s the big deal Mamma…. its just a little coffee talk).

    coffee-talk-blog

     

  • Here Kid, Play The Dictionary Game

    There are all sorts of things I resent my parents for.  I think both my mom and dad are lovely people, but I could pick apart and overanalyze their parenting styles until I am blue in the balls.  And no I am not mixing metaphors.  I do in fact have balls that I dip in blue dye when critiquing my parents.

    One thing that I have really begrudged my dad for was that I felt like he didn’t play with me enough as a kid.  Maybe that is because my dad was really fun to play with, and I always wanted more – so no matter how much time he devoted to my amusement it would never be enough.  We had such stellar games as me pretending to be little red riding hood, my dad was the big bad wolf, and I would have him chase my down the street yelling “I am going to get you little girl” while I ran away from him screaming.  I mean come on… I don’t know why my dad felt uncomfortable playing that one?

    But I have to say that having a kid really puts my parents into perspective.  I can look at all these judgments I have held onto and realize “ohhhhhh now I get it.”  Although I am sure my dad thought it was fun to play for a little bit, he also wasn’t a kid and kind of wanted to live his life.

    I relate to this aspect of my dad a lot.  I really love hanging out with The Munch and playing games like where she pretends I am a baby and shoves pacifiers in my face – but sometimes I would rather be reading or writing.  I know this time with her is fleeting, and she wont be a kid forever and I have to cherish these moments, but now I understand why my dad would play the dictionary game with me so often.  (The dictionary game was a game my dad made up while he was working and I wanted his attention.  He would find a word in the dictionary, like endoplasmic reticulum and then have me find it in the dictionary.  Considering I was 5 at the time, it took kind of a while).

    (Here are my dad and I at a Grateful Dead Show… Yeah… that really happened)

    dictionary-game-blog-(i)

  • I Am So Good At Multitasking And Am Supre Focsued Rght Nwo

    People like to think they are really good at multitasking, and by people I mean me.  In fact, this sentence just took me 15 minutes to write because I am having two text conversations as I am trying to type.  See how good at multitasking I am!?  At this rate I will have this blog piece done in 3 hours.  Talk about efficiency. Ha… just checked my phone and texted again.  This is awesome.

    So according to this study in the Atlantic, people who multitask the most, and think they are proficient at it, are actually the worst multitaskers.  They says it because… oh I don’t know – something about overconfidence and impulsiveness but I can’t really remember because I was dribbling a soccer ball, bouncing an orange with my nose, giving myself bangs, listening to a podcast, changing my underwear, and eating a edemame while reading it.

    I have always been a multitasker.  Maybe that is because I try to do it all and really do nothing?  Or perhaps I am in a constant state of distraction and this type of thinking is a manifestation of that?  But you know what? One day there I was hanging out, and noticed that something was coming out of my vagina – and it happened to be a human being!  Since that time, I feel like its impossible not to be an excessive multitasker.  If I am around my child there is no way I can stay in a state of focus and not have her interrupt me every 2 minutes to talk about how the owl is scared of lady bugs or asking me to make her a fucking smoothie.

    Being a parent has taken me to a whole new level of multitasking.  I am pretty much a pro at cooking her dinner while cleaning up lunch while putting her sparkly shoes on her hands while trying to stealthfully wipe jelly out of her ear. I have adapted to having conversations with friends in stilted segments of 45 seconds.  Although this is a great exercise in memory – I have to say I usually wish I had a stenographer so I wouldn’t have to ask, “wait, so what were just talking about” so many goddamn times.

    But the ultimate test of my level of concentration and ability to deal with the distraction that is The Munch, is when we do yoga together.  Often times she wants to “help me”, which usually consists of her getting in my way and hanging off my legs.  If I am in a headstand she often thinks this is the best time to hug, or get in my face and tell me about how her baby doll doesn’t like popcorn and thinks spiders should dance, but only in the summer.

    This morning a few of us practiced yoga together, and my friend Sarah brought her son Desmond too.  We were all trying really hard to pay attention and be one with the universe and all that crap, but….

    Toni: “Okay lets come into a warrior one pose.”

    Munch: “ Mamma, can you find my phone for me?”

    Toni: “Munch, Mamma is trying to focus… we can find it later.  Now come into warrior 3 post.”

    Desmond: “Mom I am thirsty?”

    Sarah: “Okay well I will get you some water when I am done?”

    Munch: “Mamma, can you get my phone?”

    Sarah: “Desmond go help Adelia find her phone.”

    Desmond: “I can’t right now. I am on the bike.”

    Toni: “Now extend your arms into superman arms.”

    Desmond: “Did somebody say super man?”

    Munch: “Mamma, I have to go potty?”

    Toni: “Now come into balancing on your left leg.”

    Desmond: “Mom, you want this apple?”

    Sarah: “Ummmm yeah that’s really great thanks.”

    Desmond: “Mom, Adelia can’t have my gun.”

    Sarah: “Okay Des that’s fine.”

    Munch: “Mamma, can you find my phone for me?”

    Desmond: “Wait who said superman arms?”

    Toni: “Come to balance on the right leg.”

    Desmond: “Hey Adelia I found your phone.”

    At the end of our session we were in shavasana -where you lay down like a corpse and are supposed to be in a deep meditation… and of course these two just kept on chatting.

    Desmond: “Adelia, come here.”

    Munch: (stomps around running the other direction)

    Desmond: “No, Adelia come here.”

    Munch: (stomps over to Des)

    Desmond: “Do you want to play hide and seek?”

    Munch: “Yeah.”

    Desmond: “Okay, you count I am going to hide.”

    Munch: (stomps over to me).  “Mamma.  We are going to play hide and seek! Watch me while you are sleeping okay? Okay Mamma?  Mamma can you hear me? Wake up.”

    Toni: “Yeah that’s great.”

    Desmond: “Okay count Adelia.”

    Munch: “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17,18,19,20”

    Son of a bitch Munch you never remember 15!! What the fuck! (Yeah, so that’s what I was thinking while multitasking meditating).

    multitasking-blog-(i)

  • Black Magic

    When you love someone their pain becomes yours.  Yet there is only so much you can do to help another person.  You can listen, give advice, and do your best to be a comforting support system, but you can’t make them change their lives.  It is pretty much impossible to force someone into living how you think they should and becoming their puppeteer.  Unless you don’t mind shoving your hand up their ass.

    In that way love can seem really out of control.  You can love someone so much, but your love alone can’t heal them.  Or can it?  Maybe that is the role of prayer?

    I have been practicing yoga for almost 16 years now, and over the past 2 have gotten into a style called Kundalini.  Originally, this yoga was only practiced from guru to student.  So in order to learn Kundalini, you had to devote your life to a guru.  But in the 70’s a practitioner came to the states and decided that Kudnalini should be taught to all people who were interested, and that we all have a guru inside of us.

    So Kundalini is some intense shit.  Recently, I was given a mantra/prayer to say for 40 days to cleanse the ties of negative Karma for those I love.  I have to chant it 11 times, and it ends up taking 31 minutes.  Now this mantra is not only long as fuck, but also as complicated as pussy.  It goes so fast, has so many syllables, and is in a totally foreign language.  Keeping up with it so insanely hard that it is impossible for my mind to stray for even one moment.  The second I think, “hey, what I am I going to wear tonight?” I missed like 2 lines.

    But I have to say, the mental challenge is really freeing.  If I am going to recite it even semi correctly, I have to be completely focused.  That level of concentration is like taking a vacation from my mind.  My thoughts can’t wander because I have to be so single-minded.

    And I got to say, this prayer is powerful and all and I am glad to be doing it… but it is fucking me up!!  I can’t sleep at night.  And when I do, my dreams make me feel like a psycho. They are so demented and I wake up feeling emotionally exhausted.  Most of the night I am in this state of being half awake, half spaced out, obsessing about mundane thoughts.  Like the idea “a doughnut is made of flour” will enter my mind, and I will literally think about that for 2 hours.  Over and over again…

    And then last night I even got sleep paralysis!  I woke up, but couldn’t move my body.  I couldn’t scream.  I was just stuck – awake but trapped in a body I couldn’t control.  It was the most terrifying thing ever!  Supposedly these are normal reactions and it will get better, but holy crap fuck shit balls.  Is this some black magic or what?

    I wonder if the guru inside me is one of those pervy ones that exploits its devotees?

    (Check out Munch ready to take off on her broom stick!)

    black-magic-blog-(i)

    April 19, 2013 • 2 years old, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships • Views: 43

  • Hey Mom, Stop Stalking Me With Your Voice

    “Be careful how you talk to your children, because one day that will become their inner voice.” – some quote on Facebook (is that ligit to say now? Can I just quote shit with “eh… saw it on my news feed?”)

    I think this is a really interesting idea.  I know all of us have our mother’s/father’s voices in our heads – yapping away as part of our internal dialogue.  Judging, and telling you what to do… “Toni be careful of crumbs or the ants will come.  Toni throw away your Popsicle sticks.  Toni don’t paint your nails on the living room rug.  Toni don’t walk with your hands in your pocket because if you trip you won’t be able to catch yourself and will fall on your face.” Okay so obviously my mom was obsessed with cleanliness and my dad once had a really bad fall.

    Recently I noticed that not only is my mom’s voice in the phone giving me orders to keep things tidy, or in my head further critiquing, but she is also coming out of my child’s mouth!

    Let me explain.  Every time my mom comes over to my house she has to take the toilet paper, which is usually placed on the floor next to the toilet, and put it on the roll.

    “Toni, why don’t you put the toilet paper on the roll? I just had to do it for you again.”

    “Well because it is just going to run out and I will have to take the empty paper roll off, then put the other roll on.  I can’t stand the futility and repetition – all the time it wastes in life.”

    “That takes two seconds?!”

    “Well mom, that is two seconds I just don’t have.”

    But ever since Munch started using the potty she insists I always put the toilet paper on the roll!  She will freak out if I don’t!!  I am not sure if the Munch and my mom are in on this together? I have also noticed that The Munch makes me clean up crumbs immediately upon their creation – even if she is the one making them.  Is this only the beginning of constant badgering coming from every direction in my life? Come to think of it, I am pretty sure The Munch is a secret operative for my mom’s agenda.

    (Hahahahahaha I your face Mom and Munch!)

    mom-voice-blog-(i)

    April 18, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Brain, Family Drama, Musings, Pee & Poop, Relationships • Views: 92