July, 2013
Archive

  • Man, Munch, and Meat

    My dad’s side of the family is Hungarian, and his mother was very interested in socializing my brother and I to appreciate our roots.  Part of my grandmother’s efforts to connect us to our Hungarian background came through food.  She made us dishes that reflected her Hungarian-ness, and was always very emotional about whether or not we finished everything on our plates – even though technically she was a horrible cook.  She would often say to me “Tonikam, if you loved me you would eat all your creamed spinach.”  Which was fucking gross by they way.  But I did it because she was one hell of a guilt tripper.

    For some reason there was always a lot of boiled pork that she served us.  At least I think it was boiled.  Because it was tasteless and impossible to chew.  Come to think of it, I am not sure she had the best handle on the cuisine of her beloved culture.

    So one day my brother and I were eating lunch at her house, but I was in a hurry to leave, but also giving my brother a ride. As I got my things together, my brother was stuffing meat in his mouth so as not to upset my grandmother.  We got in the car and were chatting, and I realized after 15 minutes when dropping him off that he was still chewing.

    Toni: What are you chewing on?

    My brother Laszlo: Pork.

    Toni: Dude you are still working on that pork?

    My brother Laszlo: Well I was storing some of it here in my upper cheek. I figure I have enough for the train ride home to keep me occupied.

    I know up in heaven my grandmother is reading this and saying to herself “what a good Hungarian boy… enjoying his pork like that.”

    Fast-forward 15 years.  I invite my brother for dinner to have some soup with The Munch and me.

    Toni: I have soup for us, so just be here by 6.

    My brother Laszlo: Well, mom has some pretty questionable chicken in her fridge, so I think I will bring that too.

    Toni: You know, there really is no need to bring any “questionable” chicken over here.

    My brother Laszlo: Yeah. I think I am going to do it anyway.

    So my brother shows up with a giant tupperware of chicken.  And when I say giant, I mean enough to fit 3 whole chickens.  And the chicken was swimming in a mash of garlic and chicken fat.  Just huge blobs of jelly all over the chicken.

    My brother Laszlo: I am just going to have to pull all the meat off the bones for a minute… and make sure I scoop up all the fat here.  Do you want some?

    Toni: I think I am good.

    After about 25 minutes of de-boning the chicken, he then brings this massive place outside.  Full of carcass, and covered in fat.

    Munch: I want some chicken too Uncle Laszlo.

    My brother Laszlo: Of course you do! Because you are a good Hungarian girl!  Here let me make sure it’s covered in fat for you.

    And then The Munch and my brother proceed to shovel chicken and chicken fat into their faces with their bare hands.

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    July 31, 2013 • 3 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 97

  • The Lion and The Monster

    Sometimes you just have to face the hard truths in life.  Like your toddler sucks at art.  Of course I don’t tell The Munch that.  I look at her scribbles and say “that looks exactly like a hedgehog! Its beautiful” like any normal parent.  But inside I know it’s just a bunch of lines.

    So I was cleaning up the living room the other day where The Munch had been playing with her Play-Doh.  She had left a few blobs on the table, so I squished one to put it back into the container so the Play-Doh wouldn’t dry out.

    Toni: Munch, help me clean u this Play-Doh.

    Munch: NO MAMMA NO!!!!!! WAHHHHHHAAAAA NO DON’T DO THAT!!!!!!!!! DON’T SQUISH IT!!! YOU RUINED IT!!! WAAAHHHHAAAA!!

    Toni: Whoa! Why are you crying? What’s the matter? I am just cleaning up the globes of Play-Doh?!

    Munch: That was my lion!!!!!! You squished the lion that I made!!!! And you ruined my monster!!! WAAAHHHHAAAAAAHHHAAAA!!

    I looked down and in my hand was an orange chunk of Play-Doh.  And next to it was a black mush that I had also started cleaning up.  So I am guessing the orange lump was the “lion” and the black one was the “monster.”

    Toni: Munch I am so sorry! It was an accident.  I didn’t mean to ruin your lion or monster.  I didn’t know.

    Munch: Yes you did know! You saw my lion and monster and you squished them!

    Toni: Well, I was just trying to clean up.  I didn’t know it was a lion or monster.  I just didn’t want the Play-Doh to dry out.

    Munch: You did know it was a lion and you squished him!!!

    I was in kind of a bind.  I could have told The Munch that her lion just looked like a hunk of orange with some fingerprints, and shat all over her artistic integrity.  Or I could have said that I knowingly cleaned up her rather obvious sculpture of a lion because I cared more about saving Play-Doh than her artistic integrity.  It was a lose-lose situation!

    Toni: You know Munch.  Not all art is meant for eternity.  Remember when we went to see those monks who were making a Mandala out of sand?  They spent hours working on this piece of art that was so full of detail and beauty.  And then they brought their effort outside, and poured the Mandala into the river as a metaphor for the ethereal nature of life and how nothing is permanent.  So you see? This is a lesson in non-attachment and accepting that the only constant in life is change itself.

    Munch: WAAHHHAHAHAHHAAA MY LION AND MY MONSTER!!!!

    I guess my words didn’t comfort her….

    (Here is the totally realistic rendition of a monster made by The Munch, and her weeping because of my squishing her lion).

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    July 30, 2013 • 3 years old, Family Drama, Playing, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 105

  • Yeah, I Went There

    Hi.  Things are about to get real intimate between us.  You may say to yourself while reading this.  “Toni, why? Why are you doing this to me? Why are you making me read this?”  And my only answer is because I had to.  I had to do this to you.

    In the 3 years since birthing a child, the only time I don’t have an audience when going to the bathroom is when The Munch is asleep.  It is hard to remember a life when I didn’t have big blue eyes staring at me intently as feces expelled from my being.  As an infant The Munch would lie on my lap, as baby she would sit on the floor, and now as a toddler she will barge in and insist on having a conversation.

    But I don’t want my child to have a complex about her body, or body parts, or excreting bodily needs.  I am not an uptight person.  When I was a kid my best friend and I would keep each other company for every bowel movement.  If things got really wild, she would put lotion under our noses giving us little white Hitler mustaches to help mask the stench.  Granted we were then inhaling the scent of gardenia-scented poo, my point is that I accustomed to communal bathroom habits.

    Yet even though I poop with the best of them, I have always been pretty private about my period.  As a woman you are expected to keep it to yourself.  You would never show a friend your tampon and say “check how full that one got!” or “look at this massive clot! It’s a good thing that wasn’t in my brain!” We just don’t do that.

    So the other day when I was in the bathroom changing my pad and The Munch walked…

    Munch: Mamma what are you doing?

    Toni: I am just going to the bathroom.  Give me a minute I will be right out!

    Munch: What is that?

    Toni: Its nothing.  Just give me a second!

    Munch: But Mamma what is that?

    Now I could have just lied to her, or told her to go away.  But part of me was like “fuck it.”  For one, maybe if I just told her the truth she would be so freaked out that she would leave me the fuck alone when I was in the bathroom. And another part of me was thinking that she is going to go through this anyway, so why hid it from her.

    I don’t want my daughter to feel embarrassed about her moon cycle. Especially considering that girls all over the world are forced to feel ashamed for their menstruation.  For instance in India many girls don’t have access to sanitary products – so the start of their period it is often the end of their education because of humiliation and societal limitations imposed when they are “impure” and involuntarily bleeding.  Many cultures have taboos regarding the vagina and its monthly menses, which imprison women by their biology.  And even though in the West, Tampax commercials will happily remind you that you can still play tennis, go on boat rides, and walk in a field with their tampons to plug up your poon, it is still something that women feel they have to hide from the world.

    Yet the insanity is the fact that a woman’s need to ride the cotton pony is part of the whole her having babies thing- so what the fuck world?  I know it is kind of yuck, but it is also why we are all here.  I am not saying chicks should just bleed all over the place because that would ruin our clothes and couches, but I am saying that it is a real injustice to be made to feel like its dirty.

    So this is what went down…

    Toni: It’s my pad Munch.

    Munch: Is that a diaper?

    Toni: Yup.  Kind of like a diaper.

    Munch: A Mamma diaper?

    Toni: Exactly.

    Munch: But what’s that? What’s on your diapi?

    Toni: Blood.

    Munch: Blood?

    Toni: Yup.

    Munch: But where did it come from? Your butt?

    Toni: Sort of.  It came from my baby hole.

    Munch: Are you getting a new diapi to put in your underpants?

    Toni: I am.

    Munch: But don’t bleed on that one okay?

    Toni: I will do my best.

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  • Maybe The World Doesn’t Need Child Brides

    You know, maybe it is just me, but I am not really into the idea of child brides.  I actually think it is a huge fucking problem, and maybe its time for it to be over.  I know that there are cultural traditions involved, but much like female genital mutilation, I think its okay to let it be a thing of the past.  It seems to me like a basic human right to not have your vagina cut into pieces, of to be sold off to a man who will most likely rape you when you are still a kid.  Like it or not, we live in a global society and maybe there should be some global standards regarding the rights of children.

    My friend Aallia recently alerted me to this video where an 11-year old girl is telling her story about her parents trying to marry her off.  She ran away to live with her uncle, and said she would rather die than to have become a child bride.  She goes on to explain how many young girls kill themselves when forced into this circumstance.

    You can see the anger and confusion she has towards her parents for wanting to force her into that situation.  I couldn’t help but wonder what her parents were thinking.  Were they totally desperate for money?  Money they needed for other younger children?  Were they brainwashed into thinking that marrying their child off at 11 just isn’t a problem? Do they feel like it is a tradition that their daughter has no right to rebel from?  The one thing I know is that they had to have felt justified in their actions, otherwise why would they do it?

    I look at my little Munch and think how impossible it would be for me to ever do something like that to her.  But at the same time, my life also seems worlds apart from so many others.  I have the luxury of giving her a full childhood – one where she will be sheltered and cared for until she is 18.  From an evolutionary perspective it is a very recent that we have extended childhood as much as we have in the Western World.  But now that it is the standard for millions, it feels like an injustice that children from other nations are excluded.

    Although I fully respect the complexities of customs, there is also the reality that traditions do adapt, change, and morph.  At one point we thought it was a good idea to put leaches on our body to cure diseases.  We don’t do that any more.  As the collective consciousness evolves, inevitably peoples longstanding practices are going to have to be re-examined. Although the mass effort of materialism and homogenizing the globe through corporate greed is obviously problematic, having a communal human understanding of how people should be treated sounds reasonable.

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    July 26, 2013 • Current Events, Musings, Political Banter, Women's Business • Views: 346

  • My Brother Ruined My Morning

    Has this ever happened to you?  You wake up, open your email, read what is in your inbox, and then you say to yourself “holy shit my life is ruined.”  Yeah, I think we have all been there.

    I love my brother.  He is a fascinating human.  But he has a problem.  It is called “reckless 3 am emails.”  They don’t happen that often.  Maybe once every few years.  But let me tell you, they sure do happen.
    You see, my brother is a smart man.  He has a lot of ideas, and they buzz around his mind like hummingbirds.  They feed off the nectar of his thoughts, get fattened up with neurons, energized by synapsis, and then have to burst through his skull to penetrate the world.

    Because he has a very active mind, my brother can also be pretty OCD about things.  He has an idea, and that idea can fester in his psyche as it rolls around his skull cavity like a hot pig.  You add 12 cups of coffee a day to this personality type, and eventually a late night diarrhea of consciousness gets ejected into the universe that may or may not make you vomit on your keyboard when you read it.

    My Brother:  Hey.  Baby sister.  Mom said I made you cry? What’s the matter?

    Toni:  Laszlo, how could you send that email without talking to me first?

    My Brother: Well, I wasn’t really being serious.

    Toni:   But it read like you were?

    My Brother:  You see Toni.  I had just drunk my 11th cup of coffee for the day, and I am beginning to think maybe I should cut back on the Soma.  Because to me, my email was pretty genius.

    So we read said email together, and my brother saw how his words could have maybe been misinterpreted.  So we came up with this conclusion.  No more late night soma-induced emails, and since my brother ruined my morning with tears, it was okay for me to blog about it

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    July 25, 2013 • 3 years old, Family Drama • Views: 70

  • The Wandering Eye

    When I have issues with my health I tend to either ignore them, or get really experimental and strange about it.  I will meditate on a yeast infection for 6-weeks until I understand the secrets of my sexuality.  I treat rashes with turmeric facemasks moistened by the tears of fairies.  I will go around with a cabbage leaf bra to help aid a breast infection.  I will only eat gogi berries, drink the nectar of dragon blood, and apply positive thinking to will my brain tumor away.  I get kind of wild with this shit.

    But with The Munch’s health, I feel more confined by convention.  I am afraid to take chances.  So my intuition on how to deal with her health issues are always in a state of turmoil. I feel conflicted between my own unconventional methods, and the medical establishment.

    So The Munch has a wandering eye.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  Sometimes not for months, and sometimes a few times a day.  It just kind of floats off for a few seconds- in search for a better life somewhere up, and to the right.    I didn’t really know what to do about it.  I kind of felt like it would eventually correct itself, and was afraid of meddling with it.  But my friend Gita suggested I go to the doctor to get it checked out because I didn’t want irreversible issues either.

    Here is my problem with doctors.  I am not saying they don’t help people, because obviously they do.  But my reservation is the following.  With any medical intervention there is always a risk for another problem to develop.  You can go to the doctor for one ailment, like high blood pressure, and they can give you medication that fixes the issue.  But then the medication causes a different problem that you then have to go back to the doctor to treat that.  I am not saying that is always the case.  But it is a risk.  Of course leaving something untreated is also a risk.  But doctors will tell you that. They won’t talk to you honestly about the risk of the treatments they suggest, and that is my problem.

    But I decided it would be wise to see what the doctor had to say.  So Munch and I drove down to Boston and spent 3 hours in children’s hospital.  And let me just say, that is 3 hours too many.  It is too hard for the heart to take.  There were a lot of really sick kids, deformed kids, suffering kids.  It was heartbreaking.  God(dess) bless them all, and their parents, and the doctors trying to help.

    When it was finally our turn, the doctors were nice enough.  They did a bunch of tests and put some eye drops in her eyes to dilate her pupils.  She looked like she was at a rave and just eaten a bunch of ecstasy laced with acid.  All she needed was a pacifier and some electronic music and we were ready to party!

    Luckily her vision is fine, there is no tumor, nothing drastic.  Just her lost little wandering eye.  On a philosophical quest that the left eye doesn’t care to even pursue.  Staring all straight and normal like. Come to thing of it, the left eye seem so ignorant compared to the ever seeking right.

    The doctor told me The Munch will need to wear an eye patch for a few hours a day for 3 months, and then she maybe need surgery.

    Hmmmmmm.  So you guys know The Munch at this point.  Do you think getting this child to “just wear an eye patch for a few hours a day” is going to be easy for me, or HARD AS FUCK AS SHE WILL PROTEST, REBEL, AND RIP IT OFF HER FACE.

    I get that she has to strengthen her bad eye, but this is going to be a fucking challenge.  AND SURGERY ON HER LITTLE TINY 3-YEAR OLD EYES??? I do not feel comfortable with that at all.  I mean, I can handle having a pirate for a daughter, but putting her under anesthesia and then poking at her eyes seems like a last resort fucking option.

    My friend Aallia was telling about all these yoga exorcises I can do with her to help strengthen the eyes and create balance in the brain.  I think I am going to have to go all new-agey on my kid and get her into some eye yoga.

    (Check out Munch’s crazy dilated pupils! She is on her way to Burning Man!)

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    July 24, 2013 • 1st time for everything, 3 years old, Adventures, Health • Views: 124

  • The Pain of Pain

    I know it’s a thing for kids to cry when they get hurt, but sometimes it’s hard for me to relate.  I can’t remember the last time I cried about an injury.  I have broken bones, twisted limbs, sprained joints, and you don’t see me weeping like a big baby.  I swear, hit things, and curse god like a big girl.

    My Mom and I brought The Munch to this fairy scavenger hunt over the weekend, and while were following our map looking for these stupid fairy stickers, The Munch fell on the pavement and scraped her knee.

    I feel like this was probably the most she had hurt her self in her short little life.  And let me tell you, she provided the water works to prove it. I swear The Munch is one day going to get an Oscar for how dramatic she can be.  She wept and sobbed and kicked and screamed about how her boo boo hurt for seriously 45 minutes.  And of course she did all this while insisting on sitting on my lap.  It was so hot and sticky and gross out… it was like having a wild slimy alien assault me.

    Toni:  Dude you seriously have to calm down.  You are going to break a blood vessel if you keep crying like this.

    Munch:  I don’t want to calm down! WAAHHHHAAAHHHAAAA!!!

    Toni:  Okay, well will you stop kicking then? It is kind of irritating.

    Munch:  NO I DON’T WANT TO STOP KICKING!! WAHHHHAHHHAHHHA!  IT HURTS! IT REALLY HURTS!! MY BOO BOO HURTS!!!!!!!

    Toni:  Listen Munch this has been going on for too long.  What if I gave a cookie and let you watch some Curious George?

    Munch:  Okay. Sniff.

    Toni:  Here is the cookie.  But before I give it to you, I really need you to listen to me.

    Munch:  Okay.

    Toni:  You can’t freak out like this every time you get hurt.  Everyone gets hurt.  And I know it sucks, but we all experience it, and that doesn’t mean we have to lose our minds and go into a state of frenzy.  I really think you were letting yourself freak out too much there.  Do you get what I am saying?

    Munch:  Can I have the cookie now?

    Toni:  Almost.  You see, you are going to get hurt again.  And I want you to remember this moment.  That you can calm down if you want to.  And you don’t have to let yourself get so hysterical.  Okay?  Now here is your cookie.

    Munch:  You know what Mamma?

    Toni: What?

    Munch:  The cookie is making my boo boo feel so much better.

    Obviously once the prospect of decadence were planted in her head, she was able to control her emotions. But I can’t allow bribing her with treats and videos to become a habit – even though it’s an easy way to get The Munch to move on from a manic episode like that.

    The next day, of course she fell on her knee again and started crying.  I could tell she almost wanted to work herself back up into that state of madness that she had been in the day before.

    Munch: MAMMA IT REALLY HURTS IT REALLY HURTS!! WAHHHAAAHAAA!

    Toni:  Dude, you are going to be okay, you just have to calm down and breathe.

    Munch:  I NEED A COOKIE AND TO WATCH CURIOUS GEORGE!!!

    Toni:  No way… we are not going to do that every time you hurt yourself.  Listen, do you want to hear about the time that Mamma was hurt so much that she cried?

    Munch:   Yeah… sniff…

    Toni:  Well when you were a baby in Mamma’s tummy, you had to come out so you could be born.  But you had this big head, and all Mamma had was this teeny tiny baby hole for you to come out of.

    Munch:  And my head was really big?

    Toni:  Yeah, and my baby hole was really miniscule compared to you big old head.

    Munch:  And so you were crying?

    Toni:  You better believe I was crying… here… let me reenact that moment for you…

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  • The Story of My Heart

    Telling stories is a huge part of the human experience.  We are always talking to each other about our days – or texting/tweeting/facebooking/blogging/instagramming.  It is almost a compulsion.  If you are in a relationship the first thing you ask each other is “how was your day” and then you will discuss it no matter how mundane.  “Oh honey, my day was fine.  I sneezed a bunch of times in the morning, and then I was driving behind this asshole who was going really slow.  But I didn’t pass him or anything.  Because that would be dangerous.”

    We read books/magazines/blogs and watch plays/movies /TV/youtube/Hulu/Netflix that all tell stories about people’s lives.  They don’t even have to be true, or remotely realistic, and we will still crave hearing them.  It is obsession.

    The art of story telling extends way beyond entertainment.  I may want to read or watch something to pass the time because I am bored, but in every story there is always some meaning I can apply to my own life.

    I mean sometimes it’s a stretch.  Like with such brilliant films as “Sharknado” which is a sci-fi flick examining what would happen if a bunch of sharks got stuck in a tornado and were then were spit back onto the earth at rapid speeds to eat the humans below.  I am pretty sure I am not going to be in that situation, but if I challenge my mind, I can always find some lesson or person to relate to.

    So you better believe that as a parent I am telling stories to The Munch all freaking day. And making them up on the spot is harder than you think.  There has to be some moral, or lesson to help teach her to be less of an asshole – and it has to be compelling.  I have been exercising the fuck out my imagination trying to keep up with all this.

    But yesterday I asked her to tell me a story, and this is what she came up with.

    Munch:  Mamma tell me a story!

    Toni:  Munch I have told you like 10,000 stories today.  You tell me a story.

    Munch:  Okay.  Once upon a time, I was running so fast. And I ran right into your heart.

    Toni:  You ran into my heart?

    Munch:  Yeah, and then I broke it!

    Toni:  Oh no! You broke my heart! Then what did you do?

    Munch:  I got out my Munchee tools, and I fixed it!

    Toni:  Phew! So you fixed my heart with your Munchee tools?

    Munch:  Yeah! Because you didn’t really know how it worked.  But I fixed it, and now it’s all better!

    Tell me that is not fucking profound!

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  • Am I Still Interesting?

    Not to break the 4th wall or anything, but I have been blogging for 5 days a week for 3 years now without stopping.  Just throwing my thoughts into the multiverse hoping that it brings value to the quantum field.  But sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I am still interesting?

    My brother and I were discussing this as he was making his daily coffee, with lake water mind you… and these were his words of encouragement.

    Toni: You know, I feel like I having been putting myself out there for so long and I am just not sure about anything.  Sometimes I feel insecure.  Like am I even saying anything at all?  Am I repeating myself? Am I just making the same points over and over again?  My kid is a dick, but she is cute, but whoa she is a total asshole right now… blah blah blah… and then some stuff about vaginas? You get what I am saying?

    My Brother Laszlo:  I wouldn’t worry about it.  You know the economist says the same thing in every issue.  It’s always pushing the idea of “free markets.” You know what Chad needs right now? “Free markets!”  Or that Burma could really use some “free markets.”  So relax.  You are just like the Economist.

    (my brother experiencing a lake-coffee coma)

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    July 19, 2013 • Family Drama, Mommy Mind, Musings, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 60