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October, 2013

  • Happy Pagan Ritual Celebrating Death!

    The history of Halloween, like all holidays, is rooted in paganism.  Its origin dates back to the Ancient Celtic festival Samhain and celebrating the end of harvest, honoring the darkness of winter, and facing the morality of not only nature – but also ourselves.

    That is some heavy shit right? Especially compared to our modern relationship to Halloween where we dress up like slutty potatoes and throw eggs at people who don’t dole out enough industrial sugar.  We decontextualize the meaning of these once sacred rituals for a variety of reason’s… religious influence, political dominance, and perhaps most importantly – our modern manufactured relationship to nature.

    Unless you are farmer, living in a geodesic dome, and only subsisting on the bounty of your hunting and gathering skills – the shift from the life of summer to the death of winter is minimal.  You may be annoyed that strawberries are more expensive, but you still can buy them after they flew 8,000 miles from New Zealand.  You may complain about the darkness for about the 0.2 seconds it takes to turn on the light.  You may quibble about the cold until you walk into any building and are instantaneously warm.  And you may have thrown up in your mouth because I just made you say the word quibble in your head.

    It is so hard for us to truly appreciate nature, because we are so removed from it.  Just by living inside with all the technology we are afforded, it is next to impossible to be cognizant of the importance of the outdoors.  When I am in my living room I am not wondering about the happenings of the woods behind my house.  I am too busy thinking of a good status update on Facebook.  Even though I live in the country, and interact with nature on a daily basis, I am still able to ignore it because of my lifestyle of living in a warm house with water and electricity.

    Where once it was part of culture to honor what Mother Earth provided for us, now we not only take it for granted, but also seemingly forget about her entirely.  So if anything, Halloween is a good night to get outside and get our pagan worshipping spirit on – while remembering that we, and the earth, are all going to die one day.


    October 31, 2013 • 3 years old, Current Events, Education, Environmental Impact, Musings • Views: 4801

  • My Halloween Conundrum (HELP ME!)

    Halloween is coming up, and I am having a major existential crisis.  I know The Munch knows about Halloween, but there are a lot of details she is not aware of.  So far, all she is cognizant of is that people get dressed up in costumes.  Which is a great part of Halloween.  I am into that.  She wants to be a fairy, and she wants me to be a big Mamma fairy.  Fine.  I can do that.  But here is my problem…. The trick or treating….

    Now if you know me at all by now, you know I am a little off the deep end when it comes to GMO’s, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils.  I just can’t get down with it.  I can’t feed my kid that stuff – not only from a health perspective, but also from an environmental one.  I have done enough research to have a solid opinion on this.  I am not saying it has to be your opinion, but it fucking should because everything I think is right so get with the program okay?


    So the thought of The Munch accruing an entire bag of GMO goodies, made by the hands of fetuses in Africa, is giving me an anxiety attack.  But at the same time, I also don’t want to deny her of this extremely fun childhood ritual!  I remember loving Halloween when I was a kid.  My mom would dress like the Ayatollah Khomeini and had baby Toni as a Werewolf and my brother as Dracula.  Or the time my mom was Mr. T and my brother and I were David Bowie and Boy George.  And of course when my mom was a giant baby with a bald wig, bottle and diaper while my brother and I were Tom and Jerry. It was fun times.  (And a great example of how insane my mom is!) I even kept it going until I was 16 years old!! But my friends and I were “too cool” to dress up, so when people asked us what we were, I just said “the cast of Beverly Hills 90210.”

    And I LOVED candy as a kid.  I remember the trauma of my mom eating too much of my Halloween treats when I was at school, and coming home and discovering my Reece’s Peanutbutter cups were gone.  It was like the ultimate betrayal.  I wept over that shit and I was 9 or 10!!??  How do you think my 3-year old would react if I took all of her candy away! I think it would be the primal wound she would discuss in therapy until she was in her 70’s.

    I have thought about getting organic candy and replacing the stuff she gathers.  But I really think she would notice the difference?? So what do I do?? Do I replace the candy? Not let her go this year? Let her eat the stuff that literally pains my soul and anally rapes the Jiminy Cricket of my conscious?  HELP!

    PS this was my costume for the Halloween Party I went to this year… get it?? A COKE HEAD!


  • Pain of Mind

    I think most of us tend to externalize our pain, and see it as something outside of our control.  Something out there, causes pain to me, in here, (points to heart and/or genitals).  We get hurt either emotionally or physically and the general assumption is that is what hurt us.  That son of bitch broke my heart, or that tree fell on my leg and now my bone has splintered.  And to some extent that is true… your femur maybe be poking out of your thigh, or your feelings may be hurt by the actions of others.  But what if we are totally the masters of our own domain, and everything that happens in our lives is because we energetically provoked it?  What if we are just hurting ourselves?

    Maybe that seems like a heavy thought, but if it was made of cream we could whip it, whip it real good – so stay with me.  Although that puts a lot responsibility on you, there is also so much independence in this idea.  If I can say that all the pain in my life is self-chosen, then I am totally free.

    For example last month I hurt my back.  There was a totally logical reason for it.  I went to two dance classes, didn’t stretch when I was done, and got right into the car and drove for an hour.  When people asked me how I hurt my back… that was my explanation.  But then I was like “wait a minute Toni, you do that all the time? Why did your back hurt this time, and not the other times you have done that? Also, you need to stop wearing Uggs, because it is getting embarrassing.”

    Now of course with my hippy ways I am aware of the thinking that “all back pain” is supposedly emotional.  So for the next few weeks I had to think and meditate and think and meditate on what the fuck stupid emotional problem I was holding onto in my back.  And now that I kind of hurt it again, now I have to do all that thinking and meditating all over again to understand what my problem is, so I can solve the problem I created.

    Or like how when people hurt us, it feels like it start and stops with them.  That guy was an asshole to me.  Or that girl was a total cuntface….uhhhh… I mean meanie to me. But to what extent do we attract the negative energy we receive?  There is always a meaningful lesson hidden behind the painful experiences. And even more crucial than realizing that, understanding the importance of acknowledging that we are totally control of how we react to it.  Maybe it is hard to ignore sometimes – the bruising of the ego and the battering of the heart.  But the choice is yours as to how much you let it effect you.

    I mean, there is some comfort in that… right?


    October 29, 2013 • Musings • Views: 1183

  • The Master Negotiator

    No.  It is one of the most important words I say.  No, you can’t have that.  No, you can’t do that. No, you cannot eat that.  No, you cannot pick at that.  No, no, no.  And I have to say the word “no” in a way that is not only effective, but also convincing.  The second The Munch smells ambivalence in my “no,” she starts in on the negotiating.

    Scenario 1:

    Munch: Mamma, can I have another chocolate?

    Toni: No way dude, I already gave you one.

    Munch: Yeah, but I think two is a lot better.

    Toni: I know you do Munch, but no.  I already gave you one.

    Munch: But did you know what? Two would really be a lot better for me.  It would make me so happy.

    Toni: Dude, I said no.

    Munch: But I think that maybe this time you should say yes.

    Toni: No, I am not going to say yes.

    Munch: So yes I can have two chocolates?

    Toni: Wait what? No.  That isn’t what I said. I said no I am not going to say yes you can have another chocolate!

    Munch: Yayyyyyy I can have two chocolates.

    Toni: Munch, for reals.  Mamma said no.

    Munch:  But Mamma, listen to me.  If I had two chocolates then I would be happy and I would smile so big.

    Toni: Okay fine.  Here is one more chocolate.

    Munch: Yeah but Mamma, I said two more chocolates.

    Toni: Munch… hold up.  I already gave you one.  You said you wanted two.  So 1+1=2.  You get it.  You had one, I give you another.  That is two.

    Munch: But I already ate that one – so that one is gone, and now I need two.  See 1+1=2 So I need two.

    Toni: Munch, I am not giving you two, I am giving you one chocolate because you already have one.  You can have one, or you can have none.  That is your option.

    Munch: Yeah, but I already had one so I can’t have none!!!!

    Toni: Dude, you get what I mean.  Now you can have none, or you can have one.

    Munch: Okay Mamma, so I will just take two more chocolates.  Please Mamma please.  I will share my smiles with you!!!!

    Toni: Sigh… here are two more.

    Scenario 2:

    Munch: Mamma, can I get this big huge giant bottle?

    Toni: No way Munch.  No.  You don’t need that.  Put it back.

    Munch: But Mamma, I have never had a big huge giant bottle like that before!

    Toni: That is because you have never needed it!

    Munch: But Mamma, it is not me who needs it. It is my babies! And they are crying! Shhhhh… can you hear????






  • Maybe We Need Social Etiquette

    Social etiquette is one of those things that may censor us from being “real,” but also makes you less of tool.  If you tell people everything that is on your mind, you might actually come off as pretty annoying.  I mean it is one thing when you know a person and already have love for them, but it is another when a stranger insists on telling you what they think.  And as a parent, you come across a lot of other parents who will just let you know their opinion regardless of if you wanted it.

    The other day The Munch and I went to this organic fish and chips place because of course we did.  As we were waiting for the food, the guy who owned the cafe started chatting with us.  Now even though I usually don’t take anyone wearing tie-dye seriously, he seemed nice enough and I was pretty excited for our fries.

    Tie-Dye Guy: I have a daughter about her age too? What is she 3? 4?

    Toni: Yeah she is 3! Does your little girl go to school?

    Tie-Dye Guy: No she is homeschooled.  We are not into the whole school thing.

    Toni: Oh, I hear you. This one goes to a Waldorff school.

    Tie-Dye Guy: Oh those are the absolute worst.  I would never send my kid there.  I mean, school is already oppressive and tyrannical, but Waldorff takes it to a new level with their dogma hidden behind their anti-dogmatic messaging.  My wife’s father went to a Waldorff school and really despised his experience.  He said he would never pay for his granddaughter’s education if she were going to Waldorff.  But any way, for now the homeschooling is so much better, and super easy too.  My daughter is way beyond any of the kids her age who go to school.  She can already count to 80, and knows her phone number and address. She is much smarter than her peers – that is for sure.

    Toni: But who is home with your daughter homeschooling her if you are here at the cafe?

    Tie-Dye Guy: Oh my wife is.  She is with her all the time.  They go everywhere together.  She is like her little buddy.  She takes her to board meetings and everything.

    Toni:  Sounds easy for your wife.

    First of all, he is not even the one doing the homeschooling so how can he be talking about how amazing it is?  I mean sure, maybe his wife enjoys every minute with her daughter, or maybe it can be really hard sometimes because toddlers are not always perfect.  Caring for someone else takes a lot of exertion, and doesn’t leave a lot of time to do things for yourself.  I am not saying homeschooling can’t be fan-fucking-tastic, but even the most agreeable children still take effort.  I just felt it was a little condescending of him, the one not doing the homeschooling, to be representing it like it was the easiest thing ever.

    And am I crazy or did I just tell him I sent my kid to a Waldroff school 20 seconds before he berated it.  Now I am not saying I have completely drunk the Kool-Aid my self, but he doesn’t know that!? Who just rips apart someone’s life like that and acts like I should be grateful for his wisdom?  Okay fine, maybe The Munch can’t count to 80, but she is smart enough to know that this guy was a total douche.


    October 25, 2013 • 3 years old, Adventures, Education, Musings, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1136

  • Disney Marriages After The 7-Year Itch

    The 7- year itch.  It is a phenomenon that happens in relationships where after 2,556.7 days, you start to lose interest in the other person.  They start to annoy you more, or there are built up resentments, or the way they brush their teeth begins to really gross you out.  Basically by the seven-year mark, some couples may have spent enough time together that the dynamic is no longer exciting, and all of those pesky habits that you used to tolerate now make you want to pluck out your pubic hair in protest.

    Who knows why this is?  Maybe it is because our bodies and minds develop and change every seven years?  Austrian philosopher and teacher Rudolf Steiner created a theory of human development based on seven-year cycles that were associated with astrology.  So perhaps it was written in the stars that the sight of your partners face would eventually make you gag.

    This got me fantasizing about Disney marriages, and what might have happened after some of these infamous love stories hit this pivotal mark.


    Scenario 1: Cinderella and Her Prince

    Prince: Hey sweetie… could you unload the dishwasher?

    Cinderella: What? You think I am your maid or some shit? You unload your own dishwasher bitch!

    Prince: It’s just that I do the laundry, and the sweeping, and the dusting, and the vacuuming, and the polishing, and the sewing….

    Cinderella:  Let me stop you right there.  I am done with that shit.  If you have half a brain in your head you will find some little mice to help you and sing you songs in the process.  Now get out of my face!  I am trying to watch the Real House Wives of Beverly Hills.


    Scenario 2: Beauty and The Beast

    Belle: Sigh…

    The Now Human Man Formally Known as Beast: What’s wrong sweetie?

    Belle: It’s nothing.

    TNHMFKAB: No tell me?

    Belle: No it’s nothing.  Really.

    TNHMFKAB: Tell me!  I want to know what’s on your mind.

    Belle: Well, it’s about our love life.

    TNHMFKAB: What do you mean? We will love each other until happily ever after…

    Belle: Well, I guess I mean our sex life then.

    TNHMFKAB: What’s wrong with our sex life?

    Belle:  It’s just that, you used to be such an animal in bed.


    Scenario 3: Sleeping Beauty and Her Prince.

    Prince: Girl you better wake your ass up!


    Scenario 4: Snow White and Her Prince

    Prince: That was awesome baby.  Really great stuff.

    Snow White: Yeah I guess.

    Prince:  You really are the best baby.  Just can’t get enough of you.

    Snow White: Yeah….

    Prince: What’s going on? Do I not satisfy you sexually?

    Snow White: Well, maybe if there were 7 of you…


    Scenario 5: The Little Mermaid and Her Prince

    Erik: Ariel could you please stop jumping in the water every time I want to get intimate with you? That tail makes things impossible!

    Ariel: Exactly.


    Scenario 6: Princess Jasmine and Aladdin

    Aladdin: You are doing what?!

    Jasmine: I am leaving you.  It’s over.

    Aladdin: What? Why? How?

    Jasmine: I have met somebody else.  Somebody who is a provider and who doesn’t ride around on a stupid carpet all day.

    Aladdin: Who? You have to tell me.

    Jasmine: Somebody who can give me what I really want!

    Aladdin: I need to know!

    Jasmine:  I will grant you 3 guesses…


    October 24, 2013 • Musings • Views: 1204

  • Do I have to Buy you that Crap?

    Munch: But Mom!! I really really want these pink sparkly Hello Kitty shoes!

    Toni: But Munch, you already have pink sparkly shoes…

    Munch: But these ones have kitties on them, and I love kitties so much and they will make me happy!

    When your kid wants something you have the power to either get it for them or not.  After all, you are the one with the money, and that green paper is just soooooo much more meaningful than the pink paper in their monopoly game.  So you have to make a choice.  Do I get them the crappy crap they want, or say no?

    Of course you don’t want to spoil your kid.  Then they turn into dickholes who don’t appreciate anything.  You want them to experience boundaries, and understand the hard lesson of life that you can’t have everything you want.  Any reasonable parent denies their kid of many of their desires.  But sometimes you also want to get them things because you love them, and that is a way we express our adoration.

    So there I was in Target wondering if I should get The Munch these Hello Kitty shoes.  I thought back to my own upbringing, and what my mom would have done.  She wasn’t a stingy person.  She would get me and my brother stuff that we wanted, and even got us Castle Greyskull – which was a really big deal.  I mean not everyone that had He-Man dolls got Castle Greskull okay?

    But then I remembered how I really wanted “Jelly shoes” and my mom wouldn’t get them because she didn’t like them.  They were made of plastic and weaved around your feet like a horny spider.  In short, they were awesome.

    My mom: Toni, there is no way.  You can’t get Jellies.  They are just too tacky for words.

    Then I thought back to all the things my mom wouldn’t get because she thought they were cheesy.  Glow in the dark stars, stirrup leggings, sweatshirts that were cut around the neck, Reebok pump high-top sneakers, Cabbage Patch Kid cards (or as my mom called them cauliflower kids), My Little Pony, Pound Puppies, Jem, and Care Bears.

    My mom was a generous person, but her taste was always a prerequisite.  She had to approve of it to buy it.  I so vividly remember that disappointment of wanting my mom to understand just how cool Glow Worms were.  Thank God she finally acquiesced to the Pogo Ball, because otherwise I would have run away.

    So sure enough…. I got The Munch those Hello Kitty shoes (and the stupid shirt and pants to go with it).



  • The Little Man in the Canoe (also known as The Love Button)

    Is it me, or is the clitoris pretty obvious? Why do people always talking about finding it?  Or more importantly who do women rely on men to uncover it?  To discover it like a ship lost at sea.  Can’t you just be like “dude, see that part sticking out… kind of like a nose right there? Yeah, so that is it.”  I mean is it really that hard to communicate?

    According to people who do surveys on this type of stuff, 1 in 3 women have troubles climaxing.  The irony being that the cosmos created the little man in the canoe specifically for that purpose.  It just hangs out like a little pleasure button waiting to be pushed.  And the tragedy continues considering that a woman’s body is so hyper objectified as a sexual… uhhhhh…. object….that to not reap the benefits seems like a dismal fate.  Like “hey world, if you are going to use my body as beacon of sexuality, then I better be getting off in the process.”  Or at least that is what this article about the “21 things millennials should know about the clitoris” implies.

    I am not saying I didn’t learn some fascinating information about the nature’s Rubik’s cube…. Like it continues to grow for the rest of your life, can be up to five inches wide and 3 inches long, and the rest of the clitoris is internal – made up of a pair of spongy erectile tissue structures that look a lot like balls and when erect wraps the sides of the vadge like it is giving it a bear hug.  But I didn’t need to know that to know how it works.  And that is my question.  Whose responsibility is it to have read the manual, and to what extent does culture impact the psychology around it?

    I am the first to acknowledge the vast impact society has on a woman’s psyche.  I think it is unique to the female experience because women are the ones being raped, used, hyper-sexualized, controlled, dominated, and all that… So there are going to be intense and vast consequences of that stark reality.  But… I still think it is a lady’s job to figure out how her body.  We can’t depend on men to make us orgasm.  We have to wiggle around, tell him to slow down, or do whatever it takes so it happens for you.  For me the empowerment isn’t about whether or not women are having orgasms during sex, it is that they feel comfortable prioritizing them, and vocalizing their needs.

    Just like men get “blue balls” women get “purple bean,” and it is not cool.  But we the ladies have to be the ones to give a care.  The more we are like “hey… excuse me… although it is really nice that my stomach is moisturized, there is still some unsettled business to take care of,” the more we will demystify this sacred space.  And even though the psychology around sex is more complicated for females, every woman needs to address it hood on.


    October 22, 2013 • Health, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 25080

  • I want to tell you EVERYTHING!

    The Munch tells me everything.  She either has no filter, or she lacks the desire to hide things from me.  Even when someone else allows her to do something I don’t, she still lets me know right away.

    Munch: Mamma guess what!?

    Toni: What?

    Munch: Remember how you said I couldn’t watch videos? Well, Grandma let me watch a whole movie!


    Munch: Mamma, guess what!

    Toni: Tell me!

    Munch: Liliana gave me some chocolate!

    Liliana: Don’t worry Toni, it was just a little piece.

    Munch: No, it was a big huge piece!!!!

    I think it is sweet that The Munch wants me to know everything about her, but sometimes I am like “Uhhhh dude… have you ever heard of a secret? Because maybe you should start keeping them from me.”  Doesn’t she get that the result of her dear sweet naïve trustworthiness is that she gets fewer chocolates and less access to movies? The tragedy of it all!  I mean all her unabashed pathological truth telling almost makes me feel guilty for lying to her all the time.

    Toni: Munch, you can’t get a lollipop because the store is closed.  It closes at 1pm like all stores that have treats.  No, you can’t watch another Curious George because your brain will melt.  You have to wear a jacket outside because otherwise the wolves will smell you and swallow you up.

    Lies may be immoral, but they are also sometimes the easiest way to get what you want.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that The Munch wants a totally honest and transparent relationship, but that is just not a realistic approach in the world we live in.  You can’t be completely honest with people! Of course everyone thinks they want truthfulness, but do they really?.  You want to believe honesty reaps purely positive consequences, but does it?  Haven’t you ever told someone the truth and then been like, “man, that kind of sucked.”  As much as honesty is an honorable virtue, it is rare that people genuinely appreciate it.

    But I think she is starting to get it.

    Munch: You remember when I was taking a shower Mamma?

    Toni: Just now? The shower you took ten minutes ago?

    Munch: Yeah… do you remember that?

    Toni: Yes, of course I remember that.

    Munch: Well, I peed in the shower.  But I didn’t tell you.

    Toni: That is okay that you peed in the shower.  But why didn’t you want to tell me?

    Munch: Because I wanted to tell you later.

    Now that is the spirit!!!

    Look at this face of purity… I need to corrupt her before the world does!


    October 21, 2013 • 3 years old, Behavior, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 1272