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June, 2014

  • Eaves Dropping


    Silence is something I cherish.  I covet the sound of nothing, and try to absorb every instance of quiet.  That sense of peace tickles my ears, and sends chills through my organs as the vibratory stillness envelopes me.  Yet is something so rare, that I almost fear it.

    The constant banter of my child, the endless chatter, the relentless observations, have become the soundtrack to my life.  My ears are so accustomed to noise that I can’t sleep without some ambient auditory stimulation.  Every night I have to turn on a box-fan so there is something to penetrate my ear cavity.  Yet ironically I then cover my head with a pillow because I still so desperately crave acoustic stillness.

    So when The Munch is talking to herself while playing, I usually don’t pay attention to what she is saying because her self-entertainment is a relief.  I am like “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh… this is awesome…. no one is talking to me right now.” Yet the other morning while I was meditating I could hear The Munch gabbing away and pretending her paintbrushes were people having a conversation.  Okay fine… I know I should have been focusing on being all one with the universe and shit, but I found my focus drifting off to eavesdrop on what Munch was saying.

    Munch: No.  I am not going to marry you.

    (Toni Thinking While Meditating: Wow… that is so cool that even with all the Disney marriage indoctrination The Munch is making her own definitions of love and identity!)

    Munch:  But I do what you to be my silversmith.

    (Toni Thinking While Meditating: Ummm where did she learn the concept of a silversmith?)

    Munch: I am going to marry a purple person.

    (Toni Thinking While Meditating: Okay… well at least if she is going to fantasize about marriage, that is the ultimate PC statement).

    Munch: But watch out for yellow people, because they are killers!

    (Toni Thinking While Meditating: WTF??!!!)




    June 30, 2014 • Musings, Parenting • Views: 2359

  • There Are Still Guys Out There Who Think Like This?

    I was recently forwarded the article “13 Things a Woman Can Do To Be More Attractive to Men.” My initial reaction was to check the date to see if I had been transported back in time by a DeLorean – “Back To The Future” style.

    His list is lovingly detailed with many gems of misogyny…. but here is the gist:

    1) Be in shape   2) Lay off body modifications   3)Make your own money   4)Be feminine   5)Be submissive   6)Don’t have a sex life before him (be basically a virgin)   7)Be intelligent   8)Be Child-free   9)Cook for him  10)Don’t take too many sefies   11)Don’t wear too much make up    11)Don’t fucking swear  12)Don’t have too many guy friends

    Of course my favorite suggestion was to “be submissive” – which the author directly tied into “being feminine.” Not to go too “social anthropologist” on Smith, but isn’t it important to note the difference between socialized “feminine” traits and female biology? I don’t want to get all Simone De Beauvoir neo-feminist on John Smith, because that is not really the point. Here is a man who is taking his opinions on attractiveness seriously, and I am going to honor that. While I don’t fit into the criteria Smith has for women, (except for the make up part because I am too lazy to wash my face every night), I also don’t think he is trying to attract me. I am not exactly sure what type of lady gets her panties wet after reading this, but if she is out there, Gaia bless her.

    Regardless of my differences with Smith, I do think he represents a portion of the male population who agree with his thoughts – although this article would feel more valid if John Smith used his real name. Or maybe he is just a really old man from the Mayflower… what do I know? My main point of contention with this piece is not Smith’s point of view as much as his condescending tone.

    “Men don’t want a bag of bones, nor do they want a woman who looks like she is smuggling beach balls. I suggest 3-4 times a week of cardio-esque activity. Regarding your diet…you do not need to starve yourself; you do not need those greasy chips either.”

    I appreciate his understanding that ladies don’t have to be rail thin to be sexy, but Smith could have made this exact same point in a positive, sensitive way. Instead his words are demeaning and rude. Women often experience intense societal pressure to have a perfect physique. “Make sure your body is good and keep your greasy paws out of the bon bons” is neither thoughtful nor enlightened when discussing female societal beauty standards.

    As I went through each of his 13 suggestions, I felt like they all could have been presented in way that was actually respectful towards women.

    “Personally I think feminism has turned relationships that are supposed to be loving into their own little battlefields. Rub his back, watch what he wants to watch, suck him off. A GOOD man will reciprocate, and placate to the things you want and make sure you are also happy.”

    I think every lady knows that guys like blow jobs and back rubs. The reason sexuality gets stale in relationships or that we treat each other with complacency is a lot more complex than the influence of feminism. I am pretty sure there were bitches back in the Middle Ages who were like “Listen Barthalowmew, you haven’t scrubbed your scrotum in seven years and I am not putting my face down there tonight because I ate too much mutton.” Long-term, monogamous relationships are challenging because you have to see the same mother fucker day in and day out, and watch the gross way they eat sandwiches. Reciprocity comes from genuine respect, not simply expecting your gonads to be worshipped with the veracity of a pagan priestess.

    The one point that I am going to have to say was not only offensive, but downright racist was #8, Be Child Free:
    “This is kind of the not-so-secret secret. Men don’t want instant families, nor do they want the ultimate form of cuckoldry that is raising another man’s child. This goes double if you have multiple children and/or if your children are biracial. It does not matter if your child’s father was abusive, a deadbeat, a good man, or hit by a bus tragically. The bottom line is that you have a child, and it does not belong to the eligible bachelors out there.

    There are some real logistical problems here. What is a woman supposed to do to attract a man if she suffers the burden of already having procreated? Have an abortion when her children are eight and five years old? And what is wrong with bi-racial children? Is Smith threatened by knowing a big black cock may have penetrated his woman? Is he promoting an Aryan nation? I have a lot of questions about this one. How does Smith reconcile the reality that women are often left to raise children on their own, after fathers abandon their families? That is a lot of pressure. According to Smith, 10 million single moms (half of whom are not receiving child support) should expect to get no dick simply because they are responsibly raising their children.

    I’m pretty sure Smith isn’t attempting to be taken seriously by women. How could he when he uses a voice that is both aggressive and patronizing? Even so, Smith ends with six “pre-emptive” sound bytes, in a defensive attempt to squash the contempt he predicts for this piece. When provocative words are submitted to the blogosphere, attempting to control the response is, well, futile. While we’re floating in this cyber-space cosmos of personal beliefs, here are a few of mine:
    Here Are 13 Things A Man Can Do To Be More Attractive To Women

    1) Learn to cook
    2) Have skills to help around the house
    3) Be a good listener
    4) Express interest in her friends, family, and animals
    5) Be smart
    6) Be funny
    7) Be passionate
    8) Care about your own personal evolution
    9) Have a job you are inspired by
    10) Care about the world and your place in it
    11) Learn to express your negative emotions not just through anger or shutting down
    12) Prioritize communication
    13) Wash your balls if you want her to put them in her mouth


    June 27, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Relationships • Views: 2760

  • You Are Sucking My Will To Live

    From the moment my child opens her eyes in the morning, until she closes them at night, her mouth is flapping at an alarming speed. The Munch has no concept of an “inner monologue” or “private thoughts.” Everything and anything that travels through the synapsis of The Munch’s brain, she feels the compulsion to share.

    The Munch has also developed a lovely tendency of having a constant stream of requests. The tasks are as endless as her imagination. Her key strategy of success is that she is never rude in her excessively demanding behavior. She graciously lets her desires known, and does so relentlessly.

    Munch: Mamma, can you please pass my lamb? Mamma, would you mind getting me some juice? Mamma, could you change my dress for me? Mamma, will you please get my baby from upstairs? Mamma, will you help me look for my headband? Mamma, will you tighten my ponytail five times? Will Mamma… Mamma… Mamma.

    There is a common cliché that boys are physically exhausting where girls are mentally draining. Ummmm yeah. That pretty much sums up my life. So I decided The Munch and I had to have a little chat about all this.

    Toni: Dude, you really have gotten quite demanding of your Mamma?
    Munch: No I haven’t!
    Toni: Munch, all day you are asking me to do stuff for you. Although I appreciate the fact that you ask nicely and are polite, you can’t just tell me what to do all day. Seriously this behavior is sucking my will to live.
    Munch: Sucking your will to live?! Mom, that sounds so silly. Can you please tighten my ponytail 5 times again and then tell me a story, and then make my baby doll talk?


  • A Moral Crisis At The Zoo

    I have purposefully avoided taking my child to the Zoo. Even though I can acknowledge that the agenda of zoos is most likely conservation and cultivating an appreciation for wildlife – I still can’t help but feel that the animals are imprisoned in a purgatory of unimaginable mental desolation. They are trapped in small confined “natural” habitats where humans gawk at them by the thousands, energetically raping them with their expectant eyes. Even the thought of the zoo overwhelms me with grief – the bleak reality that we have destroyed these creature’s territories, and now keep them in jail for our own amusement.

    So when The Munch expressed interest in wanting to go the zoo, I debated telling her all that… and of course adding in a manifesto about poachers and the ever shrinking rainforest – but she just kept insisting that seeing a zebra would be cool. Besides, it seemed like a pretty dark conversation to have with your 3 year old on a a Sunday afternoon.

    My parents had already brought Munch a few days before, and she wanted to go back with all of us to show me the animals. So my mom, dad, Munch and I all went to the zoo, as I grappled with twisting sentiments of not wanting to support this torturous eco system, but also acknowledging that from Munch’s perspective it was pretty amazing to see a panda bear.

    My dad and I are both people who can never enjoy a moment because we are too busy over analyzing and judging. While Munch and my mom could appreciate the experience for what it was, my dad and I kept whispering to each other about the moral conflict. We would then look at people with disapproving eyes and flinch with disgust at those ignorant enough to pound on the glass in hopes for some attention from the unsuspecting spectacle inside. The sad being wondering why every one was looking at them while they were trying to snack on bamboo and scratch their ass. The only solace I had was when my dad reminded me that the trainers probably really loved these animals, and that they all looked like “nice women in khaki shorts.”

    Yet here is the problem with witnessing a wild animal in a contained environment – it takes all the magic out. If I saw a Bengal Tiger out in nature I would shit a golden egg, but at a zoo you are like “yeah, that Komodo dragon is pretty neat, now lets go check out the gorillas.” It is so easy to flip through these beings like old magazines at the dentist. They are too accessible because they are enclosed. You didn’t have to put in any effort to find them, expect for maybe walking through a crowd of people.


  • Dysfunctional Family Moment

    The Munch and I went to visit my parents at their place in DC, and the 4 of us living under the same roof for 4 days was a guaranteed recipe for some dysfunctional family moments. We all have a pervasive controlling personality type, which means every one of us is committed to the idea that our way is the right way. When individual people are convinced of their own righteousness, it is pretty impossible to negotiate within the micro-community.

    For the majority of our time together, we co-mingled with dignity – but that all fell apart the morning when we were leaving. It started because my dad neurotically insisted we leave 2 ½ hours early for our flight, so the morning began in an epic rush to pack and get everything together. I felt like the best strategy was to divide and conquer tasks, so I enlisted my dad to help with breakfast.

    Toni: Dad, can you make Munch some fried eggs for breakfast.
    My Dad: You mean soft-boiled eggs?
    Toni: No… I mean fried.
    My Dad: How about soft-boiled…
    Toni: Okay fine. Munch, can you go down stairs and eat with Baba?
    Munch: NO! I want to eat breakfast with Manna!
    My Mom: But I have to get dressed.
    Munch: But I always have breakfast with Manna. Baba, doesn’t know how to make eggs.
    Toni: Munch, go downstairs and have breakfast with Baba. He makes really good eggs. Dad… can you do that for me now?
    My Dad: (Clickity clack on computer not paying attention to me)
    Toni: (Physically takes computer away)
    My Dad: Hey!!!

    My Dad and Munch go downstairs to make the eggs. I come down a few minutes later as my dad is cracking them open.

    Toni: Dad… those eggs are totally raw.
    My Dad: No there are not! Look, I will eat them. See?
    Toni: Dad, look at all the clear jelly stuff. They are raw.
    My Dad: They are not raw; this is how the Europeans eat them.
    Toni: Dad… no… just no.
    My Mom: Toni don’t be ridiculous.
    Toni: Mom, you are not going to be the one who has to deal with a sick child.
    My Dad: Rocky Balboa ate raw eggs.
    Munch: Mamma, I don’t know if I like these. They are not right.
    Toni: Okay fine. Munch I will fry you some eggs.
    Munch: But I want eggs in the shell.
    Toni: Let me just fry them for you. It will be quicker.
    Munch: But I want eggs in the shell.
    Toni: Jesus Christ. Fine. Mom, where is the pot to boil water?
    My Mom: Everyone out of the kitchen, I will make the eggs.

    Of course my mom’s eggs were only slightly less raw than my dad’s, but I kept my mouth shut…. and we were so early for the plane, we took the shuttle that left an hour before our scheduled flight.


    June 24, 2014 • 3 years old, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1354

  • The Progeny Of A Genius

    My dad is pretty much a genius. He graduated high school at 16, and then got his PHD from Harvard by the time he was 22 years old – where he has been a tenured professor ever since. He speaks 22 languages, and writes a book every year.

    There is no possible way I could ever live up to my dad’s intellectual legacy. His mental prowess rivals only the most elite minds, and he has been able to accomplish more with his brain than I could ever conceive. It is truly humbling to be the offspring of a prodigy because you know from early on you are never going to be able to supersede their vast legacy.

    But… every once in a while, there is a moment of glory. When I can do something that my dad can’t. Like when I was visiting him, and he and The Munch were trying put together a 72 piece Cinderella Lego set.

    My Dad: Ummmm I think this goes here… no… maybe it goes here?? No…. I am not really sure where this goes.
    Munch: I think I need my mom to help us… she is really good at Legos.

    I walked in to the scene and all the Legos were strewn across the floor. My dad was looking quizzically at the box, as The Munch was insisting the tower was in the wrong place, because it didn’t match the image. I knew this was my moment to shine. They don’t come around that often…. so I got to take them when I can!

    I got to work and put together the entire castle in 7 minutes.

    My Dad: Jesus that was impressive. If it were up to me I would have been working on this until 11:30 tonight.

    I guess when your mind is filled with so many genius thoughts, you just don’t have any room left in there for Lego construction.

    lego blog 2lego blog

    June 23, 2014 • 3 years old, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1931

  • Magic On The Mountain

    The other day was my friend’s birthday, and she wanted to climb the mountain to celebrate the moment of her vaginal emergence. I was super excited to participate in this holy ceremony, but also had a mild anxiety attack thinking about not spending the day in front of my computer. Who am I if not desperately trying to be noticed through the confines of a screen!!??

    Before moving to New Hampshire I used to hike the mountain all the time. I would come visit from New York City at least twice a season, and go up with the vigor of a wild goat. Even in the dead of winter I would traverse up the terrain, proving my undying devotion to mother Gaia. But now that I live here, I never hike anymore because I am too busy tippity tapping against the keys of my post modern existence.

    It really is the most tragic example of how we don’t appreciate what is in front of our faces. I used to worship nature like a pagan princess, and I now have become an ungrateful shadow of my former self. When you get used to something, sometimes you forget to recognize its magnificence. It is as if your eyes glaze over the familiarity, and you stop seeing the glory of what’s around you. Your brain starts to filter out the beauty because it has become too accustomed, and therefor complacent. Just like long-term relationships… just kidding (audible sigh).

    Climbing the mountain with my friends was beyond life affirming. It reminded me of all that I am surrounded by, and the utmost importance of lodging my head out of my ass… even though that is a pretty advanced yoga move.

    On the top of the mountain we did a Kundalini meditation to celebrate life, death, and the infinity… then we lunched on avocado bacon sandwiches – because why not bring a bag of roasted bacon for a trek up a mountain? Of course being with a bunch of hippies, we all took our shoes off for the journey down so we could better connect to the earth’s energy. There is a school of thought that believes much of our disease and disconnection to nature is the partly because we wear shoes, and have little physical contact with the dirt. We need to roll around in the mud, and have skin to soil contact! I do feel like there is logic to that rational however, because I felt invigorated by soaking up the mountain’s essence through the soles of my feet as it fed into the soul of my being.  Or maybe I just got a contact high…

    mountain feetmountain 2

    June 20, 2014 • Adventures, Musings • Views: 1296

  • Don’t Laugh At Me

    Obviously there is a huge difference between laughing with someone and at them. One is a mutual act, and the other is almost an emotional attack. When you are laughing at someone, they are not exactly a participant in the process – so they feel left out of the joke. As a practice, I try not to blatantly laugh in someone’s face, but sometimes that is really hard when dealing the unintentional hilarity / insanity of a toddler.

    I feel so badly for doing this. I specifically remember my mom and brother laughing at me when I was a child. They said I made cute faces when I was angry or crying, and it would crack them up. Yet for me, it made my feelings seem invalid. It was humiliating. I would get so irate and resent them deeply. But now I get it. Sometimes a child’s pain is pure comedy.

    I try to have the decency to turn away and pretend like I am not laughing, but there are moments I can’t help myself, and it just bursts out. Take for example when The Munch is totally serious about a subject, but I think what she said was funny. If she does not agree, The Munch gets absolutely livid that I would have the audacity to giggle at her logic.

    The Munch: Mom, can I have a napkin to clean my mouth from the chocolate?
    Toni: But your mouth looks clean. You are fine.
    The Munch: But if I don’t wipe my mouth the bees will come in my mouth because of the sweetness.
    Toni: Haha… no they won’t.
    The Munch: YES THEY WILL!!! (storms of furious).

    Then there are the times when she is having an outright tantrum about something, but the rational behind her fury is so absurd it makes me chuckle.


    (Keep it in Toni… don’t you do it…)



    June 19, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2413

  • Hillary Clinton and The Rape Case

    Recently a tape has been leaked where a young Hillary Clinton is interviewed about her history as a lawyer. There is a discussion about a man she represented, who had been accused of raping a 12-year old girl. The suspect specifically had asked for a female lawyer, and Clinton took the case as a favor to a lawyer friend.

    What is probably the most disturbing admission is that the accused had taken a polygraph test, and passed. Clinton then laughs while saying that she will never trust those things again. So obviously she believed the man had raped the child, but still proceeded with her job to defend him – which she did quite successfully.

    When hearing this, my initial shock was mostly provoked by the fact that Clinton is a woman. I found myself wondering how she could be callous about defending a rapist? I saw her actions as sinister because I had this assumption that she should have felt a greater responsibility, or least empathy for the victim.

    Yet I don’t know if that is fair. Just because Clinton is a woman, doesn’t mean I should have held her to some distinctive standard of solidarity. Of course I would have been disgusted to hear this kind of statement from a male lawyer, but I wouldn’t have been as shocked. Clinton’s female form triggered me because if we women can’t even defend and prioritize our rights over the pursuit of power, then who will?

    I think this is exactly the problem, and why women have been, and will continue to be subjugated. In order to gain real power, a woman has to act like a man. Regardless of gender, those who climb the upper echelons of true domination do so with the same agenda – do what you have to do to get ahead.

    Whether we are talking about politics, business, or law… the systems themselves breed inhumanity. Politicians are inherently corrupt because they are dependent on big business for funding, Wall Street prioritizes profit over rationality, and if you want to be revered as a lawyer, it isn’t about justice – but rather winning cases. I am sure there are people within these establishments who prioritize truth over personal gain, but those aren’t the ones we hear about. Clinton wasn’t unique in her actions, but in fact completely status quo.

    A truly empathetic, compassionate, sensitive person cannot thrive in this landscape. That is not the culture of power, nor can it be under these confines. Clinton is just living up to the archetype of Washington that already prevails. There is this assumption that we choose between “the lesser of two evils” because our political parties don’t vary significantly when it comes to policy, but it isn’t just ideology that is the problem. It is the actual people who have been capable of pushing their way through the ranks that is.


    June 18, 2014 • Current Events, Political Banter • Views: 1835