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December, 2014
Archive

  • Getting Old and Glorifying the Past

    Yesterday was my day of uterine insurgence. It marked the moment that I was ejected from my mother’s glorious birth canyon, and burst forth into the world. Thanks dad for not pulling out to distribute my essence all over mom’s stomach. You guys are the best!

    I am getting older you guys! I am now just as close to 40 as I am to 30! What does it all mean? Should I make fewer expressions so as not to deepen the lines of emotion on my face? Should I be worried about organs that I am otherwise oblivious too – like my colon, spleen or gallbladder? Or maybe I should get back into doing a bunch of acid, and listening to records backwards to see if Prince actually worships the devil?

    How do I move forward into the future without wanting to clench onto the optimistic naivety of my past!?

    Aging is bitter sweet. On the one hand, you have a better grip on who you are as a human. You are less influenced by the influence of others, and less redundant. You are more likely to have a clear vision of where life is going, and also have confidence that you are actually getting good at what you do. You gain wisdom regarding relationships, and how to better communicate your needs. There is a sense of peacefulness that develops as you become more comfortable in your own skin. Yet perhaps best of all, is accumulating the propensity to give less fucks about everything.

    BUT… there is a longing for youth that is hard to let go of. Everything seems so much purer in the past. The fun was funner, the laughter was harder, and the possibilities were endless. Being young feels so seductive because you had nothing but time ahead of you – how else can I explain the fact that I watched other people play video games while high!? When I think about wishing I was 22 again, it is not so I could actually be 22 – because actually being 22 kind of SUCKED. What I want is to know what I know now, and have the chance to do it all over again. But… even if I did, I would probably do the same dumb shit because I am 22 so who cares and lets get wasted on Jagermeister!

    There is this dust of superiority in the memory, because the memory is rooted in the fantasy of what could have been. It is easy to glorify what was, because it helps justify what is. We have to exalt our perspective of years gone by – it comforts the fear of what never was!! Everything had to be better then, because at least that can help me get through the shit pile of the now! Yet then nostalgia becomes a form of depression, as it hangs onto mediocrity of the moment.

    The only way to be truly content is by acknowledging the past as our teacher, and embracing the future as infinite potential. If we can maintain that perspective, we don’t have to hate the inevitable truth that we are going to deteriorate and die. I can’t deny the instances where I yearn for the mentality of wistfully coasting through life on a magic carpet of late meals and bong hits, but I am also grateful for what is to come. I am smarter, stronger, and more capable than ever before simply by being on the planet for a longer period of time. Maybe I can do something really epic with the rest of my life!? Like making a movie about farts, or curing the common cold. There is still time!

    (kind of the best birthday text of all time)
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    December 29, 2014 • Birth • Views: 2904

  • I Have Met My Match (and she will destroy me)

    I am a really hard person to argue with. Not that I am mean or nasty. I will not call you vile names or spit in your general direction – unless I am hanging out my Llama friends. Yet I am a master manipulator of logic. I will sieve through your rational, pluck apart your reasoning, and destroy you with a flawless case of why I am right and you are wrong.

    And just to be clear… I am always right.

    I have yet to come away from a disagreement saying, “you are right… I was wrong… sorry.”

    Until now…

    I have met my match you guys, and she is a 4-year old Munch.

    It all started one fateful evening over dinner. The Munch was eating pesto and pasta, and I was sitting across from her enjoying a plate of sand. (I heard its good for your colon). Because my mouth was rather dry, I took a sip of her apple cider. Munch took notice….

    Munch: It’s good apple cider huh Ma?
    Toni: It sure is!
    Munch: I got it with Liliana at the coop after gymnastics. I like it a lot.
    Toni: We should get it again some time. It is quite delicious.

    We both continued our meals, and again I felt the sensations of thirst. I reached across the table, and took another sip. Yet this time, my actions were met with INTENSE FUCKING RAGE!

    Munch: MOM YOU KEEP TAKING SIPS OF MY APPLE CIDER AND NOW IT IS ALMOST ALL GONE!! STOP DOING THAT! NEVER TAKE SIPS OF MY APPLE CIDER AGAIN! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHAAA!
    Toni: Dude! That is so unfair! I share with you all the time!
    Munch: BUT YOU ARE DRINKING ALL MY APPLE CIDER AND NOW IT IS ALMOST ALL GONE!
    Toni: Ummm that is so not true. I had two sips, and they were small sips!
    Munch: I AM NEVER SHARING WITH YOU EVER AGAIN!!
    Toni: Dude!!! You are being wicked selfish! I share everything with you! How would you like it if I never shared with you again?
    Munch: BUT YOU DRANK ALL MY APPLE CIDER SO I AM NEVER SHARING WITH YOU EVER EVER EVER AGAIN EVER!!!!
    Toni: Munch… that is a terrible thing to say. You share with people you love because you love them. You share with people because it is the right thing to do. Being selfish is a terrible personality trait. Getting this mad about apple cider is absurd. We can easily get more tomorrow, or I can put water in it so you have more.
    Munch: BUT THEN IT WILL BE WATERY APPLE CIDER! I AM NOT SHARING WITH YOU ANY MORE!!!
    Toni: Well what is a good solution? What can we do about this?
    Munch: YOU CAN NEVER TAKE SIPS EVER AGAIN!
    Toni: You know what Munch? There are kids all over the world who have so much less than you – children who have hardly anything to eat or drink. They are starving and thirsty all the time. Yet they still share with their family. They are not selfish. You have everything you could ever want. You have juice all the time. Yet you are going to get this irrationally mad at your Mamma, yell and cry, just because you don’t want me to have a sip of your juice?
    Munch: WELL IT WAS MY JUICE, AND YOU DRANK ALL OF IT!! I GOT IT WITH LILIANA AND IT WAS MINE!! WAHHHHHAHHHHHWAHHHHHAAA!!
    Toni: Okay… that is enough. You have to go to your room.
    Munch: BUT I WANT MY JUICE!
    Toni: Fine, bring your cider to your room – but you have to think about how you treat people.

    The Munch stormed off crying and yelling to herself about how unfair I was. I stayed in the kitchen fuming. My head was spinning with rage. “What a little shit!!! I didn’t drink all her fucking apple cider! I had two sips!!!! Fine, there wasn’t that much left, but what the dick!!!??? This first world entitled mentality bullshit is goddamn bullshit. I am sure there are kids in the open tundra of Uzbekistan who share their last drops of goat milk with their mom!!!! Am I seriously raising a spoiled post-modern monster who flips the fuck out over sharing a sip of her drink!!??”

    The Munch then came into the kitchen – her tears dried, and disturbingly calm.

    Munch: Mom, I wasn’t mad because of sharing my juice. I was mad because you didn’t ASK to have a sip of my juice. You can’t just take things from people without asking. You have to ask first. But that is what I was trying to say…
    Toni: Oh… you are right… I was wrong. Sorry. I should have asked first.

    Genius…

    (Here is Munch plotting my demise)

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  • The Magic Christmas Tree

    My favorite part of Christmas is the tree. The etymology of this symbol is rooted in ancient traditions of celebrating mid-winter by bringing nature inside to honor her glory. I like to fancy myself a pagan moon goddess who worships mother Gaia with my sacred dances of the primal birth while howling ageless rhythms into the ebony night sky… so I am totally down with the vibe.

    Even though I am technically an adult… I don’t have “adult-like” things – such as Christmas ornaments. Last year my mom had kindly given me some, which then lived in the back of my car until August, and that I smartly put away somewhere I can’t find…. THEY ARE OUT THERE MOM SO DON’T BITCH AT ME OKAY?!

    When we brought home the tree for Munch, she was irrationally excited – as she should have been because holy fuck there is a tree inside the house!!!! I did have lights, thank the universe… so I am not a total failure… but then Munch wanted to decorate the tree.

    Toni: Well… I can’t find the ornaments that Manna gave us… so… but I will probably find them tomorrow? We can do it then okay?
    Munch: But I really want to decorate the tree today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have those ornaments that Gramma gave me!?
    Toni: Okay cool! Lets use those!

    So then we had 3 ornaments on the tree….

    Munch: We need more things to decorate with!
    Toni: Well, like I said… we don’t have any more Christmas ornaments so…
    Munch: That is okay! We can just find stuff around the house!! Let’s look for things that have a hook! Or a loop or whatever!

    The Munch and I then went on a scavenger hunt looking for stuff we could decorate the tree with. And you know what?? You would be surprised by how much stuff you have laying around that is perfect for a Christmas tree! We used about 6 of my necklaces, a Hawaiian lei, a wool sock I tied a string around….

    If you take a step back, our tree is just as beautiful as any tree out there – it is only when you look up close that you would say “wait… is that a pot holder?”

    (Kids really are creative, awesome, and better than us in every way… )
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  • The Chubby Mermaid

    Not to brag or anything, but my kid is kind of a genius. No, she isn’t a 4-year old fashion designer for J-Crew, and no she doesn’t paint pictures that get sold for thousands of dollars… but she does know how to work my iPhone like a fucking pro. I feel like this is only the beginning of The Munch’s mastery of technology… even if her main motivation is to watch the new Taylor Swift video. But who knows, maybe she is going be the next Steve Jobs – but whose goal is to make 3D digital holograms of Katy Perry that project directly from your eyeballs thanks to an implanted nano-tech microchip.

    I know there are parents who never let their kids watch any modern media, and if they do, it is a supervised experience where they enjoy the wholesome story of Heidi (the 1937 version staring Shirley Temple). Together, they sit around a crackling fire eating fresh popcorn harvested from their farm while the children blissfully fall asleep from their full day of frolicking freely in the forest.

    Then there is my approach of handing my kid my phone/computer/iPad/soul and saying… “Here… watch whatever you want, just let mommy be alone.”

    Now the problem with this strategy is that The Munch then has access to peruse through Youtube, and find other things she may want to watch. She will scan the “related videos,” which may or may not actually be “related” to the initial media I approved of. I would set her up with something innocent to watch like “Curious George,” but then come back 20 minutes later to find her watching a BBC expo about a baby in Indonesia who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day.

    There was also a time where Munch found these videos that some charming person had created with the PBS character Caillou. Let me just say, I actually hope Caillou dies a horrible death where he is mutilated by rabid wolves. The show is terrible, and Caillou is a whiney little prick that deserves to suffer. So I can get how it would be funny to take this shit-head character, and re-edit the videos so all the audio is a raunchy dialogue filled with a myriad of swears. Yet despite my present attempt at humor, it was a sad and rude awakening to overhear The Munch listening to Caillou calling his baby sister a “fuck-face.”

    In order to preserve my child’s innocence and shield her from the vulgarities of the world, I had to to say to her, “Hey Munch, you have to check with me before you watch something – because there is some seriously fucked up shit on the Internet.”

    The Munch, who is an honest person, has kept to her word and now comes to me for my approval.

    Munch: Mom… is it okay if I watch “The Chubby Mermaid?
    Toni: WHAT????!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay… so lets get real. One thing we can all admit about society is that media FUCKS UP YOUNG GIRLS when it comes to their body image. The last thing you want for your daughter is for her to have an unhealthy relationship to her body, and feel she has to conform to a photo-shopped standard of beauty where her thighs are thinner than her forearms.

    I couldn’t understand WHO ON PLANET EARTH would make a cartoon called “The Chubby Mermaid!?” (Answer: Someone on the Internet – that is who.) My main concern was the term “chubby,” and how The Munch internalized the Meta meaning of that word. I started to panic, wondering if lifelong damage had already happened.

    Toni: Why is it called “The Chubby Mermaid?”
    Munch: Well, the mermaid is chubby because she ate too many gummy bears.
    Toni: Well “chubby” is not a very nice word.
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: Do you know what “chubby” means?
    Munch: It means you have a round tummy – like the “chubby” mermaid who ate too many gummy bears.

    HOLY FUCK YOU GUYS!!! I was like “shit, shit, shit, shit in the ass shit!” Of course “eating too many gummy bears” is not a good idea for anyone. Especially since they are made of gelatin composed of horse hooves – I mean basically they are molded balls primed to give you diabetes… But still! I don’t want The Munch thinking that fat shaming a mermaid is okay just because she happens to have a penchant for gummy bears!!

    Toni: Well, what do you think of the “Chubby Mermaid?”
    Munch: I like her… that is why I want to watch her???
    Toni: I mean, do you think she is a good person?
    Munch: Huh? What do you mean?
    Toni: Do you think she is bad for being “chubby?”
    Munch: No???
    Toni: So, do you think she is a good person?
    Munch: I don’t know mom??? I haven’t seen the rest of it yet? I only saw the beginning?? I don’t know her yet?
    Toni: Well do you think it is nice to call the mermaid “chubby?”
    Munch: She ate too many gummy bears, so she has a chubby tummy? Like it pokes out a little bit.
    Toni: Do you think she still has value to society even though she ate too many gummy bears?
    Munch: Huh? I don’t know??? I haven’t seen the whole video? Wait Mom… do we have any gummy bears??

    From the Munch’s perspective, being “chubby” wasn’t an insult. It was just a descriptive. Like having blond hair or green eyes. She couldn’t tell me if the mermaid was a good person until she actually saw what she was like as a person. Nor did she think there was anything wrong with the mermaid because she was chubby. She just ate too many gummy bears. In Munch’s mind being chubby was simply a consequence to an action.

    Placing moral judgment because of someone’s weight is a learned behavior. The idea that being “fat = bad” is a notion society has constructed. The Munch didn’t see the “Chubby Mermaid” as less than, but simply a mermaid whose mom didn’t micromanage her diet to make sure everything she ate was organic, biodynamic, and macrobiotic.

    Weight has become a barometer of self-worth that is deeply psychologically engrained in adults. Being thin means you feel better about yourself, regardless of actually being healthy. A super skinny model that subsists on champagne, lettuce, and cocaine is not in prime physical condition – even if she is slender. You can be “overweight” but also strong, dexterous, and able to climb stairs without passing out from fatigue.

    The body is a handy mechanism that moves us around planet earth – it is not the gauge with which we should measure our importance. I think it is completely possible to shape a child’s understanding of the body on function rather than form. There is no reason to condition our kids to think that their body weight has anything to do with their status as a human. You want to watch what you eat because a lot of processed food products are essentially poisoned. Pesticides, GMO-s, hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, preservatives… are not nutritious and may cause long-term damage. We should be cautious about what we consume not because culture will demoralize you for enjoying butter, but rather because we don’t want to ingest toxins.

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  • Please Don’t Force Feed Me Up My Ass

    When I read the recent report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation strategies at Guantanamo Bay, I couldn’t believe our barbaric treatment of these people. Considering how often we go to war with nations because of “human rights violations,” the hypocrisy is sickenly thick and palpable. I am not sure how this can be expalained beyond blatant racism. We never treated Aryan Nation Nazi’s like we do Middle Eastern supposed “terrorists” – many of whom have never been proven guilty. Call me old fashioned, but torturing a citizen of the earth who might maybe be sorta kinda guilty is down right criminal.

    Am I missing something, or is the CIA unnervingly kinky. The whole report seriously reads like a really, really sinister “50 Shades of Grey.” Kind of like how I imagine the hard-core porno version “50 Shades of Grey Up Your Butt.”

    Of all the torture strategies articulated in the report, one of the more horrifying “techniques” was how the CIA force-fed a detainee up his ass. Although the “rectally infused” visual is incredibly disturbing, I also found the menu a particularly strange assssspect– a puree of hummus, pasta sauce, nuts, and raisins.

    Rectal infusion- a lovely infusion choice, indeed. Was there a garnish as well? What about truffle oil, or a dash of coriander? Why the raisins? Were they added to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce? What a charming idea to use sun kissed grapes to provide an alkalized concoction, so as not to create disparity in the colon.

    I would like to have been a fly on the wall in the room when the decision was made to put a man in a “forward faced position with head lower than torso” to insert pulverized cuisine in his anus. How did they decide who prepared the pounded sustenance and who administered the “meal.” Once the plan was established, did everyone circle up, put their hands in the middle, pump once, and say “GO TEAM!” ??

    Beyond the categorical cruelty of this, given that torture has not been proven to be an adequate or even effective method to extract information makes this a truly INSANE action. It’s been documented that people put in such horrendous situations often tell their tormentors what they want to hear, as opposed to the truth. I can’t imagine why — except maybe so THEY WILL STOP GETTING FUCKING TORTURED. But I am not a psychologist or anything so what do I know?

    According this most recent report, the CIA frequently tortured its prisoners before even attempting a civil interrogation. That would be like if I came up to you while you were eating a sandwich, knocked you over so you smacked your head on the ground, pinned your chest so you couldn’t breathe, and starting pissing in your eye while demanding a bite. Wouldn’t you be like “uhhhhh… you could have just asked?”

    Considering we spend upwards of one trillion dollars a year on “national security,” I am pretty fucking confused as to why we are using these archaic strategies to obtain information. If you want to have nightmares for the next month, check out some of the DARPA’s projects (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The military is coming up with some seriously advanced shit to spy on, kill, and control people. In addition to the many robots DARPA has created to mimic human walking, throw cinder blocks, run on four legs at cheetah speed, climb trees, grasp objects, kill targets…. DARPA has also announced projects that include mapping the human brain, trying to create a physical thinking brain for robots, computers that can think for themselves, tracking rat brains over the Internet, real-life Avatar projects, autonomous robots, electronic tattoos and pills swallowed to authenticate online access instead of passwords, mapping the neuroscience of the “fight or flight response,” mind controlling squids…. and much much more.

    Then of course there is the nano technology spy drone that is the size of a fucking mosquito. Isn’t that surveillance enough to get the information you are looking for? Is torturing humans really superior to chemtrails that control our minds? Where is all this money going if not to KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING?

    Come on CIA. With a trillion dollars to find whatever shit you are looking for – I believe you can do better than a derrière soufflé

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    December 10, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 2929

  • It is not the post you like, but the person who posted it

    If I post something on Facebook and nobody likes it… am I still a real person? Or do I melt away into the postmodern quantum conundrum of oblivion? If the parallel universe of social media conflates with real life, will I fade out of the picture like Marty McFly in “Back to the Future?” Can I exist in both worlds if one of those ecospheres doesn’t acknowledge my updates? Who am I if nobody likes me?

    Public validation and social currency have become the life-blood of existence. In order to survive these modern times we need food (organic), water (without toxic chemicals), shelter (that will endure the pending global warming catastrophes), wifi (obvi), and 1 click gestures of adoration.

    I check my social media partly to see what you are up to – but mostly to see what you think of me. Did you like that thing I posted about that thing? What about that picture of me? It was kind of silly so I don’t come off as vain, but cute enough where you still think I am cute. What about that comment I made about whatever you wrote about? Did you like that I commented on it? Did you comment back? Hello… Is anybody in there? You guys, I am uncomfortably numb!

    (If you didn’t get that Pink Floyd reference, then please listen to more Pink Floyd while high on acid… thanks).

    I am one of those people who gets some “likes,” but not a TON of “likes.” Enough “likes” to feel sort of “liked,” but not enough to feel revered.

    There are people who get hundreds of “likes.” I am jealous of those people. I don’t think they are posting better shit than me? Their dumb baby isn’t cuter than mine! I also share articles about race wars and dying bees! So why are people “liking” their stupid statuses more than mine? Ohhhh right… because it is not always the post you “like,” but the actual PERSON posting it.

    Facebook “likes” are ways we connect to people. We don’t just “like” for the sake of “liking,” but so that person will NOTICE our “like.” It can be a flirty “like”, an act of friendship “like”, or even a way to kiss someone’s ass “like.” Sometimes I “like” someone’s crappy crap just so they will one day “like” me, Toni, the human being. We “like” for all sorts of reasons beyond “liking” the actual content presented. Sometimes I don’t even read what I “like,” but I want the person to know I like them so I do it anyway.

    I think I have become a “like” slut ☹

    But I am also an equal opportunity “liker.” If I am floating down my feed and see someone post something with no “likes,” I will like it!! I can’t let you go down like that. Even if I don’t like the post, or you that much… unless you are a crusty dick hole and talking about sodomizing seals, I will probably “like” it for the sense of comradery. You are not alone in the world. I am here for you – validating your existence and contribution to the interwebs!

    It feels good to collect “likes”- even though you can’t trade them, or cash them in. They aren’t exactly practical, but they are addicting. “Likes” are like my self-esteem. Yet the tragedy of the high of being “liked,” is that we inevitably feel the low when we are not. Man… if I am going to feel this yucky every time I look at my computer, I might as well get into hard-core twin porn.

    The insanity of it all is that adulthood is supposed to be that time of life when you finally don’t give a fuck. You don’t need your parent’s approval. There aren’t any popular kids on the playground to impress. This is our moment to be our authentic selves, and not give a shit about shit. But now I have to feel bad about myself if only 2 people “like” the article I posted that Bill Moyers wrote about Ferguson. What the fuck? He had some really important things to say!? Don’t you “like” me enough to “like” the things I want you to read?

    (How can you not “like” me? I wear sweaters with hoods that I have had since college, and my eyes are tired from spending too much time in front of a computer!?)

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    December 8, 2014 • Musings, Relationships • Views: 2404

  • Supportive vs Competitive Friends

    I tend to attract really intense people. I wouldn’t call them crazy, but more bat shit crazy. I am sorry you guys, but you are. I love you. Shhhhhhh… it’s gonna be okay.

    The kind of person who is balanced, believes in the benevolence of the world, and feels comfortable in their skin is not going to be drawn to me. But if you are tortured, sweat profusely at the thought of your uncertain future, and are passionate about the minutia and ambivalent about the Meta because all life is meaningless – then chances are we are going to be real close.

    The people I connect with are complex individuals – that is what probably magnetizes me to them. I see the absurdity of existence, yet I usually maintain an emotional distance from the pain of it all. Even though my fantasy was to be raised by a pack of wolves, I had to settle for WASPs… so needless to say I am pretty repressed. What I appreciate about those who teeter on the edge of sanity is that they inspire me to feel. Without them, my sense of empathy would plateau by my even keel – otherwise known as a severe suppression of all feelings.

    I like those who question reality, but the more you question, the more questions you have. The quests for questions are plagued by more questions as the answers slip farther away in the black hole of unknowing. AHHHH I can’t take it any more!

    Friendships have always been important to me. Perhaps because my best friend died, I find it increasingly hard to let go of people. I tend to be fiercely loyal. Unless you rape my cat in front of me – I am a pretty forgiving person. Not that I like my cat that much – just seems like really rude thing to do.

    It takes a lot to push me away because I believe friendship is one of the safest relationships you can have. Your friends are the people you should feel most uncensored with… as long as you don’t show me your anal leakage. You can tell me about it, but just don’t make me look. Some things are meant to be private. The platonic love of friendship is a unique bond because hopefully the commitment is less about wanting something from someone, but more about appreciating their existence on planet earth.

    Even though I idealize friendships, I also feel they can be super complicated. Sometimes someone I really like, and have a lot of fun with, is also SUPER competitive with me. That doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but that does mean the dynamic is tainted by that energy. What I look for most in a friend is someone who is ultimately supportive of me. The kind of chick that would say “yeah, I will do a video with you promoting the usage of eco tampons and allow you to shove your head between my legs while I sit on the toilet. I get believe in your vision.” I mean, that is a damn good friend!

    The people who are closest to me get that I am totally nuts, and are still on my team! Just like I am on theirs. Now that The Munch is of the age of making friends, I want to make sure she learns how to not only be a supportive friend, but also seek them out. Young kids play on the edge of being kind and cruel, and experiment with having power over each other. The difference however, is that the stakes are lower. It doesn’t really matter who gets to play with the yellow haired Barbie but when adults act like that, shit can get ugly. Get off my Ken doll you bitch!!

    When The Munch was a baby, she didn’t really play with other kids… they just played near each other and fought over toys. Now that she is a kid, she and her friends go off to connect without constant supervision. When I observe her playing with her little buddies, my instinct is to interfere and micro manage how they treat each other. Yet if I hang back and give them a moment to feel their rage, jealousy, or selfishness, they tend to move through it pretty quick.

    I guess it is time for me to face the reality that The Munch has a life beyond me. She has to operate in the world by her own set of standards. It is my first moment of letting go. I have to hope that my influence is meaningful, and that Munch is a good person who is supportive. And you know what? She is! Munch wants her friends to be happy, and often makes sacrifices for their joy. But… I also don’t want her to be a total push over – so Munch you get that yellow hair Barbie from your bitch friend.

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    December 3, 2014 • 4 years old, Behavior, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing, Relationships • Views: 1850

  • Sassy is The new Classy – Thanks Sasha and Malia!

    Although social media is cool because we get to look at pictures of our ex-lover’s new lover, it is also a platform for straight up antagonistic bullshit. Elizabeth Lauten went on a Facebook rant about how she didn’t like the faces Sasha and Malia Obama made during the press conference while their dad pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. Ironically she was the Communications Director for GOP Representative Stephen Fincher from Tennessee before resigning today. She also said the girls should get a little “class,” not dress like they are “at a bar” and “act like the white house matters to you.” Ummmmm Elizabeth you may want to reconsider your approach to communications; attacking children doesn’t exactly make me think you have a ton of class.

    Of course it takes a village to raise a child and theoretically you want other adults to take an interest in your kid’s behavior. If my child was acting like a dick at your house, I’d appreciate you addressing her actions. Yet I hope you would be kind and empathetic in the process. I would be less pleased if you said to my kid, “shut up you little asshole.”

    Elizabeth Lauten not only insulted the Obama girls, but used them as a vehicle to demean their dad.The crux of her point was less about eye-rolling and pouty looks, and more about how they are representatives of the people who raised them.

    “Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter,” Elizabeth added. “So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

    Politically, I am not an Obama supporter. Anyone who becomes president of this country is a highly compromised individual with too many people to appease (and by “people” I mean the ruling elite who control all banking/industry/corporations– and who may or may not be the decedents of lizards). My interest in this saga is less about “how dare you Republican Elizabeth attack the blameless Democrat president,” because that is par for the course. Yet what I do have a problem with is her blatant attempt to devalue Obama by insulting his children.

    We know Elizabeth is familiar with the teenage experience. After all, she herself was arrested for shoplifting during those prime years. Surely she remembers the complexity of those tempestuous years. Rather she decided that insulting Malia and Sasha Obama was the perfect chance to attack the President. Generally, our society operations from the understanding that children are the psychological property of their parents. To make the leap that some sassy stares means Obama is a horrible father, and therefor president, was a jump that made sense to Elizabeth.

    The cultural implication of viewing children as extensions of their parents is that a kid’s successes/failures are not theirs alone, but also that of their mom and dad. We can’t truly know the precise nature vs nurture ratios, so we tend to cherry pick the traits we want to believe are our flawless parenting techniques or supreme genes. How much of my kid is her personality and how much of her is my amazing mom style? This is not an equation we can quantify.

    It is pretty common for parents to take credit for all the parts of their children that they like. “My little Timmy is such a good dancer. He gets that from MY side of the family because I learned the fox trot.” Or “Little Susie is so clever. I think she gets it from me because I once figured out how to untangle my headphones in under 7 minutes.”

    We love to attribute ourselves for the ways our kids are remarkable. Yet when our kids suck, that is usually because that is “just they way they are.” We rarely hear parents say “Oh well, Jimmy has major control issues and hits other kids because we have no boundaries in our house. I also often bribe him with sugar just so he will leave me alone for 20 minutes while I cry in the closet. Not to mention I hate my husband, and Jimmy looks just like him so I sometimes get irrationally angry just looking at his face.” It is much easier to just be like “Jimmy has had a strong will since he was a baby. It is just who he is.”

    It we hold ourselves responsible for all the goodness in our children, we have to be equally responsible for the bad. Yet I don’t think that is giving them enough credit, nor the variety of other influences they are exposed to.

    Maintaining this level of attachment to our kids as ambassadors for ourselves because puts excessive pressure on the relationship. How many adults continually trying to appease their parents rather than finding their own path? A lot. “I am going to be a lawyer just like you daddy… even though inside I just want to design costumes for figure skaters.” Our children aren’t our possessions; we are merely the stewards of their development.

    As a parent, I want the best for my child but that can’t mean wanting her to be the best reflection of me. Maybe the best for her will be to live in a cave subsisting on plankton while contemplating cloud formations. I won’t know unless I let go of the idea that my kid is an echo of me. Any motivation for interfering with her behavior can’t be so she makes me look good, but because that is the best way for her to learn how to be a good person with a fulfilling life.

    Sasha and Malia are the daughters of the president. They are also their own people trying to understand their place in the world.They cannot be held accountable as white house diplomats for our public viewing pleasure, nor should they bear the burden of their dad’s reputation. We have to stop treating kids as commodities of their parents, and more like evolving creatures they are, with a variety of inspirations to contend with. As parents, the less ownership we feel over our children, the more honestly we’ll experience since our egos and agendas won’t blind us.

    Besides… considering the Sasha and Malia are 13 and 16, I am pretty sure they are mature as shit. If my dad was president and I was a teenager in the White House, that press conference would have been a whole different scene.

    First of all, I would have been stoned out of my mind. Not only would my eyes be as blood shot as Vince Vaughn on a Sunday morning, I would also be munching brownies with my mouth open while staring off into nothing and giggling randomly. When my dad tried to engage me to participate in this absurd American tradition, I would have gone on a 15-minute diatribe about the mass murder of millions of turkeys and described in detail the process of their slaughtering. Then the ecstasy I took would kick in, and I’d probably dry hump the turkey while mumbling about how politics is a cover up to maintain financially tyranny over the world via private banking systems and endless wars. I would then scream, “I hate you Dad! No one understands me,” collapse in a pile of my own sweaty vomit, and cry because I was really hormonal at 16.

    obama-girls-blog-(i)

    December 1, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 2726