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  • Peer Pressure Boston Adventure

    I used to be strong. I had never been susceptible to peer pressure. I was committed to my convictions, and believed in the validity of my perspective. And then something happened. Something that confused me, wore me down, and pushed every button of my being like I was a Nintendo 64. That something I am referring to was the meshing of my DNA to create another human.

    Since squirting out The Munch, I doubt myself more. Not because I don’t think I know what I am doing, but because there is someone talking in my ear every second of my life, and I have no peaceful moments to think. I am easily flustered because from the second The Munch opens her eyes, she is spouting the utterings of her consciousness like silence is something that must be destroyed by the sound of her high-pitched voice. When she is not talking, The Munch is doing something that I for sure don’t want her to be doing – but because she is being quiet I take my sweet time investigating the shit show she is creating in the other room.

    The other morning I was rushing to get ready to take Munch to the doctor’s in Boston to get her lazy eye checked. Unlike my hippy doctor where we make appointments days in advance, the “White Man’s Western Medicine Doctor” means I made this appointment 6-months ago… and of course I was running late. Why you may ask… because a certain someone had to change her clothes 7 times that morning. (I have a lot of sweatpants to choose from).

    While I was getting everything ready, and packing snacks for the car, The Munch was in the bathroom “playing.” When I finally went in to grab her, I discovered that she was actually painting the bathtub, and her face, with red glitter.

    Toni: Whoa dude… that is an insane amount of glitter.
    Munch: I was just making the bathtub pretty and my eyes beautiful for the eye doctor.
    Toni: Okay cool… but that is really quite a lot. Let me wipe some off so your doctor doesn’t think I am breeding you to become a stripper in Tampa.
    Munch: Where is Tampa?
    Toni: Uhhhhhh Munch… why isn’t the glitter coming off?
    Munch: Oh. Because I glued it on.
    Toni: What?
    Munch: Yeah… I just used this glue right here…
    Toni: Wow… you sure as shit did.

    I then shoved my harlot daughter into the car and started frantically driving to Boston. Even if we didn’t stop once, we would maybe have 3 minutes to spare. When we were about 20 minutes away, I called my mom and asked if she would figure out the exact building we had to go to in Mass General…. She called back to say my appointment was at 9:45 not 11:15.

    Toni: That is a fucking lie!! WHAT THE DICK!!!!!!!!!! They told me 11:15!!!!!!!!!! I even called the other day and they never corrected me? WHAT THE FUCK!!
    My Mom: I don’t know what do say. You can still spend the day in Boston and enjoy yourself while I hang with Munch?
    Toni: AHHHHHHHHH I CAN’T ENJOY MYSELF! It is going to take 7-months to make another appointment. FUCK FUCK FUCK!
    Munch: Mamma, what is wrong?
    Toni: We missed your appointment…
    Munch: That is okay. We can just go another day.
    Toni: Munch you don’t get it… that means I just drove 2-hours for nothing when I could of spent the day hating myself in front of the computer!

    When we got to Boston, my mom suggested I go to the hospital and beg them to see me. My whole walk there I prepared my speech. My approach had to be flawless or else they would turn me away from the hospital, and I would have gotten Ebola for nothing. Luckily I convinced the receptionist to see us because I am just that convincing. The doctor did a bunch of tests and told me exactly what I knew she was going to tell me. All the hippy stuff I did is great and all, and it is cool that she wore the eye patch, but she still suggests surgery. Come to think of it, she probably knew she was going to suggest this from day one, and the eye patch was just a formality. Something tells me eye surgery is kind of like the c-section for ophthalmology. Not always necessary, but a well-rehearsed process.

    After we left, my mom offered to take Munch for ice cream so I could walk around and think about what to do. I said that was a good idea, but I really didn’t want to think about this at all so I decided to walk down Newbury Street and look for some birthday presents for the Scorpios in my life. Okay, now here is where everything went to shit for me. I was already in a fragile state from the chaos of the day, and I have not gone “shopping” in maybe 5 years. I live it the sticks, and the only place I go to buy stuff is the farm stand to get some squash cookies sweetened with intentions. Being in a store with sales people overwhelms the shit out of me. I start to panic just thinking about them asking if they can help me, and the potential disappointment they will feel if I say “no thank you” – or even worse… leave the store without buying anything! The responsibility for their wellbeing is just too much to bear!

    I walked into a store that seemed big enough were I could just peruse on my own, but this girl could smell my vulnerability. She came up, and stuck to me like a barnacle. She wouldn’t stop talking. It was almost worse than Munch because she actually expected me to talk back. At least Munch has the decency to talk AT me. My social anxiety disorder started kicking in, and I desperately wanted her to go away – but she kept smiling at me!! It is not that she was mean or anything. In fact she was super cute and friendly. Yet she wouldn’t stop showing me stuff in the store that she liked. I started to get so flustered I didn’t even know what was cool anymore because this 19-year old chick was chirping in my ear about music school and growing up in San Francisco.

    For some reason, my reaction was to lie about every question she asked me. I don’t know why I did this, but according to this girl I live in Boston, work in graphic design, and have a phobia of balloons. I also have a guinea pig named Coco who I knit sweaters for, and I only wear wool socks. Things got so out of hand. I didn’t want to buy anything, but I couldn’t leave unless I did. I felt too guilty because we had been talking all this time, even though I didn’t want to be talking to her in first place. She showed me some hats, and even tried them on for me. I picked two thinking it would be the cheapest option, and left paying $145!!! FOR TWO FUCKING HATS!! I can’t believe I got peer pressured by a child to buy an $80 leopard print hat!?

    By this point I was about ready to have an aneurism. I decided grab some dinner for my mom and Munch, and go home. Yet the restaurant I ordered from had a wait of 20 minutes to get our food. Wait… did I mention that my phone was dead by this point?? Well it was!! I couldn’t just sit somewhere no phone to stare at and entertain me. THAT WOULD BE FUCKING INSANE!!

    I went back to the street, but everywhere I looked there were shops! I went into one jewelry store hoping I wouldn’t be noticed. Everything was insanely expensive and I was spotted within seconds. “How can I help you?” The expectations of the sales clerks were too much! I felt like I was disappointing them just by being there. It was as if I was the tap dancing son of a football coach in the South. I had to run out of there and hyperventilate against a wall. Why did they keep saying “hi” to me!! What do you want from me?!! Can’t you just leave me alone to look at stuff I will never buy?

    I still had 18 minutes to kill, so I decided to stand outside of restaurants and read their menus. This may have been slightly strange for the diners in the windows, but at least I didn’t have to converse with them, or pay for their rigatoni.

    (Here is sparkle eyes Munch… and the top picture is me and that stupid fucking hat)

    boston-blog-(i) boston-blog-(i2)

  • Why Do People Smoke Weed?

    I used to smoke a lot of pot. When I think about how much money I spent on 1/8ths of weed, I could have easily bought a car. Not like a lotus or anything, but definitely a 2003 Toyota Camry. When I lived in New York City I would call a delivery service that would come to my house – always 2 hours late. The coke guy was there in 15 minutes and sweating profusely, but the marijuana guy would most likely get around to coming between 2-7. This could have been considered annoying if I wasn’t already on the couch playing video games, or watching documentaries about animals communicating telepathically.

    I would then pick out a type of weed from a variety of strands. They had absurd names like “sticky laughy taffy,” “total chronic meltdown” or “paranoid punk rock absolute ganja package.” As far as I knew they were all the same shit, but having the choice made me feel a connoisseur. Ahhh yes sir, I will take the “fuck my mind and erase my face,” today. I would then smell it like a fine wine, and give the nod that I was pleased with my informed decision. “I think this will go great with the cheese sandwich I will be eating in 40 minutes.”

    My boyfriend and I would always befriend our weed delivery guys, not out of obligation, but more because we never left our apartment. We were pretty much starving for human contact. We would often offer the guy a bong hit, which he rarely refused. We would get high, laugh for a bit, but then feel increasingly uncomfortable as we thought too much about how everything is actually nothing. There would be a silence that lasted either 3 minutes or 2 hours (it was hard to tell) – yet would eventually get interrupted by the sound of the weed guy’s pager. He would slowly gather his things while mumbling about how he has to hurry to get to the next client, but we all know his real agenda was to get a slice of pizza and stare at a wall.

    Our next plan of action was to deal the relentless munchies that were upon us. Of course there was the option to go outside and get food, but the thought of interacting with the reality we just smoked away was way too much pressure. I would call the bodega that was ½ a block away, and the lady who owned “Sunny and Annie’s” would always recognize my voice. Every time she answered my “hello” with “yes 190 East 7th street apartment 701 – what kind of cereal you want?”

    I smoked consistently for a decade of my life and never really questioned “why?” Part of my rational was that it helped me sleep at night. I had been an insomniac since childhood, and the weed did assist me in passing the fuck out in front of the TV. Yet that wasn’t the sole reason. Of course weed can be fun, provide an interesting perspective, and provoke insight… but it can also make you lethargic, suspicious, and introverted. There was something profound that I was holding onto beyond “self-medicating” but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. The classic analysis was that I was running from something, or trying to avoid dealing with existence, but it felt deeper than that. It was giving me something that I needed, even though it was also taking away things I required.

    I stopped smoking pot 6 years ago. I had been trying to quit for 2 years prior (because of my brain tumor), but couldn’t fully commit to abstaining. Then there was one fateful day when I was forced to realize that I had indeed smoked enough. I was at my friend’s house, and she offered me a bong hit. It had been quite some time since I had one of those, yet I went for it anyway because that is how I role. About five minutes later, I was lying on her floor having a full-fledged anxiety attack. I had no idea who I was, or what being “Toni” even meant. I couldn’t remember how to think, what thinking even was, or how on earth I had ever been comfortable thinking at all. I was losing it and started to shake uncontrollably because I was so cold.

    My friend brought me to her bedroom and had my lie down in there. Partly because she was concerned, and partly because she wanted to watch a movie and my moaning was too distracting. I kept shaking and complaining about being freezing. She put two more blankets on me including a heated electric one. I finally relaxed and fell asleep.

    I woke up about an hour later and had some harsh realizations. I had to say to myself “Okay Toni… it is 3:00 in the afternoon and 75 degrees out – but you are under 7 comforters and had to be put to bed like a baby because you got too high.” My friend gave me some apple crisp (which was the best thing I ever tasted) and I decided that maybe it was time to finally call it quits.

    I can’t say I haven’t missed it. I have. But I have been too afraid to smoke because I really didn’t want to bug the fuck out. Yet when I was dealing with all my back pain, a kind friend gave me a weed tincture to deal with the suffering. I was super nervous about giving it a try, but also desperate for some relief. None of my hippy doctors had prescription capabilities to give me the high-grade narcotics I was begging for. I took a tiny sip of the tincture and waited. Was I going to see Jesus? Was I going to lose my mind? I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

    Because I took such a micro dose, I didn’t get high… but I did have an epiphany about why people (me) smoke pot. Weed is a plant. It has a personality. An essence. Maybe even a soul. Wait… stay with me now. When you smoke her, it is like inviting someone into your brain to keep you company. She is someone to have a conversation with inside your consciousness. Weed becomes a friend within your own mind who averts you from being alone with your thoughts. She is the antidote for the feeling of solitude that we are born alone and we die alone. She is there with you.

    Maybe you are thinking, “it sounds like you actually did get high as fuck Toni” but whatever. Anyway, I have to run and eat some ice cream on toast.

    (Here is a montage of pictures where I am as high as fuck…)

    why-peeps-smoke-weed-blog-(i)

    October 28, 2014 • Health, Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 531

  • I Know Why Skinny Is Beautiful

    The most popular new fashion line for teenage girls is a brand called Brandy Mellville, where the clothes only come in sizes 0-2. What? That is like doll clothes?! Needless to say, wearing these ultra skinny jeans to show off your thigh chasm, has a certain cache. To be cool in today’s high schools you not only need to shop in the right places, but also have the right body to fit into the right clothes – that body being a size fucking ZERO. So basically, if you are not Casper the Ghost, you might as well lock your self in your closet and starve until you are.

    UMMMMMM I AM SO GLAD I GREW UP IN THE 90’s!! You know what was cool when I was in high school? I will tell you – clothes that were wayyyyy too big and hid our bodies. It started with the “grunge” chapter where we wore corduroy pants, plaids tied around our waists, and T-shirts with band names on them. Then it was the “Hip Hop” look that consisted of baggy jeans, hoodies, and Adidas kicks. After that was the “rave” phase where the pants were so ridiculously huge that your entire body could fit in one leg. Maybe you would pair those with a “baby doll” T-shirt. That was as sexy as we got… a T-shirt that was sort of tight and didn’t hang down to our knees. Even though my mom HATED my clothes and would beg me to wear something that was actually my size, I am sure she would have preferred that to my only eating cucumber seeds in order to fit into Brandy Mellville.

    In a way this stupid store is a blessing. The messaging is so in your face it is almost comical. It is the physical manifestation of what is happening in society, and the generation we are breeding to fit into it. The definition of stylish for today’s teens is revealing, tight, and skinny. Yet we can’t blame these girls for revering a body type that is so thin you don’t have to open doors to walk through them. They are a product of today’s culture where the standard of beauty is digital. We don’t even look at models any more, but photo-shopped shadows that were once women.

    BUT GUESS FUCKING WHAT WORLD! I think I know what is happening with the incredible shrinking women of today’s world. It has to do with feminism, power, and influence.

    Much like the tides of the ocean and our monthly moon flow, feminism came in waves. The 1st wave was conceived so women could get the right to vote, and own property. In the sixties and seventies, the 2nd wave born to organize the women’s liberation movement which primarily focused on social equality. We are currently experiencing the post partum 3rd wave of feminism (or the 4th moderately heavy flow in some circles), which is being met by much emotional angst and psychic clotting. Ladies are relentlessly demanding equality and the reimagining of gender roles, but many are still resisting this plight, as they believe it is cramping their style.

    Let me tell you a secret. Do you know what coincided with these waves of feminism?? Women in advertising getting skinnier!!!! Who was the top model during the height of the women’s liberation movement? TWIGGY! A girl who was so thin, her limbs were like the twigs of trees. Not the branches mind you… but the teeny tiny twig parts. During this present-day 3rd wave of feminism advertising is using women so slender that actual humans can’t live up to the ideal – so we just draw stick figures with the computer, and that is considered the standard. There is a direct correlation with women gaining power within society, and the media promoting a body type that is physically weak. The more women become stronger mentally within the systems that control the world, the more we want them to look like they are so feeble that their toothpick extremities couldn’t pick up a toothpick.

    Now I know that everyone has a different body type. Some women are naturally thin. I am one of those women. I am 5’10” – so I am stretched out more. I have the “body type” of a model. In fact, I was approached over 4 different times in my teenage and early adult years to be one. When I was 16, I tried to take it seriously but here was the main problem. I also played sports, so was told my arms were too muscly. My agent asked me to stop doing so many things that involved my arms moving, so I could maintain a more willowy frame. With muscles I could be a “fitness” model (where there was less work and you got paid less) but not a “fashion” model (where the real money was).

    In order for my naturally slim body to marketable, I was asked to be more sedentary and eat less. Even though I was svelte, I was also told I could be a little more so if I really wanted to work. Nothing major – just lose 10 to 15 pounds. PS… I weighed 128. If I could be a little less strong, and a little less attached to consuming meals, I could make way more money. But I was 16! Dieting was hard because I was attached to feeling full, which I guess is so pathetically human of me. I tried to shed the excess pounds, but I didn’t like how frail I felt. I tried to brainstorm what could keep me obscenely skinny but still give me energy and finally came up with the perfect solution – but my mom didn’t let me do cocaine. WHAT A SQAURE!

    My point is, if my genetically slight frame wasn’t good enough to be a commodity, the only way to make it so was to deprive it. It is not natural to be obscenely skinny, you have to make a  conscious effort to achieve that goal.  The intensity of how stressed you are about consumption may vary from person to person, but models are trying to stay that thin.  It isn’t just about eating healthy,or avoiding desserts – the mentality is to keep up with the expectations society has placed on you.  I think it is pretty obvious that the pressure to stay thin is more prevalent then those with the ultimate ectomorph physique.  It is not like these girls are brimming with vitality.  Even when they are jumping through the air, with their hair blowing in the wind, it looks like someone through chicken bones out a window.  The greater the will power to starve, the less threatening you are to society. BECAUSE YOU ARE DISTRACTED, TIRED AND HUNGRY… rather than, focused, healthy, and determined.

    Yet here is the thing about modern food. It is filled with chemicals, partially hydrogenated oils, salt, sugar, and preservatives. The reason why Americans are so fat is not because they are lazy, it is because they are eating food that the body cannot process correctly and provides little nourishment. People who eat processed foods will lack the energy to exercise because their body is essentially starving for nutrients even as it grows in girth.

    So here lies this perfect trifecta of oppression. The more women empower themselves socially, the more they are expected to vanish physically. In order to achieve this preposterous paradigm, women have to obsess about counting calories of mass-produced poison pretending to be food. It is really hard to have the perfect body when you are dealing with contamination in the food sources. If we all had access to regular organic whole foods like they did in the turn of the century, and led more naturally active lives, we wouldn’t be struggling with weight gain in the same capacity. Yet instead we live deskbound existences attached to technology while scarfing down manufactured munchies as we ironically stare at artificial images of flawless physiques.

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    October 22, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 664

  • A Distraction From Life

    You know what blows? When you are really excited for something to happen, and it doesn’t go down the way you had planned. It is like experiencing emotional blue balls. You just want to release your joy all over the back of existence, but then some metaphoric knock pounds down the door to cock-block your bliss.

    Disappointment is probably the most dissatisfying emotion. At least if you are angry or sad there is some spice too it. You can punch walls, or weep until your eyes look like Bill Clinton’s. Yet when you are disappointed all you do is turn yourself inside out like dyslexic calzone – oozing cheesy self-pity all over the place, but too despondent to spread the sauce of your agony. There is a pathetic flavor to disappointment. You are inherently admitting anticipation that was squelched like a weed in a soybean farm sprayed with pesticides. There is nothing cool about being let down, because it shows you cared in the first place.

    Over the weekend I was going to host a dance retreat so some friends and I could spend our days dancing our asses off. Not in a twerking kind of way where we bounced our asses until they created so much friction they combusted, but in a sweet way. I like having women’s weekends where we eat copious amounts of kale, drink an absurd amount of tea, and talk incessantly about how we don’t need men – because if we discuss them constantly that means we totally aren’t thinking about them am I right?

    The first night I led a yoga class where we explored our 2nd Chakra. You know how bitches are all about opening up their hips and shit. That evening, while washing homemade hummus off the dishes, I told my friend I was going to bail on the morning Kundalini yoga adventure.

    My friend Sarah: NO! You have to go. That is part of the whole plan.
    Toni: I don’t know… it is just so early. I will just meet you guys back here when yo are done.
    My friend Sarah: Dude… it is one morning. We are all giving and we are all sharing our talents. Don’t be a wimp.

    So I womanned up and went to the class. The thing about Kundalini yoga, is that it is all about moving energy and going into the crevices of the body to address core issues. It is more intense than other kinds of Yoga, which is why it is both amazing and terrifying. Not everyday you are psychically prepared to look your inner demons in the face and have a conversation about your damaged childhood.

    I am pretty sure that on this Saturday morning, I just wasn’t in the mental state to get to the bottom of my self-loathing and inner rage. We did all these positons and exercises that felt equally freeing and constricting. As soon as we left the class and I got into my car, I knew my back was totally screwed up. I was like “FUCK! Who am I kidding? I am white! I am not supposed to face my emotions, but repress them deep inside my body until I eventually die of a heart attack. That is the American way!”

    We got back to my house and I tried to do the ballet class – but I could hardly move. I forced myself to continue through the crippling pain for 30-minutes because that is what New England people do, but then I had to lay down and admit defeat. I had fucked my shit up hard core. I could feel it in my back and my hips – if I was a rapper this could have been a pretty sweet Hip Hop song.

    I tried to stretch to release the spasms, but it wasn’t working. I fell down the staircase of frustration because I knew that my dance retreat was ruined. There was no way I was going to have spontaneous recovery and pirouette my way out of this. All my excitement about the weekend was transformed into feeling very very very sorry for myself.

    One of my friends is OF COURSE a hippy healer girl, so she came over to do some voodoo on me.

    Hippy Healer Friend: I am getting a message that part of your pain has to do with your daughter. Not sure exactly what, but that is the information I am receiving. Maybe some issues of violence?

    Ummmm…. WHAT THE DICK!? The last thing I wanted was some peaceful yoga hippy girl to think I was beating my child or something!!?

    Toni: Ummmm violence?
    Hippy Healer Friend: Well it doesn’t have to be literal violence. It could be emotional. Or spiritual. Anyway… don’t get attached to any of this. Just something to think about.
    Toni: Uhhhh yeah okay…

    Not sure if you have ever tried to peacefully receive a healing while at the same time stressing out about what your healer thought of you. But let me tell you… it is NOT as relaxing as it sounds.

    I tried to think about why those were the messages this serene chick was getting about me. It just seemed so extreme?! I mean, I guess I had admitted to her the night before how I let The Munch eat ice cream for breakfast. I some how rationalized this because she also had green beans. The Hippy Healer girl also witnessed The Munch watching Snow White. Maybe in her pristine child-raising world where her daughter thinks raisins are candy and screen time refers to some mediation practice, exposing my child to Disney and vanilla flavored sugar was a type of violence?? Maybe Munch also casually mentioned how we eat meat too! BUT IT IS ORGANIC FLESH FROM A LOCAL FARM OKAY!!???

    I wasn’t exactly sure that my pain had to do with The Munch, and was more convinced it was my philosophic quandary regarding the futility of existence. This relentless knowing that no matter what life path I choose, it will be fraught with bullshit and the same patterns of consciousness that oppress me today. How regardless of my efforts, I will continually make the same mistakes while I swirl in a spiral of mediocrity. Come to think of it, I would much rather contemplate my relationship to The Munch than that shit!

    So I thought about my child, and how so often she can feel like a distraction from life. Yet in truth, she is not distracting me from my life. The Munch is my life. Maybe The Munch thinks I am not showing her that enough?? Perhaps she feels that our time spent together, I am too distracted from all my blaming her for being the distraction.

    I felt sad. Even though I can’t live my life where every second of everyday is devoted to my child, I still want her to feel valued. I decided we had to have a discussion about this so I could get to the bottom of my back pain … ummm I mean, be a good mother to my kid and figure out how she was feeling.

    Toni: Munch, you know how Mamma’s back hurts?
    The Munch: Yeah….
    Toni: Well, my friend says it is not physical. She says my spine feels aligned. She thinks it is an energetic block from something emotional.
    The Munch: What is emotional?
    Toni: Like my feelings? She thinks my back hurts because of my feelings. She told me it has something to do with our relationship. What do you think about that?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe your back hurts because you dance too much. Maybe you should stop dancing because it is so boring for me.
    Toni: Ummm well I love dancing so that is not going to happen. But what do you think about our relationship. Do you think I am a good Mamma to you?
    The Munch: Well sometimes. You always say “no” to me when I want more chocolate.
    Toni: Okay “more” chocolate… fine. But I have to do that. Seriously. Are there things you want me to do different? Is there ways I could be a better Mamma to you?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe we just have to take care of each other more.
    Toni: Okay. That sounds like a plan.

    The next day, because I was hurt, I couldn’t do anything but relax. As a result, The Munch and I ended up spending 7-hours playing together with ZERO interruptions. We didn’t even leave the room we were in. I didn’t touch my phone. We just hung out – and rationed out a banana with peanut butter to survive. It was like we were in a vortex. Usually some thing breaks up your day, like going on an errand, or having some sort of obligation to do. Yet we were in this black hole of togetherness that nothing could penetrate.

    Things got kind of weird at times, we laughed, we fought, and she pretended to be a baby as I swaddled her in a yoga blanket. But it was amazing to just be present with her. I am not sure we have been like that since she was first born and I was high on all the new mom hormones. So even though it sucked my back hurt and I couldn’t dance for my retreat, it created the space for this memorable moment with the most important person in my life.

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  • How Can I Get Out Of Being Around You?

    Most of adult life is spent getting out of plans with people. We say “yes” to something we feel obliged to do, yet when the time comes to actually follow through… we don’t want to anymore. But rather than say, “hey man, forget it. I am not into it anymore. I decided to stay home and eat a ball of buffalo mozzarella in front of my computer” we come up with some fabricated event that is beyond our control.

    Bailing on a commitment has to be accomplished with a certain amount of finesse. You cannot give the same excuse twice, and you must make sure that whatever you say borders between totally reasonable and completely insane. No one is going to tell you that your grandmother isn’t in the hospital because she choked on a gerbil. It could have happened, right? Somewhere in the world, at one point, that has taken place. The key is to make your explanation not only outlandish, but also tragic enough whereas to doubt the validity of your story would make the other person look like the asshole. The prevailing reaction to your fib must be “who would lie about Nana deep-throating a gerbil?!

    That is the beauty of adult relationships… the freedom to flake at any moment. Even if you are out with someone, you can bail on them if they were annoying the fuck out of you. You could easily pretend to get a text message saying you have to leave because a wolverine bit your Uncle Bam Bam. These things happen! Who would keep you from being at Bam Bam’s side while he bleeds to death?!

    Here is the thing that sucks about being a parent. You don’t always want to be around your kid, but it is not that simple to ditch them. I can’t be at a museum with The Munch and out of nowhere say “ummmm I am going to take off because I just got an email saying my dad gave birth to an acorn squash… so now he is a medical anomaly and I got to go be there for him.” The Munch would be like “yeah cool, well bring me with you because you are the person who keeps me alive and shit.”

    There are days when I don’t feel like catering to her needs, demands, and desires for candy. Yesterday, for example, I was in the middle of working but had to pick up Munch from school. I wanted finish what I was doing, yet if I was even 2 minutes late her teacher would be like “Come get your damn kid before I turn her into stew while singing a song about rabbits who like jumping through clouds.” (P.S preschool teachers sing while they do stuff). So I stopped everything, and got my child like a responsible parent.

    Even though I wasn’t in the mood to hang out with a four year old, I had no choice because she is my child and that’s just what was happening. I decided to take Munch to the park so I could stare off into the loneliness of space while she kept herself busy going down the slide. However, we stopped at the organic store to pick up some self-righteous and morally superior snacks. Rather than coming into the store with me, The Munch decided to freak the fuck out because her hair was in her face.

    Munch: My hair keeps getting in my face!
    Toni: Okay, wear this clippy. I can easily solve that problem.
    Munch: I don’t want to wear a clippy! They are too floppy and just flop around. I want a headband.
    Toni: Well, I don’t have a headband.
    Munch: I WANT A HEADBAND!!! WAHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAA!
    Toni: Dude! Relax… I don’t have a headband. Just wear this clippy and lets move on with our lives!
    Munch: I NEED A HEADBAND!! I WANT TO GO HOME AND GET A HEADBAND AND THEN COME BACK AND GET SNACKS AND THEN GO TO THE PARK!
    Toni: Ummm there is no way that is happening. Home is 20 minutes away. If we go home, we are not coming back. It is a beautiful day. Why don’t we go play and enjoy existence by emotionally avoiding it.
    Munch: I WANT A HEADBAND!! WAHHHHAHHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHA!!
    Toni: UGGGGGGGHHHH.

    I didn’t have it in me to fight about a headband, nor did I think Munch would buy it if I said I had to take off because I left the oven on. She knows I never use that thing. I was stuck with her, and her shitty mood about a shitty headband. So we drove to CVS to buy a stupid headband because that is exactly what we need in the house – MORE HEADBANDS. 36 just isn’t enough.

    We then went back to the organic store, grabbed some heightened sense of self-worth, and finally got to the park. Once we are there, The Munch decided she didn’t like the grilled cheese sandwich on the gluten-free substance-free wrap I got her.

    Munch: I don’t like it. It is too cheesy!
    Toni: What do you mean you don’t like it? You said that is what you wanted.
    Munch: Well I don’t want it now. It is too cheesy.
    Toni: Do you want me to take some of the cheese out?
    Munch: But that is all there is? The rest is just air.
    Toni: Whatever fine. Don’t eat it then. Have some kale chips or mango chia pods.

    The Munch went to play for a moment and I did what any normal person would do. I ate her grilled cheese. SHE SAID SHE DIDN’T WANT IT OKAY?

    Munch: Mamma, where is my grilled cheese sammich?
    Toni: I ate it.
    Munch: What?! I WANTED THAT!!! WHY DID YOU DO THAT??!!
    Toni: You said you didn’t want it!? I didn’t want it to go to waste. It was $89?! They harvested the cheese from a golden cow!
    Munch: WWAHHHAHHHAHAAAA! I WANT MY GRILLED CHEESE SAMMICH!
    Toni: You shouldn’t have said you didn’t want it!! I am really sorry, but I didn’t want it to go to waste!!

    If The Munch had been an adult, I would have just left. No excuse necessary. I could have just been like “you are insane, and I am out of here.” Yet this was not an option. I HAD TO HANG OUT WITH HER EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T WANT TO!

    Munch was furious at me. She stomped around and pouted about her sandwich while I tried to look like a good parent by checking my text messages. After about 5 minutes of this display, Munch decided to show me one of her amazing “tricks” – hanging on a monkey bar and then letting go to fall on the ground.

    Munch: Mamma look! Watch me!
    Toni: Great…

    As annoying as kids can be, they are also amazing at transitioning out of their crappy moods. Just like that,The Munch was as happy as a clam, which I assume is happy, even though clams seem really closed off to me. I followed her lead and we ended up having an amazing evening together. I guess that is the lesson I needed to learn. When you cancel on people or don’t show up, you never know the good time you might have missed.

    (Here is Munch about to discover her sammich has been eaten)
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  • Going Alone

    Going somewhere alone always feels semi daunting because I have to figure out how to impress people enough to make them want to talk to me. If have to go to a place where no one knows me, that means I somehow have to figure out a way to seduce people into wanting to get to know me! This is harder than you think considering my opening line is “what is your spirit animal?” I tend to instigate big talk rather than small, and not that many people respond well to my asking “what is your relationship with your mother like” four minutes after meeting.

    There is nothing more awkward then being with a bunch of people you don’t know while standing around with your thumb up your ass – come to think of it, that’s a bad habit I should probably break. That is the convenient thing about always having my kid around – when I don’t know anyone, I can hide behind my relationship with my child rather than looking like an outcast. See world, I am not alone praying someone will make me feel part of the group. I am just dealing with my kid’s needs to blow her nose, or cleaning up a wet fart. Children are the best distraction from social situations because I can seem really preoccupied even when I am not.

    Over the weekend my aunt was getting married, but my aunt is actually younger than me by 6 years! My dad’s father had a second marriage, as well as two daughters, who are my half aunts. I never got to meet my grandfather or his kids until I was 17 and finally met the oldest Juliana. Coincidently, she ended up at my school, and I would be like holy shit… that is my aunt! Juliana and I would always say “hi,” but we never got to know each other because she was freshman and I was a senior, and that would be just too crazy for school politics. Plus I was smoking a lot of pot at the time and watching very strange things on TV.

    Years later I met the younger sister Krissie because we were both living in New York, and found each other on Facebook. We became fast friends, and quickly realized how much we had in common. We loved to dance, we were both passionate about organic food, we looked similar, we had the same sense of humor and laughed when people tripped. We were family even though we had never had the chance to be that. I was so excited to get to know my aunts because even though they were technically in a different generation from me and my cousins, they were so many ways in which the Nagy girls were the same.

    Krissie’s wedding was a 6-hour drive from my house, so I ended up going by myself. When I was about fifteen minutes away from the final destination, I suddenly realized “holy fuck, I am not going to know one person at this wedding beyond Krissy and Juliana!!! How are they going to pay attention to me when Krissie is the bride and Juliana is the maid of honor! What about me!? Who is going to take care of me at this wedding?” Then I pulled over in a parking lot, put on my dress, squeezed into my tights, slapped on some makeup, and peed in the bushes because that is what big girls do.

    Once I got the ceremony site, I was immediately reminded that I really was alone. I stood there watching people talking to each other and debated what other orifice I could shove my thumb into when Krissie’s husband interrupted, and told me I could go inside and meet Krissie’s /Juliana’s mom. I gave my step-grandmother a hug, and she told me to go upstairs and hang with the bride because even at weddings I roll VIP. I was so grateful to have Krissie to talk to, but then she had to go get married so I was alone again. God… people can be so selfish.

    I couldn’t just spend the time looking at my phone as a social buffer acting like I had some really important messages coming in, because that would be insanely douchey. I had no choice but to stand there and pray someone would come pay attention to me. At one point I started talking to this couple, and the guy got a bug in his eye. He put sunglasses on to suffer in silence for a bit, but when he took them off, I could see the bug in the white of his eye! I was like “DUDE! There is a bug in your damn eyeball,” and he was all “I know get it out” and his girlfriend was like “Ew gross.” So I grabbed his face, and stuck my finger into his eye juice to slide the bug out. It was so disturbing that we laughed and laughed. I thought after this intimate moment meant we would be friends for life… family even… and I would be spending Thanksgiving with this lovely couple, but then they went to go get more hors d’oeuvres and totally forgot about me.

    But lucky for me, one of Krissie’s friends tucked my under her wing and introduced me to her all friends. Suddenly, I was part of a group of women who were these badass chicks from Red Hook Brooklyn. They sang in punk bands, made art, and wore funky clothes like purple fishnet tights. These ladies were my type of ladies. If we had been born 200 years earlier, we would have burnt at the stake or drowned with a wizard’s beard to prove we weren’t witches.

    Had I brought The Munch, or anyone with me for that matter, I wouldn’t have been as open to meeting new people. My desperate need to make friends helped facilitate the process because I was forced to put on my A game personality. Had I brought my kid, I probably would have spent the night talking to the other mom’s with young children about potty training and bedtimes. But because I was a lone wolf, I met these ladies who were ready to party and have fun. They were all done with their child rearing days so talked about grown up stuff – like astrology. When ever you go somewhere alone there is a risk that you will feel alone, and sometimes that happens. Yet if you don’t’ go and have adventures on your own they you will never find your self dancing the night away to old timey swing music with a bunch of sorceresses.

    (Here is me and my aunts and my new witchy women)
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    October 14, 2014 • Adventures, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting • Views: 222

  • YOU WILL BE A FUCKING STAR

    I never had any talents as a kid. Wait – let me reframe that. I never had any cultivated talents. I could do some pretty cool stuff, like an impression of a seagull being attacked, but there was not intentional effort to make me excellent at any one thing.

    I dabbled in some lessons. I took tennis in the summer, and piano during the school year. But I was never truly committed to anything besides shoving an entire package of Big League Chew in my mouth. So I obviously had ambition, albeit misdirected.

    I would like to think I had potential to be good at stuff; it just wasn’t a priority within my family dynamic to explore what my hidden gifts might be. Part of me thinks I would have been an amazing astrophysicist but I never went to math camp. Thanks a lot mom and dad! Now I will never understand the space-time continuum.

    It is not that my parents didn’t care about me; they just didn’t give a shit. But in a sweet way. They did however give me the tools to one day have the motivation and confidence to eventually figure out my own skills. Like how amazing I am at making sandwiches. Hint: it is all about the layering.

    It is not like I am going to overschedule my 4-year olds life, because they need time to play and develop their imagination. Plus I am not that interested in driving Munch around places – it is a waste of gas. Plus I am selfish. But she does take dance twice a week and gymnastics twice a week, and then we practice what she learned at home. But in a fun way!! Seriously it is fucking fun!!

    Do I sound crazy because I am not!!

    I am not going to make my kid take classes if she hates them, but I want to expose Munch to disciplines and see what she is most passionate about. I think gaining abilities by working hard is life affirming. Having a connection to your body, as well as an artistic outlet, is a crucial part of being human. The more opportunities you have to be creative, the more you will connect to the artist inside your soul who is waiting to come out like a gay theater student in high school.

    So far, The Munch is into dance and gymnastics, and is pretty damn good if I do say so. I mean, she is not a prodigy or anything, but she doesn’t suck. It is not that I have a complex or anything, but I sure as shit am going to make sure that The Munch is A FUCKING STAR!!!!!!! My kid will excel at everything if it kills me!! Just kidding…. But no, seriously she will.

    Check her out… KILLING IT in gymnastics!

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    October 8, 2014 • 4 years old, Education, Musings, Parenting • Views: 817

  • Power Tripping

    I think I would be a really bad dominatrix. I am sure I would look pretty decent in the getup because black latex is so slimming and all, but I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to humiliate someone. There is no part of me that gets off on making someone feel inferior because I get too overwhelmed with empathy. The whole time dominatrixing I would instead be like “hey, is your gag ball too tight?” or “should I whip you softer – it looks like your left butt cheek is really red.”

    Yet power and control are huge parts of relationships. You cannot avoid the fact that one person will always has a little more power over the other. Unless you are Ram Das and have a perfectly balanced bond, there will always be some element of a struggle. In romantic situations power directly contributes to romance, passion, and lust. These themes are unavoidable because they are so interconnected. Eventually the goal in any dynamic is to obliterate the power element and find true equality, but unless you are meditating every day in a cave for 40 years – good fucking luck accomplishing that. The question then becomes how do you handle power, and to what extent to you abuse it.

    In the parent-child relationship the complexity of power runs deep because of course as the adult, you have ALL the power over your young child. Yet to constantly exercise that will is not only oppressive, but also tyrannical. As your kid ages, they become increasingly aware of how power plays are played out. Children also have to deal with power clashes in relationships they have with other kids. Who gets to play with what toy, which kid is hitting, and who is forcing their will upon the rest? There is always some kid asserting their dominance, and those who are acquiescing to that aggression. So basically as soon as we start socializing with other humans, we are dealing with the subject to power.

    Okay… so this weekend, power became the theme of my Sunday morning. It began when Munch and I went to practice yoga in the barn next to my house. Now I know my child can be demanding, but she has been socialized to respect my time when I dance or do yoga. We have been doing this since she was a baby, and there are days where she will let me practice for 3-hours and play the entire time on her own. We have an understanding.

    Yet this fateful day, she had another agenda. It started with her INSISTING we listen to her music and not mine.

    Munch: Mom, can we listen to Iggy Azalea two times, and then we listen to your music.
    Toni: Ummmmm okay… but just two times.
    Munch: Okay. Let’s listen to “Fancy” and then “Bounce.”
    Toni: Fine. But then we listen to my music.
    Munch: I promise!

    We listened to her songs, but then Munch wouldn’t give me back my phone to play my music.

    Munch: Let’s listen to Iggy Azalea for two more times, and then The Spice Girls two times.

    Okay, so you want to know the least peaceful music to practice yoga to? Fucking Iggy Azalea and the Spice Girls that is who. But I was trying to be cool, so I let her listen to her songs…. but then things got out of hand. Munch wouldn’t give me back my phone, and she wouldn’t stop playing these fucking songs. Now of course I am stronger then my 4-year old and could have easily grabbed it out of her damn hand, but that would be a terrible example.

    Toni: Dude, you have to give me my phone. I am going to lose my mind if I have to keep listening to these songs over and over again. You had your turn, and now it is my turn.
    Munch: I don’t care what you say.

    Ummmmmmmmmm so when your precious little 4- year old baby looks you straight in your face and says something like that, pretty sure you want to drop kick them across the room.

    Toni: That is a very rude thing to say. I am not going to grab the phone out of your hand. But you are being very selfish right now. You are not he only person in the room. We got to listen to your music, and not it is Mamma’s turn to listen to her music. If you think what you are doing is right, then keep doing it. But I think you are acting very selfish.
    Munch: I don’t care.

    I really didn’t know what to do with that logic.

    Here was the other problem I faced. My kid is also very extremely proficient with technology. She knows how to use the iPhone. She knows how to set up the blue tooth to the speakers. And she also knows how to control the volume. Even when I would try to turn it down, or disconnect the phone from the room speakers, Munch would just reconnect them, and turn it the fuck back up.

    Let’s keep in mind I was trying to practice yoga and be all one with the cosmos and shit, so getting angry felt hypocritical. I was kept trying to appeal to Munch’s rational spirit body, yet it wasn’t working because she kept responding that she didn’t care what I said. So in the ethos maintaining some semblance of patience, I decided to ignore Munch and keep practicing – as the charming lyrics “I’ve been up all night, trying to get that rich. I’ve been work, work, work, work, working on my shit” melted into my psyche.

    Munch noticed that I wasn’t fighting her on the music anymore, so she then started physically harassing me. She would crawl underneath my downward dog and stare me in the face and be like “Mamma, I am going to turn it up okay?” Or she would get underneath my warrior two and push my thigh to try and tip me over. It was relentless. The more I tried to keep my Zen, the more creative she got with trying to destroy me.

    Toni: You know what? I have had enough. Not only are you being really selfish about he music, but you are not respecting my body. You need to go in the house.
    Munch: NO! I want to stay with you.
    Toni: Listen, there is no way you are staying with me right now. You need go in the house and I will come find you when I am done.
    Munch: Well then I want to watch something.
    Toni: You are out of your mind if you think that is going to happen. Now go in the house. I can’t be around this energy. It is too disrespectful, and I have had my limit.
    Munch: FINE! I am going in the house and I AM NEVER GOING TO LOVE YOU AGAIN!

    Munch stormed off and went in the house as I tried to find a place of peace within my own soul. I really didn’t get what was going on. I had never encountered this kind of problem before with her, and was getting super depressed. It wasn’t just about the music (although just so you know, if you ever want to torture someone, play the Spice Girls 6 times in a row) but the intention she had of being inconsiderate. I am not being paranoid or overly sensitive. She was trying to fuck with me!

    About ten minutes later, Munch came back into the barn.

    Munch: Mamma, you really hurt my feelings.
    Toni: Well Munch, you also really hurt my feelings.
    Munch: I know.
    Toni: What was going on with you?
    Munch: Sometimes my friend Maya is mean to me, so I wanted to act like her.
    Toni: So you wanted to act mean to me to see what if felt like?
    Munch: Yeah.
    Toni: Well did it feel good to act mean?
    Munch: No. It felt really bad.
    Toni: Do you know what people sometimes act mean?
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: I think people can be mean sometimes because it makes them think they are powerful.
    Munch: And people want to be powerful?
    Toni: Sometimes yes. But I don’t think that is what real power is. Do you?
    Munch: No I don’t. But what is real power?
    Toni: I think real power is making someone laugh. Or making someone feel good about themselves. Or making someone feel loved.
    Munch: I am really sorry Mamma.
    Toni: I am sorry too.

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  • Taking “No” For an Answer

    I do not take “no” for an answer. If I am trying to get a something done and people say “no” to me – I try a variety of different avenues. I keep insisting, literally and figuratively, until they say yes. It has been my common practice to push a “no” as much as I can until I get the answer I am looking for. GOOD THING I AM NOT A GUY!

    I think this tenacious way of being is rooted in the fact that once I set my mind to something, I want to see it through. When I have an idea, I believe in it fully and will pursue every angle possible to make my vision a reality – even if it is obtuse. If I took every “no” at face value, I wouldn’t be where I am today… alone, at my computer, wearing socks for gloves, and writing to you.

    There is also a cultural aspect at play. I have Hungarian blood, and they are very pushy people. The Hungarian way is to offer something 7 or 8 times before accepting a “no.” Even when I am trying to be polite, I will NEVER accept the first “no.” Let’s say if I offered you a piece of gum and you responded “no thank you.” I would then say “are you sure?” and you would be like, “yes I am,” then I would be all “not even to keep for later?” and then would be like “yeah I am fine,” and then I will be all “just take one for your pocket – you will want it at some point,” at which point you will acquiesce just so I stop asking. IT IS THE HUNGARIAN WAY!

    I have a very fluid understanding of what “no” means. I don’t think it is a definitive answer – I just think it means you have to work harder for a yes. HOLY CRAP I AM SO GLAD I AM A GIRL.

    Ready for the irony!!?? MY KID NEVER ACCEPTS NO FOR AN ANSWER EITHER!!? Of course I totally expect her to, and remain painful sour when she defies me. When you have a child, you want them to do everything you say not because it is best for the personality, but because it is easiest for you. The kid I want is not necessarily the adult I want Munch to be. I like the part of me that is persistent. I respect that quality in myself because it means I am dedicated. Yet it is driving me bat shit crazy in my kid.

    Ultimately, I don’t want my daughter to be a push over who fears challenging people. Those who avoid dissent end up being complicit to injustices they know may be wrong, but don’t know how to confront because they lack the confidence o stand up for what they believe in. I am not an advocate in ultimate authority. When you don’t question what you are told, you may easily become an unconscious follower – disconnected from your own value system.

    I think there is great danger in forcing people to do as they are told, which is articulated time and time again in a variety of arenas. Think of war torn areas where soldiers kill innocent civilians because of protocol. Or within the prison system where correctional officers all but torture inmates because they are following the status quo of prevailing dynamics. Obeying orders is not necessarily the right thing to do. People are easily corrupted by power, and one should never blindly trust commands.

    I want The Munch to mentally dissect what she is told, and make sure her actions are aligned with her moral compass… but when she is older. Can’t she just do every thing I fucking say for now?

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