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  • The Universe Hates Me

    “At first I was like, sooooo not sure if I should take a job as a Barista when looking at the sign that read, ‘Barista’s wanted.’ But then I was like, wait, that sign is totally a sign from the universe!”
    –Girl in Front of Me While In Line For A Smoothie.

    Have you ever heard a girl talking about signs from the universe and think that it’s a sign from the universe? Do you find yourself desperately seeking guidance from some unknown force, pushing you towards making the decision if Pat is “the one” even though Pat doesn’t give oral with vigor? Are you currently wondering if you should move, and then notice a robin outside your window and think, “wow, in 8th grade I had a friend named Robin whose family moved because her house got infested by termites – so yeah, I absolutely should move and start eating wood.”

    SO DO I!!!

    I like to think the universe is talking to me. It’s comforting. The thought of a conducting cosmos makes me feel like all the dumb decisions I’ve made are sensible. Like that time I went out dancing and staggered out of the club super drunk without my shoes on, took a picture with a cop, peed publically, then jumped into a passing convertible with my friend because we had no shoes on and couldn’t walk home – that would be crazy. Our feet would get dirty. So we got a ride home from a strange man, and as I was thanking him for not raping us, I drunkenly fell out of his car almost smashing my nose on the pavement when I saw a penny on the street – heads up mind you. IT WAS A SIGN that I was lucky!

    I do this constantly. I want to believe that there is an energy, or higher power, directing me through life. Despite my quasi-agnostic worldview, it is that draw that makes me understand the appeal of religion.

    Even though I was raised catholic, I’ve never believed in an organized religious system. As a very young child I questioned what I was being told at church, and struggled with “belief.” My dad was a professor and scholar of Greek Mythology, so I had always been interested in those stories because of him. Because of my personal exposure to the gods of ancient Greece, I didn’t think it was fair that the Catholic Church called their beliefs true, but the Greek religion of the past was considered, and universally accepted, as “myth.” I guess I was a very egalitarian 8-year old?

    I was also terrified of the concept of eternity. I didn’t want to be in heaven or hell for the REST OF TIME! That terrified me. I thought I would get bored in either place. The idea of forever kept me up at night – hence my childhood insomnia.

    Yet my grandmother, who I spent a lot of time with growing up, was very religious. She would say things like, “pray for me that I will die soon so I can be with Jesus.” Okay… but do you mind if I do that after the weekend? I kind of need you until my parents pick me up on Sunday. I’m six.

    My grandmother would take my brother and me to Church not only on Sundays, but also Saturdays. Which for a kid in the 80’s who really liked cartoons, was a real kick in the pants. But I loved my grandmother deeply, even though her idea of a good time was watching the movie Jesus of Nazareth. If you’ve never seen that gem of a film, not only is there plenty of Jesus-torturing happening, but also a scene where King Herod kills all the baby boys within a 100 mile radius in an attempt to stop the coming messiah. Believe you me, there is nothing like a good baby-killing scene to make a kid cry.

    So my childhood was fraught with a lot of church going, praying, and trying to reconcile the image of infants being mass-murdered. My parents also dutifully brought me to Church to appease my grandmother, and it wasn’t until I was 13 when I realized that my dad was only bringing me because he wanted to make his mother happy. It was then we agreed I was old enough to not only make my own choices regarding my spiritual beliefs, but also to start lying to my Grandmother that I still went to church.

    Even though I never found myself believing in the bible, I am grateful for my time at church because it was a space where I had to just sit there and think about mortality and the concept of God. I believe it was in the church that I created a relationship to my idea of God, which admittedly is much more abstract than a dude who has a son that wears a Coachella styled head band of thorns, which, although trendy, is just not that practical. Yet I realize that my obsession with “the universe” protecting me is much like the personification of God.

    Thinking the universe gives a shit about me maybe is totally absurd? Plus now we supposedly live in a multiverse so which universe am I even talking about?

    However the alternative – to think that no universe cares if I get a book deal or not – sounds super depressing! I enjoy the idea that the universe has a path for me, and I just have to see the signs to know if I’m on the right one. I want to think that noticing a cardinal in a tree wink at me is as a sign from the universe telling me that one day the Farrelly brothers will make my script into a movie. AND DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME IT’S NOT!

    Yet…. My belief system is getting slightly challenged right now. Mainly because there have been A LOT OF BAD SIGNS!

    For one, the other day a nest of birds that had been in my chimney must have come apart, and 3 baby birds fell down the shaft and into my fireplace. (Hehe shaft.) Anyway, I called animal rescue thinking that they would come and save these birds… or I don’t know… give a shit at all. They told me to put the birds in a basket and bring them back up to the roof. However, my roof is at an angle of 80 degrees, and without rock climbing equipment, it’s impossible to get up there. So I called back.

    Toni: I picked up the birds with gloves and put them in a basket with grass on the bottom – but I can’t get up on my roof.
    Wild Life Protection Lady: Okay then put them outside.
    Toni: But what if their mom can’t find them?
    Wild Life Protection Lady: From the picture you sent they are fledglings and will figure it out.
    Toni: But it’s raining out there? Is there anything else I can do?
    Wild Life Protection Lady: Just put them outside.
    Toni: And then what?
    Wild Life Protection Lady: Nothing.

    I put them outside and prayed for their mom to come. I tried to keep them covered from the rain. I went to work to teach my dance classes and when I came back they were all dead.

    THEN…

    Last night I went up to my room to sleep, and as customary before I get into bed, I first did a meditation in my meditation corner. The lights in my room were off because I was trying to calm my brain and prepare my body for sleep. After all, I still am an insomniac thinking about forever of course. When my alarm went off I opened my eyes from the meditation, and picked up my phone to shut off the timer. During that process, I saw something. Right in front of my mediation pillow was a dead chipmunk that my cat had brought in – without a head.

    I wanted to scream, but I am a grown-up, so instead I squealed in horror. I went downstairs to get a broom and a dustpan, and tried to pull myself together. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. What was the universe trying to tell me?!

    I said to myself while drudgingly walking back up the stairs to my room, “Well, at least I didn’t step on the dead chipmunk. That would have been horrible. I can at least have gratitude for not stepping on it. Maybe that is the lesson of the universe? That even when horrible things happen, they could be worse so I should always have gratitude?”

    I mustered up all my bravery and swept the headless body into the dustpan. I didn’t want to turn on the light, because I wanted to see as a little as possible, so I was using my phone flashlight. I descended the stairs, and brought the carcass outside.

    At least it was over right? At least I didn’t step on it, right?

    With the lights still off I entered my still dark room and that’s when I felt it. I stepped on something cold and wet. I knew what it was even before looking. The half eaten face of the chipmunk.

    This time I fucking screamed.

    I ran to the bathroom to wash my foot. Now I was freaking the fuck out, especially because I had stepped on it with just the right amount of pressure so that the face was stuck to my foot. The water pressure alone wouldn’t release it, and I had to use my hands to scrape off what I think was its tongue. I then had to get toilet paper, go back into my room that for whatever reason I was still keeping dark, and use my flashlight to pick up pieces of chewed up face and brain.

    After about ten minutes of that, and a lot of dry heaving, I went back into my room with my flashlight and started walking towards my bed. But you guessed it. I stepped on yet another wet mash. This time it was on my decorative rug – which was why in my cleaning process I hadn’t seen the thrown up chipmunk neck that my cat had vomited.

    I didn’t squeal. I didn’t scream. I cried.

    I then washed what I’m pretty sure was a chipmunk esophagus off my foot, went back downstairs, got cleaner, and then went back upstairs to clean up the regurgitated chipmunk throat.

    At that point I had been cleaning up this massacre for 30 minutes. I collapsed into bed shaking in horror. But at least I fell asleep!

    Then this morning as I was still recovering, I was making the Munch breakfast when she called to me.

    Munch: Mama there is something disgusting in my playroom.

    Thinking it had to be more chipmunk debris I gathered my wits and entered the room. You’d be happy to hear it wasn’t the chipmunk at all, but instead the face of a mouse. Not it’s head or body, just the face. So now I have the task of finding the rest of it to look forward to for the rest of my day.

    WHAT DO THESE SIGNS MEAN?? Pretty sure the universe is not telling me I’m going to get that TV deal – but actually that the universe just fucking hates me.

    Nothing to see here… just the universe shining its rays of hate upon me

  • Just Another Childhood Trauma

    Sometimes I like to sit around and think about how my parents totally fucked me up. I just find it relaxing.

    You know, on those cold fall days where I’m questioning my existence and wondering if my life is simply a series of failures – I quickly shift my focus to how my mom and dad made me the nut case that I am today. See… it’s all their fault.

    My dad has a thing with death. It makes him REALLY uncomfortable. Probably from being raised Catholic. He just can’t deal with the thought of death because it is too painful. Perhaps it makes him think of the existential quandary of heaven and hell, and that we’re all going down because we’ve masturbated? I don’t know! I’m not in my dad’s head okay! (At least not any more… I only shot through there super fast on my way out of his balls). I digress!

    So when I was about 8, my Dad and I went to our country house and came across 15 baby mice corpses. Now you can’t just leave carrion in your house – because the bodies will rot and begin to smell. My mom would NOT approve of decaying flesh polluting her home. We HAD to dispose of them. At least one of us did.

    Sure my dad was the adult, and I was the child. One would assume he would swallow his fear, and deal with the DEAD BABY MICE rather than making his 8-year-old daughter do it. But you see – he didn’t want to pick up the small pink carcasses. Instead, my dad told me he would pay $20 for everyone I got rid of.

    Now I am not saying I sold my innocence that day, but I am saying I bought a lot of She-Ra dolls after that weekend.

    Because my dad was so traumatized by the idea of death, he never wanted me to have animals. Not because he didn’t like them, but he liked them too much! When I wanted to get a dog I had to leave a puddle of tears in my Dad’s office to convince him. He just stared at the wetness on his floor and finally acquiesced.

    Once I had my dog Fiona, I wanted to get another pet. I loved pets! They were my friends!! So I got a hamster! Yayyyy! More furry things to love!!!!

    But one night while I was sleeping in my bed, I heard all this commotion underneath me. I turned on the light and realized my hamster had somehow gotten out of the cage. I then looked under my bed where all the turmoil was coming from, and realized that Fiona was in fact killing my hamster.

    I ran into my parents’ room.

    Toni: Mom! Dad! Fiona is under the bed killing my hamster.
    My Dad: Well, it’s all your fault. Deal with it.

    Now, it was 4 in the morning… and no one likes to be woken up at 4 in the morning and then deal with a half eaten hamster.

    I am not sure who ended up disposing of the body. I’m pretty sure it was my mom, because she is stronger than all of us. All I remember is sitting in my living room as the sun came up, holding my dog, and thinking I was to blame for the murder of my hamster.

    But I love you dad!! It’s your birthday today, and your sensitive heart is as pure as gold. You also let me get a bird… and cried at her grave when she died!! It is the way of the Nagy’s to weep mercilessly and lament at all animal death and suffering.

    (Me and Fiona)

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    October 21, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1351

  • Death On The Farm

    One of the unique advantages of growing up in certain pockets of America is that you have very little exposure to death. For millions of people in the US, the first time they witness mortality is the loss of a grandparent, or maybe a beloved pet. Unlike many parts of the world (and areas ravaged by poverty / violence here) where murder, bombs, war, famine, rampant disease, or starvation are part of a daily existence – there are those in this country who are sheltered from the brutality of untimely death.

    I wonder what it is like for all the children of the planet who have experienced or witnessed multiple violent deaths by the time most American children still can’t wipe their own ass. Does that instill upon them a greater appreciation for life? Or would so much pain make them jaded and discouraged – left wondering what is the point? Does sheltering our children from the anguish of mortality only make death more tragic when they do experience it?

    Living in the country gives The Munch a very quaint childhood. She doesn’t see homelessness, extreme scarcity, or the frayed bodies of dead humans obliterated by drone attacks. Everything around her is seemingly idyllic. As far as The Munch perceives, the world is a benevolent place filled with peace and harmony. Existence is nothing but kittens cuddling on a bed of pussy willows drinking hot chocolate through a vanilla bean straw while humming show tunes and licking clean the eyelids of sleeping babies. She has no concept of the true and brutal reality for most of humanity.

    Although as a parent you want to preserve the innocence of your child, I would be very concerned about the naivety of The Munch’s existence if we didn’t live on a farm. Yet because we are surrounded by wildlife, we witness the viciousness of nature almost every day.

    Just this summer alone, a fox murdered all 16 of our chickens. Didn’t eat them, but tore them apart and left pieces of their physiques littered throughout the lawn. The Munch would turn to me and say, “Look Mom, a chicken feather.” I would turn to see what she was talking about, and Munch would be holding an entire chicken butt – like the whole ass of a chicken – as if it were no thing.

    A week later – a fisher cat eviscerated one of our guinea hens. The Munch and I saw a pile of plumage on the grass, and The Munch’s reaction was “oh dear, one of the guinea hens got killed. Look at all the beautiful feathers.”

    When the baby turkeys come to harvest for the winter holiday season, The Munch will hold them in her hands lovingly while discussing how when they get bigger, her babysitter Lilliana along with her husband Farmer John, will cut all their heads off for Thanksgiving. For Munch all this death is natural and normal. Our cat Omega is like the American Psycho of felines, and most mornings we wake up to a half chewed mouse, or a bird with no head. Munch is totally unfazed and rationalizes this as, “Omega is so silly – she loves eating mice even though we have food for her.”

    I think because we live amongst the cycles of mother Gaia, The Munch is at least accepting of the idea of death. The other day she said she wanted a parrot, and I said we probably couldn’t get one right now because Omega would eat it, or Mona our dog would chase it.

    Munch: Okay. We will wait until Omega and Mona die – then we will get a parrot. I love my cat and dog sooooo much, but they are really old.

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  • I Wanna Love you like an Animal

    When I used to smoke a lot of pot, I spent an ample amount of time watching animal shows on the Discovery Channel. It became borderline obsessive. I went to the Science Museum, on more than one occasion, to buy a $300 DVD about creatures of the jungle. For many moons I would get disturbingly high, eat cereal, and look into the eyes of these beings of the wild.

    I fantasized about going into the open tundra and documenting yacks in their natural habitats. The feeling would pass after another bong hit. I’ve always had a lot of respect for people who spend their lives in nature, observing the magnificence of animals.

    As humans we often try to find the distinction between the animal kingdom and ourselves. There is a prevailing assumption that while a part of it, we are above it. We have a superiority complex, and tend to consider ourselves civilized in simply because we wipe our own ass and don’t eat vomit. I really don’t think we are.

    When I see a lion hunting a zebra in the Serengeti, it at first seems brutal as teeth tear into flesh, and this massive beast ingests its victim raw. I am like “whoa, that shit is intense lion… settle down because you have blood all over your furry chin and that is freaking me out.” Yet that is nothing compared to genocide. Or war! At least with animal violence the scale is more reasonable as opposed to taking out a couple thousand with a bomb. Animals are pretty damn low-key in contrast.

    We anthropomorphize ourselves when we portray people as the evolved species. By attributing human traits to our human identities we rationalize barbaric behavior – when in reality we are still ruthless animals.

    So on that note… I decided it was a good idea to bring The Munch to the Friendly Farm to pet some goats and pick up baby chicks and shit.
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    July 7, 2014 • 4 years old, Adventures, Musings • Views: 1455

  • The Worst Story Ever…. And a Total Waste of Money

    I kind of think vets are scam artists.  I know they help your pets and all, but every time I am there they push Heart Guard and Frontline like a crack dealers.  They guilt trip me for not wanting to get the $2000 vaccine package like I am a bad person, and act like I don’t love my dog if I don’t do exactly as they suggest.  I have never walked out the door without spending at least $600.

    So I tend to avoid the vet.  I only take my dog when I think it is really necessary.  And this was one of those times.  Her breath was not okay.  It was pretty rancid.  Considering she is 11, I figured maybe it was time to get her teeth cleaned.  So I made an appointment…

    Vet: “Okay, you will bring Mona in at 8:30 and can come pick her up at 4.00”

    Toni: “Alright.”

    Vet: “She is going to need some general anesthesia because we put the dogs down for dental cleanings.”

    Toni: “She needs anesthesia to brush her teeth?”

    Vet: “Yes.”

    Toni: “Okay… is that going to be safe for her?”

    Vet: “Well, we do a full exam before hand and check her for heartworm and other complications.  So that will be an extra $200.”

    Toni: “Yikes.”

    Vet: “I also see that she is due for some vaccines.  The lxkdjfoainx and the xdjfsoif and wait one other… uyidjakdcdso.” (I wasn’t really listening).

    Toni: “Yeesh.”

    Vet: “So should we go ahead and do all of those.  Mona is getting older and these are very important if you want her to live a long healthy life. You do care about her right? You do want the best for her don’t you?”

    Toni: “Yes of course.”

    Vet: “Okay great.  So I will set you up for those. Your total comes to $670.  See you Thursday.”

    Toni: “Great.”

    Munch and I went to pick Mona up and were then told a whole list of potential problems my dog may or may not be having.

    Vet: “You see how her skin is scaly on her tummy? She may have Cushing’s disease”

    Toni: “Oh dear.”

    Vet: “Have you noticed a lot of frequent urination? Or drinking of water?”

    Toni: “I mean I guess.  She does drink water and she does pee.  How do I know if it’s frequent?”

    Vet: “Yes that sounds bad.  We highly suggest you do the senior’s evaluation as soon as possible.  That is of course if you have a soul and want your dog to live a peaceful life.”

    Toni: “Okay lets do it.”

    Vet: “Great we can schedule you for Monday.  Make sure to get a urine sample into this cup before you come in.”

    Toni: “How on earth am I going to do that?  I don’t have her potty trained to pee in cup.”

    Vet: “You just have to follow her outside with a plate of a bowl and slip in under her as she squats.  Then you would poor the urine into the cup and keep in the refrigerator.”

    Toni: “Sounds easy enough.”

    Vet: “Fantastic.  So that will be $600 for the senior’s visit when you come.  Have a great weekend.”

    Toni: “Great.”

    As we left The Munch decided she wanted to go to the beach to play outside with Mona.

    Toni: “We have to go get some wet food for Mona Munch first.  She had two teeth pulled when she got her teeth cleaned.  So she needs soft food.”

    Munch: “Lets go to the beach first and then get wet food.  She wants to run around.”

    Toni: “Okay.  But just for a bit.”

    We get to the beach and are having a grand old time until…

    Munch: “Mamma, quick.  I have to go potty!”

    Toni: “Pee or poop.”

    Munch: “Pee.”

    Toni: “Okay lets just go outside okay?”

    Munch: “Okay quick.”

    Toni: “Wait Munch.  Are you pooping?

    Munch: “Yes.”

    Toni: “Crap we don’t have any toilet paper.”

    Munch: “What?”

    Toni: “Never mind.  Just concentrate on what you are doing.”

    Munch: “I am all done.”

    Toni: “Munch I don’t have any toilet paper.”

    Munch: “Use some leaves.”

    Toni: “Son of a…  They are all so dry.  It’s going to get poops my hands if I use these.”

    Munch: “Uh oh.”

    Toni: “Listen, I am going to run to the car and see if I can find something. I will be right back.”

    Munch: “Okay.”

    I ran to the car and found an old mitten.  There was only one, so I figured it was the best I could do.  I got back to Munch and there she was, standing patiently holding her dress up waiting for me.  But mysteriously the poop was gone.

    Toni: “Oh no.”

    Munch: “What?”

    Toni: “Munch, did Mona eat your poop.”

    Munch: “Yes.”

    Toni: “Oh God.”

    Munch: “Mamma, now her teeth are all dirty again.”

    Well, at least she got her wet food?

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  • Thanks…. I guess

    Leaving your child in the care of another is always a risk.  But it is one of those necessary risks, like eating food you dropped on the floor, or sitting down on a public toilet to diarrhea.  I always appreciate when someone watches The Munch for me, but it means I have less control over what happens in her day.  Especially when said caretaker happens to be my mom.  Who although is exquisite, will do as she damn well pleases – because she is still the boss in our relationship.

    Toni: “So Mom, how was she?”

    Mom: “She was okay.  She had what I like to call a ‘weak day.’”

    Toni: “Ummmm what does that mean?”

    Mom: “Well, she basically watched the Ipad all day.”

    Toni: “What???????!!!!!!!!!”

    Mom: “She seemed pretty tired, so I gave it to her thinking she would fall asleep, but then she didn’t and wouldn’t let me take it away.”

    Toni: “So she watched the IPad for 6 hours today?!!!”

    Mom: “Yeah, pretty much.  I tried to have her watch Dumbo, but she got really upset when they locked Dumbo’s mother up, and made me turn it off.”

    Toni: “Mom are you out of your mind!!!!??? You had her watch the scene in Dumbo when the locked up his mother??? I am still traumatized by that.  I couldn’t watch that now and not weep. “

    Mom: “Yeah, she was pretty distressed by that.”

    Toni: “How could you do that??”

    Mom: “Toni, Dumbo is a beautiful movie.  I could do a whole diatribe on the meaning of Dumbo.”

    Toni: “Mom!! She is only 2! I can’t believe you let her watch the saddest thing ever to be drawn in the history of all film.”

    Mom: “Calm down Toni. Then we watched Alice and Wonderland for a while, but she really didn’t like it when Alice got shrunk into the bottle.  She made me turn that off too.”

    Toni: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

    Mom: “So then she insisted on watching these stupid silly things.”

    Toni: “You mean, like, a cartoon for a toddler?  Like Mickey Mouse? Or Pokoyo? Something that doesn’t have severe animal abuse or LSD flashbacks?

    Mom: “Something inane like that.  And she kept trying to have me watch it with her, but there is no way I am watching that crap.”

    Toni: “Wow.  Okay.  Well… I am going to go process this information now.”

    Mom: “Think about it this way Toni, at least now you have something to write about.”

    She wasn’t kidding about that!

    PS: I went to look for the scene in Dumbo to share with you.. and it literally comes up as Dumbo Sad Scene in Youtube

    “Seriously…. why did they do that to Dumbo’s Mommy?”

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    March 25, 2013 • 2 years old, Family Drama, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1430