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  • Can’t I Get Paid To Just Be Me?

    The first trauma we experience as humans is birth. At one minute you’re floating in a warm pink gelatinous ecosystem, and the next you’re squeezed mercilessly by the only home you’ve ever know, ejected into a cold world full of unknown dangers, then slapped on the ass by some stranger. No wonder why the first thing babies due fresh from the puss is cry.

    The shock of birth is so harrowing that our minds file it under, “never remember.” When The Munch started talking at one year old I asked her, “do you remember what it was like to be inside my tummy?” and this was her answer: “Yes, it was more gentle.” I then asked her, “Do you remember what it was like to be born?” and she ran out of the room screaming. TRUE STORY!!!

    The second great trauma of our lives is the transition into adulthood. That moment where you realize that you are fully responsible for your own wellbeing, no one is going to save you, and you have to take care of yourself. No longer can you look for a grownup to protect you, because you are the grownup – one that’s expected to make money, own property, and commodify your identity around a “career.”

    The ideal is to find a job that feeds your soul, aligns with your values, and makes you feel like you have some sort of meaning to your life. Yet when I think about what my struggle has been, I have to admit it’s been getting over the harsh realization that no one is going to pay me for just being me.

    It was probably insane for me to ever assume that, and it wasn’t a conscious expectation. It was more this underlying current that powered my thinking. Retrospectively I can see how absurd that desire was. If you were to ask a little kid today, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” they have the social awareness to answer you with a phrase that makes sense. They conceptualize a character they plan to fit into. A policeman… a fireman… an astronaut… a vampire. They intuitively know is never okay to say, “I’m just gonna be me when I grow up.”

    But aren’t I delightful???? Isn’t being me enough for the world?

    NO! It’s not!! Not even close!!

    Most of my 20’s I was trying to squeeze myself into mold that I thought “success” looked like. I wanted to save the world from a catastrophic future filled with genetically modified nightmares, and my vision was to start a socially responsible businesses that would re-imagine industry. Those were some lofty ambitions for a girl who spent most nights ripping bong hits… but I worked hard!! Yet go figure – I guess investors usually want people with “experience,” and have a “history of success” that don’t eat liquid acid on a random Tuesday afternoon. WHATEVER!

    Just because I believe I can do something doesn’t mean anyone else does. I have to PROVE I am capable, and part of that process is fraught with strategy, compromise, and more strategy. I have to think about how I’m being perceived AND how to create financial value from my creations. Of course I can spend my time creating for the sake of creating, but unless I can eat a dick joke, I have to translate my efforts into dollars.

    But you guys, don’t you ever feel oppressed by the pressures of modern society? Don’t you think we would all be happier if we switched to a barter economy and didn’t have to worry our place in the capitalist system? Is money really what we should be spending our precious time on this earth acquiring? Don’t you think the mass production of products is raping our souls and the planet? Yeah the US military is the number one contributor of global warming, but there is still a vast amount of pollution caused by the manufacturing of mostly pointless goods. What if we all collectively decided that we have enough stuff? We could just trade shit and free ourselves from the psychological tax of dollars and cents.

    The economic burden that consumes us is supported by the marketing machine that makes us feel that we are less than. The more insecure we feel the more we assume that buying things will make us feel complete. Material objects end up becoming what we strive for rather than experience, human connection, and memories. There is this new age liberal rhetoric keeps suggested if we would only come together, then we wouldn’t be at the mercy of corporations and government. But how can we come together when everyone is fighting on Facebook all the time? What if social media was invented not to unite us, but to destroy us with our own bullshit closed minded opinions??!!

    Maybe it’s the impending doom of WW3, or maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t make money with my vagina puppet play? Just kidding… it’s not a play – BUT AN IMAX FILM I AM DEVELOPING FOR THE MASSES!

    You guys… these vagina puppets don’t just make themselves you know…

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    October 27, 2016 • Musings • Views: 593

  • Today is My Mother Fucking Birthday!

    Today is the day of my vaginal emergence. The remembrance of that fateful morning I tore through my mom’s body, and burst forth into the world headfirst while covered in birth cheese. What a lovely moment to picture in your mind while eating yogurt.

    Birthdays usually inspire me to reflect upon my life. To think back on not only the 365 days that have past, but also my entire existence. Did I have enough fun as a child? When did I lose my innocence? Was it ever there to begin with? Did I waste my 20’s? Will I ever feel accomplished? And seriously what the fuck happened in my 20’s because holy shit….

    I was hanging out with my cousin for the holidays and although he is 10 years younger than me, it feels like he has his life wayyyyyy more together. He’s an artist, owns a gallery, and wears clothes that actually flatter his figure unlike my fleece sweatpants. As happy as I am for him, it makes me think about how far I am from where I want to be. And also how I really need to go shopping and get some better clothes because I look like a 12-year old boy with messy hair who just got caught jerking off.

    The problem with striving for something is that it means I am always looking ahead, and never around. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I already want the next thing to happen. Yeah yeah yeah great – now that I’ve gotten here, I want to go there!

    Then I had this realization the other day…

    What if I can’t get to where I want to be in life, until I fully appreciate where I am in life?!

    Maybe that is obvious to you… but it felt like a goddamn revelation to me.

    I really feel that this expression on my face pretty much says it all…

    birthday-blog-(i)

    December 28, 2015 • Musings • Views: 776

  • Dealing with Rejection

    I have a lot of rejection in my life. I will work really hard on something, put it out into the world hoping someone will like it, wait patiently for their response (otherwise known as checking my email compulsively every 11 seconds), and when I finally get a reply… they will say “no.” I then have to put the pieces of my self-esteem back together like a puzzle that is NOW MISSING FUCKING PIECES BECAUSE MY EGO HAS BEEN SHATTERED!

    Not everyone picks a career path where rejection is part of the process. But writing and making movies is my passion, so it doesn’t feel like a choice. I NEED to make content that will distract people from their lives – while I desperately try to make them think deeply about their lives and how they shouldn’t be so easily distracted. It’s a delicate balance.

    I know everyone who’s in the dating scene also deals with rejection, but if a man weren’t into me – who cares. It’s not like you are going to be compatible with every dude you may want to mash your genitals against. When a guy has rejected me it may have hurt, but that pain was easier to move past because it’s just some dude’s opinion. I mean… it’s not like I ever made out with a boy I met at a club, found out the next day he had a girlfriend who happened to be my Facebook friend, and then proceeded to stalk them both for the next 6 months wondering why he wanted to be with her and not me. I mean that would be crazy!!

    Even though I know rejection is going to be part of my path, that doesn’t make it any less soul sucking. For me it is the worst kind of rejection because my art is the deepest part of who I am. I can’t play it off and say “well that person didn’t really know the real me,” because I am exposing myself fully – maybe too fully for some.

    A few years ago an editor for a publishing company contacted me saying she thought I should write a book, and to write a proposal for her. I did what she asked, and after reading it she responded “No thank you. That’s enough of that. ”

    She found me only to reject me later!?

    But these things happen all the time. I recently applied for something and got rejected the same day!? How did you know so you didn’t want me so quickly!?

    I try to do all sorts of new age hippy visualization actualization manifestation work. I pray on the new moon, and write my intentions on the wall with period blood. I light candles and picture the future I want. I thank the universe for abundance and try to show gratitude. But I’m beginning to feel like the cosmos can suck my dick.

    My most recent venture is a movie script that I wrote with my friend Bridget. It’s a comedy about a female friendship, and let me tell you, it is pretty insane. If you read it you would say to yourself “yup, she went there.”

    I am working with a producer who has been helping us try to get it made, and she has been sharing her Hollywood network with us. With her help, we got the script to the actress I wanted to play the main role – Ilana Glazer from Broad City.

    The producer was the one who suggested Ilana for the part, and I knew instantly she would be prefect. I love Ilana. I think she is a comedic genius, and have so much respect for her. So for the last 89 drafts of working on the script, I had Ilana in mind. I thought about her obsessively… when driving, eating, sleeping… meditating (even though I am not technically thinking, so rather I was meditating on her). I talked about her constantly, and would wonder what she would think of this scene or that.

    I would have these fantasies that Ilana loved the script so much that she not only wanted to do the movie, but also wanted to be friends with Bridget and me. We would do fun friend things like braid each other’s hair and share tampons. A montage of our relationship played out in my head, and it always ended in a harmless pillow fight with lots of giggling.

    Those 3 weeks that Ilana had my script were the longest of my life – and then I got an answer. She said “no.”

    My heartbreak was consuming. I couldn’t say, “oh she isn’t that great anyway who cares” because she is that great. She is fucking amazing. Her type of comedy is the shit. I will never know why she said “no,” but “no” is what she said and I have to live with it. No sharing baths in our future or getting matching tattoos. I guess Ilana wants to write her own damn movie.

    After the Ilana rejection I was super depressed. It was a heartbreak of epic proportions. I couldn’t move on, or think of anyone else to play this part. I would just look out my window and think of Ilana.

    I had this deep melancholy I couldn’t work through. But I had one more glimmer of hope for this script. I had applied it to the Sundance Screen Writer’s Lab, and it had gotten through the first round. That meant they liked the first 15 pages, and wanted to read the rest. If I could get into Sundance – that would hopefully open up the doors I needed.

    I was going to find out on December 16th – but that was also a busy day for me creatively. I had to work, had dance rehearsal, and then was going to film my friend’s rap video. I couldn’t be in a terrible mood for that, because it would be really hard to rap when someone was behind the camera crying about their failures… Just not the right vibe for hip hop.

    I didn’t check my email until 12pm. I sat down took a deep breath, envisioned an acceptances letter, and looked. It was a “no.”

    My stomach dropped.

    I felt so lost and hopeless. The sadness was starting to set in, and I was about to cry. I texted my friend Bridget and we commiserated in the dejection.

    I felt like I was at a crossroads emotionally. Part of me was ready to get super fucking depressed and feel really sorry for myself. But I also just was really depressed, and felt a little bored of depressed Toni. When I’m depressed, I’m more self-absorbed. I care less about what other people are saying, because I am just waiting for my turn to talk about how bad I feel about everything. Depressed Toni is kind of egocentric.

    Just as the tears were about to fall I thought of something. When I had read the list of films that were going to Sundance they were all really serious. There were movies about Civil Rights, sexual assault, autism, public executions… really heavy shit. I started picturing Bridget and myself at a roundtable where everyone was pitching their script. The person next to us would say, “My script is about a young girl who was kidnapped from her village in Uganda and then sold into the sex trade.” Everyone would nod quietly in deep contemplation. Then it would be our turn, and we would say, “Our movie has the main character getting dumped by her boyfriend while dressed in a giant penis costume, and also a pretty sweet colonic scene where years of impacted shit sprays into her mouth.”

    I started laughing hysterically.

    The movie we wrote was never getting Sundance. If Sundance were to be interested in a comedy, it would be a sweet irreverent story about a boy and his goat in the mountains of Uzbekistan with beautiful cinematography. Not my crass over the top comedy that culminates in a birth scene where someone pulls out their own placenta. That is just not happening!

    In a way I was totally delusional thinking what I wrote was EVER going to make it into Sundance, but that mirage at least slowed me down for a while. Where I am usually excessively manic and a workaholic, I actually relaxed for a few weeks. Even though I thought I was going wallow in misery after this rejection, I actually feel pretty energized and ready to keep trying.

    I may not be where I want to be right now in my career dreams, but I think I am going to start sewing that penis costume anyway.

    Look how happy he is!

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    December 21, 2015 • Musings, Working Mommy • Views: 989

  • Is There a Point Of Excellent Talents When They Don’t Make You Money?!

    It’s hard to make a living doing what you are truly passionate about. It’s one thing to get a job that makes money – but it’s another to have a career that feeds your soul to the point where you can’t wait to wake up in the morning and get back to work! Even when you are able to do something you truly love, there will still be all sorts of bullshit, crap, and poop you don’t want to do, but HAVE to anyway.

    Society only honors hobbies once you fully commodify them. Culture measures worth on intrinsic material value, yet not all of our personal goals line up with the metrics of Wall Street. I bet most of our greatest skills are things that can’t be sold on the free market.

    When I think the abilities that I naturally excel at, I don’t see a place for them in the adult world. For instance, I am amazing at parallel parking. Seriously. I’ve had many a stranger clap for my tight squeezes with minimal wheel effort. But where can I take that? To the valet parking world? Not really – because most of the time they are pulling into spaces. My talents would be wasted!

    I am also unbelievable at Tiger Woods Golf on PlayStation circa 2003-2005. I mean… not to brag… but I’m probably one of the best east of the Mississippi. My only condition is that I have to be stoned, and cookies MUST be baking in the oven. Yet I can’t support myself playing Tiger Woods Golf ☹ There are no international competitions that I could enter! And if there were, I can’t play the game on our modern PlayStation 3… it HAS to be 2! My only hope would be to get a flux capacitor, make a time machine, harvest plutonium, and stay in 2004 forever!

    Is there something that I can do with my epic gift to text really really super fast? AND WITHOUT LOOKING! Why doesn’t anybody care that I can find the perfect emoji to express disdain without being offensive faster than a cowboy can draw his gun!?

    I bet you have 1,000 skills that no one will pay you for, but you are fucking amazingly excellent anyway!

    (Me in my Tiger Woods Days)

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    September 14, 2015 • Musings • Views: 795

  • Are My Wishes Dumb?

    When I was a kid I was obsessed with wishes. I would wish every time I saw a star, every time the clock read 11:11, and on every dandelion I blew… which I regret because they NEVER took me out to dinner first.

    MOST of my wishes didn’t come true though. I know this because I do NOT have size DD tits. So eventually I gave up on the ritual, and decided to trust what the cosmos had in store for me – a B cup.

    Yet, as a new age hippy I am always hearing about manifesting my destiny, the law of attraction, and visualizing the life I want to have. People usually justify these ethereal rationales through quantum physics experiments – and how the observer has a direct impact on whatever object is being observed. The thinking is that I’m supposed to engage in positive thinking to draw positive results for my positively positive intentions.

    I guess!? Feels a lot like wishing though… just saying.

    According to the spiritual post modern guides, rather than ASKING the universe FOR something, you are supposed to THANK the universe for what it has ALREADY given you. So I’m not supposed to say “I wish for an ass the shape of a lemon,” but rather “thank you for my lemon shaped ass… universe.” Life is so confusing. What can’t I just get what I want world!?

    The Munch is going through a major wishing phase. So she is often suggests we make wishes together. She doesn’t really get the concept of keeping your wish a secret in order to make it come true, and I don’t really feel like enforcing it because I kinda want know what other people wish for.

    My current wishes are no longer about the perfect body parts, the perfect life, or the perfect cheer. (SNL throwback fyi). If I’m going to wish anything it is going to be about my career. All these creative projects that I work on, and pray will one day come to fruition. Yet it turns out, that The Munch pretty much thinks my ambitions are absurd.

    Munch: What did you wish for Mama?
    Toni: I wish that the movie I just wrote would get made.
    Munch: Really? That’s kind of a silly wish.
    Toni: It is?
    Munch: Yeah, like you don’t you wish for a unicorn that can fly or magical powers or something? I mean that’s what I wish for.
    Toni: That sounds pretty good.
    Munch: How about this, I will wish for the unicorn that can fly AND I will wish for your wish… I will just share my unicorn with you.

    Munch and her best friend waiting for the stars to come out… to make NOT DUMB wishes involving obtaining magical powers

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    July 8, 2015 • Birth • Views: 824

  • Your 30’s – The Decade of Identity

    Every decade we live has a texture to it. There is a particular flavor that coats the years like emotional plaque. Your childhood is about innocence and discovery, your teen years – exploration and experimentation, your 20’s – adventure and ambition, and your dirty 30’s – identity and responsibility.

    By the time you are in your 30’s there is a cultural expectation to be “settled” in your career, have “settled” into a relationship, “settled down” and bought a house, “settled your sexuality” and popped out some children, and basically settled into every part of yourself like gelatin.

    The major life decisions you make, or don’t make, then come to define you. No longer are you a person who is a conglomerate of personality traits, but you are also quantified by the choices you made. Did you breed? Do you have a fancy house? Do you make lots of money? What job do you have? These questions become the sum total of how people see you.

    Yet there is this whole other part of your 30’s that I think gets overlooked. What kind of person are you? Are you self-reflective? Have you evolved emotionally? Do you still try new things? Are you courageous? Do you take risks? Do you laugh? Are you creative? Do you have a spiritual practice? Are you philosophically curious? The daunting nature of obligation and performing for people replaces these aspects of humanity we once valued when young.

    I think it is easy to go a bit cray cray in your 30’s because there is so much pressure to be something that fits into a box. It is the decade where you brand yourself – the banker, the parent, the candlestick maker.  Those that procrastinate these defining decisions tend to feel like outsiders missing out as societal outlaws.

    I get how responsibility breeds more responsibility, but I also think “fuck… isn’t there something exciting about the future being unknown?” Part of he reason why so many people start to crave stability in their 30’s is that it provides a sense of security.  Yet when you are your most comfortable, you are not exactly your most stimulated either.  Mystery has a vibrating energy that can get you off… your ass and out trying things you never thought possible.

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    July 16, 2014 • Musings • Views: 2186

  • The Selfish Madonna

    The romanticized vision of the mother is as a selfless being that radiates unconditional love with endless serene expressions.  This vision is depicted in countless paintings of ‘mother holding child,’ many of which are of the Virgin Mary cradling Jesus.  I guess if I were Jesus’ mother I would be all peaceful and calm – since he was always turning my water into wine.  But for those of us who didn’t spawn holy beings, there are some pretty high societal expectations of the mother.

    There is this perception that mothers are supposed to prioritize their kids above and beyond their own needs at all times.  Yeah… kinda.  I mostly do that.  In a lot of scenarios.  But I think all moms have moments when they can be a little selfish.

    Lets take my mom as an example.  That will be fun. Won’t it Mom!?  When I was a kid, every holiday my mom would leave little baskets outside my door filled with treats.  Okay, relax.  This isn’t the selfish part.  So I would wake up in the morning and find this delightful indulgence of candy and chocolate.  Relax… I am getting there.  I would be so grateful for this lovely display that I would often save my gift.  You know… like to eat it later. I would then come home from school and the head of my Easter bunny would be gone.  So would the tail. Don’t even get my started on my Halloween candy. I don’t know about you, but coming home to your Valentine’s chocolate replaced with the empty wrappers was pretty traumatizing for me.

    There are so many things that I do for The Munch that takes into consideration her desires before my own.  But sometimes I just do what I want to do.  Like hide her favorite book so I don’t have to read it 48 times that morning.

    There are moments when I feel like pursuing my career, taking time for myself, or doing anything without her is selfish.  Of course people assure me that isn’t true.  Fuck, I can tell myself that is bullshit – but it is hard not to feel conflicted at times.  I would like to say that the time I spend away from her makes me appreciate the time I spend with her more, but I really hope she sees it like that too.  As much as a think it is vital for a mother to have a life outside her children, living parts of my life not including The Munch can feel crappy.

    I guess this is the modern conundrum.  If I were a cave woman, I would have her strapped to my back in a fur satchel and bring her with me until she was old enough to harvest and hunt for her self.  You know.  Like 6 months.  We would work together side by side and I wouldn’t have to make any of these hard decisions.  And maybe I would steal some saber tooth tiger meat when she wasn’t paying attention, but I wouldn’t touch her wooly mammoth blood because that is just wrong.

    Biologically I am bonded to The Munch in this unique and profound way.  The mother child connection is one of the most mysterious and meaningful unions, and that is why it has this reputation in the imagination of society.  But psychologically it is really important for me to continue evolving without her.  Maybe part of that process is slightly selfish, but this is going to be something she will go through too when she is a mother, so hopefully The Munch will understand that no decision is simple when you become a parent.  Especially when it comes to Halloween candy, because you better believe I am going to eat all of hers too.

    (Check out my mom ready to go after Munch’s lollipop!! She is not fucking around!)

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    April 9, 2013 • Family Drama, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting, Working Mommy • Views: 2256