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Posts

  • It’s my Birthday TODAY!!! My Gift to You Is Life Advice!!

    Today is the day to commemorate that fateful morning when my mom deposited me onto this planet. What a coincidence that you happen to live here too right? Weird.

    Birthdays are a time of self-reflection. A moment for you to look at who you are, who’ve you been, and who you’re becoming. Yet it seems I am not alone. I bet most of you are doing this same ritual because of New Years. Because of the timing of this holy day of my birth, I get to participate in the collective experience of most of the Western World looking back at their year and wondering, “What the fuck just happened.”

    So my gift to you on this magical, extraordinary day – a day that I hope my Facebook friends think of me for that 4 seconds it takes to write HBD on my wall – I give to you some thoughts to ruminate on as the New Year rolls in.

    1) Commit to a life of brutal and radical honesty… with yourself: It’s heavy dissecting yourself and your place in the world – especially if you are honest with yourself. I’m sure if you truly picked apart every part of yourself you would be left with quite a few bloody scabs. Our motivations are not always pure, and often times we are driven my selfish wants. Nobody is perfect, and it’s we have to accept that life is on going process. There are plenty of parts of myself that I know are problematic. I for sure have flexible morals, and malleable values. I may lie to people to avoid their reactions or dissapointments, but I refuse to lie to myself about myself. What I’ve come to notice is the more I can be entirely truthful about who I am to me, the more I can achieve that with other people.

    2) Behavior is different than personality: Close intimate relationships are the root of the human experience, but they are also incredibly hard because people are so deeply flawed. When someone you love is pissing you off, rather then attacking them as a person, realize that their behavior is what you are actually angry at. It’s much easier to figure out how to change and grow with people if you focus on behavior patterns, rather than pointing fingers and making accusations that end up tearing down another person’s self-esteem. When you think about behavior, this is an adaptable part of ourselves – everyone can change their behavior with practice. It’s much easier to actually get through to others when you focus on how they act rather than who they fundamentally are.

    3) Sometimes it’s your civic duty to start a revolution amongst coke whores: I have a sweet memory of being in NYC getting super drunk, then ending up at an after-party and finding myself on a bathroom floor with a Lithuanian model offering to jam her fingers down my throat to help me puke. Apparently I wasn’t doing it right, and she could tell by my lame strategy of only using one finger rather than 2. What an amateur right? As this model was holding my head, about to deep throat me with her hand, I thought to myself, “although she is delightful, I don’t think I need to put myself through this life experience.” I looked into her spectacular eyes and I told her I didn’t’ have to puke – so she suggested we do cocaine to sober me up. What a gem! We returned to the party, and the host brought a small pack of 6 ft. amazons back into a bedroom with a plate of drugs. He then started barking orders at the girls about who would be doing cocaine off of who’s body parts. “You do it off her stomach, and you do it off her tits and you…” He points to me – and even in my drunken state of seeing double – I said, “No way dude, I’m not doing that.” I am a feminist!!! I staggered out of the room to sit on the couch see if my eyes would stop vibrating. Later, the dude handed me the plate of drugs to do like a normal person. All the models stared in disbelief. It was as if they didn’t know they could do that! An insurgency was sparked that night. A rebellion where gorgeous girls realized they could ask for drugs without having to be a sexual spectacle. This was met activism! Let’s not give Gloria Steinem all the credit. This was my feminist revolution! My point is that we should always question authority, make our own rules, and do your best to inspire painfully beautiful Lithuanian girls when you have the chance.

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    December 29, 2016 • change, emotions, Musings, problems • Views: 655

  • All My Mom Wants From Me

    Teenagers are intense people. Their emotional brains, and hormonal influxes rule their relationship to sanity. Every parent is going to have conflict with their teenage children because they are in such an intense state of growth, exploration, and questioning.

    As far as teenagers go, I wasn’t that bad. Fine… I may have had a LOT of parties behind my parents’ back, would go to raves to take crystal meth, got caught stealing, and maybe one New Years Eve I did a ton of ecstasy and called my mom at 3 am to tell her I was going to marry my 18-year old boyfriend. It’s possible I was once brought to the hospital with a police escort from public intoxication and running from the cops, and perhaps at 14 I spent a night “roof jumping” with some boys only to come home at 7am the next day really stoned.

    BUT I DID MY HOMEWORK!!

    I got along with my parents, but we also fought. Mainly because THEY SUCK!

    Over the holiday I was home in my childhood room, and I found this note I wrote to my mom. I think it was an effort to make up with her after an argument, and show I was listening to her “needs” in terms of our relationship.

    (PS my favorite is “no manipulating with tears.” As if I NEVER had an authentic reason to cry or be upset, and only wept to control my mom).

    Mom Needs from me note

    January 6, 2016 • Family Drama, Old School Stories, Parenting • Views: 798

  • The World Of Make Believe is Kinda F*cked Up!

    As adults, I think we all envy the imagination of children. Their ability to lose themselves in a play pretend planet, and envision a reality I can only achieve after taking acid. Yet sometimes when I enter into these alternate dimensions with my child, I sometimes take pause, and think to myself, “Damn kid, your make believe worlds are kinda fucked up!”

    Here are some of the most recent games I have played with The Munch:

    1) Dead Mermaid Examiners:

    Munch: Let’s pretend we are these explores that find dead mermaids. We travel the seas, and every time we find a dead mermaid, we bring her on our ship and examine it. And then, we look inside her body, and see all her broken bones, and how her heart isn’t beating.

    Toni: Ummm okay. Do we have magic powers to save the mermaid or anything? So we can bring her back to life?

    Munch: Yeah, but first we have to use this tool to peel off her fin to make sure all her bones are broken – and then we can use the magic to make her heart beat again. But after we make her alive, she goes back into the water, and the bad guys just kill her again.

    2) Evil Jailer:

    Munch: Pretend that you are sleeping in my bed, and then I come in the middle of the night and capture you. But I tell you I am brining you to my house to watch my animals, but really, I just put you in jail. And because you believed me, and you love animals, you didn’t know I was going to do that. And when you are in jail there are bars everywhere, surrounding you, and you can’t get out.

    Toni: What happens to me when I am in jail?

    Munch: You cry because you want to get out.

    Toni: Wah!!!

    Munch: Pretend that I am evil, but you have this magic treasure that turns me nice. So here, you can use it now.

    Toni: Okay. I am using this magic treasure and I am making you nice! Shazam!

    Munch: Your magic didn’t work. I am still evil.

    make-believe-blog

  • I Don’t Really Like Being Around People

    Every family has its own culture. Personality traits pass through generations. Mannerisms and tendencies are preserved through the socialization process from parent to child. This can take on a variety of forms, and each family has its own specific texture. Take for instance the funny family, the family that loves to cook, the science oriented family, the family that lives off the land, and in my case – the hyper judgmental family that hates being around people.

    My whole family is very cagey. We can have our moments of being social – but it is very emotionally taxing, and usually takes us days to recover. Being around a group of people means our brains have to work overtime while we over-analyze, scrutinize, and dissect others. That’s why I’m best with one on one dynamics. I can fully focus on a single person to psychically disembowel. Yet in any crowd setting, I am paralyzed by my unconscious need to evaluate everyone around me. The only context where I enjoy being part of a pack is when I am drunk, and have taken copious amounts of cocaine and ecstasy procured off the dark web – then I am actually quite friendly!

    The Nagy gene of being cripplingly critical has now past down to its youngest member, The Munch Nagy. I didn’t know I was doing this. I didn’t intentionally tell her, “Listen darling, most people suck. So make sure you stare at them, observe their inadequacies, and then show intense disdain on your face as you pick your nose,” yet that seems to be the case any time I take my child out in public.

    The Munch is not interested in most children. She has her few friends, and that is all she needs. Whenever I suggest we go do something “kid oriented,” her usual reaction is to politely decline because “there will probably be other kids there.”

    The other day one of my mom friends and I decided to take our daughter’s to the new “bouncy house” that opened in the area so they could, you know, bounce.

    Munch: Are other children going to be at the bouncy house?
    Toni: Of course – it is a public space.
    Munch: Well I don’t want to go if other kids will be there. I just want it to be Amelia and me.
    Toni: Well, we are going first thing in the morning, so chances are there won’t be too many other kids.
    Munch: If there are too many kids, can we go? Babies are okay if they are zero. But I’m really not into toddlers. They bother me, and they don’t even know their letters.

    don't-like-peopel-blog-(i)

  • Getting Caught Stealing

    Stealing isn’t just about taking something you can’t afford, or otherwise couldn’t have because it happens to belong to someone else and those flare pants by Anthropologie were 3 seasons ago so you can’t find them anywhere on the internet. Sometimes people pinch things for the rush of it, and the adrenaline of knowingly being bad, but not getting caught.

    There is something infinitely exciting about breaking the rules. When I was in the 9th grade, a group of girl friends and I decided that we would skip school to spend our time getting into trouble. It was a beautiful spring day, and we all left our houses waving goodbye to our parents with innocence in our eyes. We then met at Copley Plaza in Boston, ready to inflict chaos on the city. But it was only 8:15 and there really wasn’t that much to do, so we went to McDonald’s to get hash browns. Come to think of it, that is probably the most embarrassing part of this story.

    Later that afternoon we ended up at Quincy Market, and my friend (lets call her Flopsy) came out of the store with a sneaky smile on her face.

    Flopsy: You guys… check this out! I stole a candle.

    We all looked at the candle with shock and awe – GW Bush style. This candle was more than just a vanilla scented stick of wax – it was lifted goods. Suddenly, we were all transported into a scene that felt like we were as powerful as drug cartels. There was no going back now. We decide that each one of us would take something that day – Mopsy and Cottontail went next. Giddy, they both exited the store with more pilfered property. Then it was my turn. Not to be a square, but I wasn’t that into the scene at first, but then I did it – AND IF FELT AMAZING!

    Just knowing we had gotten away with something was the real excitement. We now lived above and beyond the law. Nothing could touch us. A spark had been ignited into a flame, and our summer of stealing began.

    Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and I would go on sticky-fingered excursions. It wasn’t even things we liked, or needed that much. We would shoplift nail polish, shower curtains, plumbing equipment… whatever. Anything we could get our grubby little hands on. Especially clothes. Sooooooooooooo many halter-tops.

    Our success made us too cocky. We were getting bored and wanted a greater challenge. We decided on the department store Filene’s to stock up some important items, like belly shirts. I was wearing overalls that day, and had gone into the dressing room to layer about 7 shirts and 3 pairs of pants underneath them. As we exited the store we were stopped by security.

    Security: Girls… you are going to have to come with us.

    We were taken into a back room where there was another security guard. We were all terrified and Cottontail started to cry.

    Security Guard 2: Look, we know you girls were stealing.
    Toni: No….
    Security Guard 2: We caught you on camera.
    Toni: It wasn’t me?

    * note to reader, please notice my cleverly placed Shaggy reference.

    The security guards were painfully annoyed with us, and made us take everything off our bodies, and out of our bags that we had stolen. A huge pile garments lay in the middle of the floor, mocking and shaming us.

    Security Guard 2: This is a disgrace. What do your parents do girls?
    Flopsy: Professor…
    Mopsy: Lawyer…
    Cottontail: Doctor
    Toni: Professors….
    Security Guard 2: (Rolls eyes audibly). Listen, none of you girls are leaving unless your parents come pick you up. So get on the phone and start calling.

    Everyone then had to use the security guard’s rotary phone to call their parents to tell them to come to the Filene’s located in the wealthy neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, and then ask for the back closet where the delinquents were kept. When it was my turn I was so nervous and sweaty I kept fucking up the number. I would have to hang up and start at the beginning, which on a rotary phone actually took an insane amount of time. The only sounds in the room were Cottontail’s tears and my swearing.

    When my dad finally arrived his face was red with rage, his hair wild from wrath, and his voice shaking with fury. He was such a terrifying sight that even the security guard took pity on me.

    Security Guard 2: Are you sure this is your dad?

    That was the only time I got grounded in my entire life. Forget the fact that I smoked weed, went to raves to take ecstasy, ate acid, once or twice took the car without asking, had sex in my parents house…. They could deal with all that. But stealing!!!?? Having to come to Filene’s to retrieve me!? That was just too much for them. I still remember the deep feeling of humiliation I felt when I got in the car with my dad and he looked at me with severe disappointment then quoted Pee Wee’s Big Adventure:

    My Dad: The Buxton’s are not thieves….

    February 18, 2015 • 1st time for everything, Adventures, Family Drama, Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 923

  • Have You Ever Tried That…. ON WEED?

    I officially began my quest for sobriety in 2006. I was dealing with some health issues at the time, and my neurosurgeon suggested that maybe smoking pot every day, drinking 5 times a week, and dabbling in cocaine perhaps wasn’t the best idea when trying to heal a brain tumor. What a square, am I right?!

    It took about 3 years to get to a point where I fully abstained from everything, and completely committed to a pure life of prioritizing my health. In truth, I am infinitely grateful for this forced period of self-reflection and sobriety. My restrained adult life has had many positive effects. I am more focused and productive. I make better decisions. I know myself in a profound way. I actually face problems rather than avoiding them through substances, and I am way skinnier. I guess getting high and eating cereal with ice cream instead of milk at 12am isn’t the best diet after all. Go figure.

    In my personal experience, one of the best parts about sobriety is that you are less lonely when you are alone because you are more content in your own skin. The worst part, however, is that you are more lonely around other people when everyone else is partaking in some mind-altering material. Yet even though I couldn’t enjoy all the same activities of my past, say staring at a microwave for 3 hours debating pulling a Sylvia Plath because I was coming down off drugs, I had many new ways that I enjoyed spending my time.

    I never want to go back to the way I was – and in truth, that isn’t even possible. I am not the same person I was in my 20’s. I am stronger, wiser, and did I mention skinnier? I am not looking for the same escape that I was in my past. Even though my life is not perfect, I feel more in control because I have slowed down. When I lived in NYC, I was always on hyper drive… moving forward regardless of logic, not taking the time to question my choices, and always looking for the bigger better deal. Now that I live in the woods with a young child, life is inherently calmer and scheduled – so as a result I am more intentional.

    But you guys………… it has been sooooooooooooooooo long. So crazy long. Like holy crap it has been a long time of not doing anything.

    So I smoked pot. A few times. Not a lot mind you!!!! Just one hit. A micro dose if you will. And let me tell you. It is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now remember, it has been YEARS since I have done this, and a lot has changed. For one: eye-phones!! Those things are outrageous!! The last time I smoked, I didn’t’ have the Internet in my hand all the time. Do you get how nutty that is? I felt like the “unfrozen cave man lawyer” – your world frightens and confuses me!!! Being stoned around an iPhone made me realize just how ridiculous it is to climb into a virtual world, and totally disconnect from the actual world around me. I couldn’t even look at that thing without shuddering.

    You know what else has changed? I created a HUMAN BEING!!! Now technically I have known that for 4 1/2 years – but the first time I got stoned, I went up to The Munch’s room and just watched her sleep for an hour. I was like “Who are you?? Where did you come from? And how are you so awesome!!?” It blew my away that I have not only kept Munch alive for this long, but I was actually doing an okay job too! It was like this holy fuck moment were I realized that I am in fact an adult who can take care of another person! WHO KNEW?

    I also did some high yoga – which was maybe the best time of my life. Now I practice yoga a lot, and to be honest, it has become almost unconscious for me. There are these habitual poses that I have done hundreds, if not thousands of times. But doing yoga on weed was like “OMG… down ward dog is the SHIT!!! This feels sooooooooooooo good!! I can’t believe I don’t sleep like this!!!”

    You know what else I did? I ATE!! Do you realize how delicious food is? Have you ever actually tasted rice pudding? I mean really let that sweet vanilla cinnamon goodness penetrate your tongue. FOOD IS SOOOOO GOOD YOU GUYS!! Corn chips?? Those things are unbelievable!! Have you ever had fresh popcorn? I could cry at the thought.

    Can I tell you more thing that I did? I sat! I just sat, gazed at nothing, and thought. I didn’t want to look at my phone, or my computer. I didn’t feel the pressure to be industrious, or work. I just wanted to be, and enjoy my own mind. Do you know how long it has been since I actually just let myself chill? In my youth, I would smoke and do things like paint, create collages, make jewelry, knit… undertakings that had no purpose beyond the enjoyment of crafting. Now almost everything I do is related to my career, business, work or ambition. The mental freedom to just sit without an agenda was so freeing.

    I have to say, my dabbling in weed has been crazy fun – but that is because it is a dabble. The impact is mind-blowing because it is so out of the ordinary. I have to keep it that way. The magic of marijuana is special, and I don’t want to corrupt it ever again. I like that one small toke will catapult me into the time space continuum.

    (There I am at 20… awwwwww so sweet)

    weed-blog-(i2)

    February 11, 2015 • 1st time for everything, Health, Mommyhood, Musings, Old School Stories, Parenting • Views: 1378

  • Is Life Really That Different?

    Vacations used to be comprised primarily of ecstasy, alcohol, flirtation, and hazy memories. I danced in a foam pit non-ironically, got lost in the Red Light district of Amsterdam for six hours while high and gazing at prostitutes in the windows wondering if I had seen the one with the sad eyes wearing crotchless panties before. Once I even pitched a tent on a German highway because my boyfriend and I had no idea where we were. Okay, it was after a huge festival but it was super dark out!

    The complexity of my life now is that it is really hard to abandon my responsibilities and give myself a true break. There are endless obligations lurking in the background of my brain, relentlessly reminding me of all the shit I need to get done. Then of course there is my inbox – bottlenecking with messages from people wanting, needing, and bossing me around. When I finally checked Gmail this morning there my computer was pleading, “I am so constipated!!! Free me from the burden of holding all these in!” Whatever escapism I was experienced when I was young and dumb, has been marred by the presence of technology.

    Vacations are no longer a break from life, where I get to push the limits of my consciousness and abuse my liver to the point of near failure. They have a very different texture these days. For one, my kid is on vacation from school so that means I have to be with her all day. Sorry –I mean I “got” to spend time with my darling angel during these fleeting precious years of her childhood. Although theoretically The Munch would totally rock out while dancing on a bar until four am, taking a four-year old to da’club is pretty much frowned upon. Instead, I have to do “kid appropriate” activities that don’t include experimenting with hallucinogens and Ambien.

    Most of my time spent with her is between “the schedule” of what is planned. We go from this place to that, I make her food, and we go to bed. There is less down time where I actually have to figure out what to do with her. Of course I love my kid, but it’s not like I have that much in common with her. I guess we both like eating cookies and laughing at farts but The Munch never wants to talk about the police state, she doesn’t care about Monsanto, and she doesn’t think she needs feminism.

    I think a key element to having a healthy relationship with your child is developing common interests. If there are things you enjoy doing together, then you have outlets which you both enjoy. Of course there are times when I can get down with playing “princess-queens who are sisters with magical powers that conquer the mountain and hide in a special cave of diamonds while turning all the babies into ladybugs,” but unless I am going to become a pothead again, my imagination is only so fertile.

    The one thing Munch and I can do for hours and hours while both being happy is listening to pop music while practicing handstands. We do have a couple debates going however. For one – auto tune. We discussed for over an hour about how all her favorite singers use auto tune and what that is doing to the music industry. The Munch thinks auto tune is “cheating,” but still likes those songs better than the Indigo Girls, whereas I believe our ears are being trained towards falsity which could have lasting impact on our neurology.

    We are sorting out her feelings on hip-hop music. Munch isn’t into men rapping because she doesn’t like boys, but she will listen to Biggie Smalls and Eminem when there are girls singing on the tracks. This feels like a decent compromise, because I figure there is still time to get her into Mob Deep and The Pharcyde. We do both agree that music should be listened to so loudly that you can both feel the vibration in your bones but not hear your own voice while singing along.

    So come to think of it… maybe life isn’t so different after all? Chicks hanging from ceilings and shit…

    vacation-blog

    January 5, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing • Views: 928

  • 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 with 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: 2223

  • Do Hidden Cameras and Dumb Tweets Help Stop Violence Against Women?

    Sometimes I ask myself, “What is going to stop men from raping women or beating them within inches of their lives?” And by sometimes I mean every time I read an article about a crime against a woman – which is daily.

    Even though men are the ones who are often perpetrating these offenses, I don’t think blaming them is the answer. There will never be any true systemic change regarding the way women are treated if the polarity between the genders continues. Men are not exclusively the enemy, and women and are not exclusively the victims. We all suffer from a culture of abuse and violence. What varies is how we choose to internalize it, and the bodies we have to externalize it.

    Yet as much as I can acknowledge the challenge of understanding one’s masculinity in modern times, I am still like come on guys… can’t we just not rape and beat women?

    One way to force people to acknowledge the ugliness of brutality towards women is accountability. Not that I am condoning a society run by Big Brother, but the fact that privacy is now something you need to seek means people are essentially more liable for their actions. I am not just talking about hidden cameras, but also the ways in which we publicize ourselves through social media.

    When you are being watched, you will be held up to a different standard.

    Let’s take for example how musician CeeLo Green tweeted a remark that said rape is only rape if the woman is conscious. “”If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent.” He also added “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

    What?? No Ceelo… just NO! I used to love you in Goodie Mob! You were the best judge on The Voice!  You look like an oompa loompa Why did you do that??!!

    An added dimension to Ceelo’s remark is that a woman recently accused him of slipping her ecstasy without her consent – but the charges were eventually dropped. So this statement carries an extra sinister element because of that context. Green’s lawyer argued the two had “consensual relations,” despite the woman’s claim that she woke up in bed next to Green and was unsure of what happened the night before. Ummmmmm… after reading that tweet I think you gave her the ecstasy Ceelo, and I am pretty the charges shouldn’t have been dropped!!!!

    Since his words were recorded in the public domain – there were consequences.  Ceelo was pulled from performances, and his TV show was cancelled. Similar to what happened with the leaked video of Ray Rice abusing his girlfriend. It was one thing to hear about Rice beating her up, but it was another thing to see him punch her in the head and then nonchalantly drag her limp body out of the elevator. Hearing this news got Rice a suspension, but seeing him to do it got Rice kicked off the team.

    That is progress!

    Even though I feel happy there is an effort towards justice, I do cringe regarding the racial aspect of these cases because they both involve black men. I am glad these guys are paying for what they did despite the fact they are rich enough to hire the best lawyers, but they are still black enough to be seen as guilty. There are many white men from frat boy culture who act just as abhorrently, yet are not made into public examples because of the race/class privilege.

    When you live in a political system that thrives on domination and power over others, you are going to be psychologically corrupted. Yet even though there are relevant and potent influences outside of us, we still have the capacity to make different choices. We can reject the system by questioning it. The more we talk about these issues, even to the point of obsession, the more it will persuade people to analyze their own participation in it.

    That is why these public cases are so important. That is why women coming forward to report abuse is so meaningful. Because without the transparency, there will be no motivating force towards change.

    rice-ceelo-blog-(i)

    September 8, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 2737