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  • Getting Old

    The above picture is of my dog Mona when she was a puppy. I was 21, just lounging around in roller-skates – obviously killing it at life. Now my dog is 16 years old, blind, and deaf. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a dog that was not only blind, but also deaf, but let me tell you…. IT IS FUCKING HARD AS HELL WHEN YOUR DOG CAN’T SEE OR HEAR!

    You’d think that because of her handicaps, Mona would be more cautious. NOPE. Despite Mona’s age and disabilities, her body is quite spry. She spends her days taking many risks. For example, Mona once decided to push her way through the cat door, falling 9 feet onto a furniture tower in the basement. I searched for her for 2 hours in the woods before finally thinking to check down there. It’s insanely stressful when Mona goes missing because you can’t call for her, and YOU CAN’T FUCKING CALL FOR HER! Mona relentlessly escapes the pen that we made for her outside, and has been found miles from my house. How a blind deaf dog not only maneuvers her way through a screened in enclosure, but also traveled so far is beyond me – but the policeman was SUPER judgey when he returned her.

    Mona also now shits and pisses in the house almost daily. Okay, she’s old so this happens, but because Mona can’t see she, steps in her urine and shit balls only to then walk around covering the kitchen floor in paw prints of her piss soaked feces debris. It’s a delight!

    My dog’s aging of course makes me think of my own. I guess I’m officially considered “middle-aged” now? I’m 37 ½ years old. The half is important because I think that’s what keeps me in my “mid” 30’s as opposed to my “late”30’s, which is just 6 months away. Next year will be my 20 year high school reunion which is meant as marker to see how far I’ve come in the past two decades, yet I currently still spend a LOT of time with teenage girls talking about boys and dicks sooooo, I don’t know?

    When I was a kid I used to imagine what being an adult would feel like. For one, I was going to have HUGE tits, and for two, I was most likely going to feel like an adult. None of those visions really panned out, despite many wishes on a star for a full D.

    As a 37 year old I posture participating in adult activities, but it never feels authentic. I do these grownup things like go to lawyers, or send in forms for my taxes – but all this signing pieces of paper I don’t understand just feels like I’m playing pretend. It’s like I’m still that same kid wanting to be someone I’m not while stumbling around wearing my mom’s high heel shoes – and her makeup, and bras, and underwear while balancing her diaphragm on my nose like seal… everyone did that right?

    I think a part of me is in denial. I didn’t even notice I had wrinkles until my friend pointed it out. I guess it wasn’t clear to me because I don’t make a lot of faces in the mirror – just the one where I brush my teeth, and of course the other one where I’m yelling, “you’re never going to be good enough!” My point is, I didn’t realize I had wrinkles until a picture was posted on FB of me with my eyebrows raised and apparently my forehead was contoured with lines! My friend messaged me (actually it was TWO SEPARATE FRIENDS) saying, “Toni you have to take better care of your skin!” Jesus Christ you mean washing it with hand soap twice a week isn’t enough??!! WHAT DOES THE WORLD WANT FROM ME?

    So yeah, I’m getting older and I resist it. Not because I don’t want to be old. Being old is a gift! I think being an old lady will be super fun. I’m going to do a lot of acid, and then talk about my puss to random people at the farmers market just to freak them out. It would be a delight if I get the chance to be a raunchy, shocking, old lady that everyone has to tolerate because, “you can’t teach an old bitch new tricks.” Sounds like a dream. The old part is going to be rad. It’s this in-between part I’m not so sure I’m into because it’s so fraught with expectations.

    So far I don’t feel like I’m a successful adult. I don’t own a house. I don’t have a high paying career. I’m not invited to dinner parties, and when I go to a parent teacher conference for my kid I find myself in a state of shock that I’m sitting in that tiny chair to hear about her, not to learn long division myself. Being a mother is the most mature thing about me according to society’s standards, but keep in mind my 6-year old and I both equally enjoy the new Katy Perry song “Swish Swish,” and I can’t help but notice that we dress the same.

    So yeah, my daily uniform of leggings and hoodies does not exactly make me appear like I’ve got “my shit together” as a grown up. In many ways, I am still striving to be one. I have this endless yearning towards finding success in my artistic pursuits, and the naïve assumption that achieving that will make me feel whole, even though I know it won’t. Yet I think I hold onto my youth as a means of excusing the reality that I cannot stop making art, and that is the only life I want. It’s a childish commitment of wanting a life full of creative expression, and I’m not sure I will ever feel like I mature out of that.

    Maybe I also am stunted in a certain way because of the death of my best friend? She died when I was 20, and I part of me died too that day. Perhaps holding on to youth is my way of holding onto her. We stopped growing up together the day she died, and it’s almost like I don’t want to outgrow our friendship by leaving behind that part of me. But I’m also sure if she were alive today, we’d still be smoking pot together while skinny-dipping in lakes – doing handstands in waist deep water in the middle of the afternoon. So maybe it’s just the tribe of people I surround myself with?

    The only place where I can say with true confidence that I’ve grown is emotionally. In that way, I am mature as fuck. I self-reflect, I don’t blame others for my problems, I look out for others, I do favors, I know how to apologize, I am forgiving, I’m not afraid of failure, I take risks, I don’t hold grudges, and I try to find solutions to my challenges rather than wallow in self-pity. But I can’t put shit on a resume. There is no bragging on Facebook about my most recent accomplishment of “being really gracious when someone was taking out their bad day on me, and then helping them to dig deep into why they were acting out.” So yeah, maybe when I go on Facebook and see a Congressman Kennedy verbally eviscerate Donald Trump’s budget I think to myself, – “huh I went to high school with that kid and he’s probably gonna be president” and then fall into a spiral of self doubt where I debate pulling out all my eyelashes just to feel something different. But then I have to remind myself, “but Toni, you did open that door for that dude carrying all those boxes at the Organic Coop – so you’re doing your part.”

    Here’s Mona… having escaped and frothing at the mouth with one cataract reflecting in the sunlight.

    May 25, 2017 • ambitions, change, children, emotions, kids, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting • Views: 989

  • A Plea For Economic Social Terrorism

    Now that it’s no longer “International Women’s Day,” I notice that no one is thanking me for having a vagina. Where are all my Facebook shout outs for housing a womb to house a child? What kind of shit is this?

    The problem with the current state of activism is that social issues have become trendy. You’ll go on your Facebook newsfeed, and a gaggle of friends who think the same as you will post the same array of information. Once that trend get’s boring, it’s then no longer “cool” to post about. But social issues don’t go away just because they do on Facebook. There is still conflict in Palestine even when Banksy isn’t tagging walls.

    When causes become commodities for social capital, they may get a momentary bump in ratings, but they lose their audience once the next cause premiers on the red carpet. I went to an event the other day where these monks were talking about persecution in Tibet and their need for support and I was like, “Ummm no you’re wrong… Tibet is free, remember? I went to that concert in 1996.”

    We lose our stamina for social causes because we get protest fatigue, and then need Viagra for our activism. In the midst of our busy lives, it’s hard to schedule in “fight against tyranny.” Do I do that before or after I watch the OA? There is a sense of irony at play because the reason we agree to the concept of a goverenment in the first place is because most of us don’t WANT to think about the nuances of how a collective society functions. We prefer to defer to the Mommy and Daddy of our political system to take care of us, (or in our case in the U.S.A., mostly Daddy). Yet because we have given our power over to those that we assume “know better,” we then have to be even more diligent politically to make sure they don’t abuse their power. So in wanting freedom from the responsibility associated with having no government, we consequently lose our freedoms because of the corruption of government.

    As Trump tweets about which gender can fart in which bathroom, he’s simultaneously de-regulating business and allowing for a future of MAJOR environmental assault. Trump’s crusade against “fake news” has strangely inspired news outlets to report on their own fakeness rather than the fact that Trump’s making deals and longterm contracts for his businesses. The way this presidency is going to effect the future is terrifying when you think of how Trump prioritizes profit over the planet at every turn. Beyond Trump’s gross nature of giving chicks the “shocka,” this current regime has ZERO respect for the very real impact of business our ecosystem – which incidentally is the ONLY PLANET we have to live on. We are NOT Elon Musk and can’t afford Mars!

    Half the country is freaking out right now. We see the problematic nature of this Post-Apocalyptic Trump world, and want to do something. I like the spirit behind the call for strikes, but I think we can do more. One problem with the strategy of strikes is that if you are not of a certain social class, and believe you can’t make that kind of financial risk, you feel alienated. Also, there seems to be relatively wishy-washy outcomes. Why wasn’t there a specific demand for the strike on International Lady Day? How about women strike until the Supreme Court is ruled by a majority of women – much like it has been ruled by a majority of men since the birth of this cuntree? But the suggestion to “not go to work so guys realize how important we are” doesn’t exactly change the world. Simply wanting to be honored is too vague. We need be making clear demands, with clear outcomes, and clear deliverables. It’s not like the terrorists in Bruce Willis movies just want to be seen. No! They want x amount of cash, a private plane to get away, and to die just after hearing some pithy comeback like “yippee ka yay mother fucker.”

    So this is my plea: let’s engage in acts of economic social terrorism. I don’t think black people should pay taxes until reparations have been given, and the prison industrial complex has been abolished. I don’t think students should pay student loans until that exploitive system has been re-established and the cost of education brought down. I don’t think any of us should pay health insurance companies or our medical bills until we have universal health care. And if you are anti war, and believe that our military is one the LARGEST contributors to global warming, and terrorism, and is the greatest threat to the future of humanity, then do not pay the 21% of your taxes that go to supporting that system.

    If we all organize and refuse to participate in the economic structure that tyrannizes us, we will be heard. And guess what? There isn’t the infrastructure to come after us individually. It would be a bureaucratic nightmare. We could shut down the White House and Wall Street, and we don’t need guns to do it. We just need to be aligned.

    If we want change it’s not going to be through sporadic involvement. Change comes by kicking the system in the balls… where it hurts… with MONEY!

  • 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: 753

  • Brangelina Divorce And The Shadow of Police Shootings

    Whenever a shocking celebrity event happens there are a slew of people who will care deeply, and then another subset that will be horrified by the superficial interest in such base level gossip. If I look at my Facebook feed, I have my friends who are posting and pontificating about the Brangelina divorce, and then there are my friends who are deeply outraged – wondering why everyone is talking about a celebrity couple rather than uprising over the blatant murder of Terence Crutcher by police. Then there are those in the middle, which seem like the vast majority, who care a little about both stories – but mostly just keep living their lives.

    We feel there is a fundamental difference between gossip about celebrities and hardcore news, yet in reality they are both the same side of the coin – just a different spectrum. It’s all just information about other people. The difference between reporting about Brad fucking a French actress and police shooting innocent men is the brevity of the consequences. But the “news” is all a form is gossip about others –we just tend to be more interested in the shallow because it’s easier to swallow.

    A famous couple breaking up is a story that every adult can relate to. We’ve all broken hearts, or had our hearts broken. It’s a human-interest story because we can identify with it. Did they break up because he cheated? Well of course he cheated because he cheated on Jen to get with Angelina. Or was it the weed he smoked? Or perhaps the hookers that he may or may not have done coke off their tits? Or perhaps it was because she wants to be a humanitarian and he’s more interested in Hollywood? Did they never have sex because all their kids obliterated their passion and parental privacy? What happened??? I have to know!!

    The crazy thing isn’t that we care about Brangelina – of course we care. It’s a story we can easily wrap our simple brains around. The real crazy thing is that we are SHOCKED by the break up of Brangelina but not really that surprised by yet ANOTHER killing of an innocent person. Oh yeah… that happens. Cops kill black men all the time. BUT OH MY GOD BRAD PITT GOT BORED SCREWING THE HOTEST WOMAN ON THE PLANET???!!!

    Even in the time I was writing this YET ANOTHER unarmed black man was killed – Keith Lamont – who was not only disabled, but READING IN HIS CAR! I know a literate black man is a danger to society and all, but COME ON!

    I think this has to do with the fact that most of us can’t truly grasp a large percentage of the atrocities of the world. Our minds are too limited. It’s like dark matter. We know it’s out there, we don’t deny its existence, but we don’t understand it at all. I can easily understand the concept of infidelity in a relationship. We all can. Shut up yes you can… you have either been cheated on, or been the cheater, so get over yourself. But I can’t even sort of fathom the mindset of shooting an unarmed man in the goddamn heart. In no way can I even put myself in the headspace of what it would be like to fire a gun at another person looking me in the eyes. That story almost feels like fiction to me, where Brad’s alleged affair feels like an undeniable truth.

    Humans are innately empathetic, but most of us need a frame of reference in order to elicit compassion. We require a scaffold to build our comprehension of an event around. So when I hear about Syrian refugees I know that it’s terrible, and I want the horrors against them to stop – but my capacity of really understanding what is going on is drastically limited. Never in my life would I treat a person like these refugees are being treated, so all the stories or videos in the world can’t make me identify with what they are going through. It’s beyond me because I have had zero personal exposure to these events.

    Most people are essentially decent people. Not great mind you… but fine. They maybe lie about small things, cheat at board games, masturbate to your best friend while sleeping with you… We all commit minor infractions against each other daily. But most of us don’t murder, rape, or torture innocent civilians – and that’s why these concepts are essentially so foreign.

    The people who seem to be most impacted by the news are those that feel personally effected by it. People that have had some intimate experience, or have direct subjective fears around these stories. That is why it is so goddamn crucial for humans to exist outside their comfort zone and exhibit curiosity about the experience of other humans on the planet.

    You can’t relate to an abused woman or why she stays with her abuser? Then volunteer at a shelter and talk to one. You don’t understand the impact of a war torn country, then get a passport and visit one. You don’t comprehend why all these black people are questioning if their lives matter, then find the mother of a son who was killed by a cop and ask her.

    We will never understand the suffering of the world from behind our computers or TV screens. It’s too confusing to receive content about world events on the same medium we watch entertainment on. Yeah the news tells me innocent kids are being bombed, but that same box on the wall tells me spaceships fly around in Star Wars. Sure my computer can blatantly show me a man with his hands up getting killed, but that very same device shows me silly videos of a bear snuggling a parakeet while wearing a birthday hat. Fine that newspaper has a picture of yet another oil spill, but it also has this really pretty picture of Jennifer Lawrence.

    We have to live life to understand it. We have to expose ourselves truly to how fucked up the world is to believe it. You don’t feel the impact of environmental catastrophe until a hurricane rips your house out from under you. Global warming is just an idea, a concept, until you run out of water and are drinking your own pee.

    We Americans have a long history of allowing trivial stories to seduce away from the genuine atrocities of thew world – but it’s not because we don’t care. It’s because we are too damn sheltered!!! Talking about this shit on Facebook and posting stories isn’t enough. We have to do things outside of our homes, stretch ourselves beyond our normal routine and sacrifice our time – that precious time that we spend liking and poking each other.

    But who knows, maybe while you’re out there in the world trying to actually see it with your own eyes you meet a person who you can gossip about Brangelina with?

    Who wants to look at the yucky oil spill in Alabama when Jennifer Lawrence is sooooooo pretty!!

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    September 21, 2016 • Current Events, Environmental Impact, Political Banter • Views: 607

  • Do We All Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

    Ten years ago if I looked in the mirror and thought I looked good, that was basically all that happened. I would maybe make a face to myself, fluff my hair, and then probably fart because I was in the bathroom so why not? I didn’t call my friend’s to alert them. Nor did it occur to me to search through my room, find my camera, document my perfect pout, walk to the closest convenience store, drop off the film, come back a week later, look at the picture, and then show everyone I’ve ever met.

    Yet now with social media we feel the compulsion to share our dewy eyes after a day in the sun. We will even go so far as to cut other people out of the shot, and zoom in closer so everyone can bask in the glory of our new pixilated profile picture. But doesn’t my smile just look so cute?! YES IT DOES!

    Instagram and Facebook fan our vanity. It’s a virtual culture that feeds the ego, and the adoration is addictive – whether it’s sincere or not. I don’t ACTUALLY like everything I “like” that you post… nor do you. I “like” things because I want YOU to “like” MY things. It’s just the way it is.

    Even though there are positive elements of social media, it’s also fostering narcissism. Not just with the selfies, but also the insatiable compulsion to communicate our thoughts to our cyber audiences. We all have our fan base, as well as being fans of others. It becomes a feedback loop of self-importance, just like that snake eating its own tail – which I tried myself, but my feet really do smell.

    What we are ultimately looking for is validation for our existence. Look at my kid and tell me how cute. Check out my food and see how delicious. Gaze at my relationship and feel jealous because of its perfection. Hear my accomplishments and make me feel worthy. Weep at my sadness because it is now in your newsfeed while you are sitting on the toilet. It isn’t just about bragging or expression, but a need to be noticed and thus alive.

    In a way, most of modern society is battling narcissistic personality disorder…

    “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” –Mayo Clinic

    You may say to yourself “I don’t have a lack of empathy for others…” but how many times do you gag, roll your eyes, or make fun of someone’s lame status update? SHUT YOUR FACE I KNOW YOU DO IT!!!!

    Rather than denying the fact that this is a cultural phenomenon, we have to instead admit it, and embrace it. The only way to truly battle the contagious influence of arrogance is being able to laugh at yourself when you are seduced by it. It’s only if we are being real about our motivations that we will avoid being completely corrupted. Now go ahead and please “like” this post because if you don’t I will probably cry about it.

    (PS this blog was inspired by a conversation between me and my brother… As we were discussing how everyone is a narcissist we then starting talking about ourselves and if we were narcissists because you know… narcissism).

    LOOK AT ME AND TELL ME HOW AMAZING I AM IN EVERY WAY!

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    May 25, 2015 • Current Events, Musings • Views: 1119

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I think I have become a “like” slut ☹

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

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

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

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

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    December 8, 2014 • Musings, Relationships • Views: 1864

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Vanity and Beauty In The One Eyed Beholder

    We are living in an age of vanity. There are too many technological gadgets to document ourselves, and too many outlets to broadcast our glory. I mean, is there any point in looking cute if someone doesn’t capture your image for a new profile pic?

    I don’t think that technology is making us vain as much as it allows this pre-existing condition we often fall victim too. The difference is the ease to which we can connect to our vanity, and the instant gratification of people encouraging it with likes, thumbs up, and comments. It is almost impossible not to be somewhat seduced by it all.  When you are looking your best you kind of want the world to notice – or at least acknowledge a perfect hair day.

    Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to look good. Physicality does play a role in attracting people to you. If you are super smelly, look disheveled, and have plaque on your teeth coated in rotting meat residue – no one is going to want to spark up a conversation. We of course want to be somewhat presentable to instigate relationships. The problem is that if you are going to excessively care when people think you are hot, you are also going to care when they think your not. I am not just talking about having an off day wearing cargo shorts and Tevas.

    I sometimes worry about The Munch and the challenges of raising a daughter in a culture obsessed with female beauty.  Of course, The Munch isn’t exactly helping the situation with her mania towards fashion, and penchant towards all things ultra fancy and princess like. I really can’t tell where the Disney seduction ends and the awareness of prettiness begins…

    Soooooo… The Munch has a wandering eye – which although is exciting to have that kind of spirit in an organ, it is still something I have to address. I have been taking her to get cranial sacral work for about a year to try to avoid surgery. It has helped, but her eye is still like a deadbeat dad who keeps trying to take off when things get difficult. The next option is to have her wear a patch on the strong eye so she is forced to use the weaker one. To be honest I have been not only been dreading, but also avoiding this option. The Munch is SOOOOO particular about what she wears, I didn’t know if it was going to become this major battle of the wills. I can’t even get her to wear socks she doesn’t like – let alone a fucking eye patch on her face.

    I found the coolest, sparkliest, shiniest eye patches on the market – The Munch would for sure scoff at a flesh colored Band-Aid with zero pizzazz. Luckily there were some options that had a little swagger to them. I was nervous about how it would be received so I brought Munch to the chiropractor who has been helping her, and we put it on her ceremoniously.

    She actually took it pretty well. The only thing she complains about so far is his her eye getting hot and sweaty.  She doesn’t seem evenly slightly concerned about looking like a princess pirate.

    The Munch really reminded me that you don’t have to let physical “imperfections” limit your confidence, especially when you have style.

    eye-patch-blog-(i)

    July 14, 2014 • 1st time for everything, Musings • Views: 17793

  • Shitty Messages

    One of the biggest problems in relationships is communication. When you aren’t communicating in a functional way, everything goes to shit, down shit creek, without a shitty paddle. Once there is a breakdown everything gets misconstrued and assumptions are made – which as we know makes ass out of just about everyone – except for that donkey because he really is a good guy.

    One of the most dysfunctional ways to deal with emotional problems is to write a shitty email/text/facebook message to express your discontent. I don’t think I have ever gotten an email telling me how I suck, read it, and then thought, “Wow, they really have a good point. I in fact do blow!” Every time I get one of those I instead get defensive, angry, annoyed, and usually respond with venom.

    One of the main problems with the instant connectivity of devices is that they tether you to your community like a ball on string waiting to be beaten by a child. There are too many ways to get a hold of people – and too many impersonal platforms to complain. In the olden days when you would have to cross the prairie to tell your friend Eliza-Jane that she is a cunt for not thanking you for the corn biscuits, or ride 2-weeks to the next town to bitch out Jebediah for his horse shitting on your lawn…. You would have to be REALLY mad to make that effort. Where now you can just sit back on the couch and flap your thumbs around to nitpick about every minor annoyance.

    The reality is that we don’t actually have to tell people everything that is irritating about them because guess what, there is a shit ton that is super bothersome about you too. Rather than presuming the worst out of the people we love, we should be supposing the best.

    Most of the times when people inconvenience you it is not because they are doing so maliciously, or have some agenda to ruin your life. If you take five minutes to put yourself in their shoes, usually you can figure out that the intention wasn’t to piss you off. The majority of the time people are exasperating because they are dealing with their own lives and the horror of existence.

    I feel like there should be a rule that you can only discuss a petty problem with someone if you are willing to hike a mountain, travel in a horse and buggy risking dysentery, and French kiss a carrier pigeon to ensure your message is received.  But don’t write shitty messages just because you can…

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    July 10, 2014 • Musings, Relationships • Views: 13204