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  • Mushroom’s Mental Meanderings

    A schedule is a helpful asset to adult survival. It allows structure to existence so as to better enslave my spirit to the constrictions of the matrix. Yet every so often I can feel oppressed by the mundane predictability of life. Go figure! I know I’m not alone in this feeling of psychic enslavement. We all have our methods of mental escape. Right at this very moment there is a guy on the Internet buying a pair of panties from a lady who has worn them for 6 days without showering. For whatever reason smelling these sullied undies will bring this man joy he can’t otherwise access. I must be kind of a square when it comes to rearranging my headspace because even the thought of strange man’s underwear penetrating my nasal cavity makes me dry heave. As such, I instead turn to other sources of inspiration to mix up my mind…

    Mushrooms!

    Mushrooms have become very “in vogue” recently thanks to Microsoft engineers partaking in micro-dosing morning rituals. Many of the human androids belonging to Silicon Valley wake up, have a bit of coffee, and then ingest tiny licks of psychedelics with their Wheaties. The true breakfast of champions!

    Psychotropic drugs are ever so slowly becoming normalized in mainstream culture as a means of healing and self-betterment. “Micro-dosing” is a developing phenomenon and method for partaking in this mind-magnifying ritual of psychedelic ingestion, and I am a big advocate of this happening! I’m pretty sure if the Republican party woke up every morning to a Grateful Dead smoothie instead of their usual breakfast of goat’s blood and virgin flesh, the world would be a much different place! Yet personally I’m not sure I can keep up with the micro-dosing schedule. I barely remember to brush me teeth in the mornings (read as never) so adding slightly tripping to the docket seems like an unreasonable expectation of myself. As such, I prefer my mushrooms the old-fashioned way. Eating a bunch on top of a mountain and hoping I eventually find my way down in the dark.

    Considering not everyone can get their hands on some cow shit foraged mushrooms or a fresh sheet of acid, I figured I would share my top 3 most recent mental meanderings while on mushrooms with you. Who knows, maybe reading this will save you the trip?

    1) Nature is excessively beautiful. It’s painful how gorgeous a sunset can be. Even when inside the moment of experiencing natural glory, there is always a part of me that can’t appreciate it fully. That can’t suppress this underlying sense of nostalgic mourning for what I’m observing. I look at how amazing it all is and simultaneously feel the loss that the moment is fleeting. This tragic knowledge makes me miss the moment even when it’s right in front of me. Everything ends and will be lost in a memory I can only vaguely access. That tragedy makes me never want to leave the beauty of nature and instead focus purely on how gorgeous it all is. Yet with nature, the beauty is endless. As day turns to night, which turn to day again, there is nothing but beauty to witness if your eyes are open enough to see it. How perfect a blade of grass is, or a butterfly wing. How remarkable it is the way ants move, or when clouds morph. Human beings had to develop an indifference to this beauty. It was crucial to not always see it in order to prioritize other things like eating, mating, and staying alert for the dangers of predators. It was an evolutionary necessity to build up an indifference in order to function, yet this muscle has been over-developed. It’s become grossly exaggerated, pulsing, throbbing, and taking up too much space with its excessive force. Now in order to relax that muscle we often turn to drugs to bring us back to that state of being. Drugs are how we access the ability to acknowledge fully just how magical it all is. We crave reprieve from this feeling of indifference yet it’s this same feeling of indifference that also paved the path for “progress.”

    2) In a capitalist society class is so deeply ingrained in your psyche that it will forever stain your understanding of self regardless of what’s in your bank account. If you were born rich, you will always see yourself as a rich person. Even if you lose all your money, you will just feel like a rich person who happens to not have money. Yet if you’re born poor, that mindset will stalk you as well. Even if you make a billion dollars, you will still feel like a poor person who just happens to have money.

    3) After I made it down from the mountain (SURPRISE) I of course sat under the stars. Looking up at the sky, I could see the energetic connections between the stars – this hazy blaze of luminescence that tied the stars together in a cosmic web of connection. It looked like the synapses that attach neurons in our brains. This made me realize that not only are the stars communicating with each other, but the structure vastly resembles the neural network of the human mind. So… check it. What if planet earth is just one neuron inside the head of giant conscious being, and every star in our universe (or multiverse) are actually neurons inside this giant conscious skull? And what if that giant being is part of a community of other giant beings and whatever planet they are on is just one neuron inside the scull of ANOTHER giant conscious being? Which means subsequently that every neuron in each of our brains are actually the stars of a smaller universes and in one of our neurons is a little planet like earth?

    RIGHT????

    Aren’t feathers and clouds UNBELIEVABLE!! Isn’t it crazy not to spend your days staring at them and never doing anything else ever again?

  • Attracting the Law of Attraction

    What do you guys feel about the “law of attraction?” Do you feel you attracted to it? Have you been able to attract the law of attraction? Does that word sound silly to you now? Attraction. Attraction. Attraction. AHHHHH LIFE HAS NO MEANING!

    In simple terms, the “law of attraction” means the ability to attract into our lives what we focus on. If you direct your attention towards negative thoughts, then, that’s what you will attract. But if you focus on positive things, then suddenly you will be transported to a land of clouds made of cotton candy where fairies fart plum flavored pixie dust into your mouth and all your life’s dreams will be accomplished as hard-bodied lovers massage your inner thighs and kiss you tenderly with their eyes open to better gaze upon your magnificence. I don’t know about you guys, but I guess I must be a negative thinker because my life seems to be more of a series of mouth farts made by a burly guy that has heart burn and a penchant for sloppy-joes.

    I have a law of attraction story (I think), but you guys have to help me better understand it.

    The other day I went for a hike in the backwoods of my house with my friend, and we did what any two responsible mothers having a break from parenting would do – smoked a joint and started obsessing about how moss is spiritual. We were having a grand time pontificating about the splendor of nature and its endless capacity to incorporate the needs of all living organisms when the unthinkable happened – we ran into another human being!

    These woods are technically private property, but, also are they? Can anyone really own the land, man? But what I do know for sure, is that this lady took one look at me dressed in my uniform of sweatpants, a buffalo plaid hunting shirt, a jacket 4 sizes too big, and my hair resembling a nest for baby possums, and questioned if I was an undeserving vagabond who didn’t belong in these private woods, relishing the forest floor, deliberating if mushrooms are actually God’s freckles. I live in a pretty snobby area where people are VERY concerned about the goings on of others and always trying to make sure if you truly BELONG. It’s the New England way to belittle anyone who you think might be poorer than you.

    Lady in the Woods: Did you come from the highway down the road?
    Toni: I did not. We came from the estate over yonder! Betwixt the lord’s land and the serf’s manor. And you my lady? From where did you emerge?
    Lady in the Woods: Oh. My parents live up the road.
    Toni: Cool.

    Awkward silence.

    Toni: I’ve never seen another person in these woods before.
    Lady in the Woods: Neither have I.

    More awkward silence.

    Lady in the Woods: So, what do you do about ticks?
    Toni: Oh, ummm, nothing really.
    Lady in the Woods: Well, I had Lyme disease so I’m extra concerned.
    Toni: That makes sense.
    My Friend: I make a yarrow tincture.
    Lady in the Woods: I never heard that. I’ll try it.

    As my friend and I walked off, I was kind of irritated. For one – I didn’t like this lady’s attitude. Even if we had come from the road does that mean we should be denied the opportunity to stroll amongst the trees?! It’s not like my friend and I had chainsaws and were hacking plants recklessly. We weren’t smashing beer bottles, or hunting wildlife. We were chilling! This lady’s energy felt so elitist, exemplifying the very selfish attitude of the wealthy that only THEY are eligible to experience pristine natural beauty while us peasants should instead congregate at “public beaches” and “public parks” to roll around in the trash of their corporate greed. Barf.

    My second problem was that this lady made me think about ticks!

    Toni: Who does that lady think she is? Being so damn proprietary! PRETTY SURE THIS IS MY FAMILY’S LAND!!! MINE MINE MINE!! Also… I wasn’t thinking about ticks at ALL before she said that, and now I can’t stop thinking about them!
    My Friend: That’s a little nutty. You didn’t think about ticks once? This whole time?
    Toni: NO! Didn’t even occur to me.
    My Friend: Well, maybe you should think about them?
    Toni: How is that going to make my life any better? I was having such a good time in my head not thinking about fucking ticks… and now that I’m thinking about ticks, I’m having a less good time!
    My Friend: Still, it’s a little hubris not to think of ticks.
    Toni: Aren’t ticks the physical manifestation of capitalism? These creatures that suck blood until they are so full they just fall off their victim and are forced to then lay on the floor, unable to walk away because their bodies become too bloated and their legs too short to touch the ground?
    My Friend: This lady Susun Weed who has a podcast I listen to says that she just asks the part of her body and consciousness that feels things on her skin to communicate with her. She connects with that internal knowledge that has the awareness to let her know if there is a tick walking around.
    Toni: Huh. That’s pretty smart.
    My Friend: Right?

    So, I did just that. I asked my body to let me know if there were any ticks on me.

    I got home and suddenly my body told me: take off your socks and pants. Wouldn’t you know it… THERE WERE TWO TICKS ON MY LEGS! I got them off, and then asked my body again to let me know if there were any more. About ten minutes later I picked one off my head, and then ANOTHER off my neck!

    Now here is my question!!

    Did this lady save me by mentioning the ticks? After all, if she hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have thought to take off my pants and socks to look for ticks at all. It’s because of that conversation that I became concerned about ticks and tried to connect to my body to give me insight on whether or not they were on me. Also, the fact that she initially offended my sense of morality made the conversation that much more heightened. So, in reality, her being a judgmental profiler made me listen even more.

    Or

    Did this lady CAUSE the ticks? If she hadn’t said anything I never would have thought of the ticks at all! Did her mentioning the ticks made me think of them and there for ATTRACT THEM TO ME!? Had I never thought of the ticks, would I never have attracted them, and there for never HAD to look for them.

    WHICH ONE IS IT??

    (PS my friend had NO ticks on her…)

    (PPS my friend was also using the yarrow tincture)

    Here are the two first ticks…

    May 24, 2018 • Adventures, emotions, Musings, responsibilities • Views: 723

  • Nursing the Teat of the Earth Dry

    We all have shamanic rituals we enact to get through life on this earth – these sacred routines that help connect you to your higher self and escape the harshness of reality. Maybe for you it’s taking a bath, gardening, staring at the stars, breathing in the wind, digging a ditch to then writhe naked with the worms while humming show tunes, or watching Internet porn? To each his own. For me, I like to walk around the lake by my house – it’s pretty.

    The other day as I was walking, it started to rain. I looked above me and could see the rain cloud, but also a patch of blue sky in front of me. I figured, “Oh Toni, you’re right underneath the rain cloud, so you just have to run in front of it to where the sky is blue, and then you won’t get rained on anymore!” Yes, you heard me right. I thought I could outrun a rain cloud, and genuinely tried to accomplish that goal for the remaining 3 miles around the lake – and wouldn’t you know it – I never was able to RUN FASTER THAN THE EARTH’S ROTATION? Weird right?

    Or maybe it was weird that I authentically thought this was possible? Oh whoops, I forgot to tell you I was pretty stoned during this experience, so that might explain some things.

    We think we are in control of the earth. Humanity maintains this illusion that we have power over the planet and that we Sapiens are the priority above all other the species, and even the planet itself. We believe that all the earth’s bounty and resources are primarily for us to sustain our lives, even at the cost of everything else. Yet why? For thousands of years mankind was much more in tune with the harmony of the natural world and our place inside it, rather than above it. Why have we become corrupted into assuming that humans deserve to consume everything in our wake?

    A hostile ideology towards nature has permeated modern thinking and Francis Bacon, who is considered the father of empiricism and “Western” scientific method, ejaculated this attitude. Bacon would use analogies of raping and controlling the earth when discussing the need for science as a means to dominate nature. His metaphors were filled with violence towards the feminine, and it was his teachings that birthed our Western relationship to science.

    No wonder we as a species are acting so viciously towards the planet. There is a collective sentiment of domination over nature like she is a woman that needs to be put in her place. The arrogance that nature can be restricted is echoed in the way the world treats women and all that the feminine has come to represent. Consider our relationship oil – it’s as if we are sucking at the teat of the world, yet giving her no time to replenish. Is it really a good idea to keep nursing until there is no more milk left to nourish? Doesn’t mother earth, like an actual nursing mother, need time to rejuvenate? Even a baby knows to take a break and stare into space for a little while or play with its fingers. How are we so smart about so many things, yet so unaware that you can’t treat the earth, or women, like they are purely vessels for taking whatever you want from them?

    We use the term “mother nature” acknowledging the symbiotic relationship that the planet sustains all life, yet we simultaneously treat her like a disposable whore. There is a psychological conflict that’s taking place and it’s reiterated in the way women are treated across the globe. The violence towards the earth is reverberated in the violence towards women. We take advantage of the mother earth much like we take advantage of mothers. If the mother instinct prevailed, then preservation of the future would be the top priority over money and the restrictions of a privatized global economy. Every decision would be made under the lens of “what is best for my children” rather than “what is best for me.” Yet sadly, and irrationally, that’s not our approach.

    The human species is the greatest ecological serial killer the earth has ever known. Over the past 50,000 years a staggering amount of animals have gone extinct because of our influence. We are in the midst of a 3rd mass extinction of animals right now. Our 3rd! We have done this before. North America used to be the home of giant 8-ton sloths that were 20 ft high. There were rodents the size of bears. Wooly mammals. Giant Tigers. Right here where you’re sitting! All the animals that exist today, are a mere fraction of what used to be – we killed them all. And all that death made way for what? The most useless generation of humans ever to exist? Yeah maybe we can text really fast while driving, but we don’t know shit about survival. Human beings at least used to be one with their environment – I don’t even know how to keep myself alive without a refrigerator. I just go to the grocery store and am like, “Uhhhh this box of food looks look good.” Most of us are useless. We’re not inventing solutions to the world’s problems; we’re just creating more trash.

    Yet even if all the citizens in the US lived in intentional communities of off the grid geodesic domes, ate only organic vegan food grown locally in our shoes, dressed exclusively in clothes that were hemp colored hemp, and traveled purely by unicycle – the military industrial complex would still be polluting the planet at an alarming rate. We can’t just change our personal behavior; we also have to address the entire system that operates without consideration of the future, which I know, feels exhausting.

    So yes, we as individuals have to do everything we can to be more ecologically aware and lesson our footprint, but we also can’t forget about the GIANT BOOT on our chests that is the US military, and most of corporate culture that operates by the rules of Wall Street rather than the laws of nature.

    Hope y’all had a good earth day over the weekend and weren’t thinking about the apocalyptic shit that I was!

    April 25, 2018 • Current Events, Environmental Impact, Political Banter • Views: 735

  • WHAT IS THE POINT OF HIKING?

    When I go hiking, my objective is to get to the end of the trail. I am NOT the type of person who can trek half way up a mountain, and then turn around. No fucking way. If I start walking up a goddamn hill, you bet your sweet ass I am going to get to the top!

    I am definitely not one to dilly dally, dawdle, or meander. I wouldn’t dream of straying from the trail. I look straight ahead and propel my body forward. I don’t take breaks. EVER! I barely stop for water, and certainly wouldn’t dream of eating – that would slow me down! I’ve got places to go!!

    So can you imagine my horror when I realized that I have given birth to the type of hiker who wants to linger and explore!?

    This was my experience hiking with The Munch.

    .1 miles in: “Mom! Lets go check out these rocks over there!” (She jumps over rocks for 10 minutes).

    We get back on the path and walk 25 feet. “Hey, look at this right here. These rocks! Let’s go check them out!” (She plays on rocks for another 5 minutes.)

    “Mom, I am hungry! Let’s have snack!” (She eats a bar).

    We walk 100 feet farther down the path: “MOM!! Check out these rocks! Let’s go over here! Aren’t these so cool!?” (More rock playing).

    We get back on the path. “Mom. I’m hungry again. Can I have my seaweed chips?”

    She walks WITH her seaweed chips for .2 miles.

    “Mom, let’s take a little rest. Can I have some of my sammich?”

    She eats half, of a half, of her sammich.

    Back on the path for 20 feet.

    “Mom, can I have the other half, of that half, of my sammich.”

    She stops, finishes that half, and we walk 80 feet.

    “Mom, can I have some water?”

    She drinks water, we walk .2 miles.

    “Mom!! Check out this hill! Can I go up it?”

    I remind her that the hill is NOT on the path, and we should continue on the path.

    “Ummm I think I’m going to go up and down this hill a few times. Will you come with me? PLEASE!?”

    I again remind her that said hill is NOT the path.

    “COME ON MOM! PLEASE!”

    We go up and down the hill a few times.

    “Can I have the other half of my sammich?”

    She eats her sammich.

    This was my experience for the ENTIRE 3 MILE HIKE!! And get this. SHE DIDN’T EVEN CARE ABOUT GETTING TO THE END OF THE TRAIL! She just wanted to enjoy nature, look around, take breaks, eat snacks, and investigate the terrain. I guess where I am more “goal oriented,” The Munch is more “process oriented.”

    OF COURSE THE UNIVERSE GAVE ME A CHILD WHO APPRECIATES THE JOURNEY NOT THE OUTCOME – TO TORTURE ME!

    hike-blog

  • We are not in NYC anymore

    It has been 6 years since I lived in the city. Over half a decade of cuntree living where I have learned to become comfortable with spiders in my bed, eviscerated mice on my floor, and ripping ticks out of my body on a nightly basis. I am accustomed to power outages, mega snowstorms, and black flies coming out of my ass. Seriously. I think I need to see a doctor about that. I have officially substituted my “New York party girl” lifestyle for my new identity of “woman in woods dry humping trees.”

    You know how when you kill a lobster, you throw it in water and boil it slowly so it doesn’t notice it’s dying? I guess that’s kinda been my life. The change is obvious to everyone else, but I haven’t really noticed my gradual demise into becoming a total hick.

    So my friend Mika (who I’ve known for 13 years) came to visit the other day, and I was over the moon with excitement to see her!! When she got to my house, she took one look at my overall physical presentation (including braids I had been sleeping in for 3 days) and just kind of stared for a minute.

    Mika: I can’t get over this outfit? We are seriously not in New York anymore.
    Toni: I actually kind of dressed up for you?

    I mean when I think about it, holy shit I am seriously kind of scummy. But when you don’t really see other humans that often – and when you do they are New Hampshire people who wear their nice fleece jackets out to restaurants – there just isn’t the culture of caring of metropolitan areas.

    Part of why I live in the thickets is because of the lifestyle I am giving The Munch. I actually enjoy being in cities, but I think her life has a better quality in this wholesome natural environment. Right? Like isn’t it kind of a magical childhood to grow up in the forest surrounded by woodland creatures and innocence?

    So I decided to ask Munch what she thought about our living situation considering she is a huge motivation for why I am here.

    Toni: Hey Munch, do you like growing up in the country?
    Munch: Yes!
    Toni: Would you rather live in the city?
    Munch: No. I like living in the country!
    Toni: What do you like about it?
    Munch: Well, there is more grass. And you don’t have to walk everywhere because you can drive places. And you can go swimming outside. If you live in a city you have to go find a building with a pool in it to go swimming – but here you can swim in the fresh air. And you don’t have that many neighbors in the country, because in the city there are too many neighbors. Also, I like my neighbors here in the country because they are my family. The city has too many people and they all probably fart a lot. I mean, maybe just in their beds, but I bet you could smell it if you were their neighbor.

    not-nyc-blog-2

    June 29, 2015 • Birth • Views: 1597

  • Just Because You Are Privileged Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Entitled

    My kid is privileged. Not like Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West or anything… she doesn’t have $100,000 diamond earrings, wear designer Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, of have birthday parties where a giraffe does cocaine off a hippo’s tits. We don’t have it like that. But The Munch lives in a house where she is fed, warm, and has plenty of toys. She attends a wholesome school where they learn what acorns are made out of, and the biggest stress of her day is not getting to eat as many cookies as she wants. Compared to the vast majority of the world, pretty sure she has it fucking made.

    I know there is only so much you want to expose your 4-year old to regarding the tragedies of the world – but I also don’t want The Munch to be an entitled little shit who doesn’t understand how lucky she is. There is innocence to childhood you don’t want to corrupt, but letting your kid believe the world is exclusively a benevolent place can also be corrupting. There is a delicate balance between being truthful, and just traumatizing. I don’t think I need to explain the horror of child brides in India, but I do think we can talk about sweatshops making crappy plastic toys she doesn’t need. I am not trying to make my kid fear the world, but I do want her to have a realistic perception of it.

    I try to make these conversations authentic, and come up when appropriate. It is not like I put her to bed at night and whisper in her ear, “sleep well sweetheart… and just remember 90% of the indigenous tribes in the Amazonian rainforest have been destroyed, and every 2 minutes someone in the United States gets sexually assaulted. Nighty night.” Yet there are many opportunities to talk about complex issues and give The Munch some perspective.

    I try to provoke exchanges that help Munch understand that the world does not exist to serve her every need. No dude, you cannot keep the water running in the bath just so you can fill cups with the “waterfall.” Water is a precious resource and we have to respect it. There are children who have to walk miles to get access to water. Yeah running water is fun to play with, but once the bath is full, you have to shut it off so you don’t waste it. Fine maybe this comes to bite me in the ass when she insists I wash dishes with only a stream as thick as a pubic hair, but at least she has got the right idea!

    The Munch and I can talk about resources, environmentalism, the economy, whatever – it just has to be in a context that has meaning to her. For example, she loves to eat candy so we can debate how certain candy has a lot of chemicals, and that is why we don’t buy that kind. The chemicals are bad for your body, unfairly compete with farmers who grow organically, and make the ground all yucky. I don’t have to say how Monsanto products cause cancer or factory farmed meat comes from animals who lived in torture chambers and then were mercilessly murdered – but I can say that meat didn’t come from a happy cow, so lets find another kind.

    Kids are way smarter than we think, and they do have a sense of empathy even if they are mostly driven by their egos. They are kind of like men in that way. JUST KIDDING! There was one afternoon when Munch and I talked about homelessness, and she wanted to know if there were any children that didn’t have a house to live in.

    Munch: Who are they mom? Do you we know any of these children?
    Toni: No we don’t know them, but there are millions of them in the world.
    Munch: Can we see them?

    So we went online and looked at pictures of homeless children, and talked about why some people have money, and others don’t. It is not like we discussed major economic theory or the Federal Reserve, but she does understand the concepts of selfishness, and greed.

    Toni: Certain people have so much money that they are able to ensure that they keep making more money. Once you have a bunch of money, it is easier to maintain because you are running the businesses that make all the money. It isn’t that there isn’t enough money to go around; the problem is the way it is distributed. The people who have the most want to keep the money for themselves, and not share it.
    Munch: Why don’t they want to share? Didn’t they go to school and learn about how it is important to share?
    Toni: Well they did. But it isn’t just about the money. Money also means you have power. And people want power.
    Munch: But is the power more important than children? Why can’t the people with money give money to the children so they can have houses?
    Toni: Well, that is a good point. But it isn’t just the people that need to change. It is also the systems.
    Munch: But who makes the systems?
    Toni: The people.
    Munch: So pretty sure the people just need to change – then there will be no more children who don’t have homes.

    (Turn off that fucking bath water!!)

    privilidge-blog-(i)

  • Swimming In Bacteria Like a Boss

    Okay. So I totally fucked up. But it’s not totally my fault. It is also nature’s fault… and global warming… and all the politicians/corporations/bankers who are ass fucking the planet. But I guess it is also my fault too.

    This is what happened. I live on a lake. It is a beautiful clean mountain lake. I have always thought it was a magical, healing, energetically pure body of water. It never occurred to me to doubt its virtue. The other day my baby sitter, Lilliana, brought The Munch to the beach to go swimming and was told not to go in because of bacteria contaminating the water. When Lilliana texted me this information I was like, “what the holy dick hole. I don’t believe this shit. I have never heard of this in my life. NEVER in 30 years on this lake have I been told not to swim because of bacteria! That is some serious yuppie bullshit!!”

    I just didn’t believe the hype, and quite arrogantly considering I did ZERO research on the subject. Had I just taken… oh… I don’t know… 3 minutes on the Internet all my questions would have been solved. But NO! I was NOT going to be told that I couldn’t swim in the damn lake I have been swimming in my whole damn life.

    Okay so this is where shit got bad. Later that afternoon when I went to pick up Munch she mentioned our plan to go swimming that we had made earlier that morning before this whole debacle.

    Toni: Do you think we should care about the bacteria in the water?
    Munch: Nope.
    Toni: Cool. I am going to trust you because you have the wisdom of a 4-year old. Forget the fact that I am an adult who can and should research potentially dangerous situations. Lets do this because you, my child, say its cool.

    And we drove straight to the bacteria filled beach.

    Okay, so here is a little context. For one… august has been cold as fuck. New England weather already sucks, and our summer has been uncharacteristically short. It didn’t get warm enough to swim until July, and then we had a serious cold rainy front for most of August. Essentially we got dicked out of summer and our only swimming time. After days and days of crappy weather, it was finally a nice day to swim. To not go because of some cryptic threat seemed ludicrous.

    Then next influence is my overall denial of drastic changes in the environment. I know they exist – but I don’t want to actually believe it. I see all those kids wearing sun shirts to protect their skin from the hole in the ozone, but I keep going back to the fact that I never wore sunscreen when I was a child… so what is the big deal? It is this stubborn renouncing of obvious truths because to admit reality is too painful. Yeah maybe when I was a kid the lake wasn’t contaminated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t now.
    Here is another element of the equation that maybe is less nature’s problem and more mine. I felt SUPER guilty about how much I have been working all summer, and wasn’t feeling like I spent enough time doing stuff outside with Munch. The fact that the season was almost over, made me feel like I didn’t appreciate it. The months went by so fast, and I spent an ample of amount of time inside working trying to make something out of my life. It was this crippling realization that my relentless ambition kept me from enjoying the fleeting warm months with my child.

    The last contributing factor to this scene is the “Holly” in me. You see, my mom –Holly- has a very particular approach to life. She is they type of woman who has mustard from the 80’s that she will put in your sandwich – ignoring the fact it expired 15 years ago – and rationalize eating it because fermentation or whatever. She has fed me rice with maggots unknowingly cooked in, because hey protein. She doesn’t measure when she cooks because measuring is for pussies. She let me ride in the back of a pick up truck because you know, safety is for weak. My mom just doesn’t give a fuck. She operates on her own frequency, and her attitude has obviously impacted my psychology.

    So being told I couldn’t swim because of some stupid bacteria seemed absurd! Forget the fact that NO ONE was at the lake. Never mind the water was eerily still and I could see the algae floating on the surface. Munch and I went anyway, had a wonderful swim, and watched the sunset.

    Sooooooooooooo…

    The next morning The Munch felt a little off. Her throat hurt, her tummy was cramping, but she seemed to pull through after breakfast so I totally forgot about it.

    Later that afternoon we again went to the beach. I assumed whatever silly little water thing HAD to be cleared up by now because it was all so ridiculous any way. Buuuuuut…. yet again it was closed. Yet this time though, there was a GIANT sign explaining what was going on with the water. So yeah…. I spend a moment looking it up, and it turns any contact with this bacteria can make you sick as fuck – including skin rashes, fever, sore throats, and stomach problems.

    Ummmm whoops.

    After I read that, I couldn’t help but feel sick myself. I couldn’t tell if it was in my paranoid head, or it was because I HAD BEEN SWIMMING IN BACTERIA FILLED WATER LIKE AN OVERCONFIDENT FOOL!

    So my guilt about not playing outside enough with my kid quickly transformed into guilt about maybe poisoning her with bacteria infested water. Luckily, she seems fine and never got to the explosive diarrhea or anal leakage stage… thank god Munch has been eating over at mom’s house having old mustard sandwiches with maggot filled rice to build her immune system.

    bacteria-blog-(i)

  • The Preppy White Hiker

    Walking is like cocaine. Seriously it is. It releases the same endorphins, and stimulates the same of the brain that makes you want to talk.  Walking while talking makes you more open, and facilitates dialogue. If you are ever in an intense argument with someone, go for a walk together and immediately the energy will change.

    When you hike a mountain with someone, not only are you high as fuck from the altitude, but also the walking. Of course on your way up it is hard to communicate because you are trying to breathe while also wondering why you went hiking in the first place, and if you even like hiking at all.  Yet after you bask in the accomplishment of making it to the top, the hike down is prime opportunity for some epic conversations.

    My friend Sasha recently came to visit me, and we went on adventure hiking up a mountain. On our way down, we did what any normal person would do – start talking about sex. For the majority of the hike we were the only ones on the trail, so by this point all our inhibitions melted away as we got intimate – in the discussion… not with each other you pervert.

    We were going on and on about past experiences, fantasies, likes, dislikes – totally oblivious to the world around us.  Now, the way were were traversing down the mountain was in the following positioning. I was in front, while Sasha was behind – revealing herself as I was taking it all in.  Wait… stop begin so gross. I meant she was talking and I was listening.

    Just as Sasha was exposing one of the most personal private parts… of her story you sicko… I saw a man coming towards us.

    He was the quintessential white, New England hiker. I am pretty sure he is the type of dude who chops wood to warm his cabin at night, reads Thoreau with a warm glass of whisky on a whicker chair, and the only time he has ever talked about his feelings is when he said “see you later” to his dad on his death bead. This was not a man who seemed to be in touch with his emotions, nor would he ever share any personal details about his life beyond what brand of wool socks keeps you most warm once wet with morning dew.  He was wearing his hiking boots, shorts, plaid shirt, a back pack with water, and sun hat.  He was that guy.

    We made eye contact through the trees, and I wanted to communicate to Sasha that this man was coming – but I didn’t know how…  I just kept walking forward and letting her talk, sort of thinking everything was going to be okay because she must have seen him too right?  The Preppy Hiker kept walking towards us, and could hear everything that was coming out of Sasha’s hole…. in her face you horny toad!

    Sasha: Every time I have been in a situation where people are having sex right in front of me I get super turned on. I just really get off on watching other people fuck.

    Right as Sasha uttered that last word – she looked up and saw the hiker.

    White New England Hiker: Uhhhhh… Don’t mind me….

    That was pretty much the best moment of all of our lives.

    hiker-story-(i)

  • Death On The Farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    death-farm-(i2)

    death-farm-blog-(i)