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Posts

  • Whatever Doesn’t Kill You… Puts You in a Really Bad Mood

    You can’t avoid pain. It’s an inevitable part of life. The only thing you can do when you experience pain is to wallow in it dramatically and complain incessantly to anyone within a 10 -mile radius. Or you can try to learn from it. Whatever, who cares?

    Last Monday I got home from dance and had a bad feeling about my back. I woke up in the middle of the night, and it had gone into spasm. My entire lower back had seized up, and even sitting up was incredibly challenging.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. If I were to trace my lower back pain, it started when I was in the 5th grade. Maybe it was the super intense stress I was under at school making dioramas, or maybe it was the trampoline I spent 10 hours a day on. Who knows?

    But this particular back spasm episode was the worst it has ever been. I called my acupuncturist and made an appointment. She couldn’t see me until 3:30, which was a REALLY LONG TIME TO WAIT! I called my friend Grace hoping that she would have some maxa, which are Chinese herbs you light on fire to smoke your hurt body as it draws out the bad chi. I needed her help because I couldn’t reach my back or butt, which was where all the tightness was.

    Toni: Can you come over smoke my ass?
    Grace: I sure can.

    Even after a good ass smoking I was still a wreck. I laid on the floor helpless.

    Grace: Do you want a blanket?
    Toni: No I hate blankets?
    Grace: How can you hate blankets?
    Toni: I hate seeing people under blankets. I hate being under blankets. It’s too vulnerable.
    Grace: You look cold.
    Toni: Just grab some of the sweaters over there, and throw them on top of me.
    Grace: Oooookayyyyy.

    I lay under sweaters, WHICH ARE NOTE THE SAME AS BLANETS, until it was finally 3pm. I then pathetically got in my car, in hopes that some needles would help. Now my acupuncturist isn’t just any acupuncturist. She’s a 5th generation acupuncturist / Chinese herbalist, and she’s a goddamn sorceress. But she’s also not fucking around. She doesn’t just put needles in, but she turns them in farther the entire time – tuning me like an instrument. She is about as large as Thumbelina, and as strong a linebacker. She seriously scares me.

    She jammed a bunch of needles in me, pressed my pressure points, gave me some herbs, and sent me on my way. The next morning I woke up, and I was worse. I knew this would be a possibility because sometimes acupuncture draws the pain to the surface. I couldn’t move so I asked if she could come to my house. She said she could be there at 3:30… which is A GODDAMN LONG TIME TO WAIT!

    My mom called so I complained to her.

    My Mom: Why don’t you come here and I will put castor oil on your back. You can sit in the sauna so you don’t get castor oil everywhere and make a huge mess. I will sit with you. It will be cute.

    I hobbled over and my mom greeted my in her Anne of Green Gables nightgown.

    My Mom: I wore this so I wouldn’t worry if I got castor oil on my nightgown.

    It took me about 10 minutes to take off my clothes and lay down in her sauna. I couldn’t fit because my stupid body is too tall, so I squeezed myself in so my feet and head were pressing up against the walls. My mom put the castor oil on me, added a heat pack, took off her nightgown, and sat her naked bum inches from my face as she chatted away.

    My Mom: This is fun!
    Toni: Uh huh….
    My Mom: Good thing you are too weak to get your camera and write about this.
    Toni: There’s still time mom….

    After an hour I extricated myself from the sauna and still felt terrible.

    My Mom: Why don’t you get in the shower?
    Toni: I really can’t. I wanna die.
    My Mom: Well, you are going to get castor oil everywhere if you don’t so….
    Toni: Okay… okay.

    MY MOM OBVIOUSLY HAS A REAL FEAR OF CASTOR OIL MESS!

    I leaned against the shower wall, and let the castor oil spread all over my legs. Not really sure if that’s what my mom had in mind, I took my slicked body and got dressed. I staggered home and waited for the acupuncturist. When she arrived she had a bag full of different healing remedies. She pulled out a giant brown stick.

    My acupuncturist: Do you have this?
    Toni: Tree branches?
    My acupuncturist: Cinnamon.
    Toni: I don’t know anyone who has this.

    She gave me the massive cinnamon stick and showed my how to make tea. Then she heated up some herbs to maxa me. She worked on me for a few hours, but still the spasm persisted.

    That night I did something I never thought I would.

    I took the white man’s medicine.

    For the first time in 15 years, Toni Nagy took an “Aleve.”

    I woke up the next morning and the spasm was over. (uhhh thanks Western medicine)? The tightness had remained however, and it was still really hard to move.

    I will spare you the details of the rest of my week, but it was pretty dismal. I had to have my back smoked every day – a half hour process that is NOT exciting for the other person I was dependent on. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only human who has ever has been maxad by someone watching the Patriots game. Although I have to say, having burning hot coals over your body as someone is swearing at the TV isn’t as relaxing as you would think. I also took over 90 Chinese pills a day, and forced anyone who was kind enough to visit me to also massage my back/ass. By the time it was Sunday, I must have the loosest ass this side of the Mississippi.

    Yet the pain persisted.

    I went through the usual psychological journey of trying to understand why I did this to myself. Even if we don’t want to admit it, we are the architects of our own suffering. No one else came up to me and hit me with a tire iron on the back. I hurt my back, me, for whatever reason.

    I journeyed deep into a philosophical questioning of self. I tried to deconstruct and reconstruct every part of my being. I meditated on my 3rd chakra, and chanted a variety of primal sounds to bring my inner core strength. I connected to my ancestors on the astral plane, and visited my original self on the quantum shelf. I repeated the mantra “life is wasted if we don’t appreciate every part of it,” and bowed my 3rd eye the eternal oneness of all beings.

    Yet the pain persisted.

    I was useless, cranky, and sad. I went to Munch’s best friend’s birthday party, and was so antisocial I spent the entire time making endless grilled cheese sandwiches and washing dishes. I think I have a pretty good career as a dishwasher if nothing else works out – or at least that’s what I was told.

    I left the party early in total despair. Then I did what any reasonable person would do who had been dealing with debilitating pain for 6 days. I smoked some pot and went for a walk. I thought about movies I want to make, and characters I want to create. Then I got home, smoked some more, and stretched while The Munch took her bath. While I was stoned stretching, it was almost as if I was accessing my spasms. I could feel the tremors, and I just breathed into it. I let the shivers and the intensity of the stretch feel like a massage. Then I got up, and felt almost fine.

    I guess in truth I did think a lot during this week. I realized I’m becoming sort of cynical and jaded. Taking a step back to look at my existence is never a bad thing. Maybe I will do it more often. Before my body goes into total mutiny. Or maybe I should just smoke pot and stretch more often.

    Do you guys have this kind of cinnamon at home???

    cinnamon

    January 18, 2016 • Health • Views: 543

  • How Important Are Manners?

    Growing up in a super WASPy family, there was often the social convention that you were to prioritize politeness over truth. What you were thinking was never as important as what the other person is feeling. Instead of saying what you actually mean, you would say the polite thing. For example, when my grandfather gave my brother and me toilet paper and a plunger for Christmas, we smiled and said “Thank you. I’m sure we will find many uses for this fine gift.” Yet what we were actually thinking was, “seriously dude, what the dick!?”

    Manners are in essence the guiding principles of how to maneuver your way through social situations. Sometimes they may be oppressive to the individual, but you honor them for the emotional disposition of the group. So rather than vocalizing loudly at a luncheon, “I’ll be right back, I have to go diarrhea.” You are expected to whisper under your breath, “please excuse me for a moment.”

    As it might be painfully obvious to you, I make it a practice to challenge cultural protocol. There is a way in which hiding behind etiquette is an avoidance of depth. This mentality of “oh we don’t talk about such crass things as death, sex, politics, or money.” When you are too hyper-aware of proper topics of conversation, your conversation tends to be pretty superficial. I personally like getting deep with people and talking about things that aren’t part of the “normal” lexicon. Like seriously, what is your masturbation strategy? I wanna know! That says a lot about you!

    Yet with all my desire to blast open societal standards, I also have to admit that when you blatantly disregard them, you are also super annoying.

    Let’s take the social experiment of handing out candy for Halloween.

    Since I live secluded in the woods, Munch went “trick or treating” in my friend’s neighborhood. I decided to have the adult experience of being the candy-giver-outer because I had never done that before. When I lived in a NYC apartment, we never had “trick or treaters” – unless you count the homeless guy asking for meth.

    I didn’t think there was that much to handing out candy. I just have to sit on a porch in all black right? Since I assumed it would be a chill vibe, I figured it would probably be a good idea to smoke a little pot.

    Little did I know the chaos that was to descend upon me.

    You see, I was under the impression that all children not only knew, but also obeyed the cardinal rule of Halloween. ONLY TAKE ONE PIECE OF FUCKING CANDY! But it turns out a lot of kids go rogue on this concept, and end up doing whatever the fuck they want.

    Maybe that wouldn’t have been problem if I had purchased countless bags of GMO chemical candy to give out. But no! I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE OUR YOUTH POISON CANDY! I had purchased a bunch of organic treats so as to BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION! And no… they weren’t chia seed covered prunes. I’m not a monster.

    Because everything we bought was organic, we didn’t have an endless supply! We had enough if everyone followed the rule! TAKE ONE!

    My original plan was to leave the basket on the porch, and just let the kids come and take their pick. Yet within the first three minutes, one little girl took about 6 handfuls. Her parents were just watching as my friend and I stared in amazement. It was funny because I was high, but also horrifying because I was high. What kind of person does that? A future serial killer that is who!

    Finally my friend tried to stop the girl, who just used her paws to negotiate around the protest, and took more. The only reason why this little girl ever stopped was because my friend physically took the basket away. The parents continued to do nothing – never saying, “hey kid, are you a sociopath? Maybe you should just take one?!”

    Barely did we have time to recover when another kid came and started taking HANDFULS OF FUCKING CANDY WITH HIS 9 YEAR OLD HANDS!!

    My Friend: Only one please!
    Greedy lying kid: I’m only taking one!

    HE SAID AS HE HAD 7 PIECES IN HIS HAND!!!

    Again the parents ignored the blatant disregard for Halloween rules, and also this kid’s pathological lying!

    After that group of kids left, I had had enough.

    Toni: Give me that mother-fucking basket of candy. I am going to hand that shit out individually. And only after each one of these little shit heads comes and shows me their damn costume.

    So there I was holding the basket of candy like a covetous witch. Each kid had to approach me directly to gain access to my cauldron of organic goodness.

    Toni: Come here little girl. What are you? Oh princess Elsa from Frozen? Lovely and so original. Would you care for a chocolate or a chewing candy? Don’t worry. They are both organic, because we care about your future.

    Now some of the little kids were super polite. They would say “hi,” explain their costume, tactfully decide what they wanted, and left with a “thank you.” And you know what? I LIKED THOSE KIDS A LOT MORE AND GAVE THEM TWO OR THREE PIECES OF CANDY! Then there were those kids who would ignore me, put their sticky hands in the basket, and try to grab what they wanted. We would wrestle over control of the basket, until I won (of course). Don’t worry, I still gave them candy even though I wanted to punch them in the throat. BUT ONLY ONE PIECE!

    My conclusion after this experience of cultural anthropology – even though we shouldn’t self-censor and live surface level lives never asking any provocative questions, manners are crucial when it comes to people wanting to give you free candy.

    (Just so you know… this little angel ONLY took ONE CANDY at every house she visited… except when she took 2)

    manners-blog-2

    November 2, 2015 • Birth • Views: 775

  • Smoking Pot and Watching 1970’s Sci-Fi With My Brother

    On the fateful date of September 8th I received a text message from my brother that requested we watch the movie “Zardoz” together. And I quote, “Don’t look it up on Wikipedia. It has to be seen to be believed. I feel in my Hungarian heart that we need to experience this movie. It will be like when I introduced you to marijuana, because I bet you will start leading seminars on it.”

    When a sibling makes a request of another sibling with this magnitude of importance, the appeal must be granted. This is the duty of the sibling bond. When one sibling insists the other watch 1970’s science fiction, the other sibling MUST comply. It is the only way.

    The next order of importance was when this screening should take place. According to my brother, “one cannot watch Zardoz under times of stress,” so we had to plan it perfectly. This event could not be rushed, nor could it be put off for too long. I then received a text that read, “I want it to be sheer insane joy for you, so my gut tells me we should do the screening to celebrate the autumnal equinox.” So I of course honored my brother’s pagan instincts, and we gathered on Sunday evening to watch Zardoz.

    At this point you might be wondering to yourself, “Toni, what the dick is Zardoz?” Let me tell you, I too had that same question! Yet since I had sworn off any Wikipedia interference, my knowledge of Zardoz was probably as vast as yours. Meaning, I had no fucking clue what Zardoz was.

    Upon my brother’s arrival, we debated whether or not smoking weed was a good ritual to introduce us to this sacred ceremony.

    My Brother: Maybe we don’t do the weed, because Zardoz is a trip in and of itself.

    Again, I complied, since my brother is the Zardoz aficionado. We started the movie and the first image was a man’s floating head cloaked in a strange cloth hat. As his decapitated head drifted across the screen, I realized that his beard and mustache had been drawn on his face with what seemed to be… a Bic pen.

    Toni: I think we are going to have to smoke some pot after all.

    This was the first “pause” of many that was to take place during the viewing of Zardoz. We momentarily stopped the movie and each took a hit of weed. Since we are both sensitive souls, we had to be careful not to smoke too much, which would surely sour the Zardoz. Even though you have to be high to watch Zardoz, you don’t want to be too high.

    The next 105 minutes of the movie extended to about 200 minutes because we had to pause and discuss so many things. I mean, you can’t get high and watch post-apocalyptic sci-fi from 40 YEARS AGO and not have a LOT to deliberate over.

    I can’t say that I totally know what was going on the ENTIRE time of that movie, but this is the general gist of what we discussed.

    The movie is essentially about over population and the destruction of the planet through mindless breeding and overconsumption of resources. My brother and I both agreed this message is just as relevant today as it was in 1974. In the first shot of the movie with the floating head, said head talks directly to the audience – implying that you too, the watcher, are part of the problem. So don’t watch this movie feeling exempt.

    Once we were about 3 minutes into Zardoz, I realized that I had missed a line of dialogue, but could not rewind the movie with the remote I had on my phone. I am not that good at Apple TV, and don’t actually know how to rewind, only pause. This led us to the philosophical realization that this moment of not being able to rewind the movie was just like life. We can’t go backwards in time, we can only pause something to slow down the present. The more present you are, the more you can delay the progression of a fast forward future.

    We then sat and looked at the paused picture for about 3- 6 minutes. A floating head stared back at us. Oh – not the same floating head mind you…. A different one. This one was made of stone. I mean, what kind of movie would Zardoz be with just ONE floating head.

    We watched about 4 more consecutive minutes, then had to pause it again. This time was because we had to read the writing on the wall. Literally. The main character was in a room, and behind him, written on the wall, was writing. It read, “in this secret room from the past, I seek the future.”

    It was at this moment that my brother and I realized that maybe Zardoz is as profound as Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” After all, John Boorman wrote, directed, and produced the movie, so everything we were seeing was EXACTLY his vision. Boorman wasn’t compromising on anything. This was the movie he wanted us to see. When people in the boardroom asked John, “Does the main character Zed played by Sean Connery HAVE to wear underwear and knee high boots as a costume?” Boorman said, “Hell yes he does. You are going to look at Sean Connery in red panties and hooker boots the ENTIRE film, and you are going to like it.”

    The point is that Boorman vetted every decision in the making of Zarodoz. So my brother and I figured we could make an entire documentary breaking down all the political, social, and Meta commentary just like in that documentary “Room 237.” Even though I was only 7 minutes in, I knew Zardoz was that deep. As my brother said, “Boorman is sucking the Kubrick marrow.”

    About 13 minutes in, we had to pause yet again because my brother got inspired. He then went on a 17-minute diatribe about the current geo political landscape, the future of secret societies, the potential of a transparent government, yet somehow then brought it all back to an analysis of self and his own personal evolution.

    It was pretty impressive.

    We then got really into the narrative of the movie and talked less. The basic lesson I learned was that the global elite might very likely sequester themselves from poverty and extreme environmental catastrophes. They will quarantine themselves in a fabricated utopia, where they fancy themselves the custodians of high culture. They will then become immortal, because that’s what rich people do.

    Yet this landscape will forever be fundamentally flawed, because human nature is. Despite having eternity, their minds will still be confined. The common assumption in life is that our bodies are limited, and our minds are boundless. But Zardoz reminds us how it is our bodies that are actually limitless, and our minds limited.

    Stress is what ages us. It is the mind that kills us. The body is immortal and could defy all physics if only the mind could conceive it. As the protagonist played by Sean Connery said, “I see nothing inside except my own perplexity. Knowledge isn’t enough.”

    Zardoz also planted the seed that maybe all war is simply entertainment for the rich. They don’t see the people fighting as actual people, but a subspecies of lower importance. Much how we see animals. We avoid projecting our human feelings onto them, for it’s just a bull for Christ’s sake. It doesn’t feel how I feel, so let’s enjoy watching it fight till the death.

    The other lesson of Zardoz is how when you have nothing but time, time means nothing. Yet the boredom will pollute you.

    When my brother left that night he said to me, “you are probably thinking ‘why Zardoz, why now?” And he was right. I was thinking that, and I bet you are too!

    zardoz

    zardoz022005

    September 21, 2015 • Birth • Views: 3122

  • Harvard Professors and Hospitals Do NOT Mix

    When I was 15 years old, you could say I was kind of a nightmare. Not that I was a rude withdrawn teen, just the kind that would steal all your liquor and fill it with water/juice. My parents seriously had a dinner party where they poured everyone cocktails that ended up being “water and tonics” and “apple juice on the rocks.”

    I liked to tinker with mind-altering substances okay?!

    Soooo one fateful Friday, my friends and I came back to my house after school, and decided it was a good time to get fucked up. It was 4 in the afternoon after all. We took some shots, and then had the grand idea of smoking weed – but we didn’t have an apparatus or rolling papers.

    Because we went to private school and were really smart, we problem solved this dire drawback, and realized we could make a pipe out of an apple. I know. Pretty genius. My friend Lila went to work on this task, but since we were already pretty wasted, she ended up slicing her finger.

    My initial reaction was “she’s fine, let’s move on.” Partly because I didn’t want to get in trouble for my friend hurting herself at my house, and partly because we still had weed to smoke. My other friend Marla however did not agree. She was using paper towels to physically hold Lila’s finger on, and insisted we go to the hospital. I resisted. You see, I was raised by WASPs, so we didn’t do things like admit pain or decapitated limbs.

    Marla was relentless and eventually I gave in. So us five drunken high school girls put on our winter coats, and started walking to Mass General Hospital. On our way, as Marla was still holding Lila’s finger on, we ran into my Dad on the street. I did my best not to slur my words.

    Toni: Oh hi Dad. We are just going to the hospital because Lila cut her finger. Shouldn’t take too long. Umm… do you want to come?
    My Dad: No I do not! I fell on the subway steps and hurt my hands! Look!!

    My dad then showed us all the palms of his hands. They were a little pink, and still had gravel on them, but not bleeding. It’s not like… ohhh I don’t know… he had almost cut his finger off and needed to go to the hospital.

    Toni: Okay. Well see you later.

    My dad continued on his way, and we inebriated girls continued on ours. You see, my dad is a Harvard Professor who is AMAZING at all things intellectual, but just is not interested in most things human. Like dealing with hurt teenagers who need medical attention. Anything that takes him away from his cerebral pursuits is major anxiety for him. Plus, he had fallen and hurt his hands remember!! He had to recover from that.

    We finally got to the hospital, and I was starting to panic a little. I really wanted Lila to be okay because I really didn’t want to get in trouble. I rushed over to the front desk to talk to the receptionist.

    Toni: My friend needs help!
    Receptionist: What seems to be the problem?
    Toni: She’s almost cut her finger off…
    Receptionist: Did she hurt her eye or her ear?
    Toni: What? No…
    Receptionist: Well, this is Mass EYE and EAR.
    Toni: It’s not “Mass Eye, Ear and Finger?”
    Receptionist: Afraid not. You’re going to have to go to Mass GENERAL, which is further down the road.

    Eventually we got to the RIGHT hospital, and Lila was taken by the doctor to get checked out. As we are waiting for her to return, Lila’s parents showed up, as did my dad. We sat in silence. Lila’s parents were furious at me for feeding their daughter alcohol and allowing her to get hurt. I was freaking out wondering if my dad had found the apple, weed, and bloody knife we had left on the kitchen counter. And my dad was livid because now he was at the hospital out of his Catholic guilt, and wanted to be home working while not thinking about his sore hands.

    In the end it turns out I was totally wrong, Marla was right, and Lila needed 20 stitches to keep her finger attached to her hand.

    This is my Dad… and this pretty much sums up his essence.

    PS yes he is in a bubble bath

    dad in the bath

    September 9, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1145

  • Real Life Instagram

    We all know that we create personas on social media. Usually we broadcast the best parts of our lives, but never really the shitty, mundane, or unflattering.

    So this is my “real life Instagram” for last weekend. It’s not that glamorous. But it’s what happened.

    1) This one is The Munch Yelling at me because the iPad was buffering.

    RLB1

    2) These are my legs from far away

    RLB2

    3) These are my legs up close

    RLB3

    4) This is me cleaning Munch’s feet because she asked me too… the power dynamics are pretty clear.

    RLB4

    5) This is me being all one with the animals and shit. Or goats are just eating my shorts.

    RLB5

    6) This is Munch jumping, and my double chin.

    RLB6

    7) This is me on top of a mountain. But rather than enjoying the epic view, I spent the whole time trying to unclog my pipe to smoke weed. Said pipe was clogged because I had rammed a stick in it, with the purpose of unclogging it, and the stick got stuck. My solution you may ask? To shove more sticks in.

    RLB7

    June 3, 2015 • Adventures, Musings • Views: 1252

  • Not My Proudest Moment

    Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by life. My plates too full, and I’ve been on the grind – burning the candle at both ends because I’m busy as a beaver that doesn’t even have time to get waxed. Frowny face.

    When things get hectic, I tend to get in this manic state of rushing through life trying to get everything done. This chaotic energy makes it impossible to relax when it’s finally time to unwind at night. Rather than doing what normal people do… ie sleep… I stare at the ceiling sweating while wondering if my life will ever have any meaning. It’s not as peaceful as it sounds.

    The other night I was particularly anxious and thought, “Hey, maybe if I smoked some pot I would loosen up.” Because that is what grown ups do with their feelings – stuff them deeper inside so they eventually get colon cancer.

    I took a few hits and settled in to watch an old Saturday Night Live (when it was good) and within 20 minutes my body started to liquefy. My cells were so relieved to not be drowning in floods of stress hormones that all systems shut down.

    I was suddenly so tired my eyelids officially protested opening. My lashes clasped together like multi-racial hands in the face of a police barricade at a political rally. So I decided to concede to my body’s desires, and get up to go to bed.

    I stumbled into the kitchen to turn off the lights and then suddenly remembered I had cheesy crackers – THAT ARE FUCKING DELICIOUS WHEN YOU ARE STONED. Yet as much as I wanted to satisfy my munchies and mow down, my eyes still refused to open.

    So I did want any responsible adult would do. I ate an entire box of cheesy crackers standing up with my eyes closed.

    (Good thing I didn’t see the bag of cookies… or I would still be standing there eating those too)

    cheesy-crackers-blog-(i)

    May 27, 2015 • Adventures, Musings • Views: 1367

  • 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

  • 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

  • You Provoked Me To Think You are A Tool

    Domestic violence is in the air…. Hmmmm for some reason that doesn’t have that same sweet Disco vibe as “Love is in the Air.” Go figure.

    So Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice received a two game suspension after beating up his girlfriend – which is less than the penalty players get for smoking pot. I guess taking bong hits and eating cookie dough is wayyy more offensive to the NFL than hitting women – because at least that burns calories and builds muscle.  When Rice came out for practice yesterday he got a standing ovation from crowd – obviously people are supporting him despite this despicable behavior.

    Sports reporter Stephen Smith rationalized this discrepancy by saying “we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation” because, you know how ladies be enticing men to beat them unconscious and stuff.

    Smith of course “apologized” for his statement, but the sentiment is very popular when it comes to how people react to domestic violence. Even Whoopi Goldberg spoke out to defend Rice: “If you make the choice as a woman who’s four foot three and you decide to hit a guy who’s six feet tall and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised!”

    Can we pause for a minute here? So the prevailing logic is that if a woman doesn’t want to get her ass kicked, then she shouldn’t make a man mad at her?  The blogesphere can be plagued with comments that echo the idea that women who hit men deserve to be decked.

    Really?

    If a woman was bludgeoning a man with a crow bar, then yes, he is going to physically react. When your life is genuinely threatened, the instinct of self-defense will prevail over all else. Yet if a woman hits a man and he doesn’t feel like he is in danger, then what is his responsibility? Can he use his body to restrain her? Yes. Can he beat her until she blacks out? No. Does this mean there a double standard between the genders when it comes to violence? Well… considering a man can kill a woman with his bare hands, yeah… you are going to have to be held accountable in a different way.  I am a really strong girl… I can hike mountains, swim across lakes, do 30 push ups – but my arms get tired after a hand job that goes on too long.  I couldn’t kill a man unless I had ninja stars! (And been trained in using said ninja stars).

    Margaret Atwood had a point when she said, “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” Just as there is a biological distinction when it comes to strength, there also has to be one when it comes to liability. Yes that holds men up to a different standard when it comes to physical aggression, but the law does the same for people who are highly trained in martial arts. When fighting someone considerably weaker than you, your body can be considered a weapon.

    But you want to talk unfairness when it comes to body accountability? Ummm how about the fact women gush blood every month, then hold babies inside of them while forced to live a sober existence as their bodies are ravaged by swelling joints and hemorrhoids, only to then squeeze a skull out of their love hole which often rips to the anus creating one giant gash. Yeah… men and women are different and we have different challenges.

    So unless guys want to be genetically modified with seahorses so they become the ones who deal with pregnancy and then shooting a being out their pee hole, and in the mean time we juice women up on steroids and testosterone – maybe dudes can just not beat women and seriously endanger their lives?

    provocatoin-blog-(i)

    July 30, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Relationships, Women's Business • Views: 978