Ripped from the Headlines

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week about blogging? There is no Hell like the one I enter when I walk through the portal that puts me at a loss for words. I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t bathe, and my poor husband gets no hot meals or happy endings.

After my July 4th post my brain went into hiatus. (I’m not sure, but I think it is vacationing somewhere in Bora Bora.) All this is keeping me from proceeding with my second book. My first book, Monsters’ Throwdown, was published six months ago, and I need to follow up with book two by the end of the year.

Writers block Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbs||Cartoonist Bill Watterson

As I fell in full face plant upon my laptop, my husband (WW) came home to no dinner and me still in sweat pants, looking as if “sexy” was a word that had never entered my vocabulary (Hey, never-you-mind: at age 66 I can still work it, baby!). I kept murmuring: “so many words, so many headlines, so little time!” As my editor, WW’s been through this drill before and instantly sprang into action to try and untangle my brain.

WW:      Okay, don’t panic. It’s only words that have gotten themselves all scrambled in your head. Let’s freestyle and bring everything down to basics and do a simple word play to unscramble them. One word only: spill out the first adjectives and nouns that come to mind as fast as you can.

ME:       Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusted, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” ignorant, corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.”

WW:      All right, all right, all right—that’s a start. How many news articles have you read? Never mind, don’t answer that. I can tell by your glazed-over eyes that you’ve read hundreds of online news and research articles. What if I help you eliminate words and headlines that can’t produce an interesting post? Would that clear your mind?

ME:        No. [Said petulantly while scratching my head like a monkey—convinced by my hypochondriac mind that I probably have head lice from not washing my hair for days.]

WW:      Humor your husband—after 35 years, you owe me this. I’ll randomly choose which words can be eliminated in the first round: “Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusting, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, ‘eeuuw,’ corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” You’ve read scores of headlines since July 4th. Which ones come to mind that would fit the description of the eliminated words: ignorant, frustrated, disgusted, and stupid?

MM:      Easy! Idiot Sarah Palin Demanding President’s Impeachment—WTF! (Eliminate the words ignorant and stupid)  2/3rds of Lincoln’s Party Agree with Palin and Think Obama Should Be Impeached Causing Lincoln Statue to Burst into Tears—the Lincoln Statue Is Inconsolable (disgusting, frustrated).

Zany Sarah Palin Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission: Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

WW:      Yep, toss the Sarah Palin headline. Enough of that Christian poser. She’s just an attention ho. Ignore her.

Let’s get rid of some more words and headlines to help clear your head. Here we go—let’s eliminate: surprised, frightened, mortifying, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” What headlines get flushed from your muddled brain with those words? Go!

ME:        Okay: Online Dating A-hole Rejects Beautiful Woman in Her 50’s Because He Says She has “Wrinkly Skin,” Even Though He is of Similar Age and is Nothing to Write Home About—Dave, The Neanderthal is Upset When Lovely Lady Dumps His Ass and is Now On the Run from Millions of Angry Women in America (wrinkly, violent); Robin Thicke’s New Album, “Paula,” is Attempt to Win Back ex-Wife, But All Agree is TMI Cringe-Worthy (Paula, “eeuuw,” embarrassing, Robin, mortifying, blurred lines); Corpse Slips Out of Funeral Van Onto Street and Freaks Out Passer-byers (surprised, corpse, zombie, van, frightened); Elephant Sobs After Being Rescued from Five Decades in Chains—Promises Never to Forget His Torturers’ Sorry-Asses Whom He Plans to Trample Underfoot in Hell as He Makes His Way to Pachyderm Heaven (elephant).

WW:      Drumroll please. That leaves you with the words “humanitarian, ship, border, help, football, Cuba, St. Louis, Florida, crisis, and déjà vu.” Can you see a blog story on the horizon?

Republican Prayers

Used by permission: Daryl Cagle,

ME:        Oh my God, the word pipes are unclogged! Hey Babe, you’re like Drano to the brain. I should bottle you and sell you to other writers.

Anyway, I think the post will be about the children crossing the border from Central America and how the politicians are using them as political footballs. And although the Dems and the Repubs need to get off their asses and help pass comprehensive immigration reform, this is not an immigration problem as much as it is a humanitarian crisis. The Party that stands for “Pro-life” needs to step up to the plate and help bring God’s grace and mercy to the situation instead of praying that these children will vanish back over the border to the Hell they came from.

And although I’m a true fan of the President, I’m not pleased with his decision to send these children back to their countries, nor the request for border funds to speed up their deportation—in fact, if you’re listening Mr. President, I am really saddened! Members of the GOP are already trying to sue you and calling for your impeachment, what do you have to lose by doing the right thing by these refugees? As far as I’m concerned, these babies have already come with signs on their backs that they are in danger from the enemies they left behind. Just to get to America, some of the children have been reportedly raped and abused, terrified and traumatized. I think I’ll write about how America has never really lived up to our refugee mission statement.   I’ll introduce my readers to the déjà vu story of the Voyage of the Damned—the ship (SS St. Louis) that carried almost 1,000 Jews from Germany to America in 1939 after Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) and the beginning of Hitler’s open annihilation of the Jews. Cuba refused the refugees and as the good German captain hung off Florida’s shores hoping and praying that the United States would allow the refugees to disembark, he was forced to return to Germany with most of his passengers while their relatives shouted encouragement to them from scores of small boats feverishly trailing the massive ship of the damned. Except for those who managed to make it to European countries beyond the reach of the Nazi extermination machine when they returned to Germany, many of them were eventually rounded up and sent to concentration camps where they died horrible deaths.

Border Children Pat Bagley  Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ME:        Knowing what we know now, we would have and should have taken in all the passengers of the SS St. Louis. Yeah, that’s the post I’ll write for my blog. Thanks, Babe.

WW:      Happy to be of service, Cutie. In the meantime, why don’t I order in Chinese? And how about I run you a bath? You’re smelling a bit “ripe”—like Pepé Le Pew—almost as if you accompanied the children from Central America across the border.

ME:        Oh, that’s really cold, husband of mine!


I am discovering that our country’s mission statement about immigration is full of high-tone rhetoric, but it is only words if the moral component of the Statue of Liberty’s invitation is not embraced and adhered to when the humanitarian situation calls us to do so:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

It is easy to boast of our immigration policies and our Christian morals as a country when they don’t cost us anything or come in the correct color, with the desired skillset, and the proper entry point. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, our country has come to this crossroad many times and we have failed to treat the “alien” amongst us as seeing Jesus in the “least of them.” And don’t even get me started about how my ancestral peeps (dragged here against our wills) would have had a much better transition out of slavery to emancipation had the refugee situation been handled with grace and charity instead of 100 years of Jim Crow brutality (one million ex-slaves became sick and died after the Emancipation).

Immigration History robertnielson21 dot wordpress dot com

Courtesy of Ampersand by B. Deutsch ||

“No country, including the United States, did as much as it might have or should have done to save innocent victims of Nazi persecution – Jews, Gypsies, political opponents and others. Restrictive US immigration policies kept hundreds of thousands of refugees from finding safety in the United States, most tragically exemplified by our refusal to allow the St. Louis to dock with its cargo of refugees – many of whom perished when the ship was forced to return to Europe.”—Eizenstat, May 1997 from “Voyage of the Damned” by Marilyn Henry/Jerusalem Post July 1998.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”Eleanor Roosevelt

“The U.S. immigration laws are bad – really, really bad. I’d say treatment of immigrants is one of the greatest injustices done in our government’s name.”Bill Gates

“Most Christian ‘believers’ tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness. It has been true of slavery and racism, classism and consumerism and issues of immigration and health care for the poor.”Richard Rohr

writers block

. . . so that is what it was!



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Happy Birthday, America!

Do you know what I discovered about American teenagers regarding Independence Day? I ran across a survey where some of them thought it was a really cool movie (okay, I guess I can see that, given the charisma and popularity of Will Smith and all). But in another survey, when gently nudged towards the topic “History,” 14% of them said that July 4th was the day we declared our independence from . . . wait for it . . . wait for it: FRANCE! And according to a dude named Colin Campbell, head of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 5 million teenagers didn’t have a clue as to the meaning of why we celebrate July 4th. (Parents, you got some splainin’ to do!)

July 4th Why We Celebrate Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Egads, our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves. Of course, I can’t be too hard on our teenagers when the adults aren’t representing the true meaning of Independence Day well with our partisan bickering and all. Of course, when we have people like the Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) stating that God “wrote the constitution,” and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declaring, “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren,”* what are our children to think? (By the way, even though I think Jindal is a goofy character, don’t make light of his plagiarized statement about a “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C;” the author of that statement (preacher Rick Joyner who despises President Obama) means every word of it because he believes he is hearing from God—he needs to be carefully watched. ** If you want to know what swamp Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann crawled out of, look no further than the influence of Rick Joyner.)

Happy B Day America Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

I actually can’t completely blame these knuckleheads for their misinterpretations and stupid declarations of terrorism. Do you want to know who I blame? I blame our founding fathers. Although I love my country very much, and I truly appreciate all their hard work and sacrifice, I don’t think we’d be in this place today if they had made several unorthodox (for their time) changes when they declared our independence in 1776 and wrote the Constitution some 11 years later in 1787. What, you say? They were already laying their lives on the line—what more could we have asked of them? (Hmmmm, because they were all white, male, landowners who couldn’t see past their own aristocratic noses, they could have included women, ex-slaves, slaves, Native Americans, indentured servants, and new immigrants in the room to give them a broader perspective.)

I’ve always fantasized about becoming a time traveler and going back in time to influence history. Can you imagine the heart-attack scenario if I had the ability to pop into the Founding Fathers’ midst in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 (yep, you read it correctly: the bill wasn’t signed on July 4th. Twelve of the thirteen colonies voted on the declaration on July 2, 1776, and then they spent the next two days massaging the language—in fact, most of the delegates didn’t sign the document that kept us from having British accents until August 2nd).

Constitution Jeff Parker Florida Today and the Fort Myers News Press

Used by permission: Jeff Parker Florida Today and the Fort Myers News Press

Can you imagine a room full of sweaty men in Philadelphia with all the windows closed and shutters latched (due to the treasonous nature of their activities) on a sweltering day as they tried to function in woolen clothing and wigs—most of them scared shitless at what they were about to engage in?  And “poof,” out pops my chubby-21st-Century ass into the middle of the room.

TIME TRAVELER (TT): Yo, yo, yo FFs—how’s it hanging?

(Several of the FFs faint dead away, but the rest remain stupefied.)

TT: Robert Livingston and John Jay of New York would you please administer smelling salts to Edward Rutledge of South Carolina and Richard Henry Lee from Virginia, and make sure they are awake and listening? I don’t have much time, and I have a lot to say. Besides Livingston and Jay, you aren’t going to have the gonads to sign this document: I know it and you know it, so you might as well make yourselves useful by resuscitating your comrades. No judgment here—just the historical facts.

Gentlemen, I am from the future: 2014 to be exact. My name is Eleanor Tomczyk and I am a writer and a blogger. I just published a book called Monsters’ Showdown that you’ll never get to read, but you should know that even though you didn’t insure my unalienable rights as a descendent of a slave/a Cherokee Indian/a woman—I am free, I am educated, I am intelligent, I’m married to a white man, I live well, and I pontificate on everything from soup to nutty politicians on something called the World Wide Web.  All this communicative power is mine because you will provide me freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights that you’re going to pass on August 21, 1789. Thanks FFs—I am forever in your debt because of that.

Eleanor Censored

Blogger and Author of Monsters’ Throwdown/Photo by C. Tomczyk

But I just wanted to let you in on a secret that unless you pull in some women, some Black folks, some Indian peeps, and some new kinds of immigrants with Spanish accents, before you write the Constitution (yep, you’re gonna kick the Brits asses!), you’re going to set up our beloved country for a world of hurt in the future. Lots of things are going to change by the time 2014 rolls around. Actually you can go on and pass this declaration thingie because it is the Constitution in eleven years that you’re going to really need to expand your horizons on that really needs inclusion of the aforementioned groups.

Right now that foolish 2nd Amendment is causing all sorts of mayhem. It needs to be changed because you didn’t think it through well enough. When you pass that in the Bill of Rights, please note that thousands of precious children will be murdered in the future, and scores of foolish men and women will demand to open/carry their guns in our “marketplaces” just because they think that is what you meant by their “unalienable rights” and the “rights of individuals to bear arms.” What you meant then and the nutty shit we’re doing with guns now would cause you to weep. Also, can you add a little note that the Constitution was not written by God, America is not the New Jerusalem, and you could be wrong on at least a couple of things in the Constitution (ahem: slavery and a woman’s right to vote).

Guns Target Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission: Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

TT:  Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton (you can catch George Washington up to speed once he takes a break from the war), there is a line that you’ll put in the Constitution that bears fleshing out, if you ask me; if you really want to know:

“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT” (so far so good), “THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL” (should read “that all men AND WOMEN—no matter what their color or position in life—are created equal”) “THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR” (should read “whomever you deem your creator to be”—leaving this open to interpretation will cause the lack of freedom of religion you fought so hard for because hardcore Christians will demand it to be their God, and the Materialists, the Deists, and the Atheists who most of you declared yourselves to be, will have Hell to pay) “WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” (should read “no matter what your gender, color, race, or social status in life”).

TT:  My time is up—wish I could stay longer. Just one more thing: we elected a black president in 2008 for two terms. He’s getting the shit kicked out of him by the haters, but I believe he’s going to make it if one of those 2nd Amendment right-wing nuts doesn’t assassinate him. Every day that I wake up and he’s still alive, I thank my God with all my heart because your 2nd Amendment has been grossly misinterpreted. It has taken on a religious fever against a president that these nuts think doesn’t belong in the White House. Once you pass the Bill of Rights, by 2014 there will be more than 20 attempts to kill sitting and former presidents; 4 sitting presidents will be assassinated, 2 sitting presidents will have attempted assassinations on their lives, and every president from John F. Kennedy on will be threatened with assassination. As you can imagine, threats against our only black President will increase by 400%. Surely, my dear FFs, that is not what you intended when you dreamed up our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

July 4th off Parker, Florida Today

Used by permission: Parker, Florida Today

“The assertion that ‘all men are created equal’ was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.”Abraham Lincoln

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“You can protect your liberties in this world only by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can be free only if I am free.”—Clarence Darrow

Statue of Liberty indiereader dot com

Happy Birthday, America (one and all): courtesy of




Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered when I turned 66 this month? Sixty-six is not the new forty-six.  Whoever told us that is lyin’ through their teeth.  I mean I don’t look my age because it is true, for the most part, “black don’t crack,” but my innards are falling apart.  The morning of my sixty-sixth birthday, I swear to God my boobs dropped two more inches in search of the floor, and my stomach distended four more inches making me think I might be pregnant again (generating murderous thoughts toward WW’s thingie until I remembered that I’d gotten the “snatch” 20 years ago, so a pregnancy is damn near impossible).  As to the rest of my lady bits, lately I’ve been using my iPhone to locate women’s rest rooms and planning my events around bathroom breaks with declarative statements like:  “My Potty App is showing a toilet within 10 feet—why don’t I pee while I’m still here and the going is good.”

Old Age Pinterest pin Carol Middendorf

Pinned by Carol Middendorf from Pinterest

As I was “kvetching” over the sorry state of my body, I was mourning the passing of the years and wondering if I had grown spiritually and intellectually, or was I simply deteriorating back into the dust from which I was formed.   While I was downing a pint of coffee strong enough to cause internal combustion, I noticed two news articles online that made me spew my hot coffee all over my computer screen and summarily scream:


Both news articles confirmed and reported on the second annual March for Marriage (organized by the conservative National Organization for Marriage) in front of the Capitol.  Fortunately, it was a bust with a showing of only 1,500 people (they expected tens of thousands) and one low-level elected official as one of the speakers. This “Christian” hate-filled march was such a yawn that I had no idea they were in town until I read that one of the speakers (Rev. Mike Huckabee) said something which made my head explode and prompted me to place an immediate phone call to Martin and Coretta King at “H-E-A-V-E-N-S-G-A-T-E.”

GLENDA: Heelloooo!  You’ve reached Glenda Angelina, assistant to the good Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, the lovely Coretta King.  How may I help you?

ME:  Good Morning, Glenda.  I’m ET the Blogger and author of Monsters’ Throwdown, and I’d like to speak to Rev. King about an urgent matter.

GLENDA:  I know who you are.  I just ordered your book from Amazon Cloud”—it got great reviews in the Celestial Times.  Congrats.  Monsters’ Throwdown has become one of our favorite reads around here—poor black child makes good due to the courage and sacrifices of activists in the Civil Rights Movement really hits home.

ME:  Thanks . . . that’s so sweet.  I will always be indebted to Rev. King and all the others who laid down their lives for me.  Which is why I’m calling.  There has been an attempt to coopt Rev. King’s words and legacy in the name of an anti-gay movement.  Let me read you the titles of the two articles I read today that Dr. King should know about:

The Raw Story’s Mike Huckabee: Martin Luther King Jr. would agree that gay marriage is like the Holocaust” by David Edwards and Salon’s “Mike Huckabee on Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘I wish he were here today’ to join me in discriminating against LGBTQ people” by Katie McDonough.

Persecution of Gays Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by permission:  “Who Would Jesus Hate?” || Pat Bagley Salt Lake-Tribune

GLENDA:  Oh God, not again (remember when Glenn Beck tried to do this?).  Not only will Rev. King be appalled at how this “Rev.” Huckabee is abusing his reputation and words, but I think King Jesus will be none too pleased at how his words of love and not judging others have been twisted into actions of hate and harassment.  Haven’t the followers of Jesus discovered that in the end “love wins?”

ME:  Well, it’s not all Christians.  This Huckabee guy just has a misunderstanding of the Bible and a big mouth.  He also wants to be elected president in 2016, so he’s pandering to the African-American and Hispanic churches because he knows these denominations are still clinging to some pretty harsh anti-gay rhetoric and lack of inclusion within their churches.  Yet, I don’t know a black church that doesn’t have a ton of gay members who are hiding out in their churches’ closets (starting with the choir directors and moving on down to the deacon and mission boards), just waiting for their place of worship to be a safe haven to come out.   I’m a black Christian, and even though I was against gay marriage many years ago—like President Obama, I evolved.  During the time I was conflicted, I made a list one day of all the pathetic “Christian (heterosexual) marriages” I intimately knew about—husbands cheating on their wives, husbands feeling up other men’s wives, husbands abusing their wives and children, churches instilling fear that gay rights would ruin Christian marriages and children while covering up massive pedophilia cases within their schools and Sunday Schools  (all of them virulently anti-gay)—and I compared these vile stories to the lovely gay and lesbian families I knew (solid faithful marriages, better parents than I’d ever been, and more service-oriented toward the homeless and the disenfranchised than any Christian I had ever known).  Not to mention that their gay marriages had not hurt my marriage of 35 years one iota.  At that point I decided I was “mashugana,” and I repented regarding my ignorant stance on gay rights.

GLENDA:  Mike Huckabee needs to do his homework because he is dead wrong.  Rev. King would have been marching with the LGBTQ community in support of Gay rights because he, too, was always evolving.   Anyway, his wife knows where Martin stood on these issues because she spoke to this point on many occasions—not the least of when she spoke at an event in 1998.  If I remember correctly, Coretta Scott King said:

“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice.  But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother-and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

Gay Marriage Horsey Los Angeles Times

Cartoonist David Horsey, Los Angeles Times

ME:  I know, I know . . . I am sure that Rev. King would have lead a march against the NOM organizers and made his position known loud and clear that he despised their stand on gay rights.  Can you deliver my message to him that his legacy and words are being coopted by the likes of that hater Huckabee and have Rev. King do something about this before it is too late?

GLENDA:  I’m afraid neither Rev. King nor Mrs. King can be interrupted right now.  Rev. King is watching the World Cup with Jesus, Gandhi, Golda Meir, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, Harvey Milk, Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant , and a slew of Palestinian martyrs (don’t ask).  Mrs. King is having lunch with Eleanor Roosevelt, St. Teresa of Avila, Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, and Rosa Parks.  But I know what Rev. King would say to you.  He would tell you that his fight is done.  He has passed the baton of civil rights for all to you and others like you.  You must fight the good fight and never give up—build on the legacy he left you.  Can you do that?

Gay Rights John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission:  Gay Rights John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune


I am discovering that I may be an old fart but I am evolving into a better human being.  As I’ve grown older, I may not be able to hold my urine for more than a couple hours, but I’ve learned not to judge others and how to love those who are different than I am.   There was a time when it would have been against the law for my white husband and me to be married, and there would have been no where we could have lived together without fear of harassment and scorn. Today we live in neighborhoods where our neighbors adore us because of who we are and what we contribute to the common good.  I will not stop speaking out in support of gay rights until my gay brothers and sisters enjoy the same.

Anti Gay Agenda Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission:  Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

We are each made for goodness, love, and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.”—Desmond Tutu

“Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”—Ellen DeGeneres

 “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. . . .This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”—Coretta Scott King, Source: Chicago Sun Times, April 1, 1998, p.18.



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on June 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Baby Daddies

Do you know what I discovered about Father’s Day?  When you had a sperm donor as a father, as I did, I pretty much wish I could put the recognition day on a remote and fast forward through it.  I talk a lot about searching for my dad as a child in my book, Monsters’ Throwdown, and my one encounter with him being the stuff horror movies are made of.  My father was not worth the carbon used to form him.

Accidental Dads funny dash memes dash blog

Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great dads (my husband included in the mix), but I must admit that I’ve met some real deadbeats, as well—“players” who needed to have their thingie put on lock-down before being allowed to get near a woman’s vagina.  When I weigh the absentee dads against the stand-up dads, it seems as if the former outweigh the latter by four to one.  Why is that?  Why did God put baby-making on automatic pilot without some type of mandatory fatherhood training classes that required a license to operate their ignoble member?

I’m going to chill out from blogging for a short break while I celebrate my 35th anniversary and 66th birthday with my babies’ daddy.  While I’m sipping gin and tonics in my garden with him, take an adventure with me into a dystopian society, that I’ve often imagined—where penises have to register and get educated as fathers before “releasing the kraken.”  See you soon!


America’s Perfect TV Father:  Bill Cosby/Meme from



In the not too distant future, there exists a society where there are no fatherless children because I am the god of that planet and all penises must be registered before becoming operational.  Below is a brief example of the application process and a random interview with Mr. Player.

FUTURE ME:  Hello, Mr. Player.  Welcome to TBDASSS (Thwarting Baby Daddy Abandonment Syndrome—Sperm by Sperm).  Let’s get your registration started.  Name of penis?

PLAYER:  Dick.

FUTURE ME:  Right, that’s the moniker you wish for your stretchy toy for all eternity? Not.  I think you can do better than that, buster.

PLAYER:  Well, when I was five years old, I called it the “whoopee stick.”  And then at fourteen, I named it “Krull the Warrior King.”  How about one of those names?

FUTURE ME:  Ei-yie-yie!  I don’t have enough entry spaces for those names.   Let’s assign your one-eyed monster a temporary name, or we’ll never get through the application process.  You can always change it later. How about Peter?

PLAYER:  Whatever.  Let’s just get this over with.  I just sent out a text to some girl for my first booty call, and I don’t want to be late.

FUTURE ME:  Some girl?  A girl that is somebody’s daughter, sister, cousin, or niece—that some girl?  Player, you are something else.  Let’s get started here before I lose my objectivity about your case.

QUESTION #1:  So you want to deploy Peter.  Does the applicant realize that in so doing, a baby may be formed in the process?  Should you become a father, do you know what it means to take responsibility and “show up,”—not just for the initial moment to kiss your baby-mama’s ass goodbye—but to show up for the rest of your kid’s life?

PLAYER:  Show up?  Yeah, I know how to show up; that’s what I’m tryin’ to do with my first booty call tonight.  That’s why I don’t want to be late.   I got a rep to maintain, woman.  As for becomin’ a father—that ain’t  gonna happen to me.  I’m too young for that, shit.  Besides, havin’ a kid would blow my mojo.

QUESTION #2:  Do you know the lyrics to “I’m a little teapot, short and stout?”

PLAYER:  What does that have to do with anything?  I want to knock boots, not drink tea.  Besides, I drink only Grey Goose or Ketel One.  Just ask me.   I now everything there is to know about vodka.

QUESTION #3: Can you play cops and robbers for hours on end?”

PLAYER:  Is that a sex game?

Father's Parental Leave Tab, The Calgary Sun

Used by permission: Father’s Parental Leave/Tab, The Calgary Sun

QUESTION #4:  Define long-suffering.

PLAYER:  Long, as in the size of my . . .

QUESTIONS #5, #6, AND #7:  How do you handle anger?  Have you ever hit a woman? Do you love your mother?

PLAYER:  What the fuck does this have to do with doin’ the wild thing?

QUESTION #8:  Fill in the blank:  I will do whatever it takes as a father to__________

PLAYER:  Ride my lady all night long!

FUTURE ME:  That’s it, player—you failed the test!  The answer was “I will do whatever it takes as a father to make sure my kids have whatever they need to succeed in the world: I’ll work my ass off, show up to any and every thing they appear in (no matter how out-of-tune or mind-numbingly boring it is); I’ll tell them that I love them on a consistent basis, and let them know how proud I am to be their dad until the day I die.”  If you could have answered the last question, player, you would have been forgiven all the wrong answers to the previous questions because you could have learned how to figure them out as you grew into fatherhood.  Question #8 ascertains whether you have a father’s heart.  Obviously, you do not.


PLAYER:  Wait . . . wait . . . you’re gonna turn me down—just like that?  Was it because of the unimaginative names for my penis that I submitted?  I can do better.  How about “Schlong-dong-a-doodle,” or “The Amazing Schmekel”?  Ooh, ooh, ooh; I’ve got the perfect name: “The Single-barreled, pump-action bullock—the fun stick that keeps on giving”!


Live in Father Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

Used by permission: Live in Father Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant


I am discovering that a good father is really hard to find.  When I meet people who have grown up under the tutelage of a faithful, steadfast, adoring father, I am so jealous.  Those people tend to wreak confidence, ooze self-esteem, and radiate courage.  I, however, have always walked with a limp and always will because of the lack of a good father.

To all those wonderful men (my husband included) who determined to show up, be present and accounted for, and sacrifice their lives for their children—HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Fatherhood Chris Rock 

“America used to live by the motto “Father Knows Best.” Now we’re lucky if “Father Knows He Has Children.” We’ve become a nation of sperm donors and baby daddies.” ― Stephen Colbert, I Am America

 “Dads.  Do you not realize that a child is what you tell them they are? That people almost always become what they are labeled? Was whatever your child just did really the “dumbest thing you’ve ever seen somebody do”? Was it really the “most ridiculous thing they ever could have done”? Do you really believe that your child is an idiot? Because she now does. Think about that. Because you said it, she now believes it. Bravo.” ― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Wise Father Bill Cosby


Thanks to NCFM (National Coalition for Men) for their collection of 174 nicknames for the one-eyed monster

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Graduation Speaker: At Your Service

Do you know what I’ve discovered about the May/June season that has become more problematic than pollen?  Previously scheduled graduation speakers are dropping like flies due to protests of a very vocal minority—sometimes started by alumni with too much time on their hands.  Rutgers invited and then lost Condoleezza Rice, Smith wooed and misplaced Christine Lagarde, and Haverford pursued and finally said good-bye to Robert Birgeneau (Bush’s Secretary of State, Head of the International Monetary Fund, and previous Chancellor of the University of Berkeley, respectively).  Now, none of these “off-with-their-heads” speakers do I agree with politically or ethically, but they have led interesting lives that I might learn something from, if only how not to live.  Let’s just say that if I could listen to a graduation speech by Mitt Romney at Liberty University in 2012 and come away with something positive (“after hearing that speech, now I know he’ll never get my vote”), I think the Rutgers, Smith, Haverford crowd could have engaged in the same act of openness in the vote for educational toleration.

Commencement Speaker Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

After the brouhaha over the choosing of the First Lady as the graduation speaker for a high school in Topeka, Kansas and Puff Daddy (Sean Combs) as a speaker for Howard University (he knocked it out of the park, by the way), one commentator noted that soon only Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will meet the standards of acceptable graduation speakers in the future because you’ll always run the risk of pissing somebody off.   It was upon reading the commentator’s assessment that I had a brain fart:  Why don’t I become a substitute graduation speaker?  I used to be a substitute teacher so I’m used to turning on a dime.   I’d be the kind that could slip into place when a school, college, or university loses a former Secretary of State or a FLOTUS as a speaker, and they need someone at the last minute.  I could use a seasonal job now that I’m retired, and since I’m nobody, I could crawl in under the PC wire.  Plus, the selection committee could get me cheap, and I wouldn’t even ask for an honorary degree.  Condi Rice was charging $35,000 and a degree—I’d settle for considerably less (just my weight in bling).

Upon thinking it over for a couple of days, I pulled together a standard graduation speech, and I have started shopping it around: so far no nibbles.

Commencement Speech David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by Permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star






President (FILL IN THE BLANK), Chairperson (FILL IN THE BLANK), Distinguished Guests, Faculty, Staff and Graduates of the Class of 2014:  It is such an honor to stand before you today and humbly share my view from the top of the last drop off the roller coaster ride of life because that is what recommends me to you.  I will be sixty-six-years-old in two weeks, and I figure—if I’m lucky—I’ve got about twenty good years left in me and then it’s goodnight Irene.  I am nobody, but I am a survivor and an overcomer, and I’ve learned some things about this crazy-ass life along the way.

To the Graduates:  Take a good look at your parents.  Right now your moms and pops, who haven’t slept easily since you were born, and who mortgaged their souls to educate you, look as dumb as rocks to you.  They just got comfortable posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter is barely navigable, and most of them are asking you, “What the Hell is Vine—I just got used to Instagram?”  But ten or twelve years from now, on the roller coaster ride of life, you will look back at them six cars behind you with great appreciation for their courage and wisdom (unless you’ve been raised by wolves—then all bets are off).  Because you’ll begin to realize that making your way on the planet Earth is some scary, Freddy Krueger shit [if high school graduation speech, substitute the word “stuff”].

To the Parents:  Do not let these people back in your house.  It’s time to have sex again without falling asleep in the midst of it because you’re so tired from being cook, counselor, coach, chauffer, play-date event planner, laundress, and housekeeper for them.  It’s time to reclaim their bedroom as your office and your “besides” (what you are besides being a mother or a father) while your mind is still functioning and your body remembers how to do the wild thing.  Don’t get me wrong:  help them with rent and groceries if needed, and invite them to dinner once a week so they won’t starve if you want, but if you become the default position when times get a little hard, they will be 55 before leaving home and will never become what you are:  overcomers and survivors.  You must help them stand on their own two feet ASAP because after the final roller coaster dip toward the great beyond in your life, you won’t be here to rescue them anyway.  Then what are they going to do?

Graduates Beginning Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune 

To the Graduates:  To openly steal from Scott Peck of The Road Less Traveled fame, recognize that life is hard (very, very hard), but once you make peace with that truth, you’ll be okay, and you’ll be able to handle the suffering that is sure to come your way on both an individual and a national level.  On the other hand, there is no use worrying about what type of suffering will be your portion in life because none of the things we usually obsess about actually happen to us.  I know—it’s one of life’s conundrums.

To the Parents:  I’m not going to lie to you—worries about the suffering that our children might face on their journey as adults (debilitating loneliness and assault being two of the worst fears) is the stuff that will turn you gray overnight and keep you awake for days on end.  As parents, we secretly hope we’ve given our kids all they need to secure their mental health so that we never get one of those awful phone calls telling us our children have self-destructed or harmed another human being.  Unfortunately, there is no escape from these feverish nightmares (did we give them too much, did we not give them enough?).  Prayer helps a great deal, but the burden of worrying about their safety was all part of the owners’ manual we received when they were born—Taking Responsibility for Your Kid (Section 2B)—and it doesn’t stop when they turn eighteen.  (I know—I was surprised as you!)  It is what it is.  Sleeping aids help.

To the Graduates:  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or making a fool of yourself, for that matter—it happens to the best of us and it is—by-and-large—survivable.  Think of the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you at this age (cutting the cheese while giving a presentation before the head of the department of your new job, perhaps, because you’re a nervous wreck and you mistakenly ate a questionable hot dog with sauerkraut before the meeting).  Remember that “this too shall pass” and you will live.  Should this happen, learn how to laugh at yourself as quickly as possible, realize that you will not die, and make a vow to never, ever, eat anything from the shady guy who owns the mystery meat stand outside your building.  Don’t worry—this will only happen once, because the lesson will be so engrained in your psyche that you’ll never repeat the humiliating mistake of eating said hot dogs again. That is how life lessons are learned.  Also, this may be a destiny sea-change—your segue into stand-up comedy, maybe.  Know that everything happens for a reason. Humor is a must and not taking yourself too seriously is a vital key to your success in life.

Graduate Jobs John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Used by Permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

To All the Teachers, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Friends, and extended family:  Thank you!  The cliché is worth repeating: It really does take a village.

To the Graduates—A final word:  You are part of something bigger than yourselves and making it your personal quest to explore your individual spiritual journeys will make the difference between a life well lived and one that is not.  You were also born for this time and place—you have a destiny.  Don’t let anyone steal that truth from you.  Even if you were born in a toilet—your life is valuable and needed to complete the tapestry of those who will lead us on into the next phase of our history as a nation.  You’re not a mistake and you’re not an accident.  But you do have choices and none of them will be insignificant.  Choose wisely, grasshopper!  Be brave, be courageous, and know that you’ll receive everything you need to fulfill your destiny as you travel to all the places you will need to go to have a thrilling purpose-filled life.


Dr. Seuss Oh the places you'll go

Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go



“Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new…. Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.”—Steve Jobs/Stanford 2005

“Be compassionate to everyone. Don’t just search for whatever it is that annoys and frightens you — see beyond those things to the basic human being. Especially see the child in the man or woman. Even if they are destroying you, allow a moment to see how lost in their own delusion and suffering they are.”Alice Walker, Author of The Color Purple, Naropa University in 2007

This day is the final test of your college years. What you do is what you WILL do. I ask you to approach this day with grace, grit and gratitude. This is not preparation for life, THIS IS LIFE.”– Wynton Marsalis/University of Vermont 2013

Graduates Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by Permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Private? Moments

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week?   I’ve lived two-thirds of my life in relative obscurity (first third as a poor black child, another third as a housewife/executive assistant/sometimes singer-actress-voice-over-artist), and now as my closing act, I think I’ll do the famous writer thing.   I want to be rich and famous, and why not?  I don’t see a down side to it.  I’m too old to let the fame go to my head, and the royalties from my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown, will be just what I need to fulfill my dream of making my moniker a household name (thinks every writer, everywhere, every time).  I was listing the pros and cons of becoming a famous storyteller the other day, when the phone rang and interrupted my fantasy.

It was Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s sister and Jay-Z’s sister-in-law).

Jay Z Song Cartoonist Mike Luckovic Atlanta Journal Constitution

Cartoonist: Mike Lukovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ME:  Hello, Baby-girl.  How’s life?

SOLANGE:  Hey, Mrs. T.  Word is you thinkin’ of goin’ all baller status with your book.  Thought I’d drop by and school you on how fame ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Spose you heard about my elevator ride?

ME:    Who hasn’t?  Kind of lost your temper and went all kamikaze on your in-law.  What was that all about?

SOLANGE:  I’m not talkin’ about it, ‘cause I don’t want strangers all up in my business.  I can’t trust nobody—not even you, Mrs.  T.  Who knew there was a camera in that elevator, and who knew some asshole would sell the tape of me goin’ off on Jay-Z.  Is there no place private anymore?

ME:   Excuse me, Baby, but there’s someone on my other line.  Hello?

DONALD STERLING:  Is this the Dalai Mama?  This is Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

ME:  No, this is the creator of the Dalai Mama.  How the hell did you get my phone number?

D. STERLING:  From the Internet.  You can find everything about everybody on the Internet.   I called to talk to the Dalai Mama to see if she could advise me on how to do damage control after the leak of my very private conversation with my ho.  I need to get back in good standing with the Black community or I’m gonna lose my plantation . . . oops, I mean my basketball team.  You know I was set-up, right?  I’ve gotten two NAACP Achievement awards for my work amongst the ni . . . I mean Colored people, and I don’t want to lose that street cred.

Don Sterling Bated Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission: Don Sterling “Bated” by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

ME:  Well, I think it is a little too late to worry about your street cred.  Anyway, I’m not talking to you, asshole.   The release of your taped racist phone conversation showed me who you really are—and to paraphrase Maya Angelou—I believe you, sucka!  Wait a minute:  There’s another call.  What is this—Grand Central Station?  My phone number is unlisted.  Hello?  Who is this?

MIMI FAUST:  Mimi Faust.

ME:  Mimi what?

DONALD STERLING:  Ooh, ooh, ooh I know who she is. She’s the broad from the reality television show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. She made a sex tape with her boyfriend Nikko Smith, and it was “accidentally leaked to the public.”  The things she did hanging from that shower rod would make an old man beg for mercy.

ME:  Oh course you know who she is, you low-life.

SOLANGE:  Oh, please Sterling, a lot of people think that the entire thing was staged and purposely leaked.  Those in the know could tell by the high quality production values and the timing of its release with the beginning of her reality show.  I’m not sayin’ it.  I’m just sayin’ that’s what other people are sayin’.

MIMI FAUST:  Oh yeah, well, I could say the same thing about your little “leaked elevator” incident, Miss Beyoncé wanna be.

ME:  Hey, don’t be nasty. Don’t you have a four-year-old, Miss Thang?  Why would you put something like a sex tape out there on the World Wide Web?

MIMI FAUST:  Yeah, that’s why I’m here.  I heard about your dialogue on privacy concerns and wanted to get in on the conversation.  How do I block my sex tape from being seen by my kid in future years?

ME:  Heard about my dialogue on privacy concerns from who?

MIMI FAUST:  It’s trending on Twitter.  #Guardyourprivacy

Solange and D Sterling Meme

Donald Sterling Meme

ME:  Oh, for Pete’s sake!  Is nothing secret?   Oh good Lord, here comes another call.  Yes?  The President of the United States?  Of course, I’ll hold.  (Quiet everybody, it’s the Prez.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Hello, ET.  How’s everything?  Thank you for your continued support.  Heard you were having a summit on privacy concerns today from the NSA.  I just wanted to let you know that we have instituted some strong guidelines regarding the NSA’s ability to invade the American public’s privacy going forward.  I think you will be pleased.  Also, if what I hear about Mimi is true, I hope she has private health insurance because Obamacare does not cover injuries caused by shenanigans.  Doesn’t she have a four-year-old?  Ask her what was she thinking when she made that tape.  Anyway, I’ve gotta go run a country.  Besides, it looks as if a Google rep is trying to get through to join in on the conversation.

Mimi Faust Meme

The Affordable Care Act Meme

ME:  What?  Mr. President, how did you know a Google rep was trying to reach me?   Hello . . . hello, who is this?

GOOGLE GLASS:   Hello, future users.  So glad to hear such an illustrious crowd gathered here.  Google heard about your convention and wanted to enlist you as beta users of our Google Glasses.  Your demographic spread would give us a great overview of our technological capacity and just think of the people you could surreptitiously film and heap revenge upon (you didn’t hear that from me) as you go about your daily tasks while we collect data.  Don’t worry about privacy concerns.  Google Glass’ awesome technology outweighs any privacy issues that may arise.  As for you ET, we can guarantee Monsters’ Throwdown fame if you wear our glasses and constantly get into altercations with people who think you’re invading their privacy.  It’s a win/win situation.  We get unlimited data and you get great exposure.  Sell us your soul, blogger, and you’ll be on your way to glory.

ME:  Huh?

Google Glass David FitzsimmonsThe Arizona Star

Used by permission: Google Glass David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I am discovering the definition of privacy from Webster’s:  “the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.”  My local paper cited a story about a Mississippi Tea Party blogger who was arrested because he allegedly snuck into a private nursing home and photographed a bedridden woman suffering from dementia without her or her family’s consent.  She is the wife of a candidate that the Tea-Bagger blogger opposes.  The scumbag allegedly posted her picture online in a political attack ad for his own derogatory purposes.  He has been arrested and his bond has been set at $100,000.  As far as I’m concerned, there is no hole deep enough in Hell for this man.

Whether we serve up our private moments for misguided reasons or someone steals them from us, it is as if we’ve been raped. I think that Donald Sterling is a complete asshole, but I am horrified that something he said in a private phone call was allegedly sold to a gossip site.  Where does that type of invasion stop?  Can any of us stand up to the glare of the light of day when our private thoughts are exposed?  None of us is perfect, although, I reiterate that I do not defend that S.O.B. Donald Sterling—he deserves to be roommates in Hell with the Tea Bagger blogger.  As to the Google Email-Plus-Glass, the Facebooks, the Vines, the Twitters, et al that are demanding our personal information to stay connected or plugged in so that they can sell our info to the highest bidder, how much longer before we stand up for ourselves and for our relatives, friends, and neighbors by shutting down and tuning out the slave masters.  We have the power.  Or do we?

Debbie Allen Meme

Debbie Allen Ruminating on Current State of Celebrity Fame

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”Will Rogers

“Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.”Frank A. Clark

“I’m kind of a gossip hound, but watching the media whip the small fires into giant forest fires so that they can cover the result is infuriating.”—Anne Lamott

“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Gabriel García Márquez: a Life

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”David Brin


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

There’s No Place Like Home

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Sometimes living in America makes my head hurt—especially when one is a humorist who draws stories from real life, and real life can sometimes be overrun with fools.  No matter what TV channel I turned on last week, there was something stupidly disheartening about living in the good ol’ US of A:

An old-fart of a man thought his basketball team was a plantation and racism was his passkey.

 Georgia passed a “guns everywhere law” (guns in churches, guns in bars—yeah, that should work out well).

And a proven duplicitous head of the LA NAACP resigned after admitting he was well on his way to giving the racist basketball team owner a lifetime achievement award in civil rights for previous monetary contributions (WTF?).  No amount of awards could disprove the onerous racism of the team owner, but it does prove that the LA NAACP needs a major moral overhaul and new leadership. There are no winners here.

Viewers David Horsey Los Angeles Times

Cartoonist:  David Horsey/LA Times

As a mother and a grandmother, I was frightened to say the least.  As a humorous writer, I was drained.  There is nothing funny about deep-seated racism, proliferating gun availability, and downright stupidity bolstered by alleged payola to a group that is supposed to be one of our guardians against racism.  And don’t get me started about the incessant attacks against our President by people who resent his election and reelection.  After returning from a promotion gig for my new book, Monsters’ Throwdown, I made my malaise known to my husband (WW), and he came up with a “get out of Dodge” plan.

WW:     Go somewhere else.  I’m off to Europe for a while—why don’t you meet me in Germany for the weekend?  There is nothing like trying to navigate a country whose language one doesn’t speak to give one perspective.  Given your ability to turn into a chocolate Lucille Ball at the slightest provocation, you should have entertaining blog fodder within the first 24 hours.  Hell, just trying to get you through the TSA screening will provide me with tons of laughter and you with at least three posts.

ME:        Excuse me, buster!  I’ll have you know that I traveled all over Germany 46 years ago as a choir soloist (singing in German, thank you very much!), and I got by okay on two-years of ghetto high school German.

WW:     Oh, really?  How much German vocabulary do you remember forty-six years later?

ME:        Um . . . besides “bitte” (please), “danke” (thank you), and “guten morgen” (good morning).  I remember three very vital sentences:  Wo ist die Toilette?  Ich habe das Reizdarmsyndrom.  Ich bin  zwei minuten nur vor blitzkrieg. (Where is the bathroom?  I have irritable bowel syndrome. I only have two minutes before she blows!)

WW:     Yep, this is going to be worth the price of admission.

Leg Room John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission: “Leg Room” John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

So off I flew for my 3-day adventure in Germany.   I flew economy class—although WW assured me that I had won the lottery when I got the new TSA preferred pre-clearance ticket:  no removal of shoes, no pulling out the bag of 3oz liquids, no removal of my sweater, and no threatening to yank the wig off my head and run it through the x-ray machine because the bobby-pins tripped the scanner.  In other words I’d be treated like a human being.

The pre-screen was a joke for me, of course.  I kept tripping the scanner over and over again (was it the stays in my “over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder,” was it the fillings in my teeth, or could it be my rubber-soled shoes?), leading to me being patted down and ordered to remove everything except my back teeth.  (Next time, don’t do me any favors TSA—just stuff me into the unpre-screened “orgasmitron” and continue to let my naked body be comedy fodder for the backroom TSA pervs.

TSA Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

The TSA and Our Liberties:  Used by permission | Daryl Cagle

Once I was on the plane, I surveyed the lay of the land and determined that there were two bathrooms for a couple hundred people in economy, so another passenger and I tried to sneak into first class to use the potties.  My comrade got through unnoticed, but the German stewardess caught me just as I rounded the bend:  “Wo gehst du hin?” (Where are you going?)

ME:        Ich habe das Reizdarmsyndrom.  Ich bin zwei minuten nur vor blitzkrieg!!!

FLUGBEGLEITERIN (flight attendant):  Zurück zur Economy-Klasse! (Get your sorry-ass back into economy class!)

I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, but I hit the ground running.  I took a trip up the Rhine on a boat full of nice people from all over the world viewing medieval castles with colorful histories. . .

Marksburg Castle Photo E Tomczyk

Cruising the Rhine (Marksburg Castle) | Photo Credit:  E. Tomczyk


Ruins of Heidelberg Castle | Wikipedia

“But let me talk of its castle. . . . [Heidelberg Castle] What times it has been through! Five hundred years long it has been victim to everything that has shaken Europe, and now it has collapsed under its weight. That is because this Heidelberg Castle, the residence of the counts Palatine, who were answerable only to kings, emperors, and popes, and was of too much significance to bend to their whims, but couldn’t raise his head without coming into conflict with them, and that is because, in my opinion, that the Heidelberg Castle has always taken up some position of opposition towards the powerful.”Victor Hugo (1838)/Wikipedia

I drank tons of wonderful German wine and consumed wonderful stews, bratwurst, Wiener schnitzel, and some kind of boiled egg in dill sour cream sauce that I could have definitely done without.  But nothing could beat the view while I ate it sitting in the old town square of Heidelberg.


Old City Heidelberg Square at Foot of Heidelberg Castle

I am discovering that after observing every traveler I saw and chatting with some of them, that we all have many things that are lovely about our histories and ourselves.  My greatest take-away was how similar we all are—from the Japanese tourist to the German waitress to the American traveler.  But we also have our shameful places of hatred, spite, disdain, contempt, and genocide.  I didn’t visit the darker side of Germany this time around.  I didn’t want to.  I did notice how 46 years ago there was a palpable sense of shame and heaviness upon the German people.  This time I sensed none of that, and that is good.  But they must never forget the evil their ancestors were capable of.  It still boggles my mind that a predominantly Christian nation created the demonic infernos of the death camps—just as my countrymen must never forget the immoral stain of slavery and the brutality of the Apartheid Jim Crow era, while we continually strive towards better days as a nation and as a people.

I was glad to return home.  I love my country and all its people (well, maybe not the haters).  I didn’t sleep on the return flight either, but I didn’t think I was any worse for wear until I looked in the mirror once I got in the cab.  I wondered why the custom agent stared at me so intently and questioned me so thoroughly.  Oh well, at least I learned something while I was away.

Beyonce How you think you look www vibe com


 “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”Maya Angelou

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


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