RSS

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

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.

 

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?

***

“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

References

http://thegrio.com/2014/05/15/solange-video-person-fired-leaked-footage/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/26/donald-sterling-racist_n_5218572.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/15/big_brother_teams_up_with_tmz_how_celebrity_culture_is_hastening_privacys_digital_demise/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/05/17/man-arrested-for-allegedly-photographing-thad-cochrans-wife-in-nursing-home/?tid=hpModule_ba0d4c2a-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394&hpid=z11

http://mashable.com/2014/02/26/google-glass-assault/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cierra-lockett/mimi-faust-sex-scandal-re_b_5194713.html

http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/19/technology/security/privacy-policy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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.

 
16 Comments

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 CagleCartoons.com

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. . .

“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.

***

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

REFERENCES

http://thegrio.com/2014/05/01/naacp-la-chapter-head-leon-jenkins-resigns-over-sterling-award-controversy/ 

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.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Tryin’ to Find a Good Man

Do you know what I’ve discovered about dating in 2014? If I were single and part of the dating scene today, I would give some serious consideration to becoming a nun. I’ve already made it perfectly clear to my husband that should he die before me, I’m bursting into a raucous chorus of “Climb Every Mountain,” and it is off to the nunnery I go. I don’t know how any of my single girlfriends will ever (young or old) find decent men. One of my friends found a good man online, but the rest of the forays of the wonderful women I know are the stuff of dating horror stories. Most of them date the dudes they meet at work with unsatisfactory conclusions and office drama, and a few mix it up at the clubs resulting in lackluster, temporary hook-ups . Their temporary “boyfriends” turn out to befor the most partparsimonious, lacking imagination, sleazy, and down-right creepy. Somehow, I don’t think God ever meant finding a good life partner to be this hard.

Exs

Actor: Kevin Hart Meme

Since I’d been getting so many heartbreaking stories sent to me, I decided to set up an advice column via my alter ego, “The Dalai Mama.” (The Dalai Mama can say what I can’t.) All the scenarios are true and the ages of the women range from 25 – 55 years old from all different walks of life and ethnicities. Please note: The names and locations have been changed to protect the screwed-over.

***

Dear Dalai Mama: I’ve been dating a man who I met several months ago at a business function. He is single and has a little boy that I have yet to meet. He’s originally from another country, but is an American citizen. “Matthew” owns several businesses and is well off. He has been uber-generous to me—almost too generous now that I think about it. From the moment we met, “Matthew” couldn’t stop showering me with expensive, over-the-top gifts. He called me six times a day professing his undying love. If I imagined a need, he was there to fulfill it—like a real-life genie love machine. I tried to put on the brakes by warning him that he was moving too fast (in the beginning I returned the gifts), but that seemed to make him more determined to push toward a future together. By the third month, he had already planned our life as husband and wife and was pressuring me to get married. I must admit all the attention was flattering, which is why I didn’t pick up on all the convoluted lies at first. But last week he flew back to his home country to attend a funeral and when I surprised him with a “Happy Easter” call on my way to church, a woman answered his phone and asked me who I was. I answered, “I’m Matthew’s girlfriend,” and she responded in a thick accent, “Oh gez? ‘Cause I Babka’s wife, bitch!” Dalai Mama, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I immediately told “the wife” that Matthew—Babka (whatever his real name is) no longer had a girlfriend cause I don’t play that. There was a lot of screaming and yelling in the background between the two of them and I hung up. I’m over this dude, but here’s the problem: The asshole has been calling me nonstop trying to “explain” why I misunderstood the situation—why he just needs time to explain—he’s sure I’d understand if I’d just hear him out. I don’t want anything to do with him. I’m no saint, but I don’t mess with other women’s husbands. Help! What if he shows up at my house when he returns from overseas? What can I say and do to end this virtually so that I never have to see him again? He had the nerve to ask me if he could meet my parents when they came to town in the future, and if I’d have a “sit down” with him and his wife because he’s sure the three of us could work something out. WTF?

Signed: The Other Woman BY MISTAKE

***

Dear Other Woman BY MISTAKE: Child, didn’t your mama ever tell you that if somethin’ seems too good to be true, it probably is? That sorry-ass man was moving way too fast and furious; he had to be up to no good from Jump Street. No matter what, don’t see that asshole ever again. Sounds like he’s tryin’ to do what the Frenchies call a ménage à trois or what some of the Mormons call “sister-wives.” Run—don’t walk away from this fool. If you do accidentally run into him, start singing Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” at the top of yo’ lungs like you done lost your ever-lovin’ mind, all the while showin’ him yo’ hand:

“So since I’m not your everything (irreplaceable)

How about I’ll be nothing (nothing)? Nothing at all to you (nothing, nothing)

Baby I won’t shed a tear for you (I won’t shed a tear for you)

I won’t lose a wink of sleep (a wink of sleep)

‘Cause the truth of the matter is (truth is)

Replacing you is so easy.”

***

Dear Dalai Mama: First of all, let me tell you that I’m 55 years old, and I should know better. But I was lonely—so lonely that I could hardly breathe from the heartbreak of the isolation when I met “George” about ten years ago. He was vibrant and fun. We used to go dancing and everything was an adventure. We had both been married before but didn’t see any need to tie the knot again. All our children are grown. For the first ten years we had our own homes, but after he retired, we both thought it would be prudent to move in together. Of course, he insisted on moving into my little 1,200 square-feet apartment because the upkeep of his 4,000 square feet home was too costly—so he said. After the move was when everything changed. His entire personality turned into the Goodyear Blimp. I am still working, but all he does is sit around in his La-Z-Boy all day long. He leaves his dishes on every surface except in the dishwasher, and no matter how late I have to work, he’ll wait for me to come home to cook dinner. Recently, something bizarre has happened: his brothers have convinced him that I’m trying to poison him. Also, he’s stealing cable from the neighbors and spends most nights gambling on the casino riverboats. When he goes out to gamble he gets all dressed up with too much man cologne. Why does he dress for his brothers, but for me, he just hangs out in a robe with his balls hangin’ out of the bottom of his shorts, while crunching on Cheetos from a bowl that is permanently perched on his rotund stomach? Dalai Mama, I’m lonelier now sleeping in a bed with someone than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Right now I’d give anything to (how did Gwyneth Paltrow phrase it?) “consciously uncouple” from this man who has mentally abandoned me. Can you help?

Signed: Frozen in Albuquerque

P.S. We haven’t had sex in two years.

***

Dear Frozen in Albuquerque: Have you read Eleanor Tomczyk’s new book, Monsters’ Throwdown? ‘Cause it sounds like yo’ man is going crazy, and she knows a little something about people suddenly losing their minds, as you’ll see in her book. In the meantime, this guy needs to go live somewhere else, girlfriend. You signed up to be his lover and his girlfriend—not his maid and his slave. I’ve found a “Bad Boyfriend” doll on the Internet that looks like it might do the trick to get him movin’ if you yelling at him to “GET UP” don’t work.   (I personally do not engage in voodoo, but desperate times call for desperate measures.) Try this doll and see if it works. Once he’s up and hopping around from the pain of imaginary pins in his ass toss the La-Z-Boy into the yard, call his brothers to haul him and the chair up and out, and change the locks. Then go on a nice long vacation and get reacquainted with yo’self. Let me know how it turns out.

All the best Sistah-friend!

P.S. Get yo’self a dog; he’ll be much better company than the dog you’ve been sleeping with for the past decade!

Bad Boyfriend Yoda Meme

I am discovering from talking to my girlfriends that there is nothing worse than loneliness—without a man or with one in your bed when he doesn’t love you anymore. I don’t think God ever intended our hearts to suffer like this. Cheers to the men who have done the right thing by their women. Shame on the ones who have not. You have no idea how much love, grace, companionship, and healing you are missing by playing the role of the asshole instead of the knight.

***

“Men are liars. We’ll lie about lying if we have to. I’m an algebra liar. I figure two good lies make a positive.”Tim Allen

You know your boyfriend (or husband) might be lying:

“[1] if he pauses before answering difficult questions . . .

[2] overuse of fillers such as ‘well, umm, ah, uh huh’

[3] He avoids eye contact and appears to blink more than usual

[4] He fidgets and shrugs “–Daily Mail by Bianca London*

“You don’t have to dumb down – you just have to find a clever, good, secure man. I’ve found a couple – I’ve been lucky – but it’s probably hard for everybody to find that true love of a good man.”Kimora Lee Simmons

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://www.sheknows.com/love-and-sex/articles/808147/signs-hes-lying

*http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2607047/Could-asymmetrical-gestures-eye-flutter-reveal-hes-cheating-Lie-detection-expert-reveals-ten-signs-indicate-lying-you.html

http://www.whatdomenreallythink.com/howto/signs-boyfriend-is-lying.php

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1315697/George-Lopez-splits-wife-17-years–despite-given-kidney-life-saving-op.html

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.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Genuine Article

Do you know what I’ve discovered about Easter? 90 million chocolate bunnies and 16 BILLION jelly beans are said to be consumed during a season that follows 40 days of abstaining for the Christian Lent—usually from sweets. Easter hasn’t even arrived yet, and I’ve consumed at least two-million jelly beans, but the good news is that I gave up chocolate bunnies for Lent since I’m a chocoholic. I made six giant Easter baskets for family and friends, and every time I threw in a handful of jelly beans into a basket I snarfed down two handfuls of beans with a swig of Diet Coke (one must maintain one’s diet, now mustn’t one?), but I abstained from the chocolate bunnies. Sometime after the consumption of 500,000 jelly beans, I fell into a sugar coma and would have stayed passed out for days had not a life-sized bunny knocked on my front door and, in my foggy-state-of-mind, asked me to take a bite out of his ass.

Chocolate Bunny By Josef Türk Jun via Wikimedia Commons

Chocolate Bunny By Josef Türk Jun via Wikimedia Commons

ME: I beg your pardon? Who are you? Are you a zombie in a bunny disguise?

E. BUNNY: Ah, nooooo. Do I look like a zombie? I’m Mr. Chocolate-E-Bunny.

ME: I can see you’re a bunny—albeit a six-foot-tall bunny—and a chocolate one at that, but you could be hiding all manner of characteristics under that chocolate undercoating. Take me for instance [slightly slurred speech from sugar intoxication], I’m a human female, chocolate in color, and perfectly normal at first glance, but I could be your worst nightmare if you mess with me. I’m also a chocolate lover, baby, so come on in and make yourself at home. Unfortunately, I can’t fulfill your request now—I don’t do chocolate Easter Bunnies anymore. I gave you up for Lent.

E. BUNNY: [E. Bunny pushes his way into my foyer and almost knocks me over in the process] It says here in my manifest that you gave up all sweets for Lent, but up until a few minutes ago you were passed out from a jelly bean overdose. Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?

ME: Hey, hey, hey, hey, don’t you judge me. There is only one person who can judge me. Life is hard out here for a chocolate lover. And how do you know my business? Besides, I’m not the one who has been trying to steal the show from the real author of Easter for years. You and your comrades have reduced a very holy holiday into a commercial carnage of sugar crap and colored-boiled egg rolls. How many Americans even know what Easter is about anymore? And what the fuck did you do with your gold foil wrap? Your nakedness is freaking me out here!  I’m only five-feet tall, and even though you’re not anatomically correct, I don’t need to be looking at all that that isn’t supposed to be there on a damn chocolate bunny.

Easter Forgotten Peter Broelman Australia

Used by permission: Peter Broelman, Australia

E. BUNNY: I left my gold-foil wrap outside. I thought I’d be less imposing if I came through the door chocolate naked and ready for consumption.

ME: No, the fact that you’re a six-foot-tall chocolate bunny and talking to me is freaky—the gold foil means nothing. Now get out! I’ll not lose what little grip I have on my Lenten sacrifice and my sanity.

E. BUNNY: What do you care? It says here on my manifest that you are no longer a Christian; you’re a NONE (“none of the above” when asked “what religion are you?” on surveys), as well as a SBNR (“Spiritual but Not Religious”). Ain’t you a bit old to be losing your religion?

ME: Completely misrepresented. If you read my book Monsters’ Throwdown (have you read my book?) you’d know all about my thrilling God encounter. Where did you get that erroneous misinformation about me not being a Christian, by the way? I am a Christian BUT NOT ONE OF THOSE CHRISTIANS that are doing everything in their power to win the stupid medal, spew hatred, undergird white supremacy, sow division, worship greed as a divine right, spread ignorance, foster abuse, churn up intolerance, and snuff out belief in science. Did you read how a group of mega-church preachers have predicted the end of the world (Red Moon Rapture) during the appearances of the blood moons (scientists call this lunar eclipse a tetrad) this year or the next? Well, one blood-moon experience has passed, and we’re still here. (God, I despise stupid). At the same time, I believe in Jesus, his birth, sacrificial death, and powerful resurrection. Science is awesome (I’m really feeling the new Cosmos series, by the way), but the “knowing” by faith that I am loved by an entity who is outside of time and space levels the playing field for this little chubby-ass, black girl from the ghetto and makes me less frightened as to the nefarious choices of those who would choose to do me harm on this scary blue planet.

Gospel in a word is love funnypicturesimages dot com

Courtesy of funnypicturesimages.com

E. BUNNY: Cute—although I’m agnostic. Being edible, I have to keep my options open. Aren’t you a little old for clip art religion?

ME: Aren’t you a bit perverse to ask some strange woman to take a bite out of your ass? You’ve barged into my house and now you think you can throw shade on my beliefs? Okay, you’re goin’ down, you mouthy, fat-ass Bunny!

AT THIS POINT, THE SUGAR INTOXICATED FIVE-FOOT “NONE” BEGAN TO DO A THROWDOWN WITH THE SIX-FOOT NAKED CHOCOLATE BUNNY. JELLY BEANS WERE FLYING EVERY WHICH WAY BUT SUNDAY, AND BITS OF CHOCOLATE BUNNY WERE FLUNG TO THE CEILING. IT WAS ANYONE’S GUESS AS TO WHO THE VICTOR WOULD BE.

E. BUNNY: Stop, stop! I don’t want to fight over this. My request is strictly business, I promise. I won’t get my commission unless I become part of an Easter display. Problem is that I am much too big for an Easter basket, and everyone who I’ve come in contact with this week has given up chocolate for Lent. I’d given up all hope of winning the Easter challenge until my manager told me to stop by your house. He says you’re known throughout the land as being a chocolate-bunny slut. I’m begging you, just take a couple of chomps out of my ass to show that I am Easter worthy, and I’ll leave you be.

ME: [I bounced around the floor like Sugar Ray Leonard with fists raised in a defensive position—not letting down my guard for one minute.] Something about you is off, bunny, but I can’t put my finger on it. Everybody who is anybody knows that you don’t feast on a chocolate bunny from the ass up—it’s always from the ears down. And another thing, you’ve giving off the appearance of being a solid bunny, but methinks you sound a little bit hollow inside. For the sake of science, let me take a bite out of one OR BOTH of those ears. I’ll know instantly if you’re for real or a poser. [I flew through the air and flung myself against his body and snapped off both his chocolate bunny’s ears to discover what I suspected all along.]

Easter Over Commercialized Easter Jeff Parker Florida Today

Used by permission: Jeff Parker, Florida Today

E. BUNNY: Ouch! WTF! Why did you do that? Now I can’t hear a thing.

ME: Serves you right, nasty-ass bunny busting into my house when I’m all weak and vulnerable and offering up your tasty ass.   Um, even though you’re hollow, your ears are delicious and the left side of your face is scrumptious. I WANT MORE! [I took a flying leap and lunged upward toward the back of the chocolate bunny’s head.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. You are delicious, bunny baby! Oh, but what about my Lenten oath? Let’s see—Lent ends on April 17th. Today is April 16th. I made it almost to the mark—that should count for something in the religion department. [At this point I lunged for the chocolate bunny’s throat with zombie teeth bared and chocolate blood gushing out of the sides of my mouth with the ferocity of a lioness feeding on an antelope.]

E. BUNNY: That’s called sin ration_________gurgle. . .

ME: What did you say, giant bunny—something about sin rationalization? [Chomp, chomp . . .] Well, good thing I get forgiveness of my sins through Christ, because I plan to eat all six feet of your chocolate ass now and ask forgiveness later! Ha—I bet you didn’t see that one comin’!

Easter Meme FB

I am discovering that I am grateful to have experienced the presence of God in my life. All that is good and lovely, I owe to the one I call Jesus; all that was harsh and degrading I owe to the lack of love from mankind.  I am also discovering that no matter how loud the right-wing religious or the extreme atheists shout about God vs. science—both are probably wrong because Easter is the elasticity between the two. Science explains how, what, and when life began for us all (thanks Brian McLaren), but God is outside of time and space and therefore cannot be measured or categorized (thanks Alan Lightman) by science—God explains the who and whythe meaning of life.  I could be wrong (that is the nature of faith), but the fact that God burst onto the scene to show us how to live and treat each other over 2,000 years ago (which we seem to be severely ignoring) simply underscores how significant his life and death are to all mankind. I believe that in the end love will triumph over all our differences, and all death has been conquered by the resurrection of Christ. Thank God for Easter.

Happy Easter to one and all!

P.S. No chocolate bunnies were actually harmed in this sugar dream and no Lenten vows were broken.

Easter Meanig Milt Priggee www dot cagle dot com FB

Used by permission: Milt Priggee http://www.cagle.com

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”Mahatma Gandhi

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”Albert Einstein

“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.” ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

website

LOOKING FOR AN EXCELLENT READ? CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/blood-moon-sets-off-apocalyptic-debate-among-some-christians/2014/04/15/00b76502-c4be-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/14/blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-john-hagee-end-of-world/7694331/

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.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Never Saw That One Comin’

Do you know what I’ve discovered about surprises? You never see them coming. (I know, I know—duh!)   I read somewhere that kindergarteners are one of the most delightful group of humans for a multitude of reasons (full of joie de vivre for one), but mainly, this is so due to how much life takes them by surprise, and their unmitigated joy (if they like the surprise), or their colossal meltdown if they don’t.

Surprise Bear

Surprised Bear | Courtesy of memebase.com

My grandson is 5 years old, and the other day after being dragged from one clothing store to another with his mother he was promised by said mother that if he’d be patient, she would take him to the giant toy store in Manhattan for a new toy. However, the clothes buying took longer than anticipated, and my daughter thought it would be more prudent to stop for a slice (what they call pizza in NYC) before proceeding to FAO Schwarz (you know, the home of the giant floor piano used in “Big” where Tom Hanks played “Chopsticks with his feet?”).

The world of a five-year-old doesn’t have much bandwidth, so when he was being pulled through the door of a pizza parlor instead of toy heaven, he vociferously began to complain. He wisely chose not to throw a full-blown, fall-on-the-floor, kicking and screaming tantrum, but tried the more subtle approach of firmly crossing his arms in defiance and protruding his lower lip into a pout that could win the Guinness World Record of protruding lips. His mother totally ignored him (as all good parents should at the moment of a five-year-old siege), but the waitress did not. Upon seeing my grandson’s very unhappy face, the waitress asked him what was wrong.

KINDERGARTEN TERRORIST: “SHE [when a mother gets on a five-year-old’s shit list, the person who gave him life suddenly becomes persona non-grata, and the mother turns into a “she” or “that woman”] PROMISED ME FAO SCHWARZ, AND NOW I’VE BEEN DRAGGED INTO THIS PLACE TO EAT PIZZA!”

FAO Schwarz Front5 Wikimedia Commons

FAO Schwarz | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SHE: [addresses her rebuttal to the waitress] “In whose world is eating pizza considered a punishment?”

CHARMING WAITRESS: “Well, I’ll tell you what, sweetie, if it will make you happy, I’ll fix your pizza anyway you want it, get it to you as quickly as possible, and get you out the door in no time so that you can get to FAO Schwarz as fast as your little legs can carry you.   So what would you like on your slice, darlin’?”

KINDERGARTEN TERRORIST: [The KT sighs, knowing that he better play along before “She” bypasses FAO Schwarz altogether and decides that a “time out” until Jesus returns would be a more appropriate choice after the pizza joint.]

“Okay, I want pepperoni [pout], cheese [pout], and more cheese, please. Can you cut it into little pieces for me [swallowing sob] and put some salt on it too [sucking back crocodile tears]?”

CHARMING WAITRESS: “Sure honey, whatever you want” [waitress looks back at my daughter as she goes to place the order and whispers:] “Don’t worry, Honey, I’m just humoring him so that he won’t have a meltdown—I won’t put any salt on his pizza.”

As the waitress walked away, my five-year-old grandson leaned across the table in complete wonderment and surprise at what had just transpired and whispered to his mother:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Surprise Gomer Pyle

Actor: Gomer Pyle | Surprise meme

I almost peed myself from laughter over the retelling of my grandson and the pizza parlor experience. It got me thinking about good surprises (big and small) that either inform our intelligence (shake us out of our ignorance) or make our lives more palatable so that we can survive to get to FAO Schwarz (heaven). It made me wonder if in any given life there are more “bad” surprises than there are “good.” I’m sure it must be so in Third World countries, but can it be so in the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free?  I’ve written about my own life that was full of Lemony Snicket Unfortunate Events in Monsters’ Throwdown, but I still think growing up in America has given me a leg up because of its provision of wonderful surprises. So I’m trying to spend my latter days anticipating the “good” surprises and relishing in the joy they bring—no matter how small.

For instance, I once worked for an asshole who was a bigot, mean-spirited, and a braggart (“If there are 10 people in the room with me, I am always the smartest, and so whatever you have to say as a black woman and a lowly secretary will never match my intellect.”). He was from Mississippi and couldn’t stomach any feedback from me except, “Yes, Massah—whatever you say Massah.” Boss-man tried to get me fired because I refused to empty his waste basket of week-old rotting garbage from his daily lunches (he had pissed off the African-American and Hispanic janitorial staff so badly that they refused to clean his office). I desperately needed that job and couldn’t quit because mine was the only income supporting our household at the time. The jerk of a boss underestimated my intelligence and the fact that I’m also a praying woman, ‘cause I prayed every day that God would fry his ass (I’m still working on the “love thy enemy” thing). As karma would have it, within nine months from the day he started treating me like shit, the dude was fired from his job in disgrace, was sued for divorce, lost his home, and for the next decade or so failed to keep a job longer than a year. I, on the other hand, got handed a job working for the asshole’s boss three levels above him and ended up working for the company for years while making a hefty salary utilizing my intelligence and skillset.   All I could say at the end of that tenure was:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Surprise orum dot ladypopular dot com

Courtesy of forum.ladypopular.com

Another lovely surprise in my life happened from a completely random choice. Years ago, my husband and I stopped by a gorgeous little B and B to spend the night because it was halfway between point A and point B on our way home from a long trip. At breakfast we ended up chatting with a delightful interracial couple sitting at the next table. Although we never exchanged last names, I realized almost immediately that the woman was Anita Hill (the African-American law professor who testified against the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas regarding sexual harassment when she worked with him at the EEOC). During that awful hearing, the Right Wing threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ms. Hill, the male Democrats hung her out to dry, and I cheered her demise because I was a Christian conservative at the time.  I joined prayer groups that “beseeched God” to make the way clear for Clarence Thomas to be appointed a justice on the Supreme Court because he was God’s man, and she was Satan’s little helper.  Clearly, I had drunk the Kool-Aid.

Today every time Thomas votes against the good of our country and its people, I hang my head in shame, and I repent for being such an idiot. But the day I accidentally met Anita Hill (I never let on that I knew who she was, and we never talked about the hearing), that meeting left no doubt in my mind that she was innocent.

A documentary has just been released (Anita) that clarifies the truth about that riveting historical moment. The world has since learned through several books (one written by two journalists who had no skin in the game) that there were other women waiting to testify against Clarence Thomas who had experienced the same treatment from him as Anita Hill, but they weren’t given a chance to speak. There were people waiting to verify that Ms. Hill had complained to them about Thomas’ harassment when it happened, but they were never called before the committee because the Republicans turned it into a character assassination of Anita Hill (“they didn’t want to hear the truththey just wanted to win,” Ms. Hill has said). After the hearing was over, a rabid Republican core group tried to get Ms. Hill fired but failed (she had tenure), tried to get the Dean of her school fired, and some even tried to shut down the law school where she worked. But never mind, as so often happens when nasty surprises slime us, the attacks turned Anita Hill into an ardent champion of women’s rights and the poster child of sexual harassment in the workplace. Thousands of women came out of hiding to tell their long-suffering stories of sexual harassment because of the courage a soft-spoken, humble woman demonstrated by the way she stood up to her haters.

Anita Hill has become a hero to me and millions of women. And guess what?

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Anita Hill Apology Sack Star Tribune

Used by Permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am discovering that life is very, very difficult, but every once in a while, a good surprise comes along to give us hope and faith in a future that would otherwise cut us off at the knees and leave us completely undone. When that happens, all we can do is express our thanksgiving with gratitude to God and chant the declaration of one precious five-year-old:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

***

“Life is full of surprises.”John Major

“Sometimes it is better to begin the journey, to get under way, then it is to sit back and wait until such time that you’re convinced that all conditions are perfect and that there’ll be no surprises along the route.”John Engler

Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence—a surprise.”Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

ENJOYED THIS POST? CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://thegrio.com/2014/03/27/anita-hill-talks-feminism-sexual-harassment-and-clarence-thomas/

http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-clarence-thomas-vs-anita-hill-a-new-film-opens-old-wounds-20140312,0,6988082.story#axzz2xrhVGSAo

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.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Do you know what I discovered about my life this week? I am one unlucky sorry-ass woman. I just barely got over a sinus infection, and the minute my husband stepped out the door to go on a business trip, I got an intestinal flu bug, and it kicked my behind from one end of my house to the other. I have chills, I ache all over, my stomach cramps at the slightest smell of food, I can’t stray more than two feet from a bathroom, and I’m spewing out of both ends.  I am truly undone.

Flu Bug Dolighan dot com

Cartoon by Tim Dolighan www.dolighan.com

I was writhing on the couch moaning in three octaves: “WHY ME, OH LORD; WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” when the phone rang and it turned out to be my youngest daughter (29).

BABY-GIRL: Hi Mom. How’s my favorite mother? I noticed that you hadn’t published your blog this week so I am checking up on you.

MISERABLE ME: Your only mother is ready to send up a shout-out to Jesus and let him know I’m ready to exit stage left—that’s how miserable I feel. I had to send a neighbor to get me stopper-upper meds, and I’m so weak I can barely cook for myself—let alone think of a blog topic. Of all the adages I’ve given you over the years under the title, “A Mother’s Parting Wisdom to Her Children,” did I ever tell you that when you have the flu you should never, ever trust a fart? Maybe I could write a blog on that tomorrow.

BABY-GIRL:   No, you have never told me that saying—and I don’t want to hear it now. And NO, you cannot write a blog on “never trust a fart.” You’ve written way too many posts on bodily functions or sex. Need I remind you that my colleagues read your blog, and it is mortifying when I get an email that says they’re reading about you farting in your doctor’s face after a colonoscopy while they’re drinking their morning coffee?

MISERABLE ME: Hey now—that was written in the spirit of public service. I’ve gotten a lot of requests to have that post sent to people who are undergoing a colonoscopy for the first time so that it doesn’t frighten them. Sheesh! Everybody’s a critic.

Flu Season Olle Johansson Sweden

Used by Permission: “Flu Season” by Olle Johansson, Sweden

BABY-GIRL: I don’t care, Mother; think of something else north of your navel. I’ve been reading some poetry lately. How about a post centered on the CLEAN poetic line: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost. It’s from J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Fellowship of the Ring:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

BABY-GIRL: Does that line conjure up anything inspiring that you can write about even with the flu?

MISERABLE ME: Yeah, now that you mention it. I facilitated a storytelling hour and book signing for my book Monsters’ Throwdown last week at the largest women’s homeless shelter in D.C. It was packed—standing room only. Now that I think about it, the women who attended were amazing. Life had dealt them all a tough blow, but I could see in most of their eyes that they were not down for the count. They were broken, but they had the great hope of being renewed because of the helping hand that had been extended to them—they were wanderers, but they weren’t completely lost. That’s why they keep showing up at the Village for the counseling, the educational classes, and the community support.

BABY-GIRL: I read somewhere recently that President Reagan once said that, “The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.” Did you sense that at your storytelling hour?

Homeless in America

Photo courtesy of www.csindy.com

MISERABLE ME: Ronald Reagan was a insensitive pig! Much to my chagrin, I voted for him and I will never forgive myself for that because he did more to mushroom homelessness in the inner city than any other force in recent years with his goddamn trickle-down economics that made the rich richer and the poor only poorer. If there is a Hell, Reagan is wandering around it on cold, barren streets as a homeless person for at least a quarter of eternity without a blanket and with constant diarrhea.

BABY-GIRL: Now that’s an interesting topic. What did you learn from these “wandering women”?

N Street Village 007

Author Book Signing for Monsters’ Throwdown at N Street Village’s homeless outreach

MISERABLE ME: I learned that but by the grace of God go I. I was homeless several times in my life before the age of 21, but it never lasted long. I was rescued which is what my book is about. Someone discovered that I was broken and could be renewed. I learned that many of the homeless have jobs (more than one) that they go to, but they still can’t afford housing. I learned that you can come from the best of families, with the best education, and all it takes is a few missteps and before you know it, you’re out on the street—whether from a bad relationship, an abusive husband, a medical issue, or a layoff. I learned that in Washington, DC, 55% of the homeless women that N Street Village services (they are the largest women’s homeless services in DC), are over 50 years old. I met one woman who was an amputee due to diabetes, and yet she is homeless. The homeless women I met suffer from emotional, sexual, and physical trauma, while some are crippled by mental health issues and addictive behaviors. All I could do was cling to them after all was said and done. As I looked into their eyes, I could see the beauty of who they were created to be. I understood what Jesus meant when he said: “What you do for the least of these, you do for me.” If I do a thousand more book signings, I doubt that any of them will be as rewarding or as profound as the one at the women’s homeless shelter.

BABY-GIRL: I’m so proud of you, Mom. I’m sure the ladies loved your time together. Just imagine yourself in their place with what you’ve been going through the last few days—flu symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and chills BUT going through that while sleeping on the street in the snow with no proper meds or sanitation. Makes your situation pretty tolerable, huh, La Mama?

MISERABLE ME: Yes, Ms. Smart-ass, it does! Anyway, I’ll write that post tomorrow. In the meantime, let me snuggle up in front of the fireplace and sip my hot toddy while I read 50 Shades of Grey. Your father and I could use some tips to spice up our sex life, although I hear this book is about bondage with handcuffs and all. I’m afraid if Dad and I try this handcuff thingie, I’ll fall asleep before anything exciting can actually happen.

BABY-GIRL: TMI! HANGING UP! HANNNNNNGING UP! OH, MY GOD—MY EARS, MY PSYCHE . . .

Homeless Neighbor

I am discovering that it is so easy to get caught up in my pathetic little life and forget that homelessness is everywhere and ever-expanding due to issues that we can primarily control as a society. It is also so easy to become comfortable and forget from whence I came. All of us who claim to have a heart and especially those of us who claim to believe in a kind and generous God must do everything in our power to eradicate homelessness in our midst. Ronald Reagan was just plain wrong, and that Ayn Rand spirit he left behind permeates our politics and our national psyche. Being homeless could happen to any of us. But by the grace of God go us all!

N Street Village 010

Author Storytelling Hour at N Street Village/check out Author’s website for more details

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”—Mother Teresa

“There is a lot that happens around the world we cannot control. We cannot stop earthquakes, we cannot prevent droughts, and we cannot prevent all conflict, but when we know where the hungry, the homeless and the sick exist, then we can help.”—Jan Schakowsky

“Seven out of 10 Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless.”—Pras Michel

“All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President Reagan was personable and charming, but I’m not so certain he was nice. It’s hard for me to think of anyone as ‘nice’ when I hear him say ‘The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.”—Helen Thomas

REFERNCES

http://www.nstreetvillage.org/

http://thegrio.com/2014/03/24/americas-most-under-reported-story-homelessness/

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/03/living/cnn10-visionary-women/?hpt=hp_bn11

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/housing-first-homeless-charlotte_n_5022628.html 

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.

 

 

 
18 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Nature’s Mom

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week?  I am at war with a woman who has really set my teeth on edge.  She is older than I am and has absolutely no respect for me.  The heifer is constantly all up in my grill with her attitude and unpredictability.   She throws shade at me every chance she can get and disregards my needs, my wants, and my desires.

Today was 70 degrees outside and yesterday wasn’t half bad either.   DC has had two days of spring-like weather after a hellish winter, and all is right with my world.  As I ran errands without a coat, I spontaneously broke into a dance in front of the grocery story as I sang Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song at the top of my lungs:

“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say,

Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break…

Because I’m happy…”

Warm Pic 1 funnypicturesutopia dot com

Meme courtesy of www.funnypicturesutopia.com

But when I returned home, “Nature’s Mom” (a.k.a. Mother Nature) had  left me a calling card:  the Capital Weather Gang’s report in The Washington Post about the demon weather that is coming my way within the next 16 hours or so—courtesy of this chick who claims to be “nature.”

“Roller coaster Wednesday: Temps to spike then crash, with storms and howling winds . . .”

 “Temperatures plummeting from roughly 70 to 25 degrees in 6 hours in Washington area . . .”

I went out into my backyard and screamed at the heavens:

NATURE’S MOM—SPRING IS ON ITS WAY!  BUDS ARE ON THE TREES IN MY YARD . . . CROCUS (CROCUSES, CROCUSI?) ARE PUSHING THROUGH THE SOIL AT MY FEET.  MY DAFFODILS ARE POKING THEIR LITTLE HEADS UP AND WAVING AT ME.  A BUNNY JUST HOPPED BY.  THE VERNAL EQUINOX STARTS ON MARCH 20TH AT 12:57 P.M. EDT WHICH MEANS SPRING WILL HAVE OFFICIALLY SPRUNG!  WHAT MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED TO CEASE AND DESIST?

Spring Expectations www dot slapcaption dot com

Meme courtesy of www.slapcaption.com

NATURE’S MOM:  Climate change.

ME: Say what?  Who just said that?  Show yourself?

NATURE’S MOM:  Oh, I’ll show myself Wednesday night—don’t you worry about that, Chica.  Right now you’ll just have to put up with my voice in your head. Climate change is driving my agenda.

ME: I don’t even know what climate change is.  I’m just trying to get my mental health to survive here.  Causing these extreme temperatures and horrid wind patterns are a personal issue between you and me, bitch.  I just got over a bad sinus infection; I’ve been stuck in the house for weeks—I need sunshine and warmth—not a lecture!

NATURE’S MOM:  Well, you should know what climate change is—it is your responsibility to know, and it is why I’m out of control all over the Earth—I’m trying to get you and your peeps to WAKE UP!  According to your own EPA site, climate change refers to:

“. . . any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.”

mother nature al gore

Cartoonist:  Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ME:  Listen, Heifer, this is personal! I have had to escape your clutches ever since I was born.  I wrote about some of your mayhem in my new book Monsters’ Throwdown.  Have you read it?

NATURE’S MOM: Oh please, surely you jest . . .

ME:  Don’t call me Shirley—my name is Eleanor (hee, hee, hee)!

NATURE’S MOM:  What are you, 13?

ME:  WHAT EVER! I’m trying to draw your attention to the times you almost killed me because of your excesses.  I am only concerned about me and the fact that I’m fucking sick of winter—I WANT SPRING TO SPRING!  Do you remember when I was two years old, my hometown of Cleveland was hit with 30 inches of snow from you, and I was stuck in a rat-trap of a house for weeks on end with a schizophrenic mother and barely any food?

NATURE’S MOM:  You remember that?  I thought you were just two years old then. Have you been lying about your age?

Mother Nature memecrunch dot com

ME:  No, others told me about it.  But that’s not the point.  In 1959, you caused so much rain to fall on top of mountains of snow that most of Ohio was flooded.   I had to be rescued from my school via a second floor window into a row-boat.  Do you wonder that I’m afraid of water in my old age?   Oh and here’s a good one:  remember that freak snowstorm you sent to upstate New York in late April during the 70s (late freakin’ April, no less!) that dropped several feet of snow on the region?  WW and I were coming back from his sister’s wedding, and we went into a tailspin in the middle of the night and almost careened off the edge of a cliff.  What is it with you that you can’t stay within your natural boundaries?  You almost cost me my future. Repeat after me:  winter is from December to February—spring is from March to May, summer is . . .

NATURE’S MOM: Are you getting cheeky with me?  Because I still have Wednesday night up my sleeve.  When’s the last time you experienced lightning in winter aimed directly at your house?  Remember the storm a few years ago that knocked out your electricity for two weeks, and the power surge that fried your microwave, your ceiling fan, and your computer?  Well, I can do that again.  Instead of throwing a hissy-fit over the delayed advent of spring, why don’t you tell me your plan as an individual to help fight global warming?

ME:  Uh, did I hear that House of Cards is back on and ready for binge watching? Gotta go!  Let’s do lunch when you usher in summer (80 degrees, calm breeze, sunshine galore, and gin and tonics on the deck).  Cheers!

America Reacts Horsey Cartoon

Cartoonist:  David Horsey, LA Times

I am discovering that I can’t mess with Mother Nature—I just have to get out of her way and grab some extra blankets to stay warm while I grumble.  I also must confess that other than recycling, eating less meat (I loves me some steak, so that’s not going very well), and using energy-saving appliances, I’m pretty clueless as to how to really be effective when it comes to course-correcting our planet’s environmental illness.  As a Christian, I believe the scientists that detrimental climate change is happening—which is a start—but I must confess the magnitude of the subject overwhelms me because it requires governments (from the USA to China), industries, and individuals to modify their behavior in major ways, and it makes me inert.

***

“That’s the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn’t care what economic bracket you’re in.”—Whoopi Goldberg

“As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.”—Al Gore

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle as complex a situation as climate change. The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”—James Lovelock

PLEASE CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE:  www.eleanortomczyk.com

Spring is coming End keepcal dash o dash matic dot co dot uk

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/03/11/shock-drop-temperature-may-fall-from-70-to-35-wednesday-evening/?hpid=z3

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/

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.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 595 other followers