Larger Than Life

06 Jan

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   According to all the leading news media, the #1 New Year’s resolution of Americans is to “lose weight,” quickly followed by exercise more, drink less alcohol, get out of debt, and quit smoking.  If 50% of us conquered these resolutions every year, we’d be the skinniest, most smoke-free, wealthiest, healthiest, and potentially the most boring people on the face of the planet because we
wouldn’t have time for anything else.

New Year resolution fastatforty dot blogspot dot com

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes|image from

It is well known, and the fodder of many comedians, that our mostly superficial resolutions don’t usually last past the second week of January.  Just recently it was brought to my attention that most of our top five resolutions rarely include something that is magnificent—like “become heroes.”  If we’re honest with ourselves, our temporary resolves are mostly external and mean a great deal to us because they give us the short-term illusion that we’re “WINNING!” at the game of life of being popular especially when our traveling stadium of friends, relatives, and co-workers enviously applaud our triumphs—no matter how short-lived.  At least that is what my “sorry ass” told me when I was on the treadmill attempting to shred it of its copious “jelly” while trying not to think about how hungry I was after six days of strenuous dieting, 60 minutes of daily treadmill walking, 55 minutes of alternate-day Zumba dancing, and 30 minutes of three times a week Kettle Bell swinging that had almost put one of my eyes out.

New Years Resolution Mark Parisi cartoon

Cartoon by Mark Parisi|image from

My iPod blared one of my favorite workout songs (“Holding Out for a Hero” by Dean Pitchford from the film Footloose) as I jogged the third 6.0 incline on the treadmill and felt very smug and superior about myself and my top two resolutions—lose weight and exercise more.

“Holding Out For A Hero”

I need a hero

 I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

 He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast

 And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

 I need a hero

 I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light

 He’s gotta be sure, he’s gotta be soon

And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life


Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Just as I started to harmonize with Bonnie Tyler at the top of my lungs on the lyric, “AND HE’S GOTTA BE LARGER THAN LIFE, LARGER THAN LIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE,” I heard someone say:  “Feed me, bitch!”  Thinking it was my husband (WW) who must have suddenly lost his mind and morphed into a Tyler Perry Madea-like voice, I shouted toward the basement ceiling so that the sound would carry to the upstairs bedroom.


MY ASS:   Your man ain’t here.  He went to the sto’ to get some eats which you failed to buy us yesterday when you hauled me (your chunky “sorry ass”) through Whole Foods lookin’ for kale and tofu.  White and Wonderful (WW) is as tired of eatin’ that crap as I am of eliminatin’ it.  (For the record Bitch: what self-respecting black woman eats kale and tofu?)   I’m so hungry I’m about to detach myself from your body, crawl up your back, grab your car keys, and drive your ass to the grocery sto’!  You better hope yo’ man brings home somethin’ chocolate and deep fried or else you and your sorry ass are gonna’ be on the 6 o’clock news ‘cause I plan on havin’ me a throw-down.

ME:            (Mumbling to myself) This is not real . . . my ass can’t be talking to me . . . this must be a hallucination brought on by dehydration or lack of fat in my diet.   WW warned me to drink more water.  Besides, nothing is going to make me break my diet and exercise resolutions this year—absolutely nothing!  And just in case it’s a demon, I’ll cast it out for good measure:  Get behind me Satan!”

MY ASS:     Girl, you’re a bigger fool than I thought.  My name ain’t Satan, it’s “Sorry-ass” and I’m already behind you because I belong to you.   Long as we been livin’ together, you don’t know yo’ own ass?  I’m tired of your shit—DO YOU HEAR ME?  An ass cannot live by bein’ a traveling bootie-chair alone!  Heifer, you been puttin’ me through this starvation routine for over sixty years and it’s always the same.  You starve me practically to death and whittle my ass almost into oblivion until I almost fall off, but then as soon as you take a gulp of air or can’t maintain your gerbil exercise routine, the fat comes right back and plumps yo’ ass into fluffy-nutter status, baby!  Just ask my best girl (Oprah’s sorry-ass)—we will always, always return—Dr. Oz or no Dr. Oz.  Now I told you befo’:  FEED ME, BITCH—I’M ABOUT TO FAINT DEAD AWAY!

ME:             La-la-la-la, I’m not listening to you.  Besides, your argument isn’t really fair!  I’ve gone years when I’ve made you disappear, and I did it by not giving into temptation.  So go away!

MY ASS:    Yeah, but I always came back, didn’t I?  Sometimes you’d make me disappear for 4 or 5 years at a time, but then I’d just bide my sweet ol’ time, and six partyin’ months later of weekly vodka gimlets and rib eye steaks, and whoop, there I am!  Your lady lumps and me would show up larger than life at the end of your most die-hard resolutions.  Lord Jesus, I have no idea how I got stuck with you because you’re really not very bright, girlfriend.  You think you’d learn after all these years to make resolutions that weren’t so fly-by-night.   Why don’t you stop torturin’ my ass and decide to do something that will make you an asset (you like my pun:  asset?) to the human race?  I heard you singin’ about “holdin’ out for a hero who is larger than life.”  Instead of you waitin’ for someone else to become a hero, why don’t you become someone’s hero?

new years resolutions  Chuck and Beans shoeboxblog dot com

ME:             Shut up, shut the fuck up!  There is no way I’m going to start out 2013 by being lectured to by my ass.  If I start out this way, Lord knows where I’ll end up at the end of the year—probably flushed down some proverbial toilet.  Besides, my 5th resolution is, “Become a better person,” Miss Chubby-ass Know-it-all.

MY ASS:     What the fuck does that mean:  “Become a better person”?   All you humans write that crazy shit at some point in your lives, but it’s only done to make you feel better about yo’selves—rarely does any y’all follow through.  I’ve been chattin’ it up with some of the other sorry asses throughout the land and they agree all y’all are pretty much the same.  You’ll promise the moon as long as it doesn’t cost you nothin’.  You’ll say “I love you,” but make choices to hide parts of your heart and soul from each other.  Become a better person?  Become a better person, how?  You forget that you sit on me when you say your prayers rather than kneelin’, you lazy heifer, so I hear everythin’ you afraid of.  I know your greatest fear is dyin’ without makin’ a difference in the world.

ME:           Well, that’s cold!  And what do you mean you’ve been communicating with other asses?  How is that even possible?

MY ASS:    What you humans don’t know about life I could fill an ocean with.  All the sorry-asses of the world have a communication system downstairs that would make the servants’ quarters of Downton Abbey seem like child’s play.  (Giiiiiirrrrl, don’t you just love that show?)  Annnyyyhoo, you may think the upstairs head and heart controls yo’ destiny but y’all humans are just an intestinal flu, a severe food poisoning, or auto-immune disease away from singing with Jesus.  All I gots to do is run a coup on you with kidney and liver, and your heart would collapse before you could say, “help me Jesus, help, help me Jesus!”  That’s how precarious ya’ll lives are, and since that is the case, why don’t more of you make your #1 New Year’s resolution something more profound—like “become a hero”?   Debi Mazar’s ass, which is quite lovely I might add, told me the other day that Debi says:

“A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.”

But if the truth be known, me and the rest of the sorry-asses have found most of y’all humans to be pretty self-centered.  You’re like Scrat, the saber-tooth squirrel, from Ice Age who is so fixated on findin’ and keepin’ his own acorns (this is like y’all humans clingin’ to your own shit—be it anything from a couple of dollars to an empire), that he barely gives up his stash to fall in love with Scrattee, the female saber-tooth squirrel (the only bitch that really “gets him” through all the ages by the way).   And even though he loves his woman, he abandons Scrattee in the end to the dangerous world of dinosaurs who will probably trample her ass in a New York minute.  And why does Scrat do that?  So that he can chase after his self-centered acorn addiction.   And what does his selfish, anti-hero choices get him:  A world of hurt and constant crazy-ass mayhem.   All I gots to say is that humans are a lot like Scrat and you are one sorry-ass race of people!  Now feed me, goddamnit!

ice age love free dash picture dot net

Scrat an Scratte from Ice Age|image from

ME:      (At that moment, the front door is heard opening and closing upstairs.)  WW, is that you, honey?

WW:     Of course it’s me.  Who else would it be—you and I are the only ones who live here.  Have you finished exercising?

ME:      No, I’ve had enough of this torture today, because I think I might be hallucinating from lack of fat in my diet.  In fact, why don’t we go to Ben’s Chili Bowl for lunch for a mouth-watering “half-smoke” and some cheese fries?

WW:      I’m up for that.  But I don’t want to hear one word next week about your ass looking too fat in your jeans.   Deal?


I am discovering that our calling in life is to be heroes—it’s what being human is all about, and if you believe in God, I think it is what he expects of us.  I also am discovering that the core of a hero’s heart is love, and the single most deterrent to becoming a hero is self-centeredness.   What if our #1 New Year’s resolution was to become heroes to the people we say we love (if we can’t do this for people we love, then screw the ones we despise) which would mean our raison d’etre would be to let go of anything that would bring our loved ones harm and to walk alongside them to help them become all they were created to be.   Of course it would mean that we’d all have to give up something that was a “right” or an “obsessive need” in order for those we love to succeed, because sometimes what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

And if 53% of us became heroes to our families (no one cheated on their spouses, no one lied to their friends, no one abused their children, no one was dismissive to the needy amongst us, no one was dishonest about their hopes and fears, and no one was slow to ask and give forgiveness when we screwed up), can you imagine what would happen to America as the sparks of heroism in our families morphed together and spread across the land forming safe-havens of our towns, our cities, our countryside, and our governing bodies?  There wouldn’t be a stalmate about gun control in our country, there would only be the collective resolve to become heroes to our country’s children to do whatever was necessary so that they’d grow up and become heroes themselves.   Rape, murder, and mayhem would cease to exist in our neighborhoods, and racial hatred and homophobia would become a thing of the past because we’d all be heroes looking for ways to “lay down our lives” (euphemistically speaking ) when it came to our self-centered desires over the  genuine needs of our fellow man .

But I suppose the reason we rarely make our #1 New Year’s resolution to “become heroes” is because the world is much too populated with sorry-ass Scrats who just can’t let go of their lust for acorns.

new years resolution end of blog

Pic from Google Images

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”Benjamin Franklin

“My Dad is my hero. He’s 85 now and he is in great health. He is handsome and strong. He has an incredible moral and ethical backbone. I couldn’t have been luckier with my parents.”—Harry Connick, Jr.

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”—Christopher Reeve

“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.”—E. W. Howe  

 “The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.”—Joss Whedon

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 January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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11 responses to “Larger Than Life

  1. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

    January 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, Eleanor, you are sooo funny! It’s a constant struggle, isn;t it? But, don’t go against nature, girl; you are what you’re supposed to be.

    • etomczyk

      January 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Hi Ronnie. That is the problem–my body keeps trying to turn into the Cherokee Indian frame of my 5 ft robust grandmother (I keep telling it that the “Trail of Tears” was ages ago, so I don’t need to store fat for that journey of starvation), but I keep fantasizing that I am the physical frame of Naomi Campbell. Sigh! Thanks for stopping by!

      P.S. I tried to leave a comment on you latest Book Club post but for the life of me I couldn’t find a comment link? Sounds like a fun book and a fun club.

  2. composerinthegarden

    January 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Oh Eleanor, just when I caught my breath after laughing so hard, I also looked at my own life. I spent the morning with family – my brother sang a solo in church, I re-aquainted myself with my nephew’s charming and sweet kids, and i came home with the feeling that the important moments in life were just that, sweet nuggets of love and kindness, memories and friendships. And I am trying VERY hard not to look at my behind in the mirror 🙂 Thanks for such a great, and true, post!

    • etomczyk

      January 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Lynn. So true, so true about the important moments of love, kindness, memories, and friendships. Those are the nuggets of heroes. We all have heroism in us, it just needs cultivating.

      As to chubby behinds. . .well, it is what it is! I am truly grateful mine doesn’t really talk back or I would be in a world of trouble. Thanks for dropping by and supporting my storytelling. You’re the best.

  3. becomingcliche

    January 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I’m not sure I could ever consider myself a hero, but it’s a worthy goal. That and shrinking my bum-bum.

    • etomczyk

      January 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      BC: Of course you’re a hero. I know that from all the stories you’ve posted about your work–just ask one of your turtles the next time you see him/her. Good luck on the bum-bum!

  4. Valentine Logar

    January 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    My ass does not talk to me, yet. Yours is funny as can be though. My tears have scattered across my keyboard, laughter is a wonderful thing.

    As I finished the humor of your conversation with your lively ass, I considered the layers of your discussion. I made no such resolutions this year, my only resolution was to stand up for the things I was most passionate about, learn to say no when necessary and sorry when I failed to live up to my promises. Chase my humanity stop thinking I was Supergirl, so I could truly commit to those things I believe in.

    I believe in changing the face of Domestic Violence, demanding justice and seeing VAWA passed by this Congress with all the new provisions intact.

    I believe in Gun Sanity.

    I believe people like me should come out behind the walls we have built, use our voices and our stories. Do more than blog our rage; we should stand on the steps of congress if we need to and tell our stories. I plan on finding every means possible to do just that until it changes and justice becomes real.

    I think Eleanor, all of us have the makings of Hero in us. In this your ass is absolutely correct; it is only fear that holds us back.

    • etomczyk

      January 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Val. So glad I made you laugh and think such profound thoughts. You’re absolutely correct: we all have the makings of a hero in us but we also have the power to choose whether we’ll love enough to the degree that our heroism emerges. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hudson Howl

    January 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Confession one: kettle bell swinging, had to google for clarification. Glad I did, as I thought Kettle bell referred to Salvation Army kettle and bell ringing campaign.

    Confession two: I always forget which is Calvin and which is Hobbs. This is odd, considering my first name is Calvin; you would think wouldn’t ya.

    Confession three: I at times over the fifty plus years have fallen into the ideal that heroism is achieved with masculine, brutish at times, force. Totally forgetting, that heroism can be achieved by quietly and peaceful means – extending a hand or simply listening an acknowledging another’s achievements or hopes and desires -restraint and pacifism is not a sign of weakness and frailty but be a trait even for a giant.

    Confession four: I thought but I never like to say out loud when I loath someone. BUTT. I am so glad that the dialogue was between yourself and your ass and not with the king of asses, his royal anus Mr. Trump. If your going to listen to an ass then there is no better ass then oneself.

    Well done ‘E’. No one does ‘Eleanor’ better than you.

    • etomczyk

      January 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Hudson, you’re too funny! I believe the Russians invented the Kettle Bell workout many, many years ago. Only recently did someone realize they could make money off of this form of weigh lifting by recycling it.

      On a more serious note, you’re so right that heroism is most of the time a quiet and peaceful acts. Hopefully that came across because I really wanted to encourage people to reach for that inner hero within themselves. Take care.

  6. Lindy Lee

    January 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Rather backward conversation, difficult at best, hard to face at worst…


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