Private? Moments

19 May

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


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


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16 responses to “Private? Moments

  1. Let's CUT the Crap!

    May 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. I LIKE your style and you make me smile BIG. :-D.

    • etomczyk

      May 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Welcome back, Tess! How was your trip. I shall have to scoot over to your blog and see if you’ve posted pictures. Hope you had a great time.

      • Let's CUT the Crap!

        May 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

        Hija back at you. 😀
        Haven’t posted much in the way of pictures but hope to have some worthwhile. I’m not great with a camera. Either I forget, or get my thumb in the way, or miss the shot and get someone’s butt. +(+_+)+

  2. momshieb

    May 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I completely agree with you about Sterling, Eleanor. He is pure slime, but his private phone call should have been private. I think we we’re on a pretty dangerous path when we start to punish people for their thoughts.
    Great post, as usual!

    • etomczyk

      May 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Momshieb: So true, so true. Some of my thoughts would never be printable. I am a work in progress, and I need the grace of God to cover my private moments and to school me with repentance and forgiveness.

  3. Elyse

    May 19, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    You are absolutely right about a lot of things, Eleanor. People are allowed to be assholes — as was Sterling. There is no law against it. There IS a law protecting free speech, though. And I think your comment about privacy was right on target.

    Haters gonna hate. Why give them a platform?

    • etomczyk

      May 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Elyse: I never had a Facebook page until I started publishing. My children forced me to do it to get my name out in the public. Even now I just use it to promote my blog postings and now my book. I am appalled at what a time-suck it is. I’d much rather be in a face-to-face conversation with a person than posting personal information to people I barely know and could care two cents about. As for people stealing our private moments, I think we’re all vulnerable and it is going to get worse. Yikes!

  4. Valentine Logar

    May 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Oh, oh my Lord in all the heavens I an so happy I swallowed my water first. You know you are somehow just wrong for this one. Funny but just terribly terribly wrong.

    Killing me.

    I want you to be rich and not so famous. I do not want you to give up your privacy, even what you didn’t do wrong someone will lay at your feet. I wish for you and WW the very best of happiness.

    • etomczyk

      May 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Val: I know this one “went there,” but isn’t it hilarious that I could use real circumstances? What kind of craziness is all this? 20 years ago the scenarios I used would have been considered fiction because of their simple outrageousness. You work in this industry. How can we save ourselves? This will not end well for us as a people, my friend.

      • Valentine Logar

        May 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

        I do not know, honestly I am dumbfounded every single day by some of the sheer nonsense out there. I find myself sitting in my chair thinking to myself…really? you just did that, really?

        Then I simply hang my head at the ignorance of it all

  5. Hudson Howl

    May 19, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    You juggled quite the cast of characters in this one ‘E’. In my books, that ability alone would make one famous; bravo bravo, applause applause. I can’t even type and chew gum. let alone hold a thought. No question, you got good shtufffs.

    I was in Saginaw, Michigan this past weekend. And to quote you, “Do you know what I discovered”. Saginaw is boiling over with famous people. I don’t know one personal thing about them, not even their name. But I will remember them for a long time, perhaps forever. For example, the young waitress at ihop, who created a theater of kindness and hospitality with lively banter, a genuine smile for all that came in -all she served departed in a better mood then they arrived. There were hundreds more.

    A multitude of mental images. Of people just being themselves. I will always remember the man I held the door open for who still twenty feet from entering. “thank you, but no need to do that, I’m moving slow today”. “That’s okay”, I said, “am moving slow as well, to nice a day to hurry”. He smiled, “brother don’t you know it”. We had shared a moment and it was a famous moment. And our privacy intact.

    • etomczyk

      May 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Hudson: Saginaw sounds every bit as lovely as I have imagined. I shall have to visit it someday (in the dead of summer, of course). I think you’re on to something my friend, and I think it will be the germ of what saves us as a society: at some point we will begin to yearn for that honest, open exchange in the doorway between to people and will pull away from the “false sense of knowing” that online communication gives us. Be well!

  6. aFrankAngle

    May 21, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Well done, E-Tom … but how and the heck did you get all those people to call you at once? … and why didn’t Nincompoop call? 😉

    • etomczyk

      May 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Frank: Nincompoop didn’t call because you my dear man have properly schooled me regarding falling prey to giving her free advertisement when she acts out in order to garner attention. 🙂 As to how I got everyone to call in at the same time–I’ll ever tell. Just caulk it up to the power of imagination. Thanks for stopping by.

      • aFrankAngle

        May 21, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        Very good …. which also means you passed the test!

  7. talesfromthemotherland

    May 28, 2014 at 2:21 am

    So many golden nuggets here, E… Debbie Allen totally rocked that! So many stupid people famous for nothing, while you and I… writers, cool women, passionate… well, I can tell you this, I’m not making a sex tape. 😉


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