Bad News Just Keeps On Coming

07 Sep

Do you know what I discovered this week about my sorry-ass body? It’s falling apart! I suppose I should have expected it since it seems to happen to everybody if they don’t die young. But here’s a news flash for you: It is a terrible thing to get old. (WARNING: don’t do it—don’t ever do it!) The worst part of the aging process is that stress seems to accelerate the wear and tear on the body costume, both inside and out. And in case you haven’t noticed, stress is everywhere in the world—it’s totally unavoidable. You can’t go anywhere without hearing about some imminent disaster, some caustic disease rolling your way, some major terrorist plot, or some public humiliation. (Naked pictures hacked from the iCloud . . . really? Seriously? Oh, my God, I just had a horrible thought: TSA, what have you done with my orgasmatron airport security pictures throughout the years—the ones I know you’ve been laughing about behind my back? Don’t you even think about uploading my chunky-little ass into The Cloud, or I’ll call your mothers and tell on you!)

TSA RJ Matson

Used by permission: TSA, RJ Matson

My job as a blogger is to keep up on the news (I read twelve online news sources a day plus Time Magazine via the mail), and I think all this bad news is really taking a toll on me. By the time I had my annual physical last month, my doctor was apoplectic over my weight gain (I tend to nosh when stressed), blood pressure elevation, cholesterol numbers, and glucose levels. She was so pissed at me that she threatened to fire me as a patient if I didn’t straighten up and fly right. She gave me one month.

Stress Test Maxine

Feeling rather blue, I plunked down some hard-earned cash to get myself a massage to see if it would relieve some of my stress and promptly did what I always do when someone is working their magic on my epidermis: I fell asleep and dreamt about my organs, digestive apparatus, chromaphil and cortical systems, et al, holding court and trying to decide if they were going to abdicate my body in protest of the way I had been taking care of it over the past 66 years.


BRAIN: Hear ye, hear ye, this meeting will now come to order. Mouth, sit down and shut up. You can talk all you want after the meeting is adjourned. We have exactly 90 minutes before our host wakes up. On trial is the author of Monsters’ Throwdown and the blogger Eleanor Tomczyk for gross negligence of her temple—mainly due to severe stress. I’ve called this meeting to see if we should just give up on her or give Ms. ET one more chance to get her shit together.

BLADDER: Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I go to the bathroom before the meeting starts?

SMALL AND LARGE INTESTINE: Bladder, you’re such a wuss! The older you get; the leakier you become.

BRAIN: Stop it you two. Sometimes I think you don’t have the brains you were born with. Absolutely no eliminating while our host is on the massage table! While the author is asleep we have a full agenda to get done in a limited amount of time. So behave—all of you.

BLADDER: Can I help it if she’s getting old and slightly incontinent? I wasn’t built to last forever, you know.

THE KIDNEYS: You think you’re worn out. Word on the street is that she’s got what Black folks call “the sugah.”

LIVER: What the fuck is that?

BRAIN:  Type II Diabetes. Just got the diagnosis a month ago. The good news is that it was a wake-up call. She’s already changing her ways (says she’s eaten enough gourmet meals and drunk enough wine to last a lifetime). After a last supper of the best wine her money could buy, the best steak she could find, and the finest chocolate cake to be had, she became a dark leafy-green veggie, bean eating, sugar denying, dairy scorning, pasta/rice eschewing queen, and it is working! Consequently, her glucose numbers are almost down to normal, and she’s even shaved off a few pounds.  I say let’s give our girl a round of applause.

ALL ET’S INNARDS: Hip, hip, hurrah! Hip, hip, hurrah!

L&S INTESTINES: Yeah, we know. More beans have passed through us in a month’s time than she has eaten in her entire lifetime. What a gas! Get it? What a gas . . . .

LIVER: [groan] Don’t quit your day job, Intestines.

PANCREAS: Not so fast, y’all. Half of me is only producing insulin. Our girl becoming a vegan now is like locking the barn door once the horses have escaped. Tried to send her distress signals of tingly hands and feet and an onslaught of dizziness as a warning that I was shutting down, but did she listen? No! Kept on trippin’ the light fantastic, so to speak. Sometimes she can be so obtuse.

GALL BLADDER: Oh, come on now; don’t be so hard on our girl, Pancreas. This is mostly hereditary. It’s part of her DNA. Did you know African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans Asian Indian, and Pacific Islanders are at the highest risk of getting diabetes? Need I remind you that she is ¼ Cherokee Indian and ¾’s African-American?  Need I also remind you that she was born into one of the worst ghettos in America in the Jim Crow era and still bears the heartache and the scars which took a toll on her body before she even knew what was happening?  Twenty years of poverty can give you such a body ache! Just the racism she has had to endure in her lifetime would send a body into tilt eventually. Just be happy she doesn’t have cancer. You read her book, Monsters’ Throwdown. Haven’t all you organs suffered in some way due to the abuse in her life?

ALL ET’S INNARDS: Does a bear shit in the woods? Of course we’ve suffered from being her black person innards in America. And every time I hear some well-meaning white person yearning to turn back the clock to the “good ol’ days” in America (i.e., the 50s), I want to send them back in time as an African-American and immerse them in a saturated pool of slavery DNA, Jim Crow terrorization, and debilitating systematic poverty. Then we’d check out their vitals and see if they still longed for the “good ol’ days.”

John Stewart on Racism

BRAIN: Which is why I’ve called you all here for this meeting. Conquering the diet is not the primary issue with this one; it is her daily stress level. We have to help her lower it.

HEART: Don’t I know it! I get it that she has to keep up on the news to stay informed so as not to come off as an idiot in her blog, but can’t the sistah cut me some slack? I am stressed all the time because of the news she consumes! If it isn’t the story about the Chinese chef who was making cobra soup with the body of the snake whose detached head bit and killed him, then it is the nine-year-old girl who was allowed to shoot an Uzi and accidentally killed her instructor. I’ve got to tell you that just sent ET over the edge. I thought I was going to succumb to a “me attack” at the NRA’s chilling announcement two days after that horrid abuse against that poor child’s mind. Did you all hear about it? The NRA released an article on “7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range.” WTF! Did you hear our author/mother/human being screams? And don’t even get me started on Ferguson, Missouri.

EYEBALLS:  Well, I don’t know if I can take any more news articles, period. You’ve got your Ukraine, Ebola, Gaza, Afghanistan, and now your ISIS. Not one more decapitation can I witness. God, my eyes, my eyes . . .   Chaos, murder, and mayhem is everywhere for my orbs to feast upon. Evil has always been here—it will always be until the end of time. I say ears, mouth, and me should make a pact: hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.

LUNGS: Seriously, Eyeballs? There have always been bad times (there will always be bad times)—there just wasn’t any cable news or the Internet to overwhelm the senses with the revelation of them all 24/7. The best we can do is: Stay calm and carry on.

EARS: The best thing we can do is teach her an empowerment song against all the evil forces assailing her psyche that she can use as a mantra: “Let it go, let it go. . .”

BRAIN: No . . . I swear to the God who created us, Vocal Chords, if I hear you sing that song one more time, I’ll rip you out by the throat and flush you downstream through the bowels. Do you hear me?

World Falling Apart Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission: World Falling Apart, Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

VOCAL CHORDS: Fine! Then you come up with a better idea of calming her down because I just heard from Mr. TV News that NASA’s “Near Earth Object Program” estimates there are thousands of asteroids that could threaten Earth. Wait until our blogger finds out about that. She’s already on the edge—she’ll flip out. She doesn’t even know that one of them passed by the Earth on Sunday, and that in 2013 a 60-foot-wide meteor flung itself into our atmosphere and exploded over a city in Russia with the strength of 30 nuclear bombs. It injured 1,500 people! You know the first thing she’s going to think? When will it hit the United States—specifically, when will it hit where her children and grandchild live so she can take them to Europe for an extended holiday and out of harm’s way?

EARS: VC, you made that shit up.  Who did you hear that from? Nasty-ass Spleen?

SPLEEN:  Hey, hey, hey, there’s no need for name calling!

VOCAL CHORDS: Amanda Barnett from CNN (“Newly found asteroid to pass close to Earth on Sunday”). Nanni-nanni-booh-booh! Take that and stuff it in your ear canal.

BRAIN: Shut up, everybody! She’s waking up. The last thing she needs to hear is all her organs and whatnots kibitzing. She’d truly have a heart attack then. Back to your stations, and may the force be with her!

Nine Year Old Guns Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

I am discovering (again and again) that bad news just keeps on coming. It does so because, for the most part, we are human, and we have free will to choose between good and evil. Even if you could get half the planet to “do the right thing,” the other half would probably reject the coercion of the “do right” group and scream bloody murder: “Fuck you—you’re not the boss of me!”

Then there are the things none of us can control like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, asteroids, auto-immune diseases, and cancers that come along and kick our asses when we’re on our way doing something else.

If bad news will keep on coming, how do we live without debilitating fear? How do we find a modicum of peace from the terror of the unknown? I’m beginning to think that we can do so by recognizing life for what it is instead of as the fairy tale we’ve been taught as Americans that we can control our lives:

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”—Scott Peck

Then all that is left is a trust and belief in a power higher than ourselves who can help us through the damaging effects of a difficult life and give us the grace to endure—hoping that it all sums up to equal strong character that can influence a better society. Of course, one should be free to not believe in God (no one should ever be coerced), but as for me, I can’t imagine my innards being able to survive the onslaught of the stress of living on this planet without a holy presence infusing my being with courage and grace.


Nelson Mandela reflecting from his prison cell of 27 years


“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.”Jane Wagner

“If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.”Kris Carr

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”― Amit Ray, Om

“Chanting and Meditation I was a little excited but mostly blorft. ‘Blorft’ is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”― Tina Fey, Bossypants




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 September 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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31 responses to “Bad News Just Keeps On Coming

  1. Elyse

    September 7, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    So sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Sucks, but you are doing all the right things.

    As for the news, isn’t it horrible? I just need to take breaks from it from time to time. Because horror stories24/7 really is not conducive to inner peace.

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Elyse: You’re so right! I think I’m going to be doing more like you–taking breaks from the news. It is nerve-wrecking! Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciate it.

  2. Hudson Howl

    September 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Aside from the ‘Don’t get old warning’, you neglected another important warning.

    Warning: Please put down the cup of coffee that your sipping out of, am about to use ‘orgasmatron’ in a sentence.

    Well, on the ‘good news front’, your not in denial of this ADS thingy (aging, diabetes, stress). Facing it, living with it, is a good thing, right? Writing about here, goes along way in sorting that which ‘freaks’ one out.

    You probably know the following quote by William Faulkner, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” .

    My response to the person whom put it out there was, ” I cannot fathom an argument against such an ideal”.

    An yet the headlines seem to contradict. And yes you read these headlines to keep abreast. And so do millions of other people, but I think the number is in recession.

    While going and coming ‘to parts unknown’, all toll I was in four major airports, the largest Chicago on the return. Once upon a time, in airport lounges, bars and other public areas worldwide, people while waiting for flights would huddled around televisions listening, watching the ‘NEWS’. Now a days, just try to find a TV. even a news paper usually requires asking for for direction. Now a days, the world is mobile. People sit peering into gadgets. So I looked over shoulders. They’re reading mail, facebook, twit’n tweets, playing games, reading MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN (guilty), chatting, texting. To be honest, during my nosy surveillance I did not see anyone looking at news, new articles or magazine feeds, am sure someone was. It would seem we’ve turned our backs, directed our gaze downward to a device that makes escape from reality easy as pie. Do people care less? NO. Are they troubled by events in the world? Yes. Do they feel empowered? Yes. Are they in denial? YES YES YES. As easy as it is to stay informed, it is also easy to tune it out. Perhaps technology has taught us how to be ‘insensitive’.

    You remind me, to fix what’s broken, it will take a collective approach, of those of faith, of those who believe in rights and freedom, of those whom care about what constitutes the necessities of life, coming together and vowing to never stop , until all people are treated with dignity.

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Hudson. So good of you to leave me such a thought-provoking comment. I love your analogies. I hear you: no matter how tired I get, I’ll never give up the faith! Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  3. Valentine Logar

    September 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

    My friend, you and I are in exactly the same place. I wish I could take a break from the news, turn away and pretend it isn’t happening. I can’t, can you?

    You nailed it with this one. The quotes, especially from Mandela, perfect.

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Val. No I can’t turn away, although I will take more breaks. Being informed is part of being wise. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure.

  4. imagesbytdashfield

    September 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Have I mentioned that I am afraid to make an appointment with my doctor because of this same potential scenario? Stress because of what was happening back home had me going, snarling at DH while we are new house hunting, hoarding a package of lemon Oreo cookies ala Golum, etc. Yeah, I am so feeling you on this. I pray your health improves and I need to work on mine too. Oh and that quote from Jon Stewart? Damn right!!!

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks TD. My health is improving by leaps and bounds. Talked to the doc today and all my numbers are back to normal. She was blown away and I was very grateful. On that note: get thee to thy doctor! You’re way too precious to mess with your health. Take care.

  5. Let's CUT the Crap!

    September 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Age sucks but DO make the most of it. You’re taking care of it now. I read the paper but don’t watch TV, therefore no CNN. Hate what’s going on all over the world. I know I can’t stop it but I don’t want to hear it all day long either. When will Mankind get a grip? Any chance of ever?

    Always enjoy your humorous posts. You know how to spell it out in an entertaining manner no matter the subject. ❤

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Tess. I’m beginning to do what you’ve done: quickly peruse the online papers but skip the TV news. It’s the only way I’m going to survive and still have intelligent writing. Thanks so much for your wonderful encouragement. You’re the best!

      • Let's CUT the Crap!

        September 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        We could do this all night. You’re the best. ❤ ❤ ❤
        We can prop each other up when the getting gets touch or difficult, right?

  6. silentlyheardonce

    September 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I wish I could say you were paranoid. But this is the reality. I write poetry and I try to write about pretty flowers and mighty trees but the state of the world’s ugliness shaddows the beauty of the world.

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Silently: Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hasn’t the world always been ugly in various forms? I think it is because we have so much access 24/7 via the media. To see bad news played out over and over must really torture a poet. The Earth is a rough place for sensitive people.

      • silentlyheardonce

        September 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        I agree we are privy to too much information instantaneously.

  7. momshieb

    September 8, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Well, thank you very much. I just laughed so hard that my (supposedly forbidden) wine came out my nose. My saggy old white body is suffering many of the same indignities, but I am doing the best I can. Kale shake for breakfast, quinoa for lunch and a nice glass of wine with dinner.
    As for the news, I try to remind myself that the media makes its living now by scaring us. And they’re doing a fine job of it. My solution is to surround myself with children; you can’t believe that the world is an evil place when you look into the eyes of children.
    Wishing you good health, some peace and good brown rice and kale recipe. (eww)

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Moms: You’re so right. I realized the other day that the media was doing the scaring thing with us all and it made me mad. Consequently, I am giving many of the stories I run across a wide berth. As to the quinoa, beans, and kale, they have already worked their magic. Numbers are all back to normal, pounds are shredding from body, and my doctor is speaking to me again. All is well. Cheers!

      • momshieb

        September 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        Oh, I am envious to say the least!!! I am scarfing down the kale and quinoa, and I still look like a barge.
        Think its the pasta and wine?

      • etomczyk

        September 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm

        Moms: It’s definitely the wine and pasta! Ha! I have had to let go of the wine (I simply stare at the lovely wine I brought back from California through the glass door of the wine closet and sigh), and I now make my pasta out of zucchini (machine turns veggie into strips like pasta and/or beans. Sounds awful but actually tastes pretty good and gives me tons of energy, low glucose count, and no gluten. What can I tell you: A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s got to do! 🙂

      • momshieb

        September 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        Huh. I guess.
        On the other hand, I’m thinking about that quote where you live a crazy assed life and go sliding into death head first.
        I cannot give up my pasta. No. Nuh, huh. My Nana lived to be 99 and she ate pasta every day and drank two glasses of red wine.
        Of course, she weighed 82 pounds when she died. So maybe its the ice cream?
        Whatever, I am thrilled for you! You are inspiring, and I personally want to keep you around for a long time, so I can keep up with the Dalai Mama.

  8. talesfromthemotherland

    September 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    E, all kidding aside, you need to pull this shit together! Your fabulous man needs you, your babies need you and we need you. That said, I believe we can survive with less news and more of your humor… so you could cut back on the vigilant news watching. I am seeing THE best PT I’ve ever found, and she told me: as a body tries to heal from trauma (emotional or physical) it will continue to injure itself, until we learn the lessons we need to learn. Wow! Talk about meaningful… having just cracked my patella hiking. I mean really! Four broken ribs and a bruised spleen in April, 2-3 degree burns a week later, 6 days in the hospital for a collapsed lung and now this… really? Ok, so my lesson is to let go, and take care of me. She tells me: when we finish our work together (or massage, in your case) feel that lightness and the areas where healing is happening, as you let go of old stuff. And imagine filling it with your essential self, your true self.

    Ok, so many all of that is dribble to some… but it resonates with me. I That I don’t have to keep pleasing and stepping in to help, and ignoring my own needs. So, what’s your reason… really, for not taking care of your most precious self? Ok, I’ll get off my box now… and you can kick me to the curb. But I sure do care, and I sure do hope some things change for you! xo

    • etomczyk

      September 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Dawn: Thanks for the exhortation. You’ll be happy to learn that I just spoke with my doc today and all of my numbers are back in line, all damage has been reversed, and she’s speaking to me again. I’m down a couple dress sizes and full of energy. I am definitely pulling back on all the bad news and sleeping better. But so sorry to hear about all of your incidents. Do take care of yourself, as well. I do like the quote of your PT. It is definitely something to consistently meditate on. All the best!

      • talesfromthemotherland

        September 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        Keep it up!! The body has a remarkable ability to recover and heal… until it doesn’t. Best to pull back when you can, not when it’s too late. SO proud of you; that is hard work! Yes, my PT is pretty amazing… 🙂

  9. Lorna's Voice

    September 10, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I admire your grit. Being that informed is gonna make a person sick. I can’t take all the bad news. Since I’ve been in my own media black out, I feel healthier (I’m 57). Getting older isn’t for sissies, but at least we’re here to poke fun at ourselves, right? 😐

    • etomczyk

      September 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Lorna. Thanks for stopping by. How did you hear about my blog? Anyway, you’re so right about aging not being for sissies. How long have you been in your media blackout and how extensive is it? I still need to reign myself in a bit more.

      I just came back from your place. I like your writing. Wishing you all the best.

      • Lorna's Voice

        September 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        I think it was Elyse who turned me on to your blog. Thanks for visiting mine!

        I’ve been in a media black-out for about 5 years. My fiance watches some news, but he keeps it short knowing I can’t stand it. He informs me about major events so I’m not a total dolt out in public and I will read about current event and watch the Daily Show, but that’s it. I used to teach sociology at the college level so I had to stay informed. Now I don’t.

  10. aFrankAngle

    September 11, 2014 at 9:18 am

    No matter the problems in life, you will continue to meet the problems head on with positive grit, determination, and with a dash of wit. Personally, the Scott Peck quote is powerful. … hang in there!

    • etomczyk

      September 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement Frank. Already seeing major changes: numbers all back down to normal, weight shredding off body, and all tests regarding “innards” 🙂 are normal–no damage. Thank God! Who knew that removing animal protein (I do so love me some steak), dairy, eggs, simple carbohydrates, and wine (sob!) would give me a new lease on life. My energy is to the moon. So far, the only thing I’m really mourning over is the wine, though. Sigh!

      • aFrankAngle

        September 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm

        What???? No wine??? Ouch. Can the adjustment be done without all the listed except wine? … but cheers to the good news!

      • etomczyk

        September 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm

        Doc says I can return to wine (1 glass every once and a while) at stabilization of journey. Has given me liberty to have a glass of champagne and wine (sparingly) every once and awhile. That is what I’m living for! 🙂

      • aFrankAngle

        September 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

        Ah ha … so not all is bleak!!! 😉 Cheers …


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