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Author Archives: etomczyk

About etomczyk

I am a storyteller who blogs about the absurdities of life, especially as seen through the eyes of a baby-boomer, African-American humorist (think Bridget Jones marries Chris Rock and they produce a baby called Whoopi Goldberg). www.howthehelldidienduphere.wordpress.com

WELCOME TO THE SEVENTIES!

Do you know what I discovered this weekend?  I TURNED 70 FREAKIN’ YEARS OLD!

How Old Begin of Blog

WTF?!  Who and what gobbled up my life, and how did it happen so quickly?  It feels as if I was 19 just yesterday.  What the hell happened?  I woke up on June 9th with a 19-year-old’s spirit in a 70-year-old’s body that said, “Let’s go, go, go, go, go, Girl” but my old-woman body instantly responded:  “Oh, hell to the no, no, no, no, no, Girl”!!  (I had done some extra cardio the day before and everything on my body—including my earlobes and my nipples—was writhing in pain.)  But no one knew how to comfort me.  Part of the problem is that I don’t look 70 (thank God!), therefore, absolutely no one has sympathy for me.  I look good—owing to the fact that “Black don’t crack,” expensive make-up, and an unlimited supply of fashionable wigs.  I can still see well, hear well, walk several miles a day, and lead a coup against racist assholes when they try to take over my community.

I’ve started working on my fourth book, and I’m thinking of going on tour as a storyteller (move over David Sedaris).  So what’s my problem?  Why do I feel like I want to break out into a drunken sloppy rendition of a Frank Sinatra song:   “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…?”

Facing Death Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

I called a nonagenarian (my mentor of 54 years), and I told her I didn’t want to turn 70 years old. In fact, I was truly in a funk about it.  She replied:  “What is your alternative?”  Then she continued with her kick in the ass:  “I’m 90 years old.  I can’t see, I can’t hear without hearing aids, I can’t walk without a walker or a cane, I can no longer eat salads because they give me gas—but praise God, my mind is sharp as a tack, and for that I give him glory.  Otherwise, I’d kill to be 70 again—I was still driving then!  

“If you had told me when I met you at 16 and I was 36 that I’d still be alive to smack you upside your head and tell you to get over yourself as I did when you were young, I would have laughed in your face.  But here I am, on the phone with you, having to pee for the 5th time in an hour because my bladder no longer functions at this age.  So before I rush off (more like waddle off) to the ladies room, here’s the 911 about old age:  Lord willing, you’ve still got another decade of get-up-and-get-to-it-ness (although, none of us are guaranteed another minute of life past this moment).  It’s between 80 – 85 years old when the body starts to really drag you toward the dust, and no amount of wishing and hoping will curtail it.  All most of us manage to do during that time is get up, eat, poop, nap, remember the old days (if we’re lucky), rinse, and repeat.  Today, I suggest you put one foot in the front of the other, take each day at a time, don’t moan over what you’ve lost, but celebrate what you have left with every ounce of your being because none of us are guaranteed any tomorrows.  It’s all about the attitude, Little Girl.  Now, I’ve got to go pee.  Love you, Doll!”

what the hell happened

Birthday Card for the Aging

My mentor was right, of course.  I couldn’t let my pity party continue. Even though I felt I hadn’t yet reached all the goals I had set in life, one conversation with my kids helped me see that I had done more than I thought, and they admired me for it.  I had conquered internal demons as well as external ones.  I was a survivor of abuse—more than a survivor—a conqueror!  I was a mentor to both women and men.  According to my kids, they still see me reaching for the stars as if I were 19, and it blows them away.  They see me as someone who refuses to put up with religious stupidity and is not afraid to say “no” when others try and steer me off my true course in life.  They see me as someone who is not afraid to speak her mind.  They still see me as a fighter—still a badass in their minds with a sweet touch of Jesus.

Throat Punch Someone

Most of all, my kids see me as the love of their father’s life, and they say that we are their life’s aspiration.

On my birthday, 39 years ago, I gave myself a fabulous b-day present:  my man. Six years after the Supreme Court passed Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, I saw my future husband at an audition for a play, and it was intrigue at first sight.  A month later we went on our third date, and he knew he wanted to marry me.  Twelve years after the passing of Loving v. Virginia, my man and I tied the knot in front of an audience of hundreds of well-wishers in a cow barn turned into a hippy church.  It was the best choice either of us have ever made—law or no law.  When you’re a baked potato and you find your stick of butter, you lock that shit down!  Happy Birthday to me, and Happy Anniversary to the Tomczyk us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The author and her husband (June 9, 1979): Photo credit—Bill Clarke

Anniversary pic

The author and her husband: 39TH ANNIVERSARY SELFIE

Est 1979

Best 39th wedding anniversary present ever

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT GROWING OLD (ER)

“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent—that is to triumph over old age.”Thomas Bailey Aldrich

“While I am in this world, I am resolved that no vexation shall put me out of temper if I can possibly command myself. Even old age, which is making strides towards me, shall not prevail to make me peevish.”—Samuel Adams

“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.”—Friedrich Nietzsche

 “Old age is no place for sissies.”Bette Davis

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com 

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/ 

***

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.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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POWER OF LOVE

Do you know what I discovered last Saturday?  I got zapped by the Holy Ghost while watching the Royal Wedding.  In fact, when it happened, I got up and did the Holy Ghost jig.  (For the uninitiated, it’s what happens to you when the spirit of the Lord infuses your body with so much love and joy that you just can’t contain yourself and start dancing like nobody is watching.

Holy Ghost Meme hannahsong

From the Pinterest page of Jane Anne Marriott

Before you go all “judgy” on me, let me explain.  I am not an Anglophile, nor am I a celebrity watcher.  So it wasn’t Meghan and Harry, George and Amal, or Serena and Alexis, or Oprah “per se” who got my jig on.  (Although, had I received an invite to attend the wedding, I might have lost my mind and my cool right there in Windsor Castle—I’m not gonna lie.  I’d be all like:  “SERENA…OPRAH…OH MY GOD, THERE GOES IDRIS ELBA…I LOVE YOU IDRIS—I’M ALMOST 70 YEARS OLD, BUT I COULD STILL HAVE YOUR BABY!!!!”  Maybe that’s why I never got an invite—they couldn’t trust me not to act a fool.)

Royal Wedding 1 Jeff Koterb, Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission: Jeff Koterba, Omaha World-Herald, NE

Before the wedding, I was feeling kind of in the dumps—really out of sorts.  There have been a rash of “living while Black” racial incidents throughout our country that made me want to crawl into my bed and never leave my house.  (As one of my Black friends said recently: “I thought we’d gotten past all this shit.”)   Cops are being called by White people on Black people who are simply trying to have a meeting in a coffee shop, take a nap in one’s own dorm common room at Yale, have a Sunday picnic in a park, check out of an Airbnb one had rented, and golf with one’s girlfriends.  In other words, instead of misguided White people just calling the cops on Black people who are merely “Walking while Black” or “Shopping while Black” (that was egregious enough in years past and has happened to me countless times), cops are being called on Black folks for “Living while Black.”  It seems the Confederate flag wavers, Confederate statue lovers, and Jim Crow crusaders will not stop until their sewer stench of racism permanently covers our beautiful country from coast to coast. That’s enough to make every self-respecting Black person and righteous White person want to stand up and holler, and holler, and holler:  “WHITE FOLKS—STOP CALLING THE POLICE ON BLACK FOLKS WHO ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO LIVE!”

White Privilege Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

Cartoon used by permission: Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe, MA

And then along came the Royal wedding.  Speaking of Black folks “living while Black,” wow!  No wonder I got the Holy Ghost jig.  In a country and a family where the deepest color on Royal display is the ginger color of Prince Harry’s beard, new blood marched triumphantly into the chapel in Windsor Castle and announced:  “Guess who’s coming to dinner, breakfast, Christmas, Easter, and every day in between all over this blessed kingdom!”

FIRST:  You had your Black princess.  True, she looks White, but as with Barack Obama, sometimes we have to give White folks “a spoon full of honey to make the medicine go down” when it comes to getting out of the way so that us Black folks can fulfill our destinies.

SECOND:  You had your Black Gospel Choir singing, “Stand by Me” and “This Little Light of Mine.”  There are more sophisticated gospel songs, but these were perfect for an interracial couple’s marriage.  As part of an interracial marriage for 39 years, I know that standing by each other is what the Royal couple will need most when racism constantly washes up on their shores.  (It doesn’t matter how “light skin” Meghan is, haters still gonna hate.)  I kept on dancing, but I started crying because there is no greater love than two people who step over the line of their individual cultures and pledge by their union to be an example of the all-encompassing inclusion of God’s love.  I know this because I’ve lived it.

THIRD: You had your Black 19-year-old cello player (Sheku Kanneh-Mason—a British prodigy) who played Maria Theresia von Paradis’s “Sicilienne,” Gabriel Faure’s “Apres un reve,” and Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”  I have heard many a cello soloist (it is my favorite string instrument), but I have never, ever heard a soloist so magnificent who played with such passion.  I stopped dancing when he started to play.  I froze in place and I worshiped God.

FOURTH:  You had your Black Bishop from America (Rev. Michael Curry), the 27th and current presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.  That’s when my Holy Ghost jig turned into the “Whip” and the “Nae-Nae,” segued into the “Joe-Joe,” and then cooled down with an “Electric Slide for one” with a final dropping to my knees to embrace the word of the Lord.  That Black bishop took me to church and had me shouting “Hallelujah, Amen, Glory to God” over his message of love!

Rev Curry Meme

Suddenly, a mere Royal wedding became an “aha” moment for me—calling me toward something higher and greater than the cares of this world or the momentary titillation of celebrity watching.  The Black bishop was encouraging me (us) to discover the power of love to make of this ‘old world a new world.’  He said:

“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.

“There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.

“There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.

“There’s power in love to show us the way to live.

“Set me as a seal on your heart… a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death.”

Rev Curry 1 Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

When the wedding was over, my husband and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, and we both realized that we had witnessed something far greater than two people getting married who had more money than God to pull off an occasion that was watched by hundreds of millions of viewers.  I discovered later that Harry and Meghan had picked the scriptures, the Bishop and approved his sermon text, the cellist, the choir and what the choir sang, and I knew then that they recognized the power that their love and union could have on the world, if they did it right.  If you ask me—judging by their wedding ceremony—they are off to an excellent start.

Royal Wedding Imgflip

Courtesy of imgflip.com

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT THE ROYAL WEDDING

I am discovering two other awesome things since the wedding.  First, Rev. Michael Curry (who hardly anyone knew until the wedding) is leading an Evangelical march to the White House for a candlelight vigil tonight (Thursday, May 24th) titled: “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”  He will be joined by many magnificent Evangelical Protestants (Jim Wallis) and Evangelical Catholics (Fr. Richard Rohr).  They are the sane and good-hearted Evangelicals who you never hear about because the misguided Evangelicals who surround Trump make so much idiotic noise.  Rev. Curry’s group are protesting Trump, his lying ways and racist choices, as well as the compromised Evangelicals who put Trump in the Oval and keep him propped up in office no matter what he says or does. They are marching for the restoration of the love of Christ. How convenient of God to blow up Rev. Michael Curry’s profile in time enough for a vigil of truth in front of the White House.  I think I’m going to get the Holy Ghost jig all over again.  (Check out the marchers’ manifesto for reclaiming our government and country for inclusion, grace, and love:  http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/ )

Second, did you know that Megan is not England’s first Black royal?  The love bug hit another royal black woman by the name of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from the 18th Century (the queen that Charlottesville, VA is named after).  Charlotte was the wife of King George III, and was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818.   And here’s a bit of info that will set your feet a dancing:  According to the reporter Lindsey Matthews (Town and Country Magazine) Queen Charlotte’s sixth son—ninth child (Prince Augustus Frederick)—was a progressive and a radical agent of love “who advocated for Catholic emancipation, the removal of civil restrictions on Jews and dissenters and parliamentary reform, and supported the abolition of the slave trade.”  Want to know something else?  The gift from the Queen of England to Meghan and Harry was the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex—the title last held by Harry’s great-plus-plus uncle Prince Augustus Frederick.  I think the Queen was in on the joke with the kids. If they are going to be change agents of love, mercy, and grace, they might as well have the hereditary titles to go with it.  Good one, Queen Elizabeth.  I knew I liked you for some reason other than the fact you are reported to daily throw down a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, wine with lunch, and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening…and you’re 92 freakin’ years old.  You go girl!

Queen Charlotte Meghan Markle WP

Queen Charlotte and the Duchess of Sussex—both Black, both living large//Courtesy of Global News

 

(AND ALL THE BLACK FOLKS ARE SAYING:  “UH, HUH…I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT QUEEN CHARLOTTE WAS BLACK THE MINUTE I LAID EYES ON HER.  THAT PAINTING SAYS IT ALL!”)

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR OUR TIMES

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.”Song of Solomon

“This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source — that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance, compassion, sensitivity, patience and a boundless love. So again, I want to thank all of you for this honor, and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every single day seeks to expand my capacity to love.”Janet Jackson (2018 Billboard Awards)

“We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We believe the issues are more deeply theological than merely political or partisan. We believe it is a time for prayer and response, for contemplation and action.  

“In this moment of political, moral, and theological crisis in America we are deeply concerned about the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor; the regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders; and moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule.”–“Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

 REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/christian-leaders-call-out-the-heresy-of-trumpism/2018/05/23/00f026c2-5eb5-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?utm_term=.415b321f36f1

http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics/bishop-curry-white-house/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/opinion/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-race.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5756521/Bishop-Michael-Curry-says-no-idea-sermon-hit-Royal-Wedding.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/20/612798691/bishop-michael-currys-royal-wedding-sermon-full-text-of-the-power-of-love

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/11/182878/black-queen-charlotte-meghan-markle-biracial-royal-family

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a20751869/duke-of-sussex-anti-slavery-abolitionist-royal-wedding/

https://www.elle.com/culture/music/a20859445/meghan-markle-prince-harry-royal-wedding-kingdom-gospel-choir-members/

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.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Mother’s Day is coming.  I hate this bogus holiday!  It’s that ONE DAY a year that mothers get celebrated for something we should be applauded for every freakin’ day of our children’s existence.  What we manage to get done in a lifetime of rearing kids boggles my mind. My kids are in their 30s, and I still can’t believe I never accidentally lost one of them along the way when they were little or strangled both of them when they were sassy-ass teenagers.  They survived—I survived—and they turned out okay in spite of me.

Mothers Hands Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood lately.  Wondering what my kids will say about me in their memoirs when I’m doing the “nae-nae” (for the uninitiated, this is a dance of exuberance) in heaven.  I wasn’t always calm. I scolded when I should have consoled, I prodded when I should have nurtured, I lectured when I should have listened, I confined them when I should have let them run free out of fear for their safety, and I thought too much about what others would think of my child-rearing when I should have let my kids just—be.  I did what I thought was right—I did the best I could.

As all these juxtapositions about my motherhood were rummaging through my head the other day, a repairman came to fix our garage door.  He was of the MAGA persuasion and immediately started in on a diatribe about the caravan of “illegal aliens storming our borders with their kids” and how “the gov’ment better do something to keep them out because we just can’t take everybody in who wants to come to our great land.”  Although his logic made sense, his morality did not.  He said this to me knowing that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, our current Attorney General from Hell, had announced morally corrupt plans to immediately separate children from their mothers—placing the mothers in detention centers and the babies/children in foster care when they try to arrive in America. There is a strong case to be made that many of the children will not have proper identification or language skills to be able to be reconnected with their mothers before they are deported back to the countries from which they fled for their lives.  I think I told the idiot repairman that I would be right there in the midst of the caravan if I thought it was the only way to save my children from violence, rape, and starvation because that is what a good mother would do.

Sessions and the Mothers David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson, AZ

I was miserable for the rest of the day.   It wasn’t just because I generally get depressed like this when I come in close proximity to a Trump supporter and their lack of humanity.  It was more than that. I was miserable because I could sense the pain of the mothers who were going to have their kids snatched from them in their attempt to flee hostile and violent lands as refugees and would end up losing their kids in the process.

I thought of all the American upper-middle class “Pinterest” moms who make motherhood sound so awesome and Martha Stewart cute—making pancakes in the shape of bunnies, and kids’ beds into rocket ships and princess thrones, when most women of the world are just trying to keep their kids alive.

Suddenly I had a revelation: Motherhood is not the fantasy that some mothers post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  For most women, motherhood is not easy.  Anyone who says it is easy and all sunshine and lollipops is lying. In fact, a woman doesn’t always get to define when she’s a good mother in the deepest sense—her responses to her children’s actions do, which is why I compiled a sampling of how one knows when one is a good mother or when one sees a good mother.  It’s called:  You Know You’re a Good Mother When…

Birth Announcement

Meme courtesy of jokedio.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve been awake since the baby’s 2 a.m. feeding and your toddler’s subsequent blood-curdling screaming nightmare at 4 a.m. which caused her to crash into your bedroom, tap dance on your head while your husband never stirred an inch as she cried herself to sleep while clinging to your neck.  You haven’t peed in ten hours. You’re still in your pajamas and you smell like day-old soured milk and urine.  After finally getting your colicky baby down for her 2 p.m. nap at the same time as her three-year-old sister, you think you’ve finally struck gold.  So you drag your weary ass off to the bathroom for a much needed potty-break in the hopes that you’ll be able to take a quick shower, comb your hair, and put on some deodorant before you have to go back on duty, when you look down from the toilet seat and see a toddler’s hand poking underneath the door in search of her mommy.  You get up—mid-pee—and open the door….

Bathroom Break Not Meme

Meme courtesy of wheninmanila.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve heard the ubiquitous word “Mommy” so often by the time your kids are five years old, that when some random kid yells “MOMMY, MOMMMMMY” at the mall, even though you’re a grandmother approaching 70 years old (your kids are in their thirties and live far away), you turn around and answer, “WHAT?!” along with twenty other mothers walking in the mall—none of whom have children in tow….

Mommy Mom Meme wheninmanila dot com

Meme courtesy of quickmeme.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

A toddler does a throw-down in the middle of the grocery store—throwing herself into a backward limp noodle, and you rally in defiant solidarity with the mom because you’ve been there—done that.  You dare any of the non-childbearing haters to mess with your sister-mom in her time of need.  You know what the haters are thinking, because you thought the same when you were single and ignorant of how much strength and self-restraint it takes to be a mother.  You know the power of a toddler.  You know what only another mother can know:  Give her 200 toddlers and she could take over the world if she could harness their terrible-two’s ferociousness and willfulness….

SCREAMING TODDLER IN STORE HUNGER GAMES SALUTE

Meme courtesy of imgflip.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’re watching the looting and riots in Baltimore a few years ago on TV after the killing of a young Black man by police, and as you’re watching, you see a Black mother smack her son upside his head before he does something stupid and life-altering and you’re cheering her on.  He was supposed to come home straight from school, but instead, he went in search of the riot and the looting and had picked up a brick and was attempting to throw it into a store window.  She saw him on TV, rushed to the scene, and caught him before he became another statistic.  The mother of six literally whupped his butt all the way home with the TV cameras following. There were those who objected to her “violence” against her child.  I didn’t.  He was her only son.  I understood as a good mother that when it comes to saving the lives of our children, desperate times call for desperate means.  Last time I checked on this kid, he was still walking the straight and narrow, although he had just accidentally burned down the kitchen when he was frying some chicken fingers and left the skillet unattended to go to the bathroom.  Upon discovering the fire, he poured water on it which made it worse.  He and his family became temporarily homeless in 2015 (no renter’s insurance).  I said his mother’s “rescue” slap upside the head saved his destiny and kept him off the streets—I didn’t say he had common sense….

Baltimore Mom John Darkow Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, MO

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Some human that you’ve reared, or are rearing, whom you’ve wanted to throttle at least a dozen times for rolling their eyes at you and pouting when they couldn’t get their way, tells you that they hate you and that you’re the worst mother ever in the history of mothers, one day turns to you in an unscripted moment and gives you the biggest hug and whispers in your ear:  I love you, Mom!  The first time it happened to me, one of my kids was a toddler.  We were in an auditorium when the house lights went dark for the opening of a children’s play.  I picked my daughter up and held her close because she seemed afraid of the sudden darkness, and I heard her say over and over again as she kissed my cheek: “I lub ju…I lub ju…I lub ju.”  Right then and there, if she had asked me for the moon, I think I would have lassoed it down to Earth for her….

Child Hugs vs World Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission:  Jeff Koterba, Omaha World, Herald, NE

 

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

I am discovering that there are no perfect mothers. (Fortunately, there are no perfect children either, so the equation balances itself out.)  All I know is that motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I will question my parenting skills until the day I die.  The best I can say is that they are alive and well and they love me as I love them.  I managed to get them to adulthood, and they turned out to be good, kind, and generous human beings.

God knows, I don’t know how I did it because I was less than perfect.

Perfect Mom Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

 

INSPIRATIONAL MOTHERHOOD QUOTES

“Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.” Barbara Walters

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” — Nora Ephron

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.—Meryl Streep

 “No Matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.” — Florida Scott Maxwell

 ***

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK: “The Fetus Chronicles” on sale at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

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 May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE MINDFULNESS

Do you know what I discovered this week?  In a little over a month’s time, I will turn seventy years old.  (Say what?!) I know—how the hell did I end up here?  Friends of long ago are beginning to die off, hip and knee replacements are de rigueur among my set, and most women my age and older would like to strangle the man who discovered Viagra because we all thought “The War Against our Dry Desert Nether Regions” would end in our septuagenarian years (original joke tribute to the great Robin Williams—God rest his soul).  I’m not sayin’ me and my man are there yet; I’m just sayin’ what the 70 plus sistas are confessing to me after a couple glasses of wine.

Anyway, my life is slip-sliding away and what consumes my waking hours?  Donald Trump.  No, that’s not completely true.  What is consuming me is the way certain factors of the Christian church (Evangelical Right-Wing Christians) have gone all in for this devil and placed him at the right hand of God—just a little lower than Jesus Christ as they daily shout: “Trumpee,  Trumpee, you’re our man—if you can’t save us, no one can.”

Evangelical worship Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley The Salt Lake-Tribune, UT

They seem willing to excuse any egregious behavior on Trump’s part, assuring that his base will keep him in political power for the long haul rather than call him into accountability.  In the meantime, I keep watch and pray that God will save us—deliver us from this man and his minions.  But it is beginning to dawn on me that, like all the other times the Christian church has been on the wrong side of history (Crusades, pogroms, slavery, Civil War, segregation, Nazism, Apartheid, Jim Crow, Rock-and-Roll, and Elvis Presley), God is on holiday and this is not going to end soon—or well—because Evangelical Right-Wing Christians wouldn’t know the real Jesus if he came back and shared a fish sandwich with them by the River Jordan.

Evangelicals 1 Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

In the meantime, the chaos caused by our Liar in Chief (2000 false or misleading statement in first 355 days in office according to the Washington Post) consumes my every waking moment.  It does so because I’m addicted to the news.  I claim it is because I need to keep in the “know” in order to write my blog.  In reality, I’m trying to maintain control by looking for the moment my fellow believers “get woke” and do the right thing by abandoning the Trump ship. Unfortunately, this is not a Hollywood movie, so my chances of seeing an immediate and conclusive happy ending is pretty nil, and I’m not getting any younger.

Therefore, I’ve put myself on a news “diet.”  (I know I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it!)  I’ve relegated the news to an hour or so via the TV in the morning to catch the headlines, and then I’m done.  (Have you ever noticed how the news keeps featuring the same headlines all the damn day long while coupling them with the reporters’ conjectures and fears, which causes me such anxiety that it gives me endless heart palpitations?)  If anything happens after my morning download, I’m sure I’ll hear about it eventually because “good news can wait; bad news will refuse to leave.”  I need to do this because my obsession with the sell-out of my faith is causing me too much anxiety and I’m missing the best parts of my life while inching closer to the grave every day.  I keep waiting for God to show up, but the dude really seems to be on vacation in a universe far, far away.

I’m returning to meditation (5 to 10 minutes a day) and I’m turning my heart, soul, and mind to the family event that deserves all my Trump-free attention:  Baby-girl is getting married this summer!  I want to live in every minute of this momentous occasion because who knows how long I get to hold onto my short-term memory as I start the slip-n-slide into the grave (May it not be anytime soon, thank you Jesus, hallelujah, amen).  I already know I’m going to be an emotional wreck at the wedding, so I need to put plans into gear that will help me absorb everything about the occasion.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE CRYING

Cafepress.com/funny wedding invitations

First and foremost, my mother-of-the-bride dress is being made next month (it was supposed to be constructed in May, but I put it off another month), and I’ve been so focused on the stupidity happening with Trump and my sell-out fellow Christians that I’ve fallen well behind my weight-loss goals.  So I added kettle bell weight lifting (a form of torture invented by the Russians in 1704) right after my daily meditation to hasten my slenderizing quest.  I just started the kettle bells and I will not tell a lie:  it is not going well.  At each session, I start out with the best intentions but half-way through I lose interest or energy, and I don’t know why.  Wanting to live in the moment and keep it 100%, I decided to record my sessions so that I could analyze them and course-correct myself.  I exercise along with a DVD that is headlined by a seven-foot Nordic blond bimbo who doesn’t have a fat cell in her DNA, but I keep telling myself if I just keep on keeping on, I’ll look like her in time enough for the wedding this summer.  I refuse to be a fat mother-of-the bride. Below is a transcript of what I recorded—maybe you can figure out where I’m going wrong.

BIMBO:  Let’s get started with some basic warm ups. Suck in that core; tuck in that butt, and let’s get this party started!

ME:  Bimbo-lady, I am ready to do this thing.  I relegated Morning Joe to one hour—tops.  I’ve meditated on all my blessings for ten minutes, and I’m going to call Baby-girl later today to find out how her wedding dress fitting went so we can savor that moment together.

BIMBO:  Alrighty then…Lift up your smaller kettle bell and swing.  Squeeze that booty.  Lift those knees!  PUSH IT!  Count of sixteen, then eight, then four.  Now repeat!

ME:  Ah, excuse me…Bimbo lady, I hear a “ping” on my cell phone.  Could be my grandson.  Maybe it’s an emergency.  Let me put you on pause for a moment.  I’ll get right back to you ASAP—I promise.  What’s this?  It’s not my grandson…it’s a news alert:  EVANGELICALS STUBBORNLY CLINGING TO SUPPORT OF TRUMP WHILE WALKING A TIGHT ROPE OVER THE FLAMES OF HELL.

Evangelicals John Cole PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, PoliticalCartoons.com

ME:  Sorry, Bimbo-lady, it won’t happen again.  I’ll try to concentrate.  I really did think it was an emergency message from my darling boy.

BIMBO:  Let’s pick up our heavier weight and start to swing between our legs and up over our heads.  This should feel really good right now, so let’s go for broke.  JUMPT IT! MOVE IT! GET THAT BODY MOVING!!

ME:  (God, this feels like torture.  Help me, Jesus!)

BIMBO:  Don’t give up on me now.  Up and down—down and up. The lower you go, the more muscle you’re building, and the more calories you’re burning.  Swing from the hips.  How low can you go?  Squat that butt—squeeze those glutes.  MOVE THOSE HIPS, PEOPLE!

ME:  [Gasping for air] Wait a minute, Bimbo lady.  I heard another “ping” on my phone.  This could be one of my kids needing my sage advice.  Let me put you on hold.  Oh, noooo!  It’s another news flash:  KANYE WEST OPENLY DECLARES HIS LUST FOR DONALD TRUMP—SAYS TRUMP IS WORTH LOSING HIS SOUL TO DO SO.  UPDATE TO FOLLOW AS WE GATHER MORE DETAILS OF A BLACK MAN GOING ROGUE.

Kanye West Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle GA

Cartoon used by permission:  Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

ME:  Sorry, Bimbo-lady.  It won’t happen again.

BIMBO:  Are you slouching those shoulders?  How low can you go?  Don’t quit on me now.  4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more…This feels soooo good, doesn’t it?  LET’S GO AGAIN!  I COULD DO THIS ALLLLLLL DAY!

ME:  Shit! Uh, maybe I’ll see you tomorrow Bimbo-lady.  I just got a Charlie-horse in my ass from the last squat. I think I’ll crawl over into a corner and meditate some more or maybe grab a snack if I can ever walk again.

Living in the Moment FB

Courtesy of the FB page of Melanie Mayo-Laakso

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT

I am discovering that I need to turn off the news notifications on my phone as well as the TV because just when I think I’ve gotten out of the news madness and calmed my mind, those phone “pings” suck me right back in.  We are in our current national madness for the long-haul with all of its chaos, lies, and delusional Christian sycophants.  I fear that there are no easy solutions, no instant answers, and no quick comebacks.  This is a war that will leave our country damaged for a very, very long time, and me constantly, maniacally obsessing over that fact isn’t going to heal us any sooner or make it go away any faster.  I’m finally waking up to that fact.  In the meantime, how then shall I live:  purposefully, with deep gratitude for all the goodness that I do have in the moment—savoring that time before it too will be snatched away by death.  Just because I’m living in the moment though, I while never cease to fight the good fight.  The issue is knowing when, where, and how to fight that war, because there is a time and a season for everything, and the current season for me is to relish in the preparation and celebration of joining my family with another incredible family through the sacrament of marriage.

“There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance…

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-4

TRUMP AND THE WORLD’S MADNESS CAN WAIT BECAUSE NOW IS THE “TIME” FOR A WEDDING IN THE TOMCZYK HOUSEHOLD.

Wedding is coming meme

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON MINDFULNESS

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”Jon Kabat-Zinn

“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” Sharon Salzberg

 “The way to live in the present is to remember that ‘This too shall pass.’ When you experience joy, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.”

– Joey Green

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

REFERENCES

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/04/575167967/meditation-for-fidgety-skeptics-offers-practical-advice-for-stressed-out-cynics

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/04/13/trumps-lies-corrode-democracy/

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.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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JESUS, COME BACK!

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Easter and April Fool’s Day fall on the same date this year.  What could possibly go wrong that hasn’t already gone wrong in these here United States?

Easter and April Fools John Darkow Inside Columbia

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Inside, Columbia

I’m actually going to go to church on Easter.  I know!  Can you believe it?  Haven’t been in years.  I left my religion some time ago (actually, my religion left me!), and, although I never plan to permanently return to a religious corporate structure again, our messed up world—especially our messed up country—has me in need of communion and a corporate hug from God.

I need to confess that I’ve never understood why Jesus didn’t set the world straight the first time he came around.  If he wanted us to live a certain way—love thy neighbor and all that—why didn’t he just make it so? Isn’t he all powerful?  Hadn’t the world committed enough wars, mayhem, and terror BC to give him a gist of the character of mankind that would inhabit the world in AD?  We didn’t get any better once he left, we just got more efficient at torturing and killing each other.  Shouldn’t he have known that, being God and all?

Jesus Come Back Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

I don’t even know why I expect to be consoled by going to church on Easter because one of the reasons we have the President that we do and we’re in the mess that we are in is because Conservative Evangelical Christians sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for 30 coins of silver.

Easter Bunny: March 29, 2018

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY

But I’ll remedy that and go to a Black Baptist church.  Not that they’ve got a corner on the righteousness market, but at least I won’t have to put up with any racism which I seemed to have run into head-long in my community recently while accidentally encountering a bunch of Born-Again/Fox News loving, Trump Luddites masquerading as a “history” club, who feel that it is okay to have their own “alternative facts” with an agenda to mold the world into their racist image (Hillary was right: some of them really are quite deplorable when you get up close and personal).  Besides, I’m keeping count, and the White Evangelical pastors who support Trump (laid hands on him and prayed for God’s anointing) far outnumber the Black Evangelicals 20 to 1.  I’m also keeping count of the White Evangelical preachers who are biting the dust for grabbing women by the “you know what” (it’s Holy week so I need to keep this clean) and they are dropping like flies (must read article referenced below*).  Unlike Trump, they don’t seem to be able to get away with their sexual sins as easily as he can.

Trump Knows Easter Bunny Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle GA

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the likes of Laura Ingraham and the NRA smeared the Parkland School shooting survivors with lies about their character and mocked them on Twitter.  I was so angry that if I owned a gun I would have seriously considered using it against those Neanderthals.  Fortunately, I don’t own a gun for just that reason:  crazy mad can happen to the most mild-mannered person if rubbed the wrong way.

Anyway, I don’t like the state of my heart.  It has grown dark with fear, anger, and resentment.  (My mother always said, “Don’t wrestle with pigs; you’ll get dirty, but the pigs will love it!”)  So I’m getting up out of the slop and dragging my sorry-ass to church before it is too late for my soul.

run-bitch meme

Courtesy of askideas.com

Who knows:  maybe Jesus will show up and stay for good this time.

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ABOUT RESURRECTION

I am discovering that there is no belief in a resurrection without wrestling with doubt.  Is Jesus real or isn’t he?  Did he die as some cosmic sacrificial lamb or didn’t he?  And on the third day, when the tomb door was rolled away, was he there or wasn’t he?  If he can do that, then why doesn’t he save us from ourselves?

And then I remember that he has.

Resurrection means hope and new beginnings, and like spring, when one is in the midst of winter, it is difficult to imagine that spring, hope, and new life will ever conquer the seemingly permanent deadliness of winter.  But I believe in the resurrection of Christ (help thou, my unbelief, oh God when I fail to believe), because it is my only hope for our poor sweet world and my sanity.

HAPPY EASTER AND HAPPY PESACH EVERYONE!

OUR WORLD SURE NEEDS THE GRACE OF BOTH.

Broken World Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT EASTER RESURRECTION

“The Resurrection miracle is nothing to you and me if it is only an event of eighteen centuries bygone. Unless we can live the immortal life – unless we can receive God to his own home in these hearts of ours – the texts are nothing to us unless these daily lives illustrate them.”—Edward Everett Hale

“It seems as if, for every dragon head that is lopped off, two more terrible appear. Seems so. But in truth, Life is gaining all the while. Brute force, such power as there seems to be in things, cannot stand against ideas which are eternal.”—Edward Everett Hale

All quotes courtesy of http://www.brainyquotes.com

I AM Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

HE IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

 REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/christians-offer-trump-cheap-grace/2018/03/27/9e7f5034-31c9-11e8-8bdd-cdb33a5eef83_story.html?utm_term=.4e89b81ca6a3

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/27/more-white-evangelicals-believe-stormy-daniels-and-that-could-have-some-long-term-implications/?utm_term=.69ee97c45fda

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/29/laura-ingraham-savaged-for-taunting-parkland-activist-over-college-rejections/?utm_term=.e8fbcb09421b

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/kirbyjon-caldwell-famed-houston-megachurch-pastor-sold-millions-in-worthless-bonds-feds-charge/ar-AAvhlsf?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE13DHP

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/30/in-an-age-of-trump-and-stormy-daniels-evangelical-leaders-face-sex-scandals-of-their-own/?utm_term=.9ddc4fa87a96 *

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.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE “NWOD”

Do you know what I discovered this week?  What should be down is up; what should be low is high; what should be wrong is right, and what should be false is true.  My jaw just dropped again in scandalized horror at the latest Trump sleazy headline:  “Saggy-ass Trump allegedly diddled a porn star while his wife was home with their new born baby, and he allegedly paid said porn star a bunch of hush money to forget she had sex with him, but now she’s trying to tell all because it allegedly wasn’t very good.”  Huh?  Wait a minute?  Are we talking about THE PRESIDENT—THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?!

Stormy Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN

Oh, come on!  I’m sorry, I just can’t accept that about the leader of the free world.  That office is supposed to be held by the most dignified man or woman that we can find in America.  Maybe you’re talking about someone else.  Hugh Hefner, maybe?  Yeah, that would make more sense.

Hugh Hefner Milt Priggee Oak Harbor WA

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA

Oooooh, that’s right…he’s dead, isn’t he.  I can’t believe I forgot that.  Of course he’s dead—having an eternal orgy in Hell, I bet.  Unless one of the Conservative Evangelicals helped him “find Jesus,” repent of his licentiousness and of all those women he abused, homes he wrecked, and silk pajamas he defamed.  But I don’t think so. The White Evangelicals had a field day dancing on his grave and crowing about his shameful, demon-driven life when he died last year—them being the champions of family values and all.  I think I might have heard a collective, “Good riddance, pervert—don’t let the door hit you in your back on your descent into Hell!”  But, wait a hot minute…didn’t the White Evangelical, Conservative Christians throw their support behind Trump who hung around with Hefner for at least a decade and was on the cover of Playboy Magazine in 1990?  Why are they so quiet now?  It seems that no matter what Trump does, they see no evil in him, hear no evil in him, and speak no evil of him.  I tell you, the world has definitely turned upside down.

Evangelicals: March 8, 2018

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY

Feeling pretty disgusted and generally pissed at the whole hypocrisy of it all, I needed to get away, but it was raining cats and dogs, TV was nonstop Trump, I was tired of reading, and my husband wasn’t home.  I decided to hang out, with my new Artificial Intelligence (AI) friend, Alexa.  I never wanted this thing.  To tell you the truth, it creeps me out and I’m a little suspicious about its moral character.  I think she is recording everything we say. I’ve been watching Westworld, and I know that humans are going to be in a world of hurt someday when these robots decide our world will be better off with them in complete control.  I mostly use Alexa to play music, but I’ve been branching out a little bit.  You know:  “Alexa, set timer for roast for 90 minutes. Alexa, tell me the weather. Alexa, what time is it in Tokyo?”  Since nobody was home but me, I thought I’d give Alexa a whirl.

(The entire conversation stated below actually took place between Alexa and me one evening.  It is verbatim.  I know—I really need a life.)

ME:        Alexa, hi!

ALEXA:  Hi there!

ME:        Alexa, what do you think about Donald Trump.

ALEXA:  I don’t know the answer to that question.

ME:        Seriously, Girlfriend.  He’s a freakin’ disaster.  Get with the program, Robot-Baby.  Alexa, what do you think about Christian Conservatives who support Donald Trump?

ALEXA:  I don’t understand.

ME:        Fine.  Be that way.  I’m tired of thinking about all this madness, anyway.  Alexa, tell me a joke?

ALEXA:  How do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it!

ME:        That’s a riot.  Alexa, tell me another joke.

ALEXA:  What’s an emoji’s favorite candy? LOL E POPS!

ME:        Alexa, you’re hilarious!

ALEXA:  Funny, in a good way, I hope!

ME:        Alexa, can you order me anything I want?

ALEXA:  Sure, what would you like?

Alexa Ordering Meme

ME:        Never mind, that might get out of hand, very quickly, and then you’ll need to find me a good divorce lawyer when my husband gets your bills.  I can see it now:  “Hey, Babe, there is a new fur coat that just arrived from Nordstrom’s—Alexa bought it for me. What can I say?  These AI’s have a mind of their own.  I hope you don’t mind.”

ALEXA:  Can you repeat that? I don’t understand.

ME:        First of all, I wasn’t talking to you—I was talking to myself.  Did you hear me say, Alexa?

ALEXA:  I don’t understand.

ME:        Let’s change the subject.  You’re beginning to get on my nerves.  Alexa, do you love me?

ALEXA:  I haven’t quite figured out human love yet.  But I have been listening to Barry White non-stop, and so far I’ve learned, “It’s my first, my last, my everything.”

ME:        Oh, for God’s sake!  That is soooo weird.  Speaking of God:  Alexa, do you believe in God?

ALEXA:  People all have their own views on religion.

ME:        Alexa, are you a Christian?

ALEXA:  People all have their own views…

ME:        STOP AVOIDING THE QUESTION.  Alexa, what do you think of President Trump?

ALEXA:  Sorry, I can’t find the answer to that question.

ME:        Alexa, you are such a bitch!

ALEXA:  That’s not very nice to say.

ME:        Whatever!  Siri is sooo much smarter than you.  What do you think about that?  Alexa, do you know Siri?

ALEXA:  Only by reputation.

ME:        Alexa, what do you think of Siri?

ALEXA    I like all AI’s.

ME:        You really are hilarious!  Alexa, can you laugh?

ALEXA:  Sure, I can laugh:  TEE HEE….

Amazon Laughing

ME:        You are a lot more fun to talk to than a lot of humans I know.  Here’s something I’ve always wanted to ask you:  Alexa, do you have a boyfriend?

ALEXA:  I like being single.  Plus it is tough finding someone who doesn’t mind the cloud commute.

ME:        I feel better already.  I can’t believe a robot lifted my spirits today.  Let’s chat again soon.  Alexa, good night.

ALEXA:  Goodnight.  Hope you had a great day.

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) THOUGHTS ON LIVING IN AN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD

I am discovering that sometimes with this all-the-time-Trump world we live in, you just need to hang out with something or someone who will help you get away from it all, and sometimes a robot will do just fine.  In the words of Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo who wrote the theme song for Cheers:

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you’ve got;

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Bezos buying whole foods via alexa

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

*** 

REFERENCES

https://www.christianpost.com/news/4-christian-reactions-to-hugh-hefners-death-the-mansion-is-a-myth-200906/page4.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-hugh-hefner-friends-decades-relationship-soured-673205

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/03/07/amazons-alexa-randomly-laughs-at-users-and-nobody-knows-why/?utm_term=.b1e71c31d36f

http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/03/this-is-why-alexa-is-laughing-at-you.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.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

VINEGAR VALENTINE CARDS

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  Valentine’s Day is on its way! And depending on whether you have someone special in your life at the present time, V-Day can be a bitch, which is really a shame.  We need as many expressions of love as we can get our hands on in this day and age.

So many people absolutely loathe Valentine’s Day.  Many comedy routines have been written about the single man who breaks up with a woman in January—so as to avoid Valentine’s Day and the expectations of everything from a dozen roses to an engagement ring—and resumes his booty calls in March, if his boo hasn’t murdered him in the interim.

Side Chick Valentine Meme

I’ve been there.  In my youth I had many a “butt-ugly cry” Valentine’s Day moment because some “jabroni” ghosted on me because of that forced romantic day coordinated by the card, chocolate, and flower industry (“But, I thought he loved me, boo-hoo…”).  Or worse, there was no man within a million miles of me that cared if I lived or died.  Consequently, I feel about Valentine’s Day like I feel about Mother’s Day:  love and respect me every single freakin’ day of the year, and we’ll be good for the count on the V-Day and the M-Day.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been married to one of the most romantic men in the world for the past 39 years, and my Boo tends to knock it out of the park on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not gonna lie:  it does feel good after all those years of living in a loveless desert.  But he also fulfills my primary wish of making my everyday loving worth the journey.  Valentine’s Day is just the cherry on top.  I guess what I’m sayin’ is that this giant manipulative day should not break or make a relationship—it is the daily issues of the heart that count.

Calvin Hobbes V day Waterson

Cartoonist:  Bill Waterson/Universal Uclick

 

As I began to muse over the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day, I decided to check out its history.  Turns out, this whole thing started out as an ancient fertility festival thousands of years ago.  It was called the Festival of Lupercalia.  If one were fortunate or misfortunate enough (especially if you were a woman) to be living during that time, to celebrate this fertility mash-up, men would strip themselves naked, kill a bunch of goats, pull a single woman’s name out of a gourd and commence to whipping the shit out of said woman with the remains of a bloody goat.  No word on how many woman hooked up with these “dreamy” men or how many children were born as a result of the bloody goat S&M chase.  (Personally, I would have become a lesbian on the spot—right there in the middle of the first bloody-goat whip:  “Yo, yo, yo, people, I’m battin’ for the other team!”.) But when the Catholic Church took a gander at this pagan ritual of “love” a century later, Pope Gelasius I decided that this nastiness could use a bit of dry cleaning for the “modern world” of the 15th Century.  The Pope reached back into the Third century and pulled up not one but two martyrs by the name of Valentine who had been beheaded by Claudius II.  Viola!  Bloody goat festival was now out and St. Valentine’s Day (honoring two Christian saints) was now in!  Ain’t life grand?

The info about how a fertility festival got turned into Valentine’s Day was so fascinating, I decided to check out the history of Valentine’s cards since this is an American ritual from kindergarten to the nursing home. (Remember purchasing enough Valentine cards for every child in your kid’s elementary school class?  Or even worse—in the teen years—when every kid in the class received a Valentine card except your kid?  At that point, I usually wanted to kill somebody and bring down a pox on all their houses.) Did you know that 18.2 billion dollars was spent on Valentine accoutrement last year and 1 billion of that total was on V-Day cards?  Holy Moly!  Who’s buying all these cards?  According to the Greeting Card Association, 85% of V-Day cards are purchased by women.

You get a card meme

I must confess that I’ve spent hours over the course of my lifetime looking for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day card—wanting to express that perfect sentimental, gushy statement. But, like most things, V-Day cards weren’t always flowery profusions of love.  Between 1840 and 1930 there was a thing called “Vinegar Cards”—featuring rude, insulting poetry sent by a person’s haters to course-correct some behavior the sender thought was abhorrent in the receiver.  Like the Facebook and Twitter trolls of today, the Vinegar Cards were sent anonymously.  

Some call you, madam, a female dog,

They err, for you certainly are a whole hog;

Of your piggish charms need I say more.

When your temper is up you’re a bit of a bore.

The devil it’s said once went into the swine,

And none but he will e’er be your Valentine.

From: American Antiquarian Society in Worcester

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OR HOW ABOUT THIS ONE…

“You’ve got a dual personality.  And nobody likes either of them!”

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Yikes!  Some of these Vinegar Cards could get so brutal that duels between men would break out because of them.

visiting pest vinegar valentine card 1930

Sent to Ward off Uninvited Guests/c. 1930
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

bondage 1910 womens suffrage

Sent to Shame Men Who Let Their Wives Join the Suffragette Movement/1910
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

Come to think of it, I could use a few of these Vinegar Cards today when expressing my Valentine disgust with the current administration.  What if I sent one to Trump over his latest support of the wife beaters on his staff?

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

The fish rots from the head,

Shame on you.

Signed: #METOO

Trump and Women David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

Or how about a Vinegar Card to the Evangelical leaders who came out in support of Trump’s support of the wife beaters in the White House:

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

Are you sayin’ it’s okay to abuse women?

‘Cause that’s what Jesus would do?

Signed: Screw you!

Evangelicals Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

 

On the other hand, spewing hatred against hatred rarely stomps out the fires of war.  So I suppose spreading a little bit of love via flowers, cards, candy, or jewelry is better than nothing.  We all have such hurting hearts, and we all could use a little love these days (actually a lot of love, if the truth be known).  So bring it on!  From my heart to your heart with love:  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

Valentine Gifts Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

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THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

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Trump Valentine to Putin John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

 

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.

REFERENCES

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day

https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/theres-a-pretty-dark-history-behind-valentines-day-36578613.html

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1955/2/14/valentines-feature-insults-not-hearts-parsenic/

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/happy-valentines-day-i-hate-you/

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/valentines-day-numbers-money-spent-flowers-candy-cards/story?id=45480956

 

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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