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OH MY GOD: DONALD TRUMP SENT ME AN EASTER PRESENT!

ESSAY ON EASTER AND MINDFULNESS

I take back everything I’ve ever said about Donald Trump not knowing what he’s doing for the people of the United States and the image of Christ.  He’s an evil genius!  Also, I take back every disdainful thought I’ve ever had against the MAGA hats that put Trump in office and are keeping him there. Because of them, I’ve found a new lease on life, a calmer demeanor, and a deeper trust in God this Easter.  (Thank you, oh Crazy Orange One and your MAGA hat minions for my Easter present!)


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

My non-believing sisters and brothers, do you know what Lent is?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting,” which is to draw one closer to God by the time Easter rolls around because the resurrection of Christ from the dead is so awesome that it is every Christian’s hope that if Christ can conquer death, he can conquer every other type of evil plaguing our lives. The reason we give up things at Lent that have some control over our appetites is because we hope it will be easier to scrub off the veneer of fear and hopelessness that blinds us to the power of Christ’s resurrection help in other areas of our lives.

Well, Eureka!  The Holy Ghost gave me a revelation.  The messianic imposter in the White House had caused me to momentarily think he was indestructible, invincible, and made of Teflon (none of his sins were ever going to stick to him and bring him down), and there was absolutely nothing I could personally do about his reign and damage done to our country.  (If his Evangelical supporters are to be believed, I am not operating in God’s will by opposing the Orange One—in fact, I am a sinful little snot who will burn in Hell.)  I was full of fear (not of going to Hell, but of Trump getting away with murder, which seems so much worse than living in Hell), and that led to chronic anxiety which led to eating a gluttonous amount of chocolate-covered bon-bons washed down with buckets of mojitos (not really, but you get my point).  

I am seventy years old and counting—I cannot afford to waste any more of my days on fear and loathing.

So I had a Lenten revelation:  I need to give up Donald J. Trump, not just for Lent, but for the end of time. He is like an obnoxious, spoiled toddler who is only happy if he is absorbing all our attention every second of the day.  I no longer give him the attention he is demanding.  I have replaced thoughts about Trump with gratitude and mindfulness via meditation, and I’m letting the God of the universe fight the things I cannot control—including kicking Trump’s ass. 

I have become a mindfulness aficionado (more about this in the weeks to come).

Carrie on Pinterest

Every morning when I wake up (before I get out of bed), I thank God for what I have—not what I’ve lost. (At this age, one starts losing things, people, and memories on a daily basis as it they were pennies in a pocket full of holes.  Trust me, getting old is not for the cowardly.)  In other words, if I can still breathe, walk, see, hear, talk, and learn…it’s a good day!

Then I mediate, and the sole script of that meditation is a prayer to the God of Easter:

“I have no plans today for my life—only sketches.

Reveal to me your path—where I should go, who I should meet, what I should do.

May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

Grant me courage, wisdom, grace, mercy, and above all love for those I encounter along the way.”

It has been amazing!  No more stress, no more anxiety, and no more anger at Trump or anything else—I am as cool as an iced cucumber and I’m no longer in search of bon-bons.  (I fully believe he’s going to be flushed down the toilet of life, but I’m not worried about the if, when, how, or by whom anymore.)  Consequently, I’ve had the most amazing encounters during the Lent season.  As you might expect, I met a Tin Man who needed a heart, a Scarecrow who needed a brain (actually this was a woman), and just recently, a Lion who needed courage.

Let me tell you about the most significant traveler I met along the way since the beginning of my new mindfulness journey.  The Lion.  He was a driver for a car service in New York City.  He was Asian, young, handsome, and spoke fairly good English. On his dashboard was a miniature picture of the Dalai Lama.  Our driver had shoulder-length black hair which sported a cocky backwards baseball cap that displayed the slogan:  “Let’s get fucked tonight!”  Since I had no intentions of doing anything that day but get to the airport on time and try to return home in one piece, I said, “Delta Terminal C, please,” and proceeded to get lost in conversation with my husband about our magnificent grandson and daughter who we had just spent a wonderful weekend with.  The driver seemed lost in thought but said nothing except an explosive “sigh” every minute or so which was very disruptive—each sigh was like the percussive sound of a steam engine.   (It was so unnerving that I almost yelled at him and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you?  Turn on some music if this is the best you can do for conversation!”  But this is the new and improved, mindfulness Eleanor, so I was not “quick to anger,” nor was I “quick to speak,” (plus, if the truth be told, I didn’t want my Uber rating to take a hit—it’s bad enough as it is!).

I thought the driver was frustrated with the traffic, and I made a mental note to give him a one-star rating where it says, “Driver was a good conversationalist” on the ratings form at the end of our destination.  After a long twenty minutes and about thirty Eeyore sighs later, we finally pulled up in front of our designated terminal.  As soon as I unbuckled my seat belt and hastily reached for the door, the driver turned around and said:  “If you had a friend whose wife was having an affair with his best friend, would you forgive her and try to make the marriage work for the sake of the kids (he has the kids), or would you take the kids and run?”  In the midst of a traffic jam with horns blaring, in front of an airport terminal, trying not to be late to catch a flight, my husband and I gave a broken-hearted lion a few minutes of counseling that I can only hope gave him the courage to let love win and try to save his marriage. (I’d like to think there was something about our mindfulness that encouraged him to open his Dalai Lama-loving heart to us…)

But one thing I’m certain of, ever since I let go of Trump and let God take over my mind and heart, I am encountering the most amazing human beings and having the most outlandish conversations.  I shall keep you posted.  In the meantime, if all the mess of Donald Trump and his minions gets you down or your life is one that makes you mourn and sigh, remember the God of Easter and his amazing resurrection life makes all good things possible, and in the words of one of my favorite authors:

“Everything will be all right in the end.

If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.”

The Universal Christ, by Richard Rohr


Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown CT, Cagle

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle

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.


 
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Posted by on April 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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JESUS, GOD OF EASTER, HELP!

As you might imagine, given the events of this week, I am sitting Shiva with the rest of my liberal friends—or should I say, sitting Shiva with anybody who has a brain, a conscious, a heart, a soul, or eyes and ears.  According to Wikipedia, Shiva means “seven,” and “sitting Shiva” is described as: “the week-long mourning period in Judaism for first-degree relatives.”  In this case, my first-degree relatives are my country’s morality, constitution, and soul, and my religion’s core Truth.  I know I’m supposed to accept Barr’s assessment of the Mueller report and move on, but I just can’t.  In the words of George Conway (conservative lawyer and the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway —talk about irony):

“TRUMP IS GUILTY—OF BEING UNFIT FOR OFFICE”

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA/Cagle Cartoons

The aftermath of Barr’s summary has been brutal against anyone who has opposed Trump—led by the mean-spirited bully Trump himself, as he takes his victory lap in the end zone.  Every time I hear him attacking someone who has uncovered his lies or stood up to his bullying, all I can do is pray that the God of Easter rescues us from this cretin—SOON.  Was it wrong to hope the Mueller Report would be an answer to that prayer of obvious corruption exposed?  And why did William Barr give us an interpretation of a potentially 300-plus page report rather than the report itself?  What is Barr hiding?  Instead, the White Right-Wing Christians who believe Trump was sent by God are hoarse from crowing Barr’s summation that God has protected their anointed one, and it makes me sick to my stomach—so sick, it sent me into intercessory prayer.  Below is my most recent prayer—prayed while sitting in sackcloth and ashes cataloged under the title: If Ever There was a God, Now is the Time to Show Up (Again).

Cartoon used by permission: Ed Wexler, PoliticalCartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons

DEAR GOD:

How are you?  The last time we spoke, I was praying for healing of a horrible respiratory disease, spring to arrive (sooner than later), and for the Mueller Report to be released, putting a stop to our current reign of terror. I’m very grateful that you completely healed my snot-generating, five-foot chubby-ass body, that spring has finally sprung revealing that not all my plants died over the winter (thank you very much), and the Mueller Report was finally released—kind of.

It looks like I needed to be a bit more specific in my prayers regarding the Mueller Report.  I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I thought we had an understanding that the report would be released in its entirety and reveal the complete corruption of Donald J. Trump in such a way that his followers would flee in horror—especially the ones who claim to be your followers.  But instead of them repenting in sackcloth and ashes for propping up this egregious sack of sin, they are joining in his revenge victory lap claiming the Bible verse (Psalm 105:15) on Trump’s behalf:  “Don’t touch my chosen leaders or harm my prophets! “Just the other day I came across this billboard that was once posted near St. Louis, Missouri from a bunch of your Trump-loving Christian followers equating him with you, Jesus:

A billboard along route I-70 near St. Louis, Missouri in Nov. 2018

(OPEN LETTER TO GOD, CONT.)

I don’t know how I missed this billboard when it first appeared, but my God, doesn’t this just burn your cookies?  Seems as if that alone would cause you to make a personal appearance just to set the record straight.  Now, how does the Bible verse John 1:14 read again? 

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(The billboard was removed in 2018, but only after a great deal of hysteria from your “sane” peeps who rallied to confront this blasphemous stupidity.)

Insane, right?!

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT/Cagle Cartoons

(OPEN LETTER TO GOD, CONT.)

With all due respect, knowing what you must know, what’s up with letting Trump slide by on the Mueller Report and practically getting away with murder?  You of all deities know that he’s guilty.  He’s like a giant toddler, and he won’t stop until he’s caught red-handed. He needs a giant ass-kicking by you since I am now convinced that Trump was right—he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose his supporters—especially his Christian supporters because they believe you sent Trump to save America.

Not that I need to give you any parenting advice, but do you recall the “Great Toddler Candy Heist of 87” that was perpetrated by one of my children (no need to name names—you know who Baby-girl is)?  Bear with me here.

As you recall, in the beginning, I tried to raise my children in a sugar-free environment. However, one of my kids came to Earth dreaming of lollipops. If upon her arrival the Devil had presented himself to her and said, “I’ll give you all the candy in the world in exchange for your soul, your sister’s soul, and both your parents’ souls,” she would have said, “In a hot baby-poop minute—where do I stamp my baby paw print?”   My child had ways of getting candy that I knew not of.  All I know is that the minute I turned my back on her (with the specific instructions: “Don’t give this child any candy!”) and returned to pick her up from babysitters, Sunday school providers, mother-in-law, or friends’ homes, I’d find candy wrappers stuffed in her diapers and witness the vestiges of a tummy ache all over my new blouses when I snuggled with her.  But no one could ever catch her actually procuring and eating the sweets.  No matter how many times I asked her if she’d eaten candy and where she’d gotten it from, she’d look me straight in the eyes and lie through her cute little four-year-old baby teeth.  (I think I might have even tossed out a prayer or two to you to help me catch that little barbarian in her lies at one time or another.)

Internet Meme

One day, I think you answered my prayers.  I took said candy thief and her sister with me to a very brief business meeting. I noticed as we passed by a table in the lobby by the receptionist’s desk that a rather large bowl of grape Jolly Ranchers was prominently displayed on our way to the elevators.  Both girls asked if they could have some, but I told them “no,” because I was afraid it would spoil their lunch.

After the meeting was over, I strapped the kids into their respective car seats and proceeded back home for lunch.  About five minutes into the drive, I smelled a pungent grapey odor coming from the back seat.  In fact, the odor was overwhelming, as if someone had flooded the car with Welch’s Grape Juice. It was apparent that one of the kids had stolen candy from the office candy dish.  As I whipped my head around like a cobra to seek out the culprit, I demanded to know who was sucking on a Jolly Rancher. My older daughter said, “Not I, said the cat.” When I turned to Baby-girl, she violently shook her head in denial but refused to open her mouth.  Had I not pulled over to the side of the road, I would not have caught her in the act.  But as I stopped the car and looked into the back seat at my girls, streams of purple ooze poured out of Baby-girl’s mouth.  Apparently, she had stolen as many Jolly Ranchers as her little fat fingers could handle and squirrelled them away in her jumpsuit pockets.  My toddler thief had stuffed not one, not two, not three, but at least four grape Jolly Ranchers into her tiny toddler mouth which couldn’t contain the saliva overflow. Caught dead to rights, even as I asked Baby-girl if she had Jolly Ranchers in her mouth, she continued to shake her head in fierce denial while purple saliva stormed from both sides of her mouth as if she were an overheated Saint Bernard and consequently slimed both her sister and me in purple ooze.

Lord, the point of this story is that I nipped that little rascal’s lyin’ and stealin’ in the bud by catching her in the act, and today she is a fine upstanding citizen. I thought you were probably proud of me for that bit of parenting stealth, if the truth be known.So here’s the word: you created Donald Trump.  Essentially, you’re his first parent.  I don’t mean to be impertinent, but why didn’t you let the Mueller Report expose him in all his ill-gotten slime?  Instead, he has gotten away with his crimes (again!) and has become an even bigger jerk than ever—claiming to be a martyr on the level of messiahhood, creating a revenge list, and tormenting the sick, the poor, and anybody that crosses him.


Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA/Cagle Cartoons

(OPEN LETTER TO GOD, CONT.)

Lord Jesus, I know you know everything none of us know and in due time, all will be revealed, and we’ll all know the truth whether we want to accept it or not. It’s just that William Barr’s assessment was not the truth.  It may have “technically” helped Trump escape collusion, but he’s got the stain of being a horrible human being in every fiber of his being and he’s sliming us all with his purple-tainted sins of lying and corruption.   

Anyway, see you on Easter.  I could use some hope and proof that you’re in control of this mess. Just sayin’. In the meantime, I’ll keep praying (like a mantra) in the words of Leslie Jones’ recent universal tweet:  #LORDHELPUSPLEASE


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

***

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***

REFERENCE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/27/michael-avenattis-downfall-would-be-great-thing-democrats/?utm_term=.b45c5010c518

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-conway-trump-is-guilty–of-being-unfit-for-office/2019/03/26/0b5f851e-4ffd-11e9-88a1-ed346f0ec94f_story.html?utm_term=.b59e095fe99e

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/27/politics/cnn-poll-mueller-reaction-exoneration/index.html

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/11/05/we-fixed-that-appalling-trump-billboard-just-outside-st-louis-for-you

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.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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WAITING FOR SPRING, MUELLER, AND JESUS—NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER

Do you know what I recently discovered?  Lent has started and Easter is less than 40 days away.  Also, March 1st was the start of “meteorological spring,” which should mean that spring is just around the corner. Then someone said that Mueller should be releasing his report soon.  Looks like if any of these things actually show up, it’s going to be a bombastic spring. But all three of these items (spring, Easter, and Mueller) seem to be in jeopardy, if you ask me—if you really want to know.

Cartoon used by permission: Darkow, Columbia Missourian, Cagle Cartoons

I suppose, as a spiritual being, I should really be getting myself prepared for Easter (I haven’t even thought about giving up a thing for Lent—except maybe news coverage about Trump), but I can’t concentrate because the weather is kicking my ass.  According to Joel Achenbach from The Washington Post, spring is going to be delayed because we’ve entered a polar vortex (“the very cold air mass that normally circulates in the Arctic”), and it has broken “into pieces, with a fragment hurtling south and creating dangerously cold conditions in the Lower 48 states.”  I didn’t need Achenbach to tell me that the world seemed to be coming to an end via the weather, all I had to do was look at the weather map.  Snow where no snow has rarely gone, temps going as low as minus 60 degrees in states other than Alaska, floods and tornadoes wiping out entire communities, and rains coming down so frequently that this year is considered the wettest year on record.  It’s beginning to feel like these are the days of Noah.


Although I’m praising God that I don’t live in Minnesota and the Dakotas (recorded 30 – 60 below zero temps last month), California (mudslides), Seattle (record snow), Tennessee (flooding), Alabama and Georgia (tornadoes from Hell), I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired of rain in Virginia.  It has been raining almost nonstop for over a month, and everything is covered in mildew—including my body.  I got so ill from the weather that I became a walking, hacking, sneezing mucus factory.


Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune, PA

About 2 ½ months ago, it started to rain, and in the midst of all that rain, I woke up with an upper respiratory infection that felt like bricks had been piled on top of my head while I was being water-boarded. No matter what I did, I couldn’t rid myself of the symptoms.  No antibiotics helped.  After 20 boxes of tissues, my nose was stripped raw of its skin leaving it too tender to even touch and looking like I had the beginnings of vitiligo on my skinned bulbous.  Scores of chickens were sacrificed at the altar of soup cauldrons to make chicken soup—Jewish penicillin—and I combed the Earth looking for effective cough meds like a junkie looking for her next fix.  My husband was banished to the guest room to escape my incessant hacking cough, and my friends started making the sign of the cross whenever I came into their presence.  Somewhere in the middle of my snot and sneeze tour, I went deaf (WTF!!).  When I dragged myself into the ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor), he came at me with a suction tube on one side of my head and a miniature ice cream scoop on the other. The nurse told me (after reviving me from my fainting spell at the horror of it all), that she and the doc had scoped out a candle factory’s supply of wax in the left ear and sucked out six months’ worth of mucus in the right ear—restoring my hearing within minutes.  In the midst of this torture, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow and proclaimed an early spring which has turned out to be a big fat lie, and if I ever get my strength back, I shall hunt him down and open up a can of whup ass on him that he’ll never forget. (Nasty-ass rodent!)


Cartoon used by permission: Darkow, Columbia Missourian, Cagle Cartoons

Having nothing better to do in my snotty state of mind (how much snot can a 70-year-old woman expectorate? Turns out that the answer is: 2 tons!), I started meditating on liars—inspired by Punxsutawney Phil.

According to dictionary.com, a lie is: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. Something intended or serving to convey a false impression….  Well, clearly my nurse practitioner had lied when she told me the antibiotics and the little translucent cough pills would do the trick and clear my symptoms right up.  In reality, she had no idea her advice would work, but she charged me $234.19 and sent me on my way, anyhow.  I started watching the Cohen testimonies from my sick bed and realized that I was watching a professional liar trying to shed himself of a professional liar who is now our President, while those that still follow him continue to lie to themselves that “Trumpee, Trumpee, he’s our man, if he can’t save us, no one can!”


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

When the Cohen testimonies made me sick at heart, I turned to the coverage of the Vatican’s cover-up through the years about the pedophilia priests in their midst, and immediately erased Pope Francis from my Christmas card list. (Seriously, Francis, I thought you were going to be different than all the other popes, but all you’ve done is talk, talk, talk.  For Christ’s sake:  call the police and throw all those sick pervs in jail.  How hard can that be?)


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

My disappointment in the current Pope really made me really sick at heart, and I thought I couldn’t get any sicker until I watched the four-hour HBO documentary and Oprah’s follow-up interview on Michael Jackson’s alleged years-long serial pedophilia against two of his victims and scores of other children from ages 5 to 14 or so.  This was after I had grooved to a dance mix of “Thriller,” “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (suddenly those lyrics take on a whole new meaning!) to try and cheer me up from the stories about pedophilia in the Catholic church. Yuck! Being a Michael Jackson fan, how the hell did I miss this?  If these stories are true, M.J. was one sick fuck. 


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

At that point, I turned off the television, crawled under the covers in despair with another bowl of chicken soup and my tissue box and made a declaration that I planned to stay there.  I mean what’s the point of trying to get well when humans are such horrid creatures. (Physical sickness causes me to feel really sorry for myself and very agitated with the world at large.  If you look at me the wrong way, I’ll fling my snot at you.  Be glad I don’t have any magic powers or you’d all be turned into fried frog legs.  God may have had his Noah’s flood, but I’d come at the Earth with a zapping power that would fricassee everybody’s ass who got on my nerves.)

Then I was reminded that Easter was coming soon.  I love Easter!  It’s my favorite high holiday. It is connected to spring, and it reminds me that winter won’t last forever, bad people won’t get away with murdering the hearts of the innocents ad infinitum, and that I need redemption and salvation just as much as those that I’m judging.  As I poked my head from underneath the covers, I began to recite this anonymous prayer I found on the Google machine to ease my aching body and soul:

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.  No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life. For I remember it is Easter morn and life and love and peace are all new born.”—Anonymous

The problem is—with me, as with many others—will we recognize Easter when it shows up?


Cartoon used by permission: Aislin, The Montreal Gazette

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I’m discovering that I have no idea when the madness—physical, political, sociological, or meteorological—will end.  I just know I’m tired of being sick and tired. (To my horror, I just got in a CNN News bulletin on my phone:  FLU SEASON MAY NOT HAVE PEAKED, AND THERE’S ANOTHER WAVE OF SEVERE INFECTIONS UNDERWAY, CDC SAYS.)   What to do…what to do?  Shall I take the chance and come out from underneath my covers and reenter the world?  Shall I look to the sky in anticipation for spring while hoping and praying for the resurrection of Easter to sweep away the dross of winter from our human hearts—from here to the Vatican on down through the Michael Jackson fans who are threatening violence against the survivors of M.J.’s alleged sexual abuse?  I think so, because if I’ve learned anything, hope does spring eternal and winter never lasts.


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

***

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/03/04/historically-cold-march-temperatures-are-freezing-large-part-lower/?utm_term=.72a3d2e4e9af

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/spring-put-on-hold-as-storm-rolls-across-us-and-polar-air-arrives/2019/03/02/2cacafe2-3d0d-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html?utm_term=.d5196785a7e1

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.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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I’M BLACK AND I DON’T LIKE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  It’s Black History Month!  It snuck up on me because I have mixed feelings about this month.  I suppose I should be happy for some part of the calendar to shine a national spotlight on something that gets short shrift in our school textbooks and our public square conversations. Besides paying lip service to our nation’s sojourn into slavery’s immorality and to the same laundry list of Black, long-suffering heroes (King, Parks, Lewis, Marshall, The Little Rock Nine, to name a few), I wouldn’t mind the annual February tribute to Black history if it pushed us deeper into having a more substantive conversation about race in America.

I wish Black history would simply be American History–told with searing honesty so that profound conversations could ensue and an even deeper understanding could emerge to confront what is needed to really see how much damage the stain of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow Laws did to our collective souls and how that stain still runs painfully deep.  White people need to be healed from the damage of all that immoral racial DNA as much as Black folks do who were the victims of it.  Instead, many White people hope and declare that racism is over (“After all, I voted for Obama!”), and most Black people limp along—permanently scarred—hoping to just go along to get along.  I almost skipped acknowledging and blogging about Black History Month this year until my state (Virginia) went insane during the last few weeks over my governor’s college yearbook blackface photos coupled with a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) costume.  

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, PoliticalCartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons

Not that “woke” White Virginians shouldn’t have reacted negatively to these mocking, degrading “darkology” photos, but they should not have been surprised.  According to Rhae Lynn Barnes (assistant professor of American cultural history at Princeton University) who has written the forthcoming book Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface, “Blackface is as American as the ruling class.” Ms. Barnes says that blackface has been used by every White group in Virginia from the KKK (“used blackface in raids to confuse victims”), to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to the Charlottesville Elks to ridicule Black American soldiers in 1924, to our southern colleges and universities until as recently as 2002.  She has studied “darkology” and minstrel shows for at least a decade and claims that nearly every city and town in America is guilty of participating in blackface which started in New York City, believe it or not.  (Minstrel—“minstrelsy”—shows started a couple hundred years ago and were performed by White people who darkened their skin with shoe polish and cork. The performances were always of an exaggerated depiction of Black people as lazy, stupid, bumbling, over-sexed, and, more significantly, in need of being led and governed by a superior race because they were too ignorant to manage life on their own.  The performances were always meant to demean, degrade, and disdain the African-American male, especially.)

What blew me away was Rhae Lynn Barnes’ article in the Washington Post* which cited an example of an obituary of a 94 year old White man from Charlottesville whose obit celebrated his 64-year membership in the Lions Club—you know, that lovely service group of mostly old White men who collect used eyeglasses to send to poor countries.  The obit boasted of the old man’s participation in the club’s Minstrel Show every year (according to Ms. Barnes, until 1974, the Charlottesville Lion’s Club Minstrel show was part of the city’s travel brochure).  The obituary was written in April 2017—just a few months before the White Nationalists’ march, mayhem, and murder in Charlottesville by Confederate flag carrying White Supremacists who had traded in their white sheets and burning crosses for khaki pants and tikki-torches.  At the end of the old man’s obituary was a single line that said there would be a celebration of his life at an Episcopal Church in Keswick, VA. (Say what?!)

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

Something bothered me about this obituary and the blackface conversations that weren’t being had.  If the truth be known, it wasn’t that my governor and others (more surfacing every day) had been outed for wearing blackface that disturbed me as much as the fact that we weren’t getting to the root of why something so egregious as a racist Jim Crow tool could be done so nonchalantly as recently as 1984 that the participants did it and summarily forgot about it—that it was sanctioned by their educational institutions.  (“Hey, it was all in good fun, right? I’m not a racist—I have tons of Black friends and associates, and I believe in Jesus! Besides, I’m a Democrat and I voted for Obama!”)

Then I saw a picture during my research, and the answer became clear to me as the noon day sun why the Governor of Virginia and a 94-year-old Lion’s Club member from the local Episcopal Church can put on blackface and be tone-deaf  as to why that was not cool, not funny, not Christlike and extremely hurtful to African-Americans:

KKK thought to be in Portland, OR 1920/Photographer unknown/Public Domain

This craziness is in their spiritual DNA!  Jesus plus the Ku Klux Klan?!  Hello!  Well that says it all.  The deep discussions we need to have about race can’t be had until we recognize how much systematic racism is ingrained in White Christianity and how that coupling has made so much of the hateful antics against African-Americans “okay” in such a way that its tentacles are intertwined with the Gospel of Christ. 

The picture above was taken in 1920.  It is thought to be in a church in Portland, Oregon.  Six years before this picture was taken a White Methodist minister (William Joseph Simmons), restarted the Ku Klux Klan that Ulysses S. Grant had earlier disbanded.  On the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia Minister Simmons declared himself the Imperial Wizard and proclaimed:  “The angels that have anxiously watched the reformation from its beginnings must have hovered about Stone Mountain and shouted hosannas to the highest heavens.” 

By the time the photo was taken of the local Klan in a church in Oregon, 5 million White men belonged to the KKK and had infiltrated churches all across America—some being so bold as to wear their “uniforms of terror” while they sang in church choirs or sat in church pews.  Many Protestant ministers (strictly Protestant because the KKK hated Catholics and Jews as much as Black people) were either sympathetic toward the KKK or were members.  If men running around in hooded sheets and wearing blackface had been the extent of the Klan’s evil, we could have chalked it up to bad taste and might have been able to racially heal in America.  But their deeds, which were sanctioned by many White Christian churches, were demonic and murderous across the nation.  For example, in 1921 approximately 3,200 Klansmen lived in Oklahoma (2,000 of them in Tulsa) which became the backdrop of the worst massacre of African-Americans in our history.  This brutal terrorist act happened in a city that boasted of copious Christian churches as part of its reputation and stability.

Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 Wikipedia/Public Domain

On May 31, 1921, 35 blocks of an all-Black residential and business area, known as “the Negro Wall Street” because it was so prosperous, was burned to the ground by the jealous White citizens of Tulsa.  Approximately 10,000 Blacks had settled in the area due to the land rush at the time and established very vibrant and strong middle and upper class existences on valuable oil-rich land.  It was a model community.  They had doctors, lawyers, teachers, and bankers. They owned fine jewels and fur coats, pianos, beautiful houses, and delicately carved furniture.  Greenwood, as it was called, had everything a thriving town would want, including Dr. A.C. Jackson, “the most able Negro surgeon in America” as cited by the Mayo brothers. 

In 1921, private planes bombed Greenwood from the air with turpentine balls while hundreds of White men gunned down anyone who tried to escape their homes and businesses, including Dr. A.C. Jackson as he ascended his office steps with his hands up in surrender.  300 people died, 1,200 homes were looted and subsequently burned to the ground while thousands of Greenwood’s citizens were imprisoned without recourse.  It was reported (although never proven) that witnesses saw hundreds of bodies thrown into the river and mass graves.  For years afterwards, Black Greenwood citizens would see their jewelry around the necks of White residents in and about town (I wonder if any of that stolen jewelry was worn to church with their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes?) while the Klan distributed post cards across the country with pictures of the destruction as proof of their ability to maintain White rule and dominance.  The loss was the equivalent of $30 million in damage in today’s currency according to Brandon Weber of The Progressive.

Greenwood Residents picking through burned homes/Photo: Public Domain

No White person was ever charged or held responsible for the Tulsa massacre. Many of the bodies were never found.  Until recently, Oklahoma buried the story and refused to acknowledge it.

The excuse for the terrorist attack: A well-known shoe shine boy (Dick Rowland) who was stationed outside a Tulsa department store on the White side of town—well-known and liked by the White residents—needed to use the only restroom available for Blacks which was on the top floor of the store.  He ran into the elevator which was operated by a White woman (Sara Page).  For some reason Ms. Page screamed (Rowland stepped on her toe or he stumbled and grabbed her arm—some even say they might have been lovers, but no one ever knew the reason for the scream except that it wasn’t rape as was later accused).  Page’s scream frightened Rowland and he fled.  A White person heard the scream, saw Rowland running away, and assumed the worst.  The shoeshine boy was later exonerated, but the destruction and massacre was blamed on the Black citizens of Greenwood and they were never compensated.

Of all my research of this horrific moment in Black history, which, as I said, is still considered the worst massacre of African-Americans, I have never, ever read that the White Evangelical churches in Oklahoma took responsibility for the bedfellows they made with the Ku Klux Klan which probably undergirded their participation in Greenwood’s demise.   I have found no record of any White Tulsa citizens coming to the aid of their African-American neighbors when they and their livelihood were being destroyed.

Courtesy of HBCU.org

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering of late that until we comprehend how much of America’s racism has been fostered and cloaked in the Gospel of Christ, it will be impossible to get to the root of our national sin and systemically kill this tree because it is in the bloodstream of White Christian America, and unfortunately a month every year is just not going to cut it.  Racism is a spiritual entity in our midst which permeates everything in our country from the church pew to the college campus to the White House.  Let’s not stop at rooting out old yearbooks and apologizing for long forgotten blackface pages—let’s move on down the road and deeper into the forests of our Evangelical churches’ histories, and really rid ourselves of our national sin of racism.

On that note, we are not totally without hope. In April 2018, Pastor Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners) and the National Council of Churches led a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its major focus was to “Confess to Confront Racism: Confessing the Church’s Complicity in Practicing, Promoting, and Profiting from White Privilege and Racial Division.”  As Pastor Wallis said in Sojourners blog commentary:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Our original sin of white racism and the way it not just lingers but continues to evolve is literally throwing away imago dei — the image of God — and it happens over and over again each and every day. Let me quote a colleague, Professor Fr. Bryan Massingale from Fordham University, who says, ‘When I ask my white students if they have ever heard racism named or preached as a sin from their pulpits growing up in their churches — their answer is almost always NO.’ That says it all and that’s what we have to change. If we do, the changes could be enormous, with the fruits of repentance literally undergirding the substance of social change.”

AMEN AND AMEN!

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

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“Without confession to the sin of white racism, white supremacy, white privilege, people who call themselves white Christians will never be free.”@jimwallis

***

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***

REFERENCES

https://sojo.net/articles/50th-anniversary-dr-kings-assassination-confessing-churchs-complicity-racial-division

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/08/the-preacher-who-used-christianity-to-revive-the-ku-klux-klan/?utm_term=.288cd6c159d2

https://www.splcenter.org/20170925/hate-god%E2%80%99s-name

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/09/28/feature/they-was-killing-black-people/?utm_term=.aa2289ca731e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/yes-politicians-wore-blackface-it-used-to-be-all-american-fun/2019/02/08/821b268c-2b0d-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html?utm_term=.b8c4ef93b92d

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/02/troubling-history-behind-ralph-northams-blackface-klan-photo/?utm_term=.7f468406793c

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.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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COLONOSCOPY HILARITY

My New Year’s resolution is to bring more humor into my life and into the lives of others, to try not to worry about things I can’t control (Donald Trump), and to take control of the things that are mine to master (i.e., my ass).  As a 70-year-old celiac disease patient, periodic maintenance is a must and not to be ignored, if I don’t want to be wearing Depend’s diapers any time soon.  Therefore, The Donald goes on the back burner this week while I devote a post to my sorry ass as I march off to the gastroenterologist’s office singing to the tune of “How do you solve a problem like Maria,” from the Sound of Music.

How do you solve a problem like my bottom?

How do you sneak a pizza without pain?

How do you find a cure that gives you bread?

My gut is really-a-bitch! A pain-in-the-ass—a drain…

C O L O N O S C O P Y   D I S C O V E R I E S   T H I S   T I M E   A R O U N D

~~THERE ARE THINGS CALLED COLONOSCOPY FACTORIES~~

This is my fourth colonoscopy.  Given my gastro problems, it probably should have been my tenth, but I really, really hate doctors, so I avoid them as much as possible because they have often been wrong in diagnosing my health issues.  Case in point, it took twelve years to discover that the gastro issues I had been suffering with were all celiac related.  Why?  Because supposedly Black people don’t get celiac disease. Don’t even get me started about how often White doctors misdiagnose African-Americans’ health issues. That’s a blog for another day.  In the meantime I keep looking for a doctor who looks like Denzel Washington, has the intelligence of Stephen Hawking, and the bedside manner of Jesus. 

Well, I’m in a new town now and need a new butt doctor.  I thought I’d go with an Asian woman this time since my last three White male doctors were nothing to write home about.  The last one made me so angry with his rudeness, inability to answer my questions, and lack of kindness (he barely knew my name, never smiled, had a disdainful air bordering on racism, and explained absolutely nothing to my satisfaction). I almost gave him a colonoscopy right then and there in his office with my golf umbrella. 

In my search for a new butt doctor, I have discovered that many colonoscopies are no longer done in hospitals, but most of them are done in doctor-owned and doctor-run assembly-line factories.  In other words, they line patients up by the hour, roto-router their asses in less than 30 minutes each, move them though like an “in and out” burger-type joint, and then send them home with a bill that is about the cost of a Caribbean cruise for two (unless the butt patient is lucky enough to have insurance).  According to some sources, gastroenterologists (on average) earn $380,000 per year. (I was definitely in the wrong profession.)

~~THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE A PERFECTIONIST’S NIGHTMARE~~

My doctor seemed fine enough this time.  She was personable, seemed to know her stuff, and was very respectful.  But it was her butt factory that caught my attention and spawned this post for my blog.  After my consultation with my lovely new doctor, I was handed off to an office manager (not even a nurse—what happened to all the nurses?).   I was given a colonoscopy packet which contained what seemed to be 100 pages of instructions, looked like a dissertation, and I was convinced there was a pass/fail test at the end of it. The problem with me is that I’m a perfectionist and a colonoscopy is like the test of my nightmares—miss one step and you’ll a) shit all over yourself during the prep or b) shit all over the doctor during the procedure. There are so many obstacles that if you trip up on any one of them, you’re toast.  I can’t take that kind of pressure—especially at my age. 

AUTHOR’S DIARY: RECAP OF BUTT FACTORY AND COLONOSCOPY

As I pulled up my chair in front of the office manager’s desk, she began reading me my prep package while highlighting the pertinent aspects with a highlighter—which turned out to be every line in the instruction packet.

“The following instructions are VERY important.  Please read thoroughly and follow instructions as outlined.  If you have any questions, please call our office. NOTE: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOUR ARRIVAL/PROCEDURE TIME MAY CHANGE DUE TO REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL.”

ME:  Excuse me, excuse me, Nurse, I mean office lady, if I have to wait for my procedure to start, does it mean the doctor has punctured someone’s colon or perforated someone’s bowel and they are outfitting her with a colostomy bag?  

O. MANAGER:  No, it doesn’t mean that.  Where on Earth did you come up with that?

ME:  I googled “what’s the worst thing that can happen when getting a colonoscopy” and almost didn’t show up today after I read the Google answer.

O. MANAGER:  Do a favor for all the doctors in the world—stay away from the Google, Mrs. Tomczyk, when it applies to health matters. 

ME:  Can you guarantee the doctor won’t puncture anything once I’m conked out and she’ll be all up in my ass?

O. MANAGER:  (Sigh) No, I can’t guarantee anything.  I’m just the office manager.  But if it makes you feel better, I had my colonoscopy last month and everything went swimmingly.  I’m sure everything will be fine.

ME:  Can you, Mrs. Office Manager—can you?  No disrespect, but you’re not even a nurse.  No offense—but I TRUST nurses even more than doctors.

O. MANAGER:  Well, I’m not a nurse, but you can trust me.  Let’s move on to the next section, shall we?



“5 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE STOP THE FOLLOWING MEDICATIONS: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, blood thinners. 3 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE: Purchase One 238 gram bottle of Miralax, two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade (NO RED OR ORANGE), four Dulcolax tablets (laxative).  2 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE: Stop salads, fruits (raw, cooked, and canned)

 “ON THE DAY BEFORE THE PROCEDURE, FOLLOW A CLEAR LIQUID DIET ONLY.  You may have black coffee, tea, clear soups, clear fruit juices (NO RED), Crystal Light (NO RED), Jell-O (NO RED), Sprite, Ginger Ale, and Gatorade.  DO NOT EAT SOLID FOOD.  Do not ingest anything by mouth 4 hours prior to your procedure.  This includes water, gum and hard candy.  If you do, we may not be able to perform the procedure.” 

At that point, Office Manager sent me on my way (I think I had gotten on her nerves) with the rest of my instructions highlighted in yellow, and a stern warning to do everything exactly as the instructions said.  I could have sworn I heard her say under her breath, “and for God’s sake, stay away from the Google machine.”)



~~NO TWO COLONOSCOPY PREPS ARE THE SAME~~

I obeyed the Office Manager and followed the colonoscopy instructions down to a T.   I made it through the first day of the two-day prep with flying colors.  I was very hungry, but I got through it without a struggle. There are so many stored fat cells on my body that I could go without food for weeks and still function at full throttle, although I kept moaning to my husband (WW=”White and Wonderful”) about how hungry I was so that he would pamper me.  It worked.

On the day before the procedure the games began.  The last time I had a colonoscopy, the prep took all day, and the prep mixture tasted like cremated dead people ground up into Gatorade.  This prep mixture appeared to be a newer method which required that I exist on clear liquids and Jell-O (no red!) until 4:30 p.m, and then consume the colonoscopy mixture starting in the late afternoon.  (The green Jell-O is a bitch, by the way!  Either they’ve changed the formula from when I was a kid, or I only ate the cherry flavor way back then.) 

At 4:30 p.m. I took 4 Dulcolax tablets (laxative) with a full glass of water, and I felt nothing—not even a tummy rumble.

At 6:30 p.m. I mixed 119 grams of Miralax into a full bottle (32 ounces) of white cherry Gatorade. Still nothing, although the white cherry Gatorade was quite tasty.  I was managing this colonoscopy prep very well, indeed.  My husband kept telling me how proud he was at how my body was handling it all.  (Still nothing but a urine spritz up until that point.)

At 8:30 p.m. I mixed another 119 grams of Miralax into a full bottle of lime Gatorade and went back to the couch to watch TV with WW.  Our favorite pastime is to cuddle while we watch TV.  I snuggle while he rubs my back and makes my life all right with the world.  He kept reminding me to keep chugging my Miralax so that I’d be finished before bedtime, and I kept telling him that he need not worry because I was handling this colonoscopy prep like a boss! At one point, something hilarious happened in the movie we were watching and I laughed.  I felt what I perceived to be a fart emanating from my body due to my spontaneous laugh.  I had forgotten that when one is doing a colonoscopy prep, one should never, ever trust a fart….




My poor husband, my poor couch, my poor throw pillows, my poor rug…  As to my clothes, they have been burned!  No washing machine in the world could salvage those garments.  As to my bathroom toilets and floors—let’s just say, hazmat suits were needed to clean them.  I am spry for being 70 years old, but I don’t move as fast as I used to when I was a lot younger and a long distance runner.  It really showed this time around.  Out of twenty-two bathroom sprints, I barely made two of them.  The rest I just let my ass explode at will.




~~YOUR ASS CAN MAKE YOU A VIDEO STAR~~

My check-in time was 9:00 a.m. the next day.  I had explosive diarrhea until 8:45 a.m. By that time, all that was coming out of my butt was Miralax foam.  I was so worried that I wouldn’t make it to the colonoscopy factory without destroying my husband’s new Lexus (which might have been cause for a divorce—I’m not going to lie) that I literally made a make-shift butt-plug out of tissue paper to try and put a stop to the onslaught.  And then I prayed for God to have mercy on my sorry-ass.

Fortunately, God hears my prayers and everything stopped at exactly 9:00 a.m. (With the old system, all elimination stopped by midnight the day before.  I think the colonoscopy people need to rethink this new plan.  Just sayin’!)  Nothing more came out of my body after I was told to strip off everything except my shoes and slip into a backless hospital gown.  (Shoes—WTF!?)  No one could explain that juxtaposition to me.

Everything from 9:00 a.m. became a blur because everything happened so fast:  An actual nurse gave me a ream of papers to sign which basically said they could kill me, sell my soul to the Devil, and I could not hold them responsible.  One of the pages required my permission for my procedure to be used for teaching purposes which seemed okay, at the time. (WW said, he didn’t see anything wrong with it—young doctors have to learn somehow, right?)   The nurse hooked me up to an IV, the anesthesiologist explained he’d be putting me “under” with the drug “propofol” (the drug that killed Michael Jackson—oh my God!), and the nurse’s assistant explained that my intestines would be pumped full of air and not to worry if I experienced a lot of farts when I woke up after the procedure.  The head nurse showed me the instrument they’d be using:  something that looked like a garden hose with a GoPro camera at the end of it.  Then the anesthesiologist wheeled me in my bed down the hall through a traffic jam of several beds coming to and from operating rooms to something that looked no bigger than a closet. 

My doctor was there looking a little worse for wear.  She had laryngitis, and she looked like she hadn’t slept all night.  Apparently, she’d already performed two procedures before me. I wasn’t feeling confident in her, given her harried appearance.  I really should have fled right then and there; after all, I still had on my shoes, but I was hemmed in by two guard rails and hooked up to a giant oxygen tank. The anesthesiologist announced that the “propofol” he would soon pump through my IV would sting “a little” just as I experienced a burning sensation in my veins so hot that it felt like someone was administering liquid fire through my IV.  I sat straight up in the bed, reached for my IV to snatch it loose from my hand, as I shot the anesthesiologist a look that said:  “If I come out of this alive, your ass is grass, Negro!” At that moment, I heard my doctor say, “Thank you for letting us film this procedure for classroom purposes—I assure you, your face will not appear on camera.”  I screamed (or so I thought I did)—“NOOOOOO, WHAT?  DOES THAT MEAN MY ASS AND MY HOO-HAH WILL BE ALL OVER YOUTUBE?” I collapsed without managing to rip out my IV and awoke 30 minutes later in the recovery room to the sound of a rather large Elephant farting with abandonment while a nurse called my name:  “Wake up, Mrs. Tomczyk—it’s all over!”

THE AUTHOR: POST COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE

All jokes aside, according to the American Cancer Society:

“Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. It’s expected to cause about 51,020 deaths during 2019. The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are a number of likely reasons for this. One is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers or are being found earlier when the disease is easier to treat. In addition, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last few decades.”

My doctor found three tiny polyps in my colon.  I am waiting to see if they are pre-cancerous or not.  If you’re 50 years old and over, please get your colon checked out.  It isn’t fun, but it may save your life. At the very least it will give you a story to regale your friends with for years to come.

I  KNOW, I KNOW…I SAID I WOULDN’T POST ANYTHING ABOUT TRUMP, BUT I JUST COULDN’T LEAVE HIM OUT OF THE CONVERSATION WHEN TALKING ABOUT ASSHOLES!

***

IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ OTHER STORIES ABOUT MY PREVIOUS COLONOSCOPIES AND “LUCILLE BALL” ESCAPADES IN LIFE, CHECK OUT MY LATEST BOOK THE FETUS CHRONICLES AT AMAZON.

***

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

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS

Do you know what I’ve discovered during this Christmas season?  Very few people can actually articulate what Christmas truly means.  At the White House Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, some Trump sycophant introduced The Donald as the President who brought back Christmas.  (I had no idea it ran away, did you?)  He didn’t say how Trump was bringing something back that wasn’t lost.  Trump actually made this a campaign promise, as if Christmas had gone into hiding and was just waiting for him to come along and set it free.  If Christmas is a bit jaded, it isn’t saying “Merry Christmas” that grated on people’s nerves, it was and is the lack of a true Christmas heart and spirit that makes people think “bah-hum-bug.”

First of all, I’m convinced our current President is the anti-Christ, so there is no way he could ever really know the true meaning of Christmas to even locate it “if it was lost.”   I also started thinking of all the people Trump has scared to death with his tweets, his lies, his abuse, his betrayals, and his horrid mismanagement, and I had an epiphany:  Christmas does need to be brought back to fight him because Christmas is the antidote to fear.

Used by permission: Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands

Think about it.  I heard a line in a song the other day that basically said: “All of us are born with broken hearts.”  I know it to be true because I was born that way and most of the people I have met and come to know have or have had broken hearts.  It really caught me off guard, and I thought what do I have to give someone who is broken in this world—contemplating suicide, riddled with fear, abused and battered—and who is being driven into mental illness due to a fear of things beyond their control (“cough: Trump”)?  How does a baby born in a manger pierce those granite heart(s) and infuse them with hope and courage to live another day and not give up? It’s really foolish to think a baby, born in the Middle East thousands of years ago could bring the entire world the peace that quiets our fearful hearts in the age of Trump, of a Saudi prince who orders the slaughter of a reporter with a buzz saw, of the threat of impending world war, and of my own encroaching old age which is scaring the shit out of me.  Unless that baby was unlike any other baby—unless that baby was the spiritual embodiment of something magnificent from a realm beyond our own.  By slipping into the Earth as a babe, all that was holy got presented to mankind in a non-threatening form, and thus, Christmas became a part of our hearts that could never be taken away or destroyed—if we truly believed.

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons.com

Then I remembered the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847—a wine merchant, no less. As I listened to the song on the Sirius XM Christmas mix, I transcended the concept of the fairy-tale limitation of a little Jewish baby in a manager and imagined that “manger” filled with the embodiment of hope to the hopeless, grace to the homeless, mercy to the poor, worth to the worthless, and love to the lost and lonely.

Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth

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

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices

Oh, night divine

Oh, night when Christ was born

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

Truly he taught us to love one another

His law is love and his gospel is peace

Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother

And in his name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we

Let all within us praise his holy name

Christ is the Lord! Oh, praise his Name forever

His power and glory evermore proclaim

Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born

Cartoon used by permission: Parker Florida, Today

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices

Oh, night divine

Oh, night when Christ was born

Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

I WISH YOU THE LOVE, THE HOPE, THE JOY, THE GRACE AND THE PEACE THAT ONLY GOD CAN GIVE AND THAT NO MAN CAN TAKE AWAY!

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle Cartoons

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

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

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.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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THANKSGIVING IN THE AGE OF THE APOCALYPSE

DEAR READERS:  In case this is your first time stopping by my place, let me catch you up to speed.  This is an ongoing blog about trying to reach God via phone because I can’t seem to get a face-to-face meeting with him during these chaotic times.  When I was an Evangelical Christian, I used to think he chatted with me all the time—like eating lunch on a daily basis with a chummy, gossipy gay hairstylist.  Then many years ago, I realized it probably wasn’t God—just my schizophrenic DNA mixed with false teachings by very silly preachers.  Be that as it may, I still believe in God and need to get some answers before I truly lose my mind over the chaos-ridden, apocalyptic era currently turning our planet into a living hell.  I mean, who else can I ask?  This is my “Waiting for Godot” moment:  “Is this all there is? Do you really care? Does God exist?  If so, why have you abandoned us?  Why are the liars, robber barons, and the NRA winning?  Is Trump the Anti-Christ, and is this the Apocalypse?  Will all of California have to completely burn to the ground before the Republicans acknowledge man-made climate change as a major culprit to our global instability?”

I’ve yet to hear from God.  If you need to catch up on my anxiety-ridden train of thought, you’ll find my other “prayer” messages filed under: “Are you listening (or paying attention) God?” via a series of “Voicemail Messages to God” which are essays of fanciful (sometimes heartbreaking) queries in my past blog posts.  This is my fifth installment:  “God, is this the Zombie Apocalypse?  You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?  Should I cancel Thanksgiving?  What’s there to be thankful for if the entire world’s going to hell in a hand basket at the speed of light?  Jesus, you have my digits—please call me!  Inquiring minds really need to know if this is the end!”

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of GOD at 1-800-PRA-TOME.  So glad to hear from most of you with a few exceptions.  If this phone call is from that pest, Eleanor Tomczyk, who has been nagging me day and night with the same prayer regarding Donald Trump (“Save us oh God, deliver us, oh God”), I called you the other day and you didn’t pick up the phone.  (What’s that old saying: ‘If you snooze, you lose, Baby?’)  Do you think you’re the only human I love who is panicked, horrified, and at their wits end regarding their circumstances?  Next time—keep your phone on you.  Right now, California is burning and needs my grace.  In the meantime, Thanksgiving is coming and you should count your blessings and cut me some slack with your incessant complaints.  As blessed lives go, you’re doing okay.  For all others, please leave a message at the end of the Hallelujah Chorus and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Trust me…I’m God, and I’m on the job!”

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

HI GOD:   This is Eleanor T.  It’s just a few days before Thanksgiving and I need to know whether I should skip it this year.  I mean…what’s the point.

By the way, I can’t believe you answered my calls the one time I wasn’t near my phone.  You’re omnipresent—didn’t you see that I was in the hospital doing a procedure and there was no cell service there?  Even if I could have gotten cell service, they made me leave my phone in a locker.  You didn’t see that mortifying procedure I was having that my ass doctor dubbed a “small bowel follow-through”—a procedure the hospital warned me could take up to eight hours?!  I was praying to you like crazy because I knew I was going to embarrass myself beyond all recovery.

Oh, the humiliation!  They made me strip down to my under pants, socks and sneakers, and stuffed me into a hospital gown.  They forced me to drink 32 ounces of a nasty white chalky liquid and walk in a loop through the hospital halls for ONE HOUR at a pace that resembled a mouse being chased by a feral cat.  My tits were hanging down to my waist (you know I haven’t gone without a bra since I was ten years old—I even wear one to bed), and I could feel the breeze blowing up my ass as my hospital gown flapped slightly open at every turn.)  Every once in a while, a Nurse Ratched-type would jog alongside me to make sure I wasn’t going to bite the dust or she’d snatch me into a room for a drive-by x-ray of my innards (“Get back out there, Kiddo…the dye has only gotten through half of your small intestine—you know it’s twenty-three-feet long, don’t you?!”), and then she’d put me back on the track before I could say, “WTFI hate you!”  Didn’t you see me zooming past bored doctors, horrified patients on their way to be operated on, and a not-too-bright security guard who wondered where in the hell I was going half naked and slightly crazed?  (I told him I had escaped from the psyche ward and wanted to get in my morning constitutional before I blew that Popsicle stand.  Ever notice how rent-a-cops never have a sense of humor?)

That was two days ago and the aftermath has not been pretty: I’m bloated, constantly farting, and have been popping out snow ball colored poops every other minute. I can’t leave the house. God, I think you hate me.  What did I ever do to piss you off to garner such suffering and humiliation?

Anyway, enough about me.  At least you answered my prayers about the mid-term elections—I think.

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

The day after the mid-terms, it looked as if the Blue Wave all kind-hearted people had prayed for was barely a ripple, and that the Trump madness would continue to go unchecked.  I was so disappointed and depressed that you hadn’t answered my prayers, which is when I called up my ass doctor and scheduled the bowel follow-through, an endoscopy, and a colonoscopy.  I mean, what the hell.  (I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it was my childish grown-up version of threatening to go sit in the dirt and eat worms since I didn’t get my way.)  Did you get my voice-mail message that I was canceling Thanksgiving also because I didn’t feel there was much to be thankful for in our new-normal apocalyptic state?

But then things started to turn…and they are still turning.  You showed up (or I should say, you answered my prayers by making the voters show up).  Trump doesn’t know it yet, but your fist of righteousness mingled with our boots on the ground and “woke” crusades, will continue to expand the Blue Wave every day until he is undone.  That dude’s going down.  I can feel it in my bones.  I just don’t know when or how.

Cartoon used by permission: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC

In the meantime, Dear God, I’m going to roll into Thanksgiving with my “praise on” because people are beginning to get “woke” and are figuring out how to handle that awareness.  Bad things are still happening each and every day with Trump in office, but I do believe there is hope for us.  I know that I’ve got a lot to be thankful for in my own life.  I promise you that I’ll stop whining and lend my hands, heart, prayers, and resources to those who have less because that is what you’ve called us all to do for our fellowman in hard times.  Besides, the thing I’m truly grateful for is my state of mind and the fact that I am no longer deceived by my religion or my politics because in the words of H.L. Mencken, what I’m most thankful for is:

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

Oh, and God, hopefully we can have a real in-depth conversation soon.  I just got a transcript of the message you left for me the day I was in the hospital for my ass procedure, and it is a tiny bit concerning.  The message said:  “Be grateful for what you’ve been given each and every day because things are going to get far worse before they get better for both your ass and the country.”  Jesus, do you know something I don’t know?  Is that a warning about my upcoming colonoscopy and endoscopy exams?  Is Trump going to be re-elected in 2020?  OH GOD, SAVE US (SAVE MY ASS); DELIVER US (DELIVER MY ASS)…

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

***

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Cartoon used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.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.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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