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Do you know what I just discovered?  Amazon has released my new book, Monsters’ Throwdown, on Kindle! 


Kindle Edition Cover of Monsters’ Throwdown

I haven’t slept since my book launch last week, and I was still whirling like a Dervish but at a slower speed—more  like a windup toy whose battery is finally running down—when my husband, WW, tried to inform me of the release of the Kindle Edition of my book.

ME:        “Oooooooh, myyyyyy Goooood, IIIII’mmm fiiinaaally pubbbblished!”

WW:     “Hey, Cutie.  I’ve got more good news for you:  Amazon just released Monsters’ Throwdown on Kindle.  Now all your digital readers can get a copy of your book before Christmas.  Isn’t that great?

ME:        “IIIII ammm soooooo eeexciiited, IIII caaan hhhardlly ssstannd iiit, but I’m sooo damn tired.”

WW:     “I can see that—you’re beginning to sound like you’re drunk.  Looks like someone could use a nap.  How about giving your readers a quick shout out about the digital format of Monsters’ Throwdown and curling up on the couch for a nice afternoon siesta?

ME:        “Sssuuure . . .  They just need to check out (YAAAAWN) the link below.  In the meantime, have you seen my down pillow and my Snuggle blanket?”

Snuggle Blanket

Dear Blogger Friends and Faithful Readers:

My family is on its way here this very moment via trains, plains, and automobiles.  I will be taking off my blogging hat for the next couple of weeks in exchange for the hat of a mother who administers lots of hugs and kisses to world-weary adult children; I will also be ignoring social media during that time for the slobbery kisses of an adorable 5 year old that I’ll be reading bedtime stories to from a book that I can hold in my hands as we cuddle together, and I rock him to sleep while “visions of sugarplums dance in his head.”  Please note that I’ll be thinking of you all with a heart full of love and grace.  Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas to you all!  I’ll return with more hilarious blogs the first week of January.

Merry Christmas Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by Permission:  Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Cover of Monsters’ Throwdown |Available at


ME:        “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD . . . MY BOOK IS FINALLY PUBLISHED!   OH, MY GOD!!!”

WW:     “There is no need to lose one’s head and use triple exclamation points.  There is never any need to use three exclamation points unless the sky opens up and God peeps through the fabric of the universe and announces to the entire Earth:  Surprise—I’m real, I’m black, I’m a woman, and I’m coming back!!!  Anyway, aren’t you going to tell people where they can buy your book and in what form?”

ME:        “Oh, yeah.  The paperback is available on Amazon and the Kindle Edition will be available at the end of December.   OH, MY GOOOOOOOOOD!”

WW:     “Well, at least tell the people what the book is about.”

ME:        “I can’t—I can’t breathe!  I’ll show them the back cover.  That’s the best I can do right now—OH MY GOD!”


Back Cover of Monsters’ Throwdown |Available at

WW:     “Okay.  But I’m your manager and I need to put together a press kit that says more than ‘Oh, my God!!!’, so you need to answer some questions.  Who will like your book?  (And don’t tell me “everybody”—get specific.)  Why should anybody buy your book?  (And don’t tell me “because it is good, it’s really good”—I need details, details, details.)  For instance:  does it make a good book club read?  Tell me why I should buy your book.”

ME:        “Can’t breathe . . . hyperventilating . . . .  Yes, it is a perfect book club read.  It will generate tons of discussion.  I’m told it reads like a real-life Hunger Games, if you imagine Katniss Everdeen to be a chubby-ass-poor-black-child born in the ghetto, kicking ass, taking no prisoners, and marrying the love of her life. That’s it:  it is the true story of the mash-up of The Hunger Games and Cinderella.”

WW:     “Oh, good grief!  You’re not being any help in your excitable state.  How is this for a quick, down and dirty press release?

MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN: A Human Odyssey by Eleanor Tomczyk








A PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEWER: “I love this book!  It’s warm, witty, honest, and positive.  The author’s voice is authentic, engaging, and unstoppable.  The pluck and stick-to-itiveness of a girl with so many things stacked against her is guaranteed to be inspiration for every reader lucky enough to pick up this book.”

P.S.  If you LIKE Monsters’ Throwdown, please tell your friends and relatives; if you LOVE Monsters’ Throwdown, please leave a review on  Thanks so much!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Santa Baby: Do You Feel What I Feel?

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I have issues with Santa—have had them ever since I became cognizant of his existence.  In fact, I hate him!  As I was editing my first Christmas remembrance in my book, Monsters’ Throwdown (due to be released next week just in time for Christmas), it brought back painful memories of my attempts to get white Santa’s attention to stop by my poorer-than-dirt ghetto house and leave me a present or two as a poor-black-child.  I wrote letters, I said prayers, and I set out cookies and milk, but still no Santa (now that I am an adult, I have a strong suspicion that the rats who were as big as cats ate Santa’s snacks).  Once I started encountering Jews and discovered they got no visits from Santa either—whether they had been good as could be or not—I knew that fat white dude in the red suit made us all feel pretty much like pond scum by not showing up with presents for us.

Santa Sign David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

As I got older, I realized Santa’s lack of shimmying down certain chimneys had more to do with economic inequality on my part and religious preference in the lives of my Jewish neighbors; although later I would discover that a few of my Jewish friends had Christmas trees along with their Menorahs, and Santa had made a deal with their parents to drop by on Christmas Eve just like he did at the homes of some of the Christians.  Talk about having one’s mind blown.

I pretty much forgot about the likes of Santa until I had my own children.  We moved to Israel when my older child was two months old and our younger child was born there.  I was having enough trouble helping them understand the difference between Israel’s “Kippi Ben Kippod” from “Rechov Sumsum (an Israeli coproduction of Sesame Street)” and America’s Big Bird from Sesame Street. Teaching my children about a Santa who didn’t bring the other neighborhood children presents wasn’t worth it.  Plus, it never occurred to me to teach them about the fantasy of Santa given my history with the dude, although our neighbors did help us find a fir tree from a kibbutz in Galilee so that we would feel more at home on Christmas Day since they knew it was a religious holiday for us.   By American standards, it was probably one of the ugliest trees one could possibly imagine—decorated with strings of popcorn, cranberries, and ringlets of colored paper.  But to us it was magnificent because it was provided by our Israeli neighbors who all came down to our apartment to “ooh and ah” at it.  All of my neighbors went out of their way to wish us “Merry Christmas” and we wished them Happy Chanukah at the appropriate time during all the years I lived there.  (Did I ever mention how my Israeli neighbors were the salt of the Earth and always made me feel very welcomed as an ex-pat?)

Kippi Ben Kippod muppet wikia dot com

Actor Jerry Stiller arrives on the street and meets Kippi Ben Kippod (Israel’s Big Bird counterpart), who tells him about their dilemma – all the letters on “Rechov Sumsum” are disappearing!—

Then one year we came back to the States for Christmas vacation and my older child was sitting on my mother-in-law’s lap while her grandmother was reading my child a story about Santa Claus.  “Who is this?” asked my mother-in-law as she pointed to a picture of Santa.  The more my baby looked at the picture in total confusion, the angrier my mother-in-law became in demanding a definitive Santa recognition.   Finally, my three-year-old broke out into a heartbroken sob out of fear and confusion because she felt she was making her grandmother, whom she was seeing for the first time, very angry about her failure to identify a fat man in a red suit with an enormous beard.  As I ran to rescue my baby from this stupid emotional quagmire, my mother-in-law turned beet-red and went ballistic:  “I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO FIND THE WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THIS DISTURBS ME THAT YOU’VE NOT TAUGHT THIS CHILD ABOUT SANTA CLAUS!”  As I ran from the room cradling my frightened baby, I shouted:  “Ask her who Pippi Ben Kippod is—then maybe she’ll pass your stupid fantasy-man test.”  When we returned to my beloved Israel, I got an envelope from my mother-in-law containing only an Ann Lander’s column titled:  “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”  (Did I ever tell you that I suspect my mother-in-law always hated me, and her words had the ability to make people feel like crap—no matter what the age?)

Santa Judgmental

My grandson (the child of the daughter that my now dead MIL terrorized about the recognition of Santa), went to see Santa the other day.  Apparently, it did not go well.  He refused to sit on the dude’s lap and pretty much lost it when he was coerced into coming within 20 feet of the fat man in the red suit.  Later that evening during our phone call, I asked him why he didn’t want to get next to Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas.  My five-year-old grandson astutely said:  “I didn’t like him—I didn’t like the way he made me feel—he made me feel all waggy and crunchy inside.  Anyway, Santa don’t bring me presents, Mommy, Daddy, Mama-Mama, Mema, and Grandpa brings me presents on Christmas!”  (Did I ever tell you that children have the ability to make us feel very clear-headed by their assessment of life, if we carefully listen?)  I’m sure my mother-in-law was turning over in her grave when she heard him say what he did about dear ol’ St. Nick.

As I was pondering whether the dislike of Santa could be passed down through a person’s DNA, I heard about three news stories concerning words:

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin Uncovering War on Christmas—“Americans saying happy holiday tantamount to disowning Jesus—ram Merry Christmas down their throats in the name of Jesus!”

Pope Francis releases his “The Joy of the Gospel” and chastises the world “not to forsake the poor”—his words are challenging and riveting

Nelson Mandela dies at 95—his collective words and actions humble us and make us want to do better with our lives

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin’s caustic words (they both have criticized our new Pope for being a socialist and a Marxist) made me feel all “waggy and crunchy” inside and made me want to cry, but the words by Pope Francis and the legacy of words left behind by Nelson Mandela made me feel so good, that all I could do was go out into the street and wish everyone I saw, “Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, and Merry Christmas with all my heart!”  When I saw the joy in the eyes of the people I had greeted, I knew that I had touched them with the true spirit of Christmas, and I felt really good, because I could tell I had made them feel good with my generosity of heart as well.

Pope Nativity Scene Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am discovering that Maya Angelou was correct: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


“I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.”—Dick Gregory

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?”Jon Bon Jovi

“Our family was too strange and weird for even Santa Claus to come visit… Santa, who was jolly – but, let’s face it, he was also very judgmental.”—Julia Sweeney

“You know, in a way, ‘Dear Santa Claus’ is rather stuffy… Perhaps something a little more intimate would be better… Something just a shade more friendly….How about ‘Dear Fatty’?”Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960



Your heart of forgiveness, your words of grace, and your brotherly love will be greatly missed.  You made us all feel that we could live better lives if we tried.

Mandela Meme



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Cold Love and Misplaced Periods

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Some of my readers had a much unenlightened T-Day celebration in spite of my exhortation to “go forth, be grateful, and keep your mouth shut.”  Not all, but some, tell me that they couldn’t resist talking about politics, religion, and bringing up past familial hurts between “pass the gravy” and “are there anymore mashed potatoes?”  Apparently, bedlam ensued in some of their homes.  Sigh—oh well, there’s always next year for an attempt at a redo!  Maybe duct taping one’s mouth might help, but it would mean that no one would be able to eat any turkey.

Thanksgiving 2013 Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

WW and I had a delightful T-day, although it was laced with an underlying theme of stress as we tried to scrub the final proof of my personal life story of The Hunger Games of any errorsmy book, Monsters’ Throwdownwhich is due out within the next week or so.  After hitting “approve final proof” on the publisher’s website (no turning back—last call people!), both our eyes caught a stray period (at the same time) that should have gone inside a parenthesis but slipped outside in response to an earlier edit.  Auuugggh!  Fortunately, it is not in the context of the story, but off in an obscure place about author data that few people care about except the author, but it will haunt me till the end of my days (this manuscript has been read 100 times in an attempt to scrub it clean of errors, and yet. . .).  I’m exasperated and humbled, but I was slightly comforted today when I learned how often this happens: There exists “A Wicked King James Bible” on display in Washington, DC at the Folger Shakespeare Library because the compositors omitted one significant word from the seventh commandment in 1631 that got published across the land as:  “Thou shalt commit adultery.”  The way I see it—things could always be worse, and I could be headed for Hell like that publisher in 1631.


Speaking of The Hunger Games, WW and I slipped out to see the second installment while people were beating each other up during Black Friday—The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire.  It was good—really good—although I can’t get comfortable with the premise that this is a story for kids about kids killing kids.  That bothers me—a lot.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this is a dystopian post-apocalyptic tale about the 1% ruling the 99% that live in a destroyed America named Panem which consists of 12 districts that are controlled by the Capitol (1%).  According to the late, great Roger Ebert, Panem is from the Latin “panem et circenses,” which “summarized the Roman formula, for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses.”  The twelve districts lack decent jobs, decent places to live, decent safety regulations in their hard-scrapple jobs, and they are starving due to the regulations of the government.  The Capitol has all the money, all the food, and all the comfort.  They even have a juice that will help you purge your food in order to make room for more food.  The Capitol sponsors a Darwinian type of game by choosing two children from each district to fight to the death every year—there can only be one winner.  The prize is food for their district for a year and an upgraded lifestyle for the winner for the rest of their lives.  (Talk about “trickle-down economics.”)  All of this is done in a “survivor” game-show atmosphere.  The TV audience is entertained and the people forget about their troubles or their need to rage against the machine (The Man).  Hum, where have I heard the concept of that theme before?

Hunger Games

Cartoonist:  Rob Rogers ||

As WW and I were debating the ultimate message of the movie (man’s love grown cold toward their fellowman?), I glanced at the headlines in the news:

People Beat Each Other Up over Towels at Walmart: 2.8 Million Towels Sold on Thanksgiving

Black Friday 2013—the Modern Hunger Games

Black Friday Marred by Violence in Several States:  Stabbings, Robberies, Mace Attacks

Black Friday Shopper Robbed of Big Screen TV by Assailant in Parking Lot that Shopper Stood in Line for Six Hours to Purchase—It Only Took Thief 30 Seconds to Wrestle TV from Shopper’s Hands and Escape

Walmart Holds Food Drive for Underpaid Employees—Refuses to Raise Minimum Wage

Republican Congress Ready to Pass $500 Billion Farm Bill that Benefits Businesses in their District but Poised To Cut $40 Billion in Food Stamps on Top of the $5 Billion Already Cut for People They Declare To Be “Takers.”

Pope Francis Attacks “Idolatry of Money”—Calls it Unfettered Capitalism—Urges Global Leaders to Fight Poverty and Growing Inequality

40% of Tea Baggers Consider Themselves To Be “Born-Again Christians”—60% of Republicans Consider Themselves To Be Christians and Their Party a Champion of Christian Virtues, but They Consider Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to be a Beacon of Truth for the Party and a Philosophy to be Touted

Republican Member of Congress Who Supported Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients Pleaded Guilty to the Purchase of Cocaine from an Undercover Agent in DuPont Circle—Doesn’t Get the Irony

Headline News from the Celestial Times:  Jesus Wept!

Hungry Americans Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune


I am discovering that man’s love for his fellowman in America has grown so cold it is frozen tundra.  For non-Bible readers, this is supposed to happen as a sign of the “end times” right before the destruction of the Earth by God.   (Don’t ask!)  What I find to be so ironic is that I don’t think Christians ever thought, nor do we ever think, that the “love grown cold” line has anything to do with us (just one of the deserved reasons for divine retribution against our dirty-little heathen countrymen).  But from where I stand, I think it is a “pull the log out of your own eye before you attempt to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” kind of proclamation.   In the past, it was the Christian churches that stood by with cold-hearted resolve and let some of the worst ravages of history take place:  Southern Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians justified slavery as God’s command and fought to legalize it forever in the US; Lutherans and Catholics supported the systematic annihilation of 6 million Jews in Europe and turned a blind eye when their neighbors were taken away to the camps; the Dutch Reformed Church invented, established, and enforced Apartheid as a divine right in South Africa in a land that they stole from the people they oppressed, just to name a few “love grown cold” scenarios that took place within the borders of Christian nations.

Maybe the Youth Literature group that The Hunger Games were originally written for will see past the sheer entertainment value of the books and movies and the child-on-child violence, and grab hold of a stronger message:   Love wins and hope triumphs.  We could use a generation coming up after the Baby Boomers and the Boomers’ children who will turn against the cold-heartedness in our nation and “go to war” (in a manner of speaking) for the poor, the immigrant, the disenfranchised, and the underdog.

Colbert Quote about serving the poor italianforant dot blogspot com

Steve Colbert||

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”Mahatma Gandhi

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”Hélder Câmara, Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings

We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!”Chris Rock

“What makes the books and the films [The Hunger Games, brackets mine] compelling is the way they define anxieties and pop-culture obsessions in our everyday lives: anger over politicians, fascination with celebrities, a growing disgruntled underclass, addiction to reality shows and video games, the regularity of large-scale violent acts that monopolize TV coverage, and hateful outbreaks of bullying.” Susan Wloszczyna from Reviews—Roger (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)

Hunger Games America II Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by permission:  Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Jive Time Turkey: A Satire

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  When I don’t get enough REM sleep, I tend to have crazy dreams.  I’ve been working night and day to get my book, Monsters’ Throwdown, ready to launch during the second week of December (the cover is finished and it is soooooo fantastic), but when I finally got some shut-eye, I had dreams about a turkey.  Not just any turkey, but the one that is being pardoned by the President next week.  He kept screaming:  “I DON’T WANT TO BE PARDONED.  I WANT TO DIE!  I HATE THIS PLACE—HUMANS ARE A DISGRACE.”

He was in a psychiatrist’s office—lying on a couch and chatting with my alter-ego who was his therapist.  Even though what the turkey said sounded like gobbledygook to me, Dalai Mama understood him perfectly because he’s a “jive turkey” and she has spoken “jive” for years.  (For the uninitiated, a Jive Turkey is, “One who speaks as though they know what they’re talking about…though they do not—a bullshitter,” Urban Dictionary, and Jive is, “a form of slang associated with black American jazz musicians.”)

Turkey Quiting America Cagle

Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle||Cagle Cartoons

In my dream, Mr. Turkey was dressed in the disguise of an owl and was thrashing back and forth in an agonized state.  The Dalai Mama was trying to calm Jive Turkey down and get him to tell her what was so agitating.

DALAI MAMA:   Yo’ Jive Time Turkey, how’s it hanging—what’s the word from the herd (the other turkeys)?

JIVE TURKEY:     I’ve escaped, dag gobble—that’s the word!  I’m on the lam from Farmer John’s place in Badger, Minnesota.  I just found out that all the extra food and fluffing of the tail that I’ve been getting was so that he could bring me to Washington, DC next week to be pardoned by the President.  Then I’m to be sent to Mt. Vernon to live out the rest of my days.  But I don’t want to live, I tell you!  I hate people—they are the scourge of the Earth.  God should start all over again with a new batch.

DALAI MAMA:   Seriously, Jive Turkey, it’s not that bad—we’re not that bad.  Are you in the know about this pardon or are you a solid bringer-downer (a person who worries about nothing)?  This just doesn’t jive” (doesn’t make sense).  Usually they pick a turkey from much closer to home.

JIVE TURKEY:     Of course it jives!  I saw Farmer John flip the grip (shake hands) on the deal with some Lothario from Ontario (a fast worker or charmer) who flew out from DC a couple of weeks ago to check me out.  Once I knew it was a done deal, I concocted this owl disguise and flew the coop.  Pretty clever, if I do say so myself.  Bet you’ve never heard of stuffed owl for Thanksgiving.

Turkey in Owl disguise cheezburger dot com

Meme from

DALAI MAMA:   You mean that Farmer John doesn’t know you’re gone?  This isn’t hep (cool) Jive Turkey.  I could get into a lot of trouble for not turnin’ you in to your farmer.  Besides, Farmer John must have thought you had the chops (ability, skill set) to do this gig, or he wouldn’t have chosen you.  It’s true that America has a few bad apples, but for the most part, we’re a decent people—I’m just layin’ it on you straight (telling it like it is).  Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of an American family?

JIVE TURKEY:     Yes, I have, as a matter of fact.  I got a sneak preview of an upcoming family Thanksgiving dinner from looking into a crystal ball.   I was a voyeur to what I thought was going to be a swellelegant (wonderful, marvelous) event, but it turned out to be a blood bath.  They were all buckets from Nantucket (heavy drinkers), and it didn’t take long for the family of ten to descend into chaos.  All I could think was:  is this the reason 46 million of my peeps gave up their lives—so that people could treat each other like Turkey ca-ca?

DALAI MAMA:   What??  What happened?

JIVE TURKEY:     My friend Bernice was the sacrificial poultry for the family I observed.   The sister-in-law insisted on cooking the dinner—it being her first.  I suspect she was awfully jealous of her husband’s wife’s monopoly of the holiday.  She didn’t thaw Bernice in time, forgot to take out her guts, and overcompensated by turning the oven up to 500 degrees—charcoaling Bernie’s hide while undercooking her insides.  Everyone got food poisoning, but before they all ended up in the hospital, I almost solid blew my top (went crazy) at their family ideology and communication skills.

The mother kept picking on her adult daughter about her weight and alluding that maybe the size of her tits and ass was the reason she didn’t have a husband yet.  The daughter burst into tears and locked herself in the bathroom for the rest of the dinner.  The brother’s new girlfriend was a good for nothin’ clueless mop (no good woman) who asked:  “What do Jewish people eat on Thanksgiving?”  The brother’s lesbian sister almost hit the girlfriend up side her stupid head with a gourd, but she got distracted when the grandmother’s teeth fell into the mashed potatoes.  The mother’s sister announced that she only likes Thanksgiving for the Black Friday sales, and since stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and the like had opened early that morning and nothing seemed to be going on here, she was going to go shopping.  “Nice visiting with you all—let’s do it again next year!”

Thanksgiving shopper David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

The nasty-ass uncle that everyone knows is a pervert (doesn’t every family have one?) started antagonizing his niece and her wife about the Kenyan in the White House and the Obamacare website disaster, because if we had simply asked him (in all his wisdom, having completed one year of a two-year community college), he would have told you that the Kenyan doesn’t know a goddamn thing about what he’s doing and should go back to Africa where he belongs and leave the running of the country to white people.  He made sure we all knew that he respects the office of the president—just not this president.  The aunt (the uncle’s wife) agreed and boasted about their new Facebook “like”:  “Never Apologize for Being White” because agreeing with the contemptible ideology of this group didn’t make her a racist.  The aunt went on to brag about how they were helping people like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin take back their country for the real Americans.  Which is why, when they took the family out to dinner after church last week and racked up a bill for $95.46 for nine people, they did not tip their lesbian waitress.  They did, however, leave her a note on the receipt that said they were purposely not leaving her a tip because it would be a sin to use God’s money to support her abomination of a lifestyle.   At that point, the aunt’s black adopted sister (also a lesbian) pulled out a pistol from her purse (after all, this was Texas) and shot her sister between the eyes, as the word, “bitch” entangled with the smell of burnt turkey.  The mother started screaming like a banshee and fainted as the dentureless grandmother gummed the words:  “Dis ith dey worth Danksgivin—eva!”

On that note, I had to exodus (flee, make tracks, beat a retreat).  It was then that I made up my mind that I don’t want to live on this planet with you people.  If you can’t get along with your own Jive family then how in the Hell can you get along with the rest of the world.  I hit the in and outer (the door) and left those drips (horrible people) in the dust.  Since then I’ve been reading every news article and watching every media outlet about the situation of man on this planet, and you people don’t get any better. And now I just want to die along with my comrades and be done with you all.

(A special shout out to 25-legit-words-hepcats-jive-talk-dictionary for the Jive words and definitions.)

Thanksgiving The Real Truth

Cartoonist: David Horsey/

I am discovering that there are no other holidays like Thanksgiving.  It is one of the few holidays where we can celebrate without regard to religion, race, or status.  We just need to grab a turkey (or some tofu) along with a deep pint of gratitude, and we’re good to go.  I am also discovering that there are no Norman Rockwell perfect family portraits of Thanksgiving dinner in real life, either.  The problem is, we all try and recreate those fantasies during the holidays, and therein lays the heartbreak:  the more we try to make our families perfect, the more they come undone.

There should be a sign over all of our door frames this Thanksgiving that says:  Relax. Today is detente!  None of us is perfect.  I know you probably resent your mother for all sorts of things, and she thinks you can be a little shit from time to time, but let’s declare this a day of extreme gratefulness and thanksgiving for all our family members—just as they are—(unless it’s Uncle Chester, the family molester, and he shouldn’t be invited, anyway; there is a limit to our hospitality).  Leave your egos at the door and your age-old animosities at home. We will not think about what we don’t have, what we haven’t been to one another, or what we won’t become in the future.  We will praise God for bringing us into the world, we will thank the Lord that we have friends, siblings, children, and grandchildren—imperfect though they may be—and that we are not alone on this Earth.  If we are mourning the death of loved ones, we will still grieve but give a shout out to the Almighty that we woke up alive this morning and can breathe—ready to conquer a new day and to heal a little bit more from the ravages of this world.  And for God’s sake—for your sake—for your family’s sake—remember to forgive with abundance and laugh . . . a lot!

Thanksgiving Table Jeff Parker

Cartoonist:  Jeff Parker|| Florida Today

“It wasn’t easy telling my family that I’m gay. I made my carefully worded announcement at Thanksgiving. It was very Norman Rockwell. I said, ‘Mom, would you please pass the gravy to a homosexual?’  She passed it to my father. A terrible scene followed.” –Bob Smith

“The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any big meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it then go home and cook, chop, braise and blanch. Then it’s gone in 20 minutes and everybody lies around sort of in a sugar coma and then it takes 4 hours to clean it up.”― Ted Allen, The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes

“Thanksgiving, when the Indians said, ‘Well, this has been fun, but we know you have a long voyage back to England’”. –Jay Leno


May your stuffing be tasty

 May your turkey plump,

 May your potatoes and gravy

 have nary a lump.

 May your yams be delicious

 and your pies take the prize,

 and may your Thanksgiving dinner

 stay off your thighs!



Thanksgiving America Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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I Can See Key West: An Author’s Announcement

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Sometimes I think I live under a rock.  Where was I when 64-year-old Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Key West (103 miles)?  I clearly missed it.   Recently when I had writer’s block and couldn’t sleep, I was flipping through the TV channels and stumbled across a documentary on how Diana conquered a 35-year-old goal of swimming from Cuba to Key West without a shark tank.  Her biggest fear:  jelly fish—which almost defeated her until she figured out a special facial mask to wear that would thwart their stings.  The first four attempts—at least once she almost died—had me screaming at the TV at 1:00 in the morning:  “Girl, have you lost your freakin’ mind?”  Her screams of agony each time she was stung by jelly fish were excruciating to listen to.  Every time she failed, I was crushed.  By the fifth time Diana Nyad actually accomplished her goal.  I was so pissed at her for what she put her family, friends, and me, the viewer, through that I almost jumped into the TV and smacked her upside her head in my best black mama moment.  (DISCLAIMER: I am not a swimmer, so another take-away from Nyad’s documentary is that I’m never getting in the bathtub ever again for fear of water, in general, and jelly fish specifically.  I also went through this bathtub withdrawal the summer the movie Jaws came out.)

When asked why she attempted such an arduous feat that took 53 hours to complete and $500,000 to facilitate, she replied: “Because I’d like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams.”

Diana Nyad David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Used by Permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Jelly fish.  Tropical storms.  Sharks.  Dehydration.  Hypothermia.  Horrors!  Who does this kind of stuff in water? There isn’t a black person in the world who would subject him or herself to this kind of torture.  As I thought more about it, I pondered over the concept that maybe this was a white people thing.  So I decided to check it out with the white person I’ve been sleeping with for the past 34 plus years who loves to swim (WW, “White and Wonderful”).  I brought the subject up during one of our recent Sunday mimosa-fueled brunches.

ME:       “Hey Babe.  I just saw a documentary on Diana Nyad and her marathon swim from Cuba to Key West.  Did you know about that herculean feat, because I didn’t until I saw the Showtime special?”

WW:     (Head buried in Sunday newspaper) “Yeah—vaguely.   It’s a motivational story about a woman who should be right up your alley since you’ve trying to successfully publish your first book as a woman in your 60s.  Why do you ask? Did you learn anything new regarding Nyad’s accomplishment?”

ME:       “White people be crazy, and I just wanted you to confirm it.”

WW:     “Somehow, I don’t think that was supposed to be the take-away.”

ME:       “Really?  Who would quit their job, risk their health, their life, time with their family, and oodles of money to spend countless hours at a task in a solitary pursuit of a goal in their 60’s?”

WW:     “Oh let me guess.  Someone who wants to be a writer, who stays holed up in her office for hours and days at a time, who I have to check on periodically to make sure she hasn’t died, and every once in a while drag her to bed after she has done a face plant into her computer.  Shall I poll the audience at the breakfast table to see who that might be sitting right next to me?”

ME:      “Oh come on—I’m not that bad.”

WW:     “You want to bet. Do you have any idea what season we’re in now?  What? Did you just mumble that you think ‘it’s still spring’?  But in spite of all the sacrifices, the good news is that you’ve almost reached ‘Key West’—your book is almost ready to launch—and I couldn’t be prouder of you. I’m also eager to get my ‘Wreck of the Hesperus’ wife back.”

ME:      “Oh that is so cold!”

Write it will be fun

The night after I had the conversation with my husband, I had a dream about another white man—Mark Twain—my muse and one of the funniest writers I’ve ever read.   I went in search of him between the heavenly stacks of the biggest library I’d ever seen in my life.  I was carrying the galleys of my book in the hope he’d give me some encouraging words for the journey ahead.  When I caught up with Mr. Twain, he was smoking a cigar and laughing his ass off with Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes over the bane of literary censorship.  I could hardly speak when I entered their presence.

Mark Twain Become Great

TWAIN:  “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”*

ME:        “Excuse me Ms. Hurston and Mr. Hughes.  May I interrupt a moment to speak to Mr. Twain?  Mr. Twain, ah Mr. Twain . . . I am such a huge fan of yours.  I can’t believe that I have this opportunity to chat with you before my book launch.  Did you get the word from the angels that I’m about to publish my first book on Earth within the next 4-6 weeks?  I’m hoping it will make its debut by Christmas.  It all depends on if the artists I’ve hired produce the cover I envision on time.  They are working on it, even as we speak.  My book is called Monsters’ Throwdown, and it is all about plowing through the bullies (a.k.a. “monsters”) in our lives to fulfill our calling—our dreams.  I would love to hear your critique of it.”

TWAIN:   “I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”               

ME:        “Oh, Jesus!  I can see that eternity has not dulled your acerbic tongue.  Maybe for my sake, it’s better that you are dead since I’m no Jane Austin.  If you hated her work, I can’t imagine what you’d say about my book.  Writing has been so hard, but it gives me such a feeling of triumph when I am led to the end of a story or a book that I am creating, and it is my dream to exit this world as a successful writer.  (Note that I said ‘successful,’ not starving writer.)  Did you find writing to be difficult?”

TWAIN:  “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”

ME:        “Easy for you to say—you’re a master.  You’re a genius.”

TWAIN:  “My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.”

ME:        “Well, may I be worthy to be compared to your water someday.  I am a humorist with an edge and you are my muse, and I want to be the female Mark Twain of my day, but I waited until I retired and was in my 60s to start this journey.  Isn’t that insane?  Did you see the Diana Nyad special on Showtime?  Is Diana correct that ‘it is never too late?’  I’m afraid that the marrying of the tragedies and the heartaches I’ve experienced in life will not merge well with my humor.  What if people are completely horrified and think that causing them to laugh in the midst of devastation will in turn cause them to be glib about the human condition?”

TWAIN:  The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.  Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.”

ME:        “But what if I don’t make any money off of this writing dream?  I have to eat, you know, and I am partial to a constant influx of bling and a certain standard of living now that I am no longer a poor black child.  How long should I keep on keeping on?  It took Diana five times to reach her goal.”

TWAIN:  “Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.”

ME:        “Okay!  That’s your way of telling me when to let go and return to ‘Cuba.’   Got it!  I just wish I wasn’t so afraid.  What if the critics hate my book?  Worse—what if my book never gets noticed enough to be criticized and it drowns in the sea of wannabes?  Were you this afraid when you first started?  Does the fear ever go away?”

TWAIN:  “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

ME:        “I see.  Well, good-bye Mr. Twain.  Hugs and kisses Ms. Hurston and Mr. Hughes.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to chat with you when I publish my second book in my Discovery series about life’s disappointment titled:  Seriously God, WTF?   Wish me luck, all!  I will be brave and reach my ‘Key West.’  I will be brave and outswim the jelly fish and the sharks.  I will be brave. . .”


I am discovering that we all have a calling and dreams to accomplish in our lifetimes, and as long as we are alive we need to press on toward the goals that can so easily elude us to win the prize set before us.  It really is nobody else’s business what are calling is and their jelly fish stings must not thwart us.  The adventure is there to be had, but all our journeys are fraught with peril and rough waters.  Whether we’re the white marathon swimmer battling the jelly fish or we’re the crazy-ass black writer battling critical voices, the only voice we’re responsible to is the one that calls us from within to head for Key West and step upon its shores having fulfilled our dream.   Be on the lookout for the launch of Monsters’ Throwdown–December 2013!


 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”Winston Churchill

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” Stephen King, On Writing

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” ― Oprah Winfrey

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” ― Erma Bombeck

“I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” ― Maya Angelou

Writing FP


*In real life, I have no “unearthly” link to the great Mark Twain.  All Mark Twain quotes used above were actually written by him at one time or another during his lifetime and culled from the Internet from various sources but with a special shout out to Luis Azevedo’s Reviews.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Shitzen Giggles

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I’m seriously thinking about moving to Denmark.  WW (my husband) and I are thinking about a place to spend our final days and this may be it.  I’ve had the trots all week from the IBS brought on by the anxiety caused by congressmen who don’t want to do the right thing and are having a field day over the erratic start of the Affordable Care Act, rather than wanting to lend a helping hand for their fellow man.  Yet, they, themselves, have no plan.

Healthcare working Christopher Weyant The Hill

Used by permission:  Christopher Weyant, The Hill

Apparently, my IBS would not be a problem in Denmark because not only would my stress be less, but I’d be full of giggles most of the time because according to the Huffingtonpost, healthcare is a civil right and the Danes feel a responsibility towards one another.   Can you believe that?

I plan on dropping this relocation bomb on my husband (WW) when he gets home, but until then I need to forget about my intestines’ call to shit and start giggling.  So in my search for giggles I discovered a giraffe riddle challenge on Facebook and decided to expand on it.

Have you heard about it?  There is a FB page that gives you a riddle.  If you answer it correctly, you’re fine—if you don’t, you have to change your profile picture to one of a giraffe for three days—any giraffe.

FB The Great Giraffe Challenge


It’s 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. You have unexpected visitors. It’s your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

                ANSWER:  The door or your eyes (from Huffingtonpost/Alexis Kleinman)

Giraffe Miley look alike


But that just made me chuckle—not giggle!  So I decided to do a string of riddles for my readers that don’t have anything to do with giraffes or Facebook profiles.  If you correctly answer my riddles, you can go on about your business BUT if any one answer is incorrect, then you are encouraged to pick the meme just below the riddle you missed and pass it on to a group of friends that you know could use a giggle.  Please note that the answer to each giggle follows the meme underneath the riddleGood luck, forget about our nasty-ass governmental officials for a while, and happy giggles to all!  (Special thanks to WW and for the riddles.)







funniest animal fear no evil








Funny Animal Kung Fu Fighting





Animal MereCat






animal memes alligator






Animal Being Mocked




 “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ― Audrey Hepburn

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”― Robert Frost

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”Mark Twain

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Shitsandgiggles end


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Zombie Apocalypse (A Halloween Tale)

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  The government shutdown is over, my husband has gone back to work, and my peace of mind is on its way to being restored—I hope.  But the Tea Party’s ass is grass as far as I’m concerned.  They should be required to pay back everything that was lost by their shenanigans ($24 billion and counting)—not to mention the stress and anguish caused to the children who missed starting their Head Start programs, mothers who missed work because their kids had no pre-school to go to and no daycare, small businesses that lost a ton of money that will take them months to recoup if they are lucky, savings that got depleted, and a husband who used the time off to wire TV speakers into sixteen possible positions in the ceiling, the walls, and into the backs of our wrap-around couch in his man cave while his wife went slowly crazy.

Halloween Government open David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

I am temporarily deaf due to the new speakers installed by a man who had too much time on his hands and I am pissed.  My husband likes to work, and he loves serving his country.  However, the Ted Cruz Tea Party Repubs and their speaker-in-name-only John Boehner tried to destroy an approved law they didn’t like, set up by our two-term all-American president (READ IT: TWO-TERM ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE PRESIDENT), and it robbed my man of the ability to do his job which in turn robbed me of my peace. And I think that even though the TPs got their asses handed to them on a platter as the result of their heartless ploy, I bet they are going to try this stupidity again because they’re just that brain-dead and don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves!

Teahadist by steve at greenberg dash art dot com from progressive dash charlestown dot com

Cartoonist: by way of

Since my husband and I used to be Republicans (operative words: used to), I tried to give the Tea Party the benefit of the doubt in the early days—very early days.  But it didn’t take me long to realize that something was very wrong with them, and I figured out what it was:  They’re the first wave of the Zombie Apocalypse!  I noticed their trademark skills of sucking out brains and eating human hearts when the likes of Palin, Bachmann, and Beck hit the scene. I especially stood up and took notice when some of my friends started turning into zombies. I mean their bodies were still there, but I’d be talking to them on the phone and suddenly they’d blurt out a zombie statement in a staccato-like vocal pattern:

“I hate Nancy Pelosi.”


Grrrrr. . .where did you get that Obama campaign pin—he’s a baby killer and he hates white people?”


“Lame stream media, lame stream media, lame stream media. . .”


“I only watch Fox News because it is the only fair and balanced news channel.”

(Say what???)

Zombies and Conservatives

Cartoonist: Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate

By the time I figured out what was going on with my friends they were at a point of no return.  But I grew up with zombies trying to mess with me, so I should have known better and seen the signs sooner—maybe I could have saved my companions.  I met the head zombie leader when I was four years old, and I should have recognized his methodology when he showed up as the head of the Tea Party. In my day, he was called the “Boogeyman” and he lived in the basement, while his counterparts lived in the graveyards.  Every poor black child knew of The Boogey’s existence, which is why no child in her right mind spent too much time below the first floor.  (None of this man-cave crap existed back in the day when I was a kid, and the thought that one day I’d own a house with a basement boasting sixteen speakers would have blown my little mind.)

The basement of my childhood home housed the washer and the giant furnace which fed on coal that slid down a chute.  I imagined The Boogey lived behind the furnace and practiced his brain-sucking and heart-munching techniques on little kids who were unlucky enough to be sent down into the basement for punishment.  I am one of the few who ever saw him in the neighborhood and lived to tell the story.

It still gives me chills.


Motifake Demotivational poster

The floor of our basement was dirt packed and it is my theory that the house had been built over a small family graveyard.  The walls were stone with rough beams in the ceiling.  There was only one light that cast shadows here, there, and everywhere, but especially against the coal chute next to where the vegetables had been canned and stored.  One night I was sent down to the basement to fetch a jar of pickled okra.  Even though I begged and pleaded, screamed and yelled, I was still threatened within an inch of my life to do as I was told.  So I tip-toed down the steps, across the basement floor as quietly as possible, hoping The Boogey was out on his nightly rounds, and we wouldn’t run into each other.  My heart pounded so loudly that I could hardly hear myself think.  I deduced that if I was as quiet as a field mouse, I might escape the head zombie’s detection.  I think my plan would have worked too, but the furnace let out a sudden fiery red blast that scared me to death, and I screamed and dropped the jar of okra which shattered all over the floor in front of me.  At that very moment something brushed across my feet, and I swear that I saw the silhouette of a monster’s reflection on the jars of vegetables.  His hands began to crawl up my legs, and faster than I could say, “help me Jesus,” I turned to take the basement steps in a single bound as The Boogey’s other hand came up over my shoulder and slid down the front of my overalls.  I didn’t stop running until I ended up in my bedroom under the covers on the second floor, and I didn’t stop screaming for hours.  I got two beatings that night for refusing to go back down into the basement to fetch another jar of okra, but it was worth it because I know what I saw and so did my caretakers, which is why none of them went to the basement in my place that night.

Halloween Scary

Until this day, I can’t go into any basement—including my own—unless there are plenty of windows, and all the lights are on (and I do mean all).  I never encountered The Boogey again until the election of our first black president.  Suddenly, I started hearing of zombie uprisings bearing the name of The Tea Party who were instantly disrespectful and disruptive to our Commander in Chief (remember the Zombie that screamed out “You lie” in the middle of President Obama’s State of the Union address?).  And every time the Tea Party Zombies seemed to have been beaten back, another surge would happen and a new leader would emerge:  first Palin and Bachmann—and now Cruz.  I can’t prove it, but I think the Boogeyman came out of hiding in the basement of my house, and he started recruiting for the Tea Party zombies which is why my friends bit the dust to the TP extremism so easily.  I don’t know if it is because Halloween is just around the corner and we’re headed for a Zombie Apocalypse that I think I’m beginning to see them everywhere, including in the government shutdown, but sometimes on a foggy night I think I can see them amongst the trees waiting for me—trying to get ahold of my head and heart like they did some of my friends.

Zombies Appear the longer you stare

Zombies from

I am discovering that I might be on to something with these Tea Party wingnuts being the first of the Zombie invasion.  Seeing the destruction they’ve done to our country these past few weeks, the Tea Party Zombies make about as much sense as the Boogey Man did in my basement as a child—turn on enough lights to show them up for who they really are, and they will actually turn out to be just rats hiding in the dark amongst the pickled okra and canned string beans.

Anyway, my head is really itching and getting foggy since I’ve been typing this blog.  My heart feels kind of funny, too.  Maybe, I need to take a nap.  All this talk about zombies is really making me feel kind of weird.  So Happy Halloween to all my readers, and keep your brains and hearts safe from the zombies because the Tea Party would love to suck out your brains and eat up your heart so that you can no longer think or feel anything for your fellowman!


My friend ‘M’ says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can’t smile, because your lips have rotted off.”― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

“This is the part in the movie where that guy says, ‘Zombies? What zombies?’ just before they eat his brains. I don’t want to be that guy.”― Holly Black, Kin

“The website didn’t say how much brains–or even how many–I should eat, only that I should eat them in 48 hours OR ELSE. Why doesn’t anyone pay attention to details anymore? Would it be so hard to add a simple line like, BTW, Maddy, 3 pounds of brains per week is plenty? Seriously, am I the first new zombie ever to ask?”― Rusty Fischer, Zombies Don’t Cry

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Everybody Talkin’ ‘Bout Heaven Ain’t Goin’ There

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I have had it with the Tea Party, and the reason is not what you might suspect. Oh, sure, I’m pissed with their attitude of “I’ve got mine, it sucks if you don’ have yours” as they try to bring down the government in their attempt to destroy the black man in the Oval Office and deny health care to millions of people who are without. I’m really furious that this shutdown has been orchestrated since the first minute after President Obama’s reelection by a coalition of conservative activists funded by the Koch Brothers and groups like FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, Young Americans for Liberty, and the Tea Party.  These heartless bastards and an arrogant jerk by the name of Ted Cruz have been operating from a “defunding toolkit” that has been wreaking havoc since September to cause the Affordable Care Act to miss its Oct. 1st launch.  (How did that work out for you, Teddy Baby?)

Shutdown I John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune

I’ve especially had it with the people in the aforementioned groups who claim to “love Jesus” and show up in church every Sunday to praise God, pat each other on the back as to their holiness, and claim to be doing God’s will for the American people while they bear false witness against our President through their media megaphones (Fox News, RedState,, The Drudge Report, and Rush Limbaugh, just to name a few haters). But what has really pissed me off is that the Tea Party Repubs’ actions have produced a shutdown of our government causing poor families (9 million women and children at last count) to really take a hit for baby formula, nutritional counseling, healthcare referrals, and Head Start while the Tea Party Congressmen run around showboating by moving gates to Washington monuments for veterans on vacation.  Michelle Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House and head-gate mover (with cameras rolling), was “appalled” that the shutdown had affected our vets, and she planned to come by every day to make sure they remained open. I need to ask the self-professed born-again Christian if she was losing any sleep over babies being deprived of nutrition and learning, but then again she’s probably cool with that because it doesn’t affect her kids. (Remember America, you sent these wackos to Washington—what were you thinking?)  And yet Obamacare still rolled on!

Obamacare keeps on rolling Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

What is most unforgiveable is that this government shutdown, which could have been avoided and is probably going to be the destruction of the Republican party, released a bored government employee (who I sleep with) into my work space (writer at work) while I was trying to put the finishing touches on my book.  He behaved himself the first two days, and then on the third day, my husband (WW) turned into a terror. I had already survived the cacophony of “Die Hard III, Star Trek II, and The Avengers” blasting from the man cave through all six speakers and causing my office floor to undulate in thunderous rolls as I (ear plugs entrenched) tried to finish off my edits.  But my desk kept bouncing and my fingers kept misfiring, causing me to type a manuscript page of 3 parts gibberish and 7 parts curses!  All of a sudden it got quiet and stayed that way for a couple of hours.  I assumed WW was asleep, and as I picked up the phone to make a very important call, you-know-who cracked opened my office door that has a sign on it that says “Keep Out! Writer at Work!” and peeked his head in.

WW:     Hey, what you doin’?

MOI:      (Seriously???)  Tryin’ to get ahold of Jesus.

WW:     On the phone?

MOI:      What?  You got a better system of reaching The Almighty?

WW:     No, not really.  Dare I ask why you’re trying to reach Jesus?

MOI:      Originally it was to have him zap your big-screen TV with a lightning bolt into the pit of Hell.  But you have since quieted down, and now I’m calling to tattle on those members of the Republican Congress who boast about being the party of God but who are causing vulnerable people to suffer.  I’m trying to reach God to see if he’ll fricassee their asses and give John Boehner a good smack upside the head to bring this government shutdown to a close.  There are people who live from paycheck to paycheck who are really suffering because of this mess started by Ted Cruz. And not being self-centered, but I need you to go back to work, babe. You’re killing me with your restlessness.

WW:     Well, I got quiet because I left and went to the electronics’ store and bought us a new router so that everything will run three times as fast in my man cave and your office.  And once the cable man shows up, you’ll even be able to see who is calling you while you’re watching TV.  Won’t that be cool? Can you imagine relaxing in front of your favorite show, the phone rings, but without even moving a hair, you’ll know who is on the phone when the TV scrolls:  “Baby-girl is calling!”  And best of all, I saved us $60 per month on expenses.

(Any purchase is wonderful to WW if a deal can be done.)

September 23, 2013

Used by permission:  Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

MOI:      (Groan)  Noooooo. . .I don’t want that crap interrupting my TV shows—no matter how much money you’ve saved.  And how long will the cable man be putzing around the house and interrupting my writing?  I’m still in my PJs.

WW:     No worries—it won’t be long, I promise.  Be glad I’m home to take care of all these important upgrades.  It’s good to have a man around the house.  But first things first:  get off the phone, shut down your computer, and turn off your phone so the cable man can change it all over to the new modem.  Maybe you should go get a mani-pedi while the cable man and I get everything up to speed.

I got dressed.  I did errands.  I returned.

Nothing worked once the new modem was installed.  It has been three business days and a weekend with WW popping in and out of my office like a jack rabbit.  The cable man couldn’t find the splitter because he was agitated and in a hurry.  He claimed his service calls had quadrupled due to so many furloughed men calling to get cable work done in their man caves.   Our “His and Her” printers were knocked offline by the new equipment and only “his” printer is back up and running, but my manuscripts were due to my beta reading group this weekend.  After much cursing and gnashing of teeth and computer technicians from here to India scratching their heads in perplexity, WW has been clocking nine-hour days trying to restore everything to normal before I completely lose it.  Everything is not back to normal and I have missed oodles of writing time.  Calls were placed to two independent IT people, but they never called back or maybe I missed their names flashing across our fancy TV.   I am desperately trying to get ahold of the Geek Squad or Jesus—whoever comes first.   I need somebody to fix my printer (ASAP) and upend this shutdown (double ASAP) so that I can send my husband back to work before I go insane.

Republican Congress:  I will NEVER forgive you for this!  Not only have you behaved like terrorists and shut down the government, robbing the poor of what they need, but you have robbed me of a week and a half of sanity.  A pox on all your heads!

Tea Party II David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I am discovering that I’ve been singing the old spiritual “I Got Shoes” for days now as I plot my revenge against the Christian block of the Tea Party (40%) and the Christian voters who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible (67% of population).  This song, like many others during the time of slavery, was a protest song to decry the hypocrisy of the slave owners and/or the ruling class:

I got shoes, you got shoes,

All God’s children got shoes.

When I get to Heav’n gonna put on my shoes,

Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n,

Everybody talkin’ ‘bout Heav’n ain’t goin’ there,

Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n.

Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n

In actuality, the slaves didn’t have shoes—they were a luxury.  But they knew that in God’s eyes they were equal to all of His other children who had shoes, and that they would assuredly have covering on their feet from a “just God” when they got to Heaven.  They also knew that those who had plenty of shoes on Earth and proclaimed the name of Christ were not necessarily going to Heaven unless they lived according to the dictates of Jesus. Basically, “shoes on Earth” was all the “haves” were going to get because they had failed to “love their neighbor as themselves.”  Be afraid, Tea Party peeps—be very afraid.  I’ve told you before—God don’t like ugly!

obama thinking jesus about dot com


“The lyricist continues, exclaiming that ‘everybody talkin’ ‘bout Heav’n ain’t goin’ there.’ Here, the emphasis is on hypocrisy. The slave master, claiming to be Christian, goes to church every Sunday morning, where he and other congregants talk and sing about Jesus and Heaven. But when he returns to the plantation on Sunday afternoon, he presides over a decidedly un-Heavenly, immoral enterprise, slavery, and participates actively in the un-Heavenly and immoral physical, emotional . . . abuse of other human beings.”The Spirituals Project at the University of Denver

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”—Proverbs 19:17

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,   I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’   Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Matthew 25: 35-40

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”—Psalm 82:3

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.”—Leviticus 25:35-36


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Breaking Bad or Not

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I can turn anything into an addiction.  I once had an addiction to Jelly Belly’s (Sours only).  Every time I ate one, I’d pride myself on how they were keeping my diet in check while giving me a “little treat” because each Jelly Belly is only four calories.  Three hundred Jelly Belly beans later, I could hardly open my lips because the sour and the sweet had practically glued them shut, and I peed rainbow urine for a week.  My addiction got really out of control during the political season with the advent of the insane Tea Party and their hatred for the Black man in the White House.  By the time President Obama was reelected for a second term my nerves were practically shot, and I was up to an 800 bean habit a day.

I tried housing my Jelly Belly beans in one of those globe-like bank dispensers that no matter if you put a penny or a quarter in it, you get the same amount of goodies every time:  four freakin’ jelly beans—just enough to taunt a real bean addict!  That self-control lasted for two days, until the presidential debates in Denver where my buddy, my pal, Barack Obama “fell asleep” on national TV, and my husband found my container smashed open the next morning with a hammer and all the beans were missing.

Jelly Bean Cat Surprise

I eventually went into jelly bean rehab and kicked the habit because my addiction had cost me a dress size.  I weaned myself from the bean habit by chewing on diet gum, but even that had to be abandoned because I had a reaction to the sorbitol (form of artificial sugar) in the gum, and it gave me irritable bowel syndrome.  Of course the problem may have been that for every Jelly Belly I craved, I was chewing two sticks of diet bubble gum.  Besides sounding like a cow chewing its cud, I was always in search of a toilet.

After discussing my problem with my husband (WW), we agreed that overwhelming stress was a motivating factor in my bean addiction.  Now that I was under another type of stress as a writer trying to finish my first book, WW felt it would behoove me to cut out as much external stress as possible (a.k.a. cut out the news).

“Maybe you should stop watching so much news,” said WW.  “It might be a good idea to try to meditate and turn your attention to some other medium since TV news tends to get you so riled up.  Besides most of the narrative on TV news is not factual—it is mostly opinion.”

So I pretty much stopped watching the pundits in the morning at WW’s encouragement.  Anyway, Morning Joe was beginning to get on my ever-loving nerves with his arrogance and Mika Brzezinski was turning into a real shrew with her crusade against sugar.  (I may be wrong, but I could have sworn that I heard her make a nasty-ass crack against jelly beans one morning while I was on the tread mill, which instantly made me “so over her.”)

Media Eric Allie Caglecartoons com

Used by permission: Eric Allie,

But in WW’s attempt to heal me, he forgot to ban the Internet news.  At first I was doing fine and reading in moderation until I accidentally saw two stories online about “Crazy Ants” and the potential government shutdown by the Tea Party Repubs and that gonad-impaired Speaker of the House, John Boehner.   Apparently, there is a new form of ant on the move in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana and they have arrived in Georgia. They are super high in numbers, have several queens, can eat everything, including wildlife, birds, and lizards, and are attracted to the electrical circuits in our houses because of the warmth. They are Hell-bent on destruction, and they can short-circuit your house, destroy your computer, take out every iThingie you own in a heartbeat, and then turn and devour you for lunch.  WTF? When I scanned the latest news about the Republican-controlled Congress trying to shut down the government any day now and realized that their endgame was pretty much the same as the Crazy Ants (destruction), I fell into another addiction to escape the madness:  Binge TV watching.

Government Shut Down Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

I should have seen this addiction coming.  It started with Downton Abbey.  I came to the highbrow British soap opera rather late.  Everyone was hooked on it, and I got all sorts of emails and texts urging me to join the club.  So I ordered the DVDs from England and before I knew it, I had watched two seasons in three days.  I felt like I was stoned after it was over.  I started speaking in a British accent and commanded WW to serve me “Elevenses” and 4:00 tea.  To the manor born was I!

I got over the effects of Downton Abbey because WW refused to play the butler (at least not in the kitchen).  Then one of my children kept nagging me about joining Netflix and watching a show she was obsessed with (“Orange is the New Black”).  I ignored her for the longest time until one day I decided to take her up on her offer.  A gazillion episodes later, spaced over two nights, under the guise that I needed a blog topic, I was barely able to sit still due to sensory overload—not to mention that I can no longer stand the color orange.  Jelly beans, popcorn, and champagne littered the landscape in WW’s man cave.  He left me there while he went to bed like a normal human being, but I got to write a great blog about “Orange” from all the binge watching.  It took me a week to recover from the sleep deprivation.

But nothing prepared me for the Binge TV watching that I embarked upon (pulling WW along with me) when I watched both seasons (29 episodes) of Scandal over a ten-day period.  I would have watched them in a five-day period, but WW wouldn’t let me.  When the final episode ended (just in time for the Season 3 premiere), both WW (hooked into Binge Watching Scandal by me) and I screamed:  “Nooooooo, we can’t wait until Oct. 3rd to find out how and why a certain person is Olivia’s father and if Fitz (the Republican President) will return to Olivia’s arms (his black mistress)!

Scandal poster one Pinterest from Kimberly Ann

Scandal TV Show||Pinterest pin by Kimberly Ann|| Actors: Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn

Oh, God, what was I doing?  I abhor the concept of adultery and here I was Binge Watching a TV series about infidelity and cheering for the adulterers!  I’d lost all perspective.  My addiction had caused me to come undone! Oy!

Infidelity tolerance

At that very moment of Binge TV sink-hole numbness, another Binge addict called and said, “Breaking Bad is the best thing on TV in ten years.  The final episode is on Sunday, and if you don’t watch it with everyone else, someone will spoil the ending.  But you’re not prepared.  You’ve got five seasons to catch up on a story about an “everyman” character gone bad.  If you start now and don’t sleep, eat all your meals in front of the TV, don’t answer any phone calls, wear a catheter, and tell your hubby that you’ll see him after the premiere on Sunday but until then he needs to fend for himself, you should be good to go.”

“But . . . I don’t want my brain and spirit awash with a heartless story about a chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-cook.”

“There’s no ‘buts’ about it, Chicketta.  You either catch up or get left behind.  Everybody’s doin’ it.  Just turn on your Netflix and take a little peek—you’ll be instantly hooked!  You know you want to—just think how you’ll be able to forget about your own stress as you free-fall into Walter’s world. You’ll feel so much better—I promise.”

Binge Viewing David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I am discovering that an addiction can happen to anyone over anything and at any time, and in real life it is no joke.  Although my addictive responses in this satirical story were done tongue in cheek, I know that but by the grace of God go I.  When it comes to real addictions, I could free-fall into at least a half-dozen things in a heartbeat.  All it takes in life is too many disappointments, too many stressors, not enough money, and too much murder and mayhem in our lives, and something as benign as exercise can become an obsession—an addiction.  Every day is a lesson in keeping a delicate balance between the things that keep us from having the life we think we deserve and the way things are.

I hate to admit this but I need to run by the cleaners before it closes.  It is situated next door to the biggest Jelly Belly collection in my town—wall-to-wall glass jelly bean containers.  I’m on the final chapter of my book, and I’m so stressed, I’m about ready to go screaming into the night because I have to wait until Oct. 3rd before I can watch Scandal as my stress release valve.   I’m really feeling a craving for some Sours, but I mustn’t go back into the abyss.  I know all too well what will happen:  four beans might as well be 2000.  If I give in, before you know it I’ll be sprawled out on the floor in a bean-induced coma.  I must stay strong . . . I must not give in!

Breaking Bad Finale David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star


“Watching TV can become malignantly addictive. TV may become malignantly addictive only once a certain threshold of quantity is habitually passed, but then the same is true of whiskey. And by “malignant” and “addictive” I again do not mean evil or coercive. An activity is addictive if one’s relationship to it lies on that downward-sloping continuum between liking it a little too much and downright needing it. Many addictions, from exercise to letter-writing, are pretty benign. But something is malignantly addictive if (1) it causes real problems for the addict, and (2) it offers itself as relief from the very problems it causes.”David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”

 “Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” —David Frost


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


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