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I AM SLOWLY GOING CRAZY . . .

Do you know what I discovered this week? It is easier to go crazy than I thought. All it takes are a few people to check their good character at the door when interacting with you as a trusting human being and “BAM!” there you have it—their actions have the ability to tip you over the edge, and before you know it, you’re nuttier than a fruit cake. Recently I started hearing voices in my head and thought I might be losing my mind when I couldn’t stop a familiar tune from my children’s childhood from coursing through my brain on a nonstop loop:

I am slowly going crazy

1-2-3-4-5-6- switch.

Crazy going slowly am I

6-5-4-3-2-1 switch.

(Repeat, faster each time!)

Voices meme FP

That incessant children’s song from Sharon, Lois & Bram’s “The Elephant Show,” the popular children’s’ entertainers from 1980, popped into my head about a week ago at the intersection of one house selling, one house buying, one blog neglecting, one yearly physical taking, and one book launching. At two o’clock in the morning, during a sleepless night of tossing and turning at the overwhelming magnitude of it all, this song became my unwelcome mantra.

The next day my six-year-old grandson called and asked if I would engage in a treasure hunt to help find his favorite toys the next time I came to visit.  Apparently, they had all gone missing. Feeling like I was walking into a trap, I cautiously asked him what had happened to his favorite toys.

BABY-BOY:         “She” took them from me and hid them in places where I can’t find them (how does she do that?), and she says I can’t get them back until Jesus returns.

MEMA:                  I take it that the “she” is your mommy—my daughter? Why did she take away your toys? “She” must have had a reason?

BABY-BOY:         There’s never a reason, Mema! She just likes to torture me, that’s all. I told you and Grandpa before that you have no idea what this woman does to me when you’re not around.

MEMA:                 Ha! I think I remember your mother saying the same thing about me when she was your age.   I think it was either her or your aunt who angrily said to me (with fists firmly planted on hips) when I confiscated their toys for misbehaving one day, “Does our father know what goes on around this place when he’s not here? Does he know how you treat us? ‘Cause we’re gonna’ tell him as soon as he gets home and boy will you be in trouble.”

BABY-BOY:        What did you say, Mema?

MEMA:                I told your mother and her sister to knock themselves out—tell the entire neighborhood if they wanted to—and then I took two more toys away for sassing me!

BABY-BOY:        Oh, Man!

MEMA:                Put your mother on the phone, please.

Grandparents vs parents Larry Wright CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Larry Wright, www.cagleCartoons.com

MEMA:                You heard?

SHE:                    Yeah, I heard, and I hope you realize your grandson is full of crap.

MEMA:                Well, I had your back—I took your side of things, Mommy. But just between you and me, whatever my precious boy did, it can’t be all that bad that you would confiscate his toys until the end of time, Honey. Isn’t that a little bit excessive? Don’t forget that the punishment has to fit the crime.

SHE:                    Oh, please! Who is this woman talking to me, and what have you done with my mother? You invented tough love. If I had done what your grandson did, you would have not only banished all my toys to the fiery abyss, but you would have torn up my behind, and Dad would have supported your decision and spanked me again when he got home.

MEMA:                Surely, you exaggerate. What did my angel do?

SHE:                    When I went to volunteer at his school last week, a gaggle of 5-year-olds were lined up in the hallway in front of the principal who looked as if he was going to have an apoplectic fit. Bags of potato chips, candy bars, and packages of cookies were stuffed in their underpants, up their coat sleeves, under their hats, and down their shirts and blouses.   A select group of kindergarteners who participate in the afterschool program had “bumped” off the snack cart in the kindergarten room and were acting as mules to transfer and distribute their contraband to the attendees in the afterschool session.

Dennis the Menace

Cartoonist: Hank Ketcham (March 14, 1920 – June 1, 2001)

MEMA:                What does that have to do with my precious grandson? He is six years old (my little cherub) and in first grade. Was he in the line up? Does Principal Chen have any evidence against him? I would demand proof. You know how hard it is out there for a Black man. Whitey’s always tryin’ to keep the Black man down.

SHE:                    Oh, for God’s sake, Mother. Principal Chen is Chinese! You are incorrigible. Our little terror was nowhere to be found near the scene of the crime. He’s much too slick to get caught. But someone squealed. I think it was your grandson’s arch nemesis—the little redheaded girl who tattles on everybody and who thinks she’s the boss of the universe. Once the “intel” came in, it soon became apparent under intense interrogation by Principal Chen that their ring leader—the one who had organized the robbery, the one who had handpicked the gang, the one who had devised the hiding places, the one who had the primary motive—was none other than your grandson. And to make matters worse, he was skimming off the top. He was getting a payout of two bags of chips, one candy bar, and a bag of cookies once his “gang” crossed over the state line from the kindergarten class to the afterschool program in the gym.

MEMA:                Ha! I love it—reminds me of you when you were that age. (Payback is a bitch, ain’t it?) Hee, hee . . . that’s my boy! He’s an entrepreneurial genius, don’t you think?

SHE:                    Mother!! Cut it out! This is not funny! Stop being a starry-eyed grandmother and become the mother that would have torn up my chubby ass over this type of misbehavior. In fact, if you think losing his toys “forever” is excessive, wait until you hear part two of the punishment. He is going to use his money that he was saving for more Legos and games to restock the snack cart. “If you fuck up, you need to own up”—isn’t that what you used to tell me?

MEMA:                Well, I didn’t say it quite like that . . . but you’re right, Honey.   I’ll be serious. How did the “just barely out of diapers gang” get caught? And why did baby-boy organize a raid on the Kindergarten snack cart? He knows better than to steal other people’s shit.

SHE:                     First of all, he didn’t fess up right away. He lied which made the crime more egregious. I had to threaten to cancel a decade of Christmases before he finally admitted his involvement. He says that the after-school teacher never gives them enough snacks, and they are all starving when they arrive at 4:00. He asked the teacher to give them extra snacks, but the teacher refused, so your grandson took matters into his own hands. The only problem is that he and his “gang of kindergarten misfits” did not think through their life of crime. No one stopped to think that maybe—just maybe—their bodies making crunching sounds as they walked to the gym or looking like they’d gained twenty pounds in their five-year-old mid-sections and in their arms would be noticed by the passing adults. And absolutely none of these “hoodlums in training” thought through what would happen to the contraband when they started playing basketball. Packages of cookies, chips, and candy started leaking out of the bottom of pants, exploding out of tops of shirts, and flying out from under hats as the kids got caught up in playing. I was so upset when I found out my son—YOUR GRANDSON—was the ring leader, I almost had a heart attack. When I asked him what possessed him to do such a thing, he said: “I don’t know. I guess I must have forgotten to take my good character to school that day.”

Monsters under bed FB Update

Cartoonist Bill Waterson—Calvin and Hobbes

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In the meantime, I am discovering that one can run into adults—people who should know better—who forget to take their “good character” to school, work, church, and play in our everyday lives, and it can drive the recipient of their misguided choices f’ing crazy. This week I had a realtor show my house, leave the door wide open with the key in the lock and the lock box open and then left and went on her merry way. She did not leave a card behind, so if I had been burglarized or vandalized (I had a premonition to return home early—thank God!), I would not have known who had left my home so vulnerable. Fortunately, I’m not an idiot, and with a little Google snooping I found out everything about where she worked and who she worked for. I waited three days to see if she would “own her fuck-up” and apologize to my husband and me personally once I had notified our agent about this person’s unprofessional and disturbing behavior. (Apparently, she brought her baby along to show my house, had to change the kid’s diaper, and got distracted.) It took me writing to her superiors and demanding she be kept from entering my home ever again to get a personal written apology from her through my agent. (UPDATE: I met the agent who went out of her way to make amends for her actions.  She is a lovely woman; she found her character and profusely repented; we hugged, I forgave, and all is well.  This is the way the world should work.)

On another front, I had a doctor lie to me by telling me that I couldn’t request a copy of my medical records when I move, when all it took was a 10-second Google search to discover that it is against the HIPPA law for a doctor to deny a patient access to their records.

And then there are the riots in Baltimore. I get the grief and the anger, but the people looting weren’t the friends and relatives at the funeral of Freddie Gray who pleaded for peace in his memory. The hard-working people who live and work in those neighborhoods are seeing their homes and businesses destroyed by lowlifes who can’t even spell the word “character,” let alone possess any.

People who leave home without their good character make life so exhausting and cause all good people everywhere to go absolutely cray-cray—“Crazy going slowly am I—6-5-4-3-2-1 switch.” (Repeat, faster each time!)

Baltimore Looting

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON GOOD CHARACTER

“As a parent, you have to figure out how to shape your kid’s character. You want to have human beings who learn about good character. You have to be able to see your child with clarity, see the good side and the bad side of them, and work on the bad side and make them better so they fulfill their potential.”—Joan Cusack

“Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.”—Heraclitus

“The notion that public service requires men and women of good character now seems quaint.”—Elliott Abrams

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”—John Wooden

QUOTES COURTESY www.brainyquote.com

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GUESS WHAT’S GOING ON WITH MY SECOND BOOK, FLEEING OZ?

Editor Gets Book Meme

FLEEING OZ LAUNCH DATE—MID-MAY!

A PEEK AT THE EARLY MARKETING SCRIPT FOR FLEEING OZ:

“From her early days as an African-American girl living on a cult-like communal farm with a bunch of white kids, to her final escape from organized religion right before Barack Obama’s election in 2008, Tomczyk tells her story with grace. Far from cruel or mocking, Tomczyk resists the temptation to do unto others as they have done unto her, choosing instead to use humor where others might use hate.

“An edgy coming-of-age tale about a baby boomer who wants to follow God without getting crushed by God’s people in the process, Fleeing Oz will cause anyone who’s ever struggled with faith, doubt, and disillusionment to stand up and say ‘amen.’”

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

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? ON SALE AT AMAZON!

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.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Do you know what I discovered about multi-tasking this week? There is no such thing—we’ve been lied to! I’m still trying to launch my second book (Fleeing Oz—due out in mid-May), stage a house to sell, get rid of forty years of junk, take down curtains (apparently people aren’t into valances anymore), wax wooden floors, buy a new house in another town, move (oh, my God—move!), and not strangle my husband in the process. Something has to go. Sleep already has. Things I enjoy—like reading other blogs have gone by the wayside for a season. Being a person who doesn’t have a 24/7 nervous tick might be impossible to master, too. Help me Jesus—help, help me Jesus!

Not Slept Well Lead In Meme

Google Meme

Needless to say, keeping up with the news is not an option anymore (maybe that’s a good thing). So last night, I binge watched ten days of old news shows to catch up on what’s been happening on our crazy-ass planet. Man, you wouldn’t believe the things I missed. Here is a sample of some of the stories that caught my attention—from the sublime to the mundane.

Need Some More Jesus Paul Zanetti Australia

Cartoon used by permission: Paul Zanetti, Australia

Apparently, Easter was a bust! During Easter weekend, Al-Shabaab massacred 147 Christian students at the University of Garissa in Kenya while they were sleeping just for the hell of it. If the kids couldn’t recite the Koran from memory, they were instantly shot. Looks as if we need a Groundhog Day that keeps reliving the point of the crucifixion until the entire Earth gets the message. I wonder if God would reconsider another visit in the costume of a human to show us how to love one another—yet again? We seemed to have missed the point the first time around.

Police Killings Milt Priggee, www miltpriggee com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com

Heard on the Rachel Maddow Show last night that a White policeman by the name of Michael Slager shot and killed an unarmed Black man by the name of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina after a routine traffic stop. The officer claimed it was self-defense. Officer Slager almost got away with murder except the entire evil act was caught on a passerby’s cellphone video, and even a blind man could see that the officer shot Mr. Scott in cold blood—in the back—while he was running away from the pain of being tased by the policeman. Happened two days after Easter. Lord Jesus, I’m beginning to think my Black ass ain’t worth a plug nickel in my country (of course, it won’t be the first time I’ve thought that). In 2000, comedian Chris Rock once wrote a comedy skit, “How not to get your ass kicked by the police.” (I got approached recently by a White policeman and questioned outside the CVS store in my soon to be former town for shopping while Black; I’ve lived here 18 years and had to be methodically patient and polite while being brusquely questioned, as if I were the lookout for a robbery in session, by a policeman young enough to be my son.) I hope Chris Rock brings the skit back—I could use a refresher course on how not to get my ass kicked by the po-po even at age 66. (P.S. Which police department still hasn’t gotten the memo: #blacklivesmatter–#alllivesmatter?)

Biblical Marriage Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Okay, so I caught up on the news about Indiana and Arkansas trying to pass religion protection laws that were masquerading as a legal right to discriminate against the LGBT community. The pizza maker, the baker, and the flower maker all claimed basically the same thing: “We wouldn’t cater, supply a wedding cake, or arrange my bundles of flowers for a gay wedding because gay marriage is not a Biblical marriage (between one man and one woman).  We love Jesus and he wouldn’t want me to treat you, dear gay people, with kindness and grace because my God says homosexuality is a sin—far greater than divorce, spousal and child abuse, jealousy, hate, gluttony, and pride.”

Jesus and wedding cakes Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Biblical Marriage? I’ve been a born-again Christian for over forty years, and I’ve never, ever read about a marriage in the Bible that I would want to emulate or be involved in—they all sound absolutely horrific! Check out Genesis 4:19 (“Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah”). (Let’s get this one thing straight: there is no way I would share my WW—White and Wonderful—with any other woman.) Lamech and his two wives seem to be the first mention of marriage in the Old Testament of the Bible. Apparently Adam and Eve were living in sin in the Garden of Eden because in all my Bible reading, I’ve never read anything about God and the angels throwing a wedding for these two—they went straight from being created (hanging around without any clothes) to doing the nasty.

The next mention of marriage in the Bible is in Genesis 6:4: (“In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.”—Huh??) Reads like the drugged out rock-n-roll 60s thousands of years before its time. There’s no mention of marriage—just giants in the land (as per some translations) doing the wild thing with the daughters of Eve.

Then, of course, there were our patriarch boys: Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomonthey all had multiple wives (why is it always the men who get multiple wives, but it doesn’t go the other way?) Anyhoo, in 2 Samuel 12:8, God has Nathan the prophet deliver a message to David who has stolen another man’s wife (Bathsheba), gotten the husband killed to get him out of the way, and made Bathsheba “first wife” over all the others in his castle while trying to hide his dastardly deed from God. (“And here’s what God, the God of Israel, has to say to you [Nathan speaking to King David]: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. I gave you your master’s daughter and other wives to have and to hold . . . And if that hadn’t been enough, I’d have gladly thrown in much more.”) Gladly thrown in more? Yikes, God. What was that all about? And don’t get me started on King Solomon in First Kings 11:1-3: (“Solomon clung to these [his hotties] in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines….”) 

NOTE OF INTEREST: I once calculated that if Solomon had sex with only one of his wives, princesses, and concubines each night—without interruption—it would take him 2.7 years to start the cycle again. Wow, talk about a traditional marriage, and talk about needing Viagra! (I wonder if King Solomon had a hard time getting vendors for all his weddings.)

California Water Shortage Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Daryl Cagle, www.caglecartoons.com

Poor California, my heart goes out to the people who live there. In my Valley Girl head, at first I was all like, “NO WATER?—what’s going to happen to the vineyards, man” because I am still getting wine from a couple of fabulous wineries from my last trip to Cali, and we do know that life is all about me—right? But then when I heard that the everyday homeowner of California was being put on water restrictions by as much as 35%, but the farmers were being let off Scott-free, I was all like, “Let’s bring out the booze and have a ball—y’all…” But then I read in Mother Jones that California produces 80% of the world’s almonds, and it takes about a gallon of water to grow ONE almond. WTF? At that point I got serious and shit, shook lose my Valley Girl curls, and started a petition that says: “Down with water-sucking almonds; up with dried cactus chews for healthy snacks. We can change, America!”

Requiring Cursive in Elem School Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

It looks like lawmakers in my birth state of Ohio are trying to pass a law that requires cursive writing in elementary school. They feel that cursive will soon be a lost art. Apparently, cursive is not a part of the Core Curriculum. There are arguments on both sides of the chalk board as to the pros and cons of letting it go for good. A lot of states are wrestling with this “issue.” Personally, all the other states can do what they damn well please, but if Ohio doesn’t teach the babies cursive (my own Ohioan cursive writing is a thing of beauty), how will they be able to read the “Script Ohio”—the signature formation of The Ohio State University Marching Band? I mean, we have our priorities, people!

Ohio State Band

Google Image

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QUOTES TO CHEW ON

RUNNING OUT OF WATER

“As a chef, I could not wash my hands – nor clean pots, pans, utensils, meats or produce, nor make soups and sauces – if I did not have clean water. Were this to happen, of course, these would be the least of my concerns. Because water is the linchpin of survival: without it, not much else matters.”—Marcus Samuelsson

POLICE BRUTALITY

“We’re in an emergency situation. The United States has become an absolutely terrifying country, and I would hope that I could participate in some way in stopping the horror and the brutality.”—Wallace Shawn

GAY DISCRIMINATION

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”—Pope Francis

WWJD

“Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life.”—Pope Francis

CURSIVE WRITING

“Might people who write only by printing — in block letters, or perhaps with a sloppy, squiggly signature — be more at risk for forgery? Is the development of a fine motor skill thwarted by an aversion to cursive handwriting? And what happens when young people who are not familiar with cursive have to read historical documents like the Constitution?”—Katy Zezima/The New York Times

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QUOTES COURTESY OF www.brainyquote.com

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WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

Fleeing Oz (Book 2 in the Discovery Series) coming in May!

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REFERENCES

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-some-california-cities-must-cut-water-use-35-amid-drought-20150407-story.html

http://time.com/3771681/california-jerry-brown-drought-climate-change/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/07/africa/kenya-attack-victims-vigil/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/florist-same-sex-wedding-barronelle-stutzman-fundraising_n_7009156.html?

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/08/it_wasnt_just_walter_scott_the_north_charleston_police_department_has_a_shocking_record_of_abuse_allegations/

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/01/almonds-nuts-crazy-stats-charts

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/04/07/cursive-handwriting-requirement.html

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

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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THE SCANDAL OF EVIL

Do you know what I discovered this week? I’ve been so engrossed in finishing my second book (Fleeing Oz) that Easter week snuck up on me, and the rest of life has passed me by as if it were on a bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima. My apologies to all my blogger friends for going AWOL these past several weeks and not keeping up with your posts. But you’re all writers, and you know (and hopefully understand) what it is like to have to meet a deadline for a book that has taken a year to come to fruition—not to mention trying to sell a house, buy another house, and move to another town in the midst of getting older by the minute. (“Become a writer when you retire,” they said; “It will be fun,” they said. Auuuggghhh!)  Anyway, my second book is finished, thank God, and it will launch in May. Glory hallelujah! Maybe, I will get to have sex with my husband again, get to feel the sun on my face, and work on a garden at the new house sometime soon. Shoot, maybe I’ll get to eat something besides popcorn, boiled eggs, pumpkin seeds, and coffee—lots and lots of coffee.

Writing Meme courtesy of ermiliablog dot wordpress

Writing meme courtesy of www.ermiliablog.wordpress.com

Fleeing Oz is a humorous memoir based on my diaries about spending 40 years in the predominantly White, right-wing stream of the Christian church and my subsequent divorce from it. (Yes, Virginia, there is such an anomaly as a Black Christian, Conservative, Right-wing Republican! Fox News doesn’t make this shit up, and Dr. Ben Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and that nasty-ass Herman Cain aren’t the only ones.) As I relived this journey through the eyes of my multitudinous journal entries, I was appalled at all the evil I stupidly embraced under the banner of “following Jesus” (1 ½ cults, 1 soulless mega-church, 2 heartless, wannabe mega-churches, and 9 or more “shoot-me-now-because-I’m-so-bored, I’d-rather-be-doing-shots-with-the-devil-than-sit-through-one-more-sermon-from-an-ignorant-arrogant-clueless-preacher-like-you”).

Part of the research I read to write Fleeing Oz was a book entitled People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil by M. Scott Peck. As I tried to sort out in my book why I participated in some of the heinous things I did (why most people do what they do in the name of religion), I realized I had more questions than answers about God and “the way things are on this planet.”

There are three chimes which form a media call-to-attention that rattle me to my core every morning: “C,” the second note “A” (a major 6 up) and “F” (a major 3rd down)—sol, la, do (for my musician readers). They tonally spell NBC: Breaking News! Every time I hear those intervals followed by the words “breaking news,” my stomach seizes up. Each new three-tone chime from NBC News introduces a new level of evil. Just when I decide that I’ve figured out a way to sidestep the terror of ISIS, or find a neighborhood where there are no robbers, rapists, and racists, or cut out traveling anywhere near the continent of Africa or the country of North Korea, the tones “C-A-F” confront me with the possibility of a new evil that I never once thought about until “Breaking News.”

NBC: Breaking News! Pilot willfully crashes commercial plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. He was not a terrorist (whew!), but he was a tad bit depressed!

(I may truly never have the courage to fly again without a psychiatrist at my side and a bag full of anti-psychotic drugs in my purse. When I get on a plane, I will demand to greet the pilots and look them in their eyes. If their eyes shift from my scrutinizing gaze for even a nano-second, I am hitting the exit door that activates the emergency chute, and I am out of there faster than you can say “Happy Easter”!)

Depressed Pilot  Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I give up! I can’t outrun, outsmart, or outmaneuver evil. It always seems to be two steps ahead of me, and the sheer cacophony of the rattling of the death sabers yanks me to my knees. Will I be next? Will someone I love be fed into the gaping jaws of evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Will there ever be peace on Earth? Where is God in the mix of all this evil? All these questions lead me to Easter because Easter, in some weird way, gives me hope and the assurance that something bigger than myself and beyond this Earth is in control. I know that God does not cause evil. People have the power of freewill to choose to do evil things. Because the god that I call Jesus suffered evil, was murdered, buried, and rose again, I have hope that I too shall rise in courage, in grace, in joy—in eternal life—in response to any evil that might come my way.  But I can’t say that I’m not scandalized by it all. I have to constantly fall to my knees and pray for understanding and grace. I have to constantly forgive God for not putting a stop to it all in his infinite power as I try not to be scandalized by his seemingly inaction. I have to trust that something good will come from it all.

Writing Fleeing Oz has made me see how much evil is within me—how often I failed to defend, protect, and support those in need of my help. I need to understand Easter on a deeper level if I am to survive myself and others. So this Easter I shall meditate on the writings of the Episcopal priest, David Henson, who has a better handle on Easter than any theologian I’ve ever read. He gives me hope!

A HOMILY FOR EASTER

by David R. Henson

Goddamn evil

Goddamn abuse

Goddamn injustice, slavery and rape.

Goddamn racism

Goddamn war

Goddamn that strange fruit of bigotry and hate

Goddamn suffering

Goddamn hunger

Goddamn indifference, apathy and waste

Goddamn noose

Goddamn death

Goddamn despair, depression, the wait

Goddamn Good Friday

And a Goddamn cross

Goddamned it all,

Goddamned it too late

Yet we live like it’s Easter

Like God has been raised

We live like it’s light,

In spite of the dark.

We live like there’s joy

With spite in our hearts

For all that remain of our Goddamned days

These Goddamned

Good Fridays.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2012/04/easter-preaching-a-poem-that-will-get-your-fired/#ixzz3VzRInaWx

Christ_of_Saint_John_of_the_Cross

Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, 1951

EASTER QUOTES

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”—Mahatma Gandhi

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.”—Basil Hume

*“But, when I look at the world, the suffering of consciousness, the evil that infects, the despair of life, the hunger that distends bellies, the enslavement of the poor to the rich, and the rich to riches . . . when I look myself, the way I am made, my own experiences of despair and hopelessness . . . I see the kind of brokenness that begs for forgiveness, but of a wholly different kind than the prayers we say while pounding our chests. At some point, we have to learn to forgive God.”—David Henson

“Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.’”—Phillips Brooks

Death Overcome by Easter Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

HAVE A GLORIOUS EASTER! Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

QUOTES COURTESY OF www.brainyquote.com

**

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

Fleeing Oz (Book 2 in the Discovery Series) coming in May!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT 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.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

NEGRO, PLEASE!

Do you know what I discovered about the world’s intelligence? I’m sorry, but we are a stupid people—covering all races, both genders, and all ages. Stupidity is a global phenomenon, and it is running rampant.

Stupidity is spreading

www.quickmeme.com (Actor Jim Parsons as Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory”)

As I read my normal ten news sources this week, I couldn’t help but shake my head and wonder what God was thinking when he created us. It all started with the story about the Black televangelist who (according to Wikipedia) owns “two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, and real estate such as a million-dollar home in Atlanta, a $2.5 million home in Demarest, New Jersey, and a $2.5 million home in Manhattan, which he sold for $3.75 million in 2012.” Rev. Dollar is reported to have obtained his divinity degree online and has “refused to disclose his salary.”

Creflo Dollar (a.k.a. “Michael Smith”) was in the news this week for asking his supporters (many of them Black folks with limited incomes, without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, and definitely with no private planes) for $65M to purchase a Gulfstream G650 luxury plane—top of the line.  So I’ve heard. He did the math, and according to Brother Dollar, if all his “partners” (i.e. suckers) gave $300 each from all around the world, he and his family and a few lucky church leaders would be able to travel in the “biggest, fastest, most luxurious, longest range and most technologically advanced jet — by far. . .” because “we need . . . to continue reaching a lost and dying world for the Lord Jesus Christ.” To which I responded: “Negro, please!”

Creflo Dollar

Creflo Dollar (Michael Smith—although Creflo says the Michael Smith name is an urban legend—whatever!)

Then I started to think as I ruminated on this sorry-ass excuse for a holy man: what if the everyday person could call “bullshit” on stupid stuff like this by using the magic words: “Negro, please,” and then freeze the offensive person in place like God did to Lot’s wife? (The Biblical woman turned into a pillar of salt by God after she looked back [longingly] at a town God was getting ready to nuke for being inhospitable to strangers and horrid to the poor. I actually touched her pillared self when I lived in Israel, and I can attest to the fact that being able to salt-pillar someone is awesome!)

Anyway, “Negro please!” would be the magic words. The Urban Dictionary describes “Negro Please!” as:

“A phrase commonly used to show disapproval or disdain towards another individual or comment.”

WARNING: But my dear White sisters and brothers, you cannot use this catch-phrase. Never-ever. This can only be said from one chastising African-American to another ne’er-do-well Black person. Don’t try it—don’t ever try it—no matter how many Black friends you think you have because it does not translate, and you will go from 2 ½ Black friends to zero. Life will not bode well for you if you ignore my warning. But have no fear—I will not leave you hanging. I have come up with a substitute for you. It’s called “fill-in-the-blank” “whatever, please!”

Let’s test my idea. Take the Starbuck’s story this week about the CEO charging his baristas to serve up a cup of coffee with a leading statement about “race” to start a discussion that he thinks will break down racial barriers (poor, naïve little White man). So, instead of asking “how about those Cowboys” when they hand you a “tall skim double-shot vanilla latte with whip” (your name on the cup misspelled every which way but Sunday), the over-eager barista says, “how about the Black boy who got the shit kicked out of him on UVA’s campus by the po-po? Ain’t that a bitch?  Do you think it was racism?”

Starbucks Coffee Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Not a conversation one has over ordering your morning cup of Joe, hung over from the night before, on your way to a job you absolutely despise, after you’ve just found out your husband is cheating on you, your identity’s been stolen, and your bitch of a mother-in-law has gotten on your every last nerve. You’re in Starbucks to shoot caffeine directly into your veins. You do not want to talk to anybody, let alone engage in a social conversation that is probably going to get your ass kicked. So when some chirpy barista says, “Let’s talk about race, Baa-by,” instead of wiping the floor with your no makeup, no deodorant, and still-wet-behind-the-ears barista, you can save yourself from a jail term and/or a lawsuit by saying:

“BEAN PUSHER, PLEASE!”

Next thing you know—the barista is a pillar of salt. The barista will be silenced and so will Starbuck’s CEO. Maybe he’ll rethink this cynical business venture of his—especially because he could do a lot more to influence the conversation about race by simply hiring some darker faces in his upper management (that team is so devoid of color, it looks like Starbuck’s “flat white” coffee offering with extra-extra cream).

***

Lest you think that I’m picking on only us poor Americans, how about those fathers in eastern India who scaled the outside of a multi-floored school building where their kids were sitting for the 10th grade promotional exam. It’s high stakes because it determines whether the children can get a higher education and ultimately go to universtiy. Hundreds of students were caught with various cheating mechanisms to “get over on these exams.” But it was the parents who took the cake. Talk about your helicopter parents! The fathers, uncles, male cousins and friends climbed the outer wall of a school building to pass along cheat sheets in the form of paper airplanes, wadded paper balls, and folded notes. They were willing to risk a 20-foot fall to sneak in the answers to their children knowing full well that news cameras were rolling.

India students cheating hindustantimes dot com

Courtesy of http://www.hindustantimes.com

Cheating on exams (on every level) is so pervasive in India that the government has given up on trying to curtail it. (Although this cheating scandal in Bihar, India was so egregious that the authorities are thinking of arresting some of the parents and cancelling the ability of the cheating students to take the exam for the next three years.) These are the world’s future doctors, technicians, and nuclear scientists. Be afraid—be very afraid. Can you imagine going into a hospital for surgery, and as your young Indian doctor approaches you to introduce himself as your surgeon, you look back at your Indian anesthesiologist posed behind you with mask in hand, and you are overwhelmed with the thought that they both might have cheated on their (10th, 12th, undergrad, and graduate medical exams) somewhere along the line. As you high-tail it out of the hospital room with your buns flapping in the breeze between the two sides of your hospital gown, you yell a salt-pillar response:

“DR. POSERS, PLEASE!

Doctor mix up

http://www.quickmeme.com

I am discovering that there is just no accounting for stupidity. Didn’t anyone with half a brain stop Pastor Creflo Dollar before he posted his plea for money for a $65M plane and say, “Negro please—you better check yo’self! People that tithe to you in your area of Georgia barely make $30,000 a year. Get your ass on Sprint Airlines.” And speaking of stupid, what do you want to bet that there are enough idiots who will delay paying their bills, not save any money for themselves, forego healthcare, and work three jobs just so “Pastor” gets his $65M luxury plane. Why? Because Mr. Prosperity Doctrine told them if they “sow” at least 10% of their income to him, God will bring them the desires of their heart . . . “your bounty is coming—it will be here any day.” I don’t know about you, but I am praying for God to give me magical powers to become a “salt-pillarer” because the world could really use some sanity. Who would you like to “salt-pillar,” and what phrase would you use to put them in their place?

“__________________, please!”

P.S. Creflo Dollar must have heard my “Negro, please!” because he has taken down his request for donations for the luxury G650 from his World Changers Church International website. He has been so outlandishly entertaining with his money grab scheme that I am ending my second book (Fleeing Oz—due out in May) with this airplane story about him as one of the many reasons I can no longer stomach going to church. Thanks Creflo!

***

Starbucks II John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Starbuck’s Customer Protest Song: Used by permission John Darkow, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”P. J. O’Rourke

“I never had that feeling that I had to carry the weight of somebody’s ignorance around with me. And that was true for racists who wanted to use the ‘N’ word when talking about me or about my people, or the stupidity of people who really wanted to belittle other folks because they weren’t pretty or they weren’t rich or they weren’t clever.”—Maya Angelou

“In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.”Konrad Adenauer

Quotes courtesy of www.brainyquote.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

 

REFERENCES

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/16/opinions/posner-creflo-dollar-gulfstream/index.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/17/netanyahu-succeeds-at-israels-expense/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/19/jon-stewart-benjamin-netanyahu_n_6900144.html

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/17/the_best_twitter_responses_to_starbucks_ill_considered_racetogether_campaign/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/20/india-students-cheating_n_6909178.html?cps=gravity_2246_-6539473671622116428

 
11 Comments

Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

AMERICANS: WE BE “CRAY-CRAY”

Do you know what I discovered this week? The term “cray-cray.”

CRAY-CRAY: Stemming from the term ‘crazy,’ when referring to someone as ‘cray-cray,’ signifies their craziness to a whole other level.

The ultimate second power of crazy.

This person can either be insane in the brain.

Or simply, TOO DOWN—to the point where it’s not even cool anymore.”—Urban Dictionary

I have no idea whether anyone uses this expression anymore. I called Baby-girl (the harbinger of all things that are culturally au courant to keep her mother from bringing shame on the family name), but I was unable to get a hold of her.  Therefore, I am going to use the word anyway because I came across all sorts of mess in America this week that can only be defined as “the ultimate second power of crazy.”

Cray Cray No One Meme

***

There were so many over-the-top “cray-cray” stories in the news this week that I fantasized about holding a contest to choose a Miss or Mr. America Cray-Cray. Imagine, if you will, a pageant for the Cray-Cray Award of the week—taken straight from the headlines. Every American would be eligible for it—all you’d have to do is something outlandishly stupid. Once the king or queen was crowned, we could send them on a national tour for a year as a roving example of being an exception to American Exceptionalism. Maybe after a few gazillion of these tours, we Americans would start to get the point that we are not just all about ourselves, but that we are our brothers’ keepers, and to be exceptional we must embody humility, integrity, and brotherly love.

***

THE FIRST (SOON TO BECOME WEEKLY) AMERICAN CRAY-CRAY PAGEANT

HOST: THE DALAI MAMA (ALTER EGO OF E. TOMCZYK, THE WRITER)

DM:       Welcome one and all to the first weekly “American Cray-Cray” pageant. First off, let me clarify that y’all couldn’t have picked a better host because I’ve been cray-cray since day one. My mama was cray-cray, and so was her mama before her. Let’s just say, I knows my cray-cray when I sees it, and although I try to keep it under control, but by the grace of God go I.

Well, without further ado, let us proceed. Our first contestant that was brought to us by this week’s news is Mr. Police Department (a.k.a. Mr. Po-Po) from Ferguson, Missouri. His talent is racism married with strong-arming and police brutality.

Ferguson Rick McKee  The Augusta Chronicle

Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

DM:       Mr. Po-Po of Ferguson, the stakes are pretty high this week. What makes you confident that you can take first prize in our American Cray-Cray pageant?

PO:        Hey, call us by our street name: The Ganstas of Ferguson. We are exceptional Americans because if “you be Black,” you will be twice as likely to be fined, locked up, and have the key to your cell thrown away (unless you can come up with triple the charge to get your sorry-ass out of jail). What we are most proud of is the Justice Department was able to prove that since 2012, we have made more money (exceeding our departmental budget) than expected because of the funding provided from locking you people up and charging you for the privilege of doing so. Not to mention, we have the best racist emails in police department history (that really ought to count for something). I really like the one that depicts Obama as a chimp and Michelle Obama naked from the waist up dancing like an African Zulu at her graduation (Photo shopping her head on a National Geo pic was awesome!). God, I love our department’s sense of humor. You’ve got to see the email joke about a man trying to put his dogs on welfare because they were mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no clue who their daddies are—simply priceless! On the other hand, we have a real heart for justice. Oh yes, we do! If someone like your White husband lived within our boundaries, and he got a parking or traffic ticket, the Justice Department showed ample proof that we would treat him like the true American he is and quickly make that sucker go away because we give exceptional service to people who look like us. Just ask any White person in town—especially if they are our friends and relatives. I deserve to win the Mr. American Cray-Cray crown just for showing favoritism to our White citizens.

DM:       Boy, you better be glad I know Jesus because I’d take that racist Billy club of yours and beat the cray-cray shit out of you. Now, go on over there and get out of my sight. I’m gonna need a shower in bleach after that interview. (Help me, Jesus!)

dwigh -schrute meme generator

DM:       Our next contestant is the elitist dating website: beautifulpeople.com. Her talent is being a hater. She takes a dollop of disdain, mixes it with contempt, and stirs in an ocean of rejection. Ms. Beautifulpeople.com, why do you think you should win the American Cray-Cray crown this week? You’re not even an American company; you’re from Denmark. You foreigners are always coming over here trying to steal our jobs.

BP:         No, we are not Americans, that’s true. But Americans use our website more than any other country. We currently have 1,457 USA members. And Americans take us much more seriously than France or Australia for instance. We have stringent rules about beauty compliance. In order to be able to join our website, the rest of the beautiful members must vote you in:

1) Beautiful______

2) Hmmmm, OK_______

3) No________

4) Absolutely not_______

BP:         I can tell you right now that you’d never make it, kiddo—so stay married. Plus, you’re much too old, and we don’t accept that many Black people.

DM:       Thanks for nothing, Biotch. I can see that your talent is shallowness as well. Why do you think you deserve to win the crown for Ms. American Cray-Cray?

BP:         Because we’re the best at making people feel like crap! Not only that, we massively purge people from our website if they don’t keep up to par with our beauty standards. We just purged 3,000 people for getting fat (not really fat you understand cause we don’t do fat people, but slightly chubby), and we’ve rejected 8 million people for being “ugly” since our launch in 2003. It’s so awesome to see people’s reactions. An American girl, Tawnie B., got kicked off for being too plain, too flat chested, and too nondescript. She went under the surgeon’s knife, here, there, and everywhere and came back with a vengeance. She’s our star client. She has a new nose, a sculpted chin, blue contact lenses, a pair of breasts that are the size of large cantaloupes (hers formerly looked like kiwis), blond hair extensions, and a 10 pound weight loss (although the cantaloupes added 7 pounds, but we let that slide for the good of the cause). You should see her now—looks like a human Barbie doll! She loves our website and is our biggest champion for keeping up our strict standards.

Online Dating Dan Pizarro

Cartoonist: Dan Piraro http://www.bizarro.com

DM:       Lord have mercy—Heaven, help us! Child, get back in line. Next!

Mr. Bill O’Reilly from Fox News—come to the front of the stage, please.

BO:        Here I am front and center, Dalai Mama. What a pleasure. You know that I was the Mr. Olympia winner in 1965 in NYC, don’t you? I was as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno at one time. Arnold won the title seven times through the years, and I won it six times. I would have tied with Gov. Schwarzenegger, but I had to cover the war in Viet Nam, and go on to win the Purple Heart for saving my platoon during a typhoon.

DM:       Bullshit, O’Reilly. I got your number—had it for a long time. I don’t need to ask you why you think you deserve the American Cray-Cray crown. I’ve been following the news. It is very obvious. You’ve been lying through your teeth regarding just about everything. And you really tried to crucify Brian Williams for exaggerating just a few things. You, the star of Fox News. Do you know if I had a dollar for every time a Christian told me that the only media they watch is Bill O’Reilly on Fox News because Fox News is “fair and balanced” and tells the truth, I’d be a very rich woman? And you’re nasty, too! Did you actually tell a reporter he was in “your kill zone” because he exposed your copious lies?   And did you really tell a New York Times reporter that you would come after her with “everything I’ve got,” if her follow-up story did not please you? By the way, did anybody ever tell you that you’re a horrid individual? Go on back in line, you nasty-ass blowhard.

Bill OReilly David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

DM:       And now, who are you? Your name’s not on the line-up list.

ME:        Dalai, don’t your recognize me? It’s ET—your alter ego, and the author of this blog and the book Monsters’ Throwdown.

DM:       Oh, hey Girlfriend. I’m so overwrought that I didn’t recognize you. What you doin’ in this pageant?

ME:        I decided to enter the pageant for the Cray-Cray crown because I am losing my mind. I think I deserve the cray-cray recognition. I’m trying to finish my second book, put my house up for sale now that WW has announced his retirement, and move and buy a new house in a completely different town all before May or I fall apart—whichever comes first. I’m on the final chapter of my book (Fleeing Oz), we’ve denuded the house of all personality so that potential buyers can “see themselves living in it with their shit,” and I am sorting through a gazillion houses in our new town—hoping to make the right decision—all while trying to launch a book. This is our last home purchase. It’s got to be fabulous with great neighbors. The next time I move after this move, it will be to roll into an old folks’ home or my grave. I must be cray-cray to have willingly put all this pressure on my shoulders in such a short time frame. What was I thinking?

DM:       No, you’re not cray-cray. You’re “shib cray,” which means you’re bat-shit crazy, Girlfriend! Ha!

ME:        Maybe you’re right. Although I think that title should be reserved for the two American women from Los Angeles who are in line behind me. [Whispering] They were caught carving their initials in the Coliseum in Rome the other day and taking selfies of the damage. Can you believe it? Now that is “shib cray.”

DM:       Yep, I think you might be right, my friend. Well, since I’m the only judge of this pathetic pageant, let’s end this nightmare and go get a drink.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

The 3rd place winner of the American Cray-Cray pageant is: LA women who defaced Coliseum

The runner up is: Bill O’Reilly of Fox News (although he’ll probably lie and say he took 1st place)

And the winner is (drum roll, please): Mr. Po-Po of Ferguson, Missouri ‘cause nobody believes the shit they did to the citizens of Ferguson could be happening in America in the year 2015 (being the exceptional country that we are).

DM:       Good night everybody, safe travels, and stay tuned for next week’s American Cray-Cray pageant. We already have a front runner who recently trampled all over our American ideals:

SAE Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Cartoon Used by Permission: SAE | Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

DM:       The SAE fraternity of the University of Oklahoma is proud to announce that they believe their well-rehearsed racist chant (see below) on a party bus with tuxedo-clad white brothers and their cocktail-clad dates should cinch first place. Judge for yourselves, and let’s all hope we can get their parents to attend the pageant. They will be so proud—for surely it must have been their upbringing that made these White boys act so horribly and without a shred of sensitivity or compassion.

“There will never be a nigger SAE. There will never be a nigger SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he will never sign with me. There will never be a nigger SAE.”

DM:      Cheers, my fellow citizens!  Here’s to American Exceptionalism! 

***

I am discovering that we Americans really love to think of ourselves as extraordinary—American Exceptionalism, I think the Republicans call it. But we are all a little cray-cray and need to keep ourselves under control. I actually believe that my rags to riches life, as portrayed in my memoir (Monsters’ Throwdown), couldn’t have happened in any other country than America, and that is exceptional. (What would have been cray-cray on my part is if I hadn’t showed up for the opportunities presented, and walked through the doors kicked open by those heroes who went before me.) What we have provided as a nation regarding opportunities, education, democracy, freedom, and human rights is damn exceptional, except when it isn’t. Our nation’s exceptionalism gets flushed down the toilet the minute we allow bigotry, selfishness, lying, manipulation, arrogance, hatred, greed, apathy, laziness, and the desire to trample upon the love of our fellowman for our own personal, self-centered gains to own us. When that happens—we’re no longer exceptional, we’re all just “shib cray—bat-shit crazy!”

Exceptionalism is the perception that a country, society, institution, movement, or time period is ‘exceptional’ (i.e., unusual or extraordinary) in some way and thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles.”—Wikipedia

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”—Dennis Prager

“If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless.”—Moliere

Author Going Cray Cray Boo Tomczyk

Evidence of Author finally losing it after hearing about Ferguson Po-Po and the SAE from U of O!—Meme by “Boo Tomczyk”

***

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2980740/Elitist-dating-website-beautiful-people-ditches-THREE-THOUSAND-users-piled-pounds-aged-gracelessly-500-Britons.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/The-Gangsters-Of-Ferguson/386893/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/03/09/ex-fox-newser-tells-cnn-that-oreilly-has-lied-so-many-times/?hpid=z5

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/09/bill_oreillys_sick_pathology_why_his_systematic_lying_is_even_worse_than_reported/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/travel/tourists-arrested-rome-colosseum/index.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/10/oklahoma-s-racist-frat-is-very-not-ok.html

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

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

LIVING LIKE YOU’RE DYING

Do you know what I discovered about life this week? I don’t want to live past 89. IMHO, just like nothing good happens after midnight—nothing good happens after 89 years old either. The body takes a significant and rapid decline toward the check-out point in your 90s, and basically you’re just biding time on some slow-moving treadmill toward the exit sign. This thought process started when the heroine (my mentor) in my memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown, called me this week and said: “Hello Darling! I hope your book is selling well, because I just discovered I’m going to outlive my money. I never expected to live this long; I sure hope you can help.”   Helping my mentor in the latter stages of her life is not an issue—I owe her my life. But it got me thinking about my own journey. About how much time might be left on the clock, and if given the opportunity would I use the remaining time properly. I’ve got a couple of decades before I reach her perch.

My main problem is I am at a loss with how to navigate that Zen-like state needed to traverse the next twenty years or so. My mentor has always been able to do so with much grace (think of her as a cross between Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt). She is the definition of inner peace. But I am not there yet. From time to time, I can be like a tilt-a-whirl ride that has broken off its bearings in mid-tilt and spun off into outer space.

Inner peace

Animal Memes—quickmeme.com

It was with these thoughts rolling around in my heart and mind (mixed with a glass of mulled wine to ward off this freakin’ cold) that I went to bed last night thinking about living a wiser life—perhaps to dream. In my dream I entered a castle in the sky with a sign over the entrance that said: “Enter here, all ye who seek inner peace.” When I came across a large reception area, I went in, sat down, and picked up a booklet entitled, “7 Highly Effective Steps to Inner Peace.” When I opened the pamphlet, there was the definition of inner peace on the left and seven steps to achieve it on the right.

“Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being ‘at peace’ is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.”Wikipedia—the Free Encyclopedia

*

SEVEN STEPS TO INNER PEACE

Release anger

Face your fears/Trust God

Choose wise companions/kick to the curb those that piss you off

Forgive

Let go of worry and things you can’t control/Live in the now

Cherish love

Embrace gratitude on daily basis

As I sat there trying to fully digest this information, a stunningly beautiful brown-skinned woman engulfed in a luminescent aura glided into the room and stood in front of me. Her age was nonspecific, but she looked a great deal like Lena Horne when she played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz.

Lena as Glinda the Good Witch The Wiz

Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch (The Wiz) Universal Pictures

ME:        Oh, my God, has anyone ever told you that you are a perfect doppelgänger for Glinda the Good Witch?

REST:     Yeah, I get that a lot. My name is Rest, and I’m really just your garden variety guardian angel. Why are you here? Is it to complain about the historic freeze that has engulfed your country? Because if you are, I don’t want to hear it. I am not responsible, and I’m tired of hearing you humans whine about something neither you nor I can control. My powers exist only in a limited capacity.

Praying for Snow

ME:        No, but now that you mention it—I HATE THIS WEATHER! Talk about taking away any inner peace a body could muster. I’m fucking freezing to death.

REST:     Well, look at the bright side—at least you don’t live in Boston, so let it go my friend and purchase an electric blanket! If I’ve learned anything about things you can’t control, you just have to shake ‘em off.

ME:        That’s fine for you to say. You live in Heaven—in Perfectionville. Try living on Earth sometime and see how taxing it is. We bitches be crazy, and because of that craziness, I have real issues that block my ability to garner inner peace. I want my next couple of decades to be stellar. I don’t want anything to knock me for a loop.

REST:     Okay, I’ll play along for a while. What else robs your inner peace?

ME:        Fear of the unpredictable—the unknown. Haven’t you noticed how at any moment, at any time, you can be attacked by unseen forces (viruses, bacterial infections, ISIS, Ebola, home invaders, muggers, nasty-ass ex-friends on Facebook, getting killed for walking while Black, or much, much worse)? A couple of years ago, I got parasites from eating sushi, and I had them forever before I even knew they had moved in and set up shop in my gut. It was so disgusting. By the time I realized what was going on, three generations of them had been born and established colonies. If I can get parasites without knowing it, what else can get me?

REST:     Hmm, fear of the unknown? I say shake it off! Deal with it if it comes upon you, but otherwise just ignore it. Why worry about something that you can’t see and can’t control. Poo-poo occurs baby. That’s life, and worrying about it will not keep the worms at bay. Now, you could stop eating sushi. Personally, I don’t touch the stuff because what self-respecting Black person eats raw fish?

Peace of Mind memeinternet dot com

ME:        You really aren’t helping. Are you making fun of me?

REST:     No, dear. But if you want to live the next couple of decades in inner peace with your surroundings, you must have a sense of humor. There is still so much you don’t know as a human that could kill you. Why worry about it? What else robs you of a quiet spirit?

ME:        Anxiety over the resurgence of racism in the world to such a degree that we have another Holocaust or we roll back into another Jim Crow-type era and my kids are robbed of their liberty. Anxiety over terrorism washing up on our shores again. (Did you hear about the threats against the Mall of America? That’s where one of my kid’s lives.)  And, oh, my God, our inability to let go of the worship of guns. That keeps me awake every other night. Recently, three beautiful Muslim students got assassinated in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by their neighbor, and we’re calling it everything except what the problem truly is: our obsession with guns!

Guns Chapel Hill John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Used by permission: John Cole ncpolicywatch.com, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Yeah, I hear you. You people really are nuts about the gun thing, aren’t you? Personally, I don’t see the fascination. And it doesn’t look like it is going to get solved anytime soon—possibly not even in your lifetime given the American proclivities.

ME:        But if it doesn’t get solved in my lifetime, then when?

REST:     Your children will have to solve it, I guess. I don’t mean yours alone, but the baby-boomers’ children in general.

ME:        That, my dear Angel of Rest is unacceptable. And don’t you dare tell me to “shake it off or let it go,” or I’ll pummel your ass. I can’t let this go. I worry about my grandson growing up in a land where guns are so prevalent. I worry about my grandson, period! I’m frightened for his future as a young Black man in a land that has incarcerated more black youths than were enslaved on Southern plantations at the beginning of the Civil War. Did you know the modern American “for profit” prison system is being called the “New Slavery?”

While I’m on the subject, I am also dealing with anger issues. I’m angry that I spent 40 plus years in a conservative wing of Christianity that has become the back-bone of the Tea Party and is the force of racism coursing through the Republican Party. I’m angry that when people make racist attacks against our President, question his faith, and question his love for our country, that so few of the politicians and ministers who claim to be “Christians” stand up against the defamation of a good man. They don’t have to agree with his policies, but that doesn’t have to underscore their racist beliefs that our President—our first Black President—is the Anti-Christ and is leading us toward Armageddon. According to them, everything—from this nationwide freeze to the Seattle Seahawks losing the Super Bowl—is Barack Obama’s fault. Sometimes I am so ashamed to be a Christian, I could just scream. In fact, I’m seriously thinking of becoming a Buddhist who loves Jesus.

Giuliani start John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton-Times Tribune, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Babe, I hope this doesn’t sound racist, but I think a Black Republican is an oxymoron. In any case, you’ve really got to tear up what that jerk Giuliani said—flush it down the toilet, and truly shake it off. Even in the angelic world we know that ol’ Rudy is just jealous (it’s eating him into oblivion) that he lost to the Black man in 2008. Rudy thought he deserved the presidency—after all, he was the only one so profoundly affected by 9-11—the rest of you were merely onlookers. The Angelic Corps often shake our heads at his irrelevance and stupidity.

Anyway, my child, I have an exercise that may help you find inner peace over the next two decades. (As to when you will actually check out for your own “Homecoming,” that is between you and God.)

Imagine that you are dying tomorrow. Of all the fears, anxieties, and worries you’ve told me about, which of them is out of your control, which of them is not a possibility of happening within the next 24 hours, which of them is something that is out of your sphere of influence and must be left to the next generation to handle, and which of them should you join with others to fight the good fight today. In all of it, embrace a spirit of gratitude, and thank the good Lord for all that you have in spite of all the Rudy Giuliani Neanderthals and ugliness in the world. May I suggest a book that might help? It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I haven’t read it myself, but I was watching Oprah the other day, and she highly recommended it for Nervous Nellies like you.

ME:        I suppose I should thank you, my Glinda the Good Witch doppelgänger. That’s good advice. Speaking of books, I’m almost finished with my second book that deals with escaping Right-wing Christianity and becoming a born-again liberal. It’s called Fleeing Oz. I think once I get that book out there this spring, I’ll be able to “fight the good fight” with my writing. I want it to be to the demolition of the bigotry and intolerance of Right-wing Christianity what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to the abolition of slavery—only done with humor.

REST:     Seems like a good idea to me. Remember, through it all: Live as if you were dying tomorrow, Sweet pea! Because we’re only guaranteed “now.” Gotta run. I hear it’s going to snow again tonight. I think I’ll head on down to Puerto Rico.  St. Peter tells me that it’s going to be sunny and 85 degrees all week. See you when you finally cross over, kiddo.  Good luck!

February 21, 2015

Used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, Cagle Cartoons

***

“I think it’s nice to age gracefully. OK, you lose the youth, a certain stamina and dewy glow, but what you gain on the inside as a human being is wonderful: the wisdom, the acceptance and the peace of mind. It’s a fair exchange.”Cherie Lunghi

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”—Pope Paul VI

“Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.”—Bernie Siegel

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.”—James E. Faust

Quotations courtesy of www.brainyquote.com

***

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT 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.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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EVERYBODY LIES

Do you know what I discovered after meditating on the downfall of Brian Williams last week? Everybody lies! There is not a single human being who has ever lived, is living, or will live that won’t lie at some point in their lives—probably multiple times—maybe even daily, if the truth be known. We all live in glass houses when it comes to lying and, although I will admit some of us are worse than others, let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

Brian Williams confession David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

One of the problems is that lying is in our DNA.   We lie to exaggerate our importance in a situation so that we come off better or more heroic than we are (James “A Million Little Pieces” Fey); we lie to win (Lance “sorry I got caught” Armstrong); we lie to not get punished (any child on the planet); we lie to cover up our sins (the Catholic “we don’t have a sexual abuse problem here” Church); we lie to become famous (Milli “we lip-synced” Vanilli); we lie to cover up infidelity (Bill “I never had sex with that woman” Clinton); we lie to embellish our resumes (Paul “caught lying about his college record” Rand); we lie just because we can (Tiger “I can do no wrong” Woods), and we lie to get our own way (every human on the planet). Lying is as human as eating, sleeping, and having sex. I know because I was there when it all started.

Brian punching out Hitler Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Once upon a time at the dawn of man, I was strolling through a gorgeous garden waiting to have a chat with the owner in the cool of the day when I heard Him call out a couple of names: “Adam . . . Eve, where are you, chickadees? I thought we’d hang out tonight, grab some supper with a friend of mine, and chat about which animals you named what today. I’m still cracking up over the name ‘Axolotl’ and ‘Aye-aye.’ What a hoot!”

There was a significant pause and then an almost imperceptible sound as two trembling voices were heard coming from behind the rhododendrons, “WE’RE HIDING FROM YOU, LORD.”

“Why are you hiding?” asked God. “The only other person here is Eleanor, the Blogger, and whatever you say in front of me you can say in front of her. She’s one of my favorite peeps.”

“We’re hiding because we are ashamed,” said Adam.

“Ashamed?” replied God. “What do you have to be ashamed about? You are living in perfection, and you are totally innocent.”

“We’re ashamed because we are naked,” shrieked Eve. “And Adam keeps staring at my ta-tas and my who-ha as if his eyes and tongue are going to fall out of his head, which he never did before today. Then there is that springy snake-like thing hanging from his lower body that I never paid any attention to before, which used to just dangle there, but now it is saluting me. I’ve got to tell you it’s pretty gross. I’d like to know what that is, thank you very much.”

“Wait a minute, Eve, who told you that you were naked?” asked God. “Adam, have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

Adam said, “ME, why are you picking on me? She’s the problem. It wasn’t my fault. This woman you put here with me—SHE gave me some fruit from the tree, and made me eat it. SHE kept saying, ‘Try it; it will be fun.’  If it hadn’t been for ‘that woman,’ I’d be going on about my business without a care in the world right now.”

“Ooooh, Adam, you are so busted,” I said. “Blame it on the woman, you balless wonder. Eve is never going to let you live this down—she’s going to make your life a living hell for throwing her under the bus.”

Adam and Eve Meme

“The serpent lied to me, and I ate the fruity thing in the middle of the garden,” said Eve rather petulantly. “At first I wasn’t going to because you said we would die if we did, but then ol’ sneaky snake over there said, ‘Go on, God knows you won’t die, but when you eat of it your eyes will be opened—you’ll be like God, able to know good from evil.’ So when I bit into the fruit and didn’t die, I thought, ‘oh well, looks like God didn’t really tell me the truth, now did he?’ You see, I’m still alive, right?” said a slightly irritated Eve. “The only thing that changed is I noticed the one-eyed monster hanging off the lower part of Adam’s body seemed to be up to no good.”

“Oy, Eve—what have you done—do you not understand metaphor?” asked an exasperated God. “I was really looking forward to an uneventful evening and a delightful dinner. But since you both chose to disobey my orders and lie to my face in front of my friend, I have no choice but to ‘bring it’ against you two.  So here’s how it’s going down from now on. ET, the Blogger, take notes for posterity. You can call it Genesis if you like and publish it for generations to come.

Sneaky Snake, you are cursed above all livestock and all wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. Uh, uh, zip it! Don’t even attempt to say a word. That’s what you get for lying to the kids. Also, I’m declaring war between you and the woman, and the woman’s children will constantly crush your head under their feet.

Eve, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with pain you will give birth to children. What’s childbearing, you ask? You’ll soon find out. Hint: Beware of Adam’s one-eyed monster. And stop whimpering! You should have thought about the repercussions before you lied, Child. Didn’t I tell you that you would die? You thought I meant, literally, didn’t you? But when you’re in the midst of squeezing something the size of a watermelon through a hole that is the circumference of a grape, not only will you feel like you’re dying but you’re gonna want to kill Adam because of it. Mark my words. And as an added bonus your libido is going to kick in, and you will want to please your husband, but because you coerced him into disobedience, he will lord his position over you, and women across the Earth throughout the end of time will want to wring your neck for the situation they’ve inherited from you. This was not my original plan, but there you have it.  I created you both in my image—equal partners—but now everything is all screwy.

Adam and Eve II Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

Adam, because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree which I told you not to, and then blamed your action born out of your own free will on her (come on son, that was really low), the very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife. You will be working in pain all your life long. It will be nothing but work, work, work, work, work, work, work. Gone are those glory days of Eden where everything was easy-peasy and all fun and games. Consequently, women will outlive men on an average of five years or so. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

“That’s a little harsh, don’t you think? Can we go back to the drawing board—start all over—get me a new woman?” said the penitent Adam.

“Not on your life!” replied an agitated God. “’Don’t touch or you will die,’ means exactly that. This realm of life is now dead to you.  The rest of the details of your punishment can be picked up from my executive assistant after I kick your butts out of my perfect garden. (Take that nasty-behind snake with you, as well.) And don’t think you’re going to be able to get back in when life gets hard, and you think I’m not paying attention. I plan to station a couple of angels at the gate to stand guard. If you’re going to make adult choices by doing your own thing and then lying about it, then it is time you made your own way in the world and deal with the consequences. Now hold still while I shear a couple of sheep and whip you up some clothes to cover up your bits and pieces now that you know you’re naked. You two haven’t been on Earth more than a half a second, and you’ve already caused an eternity of trouble.”

“Kids—you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them,” said the disgruntled and rather sad God to me. “Come along, Eleanor, the Blogger, I’m going to have to school you on what type of world you’ll inherit due to the first sin of mankind: lying. Sorry to inform you that you and your female counterparts are going to have a rough go of it because of today’s shenanigans. It can’t be helped, but you’ll figure out how to overcome it—of that I’m sure. And hang on to your hat Baby, because if I know anything about the men I’ve created, murder will soon follow as the second act.”

ET THE BLOGGER’S DIARY NOTE ON ‘THE FALL OF MAN’—4000 BC: That is when I first realized that mankind couldn’t handle the truth. I was there—I should know.

***

Tell the Truth

***

I am discovering that but by the grace of God go us all. I must confess that I have a tendency to lie because I am a natural-born storyteller and an actress. People who are writers and actors often blur the line between fantasy and reality. If I don’t assiduously monitor my behavior, I will lie when I don’t want to face harsh criticism (definitely a leftover from my psychotic childhood), and I will lie when I want to be accepted by people who usually don’t mean a hill of beans to me and aren’t worth the paper they are judging me on (my therapist and I are still working on that one). My lies may not be tall tales like Brian’s, but that is because I don’t live on as high a plane as he does. It’s all relative. I actually feel kind of bad for the dude, because his most vocal critics (Fox News and breitbart.com, and the like) practically invented lying to the public, but you wouldn’t know it by how sanctimonious they’ve been over poor Brian’s demise.

What I found fascinating about the stories on Brian’s downfall was not so much that he lied, but that he blew through the warning signs that would have course-corrected him and kept him from falling into the liar’s abyss—probably would have saved him from what will most likely be his undoing as a journalist. Upon reading several articles on the subject, I learned that it has been suggested Brian Williams is deeply insecure and no matter how high he has risen career-wise, he has the pressing need to dazzle because he never feels quite good enough. Other dime-store psychologists have suggested that Mr. Williams thought he was too big to fail ($10M/year salary and a high muckety-muck position at NBC News), while others have implied that Brian surrounded himself with “yes men and women”—no one had the courage to tell him the truth if they disagreed with his perspective about what he was doing—they couldn’t tell him “no.”   That’s too bad. Courageous Truth Sayers in our lives are the only antidote against a lying spirit. If Brian Williams is to make it in the future, he needs to pick himself up a couple of these types of trustworthy people and attach them to his hips and listen to them. I have a few courageous Truth Sayers in my life, and it is the only reason I can sleep at night.

Brian Williams Meme

***

“There are some good people. But a good chunk of them will lie for no reason at all – it’ll be ten o’clock and they’ll tell you it’s nine. You’re looking at the clock and you can’t even fathom why they’re lying. They just lie because that’s what they do.”John Cusack

“Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in.”Harry S Truman

“Lying is not only saying what isn’t true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler.”Albert Camus

QUOTES COURTESY OF www.brainyquote.com

Basic script of conversation between God, Adam, and Eve loosely based on Genesis 3 in The Holy Bible (TNIV and Message translations)

***

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

Milli Vanilli memegenerator

Courtesy of memegnerator.net

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/storytelling-ability-connected-williams-with-his-viewers-but-also-led-to-his-downfall/2015/02/14/def95228-b3a4-11e4-854b-a38d13486ba1_story.html?hpid=z1

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/business/media/brian-williams-and-memories-retread-from-a-perch-too-public.html?_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/videos/entertainment/2015/02/15/rs-jon-stewart-rips-fox-news.cnn

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.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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