Do you know what I discovered a long time ago about finding a decent man?   It ain’t easy, Baby! I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found a prince and date a lot of cretins before I landed a Renaissance man. It took years, but I finally found the love of my life (WW, “White and Wonderful”).  We have fought the demons of life together for over forty years, and we’re still holding on to each other like a couple of otters.

Sweet Otters

But I almost missed him—almost missed him by a thousand miles or more because I kept giving my heart to men who didn’t deserve me. It’s as if the Cupid who “shot” me with his love arrows, that drew me to those other men, was stoned and in need of target practice. Had I not instinctively known the Maya Angelou dictate—“When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time—I would have “settled” and summarily screwed up my life. Instead, I walked—no, I bolted—the minute they did me wrong, and I never looked back.  I didn’t wait around to see if they would change because I knew they wouldn’t.  And I kept on running until I eventually found my main man.

Cupid Screw Up

So I decided this Valentine’s holiday to send “Valentine Kiss-Off” cards (à la Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes”) to all the men I loved before, and thank them for showing me what I didn’t want in a man. When the genuine article came along in WW, there was no confusion. I recognized him as the “real deal” almost immediately because my ex-boyfriends had shown me by their behavior what a real man should look like. (My apologies to all poets living and dead—and all those yet to be born.)

*** *** ***


Bad Romance

You promised you loved me,

I believed you, I did.

Though you rarely showed up,

Half the times that you said.

I decided to surprise you

That summer on tour,

Drove through the night

Met yo’ mama at the door.

“My son ain’t here,”

(Vomit churnin’ in my gut)

“I thought you was a good girl

Who knew you was a slut.”

Turns out you’re married now,

(Yo’ Mama thought I knew)

I hugged and thanked her twice,

Said: “Tell your boy, we’re through.”

Happy Valentine’s Day,

You cheatin’ a-hole Ex of old

The man who loves me now

He’s a “Mensch”* made of gold.

*MENSCH: Someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being “a real mensch” is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous. (Rosten, Leo. 1968. The Joys of Yiddish. New York: Pocket Books. 237) Urban Dictionary

*** *** ***


Lose Weight Valentine Card

Damn, you was such a handsome boy!

Pardon me: a fine lookin’ man

All decked out in dress blues

Back from Viet Nam.

You knew it too, you son of a bitch

Thought you was all that and a bag of chips.

Skin the color of golden wheat

With succulent, luscious, to-die-for lips.

Dark brown eyes that had me,

Made me—drownin’ in pools of lust.

Then when you was all spent,

Your goddamn mood went bust.

You said: “You put on weight while I was gone

Yo’ ass not as fine as it used to be,

Slim it on down, Lil Chubby-ass Chunky,

If you want to be seen round town with me.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, OO-RAH!

My Ex-Marine in black and blue.

I walked out on your ass that very day,

Married a man, a gazillion times better than you.

Tells me daily how beautiful I am,

(After 40 years, I know he’s probably lyin’)

So what?—he really loves me for me

And I bless him for even tryin’. **

**I AM WHAT I AM: “I am what I am, I am my own special creation. So come take a look, give me the hook or the ovation. It’s my world that I want to take a little pride in, My world and it’s not a place I have to hide in, Life’s not worth a damn, Till you can say, ‘Hey world, I am what I am.’” –La Cage Aux Folles; Lyrics by Jerry Herman

*** *** ***


Sarah Palin Meme

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

You called me out

For not “gettin’ down with the peeps” like you.


Roses are red

Violets are blue,

You said I was actin’ all white with my talk

Said I read too much, too.


Roses are red

Violets are blue,

I dumped your stupid ass

For someone much smarter than you.


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Valentine, you’re still shuckin’ and jivin’ in the ghetto.

Look at me! Traveling the world—praising God every day I got rid of you. ***

***LET NO ONE ELSE DEFINE YOU: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”— Audre Lorde

*** *** ***


Love someone who makes you laugh

(Anonymous Google Meme)

*** *** ***

Old Couple Farts

“Sometimes the more chances you give the more respect you lose. Your standards begin to be ignored when you let people get comfortable in knowing that another chance will always exist. They start to depend on your forgiveness. That’s why I’m no longer a slave to apologies. Treat me right the first time because I can’t guarantee you a next time (emphasis mine). It’s impossible to keep me once you’ve lost my trust. I’m not saying you have to be afraid to lose me, what I’m sayin’ is . . . I’m not afraid to walk away.” — @TrentShelton #RehabTime

“The heart that’s meant to love you will fight for you when you want to give up, pick you up when you’re feeling down, and will give their smile when it’s hard for you to find yours. They will NEVER get strength from seeing you weak, power from seeing you hurt, or joy from seeing you cry. The heart that’s meant to love you wants to see the BEST YOU, not the hurt you! Never forget that.”—@TrentShelton #RehabTime




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 February 7, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Do you know what I discovered about myself this week?   I have turned into a thirteen-year-old boy over this deflate-gate scandal involving the New England Patriots. I, who know nothing about football—seriously, I know less than nothing—can’t help descending into gales of laughter every time someone from the NFL gives a news conference trying to defend yet another one of their lack of character issues. Remember “Spygate”? According to Wikipedia, that scandal was about the Pats “videotaping the New York Jets’ defensive coaches’ signals from a sideline position years ago.” Apparently, in the land of football, this was considered a mega-cheating scandal and cost the Patriots thousands of dollars, so the Pats aren’t receiving much grace from the public (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me).

Deflated Balls FB Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Either it’s a lack of sleep (three hours), or I’m really regressing into a pubescent boy, but I fell off the treadmill from the gale-force of my laughter when I heard quarterback Tom Brady give his news conference about his personal handling of the eleven out of twelve underinflated footballs used during the Pats’ 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts that determined who would play in this year’s Super Bowl Game. Brady started the news conference by saying that when he picks his anointed twelve footfalls right before the big game, to him they are perfect. He then went on to say:

“I don’t want anyone touching my balls after that,

Don’t want anyone rubbing them—

Putting any air in them—taking any air out. . .

To me those balls are perfect!”

ROLFL! I can hardly wait for this week’s Saturday Night Live. It is going to be priceless!

NFL Underinflated Ball Milt Priggee  www miltpriggee com

Used by permission: Milt Priggee,

Maybe we ought to give up the ghost on our claim that we are an exceptional nation with great moral character. It’s just too hard, isn’t it?   We’re failing at it here, there, and everywhere. According to a study done in 2010 (The Prevalence of Lying in America: Three Studies of Self-Reported Lies), 96% of us lie like a rug just to get our own way. And if The Fiscal Times is to be believed, they cite a study that says cheating has gone mainstream from parents of high school kids hiring—for thousands of dollars—uber-smart “ringers” to take their kids SAT tests, to websites that will help one cheat on one’s spouse. Way to go, America!

As I meditated on these themes, I had a daydream that instead of the country celebrating the Academy Awards on February 22nd (something I know a great deal about), we ought to have a Cheaters and Liars Awards Show. The trophy could be based on the Patriots’ scandal. Instead of an Oscar, the winners could receive a trophy in the shape of a deflated ball. Can you imagine . . .

Used by permission Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune


SCENE: We zoom in on a gala star-studded awards ceremony somewhere in Los Angeles. Beautiful, and not so beautiful, people can be seen exiting limousines and milling around waiting to walk the red carpet and hopefully catch the eye of one of the top celebrity correspondents. They are primed and ready to show off their designer gowns and suits for the Academy of Cheaters and Liars as they “humbly” announce that winning is not everything—they are just happy to be nominated (remember they are up for awards as liars). Celebrity blogger and author, ET, can be seen waving over Fox News for her first interview.

ET:         Faux News! Welcome to the first annual Academy of Cheaters and Liars awards ceremony. You’ve been nominated for the “Just Can’t Seem to Get the Facts Right” category along with CNN,,, RedState,The Rush Limbaugh Show, and that consummate liar, Glenn Beck. And look at you, girlfriend. You are stylin’ tonight. Who knew right-wingers could “rock your body” like that. And look at that ass—you are definitely “all about that bass,” Baby. Who are you wearing tonight?

FOX:      I’m wearing Armani ‘cause I’ve got “no treble.” He, he, he, he! Get it? Meghan Trainor—“All About That Bass.” Who says Republicans aren’t lowdown with the culture?

ET:         Ah, Foxy Baby, I don’t think “lowdown” means what you think it means. Anyway, how open-minded of you, Foxy, on your choice of formal wear! You know Armani’s gay, right? Don’t get me wrong—I loves me some Armani—I don’t care what his sexuality is. He’s brilliant. I just thought, given your lack of love for gay people and all . . .

FOX:      Armani is not a gay. He’s been married to a woman for thirty years (his childhood sweetheart to be exact), has eight kids, and is a pillar of the Catholic Church in Germany.

ET:         Did you just pull that out of your “bass,” Sugah? And can you spell Google?

UB Award I Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Fox News scurries off in a bit of a huff, although they are slated to win a Deflated Ball for their debacle of stating as fact that France and England have “no go zones” which are Muslim controlled and ruled by Sharia Law. They are favored to win because Fox News repeated this lie multiple times without a shred of facts, summarily offended the French, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is threatening to sue their “bass.” You go Faux News!

Our entertainment correspondent sees Mitt Romney off in the distance and beckons him over for an interview.

ET:         Mitt, what a surprise! I did not expect to see you here, Darlin’, but I just found out that you are up for a triple-threat award: the Clueless Award for your 2012 47% comment, the Consummate Liar’s award because you swore eleven times that you would not run for the presidency again (even your wife said “we are done, done, done”), and the Flip-floppers award. But before we try to break that down for our viewing audience, who are you wearing tonight?

MITT:    Robert Comstock.

ET:         But of course, you are—he’s the wonderful Mormon fashion designer. Love, love, love his line, although it’s a little bit pricey for my 47% ass and not quite diva-ish enough for my tastes. In fact, it’s a little casual for this event, don’t you think?

MITT:    I do not. I’m changing my image. I’m all about the poor this presidential campaign—all about my peeps in the hoods everywhere.  This year I’m down with the 47%. I’m bringing on my homeboy, Snoop Puppy Dog as my adjunct campaign advisor. I’m confident that nothing can stop me from occupying the Oval office in 2015 and beyond because I will win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win (did I say that eleven times?)!  I deserve it!  I am called to save our country from the ravages of that Kenyan. I am the man!

ET:         Oh, Mitt Baby. Even I’m feeling a little sorry for you. Did you notice that the Republican Party ran off into the bushes screaming “nooooooooooooooooooooooooo” after you said “yes?” The Koch Brothers invited every Republican they could think of except you, Brother, to their big pow-wow (“the Koch Brothers’ secret bank”) this weekend. I think I stand a better chance of getting invited as an ex-black conservative, born-again liberal before you will. WTF, man? Show some pride. Did losing to a black man cause you that much trauma? Go home and raise your grandkids and forget about ruling the world, or at least America.

MT:        Forget? How dare you! I never lose, I never lose, I hate Jeb Bush, I hate Jeb Bush, I must win all the time, I must win all the time, no matter what, no matter what . . .

Romney I No No No John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

As Romney wandered off in his wilderness-chic apparel by Robert Comstock mumbling his “winning” mantra, ET spotted Bill Cosby skulking on the periphery trying to get the black media to cut him some slack and give him an interview about anything except the rumors circling around him. ET hides behind Michael Moore who was there for the Hubris Award for Bloviated Opinions along with Bill Maher, and she stayed put until the dark shadow of Cosby passed by. ET just didn’t have the heart to engage in chit-chat with the murderer of Dr. Huxstable. Besides, she knew exactly what he was wearing because she could spot an Anand Jon Alexander design a mile away (the celebrity designer currently serving 59 years to life in prison in California for raping aspiring models he had drugged—some as young as 14). On the verge of vomiting, and in the attempt to escape from Bill Cosby’s line of vision, and hoping to avoid Michael Moore altogether, she collided with Lance Armstrong and accidentally knocked him off his bike which made him furious.

ET:         Oh, Lance Armstrong, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to dismantle you from your bike. I didn’t see you there. Can I interview you?

LA:         Whatever.

ET:         There is no use asking who you’re wearing because it’s clear your bike shorts and top are made by you since nobody wants to be associated with you anymore, and I read that you gave all your label-sponsored sportswear to Goodwill. As to why you are here: My media card says that you are up for best documentary of the World’s Greatest Liar: “Lance Armstrong: Stop at Nothing.” You know that you are the only one in your category tonight of the World’s Greatest Liar, don’t you? No one has ever come close to pulling off the massive fraud you did except maybe Bernie Madoff, so you’re sure to be a shoe-in for a Deflated Ball.

LA:         I just want to ask you what I ask everyone else: How can it be cheating or lying when everyone else was doing it? I did what I had to do to win.

ET:         Save it for the Judge, Sweetpea. I’m not going to get into this discussion with you. I just want to say that the documentary is unbelievable, and you deserve a Deflated Ball. Congratulations! I had a lot of admiration and sympathy for you before I saw the documentary (your personal deflated ball situation caused by cancer and all), but I came away from the film feeling absolutely cold inside—as if I had bumped into Satan himself! Dude, you are portrayed as one cold-hearted, mean-spirited, lying, cheating, life-destroying, manipulative, sociopathic, son-of-a-bitch and it’s all through your own words and actions—the narrator barely had to say a thing. No one has ever made me feel that way. Man, I wouldn’t want to ever be your friend or associate.

LA:         Fuck you!

ET:         Yep, that’s what everyone said you’d say if I dared to interview you. It looks like not much has changed about your character. Well, it’s been real. Gotta go!

On that note, our entertainment correspondent fled as far away from Lance Armstrong as she could and took her seat with all the nominees to watch our fallen heroes and idols as they received their Deflated Ball trophies for the selling of their souls to win, to get the gold, to receive the praise, and to harness the power. All she could think was: “America, you sho’ is in trouble, Girl!”

Lance Armstrong Confession Tom Janssen The Netherlands

Used by permission: Tom Janssen, The Netherlands


I am discovering that we have become a nation of cheaters and liars—from the marriage bed to the football field to the pulpit and beyond. No wonder we can’t get much done as a Nation. No wonder we have so many mental-health issues. No wonder our moral compass is shattered. How can we work together to overcome our problems (both individually and societally) if we can’t even trust each other? Winning has become such a powerful drug that most of us will do anything, say anything, and sell any part of our souls to reach that summit. Prestigious schools are being caught in cheating scandals faster than I can say “My Kid’s an Honor Roll Student;” we had a President look us straight in the eye and say, “I did not have sex with that woman,” when he knew damn well he did (I count blow-jobs as sex, thank you very much, BC); and more than half of us divorce each other with 47% citing the reason as unreasonable behavior by our partners.

Well, I’m not having it in my life. I can’t control these national fools who have already betrayed my trust and those who will continue to betray me—but I can control my own sorry ass. (God, please help me to end my days better than when I began—in other words, let me walk the talk until I permanently exit stage left.) As for my husband and my children, it would behoove them to follow my lead because I now write books, and if they don’t behave, one day I will be interviewed by Oprah! Uh, huh—that’s what I’m sayin’!

Cheating husband and wife Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

Used by permission: Daryl Cagle,

“To me, football is so much about mental toughness, it’s digging deep, it’s doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms.” (Emphasis mine)—Tom Brady (quarterback for the New England Patriots)

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”—Abraham Lincoln

“I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.”—Sophocles

“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.”—Scott Alexander





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 January 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Do you know what I discovered this week? I would love to chat with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and let him know that I am one black woman in America who has been living the dream for quite some time now. So much so, that the only problems I have are white people problems, which is amazing given the background I’ve come from. In my memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown, I vividly described living through the Jim Crow era as a poor black child, and it was a bitch! It’s a good thing Dr. King came along when he did or I would have been burnt toast. I’ll tell you now, I was not cut out to suffer. Let’s just say, I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor—rich is a hell of a lot better.

Since I can’t see Dr. King face-to-face at this point, maybe I’ll write him a letter. Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’ll bring him up to date as to what’s happening in my life and the general state of affairs on the Earth vis-à-vis his legacy.

Massage Appointment

The main problem I had this month—E. Tomczyk

Dear Dr. King:

Hope all is well. But of course it is, because compared to Earth, I am sure Heaven is a walk in the park. Did you just flip when Mahalia Jackson sang her way into Glory shortly after you did in 1972 and when Maya Angelou strutted her stuff through the pearly gates this past year? I can almost hear the three of you civil rights icons harmonizing on “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” And what was the look on Strom Thurmond’s face in 2003—that old humorless racist from South Carolina—when he saw you laughing it up with Jesus, et al? Did that staunch segregationist tell you that he had a secret bi-racial daughter that he fathered with a sixteen-year-old maid in his house when he was twenty-two-years-old? (Nowadays they’d call that statutory rape.) Of course, it must have been so exhilarating to see your wife, Coretta, again in 2006. She did a great job in carrying the torch once you’d gone, Martin. You would have been pleased at how she preserved your legacy. (Now your kids, they are a horse of a different color, but I’ll tell you more about them later.)

MLK I Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Dr. King, I have been living the dream! First of all, I got a great education—it wasn’t easy—but I worked my ass off to get my degree. I was one of the first to go to college in my neighborhood. I did well, too—even made the Dean’s List a time or two. Then I met this adorable man who turned out to be a white man. Can you believe it? As you know, the Supreme Court didn’t strike down the miscegenation laws until 1967 with the Loving v. Virginia case, but we didn’t meet until 1972. We were pretty much free from any bigotry against our marriage (unless you count my mother-in-law) as long as we stayed out of South Carolina and Alabama, which still kept their miscegenation laws on the books until 1998 and 2000 respectively. There was still a Justice of the Peace in Robert, Louisiana as late as 2009 who refused to marry an interracial couple, but I never had much account for Louisiana and pretty much avoided that state like the plague.

Anyway, I got myself a darling white man. He’s a keeper! You’d be pleased, Martin—he’s so kind. He’s my best friend. I’m sure interracial marriages hadn’t even crossed your mind when you said “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.” And do you know what we do—this milky-white man and I—to celebrate your birthday? We spend the entire weekend in places that would have, at best, dragged us out by our hair, and at worst, lynched us from a “poplar tree as strange fruit” for breaking the miscegenation laws in years gone by.

I know our first black President says we should spend your holiday weekend in service to others, but I do that all year round anyway. I get way too much pleasure from these traveling adventures to set them aside. This year WW (White and Wonderful) and I plan to go to an antebellum resort that was started in 1778. It has been the vacation site of presidents, judges, lawyers, politicians, and at least one princess. You should see me when I roll up to these places. I’m always dressed to the nines, dripping with jewels (tastefully, of course), and as my husband hands the valet the keys to our car, he extends his arm to me and I loop my arm in his as we stroll confidently and with grace through the front door to the check-in desk. Then I take a deep breath and wait for the line that is always music to my ears: “Welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Tomczyk. It is a pleasure to have you as our guests!”

MLK Obama 2nd term Christopher Weyant The Hill

Cartoon used by permission: Christopher Weyant, The Hill

Life has definitely improved since you left us, Martin. More minorities are educated with good jobs, great homes, and doing well. We can eat where we want, live where we want, and vote for whom we want. Our first black President was elected for a second term (nobody saw that coming), and although he has his haters by the truck load, I think he’s going to end his presidency just fine, and history will treat him kindly. Unless you’re watching Fox News and their right-wing bedfellows, the entire world has seen his grace under fire, his self-control, his uber-intelligence, and his compassionate heart. We just have to keep him alive to finish the job. (You know what I’m sayin’.)

Now, I’m not going to lie to you—even with our first black President we still have many, many issues to deal with, and some of them might end up derailing all your hard work and sacrifice. One of them is that our black children seem to either not understand the depth of your sacrifice (and others) or they have been raised in such affluence they don’t see the potential dangers that they could still encounter. Granted it was years ago, but one of my kids announced to me that there was no more racism—her generation didn’t see color (she does have an amazing gaggle of multi-cultural friends). Of course she is the color of vanilla cream, so half the time, people just assume she’s white. She didn’t change her tune until a stranger in an airport bar recently mistook her for being white and jokingly made good-old-boy cracks about how much he was sure they’d both enjoy seeing the President assassinated, as if this was a first-line agenda item on every white person’s list. Sigh!

MLK Meaning to Young David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Other black children have given up on your dream, Dr. King because of the ravages caused by income inequality: eroding public schools, the new slavery (one in ten black men in prison—more in prison than enslaved in 1850), absentee fathers (cause they’re mostly in prison!), joblessness, homelessness, black-on-black crime, police brutality . . . black folks hardly vote anymore because they are so disheartened. We’re losing our youth to drugs, murder, and mayhem, Martin. The black middle-class is melting away and most of our black families are ending up in the 99% of the have-nots because the richest 1% now control 48.2% of the global wealth. How can any of the poor compete with that, no matter what their race?

MLK 1 percent Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

But the fear that keeps me awake at night is the resurgence of widespread racism. Dr. King the world has gone nuts since you’ve been gone. Religious extremists are bombing here, there, and everywhere. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe—it’s as if all of Europe has collective amnesia. In America there are “angry white men” who have taken up residence in the Tea Party and white supremacy groups because they are convinced that your legacy has made them victims of reverse discrimination. It’s as if they are trying to turn back the clock for minorities, women, and the gay and lesbian population to the 1950s. It’s just crazy-go-bananas in our legislative branches and in the marketplace. Sometimes it makes me want to stand up and holler.

MLK II Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Well, that is the gist of it Dr. King. I could rattle on for days. Pray for us in the hour of our need. The jury is still out as to whether we can continue to live the dream that you so valiantly gave your life for. I’m getting up there in age, so I won’t have to deal with this disillusionment much longer. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you sooner than later. Take care, my hero.

Je t’adore, Eleanor

P.S. LATEST CHIT-CHAT: Bill Cosby assassinated Dr. Huxtable and broke millions of hearts; we have a popular TV show where a white president of the United States is having an affair with a kick-ass black woman who is a miracle worker; we have another popular TV show where the protagonist is teaching everyone how to get away with murder; and we have a brand new hot TV soap opera where the cast is 99% black and they are all rich hip-hop moguls (all three shows written by black folks). Dr. Ben Carson, who used to be arguably the best neurosurgeon in the country has lost his freakin’ mind and become a Tea Party darling and wants to run for president. Your grown-ass kids are a HUGE embarrassment (sorry to be the one to break the news)! Dexter and Martin III are trying to oust Bernice as CEO of King Center, and Bernice is counter-suing because the brothers tried to sell your 1964 Nobel Peace Prize (oh, hell to the no!) and your Bible you took with you to prison that Barack Obama swore his inaugural oath on. One of your kids is suing your old friend Andrew Young for intellectual property that he says you and Coretta gave him, and the King kids made DC pay them a butt-load of money ($800,000 I think) to erect a long-awaited statue of you. Also, I heard your Center has fallen into disrepair—algae is growing in the pond which is cracked, and the place is looking real ghetto-like. Looks like your kids aren’t living the dream, either (judging by their character, and all). Kids! What you gonna do?

Live Together as Brothers

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.







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 January 15, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered today? I’m baaaaack, and I’m feelin’ good. My Christmas break was awesome! It was full of joy, lots of love, and tons of laughter marred by only one event: the theft of Black Baby Jesus from the crèche on the day before Christmas Eve. Since the six-inch-high crèche resides on one of the end tables, I was able to narrow the theft down to three possible culprits. CULPRIT #1: a six-year-old boy (my grandson) who has been trying to abscond with Black Baby Jesus ever since he was three-years-old (the one-inch baby fits so very nicely in a little boy’s pockets or his diapers at an earlier stage). CULPRIT #2: a three-month-old Maltese named Chuck (grandson’s new pup), who chews on any and everything he can get into his mouth, and doesn’t know the first thing about Xmas protocol (we caught him playing box-the-ornaments-on-the-tree with his front two paws while standing up on his hind legs as if he were training to be the next Muhammad Ali. CULPRIT #3: A wizened older Shorky dog named Wednesday Addams (Chuck’s cousin), who is too cool for school and has no tolerance for pups who don’t know the Christmas rules. (Although I didn’t think Wednesday was guilty of the theft, I wouldn’t put it past her to have set Chuck up for the kidnapping of Black Baby Jesus just to get him punished with a timeout in his crate, thus giving Wednesday some peace and quiet.) But nobody was talking, or barking, as the case may be. (I looked to the heavens and prayed: Lord Jesus, give me grace and help me find Black Baby Jesus because I really liked that crèche!) So I accused all three of these little hooligans of the dastardly deed, and I threatened to withhold all doggie treats and presents until the baby was returned. I put all the adults in my house on high alert as well:

“I’m not superstitious or anything, but it can’t possibly be a good thing that Black Baby Jesus has been kidnapped before his birthday. You are all on poop patrol and are responsible to check out any suspicious ‘meadow muffins’ coming out of these three that might be in the shape of a one-inch Savior of the world.”

Day After Christmas RJ Matson

Cartoon used by permission: RJ Matson

Black Baby Jesus was not found until the day after Christmas (underneath the couch) when we were disposing of enough Christmas wrapping to stuff a giant landfill. That morning before the revelation of said whereabouts of you-know-Who, we sang “Happy Birthday, Jesus” to an empty crèche, and Little Dude blew out the candles to the Jesus cake on Christmas morning to an absent Baby King—assuming he was making his way through somebody’s intestines. None of the culprits confessed (personally, I think they were all in on it), but it did get me thinking about 2014 and the visibility—or lack of visibility—of God in the everyday scary-ass mayhem of our lives.

2014 had been a good year for the Tomczyk family and we felt the grace of God all throughout the year (meaning, basically we got the things we hoped and wished for, or better), and for that I am extremely grateful because some years we have not been so fortunate. Like every other family in the world, we have seen our ups and downs and experienced our fair share of pain which I wrote about in my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown, and will continue the story in my second book that will hopefully be released this year.

We took all day to leisurely open presents (interrupted by meals and eggnog, the reading of the Christmas story from Grandpa to Little Dude while the rest of the clan solemnly participated in the tender moment, and cried as we shared what made us most grateful about 2014—mostly each other).

But we also acknowledged that on a domestic and global scale 2014 had been a bitch!

2014 I cant breathe Cam Cardow Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons

We had friends whose marriages had crumbled, friends whose funerals we had attended, friends whose children we had helped bury, and friends who were no longer friends because they had broken our hearts. On a national and international level, we were all horrified about the murder of Dr. Huxtable by Bill Cosby, heartsick over the kidnapping of hundreds of young girls by Boko Haram and our impotence to do anything about it, devastated at the beheadings by ISIS, worried for the millions of refugees roaming the Earth due to war, heartbroken over the slaughter of Syrians by their own government, sickened by the racism that seems to be rearing its ugly head in America again, angry over the treatment of our Vets, demoralized by the killing of young black men by law enforcement, disheartened by the murders of innocent policemen, disquieted by the emergence of Ebola, but furious that a certain ersatz news agency had whipped up so much hysteria around Ebola that people practically lost their minds in the United States where only one person had died of the disease (less than 10,000 have died from Ebola worldwide while an estimated 39 million people have died from AIDS and an estimated 35 million are living with HIV worldwide). We (who am I kidding, “I”) resolved to be a more disciplined consumer of the news so as not to end up being manipulated by them (left, right, and independent) and causing me more fear than necessary, and thus, destroying my mental health.

Fox News Hysteria Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

As we talked about looking forward to what we hoped 2015 would bring to the individual members of our family and the resolutions we would make (knowing that some of them would be kept but most of them would be broken), it occurred to us all that in our personal goals, family quests, national and international dreams, a great deal of grace—amazing grace—would be needed for the new year and beyond. On the global scale, anything could happen (or continue to happen) as 2015 unfolded, and we would never know when vestiges of our global problems might roll up on the shores of our lives. But as long as we stuck together and bolstered our friendships and family with love while we maintained our utilization of God’s grace during the hard times, we’d triumphantly make it through 2015.

Year In Review FB  David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I am discovering that life has always been volatile for humankind. And even though the 21st Century can sometimes seem to be the worst of times, it really isn’t. I wouldn’t want to be a black woman in any other time, but this one. I can’t imagine not having control of my own destiny, and yet in America just a couple hundred years ago that would have been the case for me. Even though it seems that the wheels are coming off the racial harmony bus, we have come a long way, baby, we just have to keep on keepin’ on until that old generation of racists has gone on to their “great reward” (currently occupying the Tea Party).  And the thing about living is that no one ever knows when a good year will turn into a bad year or vice versa stripping a person bare of everything except the grace that infuses and covers us making us overcomers and survivors. *Check out the murderous mayhem that happened in the 20th Century, which looked like God had gone on vacation to another universe and left the devil in charge of ours, and our current time period will reveal itself as the longest period of peace and prosperity known to man—which is really saying something. It’s just that our 24/7 news cycles, Twitter, Facebook, cell phones with cameras, and Blogs make the world seem more accessible and thus more threatening than it really is. (Suggested 20th Century reading for perspective: Books on influenza and polio deaths in 1912, WWI, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, WWII, the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Atomic Bomb, WWII refugees and displaced persons, Apartheid in South Africa, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Jim Crow Era with its random beatings, rapes, lynching, and systematic racism, the Cold War, Rwanda—just to name a few terrors from 1900-1999!)

In 2015, I’ll keep searching for hope that started in the crèche in Bethlehem and culminated on the cross at Calvary and take delight in the little things on Earth that bring me joy as I journey in God’s amazing grace. Like the Ohio State Buckeyes kicking Alabama Crimson Tide’s ass (42-35) in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2015.  I’m told by people in the know (I don’t know a thing about football), that Ohio State came into the game with a 9-point underdog label against the Alabama machine (again words of my friends–I know nothing!).  Even when it looked like Ohio State was getting its ass kicked, they kept fighting as if it was not an option to do otherwise.  Oh yeah!  Being an Ohio girl, this brings me great joy and inspiration, and I’ll take joy and inspiration for 2015 wherever I can get it!

Ohio vs Alabama Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Who in their right mind . . . could possibly deny the 20th Century was entirely mine. All of it . . .”—The Devil from the Devil’s Advocate by Andrew Neiderman

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ― Ellen Goodman

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man.”Benjamin Franklin

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”Goran Persson




Welcome 2015 Blog

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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 January 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


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SANDY CLAWS (An Adult Xmas Tale)

Do you know what I discovered a long time ago? I don’t believe in Santa—never did as far as I can tell because he never came to my piss-poor neighborhood on Christmas Eve. He was such a foreign entity that for years I misspoke his name and thought it was “Sandy Claws.” The first time I ran into a rather inebriated, raggedy white Santa was at an orphan charity event in an enormous warehouse with hundreds of other foster kids, and even though I asked for a father Sandy Claws gave me a used handbag. Of course, there was a good chance that most of the kids in that warehouse were asking for the same thing, and Santa might have run out of fathers by the time he got to me. Just sayin’—to be fair.

Santa Loves Rich Kids More Meme

I never taught my children to believe in Santa Claus. First of all, we lived in Israel the first few years of their lives, and it seemed an unnecessary burden to saddle little kids with the concept of a fictional character laden with presents, who would come to our house but didn’t bother going to the houses of our Israeli neighbors. Besides, my kids were already shouldering the burden of believing in Jesus—the Son of God—born to a virgin and a carpenter just a few miles south of their home town. Also, my husband and I had worked our asses off for the gifts we gave them and felt the hero worship should flow back to their very caring and loving parents who were sacrificing on a daily basis to give them a wonderful life.

Consequently, my only grandson doesn’t believe in Santa Claus because my daughters chose to follow my lead. But his grandfather, my husband (WW), believed in SC until he was twelve years old. (For my Johnny-come-lately readers, my husband is white and grew up in a very white, very middle-class, and very Norman Rockwell household and neighborhood. Santa was practically a god in their home, and he went to every house in the town except for the poor black children and the Jews—at first. But then many of the Jews in the town, who were very wealthy, got pressured by their kids to add a Christmas tree during Chanukah and introduce Santa along with the menorah (much to the chagrin of the local rabbi), so that they could keep up with the Goyim. The poor little black kids in the town, on the other hand, didn’t have parents with enough money to get a nod from white Santa, soooo “bupkis mit kuduchas” which is Yiddish for “shivering shit balls!”) When my husband accidentally found out that Santa didn’t exist, he had already exorcised the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny from his heart, and God got the boot shortly afterwards. His twelve-year-old theory was “if the parents lied to me about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, why should I believe them about God?” Good point.

Santa Disappoints Bizarro

Cartoon by Dan Piraro:

My six-year-old grandson didn’t need to be told there wasn’t a Santa. He figured it out almost from the beginning of his travels on Earth and has been taking his requests to the Big Guy ever since. Because all of his prayers to date have been answered except for one (can’t share his one unanswered prayer—he asked me to keep it confidential), Little Dude is quite confident in his knowledge and faith of God. (One Christmas, when he was five years old, he stuck a declarative Post-it note on my refrigerator like Martin Luther did on the Wittenberg Door which read: “I love Gob.” I didn’t bother to point out his backward “d” and he didn’t bother to tell me why he wrote the note and posted it on my refrigerator. It’s still there to help me through my bouts of daily doubts.)

Me-Maw’s boy thinks it’s a very cool concept that God found a way to infuse the Earth with his presence by slipping in incognito as a baby through a mommy named Mary. Unlike it does to most adults, this makes perfectly good sense to Little Dude, because mommies are just about the coolest things on Earth (“except when they take things much too seriously,” as he has been heard to pontificate on occasion). And if you asked him why Jesus decided to introduce himself to the Earth in such an inauspicious way as a baby, he’d probably answer: “Why not?”

God Come Down to Earth Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

Quite recently my grandson revealed his thought process as to the gift-giving system he is sure that God has set up between Himself and mankind. Ever since Little Dude was a baby he has traveled underground on the subway, above ground on the bus, or occasionally taken taxis to his various destinations. It soon became apparent to him that taxis were the preferred method of getting from point A to point B, especially after getting stuck at eye level in a sea of adult asses—barely able to breathe—squishing him during rush hour as he waited for the next train to pull into the station. He hated the subway with a passion and would throw a hissy fit every time he had to descend the underground stairway. His final outcry to God to send his family a car had to have been when he ran face first into a subway tunnel pole (almost knocking him out cold) while trying to keep up with his mom as they ran to catch the train home from school.

Fast forward six months after Little Dude’s “kissing-the-subway-pole incident,” and my grandson can be seen comfortably perched in the car seat/backseat of his new family car that he has made no bones about letting people know he asked God for. He is languidly sipping from a strawberry/banana juice box, snacking on chicken nuggets, and reading his latest National Geographic Kids Magazine (did I forget to mention that he’s brilliant?).  His mommy breaks his concentration by uttering a “soto voce” prayer that is often heard on the lips of city drivers: “Oh God, please give me a parking space.”  She has been driving around and around for twenty minutes in NYC trying to find a place that is within at least a half-mile of their apartment. (As most city dwellers know, getting a decent parking place can mean the difference between only having to carry several bags of groceries and your child a few yards to your home or getting towed and spending a king’s ransom to retrieve your car.) But as my daughter reiterates her frustrated plea to the God of the Universe a little bit louder and more urgently, Little Dude decides to set the record straight as to how God answers human prayer requests for gifts:

“That’s not how God works, Mom. He’s not gonna answer that prayer.

He’ll give you a car, but he won’t find you a parking space.

You’re pretty much on your own with that one.”

Christmas Wish White Priviledge David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon Used by Permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

When Little Dude comes for Christmas maybe we’ll have a chat about his assurance of God and his lack of belief in Santa—“out of the mouths of babes” and all. I’m fascinated by his childlike faith. As an old fart, mine is a bit jaded. I get why he doesn’t believe in Santa—what can a fat ol’ white man in a red suit do to answer my primary Christmas request that no amount of money can buy: Peace on Earth?  I need a real source of power, but God doesn’t seem to be responding yet, no matter how hard I pray. Can’t He see we’re not getting any better, no matter how much technically smarter we become?

I will tell my grandson that my faith is strong as to the “why” of God’s great reveal through the Baby Jesus: hope.  (If one strips away all of the horrid Christian misrepresentations through the years of who Jesus is and whom he loves (all-powerful and loves everybody)—the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely, the broken, the misunderstood, the battered, the abused, the raped—both men and women alike, the hope that the baby born in a manger brought and brings to Earth is revolutionary. What I am most hurt over and where my faith is wavering is regarding peace on Earth: peace in Ferguson, peace in the Middle East, peace amongst the races, peace among the nations of the Earth, peace for women enslaved in backward countries, and peace in individual households. Peace—that is the Christmas gift I want God to give to the Earth this holiday season. Maybe my grandson will say that God won’t answer that prayer because he gave us the Earth as a gift, but we’ll have to work out peace between each other on our own.

Christmas Peace in Ferguson Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant


I am discovering that I am going to take a break from blogging until the New Year in order to spend some splendid time with my family (and my delightful grandson) who are coming from far and near following the “star” called home. We shall spend time together cherishing one another, eating and drinking too much, playing games, seeing theatrical shows, going to museums, and exchanging copious gifts. We’ll sing Christmas carols starting with my favorite: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” But the greatest gift that we will give each other this Christmas that Jesus gave to the entire world is love.

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

From the Tomczyk household to you and yours.

Peace on Earth IV  Parker Florida Today

Cartoon Used by Permission: Jeff Parker, Florida Today

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

“No matter what, I always make it home for Christmas. I love to go to my Tennessee Mountain Home and invite all of my nieces and nephews and their spouses and kids and do what we all like to do – eat, laugh, trade presents and just enjoy each other… and sometimes I even dress up like Santa Claus!”—Dolly Parton

“We have domesticated God’s transcendence. We often learn about God at about the same time as we are learning about Santa Claus; but our ideas about Santa Claus change, mature and become more nuanced, whereas our ideas of God can remain at a rather infantile level.”Karen Armstrong

“I ain’t here to argue about his facial features. Or here to convert atheists into believers. I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers, the way Kathie Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus.”—Kanye West

“God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the Earth.”—Pope Benedict XVI


Reason for the Season Cardow The Ottawa Citizen

Cartoon Used by Permission: Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen




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 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the urgency of the subject matter, I am rerunning last week’s story to include an update about Eric Garner (Staten Island Man killed by NYC policemen in apparent chokehold for selling loose cigarettes) and Tamir Rice (twelve-year-old murdered by Cleveland police in possession of an airsoft BB-gun). The subject matter of judicial imbalance, racial injustice, and an overall “come to Jesus” meeting needed in America about racism in general is much too important to abandon just yet for the fluff Christmas post that I originally intended for this week. New dialogue and cartoons have been added to the storyline.

Do you know what I discovered this week? While I was away cheating on my vegetarian diet with stuffed turkey and the works, three conspiracy theories from the “man on the street” were texted to me by my roving news hounds who send me blog ideas each week:

#1. Bill Cosby accused of murdering Dr. Cliff Huxtable. A dear, sweet, African-American actor has been set up by “The Man” (a.k.a. white people) who don’t want black folks to be rich and famous.

#2. Ferguson Grand Jury decision purposely delayed from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to give time for media incitement from both the Left and the Right to ignite bad behavior to fire up dull news cycle (puns intended): (“Ferguson is a powder-keg! Will it blow tonight? Will people manage to stay calm in all their pent-up anger, frustration, and disappointment?), proving once again that “The Man” doesn’t want black folks to have nice things.

#3. Eric Garner Grand Jury refused to indict Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo for allegedly using a chokehold on an overweight black man for allegedly selling loose cigarettes because they hate fat people and love cigarette taxation. Also, it is clear that Obama is trying to start a race war.

#4. Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann (white), who shot and killed twelve-year-old Tamir Rice (black), is said to have been a “righteous” policeman who resigned from the Independence, Ohio police department for what CNN cites as a “dangerous loss of composure during live range training.”  The Cleveland Po-Po—always a model of law enforcement across America (I know because I was born and raised there)—hired Officer Loehmann without checking his previous employment records. Why?  The conspiracy theory is that this is Cleveland’s way of endearing itself to its minority population and maintaining its title of “The Mistake On the Lake,” and once again, Obama is trying to start a race war, people!

#5. Husband of author of Monsters’ Throwdown lodges a complaint with the Homeowners’ Association and his wife that his house is trying to assassinate him. He says his house is no longer a home because it has joined in conspiracy with his car, the appliances, the plumbing, the electricity, and the gas to eat up his retirement funds and rob him of all peace and joy.

Hell Greets Cosby Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

Used by permission: Daryl Cagle,

I’ve got to tell you that the conspiracy theories brought to my attention within the past twenty-four hours have really done me in. I’m horrified on all accounts, and I really don’t know what to think or how to deal with them. One would think that the conspiracy theory that is close to home—my husband WW’s agitation with our home and its inanimate objects—would be manageable. I thought so too until my very intelligent but not-so-handy-handyman decided to take matters into his own hands.

I had just settled down at my desk to put together an outline for my blog, and as I sometimes do, had set up a list of four words that randomly popped into my head (three had come to mind, but I was still searching for the fourth) to focus my mind on the subject matter that I wanted to explore:





At that exact moment, I saw my husband (WW) march past my office door replete with a fully-stocked tool belt, workman’s glasses, a workman’s hard hat, and a pneumatic nail gun. Curious, I stopped typing mid-sentence…

ME:        Babe, where you going looking like one of the Village People?

WW:      Installing a dimming switch for the dining room chandelier for the holidays. I thought we could use more ambience.

ME:        Really? Okay. But it looks as if you’re going to singlehandedly build a three-story house with all those tools while simultaneously dancing to “YMCA.”   I don’t know much about nail guns, but I never heard of one being used to install a light switch. Don’t you use that particular tool to lay down wooden floors? Are you sure we shouldn’t call an electrician?

WW:      Why? Any idiot with half-a-brain can do this simple task. I’m Mensa, I speak four languages, I’m college-educated, and I can read the damn instructions on how to install a dimmer switch. If I call an electrician, he’ll charge me an arm and a leg. I’m tired of being ripped off.

ME:        All right, Honey. I need to get back to my blog. But yell if I can lend a hand.

With a great deal of trepidation, I returned to the outline of my blog. As I researched the stories of Bill Cosby and the alleged rape allegations (cried a bit at the betrayal of my trust by an idol) and Ferguson’s Grand Jury decision and subsequent riots (screamed and yelled a great deal on both accounts), I suddenly heard a piercing scream (“AAUUGH”) from my husband followed by a string of swear words in four different languages:  “Khayim ba-zevel [Hebrew], yup tvayoo materi [Russian], merde [French], skurwysyn [Polish], goddamnit!” When I ran to see if WW was okay, I could smell the fried hair and see the smoke emanating from his head. He had gotten an electric shock and actually lived to tell about it.

Electric Shock Cartoon Stock

Google Image: Respect Electricity Cartoon Stock

Any wife that has been married as long as I have, knows that watching her husband’s head smolder from his electrical misstep is not the time to say “I told you so.” But as I returned to writing my blog, I suddenly realized I had a fourth word to form the arc of my story: electricity. Integrity, Justice, Humanity, and Electricity. There was a story revolving around those four words with Bill Cosby and Ferguson, but I just couldn’t see it yet. Just as a light bulb flashed within my head with an idea, an actual light bulb in the ceiling fan exploded above my head. This time I was the one who did the screaming!

My resident handyman with blond electrical-spiked hair came running, took out a pair of tweezers-plyers from his tool belt, and began to advance toward the offending light socket with bold determination.

“NOOOOOOOO,” I screamed. “Call an electrician!” (It turned out that the entire fan needed overhauling—not just a socket change—and if I hadn’t spoken up when I did, WW would have destroyed the entire computer board in the fan and the remote with his limited knowledge of electricity and his do-it-yourself plan.)

When my husband came back from scheduling the electrician, I asked him if he’d told on himself about his electrical mishap and what the electrician had said. WW said that he had—with chagrin—told on himself, and all the electrician could say was: “Electricity is not a hobby, Mr. Tomczyk.”


EUREKA! That was the storyline for my blog: Integrity, and justice, are like electricity which equals humanity. These character qualities are not to be engaged in casually—they are not a hobby! It was with that clarity of purpose and mind that I set out to unravel the things that bothered me about two of our most recent American tragedies.

Truth Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle


INTEGRITY: To the members of the Grand Jury, my fellow prosecutors and I are here to bring clarity to the actions of the players in the recent Ferguson insanity. Why are very few of our blogger’s peeps (African-American and liberal commentators) talking about the thuggish actions of Michael Brown (captured on a security camera) robbing a convenience store in his community of cigars and shoving the store owner who tried to stop Mr. Brown before his encounter with Officer Wilson? The eighteen-year-old was someone’s son, but he was not Trayvon Martin, innocently walking back home after purchasing Skittles and iced tea and gunned down by an overzealous, wannabe cop with a racist mindset. Treating Michael Brown like a hero is a mischaracterization of the truth.

HUMANITY: Hold on Integrity. Brown’s misbehavior didn’t justify him being gunned down in the street and left there for four and a half hours while residents of the community walked by in horror and children burst into tears at the sight of a man lying in a pool of his own blood and policemen sauntered back and forth contaminating the crime scene. Why didn’t Officer Wilson aim for the knees if he felt threatened—why the “kill shot”? Why didn’t other officers get an ambulance to the scene ASAP?

INTEGRITY: True, true. But Humanity, why didn’t the prosecutor recuse himself from this case coming from a home whose father-cop had been murdered by a black man when the prosecutor was twelve years old? That would have been the righteous thing to do because no one could be impartial given those very personal circumstances—no one. Why did it appear that the prosecutor shredded his integrity by acting as Officer Wilson’s defense lawyer rather than a prosecutor guiding the grand jury to take the case to trial? Maybe the outcome would have been the same, but at least it would have appeared to be unbiased.

JUSTICE: Why were protestors burning, looting, and destroying their own community? What does a 70-inch looted TV, a trashed bakery shop, and a torched beauty supply establishment in a place where you live have to do with justice not served? The President called for calm. The grieving parents of Michael Brown called for calm. That was all that needed to be said or done that night. There is a battle of integrity ahead against the realities of a middle-class area that has slipped into poverty and an out-of-control police force (replicated across America), but the integrity of the rule of law must be obeyed or we’re all screwed at some point.

Ferguson Grand Jury Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons

JUSTICE: Most policemen are good peeps, but we have a problem with too many of them who act as judge, juror, and executioner—especially against minorities. Our blogger is a chubby-ass, upper-middle-class, educated, sophisticated black woman married to a white man. But she never leaves home without identification and looking like a million bucks—even to take out the garbage. Why? Because she has been questioned by white policemen more times than she can count for being in the “wrong area” at the “wrong time” in multiple states. During each encounter with a white policeman, she was where she was supposed to be—either checking into a five-star bed and breakfast, or she just lived a few houses away and had gone out to smell the roses. And yet, not one of her white friends or acquaintances (including her husband) has ever, ever suffered these types of indignities—not even once. And yet it is commonplace for her as a black woman. The pain of this degradation runs deep amongst African-Americans, and it is not something that should be ignored or trivialized by their white brothers and sisters. Work still needs to be done for all races in America to feel as if they are treated equally.

HUMANITY: I want to know why did the policeman, Darren Wilson, not show one shred of humanity toward the Brown family for the loss of their child when he was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC? I think it would have gone a long way to ease a tiny bit of pain in Ferguson, if when asked by the interviewer if he had any regrets, the officer had conveyed remorse at having killed a child of grieving and devastated parents. Instead, Officer Wilson said matter-of-factly (as if he had simply squished a bug), “no—I did what I was trained to do.” He said his conscience was clear and he would do it again. Really? I speak as the world’s humanity, and I state that the taking of a life should always give humans pause—even if it’s within their purview as a soldier or a policeman. If humans are graced with even a shred of humanity, killing another human should never be matter-of-fact and comfortable.

INTEGRITY: I tell you one thing: This is anything but Martin Luther King’s dream.

Cosby Allegations John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune


INTEGRITY: To the members of the Grand Jury, my fellow prosecutors and I are here to establish clarity surrounding the recent allegations of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable’s assassination by Mr. Bill Cosby. There must have been agents, managers, producers, other comics, actors, directors, and even Cosby’s wife who knew or suspected Bill Cosby’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde split personality and turned a blind eye. (I know the comedian is innocent until proven guilty, but there is much too much smoke for there not to be a fire here—a reported 19 and counting 21 and counting rape accusations.) Where was the integrity of “good people” who kept this sordid tale so well hidden for so long—somebody besides the victims knew something? Cosby’s integrity seemed to be shoved up in a place where the sun don’t shine when he self-righteously preached to young black males to “pull up your pants,” “read a book,” “fix your grammar,” and “stop having babies out of wedlock” on his big papa lecture tour after writing his infamous book Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors? (As if droopy pants are the equivalent of drugging and raping women.) The Associated Press once credited Cosby with a great line about integrity:

“For me there is a time … when we have to turn the mirror around,” he said. “Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you’re sitting in.”

I say, Mr. Cosby, I think it is time to turn your own goddamn mirror around!

JUSTICE: Integrity—that was a bit much. Cool it, Sista! Remember, the demise of the beloved Dr. Huxtable by the hands of his creator is simply hearsay until proven otherwise. I will say though that justice deferred is definitely justice denied, but in the scope of eternal justice, be sure human sins will find them out. The rape allegations against Bill Cosby may have skirted the Statute of Limitations, but they are not beyond that of public opinion—thus the recent cutting of ties between Cosby and his alma mater (University of Massachusetts Amherst), the halting of lucrative projects with NBC and Netflix, his forced resignation from Temple University’s Board of Trustees, and the Navy’s stripping of Cosby’s honorary title as chief petty officer. I suspect there will be more.

HUMANITY: You think!? (That’s sarcasm in case you didn’t notice!) We all should be furious. Even if those women were misguided or naïve, the at least 19 and counting 21 and counting rape allegations were someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, or niece. In another place, in another time, these could have been any of Cosby’s four daughters and the alleged rapist some other man who had turned his back on basic humanity.

INTEGRITY: Well, I have to admit that I am pissed and hurt, and it will take a long time for me to get over it. Another one of my torch bearers bites the dust!

Eric Garner Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons


JUSTICE: To the members of the Grand Jury in NYC, my fellow prosecutors and I have come before you with broken hearts. You had a tape, you saw and heard an innocent man without a weapon say “I can’t breathe!” eleven times. Yet you failed to indict the police. I ask you Grand Jury of NYC, how much is a man’s life worth in loose cigarettes? I, justice, have come undone.

INTEGRITY: You’re undone? I can’t stop crying over the death of a twelve-year-old who goes outside to play with a toy gun (maybe not the smartest move on the part of his parents to allow him to do this—still, did he deserve to die over a slip in judgment?), and he is shot within minutes of police arriving on the scene after they were warned that the gun might be a toy by the 911 caller. And get this: Twelve-year-old Tamir was shot by Police Officer Timothy Loehmann who had resigned from another force for what CNN cites as a “dangerous loss of composure during live range training” and an “inability to manage personal stress.” Deputy Chief Jim Polak’s review gave this final assessment: “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.” But, hello! Cleveland hired Officer Loehmann anyway without a thorough background check. WTF?!

HUMANITY: Yikes! Looks like America the beautiful has a problem! It is time for all good people in the land to come together and admit there are racial inequities that must be addressed instead of turning a blind eye and allowing the miscarriage of justice to sweep them under the proverbial carpet. The question that must be asked is “if that had been a twelve-year-old white boy with a toy gun, would he still be alive today? If the answer is yes, then America, you do indeed have a major humanity problem!

Eric Garner II Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Used by permission: Milt Priggee,


I am discovering that integrity and justice are like electricity, and electricity equals our humanity. Without the illumination of a clear sense of humanity coursing through our society, there can be no cohesive and compassionate community, and there will never be a post-racial environment in America. Ignoring these righteous qualities will cause us to constantly be at each other’s throats because of inhumane miscarriages of justice and threatening to burn the motherfucker down at every turn.

If we continue to undervalue individual integrity married to humanity, men will continue to rape women with impunity while society and the law turns a blind eye, and justice will be something that we only read about in fairy tales.

I am also discovering that integrity, justice, and humanity are not hobbies—they are the electricity of life.


“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

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”Frederick Douglass

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”—bell hooks

“We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt light bulb.”—Bill Bryson






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 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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“FOWL” CONVERSATIONS (A Thanksgiving Tale)

Do you know what I discovered about Americans recently? We need to shut our pie holes, if not for a year or two (preferred by the blogger), at least during the holidays. We just need to give our mouths a rest because the brains have clearly not caught up. That way we might learn to cultivate better conversations during our upcoming family holidays, or else there are going to be wars upon rumors of wars in our dining rooms across this great nation of ours.

A couple cases in point: Recently former Gov. Haley Barbour called President Barack Obama’s policies “tar babies” (pejorative term for African Americans and every southern white knows it).*  When confronted on his racist slam (not the first time he’s stepped over this line), Mr. Barbour gave the obligatory apology in his best Mississippi drawl (“Well, if I’ve offended anyone . . .”). Then Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) was questioned about an incident that happened a year ago when he called members of the Tea Party “white crackers,” (pejorative term for whites and every black person knows it). When confronted on his horrid choice of words, clueless Rep. Rangel said: “I thought [cracker] was a term of endearment.”** (Yep, Charlie, just like the “N” word is a term of endearment to you and me.)

Cartoon people fighting wallpaper

Google Image: Fighting Wallpaper

After angrily meditating on what these two knuckle-headed elected officials had vomited onto the public airways, I went to bed that night dreaming of what it would be like to live in a world where people talked pretty to each other all the time. As the night wore on, I dreamt that Congress passed a law that proposed a moratorium on foul speech until January 1, 2015. They said: “Given the vitriol that is coursing from sea to shining sea since the election of our first black president, we, your elected officials will come up with an approved list of bi-partisan, conversational recommendations that we could all engage in during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in order to keep the peace and foster good will across the land.” I got so excited about this endeavor that in my dream I sent out my first tweet:—looking for T-Day non-confrontational topics to send to Congress to help us act like civilized people #FowlConversations

But alas, alack, nobody was interested, and everybody ignored my request except the birds.

Bird Tweets Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

In my dream, I got tweets galore from millions of turkeys but absolutely no humans. No human wanted to give up their right to free speech, but every turkey in the land (those still alive) wanted to suggest that Turkey Liberation be the topic sent to Congress.  As the dream wore on, I entered a breakfast scene with my husband (WW), and we spoke about the almost Messianic vision of my quest for Turkey Liberation talking points.

ME: Babe, something amazing has happened. Nobody tweeted me back except birds—turkeys to be exact. I have millions of turkey tweets.  #FowlConversations is trending. I’ve become a celebrity! The turkeys want me to champion them as a topic for Thanksgiving dinner conversation before Congress. I’m so honored.

WW: What? You don’t even like birds and I don’t think they like you. As a matter of fact, some of your funniest Lucille Ball antics have happened from the attacks of birds.

ME: You sir, are not telling the truth!

WW: Oh really now. Let’s see, there was the time the pigeon took a rather sizeable dump while in mid-air on your brand new wig as you walked across campus, and you spent the rest of the semester plotting his demise—can the Greek chorus sing “rat poison peanut butter balls”? Then there was the blue jay that used to attack you every day for six months while you were jogging until you were forced to change your route. Do you still have that homemade sling shot? Oh, and what about that giant turkey who chased you around Old Man Henry’s poultry shop when you were just four years old? If anybody has seen you tear into a turkey leg, they would easily surmise you were engaging in a vendetta against an old foe.

ME: Poppycock! I like birds better than snakes and that’s all my turkey fans need to know. Besides I’ve become a vegetarian since learning that I had “The Sugar.” I’m a perfect champion for the turkey cause.

WW: You are a vegetarian who eats a little fish, some chicken once a week, and attacks a rare rib-eye steak with the passion of a vampire when you can’t stand the sight of another bean. I’m not judging, I’m just saying that the turkeys could get a better rep. Besides, weren’t you trying to recruit human input? What happened?

ME: I got all kinds of responses from humans on my author website: death threats, trolls threatening to turn me into a garroted turkey, and others claiming that I was trying to squelch their free speech. Screw them. I’m going to help the less fortunate—The Birds! Did you know that it isn’t just turkeys that are eaten on T-day? No bird is safe from our American knives and forks and gluttony.

Turkey Snoopy

Peanuts by Charles Schulz/Universal Uclick

ME: The way I figure it, if we as Americans can’t discuss politics, religion, racial equality, gender equality, marriage equality, and women’s reproductive rights (to name a few) with our families without coming to blows then we still need a subject that has passion, pathos, intrigue, and human, I mean animal, interest.  Do you know that the turkeys have tweeted me that as many as 46 million of them will be slaughtered this year to grace our Thanksgiving Day tables?

WW: Might I remind you, that you are a quasi-vegetarian and you ordered a turkey for T-Day—albeit free range—as soon as our frou-frou grocery store put out the list. Ergo, you are a hypocrite. May I also point out that people will not want to discuss Turkey Liberation of abused fowls while sucking the marrow out of a giant turkey leg dipped in giblet gravy? And Heaven forbid if you invite a real vegetarian to dinner, turkey shit will really hit the fan.

TD Massacre David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

ME: Well, fine, Mr. Know-it-all. What’s your suggestion as a safe Thanksgiving dinner topic?

WW: Gratitude—everybody genuinely discussing what they love about each other and what they love about their lives. You and I are on our last lap around this rodeo. We don’t need to fight with any relative or non-relative about anything. And if our guests can’t abide by our rules of shutting their pie-holes when things could go postal at the dinner table than they need not attend. I actually don’t think we hang with people like that anymore—they have long since been weeded out of the Tomczyk guest list. We just need to discuss what we are grateful for in this moment and time and bask in the wonder and glory of it all. After all, we could all live in Nigeria. And then maybe to fall asleep from an overdose of tryptophan on the couch after a second piece of pumpkin pie with my grandson in my arms. Yeah, that would be Heaven.

Thankful David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star


I am discovering that staying away from topics that would anger and hurt each other may not be a discipline we can master as Americans. Let’s be honest with ourselves. We are a nation of people who ferociously guard our rights and opinions, and whoever screams the loudest considers themselves to be right on whatever the topic. Facts are of little value, but as my husband teaches his students: “passion does not equal being right.” Having a love-filled, laid-back, gracious Thanksgiving dinner—basking in each other’s presence—takes a lot of love, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of forgiveness, a lot of listening, and a lot of “letting go” of things that just don’t matter in the scheme of life. Wouldn’t it be great if we could discuss serious topics from different viewpoints and treat each other as we’d like to be treated?

Of course if having civil conversations can’t be done, I suppose Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving may not be a bad option if it keeps the peace (definite sarcasm).*** Or if push really comes to shove, some of you could sit around the Thanksgiving table and discuss Kim Kardashian’s bounteous bootie breaking the Internet as a trending topic—just so it doesn’t descend into a cacophonous argument and pistols drawn over the definition of who has the most bootylicious bottom, Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé (definitely, sarcasm . . . definitely).

TDay Shopping John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune



I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”Jon Stewart

“I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Someone needs to tell the turkey, ‘man, just be yourself.”Mitch Hedberg

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

“I like football. I find it’s an exciting strategic game. It’s a great way to avoid conversation with your family at Thanksgiving.”― Craig Ferguson

“Thanksgiving was nothing more than a pilgrim-created obstacle in the way of Christmas; a dead bird in the street that forced a brief detour.”Augusten Burroughs, You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas


Thanksgiving Dinner End 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 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


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