Do you know what I discovered this week? The same thing you all discovered: The uber-Christian Josh Duggar from “19 Kids and Counting” fame has become a verb—as in “to duggar you”—and Christianity got another black eye. (Remember he worked [operative word is “worked”—past tense] for the Family Research Council that advocated opposing LGBT non-discrimination laws, birth control, and divorce?) Pretty soon my religion is going to go blind from all of the explosions in the face it keeps getting from the hypocrites whose lying lives keep backfiring who claim to represent Christ on Earth.

Duggar as verb Luckovich  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Cartoon Courtesy of Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It turns out the Duggar parents had been covering up their oldest son’s “duggaring” while they tried to present themselves as holier than thou to the rest of the world for years. I KNEW IT! I called this hypocrisy cover-up quite a few years ago. When fellow Christians contacted me about their adoration for this family when Mama Duggar won the “Mother of the Year” award in 2004, I took one look at them and decided to distance myself from their media hype, sound the warning bell to any who would listen, and pray that the underbelly of the Duggars would be exposed sooner than later. The more the Duggars tried to hurt and condemn those who did not adhere to their rigid form of Christianity, the more I smelled something rotten in Denmark because I have seen this Christian legalism up-close-and-personal and knew that the outcome always seemed to produce something wicked. I wrote about it in my latest book: Fleeing Oz.

“Show me a place where women are not allowed to be in leadership along with men; show me a religious setting where women are not allowed to voice their opinions without being labelled ‘rebellious,’ and I will show you a place where the abuse of children is not very far beneath the surface of all its piety.” Eleanor Tomczyk, Fleeing Oz

Duggar condemnation

I was going to do an entire exposé on the Duggars and their hypocrisy (tormenting the LGBT community, interfering with women’s reproductive rights, shoving a perverted way of life down our throats as something God was down with), but you can read it for yourselves in the references. The articles are chilling—especially the one by the young woman who could have been a Duggar wife.* In the meantime, Mrs. Duggar—who boasts of having a clown car as a vagina—probably needs to re-examine what it is she’s been doing for the last 20 years “in Jesus’ name.” Mr. Duggar might want to take another look at his sexual philosophy of screwing his wife every other day but Sunday while controlling every single aspect of his wife and girls’ lives (hair must be permed and worn long, dresses must be long and shapeless to keep men from stumbling, hugs and kisses with opposite sex are verboten unless married, and birth control is of the devil). Just maybe Jim Bob’s actions (both controlling and out-of-control) drove his son, Josh, to do what he did (four of the victims being his sisters). The first time I saw a picture of the Duggars (when they were just 14 kids and counting), I didn’t see God’s liberating grace and joy, I saw a woman abused by a “wannabe stud-muffin” who should be ashamed of himself for passing off his “lie of family sexuality” as God’s perfect plan for the Earth. I didn’t see freedom for the female members in his family—I saw abuse—and I wept.

Duggars in Red

Duggars: 14 Kids and Counting

Anyway, going from the disgusting to the mundane, I have got to start packing. We sold our house, we bought another one, and now I have to get moving here. In a week or two, I will take a break from blogging, but I’ll let you know before I go. I am sure I’ll have a lot of blog fodder from moving—the concept of me moving my entire house to an entirely different city is fraught with comedic peril. Just know that this week, I am glad I still loves me some Jesus but no longer hang out in Oz because I am pretty disgusted with a lot of my fellow Christian peeps.

 Moving in the old days

Public Domain Photos (“Moving Day”)


I am discovering that hypocrisy is one of man’s worst failures. It colors everything we say and do, and no human is safe from its tentacles. Beware of people who claim to speak for God’s laws, and whose interpretation of His ways are rigid, unkind, loveless, graceless, controlling, and lacking in mercy. Even with Josh Duggar committing such vile acts against five little girls, I pray for God to have mercy on him and that his victims will be healed. Maybe through the public admittance of his “Duggarisms,” the women in Josh Duggar’s family (his sisters and his wife) might be set free now that the mirror of hypocrisy has shattered his life. May it start with the son and proceed through the father, who I ultimately hold responsible for imprisoning his family, and who is trying to do so to anyone foolish enough to follow this man’s example. Make it so, Lord Jesus—please make it so—or you’re not going to have much of a church left to bear witness to your character. Instead of Christ’s church, it will be Christ’s hypocrites.



(unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from

HYPOCRISY /həˈpäkrəsē/: “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.”—Google Online Dictionary

“For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I’m outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where it’s hardest to see.”—Robin Williams

“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”—Frederick William Robertson

Kids have what I call a built-in hypocrisy antenna that comes up and blocks out what you’re saying when you’re being a hypocrite.”—Benjamin Carson

Ben Carson Hypocrisy Meme

“Dr. Carson—dear ‘Christian brother,’ I’ve been wondering why I can’t hear you. . .”—Eleanor Tomczyk


BMProof FleeingOz



Christian Jerks

Cartoon courtesy of Dan Piraro



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 May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered this week? Lots of things.

First: My new book, Fleeing Oz, is now out in Kindle Version! How about that?!

Second: The bookmarks for my book signings arrived, and they look so cool (special shout-out to Earthly Charms Design

BMProof FleeingOz

Front and Back of Bookmark for Fleeing Oz

Third: I just discovered an old article (by a month or two) about an Arizona legislator who suggested passing a bill that would demand mandatory church attendance for all Americans (her idea to curtail gun violence). Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen (Republican) said that it was lack of church attendance that caused people to act the fool and want to shoot each other in the ass (my words). She suggested that if we got more American behinds into the pews on Sunday, there would be less killing of each other on Mondays—thus a solution to more gun laws.

Mandatory Church Attendance Wolverton Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons

Fourth: Looks as if going to church 24/7 didn’t help the baser needs of the oldest son of the Duggars (Josh Duggar)—you know that TLC reality family where the mother’s vagina is a clown car and 19 and counting kids have sprung from it in the name of Jesus over the past 19 years? Well, the oldest son has allegedly been outed for molesting five girls (four of them his sisters), and the family kept it on the down low for a long time. They were outed by the Oprah Show via an anonymous tip. After a lot of back and forth and forth and back of what to do about the Duggars’ TV show which preached the moral high ground of “how we Duggars live is how all of America should live (no birth control, no kissing or sex before marriage), and gays should have no equal rights, and vote for Huckabee for president—if he can’t save America, no one can!’” It was thought that TLC might look the other way about poor Josh Duggar’s “indiscretions” until another TLC sage (Honey Boo Boo’s mother) who lost her reality show for dating a convicted child molester that had messed with her oldest daughter spoke up:

“I read that the Duggar family said, this happening with their son brought them closer to God and each other. So they’re saying it’s okay to have family touch time? Hell no.”

The Learning Channel (a misnomer if I ever heard one) has cancelled all episodes of “19 Kids and Counting.”

Finally: That jerk Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has been accused by his teenage daughter of physically abusing her mother (he denies it through his lawyers, of course). This “saint” who has professed his Christianity up one side and down the other, who claims to know who is “killing Jesus” (you are, Bill!), and who has given us multiple quotes on what makes a good marriage and great kids is accused of viciously grabbing his ex-wife around the neck and pulling her down the stairs in front of his daughter. My favorite quote of Bill O’Reilly’s on child-rearing is:

“Any clown can have a child.”

Bill OReilly John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Brian Williams vs. Bill O’Reilly (Pretending to be something they are not) | Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

That said, my book, Fleeing Oz, has come at a very appropriate time. It’s all about fleeing the hypocrisy of the Church and those that try to judge the rest of us while they are incapable of “walking the talk.” The book is funny, irreverent, and (if I do say so myself) poignant. So if you’ve been waiting for the Kindle Version to appear, have at it! If you missed the paperback announcement on Amazon, click here!

Fleeing Oz Cover jpg

Learn more about the author:


I am discovering that it is an awesome thing to have finished my second book—that I’m not a one trick pony—I’m a real writer!

What Writing Means Meme

Anonymous Meme


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


Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered this week? I did it—I’m an old fart, and I have had another baby! Actually, she arrived early (scheduled due date: May 20th). It was grueling, the gestation period was fifteen months, and I delivered her without medication—painful as a son of bitch, like a watermelon pushing through the entryway the size of a pea. But she’s here, and her name is Fleeing Oz.

Fleeing Oz Cover jpg

Fleeing Oz on sale now at Amazon!

(Kindle site to launch in 10 days)

I couldn’t be prouder of my new baby. Check out a couple of my first reviews:

“This book took guts to feel, to believe, and to put in print. It is raw beauty, love, emotion, pain, and healing all in one.”A. Gaudreaux, Freelance Writer/Editor

“. . . Though I’ve never been invested in the Church personally, I found the overall story compelling for its insight into how subtly (and then quite drastically) well-intended initiatives and institutions can deteriorate and corrupt those within. But I think my favorite aspects of the book had to do with the author’s treatment of race, namely the problem of maintaining a strong racial (and feminine) identity in the face of a predominately white- (and male-) privileging dogma. In fact one of my favorite lines in the book came rather early in the narrative: ‘It is easy to be color-blind when the people of color within a group naïvely abandon their ethnic identity to fit in, easy to share everything when you don’t own anything, and easy to love when that love hasn’t been tested.’”—Virginia Garnett, PhD, author of “The Podium in Print: The popular lecture in American literary culture, 1865–1914.”

Fleeing Oz Back Cover jpg

Fleeing Oz on sale now at Amazon!

(Kindle sales to launch in 10 days)


But don’t just take my word about what my new baby looks like, check out her birth announcement by the “doctors and nurses” in the marketing department that helped bring her to life.

“When you look around and realize that the people filling the pews in your church represent traits you find reprehensible, you can do two things. You can keep your head down and become like them. Or you can follow author Eleanor L. Tomczyk’s example, reexamine everything you believe, and write a hilarious memoir about losing your religion.

“And that’s precisely what she does. Fleeing Oz chronicles Tomczyk’s journey from a wide-eyed, eager believer to a battered but not beaten refugee of the culture wars.

“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.’

“This hilarious, irreverent, and brutally honest book tells her story of faith, doubt, and disbelief—and how she walked away from church without turning her back on God.


I am discovering that writing one’s sophomore book is harder than writing one’s debut book, and I suspect that it is even a lot harder than writing the subsequent manuscripts. Although Fleeing Oz was difficult to birth—mainly due to the unbelievable nature of some of the stories—it has arrived right on time because the media were awash yesterday with stories about Americans leaving the Christian churches in droves. All the commentators from Fox News to MSNBC have their theories as to why: boredom, too many drums—not enough drums, culture war exhaustion, and right-wing and left-wing politics. That may be some of the reasons, but I don’t think that they are all. I surmise that many Americans are trying to catch the same balloon ride out of Oz that I am on and for the same #1 reason: The modern day church is a poser (not all, but most). For the most part, the church of Christ no longer resembles the character of Christ. Check out Fleeing Oz to see what I’m talking about. Hope it makes you laugh, makes you cry, and most of all, makes you think.

Leaving Religion Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune



“’We’ve known that the religiously unaffiliated has been growing for decades,’ said Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of religion research and the lead researcher on the new study. ‘But the pace at which they’ve continued to grow is really astounding.’”—Daniel Burke, Religion Writer,


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 May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized



Do you know what I discovered this week? I actually agreed with . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . Rush Limbaugh! Ugh! He was cheering the actions of Toya Graham (Baltimore Mom) that saved her son from—at the very least—doing something really, really, stupid and going to jail and at the very worst, getting himself killed, when he picked up a brick to throw it at the police. (His mother had told him to come straight home after school and not attend the protests.) Limbaugh was quick to add to his praise that it wouldn’t take more than a nano-second before some bleeding-heart liberal criticized the Baltimore Mom for “smacking” her sixteen-year-old son and accusing her of “child abuse.” Well, Lord have mercy, that is exactly what happened! My newfound liberal compadres started raising a ruckus—calling Baltimore Mom a “bad mother”—falling short of calling Child Protective Services on the poor woman. As Limbaugh screamed, “I told you so,” the fact that he and I were on the same page about something made me vomit in my mouth—if only just a little bit.

Baltimore Mom Nate Beeler The Columbus

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler The Columbus


“I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody who knows me, knows I don’t play that. He knew. He knew he was in trouble.

“That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray. I was angry. I was shocked, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.

“Is he a perfect son? No! But he’s my son!


After I got over the shock of having been in lock-step with Rush Limbaugh on a subject matter (Lord Jesus, come soon; I don’t know if my heart can take this), I picked myself up off the floor and decided to write a letter to all those liberal columnists and commenters who labeled Baltimore Mom a bad mother. I sent the letter as a Black mother who has successfully raised two grown kids who survived my parenting and me their crazy teenage years.

Baltimore Mom Cartoon Credit cartoonist

Cartoonist Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dear Fellow Liberals:

We haven’t known each other very long. I used to be an oxymoron—a card-carrying Black, Conservative, Christian, Republican. I recently joined your ranks after being totally and utterly scandalized by my former conservative friends (see upcoming book Fleeing Oz, launching May 20th).

I’m retired now, but before doing so I was a teacher, an actress, a singer, and an award-winning voiceover talent. But the thing I am most proud of is that I was and am a Black mother (don’t let the Polish last name fool you) who managed to rear two amazing women who are in their thirties now. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I almost lost the war with one of them—necessitating a couple pops across the noggin and a lot of “tough love” to knock some sense into her head. If asked, that child will tell you about a time when she was on the road to losing her soul and destroying our family. I climbed up on a stepping stool to get my point across—she is almost six-feet-tall in heels and I’m five-feet-tall when I’m lying through my teeth—and smacked her upside her head just like the Baltimore Mom. She will also tell you that the scenario was so hilarious—me, teetering on top of a stepping-stool trying to swat a zig-zagging, belligerent teen—that she fell on the floor, rolling in laughter . . . in other words, my smacks didn’t hurt (neither did the Baltimore Mom’s—so chill), but it got my point across—“as long as you live under my roof . . . you will respect and obey me and the law.”

I read all sorts of criticisms that you wrote about the Baltimore Mom that said she was committing child abuse by smacking her son with her hands (it was her open hand, not a brick or a two-by-four). You said the smacks and the public humiliation would damage her son forever (no, being shot dead would damage him forever), and you said she should have used her “inside voice” to ask him respectfully to drop the brick, leave the riot, and return home with her like the good little boy she knew him to be. When I researched who the critics were—for the most part—you were single, or married without kids, or parents of infants and toddlers (in other words, judging the teen years from afar), or people who had never lived in an environment where the police shoot first and ask questions later. In other words, you were all critics with theories on how to rear teenagers in a hostile environment where the “cradle to prison” pipeline is a surety for 1 in 3 black boys born in 2001.*

I think you might be confused as to who is a bad mother. My mother was a bad mother (anyone that tries to scald you to death, starve you senseless, and attack you with a butcher knife—all before you’re nine years old is not a good mother—see my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown for the entire sordid tale). Honey Boo-Boo’s mother—now that’s a bad mother. And yet I’ve heard some of you same critics laud the fact that HBB’s mom is a loving mom and at the end of the day, they all love each other and have each other’s backs. You see a loving family, I see a modern day freak show. That is, until TLC (what I call the “mutton-headed, cretinous, moronic channel”) pulled the plug on it because “Mama Bo-Bo” started allegedly shacking up with a recently released child molester who had served time for sexually abusing her oldest daughter. (Somebody hand me a brick; I need to whack that woman upside her head to knock some sense into it before she totally destroys poor Honey Boo-Boo!)

Honey Boo Boo Rick McKee The Augusta

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta

I know bad mothers when I encounter them. I had a mother call me once when her daughter and my daughter (the one I did the stepping-stool-tango with) were really testing their sixteen-year-old boundaries. I had never met the woman, but her daughter had demanded that she let both the girls engage in something that my husband and I were vehemently opposed to. The mother hid in a closet to call me to see if she and her husband could get together with me and my husband to figure out how to handle the girls. I didn’t realize she was hiding to keep her daughter from hearing her conversation until I heard loud banging accompanied by screaming obscenities: “MOM, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING TO? ARE YOU TALKING TO MY FRIEND’S MOM? YOU BETTER NOT BE DOING THAT. I TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL HER!” [starts kicking the closet door], COME OUT OF THIS FUCKIN’ CLOSET AND FIX MY DINNER!”

“Honey, honey, I’m talking to my, my . . . sister . . . don’t get angry; I’ll be out in a minute, sweetheart. . . Mrs. Tomczyk, I’ve got to go, my daughter is really angry; I’ll call you later.” The mother hastily hung up, and I figured that was all I was going to hear from her. But thirty minutes later she called me again—breathless, and apologetic. “Oh my, Mrs. Tomczyk, it’s not easy to trick my daughter, but I managed to do it. Whoo-hoo! I told her that I didn’t have enough potatoes to make her favorite mashed potatoes, and that I needed to go to the grocery store to get some more. She pouted, but let me go, so now we can talk freely. Let’s you and I agree to a time to get together to see what we can do to save our girls. We have to handle this very, very gingerly or I, for one, will certainly lose my daughter. She just gets so angry with me—I can’t handle it.”

My liberal critics, if you had been there that day, I am convinced you would have labeled me a very bad mother because my response was: “Oh Hell to the no! You and I don’t have anything to discuss, woman. Any mother who cowers from her own child is a very, very bad mother, and I don’t want to have anything to do with you. You go on back to your closet and your Veruca Salt child**, and I am going in search of a stepping stool.”

Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka

**Veruca Salt, a character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl


In my old age, I am discovering that I was not the best mother, but I was not the worst one either. (My kids were not the best kids, but they were not the worst, so I guess we are even.) When all was said and done, they became amazing adults, and they fondly remember that I was a no-nonsense kind of mom. One of my girls is the mother of my grandson, and she cracks me up because she does not cut the boy any slack. She thinks I’m much too easy on him (I’ve grown soft in my old age), and she constantly reminds me that her black son, my grandson, will not be given the grace to make stupid choices as his white friends will—that the outcomes will be demonstratively different. She’s right. She’s a good mother.

All in all, I am a mother who did her best, who passionately loves her children, and they her, and I am confident they will say what Ben Okri said about his mother when I die: “Her passing away ripped the solidity out of the world.”



Mothers Day Card Calvin and Hobbes

Cartoonist: Bill Waterson/Calvin and Hobbes


“No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother’s Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture’s bad people and behavior.”Anne Lamott

“Mothers and children are human beings, and they will sometimes do the wrong thing.”Maurice Sendak

“Even as we enumerate their shortcomings, the rigor of raising children ourselves makes clear to us our mothers’ incredible strength. We fear both. If they are not strong, who will protect us? If they are not imperfect, how can we equal them?”Anna Quindlen

“We never think that our mothers will die. It was like suddenly an abyss opened at my feet – I was standing on nothing. It was the strangest thing. Her passing away ripped the solidity out of the world.”Ben Okri


Mother's Day Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Mother’s Day Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch







Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


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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,

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


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



“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




Editor Gets Book Meme



“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.’”




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 April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


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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,

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,

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




“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


“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


“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


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


“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





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



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 April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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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

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!


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:


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


“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




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


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 March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


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