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HALLOWEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE INABILITY TO COMPETE WITH THE SCARINESS OF THE NOTION THAT TRUMP MIGHT WIN REELECTION IN 2020

Cartoon Used by permission: 217461 Scary times by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

END-TIMES GAZETTE (The Tomczyk Satirical Report)—In an appearance at a recent Trump rally, Satan held an impromptu press conference outside the convention center hosting the event.  The Prince of Darkness announced that he was going to add his signature to a newly launched petition from “stopthemadness.org” which is calling on the citizens of America to cancel Halloween in 2019.  When asked by one of the local reporters why he, Beelzebub (a.k.a. “Sneaky Snake”), would petition against his favorite holiday, he said with deep sadness: “’Cause I can’t deal with this shit!  I can’t out-scare the antics of your sorry-ass president and his demons.  That dude is bat-shit crazy—even by my standards, and I ain’t got nothin’ in my arsenal that can out horrify the mind-debilitating reality that Trump could win the election in 2020—thus leaving you all in a permanent hell of your own making.  Sorry Earthlings…but Halloween is no fuckin’ fun anymore.  I hereby declare Lucifer is out-of-here and will participate in the ‘pretend scariness’ of Halloween when and only when the real evil in the White House has been impeached. ‘Cause even the Kingdom of Hell can’t fathom four more years of a President Cheeto reign. Ciao Goblins!”

Photo Credit: E. Tomczyk/Busch Gardens Hallow Scream Decoration 2019

It seems that the petition to cancel Halloween 2019 is rapidly growing.  This reporter caught up with one of the more surprising signatories who is a founding father of Halloween—the Imperial Jack O’ Lantern, formerly known as “Stingy Jack” when he lived in Ireland. I asked him why he had signed a petition that would sacrifice his one celebratory day, and if he would live to regret his action.  “No, I don’t think so,” said an obviously demoralized Jack.  “I hate it, of course.  I’ve been a part of Halloween in America since the beginning, but I’ve got to do something.  First of all, I need to reclaim my image.  My calling card is orange and round.  Trump has usurped that look.  When I started out in Ireland, I didn’t have the issue of someone stealing my thunder.  In leprechaun land I inhabited hollowed out turnips, gourds, rutabagas, beets, and any other tuber that could be found.  Pumpkins did not exist in the land of the Irish.  It’s only when I moved to America that I lusted after a bigger, better, roomier home to inhabit.  And now the patina and the roundness of my precious pumpkin has been stolen by President Cheeto’s spray tan addiction and his obese fondness for Kentucky Fried Chicken causing his face to resemble a pumpkin and eclipsing my signature collector’s item.  I am truly undone,” sobbed Mr. O’Lantern.

Cartoon used by permission: 231052 Make the pumpkin great again by John Darkow, Columbia, Missourian

Mrs. Colleen O’Sullivan of the Irish Halloweensonian Museum was very responsive to this reporter’s query for more background information on “Stingy Jack.”  She said, “Our records report Mr. O’Lantern was quite the evil character back in the day.  Irish historians have noted that ‘Stingy Jack’ was an extremely parsimonious and mean human being (thus the name, ‘Stingy Jack’).  He used to play tricks on everyone—including the Devil.  Irish lore has it that one time he tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree and then planted numerous crosses at the bottom of the tree.  It is well known that the Devil can’t touch a cross without being fried to a crisp, so Jack forced the Devil to enter a bargain with him: If Jack removed the crosses, the Devil had to promise not to take Jack’s soul to Hell upon his death.  Obviously, the Devil accepted the bargain and Jack removed the crosses.

“Eventually, ‘Stingy Jack’ did die and marched himself right up to Heaven’s gates as most people do who don’t have an ounce of self-awareness.  A horrified St. Peter refused to let Jack into Heaven and sent him down to Hell.  However, upon ‘Stingy Jack’s’ arrival at the gates of Hell, the Devil sardonically reminded him of their bargain and refused to allow Jack to enter his domain. The Devil consigned him to the dark netherworld between Heaven and Hell for all eternity where there is not a scintilla of light.  Mr. O’Lantern had such a hissy fit over his fate and the huge trick the Devil had played on him that Beelzebub took a modicum of pity on him and threw Jack an ember of coal from the fires of Hell to light his way through the netherworld.  Jack always carried some type of gourd with him and quickly carved out the tuber to shield his fiery ember.  The superstitious Irish adopted the tradition of setting out carved tubers with candles inside on their doorsteps on Halloween which they hoped would scare ‘Stingy Jack’ from trying to take up residence in their homes and playing tricks on them.  With the great Irish migration to America, the pumpkin became the permanent home of Jack O’Lantern and a fixture that no Halloween would be complete without.”

Photo Credit: Herbie Gill/Comic https://www.herbiegill.com/ Night of a 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns Presented by “Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns”

One source who asked not to be named, due to fear of being turned into a frog or a Trump supporter, said that the witches did go on record to announce that although they had no new cauldron chant that would be scarier than the curse of The Donald winning the 2020 election, they had posted a well-worn chant from Shakespeare’s Macbeth—Act 4, Scene 1, on the dark web just for grins and giggles and old times sake.

THE WITCHES CAULDRON

Fillet of a fenny snake,  

In the cauldron boil and bake;  

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,  

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,  

Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,  

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.  

     Double, double toil and trouble;  

     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 

When asked if the source thought the Witches of the World were encouraged that Trump might be destroyed before or during the election from all the damaging impeachment inquiry testimonies, the source replied that the Witches were heard to have said: “Meh…we’re beginning to think that asshole can survive anything.  He can shoot someone on 5th Avenue and…well you get the drift.  Even WE don’t have that type of resilience.”

Cartoon used by permission: 231145 Trump the Survivor by Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC

The petition to cancel Halloween includes the likes of Ghosts Anonymous, Skeletons: Have Bones Will Travel, Black Cats and Graveyards Consolidated, and the exclusive Zombies and Brains Gourmand Club to name a few.  The Halloween Mask Labor Union had not yet signed the petition but when reached for comment said that even though Halloween is a huge revenue time for them, their organization would join in solidarity with their sisters and brothers because they saw no other option than to go on strike since they could not compete with the horrible gut-wrenching thought of a Trump 2020 victory.  The thought was sheer terror even for those who are used to the terrorization business. To date, at least 50 percent of the American population has signed the petition to stop Halloween until the great evil in the White House has been impeached and banished to Hell.  At that time, said Mr. Everyman who I approached on the street, “We can go back to pretending to be scared by the benign.  But right now, the Trump evil is just too real.”  All Mrs. Everywoman had to say when asked what she would do if Trump won reelection in 2020 was, “Oh, the horrors!” as she started to cry and scream uncontrollably.

Cartoon used by permission:  230458 Rudy Rudy Rudy by Bruce Plante Tulsa World

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival:  Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Cartoon used by permission:  216955 Saudia Arabia Halloween by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch OH

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Many thanks to facts about pumpkins from Pumpkin Nook http://www.pumpkinnook.com/facts/jack.htm

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REFERENCES

https://www.salon.com/2019/10/26/trump-will-win-again-easily-liberals-simply-dont-understand-what-he-represents/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/24/the-fantasy-of-republicans-ditching-trump-229879

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2019/10/pro-life-christians-celebrate-death-of-pro-choice-rep-elijah-cummings/

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

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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PUTTING MY BODY WHERE MY MOUTH IS

“STOP THE RAIDS AND DEPORTATION.

IMMIGRANT LABOR BUILT THIS NATION!”

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“NO TRUMP.

NO KKK.

NO FASCIST USA!”

“DO YOU SING IN A CHOIR—CAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU’RE OUT OF TUNE!” shouted the cane-leaning old White man in a MAGA hat at the protesting Democrats, of which I was one.

“OH REALLY! IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT, OLD MAN”—THERE’S THREE OF YOU, AND HUNDREDS OF US!” I screamed back across the political and moral abyss that divided us. (I don’t know why I answered with that particular quip, but the phrase popped out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying—two septuagenarians shouting smack against each other—one White, one Black.  If the stakes weren’t so high—the soul of our country—I would have keeled over in laughter at the absurdity of two old farts verbally going at each other and bought the old man a drink after all was said and done.)

Author at Democrats’ Protest of Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

“GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM YOU FUCKIN’ ASSHOLES,” yelled a Trump supporter from a pick-up truck as he whizzed past us.  All I could think to yell back at the ass of the truck of the foul-mouthed Trumpster was “YOU…YOU…YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH?”

Looks like I’m going to have to up my game in the retort department if I’m going to continue in this public protest battle against stupidity, lies, racism, and craziness.  Just sayin’.

This week was a start though.  I’ve been protesting and resisting Trump via my blog since the first moment he came down the escalator in Trump Tower, but this week I got to join with others and tell this President to go back to the sewer in New York from which he sprung.

It felt good.  Encouraging.  The First Amendment at work—the first of many steps to bring this aberration down in 2020.  It was Democracy in action.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Elizabeth Wiley

I almost didn’t attend this protest.  I mean, for Pete’s sake, I’m an old woman.  I got no business putting myself in those types of volatile situations. (What if I had a stroke?) Besides, the temperature was supposed to be in the high 90’s, no bathrooms would be provided AT ALL within the protest area (which meant I couldn’t drink any water), and due to the high level of security for #45, we would be confined to a specific area until the buses returned to pick us up.  (What if I peed on myself and three other protesters? OMG!)  But I went anyway. (When I got home, I tried to write a blog about the experience, but I promptly fell asleep on top of my open laptop and slept that way the rest of the day until my husband came home from work. Looks like I need to go into training before the next protest.)

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

It was a conversation I had with an octogenarian Trump supporter in my Canasta group that really pushed me into action.  I had been toying with the idea of going but probably could have been easily talked out of it (due to my age and unpredictability of potential violence) when a cute little eighty year old learned that a couple of us were interested in attending the protest against #45 when he came to town.  I’ve always thought of this woman as adorable and kindhearted.  She is an ardent church goer, a tireless volunteer for the down-trodden, says “gee-williker-wiz” (instead of “oh, shit!” when she’s frustrated) and “gosh-darn-tootin’” (instead of “hot damn” when she’s won the lottery), and I’d be willing to bet butter doesn’t melt in her mouth—and her shit doesn’t stink.  But then she said the magic words that drop kicked me into the protest: “Oh no!  I just knew something like this would happen when the President came to speak! Why can’t you just support our President? He’s doing a great job.  The economy is fabulous, my taxes have gone down—I just need to understand why you dislike him so! I mean, I wish he’d stop tweeting, but other than that, look at all the good he’s done!”   

That is when I knew my sweet little octogenarian and others like her would be our country’s downfall because she was not horrified by the words and antics of Satan himselfone Donald J. Trump.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

Our local newspaper reported some of Trump’s speech to the Jamestown General Assembly that caught my attention:

“In August 1619, the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies arrived in Virginia. It was the beginning of a barbaric trade in human lives. Today, we honor, we remember every sacred soul who suffered the horrors of slavery and the anguish of bondage. More than 150 years later, at America’s founding, our Declaration of Independence recognized the immortal truth that all men are created equal.

Yet, it would ultimately take a civil war, 85 years after that document was signed, to abolish the evil of slavery. It would take more than another century for our nation in the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to live out the true meaning of its creed and extend the blessings of freedom to all Americans.

In the face of grave oppression and grave injustice, African-Americans have built, strengthened, inspired, uplifted, protected, defended, and sustained our nation from its very earliest days…”

Two hours after returning from Jamestown where he gave his scripted speech on the history and virtues of African-Americans, Trump admitted that he’d pulled the previous racist attacks against the Congresswomen of Color, Cummings, and Baltimore out of his buttjust because! (Trump to reporters about racist statements: “I have no strategy. There’s zero strategy. It’s very simple.”)  In other words, it is even worse than I thoughthis racism is cynical, calculated, and cold, and he was just reading a script at Jamestown.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

It’s too bad Trump’s tweets, actions, and rallies speak of a different reality than his staged teleprompter speech at the Ceremony Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown Colony.  If his words in front of the Assembly were matched by his actions, I would not have felt compelled to gather with 349 other people on a hot July day to protest his sorry-ass and would have stayed home to binge watch the final season of “Orange is the New Black” while sipping mimosas.  Since I know that speech was not written by Trump nor does it reflect his true feelings (“by their fruits you shall know them,” the Bible says), looks like I’m going to have to stock up on Geritol (which was extinct but somehow made a miraculous comeback) to help sustain me for the long protest marches ahead to 2020.

Until then I’ll keep fighting this battle for the Left side—the humane side—because right now, they are the only political group that seems to have a clear understanding of the evil in our midst cultivating darkness in our countrymen’s hearts and minds.  And that includes sweet, little old ladies who would rather go to their graves saying “Gosh darnit, gheez, son-of-a-gun” with blinders on their eyes rather than open their eyes and call a racist, lying, abusive, cheater of a President the son-of-a-bitch that he is and vote him out of office in 2020.  It’s up to those who can see the truth to keep protesting, to keep trying to wake up our sweet friends, neighbors, and relatives to the truth before it is too late.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR’S LIFE AMONG WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES FOR 45+ YEARS AND THE INSIGHTS GAINED:  Check out “Fleeing Oz”—on sale now at Amazon!

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

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

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Skyfall (No Spoilers; I Promise)

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Some of my fellow citizens (way too many) almost lost their freakin’ minds over the recent presidential election.  (I never thought I’d live to see the day that a black man could have so much power he’d be considered both the Anti-Christ as well as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world—twice over).  Both sides (liberal and conservative) were guilty of being obnoxious in their over-the-top verbiage surrounding said black man’s re-election, but some (not all, thank God) of the extreme right wing arm of the conservative party seemed to win the prize for out-and-out nastiness and racism.

The Internet was aflame with accusations from the Right that people who voted for President Obama were “pimps, whores, and welfare brats” (thanks, has-been rocker, Ted Nugent), some threatened to secede from the nation while guaranteeing that the rest of us were going to Hell on slip-and-slides ordered up by “freeloading ni@%ers, sluts, and fa%@ots” (thanks crazy-ass Texas), and one Christian ex-SNL comedienne tweeted:  “I can’t stop crying. America died . . . Thanks a lot Christians for not showing up. You disgust me” (Birther, pro-life advocate Victoria Jackson).  Yikes!

And that was the “mild vitriol.”  There were companies who fired employees for voting for President Obama, southern college campuses that burned our President’s body in effigy as they hurled racial epithets, and misguided souls who took to Facebook to call for President Obama’s assassination, convinced that our country will implode under his leadership.  I’ve got to confess that as an African-American, Independent, Born-Again Christian, pro-choice and pro-life (yeah you read that correctly; there are more of us than people realize), intelligent female, tax-paying citizen, I seriously thought about becoming an ex-pat in Canada because this racist shit had gotten so bad, but my husband (who is white) refused to move.

After kicking a particular snarky hater off my Facebook page into FB-Blocker Hell (really Biotch, I don’t even remember who you are—wouldn’t recognize you if I passed you on the street—and you try and hate on me on my own FB page—seriously?), my husband (WW) said he wouldn’t move to Canada but he wouldn’t mind wallowing in a little escapism for a day to wipe away all the political vomit out of his psyche.  I chose a marathon viewing (second time around) of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, but WW said:  “Shoot me now!  If I have to sit through that damn chick’s flick soap opera again I’ll definitely move to Canada—but without you!  Take me to see the opening of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, if you want to save our marriage.

Produced by Eon Productions and distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment

I started to protest but then WW reminded me that I made him sit through last week’s episode of Glee does Grease the Second Time with me in which he broke out in hives at the end of the show and needed three gin and tonics to get over his mind-numbing boredom.  So at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning (having had no breakfast because my husband thought we wouldn’t get a seat), armed with a huge bag of popcorn and no liquids (the movie is 2 ½ hours and I have the bladder the size of a pea), WW and I settled into the middle section of a packed IMAX theater and were immediately transported.

Even I will admit it—it’s  the best Bond movie ever!  The action is non-stop, the story doesn’t have any holes in it, and up until Sam Mendes’ Skyfall (wait until you find out the meaning of the title) I always thought Sean Connery was my favorite Bond.  Move over Sean because Daniel Craig has stolen my heart!  Up until Skyfall, I thought Dr. Julius No was my favorite villain, but Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva makes Hannibal Lector look like child’s play—you will pee your pants (I certainly would have if I had had any liquids in me)!

Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva in Skyfall|Produced by Eon Productions and distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment

Dame Judi Dench as “M” is the character I would have most liked to play if they had asked me (well, actually I would have liked to have been a Bond girl but, hey, reality is a bitch!), and she is AWESOME!  I agree with the critic, Donald Shanahan from the Chicago Examiner, that “the last five minutes of the movie is the best five minutes of any movie you’ll see this year,” and I love the life lessons he cites in his review, although our conclusions about those lessons are slightly different:

LESSON #1A moving target is hardest to hit (I for one don’t plan to slow down enough for the haters in life to hit me with their slime—what doesn’t stick to me can’t hurt me.)

LESSON #2:  Losing a step (None of us has the entire picture of who God is or what he is about, so all of us miss a step or two trying to make our way through life, and the older we get the more we realize that we don’t know as much as we thought we did.)

LESSON #3Think on your sins (Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.)

http://www.examiner.com/review/movie-review-skyfall-cements-the-brilliant-new-direction-of-james-bond

Dame Judi Dench as “M” | Produced by Eon Productions and distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment

And then there is the theme song co-written by Adele.  That baby tears this song up!  It’s new, it has flavors of earlier Bond themes, and it grabs your heart.  Ms. Adele will definitely win a Grammy for this.

Let the sky fall

When it crumbles

We will stand tall

Face it all together

Oh yeah . . . all in all, WW and I agreed that this movie experience was better than church!  We felt re-born and revitalized!  We returned home free of all the political nastiness, partisan crappiness, and religious self-righteousness that had washed over us during the election cycle.   We shook off all the Ted Nugent quips, Victoria Jackson hissy-fits, and Internet trolling racist barbs of the world, and we are going to treat others like we want to be treated and keep on rollin’.   (We also stopped reading any comments from trolling haters.)  I, for one, think the next four years are going to be fabulous!  How about you?

Theme song banner|image from bestmoviesevernews.com

I am discovering that I actually learned a great deal from Skyfall and I’m glad I saw it.  We (Americans) have an enemy but it is not each other, unless we chose to make it so.   We really are on the same team.  Our common enemy is hatred of our way of life that strikes at us through the form of terrorism that owes allegiance to no country and no people group other than its own raw ambition and meanness.   To paraphrase President Obama, we are not Red States or Blue States, religious or non-religious, Black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight—we are citizens of these United States.  We all see in bits and pieces; we all have portions of truth; and we all could be wrong about so much that we are willing to kill each other over today.   We need each other if we’re going to make this democracy work.  What say we wash the bile out of our mouths, find the things we can agree on, and let’s get to work, because yesterday it was 9-11 and al-qaeda, the next day it was Katrina and oil destroying the Gulf, today it is a hurricane ravaging NYC and New Jersey, tomorrow it may be you and your town being decimated.  We will all need each other, at one time or another, and in our hour of need, we won’t give a damn about our differences just so long as we are lending a hand to help each other survive.

Image from wheelingsoup.org

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 “The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”― T. H. White, The Once and Future King

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, and prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”― Eleanor Roosevelt

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

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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When Trouble Comes a Knockin’ at My Door

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  We are born, we die, but everything in between is usually one pratfall after another, which can be embarrassing and mortifying and seem like the most insurmountable problem at the time, until we actually run up against real trouble knocking at the door of our lives (mixed metaphor intended).

Image courtesy of flatrock.org.nz

A few days ago, my husband (WW) and I had just hunkered down in preparation for Hurricane Sandy to hit.  Expecting 80 mile an hour winds and living amongst obscenely tall trees, we had put away anything that could turn into a flying missile, cleaned out the gutters, primed the sump pump, gathered the emergency lights and hand-cranked radio, and descended into the basement to stand guard through the night against something
we couldn’t even begin to fathom or control.  What made the waiting worse is that one of our daughters and our only grandson were in the storm’s direct path in New York City.  Worry about and for them was so debilitating
that I was practically near a nervous breakdown.  During times such as these, WW is steady as a rock and I am a whirling dervish of frenetic talkative energy and planning.

Whirling Dervish|image from mysacredcircle.blogspot.com

THE MOTHER (Me):    Honey, did you tell our daughter to get cash from the ATM in case the electricity goes and get tons of non-perishable food like tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, and applesauce?  Did you remind Boo to pack an emergency backpack for her and the baby and keep it by the door in case they have to evacuate?  Oh and what about flashlights, battery-powered radios, and a security rape whistle in case the metropolis turns into Gotham City and anarchy ensues?  Oh, and she should probably get duct tape (no emergency is complete without duct tape) and an ice chest full of ice for perishables and her friend’s insulin medicine.  Did you tell her about filling the bathtub full of water to flush the toilets in case the city sewer pump gives out at the water station?  Huh, huh, well did you tell her?

THE FATHER (WW):    No, you told her all that and more during the 10 text messages, 14 phone calls, and 20 emails you sent her over the past two hours.  In fact I just got a call from our daughter that I couldn’t understand what was being said through our grandson’s screaming and our daughter’s yelling because your last suggestion about filling the bathtub with water caused mass hysteria in her house.  The new kitten, Jo-Jo (used to jumping into the tub to play with the baby’s bath toys) didn’t realize the tub was full of water and took a flying leap off the side of the tub into what quickly started becoming his watery grave.  Our grandson got hysterical because Jo-Jo was drowning, the shower curtain got ripped to shreds because the kitten tried to use it as a ladder to climb out of the tub, both our grandson and our daughter have kitty scratches from head to toe, and now the kitten has gone into hiding and refuses to surface—all this before Hurricane Sandy has even shown up.  I just got a text message from our very frustrated older daughter that says:  “Dad, contain your woman; she is driving me freakin’ crazy!”

“Soggy Pissed-off Kitty”|Google Image

THE MOTHER (Me):  Well, excuse me for just trying to get everyone prepared for what the weathermen are calling the “storm of the century”!

THE FATHER (WW):  Honey, you know that most things we obsess about never come to past, but when they finally do knock on our door the best we can do is be prepared and the rest is in God’s hands.  You’ve done your part, now let God show up.  Why don’t you take your mind off obsessing about the safety of our grandson and do something constructive.  What’s the theme of next week’s blog?

THE MOTHER (Me):  Oddly enough—worrying about stupid shit we have no control over.  Isn’t it ironic?  We could be blown away at any minute, and I’m still being plagued by an embarrassing incident that happened to me on the elevator at my company the other day.   I’m actually mortified at the thought of what people must be saying about me behind my back, and the irony of it all is that it wasn’t my fault!

THE FATHER (WW):  All righty, now.  This story sounds like one for the family scrapbook.  Pass me the popcorn, and let her rip.

THE MOTHER (Me):  (You have no idea how much of a pun that is!)  Well, you know what an impeccable diva I am?  How everything has to be in place and just so?  The other day, I was really struttin’ my stuff (black and white “to-die-for” ensemble with gobstopper pearls, Coach bag and gorgeous Stuart Weitzman pumps) when I got on the elevator on the executive floor of my company (picture badge and name prominently displayed for all the world to see), and a building services man that I recognized didn’t speak when I spoke to him, but gave me a rather chagrined expression as he sped past me to exit onto my floor.  Once the elevator doors had closed, I instantly knew why his expression was so tortured:  he had left behind a fart of biblical proportions!  It was so rank that the paint seemed to be peeling off the elevator walls. I have no idea what that guy had had for lunch, but it smelled as if something had died in there.   I was the only one on the elevator, and as I tried my best not to breathe, I pushed the next floor’s button hoping I could escape before anyone else got on (I should have reopened the doors and gone back the way I came but I was too flustered to think—I think the funk had addled my brain).  As Murphy’s Law would have it, a gaggle of chattering new college hires (all shiny and new and dressed to the nines on a tour of the Executive floors) flooded the elevator and blocked my ability to exit before the doors closed.  Like magic—within five seconds—all of their chirpy voices screeched to an immediate halt as they all turned and looked at me in wide-eyed horror as they grabbed their noses and exclaimed in a unified Greek chorus shout-out:  EEUUEW!  At the next floor they all fled the elevator like a flock of magpies being chased by a skunk—leaving me alone with a shattered reputation in the midst of a funk not of my own making.   I wanted to go running after them to plead my case:  “It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me; I’m too cool to fart in public,” but I was so mortified, all I could do was hang my head as the doors closed and the elevator car descended to the first floor. How can I show my face again at work?  Every time I get on the elevator now I feel as if people I don’t know are pointing and whispering:  “That’s her—that’s the chubby Pépé Le Pew we were telling you about.”

That’s what I want to blog about.  Why did something (not my fault) cause me such chagrin and mortification, and why can’t I shake it off?  Nobody got hurt, no property was lost (last time I looked, the elevator car had not imploded), and nobody died.

“Elevator Fart”|image from gomauri.com

THE HUSBAND (WW):  Well, in light of a very real tragedy that is about to descend up our heads, you might just get some perspective about how in the scheme of things, a smelly ol’ fart is no big deal.  If our family lives through this storm without loss of life or property, a misguided fart in juxtaposition to Hurricane Sandy will be a great story for your readers.  Ask them what nonsensical things trip them up that should be simply shaken off on any given day, because at some point, real tragedy comes a knockin’ and we need all the courage and strength we can muster to conquer those “real” trials!

****

I am discovering that the playwright Jean Kerr of Mary, Mary was correct (and I paraphrase here):  “It is no use making up troubles that don’t exist because trouble will come knocking at your door soon enough.” When WW and I woke up the next morning, our house was not flooded, the tall trees were still standing, and my daughter and grandson were unscathed in Queens.  But what is fast becoming legendary is that millions of others from the Caribbean to Maine lost electricity, lost their homes to fire and floods, and some lost their lives trying to escape the mayhem of what turned out to ironically be called the “perfect storm.”

Trouble had indeed come a knockin’ at many of our “neighbor’s” doors in New Jersey and New York, and now it is up to us and every other American of all stripes and colors, political persuasions, and religious ideologies to get over our petty and nonsensical selves and our entrenched ideologies and lend a helping hand to our neighbors, relatives, friends, and strangers far and wide so that they may recover as soon as possible.  No state government can stand alone in times like these (no matter what the Republicans tell you), no federal government can do it all (no matter what the Democrats tell you), and none of us can exist without each other (no matter what the various ideologues preach to you).   As we approach the presidential election, Hurricane Sandy has made it abundantly clear for those who have eyes to see that now is not the time to elect a rich,
heartless, corporate raider
whose mantra is, “I’ve got mine, too bad you never got yours,” but now is the time to RE-ELECT a brilliant man who has the Christlike heart of a community leader and understands that if the United States of America is going to make it in the future when trouble comes knockin’ at our door, we will all need to underscore the united part of our country’s title and pledge allegiance to the fact that we are all our brother’s keepers and all in this journey together.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been harmed by Hurricane Sandy and suffered loss of family, friends, and property.  We pledge to come to your aid as brothers and sisters and fellow Americans until you can stand on your own two feet again!—Image from homeless.samhas.gov

      “Above all things let us never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other”—Albert Pike (American Lawyer, Journalist and Soldier, 1809-1891)

“If you really believe in the brotherhood of man, and you want to come into its fold, you’ve got to let everyone else in, too”—Oscar Hammerstein II (American musical comedy Author, Lyricist and Producer influential in the development of musical comedy. 1895-1960)

      “People ask me all the time, ‘What are you, a Democrat or a Republican? A Catholic or a Muslim…’ What am I? I am none of these. I belong to nothing but the human race. Why isn’t that ever enough?”— Kate Miller

THE WORRIED MOTHER (Me):  “WW, did you tell our daughter that she needs to get the largest mallet she can lift and carry it with her at all times because I just read an article on Huff Post that millions of rats have been washed out of the sewers of NYC, and they will be roaming the streets in gangs (you’ve heard of the Crips and the Bloods—well, these will be the “Rats”) because they can swim and climb.   Huff Post says that there is a good chance that our grandson could be exposed to ‘leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the bubonic plague.’”

OUR DAUGHTER (Boo):  “Daddy, your wife is driving me insane!”

“My inner self—The Eternal Worry Wart”| image from iwillassistyou.wordpress.com

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

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Do You See What I See?

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  It has taken me until my sixties to become completely self-aware and to realize that I’m just a little bit nuts.  I don’t mean that I’m bat-shit crazy like my mother who was paranoid-schizophrenic; I simply mean that I finally recognized that I see the world from a different angle than the people I used to hang with and I now realize that’s okay—either that or I’m lying to myself which would be self-denial and not the same thing as self-awareness at all.

Pinned by Cassandra Bond on Pinterest

“Self-Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.”—Gary van Warmerdam  (pathwaytohappiness.com)

****

I’m getting ready to make another major life transition in the next six months (retirement), and it is imperative that I have a “clear perception” of who and what I am—warts and all—if I am to successfully turn the page to the next chapter.  I haven’t always been in a place of prime self-awareness.  I mean I thought I was one of the most self-aware people around when I was younger, but I had hoodwinked myself into believing that because I was religious.  Now that I am old, I have found that religious people (people who follow a specific set of stringent rules to define their lot in life) tend to think they are better off than they are—that the people they hate are more sinful than they really are—and it usually takes a spiritual or emotional earthquake to shake off the cataracts from the “holier than thou” person’s eyes to plunge him or her into a deeper level of self-awareness.

****

I’ve found that sometimes it’s hard to tell self-denial and self-awareness apart.  There’s nothing like the obese woman who visualizes that she’s the embodiment of the Right Said Fred song and thinks she’s “too sexy for her shirt, too sexy for your party, too sexy for Milan, or too sexy for her cat.”

Cartoon version of “self-awareness fail” by Collins||image from networkedblogs.com

Real life self-awareness fail|image from blogtosh.comedycentral.com

And for God’s sake don’t even get me started on the man who sports the Tea Party hat, screams the Tea Party epithets as he commits his life to take back America for God from the socialists, the baby-killers, and the fags but treats his wife and kids like shit.

Carl Jones Cartoon from the Free Lance-Star||image from loonpond.blogspot.com

But the best self-awareness fail was the one that woke my husband and me up from our right-wing Christian stupor and probably saved our destinies and our souls—it certainly saved our minds.  There’s nothing like getting up every morning, looking in the mirror and confirming to one’s self that you are the epitome of a great father and mother while handing out the WWJD bracelets to your kids before they march out the door to high school (“protect those choices, babies”).   There’s no greater Christian turn-on than reminding your offspring of their D.A.R.E. pledges (taking a stand against drug abuse) they made at the beginning of middle school and calling to mind their abstinence letters still to be signed on the dining room table.  However there is no deeper despair than to later find out that all the platitudes you believed in were a bunch of shit and none of it worked.  There’s absolutely fucking nothing like having one of your kids temporarily lose her mind that forces you to reexamine what you believe, why you believe it, and how your life should change to properly demonstrate that new belief system.

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich for the Atlanta Tribune-Constitutional

Fortunately, if you wake up in time (which we did), your self-awareness brutally course-corrects itself (it did), and the errant kid gets to correct her destiny before it capsizes (which she did) and you continue as a family, stronger and more loving than ever.  As the parent who thought I was “all that and a bag of chips,” I gained a self-awareness that made me more compassionate, more loving, and more tolerant toward others—walking along side them without judgment as they try to overcome the vagaries of life.

***

The only people who seem to have unadulterated self-awareness seem to be small children, but it has to be because they don’t know anything except “what is.”  The “smalls” have an amazing ability to be comfortable in their own skin and this doesn’t change until they are made to feel “less than” or “other than” by ridicule and abuse.  The other day my three-year-old grandson was walking with his mother to the subway station via a rather rough inner-city street in New York.  As they passed quite a few nefarious looking characters that my daughter didn’t plan on giving the time of day, each one broke into a smile of recognition and greeted my grandson with a high-five and a—“Hey there, little dude, how’s it hangin’?”  “So little man, what you been up to—long time no see!”  “Where you off to today, buddy?” To which my grandson graced each person with a beatific grin that could melt the ass off a snowman and saluted each greeter with a miniature toddler high-five.  As he walked on down the street while holding his mother’s hand, he said rather matter-of-factly and without the least bit of irony:  “You know what, Mama—people luv me!”

Image from thepunch.com.au

The good news for our “little dude” is that we have shielded him from the people who won’t love him for quite a while, and that is a good thing.  But children soon leave behind their naïve self-awareness and grow into adults who see a false image of themselves in their mind’s eye, and start believing their own press, where they project themselves in such a way that they lose touch with the reality of what actually “is.”  Consequently, we have to constantly be on the lookout for epic self-awareness fails—not only in our personal lives and our family’s lives but in the greater arena at large.  Learning to recognize self-awareness bombs will keep us sharp and give us the tools to adjust our own growth.

SELF-AWARENESS FAILS IN THE NEWS LAST WEEK

SELF-AWARENESS FAIL ~(Republican party the true bastion of morality and ever the guardian of the WWJD slogan): Black CNN reporter gets pelted with peanuts by Republican Conventioneers who proudly boast of being ‘church-goers’ and told the devastated reporter, “This is how we treat the animals.”  IMP. NEWS FLASH QUESTION:  Republican, Christian Tea Party members—Are you shittin’ me?

SELF-AWARENESS FAIL ~(Good Catholics uphold the 10 Commandments, especially the 9th Commandment because “bearing false witness” is a major character defect):  Staunch Catholic, PAUL RYAN, Republican VP Nominee, receives the “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire Award” for what the New York Times calls a “litany of falsehoods” in his convention speech.  He is accused of lying about everything from President Obama not requiring “Welfare recipients to work anymore” to his final speed of a marathon (said he ran it in 2 hours and something when it actually took him over four hours).   Joan Walsh of Salon.com in the article titled: “Paul Ryan’s Marathon Lie” says that this was no slip of the tongue.  Ryan “boasted about the feat with specificity and swagger.”  (Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, go wash your mouth out with soap and come back and write on the blackboard 1,000 times: ‘I will never, ever lie again because I am a Christian and I must never, ever break the 9th commandment’ because in doing so, you’re making the God you supposedly serve a laughing-stock.  Dude, do you really think you’re going to get away with this?)

SELF-AWARENESS FAIL ~Ralph Reed (Former Christian Coalition head WHO USED TO ATTEND THE SAME CHURCH AS WW AND ME—YIKES!) IS BACK—living an upstanding stellar Christian life (NOT!) by initiating and underscoring a plank on the Republican platform that is trying to defeat the minimum wage in the Mariana Islands [territory owned by USA since WWII] again.  Reed’s epic fail that almost destroyed him in the past was a “partnership” with the lobbyist crook, Jack Abramoff, to defeat the Federal Government’s effort to clean up the sweatshops and bring in minimum wage in those islands, thus cutting into the profits of factory owners and shareholders.  Reed convinced Alabama residents to urge their Congressmen to vote for no restrictions in wages on the premise that imposing minimum wage on the imported Chinese workers would keep them from getting hired by the Mariana Islands’ businesses, and that would mean (horrors!) the workers wouldn’t hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, wouldn’t get Bibles to save their souls and they wouldn’t take those Bibles back to China to save the rest of their peeps’ souls.  What Reed failed to mention to his Alabama pawns is that the Chinese women worked in horrible conditions and were “forced to have abortions, forced to engage in prostitution, and forced to produce garments for pennies that said ‘Made in the USA.’”  The revelation of these truths cost Ralph Reed the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia in 2006 and now “he’s back!”  Oh God, deliver us from your people! (Ralph Reed, where you gonna’ run, where you gonna hide, sinner man?  Did you ever hear the slogan:  God is not mocked?)

“Reed’s was a monstrous lie by one of the monumental hypocrites of our time. Yet he marches on, Christian soldier to the end, turning the temple of faith into one big ATM. There’s a word for this in the Bible: Abomination.”— By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, BillMoyers.com [THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY REPORTED ON BILLMOYERS.COM.]        http://www.salon.com/2012/09/01/ralph_reed_rises_from_the_ashes/)

A Mike Keefe Cartoon for the Denver Post||Punditkitchennews.icancheeseburger.com

****

I am discovering that being self-aware is probably one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a one-time deal; it is a constant and diligent examination—kind of like a yearly breast examination of the soul.  Every new crossroad in life demands a poking and prodding and an x-ray of who we are to see if what we think we are is what others see.  Without that revelation, there is no successful move into the next phase of life—there’s just one giant epic fail.  Stay tuned—retirement transition to be posted in March 2013.

******

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”—August Wilson

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”—Carl Gustav Jung

“[I]t doesn’t matter whom you love or where you move from or to, you always take yourself with you. If you don’t know who you are, or if you’ve forgotten or misplaced her, then you’ll always feel as if you don’t belong. Anywhere. (xiii)”― Sarah Breathnach, Moving on: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance

“We judge others instantly by their clothes, their cars, their appearance, their race, their education, their social status. The list is endless. What gets me is that most people decide who another person is before they have even spoken to them. What’s even worse is that these same people decide who someone else is, and don’t even know who they are themselves.”― Ashly Lorenzana

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

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Warning to Mittens and the Gang

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I don’t have much to say this week because I’ve been partying with a three-year-old who could care less about what is going on in this nasty political world except how it affects his chicken nuggets, juice boxes, MeMa kisses, and his Shrek and Donkey doll needs.  In fact, I asked him yesterday where he was off to in such a hurry as he raced past my office while I was banging my head against my laptop keyboard trying to eke out a blog for this week, and his toddler worldview response to me was pretty matter-of-fact:  “I’m going anywhere!

I don’t know what in the hell that meant in my grandson’s toddler musings, but after spending all my writing time taking him to the water park, to the aquarium, and watching cartoon marathons, I had no energy left to do anything but collapse into bed each night when he did, and I finally decided that “going anywhere” simply means, I’ll let the wind take me where it will and discover what it has to offer later because my brain is fried.  In other words, this week’s blog post is going to be a quickie and when in doubt, bring Big Mama out!

Writer’s block image from clucluz.blogspot.com

Dear Mitt (“Mittens”) and the Gang:

It’s Big Mama givin’ you a shout-out, but you probably don’t remember me because I left your party a while back when the crazies started taking over with the Pat Robertson and the Pat Buchanan types.  But I used to be one of your few black conservative peeps—not the hook, line, and sinker type, but enough to get my toes wet as a supporter of one or two of your candidates when the Dems were the Party of the “South will rise again, but this time without any Negroes” political party.   I used to wander in and out of your ranks as an independent when you still appealed to fiscal conservatives and socially kind-hearted people, and some of my good friends are
Republicans (the sane Repubs, not the nasty-ass Tea Party types).  But you’ve been really actin’ the fool lately—so much so, that I barely recognize you as the party of Abraham Lincoln that helped set my people free from slavery.

Racist Poster from 1850s||Google Image

But now the coin has flipped and y’all have just gone plum crazy!   I read that the former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and God were sending down some last-minute messages to Tampa to get your attention, and I thought maybe I’d add my two cents as well.  Your buddy Jeb is concerned that your rhetoric might be just a “tad bit” off-putting to the people of color outside your tent and Gov. Jeb thinks it is going to come back and bite you in the ass in the future.  At the printing of this post, God is barreling down on your behinds in the form of hurricane Isaac (hey, if one of your main loud mouths can prophesy that the Haiti hurricane of 2010 was a storm of their own sinfulness, then the same reasoning can be laid at your feet—I didn’t make this shit up, go after Pat Robertson).

Cartoon by Horsey||image from LA Times

Looks like both Jeb and Jesus are telling you, my wingnut brothers and sisters, that if you don’t straighten up and fly right, you’re going to have hell to pay.  Well, while I’ve got your ear, I’d like to add a few of my own warnings listed under the heading of “Oh no, you de-en’t.”

“OH NO YOU DE-ENT:

 BLOW A DOG WHISTLE OF RACISM TO YOUR TEA PARTY BASE, MITTENS!”

“I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” Romney said, naming the local hospitals where he and his wife were delivered. “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.”—Mitt Romney to a Michigan audience on the campaign trail.” ||BY KRISTEN A. LEE/NY DAILY NEWS

WARNING TO MITTENS:  Seriously, Mr. Smart-ass, was that necessary?  Cause it looked to me and my peeps like you just wanted to be a hater.  That “joke” just told any Independent African-American voters that you don’t want their vote and you just told the Hispanic population that you may have lived in Mexico (are you sure you’re an American citizen, by the way?), but your heart was born in racist Jerks Ville where everything is white and rich like you.  Big mistake—huge!

Image courtesy of stephanbc.wordpress.com

“OH NO YOU DE-ENT:

 PICK A VP WHO IS AN AYN RAND DISCIPLE, MITTENS!

DIDN’T YOU GET THE GRAND POOH-BAH OF CONSERVATISM, CHUCK COLSON’S,

 WARNING ABOUT RAND BEFORE HE DIED?”

“. . . (Chuck) Colson condemned the strong support of Rand in Republican and conservative circles and urged his followers not only to stay away from the new film of Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged, but to “stay away from anyone who intends to watch the film.” Colson goes on to say Rand and her followers were precisely the types of “cranks” and “crypto-cultists” that his friend Bill Buckley had fought to purge from conservative ranks. He says the “real problem with Rand is the world view her novels and other writings sought to inculcate in her readers… it’s hard to imagine a world view more antithetical to Christianity.—Eric Sapp (The GOP Must Choose: Ayn Rand or Jesus/Huffington Post)

WARNING MITTENS: God is not mocked, boy!  Remember the name of the God in the title of the “Latter Day Saints” of your church’s title, Sugah?  Well, I have it on good authority that Jesus loved the poor, served the needy, and required that we shun the evil of the love of money if we didn’t want to lose our souls.  Ayn Rand preached that greed was good, altruism was bad, selfishness was to be celebrated, the poor were parasites, and money was to be glorified and worshipped.  Just to show you how nasty Rand’s philosophy was, one of her worshippers who is a writer in NYC once said that when a homeless person asks him for a little bit of money or food, his “Ayn Randian” response is:  “I could, but then you might live longer, so you see my dilemma.”

Rand’s “Dominance” of Alan Greenspan and Wall Street which caused our country’s financial demise||Andrew Corsello’s “The Bitch is Back” from GQ

And yet . . . and yet, Mittens, Baby, you picked a running mate, Paul Ryan, who was one of Rand’s disciples and claimed to have based his budget plan on her principles, and in a 2005 speech he stated that “I grew up reading Ayn Rand, and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.”  Mittens, what have you done?  Didn’t you read Alan Greenspan’s own words, about his fierce devotion to Objectivism and how he was Ayn Rand’s bitch?   Because I sure did, and it scared the shit out of me, especially when I realized Greenspan’s enslavement to Objectivism tanked our economy.  Good God, Mittens, what were you thinking when you chose a mini-me Greenspan to be your VP?

“OH NO YOU DE-ENT:

DRAG YOUR FEET BEFORE CONDEMING ‘HURRICANE TODD,’ MITTENS?”

(Yes you did, Mittens—no need to deny it—and now Hurricane Todd is arriving in Tampa with Isaac
and since Akin’s pride seems to be the size of an actual hurricane—you and the
party are in real trouble, boy.)

Mittens, if you get a chance to chat with Todd Akin at the convention, tell him to go and visit the Congo and interview the nearly two million women who have been raped as an act of war (nearly one rape per minute).  Be sure and let Mr. Akin know that 5% of those women got pregnant (thousands of children have been born as a result of forcible rape in the Congo), the same percentage of women who get pregnant when having consensual sex anywhere else in the world—there is no difference.  According to the New York Times, this is a country where abortions for rape are not permitted, where the women are ostracized, and sometimes the babies themselves are raped by the attackers (if the babies haven’t starved to death) when the monsters return to recommit their atrocities.  Make the Congressman understand that his “legitimate rape vs illegitimate rape” science is a piece of shit and as a woman, a rape survivor, and a Christian, there is only one kind of rape, and I’m praying for a pox on both your houses for your stupidity in all of this!

Signed:  One Pissed Off Big Mama!

Image of funny-pictures.feediio.net

I am discovering that the Republican Party is severely tone deaf and a dollar short and a dime late.  By the time the Party comes to its senses, purges the Rand Objectivism from its blood, drains the racism from its arteries, flushes the anti-scientific crap from its mind, and exorcises the cold-heartedness from its heart, there will only be two classes of people left:  the haves and the have-nots.  The middle class will have slipped into the permanent realm of the working poor—stripped of all safety nets and supports by the Romney/Ryan team—and the rich will be sporting I AM JOHN GALT license plates on their luxury cars as they zip by the 99% on the Lexus lanes on the highway of life telling the have-nots that “the rich have their bountiful goodies, too bad it sucks for you.”

****

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”John Rogers

Stephen Colbert

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

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Sucking Out My Brains

Do you know what I’ve discovered in my old age?  There are only three appropriate responses to things that happen to us in life: “hallelujah” (heart full of gratitude), “WTF” (incredulous bafflement), or “shit, the zombies done sucked the brains plum out of my head and that’s why I do what I do” (excuse for becoming a nasty individual).

When I was young, I didn’t want to admit that zombies existed (as a child, I called them “demons” or the “bogie man”), but recently I’ve come to realize that I’ve always known they were real and have spent the last several years just trying to stay out of reach of their brain-sucking ways.

Bubble Girl Running from Zombies||courtesy of vowelmovement.com

But this past weekend, the zombies caught up with me and started attacking me in such an insidious way that I almost lost my soul and didn’t even know it.  On Friday morning bright and early I set out to take a trip to Minneapolis (most people go to Paris, London, or NYC to get their freak on, but I go to Minneapolis—that’s my “partying freak-on” not “doing the wild-thing freak-on,” so get your mind out of the gutter, nasty boys).  I had had a grueling week and was looking forward to some much needed R&R as I got together with family and friends and tripped the light fantastic in the city of “Minnesota nice.”

Have you ever had a day that rolls away from you from the moment you step outside your house until it ends at midnight?  My life went to Hell in a hand basket when I didn’t get home from work in time enough to get my packing act together and I just threw things into bags in the hope that all would end well.  I barely got two hours of sleep, and flew out of the house like a woman crazed when the phone rang and the cabbie announced he had arrived at 5:45 a.m. ready to transport my husband and me to the airport. But when I went outside, the cab was not in front of my house.  As I searched the dark street, I saw the taxi in front of a neighbor’s house with its emergency lights flashing and the silhouette of the driver kneeling on the ground in front of his high beams, presumably facing Mecca, while he unashamedly participated in his morning prayers to Allah.  Now I’m all for religious freedom, but when I’ve got a plane to catch and you’re my cab driver—WTF (incredulous bafflement)!  Whatever possessed that cabbie to call me, announce that he had arrived, and then drop to his knees for a chat with his god? Why didn’t he pray first and then engage in business with me—I would have never been the wiser.

To make matters even worse, WW was respectfully standing several car lengths away from the cab with our bags in tow as if frozen into place.  (Because WW knows everything, apparently, he knew it was Ramadan—the high holy fasting period for all who follow Islam.)  Agitated as hell, I tried to be as gracious as two hours sleep could grant me as I whispered to my husband:  “Why don’t we just drive ourselves to the airport; I don’t have time for this crap—I’ve got places to go, and things to do, and I’m exhausted, God dammit!”  But the dude had blocked our driveway with part of his car and WW thought it would be bad karma to run over a praying man with our car as we were trying not to miss a flight.  And so we waited and waited as I pondered about the tad bit of xenophobia growing in the back of my brain and seeping down into my heart at the thought of my cabbie imposing his religious rites on my busy schedule.  I mean whatever happened to a regular ol’ Black man who spoke English (thank you very much) picking me up like in the good old days without any of this dropping to your knees in the middle of a dark road stuff.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, like the flutter of butterfly wings, a random thought flittered across my brain that this was Ramadan season and the cabbie was just doing his thing like I am wont to do at Easter and Christmas, but my shitty attitude squished the thought like a bug. I didn’t realize it then, but a zombie of xenophobia was attempting to suck out my brains and love for my fellowman was starting to grow cold.

Zombie’s reason to live||courtesy of emergingmagazine.com

The airport was a zoo—more so than usual—and as I stood in line a very grumpy, over-the-top, fat slob of a TSA agent roamed the holding area and lectured all the passengers about making sure we had no illegal substances like hairspray, gels, racks of ribs, and apple pies in our carry-on luggage.  “That’s why the lines are so long, people, because you’re not obeying the rules and you’re trying to travel with all sorts of crazy shit,” screamed the TSA Nazi as he frantically pointed at the banned contraband poster.  Before my embarrassing TSA smack down which was inevitable given the way my day had started, I remember kibitzing with another seasoned traveler about how sad and humiliating it must be for a novice flyer who didn’t know all the rules of post 9/11 flying to encounter this TSA dude who seemed to have had a roasted jalapeno pepper shoved up his ass that morning or was being taken over by a zombie.  As I passed through the “orgasmatron” (imagining TSA agents FOTFL at images of my little fat naked body), dreaming about the steak and vodka gimlet I was going to consume at my favorite Minneapolis restaurant, Manny’s Steakhouse, bells and whistles began to sound, the conveyer belt with my stuff screeched to a halt, TSA agents came running from everywhere, and a Brunhilda agent barked commands into the walkie-talkie on her shoulder as she ordered me to step to the side for questioning and a body search as WW pretended he didn’t know me.

Cox and Forkum|image from authenticallywired.com

The long and the short of it was that I had inadvertently packed a Costco-size can of hairspray and wig detangler in my carry-on case.  As all the other passengers whose schedules I was holding up looked at me with death ray eyes of scorn laced with pity, the TSA Nazi with the roasted jalapeno ass held up my hair products above his head and shouted out my verdict to everyone from here to eternity:  “THROWING AWAY A LARGE-ASS HAIRSPRAY CAN AND WIG DETANGLER BOTTLE FROM THE WOMAN STANDING IN FRONT OF ME AND TOSSING THEM INTO THE CONTRABAND BARREL TO MY LEFT!”  As he slammed my precious hair products into the confiscated bin of no return, I remember screaming, “noooooooo, that shit costs a fortune and they don’t sell this in Minneapolis because there are not that many black people who need their hair detangled—how the fuck am I going to do my hair while I’m there”?   As the TSA Nazi gave me a look of complete and utter disdain, I snatched my bag from him with all the force I could muster and conjured up the fiercest “evil eye” that I could beam toward him as another zombie of mean-spiritedness began to chomp down on my brain and drain into my heart against another fellow human who was just trying to do his job.

Meet the Fockers/”The Evil Eye”|Image of Universal Pictures and Dreamworks SKG

Needless to say, when I landed in Minneapolis—the land of Garrison Keillor (one of my literary idols), Prince, Charles Schulz, and “Minnesota nice,” I was fit to be tied.  I drank too much and I ate too much and within 24 hours I had a zombie nightmare brought on by the meat sweats of the worst kind because that is how a 24-ounce rib eye and a triple-sized vodka gimlet will punish a person’s gluttonous ass.  In the dream I kept trying to get back home like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, only I had to go through airport security, but they wouldn’t let me back on the plane because they said I was possessed.

TSA AGENT:  Well, well, well, Mrs. Tomczyk—we meet again!  It seems you not only don’t know how to pack in order to get on an airplane these days, but it seems your name has now been put on the “no fly” list because you couldn’t keep your attitude in check.  It looks like your ass is going to be driving home, m’lady, and we’ll just see if Homeland Security even lets you cross the state borders.

ME:  I know I screwed up; I’m so sorry.  I’ve done a lot of thinking and I’m not the same person that came through the airport in DC a few days ago—I swear to you, I’m back to being the Eleanor we all know and love.  I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think a couple of zombies made me act the way I did.

TSA AGENT:  Zombies, heh?  What makes you think you have the ability to spot a zombie invasion?

ME:  That’s just it; I think I’ve always been able to see them ever since I was a little girl.   I just stopped paying attention.  But you know they’re in the vicinity when humans and animals start acting irrationally.  Zombienation.com told me that the definition of a zombie attack is “A living being stripped of its will, humanity, and normal behavior by outside forces either supernatural or mundane.”  Haven’t you noticed how there’s been a series of animal attacks over the past decade that just don’t make sense?  Remember the sting ray stabbing of the Crocodile Hunter from Australia?  Don’t you think it’s weird that he didn’t get killed by a vicious crocodile but bought the farm from a normally passive sea creature?  Zombie attack I tell you.  And what about Siegfried and Roy—a tiger they’d worked with since he was six months old ate Roy for lunch less than 24 hours after Roy’s 59th birthday celebration, and they still don’t know why Montecore, the tiger, attacked his master.  Well, I do:  It was a zombie attack!  Every day there is a story about a chimp or a shark or a crocodile chewing up a human or two.  It’s those damn zombies!

Monkey Attack|Image from funnydowntown.com

TSA AGENT:  So instead of using the age-old excuse, “the devil made me do it,” you’re blaming zombies for your shitty attitude and xenophobic behavior?

ME:  You know about the praying cabbie?  How do you know about him?

TSA AGENT:  We’re Homeland Security—we know everything.

ME:  (Slightly rattled and somewhat chagrined) Yeah, well I’m not the only one.  Have you been watching the race leading up to the presidential campaign, lately?  The Supreme Court unleashed a legion of zombies when they upheld the Citizens United request to allow corporations and unions to spend unlimited funds on political campaigns.  Because of that misguided debacle, have you seen the nasty shit we’re being bombarded with from all sides?  It’s enough to suck out your soul.

TSA AGENT:  So because the Supreme Court lost its mind, you have the right to do so as well?  I thought you were supposed to be a Christian—full of love, charity, mercy, and grace.

ME:  Wait a minute, here; I thought you were a TSA Agent.  You’re beginning to sound a lot like the voice of God.  I’m just saying that Americans are daily flooded with hatred and lies from the political campaigns and it is beginning to affect my mind.  It’s beginning to affect all of our minds.  Both sides share the blame in polluting the airways, although the Republicans should own the lion’s share of hateful ads and lies against our President because, thanks to the Koch brothers, they have five times the amount of money to waste on negative ads.  There hasn’t been a sitting president to encounter so much hatred since Abraham Lincoln.  To hear the Republicans tell it, President Obama is either a Muslim plant in the Oval Office or a bloody terrorist who shot up the theater in Colorado and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin to take away automatic rifles from “real Americans.”  Only people who’ve had their brains sucked out by zombies could believe that shit about our President, and if he’s fighting back, you can’t much blame him!

Obama, the Zombie Fighter|Image by rotflpictures.com

TSA AGENT:  What does that have to do with your attitude and making your way back home?  You’re responsible for you and you alone.  Why should I let you go home?

ME:  Because I’ve changed.  I had a “come to Jesus meeting” or should I say a “come to Garrison meeting.”  I ran into the writer, Garrison Keillor, when I was in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (at least I think it was him) and as our eyes locked for a brief moment as the clouds parted on a beautiful walking path one morning, I could have sworn I heard him say:  “Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.”   And just like that, my zombie oppression vanished with a little Prairie Home Companion wisdom and I regained my grace and brotherly love.  I asked God to forgive me when I realized that my horrid attitude toward the cab driver was pathetic and mean-spirited.  The cabbie turned out to be a really sweet man who was just trying to honor his god, and all I could see as the impatient, ugly American was that he was interfering with my schedule.   You see, I want to be a gentle person—not a mean person—but a gentle person who can still be a zombie slayer when needed.

******

I am discovering that we are all just one zombie brain-sucking moment away from being haters and murderers.  All it takes is an insipid lie to invade our gray matter about the character or actions of another human being, and then the next thing you know we’re dealing with another massacre or assasination.  If we want to kill the “anti-love zombies,” then gentle people everywhere need to continue to be vigilant of our attitudes and rise up and push back the darkness of hatred and racism with our tolerance, love, understanding, and grace.  By doing so, maybe—just maybe—we will all manage to make our way back home.

Zombie Sticker Alert|image from humorusonline.com

 “In my racket, there’s a serious occupational hazard: becoming a nasty individual. That’s because humor so often involves mockery and ridicule — you get your laughs at the expense of others. . . Controlling this nasty impulse is a constant challenge to the Modern Humourist, especially when under provocation.”—Gene Weingarten (“Gezundheit!” from The Washington Post)

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” ― Gene Roddenberry

 “Love is our most unifying and empowering common spiritual denominator. The more we ignore its potential to bring greater balance and deeper meaning to human existence, the more likely we are to continue to define history as one long inglorious record of man’s inhumanity to man.”― Aberjhani

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

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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