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OPENING OUR SOULS INSTEAD OF HARDENING OUR HEARTS

Cartoon used by permission: 247756_RGB_1290.png Page Turner by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

January 20, 2021—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Inauguration day that almost wasn’t.  I’ve got to tell you that I was so nervous about the fulfillment of the promise of that day that I could barely breathe. (It didn’t disappoint.)  I plopped my chubby ass down on the couch in front of my TV at 11:00 a.m. (along with a husband, a bottle of champagne, caviar, cheese and crackers) and didn’t move (except for a few quick bathroom breaks—after all, I am 72, and my bladder is the size of an apricot) until the last bombastic explosion during the climax of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” song at 11:00 p.m.

Somewhere around the middle of President Biden’s inaugural speech I started to bawl like an abandoned baby just wanting to be held, and when the President got to this passage in his speech, I heard what he was requiring of me as a good citizen—a good Christian, and it resonated loud and clear:

“But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility.

“As my mom would say— just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. There are some days when we need a hand.  There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.  That is how we must be with one another.”

Cartoon used by permission: 247799_RGB_1290 (1).jpg History is watching by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

At the end of the inauguration, I raised a glass in tribute to hope, healing, and unity in America, and posted my congrats on my Facebook page:

“CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS!  For the first time in four years, I am able to exhale.  You both are truly an answer to a culmination of prayers for restoration of sanity, truth, and righteousness.  God bless you both, and God bless the United States of America as you lead us in healing, unity, and restoration of integrity to the Presidency and our nation.

P.S.  I wore my pearls today in honor of you, Madam Vice President. I am so very, very proud of you!”

Author’s Toast to Biden/Harris: Photo credit: J. Tomczyk

It didn’t even take 24 hours before my first hater struck.  He was MAGA, he was White, he was male, he was self-righteous, he was angry, and he was entitled.  He felt he had every right to attack my faith and my intelligence as an educated, accomplished 72-year-old Black woman, and every fiber in my being wanted to “clap back” on Facebook and rip his face off while simultaneously puncturing his butt with a new a-hole. And then I remembered something significant about my attacker: But for the grace of God, go I.  Instead of attacking back, I blocked that White man’s assault (sent him into Cyber Hell). Rather than let him draw me into an argument on Facebook (each hidden behind the manipulative algorithm skirts of Mark Zuckerberg), I have chosen to answer my hater in a more controlled space.

Cartoon used by permission: 247696_RGB_1290.jpg Franklin Graham and the One Commandment by John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Dear MAGA White Man (a.k.a, “Hater just be hatin’ cause he thinks he can”):

I know you! I haven’t seen you or talked to you in over thirty years, but I do remember you. In fact, we used to belong to the same cult, back in the day—some fifty years ago. We weren’t close or anything, but we did enjoy each other’s company when our paths crossed.

You were different then—full of hope and promise that we were going to save the world in Jesus’s name.  You were shy and unassuming, but your eyes always twinkled with joy.  I remember, unlike most people I meet, I was always glad to encounter you. 

About ten years after our initial church affiliation together, I ran into you in another town while visiting a mutual friend.  You and your lovely wife invited my husband and me to your home for an evening of great food and wine.  It was a lovely dinner, full of laughter and sharing of artistic endeavors. As we ate dinner on your deck under a perfect starlit night, I remember being in awe of your talent as you proudly displayed your most recent artwork. At one point, late in the evening after much wine, you confessed that since our youthful adventure in a church we attended some ten years before, you had suffered much pain and sorrow.  You spoke of how you had struggled financially for years just trying to make ends meet, and it had been a great strain on your wife and children.  But a miracle had happened!  You had come into a windfall of a large sum of money a year before, and thought you and your family were finally going to be able to participate in the American dream.

Cartoon used by permission: 224270_RGB_1290.png Easter by Milt Priggee Oak Harbor WA

But life has a way of fucking with us—as I know all too well.  At this point in the story, you began to cry and your wife took up the telling of your Odysseus journey.  She couldn’t explain the “why” of your choices, and no one who had not walked a mile in your shoes could ever possibly apprehend your decisions over that previous year.  Your mother had died unexpectantly, and your wife’s body was diagnosed to be riddled with cancer.  You did as we were taught to do:  pray for another miracle.  After all, bad things didn’t happen to good people—or so we thought.  Somewhere in your fog of grief, your wife said you started assuaging your pain and lack of control over the vagaries of life by carousing the dark dens of crack and heroin in a neighboring city, and in less than a year, your newfound wealth—your children’s education and your wife’s medical treatments—was snorted up your nose and shot into your emaciated arms.

Then your wife said something to me I will never forget: “We had suffered the death of his precious mom, the threat of cancer plagued us, and we had lost all our money—we were at rock bottom.  But I decided that I was not going to lose my man like this. There was no future without him. And so, I—a White woman from a small town, scared of my own shadow and shaking like a leaf in the middle of a gale storm—combed every crack house in the city looking for him—frantically searching for him—until I found my wasted husband and dragged him home to heal.”

I remember saying something stupid like, “I grew up in the heart of the ghetto, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what you did.”  Your wife said something I will never forget: “Oh yes, you would have found the courage because ‘perfect love casts out all fear.’” At the end of the evening, we prayed together. Prayed for your continued recovery and for the healing of your wife.  Prayed that what the “canker worm had eaten would be restored.”  Prayed that all our lives would be blessed in the future.

Cartoon used by permission: 191272_RGB_1290.png Valentines Lasting Love COLOR by Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

That was thirty years ago.  We lost touch after that.  I’d seen your profile on Facebook once, but I didn’t follow your posts.  Saw just enough to notice that you were still clinging to the false doctrines of our cult days, which I had summarily rejected*. I also noticed you were a real MAGA Head and Trump worshipper. I gave you grace by not attacking you (never commenting—not even a horrified emoji face) for your beliefs on your FB page.  Imagine my surprise when you attacked my faith on my FB page—accused me of not believing in Jesus—simply because I congratulated President Biden and Vice President Harris on their election win.  You did so not knowing what I’ve been though in life and not having spoken to me in several decades.  At first, in my anger (I ain’t gonna lie—I really wanted to smack you upside your head and rip off your testicles), I didn’t remember our dinner of years ago.  All I could think about was coming after you with both guns verbally loaded.  But before waging my attack, I contacted a few old mutual friends to “kvetch.”  They told me that they had lost touch with you now that you’d become such an anti-truth, Trump idolizer.  However, they did mention that they heard you had fallen back into drugs for a while, lost everything again, and the cruelest cut of all was that your lovely wife had died.  They said that you’d gone nuts (their words, not mine).

Cartoon used by permission: 247327_RGB_1290 (1).png MAGA Hatters by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

That is when my reactive anger against you dissipated, and I felt great sorrow for you.  All I could think about was: “But for the grace of God, go I.” We both entered that church 50 years ago needing a place to belong in the calamitous, cacophonous, driftless years of the 70s, but never realized that it would turn into a cult and that that cult would make your mind a fertile ground for the MAGA doctrine. We were full of so much hope and expectations. Both of us had and have suffered great losses and disappointments since then. I fled the religion of our youth* losing my best friend and church home, but I feel it has made all the difference in the grace with which I see the people of the world who don’t look like me, don’t worship the same god, and who don’t belong to the same political party.

I’m sure you think I’m as blind as a bat at noontime, given your political and religious bent. I only ask that you remember our shared humanity before you write me off—when we cried together, prayed together, and hoped for the best in each other’s lives all those years ago.  There was no disdain for my “liberal” beliefs on your part, nor was there any knee-jerk reaction of horror for red ball caps at the mere sight of their appearance on my part.  We were just humans trying to find our way back home.

Cartoon used by permission: 247872_RGB_1290.jpg New Reality For Republicans by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to sit back and bask in the hope I see for us all (you and me) as Americans in this new administration—not to mention the possibilities from Kamala Harris’ win for my future granddaughters.  I know you’re pissed, old acquaintance, because you think the election was stolen from you.  And I think if your group had managed to overturn a free and fair election, my vote would have been stolen from me.  You think your man was chosen by God, and I think he’s on a mission from Hell.  There you have it! We’re at a stalemate here—never to agree, I suspect. But we are in the middle of a war against an unseen enemy that is ravaging our nation and could kill us all if we don’t drop our ideological weapons and band together.  Our only chance of survival is to unite on the fertile grounds of our shared humanity and give this new administration a chance to lead us to higher terrain and healing. Anytime you’re available, I’m ready to call a truce and to speak of love found, love lost, and hope that springs eternal. Maybe, just maybe, we might find common purpose and incentive to coexist.

God bless—From: Someone you once broke bread with.

Cartoon used by permission: 247921_RGB_1290.jpg Be like Kamala by John Darkow Columbia Missourian


*If you are a victim of a church or a religious experience gone nuts, I have walked a mile in your shoes.  Check out my second memoir, Fleeing Oz.  It might be of help, and if it is, please drop me a note and let me know.

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!

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 January 31, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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2021, YOU GOT SOME ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO…

Cartoon used by permission: 247093_RGB_1290.png 2020 Won’t change by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Did anybody else lapse on their “dry-wine January resolution” already?  Everybody?  I thought so!  It isn’t even Inauguration Day yet, and I am wishing I had planted a cannabis field in the swamp behind my house when I had the chance.

2021—what a shitshow!  If I had known this year was going to set the stage for the breaking of America, I would have never started a new diet, never started a weight-training program, and never started on my fourth book.  Instead, I would have jumped headlong into hedonism and let the chips fall where they may.  As the Peggy Lee song says, “…if that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.”

Cartoon used by permission:  247475_RGB_1290.png Breaking News by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

It almost seems as if we hired the wrong year. 

Does anyone know if 2021 came with references?  I would love to interview Baby 2021, and make sure it is prepared for what is up ahead.  I thought on New Year’s Eve that 2,600 American deaths a day from COVID-19 might be a gargantuan task for the little tyke to overcome, but I figured once we got our new President installed, we’d be able to make 2021 a year of recovery and healing.  And then came the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbearable…

Cartoon used by permission: 247294_RGB_1290.png The Patriotic Terrorist by Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

As I watched the insurrection unfold, I started crying.  I don’t know what horrified me more: the brazen murderous hordes trying to overturn a free and fair election or that the mob was being led by White Supremacists masquerading as Evangelical Christians praying for God to bless their invasion to capture, judge, and execute the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi, and other legislators they hated while waving signs that said: “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president,” “Jesus saves,” and “God’s Word Calls Them Out.”

These haters of liberty—these Christian Dominionists (ideology that America belongs to the Christian god, and only his approved followers are allowed to rule for now until Jesus returns)—were so rabid that one would be forgiven for thinking that the invaders might have been escapees from a mental institution.  Instead, they were pastors, realtors, a Texas florist, the son of a Brooklyn judge, police officers, a professor, a firefighter, a newly elected West Virginia lawmaker, teachers, a couple of misguided Black people, and even kids.

Cartoon used by permission: 247354_RGB_1290.jpg Refile Nuremberg Cartoon Correct Spelling by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

How could the year 2021 have missed the signs from Donald Trump that he had no plans to ever concede or acknowledge the truth that he had lost? Instead, Trump sent out signals for weeks for the deplorables to come to DC and “stop the steal.”  Trump’s Big Lie that the election had been stolen from him almost upended our democracy and blew up what little bit of our nerves we had left from being tormented by COVID-19.  I reasoned that if this is the way 2021 started, I probably won’t survive until 2022, so I wrote 2021 a letter with a few tips on what is most important to help America triumph in this new year.

Cartoon used by permission: 247639_RGB_1290.png Feeding the fringe by Adam Zyglis The Buffalo News NY

DEAR BABY 2021:

Welcome to the new year!  Everybody is so glad that you’ve arrived.  We could hardly wait to get rid of your predecessor.  Your big brother, 2020, left us with 4 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide—400,000 of them Americans. The sane part of our country was pleased that 2020 helped us elect a new American President to lead us out of the mayhem and madness that Trump world had wrought.  For that reality, most of us will be forever grateful.  However, my expectation was that you, 2021, would help us ascend from the manure pile of the last four years. No offense, but you haven’t gotten off to a very good start.  I realize you are young, but you need to be a multi-tasker, Little Dude, because there are dragons in the land.

Cartoon used by permission: 247115_RGB_1290.png Pressure on Baby New Year 2021 by Jeff Koterba CagleCartoons com

Also, you appear to be soooo naïve Baby 2021.  I think you thought that just by electing a good and just man who was qualified to be President of the United States (Joe Biden), all would be well. And then came January 6th when a bunch of crazy people decided they weren’t going to allow Biden to become President—even if it meant killing their fellow citizens.  Long after Trump is gone, the spirit of the murderous mob will still be going strong and trying to permanently change the patina of our nation.  They are Hell bent on it.

Should you choose to accept being our current year Baby 2021, here is your first agenda item:  You must slaughter the lead dragon.  His name is Deception, and he masquerades as Truth mainly within White Evangelical churches, which acts as a cover for White Supremacy theories, Q-Anon conspiracy theories, and Christian Nationalism. The violent insurrection that happened on January 6th was led by the dragon Deception in the guise of Christianity and patriotism (Nationalism).  On January 6th, Americans lost their innocence as to who we are as a democracy and who our greatest enemies are.  Before Trump, many of us thought we were a multicultural nation where equality and voting were every citizen’s right, and our greatest enemies were international terrorists.  Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!  It looks as if the terrorists are domestic (extremely White), and they blew a shofar (Jewish religious ceremonial horn of a ram appropriated by Christians) as some White “Christian” woman sang “Peace in the name of Jesus…the blood of Jesus covering this place” before storming the Capitol

Cartoon used by permission: 247642_RGB_1290.jpg We have met the enemy by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Baby 2021, not all the insurrectionists were Christians, but too many of them were, which meant that they had compromised the true meaning of Jesus and Christianity and were being emboldened by the Dragon of Lies.  They were the super glue of Trump’s presidency and stopped hearing anyone else’s voice but Trump’s.  When he said “storm the Capitol,” they replied: “Heil Trump!”  It didn’t matter that they were responding to a lie. It only mattered that they were following their Dominionistic leader’s instructions to keep him in power.

Your assignment is to wake up so-called “Christian” Trumpers to the truth. Their hearts, minds, and actions should belong to Jesus who is the epitome of Truth. The truth is: Trump didn’t win the 2020 election, Trump is not God’s chosen one, Trump is a very, very bad man, Trump is a murderer (over half the COVID-19 deaths are due to his negligence), Trump has lied over 40k times, and in God’s good time, Trump’s “ass is gonna be grass” (don’t know what that means? Ask any Black person over 40).  Baby 2021, do whatever is necessary to open the Christian Trump followers’ eyes. They were so tenacious at the riot because they thought they were doing God’s will, and they had no idea that they were being played by the demon Donald Trump.  I have a theory that if you can open the eyes of this group to the actual truth about the Giant Orange Lie they have been following, you might have a chance in repairing our democracy this year.

Cartoon used by permission: 247438_RGB_1290.jpg Foundations of Democracy by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

In the meantime, there is hope.  There are better angels among us—a majority of Americans who have not swallowed the lie and won’t let the insurrectionists get away with their crimes.  Yesterday those courageous better angels impeached Donald Trump for the second time.  Tomorrow we remember and celebrate one of our most precious better angels who has passed on before us, but who left a legacy of truth, hope, and love:  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.   That legacy will continue to be fulfilled by the election of our first Black, Indian-American, woman as Vice President, and the election (against all odds) of an extremely qualified, humble man as President who knows what truth looks like.

Cartoon used by permission: 205175_RGB_1290.png Keep Looking Up by Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

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: 247613_RGB_1290.jpg Wisdom for the Right by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

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 January 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS . . .

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In case you haven’t noticed 2020 has been a real shit show.  I’m so traumatized that I’ve got God on speed dial, and I’m harassing White Santa Claus every hour on the hour for what I want for Christmas.  Below are a few of my petitions sent directly to the North Pole. 

Cartoon used by permission: 246820_RGB_1290.jpg Stuck at home for Christmas by John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune PA

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I want for Christmas is my brain back.  A 72-year-old brain is not supposed to handle a pandemic, a lunatic, racist President who is destroying our country, people dying by the thousands per week—including personal friends—families being evicted on a daily basis, me unable to see friends from out-of-town and family for almost a year, threat of a civil war over to mask-or-not-to-mask, and the curse of possibly getting COVID-19 and dying from it due to my age and comorbidities.  I wrestle with insomnia and my brain is threatening to leave home and not return until Jesus comes back or you show yourself to be real.  I’ve never seen evidence of you in my life, you know.  Remember how you never bought me one toy when I was a poor Black child—not one fuckin’ toy?  I admit I wasn’t the best kid, but I wasn’t the worst either.  You try growing up in foster homes and an orphanage, and see how you manage. Do I sound bitter?  Maybe just a little.  Well, now is the time for you to make it up to me. I want you to start giving me presents.  Let’s start with my brain: I want my brain back!

Before I entered 2020, my brain was superb! I played “Hand, Knee, Foot, Canasta” every Monday with a bunch of ladies, wrote three books, and hundreds of stories and essays.  Now my brain has turned to mush, and I’m sure it is due to stress.  This morning, I lined up behind a man in the grocery store who looked like someone I know very well, but since I’ve never had to pick him out of a lineup by recognizing his ass, I wasn’t quite sure if it was my friend or not since we were six-feet apart.  However, I prepared to shout, “Hi—Merry Christmas!” to his back through my two super-duper Israeli masks (I take no chances at the grocery store), but when I opened my mouth, I couldn’t remember his name.  WTF! White Santa Claus, I panicked!  I know this man very well—I know his wife even better, but all I could bring to the forefront of my brain was the first initial of his name: “B.”  Any minute I knew the guy would turn around, and I’d have to address him by name.  Was it Bob, Bill, Ben, Barry, Bryson, Bennett, Brandon, Beau, Blake…? As beads of sweat formed on my forehead and dripped beneath my four-ply masks, he turned around, recognized me, and I went for broke: “Hi, Brody—Merry Christmas, my friend!” My friend didn’t recoil in horror so I must have gotten his name correct.  He greeted me by name (clearly his brain is still intact), and we yelled our commiserations back and forth about how we are both soooooo over 2020.  Whew!

Cartoon used by permission: 246243_RGB_1290.jpg Christmas List by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  The second thing I want for Christmas is for you to capture Donald Trump and take him back to the North Pole with you.  Put him on a strict diet of no cell phone, no social media, no fast food, no sex, no sycophants, no friends, no relatives, no money, no visitors, and no red caps.  In other words, put him in prison.  Keep him there until he repents for the 40,000-plus lies he’s uttered, asks forgiveness to all the women he’s sexually abused, and confesses to all the crimes he’s committed.  Please throw away the key.

Cartoon used by permission: 246467_RGB_1290.jpg My favorite gift by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  Another thing I could use for Christmas is for you to end 2020 the day after Christmas.  Just skip to 2021.  We’ve all had it with this year. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it sure would be nice.

Cartoon used by permission: 246623_RGB_1290 (1).jpg Peace on Earth by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  One more thing I’d like for Christmas: please lobotomize the MAGA people.  While doing so, please clean the wax out their ears and soften their hearts to hear the true message of Christmas.  (It wouldn’t hurt to glue their mouths shut!) I’m sure you’ve noticed that they have been very bad little boys and girls for the past four years and are still misbehaving to the point of trying to engage in a civil war.  Ain’t nobody got time for that, White Santa.  They don’t believe the pandemic is real, they won’t wear masks and social distance, they’re saying that they won’t take the vaccine for the COVID-19, and they think the election was stolen from he-whose-name-I-hope-will-never-be-spoken-after-2020.  I know you tend to have a soft spot for White people, but they gotta go, Dude!

Cartoon used by permission: 246111_RGB_1290 (1).jpg All I want for Christmas by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I REALLY want for Christmas is to hug my kids, grandson, and sister.  But since I can’t, please bless our Zoom times together, and grant us much joy and laughter.  I’d like to put in my “ask” for next Christmas though:  May my family and I all be together in person on Christmas 2021. Amen!

Cartoon used by permission: 246784_RGB_1290.jpg Christmas Wish by Bill Day Tallahassee FL

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I want for Christmas is my two vaccines.  I’m following all the rules and doing all that is necessary to keep others safe as well as myself.  These vaccines are my ability to see family and to travel.  Maybe I’ll even come visit you, Chubby Dude—assuming you’ve received your shots.

Cartoon used by permission: 204440_RGB_1290.png HAPPY BIRTHDAY by Milt Priggee Kitsap Sun

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  What I really, really want for Christmas, I don’t think you’re capable of giving me. In fact, I think even with all your good intentions, you obfuscate the real meaning of Christmas.  The real hope of Christmas is not an obese White man (no offense) who sneaks into houses via chimneys, devours cookies and milk at EACH HOUSE (Seriously? you probably have diabetes something fierce), and uses reindeer-power instead of gas or electricity to get here and there.  No offense, Dude, but I want the true promise of what the birth of Jesus means to all mankind:  peace on the Earth, goodwill to all people, no more hunger, no more strife, love and grace to everyone, no more sadness, no more sorrow, and joy to all!  If you see Jesus in your travels, please let him know that his character and name have been hijacked in 2020 to mean something other than what Christmas should be all about, and we could use a refresher course.

Cartoon used by permission: 246732_RGB_1440.png Bedtime Prayer by Ed Wexler CagleCartoonscom

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!

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 December 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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ARE YOU YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER—YOU BET YOUR SORRY ASS, YOU ARE!

Cartoon used by permission: Mask mandate by Bruce Plante, Tulsa World

My pandemic body and mind are messing with my dreams.  In most of my dreams, I’m trying to escape from a frighteningly amorphous “unidentifiable something,” but at other times I have alternate-world movie-dreams that are crystal clear in which I wish would come true (like I’m 30 years old, look like Halle Berry, have the voice of Audra McDonald, and can eat anything I want).  I think these dreams or nightmares have a lot to do with the news I’ve consumed during the day mixed with what I’ve eaten for dinner and how soon I fall asleep after said consumption.

Last night I made the most amazing Keto lasagna sans pasta with extra, extra cheese (keep in mind that I’m lactose intolerant), hot Italian sausage, eggplant slices, and the perfect marinara sauce.  It was the kind of ooey-gooey pleasure that you just know will create demons of indigestion exploding from your butt at the pitch and rhythm of Army taps while setting your esophagus on fire straight up from your tummy to your hair follicles, as visions of cheese balls dance in your head.

I went to bed much too early following my sumptuous repast, but a massive thunderstorm (keep in mind that I am deathly afraid of thunderstorms) settled over my house and rather than pace the floor in terror like a traumatized puppy, I plugged in my sound machine and my iPod featuring endless Barbra Streisand songs, and promptly fell asleep. So it was that I dreamt of a land where the MAGA Christians suddenly woke up as if from a nightmare and all simultaneously burned their red hats in massive bonfires across the land in exchange for bracelets that bore the initials WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?

Cartoon used by permission: 240874  Masks a miracle cure by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

“Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know,” said one very White Evangelical Christian. “Jesus would wear a mask during these times, even as he preached, and be a leader who set an example of the right thing to do for the good of all the people. After all, it was Jesus who said: ‘The second most important command is this: Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’”

Another White Evangelical WWJD bracelet wearer chimed in with a Bible verse of love that she seemed to have learned long ago but had forgotten until her head was set free from the tyranny of the MAGA hat—”I am positive that Jesus would wear a mask at all times and encourage all his followers to do so because he said: ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'”

“Jiminy-Crickets, why don’t we show America how it should be done?” said a White Evangelical grandma.  “Sugar, we should all wear masks to protect our fellow human beings—our neighbors—our countrymen because wasn’t it Jesus who said: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’”

The dream was so sweet and hopeful. Just when I was feeling all kumbaya in my alternate world, a thunder clap woke me at 3:00 a.m. and slammed me back into the real world. It sounded as if the Earth split in half.  Unable to get back to my happy place dream, I got out of bed, made myself a cup of tea, and checked the news feed on my phone:

“The one area where white evangelicals fall far behind? Mask wearing. A white evangelical under the age of 35 is 13 percentage points less likely to wear a mask in public than the same age group in the general population (58.7% vs. 71.8%).”—Christianity Today.

“…in America, not wearing a mask has become a political statement — and it’s a statement increasingly being made by avowedly devout Christians.”—Anthea Butler/Think

Cartoon used by permission: 241088 Maskless Bob by Monte Wolverton Battle Ground WA

Unable to go back to sleep, I googled what MAGA folks (80% of them Evangelical Christians) were doing to save the most vulnerable among us. Maybe my dream was prophetic.  Maybe they would ignore their toddler king and do the right thing—once and for all.  But what I found of their reported actions was not WWJD but WWSD: What Would Satan Do?

“I got every fuckin’ right to not wear a mask,” said a Costco customer who was asked to leave the store for not obeying their rule of “no entry without a face mask.”

Security guard (father of eight) at a Michigan Dollar Store was killed after he asked a woman to leave the store for not wearing a mask.  She left and then returned with her husband and her son and shot him dead.

Old man in a Dollar Store rubbed his snotty nose and rheumy face on the shirt of a store employee just for spite after she asked him to put on a face mask.

The Utah County Commission postponed a meeting on masks after scores of protesters packed the room—wall to wall—without wearing masks as a massive human “FU” to the commission’s mere discussion of wearing masks to protect their neighbors (isn’t this Mormon country?).

A female clerk was punched in the face three times when she told a male customer she couldn’t sell him cigarettes unless he put on a mask.

Georgia governor (anti-mask Trump sycophant) started a mask war against Atlanta’s mayor (pro-mask wearing Covid-19 survivor) by suing the mayor and the city council when the mayor requested all citizens of Atlanta wear masks to protect their family, friends, and neighbors.

Cartoon used by permission: 239371 Face Masks by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

“What a world!  What a world! What a world!” I groaned.  Before I knew it, the sun had risen and my husband strolled into the kitchen for breakfast.  After kissing me good morning, he asked, “So how’s your ass?”

“What? How’s my ass? That’s a weird question,” I replied. 

“No, it isn’t.  I’ve been awake since 3:00 a.m. because you let off the loudest fart I’ve ever heard.  Not only was it loud but it seemed endless. (Don’t even get me started on the smell.)  In fact, I didn’t know that such a powerful sound could come out of a human being’s butt. Isn’t your a-hole in excruciating pain? I am amazed you’re able to sit on your bottom.”

“That was not a fart at 3:00 a.m., that was a massive thunder clap from the heavens,” I said.

“It was a massive thunder clap all right—straight out of your ass. It woke me up.  I half expected to look up and see you floating at the top of the bedroom ceiling.  If that had been the case, I have no idea how I would have gotten you down.  You know it was that double-cheese, veggie Keto lasagna, in case anyone is in doubt, Ms. Lactose-intolerant Lady.  So for the sake of your ass and your fellow-man (a.k.a. your husband), you might want to put that recipe on the trash heap marked: ‘The end of ET’s love affair with cheese.’  After all, what did Jesus say: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…’  Time to give up the cheese, Babe!”

Cartoon used by permission: 240662 The End Is Near by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

“At long last, we have made a truly game-changing scientific breakthrough in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  We have found a disease-control tool that, when used properly, can reduce transmission by somewhere between 50% and 85%.  The tool is cheap and remarkably low-tech.  You can even make one at home.” —The Power of Masks by Gavin Yamey/Time magazine

Cartoon used by permission: 239295 Mask Hamlet by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

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!

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 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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THANKSGIVING DÉTENTE GUIDELINES IN THE AGE OF TRUMP AND IMPEACHMENT

Cartoon used by permission: 231883 Thanksgiving food fight by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

I hate to say this folks (and I sure hope I’m wrong), but I’m pretty convinced that this Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm—the last big non-religious, national family feast day—before the outbreak of the civil war next November between the MAGA nation and the Americans who value truth.  According to AAA, 55 million of us will be traveling to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.  That’s a whole lot of turkey eating and at least a solid chance for 90% of us to strangle, stab, shoot, pummel, or disinherit at least one or two very close relatives.  (That murder rate drops significantly if one belongs to a family of clones who think alike, look alike, vote alike, dress alike, and basically don’t say more than two words to each other the entire Thanksgiving meal.)  You and I are not one of them.  We know we’re headed for a civil war, put in motion by a mad king, and we think this may be the last family gathering where we can knock some sense into our Fox News watching, Donald Trump loving, science denying family.  May I make a suggestion?  Let’s call a détente (the easing of hostility or strained relations) until Monday, December 2nd.  Let’s pretend that we are one big happy national family, and our biggest problem is that we forgot to pack our stretchy pants with the elastic waistband.

Cartoon used by permission: 232153 Thanksgiving Jeopardy with Relatives by Dave Whamond Canada, PoliticalCartoon.com

THANKSGIVING DÉTENTE GUIDELINES

#1.  To make this détente function at its best, we will have to establish some ground rules, of course.  First of all, if you are hosting, it would be best to warn your guests in advance that your home will be a politic-free zone.  Those who can’t adhere to this rule need to know that the penalty will be immediate banishment.  (Even if you are all of the same political persuasion, talk about art, love, travel—anything but Trump…our hearts and minds need a freakin’ break from the Mad King.)

Thanksgiving warning, welcome to the family feast, cut out, political discussion
Cartoon used by permission: 232315 Thanksgiving Warning by Bruce Plante Tulsa World

#2. Send out homework before Thanksgiving Day to make sure your family and friends know what is at stake for their souls and the survival of your family unit if they break the détente and slip into political rancor with your T-Day guests.  Close family quarters, alcohol, turkey carving knives, and guns (would suggest you tell your guests that your home will be a gun-free zone) are a recipe for disaster when political arguments start to go down in the age of Trump.  Given the state of the scary craziness Trump has driven our nation to, it is best to know what types of family murders can occur if a mention of him and/or his antics are allowed under the Thanksgiving détente tent and tempers are not kept in check (have your guests memorize them before arrival):

Cartoon used by permission: 218351 Let’s Talk Turkey .PLEASE. by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald NE

THIS IS WHAT IS AT STAKE SHOULD POLITICS HOLD SWAY ON T-DAY AT OUR FAMILY GATHERINGS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):

Mariticide = the act of killing one’s husband or romantic partner

Patricide = the act of killing one’s father

Fratricide = the act of killing one’s brother

Sororicide = the act of killing one’s sister

Uxoricide = the act of killing one’s wife

Avunculicide = the act of killing one’s uncle

Matricide = the act of killing one’s mother

Nepoticide = the act of killing one’s nephew

Amicicide = the act of killing a friend

Vaticide = the act of killing a prophet (you never know when one of these may drop by)

Blockacide = the act of killing a Facebook friend connection

At the bottom of the pre-celebration homework page, I suggest the following quote by George Bernard Shaw be listed as a pre-dinner meditation:  “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” 

Cartoon used by permission: 232294 Turkey Day by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

#3.  Upon arrival for T-Day celebration, I suggest the host or hostess prominently display a sign at the front door that says: “Abandon all cell phones, MAGA hats, Pink Pussy hats, and political T-shirts here, and park all egos out back by the garbage cans.  Only humility and grace need enter.”

Cartoon used by permission: 232308 Choosing Sides at the Holidays by Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

#4.  Consider providing party favors in the form of colorful elastic snap bands with James 1:19 inscribed upon them: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”  Guests should be encouraged to utilize the bands whenever they feel like pummeling one of their family members by “snapping” the bands against their wrists to bring them back to their senses should they start to jeopardize the Thanksgiving détente. Finally, if you have really, really hard-headed friends and relatives, you might need to bring out the big guns with a very blatant banner draped above the dining area to help keep everyone focused:  KINDNESS AND COURTEOUSNESS TO ONE ANOTHER ARE NOT SIGNS OF WEAKNESS!

Cartoon used by permission: 218364 Thanksgiving and politics by Bruce Plante Tulsa World

I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché, but having everyone who is present say one thing they are grateful for in their own lives and about each family member to their left and right might just keep the détente going after Thanksgiving and prevent a civil war that is fast approaching on the heels of the presidential election in 2020.  After all, long after the spell that President Cheeto has cast upon our nation has been broken, and Trump is gone and forgotten, we’ll still need the love and strength of our families to pick up the pieces and rebuild a nation.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MY PEEPS! MAY IT BE FULL OF LOVE, LAUGHTER, JOY, AND GRACE!

ENJOY MY FAVORITE VINTAGE THANKSGIVING CARTOON BY CARTOONIST RICK MCKEE

Cartoon used by permission: 140746 Thanksgiving 2013 COLOR by Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

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: 232313 Chosen One by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

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 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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OH MY GOD: DONALD TRUMP SENT ME AN EASTER PRESENT!

ESSAY ON EASTER AND MINDFULNESS

I take back everything I’ve ever said about Donald Trump not knowing what he’s doing for the people of the United States and the image of Christ.  He’s an evil genius!  Also, I take back every disdainful thought I’ve ever had against the MAGA hats that put Trump in office and are keeping him there. Because of them, I’ve found a new lease on life, a calmer demeanor, and a deeper trust in God this Easter.  (Thank you, oh Crazy Orange One and your MAGA hat minions for my Easter present!)


Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT , Cagle

My non-believing sisters and brothers, do you know what Lent is?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting,” which is to draw one closer to God by the time Easter rolls around because the resurrection of Christ from the dead is so awesome that it is every Christian’s hope that if Christ can conquer death, he can conquer every other type of evil plaguing our lives. The reason we give up things at Lent that have some control over our appetites is because we hope it will be easier to scrub off the veneer of fear and hopelessness that blinds us to the power of Christ’s resurrection help in other areas of our lives.

Well, Eureka!  The Holy Ghost gave me a revelation.  The messianic imposter in the White House had caused me to momentarily think he was indestructible, invincible, and made of Teflon (none of his sins were ever going to stick to him and bring him down), and there was absolutely nothing I could personally do about his reign and damage done to our country.  (If his Evangelical supporters are to be believed, I am not operating in God’s will by opposing the Orange One—in fact, I am a sinful little snot who will burn in Hell.)  I was full of fear (not of going to Hell, but of Trump getting away with murder, which seems so much worse than living in Hell), and that led to chronic anxiety which led to eating a gluttonous amount of chocolate-covered bon-bons washed down with buckets of mojitos (not really, but you get my point).  

I am seventy years old and counting—I cannot afford to waste any more of my days on fear and loathing.

So I had a Lenten revelation:  I need to give up Donald J. Trump, not just for Lent, but for the end of time. He is like an obnoxious, spoiled toddler who is only happy if he is absorbing all our attention every second of the day.  I no longer give him the attention he is demanding.  I have replaced thoughts about Trump with gratitude and mindfulness via meditation, and I’m letting the God of the universe fight the things I cannot control—including kicking Trump’s ass. 

I have become a mindfulness aficionado (more about this in the weeks to come).

Carrie on Pinterest

Every morning when I wake up (before I get out of bed), I thank God for what I have—not what I’ve lost. (At this age, one starts losing things, people, and memories on a daily basis as if they were pennies in a pocket full of holes.  Trust me, getting old is not for the cowardly.)  In other words, if I can still breathe, walk, see, hear, talk, and learn…it’s a good day!

Then I mediate, and the sole script of that meditation is a prayer to the God of Easter:

“I have no plans today for my life—only sketches.

Reveal to me your path—where I should go, who I should meet, what I should do.

May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

Grant me courage, wisdom, grace, mercy, and above all love for those I encounter along the way.”

It has been amazing!  No more stress, no more anxiety, and no more anger at Trump or anything else—I am as cool as an iced cucumber and I’m no longer in search of bon-bons.  (I fully believe he’s going to be flushed down the toilet of life, but I’m not worried about the if, when, how, or by whom, anymore.)  Consequently, I’ve had the most amazing encounters during the Lent season.  As you might expect, I met a Tin Man who needed a heart, a Scarecrow who needed a brain (actually this was a woman), and just recently, a Lion who needed courage.

Let me tell you about the most significant traveler I met along the way since the beginning of my new mindfulness journey.  The Lion.  He was a driver for a car service in New York City.  He was Asian, young, handsome, and spoke fairly good English. On his dashboard was a miniature picture of the Dalai Lama.  Our driver had shoulder-length black hair which sported a cocky backwards baseball cap that displayed the slogan:  “Let’s get fucked tonight!”  Since I had no intentions of doing anything that day but get to the airport on time and try to return home in one piece, I said, “Delta Terminal C, please,” and proceeded to get lost in conversation with my husband about our magnificent grandson and daughter who we had just spent a wonderful weekend with.  The driver seemed lost in thought but said nothing except an explosive “sigh” every minute or so which was very disruptive—each sigh was like the percussive sound of a steam engine.   (It was so unnerving that I almost yelled at him and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you?  Turn on some music if this is the best you can do for conversation!”  But this is the new and improved, mindfulness Eleanor, so I was not “quick to anger,” nor was I “quick to speak,” (plus, if the truth be told, I didn’t want my Uber rating to take a hit—it’s bad enough as it is!).

I thought the driver was frustrated with the traffic, and I made a mental note to give him a one-star rating where it says, “Driver was a good conversationalist” on the ratings form at the end of our destination.  After a long twenty minutes and about thirty Eeyore sighs later, we finally pulled up in front of our designated terminal.  As soon as I unbuckled my seat belt and hastily reached for the door, the driver turned around and said:  “If you had a friend whose wife was having an affair with his best friend, would you forgive her and try to make the marriage work for the sake of the kids (he has the kids), or would you take the kids and run?”  In the midst of a traffic jam with horns blaring, in front of an airport terminal, trying not to be late to catch a flight, my husband and I gave a broken-hearted lion a few minutes of counseling that I can only hope gave him the courage to let love win and try to save his marriage. (I’d like to think there was something about our mindfulness that encouraged him to open his Dalai Lama-loving heart to us…)

But one thing I’m certain of, ever since I let go of Trump and let God take over my mind and heart, I am encountering the most amazing human beings and having the most outlandish conversations.  I shall keep you posted.  In the meantime, if all the mess of Donald Trump and his minions gets you down or your life is one that makes you mourn and sigh, remember the God of Easter and his amazing resurrection life makes all good things possible, and in the words of one of my favorite authors:

“Everything will be all right in the end.

If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.”

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown CT, Cagle

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle

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 April 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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