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KEEP LOOKING UP

Cartoon Used by Permission: 228305 Some Pig by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

THE NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS POST—MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR TRIBUTE

By Eleanor Tomczyk (Satirical Columnist)

8:41 p.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020

As the nation prepares to celebrate the birthday of one of our greatest heroes, the Washington Post-Ipsos poll was just released that states 8 out of 10 African Americans (83% of those polled) blame President Trump for the inordinate increase in racism in our country, and 65% say it is a bad time to be Black.  Our newspaper wanted to follow up on these jarring statistics in the shadow of the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday.  We were able to get in touch with quite a few WWMD clubs across the nation to interview them about their reaction to the Post-Ipsos poll.  Usually a secretive club (I learned about them just several days ago through a friend of a friend), they were very transparent with me as a reporter because they felt that so much of what Dr. King worked for is being destroyed and all good people need to come out—front and center—and do the right thing.  What follows is a conference call interview with one particular club in Virginia.  It best encapsulates fears of African-Americans from sea to shining sea during these post-Obama years.

REPORTER:   First of all, I want to thank you for doing this interview on such short notice. I understand that you are a group of African-American septuagenarians who meet together on a regular basis to pray for our country.  Maxine Reynolds, my research notes indicate that you are the President of this local chapter.  Can you give me an overview of what you stand for?  For instance, what does WWMD mean?

MAXINE:      Yes, I am, and welcome! Good to have you here, my friend.  WWMD stands for “What would Martin do?”  We started meeting on an informal basis right after President Trump asked the Black community “what do you have to lose by voting for me?”  We were so alarmed after 8% of the Black community did vote for him, that those of us who still had our common sense intact said a collective “Oh Shit!” and formed this club.  We did so to illuminate what Dr. King lived and died for before the country got consumed by Trump’s hatred.  Our fears regarding the damage Trump could do were really underscored when the tikki-torch, Confederate flag waving White Supremacists murdered that sweet young protester, and Trump didn’t disparage them but declared that there were “good people on both sides.”

Cartoon Used by Permission: 228472 Trucking in Hate by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

REPORTER:  Why did 8% of African-Americans vote for Trump? Surely they are not that gullible as a race.

BARBARA:  Barbara Wakefield speaking.  I’m the VP of our local chapter of WWMD.  No, we’re the least gullible of America’s people.  In fact, given our history, Black folks are very sharp politically.  I suspect 8% voted for Trump because they always voted Republican and couldn’t bring themselves to vote as a Democrat (we are not monolithic, you know), or they just downright hated Hilary.  You surprised?  You think White Republicans are the only ones who can’t stand the Clintons? 

MAXINE:  As an African-American, I voted for Hilary, but I have to tell you, I held my nose when I did it.

REPORTER:  Interesting… how many members in your group?  How many nationwide? Are they all in their seventies?  Charles, you’re head of the membership drive, can you field my questions?

CHARLES:  Sure.  In the beginning, the group was made up of those who were part of the Civil Rights Movement and marched with Martin back in the day.  We’re the generation that gained the most from Dr. King’s sacrifice and courage.  We’re the ones who first got college educations in our families, first to become captains of our industries, and the first group of Black folks that lived better than our parents. As to membership, we had a hard time in the beginning getting people to join.  A lot of our folks got lulled to sleep by the election of our first Black president.  We were so busy patting ourselves on the back that we swallowed the lie that racism was dead now that a Black man was in the Oval Office.  What we didn’t realize was that the racism was just in hiding underneath the veneer of a polite society, and the sight of a Black family in the White House made a large percentage of White America’s blood boil.  By the time Trump came along and started his birther nonsense to discredit the legitimacy of President Obama, he whipped the haters into full White Supremacist frothy hysteria.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 92443 Birther Reality COLOR by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons

REPORTER:  Of late, I’ve heard that you’ve had a membership surge and most of the new members to the WWMD club have been White.  Do you think the birther issue woke them up to the danger of the eroding of Dr. King’s movement?

GEORGE:  I can speak to that since I’m White and a new member. First of all, not all White people are racist. That really burns my cookies when people lump all White people together.  We are not a monolithic group either.  The way I figure it, only about 30% of us adhere to that racist BS.  Most of us suffer from the sin of cluelessness.  We figure if it hasn’t or isn’t happening to us than other people are fine also.  We are clueless as to the daily racial sufferings (especially the micro aggressions) that Black people go through.  I can drive by a Confederate flag, and I might not like it but it doesn’t affect me on a visceral level. I might even buy the bullshit that the flag represents my White neighbor’s heritage.  On the other hand, my Black friends (notice I have more than one Black friend, thank you very much) tell me they get violently ill when they see that “in your face” marker of White Supremacy because it definitely represents their heritage—one of bondage, brutality, chains, and lynchings.  I don’t want my grandchildren to inherit a Trump world and ideology that hurts people.  I want them to love all races and be aware of what causes others pain.  I joined after the debacle in Charlottesville, the wide-scale voter suppression in the Black communities in 2018, the growing revelations of police brutality, and the awareness of the growing income and educational disparity in the Black community.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 212482 Voter Suppression by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN

MARY ANN:  I’m White and a Born-Again Christian.  I joined WWMD because I realized much too late that Trump was the leader of a cult and he had sucked out the soul and the brains of so many of my family and friends.  The more Trump’s immoral character showed itself, the more my friends and relatives turned a blind eye and started imbibing the hate talk-radio rhetoric of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones.  Many of them wear the bracelets WWJD (“What would Jesus do?”), but by the way they worship at the feet of the Liar-in-Chief, the answer is:  Jesus would do absolutely nothing in response to Trump’s blatant immorality, and therefore neither will I.   When the Christian Trumpers anointed him as the “Chosen One,” I joined WWMD to save my soul and find a place that honored good character, truth, and integrity before it was too late to find it in the public square or at the church altar. 

Cartoon Used by Permission: 208900 MLK by Milt Priggee Oak Harbor, WA

REPORTER:  Well, that’s a fascinating twist.  Are there other White Christians in the room who can elaborate on that?

AMBER:  Yes, I can.  My name is Amber.  I grew up in Evangelical Christianity.  My parents were part of the Jesus Movement, and I thought I could ride out the stupidity of Trump idolatry when it hit our Pentecostal/Charismatic church.  I figured the Church would wake up sooner or later and get back to enacting WWJD.  But the more I waited, the more I noticed our collective soul and any intelligence we may have had slip-sliding away.  I belonged to one of those mega churches who I now suspect support Trump because they lust after his money, the men lust after his fake-tit wife, and the women lust after the fake-tit wife’s glamorous life. 

Anyway, I had halfway divorced my parents and had one foot out the door when I heard a woman on a “Christian” radio program who had called in to protest the fact that Michelle Obama had been named the most admired woman in the world for the second time in a row.  The woman was apoplectic over what she perceived was a miscarriage of justice. She falsely accused Barack Obama of being a pedophile (in cahoots with the Clintons) and both the Obamas of being money launderers (because how else could they possibly have such nice stuff).  The “Christian” prayer warrior proceeded to pray that God the Father would reveal the true identity of Michelle (who she knows for certain is a man whose name is Michael and Michelle secretly has a penis), and that God would further reveal that the Obama children are not theirs but Barack’s best friend (apparently, the kids are on loan to promote the ruse that the Obamas are a heterosexual, loving, Christian family).  The woman could not understand how her fake-tit goddess (Melania Trump) could be overlooked by the world for a man in drag (i.e. Michelle Obama) when Melania is so beautiful, classy, and speaks seven languages.  It seems the Jesus lover forgot about Melania’s butt-naked pictures that are all over the Internet and that she’s done nothing significant except plagiarize Michelle Obamas speech when she first came on the scene, and express to the world her callousness and disdain when visiting the traumatized children at the border.*

I screamed, “I’M OUT!” and I haven’t looked back.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 212191 Melania fashion statements by Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons. com

REPORTER:  Unfortunately, I know that conspiracy theory.*   It’s been bouncing around Right-wing talk radio for years, and Trump’s base believes it hook, line, and sinker.  The racism is mindboggling, but if so-called Christians can’t do what Jesus taught them to do, how can emulating Dr. King help you get beyond the anger and fear these types of conspiracy theories must engender?  I mean, Dr. King said that he wanted African-Americans to be judged on their character.  Who has demonstrated more outstanding character than the Obamas?  Yet, when the haters can’t find any blemish in their character, they make up stuff.

MAXINE:  Please… that crap doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus and he ain’t listenin’ to their idiotic prayers.  My visceral reaction is to pummel this woman and everyone like her.  But if I did that, my heart would turn to stone and I’d become as stupid as that woman.  Martin (and Jesus—the God who Martin loved and served) would tell us to not embrace hatred but to love our enemies.  So I pray for people like her.  It ain’t easy, but I do it anyway.

BARBARA:  I think loving the Trump supporters is a tall order.  I’m just not there yet.  What I can do and am doing to recoup Dr. King’s legacy is that I’m dispensing kindness to each and every person I meet along the way.  Whether it’s a genuine smile to a stranger, helping someone in need, writing a note of encouragement or just not returning evil for evil—I know I’ve done something significant to push back the hatred that divides us as a country.  Every time I hear of some hateful racist story against my people, I make an extra effort to be kind to those I know and don’t know.  Maybe someday I’ll be like Martin and Jesus, for that matter, and learn to look into the darkness, fear not, and see the love emanating from my heart illuminating the dark hearts of the haters.  That’s what Martin would do.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 205175 Keep Looking Up by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, NE

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT KINDNESS

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”—Stephen Grellet

“I make mistakes daily, letting generalizations creep into my thoughts and negatively affect my behavior. These mistakes have taught me that the first step to successfully choosing kindness is being more mindful about it, letting go of impatience and intolerance along the way.”—Daniel Lubetzky

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”—Og Mandino

ALL QUOTES COURTESY OF BRAINYQUOTES.COM

Cartoon Used by Permission: 189869 MLK statue COLOR by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

*The conspiracy story and the prayer that was spoken is true and the author of this blog vomited her lunch when she heard it. In fact, she’s still vomiting…

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 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Graduation Speaker: At Your Service

Do you know what I’ve discovered about the May/June season that has become more problematic than pollen?  Previously scheduled graduation speakers are dropping like flies due to protests of a very vocal minority—sometimes started by alumni with too much time on their hands.  Rutgers invited and then lost Condoleezza Rice, Smith wooed and misplaced Christine Lagarde, and Haverford pursued and finally said good-bye to Robert Birgeneau (Bush’s Secretary of State, Head of the International Monetary Fund, and previous Chancellor of the University of Berkeley, respectively).  Now, none of these “off-with-their-heads” speakers do I agree with politically or ethically, but they have led interesting lives that I might learn something from, if only how not to live.  Let’s just say that if I could listen to a graduation speech by Mitt Romney at Liberty University in 2012 and come away with something positive (“after hearing that speech, now I know he’ll never get my vote”), I think the Rutgers, Smith, Haverford crowd could have engaged in the same act of openness in the vote for educational toleration.

Commencement Speaker Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

After the brouhaha over the choosing of the First Lady as the graduation speaker for a high school in Topeka, Kansas and Puff Daddy (Sean Combs) as a speaker for Howard University (he knocked it out of the park, by the way), one commentator noted that soon only Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will meet the standards of acceptable graduation speakers in the future because you’ll always run the risk of pissing somebody off.   It was upon reading the commentator’s assessment that I had a brain fart:  Why don’t I become a substitute graduation speaker?  I used to be a substitute teacher so I’m used to turning on a dime.   I’d be the kind that could slip into place when a school, college, or university loses a former Secretary of State or a FLOTUS as a speaker, and they need someone at the last minute.  I could use a seasonal job now that I’m retired, and since I’m nobody, I could crawl in under the PC wire.  Plus, the selection committee could get me cheap, and I wouldn’t even ask for an honorary degree.  Condi Rice was charging $35,000 and a degree—I’d settle for considerably less (just my weight in bling).

Upon thinking it over for a couple of days, I pulled together a standard graduation speech, and I have started shopping it around: so far no nibbles.

Commencement Speech David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by Permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

***

ELEANOR TOMCZYK’S ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL GRADUATION SPEECH

CURRENT STATUS:  RETIRED/LIFE SURVIVOR

AUTHOR OF: MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN

***

President (FILL IN THE BLANK), Chairperson (FILL IN THE BLANK), Distinguished Guests, Faculty, Staff and Graduates of the Class of 2014:  It is such an honor to stand before you today and humbly share my view from the top of the last drop off the roller coaster ride of life because that is what recommends me to you.  I will be sixty-six-years-old in two weeks, and I figure—if I’m lucky—I’ve got about twenty good years left in me and then it’s goodnight Irene.  I am nobody, but I am a survivor and an overcomer, and I’ve learned some things about this crazy-ass life along the way.

To the Graduates:  Take a good look at your parents.  Right now your moms and pops, who haven’t slept easily since you were born, and who mortgaged their souls to educate you, look as dumb as rocks to you.  They just got comfortable posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter is barely navigable, and most of them are asking you, “What the Hell is Vine—I just got used to Instagram?”  But ten or twelve years from now, on the roller coaster ride of life, you will look back at them six cars behind you with great appreciation for their courage and wisdom (unless you’ve been raised by wolves—then all bets are off).  Because you’ll begin to realize that making your way on the planet Earth is some scary, Freddy Krueger shit [if high school graduation speech, substitute the word “stuff”].

To the Parents:  Do not let these people back in your house.  It’s time to have sex again without falling asleep in the midst of it because you’re so tired from being cook, counselor, coach, chauffer, play-date event planner, laundress, and housekeeper for them.  It’s time to reclaim their bedroom as your office and your “besides” (what you are besides being a mother or a father) while your mind is still functioning and your body remembers how to do the wild thing.  Don’t get me wrong:  help them with rent and groceries if needed, and invite them to dinner once a week so they won’t starve if you want, but if you become the default position when times get a little hard, they will be 55 before leaving home and will never become what you are:  overcomers and survivors.  You must help them stand on their own two feet ASAP because after the final roller coaster dip toward the great beyond in your life, you won’t be here to rescue them anyway.  Then what are they going to do?

Graduates Beginning Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune 

To the Graduates:  To openly steal from Scott Peck of The Road Less Traveled fame, recognize that life is hard (very, very hard), but once you make peace with that truth, you’ll be okay, and you’ll be able to handle the suffering that is sure to come your way on both an individual and a national level.  On the other hand, there is no use worrying about what type of suffering will be your portion in life because none of the things we usually obsess about actually happen to us.  I know—it’s one of life’s conundrums.

To the Parents:  I’m not going to lie to you—worries about the suffering that our children might face on their journey as adults (debilitating loneliness and assault being two of the worst fears) is the stuff that will turn you gray overnight and keep you awake for days on end.  As parents, we secretly hope we’ve given our kids all they need to secure their mental health so that we never get one of those awful phone calls telling us our children have self-destructed or harmed another human being.  Unfortunately, there is no escape from these feverish nightmares (did we give them too much, did we not give them enough?).  Prayer helps a great deal, but the burden of worrying about their safety was all part of the owners’ manual we received when they were born—Taking Responsibility for Your Kid (Section 2B)—and it doesn’t stop when they turn eighteen.  (I know—I was surprised as you!)  It is what it is.  Sleeping aids help.

To the Graduates:  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or making a fool of yourself, for that matter—it happens to the best of us and it is—by-and-large—survivable.  Think of the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you at this age (cutting the cheese while giving a presentation before the head of the department of your new job, perhaps, because you’re a nervous wreck and you mistakenly ate a questionable hot dog with sauerkraut before the meeting).  Remember that “this too shall pass” and you will live.  Should this happen, learn how to laugh at yourself as quickly as possible, realize that you will not die, and make a vow to never, ever, eat anything from the shady guy who owns the mystery meat stand outside your building.  Don’t worry—this will only happen once, because the lesson will be so engrained in your psyche that you’ll never repeat the humiliating mistake of eating said hot dogs again. That is how life lessons are learned.  Also, this may be a destiny sea-change—your segue into stand-up comedy, maybe.  Know that everything happens for a reason. Humor is a must and not taking yourself too seriously is a vital key to your success in life.

Graduate Jobs John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

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

To All the Teachers, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Friends, and extended family:  Thank you!  The cliché is worth repeating: It really does take a village.

To the Graduates—A final word:  You are part of something bigger than yourselves and making it your personal quest to explore your individual spiritual journeys will make the difference between a life well lived and one that is not.  You were also born for this time and place—you have a destiny.  Don’t let anyone steal that truth from you.  Even if you were born in a toilet—your life is valuable and needed to complete the tapestry of those who will lead us on into the next phase of our history as a nation.  You’re not a mistake and you’re not an accident.  But you do have choices and none of them will be insignificant.  Choose wisely, grasshopper!  Be brave, be courageous, and know that you’ll receive everything you need to fulfill your destiny as you travel to all the places you will need to go to have a thrilling purpose-filled life.

HAPPY GRADUATION YOU MARVELOUS GIFTS OF GOD!

Dr. Seuss Oh the places you'll go

Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go

***

SNIPPITS OF GRADUATION SPEECHES

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new…. Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.”—Steve Jobs/Stanford 2005

“Be compassionate to everyone. Don’t just search for whatever it is that annoys and frightens you — see beyond those things to the basic human being. Especially see the child in the man or woman. Even if they are destroying you, allow a moment to see how lost in their own delusion and suffering they are.”Alice Walker, Author of The Color Purple, Naropa University in 2007

This day is the final test of your college years. What you do is what you WILL do. I ask you to approach this day with grace, grit and gratitude. This is not preparation for life, THIS IS LIFE.”– Wynton Marsalis/University of Vermont 2013

Graduates Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by Permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

REFERENCES

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/26/opinion/zelizer-commencement-speech-lbj/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/204285-michelle-obama-scraps-graduation-speech-after-protests

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 May 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Bright Side of Life

Do you know what the Dalai Mama has discovered?  There are two kinds of people:  optimists and pessimists.  And when the shit hits the fan, IMHO, it is better to be an optimist.  I’ve also discovered that E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post columnist, was right when he quoted a pollster friend recently:

“When you give conservatives bad news in your polls, they want to kill you,” he said. “When you give liberals bad news in your polls, they want to kill themselves.

Last week, even though I am an eternal optimist, I wanted to kill myself when the Prez acted like his strength had been zapped by anniversary sex (Didn’t anyone tell POTUS and the FLOTUS that just because it was their 20th anniversary not to do the “wild thing” before sending the Prez into the boxing ring against Romney?).  Every athlete knows you can’t be distracted or have your potency drained before the big fight even if your honey of twenty years is one fine lookin’ woman.   Mohammad Ali could have told the Prez that salient piece of advice from his championship days.  I mean, what else could it have been?  I’m just sayin’.    Next time:  Focus, Barack, focus goddamn it!

Anyway, an election that was beginning to look like a slam-dunk for anybody who is part of the 47% or cares about human beings in general, or adheres to the “true” teachings of Christ, suddenly came up for grabs as the polls tightened and The Mittens trounced our President in the first debate and declared a fatwā against Big Bird and his homies on Sesame Street.  (I don’t know about you, but threatening the big yellow six-year-old bird whose raison d’etre is to teach little kids the alphabet was the last straw:  “Your ass is mine, Mittens, and you are going down,” I screamed at the TV as I slid into the worst depression I’ve suffered in years.)

Sesame Street to Mittens: “let’s rumble”||image of weknowmemes.com

Then the sharks began to circle the perceived “blood in the water,” as hateful vitriol intensified against our president and his legitimacy, women and reproductive rights (“legitimate” and/or “easy” rape), 47% as “takers” not makers, and black people in general who “need to be taught good discipline and character as per Paul Ryan, the arrogant Catholic.  Finally, the week was topped off by a truck load of manure dumped in front of an Obama campaign headquarters in my home state of Ohio. As a born-again Christian who is fed up to my eyeballs with the numb-nut stupidity of my ex-religious leaders (I have summarily left the Church but kept my Jesus), I waited for at least one prominent Christian evangelical leader who claims to love Jesus to come forth and speak up for Big Bird, speak up for the poor and down-trodden, speak up against the “Christian” Congressman who claims our daughters can be “legitimately raped,” and speak up against the latest racist claim by a “Christian” legislator that “slavery should be considered a ‘blessing’” cause it brought Africans to America where we are so incredibly blessed.  (Well, we black people truly thank you, Massa!)

Fired by “Mittens”|image by mashable.com

All I heard was the sound of crickets—no righteous Christian leaders speaking up to defend the poor and down-trodden like Jesus did.   And the Dalai Mama wept as I decided to pack my suitcase in disgust and move to Canada (where else am I going to get healthcare in my old age if Romney/Ryan wins the election?).  My husband, WW, who is white and also a born-again Christian suggested I not be too hasty, and that I take a road trip to the beach with him to clear my head before I did something so drastic that I’d have to learn French before migrating to Quebec (if one must live in Canada, one must do so in Quebec City because it’s like moving to France).  I really trust his judgment so I acquiesced to his plan, but told him if the beach didn’t manage to cheer me up, he’d better brush off his passport and dust off his French.

Abolitionist, Frederick Douglas calling Christianity to task for its deceptive stance on
slavery and women’s rights in the 1800’s ||image from leftcheek.bloogspot.com and joanhascheeseburger.com

On our way to the beach, we were forced to stop at a Chick-fil-A, which was the only eating establishment within miles because as WW said, “I am too hungry to stand on principle because I have to piss like a race horse and I am falling asleep at the wheel from lack of food.”  With baseball cap pulled down over my face and large bumble-bee sunglasses secured to disguise my face, I furiously lectured my husband about my signed online petition against Chick-fil-A and how they perfectly illustrated one of the reasons I was going to have to migrate to Canada, because of their contributions to organizations that specialized in hate.  As we scurried past long lines of very fat-bottomed white people (I was the only black person for miles around, and my ass is quite normal, thank you very much!) who were still engaged in their month’s long “chicken-in” demonstration of support for Chick-fil-A against the gays, my husband made me promise not to go all Norma Rae all over the place and get myself arrested while he was in the little boy’s room “pissing like a race horse.”

Cartoonist: Mike Lukovich/Atlanta Journal

I refused to even order a soda, and I know that I stuck out like a raisin in a bowl of milk, so it didn’t take long before one of the employees came over to ask if she could help me as she looked me over with a frozen smile on her face trying to determine if I was a lesbian reporter about to cause all kinds of trouble up in that place.  I don’t know what motivated her to engage me in conversation.  Maybe it was the fact that I was furiously taking notes in my blog notebook while trying to hide my face, or maybe she saw me contemplating what it would take to climb up on one of the tables without falling off and breaking my ass to start my Norma Rae impersonation as I mounted my very vocal protest:  “Why do you hate gay people; what have they ever done to your chicken except eat it like the rest of us? Why can’t we all get along in this great country of ours, and What Would Jesus Do to you if he knew the hate you were spewing against his children with our chicken dollars?”  Just as I thought I saw Sarah and Todd Palin queuing up for a couple bags of chicken which gave me all the motivation I needed to start my revolution, WW returned, grabbed me by the arm and marshaled me back to the mini-van before the two policemen staring at me in the corner had a chance to put down their chicken sandwiches, arrest my sorry-ass, and ruin our beach vacation by throwing me in jail for disturbing the peace.

The Palins “protesting” on behalf of Chick-fil-A|thedailywhat.cheeseburger.com

After WW convinced me that I was hallucinating from lack of food and backed up urine, and that I didn’t really see The Palins in that Chick-fil-A, I spent my vacation at the beach thoroughly bummed out about the first presidential debate until one of my blog friends gave me a verbal swift kick in the ass (Frank Angle) and told me to “snap out of it.”   WW added his two cents and told me to cheer up because “it’s not over for the presidential election, or anything in life for that matter, until the fat lady sings—so don’t worry, be happy” (and WW is a pessimist—go figure)!  Once I realized WW wasn’t talking about me as the “fat lady” (I’m slightly chunky and an ex-opera singer), the clouds lifted, my optimistic personality came back into gear, and I returned home, ready to greet a new day.  I am going to add a couple of disciplinary actions for my mind, however:  I don’t plan to watch anymore debates (I’m an Independent but I’ve already made up my mind so why be tortured), and I don’t plan to read any more stories about what the haters are doing in our midst to rob me of my God-given joy.  Haters will always be hatin’—but I don’t have to be listenin’!  (I’ll just keep prayin’ that God zaps their sorry asses into the lowest point of Hell, though, so that the rest of us can live in peace!)

Haters be hatin’ but I’m gonna ignore ‘em all and just be chillaxing

image from joanhascheezburger.com

I am discovering that there are two ways to live one’s life:  either as Henny-Penny (“The sky is falling”) or as Little Orphan Annie (“The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”).  Henny-Penny may be proved right in the long run, but Orphan Annie will have a hell of a lot more fun and peace of mind before the sky flattens her, especially since she has little to no control over the powers that are making the sky fall.  So to all of my “depressed Democratic friends,” get up off your sorry-asses and do the only thing in your “Orphan Annie” power that can defeat the Koch Brothers, the racists, the shit dumpers, the liars, the Ayn Randians, the 47% haters, and the 1% makers:  GO VOTE, take a friend, and say a little prayer while you do it!  We may just win the day ‘cause God is alive and well and “God don’t like ‘ugly’ (a.k.a. ‘haters’).”   (Besides, WW thinks Obama will win a second term, and he’s a pessimist!)

***

Some things in life are bad,

They can really make you mad.

Other things just make you swear and curse.

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle,

Don’t grumble, give a whistle,

And this’ll help things turn out for the best, and…

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE. . .

Life’s a piece of shit,

When you look at it.

Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.

You’ll see it’s all a show,

Keep ’em laughing as you go.

Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

SO. . .ALWAYS LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE. . .

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from The Life of Brian by Eric Idle

“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”—Oscar Wilde

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”Helen Keller

“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else”—Winston Churchill

      “In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.”—Daniel L. Reardon

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 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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JUST AS I AM

 

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  It’s 2012, and I’ve spent 464,588 hours dieting—in other words, most of my life has been possessed by a bathroom scale.  I just figured out how much time I’ve wasted on this shit while much of the world is starving, and I’m so pissed off that I ate a box of gluten-free donut holes on my way to join Weight Watchers—yet again!  I’m not depressed about losing and gaining weight like a yo-yo on crack, as much as I’m furious that I spent so much time chasing a damn illusion. There is a difference in wanting to be healthy, and then there’s trying to look like Cameron Diaz.  Until recently, losing weight hasn’t been about me being healthy; it’s always been about fitting into someone else’s concept of what a woman should look like—mostly European descent, tall, small boned, narrow hips, slender waist, small tits, and a non-existent ass.  Not looking like that plagues all the women I know, and it just kills me to see them suffer.  We have this body image problem because we live in America—home of the airbrushed magazine covers and glorified stick women.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have this pressure about my body image in many parts of Africa.   But then again the word “dieting” would probably send me into gales of laughter as I rejoiced over the extra protein in the maggots found in my food.  Food, wiggly or cooked, would be a good day to be alive, not “did I lose another pound”!

 

In my defense, I have inherited the genetic makeup from Hell.  My Cherokee grandmother, who legend has it, was 5ft tall and 5ft wide, had fourteen children and at least two of her daughters were called, “Lily & Hannah, the Five-by-Fivers!”  All my life, I’ve pushed against my genetics—half the time I’ve lost and half the time I’ve won, but only for a season.   All that “fluffy” history gives me what my Doc calls:  The Set-Point Prison.  In other words, my Cherokee grandmother’s genetic need to hold onto fat in case her body might need it during the harsh long winters has turned me into a yo-yo dieter on crack, and no amount of multiple dieting will ever be successful in the long term.  I’ve had moments of glory, sometime even years, but as soon as I relax my guard, BAM!  I’m back on tour as the 5ft chocolate Rubenesque model from The Cleve.

Author’s Cherokee Grandmother

But if I’m truthful with myself, and if given the power to go back and change my genetic makeup, I wouldn’t just change the physical crap, I’d probably go back and change just about everything.  Shoot, I might even become a man.  What the hell!  When I’m really down on myself (usually at the beginning of a New Year), I think about all the things I have yet to accomplish, and I make New Year’s resolutions that not even a god could keep because I’m just that much of a perfectionist.  I fantasize about what it would be like to become the people who seem to have it all—a magical life.   In my fantasy I send God my plans, replete with pictures of my idols, accompanied with impertinent questions, and I don’t need to hear an audible voice to guess what God would say to me.

Dear God:  I’d like to put a stop to this set-point thing I’ve inherited, and I think the best way to do that is to be given the genetics of Halle Berry.  She and I are both from The Cleve and being beautiful could just as easily have been my lot in life.  What say you?

Dear Eleanor:   I see you’re up to your old tricks of comparing your journey to that of another.  Well, Halle’s definitely a great choice in the beauty and body department—one of my finest human specimens to date.  But you must be willing to take her struggle with diabetes, her slavishness to exercise just to maintain that coveted body, her austere diet that never fluctuates, two divorces, horrific spousal abuse, abandonment by her father, etc.  If you take the beauty, you have to take the pain.

Dear God:  You can’t beat Hillary Clinton for intelligence and fortitude.  I would love, love, love to have the courage she has displayed on the world stage.  Have you been watching her?  She kicks butt and takes no prisoners.

Dear Eleanor:  Yep, Hillary’s my girl, but you’ll have to take a life with Bill.  No Bill—no Hill.

Dear God:  I am in awe of our first black FLOTUS.   She’s got poise, grace, beauty, intelligence, and a spine of steel (not to mention those arms).  I never ever, ever thought I’d see one of my peeps living in the White House and doin’ it with such style.  If I had to pick just one of my idols, you could turn me into Michelle Obama.  I’d be all right with that.

Dear Eleanor:  Yes, isn’t she lovely?  Personally one of my favorite FLOTUS—second only to Eleanor Roosevelt, although don’t tell Anita Perry or Callista Gingrich that.  The two of them have been lusting after the FLOTUS position to the point of imploding.  But are you able to handle an inordinate amount of haters and trash talkers?  Think you could handle watching your husband constantly being attacked by the Rush Limbaughs and the Pat Robertsons of the world?

Dear God:  On second thought being the FLOTUS might give me a heart attack.  I would truly become an “angry black woman” and that would be self-defeating.  I wouldn’t mind being rich, powerful, and influential however—especially as a black woman.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  I choose my girl, Oprah!  (But the skinny Oprah, please; I’ve had enough of fat for a lifetime.)

Dear Eleanor:  No can do.  You get Oprah’s wealth and power; you have to carry her cross.

Dear God:  Can I possibly sneak in a career as a “working” actress, and if I’m working I might as well become a brilliant one—“I LOVE YOU MERYL.” 

Dear Eleanor:  Yes, isn’t she lovely?  Unfortunately, you can’t be her because, as far as her talent is concerned, I broke the mold when I made her.

I am discovering that I need to cut myself some slack as do most people.  I am what I am and I really don’t think God is down with making me into something that I’m not.   I am also discovering that people are who they are because of the good, bad, and the ugly in their lives and working it all out is part of the human journey.

One of our daughters asked her father recently what his favorite phrase was and he said:  “I love you.”  When I think of Halle Berry’s life, I think of the man that says that phrase to me on a daily basis with such warmth and tenderness after thirty-two years that it makes my heart melt and it renews me.  I think between Ms. Berry and myself, I may have won the lion’s share, and maybe being really “hot” would be nice but not all there is in life.  Maybe being “Halle Berry” is too high a cost to pay, even for Halle Berry.  When I think of all these women who are my “idols,” I think we all wake up everyday hoping to hear the same whisper in our hearts from God:  “I love you, just as you are.”  If I focus on that—if I rest in that—having a chubby ass in 2012 may not be so bad!

Author:  Just as I am

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  ~e.e. 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 January 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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