Tag Archives: New year’s Resolutions


Do you know what I’ve discovered since the dawn of 2016 in just the first half of January?  Situations have gotten pretty scary and a tad bit nuts in our world, as you all know.  2015 was a really nutty time to be an inhabitant of Earth, and nobody has any idea how things are going to turn out in 2016.  If you’re a pessimist and see the glass half-empty then America will be fully engaged in WWIII by 2017, North Korea will have obliterated South Korea, Japan and much of China with a hydrogen bomb, Trump will be president, and concentration camps will dot the countryside filled with Mexicans, Muslims, and whatnots (TBD, since racism never knows any boundaries).  BUT if you’re an optimist and see the glass half-full (as I do), then 2016 just might surprise us all for the better.

New World Order Paresh Nath The Khaleej Times UAE

Cartoon used by permission: New World Order, Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times UAE/Cagle Cartoons

I can find encouragement in anything.  I look for hope on a daily basis.  As I watched Disney’s 2015 live action version of Cinderella while trying to fulfill one of my New Year’s Resolution’s (exercising on the treadmill for an eternity), so many things in the movie inspired me.  I must confess that Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale because my own personal story is as close to an X-rated Cinderella tale as any living human being that I’ve ever met (check out my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown).  In fact, for me to be a pessimist after all that I have overcome would be sheer blasphemy and the highest form of ingratitude.

By the end of the movie, I was undone.  Because so many of the lines from it touched my heart, I was inspired to put together a 2016 list of optimistic predictions in the face of so much doom and gloom that the news is predicting we will suffer as Americans.  I’ll hold onto them and check back with you this time 2017, and we can determine what type of prophetess I am—one who is a naïve piece of work, or one who just might be onto something.  All the predictions are based on courage and kindness—a major theme of Chris Weitz (the writer of the screenplay) and Kenneth Branagh’s (the director) interpretation of the classic Cinderella story.



PREDICTION #1:  My first prediction is a personal one.  In 2014/2015 I was diagnosed with “The Sugar” (diabetes for my non-Black readers).  I was and still am determined to kick its ass via diet and exercise.  I am happy to report that by the end of 2015, I no longer need medication nor am I considered a diabetic.  (I did so by first firing the nasty-ass doctor I had who tried to convince me there was no other hope for me except insulin or I would lose my toes, my feet, and my eye sight—you know who you are Dr. CY—may you be accursed!)  Once I found a doc who was willing to work with me, he strategically and safely walked me away from the poor medical advice and the number that would categorize me as a full-blown diabetic, and as he said to me several weeks ago:  “Congratulations, you have transformed your body out of being a diabetic [no longer needing medication] to a pre-diabetic.  You should be proud of yourself.  Given a couple more months—even that will be history.”   I AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW DOCTOR!!  I predict that by the end of 2017, I will look back on this scary medical phase in my life as a bad distant memory.




Pre Christmas Weight Cam Cardow Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons

PREDICTION #2:  I never thought I’d ever hear myself saying this, but Donald Trump will probably win the Republican nomination to run for President, and that will be a very good thing!  (Nope, I haven’t lost my mind.) I’m beginning to see Trump as a gift to our country as he exposes the racism, the xenophobia, the homophobia, the heartless gun-lust, duplicity, and godless greed of a significant group of people in the GOP (not all Republicans—some of my best friends are Repubs—but enough to destroy this Grand Old Party that once freed the slaves).   Trump is not the savior he so arrogantly thinks himself to be, but his behavior is a reflection of what has been hidden for years within the GOP.

I think Trump will win the primary, wiping out all of his Republican opponents as he blocks the entry way of the path to the Oval Office. Then he will hand the election to the Democrats in an overwhelming victory because the tide of resistance that will rise up against him in America will be greater than the power of his fear-driven, blind followers who are spewing venom and hatred.   (Remember, we are the nation that passed the Civil Rights Act without a bloody coup but on the backs of martyrs, twice elected a Black president to the chagrin of many Republicans, legalized gay marriage in all 50 states with major resistance, and we are still the most generous nation on Earth which shows a great deal of courage and kindness.)

We (Americans) are better than Donald Trump, and we will prove it. The GOP created this monster, kept silent when Trump falsely accused the President (over and over again) of not being a true American or a “Christian,” and someone who would destroy our country when all of the evidence proved otherwise. Now the chickens have come home to roost.   I predict that in the end, Trump will destroy the GOP’s chance to occupy the White House for decades to come.




Super Trump Milt Priggee,

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee,


We’ve temporarily lost our minds over the myriad terrorists who threaten us from around the world—including our home grown ones.  But President Roosevelt was correct:  “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  I predict that if we take a deep collective breath, shake off our fears—stoke the courage embers—and stick to our values (in many cases, figure out what our values are), we will be able to separate the demons from those who need our kindness.  I predict that we will do the right thing in the end toward our own citizens that need a helping hand as well as those who reach out to us who are victims of terrorists in 2016.




Know Your Enemy John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune/Cagle Cartoons


I predict that God (who, if I know anything about his character, “don’t do ugly”) will show himself to be God in 2016—bringing down so many of the posers who claim to be “doing God’s will”—from the Bundy standoff in Nevada to ISIS leaders in the Middle East.  They won’t all go away in 2016 (there will always be people who claim to speak for God until the end of time), but I predict that there will be a significant amount who meet their demise.  Do you remember how many people claimed to be doing God’s will when they ran for president or vice president over the last decade—“God told me to run for office!”—Palin, Bachmann, Cain, Carson, Jeb Bush, Perry, Romney, Jindal, Walker, Kasich, Santorum, Huckabee, and Cruz.  Either God has been hedging his bets over the last decade or he is messin’ with the GOP.  I choose to believe the latter.

I also predict that 2016 will be the year the Conservative Evangelical church is going to lose its shit!  So many of my ex-peeps have jumped into bed with the Tea Party and the Right Wing talk show and arch-conservative social media groups (Fox, Breitbart, World Net, Jones, Limbaugh, and the like) that they wouldn’t recognize Jesus if he came to Earth and walked on water right in front of their eyes.  They would swear it was Obama trying to trick them into liking a Muslim posing as Jesus doing a magic trick.  The weeping and gnashing of teeth within those groups when McCain and then again Romney lost to Obama (I know because I got their emails) will be child’s play compared to the devastation that will be coming from those quarters.  They will fall all over each other predicting America’s demise because we’ve “turned our backs on God” when we don’t elect their delusional candidates.  Watch this space.




Doing God's Will Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune





I predict that what changes in 2016 regarding gun control will be incremental and seem almost pointless, but we shouldn’t get discouraged.  One day, our gun control laws will change—the 2nd Amendment will be changed. The Constitution is not written in stone—if it were, I’d still be a slave, which I’m sure some people would like, but I would find it rather inconvenient.  I predict that what will happen in 2016 is more and more murders, accidents, and suicides by guns will occur—more than we can humanely tolerate.  At some point, these horrific scenes will begin to wash up on the shores of the politicians and gun lobbyists’ families, their neighbors, and their friends at an alarming rate, causing them to reevaluate which is more important—their loved ones’ rights to fulfill their destiny on Earth or a gun owner’s right to pack heat.  (There is nothing as persuasive as an avid gun owner turned gun control crusader.)  In the meantime, I’m hitting my knees and praying that God will have mercy on us all.




Gun Place in America Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle Cartoons



I am discovering that 2016 could be an amazing year of opportunity even though it has already gotten off to a very scary start.  To get through it is going to take a lot of courage enveloped in an ocean of kindness.  I predict that there are enough of us with deep humanity who will be able to take 2016 by the horns, kick America’s demons to the curb, and “Make America Great Again” sans Trump and all that he stands for.  Are you with me?


“I FORGIVE YOU”—Cinderella

(The last thing Cinderella says to her evil stepmother before departing with the Prince)


Forgiveness Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle Cartoons


 “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”—Winston Churchill

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”—Maya Angelou

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”—Mark Twain

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





David Bowie David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

“And these children that you spit on

 As they try to change their worlds

 Are immune to your consultations

 They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

(Lyrics from the song: “Changes” by David Bowie)





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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Uncategorized


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

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

Day After Christmas RJ Matson

Cartoon used by permission: RJ Matson

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

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

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

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

2014 I cant breathe Cam Cardow Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons

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

Fox News Hysteria Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

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

Year In Review FB  David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

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

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

Ohio vs Alabama Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

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

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

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

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




Welcome 2015 Blog

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


Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Keep Calm and Try Again

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Something called a Polar Vortex slammed into my region (actually all over the country except for Hawaii) the last couple of days, and it took a bite-sized stability chunk out of my New Year’s resolutions which had only been up and running for two days.  I’m freezing, and no matter how many hot beverages I consume, I cannot stay warm—therefore, I am cranky and consuming carbs (to get warm) by the bucket load just to be able to think and function.  *My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions are:  Be Happy and Eat Less Carbs (notice I didn’t say the “D” word; I’m trying a more subtle approach—maybe my body won’t notice it is being tricked this year).

Cold Front Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

As I was bitching and complaining to myself about my already failed 2014 resolutions, my husband (WW) came into the kitchen and announced he had just heard on the radio that most people fail their New Year’s resolutions within 48 hours of making them because their resolutions are usually too expansive and complex.

ME:      How can wanting to be happy and eating less carbs be too expansive?

WW:     Because all it took was a slight change in your environment and back into the cheese puffs you fell.

ME:      Don’t forget the mulled wine . . . But if one doesn’t make expansive goals, how will anyone’s dreams come true?  Last year I made a resolution to write and publish my book Monsters’ Throwdown, and I accomplished it.

Polar Vortex Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission:  Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

WW:     Actually, you made a goal to write your first book three years ago and just finished it last year.  Anyway, I didn’t hear the entire program, but I assume it would help to make two kinds of resolutions:  one simple and one complex, like your beloved carbohydrates.  I talked to our grandson today and even as a five-year-old he has two New Year’s resolutions:  His Simple Resolution—to get more play dates with anybody in kindergarten from here to California; his Complex Resolution—permanently and consistently “get over” on his mother whom he deems to be his arch nemesis.

ME:        I heard he’d managed to accomplish his simple New Year’s resolution and had set up at least one play date by stopping a total stranger-mommy and her son on the way home from school.   Without consulting his mother, he accosted the stranger-mommy and said:  “You need to give my mommy your cell phone number so I can have a play date with your kid.” The woman was so flabbergasted that she immediately turned over her phone number to him.  Now that is determination!  Did you ask our grandson how his complex resolution was holding up?

WW:     I tried, but he can’t come to the phone right now because he’s been grounded by his mother.  Apparently, she told him that he couldn’t take his chipmunk dolls (Alvin and Theodore) to school, but he decided that now was the time to turn into Baby Stewie from Family Guy and run inroads against his nemesis, The Mommy.  So he stuffed Theodore down the right sleeve of his coat and purposely left one of Theodore’s arms sticking out, while snugly hiding Alvin in the right sleeve—completely out-of-sight.  (Simon had been discarded at the last minute—there are only so many places a five-year-old body can hide smuggled goods.)

ME:        Oh yeah, his mommy told me about this.  Little Dude sauntered to the front door—replete with backpack—on his way to the bus stop, when his mother noticed a Chipmunk hand peeking out of his coat sleeve as if it were waving at her.  When she demanded that Little Dude cough up Theodore, our grandson dutifully protested (screams, flailing of arms, and gnashing of teeth) about the toy being taken away but finally acquiesced to proceeding without the contraband, knowing that Alvin was well hidden in his other sleeve.  Then, just when our grandson thought he’d gotten away with it, he heard his nemesis scream:  “LITTLE DUDE—WHAT DO YOU HAVE HIDDEN IN YOUR OTHER SLEEVE?  TURN IT OVER BUSTER!”

WW:     Did our daughter tell you what his punishment was for the attempted ruse?

ME:        Yep, loss of a play date.  I’m afraid it is back to square one for our pint-sized smuggler.

New Year's Resolution Dolls

WW:     This proves the point of the radio show:  stick to small goals and stack them up, and if you slip up (or get caught), it won’t be such a hard thing to pick yourself up and start again.  Want to lose weight?  Go for 10 pounds at a time, rather than 50.  Pound by pound, the overall goal will be achieved.  Want to win friends and influence enemies by showing off more cool stuff at the kindergarten show-and-tell?  Try schmoozing your nemesis with a subtler strategy so that she’ll let down her guard—perhaps by eating some dreaded vegetables every once in a while to make her think she’s really in control.  Ideas like that.

ME:        Okay, Mister Confucius, since you’re so smart, what are your simple and complex New Year’s resolutions?

WW:     My Complex New Year’s Resolution is to cruise to Hawaii before the end of the year.  My Simple Resolution is to save money by using smaller sections of paper towels, using less hot water, turning off lights when they are not needed, and turning down the heat to conserve energy.  I’m starting a “Hawaii or Bust” fund with my savings.

ME:        Do you plan on taking me with you to Hawaii?  Because I just used two rolls of paper towels on the hot chocolate I spilled all over the floor in my attempts to warm my innards; I turned the furnace up to 80 two days ago to thwart the Polar Vortex freezing my ass off; while you were away on business, I turned on all the lights to ward off the Boogey Man and kept them on 24/7, and I’m about to jump into a hot shower and stay there until Jesus comes back because I’m just that frozen!

Frozen John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

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

I am discovering that much as we Americans would love to have a perfectly shaped comet ride of our spiritual, emotional, and physical growth in life, that journey is more like an erratic dance:  two steps forward, one step back; repeat; stop; and start again.  We owe it to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world to want to “do better.”  The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to implement admirable goals.  The point is not to give up at the first Polar Vortex slam and try, try, try again!

*My “Real” New Year’s Resolution for 2014: Simple New Year’s Resolution—to treat others the way I want to be treated; Complex New Year’s Resolution—to be the change I want to see in the world!


“Another fresh new year is here . . .

Another year to live!

To banish worry, doubt, and fear,

To love and laugh and give!

― William Arthur Ward

 “’That which does not kill me makes me stronger’ is not a law of the universe. What it can be, if we so choose, is a resolution.”—Julian Baggini

“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”—James Agate

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”—Benjamin Franklin

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”― Edith Lovejoy Pierce



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


Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Larger Than Life

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   According to all the leading news media, the #1 New Year’s resolution of Americans is to “lose weight,” quickly followed by exercise more, drink less alcohol, get out of debt, and quit smoking.  If 50% of us conquered these resolutions every year, we’d be the skinniest, most smoke-free, wealthiest, healthiest, and potentially the most boring people on the face of the planet because we
wouldn’t have time for anything else.

New Year resolution fastatforty dot blogspot dot com

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes|image from

It is well known, and the fodder of many comedians, that our mostly superficial resolutions don’t usually last past the second week of January.  Just recently it was brought to my attention that most of our top five resolutions rarely include something that is magnificent—like “become heroes.”  If we’re honest with ourselves, our temporary resolves are mostly external and mean a great deal to us because they give us the short-term illusion that we’re “WINNING!” at the game of life of being popular especially when our traveling stadium of friends, relatives, and co-workers enviously applaud our triumphs—no matter how short-lived.  At least that is what my “sorry ass” told me when I was on the treadmill attempting to shred it of its copious “jelly” while trying not to think about how hungry I was after six days of strenuous dieting, 60 minutes of daily treadmill walking, 55 minutes of alternate-day Zumba dancing, and 30 minutes of three times a week Kettle Bell swinging that had almost put one of my eyes out.

New Years Resolution Mark Parisi cartoon

Cartoon by Mark Parisi|image from

My iPod blared one of my favorite workout songs (“Holding Out for a Hero” by Dean Pitchford from the film Footloose) as I jogged the third 6.0 incline on the treadmill and felt very smug and superior about myself and my top two resolutions—lose weight and exercise more.

“Holding Out For A Hero”

I need a hero

 I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

 He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast

 And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

 I need a hero

 I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light

 He’s gotta be sure, he’s gotta be soon

And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life


Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Just as I started to harmonize with Bonnie Tyler at the top of my lungs on the lyric, “AND HE’S GOTTA BE LARGER THAN LIFE, LARGER THAN LIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE,” I heard someone say:  “Feed me, bitch!”  Thinking it was my husband (WW) who must have suddenly lost his mind and morphed into a Tyler Perry Madea-like voice, I shouted toward the basement ceiling so that the sound would carry to the upstairs bedroom.


MY ASS:   Your man ain’t here.  He went to the sto’ to get some eats which you failed to buy us yesterday when you hauled me (your chunky “sorry ass”) through Whole Foods lookin’ for kale and tofu.  White and Wonderful (WW) is as tired of eatin’ that crap as I am of eliminatin’ it.  (For the record Bitch: what self-respecting black woman eats kale and tofu?)   I’m so hungry I’m about to detach myself from your body, crawl up your back, grab your car keys, and drive your ass to the grocery sto’!  You better hope yo’ man brings home somethin’ chocolate and deep fried or else you and your sorry ass are gonna’ be on the 6 o’clock news ‘cause I plan on havin’ me a throw-down.

ME:            (Mumbling to myself) This is not real . . . my ass can’t be talking to me . . . this must be a hallucination brought on by dehydration or lack of fat in my diet.   WW warned me to drink more water.  Besides, nothing is going to make me break my diet and exercise resolutions this year—absolutely nothing!  And just in case it’s a demon, I’ll cast it out for good measure:  Get behind me Satan!”

MY ASS:     Girl, you’re a bigger fool than I thought.  My name ain’t Satan, it’s “Sorry-ass” and I’m already behind you because I belong to you.   Long as we been livin’ together, you don’t know yo’ own ass?  I’m tired of your shit—DO YOU HEAR ME?  An ass cannot live by bein’ a traveling bootie-chair alone!  Heifer, you been puttin’ me through this starvation routine for over sixty years and it’s always the same.  You starve me practically to death and whittle my ass almost into oblivion until I almost fall off, but then as soon as you take a gulp of air or can’t maintain your gerbil exercise routine, the fat comes right back and plumps yo’ ass into fluffy-nutter status, baby!  Just ask my best girl (Oprah’s sorry-ass)—we will always, always return—Dr. Oz or no Dr. Oz.  Now I told you befo’:  FEED ME, BITCH—I’M ABOUT TO FAINT DEAD AWAY!

ME:             La-la-la-la, I’m not listening to you.  Besides, your argument isn’t really fair!  I’ve gone years when I’ve made you disappear, and I did it by not giving into temptation.  So go away!

MY ASS:    Yeah, but I always came back, didn’t I?  Sometimes you’d make me disappear for 4 or 5 years at a time, but then I’d just bide my sweet ol’ time, and six partyin’ months later of weekly vodka gimlets and rib eye steaks, and whoop, there I am!  Your lady lumps and me would show up larger than life at the end of your most die-hard resolutions.  Lord Jesus, I have no idea how I got stuck with you because you’re really not very bright, girlfriend.  You think you’d learn after all these years to make resolutions that weren’t so fly-by-night.   Why don’t you stop torturin’ my ass and decide to do something that will make you an asset (you like my pun:  asset?) to the human race?  I heard you singin’ about “holdin’ out for a hero who is larger than life.”  Instead of you waitin’ for someone else to become a hero, why don’t you become someone’s hero?

new years resolutions  Chuck and Beans shoeboxblog dot com

ME:             Shut up, shut the fuck up!  There is no way I’m going to start out 2013 by being lectured to by my ass.  If I start out this way, Lord knows where I’ll end up at the end of the year—probably flushed down some proverbial toilet.  Besides, my 5th resolution is, “Become a better person,” Miss Chubby-ass Know-it-all.

MY ASS:     What the fuck does that mean:  “Become a better person”?   All you humans write that crazy shit at some point in your lives, but it’s only done to make you feel better about yo’selves—rarely does any y’all follow through.  I’ve been chattin’ it up with some of the other sorry asses throughout the land and they agree all y’all are pretty much the same.  You’ll promise the moon as long as it doesn’t cost you nothin’.  You’ll say “I love you,” but make choices to hide parts of your heart and soul from each other.  Become a better person?  Become a better person, how?  You forget that you sit on me when you say your prayers rather than kneelin’, you lazy heifer, so I hear everythin’ you afraid of.  I know your greatest fear is dyin’ without makin’ a difference in the world.

ME:           Well, that’s cold!  And what do you mean you’ve been communicating with other asses?  How is that even possible?

MY ASS:    What you humans don’t know about life I could fill an ocean with.  All the sorry-asses of the world have a communication system downstairs that would make the servants’ quarters of Downton Abbey seem like child’s play.  (Giiiiiirrrrl, don’t you just love that show?)  Annnyyyhoo, you may think the upstairs head and heart controls yo’ destiny but y’all humans are just an intestinal flu, a severe food poisoning, or auto-immune disease away from singing with Jesus.  All I gots to do is run a coup on you with kidney and liver, and your heart would collapse before you could say, “help me Jesus, help, help me Jesus!”  That’s how precarious ya’ll lives are, and since that is the case, why don’t more of you make your #1 New Year’s resolution something more profound—like “become a hero”?   Debi Mazar’s ass, which is quite lovely I might add, told me the other day that Debi says:

“A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.”

But if the truth be known, me and the rest of the sorry-asses have found most of y’all humans to be pretty self-centered.  You’re like Scrat, the saber-tooth squirrel, from Ice Age who is so fixated on findin’ and keepin’ his own acorns (this is like y’all humans clingin’ to your own shit—be it anything from a couple of dollars to an empire), that he barely gives up his stash to fall in love with Scrattee, the female saber-tooth squirrel (the only bitch that really “gets him” through all the ages by the way).   And even though he loves his woman, he abandons Scrattee in the end to the dangerous world of dinosaurs who will probably trample her ass in a New York minute.  And why does Scrat do that?  So that he can chase after his self-centered acorn addiction.   And what does his selfish, anti-hero choices get him:  A world of hurt and constant crazy-ass mayhem.   All I gots to say is that humans are a lot like Scrat and you are one sorry-ass race of people!  Now feed me, goddamnit!

ice age love free dash picture dot net

Scrat an Scratte from Ice Age|image from

ME:      (At that moment, the front door is heard opening and closing upstairs.)  WW, is that you, honey?

WW:     Of course it’s me.  Who else would it be—you and I are the only ones who live here.  Have you finished exercising?

ME:      No, I’ve had enough of this torture today, because I think I might be hallucinating from lack of fat in my diet.  In fact, why don’t we go to Ben’s Chili Bowl for lunch for a mouth-watering “half-smoke” and some cheese fries?

WW:      I’m up for that.  But I don’t want to hear one word next week about your ass looking too fat in your jeans.   Deal?


I am discovering that our calling in life is to be heroes—it’s what being human is all about, and if you believe in God, I think it is what he expects of us.  I also am discovering that the core of a hero’s heart is love, and the single most deterrent to becoming a hero is self-centeredness.   What if our #1 New Year’s resolution was to become heroes to the people we say we love (if we can’t do this for people we love, then screw the ones we despise) which would mean our raison d’etre would be to let go of anything that would bring our loved ones harm and to walk alongside them to help them become all they were created to be.   Of course it would mean that we’d all have to give up something that was a “right” or an “obsessive need” in order for those we love to succeed, because sometimes what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

And if 53% of us became heroes to our families (no one cheated on their spouses, no one lied to their friends, no one abused their children, no one was dismissive to the needy amongst us, no one was dishonest about their hopes and fears, and no one was slow to ask and give forgiveness when we screwed up), can you imagine what would happen to America as the sparks of heroism in our families morphed together and spread across the land forming safe-havens of our towns, our cities, our countryside, and our governing bodies?  There wouldn’t be a stalmate about gun control in our country, there would only be the collective resolve to become heroes to our country’s children to do whatever was necessary so that they’d grow up and become heroes themselves.   Rape, murder, and mayhem would cease to exist in our neighborhoods, and racial hatred and homophobia would become a thing of the past because we’d all be heroes looking for ways to “lay down our lives” (euphemistically speaking ) when it came to our self-centered desires over the  genuine needs of our fellow man .

But I suppose the reason we rarely make our #1 New Year’s resolution to “become heroes” is because the world is much too populated with sorry-ass Scrats who just can’t let go of their lust for acorns.

new years resolution end of blog

Pic from Google Images

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”Benjamin Franklin

“My Dad is my hero. He’s 85 now and he is in great health. He is handsome and strong. He has an incredible moral and ethical backbone. I couldn’t have been luckier with my parents.”—Harry Connick, Jr.

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”—Christopher Reeve

“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.”—E. W. Howe  

 “The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.”—Joss Whedon

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


Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Odyssey Continues


Do you know what I’ve discovered?   My time is almost up and my odyssey is drawing to an end.  I mean I don’t plan on dying tomorrow (although you never know), but I’m not nineteen anymore and given the slide rule of life, I’m a lot closer to the end than I ever was before.   People just a little bit older than I am are dying all around me in my personal life, and at least 50 celebrities that entertained me most of my life (Soul Train’s Don Cornelius, Nora Ephron, Donna Summers, Dick Clark, Ray Bradbury, Marvin Hamlisch, Maurice Sendak, and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees just to name a few) bit the dust in 2012.  I did the math and the average age-span of all those who died this year were just eight to ten years older than I am.   Jesus, Mary, Mother of God—where did the time go?  Just yesterday “we were young” and setting the world on fire.   Well, at least they set the world on fire—I’m still striking the match.

That is why I’ve been begging God for one more chapter in my life. I don’t mind dying; I just want to end my life better than it began.   I must sound like a broken record in his ear:  “please, please, please don’t let me die yet until I’ve had one final chapter of me leaving my mark as a writer and a storyteller.”   Imagine my surprise when God answered.

GOD:     Okay, Kiddo, I’ve heard your prayers.  As of March 1, 2013 you’re losing your job.

ME:        What the___________ (oops, sorry).   I didn’t ask to become unemployed, God!   Perhaps you misunderstood me.  I asked for another chapter in my life—preferably one that is interesting and not pathetic.  You know how much I love bling and travel and food.  I need to keep the Benjamins flowing to keep my game on—thus I need to keep my job.

GOD:     You’re not becoming unemployed, so to speak; I’m just closing a door to this particular employment chapter.

ME:        And opening a window, I hope, with money trees outside that window?

GOD:     Nice cliché, Cherie, but no—I’m just closing a door so that you have enough hours in the day to pursue your next chapter in life.   How you get out of the room you’re currently in is up to you.

God Closes a Door

ME:        Wait a minute!  This is not what I want to hear.  Are you sure you’re God?  Or are you the one who told, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, and Cain to run for President of the United States in 2012 to save our country for the “real Americans?”   Remember them?   (You don’t?  Well, neither do most of us!)  Because if you are the same voice they heard, I think you must be Satan, and I may be in a world of hurt.

GOD:     Yes, I’m the same God, but that clown car only heard the first half of what I had to say.  They didn’t stick around long enough to hear the part that said they weren’t going to win.  They mixed up my voice with Charlie Sheen’s triumphalism battlecry of “WINNING!”  There are a lot of chapters in life that have multiple lessons that are needed to complete the book of life of every human, and not all of them hit the “mother lode”  or the jackpot as you humans like to boast about which is really code for “money, power, or fame.”  Sometimes roads are meant to be traveled just for the journey and the character development.  I think my boy, Sheen, finally got that message in 2012.  At least I hope he did, for his sake.

God has second thoughts

ME:        Well, I would like to make a living from my next adventure.    What’s wrong with that?  I think my voice of love and tolerance is something the world needs (a born-again Christian with a sense of humor who isn’t nuts and doesn’t have a rod up her ass, who isn’t a bigot, isn’t homophobic, and who isn’t against science and the reality of global warming, to name a few of the items that have turned so much of your Church into a laughingstock).  Couldn’t you use someone like me and pay me as well?

GOD:     No guarantees, Chica.  You’ll just have to walk this road and see where it leads you.  If you extrapolate that you’ll become rich and famous from your journey, you’ll be as bad as the political clown car of 2012 that you judge so ruthlessly.    As for your motivation, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite peeps up here in Heaven (Sparrowrose Howard Thurman) who was Martin Luther King’s favorite theologian:

 “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”


I am discovering that I have had many chapters before this final chapter in life that is being dictated by my age.  I’ve been the poor black kid in the ghetto who “came alive” through the love of reading and education, I’ve been the affirmative action kid who went to college on a full scholarship who helped integrate an all-white school and worked my ass off in the process because I found my calling, I’ve been half of an interracial marriage of 34 years that is so full of love I pinch myself on a daily basis, I’ve been the mother of two amazing women and now the grandmother of a truly delightful grandson, and I’ve traveled a great deal of the world that I once thought I’d only experience through books.   Writing, acting, storytelling, motivational speaking—giving hope to a world that desperately needs encouragement in the midst of all the terror that assails us—that is what makes me come alive!   2013—here I come!

Leap image fro lawlogix dot com

 “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”—Margaret Shepard

(image from


“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”—Ashley Smith

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success; that is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”— Swami Vivekananda

“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”—Horace

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”—Walter Bagehot

“”When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”—Alexander Graham Bell

New Years Resolution Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes||Bill Watterson Cartoon



      “This is my (2013) wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”Anonymous


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


Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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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.


Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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