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2014: Never Give Up!

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Reality star Khloe Kardashian has announced that she is exiting 2013 wanting a fresh start after the divorce from the disappointing marriage with Lamar Odom.  She can hardly wait to turn the page on 2013.  I feel your pain, girl.  Life can be a bitch, and rarely do we get to exit the previous year without getting a little banged up—sometimes completely banged up depending on our individual choices or the ramifications of the choices of other people beyond our control.

2014 David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Use by Permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I was meditating on this thought as I was watching “A Very Muppet Christmas” with my five-year-old grandson.   Whoopi Goldberg was on the screen playing a “godlike character”—siting on a couch in a field of flowers.  As I drifted off to sleep from the overeating of a standing rib roast, overstuffed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and lots and lots of exquisite wine, I remember thinking that once again another year was slipping by without me losing enough weight so I could be mistaken for Halle Berry in the make-up section of Target.  Suddenly, somebody very Whoop-like was in my TV room and no longer sitting in a fragrant pasture giving advice to a Muppet rep.

Whoopi Name Change Meme

Whoopi Goldberg Meme (apologies Whoopi for the name misspell of the meme generator)

WHOOP-LIKE:   Hey, girl.  I see another year has passed and you’re still moaning about your weight.  Aren’t you a little old for that?  Check out my style—I’m lettin’ it all hang out these days and I’m feelin’ fine.

ME:        Whoop-like, what the hell are you doing sitting on my couch?  How did you get out of the TV?  I know it’s a Smart TV programed to do just about anything, but transporting you out of a Muppet movie is an entirely different subject.  It looks like the alcohol has started to mess with me.

WHOOP-LIKE:   I looked out from the scene into your living room and saw that no one was watching the movie.  Your grandson took off upstairs twenty minutes ago.  I think the reason he left was because you kept alternating between snoring (you snore like a freight train, girlfriend) and moaning the phrase:  “I must get back on my diet—must look like Halle in New Year . . .” What the . . .?

ME:        I’m positive that I did not say that!  The last thing I remember before I fell asleep is my grandson patting my belly and asking me if I had a baby in my tummy (everybody’s a critic these days).  I was so mortified that I mumbled something like, “let’s watch the Muppets, kid” as I pulled his teddy bear in front of my fluffer-nutter tummy and cuddled with him on the couch.

WHOOP-LIKE:   Well, now that I’m here—let’s chat.  2013 is coming to a close—what disappointed you the most about 2013?

ME:        Oh, that’s easy:  Our damn Congress—specifically the heartless, cold-blooded bastards of the Tea Party wing.  Ayn Rand is alive and well in the halls of Congress and Jesus is weeping.

Congress 2013 Year in Review Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission:  Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

WHOOP-LIKE:   Understandable.  That’s it?

ME:        Oh, no.  I hate that we adopted the words “selfie, twerk, and hashtag” into our vocabulary.  I can’t believe they have been added to our dictionary—Webster must be turning over in his grave, because I’m ready to commit hari kari if I read and hear these words ever again.  Also, I wish I’d never joined Facebook, and I’m surprised I didn’t go screaming into the night during the Presidential election season—especially during President Obama’s reelection.  Some of the people I know have lost their fuckin’ minds, and they never found them again. During 2013, some of them dug into their racist and homophobic holes and never came out.  I’m about one click short of posting a note on their FB pages that says:  “Did you notice that the one black friend you had is actually black?” And then one of the worst things about 2013 was the Affordable Care website glitches.   The poor Prez.  The Tea Party was doing cartwheels.  Of course, there was the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, and the reminder of all the people—especially children—who have died from guns in our inner cities, and yet Congress continues to fiddle while Rome burns . . . there is still no decent national gun control law!  My heart is broken for these families and in total fear for the safety of my own.

WHOOP-LIKE:   I hear you, and I’m crying with you.  But what are some of the things that surprised you about 2014?

ME:        Pope Francis (love, love, love the dude) when he started kicking ass about income inequality and not judging our gay brothers and sisters; Bill De Blasio becoming mayor of NYC with his progressive outlook and his gorgeous interracial family, and the outpouring of affection from all over the world for Nelson MandelaNewt Gingrich surprised me (can you believe it?) for his very elegant and courageous pushback against hateful remarks from conservatives when he wrote a tribute to Nelson Mandela.  When Newt got attacked, he came out swinging with a tight, historical assessment of who Mandela was and why he admired the man—why we all should admire the man.  My jaw fell onto my ample bosom.  Go, Newtie—it’s your birthday!  And then there was Antoinette Tuff—the black woman from Georgia who compassionately talked a white gunman off the “ledge” and not only saved all the students’ lives in her school, but saved the gunman’s life as well.  I could hear the angels doing a “whoop, whoop, whoop” from the heavens in her behalf.  I could hear them laughing at Wayne LaPierre’s stupid gun defense:  “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”  Ms. Tuff made me realize that I must never give up hope of doing the right thing and striving to be someone that God can count on whenever I’m in a situation that calls for courage, grace, compassion, and wisdom.

Antoinette Tuff Cartoonist Lowe

Cartoonist: Chan Lowe/ Sun Sentinel

WHOOP-LIKE:   Hum, that sounds like a good list for a starterKeep working on your list while I get back into the movie before my next scene.  It will take your mind off your fluffer-nutter tummy.  One more thing:  did you accomplish anything this year that you’re proud of?

ME:        Yes, yes, yes . . . I published my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown (http://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Throwdown-Odyssey-Discovery-Series/dp/1493616099/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388556177&sr=8-1&keywords=eleanor+tomczyk).  I became a writer in 2013!  Can you believe it?  The book is selling well and getting great reviews.  This was a lifelong goal, and I did it!  Oh, and now that I have you here, would you mind giving me a shout-out on The View?

WHOOP-LIKE:   Don’t get greedy, kiddo.  You accomplished your lifelong goal in 2013 and you did it all without being a size six or looking like Halle—go figure!  Are you and WW still in love?

ME:        More than ever!

WHOOP-LIKE:    Than 2014 is starting off to be a very good year for you—a very good year, indeed.

***

I am discovering that each year of our lives has a mixture of good and bad.   We must embrace the good with all our heart while we have it.  As to the bad, we have no control over much of what happens to us, and part of growing up is to never lose hope and never give up as we press on to seize the day.  Of course there are some things we need to let go of—things that are not worth our energy—and that is trying to look like Halle Berry when one is 65 years old and has the figure of a Whoopi Goldberg.  Things like that quest have to be given up—not because they are unattainable—but because they are foolish, and foolishness is the tripwire that keeps us from crossing the finish line on any given day of the year.

2014 Hope Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by permission:  Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

“Never, never, never give up.”—Winston Churchill

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”—Maya Angelou

 “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”—Harriet Beecher Stowe

“For a writer, I’m not sure that feeling of knowing you’ve just written something good and strong can be trumped. Not because it means I did something right. But because it proves how many wrongs I pushed through to get there.” ― Cara Rosalie Olsen

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”—Michelle Obama

 “God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.”—Chester W. Nimitz

President Obama vs Repub Destruction Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by Permission:  Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

REFERENCES

http://theweek.com/article/index/253863/why-newt-gingrich-is-getting-flak-for-defending-nelson-mandela

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/the_story_the_right_hates_antoinette_tuffs_courage/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/08/22/antoinette_tuff_911_call_listen_to_the_full_tape_of_ga_school_clerks_call.html

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.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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No Longer Workin’ for the Man

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   It only took me 24 hours to determine the answer to the most repeated question from everyone I see:  Do you think you’ll like being retired?  Well, the verdict is in:

Yes, Bitches, I love that I’m no longer “workin’ for the man”!

I am officially retired as of last week, had all the parties, and received the gold watch (not really—damn aftermath of the recession has affected everything), and I am doing a dance of unmitigated joy.   Don’t get me wrong, I really liked my job and I’m going to miss the Benjamins (it was a great gig as jobs go), but it was still a job working for someone else, following someone else’s commands, and multi-tasking to the beat of someone else’s drum.

AA studiohelper dot com

Image from studiohelper.com

Besides, because I was born a poor black child, I’ve been working ever since I was five years old, and the concept of work for work’s sake lost its novelty around age six.  Contrary to nasty-ass Newt Gingrinch’s campaign idea of abolishing child labor laws and making poor kids work as janitors in their schools to give them a sense of purpose, other Ayn Randians tried that 60 years ago on me, and it didn’t make me any more purposeful—it just made me fucking exhausted.

Workers child newt

The other day a twenty-something college journalist, who is the daughter of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of mine, dropped by my “Ask Dalai Mama” Show (formerly “Ask Big Mama” Show) and interviewed me for her college newspaper.   She was fascinated with the concept that I was doing the “Newt Gingrich Dream Act for Poor Children” long before he thought of it—just when he was only eleven years old in Georgia and having newly escaped poverty, fatherly abandonment, and his god-awful christened name:  Newton Leroy McPherson.  The young reporter noted that the thing that seemingly kept Newt from my child labor fate, and thus ever thinking that his future sorry-ass concept would be a good campaign idea 60 years later, was the appearance of a stepfather who adopted him and the color white that saved him.  Had he walked a mile in my shoes, the pathetic child labor idea would have never crossed his mind as an adult.

REPORTER:      “Dalai Mama, I am so excited about interviewing someone who has reportedly been working since she was five years old.  What job could you have possibly gotten at that age?”

DALAI MAMA:   “Baby, I had two jobs.  A five-year old could get any job in the inner city of Cleveland that they could master by standing on a crate so that they could reach the bench, the table, or in my case the washing machine or the ironing board to do their jobs.  My mother, my baby sister, and I ended up homeless in the dead of winter in 1953, and a woman who owned a boarding house in East Cleveland had pity on us and took us in.  It just so happened that there were several cottage industries operating under the roof of that boarding house:  a kitchen beauty shop, a laundry, a neighborhood pick-up site for illegal numbers runners (the legal game we now call Lotto), and the selling of stolen goods.  My two jobs in that house of horrors were as a two-step laundry assistant.  In the first job where I was responsible for wringing dry the shirts from a barrel washing machine, I would stand on a wooden crate in the basement, pull out the wet white shirts and insert them into the wooden ringers on top of the washer.  Because I had to lean into the machine to reach the shirts at the bottom (forcing my feet off the crate and suspending my legs in mid-air on the edge of the washing machine), I would almost always get my chubby little fingers caught in the wringer with the shirts as I fell against the rollers.  It’s a wonder I still have use of my hands.  I believe I learned and utilized my first swear words at the age of five:

“Somebody help da po’ child!  Dis fuckin’ monsta is eatin’ my fingas like dey was chicken bones!”

Wringer myauctionfinds dot com

Image from myauctionfinds.com

REPORTER:       “Oh my God, I can’t even imagine that torture.  I had a hissy fit when my mother tried to get me to clean my room on Saturdays and make my bed.  She never did win that battle.  Wasn’t the electric wringer invented by an African-American woman in the 1800s?”

DALAI MAMA:   “Yes girl—go on with your bad self!   Her name was Ellen F. Eglin and she was from Washington, DC, but she never patented her invention and sold it for $18 to a white man who made a considerable fortune.  Ain’t that a pip?   Ellen Eglin once said that she thought white women wouldn’t use the machine if they knew a black woman had invented it.  Personally, I hated that machine and wished it had never been invented. I’d like to have a little chat with her when I see her on the other side and tell her how her stupid wringers were known for catching hair, clothing, and fingers (a four-year old reportedly choked to death from one), and almost dismembered me several times as a child laborer.”

REPORTER:       “What was your other job as a five-year old?”

DALAI MAMA:   “One that was equally as dangerous:  I had to stand on a wooden crate and press stiffly starched shirts with flat irons that were heated on the stove.  They were so heavy that it took both my hands to lift the irons whose handles were wrapped in towels (one was heated on the stove while the other was simultaneously used to press the garment), and I always ended up burning the easily scorched shirts because I would get tired and couldn’t lift the iron fast enough.  But I didn’t keep that job very long.  Once I discovered that starch burned quickly, one day in a fit of anger, I staged the youngest labor strike in the history of man and performed scorch art all over the paying customers’ white shirts.  We lost the business, and I lost the skin off my ass for many months from endless beatings; but it was worth it, because I never, ever had to do that job again.  To this day I hate to iron clothes.  If the cleaners in town didn’t iron my husband’s shirts, he’d have to go to work looking like he slept in his clothes.”

REPORTER:      “Didn’t you tell me in our pre-interview that you once worked for the Mafia when you were a child?”

DALAI MAMA:   “Yes.  Talk about working for the man!  Yep, after I lost my ironing job, the landlady’s aunt (ostensibly my babysitter) decided I would make a great “bag-girl” to carry the numbers bets from the boarding house to a drop-off point which was a store that sold peanuts and cheese.  Numbers runners were constantly being killed by heroin addicts or other numbers runners or they were being shaken down by the “po-po” (police) when they transferred the money to their contact further upstream.  What better decoy could they use than a six-year old with numbers slips and cash pinned inside her overalls or winnings hidden under peanuts in a bag on the return trip home.  Other residents in the house said that the numbers game in my neighborhood was ruled over by “Don (The Kid) King,” who, for the last four decades or so, has gone “legit” as the fighting promoter of people like Mohammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield to name just a few.  I never met him because he was too high up the food chain, and I doubt if he ever knew who transferred the money from my boarding house to the peanut/cheese man, but the year I almost lost my life and most definitely almost lost my mind was the year I worked for his operation as a bag girl.  It was also the year “Don (The Kid) King” killed a man in his house for stealing his numbers stash and got away with it because it was considered self-defense in the then strongly Mafia-run Cleveland.  But you can find out all that well-documented information from The Life and Crimes of Don King by Jack Newfield or watch the movie, “Only in America”—a phrase I think the infamous gambling lord coined about himself when he went legit and became world-renowned.

Don King cnn dot com getty image

Don King with Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie by his side, King speaks at a 2004 victory celebration for newly re-elected President George W. Bush||cnn.com Getty Image

REPORTER:      “Wait a minute.  You brushed over something intriguing when you said you ‘almost lost your mind’ while working for the man—Don King.  I’d like to explore that some more.”

DALAI MAMA:   “No can do, darlin’.   I’ve got to save something for my memoir.”

REPORTER:      “Well, surely you didn’t work through all of your childhood.  Didn’t you catch a break at some point?”

DALAI MAMA:   “Nope.  Because I was considered a “Ward of the Court”—no parents sane enough or alive enough to take care of me—I drifted in and out of a group of foster homes that always saw me as cash flow in their pockets and a maid and nanny in their homes.  I’d go for a preliminary visit with my very naive social worker all throughout my teenage years—usually a young lady about your age who had good intentions but had never seen the underbelly of Cleveland’s inner city.  The foster-mother and father would be all, ‘Welcome to our humble abode.  We’re such good Christians and Christ has led us to open our homes as a respite to these abandoned chilren—our home is your home, you po’ sweet motherless child.’  But as soon as the social worker would leave, the smiles would fade from the foster parents’ faces faster than a roach fleeing an airborne fly swatter, and they’d let the true boss-man or boss-lady emerge:  ‘Get your fat ass off my good plastic-covered furniture (I better not ever catch you in here again or your ass is grass).  You ain’t here for no vacation—you here to work and learn some responsibility.  Go on and get that mop and bucket and start cleaning the bathroom and moppin’ the kitchen flo’—and don’t take all day if you want to eat!  Fried chicken and biscuits is being made for my real chilren but you gets bologna sandwiches and milk if you scrubs these floors so spotless that I’ll be able to eat off ‘em.  If you don’t make this place spotless, you’ll be going to bed hungry—I promise yo’ sorry-ass that much.’  Newt Gingrich would have been very proud that his idea of child labor had been instituted in the ghetto before his time with such demoralizing success that it helped turn me into a productive citizen.”

Retirement Gift cafepress dot com

I am discovering that everything I’ve done throughout the last 60 years were “jobs” to pay the bills or help me and mine survive the suffering of the outrageous slings and arrows of life’s misfortunes.  I’ve been a secretary too many times to count, a music school teacher, an actress, a singer, a voice-over talent, a maid (not a very good one), and a nanny (also not very good).   I am not ungrateful for those opportunities, it’s just that there is so much more to me, and had I been born a Kennedy instead of a poor black child, I probably would have fulfilled that potential.  Most people go through life only working at jobs—a small percentage pursue careers—but only a blessed handful of people become artists.  Ever since I could first dream, I always wanted to become an artist—to be consumed by art without any interference from having to leave my art and go “work for the man.”  Well, now is my chance.  I want to exit stage left (to die) as an artist.  I want the epitaph on my tombstone to read:  Here lies Eleanor Tomczyk.  She started working for the man when she was five years old and had to tarry in that field until she was sixty-five years old.  But when she died, she died an artist.

Lady writer mymurgi dot com

      “A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist”—Louis Nizer

Artist skinnyartist dot com

Artist blog dotpurpleleaes dot de

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.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Devil Made Me Do It!

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Pay-back is a bitch—especially when it is from your husband!  Say for instance, if on a three-day, rainy weekend, you get a little carried away and coerce your man into “cuddling and relaxing” with you while watching a celluloid marathon of “Steel Magnolias,” “Beaches,” and “The Notebook,” you may end up having an issue.  On top of the estrogen-soaked weekend, if you end up drinking three times the amount of merlot that you should, and hysterically sobbing into your Hubbie’s arms, you better know that eventually, any man, but especially “White and Wonderful (WW),” is going to extract a heavy toll for being inundated with that many chicks’ flicks and its aftermath.  You won’t know when or how or where you’ll be required to pay up—you’ll just know that it will cost you dearly, and your man of 34 years will demand that for every one “chicks’-flick tearjerker” he had to suffer through, two “getting-kicked-in-the-man-marbles” movies will be required as pay-back.

“The Notebook” (old and young Allie and Noah)||source: jackiefelger.blogspot.com||Google Image

“When Allie questions Noah about when she won’t be able to remember anything anymore, he reassures her that he will never leave her. She then asks him if he thinks their love for each other is strong enough to ‘take them away together.’ He states that he thinks their love could do anything. After telling each other that they love one another, they both go to sleep in Allie’s bed. The next morning, a nurse finds them in bed together, having both died in each other’s arms.”— (The Notebook) Wikipedia

As I collapsed into WW’s arms (as I do every time I see The Notebook), sobbing about the sacrificial love of Allie and Noah being “just like our love, Honey”—as rivers of snot dripped unapologetically down my husband’s arm while he comforted me—I heard him mutter a resolution under his breath that sent chills down my spine.   “Okay, I’ve had it up to here with vagina dialogues.  I know I’m a Renaissance man, but there’s only so much even I can take.   We’re going to the movies next weekend, and I get to choose what we see.  We’ll start with the Avengers in the IMAX Theater in 3-D with 12,000 watts of sound!  When we’re finished, we’ll grab some quick sustenance from Five Guys (two bacon cheeseburgers with everything and a large bag of greasy fries) and then back to the movie theater to see Battleship!  Yes siree, you betcha—a day of testosterone without an estrogen tear in sight.  And while I’m on a roll, I may pop in the latest Mission Impossible DVD when we get back home to cap off the day in an action-packed surround-sound coma.  Julia, Bette, and Nicholas, I am alpha male—hear me roar!”

******

I can’t say I remembered much of The Avengers except for the excellent “eye candy” of all those amazing male bodies, because the sensory overload made me so incredibly dizzy, I got sick to my stomach.  I am one of the few people in the world who just doesn’t get the joke about 3-D.  At one point, I had to doze off just to survive it all, and that is when art began to imitate life and The Avengers movie morphed into a courtroom scene with the Devil as the plaintiff and me as the judge.

The Avengers Movie Poster||produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures||Wikipedia Image

BAILIFF:  All rise. Hear ye, hear ye, the Celestial Court for the District of Mankind is in session—the Honorable Judge EeTe presiding. All having business before this honorable court draw near, give attention, and you shall be heard. You may be seated.

JUDGE EeTe:  Well, hello, “Lucy”—long time, no see.  What part of the Earth have you been roaming about, and what people group have you been trying to devour as of late?

LUCY:  My name is Lucifer to you, Judge.  I don’t utilize nicknames—you know that.  It’s not becoming to my stature.  How would you like it if I called you, “Ellie,” Judge EeTe?

JUDGE EeTe:  You can call me anything you want, sorry-ass devil; it will only diminish me if I answer to it. And I sho-nuff don’t answer to you. You and I settled that argument long ago when I rendered the “N” word powerless over me, and my addictions null and void.  So, what brings you to my neck of the woods, Beelzebub (a.k.a. Luuu-ccy)?

LUCY:  Again:  MY NAME IS LU-CI-FER!  Don’t make me lose my cool or you’ll regret it.  Now for the matter at hand:  I’ve come to file a law suit against The Avengers for tarnishing my brand and for theft of intellectual property.

JUDGE EeTe:  Really, now!  Well, first of all, you have no authority here, so you better not lose anything—let alone your temper.  I am in charge in this courtroom.  Second of all, who do you think you are–the Incredible Hulk? Ha!

Source: Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner & The Hulk in The Avengers|Marvel Comics||screenrant.com

LUCY:  Listen—don’t fuck with my name or my game, because if you go “there,” then I’ll go all “N” word kamikaze on you here.  Are you feelin’ me, Shortee?

JUDGE EeTe:  Oh, my God, you’re a hoot!  Once again, Lucy, your threats are not an issue since my real name is “Awesome Woman, Child of God”—that is the only name I recognize and the only name I respond to with any sort of passion or identity.  The rest is like water on a duck’s back to me.  But since we’re on the subject of identity, why do you look like Newt Gingrich?  That’s an odd persona to assume, especially if you’re trying to appeal to my good graces—not!  I know that the writer, Nelson DeMille, once said that “somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face,” but Luce, this is a bit much.  If you want to get to me, “Wormwood,” why didn’t you appear as Nick Fury from The Avengers, ‘cause this Big Mama sure could tap that on any given day.  You hear what I’m sayin’, Beelzie?

“Nick Fury” (Samuel L. Jackson)|The Avengers||photo from goodgirlsgonegeek.com

Devil “posing” as Newt Gingrich||Source: littlegreenfootballs.com

LUCY:  Ugh!  Because I had to appear in some sort of human casing, so I chose the human skin of a heart that most resembles mine.  That old bastard had me possessing his sorry ass with the first five words of one of his quotes awhile back:  I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.”  As soon as Newt said those quotes among all the other idiotic words dripping with buckets of hubris from my realm, I said to Siri:  “Siri, make a note: ‘Newt is my kind of guy!  Next time I appear in the US, remind me to assume Newt’s persona.’”  So, here I am, Biotch, I’m Newt and I’m proud!  Are you going to hear my case or not?

JUDGE EeTe:  Knock yourself out, “wanna-be Newt,” but you might want to keep it short.  I’m expecting Jesus to show up any minute, because where I am he’s not far behind, and you really can’t hold your own against that force.

LUCY:  Oh, good grief!  Fine!  I’ve come to get my due.  According to your own Gallup poll, up to 70% of Americans who “believe in God” think I exist, but only 22% of those who said religion is “not very” important said they believe in me.  And yet, you humans have been butchering my rep (believers and non-believers alike) since time immemorial.   You either ignore my existence (the Jews don’t have any overt concept of a “devil”—how is that possible given the “evil” that came against them in the middle of the last century?), or the Muslims and the Christians label each other as me just to win the argument or war du jour.  How demeaning is that?  And your storytellers either make me a punch line as in the movie, Bedazzled, or I get an offstage role as “The Other” in The Avengers.

I get third billing, for Christ’s sake.  I’m not Satan, not The Devil, not Beelzebub, not Lucifer, not the “snake in the garden,” and not even Goethe’s Mephistopheles which I can somewhat tolerate—but I’m “The Other” in the movie.   And to add insult to injury, that damn “Other,”—what little glimpse I got of him in the last frame of the film—is ugly as sin and loses the war to subjugate all of Earth.

I’m telling you “Ellie”  (you see, two can play this game), the only Faustian movie that ever did me justice was The Devil’s Advocate.  Now that was a role to sink one’s teeth into.  Didn’t Al Pacino do some representin’?  Al was a spitting image of me, if I do say so myself.  That said I want to bring a lawsuit against The Avengers to recoup monies owed for compromising my brand.  There, is that succinct enough for you?

Asgardian Loki (servant of “The Other”) who wants to take over Earth but meets his demise at the hands of The Avengers||Pinterest|9gag.com

JUDGE EeTe:  “Sneaky-snake,” you could use an anger management program, you know that?  And you do know The Avengers aren’t real, right?  It’s just macho Marvel Comic crap with a bunch of guys punching each other out and a couple buxom women thrown into the mix as “eye candy” in skin tight flight/fight suits.

LUCY:  I don’t give a flying fuck!  I demand that they pay me a cut of the $441.8 million that Disney says they are going to make on this film with a public disclaimer that “The Other” is not me, the Devil.   It’s actually Marvel Comic’s super-villain Thanos, and he’s such a freakin’ loser!   Did you see that creepy smile he gave the audience at the very end (if you blinked, you missed it) intimating that he’d return to fight another day.  That’s my fucking M.O.  I’m telling you now; The Avengers either better pay up or have hell to pay from me!

East 9th Street in Judge EeTe’s home town (Cleveland, Ohio) used as double for New York’s 42nd street for scenes of final battle between The Avengers, the Asgardian Loki, and the Chitauri army ||Wikipedia image

******

I woke up when Loki (the bad guy) came crashing to the ground, and I had the oddest feeling that the underlying premise of The Avengers might make an intriguing blog topic, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on the pulse of why it would, due to a massive headache from the blaring speakers.  As WW and I left the theater, we ventured into our usual “Siskel and Ebert” banter:

WW:  So, did you like the movie?  How many thumbs up would you give it?

Me:  Heh?  I’ve lost my hearing from the wall of sound.  What did you say?

WW:  Did you like the 3-D features?

ME:  What?  Do I want any feeding?  No, I’m a little nauseous from that 3-D dive Iron Man took from the top of Stark Towers.  I sure loved the men in tights, though.  Hubba-hubba!  I wouldn’t kick any of that “eye candy” out of my bed—that’s for sure.  I’ve always said that if the Devil could ever tempt me into committing adultery, WW, it would have to be no one less than an action figure, super hero.  Ha!  You better be glad they’re fictional characters, Babe, or you’d have a situation to defuse.  So, do you want to go to Five Guys before seeing Battleship?

WW:  No . . . on second thought, let’s skip lunch and go home and work out (suddenly, I’m feeling rather out of shape).   You also need to figure out what type of blog you can write about this movie that is a bit more “mature” and substantial than the chiseled bods of Captain America, Thor, and Nick Fury.  There was more to this movie than the “punching” for me and the “eye candy” for my scandalous wife.

Captain America and Tony Stark [Iron Man]||Photo: Zade Rosenthal/Disney – AP

“There’s a thunder god, there’s a green “id” giant rage monster, there’s Captain America from the 40s, there’s Tony Stark who definitely doesn’t get along with anybody. Ultimately these people don’t belong together and the whole movie is about finding yourself from community. And finding that you not only belong together but you need each other, very much. Obviously this will be expressed through punching but it will be the heart of the film.”—Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers, about the film.  Wikipedia

***

I am discovering that whether one believes there is an “actual” devil or not, we all can agree that mankind has the heart-stopping ability to bring about Hell on Earth through the choices we make via our free will, and they can be so cataclysmic and devastating that—devil or no devil—those choices plunge us into a searing (sometimes inescapable) Hell.  As corny as it may sound, sacrificial love does seem to be the answer and a coming together in community—family—does seem to be one of the weapons in the arsenal to defeat evil of all kinds.  It’s a little hard to harm your neighbor (as in all people) if you love them like yourself.

Which comes first—do you know?  Is it the forceful nature of our free will that chooses hatred over love, greed over sharing, murdering over nurturing, self-righteousness over humility, bullying over grace, and resentment over forgiveness that collectively energizes evil and thus culminates in a satanic presence like storm clouds gathering into a catastrophic tornado?  Or is it an evil entity that churns in our midst or just beyond the veil, manipulating our every need or want, and turning our demands into an addiction that motivates humans to choose against our better selves and our communal best, causing a tsunami of suffering on the entire Earth from Botswana to Siberia?  Does the devil make us do it or does what we do make the devil?

“If the devil does not exist, and man has therefore created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 “It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.” Helen Keller

 “No matter how an individual views Satan, whether they believe that he is a real character or that he is just the product of literary scholars and imaginations, no one can deny that each one of us has an aspect of the devil within us. By studying the character and nature of Satan, we learn about ourselves; and the more we know about ourselves, the better we can fight our own personal demons—metaphorical or otherwise—in order to create a better tomorrow.” ― Nwaocha Ogechukwu

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 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Big Mama Speaks

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  In quite a few instances and among people who should know better, we Americans are getting to a place in our culture where we’re demonstrating that we don’t have the sense we were born with.  On any given day, I go from one news stream to another with a mortified expression that says:  “Are you shittin’ me; is anybody sane paying attention to what is going on around here?”

In the meantime, I’ve been wondering whether I should get a part-time job to help build up my “mad money” fund, and after mulling over some weird jobs like calf catcher, watermelon thrower, and Chuck E. Cheese dresser upper, it dawned on me:  become a paid advice columnist.  Why not?  Maybe I can help one of the jokers who is screwing up so badly.  It certainly can’t hurt.  So I’m trying out my first column online (“Big Mama Speaks”), and everyone who writes to me for my advice ($9.99 per question) will get a relevant picture to hang in their office or home, or to imprint on a T-shirt, as an incentive to do the right thing.

MITT ROMNEY

Quotes by Mitt/Google Image

”I’m not concerned about the very poor.”

“Corporations are people, my friend.”

“I like being able to fire people.”

LAS VEGAS — Real estate mogul Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Thursday in a joint appearance — both theatrical and awkward — at a hotel Trump named after himself.—Philip Rucker, David A. Fahrenthold, and Amy Gardner (The Washington Post)

******

Dear Big Mama: 

I’m writing to see if you can help get me out of the mess I’ve created for myself with the 46.2 million poor people in this country.  I will readily admit that my words got all twisted around by my silver-tongued cluelessness, and now everybody’s got their knickers in a wad.  Apparently, 11 million of those poor people are African-American (who knew?), and I thought since you are black and used to be poor, maybe you could help me untangle the mess I’ve gotten myself into.—Regards, “Willard” 

Dear Mitt:

Oh, baby, you in more of a tangled mess than you can ever imagine.  I’m so glad you came to Big Mama for advice, ‘cause I got just the cure for you.  But first I need you to do something for me, Honey.  You need to repent about stashing all that money in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and those other off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes.  It just don’t look right, Suga’, for you to be payin’ only 14% in taxes when Big Mama had to pay 18% this year.  I’m doing my part.  You need to contribute your fair share and lead by example if you want to be our next president.  Secondly, why the hell did you let The Donald get anywhere within a 1,000 mile radius of you and your beautiful wife?  Are you meshugenah?  That’s the creepy gambling mogul whose raison d’etre is to self-promote and tell people:  “You’re fired!”  (Is that why you went to “kiss The Donald’s ring” in Las Vegas because you two both like firing people?)   This slime-ball is also a “Birther,” and I know you ain’t trying to get Big Mama’s advice if you’re down with that stupid shit—‘cause I don’t play that.   And poor, poor Ann—she looked as if she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her right then and there having to kowtow to that egomaniacal sleaze ball. 

Big Mama’s advice:  You need to show some empathy to the hurting peeps, my man, and you can’t show what you don’t have.  You’re too much of a “Richie Rich.”

Richie Rich (Harvey Comics)/Wikipedia

My advice is to get thee to a ghetto (we have plenty—any one of them will do), and for the rest of your campaign try to live with your wife and children on the 2011 poverty level of $22,350.  That ought to straighten out your heart and your words.  In the meantime, I’d like to give you this picture to paint on the side of your campaign bus so that people far and wide can see you’ve become aware of your uncanny ability to entangle yourself in insensitive verbal messes, but that you’re working on setting yourself free.  Oh, and don’t sing, Suga’.

NEWT GINGRICH

There’s something about Gingrich that acts as a repellant to women, like the electoral opposite of Axe body spray. As the Associated Press put it in analyzing the results of the Florida primary, “Some of the data from Tuesday’s exit poll suggested women’s votes were influenced more by a personal distaste for Gingrich than by liking Romney.”—Libby Copeland (Slate)

What women see when they look at Newt

Fat Mama:  Not that I need your advice or anything, but I thought I could get you to contribute as an unpaid “historian” to my campaign.   What do women dislike about me?  Why aren’t they supporting me as a candidate to become president?  I’ve had plenty of experience with women, but apparently they are not flocking to me as voters like they did as lovers.  I can’t imagine what it could be?  Personally, I don’t think you’re smart enough to advise me on this issue, but my campaign managers thought it might be a good idea to drop you a line and get your perspective as an African-American “woman-on-the-street” kind of thing, since I’m not getting any votes from the sistas—period.   Understand that I know all there is to know about this subject and all subjects, but I am somewhat open to a little input if it gives me a bump in the polls with women.  If you tell anyone I sought your advice I’ll call you a consummate liar.—Newt (President Gingrich to you)

Dear Newt:

Where do I begin—where do I begin?  White women can’t abide you because they know a washed up blob of a “player” when they see one.  Black women wouldn’t go near your ass because we can smell a racist a mile away.  Everybody else sees you as one of the most arrogant SOBs that has ever graced the political stage.  The author, Stephen D. Foster, Jr., has a seemingly endless list of some of your most egregious quotes, and I can see why even your own political party has become hysterical in sounding the alarm against you.

  • “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.” ~Newt Gingrich, talking about his first wife after divorcing her.
  • “It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.” ~Newt Gingrich, saying we should do as he says, regardless of what he actually does.
  •  “I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.” ~Newt Gingrich, blowing his own horn.
  • “I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, and loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words.” ~Newt Gingrich, advocating for hateful rhetoric and smearing opponents with lies.

Big Mama’s advice:  Newt—just stop talking.  No good can come of it—ever.   You don’t just have a problem with sane-thinking women; you have a problem with decent human beings everywhere.  I know you thought winning South Carolina meant you were “all that,” but South Carolinians are crazy and they are not representative of the norm—Praise God!  You see, here’s the problem.  You look in the mirror and see Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while any sane man or woman sees you as Brain in Pinky and the Brain.

Pinky and the Brain/Warner Bros.||Google image

Newt, you’re a hot mess, boy.  I don’t say this often to people, but you need to repent, child.  Get thee to a monastery that has a vow of silence, and don’t come out until you’re no longer under the illusion that you should be “king of the world.”  I suggest you download the enclosed print and press it onto a hairshirt to take with you to the monastery.  It’s a reminder that in your mind you think you can, but you really can’t.

BISHOP EDDIE LONG

Megachurch leader Eddie Long is making waves once again after a video being circulated on the Web shows him being crowned “king” in an elaborate ceremony, the Associated Press reports. Other religious leaders have called the video “repulsive” and “inappropriate.” Melissa Bell (Blog Post) The Washington Post

Christianity’s “new king”—Eddie Long/Google Image

Dearest Big Mama:

As you may have heard, I was wrapped in a genuine “Holocaust Torah” (it may still have the dust of Auschwitz and Birkenau on it!) and crowned a king by a very famous Messianic preacher recently, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel about life.  All the lies of the haters have fallen at my feet, and I’ve trampled them into the dust.  Four of my elders lifted me up in the air on my new throne and paraded me before my congregation just like the kings of old while the congregation joyously applauded my coronation.  I can still hear Rabbi Ralph Messer shouting:  “He is a king. God’s blessed him. He’s a humble man, but in him is kingship, royalty.”  I feel on top of the world.  Thank you Jeeesus!  I am livin’ large, and as the song says, “I’m feelin’ good.”  I’m writing to you because I hear you’re quite the prayer warrior, and I need just a “little bit of help” getting my wife back and the congregation returned to its full attendance of 25,000.  I need their money.  God has a magnificent plan for me, and the devil is not going to rob me of my destiny now that I’m a king.  Glory be to God!

Dear Bishop Pastor King Eddie:

Repeat after me—“I have been accused of the following sins:  sexual misconduct with four students from my academy, an affair with Centino Kemp who has my name tattooed on his wrist with the words, ‘Never a Mistake, Always a Lesson.’  I settled out of court for an undisclosed sum to all five accusers.  As a preacher of the ‘prosperity doctrine,’ I admit I have been living an ostentatious lifestyle and ignoring my WWJD bracelet, because I own a $350,000 Bentley, a $1.4 million house, a private jet, and on any given Sunday my wrists and fingers drip with bodacious diamonds and gold.  My first wife left me years ago after accusations against me that she was the victim of ‘cruel treatment’ and a ‘violent and vicious temper.’  My second wife, the First Lady Vanessa, is divorcing me because she says our marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’ and there is ‘no hope of reconciliation.’  I am a blatant homophobe and have engaged in hypocritical anti-gay rhetoric.  I have yet to publicly repent for any of these actions that fly in the face of the teachings of Jesus, whom I say I represent.  And now I have pissed off every Jew in every corner of the world and scandalized every Christian who is worth their salt.” 

Big Mama’s advice:  OH MY GOD!  What were you thinking?  Eddie, every black person in the world intuitively knows that “God don’t like ugly,” and one doesn’t EVER trivialize the Holocaust.  Your ass is grass, mofo.  I’d suggest you download this print and hang it in your church office in the hope that you would ask the world’s forgiveness (especially the Jews) for perpetrating a false representation of Judaism and Christianity, but I doubt you’d do that.  You’d have to acquire some common sense at the very least and a soul at the very best.

itsirrational.com

I am discovering that in the end, we can’t control the actions of fools.  They don’t really ask our advice, and they wouldn’t take it if we gave it to them wrapped up in $100 bills.   And YET most of them are trying to tell us how to live our lives even though deep down inside they can barely tolerate us, and so often they are living a lie!  (You can tell whether people—from politicians to preachers—genuinely care about your welfare or whether they are just “fronting.”)  I’ve been there—done that—and I don’t allow them any influence in my life anymore!

I almost lost the brilliance of who I was meant to be because I marched to the beat of a drummer that had nothing to do with the God who made me or his instructions about how I should live.   So I’ve sent pink slips to ersatz friends who didn’t have my back when I needed them and responded with nonchalance at best and judgment at the very worst.  I’ve walked out of churches and organizations that were a waste of my time because they were rife with intolerance and manipulation and staying in their midst would have meant the destruction of my soul, my mind, and my ability to love those who were different than I.  Dancing to the beat of their goose-stepping drums would have meant that I landed on the wrong side of history on so many issues near and dear to my heart.  I would have regretted that decision for the rest of my life.  I’m so glad I woke up.

So for the rest of my remaining days—be they one year or thirty, “I’m movin’ on down the road,” dancing to the beat of my own drummer and wearing my two-sided t-shirt that proclaims to the world:  “I’m gonna do me, baby!”

Front of Big Mama’s T-shirt

memegenerator.net

Back of Big Mama’s T-shirt

“Big Mama Speaks” column to be continued. . .

Thanks pinterest.com (and Baby-girl) for curing my writer’s block this week

All photos from pinterest.com except where otherwise noted

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 February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Taking a Short Break Because My Head Is About to Explode

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  My nerves are shot, and I’m about to turn into one “angry black woman”!  It’s only the third week in January, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through to the end of February, let alone the rest of the year.  I entered 2012 with a sinus infection so debilitating that it almost had me singing with Jesus before my allotted time on Earth was up.  Then some perverted excuse of a Republican Congressman said the FLOTUS had a fat ass (“Oh no, he didn’t!”) . . .

Republican lawmaker Jim Sensenbrenner (Google Image)

The lawmaker appears to have made two separate comments about the first lady’s derriere, both connected with his appearance at a church’s Christmas bazaar in Hartford, Wis.  Roland Martin Reports

. . .and a stadium full of South Carolinians at the Republican debate (home of the Bible Belt) turned into a cat-calling, standing ovation, KKK rally when minorities and the poor in general were maligned by Newt “for truly I am God” Gingrich as he adamantly refused to apologize for his insensitivity at best and his downright racism at worst.  But just as I was trying to squeeze the sadness out of my heart that there are too many people in my beloved country who would love to see me back in the maid’s uniform of my mother having graduated first in my class from Newt’s “Janitorial Prep School,” when someone sent me a YouTube clip I had missed of the Grand Poobah’s 2012 predictions.

Pat Robertson (The Grand Poobah)/Google Image

“Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. A house divided cannot stand. Your president holds a radical view of the direction of your country which is at odds with the majority. Expect chaos and paralysis….” Pat Robertson

Oh, crap!  Not the apocalypse on top of everything else!  I was so flummoxed that I sent my husband (WW) a frantic text message:

“Babe, come home. Robertson declaring murder, mayhem, & chaos for 2012!  UR 60th birthday is next week.  Should we continue 2 celebrate life or should we run 2 the hills?  Should we start stockpiling guns and food while we wait for the Rapture?  Oy—who knew I’d live 2 see the day a black man could be so powerful that he’d be both the President of the United States and the Anti-Christ?  HELP!”

Text from WW:  “No worries, Cutie.  The Poobah doesn’t own our joy—we do!   I choose 2 celebrate life and enjoy it to the fullest come what may.  Let’s go get a joy transfusion for my birthday.”

Before slipping away for our rendezvous with joy, WW and I went to the movies.  Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton’s Joyful Noise was just what the doctor ordered.  Most music has a way of soothing the soul, but there ain’t nothin’ like gospel music to start the feet a tappin’, hands a clappin’, and voices a beltin’ out the tunes that make the heart become merry and cause one to forget his or her troubles.  (Don’t believe the bad reviews—of course, Joyful Noise is hokey and the story implausible—but the music outshines the storyline and lifts the spirit, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, non-Christian, religious, non-religious, or an alien from outer space, you’ll be dancing a jig through the mall back to your car smiling at everyone you meet.)

So WW and I are blowin’ this Popsicle stand for a quiet infusion of joy.  We’ll be back next week—same time, same place with a full report of the good times had by all.  If you should bump into this week’s crazies, give them a message for me:

“Fuhget you, Gingrich and Sensenbrenner, and fuhget you too Robertson.”

Joyful Noise Movie Trailer/Google Image

“I’ll sue any publicist that uses this as a money quote, but the fan in me felt a giddy, guilty pleasure watching Joyful Noise.  Please, don’t let this get around!”  Richard Corliss/Time Entertainment

Author

In 1988 Pat Robertson said God told him that he would be president.  He didn’t even become the Republican nominee.

In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in October or November 1982. In a May 1980 broadcast of The 700 Club he stated, “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” Wikipedia

In 1405 BC God said: “You may be wondering among yourselves, ‘How can we tell the difference, whether it was God who spoke or not?’ Here’s how: If what the prophet spoke in God’s name doesn’t happen, then obviously God wasn’t behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him.” Deuteronomy 18:22—The Message Bible

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.

 
26 Comments

Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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