Tag Archives: tea party


I have repurposed a post I wrote a few years ago for the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  The humanity, sacrifice, and love celebrated in this post really stuck with me, and I have rewritten and updated it with new cartoons in the hopes that the subject matter will strike a deep chord within all our hearts as we celebrate the 87th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Do you know what I discovered about Martin Luther King Day in 2016?  What he said in his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 was prophetic, but we’ve stopped listening and remembering since then.  We’ve forgotten or chose to ignore what it is we ALL need to do to keep the dream alive—thus the nightmare is recurring.

Racial Justice Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

There is no such thing as a “post-racial America.”  This lie was started by a group of people who didn’t want to deal with the issues of race.  One can’t have 200 years of caustic, brutal slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow segregation resulting in abject poverty, ignorance, and want, and think that all it takes is the election of a half-Black president and racism will be banished. Whether it is the racist screed coming out of the GOP or Black on Black crime, it’s as if most of us have forgotten the sacrifices made to eradicate racism in our country.  All we have to do is listen (and watch) the front runner of the Republican candidate running for President, as he unleashes his dogs on the Black Lives Matter demonstrators who are protesting the murder by the police of a twelve-year-old Black kid playing with a toy gun in a park, along with the countless stories of other unarmed young Black men being gunned down by policemen, and you know that justice for Black people is the furthest thing from Trump’s mind and heart.

Trump Black Lives Matter Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

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

And where did all these angry White men and their Tea Party hags come from?  Their rage has blinded them, stopped up their ears, and shriveled their hearts.  (I personally know a couple of them, and all their loss of income, health issues, and disappointment with their children’s lives they now blame on our President and a political party that has not given them what they think they deserve by divine issue.)  They cling to their guns while spouting Bible verses taken out of context, and both Jesus and Martin Luther King are weeping—of this I am sure.

MLK Angrywhitemenistan Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

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

I watched people I once knew and loved from the 70s—who said they loved me—go to bed one night wearing Hippie dresses and spouting Born-Again Christian philosophies of love and tolerance, and wake up on the morning of the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008 spouting racism, fear, and hatred.  (It’s as if I never knew these people—never broke bread with them—never shared the vision of seeking the grace of God toward all men and women with them.)  I watched their eye balls rolling, their mouths frothing, and their heads spinning on their necks in anger at the thought of the White House turning Black.   Dr. King may have had a dream that paved the way for our first Black president, but he didn’t tell us about the nightmare of the raw hatred, obstructionism, and horrid disrespect that would assail both his terms in office.  It doesn’t matter what this President does—it will never be good enough for most of the GOP (there are always a few exceptions to the rule—thank God), and if we are being honest, the major bone of contention is his race.

President Obama Haters Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

I have tried to calmly, but urgently, address the racism, xenophobia, and homophobia with the “friends” I no longer have (influence who you know), but to do so only hardened their hearts, and increased their negativity toward our President even more.  It is as if they forgot the history of the Jim Crow and the McCarthy eras and were dooming themselves to repeat them.  I was bordering on despair until I meditated one morning on our civil rights history and remembered that there have always been angry White people, but there were also those righteous White Americans who fought alongside Black Americans to bring about Martin’s dream.  In most cases, they lost their lives to do so.  I especially remembered James Zwerg who lived to tell his story and should be seventy-six-years old now.

James Zwerg

James Zwerg in 1961 after being beaten by a racist mob in Montgomery, Alabama during a Freedom Ride/Courtesy of Wikipedia


James Zwerg was the White college student from Wisconsin who’d been raised in a really tight-knit Christian family, and he eventually became a Freedom Rider (civil rights activists who rode interstate buses to force the South to obey Federal Law banning segregation on public transportation).  He became a Freedom Rider after seeing his black roommate treated with contempt at Beloit College in Wisconsin.  James volunteered to be an exchange student to an all-black college in the South (Fisk University) for a semester so he could get a taste of what it felt like to be a minority.

When James went to Fisk he made a decision to join the Freedom Riders from Nashville to Alabama.   James said the morning they set off, he read Psalm 27 over and over again as he prayed that God would give him courage and forgiveness for his attackers.  He prayed that the Lord would keep him from striking back if and when he got attacked by the white racist mobs, who considered white Freedom Riders as traitors and deserving of death.  The first line of the Psalm he read was, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?’ and the final line that James read was, ‘Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me.’

James was severely beaten along with the other freedom riders by the racists who stopped their bus. When the picture of James’ pulverized body appeared in the local newspaper, his parents never forgave him because they felt, as James’ father so articulately stated: ‘Those damn niggers used you.’


I remember reading that the parents’ relationship with James Zwerg was never restored even when he tried to explain that he was simply living Christ’s love as they had taught him to do.  He was beaten so badly that his teeth were shattered, his vertebrae were broken, he suffered from PTSD, he drowned his sorrows in alcohol for a season, he tried to commit suicide at least once, and he ended up in therapy for months.  As I meditated on the sacrifice that Pastor Zwerg made for me and mine, I momentarily forgot the hatefulness of some of the White people I have known in my life as the scripture rang through my head:  “Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his brother!”

And then the roll call of other Whites who stood brave and tall against the racist order of the day came to mind, and I sat for a moment of silence to thank them for laying down their lives so my children and grandchildren might live Dr. King’s dream:

Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo, ethnicity:  white.  Viola was a mother of three children from Detroit and was murdered by Ku Klux Klan members after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama.  The last words she said to her husband were that the civil rights struggle: “was everybody’s fight.” (Wikipedia)

Michael Henry Schwerner, ethnicity:  Jewish.  Michael was one of three Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan in response to their civil rights work. (Wikipedia)

Andrew Goodman, ethnicity:  Jewish.  Andrew was one of three American civil rights activists murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer in 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. (Wikipedia)

Paul Guihard, ethnicity:  white.  Paul was a reporter for a French news service and was killed by gunfire from a white mob during protests over the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

William Lewis Moore, ethnicity:  white.  William was a postman from Baltimore, and he was shot and killed during a one-man march against segregation. Moore had planned to deliver a letter to the governor of Mississippi urging an end to intolerance. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Rev. Bruce Klunder, ethnicity:  white.  Rev. Klunder was among civil rights activists who protested the building of a segregated school in Cleveland, Ohio by placing their bodies in the way of construction equipment. Klunder was crushed to death when a bulldozer backed over him. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Rev. James Reeb, ethnicity:  white.  Rev. Reeb was a Unitarian minister from Boston, and was among many white clergymen who joined the Selma marchers after the attack by state troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Reeb was beaten to death by white men while he walked down a Selma street. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Jonathan Myrick Daniels, ethnicity:  white.  Jonathan was an Episcopal Seminary student in Boston, and he had come to Alabama to help with black voter registration in Lowndes County. He was arrested at a demonstration, jailed in Hayneville and then suddenly released. Moments after his release, he was shot to death by a deputy sheriff. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer, ethnicity:  white.  Vernon was a wealthy businessman who offered to pay poll taxes for those who couldn’t afford the fee required to vote. The night after a radio station broadcasted Dahmer’s offer, his home was firebombed. Dahmer died later from severe burns.

After all was remembered and gratefully acknowledged, I got up off my knees and turned to face the new day with peace in my heart, knowing that the hatred I see in 2016 will not win the day because there will always be people of all ethnicities who have courage enough to fight for the freedom needed so that everyone, of every color, creed, and gender, can live the dream.

I have a dream Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission:  Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch



I am discovering that “we the people” have an ongoing, ever vigilant job to embrace that dream afresh, if we are to erase the virulent infection (and reinfection) of racism from our hearts and our country.  We must never forget the corrosive stain of slavery on our nation’s psyche.  Our white children should be reminded, not so that we hold the sins of the parents over the heads of their children who are not to blame, but to serve as a beacon of light so that they don’t repeat that history again.  We must not let our black children forget so that they don’t take for granted the freedom and liberties that have been won for them by the blood of others—both black and white.  But it can’t be done if we are too afraid to talk about racial issues that still swirl like roaches in and around our churches, mosques, synagogues, homes, businesses, and legislative hallways.  We do not live in a post-racial era.  That’s called Heaven.  As long as there are imperfect people with access to free will, we will consciously and unconsciously fall over the racial tripwires of each other’s history, and the only way to become righteously untangled is with the scissors of love, forgiveness, and grace.


“James Zwerg remains a devoted loving Christian to this day and what is most important to him is love. ‘I think the thing I would add is love is still the most powerful force in the universe. Hatred will never beat it. Violence will never beat it.’”—Wikipedia

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.”Helen Keller

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”Toni Morrison

“And yet words on a parchment [the Constitution—parenthesis mine] would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part — through protests and struggles, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk — to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.”Presidential Candidate Barack Obama





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 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Zombie Apocalypse (“Encore”)

(This Halloween post is a modified recap of a story from two years ago with updated cartoons and fresh information.  My fears are still the same—having my brains sucked out by Zombies—but I’ve become more intelligent about how to flush them into the light before they scare me to death.  Enjoy!)

Do you know what I discovered this week?   There is something to fear that will destroy you every damn day!  This week it is bacon, pastrami, and a nice juicy med-rare steak or a delicious hamburger.  Apparently, we are all going to get colon cancer and die if we don’t cut these foods from our diets, and I say:  Go to Hell, you fear mongers!  I’ve already had to give up bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, popcorn, cheese, hot peppers, eggs, and butter.  If anyone tries to come after my Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, you are doing down, Mofos!

Halloween FB Bacon Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission:  Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons

I’ve dealt with enough monsters in my journey on this Earth that I’ve learned how to kick their butts and live to see another day.  (Check out Monsters’ Throwdown* and Fleeing Oz* if you want to read about me in kung fu action against the terrors in my life.)  In fact, after what I’ve been through in life, I have a theory that all fear is simply one thing (or stems from one entity, great and small)—evil—and it reinvents itself and morphs into something else when it can no longer scare the recipient.  (“Maybe this time, by jove, I’ll scare the bejesus out of her, and if not, I’ll have to figure out another ‘BOO’ . . .” )  This Halloween, I’m only afraid of Zombies, but Zombies can encompass many things, which I’ll get to later.

I read recently that scientists equate fear with conditioning, environment, and lack of knowledge.  What scares some people doesn’t necessarily scare others—it depends on how they have been conditioned to interact with that fear.  There is an unethical case study known as the “Little Albert Experiment,” which took place in the early 1900s at Johns Hopkins Hospital by one of their doctors.  The doctor took a nine-month-old baby from the nursery (his mother was reported to be a wet nurse employed by the hospital and afraid to interfere on behalf of her son) and introduced him to “. . . a white rabbit, a rat, a dog, a monkey, masks (with and without hair), cotton, wool, burning newspapers, and other stimuli,” according to Wikipedia.  In the beginning, the baby showed no fear.  In fact, when everything was taken away except a white lab rat, the baby played with it endlessly—stroking its fur and giggling with delight when the rat appeared in the room.  The baby engaged the rat without the slightest bit of hesitation or trepidation . . . until . . . dun, dun, dun . . .  the ersatz “Dr. Mengele” and his assistant introduced a loud clanging sound every time Baby Albert came in contact with the lab rat.  In a very short time, the poor baby began to fear the mere appearance of the rat because he associated his former playmate with the terrible, startling noise which scared him.  Even after the noise was extracted from the experiment,  Baby Albert would try to crawl away from the rat and start to cry.  And get this:  Baby Albert started associating anything with fur and beards as scary and something to be avoided.  Even Santa was to be feared by poor Baby Albert!

Little albert

“Little-albert” by John B Watson – Akron psychology archives. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons/Wikipedia

As I mulled over this experiment, I thought about my own current fears, and I realized that this is what has happened with me and the Tea Party.  When some of my friends became Tea Party members in 2010, I continued to play with them and enjoyed their company because they seemed rather innocuous, harmless little rats and looked rather cute in their revolutionary hats trimmed with tea bags.  But then they started to make all sorts of irrational noises and stupid, meaningless sounds, and pretty soon the sight of them made me cry and afraid to be around them.  I finally had to eradicate them from my life altogether.

Tea Party Deevolution David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Cagle

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

Since my husband and I used to be Republicans (operative words: used to be), I tried to give my friends in the Tea Party the benefit of the doubt in the early days.  But it didn’t take me long to realize that something was very wrong with them, and I figured out what it was:  They were the first manifestation of the Zombie Apocalypse!   I noticed their trademark skills of sucking out brains and eating human hearts when the likes of Palin, Bachmann, Herman Cain, Cruz, and Perry first hit the scene.   I especially stood up and took notice when some of my friends started turning into zombies.  I mean their bodies were still there, but I’d be talking to them on the phone and suddenly they’d blurt out a zombie statement in a staccato-like vocal pattern (something stupid and inane usually accredited to Fox News), and it made me cry just like Baby Albert.

By the time I figured out what was going on with my friends, they were at a point of no return—beyond the pale.  I grew up with zombies trying to mess with me, so I should have known better and seen the signs sooner—maybe I could have saved them.  But now it is too late—they have all lost their minds and are completely brain dead now (final brain suck happened in 2012 after the reelection of Barack Obama—did you not hear their screams?).  Now they are mindlessly rallying around Trump and Carson and have become full-blown zombies.

Carson John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

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

I know a lot about zombies because I met the head zombie in my basement when I was just four years old.  In my day, he was called the “Boogeyman” and he lived in cellars in the ghetto, while his counterparts lived in the graveyards.  Every poor black child knew of The Boogey’s existence, which is why no child in her right mind spent too much time below the first floor.  (None of this man-cave crap existed back in the day when I was a kid, and the thought that one day I’d own a house with a basement boasting a surround-sound home theater would have blown my little mind.)

The basement of my childhood was a dirt floor and housed the wringer-washer and the giant furnace which fed on coal that slid down a chute.  I imagined The Boogey lived behind the furnace and practiced his brain-sucking and heart-munching techniques on little kids who were unlucky enough to be sent down into the basement for punishment.  I am one of the few who ever saw him in the neighborhood and lived to tell the story.

It still gives me chills.

Boogeyman Meme

Motifake Demotivational Poster

The floor of the basement of my childhood was made of packed dirt, and it is my theory that the house had been built over a small family graveyard.  The walls were stone with rough beams in the ceiling.  There was only one light at the top of the stairs that cast shadows here, there, and everywhere, but especially against the coal chute next to where the vegetables had been canned and stored.  One night I was sent down to the basement by my guardian from Hell to fetch a jar of pickled okra.  Even though I begged and pleaded, screamed and yelled, I was still threatened within an inch of my life to do as I was told.  So I tip-toed down the steps, across the basement floor as quietly as possible, hoping The Boogey was out on his nightly rounds, and we wouldn’t run into each other.  My heart pounded so loudly that I could hardly hear myself think.  I deduced that if I was as quiet as a field mouse, I might escape the head zombie’s detection.  I think my plan would have worked too, but the furnace let out a sudden fiery red blast that scared the shit out of me, and I screamed and dropped the jar of okra which shattered all over the floor in front of me.  At that very moment something brushed across my feet, and I swear that I saw the silhouette of a monster’s reflection on the jars of vegetables.  His hands began to crawl up my legs, and faster than I could say, “Oh Lord Jesus, help the poor child,” I turned and took the basement steps in what seemed like a single bound as The Boogey’s other hand scampered over my shoulder and slid down the front of my overalls and went back into the darkness.  I didn’t stop running until I ended up in my bedroom under the covers on the second floor, and I didn’t stop screaming for an hour.  I got two beatings that night for refusing to go back down into the basement to fetch another jar of okra, but it was worth it because I know what I saw and so did my caretakers, which is why none of them went into the basement after dark—ever again!


Until this day, I can’t go into any basement—including my own—unless there are plenty of windows, and all the lights are on (and I do mean all).  I never encountered The Boogey again until the election of our first black president.  Suddenly, I started hearing of zombie uprisings bearing the name of The Tea Party who were instantly disrespectful and disruptive to our Commander in Chief (remember the Zombie that screamed out “You lie” in the middle of President Obama’s State of the Union address?).  And every time the Tea Party Zombies seemed to have been beaten back, another surge would happen and a new leader would emerge:  first Palin and Bachmann—and now Cruz, Trump, and Carson.  I can’t prove it, but I think the Boogeyman came out of hiding in the basement of my house, and he started recruiting for the Tea Party zombies which is why my friends bit the dust to the TP extremism so easily.  I don’t know whether it is because Halloween is just around the corner and we’re headed for a Zombie Apocalypse that I think I’m beginning to see them everywhere, including in the Republican presidential campaigns, but sometimes on a foggy night I think I can see them amongst the trees waiting for me—trying to get ahold of my head and heart like they did some of my friends, and I am afraid—very, very afraid!

Zombies Appear Meme knowyourmeme com

Courtesy of


I am discovering that I might be onto something with these Tea Party wingnuts being the first of the Zombie invasion.  Seeing the destruction they’ve done to our country these past eight years, the Tea Party Zombies make about as much sense as the Boogey Man did in my basement as a child.  But if you turn on enough lights to show them up for who they really are, they will actually turn out to be just rats hiding in the dark amongst the pickled okra and canned string beans.   

Anyway, all this talk about zombies is really making me feel kind of weird—so I think I’ll go and lay down and take a nap.  In the meantime, Happy Halloween to all my readers, and keep your brains and hearts safe from the zombies because the Tea Party would love to suck out your brains and eat up your heart so that you can no longer think or feel anything for your fellowman!

American Poor vs Paul Ryan Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

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


“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”—Plato

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”—H. P. Lovecraft

“Fear can be good when you’re walking past an alley at night or when you need to check the locks on your doors before you go to bed, but it’s not good when you have a goal and you’re fearful of obstacles. We often get trapped by our fears, but anyone who has had success has failed before.”—Queen Latifah

“I think zombies have always been an easy metaphor for hard times. Because they’re this big, faceless, brainless group of evil things that will work tirelessly to destroy you and think of nothing else.”—Seth Grahame-Smith





No Sleep Monster Meme

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 October 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered this weekWe Americans are some angry Mofos!  Before the pilot could announce “wheels up” on the plane carrying the Pope back to the Vatican, an enthralled America lost its “thrall” and collapsed back into its proverbial state of rage.   The Holy Father encouraged us to adopt a “spirit of cooperation” and urged “quiet acts of love” to strengthen “the great human family.”  But we are so pissed at each other we barely heard him, and we seemed to forget what he said two seconds after he said it.

Angry Country David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by Permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

We’re pissed at Congress (the House of Reps are pissed at the Senate and vice versa), we’re pissed at the President, we’re pissed at our bosses, our spouses, our children, our classmates, our churches, our neighbors, pissed at people who don’t look and talk like us, pissed at people who don’t respond to our overtures or advances, and pissed to the point of murder when we can’t get what we want, when we want it, and how we want it.

I have had my own struggles with being angry in the past (pissed at childhood abusers, duplicitous friends, horrid preachers, racist teachers, and the goddamn Tea Party), but I found a vehicle to channel my anger via my career as a writer.  (Check out my books Monsters’ Throwdown where I kicked the asses of my childhood abusers and Fleeing Oz where I took revenge on the duplicitous clergy who taught me erroneous crap about God, abused my trust, and misappropriated my tithes.)

In fact I’m feeling pretty Zen at this point in my old age, and my anger issues are limited to minor inconveniences.  Right now I am “slightly irritated” and horrified at how the Muppets have reinvented themselves from adorable puppet creatures who used to appeal to kids and adults alike into some horrid adult entertainment on ABC.  Miss Piggy is getting bikini waxes and cracking jokes about her pubic hair, Fozzie Bear is into fetishes and Grindr—I had to look that one up.  Kermit is dating a younger pig, and Zoot is an alcoholic!  Oh for God’s sake!!  Can’t Hollywood leave well enough alone?  Why do they always mess with a good thing?

New Muppets Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons

But compared to whence I’ve come, life is pretty good.  It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers.  I’m retired; I’ve moved into my dream house with my dream man, and the kids are on their own and not living in our basement (praise God, and hallelujah!).   But when I think too much about the little things that get on my nerves on a daily basis (if I’m really being honest), I do start to get miffed.  The more I ponder them, the more agitated I become.   For instance, if I owned a gun, my two computers would be blown to bits right now, and I would have assassinated my WiFi router two weeks after I moved into my new house because it keeps knocking me off the Internet every five minutes.  Nothing works as it should with my wireless network, and even though I’ve given various computer geeks hundreds of dollars, it never seems to help—they say it’s not them, and even though they fail to fix my problem time and time again, I still have to pay them.  Why?  Because there are no guarantees in the computer-fixit business.  (Ugh!)

The upstairs air conditioner gave out with a house full of company on the hottest days in my new house recently, and it needed freon, a new coil, and a thingamabob, which was fine at first because I have a home warranty . . . except come to find out it only covers 1/10th of the things that can go wrong with a house that is a money pit:  if your door bell stops functioning (for example), tough titty!  (Then there are the repairmen who say they are going to show up for weeks at a time, but are no-shows, because this is a little town in the South—yep, it is a good thing I don’t own a gun.)

And don’t get me started on the moles and the voles who have invaded my property—last count, 42 moles and 500 voles.  I went to bed one night with green grass and woke up the next morning with a completely dead lawn—as in totally brown with plants that looked as if something had sucked the life out of them and turned them into zombie plants. Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars trying to eradicate my arch nemeses without killing my neighbor’s cat, the various cute little bunnies romping across my dead lawn, or the myriad birds eating the earthworms that the moles consider their caviar.  There are raised mounds of turf the size of armadillos all across my lawn, and there are so many mole/vole holes in my yard that it looks like Swiss cheese. My neighbors, who all have the same problem, are laughing at the new kid on the block wasting money on products that they know won’t do a damn thing to fix it.   I wish I had access to a gun.  I would shoot a million more holes into my lawn trying to eliminate these banes of my bucolic existence because, come to think of it, I am just that pissed! And knowing me, I probably would shoot my foot off in the process.

Mole meme

But wait a minute, who am I kidding, I have more anger issues than this.  I’m always pissed at the Tea Party!  God, I can’t stand those people!  They are everything that is wrong with our country, and they make no sense, whatsoever.  I have ex-friends who used to be sane and lovable who have now become insane and unlovable because they became Tea Party crazies.  Their misplaced anger makes me angry, and even though they all have guns (they love their guns), the only reason I haven’t waged more of a war of words with these Neanderthals is because I don’t own a gun, and I don’t want to go to Hell for accidentally losing control of my temper in an argument with them, grabbing one of their guns, and shutting down their stupid arguments by blasting a couple of buck shots into their asses.

Tea Party Sour Grapes Parker Florida Today

Used by Permission: Parker, Florida Today/Cagle Cartoons

See what I mean?  (I just took my blood pressure after writing that paragraph and it is 160 over 110!)  Good googily-moo! Suddenly I realized that I have more anger in me than I’m willing to admit.  If I’m really being honest, if I had had access to a gun in my younger days, there is no telling when I would have used it during my lifetime.  Probably against the man who molested me at six years old, most likely against my uncle who tried to “mess” with me when I was twelve years old, most assuredly against my longtime boyfriend who I accidentally discovered was married, and I definitely would have shot to kill the myriad number of foster parents who worked me like a slave and beat me for sport.  I would not have been mentally ill during any of those murders—I would have been mad as hell and seeking revenge!  And God have mercy on my soul, but if I had had access to a gun when one of my teenagers was acting the fool—sneaking in and out of the house at night—I might have used it out of fear when I heard the bump in the night downstairs from her sneaking back into the house.  Instead of her getting just an ear full from me, I would have been attending her funeral, and then I would have killed myself due to remorse and heartbreak.

IMHO my dear readers, this is the issue at hand in most American lives—the disease of our hearts and minds that having a gun won’t eradicate, it will only exacerbate!  Too many of us feel we can gain respect, right a wrong, avenge a hurt, end our agonizing misery, correct an abuse, steal other people’s shit, protect our own, and establish power and street cred with a gun.  We can work our butts off to change the gun laws in our country and pour money into mental health care (as we should), but until we examine the state of our own hearts and attempt to mitigate those emotions that so readily cause us to “rage against the machine,” we are all just one easy-access-to-a-gun away from committing murder.   If the bad things in life push any one of us long enough and hard enough—if we become fearful and frightened enough, and a gun is easily accessible, there’s no telling what we might do to ourselves or others.  All of us are a little bit mentally ill in that way.

Gun Violence Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle Cartoons



I am discovering that there are two types of anger:  righteous and unrighteous.  I am not angry enough about the right things—righteous anger—and neither are the majority of my fellow Americans.  We all need to get angry about the carnage that guns have caused in our communities, but instead of purchasing more guns to try and counterbalance the situation—as the NRA would have us believe we should—we need to come together in such a unified voice that our unified screams will implode the gun lobbies and the NRA.  Nothing is changing because our chicken-shit Congress (as well as Democratic senators from red states) are afraid of the gun lobbyists and the NRA because they fund our lawmakers’ campaigns.  But what if our collective anger (gun owners and non-gun owners alike) pushed Congress to deal with mental health funding, pass common sense gun laws, and modify the Second Amendment to become more relevant to this century all at the same time?  What if the 84 percent of gun owners who say they want commonsense gun laws forced Congress out of their quivering cowardice by refusing to buy another gun and refusing to hunt with a gun (take up the bow and arrow if you want to hunt)?  How about if the gun owners refused to go to gun ranges to practice, refused to vote for anyone who was against changing our gun laws, and refused to buy any more bullets for the guns we own until the laws get changed on those three fronts?  Don’t you think that would get the gun manufacturers’ attention?  If we had the slightest understanding of what Pope Francis charged America with—the “spirit of cooperation” and “quiet acts of love” to strengthen “the great human family”—gun owners would gladly lay down their “rights” in love for our nation so that their fellow Americans would have the right to live their innocent lives uninterrupted by gun violence.  (This may sound simplistic, but at least it is better than doing nothing, and better than offering some anemic prayers after the irreparable damage has been done.)

No matter how you slice it, the onus is on gun owners.  Until they have that Eureka moment of the soul, I’m afraid the slaughter will keep on happening.  I’ll keep on praying along with a lot of other good people across the country, but I don’t think our prayers will do much good.  We’ve long passed that action as a viable solution to America’s murderous gun sickness.  I wonder where the next mass shooting will take place or where the next inner-city murder of a child will occur.  I hope it isn’t anywhere near your loved ones or mine.

Terrorizing Ourselves FB John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Cartoon Used by Permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune


Gun violence is not a humorous matter, and I meant no disrespect to those who have lost their lives by gun violence.  It’s just that if I don’t find some humor in this madness to point us toward the unmitigated truth in my writing, then I will become mentally ill and shoot somebody.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and the family and friends of the slaughtered—not only in Roseburg—but across our great nation where:

153,000 people have died from gunshots since 9/11 but Congress refuses to spend money or change laws to thwart this*

Only 3,000 people have died from terrorist attacks, but we spend millions of dollars a year to keep us safe from these*

Did you know that there were approximately 310 million guns owned by Americans in 2009, but the number of people in the United States were only 307 million during the same time period?** Ergo, there are more guns than people in the US.  Sane gun owners (specifically), are you pissed off enough to do something about it besides purchasing more guns?

Gun Control Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant/Cagle Cartoons



“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”—Aristotle

“The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.”—Bede Jarrett

 “The whole gun debate needs to be infused with a discussion about manhood. It’s frustrating to hear debates about gun rights vs. gun control, and yet very few people say what’s hidden in plain sight: It’s really a contest of meanings about manhood.”—Jackson Katz

“If we don’t get gun-control laws in this country, we are full of beans. To have the National Rifle Association rule the United States is pathetic. And I agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg: It’s time to put up or shut up about gun control for both parties.”—Harvey Weinstein

“For those of us who cry out for gun control, our fears cannot be eliminated as long as the country remains an armed camp in which the most troubled among us can find ways to appropriate one of the easily available weapons in all our communities.”—Robert Dallek

 (All inspirational quotes from




*Meet the Press Statistic


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 October 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered about life this week? I don’t want to live past 89. IMHO, just like nothing good happens after midnight—nothing good happens after 89 years old either. The body takes a significant and rapid decline toward the check-out point in your 90s, and basically you’re just biding time on some slow-moving treadmill toward the exit sign. This thought process started when the heroine (my mentor) in my memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown, called me this week and said: “Hello Darling! I hope your book is selling well, because I just discovered I’m going to outlive my money. I never expected to live this long; I sure hope you can help.”   Helping my mentor in the latter stages of her life is not an issue—I owe her my life. But it got me thinking about my own journey. About how much time might be left on the clock, and if given the opportunity would I use the remaining time properly. I’ve got a couple of decades before I reach her perch.

My main problem is I am at a loss with how to navigate that Zen-like state needed to traverse the next twenty years or so. My mentor has always been able to do so with much grace (think of her as a cross between Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt). She is the definition of inner peace. But I am not there yet. From time to time, I can be like a tilt-a-whirl ride that has broken off its bearings in mid-tilt and spun off into outer space.

Inner peace

Animal Memes—

It was with these thoughts rolling around in my heart and mind (mixed with a glass of mulled wine to ward off this freakin’ cold) that I went to bed last night thinking about living a wiser life—perhaps to dream. In my dream I entered a castle in the sky with a sign over the entrance that said: “Enter here, all ye who seek inner peace.” When I came across a large reception area, I went in, sat down, and picked up a booklet entitled, “7 Highly Effective Steps to Inner Peace.” When I opened the pamphlet, there was the definition of inner peace on the left and seven steps to achieve it on the right.

“Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being ‘at peace’ is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.”Wikipedia—the Free Encyclopedia



Release anger

Face your fears/Trust God

Choose wise companions/kick to the curb those that piss you off


Let go of worry and things you can’t control/Live in the now

Cherish love

Embrace gratitude on daily basis

As I sat there trying to fully digest this information, a stunningly beautiful brown-skinned woman engulfed in a luminescent aura glided into the room and stood in front of me. Her age was nonspecific, but she looked a great deal like Lena Horne when she played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz.

Lena as Glinda the Good Witch The Wiz

Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch (The Wiz) Universal Pictures

ME:        Oh, my God, has anyone ever told you that you are a perfect doppelgänger for Glinda the Good Witch?

REST:     Yeah, I get that a lot. My name is Rest, and I’m really just your garden variety guardian angel. Why are you here? Is it to complain about the historic freeze that has engulfed your country? Because if you are, I don’t want to hear it. I am not responsible, and I’m tired of hearing you humans whine about something neither you nor I can control. My powers exist only in a limited capacity.

Praying for Snow

ME:        No, but now that you mention it—I HATE THIS WEATHER! Talk about taking away any inner peace a body could muster. I’m fucking freezing to death.

REST:     Well, look at the bright side—at least you don’t live in Boston, so let it go my friend and purchase an electric blanket! If I’ve learned anything about things you can’t control, you just have to shake ‘em off.

ME:        That’s fine for you to say. You live in Heaven—in Perfectionville. Try living on Earth sometime and see how taxing it is. We bitches be crazy, and because of that craziness, I have real issues that block my ability to garner inner peace. I want my next couple of decades to be stellar. I don’t want anything to knock me for a loop.

REST:     Okay, I’ll play along for a while. What else robs your inner peace?

ME:        Fear of the unpredictable—the unknown. Haven’t you noticed how at any moment, at any time, you can be attacked by unseen forces (viruses, bacterial infections, ISIS, Ebola, home invaders, muggers, nasty-ass ex-friends on Facebook, getting killed for walking while Black, or much, much worse)? A couple of years ago, I got parasites from eating sushi, and I had them forever before I even knew they had moved in and set up shop in my gut. It was so disgusting. By the time I realized what was going on, three generations of them had been born and established colonies. If I can get parasites without knowing it, what else can get me?

REST:     Hmm, fear of the unknown? I say shake it off! Deal with it if it comes upon you, but otherwise just ignore it. Why worry about something that you can’t see and can’t control. Poo-poo occurs baby. That’s life, and worrying about it will not keep the worms at bay. Now, you could stop eating sushi. Personally, I don’t touch the stuff because what self-respecting Black person eats raw fish?

Peace of Mind memeinternet dot com

ME:        You really aren’t helping. Are you making fun of me?

REST:     No, dear. But if you want to live the next couple of decades in inner peace with your surroundings, you must have a sense of humor. There is still so much you don’t know as a human that could kill you. Why worry about it? What else robs you of a quiet spirit?

ME:        Anxiety over the resurgence of racism in the world to such a degree that we have another Holocaust or we roll back into another Jim Crow-type era and my kids are robbed of their liberty. Anxiety over terrorism washing up on our shores again. (Did you hear about the threats against the Mall of America? That’s where one of my kid’s lives.)  And, oh, my God, our inability to let go of the worship of guns. That keeps me awake every other night. Recently, three beautiful Muslim students got assassinated in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by their neighbor, and we’re calling it everything except what the problem truly is: our obsession with guns!

Guns Chapel Hill John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Used by permission: John Cole, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Yeah, I hear you. You people really are nuts about the gun thing, aren’t you? Personally, I don’t see the fascination. And it doesn’t look like it is going to get solved anytime soon—possibly not even in your lifetime given the American proclivities.

ME:        But if it doesn’t get solved in my lifetime, then when?

REST:     Your children will have to solve it, I guess. I don’t mean yours alone, but the baby-boomers’ children in general.

ME:        That, my dear Angel of Rest is unacceptable. And don’t you dare tell me to “shake it off or let it go,” or I’ll pummel your ass. I can’t let this go. I worry about my grandson growing up in a land where guns are so prevalent. I worry about my grandson, period! I’m frightened for his future as a young Black man in a land that has incarcerated more black youths than were enslaved on Southern plantations at the beginning of the Civil War. Did you know the modern American “for profit” prison system is being called the “New Slavery?”

While I’m on the subject, I am also dealing with anger issues. I’m angry that I spent 40 plus years in a conservative wing of Christianity that has become the back-bone of the Tea Party and is the force of racism coursing through the Republican Party. I’m angry that when people make racist attacks against our President, question his faith, and question his love for our country, that so few of the politicians and ministers who claim to be “Christians” stand up against the defamation of a good man. They don’t have to agree with his policies, but that doesn’t have to underscore their racist beliefs that our President—our first Black President—is the Anti-Christ and is leading us toward Armageddon. According to them, everything—from this nationwide freeze to the Seattle Seahawks losing the Super Bowl—is Barack Obama’s fault. Sometimes I am so ashamed to be a Christian, I could just scream. In fact, I’m seriously thinking of becoming a Buddhist who loves Jesus.

Giuliani start John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton-Times Tribune, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Babe, I hope this doesn’t sound racist, but I think a Black Republican is an oxymoron. In any case, you’ve really got to tear up what that jerk Giuliani said—flush it down the toilet, and truly shake it off. Even in the angelic world we know that ol’ Rudy is just jealous (it’s eating him into oblivion) that he lost to the Black man in 2008. Rudy thought he deserved the presidency—after all, he was the only one so profoundly affected by 9-11—the rest of you were merely onlookers. The Angelic Corps often shake our heads at his irrelevance and stupidity.

Anyway, my child, I have an exercise that may help you find inner peace over the next two decades. (As to when you will actually check out for your own “Homecoming,” that is between you and God.)

Imagine that you are dying tomorrow. Of all the fears, anxieties, and worries you’ve told me about, which of them is out of your control, which of them is not a possibility of happening within the next 24 hours, which of them is something that is out of your sphere of influence and must be left to the next generation to handle, and which of them should you join with others to fight the good fight today. In all of it, embrace a spirit of gratitude, and thank the good Lord for all that you have in spite of all the Rudy Giuliani Neanderthals and ugliness in the world. May I suggest a book that might help? It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I haven’t read it myself, but I was watching Oprah the other day, and she highly recommended it for Nervous Nellies like you.

ME:        I suppose I should thank you, my Glinda the Good Witch doppelgänger. That’s good advice. Speaking of books, I’m almost finished with my second book that deals with escaping Right-wing Christianity and becoming a born-again liberal. It’s called Fleeing Oz. I think once I get that book out there this spring, I’ll be able to “fight the good fight” with my writing. I want it to be to the demolition of the bigotry and intolerance of Right-wing Christianity what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to the abolition of slavery—only done with humor.

REST:     Seems like a good idea to me. Remember, through it all: Live as if you were dying tomorrow, Sweet pea! Because we’re only guaranteed “now.” Gotta run. I hear it’s going to snow again tonight. I think I’ll head on down to Puerto Rico.  St. Peter tells me that it’s going to be sunny and 85 degrees all week. See you when you finally cross over, kiddo.  Good luck!

February 21, 2015

Used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, Cagle Cartoons


“I think it’s nice to age gracefully. OK, you lose the youth, a certain stamina and dewy glow, but what you gain on the inside as a human being is wonderful: the wisdom, the acceptance and the peace of mind. It’s a fair exchange.”Cherie Lunghi

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”—Pope Paul VI

“Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.”—Bernie Siegel

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.”—James E. Faust

Quotations courtesy of




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 February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Cold Love and Misplaced Periods

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Some of my readers had a much unenlightened T-Day celebration in spite of my exhortation to “go forth, be grateful, and keep your mouth shut.”  Not all, but some, tell me that they couldn’t resist talking about politics, religion, and bringing up past familial hurts between “pass the gravy” and “are there anymore mashed potatoes?”  Apparently, bedlam ensued in some of their homes.  Sigh—oh well, there’s always next year for an attempt at a redo!  Maybe duct taping one’s mouth might help, but it would mean that no one would be able to eat any turkey.

Thanksgiving 2013 Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

WW and I had a delightful T-day, although it was laced with an underlying theme of stress as we tried to scrub the final proof of my personal life story of The Hunger Games of any errorsmy book, Monsters’ Throwdownwhich is due out within the next week or so.  After hitting “approve final proof” on the publisher’s website (no turning back—last call people!), both our eyes caught a stray period (at the same time) that should have gone inside a parenthesis but slipped outside in response to an earlier edit.  Auuugggh!  Fortunately, it is not in the context of the story, but off in an obscure place about author data that few people care about except the author, but it will haunt me till the end of my days (this manuscript has been read 100 times in an attempt to scrub it clean of errors, and yet. . .).  I’m exasperated and humbled, but I was slightly comforted today when I learned how often this happens: There exists “A Wicked King James Bible” on display in Washington, DC at the Folger Shakespeare Library because the compositors omitted one significant word from the seventh commandment in 1631 that got published across the land as:  “Thou shalt commit adultery.”  The way I see it—things could always be worse, and I could be headed for Hell like that publisher in 1631.


Speaking of The Hunger Games, WW and I slipped out to see the second installment while people were beating each other up during Black Friday—The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire.  It was good—really good—although I can’t get comfortable with the premise that this is a story for kids about kids killing kids.  That bothers me—a lot.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this is a dystopian post-apocalyptic tale about the 1% ruling the 99% that live in a destroyed America named Panem which consists of 12 districts that are controlled by the Capitol (1%).  According to the late, great Roger Ebert, Panem is from the Latin “panem et circenses,” which “summarized the Roman formula, for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses.”  The twelve districts lack decent jobs, decent places to live, decent safety regulations in their hard-scrapple jobs, and they are starving due to the regulations of the government.  The Capitol has all the money, all the food, and all the comfort.  They even have a juice that will help you purge your food in order to make room for more food.  The Capitol sponsors a Darwinian type of game by choosing two children from each district to fight to the death every year—there can only be one winner.  The prize is food for their district for a year and an upgraded lifestyle for the winner for the rest of their lives.  (Talk about “trickle-down economics.”)  All of this is done in a “survivor” game-show atmosphere.  The TV audience is entertained and the people forget about their troubles or their need to rage against the machine (The Man).  Hum, where have I heard the concept of that theme before?

Hunger Games

Cartoonist:  Rob Rogers ||

As WW and I were debating the ultimate message of the movie (man’s love grown cold toward their fellowman?), I glanced at the headlines in the news:

People Beat Each Other Up over Towels at Walmart: 2.8 Million Towels Sold on Thanksgiving

Black Friday 2013—the Modern Hunger Games

Black Friday Marred by Violence in Several States:  Stabbings, Robberies, Mace Attacks

Black Friday Shopper Robbed of Big Screen TV by Assailant in Parking Lot that Shopper Stood in Line for Six Hours to Purchase—It Only Took Thief 30 Seconds to Wrestle TV from Shopper’s Hands and Escape

Walmart Holds Food Drive for Underpaid Employees—Refuses to Raise Minimum Wage

Republican Congress Ready to Pass $500 Billion Farm Bill that Benefits Businesses in their District but Poised To Cut $40 Billion in Food Stamps on Top of the $5 Billion Already Cut for People They Declare To Be “Takers.”

Pope Francis Attacks “Idolatry of Money”—Calls it Unfettered Capitalism—Urges Global Leaders to Fight Poverty and Growing Inequality

40% of Tea Baggers Consider Themselves To Be “Born-Again Christians”—60% of Republicans Consider Themselves To Be Christians and Their Party a Champion of Christian Virtues, but They Consider Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to be a Beacon of Truth for the Party and a Philosophy to be Touted

Republican Member of Congress Who Supported Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients Pleaded Guilty to the Purchase of Cocaine from an Undercover Agent in DuPont Circle—Doesn’t Get the Irony

Headline News from the Celestial Times:  Jesus Wept!

Hungry Americans Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune


I am discovering that man’s love for his fellowman in America has grown so cold it is frozen tundra.  For non-Bible readers, this is supposed to happen as a sign of the “end times” right before the destruction of the Earth by God.   (Don’t ask!)  What I find to be so ironic is that I don’t think Christians ever thought, nor do we ever think, that the “love grown cold” line has anything to do with us (just one of the deserved reasons for divine retribution against our dirty-little heathen countrymen).  But from where I stand, I think it is a “pull the log out of your own eye before you attempt to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” kind of proclamation.   In the past, it was the Christian churches that stood by with cold-hearted resolve and let some of the worst ravages of history take place:  Southern Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians justified slavery as God’s command and fought to legalize it forever in the US; Lutherans and Catholics supported the systematic annihilation of 6 million Jews in Europe and turned a blind eye when their neighbors were taken away to the camps; the Dutch Reformed Church invented, established, and enforced Apartheid as a divine right in South Africa in a land that they stole from the people they oppressed, just to name a few “love grown cold” scenarios that took place within the borders of Christian nations.

Maybe the Youth Literature group that The Hunger Games were originally written for will see past the sheer entertainment value of the books and movies and the child-on-child violence, and grab hold of a stronger message:   Love wins and hope triumphs.  We could use a generation coming up after the Baby Boomers and the Boomers’ children who will turn against the cold-heartedness in our nation and “go to war” (in a manner of speaking) for the poor, the immigrant, the disenfranchised, and the underdog.

Colbert Quote about serving the poor italianforant dot blogspot com

Steve Colbert||

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”Mahatma Gandhi

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”Hélder Câmara, Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings

We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!”Chris Rock

“What makes the books and the films [The Hunger Games, brackets mine] compelling is the way they define anxieties and pop-culture obsessions in our everyday lives: anger over politicians, fascination with celebrities, a growing disgruntled underclass, addiction to reality shows and video games, the regularity of large-scale violent acts that monopolize TV coverage, and hateful outbreaks of bullying.” Susan Wloszczyna from Reviews—Roger (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)

Hunger Games America II Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by permission:  Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant


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 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Everybody Talkin’ ‘Bout Heaven Ain’t Goin’ There

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I have had it with the Tea Party, and the reason is not what you might suspect. Oh, sure, I’m pissed with their attitude of “I’ve got mine, it sucks if you don’ have yours” as they try to bring down the government in their attempt to destroy the black man in the Oval Office and deny health care to millions of people who are without. I’m really furious that this shutdown has been orchestrated since the first minute after President Obama’s reelection by a coalition of conservative activists funded by the Koch Brothers and groups like FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, Young Americans for Liberty, and the Tea Party.  These heartless bastards and an arrogant jerk by the name of Ted Cruz have been operating from a “defunding toolkit” that has been wreaking havoc since September to cause the Affordable Care Act to miss its Oct. 1st launch.  (How did that work out for you, Teddy Baby?)

Shutdown I John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune

I’ve especially had it with the people in the aforementioned groups who claim to “love Jesus” and show up in church every Sunday to praise God, pat each other on the back as to their holiness, and claim to be doing God’s will for the American people while they bear false witness against our President through their media megaphones (Fox News, RedState,, The Drudge Report, and Rush Limbaugh, just to name a few haters). But what has really pissed me off is that the Tea Party Repubs’ actions have produced a shutdown of our government causing poor families (9 million women and children at last count) to really take a hit for baby formula, nutritional counseling, healthcare referrals, and Head Start while the Tea Party Congressmen run around showboating by moving gates to Washington monuments for veterans on vacation.  Michelle Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House and head-gate mover (with cameras rolling), was “appalled” that the shutdown had affected our vets, and she planned to come by every day to make sure they remained open. I need to ask the self-professed born-again Christian if she was losing any sleep over babies being deprived of nutrition and learning, but then again she’s probably cool with that because it doesn’t affect her kids. (Remember America, you sent these wackos to Washington—what were you thinking?)  And yet Obamacare still rolled on!

Obamacare keeps on rolling Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

What is most unforgiveable is that this government shutdown, which could have been avoided and is probably going to be the destruction of the Republican party, released a bored government employee (who I sleep with) into my work space (writer at work) while I was trying to put the finishing touches on my book.  He behaved himself the first two days, and then on the third day, my husband (WW) turned into a terror. I had already survived the cacophony of “Die Hard III, Star Trek II, and The Avengers” blasting from the man cave through all six speakers and causing my office floor to undulate in thunderous rolls as I (ear plugs entrenched) tried to finish off my edits.  But my desk kept bouncing and my fingers kept misfiring, causing me to type a manuscript page of 3 parts gibberish and 7 parts curses!  All of a sudden it got quiet and stayed that way for a couple of hours.  I assumed WW was asleep, and as I picked up the phone to make a very important call, you-know-who cracked opened my office door that has a sign on it that says “Keep Out! Writer at Work!” and peeked his head in.

WW:     Hey, what you doin’?

MOI:      (Seriously???)  Tryin’ to get ahold of Jesus.

WW:     On the phone?

MOI:      What?  You got a better system of reaching The Almighty?

WW:     No, not really.  Dare I ask why you’re trying to reach Jesus?

MOI:      Originally it was to have him zap your big-screen TV with a lightning bolt into the pit of Hell.  But you have since quieted down, and now I’m calling to tattle on those members of the Republican Congress who boast about being the party of God but who are causing vulnerable people to suffer.  I’m trying to reach God to see if he’ll fricassee their asses and give John Boehner a good smack upside the head to bring this government shutdown to a close.  There are people who live from paycheck to paycheck who are really suffering because of this mess started by Ted Cruz. And not being self-centered, but I need you to go back to work, babe. You’re killing me with your restlessness.

WW:     Well, I got quiet because I left and went to the electronics’ store and bought us a new router so that everything will run three times as fast in my man cave and your office.  And once the cable man shows up, you’ll even be able to see who is calling you while you’re watching TV.  Won’t that be cool? Can you imagine relaxing in front of your favorite show, the phone rings, but without even moving a hair, you’ll know who is on the phone when the TV scrolls:  “Baby-girl is calling!”  And best of all, I saved us $60 per month on expenses.

(Any purchase is wonderful to WW if a deal can be done.)

September 23, 2013

Used by permission:  Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

MOI:      (Groan)  Noooooo. . .I don’t want that crap interrupting my TV shows—no matter how much money you’ve saved.  And how long will the cable man be putzing around the house and interrupting my writing?  I’m still in my PJs.

WW:     No worries—it won’t be long, I promise.  Be glad I’m home to take care of all these important upgrades.  It’s good to have a man around the house.  But first things first:  get off the phone, shut down your computer, and turn off your phone so the cable man can change it all over to the new modem.  Maybe you should go get a mani-pedi while the cable man and I get everything up to speed.

I got dressed.  I did errands.  I returned.

Nothing worked once the new modem was installed.  It has been three business days and a weekend with WW popping in and out of my office like a jack rabbit.  The cable man couldn’t find the splitter because he was agitated and in a hurry.  He claimed his service calls had quadrupled due to so many furloughed men calling to get cable work done in their man caves.   Our “His and Her” printers were knocked offline by the new equipment and only “his” printer is back up and running, but my manuscripts were due to my beta reading group this weekend.  After much cursing and gnashing of teeth and computer technicians from here to India scratching their heads in perplexity, WW has been clocking nine-hour days trying to restore everything to normal before I completely lose it.  Everything is not back to normal and I have missed oodles of writing time.  Calls were placed to two independent IT people, but they never called back or maybe I missed their names flashing across our fancy TV.   I am desperately trying to get ahold of the Geek Squad or Jesus—whoever comes first.   I need somebody to fix my printer (ASAP) and upend this shutdown (double ASAP) so that I can send my husband back to work before I go insane.

Republican Congress:  I will NEVER forgive you for this!  Not only have you behaved like terrorists and shut down the government, robbing the poor of what they need, but you have robbed me of a week and a half of sanity.  A pox on all your heads!

Tea Party II David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I am discovering that I’ve been singing the old spiritual “I Got Shoes” for days now as I plot my revenge against the Christian block of the Tea Party (40%) and the Christian voters who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible (67% of population).  This song, like many others during the time of slavery, was a protest song to decry the hypocrisy of the slave owners and/or the ruling class:

I got shoes, you got shoes,

All God’s children got shoes.

When I get to Heav’n gonna put on my shoes,

Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n,

Everybody talkin’ ‘bout Heav’n ain’t goin’ there,

Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n.

Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n

In actuality, the slaves didn’t have shoes—they were a luxury.  But they knew that in God’s eyes they were equal to all of His other children who had shoes, and that they would assuredly have covering on their feet from a “just God” when they got to Heaven.  They also knew that those who had plenty of shoes on Earth and proclaimed the name of Christ were not necessarily going to Heaven unless they lived according to the dictates of Jesus. Basically, “shoes on Earth” was all the “haves” were going to get because they had failed to “love their neighbor as themselves.”  Be afraid, Tea Party peeps—be very afraid.  I’ve told you before—God don’t like ugly!

obama thinking jesus about dot com


“The lyricist continues, exclaiming that ‘everybody talkin’ ‘bout Heav’n ain’t goin’ there.’ Here, the emphasis is on hypocrisy. The slave master, claiming to be Christian, goes to church every Sunday morning, where he and other congregants talk and sing about Jesus and Heaven. But when he returns to the plantation on Sunday afternoon, he presides over a decidedly un-Heavenly, immoral enterprise, slavery, and participates actively in the un-Heavenly and immoral physical, emotional . . . abuse of other human beings.”The Spirituals Project at the University of Denver

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”—Proverbs 19:17

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,   I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’   Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Matthew 25: 35-40

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”—Psalm 82:3

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.”—Leviticus 25:35-36


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 October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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A Conspiracy Theory Tall Tale

Conspiracy stuff

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Somebody’s messing with me and I really think it is part of a right-wing conspiracy!  Last week (while I was still asleep) something or someone pulled me out of the bed (feet first) like a slithery wet noodle off a well-oiled spoon.  What made the situation even weirder is that I ended up on my back (not my stomach which would be normal), and I landed on my feet with half my body bending towards the floor and the other half of it still on the bed while my hands extended above my head in a “hallelujah, praise you Jesus” pose—replete with jazz hands.  I don’t know how long I maintained that position before I woke up, but when I did awaken and interrogated my husband, WW disavowed all knowledge of “messing with me” and posing me in that sleep-walk position.  He also denied having seen me sleep-walk and says he thinks I just rolled off the bed under my own volition in an attempt to go to the bathroom and obviously never completed my mission.   WW said he was glad to see I had contained my bladder (more than I could ever know), and he also said that his line of reasoning was the only logical, scientific explanation.

Really?  I don’t believe WW’s explanation for one hot minute:  I think what happened to me is a plot by the Tea Party or one of those Patriot wingnuts who hate my blog.   I had no proof, but I could sense that this had Tea Party written all over it!  Also, what I didn’t tell WW was that I had been obsessively worried about one of my upcoming errands while simultaneously reading Dan Brown’s new book:  Inferno.  (There are certain things I dread that are part of the human experience that I am convinced were inspired by the Devil who I think secretly runs a plethora of conspiracy groups, including the Tea Party, the Birthers, the Truthers, the various Patriot groups—in other words, I have conspiracy theories about conspiracy theorists.)  Anyway, one of the many things I dread is going to the gynecologist and the dentist (both doctors have onerous jobs, if you ask me, and they both have to say “open wide” to get their desired results which I find to be both compromising and most uncomfortable).  But the other thing that ranks a close second to being poked and prodded by a gynecologist and a dentist is doing business with the DMV, and I had appointments to visit all three that week!

DMV Hell

Cartoon by W. Hawland

I think I was trying to run away and hide in my sleep when I slid out of the bed because sometime during the night I dreamt that I stumbled upon a government conspiracy that revealed that the DMV had been sold to the Devil.  In the dream, the Devil had his DMV window agents mess with my mind while I tried to register for a renewal of my driver’s license, and they kept thwarting my plans so I wouldn’t be able to drive or vote ever again.  Now, I am a rational woman.  I realize that my waking mind had been dealing with all sorts of stress:  news about the bogus scandals being ginned up against the President, news about a new conspiracy cretin by the name of Alex Jones, a fundamentalist Christian, who has all sorts of stupid theories about everything (government responsible for Sandy Hook, Aurora shooting, tornado in Oklahoma was a red flag, to name a few), impending dentist and gynecologist appointments, reading Dan Brown’s Inferno which is one giant conspiracy theory, and not to mention the fact that I had received notification that I needed to haul my ass before the DMV (and who doesn’t hate the DMV?).  I chalked the entire dream and sleep-walking incident up to stress until I had another dream that suggested my conspiracy theory just might have legs.  In this dream, my alter-ego, the Dalai Mama, placed a call to the DMV to get her license renewed.

Alex Jones Conspiracy Theories Horsey Los Angeles Times

Cartoonist:  Horsey/Los Angeles Times

DALAI MAMA:   “Hello, hello?  Can you hear me, DMV?  NO, NO, NO—DON’T YOU DARE TRANSFER ME AGAIN!  I’ve been on the phone for almost an hour trying to get to a fuc ____, I mean a “real” human.   I got a letter in the mail from you people three months ago saying my driver’s license was up for renewal, but the letter says I have to come and get my license in person.   What’s up with that?   Nothin’ has changed about me since the last time you tortured my ass to renew my license:  same address, I stayed black, I’m not dead, my weight is . . . kind of the same, and I don’t look any older because ‘black don’t crack!’”

DMV:    “No can do, lady—the law is the law and there are no exceptions.”

DALAI MAMA:   “What do you mean:  ‘There are no exceptions?’    I have never had a good experience with you people since the beginning of time, and I know from my Internet sources that President Bush sold the DMV to the highest bidder (in this case, the Devil) in order to help pay for the two wars he forgot to fund.  I’m not interested in getting’ that close to evil.  So can’t you simply renew my license via the mail?”

DMV:    “Sorry, lady—you have to follow the rules!  It’s been a decade since we last saw your face in this office.  Get your chubby old ass in here so that we can confirm you’re still you, that you still can see straight, and you’re still black—not to mention the fact that you will need a new photo.  I’m sure a lot has changed about you in a decade.  If I remember correctly, you tend to pack on the pounds.”

DALAI MAMA:   “But, but, but. . .”

DMV:    “No buts Chica!  No face time—no license.”

DMV torture

Cartoonist:  D. Piraro |


DALAI MAMA:   “E337, huh? What’s your number (Dalai Mama says this to nobody in particular but hoping to get a response from the guy sitting next to her since she realizes that Jesus may return to Earth before her number is actually called and a friendly seat mate might be a good thing).”

DMV GUY:          “A14”

DALAI MAMA:   “WTF?  What number did they call before I sat my sorry-ass down beside you?”

DMV GUY:          “D216.”

DALAI MAMA:   “There is no rhyme or reason to that numbering system.  How long have you been here?”

DMV GUY:          “Lost count.  When I came in, Bush was still president.”


DMV long line

INTERCOM:        “E337 report to window 10—E337.”



WINDOW 10:     “Oh, der ju r:  Were ju sleep?  Innercalm call ju dre times.  Here, sin dez pipers and pay dirty-dicks dollars befo I sin ju to winnow sextin.”

DALAI MAMA:   “Oh, God—Baby, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t have a clue what you just said or what language you said it in, and I know I can’t afford to screw this up or I’ll never be able to drive again.  Did you say, go to Window 16?  Do I pay you thirty-three dollars?  Do I get my license at Window 16 or from Window 10?  Huh?”  (The Window 10 woman grabs the credit card from Dalai Mama’s hand in disgust at what she perceives is mockery of her accent, gives Dalai Mama a receipt, and points to a window that has the number 17 on it.  There is no window 16.  The windows go from 15 to 17 with a sign in between that says employees only, but the Dalai Mama goes toward Window 17 hoping to find someone she can understand.)

WINDOW 17:  “Sit down and look at the camera.  You may smile but you can’t show any teeth.  Do you understand English or shall I have someone tell you the rules in Spanish?  What?  No, you can’t ask why, ‘no teeth.’  But I can tell you that it’s for scientific reasons so that we can properly measure the ‘cortex of the bio flex that makes up the grio-dynamix.’  Understand?  Click!  Now go back to Window 10.”

WINDOW 10:      “Take of ju glazzes and luk into de fewfender and read de firs lean.”

DALAI MAMA:   “But it’s scratched.  I can’t see anything through this 20-year-old view finder.  Can’t I put on my glasses?”

WINDOW 10:     “What ju meen, ju can’t see?  Do ju want ju leesence?  Den red de liters!  Who tol’ ju to take of ju glazes?  I nefer tol’ ju dat!  Are ju habing truble?  Do ju need someone who speech Spanish?

DALAI MAMA:   “Sorry, so sorry!  I misunderstood, girlfriend.  See, I’ve put my glasses back on and I can read the line perfectly:  B, D, F, R, 3, C, T!  Perfect, yeah?  Now can I please have my license so that I can get the hell out of here?  I’m kind of anxious to see my picture—my old picture was just so fine and I was really foxy looking in that one—I’d hate to lose it.  Why didn’t Window 17, I mean 16, let me smile?”

WINDOW 10:     “No!  No pixture for du!  Ju no unnerstennd science why we no let you smile—it’s ‘cause of de ‘bipper-fex of de myerbermaplex,’ so it don’t ‘intermess wit de lubercromex.’  Ju license be sent to ju in tin to fifftin dazs.  And are ju sur ju told de truff on ju application abut ju weight, ‘cause you luk a lot fatter den ju say ju iz on form?”

DMV No Smile photo in Hell

I am discovering that the main ingredients of conspiracy theories are based on fear, ignorance, and feeling out of control of one’s circumstances or life.  I had great fun turning a sleep-walking dream into a satirical conspiracy, but in the light of day, I know the truth:  there are no demonic underworld figures controlling the DMV, my gynecologist, or my dentist—just a cumbersome bureaucratic agency where the customer service people all hate their jobs, a doctor that can sometimes be too up-close-and-personal, and another type of doctor I’ve feared sense childhood because I can’t stand the sound of a drill.   But if one knows history, it is replete with actual conspiracy theories that have caused great harm to large people groups and fueled major world wars just because fear, ignorance, and feeling out of control were easily manipulated to wreak great havoc and evil on the Earth.  Everyday another conspiracy theorist crawls out of the Internet sewer in the U.S. and more and more conspiracy bile gets released into the air for us to consume as Americans.  My fellow Americans, I have a suggestion:  “Wake up!”  Let’s shut the conspiracy theorists down by not succumbing to our fears, let’s learn the “Truth” about all their lies, let’s turn the liars off, shut them down, and make them go away by giving them no credence at all.  I think we’ll be the wiser for it and our lives will be a lot more peaceful.


“Barack Hussein Obama and his fellow Muslims are conspiring to force you to gay-marry an illegal immigrant in a mosque at Ground Zero.”  The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory:  Fair and Balanced Paranoia, Delivered on Demand ( humor)

“Islamicists and the uber-left don’t want you to know that their real plan is to remove your appendix and eat it in front of you and your children.” The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory:  Fair and Balanced Paranoia, Delivered on Demand ( humor)


Finally, a guy who says what people who aren’t thinking are thinking.” –Jon Stewart, on the “The Daily Show”

Conspiracy Birther Deather and Truther

Cartoonist:   Lowe | Tribune Media

POST SCRIPT:  Tall tale actualities or conspiracies:  sliding out of bed like a noodle while still asleep, reading Dan Brown’s Inferno while at the DMV, and being tortured by the DMV windows are accurate and happened to me over the course of several DMV visits.  I still haven’t received my new driver’s license with the picture of my hair that looks like I’m standing in an electric-shock wind tunnel yet.  It may never come, at which point, I’ll acquiesce to never drive again.  I can live with that.  WW will just have to drive me around like a reverse “Driving Miss Daisy” (Driver = white man; passenger = cranky, black, old woman who always dreamed of having a chauffeur).  Fellow Citizens:  beware; there are forces at play here that we cannot control!


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 May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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A Different Set of Rules

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   If I spent every day visiting all the places that I couldn’t enter before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (I was born in 1948), except through the back door as a maid or a slave, I’d probably never die—at least not anytime soon.  That is why I engage in a project surrounding Martin Luther King Holiday weekend that brings me great joy.

Not only do I sashay my black ass (dripping with bling) through the front door of a former slave-owning or white’s only establishment at least once a year, but I stay in the best room they have to offer, order room service for breakfast, and get an 80-minute massage if they offer it.  Since MLK weekend coincides with my husband’s (WW—“White and Wonderful”) birthday, I walk through the front door of those former plantations with my arm wrapped around my white husband’s arm, a big smile on my face, and give a silent middle finger to the racists ghosts who surely must roam the halls of said establishments.  Because there is no way any god worth his salt would ever allow those unrepentant slave owners entrance into Heaven (are you hearing me Thomas Jefferson?), I am convinced their Hell must be tailor-made to watch an African-American making herself at home with sheer abandonment in their “whites only” environment.

I call this bitch slap to the haunted the FYRS-LWITBR Project, which stands for “FUCK YOU RACIST SPECTERS—LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE!”  My “in your face” rebel cry has nothing to do with the current owners (I do not visit the sins of their ancestors upon them so long as they treat me with dignity and respect), but I do take on the racist ghosts of their lineage.


In the interest of full disclosure, my children think I’m crazy.  That’s because I’ve raised them to be color blind, and to my knowledge they have never suffered at the hands of racists, which makes me very happy.   Their friends are color blind (black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Straight, Gay), as well, and have formed little urban families around each other to unite against the hardships and vagaries of life.   I am very proud of them, and I consider them all “my children.”

But my children and their friends have not seen what I’ve seen or experienced the hatred I’ve embodied.  They have never heard of The Negro Motorist Green Book which was in full swing the year I was born and lasted until after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they have never had to plan their travel around such a book just to keep from having their asses kicked (or killed) by men in white robes and pointy hats carrying burning crosses.

The Green Book was started by Victor Hugo Green (a Harlem mail carrier) in the 1930s and it would eventually cover lodging, eateries, and stores in every state in the USA as well as Bermuda, Mexico, and Canada that would do business with Negroes.    If there were no hotels that would cater to African-Americans (often the case), the book would list “tourist homes” that would rent the traveler a room or two for their journey.  The Green Book spoke volumes by “omission,” as the writer Justin Hyde has noted.   In 1949, no restaurant was listed in Alabama that would serve black people.  Justin Hyde in his article on The Green Book in Jalopnik underscored the fact that “Black motorists in those eras frequently kept extra fuel, food and portable toilets on hand to avoid stopping in unfriendly locations. Even outside the South, roadside motels and diners often wouldn’t serve black customers.”  In 1963 (one year before The Green Book was taken out of circulation), I was kicked out of a New Jersey hotel in the middle of the night along with a family (a lawyer and school teacher and their two young children) that I was the babysitter for, and we were forced to drive through the night to our approved “Negro cabin” in Maine.


INTRODUCTION PAGE OF THE NEGRO TOURIST GUIDE:   “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.”

The fact that President Obama’s 2nd inauguration (talk about “living well is the best revenge!”) fell on the same day as the MLK holiday weekend and coincided with my husband’s b-day gave me the perfect excuse to engage in my “project” (not at the plantation above used only as an example, but at another glorious location in the South and situated on the Gulf of Mexico).


As I stretched out on the beautiful “sugar sand” of a site where there once stood a private mansion that I could have only entered the back door of to make the beds and empty the slop pans, I meditated for hours on how far we had come as a Nation since the publication of The Green Book.   I watched the inauguration of our  magnificent 44th president from my waterfront suite as I lifted a glass of champagne to the triumph of a man that we are lucky to have as a leader.  As I contemplated my own American journey, I joined President Obama in spirit to pray for the further emancipation of our Hispanic brothers and sisters, our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters, and the disenfranchised jobless families in our midst who need a helping hand.


I am discovering, however, that even though we are in more “tolerant times,” one must be ever vigilant against the spirit of bigotry—especially amongst the religious—or we will be doomed to repeat our history.  Martin Luther King often preached about the complacency of white Christians toward the suffering of those who did not fit their cultural narrow-minded viewpoint (specifically the Southern Baptists).    I have read many of the multitudinous sermons preached by well-intentioned pastors in favor of slavery in the 1800s and then again against desegregation in the 60s and their arrogance and cold-heartedness grip my heart with horror.  Where would we be as a country if righteousness had not won the day?

Today it boggles my mind that Christians who say they love Jesus are part of the Tea Party, but they don’t speak out against the racism that is so visible on their websites and from the mouths of their leaders.  I know that not all Tea Party members are racist but their silence is killing me.  The language of the Tea Partier is slightly different from the overt racist (normally doesn’t include the “n” word), but it is deceiving to the perpetrator because they see themselves as righteous:  “I respect the office of the presidency but I don’t respect this president because he is a Socialist, a Muslim, a spawn of Satan or Hitler (I’m searching for his hidden horns and drawing on his Hitler mustache even as we speak)” or “I don’t have a racist bone in my body, I just worship Sarah Palin, Fox News, and the Drudge Report who do”—said with such vehemence and so many times that it prompts the person of color to scream to the heavens:  “me thinks thou doth protest too much, Tea-bagger!”

racist teabaggers cartoon politiskink dot com

Racist Tea Party Cartoon|image from

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even though we’ve come a long way, whenever I do a Google search with our President’s name, I almost vomit from the visceral racial hatred and disrespect that lashes out at me from the Internet because it seems that some of us are playing by a different set of rules, requiring others of us to reinstate “The Green Book” in order to survive.  This causes me great despair until I read the blogs of people like Frank Angle who wrote “On MLK 2013” ( ) about the repentance of Elwin Wilson in 2009, a former Klansman, who attacked and beat a black college student in 1961 when he was one of the Freedom Riders trying to win the ability for African-Americans to travel across country via Greyhound and Trailway buses.  The black freedom rider grew up to be Congressman Joe Lewis.   Frank Angle included a YouTube video in his blog post of Wilson and Lewis’ exchange of repentance and forgiveness after 50 years, and it makes the viewer understand that there is a God, and one day we will all overcome our bigotry, our stupidity, our short-sightedness, our lack of grace, and our arrogance!


For years, Elwin, an admitted former member of the Ku Klux Klan, says he prayed that he would meet the man he attacked at the bus



“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” – Martin Luther King, Jr


Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Do You See What I See?

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

Pinned by Cassandra Bond on Pinterest

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


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


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

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

Real life self-awareness fail|image from

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

Carl Jones Cartoon from the Free Lance-Star||image from

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

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich for the Atlanta Tribune-Constitutional

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


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

Image from

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


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

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

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

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

A Mike Keefe Cartoon for the Denver Post||


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


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

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

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

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

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


Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


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We’re ALL Gonna Die (sooner or later)!

Mayim Bialik and Kaley Cuoco||Chuck Lorre Productions||Warner Bros. Television

PENNY: “How’s your life?”

AMY FARRAH FOWLER“Like everybody else’s—

subject to entropy, decay, and eventual death.

 Thank you for asking.”


Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I just survived a “derecho” (pronounced duh-RAY-cho), and up until it slammed into my town last week, I had never heard of such a force of nature and had no idea that there was yet another thing out there in the great unknown that could reign mayhem and death upon my life when I least expected it.  At 10:30 p.m. last Friday, something that wasn’t a hurricane, or a tornado, or a cyclone started in Chicago at 2 p.m. and made a straight line of a squall of violent thunderstorms from Illinois to the Atlantic Ocean while traveling up to 85 miles an hour.   When Señor Derecho took out my electricity, my Internet, my phone land line, and all cell service, the last thing I saw was my weighted patio table bouncing across the deck like a bunny rabbit on crack while the deck umbrella and several hundred dollars of gorgeous plants got sucked into its vortex as if they were heaven bound.  After Sir Derecho passed out to sea, it left in its wake days of 100 degree temperatures, millions of people without electricity for seven days and counting, hundreds of trees uprooted, undrinkable water, traffic lights on the fritz, long gas lines, and multitudes of cranky residents.  The worst part of it all was that 17 people were killed and at least one canine was turned into a “frozen pop/pup” because in the hysteria of the moment the stupid-ass owner reasoned that tossing his Bichon Frise puppy into a freezer would alleviate the dog’s overheating problem caused by the unrelenting temperatures from Hell—proving once and for all that there is a fool born every minute.

Storm Damage/DC area||MSNBC/

What the fuck is going on?  Last March millions of fish washed up dead in the Los Angeles area while last October millions of dead fish were found in Maryland, Brazil, and New Zealand.   On New Year’s Eve thousands of dead birds fell from the sky in Arkansas (of course, if I lived in Arkansas, I’d probably commit hari kari by taking a nose dive from the sky as well!), the honey bees have disappeared in droves, and now a huge section of Colorado has gone up in flames while most of the country suffers from its worst drought in years—threatening to destroy the corn yield in the middle of the country.

Before cell phones could get reception for calls in the aftermath of Herr Derecho in our area, intermittent text messages made it through on my phone with “end of time” theories from the uber-religious to my heathen friends, from the old to the young, from African-Americans to Caucasians, from Hispanic carpenters to my Asian wig stylist, from rich to poor alike—telling me their conspiracy theories which they all concluded had to do with either global warming or God’s wrath.  No matter what their origins or beliefs, they all were trying to get me to buy into some wild tale about a sudden cataclysmic end of the world and write about it in my blog.

Photo by Joshua Trujillo/

Grandma in her 80’s:   Baby, maybe you ought to write in your blog about how everybody laughed at that old preacher who said the world gonna end on May 21 and Oct 21 last year. Maybe he was right but his math was wrong.  Math ain’t my strong suit neither, and you know how we old folks can’t see that well.  Maybe he didn’t carry a 1 or something in his tallyin’.  Maybe we should not have laughed cause it sure seems like we all gonna die with all this mess that keeps happenin’.

ETomczyk:  Mama-Mama, I love you—bunches—so don’t take this personally when I say, yes, we’re all going to die at some point (some of us sooner than later, if you catch my drift), but that dude is nuts and just plain wrong.  That preacher man has been predicting the end of the world since 1994.  He’s in hiding now, in his multi-million-dollar Christian media empire, having suffered a heart attack, after receiving all those donations from saps who believed his lies that the world would end on the dates he predicted.  Because God don’t like liars, I can only guess that that creepy preacher had a heart attack not from regret about his false prophecies but from hearing God’s voice say: “Oh, hell to the no, false prophet Camping—HELL TO THE NO—sit down and shut up; I’ve had enough of your sorry-ass!”  I sent Rev. Camping a “get well” eCard the day after the last failed prediction that said:  “Cheer up, Rev. Camping; it’s not the end of the world!”

My Asian Hair StylistHow are you my friend?  I think you should blog about the Mayan prediction because everybody’s talking about it.  You believe that stuff?  Sounds pretty good to me.  Mayans predicted maybe 1600 years ago that world will end on December 21, 2012.  Maybe Derecho a warning that we got six months to get our shit together.  What you say?  (Electricity just came back; you can come on by for styling of your new wig anytime.)

ETomczykHanging in there, Phi—how yu doin’?  My problem with the Mayan prediction is the obvious:  how can you trust an ancient people’s predictions about the modern world when they didn’t see the Spanish coming and the anihilation of their own sorry behinds?  That’s kind of like taking stock market tips from a fortune teller that is dirt poor.

Reenactment of Mayan Priests Ritual||

My Asian Hair Stylist:  Understandable, my friend.  But somebody told me that the Mayan Round Calendar refers to something called a “Grand Continent,” which they say is talking about North America. The Mayan message says, “Wind and Fire will take their sides on the Grand Continent, and then will return to meet in the middle.”  See—fire in Colorado, storms in the East, meeting together in the middle!  That’s one of the reasons I’m thinking of going back to Viet Nam, my friend, and take my chances with Trương Tấn Sang and the rest of those communist bastards because too much unpredictable shit keeps happening here.

ETomczyk:  You’re a trip, Phi.  I’ll think about blogging about the Mayans.  No promises though.

Husband (WW):  Hey Babe, you interested in seeing “Seeking Friend for End of the World” with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley when the electricity comes back on?  It might be something to use for your blog since I’m sure the Derecho trials of this week are blog worthy.  How about blogging what you would do with your life if the world was going to end in six weeks or six months?

ETomczyk:  Hey, White and Wonderful!  My readers already know what I would do, because they would probably do the same.  You and I would quit our jobs, gather our family and any friends that needed family and transport them to a bucolic location (probably Hawaii or the Caribbean), and we’d spend the remaining time enjoying each other with purposeful abandonment without distraction, guilt, bickering, or worry.  Remember that scene from the apocalyptic movie, Deep Impact, with Téa Leoni and Maximilian Schell as the estranged father and daughter?   Remember how they faced the tsunami wave locked in each other’s arms and died together in total peace—no fear, no panic, and no regrets.  I would hope that would be me after leading a life well lived for that short amount of time.

SEEKINIG A FRIEND for the End of the World||Movie Poster||Wikipedia Image

Brown Cat: You don’t know me but I lived in the house where the Bichon Frise was “frozen” and I’m texting you on the lam.  The Bichon’s name was Monique and she was my friend.  I only missed the freezer demise with her by a hairball—literally!   (I started to hack up a pretend hair ball until the master got distracted with cooling off Monique, and then I ran for the hills before he could toss me in frozen box with her). You see, he told the vet he was just trying to cool us off in the triple digit heat following the Derecho, but I know differently.  Master is a Zombie!  Blog about Monique—BLOG ABOUT THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE because that is what the signs of the times are telling us:  The Zombies are upon us and they are the idiots in our midst.  Look for the idiots and you’ll find the Zombies.  Start with the Tea Party and Fox News, and make sure you warn the people about the pseudo-intellectual, Dinesh D’Souza, because he is one of the top Zombie leaders.  WARN THE PEOPLES I TELL YOU—WARN THEM!

Pinned from Pinterest||

ETomczykKitty, wait a minute—maybe the world is coming to an end.  When did you get opposable thumbs to text?  Oh, Sweet, Jesus!  What did you do with your owner?


I am discovering that there have been “end of time scenarios” since the dawn of the ages or since man realized how quickly and efficiently he could fuck up the planet and wanted to stop the world and kick off the undesirables.   If you’re of the Christian ilk, you’ll remember how Noah and God tried to do a localized end times scenario, but it didn’t take more than a chapter for people to start acting like fools again.  (The Zombies are us, I tell you!)  But I kind of think we’ll be here for a while—at least until we get the concept of “living” right.   Since I didn’t have any control over when I’d be born and probably won’t have any control over when I’ll die, I think I’ll just chill and enjoy today “sans” fear.  Besides, I don’t believe any person, now or then, knows when the world will cease to be as we know it.  Personally, I’ve decided to err on the side of sheer abandonment (live like my world is ending in six months all the freakin’ time), and be an outrageous expression of love, integrity, and joy because in reality one day in the future will certainly be my last.

My sister’s birthday is December 22nd.   I’ve asked all the family to arrive a week before 12/21 because I plan to throw a party every single day like it’s the last day of our lives.  That way, if we go on December 21st as the Mayans have predicted, we’ll all go together with smiles on our faces, good wine and food in our tummies, and hearts full of love and tenderness for each other.  Who could ask for anything more?

Used by permission from Dan Piraro|


“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”—William Allen White

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”—H. P. Lovecraft

“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”—Mark Twain

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. . . The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day . . . We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. . .”Charles Swindoll


Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


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