Tuesday, October 28, 2008
When I was a little girl, my grandpa would twirl me. It was always all of a sudden and spontaneous.
He would be in the middle of cooking, he would be listenig to some old standard on the radio or old country and singing. He would step away from his cooking, take a drink of his beer and grab my hand as I was running by and twirl me.
"Stop Grandpa." I would laugh. Which made him twirl me more, in the middle of the kitchen. I remember seeing the walls whirl by in their 70's color theme and rooster wallpaper. I remember smelling the food, smelling my grandpas beer breath as he laughed and sang to me. I remember seeing the fruit magnets float by me. I remember my grandma smiling but at the same time telling him not to tease me.
I would be embarassed but I knew, if I snuck up on him again, he would sneak up on me and twirl me again.
How sweet it is to out your family.
The year was 1997, I had my 2 oldest boys then. We lived in the pretty little town of Red Wing. My mom lived in a huge 5 bedroom split level home. It looked even more monstrous because it was on the upper level of the neighborhood and sat on a hill. Her front yard and driveway were downhill. She would hire me occasionally to come over and stay with my 5 siblings, whenever her and my step dad went out of town.
She also had a Rottweiler named Jasmine that year. Jasmine was still a puppy, but you know that stage they hit, where they get real tall and clumsy. Right before they grow into thier paws. Jazz had a bad habit of climbing the deck in the back and the garage and then the roof. There she would bark for attention.
Well it was around Halloween when I had to go up to my moms with my 2 boys. They all wanted to play with the fog machine, that my mom purchased so they can have some sort of special effect when passing out candy. In the family room they built a "nightclub." With a strobe light, the fog machine, Christmas lights and the stereo. Ok I admit I helped them.
I was upstairs when the brood approched me again.
"Can we please just fog the whole house? We want to play hide and seek?"
"Yeah sure" I say, I retreat to my moms room because I knew that would be the point of clarity.
After a half hour I hear various smoke alarms going off. I run out, can't see, they turned it off and are pulling batteries out of alarms in different rooms. I know this is highly illegal, but hey, anything to keep them quiet, sane and not fighting for a couple of hours.
Next thing I know they are calling me out again. I can't see. The strobe is red. I am questioning whether or not I can breathe in this red, flashing fog. I start to feel like, clausterphobic, for a second, then somebody grabs my leg. I let out a scream and began chasing rugrats at high speed. We are all running like maniacs...then the doorbell rings. They all run and hide. I hate being the adult sometimes.
I make my way down the stairs and open the door. As I open the door, a whole cloud of fog (it was cherry scented) follows me out and surrounds the Mormon family next door.
After a coughing fit, Bishop Lash asks "Are you all ok?"
"Sure" I say," my mom just bought the kids a fog machine and we were testing it out." I close the door behind me, because the fog won't quit and I don't want him to see the red flashing light.
"Ok" he says, looking at me doubtfully "You let us know if you need anything?"
He starts walking away with his wife and kids, then turns back "Your dog is on the roof again."
Darn that Jasmine! I think, in all the chaos, we didn't hear her barking. I walk down to the lawn so I can see her and tell her to shut up, before I went to retrieve her. When I looked back, I noticed, how could I have forgotten, my mom took the drapes to the cleaners, because some little girl (who shall remain nameless) colored them with markers. The huge bay windows in the living room looked like damnation, fire and brimstone, the lake of fire, and on top of that you could hear the kids screaming. Thats when I also noticed, cars driving by real slow. Looking at the house. I wished I was 12 years old so I could flip them off. Instead I yell at Jazz to shut up, wave at the cars, and go to the back deck to get my dog.
She is going crazy when I get her down, she hears the kids screaming inside and wants in so bad. I slide open the deck door for her, she flies past me and proceeds to chase rugrats around like I was. OMG I think, they are having so much fun. I am sure people think we are witches, or worshippers, or the Adams Family. I watch my kids, siblings, and dog running in the fog laughing. Then I think "WHO GIVES A CRAP!" If we stop now, the damage has been done, already.
"Hey you rugrats!"
"What" they sound a little panicked, like I am going to turn off the fun.
"You better run, cuz I am going to get you!!"
They scream and run.
This year will be my first haunted house this year...if you dare stop by.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
In this Nebraska prairie
On this old, lonely dirt road
Between these amber fields of dried grass
Grown for yearlings to become prime rib
At Marie's Casual Dining
During tourist season
I look at the stream in the morning sky
Made by a jet plane passing by
And I wonder
I wonder why
Destiny brought me here
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The following is a review to my reservation from roughguides.com. Following that is my rebuttal to that review.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Pine Ridge, the second largest Indian reservation in the United States (after Arizona's Navajo Nation), overlaps the southern Badlands. It is also located in one of the nation's poorest counties. Its prefab homes and beat-up trucks blend sadly and uneasily with the surrounding dry grasslands, rocky bluffs, and tree-lined creeks.
The largest town, also called PINE RIDGE, comprises a collection of shabby, paint-stripped structures. Though the emergence of the profitable Prairie Wind casino in Oglala has improved life here, in many ways the reservation towns are an even more bitter pill to swallow than places like the nearby site of the Wounded Knee massacre. This area posts the highest poverty- and alcohol-related death statistics on the continent, and the average lifespan is just 52 years.
Red Cloud Indian School, four miles north of Pine Ridge on US-18, is named after a former chief whose fight against the US forced the closure of military forts on Sioux hunting grounds. The school is doing its best to counteract the ill-effects of life on the reservation, and each summer it holds an Indian art show featuring work by tribes in the US and Canada; it also has a gift shop (daily summer 8am–5pm; winter Mon– Fri 9am–5pm; free). Red Cloud, who later signed a peace treaty with the US and invited Jesuits to teach his tribe "the ways of the white man," is buried in a cemetery on a nearby knoll. The Oglala Nation Fair, held over the first weekend in August, features a powwow and rodeo. For details, contact the Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine Ridge, SD 57770 (605/867-6121). For news and both traditional Lakota Sioux and contemporary American music, tune in to KILI 90.1 FM, "the Voice of the Lakota Nation." If you want to stay on the reservation, the Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast (605/288-1800; www.wakpamni.com; $50–130), offers lovely guest rooms as well as accommodation in tepees; tours of the reservation or horseback rides with a Lakota guide can be arranged.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
As reviewed by Dana Lonehill, born and raised Lakota until the day the good Lord taketh her away, (yes I said Lord.)
If you have never been to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, you must do so in this lifetime. It is an experience you will never forget. The largest town, Pine Ridge consists of cluster housing neighborhoods whom, I might add are well protected by the Neighborhood Crime Watch. It says so on the signs upon entering each neighborhood. You can see this under the layer of gang grafitti on each sign and in between the bullet holes.
Although alcohol is illegal it can be found on and off the reservation. You can purchase only two miles away where we make people that live on the border of the reservation scorn and scoff at us while getting rich from our lager dollar. There you can also experience the best in Mixed Martial Arts, Grappling and Ultimate Street Fighting. You may also see UFC style fights or purchase alcohol in Combat Alley, near the only grocery store owned by bigwigs in California who price gouge the poorest in all the land.
Although many night hotspots have closed down due to increase in police force, such as Sattelites, The T, and Lover Lane, you can still kick it on Beer Can Hill. Just hire someone to watch out for the new BIA force in town. They don't take no crap and love arresting people for liquor violation, which is now $35 to get out, no more 8 hours in the tank, although they do provide you in the finest of clothing from the Dr. Seuss collection and 3 square meals a day. These cops don't crawl in your windows nor do they seize your unopened cans. Let's hear it for the BIA! But they still don't let you have a beer to Sunday football. BOO!
Let's hear it for the drug dealers. Maybe you can't work real jobs and get rich peddlin coke to tribal workers, but hey you made a good run at it and it took over a decade to catch you guys. Long enough to pass on that to your offspring and spawn. For those that didn't get caught, hey at least some of you still have your jobs, you know who you are.
Wait I was supposed to convince you why you should come, but I can't do it by honestly telling you that flute music plays, while wolves run beside children in buckskin and men ride horses bareback while women sit in tipi's on fur....no.
If you want to visit the reservation, don't look with the taste of sour grapes in your mouth, don't wear your rose colored glasses. instead look at my hometown with the understanding that these are a people that are still proud of who they are as a people, in spite of the fact that the economical situation they grew up in. In spite of the fact that they live in a country that is the land of opportunity....something went wrong here in this promised land. Generations of oppression led to generations of alcohol abuse which led the condition of our reservation.
We want change, then we have to make it happen. Not expect the government to step in and undo the wrong they did...as if. You want to visit? Do so, but don't do so with pity, with fear, or with scorn....for this is the home of a still proud people.
For I am Lakota.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I think for next week's column, I will review my reservation from my persepctive...which is always with humor.
Read it here.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I hear it everyday. Every corner I turn in the grocery store, in line at the grocery store, or where ever people congregate to talk. I hear the same phrase over and over. When they complain of nepotism, or incentives, or conferences in Vegas.
"You know how this tribe is."
Huh-huh. As if it was some other skin's tribe. But I admit, I am guilty of that too. I say it all the time.
"You know how this tribe is."
We say it as if it is a finale. As if it is The End. As if there is no hope for things getting better and all there is left is "You know how this tribe is."
Kind of like this country we live in. It was always the same make and model running for president of this land. Like a cookie mold. Until people came out in record numbers and voted because they actually believed they could make a difference and change this year.
As a tribe we are also capable of making a difference for ourselves. I am not saying who should vote for who, but at least vote for our leaders. Let your voice be heard.
Then maybe instead of all of us saying "You know how this tribe is." We could say "This is how my tribe is."
Please remember to vote, make that difference for your reservation, your tribe, your people.
Dang, after typing that one, I should throw my hat in the ring. Josh, I don't even have a hat.
Monday, September 29, 2008
"Yup." I said.
She looked me up and down as if she just ate a lemon.
"You don't look nothing at all like your picture." She rolled her eyes and sighed, as if the she was disgusted with the whole world, even including me.
"I know." I laughed. "I used a good picture of me, not one where I look like I do everyday. By the way, do you read my column? Or do you just look at my picture?"
She looked at me and said "Do you know who I am?" I swear her eyes were glowing.
"I know who you are, nice to finally meet you." I said all sugary as if she was a customer and I was a waitress, averting her glare.
She sighed again and snapped her eyes at me. Next she zeroed in on the cashier. "What the hell is taking her so long to check us out? Is she stupid?"
The young girl that was the cashier was already flustered but when she heard that she dropped change all over and tears welled in her eyes.
"What's wrong with you? Are you new or dumb?" She hollered in the middle of the gas station.
The girl said "I'm new." Her face was red and her voice shaky. I was in line before the Evil Queen so I told her she was doing a good job. She smiled weakly before going to battle the Evil Queen.
It got me to thinking how unhappy some people must be to treat others so wrongly, without even knowing them. I happen to like my picture I used for the paper. I recently updated it, so you could see my chin, or both of them. I admit, most of the time I go around looking like the sea hag from Pop Eye. Like the Sea Hag Who Just Finished Frying Bread For 4 Families. I could go on and on and make it worse but like Popeye says "I am who I am." That's me, whether you like me for my freckles or not, I don't care because my spirit is real and caring and I hope it shows through my writing.
The Mean Lady in The Gas Station threw me for a loop. I started thinking, does anyone read the column? Or do they look at my picture and analyze it? I got writer's block real bad, for a few weeks.
Then people started asking me if I quit. I even had my old boss from Rapid City call me at work and ask why I quit. Last weekend in the grocery store a man walked up to me in the produce aisle.
He shook my hand and asked how it's going. I said good, I knew who he was but didn't know him personally.
"Can you start writing again, I appreciate it."
"Thanks. I will."
I started thinking that there really are still nice people on this rez. I just let one person, who probably wasn't upset at me or the cashier but maybe upset with her hair stylist for the dye job she just got, upset my whole apple cart. And I don't need my apple cart upset.
I am who I am. Read me for who I am. Don't try to think who I am is that little picture. Because then if you see me in the post office with my hair all over, flour all over my shirt, smelling like frybread.... then your apple cart will be upset...apples everywhere. Eeeza....
Thursday, September 25, 2008
*pic of Warrior and Horse by Marty Cuny, Oglala Lakota
We was all sitting around being artsy and crafty last night. My boyfriend....his friend, and me. My boyfriend and I are working on these quill/bead combo bracelets and his friend was like "Man, you are so lucky you have a woman like her. You guys just laugh, you have the same sense of humor, and you both love art."
He just smiled and said I know.
Which made me smile.
Then they started talking about how winter was coming up, and how nobody was going to buy anything anymore and how they needed jobs.
They talked of a new high school addition that the school is groundbreaking for next Monday. They talked of how they were told they could go see the contractor after the 15th of next month to see about getting a job.
Then they talked of how it was too hard to get a job, because tribal politics here rules everything. They talked of how it is to have kids to feed, bills to pay and every month was a struggle here. I know this. even though I have a job, I still barely pay bills. everyone that read me before knows I had it hard. I struggled to pay for internet, sometimes even logging on from the library. I talked of the struggles I had with welfare. I wasn't using the system, just surviving.
It got me thinking of our reservation.
So many people want to come here and "feel" our culture. I see them coming in everyday. Buy our arts and crafts and experience our spirituality. They are in awe of how long and tight we have held onto what is ours. They want to sit beside this pride we have still to this day even amongst the alcohol and poverty and other stats. People want to know the Lakota Sioux.
And all we are doing is surviving.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I once wrote about the statistics that you see on our reservation. I pleaded for someone to tell me how to change this. You can google it on the internet. You can find it in old media files or articles.
Pine Ridge Reservation...blah, blah, blah etc.
High School drop out rate-blah, blah, blah.
Infant mortality rate-blah blah blah.
Diabetes rate- blah, blah, blah.
Alcoholism rate-blah, blah, blah.
Unemployment rate-blah, blah, blah.
Poverty rate-blah, blah, blah.
Ok, maybe I went too far. Maybe the unemploymet rate will never change. Maybe because the government wants us to have a high rating there.
But sometimes I think we focus so much on the bad and negative that we have no room for improvement. As a tribe we all want to fight among ourselves as if it was the LNI and one family member's kid was on one team and another family member's kid was on the rival team. We act as if we the Oglala Lakota will always hate on each other and never work together to improve ourslves as a society. Where is the Lakota way of life in that? Why fight? Why put each other down?
Are we so far gone into greed and this need to be better than the neighbor that our Lakota values have demised?
You do remember these values and what they stand for, right?
Somebody prove me wrong.
How do we move forward, when all we do is put our own people down?
Friday, September 19, 2008
This is life on the rez.
The shoulder of the highway to the dump has been nicknamed "the trash lane" so whoever has a big load of trash drives slowly on the shoulder.
This is life on the rez.
There is a man who jumps in circles when you holler a certain number to him.
This is life on the rez.
There is a dog they call horse, he belongs to nobody.
This is life on the rez.
I hollered "whats up" to my neighbors dog and not my neighbors when I cruised by one time.
This is life on the rez.
Nobody ever has tinfoil to loan out.
This is life on the rez.
If anyone owes you money, hang out at the post office on grant day.
This is life on the rez.
You see a car with half glass, half plexiglass for a windshield.
This is life on the rez.
The Wateca Warrior Princess walks down main street with shades, not knowing she is legendary.
This is life on the rez.
Tribal presidents are accused of being "too political."
This is life on the rez.
Don't get me wrong, I love my rez. But it is the only rez I ever saw where the casino puts the tribe in debt and doesn't profit for the tribe.
This is life on the Pine Ridge Rez.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I used to think, I will never turn into my mom.
My mom thinks I act like my auntie.
I think I am a combination of everyone that had a hand in raising me.
Here are some things I get from my mom that I thought I never would.
I have her sense of a way out. No matter how hard life seems. I know, there is a way out of any situation and I am smart enough to know this.
News Junkie-I have to hear news all the time while I bead or whatever. I have to listen to it at night when I sleep.
Creamer-I always would drink my coffee black. My mom always used a ton of cream. Then she discovered International Delights Southern Butter Pecan. I hated it. It used to make me gag. The other day I sent for a big bottle of it (it is sold out of town) now I drink it like my mom.
Trail mix-I never cared for it. Always picked out what I wanted of my mom's. Except for the kind she made herself with peanut butter and honey, it was the BEST. The other day I bought some out of lonlieness.
I have her nose and her laugh
I have his walk and his wicked sense of humor.
I have his love of cooking and jazz and blues.
I have her wit, charm, impatience and ability to "just know." I also have her love of baseball and football.
Everyone shaped me to who I am. No matter how small they contributed to making me who I am, they made me.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I said "What?"
"To support the Senior Class here at Red Cloud, we deliver." the girl said sweetly.
"OK" I say and order any dark soda they carry.
I waited about a good long hour before they showed up. It was a cold Indian Taco and a warm coke they gave me, which, I could work with. I started to dig around the top layer of the taco with my plastic fork. There was a bunch of lettuce to dig through. Then I realized that even though it was an Indian Taco, it wasn't really an Indian Taco. There was beans of course, a lot of beans, some meat...few strings of cheese, and two pieces of tomato.
Who made these? I was offered no sour cream and hot sauce, but that didn't matter, I thought at first because it was still an Indian Taco. When I saw the weak amount of ingredients that was invested in this Indian Taco, I was wishing for sour cream, hot sauce, even peanut butter.
Oh well, I did pay for it, so I had to make the best of it.
We all eat our Indian Tacos different. Some act like it's a taco from Taco John's and roll it up and wolf it down. Some use a fork and knife...hahahaha. Sometear it apart piece by piece like they hadn't eaten in days. I saw one girl eat straight through the middle without stopping until it looked like the Indian Taco was hugging her face. I scrape my ingredients off, tear the bread into pieces and top it with the scraped ingredients.
So I did this with my hurt Indian Taco. It was ok, but it wasn't flavorful enough. Finally, I scrapped my scraps and just ate the bread. It wasn't the best bread but it was warm, soft, sweet fry bread...and it made my lunch hour.
And that peeps, is the magic of fry bread.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I just am not in the writing mode plus too busy at work.
I am also sick of uptight fuckers that read my column locally, but oh well, you can't rule the mindset of your readers.
Anyway backk to work, hope all is well with everyone.
peace out girl scouts.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
My boys had this dog, they named him Killer. Which was funny, because he was a puppy and a wuss. When they went for walks he liked to be carried.
Killer almost died one day when I backed out and he was sleeping under the car. In fact, I thought I did kill him. I kept looking in my rearview mirror for the fuzz. I would look towards my house for "flight for life." All day I was panicked and paranoid that they would take me in for questioning in the murder of Killer.
I realized later, that I had to confess up to my kids. I killed Killer. I was sweating bullets and dog biscuits. I killed him, I said and hung my head, awaiting the sentencing. They laughed. Mom, you're goofy. I still had my head hung, because that sentence is one I hear on a daily.
"Killer is out back eating."
I opened the door and there he was, he cocked his head to one side and wagged his tail. I felt relief and guilt. I must have just stunned him or something because he was completely fine, not like the way he was when I ran him over, rolling around and crying.
Or he was like a cat and had nine lives.
It was a miracle. This little sunka would be legendary someday. My kids would talk of him to their grandkids and so on.
I apologized to them for the attempted murder, and they reminded me something I tried to instill in them. Yes as Lakotas, all life is sacred and must be honored, even animals. They knew that if animals were killed for ceremonial reasons or for food, that they must be honored and thanks must be given. All living deserved honor.
So imagine my kids disappointment when Killer the little puppy was picked up in my yard for not having a leash. The Oglala Sioux Housing Authority put him in a horse trailer with other people's dogs and strays. I was assured that they were "destroyed."
I asked how. I mean, not that I really want to know, but I am sure they were all shot by heartless people who needed the money. But I was the one who had to hold my 9 year old when he cried for his puppy.
I know I should have had my puppy on a leash, but why is this only enforced once in awhile? Why was I not given a warning. I was told this was in my lease agreement. I guess it is, but if it was something that was enforced all the time, I would have had Killer on a leash.
Killer wasn't a bad dog. He didn't bite people. He was babied by my boys. I know of people who are ven cops that have dogs that bite. You can't even walk around my neighborhood without a dog attacking you. You can't live in my neighborhood without a dog guarding your house.
But what are you gonna do? There's no animal cruelty laws here.
So ends the saga of my son's puppy Killer, who didn't die when I ran him over but the Housing shot dead.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Oh yeah I did.
My first attempt at quillwork. It's just a quilled strip right now, and not very good either....but when it's done I will have the baddest cruzer in the history of cruzers. (Will post a pic when done.)
And he didn't teach me, I surprised him and did it when he was gone.
Here's his work.
As you can see, I am nowhere near as good as he is. He's awesome.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I also remember swimming at East Dam. I remember there was a beach and we all would jump off logs into the water. It would be hot summer days, the adults would be standing around on the beach part by their cars listening to music, laughing and keeping an eye on the kids while we all screamed around while swimming. Uncles would be fishing nearby and if they did other things while fishing, I was not witness to it and didn't smell it. Nor did I snitch.
I remember when I used to go watch the movies at the old high school auditorium I saw Jaws there for the first time.
I remember fishing at White Clay Dam and Denby Dam and catching perch and catfish and thinking I was the bomb because of it. I remember watching my dad cut the heads off and gut and fry them right in front of me. I remember trying to eat them quickly because they were so delicious yet having to eat them carefully because of the tiny bones.
I remember sleigh riding off the Cohen Home hill in deep snow and I remember neighborhood softball games. I remember when neighborhoods didn't have speed bumps and kids didn't play in the middle of the street. I remember when fights were one on one and scheduled. Meet me here at 8 and if you got your butt kicked, that was that. You licked your wounds and probably were friends by the next week. I remember Friday Night Videos and slumber parties. I remember when Joy Lynn Parton, Andrea Schreiner, Allie Big Crow, and I mooned a car and it turned out to be the cops. (Apologies to them for not asking permission to snitch on them and I am even sorrier to the mothers who never knew.)
I remember when being a youth on the reservation was about being young, having fun and "not so innocent."
Those were the days when we didn't have to prove anything to anyone, didn't have to act all gangster, we were proud to be Lakota and didn't try to take on another culture. Those were the days we had things to do.
So is it technology and the World Wide Web that brought us here now? Is it the fact that as a community, we really don't have any recreational activities for our kids like we did back then? Or is it that as parents, we should be there for our children, each and every day?
I don't know what it is, I'm not preaching, but damn, I miss those days.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I lived away from here for 16 years, between the ages of 18 and 34. I lived everywhere. Places that have more things to do recreationally, for both me and my kids. Places where I could sell my beadwork for more than I could get here, because here, everyone and their mama does some sort of artwork for a scheme.
I lived where trash doesn't blow freely and it's a crime to throw a gumwrapper or cigarette butt out the window. I lived where alcohol is legal and not as big of a problem as here. I lived where there are jobs, and maybe more opportunities. I lived where the cultures are diverse and everywhere you turn.
But I also lived amongst people that know nothing of who they are. They don't know that thier grandpa, who is buried across from Chief Red Cloud was one of the first to recieve a Christian name. They don't know how to make wasna. They don't know who their people are, so they buy it. They don't know that pointing with their lips is a local slang. They don't know that the shinier the man, the better the lover. They don't know that coffee in the morning goes with old country, pow wow music and the swap shop on the local radio station. They don't know that the waiting room at the hospital is where you find out what's going on with everyone you know. They don't know that cousins are really "brothers and sisters" and aunties and uncles are "moms and dads." They don't know that an extended family could include over 100 cousins and you're pretty much related to everyone, somehow, through marriage or jail time.
In the city, you might have the world at your access. In the city you rack up high phone bills to catch up on what's going on at home, even though the news is never good. But on the reservation your world is right here and there is no place like it.
Maybe we don't agree with some of the ways around here, or maybe we hate that it is so trashy, but I was born and raised here and feel proud to be from Pine Ridge Reservation.
It's like when someone leaves your block of commod cheese open and it takes on the flavor of an onion...you still eat it, because you love it and because it's still commod cheese and a whole block of it.
Pine Ridge will always be Pine Ridge, and it is home to me. I am from here.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I had almost 3 beers, blew a .08 on the PBT thingy, and did 8 hours plus paid $35 to get out.
First off half or more of our own cops walked out and quit on the job. So we have all these new cops in town, which is weird, but if I had to rate the job they did here I would rate them on a scale of 8 on a 1 to 10.
He was very polite, read me my miranada's which I NEVER heard our own coppers do and he made sure the handcuffs were comfy.
He didn't crawl through or break any of my windows which I witnessed last summer from another un named cop that lives in my neighborhood.
He called me m'am.
He also asked what was wrong with our people, our cops, why is he even here. I was like, I don't know, but you are a nice cop.
Too bad he was a cop.
Does anyone really think that by making alcohol illegal, it's gonna do this reservation any good?
I like my beer.
I am human and can admit that. I don't think I need to go to jail for having a beer.
I think the people I see that have tribal or government jobs and deal or do meth and coke need to be jailed.
Making something illegal, can sometimes fall back and fuck everyone over when the things that are supposed to be illegal are widely used and known by all. Taking something away can intensify the problem.
This is one of the things wrong with our people. Our priorities are screwed.
BTW, not that I ever want to be there again but that new jail is nice.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I have a pet dog that I named Ned but they re named him Killer. Killer is such a puss, but I really do love him.
See the deal is, about 2 months ago. I ran him over. And I am such a puss, I ran. Because I didn't want to see him die. and I panicked. I knew I was going to be jacked up for murdering my own dogggy....by my kids. So yes, I did a hit and run when I backed out and heard him crying. I went to work and cried all the way there. saying ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod over and over and trying to think of an alibi.
Last I knew he was screaming and rolling around under my bedroom window. I'm a murderer I thought. So I take off from work early that day after keeping a low profile. I realized that Killer was dead and I had to face the consequences,....my kids. So I walk braveley in the house, go to my room and look out my window.
He was gone.
WTF! Who stole his poor dead body, did the ambulance come get him? I holler at my boys....surely they had to know.
"Guys, I murdered your dog, sorry." I hung my head waiting for the sentencing.
"What you talking about mom, hes eating."
I go look out back where we throw leftovers. He cocks his head to one side and looks at me.
He acts happy to see me, but I know he knows that I hit and ran and did a number on him.
I was so thankful and happy to report that Killer is alive and kicking.
Then the other day, see I love cats. They are the best. But this group of tourists from like, Ohio or something came to the school on a group tour. They come to the reservation all year to "donate" their time, and goodwill to help out all us poverty stricken indians. Anyway, once a week they take time out of painting and repairing the homes of elderly to tour the campus and visit the store. Well that day I was going to lunch right when about 56 or so of them were coming down from the graveyard. So this kid that's like 15 and 6 ft 5 and 300 lbs is carrying this little bitty scrawny kitty.
where did you find that? I ask him.
He came to me right from Chief Red Cloud's grave, he says. I am outside waiting for my man to pick me up for lunch.
Cool, I say. He's holding the kitty and mumbling to it.
Oh bitty kitty, i don't want to leave you.
The fuckin cat is like MEOW PURRRRRR MEOW. Like totally trying to get this guy to take him out of this hellhole rez and back to Ohio. So he puts the cat down and going into the store.
the cats looks at me like he's pissed.
MEOW! he says in the most annoying cat voice.
Go away, I tell him. He stands in front of me. Looking at me. Then he JUMPS onto my legs and digs his claws into my leg. MEOW!
FUCK! I holler back at him. I throw him off me and he does it again. I gently nudge him with my toe to the next tree. Save it for the tourists CAT.
My man pulls up so I get up to go to the car. The fuckin cat chases me and because I AM an animal lover and don't want to run him over next or want him to get run over by another tourist I pick him up and give him a Brett Favre fourth quarter toss into the grass. At the single minute I toss the cat I see the Boy watching from the front of the building. his mouth is hanging open in horror.
Our eyes meet. I can already hear him years away telling his kids how this savage indian chick threw a bitty kitty 50 yards. telling how he survived the wild reservation and saved a bitty kitty.
I jump into the car and say GO!
See I really do love animals, every flea bitten one of them.
Sioux me PETA
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Legend has it that the wa teca warrior is an elderly with a sagye (cane) to beat you off if you so happen to reach into their designated wa teca area. The Wa Teca warrior has many, many takojas (grandkids) to feed, which is why they wa teca quicker than you can say wojapi.
I also found out that the legend is mythical but the Wa Teca Warrior does exist.
Let me tell you what happened without using any names.
I was sitting at a huge feeding last week with some of my homegirls. I was still eating when I saw the usual "wa teca crew." Grandmothers getting maybe one bowl or so of soup and some crackers to take home and eat while watching Wheel of Fortune. Then I saw her.
Yes, her. The Wa teca Warrior is a girl, so in other words a princess. She is not elderly and doesn't own a sagye and has yet to pull a takoja out of the woodwork. She's younger than me. But man, can she wa teca.
She wa teca-ed so fast we all stopped eating to watch her.
"Wow." Someone said as she whipped up 7 bowls of soup with tinfoil that appeared out of nowhere. She already had a huge box to put them in. She threw in bread, crackers and two bowls of salad. Then she walked out.
We all sat with our mouths hanging open, awestruck at the thought of how fast someone could wa teca.
Someone whispered "She wa teca's like a grandma."
Then she walks in again and we watch. What more could she take in round 2? Then I see the sandwiches. She grabs a tinfoil pan and loads it up with sandwiches, grabs the big box of chips and flips open a grocery bag that she then filled with all the lunchbag sized chips that she could squeeze in there. There was no possible way she had any more room, I knew. But yet, she found a way to fit a plate full of cake in the mix. Then she put her shades on, turned ansd waved at everyone and strolled out as if she was Dirty Harry.
WAIT, she wasn't done! I knew I saw her looking at the kool aid dispenser on her way out the door. She comes back in with a plastic jug and shakes the hell out of the kool aid dispenser. With her shades still on, she grabs a passing kid with one hand and makes him hold her plastic jug while she tips the kool aid dispenser until the last drop.....dripped.
Then she leaves. As if victorious in a gunfight after 3 rounds.
And that my friends, is the legend of the Wa Teca Warrior Princess. Keep your eyes open, she can be found at a wake, funeral, memorial, birthday party, baby shower, graduation dinner, feast near you.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I have been getting more into my artwork, which is a good thing, and it could be because my new guy is an artist and we sit across from each other and create art.
My last load of laundry was screwed up because of crumpled kleenex in my pocket. Maybe because it was the last piece of anything I had left from the funeral. Torn into thousands of shredded pieces of almost nothing except you could see pieces of it all over my clothes. The thousands of tears I cried thrown everywhere.
Maybe because now I am done crying, maybe I am done not talking to aunties, maybe I am done being a bitch through her. Who lived her life that way.
I will always miss her, I will not turn into her. Yet when I chewed out the cashier at the taco stand and wrapped the rest of my taco up into its wrapper and two napkins and stuffed it into my purse, I looked at my brother who was staring at me with big eyes.
I am not turning into her, I said. And I wondered silently why I took my taco like that when I never did.
Maybe because my neighbor's dog is knocked up and they care more about their beer instead of feeding her. Fuckers.
Yep, I am turning into her.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
*pic is of my grandma, her twin Bogie and thier big sister Erna.
As I write this my grandma is in the hospital in a coma and the newspaper is two days away from print. I am even off schedule and trying to sneak this in after deadline. It has been a hectic week.
My grandma is named Darlene. She was proud, fierce, loving, mean, and the biggest Cubs fan in the world. Any other time I wrote about her, I had to ask permission and promise her a big roll of hamburger from the grocery store. She is going to k'ata me for this, I know, but I have to tell you about this woman, this Lakota woman who raised so many.
I always broke my mom's heart when I was a little girl and cried to spend summers, school years and so on with my grandma. She had the best sense of humor, even when I was a child. I slept right by her and kicked her all night. She would complain all the next day, but look for me at bedtime again. I was the first and oldest grandchild. I was spoiled by uncles, aunties, Grandma Dod and Grandpa Rusty. I remember her going to war for me many times, as she did for many children and grandchildren. She wasn't scared of anyone, and if she was, she sure never showed it.
One thing I always remember about my grandma is her feet. I was a bad sleeper, all over the bed. But anytime my grandma's feet touched me, I moved away. They felt like the bottom of moccasins, hard and smooth at the same time. She hated wearing shoes and if you ever saw her walk, she walked like her toes never touched the ground.
I don't have that walk, but I inherited her feet. I did, they are like moccasin soles and carried me for 36 years. I was thinking about that today, missing when I used to analyze her feet. I thought of the times I saw my grandma on those feet, sometimes barefoot, sometimes with her shoes on. Like when she beat an art teacher with her purse for making my auntie scrub his classroom floor with a toothbrush. Or when she watched my aunties graduate high school. when she walked me up the hill to the Cohen Home to visit her mom. When she demanded better customer service from many a cashier, waitress, clerk, etc. When she buried her twin. When she buried her daughter. When she held her grandkids. When she worked in the kitchen at my step dad's funeral. When she went to work everyday, even at the age of 73. When she beat lung cancer in 98. When she rushed to the hospital everytime a grandkid went to the emergency room. When she cried because she lost her pets Tino and Chico.
See, I have these rough feet. I pretend to have a foot phobia, only because I don't want anyone to touch the feet that I walk around barefoot on.
The truth is, I have my grandma's feet, and I am very proud of that. I love you Grandma Dod, I wished I could be as brave as you someday. I hope my feet carry me through as bravely.
I debated on sending my daughter to Oklahoma with my mom for the summer, but who am I to not let the bond between a grandma and grand-daughter grow?
I wrote this for my Grandma Dod and even though I am a loyal and fierce Yankees fan, I will cheer for the Chicago Cubs to win it all for her.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
A little to the right. My mom bought me a cabbage patch doll with the same dimple.
People always noticed there was just the one.
Then I met him.
And all of a sudden there is one to the left side. Matching the right.
Look, he said, I gave you another dimple.
No way, I said. As if.
I looked in the mirror and smiled. There it was.
The same one, just opposite.
That can't happen, I said. Impossible.
It isn't as deep as the other one, but yesterday, I notcied it's deeper than the day before.
I think it was always there, he told me. You just never saw it.
Or I didn't smile as much, I said.
and then I smiled.
Friday, July 25, 2008
At the same time, I met a wonderful guy.
I mean I knew him already, just never knew how cool he was.
I met him and have been happy, then my gram went in a coma on tuesday.
i have been slacking at work, i am home now and don't feel like even going to work.
I will keep you updated.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I used to be so scared to die. I still am, I won't lie. Even to go "peacefully" in your sleep doesn't seem so peaceful. To not know that you were going to bed on your sleep comfort number 45 and then never wake up to the smell of coffee and bacon again scares the crap out of me. But at the same time, when it happens traumatically, I am sure it is just as scary. Or to suffer through it with sickness you can't fight, would be depressing.
So does that mean that whether or not we know it is going to happen, we have to accept it?
Or can we pretend that everything looks like Willy Wonka's world and Lucy is in the sky with diamonds?
I had a friend tell me today that her man had a dream I died and that he woke up scared and trying to cry. They are both real close to me and she was worried about me. I almost cried after she told me.
I started thinking, what if my days were numbered? I mean they are, all of ours are, but what if I knew. Especially when I had been thinking about it so much lately.
I would not go into death being scared of it, even though I am an evil bitch sometimes. I don't think I deserve hell, if there is one. It can't be more statistically worse than the reservation. I think I would be more worried about what my kids would do without me. My boys have been spending alot of time with their dad lately, my mom has my princess, I would just pray they could be everything I want them to be without me around and can handle not having me around. That is all I would want.
And some bad ass jams to go out to. Oh...and to be buried in the spot my dad wants me to build a house.
*didn't mean to freak anyone out with this blog, but when someone has a dream that you died, it kinda makes you think about it.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
People never know how their breath smells.
One guy that sells me stuff always has listerine breath to cover the malt liquor I smell underneath it.
My co worker has breath like french onion sun chips because she eats them ALL the time.
I hated teachers that had breath like coffee and shit. I wouldn't ask for their help.
My kids at the moment have taco breath.
Today something funny happened to me. As much as I think anything other than minty gum does not smell good coming from someone else's mouth, like beer, onions, cheese....ugh....anyway I was at the grocery store with my son Jalen. We bought a bag of corn nuts at the last minute for our ride. We went to the next grocery store in town because I, of course forgot something. I have to leave the car running because my son is in the car eating corn nuts. I ate a few. I also have to leave my car running until final destination because....well thats another story.
I went to the expresss lane. This lady 4 people in front of me has one of those little baskets for your shopping convenience. She has it stuffed with about 27 little items. I sigh.
Why don't the cashier kick her off? Just because her basket is little? I never take more than the standard 6 items through....hardly ever.
I sigh again.
All of a sudden the dude in front of me says save my spot and looks fastly and furiously around the store. I watch hims search the ends of the aisles until he finds his prize.
Two bags of corn nuts.
For some reason he comes back, happy and smiling. I was craving these so bad all of a sudden.
I smile at him with my mouth closed and quit sighing.
I still think, how the hell can someone having corn nut breath make you hungry?
Monday, July 14, 2008
Before I start writing about what I want to, I want to recognize that it was my kids' grandma's birthday on Monday, July 14th. She was a wonderful woman, who I now know is the reason why I ended up living in Rushville, NE for almost two years. So my kids could get to know their grandma who was fiercely proud of her grandkids.
I always say I am not the brightest bead on a pair of moccasins. I never pretend to be. I am as fiercely proud of the fact that I am from the Pine Ridge Reservation as my kids' grandma was of her grandkids.
I was confused a while back when people were ready to "jump ship." People were talking, ready to give up the fact that they were born and raised here. People were quitting their jobs, saying they were gonna be enrolled in the Shakopee tribe. People had their money spent, showing me pictures of cars that they were gonna spend their money on. This is our people, they said. I was like, well if thats what you believe, then cool. My people are from here, like me.
I know that me, myself, and I, for one would not want to be anything but the Lakota I am. Money may sound good to some, may make them want to sell their pride, but money also makes you miserable. I know this is easy for me to say, because I am from one of the poorest counties in the country and our statistics are so bad, they compare to Haiti, a third world country. BUT, I am LAKOTA. This is my reservation and leaving it made me realize, I never want to be anything other than Lakota. In any lifetime.
Why try to be something you never grew up with? Something you never knew anything about? After the money is gone, IF it ever comes through, you will be left with peoplethat you don't know and they don't know you. Back on your reservation there will always be the people that were always a part of you, and people you pulled away from. People that will probably never be wealthy in materialistic things, but people that have heart, have pride, and have spirit.
My kids' grandma lived a hard life but had a beautiful spirit and her pride of being Lakota would shine like the sun on the reservation. I will never forget her and all she taught me about being Lakota. I never knew how much she taught me until she was gone.
I went for a couple of cruises throughout the rez this past weekend with some friends. I gave a friend a ride to his sons birthday party at the Knee. The sun was setting and washed the rez in an orange glow. It was an awesome and breathtaking sight to see a very sacred and historical spot washed in that summer glow. I rode with another friend, Bobby Sox, to Slim Buttes and back. The same deal, the sun was setting and it was beautiful. I thought of how in the past, how many people, Lakota people must have walked the same land. The same, sun was setting and this was their land. They walked it with pride knowing that nobody could take who they were away from them, no matter what.
No amount of money will take me from this reservation and make me want to be a part of another way of life that I am not. No amount of money will take my fierce Lakota pride from me. I am Lakota and this is my reservation. There is no place like home.
Rest in peace, Grandma KK.
*pic by my sis of my other sis*
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I am going to walk as slow as I want to piss the people behind me off.
I am going to wait until the cashier gives me the amount for my bottle of orange juice, red wine and 1 peach, then I am going to say HUH? And then I will look for my checkbook, ask for a pen, and ask who I make the check out to. then with shaky hands from the red wine I will slowly write the check out.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
This is called the trickle down blog effect.
I couldn't decide what to write about for the reative challenge. Plus I have been so busy at work it's crazy. Thats why I reposted a few things. Anyway the challenge was "A Moment in Time.:
I was thinking, I have so many I couod blog about I can't think of one. But I choose one after reading Miss T's blog which was inspired by Ned's So here it goes. Push play up there.
A Moment in Time
When I was 16 years old, I had some of the best friends, because I decided to stop hanging around girls for awhile. Most of them were backstabbing at that time. I was tired of it. I was a football cheerleader and my best friends wereC. Dubbs and Mase, our two biggest linemen. We ate lunch together, went to movies, concerts, everything. Sometimes they would set me up with their friends, which was a bonus to having guy friends.
It was summertime and the Central States Fair was coming up. We all had a friend in common, who was younger than me, kinda cute and I got along great with, while he was in Seattle with family. We talked on the phone while he was in Seattle almost everynight. I told him of breaking up withBruce at the beginning of summer and he talked of this chick he was going out with in Seattle. We could talk and laugh forever.
He told me he was coming home for Central States Fair and wanted to know if we all wanted to go up for the fair. C.Dubbs, Mase, and I. My mom was hesitant because I was 16 and going up with my guy friends but they had to convince her I was safer with them than with other girls.
So we packed enough for an overnight stay and Tony (dude I talked to every night) picked us up. I was squished in his car between the two big boys in the back because his cousin from Seatlle was riding passenger. We laughed and kidded all the way up there about my fear of carnival rides. Everyone was saying they would force me to ride the rides and I was like hell no.
We got closer to the point where we hit the Black Hills. The Black Hills were drenched in the sunset. everything was that beautiful golden honey color that you can only get when the sun hits a certain point on the horizon. Tony put in a cassette he bought in Seattle. It was the first time I heard Guns and Roses. The guitar playing while the sun was setting over the Black Hills was a Moment In Time, I will never forget. I remember catching Tony's eye in the rearview mirror and smiling. I remember thinking I'm going to kiss him this weekend and also thinking I will ride a scary ride tonight. And I did.
Dedicated to the memory of C. Dubbs and Mase. R.I.P.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Ok this shit is getting out of hand. I can't take it anymore. I have a bathroom, it's pretty much the girls bathroom here. The boys stink up and clean their bathroom with the only shower in the house. I don't mind having the bathtub because I personally prefer taking a bath to taking a shower.
BUT I have to evict you Barbie, this shit ain't right. You LIVE in my bathtub. You don't pay rent. You go around all naked with you hair all wet all the time. you invited all those little Bratz hoochies with no feet over. Next thing I knew, you had My Little Pony all up in my tub with all you hooches. Everytime I go to take a bath I have to take you all out and put you in the sink...when I go back in there, you're all in the tub again. Looking like the Tila Tequila show rejects in my tub.
So when I go to dump the kids off at the pool today I look over and see you all passed out, naked with the Bratz hoochies, My Little Pony passed out puking in the drain and then I see her little ghetto ass.
And her monkey Boots. And her backpack backpack backpack is gone. I know the Bratz hoochies jacked her for her backpack when you all got her drunk. I know we live in the ghetto but leave Dora out of it. For the love of lead poisioning.
Barbie you are an evil bitch.; If you don't move the hell out of my tub you will die a slow painful death by The Girl. And you seen her kill the other barbies like a barbie Nazi.
So even though The Girl put you there, you must leave. Or She will kill you.
Consider yourself warned
signed Barbie Nazi's mom.
Monday, June 30, 2008
*my son Jalen in my car
I am watching him cruise....right now.
Now granted, I am not one of those controlling parents who gives them time outs and a real good talking to. I just whipped their asses. The thing is, I never have to, hardly ever had to, and I have some well behaved kids.
They are not perfect, they fart, half kill each other and can make a hangover worse. They get lazy , get allowances taken away and have to be screamed at to pick up after themselves.
But I never controlled them with religion, politics, or the ratings of a movie. I monitor the computer very closely and although I do talk to them about politics, religion and what not, they are encouraged and entitled to their own opinions. In the midst of the democratic primary, while I was a stern Barack supporter, my boys decorated their playstation with Hillary stickers. hmph.
The other day I noticed that in the year before high school, I have yet to hear them cuss. Even my siblings who are their age, told me they don't cuss when inquired. So I told them, the other day because I am such a great mom. "You know, you're gonna both be in high school, so I think it's ok for you to cuss, now."
They looked at me like I was up to something, and I am sure Jalen tasted the soap from when he was 5.
They both looked at me and laughed "I don't want to." Ty said "Because you sound stupid doing it, and I never did get used to the idea of cussing."
"Well, I was just saying, go for it. I don't mind as long as you don't do it in front of other adults. Give it a try...say bitch once."
"Mom you're so stupid. Imma tell everyone you are trying to force us to cuss. You know, being a kid is a priviledge we only get once. I am not going to ruin it by tryin to be an adult and sound all stupid like you." said the 14 year old Jalen.
So maybe I was testing them. Seeing if they would, but I wasn't going to get mad. I just wanted to see, if I did an ok job so far. I think I did.
So then we get home and I tell them that they have to learn to drive, because I hate driving and then they can drive their uber cool mom around.
Then tonight I worked really late for inventory and I sit on the couch eating pizza while watching Ty play San Andreas GTA.
He hit the side of a rail on a bridge while driving a motorcycle. He flew over 100 yards and landed on his face on the curb below. So he jumps up and out of mid air a jet pack appears. He flies up to his bike and gets on, therefore causing 3 wrecks and what seemed to be 7 certain deaths on arrival. All the time I hear the police and am ready to point him out if they appear. I can't believe my son turned into this monster. Just when I think things can't get worse, he flies down this cliffs and gets hit by a truck. Now I know there was no way he can survive that! Then he open fires on some dude he didn't know, and not even to steal his car. The dude is laying outside his car a bloody mess and Ty runs over his poor broken leg and then backs over it laughing at my shock. He looks at me and say oh yeah watch this, at that point I get up and walk over to the computer to tell you this.
That boy will never drive my car.
so i have a job and don't have to hustle beadwork no more
so i have a car that gets me from point a to b to g
so i should be happy
fuck this war!!!!
i can't even drive my car to work beause i can't afford the gas half the time!!!
*waiting for a ride*
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I am soo late on this but I had to do a little research. Carol did it different this time, by making us all say one word and then grouping the words for us to make a story out of.
I took on the group number two because no one else did. Plus I think I threw it off by adding the word waterbird and everyone is like HUH?
Here are the words from group 2
Here is my challenge entry.
Rain always has that effect on me. Here I was a lowly, mousy secretary in the city, trying to be depressed about a little rain.
I need to get away from work so I took the afternoon off. I decided to go see a local exhibit at the museum. I moved away from the reservation right after hish school and had been living n a walk up apartment for the past year. I hadn't made any friends yet and sometimes I wished for the reservation life. Sometimes.
I threw the wrapper to the chocolate bar in the trash when I got off the bus downtown. I ran in the rain towards the museum. It took me all of two minutes to get to the front door, but in that two minutes I wondered what would become of my life. I felt like I had no purpose and was in limbo. Why was I here? I was always the perfectionist who thought she had her life planned and now,...well, now what?
I opened the heavy door and was given a program on the new exhibition of Native American history and culture.
I looked at the regular collection first, wandering in and amongst the beautiful fabrics and textiles and paintings that someone had made their mark in life with. Why can't I make a mark like that?
After an hour of being amazed by the sheer beauty some people can create, I wandered to the Native American exhibit that was going on for the summer.
I wandered amongst other people in awe of the history around us.
Then I saw it.
A ghost dance shirt.
It was beautiful with the paintings of waterbirds and stars on it, made with pigments from the earth.
I remembered one time seeing a waterbird with my grandma. She told me the story of how a waterbird repesented renewal of life. How the waterbird meant so much to our Lakota people. She told me of Wounded Knee and how so many people believed that the government was scard of Lakotas dancing to bring the ghosts back to help them carry on with their way of life. No, it wasn't that, she said. It was retalliation for Little Big Horn.
But don't let that truth take away from you the fact that the waterbird will always have meaning for us. It is always a renewal of life to us. Maybe that way of life ended but the waterbird brings us hope that the ways of the Lakota will live on.
Then she sang a song to me....and made me pray with her as we offered tobacco to the earth.
I must have looked at that shirt for an hour with tears in my eyes.
I knew what I had to do. When I left the museum, I went to the nearest magazine stand and bought a pack of cigarettes. I walked to the park and enjoyed the fresh smell of rain. I prayed and offered the tobacco to the earth singing the same song my grandma taught me all those years ago.
When I got home, I searched though my things that I had in a shoebox under the bed, then I found it. It was a quilled waterbird lapel pin that my grandma made and gave me. In it, I saw my future, I saw my destiny. I made arangements while holding that pin. I called my grandma last of all.
Grandma I am moving home to go to the tribal college. I think I want to teach the youth our ways. Our Lakota ways.
Come home takoja, she said.
(the above story is fiction, and it was inspired by a quilled waterbird pin that we have at work.)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I had heard that at an annual family ceremony this year, the wateca rush was no more. I heard that people were paranoid that I was going to be there with my Nikes on and ziplocs in tow. That I would sneak around the corner to write little notes about what happened for my column. I heard that when it was time to wateca, everyone looked at each other and the mad rush was no longer. Because of me.
I talked to one family member last week, it was very casual phone conversation and then he said "Why? You gonna write about it?" We laughed, but I could sense the tension because he was mentioned in a previous column entry.
Even at work, a family member who I hadn't seen in years came to sell me some beadwork. We hassled over prices until I gave him what I thought was a fair deal. When I saw his name I realized it was my mom's first cousin. We had a laugh over the previous little word scuffle over prices. He teased me about not helping him out but talking him down on his price. I teased him back that he was family and supposed to give me a fair price. Then his eyes narrowed and he said "Don't you dare put this in the paper." I promised him I wouldn't then I just now realized I did. Sorry Uncle with no name.
So I started thinking. I like to tease but I have a hard time taking a tease. How would I feel if I was teased in the paper that hundreds of skins read without permission?
I looked back in the website, www.lakotacountrytimes.com (See Connie and Amanda there was a free plug) to see how often I talked of my family. It was quite a bit that I entertained people with stories of my families mad wateca skills, my brother's shooting me in the head with blanks, the mean indian women in my family, my hunka brothers nickname Dirty Steve,and so on and so on.
So then I thought of how rude I was to write about them without asking permission. I mean people tell me they appreciate my writing all the time, oh except for the one person who told someone to tell me that my writing was bland. Whatever. But I never ask anyone to write about them and now I expect someone to come up and want to roll with me over something I wrote.
So I am writing this week to apologize to my family. I am so sorry for entertaining people the way you entertain me. For sharing with the world the humor you share and instilled in me.
I have decided to quit writing this column.
About family members.
That live off the reservation.
Josh, just teasing. You are all fair game and I thank you all for being good sports. So if your last name is Lone Elk, Lone Hill, Wilson, McLaughlin, Amiotte, and so on, remember, I am watching you and I love you all.
To Amanda and Connie, can you send me more bumper stickers? There is a few family members cars I didn't get.
Friday, June 27, 2008
How can a word have no meaning when they are all in the dictionary?
You can look up the meaning for every word.
What would a word be without a meaning?
A word without a meaning is spoken without meaning.
Spoken with no heart, no guts, no truth, no love, no feeling.
Words without meaning can tear you or your life apart.
Unless you have heart, guts, truth, love, and feeling.
Believe me, I know.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today is the day the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne paired up to defeat the 7th Calvary in 1876.
It is better known as Custer's Last Stand or the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Today is the day my people took the flag away from the government and basically kicked ass.
Today is a celebration, no matter what anyone says.
I am having a cook out.
Remember that when you are watching the evening news.
That somehere in America, Lakota girl is celebrating with her family the power of her people long ago.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Toni J hooked me up with this site. I was always jealous of this challenge but now I am taking it on. Her friend Danette does it. This week's theme is "A Strength In"
So, you know how I roll.
This is for my lil baby cousin Paco (in the pic)
There is a strength in my people
We seem quiet, reserved
Some mistake it for feeble
We are just waiting for what we deserve
We were supposed to be swept away
The forgotten holocaust
There was supposed to be a day
When our ways were lost
The way the dice rolled
Our forgotten fate
Shines like a picture show
You can't forget us
There's no ashes to ashes
There's no dust to dust
We are here in masses
Maybe you can forget
the attempted genocide
But we are still here for this ride
Our ways carry on
Our pride held dear
The Lakota live on
Fuck yeah, we're still here.
Our love for this land
This time fate
Is in our hands
You call us savages
Never knowing our ways
While you tried to ravage us
By trying to take it away
We prayed for better days
Those days are here now
We fight with the written word
We still have no fear no how
We need to be heard
You can't push me away
I refuse to disappear
There will come a day
You will have to listen and hear
That this country
My people still serve proudly
Broke every treaty
I will tell you loudly
We are Lakota, baby
We will not go down without a fight
I need no one to save me
Read what I write
We are still here
We will carry on
The ways, the strentgh, the pride
It's an unbreakable bond
Shining from the inside
We are Lakota
And today is a good day to die.
We will carry on
Our ways held dear
Oglala Lakota are strong
Fuck yeah, we're still here.
Thats for my boy Paco. Hope he has fun with that one. Love you cuz.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Stiffy calls it that...soo....
anyway here is how it goes.
all day I was bitchin about this pack of gum I bought.
See I love chewing gum and I have a bad habit of swallowing it when the flavor is gone.
Well I was bitchin to a co worker, who told me to call the 800 number for a free pack, she is Jewish, not that that has anything to do with it.
Then I bitched to Shannon, i don't know what her addy was, I forgot to check again.
So my co worker and I were tagging inventory and seperating it in my office and the much younger HS grad summer worker was working the front.
Well just picture that and then picture this convo
Me-I am really displeased with that. (I pointed with my lips to the pack of spearmint gum on my desk.)
Me- It doesn't stay soft. It gets hard right away and I don't like it after that. I don't even swallow anymore.
Her-Yeah,I saw you spit it out too.
Me- They should call it Extra Hard.
Much younger HS Grad Summer Help- What are you two talking about????
We had a good laugh over it. I was beet red and I am still spitting the damn stuff out.
I don't have anything planned. Sometimes, that is the best way, is to not plan anything.
I kind of want to take my kids to Wounded Knee, the massacre site, and let them see it. Tell them what I have been taught about it. Show them the history, instead of writing about it and having them read it. Next Wednesday is Independence Day, or Victory Day, or whatever. Basically just, Custer Got Fucked Day. I plan on baking a cake and having a cook-out. Hope it works out.
Today is the summer solstice. My mom called me last night to tell me to honor today. Take time out to honor and pray. This was an important day to our ancestors, everything was about honor back then. Those are the ways that need to be carried on.
I plan on doing it at work and taking the time to walk up to the graveyard to visit my grandma and grandpa's graves. They are buried at an angle across from Red Cloud. They are Caesar and Mattie Lone Elk. Caesar was the first Lone Elk. The first to get a name.
Today is a beautiful day. Take the time to pray and appreciate what it has to offer.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Can you see my green jelly beans?
Can you taste my strawberry lipgloss?
Can you feel those champagne bubbles?
Can you see that striking sunrise?
Can you own those comfortable, worn out shoes?
Can you smell the softness of that lotion?
Can you smell that lasagna baking, or those brats simmering?
Can you remember that micro-brewed wheat beer?
Can you appreciate the melting marshmallows on the top of hot chocolate?
Can you remember how to dig for timpsilas?
Can you get past my green chucks?
Can you read my writing?
Can you hear me?
Can you see who I am on the inside?
Or is the outside, all that matters?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I can't throw any F-bombs for the next 48 hours and I win 20 dollars with my bestest friend. So in place of the F-bimb I will say firetruck or whatever. I know it's corny.
I never poofed a blog before until I did on Multiply. All my old blogs are out there somewhere hanging in the world wide web. I lost a buncha crap by poofing it, but I don't care. Like I said before I can smell fake, and the stench was too strong on that particular site. Now this is some crazy shit. I have an old site on Multiply, my first one that I started with an ID name something like Danafiretrukkindane. The only reason I did it was because none of the other danadanes worked and I degraded to my horrible sailor ways and then the name felt a little too much on the gangsta side for me, so I left that account and created a new one.
That old account would crosspost with this blogspot, so all the time I thought I was being incognito on blogger, it was posting on danafiretrukkindane. I don't make sense do I?
It don't matter, I have like a friends list of 5 over there, so it's cool.
Work is cool, kids are fine, all are lonely for the Princess. She could care less in Oklahoma.
There are so many tourists, I feel like I might catch firetruckin smallpox!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Maaan, it wasn't what anything used to be. I probably won't even grab the blogs that I didn't cross post here.
I just get sick of shit online sometimes. You can smell fake over the world wide web and the stench was overwhelming.
I think I need to do alotta soul searching irl too.
I need to get back to who I am.
My baby girl went to Oklahoma for the summer. It is so lonely without her.
I got to get used to the fact that my kids are getting older and stuff.
So for the time being my only blogs are here, Yahoo (again) and myspace....still a blogwhore.
Later people, thanks for reading, to the quiet readers, I know you read still.
Friday, June 13, 2008
People who make that their way of life and living, because they have no choice. It is one thing our people here have that they hang onto desperately and sacredly. There are few jobs here and being an artist is a way of life, lucky as most here are to be able to make a living out of art, it is not thought of that way.
I have stated before, every piece represents a gallon of gas, milk, bread, a portion of a lightbill, it is not a comfortable living, but barely a living.
They Lakotas however, has so much fierce pride inside, they do a spenldid job of living. Every piece is well represented of the area, the culture and an adaptable way of life. Nowhere else do you find such beauty in a piece of art as small as a pair of earrings.
I know one such girl that quills with such pride, every piece speaks to you as if it is already yours because the weaving is so intricate and tight and when you know who made it, you think, wow, she cares so much for her work, she takes painstaking time to make great detail, even though it probably just gas money or money to get by for the day. She was passed on that trait from an aunt, who learned from her mother. That grandmother is no longer here, but taught a whole generation to quill. In turn, a whole new generation is learning the ways of quilling and making a living from it. All from one woman.
One woman who realized that the porcupine was a sacred animal to her family, for generations to come. That the porcupine would provide way of life for her people, as in the past and give her tiyospaye a sense of utmost pride.
I watched the young girl quill and bring me beautiful piece after beautiful piece. I watched her through her last two trimesters of pregnancy, grow more and more excited about having a girl, her first girl. She would stand there and rub her stomach as we talked. I saw her and her husband come in a week ago with the brand new baby.
She was beautiful, with a head full of black hair, gorgeous complexion and sleeping as if the world wasn't spinning. I bought her earrings, and told her congratualtions. I teased her about missing her quillwork.
I saw her Monday when I went to work. She was with her husband. He came into my office. He gave me a look that told a different story.
Did you hear, he asked, she's gone. He said before I could answer.
She passed away in her sleep yesterday morning. Do you guys donate at all?
Oh no, I will find out. I gave him a hug, told him sorry and they left.
I had to inform them the next morning that we didn't donate. The school I work for, who operates on donations, didn't donate for such instances. They bought her a turtle amulet for her belly button and they needed moccasins.
Don't worry about it, I told them.
I stayed up all night Tuesday, furiously making and beading purple moccasins for a little girl I will never know. For a couple I just got to know.
Because life is sacred, that is how the Lakota believe. We must carry on with these ways.
Rest in Peace Naudia Sunshine.