Archive for the ‘Laugh’ Category

ABC NEWS Has Come Through For Pine Ridge

Over a year ago, I was contacted by a researcher/producer for ABC News.  She had found one of my blog entries (in which I was chastising ABC for not paying attention to the disasters in the west, especially on the reservations).  She told me they were working on a Diane Sawyer prime time special in her “A Hidden America” series.  The prior one had been on life in Appalachia.  This time they were planning to profile Pine Ridge Reservation.

Those of you who have been reading my blog will know that there is not much that fires up my hopefully righteous passion more than talking about life on Pine Ridge Reservation.  So talk we did, for almost an hour.  And we emailed – resources that they might find helpful.

I had heard that Diane Sawyer was out on the rez this past summer when I was there (no, we didn’t happen to cross paths traveling the approximately 2 million acres on the rez.  But I did here that she went up to KILI Radio one of the days I was there.  Try to keep that quiet when you’re talking to DJ’s.

I am giving you a link to the promo for the show.  Please, if you have ever enjoyed or been moved by anything I have written, I implore you to watch the 20/20 program on Friday at 10 PM.  See with your own eyes the good and the bad of Pine Ridge.  You may not find it possible but this place does exist.  I have been there and I suspect they will not tell you the worst story nor show you the poorest homes.  But it will still be worse than you expect.  After all, the living conditions on Pine Ridge rival those in Haiti and the life expectancy on Pine Ridge rivals that of Burundi.

I work for an organization that works to support self-sufficiency – not an easy thing to have on Pine Ridge.  Many of us work to keep the dam from breaking by trying to improve the life of one person at a time.  The big picture can be truly overwhelming.

If you can’t watch the show when it airs, record it or have a friend record it for you.

I will be honest.  I prayed for someone with greater reach than mine to focus attention on the needs of Pine Ridge.  I did not know (or care) who it would be.  I am grateful to ABC News because I know that if more people see the conditions, they will be moved to respond.  I believe in the American people and I know in my heart that things can improve.  I do not have the answers but I know it can be done.

Thank YOU for helping them to raise awareness.  You can do that by sharing this blog post with everyone you know.

Oh yes, here’s the link to the promo:  http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/hidden-america-children-plains-14708439#.TpOhj9LOE2E.facebook


Read Full Post »

I actually have 5 sponsors on my desk (actually, their information, not the sponsors themselves) at one time.

How can that be?  I have never had that many at one time.  In some ways, it’s overwhelming.  I have to, in a matter of just a few days, contact all of them, get to know something about them and then call twice as many contacts on the rez to make an appropriate match.

Don’t get me wrong!  I am NOT complaining about having sponsors.  It’s just that the universe has a strange sense of timing.  I have these sponsors when I also have several other pressing tasks and a deadline – since I traveling out to Pine Ridge a week from today.  I feel like I remember feeling when I was in school and it was time for mid-terms or finals.

I’m trying to get organized.  It’s not usually difficult for me, but it seems that there is a lot of subconscious thought going on as well, which is making it more difficult to concentrate.  I can’t add the subconscious topics to the “To Do” list because I don’t know what they are.  Obviously they are important but touchy.  So they will live a life of their own while I try to organize the rest.

I’ve been trying to contact the Food Program drivers for one of the areas I coordinate all week as well.  I have had an interesting story about one of the food recipients and want to talk to them about it, to get their impressions.  If you think “phone tag” is no fun in your life (and you’re right), it is even worse when you do it with someone on the rez.  I have to do some more of that today as well.

Okay, time to get going.  My husband has gone out hiking for the day to “stay out of my hair.”  The cat is fed and so am I.  Time for some caffeine and the phone.  Oh wait . . . it’s 10:30 AM here . . . that means 8:30 AM in Pine Ridge . . . just a bit early to call people, even if it is about a sponsor.

Maybe I have time to enjoy that coffee and listen to the birds.

Read Full Post »

I feel I am fairly well versed on the seasons of the church year as well as the holiday celebration traditions that have developed in contemporary society.

It would seem to be a bit late to be writing about Christmas decorations, particularly outdoor Christmas lighting.  The general tradition has developed to put up outdoor Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving.  The day after the turkey is put away, the switch can be thrown for the Christmas lights – often before Advent has begun (that is, the 4 weeks before Christmas that Christians are supposed to use to prepare themselves for the coming of their savior).  If we were to be strict and rigid about this, the lights would not come on until Christmas Eve.

The lights and festival atmosphere are truly appropriate on Christmas Day.  And since they have already been lit for the month of preparation, shouldn’t they be extinguished Christmas night?

In reality, no!  Christmas, as we all know thanks to a rather tedious Christmas song, extends for 12 days of celebration.  The “first day of Christmas” is Christmas Day.  The “second day of Christmas” is the day after Christmas (Boxing Day, if you are in Canada).

Those 12 days of Christmas, 12 days when celebration should be happening, when lights are quite appropriate, lead up to the Feast of the Epiphany in the Christian year.  January 6 is the day appointed to celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men or Magi.  This is when the non-Jewish world is brought into the circle of light, so to speak.  This is when Christ is manifested to the rest of the world.  The star was followed, the light shines for all the world.

This is the end of the Christmas season.  The season of Epiphany (or manifestation) has arrived.  While this is also a season of light, it is not tradition to decorate with lights or other items in our society (nor has it been to my knowledge).


I personally think this is occurring for one of a number of reason.  My personal favorite, which I will list first — laziness.  These are the people who can’t be bothered to take the lights down now that it is colder and there is bad weather, perhaps even snow on the ground.  So they just leave them there.  Some even leave the lights up year round.

But why keep turning them on.  That is a different reason — ineptitude.  These folks have rigged up their lights to go on whenever their exterior lights are illuminated.  They can’t figure out how to disconnect the Christmas lights without disabling their exterior lights as well.  This is sad but forgivable.

There is a subset of people, however, who keep the lights lit because “they’re so pretty” they want to enjoy them longer.  That’s sweet sentiment but my opinion is the it cheapens the reason for putting them on at Christmas!  It is no longer a way to show one’s joy at the Christmas season, one’s participation in a celebration of selflessness and giving.

Instead, it becomes self-centered (“I’ll enjoy my lights as long as I want!”) and meaningless (the lights are for me to enjoy, not to share the joy of the season with the community).  And that is the antithesis of Christmas spirit.

That’s why I am annoyed as I drive in the evening, as I did last night to attend my class, and see the Christmas lights still shining at these homes.  I know, some of you are thinking I’m really upset about nothing.  What’s the harm in having the lights lit on January 19?

Don’t you see — when something is done or used regularly, it becomes the norm?  It is no longer special.  It has no more significance than anything else.  It doesn’t matter whether we talk Christmas lights or cuss words.  The more they are used, the less they mean; the more they are used, the less impact they have.  It isn’t that people aren’t doing what they’re “supposed to,” it’s that they are doing it with no thought.  If they don’t get what the point of the lights is, they shouldn’t put them up at all!

Okay, I’m going to climb down from the soapbox for now.  But I’m warning you . . . if those lights are still lit next week (January 26), I may well stop at those homes and ask why.  In which case, I may be writing to you about police behavior in those towns and my husband’s embarrassment at my behavior.   I leave you to speculate which will occur . . .

Read Full Post »

My uncle died this morning.  I got a call from my cousin about an hour afterward.

I feel very sad and don’t really feel like doing any of the things I should be doing.  I know everyone has felt that way.

Uncle Red was always full of fun.  That is the one thing I remember about him from the time I was a little girl.  He was always smiling, joking, playing jokes and trying to make everyone smile.  I know for sure he made me smile.

Of course, his name wasn’t really Red.  But that never mattered. I know that when we go to the funeral, the priest in his church will call him by his given name and I’ll have to think to remember that the two are the same. He’ll always be Uncle Red to me.

Of all my aunts, uncles and cousins — and there were many since my dad came from a family with 9 children — this was the family we were closest to.  My cousin is only 12 days younger than me.  His sister is about a year older than my sister.  We vacationed together – both when my dad was alive and when my mother remarried.

Uncle Red’s wife was actually my grandmother’s sister – my mother’s aunt.  But the age range in the family was large.  My grandmother was the oldest and this sister was the youngest, closer to my mother in age.  My mother loved her like a sister, not an aunt.  I think that is why the families were so close.

Uncle Red was the last of the parents to pass.  His wife was first.  Then my mom and stepdad.  It feels like the closing of a book, not just a chapter in a book.

I have a class to go to tonight.  I have to prepare dinner.  But all I seem to do is sit here with my thoughts drifting to my youth.

Rest in peace, Uncle Red.  You were loved.  And you did make us happy.

Read Full Post »

I have been writing about some pretty serious topics lately.  I have begun to fear that you will think that everything is serious on the Pine Ridge Reservation and that people are so deep in their troubles that they never laugh or have fun.

Actually, that could not be further from the truth.  One of the traits of most of the Lakota people I have encountered on the Pine Ridge Rez is that they have wonderful senses of humor.  And they are not afraid to laugh at themselves and the conditions they endure.

Since I have some of that kind of self-deprecating sense of humor myself, I really enjoy my job.  I laugh at myself and my occasional “senior moments”, the folks I talk to on the rez laugh with me and then they share some of their stories.  Humor is common ground.  It connects us as human beings.  It can certainly lift us from the wallows of self-pity.  Yes, I can be irreverent at times.  But generally it works to make folks smile and I think that’s a good thing!

I remember one of early visits to our Lakota friends on Pine Ridge.  My friend’s husband gave me a “Lakota Joke Book” that he had gotten at a powwow somewhere.  It was a small, homemade booklet.  As we drove to and around Rapid City on errands, I read the jokes out loud.  The car was filled with laughter – and the Lakota passengers laughed the heartiest.  What a bond was forged in that laughter!

I have been trying to figure out how to share some Lakota humor with you.  Just telling you jokes didn’t seem appropriate.  It would be coming from me, the non-Indian and might even be seen as a put down.

Then I got lucky!  KILI radio, a public radio station on the reservation, posted something I could use on their Facebook page.  [As an aside, KILI radio, the voice of the great Lakota Nation, is a God-send and life-saver on the reservation; they connect communities miles apart, give emergency information and provide cultural Lakota programming not available elsewhere.  You can listen to KILI live online.]

So here it is, fresh from Facebook:

KILI Radio 90.1 FM

  • YOU KNOW YOUR A REZZER IF……………your house still has the “wide load” sign on the back of it………OR…..if you take a load of trash to dump and come home with more than you took…..
    • Commenter 1: or if thers a mattress on ur living room floor….all the time.lol
    • Commenter 2: lol true that lmao
    • Commenter 3: my kind of people!
    • Commenter 4: so does that mean I’m a rezzer??? lol
    • Commenter 5: sheets for curtains. LOL
    • Commenter 2 returns: or u use duct tape to hold your car together
    • KILI Radio 90.1 FM OR……you met your last ex through their phone number on the wall at big bats….ha
    • · 1 person likes this.
    • Commenter 2 again:  LOL OH GEEZ LOL TRUE THAT, THO!
    • Commenter 1 again: or ur decor is Goodwill ! yaye ! lol
    • Commenter 1: oh yeah & u knw ur frens r rezzers cuz they dont even notice ! lol
    • KILI Radio 90.1 FM or they pure like your decor n want sum too….
    • Commenter 6: We want more!!!it’s like a cop at the yard sale on the rez,hey man I’ll thought it was a give away,I’ll put the dog back
    • KILI Radio 90.1 FM cops? cops….had to sit in clank 4 a cup of days..last week my girl ran off with a cop .3 days ago a cop pulled up behind me with lites on, i tried out runnin him, got caught, asked why? told him thought you was bringing my girl back…haha
    • · 4 people like this.
    • Commenter 7:or if you have more cars in your backyard den a grocery store on da nite b4 foodstamps… LOL
    • · 1 person likes this.
    • KILI Radio 90.1 FM OR…..if your house is mobil n all your cars are on blocks…ha
    • · 1 person likes this.
    • Commenter 8:  A friend calls to ask what size tires you have on the roof of your single-wide home!
    • Commenter 9: LOL!….I’d fit right in with y’all…ROTFLMAO!
    • Commenter 10: ROTFL!!!
    • Commenter 11: OMG! TOOOREZZIE! lol..
    • Commenter 12:  see what the rich folks miss… ( :
    • Commenter 13: thats what my brother would say! its to funny.

I hope you enjoyed.  And keep in mind, the reason the comments are funny is that they are also true.  Then think about the truths in those comments.

You might not be laughing when you start thinking about what they really mean.

Read Full Post »

This may seem like an odd topic for me.  After all, I don’t do fashion and style posts.  But hair is something that can make a huge difference to people and I’m no different.

I’m not talking so much about my own hair styles.  I have noticed that hair styles can make a HUGE difference in a person’s appearance – even if you change nothing else about their style.  I’ve noticed that, personally, the length of my hair can occasionally create a different mood for myself.

I’m also not talking about the historical changes that hair styles have undergone.  After all, when you’ve lived through the 60′ to 80’s, you’ve seen a whole lot of hair style changes, not all for the better.

Okay, don’t get impatient.  I’m done telling you what I won’t be talking about.  I just didn’t want people to be disappointed at the end if they were looking for style tips.

I do want to talk about two things.   First, I want to discuss an aversion to hair that I have.  Second, I want to discuss having a visceral reaction to facial hair.  I know, you’re baffled.  Hang on – all will be cleared up.

So – first things first.  My hair aversion.  It isn’t that I dislike hair on folks’ heads.  It’s great.  Mine is thinning and I don’t like that – it’s genetic unfortunately.  Not much I can do about that (we’ll see how much spam that statement gets me, eh?).  Bald men can be quite sexy. I like facial hair too, though part two will qualify that statement.

What I can’t take is loose hair.  Hair collected in the shower.  Hair that is left in the hair brush.  Hair that is on clothing or furniture or anywhere other than attached to someone’s head where it belongs.  Human hair, not pet hair.

When I see hair like that, it makes me gag if I don’t consciously control that urge.  After you stop laughing, I’ll continue . . . . . . .  Okay now?

Most folks have aversions that make more sense, I’ll grant you that.  Bugs.  Blood.  But hair?  That was my reaction too.  I could not understand what that was about.  I didn’t let my reactions to hair get out of hand – I cleaned what I had to.  Now my husband, who was more understanding of this than I expected, cleans the shower drain and plucks loose hairs off my shirt before I notice them.

I had been truly puzzled by this aversion until I had one of Oprah’s famous “aha moments.”  I was looking at some photos of myself as an infant and toddler, being held by my mother.  And it was suddenly so obvious.

Here’s a photo of my mother the day she married my dad.  She still looked the same when I was born within a year of that day.

Wedding Portrait

Mom on her wedding day

Didn’t she have beautiful hair?  I think so.

But then I imagined it from a different perspective.  I looked at it from the perspective of an infant being held on mom’s shoulder.  We’ve all done it with our children, to soothe or burp them.  Well, I imagined what it would have been like for me, with my face in all that beautiful hair.  I’d have felt like I was drowning in hair.  If I was crying, I may have breathed in the hair as I drew in the heavy breaths between wails.  If I was sleepy, I may have felt smothered by the hair surrounding my face.

No wonder I’ve always hated having my own hair in my face, regardless of its length.  No wonder that seeing clumps of hair make me gag.  It makes perfect sense.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

Mind you, it hasn’t made the aversion go away.  But it has made it more manageable.  Understanding is the key.  But guys with lots of body hair – historically a turn-off (albeit understandably) to me – nope.  Can’t get past it.  Hairy men need not apply.

Speaking of hairy men leads me to the second topic – facial hair.  In spite of my aversion to all that loose hair, I have always found facial hair on men very attractive.  A well-trimmed mustache and beard – very sexy.  It could be that my dad and grandfathers all had mustaches.  Who know?  But I like it.

When I met my first husband, he had a 10-day growth of beard – scruffy but it grew fast, so before too long it was a beard and mustache.  Sadly, for reasons that are better discussed in another post, I was the one who had to tell him when they needed to be trimmed and I had to do it for him.  Still, I liked the look, so I took on the job.  Several years after we divorced, he shaved it all off.  Maybe no one to tend it for him – I don’t know.  I saw him at church one Sunday and thought to myself, “Oh look, someone new to the parish.”  Then my daughter asked me how I thought her dad looked without his beard.  I had not recognized him – not a clue!  And we had been together, between engagement and marriage, over 16 years.  I’d have never been attracted to him the way he looked now, without the facial hair.  Astounding!

When I married my second husband, he was clean-shaven.  He looked just fine that way.  But he knew I liked facial hair, so after a number of years, he decided to grow a mustache at least and see what with a beard.  I liked the idea.

But one day, as he was kissing me, the picky hairs of the new mustache caused what I can only term a “flashback.”  I was kissing my second husband when my first husband’s face flashed into my mind as a result of the sensory stimulation of being prickled by the mustache.  Let me tell you, it was a real mood killer!!  I pulled away.  My husband was hurt until I explained.  The next thing I knew, he was shaving.  Smart man.

I love the smooth feeling of my husband after he shaves.  I still like the look of facial hair – on a man – but I like the feeling of smooth skin.  Go figure.

So I guess I have a different kind of thing about hair than most women.  Most women worry about their own hair – is the style current, is it a bad hair day, etc..

I worry about other people’s hair – and I prefer that they keep it to themselves and away from me.  (Yes, I’m laughing at myself as I write.)

Read Full Post »

I used his name in the title so it will come up in the search results of anyone who looks him up.  I am grateful to him for the laughter I have had in the past few days.  It’s helped me get through some physical pain (I have fibromyalgia) and emotional pain too.

Roy is a comedian.  He does political satire for the most part.  I don’t usually look for comedy on YouTube and I really wasn’t looking for it when I found Roy.  I was looking for the Beatles.

You might think that it’s odd that a comedian came up on a search for the Beatles – and if you thought that, you’d be wrong.  Roy did a bit entitled, “What If the Beatles were Irish?”  Since that struck me as interesting, I decided to check it out.

And there was Roy with his guitar.  You see, most of his comedy is done in song, with a bit of commentary tossed in here and there.  I enjoyed the Beatles piece so much, I shared it on Facebook and emailed it to a few friends.  Then I started watching the rest of his videos.

It said Roy had 62 videos up.  I watched at least 40 of them and subscribed to his YouTube channel.  I WILL get to the rest.  I enjoy political satire because . . . well, because most politicians deserve it!  And taking things too seriously is what gets us in trouble.  Since Roy believes in equality, he takes on both sides of the aisle, liberals and conservatives alike.  So unless you’re un-American and don’t believe in equality, you’ll like something that Roy has done.

I like it so much, I’m going to give you a link to the Beatles clip and his website.  The rest of the 62 are on you.


There’s one more person I’d like to tell about Roy Zimmerman.  That old friend I’ve written about before that I’ve lost touch with?  He loves comedy, likes politics and really loves the Beatles.  He’d really enjoy these videos.  So if you know Cyberlarson, tell him about Roy.

Read Full Post »