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03 September 2004


This is the first anniversary of my father's death. Boo hoo. I've been sad and churny-feeling. I miss my father and mother. Shelley emailed me today, and in my response I said I wasn't time-based -- that I'd been feeling rotten, but that I didn't think our relationship expired if we didn't get together within a certain time.

I went in to school today because I've got this new-and-more-complex amount of paperwork-and-process to get through for my program to be set up. I have Rosanne doing my bidding, and I've tried to explain things as I've gone along to her and to anyone else involved. Last week I had her go in the classrooms and present a still life that children had to draw from. Then they could draw anything they wanted. I explained to Becky (my program is under the aegis of her program) that since the process is different and longer, I wanted the differences highlighted to make them obvious. I asked Rosanne to be sure to explain clearly to the children that they were just doing a preliminary step. She did. I went in today and we sorted through the drawings and she made packets of the forms I'd made. I told her I didn't want to jerk anyone around, and I was trying to be very clear. I knew people would get the wrong idea, but she didn't. I sent her off to give the papers to the children, and she came back saying that she'd needed to explain all over again when the children saw the envelopes and cried, "Woo Hoo! I made it!" I'd written a letter to parents outlining what is going on, what each step means for the child, and what I need exactly. I re-did all the forms this summer as per the sample files given to me by the BIA, but tried HARD to reduce the officiousness of the documents as I despise it and feel it isn't something parents respond to. I took time to explain the paperwork step-by-step to Rosanne, and I asked her how commited she is to the school -- will she learn how to do the necessary paperwork? I said if I died tomorrow the paperwork needs to be done. Her immediate reaction was that this year... no. Poor Rosanne -- she came back from Thailand and immediately started in at school with no respite at all. She was very ill on Wednesday, but recovered quickly. She's not looking for another stress load. She is following everything I ask of her, and I trust her -- which I told her on Monday. She showed me some shadow puppets she brought back, which she's hoping to use as the basis of a project. The puppets are raw, stretched hide, and she had a cool photo she took in Thailand of a man forming the design by punching or cutting with some kind of implement. I interested her in a fotolog so she can post her pictures and be able to have them seen by friends around the world.

I've been helped in such a nice way by two friends, Louie and Marilee, lately, both of whom walk-the-walk. Louie has me set up to receive farmers' market vouchers through her organisation for off-reservation natives, even though I'm not an off-reservation native, and she got together with Marilee and figured out how they could make things appear in my kitchen with no effort on my part. I'm lucky to have such friends. Now Marilee has just lost her auntie and two friends in one week. My favorite Marilee story came about because even after 30 years, she is treated as an outsider by many on the reservation she lives on. One day she was gardening, and a neighbor was coming by and at first didn't see her. "Marilee -- oh, I didn't see you there." "Why, I've been here thirty years," she replied. She has high standards and maintains them even at high personal cost at times.

I first heard Club Topsy radio as I was flying over someone's land on Second Life, and I liked it and associated it with my land so it played there all the time. Then it disappeared but I had got cranky after hearing too many Minnie the Moocher renditions in too short a time so I didn't care. Later I was flying over someone's land and heard something I liked and associated it with my land -- and it turned out to be Topsy radio again. It's classic and neo-swing, so it's repetitive because that's a pretty small world. I have an almost unlimited desire to hear Sing Sing Sing, for some reason.

I have been neglecting my Burning Life project, but I feel numb and glum right now. Well, internally -- like Rosanne says, I'm always laughing and so it's hard to tell how I feel (fortunately I find a certain amount of hilarity in my condition, plus if I had to feel good to laugh I'd never laugh at all).

The other day my friend Marie called me -- we went to high school together. We were a trio -- me, Marie, and Jack -- best friends. I hadn't heard from her in a couple of years -- thought she had lost interest in me. Anyway, Jack died years ago (that was a hard one) of cancer (almost 25 years ago). His mother had Huntington's
chorea -- and Marie was telling me she found out that Jack's sister Paula, who had been married to Marie's brother Paul, had died about 2 years ago from that same degenerative disease. Marie found out by accident (!) that her father, who had m.s. but was never crippled by it, died in February (this year? last year? not sure). He was a doctor. Her mother didn't tell her -- she won't speak to Marie. That's truly horrid. And she found out (this was through some Phila. area obit website) that an old boyfriend of both of ours off and on, died in 1997, I think it was. He had been a marine in Viet Nam, and his father was a hall-of-fame football player. Before he went overseas his father said, "If you come home I'll buy you any kind of car you want!" He told me he didn't care about a car (he got a very expensive new something and instantly totalled it) he just wanted his father to say, "WHEN you come home..."
Anyway -- gossip-time on the phone. Marie said, "Vivian, I bet they're ALL DEAD." That was a tough time to be young and it looks like not many of us made it out without huge damage. Maybe in other parts of the country it was different -- not so dangerous. For instance, the genotype of hepatitis C in that area is the worst one -- the least curable.

posted by - 9:47 PM


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