Saturday, August 17, 2013

Running My Mop

SLIM BUTTES - Company coming, I'm looking around, seeing all kinds of things that need to be done. For the casual visitor, I used to tell people when they'd come over, "I didn't bother to clean house for you - I live like this."

Knock down the cobwebs. Shake out the rugs. Straighten up the place. Better grab that mop.

Every time I handle a mop, I can't help but be put in the mind of Mr. Ferguson, you remember Mr. Ferguson, who used to talk like that, and say unforgettable things like, "They ain't nuddin you can tell me about a mop that I don't already know."

When 'running his mop', he'd constantly be running his mouth as well, talking family mop history, mop jargon, and mop technique; 'Yeahhhhhhh, this moppin' run in my blood,' he'd say. 'My daddy was a mop man in the navy, my granddaddy a mop man na correctional hospital, and his daddy before him mopped for a old folkses home in deep south Mississippi.'

'So what I'm saying is, it run in my blood, like, when I take hold of a mop hannel, it feel like it belong there.'

Now, tell me, how can you forget things like that?

'Me and this mop go waaaaaaaaay back,' he'd say. 'I run dust mop, wet mop, dry mop, wax mop and floor vac. I run push broom, squeegee, sponge mop and bamble mop. When it come to mops, I run it. Seen all type of mop bucket. Slide, glide, tiptoe, ease, and on my knees. Have my floors so clean you can eat off 'em.'

And it's true. You could eat off Mr. Ferguson's floors. People would say, 'Damn! You could eat off these floors!' but Mr. Ferguson would dismiss the remark, having heard it a thousand times. Floors you could eat off of were his standard. 'I feeds the spirits off these floors,' he'd sometimes say.

Better leave those shoes at the door. He'd make you feel uncomfortably guilty for walking across his floors, asking loud and accusatory, 'WHO da heathern bringing mud up in here on my floor?' 

Or he'd sit there ignoring the conversation and stare at your feet if you entered and sat down without removing your footwear, telling you, 'Here, lift your feet up. Lemme get under you...little bit of Mother Erf,' as he'd sweep up little crumbs of dirt you brought in.

Suspecting people derided his spotless floor obsession, Mr. Ferguson would sometimes say, 'Daddy a mop man, momma a cleaning lady. What you ekspeck?'

- end

Monday, July 22, 2013

Children Like Trees

SLIM BUUTES - You either have the time to write, or take time to write, especially if you're a writer, but of course, only when you're in the mood, in the groove, in the zone, got the juices flowing, got your mojo working, got the juju going, like one of those Midas Touch nights in the casino, or one of those days on the court when everything you throw up there is going in, or on the court when you're painting the lines with your topspin forehand, or in court when the jury rules in your favor, or the party when you're grandstanding and everybody is laughing at your drunken jokes, nailing the dismount to the roar of the crowd and your people in the stands, or those dice coming up snake eyes, or any other time when everything is going your way, like Billy Red Hawk used to say, "It's a good day to be me."

And then, there's the flip side to all that, right? Like, short sentences. Life sentences. Misspellings and run-on sentences. Incomplete sentences. Compound sentences, complex and simple-ass sentences.

Put all that together, and your should get some kind of story. A lot of people have said to me, 'You should write a book about me,' like Arthur, Lupe, and Damon, and Loren, and a lot of other people who I can't think of right now, but there have been a lot. Point is, everybody has a story. Everybody has a story, but not everybody is a writer.

And among those who write, there are those who can write, but don't, or won't, because the mojo isn't working, juju's messed up, or they haven't got the time, or maybe they just don't have much to say to you. Never had much in common then, or now, so what do we talk about? 

We could discuss our commonalities or shared experiences, the basis of any relationship; blood family comes first, usually, and then friends and colleagues, the church group, your hiking pal,  the fun neighbors, old friends who moved away, the people we met on vacation, those people who came to the party, frat bros, mentors, old schoolmates, the couple from day care, assistant coaches, war zone buddy, smoking pals, went through the disaster together, cell mates, potheads, crackheads, meth heads, your ex, and those whacked out folks from the Burning Man festival.

"Hey Man! Good to hear from you! How about that time with those prostitutes down in New Orleans!"

Then what? Distance, new job, race, class, religion, lifestyle, attitude, or so much shit going on in our lives right then that pulls us apart. Or maybe, life is going so damn good that you haven't the time to write.

"I got a lot going on, man! I'm a terribly busy man."  Ain't got time for no foolishness.

So, it's a dilemma; you've got to have a life to write, and then, it seems that too much time spent at computer or Facebook may be an indication of isolation and need to...howdoyousay?...get a life. 

Well, hopefully you don't have much in common with crack and meth heads. My shared experience with them is the stuff they removed from my house while I was on a distant continent.
We may have something to talk about, but it probably wouldn't be Jesus, politics, or the Plain of Jars.

So, if you're anything like me, and I can rest assured you are not, then I might be operating on a whole set of preconditions and assumptions that you may in some way be able to relate to the content, or not. And even if people can't relate or connect, maybe they can just enjoy a story.

"Look at this one," I said to Jack Red Cloud, pointing at a small tree, as we sat on the veranda "it's a four-year old, planted the same time as those two big ones."

Having survived repeated hailstorms and a 2012 assault by the neighbor's young bulls, of the thirty surviving trees of the sixty planted, this particular tree is stunted and surpassed in growth by trees two years younger.

"I've given it extra everything," I continued, right there in front of the tree, where it could clearly hear me. "Love, attention, nutrients...extra water...Vivaldi. Just like some kids, huh Jack? 'Boo hoo, whine, poor me, 'You didn't love me as much as the others.

"It's the juvenile delinquent of the familyIt resists everything I try to do for it."


We had goats once, two of them, I forget their names. They hated the dogs, taunted the dogs,  and the dogs hated them, worse than their thing with cats. I was working at the university, and I'd come home with my nice professor's uniform of khakis and some kinda jacket and tie, and there'd be that goat, stuck in the fence, again.

The four-by-six square in the metal fence was just big enough for that goat to get its head through if it extended it neck fully and tilted its head juuuust so, enabling the creature's horns passage through the square, and access to the grass on the other side...Susie. Susie and,,,and....I can't remember the others' name. It got killed by the dogs...Betty. Susie and Betty.

Needless to say, to do an exit, the goat had to get unstuck in precisely the same manner as which it had entered, which required grabbing the goat by the horns and exerting the force of...of...Hurcu...all I had to bend the neck and tilt the horns, as that stubborn fool used every ounce of strength it had to push against me.

At least once, on one of those evenings, I gave up in exasperation and hauled off and slapped the shit out of her before walking away. "You gonna leave her like that all night?" I was asked.

"Yeah," I said.

The next morning, I thought she'd be drained of energy from being stuck all night as I went to free her, but no, she dug in and pushed against me with all her might.


Addendum to the I See Where You Went To Hell comic relief here on the Rez; the guy at the gate, Satan's assistant, says, 'You can leave those nice funeral clothes over there in that box. We've got some coveralls for you to wear.'

Who Yo' Momma

SLIM BUTTES - Any of you psychic cosmic star child people hanging out in the angelic realms run into Kennedy yet? If you see him, I've got a couple of questions; who was the guy on the grassy knoll, and who did 911, really?

Can you channel that?

Reason I ask is because I haven't yet gained access to that smell the rainbow, hear the colors dimension, being mired down here in the 3D physical world of regular, unleaded people.

Apart from the real 3D world, there's your screen, where you can just sit there, staring into your lap, thumbs atwitter, there, but not really there, same physical space, same time, but emotionally uninvolved, hearing but not listening, attending to some distant digital drama on desktop, notebook, laptop, notepad, cell phone, texting, twitting, tweeting, twirping on a TV, on a rant, on a rave, on drugs, on a binge, on ad infinitum into the night and the day thereafter, but otherwise here, but 'not there'. There, but not here.

Around here, you must watch your head - there's low-flying aircraft. Anybody who's ever been around a flight line will tell you that you've got to watch for prop blades. You folks who always want to be up, up in the air, flying high, jet set, acrobat, circus act, up, up, up around the rim, up all night, up in there, smelling the rainbow, hearing the colors.

Had to ask the local bodhisattva, 'You ever down, man? You ever get depressed? I mean, you're always running around all positive-minded, all cheery and roses...that ain't the real world, man! We're on the Rez!'

You know what he told me? 'Endeavor to persevere.' 

'Walk with a light heart. Stay on your toes. Keep your head in the game. You never know when they might call you up. The Lord or the coach. You thought you was just sitting the bench. Coach cries out, 'GET IN THERE!' Lord says, 'C'mon home.' '


You see where the Chinese have reverse engineered my airplanes? 

No worry, my Bella. Already told you, the planes of the 335th are: one of a kind, made in the US of A, limited edition, hand made, with 40 parts of assembly. Theirs are all same same, a blue million, made in China, stamped out, and you don't get shit else, whereas with the purchase of one of my aircraft (for the low, low, one-time price of $499.99, or free), you gain automatic entry into the 335th (Tactical Aviation Squadron, a real entity). So there.

You think that's funny, Tom said, for seven hundred dollars or more, your name will be said in sweat lodge tonight. Aloud.

"Spirit said, 'Four years!' "

'You're gonna see six planes.' If you can make any sense of that. It's kind of like a dream or some kind of mushroom state - it only has meaning for you if you can make sense of it.

Bo was talking about the bulls down in the bull pen at the rodeo, talking shit about how long they'll let that cowboy ride on their backs. They've got reputations, too, you know...maybe I already told you this one...if I did, stop me, but one of those bulls let a cowboy go the entire eight seconds, and when he, the bull, come back to the pen, those other bulls said to him, 'Go on over there with the roping steers. You're making us look bad.'


Gon' play dat race card.

Through my whole life, I've had people ask me if I was part Indian. Niggas will sometimes say, 'You part nigga, ain't you? And maybe you've had someone ask if you're part Indian, your own self, but I've never, ever, heard anyone ask someone else if they were part peckerwood. Have you?

So I'm going to do it; Is you part peckawood?

You've heard about people bragging about their great grandmother, being some kinda Indian princess. When I hear that distant relative was someone talk, I like to recall a great, great, great grandmother on my momma side, who they say was a white trash, they say, down through the generations, but shhhhhhhh, nobody wanted to talk about her. 

Told my son when he told me about his golf clubs, 'Now you, you can be a golf pro, because when you was born, your people on your momma's side was golf pros, your granddad. It's in yo' blood. Now, me, I can never be a golf pro, because when I was born, my people was caddies.'


Just say, 'China'.

Ahhhh. I can finally throw away these notes.

Laughing up in here the other night, talking about not making 'the cut' into heaven. Relatives all waiting for you. 'You're not on the list,' said Tom.

'There must be some mistake.' You're looking past the man at the gate, looking for someone you recognize. "You haven't got any relatives here," said Bo. "You've got to go to the other place. Your people down there saying, 'YEAH. C'MON IN! We've been waiting for you!' "


Too Many numbers

SLIM BUTTES - Lupe's son Chachee weighs in somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred pounds, maybe three twenty-five. He drained the last few ounces of beer from a Big Gulp plastic cup as I ate barbecue chicken and ribs, along with commodity mac and cheese, at their small kitchen table. They had saved me a foil-covered plate, which Lupe had produced from the oven like gold from the New World to the king when I arrived.
"Here, my Bro," said Lupe, his eyes twinkling, handing me the plate like a precious offering.

"I been wanting to ask you," said Chachee. "I've noticed sometimes you disrespect my dad."

Yeah. I do, I thought, but it wasn't based upon race or class or intelligence. Not listening, mostly. Then he said it again, rubbing his eyebrows with the back of his hand like he didn't know what to do with his hands, and I thought, 'Is he getting ready to kick my ass?'

'Yeah, I do,' I said. 'But he disrespects me, too. Sometimes I have to ask him who the hell he thinks he's talking to. I have to remind him I'm not his son. It's the nature of our relationship, Chachee," I said, with Lupe right there at the kitchen sink, pouring me a glass of orange juice.

'Neither of us has a woman,' I continued, 'so sometimes we go bitching around, bitching each other out to make up for it.'

They both laughed, much to my relief, and Chachee said, 'Yeah. Sometimes he does that to me, too.'

'Yeah,' said Lupe, explaining further to Chachee something I couldn't make out, although it was in English.

Chachee said they slow-cooked those ribs all afternoon.


I'm trying hard to not say, 'I'm retired.' When people ask if I work, I tell them, 'I work evvvvery day.' If they ask what I do, I usually respond with a line of horseshit about my command of the 335th (Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron), a real entity, but they usually don't pursue that any further, I don't know why. It's a job, but one of those where you can choose your own hours, one of the nice things about being ret...too old to....almost too old to work anymore.

So then there's this other bullshit story about running some kind of medical service, an emergency medical service. That's no bullshit. I do. But it's not an everyday job. It's sort of like, the hours are sort of like command of the 335th.

Then I'm a writer, and writers can go on and on working into their...long past their employment years, right up to the gravestone. Sure. Got a second manuscript right there, and boy, people like to hear that from a writer, don't  they, like, 'You working on another book?'

Answer, yes. Having a title, publisher, editor; that's another story. But yes, there's another book, I always say. And what about grants? Grants count for work, don't they? Sure. Last time I wrote one? Uhhhh, lemme think. Two thousand and...wait...last year. Wrote one last year. 

And then there's the sketches and screenplays.Got those going all the time. Three or four of 'em in what I would call the 'percolating' mode, potential works in progress. Manny said I could go all the way to the top if I could just focus, keep my guard up, not go around all scattershot, stay on track, stay with what works, don't talk to reporters, stay away from the bad crowd, exercise daily, drink more water, bob and weave, learn to smell the roses, take some time off, know when to stop, rope-a-dope, and a bunch of other stuff I half-remember because sometimes I just turned it off, tuned it out, if you know what I mean. All that harping around about how I'd end up if I didn't straighten up and fly straight. 

Landscaping is for real. I work at that evvvvery day. And I, uh,      work around the house. Some.
And, I work at keeping my weight down. Standup comic, that's full-time, every day. And then theres this coffee shop and croquet course.

There's one other thing I do for what you could call work, but I can't remem...oh...English teacher.

So, no, I'm not retired. I work every day.

You guys wondering what you'll do when you retire? That's easy; you'll do what she tells you to do. That's why you hear a lot of guys say they plan to go on working.


I've got all these numbers in my head that I need to get out of my head, and down on paper. Hard copy printouts. If I can get all these numbers out of my head, then I'll have more space for other, your garage, or upgrading your memory to 'Recollection 2.0.'

There's things like phone numbers and birthdays and bank accounts and social security number and shoe size. And there's a lot of useful numbers that I don't need every day, like how much stuff costs, comparative pricing at the gas pump, and your age.

Misty says she can remember her phone number from twenty years ago in Rapid City. I asked her why she was still carrying that around with her all these many years later, and she said she didn't know, it was just still there, just like my undergrad cumulative G.P.A. and combined points in the long jump at a Jr. High track and field meet.

Twenty nine Thai baht to the US greenback, point six to the Euro, both of which suck; there's the PSI of my 75R15 235 tires that I don't really need; 40 Celsius, my 'Last Four' digits of my SSN that the VA and the telephone company requires before proceeding any further; my arm length in a long-sleeved shirt, optimal blood pressure, blood sugar, and, get this, all those unintelligible hi-low ranges for urine and blood tests, like, potassium, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and a whole lot of other shit like albumin that I had to ask the doctor about before she rammed her finger up my ass to just 'make sure' during my annual check up that for the moment, made me forget about all these numbers, why I was there, and why I wasn't just as insistent about her notdoing that as she was about proceeding.

"Your predecessor, Dr. Whatshisname from San Francisco, said his patients out there in the Bay Area said this this was the most enjoyable part of the examination," I told her. She laughed and said his name as she removed her blue examination gloves, but I can't remember anything behind that ass probe that felt like it reached my, whaddayacallit, epiglottis. Like, I could taste plastic.


That trip to the VA is a sure enough reality check for American foreign policy. Proudly wearing my hat and wings, I was there for the annual check up, and not because I was hurting like everyone else I saw. The lab girl who drew my blood, who I thought was a 100% total bitch last time, was extremely pleasant, and by all empirical evidence, entirely satisfied with her work and home life.

I went into my empathetic comic mode, welcoming home the viet vets, a standard practice, asking if they ever found 'Charlie', or if they ever thought of getting 'back in the game', and teasing the WWII and Korean vets about being 'too young' for the wars their hats declared they had participated. 'You guys won yours, didn't you?' I asked.

Around a corner in a waiting area were four ancient cripples with walkers and wheelchairs. I popped up out of nowhere and shocked them with, "I need two volunteers!" 

One of the first thing you learn in the military is not to volunteer for anything. They just looked at me.

"Ok. No volunteers, huh? Aright then. You and you," I said, pointing at the two with walkers, "KP and guard duty." Then at the two in wheelchairs, "You and you, come with me!"

They cracked smiles. I told them, "You guys stay loose. You never know when they could call you back up."

On the way out, having been given the all clear, I ran into a young vet checking in at the reception desk. "You just get back from Afghanistan?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said.

"Welcome home, Soldier," I said, shaking his hand. "I'm glad you made it." It appeared there was nothing wrong with him physically. Psychiatric maybe.

"A lot of my buddies didn't," he said.

Psychiatric, for sure. PTSD. I could give the diagnosis right there. "You're lucky," I said, turning to depart.

"It's all internal," he said.

I felt an urge to listen to him more, but felt awkward about pressing him too much for his experience. They had pros over in building #5 to take care of the listening, and a pharmacy just down the hall to take care of his dreams.


Right now, after 93 degrees yesterday, we're having a cold, drizzling-ass rain, making good for all the trees and croquet course, and gumbo for the driveway, so I ent going nowhere.

Over in camp justice, just across the border from White Clay, Nebraska, my partially waterproofed 26-footer is housing Bo and Misty and a dozen or so other defiant 'AIMster' Lakotas in their several months-long, day and night occupation/encampment protest against the liquor entering the Rez from White Clay.

'We're staying for the long haul,' they say. Small successes. Media coverage. Tribal support. A vote. Bo produced a newspaper clipping of a Budweiser distributor who agreed not deliver. Facebook. More press. A tribal council presentation, a radio address. Misty says, 'We're known all over the world! CNN, the Japanese...' 

Pissing on her parade, I said, 'No you're not.'

'Yes we are!' she insisted.

'No you're not,' I said.

'Yes we are!' She said.

'No you're not. People in China, Indonesia...they don't know who Lakotas are.'

Demonstrating the stubborn, or more kindly, determined attitude of her resistance to nearly everything, but more pointedly, the future of her tribe, she insisted, 'Yes they do! We're known all over the world!'


Sunday, February 26, 2012

On To Become

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, On and Off
On To Become

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - There are things you can try, things you could consider, and other things that are downright out of the question, probably for everybody.  Everybody except those who say, 'I'll try anything once.'  They would fall into that 1%, I think, the fringe.  I think I fall not into that category, but close to it. 

What about you?  Surely, there are many things you haven't tried.  Right?  Right away, I think, 'sky-diving', thinking in Celsius, expeditions to anywhere beyond my comfort zone...golly, there's lot's of stuff I haven't done. I'll bet for you, too.

Whime I saying that?  Well, part of it is knowing what's for you and what isn't, right?  Like, maybe some folks are cooking something up, a scheme, a scam, an investment plan, a plot, a ploy, a play, a batch of meth, a cruise in the Bahamas, and ask if you want to go along, and you say something like, "Sure, I'm in," or, "No thanks. That's not for me."*

Maybe you're not in the situation where you'd even be given options during your daily track.  You're not hanging out with no kind of heavy hitters, lightweights, or even your neighbors who ask you over for a cookout.  Your energy is on a different track. Perhaps your plan for yourself is fairly routine, no bubbles, no speed bumps, no deviation from the mean.

Some people shouldn't be on a motorbike, for instance.  Some people need to leave drugs entirely alone, especially chocolate and Facebook.  Some people should stay away from casinos, video games, and the fridge.  Some people feel perfectly comfortable where they already are, and don't need to go thrill-seeking, out dancing, out on a limb, out of town, or out of the house.  I'm fine right here on this couch.


Never should have....been on the mound...t...started...joined up...listened to those guys.  Should've left it, her, him, alone.  Can you relate to any of that?  Never's not necessarily a case of regret, if something was learned, but rather, finding out FOR SURE what is and isn't right for you.  That can't happen unless you give it a try, right?

Sure didn't need to climb into the seat of the road grader, now, a decade later being cut up and sold for scrap.  A nap or a smoke break was what was needed, just then, and already I knew heavy equipment and I don't see eye-to-eye.  We're out of sync, incompatible.  Wasn't cut out to be a heavy equipment operator.  That's an example of, 'Sure, I'll drive it.'  Same with the big tow truck.  Big time screw-ups, both.  "Ya Gotta Pop The Clutch!"  Finally, the message sunk in; but it's not like I didn't try.

That's why when we needed to dig a launch canal to the Sea for the long-tailed boats being built at the boathouse, I was quick to jump up saying I had 'lots' of experience with BIG CAT diggers on tracks, in a sandbox, lemme on that sucker, I can figure out the levers an' shit once I'm in the seat.

Ain't nothing but a big Tonka Toy, right? a child's dream.  What have you got?  Forward.  Backward. Right.  Left.  Spin.  Scoop.  Dump.  How hard can it be?  Fuuuun like a mug. 

Well, there's a case of overcoming one's fear, and moving forward convincingly with supreme and utmost confidence, like on a motorbike in Phuket,  a job interview, or up on the high wire, even though, even though, eeeeeven though you may be venturing into no man's land, a mine field, a snake pit, and might be scared shitless, like up there without a net, what I'm saying.  Fly the thing!


Conformity. Nature likes conformity, like ants and bees, except when it doesn't, like snowflakes and galaxies.  The kindergarten class photo. What will they go on to become? Despite difference of ethnicity, class, income, education, occupation, political and religious preference, will they venture anything, take any chances, bet the farm? Would they have order or chaos, the principled, people of conscience, no prisoners of fear, chasing myths and illusions, universal revolutionaries intent to change the world?

Well, what's that got to do with couches and road gra...?

Tell the story, threads of conversations, as if they're sitting there, try to weave it together into some kind of cohesive fashion, tell a joke, a tale, ask some questions, end it when it's over.

- end

*Mid-afternoon sun beating down on the dancers and the arbor.  First round after the singer's lunch break. Someone was supposed to pull skulls.  The preparatory markings would be on his back. "Who?" asked Kakwira, Tom's son. Tom, the lead dancer who was doing the piercing, squinted up and down the long line of men, then pointed, "Ivis." Kakwira trotted over, took Ivis by the sage wristlet and brought him to the tree.  Holding the scalpel, Tom asked Ivis, "Are you ready to pull skulls?"  Quite by surprise, and mistakenly selected, Ivis shook his head and said, "No!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Merit

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, On and Off
February 2012
Making Merit

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - What is it?  The 18th? 23rd? You can lose track of time over here.  People will ask, 'Where'd the time go?'  That's an easy answer for me.  Didn't go anywhere.  You did.

It's not uncommon to lose track of time and holidays in a non-Christian country where everything is upside down anyway - the weather, the stars, their eyes.  No Thanksgiving, as we know it, no Super Bowl, no Easter bunny resurrection of Christ, no Christmas with Christ but with the sales, no not none of those three-day weekend, semester break, where you going for the holidays we all grew up with and learned to cherish within our traditional culture.  Now Bobby cain't even say prayer in schoo.

So, over here, you can erase most of that stuff out as unimportant, you won't need it for the final, but it's not bad to have it in your notes.  I mean, who really cares who won?  What, the Super Duper Bowl?  The Crusades?  No.

For instance, right around the corner is a wat, a temple, Wat Khuk Khak.  It's full of monks, guys who are on it full time.  They haven't got your American three-day weekend or Christmas break, but they've got a begging bowl full of 'buddhist holidays' each month, I think, coinciding with the moon, and other special events throughout the year, big time, where everybody takes    in    off   takes part. Like New Year and the water festival, for instance.  Buddha's birthday.  The candle-lighting ceremony.

Then they've got these smaller local events - deaths and other observances where the family and locals take part, the women hustling around with the food prep and so on, and the men arranging things, setting things up.  That's probably pretty much the same across cultures, I'd say.


Yeah, some might say that sounds sexist.  I can just hear it; 'Well, over HERE, sometimes the women are setting things up.'  That's okay.  I can live with that.  But you'd probably run me out of your kitchen.


Somebody in the New York Times or some other publication said electronic communication and new technology has left us, basically, dummied down, as a populace.  Can't help but feel partly responsible for what he called 'nonsense' and ego-filled blogging.  That's why it's serves one well to go back through one's work and attempt to remove all references to one's self.

How you gonna do that? 

That would be...your records.  Police, juvenile home, transcripts, high school, college, court, hop-skip & jump, mouse clicks, site visits, twits, tweets, tax avoidance, heh heh heh, DWIs, and alllllllllll that other stuff you've recorded over a lifetime.  You thought 'literary references'?

How you gonna do that, remove all references to one's self?  You can't.   

You could say, in your world, you've always existed.  I have in mine.  Time didn't go nowhere, and neither did you.

Sound screwy?  No screwier than believing it's one's sacred duty to kill.  A lot of people buy into that. Sacred killing sounds not only screwy, but fantastically insecure and downright maniacal, but people cling to such a path and have it guide thought, word, and deed.  It only becomes real if you believe it.

It's just someone else's idea, the idea of a karmic record, and over here they believe you can do something about it.

This morning I hollered at my neighbor, my gardener, who has moved to a new location on the west side of the lake, just as he disappeared past the house on his 'sling', a motorbike with a one-wheeled open side cart.

He promptly turned and met me at the roadside, speaking a mouthful of Thai so fast like he usually has for the past six years that I've never understood a word he's said.  He pointed across the lake and made an eating motion with his hands, spooning from a bowl.

'Now?' I asked.  'Dio nii?'

He vigorously nodded yes.  I was to go over to Carl's and eat with four other farang, I think.  He kept holding up four fingers, I don't know why.

Drove over there on the motorbike to Carl and Mon's restaurant where there were four tables of Germans having breakfast but no one particularly interested in having me join them, other than a nod and, 'Guten Morgan'.

I went to the gardener's house, a small thatched hut with another small thatched hut housing some of his family, and another small plaform out front with a thatched roof where they'd set out mats, and an altar, and candles, and flower arrangements, and the women were getting the food ready and the men were setting things up.

The gardener had invited me to his making merit ceremony, and I was really, really, slow to realize it.
About twenty local faces were there, and here came five monks.  All the men were wearing slacks, so I raced home, changed from swim gear to proper attire, grabbed that watermelon and a sleeve of plastic cups and got there just before the monks started in on an hour-long mantra.

No shit.  An hour.  I thought they'd broke it off at 45 minutes, but they started up again, and while most of the two dozen local folks, mostly older folks, sat with their palms clasped in front of them, some people conversed openly with one another with folks arriving on motorbike, not like mass or where everyone is quietly reverential.

I sat sweating, withdrawing into the wave of the mantra, in 'the zone', like in sweat lodge, and thought of family and friends and 'all those with whom we interact in our lives.' 

There were three old monks in back with two younger guys in front.  I was particularly impressed with the young guy on the left, whose posture, form, recitation, and calm indicated his effort. The old men just seemed to be effortlessly blowing through the ceremony as long-time practitioners. 

They got to eat first.  Then they served us old men sitting around one table, then everyone else.  There was one little kid, the gardener's granddaughter, and two dogs who skedaddled as soon as they let off that long string of firecrackers, ending with a loud boom resonating across the lake.

I wasn't even hungry.  People kept pushing me food.  Throughout, though feeling quite welcome by everyone, I felt like an outsider, just like on the rez.

Like the daily 'feeding the monks', they say such ceremonies make merit, perhaps off-setting some negative baggage, bad karma, I don't know, but I think today focused upon a future venture by the sponsoring party, the gardener, my friend.


There's a little grey songbird that built her nest in a fern outside my entrance prior to my arrival, and flits away whenever I approach or leave.  There's two eggs in there, and I'm trying to condition her to sit tight on those soon-to-be-chicks, avoiding a glance, become small, ethereal vapor passing through, that she need not feel threatened or afraid.


Sunday, February 12, 2012


Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Off and On

KHUK KHAK, THAILAND -  This calico cat has been hanging around, hanging around.  I don't care for cats that much, being more of a dog guy.  Seems like cats come with women.  Dudes don't bring a cat into the house.  We come home with a dog, someone who'll listen, somebody we can relate to.

Cats are good for rats and snakes, they say.  That being the case, while going after trash bags at Nang Thong Market (to clean up eight months of rubbish out back, pushed down my way by the two Thai yabba meth freaks three doors down, who got busted by a dozen police pounding on their door at 3 a.m. and taken away for rape and murder two months ago, I was told), I saw the cat food, tuna, salmon, other kinds there in the with the dog food, and thought I'd give the cat a treat, prompted by seeing the shedded skin of what had to be a eight foot snake in the garden, today.

Saw it, no snake, just the skin, snake for sure, no doubt, laying there, went one way four feet, wrapped around a small tree, and went back the other way, four feet.  I looked at that a moment, head to tail, then gauged it's width with my thumbs and index fingers in a circle, oh, about the size of a, of a, of a, it's a fucking python.

So, can a cat keep a python away from the house?  Or would the cat serve as lunch for the python? When they say 'cats are good for snakes', what does that mean, exactly?  Good for lunch, or keeping them away? You tell me.  Boa, Python, I don't know.  About the size of a softball.  Bigger than an orange, for sure.  Smaller than a grapefruit.  A softball.  That's a python, right?

The skin was laying flat, so I was imagining it, and what I saw was  one  big  fucking  snake, whoever you want to call him.  That could explain the jumpy nature and wide-eyed, fearful look in the cat's face whenever any sound occurs.  Any sound.

Now it's become somewhat of a nuisance, underfoot and bugging me while I'm trying to get the place squared away from eight months of neglect, but I guess I'll just have to accept it with the illusory hope that somehow this little cat can keep a python away.

The more I think about it, what's a python doing here in the first place?  Could be the snake habitat I've created.  But the cat was obvious here, already, too.  Hmmmm.  It's a puzzle.  I'll let you know what, if anything happens, cat-wise.


You saw Tarzan, didn't you?  Those old black and white movies?  You saw him wrestle with the alligator, crocodile?  You see him wrestle with that python?  He always had a knife handy, so that's what I do.  Scissors, couple of knives close by, a machete', a bow saw, a hatchet.

With Tarzan, there was a contest of strength before he dispatched the snake, and I'm not sure if the monkey had to go for help once or not, but as you would know, Tarzan prevailed because of the next episode and many other King of the Jungle reasons, but for me, noticing a particularly sharp loss of muscle mass and strength over the past few years, I think my best bet is to keep some sharp-ass slicing and dicing utensils within reach, when working in the garden.

See?  I'm still thinking about that snake.

Could be a cobra.  Cobras can go eight feet.

Which is worse?

Makes a nigga just want to heave a big sigh.


Exerting himself to the extreme, Tarzan's hollering, wrestling the fucking python, "CHEETA!  GO GET JANE!"



People over here acted like they were pissed I stayed gone in the States for so long, upsetting their view of where I should be in their world.  Found myself explaining spending Christmas with my family for the first time in years, and then New Year's, and the nice weather, and lights and electricity and water and the internet and the squadron responsibilities, and the projects I had to wrap up before heading out just as that snowstorm hit Denver.

BBC in Bangkok said people in Europe were freezing ass.  Out on the sizzling street, I was drenched with sweat, an obvious new arrival just off the flight, too stupid to stay inside from the mid-day oven, feet blistering in sandals after being tenderized eight months in socks and shoes.

Over here, people have a thing about feet.  You can't point your feet at a buddha.  It's uncivilized to point your feet at anyone, or show them the bottom of your feet.  Don't put your feet up on the table or up anywhere.  Feet belong on the ground or motorbike foot pegs.  Only heathens won't remove their shoes at the door.

So, after being here for seven, eight years, I take particular notice when someone is picking and playing with their feet, their socks, their toes, then want to do something like pass me a joint.  I have to decline and tell them I'm trying to quit.  Maybe other folks don't notice things like that, but I do.

Like Digger told his good friend Devon, "Nigga!  You gonna step over ALL those shoes inside the doorway and come walking in here on my carpet with your muddy-ass shoes!"

The Thai won't say anything; they're too shy and non-confrontive.  They'll just stare at your feet.


The squadron, mentioned earlier, the 335th, The Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron (I answer the phone there, '335th Tac', just like they, the radio operators, do if they were really doing it) was taking up more time since taking on the contract to deliver 63 planes by the end of January, delaying my departure until that loose end could be wrapped up.

Talked to Lupe' and Bo & Misty about picking up the production of about, well, 247 planes at $5 a plane.

Lupe' did some figuring, and said with a shake of his head, "Bro, you can't live on five dollars a day."

True, not even on the rez, but you could amp up your production.  I can knock one out in about four hours; three, if people leave me alone and stop bugging me about another cup of coffee and would I mind if they checked out their Facebook page.

So, despite the claim of being 'made in America,' I sought out the Myanmar girls, got three already, and when I can get two more and somebody to translate, I'm going to re-fire up production over here with one girl on design, one on cut-out, one on drilling, and two on assembly, day wages at 200TB per day, per girl.

That's about seven bucks each, and selling them at $499.99, I'll make a fortune.  Seven bucks.  Even if they only crank out two a day, it's better than what Lupe' thought he could do after reverse engineering the thing and saying, 'maybe I can make them faster after I make forty or fifty,' he said.

Bo Davis was non-committal.  Misty, too.

"Five bucks a plane," I told them.  "And, you've got to deliver them to Denver."

Bo just shook his head.  Misty wouldn't look me in the eye.  They didn't ask about the transportation costs.  Their unspoken message was that they can make more doing bead work.

So, it looks like my best bet is over here with the cheap Myanmar labor.  There goes another five jobs out-sourced out of the country.  There goes another shot at tribal sovereignty.

Already told you I've got the Chinese beat, hands down, with our 40-point assembly.  Theirs is a laughable three, a punch-out idea off a flat piece of cardboard, stolen from my templates, mind you, after being hustled off to Shanghai by my former crew boss, Li An Song Su Ky, a hateful, scornful, no-smiling, scowling, snake-of-a-woman, who was formerly a sweet little dirt-poor, flat-footed, no-make-up, up-country village girl until coming down here and mingling with all the corrupted infidel foreigners, with whom she undoubtedly had a bad experience prior to our association.

You see it happen.  People get burned, they get pissed and maybe withdraw.  Don't want to trust or be open to the world.  Start making accusations maybe and fall into some kinda prolonged emotional septic trench.

As old man Palamioni said after Tito's fall from the trapeze, 'These-ah thingsa happen froma time-ah to time-ah."

You may know the taste of deception or theft.  Best is to spit and let it go.  In any case, excuse the digression, the shipping costs of the planes are going to offset the labor savings, and with the squadron now six years old with 187 pilots, it's still in its marketing phase until 350 aircraft are produced.

Thus, our principal investors won't realize a dividend until sometime in 2015.  Maybe earlier.  I keep telling them we must stay the course, look at the long-range plan, beyond the elections, beyond the Mayans, beyond our wildest imaginations.


Honor Your Food

I've been trying to eat four, five, six times a day.  Part of it is trying to replace a sharp loss of muscle mass and strength noticeably absent in the mirror and when swinging a splitting maul, and part of it is the food is so good.

At home on Pine Ridge we eat what they like to call food, all of which comes in a package or can, loaded up with horrible shit that will kill you sooner than most other addictions or other hosts of vampire bugs and parasitic chemicals floating in our environment.  Out planet is just DRIPPING with toxins.  Any Indian will tell you the government is practicing genocide with the food.

Don't believe me?  Take a look.  Take a look at Indian people.

Even here, where the eating is fairly close to the picking, I'm told the Thai have 25,000 harmful chemicals in their agriculture.  Yeah, and the restaurants usually have dogs, and sometimes chickens working the place.

Dad prayed every meal.  A good habit. Went something like 'Our Heavenly Father thanktheeforthisfoodforwhichwereboutreceiveforthenourishmentofourbodiesandsomethin
somethinsomethinsomethininJesusakeIpray Yamen.'  It caught on.  Not the blessing, but the habit, the idea of saying thanks before you eat.  Since if we didn't eat, we'd die.  A little thing, then, to say thanks.

So, are we praying for the food, or because of the food.   hoping the shit won't kill us.

I was laying there in bed thinking about our food, and how much of it I'd consumed that day, and what life and energy it gave me, and what I'd said and done with that.  How did it get played out in interpersonal relationships throughout the day?

Day one, in the womb, we start packing on the pounds, and when we get out, out of the womb, out of the house, out of town, all that food continuum, that energy continuum, gets expressed on our gigantic canvas.  What color is yours?  What does it look like?  Would it be an aura?

I use profanity a lot around the boys, like, barracks talk.  I tell the nephews, 'I was in the fuckin' army.  This ain't a fuckin' girl scout camp.'  And they laugh, keeping it loose, and sometimes in writing I'll use profanity, too, just to keep it loose and real, or to make a point, but when I think about honoring my food, and like Al says, 'You pray with that same tongue?', then sometimes I think I should tone it down and not swear so fucking much.

My friend, the Dalai Lama, doesn't swear around, at least in public.  I was sitting with David, the manager of the new Italian restaurant where yesterday I ate one of my meals, said of one of his friends, as if to impress me, "He's friends with the Dalai Lama."

I looked him straight in the eye and said, "I'm friends with the Dalai Lama, too."

His face registered surprise, then he sat staring at me for a good fifteen or twenty seconds.  I never blinked.  Finally, he asked, "You've actually met the Dalai Lama?"

"No," I replied.  "I've got his picture at home on my pantry door."

"Oh," he said, pushing back in his chair and turning his head sideways in a scoff, "Then I'm friends with the Dalai Lama, too."

"Sure, you are," I told him.

Some of it has to be who you're hanging out with.  If it's the boys, or the boys in the barracks, then you can say any fucking thing, right?  You should hear the way these motorcycle gang members talk, and the Brits, and the Aussies.  They are really, really, bad.  In front of women, their girlfriends, their wives, their mothers, for Christ's sake!  I couldn't believe what Damon called Margaret Thatcher with his mother sitting right there, who didn't disagree.

It's so bad, I can't print it, so I'll tell you psychically.

Get it?  That's pretty bad, isn't it?

Wow.  Talk about getting side-tracked.  Where the fuck was I?

Well, I'd like to think that I honor my food by being kind to plants and animals.


Even before I got on the plane, I was thinking about massage.  Shortly after checking in after a solid 26 hours flying in coach class (say, 'sardines') DenverLosAnglesHongKongBangkokPhuket - Wham, Bam, Blam, Boom, exhausted/wired, went straight to the hotel massage, and for ten bucks, had a woman attack me with such ferocity it felt like Turkey Vulture tears up roadkill rabbit.  It's quite possible to leave feeling poorer than when you went in.

Complaining?  You could say a bad massage in Bangkok isn't as bad as an excellent massage in Pittsburg.


They're Just There

Manuel stopped by the 335th HQ before I left the States, and among other topics, spoke about people being engaged with their mobile devices.  Absorbed.

Around the world, new technologies have distanced us further from one another, putting us only physically in the presence of others.  For those around us when we're electronically engaged, we could just as well be in vegetative state, on life support.

As Manuel said, 'They're not talking with you.  They're not visiting or listening.  They're just there.'


I just found some M&Ms I had stashed.

Ok, today, Yon, who gave me the bananas six years ago (yielding just now; sweet), stopped by when he saw I was back.  I showed him the snakeskin in the garden.  He looked, then looked again, closer.
With his left hand, he encircled his right forearm, indicating the thickness of the snake's body. 

"What kind?' I asked, excitedly.  "Phython?  Anaconda?"

"No Anaconda," he said.  "Cobra."

Someone said cats can beat a cobra.  At dinner tonight, I ordered fish.  After eating most of it, I asked the waitress, "Si krang, samrap meeo, Krap," a 'to-go' bag, please, for the cat.

- end


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Of You, At Least

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Off and On
Two of You, At Least

PINE RIDGE, SD - You ever get the sense that the whole universe is waiting for you to get your shit together?  That's what they're saying about the entire planet.  Waiting for all of us to make some changes so they can complete the symphony.  If everybody could elevate just one tick, we could make that quantum leap.

', annnnnnnd LIFTOFF!'

We've got to do something different, tinker around a bit more with dna and stem cells, or scrap the old model entirely and return to the drawing board. There must be some reason why we came to the garden, if there's a reason behind everything, like people like to say.  I've heard people say it, anyway, as if it were a common truth, like gravity.

What if they're wrong? What if the bumper sticker is right?

No.  Contrary to contemporary proclamations, shit just doesn't happen.  Shit happens because of prior shit happening.  Any scientist will tell you.  Cause & effect.  Buddhists say karma.  What go around, come around.  Isn't learning figuring out relationships?  Monkeys and lab rats figured it out.  Why can't we?

In any case, here we still are with things closing in.  Live, evolve, reproduce, die.  There must be more.  Experience?  Create?  We sure make all kindza shit. Seems like there would be a tipping point, a breaking point, where we can't make any more shit because we've used up all the resources.  I can see the graph. Then what can we make?  Or maybe we can't make any more shit because all the jobs got shipped to China.  Perhaps they could assume our capacity to make war.  They've got the guys.

Reason why I say that about the waiting universe is because I'm still thinking of the multiple universes, a parallel universe of endless possibilities, my clone over there on the backside of a black hole, trying to copy all my moves, trying to keep up with me on the dance floor.  I'm over here doing all the heavy lifting while he's over there just going through the motions, vamping on my psyche.

You think people see the same person you see reflected back at you in a mirror, who all these years you think you are? They're seeing the real you.  The person we're looking at has it all backwards, but thinks they've got it straight.  Check it out.  The part is on the wrong side, if there's a part.  Look at a photo.  That's you.  The mirror?  That's an illusion.  The Self-story, the bullshit script we tell, is all delusional, a chasm between the perceived and the real.

Reason why I say that about the mirror is because I just saw some creepy horror movie over at Bo and Misty's where the girl was in front of a mirror, and when she moved, her reflection didn't.  That was creepy.  It got worse.  Her reflection came crashing through the mirror, no shit, into the room, and proceeded don't want to know...maybe you do...try to kill her with a long, pointed mirror shard.

Maybe you know the movie.  Gave me the yim yams.  Turned out, the girl got away from the evil twin, and was all right by the end of the movie.  I don't care for that horror shit in the movies, ever since Vietn...ain't gonna say it...ever since my time working for the government in Southeast Asia, the aftermath of a tsunami, and life here in the Real 3-D World on Pine Ridge.  Who needs more horror?


Speaking of being scared, have you noticed lately on the radio the government, FEMA, is telling us to continue to be afraid.  Prepared, actually, and that's okay because that's the motto of the Boy Scouts, a fine organization, and what do they say about an ounce of precaution?

Nothing.  But they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  An ounce of precaution will save you a boatload of paranoia.  Insofar as FEMA public service announcements are concerned, they're asking us what we'd do in the case of a disaster with the combined sounds of a tornado, screeching brakes of a subway, and agonized cries from hell going on in the background.  They advise getting a kit.

If you aren't the go get a disaster kit type, or maybe you'll put it off until the last minute, along with a gallon of milk, which won't be of any significant consequence if a massive solar flare hits us, we get slapped by something big & nasty whizzing in from space, or if you find yourself quite suddenly and unexpectedly swimming for your life.

But what gets me is the language they use, asking; 'What would you do if life as you know it is turned on its head?' and later, 'What will you do if your family's world gets turned upside down?' One hopes they're speaking only figuratively, but what an odd choice of words.  Twice.

If you live in a perpetual state of fear or non-specific anxiety, and are even mildly concerned about the possibility of polar shift instantly freezing your lake and iced tea in July, then that kind of momma earth-spinning talk could be disturbing, to say the least, especially when it's coming not from some alarmist late-night end-of-the-world kook, but from your  government. 

They say have a back-up plan for your family, in case everything 'goes down'.  Is this like fallout shelters and 'Duck and Cover', or are they prepping us for something everybody has a feeling is coming? You can go to

You don't have to be paranoid to be good boy and girl scouts.  Stock up. Be prepared.  Food. A gallon of milk, more ammo.

'Duck and Cover' - For those too young to remember or to have participated, the federal plan in case of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, the Russians, the fucking Communists, all same same at the time.  Don't run to the window to see the source of the brilliant flash. There's going to be a helluva shock wave next.  Get under your desk.  Grainy black and white instructional films of happy, white, early1950's American kids in the classroom, all obediently and quickly taking cover in unison at the instruction of their teacher,  'All right now, children...everybody...DUCKANDCOVERYOURASS!"

It was funny then, and it still is now, has lasting comedic power, and as ridiculous as yesterday's discarded color-coded federal terrorist threat alert system, to be heard only in airports.  You'd have to go to an airport to learn how afraid to be on a given day.  Surely, someone in the administration at the time was asking, 'Shouldn't we be broadcasting this message on street corners and Wal-Mart?'

The response had to be, 'No. That would create too much a climate of fear.'

Everybody soon realized the obvious, including government security agencies after a time, a decade, that you don't need to be in the air to be extra afraid, though we continue to experience a charade of security as American air travelers who are all first treated as presumed suspect criminals, then allowed clearance only after submission to humiliating invasions of privacy at the hands of strangers.

This bothers me.  It seems an acute outrage, and in airport security lines, I feel an absurdity, an innate urge to resist a numb, voiceless pathology, removing one's shoes, remove all items from your pockets, don't make them pull you aside, move along, move along, down the plank, stay in line, into the boxcar, over the cliff. 

I've got this thing about being in the air; in fact right now I'm seeing how up I can get.  Climbing trees, tree houses, kites, back-flip high-dive high school swimming pool clown, the high-wire circus act, helicopters in Vietn...ain't gonna say it...helicopters in a Southeast Asian rice and noodle-eating nation starting with a 'V' and ending with 'M', the transmitting tower incident at the Fort Wayne tv station, and now, today, these airplanes all over the place.  The air up in here is thick with aircraft.

In reflection, I'm beginning to get it - I always wanted to be 'UP', or high.  I can still hear my mom, 'Come down from there!' the chief engineer screaming, "DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY VOLTS ARE RUNNING UP THAT TOWER?" and years later, the judge hollering, 'STAY OFF OUR ARCHITECTURE!' after those guys, the cops and those people, talked me down from the attempted St. Louis arch crossing ('Judge Fines Man in Arch Crossing; St. Louis Post-Dispatch 4/16/73).

The attempt was to prove to my colleagues in the Flying Palominos that I wasn't chickenshit, after all, as they had alleged.  That was without a net, a six hundred and thirty foot drop from the crest of the arch to the Mississippi, but it seemed a lot higher than that.  A misleading headline, as well, since I was prevented from crossing, but I probably could have made it had they not interfered.  Like they said after the spelling bees and the war, 'You didn't win it, but the important thing is that you tried.'

And just the other day, my daughter asked her brother, 'What was he doing up there in the first place?'

So, I see this 'air thing' a persistent and lifelong strand, my android clone operating a robotic device, harvesting minerals and rare ores from asteroids in the ort cloud.  Speaking Chinese.


My Chinese Friends

Speaking of speaking Chinese, I'd like to welcome you new Chinese readers on board.  What a plllleasant surprise!  Tell all your friends.  All 1.3 billion, ha.  I've been trying to get a toe-hold over there.  A toe-hold; that's a figure of speech.  That's like, 'a foot in the door'.  That's like, uh, developing new markets, okay?  Maybe you know English figures of speech, already.  That's what I do, officially, professionally - cliches and figures of speech.  I have no idea of your proficiency, but, whatever, welcome. I hope we can be friends.  I lay off the Chinese jokes.  My landlord is Chinese.  I buy of lot of your stuff in Wal-Mart.

Annnnd...without sounding overly patronizing, one of my best friends is Chinese, and I have another good friend who studied Chinese in Kunming.  Did I say my landlord is Chinese? I was raised Chinese, we had a China cabinet, I eat Chinese food fairly regularly, I can find China 'Town' on Google Earth, a distant grandfather served with General Tso,  and as a small child I ate spinach because of your starving people, and, and, I watched you guys launch your spaceship last month.

So.  We're like brothers.  Be sure to tell your friends.  What?  You want Chinese jokes?  Okay.  I've got one for you;  In China, even if you're a one-in-a-million guy, there's 130,000 guys out there just like you.

In China, you've got to get caught red-handed, because nobody can describe the suspect.

Will this get by your censors?  Next time, some jokes about you guys finding a wife.  What're the odds over there of getting laid, 10,000 to one?  No wonder the young dudes are heading out.  Who wants to oversee a mining operation in Nigeria? The sheer demographics of it have the world's population as half Chinese by sometime soon, so you can feel good about the future.


You see where they found a new, possibly life-supporting earth-like planet about two or three times the size of us?  Told ya we'd find it. That's the good news; there will be lots more space for everybody.  Only thing is, it's 15, 20 light years away, give or take a bump along the way.

How do they know?  A little bird.  Also, they can see it.  This isn't the not-too-hot, not-too-fucking-cold 'Goldilocks Planet'.  That one was much farther away in another distant galaxy.  This new one is close.  It's right there.  We can practically reach out and touch it, with a long enough hand.  A virtual hop, skip, and jump.

Fifteen light years.  Hmmm.  Some say twenty.  Another dude said 600.  Oh?  Is it possible that something could be racing toward us from deep space and we wouldn't know about it until the last minute?  They said yes.  Which direction would you look.  Up?  No.  Out.  Look the fuck out.  Again, duck and cover.

These aren't 'ramblings', as some readers have referred to it; 'Keep sending your ramblings.'   I'm working from notes here.  Just looking for a way to tie it all together into some form of a consistent line of thought, which it is not.  It's not a treatise.  It's's a...a..uh...

A sort of rambling report from my world.  No doubt, you've got other things to think about in your universe.  If we listen to people talk, we can tell exactly what's on their minds.  What never ceases to amaze me is how each and every one of us has something different going on in their head.  As they say in Asia, same same, but different.

I had an arrogant asshole of a boss one time tell me, "I need your best thinking on this."  This was several years ago, but it stuck, and today I'm still as baffled by his comment as I was at the time.  What the fuck?  Like, your hazy, everyday, 33 1/3rd isn't good enough?  You need some ginko?  Slam it into overdrive?  And if so, just how do you do that?

I suppose a person could start with a pot of coffee.

Milo Yellowhair stopped by for a pot of coffee last week, and upon hearing my lamentations that few, if any of our eighty-six pilots knew their tail numbers or the name of our organization, created a hypothetical prisoner-of-war scenario for downed and captured pilots from the 335th, more than willing to spill their guts at the hands of their captors under the threat of torture, but helplessly unable to remember the tail number of their aircraft or the name of our squadron.


"Wait a minute!  Wait a minute.  Let me think," he said, holding up his hand.  "I can tell you.  You guys don't have to do this.  I can remember.  Just give me a second.  It's on the tip of my tongue...the ah, The Aerial...the...The Slim Buttes Aerial Squa...uh, The Slim Buttes...uh..."


The Cafe

With the advent of high-speed glass data delivery here, we witnessed the unofficial opening of a dream of bringing an internet cafe and coffee shop to Slim Buttes, with several people showing up, saying, "We heard you got your internet."

They stayed way beyond 1 a.m., sipping coffee on a tab, listening to pow wow music on You Tube, surfing the net, checking their email, fiddling with their mobiles, texting, and totally ignoring me and my jokes.  'So this is the way it's going to be,' I thought.  In disgust, I had to eventually kick them out.

Along with the big new sign, 'Home Of The Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron', the six-wicket croquet golf course, and Bavarian Beer Garden on Tuesday and Thursday nights out on the veranda, the plan is to serve connoisseur coffees; your Guatemalan, Ethiopian, East African Uzuri, Sumatran, got your organic Free Trade bean here from Costa Rica, and my favorite, East Timor.

We're going to be as serious about our bean here as the folks in Seattle, and as as you may already know, Indians are some serious, competitive, major league coffee drinkers.

Okay, as opposed to Facebook or the dream world, here's a serving all in one big glob, one big blogglob.  Enjoy the holidays.  May you and your loved ones be blessed through the coming year.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You, Water

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Then Quit For A While, Then Started Up Again
November 2011
Thank You, Water

PINE RIDGE Indian Reservation, SD -  HEY!  WHERE YOU BEEN AT?

I don't know about you, but me, myself, I've gotta be in 'my space' to write.  A coffee shop or airport lounge doesn't cut it.  Sure, you can zip off a quick confused, incoherent message amidst overloud distracting chatter and espresso would you describe that sound?..KRRRRRRRRRRRTT....but for focused writing, like, to you, like, now, I've got to be in my space.  From here, I can produce a clear and focused, concentrated, incoherent message.

That would be right here at home.  Just got phone and internet.  Only took 2011 years and eleven months.  Just got water after a six-year wait, and electricity after two years of off-the-grid solar, four years of candlelight and batteries when the solar attempt failed, and after four months ago when I swallowed my eco-electro energy independence dream and went over there to Martin, SD and humbly requested service from Lake Creek Electric Company.

"You got a special deal for vets, or retired people on fixed income?" I asked the efficient and polite middle-aged lady like the kind you see working for years at a rural electric company.

"No," she said.

"How does it work, then?" I asked.

"The way it works is, you give us money, and we give you electricity."

They wanted a signature on a ten-year contract, just short of marriage, so I scrawled 'Peter Larsen' on their paperwork, laid down about $700 bucks up front for the poles and the deposit and the survey and the crew lunch and office party and gas and whatnot, and here about a month ago, they came out the very same day the tribal water crew installed the long-awaited yard hydrant, and run the lines and set the poles, telephone poles, inadvertently cutting through the Mini Wiconi water line with that bigass hydraulic auger when they drilled the holes for the poles.  I had water for fifteen minutes.

"Couldn't have hit it more dead center if they'd laid out tobacco and prayed," I told Bo and Misty, who were over here drinking coffee and getting some kinda way, hearing the story three times.  "There's only one place those lines (water & electric) intersect, and they nailed it."

Thinking maybe it was just me, I asked the guy, "This has happened before, right?"

It had.  Not alll the time, but it had, like the time they went through a, wha'd he say?,  a four-inch line? and had the truck submerged before a bigass wrecker pulled them out of the sinkhole they'd created.  It happens, he said with a shrug of resignation.  Fortunately, the water crew was still here with their backhoe and bobcat, and repaired the water line straight away, as the gecko likes to  say.*

Anyway, I've got water and lights, lights on all over the place, and just here last night, phone and internet.

Maybe city and off-the-rez folks take all that for granted.  Like, a shower and indoor flush toilet.  After all this 3rd-World time doing without, hauling water, out of communication, and sleeping on a Meadowlark's schedule, I can just say I'm pretty happy about life here in Slim Buttes.

Soooo, just because you haven't heard from me doesn't mean I don't care, or haven't been thinking of you.  I have.  And it may sound cliche', but I've been meaning to write.  Really.  I've got notes, notes out the ass.

Let's see...let's see here.  Yeah, I've just been out here checking my traps, managing air traffic control up in here, and waiting for contact from the Pleidians.  That's what I told Jack and those Red Cloud nephews when they came out here, none of which seemed to register, because they just said, 'Uh huh'.

So to make an imprint and see how much attention they were paying, I shouted out, "TO HELL WITH THE HOG MARKET REPORT!  WE WANT SOME FUCKING FOOTBALL!" as I went over and changed the AM station on my little battery-operated radio, tuning in the Cornhuskers at home in Memorial stadium over in Lincoln.

They didn't laugh at that, either.  I don't know what it was.  Maybe they didn't know what to expect.
They seemed a bit apprehensive, staring at all the planes.

Mouse traps.  But they didn't ask.  Didn't ask who the Pleidians were, either.  Just kind of nodded in agreement that they'd prefer the game over the price of pork bellies.

Here, on Pine Ridge, it would be a fair guess to say most Indians don't give a shit about livestock reports, but just down the way in the panhandle of Nebraska, from which the local station broadcasts, the price of grain futures and bulls and heifers and hogs dominates the noon news.  Around here, the people become excited when water comes to the 'ville.


You see where my predictions came true?  Shit falling from space?  ('Alarm Raised Over Shit From Space'  07.03.09) Yeah.  And I've got another one for you - things are going to get better before they get worse.  Like that?  That's what Reagan told us, and you can see he was right.  Get government off our backs, he said.  Trickle down economics.  Um hmm.

So yeah, I'm trying to elevate to where y'all are at.  Ipod, Ipad, GPS, palm pilot, cell and mo-bile device, text, twit, and triangulate, tweet astral realm and ascended light body, but things happen slowly out here, everybody knows.  TMI, man.  ixnay on the x-rays.  Give me a hand search.  Still trapped in human body.  Still working without a net. Contact me by ESP.

Gotta elevate.  Soon. Before 2012, they say.  Before Armageddon. Before the rapture. Before Niburu. Gotta start working out. Gotta have some dreams.  Gotta have some ideas.  Where you going to get your ideas?  Copy somebody else's?  Join somebody's circus?  You're going to need some hiking gear.

Double universe, parallel universe ain't nothin' but a theory.  Just think, there's a person over there just like you, doing all the same shit, making all the same choices. Would they look over here, through the mirror, and ask you to cut 'em a break, cut 'em some slack?

The nephews understood the comment about air traffic control, seeing as how the air space here is becoming crowded, the home strength of the Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron at fifteen aircraft.  Yesssss.  Fifteen.  Eight new 7th ed. tri-wing Fokkers went out over the summer to some retar...special needs kids down in Colorado, with production working by candlelight filling back orders from before the economic downturn and later, a shutdown after that slut Li An took off to China with my templates** last summer, and after layoffs everybody knows its hard to get up and running to full steam once again.  Even then, once you see a profit, it's hard to take on new people and not put that cash in your pocket.

Anyway, as of last quarter, end of July, the 335th experienced twelve downed aircraft from pilot error, six prop damage, ten landing gear failures, five strut and wing damage, one tail section mishap same same Reno air show, two downed from enemy fire, and one downed from cat playing tetherball.

Internal Affairs has taken over the investigation of the purported attempted sale of a squadron aircraft at Cubbies convenience store in Oglala for $4.99 by one of our pilots whose name is being withheld because of her age.  A witness stated the pilot was unable to sell the aircraft.

Note to pilots: For minor damage, such as props and rudders, fix it in the field if you can.  For more extensive damage, haul 'em in for general maintenance. more flying over the grandstands!  Period. No more horsing around.  You see what can happen.

Ok.  Mixing up a little work with play here.  Play with work.  Work is play. Work is play, they say. Work is play if you love what you do, and you're not working for an asshole.  Gotta get the word out.  We've got 86 pilots now, with No. 129 rolling out off the assembly line just last night.  That rate of production over six years may seem anemic by Boeing or Lockheed standards, but for a one-man operation since the Myanmar girls got pissed and quit, it's not too bad.

**I'm going to deal with this here, as opposed to a footnote at the end of the story.  Li An, you may recall, was my hateful English-speaking Myanmar crew boss.  First, she incited the crew against me, then while I was home for the summer, she absconded to China with my templates, which she claims was her idea, and the result was my plane appearing on the street six months later as a cardboard cut-out with some assembly required.  All of 'em blue.  Mine are one-of-a-kind.  Theirs are cheap, mine are $499.99.  Theirs are made in China and stamped out, mine are handcrafted, made in the USA.  Except for the ones that were made in Thailand, then shipped back to the US.  Mine are limited edition, they've made a blue million of them.  You can get theirs at Wal-mart and on the street; mine, you can't.  They also produce a punch-out aircraft carrier; I don't.

So, there.


You ever experience the 'hurry up offense', caught unaware perhaps, where plays are coming at you so fast you haven't the time to organize a defense appropriate to the alignment on the field?  Its later, when reviewing the events and replaying the tapes that you can get an accurate picture of what occurred, how it happened, what you could have done, what you could have said.

A person needs a generic, knee-jerk, off-the-shelf, reptilian, reflexive, prevent defense, some kind of preparatory instantaneous survival mechanism.  Fight, flight, lie, deceive, cajole, manipulate. Catch 'em napping.  Stop 'em in the red zone.  Keep 'em out of field goal range.  Make 'em punt.


Did I give you the results of the croquet golf tournament, the 1st Annual Slim Buttes Invitational Croquet Golf Tournament?  I won it.  Ballanco took silver.  Ted Ebert got the bronze.  That was Labor Day Weekend, following a last-minute agreement between the owners and players arriving at a settlement, which means the 2012 croquet golf season is BACK ON!

Back in July we held a weekend 'Zero-Tolerance' Advanced Fly-Swatting workshop for adults, focusing on long-term vigilance, long-distance recognition, interdiction and elimination.  There were breakout sessions on fundamentals and techniques such as the feint, the overshot, the no-look backhand, fade-away, the ceiling slapshot, and 'coming out of the sun'.

Upon completion of the program, participants were presented with new, vinyl 'Nevva Miss' swatters in the shape of a hand.  We made a video.  You can check it out on UTube.

 Maybe city and off-the-rez folks don't have to deal with flies the way we do, either.  Out here, it's a basic fact of life, and we take it seriously. Quite seriously.


Do you have a personal trainer?  No offense if you do.  Complete the sentence; A person who has a personal trainer is someone who...

Just wondering.  How about a hero?  On the radio an ad for returning vets said at the end, something to the effect of...'let's help our wounded warriors...let's help our heroes...' which sent me seeking a dictionary definition of heroism.  Yes, like you'd suspect...'above and beyond...without regard for one's own safety...courage...sacrifice.'

Sure, many of the vets are heroes, without a doubt, but it requires more than putting on the uniform.  There's nothing heroic about getting blown away by a roadside blast.  Not everybody who takes a hit was doing something heroic at the time. It is more a matter of unfortunate circumstance, a wrong place and time, no hero in the humvee, no extraordinary measure of valor.  Can you be a hero just going along for the ride?  Can you just toss the word around?

The reason I ask about a personal trainer is, why?  We had personal trainers, too.  It was called a swing set.


Waterboarding couldn't have been worse.  About a little more than halfway through the appointment, I had as much as I could stand, the breaking point, I flashed the girls a timeout signal and literally leapt up from the dental chair.  I HAD to swallow.  I HAD to spit.  They recoiled in surprise.   I asked them, "You ever have people jump up like that?"

"No," they said, shaking their heads.

"You're kidding me!"  I thought it to be a common occurrence.  I told them I could take it, but only for so long, then I had to get up.  Same with an airplane seat in coach.  Same with this computer screen.  Know what I mean?  I told them that when I die, I want to be cremated because the thought of being closed up underground like that in that claustrophobic casket would drive me absolutely crazy.  I wouldn't be able to stand it.  I've seen it happen.

In fact, any type of confinement bugs me - rat cage, prison cage, handcuffs, chem class, jock strap, sweat lodge, peyote meeting, human body, my own delusional thinking.  The rez.  That dentist's chair.

Wow.  Got me to thinking...were you a 'squirmy' child?  Or were you okay with being held and snuggled?  How long?

No, I don't think it's that, some kinda Freudian shit.  It's probably Dr. Sardonicus being buried alive, a horrifying movie I saw decades ago and have never been able to forget.  And just when I thought I had the notion completely suppressed, here comes 'Kill Bill II' where she gets buried alive.  Ohhhhhh God.  Just cremate me, ok?  Just be sure I haven't got a pulse.

Okay.  Enuf talk about dying.  It's winter here on the rez, everything dead, geese gone south, but I've got water and light.  Coffee, too, and here comes visitors.

- end

*yeah. about that gecko.  a gecko is a lizard, right?  a cousin to a snake.  you're going to buy insurance from a lizard?  a cousin to a snake?  On the surface, just think about it.  Just for a moment.  Isn't there something primeval about not trusting reptiles?  Not just Genesis, but deep within our DNA? And on top of it, he's speaking with a British accent.  You're going to buy insurance from a lizard with a British accent?