Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Journey for me :-)

I was just passing through and saw more readers had come by and visited my page! I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't excited- I WAS!


I am going to be writing a new blog just for these curious people and hope you enjoy it! It'll be about my upcoming move to a curious Midwestern City. I've never been as far east as Dallas so this should be interesting. Don't worry I know many of you are dying to know what it's like for a simple reservation Dine (Navajo) to venture into uncharted territory. I can guarantee you that I will keep a journal and update as much as I can!!!


I am one of those people whose mind works very much like Nuclear Fission- It just goes and goes! I suppose it's just a lot of anticipation and mentality that changes as one matures. Not getting older but wiser ;-)

I should also let you know that I will not have a comp with me when I go. I am just a poor Grande Dame now. I have red shoes to click my heels with but they're ever so tired! Whenever my training pays off I'm going to snag meself a laptop ASAP!!! Feel free to leave a comment and if you absolutely cannot wait go to my MySpace link and send me a message. That's one of the first places I check my messages at. Well peeps wish me luck on the journey I'm about to embark on.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

El Chicano Chingon y La India Reina

“Where did you learn to speak Spanish?”

It’s something I usually hear accompanied by a wide grin when I say a little word or phrase in Spanish to Hispanic people. The truth is I love learning new things so naturally I checked out a book on Basic Spanish way back when I lived in San Antonio in 95’. It was a necessity then because San Antonio is Hispanic town. That really didn’t do a lot of good considering I didn’t have anyone pronounce the words correctly for me except for my neighbor. He was a flaky guy and was usually angry about something so I never really bothered to ask him for help. These days I’m not fluent but I can pick up the gist of a Spanish conversation and carry on a fragmented conversation in Spanglish.

When I was but a wee Gelfling Spanish was what I saw on the television or the trips to town where a huge amount of Hispanics live. I knew nothing of it and did not really care to know anything about it! It was just another language and something I didn’t understand. It’s been a long road for me from the vast isolated expanse of the Dine reservation to the rest of the world. For some reason I just seem to click with Hispanic people. I can look back at all the years that I’ve lived so far from home and they were the group of people who took me under their wings many times.

“Mi Hija. Are you hungry?” Hispanic people would ask when I was down-and-out on my luck. At the time I was struggling and could hardly even afford bus fare. I’d wind up getting a meal or even an invitation to the home to eat a good home made dinner! I remember those faces and those people but do not remember their names. I do remember all the friends that gravitated towards me and they were Chicanos. One Chicano friend of mine who was in the Vietnam War always told my friends and I,

“I’ll only go out with India’s and Chicana’s.” There seemed to be a bond that I shared with these people that went beyond sharing the same color skin.

We are both brown. A little grand to say but that’s the way I see it.

I already knew that a lot of Hispanic people were a mixture of Indian and Spanish blood and my friendships with them just made that more apparent and clear. A homeless guy once told me while I was out on the streets panhandling one day he almost always had much unconditional graciousness extended by Hispanic people. I asked him why and he told me that the reason they were more ready to help was because they knew what it was to suffer! I took that line and remembered it because it just made the whole journey my life has taken with my friends more clear.

I wrote a little poem for the special relationship I have with la gente. It’s about a friend who I used to carouse around with who didn’t have to befriend me but chose to. He pretty much spent his life hanging around us down-and-out folks. He had a home and a loving family but liked to spend time with us. I don’t think he even cared that I was a Transgendered girl! I used to have such a grand time with him and he’d back me up if I needed it! He passed away sometime last year and I didn’t find out until I went back to Burque (Albuquerque) to see my friends. It’s not totally finished but it’s something that I want to print here. It’s untitled right now but as time goes on I’ll come back and edit.


Fists of fury

No man no cry

She found in him

A secret hideaway

A groovy kind of love

Spoken in street corner whispers

and countless unsaid

I knows

He told her one day

High on a five year ride

I got my set. You want one?


Work unfinished

a sign of rebirth and strength

It is a testament to what grand visions

he had beheld of her

She now carries her homeboys name

etched into every cell of her being

From his name on her leg

to the unsaid goodbyes

when he died

She stands the test of time

Her hideaway now in sun

Blue and brown

Chicano and Indian

She will hold her ground


© 2008 Tyrene Banks; except Images

Friday, February 15, 2008

Off Topic- but it's a Friday!!!

So it’s a Friday morning and I’m feeling a tad tired from lack of sleep. I do the usual starting with getting up at the cry of my nephew. He sleeps in his bed not more than four feet from my Posture-breaking Futon 9000. This is usually about seven or when my niece unknowingly wakes him as she’s getting ready for school. She’s just a kid and doesn’t understand how hard it is to take care of her little brother when he’s cranky in the morning. She can be pretty bad too- after all her dad’s a redhead!

I putter around and turn the comp on,


make the little guy some milk or juice, get myself something warm to drink, and go out for a smoke. Yes I smoke and want to quit but it’s the monkey on my back these days.

Photobucket Ain't I a Cute Habit??!!!

By the time I get back in he’s done and it’s cold enough to hang meat around the living room. I open up the wood stove, clean it out, toss in the families “unwanted” bills (makes good fire starters), and finally add wood. I also have to do the Hazmat job of cleaning the toxic waste that somehow manages to fill his pampers!

Photobucket Yes! Kids know how to keep you busy :-P


The trick is to breathe through your mouth- not the nose! It worked for me when I worked in a Nursing Home. By then it’s around eight and I’m a wreck! I haven’t changed clothes and look as stylish as a Bingo playing mother with eight kids- driving an old Plymouth station wagon with rollers in her hair! I will then alternate running between the computer and the kitchen where my breakfast is cooking and feeding my nephew.

Woo hoo! I got mail! :-)

Hey! Quit spitting on me! >:-(

While typing I also have to keep an eye on my nephew because he’s a curious little boy trapped in Godzilla’s body with the similar dexterity of G-Zil (my shortened hip name for Godzilla).


That is just a little example of Tyrene’s day- Sheesh! No wonder my single parent friend’s look tired a lot- and don’t wear make-up!

Photobucket OMG! How Barbaric and un-Sally Struthers!

I literally praise every known deity by the time my shift with the kids is done! I’m SO glad I’ll be going back to work real soon and will be living on my own also- HOOFUCKINGRAH! I do have a definite date now and will just sit here in the meantime with a permanent frozen look of I Don’t Give a Crap I’m Audi Anyway on my face!

I know there are people out there who, somehow by the hairs of their chinny chin chins, take care of more kids! I’m talking about the quints and sextets (NO! Not that sex you dirty bird!). :-P In a way I’ve become a Smoke Ninja at multitasking here courtesy of childrearing by default. I’m curious as to how you manage your multitasking??!!! Do you have extra help? Do you pretend to be a piece of furniture hoping the kids don’t know it’s you? I could use more pointers in case I get a stray dog or a Tamagotchi in the near future :-P

Photobucket Feed me or your a bad mommy!!! Wahhh!!!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Just Who Is This Tyrene Banks??!!!

I read an article recently about how scientists can determine your ethnic makeup by D.N.A.


It made me wonder and helped to remind me that I have not had the pleasure of introducing myself properly according to the Dine etiquette. That means stating my clans accompanied with a friendly shake of the hand.

*shake shake*


I'm not going to go into excruciating complex scientific detail because this is an on-the-fly kind of a blog and I'm kinda lazy this A.M. I have a curiosity though and wouldn't mind taking that D.N.A. test. I may get some shit for it but there are the family tales



which I won't elaborate on here and questions that pique my curiosity. Such as where my family is from, who my relations are, was there a pirate or gypsy in my family, etc. Granted! I just refer to myself as a Navajo but in these whirlwind times of P.C. and other socially conscious identity thing-a-ma-jigs we now call ourself Dine. It also is reassuring to hear Dine instead of a name given by someone else.

F.Y.I. it's not pronounced Dine as in, "Hey! Where in rack-a-frack should we dine at??!!!" No it's Din, as in "the din of things," and "e" is like get without the 'g' and 't.' Come on kids say it after me!


Yes! You got it! *grumbles* 'Bout time! lol.

Anyway I'm straying off the subject here. I can't afford that D.N.A. test and would feel a slight cognitive dissonance if I did take it. However we have an old fashioned method for keeping tabs on our lineage here among my people. It is a clan system. I am going to post my clans for all my Dine friends and curious ppl who know something about them. We have clans to identify what group or family we belong to. It's a very important part of our society so we don't wind up with awful things going awry with chromosomes in the family


and to help point out where an individual is from. So anyway I'm going to post my clans with a link and if you want to become a cat that curiosity just can't get rid of!


Here are my clans:

Maternal: Ma'iideeshgiizhinii- Coyote Pass People - Jemez Clan (Pueblo)

Paternal: Táchii'nii- Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan

Paternal Grandfather: Tábaa'hí- Water's Edge Clan

Maternal Grandfather: Deeshchii'nii- Start-Of-The-Red-Streaked People

Here is the link to a site that explains this a lot better than I can. *** Click!!!***