Age: Older than dirt. Hint. I remember Joseph McCarthy – sort of. I have a memory of my mother and me sitting in the living room of our tiny house. I’m on the floor; she’s in a chair. The black and white TV is on and she says something about Joseph McCarthy, then tells me it’s time to go to bed. (I swear I’m not making this up.)
Gender: Female, sometimes male impersonator. See photograph. I’m the one in the mustache.
Birthplace: Edmond, Oklahoma. I was born in what now is a restaurant. Italian Bistro.
Astrological sign: Taurus with an Aquarius Moon. Venus in Gemini. Yes, I’ve had it checked out. My friend Joy Harjo helped me with my chart. (Did I mention that I am a terrible namedropper?) Here I am with some famous friends.
Occupation: Deadbeat. Just ask my editor Joan Pinkvoss at Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco.
Creator, sometime director of Indian Radio Days, an evolving bingo experience, along with other co-authors and performers. Also I am the co-author, along with the late Roxy Gordon of Big PowWow.
Sometime filmmaker, sometime comic, sometime comic foil, sometime faux news interviewee. To wit: an appearance on The Daily Show. (Watch it here.)
Co-producer along with Jim Fortier, “Playing Pastime,” a 30-minute documentary of Indian Baseball Leagues in Oklahoma; and screenwriter and on-camera narrator of Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire, a 90-minute documentary on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
None. Well, maybe cooking. Yes, on second thought I absolutely love to cook for large groups. In fact, having lived a year abroad in Jordan, I once cooked mansaf for twenty of my closest friends after returning home. Mansaf means “large tray” in Arabic. It’s the whole lamb, sans bones and innards, covered in rice with a broth of yogurt, garlic and onions on the side. To serve, you fill a very large tray with spicy cooked lamb and rice covered with whole toasted almonds and chopped cilantro. Oh yes, I love to cook traditional Choctaw dishes for friends, too. And chili stews. I once studied Italian food for a year and gained 20 pounds so I had to stop that bad habit. But cooking for my friends could be construed as an interest. In fact, each summer I host “Salon Ada” and invited artists and writers to Ada, Oklahoma for a weekend soiree of non-stop eating, wine tasting, and intense discussions of our work. This summer, 2015 we’re celebrating our ninth anniversary of hosting Salon Ada.