Been There, Done That-Foster Care

Being a former foster parent and foster kid myself it was a privilege to give back by hosting an event for Extraordinary Families, benefiting foster youth, at The Beverly Hilton in California on April 20th.

My co-host was Renee Ridgeley and every 00’s teenage movie-star crush, Chris O’Donnell. I had the pleasure of participating with Extraordinary Families in the honoring Shane Brennan, executive producer of NCIS: LA with an award.

When you have little time in your life, as a single mom working three jobs, so you change in the car on your way to hosting an event…and you have a stain on your dress and Getty Images has your photo everywhere the next day!

A few days prior I was at the Both Ends Burning Global Symposium as a panelist speaking on foster care & family initiatives at the World Symposium for the organization Both Ends Burning. They are creating solutions for children around the globe. Thanks to Beth Ryan for the referral. Let’s do this Uganda, South Africa, El Salvador, Nepal, Philippines, Canada, Honduras, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cambodia, Brazil, Thailand, Ethiopia, Romania, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Kazakhstan, Albania, Armenia, Ukraine, Haiti & all of the delegates from the U.S. from DC to NYC to the State Department. Your commitment to our littles everywhere is an investment in our future.

September 7, 2016 – 7:35 am Leave a comment

The “BuzzFeed Girl”

Yes, that’s me…I’m the “Native BuzzFeed Girl.” I have been an entertainer for sixteen years and have gone viral on multiple platforms, including YouTube and now BuzzFeed. The videos were seen over 18 million times.

It has been featured on the Canadian nightly news, the Huffington Post and NYLON, among other media outlets. It has also been included in college curricula all over the US and Canada. I have proven again and again that I have something valuable to offer the world of digital entertainment. Guys I who couldn’t be bothered to text back after a few dates tracked me down and wanted to know how I’ve been. Touching, guys, really. Nonetheless – as both a woman and a Native American, which makes me a minority within minorities – I constantly find myself and my community marginalized and dismissed. Natives are parodied in tasteless Halloween costumes, sports mascots, and Hollywood films – meanwhile, we face some of the highest rates in the country of incarceration, unemployment, alcoholism, homelessness, poverty, sexual assault and (it should come as no surprise, considering all of the above) suicide. But statistically, we are the single most under-represented group in the media. We are invisible, and feel very deeply the continual erasure of our image. I’m tired of this & working to change this one video at a time.
In the meantime, enjoy my crew & I in a video about mascots and another about festival fashion. Much love to Jenny Marlowe, Shane Whitaker, Jim Ruel & our fearless producer, Chris Lam.

January 2, 2016 – 6:50 am Leave a comment

Pink October-A Breast Cancer Blog

October is my favorite time of year when the multi-colored leaves dance from the trees and crunch underfoot. Guys, I have a frikken Halloween tree, okay? I’m one of those people who dress up as many times as I can get away with and run away with the trophy, cash and prizes, like, “Ha, bitches I’ve been planning this costume for months!“ There is also the glory of pumpkin flavored everything. And the celebration of Halloween that is do damn sexy it once got me pregnant. If you’re looking for some kind of birth control method might I recommend never dressing up as a lady bug?
My mother’s also has her birthday is in October, fittingly breast cancer awareness month. She died 20 years ago this January from breast cancer having been diagnosed in her twenties. At the time pink ribbons weren’t the fashion of the day. When I wore one to school once I was asked about it so frequently & had such a hard time explaining it that I was annoyed …so I stopped wearing it.
Now you can find pink ribbons everywhere. Buildings are lit up with pink lights. Soup cans are pink. I bought my sister a pot & pan set that was pink…and proceeds everywhere go to research.
Take that, cancer! When I lost my mom I subsequently lost my sisters since there was just no place to put five little girls in the foster care system. Cancer, you bitch!
Then my aunt was diagnosed a year ago.
The story, however, IS a positive one. With the strides we’ve made in two decades my aunt is now in remission. Back when my mom lost her battle doctors could only hack you to pieces, pump in that chemo and cross their fingers. Now 3-D mammograms are routine, prescription medications help curtail the necessity of chemo, and genetic testing make life easier. Now my sisters, my child, and myself have a chance. A promise that one day, if I keep buying enough pink, breast cancer just may go the way of polio.
May we continue to gain momentum.
May we see great gains and strides in ending it.
May we find peace with our loss and hope for our futures during this pumpkin-filled pinkfest of an October…best month of the year.

October 23, 2014 – 8:15 am Leave a comment

My Dangit, I’m Dead, Last Will and Testament

I was told the most responsible thing I can do for my family is have a Last Will and Testament. Really? Just staying alive isn’t enough? Well, I’m busy doing things like breathing right now, but I had a moment to write down a few directives.

Look death square in the eye and say, "I'm busy right now; maybe later..."

Look death square in the eye and say, “I’m busy right now; maybe later…”

I will start out with a formal greeting from beyond: “Hey, everybody…well, shit…I died. So here is some paperwork so I can boss you around from the grave.”
And then, because there’s tears involved, everyone has to do exactly what I say. And they will too because if The Walking Dead has taught us nothing it’s that you don’t fuck with dead people .
1. Cremate me. And, at my funeral, pass me out in cute, little party favor bags for attendees to dump in random, kick-ass places. This works because I really like to travel. It’s brilliant because then they can go to the remembrance place of their choice when they wanna have a ghost-talk with me and I can laugh to their face for chatting with thin air. Disclaimer: this is only in the event Johnny Depp will not allow me to be buried with him, side-by-side, in his casket, for all of eternity. If Johnny wants to pretend that what we have isn’t real then please do just light me on fire.
2. My obituary should be honest and factual. I have lots of sisters & a child whom I love deeply, that should be in there…along with the phrase “Sheila rarely wore panties.”
3. If, at any point before my demise, I am ever considered brain-dead please pull the plug but, since you are now in charge of my exact expiration date make it a good one…people will always remember me on that day so choose a day when people will only remember for a short time because they’re getting blackout drunk like on St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, and Mother’s Day.
4. At my wake there will be a gameshow to get rid of my crap. You know what they say, “You can’t take it with you, so award it to your family in fabulous cash & prizes.”
5. We’ll revisit number 5 when weed is absolutely legal.
And then I end with a poignant truth: “I loved most of you.”
Sheila Chalakee

April 8, 2014 – 5:04 pm Leave a comment

10 WTF Science Questions Answered

Answers to the “10 Most Important Questions in Science” as dictated by NPR.

1. What is the universe made of?
Stuff. Mostly physical-stuff like elements and protons. And then there is God-stuff which is energy and things like money and French kissing your celebrity crush.

2. How did life come about?
The big bang caused a chemical reaction that caused Jesus to pass God a note: “Hey, dad, wouldn’t it be fun to make stuff?…like people and problems and things?”
And then God read the Jesus note and check-marked the Yes box.

3. Are we alone in the universe?
Fuck no.
We are the ultimate reality television, shit-show for other life forms. At the end of a long day of being peaceful, intelligent, and all-loving other life forms need to unwind with some Earthly smut comedy TV. Humans provide much needed comic relief on a universal scale. But they can’t interfere without transforming our paradigms and shifting our perception of things to change our ignorance so they just chuckle along with the show…knowing that one day we’ll come to our senses.

4. What makes us human?
Chromosomes, sex and crying. Why science doesn’t know this is incredibly creepy to me.

5. What is consciousness?
Some of the greatest theorists and philosophers have given us good reasons like “because.”
I almost said it’s when your head is like “don’t do that stupid thing anymore. He has a girlfriend,” but really that’s “Conscience-ness.” Oops.

6. Why do we dream?
It’s fun when you’re awake to daydream and then your subconscious says, “HEY, I know…let’s continue the party at my place!”

7. Why does matter exist?

8. Are there other universes?
Yep. See #3.

9. Where will we put all the carbon?
In prison they put it up their butt holes. If it turns out there is TOO much carbon that might be a problem for people with small butt holes.
Women should stand ready to help with other orifices if needed. I know a girl who puts all the carbon she ever encounters up there so maybe we can use her as an example.

10. How can we get more energy from the sun?
I think we need to quit limiting our sciencey ideas to thoughts of limitation and use big solar panels. Really, science? REALLY?!

Link to the original post about the silly scientists couldn’t answer on their own…schooled by a girl!!!

September 22, 2013 – 11:33 pm Leave a comment