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September 28, 2006

35 weeks and struggling...

I have pregnant brain. Students ask questions and I often stare back confused. Questions often forgotten in 20 seconds. Answers exist somewhere deep in the back of my mental rolodex.

I've been trying to edit. Slow, slow going.

I have been trying to write. Super swollen feet. Sitting at this desk isn't working. Laptop in bed makes me sleepy.

I have been trying to clean but the house is a mess. Can barely bend and breathe at the same time.

Wondering why? Look at the way my insides have been taken over:

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Gotta love illustrations.

At least I'm not having horrible dreams about his head getting stuck anymore. He's got a cute profile. Lips just like his Dad:

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Dr prescribed sleeping pills. I hate meds but sleep is necessary at this point.

Ain't Misbehavin

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Last night I squeezed into my most stretchy dress, some mules 4 sizes bigger than my regular size, and brought my daughter to Penumbra to see the preview show of Ain't Misbehavin. I remember my mother singng lots of these songs - she LOVED show tunes.

T. Michael Rambo was phenomenal as usual. All the women in the small ensemble were amazing. Baby girl was toe-tapping, bobbing her tired head (she had Girl Scouts too), and only nodded during "Black and Blue" but was up for the finale.

Honey was supposed to join - he loves music and theater too - but he's sick (again). This weather change and life stress stuff is too much.

It's starting to sell out every show so grad some tickets - student tickets $15 (we got $5 tickets for preview nite - too bad you missed out). Still worth the $15 if you love great music, strong performances, and musical theater.

Support Black Arts!

September 25, 2006

Pregnant Hood Ornaments

I saw this over at feministing:
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got to love to airbrushed belly shots:

Read about it here.

yah right, i've shown you all my belly. i belong to this club from Shape of A Mother :


September 21, 2006

If you are in the Bay today...

September 19, 2006

Crimes of the body?

I'm struggling through the last month+. The weather changes have made me sick - unable to breathe. The body changes have made it hard - unable to breathe or sleep.

Beautiful gifts keep arriving. It's wonderful because we don't have a baby shower scheduled. I don't know all the customs of "woman stuff" but my best girlfriend from childhood explained to me that someone else is supposed to throw you a shower (or even surprise you). I've never been given any surprise party in life.

Honey and I talked about throwing one here ourselves - Yah right. I'm too damn tired to get through the laundry, cooking dinner, planning lectures, and spending awake time with my daughter. Whatever comes via UPS is what comes.

I keep thinking about representation of pregnant bodies.

One of my students posted this image for a class assignment:
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She believes that pregnant women's bodies are often beheaded. Hmmm. I'm looking for photos (not home flicks, but "pro" shots / model shots of pregnant ladies).

Another student posted this rather creepy (in my opinion) photo of Tori Amos nursing a calf:

Other thing I keep thinking about is breast feeding. Our culture celebrates breasts in many ways - as objects of visual pleasure, as objects of sexual pleasure, as objects for surgerical enhancements, as medical objects - but never as they were designed - as sustenance for a baby. Girls Gone Wild's creator Joe is on Tyra show right now, I can hear it in the bg - what a celebration: flash em!

MN protects a woman's right to nurse at any time and in any place. I'll invoke that right shortly.

Still, many find it necessary to hand out "Oops you caught me breastfeeding" cards like this:
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Watching the news last night made me so sad and disgusted:
Yesterday - beaten for being pregnant and Black

Unfortunately, it's very common.

There's always more work to be done.

September 15, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging - Live from Minnesota Correctional Facility, Stillwater

Dusting off the Archives.
2004.

Vocal Dreams - Mr 187406

Dust's Dust - David J. Doppler

Jungle Boogie - Maxxe Jackson

Niggas Is Genocide- Ja'far-Rahotep

My Testimony- Sarith Peou

On Being an SPG - Ezekiel Caliguiri

Don't Call A Horse A Mule- David J. Doppler

Watch a Video Clip about this program HERE

Read more about these poets HERE

September 14, 2006

RIP

Peter Carillo Fuller

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Haven't seen you in years. Think back to film school days sometimes. Have spoken of you (and your body art) recently - my film students love to hear about your Geiger tats. Sad news indeed.

September 12, 2006

Monday, 9/18 3pm - Melody Gilbert

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: MELODY GILBERT, Filmmaker
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
150 Ford Hall

ADVENTURES IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING: HELPING PEOPLE TELL THEIR STORIES

Download the flyer HERE

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Melody will be talking about and showing clips of her latest work. Please join us!


MELODY'S BIO:
Melody Gilbert (Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer/Educator) is an
independent documentary filmmaker who has worked in film and television for
more than 20 years. She has made three independent documentaries: A LIFE
WITHOUT PAIN (2005), WHOLE (2003) and MARRIED AT THE MALL (2002). She is in
post-production on her new documentary URBAN EXPLORERS: INTO THE DARKNESS
(www.myspace.com/urbanexplorers), which will be completed in 2006.

Her most recent documentary, A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN (www.alifewithoutpain.com)
premiered at the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival (in competition) and was
recently featured on Oprah, CNN and Good Morning America. It was broadcast on
the Sundance Channel and dozens of TV networks overseas, including TF5 France
and VRT Belgium and TSR Switzerland. Ms. Gilbert's controversial documentary
WHOLE (www.whole-documentary.com), about people who want to become an amputee,
premiered at the 2003 Los Angeles Film Festival (in competition), was also
broadcast on the Sundance Channel and has also screened internationally in
theaters and on television. MARRIED AT THE MALL (www.marriedatthemall.com)
premiered at the Women With Vision festival in 2002 and has been in festivals
and on television networks around the world.

VISIT HER WEBSITE for more info:
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September 10, 2006

Belly Blogging

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I am miserable. My stomach is itchy and feels like it's exploding (cuz it is). My ankles are extremely swollen and itcy. My feet look like I'm related to Fred Flinstone. I have to use the bathroom pretty much every 20 minutes nearly 24 hours per day. My "racing stripes" stretchmarks laugh at all the cocoa and shea butter I grease them with.

It's hard to think, to focus, or to concentrate. Yesterday I sat at my desk for hours, tyring to accomplish things on my ever-growing to do list:

1. Finish late encyclopedia entry
2. Edit Arts Literacy video promo
3. Build Arts Literacy website
4. Build the online quizzes for my course
5. Edit video on Chicana representation which is months late
6. Finish late papers which are way, way late
7. Type up lecture notes for Week Two
8. Go over lecture notes, maybe make them into ppt w/images (easier archive & gives access to sick students like me (because I would not go to class this week if I wasn't the teacher)
9. Go to garage sales for baby stuff - changing table, bathtub, clothes
10. Grocery shop
11. Get examine papers ready for reading
12. Clean like a mad, nesting woman
13. Do regular house cleaning
14. Do the laundry
15. Update baby registry
16. Think about baby shower gathering - I need stuff but I'm so tired
17. Upgrade all the computers in the house
18. Plan lectures (ppt and/or Breeze presentations) for labor/delivery/recovery weeks
19. Try not to go crazy
20. Try to get some sleep

There is an alien that kicks me internally all day and night - I've seen his little alien foot. Weird experience for sure. I can't sleep - at all. Now, I have a cold. Everything feels 100 x worse. Don't you love the change of seasons?

September 7, 2006

New Book: STREET PLAY

From Here to Fame & powerHouse Books are pleased to announce
the hardcover release of STREET PLAY by Martha Cooper.

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In the late 70’s, New York City was in the throes of bankruptcy. The Lower Eastside was a wasteland of boarded up buildings and unfenced vacant lots. Kids roamed the neighborhoods unsupervised, giving their imaginations free rein.

The city's poorer neighborhoods had the richest street life and Martha Cooper's favorite location was Alphabet City. Back in the 70's the area was undergoing extensive urban renewal, a process still continuing some twenty-five years later. At the time, the neighborhood had more than it's share of drug dealers and petty criminals. To an adult's eye, the landscape seemed ugly and forbidding, but to a child the abandoned buildings and rubble-strewn lots made perfect playgrounds, providing raw materials and open space for improvised play. A crumbling tenement housed a secret clubhouse, rooftops became private aviary and a pile of trash might be a source for treasure.

Opening with a poignant memoir from Carlos “MARE 139? Rodriguez, who remembers the excitement of growing up playing on the streets of New York City, STREET PLAY shows the creative and indomitable spirit of city kids determined to make the best of their inhospitable environment. Martha Cooper’s work attests to a transitional, post-tenement and pre-artist period on the Lower East Side when street culture held turf in Alphabet City. Today the neighborhood is transformed—but where are the go-carts and skelly caps?

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MARTHA COOPER is a documentary photographer who has specialized in shooting urban vernacular art and architecture for over twenty-five years. In 1977, Martha worked as a staff photographer on the New York Post for three years. While photographing children playing on the street in the Lower East Side, she became interested in graffiti and b-boying/b-girling, subjects that led to her extensive coverage of Hip Hop culture as it emerged in New York City. In 1984, in collaboration with Henry Chalfant, she published SUBWAY ART (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt) which features the best painted trains of the era and is affectionately called "The Bible" by graffiti aficionados worldwide. In 1990, she published R.I.P.: MEMORIAL WALL ART (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt), with folklorist Joseph Sciorra. In 2004, she debuted her critically acclaimed title, Martha Cooper’s HIP HOP FILES: Photographs 1979-1984. Her photographs have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries and published everywhere from Vibe to National Geographic. Martha has been the Director of Photography at City Lore, the New York Center for Urban Folk Culture for over twenty years. Please visit www.KodakGirl.com.

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ aka MARE 139 is a veteran of the golden years of New York City subway painting; he painted along side many of the Style Masters of the late 70's including KEL 1ST, DONDI and many others. In collaboration with this company he has developed a special insight into the artistic quality and cultural value of graffiti style writing. Over the past twenty years he has transcended the stereotype of the art form by creating innovative sculpture works that echo back to the origins of style writing on trains and reach out into the realm of dynamic modern sculpture. He designed the BET Award (sculpture of a shooting star) which has been received by artists, actors and athletes including Denzel Washington, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Jay-Z, Usher and Serena Williams. MARE 139, who appeared in the original cult classic documentary STYLE WARS in 1982, was an Associate Producer on the highly acclaimed DVD re-release of the film in 2002. In 2004, he launched the innovative and award winning StyleWars.com website. Please visit: www.MARE139.com.

BUY THE BOOK

Some Cool Short Films

Have you checked out VIDLICIOUS yet?

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New post: Burlesque!

Click here to watch:


Looking for a job? Cool feminist jobs.

There are some great jobs through the MN Women's Press

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Sex Education Associate
Smitten Kitten is looking for a highly motivated, self-directed individual to work with customers in an education-based retail environment.Opportunity for advancement. Special Requirements: Must be comfortable around dogs. Previous experience as a sex educator preferred. Spanish language skills a plus. Must have strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. $12.25/hour, 20 hr. per week.

Call Jessica for more information: 612-721-6088. Send resumes to: Jessica@smittenkittenonline.com.

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Office Assistant
Seeking committed, detail-oriented office assistant at state's largest pro-choice grassroots organization. Position based in St. Paul, starts at 28 hrs/week and includes health, dental, and sick leave benefits. Open until filled.Details at www.prochoiceminnesota.org

September 6, 2006

A Hard Day (& Night)

I blame it on the full moon.

Murphy's Law: if anything can go wrong, it will.

Today was stressful to say the least.

My mini-me's bus was nearly 35-40 mintues late. The poor kid, weighed down with first day of school stuff, can barely stand the whole time. I sit on the front steps, trying to be patient. I call the school but they don't know where the bus is. Can you drive her today? Sure, I say, but what about all the other kids that aren't mine who are also standing at the stop? Finally the bus arrives. She has crossed the street and was heading back to me. Turned around and ran to catch the bus. She makes it - good girl!

I ready and prep for class, knowing I'll forget something. I get to campus early with a cart of handouts (syllabi, intro reading, grading rubric, how to post to the blog, use the FMC, blah blah blah) plus laptop, general stuff (like chalk, papers, etc), and snacks (thank goodness for snacks for students!) My cart busts - the handle won't come up, the side breaks through - stupid cart.

No special needs parking near my building. Park closest and start rolling (albeit a little crooked) but I make it to the building. Construction. Fencing encasing the whole back. Have to roll my big pregnant butt and my broken cart up stairs through small area in the fencing that has a crowded opening. Reach the door. Stairs. I muster all my phsycial strength and start a pulling (hearing hubby's voice - DON"T LIFT ANYTHING. DON"T DO THAT! YOU ARE PREGNANT!) but what's a preggie teacher to do on day one?

I get up those stairs and guess what - more stairs. Up or down? Don't know. Have to hobble up, see room numbers (NO SIGN indicating what's where - don't you love construction), then hobble back to get my sad little cart. Of course the room is on the opposite end of the buidling (about where I started outside). Roll around, trying not to crush toes of all the students seated on either side of the hallway, missing almost every.

Get to the classroom & guess what - STAIRS! By this time, I could barely get my swollen feet down the stairs. I call out to students (waiting patiently in their seats - "pregnant teacher needs help!" They help get all my stuff to the front table.

I get things set up. I'm ok, a little sweaty, but ok. Next - no internet. Today is intro to the class using technology (how to use course WebCT Vista website, how to post to course blog, how to post to Moodle glossary). AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I call tech support - busy.

I try to get through what I can - syllabus, some intro stuff. Call tech support. You need to register your laptop DHCP. Great - NO ONE TOLD ME THAT! I was a CLA IT Fellow for 2 years - never had this problem.

My very understanding students are very patient as I try to accomplish some learning (while the tech support people hang on a phone, inconvenietly short-wired to the front of the table) and interrupt with "yes, my IP is..."

I get registered, and still no signal. GREAT. I let the students go - with a list full of things to do (or at least try), since we now are behind on my learning goals. I hate doing that students on the first day. I thought about shifting, and I'll still try (maybe with a shorter lecture next week), so that I can do guided technology exercises. I forget the backup ppt file for my Breeze presentation so I had to add it to this already too long list of this week's assignments. I feel like a crappy teacher.

I love technology and I hate technology.
Love it when it works.
Hate it when it makes me sweat profusely as 60+ students stare at me.

They must thinking: I've got the wack job, pregnant lady, filmmaker teacher this term whose already given us to much crap to do.

I wanted to check to see if anyone dropped immediately - it happens - especially after a day like today.

Onestop is down - SHOCKER!

I leave class and go to Breastfeeding class at the hosptial. Although I did it before (nearly a decade ago), it did NOT come naturally. But, why did I choose the night after the first night of class to take it? I can barely sit in the chair with my big Fred Flinstone feet. I'm post-sweaty and smelly - I know the Dad to my right was like "EWWWWWWWWWWW, this girl stinks - sweat and feet funk", but there was nothing I could do. I quietly asked the teacher for a birthing ball to sit on. I got through it, stumbled to the car, picked up Rachel Jr., got fast food (yuck - & probably why I can't sleep), and made it home.

The baby is exercising his legs or just is mad at me already. Smashing me to the front, pushing me to the left side, pulling me to back, and stomping downward on my vital organs. I can only sleep with sleeping pills and I HATE medicine. This weekend when I was away, I walked into a closet and smashed my face on the wall trying to make it to the bathroom. A minor bump and little accident later, I recover. See why I don't take it. So tonight, no meds and guess what - I can't sleep.

I email students a numbered reminder list of this week's to do's. I make sure the latest IDs are entered into the blog and the Breeze site. What else can I do?

Technology Ped 101: If you cannot connect, try try again or assign it as homework & try again next week. All in all, I'll chock it up to my horrible ped moments list.

The sun is coming up. Maybe I can get in a quick sunrise run to the grocery store - little miss hates school lunch (no shocker there).

I hope today brings a better day.

In my head: It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog..."

September 5, 2006

So Many Things to Be Happy For!

* Vlogger Josh Wolf is out on bail! Read on here.

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Read more on Josh's blog The Revolution Will Be Televised

Watch ABC7 News video to learn more about this case.


* I am so loved. Little Rachel ROCKS!!!!

Now I have some new shoes (that fit my big preggie feet & some new gear). See:

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* My course starts today and I'm all prepped and ready!


* The sun is shining, my belly is growing & jr. is almost here!