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February 7, 2010

It's over UMN, it's been...

I have officially finished my time at the University of Minnesota. I earned two degrees (M.A. in Women's Studies and Ph.D. in Feminist Studies), and even had a room at the U named in my honor: The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center.

I am now an Assistant Professor of media production at the University of Alabama, see here.

I now blog here: inspired.

For the most part, I've enjoyed this wild ride...

February 18, 2008

My Life is...

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My mother used to call the horoscopes the "horror-scopes" because we never knew what that day would face. But today I got a great one: my life is [as] "improbable as a fairytale".

Life is good. Bad things (like the f*ckers who *stole* [more like borrowed, because the bank gave it back] $ from my Debit/ATM) are really not that bad. Work is good (I love my students, even though some of them don't love reading), my academic work is going well, my creative juices are flowing and I've got some new things going on, and home couldn't be lovelier.

I've got beautiful kids:

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and I received a card from an academic that I greatly respect that says:

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I am the the girl who failed handwriting in elementary school. I am the girl who was told I'd never get into film school (by the admissions guy who 3 years later became my dept advisor/counselor). I'm the girl who didn't know where Minnesota was on a map when I applied to my program [I only applied because I got a page saying that Gwen taught hip hop feminism at the U, so I looked at their web page, and thought I could teach that class]. When I applied (the app was due 2 days later; I had to fedex it overnight) and got in, I was in shock. When I started the PhD program, I wasn't even sure what a PhD degree really was.

Brilliant? Not really. Just work hard, and I am blessed.

August 11, 2007

I'm UMN homepage news!

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July 9, 2007

Goal for Today: Sit in desk chair & work

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Desire can have you doing impulsive and not-so-smart things. Get a hold of your inner power. Stand still. Don't chase and don't aim. Become one with the target.

Thanks for the advice, Holiday.

November 2, 2006

Labor Blogging (maybe post 1 of many)

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It’s been slow going. My friends thought I was joking – I’m in labor & delivery, all moved into the room & I’m so glad I insisted on bringing my laptop. Wireless internet is truly saving my sanity. We checked in last night and started some meds to try to get my labor going. After 12 hours very little happened so we embarked on another 12 hour dose of this medicine.

The red stripes on my stomach are scary. I photographed them but don’t want to gross you out by posting them here. My last belly blogging was plenty. Man, air brushed bellies piss me off.

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T came with us. Got to miss school. She slept in a sleeping bag (on top of Down coats) on the floor. T is going to a friends for a sleepover tonight and will return tomorrow a.m. (hopefully to meet baby brother). Part of me would like to rest tonight and go into active labor in the morning. Part of me says bring it on, let’s get this show on the road.

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T has been playing with the monitors and thinks it all very cool. Are you having another contraption? I think that contraption is actually a really good description of a contraction. It’s like pain most people never feel. There is a funny diagram (the pain assesment tool) on the wall that helps you tell the staff how much you are hurting. Before having T (nearly a decade ago) I would describe my current contraptions at a 7 but since I know now what the magnitude of pain required to bring this baby to this world I say 3.

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The monitors peak with every contraption. I try to remember to breathe. I just focus on getting through it. I love getting my feet lotioned. Somehow massaging my arches helps with the pain. He’s a keeper.

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I’m scared, excited, nervous, and exhausted all at the same time. The contraptions are starting to kick. I’m trying to focus and prepare. I want this baby to come but am remembering how hard life is with a newborn. This time is different – I have a very supportive partner who isn’t adverse to rolling up his sleeves. He doesn’t fear diapers, baby vomit, or staying up all night. He’s a man and needs breaks (He left a couple times today to go do errands, get some fresh air, etc. & I just sent him to the cafeteria to get more snacks), but I know when it gets tough he’ll be right here helping me through. I didn’t have that before.

October 31, 2006

I've Made It...

It's official (sort of)! Today is my due date (according to my primary OB Dr). The other specialist said Nov. 2. Either way it's Week 40.

Since I've been *loving* the medical illustrations of pregnant bodies, here goes the *hopefully* last one. See how fun it is to be inside my body right now:

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Wondering if I'll make it to election day. If so, I'm going with the League of Pissed Off Voters Twin Cities voter's guide (to make the best of the options decisions). Here's a link to the Official Endorsement Slate CHEAT SHEET Only two I really support are Klobuchar and Ellison (both endorsed). I'll roll with the crew on pretty much the rest.

I'm glad the political commerical and hate ads will be ending soon. Don't want to see any more political mudslinging. Doesn't make me want to vote for any of 'em.

October 24, 2006

Still Waiting...

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The 39 week countdown...

So I went to the Dr. today to check if labor is progressing - it's not. = ( This boy likes it in my tummy. I'm tired and ready but I don't think that's a real reason to induce. I had an appointment for induction Wed night (with hopes of delivering on Thursday am) but I cancelled it. I believe that he'll come when he's ready. I wanted him to come because I thought he might be ready, I want more time off (my grader is teaching my course for a few weeks), I thought my Dr. would be there (she won't & won't be there no matter this week or next week), and other issues. I find none of them good enough reasons to try to induce. The Dr. said We can try and if it doesn't work you can go home and then come back and try again. No thanks.

Then, she went to reschedule induction for the same time next week (just in case) and proceeded to forget that I was in the little room. 30+ minutes later I emerge (I couldn't hold it any longer) and she seemed shocked when I popped into her office. Oh, I'm so sorry! Everything is set for next week!

Good bye. I'll be so happy to not have to go to that Dr.'s office anymore. I like her but really. You see the same Dr. for 9 months and then they aren't there when you deliver anyway. The Dr. who "delivered" my daughter 9 years ago really just ran in and caught the baby before she hit the floor - the nurses did all the work.

So, now I am going to attempt to let nature run it's course. I'll walk a lot, sit up and try to get this boy to come on out.

October 23, 2006

Now I Need The Baby!

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saturday was the baby shower. beautiful. love and thanks to all who attended.

time for my baby boy to arrive. if he doesn't come by wed, dr. is saying we are going to help him make his grand entrance.

ready. sooo ready.

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.

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 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 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 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!

August 19, 2006

Fun with Clairol.com

sometimes i scare myself.

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have some fun too.

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what's even scarier is what my hair actually looks like sometimes, watch this:

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August 14, 2006

Belly Blogging

many people keep asking about me & my belly, so here it is--

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June 27, 2006

(Re)Start Blogging (Again)

I'm trying to wake up, I both literally and figuratively. I smell the coffee (literally), and what a happy and comforting smell it is to me. I had (tried) to give up coffee but now the jury is conflicted (so coffee makes you pee more often, I'm already having to go every few minutes), so coffee is back in!!! There's something about a morning cup that helps shake the cobwebs loose and gets me focused and ready for the day.

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I'm printing off drafts of every seminar paper I've written since enrolling at the U. Man, I'm into the second ream of paper. Who knew I'd actually written so much? I didn't! I've finished coursework and am trying to assemble 3 papers for my exams. Roughly they are 1- feminist theory 2- feminist methods 3- topic of my choice. Seems easy, right? Wrong. All the papers I'm considering blend a bit of each. My advisors (who are great and very supportive) have suggested I just write and then we'll make sense of it all and get me through these exams. I still have no idea of dissertation topic but the point right now is to just get through this exam process. My girl (I'm so sad you moved away OCB buddy) is finishing her diss as we speak and will defend in August. GO GIRL!

I've been on a very bumpy and unstable road the past few months (that's why I haven't blogged). We became an official and serious we, and got pregnant with twins. After too many foot-long needles, ultrasounds, and blood tests we learned Baby B wasn't doing so good. Many tissues and doctor appointments later Baby A is flying solo, is healthy, moving tooooo much, and is expected in the Fall (due date is halloween - isn't that weird). We are getting married soon. Started to plan a wedding - found a dress I like (and thought I could squeeze my rapidly expanding body into), picked my favorite local photographer, and found a really beautiful place to have our ceremony:
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the peace (rock) garden, minneapolis

... but then reality of life, bills, stress of exams, and the fact that we'll soon have another mouth to feed. We've decided to marry and do a ceremony/party later (after we get a house, a mini-van for soccer mom (yes, me!) or at least when I'm less stressed and overwhelmed. I'm fixated on a house. I love our place and it will be fine for a new, small family member but man, I need a master suite bathroom. Our bathroom is the farthest possible point from our bed and that's killing me. I've had sooo many near misses lately.

Tiana became a Jr. Girlscout after a year of Brownies. Was very cool. This summer she swims everyday (except Sunday, every soccer mom needs a day of rest). Lessons outside and in. Soccer 2x a week. Hoping to go to Rock Camp in July (her favorite music teacher Mike teaches keyboard, guitar, drums and things like that). T is begging to go to "School of Rock". Then, August is her bday and then sleepaway horse camp. I'm definitely nervous about her first time away (she's only 8) but she's told me to calm down and let her go.

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Many amazing things going on -

Asia and Medusa will be here SOON! B-Girl Be is happening this week! I didn't curate this week (too much on my plate) but as a founder and fan of women in hip hop, I'll be there for every minute of it!

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Full Schedule is HERE!

Nobody Knows My Name is out on DVD in Japan!
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Time for swimming lessons now. Can't slow my roll...

February 1, 2006

tagging myself (the four meme that won't die)

i still haven’t gotten tagged(i’ve been neglecting my blog) but here it goes anyway...

Four vehicles you've owned:
- hyundai
- toyota camry
- honda prelude

Four jobs you've had (i'm taking this one waaaay back into the 90’s):
- women’s studies IT fellow / teacher / lecturer (current)
- stock footage videographer (once in a while u can still see my shots on cable tv. (u know the establishing exteriors of schools, bowling alleys and restaurants without signage)
- coffee girl/stepandfetchit / sourceofnewsstorieswithoutcredit girl at mtv news
- i worked at DEB (that hideous store in the mall) for ONE day (yes, i got fired). friendly customer service isn’t my thing

Four movies you could watch over and over:
- say anything (lloyd dobbler, alright!)
- the professional
- nobody's business
- tupac resurrection

Four places you've lived:
- minneapolis (current)
- spanish harlem, nyc
- los angeles, ca
- middletown, ny

Four vacations you've taken:
- hawaii for girlfesthawaii (does “working? trips count?)
- bermuda (thanks to my older brother)
- wildwood, nj (childhood summer vacations)
- to be taken: sweden (i miss salma!), paris (i'm coming t-love), LA (i've still got stuff in the garage, Phoenix (family time)

Four books I can read over and over:
- the prisoner’s wife by asha bandele
- this bridge called my back
- assata autobiography
- forever by judy blume

Four TV shows:
- CSI Las Vegas & Miami
- ER
- extreme home makeover
- design remix

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of:
- most. i rarely watch tv anymore.

Four of my favorite dishes:
- tandoori chicken
- tzatiki
- chipotle burrito
- shrimp tacos with Desdamona's salsa

Four places I'd rather be right now:
- filming the SPG
- filming bboysummit
- filming anywhere
- in bed

Four blogs/sites I visit daily:
- culturecat
- pyramids2projects
- naked cartwheels
- cnn.com (i love offbeat images)

i'm tagging MJ. you're it!

April 23, 2005

birthday blessing [en route]

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my birthday [may 19th - same as malcolm x, ho chi minh, and many other people on that level] surprise was revealed! a custom nameplate. ive been wanting this forever. my girl hooked it up.

i feel blessed.