"in my heart, i think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist" --gloria steinem

"the main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything . . . or nothing." --lady nancy astor

Thursday, December 20, 2007

re-revision update

current mood: triumphant

The co-editors of Radical Teacher's Teaching About and With Alternative Media cluster liked your recent revisions and would like to publish your article. We now need a short three or four sentence Contributor's Note from you and any suggestions you might have for graphics to help illustrate your article. We have an Art Director who takes care of choosing and creating graphics, but we also like to have our authors offer selections of their own which they think will enhance their articles.

Leonard Vogt, Bob Rosen, Pepi Leistyna
Cluster co-editors

Monday, December 3, 2007

Festivus Among Us

current mood: jubilant

I'm so festive this year. And it mostly has to do with my fabulous living situation and partner who actually appreciates-- participates in--such frivolity with me. It's my first year with a Christmas tree since moving out from my sister four years ago. Various excuses have kept me from going through the trouble (or fun) of decorating my house, including a roommate who didn't care about the holidays much, the fact that no one ever visited, the cost and consumerism of it all, and a general lack of joy and passion around the holidays because of too-much-work-to-do and long-distance relations...

But this year is different. I love him and I love holidays and I love our first Christmas tree. If I can break through my two jobs and intense December workload, we might even have a holiday look out. Ho ho ho...

revising (and then revising again)

Current mood: over it

For those of you blessed enough NOT to know what trying to publish an article entails, I'm including the following sample.

Over a year ago, Alison Smith and I presented a pair of papers at a MAPACA (pop culture association) conference. The presentation went well, but apparently our papers functioned better together in that very specific context, b/c when it came time to revise mine for publication (since such subject matter has such a short life), I found it more difficult than anticipated.

I first revised for Feminist Teacher (academic journal) but never heard back from them. So rather than let it go, I responded to an appropriate call from another journal, Radical Teacher--which required another set of revisions. Then more. And now more.

It's promising that they took the time to give me such specific recommendations (whereas generally you either don't hear back or receive a simple "thanks but no thanks"), but by now I'm just SO OVER IT. And I have SO MUCH TO DO otherwise! Like grade 130 papers, revise another paper and write a personal statement for my PhD application (another blog entry altogether), and (yes) study for the GRE, again... all in a month.

But off I go to revise this paper--again. Revision is about the "again" which I've come to know so well. Too well. Wish me luck...


Leandra, We may be interested in publishing your article "A Space of Our Own: My Space and Feminist Activism in the Classroom" in the Radical Teacher cluster on Teaching About and With Alternative Media. The idea of relating to MySpace and getting students to post things there about political issues seems worth pursuing. This could be an interesting and useful article on MySpace technology as a pedagogical and political tool.

However, before we could consider publication, we would like you to revise with more focus on the words "Feminist Activism" from the title of your article. We feel too much of the article is quotes from authorities or talk of what MySpace means to you personally. Instead, we would like a greater focus on specific political content students learn or express on MySpace and if and how the use of this alternative media fosters "Feminist Activism in the Classroom."

We like the relationship between feminism and MySpace that your article discusses, and we hope that you are willing to revise in order to include more focus on students and their responses to this alternative media. Would it be possible to hear back from you with revisions by around November 25?

Sincerely, Leonard, Bob and Pepi

Co-cluster editors for Teaching About and With Alternative Media


Leandra, We would like to be able to publish your article "A Space of Our Own: MySpace and Feminist Activism in the Classroom" in Radical Teacher's cluster on Teaching About and With Alternative Media. However, before we can make a final publishing decision, we have some suggestions for revision which we hope you are able to make.

We find your article at its best when it is concrete and offers specific examples. We would like more of that in your revision.

[INSERT MANY SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS] (which i do, i really do appreciate)

We hope these suggestions for revision are useful and that you are interested in working with us towards publication.

Leonard, Bob, and Pepi Cluster co-editors of Teaching About and With Alternative Media Radical Teacher


Friday, November 30, 2007

The Business of Being Born (changed my life)

Current mood: outraged

Last night, UCF hosted a screening of this film, followed by discussion with two midwives, an ob/gyn hospital nurse, directors from the Orlando chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (, and women who have had cesareans followed by vaginal births. I didn't know most of the information provided, and thought I was fairly educated. Almost 1 in 3 women have C-sections for low-risk labors--not necessarily by choice, but because giving birth has been co-opted by the medical industry, who forget that having babies is not a pathology, but a natural process that doesn't need medical intervention except in cases with serious complications. Healthy women are jacked up on Pitocen (which induces labor) to speed up contractions (can't have women taking too long to give birth), which makes labor more painful. Women are then encouraged to take (or beg for) epidurals, b/c of the increased levels of pain (and the fact that childbirth is painful, and many women are scared). The epidural consequently slows labor down, and b/c of the pre-determined timeline hospitals impose on women between the time of water breaking to labor, women are prematurely ushered into C-sections.

This is only a small piece of ONE issue related to "the business" of being born. The film blew my mind (and my students' minds--I brought my entire class to the screening) and if you have had or plan to have children (and even if you don't), the film will change your life. It's not available to a general audience yet, though they're pushing for it--but it will be available through NetFlix very soon. I'm going to ask the UCF Library to purchase it, as well. If I've ever encouraged you to see anything--you must see this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

helping women help themselves

I recently read about the Animal Safehouse Program in Rancho County and began to research programs locally because I know we have a need for such a resource in Brevard county.

I am currently working to establish a foster network for pets of women fleeing domestic abuse, in transitional housing/shelters/etc. I hope to link up with local animal shelters, and have scheduled a couple appointments at the SPCA and Humane Society shelthers in Melbourne and Titusville. I would like to provide neuter/spay services and eventually etablish a fund to pay for vet bills, pet deposits, etc.Extensive discussions with the domestic violence advocacy community have established a strong need for such services. Many women stay in violent situations because they don't want to leave their animals behind. Clear links have been established between domestic violence and animal abuse and abusers often use pets as tools of control in abusive situations. This service could remove the final barrier to a woman escaping her abuser. Fostering the pets of women in crisis as they try to create better lives for themselves and their children is another step to ensure successful transitions.

I am trying to identify potential foster homes, preferably in Brevard County, but anywhere in the Central Florida area to start. If you know anyone or you are willing to potentially foster animals for the program, email me at I am in the very early stages, but feel that identifying potential fosters is a first step. Of course there would be a screening process and specific guidelines, but we are starting out, so for now I just want to identify interested parties. If you can provide any resources, input, or know of similar programs (I have contacted the SPCA F.A.I.T.H program coordinator), please share! Any feedback is appreciated.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Update (if you care about my life at all, b/c it is not very exciting...)

Current mood: quixotic

Life is coming together.

My chin is healing nicely, relatively speaking--though it is difficult to keep it out of the sun enough, even with sunscreen. It still looks a little frankenstein, but I'm an incredible healer, if I may say so myself. It's been less than a month and most people don't even notice. Of course, it's all I see when I look at myself, but whatever.

Moving-in progress: kick ass. Everything is in place and looks good. Painted the living room yellow, the bathroom lime green, kitchen red, and a random orange wall. Sounds ridiculous, looks awesome (even if slightly ridiculous). I'll post pictures sometime. If anyone wants to tell me how to insert pictures into my blog, please write me. The living together thing is going swimmingly. Being this content scares me. But I'll just love it while I can.

Just did the first laundromat visit and it sucked. It's a hassle not being able to multitask as effectively as when you do laundry at home. But I'll get used to it. Wanted to ride my bike to do laundry but it wouldn't all fit in my basket (which I found since my bike accident), so maybe next time. Sold my stackable on Craig's List for $80 (posted $100 but the guy talked me down) and am getting ready to sell the full size set for $150-$200. Too expensive to store and no hookups here. I've sold a few items on Craig's List, which rules. Super easy. It's my first time and I am a certain Craig's List addict now. I'll buy my next washer/dryer that way, no doubt. If you need a full-size bed or outside table/chair set, I have them for cheap. Sad to get rid of things I know I'm going to need again one day, but for now I'm simplifying. And it feels nice.

Living by the beach provides an energy that makes life beautiful, even if you're just working. But I do need more girlfriends in Cocoa Beach. I need a girl who I can call to come have wine with me while I paint. I need my girlfriends closer to me or my sister to come over sometime. While I am thrilled with my male company, he works most evenings and me and Bell need some girl energy. My Cocoa Beach girlfriend went back to drugs and her abusive partner, so that's out. My two best girlfriends out here have kids so they need me to come to them (which is fine, but not when I'm painting). So that's a goal, I guess. Girlfriends.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

moving (and stitch pics)

Current mood: excited

So the stitch pics are here.

And I'm moving. With a busted up leg, jaw, chin. But it's a good move, which helps the whole mess. So now when you come to Cocoa Beach, you can drive down to 15th St., park at my place for free (first come first serve b/c there are only a few spots), put your beers in the fridge, go down to the beach, surf if you want (b/c the break is very nice) or just hang out. Then we can hop on bikes and ride down to Taco City with Miss Bell in the basket (which is actually m.i.a. since my bike incident on the fourth) and eat outside. Sounds good to me. I'm so happy to finally live on (at least within walking distance of) the beach, even though it means giving up my washing machine, dryer AND dishwasher, not to mention tons of storage space, including a garage. I'm also now 20 miles further from Orlando, which sucks b/c I drive to Orlando so much and teach there once a week in the Fall. All sacrifices I'm willing to make. And I'm living with my baby, which makes it even better. I *must* go do some organization now; I'm half here and half there and just dreading all this crap I have to do. You could actually come out to the beach this week and help me move while you're at it.

I won't hold my breath. But the other invite is still open.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Current mood: sore

Quick story.

Fourth of July. Having a blast, riding around Cocoa Beach. I fall off my bike on the way to fireworks, so instead of fireworks, we go to the hospital. Bummer. In and out of the hospital in two hours, though. Figured on the 4th at the beach at 7:30 pm the ER would be packed. But we got lucky. If you want to call eight stitches lucky. I did get some cool band aids to rock, if I MUST wear a band aid on my face.

I'm trying to figure out how to upload the pics here, but since I'm a bit technologically/html-challenged, I'll just post them to my pics, if you have that sick curiosity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

home sweet home

Current mood: content
lots of food: crablegs, sushi, REAL pizza, no french fries, lots and lots of salad and fruits/veggies with or without peel, fish with no bones, ice cream, apple crisp, BLTs, grilled (not fried) chicken, caribbean rice, tofu, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese... never eaten more in my life. probably gained 5 pounds since i've been back. and it dwasn't that i was SO deprived for SO long, but deprived enough for long enough. and i'm a bit spoiled. did i mention that?

drinks: with ice, mojitos especially, pina colada, diet root beer, zephyrhills, brewed coffee, crystal light orange, diverse beer, sugarfree red bull.

showers: hot. lots of them.

make-up lovin': hot. lots.

peace. love. happiness. my dog. friends. sister. mama.

life is wonderful...