The Bubble of Ignorance – Part 2

Okay, firstly, I hadn’t intended on publishing something twice in a row. This is my 100th post, and it’s not what I envisioned sharing. But this is the world we live in now, and I can’t make happy, woo, cutesy posts when our world is continuing to face terrible acts of injustice, murder, and hatred.

Over two years ago, I wrote and later published a post about my feelings on the so-called Islamic State.

In those two years, my knowledge and understanding about how they work has grown.

I’ve started speaking out more about them, as well as many other injustices happening around the world. Since publishing that post, I have made an effort to not live in my bubble of ignorance. I’ve started protesting and educating myself and people around me about what’s going on. I’ve become particularly passionate about what’s going on in Syria.

Okay, enough intro. Here’s my follow up on The Bubble of Ignorance, especially in the wake of the attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Once again, it’s unedited because I just wrote it.


Here you sit, in your bubble of ignorance.

I suppose it’s better than indifference and apathy.

But you laugh at me

When I call you out.

“What more can I do?” You say, as you scroll through Facebook endlessly.

Your thoughts and prayers are with them, you say,

When in actuality,

You’re hoping that I just go away

And let you return

To your bubble of ignorance.

Because you can’t be blamed for not acting

When you simply didn’t know

About the killing

Or the drilling

Or the missing

Or the chilling scenes of death, despair, and destruction

That flood my Facebook feed, but somehow you’ve tailored your feed

To only show you things you want to see.

That’s fair,

But you know what isn’t?

That you get to sit happily in your bubble of ignorance

While PEOPLE in Syria

And around the world

Are crying

Are DYING

Are trying to get to safety.

Are risking everything for their family.

When all you risk is your “image.”

“Facebook should be about happy things,” you say.

Fine, and by the way,

Your privilege says, “Hey.”

You can’t rush away from this injustice.

Now, trust us,

You’ll be asking for trouble

If you’re caught

Sitting in your bubble

Of ignorance.

The Open Mic

Ten feet away, an idol stands at a microphone in front of her.

The idol announces that her turn is up in 3, and she isn’t sure

whether she’s ready.

She’s never been one to be so real

in front of strangers, and she doesn’t want to steal

the spotlight from people

whose stories matter more than hers.

Not that she thinks she’s any good.

It’s the opposite. She supposes she could

decide to leave or withdraw, but she sticks it out.

She practically blacks out during the next two sets,

but she tries to focus.

The man before her is powerful

with a message that empowers.

Will her message empower?

No.

But it’s her turn.

The idol returns and announces that she’s up.

Is that really her name? It sounds unnatural, and she wants to throw up.

But she stands up

and faces the open mic.

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I did my very first open mic the other night. I read Stubborn and Enough. I think it went well, but it was terrifying. Thanks to everyone who supported me that night, and special thanks to Kristine for taking me.

Thoughts: River Secrets by Shannon Hale

This is a post for my LIS S401 class: Computer-Based Information Tools.

Many of you have wondered why my cat’s name is Razo (and those who have known me for some time have also wondered why my parents have a cat named Enna).

For reference, here are Razo and Enna:

Razo the cat

Razo

Enna the cat

Enna

These cats are named after two characters in a book series I have read several many times over. Shannon Hale was first recommended to me by Bev, our children’s librarian. After reading the Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, I began reading the Books of Bayern in reverse order (on accident!). I didn’t realize they had an order. The books were so well-written that I didn’t need the background stories to follow along.Enna Burning Book Cover

There are four Books of Bayern:

The Goose Girl

Enna Burning

River Secrets

Forest Born

The books follow the characters: Isi, Geric, Enna, Finn, Razo, Dasha, and Rin.

Out of all of the books, Enna is the character I liked the most (though I do connect with both her and Rin), Finn is the male character I liked the most, and Razo is a good guy and great comic relief.

Enna the cat and Razo the cat are named because their personalities line up closely with their corresponding characters.

River Secrets follows Razo’s journey as he travels into the land of his enemies, Tira. He feels useless and questions why he was even picked to accompany fellow members of Bayern’s Own on an important ambassador mission. Razo’s friendly personality and his keen eye for noticing things end up playing a huge role in the mission.River Secrets Book Cover

This is the one book out of the four that I can read over and over again and never get bored. There’s so much action, so much humor, and so much story to tell.

River Secrets is a story of compassion, understanding, and compromise.

It’s the only book in the series of four that features a male character (Yay for strong female characters!), but Razo’s tale is one of uplifting and supporting his female friends, and it is in no way your typical male-hero story.

River Secrets is captivating and will leave you questioning who the real bad guy is until the very end.

I highly recommend you check out the entire Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale, and River Secrets isn’t one to pass over.

Thoughts: Social Networks

This is a post for my LIS S401 class: Computer-Based Information Tools.

You could say I’m fairly connected. I use a variety of social media in my daily life. I have a Facebook, a Pinterest, an Instagram, a LinkedIn, and I operate Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages for several of my employers and organizations I volunteer for (I’ve added hyperlinks as an example).

I’m on Facebook the most, though I would say 90% of my posts are uploaded from Instagram. I use LinkedIn to connect to people I know professionally. I use Pinterest to plan crafts, displays, and to store good ideas (and yes, I actually found Pinterest helpful when planning my wedding).

However, even though I’m on a lot of social networks, I make a conscious effort not to use them too much, though they all are useful.

I check Facebook multiple times a day, I check Instagram a couple of times a day (and I post maaaaybe twice a week), I scroll through Pinterest a couple of times a week, and I check LinkedIn once a week.

Since social media is normally not a very private platform, I use it to highlight events in my life, to express some of my personality and opinions, and to promote things I care about.

Each social network is useful in its own way.

Below, I’ll list out the uses for two social networks I use: Facebook and LinkedIn.


Facebook – Facebook is really good for keeping track of friends whom I can’t see much because of our schedules or who live elsewhere (such as the friends I made while studying abroad). I mainly use Facebook to find articles; a lot of my friends share a lot of really interesting reads. I also use Facebook to interact with certain groups of people, such as the NaNoWriMo group for Indy. Lastly, I opt to have most of my blog posts share to Facebook automatically.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is good for keeping track of your professional accomplishments as well as those of others. I use it to connect with people I know from work and from classes. The idea of this social network is networking. We connect with people and present our best professional selves to them. We update our profiles, which contain professional images, examples of work, work history, and recommendations from others. It’s a social network where colleagues can congratulate each other on work-related milestones. Like with Facebook, I opt to have most of my blog posts share to LinkedIn automatically.

LinkedIn differs from Facebook in the type of content that is posted on each account. Facebook is mainly for personal information, such as the day-to-day goings-on in life. LinkedIn is reserved for work- and education-related content.


Value for Library and Information Science Professionals

Social media is a useful tool for libraries and other organizations. The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI has a Facebook page where they share articles, events, information, and more. For example, they recently posted to upcoming graduates the following:

SOIC ExampleThis is a great medium for places to share information. However, Facebook has a “mysterious” algorithm that doesn’t always allow everyone to see your posts unless they visit your page specifically. So you’ll want really important information to be shared multiple times (Hootsuite is a great tool for planning posts in advance).

Facebook is also a great way to express the “personality” of your library. Some library Facebook pages are very professional and some feel very connected to their patrons online.

I use the library’s Facebook page to share library programs, community events, pictures from events and programs, upcoming happenings for the library system in general, closing information, new services (such as our new fax machine!), and occasionally articles.

We are in the process of building our Pinterest page, but we currently use it to highlight books and materials on display at the library, staff picks, and programs. We also have secret boards where myself and other staff members can save pins for display and craft ideas.

Our Twitter is the least-utilized of all of our social media accounts, but we occasionally use it to “live tweet” events currently happening.

Social media is a great tool for libraries to get in touch with their communities, to share events, to show patrons what goes on at the library, and to make the library seem less like a building and more like a place to be.

One last thing that I have noticed while operating social media accounts for a library is that it allows for patrons who can’t physically make it into the library (home-bound patrons) to connect with us on a social level.

I would highly recommend libraries and library professionals to become familiar with social media, as it is a great tool for them as professionals and their organizations.

Do you use social networks? What are your favorites? What don’t you like?

On One Year of Marriage

Past & Present: On One Year of Marriage

Happy Labor Day, US folks!10469373_10204820749021207_3642174395043947195_n

For me, this Labor Day marks one year of being a married woman (and six years of being with my husband)!

Growing up, I always heard the first year of marriage is the hardest one, but I think it’s been the best year of our relationship.

I just wanted to take a moment and reflect a little on what we’ve accomplished this year, but first, let’s start with what we haven’t accomplished:

We aren’t “settled,” by traditional definitions:

-We didn’t buy a house.

-We didn’t have kids.

-We both didn’t immediately get full-time jobs.

However, we have been more settled and our lives are more stable than they ever have been: 

-We have an apartment without roommates (just the two of us and Razo).10383487_10205255859898707_6915505851249669903_n

-We have a cat (aka Razo).

-Daniel has a full-time job.

-I have three part-time jobs and am a full-time graduate student.

All of that considered, I think we have had a wonderful first year of marriage:

-We travelled to England to visit a friend.

-We enrolled as Bigs in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

-We completed Mainstream and Plus Square Dance lessons.

-We’ve enjoyed a LOT of theatre together.

-We finally have a regular routine (even if it seems hectic from the outside).

Of course, not every day is super wonderful, romantic, and fantastic. That would be boring, and it completely misses the point. Daniel and I work together through any disagreements we have (though they’re usually small), and at the end of the day, we can fall asleep knowing that we are there for one another.

Happy first anniversary, Daniel. I love you!

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Thoughts: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

As is detailed in this post, Daniel and I were given the chance to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with our Little, Ryan. Below are my thoughts on the show.

It had been years since I last saw a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatBack then, I was still in my early teenage years and was watching a high school’s interpretation of the musical.

The show is essentially a musical retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.

Both the original story and the plot of the flashy musical bother me, but I won’t focus on those.

Instead, I’ll focus on the choices of the direIMG_0822ctor and choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, and the choices of the actors.

To start, I was very impressed by all of the uses of technology during the introduction (and the whole show). They made very good use of curtain screens and projectors to help introduce you to the setting of the show. Ryan was extremely impressed with the use of the projectors.

The costumes were spectacular, as to be expected with a Broadway performance, but they were a bit too sexy to be deemed kid-friendly in my opinion. Most of the women wore skirts or pants with what, at best, can be described as bikini tops and, at worst, can be described as bras. Many of the male characters went shirtless.

Regardless, the songs are catchy, and the acting was well-done.

But, as can happen with live theatre, things can go wrong.

Part of the way through the show, an announcement came on to say that, due to technical difficulties, the show would be paused. They then lowered the curtain.

During the announcement, the actors froze, and you couldn’t tell there was anything wrong before the announcement.

During the pause, Daniel and I discussed our theories of what went wrong, and we explained to Ryan about how live theatre differs from movies and TV shows in the fact that things can go wrong that can’t be edited out.

We talked about how well the actors covered during the scene. That is good acting.photo 1

It turned out that a piece of the set that was supposed to be lowered into a table (and eventually a bed) failed to lower.

Once they figured everything out, they restarted the scene and continued on.

Here’s where things got uncomfortable (spoilers)

So Joseph gets seduced by the wife of his master. Fine. Things happen.

What made it uncomfortable was that two people (one that was very scantily-clad) were on a bed, straddled each other, and then were covered in a bed sheet so they can kick around under the sheets. That is a bit too sexy and way too obvious for it to be called a family-friendly show. It’s not family-friendly.

A five or six year old may not know what’s going on, but an eleven year old knew that what was going on was something he shouldn’t be seeing.

As adults, my husband and I were uncomfortable with watching the scene. I don’t know what Daniel did, but both Ryan and I covered our eyes.

Ryan even called them out on it. He said, “I thought this was supposed to be a kid-friendly show.”

We thought so, too, as we had looked into reviews of the current production. Yeah, they mentioned some sexiness and that the seduction part was a bit more obvious than it needed to be, but we didn’t think it would be that bad, since there were a TON of kids there. Plus, the news and actors had been reporting it was very kid-friendly.

Ugh.photo 2

Moving along, there was one other technical difficulty, but they didn’t stop the show for it. During the song “Benjamin Calypso,” the microphone for Joesph’s brother, Judah, was covered by something, which prevented the audience from hearing him (it was like he was speaking from the far end of a very long tunnel).

After that, though, everything went well.

Even though I get that sexy costumes and dances “sell” or attract people, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is not the show to incorporate sexiness into.

It’s supposed to be a fun, catchy, and enjoyable retelling of the Biblical story for kids. Adults do not need swirly hips and abs and skin (from all of the actors, not just the women) to be entertained by the show. The show itself stands out.

Leave out the sexiness, and you have a great show with incredible usage of technology, wonderful actors, and a fun evening.

Thoughts: Buyer and Cellar

In my fifteen or so years being involved in theatre, never have I seen a show quite like Buyer and Cellar at The Phoenix Theatre.

Firstly, it’s a one-man show written by Jonathan Tolins, starring the charming Scot Greenwell, and directed by Indy powerhouse Chuck Goad (who was in Clark Gable Slept Here). Tolins has set up a world based on the true fact that Barbra Streisand has built a private mall in her basement, consisting of possessions that don’t have a place in her home above-ground.

Greenwell plays Alex, an actor that has found himself in need of work. He’s hired to be the caretaker of the mall, which includes more than just dusting shelves. Occasionally, Barbra herself comes down to do some shopping, and Alex must draw on his improv and acting skills to stay employed.

The set of Buyer and Cellar at The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis.

The set of Buyer and Cellar at The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis.

Tolins has opened the door into an imaginary world that is reminiscent of a daydream. For the duration of the show, you are wrapped up in the goings-on of Alex’s life and Barbra’s basement, and you might not want to leave (though staying overnight in the theatre will not transport you to the basement of Barbra Streisand, sorry).

The story is much more about actors and basements, however. It tells of the real-life struggle many of us face to fit in and to be accepted by the surrounding world. Many of us might feel like Alex–stuck in our materialistic basements waiting to join the party above. Through the course of the show, you might just discover the inspiration to find the way out of your personal basement.

For those who might be concerned about sitting through a little over an hour and a half of a one-man show, don’t be. Greenwell does a fantastic job of keeping the audience connected with the story. He introduces us to Alex’s boyfriend,  Barry, Barbra, and several other characters as though he were telling us the story over a cup of tea.

The script is humorous, the set is meticulous, and the acting is marvelous. So, if you’d like to hear the full story of how Alex finds himself into Barbra Streisand’s basement and back again, you can check out the show until Sunday, April 5th!

It’s at The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis on Thursdays at 7:00, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, and Sundays at 2:00. You can buy tickets online or call the box office at 317-635-7529.