Privilege Olympics

I’ve been sitting on this post, plucking up the courage to post what could be an unpopular opinion. I wrote this on New Year’s Day.


Last night I went out with my husband and child to a New Year’s Eve fireworks event. There were street stalls selling all kinds of food and goods. There were so many people! I think the fireworks event that would normally draw the crowd to the big city wasn’t on so everyone came to my little town. The volume of people was such that there was precious little, if any, social distancing.

Without wanting to…and believe me, I wish I hadn’t…I overheard a conversation amongst a group of young people. Within the group it seemed there was a person who was transgender or non-binary, at least. They were answering questions from the friends about their trans life. I wasn’t listening as much as hearing them above the ambient crowd noise because they were walking very closely behind me.

Gender disability

My ears pricked up and so did my irritation when one friend asked something like, “What do you do when you need to use the toilet?” The transgender person answered, “Oh yeah, that’s a problem. I usually just have to use a disabled toilet.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I feel sure that it would be a very uncomfortable experience to be having to use the toilet of the wrong gender. It would appear that there is a need in society for more accommodation by way of unisex toilets. Frankly, that would solve an awful lot of problems (e.g. the queues for the female toilets are always longer than the for the male ones, etc). However, as a person who uses the disabled toilets because of my disability, upon hearing this comment I was seeing red.

It took all my strength not to turn around and go full Karen on this kid! How dare they! I agree that they should have the dignity of not having to use the toilet of the wrong gender but, as far as I know, being transgender is not a disability. I’m not sure what gender the young person was nor does it matter to me. What matters is that they should select the toilet which best reflects who they feel they are and leave the disabled facilities to those of us who actually need them!!!

I require a grab rail when going to the toilet. I’m still waiting on home modifications from the NDIS to make my bathroom and toilet safe for my use so I’m very reliant on my husband on those occasions when my body fails me. This is such a significant thing in my daily life that I tend to prefer to use public disabled toilets because they are safer for me than my toilet at home.

Disabled toilets are for disabled people. I could not tell you the number of times I’ve had to wait to use a disabled toilet only to see a very able-bodied person emerge. I know not all disabilities are visible. It seems a fair assumption that the person was able-bodied when they give me a sheepish look when coming out. Some have had the decency to apologise. One time I was waiting and there was another lady waiting after me. The wait was so long that the other lady gave up and went to an ambulant toilet. When the toilet (ab)user came out, it was clear she was an employee at one of the shops. She’d been crying. I suspect that she’d had a bad moment and just needed a place to be alone. While I can sympathise with that, the disabled toilet is not meant to be a little sanctuary away from the world. It is where people with disabilities go to the TOILET!!!

Back to my point… If you are able-bodied and don’t require the special equipment found only in the disabled toilet, please leave them alone and free for those of us who do. If you are trans, embrace your gender and make use of the toilets designated for that gender. Lobby for better facilities. Don’t diminish the experience of other disadvantaged, under privileged or disenfranchised people to improve your own.

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That’s that

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(backdated)

#Blogjune has come to an end for another year. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of being present and connected with the world for 30 consecutive days. Most people get to do that through normal daily tasks like shopping or going to work. I don’t always get that opportunity. Some days I stay in my bedroom and only emerge (with assistance) to attend to basic hygiene. So thank you for the opportunity to be a voice outside my own head.

I didn’t really have any themes running through my posts for #blogjune this year so I don’t feel like I have anything to sum up other than to say, yes, I’m still a librarian! I really enjoyed writing that post. The challenge of putting coherent thoughts together to Musical Challengeachieve a somewhat meaningful result was very enjoyable.

I should give the results of the Coronapocalypse Musical Challenge. It’s open slather now. Answer as many as you want.

Song 1 1987
Song 2 Don’t Stand So Close To Me (The Police) RACHEL
Song 3 2005
Song 4 School’s Out (Alice Cooper) PLASTIC BERTRAND
Song 5 U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer) LEESA
Song 6 …1976
Song 7 …1977
Song 8 Don’t Pay the Ferryman (Chris de Burgh) DANIELLE
Song 9 …1981
Song 10 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston) FIONA
Song 11 Enter Sandman (Metallica) BROOKE
Song 12 The Final Countdown (Europe) CHARLES
Song 13 …1987
Song 14 Fever (Peggy Lee) ANN
Song 15 Take My Breath Away (Berlin) DANIELLE
Song 16 …1983
Song 17 I will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) KAREN
Song 18 Close to You (The Carpenters) FIONA
Song 19 Close to You (Maxi Priest) KAREN
Song 20 …1985
Song 21 The Distance (Cake) BROOKE
Song 22 Under Pressure (Queen) PLASTIC BERTRAND
Song 23 …1972
Song 24 …1986
Song 25 …1965
Song 26 …1991
Song 27  …1985
Song 28 Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) RACHEL
Song 29 Only the Lonely (Roy Orbison) ANN
Song 30 Another One Bites the Dust (Queen) LEESA

 

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What am I?

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Ah, the age-old questions. What am I? Who am I? What is my purpose? What is truth?

These questions have sat solidly in the minds of many of humanity’s greatest philosophers. I’m not just talking about existentialist philosophy but perhaps something that extends beyond the self and goes to the interconnectedness of all of us. Or I might just be wondering why my blog is still called Bun-toting Librarian when I’ve had short hair since 2012 (and a buzz cut since 2016) and haven’t been actively employed as a librarian since early 2014.

Nah, it’s probably the philosophy stuff.

It’s taken me a few days to get even this far in writing this post. Really, questions like these take more than a lifetime to answer so I’m not exactly beating myself up on my synthetic timeline. I love #blogjune. I love that it cracks the whip and gives me the expectation of daily thought and output. Nevertheless, the topic I really wanted to answer is bigger than I can output in a day. That said, I’m no further along in my thoughts than I was a week ago when I started writing this particular post.

I look at my social media bio on various sites and I’m never happy with what I write. I usually list a bunch of descriptions and then run out of characters. Yet I know that I’m not fulfilling all of those descriptions and there are more words that I don’t say. Can I still call myself a librarian? I’d like to think I can. Sure, I haven’t been paid to be one for around 6 years now but I’m still called upon by friends who used to be clients whenever they have an information need. Whatever you do, don’t think this is a complaint. Far from it! I love that despite everything that has happened to me since ceasing formal library employment these friends/clients (frients?) still value me as an authoritative source of information or instruction.

When looking at my social media use in a recent post I mentioned the idea of identifying as a cultural librarian. As a practicing Catholic, I have mixed feelings about cultural Catholics. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a Cultural Catholic is “a person who identifies with Catholic traditions but does not actively practice the religion“. I have mixed views because while I appreciate that cultural Catholics might be allies and friends, they may not be upholding current values and practices of Catholicism. For these reasons, I’m somewhat reluctant to call myself a librarian because I have not been actively employed as one for some years. Am I upholding the values and practices of current librarianship?

My innate thought processes in relation to information seeking behaviour, information literacy and values regarding equity and accessibility of information have not changed from when I was a “practicing librarian”. Does that give me the right to say that I am one? I didn’t lose my qualification. I didn’t lose my many years of experience. I still read about current trends and practices in my profession. I still maintain relationships with my networks of friends and colleagues. If you factor in the casual consultancy for my frients (yes, I’m going to continue using that word), I’m still engaged in providing information services. Does that now change whether I can say I am a librarian?

Am I a librarian? Or am I just a cultural librarian? Do I still get a seat at the table when the grown-ups are talking about our profession?

I think I do but am I the one who gets to decide that? You tell me.

I don’t know if I’ve really even addressed my existential questions posed but at least I’ve created a neologism and, to my great delight, it’s my favorite kind of word…a portmanteau!

frient

n. A friend who is also a client.

You’re welcome.

 

 

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Mega musical challenge update 2

Corona musicThis is the second update on the Coronapocalypse Musical challenge. There are still so very many songs left unanswered. There is currently a limit of two songs per person but I think I may have to make it open season on answers.

Jet365 has been identified as my friend, Fiona. Now I’d like to identify Plastic Bertrand. Actually, if it is in fact Roger Jouret I don’t know if I could survive the excitement. You are indeed the King of the Divan!

Musical ChallengeAnyway, better get in and comment on this or the original post to enter the race. Trust me, these are all well known songs and they all have a link to COVID-19 in some way. Think disease, temperature, social distancing, being sick, survival, death, etc.

Below are the answered songs and the names of those who answered them. I’m also adding in the year the song was released just as a bit of a helping hand.

Song 1 1987
Song 2 Don’t Stand So Close To Me (The Police) RACHEL
Song 3 2005
Song 4 School’s Out (Alice Cooper) PLASTIC BERTRAND
Song 5 U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer) LEESA
Song 6 …1976
Song 7 …1977
Song 8 …1982
Song 9 …1981
Song 10 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston) FIONA
Song 11 Enter Sandman (Metallica) BROOKE
Song 12 …1986
Song 13 …1987
Song 14 …1956 (but more famous version in 1958)
Song 15 …1986
Song 16 …1983
Song 17 … 1978
Song 18 Close to You (The Carpenters) FIONA
Song 19 …1990
Song 20 …1985
Song 21 The Distance (Cake) BROOKE
Song 22 Under Pressure (Queen) PLASTIC BERTRAND
Song 23 …1972
Song 24 …1986
Song 25 …1965
Song 26 …1991
Song 27  …1985
Song 28 Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) RACHEL
Song 29 …1961
Song 30 Another One Bites the Dust (Queen) LEESA

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All sorts

This day was all sorts of mess. I slept late and did not feel any better for the extra rest that I got. When I got up I took longer than I wanted to in getting ready to go out. Once out, hubby and I had to buy a particular item from the shops for my little girl’s upcoming birthday. She has her heart set on a skateboard and I had found a good one at an agreeable price. When I had looked around a few days ago and found it, stocks were plentiful. When we got to the shop today, the shelves were bare.

We went from shop to shop, getting hungrier and more disappointed by the moment. So we stopped to get a bite to eat. It seems like the entire population had come to the shops that day and they all wanted lunch at the same time as us. We found a place to sit and eat and I took the time to do a bit more searching for the skateboard on my phone so as to cut down the shopping time.

After lunch we went and found the most perfect skateboard. That was our win for the day because by then my body started to fall apart and we still had groceries to buy.

We continued on doing all of the errands we needed to do and eventually made our way through the grocery shopping. We even decided to treat ourselves with some licorice allsorts. Later in the evening when we opened the packet, those sweet treats were stuck together so completely and utterly. It was a fitting end to a jumbled up day.

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Depleted

(Backdated, as usual.)BTL No

Today I did more than my body and brain could handle. I attended to some tasks which I had been putting off. Once completed, I was depleted.

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Kettle’s on

I am brewing up a really tasty post but it’s not quite ready just yet. I am musing on some of life‘s greatest questions but I only have about half a brain to do that with.

Today was a fairly draining day. Yesterday was as well but at least with yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the morning having some preparatory rest. Today I woke up and was pretty much on the go all day. My body is incredibly sore and even the mere act of holding my phone to dictate this is draining.

Don’t forget there are still quite a few songs to guess in the musical challenge. I know that there are more of you who know these songs who haven’t had a shot at answering them yet. Have a go!

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Rest before distress

This is a backdated post because I was too tired on the day. I spent the morning resting due to extensive activity from the previous day and in preparation for required activity in the afternoon. Then I spent the afternoon carrying out that activity which then left me completely drained for the evening.

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It’s all about the brand, Stan

BTL icon 2020

The Bun-Toting Librarian

I’ve been unhappy with the look and feel of my blog for a little while now. I’m a very bad advertisement for myself. I created my own icon when I started this blog back in 2010. It is the “Bun-Toting Librarian” herself. I wanted a stylised image of how I saw myself at the time. Back then I had longer hair which I often used to pull up into a bun for work. I wasn’t trying to be the stereotype. I was just being practical.

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The real me.

The icon and the site were hastily thrown together and I didn’t really do much with this over the years. The pixelation of the image when upsized was annoying but I wasn’t motivated enough to clean it up or turn it into a vector.

Even the colours began to bother me. I always liked purple and I tended to favour darker tones. That probably reflected very much on my mental state at the time. There was a darkness in me that I really only displayed in what I wore or the colours I liked. Face-to-face, I think I came off as pretty happy. People described me as “bubbly”…a term I hate. Actually, they still do call me that. I don’t think I am. Bubbles lack substance and are light and full of air. I don’t think those are qualities I have. Call me happy. Call me cheerful. You might be wrong but at least you’re not insulting my intelligence.

Anyway, the colour palette. In 2010, the dark purple gradient was right in line with how I saw my world and myself. Sombre. Lacking dimension. Devoid of character. Ten years on and my life is in a very different place and has a very different palette. I have light and colour and interest and dimension and articulation and any number of faceted points of life. The shade is there but so is the light and I really wanted to bring that into my online presence here on this blog.

I’ve been working more and more in the area of online media management and graphic design. I’ve played in that area for over a decade. Even my undergraduate qualifications include a minor in marketing so that takes me back around 25 years. Sure, I wasn’t designing then but I certainly was drawing connections between a product or a person and it’s/their portrayal.

So it’s high time that I focused on my own brand and the evolution from the Bun-Toting Librarian of 2010 to the Fun-Toting Barbarian of 2020.  ……Kidding!  I’ll always be the Bun-Toting Librarian…just new and improved.

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Scrambled EEGs

I had an EEG today. Not an egg.

Electrodes stuck to my scalp and then my eyes blasted with the most intense strobe lights you can imagine. This isn’t my first one of these. BTL eegThey aren’t painful or invasive but they aren’t exactly a picnic.

I do feel like I have a scrambled brain. Not too scrambled that I couldn’t whisk up one of my trademark Bun-Toting Librarian images though.

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