Saturday 30 September 2006

The Fastest Way to Get to Australia . . .

is to never leave!

After enjoying the fantastic sessions and social events at Web Directions 06, Andy Clarke, Kevin Yank and myself headed off to the airport to catch a series of flights that would eventually get us to Oviedos for Fundamentos Web. But, as it happens, our flight ended up being cancelled and we’ve had the pleasure of staying in Australia an extra, unplanned night.

As we had to pass through immigration and formally leave Australia, we had to formally re-enter the country. There is now a unique stamp in my passport:

“Did Not Depart”

Double meanings aside, I’ve now learned that the fastest way to get to Australia is to never leave. Which, as much as I’m looking forward to visiting Spain, I must say has always been a joy to visit. Web Directions 06 South was an awesome experience, so my love and gratitude to Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp and all the fantastic speakers and staff for putting on yet another inspirational event, and to all the attendees and friends who make 35 hour globetrots a joy rather than a pain in the proverbial you-know-what.

Wish us smooth travels, my friends, and I’m looking forward to my very first visit to Spain.

Update: Kevin has written a witty and accurate description of our adventure in his blog post this morning Did Not Depart.

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Posted by:   Molly | 16:18 | Comments (59)

Thursday 21 September 2006

For the Love of HTML

Back in the dark ages of 2000, Simon St. Laurent started up the XHTML-L mailing list.

The past year or two it’s become one of those sleepy lists that you forget all about until someone mails a query to it.

Here’s a recent exchange:

Hi, sorry for this but have not receieved any mail from this groups for a long time. regards – A

They are all back to HTML 4 – L

I’ve gone back to HTML 3 – P

I don’t know about you, but for some reason this made me laugh in the proverbial out-loud fashion so I thought I would share it with you here.

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Posted by:   Molly | 09:20 | Comments (22)

Wednesday 13 September 2006

Back to School!

My autumn term is almost underway. In 9 days I’ll be winging my way around the world to present an international series of workshops, conference talks and training events. I hope to visit with many friends and friends-to-be-met along the way; talk web standards and life; share knowledge and good times.

Here’s the entire public schedule for your enjoyment. Seats are limited at all the events, so if you are planning to go and haven’t registered, register soon. Also, drop me a line in comments if you have questions, you’ll be attending one of the events, or even just in the area.

Sydney, Australia: Web Directions South

extreme standards

The idea of being back in Australia for Web Directions South is so exciting I just don’t know what to say! I had such a wonderful time last year the 14 hour flight from LA doesn’t seem so terribly daunting. I’ll be co-presenting a one day workshop “Extreme Standards” along with Andy Clarke, as well as being your hostess and speaker at breakfast on Friday morning, where we’ll discuss “Defining the New Professionalism.”

Asturias, Spain: Fundamentos Web

fundamentos web
Despite my love of the Spanish language, which I studied in school and speak with some fluency due to my many years living in the bilingual environment of Tucson, I’ve never visited Spain. I am so honored to be a part of Fundamentos Web I can’t even say, and am even going to attempt to present my one hour session on The True Value of Microformats in Spanish. I won’t dare try that for the workshop, Designing Web 2.0, with Andy Clarke.

London, England: Carson Workshops

extreme standards

Last year’s CSS for Designers was a great experience, and I’m returning again to co-present with Andy, this time with a twist. CSS for Developers focuses on practical aspects of CSS more than visual design: Organizing CSS file systems, how to organize and optimize your documents, tapping into the Cascade and inheritance for efficiency – all the yummy technical stuff I personally love. With Andy’s eye for design we will of course be working on ways to encourage the more developmentally-oriented to think in visual terms. A unique course, and one I’m confident will be of great value and terrific fun.

London, England: Geek Dinner

Once again the fabulous Ian Forrester has arranged a Geek Dinner for me on Friday 20th October, at The Bottlescrue in London. Come along, bring your friends. 5 GBP for food and fun, can’t be beat.

Boston, MA, USA: The Ajax Experience

The Ajax Experience

Since I know absolutely squat about JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest other than what they do, it’s rather humorous I’d get picked up for such a seriously geeky conference as The Ajax Experience. Somehow, I ended up running into a few situations this year where I found myself speaking to hardcore Java web app developers and found that they were expressing a real interest in CSS! This excites me to no end, because getting developers on board with CSS and semantic markup is a really important step to building better platforms all around. So, I’m very honored to be involved in this event and am looking forward to learning a lot, too.

Austin, TX, USA: An Event Apart

an event apart
I’m truly honored to participate as the guest speaker for An Event Apart. Jeffrey and Eric have both been active mentors and friends in my life for many years, and Jason is easily one of the most good-natured, smart, creative people I’ve met in the past couple of years. To be Apart with these fellas, well, what a thrill, particularly in a town as cool as Austin and a venue as awesome as the Alamo Drafthouse. I’ll be presenting “From the Content, Out.”


I’m looking at this list and I’m getting really excited. I’m really looking forward to each of these amazing events and the many wonderful experiences I know I’ll have along the way.

And I’m especially hoping to see you there.

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Posted by:   Molly | 06:34 | Comments (21)

Saturday 9 September 2006

The Shadow Knows: Depression in the IT Profession

One of my true blue friends and one of the major stars of the web design and development world, John Allsopp, has posted what I believe to be a very important article about depression in our field.

John writes:

While it is easy, and dangerous, to stereotype IT professionals (“geeks”) and the kinds of personality that appear to be predisposed to depression, qualities we tend to associate with many IT professionals like obsessiveness, very high standards, social anxiety, creativity, coupled with stressful life circumstances (extremely long hours, arbitrary deadlines, lack of control over many variables of the work environment, lack of job security) seem to be a recipe for disaster when it comes to depression.

And I couldn’t agree more. As I, too, am a person who has taken a lot of risks sharing personal issues, it is my feeling that an open, truthful discussion about depression and related problems in our field is a very good thing. We all need to learn better coping skills in general, and this is an opportunity to help everyone, not just those who are suffering from a depressive illness.

I applaud John his courage in sharing his story and thoughts. I find it comforting as well as intriguing how they so closely relate to my own. In the comments in his post it’s absolutely fascinating to read how people didn’t expect a person who is as idealistic, passionate, energetic, fun-loving and joyous as John to have this shadow. Many have said the same of me as well. I don’t understand it and I never will, because I am a fundamentally joyous person. To have that joy slip out and to grasp and grasp at it without being able to find it is a dark, horrific ordeal for both those of us who are suffering from the illness as well as those who care for us.

As John points out, friends make the difference. And treatment makes the difference. I know my friends have helped so very much. And treatment has definitely helped me. I’m feeling optimistic again, hopeful for the future – something that seemed to have disappeared in the darkness of my illness.

I’m looking forward to celebrating friendship and healing with John and the many wonderful friends met and to-be-met in just a few weeks at Web Directions, as well as my friends and readers here who have been so supportive through very difficult times.

Here’s to better days!

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Posted by:   Molly | 15:21 | Comments (42)

Sunday 3 September 2006

Tara’s Garden

my cat tara on the day she died and photos of flowers sent in her memory

Photos on Flickr I’ve taken from the flowers sent in memory of my wonderful cat Tara. Thank you everyone, for your kindness. Sleep sweetly, my angel.

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Posted by:   Molly | 17:44 | Comments (12)

Friday 1 September 2006


I’ll take his laughter and his tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where he goes I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is


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Posted by:   Molly | 18:56 | Comments Off on He

As She Tries To Run

Cecilia has great legs. All the girls on the floor say so. We sit in wonder at this woman in her sixties as she runs up and down the hospital corridor, her tight calves and bare feet belying the illness inside her head.

As best they can, the techs try to stay on her. Kevin used to play for the Seattle Seahawks, no joke. He’s a mountain of a handsome man and one serious dude to behold. But, money is tight and there are a lot of crazies to deal with, so attention gets diverted at times.

Cecilia is so insane no matter what they feed her with, the chemicals aren’t enough. She’s agitated all the time, and she sees fictions where most agree there’s um, you know – that thing called reality. This morning Cecilia thought our friend Carm was her daughter and that a nurse tried to hurt her, and the next you know Ceclia is up and screaming at the top of her lungs “Voy a matarte! Voy a matarte” and chopping the air so fiercely you could hear the wind being sliced.

Everyone knew she was escalating in her violence. The week before, she bit one of the sweetest ward nurses square on the arm. Today? She tackled a woman tech in her late 40s and get this – full bite into the poor woman’s cheek.

A human bite to the cheek. Pretty freaky to me.

I think of Cecilia and it rips me up to think this woman once so beautiful and in some ways still so perfect will soon be led away from this little corner of Tucson where people try to mend what’s left of their lives the best they can. But when there is failure – and whose failure is is that we can’t properly find treatment for the lost souls of this world, pray tell – the results will likely be that she spends the rest of her life in the state hospital up in Phoenix. Out there on 24th Street and Van Buren, you know.

Though my legs aren’t beautiful, I dream I am with Cecilia as she tries to run.

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Posted by:   Molly | 13:45 | Comments Off on As She Tries To Run

No Labor This Weekend

Due to the short notice and the fact that I’m really feeling poorly, I think we’ll have to aim for another time. How does November strike people? Maybe second week. This way we could actually plan out the work/study/hang out time in advance.

Let’s think about it, and thanks!

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Posted by:   Molly | 01:29 | Comments (8)

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