Thursday 31 May 2007

Not Me But You: “Maybe”

There are people in my life that are so incredible.

Today I honor the friend who has stuck by me for nearly a decade no matter what. Michael is a musician, and several friends like Eric and Jeffrey have met Michael. No easy personality, but it takes one to know one perhaps. He grows. I grow. We grow.

Here’s a song called “Maybe” with a link to a directory with the m4a version and some photos. There’s an MP3 version in there now as well as a compressed RAR, courtesy Face and Thacker (thanks guys)! In the meantime, I hope you’ll appreciate the people around you as much as I’m learning to do, again.


By Michael William Forkan

I love a girl and her name is Maybe
she doesn’t have the power to save me
and everything
is exactly what it is

All of my life it’s been the same way
can’t help falling on the dark days
that make you wanna die make you wanna sing

This tarred and feathered beauty
this tattered compromise
has torture in her past and kindness in her eyes
bark out your judgement calls to souless, empty halls
teach me how to lie, I’ll teach you how to sing

I love your baby’s breath
I love you half to death
which is half
of what you really need
Come to I’m all alone
died by the telephone
confessing sins that I really didn’t need.

I love a girl and her name is Never
broke her heart to last forever
so anyway
I’m not as clever as I dream

All of my life it’s been the same day
can’t help falling on the always
and make you wanna cry make you wanna scream

this scarred and weathered beauty
this perfect sacrafice
has madness in her kindness and wisdom in her lies.

I love your baby’s breath
I love you half to death
which is half of what you really need
Come to I’m all alone
Died by the telephone
Confessing sins
that I really didn’t need

I love a girl and her name is Maybe
She’s no longer out to save me
and everything is exactly what it is.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 21:22 | Comments (15)

Friday 25 May 2007

Broken Arrow

You never know who is going to be your seatmate on an airplane. Most times it’s fine, sometimes it’s not, sometimes it’s exceptional.

Tonight I got on an airplane from San Francisco non-stop to Tucson. My travel mate was truly exceptional.

A full-blooded Yaqui Indian, 59 years of age, Broken Arrow served in the Vietnam war as a U.S. Marine at a very young age, in 1968.

He has 28 grandchildren, and tells me his name, Broken Arrow, is earned sincerely. He says he is a warrior who fought and then decided to ‘break the arrow.’

By choice, he decided to end fighting.

My seatmate wears his hair long, he is proud of his Yaqui Nation (Pascua Pueblo), and he tells me I am stronger than I know.

He makes me feel very good, as a daughter. He gives me a pendant made of nickel, petrified wood and silver. He puts it around my neck.

I ask if I can photograph Broken Arrow and his gift to me. He tells me no. He would prefer I didn’t, but that I could write the story and give his name and tribe.

So I have.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 22:42 | Comments (30)

Monday 21 May 2007

The “I’m a Technologist but my Significant Other Is Not” Issue

So you’re doing great as a computer person. In most instances, you probably really enjoy your work, get paid at the very least a living wage to do it, and are able to have wonderful collegiate relationships, as well as great friends met.

But your significant other(s), who isn’t in the technological world or doesn’t have interest in it for whatever the reasons, well, he or she or they’re often left out of the passion and enthusiasm we exhibit when we are with those great friends, met.

I’ve always had SO’s in my life who were at least somewhat interested in what I did. But maybe that isn’t the best focus. Maybe I should be taking a closer look at the curly haired handsome and affectionate chef who wants to open his own restaurant in the Yucatan but could care less about the Web related services he’ll need?

Where’s the balance? Is there one? Is it better to have one partner into it and one not? Have you had an experience to share about this?

Because I so want to know.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 03:30 | Comments (65)

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Shifting Sands: Truth and Courage and JPG Magazine

As soon as I began reading what happened regarding JPG Magazine, I knew that here was even more evidence of my long-held belief that the room for inauthentic, manipulative voices in our wired culture is becoming very small. I won’t go into the story behind what happened to Derek and Heather here, you can follow the links and read for yourself. I will say that I have known Derek for a decade and Heather even longer and that their individual and combined contributions to our community have come from absolute, authentic passion and dedication.

As readers here know, I have tested boundaries of online community more than once, and perhaps less professionally than most. As I have cried, fallen, made mistakes and done my best to repair those mistakes where possible, the lessons I’ve learned turn out to have far less to do with a specific personality flaw, but a flaw in our culture. That is, the belief that lying or hiding truths is safer, easier and avoids harm.

Derek writes:

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about community-building, it’s this: Do Not Lie. People are too smart and well-connected to believe a lie anymore.”

What may look like personal struggles here are in my opinion not just personal: They are the result of trying to undo the shackles of an old model of being to survive in a world that can and will be self-correcting, and where community strength can in fact supercede the misdeeds and misactions of others.

From a sociological standpoint, this “shifting sands” idea really should be examined by experts as the shift touches every part of modern life: How we determine our own behavior, how that reflects in our work, our personal relationships, how we raise the next generation – I cannot point out enough as a long-time participant and leader of online and face to face communities that this is the very core of how human beings will or will not live up to the challenge of our individual and combined futures.

One thing is certain, and that is it will never again be easy to rewrite history, to harm others, to manipulate and use them, to govern inappropriately without the community’s involvement and ability to respond in kind. This is why the Web is important. This is why the past months of personal revelations from public people have had to see the light of day. We as a community seriously have to begin assessing and reassessing what is going to be our acceptable behaviors globally as well as personally. We need to make a mess sometimes to clean it up.

Quite simply, these are growing pains, but they are painful for a reason: They require our attention. All of us. This isn’t some theoretical technology. This is the future that we will shape.

Derek also writes:

“It’s the kind of story people don’t usually tell in public. Perhaps I’m into radical transparency or maybe I’m just difficult.”

While my response to this point is a bit semantic, I don’t think this is radical transparency or a difficult personality per se. What I believe it to be is a situation where people with a broader world view have encountered the vestiges of the old paradigms. Authenticity is not a flaw, nor should it be seen as an “act” of transparency. This is courage. These are actions that just might help save the world.

I have always stated that the Web gives the masses the potential to do just that, and it is clear that we can, via our communities and social networks, improve ourselves and gain more enlightened global perspectives that are based in truth and forgiveness rather than lies and manipulation. Idealistic? You bet. Optimistic, well, yes, but it’s not like I believe that this won’t take a very long time or that it will be a successful endeavor. I just feel it terribly, terribly important that we all realize what’s going on. The testing of boundaries and breaking them are part of this shift toward a world where honesty will truly be the best policy. Breaking those boundaries will cause pain and bruising for us all as we go through it, but go through it we must or the chance to better ourselves as individuals and society at large might pass us by.

Derek reflects on lessons learned:

“Communication between partners is mandatory. And you cannot communicate with someone who is not communicating with you.”

I agree with all my heart, and would like to open this idea up even further. Communication between all of us – real communication – from the heart and without lies or agendas – is and will long remain the foundation of hope for all of us. For after all, not only shall the truth set us free from the bounds of our lies, but it will open up an opportunity for forgiveness and acceptance for being the diamonds in the rough that all of us are.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 19:37 | Comments (21)

Sunday 13 May 2007

How Private Are You?

We are entering an age where anyone with an ounce of savvy can figure out who we are, what we do, where we live, who our family members are and so on. Me, I gave up a while back and have left myself to fate.

Most people can’t afford that. With family and children and loved ones, privacy can be very important.

But for me, truly? I believe privacy is dead. It means being braver, but maybe I have that luxury because I’m not a spouse or a parent.

What about you? Is privacy dead for you?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 22:49 | Comments (55)

Thursday 10 May 2007

Blue Sky: Web Browser, Standards and Interop Summit, XTech Paris

In Paris this May 15th, XTech 2007, Molly.Com, Inc. and Useful Information Company have combined resources to join industry influentials and peers for the first annual Browser, Standards and Interop Summit in parallel with the XTech conference.

The Summit will consist of an open meeting of as many browser vendors, standards advocates, W3C and related standards supporters as we can gather. We will also have workgroups and an open mike session so everyone can be heard.

The day will be open to observation for interested journalists (particularly bloggers, podcasters and videocasters) based on available space. Participants will include representatives from Opera Software, Mozilla, Microsoft Corporation and others. It’s an opportunity to make voices heard in a more neutral, open discussion outside the vendor or standards groups themselves.

As Web developers and designers are all too aware, a lot of our effort goes into skirting round the inconsistencies in web browsers. We care about giving our users the best experience possible, so we take the time. A lot of time.

We can save a lot of that time if we also tackle the root causes: unclear, problematic standards and related issues with browser interoperability. While standards can provide the palette from which the next revisions of browsers take features, interoperability work can fix things in the near term, and for the future, getting us back to the original platform and user agent agnostic vision of the Web.

Both Useful Information Company and Molly.Com, Inc. are splitting the event room cost. Vendors and participants will be required to provide their own travel and lodging, there will be no sponsorships taken from anyone although volunteer opportunities to assist with the Summit in a number of ways, such as providing refreshments, are available.

  • When: Tuesday 15 June 2007
  • Location: Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel / XTech, Paris, France
  • Room: TBA
  • Cost: FREE
  • Time: 09:00 – 17:00, interested attendees are welcome to join at any point during the day

Hope to see you there! Please do let us know via comments if you’re interested.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 07:31 | Comments (414)

Monday 7 May 2007

Molly Asks You: HTML, hasLayout and The Meaning of “Framework”

I’ve decided to ask some help with three areas I need to understand better:

  • What are the most critical issues we need to solve regarding the current fragmenting state of HTML (and XHTML)?
  • Please can someone explain hasLayout in two clear sentences or less?
  • What does the word “Framework” mean to you?

Any input will be most appreciated!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:32 | Comments (53)

Friday 4 May 2007

Our Greatest Fear

For many years I’ve looked for a book of wisdom. Even a page would do! But no, it comes down to a simple passage by Marianne Willamson. Tonight, chatting with some friends, I realized this is my code for life.

I’m not so much into the God thing, I’m not that girl. But I love the sentiment of this speech and I always will:

Excerpt from Return to Love

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine,
we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 18:35 | Comments (30)

Wednesday 2 May 2007

Getting POSH

For those who haven’t heard about plain old semantic HTML, well, lookout. Even if it takes YADA (yet another damned acronym), leading thinkers within the microformats community have decided we should all get POSH.

The idea behind POSH is to use an acronym a la AJAX to quickly disseminate the idea of semantic markup. POSH principles are just plain good practice, but when I first heard the acronym I balked and felt it wasn’t semantic. Today, Tantek decided to cure me of that apparent misperception and has made me a POSH convert, as this photo shows:


The fab Cyra Richardson, whom I work with at Microsoft and who was part of this silliness, pointed us to some Spice Girls lyrics. I’ve taken her most posh modifications to the song one step further and would like to offer a snippet here to the community as the POSH theme song:

POSH Up Your Site!

When you’re feeling sad and low
We will take you where you gotta go
Smiling, dancing, everything is free
All you need is positivity

Colours of the world
POSH up your site
Every boy and every girl
POSH up your site
People of the world
POSH up your site

Float it to the left
If you’re having a good time
Float it to the right
If you know that you feel fine
z-index to the front
Uh Uh go round
position it to the left
If you’re having a good time
position it to the right
If you know that you feel fine
Webdevs to the front
Hi Ci Ya Hold Tight

The original lyrics are here. Please feel free to modify the song to your own POSH style.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 22:04 | Comments (41)

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