Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finally I Sleep

Spiralling down low
To that place that I go to
When I'm exhausted
When every muscle aches
And the darkness overwhelms
Time is meaningless
There is a stillness
Clawing at me, sharp fingered
But my thoughts escape
They hummingbird wing
Swirling around in the dark
Eddies of my thoughts
The rest of me drained
Bloodless, empty carcass, mine
Harvested. Empty.
I feel you with me
Coming to me in the dark
My lover, my friend
Frenzied, beating wings
Calm and still, safe in your nest
Head tucked under wing
Safe in the darkness
Sheltered in your loving arms
Finally, I sleep

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Max Bell

My dear friend, Max Bell, suffered terribly from COPD. He lived somewhere on the Northern Left Coast and we never met face-to-face. He could be a cantankerous bastard but I understood why. He made me think. He made me laugh. He made me smile. And, I loved him dearly.

He had a pet hedgehog. That alone made him remarkably special to me. But beyond the simple things, he believed in fairness, equality, common decency, all of those things that would make the world a much better place.

This morning I received an email from him with the subject line, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss. It was a simple message signed by his mom:

Max is no more. He left this planet last Saturday quietly without pain or fear.
In place of a memorial please hug someone or vote democratic. Either would please him.

He contributed an essay to The Creativity Blog Project that will run on August 1st. Even his bio made me laugh when I read it and I still smile every time I see it.

Max Bell is just a guy with a hedgehog, a computer, and an internet connection.

Thank you, Max, for making my life just a little bit brighter just by knowing you. I am so very happy that you are finally free from the pain you endured with such grace and so very, very sad that I can't talk to you anymore.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Love Trumps All

I see the world in colors
Rhythms, cadence, music
Nothing is just black and white
And love trumps all.

Suddenly Intense

Suddenly intense
A thunderstorm crashes through
I miss you, dammit.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This space for rent:



Not really, but I might as well since I'm not keeping my creative content here. My draft count for this site is currently at 95. I wonder if I can get the drafts to outnumber the posts before I put everything back up again on some as yet undetermined date in the too far future.

Twisting and Twirling

Twisting and twirling
My hair free from its clip
Unwinding my wetness
Finger combing and fluffing
Tresses restrained far too long
Finding a painful snag

Admitting I won't sleep
My brain has spun itself on
Rising from my temporary grave
To dance again in the light
Tits tumbling from weak restraint
Pocketful of change on the quilt

Fumbling to find any instrument
With which to scribble
What won't make sense later
Words, like my mane,
Twisting and twirling
When all I wanted was a nap.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

On Freedom and copyrights

If you are a creative and a customer of Dropbox hopefully you are aware of the current brewhaha going on now. Dropbox changed their TOS (terms of service) and a stampede for the exit door ensued.

A safe, inexpensive, reliable way to back up our data in all its various forms is something just about every computer user needs. Dropbox came along and offered a wonderful solution. They are a cloud based (somewhere in the site...on their virtual servers) service where you can easily upload your files to their secure servers and then access them from any location that has internet access and even more importantly, share folders with other users. Every time you save a file dropbox keeps the older versions too. So, if something happens to your file, you can always retrieve the last save or any prior versions.

As an editor, and voice actor I have found dropbox to be invaluable. Before I started using dropbox, my battery died on my laptop while open office was open. I was 3 weeks into editing a novel and the entire file was corrupted. After drying my tears, I moved the original manuscript to dropbox and started over with a new open office version that I made my notes and changes to. Every time I hit save (or the program auto saved) I knew it was safe. When collaborating across 1500 miles on an audio project, a reliable way to transfer files in raw format is critical. If I have to use email then I have to compress the file and in doing so the audio engineer or editor on the other end has a lot less information to work with. With dropbox I could share files with all the people I work with easily.

The problem with the new TOS is that the language implies that dropbox is laying claim to the copyright of everything stored in their service and can not be held responsible if they use anything in any way without the true copyright holder's permission or compensation. They are saying that by agreeing to their TOS a customer is giving them permission to use their copyrighted material and also that the person putting it on their service owns the rights to whatever they are storing there.

In my personal case, I do not own the copyrights to a lot of the materials I was storing there. I am simply working on someone else's work. For that reason, when I was made aware of this change, I had to remove all works that are not mine. I can't risk someone else's copyrights. If something should happen to someone else's intellectual property while in my care I can't imagine what that would do to me not just as an editor but as a friend.

Now, I'm sure this all started when an attorney for Dropbox thought they were making their TOS better for Dropbox. It sounds like legalise designed for the CYA approach to business. Unfortunately for Dropbox I don't want you covering your corporate ass at the expense of my, and my clients and friends, rights as a creator. Since this started, they have been updating and improving the language of their TOS multiple times. I understand they need to take care of business and safeguard their company. But as a consumer, I have rights too. Corporate America seems to think their rights supersede mine. So, while the attorneys and CEO's have the right to create whatever TOS they want, I have the right to chose to not use your product.

So, all the files my creative friends and clients have entrusted to my care are now safely down out of the clouds and I'm back to the old fashioned backup of using an additional hard drive while I wait for Dropbox to decide what their TOS is or will be. And now, I'm also tasked with looking for secure alternatives for file sharing.

Seems that celebrating freedom this year has taken on a slightly different meaning in terms of freedom to own copywritten material...

Happy 4th of July.

For additional thoughts (and more in-depth analysis of the legalese) on this issue, please visit my friend Dan Sawyer's site