Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blogger Beware: Copyright

YIKES!! =:-0  <---click here

I am so guilty, guilty, guilty!  I love putting funny pictures on my blog.  But I apparently, innocently, have possibly broken copyright law.  But as they say, ignorance of the law is no defense.  I will probably be starting the odious job of sorting through over 400 posts to make sure I'm not a scofflaw.  (Although the thought of three hots and a cot ... nah, won't go there!)  

We learned a great deal about copyright in library school.  I should have known better.  One of the best videos we watched in class was this one

It's so easy to assume that pictures found on Google are free for the taking.  I mean, practically every web page you read has a "share" button on it.  Maybe copyright law is losing its sharp edges in this day of the wide distribution of information, data and images.  I know the law is constantly changing as the formats with which we access information change on a daily basis.  I wonder what the powers-that-be are working on for tomorrow.  Only 20 years ago, my cell phone was the size (and weight) of a brick.  I remember the first time I looked at AOL (remember that awesome beeeee ---- brrrrrr ----- beeee ksssssh?)  I felt like I was looking at an alien from the planet Smorgashboroghagip.

Think about how much our lives have changed recently:  As early as 20 years ago, I never heard the term "Third Culture Kid".  Getting together with my classmates from all the schools I attended was just a dream.  Now we speak daily on a Facebook page.  Meetups in real life (IRL in textspeak!  See I can talk the talk!) happen all the time.  The closest group of girlfriends that I have was formed on AOL's MomsOnline.  We have been together over 15 years now, both IRL and IVL (I made that one up ... in virtual life).  And look how FAST things change:  I remember the wonderment that I had when (1) we got our first color TV, and (2) it had a REMOTE CONTROL!!  Wow!  The Jetsons' world can't be too far off!  We were the last folks on the block to have a microwave.  Now having a computer is commonplace (tell that to my mom who is still without) and people look at you funny when you say "I don't have e-mail".  Believe me: happens every day.

I guess my point is, if anyone notices that I have snagged and used an image of theirs, it was completely unintentional.  A friend of mine who is a photographer slapped me on the wrist when I shared one of her photos of my family, and I corrected that immediately.  I am a victim of the times.  But I suppose it's like seeing an armored truck driving along with money spilling out of the back.  I could just run along picking it up and think, "Wow!  Free money!" knowing full well that it's not mine, never was, never will be.  Photos can be someone's hard-earned livelihood, their art, their property.  And that's not free!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Where the Hell is Matt?

I heard about Matt several years ago.  For some reason he started traveling the world and videotaping himself with people of all nations, cultures and creeds, just dancing.  The international language of dancing.  No words, no languages, just movement, celebration, joy.  Every tribe, every nationality, every culture has a dance.  (How many of you can say you spent your P.E. classes learning tinikling?)  From the most primitive cultures in the Pacific, to the tribes of Africa, we all dance.  We've all seen a baby who has just learned to stand, moving his body with joy; dancing.

Matt has made so many videos.  In this one he even goes to North Korea (wonder how he explained THAT one to the people issuing his visa.  "Yes, I just want to come to your country to dance with your people.")  He is in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, Israel, Syria, Pakistan, among many, many others (including Quezon City, the Philippines -- okay there's my plug for my adopted home).  And the commonality in all the places?  Joy.  Smiles.  Happiness.  Happy and giggling and just being silly.  Doesn't this prove that we are all just the same?  We're not Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Taoists.  We're just people who dance.

My very favorite is at the very end, when Matt is shown dancing with his wife (I assume) and their baby on their shoulders.

I dare you to watch this video without cracking a smile.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nostalgic Manila

American School classmate Lou Gopal waxes nostalgic about Old Manila ...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Traveling Alone

Check out this blog, called  Legal Nomads:

It's an interesting journal written by a former New York City attorney who chucked it all to travel the world.  I have to admit I'm a little extremely envious.  You would think that all the traveling I have done in my life would have made me brave about traveling alone.  I have done it a lot, but it has involved a lot of nervous stomachs and nail biting.  As early as age 16 I flew from New Orleans to Manila, alone, stopping in Hawaii to visit a friend.  The plane was delayed in Dallas, making my arrival time in Honolulu a little later than expected, but I managed.

The most difficult trip I made was at 18, when I flew from Singapore (where my parents were posted) to London.  First of all, the flight was cancelled, after my mom had seen me through immigration and left to go home.  When we got the news that we weren't flying that night, I called mom repeatedly, but there was no answer at the house.  She was watching TV and didn't hear the ringing.  I finally got ahold of a family friend, who went to the house and threw stones at the windows to get mom's attention, letting her know of my predicament.  (Oh, by the way the Dutch national soccer team was on the flight, not too hard on the eyes, but no English).  The flight left the next morning, finally, but after landing in Bangkok, Colombo and Karachi, we arrived in Amsterdam in the wee hours of the morning.  No flights for another 6 hours.  The airline bused us to a hotel, where I lay awake in a jet-lagged stupor, worrying about missing my wake-up call.  I finally arrived in London, where I spent the summer with a British family as their nanny, and went to summer school at Richmond College.

More recently, I flew to Barcelona, Spain, to meet my to-be husband for two nights before he & his family boarded a ship for a Mediterranean cruise.  I had been in London to visit said family-for-whom-I-nannied, and jumped at the chance for a quick reunion with my sweetie.  I got there two days before Mitch did.  I resisted the urge to hole up in my hotel room, and bought a ticket for a city bus tour.  I felt disoriented, uneasy and scared at first.  It's hard not having anyone to "ooh and aah" with.  I went out to dinner that night (it was either that or starve!) and found myself sitting at a table being ignored.  It's almost as if the staff couldn't fathom that a woman would go out to eat alone.  I finally gave up, going to a different place where I got served.  I felt awkward and uncomfortable.

The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

I had planned ahead though.  At the time I was in grad school, studying library science.  I got in touch with a library professor at the University of Barcelona, and she graciously agreed to meet with me and give me a tour of the school.  After the tour, she and several members of the faculty took me to lunch at a tapas bar.  They kept re-filling my wine glass and bringing me plate after plate of delicious, but not identifiable, delicacies.  I think one of them was covered in squid ink.  When the lunch ended, we poured out of the restaurant, and they said, "Hey!  It's been fun!  See you later!  The subway is over there!"  I was completely unaware of where I was.  Did I mention that it was hot?  Did I mention the copious amounts of wine?

I staggered walked into a hotel lobby where I got some definite directions.  I found my way onto the subway and back to my hotel, no worse for the wear.

I won't even go into the story about when I spent the night on the floor of the Detroit airport.  'Nuff said.

Bottom line is, I may have traveled a lot, but my hat is off to this woman who has made it her life's work to wander the globe alone.  Wish I could have some of her chutzpah!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

An International School Regret ~ Unsettled TCK

Sometimes we fail to look at things we take for granted.  (And I promise I will start posting again really soon.)

An International School Regret ~ Unsettled TCK