Writing from March 2000

People are stupid

I've been arguing with myself over whether to write something online for some time and this is the reason I've frequently returned to. I don't feel I've earned the right to start publishing my views on anything but whenever I hear stupid people exhibiting what passes for their knowledge I realise how low the barrier to entry is and I tell myself I should assert my ability to step over it (simply pick up the nearest Sunday paper lifestyle supplement or pick a newspaper/magazine columnist at random to realise why you too have something to say).


In Personal on 15 March 2000. Permalink

It’s all coming together nicely

It's strange, but wonderful, when so many things click into place. Or, rather than clicking into place, slowly coalescing into recognisable form like some gorgeous but useless Flash interface.


In Personal on 18 March 2000. Permalink

Go outside

A midday call to my sister, only slightly coherent, my brain still whirling from everything I'm reading in an effort to meet deadlines. I mentioned in passing that most of the people I met this week update their websites every day, in the same way I might have mentioned they all flew in from San Francisco or they all liked watching West Wing.[1]

"How weird," she said.

It hadn't occurred to me this might be unusual. Perspective is good.

[1] They didn't all fly in from San Francisco and I don't know if they enjoy West Wing.

In Personal on 19 March 2000. Permalink

The caravan

My mother sent me photos of the old caravan. For as long as I can remember, more than 25 years, my parents have owned a caravan at the Naze Marine Holiday Park in the English seaside town of Walton-on-the-Naze. 25+ years is a long time in the sea air and on my escape weekends from London over recent years it was obvious the green and white caravan was suffering. The wonderful salty smell that lingered in clothes for days after holidays, breathed in to bring back memories, was tinged with a damp more serious than that which simply caused the salt to solidify. The thin white ceiling boards were buckling, furry mould creeping from the corners; less fun than the occasional leaks from summer storms dripping into old saucepans. The vivid orange curtains (well, it was a child of the 70s), which accentuated the sun's glow, had needed occasional patches over the years but, framed by the fake wood panels peeling from the walls, they were merely doing their best to put a bright, brave face on a doomed situation.


In Personal on 20 March 2000. Permalink


Maura wrote about which albums she'd put in a jukebox, and while I hate to appear like I have no ideas of my own, she asked for other lists and I can't resist such self-indulgent High Fidelity-type challenges.


In Music on 22 March 2000. 1 comment. Permalink


I can clutch at straws for years. Long after a spark failed to light, a few well-read emails or letters each year is enough to fuel daydreams and bring the hopeful illusion of closeness. Five years, ten years on, I should know it was never mine to lose.

In Personal on 24 March 2000. Permalink


You'd think I'd got better things to do than be here at 3.30am finishing yet another rickety personal content management system. And you'd be right: three scenarios to build for Tuesday; a letter long owed to someone back home; a pile of books I really want to read but are always losing the battle for my attention to this screen; my secret web project which is nearly finished and could probably be really very nearly finished indeed now if I hadn't been diverted by this little self-indulgent project.

And I haven't looked at these colours on a PC, so they're probably dark and dingy, or scarily saturated, rather than simply uncharacteristically jolly.

In Personal on 26 March 2000. Permalink

It’s a future, kinda.

So if I write something just after midnight, do I give it the date of "today", like I would with my diary, or of "tomorrow", like I would if this were a real publishing deal, meeting deadlines?

Like it matters. When busy, repurpose! I was working on some scenarios for the past few days, and made an attempt to present the results in a different manner. This is a possible scenario for the recording industry in 2010... I don't know where to start picking holes in its worth as a scenario, even assuming it makes any sense. It's turned out as more of a sketch, but it was much more fun to write than it could have been.


In Misc on 28 March 2000. Permalink

I can’t stop

Someone returned to Haddock after weeks off the list. It's strange how quickly someone you only communicated with via a mailing list can feel suddenly distant. Anyway, she said she felt strangely more cheerful after she cut herself free, and wondered whether she'd soon be back to relentless cynicism, as is customary on the list.


In Personal on 30 March 2000. Permalink

Blue things, white things, pinky-brownish things

Yesterday, given that it was a gorgeous and not too humid Houston day, I went for my first open-air swim of the year. One of the worst things about swimming is that being short sighted the scene dissolves into heavy gaussian blur moments before I move from the hard white thing into the wet blue thing. This isn't really a problem until pinky-brownish things appear, moving along the hard white thing. Most of these pinky-brownish things are just passing by, and I keep my head down (well, as much as I can, given that I'm no good at putting my face in the water, a disability which I'm sure hinders my graceful swimming ability no end) and look like I'm concentrating on swimming, in an effort to avoid the obligation to exchange polite greetings.


In Personal on 31 March 2000. 1 comment. Permalink