Wednesday, April 30, 2003
By Paul Ford
Making a terrible noise.
I'd had this long meeting. Now I was on my way to a second meeting, running 10 minutes later than the 30 minutes later I'd warned them I'd
be, and, arriving at the right building, waiting long moments for the slow elevator, I got on, punched the 12, and, given
a minute alone as I ascended, I thought, I don't know what to do about [certain key choices and relationships in my life]. I just don't have any clue. Then I leaned my head against the back wall, and moaned (MP3, 248K).
The elevator stopped suddenly, on the second floor, and my moan petered out. A blonde man got into the car. The door closed.
He eyed me. I was a full foot taller than him.
“This elevator is going up?”
“To the 12th floor.”
“Shit.” He took a breath, shuffled his feet. At about the fifth floor, he asked, “That you screaming?”
“Yeah.” That didn't seem to be enough. “I had a frustrating meeting.”
“Just making sure.”
“One of those days.”
“At least I wasn't naked.”
“I appreciate that.”
. . . . .
This piece is sponsored by Christian Crumlish, who in addition to sending me cold, hard scratch, has done me the service of telling me about the
occasional typo. I think you should visit Christian's A Supposedly Staggering Infinite Work of Heartbreaking Illumination I'll Never Read.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
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An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
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Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.