Noises in the Night

I originally posted this on Twitter on the night of May 17th, 2022, but I’ve since turned on a tweet-deleting app that blew away most of the thread, so the following is a recreation for the sake of posterity.

Tonight we heard the strangest sounds coming from the garage. We have an air purifier that we run in the bedroom for white noise so it drowned them out at first, but they sounded like muffled voices.

The voices cut in and out suddenly, but they were loud and I would swear they were coming from right behind our heads as we lay in bed.

I turned off the purifier and the sounds stopped, of course. Still, I went outside to investigate. We share the garage with our landlord, so I opened it up and poked around on both sides, but didn’t see anything obvious.

Grabbed a flashlight and walked around the other side of the house, which backs up to the neighbor’s yard, but nobody was outside. Our house doesn’t have a connecting wall or anything, but maybe people talking could carry in a weird way?

Gave up and went back inside, and as soon as I did, the sounds started back up again. This time, though, they were different.

Now it sounded like a woman moaning theatrically, like loud, pornographic sex. And then it cut off just as suddenly.

I’ve had loud neighbors before. I’ve heard loud sex out of someone’s window late at night, but we don’t have any neighbors like that at our current place. The sounds seemed increasingly unlikely.

I had a new theory, though, so I grabbed the flashlight again and went back outside. I didn’t want to have to worry about these inexplicable sounds in the middle of the night.

I opened up the garage again and went to my landlord’s half where he keeps his workbench, and sure enough, there it was:

His Bluetooth speaker, still plugged in, little light blinking. He’s out of town right now, but he forgot to turn it off, see, and someone must have decided to try connecting to it for shits and giggles.

So, naturally, they played porn over a stranger’s speakers at 10:30 at night and we thought our house was haunted.


The Enforcer

This week’s One Page Challenge had some tricky elements, but I managed to come up with something late one night.

Prompt, Week

  • A tough, one-sided phone conversation.
  • A baboon.

Title: The Enforcer
Logline: A nervous man answers a phone call offered by an intimidating baboon wearing a suit.


A Conversation Before Dinner

I took a break from writing One Page Challenges for a few weeks, but decided it was time to jump back into the fray.

Prompt, Week #109

  • A SINGLE action scene.
  • The line of dialog “I told you it wasn’t me”

Title: A Conversation Before Dinner
Logline: A woman interrupts her husband’s dinner prep with a nasty fight about a shady deal.

Blog Web

Back to WordPress

I’ve been neglecting this site for a while now in favor of posting about books at Full of Words. I’m always reading, after all, and always have something to say about what I just read. It’s time for a change, however, so I’m relaunching in WordPress.

In the last year or so, I grew tired of this site’s look and feel, which hadn’t changed since I first switched to Jekyll. I decided to try to find a new theme, and immediately ran into a few roadblocks. First off, there aren’t nearly as many good themes for Jekyll, especially not free ones. I’m sure this is because anyone using Jekyll is expected to just make their own theme. Then, I realized that if I did find a new theme, I’d have to rebuild my site to fit. Jekyll themes are generally purpose-built for a specific type or style of site.

I didn’t have the patience to build a new theme from scratch. I’m also not sure I could make something as nice looking as the basic themes that come free with WordPress. For a long while, that meant that I didn’t bother.

The more I thought about it, the more that switching back to WordPress started sounding appealing. If I switched back, I wouldn’t need to spend as much time tinkering to get my site looking the way I wanted. It helps that I stuck with WordPress for Full of Words. Over time, I grew to prefer the Gutenberg block system over the classic editor despite my initial skepticism.

What finally decided things for me is that I have new writing that I want to share in my portfolio. It was time to update my site to reflect what I’ve been working on since Camp Camp season 4 ended. When I had some free time, I started the process of importing my posts and portfolio into a WordPress installation. I finished the basic configuration a little while ago and finally flipped the switch today.

This new version of my site is hosted on an Amazon Lightsail instance running Plesk Obsidian, which makes website administration much easier than the Bitnami instance that I originally used to host Full of Words. Updating PHP on Bitnami would have required a complicated installation process, versus just clicking a button in the Plesk dashboard.

I’m glad to finally have this done! For starters, I’ve updated my writing page with information about my animated pilot, Planetsiders, and the many short scripts I’ve written based on prompts from the Script Hive Discord server.

Films Pop Culture

Dancing With An American in Paris

The dancing in An American in Paris is gorgeous.

We saw it at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic playing the score, and we were lucky to have pretty great seats dead center. If you come away with nothing from this movie but the dancing and, to a lesser degree, the singing, then I think you’ll have a wonderful time.

If you pay any attention to the story, however, you’ll probably raise a few eyebrows. The woman sitting behind me kept hmmm-ing at all of the many problematic elements.


New iPad, New Impressions

I recently bought a new iPad, my third so far. My first was an iPad 2 bought all the way back in 2012, when I still worked for Apple. I remember liking it but not using it as much as I thought I would. My second iPad was a 2017 model that became my primary reading device, easily overtaking my Kindle. My new iPad is an 11 inch Pro model, by far the beefiest iPad I’ve ever owned, and the only one with more than 32gb of storage.

Storage was one of the main reasons I decided to buy a new iPad. I kept running out of space on the 2017 iPad, which tended to move all of my apps to the cloud every time I put it to sleep. I splurged for 256gb on the new one, and downloaded a bunch of HD comics from ComiXology as soon as I set it up. I could probably fill the space with nothing but unread comics from my collection.


Get Shorty is My New Favorite Show

Recommending new TV shows to your friends is a social faux pas at this point. Everyone already has plenty of shows to watch, and who are you to insist they give up even more of their precious time?

The good news is that even though Get Shorty originally aired on EPIX, it should now be available on more popular streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime if you check over at JustWatch.

That’s all a roundabout way of saying that Get Shorty is one of the few shows I want to recommend to people. The Good Place was the last show I could recommend without reservations, but Get Shorty is so good that I don’t mind risking offending my friends with their never-ending watch-lists.


Where I’m at Right Now

I’ve had a tough year so far.

When I last checked in on my writing goals back in December, I talked about how the US election did a number on my motivation and ability to focus.

I sort of recovered from the post-election blues in January and February of this year… but then my cat, Jackson, got very sick. I ultimately had to put him to sleep on March 16th.

Jackson was sick for a while – since at least the middle of 2016 – but he took a turn in February and went downhill very fast. The whole thing was incredibly stressful and absolutely devastating, even though I knew on an intellectual level that my cats were reaching the age where health problems could be a concern.

Needless to say, I was pretty much useless while he was sick and after he died.


The Current State of my Writing Goals

Well, I had a good run while it lasted. I managed to write almost every day for more than half a year. No matter how you look at it, that’s a major accomplishment, especially compared to every other time I’ve tried to write every day.

I started missing days in the middle of the summer – first because we went on vacation, and then later for less compelling reasons – but I didn’t completely blow it until November.

First, however, I spent most of October working on a script. It was hard work, and I wrote a lot of pages in a fairly short amount of time. I delivered my draft at the end of the month, but I haven’t gone back to it since.


June and July By the Numbers

If you thought my last post in this series was belated, this one takes the cake!

I just barely stuck to my writing goals in June and July. I had more than one day where I seriously considered throwing in the towel and calling the whole thing off, but I still managed to soldier on (for the most part)

We went to Palm Springs in the middle of June, right after Amy’s job ended. I gave myself permission to skip writing for those days since it was a vacation. I knew I’d have a hard time getting anything done after hanging out poolside all day, and I wasn’t wrong.