At 6:59pm, I heard what sounded like a woman’s scream and a thump.

It came from the other half of the duplex, and it was followed by frantic dog barking.

I spent 5 minutes trying to assure myself that it was nothing. Maybe one of the four dogs in residence knocked something over and yelped, and my suggestible imagination was responsible for it sounding like a woman’s voice.

Feeling a little ridiculous, I walked over to the apartment and rang the doorbell twice, but there was no answer. That nixed my “It was my neighbor, but she’s fine” theory. The lights were off in the front room, but what little I could see of the rest of the apartment was brightly lit. I didn’t know what her car looks like, so I had no way of verifying if she was actually home. I thought I remembered hearing a person-sized being walking around, but the neighbor was playing host to a Great Dane the size of a Manhattan apartment, and I wasn’t really paying attention.

I was 95% sure that there was absolutely nothing to worry about, but that 5% rankled me. The dogs were still barking ten minutes later. If someone was hurt and I did nothing, I don’t know how I could forgive myself.

I called my mom for advice, and she suggested I call 911, because the Emergency folks would have experience dealing with this kind of situation, and they could advise me. I did so, and they dispatched an ambulance just in case and told me to try to track down someone with a key. I called the landlady, but she didn’t have a copy, and she was in the Valley, 30-plus minutes away.

The ambulance arrived, and I told them the situation. We were joined by the neighbor above the unit in question (it’s a two-story building, split down the middle for four units total). He didn’t hear the noise in question, as he was watching TV, but as he’d been her neighbor a while, he had insight we didn’t. He tried calling her cell, and when she didn’t pick up, he left a message, telling her to call him. More indecision! Fortunately, he also knew what her car looks like, and he was able to confirm that her car was not parked behind the building. As there were plenty of empty spaces, we could be reasonably sure she wasn’t parked on the street.

The ambulance folks peeked through as many windows as they could reach (most of them are pretty far up, as the first floor is a short staircase above ground level), but they didn’t see anything. We were forced to conclude that it was a false alarm. I apologized for wasting their time, but the upstairs neighbor and my landlady both thanked me for being vigilant, so I felt a little less absurd.

The dogs continued to bark until 8:30, then were silent for about ten minutes. Then at 8:39, they started HOWLING in an eerie, unearthly chorus, before returning to silence a minute or so later.

And that was my evening. I can’t wait until my neighbor gets home.

Side note:

“What’s up with the blogspot address?” you may ask. Good question! Assuming you asked it, I mean.

This is just a temporary measure while I set up a new blog with WordPress. Blogger decided to end FTP publishing, which is super lame, and I haven’t been able to muster the time, energy, and braincycles to get the old blog converted and the new one set up yet. Before I could even start, Step Zero was moving my site to, which I did today. Step 0.5 comes tomorrow, once all the DNS info has percolated across the globe. Then I can begin!

Curious as to what I’ve been up to in the past eleventy billion years I haven’t been blogging, because you have no patience for Twitter? I attempt to catch my dear readers up to speed here!

I took Kristin to Creperie today! I had the prosciutto, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato crepe and part of a strawberry, banana, nutella crepe. She had the sugar-lemon crepe and a strawberry nutella crepe. Good LORD this place is amazing! I swear, they put crack in these things. I’m taking another group of friends on Friday.

Afterward, Kristin took a bunch of photos of me pretending to be a psychotic, murderous queen for reference for one of her paintings. I had ridiculous amounts of fun! Why didn’t I go into acting again? She also gave me a two-minute skateboarding tutorial, which was super-snazzy.

She said she’ll send me the reference photos when she gets home. I can’t wait to see them!

Something really unsettling happened yesterday! I nearly walked into some dude on the street, and for a split-second, I thought he was my father. I got that blast of dad-recognition, followed by intense, joyous surprise, all of which was over in an instant. Then I saw he looked absolutely nothing like my dad, and the moment was gone. So weird.

Yay, my LoudTwitter drivebys are working! Now all my silly one-sentence musings can be encapsulated in one daily post, so I don’t spam people’s flists.

So! Last night was kind of hilarious. Boy came over at 9 to cook me a flower pot chicken. I chopped up veggies and raided my leftover stash for rice while he took care of chicken-related duties. We stuck it in the oven, only to find an hour later that the deeper meat was still woefully undercooked. So we stuck it back in for thirty more minutes, to no avail.

At this point, it was 11:30, so we raided my leftover stash once more and had a feast of teriyaki chicken with sauteed onion and rice, thai chicken crepe, and cashew chicken. I’m a big chicken fan, clearly. It was most excellent! And by the time all the rest of the food had been warmed up, the flower pot chicken had been adequately cooked, so I’ll have some lovely leftovers from that. We win! I love getting free lunch delivered every day at work.

Check out the trailer for Bolt, Disney’s next offering. It looks like crazy fun!

PHEW! If you’re like me and you have a ridiculous Firefox tab addiction that must be quelled with Tab Mix Plus, never fear! The dev version is compatible with FF3. This just saved my life, insofar as a convenient internet browsing tool can have any influence on one’s vital status.

I’m amused that I’ve blogged more about Firefox 3 in the past day than I have about my life in the past I don’t know how long.

Sooooo… Life is getting saner. I had to stay at work on Sunday until 2:30am, but I got out Monday and Tuesday at the usual 7. Monday, I recorded and edited the podcast (finally!), which will be posted Thursday or Friday, when Fred returns from his trip. Last night, I saw Hulk, which was the exact flavor of mindless entertainment I needed. It was nice to be able to just sit back in a comfortable theater chair and turn off my brain and watch 3D animation I didn’t have to make. I went to sleep early and woke up this morning with that weird, simultaneously pleasant and painful feeling you get when your muscles finally relax after being tensed a long time. Good stuff. Hopefully, this momentary sanity is not just a passing phase.

Welcome to Things I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Blogged About!

  • My parents came to town this past weekend. A splendid time was had by all, and now my room finally looks like someone actually lives there! Huzzah!
  • Friday night, I took my parents and my aunt to see Curtains, which was all kinds of fun. Boo to the haters!
  • Sunday morning, we participated in this Obama event. T’was fun! We were all part of the first A. Some photos on the event’s facebook site: Mah Daddy! And big panorama: I’m just to the left of center (hurr!), in a red sweater. The video should be up later today. I’ll post it when it becomes available.
  • Got a ticket to Flight of the Conchords! Envy me!
  • The first Dresden Files comic came out Wednesday, and it’s AWESOME. I could get a sense of how it would work earlier on, reading the script alongside looking at the images, but it’s somehow a completely different experience to see it all put together. It’s a really solid piece of work, and I’m so thrilled to be involved in the project! I can definitely see it drawing new fans in, and the existing fans will love it.
  • YAY. A mixup on Wednesday that had the potential to get very ugly was resolved yesterday with minimal drama and fuss. What a relief!

Stuff that is Great:

Upcoming Awesomeness from Disney/Pixar, in further detail!

J.K. Rowling and the Courtroom of Muggles

Brian Dettmer: insanely creative and gorgeous book autopsies

Makani finished her gorgeous Deathly Hallows illustration of Bella about to Sweeney Hermione.

Scoop on upcoming Tori Amos comic

Near-Impossible Mario Hack

Doctor Who April Fools’ Joke

Adipose Plushie! I want one! It and Squidaped Oyt can be BFFs.

Happy Leap Day, my lovelies!

Last night, I went with Kait and Steven to see The Farnsworth Invention, Aaron Sorkin’s play about the invention of television. It was excellent–far better than the trailer on their website or the scathing review from the New York Times would lead one to believe.

Unfortunately, Hank Azaria was replaced by an understudy for our show, but the replacement gave a very solid performance. His costar, Jimmi Simpson, give a heartrending portrayal of a man struggling to keep pace with his own genius, and his transition from buoyant spirit and imagination slowly giving way to frustration, exhaustion, feelings of betrayal, and finally utter despair were felt palpably throughout the theatre. The moment at which I finally recognized where I’d seen him before–playing one of the MacPoyles on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia–only made me respect him as an actor even more.

I’m so glad I got to see it before it closed March 2nd! Kait wins super-love for suggesting we go.

The linkspam continues:

Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far. I love my show with the silly name! April 4th, people!

McSpaced is go. Fortunately, it’s on Fox, so if it displays even a fraction of a glimmer of Spaced‘s brilliance it’ll probably get canceled in a day.

Google gives free voice mail to San Francisco’s homeless

Obama releases open letter to LGBT folks

Campaign Logos

Stephen Colbert Misses Starbucks

Pregnant woman uses train toilet, baby slips out

…Are Edgar Wright and Diablo Cody a couple? Or is Best Week Ever joking? I only ask because their babies would be AWESOME.

  1. January: Happy Year of Two James Bond!

    Classes: Science and Literature (aka “Classic Sci-Fi Literature and how it was influenced by/how it influenced science and culture and stuff”), Computer Modeling and Animation Applications, Senior Project/Digital Figure Modeling II: Electric Boogaloo, Psychology of Judgments and Decisions, The Parts of CSE 460 I Didn’t Finish Last Semester.

    I found out I was allergic to stuff I’d been using religiously for some six months to treat an infected ear piercing; the irony gods were rolling on the floor. Experienced much upheaval in my class schedule, but eventually worked everything out. Saw Wicked again on Broadway, which was absolutely extraordinary! Saw the Dresden Files TV show, which was less than extraordinary. Was funny.

  2. February: So the last Harry Potter book is coming out a week after the Order of the Phoenix movie?

    Witnessed Ko’s awesomeness in an English department play. Put together a Molly costume for New York Comic Con, but was foiled in my wig bleaching and dyeing attempts. Terror over looming computer science assignments began producing physical side effects. NY Comic Con proved to be AWESOME, with much chillage with Jimmy and Joe, plus autographs from Jim Butcher and Paul Blackthorne (who smiled at me somewhat devastatingly, mmm) and lots of compliments on my wig and fake piercings, mostly from people who assumed they were real. Got the DVD of my work on Boz from last summer’s internship and preened.

  3. March: The product of 12 1/2 hours in the animation lab can be found in my LJ!

    Made an awesome demo reel, but does anybody hire me? Alas. Got White Night a couple weeks in advance, and it was awesome. Got the Summer Knight audio three weeks in advance, and it was awesome as well. Did a guest spot on The Butcher Block, the official Jim Butcher podcast. Wrote fic. Continued to hammer away at academia in general.

  4. April: Oh my god. I just got some absolutely wonderful news that I can’t share with anyone.

    And that news was that I was made a freaking BETA. Also, my SplatterCon!!! shirt was made official merchandise, and I became the news money for Of course, I wasn’t able to truly enjoy these windfalls until I hammered my way through the endless assignments my professors stacked up like a sadistic game of Jenga. Relaxed a bit through more fic. Finished senior project, with rocked so hard there are no words.

  5. May: Wow. I don’t think I should be allowed to cook when my brain is this slagged out on computer science.

    Went kiiiiind of crazy from computer science-related stress. Worth it when I kicked out a 3.72 GPA for the semester, which was my highest at Penn. GOT A JOB! Became News Correspondent for The Butcher Block. Was funny. Drew my now-canon crackship. GRADUATED, avec the awesomeness that is Chungy.

    Road Trip!

    Went through Dinosaur National Monument — invented the Greatest Campfire Dessert Ever, stood At The Corner of Win and Awesome, and met a Graduationsaurus, and went rafting with a couple of guys that wished they were on Mars!

    Drove through Park City — site of the Olympics, but not the site of the awesome zip line we hoped to ride. We ran around in the bobsled tube, however! Stayed in an actual hoteeeeeeel, which was v. nice after sleeping in The Beast, our ginormous tent, several days straight.

    Went to Arches — hiked the Fiery Furnace, which was too cool for words. Took approx 74268 rolls of film!

    Mesa Verde — saw sweet cliff dwellings and sweet museums with stuff from cliff dwellings. My face, however, was less pleased with the situation, as despite my frequent applications of sunblock, it got horribly burned, resulting in much misery. Aloe and moisturizer made it hurt even more.

  6. June: So! Back from the Sappy Lincoln Narratives Road Trip of Win and Awesome, now organizing my hundreds of photographs, attempting to chronicle two and a half weeks of amazement, and packing for New York.

    Road Trip continues!

    Four Corners — was in four states at once! JEEPERS! Took the picture I have fantasized about taking ever since I found out this place existed.

    Grand Canyon — way grander than any canyon I could have imagined in my wildest dreams! Took a further 46823 rolls of film. Bought a cool hat to keep the sun off my face and looked ready to go treasure hunting with Indy. Talked to Dad on the phone, who insisted I visit Antelope Canyon, so I got in the car and raced the setting sun, thinking it only 40 miles away. FALSE. Try 120! You fail, Garmin GPS device! Took some sweet photos and was ultimately glad I did so, though when I finally returned it was to a frantic Renata and Keith, who had reported me as a missing person.

    Zion — Visited accidentally, when Keith thought he was better at reading maps than our GPS. Was SO GLAD HE DID. So much pretty!

    Vegas — Went on a total whim, as it was only like 5 hours away. Went shopping for nice-ish clothes at a thrift store and TRIUMPHED, though Renata somehow lost A Shoe. Chilled with Renata’s friends from camp. Stayed at uncle’s hotel, and he treated us to tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, which was too amazing to comprehend. I keep looking back through the program I bought and thinking “Dude, did I really see that happen?”, and I DID.

    Peach Springs/Grand Canyon Caves/Havasupai — Ate at an awesome restaurant with the most awesome waitress ever, like four times. She gave us free pie! Investigated the Grand Canyon Caves, which were pretty sweet. Was told by the tour guide that they had once been called “Dinosaur Caves” for no legitimate reason except the word “Dinosaur” attracted kidlets like flies to honey, we and had a good laugh at ourselves. Embarked upon the 12-mile walk to Havasupai falls with backpacks heavier than a small child. Walked and walked and walked and walked and arrived in the town and ate dino-shaped chicken nuggets that made me ill and walked and walked and fell asleep on the trail with a mile and a half to go to the falls. Woke with the sun, walked the remaining distance to the falls, GUHed profusely, then promptly turned back and walked and walked and walked and walked, this time pausing to rest approx every five minutes. Keith ran out of water, so Renata and I pitched in with our own supplies. Walked and walked. Keith was struck by heat exhaustion with just over a mile to go, so he and Renata chilled in the shade and I went on for help. The help was utterly unhelpful, and I paid an arm and a leg for small quantities of water and Gatorade. Once reunited, we decided to chill and wait for the sun to set a little more so walking would be easier. Finally made the last mile (briefly interrupting our trek to HEROICALLY STOP A GALLOPING HORSE), took off our shoes, and reveled in my car’s AC. I WALKED A FREAKING MARATHON, YOU GUYS. WITH A BACKPACK THAT WEIGHED MORE THAN ME IN THE SEARING HEAT WITH NOT ENOUGH WATER, IN 30 HOURS. Made it back to Peach Springs just in time to be fed by the aforementioned Awesome Waitress. Zoomed off in a homeward direction! Slept in a motel and gloried in the simple decadence of a shower. The next day, felt like 90-year-old men. Drove, drove, drove, drove all the next day. Finally arrived in Dallas around 3AM! WIN!

    Also in June: Moved to New York and started job, staying in the plush, vacated apartment of my mom’s friend’s friend. Sweeeet. Discovered the glory that is the New York Public Library. Sweeeeter. Wrote fic.

  7. July: Oh my god… We’re getting closer!

    Saw Jonathan Coulton and Vienna Teng in concert, and discovered the ridiculously cute Christina Courtin the the uproariously silly The Petersons. Got sick, the lone symptoms being a terribly sore throat and voice that made me sound like I’d been hit in the neck with a semi when I was four. Moved to The Markle, a Salvation Army-run residence at some point. Perhaps this was in June? MET KAT and her Cool and Awesome Mother! Went to the massive Union Square Barnes and Noble Harry Potter event in awesome Trelawney-garb, and was promptly confused for one of the hired actors playing the professors. Read the book and cried. Finished it before morning. Watched a bunch of pilots and fell in love with Pushing Daisies.

  8. August: Sean Astin is playing Twoflower.

    Bought a Mac! Got an apartment, with a girl I’ve known since I was 4. Fell in love with Flight of the Conchords.

  9. September: …WTF, they’re cutting the deaf sister from Bionic Woman and replacing her with “a hot, hearing, hacker chick”?

    Did lots of overtime. Finally started getting in all the furniture I ordered, so I didn’t have to live out of suitcases. Decided to dress as Maeve for PhauxCon and started working on the wig and outfit. Met Simon Pegg! Nearly sustained a repetitive stress injury from deadlocking the Maeve wig. Randomly encountered a best friend from 7th grade on the subway! Wrote RR fic and participated in Seasonal Dresden.

  10. October: EEEE! I just found out last night that Terry Pratchett is going to be at the Union Square B&N tonight!

    Met Pterry. MET EL! Got ridiculous shoes of awesome. Was named one of three Thematic Consultants for the Dresden Files graphic novel, tipping my Dresden fan friends from “jealous” to “I will set you on fire and assume your identity.” Saw Tori Amos! Went to PhauxCon, and spent the weekend chilling with Jim and Shannon Butcher and a lot of wonderful folks I know online. Went to a Halloween bash with Kristin, Courtney, and Ryan. Went to my first Dr. Sketchy’s and had a blast! Wrote RR fic. Spent Halloween itself with Jimmy and the Meanies.

  11. November: Hey, boys and ghouls!

    Fed picketing writers. Saw Tim Burton and three musical numbers from Sweeney! Went to another Dr. Sketchy’s. Got an iPhone! Went home for Thanksgiving. Got v. sick.

  12. December: Your daily EPIC FAIL: Hey, St. Nick: Put down the cookie.

    Saw Vienna Teng and Christina Courtin again. Wrote flashfic. The building next door caught fire while I was still at work at 2am, but I was not in danger. Was crazy. Pulled an 80-hour work week. Saw Ko daaaaaaaance! Went home for the first half of my break, then to California to see mah sister and her boy before returning to NY. Totally WON CHRISTMAS, giving the Best Gifts Ever. Brought in the New Year at my work-pal and fellow DMDer Eric’s party!

    HAPPY 2008!