I had a friend who enjoyed the sound of washing machines while he worked in After Effects. I thought he was out of his mind. Until I began working longer hours in After Effects and realized that listening to M.O.P. or Onyx or other such awesome hardcore audio only led to further stress on the job. So I saved my 90s hip-hop favorites for spinning my legs on an exercise bike. And I began listening to washing machines.
I want to create a place here for all who want to write, daydream, and edit video while listening to uncommon ambience.
Between Two Escalators Where I Lap the Older Folks
Mall Ambience — there's something nice about malls in the morning. There's no danger of buying something I don't need, all the stores are shuttered.
Smile at the many Marios grinning back at me from the GameStop shelves. I can lustily ogle the many variations of Baltimore Orioles caps at Lids. Or breathe in the remnants of fast food delights that hang like a meat cloud over the cavernous food court.
So much capitalism held in check by the hands of time.
It's a great place to lap the old folks walking the malls. Folks like myself enjoy the climate-controlled spaces and passages lined with colorful displays.
It's a safe space to attack my smart-watch activity rings. And race the pants off that lady in the green vest that thought she could pass me near Sephora.
Epic Enormous Sizzling Steak-umm (3 hours)
Steak-umm frying ambience — strap in for three friggin' hours of comfort. All the frying Steak-umm. And a chorus led by the fume-sucking fan.
I don't have a gallbladder. I don't know why I feel like this is the moment to disclose that. That I still celebrate fast steak is probably the reason, like; you need to hear this and know that there is true love in enjoying Steak-umm without the gallbladder playing backup in my midsection. BTW if you want to read more about that surgery — check out my surgery review: https://thereelray.com/2021/09/12/what-gallbladder-surgery-is-like/
I am in no way blaming the Steak-umm folks for my lack of an abdominal organ. I also have an unhealthy obsession with Hamburger Helper and Hot Pockets.
Where was I? Right, right, Steak-umm. The venerable frozen meat rectangles fry up fast and pair well with bread or eggs. I mentioned them a while ago for my bacon ambience hour here https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/uncommon-ambience/id1645903384?i=1000581807616
Essentially ambience for comfort-food fans — IE: the food people who love putting meat between bread and catsup everywhere else.
Jingle Bell Box Fan
My wife jingled all the way home from Michaels with a sleigh bell strap — now hanging from the pantry door. That is where I keep all my holiday treats locked away from the little monsters — creating a festive alarm that alerts me when they start digging around in the pantry, sans permission.
"Get the hell away from my Christmas Crunch!"
Ehem — it struck me while bingeing a bowl of mouth-shredding holiday shapes. What if I added some bells to the big damn box fan and gave fan fans a great holiday season of festive white noise?
Ever since my father's passing, Christmas has been my holiday 1-seed. It used to be Thanksgiving when my father would put out a million sides that included everything from tiny onions floating in cream and baked sweet potatoes mashed with maple and roofed with marshmallows.
Dad knew how to cook a bird. Unlike my mother, who learned to cook meat from her parents and treated turkey like the Griswolds — everything so dry you would need to chase a bite with milk. Look I can't cook, and even a dry turkey is better than no turkey so take my complaints with a grain of Mrs. Dash.
Christmas is my #1 now. I get to sneak around the house like a wrapping ninja, building bikes incorrectly while drinking eggnog and watching Die Hard like the rest of the gaudy assholes that "look at me, I'm watching a Christmas Movie" on social media.
And maybe it's the many holidays that cluster this galaxy of important holidays or the Bing Crosby — but folks seem to get a bit more decent to each other for just a moment. Perhaps it's a seasonal placebo?
Whatever the case, and whatever you celebrate (or don't), I hope this holiday season is wonderful for you and yours (and forgive me if I cut you off in the cereal isle to score that last remaining box of Christmas Crunch).
Never Sleep with Hair-Dryers or Play Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered
Hair dryer ambience (steady) — And must I explain what a hair dryer sounds like? A shrill handheld appliance that produces a sound akin to a Tie-Fighter that just took a hit off one of those helium canisters in the balloon section at the party store.
I should ask why some folks are comforted by the sharp sounds of such an abrasive appliance. Are folks simply nostalgic for the sounds of childhood? Where a home's authority figure squeezed out five minutes of harsh whooping heated air. Perhaps it signaled the last moments to hide cocooned by the comforts of bed before dad threw open the door. "Why are you still in bed?! We're late for church, and your reading a passage from Zephaniah!"
Look, I am not judging anyone hooked on the obtuse sounds of handheld, aim-able space heaters. I would just rather you listen to a podcast that features one. Sleeping with a running hair dryer — could lead to a personally cataclysmic blaze. And I've watched enough TLC to know there are folks out there that sleep the whole night clutching screeching hair dryers. What benefit would the folks at TLC have for bending reality?
No. I want to use this space to complain that Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered has a glaring flaw outside of too many titles. There is no police pursuit while driving in the free-roam element of the game.
The game's titles predict players' desire to drive recklessly. That, as with the real world, there will be consequences. Persistent pursuit by police.
And yet I can drive like a maniac unchecked through free-roam without encountering flashing red and blue lights. Unforgivable; I give the game three and a half out of five middle-finger emojis.
Thankful to be going Steady with a Vacuum
Vacuum Ambience (unmoving) — On this day of thanks, I must shout out the steady vacuum. Not the all over the damn place vacuum.
I'm not shouting out the handheld vacs that saved my bacon when tackling a messy military school dorm room (https://thereelray.com/2022/02/13/military-school-dumb-diy/).
Or the plethora of devices that make up the one not-boring section of bed bath and beyond — where my wife drags me to sniff candles and vegetable-specific dicers.
And Not even the vacuum that saved my life — pushing me clear when an oncoming station wagon barrelled through our game of stickball. RIP Hoover...
No. I am shouting out a vacuum cleaner that is turned on and then left alone. The story... and the loquacious always have an account amirite — is of a cleaning individual that left a vacuum roaring outside my office years prior. I was burnt out at work trying to slog through a time-sensitive project. I had hit a wall.
The cleaning dude ran out to take a call or smoke a cigarette, and that aged Oreck high-capacity had an august whine that I leaned against. The work trauma disappeared, and I was back in business. Until the dude walked in a few moments later cutting the beast off and ripping me from the Oreck's ear-splitting embrace.
HVACs are like esoteric basement quarterbacks
HVAC Ambience — if the noise is any indication, the most chill machine in any house is the HVAC. Modern home basements emit a cacophony of sounds, from regimented whirring to sporadic cracks.
The HVAC is like that Kung FU quarterback you remember in high school. Just so cool, so smooth, and so ambivalent. His name, Dash, was absurd.
Dash's parents certainly couldn't have known how fast the kid would become. He could take flight and instantly leap over falling bodies into the endzone.
The teachers would let him smoke in the teacher's lounge. And who could say no to a star quarterback who reputedly knew bataireacht and was a distant relative of Oliver Hazard Perry?
Dash fought off an attempted bank robbery the year before, it made all the news. He killed a man.
Dash wasn't a bully, though — the only time anyone could remember him angry was when he drank that moonshine Uncle Ronald dropped off from the Ozarks. Ollie, that idiotic puke, chided Dash about his father, "isn't he upstate?" And he paid for it with a fork lodged in his knee.
No one said anything.
Ollie knew the score. Risking Dash's scholarship to State was unthinkable in a town of only high school football heroes.
The Brook was great
It’s so peaceful and I enjoyed the historical context!
Love the bacon one!!!