Monday, April 18, 2011

Sound the Alarm

I've been in a grumpy mood all day, and therefore I'm going to advise you to just skip this post so that I don't infect you with my negativity. Skip! Skip! Skip!

OK, I tried.

The reasons I can't turn my frown upside-down have to do with 1) yet another snowfall, 2) a post for redbox that took me about EIGHT HOURS to finish (not an exaggeration), and 3) having my sleep rudely interrupted in the wee hours last night. The first point is self-explanatory -- everyone in Chicago is bitter today because we enjoyed a taste of summer not too long ago (remember that 80-degree afternoon I wrote about?)... only to be harshly reminded that Mother Nature hates the Midwest. So there's not much else to say about that. The second point I'll get over -- just part of the job sometimes. I will expand, however, on why I didn't sleep well.

My husband had been on an all-day tour of breweries across Indiana and Michigan, and got home around 1 AM. That was fine -- I knew he was going to come back late, and I thoroughly enjoyed the several uninterrupted hours of reading time I was able to fit in while he was gone, during which I not only started, but also finished, Tina Fey's Bossypants (review coming soon! spoiler: it rocked).

Though I was still awake when my husband returned, we both fell asleep shortly thereafter. Yay. (Seriously, that really does deserve a big "yay" since it usually takes me 2-3 hours to doze off after going to bed.) But my REM cycle was not meant to be, because the next thing I know our security alarm is going crazy. It wasn't the full-blast siren that kicks in when a door or window has been opened or glass has been smashed, but rather a really high-pitched and constant beeping coming from the console in another room.

My husband and dog actually slept through it (??? nice to know I've got a crack team of defenders looking out for me), but I nudged my husband awake and made him go investigate. It turns out that because of all the RAIN AND SNOW whipping around outside (bitter bitter bitter), the back-up communication link for our alarm system had gone down and it wanted to inform us of the situation. No big deal, except that this all happened in the middle of the night, freaked us both out, and I wasn't able to get back to sleep again afterward. GRRR.

When the alarm went off it made me think of other technology-related mishaps that have interrupted my precious slumber. Like when a friend or family member who either lives in or is traveling in another time zone accidentally calls and wakes us up. Or when someone who's staying with one of our upstairs neighbors buzzes our door instead of theirs at some godforsaken hour. Or when my husband or I forget to turn off our cell phones and -- even if they're in another room -- I can hear one or both of them vibrating or beeping once a message is left. Or when some gadget somewhere in our place starts chirping a low-battery warning (fire alarm, I'm lookin' at you). These are the times when technology is not my friend.

The worst I can remember was one evening years ago when my husband was away for work, and our Tivo somehow activated only the sound on our downstairs TV. The TV started BLASTING -- in the middle of the night -- and I called a guy in our building to come investigate because I was scared criminals had broken in and accidentally hit our remote control or something. (It actually took quite a while to figure out what happened in that odd situation.) I gave my neighbor a huge long knife and was like, "Can you go downstairs and make sure no murderer is down there? OK, good luck and thanks!" before running to lock myself in the bathroom with the dog.

Here's hoping for no interruptions from any "helpful technology" tonight!

- e

PS - While looking for images to use with this post I came across this really cute blog entry which made me feel better -- take a look!


Sammy Jean said...

I feel silly commenting on all your posts.. but they all seem to be something I can relate to!
Don't you hate it when something goes "bump" in the middle of the night? For me, it's mostly my cats. The little rascals get into anything and everything. From turning on the TV to knocking things off the kitchen counter. I think I value sleep more than anything else in this world, except maybe champagne. But generally champagne helps me fall asleep! Hope you slept better last night!! :)

Erika (aka "e") said...

Sammy Jean -

Well I feel silly when no one comments, so I'm glad you're here!

And I'm definitely trying to write about things that others can relate to, so I'm glad at least you and I are on the same page. : )

My dog is constantly waking me up, so I feel your pain with your cats. Lately -- not sure if it's because he's just getting older, or what -- but my dog has been pacing a lot in the middle of the night and the clicking of his nails on the hardwood floors wakes me up. Or he'll sigh really loudly or knock around in his crate, which he goes in and out of all night.

I'll have to try your champagne trick! Hadn't thought of that! ; )

- e

bigben said...

Well, I related to your first beef, the weather. We are a month behind our usual start-of-spring. We are still recovering from two more dumps of snow, 8 inches last Thursday and another 8 inches on Saturday night/Sunday morning. This piled on top of the winter snow that still hasn't melted which is supposed to be gone by now.

We had been planning our first camping trip for May 5/6 weekend but now I'm not sure if that'll be a good idea or not.

We have a dog and cat and they both wake us up on a regular basis. I hate it when the dog starts barking becuase the first thing that goes through my head is that someone is breaking in. The cat seems to make a point of walking over me to get to cuddle with my wife in the night. Why, oh why, can't that cat walk around the bed first and then jump up?

Guy Cheadle said...

It’s a little ironic that the very thing that was supposed to warn you about things that go “bump” in the night was EXACTLY the thing that went BUMP in the night! Still, at least you’re assured that your security system is actually working. Your system is actually quite an intelligent one, since it warns the homeowner when it’s being hindered from working correctly.