Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Things That Go Beep In The Night

Sweet Hubby is in Kiwi-a-gogo-land for the month. I miss him. A lot. Especially at night. Because I can't sleep. I could be all romantic and say that my sleep is dependent on having the curve of his body against mine. It would be a romantic thing to say but it would also be a lie. While I do LOVE the curve of his body - I usually sleep better on my own. Not this time. This time is very different. This time there are things - THINGS - in the room interfering with my sleep. Beepy things. Beepy-in-the-middle-of-the-night things! Beepy and blinky and flashy things even!

Maybe twenty minutes after I fall asleep the first night there is a loud "Ba-whoosh" and a green flash. SH's computer and monitor come alive and demand passwords. The computer seems as disoriented as I feel - as if we're both staring at each other thinking "Why the hell did you wake me up?" The only possibility I can come up with is that the dog must've bumped the desk and jiggled the mouse and woken us all up. I get out of bed to turn the thing off and hear Wasabi startle awake in the other room. He comes running in to see what's going on. Eeeek. Now I have NO IDEA how (or why) the computer woke itself (and me and the dog) up. Bad dream? Maybe not but it sure doesn't want to go back to sleep! I can NOT get it to hibernate or suspend or anything. I know better than to try to turn it all the way off because SH has it programmed to do regular maintenance (supposedly during the day!!) and also to record 'Eureka' - the only TV show I've cared about in almost ten years. I finally think to turn at least the monitor power off. The computer is NOT happy. Actinic light is frantically flashing from the computer's brain box on the floor. I throw a pillow at it (and miss and have to throw two more) to block whatever message the machine is trying to send. I am so NOT in the mood to decipher. I want to get back to sleep.

I finally drift off again. A nanosecond later there is a strange electronic trill. I am wide awake. (Again.) I listen. I wait. I hear silence. And more silence. Twenty minutes more silence. And then five more minutes. And then I have no idea how much more because I fall back asleep. Beep, beep, beep-be-beep. Grrrrr. I sit bolt upright. I throw a pillow at SH's computer. After launching the pillow at the computer on the floor, I wake up enough to realize the peppy chirping is coming from the TOP of the desk and to the right. In addition to the location differential here, at this point I have a large enough statistical sample of sounds to compare and the indignant, crackling sh-sh-ing and small, muffled, whumping sounds now emanating from the floor are nothing like the sound that woke me this time. Hmmm. Maybe he left his phone? But no. I know all of his phone's sounds - and this is not one of them. Besides, I distinctly remember handing him his phone and watching him tuck it into his carry on. I go back to sleep. For maybe an hour. There it is again. Dammit!

This is getting annoying. Worse is that the sound itself is pleasant. It is not the mournful, eeyor sound of 'low battery'. It is not the Chicken Little cry of text message 'alerts' zapped to SH's phone to warn of downed servers in the OR. This sound is...sweet. If it weren't repeatedly waking me up in the middle of the night I would not be contemplating hurling a hammer at whatever it is.

I finally get up and locate the bugger. It's a pager. On his desk. I have no idea why there is a tiny pager hunkered down under a stack of papers. I don't even know why pagers exist now that there are cell phones with text messaging capabilities. Poor, obsolete thing. That I still want to smash with a hammer. I don't though. I have mercy. I smother it with my next to last pillow and go back to sleep.

In vain. The phone rings. Wrong number. I contemplate the effort it would take to introduce a bill to Congress that would make calling the wrong number at 4:17 a.m. a federal crime with the death penalty attached to it. I fall asleep just in time for my alarm clock to wake me up with its horrendous, broken-sounding buzz. (Aside: It sounded broken even before I threw it at the wall this time - because, er, um, it is not the first time I have thrown it against the wall. I have LOATHED the sound of this alarm clock since we got it. I hate it enough that I usually wake up and turn it off the split second before it's set to make that horrible sound. The problem arises on days when I'm too tired for the split second timing bit to work well. On those (i.e. bad) days, when I am awakend by the screechy-buzzy-makes-me-want-to-beat-the-fuck-out-of-somebody sound, I typically sling the alarm clock across the room in the split second before I am awake enough to realize the poor machine is merely doing what I asked (i.e. forced) it to do when I clicked the 'alarm on' button the night before.)

Mama is not happy. (Neither is the alarm clock.)

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I am even more not happy after two additional nights of this. SH's computer is still frantically trying to communicate with me (or maybe with aliens) in the wee sma's. I have managed (with some help from my buddy Mat-a-tat-tat) to make the happy pager shut up. But for some reason (and Mayhem is his name-o) the timer on the kitchen stove took up where happy pager left off by buzzing in the middle of the night (and scaring the shit out of me). ("Uh, I thought I set the timer for 8 minutes. I guess I set it for 8 hours. Sorry mom.")

I have glared individually at all the noise-making appliances in the house and put them on notice. If one of them so much as makes a little, bitty peep or flashes one, tiny LED's Hammer Time (only without the parachute pants.)

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