Big giant head

In Other News

We're having a serious light bulb problem around here. It's getting to the point where I think either there's something wrong with the house voltage or someone in this house has some weird, Uri Geller-ish tendencies.

Specifically, we blow light bulbs like nobody's business. It seems like every time I turn around I'm changing another light bulb. Right now there are four light bulbs out that I haven't gotten around to changing yet -- two in my office, one in our guest bathroom, and the front porch light.

That front porch light? I changed it about two weeks ago. I changed it about a month before that, and a month or two before that. It's the worst offender in the house, the bulbs burn out almost as fast as I put them in.

Not counting the ones I've mentioned already, in the last few weeks I've changed light bulbs in the laundry room, all eight bulbs in the den track lighting, in Zoe's bathroom, in our bathroom, in Beth's office, and in the dining room. Of those, bulbs quickly burned out in the den lighting, the dining room, Beth's office, and one in Zoe's bathroom.

I can't keep up. That's why there are so many bulbs that need changing right now. I'm saving them up so I can get a bunch in one fell swoop. If I changed them as they went out, I'd never have time to do anything else.

Beth thinks we just got a bad batch of light bulbs. Not possible. This has been going on for longer than one light bulb buying expedition. This used to happen at the old house, too.

Come to think of it, this only started happening when Zoe was born. Could my child be the Anti-Lightbulb?


Tuesday -- June 22, 1999
Wide Awake

It's 2:00 a.m. and I should be sleeping. I'm tired, I'd like to be sleeping, but I can't. There's this damn bird across the street, a mockingbird, I think, and it's going through its repertoire of birdcalls at full volume, over and over and over and over and over and over again.

This has been going on for several nights now, maybe for as long as a week. As near as I can figure, it does it all day long, all night long. I don't think it sleeps. Ever. It was at it last night, it was at it this morning, it was at it this afternoon, and it's at it now.

I've never heard a louder bird. Sounds seem louder at night because there's less ambient noise to mask them, but this guy drowned everyone out at noon. Now, 2:00 a.m., it's practically deafening. I have the windows closed, my computer fan is whirring, my keyboard keys are clicking, and I can still hear it as though it were sitting on my shoulder. This is one loud bird, folks.

If there's one small saving grace to this nocturnal noise, it's that the bird has set up shop in the Honking Family's yard. As loud as it is here, it's got to be much worse over there, where it's right outside their bedroom windows. But then, these are the people with the moron dog that plays with barbecue grill lids, so they may not even notice this small sound. It probably doesn't even register with them. And if it does, they probably like it and wish it'd sing louder. It figures, really. They're the loudest family in the neighborhood, so it's only natural that even their fauna pisses me off.

Since I'm up and rambling here I guess I'll describe what's going on downstairs, just to fill space. Beth's snoozing away in our bedroom. The bird doesn't even phase her, but then, it wouldn't, would it? Beth likes to go to sleep with the TV on, and many's the night I've had to go in there and turn it down after she drops off because Mary Tyler Moore is rattling the windows. Zoe was sleeping peacefully in her own bed until a few minutes ago when I walked by her room and she woke up, saying she wanted to sleep in Mama cama, so that's where she is now: sleeping with Mama.

That's a recurring theme lately, yet another in the list of Things That Keep Chuck From Sleeping. I usually stay up a few hours after Beth goes to bed, and the last thing I do before coming to bed is button up the house: turn off the TV and all the lights, lock the doors, check on Zoe, etc. Zoe's trained herself to listen for that in her sleep, I think, because she often turns up at our bedside a little while later, usually just as I'm drifting off. I let her get in with us, and then she wants to have conversations with me, and then she squirms a lot, and then she kicks a lot, and then finally, as I'm drifting off again, she says she wants to go back to her own bed.

After I put her back to bed I'm usually wide awake again. I watch TV until I'm sleepy, turn the TV off, and start to drift off to sleep. Then the dogs start in. Every night, like clockwork, they start barking at about 3:25 a.m. I don't know what the hell they're barking at. I've gotten up to look outside several times, but there's never anything there. Maybe they know I'm falling asleep, I don't know. So I get out of bed, shut them up, then I go back to bed to be wide awake some more. Between my night-owl predilections and Zoe's bionic hearing and the dogs' hair-trigger nighttime barking fits, it's a wonder I get any sleep at all. And I wonder why I'm tired all the time...

And then there's this freakin' bird. He's still at it, still raising hell in the treetop over there and pissing me off. I went outside last night and stood there for awhile, listening to him. Hating him. Imagining intricate methods of murdering him. I think tomorrow I might go buy a wrist rocket and do me some bird hunting tomorrow night. A nice shiny ball bearing right down his throat at high velocity, that should do the trick.

Keep it up, bird. Give me a reason...


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins