Due to the severe back pain I’ve been having that keeps me up tossing and turning all night, I decided to sleep in the guest room to give my husband a break from being accidentally kicked multiple times.  It was going to be a good night’s sleep.

Until the smoke detector decided it couldn’t wait another fucking minute to have a new battery.

1:41am – Smoke detector lets out the loudest beeping wailing noise EVER.  I jumped out of bed so fast convinced that we were either being robbed, arsoned or shot.  And what did my confused brain decide to do?  Go downstairs and see if someone had broken into our house which was A) really fucking stupid because I was armed with nothing but a horrible case of bed-head and B) our alarm wasn’t even set so the how the hell did it go off?  Spoiler: I found nothing alarming downstairs so I went back to bed, convinced that the noise I heard was really part of a dream because my husband wasn’t up searching the house and the dogs hadn’t made a noise.  At this point, I also remembered that I had a husband and two dogs in the house who were all better equipped to check the house for burglars or stray raccoons than I was.

1:46am- Smoke detector screams at me again because obviously I didn’t take it seriously enough.  By now I have surmised that it is most likely the smoke detector yelling at me and not the alarm or a really loud (and mean) child, but I really don’t want to do anything about it because it’s 1:46 in the morning and I’m really tired.  Plus, I have no clue which smoke detector it is because, I shit you not, we have FOUR within 12 square feet of our house because apparently fires can only start in one place but dammit is that place prepared.  This is when I decide that time and a little science will be my friend.  I concluded that if 5 minutes had passed between smoke detector assaults, I would wait another 5 minutes and if nothing happened, I was clearly delusional.  Part of this stemmed from the fact that the three other living beings in the house had not stirred.

Asshole Smoke Detector

Bastard.

1:51am – No noise!  Clearly I was just making myself crazy. Pass the hell out.

1:52am – BEEEEEEEEEEEEP! SHRIEK! WAIL!  dammit. I go into the master bedroom and a very groggy husband says, “What is that?”  and I say, “I DON’T KNOW!  I think it’s a smoke alarm but I don’t know which one and it’s loud and scary and it needs a new battery! Where are the batteries?” <groggy response which I don’t understand> I assume they are in the toolbox where we keep all the random shit that I don’t usually have to deal with but of course the toolbox is not where it’s supposed to be, it’s out in the garage and of course the door to the garage makes a beeping noise when I open it because we had to be all safe with our house and invest in an alarm system and the beeping only gives me a minor panic attack as I wait for the smoke detector to take the door’s cue and go off again, meanwhile I am tearing through the toolbox and can’t find those damn rectangular batteries that I need, only double-A and that’s really not helping because the TV remotes are fine, dammit, and then I get all worried that I’m going to have to endure screeching alarms at 5 minute intervals for the rest of the day because I can’t drive to store right now because I only half know what’s going on to begin with and that’s not being a responsible driver and in Austin at least one of us has to be a good driver and just as my frustration is reaching a breaking point I go back in the house and see the box of rectangular batteries SITTING WHERE THE TOOLBOX IS SUPPOSED TO BE.  *sigh* I am my father’s daughter.

Long story longer, I replaced the damn battery and saved what little remained of my sanity.

Then I had the BEST IDEA EVER.  Don’t steal it. I’ll be real mad if you do.

A tech-savvy smoke detector that has some damn manners.  Instead of these asshole smoke detectors that just start screaming at you the second their battery isn’t PERFECT, how about we create a super smart one that first sends you an email that says, “Hey, sorry to trouble you but I really want to keep you and your family safe and my battery is starting to drain a little.  Please give me a new battery and girl, I will keep you so safe.  I’ll be like the shell to your coconut or at least like a person who screams when someone’s about to break your coconut.”  If the battery hasn’t been changed in the next 5 days, your smoke detector will then take advantage of any pre-programmed social media channels you use.  Facebook.  Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. Add that shit to timeline, Zuckerburg.  Instead of focusing on the past, why not predict the future as relates to keeping your smoke detector happy? We’re saving lives here, Mark. If you haven’t changed the battery by then, well, you kinda deserve the beeping.

Lessons learned:

  1. I would not do well if my house was on fire.
  2. The toolbox needs to be put back where it belongs.  (No, I didn’t bother to move it)
  3. I will sell my social-media savvy smoke detector for no less than $2 million.

 

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I’m taking a break from the funny and writing about something that truly bothers me.  Not that I’ve been very good at bringing the funny lately anyway.

***Before reading let me state: I have been against Nike since I was about 15 for many reasons, which I won’t get into here.  Also, I am a dog lover and will defend them. A lot.  Does this mean there are not bad dogs out there? Of course not.  But I do believe that most dogs deserve a second chance and using a dog’s breed as a primary reason for establishing danger is not only ridiculous, it’s racism for dogs. ***

Nike decided to name Michael Vick its Athlete of the Year.  Nike is free to do what it wants, but I would hope that a company with as loud a voice as it has would choose someone with a bit more grace, a bit more morality and a bit more respect for life in any form.  You simply can’t tell me there isn’t an athlete out there who maybe, just *maybe* would have been a better choice.

Many people say, “He did his time and he’s sorry for what he’s done, it’s time to forgive him.”  I do not agree.  Yes, he did a mediocre amount of time for exceptionally cruel crimes.  He was never charged with animal cruelty and any and all public appearances have contained scripted apologies.   In my opinion, there has never been a sincere look of remorse across his face.  Just because someone completed the majority of their jail sentence does not mean they deserve to be forgiven.  To me, forgiveness is not something that is given; it is earned, just like respect.  Michael Vick has done nothing to earn either from me.  He stated that if he had not been caught, he’d still be doing it.

I admit, I am incredibly biased and I will never understand the ability to treat an animal in such a way.  I have had dogs all my life and each one has been a tremendous source of joy.  Yes, some of them were difficult, barking at everything in site, refusing to be house trained and over-enthusiastically greeting guests; but every single one of them could put a smile on my face in 3 seconds flat.

If Michael Vick truly cared, if Michael Vick truly wanted to earn my forgiveness, he would become more involved in not only animal cruelty prevention, but in educating the public about the breeds involved in his crimes.  It is because of the dog fighting that he and his friends carried out that people are scared of my dog.  It is because of people like him who abuse these wonderful companions, leading to unfair stereotypes about the breed that thousands of people in Denver had their dogs murdered by the city.  It is because of these stories of “demon” dogs that city shelters, non-profit organizations and pit bull groups are overwhelmed with these dogs.  These images and stories that the media loves to flaunt like a 5th grader who stole his dad’s copy of Playboy prevent people from finding apartments that will allow them to keep their dogs.

If Michael Vick truly cared, now that he has his millions again, he would contact every person who worked without pay, for months on end, to rehabilitate those dogs and find them homes and write them a check and say thank you.  He would then make a point to check up on each and every one of those dogs.  Because you know what?  Those dogs are better than me.  They’d forgive him in a second.  Because that’s what dogs do.  They don’t hold grudges.  They love.  If there’s anything truly good to come out of the whole Michael Vick dog fighting, it’s that a group of people showed the world that even dogs deemed to be “some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country” by the President of the Humane Society can be rehabilitated.

In high school, athletes were required to make certain grades.  If they were caught doing something less than “gentlemanly”, there were punishments on the field, whether it was sitting out a few games or being kicked off the team.  In college, athletes are still required to make the grades but we start to see some slipping on the ethics scale.  Please explain to me why morality and ethics in sports ends after high school.  Why aren’t these athletes — who the biggest brands in the world tell our children to look up to — held to a higher standard?  A politician who tweets a picture of his covered package is forced out of office and publicly ridiculed, but an athlete who took part in the killing and torture of innocent animals, federal crimes (yes, dog fighting is a federal crime) and illegal gambling is welcomed back with million dollar contracts and endorsements.

I just don’t understand.


For more information on the Vick case and the dogs at its center, I highly recommend Jim Gorant’s book The Lost Dogs.  It is heartbreaking and enlightening.  Please be warned that some sections are quite graphic.

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Another conversation with my mother that explains where I get my sense of logic.

May 5, 2011

I spent the Easter weekend with my lovely parents, which of course means wonderful conversations with my mother.  I should preface this post by explaining that my mother is deathly afraid of bugs, especially anything larger than a grain of rice.  There are legendary tales in my family of times my mother *thought* a bug [...]

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Searching for a missing hamster. Staring suspiciously at everyone. Even you.

April 7, 2011

Alert the media. Stop the presses.  Call the police. As most few of you know, there was a post here about how hamsters could save the world by reducing our energy dependence. I must have struck a chord with somebody because that post has vanished. Disappeared.  Was it WordPress? Was it PETA?  Was it the [...]

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Conversations with my husband in which I am bested. Again.

August 4, 2010

My husband and I recently adopted a dog (quite adorable, if I do say so myself). The following conversation recently took place. (Note: The answer I was looking for was: Chicken bones.  Chicken bones.) Me: What do you never ever give to doggies? Husband: Herpes.

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Sometimes nature is just an asshole.

July 21, 2010

There is a bird outside my window chirping at me.  I mean *right* outside my window.  He keeps flapping his wings at me.  This all started when Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” came on.  I don’t know if he’s trying to tell me that today is HIS day and he won’t back down or [...]

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The tale of old building radiators in which I then (accidentally) condemn the city to more winter.

March 16, 2010

I’ve been complaining a bit about the radiators in my apartment in the last few days weeks months and APPARENTLY not everyone is familiar with these contraptions. For those of you in column I-have-central-air-fanciness, this is just a sampling of the radiators in my apartment: These are radiators.  They come in a variety of sizes [...]

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Yet another conversation with my mother. This one is kinda one-sided.

March 4, 2010

My mom said she wanted to come visit me and the husband.  She got really excited about it.  Then suddenly she claimed that tickets were too expensive.  Being the internet-using GENIUS that I am, I found her a flight that was under her budget.  Then she gave me some crap about it still being too [...]

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And this is why you shouldn’t IM me at the end of the work day

February 26, 2010

My job requires that I be online all day long and available via some form of instant messaging.  My oldest brother, who works in a totally unrelated field, is also online all day and this is just lovely because it allows to stay in touch without actually having to pick up a phone or listen [...]

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I know I’m not alone on this one

February 23, 2010

I was walking home from the store today and talking to my mom (because God forbid I give my brain too much time to think) and I was about to cross the street when I noticed a HUGE truck approaching the intersection.  Being the kind, considerate daughter that I am, I said to my mother, [...]

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