Saturday, January 23, 2016

What's With All The Lights?

I am going to preface what you are about to read by clearly stating that I am not a person who has trouble sleeping. I can sleep in hotels, on air mattresses, in a car if I need to. Me and sleep, we are besties. We go way back. By the time you are done reading this you might disagree, but I swear to you, I am not a picky sleeper. I do however have a problem in my bedroom right now that is starting to get on my nerves and make it hard for me to fall asleep. There is too much light. Again, I'm not picky - it doesn't have to be pitch dark for me to sleep at all, but my current conditions have gotten a little out of hand. 

It started with the fact that my bedroom faces the street and there is a street light in our driveway. Its a very bright street light. I went to Target and purchased some black-out curtains, thinking that would solve the problem. Ha! Turns out that black-out curtains only black things out if they are black. The beige ones that I purchased are more like "shady curtains" or something.

**Side note--Target, if you are going to market something as a "black-out" curtain, it's really on you to make sure it actually does that. Otherwise, rename it and be accurate. Not cool.

Have you ever seen curtains that are actually black? They are hideous. Seriously, I'm not some 15 year old emo goth chick. I have no use for ugly ass black curtains.

So I did the next logical thing and called the city. They came out and nicely installed a shade on the light, which is more like a big, nasty metal box, but whatever. It's not like I spend a lot of time looking at the street light anyway.

Problem solved, yes? No.

Well, the outdoor light problem is solved. But that just served to emphasize what had obviously been escaping me for some time. 

My bedroom itself has enough lights glowing in it to land a freaking airplane. So, as I laid in bed one night, I looked around and determined that all these technological advancements I am living with are killing me.

Start with my light switches. One one each wall on either side of my bed and they have dimmers on them. In some corporate design studio sits some dipshit who decided that if your lights are off, you will never be able to find your light switches again and you will be destined to live a life of total darkness and despair which you can only be saved from by having lights on the switches that light up ALL THE TIME. Never mind the fact that since the invention of electricity people have been able to find the switches in the dark, this is progress people! And the best part is that they are two different types of dimmers, so one lights up orange and one lights up green.

I do not have these damn things (thank you Jesus) but you get the idea. 

Then there are the alarm clocks. I had a perfectly good clock that cost $5 and lasted me for 15 years. It was digital, but of course back in the stone ages of the late 90's the lights were not nearly as bright as they are now. Now the clocks have LED lights in them. I believe these are the same red LED lights they put in laser pointers that blind incoming pilots. I'm pretty sure I could aim my clock at the sky and people on the space station would know what time it is. To solve this problem I use the remote control for my dimmer light switch (yes, I'm that freaking lazy) to cover my clock face. 

The Hubs has a clock too though.

**Side Note #2 -- This alarm clock serves no actual purpose for him because he wears earplugs. I have my clock to wake ME up when I want to get out of bed and he sets his clock to wake ME up so I CAN WAKE HIM UP  when he wants to get out of bed.

His clock is fancy and has loads of features, not one of which is ever used. It does however have the ability to dim the brightness of the clock. Even on the dimmest settings you can still read a book by it, so he has a piece of note paper taped over the top of it. God forbid you wake up in the night and wonder what time it is, because finding that out is quite an event.

Then there is the landline phone. I have one in my room because I have teenagers and if they need to call at night, I need to answer. It has a nice red light that lights up to tell me that no one is using it. Thanks phone, I no longer spend all my time wondering about that. We also have a nest thermostat, which lights up like some bright blue mind reading device if the dogs move the door on their way to pee.

And we haven't even gotten to the holy grail of blinking lights. My TV.

I know, I know, they say you aren't supposed to have a TV in your bedroom. You know what I say to that? You are not the boss of me Oprah! 

It might be OK if it were just the TV, but of course in order to have a TV in these days of progress you also have to have a multitude of extra boxes to run the damn thing. I have 5.

The TV has this wonderful new feature on it that someone who was envious of light up light switches must have invented. It's the "off light." All digital things have a light on them to let you know when they are on. It's usually green. Now they also come with lights on them to tell you when they are off. Because the absence of the green light wasn't enough? I'm pretty sure monkeys could figure that one out. So over our red off light we have taped a piece of electrical tape, which the frigging thing still shines through! 

The 5 boxes I have are a receiver, an apple TV box, a DirecTV box, a DVD player and some sort of splitter thing to plug all the rest of the shit into.

Let me just say now that I wish to thank Apple and Sony because the Apple TV and the DVD player DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE LIGHT ON THEM WHEN THEY ARE OFF. 

DirecTV however has taken it upon themselves to make up for this oversight. That thing has lights all over it including a blue eternally lit logo on the front. But the very best part of it is the fact that when you turn it off, this bright light turns on and shines OUT THE BACK OF THE FUCKING THING! I am not even kidding. I guess this is so that once you have confirmed that your TV and lights are off and no one is using the phone you can go check the connection of your cables in the total darkness.

**Side Note #3 -- Really DirecTV? I'm dying to know how this meeting went. Who suggested this and how did they manage to convince the rest of you it was a good idea? Was marijuana involved?

DirecTV main box. Why all the lights????

DirecTV genie...designed for bedrooms--why all the freaking lights? And this is from the front.

In order to fix this, we randomly throw something over the box, usually a dirty sock from the hamper or something. I am not sure this is safe, but I need some rest.

The splitter and the receiver are in a class of their own. The splitter has lights for every single port on it. Brilliant blue ones that are now currently covered by a tan handkerchief that came from God knows where, because I have exactly ZERO use for those lights EVER. The receiver also lights up when it is off, but the light is where you need to aim the remote when it is on, so if we cover it, then we will have to constantly uncover it to use it, then recover it again, etc., and I can barely remember to feed my kids dinner, so that's obviously not a good plan. If I sleep on just one pillow though my head is low enough that the footboard of the bed blocks it, so that's my solution.

Add to this the MacBook that The Hubs plugs in that beams this weird aurora borealis green light when its off and charging (and is then usually covered by another dirty sock) and the fact that for no apparent reason the computers in the next room like to spontaneously come out of "sleep mode" in the middle of the night on occasion and I would be hard pressed to recognize an alien invasion if it was happening on my bed! 

And just so you know, not one of these damn lights will stop me from stubbing my toes in the dark if the footstool is moved so much as two inches! 

I am not picky. Electronics engineers are just assholes. And for those of you keeping track, that is 2 dirty socks (or boxers if need be), one weird tan kerchief, one piece of electrical tape and one piece of notepaper. My bedroom is a designer dream of a "tranquil oasis" with a little bit of "garbage dump" sprinkled on top.



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