Sometimes it's hard to stay in the meditation zone

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

We had another 5 alarm fire drill today! This one went so well, I'm considering having one once a month.

I made cinnamon rolls for Mike. I made them yesterday and let them rise overnight, so we were all excited to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast today. Oh boy, what a treat!

After preheating the oven, I popped them in, set the timer, and went upstairs to meditate. I was sitting outside on the patio with my headphones in my ears, without a care in the world. I could smell the aroma of cinnamon rolls in the air, and this just added to the pleasure of the beautiful morning. I had been listening to binaural beats, which, if you don't know are different solfreggio frequencies coming into each ear, and blending together. Sometimes they have different sounds in them as well. Like, one of them that I listen to has intermittent clock ticking sounds that travel from ear to's pretty cool.

I couldn't remember which one I was listening to, but as I smelled the aroma of freshly baking cinnamon rolls, with just a hint of charcoal...wait, what? "Do I smell burning?" The lovely cinnamon and butter smell comes back into a full-note of pleasure..."ah yes, I must've been imagining the burning smell...let's continue..."

Listening to the solfreggio frequencies melding into my brain, my senses are once again struck by an unfamiliar presence. This time, auditory. "Is that a beeping sound?" "I don't remember hearing a beeping sound in this one." "Maybe a truck is backing up downstairs." The trick to succesfully staying in a meditation, is to be the observer, then just watch the thought float I ignore it and continue my meditation.

"What a gorgeous day!" I muse. "Everything is perfect!" As the aroma of cinnamon rolls wafts by once more, I think to myself, "Boy, I can't wait to eat...stop that...back to breathing."

"One, two, three, four..."

After counting about four breaths, I'm once again struck by how annoying this particular binaural beats track is, with that incessant beeping sound...and now it's got that same exact sound as the...Oh SHIT!

Suddenly realizing the sound is coming from downstairs. I rip off my headphones and open the sliding glass door, where I am met with the screeching, hazardous waste chemical spill alarm siren from the Navy armory surplus where Mike buys all his household appliances. As I run downstairs, smoke is billowing out of the kitchen and Mike is in the hallway trying to figure out which beeping demonic plastic doohicky to shut off first. There's like 5 of them and once they all go off, that triggers the nuclear meltdown foghorn. Being a veteran at this now, I grab a broom out of the broom closet, and proceed to push each alarm's shut-off button. The howling, Hunt for Red October "OH FUCK, A RUSSIAN TORPEDO IS COMING RIGHT AT US!" siren however, hasn't gotten the message yet, and is still pressing forward with its aural assault.

"There's a fucking fire in the oven!" Mike yells barely audibly, over the deafening blare of the battleship siren. I'm standing in front of the oven and he says, "Go ahead, open it." Remembering the scene from Backdraft I reinacted the last time, I say to him, "Oh no, I'm not falling for that again." And I press the nuclear deactivation quarantine button on the oven and proceed to open all the windows and that the neighbors can all hear the Mayday alarm, and wonder what the fuck I'm burning in the oven today.

At this point, the dogs are all having panic attacks, and the minute I open the front door, they all shove me out of the way to rush outside. I open the patio door for them, and wait until the Pentagon red alert siren has tired itself out.

"Let's have some cinnamon rolls!" I shout gleefully. So we dig in. Once we've had our fill, I walk over to the oven and open it, to see a layer of charcoaled sugar and butter on the bottom. "Why don't we just use the self-cleaning feature?" Mike says, like the brilliant engineer he is. So I press the "self-clean" button and we wait about thirty seconds, before the oven emits a noxious cloud of toxic chemicals, which then proceeds to fill up the room...and activate all six of the smoke alarms, including the motherfucker which I affectionately named, "Little Boy" AGAIN.

" least we already have the windows open" I say proudly, as if I've just earned my fucking Eagle Scout badge for being so prepared.

I got this one for opening the windows after setting fire to the oven!

At this point, I've grown tired of hearing the over-dramatic houwling of 5 smoke alarms plus an obnoxious, ear-splitting Silkwood siren, so I walk over to the oven, shut off the self-cleaning feature, take the broom back down the hall and proceed to shut each of the 5 alarms off, and I decide to go upstairs where it's quiet. The noise was bad enough, but what really drove me out of the room this time, was the malignant chemical cocktail billowing out of the oven.

Meanwhile, Mike's sitting at the table, utterly unfazed, eating his third cinnamon roll, while a cloud of virulent smoke – a pernicious combo of burnt butter, sugar, and oven cleaner, with a confusing aroma of cinnamon and hydrochloric acid – slowly dissipates overhead.

This is a man who was chief engineer on a destroyer, and taught physics and math at a Naval nuclear power school, so he's tough as nails. I say, "I don't think you should be breathing this stuff" and he says, "I've seen worse." between bites. So I grabbed Pebbles, and shuffled off upstairs to go pop a Claritan.

Every once in a while, I thought I should go check on him to make sure he hadn't keeled over from the fumes, but I was so nice and comfy and my sinuses were just starting to clear, so we exchanged texts.

Me: Everything okay down there? You still breathing?"

Him: [thumbs up emoticon]

Me: I can still smell that oven cleaner. Jesus, what's in that stuff? Napalm? It's nice to know this oven is equipped with biological weaponry, just in case the Russians attack.

Him: [laughing unicorn emoticon]

Me: Where do you buy your appliances? At the Naval armory surplus?

Him: [cry-laughing unicorn emoticon]

Later, I go back downstairs to finish baking the cinnamon rolls in the toaster oven. The nuclear meltdown happened before they were completely done, so I finished them up in the toaster oven, since the regular oven now had hazardous waste warning tape wrapped around it.

"Look at that – we had a nice morning, and some really good food. I don't know about you, but I sure had fun!"

"And you didn't burn the house down!"

"I know – Yay me! Aren't you proud of me?"

"Yes I am!"

"...I'm setting the bar really low here, if all I have to do is not burn the house down for you to be proud of me."

"High five!"

I got *this* merit badge for selling cookies...and I got *this* one for not burning the house down..."

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