June 2, 1998,8:00 p.m.

 Let's see now...First things first. Happy birthday, Lynda!

I want to thank Renee for mentioning me in her interview for The Journal Interviews, as well as being an interesting look at one of the most interesting (and certainly best-loved) journallers of all.

Meditations of the Abyss has a excellent new look. Good deal, Becke! Are you going to be one of those journalkeepers who change their look with every new month?

Speaking of changing looks... I hope everyone likes the small changes I made to the main journal page, and hope that those who might have had troubles before will have an easier time of it. I toyed with getting rid of the starry background altogether, and just using the blue stars I use to seperate sections in the journal entries occasionally against a black background. Laziness won out, though. Let me know your opinion on that, okay?

I stole the way I redid some of the web rings from Tammy in Words and Thoughts, with some modifications. Thanks, Tammy! I liked the stark simplicity of it. Some of my web rings require some pictures on their links, as part of being accepted into the ring--so I tried to keep those. I don't think I violated the rules on any of the others. If any of the ringmasters of those webrings find I have violated their rules...I must admit I didn't go reread all their rules again...please let me know and I'll restore the pictures.

I'm not saying I'm stopping the changes there. It's still a work-in-progress...

However, I am reviving Redwine again with a new entry.

 Boy, I'm tired. Usually I have little trouble getting to sleep, but a combination of an active child (Jamie) and an active wife (Barb, of course) has left me pleasantly and agreeably sleepy. I probably only got four hours' sleep last night. I also went swimming two hours tonight with the boys. which gives you that deliciously languid feeling.

I can remember nights when I would stay awake, unable to sleep. I don't think there's been a one since I got married, and expecially since I've had kids. There have been plenty of nights where I have deliberately stayed up, but insomnia is no longer my problem. But once upon a time...

I can remember closing my eyes, and watching the lightshow behind the eyelids, as random neurons fire and seem to send flashes of light, usually inbetween the afterimages of bright things I've seen while awake. I'd get fascinated by the fireworks when I closed my eyes...a miniature thunderstorm enacting behind my eyelids.

I'd be too fascinated to sleep. Then I'd tell myself not to get interested...which of course, is like telling a little kid to sit in the corner and not to think of elephants. I'd get all nervous and tense, telling myself not to think of anything, to fall asleep. Thus I was keeping myself awake.

 I can remember waking up at night at my grandmother's, looking out the screened window, looking at the full moon, wishing I could fall asleep. I was only nine or so, and Pop would insist that the lights stay out. Sometimes I'd be up till two or three in the morning. My grandmother's house was an old monstrosity, full of radiators that hissed and odd noises in the middle of the night. I wasn't afraid. I was just kept awake by the constant racket. The lights would be out,and I would stare outside.

There was a girls' dorm next to my grandmother's house, for a Baptist Bible College. Sometimes I would look, hoping to see the Holy Grail of young boyhood, a naked girl, a furtive exhibitionist changing in front of a window, flashing the neighborhood. I never did, of course. Not too many amateur strippers attend Baptist Bible Colleges. More's the pity.

But then, even then...I was an optimist.

 Watching someone else sleep is the ultimate test in a relationship. My father used to fall asleep in his black Naugahyde E-Z-Boy recliner, open-mouthed and slackjawed. The most awful snoring I ever heard would erupt from him, and the worst part was, he would often do it around nine or nine-thirty, when programs worth watching were still on. We would stand it as long as we could, and then we would shake him awake and ask him to please,please, please go to bed.

Half the time he would get up, fix himself another vodka martini, and sit back down, now alert...for fifteen minutes, tops. Then his eyelids would droop, and his neck would relax, and his mouth would open, and it would start all over again. It was like having a lion constantly roaring in your den.

Unfortunately, the snoring, at least, is heriditary...or so they tell me, at least. There may be a reason Barb's much more of a night owl than I am.

Eric, despite autism, can imitate things a little. He can do a (bad) meow, moo, even a little bark, for the various animals. Once they asked him,

"What does Daddy sound like when he sleeping? Do Daddy sleeping."

He immediately closed his eyes and went,


Everybody laughed, and even I smiled.

 Having to force myself to sleep, luckily, has not been my problem in recent years. Even before we had kids, I seemed to sleep better. Maybe I just needed someone to share the bed with.

Now, if only I could get my kids to sleep on schedule. Jamie and Brian would stay up all night if they could. Eric tends to conk out early, but to wake up very early. Getting them coordinated is a never-ending battle. So I've learned to grab my sleep when I can.

Pleasant dreams.

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