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The blank post page mocks me as I stare at the dust particles clouding the brightness of my screen, thinking to myself, why bother? Another post about the quirky freaks that make up this family? How much can people -- can I -- take? This isn't a real blog anyway, so where's the pressure? We have no regular installment posts, no unique series forcing a steady stream of creativity. We still use the basic, free blogger template with a simple banner across the top - no fancy graphics, no daily links or flickr photos blinking in the sidebars.

I wonder as I stew in my usual vat of worry, frustration, fatigue, and -- what else, what else? oh, who cares -- if my demotivated, numb attitude has something to do with the fact that, along with a delayed stress reaction to a seventh new job in seven years and the resulting lack of a comfortable daily routine, extremely conspicuous braces that still make me cringe at my own reflection even two months later, and the disturbing extra layers of fat my stress seems to have deposited suddenly around my middle, I'm sleep-deprived in a way that I haven't been since my children were infants. Sleep-deprived because my dog has joined the ranks of the die-hard Expert Sleep Deprivers Who Love To Deprive Us Of Sleep With The Sleep Deprivation (also known as the Ranks Of Bryce). I realize as this thought crosses my mind that if we were real bloggers, some measley sleep deprivation would mean nothing to us: HA! We laugh in the face of sleep deprivation! Sleep is a luxury we can't afford what with all the real blogging we have to do! Those weaklings who insist on sleep don't deserve to have blogs anyway! Wimps.

Hmm, yes. Yes. This might be a viable explanation. The jingling, jingling, jingling of the dog's collar right next to my head at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 a.m. My concession to stumble out of bed and let him into the back yard to dart around aimlessly sniffing, searching always for the perfect place to deposit an apparently stubborn undigested collection of band-aid wrappers, paper towels, and used kleenex. I think back to my half-asleep anger bubbling slowly to the surface as I stand for the third time in a night, arms crossed, face stern, eyes squinting into the pitch black cold space of my back yard as I wait for this stupid, stupid animal to get back inside. Anger because if I close the door and leave him out there, he will wake us within 20 minutes with the force of his 70-pound body slamming against the sliding glass door in protest of the injustice of being abandoned in his own huge back yard, the one he woke me up three times to get into, woke me with his creepy unwavering dog stare into my sleeping face and his jingling, jingling, jingling collar and his pantpantpantpanting warm dog breath: let me out. let me out. let me out. I think to myself in awe that I spent more time dealing with this high-maintenance epileptic dog in the middle of the night than I did dealing with my own issue-ridden flesh and blood, who was also waking us with random, unexplainable demands throughout the night: his room lamp had been turned off and therefore when he stirred at 1:15 a.m., his bedroom, the one he SLEEPS IN, was dimmer than his standards require - his standards being that any room he enters maintain the BRIGHTNESS OF SUN-SHINY DAYLIGHT 24 hours a day.

And then I think, oh look. Another post about the freaks that make up this household.

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