Friday, March 30, 2007


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fitness Level Improving Already

Since I quit smoking, so many things seem to be happening at once that it's hard to keep track of them all. My attitude has changed in a lot of subtle ways, my energy level is through the roof, and I've started eating better and exercising.

I only started working out around a week ago, and already my fitness level is showing measurable improvement. Not just the kind you can measure with a-- um, what's something you can only use to measure really small stuff?

I'm going a touch faster on the Gazelle with a much lower heart rate. That's an important one, since according to all available information, I'm lucky my heart didn't jump out of my chest when I started. I was working way too hard, apparently. I'm not afraid of some good honest work, so long as I'm keeping the ol' heart right here inside the rib cage.

I've also doubled the amount of pushups I can do without slowing down, from fifteen to thirty. Last time I got on one of these kicks, I had myself up to sixty-something. Might have been seventy something. Sometimes it pays to be skinny.

This brings rise to the weight issue, which is mainly what got me started on this road in the first place. I'm sitting pretty right this minute at exactly my starting weight, after taking a brief stroll in the neighborhood of plus three to plus seven pounds. I expect to gain while I get back up to fighting weight, but at least now I can be sure it's not the Entenmann's talking as I work my way towards that ever-elusive six pack. I swear I think I can see the first little bit of a two-pack, but for some reason nobody else seems to be able to.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Trial Seperation -- I Never Thought It Would Be Me

It was a damned good run, I'll say that much.

Everything was going just fine, better than fine even; It was a love affair, for crying out loud.

The heat has gone lukewarm, and I'm just not feeling it anymore. I am left with no choice but to take a coffee break...

Insert blurry edges here, as we fade to memories of my school years. There was this guy everybody used to call Mister Clean. He wasn't bald or anything, but he didn't drink, smoke or get involved with whatever drugs or other interesting things most of his buddies found occupying their free time during any given three month period.

I'd love to know what ever happened to that guy. I can't seem to find him in google, so I guess he didn't end up as a rocket scientist or a murderer or anything interesting. I know, that was terrible, even for me.

For those still reading, time to get rid of the blurry edges. We're safe and sound back in good old 1985. 2007. Whatever.

So I'm on day 23 of my big cigarette quit, and now it's looking like coffee will be off the list too, at least for now. I'm starting to feel like Mister Clean, it's quite unexpected. Coffee has been tasting terrible to me for the last few days, like it's burnt or something. I don't know how many cups I've dumped since-- maybe Friday?

I actually decided yesterday after being disappointed (yet again, such is life it seems) not to even bother for awhile. The stuff never exactly kept me awake anyway.

I ended up giving it one last, unintentional shot this morning. I made a pot for Kelly so she could bring some to work as usual, and it turned out there was no creamer in the house so she ended up leaving it. This, presumably in favor of Dunkin' Donuts, where they are much more diligent with the cream supply than myself.

I figured I might as well see, right? Dumped the whole pot. It just tastes terrible. Maybe it always tasted terrible, and I just didn't know it because I was smoking, maybe it's just another phase in the transition to becoming a full-fledged nonsmoker. One thing however, is certain. It's definitely weird.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tobacco Estimated To Cause Up To 60% OF Drug Related Deaths, But Less Dangerous Than Booze?

That's what it says here.

Since somebody's out there doing all these studies, I figured the least I could do would be to find a couple related articles. Here ya go and here ya go again.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions for now.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Calming Down On The Junk Food

I'm trying to avoid filling up on garbage food throughout the day (and night) now. Twenty days of eating crap is quite enough, thank you. I'm not going to go vegan or anything, but I have been leaning toward some of the more widely accepted common sense practices today.

A big one is to eat smaller amounts, more often. I also went ahead and traded my usual snacks (which have been ranging from halloween candy to cookies to donuts) in for some Triscuits and an empire apple. I forgot how good the empires are, we usually have granny smiths in the fridge.

I want to do a little more research on nutrition. Not to go crazy with it, but a better idea of how much of what kinds of substances are especially important and a few pointers on things to avoid, besides the obvious, will probably go a long way.

I have a dentist appointment next week, too. First one in around ten years. I never said I've been taking wonderful care of myself. So the dentist is not likely to be thrilled with the amount of cleaning to be done, but I'm hoping to soften the blow with the news that I've recently quit smoking. That should get me at least a slightly more mild lecture.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's On!

I finally rode that dreaded Gazelle. I'm maintaining that that thing is made for people with shorter legs. I really need to get that back room with the heavy bag cleared out.

Still though, I feel pretty good about getting a workout in. First real workout since I quit smoking. The toughest part of most things is taking that first step.

Afterwards, I end up on the phone with the wife, she wanted to know how far did I go, how long was I on the cursed thing for, all that jazz.

So I told her; You'll never guess what she said. "That's like how much I do, but I'm fat. What's your excuse?"

What the hell?

Yes, she was just joking (I know how the typewritten word can get all wrapped up in misinterpreted context and candor). In fact, she got some wonderful laughs in. Ha ha. Bitch.

Anyway, now I guess I'm gonna get stuck getting good at riding this thing and knocking around the bag, just to show her up. I'm stubborn like that.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Mythbusters Night, Oh What A Night

I don't spend a lot of time watching television. This is partially because so most of what's on is garbage, but also because I simply have a preference towards burning my brain cells with more interactive tools like video games and the internet. Mmmmmmmmm... internet....

That was my best Homer Simpson impression. Sorry. I guess TV did rot my brain just a little.

The point. I should get to it. Mythbusters is one of the few shows I make sure I'm home to watch (it probably helps that Wednesday is not traditionally hot date night, huh?), and there's a new episode on tonight, baby!

In case you've never seen the show, or maybe just want to get warmed up for tonight, here's a little treat from the tube. I'm assuming of course that the tube has taken care of all the copyright infringement acquisition issues and what-not.

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Turning A Negative Into A Positive Without Advanced Mathematics

Ahh, the morning routine again. Got everybody fed and off to school safely, coffee is happily dripping, automatically. Time to go screw around with the blogs a little.

What's this? Garbage on my desk? An empty cigarette pack. Always cleaning up after everybody, that's what I am. Oh yeah, if I should suddenly disappear mysteriously and abruptly, that probably means the wife read that last sentence and doesn't think it's funny. Little joke there, babe. Just a li'l joke is all...

Moving on, it's not empty after all. there's one cigarette in a box on the computer desk. Why? I don't know. That's the negative thing. Not really so much for me, since I just threw it away.

The positive? I was so surprised to be greeted by this, I just had to post a picture. The digital camera however, has been MIA for a while. Long story short (I've been working on this skill, how am I doing?), I wandered around for just shy of an hour, ultimately finding the camera in a box under my bed.

So there it is, and yes that's a little cigarette burn next to the pack. Cool that I'll never be responsible for one of those again. I don't even know who was responsible for that one, but again, just smack me if I start with the useless little interjections.

I know, time for the conclusion: I found the long-lost camera, and (I confess) my desk is a little (okay, a lot) neater looking than it was when I woke up.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quitting Smoking Makes People Gain Weight -- Huge Surprise

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everybody told me to expect to gain a little weight upon smoking cessation. Actually, quite a lot of people seem to report that significant weight gain is to be expected, even normal.

It's official: I'm up three pounds. I'm cool with that, considering I've been getting just a bit overindulgent with the snack food lately. Well, actually more like whole box of Entenmann's crumb topped donuts indulgent. Good thing I've been taking the mountain bike out several times a week, even if it's only for short trips most of the time.

I think the intelligent thing to do here is a little preventative maintenance. You know, just in case. While I really have my sights on that punching bag, it's still not warm enough back there yet. Soon though, real soon.

For now, I guess it'll have to be the Gazelle. Cardio and I have a history of not getting along terrifically well, at least not for extended periods, but I'm going to try out my diplomatic skills and see if I can form some kind of a truce for now. At least until I can clear out the beloved heavy bag.

Time to see what these newly improved lungs can do, before my gut decides to start showing off. Maybe I'll even tone it down on the junk food.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Boredom Continues To Be My Enemy

Saturday night went well. We got out to the artsy-fartsy district and had some expensive dinner and drinks, after which we checked out the Kodo drummers. Very cool show. Later on some more fattening up, this time with half-price Applebees munchies and tall glasses of beer. Don't get me wrong, I am the opposite of an Applebees fan, but those nachos are so nacho-ey and when you tell them you want your wings hot, you get your wings hot.

The cool thing was when most of our group went outside to smoke (you can't smoke inside public places here in Jersey, except in limited areas of the casinos), I got to hang in the nice heated atrium and wonder if it was as cold out there as it looked. Turned out it was, and that was also the only time I had any cause to think about smoking. It wasn't because I wanted any part of it, either.

Most of Sunday though, and to a slightly lesser extent today, I have been finding myself so damn bored! These are the times when I used to smoke cigarette after cigarette. I'm still not having a lot of cravings though, which is great, a reminder that I am really doing a good job here.

I have noticed that I've been quite the miserable prick though. Then when I do have even a little bit of a craving, you want to talk about a grumpy son of a....

I actually am lightening up some even as I type this, it gives me a chance to laugh at myself, despite my reputation for not being all that funny. That's good, since the reason for this blog's existence in the first place is to be my own little space to vent and get this kind of crap out of my system. Another small success. Wow, I'm awesome!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Still Alive After Quitting Smoking 14 Days Ago

It's been a rough couple weeks, but today marks the fourteen day anniversary of the day I stopped smoking cold turkey. It's been a rough couple of weeks, with days both good and difficult, but I am finally beginning to feel like I am really meeting with some measurable success as someone who has quit smoking.

There are no more cravings whatsoever first thing when I wake up, and the overall amount of cravings I've been having on a daily basis that I consider significant is low, perhaps one or two a day. After dinner I still almost always think about a cigarette.

I've been told that it will probably take from two to four months to become very, very comfortable as a non smoker. I have heard wildly different amounts of times stated as to how long it will take until the possibility of smoking will become completely foreign. These range from six or eight months to a year or two to probably never.

I guess time will just have to tell, but for now I'm celebrating.

We're going out on a triple date to dinner and a show tonight, followed by question marks (???). The kids are sleeping out, so who knows what could happen?

I might not be able to catch up again until Monday, so enjoy the weekend.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

One Smart Cookie

I included a message in a post yesterday telling kids and teens not to smoke. Of course I had no way to know if any kids or teens would be reading that message any time soon.

I figure it's my blog and I'll just write whatever I want. If somebody gets healthier or smarter as a result, good for them, even if I may never know about it.

So my eight year old brought in some homework that needed adult checking and approval, and sees on my screen the headline Quitting Smoking Makes You Smarter.

He has been very supportive of my quitting smoking, he's a good egg. I've told him about smoking and he knows what a tough thing it has been for me to stop doing it. although it's difficult to explain addiction to a kid his age without destroying his innocence, I like to think I'm managing to do just that.

I didn't want him to fall asleep reading the long version, so I shortened it up for him. You know what I got back?

"Man Dad, you really were stupid when you were smoking. Good thing you quit."

Huge internal smile. I think he gets it.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Favorite Blog Today

I went outside this afternoon and was really surprised to discover that it was 72 degrees. There are birds singing, and some small animals scurrying around. I can hear them but can't quite see them. The only thing missing was a butterfly. Oh, there's one.

I stumbled across that really nice pic just in time for this oh-so-beautiful weather over at Bountiful Healing, which is chock full of truly inspired original photography work by Robin, its author.

She's a quitter too (six years strong, whoa), that's actually how I stumbled across this site. Always looking for a good quit story. In a recent post, she recalls some details of the determination required to succeed.

"I once took a killer craving, mentally shot it out into space, and wondered if there was some creature on another planet suddenly hit by nicotine cravings crying out 'I want a cigarette!' and then wondering what the heck a cigarette is and why he was craving it."

I can't wait to see what she captures next with that camera of hers.

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Quitting Smoking Makes You Smarter

Or maybe smoking makes you stupid.

Yesterday, we laughed at a short video that showed the lengths to which one character would go for a cigarette, and just how miserable he was when he couldn't have one.

Smokers watching that video probably have some empathy for the poor guy, one thing after another keeping him from a simple cigarette.

I quit smoking a week and a half ago now, and I'll tell you what. I am sooo glad to be in a position where I don't need to feel that empathy, nor get anxious way in the back of my mind and go stock up on matches just in case. I actually don't even know where the nearest pack of matches is right now, and I'm quite comfortable with this. Things are as they should be.

It wasn't always like this. I was BSing with some of the guys last night, and recalled a true story I had long forgotten.

To all the kids and teenagers reading this, BS stands for "Be Smart." As in don't smoke because it makes you behave like a stupid person.

This story is my own, and its telling is actually surprisingly short. In fact, we've probably already gotten through the longest part of its recounting, and I haven't even started yet.

Around ten years ago, I ended up with a temp job at this place where they stored all kinds of computer parts, and built, repaired and customized computers and related stuff. Since there were many small, yet valuable items present, everybody had to go through a metal detector on the way into and out of the building.

It was very much like the setup at the airport; Pockets got emptied onto a conveyor belt, which brought the items through a scanner, along with any lunches, briefcases, purses or whatever. The employee walked through a larger scanner, and if necessary the operator would use a handheld wand to detect if it were a belt buckle or a pin in somebody's elbow setting the thing off.

It was a good idea to show up at this place early, and there wasn't much chance of beating any traffic on the way out.

Everybody was entitled to a half-hour for lunch in the middle of the day, a fifteen minute break in the morning and another 15 in the afternoon. Everybody took these breaks at the same time, as was determined by company policy.

Due to the amount of time it took to move everybody through the metal detector, nobody was permitted to leave the building during either of the fifteen minute breaks. See where we're going? That's right, they didn't allow smoking anywhere inside either.

As a smoker, those fifteen minute breaks are cigarette breaks. That's just what they are. You might grab a coffee or a snack, but would do so as quickly as possible without hurting yourself, so as not to shave any more time off of your cigarette break than necessary. So to my mind, these bastards were basically telling me to take a smoke break, except I couldn't smoke.

After my initial reaction of being upset, I asked for some kind of consideration, and indicated that I would certainly be flexible toward whatever suggestions would allow me my precious cigarette. There were around 20 other smokers employed there as well, and I was assured that there were no special arrangements to be had.

What do you think I did?

I didn't do anything. I just let the anger build up for about a week. Then I had a crappy day, and when the bell rang for our smoke break, I tried one more time to get someone to hear my plight. No dice.

So I quit. Perfectly good job, and I quit before I even got my first paycheck. On top of that, I got two others to quit with me. Yup, we sure showed them. That's the hold these things get over us.

Fortunately, I ended up able to afford to feed myself for long enough to tell this tale today, but is that the stupidest thing you've ever heard or what?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Quit Smoking

Here's a humorous one from the tube. If you've ever been a smoker, this one needs no explanation.

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Smoker Alert Level Elevated To Yellow

Due to the rapid onset of warmer outdoor temperatures in most areas today, the outdoor dirty smoker alert has been updated to yellow, or elevated.

While it is not advisable to panic during a yellow alert, all air-breathing citizens are advised to remain vigilant, and monitor your surroundings closely. Outdoor benches, free-standing planters, loose coffee cans, any space near the employee entrance of most types of commercial establishments, and possibly even some of the lesser frequented fountains (this includes both the drinking and statue types) are of increased likelihood to become gathering places for the smokers.

Take appropriate proactive steps based on your individual surroundings and circumstances to protect yourself from their infectious behaviors.

As spring draws near and outdoor conditions become increasingly more favorable, expect that the alert level could be upgraded to orange, or high, at any time, and be prepared for an announcement to this effect.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Everybody's Quitting Smoking -- The Phenomenon

There's a phenomenon I've always found interesting, maybe one of my loyal readers has a name for it. I'll try to explain.

What happens is that something becomes noticed, discussed or otherwise brought to one's immediate attention, and then that same something will continuously pop up again and again for awhile. For myself, I usually notice that once it starts, it usually happens pretty frequently for a few months to a year, and eventually it either dwindles down to nothing, or becomes such a normal, integrated something, that it becomes the remarkability of the phenomenon itself that does the fading away.

(Note to self: remarkability shows as an incorrect word in blogger's spell check, another reason to dislike the platform. "remarkability." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 12 Mar. 2007.)

Example: Early in our marriage, we added a Ford Escort station wagon to the driveway. Funny looking little thing, and underpowered. Anyway, I never used to notice these ugly things on the road before. Next thing you know, we can't go anywhere without seeing them all over the place. There must even have been a Burger King (or a real unhealthy eater) employee who owned one the same color as ours, it was frequently in the parking lot there.

Another example: A couple of years ago, I learned that my wife was born an hour after Mt. St. Helens erupted. Yeah, I know. No comments on that, she might read this someday. Hi, Babe! Oh yeah, the point. After learning this, I started seeing stuff about Mt. St. Helens all over the place. Articles about other disasters would mention it, then the 25th anniversary of the event, one of the kids brought home a volcano book from the library and it was in the back cover. Just a lot of little things.

It has taken us a little while to get here, but here we are. Since I have quit smoking, I just keep running into people who have also quit. It turns out a couple of guys I work with are quitters, and I somehow managed to completely forget that my own mother quit her 2+ pack habit sometime within the last couple of years.

So yesterday, I was just minding my own business, playing a game of Monopoly with the kids, enjoying the fact that we didn't have to interrupt the game so I could go have a smoke. Awesome. Next thing I know, some friends and family stop over, completely out of the blue. Just one of those weird coincidences. I didn't even realize until the wife and brother-in-law left the room for a smoke, but the three of us left were all quitters! It gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling, and just served as another reminder that I'm doing the right thing.

When I started smoking so many years ago, it seemed like everybody was doing it. Now I stop smoking, and it seems like everybody's doing that. At least I'm running with the right crowd this time.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


I like my coffee. Black with one sugar. Never got into the iced mocha-java-latte-chino or anything like that. I'm a simple man who just puts his pants on one leg at a time and enjoys coffee better than cardboard.

So I'm standing by the coffee machine next to this dudeman, and I unexpectedly (to myself and to him) blurt out, "Hazelnut?"

I don't know if he didn't hear what I said, didn't understand why I would ask or care, or just thought I was a weirdo, but he just stood there for a sec looking at me. It was almost, but not quite the look I'd expect to get from a guy standing at the next urinal over if I asked him if he wanted to see a trick I just learned. Moving on...

"Your coffee; Is that hazelnut?" He hesitantly replied in the affirmative. He lightened up when I explained that I couldn't smell that kind of stuff last week because I just quit smoking. Turns out he used to smoke, too.

I have had a notoriously bad sense of smell for as long as I can remember. You probably could have snuck a turd under my pillow a week ago and gotten away with it. Don't even try it now, I'll kick your ass.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

First Screwed Up Dream Since I Quit Smoking

I had a dream today that was so messed up, I can't even bring myself to type it here. I'll be spending pretty much all the time between now and whenever I go to sleep again convincing myself not to have dreams like that anymore.

Maybe I'll end up recording my dreams at some point, perhaps here or on one of my other blogs. The jury's still out on this.

Maybe I'll take my favorite blank one, get a bunch of co-authors, and let everybody run amuck, anonymously posting their messed-up dreams.

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Apples Do Nothing For Cigarette Cravings

Note to self: The doctor still hasn't showed up yet though, so that old adage may still hold true.

I haven't touched a cigarette in five and a half full days (I feel like one of the kids saying that, the six and a half year old in particular). As of five minutes ago, I weigh exactly the same as I did last weekend, which means I'm mostly keeping myself from eating a bunch of garbage to control cravings.

For some reason or another, I just found myself thinking about a cigarette. As I have been doing in these situations, I tried something new, an apple this time.

While I am satisfied that the doctor will likely not be making any house calls this day, a big chug of flavored seltzer water (it's black cherry right now) is far higher on the it fights cravings scale than the apple, which sits at zero.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Quitting Smoking Day Five: Summary

I'm getting pretty close to the end of day five over here, and wow there are a lot of you reading!

I must admit, I am nothing if not grumpy today. Every little thing has been setting me off. At least nobody's around for most of the day, so the effects are minimalazed to a reasonable extent. I've tried to take some good deep breaths and kind of keep myself mellow now that we're all back home sharing our spaces for the evening. How good of a job I am doing remains to be seen.

Yes, I ate Santa.

No, I never got any respectable sunflower seeds. I'm trying some other things, and will report over the weekend. Promise.

I have had occasion to learn that running still sucks. We ran out of heating oil overnight (can you say, "Chris is in inattentive idiot?"), and the delivery arrived while I was down the street getting the boys from the bus stop. Knowing that the oil guy needed to be paid before pumping any oil, I had to sprint the length of the street to make sure I got to him before he decided to leave.

I didn't hack up a lung or anything, but wow did my sides cramp up. We're only talking about like a thousand feet here. I guess I should start working on that too.

I have given some consideration to the exercise section of this plan, the bulk of which is slated to revolve around my heavy punching bag. That sucker is an instant stress reliever, only problem is that it's in an unheated area. Well, That's not the only problem. It's going to get down to three degrees tonight. Total 'nother problem. And some spring cleaning is in order if I think I'm gonna get anywhere near the thing. Okay, three problems.

Things are looking up quite a bit for next week's high temperatures though, so I might just have a chance to wrap the hands up and throw a few punches after all.

All you quitters out there reading, keep your quit on. Everybody else, think about it.

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Oh No, Anything But That!

"Okay, now you've done it. Now you've gone and pissed me off."

That's what I was thinking an hour ago. I really could have used a good place to vent. somebody to yell at would have been perfect. Man, was I mad.

What great injustice was served upon me, you ask? It was the food store. They don't have my sunflower seeds. Yeah, sure, they have sunflower seeds, but only the ones that have already been removed from the shell. Can you imagine how fast they'd be gone if I didn't have to play around with the shells? I'd gain a pound every two hours, not what I'm going for.

For those of you late to the party, I've alluded to the fact that sunflower seeds have been helpful as a quit smoking aid. Don't worry, I'll put out a comprehensive list once I've figured out what's actually helpful.

So I just said screw it and came home. Did I mention that we celebrated Christmas a few weeks ago? I know, it seems like a lot longer, right? Nope, only ten weeks or so. Why is this important?

Because-- lookie-lookie what we have heeyah! Six crispy chocolate Santas, that's right, a hundred and ninety grams of chocolatey, crunchity goodness, all for me. Now don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily recommend this kind of behavior for everyone. To be fair, I didn't even eat all six of them, either; There's still one lonely Santa here.

Man, he looks lonely.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Blue Hair?

I'm well into my fourth day of my smoking cessation. Instead of harping on that right now, let's do something a little different.

Last week's light humor
involved my younger son getting on the phone. This is an infrequent occurrence, but he ended up with a phone to his ear yesterday again.

He wanted to know if he could dye his hair blue. Yeah. There's no way I was about to take the heat for even appearing interested here.

"Ask your mother." Another potential disaster averted, right? Right.

"Can I call her right now and ask her?"

What's the worst that can happen?

A minute and a half later: "It was Daddy's idea..."

"Yeah, Dad said to call you!" It was the other one, chiming in. They were teaming up on me! What the hell?

I'm working on my "make a long story short" technique, so here goes: I ended up getting questioned, some other stuff happened, and right this minute both of my kids are at school with blue hair.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mmmmm... Lasagna in a Can

I haven't been sleeping for any lengthy periods of time throughout this whole quitting smoking thing, but I did manage to get in another hour and a half before the phone woke me up. It's not as bad as it sounds, as I plan on sleeping away Wednesday to a large extent.

By the time I got the boys home, we were all starving. For myself, this was for not having eaten anything for most of the day. The empty lunchboxes they brought home would seem to indicate a different situation for the youngsters, but you wouldn't know it by their appetites. Some days they just might eat more than me. Damn, they're getting big far too quickly.

Oh yeah, back on topic... which is listed as lasagna. We had some, and it tasted like it's supposed to, and full bellies were had by all. My seltzer and sunflower seeds have been restored to their former tasty selves as well.

All this yumminess brought on the reflexive thought of an after-meal smoke, the first significant one of the day. This I was able to dismiss without much difficulty by reminding myself that I don't smoke. What a stupid reflex to have, huh?

Three quarters of the way through day three, and things are going better than expected. This is the longest I've gone without smoking in fifteen years, and I'm feeling okay.

Yesterday sucked, but today is fine so far.

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Day Three Quitting Smoking -- Good News and Bad News

I managed to get over my coffee high and sneak in a few hours of sleep eventually. Now I've been awake for ten hours or so. In this time, I've been with a more reasonable temperament and without any especially overwhelming cravings.

This is good news, since I spent most of yesterday so uncomfortable that I really can't quite find the words to describe it. A root canal metaphor doesn't quite do it justice, maybe as uncomfortable as a mad dog in a cathouse? Hm, that doesn't even make sense, does it? Well anyway, it's very good news and I'm pleasantly surprised for now.

Everybody tells me that quitting smoking is going to make things taste better. Word on the street is that there are even things that smell good when a person is not smoking. Of course there's no hard and fast rule as to when this can be expected to happen, and it's doubtful that it will happen all at once (Bam! Chip steaks taste like ribeye!).

Fair enough, but the bad news is that now everything tastes like cardboard. Candy, gum, donuts, Fritos, frozen pizza, ham and cheese, Lucky Charms, coffee, even apple juice and lemon flavored seltzer water.

The only thing so far that has escaped this cruel fate is plain old Poland Spring water, which continues to taste like spring water. Thanks Maine, for coming through for me when I least expected it.

While this is definitely a problem, with me disliking the taste of cardboard the way I do, I am feeling much better overall than yesterday, and am certainly in better spirits. Still, I can't really enjoy eating anything right now, so I'm going to take a shower and a nap and see if things change later.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Coffee is not Bad

Eventually, I reached a point where I was fairly certain that I was shaking from a nic fit, and not because I had been pounding coffee all morning. Solution: another pot of coffee.

I have to admit, I'm feeling a little more stable. That's not to say that I was feeling unstable necessarily, just that I'm feeling slightly more stable at this time.

Day Two Sucks

So it's day two of my quit smoking cold turkey adventure, and I am pretty much a nutcase. I've almost smoked around fifty times, and have been quite jittery since I hit the 35 hour mark.

I drank a pot and a half of coffee this morning. Each mug seems to stave off the craving for ten minutes or so. It takes around ten minutes to finish a cup, so I basically just kept sucking it down for three hours straight.

I finally drank enough so as to be unsure whether I have the jitters from caffeine or from nicotine withdrawal, which is easier for me to deal with than knowing for a fact that it's the latter. I don't know why this is true, but that's just where I'm at right now.

There's also a huge bag of sunflower seeds here, which I probably never would have thought of. Kelly left them lying here, and they are doing a good job of giving me something to do with my mouth.

Between the salty seeds and all that coffee, I'm thirsty. I switched to water a while ago, still thirsty. And grumpy. Good thing there's nobody else here, or I'd probably be less-than-pleasant company for the unlucky person(s).

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First Smoke Free Day Wasn't Bad

I didn't have too bad of a time yesterday with cravings. Actually, yesterday was easier that I thought it would be. I slept through much of it (Sunday is always a good day to catch up on rest), but even the usual major triggers like waking up, having dinner and the other typical ones really had very little effect.

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Sunday, March 4, 2007

I Quit Smoking

Don't have much time to post right now, but I wanted to make sure to announce that I had my last puff last night, March 3, at 10:10PM Eastern time (that's GMT -5). It's cold turkey time.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Quit Goes On

Tonight I smoke my last cigarette. Ever. I'm excited about doing it, which will get me through for awhile, and then it'll have to be willpower. Fortunately, I am quite the willful one. Go ahead, ask anybody. They'll tell you.

I'm finding myself just a little nervous as the time draws near. Not nervous because I think I'm going to break, because I don't, but nervous about how much these next few days are going to suck. I'm minimizing this for now by thinking about how much worse some people have it than I'm going to.

Quitting smoking, big deal. There are people out there who don't have a warm place to sleep, or food for themselves or their children, people whose difficulties are unlikely to fade in a couple of weeks. I bet they'd love to trade problems with me, while I sit here complaining about not smoking cancer sticks.

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Brightened Up

Some of the site's bells and whistles need a little more attention than I have been able to give them these last couple of days, but I've decided to put up the basic elements of the brighter, wider template for now just because the old one was so terrible looking and drab.

For those of you who missed it, here's what it looked like: Not pretty.

This is only partially finished, but I am not allowing my quit plan to be set back. The quit goes on as planned. No more smoking for me as of tomorrow. The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that I'll be making small changes for a long time anyway.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Behind The Scenes Today

I know it doesn't look like it, but I've been working hard on a fresh coat of paint for this site. By Friday afternoon I'll be able to release some of the major parts of the new look and feel, and a bell and a whistle or two.

I'm surprised at how many people have been reading, including visitors from Canada, China, Spain, Korea and around a dozen different U.S. States. No comments yet, but that's cool; I know some people just like to watch, sometimes myself included.

Tune in around this time tomorrow, and let me know what you think about the first public draft.

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