Monday, October 16, 2006

One year, motherfuckers!

You heard me. Anniversary-themed rant to come...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This blog is pretty much dead

It's time to finally admit that.

I apologize to the three or four regular readers, plus those total strangers who passed by now and again. This could've been, I sincerely think, an at least partially interesting little account. But there were two factors that led to its slow demise: 1) I got distracted by petty bullshit, and 2) quitting smoking, even after a 4 1/2 year addiction, turned out to be breathtakingly dull.

I'll leave this up, for reasons of posterity, and may even swing by if something major happens. Like what, you ask? Shrug. Maybe one of my lungs will be coughed up and land on my bedroom floor. Really, who can tell?

Thanks for stopping by and, in a couple cases, leaving comments. You're the tops.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

No smoking blog, I wish I could quit you

Many apologies for basically ignoring this site for so long -- in fact, I notice that tomorrow is the three month (!!) aniversary. I had hoped this would've been an endlessly thrilling blog, with updates virtually on the hour. Little did I know the struggle would be fairly prosaic; updates would've largely consisted of, "Yes, I still haven't mauled any nearby smokers and stolen their stash." You should be thanking me, if anything.

For those still periodically swinging by for updates, here's a quick round-up of what's occured, no smoking-wise, since I went all neglectful:

* I went off the patches, and thus all forms of nicotine, around x-mas time
* Perhaps as a result, I've grown lazier, more prone to lay around. No doubt due to this
* I've also put on a good twenty pounds, though jowls have yet to grow
* OT: I smoked a stogie on New Year's. That was awesome.

I'll be back -- just because I'm off the nicotine doesn't mean the trials are over. Lucky you.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm quitting smoking?

Day 53. Oh, right. Forgot I was supposed to post on this. Anyway, not much to add, really, except for a couple terribly, terribly minor updates:

* That whole tired-all-the-time patch? It passed.
* Weight problem? Probably an exaggeration.
* Fear of quitting the patch completely? Quite palpable.
* Thinking about cigarettes all the time? I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention.

Otherwise, I live a healthy lifestyle, I breathe nicely, and I make sure to pinch my nostrils together when I pass by a smoker in the progress of smoking, raising it at the same time for the maximum snob/hypocrite effect. (Sometimes I walk up to them and faux-hack my lungs out. Fortunately, none of them have been Bill Hicks.) Bring on the Philly Smoking Ban!

Actually, that really does get my blood boiling. That might wind up my next Pedantic Post.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Right leg still mostly immobilized, thanks for asking

Day 45. The plan, as though I really need to go into it again, was to take a more aggressive position on getting myself into shape once I quit smoking. (That is, quite apart from quitting smoking.) Gyms were to be joined, bikes were to be ridden, jogs were to be taken, and healthy food was to be imbibed at near-sickening amounts. Not one week into my plan, my knee cap went out.

As of last week, I hit the one month anniversary of this abrupt little accident. Needless to say, I've been doing very little of the planned shape-getting-into, which, also needless to say, means instead of becoming Mr. Healthy Buff Guy, I'm closer to George Clooney in Syriana. (And may I just say that his weight and facial hair gain was a very, very brave move for an actor of his handsomeness.) It's not as though I've been inert. I was only confined to invalid status for a week. Once I was physically able to walk, I did, and I've been long back to my more normal, non-friend-relying-on lifestyle. But everything's that much harder. I can't walk too, too much, or my knee gets red and I need to get off of it for a bit. Stairs are a continuous pain in the ass. And when I sit in public places (buses, subways, movie theaters, restaurants), I have to position myself in such a way that my leg is completely straight.

Okay, so that last one's more of a carp than a symptom of something dreadful.

What this -- or most of it -- translates into is pure, unadulterated exhaustion. As in, jesus christ am I tired all the time. It's not as bad as when I was sucking down a pack and a half a day, but it's eerily close. On Saturday, I finally switched to level 2 on the Nicoderm Life Plan Parade (the patch is smaller, wouldn't you know) and the effect was instantaneous and quite noticeable: basically, I became lethargic and energy-free. Halfway through the day, I simply passed out for awhile. It hasn't gotten much better. I'm pretty sure this didn't happen when I switched from ciggies to patch (45 days ago, as you know), and I'm wondering how long it'll be till my body takes the hint and gets in line. It better hurry up; I'm a busy man.

(Also, I apologise if this is just all too much whine whine whine, or especially so in this case or whatever. See the last paragraph.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

One month, motherfuckas!

Day 32. I would just like to point out that it was exactly one month ago today that I slapped on the nicotine patch. You may now resume working, sleeping, or whatever it is you do at this time of day.

Monday, November 14, 2005

He cracked

Day 30. Three of us decided to quit together. On Friday, one of us (not me) succumbed. Still plenty impressive, though, don't ya think? Should you need an equivalent, try quitting something that's intregal to your everyday life for almost a month. It's rough out there.

Here's what my trusty pamphlet, courtesy Nicoderm, says on the subject: "Discard your cigarettes, forgive yourself and then get back on track. Don't consider yourself a failure or punish yourself. In fact, people who have already tried to quit are more likely to be successful the next time."

So, by that logic, I should go buy a pack of smokes posthaste.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chewing chewing gum

Day 25. As I alluded to in my last post, I have recently come to realize that I have developed a new problem: addiction to Nicorette. Now, I'm officially on the patch, and I never decided to go two-handed here: when I started out, I chose to do the patch with additional, more visceral help from the gum, four of which I would chew a day. And I have kept to this. In fact, I have steadily decreased my intake, to the point where I'm down to two a day. So, you're asking, what's the problem?

Basically this: that I'm doing it at all. Apart from the physical/chemical needs for cigarettes, the hardest part of quitting is getting rid of the habitual ones. There are still times when the stress is high, or there's something else entirely, and I think, "Well, that's it, I want a cigarette." I then sate this desire with the gum. But as a fellow smoke-quitter pointed out, that's a feeling I should be fighting off as well. Otherwise, what am I quitting, exactly, when I'm still essentially giving into the addiction? (Okay, so the disappearance of hacking coughs is a plus.)

Except when I'm asleep, there is nicotine floating around my system at all times. The point of quitting smoking is not just getting rid of the cigarettes themselves; it's to completely rid yourself of nicotine. According to my trusty box, I'm due to step down to the next level of Nicodern -- from the current 21mg, which I've been on since the start, to 14 -- in 2 1/2 weeks. After that, the process gets a sudden adrenalin shot, with the next step-down -- to 7mg -- only two weeks later, and nothing two weeks after that. (In other words, I will then no longer be a smoker. I even have an according sticker I just can't wait to stick somewhere prominent.) As I type this, I have in my possession only four or five more sticks of Nicorette. Those shall be my last, no less because they are mindbogglingly expensive.* Better start the complete wean-off now.

* But only in a sense. Like Nicoderm, Nicorette is priced to be roughly equivalent to the amount of money you would spend on cigarettes in the alotted time. In other words, you spend what you would otherwise spend, only you do it all at once. The problem with this, and why I think this system needs to be severely restructured, is that those of lower socioeconomic backgrounds aren't going to be able to keep this up. If you run out and have twenty bucks in your wallet for the next couple days, you could save up and fight the cause with absolutely nothing to help you, or you could just cave. As anyone who's found themselves strapped for cash for a long period of time knows, getting healthy is expensive. Just as it's less a strain on your wallet to grab something at Wendy's than it is to grab something at Whole Foods, it's cheaper to buy a pack of cigarettes rather than buy a box of Nicoderm. Where are the eternal tax hikes on cigarettes going again?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Catching up

Day 24. A partial list of the alterations to my non-smoking body that have caught my attention over the last week:

* the return of a less persnickety palette
* a healthier appetite, most notably for between-meal snacks (and, by the way, thanks, Halloween)
* an expanding second chin
* flabbier arms that could, for now, reasonably pass for muscle
* a greater sense of fatigue, and a need for at least seven hours of sleep on average
* more sporadic-than-usual spaciness
* an actual, honest-to-god, no-fucking-joke outbreak of acne over my face (I am 26)
* a sense of calmness that I actually decipher as eerie
* fur where there was no fur before (sorry; couldn't resist)

You'll notice that, other than the first two (and one of them's debatable), none of these are exactly pluses. Here we are, folks: into the dregs. I was expecting to gain at least a little weight, as that is normal and also, depending on who you ask, probably a good thing for me. (Though I never hit below 180 lbs., I have been described as "rail-thin," as I also happen to be hideously tall.) What I wasn't prepared for was to find my face dotted with more and more red dots as the days progress. Halfway through Junior High, I was hit quite extraordinarily by acne; dermatologists were consulted, numerous medications were prescribed, and I was grouped along with others ceremoniously dubbed "pizza face." Since high school, I had managed to moisturize my skin to the point where my face had taken on a babyish texture. Now, I'm worried.

Still don't crave a cigarette, though I think I've developed a new fixation: nicorette. But that's for another post. (Literally. It'll be the next one.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Not posting much is good

Day 16. For two reasons:

1) [self-deprecating remark]

2) It shows (or at least gives the illusion) that I'm not thinking about it much. Which I'm not.

I wish to now thank my kneecap for dislocating and, by turn, forcing me to concentrate most of my attention on my braced-up leg. Good work, patella.