A Smokeless Seven Days

In a few hours I’ll be at seven days of non-smoking.  It has been a weird week for sure.  I don’t actually feel any different or healthier and I sure as hell don’t feel like a non-smoker.  I feel like it’s been a few hours since I last smoked and every once in a while I’m still catching myself thinking things like, “Next commercial I’m going for a smoke.”  The only difference is that I just don’t go.

I’ve tried to quit before, using patches or gum or whatever in order to deal with the “cravings.”  This time was different.  I figured, alright, I’ll get gum and use that when it’s really bad because the gum is annoying and that’ll make me chew less of it.  One piece of gum is supposed to pretty much substitute for one cigarette.  And I figured buying over one hundred pieces was a good call for the first week or so, given my history of quitting.  I remember attempts to quit in the past had me rubbing furiously at a patch on my arm, somehow believing that the heat would dispense more of the sweet sweet nicotine throughout my body.

Needless to say, all other attempts at quitting brought me back to smoking within a day or two.  I think the longest I ever went without smoking was 2 days and that was when I was deathly sick, not even while I was attempting to quit.

This time, I told myself I would quit on Saturday.  I woke up Saturday, later in the afternoon, because it’s easier to not smoke when you’re unconscious than it is when you’re up and about and after that I haven’t looked back.  I’ve had four pieces of nicorette gum since last Saturday.  That’s it, just one a day for the first four days.

During the first two days I definitely avoided everyone I could like the plague.  I tried to have very few conversations with the girlfriend’s parents, as well as, with the girlfriend, because we were quitting together, as couples do.  I’m pretty sure the two of us got in an argument every time we talked.  Now, my girlfriend smokes far less than I do…or smoked…far less than I did.  It took her a week to go through a pack.  I went through pretty much a whole pack last Friday.  So far all of this has blown my mind at how easily I have come to this point.  I drank beer to excess on day five and was fine.  I had a few pulls of a nicorette inhaler, just for fun.  And I would have LOVED to have a cigarette, but I didn’t.  The thing that’s most difficult to get used to is NOT smoking.  After 13 years of smoking, I pretty much have set triggers for everything as to when I should smoke.  End of a movie, smoke, finish a meal, smoke, get a coffee, smoke.  That’s been really difficult, overcoming the fact that I don’t actually smoke anymore.  That’s why in the first paragraph I said that I still feel like a smoker, it’s just that I no longer pay attention to that inner-smoker.

Of the whole quitting experience the craziest experience of all of it was how much other substances affect me, and not like marijuana and alcohol.  On day 3, I had a TON of energy which worked out nicely seeing as it was the first day of non-smoking at work.  I had a coffee and it made me so tweaked it was INSANE.  Later on in the day, I had a green tea and the next thing you know, I was mellowed right out.  It probably had something to do with the mood swings, but I have found that the less nicotine in my body, the more other substances can have influence over my mood.  Except alcohol.

In preparation for this coming weekend, where I will drink copious amounts of alcohol with some buddies from university, who also happen to smoke, I have been drinking a bit this week in order to test the waters.  Beer has been fine, but not to the point where I have become even close to drunk.  I’m currently on my second glass of wine and no need to smoke yet.  But who knows.  It’s not like I’m in a public place, smelling the sweet sweet smell of tobacco and people passing by while slamming back shots.  That, I feel will be more than I can handle.  But even in the event that I do smoke, I’m prepared to not smoke the next day and continue on with my non-smoking ways.

Thirteen years of my life, I lived as a smoker and I don’t even know how to exist as a human without smoking, so I figure it’s about time I figure out.  Um, wow, that was a lame way to end the blog, on such a high note and with such “strong determination.”  I actually just want to pound this glass of wine and then refill it, drinking to the point where I actually feel like I need a smoke, just for fun.  I’ll let you guys know how it goes.  Happy Friday night drunkenness everyone!   In celebration of that….NO EDITING!  YES!

B

Music I have that you should have too…(part 1)

…but I knew about it first because I am far more of an indie hipster than you are.

Long title, I know.  After having a discussion with one friend in particular we both decided that at some point we should both sit down and share the music that we have, that we feel the other doesn’t know about.  Now I know that I have the time to do this, I also know that there’s no way in hell he’ll do it.  I doubt he’ll even end up getting through this list, but I’m just going to throw it up here anyway.  Each band will hopefully get a youtube link under it so that their music may be sampled before it is acquired.  This is not going to be in any particular order and genres are going to be all over the place.  Keep in mind that I’ll probably put the best song up here, so, the whole album may not be amazing, but whatevs.  DEAL WITH IT!!!

Obviously I have probably put up a few of these things before, but, once again…DEAL WITH IT!  K, here we go, enjoy Steve.

Because of the massive amount of youtube video links I put on here and some slow load speeds I’ve heard about, I’m going to cut this here and you can click the read more button if you’re looking to listen to some groovy tunes.

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Swallowed by The Nothing

Beware The NOTHING!

I have known quite a few people who have worked 12 to 8 or something of the sort, 5 days a week.  I was forever jealous of the schedule that allowed them to come out at the perfect time to hit the bar as well as allowing them to sleep their hangover off well before going into work.  But after having worked this “heavenly schedule” for the last 5 months, I have realized that it’s not all peaches and cream…yes, peaches and cream!

I find myself swallowed by The Nothing.  Now, it doesn’t help that my job requires me to stand for 8 hours a day, which at my tender old age takes its toll.  God, how much have I bitched in the few sentences?  Yes, it’s going to be one of those blogs, have I even written a positive one since leaving the land of the rising sun?  I guess the lack of parties and all you can drink sessions has left me cynical and negative.

Sorry, I digress.  While working the traditional 8:30 to 5 or something along those lines does have its own reasons to suck, I am here to say that working 12 to 8 sucks equally, if not more.   Now perhaps, for someone more motivated than I, a 12 to 8 job would give them the mornings to do as they like and accomplish things, like a real human.  Between the hours of 7:30am and around 11am, there is only one place you will find me, and that is in the fetal position wrapped in blankets, sleeping.  Don’t get me wrong, this part of the job is AMAZING!  But I’ve actually become so accustomed to sleeping at least 10 hours a night that when I sleep for, god forbid, 8 hours, I’m cranky and I want everyone in the world to die, at least until I’ve had the daily standard of one billion cups of coffee and a zillion cigarettes, after that its ok that everyone is alive.

One would probably think, well, at 8pm, there must be so much energy flowing through my body that I am indeed the life of any party I attend.  First and foremost, I do not attend parties.  I can count on two hands how many people I know in this town, and if you remove my girlfriend’s friends, cousins and other family members from that equation, let’s just say…I don’t need hands.

Now this is not a sad thing for me as I am completely alright knowing no one and doing very little, and this is my main point of the post 8pm rant.  Even if I had buddies to go out for beers with or the like, I would probably end up coming home, putting on sweats and either veggin’ out in front of the tv or playing x-box.  I bet the girlfriend’s father is wondering at this point: 1) why did I let this kid live in my house? and 2) WTF does my daughter see in him?  I’m gonna chalk number 2 up to my “supreme skillz” in the boudoir and my dashing good looks.  All the ladies love, tall, pale and lanky right?

But honestly it took me until just the other day to realize that I have indeed been swallowed by The Nothing.  I haven’t job hunted, even though I am grossly overqualified for my job.  (Sidebar: This is not me being arrogant; even if I had this job in high school I’d think I was grossly overqualified for it.)  I just have a supreme lack of drive right now, between the hours of 8pm and 11am.  The fact that it took me over 4 days to sit down and write a blog about how I am lazy and feel like doing nothing should attest to that.  Just by the end of the day at a dead end job, I come home and just want to actually do nothing, not pretend to be enthusiastic about cell phones.

Although this job is horrendous and I dread nothing other than someone asking me what I do for a living at 28 years old after attending University and attaining a degree, I do OWN it.  Between the hours of 12 to 8 I am a wheeling, dealing, spieling MACHINE!  I rock spiels at every single customer that comes through the door.  Even the old woman with her walker that has her hearing aid turned to the max that came in to get milk that is on sale that day gets a spiel about how every time a cell phone is activated an angel gets its wings and she gets a bunch of points on her pharmacy point card.  Yes, I actually use that as a line.  That along with a few others, like….

Do you like puppies, kittens and [pharmacy card’s] points?  Because if you activate a cell phone you get one of those…(customer looks puzzled)…*whisper* It’s [pharmacy card’s] points.

What’s better than a cold beer on a hot day?  A new cell phone and 50,000 [pharmacy card’s] points!!

There are a bunch but that’s all I’ll subject you to.  It’s a performance.  Instead of 40 Japanese kids sitting quietly in front of me, it’s now whoever the hell walks into the store.  I do it so much that people see me and shoot up the aisles to the back of the store sometimes.  That’s when I know I’m doing it right, not when people are running in to buy a phone, but when they will do ANYTHING to avoid me.  I’ve watched MEN (like Clint Eastwood type men) turn and realize that to avoid me they had to walk up the lipstick and make-up aisle, then almost deviate towards me, only to bite the bullet and do it, I watch them come out at the other end dejected, like somehow they just lost a testicle by doing so, and GOD does that make me feel good.

So, I guess the point in all of this is that regardless of how much I hate my job and my schedule and everything else, I still try to do my job to the best of my ability.  Having a liquor store beside my place of employment generally helps me out in dealing with the crappiness of it all and, through wine and hopefully some motivation, I hope to restore Fantasia to its former glory and get myself a real person job some day.

– B