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Sir Norris decides to stop smoking.

Day one - Day two - Day three - Day four

Mon Oct 10 2005 at 02:07 PM

The last time I daylogged was July 19, 2005. I wanted to become healthy; yet the one biggest change I could make to my life to improve my health is to give up smoking. Yet I didn't want to do it? Why? Who knows. Who knows why people don't want to give up - because I'm addicted? Possibly. Who cares, actually. The reason why I do it is not important right now. What is important is that finally, after more than ten years of smoking every single day is that I'm ready to give up.

Now I don't really know what expect because I've never tried before - I've never wanted to before. All I know is that I have to make a time to stop completely. That time will be soon because I have about enough tobacco left for two more cigarettes and I'm going to go and smoke the first of that final pair as soon as I've written this.

Mon Oct 10 2005 at 3:12 PM

Right. One final cigarette down, one (or possibly two skinny ones) to go. So I need a plan of action. I can't do things on the spur of the moment I need some sort of a structure to work to. I need backup as well - so I'm getting chewing gum and big packets of sweets and other things. I'm gonna start doing health freak-type things like running to take my mind of wanting a fag. I may even get some nicotine-replacement like patches or something. In fact, I'm gonna go and see the colege nurse and see what she's got.

Mon Oct 10 2005 at 4:10 PM

So I had my final, final cigarette and I went to see the nurse. She asked me questions about how many I smoke and when I smoke and gave me information about the nicotine-replacement stuff. The choice is either patches, lozenges, chewing gum, nazal sprays or inhalers. They're all available on prescripton (in two-week blocks) so that'll only cost me £6.50, or something. I'm not sure though; I really think I want to do it cold turkey - although I don't know what the cravings are going to feel like yet, so i may change my mind.

Anyway, I feel a bit better now I've spoken to someone about it. I don't want my firends and the people I work with to know because they'll just bring it up all the time, but I suppose I need someone to know. Hence daylogging it all, I suppose. The nurse has said I have to come and see her tomorrow morning to tell her if I have smoked or not - and if I don't go and see her she'll come and find me.

Oh, Christ, what have I done? Wish me luck, people :)

Day one - Day two - Day three - Day four

Ever get that not-so-powerful feeling?

So let me get this straight:

Now, this is just the stuff where the death toll is expected to be over 1000. So it doesn't include floods in China (killed at least 500 people), or anything mechanically-related (train, plane, automobile accidents), or terrorism.

Well. What can one say? ...Bring on the bird flu, I'm feeling lucky.

Every day I get up, turn on the radio and take a shower. I pretend that this is preparing me to leave the house for the day. "If I just know what's going on, I'll be OK."

On Friday, I sat on the train, half an hour late for work, because what a bomb-sniffing dog down at the Market East station thought was bomb was actually just a construction worker. Or something, I still don't know all the details. Did I know about this? Yes, I'd heard that all the trains were backed up, that nothing was getting into Center City, that I'd be lucky if I made it to Temple.

But I still got on the train. I had to. I had to go to work. Every day, they could tell me a bomb had gone off downtown, I'd still be expected to be at my desk in North Philly. Tell me the bird flu has hit and everyone should stay home, I'll still be on the train, admittedly probably wearing some sort of mask.

When the attacks in New York happened, the library didn't shut down, they didn't let people go home. Nope, the university must be open at all times, all hours even, and no, national emergencies are not a reason to go home and cower under the bed with a bottle of tequila.

The fact is, life goes on, whether we want it to or not. You can plan, you can worry, you can listen to/watch the news all you want, and you still have no control over what's coming down the pike. Maybe you can get out in time to miss the hurricane, but that earthquake, that tornado, that pandemic, it's still going to get you.

Death is everywhere.

Have you seen The Seventh Seal? All joking about morbid Swedes aside, it's an amazing film. That final scene, when Death comes for them all, and leads them out in the Danse Macabre, and it no longer matters who is a knight and who is a peasant...

On the Death card in the Tarot, death rides a pale horse, and tramples upon bishops and farmers, it makes no difference to him.

We are in the dark part of the year; soon it will be Samhain, when this world and the next are close. It's a season of harvest, and with harvest comes death. And without death? No harvest.

I've never held to linear views of history. Or, I should say, there are only about seven basic plots, and it's pretty easy to plug in different names and characters. Big wheel keeps on turnin, and we vainly believe that we are new, unique, and utterly important.

And we will be ground under the wheel like wheat into flour, until we are no more than dust.

I saw the most amazing Green Day concert last night down in Carson. I've been a fan of the boys since '94, and have seen them several times. But last night was...inspirational. Not even this nasty cold that I developed on Saturday could keep me away from the show which, by serendipty, I had won tickets to while stuck in traffic on Highland as I drove home on Friday evening.

The stage was monsterous. The fireworks and flames were the stuff of U2 shows. The guys were truly on their marks and really seemed to enjoy themselves. Billie Joe seemed intent on impressing to the crowd a few life lessons (and fuck you's to ol' G.W.) about living in the now and following your dreams. The show was playful, loud, and very entertaining. Plus, they played all my favorite songs. I danced like a maniac as a mosh pit formed to my left. Didn't feel quite up for it since I was sick, but man, did it bring back memories. Even my rock-loathing bf had a good time.

Their concerts have always been strange and entertaining. The first time I saw them was at the now defunct Palace in Hollywood, where I distinctly remember being asked by some middle-aged dad if I'd help him float his daughter over the crowd. Not long after, the requisite bringing of fans onstage to play with them happened, followed by destruction of all their equipment. Then I lost my beeper. My friend Ann and I went back to her place, got stoned and listened to more Bay Area punk rock while she regaled me with tales from when she used to live in the apartment right above theirs in Oakland. She still has Tre's skate deck that he left in the hallway when they moved out.

The great thing about their shows is that there are things they've always done. The crowd is still as oddly mixed as it was at the Palace. The kids who go onstage still get to keep the Guitars. You get the feeling that they're still the same band they were eleven years ago. Even Billie Joe was in awe that they were playing an arena show.

I like bands that don't evolve so much that they alienate the people who made them big in the first place. It doesn't work that way much of the time, and I'd give anything to see bands like No Doubt go back to their wicked ways of the past. But they've gotta keep sucking in the young'ins, don't they?

Johnny sez 500 words, so let's go. The Five Hundred.

This was a good weekend, marital relations-wise. Things have been rocky these last two or three years, like a continuous wave of Hurricane Katrinas, and sometimes it's the eye of the hurricane that gives you twelve hours of peace while other times it's the weeks between the blowers and ocean surge...

She's the childhood sweetheart. The girl who clapped for the high school homecoming queen because she was relieved, so she didn't have to be in the spotlight. The cheerleader. The girl who got in the best sorority, and then depledged. The girl who knew how to wear scarves and didn't need makeup, ever. She's way too good for me. This is a widely acknowledged truth. We've had good years and not so good. This weekend was good.

Last night we attended a wedding reception, or whatever you call it. A presentation? I must consult my Emily Post. The wedding happened a week ago, down in South Carolina. When you're rich you have a dinner in the groom's hometown to introduce the New Missus to the lad's friends and family. We were dressed in our wedding finery -- men in suits and black shoes and women in heels and jewelry -- and went to Fairfax County's country club, a very chi-chi place. Men and women floated by with wine glasses and finger sandwiches. An hour of small talk with friends long missed.

My wife looked gorgeous, I have to admit. She is a Grace Kelly kind of woman whose looks sharpen with age. Her hair is still ash blonde. Our daughters have taught her the basics of makeup and jewelry, and they go clothes shopping with her now. (Thank you R and J.) She is kind and gracious to all who meet her, a natural conversationalist. She is the kind of woman who makes other women comfortable. Men look at her out of the corners of their eyes.

When we meet couples, we invariably get the same reactions: They look at her and they look at me, and then if this was a movie there'd be a cartoon balloon that would appear over their heads. The text would say, "How'd she end up with him?" It's a mystery.

The bathroom walls have wallpaper with tasteful vertical stripes and icons of fox hunts and men playing golf.

G. Gordon Liddy was there with his wife. We didn't say hello.

Ronald Reagan was the topic of conversation at our table. A talkative gray haired man sitting next to me at the dinner table turned out to be the attending nurse-practitioner who was in the ER when Reagan was shot. He told us about going into OR with the president after he and James Brady were shot on March 30, 1981. The NP was standing next to Nancy Reagan when Ronnie told her, "Mommie, I forgot to duck." Then he passed out. 5 hours in the OR minimizing damages from two shots into the chest cavity.

You just never know who's going to be sitting next to you at these affairs. Several older man-younger woman couples were sprinkled around the room. I used to envy them. Now they just look funny, and I feel sorry for the women.

Filet mignon, tender as could be. Champagne. Great coffee.

Dancing was fun. When the DJ played some hoary favorites, like the Electric Slide, the women stayed on the dance floor. The men watched. I couldn't take my eyes off my wife. Damn. She does look good.

The hostess came over and chatted with me. We both watched B. She turned to me and said, "Your wife looks so sexy out there."

Yes. Yes, she does.

Everytime I chew vanilla-mint, I think of you.

Those few nights we had, filled with laughter and fun, the air charged with hormones. Trading jokes and playful jabs over dinner, then sitting around afterwards, being happily full of our own haphazard cooking. Pulling out the vanillamint gum while we sat and digested, saying out loud that it made for an excellent dessert..

And finally falling on each other in an undeniable, almost violent passion. Chasing the chewy mint with my tongue, my fingers tracing the inside of your leg as you laughed, playing an intimate game of keepaway.

To me, the taste of vanillamint will always remind me of the taste of you. The taste of your mouth, the feel of your skin under my hands, the aggressiveness of our shared passion and the way our eyes would meet, occasionally, filled with everything we were feeling - and everything more that I wanted..
Somehow I will always remember how the back of your neck felt under my hand; the softness of your short hair, the heat under your skin.

Then there would come the breaking off, the realization of the lateness of the hour, and the fact that we both had places to be the next day, too early for such late-night escapades. It would be my fault that neither of us got to bed when we meant to - I always wanted more, and couldn't keep my hands off you long enough to say goodbye.

I have never felt such lust for a person, and I am lost in it. Ours is a secret passion - and the danger of it makes me want it all the more.

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