Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The "Quit Smoking" saga continues...

Ok, I've been done with smoking this time around for a bit over 4 months now. I tried a week cold turkey like I did last time I quit but I became very mean and obnoxious so I decided to go with the nicotine gum to ease the transition.

I did some research (ok, I really had Amanda do it since she loves Googling things) and found that an average cigarette delivers 1mg of nicotine when smoked. The 4mg gum delivers the same amount due to loss from a less effective delivery system. The kicker here? With a cigarette you get that 1mg in about 4-5 minutes. With the gum you get it in 30 minutes. A big discrepancy, if you know what I mean. That would be like stretching your Big Mac meal over 6-7 days instead of eating it during one lunch hour.

Anyway... the gum has been doing well for the most part. The cravings are still a real bitch at times but I can pop a piece of gum and feel a bit better. After four months of the 4mg gum I've stepped down to the 2mg gum. BIG difference! I still chew the same number of pieces in a day, but I can feel the edginess in my mood. I'm quicker with the smart-ass responses to things that normally wouldn't even cross my mental radar, and I'm less tolerant of things that would normally not bother me in any way. But I know that it's the lessening of the nicotine levels doing this, so I try to keep a lid on it until my system settles into the 2mg routine.

I'm guessing that I'll do this for about 2 months, then go a month with alternating regular gum with the 2mg pieces and then eventually move over to only regular gum. I should be able to wean myself from the nicotine without alienating everyone around me if I do it this way:)

And I don't know if this counts as a relapse, but last night I dreamed that I smoked TWO cigarettes. I could FEEL it as I inhaled and exhaled. I could FEEL the rush as the nicotine entered almost directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. Unfortunately, or may not so unfortunately, the brand I smoked in my dream was Salem. My last round with smoking was with Marlboro Lights- I haven't smoked a menthol cigarette in probably 25 years. So it wasn't as good as it could have been. But it was a cigarette, dammit!

Just a note for any of you out there that have quit and may be considering picking up the habit again: The second time quitting is exponentially more difficult and miserable than the first. Just leave it alone, it really isn't all that.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ru @ hm?

For the record, I'm fairly tech-savvy. I can rip apart a computer and rebuild it with the lights off, I can install RAM, cards, drives, operating systems, etc. I use a Palm Treo as my primary phone and while it's not the latest in phones it's equivalent to a Blackberry for the most part. I'd be lost without it and due to experience I keep everything for my phone backed up on a removable storage drive on the home computer so that if I have to change phones again I can simply load it via USB cable back onto my new phone.

I added texting to my phone plan for two reasons- the kids will *always* answer a text even when they won't answer the phone, and my boss is a text-maniac. With those things in mind I really don't understand why people insist on carrying entire conversations on in text messaging instead of simply calling. I don't keep my phone on my side unless I'm out in public. And if I'm out in public I usually don't have time to stop and text a conversation with someone. So any communication of significance that I am forced to carry on via text usually takes several hours, when a simple phone call would take all of two minutes.

Add to that the fact that I'm a stickler when it comes to writing out words. I can't stand the texting shorthand that is so prevalent. It's difficult enough to convey innuendos, emotions and insinuations via written word without having the added "lack of vowels" to the menu. Guess I'm just "old fashioned" in that respect:)

Merry Christmas to you!

For those of you not used to reading complete words:

Mry Xmas 2u!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The joys of Christmas with a house full of *&$)(&%#@$%^ cats...

We brought home the Christmas tree today, and even as I was tightening the screws in the stand the cats were sizing up the potential scratch pole. After a brief bout of cursing under my breath and some minor adjustments the tree was finally in place, plumbed, leveled, and perfectly perpendicular to the equatorial meridian.

Fortunately, it does not yet contain lights or ornaments.

I stepped out into the dungeon to check my email and about 10 minutes later Amanda says "Honey, look at that!" I look over to the tree and I have one cat getting prepared to meet the other two already perched on the highest point in the tree. I honestly don't see how cats that fat can manage to maintain any sort of balance on the tiny limbs at the top of the tree, but they were looking like malignant angels up there.

While Amanda is fussing at the cats to "please get out of the tree" I did what any red-blooded American male would do: I grabbed the compressed air:)

One squirt was all it took. Bob rocketed straight through the branches to the bottom and disappeared around the corner, Emily splatted herself against the far wall, slid down, and followed Bob, and Daniel decided that he really didn't WANT to climb the damned tree anyway.

I'm currently plotting to pillage the guts from one of the motion sensing Glade Air Fresheners and rigging it to spray compressed air anytime there is motion near the tree. Shouldn't be that hard to do:) Besides, it will be even worse when we add ornaments... the cat's can't resist those.