as fred bartles and ed jaymes used to say, thank you for your support: it's now been a week since my last cigarette, which is something i haven't been able to say for eleven years (gulp). i'm not going to dwell on the crappy things about having smoked for that long, money-, health-, or otherwise - i hardly have the right - but it is nice that i'm now saving at least $5.10 a day ($6.80 per pack in nyc x .75 pack per day). i'm socking that money away for a trip to iceland (joe says that if i can hold out long enough to afford it, he'll go anywhere i want) and a big-ass tattoo when i get there. that part of the plan isn't especially popular, but c'mon - i'll be about to turn 30 by then. new ink for a new decade, or something. a big-ass tattoo is also the traditional reward (in the microculture that exists only in my head) for getting ridiculously fit, and this whole quitting thing could lead to that as well - i've been to the gym four times (and counting) this week.* exhaustion is a good antidote to the nic-fit jitters, or it has been so far. i hate gyms with an epic passion - they're habitrails for people, if you ask me - but i'm more than vain enough to be deeply afraid of gaining weight as i quit. one solution for two problems, hey hey! i'll be a hamster for that, at least until i'm fit enough for the roller derby.

*i'd gone once this year (cough) before that.


Hannah said...

I told myself I was going to wait to get my first tattoo, on my upper arm, til I had a bicep for it to encircle. The resolution lasted two years, and so did my tyrannosaurus-esque physique, and then I thought maybe I would wait for my birthday instead, and that came way faster.

What's your tattoo going to be?

lauren said...

i'm...not sure yet. it'll have to look decent with the gothic cross i've already got; it'll also have to be smack in the middle of my back, as i have a thing about tattoos being on lines of symmetry (and there has been a request for "no front, please"). i'm leaning toward an unspeakably large cat - maybe a thai tiger could balance out the christiness? germanic lions are kind of goofy, so i don't know that i'd try to coordinate. i also realize that i probably shouldn't actually get the tattoo on the trip, unless it's something traditionally icelandic - play to their strengths, and all - but these things are all still up in the air.

jacob said...

congrats on making it through your first week!

Hannah said...

Best reason not to get it on the trip: you wouldn't be able to sit around in this thing.

enjelani said...

i hear you on the gym-hating thing, and also on the vanity thing. i keep telling myself i'm taking capoeira classes for its analogues to musicianship, the community, the vague goal of becoming good at something requiring full-body coordination, etc. but when i check for muscle tone in the restroom mirror, i have to admit: it's mostly because capoeiristas are hot.

congrats on week 1! you are my hero. and i'm all in favor of honoring sacred traditions in private microcultures!

sara said...

i say, come to the oc & we'll get tattooed together (the decade tradition...almost?). there's a fab place in Pasadena that my friend goes to (he has tattoo sleeves on both arms). just a thought. i may get mine before then, however, and i apparently won't be getting one of a dragonfly since tattoo culture translates this as "whore". erhm, not exactly the message i'm shooting for ("rebirth through struggle" was more like it).

congrats on making it through a week, and good on ya for the coming weeks/months/etc. :)

lauren said...

@hannah: that lagoon is at least 50% of the reason i became obsessed with iceland in the first place. excellent point re: new tattoos (though in theory explaining that one's tat is a bit dodgy because one just couldn't wait to jump in an icelandic hot spring is pretty good - but having clear ink is better).

@enj: capoeira muscles are hot squared, not unlike football muscles (from where i'm sitting, anyway). like, becks is a fine-looking man, but why he's fine is the best part. you get double credit, is what i'm saying.

@sara: for some reason, i thought "boston terrier!" (apparently they can't be born naturally any more because of the shape of their heads). maybe...not the tattoo you were looking for, though. i'll probably hook up with an artist out here - there are some amazing locals - but i'll look into waiting lists regardless, as i hear they can be brutally long. if you can hold out, come with!

tom said...

Truth be told, I've decided to go on a vision quest of my own here, in part inspired by yours.

No sodas.

I've tried to do this before as well, but it's lasted no more than a couple of weeks. (There are some who think (and possible evidence to back it up too) that corn syrup + caffeine = nicotine in terms of addictive powers. Of course, I have also heard of studies that nicotine = heroin in terms of addictions. W-ever. It's tough giving up both, shall we say--in their own special ways.)

I shall not, however, give up calling it soda. Pop is a verb, dammit.

lauren said...

how's SodaQuest going, tom? i applaud you, and i feel for you on that one - i rarely drink the regular stuff, but as you know, i have an IV drip of the diet. since tar's taking a back seat, i guess it's aspartame's turn to be the probable cause of my eventual death.

on caffeine: is it actually bad for you? i mean, eighty seven cups of espresso a day has got to trash one's blood pressure, but what's wrong with being addicted to caffeine in moderate quantities (other than the withdrawal headaches if you get to your morning coffee late)?

tom said...

Two days, one soda (yesterday). (Leftover pizza and water? Too much.) So we start again anew. (Of course, if I can kick out the occasional slices of pizza that I have as well as the soda, that can't be bad either.)

Allied topic: light beer is pure torture. Had an MGD Light last night. Tasted like day-old seltzer. At least Miller Lite has a minimal amount of actual non-water product to make it taste slightly like skunky beer.

All by way of saying that cold turkey on this whole refreshing cold drink thing might be difficult. But worth the try anyhow--just like your efforts, of course.

P.S.: Caffeine can cause serious delerium. Serious delerium. RZA said so. I believe him.

jacob said...

tom - i've cut down somewhat on soda (m. is not a big fan, esp. diet), but i discovered what i really like about soda is not the caffeine (i drink enough coffee, thanks) or even the taste so much as the fizzies. so what's really worked for me is flavored seltzer. it feels like soda, tastes pretty good, but is just carbonated water with a bit of flavoring and no caffeine.

of course, given your comparison of MGD Light to "day-old seltzer," this may not be the solution for you.

Meg said...

I kicked soda a year ago... it was HELL the first month or two, but I held out from sheer willpower. I have to say, after that, I lost all taste for it. Didn't want it, and when I had it, it started tasting gross and over sweet to me.
Having had Jacob's flavored vanilla seltzer water, I can attest to it's yummyness. Sadly, we can't find it ANYWHERE.
Anyway, willpower first, and the rest will follow. But for that plan to work, I think you can't do diet eaither... the trick is to loose your taste for it all together.
I got nothing on quitting smoking though...