Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I knew I was going to have an abbreviated trip this morning as I got off to kind of a late start. Not helping matters is the fact that I tried to go a completely different way that I did not map out before hand. So I got kind of lost. I made up for lost time by sprinting up two extremely steep hills. Forget smoking. If you want your lungs to burn, do that. As Jed Clampett would say, "Whoooo doggies!"

It was still dark when I was on Buena Vista. I heard moaning and screaming in the distance that genuinely freaked me out. As I passed, it was a house that had some sort of Halloween decor that plays "scary" audio all night or something. Weird.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I love being in the heart of the city between 6 AM and 7 AM. I get to see this gigantic being beginning to breathe and stir; beginning to show signs of life. Cars just revving up. Faded traffic noises in the distance. School bus brakes squealing. All of a sudden it is up for the day.

Trip today was just over 3.5 miles. After I crossed over Broadway, back down Roseland Blvd., I took 6th street east all the way to Beckham. I came back down 8th and up beside the Brookshire's on the corner of 8th and Roseland. People already going about their errands.

When I got back down to the corner of Talley and 7th, the corner of Birdwell Elementary, a Tyler City Marshall pulled up beside me and commented on Mabel (Annette's Great Dane that we have temporary custody of), "...that sure is a small dog!" I almost said, "Thanks, Roscoe!" but thought better of it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's amazing how much more effortless walking/jogging is now that I haven't smoked in a week. I'm surprised with how responsive my lungs have been after the cessation. I figured they wouldn't be so quick to forgive after nine years of abuse.

Decided to go beyond the bounds of the immediate neighborhood that used to confine me on my walks. I crossed over Glenwood down to 2nd St and went all the way up to Roseland Blvd past Broadway.

The scenery in some of these neighborhoods is worth the walk, in and of itself. Some of the most gorgeous houses I've ever seen. Down by Bergeld Park and across Roseland Blvd at 6:45 AM is really brilliant. I enjoy watching the stoplights reflect off the street pavement.

It's exhilarating.

Total trip was only about 2.6 miles. I want to get up to at least 4.0 before week's end.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My Quit Day.

I quit smoking today.

Sunday, October 5, 2008.

I've been smoking for about nine years this November. When I started, I was in a very dark spot in my life--one, foolishly, I thought I would never come out from under. It started as a sort of psychological rebellion; a sort of "I don't care anymore" mentality. I never thought about the consequences. 

You know, I was Drew. I was invincible. 

I was becoming emotionally and psychologically immune to pain.

They say quitting smoking is the emotional and psychological equivalent of losing a close friend. They say it's harder to quit smoking than it is to quit heroin. They say a lot things to scare you. For the short-term, it makes everyday life a lot more complicated. It's harder to drink a cup of coffee. It's harder to drive your car. It's harder to be at work. It's harder to face any little adversity throughout your day. It's harder to eat. It's harder to drink a beer. It's hard work. 

I've quit semi-successfully twice before. Once, I used the nicotine patch and it lasted for about three weeks. I quit "cold turkey" and it lasted about five months. Recently, my doctor offered to prescribe Chantix to me, but I told him it was a little too Clockwork Orange for my taste. I don't think he understood. 

For the past few years, I've tried to keep people around me oblivious to the fact. I didn't want people to know, and for the most part I think I did a decent enough job. I would slip sometimes when it really mattered. The point is, I tried to keep a part of me hidden from others--those close to me--and it only worked to separate me farther from them. From you.

For that I am sorry. 

This is, in part, the reason I am making this day public--in hopes of increasing the accountability factor by about fifty-fold. So I implore you, please approach me, please ask me, please help me not forget. I promise I will not snap back, or even punch you in the face, as strong though the urge may temporarily be.  

I'm tired of hiding. And I'm asking for your help. 

For my part, I have set up my own safeguards to help prevent relapsing. In the top drawer of my dresser, I have the last pack of cigarettes I ever bought containing a single cigarette--the only cigarette I never smoked. On the outside of the pack are pictures of my three daughters--Alyse, Alex, and Allie.  As strong as the urge may ever arise in me again, I figure if I can resist that, I can resist anything. 

Then I can really be invincible.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Ode to Ronald McDonald

O harbinger of childhood obesity and unnaturally high cholesterol,

Invader of toddler nightmares and sleep tremors.

In your finite wisdom you sought to lure us into your multi-chromatic playworld with promises of tube slides and bottomless ball pits.

You've time-stamped yourself on the public psyche like a corporate pedophile who tempts children with the possibility of french fries and ice cream treats.

Your blazing red hair reminds of a white-hot inferno consuming for fuel all consumer molecules that stand in its way.

Your pasty white skin, flaking with eczema harks to the purest ivory of an elephant's tusk.

You've waxed immortal with the burden of the hobo's moniker, Ronald, though the makeup around your mouth has never weighed down your smile.

You've sought to undo the inherent, home-spun wisdom of parents telling their sons and daughters not to talk to strangers.

Though we feel like we've known you through your commercials and widespread statues.

We never knew you.

You set out to bait the world's children as a more of a harlot than a mascot.

You single-handedly destroyed America's already waning views of clownkind.

You already had your foot in the door when communism failed Mother Russia.

You chose Willard Scott as your first human medium.

You're an endless airborne contagion, waiting to infect those who'll breathe you in.

You're unflinchingly brave at targeting racial and ethnic stereotypes, and will not be content until you segregate us even farther.

Ronald, you scare us.

Ronald, you intrigue us.

Ronald, you supersized us.

Thank you, Ronald McDonald.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My iPhone on a Cloud

I’ve been seeking therapy because of my onset depression caused by the release of the new iPhone today, and my inability to get it due to contractual obligations with the Sprint monster. Until I come up with a way to weasel myself out of said contract, I have been exploring some internal aspects of myself with said therapist.

As I’ve been having a particularly bad day today for obvious reasons, the therapist suggested I write my feelings down on a piece of paper, maybe in poem or letter form, he said. Ergo, I have chosen to write my feelings in lyric form, to the tune of Cozette’s “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Miserables. (This exercise has had little to no effect on my depression.)

iPhone on a Cloud

There is an iPhone on a cloud.
I dream about it in my sleep.
Multiple features for me to peep.
Using my iPhone on a cloud.

There is a phone that’s full of joy.
It browses the internet in 3G.
The volume’s not soft or not too loud.
Not on my iPhone on a cloud.

There is a phone, bold and bright.
As an iPod, it plays me a lullaby.
It’s sleek to see and responds to touch.
It says, “Drewesque….I love you very much.”

There is a phone I wish I had,
It is a phone that makes me smile.
Smiling all the time is now allowed.
Using my iPhone on a cloud.

(If you're unfamiliar or otherwise having difficulty placing the tune, please see below.)