Coming to rest. [Updated.]

May 2, 2009

Having my great-grandmother’s desk, with the same lamp that’s always sat atop it, and her small Diarmuid Harrington sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge hanging above — it feels like a tiny corner of home, right in my living room.

ETA: I took a picture. Lo, I am functional!

My great-aunt and some family friends brought me my great-grandmother’s desk and file cabinet today. Once I got everything set up, it made a very nice and homey “office” in the corner of our living room. Almost everything in this photo (desk, file cabinet, framed print on the wall, monitor, lamp, some tchotchkes) was my great-grandmother’s, and I may never leave this space again. It even smells like Gram’s house.

There’s also a set of extremely old decorative plates that will be filling the empty spaces behind my chair, but those have to wait for Michael’s arrival. Man wields hammer; woman flutters lashes! This is how things work, for I am very lazy.

Also, please to ignore the stain under my desk (pre-schooler perils) and the unsightly jumble of cords behind my chair. (Now that I think of it, the blue carpet isn’t any better — but that at least is not my fault.) I spent two hours today swapping desks, another hour organizing, and two hours filing. It’s time for something fruity, cold, and a little bit alcoholic. I am clearly far too busy to Photoshop.


A dreamer’s eyes are always open wide.*

April 28, 2009

I forgot to mention this in all the (not-)smoking talk, but one of our cats killed my seedlings. It was a great tragedy, and I’m fairly sure he did it on purpose. The sequence of events went something like this:

12:30 PM: I put the seedlings outside in a nice sunny patch for some good ol’ UV rays.
12:31 PM: The cat saunters over, eyes the seedlings, and smirks at me.
12:32 PM: The cat backs up to my seedlings, sprays them vigorously with urine, then kicks them off their perch, sending soil and broken leaves and snapped roots flying.
1 week later: I am still crying.

So, that happened. I’ve decided that come hell, high water, or angry cats, I will be buying starter plants tomorrow. And planting them. Some of them, anyway — my square-foot garden is also a bust, because I was not able to procure the free compost I needed to fill the box and complete my soil mix. (DUDES! Unable to procure FREE compost! I epitomize pathetic!)

I’ll be container gardening again this year, and I am woefully underprepared; the containers have all been scrubbed and sterilized, but I only bought two medium bags of soil, which is just enough to fill up one big container. Maybe one big container and one herb pot, if I plant shallowly and carefully.

I’m a little frustrated and spluttery about all this still. I had a garden for barely four months last year, but I have missed my plants all winter. As spring heats up and the sun comes out to play I’ve begun to physically long for those damn plants, as if they are errant lovers or prodigal children. If all I manage this year is a tomato plant and some basil, I will be heartily disappointed (not to mention heartily encouraged to spend the rest of my life in bed, as gardening has been The Thing I Promised Myself to get out of these damn doldrums). I could begin planting later, once I’ve procured more soil and whatnot, but I am dubious about the results — our summers are too hot for fruits to ripen, and all I’d end up with would be a bunch of green tomatoes and some sadly spindled herbs.

In sum, ugh. Still not smoking hardly at all — I seem to have turned out to be a social smoker with my physical dependency broken; I smoke a cigarette or two when there’s a large gathering, but am otherwise content to abstain. I missed was too lazy to take my Chantix two days in a row, and remained stalwart. I am expecting my medal ANY DAY NOW.

* Nine Days.

Your mama warned you there’d be days like these.*

April 22, 2009

Hello! It has been 69 hours since my last cigarette! Excuse my one-track mind, but I am going nuts!

Day one was easy. Day two was okay. Today has been hellish. I might even smoke a cigarette tonight while we barbecue, because look, I am only human. A cigarette every three days — or after dinner every night, even — is not that bad.


I’m kind of afraid that if I smoke one, I will go right back to smoking a pack or more a day, even though that is in no way logical. I think I have Chantix, AA, and Puritanism all mixed up in my head. Ugh! I caught myself sniffing at Michael furtively this evening, gathering the residue of his cigarette into my poor deprived brain like some sort of lunatic. (Yes, I have mandated that nobody smoke around me, which means Michael is sneaking cigarettes at the mailbox and I am ignoring it so I can sneak whiffs of stale smoke from his clothes. Quitting may turn out to be a filthier habit than smoking ever was.)

Anyway, that fear is the only thing that’s kept me from smoking today. Well, that fear and BubbleShooter, which I have played for something like 10 hours since 8:00 this morning. Also, I think I ate everything in the house, and can only be relieved that most of it was vegetables.

Help! Alternatively, reassure my week and feeble brain that it’s all right if I have a cigarette tonight, but only one. And say that last part really, really sternly.

* The Rembrandts

Another local legend and [her] longtime lucky charm.*

April 20, 2009

I just completed 24 hours without a single cigarette. I think it’s the first time I’ve done so in at least 6 years, possibly 8 years.

The Chantix seems to be doing its thing. I feel okay. I have vague moments of “hey, I kind of want a cigarette,” but they’re far more behavioral than physical, and they pass. I don’t feel angry or head-fogged like I usually do when I go more than a few hours without nicotine. I feel… fine.

I didn’t follow the instructions explicitly, because I am pathologically incapable of doing so. Instead, I cut back my smoking during the first week, continued cutting back during the second week (which I am almost at the end of right now). I was supposed to stop cold on the 14th, but I kept smoking, although only smoking about 1/3 of what I had before. I told myself that it was okay not to quit, that even cutting way back was good — mostly as a self-soothing mechanism when I started to panic about dropping my last real crutch/vice.

Then today, my 6th day on the higher dose of Chantix, I woke up and didn’t really feel like smoking. So I didn’t. The day passed, and I still didn’t feel like smoking. And here I am, 24 hours after my last cigarette, still not really feeling like smoking.

Why yes, I would like a round of applause. It’s not a great feat of will (the Chantix apparently takes care of the willpower), but it’s scary and very cool anyway.

* Bon Jovi.

ETA: I still might smoke at some point in future. I am not a saint, and really, even if I do just cut back to one or two or three per day, that is still better than 30 per day. So, you know. All this accomplishment could be… not for naught, exactly, but not a harbinger of the rest of my life either. Still, 24 hours!

Quick question, no song lyrics. (Whew!)

April 16, 2009

I’m reading Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, as is my wont when things are wonky, and I need to find copies of Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!, The Asphalt Jungle, Don’t Bother to Knock, Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven-Year Itch, and a few others. I have a habit of watching the movies in order as they’re mentioned in the book, to catch some detail and generally draw out the experience — the problem is that I no longer own these movies and (horror!) the local video places don’t have them either.

Do any of you know where I could find them online? I’d use iTunes, except my bank account remains woeful. Please advise!

Shoulda listened when you called my name.*

April 10, 2009

041009_shouldalistened3, originally uploaded by sarawr_again.

I cut off all my hair.


I don’t think I like this cut at all, but everything for the sake of posterity. In the meantime, I’m going to hide in my house until it grows about three inches. See you in summer. (You know, if you were someone in real life.)

* The GooGoo Dolls.

I don’t know where I’m going, but I sure know where I’ve been.

April 7, 2009

Well. I just took my first dose of Chantix, and immediately lit a cigarette. This… probably does not bode well.

I’m using the GetQuit program too, but I honestly don’t know how this is going to go. I suppose that if it even significantly reduces my smoking, it will be worth it. In the meantime, I am incredibly damn nervous, and pathetically grateful that the first week of the program/medicine still allows me to smoke. I’m keeping a smoking log, I’m going to be receiving check-in calls and emails, I am dismally sure that I will Fail At This, but I’m doing it anyway.

Things might get very cranky around here in a week. My quit date is the 14th. If the entire Internet could cross its fingers, that would be great.

* Whitesnake. Of course.