Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Too Much Work! I Can't Wait Until Spring Break! About 118 days on Chantix.

Hey All:
I am really tired and need a vacation....OK, maybe I just need a few days to sleep in late. Spring break is coming up March 15th through March 23rd and I am still not sure what I want to do besides look for a new job. I figured between preparing for that History conference I am scheduled to present at and looking for a new job I better be able to get at least a long weekend in. Well, this year has not had a lot of relaxation tired to it but I am finally taking the whole summer off! In the nine years I have been teaching, I have only taken ONE summer off and that was my first year teaching. I will have to wait until June to really relax and I may then still be looking for a new job! I am going to start applying early (during spring break) and hopefully have something lined up by the end of June. Well, I can hope right? I can't believe that it has been 118 days that I have not smoked and a cigarette has sounded pretty good today. I know that thinking about one and smoking one are two different things so as long as I don't take action on my thoughts I will be fine. I called in to refill my Chantix prescription and I am going to do the taper down thing like Maggie did. I will start out by going to one pill day for awhile and then to the half pill thing. I will post about how it goes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Didn't Smoke In Vegas and Won $600.00! Yeah!!!!!!!

I had a great time in Vegas! First, I did not smoke! I thought about it a couple of times and once when I was sitting next to someone on a slot machine who was smoking I thought about asking for one. Oddly enough, as quick as those thoughts came into my head, they went out just as quickly! I went with a friend who wanted to go to Circus Circus because she brought her daughter and I was like, "I'm gonna gamble in Circus Circus? Ok........" She took her daughter to where the kids play for prizes and I sat down at one machine and started playing nickles. I won over a hundred dollars and decided to cash it out since I had lost about that much the night before. I decided to play the same type of machine right next to it and was playing it for pennies. I could feel the machine was gonna hit and when it did, I had no idea that I won $550.00 worth of pennies! Too bad I wasn't playing nickels! That would have been a few grand! My friend was shocked that I won that much money playing pennies. I was definetly happy to be walking out of Vegas with money instead of scraping together money to drive home and get snacks! I was only gone for a day and a half but I had a great time. It was definetly a good way to celebrate my birthday even though today is my actual birthday. I Hope everyone is doing well and staying smoke free.


Sunday, February 17, 2008


I was supposed to go to Rosirito Beach in Mexco today but there were problems with the reservations. The reservations said I booked for February 11, 2008 which just passed and was last weekend. I know I booked the trip for The Sunday of Presidents day to celebrate my birthday. The timeshare company is checking it out. Well, since that trip did not work out, I am going to Vegas for the today and tomorrow. I have been dying to get my gamble on! I have also thought about smoking recently but every time I smell cigarettes I think YUCK! HOW GROSS! I think I will be fine in Vegas. I am still on Chantix and I am going with non-smokers. I did fine at the Pachanga Casino in November after I got over the smell. Gotta run and pack!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day All...Wishing Everyone Lots of Love!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. I do not have a special "valentine" but did have a great time seeing the Aretha Franklin concert with some friends. My Godmom got us tickets and we had a blast! Aretha rocked the house. I was bummed that she did not sing one of my favorite songs "A Rose is Still a Rose" but her rendition of "Chain of Fools" was definetly was worth seeing the show for. I was sitting somewhere near a smoker because I could smell it and I am really amazed that my sense of smell has become so good. Anyway, I am off to bed.
PS: For whatever reason, my spellchecker is not working on blogger! If I seem less literate than usual, that is why! I was wondering why the last few times I ran the spell check feature there were no errors! I thought I was getting smarter! NOT!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Life is a Fragile Thing....No Where is Really Safe Anymore....

When I was driving to work the other day, all of the streets were closed down. I couldn't figure out what was going on so I started listening to traffic radio. I began hearing about a "man armed with multiple weapons who shot two LAPD SWAT officers, killing one and wounding another, has been killed, and three other men also died at a Woodland Hills house." I live in the next suburban area near there called Winnetka! Well, come to find out after I could see that the house was going up in flames that morning that the radio was wrong! It was happening in my area of Winnetka (two blocks from my house and no wonder I could not get to work!)
A lot of people died needlessly in that situation and it made me realize how fragile life really is. No place is really a "safe" area. I was driving through a "better and safer area" to go work in a "more dangerous area of town" across the Valley. My heart goes out to the officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty trying to save the family of some nutjob who decided to kill off his own family members! I just can't even imagine what was going through this guys mind. He originally called the police saying he was going to kill his family and then had a shoot-out with them after killing his family members in cold blood. I guess the guy who did this was 20 years old and not a very stable individual. I am not sure if the police killed him or he is in jail.
I am still amazed and shocked that all this happened two blocks away. I definetly feel that it is important to live in the moment as you never know what can happen. I think the world is going crazy and not in a good way! Sorry to be a bummer today but lets just say the whole thing made me think!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

According to the Chantix Counter 101 days! Lots of Money Saved! Lets do the Math...

I just posted but was trying to figure out how many days I have been off nicotine. I first started seriously trying to quit about five or six months ago. Lets see, it has been over three months since I have been on Chantix (I got a prescription extention.) Using this method, it has been at least 90 days off anything and lots of money saved! Then, before I started taking Chantix I was on the patch and only bought 1 pack of cigarettes in five or six weeks. I bummed them from time to time but did not buy them by the pack. Add the patch savings with the Chantix time. Lets see...thats about $580.00 saved just by not smoking cigarettes! To save that much money in roughly a six month period is crazy! I may miss smoking from time to time but I DO NOT miss spending $4.50 a day to kill myself or smelling like a dead ashtray!

Hi all...Lost of Smoke Free Days....Working my A*& Off!

Hi all,
I have been so busy that I have not been able to post! I have really wanted to smoke this last week but I have been simply too busy to smoke so I just tell my brain to "shut up" and I go about my business. I think I am just stressed and deadlines are quickly approacing so a cigarette "sounds" good! Sounds good and are good are too different things. I have chosen not to pick one up because I know where it will lead me. A pack a day! I have been smoke-free for over three months and I really do not want to start over again. What I mean by this is I do not want to start the whole cycle of addictive thinking again. Its funny, all addicts are enamored of the idea of having "just one!" Well, one leads to two and so on. Then the addictive side of the brain kicks in and says "just two." I just need to realize and post that for me, by smoking "just one" I am setting myself up for a lot of aggravation. Even though I have not had time to post, I still read and respond to most of the blogs I frequent! Thank God for the those of you on the same journey that still post! I keeps me on the right path knowing that you guys are still not smoking even after Chanitx. Its hard not to just pick up someday! I know that this is going to be a struggle for the rest of my life. Chanix is great but definetly not a magic pill by any stretch of the imagination! For my birthday the long weekend of Presidents Day, I decided to go to Rosorito Beach in Mexico for a day and not Vegas! My class is finishing up on that Friday and Saturday of the weekend so I only have Sunday and Monday. I was going to go to Vegas but I don't think I am ready for Vegas at this time! I may stop by the Pachanga Indian Casino on my way back from Rosorito. I can gamble and then leave!

I am really looking for a day of relaxation to celebrate my birthday and just "chill." I have done nothing but work! Most of you know I went on a tour of the south and learned about The Civil Rights Movement. To complete the project, the eductors who went have to create a project and design a lesson around its theme. Than we have to present what we did for other educators at a social studies conference. It seems like this is the never ending project! It has really pushed me to the next level in terms of teaching, lesson planning and working on being a spokesperson at a convention. I have pretty much finished the script and then finalized the written script of interview questions. One of the oral history interviews was taped yesterday. Talk about a nerve wracking and scary experience! A film crew came to my school and we did it there. Eventually all of this stuff is going to be posted online, so I am kind of nervous. I am half way done with completing the filming of the oral hisories. To finish the project, a still need to tape one more participant and that will take place on February 19. I also need to write and film a introductory segment that the ties the theme together. The final product I am trying to produce is an oral history of two people who lived during segregation, one in the South,LA one in Los Angles, CA. I need to show how different people's experiences are different based on location, race and socio-economic status. My students will then compare/contrast two common people's experiences who lived during segregation and thier memories of the civil rights movement. The kids are then going to create a visual display with a written component that focues on one of the many common heros who gave up everything to fight for justice. Lets just hope I can get all this done by April 4, which is the day I am presenting.

I must say whole process is super interesting! I have been interested in film production for a really long time and even tried to make a film with my students once. I won this grant that gave our school this amazing computer that was never utilized to its full capicity. Lets just say makinga film is WAY more difficult that I ever thought it was. I mean picking up a video camera and filming something is really easy! But making sure the audio is loud enough, the lighting is not too dark and then actally editing the work takes a REALLY long time. I must say editing is a really difficult and tedious process. I don't know how people do it for a living but they take a TON of footage and create a half hour or an hour show out of it, sometimes very quickly. I am going to be making a lot of the editing decisions for this video so its definetly a learning process. I guess I have to watch the video and think about what needs to be kept so the participants will really tell their story but it won't be too long for kids. Thank God the professionals will actually edit the tape. I put in a application to go and learn how to produce digital historical biographies in New York City this summer. Every aspect of the program is learning a lot of the stuff I am talking about. I really must be a glutton for punishment!
Gotta Run, its coffee time.