Saturday, October 25, 2008


That's what I am now.

I had my last cigarette on October 13. That's the day Daniel died. I had promised to stop smoking the next day, and I decided to keep that promise.

I haven't done this without help. I'm using the Commit lozenge.

I swear by this stuff too. The last time I seriously tried to quit smoking was in 2001, and I used the patch. It didn't really work. I'm addicted to the habit, not the nicotine. The patch helped with the nicotine intake, but it did absolutely nothing for the habit of just having a cigarette when I can. These lozenges give me something think about when I get the urge.

They taste like butt though.

You get used to it after a while, but the mint only tastes like mint for a few minutes. Then it turns into chalk laced with chili pepper. They burn like hell. That burning travels down your throat and gives you heartburn. I did have one pack of cherry flavored, and it wasn't too bad. The flavor lasts longer than the mint. They also have cappucino flavored, but I'm a little scared to try it.
Surprisingly, quitting hasn't been too bad. I did prepare myself for a week or so before I started. The hardest cigarettes to kick are when I get up and when I drink. I kicked those cigarettes weeks ago. Now I only get tempted when I finish newscasts at work. Even those have been waning lately too. It hasn't been all easy, but I'm very surprised that I haven't struggled too badly. I have an emergency pack (mints, cough drops, vitamin c drops) I keep with me in case I get tempted.
It's been almost two weeks now since I quit, and I'm still holding strong. Don't get me wrong, I do miss smoking. However, I have the motivation now, and I'm telling you, these freaking mints work. Okay Commit, there's an ad. Pay me please.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back on Track

(I wrote this post on October 13th before I found out that Daniel had died. I figured I'd go ahead and post it anyways. I'll post it as is.)

2+ weeks of 10-12 hour days = bad blogger. Sorry. I can handle long days, but the whole going in at 4am thing kinda makes things worse. Actually by the end of this long string of long days, I got pretty used to it. I split my sleep, so I was expecting to really be hurting, but I ended up okay.

This is my normal schedule:
3:45am-1:30pm: awake
1:30pm-7pm: sleep
7pm-12am: awake
12am-3:45am: sleep

It’s messed up, but it works for me. It’s a little difficult to get up for work sometimes, but whatever. I deal.

Over the last couple of weeks, however, my afternoon sleep hasn’t started until 3:30-4:30pm. That’s two or three hours less sleep per day. Somehow, though, my body didn’t hate me too much and I survived. Now I can’t wait to get paid.

Not much to report lately. I did see Okkervil River in town last week (This was October 4). That was really nice. They put on a hell of a show. It was a triple bill clocking in around four hours (plus an extra hour pre-show of waiting), so my dogs were definitely barking by the end of the night. It was worth it though. The double whammy of “Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe” and “Unless It’s Kicks” got the crowd super hot. Great show all-in-all. It was nice to see them. I had a chance to see them earlier this year in Richmond when they played a set with the New Pornographers, but I missed that… and it hurt to miss that. All good now though.

Coming up in a week, Broken Social Scene at Toad’s Place. (This was on Tuesday, and it was awesome.) Then the first Saturday in November in Of Montreal at the National. Can’t wait for either.

Not much else going on. Actually, there is one more thing that I would consider pretty life-altering, but I’ll get to that later… maybe tomorrow. I’m trying not to make a big deal out of it, but, well, you’ll see…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Molly Loves Daniel

(Molly wanted to write up something for Daniel. He was, afterall, more her cat than mine since he was a gift to her. I'm glad Molly is around because she takes a lot of pictures. Here are a few from her big collection of Daniel pictures.)

On Monday I lost a piece of my heart.

You and your sister turned my life upside down in the best possible way.

My family has had cats my whole life, but you two were my very own. Squirmy and sweet, curious and mischievous.

Sometimes it felt like more mischief than anything else...

I can't remember feeling more love in my life.

When Brock brought home you and Sophie, he carried you upstairs to surprise me. Your face appeared over my shoulder, reflected in the mirror. And I will never forget that moment.

We named you the first night, as you napped next to me on the futon. You slept through the whole movie, but woke up during one scene featuring two people named Daniel. There was no doubt.

You and your sister quickly took over the apartment. I hated leaving you every morning, and I couldn't wait to come home and see you.

I would have done anything for you.

If there was any way I could have known you wouldn't be with us in a year, I wouldn't have changed anything.

You made me laugh, you greeted me when I came home, you kept my toes warm. You were a comfort and a joy. I loved you very much. I hope your life was as happy as possible.

Sophie and Brock and I miss you very much.

I'm sorry you couldn't be with us longer, but you're free now to chase all the birds and eat all the tuna you want.

I'll always remember you, Daniel my love.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is our cat Daniel. Daniel was a Christmas gift for Molly. I really thought hard about what gift I should get her, finally settling on a kitten (or two). I found Daniel and his sister, Sophie, at a shelter in Virginia Beach and thought instantly that they were the ones. There were two weeks of visiting them before I was able to finally take them home. It was a long couple of weeks. When I surprised Molly with them, Daniel was the first one she saw.

Daniel's first birthday was about two weeks ago. He grew from a curious kitten to a loveable, if not a little shy, cat in what seemed like a flash. It's hard to imagine how tiny he was when I first met him, thinking about how giant he became.

Daniel died last Monday. I don't know what happened. I saw him that morning, just as any morning. When I came home, he was lying on his side. It look like he just fell over and died. Nothing was out of the ordinary. He just looked like he fell to sleep.

It's pretty difficult to have to write up something like this for the second time in a year. Losing Huxley was devistating enough, but at least I knew she was sick her whole life and I had prepared for it. Daniel seemed like any other normal kitty. The only thing I can come up with was enormous size. Not fat, just huge. He was less a cat and more a stegasaurus. Maybe his little heart just couldn't keep up with his growth. Regardless, it's pointless to think about. Sophie seems fine, so all I can think about is what he was.

Daniel wouldn't always go out of his way to get love. He was just satisfied to be near us. When we were in the living room, he was stretched out on the floor next to us. When we slept, we stayed on the nightstand at the foot of the bed (the perfect vantage point). He just wanted to be near us, though he never objected to getting some rubs. Don't let any of these characteristics fool you though. Daniel was completely dependent on us. He would cry and cry if he thought we weren't around. If we were in the living room and he wandered off, he would whine until we came to get him.

I'm going to miss Daniel so much. I already do. It's been difficult to go through our normal paces and know that he's not there to be with us. It's sad to give Sophie her tuna snack on Thursdays and Sundays and not hear Daniel going crazy to get his too. It's sad to wake up and not see him at the end of the bed, or in his own bed next to me. It's hard to come home since he was always the first to come running out to greet me. Daniel's favorite thing (aside from tuna) was drinking the water that collected on top of the shampoo bottle after a shower. It makes me sad to see that water untouched now. That poor cat. Only a year old.

The best thing for us now is knowing that we still have his great sister, Sophie. She's been great throughout everything. She can adapt to anything. It's been difficult. When I left for the first time after he died, it was the first time in her whole life that she was alone. She was definitely distant and a little confused for a couple of days, but now seems just like she always has been. My mom pointed out that it's probably best that things happened the way they did because Daniel would be completely lost without Sophie.

This has been extremely trying on us, but everyday seems to get easier. Right now we just want to give Sophie the attention she needs and remember everything we loved about Daniel. We will get another kitten someday, but not yet. Right now it's all about getting better.

I love you, buddy. I miss you.