Still quitting…

It’s day 6 of not smoking cigarettes and I wanted to say a big “Thank you!” to everybody who has encouraged me.  It really has helped and I truly appreciate it.  I’ve had some rough spots but they’ve always been manageable by thinking of those who I care about.  Again, thanks very much…

Kyle

Quitting…

I’ve smoked cigarettes for far too long.  It started as a thing to do when I was playing music in bands and I’m sure we thought we were pretty cool.  It continued when I began film school and had hours of time to kill while processing movies or standing on a film set.  It didn’t help that everybody else in film school was dealing with these “down periods” in the same way.  By that I mean standing around, smoking, and shooting the shit.

Let me be clear on one thing: I love the sensations that come with smoking.  I love the smoke, I love the burning sound it makes, I love the occupation of my hands that it provides, I love how it keeps me company as I ponder life late at night, and I certainly love the calming properties it provides.

Well that chapter just ended four days ago and I couldn’t be happier

It hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Granted, I have a 21mg Nicotine patch stuck to my arm as I write this.  The pangs still come calling and I deal with these.  Usually I manage these by taking some deep breaths and rubbing the patch on my arm.  I’ve quit in the past and luckily I retained the tools to deal with this.  The thing that has changed is that I just want to stop.  I don’t want this damn habit anymore.  Recent events have shown me that it’s time.  I want this.  I want other things that don’t come easily with smoking.  So it’s time.

I write this down, probably, as a coping method, but I also want others to know that you won’t see me smoking anymore.  Something about writing this down makes it more permanent for me.  I hope others will see this and will also consider doing the same.  Most of us know we should stop but think it will be too hard to deal with.  I’m here to tell you it’s manageable.  Not easy, but manageable.

I’ll leave you with this positive experience from this morning.  Walking to work today I noticed something very positive.  I walked up the slope to UCSF and got to the top of the hill without once coughing or hacking.  This hasn’t happened in literally years and it’s always been a point of bother to me as I knew where the irritation was coming from.  Today, I can breathe a bit easier and that makes me very, very happy.

Kyle

Found words…

The holiday season brings a lot of things out of the woodwork: our family, our friends, and often some of the old items, stuffed deep into the recesses of the family home.  This is one such example of the latter.

After my mother pulled out an old school bag from the college years, I found this little quote that I had written down for myself.  I was quite happy with my younger self for saving this little snippet for future digestion.  I find the quote as interesting now as I must have years ago and I hope you enjoy.

Piece of paper found in an old school bag.

Kyle

Consider Kindle…

I was a bit of a sceptic to begin with.  I wanted all of my books to surround me and be there as a record and testimony to what I had read.  This, ultimately, was not going to work out if I were to keep residing in SF for the long-term.  Not enough space to manage.

So I’ve gone the route of the Kindle.  It’s been great so far.  I’m very happy with the very small depository for my written news and entertainment.  It’s compact, and the battery life lasts up to a month on one charge.

I’ve just delved into my first book, The Rum Diary, by Hunter S. Thompson, and everything is straight forward.  The interface is basic, so that makes it very accessible for any level of user.  You really will get used to the page turning after about ten pages.

But what I really want to rave about is the internet browser that it comes loaded with (On Kindle: Menu>Experiments>Web Browser).  This is a great feature as it gives users free access to 85% of the internet’s content with absolutely no service fees.  That’s right!  No service fees for internet access.  From the browser you can access Google, you can email, and you can even access your Facebook – minus the photos and videos tab with this feature.  Though you can still search and view photos in many other ways.

      
All in all, I’m really surprised by this product and I think it’s a great technology that can hold onto what’s been lost by the downturn in book reading.  Sometimes, you just need to have the quiet of a book in your hands.

An hour after writing this: the Kindle has just changed sold its “Resting Screen”.  This is the screen that displays an image on the screen while the Kindle is powered off:  Instead of a lovely consistent cycle of literary legends, new and old, it has just begun advertising!  I powered it on and off at least five times and it kept displaying different advertisements at me from Sprint to local steak delivery offers.  This Kindle is definitely going to need a covering case as well. 

Later it was revealed to me that the options for a Kindle with advertising or without are available.  You have to pay more for the model without adverts.  Still, a dirty little trick to not show the ads for the first several weeks.

Kyle

How to make a “Hollywood Sandwich”…

Disclaimer:  I love food.  It’s not just about eating it (I have to keep telling myself that).  It’s about the tradition, preparation, process, and the sharing of a well made meal with friends and family.  I love to make meals and it’s enhanced when I have some friends to keep me company.  So, from time to time, this blog will include some food porn posts.  I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Hollywood Sandwich

Some may be asking, “What the hell is a Hollywood Sandwich”.  Well that’s what I’m about to show you!  This sandwich is one of my absolute favorite things in the world.  This is because it encompasses most of the things that I love about preparing and eating food.  Let’s start with the history.

The Hollywood Sandwich found it’s way into my family via my mother’s father.  Back in the day, he was a professional musician in Los Angeles and often recorded for the major studios.  He even managed to play trumpet on the old Batman TV show!  But I digress.  On mornings when he would arrive on the lot, craft services would serve the musicians and talent these hot s’wiches that consisted of fried egg, cheese, and ham, all stuck between buttered french bread and then all of it toasted in a pan like a grilled cheese. Ever since I can remember, my grandpa would make these tasty sandwiches on the mornings of holidays.  I always loved the way that he prepared for this task and as I grew older he tutored me in his procedures and method.  First he would butter the toast, then comes the chopping of the cheese and ham.  Next, fry the eggs and then put it all together in between the bread and sizzle away!

Adrie gets ready to cut some ham.

Kait preps the bread.

Thick cut ham.

Adrie, Kyle and Kait hamming it up.

As I’ve grown older, I have assumed responsibility for this morning task and have, over the years, taught my sisters my process and method for this traditional family meal.


  

Now days, I prepare this with my sisters and we all work together to complete our parts of the preparation.  Grandpa can finally sit back and just eat a couple of sandwich halves (they usually come out by the half and people eat them hot out of the pan).  They’re delicious and I can’t wait for the next holiday.
Kyle

Vote today…

Please vote today.  But really.  If I can ask you to do only one thing all year: please vote.

Voting is an important role that we need to fulfill as active citizens in our community.  Voting is a way to show politicians and special interests that we are here.  If you want a good reason why politicians don’t listen to the youth, take a look at the percentage of us that vote.  I’ll tell you it’s not a pretty statistic.  Why should they pay attention if we don’t elect them?  It’s doubly disappointing when you compare that with the percentage of us who choose to gripe over the current state of things and yet don’t take the small action to change it (by all means possible and that includes getting out the vote).

This is not to say that voting will change everything all at once.  But it will work towards showing politicians that we are paying attention.  They haven’t had to worry about that enough as of late and I’d like to see the pressure turned up considerably.

The one thing I’ll leave you with before I head off to vote is: the resources for being a smart voter are available.  The San Francisco chapter of The League of Pissed Off Voters has a great guide to break down the choices for you.  If you vote anything like me, this is pretty much the only guide you need.

Finally, I personally encourage you to vote for John Avalos for Mayor and Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff in San Francisco.  Both have been great supporters of progressive movements while on the SF Board of Supervisors.  Mirkarimi is featured in a video I shot a while back and you’ll get a feel for where his heart is at.  He has a great little soundbite and I’d be very happy with him running the jails here.

Kyle

Anarchism is not a bad word…

I wanted to make people aware of this very nice article on Anarchism and the importance of inclusion and ally building within the movement (and the greater Occupy movement). While I don’t presently consider myself an Anarchist, I do find myself fascinated by the writing that comes out of this group.  This article does not disappoint with its smart introspection.
Anarchism is the revolutionary idea

In my experience, some of the most articulate, smart, and genuinely good people have been associated with Anarchist and Black Bloc movements.  Many are people that you wouldn’t expect and wouldn’t recognize until they mentioned it to you.

I encourage you not to be discouraged by your previous conceptions and read the article with an open mind.  You don’t know.  Maybe you’ll find yourself amazed just as I have been over the years.  Anarchism is not what your parents taught you…

Kyle