Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I wanna know, have you ever ....

Will the real Fram please stand up. You probably can guess I was struggling to find something to use as an illustration for this post. This was the second idea, and I am not going to try for a third. Actually, it sort of reminds me of some of the posts I was creating when I first arrived on the sea of blogs in 2009. I think I must have been looser back then, although I always have been accused of being overly serious. Anyway .... you will note the common theme to the gentlemen situated at the four corners of the illustration: They all are smoking. It is unclear whether or not the gentleman in the center is also puffing away on a cigarette or a cigar. Getting straight to the point (finally), it was on this date -- December 10, 1997 -- that I lit up and smoked my last cigarette, which is sort of the subject of this post.

With or without us

I once was pretty proud of myself for being able to stop smoking. It was three to four packs of cigarettes a day for me -- Salems and Camel straights. Most days, a cigar or two entered the mix and what would life be without a pipe and the scent of aromatic smoke drifting in the den? I once figured out that I was smoking about fifty minutes out of every hour I was awake during an average twenty-four hour period. As you might suspect with an attitude like mine, I pretty much decided when and where I would smoke and, for whatever reason, got away with it. (My smile, no doubt.)

Today marks seventeen years since I stopped. I did it "cold turkey." It was mind over matter; nothing more, nothing less. (To be honest, I actually was amazed that I made it, but I am hesitant to admit that part of the story.)

Anyway, it no longer seems like a big deal; does not even seem especially important. Life is change. Constant change, perpetual change, never-ending change. A few weeks ago, I wrote in a post or in a comment or somewhere that I cannot understand how anyone can live in the same town or work at the same job for an entire adult lifetime. The same, I came to realize at some point, is true of smoking. I did it. I enjoyed it -- especially some cigars -- then, I quit. Smoking came and went, and that is what life is -- people and places and things coming and going. Probably more so for me than for most. (At least, I admit it.)

Tell me why I would want to read the same book over and over ad infinitum or watch the same film over and over or listen to the same song over and over year after year? So, why would I want to stare at the same four walls in the same house forever and ever -- or, smoke cigarettes day-in and day-out for as long as I am alive?

Some things are easier to let go of than other things. Some things we have no choice whether we let go or not. Life goes on, with us or without us; with or without people, places and things which once were central in our lives.

Well, it might not make sense to everyone, but it makes sense to me. Cigarettes? They were fun while they lasted. Seventeen years ago today it became time to move along without them ....

Now, for the music, baby

A young lady known as Smareis has introduced me to a few Brazilian singers and bands. A few days ago, she gave me a link to a Def Leppard song named, "Love Bites," as performed by a Brazilian band which calls itself Yahoo. I think it is a fantastic rendition, especially when considering it is a live performance and not a studio cut.

I think this cover is superior to the original Def Leppard version, and I am posting it today along with Yahoo's rendition of a Queen song entitled, "Love of My Life," and a real old piece, "Love Hurts," originally recorded by the Everly Brothers (ex-Marines, incidentally) in 1960, but made "big time" by Nazareth in 1975.

One of the three pieces here by Yahoo is sung in the national language of Brazil, Portuguese, and the other two in English. I assume most of you can recognize the difference. (Yes-s-s-s, I am being sarcastic .... I cannot help myself, he says with a shy grin.)

So, here is some cool music, by my definition, to help me observe seventeen years of still hanging out, but without that cool-guy-cigarette-guy look .... you know .... like Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca."

By the way, barring the unforeseen, I plan to post next during the mystical, magical, mysterious week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Due to the capricious nature of life -- which sometimes sends you where it will rather than where you would wish to be -- I will be gone much of the time between now and then .... in the meanwhile, Merry Christmas and ho/ho/ho ....


ANITA said...

Well hello sexy!What a Nice photo!
You beteweeen all those great man!Must be good:))

It reminds me of the posting from Polen..Remember you staring at the streets one Cold descember day

Ileave the Music to you and baby Smareis..Am really not a fan of Heavy metal Music..Once i listened to Rammstein..(someone said it was good Music) bad..well i quess its all about the taste!

Am glad to see you as happy as you are right now Frammi boy:)

I wish you some great weeks on the run and happy hoh hoh:))

Pssst btw..I happened to meet a lovely lady from South Dakota related to my work.90 years old With an fracture on her hips..But Wow she told me such great stories about the indiands ,the cowboys living in the Badlands..Every time she rang the bell to pee..I RUN to her With a smile "can i help you?"knowing while she sat on the piss pot she had something to say from America.God I miss America!And i miss my mom!
Well so long Fram.See you later:))
Take care and have fun With the ladies.Btw.I have quit smoking now for almost a year..I dont miss it..But i like the smell of a good sigar..

Fram Actual said...

You have good eyes and a good memory, Anita. The photograph is not the same one posted in 2010, but it was taken by Magdalena of me the same day standing by another window in the same apartment in Warsaw. My hair has been growing out after being cut a bit, and now is about the same length again -- and, I still wear the same t-shirt, sometimes, when I walk into a bar looking for trouble (he says, with a smile). I am a bit amazed you recall the first photo. Nice, neat ....

And, yes, I am in good company by placing myself among the four smokers in the photo. I do not associate myself with them, but wanted recognizable figures.

I might argue with you about the music. I would not call this "heavy metal," but, rather, label them as love songs, especially the last two. Freddie Mercury wrote, "Love of My Life," upon the loss of a love in his life. But, while I would describe Freddie as the greatest rock musician of his generation, I also think he turned an originally heart-felt piece into a performance piece. And, the rendition you see here, I feel, is sung from the heart and, perhaps, from personal experience. Anyway ....

You did not read deeply enough into the last paragraph of the post. The next three or four weeks, probably the next three or four months, are going to be among the most difficult for me emotionally in my life. I am not certain how I will emerge from them. No ladies, no happiness .... read the words again: "Due to the capricious nature of life -- which sometimes sends you where it will rather than where you would wish to be -- I will be gone much of the time between now and then." Whatever .... I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up until springtime, and winter is not the reason. The sound of gunfire does not frighten me, at all, but there are things which do ....

It is sweet how you become angry with me at times. It must be Spanish blood; Norwegian blood would bring the "silent treatment." I suppose that remark would be considered politically incorrect, but I do not care, so I hope you do not, either.

Speaking of care, take care, and thank you, Anita, for being one of few who, since the beginning, has always continued to leave comments here for me no matter what I write or do or think or ....

And, congratulations, on your own success in regard to cigarettes .... see you later ....

Smareis said...

Boa noite Fram!

É bem interessante essa imagem, gostei da montagem, só não vi um fumante nessa foto, o que esta virado de costas, rsrsrs. Será que ele esta de cigarro entre os dedos! Não sabia que o Ex-Governador da Califórnia, o ilustre Arnold Schwarzenegger, ex-fisiculturista, gostasse de tirar umas baforadas no seu charuto. Que fumaceira!

Que bom que você tem orgulho de si mesmo por te parado de fumar. É um grande feito mesmo! O cigarro é um vicio que domina o sentido da pessoa que fuma. É difícil de ser controlado. Eu já fumei também, e sei como foi difícil eu ter que parar de fumar. Sempre gostei de praticar exercícios físicos, e o cigarro me atrapalhava, porque eu fumava muito. Um dia acordei de manhã e decidi que ia parar de fumar... Foi difícil parar de fumar, mais com muita força de vontade eu conseguir parar. Já faz alguns anos...Hoje só o cheiro do cigarro já me faz mal. Fico pensando como uma coisinha tão pequena como um cigarro pode controlar uma pessoa. Foi assim que analisei o cigarro quando decidi parar de fumar.

Obrigada por colocar alguns vídeos do Yahoo aqui na tua postagem, que bom que gostou dos links. Gosto muito da interpretação de “Love Bites” na voz do Zé Henrique, e tantas outras que ele canta. Não sei se o inglês dele está à altura, mais gosto de Love Hurts, Love of My Life e outras que ele canta em inglês, gosto da interpretação. A banda Yahoo fez muito sucesso com suas músicas em telenovelas aqui no Brasil também principalmente "mordida de amor"... É uma banda que carregam uma multidão em suas apresentações, eu já assisti alguns shows deles. Essa banda merecia esta nas paradas de sucesso aqui no Brasil, porque é excelente. O Brasil tem musica de todos os estilos. Temos excelente musica aqui... Mais época de carnaval o funk domina. Não curto o funk, acho as música de mau gosto. Música é arte, Funk não é arte, não tem técnica, não tem letra, nem melodia, e nem preciso falar o quanto é desagradável ao ouvido uma letra de funk. A onda do “Funk Ostentação” invadiu o Brasil, e tanta letra de mau gosto. Mais vai entender o ser humano. Cada um com seu estilo musical sejam bom, ruim, o importante é o quanto eles fatura nos shows.

Fram, você tem feito suas atualizações no seu blog com mais frequência, e eu ultimamente tenho feito com menos frequência... Ando sem inspiração pra escrever nesse final de ano. No final da semana, provavelmente vou escrever um pequeno texto lá no blog pra finalizar o ano, depois vou fazer uma pausa nas postagens. (tenho muitas visitas que preciso retribuir ainda antes do natal, visitas pendentes). Estou reconstruindo um antigo blog que estava fechado já faz alguns anos de wallpaper (papel de parede e downloads), e vou aproveitar para tentar organizar um pouco por lá.

Gostei da postagem, da foto, dos videos.

Então, Feliz Natal e ho / ho / ho .
Que o novo ano seja de muitas coisas boas pra você e para os teus.

Ótimos dias, ótima semana!☺

Fram Actual said...

I see you have found your way back to the far north of Minnesota, Smareis. Good .... I am glad to see you.

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for many things, including his love for fine cigars. I can understand his love for them. Even though it has been seventeen years since I last smoked a cigar, the taste-memory of some brands make my mouth water. There are few foods that have such an effect on me, but, perhaps amazingly, some cigars do.

When I decided to stop smoking, I could not bring myself to waste the cigarettes I already had purchased. I bought them by the carton, and continued to smoke them until I came down to the last cigarette in the last pack. It was about two in the afternoon. I sat down in a comfortable chair with the last cigarette and a cup of coffee. I lit the cigarette and smoked it slowly and drew it deeply. When it was gone, it was gone and I was finished with them.

The strange aspect to the experience was that until that time, I always had a physical reaction if I went eighty or ninety minutes without a cigarette. But, on this occasion, I had no such reaction. I never really understood why it happened the way it did, but I felt absolutely no craving or yearning for a cigarette after that final one. It was like I never had smoked at all in my life.

Unlike you, though, I still enjoy the smell of cigar or cigarette or pipe smoke when I am with someone who is smoking. It has no effect on me other than I enjoy the scent.

One thing I really have been enjoying the past few days is the music of Yahoo. I am glad you introduced me to this band, and I plan to look for its Nightflash CD. Whether a song is sung in Portuguese or in English, the voice of the singer is fabulous and the instrumental work of all the members is marvelous. As I mentioned before, I think Yahoo's rendition of "Love Bites" is superior to that of Def Leppard.

My taste in music really is limited in many ways. I prefer classic rock -- the late Sixties into the Nineties – but I also get into classical, opera, Broadway, film soundtracks and a few others. I have absolutely no time for "stuff" like rap or hip hop or what I describe as "teeny bop" music.

Yes, I have been posting more lately, but I probably will be cutting back again before long. I go in streaks -- for a while with few posts and then for a while with several posts. I am glad you liked this one, Smareis. I will look forward to seeing more posts from you when the inspiration and the mood are right for you.

I just noticed the time. I was up at four this morning and have to be up at five Thursday morning and on the road for a one-hundred mile drive. I need sleep, and cannot be a night owl this evening.

Thank you, once more, Smareis, for your "journey" to my blog and for your thoughts/words. I hope all is well and fine in your world, and that your days will be pleasant and beneficial and enjoyable.

A Cuban In London said...

Thanks for the introduction to Yahoo. Actually Brazil has claim to some very good rock bands, including Sepultura.

As for smoking, my old man used to smoke pipes, so I grew up with that very "aromatic" smell around my house. I don't think my dad smokes anymore.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Rock music is where you find it, and in this era it is to be found anywhere and everywhere. Long live rock 'n' roll.

The difficulty with smoking a pipe (other than initially becoming accustomed to it) is that pipe tobacco either has a pleasant odor or a pleasant taste; I could never find one that had both.

I had considered taking up cigars again on the anniversary of my departure from the world of smokers, but it does not seem like the right time. Someday, again, maybe, but not right now. I had business to do at the Mayo Clinic for a few days this past week, and being there sort of discourages one from returning to the spell of tobacco.

Thank you, for coming round again and for leaving a few words, CiL. I will be on the move much of the time during the next few weeks, but I hope to be dropping in at a few blogs despite having an unusual schedule and your blog is among my favorite places to visit.

Boris Estebitan said...

Gran post, Sudamerica tiene buenas bandas de rock, saludos.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, thanks to being pointed in the right directions, I am discovering some fine rock bands in South America and in Europe, and I hope to find more. If you would care to mention some of your favorites to me, Boris, I would enjoy checking them out.

Thank you, for coming to visit me here and for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

ANITA said...

You've Got a Friend, Carole King...I come running and running to see you again!All you have to do is call..and i will be there..

I wish you..a merry Christmas Fram!

You got a friend..aint it good to know..aint it good to know..ohh yeah!!Yeah baby!

Sorry iam very very late for christmas blogging..too much to do..And late at night i begin watching movies..ohh boy!

This stuck with many people in my house..i wish i could escape..but you know family traditions..

However, wherever you are..I think of you!¸¸.•*¨*• ☆


Boris Estebitan said...

Te recomiendo: Soda Stereo, Attaque 77, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Charly Garcia, Sui Generis, Seru Giran, Gustavo Cerati, Verde 70, Zuchos del Vado, Julieta Venegas.

Fram Actual said...

This is a strange Christmas for me, Anita. In some ways, it is being spread out over about ten days in different places with different people; in other ways, it seems to be altogether missing, with each day just like the one before it and, probably, no different than the next one which arrives tomorrow. And, when December ends, it would not surprise me if the entire month of January will be the same -- thirty-one identical days seeming to be one, very long day.

Well, I am glad I do have a friend named Anita to remind me that not all days are the same and that not all people are the same.

Thank you, for your presence here and your words and your sweet expressions of sentiment. I need them this year more than I do most years. I hope your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be the best ever.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, Boris, for your comment and your musical suggestions. I will attempt to check out two or three a day until I have completed working my way through your list.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Boris ....

ANITA said...

Baby i think of you!
Many millions kiss kiss hugs and whaT your heart desires!
Greetings Frøya in the north:)))))

Daliana Pacuraru said...

Crăciun Fericit ! Merry Christmas !
I wish you to be happy and healthy! :)

Fram Actual said...

You seem to be filled with the spirit of Christmas and holiday joy, Anita. That makes me happy.

Thank you, for the kisses and the hugs, and I will search my heart carefully to discover what it desires.

To Freyja of the Far North, I send kisses and hugs in return, and wishes for your happiness.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you, Daliana.

I wish you to be happy and healthy, as well -- and, may good fortune be your constant companion.

I hope I will see you more often in the coming year.

ANITA said...

Goodmorning Fram!did you have a good cristmas evening or are you still celebrating??

Iam happy as afiddle today!At last alone!Cant stand so much people in my house!

Regarding to the question at my place..yes they are apartments along the harbour..but very exclusive ones..its dream penthouse places!Only for the rich!

I know every smug and street down in the town..and also many brown cafes..(You know where the thiestfs and whores go..i love them all you see..)

Then i will be waiting for see what the new years blogpos from you will bring..always interesting!

Have a nice day Fram..Thanx for the kiss!xxxx(I needed it)


Fram Actual said...

My Christmas celebrations are calm and subdued and mild, Anita. So are my celebrations when it is time for the New Year to arrive. In most instances, I prefer small, intimate, quiet gatherings, where conversation is in abundance and music is low and soft. If I wish to be in the midst of crowds and noise and ruckus, I go to a concert.

I am glad you have your house to yourself again and can relax a bit between the holidays.

Waterfront districts are interesting places both to live and to visit, I think. If I should ever live in a city by the sea, that is where I would wish to live -- with a view of endless water .... on a boat, maybe ....

Take care and enjoy the holidays, Anita .... thank you, for visiting me again ....

Something special ....