ChrisMaverick dotcom



Day 154 of 365 days.

Weird thing about the way we treat ourselves. I’ve been trying really hard to whip myself into shape. If I made a New Year’s resolution that’s probably it. I’ve been working out every day, trying to dump about 13 pounds (I’m down 8 since Jan. 1). I’ve also sort of been trying to quit smoking. With a little less heart.

I’m actually not a heavy smoker. A pack of cigarettes generally lasts me about 4 or 5 days. And while two packs a week probably sounds like a lot to a non-smoker, if you ask any real smoker, they’ll probably laugh at you and tell you it doesn’t count at all.

On the other hand, yeah, those things will kill you.

But you know what the hardest part about quitting smoking is? It’s the fact that no one really wants to quit smoking. Yeah, its addictive, but its also enjoyable. And no matter what all the little tv commercials will tell you. Smokers are just cooler than non smokers. Nobody thought James Dean was cool because Acting was his Antidrug. Some people think that if you convince the kids that smoking isn’t cool that they won’t do it. But that’s a losing battle. Because smokers just are cooler. I don’t work out every day because I want lower blood pressure or a healthier heart. I can work out every day because having a killer six pack of abs is cooler than not. And to quote my hero, Lester Burnham, "I want to look good naked!"

So the secret to quitting smoking is somehow deciding that living a long time is more important than looking cool while you’re doing it. And it probably is. I just haven’t gotten there yet.

So that’s the thing. In order to quit, I need to convince myself that myself that there’s something good, cool or sexy about quitting. Living longer isn’t getting me there. Dennis Leary once said "Yeah, smoking takes 10 years off of your life. But they’re the 10 years at the end. The ones that really suck." Maybe he was a little sarcastic and overreaching there, but maybe he has a point too. I dunno.

Of course, to quote two more my heroes Redd Foxx and my grandfather, "You’ll feel really stupid, dying of nothing."

In the meantime, at least if gives the opportunity for a cool picture every now and then.

365 days

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48 comments for “1-12-07

  1. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    This is a great looking shot!

    Even though the act of smoking kind of looks cool [on certain people], I have always refused to date smokers simply because kissing someone who has just smoked a cigarette is absolutely gross. So maybe that’s how they should try to dissuade kids from taking up smoking – not that it’s not cool, but that they will get more action if they don’t smoke. Heh!

  2. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Gotta say it’s not a cool smell coming off the folks after a smoke break. YUCK! I hope that stuff tastes better than it smells.

    And, peskymac is right. It doesn’t taste so good to kiss someone with smoker’s tongue. That’s just nasty.

    unless she’s REALLY hot.

  3. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    I smoked for 7 or 8 years – however, just the smell of it on Rj now makes me want to throw up. I’m so glad that something happened in my brain to change my mentality about smoking. I have no secrets or advice for you though – I just kinda decided one day that I didn’t want to do it anymore.

    But – it is a cool photo. I’m fairly certain you’re not going to get a lot of that in your comments section on this one.

  4. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    I’ll just say that it’s a really cool photo.

  5. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Awesome, awesome shot! I love it.

    I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Smoke makes me feel like shit, so I generally avoid it at all costs.

    Good luck!

  6. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    @Dolce Vita: Don’t get me wrong. I know the dangers of smoking. I’m not underestimating the addiction. And I’m not justifying. Not in the least. If you knew me, though, you’d see that I don’t necessarilly think the same way other people do about a WHOLE lot of things. My cool factor has nothing to do with the addiction. Trust me. Or read my blog and you’ll see how entirely fucked up my way of thinking about any number of subject is.

    @peskymac: yeah, that might work a little better. The problem is, its not cut and dry. For every girl out there who refuses to date a smoker, there’s one who also smokes and likes it. Years ago, I even started smoking again after quitting for a year, just to date a girl who smoked. But yeah, if you could pass that message, it might help. At least for boys. Do this and you’ll get laid more goes a long way to the teenaged boy. Hell, it goes a long way to the 32 year old boy.

    @Jim: my point exactly. There are a lot of things I’ve forgiven in my day to get into the pants of a girl who is hot enough.

    @Amber: Thanks. And I kind of figured I’d get a lot of anti-smoking comments. But when the idea for the shot came to me, I just thought "that’ll look awesome! I’ll so deal with that." Kinda hoping more people appreciate it for that. I didn’t mean to write as much as I did. Just lately, I’ve been essentially blogging in my 365 project, so things that are on my mind kind of get laid out here.

    @elladog: Thank you

    @jessi: thank you and good for you… despite what I said about it being cool, it really is a filthy, disgusting, unhealthy and expensive habit.

  7. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    First: awesome job with the lighting- of both the smoke and your face!
    Second: I smoked for 21 years- I kinda wish I had done 1 smoking shot for 365 before I quit.
    Third: you will quit when you want to, not before. Nicotine is addictive. It is the only drug that we know of that not only binds to receptors in your brain, but makes you make more of those receptors. You really have to want to deal with the effects of quitting. I’m taking a fab new drug that has enabled me to go without a smoke since Dec. 12th, and not be a raving bitch. But I think I’ll want to smoke, at least on occasion, for the rest of my life. My grandmother died a year ago at 99. She had quit smoking at 85! I always told people I’ll quit when I reach the age when grandma quit. But, I quit because this self portrait project was really pointing out how old I look for my age. How many days I was photoshopping my wrinkles away. I quit because I’m vain. Pure and simple.
    Fourth: it’s an awesome shot.

  8. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    @Casa: As I alluded to above, I actually have quit before. For up to a year at a time. And I’ve severely cut back. And I probably will try to quit soon or at least cut down even further, maybe to only when I go out drinking or something. Maybe I’ll quit for good. Who knows. I’ve actually quit cold turkey before. For about 6 months that time, I think. And you’re right, the withdrawl is simply awful. I wanted to throw up everytime I ate something, and it went on for days. The only thing worse was when I gave up caffeine. I went from 2 cups of coffee in the morning, (and 2 to 3 throughout the day) to nothing. No tea, no soda. Nothing. I can’t believe I survived that. And I really can’t believe I’ve stuck with it six years later. But those cravings eventually went away. And the impetus? Actually, it was losing weight. Like you said. Vanity.

    Anyway, I’m glad you like the shot. Thank you. Like I said, its good that one good things comes of it.

  9. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Mav- I hope I didn’t come off as trying to lecture you. I was just trying to say, that you’ll quit when you damn well want to, and not before, and not because of what anyone else says and that I understand that, because I’ve been there. Caffine withdrawl is quite a bitch as well, if you can survive that- you can survive almost anything. My point is- be you, do whatever you want, as long as you take awesome pics of it 🙂

  10. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    @Casa: No, its fine really. I was kind of agreeing with you in fact. I completely understood where you were coming from. And thank you.

  11. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    chris, this shot is awesome. i love the capture and lighting. about the smoking part though, i must strongly disagree. i don’t think at all the smokers are cooler. in fact, it really turns me off to someone when they light a cigarette. i think it’s everyone’s own choice, but smoking does not make you cool. not at all.

    *don’t take me too seriously. i am not intending to offend you ;)*

    Seen in 365 Days (?)

  12. avatar
    January 12, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    @sandra: No offense taken. Its totally a personally choice issue. I’m just ranting. I’ve taken to doing that for every given day thought the 365 Day process. In then end I think I’m going to put together a book. Kind of a visual diary. At one point I thought I’d explain the technical details behind each shot. Then I decided that was kind of boring and stupid, so I’ve since opted for just what I was thinking as I produced each shot. In any case, I’m glad you like it. Thank you.

  13. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Fantastic job here.

  14. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:06 am

    thanx, jack

  15. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:20 am

    absolutely love the crop, but I can’t love the smoke – mom was addicted from age 11 to 51. she’s been free of ’em since february and I’m praying they don’t suck her back in. she says when she gets a craving she takes a drag off a cigar – that’s so potent that one puff and she’s done… hopefully she won’t get used to them. oye!

  16. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:32 am

    I’m not a smoker, but I’m not about giving you a lecture, you’re a big boy. I’m here for the shot…and anti-smoker or not, it’s hot and you look damn COOL!

  17. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 2:03 am

    @khvafl: cigar smoking is entirely different from cigarette smoking. I very much doubt she’d use it as a straight replacement. Don’t worry.

    @Kat: Thank you. 🙂

    @Dolce Vita: No offense taken. And thank you.

  18. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 3:25 am

    I really do love this shot!

    I found your description amusing. Since you were so open with your opinion, I’ll tell you what I always think when I see a smoker: stupid. I’m not saying that to be a smart-ass, that’s really what I think. When I find out someone I know to be intelligent is a smoker I’m always surprised — "wow, I thought they were smart."

    Weird, eh? I mean, I get the cool thing…sorta. It fits for this shot. But I still can’t think anything other than stupid (or disgusting) when I see a smoker in real life.

    (how rude was this comment?!? …it’s late, forgive me 🙂

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  19. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I have a pack on cigarettes in my bag even tho I haven’t smoked properly for about 6 years. Smoking shots do look cool, there’s no doubt about that, and that’s exactly what that pack in my bag is for. I keep meaning to do it and keep putting it off, because I can’t find the things I want around me or I can’t set up the shot right or I just plain don’t want to light one and put it in my mouth anymore.

    I do, however, LOVE the sweet smell of unsmoked tobacco. I’ll quite often open the pack just to sniff it, ha.

  20. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 11:46 am

    @dave: that’s a fair assessment, and really depsite how it sounds, I wasn’t looking for validation. I even agree with you that its a stupid habit. But there are lots of stupid things we do on a daily basis. Or at least I do. At this point, I’m just trying to document my thoughts as I go. Anyway, I didn’t think it came across as rude at all. Simply honest. And thank you.

    @metro: I actually find the smell of tobacco a bit overpowering sometimes, but I can see where you’re coming from.

  21. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 11:54 am

    I think it’s a totally cool shot. 🙂

    And a pack and a half a week isn’t bad at all. I think I say that because that’s about what I averaged back in my smoking days. hehee. I think you’ll quit when your ready and until then just enjoy, right? 🙂

    I was most impressed with 8 pounds since Jan 1st?! Damn. Yay you!! 🙂

  22. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    @Suburbanite: I think everyone ignored the weight loss part. Thanx. Only 5 or so more to go and then I’ll really start trying to build more muscle again.

  23. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    ah, you do look cool and i love the photo. i agree with everything you’ve said…it’s been proven that smokers tip better in bars than non-smokers also. i only smoke when i drink, well, occasionally i’ll have one without a drink in hand…but not the norm. i hate the smell of it on chris…it somehow lingers on him more than other people. i hate the smell of it in the morning…really makes me sick. i have to wash my hands and put lotion on when i smoke anytime i’m at home…because i don’t like the after smells. but…i still smoke. i probably only smoke about a pack a week…but i roll my own, so it’s tough to judge.

    on another note…i’m so jealous…8 pounds in only 12 days!! YOU ROCK!!!! (and damn you!)

  24. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    @Jen: Thanx. And I totally know how you feel about the smell. As for personality issues, I generally also find smokers to be more courteous and generally agreeable in social situations.

    Anyway, yeah, the problem with the weight loss thing is that the next 5 lbs are undoubtely going to be much harder. In any case, I’m off to the elliptical machine right now.

  25. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Awesome shot!
    I’m a smoker and I know what you’re talking about. Yes, it’s ‘stupid’, but having quit heroin and cocaine among other things, it’s all I got. 😉
    That’s my justification and I’m sticking with it. For now.

    Seriously though, the individual just has to be ready to let go of the addiction, period. Nobody can force it for us. No amount of logic can be effective. It’s *addiction*.
    I’ll have a smoke with ya when I ever come visit. 😉

  26. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Very well done! LOVE the crop!

  27. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    @Sarah: Thanks, and it’s a deal.

    @Retro: Thank you.

  28. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Very sexy!

  29. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    like I said on my site, that’s an awesome shot, i’m guessing i won’t be quitting now until I can do something like this in a picture!! and you’re right, we’re the cool kids! and like you, one pack lasts quite a few days, sometimes for me, even longer! anyway, i enjoyed reading your thoughts on this and thought it was great!!

  30. avatar
    January 13, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    @gimmie shoes: Thank you.

    @bluerain: Thank you. It’s always good to hear that people are enjoying reading what I write.

  31. avatar
    January 14, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Man, I’ve been looking at your pics for over an hour now. The narrative is just as good as the photography! I’m luvin’ it. I’m a smoker: I love it, everything about it … the taste, the oral fixation, having something to hold in my hand, watching the smoke billow from my lungs. I know I should quit, but I don’t want to. It would be like saying goodbye to a friend. Keep up the great work! You’ve made my day and inspired me to tackle the 365 project.

  32. avatar
    January 14, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    I keep coming back to this photo. I really enjoy it…more and more each time I view it!

    yeah, yeah, every smoker knows that they should stop. but for me, it’s just so fun sometimes!

    365 Days

  33. avatar
    January 15, 2007 at 12:07 am

    @boheme: Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy it.

    @AnneMarie: Thank you for taking the time to look through my photos. Good luck in approaching the project yourself.

  34. avatar
    January 15, 2007 at 9:10 am

    like it a lot and just for this pic the smoke is wonderful!

  35. avatar
    January 16, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Love it, don’t worry about quitting, you don’t smoke much, and love the James Dean reference….

  36. avatar
    January 16, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    its great photo and idea.exelent

  37. avatar
    April 26, 2007 at 11:13 am

    intresting, cool picture and your write up is certainly intresting and a intresting way of thinking

    i have no problem with smokers personally, i will say maybe once to someone that they shouldnt smoke, twice if its someone im realy cose to but then leave it. its there choice.

    i once dated a smoker but wouldnt again because his mouth tasted like an ashtry

    sorry but it’s true, but its up to you realy

    Seen in a discussion of 365 Days. (?)

  38. avatar
    April 26, 2007 at 11:42 am

    @simon 78: I actually hate that analogy. Saying you don’t like the taste of kissing a smoker is one thing. But when people say "s/he tastes like an ashtray." I always think "how do you know." I’ve smoked on and off for years, and I can honestly say "I’ve never licked an ashtray and have no idea what it tastes like."

    Glad you like the picture though. Thank you

  39. avatar
    April 26, 2007 at 7:58 pm


    you got me on that one, its just what i would expect it to taste like then since i dont intend to try it any time soon :s

    Seen in my recent comments. (?)

  40. avatar
    April 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    @simon 78: that’s fait. I just find it funny anytime anyone says that. Thanks for the fave.

  41. avatar
    May 22, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Love this shot–
    I found you on youtube BTW

  42. avatar
    May 22, 2007 at 3:20 am

    @luv2shoot: cool. I didn’t think anyone at all paid attention to my youtube.

  43. avatar
    April 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Hope you dont mind I had a little fun potoshopping this picture (my 2nd attempt at photoshop ever – please excuse the amatureishness).
    Great shot I should add…

    Found in a search. (?)

  44. avatar
    April 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    @charlesbrookscellist: as nice as it is to be appreciated, no, I don’t particularly want people photoshopping my stuff. Please remove it.

  45. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Lung cancer ROCKS!!! Keep on puffin!

  46. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 8:48 am

    @stargayzerr: wow. Such biting and clever sarcasm from a person I’ve never heard of before has really helped put things in perspective. Thank you.

  47. avatar
    October 1, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    great crop. i would hang this on my wall in a heart beat.

  48. avatar
    November 20, 2008 at 9:52 am

    @lil_twerp333: Thank you. if you are actually interested in purchasing a print, then by all means, please contact me via flickrmail.

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