The Unofficial End Of Summer
1. I have been smoke-free for 4 days, 18 hours, 43 minutes, 20 seconds.
2. I have not smoked 96 cigarettes and have saved myself $18.00.
3. According to the American Lung Association, my pulse rate has dropped, my blood pressure has decreased, the risk of heart attack has lowered, and my nerve endings have started to regrow. In fifteen years I will have the same life expectancy as if I'd never smoked.
4. So why don't I feel better?!
5. At least five times a day I wonder, "Why am I doing this again?"
6. The problem is, I never felt unhealthy in the first place. So the side effects of quitting feel more like a punishment than a reward.
7. My Mom has been smoke-free for a month now. She says it gets easier. I'm hanging on to that thought like a paper umbrella in a rainstorm.
8. Friday night Hoop, Hoop's Mom, and I headed out for Atlanta. It's become a tradition to go to a Braves game once a year.
9. Unfortunate for me, they've sucked since I started watching them.
10. So instead of talent, I've learned to judge the players based on cuteness.
11. Saturday afternoon we hopped in a cab and headed to the stadium. The game had been sold out for awhile, so Hoop and his Mom banked on the fact that the cab driver could point us in the direction of some good scalpers.
12. Unluckily, we got the most honest cab driver in all of Atlanta. He dropped us off at the gates without saying a single word other than, "Good luck."
13. Just before the first inning we found a set of tickets that seemed promising. Hoop's Mom started having doubts on the way to our seats. Had we not persuaded her to check them out first, she might have succeeded in sending Hoop out again for another try.
14. It was a good thing too. The seats were PERFECT. We were close enough to see all the action (or lack of), but far enough away as to be in the shade. Shade on a hot summer day is priceless.
15. Saturday evening we went to a laser show at Stone Mountain. The show was entertaining, but I found the mountain a little eerie. I've never seen a mountain so perfectly round before! And this one was completely made of granite. It's placement is odd. It stands alone in a vast rolling Georgia landscape.
16. Some of the locals claim it was created by aliens or that it is a secret base for the government.
17. But the scientific reasoning is this: "It formed as a result of the upwelling of magma from within the Earth's crust. This magma solidified to form granite within the crust below the surface."
18. From 1916 to 1972, three carvers worked on the portrait of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson that adorns the side of Stone Mountain today.
19. One of the carvers, Gutzon Borglum, left the project early to work on another job in South Dakota. That project was none other than Mount Rushmore.
20. Hm. I think he got the better end of the deal.
21. So what did you do over the weekend?
(Random Weekend Pictures)