Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wisdom Tooth

A rather stupid name for something that is supposed to be ripped out of your mouth as soon as it shows up. Who was the bright engineer anyways that put it in there in the first place? God, while making Adam he was having a bad moment and thought "take this so that I have something to laugh about when it hits you!" - or maybe evolution ... The extraterrestrials that breaded us in vitro saying "I won't make you as perfect and intelligent as I am, want to see how you handle this by yourself!"

I don't know. What I know is that mine lasted forever but even me couldn't escape from destiny. I had to ripp it!

For some reason God, evolution, the Martians, whoever, thought it would be very funny to make my teeth special. So, when everyone else has a tooth with one root for example, this same tooth in my mouth has two. And when everyone else pulls one, he is done with it in a few minutes, but I ...

So my turn came and I went to the dentist. As usual he was all funny and happy and joking around and we all were very relaxed. He took an x-ray of the chosen one, just to make sure everything was fine. "Peace of cake!" was his comment, "We'll have you out in a blink!"

"The same procedure as last year Miss Jane?"
"The same procedure than every year James!" 
(Dinner for One - - a must see)

Shot, no pain, tools ready, lets go! Pull, push, pull, push, pull, push ... getting loose ...
pull, push, pull ... 5 min. ... pull, push, ... 10 min. ... changing tools ... leaver, push, ... pull, sweat, ... 20 min. ..., no more jokes (I wonder why?!?!?!) ... tooth is loose, it is coming ...
pull, push ... 10 more minutes, pull, CRACK! "Shit!" went my dentist ... he managed to brake the tooth in half ... "Great!" I thought ...

"Just in case I will give you another shot, OK!?" 

He’s is asking me? Just in case of what? "Gnhmmm hmm" was all I could say with all them "toys" in my mouth ...

 It took another 25 minutes until the last peace of root was extracted and my dentist came up with this glorious comment: "Finally, I was about to give up, my arms are hurting like hell!" 

"What! Your arms hurt! You want to give up! Would you like to change place with me you $#@ˆ**#@**!!!!!!!" I thought, my mouth still full of stuff, ... but I thought it very loud cause I truly believe he heard me!

This was the last time I saw this particular dentist. Yesterday I had a similar procedure to do with my new dentist. After 20 min. everything was done, no troubles, no pain, 4 stitches and next week I'll be back to continue treatment.

One thing I still don't get. Why do they call it the "Wisdom Tooth"?

Monday, September 19, 2011

You Got to be Kidding!

It was a little over 9 years that I’ve been on the old continent. My last trip was in 2002. Jennifer my first-born was 9 months old and I (actually we) 2 months short to my marriage. Funny, at that time we traveled with an Iberia flight and had scale in Madrid.
I made a not very successful attempt to flight to Barcelona in the end of 2009. The evening before my trip I had, let’s say, some kind of health issue that took me right into hospital and not to Europe.
Yes, I was booked on Iberia.
Well, the week before last I made it. On very short notice I had to catch a plane to Germany to pick up my mother. She wasn’t so well but urging to come to Brazil and to stay with me for a while. And though she had a flight booked for November, the cold weather made her change the date and, for the first time in – what – 200 years of happily traveling by herself, she was frightened to travel alone so I went to get her.
Since she already had her ticked, I had to book the same flight so I could be with her. And guess what! Iberia.
Because of the lack of choice and time, the only flight available for me had a nine hours connection gap in Madrid. No way I would stay nine hours sitting in an airport lounge waiting for a connection flight. So I started to make some plans on how to spent this precious time.
Basic rule of life:
Everything comes different …
As you thought it would be!
Our flight arrived at Madrid Barajas exactly … one hour late! By the time I made it through immigration another hour had passed. Not thinking to much, I felt a little tired … I went with the flow, made a wrong turn, took a train (yes, a train with only 2 stations) and ended up in the transit lounge of another terminal at the airport. The place I so much wanted to avoid.
No way! I made a 180 degree turn, went back all the way to immigration decided to take the exit and to go downtown and have a decent meal at a fancy restaurant.
I do not recall if I was high on drugs or simply being stupid. I mean, has any one of you recently been to Madrid Barajas Airport? It is quite a big place, remember, you have to take a train to change terminals … well, I got back to immigration and saw that hum angus line of people waiting to get through … I turned around again and went back to transit.
My connection flight was scheduled to depart at 19:40 h. The late arrival and my back and forth trips in between terminals had used up quite some time and when I finally got to sit down in a not so fancy restaurant in the transit lounge, almost 4 h of my 9 h stay were gone. So, I made some math … 1 h lunch, a little walking around for digestion, I have some movies in my laptop, … I could make it with no further damage.
Basic rule of life:
Everything comes different …
As you thought it would be!
Or in other words “Life is a bitch!”
I had beef, smashed potatoes, salad, juice some ice cream as dessert and a hot cocoa to finish and to use up some more time. They bring it with a cookie aside to fool you and to justify that they charge you the price of a small car for this meal … come on, it wasn’t even on a gold plate!
3 ½ hours to begin boarding.
I found a no to crowded corner to sit, got my laptop, sat back and relaxed. I’d watch “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock, one of my favorite female actors. This would kill another hour and a half and I’d be just fine.
Basic rule of life:
… you get it! …
35 minutes into the movie my battery went down! “Holly CRAP!”
OK, relax, find a plug and everything is fine.
Did I mention that this is quite a big place. I mean, they have signs where they tell you how much time you need to walk from one gate to the other. Never less than 5 minutes! So there I was, walking the terminal top to bottom and back trying to find a place to plug in my laptop and to finish watching my movie! They have special designated places where you can do it. 3 on total with 8 plugs each, sums 24 plugs in a terminal as big as a city and 5 million people with cell phones and laptops all wanted to be charged …. arghhhhhhh….
But I found one! … only to discover (better, remember) that in Europe they use different plugs than we do in Brazil and that I had forgotten my adaptor at home … … …
I entered literally every store on that terminal looking for an adapter. There was none. Not a single one! I got myself a Coke and a Milky Bar, sat on a bench, grabbed my cell phone, headphones, I would just listen to some music and all will be fine …
And as I started listening to “Fireflies” by Owl City, singing along … my battery went down!
Well, at least time never stops and I had only around 45 minutes left for boarding so I looked for one of them displays to find out what gate I had to go. “Let’s see, Iberia IB number … to Frankfurt … 19:40 h … delayed!”
I arrived at Frankfurt airport 1:30 h late. Almost midnight. My luggage was one of the first to come out. My sister was waiting. I had a bottle of water took the keys and drove us back to Bonn, another hour and a half. It was a gorgeous full moon night, no traffic, music playing on the radio, sister sleeping on the passengers seat.
I made it back to the old continent. I felt good.
By the way, I could have exited the airport through the terminal I was staying with no problem at all. But when I figured this out I was standing in line to board the plane.

A great day you all! Life is wonderfull, I just love it. Never gets boring!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Time Killer - Procrastination - We don't Need It

I am often being asked about how to manage time, as if I was some kind of a time guru. But really, why is it that most of us have so much trouble doing what we supposed to do, instead of filling our time doing stuff we really don't need to do? And though I did not completely mastered the art of "not procrastinating" I do write a lot about it and I work hard on an every day basis to achieve this "diploma" - in this lifetime.

So here are some hints for you, and me, to practice on our procrastination habits.

So, good luck us all, we definitely need it!

Manage your time. Get it all done.

If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some degree – but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them fulfilling their potential and disrupts their careers.
The key to controlling this destructive habit is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens (even to the best of us), and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better.

What is Procrastination?

In a nutshell, you procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually in favor of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.
According to psychologist Professor Clarry Lay, a prominent writer on procrastination, procrastination occurs when there’s “a temporal gap between intended behavior and enacted behavior.” That is, procrastination is occurring when there’s a significant time period between when people intend to do a job, and when they actually do it. 

How to Overcome Procrastination

Follow these steps to deal with and control procrastination:

Step 1: Recognize That You're Procrastinating 

If you're honest with yourself, you probably know when you're procrastinating. But to be sure, take our Are You a Procrastinator? self test.
Here are some useful indicators that will help you know when you’re procrastinating:
  • Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.
  • Reading e-mails several times without starting work on them or deciding what you’re going to do with them.
  • Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee.
  • Leaving an item on your To Do list for a long time, even though you know it's important.
  • Regularly saying "Yes" to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
  • Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.

Putting off an unimportant task isn't necessarily procrastination: it may just be good prioritization!
Putting off an important task for a short period because you’re feeling particularly tired isn’t necessarily procrastination either, so long as you don’t delay starting the task for more than a day or so, and this is only an occasional event. If you have a genuine good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. But if you’re simply “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are.
In his 1986 article “At Last, My Research Article on Procrastination”, published in the Journal of Research on Personality, Lay noted that procrastinatory behavior is independent of need for achievement, energy, or self-esteem. In other words, you may be a procrastinator even if you’re confident in your own abilities, energetic, and enjoy achieving things.

Step 2: Work Out WHY You're Procrastinating 

Why you procrastinate can depend on both you and the task. But it's important to understand which of the two is relevant in a given situation, so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going.

One reason for procrastination is that people find a particular job unpleasant, and try to avoid it because of that. Most jobs have unpleasant or boring aspects to them, and often the best way of dealing with these is to get them over and done with quickly, so that you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of the job.

Another cause is that people are disorganized. Organized people manage to fend of the temptation to procrastinate, because they will have things like prioritized to-do lists and schedules which emphasize how important the piece work is, and identify precisely when it’s due. They’ll also have planned how long a task will take to do, and will have worked back from that point to identify when they need to get started in order to avoid it being late. Organized people are also better placed to avoid procrastination, because they know how to break the work down into manageable “next steps”.

Even if you’re organized, you can feel overwhelmed by the task. You may doubt that you have the skills or resources you think you need, so you seek comfort in doing tasks you know you're capable of completing. Unfortunately, the big task isn't going to go away – truly important tasks rarely do. You may also fear success as much as failure. For example, you may think that success will lead to you being swamped with more requests to do this type of task, or that you’ll be pushed to take on things that you feel are beyond you.

Surprisingly, perfectionists are often procrastinators, as they can tend to think "I don't have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, so I won't do it at all."

One final major cause of procrastination is having underdeveloped decision-making skills. If you simply can’t decide what to do, you’re likely to put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing.

Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies 

Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. That means that you won’t just break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you have persistently stopped practising them, so use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of beating procrastination. Some tips will work better for some people than for others, and for some tasks than others. And, sometimes, you may simply need to try a fresh approach to beat the “procrastination peril”!

These general tips will help motivate you to get moving:

  • Make up your own rewards. For example, promise yourself a piece of tasty flapjack at lunchtime if you've completed a certain task. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!
  • Ask someone else to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind slimming and other self-help groups, and it is widely recognized as a highly effective approach.
  • Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task.
  • Work out the cost of your time to your employer. As your employers are paying you to do the things that they think are important, you're not delivering value for money if you're not doing those things. Shame yourself into getting going!
  • Aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day!

If you're pocrastinating because you're disorganized, here's how to get organized!

  • Keep a To-Do list so that you can’t “conveniently” forget about unpleasant or overwhelming tasks.
  • Use an Urgent/Important Matrix to help prioritize your to-do list so that you can’t try to kid yourself that it would be acceptable to put off doing something on the grounds that it’s unimportant, or that you have many urgent things which ought to be done first when, in reality, you’re procrastinating.
  • Become a master of scheduling and project planning, so that you know when to start those all-important projects.
  • Set yourself time-bound goals: that way, you’ll have no time for procrastination!
  • Focus on one task at a time.

If you're putting off starting a project because you find it overwhelming, you need to take a different approach. Here are some tips:

  • Break the project into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks. You may find it helpful to create an action plan.
  • Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these aren't the logical first actions. You'll feel that you're achieving things, and so perhaps the whole project won't be so overwhelming after all. 

If you’re procrastinating because you find the task unpleasant:

  • Many procrastinators overestimate the unpleasantness of a task. So give it a try! You may find that it’s not as bad as you thought!
  • Hold the unpleasant consequences of not doing the work at the front of your mind.
  • Reward yourself for doing the task.

Finally, if you’re procrastinating because you can’t decide what action to take, and are putting off making a decision because you’re nervous about making the wrong choice, see our decision-making section. This teaches a range of powerful and effective decision-making techniques.
Remember: the longer you can spend without procrastinating, the greater your chances of breaking this destructive habit for good!

Key Points

To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to spot straight away that you're doing it. Then, you need to identify why you're procrastinating and taken appropriate steps to overcome the block.