beware the thought-cookers

I’m cutting it close, arriving at work almost on the dot of 8am – or just past.  For some reason this happens to me a lot.  I tend to not be early or cutting it really really close.  It is not on purpose.  It just is.

You never know how interesting you are until you pay attention to yourself.   Is it weird to find yourself interesting?  Maybe.  Hey, at least someone does, right?!  And hey!,  at least it is someone who’s opinion you’ll care about, right?  Hmm… yeah sure, this isn’t weird at all.

So, what is my problem with being (not) on time?

What I realised the other morning while getting ready for work is that I get lost in thought.  At the strangest times.  Doing the most mundane type things.  I’ve had myself under surveillance for month now.  It’s bad.  I found several thought-cookers tempting me every single day.  It’s difficult to escape the ones that doesn’t form an integral part of my day and almost impossible to fight the allure of the ones that does.

Thought-cooker  also known as thought-stimulant, usually gets triggered by the act of performing mundane tasks like taking a bath, cooking a meal, doing dishes, driving and so forth.  It can also be a place.  A person experience no passage of time with the result that time seems to fly.

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yep!  Oh yeah,  I know that!  What I find most interesting though is that each cooker stimulates different thoughts.  Cookers do not seem to be conducive to continued thought processes.

So now the other question is – does your thought-cooker(s) say something about you?  Oh my, I don’t know.  It will be SO weird if it did.  Right?  Riiigghht?

Well,  I’m now of the opinion that my cookers REALLY don’t like it that I have to go to work 🙂

Why else will a 10-minute bath turn into a 30-minute time warp?  Or a 5-minutes coffee into a 15-minutes one?  Or the 1 minute it should take to tie my boots become 5 minutes? Or the 10 seconds to lock the front door turn into 2 minutes?

It all adds up!

number 7 – is it bad when they know you by … face?

7.             Keep it personal

A repeat customer is someone you get to know. Nurture that by keeping your relationship as personal as possible. For instance, get to know customers by name. Connecting on a personal level with customers is one of the best competitive advantages. Everyone loves it when they go into a coffee shop and the server remembers their name and their favorite beverage.  … more

I remember reading (or hearing) something along these lines some time ago.  As I’m not in the marketing or advertising industry I don’t really pay attention to these things.  The company I work for does however service the public so sometimes the odd thing about customer care is bound to catch a ride in my memory banks.  And a couple of months ago this memory decided to say hello.

Every now and again (less now than again) I crave one of my favourite junk food meals at the local Wimpy.  A few weeks ago as I approached the take-away counter the lady who was on duty looked up, smiled a little and completed the sale she was busy with.  I was looking over the posted menu and special offerings when the lady focussed her attention on me and asked “The usual?”.  She continued with: “With chippies? It’s kind of hot out, so a milkshake today? Kiddies or normal?”.  Forget the menus!

It was while I was waiting for my order that the “number 7” memory popped up and I started mulling it over.  I started wondering how I really felt about the fact that the Wimpy-lady knew me so well that she could order for me, when my best friend and even my family would be hard-pressed to.  She doesn’t even know my name!  Do I look like my favourite Wimpy-meal?  Is a picture of that meal reflected in my eyes (picture animated dollar-sign-eyes) when I have the craving?  Do I visit the eatery more regularly than I thought?  Is the meal I order so unique that it is memorable?  Maybe this meal is actually a popular choice even though I’ve never seen anyone else order it?  Oh grief!, am I really that predictable?! Or is it simply that Wimpy-lady took “Number-7” to heart and has a knack for remembering what people eat?

How come I’m not offended by the fact that I barely have to say anything whenever I want this favourite meal?  Me, who usually dreads shopping.  Me, who marches into supermarkets and alike, eyes forward and with grim determination to get this done and be gone before anyone pays too much attention?  Me, who gets chills when I think of doing an errant at shops where there are chatty (very friendly) people waiting to do my bidding?

Well, either I’m denying the (obviously subconscious) truth about Number-7 or…  I just REALLY like my junk food more than I mind my own predictability.  Okay, let’s go with that.  I don’t mind (yeah right!) my own predictability as long as it speeds up the ordering process.

things you see on the dentist’s ceiling

There once were a few peanuts, and a couple of raisons, and a small piece of chocolate.  They gave such pleasure, until they gave such pain. Truthfully though, the peanut was guiltiest of all!

A tiny piece of peanut and a broken tooth – so begins the search for my dentist.

Now before I begin with my sorry little tail . . .er . . . um. . . tale,  I just know that there will be people shaking their heads in wisdom at my folly.  Yes, I know you’re right.  I should make regular visits to a dentist (and remember who it is).  I should probably see a doctor too for that matter.  The thing is though that I’m fairly healthy if a “bit” overweight.  But that doesn’t really have anything to do with this post.  Well, except maybe to point out that I like to eat – and I don’t like doctors and dentists very much.  Both wield needles, if you have to ask.  I’m not scared of needles, understand.  I just avoid those little instruments of pain as much as possible.

(c) makeshiftgarbage

So how does a person go about finding the right dentist?  You start by asking the folks who do actually visit one of course.  Funny thing though, nobody seem to agree on who is the best dentist around.  And who knew there were so many of them in our town?!  I listened to everyone’s stories.  I made a few calls.  I finally decided who I’ll turn to in my hour of dental need.

Off I went to the dentist’s surgery and filled out the forms.  What a great shield those things are when you try to pretend that you’re not nervous at all!  I fiddled with my phone, looking anywhere but at that dreaded door behind which one of those typical reclining chairs looks so deceptively comfortable.  From the stories I heard about this dentist he’s been around a few years.  In my mind’s eye I saw a guy ’round about my age, with maybe a little grey in his hair and a few wrinkles around the eyes.  Imagine my surprise when the guy who came out to invite me into his “parlor” looked like he just stepped out of college. . . or medical school  . . .  or where ever it is they learn to dig in people’s mouths.  He introduced himself.  Nope, definitely not the guy I assumed I had the appointment with.  I felt like throwing anchors and yell – I don’t wanna see you, you’re not him!  I didn’t have the guts.  Besides, my tooth was really sore.

In case you didn’t know, it pays to be friendly with people in whose medical hands you entrust your physical well-being – be that body, gum or tooth.  Okay, maybe that’s debatable.  I once went to a dentist who talked to me while my mouth was stuffed with cotton balls and whatnots, things he had put in there.  And I mean talk, as in asking me questions he seemed to be expecting answers to.  What sense does that make, I ask you?

Getting back to doctor Young-Guy.  He made sure I was comfy (I lied and said I was!) then started doing his thing.  I don’t know if anybody else feels the same way I do but it is kind of weird when people talk about you like you’re not there, about things that sound alien but are actually your teeth.  I find it difficult to decide where to focus my mind in situations like these.  I mean, here is a guy with his face so close to yours you’ll be able to bite his nose if it wasn’t for that little mask thingy he wears.  Ugh!  No, not something I want to think about.  What else?  His eyes.  Will he notice if I inspect his eyes while he taps and scrape my teeth?  Better not do that.  I certainly don’t want him to shift his attention away from what he is doing, especially when he starts using powered tools.  How about if I just cast my eyes down.  It isn’t so bad inspecting your own nose, but I can only look at black heads for so long.  Ah heck, there’s no choice really.  Just look up and aim a little bit to the side of dr. Young-Guy’s head.  Aah yes, there it is.  The ceiling.

who started this mess? by RJ Crisp

Something I remember from dentist surgeries I’ve visited before is that they always have some form of entertainment on the ceiling for kids.  Mostly they have busy images like the one above, other times they have puppets or model airplanes stringed up there.  It seems that the practice where dr Young-Guy works has come a long way from simple posters and figurines on the ceiling.  Instead, they have a monitor mounted there in a very nice wooden frame.

At first I did not pay too much attention to the screen as the conversation between dr Young-Guy and his assistant had changed to a subject other than my teeth.  He was now complaining to her that he was running behind schedule and he did not sound happy about it.  At all. He gave these huge sighs while deliberating what should be done to fix my tooth. Can you imagine what went through my head after hearing this?

I decided that no, it is not necessary to panic – yet. Focus on the ceiling, focus on the ceiling I chanted to myself.  I did. Focus. On the ceiling. I’m sure my eyes bulged. I’m pretty sure I blushed. My eyes are playing tricks on me, I thought. I glanced away for a second.  I looked back.  Oh jeez!  My eyes are still 20/20.

What I saw on the ceiling was a bunch of people.  People in various stages of no-dress.  People with leather belts around their waists, but not a fig leaf or loin cloth in sight.  N.A.K.E.D people!  Huh?!

Okay, so it was a documentary and not a blue film. I’m not sure if that qualification helps to ease my mind though. Given that no sound accompanied the images that bombarded my eyes and I could not identify at first sight that there was (presumably) a narrator guiding me through the whole thing. . .

You may think me a prude if you want, but I got a good jolly old shock that afternoon.  If you have kids and you take them to a dentist you don’t know, I advise you to inspect his ceiling first!

the story behind dreams and the art of waking up

The human mind is extraordinary and it fascinates me.  Um. . . yeah, you probably heard me say it a time or two before.  I wonder if this fascination is the reason why I’m such a fan of fantasy and sci-fi type stories?

Take Medium for example.  The word itself is ordinary enough, but in the television series Medium it has a very specific meaning. At lack of a better description I guess one could call it channeling.

The fifth season of the show is currently running here in South Africa. I missed out on most of the first season which is always a shame if a series run longer.  The story is based on Allison DuBois, a mother of three and wife to Joe, who are able to “see” things in dream world and talk to ghosts in the real world.  And the dreams are always open to interpretation – nothing is ever cut and dried.

Before I continue, let me just say that I never knew that the simple act of waking up could be transformed into an art form. This is something that Patricia Arquette seems to be very good at.  She has quite the repertoire.

Right-o, I’m grabbing a cup of coffee to mull over this dream business some more.  I know it is said that everybody dreams but that one doesn’t necessarily remember the details. Well, that is true for me most of the time.  The only dreams I remember are the odd ones, the ones that doesn’t seem to make much sense.

There are some questions that run through my mind from time to time – things I’m curious about but not sure whether or not I really want to find the answers to.

* Should I pay more attention to that little film that blitzes through my consciousness just before I wake up?

* Do I sometimes feel that I received a message or a warning, for myself or someone else,  through my dreams?

* Is the reason why I don’t remember the dream significant?

* Is having bad dreams after watching a thriller or after eating certain food stuffs late at night really related?

* And the big one – should I have my dream interpreted?  And following that – is there really someone I will trust with something like that?

Hmm. . . there might be easy answers to these questions, there may not.

For now I’m just grateful that I’m not in Allison’s head.  She really has some disturbing dreams at times.

Sweet dreams, dear Reader.