Ten Ways to Good Health


Sometime ago I was in one of the Asian supermarkets in Amsterdam’s Chinatown and found this cup, that I use for “tea” at work. It says:

Ten ways to good health

Less Alcohol, More Tea

Less Meat, More Vegetables

Less Salt, More Vinegar

Less Sugar, More Fruit

Less Eating, More Chewing

Less Words, More Action

Less Greed, More Giving

Less Worry, More Sleep

Less Driving, More Walking

Less Anger, More Laughter

I loved to curse

Fuck. Latelly I don’t manage to write a single line without starting to correct it.

I remember a long time ago, when I was still a young kid, in the Sunday school (yes, yes, I spent sometime with catholic “teachers”, when they would try to “indoctrinate” me and I would try to have some fun), and a monk and a nun were trying to get youngsters to join the convents. That day I offered to join a nuns convent – surely they tried to correct me, but they were the ones who got correct – and me rejected. I seems the catholics don’t like boys in nuns’ convents – I can’t understand why, as I’m sure we would have a lot of fun. Biblical kind of fun, I would dare day.

Later, was I barely sixteen, I had an accident and in consequence of that I lost a leg. A few days after my last operation, was I in the hospital gardener with my family, when some older women – I would normally call any woman a lady, but that wouldn’t match with what I’m writing next – stopped by because she did know the family, and asked what had happened, and finally got to the “poor thing” part. That as the time I finally got into the conversation that was happening next to me, about me as if I was not present and really annoyed just said something that would translate to – “Poor Thing my ass. If that’s the best thing you have to say, fuck you and move one”.

Not long after getting out of the hospital, after the accident, I manage to go to school, talk to the teachers, and finish the 9th grade, mostly by delivering papers that I would work on at home. And not long after that I told my mothers one night – tomorrow wake me up, that I will go with you when you go to work. – Why, she asked. – I’m going to sign my self up for the Computing course at school.

A few years later, my grandmother was comparing me to a cousin – who was finishing his master – saying – look at him, how he is doing, how he’s working at the University, and that also got a “There’s nothing worst than a fucking good example” from me.

Unlike the old woman in the hospital, I loved my grandmother, and she is one of the few people I really miss (she died a few years ago).

But, the point is that what other people thought, even the people that I knew loved me, didn’t use to get me out of my way to the things I loved and wanted to do.

On the day I meet my wife I told her that the person I loved more, that the most important person in the world for me was myself. I still am – I use to say that even when I disagree with myself, at least I have to understand myself. As, I believe, most people, I’m a complex person, with different things I want to balance in my live, things that I want, things that I care about, wishes and hopes, needs and feelings and dreams. And, as most people – I believe – sometimes I have to choose between them. However, instead of letting things happen and not understanding why, I try to understand which parts of me want each path, and what wins and looses each of this mini-battles on the path we call life.

I still understand how I got here, but in some parts of my life, I feel that I was in the passenger seat too many turns. And the worst thing is that even if I know that I’m already completely overdue there, I don’t really feel like getting back on the wheel.


Gary Moore – Still got the blues and The Hurt Inside

I’m not sure anymore who introduced me to Gary Moore. I would guess that it was someone in the first company I worked for – I’m not sure about the place, but I’m sure about the time – I was in college at the time, for my first time.

From that time, there is a music that for with me all this time. I music which sound I love, but that I never really understood the expressed felling. That music is Still got the blues, and it is a music I like to go back to often.

It’s a music I go back to because of it’s sound, and also when I’m a bit sad. But lately, specially this last couple of days, the way Gary’s guitar sounds is recurrently taken back to my mind by the way I’ve being felling. But it was just today, while looking for other musics from Gary that I didn’t know that I found out the one that most precisely expresses the way I fell most of the time in the last years. It’s called The hurt inside:

And it’s lyrics say:

You wrestle with your conscience
To free your better self.
But did you think for one moment
You could be someone else?

Between a rock and a hard place,
Is where you seem to be.
You’ve been caught in a trap
Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

All those nights so lonely,
All the tears that you cry.
You can’t hide
From the hurt inside.
(the hurt inside).

You’re in a situation,
Pray this time it will pass.
But it feels like you’re walkin’
Over miles and miles of broken glass.

Painted into a corner
Where the sun never shines.
Somebody’s turned on the spotlight,
You forgot to learn your lines.

In the place you once called your heart
There’s a wound that’s open wide.
You can’t hide
From the hurt inside.
(the hurt inside).

When you’re thinking ’bout the hard times
Everyone’s been through.
But it won’t make no difference,
Seeing things the way you do.

In this blue condition
You must search for the light.
Don’t believe them when they tell you,
You can’t hold back the night.

Between a rock and a hard place,
Is where you’ll always be.
Caught in a trap
Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

So many words unspoken.
So many times you never tried.
You can’t hide
From the hurt inside.
(the hurt inside).

No, you can’t hide
From the hurt inside.
(the hurt inside).
There’s one thing you can’t hide,
It’s the hurt inside.
(the hurt inside).

on Dailymail – Steve Jobs dead: Brilliant, yes, but he wasn’t an Einstein

There is an  interesting story on the Dailymail… interesting in a british way. I’ll not argue if Jobs was or not the most important person on the planet, but I don’t see how someone can compare him with the “Pope” or the “Dalai Lama”.

It’s not that I don’t see that some Popes where important and visionary people – but not the current one, for sure. Not that the Daila Lama had some important contributes to the world culture, but what can really be pointed to the current reencarnation of Dalai Lama?

Steve was, I would bet, one of the firsts to say how important the work of oncologists and thousands of other researchers is for all and everyone of us. But the true is that oncologists were not able to save him. And the amazing work that happened around him in the last 30+ years changed the way people is today able to do research, and almost everything else they usually do.

Even the lives of those who don’t use computers was changed, because other do.

It’s easy to miss the supermarket registers, it’s easy to miss the millions of computers that everyday are used to manage the gigantic supply chains around the world and make it way easier for the small supermarkets or stores in our neighborhood to have most of the products we consume every day.

It’s easy to ignore how easy it is for a researcher to share is finding and theories today, and ignore how it was shared before, and how hard it was to find out anything.

Was Steve the most important person in the world? Maybe not. But he is for sure one of the persons that were in the center of the most important changes of our time. Him, not the Pope and not the Dalai Lama. Anyone is welcome to disagree with this, but should also try to publish his opinion online with using a personal computer.


Saudade is a Portuguese word that means you miss something, or that you are longing or yearning for something or someone that you love and that is not with you. It’s told to be a very profound and nostalgic feeling and almost always an important part of the Portuguese soul.

We, as a people, as a nation, are saudosistas, meaning that we have, in general, many things that we have saudades of. But, I barely understand that, as I almost don’t have such a feeling.

Sure, there are a lot of things that were important in my live, that made me what I’m today like my grand-mothers house – right next to my grand-aunt house, where a lot of kids would be freely playing together, without major concerns – our or from our parents – there is my aunt, who was more of a mother for me than my mother, or at least had a major role in a very important part of my youth – there is … there is, obviously, a lot a people and moments that were (and are) important to me, and that had an important role in my life and help make me what I am today.

But there is only one thing I really have saudades of.

And that is a small group of people I was part of in my first year of University. Antónia, Carla, Rita e Samuel. This was a strange group and, to tell the true, I have no idea how we started getting together. Samuel was in my course with me, but none of the girls were. Rita was in Computing – Teaching variant, and the other girls were in Literature.

But we got together a lot, eating, having drinks or coffee – but always discussing, exchanging ideas about the most important subjects – what boys like on girls and girls like on boys – or the most unconsequent ones – like politics, from political theory to practical politics.

All ideas were equally bad, and someone would always have a better idea, a point to add, a reason why some idea was not that good, how the good ones could be improved, what could be done and how.

But the amazing thing about this group – or how I remember it – was that is was always about the ideas, was that we could always chop any idea to pieces and destroy the pieces one by one, without the fear that someone would be offended because her/his idea was completed slaughtered.

And from all things I have memory of – and believe to be part of my past – this is the only one that I really have saudades of.

And, by the way, we were a mixed group that never were about sex or romance.

What about you, what do you really miss?

Uno, Nessuno e Centomila

Uno, Nessuno e Centomila it’s the original, italian title of the last novel by the italian author Luigi Pirandello (see the Wikipedia english page on the title). I’m not really sure if I got in contact with title, in Portuguese (Um, ninguém e cem mil), in Ansião (the vilage I studied and grow in), or if someone gave me this book when I was in the hospital, more than half my live so far ago.

But this post is not about the One, nor about the No one, and not even about the Hundred Thousand. This is just about an epiphany I had this afternoon. An epiphany on how the One and each of the Hundred Thousand get more together or apart as we interact with others, and as it doesn’t really matter if the One grows close with someone else, it’s still one of the Hundred Thousand that will be perceived by that someone else.

And it get even more frustrating when you finally understand that those images of you in the mind of everyone else are not only made of small parts of you and lies you created for their benefit – because sometimes you don’t want other to understand how different you are, but more than anything else, they are made of characteristics of those who project those images on you, trying to get you closer, more similar to them.

But, then again, what is real in everyone we know, what is part of their real self, what is projected by them for our benefit, and what is a projection we create over them, trying to protect us from what is right in front of us, protecting us from the things on them that are not complaint with our view of the world?

I doesn’t matter how much I try to undo the knot in my head right now, two questions keep getting back to me:

  1. What can we do to let other be themselves?
  2. Even if we do everything we can, can we really expect other to be themselves and let us know them as they are?

Anyone can help me?


Did you ever felt that you’re censoring yourself too much?

Even felt that you’re getting enable to express your better and more radical ideas just because you start censoring yourself too soon, as if you’re trying to get better ways to state your ideas, even before expressing them?

As a blogger, I used to write a lot of stuff, but lately, even if I still see good ideas bouncing in my head, most of the time I feel enable to express them properly.

Did you ever felt like that?

How do one overcome that?