MEMORY, MEMORIES AND WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS? – by TOM CURLEY

First off, this isn’t a blog about “Senior Moments”. You know, like when you get up and go into another room and the second you enter the other room you can’t for the life of you remember why you’re there.

drz.org

drz.org

The annoying part is that the only way to remember why you went in there is to go back to the room you started in. As soon as you do, you immediately remember why you got up in the first place.

“Oh right. I really have to pee.”

No, this blog is about memory and memories. Why does my brain work the way it does? Why do I remember some things and not others?

Let me explain.

I went to college. I was a biology major and pre-med. I took lots and lots of science courses; biology, physics, math, and chemistry. I got good grades. All A’s or B’s.

I learned lots of stuff. I knew calculus. I knew what a derivative was. No, not the financial thingies that caused the global crash of 2008. But equations that started with dy/dx, or something like that.

Notice the past tense in these last sentences? I “knew” all these things. Today, all that information is gone! Vanished, like I never took any of those courses. Actually, I do remember that there was something called the “Krebs Cycle.” It had to do with respiration or metabolism. I know it’s something we all do that’s very important. If we don’t do it, we die. But that’s all I remember.

Yet, with no effort at all, I can recite all the words to the theme song to the 1960’s TV show Mr. Ed!!!

mr ed

Youtube.com

“A horse is a horse of course of course, and nobody can talk to a horse of course. That is of course, unless the horse, is the famous Mr. Ed.” I could go on to the second verse.

But I won’t.

Hell, I can even recite the words to “Car 54 Where Are You?” And I didn’t really watch the show that often!

Youtube.com

Youtube.com

“There’s a hold up in the Bronx,

Brooklyn’s broken out in fights.

There’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights.

There’s a scout troop short a child.

Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild.

Car 54 where are you?”

72-Mr-Goose-cropped_09

I swear I wrote those from memory. They flowed effortlessly from my brain, like crap through a goose. I didn’t Google them.

Which brings me to my next point.

We live in an amazing age. We have all the knowledge of the world literally at our fingertips. Any question you could possibly think of can be googled. It’s gotten so easy that you can type the most rambling of questions and still get the right answer.

For example, a while ago I got into a conversation about time travel and it reminded me of a movie I’d seen a long time ago. It was about an aircraft carrier that went back in time to just before Pearl Harbor. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name so I typed the following sentence into Google:

“There was this movie a long time ago about an aircraft carrier that goes back in time to just before Pearl Harbor and ….”

google-search-screen

At this point Google popped up “The Final Countdown.” It listed the cast, the plot, and where I could buy it. All before I could finish typing a full sentence! Wow!

imdb.com

imdb.com

It made me realize something. I could use the internet to bring back all that science knowledge I once had!

But I don’t.

I use it for far more important stuff. Mostly, finding out the name of the actor my wife and I are currently watching on TV. We know we’ve seen him or her on some other show. But we can’t for the life of us remember either his/her name or the show’s name. Google it! Go to IMDB!

“Oh, right! She was the head doctor on that show we used to watch back in the 90’s!”

“Right! She was married to … what’s his name?  He was on … what was the name of that show?”

Back to Google.

So in the end, I still don’t know why my brain works the way it does. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Kreb’s Cycle.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

When I started reading it, I actually remembered most of it. Although I gotta admit. It was pretty dull. Mr. Ed was a lot more fun.

Hmm, maybe I do know why my brain works the way it does.



Categories: Humor, Movies, Television, Tom Curley

Tags: , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. What a great post. Whenever we have a question, we Google it. My wife never asks me anything anymore. I used to be a fountain of knowledge (most of it made up) but now she doesn’t bother with the middle man. She goes directly to Google!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In this house, if it’s about movies, ask Garry. He knows more than Google. Everything else? Ask me and I ask Google. I know how databases work. I know about relational and object linked and the other ones, too. What I don’t understand and never ceases to impress me is how FAST Google finds even the fuzziest query answers. They must have a lot of huge, blindingly fast servers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • True. Except for the weather. My wife thinks I’m a full time meteorologist. She constantly asks.
      “What’s the weather outside.:
      “How should I know? I’m still in bed!:

      Like

  2. Story of my life – I think this internet generation will not learn to remember things – all they have to do is google their questions. Outsourcing their memories I think

    Like

  3. For me, the computer has probably done more to explain how memory works than anything else. We have the long term stuff on the hard drive and then there is the RAM – random access memory . It takes us longer to recall things because we have a lot of stuff to go through. You lose your keys because you no longer retain the steps leading up to the final resting place of the keys. We learn to automate our steps but it doesn’t go into the hard driver so we find them harder to recall. That’s probably why when you return to the place where you first thought you needed something, you recall that thought more readily. We aren’t getting older we are getting better, but we do have a lot of clutter there too.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes very true. I have read lots of stuff that explains all this and love Brain Games on the National Geographic channel. It has to do with chemicals and creating changes in neurons. Also men’s brains can only hold so many words. Once it gets full, the oldest words get pushed out. That’s why men don’t remember things. At least that’s what I tell my wife.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like many (if not most) of my rock and roll fixated generation, I can remember not only the words to allllll the songs from back then, but, true to the spirit of “Name that Tune” I can usually hit the song, word for word, within two or three notes. They all have distinctive lead ins, and apparently are embedded in the brain somewhere between the famous fight where “Donna told Louise she was a purple bitch and Louise…”, and the funny thing that happened at graduation. And while I may not always be able to name the singers, I can still hit every note and pause and inflection. And for all that, I still cannot find my reading glasses on the first try, or the plastic zip lock bags, or where I left my garden boots.

    But at least for today, I know where–if not why–the pancreas is. Thank you, Marilyn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • FYI? The pancreas secretes (are you ready?) pancreatic acid which is necessary to digest food. Apparently, though obscure, this is one of those much-maligned and overlooked – but necessary to life – organs. It gives us nothing but trouble, but without it, oops.

      Liked by 1 person

      • True. Many years ago all the organs in the body had an argument as to who was the boss. The Brain said “I am, I do all the thinking!”. Then the lungs said “I am, I bring air so we can live”. Then the stomach said “I am because I digest the food”. Then The Pancreas said “Even though I am much maligned and overlooked, I am because I provide pancreatic acid to aid in digestion!”. Then the asshole spoke up and said “You are all wrong. I am”. At this point all the other organs laughed. So the asshole shut down. Soon, the brain could barely think, the stomach was backed up. The lungs were gasping for breath and the pancreas was dumping way too much pancreatic acid into the stomach and doing very little to aid digestion. So they all gave up. The moral of the story.
        “You don’t have to smart to be boss, you just have to be and asshole.”

        Like

    • It has to do with right brain left brain. The right remembers things easier. I know all the lyrics to many songs but they are more often then not wrong because I never really understood what most lyrics were actually saying. Hence, Creedence Clearwater’s famous song. “There’s a bathroom on the right” and Jimmy Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good one Tommy. My biggest problem is putting important things where I can easily find them.., and then forgetting where that place is. Many times I can picture the position I laid the thing down in, even the angle that it was left in, or the height above sea level.., but not where. Crap like that will haunt me to the point of obsession. Sometimes I will intentionally let it go in hopes it will hit me later.., but Noooooo. Most times, just to keep my sanity, I’ll just forget all about it, giving it up for lost and will be looking for something else when Holy Poop on a Stick! there it is, exactly as I had pictured it but for the life of me I can’t figure out why I put it there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great, fun true post, I smiled all the way through. I actually wrote a post on something very similar recently. And by the way, you’re not the only one who can recite the words to Mr Ed and My Mother the car. Scary stuff 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Many years ago, I trained myself not to remember certain details — I would be approached on campus and asked if a student’s money had come in to the student loan office. It was better not to know, and to invite the student to my office to ask, rather than to give a wrong answer. That now has worked its usefulness — and I sometimes wish now that I could remember detail for a longer period of time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember things and forget them sequentially from minute to minute. Literally. I have particular trouble with the pancreas. Sometimes, I remember it. The rest of the time, I know it’s right next to my liver, but I can’t remember its name. Then I remember it again, then it’s gone. But oddly, even though it was removed (accidentally) in 1980, I can ALWAYS remember my gall bladder. In memorium, as it were.

    Liked by 1 person

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