MEMORIES AND WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS? – 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?”

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.

25 thoughts on “MEMORIES AND WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS? – TOM CURLEY

  1. I remember some stuff a lot better than other things. I remember technical information faster than stories, unless the stories are really unusual. I think I remember more stuff from when i was younger because my head was emptier and i was reading or hearing it all for the first time. Now, it’s the zillionth time I’m seeing that story or hearing that song which sounds like all the other songs. At this point, it really needs to be something special. But technical stuff … I remember it surprisingly well. Maybe it’s all those years of technical writing … or maybe that’s why I was a technical writer. Chicken? Egg?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great brain food for thought piece, Pancho.

      I still have my “A” game for movie (old) and baseball trivia. I see an familiar old movie face, rack the pool balls in my head and come up with the answer in minutes if not sooner. We’re talking obscure actors — like Trevor Bardette who played Ike Clanton on the “Wyatt Earp” TV series or Stanley Andrews “The Old Ranger” on “Death Valley Days”. I stuck JCK with “The Old Ranger” name because of the “Death Valley Days” host before Dutch Reagan.

      Old movies and beisbol have always been my loves and life line from reality. I refuse to use google and only resort to my reference books if the pool balls in my head just bounce around.

      I was good with names and faces during my working days. You HAD to be as a TV News reporter. I remembered the low level folks who frequently gave me tips that led to scoops. I even learned the names of secret service guys and their drivers.

      Obviously, I was on a first name basis with bar tenders. It was neat to have your drink poured as you walked through the door.

      Sometimes memory got me in trouble. In an interview with Gregory Peck who said he didn’t do comedy, I reminded him of “Designing Women”, a not so good remake of “Woman of The Year”. Peck initially gave me the fish eye and then laughed. Whew!!

      What’s my zip code and computer password?? Hold on. Dammit!!!

      Pancho, where’s the eye liner??

      Ceeesco

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just took an IQ test that popped up as a side thingy on some web site. Turns out to be a bunch of trivia and “other science facts, la, la, la.” Bottom line I earned a Masters Degree inside of 10 minutes without having finished college. I say thank God for my trivia loving friends AND my Parents pushing us to read.., now I know there was something I need to do.., and it’s really important too, but I can’t, for the love of Mike, remember what? Is God’s nick name “Mike?”

    Liked by 3 people

      • Harold. I thought every one knew that. “Our Father who Art in heaven, Harold be thy name…”

        One of the reasons we remember songs and jingles and such is because of the rhythms, and the rhyming patterns. Watch any baby moving to the music he hears. Our first baby books are all written in verse, or in words that flow together.
        Those examples (and thank you for Mr. Ed. Now we will both be humming it for hours) you cited are both
        rhymed and rhythmic, which is also why it’s a lot easier to write free verse but a lot harder to memorize it. The rhymes are the cues for the next line, the way stage cues are for an actor. =)

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow. A real ANSWER. But you know, I think you are right. I never considered rhyming scheme to have anything to do with it, but yes, you’re absolutely right. Because I remember a lot of these ridiculous TV songs, even for shows I rarely watched. I never did understand why Bonanza never had its own song, but Garry and I can both sing ALL of Paladin. And all the other ABC cowboy shows.

          You see? Modern television is really MISSING OUT on important stuff. Even BAD shows could be memorable if they got someone to sing the songs. I can sing all of “Blazing Saddles.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • Actually there are two lyrics to the Bonanza theme song. It was only aired once I think. In the pilot. They nixed the second one. It was even worse.

            We chased lady luck, ’til we finally struck Bonanza.
            With a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, planted a family tree.
            We got hold of a pot of gold, Bonanza.
            With a horse and a saddle, and a range full of cattle, how rich can a fellow be?

            On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled,
            the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
            Here in the West, we’re livin’ the best, Bonanza,
            if anyone fights any one of us, he’s go a fight with me, Bonanza.

            Hoss and Joe and Adam know every rock and pine, no one works,
            fights, or eats, like those boys of mine.
            Here we stand in the middle of a grand Bonanza.
            With a gun and a rope and a hatful of hope, we planted our family tree,
            we got hold of a potful of gold, Bonanza.

            With a houseful of friends where the rainbow ends, how rich can a fellow be?
            On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled,
            the day we filed the Ponderosa claim. Here in the west we’re livin’ the best Bonanza.

            With the friendliest, fightingist, loving band, that ever set foot in the promised land,
            and we’re happier than them all.
            That’s why we call it Bonanza…Bonanza…Bonanza…

            Liked by 1 person

        • Actually I knew it was Harold. I was curious if anybody else did. You win a year’s supply of Rice A Roni. The San Francisco treat!

          Like

      • I think it’s Henry or “Hank” as he was known to his close friends. Boy! I hope, if there is something to this heaven thing.., they have a sense of humor up there? If not, we’re all pretty well screwed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There a certain thing about music and sing song that commits to memory more easily. Who wants to remember the Kreb Cycle anyway? My husband reads some of his old scientific papers and comments “Did I write that? Haven’t got a clue what it’s about”.
    Leslie

    Like

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s