WHERE THE HELL ARE MY CARKEYS? – 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 ’90s!”

“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.

27 thoughts on “WHERE THE HELL ARE MY CARKEYS? – Tom Curley

      • We’re in a similar meltdown. Missing kitchen scissors and the usual missing socks head the breaking news in our situation room.
        I can remember the montages director from “Casablanca” – Don Siegel. He’d go on for a stellar career as a director.
        Where’s my vaporizer? I can’t breathe.

        Like

  1. Happens all the time to me.

    One time I was looking for my phone and I finally found in my left hand.

    What right-handed person would ever think to look there?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have to admit there is good reason you forget a lot of those things from school. A lot of it was just plain boring. The stuff you do remember comes in awfully handy for Trivial Pursuit and then again there’s always Google.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Google and mine differ. If I typed in a sentence like the one you did, my Google would spit and sputter and cough up something totally unrelated to what I asked. It needs very specific parameters apparently. That’s kind of disturbing too. What if ‘Big Brother’ IS watching?? 😐

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is one of the many reasons i am starting to write ‘The Manual For The Brain’ over at my blog (all contributions gratefully accepted). Our brains work the best when at an optimum level of stimulation, not too little (being bored) and not to much (being stressed). They also retain memories better when several centres of brain activity are focussed into the one task so that hearing a musical rhythm while hearing spoken words and translating their meaning while watching the TV will make that memory stick better than reading a long monotonous sentence in a Biology book or lecture. Emotional input during learning helps form coherent neural patterns that can be better recalled. Repetition plays a key part also – how many times a week did you hear Car 54 versus how many times did you read and remember about the Krebs Cycle?? 🙂 Being in a state of mind the brain recognises as ‘fun’ relaxes the brain and allows the central idea to be better retained than does being in a distracted or uninterested state. There is a certain truth to the idea of ‘rote’ learning also – the more often you can repeat a thing in your brain the stronger and longer lasting the neural connections become – you really do need to ‘use it or lose it’ similar to muscle mass and performance.

    Our brains undergo constant renewal and reformation, neural connections can be lost if not used and connections can become ‘spur lines’ that become rusted if not travelled along, replaced by what we currently find as a use for our brain, what takes our current attention.

    And then there’s just plain old senility! 🙂

    Good luck with the car keys! 😉

    Like

    • See? – if i still had a good memory i would have remembered to include the key roles that our level of awareness and our focus and breadth of attention has in building lasting memory in my original comment and not when it finally filtered down into my awareness some time later!

      Old age creeps up on us all. 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply to RhScribbles Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.