Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm sorry, what was I writing about?

My cousin's blog ( discusses all sorts of topics, including "awesome animals" and state flags. The blog, incidentally, got its title because Dave is a civil engineer, and was working on a bridge over Sturgeon Bay, WI, until he dropped his soldering tool into the bay. Hence, the name.

Yes, I'm not the only dork in the family. Far, far from it. You may note that this is the second member of my family that welds for fun. Luckily, we're all happy, unrepentant dorks these days.

Anyway, Dave's most recent post talks about the AZ state flag, and includes a recording of the Cactus Wren's call, which sounds like an engine turning over. When I heard the sound, I was back in my front yard in Phoenix, next to the Palo Verde Tree, wearing my "E.T." T-shirt, and pretending to camp with my Cabbage Patch Kid. One recording, and wham! it's 1984.

They say that people learn by linking new knowledge to old. The brain craves, and requires context to make the information "stick." For example, I needed the bird sound to retrieve the information from the file in my brain marked, "childhood."

These days, I find I need more and more context, because I cannot remember anything. Nothing much is sticking to this brain. My brother will regularly ask me, "What are you reading? What are you listening to?" I used to be able to rattle off songs, titles, authors, and lyrics. Now, the conversation is more like this:

"I'm reading this really cool book about....Owen, get down!...anyway...Owen, Mommy gets to talk to Uncle Tom (yes, that's his name) for five more minutes....anyway, um, uh, what were we talking about? Yeah."

The other day, somebody asked me my age. I had no idea. I had to subtract 1975 from this year to figure it out. By the way, I'm thirty-three---don't strain yourself.

Apparently, I'm not the only one suffering from this affliction, because a commonly heard phrase in our household is, "Owen, what did I just say?" Luckily, we tend to remember whatever it was we just said, because we repeat it to Owen, sternly. Usually "now" is attached to the end of the statement, as in, "Put your coat on---now" or "Get in the car---now." or "Eat your peas--now."

And, oh, was it ever helpful when Owen said, "Say, please, Daddy."

I know that it's the height of tedium to read about the cute things children say, but since I can't remember much, indulge me with just one: Owen can't say "presents" correctly. He says, "prez-a-nents" as in, "On Christmas, Santa will bring me a prez-a-nent."

Luckily, Owen's brain is still developing, so he will not remember that in 2008, Santa gave him socks for his Christmas prez-a-nent.


dek said...

Thanks for the shout-out.

I have to ask, though: "wham! it's 1984." Was this intentional? More importantly, will you wake me up before you go go?

Nancy Campbell said...

Yes, it was intentional..."Take me dancing tonight..."