A recent Saturday morning, Marcia and I had not even gotten out of bed and we had started a conversation about the Winter Olympics, which has sentimental value to us because our first baby's morning sickness period occurred during the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. And for some reason, during that conversation, I started rattling off the location of every Winter Olympics since 1980. I was a little uncertain about the order of Albertville ('92) and Lillehammer('94), but I later checked and found out I was correct. Even after nearly 30 years of marriage, this seemed to impress Marcia. I told her this was my gift, that I was Google before there was Google. I was the person who could produce reams of useless information just off the top of my head. For those of us with the gift, the smart phone—that disruptive technology—has all but displaced the Google-minded us. I'm now wondering why I was born in such a time as this.
I'm also noticing that as I push age 50, I sometimes cannot conjure up a fact like I used to be able to do. But overall, I can still make lots of connections that seem to be a little out of the ordinary. For example, the first time I heard Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" on the radio, I immediately thought to myself, "That's sounds like Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up," a record I had listened to over and over again when I was in Junior High in about 1978. I later read that there was a copyright infringement lawsuit suggesting "Blurred" borrowed from "Got to Give It Up." Of course it did. And now that there is Pandora and iTunes radio, I can go back and listen to the same songs I did when I was in elementary school and see if it somehow keeps the brain connections intact, or creates new ones. Just last week, I selected a radio station play for "LTD," Jeffrey Osborne's original group, and I felt as if I were right back in my room in 1975 when the song "Love Ballad" played. It was as if a door in my brain opened that had not been opened for many years. I have a feeling I may be doing some sort of neurotherapy on myself, but of course I'm just some guy with no training making excuses for himself to go back and listen to "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" for therapeutic reasons. It's almost ridiculous.
A few days after my Olympic moment, I was at work and went downstairs for a coffee break. I had my steno pad and Kindle, ready to take a few minutes to read, write, and relax a little with a cup of coffee. I paid the cashier for a medium coffee and walked to the atrium to find a seat, leaving my coffee at the cashier's counter. I realized this when I pulled out the chair to sit down. This was after I had walked all the way downstairs to the cafeteria from the third floor only to arrive at the cafeteria and realize I had forgotten to get money out of my wallet. So I had to walk all of the way back upstairs to get two dollars. So not long after my Olympic memory moment, a day of extreme mental ineptitude arrived, the glory now departed while I wonder if all of the Tab, Fresca, and Diet Coke--anything that causes cancer in laboratory animals--that I've been drinking over the years is finally doing me in. Until I figure that out though, I think I'll go put on "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and see if I can connect some old memories in my brain.