Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now, What Was I Saying?

Thought for the day:  Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.  [Steven Wright]

It's been said many times that elephants never forget. Big whooping deal! I mean, what do they have to remember, anyhow? They don't have to remember where they parked the car. Don't have to remember where they left their keys or suitcase, either. Because... wait for it... (Ba-da boom!) their trunks are always with them. (Sorry.)

Okay, so actually elephants do have an excellent memory. According to a Scientific American article from January of 2009, elephants don't have very good eyesight, but they never forget a face. Bully for them. I, on the other hand, have been known to run into someone I sang with in the church choir for twenty plus years without being able to pull his name out of my brain. Not to be too tough on myself, I did recognize his face... it was just that pesky name that eluded me, and elephants, of course, don't have to remember names, now, do they? All they have to do is remember more trivial stuff, you know, things that their survival may or may not depend upon. Like where to find water... who poses a threat to the herd, that kinda stuff. They don't forget enemies... and they don't forget friends. Even after more than twenty years. [This video is just over seven minutes long, so if you don't want to take the time to watch it, no biggie. But if you do watch it, you might want to grab a tissue first. ]


At any rate, that's neither here nor there. I didn't intend to make myself feel completely irrelephant by comparing my crappy memory to that of a pachyderm, but my train of thought got temporarily derailed for a minute.

Now then. I wanted to talk about the irritating creep of forgetfulness, but I... forgot. Yeah, a lot of that going around these days.



 Ever waste fifteen minutes looking for your eyeglasses, only to find them perched atop your head? Or searched frantically for a pencil that's safely resting on your ear? Right where you put it.

Ever stash something important for safe-keeping, somewhere you know you'll remember... and then forget where ya put it?





One of the joys of hanging out with long-time friends is creating memories together... even if you don't always remember them.



How many times have you gone into a room to do a task, and ended up doing fifteen other things, and leaving without doing what you went in there to do in the first place?


Okay, so forgetting to put on clothes may indicate a more serious problem, but a certain amount of forgetfulness, while certainly annoying, is par for the course, and nothing to worry about. Best we can do is stimulate our brains by reading, doing puzzles, learning new things, and engaging in stimulating conversations. (preferably with other people)


Mark Twain said, If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. 

And the truth is... this video is a hoot. Not only does Pam Peterson have a lovely voice, she's got a lovely sense of humor, too. Can't do anything about your slippery memory? Might as well laugh about it.


                      One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. [Rita Mae Brown]

                                              Maybe that's why I'm so happy?

                            Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh, wait, WAIT! Before I (ahem) forget, remember that Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade Goodreads giveaway I told y'all about last time? Well, the window's open a lot wider now. Not just to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia... but to every single country listed by Goodreads.

96 comments:

  1. I have seen that elephant reunion video before - and my eyes did get a little sweaty.
    Elephants also don't have to remember passwords for every little thing - which I am a tad jealous about.
    And I hear you on the face recognition thing. When I run into fellow swimmers away from the pool all I can say is 'I am sorry, I didn't recognise you with your clothes on.' Which has got us some odd looks in shopping centres.

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    1. That elephant reunion video makes me get a little misty-eyed every time I watch it.

      You've got that right about the passwords! OY! If I didn't write them down somewhere, I would NEVER remember them. And we're supposed to "change them" from time to time? Ain't no way!

      HA! I love that line about clothes. I've said something similar to people for similar reasons.

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  2. I don't know if this will help others, but when a name escapes me I walk through a doorway, sometimes two doorways, and there it is. Today Norma and I were talking about something the editor of Vogue Magazine said recently and I wondered what the founder of Ms. magazine would think of it. Took 3 doorways to remember Gloria Steinem's name. By that time the conversation was over but I had remembered!

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    1. If a doorway is handy when I'm trying to pull a name out of my stubborn brain, I'll give your method a try. Mostly, I use the alphabet to help me remember things. While going through the alphabet, for some reason, the "right" letter initiates a zap of recognition, and I can proceed from there. Isn't always expedient or efficient, but it usually works. Eventually. (So WHAT if it's three weeks later?)

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  3. I get a ton of exercise going into rooms for stuff I can't remember once I get there. It used to bother me a lot more, but I seem to have transitioned into a new phase where I don't give a shit anymore.

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    1. HA! And there it is... the seniors' exhaustipated stage of life... when we're too tired to give a shit. Plus, like you say, wandering around like Moses looking for the promised land is about the most exercise I get these days.

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  4. Oh, I'm so with the above commenters. Can't for the life of me put face to names after I meet them just days after.

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    1. Looks like there's a lot of us in the same boat. (I hope somebody remembered the oars.)

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  5. That song by Pam Peterson is hilarious. I've seen Cats and remember the original, but this is better. I've found that sometimes I don't even have to go to another room to forget, I just get up off my chair. I've done several other things before I realise they aren't what I got up for, but I still haven't remembered what it was I got up for.

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    1. I'm glad you took time to listen to Peterson's song, and got a kick out of it.

      Know what? Maybe we just have too many awesome thoughts percolating in our heads. Yep, that must be it.

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  6. I just wish I could close my front door and know, for absolute certainty, that I locked it - seems every time I go out I get ten paces down the street and go back to check!!

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    1. HA! I know that feeling, too. When we do something by virtue of thoughtless habit, we usually end up second-guessing ourselves as soon as the brain starts thinking about it.

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  7. Hi Susan .. elephants don't forget ..and it's tragic ... too many terrible stories .. yet they are amazing creatures ...

    Thankfully I have a pretty good memory but like us all I can wonder where things are - til I remember ...

    I do love the creatures of Africa .. but they're having a terrible time ... humans and wildlife just don't mix ... great post for us to read - Hilary

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    1. You're right. Some older elephants are burdened with bad memories of abuse they've suffered while in captivity, but hopefully, most are now treated with the care and respect they deserve.

      HA! Me, too. I forget where things are right up until I remember, and in a related corollary, they're always in the last place I look for them, too.

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  8. My memory is still intact but it's selective. I try to remember only the good things and forget the rotten ones. This ploy doesn't always work. Hell, I've been trying to forget that I'm in Texas for years.

    I seem to always forget things on grocery lists even though I write them down. That's unnerving. And I often misplace keys. I also often forget that you shouldn't begin a sentence with a conjunction.

    Passwords are another thing that I constantly forget. When I write them down I always lose the paper that they were written on.

    *Sigh*.....maybe I should have been an elephant.....

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    1. Actually, my memory isn't all that bad, either. Not as good as it used to be, but still pretty good. It just takes me a little longer to ACCESS that memory at times. (I think my hard drive may be full.)

      As for grocery lists, I write elaborate ones, and even include a list of the appropriate coupons, which I put in an envelope. And sometimes, I even remember to take them with me when I head out the door.

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  9. I have gotten really bad at remembering people's names in the past several years. I hate it when I don't remember the name of a former student who comes up to say hello to me. If it's been a few years, I can ask them to identify themselves. (They do grow up and change.) But when it's a student from last year ... that's an embarrassing failure of memory!

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    1. Well, in your defense, you have a LOT of students to remember, and they aren't all gonna stand out in your mind. That quiet kid who sits in the back row, never makes any trouble, and never offers any answers to your questions, isn't going to leave as much of an impression as the trouble-makers, chatterboxes, and persistent hand-raisers.

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  10. I am really good with faces but TERRIBLE with names! Like truly awful. Takes me forever to get a person's name memorized. My boss though can remember a name from five years ago that she only encountered once. It amazes me.

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    1. My hubby has always had a problem remembering names, too, so he used certain "memory triggers" to help him. Let's just say it wasn't always a success. Like for the one engineer whose name was (at least in my hubby's mind) unfortunately similar to "fat ass." I'll leave it to your imagination as to where that led.

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  11. I could write a book on this subject. And I snorted coffee out my nose whe i read your "irrelephant" comment.

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  12. I have tried the doorway trick, but then I forget why I am going through it also. I used to have a wonderful memory, now I am just thankful I can still spell the word.

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  13. I'm going to have to try the doorway trick mentioned above....anything is worth a shot these days. Some days I have enough trouble dealing with what I can remember, let alone worrying about the things I have forgotten.

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  14. I can remember a face
    But a name embrace
    Not for a long while
    I do catch on eventually when turning the dial
    Don't lose things at all
    Though at my hall

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    1. No forgetting or losing for you
      'Cause you're still young at your zoo!
      But mark my words, and remember well:
      Some day, you too will tell
      Of many a scary forgetful case,
      And you heard it HERE... from ol' What's-Her-Face.

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  15. Awesome Susan... I am forever going into a room and doing 10 other things but what I was supposed to do. I have to put reminders in my phone for everything these days ;-)

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    1. See? You aren't alone. (So to speak... I'm not stalking you or anything...)

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  16. Bill Cosby said once that his memory was in the seat of his pants....if he couldn't remember what he entered a room for he just went back and sat down where he was and he would remember. Of course, that only works if you can remember where you were sitting.

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    1. By golly, Bill Cosby may be on to something! The seat of my pants has definitely expanded over the years, so it's very comforting to know that's just my memory filling them out.

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  17. I've got that name thing to...always have. I dreaded going back to school after summer vacation and seeing all those really good friends whose names I could not remember. "Hey...how you doin?"

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    1. It really gets rough when you're in a leadership position, where hundreds of people know exactly who YOU are, and inexplicably expect you to recognize them, too. My favorite used to be when someone would approach me at a hamfest and say, "I'm the one who sent you an email." Um, right. At that time, I was getting a couple hundred a day. So I used a LOT of the "Hiiiiii, how ya doin'?" response.

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  18. Alright Susan, enough of this forgetful old fart stuff. Next you'll be telling us about your ailments and medications. I want to know the juicy stuff.

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    1. HA! Nah, I'll spare you the aches and pains tell-all. Juicy stuff? Okay, bloody Mary mix is much better than plain ol' tomato juice.

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  19. Susan, I am more and more forgetful too, but I got derailed by your elephant video. Having just recently returned from South Africa where I fell in love with these magnificent creatures, this really got to my heart in a big way.

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    1. I hope you had a fantabulous time in South Africa, and I'm glad the video touched your heart.

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  20. yellow post its are a godsend. I think elephants carry them in their trunk. Seriously, if Ray and I don't write something down the second we say it, then that chore, product, whatever is forgotten until we need it. Oh well. And elephants are just fantastic creatures. Amen.

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    1. Post-its of ANY color are a godsend. When our friends were visiting, every time I let our dog out, I put a Post-it reminder on my arm so I wouldn't forget to let the poor guy back in.

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  21. >>... Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. [Steven Wright]

    Right from the beginning I knew this blog bit was going to be... uhm... going to be... Hmmm... damned if I forgot what I was going to say.

    Anyway... SUSAN, your posts are always so entertaining, and I need something to lighten my heavy mind, so... I thank you.

    The video about the elephants was great. The song, 'Memories', was really good too. ("Whatchamacallit" - I couldn't even have two-thirds of my conversations with people if not for the word "whatchamacallit".)

    So, kudos on another entertaining... uhm... entertaining... Hmmm...

    "A WINNER!" That's what I meant to say in the second paragraph - "a winner".

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: "BLOG BIT!" Kudos on another entertaining BLOG BIT! That's what I meant to say right there at the end, Susan.

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    1. I'm honored to get your heavy mind to take a load off, dear sir. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  22. I love that Pam Peterson video. I had it on my blog once and it's still so funny.

    Here's one for you. Ever searched frantically for your cell phone so you could check the calendar app while you were talking to someone about a date, then realized you were talking to them ON your cell phone?

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    1. I love it, too. Great minds think (and forget) alike, right?

      HA! That's a good one, and the only thing that's saved me from following suit is... I don't have a cell phone. (At least I don't THINK I do... maybe I lost it?)

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    2. Just to let you know, I did come back and read your reply. You were wondering if anyone does. :-)

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    3. Cool! Good to know. That's ooooooooone.....

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  23. LD MASTERSON ~
    You win in the dubious category of... "Wost 'Senior Moment'."
    Ha! That was hysterically funny!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  24. I confess that I didn't watch the elephant video. My migraine is acting up today and the last thing I needed was a sinus headache from crying. However, the song was very funny. I saw it once before, but it was a while ago.

    I hate going to the refrigerator, opening the door, and then forgetting why I came. I feel soooo stupid holding the dang door open with NO IDEA what I wanted. Usually, I just shut it and then stand in the kitchen until I remember again. No use letting all of the cold air out!!!

    PLUS, I entered your book giveaway. Fingers crossed!!!

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    1. So sorry to hear about the migraine. Those things can suck all the fun right out of a day.

      Yeah, I've done that one with the fridge before, too. Makes me feel like I'm just "browsing"...

      Cool! Good luck!

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  25. Unlike others in the post-50 crowd, I have absolutely no memory problem at all.

    But I do have a timing problem. I always remember, just not at the right time.

    Like when my wife asks me THREE TIMES to stop on the way home from work and do that Very Important Thing -- I always remember. Unfortunately, it's usually as I'm pulling in the garage. "Damn!"

    Or the name of the guy from church I just spent 15 minutes talking to. It always comes to me... Typically, the next day. "Oh yeah! 'Bob'! that was it!"

    See? No problem at all with my memory. But my timing sucks...

    Great post as always, Sarah!

    Cindy? Samantha???

    ...uh, Suliman???

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    1. Yep, that's exactly it! I'm a huge Jeopardy fan, and have been for many years. Our kids wanted me to try out for the show a couple years ago, but here's the thing: the answers (or I should say, "questions") don't immediately pop into my head like they used to. Now, I have to work for some of them, and I don't believe Mr. Trebek would be willing to wait while I sifted through the muck to dredge the correct response out of my mind.

      Suliman has a rather nice ring to it.

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  26. Replies
    1. "Tiiiime is on our side... yes it is!..."

      (What a crock.)

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  27. Oh My Goodness... I started crying the second the film started...
    I love Elephants they are so loving towards each other.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I'm sorry the video made you cry, but I warned you! I'm glad it touched your heart.

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  28. All you can do is laugh about the stuff you misplace and forget. Elephants are wonderful animal that humans are doing their best to destroy. I heard the number 30,000 killed for their ivory, but not the period during which this took place.

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    1. Yep, getting older wouldn't be nearly as pleasant without a good sense of humor. Much better to laugh about the things we can't change than to cry about them.

      There was a story on the news the other day about a huge cache of ivory being destroyed. I suppose they had no choice. Doing anything else with it would only have encouraged more poachers.

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  29. Oh, I've seen that video before and I love it! The Elephant Sanctuary is an amazing place. <3
    I can't even count the number of times I've written a grocery list and then still managed to come home without the things I wrote down to buy. When I can't even remember something that I am staring right at on paper I think I am totally helpless and it's only going to get worse LOL.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the video, but I'm not at all surprised that you've seen it before. Maybe the next time we go to Tennessee, we can try to visit the sanctuary.

      HA! Now, that's funny! Maybe you need to do what I do... cross the items off your list as you put them into the cart. I also write down an approximate cost total, too, so there's no big surprises when I get to the cash register.

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  30. I was gonna to write a comment but after scrolling to the bottom and reading everybody's remarks I forgot what I wanted to say...

    Thank you for the lovely post and great videos.

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    1. Ha! Ain't that always the way?

      I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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  31. I was going to leave a comment yet I'm not sure but I have this eerie feeling I commented before on this posting. Perhaps I was in an elephant, um alternate reality.

    I watched the video before I commented. I tried to comment before on a site that I forgot and half way through my comment, I started watching the video and my comment got wiped out.

    A thought provoking posting, I'm guessing. Who are you and where am I?

    Um my name is.....

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    1. Um, I'm not sure... my head's filled with a bit of deja goo.

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  32. LOL! I've heard that one before--but it's a good one. I'm with you--on the name thing. I think it's a condition, the inability to remember names, that or I'm the oldest young person I know. ;)

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    1. Well, then we'd make a good pair, because I'm the youngest old person I know. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!)

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  33. Wonderful video. Reminds us of the power of friendship and to be better friends ourselves.

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    1. Glad you liked the video. Their joyous reunion is really something to see.

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  34. Too funny! I like the part about hanging out with old friends to make memories you'll never remember. Ah, the joys of getting old!

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    1. Yeah, it's funny, but the closer it is to reality, the less funny it is. But, hey! There are still a lot of joys in getting old. (Or "being" old, as my smart-ass hubby just corrected me.)

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  35. The memory thing... gets worse. I've been having a really hard time with the calendar lately, because I don't always remember what day it is accurately. There are certain things for me that are major black holes.

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    1. If you think it's hard to keep track of the calendar now, just wait until you're retired! (Every day is Saturday!) I think the only things that are mental black holes for me are the things I really don't want to remember. And that is probably a good thing.

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  36. I can relate to every single thing you listed - especially the glasses. Duh!

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    1. Uh-oh, age must be creeping up on ya! Naaaah. Your brain is occupied with more important things than remembering such mundane things as where a pair of spectacles might be hiding. Important writerly things. Right? Right!

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  37. The elephant video is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  38. I can't watch the elephant video. I know I would cry. I've seen documentaries about elephants mourning when another elephant dies. It's so sad. I remember going to the Indianapolis zoo years ago. They had an elephant who was chained up by his leg in a small space, where he had nothing to do but walk in circles. It was the worst thing I've ever seen in a zoo. I hope that poor elephant has gone onto a better life.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. The elephant video might make you cry, but it would be because you'd be so touched by it, Really. Happy, not sad. It shows the joyful reunion of two elephants that haven't seen each other for more than twenty years, (I think you'd give it Janie's highest seal of approval.)

      It's cringe-worthy to think of how horribly animals used to be treated in zoos.

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  39. Loved the spoof song on Memories! And that graph My Life Broken Down Into Segments describes me to a T!

    Forgetting names is not so terrible. What's terrible is when you remember it at 2:00 a.m. and you shout out, "Jane!" and it wakes up your wife whose name is Mary.

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    1. Hi-ya. I'm glad you liked the song. She really has a pretty voice, too, which makes it even funnier.

      HA! Yeah, you've got that right. That would be deeply frowned upon by the establishment.

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  40. Aah! Memories! That song came waaay too close for comfort. Still raised a laugh though :)

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    1. Yeah, I know what ya mean. But at least we can still laugh about it.

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  41. My Facebook profile picture is a cartoon of four small sections...
    first section stick figure with raised arms ~ What do we want?
    second section ... stick figure with raised arms ~ Better Memory!
    third section .... When do we want it?
    fourth section ... Want what?

    I don't want to cry tonight so will watch the video tomorrow .. ;)

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    1. I've seen that picture before... it's a hoot!

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  42. Dear Susan,
    80 comments - wow - almost forgot when I scrolled down what I wanted to say! :-) So you hit the nail on the head, with this theme - and so funny, thank you! I loved the song of Pam. Remembering faces and names is not my problem - but if, I'll take that Ginko b, she is singing of (if I don't forget). May West (wonderful woman!) is so right. As to Mark Twain's quote: I remember (!) a girl in my class who had a little book filled with lies she told different people, and I even thought then: you can make your life difficult, girl, if you want to.
    Till now I don't have glasses to look after (great: since 10 years I don't need them anymore). Thank you again for your post!

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    1. Dear Britta,

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. My parents used to take ginko, but if it did anything to improve their memories, it sure wasn't noticeable. Holy moley, that schoolmate of yours took lying up to (down to?) a whole new level. Professional, even. Do you think she ended up going into politics?

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  43. Love the pie chart. It fits me so well. What I really hate is when I ask hubby where something is when it's right in front of me, or even worse, in my hand. he gets full mocking privilege for that one.

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    1. How about this one? While you're cooking dinner, have you ever pawed through the refrigerator, mumbling to yourself, while looking for an ingredient you just KNOW you bought at the grocery store... only to find you'd already taken it out of the fridge and set it on the counter? (ahem) Me, neither.

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  44. One of the saddest things I ever saw was an elephant at a roadside zoo attraction up in North Carolina. Even though I was only around ten years old, I could feel the loneliness oozing from that poor creature, which had no other elephant companion. To this day I hope it was taken in by a real zoo.

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    1. It's appalling the way animals in zoos... especially very small zoos...were treated years ago. Although most of the big zoos build "natural habitat" living conditions for their animals nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if there are still some roadside zoos around like the one you remember.

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  45. Car keys in my hand while I frantically search the house looking for them wondering why on Earth they're not where I left them. -_- yep, that's me, and maybe it did happen recently, but I'm not telling. ;)

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    1. HA! Welcome to the club. You know the one... no sense giving it a name, because we probably wouldn't remember it.

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  46. This was great, and I LOVED the video at the end! Pam Peterson must be from Chicago, as she mentioned Soldier Field, so I will definitely be on the lookout for her! I bet you could find a part for her in the movie version of Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade!

    Julie

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. Pam Peterson is a real hoot, isn't she? Hey, if they ever made a movie from my book, the heck with Peterson... I think you should play Pearl.

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  47. oh the joys of getting older!

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