Sunday, December 27, 2015

I can't remember the title for this column

Like many men my age, or my sex, frankly, I have memory problems. I don't remember this happening as often when I was young, except on days when I was supposed to help friends move. Now, though, I will think of an actor, and I can see his face, and I am sure I know his name, but the neural pathway to it has been blocked by, I don't know, "Brady Bunch" lyrics or something.

The next day it will come to me, maybe as I'm walking across the street to work. "Kevin Spacey!" I will shout out, then look left and right to see if I am now a kook to somebody. One bonus is that now that particular brain circuit to Kevin is fresh, to the point where I will see Kevin Bacon on TV and shout "Kevin Spacey!"

In middle age, close enough should count for something.

Last month we went out for my wife's birthday and had an amazing mushroom appetizer. The next day, I could not remember what the cornmeal the mushrooms were served with was called. I had to Google it.

Polenta. How could I forget polenta?! Now polenta and Kevin Spacey stand shoulder to shoulder with Marsha, Jan and Cindy in my head. Let's just call that a win, shall we?

Experts suggest saying things aloud while you are doing them in order to cement the memory, like "I am taking my vitamin," "I am coveting my neighbor's wife," "I am making polenta for Kevin Spacey."

Anxiety over your failure to remember things can actually make it worse. Chronic elevated cortisol levels can reduce the size of your hippocampus, eventually rendering it just a small, out-of-state hippo party school.

Certain foods are supposed to help restore neural pathways lost in aging, and I wish I could remember what they are.

I am joking. You can find them online, of course, if you do a search for "foods I don't like." Fish. Broccoli. Flax seed. Winter squash.

I am not sure that being able to recall the cutie in the bathtub from "Moscow On The Hudson" is worth it. (Maria Conchita Alonso.) HOW CAN MARIA STILL BE IN MY GOURD FROM 1984?!

Well, it could be worse. It could have been Phyllis Diller in that bathtub. Plus, I've never had polenta come up in conversation. I'll be fine. Some day Kevin Bacon will play me in the movie.

. . .