brain damage

this isn’t self-inflicted (though i’m sure i have some of that). i’ve been this way all my life. strange little quirks that i’ve had to learn to deal with. over time, it gets easier, repetition of the thought process enables me to run through it almost as fast as not having to process the thoughts. but i still process.

what i have trouble with, is anything that comes in sets: bo and luke duke. port and starboard. larry curly and moe. what i have to do is assign some sort of mnemonic to the set, and then call that up and apply it before i know which one’s which. i know curly is the bald guy because that’s the joke, but the other two? not sure. port and starboard? easy. left and right, in alphabetical order, apply in that order to port and starboard, and you have port=left and starboard=right. now, left and right it took me years to master. as a child, i know i was right-handed, so i would make a little eating motion with my right hand. as i got older, i was able to just make the eating motion in my mind, so people wouldn’t look at me funny.

and daylight savings time drives me nuts. last night i was laying on the couch as the benadryl kicked in, trying to figure out if we were ‘gaining’ or ‘losing’ an hour, because one is good and the other is bad. so i’m thinking, of course, spring forward in the spring which means we add an hour which means we’re gaining, which is good right? then i thought no, because that’s not gaining an hour, it’s skipping an hour which is losing. but i went back and forth a couple of times (it would have been the same without the benadryl, but it would have kept me awake longer). finally, i concluded that it was a lost hour, and so mornings are going to feel… earlier? right. it’s going to feel earlier than it is. or is it later? mornings are going to be worse, right?

on the bright side, if i’m ever going for an insanity defense and they ask me if i know right from wrong, i’ll just make a little eating motion with my right hand and look confused.

16 thoughts on “brain damage

  1. well, be glad you don’t live in Ventura then. we have south facing beaches, and you have to go north on the freeway to get to the west end of town. and, while i think of us as north of LA, because if you are heading from LA to SF on the freeway, you pass through Ventura, we’re actually west of LA.

    i nearly have an aneurism, just trying to think about it. luckily i drove a taxi in this town for a good couple of years, and i have the streets themselves memorized. just don’t ask me which way we’re going.

  2. Thank you! I thought I was the only one who used the “left=four letters; port=four letters” one!

    But what about which side of the vessel has the red light and with has the green light?


    kd, you are so not alone…

  3. You guys should live out here; we don’t use North, South, East, West directions. One of the surest ways to confuse someone from Hawai’i is to give them directions by compass point.

    Mauka = Mountains
    Makai = Sea
    Ewa = West
    Diamond Head = East

    On the other hand, it’s always amusing to see the blank looks on folks NOT from here when you give them directions that way.

  4. The only way I know that “port” is left is because “port” has the same number of letters as “left”.
    “Bow” and “Stern” is another matter.

    Do you push the elevator button “up” because you are “up” and want to go “down”, or do you push it “down” because you want to go “down”?

  5. If living in Hawaii required that I only provide long time residents or natives with blank looks, I’d sign up to move there in a heartbeat.

    I’m really quite good at giving blank looks. I suspect it is my default facial expression.

    If it increases my chances, I’m quite adept at looking confused and/or on the brink of tears.

  6. the best way to get a blank look out of me is to try explaining something mechanical, preferably with gears and levers and pulleys and things to me, without something physical to look at. something in my brain goes *pop* and then all i can hear is charlie brown’s teacher.

  7. i have trouble with the right and left thing. to this day, i place my hand over my heart as if i’m pledging allegiance to the flag in order to figure out which is right and which is left.

  8. I can’t tell the Duke boys appart – same with Starsky and Hutch.
    Mo has the Prince Valient haircut – that much I remember.
    Course I don’t know any of my phone numbers (home, office or cell) or my address. But I just moved here 9 mos ago!
    And – yeah, kd! – I *have* to see something in front of me if folks are gonna get into indepth descriptions of how stuff works.
    There is a fine art to giving a blank look.

  9. Mornings are going to be fabulous because the sun comes up an hour later. i.e. yesterday the sun was blaring in my face about 6:30am. This morning it was 7:30. I always love this time of year because the morning starts later and the evenings last longer.

  10. admittedly, the later evenings are a benefit. i used the extra daylight to bag a nice rock this evening, so i guess i can’t complain.

    it’s ok that i lost an hour, i was just, slightly confused.

  11. Oh dear god, kd. While I don’t have trouble with sets containing the Duke boys or the 3 Stooges, I have always had trouble with left and right. I, too, used an eating motion as a physical mnemonic. The unmoving arm was my left arm.

    Port and starboard were always a problem as well due to the fact that they are other words for left and right.

    To this day, I still have trouble with direction. I lived in the Bay Area for the vast majority of my life. I mentally mapped the cardinal points of the compass by associating the w’s in west and water. The Pacific was west of me. In order to find north, however, I had to physically orient my body so that the Pacific was on my left. Once that was done, North was in front of me. This often caused a bit of concern for passengers in a car I was driving while lost.

    I still have to do this. While I no longer need to physically make that eating motion, I can actually feel my brain stumble with making these connections.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in this. LOL.

  12. i do port and left both a four letters, too.

    if you hold your thumb and pointer finger at a right angle to each other, your left hand makes an “L.”

    i could show you how to figure out which months have 31 days by counting on your knuckles, but that’s one of those visual things.

    on the other hand, i lived in california almost my whole life, and learned west = ocean. so now i always get it wrong on the east coast…

  13. oh, i do the rhyme for the months — thirty days has september april june and november.

    but i like this version better:

    thirty days has september
    april june and no wonder
    all the rest eat peanut butter
    except grandma, she drives a buick

    which is something my fine arts teacher said, oh, 25, 28 years ago, and i remember to this day. the mind works in mysterious ways.

  14. daffy duck says:

    thirty days hath september
    april june and montana
    all the rest have cold weather
    except in the summer, which isn’t often!

    i do the rhyme too, it’s faster. i just think the knuckle trick is pretty neat.

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