08 November, 2008

Memory, thy name is Fickle

On the desk here in front of me is a sheet of paper with a bunch of names on it. The names are those of people to whom I will send Christmas cards. If you're reading this weblog, chances are your name isn't on the list, sorry. It's nothing personal—not like Thanksgiving cards, say—I just don't have your address.

I rotated the sheet of paper half a turn, and found the following list in my handwriting:

-delay 1500

1 - 3 secs
2 - 3 secs
3 - 9 secs
4 - 9 secs
5 - 3 secs
6 - 9 secs
7 - 3 secs
8 - 6 secs
9 - 3 secs
10 - 15 secs
Fascinating! I wrestled with it a moment realized that I had no idea what it meant, even though I wrote it no more than two weeks ago. I stared at it a while, and decided to write an entry to the weblog titled, "Memory, thy name is Traitor."

Halfway through the list, I remembered what it was. I was creating a video presentation for my son, and needed to time the slides he had created. Slide 1 should remain visible for 3 seconds. Slide 2, for 3 seconds. Slide 3, for 9 seconds. And so forth. I re-titled this entry, since Memory is no longer a Traitor, just Fickle.

I'd like to say that this is a consequence of my age, but it isn't. I've always been this way. Last week my wife was reeling of a list of announcements while I looked through the day's mail, answering dutifully, "Uh-huh. Uh-huh." A full minute after she finished and went to chase one of the girls, I looked up from one of the letters/bills/whatever with my face all screwed up. "Wait," I said, "what?"

I went looking through the house for my wife. "Did you just say that Masha [our youngest] started walking?"

"I knew!" she laughed, "I knew it! It always happens when you sound like that!"

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