My Blah Blah Blog


Lumosity2So, I left my retainer in a cup by the kitchen sink to soak. Then I went to adjust the AC but I couldn’t remember where my glasses were. By the time I found them, I’d forgotten why I needed them. I decided to do an alternate task while waiting to recall why I had my glasses on, so I loaded the dishwasher with dishes clustered around the sink, forgetting that the retainer was in the cup.

Still later, in a frenzied search for the expensive retainer, I found it in the bottom of the dishwasher. Luckily I’d forgotten to switch the cycle from ‘Rinse’ to ‘Sanitary’ so the retainer retained its shape, but this episode and many like it inspired me to sign up for Lumosity.

Lumosity is an online brain-training outfit. After sign-up, they send you a daily package of games designed to improve memory and mental flexibility and, you know, just make you smarter. They take you on as a dull blade and sharpen you right up.

To me, the first brain teaser was, why did they call themselves Lumosity when the word ‘luminosity’ is actually in the dictionary and would fit the bill nicely? Why further confuse those of us who are under the weather mentally by dropping a crucial syllable?

I suspect they named this program before they themselves had trained. Anyway, it doesn’t seem to bother the other 2,999,999 other users besides me so I am moving on.

Day 1: In the first game I was asked to remember the names of five people and what they ordered for lunch. Not even when I was a waitress in Provincetown for one month in 1969 were these skills demanded of me, but I guess there’s no time like the present to acquire them.

I did not do well on this game, but frankly I thought Maria looked just like Cathy, precluding accurate identification, so I think that one’s on Lumosity. Also I got too worked up judging their menu choices: Who orders fries and water for lunch? (Someone whose name I can’t recall.)

Day 2: Today started poorly. Not only was I still unsure about the Maria-slash-Cathy thing, but there was also the question of which was John and which was Bob, not to mention the third guy.

Also there was a new game where you have to feed (click on) and keep track of seven constantly swimming fish. If you double-feed a fish you are made aware of it by a most unpleasant buzzer.

All I will say is, it’s a good thing I don’t work at a zoo.

Day 3: I forgot that the piano tuner guy was coming this morning so he interrupted me in mid-game—the fish again—but I’m pretty sure that I’d have done very well had I played undisturbed.

Things went less well after that when I had to guide different colored trains to their matching-colored stations via tracks that intersected and—oh, it’s too hard to explain. Suffice it to say that if you mess up, the train explodes and an alarm goes off, as if to alert passengers that their lives are in the hands of a nincompoop.

I am pleased to report that I saved a few trains from destruction—yes, in the nick of time but still. Others met a different fate but nonetheless I am certain that I am smarter than I was on Day 1.

They asked me again about Maria and Cathy et al (whom I have seen more of this week than I see my closest friends in a month)and I have got this now. I remember their names via outfit details. Cathy favors a cargo shirt while Maria takes a more feminine approach. Next I will zero in on Bob and John and the other one whose name is on the tip of my tongue.

Day 4: Just as I am feeling intelligent re: Cathy and Maria I am derailed by that f—ing train game again, scoring worse than I did before. I think that may have been due to low caffeine levels though. After coffee, I only double-fed two fish.

Day 5: While I was able to congratulate myself for remembering my dentist appointment this morning, my high spirits were dampened by a new game.

Is the purple square the same image as the one you saw one second ago? Or was that maybe a red triangle? Your score is not only based on accuracy but on speed.

You’d think this would be a no-brainer but, easy for you to say, oh, judgey one.

Sometimes your brain just wants to say ‘yes’ when it should say ‘no,’ which, if you have reviewed your past sexual partners you already know.

I know I will get better at this game in time. I also now know who Bob is due to his wristwatch, which John does not wear. I’m solid on the third guy, too. I’ve had no trouble remembering that his name is Richard since I noted his resemblance to Richard Gere.

I’m obviously getting smarter by the minute. By Labor Day? E=mc^2, baby.

By the way, I get that admonitory red line under ‘lumosity’ every time I type it. Spell check’s itchin’ for the real word just as much as I am. Just sayin’.



6 Responses
  1. Scot Colford says:

    Wait. You were a waitress in Ptown in 1969? Of course you were! There is nothing about you not to love.

  2. Suzanne says:

    It has always bothered me that they call themselves “Lumosity”! I too, require that extra syllable!! Alas, you are a braver senior than I, my dear. I’ve toyed with the idea of signing on to play but fear I will discover I am even more slow-witted than I already know….

  3. Ha ha! Love it & you.

  4. Wendy says:

    Thanks for making fun of their earnest attempts to thwart time and take our money. I, too, am seriously forgetful, but I am not brave enough to test my wits against their, dare I say it, stupid games!

  5. trulydaphne says:


    Be glad you found your retainers. After losing half a dozen sets, I completely gave up on m y retainers! Good story.

  6. Ryan M. says:

    I would never think of you as a “senior” if you didn’t keep reminding me. When I think “Jessica Harper,” I tend to think of that episode of “Tales from the Darkside” you did in the early/mid 80s. You know, the one where that weirdo in a suit keeps collecting your tears. What a strange episode, but you were good in it. Anyway, I digress.

    I’ve never given Lumosity a whirl. I play a couple of “brain training” games on my Nintendo DS. They tend to make me think more than I prefer (I guess that’s the point), so I end up losing interest and go back to killing zombies with plants that shoot projectiles.

    My own brain-training exercise has kept me mentally fit over the past 27 years or so. I took it upon myself to memorize a Bob Vila infomercial from 1987. Whenever I feel a little dull in the brain, I make myself recite it out loud. I feel sharper and confident that if I can remember a Bob Vila infomercial from 1987, I can remember just about anything these days.

    I’d be happy to type out the infomercial here if you’d like. If it worked for me, maybe it’ll work for you.

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