The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Already Seen Deja Vu

"Already seen" is the English translation of the French term "deja vu" we commonly use to describe that weird feeling most of us have had, that tells us something just happening has happened before.  Out of the blue, you suddenly experience the moment you are in but not in a normal way; it seems to filter through the memory and so you think you can just about predict what will happen next.  But, since it only seems to be a memory because your current perception is somehow pouring through your memory banks, you can't ever really make that prediction.

Have you ever had a deja vu experience?  I have many times, and always enjoyed that moment of realization and mystery.  Every time, I attempt to make it last; to try to use it to peer around the corner of time as I make the effort to "remember" what was about to happen.  You would think that by now I would remember that it never works.

Deja vu is one of those things that unites disparate members of this human race.  Two thirds of the population  say they have had the experience.  What's the first thing you say when it dawns on you that you have "seen this before"?  If you are like me, you announce your status (in French!) to anyone in range, knowing full well that they can not enter the mindset with you, but that they can definitely relate.

Now this assignment has me thinking, however, about the times in my life when an experience was actually experienced earlier and seems to be repeating.  I should, in such a case, be able to make valid predictions about what will happen next.  You would think.

Here are a few examples.

Buying a car.  Since I bought my first car about 33 years ago (a cool 1973 Maverick with a fuzzy shag white carpet glued to the doors and rear shelf under the rear window (what DO you call that?)) I have "already seen" myself buy about 33 cars and trucks!  Will I ever learn to buy a decent vehicle?  I did see myself buy a brand new 1990 Isuzu trooper once, but then I saw my darn kids grow out of it so fast we had to get a mini-van!

Saving cool scraps.  My wife still laughs at the giant wooden firewood box I made out of strips of mahogany I brought home from a job.  They were 3/4 by 1 1/2 inches by 5 or 6 feet long,  and I just could not see them thrown into the burn pile!  But at least I did make something out of them, AND sold it!

This wall cap (here not yet installed) was made with "scrap"!
Last week I installed a sink for a lady and she saw potential in the laminate cut out.  "What can I make with that?" she said.  I was repulsed!  I backed away and crossed myself, as I automatically deja vu'd the dozens of even larger examples I used to bring home, and store, and move, and restack, and even haul when our family moved across town.  Managing to leave it there when I finished that bathroom job was a victory for this old scrap collector, and I can assure you that the scraps I still do have in my garage, and my basement, are really really cool scraps that I really really will use some day.

Playing chess.  When my son Josh joined the chess club some 10 years ago and immediately excelled (filling our house with dozens of trophies (some gigantic)), my interest in the game was rekindled.  My childhood experience included continual losing to my genius brother and finally giving up.  As a mature adult it was more of continually losing to my brilliant but nonchalant son and then finally finding someone else to play.  Heidi, our Dachshund, has never beaten me yet!

But there is a pattern I still "see again (and again)" in my chess experience.  Win a game easily.  Win another game handily.  Get cocky.  Make a stupid move and lose my queen.  Turn red.  Repeat.

Maybe I should play the cat!

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

After watching two baseball players hit consecutive home runs, twice, Yogi Berra made the term even more surreal by proclaiming "It's like deja vu all over again".


  1. So nice to have you back with your great writing skills and wit!

    Deja vu all over again is my life and I never know the outcome either.

    1. Thanks Jo! I read your post after I wrote mine, but we sure do have the car thing in common. I wonder if we actually owned some of the same vehicles at different times!

    2. I bought most of mine corvair was new, the monza and the ventura were new...the van I'm driving now was new and the Olds 98 was new...all the rest I think were used, most slightly, some a lot! The VW was really used and I loved every minute of driving it! Paid $600 for it drove it 2 years and sold it for $750. LOL Loved that little bitty car.

  2. Interesting blog post, and I confess to reading all the posts on this subject and then may be deja vu will help me write mine

  3. Cool déjà vu experiences, love the pack ratting, I used to do that but quit. Too many moves.

  4. Good to see you back. I have missed you and completely enjoyed reading about your deja vu experiences!


  5. Wow. This sounds familiar!
    Not Deja Vu. but quite familiar.
    I once had a whole shed of things brought back from work. Ya just never know when you might need that one piece of wood or metal.

    I thought the Maverick was a cool car that Ford should have spent a little more time and effort on. Like the Vega, it was an interesting design that never got the proper manufacturing process.

    Oh, and I think that rear window shelf is called a "deck".

  6. PLAY THE CAT? now i am confused...:0) GOOD SEEING YOU AGAIN! yah dejavu!


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