On Discovering That I’m a Prodigy.

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The year of 2017 will be forever remembered as the era where I made a monumental breakthrough on my journey of self-realization. If I were given one of those standard employee reviews where they asked me what my strengths and weaknesses were, before 2017 would be lacking a vital component of who I am.

Because 2017 was the year my husband acquired an NES Classic. Just before they were discontinued forever, might I add. It was for sure fate guiding my husband’s obsessive impulses so that I could discover my greatest ability.

I am a Dr. Mario genius.

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I had played it as a kid and remember being fairly good at the game, but we didn’t own it so I was not aware of my remarkable savant tendencies in the particular skill set that this game requires. Both playing on my own and in a two player game, I am STUNNING. My mind works in just the right way so that I can dominate, knowing instantaneously where the ideal place to land each dual-colored pill is. I can plan ahead, making sure that each killing of a virus is actually a double or triple virus kill, therefore sending extraneous and devastating blocks into my opponent’s pill bottle.

Lest you’ve forgotten your own childhood Dr. Mario experiences, the game works somewhat similarly to Tetris, in that you’re trying to clear stacks of similar colors. Except in this game, the plot is a bit thicker – you’re trying to cure viruses* with pills – three same-colored pill halves stacked on top of a virus clears it. Or if you’re just making a stack of pills, four same colored pills clears out.

When playing one player, I can continue the game indefinitely, despite the growing number of viruses at every level. The only thing that stops me is my eyes – they start to water and see double after a while – just like our mothers warned us, Nintendo will destroy your eyes.

When playing two player, each player selects their own level of difficulty, thereby leveling the playing field with a Dr. Mario handicap. When Chris and I play against each other, I choose level 11 or 12, and he chooses level 5. I have over double the number of viruses he has and that nearly makes it fair – but not quite, to be honest. I still savagely beat him 99% of the time.

Thankfully, Chris enjoys his regular beat down.

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Every time I play, I am re-amazed at myself. It’s as if I suddenly realized that I’ve always known how to fluently speak Russian but had just never encountered a Russian speaker to reveal my talent.

I have since been trying to analyze these previously untapped skill sets and figure out how to apply them in real life, becoming a multi-billionaire by my ability to sort the stock market, or analyze computer code to find (computer) viruses, or something. But I have yet to identify a profitable application of my genius. Perhaps I need to visit my old college advisor. But for now, I guess I’m just going to have to go on the video-game-entertainment circuit, wowing intent crowds with my ability to eradicate viruses in a stunningly efficient manner.

* Despite my love for this game (due mostly to my own mastery of it), the premise does slightly annoy me, as all us mothers know that “It’s just a virus” means “There is no pill in the world that can cure your kid right now so you just go on home and enjoy the misery of your sick kid until that virus runs its course over the next 7-10 days and also enjoy the fact that you just wasted a $35 co-pay.” So either Dr. Mario has made a breakthrough and found a pill that cures viruses, or this game is a complete lie to humanity. I’m putting my money on Dr. Mario being a pill-slinging savant. Just like me.

Congratulations on Your Simple Existence.

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Last week, I had a male nurse tell me all about how he has no health problems and takes no medications. He told me a hilarious story about him going to the doctor for the first time in years just so that he had a primary doctor if he ever needed one, but he probably wouldn’t. He told me the side-splitting tale about the nurse asking him about his health and his medications and then looking at him full of perplex and asking him “Then why are you here?”

He told me all of this directly after I had to tell him about my own complicated medical issues.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, it seems like “perfect health” is a man’s favorite bragging right. Although this is an especially odious habit for a male nurse, it comes with males everywhere. Especially after a woman has described symptoms and issues that, to them, sound like they must be exaggeration or hysteria since they’ve never experienced any similar thing.

So, healthy men of the world, it’s time we had a talk.

You need to shut the health up.

You’re so stinking proud of your easy existence. As if your body is equal to ours. In complexity, your body is a cheesy laxative commercial, while our body is the lovechild of The Matrix and Inception.

Your systems are early model typewriters – the ones without the self-correcting tape – compared to our super-computer operating systems. We run such high-level programs on our OS that you cannot even comprehend the bodily equations we do on a daily basis. So OF COURSE more things can go wrong and more code can get screwed up.

Most importantly, we are capable of CREATING additional humans. We have an entire system dedicated to that superpower. You think that’s not going to break more often compared to your Neanderthal abilities? So – yay for you. Your abacus hasn’t broken yet. Why don’t you use it to count how many humans you’ve grown.

What’s that you say? You make babies too? Oh yeah – that’s right. It takes you like twenty-two trabillion sperm swarming up a one-way street just to find one of our eggs. That’s some really efficient work you’ve got going on there. Perhaps if your software was detailed enough to program them to ask for directions, you’d be more helpful in the baby-making arena.

Meanwhile, after that “WE ARE MAN SEE US SWIM” ridiculously overpopulated army invasion of yours, we have to do the rest of the nine month process. Then when that new human finally emerges, our entire framework is reprogrammed within 24 hours to go from growing a baby inside to feeding a baby from the outside, which creates the side effect of complete nuclear emotional meltdown. Because duh.

Besides those times when we’re actually growing humans, our baby-making software requires an update every freaking month of nearly our entire life. Those updates take an entire week and while they’re running, every other program is trashed and slowed to 10% of its normal speed and efficiency. You know how on your actual computer you always click “ignore” on that update for Adobe Acrobat? Yeah. We can’t exactly ignore our updates without finding ourselves in one bloody hell of a mess.

And I’m not even going to get into the many studies on how much more complex and inter-wired our brains are than yours, because I don’t want to hurt the few connections you do have. And because I don’t dislike you, dear men – men are important. Men are great! Everyone needs a vintage box fan to help out their central air conditioning unit. But no one needs that box fan bragging incessantly about their perfectly functioning plastic blades.

So for all the women out there who have ever been told by a man that surely they don’t feel as bad as they actually do and by-the-way-have-I-told-you-about-my-own-perfect-health, just remember: you can’t expect Fred Flintstone to know how to drive a Tesla.

Diary of a Tired Mom: Beliefs and Dreams.

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Every time I need Triple Antibiotic cream, I can only find Hydrocortisone – and not just one tube, multiple tubes. Every time I need Hydrocortisone, I can only find Triple Antibiotic cream  – and not just one tube, multiple tubes.

I no longer believe that these two creams are separate entities. They cannot exist at the same time because THEY ARE THE SAME TUBES. They cackle with evil glee at their ability to change their name when they see me coming. They are the David Blaine of First Aid.


I vehemently believe that my phone is listening to me and selling my conversations to Facebook.

Multiple times over the last few months I’ve had a conversation about something random, and then a few hours later have an ad served to me in my Facebook feed regarding that topic.

For instance, Chris and I discussed Ole Miss (as in the university and the football team.) Their coach left in scandal and I asked Chris to tell me the long and colorful story while we were on a hike.

We never talk about Ole Miss.

The very next time I opened Facebook, I had an ad for Ole Miss gameday apparel.

I mean, that’s just stupid. My phone should know what kind of gameday looks I’m into.

After a few more of these uncanny and quite suspicious instances, I decided to turn off my “Hey Siri” feature. I considered that maybe that’s how it was justifying its listening habits – it was always keeping an ear out for me to say “Hey Siri,” and anything it heard in the meantime it just happened to mention in passing to Mark Zuckerberg.

But then, weeks after divorcing Hey Siri, I had lunch with a friend and discussed all the misguided ways that people attempt to comfort the grieving. Four hours later, I received this ad:

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So not only is it still listening, it’s contextually analyzing my conversations and making frighteningly intelligent decisions based on what it hears.

Y’all – I’m pretty sure the computers have already taken over. In fact, I’m not even sure if I’m real anymore. I may just be a figment of my computer’s imagination.


You know you’re at a homeschool event when a kid pops off a boob to say they need to go potty. With perfect sentence structure.

Am I saying that homeschoolers breastfeed longer than most people?

Or that they potty-train early?

Or that they reinforce fantastic sentence structure at very young ages?

That’s for you to decide.


Summer in Alabama has been painful. We had such a mild fall, winter, and spring that I nearly forgot what an extreme season felt like for a second.

But it’s hot.

It’s humid.

It will sap you of all ability to breathe the moment you step foot out the door.

Which means that I am once again daydreaming about my Pipe Dream.

I had a dream one blessed night a couple of summers ago that was so blissful that I’ve not forgotten it. In my dream, there was a raised, enclosed, air-conditioned runway (not walkway, although I will allow walkers into my dream as well but definitely not bikes – sorry bikers) that went from my neighborhood all the way to downtown.

It was glass on three sides, in the shape of an arch, and significantly raised above the roads so that you could see everything around you and were looking down at the treetops.

It was basically the Jetson’s Utopia for a runner. And I loved it. And craved it. And fantasized about it.

I mean, I know this project would only cost ten billion or so dollars, especially depending on how many neighborhoods we’d connect in this super fabulous modern monstrosity. Oh – and also you’d definitely need a few open-air observation decks here and there for sunset watching and the like.

But it would be EXTRAORDINARY.

Think of the tourists it’d bring. Runners would come to run this above-city course during the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter. You could even run during a tornado. Okay maybe not a tornado but close.

Air-Conditioned-Running-Path_thumb5Yes, even Disco dancers would come to dance in my dreamy tunnel.

There would be regular water stops and vending machines where you could buy Gu and Body Glide and deliciously cold Protein Icees.

Every so often this magical tunnel would dip down to ground level, weaving through the nature preserves around town – Red Mountain Park, Ruffner Mountain, Oak Mountain State Park, giving you the opportunity to run through the woods during those months that normally leave you heaving, dehydrated, and mosquito food.

Then it would shoot back up into the air, offering just the right amount of hill workouts, and continue its majestic treetop view of the city.

I would pay a decent monthly membership to this tunnel. At least in the summer.

(And I’ll even let the bikers use it in the spring and fall.)

And hey – if we have to sell it as a Light Rails option too, you know, since Birmingham is kinda in last place in the whole public transportation arena, that’s totally fine. There can be a train running alongside my Most Amazing Air-Conditioned Runway.

I keep trying to sell Chris on this fantastic magnanimous idea and he reminds me that it is a LITERAL Pipe Dream and I must accept the reality that it’s completely impractical.

Sure it is.

But it would be incredible.