Lethologica and Me: Why Jeopardy is a Lost Cause

I don't know if you've ever watched an episode of Jeopardy.

If you haven't, well... you're missing out on intelligent people answering trivia in the form of a question. We're talking walking brains who can give you an answer about any random thing on almost any random subject.

If you have, then you know what I mean when I say Jeopardy is a show unlike most.

Lethologica meaning
Jeopardy is one of my husband's favorite shows. We've been watching it together for years. Decades even. 

I think he loves it because it's a challenge. But the other reason he loves it is because he knows how to play it.

i.e. He's a genius.

Me, I am a literal imbecile who can barely remember the day's events let alone random trivia that I've accumulated in my brain over the years.

So for me to watch this show, it equals amusing frustration.

That above comment about accumulated trivia implies I've actually accumulated said knowledge. And while I'd like to believe I do have something filling in the lobes of my brain, I'm not so certain they like to show themselves.

They love playing hide and seek with me. Especially when I need their assistance.

Here's what I mean. When my husband watches Jeopardy, he responds with the (correct) answer probably 90% of the time.

When I watch Jeopardy, I answer with phrases like "It's that guy; it's that place; it's that thing!" 

That's not an exaggeration. I'm seriously not kidding. I know what I want to say, but cannot think of the word.

My recall is hideous. I know the stuff; I know the answer (albeit at a 10% accuracy rate) but I cannot - for the life of me - recall it in the appropriate amount of time.

And for the record, the appropriate amount of time is about five seconds before you're allowed to ring in with the answer.

After a couple decades of watching Jeopardy - my recall and right answers are still at a miserable 10% - but my husband has increased his useless trivia talent and now has even more correct answers to combat our television set with. 

Some folks are born with high IQs, others are great at recalling useless information, and some people just know a lot about a lot of things.

They're the folks on Jeopardy.

They're the people like my husband.

But, with my aging brain, I honestly find myself wanting to laugh at the entire purpose of Jeopardy.

Who can remember all of that useless stuff?

And why?

So what's a brain like mine supposed to do? I just sit there and try to absorb every answer and question and try not to groan at my husband's continually perfect answers.

(What is, "I married a genius, Ken.")

Some people aren't born with the highest IQ, others aren't so great at recalling useless information, and some people know a little about a few things.

They're the more "common brain" folks who will never ever get to be on Jeopardy.

They're the people like myself.

(What is, "A lethologica.")

When I saw the definition of what a lethologica was, it was like I had found the perfect description for myself: The inability to remember a particular word or name.

That is me. I have lethological tendencies. 

I have the recall of a sloth. 

The info is in the brain but there's a very slow filing system for recall.

When you live with a smart person, you learn to accept the fact that you'll never be like them. I'll never find my answers like he does; I'll never solve riddles or puzzles the way he can. And it's something one can choose to stay mad at. Or not. 

I haven't. I've accepted his and my brain's realities eons ago. He's a smarty pants.

I'm not.

And instead of cringing at his smartness, I've learned to stay mesmerized by his brain and use it to my advantage. Most often, if I'm trying to remember a name or place of something at any given moment, all I have to do is give a few very vague descriptions, and by golly, he knows exactly what I'm talking about.

That really is genius. 

So, all that to say: If you want to feel like a fool, watch Jeopardy. 

If you want to feel a greater fool, marry a genius.

But remember this: God gave us all different brains. Some retain better, some understand better, and some are better in other areas of the brain, like, empathy, and creativity.

I celebrate his brain with wonder. And instead, just wonder about mine.

I don't know if I'll even remember the word lethologica if this came in the form of a jeopardy answer despite me writing an entire post about it.

Jeopardy is a lost cause for me.

And my saving grace is I'm just smart enough to recognize it.

Dare to Dream and Then Do Something About it

I've written on and off for Guideposts for the last ten years. I've been in many of their compilation books and it's a joy to write for them.

But getting into their devotional books has been something of an unattainable goal... until a couple of years ago. I've always wanted to be a part of their devotional writing team, but I couldn't find a way in. It's on the competitive side.

Guidepost's Books
But, I'd finally had enough of wishing for something and decided to do something.

I went out on a ledge and did what a writer is not supposed to do... I contacted an editor to audition to be a part of one of their devotionals after the deadline had passed, after the editor no longer worked in that department, and a year after the "call for submissions" went out.

It was risky. 

It meant I could get a nasty email in reply, or worse, no reply at all. 

That's not what happened though. The editor allowed me to submit for the following year's devotional. 

And I was rejected.

As is the work life of a writer, rejection is a part of the business. But, since I was on an edgy roll, since I knew now it couldn't hurt to take yet one more step further into the unknown, I contacted the editor a year later who had replaced the former editor (there are a lot of changes in the book world, all the time, constantly) and asked to audition. Again.

She let me, and this time, the editor accepted my work.

Two years later, this devotional is finally out and I just received my author copies two days ago.

I'm happy to report that dreams do come true... they just don't come true sitting around waiting for them. I had to make them happen.

I'm also writing for their 2026 devotion and hopefully for the foreseeable future.  

This beautiful 365-day devotional book is called All God's Creatures; Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. Animal lovers? Hello, this is 100% me and so many other people too.

If I could, I think I would write about dogs in every single devotion. My love for dogs is a tad over the top. And I don't care. But, it might hurt the birds, deer, squirrels, and owl's feelings if I don't write about them too.

Which is why I'm talking about this book. 

My Owlie, my resident owl, is in this devotional book. I wrote about finding him just like I wrote in my previous post.

Text in a book

I'm so proud of Owlie. Now, the whole world can read about him.

The book is available on Guidepost's website and should be available via Amazon soon.

I have plans to write for their other devotional books if they'll let me. I'm currently banging down that door.

For months, editorial personnel shifts have prevented me from contacting any editors about that. But, I won't give up. 

Here's what I've learned through this herculean task of trying to get published where I want to get published: If I really want to accomplish something, sometimes I have to take an indirect route. But the point is I TAKE the route regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable it is.

Dreams come true. They especially come true if you take the opportunity to do something about it.

As Mark Twain once said, "The secret of getting ahead is getting started."

If you're waiting on a dream, now's the time to get started; now's the time to do something about it.

Keep at it, and get creative, and you will find a way to come through the other side.

Our Resident Owl

We have an owl outside our bedroom window.

It began when my husband set out to remove the old cable dish and box from our roof two years ago that no longer served our television purposes.

Cable dishes - large or small - are not exactly the most attractive thing to look at. They look like a UFO attached to the home. After all, this dish transmits to and from space, with a saucer-looking shape. I mean, that's an Unidentified Ariel Phenomena (UAP) if I've ever seen any. 

Don't get me started on Skinwalker Ranch. If you've watched this show, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you don't, well... you might want to (if you're into UAPs and all that.) 

We innocently started watching this show a few months ago, binged all the episodes in a few weeks (like 6 seasons) and they got us... hook, line, and sinker. 

The show is hokey; it's absurd; and comical. There may be a little bit of phenomena happening, but probably not to the degree they're implying. But, now we're hooked. We can't not watch the show. 

I suppose it happens to the best of us...

Regardless, my husband set out to remove the UFO from our roof one day and as he got closer to the dish and paraphernalia that went with it, he noticed two large eyes looking at him.

Actually, the eyes weren't that large. Our resident screech owl is small, maybe about 8 inches tall, and weighs half a pound. But his eyes look impressive. One look from him, and you know he's zooming in on our face just like we zoom in on a photo from our phones.

The owl was tucked inside the box (that went with the dish), wondering why we were disturbing his sleep. "Um..." says my husband diplomatically, "I don't think I'm removing the dish or box today. If ever."

I stopped raking leaves and looked toward his direction, him on a ladder looking into the UFO. "What are you talking about?"

"We have an owl. An owl is living in the cable dish box thingy."

Sure enough, this sweet little guy took up residency in the shaded, shielded, part of the roof that had a bathroom, a living room and wouldn't you guess it, cable TV. From his perch, he has the best view of the entire yard. A room with a view.

We left him alone, my husband backed down the ladder, and he has his space all to himself now.

I ingeniously named our owl "Owlie." And for two years, he's been a fixture in our old cable dish and box. 

He killed all our rats, a feat worthy of his little stature. As soon as he did that, I viewed Owlie as a God-send. 

We were having a rat issue. The rats were outsmarting us, blindly ignoring the traps we'd laid out for them (the nerve). But Owlie swooped in (literally) and took care of them. We haven't had a problem since.

 A few months out of the year, we think he heads off to find the female persuasion, live with her, and make little Owlies. That's fine. Nature has to do its thing. But, I must admit, when he's not around, I miss him. I feel like our backyard, if it's not being watched, needs to be watched!

Just last week, after being gone from us for four months, Owlie returned. 

I was so excited you'd think I had just seen a real UAP. Owlie was back, ready to return to his patrol of our yard, and I couldn't think of a better way to start the summer. 

When it comes to living a full life, it's "slow living" things like this that make life wonderful. Nature meeting nurture: Owlie meeting our UFO ...and choosing it.

While our cable dish still hangs uselessly from our roof, looking like a UFO, we have an owl who wants it for himself. And as far as I'm concerned, that's fine by me.

Owlie will always be welcome in his little corner of our home.

Lethologica and Me: Why Jeopardy is a Lost Cause

I don't know if you've ever watched an episode of Jeopardy. If you haven't, well... you're missing out on intelligent peopl...