Ok, so I got a wild hair up my butt and ordered a book on Generalized Additive Modeling. I'm not quite sure how to explain what that is - it's a way of using non-normally distributed predictors to predict non-normally distributed dependent variables using smoothing functions for predictors and exponentially derived distributions for dependent variables, I think. The fact that I don't know how to explain it is why I ordered the book. Oh, it also discussed doing the GAMs with R (remember R?) But I made a mistake. It's a real stats book. And real stats, written for people who know real math, are scary. They have weird symbols that they are sure you know. They use 1 formula to express what took a chapter in your intro stat class, and a chapter to cover a semester of intermediate stat. They make you feel like a doof.
So here I am, a doof, trying to decipher this stuff enough to be able to understand it, read it in articles, and maybe even use it. Wish me luck, or a brain like my sister the math whiz. I could use that too.