Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lying Awake in the Light-Flooded Darkness

I do not play the lottery. If I did though, today is the day I would purchase a Pick-4 ticket and play, "1-1-1-1". My first thought after realizing that today is indeed a day where the 1's - if not the hours - go on forever, was of the old George Carlin bit in which he criticizes his own name. Carlin observed that "George" is the stupidest name in the world because it goes on forever. He then proceeded to spell it aloud (because experience taught him that comedy was funnier that way), "G-E-O-R-G-E-O-R-G-E-O-R...." Today is of course no more a day that shall last forever than George is a name that goes on forever - although depending upon just how heartily you partied 2010 away the latter may be easier than the former to accept today as factual.

Buck up, O hungover one! Need proof that nothing lasts forever? Look no further than Palo Alto, California. Thursday night, Stanford University decided that it wanted to protect its place in history as the answer to the question, "What is the last team to defeat the Connecticut Huskies in a women's college basketball game?" Way back when in 2008 Stanford defeated Connecticut in the National Semi-Finals. All U. Conn. did in response to that defeat was reel off 90 consecutive wins en route to back-to-back undefeated seasons and back-to-back National Titles. On Thursday night, Trish VanDerveer's Cardinal did the voodoo they did so well on April 6, 2008, knocking off Maya Moore and her mates at Maples Pavilion 71-59.

Perhaps here in 2011 the rest of the world of women's college hoops might want to resolve to pay attention to what it is Stanford does that apparently works to some degree against Connecticut. After all, between April 6, 2008 and December 30, 2010, Connecticut played ninety-two times. Not only did they sandwich ninety wins between two losses (talk about a sandwich that would make Dagwood Bumstead blush), but during that period of time they lost to but one team. Remove Stanford from the mix and consider this: they remain unbeaten against the rest of the world.

What a concept - unbeaten against the rest of the world. Must be nice. A notion that is as foreign to some of us as another country or a different language. Logic dictates I suppose that someone, somewhere must be undefeated. It is the karmic "Ying" that balances the "Yang" of those who feel sometimes as if days are spent attempting to walk through the lions' den at the zoo while wearing a pork chop suit.

The year is new. There are those among us who view the dawning of a new year as the dawning of a new day altogether - a time to throw off the encumbrances of the past year. Perhaps not surprisingly, 'tis not a concept I have ever embraced. It is not as if today, irrespective of its numerical thrift, exists against an empty backdrop on a spartan landscape. Hell, it may be the first day of the year but it is after all the last day of the week. We have lived before today and hopefully we shall live through it and beyond it as well. What happened last year carries over into this one; both good and bad.

The year is new. That - and only that - is guaranteed. Happiness is like a lot of other things in that it is often expected yet rarely owed, irrespective of whether it is deserved. This year, just like last year, it is incumbent upon each of us to decide what to be and go be it.


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