Tuesday, January 21, 2014


asterisk (noun): a small starlike symbol (*), used in writing and printing as a reference mark or to indicate omission, doubtful matter, etc.


Meager but mighty, this * indicates that something is not as it seems. 


A symbol of repudiation in on-going debates about how the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame should handle controversial greats like Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire.  


A symbol of contingency in the case of this year's annual family beer pong tournament during which my brother was unable to defend his 2012 title because the impending birth of his son.   


A symbol of retraction regarding my claims that Congressman Underwood, were he real, could speak for me politically.  


When I spoke in adoration of Congressman Underwood in a December post, I was barely three episodes into the Netflix Original Series "House of Cards."  As episode unfolded upon episode and political scandal flooded the plot line, I quickly amended my initial findings regarding Underwood.  (My arguments regarding Phil Robertson and FOX News and A&E remain strident.  I merely intend to adjust my allegiance to Spacey's Underwood.) 


Brilliantly scripted, Kevin Spacey establishes Underwood as the Keyser Soze of Washington, his hands and nose felicitously unblemished, his soul ominously polluted.  Vying for power as Vice President, after being snubbed for Secretary of State, Underwood swindles and slanders his way through the ranks. *Slight spoiler ahead.*  Because of his deceitfulness, a young politician gets caught in a maelstrom of a scandal and, when he turns to Underwood for help, he dies in an apparent suicide.  Even Underwood's wife, though not an entirely innocent player in Washington, falls prey to her husband's trickery and loses the support of a powerful business ally in the wake.


As fiction,  it's captivating; as a commentary on reality, it's numbing. 


I am not so naive to believe that politicians are without human failings or that the weight of public service is easily borne, but I struggle to accept that Washington begets corruption in the manner presented by dramas like "House of Cards" and "Scandal." But if art imitates life, it is pressingly important for the American people to place in Washington those who will forgo the power of political agenda for the power of American progress.  Employment and taxation and relief funding and marriage rights and gun control and education reform and social security and health care are not issues to be bandied between the ruthless and the greedy; they are affairs of humanity and must be undertaken with caution and care.   


After all, our elected officials represent the Voice of the People, not the Voice of the Person, and should remain more steadfast to our Nation's progress than Underwood did to his.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Little Like Sally Fields

I'm a word girl.  Always have been.  In fact, this morning I took wordnerdiness to its pinnacle and retweeted this:

So yeah, I have a thing for words.

But when it comes to this blog and its views and its comments, I'm a little obsessed with numbers.

10481 lifetime views.
61 page views on January 4.
12 views today.
9 comments on Few Words, Many Intentions (Thanks for the love, Trifecta community.)
0 comments on The Voice of the People* (Which raised heated debate with my brother via text, but no other fodder for this desperate blogger.)

As an English teacher, I don't often give credence to numbers.  Who needs equations to solve when there are words to weave?

But these numbers--my blogger stats--these numbers keep speaking to me. And while they may pale when compared to those of other more consistent, more interesting writers, they are MY stats, a measure of my writing.

I'd like to be mellow, unflappable, whatever about it.  But I'm not a whatever kind of girl. I'm this kind of girl:

So thanks for viewing my blog and commenting.  While I write mostly for myself, it's humbling to have an audience (other than my mother).

Written for Trifectra: Week 109WHATEVER 1.  (pronoun) a: anything or everything that       b: no matter what : regardless of what   Used in questions that express surprise or confusion 2.  (adjective) a: all the       b: any ; any … that       Used to refer to something that is not known 3.   (adverb) Used to show that something is not important

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Four Hundred Forty

To say I struggle with my weight is to lie.  I am not happy with my weight, but with it I do not struggle.

To struggle suggests a battle of two opposing elements.  These elements--sometimes equally matched--are adversaries pitted against each other physically or mentally or emotionally (or a molotov cocktail of all three). Neither adversary willing to concede to defeat; both exerting extensive energy to victory.  

In my life I have experienced struggle against stress, against procrastination, against depression, against financial instability, against ennui, against single-motherhood (and the stereotypes associated with it)--against the multitude of daily labors faced by people of all races and genders working to live the they imagine.  I have not always welcomed these struggles--who wouldn't prefer, at times, a struggle-free existence--but I have met the struggles with the best of my resolve and might, and whether defeated or victorious, I have come away stronger and wiser.  After all, isn't that the objective of struggle--personal betterment?

However, among all of the struggles I have confronted in my life, I cannot honestly list my weight as one.  I am familiar with my weight.  We share the same space (and the same pants) but we have, up to this point, done so in relative silence.  It mocks me occasionally, scoffs me sporadically, needles me frequently.  In response, I imbibe in sweet or salty delights.  No confrontation.  No battle.  No struggle of note. Just me and my weight, living in coefficient delusions of harmony.

As I ended 2013, measuring my accomplishments and losses, and looked forward to 2014, anticipating its accomplishments and losses, my sights moved beyond the standard 365 days of the year ahead.  Instead, I tallied the days laying between me and my next life milestone--my 40th birthday.

And without hesitation I resolved that during the 400 days between now and that milestone, I will struggle against my weight.  It may mock and scoff and needle me as it wills.  I will sweat and stretch and stonewall it into submission.

I will struggle.  And it will be worth it.