Listen up

Tonight Zippy, Wildebeest, Zebu, and I are going to watch the Nuggets play the 76ers. I’m excited because one of my favorite former Michigan State players, Gary Harris, plays for the Nuggets. Also, I love basketball.

However, that excitement doesn’t mean I won’t be packing a pen and notebook. Yes, I’m a basketball fan. But I’m also a writer who likes to be prepared, and as Tom Waits says: Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop.

Even a basketball arena.

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am almost finished with revisions and will send off manuscript tomorrow.
  2. My smiling, happy Emma dog and I had a nice run around the neighborhood after I finished working for the day.
  3. Zippy vacuumed while Emma and I were out running.
  4. Michigan State is up by 20 over Notre Dame at the half.
  5. I can still feel gratitude in the face of so many scary-difficult realities in the world.                                                                                                                                                           

Documenting my bracketology wizardology UPDATED

As of this moment (6:32 p.m. MT), my bracket ranking looks like this:

It’s hard to read, so allow me to highlight a pertinent detail:

This means that my bracket is better than 99.7 percent of the tournament brackets. Woot!

I’m posting this here and now because I’m pretty sure I’m about to fall in the standings. I have Oregon beating Kansas, and that’s just crazy. After watching Kansas play their last two games, I’m thinking they’re gonna keep on winning. As in, the whole shebang.

But at this moment in time, I look pretty damned smart.

Well, the Oregon Ducks did, indeed, beat the Kansas Jayhawks. My bracket ranking is now this:

I’m in the 99.9 percentile which, according to Zippy, means my bracket is on a par with roughly 14,000 other elite brackets. WOOT!


Don Draper would’ve done it better

I don’t watch much network television so usually avoid commercials. But because I’m all about March Madness, I am now, unfortunately, also all about commercials.

Which is how I know that there’s a pharmaceutical targeted at those with opioid-induced constipation.

Granted, it’s a tough sell. Still, I have to believe Don would’ve found a way to inject some magic into the ad campaign.




How to multi-task during March Madness

Today is the first day of March Madness which means basketball ALL DAY LONG. And I confess that I’ll watch these games ALL DAY LONG. However, I got up and got some stuff done before the tournament started. I did maintenance on my two worm bins (mite infestation YUCK) and worked on my writing project. But since then I’ve been parked in front of the television, switching between games (where there have already been two nail-biters, yo). In my defense, I am multi-tasking.

Here I am shredding newspaper for the worm bins. Not only does it relieve some guilt regarding the time I devote to watching men’s college basketball, it turns out that ripping paper into strips is a good way to let off steam when the team I’m rooting for is behind.

Shred on.



It’s a family affair

Yesterday morning, Wildebeest woke up early to drive the six hours back home. At the same time, Zebu was on a flight out of London to Denver. Wildebeest got here an hour before Zebu landed at the airport.

Zippy and I haven’t seen either of them since mid-August and we all have lots of catching up to do. In the last 24 hours, there have been many overlapping conversations and bursts of laughter. Both sons are introducing new topics to the discussions, touching on the lives they’re now living, but we also keep to our usual “script” which includes Arrested Development references and cat jokes. And basketball. Always basketball in the script.


This morning it was a spirited debate re Michael Jordan vs LeBron James as Best Player of All Time. We’ve also discussed the way college player Grayson Allen trips other players as compared to Golden State Warrior Draymond Green’s kicking players in the crotch, and who deserves to be suspended. Right now, one of Zebu’s high school basketball teammates is here and they’re talking about basketball intramural games at their respective colleges.

Basketball. Basketball. Basketball.
A familiar song I’m happy to hear.




My good, bad, and ugly

Today we pulled the plug on our telephone land line (I know, I know) and our television/cable. That felt really good. We now have an antenna and streaming service to cover our various viewing habits. (Note: we just watched a couple minutes of college basketball and, oh my, the clarity brought tears to my eyes. Also? Jim Boeheim somehow looks even more grumpy in high definition.)

We didn’t cut the internet service yet because we want to get everything in place with new email addresses first, plus I need to go through my 5000+ email inbox to delete and save accordingly. Oh, joy.

And even though I’m not looking forward to that task, I’m pleased we’re enough on top of things here at the ol’ homestead that we didn’t totally eff up that transition. Too bad I can’t say the same for cutting the cable cord. We just discovered that FX isn’t part of the streaming package we bought which means that I can’t finish watching the excellent BETTER THINGS starring Pamela Adlon (who co-created and writes it with Louis C.K.)


I was stupidly savoring the episodes rather than inhaling them in one sitting. And now I can’t finish the season. I’d classify that as very sad-bad news.

Wouldn’t you know the one time evil Comcast immediately responds to my request, it’s to disconnect my service?!




Familial Points of Intersection


I share a home with three males,
and often feel odd-person-out.
Males and females are different in many ways,
and I'm not just talking an appreciation of farts.

In addition to the gender gap there are also generational divides
between Zippy and me, and our teenage sons.
Oldsters and youngsters don't always have the same outlooks,
and not just because certain people can stay up all night.

There's also the whole issue of us being individuals,
which fosters our unique perspectives on the world.

When I think about it this way, it's nearly a miracle
the four of us can agree on anything.
But we do.
And on days of particularly bumpy familial relations
(I'm looking at you, Today!),
I find it helpful to reflect on the list of our shared interests:

1)  All four of us love Arrested Development!

2)  All four of us love The Clash!

3)  All four of us love Indian food!

4)  All four of us love March Madness!

If you were to draw a Venn Diagram of this household,
those would be the four major points of intersection 
between Zippy, Wildebeest, Zebu, and me.

And as you know, we are now in the month of March
which means we can focus on our shared passion for non-stop college basketball.

Save this family, March Madness!