Saturday, March 23, 2013

Riffday: March Madness

1. Since I already 'fessed up that we used to live in North Carolina, it will come as no surprise that we were college basketball fanatics.  NC is the land of college basketball.  I don't follow it all that closely anymore, but back in the day.... oh, lord, we were obsessed.  The remaining vestige for me is that suddenly in March, after not having watched a single college basketball game all season, I get interested in the ACC tournament. And then the following week, every year I do a bracket for the NCAAs.  It's almost completely random these days, because I have no idea about any of the teams other than their placement on the tournament bracket.  I'm doing OK so far-- I missed Harvard and FLORIDA GULF COAST, like freaking everyone did, and I had a loyalty vote for Montana to make it through the first round, but all of my Elite Eight are still in and most of my round of 16, so not too bad.

2.  We didn't quite think this through:  black lab + pond about thirty yards from our front door = wet dog.  The ice finally melted off the pond last week, and three times in the last four days, Sadie has showed up at the door sopping wet and muddy.  I suspect this will be happening for the next eight months until it freezes over again.

3.  You know what I am tired of?  I am tired of all the arguments about whose life is harder.  Minorities, women, variations on sexual orientation, rich people, white men, people on welfare--everyone wants to insist that their group, or their pet group, has it the hardest.  It makes no sense to me.  It's like comparing teacups to peanut butter, there's no baseline for comparison.  On any given day, any particular person's life can be harder than another specific individual's life.  Why are we arguing about this?
Added the next day:  I'm feeling the need to modify this, because of course some people's lives are harder than others, and demographics have a great deal to do with why that is true. And you could justifiably accuse me of a "let them eat cake" type attitude, because my life is pretty dang soft compared to just about anybody's. But I just don't see what good the current vicious, strident debate is doing. The kinds of opinions I'm talking about tend to be delivered in places where they are preaching to people who already agree with them, or they are so vitriolic that there's no way someone on the other side is going to be convinced, so things just escalate instead of any useful public discussion occurring.  I didn't mean to disparage honest attempts at discussing the ills of our current mess, just the vicious way in which the debate often occurs-- which leads us right up to #4....
4.  And furthermore, several times in the past couple of weeks I have run across discussions online that were just so incredibly rude and uncivil and downright nasty that even when I agreed with the point that was being made, I was embarrassed to be associated with it.  There are days when I want to sign off the internet and never come back.

5.  and yet, here I am.

6.  We're starting our taxes.  All I do is gather it all up and deliver it to the CPA.  I used to do it myself until it just got too complicated, and now one of the happiest moments of the year is my annual appointment with our tax guy--who is a prince--when I can just hand it all to him and let him figure it out.  I love that man.

7.  Remember AC, my friend with the brain tumor?  I went to her 50th birthday brunch yesterday.  She has defied all the odds and outlasted most of the predictions, and it was great to see her laughing and happy.  She's not cancer free, and she may never be, but there was a time we didn't think she'd make it this far and I am grateful.


  1. Everything you wrote before that No. 7 fell away when I read that your friend was there for her birthday. It made me cry, and you know exactly why. I am so glad for you, her, and all of your combined loved ones. Treasure these bonus moments!

    1. Thanks, Julie. It was nice to celebrate with her. It will probably be her last birthday. But she's already outlasted so many of the experts' predictions that you never know. She may outlive us all.

  2. If #3-4 is a topic that interests you, here is an article you might find interesting. It describes that kind of angry debate, but does it in a way that is thoughtful and interesting and encourages thinking instead of yelling.