Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fan Girl (OT)

You may be obsessed with your NCAA pool if:

You spend hours considering probability statistics and weighing intangibles before completing your bracket.

You roll your eyes when people tell you that they made their selections because of [insert one] team mascots, uniform colors or sentimentality.  You do not recognize sentimentality.  This year, you have your own alma mater losing in Round 3.  To quote The Godfather, it's not personal - it's strictly business.  You did pick your alma mater to win Round 2, and when they won the game at the buzzer, you leapt into the air with excitement, a little bit because your team won, but a lot bit because YOUR BRACKETED TEAM WON. 
You also picked Stanford to win in Round 2.  You just returned from a college tour of Stanford with your future-engineer-or-computer-scientist son.  When a coworker informs you that he picked Stanford because your son thinks he wants to go there, you say, "Seriously?  I didn't pick Stanford because my son thinks he wants to go there.  I picked Stanford because on paper they seemed poised to upset."

You refused to go to bed until the San Diego State game concluded at oh-dark-thirty.

When people ask how you did in the "first" (meaning "second") round, you (at least, from their perspective) over-answer the question:  "28 for 32, but I had two of my four losers going out in the next round, so I have 14 of my 16, 7 out of my 8 and all of my final four."

You consider texting the associate who is in charge of your office pool to find out if you are still tied with your law partner for first, or if you now have the lead to yourself.

Fan Girl (Second Half)

You might be obsessed with the NCAA tournament if:

You remember being your son's age and weeping openly over the outcome of a game featuring teams from two colleges that your parents never attended, and that you would never attend, either.

You stayed on your college campus over Spring Break because March Madness was coming to town.  (This was before you got involved in pools, which means that for the most part you were able to just chill in the stands and root for a series of "good games," with no dog in the fight.)

Your children don't really bother trying to engage you in conversation the week of the tourney.

You once attempted to foster interest in the tournament among said children by creating a bingo game featuring common phrases like "bubble team," "road warriors," "cupcake schedule" and other clich├ęs like "player on the bench with towel obscuring his face" and "cheerleader with single tear smearing temporary tattoo on cheek."

You miss Dick Vitale but consider Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith an acceptable consolation prize (because you grew up in H-Town, AND IT'S LIKE THEY'RE GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!).

You start a conference call during tourney week by thanking the (all-male) participants for dialing in and temporarily diverting their attention from the CBS or Turner station of their respective choices.

You are incredulous when one of said male participants does not understand the comment.  ("Um, CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV?  It's, like, March?")

You correct people when they refer to the 64-team round as the "first" round.  (Technically, play-ins are round 1, distinct from the round of 64, which is round 2.)

You debate the relative merits of the nicknames "Elite Eight" (ALLITERATIVE!) and "Great Eight" (RHYMING!).

You think that, just possibly, you have the eerie power to control young men's minds through your television - like, when SFA's Thomas Walkup missed one of his free throws, allowing VCU the opportunity to win with a three-pointer and avoid overtime, and (in your outside voice, directed to the TV) you instructed (1) VCU's player to miss his shot by a certain distance and (2) the Jacks to get the rebound and run out the clock.  WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT TRANSPIRED.  (Why did you pick SFA, a twelve-seed, over a five-seed?  Because they are from Texas, and so are you?  NO.  Because you knew that they were entering the tournament riding the momentum of the nation's second-longest winning streak.  Duh.  It was a safe and entirely rational bet.)

You devote three consecutive blog posts to your obsession with "the rock."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fan Girl (First Half)

You might be obsessed with basketball if:

You almost broke up with your high school/sorta-on-and-off-in-college boyfriend over a bet (for bragging rights, not money) riding on the outcome of the 1988 NBA Eastern Conference finals.  (You said you liked the Pistons' chances to beat the Celtics.  He basically patted you on the head, in front of his friends, and told you that you were cute.  The Pistons went on to play the Lakers in the NBA finals, losing 4 games to 3.  He had the audacity to suggest that you got lucky.  You got angry, and RIGHT THEN, ON THE DAY OF THE 1988 FINALS, made a bet with him that the Pistons would not only make it to the finals in 1989, but that they would win.  Which they did.  He used the word "lucky" again.  You predicted that the Pistons would go back to back.  WHICH THEY DID.  He stopped talking to you about basketball after that.)

While your friends were fantasizing about marrying a Van Halen, or a member of Duran Duran, you imagined yourself being married to Bill Laimbeer (who, okay, was already married to someone else, but, remember, this was happening in your imagination), sitting courtside and attending Republican fundraisers.  The fact that you lived in Texas and had never actually been to Detroit did not strike you as a particular obstacle.  (Why was a girl in Texas cheering for Detroit?  Um, because BILL LAIMBEER, ISAIAH THOMAS, DENNIS RODMAN, JOHN SALLEY, MARK AGUIRRE, JOE DUMARS, ADRIAN DANTLEY, RICK MAHORN AND DO I NEED TO GO ON?  LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE.)

You count among the happiest days of your life (in chronological order):  Game 7 of the 1994 NBA finals (Rockets over Knicks, four games to three); Valentine's Day 1995 (first official Valentine's Day with your spouse AND the day that Portland traded Clyde Drexler to the Rockets); Game 4 of the 1995 NBA finals (Rockets over Magic in a shut-out; CLYDE CAME HOME AND GOT HIS RING!); the day you got engaged; that magical day in August 1996 when Charles Barkley got traded to Houston (even though it meant losing four players, including Sam Cassell and Robert Horry); your wedding two months later; and blah, blah, the day you first held your firstborn, blah, blah.

You count among the worst days of your life (1) the day that Phi Slama Jama lost a heartbreaker to the Wolfpack in the 1983 NCAA finals (DAMN YOU, LORENZO CHARLES!), (2) the day that Clyde the Glide had to pack up and move to Oregon because Houston used their first pick on Ralph Sampson (okay, you later admitted that it was the right choice, but at the time, a stab in the heart) and (3) EVERY TIME THE ROCKETS PLAYED THE SUNS, because, dang it, you wanted to like Charles Barkley so badly, BUT HE WAS THE ENEMY. 

You consider the gift of an autographed basketball from your husband a better and far more romantic gift than jewelry, candy and flowers.

You named your first "married-couple-child-substitute pet" Barkley - specifically, Charles Wade Barkley McGlinchey.  The name ended up suiting him, as he matured into a round mound (of rebound and otherwise) and has never been much of a role model.  A year later, on the first anniversary of his "gotcha" day, you turned on morning TV and learned that YOU HAD ADOPTED YOUR BARKLEY ON THE REAL BARKLEY'S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY.  (Karma, baby.)

You have broken more than one TV remote flinging it in the direction of a set when a game was not breaking your way.  (You have never broken a TV before, because even at your worst you know to aim the remote off to the side.  Otherwise, you have a broken heart and a broken TV, which is the definition of insult added to injury.)

You once left your office for lunch, upon discovering that the Knicks were staying at a hotel immediately adjacent to your building, and went "trolling for John Starks."  (What were you going to do when you found him?  Undetermined.  But you were on record as detesting John Starks.)

You become a stark raving lunatic every March.  (More on that later.)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Boy Mom Monday: Best Actor Nominations

During dinner, the Big Kid asked everyone to name their favorite actor.

Spouse:  Tom Hanks.  Incredible range.

Me:  Seriously?  Range?  He plays some version of himself in every movie.  He's "Affable Charming Guy."  Like George Clooney.

Big Kid:  So who's your favorite, Mom?
Me:  Tie.  Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman.

Big Kid:  Gary Oldman?

Spouse:  Commission Gordon.  Sirius Black.



Little Kid:  The guy from "Sharknado."

Everyone else:  Huh?

Little Kid:  My favorite actor is the guy from "Sharknado."  The one with the chainsaw.

Everyone else:  IAN ZIERING?

Little Kid:  If that's his name, yes.

[Stunned silence.]

If any of us think of a response, I'll post an update.  But don't hold your breath.