Friday, March 04, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's that time of year again, when one minute it's January, then I blink twice and it's March.

Where the heck did February go? Not that I'm terribly upset. I know it might get me kicked out of RWA, but I personally think February is a waste of a month.

Yeah, yeah, hearts and flowers, I get it. As a huge fan of the Romance genre, I'm supposed to revel in February in all its Valentine's glory. Meh. Whatev.

Sorry, but it's way too short to even count as a month. It's more like a really long week. To me, it's the month that comes after that's infinitely more exciting. That's right...March Madness, baby!

This week marks my favorite part of regular season -- Rivalry Week! On Sunday, my Duke Blue Devils will be taking on the evil Tar Heels to decide Tobacco Road bragging rights. Back when I was in college, it wasn't unheard of to spend half the semester sleeping in a tent just to get into the big game. Good times...

And then next week are all the conference tourneys leading up to the Big Dance! Whoohoo! Next Sunday is what's known as Selection Sunday, when the NCAA announces the seeds, officially stopping office productivity dead in its tracks for the next few weeks, as people fill out their brackets and continuously hit refresh to update the scores.

(That's assuming the office has disabled streaming video. Um, not that I would know anything about that. Nope. *whistles innocently*)

Last year I filled out two brackets. The first one I researched, carefully making my picks according to strength of schedule, how the teams matched up, what the analysts were saying, as well as my longtime method of never allowing Carolina or Kentucky to advance past the third round. Of course, I had Duke winning it all, but anyone who knows me would pretty much expect that.

I had my then-3-month-old daughter pick my second bracket. Say, what?

I know it sounds crazy, but if my friend Christina can win regularly $500 or more in her office pool by asking herself which mascot would win in a fight, then surely reading off the names to my baby and choosing the team she smiled at wasn't too ridiculous of a method.

OK, fine, I admit it. It's pretty darn ridiculous, but I had a colicky newborn who thought that 2 am was a really awesome time to wake up and scream. And 3 am. And 4 am. And pretty much every hour of the day... So you have to forgive me in my sleep-deprived state for not making a lot of sense.

Except that it did make sense.

You see, the first weekend last year was plagued by Bracket Busters, games in which Nobodies beat the Somebodies. All across the country people were lamenting the state of their brackets, but not my baby. Sure, she can't talk, but if she could, I bet she'd be talking some serious smack right about now because her picks were ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for the first two rounds!

Ohio over Georgetown? Oh yeah. She picked it. Cornell over Temple? Old Dominion over Notre Dame? St. Mary's over Villanova? University of Northern Iowa over Kansas? Check, check, check, and check.

I think there were like 5 people in the entire US that picked UNI to even make it to that game, let alone beat the #1 seed Kansas, and my infant was one of them.

She didn't end the tourney with a perfect bracket, but she still scored in like the top 2% of entrants in the contest.

So what do you think? Should I take her to Vegas this year and get a jumpstart on her college fund?

In honor of March Madness, I'm giving away an e-book copy of my upcoming YA mystery "Codename: Dancer" to one lucky commenter. Leave a comment and I'll let my toddler choose one of the names at random on Sunday night. She's pretty good at picking winners. (Of course, you'll have to wait until it's released in April to read it. I'll just let you get giddy with anticipation in the meantime.)


Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Not a basketball fan, Amanda, so leaving the pools to baby make perfect sense to me. ;-)

As for February? It flew by in a Flurry of February Fiction thanks to the Winter Writing Fest. I've never had the Dark Ages pass so quickly before or accomplished so much in what is usually a very depressing time of year!

Anonymous said...

Hey, anything to get started on that college fund! It's never too early IMHO, and college is going to cost like a billion dollars by the time your daughter goes, right?? Vegas sounds like the perfect solution to me. :)

Diane Kelly said...

You've got a smart baby and good luck charm all rolled into one! I hope you win big $!

BTW, I love your cover!!!! I have my own dancer. My daughter's on the dance company at her studio and loves it - it's basically her life like writing is mine. She also has no body fat, which is NOT something the sedentary world of writing leads to, unfortunately!

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the great post.

TerriOsburn said...

This cracks me up. Back when I worked in radio, we did an office bracket contest every year, with the winner getting $250. I should preface by saying I don't like college sports, don't follow them, and my LEAST favorite sport in the world is basketball.

But I won the bracket contest two years in a row. Drove the guys on the staff NUTS. LOL!

Amanda Brice said...

Diane, yeah, let's just say that I weigh quite a bit now that I'm a writer than I did when I was a dancer.

Kat, you don't think I'd look a little strange with a baby in a Vegas sports book? LOL

Terri, did you use any "fun" method to make your picks?

Misha said...

Sound like she'll make you a stack - if you can get her into the casinos.


Amanda Brice said...

LOL, Misha. So true!

TerriOsburn said...

It was total guesswork. And at times I'd take an underdog. I would listen a bit to pre-bracket coverage on ESPN or something, but mostly I was guessing.

Suzan Harden said...

For gods' sakes, Amanda! Take the baby to Vegas while she's hot! LOL

The biggest upset in a betting pool I ever witnessed? Two female colleagues won the NFL pool. Their picking method? Which quarterbacks had the best butts.

Bev Pettersen said...

Enjoyed your post Amanda. My daughter's basketball playoffs start this weekend. We won't have to sleep in a tent to get tickets though, Congratulations and love your cover!!

Anonymous said...

Go Tar Heels! May Harrison Barnes haunt your dreams just like the killer in your mystery! :-)

Amanda Brice said...

Oooh, the best butt method. I'll have to try that one!

Jenn, you're so going to be walking out of the bar tomorrow night disappointed. Let the smack talk commence!