March madness: a feverish dream

Opinion: Editorials

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By Alan Brouilette

What a great March. I'm not sure I've had a nicer month in recent memory. Let's recap:

I got back from my trip to spring training and, honestly, I wouldn't mind still being there. The crowds were the best I've ever seen — such good moods despite being packed so tightly in those teeny stadiums we were just about breathing the same air. High-fiving strangers at baseball games is such a joy, though, especially when you realize you're sharing the experience with fans from all over the world. 

March Madness came on fast, too — I barely got my bracket in in time. Normally I'd have spent a couple of commutes reading up and then make my picks, but the CTA has been so crammed with people lately and I hate having people reading over my shoulder. Sometimes I hit those folks with a polite little throat-clearing cough, y'know, just to kinda say, "Back off," but when the train is super-crowded you kinda can't complain. Besides, I assume my fellow passengers were also trying to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and maybe get some fresh air with a long walk through the lunchtime Loop throngs. 

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of St. Patrick's Day, but — credit where credit is due — the parade this year was a lot of fun. The float designers really did breathtaking work, and it's always fun to see people throwing candy to scrambling children. So many sweet little sticky hands! (The real fun comes later that evening, once the kids are gone and the green-clad revelers crowd the bars. Be attentive to who you get squeezed up against and the rest of the night might go your way, too. Kiss Me I'm Irish, right?)

Little break for work travel next. Man, four airports in three days never gets old. D.C. first — had to swing by the office to press a little flesh and remind them I still exist. I'm a big, big fan of the distributed-team model I've been working under the last four years, but even I gotta admit there is no substitute for getting the whole team into one conference room for a couple days. Gives us a chance to get some good non-videoconference quality time, really get into that shared brain-space and spread some ideas around. 

Then on to South By Southwest. I'd never been, and I love Austin, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience the pageantry. I'm generally not interested in being yammered at by thought leaders about the importance of staying on brand and executing strategies, but if I have to endure hipsters yammering about going viral in order to spend my evenings buying cowboy boots and eating Terry Black's barbecue, I will manage.

Home in plenty of time to do something elaborate for Easter. I don't generally go to services anymore, but it's nice to get the whole family together for a meal, as those occasions are increasingly rare. I picked something up at the live market this year (not what you're thinking; I keep getting shot down on rabbit) and made the best chicken pot pie any of us had ever had. Normally my chicken pot pie is nothing to sneeze at, but this year I added a shot of sherry to the filling and was hailed a genius. Were there a Nobel Prize in Food, even the pickiest child would support my nomination. 

I don't know how long this can continue, but as long as life is cruising along like a beautiful fever dream, I'm certainly not going to complain.

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