NCAA

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 8.0

Every year basketball enthusiasts sit in their favourite chairs or in their most comfortable spot on the couch to enjoy hours and hours and hours of college basketball. It’s amazing, it’s enjoyable, it’s all of the best moments that you could hope for in 3 weeks of action.

But, if you aren’t that person, you might be a March Madness Widow. You might feel like you are alone, bored, and left without the hangout partner that you normally have.

If you are struggling with March Madness Widow Syndrome, we have 5 things that you can do from March 14 to April 3, 2017 – give ‘em a shot!

1. Create An Awesome Playlist!

Just like the mixtapes we made from our favourite cassettes and the radio, a good playlist still holds all kinds of value!

If you’re looking for simple starting points – we recommend using Spotify or YouTube to start curating your list of songs and mixing and matching until you get the perfect selection to suit your mood. Give yourself something to dance to, something to relax to, or something that just plays as loud as possible while you sing along!

2. Share Music With Your Friends!

Music is best enjoyed as a shared experience. Yes, sometimes it’s great to be lost in a song, but sharing music with your friends is the best.

Here’s a challenge: Every day of March Madness post a link to a song on a friend’s Facebook or Twitter and invite them to send you one back. There are 12 games days over 21 days – that means you have a chance to really share the music you love, and hopefully get some back, with and from your music loving friends!

3. Make Your Summer Music Plans!

Whether you’re into the festival scene or single concert events, there are all kinds of options available for you in the summer. And the worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to make your plans.

Most festivals have tiered pricing, so the earlier you buy – the better. And unless you love sitting in the back row or on the lawn, you should be buying tickets and setting reminders for the concerts that have you most excited when the weather warms up!

4. Watch Some Music Documentaries

Trust me, I know that not everyone is into documentaries, but there are some awesome films on Netflix that you should really check out if you love music.

If you’re looking for recommendations… here you go

☞ Neil Young Journeys
☞ History Of The Eagles
☞ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down A Dream

I watched and really dug all three of those – and if you take a look I’m sure you’ll find a few more that you can get into!

5. Play Along!

If your partner or best friend or family members are in love with the tournament, give it a shot with them. It really can be a whole lot of fun.

Fill out a bracket, pick a favourite team, let yourself get drawn into the drama and excitement that the tournament provides. From buzzer beaters to Cinderellas, you might just find that you like the NCAA action more than you thought you would.

Please remember though, your partner may truly be invested in their team’s performance, so if they do lose on the way to the national championship, try not to rub their face in it too much.

Have fun!

And if you need more ideas, have a look back at the first 7 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0 – March 12, 2016

7 months ago Views

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0

It’s Time!

March Madness is back baby, and I couldn’t be more excited. UNC has put themselves in good position for the tournament, we’re sure to see some awesome ball with some amazing finishes… and before this tournament is over we’re sure to learn the names of some new players who have primetime performances and make HUGE shots.

NCAA Buzzer BeaterBut if you’re not an NCAA basketball lover this post is for you. If you know that your partner is going to be glued to the TV or tablet or laptop for major parts of the next few weeks (March 15 to April 4) you should probably start looking for some things to do to entertain yourself… trust me.

In the 7th year of putting this post together we want nothing more than to help people who don’t care about the Final Four. So here are 5 things you can do while your significant other is praying for a buzzer beater.

1. Listen To Your Favourite Albums Of All-Time!

Think back to when you were 13, or 22, or 31… what albums were perfect to you? What records did you play from front to back without skipping a song?

Put those on and take a trip down memory lane. Embrace the feelings that they bring to you, think back to the friends and family and times in your life that they represent to you now. We all those artists and songs and records that mean the world to us, even if nobody else understands. Embrace yours!

2. Find New Music To Love!

Spotify LogoPlatforms like Spotify and Apple Music are awesome for finding new music. Pick a playlist in the genre you love, or choose an artist you don’t know from a related music selection and see where it takes you.

I suggest taking notes as you go, because if you listen long enough (while you work or workout or just relax) you’re likely to lose track of some of those new songs and names.

3. Have A Solo Dance Party!

Dancing is good for the soul… and the body, so turn up some uptempo tunes and get your sweat on!

Honestly, whether you want to play a game like Just Dance or you want to dance in your socks all over the kitchen floor, we don’t care… but dancing is good, and you should do it like nobody is watching.

And if solo dance parties aren’t your thing, round up some friends who are feeling widowed during March Madness and invite them to dance too!

4. Go See A Live Show!

Live music is one of my favourite things in the world, and I fully believe that everyone deserves to treat themselves to live shows whenever the chance presents itself.

Now, that doesn’t always mean you have to spend a ton of money on a big arena or stadium show. Check out the local listings and hit a club or a bar or a coffeehouse near you to see an acoustic show or an open mic night or an artist that everyone is going to be talking about a year from now!

5. Play Along!

2016_Final_Four_LogoEvery year this makes the list, and every year it will. I love March Madness because I love basketball, but I also love the drama and the theatre and the unpredictability that comes with this crazy tournament.

So, pick a team (I wouldn’t recommend any 15 or 16 seeds) and start cheering. Hell, fill out a bracket and see if you can beat your MM loving partner.

With just a little googling you can find out the best players, the celebrity alumni, the mascot name and even the fight song to your new favourite college basketball team.

But if you do choose to play along, please please please remember to be nice when your S/O’s team loses, and they probably will. It can be a heartbreaking and disillusioning moment, and you don’t really want to see them cry, do you?

And have a look back at the first 6 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

2 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow(er) Survival Guide 6.0

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

The NCAA March Madness bracket has been set, and 68 teams are ready to hit the floor and fight for a chance to play in the Final Four and be called National Champion.

And if you don’t care about any of that, this post is meant for you.

This is the 6th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide, it’s sole purpose is to help you find things to do to stay busy and happy and awesome while your significant other sits on the couch and watches hours and hours and hours of college basketball. Being left alone like this is what we refer to as March Madness Widow Syndrome. We know it isn’t always an awesome feeling, but we’re here to help.

Here are 5 things that you can do between March 17th and April 6, 2015 if you aren’t a basketball fan.

1. Enjoy the Early Spring Weather

We’ve turned the clock forward an hour, the sun is still up after 5pm, and it’s not freezing cold 24 hours a day. So get your Spring jacket ready, sit out on the porch or balcony, go for a walk around the block or in the park, grab a coffee and sit on a newly opened patio – or grab a beer, that’s great for sunny weekend afternoons.

2. Find Great Places to Eat

Just Eat logo 2015Ask your friends and neighbours and co-workers for their highest recommendations – find brand new places to go out for dinner or lunch or brunch, order the dishes that people tell you are fabulous. And remember, take out counts!

So pull up just-eat.ca and find a restaurant that you haven’t tried, pick some stuff you think you’re going to want to eat, and order it.

3. Take a Trip

This is an idea that comes all the way back from the very first March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

If you’ve got a couple vacation days, take ‘em. Build yourself a long weekend and hit a B&B. Hit up a nice little town like Port Hope, ON and see the sights, visit landmarks and enjoy yourself. Or, go home and visit your family and old friends. Or, buy a last minute deal and fly south to sit on a beach for a few days and really, really, really take advantage of the time on your hands.

The Batman Comic Book Cover4. Read Comic Books

There are some really great comic books out there. Whether you like zombies (The Walking Dead) or updated fairy tales (Fables) or all of your favourites from when you were a kid (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man) there’s something on a shelf for each and every one of you.

Trust me. Give it a try.

Plus, you don’t have to go to the comic book store to get them any more. Digital comics are readily available. And they won’t break the bank.

5. Play Along

I say this every year, and I mean it every year. Even if you’re not into the tournament, fill out a bracket. Pick some winners. Find a team to cheer for (please not Duke) and even root against your significant other’s favourite team. Just remember not to rub it in too hard if your team wins or their team eventually loses.

March Madness can be a lot of fun. But if you’re not into it, that’s cool. Make the most of those 3 weeks, they’ll be over before you know it.

And have a look back at the first 5 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

Be awesome!

3 years ago Views

My 2014 NCAA March Madness Bracket Is Busted!

Busted Bracket Banner

This is Madness!

How many times have we heard that in the last 2 days?

I love March Madness. And the round of 64 this year is a perfect example why. Yes it’s true that my espn.com bracket is pretty broken up with 23 correct picks and 9 incorrect picks. But it could be worse.

I fully acknowledge that I didn’t have any of the big upsets picked. But man has it been fun to watch some of them happen.

Especially Duke losing to Mercer. Duke was my first loss by a team that I had predicted to win more than 1 game (later joined by VCU) – but I hate the Blue Devils so much that I’m not even mad about getting that pick wrong.

I’ve also been spoiled to watch the round of 64 with some good friends, drinks, food, and great sports debate and conversation. It has very much reminded me why taking of the 1st Thursday and Friday of the tournament is a great idea that I dropped the ball on again.

Side note: In my 2nd pool… the one worth money – I’m 27 out of 32 so far, tied for 1st place and with the most total points still available.

Here’s hoping that you are ready for Saturday and Sunday’s action as we get from 32 teams down to the Sweet 16.

If Thursday and Friday were any indication… we could be in for something really special.

My 2014 NCAA March Madness Busted Bracket

4 years ago Views

My 2014 March Madness Bracket – TSN Tournament Challenge

TSN Tournament Challenge 2014
There are few things more stressful in my sports fandom than trying to fill out a fresh, clean, NCAA tournament bracket.

I know that a 12 seed is probably going to win their first game… but which one?

And I know that a 10 seed will likely knock off a 7… but again, which one will it be?

For the record I didn’t take a 12 seed, but I did take Arizona State as a #10 to win their first game.

This year I played a lot of hunches, a lot of who’s hot, a lot of gut check picks… and then in the Final Four I started looking at points per game, rebounding, field goal percentage – important shit that makes me feel like I might have made good choices in picking games that are 20 days away.

I will freely admit that I have filled out 2 brackets which some people think is cheating… but, in both brackets I have Florida vs. Michigan in the National Championship Game. And I have the Florida Gators winning the tournament in both places.

2014 TSN Challenge NCAA March Madness Bracket
If you’re filling out a bracket… good luck.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to fill out a bracket – get over to the TSN Tournament Challenge.

4 years ago Views

NCAA March Madness 2014 – Meet The Canadians!

Canada Basketball NCAA 2014

March Madness tips off tomorrow and as a Canadian basketball fan there is reason to celebrate. We know that Canadian players have been making a name for themselves in the NCAA and the NBA over the last few years – heck, we’re producing lottery type talent in the NBA.

But this year I am more than impressed with the sheer number of Canadian players who will be uniform and/or on the court during the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. After looking through all 68 rosters on their official websites, I have found 31 Canadian players to watch during March Madness this year.

31!

That’s awesome.

Basketball fans already know the names Brady Heslip, Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis. And everyone knows the name Andrew Wiggins thanks to his incredible talent and the hype machine. But that still leaves 27 other names to learn and look our for as March Madness gets underway.

Here are all 31 players, listed by their school, in alphabetical order…

Jordan BachynskiCalgary, ABArizona State
Brady HeslipBurlington, ONBaylor
Kenny CheryMontreal, QCBaylor
Jahenns ManigatOttawa, ONCreighton
Dyshawn PierreWhitby, ONDayton
Jaylen Babb-HarrisonAjax, ONEastern Kentucky
Dustin TrianoTsawwassen, BCGonzaga
Kevin PangosLanding, ONGonzaga
Kyle WiltjerPortland, OR (Canadian citizenship)Gonzaga
Agunwa OkolieAjax, ONHarvard
Laurent RivardSaint Bruno, QCHarvard
Melvin EjimToronto, ONIowa State
Naz LongMississauga, ONIowa State
Andrew WigginsVaughan, ONKansas
Justin EdwardsWhitby, ONKansas State
Nik StauskasMississauga, ONMichigan
Daniel MullingsToronto, ONNew Mexico State
Renaldo DixonToronto, ONNew Mexico State
Sim BhullarToronto, ONNew Mexico State
Tanveer BhullarToronto, ONNew Mexico State
Jason CallisteToronto, ONOregon
Richard AmardiToronto, ONOregon
Junior LomombaMontreal, QCProvidence
Grandy GlazeToronto, ONSaint Louis
Dwight PowellToronto, ONStanford
Stefan NasticThornhill, ONStanford
Tyler EnnisBrampton, ONSyracuse
Dylan EnnisBrampton, ONVillanova
Chadwick LufileBurlington, ONWichita State
Nick WigginsToronto, ONWichita State

Here’s hoping that all of the Canadian kids are able to contribute and take away some sort of positive experience from the 2014 NCAA tournament.

I know I’ll be cheering for them.

Unless they’re playing against a team I’m cheering for and have picked on my bracket.

4 years ago Views

2014 March Madness Bracket and Rankings

March Madness 2014 BannerWe are only 2 days away from the start of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament – and that means it’s time to fill out your bracket and hope for the best!

I will be honest, I haven’t finished my bracket yet because I’m still not ready to commit to the picks that I’ve made. Last year I had awful luck in the early rounds, and I would like to avoid that in 2014.

If you haven’t taken a look at the 68 teams in the tournament, here they are.

1. Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Wichita State.
2. Kansas, Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan.
3. Syracuse, Creighton, Iowa State, Duke.
4. UCLA, San Diego State, Michigan State, Louisville.
5. VCU, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Saint Louis.
6. Ohio State, Baylor, North Caroline, UMass.
7. New Mexico, Oregon, Connecticut, Texas.
8. Colorado, Gonzaga, Memphis, Kentucky.
9. Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, George Washington, Kansas State.
10. Stanford, BYU, Saint Joseph’s, Arizona State.
11. Dayton, Nebraska, Providence, Iowa, Tennessee.
12. Stephen F. Austin, North  Dakota State, Harvard, North Carolina State, Xavier.
13. Tulsa, New Mexico State, Delaware, Manhattan.
14. Western Michigan, University of Louisiana Lafayette, North Carolina Central, Mercer.
15. Eastern Kentucky, American, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Wofford.
16. Albany, Mount Saint Mary’s, Weber State, Coastal Carolina, Texas Southern, Cal Poly.

And if you want to see how the bracket looks without all my picks on it… here you go. Clean. Fresh. Full of possibility. Ready for all of us to screw it up.

March Madness 2014 Round 1 BracketMarch Madness 2014 South and West BracketMarch Madness 2014 East and Midwest Bracket

My picks will be coming soon if that’s something that you’re interested in seeing. Stay tuned and I’ll have them all here for you to judge before the first round tips off.

Good luck.

Be awesome.

4 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0

march-madness-2014-banner

It’s that time of year again! Selection Sunday is here, and just a few minutes ago 68 teams confirmed that they are headed to the biggest, best basketball tournament in North America.

This is also your 2 day warning before the action gets under way and your significant other settles themselves into the couch and devours hours and hours and hours of upsets and buzzer beaters and big plays and then the Final Four.

For the fifth year in a row I’m here to help. If you are forgotten and neglected and left lonely from March 18th to April 7th, I have a list of tips that just might keep you busy and smiling and able to deal with the tournament.

Remember, there’s no stopping this thing, every year there are millions of people affected by March Madness Widow Syndrome – I just hope that I can help some of you get through these 3 weeks just a little bit easier.

Netflix Logo1. Dig Into Netflix!
You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands for the next 3 weeks, and while I know that sometimes people complain that there isn’t anything good to watch on Netflix, I disagree. Since mid-February I’ve watched all of House of Cards and all 5 seasons of Chuck. I’ve also checked out some awesome WWE content, Archer and even Justice League Unlimited.

I dare you to grab your laptop or tablet and look through the entire catalogue and tell me that there’s nothing that you want to watch or rewatch.

And if you need recommendations, let me know. I’m happy to help.

2. Spring Cleaning and Purging!  
Spring cleaning is one of those terms that gets thrown around every year at this time. But I’m not using it to talk about dusting and washing windows and all those crappy chores. I’m talking about cleaning out your closet. Donating the things you don’t wear any more. Finding new homes for your gently used clothes. Hell, organize a clothing swap with your friends. I know some people who have walked away very, very happy from those events.

And if you fancy something brand new, you’ll have room in your closet to go out shopping for something shiny and appropriate for the warmer weather that is coming.

3. Find Some New Music!
No matter what genre of music you love to listen to, I can guarantee that there is awesome music out there that you haven’t heard yet. Less than a month ago I hadn’t heard of The Lovelocks and now I’m in love with their EP, have an interview with them on the blog here and can’t wait to see what they do next.

It’s not hard to find new music. Ask your friends what they are listening to. Look up indie charts online. Check out recommended videos on YouTube from bands you’ve never heard of before.  Hell, just listen to the radio, there are a lot of us who don’t do that any more.

And if you find some new country music that you love, please let me know!

Knitting Needles and Yarn4. Create Something!
Whether you write, or sing, or draw, or design, or play guitar, or knit, or make movies, or tell stories around a fire – find a way to create something and give it to the world. The world is a happier place because talented people share their creations with us. And in my opinion, too many talented people don’t believe in themselves enough to share what they have created.

In fact, I’d like to issue a friendly challenge to all of you. Create something, anything, and take a photo or send a link so we can share it with the world.

5. Play Along With The Games!
I say it every year, and I mean it. The coolest thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game, but filling out your own bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your March Madness addicted significant other can be a lot of fun.

Please remember though, many fans are very attached to their favourite teams, so please don’t make too much fun of them if they lose. It will be a sensitive time.

If these 5 ideas aren’t what you need to get you through, you can see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness. Check out the first 4 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

4 years ago Views

My 2013 NCAA March Madness Bracket Is Busted!

2013 NCAA March Madness Busted BracketYup, so is yours. Admit it.

Technically I guess I’m still in the game because I’ve got Kansas to win the National Championship – and they made it through their 1st game. But man, there’s no way I can even lie to you and say that I had any of the upsets that have come through so far.

I had a not awesome record of 21 wins and 11 losses in the first 32 games for a whopping 68% success rate. Lame.

In the round of 64 we watched way too many low seeds win.

#15 Florida Gulf Coast over #2 Georgetown
#14 Harvard over #3 New Mexico
#13 LaSalle over #4 Kansas State
#12 California over #5 UNLV
#12 Ole Miss over#5  Wisconsin
#12 Oregon over #5 Oklahoma State
#11 Minnesota over #6 UCLA
#10 Iowa State over #7 Notre Dame

Yes, every year you should pencil in a 12 to beat a 5 and a 10 should and will beat a 7 more often than just once in a while – but I did not see this coming at all! At all!

If you picked Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown I would like to congratulate you. But I will not believe you until I see proof.

Same with Harvard.

And also Lasalle.

Note: If you went to Florida Gulf Coast, Harvard or LaSalle I will believe that you picked them to win – but not for basketball reasons.

2013 NCAA March Madness PredictionThe good news is that (for now) my Elite Eight of Louisville, Kansas, Gonzaga, Indiana, Miami, Michigan State, Florida and Arizona is still intact.

That means that my Final Four of Kansas, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Miami is also intact.

AND my NCAA National Championship final of #3 Michigan State vs. #1 Kansas is still on the board and could happen. And, when things to perfectly according to my plan, Kansas will beat Michigan State 71-64 on April 8 in Atlanta.

Here’s the thought I’d like to leave you all with… we’ve seen low seeds win a lot of games. And we always say that those are upsets but in a year that had no schools at the top of the heap and pulling away from the pack – I think we’re looking at PARITY. There isn’t the same separation that we’re used to. This many upsets is a trend.

Do not be surprised if we see more before this tournament is over.

Maybe even #8 UNC over #1 Kansas on Sunday?

5 years ago Views

My 2013 March Madness Bracket – TSN Tournament Challenge

TSN NCAA TOURNY CHALLENGEIt’s a wonderful and stressful thing.

I’m talking of course about filling out your NCAA March Madness Bracket.

This morning I sat down and stared at the grid. Thinking about sure things and upsets and “what ifs” and “is that what I really want to do” and I agonized over decisions. I tried 3 times to put UNC into the Sweet Sixteen. I really did. But I just couldn’t get them past Kansas. And then I thought about Gonzaga, finally a #1 seed but still probably not a National Champion. There are just so many factors. I mean, wouldn’t it be great to see Albany or Florida Gulf or make it to the Elite 8? They won’t, but it would be a hell of a story!

The madness starts Tuesday with play-in games and then Thursday, March 21 we’ll start to see the big action tip-off.

I hope you’re ready.

If you want to compare stats during the tourny you can find me at either ESPN.com or TSN.ca in the Tournament Challenge under Baby Blue Bracket Busters!

Sign-up now! http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/entry

2013 NCAA Midwest & South BracketNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: (3) MICHIGAN STATE vs. (1) KANSAS – 
NATIONAL CHAMPION: (1) KANSAS
2013 NCAA West & East Bracket

5 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0

March Madness 2013 BannerLadies and gentlemen, the time has come once again!

Today is Selection Sunday. The glorious day when 68 teams of young men will learn that they are going to be playing in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – and who they’ll be playing in the first round.

It’s also the start of a 2 day countdown to the start of the greatest sports tournament in North America.

However, as we have learned over the years, the NCAAs don’t make everyone smile and they can make things tense and uncomfortable and even unfair in many homes and relationships. Because we don’t want anyone to be negatively impacted by this awesome event we’re back with the 4th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

In the last 3 years we’ve looked at some ideas that partners of NCAA Tourny fans can look into so they don’t feel so neglected during the journey from 68 teams to 1.

And that’s exactly what I’m here to do again right now! Here are 5 suggestions of things to do this year while your S/O is on the couch cheering on their fav team, hoping for upsets and crying over their busted bracket.

1. Catch up on Girls/Homeland/Game of Thrones/Mad Men/ The Walking Dead/ Etc.
There are a lot of great shows out there and it’s almost impossible for everyone to keep track and watch them all every week. However, with Netflix, On Demand, DVDs and downloads there are ways that you can watch these shows in shortened, intense periods. And what better opportunity than the 21 days of March Madness?

Get your episodes in order, make some popcorn (a great antioxidant) and enjoy!

2. Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.
It’s coming, this much we know. But when and how we don’t know. So the best thing to do is get yourself prepared. I would suggest reading The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, think about packing your Zombie Apocalypse First Aid Kit, building your Zombie Apocalypse Team and thinking about where you can go, where you can get weapons, food, ammo, tools and everything else you need to survive.

I’m pulling for you and hope to see you in the safe zone.

3. Start your Spring Cleaning.
I’m not saying that you have to do all of the heavy cleaning by yourself, that’s not fair at all. What I’m suggesting is that you can use this time to go through your closet and pick out the clothes that you want to donate to charity. You can organize the tupperware cupboard. You can even make your shopping list for the things that you need after going through the house and realizing what you’re missing!

4. Eat All The Things.
This is your chance friends. Your basketball fan is going to be so engrossed with the games that they will be able to survive on cereal, chips, celery and coffee. But you, you get to try all the new recipes that you’ve wanted to get at and enjoy some old favourites as well.

And here’s the best part – if you don’t want to share, you don’t have to! That’s right, this is your time and your food and your treat. I would recommend maybe sharing a couple times to be nice, but not every night. You can even invite other non-NCAA fan friends over and have a little dinner party with some wine and stories and laughs. It will be great!

5. Get in the Game!
I say it every year, the best thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game of course. But filling out your bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your S/O can be a lot of fun.

Remember this though please: NCAA fans are really into things and when their team loses (and the odds are they will) don’t rag on them too hard. It’s an emotional and disappointing time.

Good luck with your picks and your sanity during this wonderful time of year.

I’m excited. I hope you are too!

If you want to see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness, check out the first 3 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

5 years ago Views

Messy Monday Musings – March 4

Monday Morning Bingo Ticket - OLGIt’s Monday and time to start another week… so this morning when I stopped in at the convenience store to grab my TTC token I decided to grab a Bingo scratch ticket.

I don’t know why I did it. Maybe it was the old guy scratching a ticket near the door. Maybe it was the allure of winning a bunch of money that would be really awesome to have in my pocket/bank account. Maybe it was nothing more than a hunch that it could be a cool way to start a new week.

So, I picked my ticket, grabbed my token, paid for both and was out the door… nothing exciting happened on the streetcar trip, nothing extraordinary took place at Starbucks, nothing outstanding interrupted my walk to the office. Pretty plain old Monday morning. I got into the office, sat, started drinking coffee and scratching. My scratch pattern goes left to right, top row to bottom. Then I check the 4 cards, top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right. That’s just how I do it. It’s how I’ve always done it.

Sadly, it doesn’t actually help with winning… and so I lost my $3 and did not get that daydream money I was hoping for.

However, the morning has gone pretty smoothly with the worky. My coffee was hot and fresh. The sun is shining through the window, but not blinding me. And now it’s lunch time and a grocery store trip has been planned.

Here’s hoping the afternoon is just as issue free and comfortable – for me and all of you.

The Musings Part:

– The Walking Dead was great last night. And while I’m not here to spoil anything, you gotta watch it and think about the storytelling elements that have been used.

We’re now 150 days from Boots & Hearts. That’s a countdown I can get behind and you’ll hear me talk of again soon!

– The World Baseball Classic has started and Canada is on Sportsnet Friday afternoon in their 1st game. I’m not sure what I expect from our boys – but it would be nice to start off with a win against Italy.

– Trish and I went to The Works on Dundas West for late lunch/early dinner on Sunday and it was tasty. It’s so tasty every time.

– Don’t look now… or do – The Montreal Canadiens are in 1st place in the Eastern Conference! I’m not trying to count chickens before they’re hatched. But who saw this coming?

– I’ve fallen to 2nd place in my Yahoo fantasy hockey pool after a bad week. However, I’m only 6 points back and I’m 8 points up on 3rd place – so things aren’t that bad.

– MLB Opening Day is less than 1 month away! Yes sir, that’s right, the Blue Jays will soon be home!

– Whose Line Is It Anyway? is coming back to TV on the CW! I can’t wait. Loved the show back in the before and it looks like Colin, Ryan and Wayne are all coming back.

– Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw ft. T.Swift and Keith Urban has been playing in my head non-stop. It’s really that good!

– Congrats to the NEW #1 team in NCAA basketball, Gonzaga! Much love to Canadian forward, Kelly Olynyk!

– Welcome home from Costa Rica to Trish! (she took awesome pictures, have a look)

Alright y’all. Time to get on with the day. Keep up the great work being awesome. You know you can!

5 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0

It’s here again, that time of year that non-college basketball loving spouses loathe. That time when sports geeks can feel their heartbeat quickening. That glorious time of year we know as March Madness!

Last year I came to you with the March Madness Widow Survival Guide. This spring I am happy to be back with a new list of suggestions that may help those afflicted with MMWS. As always, if you have any suggestions that you think would benefit the masses please add them in the comment section below.

The 2011 edition of March Madness begins Sunday March 13th with Selection Sunday and will conclude with the National Title game on April 6, 2011 in Houston. That gives us 25 days of basketball lovin’ to get through. 11 of those 25 days have basketball action. That means 11 days to find distraction.

I hope that something on this list may help you out!

Apps! Yes, those Apps. There are a billion and one of them out there and one for everyone. The likelihood that either you or your partner are rocking an App capable smart phone or tablet is very high. So find yourself a new App to play with and go nuts. Imagine how good you can get at Angry Birds between now and April 6th. You will have bragging rights and the chance to discover the next “IT” App in the process!

Sewing! I’m serious here. Sewing is an undervalued and underused skill in this day and age. Being able to hem pants, skirts and dresses is a great asset. Darning socks is like plumbing, it’s never going to stop being a need. I know that sewing may come off as a gender biased and offensive suggestion. But come on, you know me, I’d never say something with that intent. I think that sewing is getting left behind. And that’s sad! Who doesn’t remember those awesome homemade Halloween costumes for example. Don’t let that tradition die. Consider that over the next 3 weeks.

Writing! Last year I suggested using March Madness and tournament time to catch up on some reading. This year why not flip that idea and put your own words down. Maybe you have letters and emails you’ve been meaning to send to friends and family (or me). Or perhaps you’ve been dying to blog. I love new blogs so I’d love to see that happen. Heck, maybe you have a Survival Guide or two that can offer to the world. We all need a little help sometimes!

Cook! Who among us doesn’t enjoy a new recipe from time to time? I do. And if your S/O is going to cemented to the couch this is your opportunity. The best part of this option is the fact that the college hoops lover is in your livingroom is going to be content eating crap like french fries and chicken fingers all the time. That gives you the opportunity to cook and create dishes you will enjoy. Share only if you want to. You’re the culinary artist here. Have fun with it. Enjoy yourself. And don’t forget to pair your new masterpiece with a nice bottle of wine!

Yoga! Yoga is huge right now. Even I’m getting ready to start (really, I am). You can improve your flexibility and core strength. You can breathe deeply and find calm and Zen. And you can get yourself some awesome Yoga gear. This is also something that you can carry on after March Madness ends. Yoga night can become your night. You can make new friends and really gain some positives from the experience.

Get Into The Madness! I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year, watching the games with your obsessed S/O can be a lot of fun. Fill out your bracket, pick a fav team. Maybe give some love to Jimmer Fredette (that’s his real name, Jimmer) at BYU or cheer with me as I back the boys in baby blue from the University of North Carolina. It can be a lot of fun to cheer against or with your partner. Remember to try and keep it light hearted. We don’t want anyone’s feelings getting hurt here. It’s already a stressful time as it is. Be gentle with your NCAA loving, bracket busting, chicken finger dipping S/O – they may be very fragile.

There you are friends. 5 suggestions to help March Madness Widows (and widowers) through the 2011 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. I hope that at least 1 of them helps you out this spring.

Good Luck.

7 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Surivival Guide

Hello ladies.

This blog is for you. I know that I don’t often write about things that are focused on the female gender. But I feel that this is an important and time sensitive subject.

There may be a few of you who know what to do in the situation that I’m going to bring up here. But for those of you that don’t, I hope to help.

The situation that I’m talking about is March Madness Widow syndrome.

It’s a phenomenon that comes up every year. And every year there are millions of girlfriends, fiancés and wives who are disheartened and disappointed by their men from mid-March to early April. This year will be exactly the same, unless you are able to look at that positive possibilities that this tournament brings to you. That’s why I’m here. I want to help. It’s what I do. I’m a helper. So, let me help you through this time. And by the time the tournament is over and he’s bothering you to pay attention to him again, you’ll be wishing for the NHL play-offs.

My girlfriend is one of the afore mentioned Widows. She knows it and I know it. And I love her very much, but I also love the tournament. And so today, I do not plan on telling you how to stop your significant other from watching and loving March Madness. What I do plan to do is help you come up with ways to deal with your situation between now and the national final on April 5th.

The first idea is one that my girlfriend came up with herself. Take a trip. It’s the perfect time of year to take a couple of days and go and see some friends out of town. That way you won’t be upset when you realize that your dude is watching basketball from noon until he can’t stay awake any longer. You won’t feel the neglect that comes from his mental distance. And you get to have some time with people that you love and miss. Everyone wins.

The second idea is one that could work well too. Catch up on some reading. If reading is something that you love to do and just don’t seem to have the time to do it this is the perfect time. He won’t be calling for you or bugging you to cuddle or talk or even acknowledge that he exists. And you can melt away into a fantastic place where NCAA basketball doesn’t even exist.

Next comes a great idea that you can even talk him into helping with. Laundry! If it seems like it has piled up and you just can’t get ahead of the washing and the folding and the putting away, make him help. Recruit him to fold the laundry while he watches his bracket go down the drain. And when the games are done and the fans have left the stadiums, he can put everything away before you let him into bed. Win.

Here’s one that might seem a little bit out there, but I think it might be worth looking into. Learn a second language. I know, sounds crazy right? But think about it this way. Just last week I was reading in the newspaper that Matthew McConaughey believes that his fiancé speaking Spanish has helped their relationship. He says that when she gets upset with him or frustrated she has the ability to cuss him out in Spanish, which he speaks a little of, but not enough to fully understand her every word. This ability keeps him from getting his back up about the things that she says about him because he doesn’t know what they are. Wouldn’t you like to be able to mumble to yourself in Spanish or Italian or German when your lazy man forgets to take out the garbage? After the tournament is over of course.

This next one might be crazy too, but I like it a lot. Watch some basketball with him. Most guys will enjoy the heck out of it. Fill out a bracket and cheer against him. Pick teams based on their nicknames or uniforms or alumni. Cheer for Kentuky because Ashley Judd has season tickets. Secretly that’s why your guy cheers for them too. That and John Wall. Either way, why not have some fun with it. Bet against him and hope that he loses. See what chores or favours you can get him to do. Just remember, when his favourite team loses he will take it personally, so try to not rub it in too hard.

You can also cash in on his attachment to the TV by bartering with him. Tell him that you’ll trade prime time right now for dinner and a movie after the tournament. And you pick the movie. Make him watch The Bounty Hunter with you. Make him take you shopping on a Saturday afternoon when he would rather clean the garage than be at the mall. Get to work writing that Honey Do list and trade each game that he wants to watch for something on the list. Be fair though, some things on your list might be worth 2 games. I know that getting him to treat you nicely shouldn’t require blackmail, but getting him to treat you extra nicely and having him feel like you are letting him enjoy his favourite time of year all at the same time sounds like a win, win situation to me.

So there you have it ladies. 6 ideas to help you cope with being a March Madness Widow. You can’t stop the tournament from happening this year or next year or the year after that, but you can control how you let it change your life. Why not take the opportunity to get something out of it. I would.

Good luck.

8 years ago Views

What Kind Of Geek Are You?

In the end I may not be the biggest geek you know. But I’m a geek none the less. And I challenge you to tell me that you aren’t a geek when the criteria are this: If you geek out about something, you are a “blank” geek.

8 years ago Views
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