Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Brief

Apparently, I'm currently tied for the lead in my office's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Sweet! When someone told me, I thought he was just trying to butter me up to get me to do some work for him, but I went and checked the standings, and it was true. My knowledge of basketball is limited. I was a Celtics fan when I lived in Boston, mostly because I had a roommate whose father was a VP at CBS sports, so we occasionally got tickets, and seeing a game at Boston Garden was always a memorable experience. College basketball? Well, let's just say that MIT was never much of a threat, even in Division III. It's still likely that the standings will change between now and next Monday, so I probably won't win anything, but I'm enjoying my moment in the sun.

I had entirely forgotten my choices, but it looks like I picked North Carolina to win. Go Tarheels! Beat whoever it is that you're playing!

I don't know any more about fashion than I know about college basketball, but I'm still following Fug Madness, which is infinitely more entertaining than college basketball, at least until the NCAA requires smaller, tighter uniforms. I'm supporting the number one seed in the Charo bracket. I think she's something of an underdog, but she gets my vote, and she's inches away from an appearance in the final four. Go SWINTON!

Most forms of divination are not practical for contemporary office drones. (Just try killing a bird and reading its entrails on your desk and see how quickly you get a visit from HR. Also a bad idea in the office: peyote.) I have, however, discovered that it is possible to see the future in a handful of m&m's. My firm's reception area (which, cruelly, is only a few steps away from my office) has a large vase filled with dark chocolate m&m's. If you take a small handful (a small bag will work if you're forced to buy your own) of them and drop them -- from a height of about two inches -- on your desk, the universe will guide the seemingly random fall of the delectable morsels into a pattern whose meaning will be revealed when you observe them in a trance -- remarkably easy to do after a series of nights when you've worked until eleven. The number of each color in your handful has some meaning, but it's really the arrangement that controls.

This morning, for example, I had twenty-six m&m's, and only two of them were yellow. But those two were right together and right above the preponderance of the five blues. This is a clear indication that we will have splendid weather on our post-busy season Caribbean vacation. Unfortunately, a large number of oranges emphasized that the period leading up to the vacation will be full of toil (gee, thanks, universe: I couldn't have figured that out for myself). I also learned that my intermediate-term future holds an excellent crop of tomatoes, but only after a period of heavy mulching.

For obvious reasons, candy reading should only be attempted with dark m&m's. In a pinch, you can use almond m&m's, but peanut m&m's (even the dark chocolate variety) should be avoided: when you drop them on the desk, they're likely to roll off, and, really, how can that possibly mean anything good?

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