Clankucopia

Time again for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 14th annual. Same as last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21), though there are upset bonuses, +2 points for upsets in the first two rounds, +1 for upset picks after that. Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. Take a sip of whiskey to quell your anxiety. Then get on with it. There’s no time time for calling your bank teller, reading your heart of palms, gazing into your crystal ping pong ball for hints about what the future doesn’t hold.

Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!, Clankucopia (ID#59134). If you have questions, elbow me as hard as you can in the sternum with an email at dereknmueller at gmail.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, Canadian compadres, Facebook friends, advisees, mentors, interim interim provosts, sentiment engineers, nouveau artists of the contact zone, members of BoredAF Anonymous, grad school cohorts, children of long conners, bracketoricians, distractable sabbaticaleurs, phonies, discount tattoo artists, grandparents at the bus stop, snakes in a can on a plane, Portland edibles dealers, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Giant stakes: reputations are made (and ground to what’s finer than such a fine-ground dust it’s invisible) right here.

Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em
Group: Clankucopia (ID# 59134)
“14th annual.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 12, and first tip of the round of 64, whatever time that is EDT on Thursday, March 16.

Dissoi Bracketologoi

Time for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 13th annual. Like last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. There’s no time for worrying your picks, no time for calling your fortune teller, reading your horoscope, or consulting your constellations. Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Dissoi Bracketologoi (ID#46007)
. If you have questions, elbow me as hard as you can in the sternum with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com (I’m on research leave; it will take me three weeks to respond). Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, square dance partners, Facebook friends, advisees, mentors, bots, posthuman malingerers, artists of the contact zone, hystericists, children of the corn hole ringers, bracketoricians, Jimmie Johns addicts, discount tattoo artists, grandparents at the bus stop, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and ground to coarse dust) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Dissoi Bracketologoi (ID# 46007)
“13th annual.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 13, and sometime (I’m checking) EDT on March 17.

Alt Bracketdemic Careen

Time for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 12th annual. Like last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. There’s no time for worrying your picks, no time for calling your fortune teller, reading your horoscope, or consulting your constellations. Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Alt Bracketdemic Careen (ID#23161)
. If you have questions, knee me gently in the sternum with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, neighbors, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, bots, posthuman colleagues, hystericists, bracketoricians, Jimmie Johns addicts, discount tattoo artists, children at the bus stop, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and ground to coarse dust) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Alt Bracketdemic Careen (ID# 23161)
“Makes no difference to us what you studied in college.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 15, and 1:00 a.m. EDT on March 19.

Right Foot, Right

Exactly five weeks ago–and I do mean exactly…at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3–in the middle of a pick-up basketball game I leapt many many inches (±3) into the air to intercept a three-quarter court pass. The ball reached my hands, it stopped there, and gravity brought me back to where I’d started. Only, the landing, settling down on Earth again, dear ground control, didn’t go so well. Right landing gear crumpled, an old black shoe sole gripped and wrenched counter-clockwise against the freshly polyeurethaned floors, many thickly tackily coated planks, cork-screwing my shoe+foot and the bones inside until the fifth metatarsal said, “Fuck it. I give up.”

Sometimes bones give up. They break.

Landings are so common in jumping sports that I would guess on any given night, through 90 minutes of pick-up ball, there are 1,000 successful landings by any given player. And years ago, the tip-toe landing would have resulted for me in a sprained ankle. I’ve had tens of sprained ankles, mostly on the right side–so many in fact that I had a knuckle-sized bone spur surgically chiseled off the south-most tip of my right tibia in 1995 because so many bone chips had rustled and rattled in there, nomadic calcifying teasers making the bone think it needed to grown even though it didn’t need to grow. But grow it did until sprain sprain sprain, I couldn’t lift my toes toward my knee without bone-bone pinching. I’m not complaining, only historicizing the ways some ankle area bones try to retrieve their loose chips, advancing gradually as if to bring them home again. The spur was with a couple of knocks taken away and the ankle more or less as good as new. Refurbished, at least.

But the broken fifth metatarsal was new, a first. I’d only broken any bone once before, my left wrist during a 1990 high school basketball game against Leroy-Pine River, a game we lost, a game I continued to play in after halftime despite having fractured the wrist you guessed it intercepting a goddamned three-quarter court pass. A pass I caught. A landing I flubbed. I recall Pine River (the Bucks) had a couple of giants in the post, immovable trees who we kept fouling and fouling but still could not overcome.

Last month’s broken foot popped audibly, a long-faced spiral fracture that left me in a huddled pile on the sticky floor, polyeurewincing with the sensation that something extra was in my shoe–a feeling similar to when, as a kid, my brother and I rode bikes (without helmets!) up Winn Road to the Kountry Korner to buy a Sunday newspaper but didn’t have pockets and so carried home loose change in my shoe. That’s what it reminded me of: shoe as coin purse, jangling. At least two quarters in there.

Back on September 3, an hour and three wins into our weekly run, I told my teammates I was through, that I’d felt a bona fide pop, and then hobbled to gather my gym bag, fish out five dollars for Brandon “The Commissioner”, and without peeking inside the shoe to count the coins (dime and a nickel?), wobbled out to the Element and drove straightaway to Canton’s emergency care outfit. They took three x-rays, but they only showed me this one:

“You might need surgery. This is a very serious break. I’m sorry your basketball career had to end this way.” They said more, but this is most of what I remember.

By the following Monday, after a five day wait, I finally sat down with an orthopedic surgeon who assured me that it wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe, that I would be fitted for an orthotic walking boot, and that I was only to listen to my pain and to return in a month. Before the boot, this:

And after:

And so I’m taking a few minutes here–tapping out a few lines–to commemorate the ordeal because tomorrow is that one-month follow-up. The foot has, as far as I can tell, mended to a point of allowing me to walk (but not jog) without pain. I’ve been on campus for the last two days without the boot, negotiating the craggy asphalt around Pray-Harrold and having an okay time of it. I hope to retire the walking boot officially and to shift next to a physical therapy regimen that will, whatever else comes of it, get me back to a more runnerly routine and, if I’m lucky, eventually give me the choice to take another trip or two up and down the hardwoods.

Bracketorical Teary

Already time again for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 11th annual. We’re using Fibonacci scoring again this year (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the savviest pickers of all time. There’s little time for rocking back and forth in your chair out of trepidation and anxiety (well, okay, but make it quick). Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Bracketorical Teary (ID#80061)
. If you have questions, elbow me gently in the forehead with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, arch-frienemies, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, colleagues, former classmates, bracketoricians, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and dashed) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Bracketorical Teary (ID# 80061)
“Smarty tants, dance.”
Password: ewm

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 16, and 1:00 a.m. EDT on March 20.

Pi Chart #4c14

I’d planned for this to be an entry about next Thursday’s roundtable, E.17, “Polymorphic Frames of Pre-Tenure WPAs: Eight Accounts of Hybridity and Pronoia,” 4:45-6 p.m. in the Indiana Marriott Downtown, Indiana Ballroom E, First Floor (that’s right: both hotel and room are named after the state…enough-iana alreadiana). But I’m short on time, looking at a to-do list the length of my arm, and due to be at a reading group at the Corner Brewery in a few minutes on Doug Brent’s “The Research Paper and Why We Should Still Care.” About the roundtable: eight of us put it together with the promise that we would present live versions in Indianapolis and at the same time deliver bundled and closed-captioned versions via scheduled Tweet-drops set for the same time as our panel. It’s an experiment with openness and circulation, in this sense, and since we’re one of the few E sessions scheduled in the Indiana Marriott (not the JW Marriott…though I’m still not sure I grasp what this even means), our double-up of live and YouTube versions is just as well.

My portion of the roundtable is called “Mad Handles”–a double-teaming of basketball handles and data visualization handles, but there I’ve gone and already said too much. For at least ten days in early February, I had this and only this as my main slide–even considered using it as the only slide for the entire talk, an animated GIFmash on an interminable “forever” loop.

This and more next Thursday evening.

Netanoia

Time once again for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 10th annual. We’re using Fibonacci scoring this year (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the savviest pickers of all time. There’s little time for rocking back and forth in your chair out of trepidation and anxiety (well, okay, but make it quick). Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Netanoia (ID#71855)
. If you have questions, elbow me gently in the sternum with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, arch-frienemies, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, colleagues, former classmates, bracketologists, bracket-oriented ontologists, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and decomposed) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Netanoia (ID# 71855)
“Regret your picks all you want.”
Password: ewm

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 17, and five minutes before the round of 64 tips off on Thursday, March
21.

Time Travel

Painted Desert's Edge

Another week in the desert would have been nice. Three days wasn’t enough even though I spent it well: keeping the time and announcing substitution intervals for 15-minute basketball games, noshing on Veggie Navajo tacos from Tuuvi Cafe, catching up with some of my oldest friends (also best-kept, considering I see them almost every year), and generally just soaking in Native Vision. I played basketball for the first time in eighteen months, first in Thursday’s “All-Star Game” and again the next day when Tuba City HS cafeteria lines were so long following the group photo at the football field that rather than wait and wait and wait in the crowd, I took to the gym next door, rebounded for shooters until they invited me to play 2-on-2. Telling time during the camp was its own puzzle: Tuba City doesn’t heed daylight savings, while Moenkopi (across the street) does. Suffice it to say that following the paper itinerary or arranging casual meet-ups (e.g., Let’s meet at 8) proved confounding. I still don’t know what time it was. Lost. And I wasn’t alone in this time warp, which was comforting but also added to the confusion. I went for a short run on Saturday morning. Aimed for just three miles round trip, but I turned back after I found myself attempting the third or fourth shoulderless curve along a canyon edge. Nah, not going out making a decision between the grill of an F-150 and a dive down a steep cliff. Such a slow jog, too. New shoes. Hills. Mile-high oxygen. Stopping to remember the views. But I picked up the pace when, on the return trip, Aggressive Alpha of the three scruffy dogs fenced in only by two strands of barbed wire slipped his loose yard and appeared genuinely interested in chewing whichever is the slower of my two legs (or claiming one of my fancy shoes as a new toy). Yeah, I ran faster then, ran into the road a bit, too. Dodged (“Don’t make me kick at you!”). And back in the hotel lobby, another time warp: mistimed breakfast, a bus driver asking me and only me if we were going to be ready at 8TubaCity when it was only 8Moenkopi. I might’ve felt reassured by a nearby wall clock, but there were who cares two of them side-by-side reporting different hours, a bi-temporal crevasse in spacetime.

Back in Phoenix, or Scottsdale, later Saturday watched the Heat top Boston in the ECF, again with friends who, before we witnessed a shouting match at the bar and went our separate ways for the next day’s early a.m. flights, reminded me that I have to go back again next year. For being, as always, energized and humbled by the event, I can’t wait to go back again next year. And the year after that.

Another week–another hour–in the desert would have been nice.

Brackstang Sally No. 9

March again: time to try your luck in the internet’s most regrettable, most metanoic NCAA pool. You could win a trophy of some magnitude or other (imagine it however you want as it’s a fiction). Twenty-twelve marks the ninth consecutive year for EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em. The pool welcomes everyone to predict the tournament against the savviest basketball soothsayers around. There’s no time for rocking back and forth in your chair out of nervous habit (well, okay, but make it quick). Sign up! At no monetary cost to you, join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Brackstang Sally (ID#54159)
. If you have questions, elbow me gently in the ribs with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, arch-frienemies, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, colleagues, former classmates, neighbors, and pets. The group has room for the next 50 humans/things who sign up. What’s at stake is more precious than than a properly re-set alarm clock on Daylight Savings Day: your rep as a predictor extraordinaire, or predictordinaire.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Brackstang Sally (ID# 54159)
“Guess you better slow your prediction-maker down.”
Password: ewm
Firm up your picks after the selection show on Sunday, March 11. The latest you
can sign up is five minutes before the round of 64 tips off on Thursday, March
15.

Bracketurgy No. 8

March already: time to try your luck in the internet’s most fearboding, most kairotic NCAA pool. The trophy is tiny, so tiny in fact that the USPS will refuse to deliver it when you win. Nevertheless, for the eighth consecutive year the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em welcomes everyone to guess against the the savviest basketball futurographers around. There’s no time for biting your nail out of nervous habit (well, okay, but make it fast). Sign up! At no monetary cost to you, join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Bracketurgy (ID#72844)
. If you have questions, elbow me gently in the ribs with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, arch-frienemies, Facebook friends, and pets. Just don’t invite Wisconsin Goobernor Scott Walker because I’d have no choice but to turn him down. The group has room for the next ten thousand people who sign up. What’s at stake is more precious than than a properly re-set alarm clock on Daylight Savings Day: your rep as a predictor extraordinaire, or predictordinaire.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Bracketurgy (ID# 72844)
Password: ewm
Firm up your picks after the selection show on Sunday, March 13. The latest you
can sign up is five minutes before the round of 64 tips off on Thursday, March
17.