March: A Wonderful Month

February 2013 treated me well and I used the month to improve myself personally. However, I would be lying if I said I am not happy to see it go. For me, February is kind of a depressing month. Sure you got the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day but besides that it is a pretty gloomy time. The cold still lingers, the freshness of the new year fades, and a feeling of restlessness creeps in. It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that February is the shortest month of the year.

Thankfully, I always find consolation in the fact that after one of my least favorite months passes, one of my favorite months emerges. Besides the summer months, March is my favorite month of the year. I like March for many reasons but I think the overarching appeal of it is just that the cold is leaving and brighter, warmer, longer days are arriving. Throw some great basketball in that mix as well and you got a pretty spectacular month. For this post I would like to briefly highlight some of the great things that make March so spectacular.

Great Montana Basketball: As you will see as I list all of the reasons for liking March, most of these items that make the month so awesome are constants …with the exception of this one.

Well, I should rephrase that last sentence in regard to my subject. The University of Montana always has great basketball, it is just that this season we have really, really great basketball. Both our Griz and Lady Griz teams are in first place and have great shots at ending the regular season in those number one spots. If this occurred, we would get to host both Big Sky Conference tournaments and I would be in absolute Heaven. But let me not get ahead of myself…

Big Sky Conference champions or not, the first ten days in March will be very exciting as both teams play in crucial games that will decide the outcome of the league. To have the opportunity to travel to Bozeman tomorrow for Griz-Cat basketball and then to work the final two Griz home games next week is something very special and something that I am looking very forward to.

Christie and I in Bozeman last year after both Montana basketball teams swept Montana State.

Christie and I in Bozeman last year after both Montana basketball teams swept Montana State.

Daylight Savings Begins! – On Sunday, March 10, we will move the clocks forward and trade in sixty minutes of sleep for longer days. Immediately, we will have an hour more of daylight on that Sunday evening and from there on the days will just get longer and longer. I can’t express how much it elevates my mood when I leave work in the evening and it is still perfectly light out. Waking up to the sunshine is another coveted luxury that Daylight Saving’s brings.

Longer days make me happier and more productive with my time out of the office. I notice a change in the people around me too. I can’t wait for the time change to come!

NCAA Basketball Championship Week – Last year I devoted a blog post to Championship Week so my love of this time is well-documented. The NCAA Tournament is awesome but Championship Week just has a whole different element to it. The ten days of conference heroics, court stormings, unknowns made into heroes, storylines, and the allure of having automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament up for grabs makes for incredible basketball.

The playing stakes and the different atmospheres make me adore Championship Week. What makes Championship Week even better? When I get to participate in it! Last year we hosted the Big Sky Conference tournament for men’s basketball and it was an absolute blast. With the chance to host both the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tourneys this year, I could potentially have the best Championship Week ever.

St. Patrick’s Day – Who doesn’t love St. Patty’s Day? Sandwiched perfectly right in the middle of the month, I have never not had fun on March 17. Last year I got to experience the craziness of Butte American on St. Patrick’s Day and had a memorable time to say the least. I have also had many good times in Missoula on the holiday as well. Nothing beats dressing up in ridiculous green gear and celebrating the Irish. It is something I look forward to every March 17.

In Butte last year! Melissa, myself, and Misti.

In Butte last year! Melissa, myself, and Misti.

The Start of Spring – On March 20 the season of Spring officially begins. Even though Montana weather won’t always recognize this change in seasons, just the indication on the calendar means a lot to me. Winter is officially over and even though if it happens slowly, conditions will only improve. Spring symbolizes new life and brighter days. All I can say to that is AMEN.

The NCAA Tournament – There could be a month marked by natural disasters, famine, and death but as long as the NCAA Tournament still took place during it, many people would consider it the best month of the year. The NCAA Tournament is obviously one of the best sporting events in the world and what helps make it so fun is that the excitement lasts for a couple weeks, even spilling into April! Of course nothing really compares to the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament where the whole field is in action, making it two of the most exciting days on the calendar year.

Remember how I said there was a certain condition that would make Championship Week even better? Well that condition applies for the NCAA Tournament too! If the Griz or Lady Griz happens to make the Big Dance, the excitement goes up exponentially.

Myself at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the NCAA Tournament.

Myself at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the NCAA Tournament.

Easter – This year March will conclude with my favorite holiday. Easter falls on March 31 this year and will provide an excellent ending to what is going to be a great month. Easter to me is such a bright, hopeful holiday that brings a lot of peace and joy to my soul. The most significant date on the Catholic calendar, Easter has a lot of meaning to me and my family. Nothing beats Easter Sunday mass and nothing beats the time I get to share with my family afterwards. Easter is not about presents or a huge meal, it is about being thankful for the saving of humanity.

As with the whole theme of March in general, Easter is about renewal and the coming back of life. It is an optimistic holiday filled with brightness and joy. Luckily for me, Easter will be here in no time because this month is going to fly by with all the fun things going on.

My brother and I on Easter Sunday last year.

My brother and I on Easter Sunday last year.


Have a blessed March everyone! Make the most of it and improve yourself. Good luck to your teams and have a good one. Don’t Blink.

My Holiday Message Tradition

About 5 years ago I started a holiday tradition that I still carry on to this day. Fed up and annoyed with mass texts that people would send simply saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Thanksgiving” I wanted to do something that would distance itself from the superficial crap that other people were sending out while at the same time giving my friends and family something to look forward to, laugh at, and maybe even enjoy.

Many of the people who will read this blog post have had the honor (or the horror) of receiving a holiday text from me. Some of you have consistently gotten them over the years, some of you may have just gotten your first one this Thanksgiving, and some of you may have received them before but not anymore. I estimate that I probably send it out to 75% of my current contact list. I try to leave off people who I barely know, people who are easily offended, and people who probably don’t want to put up with my BS. But all in all, I try to share my holiday spirit with everyone.

So what exactly is a Brent Reser holiday text? Well, as I said, I completely despise the impersonal mass texts that people lazily send out during the holidays. So what I decided to do was still reach my friends and family with a holiday greeting but do it in a way that took a little bit of effort. Thus, each major holiday I started to dress up in some ridiculous seasonal garb that matched the specific holiday, choose a cool setting to be in front of, take a picture, accompany the picture with an over the top message, and then send the picture/message out to my contacts.

Although my holiday texts are very goofy and ridiculous, I do take them very seriously. I start thinking about what I want to do several weeks in advance of the holiday. Then, as the holiday draws near, I will go to a party store and purchase supplies for my costume and props. I always spend more money than I should on stupid things that I will only use once for the sole purpose of the picture but I don’t really care. After doing something for five years, you have to keep coming up with different gags and ideas. I usually always take the picture on the actual holiday although a couple times in the past I have taken it the day before for the sake of time such as if I was traveling or if I would be at a place where I could not get my desired setting. My two main photographers of my picture over the years have been either my mom or my brother. I have driven both of them NUTS with the numerous takes I have them do, making sure I get the perfect picture. I mean I am sending it out to 200 people, I got to make sure it is looking good!

I always send holiday texts out on Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. In the past, I have also sent out holiday texts on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Halloween. Everyone who has received my texts knows that each one will ALWAYS contain a couple of elements. I like to keep the integrity of my holiday messages within the friends and family that I send them to so I won’t disclose fully what those elements are over this blog but I will say it centers around a certain facial expression and a certain beverage. For most of the holidays, my messages will be on the goofier side but I do send out a classier one for the Christmas Day version.

Wow, I have not even got to the actual text part of the message. Accompanying the picture I send out is also a heartfelt, rather long, special holiday greeting from myself. Take the generic “Merry Christmas” text message and multiply it by a thousand to get what I put into it. Although the length of my message might be likened to a book and although many people probably exit out of the message after reading the first sentence, I just like to put the effort into it. As with the picture, there are a couple of constants that I make sure to always include in the text portion. Again, I won’t say exactly what those constants are but I always try to add some humor along with a genuine message. Oh yeah, I also like to include at the end a certain phrase that I am very fond of using…any guesses on that?

Over the years, my messages have evolved a little bit. With the amazing invention of the iPhone, no longer does it take 4 hours and a whole life’s worth of battery to send out my message to my contacts. The process goes much quicker now since the iPhone is much faster and I have the option to send it out to more than 10 people at a time. It is interesting to note, however, that I mostly still send my message out in groups of 10. With the ability of group messaging, I just don’t want to send out a message to 50 people and have a bunch of them replying back to everyone. Let’s just say that not everyone responds to my holiday cheer in an appropriate manner. In fact, the holiday message I sent out this Thanksgiving was the first one where I literally put a disclaimer at the very end reminding people that it was a group message they were receiving and to please take that into consideration if they decided to respond. One drawback of using the iPhone is the inability to insert music with my messages. In the past, I would always have a song/music accompanying the picture and text. It really added a lot to the overall message but unfortunately that option is no longer available.

I know many of you right now are wondering if I am going to include any past holiday message examples in this post. I am not. Again, these messages are reserved exclusively for my dear friends and family through their mobile devices. If you would like to see an example of one or if you would like to get on the list for future holiday messages, please text me to apply.

In closing, are there any other reasons why I continue to do these messages besides the fact that I hate the generic ones that people send out? The answer is yes. Believe it or not, many of my contacts who receive these messages actually enjoy seeing me make a fool out of myself. Many say that each holiday they anxiously await my special message…I am not making this up. Some say that it helps make their holiday. Others say they take it and immediately forward it on to their friends and family. As long as I can continue to add a little more joy to someone else’s holiday, I will continue to keep producing these messages. Don’t Blink.