Comparing Past Marches
March 1984 vs. March 1994 vs. March 2004
Winner: 1994--There was kind of a renewed energy in the air for me in the spring of 1994, with the first of the two "MacGyver" TV movies FINALLY scheduled to air and with me really latching on to country music in its finest year of my lifetime. Beyond that, I was in a study hall with two of the biggest "MacGyver" fans in high school and we poured over every episode every study hall with in-depth analysis. I was at the very beginning of my creative writing surge and started cranking out some of the earliest of my "Alex Burrows" adventure stories. We watched the memorable 1970s Charlton Heston movie "Soylent Green" in biology class. Just a good all around vibe that spring which foreshadowed my favorite summer of my high school years ahead.
March 1985 vs. March 1995 vs. March 2005
Winner: 2005--It would seem unlikely that the month in which I was coldly relieved of my duties at my first professional job thanks to a smooth-talking new hatchet man editor would end up winning its grouping, but not when you acknowledge that the professional job I was dismissed from was the dead-end, high-stress newspaper industry, a field I desperately tried to avoid being plunged into coming out of college and a field I was trying to work my way out of at the point in time when my employer did the work for me. The timing worked out well since I was able to qualify for unemployment given the questionable terms of my termination and have a more wide-open platform to pursue a different job, which ultimately landed me in my current line of work which is a night and day improvement over newspaper writing. The first 18 days of March 2005 were horrible, living under the thumb of the new tyrant editor during the busiest time of the year at work, but the feeling I felt Sunday evening on March 20, 2005, as I crashed on my couch to watch some mindless spring break shark TV movie of the week without any stressful Sunday night gut-ache about assembling the puzzle pieces to meet the next fast-approaching newspaper deadline was one of the most satisfying feelings I've had in the last decade.
March 1986 vs. March 1996 vs. March 2006
Winner: 2006--A relatively nondescript trio of months to pick from but in 2006 I was still riding high from the new job I scored for the state of Iowa where I settled in quickly and connected nicely with most of my coworkers. Beyond that, new "MacGyver" DVD sets were coming out every few months and I always looked forward to reading the online reviews and engaging with the review writers via e-mail. Also, season 5 of "24" was heating up, the last season of that series that I considered "great" before it began to deliver shrinking rewards for me. But better yet, season 1 of "Prison Break" was in its final half and I still marvel at how brilliantly executed that season of television was. Having "Prison Break" and "24" back to back on Monday nights was TV paradise.
March 1987 vs. March 1997 vs. March 2007
Winner: 1987--The fondest memories I have of this place and time are my escalating elementary crush feelings on my first "girlfriend" who I always hoped to see at tae kwon do classes and took every opportunity to sit next to in third grade. I bantered about her a lot with my cousin, who would end up spilling the beans to her one short month later. Beyond that, MacGyver's hit man archrival Murdoc was introduced this season was introduced on that series this month. The other two months in this grouping were pretty terrible so 1987 wins pretty handily by default.
March 1988 vs. March 1998 vs. March 2008
Winner: 1988--Not nearly as many distinctly awesome memories from March 1988 as there were in February 1988, but my fascination with the Nickelodeon cable network pressed forward and I got plenty of opportunities this month to spend Saturday mornings at my grandma's place (she had cable) and immerse myself in their weekend lineup, which being 10 at the time I was just at a perfect age to appreciate. It wasn't often during the original run of "MacGyver" that there was a TV novelty that intrigued me more but that particular window in 1988 was an exception. I still loved "MacGyver" at the time though too, deep into its impressive third season at the time. And this was the peak month with my aforementioned elementary girlfriend, where rumors abounded from other girls in the class who went to her 10th birthday party and said she was gushing about me the entire night. While I have plenty of terrible memories from March 1998, one good memory was my first Buffalo Ridge road trip during spring break from college that year, the beginning of a long-standing tradition that's worthy of mention.
March 1989 vs. March 1999 vs. March 2009
Winner: 1999--While things were going pretty well for me in the spring of 1989, the spring of 1999 was my best semester of college where I had a three-day weekend and a bunch of classes I really enjoyed-- (philosophy, film, and geology--the latter of which by this point in the semester took us on field trips to quarries and waterfalls in the general area and where I got to banter with the class hottie who was my partner and took a shine to me! I took a second fun and memorable spring break road trip to the Buffalo Ridge that March and was looking forward to returning to my summer job as a mail carrier that next summer (spoiler: major pending disappointment on that one). It was one of the few times during college where I was really enjoying myself.
March 1990 vs. March 2000 vs. March 2010
Winner: 1990--Tougher call on this one as each month in the grouping has its own sets of pros and cons, but the spring of 1990 was just one of those times I look back at with fondness as I would venture to say most people do looking back at age 12. I was coming of age but life wasn't yet particularly confusing. My purchase of Super Mario Bros. 3 early that month obviously defined the month in a positive way. And this was the first year I really got into the Minnesota boys basketball tournament, always broadcast on the local ABC affiliate during the week I was on spring break. As a Minnesota geography nut, for me the tournament was always most interesting from the "small town taking on bigger school" perspective than the actual game of basketball which I've been generally lukewarm about. The downside was that the decade-old collapse of the meatpacking industry finally caught up with my dad and the Farmstead plant he had worked at for a quarter century was going under. I was only half checked in about this at the time given my age, but it was a very scary time for him and I obviously picked up on some of that.
March 1991 vs. March 2001 vs. March 2011
Winner: 2001--Meh! Three pretty weak choices. The winter of 2000-2001 was the longest one in history in Minnesota, with no high temperatures above 40 degrees between early November 2000 and late March 2001, leaving a permanent snowpack outdoors for five full months and leaving my unemployed ass with intense cabin fever. Desperate for a job, the month before I had nearly gotten swept up in an insurance sales job that would have been all wrong for me, but reading some shady fine print in the job description led me away from that venture, which was secretly a relief. I killed much of my free time by continuing to obsessively pouring over data from the razor-thin 2000 election down to the precinct level. I can't sustain my interest in election statistics that long after the election anymore but it sure was exciting back then. Still, I was excited to take to the highway for my road trips when the weather got nicer, but the stubborn continuity of winter this month really started to wear me down by month's end.
March 1992 vs. March 2002 vs. March 2012
Winner: 2002--While 1992 deserves a hat tip for finally being the trigger month where I began to videotape old "MacGyver" episodes on USA whenever I visited my grandma's place, the big event month of this trio was easily 2002 when I finally got a professional job. Now it was a low-paying, high-stress job at a small-town newspaper, a field I had tried everything to avoid but finally had to hold my nose and accept a few and far between job offer. The upside was that it was a small town in southwest Minnesota that I had some loose ties to growing up and had a fond attachment to. It was a friendly town where I was mostly welcomed and it was exciting to finally have that first job and move to my first apartment, despite some early vindications of my fears about management at the workplace. I was happier yet to get out of there three years later, but looking back to March 2002 it's hard to deny the excitement of finally breaking through.
March 1993 vs. March 2003 vs. March 2013
Winner: 2013--Every year this grouping is pretty drab pickings, and this grouping is some of the drabbest pickings yet. Yuck! March 2013 wins by default simply because I was merely operating at ho-hum autopilot with few memories good or bad as opposed to being miserable as I was for the other two.
Down to my final two months of these groupings and must admit they've been pretty fun. Moving deeper into spring in T minus 30 (or so) days.