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ABF Friday:  Off Piste edition!

Why do we call it the “off piste” edition?  Because, arbitrarily but funnily enough, today’s installment of Things I Write is over here, off piste.  Have an ABF weekend, everyone.  And sing!

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med

And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu.
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu, wel þu singes cuccu;

Ne swik þu nauer nu.

The last line means “and you don’t stop.” Variant: throw your hands in the air, and wave ‘em like you just don’t care.

(That one was for you, Dr. Virago, if you’re still using the internets.)

Posted by on 05/28 at 10:32 AM
  1. How is one to walk that line - whether one’s child is disabled or merely abled - between legitimate pride and obnoxious, overweening cuteness? The Bérubés will show you.

    (What is this “hire-car queue” of which you write? And what did you do with your “z"s? Off-continent is more like it!)

    Posted by Vance Maverick  on  05/28  at  12:08 PM
  2. Vance, the “hire-car queue” is a long braid of hair one uses to hail taxis.  One throws it up in the air, you see, and waves it like you’ve got to get to the airport in 20 minutes.

    And yes, it’s a fine line between pride and cuteness.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  12:35 PM
  3. Couldn’t you have left out all the Anglo-Saxon words?  This is supposed to be a family blog.

    One throws it up in the air, you see, and waves it like you’ve got to get to the airport in 20 minutes.

    Late getting to the airport?  When life hands you lemons, make limobraid.

    ... Okay, I really need this long weekend.  And probably more references to helicopter parenting.  I’m beginning to regret quitting my day job.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  02:08 PM
  4. Oy, that off piste column really hits home. I ferry two young athletes trillions of miles to various sporting events year round, and I’m still trying to find that balance between encouraging and teaching and being the crazed sports parent. The worst part of it for me is I am a former middle-school coach, and I swore I’d never become one of those parents. Yet sometimes to my horror and dismay I do.

    My youngest is very talented, yet he is so competitive that he cries when the Longhorns lose a game—any game in any sport! You can imagine how he reacts when he loses. He can be extremely obnoxious about his accomplishments, but, thankfully, he can also effusively praise the accomplishments of others. He’s also very inclusive and encouraging of his teammates no matter their talent levels. Without those latter parts to his personality, I’m afraid he’d be insufferable.

    The oldest is also talented, though not quite as much as the youngest, but she’s nothing like him. Although she is quite successful, she is hypercritical of her own performances. She is the ideal teammate in that she never has a bad thing to say about anyone. But whereas the younger one tends to rise to the occasion and is capable of carrying his team, the older one tends to underperform when under pressure. Her coaches seem to want her to assume a leadership role, but she prefers to be invisible.

    And the damnedest and most odious thing is their performances can affect me as if I’m the one who is out there. Despite the fact that I really, really know better.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  04:05 PM
  5. Modern modern English translation, less than two generations ago, in the days before starships … –

    Maggie comes fleet foot
    Face full of black soot
    Talkin’ that the heat put
    Plants in the bed but
    The phone’s tapped anyway
    Maggie says that many say
    They must bust in early May
    Orders from the D.A.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  08:18 PM
  6. Do’;t wanna argue wit yo translationing skils, but, the SECOND to last line is, of course, properly translated as
    “Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada!”
    And some revisionists have been arguing that the last line in fact reads. “...and you don’t stop...do punk rock”

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  08:20 PM
  7. Number 6 with a bullet on billboard’s 1000 years of popular music chart.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  09:52 PM
  8. What is with these captchas; from which book have they come? 
    “Summer” seems just too set up for this ABF exertion.  Of course, for some post-El Nino raison d’etre, we are now having winter rather than springen into sumer.  Albeit we didn’t have any winter, but still, all of this bone-chillin, wet, rainy cold sucks. 

    And, as an off piste skier in my higher days, i still recommend traveling with a good buddy.  A close family member seems to be just about right.

    Posted by  on  05/28  at  09:58 PM
  9. I’ll believe that Sumer is icumen in when the regnig weather finally ends here in the sodden Northwest. Not looking good in the short term.

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  01:24 AM
  10. Because it is so “natural"(captcha) and earthy-based:

    “This geas I now lay on the men of all Ireland:
    “May the sidhe destroy your every sleep.
    “May the ghosts of your victims, the fruits of your evil,
    “Make you wail, make you sob, make you weep!”
    “May the curse that dark Macha once laid on my province
    “Descend on all men of this isle
    “Who have scattered the victims of ‘manhood’ around them,
    “Who have killed with a cross and a smile.”

    “May the wrath of Morrigan afflict all wife beaters,
    “And defend all the children in Eire.
    “May those who’ve polluted the Mother’s bright body
    “Fall screaming into Bridget’s fire!”
    “This geas, it shall last, ‘till Erú and Her daughters
    “Are honored by you as of old.
    “And your demons of manhood perverted are vanquished
    “By the love of all Erin ye hold.”

    Then he wept, how he wept, the brave Lion of Ireland.
    As he vanished, Cú Chulainn still wept.

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  05:12 AM
  11. Yes!  I’m still here! Thanks for the shout-out!  (And I love that damn poem.  And that other “damn” poem, too.) But, yes, I realize you’re trying to say I don’t blog much these days.  Now that I have officially begun my sabbatical—huzzah!—I intend to get back to blogging some.

    *Love* your variant translation for the last line!  I’m going to have to remember that next time I teach this poem.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  05/29  at  07:09 PM
  12. Number 6 with a bullet on billboard’s 1000 years of popular music chart.

    And the subject of much snarky discussion on VH-1’s I Love the 1260s a few years ago.

    V. Ed, I totally get where it is that you are coming from.  If only we could dial down the competitive/potentially obnoxious level of one child, and dial up the competitive/come up big in the big spot level of the other.  Indeed, if only we could fine-tune our kids in general!  I left this bit out of the Off Piste piece, but the reason Nick didn’t want to play Little League—as he admitted many years later—was that he was afraid of being hit by a pitch.  Reasonable enough, sure, but he was a brilliant hitter of nasty-curving wiffleballs by the age of 4, and I was sure he’d be great at the game.  Oh, well.  I suppose I merely missed a chance to be one of those parents (despite the fact that I really, really know better)....

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  07:13 PM
  13. Hi, Dr. V!  Congrats on the sabbatical—but don’t worry about the blogging.  Nobody cool blogs anymore—it’s so aught-five.  And thanks for the other “damn” poem, too ... and the score!  I’ve never heard it as a midi file before.  Though yes, I know, midi files are so 1305....

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  07:19 PM
  14. So I’m thinking both the Hawks and the Flyers would like to sign Roy Halladay right about now.

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  09:46 PM
  15. Either that or the final score will be something like 9-7.  Is there no one that can stop a puck?

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  10:00 PM
  16. Dunno. Doesn’t look like it.

    Posted by  on  05/29  at  10:03 PM
  17. That was a marvelous post, Michael. One of your best.

    capcha, I kid you not: ball

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  05/30  at  07:51 AM
  18. One of those coinkydinks that make you not believe in coinkydinks: just a “sheer coincidence”?

    Posted by  on  05/30  at  09:53 PM
  19. I completely forgot about that midi file.  What a hoot!  (In class I play an MP3 of actual people and instruments.)

    Ha! The captcha word is “lay”!

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  05/31  at  12:46 PM
  20. Wait, wasn’t there just a hockey game?  Where’s the hockey blogging?  Okay, I’ll start: how about that second goal, eh?

    Posted by Dave Maier  on  06/01  at  12:50 AM
  21. What are þose þings, ‘þorns’?

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  03:45 PM
  22. What i do find intriguing is that the Hawks’ defensemen are actually playing defense.  What i find saddening was that clanger on the empty net; good gawd how did he hit a post with a wide open net in a Stanley Cup game?

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  05:23 PM
  23. That was a fantastic piece, Michael.  I really loved it.  A great way of rethinking the notion of competition.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  11:58 PM
  24. And you can’t, and you won’t, and you don’t stop.

    Posted by Flavia  on  06/02  at  02:11 AM
  25. You must go on!

    Posted by converting dvd mpeg  on  09/10  at  02:56 AM





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