View RSS Feed

Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

An albatross around one's neck...

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.
...has been defined thusly:

A burden which some unfortunate person has to carry.



As I head out to compete at this weekend's Albatross meet in the Greater Maryland area, could this unfortunate person be me?

The origin of the phrase apparently stems from the same magnificently melodramatic poem (Rime of the Ancient Mariner) referenced in my previous vlog entitled simply Albatross (link here for those who want to read and/or reread and or rereread and study: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=14471)

Specifically, the poet Coleridge (coiner, as well, of the phrases pipe dream, suspension of disbelief, and Achilles heal) wrote of our wearily Ancient and accursed Mariner:

Ah. well a-day. what evil looks
Had I from old and young
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


After Monday's miracle practice, in which I rose Lazarus-like from the sick couch to complete, albeit with drafting assistance, a grueling workout for an aging fellow, my own pipe dreams and capacity for suspension of disbelief in myself convinced me to enter the Albatross meet.

Alas, at last night's practice, the familiar malaise and effeteness thrust themselves upon me with renewed vengeance. Weak? Check! Shaky? Check! Hypoglycemic? Check! In no condition whatsoever to swim in a swimming meet, even one that did not first involve driving for a minimum of 5 hours? Check!

Still, a tiny voice inside me has always urged: Forward Ho, Jim!--its sound, if anything, growing louder in proportion to the hopelessness of my mission!

And thus, sickness be damned, I will soldier on to Bethesda and do my best to set the new 200 SCM freestyle Albatross meet record in the 55-59 age group. If I can accomplish this--impossible, I know, but if...--then I shall be forever known not just as a multiple Zonesman but as an Albatrossian, too!

And it will be the Albatross who must wear me round its pallid neck, not vice versa!

Dream?



Or pipe dream?

Check back here frequently to find out!

Submit "An albatross around one's neck..." to Digg Submit "An albatross around one's neck..." to del.icio.us Submit "An albatross around one's neck..." to StumbleUpon Submit "An albatross around one's neck..." to Google

Categories
Uncategorized

Comments

  1. jim thornton's Avatar
    Sorry! I should give credit to my magnificent twin brother, John "Rusty Scupperton" Thornton, for yet another brilliant job of PhotoShopping!

    Thanks, Brud!
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    I really like John's latest effort!

    Steaks have been purchased. Dinner at 8:00ish?

    And you do get to sleep in after the long drive!
  3. RustyScupperton's Avatar
    I am merely the conduit for my brother's imaginative art direction! Beautiful concept, but thankfully the Great Bird is bearing his burden with an easy heart!
  4. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Hope is a thing with feathers.

    An albatross is a thing with feathers.

    Hence, there IS hope for you at the Albatross meet.

    (Great hope, too, since the albatross is a great bird.)

    QED!
  5. Bobinator's Avatar
    Albatross flight looks easy. You have no idea. A Wandering Albatross's heart actually beats slower during flight than while sitting on the sea. Black-browed Albatrosses use no more energy while flying than when brooding a chick upon their nest. Scientists who studied metabolic efficiency in Gray-headed Albatrosses at sea discovered "the lowest cost of flight yet measured." Here's one of the birds' secrets: for the long hours and days of flying, albatrosses needn't really hold their wings out; using an extraordinary wing lock at the shoulder and an elbow lock for rigidity, they nap them into the unfolded position like opened switchblades.
    And this is why Jimby will soar with the albatross in the 200 Free!
  6. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    I really like John's latest effort!

    Steaks have been purchased. Dinner at 8:00ish?

    And you do get to sleep in after the long drive!
    I cannot wait! Thanks, Leslie. I hope to be there by 8ish but will call if traffic delays things.

    Be well, mither!
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyScupperton
    I am merely the conduit for my brother's imaginative art direction! Beautiful concept, but thankfully the Great Bird is bearing his burden with an easy heart!
    You are the Great Bird, my dear sir, and I but the barn swallow!
  8. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    Hope is a thing with feathers.

    An albatross is a thing with feathers.

    Hence, there IS hope for you at the Albatross meet.

    (Great hope, too, since the albatross is a great bird.)

    QED!
    You are a rhetorical genius!

    Thanks for the kindly pep talk.

    Kristina posted an hysterical YouTube movie on facebook, which I will link to below. You, madam, are proof why this piece of filmed irony is, in fact, ironical!

    Think on, and whenever you spy an opportunity, I look forward to being QED'd by you sagacity!

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FD374EF0A219D89A"]http://uk.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FD374EF0A219D89A[/ame]
  9. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    You are a rhetorical genius!

    Thanks for the kindly pep talk.

    Kristina posted an hysterical YouTube movie on facebook, which I will link to below. You, madam, are proof why this piece of filmed irony is, in fact, ironical!

    Think on, and whenever you spy an opportunity, I look forward to being QED'd by you sagacity!

    http://uk.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FD374EF0A219D89A

    That was the wrong link! No time to watch it. Might be funny. I don't know.

    Here, however, is the correct link--

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube - Women: Know Your Limits! Harry Enfield - BBC comedy[/nomedia]
  10. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobinator
    Albatross flight looks easy. You have no idea. A Wandering Albatross's heart actually beats slower during flight than while sitting on the sea. Black-browed Albatrosses use no more energy while flying than when brooding a chick upon their nest. Scientists who studied metabolic efficiency in Gray-headed Albatrosses at sea discovered "the lowest cost of flight yet measured." Here's one of the birds' secrets: for the long hours and days of flying, albatrosses needn't really hold their wings out; using an extraordinary wing lock at the shoulder and an elbow lock for rigidity, they nap them into the unfolded position like opened switchblades.
    And this is why Jimby will soar with the albatross in the 200 Free!

    Thanks, Bobinator, for your wonderful erudition in seabird ornithology and energy expenditures!

    Didn't Tennessee Williams write about a bird that never landed till it died?

    I only hope that the "extraordinary wing lock on the shoulders" is not the result of lactate turning my muscles into tungsten during the final 15 meters!
  11. swimshark's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    That was the wrong link! No time to watch it. Might be funny. I don't know.

    Here, however, is the correct link--

    YouTube - Women: Know Your Limits! Harry Enfield - BBC comedy
    Jim, does this mean you are finally going to grow some facial hair?
  12. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    That was the wrong link! No time to watch it. Might be funny. I don't know.

    Here, however, is the correct link--

    YouTube - Women: Know Your Limits! Harry Enfield - BBC comedy
    Well, I DO love kittens . . .

    Good luck this weekend!
  13. Water Rat's Avatar
    With you in spirit Jimby. Are you shaving?
  14. jim thornton's Avatar
    Mark, I am semi shaved! I cut my hair and then used my buzzer to trim off some of the more guargatuan chestal hairs. I look like a Standard Poodle with mange.

    But I doubt I will swim like one of those magnificent water dogs, whose name derives from the German word for puddle!
  15. bzaks1424's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    Mark, I am semi shaved! I cut my hair and then used my buzzer to trim off some of the more guargatuan chestal hairs. I look like a Standard Poodle with mange.

    But I doubt I will swim like one of those magnificent water dogs, whose name derives from the German word for puddle!
    Just remember - you are BETTER than a swim Kayak! You can do it Jim!

    btw - love the albatross references. I've known that poem almost to heart since the 3rd grade!