getting something off my chest

December 1, 2010

Kim and I went to see “Romeo and Juliet” down on campus a couple weeks ago. And, in fact, despite my initial apprehension that it would, well, suck, it did, in fact, NOT suck. I liked it a lot.

Why do I tell you this? I’m getting to that.

Sometime in act II, Juliet squeaks out the famous line “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Remember that?

Well, I disagree. I call @#!*% .

There are two terms in backcountry skiing that I have of late found to be sticking in my craw, as it were. Ruining the fun. I realize I should just get over it, I should know, like Juliet obviously does, that what you CALL something has nothing to do with what something IS.

That’s what the semioticians have been telling us for a long time, right? The signified has only a random, arbitrary relationship with the signifier.

Well, Saussure is wrong on this one. I don’t buy it. My evidence? My craw. And what’s stuck in it.

I submit that the term “Meadow Skipping,” which is used to denote low angle skiing, often in trees and, er, meadows, when the avalanche danger is high, is the gayest possible term for said activity.

I am reminded of Bambi every time someone says it. “The MEADOW!”

I say no more Meadow Skipping. Rather, “Let’s stay low angle.” Or, as Sergeant Esterhaus always used to say “Let’s be careful out there.”

Isn’t it always better to quote Hill Street Blues than to use a term like “Meadow Skipping?”

Okay, here’s the other one, and I realize I may be stepping on some sacred cows here, but I have to get it off my chest.

“Dawn Patrol.”

How stupid is that? What are we, Israeli Commandos? “WOLVERINES!”

No, no we are not. We’re just getting up early and skiing. After hiking. Sometimes it’s dark when we start. Whatever.

If someone sent out an email in the summer and said “Hey, who’s up for a dawn patrol up AF Canyon tomorrow” he would be shunned like an Amish kid caught watching First Blood. In cycling we say “I’m riding early tomorrow, anybody want to meet me at the mouth of the canyon at 6:30?”

Not dawn patrol, like you’re an extra on Band of Brothers or something.  Getting out early.

Good talk, Rusty.

34 Responses to “getting something off my chest”

  1. bob Says:

    When I was a Freshman at Western Kentucky University, we went on Dawn Patrol often, she was kinda easy.

  2. stevebpt Says:

    semioticians?? you read too much and have too much time on your hands at work. get a real job. But I have to agree with the meadow skipping. Sounds like a song tiny tim would do.

  3. Jonnie J Says:

    Um is that you starring in the Epic Drama that SBJ has posted on his site entitled “Dawn Patrol”. I thought you were more picky about the roles you are taking these days.

  4. Rick S. Says:

    Can you get Maddy to come up with a texting short cut for “I’m skiing early tomorrow, anybody want to meet at the base of LCC at 5:30?”. I’m way to lazy to type that on my phone.

    Nice Vacation reference.

  5. Shelle Says:

    Dad, can I have a sip of your beer?

  6. Mr. DP Says:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from The Dawn Patrol)
    Look up dawn patrol in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
    [edited:]
    yada yada yada yada yada

    etc. etc. etc.
    [close edit]

  7. Daren Says:

    BD called and wants your skis back. Since they’ve trademarked “Dawn Patrol”, the Megawatt operating agreement requires the use of “Dawn Patrol” anytime hiking begins before sunrise.

    Rick wants to keep his skis, so he’ll keep using the term. You should tread lightly if you want to keep yours. I’m happy to take my Voile’s on a safe, eary morning outing with you anytime.

  8. Grizzly Adam Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard “Meadow skipping” used in the wild.

  9. Jenn Says:

    RE: Meadow skipping – I have a visual of the Von Trapp family in my head and will no doubt be singing, “The hills are alive…” for the rest of the day. Thanks for that.

  10. KanyonKris Says:

    So BC skiers use meadow skipping instead of meadow skiing?

    I’m not a fan of “pow”. I like powder because it describes light, fluffy snow. But pow, really, powder is too long? And it’s goofy in use:

    “Skied awesome pow.”

    Uh, is pow a place? Did you hit a tree (pow!).

  11. Juan Grande Says:

    Careful Dug. I’ve spent many a sacred morning dawn patrolling my favorite beach breaks in Southern California over the last 20 years. When I moved to Utah, I was glad to see the same term used to describe those early-morning backcountry assaults. Long live the “DP,” which is actually an even more abbreviated way to say–or text–let’s meet at the canyon at 5:30. Now, “meadow skipping,” I would agree, is flat-out gay, not that there is anything wrong with that.

  12. JB Says:

    Wow, I lost count of how many movie/tv references here.

  13. bikemike Says:

    Andy Griffth did the best rendition of R & J.

    Juliet came out on the stoop and said “Romeo, Romeo, where forth art thou.” Well, Romeo pops out from the bushes and says, “I’m right ch’eer.”

  14. Rachel Says:

    Baz Luhrmann or Franco Zeffirelli? I never have seen DiCaprio as Romeo but I like Zeffirelli’s version.

    Still, Hamlet is better. Especially Kenneth Branagh’s version.

    Wait. How did you only give two small paragraphs to Shakespeare? That’s heartless.

    • dug Says:

      rachel, baz all the way. i’ve recently watched both, and i’m a big fan of the dicaprio/daines version. i’m not as big a fan of zeffirelli’s version, starring olivia di haviland’s breasts.

      the branagh hamlet is the best i’ve ever seen. uncut, on the big screen? spectacular.

      the post was about dawn patrol and meadow skipping. did you think it warranted more shakespeare? well, we’ve made up for that here, right?

  15. Shut the F%&* up you F*&^%$ moron Says:

    Get over it.

    • dug Says:

      i’m doing my best, since i ski with people who actually believe they really are WOLVERINES! (who go meadow skipping)

  16. tibiker Says:

    Just to piss him off, I propose that we ALL text Dug with the following when we want to go early morning skiing:

    “Hey, I’m thinking about donning my best breathable top and going on a meadow skipping dawn patrol for some awesome pow-pow, anyone want to join?”

    BTW, loved the trailer Juan, but no mention in the credits for Dug? A shame really, you missed the opportunity to forever connect him with the phrase “Dawn Patrol” for all the world to see on You Tube.


  17. […] is nothing inherently complex about a Dawn Patrol. And yes, despite Dug’s insistence to the contrary, I will now, and forever, use that […]


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