The thirty-five sweet goodbyes.

After at least 35 (sweet) years of hearing Steely Dan’s “My Old School,” I only just yesterday became aware of the reputed real meaning of that opening phrase.

It is Nabokovian in its cunning, and also pretty skeevy … and serves to reinforce my sense that, while I enjoy Becker and Fagen’s music, I probably would have enjoyed their company rather less.

(This is the point where one or the other of my parents, who might actually be my last remaining readers, write in to ask, “What’s it mean?” It’s dirty, folks; we’ll leave it at that. I didn’t get into the blogging business to entertain my parents, but that seems to be how it’s shaken out. Remember when the Internet had promise?)

Barring catastrophe, I will go into Boston this weekend to see my older son’s last school-sanctioned musical performance. He has been in school concert bands since, I dunno, third grade or so. He’s a senior in college and he’s still in one and his last performance is tomorrow. Can’t miss that.

Without thinking it through too deeply, I think this will be my last “school-related event” short of graduations. The only other upcoming school event I can think of is Parents’ Weekend at the younger kid’s college, and the shared wisdom on the school Facebook group says to skip Parents’ Weekend and go visit some other time. (“The weekend at the college didn’t turn out like you planned…” — see, there’s those mooks again.)

I don’t know as I’ll miss the school concerts. Probably not. If I miss any school-related activity I attended as an parent, it would be either the elementary school open houses or the high school cross-country meets. The cross-country meets I could still go see if I wanted to; the elementary school open houses, not so much.

At my older son’s first open house — guessing 2006? — his elementary school still had a couple of Apple II+ computers in harness, the same kind my family and my elementary school had circa 1982-1983. The Pennsylvania Dutchies were going to wring every cent out of those beige boxes, I guess. I never found out what they used them for — educational games, presumably. (I hope my son wasn’t learning to program in BASIC.)

The first 5K of the year is scheduled for Sunday morning. It’s a small local jawn for a good cause. I feel recovered (knock wood) from my woes of late last year, and am hoping to re-establish my ability to finish a 5K in a time that is less than half my age. If I don’t hurt myself I’m cautiously optimistic.

I was reading a New York Times story about fiascos surrounding the next Winter Olympic Games — a concept whose time has passed — and was pleasantly surprised to see a quote from “Olympic historian David Wallechinsky.”

Wallechinsky and his relatives Irving and Amy Wallace co-authored The People’s Almanac and The Book of Lists series, both of which I read and re-read numerous times as a kid. Just seeing the covers on Wiki brings me back. (I also owned a copy of Wallechinsky’s book on Olympic history, which apparently has come to define him in the 21st century, at least to the New York Times.)

Somebody suggested that Wallechinsky and the Wallaces “invented the Internet.” And the approach of those books — irreverent, list-oriented, jammed with colorful and periodically salacious trivia — did anticipate the qualities that fire so much Internet content generation and consumption a generation later.

(The Wiki page on The People’s Almanac notes that “authoritative references are generally not given,” another predictor of life on the Internet.)

I went to another ballgame last Sunday, this time two college teams playing on a high school field. Borrowing not only my wife’s old digital SLR but her zoom lens as well, I finally got the sort of close-up pictures I’ve dreamed about getting for the better part of 15 years or so.

Also came home with a baseball, which you’re not supposed to do at college baseball games.

This one was fouled into a wooded area, and was given only a perfunctory pursuit by the benchwarmer who was assigned to go fetch it. After the game I located it. I could have been a mensch and given it back, but instead opted for the joys of possessing a baseball with the logo of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference stamped on it.

Now it sits on a shelf near my work area, next to the game-used ball I bought for cheap from the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League when the Connecticut Tigers (and the New York-Penn League) still existed.

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