Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rocky Mountain Mucus, and other observations

I just returned from Colorado Springs where I was attending a conference on endurance athletic events at the National Strength and Conditioning Association headquarters. A good couple of days, and the weather was amazing (65-70 degrees and sunny). While I was gone, Seattle apparently did not have such stellar weather. Wind, rain, snow or hail...depending on who you talk to. From the comfort of my climate-controlled hotel room I watched the footage of my neighborhood (Ballard) on The Weather Channel. It's funny to me that they labeled it "Ballard, WA", as to my knowledge Ballard is still just a neighborhood in Seattle.

I have often fantasized, however, about designating Ballard with some rightful title. I mean, we have the Republic of Fremont (aka Center of the Universe) just to the southeast. I've lived in the People's Republic of Boulder (CO) before. From what I can tell, Ballard is easily as worthy. It wouldn't be Ballard-like to use the word "republic", however, so what? Commonwealth? Territory? Sovereign state? Kingdom? There must be something....

Anyway, back to The Weather Channel...apparently the weather was pretty severe all over the country, especially in the midwest and east, where there were strings of severe thunderstorms and tornados. Clearly, Colorado was immune from this extreme weather outbreak. Oh, and I use the phrase "weather outbreak" because it's something Jim Cantore said while talking about all of the extreme weather that was breaking out all over the country....we had a "weather outbreak".

Jim Cantore didn't say "extreme weather outbreak", or even "bad weather outbreak"...he said "weather outbreak" if there had been no weather at all leading up to the current calamity. It made me laugh. Still does. I'm sure I will continue to use the phrase. I wonder what "no weather" would look like.

The other thing that Jim Cantore said was " wad of storms". He was pointing to a storm system in Cuba, and referred to them as a "wad"...seriously...I sh** you not. A very liberal use of the word...or at least a very creative one. Language can be so interesting. Assuming he was referring to an English word in the first place.

So, you know how sometimes you subconsciously...or perhaps "slightly consciously"...notice things, but it's not until something casts a light on it that it really starts to stand out? Well, part of me must have been noticing that people in Colorado Springs spit. A lot. And not being around a lot of spitting back in the BT (Ballard was that? Did it sound natural?), I must have registered it somewhere in my consciousness, but not quite strong enough to protrude in to my current stream of thoughts. It wasn't until Joe, who went with me on the trip, mentioned "boogers" that I realized that yes, I too had been experiencing a lot of nasal mucus. In fact, one could say that I had been experiencing "wads" of mucus. And as that impression began to sink in, I heard it again....


Spitting. So is that what happens in Colorado Springs? Everyone is plagued by Rocky Mountain Mucus, and so they're spitting all of the time? Is that the explanation? Or is it something else? I can't say for sure. But I can't help but wonder.

Another thing about Colorado they put tequila in their margaritas? Any at all? Because the number that Joe and I drank on Friday night should have made it difficult for us to describe to the Yellow Cab dispatcher where to come get us...but in fact, we probably could have scored well on a MENSA exam if we had taken it just then. (As an aside, the person who would NOT have scored well on the MENSA exam at that moment would have been the Yellow Cab dispatcher...but I won't go in to that story.)

So anyway, just some thoughts about Colorado Springs...

Back in Seattle now and the familiar is settling in...not just in terms of weather, but in terms of life. You can run, but you can't they say. I was neither running nor hiding, but it doesn't change the fact that all of the things that I was trying juggle before I left are still up in the air, waiting for me to slide back under them and continue the tossing. The difference, hopefully, is that with a little break away from it all I can slightly modify the direction of the tossing. Creating a different arc to each thing, working for a more sustainable pathway.

And sustainablity is going to be the key. At least for right now.