insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

“Everybody here is standing at the windows, gawking. It’s like they’re mole people who’ve never seen the sun.” –My text to my wife, Amy, to describe my co-workers’ reactions to the sudden snowstorm (barely accumulated) in downtown Portland. Bunch of …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
?????????????????

Filed Under , on February 24th, 2018

Diversional Senses

By Seth Kabala

“Everybody here is standing at the windows, gawking. It’s like they’re mole people who’ve never seen the sun.” –My text to my wife, Amy, to describe my co-workers’ reactions to the sudden snowstorm (barely accumulated) in downtown Portland. Bunch of uninitiateds. Here’s what you need to know about snow: it sucks.

I have some memories from my youth of Midwest snow and ice and freezing temps, but nothing too great. I remember:

1. Attempting to cross-country ski in the Sierra Nevada mountains, falling on my face several times, and coming near to frostbite.

2. Getting out of the office to do fieldwork during my first job out of college, and when I arrived at the worksite, the temperature reading on my dashboard was -17, without considering the wind-chill. Weather that cold literally crystalizes boiling water instantly when tossed in the air. Google it. I speak truth.

3. Rolling along at a safe 35 mph on my way to work, hitting black ice, spinning several 360s, almost pissing myself but lacking the ability, due to the cold, which had frozen everything, and I do mean everything, and then, because the Midwest is as flat as a pancake, coming to rest in the middle of the generous median and driving out, back onto the highway, and continuing on my way, bladder still frozen, life shortened several years.

4. Delivering papers, suddenly taking flight, landing on my back, knocking the wind out of me, and lying there, in the dark, stunned, hoping I would regain my breath before I froze to death.

5. Piling up snow so high in our driveway that it began to obscure the view from a first-floor window. This house, built in the 1920s, was set up high on its foundation. Five or six steps took you up to the porch, and another step took you into the house. When I finished with the snow pile, it was seven feet high, towering over me, catching the sun’s rays, casting sinister shadows. Its purpose, it telekinetically communicated to me, was its penchant for lying flat, compacting, and destabilizing the footing of innocent passersby (a la the previous “I remember”). I had removed it from its primary mission, and it sure looked as though it intended to seek revenge. Lucky for me, the sun intensified and passed judgment before the snow pile could summon the black magic necessary to achieve sentience.

6. Detouring and stopping overnight on a road-trip from Portland back to the Midwest because snow and ice (or the threat thereof, never got confirmation on which, but I did get a great night’s sleep in the parking lot of the Sinclair!) had closed the Laramie Pass in Wyoming.

7. Helping a QC driver get her car unstuck from a snow-bank by pushing on the rear of her vehicle. For my efforts, the spinning tires paid me by throwing a steady stream of razor-edged ice pellets into my face, the driver continuing on her way, not even a wave of thanks.

I’m telling you, snow corrupts all. Sure, you can have some fun in it, at great monetary expense, and at the literal risk of life and limb.

Why, then, when Portland gets a rare snowstorm, do Portlanders run to the windows like Mt. Hood just erupted? Like the Cascadia Subduction Zone activated and is rolling the ground like a rug being shaken out? Like a tsunami is headed our way? Like bridges are falling down? Like buildings are falling down?

We could blame the hippie culture, legalized marijuana, a hyper-sensitized populace that is often incapable of constructive dialogue in the face of conflict surrounding race, gender, structural inequality, or any other hot-from-the-blast-furnace issue of the day. Blame, however, is misplaced. In its place sits need. What need?

The answer: diversion of the senses. Aren’t we all looking for that instance of activity, that unexpected event, that fanciful piece of news that’s dropped on your head like a gush from the Ice Bucket Challenge, spurring you to action, maybe happiness, but certainly springing you upward, out of your rut, and into a new Jetstream of breath and life?

If snow is what it takes for you to look at the world with clear eyes, well, my friend, go for it.

But please pre-book the emergency room.

And stop blocking the damn hallway.

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


????????????????????????????????????????

Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]

Bully man

Meter Mensch

A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...

[ Swap Article ]

Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Sweetness and Dark

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...

[ Swap Article ]

Holy Cow - handgezeichnete Illustration mit Pastellkreide in türkis

Couch Etymology

From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Battle of the Sarcasticons

I’m raising a band of Little Sarcasticons. Defined term? Yes, yes it is. You can find it in the Kabala Book of Sarcasticisms. New chapters available daily. No longer must we be constrained in our sarcastic witticism production. Oh, no, folks. Netflix has joined the charge with their resurrection...

[ Swap Article ]

Secondhand word cloud

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #20

Some vehicles bring lackluster competitive spirit to dancing competitions. Despite their nimble construction, most compact models lack the energy to stick it out in the most heated scenarios. Then you've got the ones who were made for dancing. Made for not just cruising down the road, but for...

[ Swap Article ]

Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Speed Plumbing

The pipe masters ascended the stairs and entered the arena. They'd come a long way, building rudimentary structures to escape cribs and punish bullies as children, graduating to more complicated designs as adolescents and adults. Mario had been especially proud of his design that transported him...

[ Swap Article ]

Fortune cookie bad set. death and robber on paper prediction. Vector illustration

Imaginative Cookies

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night's authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, the public, the press--if he could convince them...

[ Swap Article ]

Businessman Drawing on the Whiteboard. Pop Art

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #19

A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff. ...

[ Swap Article ]