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Just When the Weather Has Turned...

...there's a weekend like this one, dreary and cold and misty. I recently wrote about being happy about springtime, how the brighter colors of the season were getting sprinkled into my wardrobe and the temperate weather was making walks and out-of-the-house tasks more appealing.

This morning, as I passed a nearby time-and-temperature sign on my way to a make-up seminar, it was 53 degrees. No wonder I wanted the heat on during my drive.

When we attendees took our lunch break and walked two blocks to a Chinese restaurant, each of us--dressed in jeans, light tops, blazers, and sockless feet--shivered all the way, then huddled over cups of hot tea.

On the way home this evening, the time-and-temperature sign reported 54 degrees. (I managed to get home without using the heat, so maybe that's my sweet spot.) Our house stays cool-cold most of the time (the exception being late afternoon on very hot days), so now that I'm home, the shivering continues... I just can't justify turning on the furnace in mid-April! What better to do than curl up in a sweatshirt under a blanket with my RSS-infected laptop and get some work done?

Speaking of cold: I read today that Austrian daredevil base-jumper Felix Baumgartner (I only know this is his title because of articles using this phrase) plans to break the sound barrier while skydiving from the stratosphere. I left out the "parachuting" part of it because, although he will be equipped with a special "sonic suit," dude'll be traveling upwards of 720 mph, and there's a possibility that the parachute--along with his body?--will disintegrate or catch fire or freeze some other catastrophe.

Granted, I don't entirely relate adrenalin junkies. I am sure I will freak out if my husband's and my mellow demeanors, preference for reading over XTREEM anything, and general practicality somehow spawn an extreme athlete... but if it happens, I'll do what I can to encourage the limit of escapades to snowboardiing, skateboarding, and possibly Le Parkour. (Watch the documentary Steep for some insane eye-candy of extreme skiing that's sure to make you cringe for future powder-loving offspring.)

At the same time, there is something so admirable in people who push themselves through mental barriers like fear and, uh, common sense to achieve a euphoria few can. I would like to know what's going on in Baumgartner's view... is he just into the idea of a rush, or does he look at it as a scientific experiment? Is he a visionary who's just the first to do something that soon will be as commonplace as "regular" skydiving? ("What are you doing for your birthday?" "Strato-jump, dude!")

I definitely want to learn more, and I'll be listening contentedly from beneath a warm blanket on my cushy sofa.