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Because if you can't whine about your weird health issues to your friends on LJ, who *can* you whine to?

Okay, so, bear with me, here. I woke up this morning and was performing my usual morning ablutions, when I noticed that my snot was pink. And I mean, PINK. Not opaque or anything, but definitely... like extremely dilute strawberry gelatin or something, you know?

This alarmed me. In part, it alarmed me because I have been through very bad sinus infections before (and in fact damaged my sense of smell a couple of years ago that way), so I'm fairly well acquainted with snot variations, and I had *never* seen anything like this. It didn't even look like it was caused by blood (although that too would be alarming); not the right shade of red.

So there I am, blinking bleary-eyed at this tissue and thinking to myself, "What NOW? Bacteria? Algae? In my HEAD???" It didn't help that I did wake up with what felt like an incipient sinus-headache. I have no idea how the hell something pink could have gotten into my sinuses, though. Nothing I ate or drank last night was pink, nor did I snort anything.

It took me until the drive into work this morning to remember an important detail from yesterday.

So, you how when you go camping, and you're around wood-smoke for days, your snot turns black? Just from breathing the air, which has a fine particulate in it? Well...

Last night in hula class, we worked on not one, but TWO dances using 'uli 'uli's. Since you're going to have no idea, what those are, some small visual aids:

(No, the second picture is not of me or anyone I know, it's just the best example of people actually holding/using 'uli 'uli's that I could find on short notice.)

The heads are, as you can sort-of tell, a big disc of red feathers surrounding a core of yellow feathers. The ball is basically a maraca -- a round gourd rattle. You don't really shake these like maracas, instead... put out your hand, and rotate it 180 degrees. If you were holding an 'uli 'uli, you'd basically be turning the head through at least 3/4's of a circle; and you do that as fast as you possibly can while still making the stroke even. (And then you dance. With all kinds of different footwork. And you move the 'uli 'uli's around, too, in a bunch of patterns, and you hit yourself on the thigh and the shoulder and the hand with the gourd, too. And then, if you're me, you go insane, convinced that you are never going to get this.)

One of the dances we're doing involves using only one 'uli 'uli, but last night we started learning "Hawaiian War Chant", which is extremely fast. Actually, all 'uli 'uli dances are extremely fast, as near as I can tell. So, get ten women in a small room, shaking their 'uli 'uli's like mad.

Possibly you can see where this is going.

My hypothesis now for my PINK SNOT is that I breathed in a whole lot of teeny little particles of red-dyed chicken-feathers that were shaken loose over the course of 45 minutes of working on these two dances. Certainly, at the end of the session, we had to go around and pick up some of the larger feathers that had shaken loose, and at one point I got a bit of one in my eye, so I don't see why I couldn't have inhaled enough of them to turn my snot pink, too.

It's a reasonable guess, I feel. Now I have to email my friends in the class and come up with a suave way of asking, "So, um... do you ever notice...?"

I wonder if this Industrial Red Feather Dye No. 5 or whatever-the-hell-it-is is toxic? Probably. It's certainly not reassuring to think that the color would bleed out that much. I mean, you wouldn't want to be getting any of the feathers wet and dropping them on your clothes, in that case. I also need to perform an experiment with them when I get home, to see if the dye *is* fugitive; because if it's not, then this theory is shot all to hell.

But I bet that's the answer.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no, I should mention -- I wear absolutely no make-up at all. And I put no colored stuff in my hair. So the culprit couldn't have been a styling-product. Or else, yeah, that would have been a good guess, because lord knows I remember living with Wilhelm in his early clubbing-days ("...ah, the bathroom is covered in glitter again, I see..."), and on occasion I've used face-paint for Halloween costumes that had a similar effect.

It's just not reassuring to think that the dye used to make these feathers red comes off that easily.
Nov. 23rd, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
Is it horrible that I can't stop giggling? It is, isn't it?

Feathers do throw off particles, though; they're not the cleanest things in the world and, especially under stress, those itty bitty little barbettes don't always like to stay locked.
Nov. 23rd, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC)

So, when are we going to do dinner? Will I get to see your fuscia snot?
Nov. 23rd, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
Hah! See my reply in your earlier-posted message!

First or second week in Dec.? (i.e. next week or the week after) Got a preference?
Nov. 23rd, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)
I bet that's the answer too.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )