Friday, January 16, 2009

Frigid city and baked Alaskas

One thing I didn't think about when I chose to move from San Antonio to Nashville was the severity of winters here further north. After all, it was midsummer; why should fierce winter weather be on my mind then? Still, I do know that it crossed my mind that in nearby Clarksville I'd suffered my coldest temperature ever: 40 below zero on Christmas Eve night of A.D. 1983!

But this winter's been almost as severe, even if actual measured temperature has yet to fall below zero. Indeed, once winter began in early November, we've lived thru very few "comfortable" days of sun, light or no breeze and highs in the sixties or higher.

Well, last night (early this a.m.) the Farenheit reading dropped to almost zero -- in some local low areas it may have hit the ought mark! Br-r-r-r!

An amusing observation about this frigid winter in Music City is the choice of apparel among a good percentage of the African majority. Young women particularly seem to be fond of a certain type of parka for outer wear. These are coats of mid-thigh length or jackets of waist length, of slick polyester (or nylon or some artificial material) in a very dark color (most often black, but some deep blues or browns), with hoods that are fringed with faux fur of a lighter color. When I see the Afro women (and a few Afro men) sporting these I always think of the parkas that Eskimos wear in the Arctic regions. And I guess due to the garments' dark colors and the wearers' dark skin color I'll then think of the term "baked Alaska"!

Yeah, I know that baked Alaska is a dessert. But it's made of an ice cream center with a meringue covering, which when baked for a very short time preserved the center's firmness while giving the meringue a roasted patina. Anyway, it's not the dessert definition I'm thinking of but rather that parkas are from Alaska and citizens of Africa-south-of-Sahara heritage have dark flesh tones, sort of like they've been baked!

Get it?

Okay, so I have an active imagination and make creative word associations! What can I say? It's how I'm "wired".

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