TRANSLATION: MEMPHIS: Snowjob 

TRANSLATION: MEMPHIS

SNOWJOB Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a firm supporter of the idea that there should be at least one snow day every year. Even if there’s no snow. It’s an inalienable right, an enhancement to my pursuit of life, liberty, happiness and so forth. It’s an excuse to indulge in whatever whims might normally be barred from a weekday, what with the obligations of school or work. An annual snow day is just good for the soul. Needless to say, I was overjoyed this week when winter actually broke down and came into town for a visit, covering my yard with a staggering two inches of powder. So what if the grass was poking through and the lawn looked more like an unshaven leg than a wonderland? It was enough to slow the city down to what felt like a halt, and that is all I ask, just once per year. Where I grew up a dusting like that which occurred Tuesday would most definitely not have broken me from the shackles of the school bus. It wasn’t until the 5-inch mark that we even had hope as the youngsters of NJ. In a way that makes me feel like a wuss for even considering Tuesday an impromptu holiday, but I’ll take what I can get. And the day was wonderful. It started around 4 AM, when I awoke with a flutter to peer through the window, praying quietly for that eerie-shade of pink/purple that marks a true snowfall from a couple of flurries. By 8 AM I was on my porch with a ridiculous grin on my face, in a T-shirt, terrifying my elderly neighbors, in all likelihood. Like sane people, they stayed indoors for most of the day. But not I. The perfect thing to do on a snow day is, of course, to get out and enjoy it. That being said, I accepted an invite from a friend to walk to Cooper-Young and try out the One Love Juice Bar inside the Midtown Food Co-op, which I had yet to visit. Yum. I’m not anything remotely resembling a vegan, but the offerings in this little cafŽ are extremely tasty. I had a plate of curried rice, spicy and accented with celery, pumpkin seeds, curry, onion, and something else that I can’t recall, as well as a piece of cornbread with vegan soy butter. For under $3, it’s a great, healthy, warm-you-up meal. I also had a drink called the Sea Moss, accented by its namesake ingredient and kind of like a creamier alternative to chai. But I regret it, even though it was good. My friend grabbed a hot juice called the Jamaican Brew, and if there is a drink in town that can warm you up from the cold, this is it. Think spicy, with pineapple, ginger and cayenne. Very therapeutic. After our midtown meal, we hit the gift shop at Otherlands, where I learned that there is, in fact, a market for dirt scented perfume. I guess I also fail as a naturalist, although there was something about it that made me smile. Maybe the idea of inviting some people over and displaying it in my bathroom just to confuse them. In defense of the makers of this odd scent, the grass scented selection, as well as the garden tomato smelled much better, and the martini scent was enough to turn my stomach. Nice and realistic. You can sell anything these days, can’t you? After that I walked back home, secretly happy that I had gotten so cold that my thighs were chapped. How often does that happen? Fulfilled that I had spent my requisite time outside, I then read, relaxed, took a hot shower. Simply perfect. To cap off the evening, I attended the final performance of The Masked Ball, a performance of Opera Memphis at the Orpheum. I’m not sure I entirely understood the allure, not cultured in the world of musical theater, but I enjoyed the strangeness of the English translations that were above and to the left and right of the stage. It was like reading poetry with a musical backdrop. A fine musical backdrop at that. And the Orpheum just glitters, even with the words death, Satan, and murder dangling beside its gorgeous chandeliers. All in all, an ideal, abnormal and refreshing day. Thank you, snow gods!

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