Let’s face it, folks: We’ve been spoiled. In contrast to the last couple of years, we’ve been granted the blessing of fall this year. Not just autumn, but an autumn that’s felt more like summer. The leaves have been holding out for months and the grass is still green. Never before has my resplendent supply of T-shirts lasted me so long. But our time of Indian summer is winding down, and I have a feeling that it might make this winter’s transition even rougher.
Now, to put things in perspective, I will remind you that Pittsburgh actually has a temperate climate. Sure, our winter feels like the worst thing in the world — long and wet and lonely. My friend Ben, however, spent last year in Iceland, and you’d better believe things are a lot rougher there. In a country riddled with depression (that’s personal and economic depression), it’s hard to keep a level head during the eternal winter season.
So what do they do? Well, in addition to eating various kinds of animal meat you’ve never heard of (and probably don’t want to), residents sometimes get together for a good ol’-fashioned sing-along. Using simple acoustic instrumentation, these gatherings are informal and usually just a way of warming up the cold and windy winter nights — a little whiskey, a little song, what more could you need?
On Dec. 4, the sing-along returns to the winter season, but this time as an interactive trans-city experience. Ben will be hosting a group in Cleveland, Ohio that will be in live video/audio communication with a group in Pittsburgh to be hosted at the Waffle Shop. The cities will switch leading songs by the likes of R. Kelly, Beck, Dolly Parton, and more. It’s a modern twist on an old-fashioned winter remedy. We may not be in Iceland, nor yet in the heart of our worst months, but it can’t hurt to start a new routine in curing the winter blues.