Mar 312006
 

Summer weather is here. The high was 82 today and it’s only dropping to the 60s tonight… I love it because that means I can run my air conditioner all night. Some people look forward to being able to open their windows and doors in the spring and let nature in, but honestly I look forward more to turning on the A/C. I keep blankets and comforters on my bed year ’round and turn the air down to 68 in the summer months… that makes for the best sleeping. Of course, as a tree-hugging liberal I guess I should try harder to conserve energy, but I’m willing to compromise moral values when it comes to air conditioning.

Speaking of summer… it’s rooftop time! Looking forward to hanging out with the neighbors on No. 10 Main’s roof. Of course, some of the best neighbors are gone, like the chef who cooked gourmet meals for us on the grills, and the cute blonde who sunbathed in bikinis. But it’s time to make new friends. Gotta go out this weekend and get some bottles of wine in the house to share. If you have any good wine recommendations let me know (particularly wines that come in 1.5 L magnums – the regular 750 ml bottles don’t last long on No. 10′s roof)

It’s also rooftop time for the hotels… the Peabody’s rooftop parties start next Thursday, April 6. However, it will be the 13th before I get there, because I’ll be in Midtown at Side Street Grill attending a friend’s birthday party on the 6th. Not sure when the Madison parties start.

Rumor has it that Memphis may get a Whole Foods Market soon. Whole Foods is an organic foods supermarket, a competitor to Wild Oats but much, much better. Midtown or East Memphis are likely locations.

Belly dance teacher Sadiia will be giving an introductory class at Jack Robinson Gallery tomorrow night during Trolley Tour. Class is $8 and starts at 7:30. It’s on the gallery’s second floor – gallery is located on Huling between Front and Main. When I taught at the U of M a couple of my students danced in Sadiia’s troupe, and I know it brought a lot of expression and fulfillment to their lives.

The Corkscrew will be giving a free wine tasting at Alice’s Saturday from 1 to 3:30. Free wine is not to be passed up, and as I said I need to buy some bottles anyway, so I might actually make the transition from moocher to customer. The Corkscrew/Alice’s are located next to the empty pit that used to be the Blue Monkey on South Front.

There’s an art opening Saturday night that sounds interesting… “mFAC 001,” located in a former medicine factory at 85 W. Virginia. The 15 exhibiting artists have pieces on display specifically designed to fit in with the theme of a medicine factory. Even though they didn’t use the magic words (“free alcohol”) I may show up.

Libertyland update… the Mayor’s Office has received an offer from the people who run Magic Springs in Hot Springs, AR to keep the park going. However, the Mid-South Fair Board has refused to turn over basic info about the park’s revenues, attendance, and on-site assets to the City Attorney’s Office. This information is needed for any serious inquiry. Sounds like the Fair Board is impeding progress and standing in the way of the public will.

Remember, it’s important that we support Libertyland, because LIBERTYLAND HIRES RO… never mind, I’ve mentioned them enough in this blog recently. And now that I think about it, I’m mad at the two girls, because before they went home they both said they would e-mail me pictures of their hometown. Almost six months later and no pics yet. Not that it does any good to complain about it here – it’s not like anyone from Romania ever reads this blog.

We have a new bum downtown (actually he’s not that new) who sings at the top of his lungs. He’s on the street singing right now and I can hear him 13 stories up, with all the windows closed. I feel sorry for the people who live on lower floors and have earlier bedtimes than I do (it’s 11:24 pm as I type this).

(Cell phone rings)
“Hello?”
“Hey Paul, who’s working the Tap Room tonight?”
“Uh, let’s see… it’s Thursday, should be Niles.”
“Okay, thanks, bye.”
That’s probably a sign that I spend too much time in bars, when people call me to find out which bartender is working.

11:52 pm: Took a break to proofread this post and brush my teeth. The bum is still outside singing. Time for bed. Maybe the noise of the A/C unit will drown him out and allow me to get some sleep.

Hmmm…

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Mar 302006
 

Let me review a few facts:

1) I have nothing planned for tonight
2) I didn’t eat lunch and am pretty hungry
3) I didn’t spend much last weekend, so I have extra money
4) Sleep Out Louie’s has all-you-can-eat crab legs for $15.95 tonight
5) Sleep Out’s also has NTN trivia/poker/crack boxes
6) Sleep Out’s also has PBR on tap

I think I may have just formulated a plan for tonight. Fellow gluttons… anyone else IN? I’ll be there no later than 6:00 unless something unexpected comes up.

By the way… if you go, be sure to notice that some guy named “PROFPR” has 6 of the top 10 trivia scores for this month. That guy must be pretty smart, whoever he is! Or maybe he just spends a lot of time in bars.

Update to my previous (drunk) post: Fellow blogger Kat has indicated that she will be at Trolley Tour tomorrow night looking fabulous (tube top?) no matter what the weather is. We shall see if that does indeed turn out to be the case… I’ll be sure to bring the digital camera.

Mar 302006
 

Time for something that has been missing from this blog recently: a drunk post. Expect more of these as summer draws closer.

After work today, I went to the Flying Saucer for a couple of 22 oz. Happy Hour pints. They no longer have Dos Equis Special Lager on draft! I ordered it and the bartender started to pull out a bottle. 12 ounces of beer instead of 22? No thanks. I ordered Abita Purple Haze as a second choice. Getting rid of the Special Lager was a crime. The Special Lager is far better than the more well-known Dos Equis Amber. And it’s far better than most of their remaining beers on tap – Dogfish Head Chicory Stout for example, which tastes like really bad coffee with hops.

After two beers I wandered up the street to Sleep Out’s, where Bonny the bartender gave me a hit of crack. For those of you who have never seen crack up close, here’s what it looks like:


So I won two rounds of NTN Trivia and drank two PBRs and then headed down to Blues City Cafe to catch The Dempseys. It was still early in the evening (8 pm) and people were having dinner. Good lord that food looked good. Ribs and chicken and BBQ beans and fries and Texas toast. You know, last summer when the Romanians were working there, if one of them had come up to me and said, “So. Paul. The cook made an extra piece of Texas toast. Would you like it?”, I probably would have accepted it and thanked her with a passionate kiss.

I watched the Dempseys’ first set minus the first two songs. Here are a few pictures:




No pictures of Brad the guitarist unfortunately… he made the mistake of telling me that they played Key West last week, that the place was loaded with girls, and that they didn’t bring one home for their ole buddy Paul. So no free publicity for Brad. Maybe he’ll get it right next year.

For those of you who live in Germantown, Collierville, and Cordova: The Dempseys will be at the East Bumblefuck Flying Saucer on Friday. So climb in your SUV with your “W” sticker on the back, drive by the gas station and fill up to the tune of 50 gallons, get stuck in traffic for an hour on Germantown Parkway as you drive past strip mall after strip mall and a dozen other neighborhoods that look exactly like yours, and as you thank God that you don’t have to pay city property taxes or live next door to black people, drive on up to the Saucer on Germantown Parkway and hear the best band in town.

I won’t be there though… I’m not leaving downtown Friday night, considering it’s South Main Trolley Wine Tour – er, Trolley Art Tour. Fellow blogger Kat says she might come down there, which in reality means she’ll see that there’s a 5% chance of rain that night and not want to risk messing up her hair.

(Kat: just checked out your blog – sorry to hear about the house being under contract with another buyer – that really sucks)

All right – just finished an order of ~HOLY SMOKES!~ wings from Big Foot Lodge – those are going to hurt tomorrow when they come out the other end – so now it’s time for some rest, so I’ll be nice and fresh to go occupy a cubicle for 8 hours again tomorrow. Whoopee!

I feel like I’m out of practice with these drunk posts… I used to be so good at them. I’ll have to do 6 or 8 more during the month of April… time to get back into peak blogging form.

My Memphis

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Mar 292006
 

Tomorrow (or today, depending on what time you read this), Wednesday, March 29, is the grand premiere of the My Memphis film, a movie produced and directed by LiveFromMemphis creator Christopher Reyes. My Memphis will show Memphis through the eyes of the young “Creative Class,” and will be used as a recruiting tool for the city. Here’s a link to a Commercial Appeal article about the film.

The big premiere will be at the Malco Paradiso theatre, near the corner of Poplar and Mendenhall (turn into Office Depot’s parking lot just east of Mendenhall, then just keep going past Office Depot and Wild Oats and you’ll see the Paradiso). Cocktail reception at 5:30, film at 6:15. Local movie director Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”) will introduce the film.

I’ll close this entry with a comment I left on another blog: Isn’t this the kind of thing Mpact Memphis should have been doing (or at least actively supporting) for the past two years?

Mar 282006
 

The Overton Square Crawfish Festival will be held Saturday, April 8 in the parking lot behind Bayou Bar & Grill, from noon to 6:00. For those of you not familiar with the area, Madison and Cooper is the nearest major intersection – the festival will be behind the buildings located on the south side of Madison.

The Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival will be held downtown Sunday, April 23 from noon to 6:00. It will be held along Wagner Street between Union and Beale, just east of Riverside Drive. This has turned into my second-favorite street festival of the year (#1 being Cooper-Young in September). It’s one of the few events that can cause me to skip a Sunday at Sleep Out’s.

Mmmm crawfish… mark your calendars now.

Mar 282006
 

Last night was Pint Night at the Flying Saucer, and I decided to try some of the 5 new draft beers that they have added to their Spring menu. One of them, Left Hand Milk Stout, stood out as particularly good. I’m not normally a fan of dark beers – I usually avoid Guinness and similar beers like the plague – but this one was the exception. It went down very smooth – according to their website, milk sugar mellows the roastiness normally found in stouts and makes this beer especially smooth and creamy.

Left Hand Milk Stout normally sells for $4.75 a pint at the Saucer, or you can wait until next Monday for Pint Night and pay $2.50.

Interview speak

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Mar 272006
 

A friend of mine recently landed a good job after a long couple of months interviewing. Hearing her stories made me think back to some of my past job interviews – things the interviewer has said and what they really meant. For example:

“Our work week varies greatly – you may work 40 hours one week and 65 hours the next.”

Translation: You’ll be working 65-hour weeks every week.

Any reference to “our corporate culture”

Translation: This is a miserable place to work, and everyone here is consumed by office politics. Good companies don’t think in terms of having a corporate culture; only bad ones do. At good companies, people just show up and do their jobs.

“Now, if you tell me you can have a project done in four days, I’m going to hold you to that”

Translation: If you tell me you can have a project done in four days, I’m going to tell you to have it done in three and hold you to that.

Multiple references to “our drug-free workplace” or a drug-testing policy

Translation, if said by a lower-level manager or non-manager: A lot of people at this company smoke weed.

Translation, if said by an upper-level manager: A lot of people at this company do cocaine.

“Saturday is a great day to come in and get caught up on work”

If you’re a normal human being, no translation should be necessary for this one.

“I get a tear in my eye when we sing the company song at the annual convention”

Translation: I am insane, and so is everyone else in this company.

“We work hard, we play hard”

Translation: If you aren’t sick enough of seeing your co-workers by the time the workday wraps up around nine P.M., you’ll then be expected to go grab a beer with them and “unwind” at the local bar.

If you hear more than one of these during an interview process, my recommendation is that you get up immediately and RUN out the door. Don’t worry about closing pleasantries or what people will think of you; just get out as fast as you can.

Mar 262006
 

www.aboutromania.com

Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve been mentioning Romania a lot in my posts recently. The girls left six months ago April 5, and for some reason I’ve been missing them this week. This is a really good link though – lots of good pictures of Romanian architecture and historical buildings to look at.

Yet another reason why Romania is better than us: They went on Daylight Savings time effective today, whereas we’re not there for another week yet. Looking forward to it being light outside until 7:30. I hate winter and am ready for it to be over.

Deal of the Week

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Mar 262006
 

This week, I have a Deal for you on external hard drives. If you’re running out of space on your computer and need to pick up some additional storage at a bargain price, this is the week to do it. External hard drives also allow you to share large amounts of data between computers, if you do your work on more than one machine. A friend of mine pretty much runs his small business off one of these external drives.

If portability is the key – the ability to pack up your drive in a laptop case and carry it with you on the road – check out the 60 GB Western Digital external USB 2.0 portable hard drive, found on the back page of this week’s Best Buy ad circular. $60 in instant savings drop this week’s price to $99.99, and there are no rebate forms to fill out. Reviews on CNET.com praise this drive for being super-easy to install, and for not requiring an additional power source for most computers (it draws its power from the USB connection).

If you don’t need to be able to carry your external drive around with you on a regular basis, you may prefer to take a look at the Seagate 100 GB external hard drive, on the front page of this week’s Office Max ad. This drive offers 40 GB more space for $20 cheaper ($79.99), and is also USB 2.0 compatible. The downside is that its design is more boxy, making this drive slightly less easy to transport.

Whatever your need, this is a good week to pick up some external storage for your files. Back next week with another Deal.

Mar 252006
 

If you’re looking for something to do tonight, check out Starunner, a band from Chicago who is playing at the Tap Room tonight. I caught about an hour of their set last night while watching the NCAA tournament, and they were excellent. MidwestBands.com describes Starunner as “a Chicago based four piece that plays original Jam/Funk/Hip Hop/Rock/Jazz music. Nationally touring band with an independently released debut album entitled OverStand. Starunner is constantly stretching the boundaries of musical/genre rules.” That’s a far better description than anything I could come up with. Well worth checking out. I don’t believe there will be a cover at the Tap Room tonight, and they have over 20 beers on tap, including my favorite, PBR.

Google ads have now been on my site for 36 hours and my total ad revenue so far is $5.75. This is one of the best moves I’ve made in a while.

Don’t forget to check out my MySpace page, and if you’re a MySpace member, add me as a friend. Back tomorrow with Deal of the Week.