Wed update: Hot Australians on tour, Walter Murphy, Center for Southern Folklore Festival

My trivia team The Rapscallions suffered another narrow loss at the Saucer last night. If we had known that Charlie Brown’s father was a barber, we would have finished in the money. It kills me that I missed that – when I was a kid I collected Peanuts comic books and must have had close to 100 of them by the late ’70s.

Met a very cool tour group last night – a group of about 25 people from 18-35 traveling across America. They started in Los Angeles, then went to Amarillo and visited the restaurant where you get a 72 oz. steak for free if you can eat it in one hour, then they went to Dallas to see a rodeo. They had been to Graceland yesterday and were chilling out at the Saucer, before leaving for N’awlins in the morning. They’ll wrap it up in New York on September 11. They were all partiers and most of them were international – quite a few Australian girls who were really hot, as well as some Japanese, a Swede and a couple of Americans. That sounds like a really fun tour. They told me the name of the company that runs it – Conaxis or Connexis or something like that. If anyone has the exact spelling or more info let me know. They got to choose between a Northern tour (which would have covered Yellowstone Park and stuff like that) or the Southern tour, which was the L.A. – Dallas – Memphis route.

We asked the Australians if it was hard to get enough time off work to go on the tour. They said, “Well, we get four weeks vacation a year. I mean, you don’t get it right after you start a job, but after you’ve been there a year or two, four weeks.” At the last company I worked as a full-time permanent employee, you had to be there FIFTEEN YEARS to get four weeks vacation. Corporate America sucks.

Later I was hanging out at the Tap Room with my buddies Chris and IQ. Maurice was bartending, which meant there was excellent TV on – “Family Guy” specifically. As the ending credits rolled, I noticed that the theme song was composed by Walter Murphy. Is that the same Walter Murphy who composed “A Fifth of Beethoven” from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack? That was one of my favorite disco songs of all time – I remember really tearing it up on the dance floor when Jive played it on Sunday nights at Six-1-Six back in the ’90s. I never get to dance to it anymore though – Raiford has never had it on his playlist.

It was good seeing The Most Annoying Woman On The Planet II last night at the Tap Room. The Most Annoying Woman On The Planet II had a tube top on.

Tonight the Sal Crocker Quintet will provide an evening of jazz at Court Square from 6 to 8 pm. I’ll probably catch the first 30 minutes or an hour, then go to the Saucer to see my waitresses. Tomorrow night is the last Peabody rooftop party, with entertainment by Rusty Lemon. I’ll be there from about 7:30 to 9:00, then head over to the Saucer to catch The Dempseys.

The Southern Folklore Fest, presented by the Center for Southern Folklore, will be held Saturday and Sunday on the Main Street Mall and inside the Center itself. Click the link and scroll down for a list of which bands will be on which stages at which times. I won’t be there Saturday afternoon because I promised a Romanian I’d take her to the mall, but I should be there for the rest of it. This is one of the few events that is allowed to interrupt my Sunday drinking schedule.

Also, if you like to see live bands, DingoFest on Beale Street this weekend might be worth checking out.

Item currently on my wish list: A DVD set of the week John Lennon and Yoko Ono hosted the Mike Douglas Show, June 14-18, 1972. They booked radical guests like activist Jerry Rubin, Black Panther Bobby Seale, and comedian George Carlin. John and Yoko also sang three songs on each show, including a performance of “Imagine” and a jam with Chuck Berry, one of John’s major influences. Amazon has it for $229 if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas gift. Actually, my birthday is November 18, so why wait for Christmas?

All right. Enough electronic panhandling. Time to publish this post, eat lunch, and get back to the cubicle.

Schools, rules, and ID badges

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I work at the city school board office in Midtown. Although, I don’t work FOR the city schools; I’m a third-party contractor through a staffing agency. I’ve been there almost five months now and it’s been a pretty good place to work. One of the things I always liked best about the job was that although the official hours were 8:00 to 4:45, they told me I had the option of coming in early and leaving early. So I could get there at 7:30 and be done at 4:15 and be at the Saucer visiting my waitresses by 4:35 or 4:40.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, that is. They cracked down on security at the school board office – REALLY cracked down. People who worked there found every door locked, and they had to scan their ID badges to get in. As a contractor, I had to get a letter from high-ups in my department saying that I needed access to the building from 8:00 to 4:45, and then take it to security and get a new badge made.

The following day, I got up for work. I was running fairly close to on-time and pulled into the parking lot at 7:57. I walked up to the door and scanned the badge.


I looked at the clock on my cell phone. I waited and waited. 7:58. 7:59. I tried again. Nothing.

Finally the clock turned to 8:00. I scanned the ID badge again, and the lock clicked open. I walked in.

So there’s no incentive for me to get there early anymore. Why would I want to stand outside a door and wait and wait and wait?

I e-mailed the supervisor and asked if my badge’s access hours could be reset to an earlier time. He typed up a letter asking them to let me in at 7:00, but when I took it to security it got awash in red tape.

You know, I do see the point. Kind of. If beefing up the security measures helps keep just one child safe, then it’s all worth it. But I also think it points out a flaw in school-system culture. At school, children are taught that there are rules and they are to be rigidly obeyed at all times. As adults, we learn that strict, stern rules don’t perfectly address every situation, and sometimes the system works better if rules are bent. If I show up at 7:30 or 7:45, I’m not there to kidnap children or overthrow the city schools. I just want to get done early so I can go see my waitresses.

Speaking of which, I’m at the Saucer seeing my waitresses right now, on my lunch break. The food here is especially good today. If you know what I mean.

In the news… Memphis didn’t make Forbes’ list of America’s 35 drunkest cities. Obviously they didn’t survey downtown when they were collecting info about Memphis.

I’ll be back up at the Saucer at 7 for team trivia. Right now, back to the rat race.

Monday update

Here’s a play-by-play look at what I did yesterday:

Drank a bottle of champagne at Sleep Out’s… posted Deal of the Week… played NTN Trivia and broke the 300K mark in Players Plus points… walked to the Flying Saucer… drank a fire sale… discovered the Frenchie pictures on my laptop… posted them… walked back to Sleep Out’s… drank a duck fart… ate homemade ice cream that Coffee John brought in… played NTN Poker… walked home to put my laptop away… walked down to Beale Street… stopped in the Tap Room to say hello to my friends Shane and Leigh who were playing pool… walked back down Beale, heading toward Second to go to Big Foot… stopped to give a Romanian a smooch on the cheek… had a 34 oz. beer and chicken wings at Big Foot… regular blog reader Mendi was there with her friend Calvit… it was Calvit’s birthday, so if you see him out, buy him a beer… walked back down to Blues City Cafe to hear FreeWorld… about midnight, went home, went to bed. Only about a 12 and a half hour day yesterday, which is actually a short day for me for a Sunday.

Plans for tonight: Beer. Waitresses. Beer. Waitresses. Beer. Waitresses. Unfortunately the aforementioned Romanian has told me she’s not working tonight, but still, that won’t stop me from enjoying several tasty Pint Nite beers.

The Dempseys play the Saucer this week – Thursday night at 9:30, to be exact.

Was digging through magazines at Tower this weekend and was sad to learn that Syd Barrett, who founded Pink Floyd in 1965 (back then they were called “The” Pink Floyd), died last month at age 60. He was kicked out of the band in 1968 and Pink Floyd went on to record classics like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, but I always liked the Syd-era stuff the best. “Interstellar Overdrive” has always been my favorite Floyd song.

Mpact Memphis is having an After Hours at Hattiloo Theater tomorrow night. I probably won’t be able to go because of the trivia team, but I’d like to see the new theater sometime soon.

Lunch is over, back to work.

Six months late: Frenchie’s birthday party, February 2006

These were taken in February 2006, and then I got too busy to go through them, rotate them to the appropriate angle, sanitize the pics that are not fit to be shown on the web, lighten/darken them. But now I’m sitting here at the Union Avenue branch office and I have nothing but time on my hands. So here ya go. Here are a few featured pics. Link to the full album (a whopping 146 pics) is here.


Last night I did something that, for me, is practically unheard of – I drove my car on a weekend night. My bartender Emma from Sleep Out’s was having a party at her house out in the U of M area, and being a little bored with downtown lately, I decided to drive out there.

As I walked in, I noticed a kids’ swimming pool which had been turned into a makeshift home for nine puppies:

All through the evening I was encouraged to take a puppy home with me, but I didn’t. The mother was wandering through the house during the party, making sure everything was okay.

After the party, we stopped by Alex’s in Midtown. I haven’t been to Alex’s in something like eight years. However, we got there too early – it was only 2 in the morning – and we had the place to ourselves. “The crowd will be here soon,” explained my friend James, who has been a cook in just about every bar I’ve ever been to. So we sat down and had Rocky burgers and watched the big-screen TV.

We left about 3 – one of our entourage hadn’t taken it quite as easy on Emma’s lethal punch and needed to get home bad – but I remembered how much I like Alex’s and hope to go back soon for some real late-night partying.

I’m up early and feeling good, so I’ll be at Sleep Out’s by about 11:30 for the morning brunch shift. After I finish my bottle of champagne I’ll walk over the Saucer to see my waitresses, then about 4:00-4:30 I’ll head back to Sleep Out’s for Emma’s Sunday extravaganza. If I read the schedule correctly, there should be a Romanian working there this afternoon/evening. Yay!

Sleep Out’s and Saucer pics

Found a few random pics from Sleep Out’s and the Flying Saucer on my hard drive that I never posted. So here ya go.

Whatcha hiding from John?

Congratulations Mikey!

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a happy hour beer at the Saucer and they brought it to me in this glass. Perhaps one of the waitresses is trying to tell me that she wants to have my children?

Sleep Out Louie, chilling out after a tough day.

I can think of one person who will be very happy to see this pic on my blog.

And this one too.

Last night at the Saucer, the waitress took a LOOOOOOOONG time to notice that I was out of beer. I had to turn the bottle on its side to make my point.

My friend Bob had to do the same thing.

That’s all for now. Tonight is looking to be a late night so my Deal of the Week column probably won’t be up until around 3 or 4 tomorrow afternoon.

Boring post

I’m sitting here having an after-work beer at the Flying Saucer. Abita Purple Haze is the fire sale today, so I’m happy.

This is going to be a pretty boring post. About the most interesting news I have to report is that this morning I was shaving, and – ow! I got nicked! And ow! Again! I thought to myself, what’s wrong here, electric shavers aren’t supposed to do that. When I inspected it I found a hole in the foil screen. So I guess I’ll have to grow a goatee for about a week while I see about ordering a new screen, or if not available, a new shaver. (That’s the only part of my face that will actually grow much hair.) I suppose I could buy a traditional razor to use in the meantime, but that seems an awful lot like work. I suppose I could drive to a store and just buy a new razor rather than ordering online and waiting a week for it to arrive, but again, that seems too much like work.

Let’s see… what else has been going on… the Romanians got me drunk Wednesday night. The laptop that I loaned them wouldn’t connect to the Internet, so I took it for a couple of days and fixed it, then brought it back Wednesday. While I was at their apartment one of them asked, “Paul, would you like something to drink?” and I said sure. So she brought me this coffee cup filled with whiskey over ice. Straight whiskey. God. I haven’t done that since college, and even then I knew it was a bad idea. But anyway, I sipped it and talked with the Romanian who had offered it to me, and eventually some of the others came home and I ended up hanging out and talking with four of the five who are here for the summer – and it was kind of cool, because it was the four who were not here last year. It was nice to get to know them better.

Eventually I reached the end of the cup, and exhibiting the incredible common sense that I’ve been known for since moving downtown a few years ago, I asked, “Got anything else to drink?” This time they brought me a cup of vodka over ice. Now, again, ever since college I’ve known straight vodka is a huge mistake, but that didn’t stop me. By the end of the vodka it was almost 10:00 PM, and one of the Romanians took a card and wrote “DON’T FORGET YOU PROMISED TO TAKE ME TO THE MALL SEPTEMBER 2” and I stuffed the card in my pocket. Probably a smart idea: I doubt I would have remembered my name at that point, much less a promise to drive someone to the mall. Well, at least I can buy a new shaver while I’m out there, if I don’t get it done before then.

So I stumbled down Second to Blues City to see The Dempseys, only to discover that they were going on break right as I arrived. I remember having an in-depth conversation with Brad their guitarist at the back bar, but I can’t remember word one of what was said. All I remember is that he had on an aqua shirt. Oh, and that I tickled the fifth Romanian, who was working there, as she walked by.

Next thing I remember about that night is waking up on my living room couch at 4:13 in the morning. I looked over at my computer desk and saw a styrofoam box full of Huey’s nachos, of which I had apparently eaten one bite before passing out. I considered eating them anyway, but thought better of it since they had been sitting out for over five hours by that point.

One of the waitresses here at the Saucer just came up to me and asked, “Are you writing about how much this place SUCKS?” She’s quitting in two days so she can get away with saying that.

On my way to Trolley Art Tour in a little bit. Not sure what I’ll do after that.

There’s some entertainment going on around town tomorrow which I won’t be going to, but nevertheless is worth checking out. In the morning, the Farmers’ Market will be having a HOT HOT HOT Pepper Festival, with cooking demos by local chefs and an opportunity to share your hot pepper recipes with others. Later in the day, Poison and Cinderella will be performing at the Mud Island Ampitheatre.

I won’t make it to either of those though… been invited to a private party out in the U of M area. That’s right folks, looks like I’ll actually be driving a car on a weekend night.

While I was typing, MySpace legend/Saucer regular Groobie Baby walked up with her friend Tea Bag. Groobie asked me, “Do you still do Tube Top of the Week pictures? Because I have a tube top pic that I would love to be the pic of the week.” I’ve never actually had a feature called Tube Top of the Week, but what the hell, it sounds good, and will be the only thing in this post actually worth looking at. So here ya go:

Groobie and Tea Bag then discussed how Tea Bag got her nickname. “You know what part of the male anatomy kind of resembles a tea bag?” Groobie asked. “Well, our sorority sisters nicknamed her that because she likes having that part of her anatomy on her forehead, in her mouth, etc. Tea Bag became much more popular on campus after acquiring the nickname.”

RSDM co-founder Mikey has joined me at the Saucer. Mikey says to tell everyone hello.

Sleep Out Louie’s will have their usual Emma extravganza on Sunday from 4 to close. INSIDE JOKE DEPT: Since about a month and a half ago, some of you have heard me say that I’m going to one of the following: The Flying Saucer, Sleep Out’s, Blues City, Big Foot, Sawaddii, or Conte’s Italian Restaurant, and I may have made the comment, “The food there is going to be really good today.” Well, it looks like the food is going to be especially good at Sleep Out’s on Sunday afternoon/evening. If you know what I mean.

All right. Time to shut this thing down and head to Trolley Tour.

Downtown Chalk Art Festival – Saturday, September 9

I was asked to post this to the blog and am happy to do so:

Downtown Chalk Art Festival

AIA Memphis and Memphis Heritage, Inc.
Building Stronger Communities Through Architectural Education and Awareness

Sponsored by:

Saint Francis Hospital and the Art Center

Additional Support provided by John Harrison Jones Architect and ReMax on the River

Saturday September 9, 2006

Memphis Farmers Market

at the Central Station Pavilion

West of Central Station, 545 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103

Registration: 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Contest Start/Finish Times: 9:30 am – 12:00 noon (participants may start at anytime)

Judging and Awards: 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Rain Date: Saturday, September 23, 2006
The Chalk Art Festival will take place in Downtown Memphis to celebration architecture, public spaces and of course Downtown! This event will attract participants and onlookers alike bringing kids, adults and families downtown for a day of fun, art, music and food. The Festival will take place on September 9, 2006 at the new Memphis Farmers Market in the South End. Prizes will be awarded in each category, and there will be free activities for the kids including face painting, balloon art, caricatures and more.

Theme Categories:

Memphis Architecture
Public Spaces
”My Favorite Thing About Downtown”

Registration Categories: Child (up to 13), Adult, Family/Team

Registration Fee: $20 and includes all supplies

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