From Rachel’s blog: Assholes vandalize Casa Blanca

I just read Rachel and the City’s blog and read that someone vandalized Casa Blanca restaurant on Young Avenue in Midtown, smashing in the windows. Click the link to Rachel’s blog for more info, forwarded from my friend Nicole, who says that the restaurant is still open, but with boards in the windows, and the owner has a smile on his face but tears in his eyes.

The restaurant was likely vandalized because the owner is of Middle Eastern descent. This is the second time he has had a restaurant vandalized – a few days after 9/11 people spray-painted his old restaurant building (Morocco Cafe on Echles near the U of M).

I haven’t talked to the owner in a couple of years, but I knew him through my friend Nicole back around the 2001-2003 period and he is a SUPER nice guy. The food in his restaurants is consistently outstanding. It’s a great place to take a date, because he loves beautiful women (don’t worry, he won’t steal your date though) and will pamper you. And he loves America. I know it must break his heart that people who don’t even know him attack him simply because of his country of origin.

It breaks my heart too. You know, I love Memphis but when I see stuff like this, it seriously makes me think about leaving. There’s too much racism, prejudice, and stupidity in this town.

Please go by Casa Blanca, have a meal there, and show the owner how much he is appreciated by Memphians.

A few quick things…

– One more Halloween party: About a week ago I mentioned that Aquanet is playing the Hard Rock Cafe tonight, but I just now learned that it will be an ’80s party. So if that’s your thing, put on your best ’80s attire and head on down there. It’s a $5 cover and will benefit the Grizzlies House. I won’t make it down there, unfortunately, but Aquanet is the perfect band to play an ’80s party.

– If you have kids, there’ll be a safe Halloween event for them tonight at 6:30 at the Mud Island River Park. Trick-or-treating and stuff like that.

– If you’re going to Big Foot Lodge’s party tonight, here’s a tip: For parties they usually open a second bar at the back of the restaurant. It’s much, much faster to go to that one. At the last party the main bar was so crowded that it took me 15 minutes to get a drink. At the back bar I got served immediately.

– Yesterday I said that of the Halloween parties going on tonight, EP’s would probably be the one I’d skip… but it looks like the gang may talk me into it. Just going to play it by ear tonight. I’ll definitely be at the Saucer from 4 to 9, and Big Foot from 9 until their costume contests end. After that I’ll either be at McG or EP’s.

– TIP YOUR BEER GODDESS TONIGHT! I’m trying to break my all-time record of $29 over the course of Halloween weekend, and I’m currently at $16.

Out for now. Still working on the tipping post. It might be tomorrow before I get it done but I’ll try.

"Suck My Blog"??? SUCK THIS.

Tonight the Rapscallions arrived at the Saucer for a good, friendly game of trivia. Then, at the break when Pete the Trivia Guy announced the scores, we discovered that one of the other teams had named themselves “Suck My Blog.” Gosh, I wonder to whom could they be referring?

Actually, it didn’t matter. The Rapscallions missed one question in round 1, then got perfect rounds 2 and 3 plus the beer bonus to get their highest score ever, 137 out of a possible 135. Needless to say we came in first, and picked up a $50 certificate. Good thing to add to Rapscallion Party V, which we are in the process of planning. There will be pictures.

Evening went as planned, just a little earlier than usual due to all the bars Downtown being dead. Sitting at the computer eating Paul’s Drunkass Wings from Big Foot. Tipping post to come tomorrow.

Administrative matters:

– Erin: 1) Good meeting you Thursday at the Dempseys. 2) Thanks for adding me on Facebook.

– Carrie Ann: 1) Good meeting you (finally) Friday at No. 10. 2) Really enjoy your writing. 3) Damn. You’re hot.

– Skippy: Happy belated birthday.

Off to bed.

Coming tomorrow…

Had an e-mail from someone in the service industry who considers me a “model tipper,” suggesting that I do a post about my tipping strategy. Good idea… give me a day to type it up. I’ve talked a little in past posts about my philosophy on tipping, but I’ll tomorrow I’ll go into a lot more detail than I ever have before.

Woodchuck Granny Smith is the Fire Sale today. A lot of people hate it when the ciders are on the Fire Sale, but I like them! They go down nice and smooth. And for people who laugh when I say I drink them because they say it’s a girl drink: You’ve seen my Halloween costume, haven’t you? I’ll have several of them during trivia tonight, then several more as I hang out and listen to Leo Lazarus on guitar. Glad Big Foot now serves food until 1 on weekdays, because it means I can hang out at the Saucer until almost close, then walk down the street for Paul’s Drunkass Wings. Extra hot, extra blue cheese. Maybe I’ll even step up to the Holy Smokes wings if I’m feeling froggy. When I do the Holy Smokes I prefer their dill ranch rather than blue cheese for dipping. That post earlier today about wings got me hungry for some.

This morning I was the victim of a bum gimmick I had almost forgotten about. I was walking up Main Street to go get my Mountain Dew, when Bobby, a member of the Blue Suede Brigade who I’ve known since I moved Downtown, called out, “Hey, Paul!” and we went over and talked for a minute. Then this guy came over and stuck out his hand. “Hey Paul, what’s up?” he said. I knew I didn’t know the guy, but how did he know my name… and for a minute I thought, maybe I did actually meet him somewhere. Then he started on his spiel and I realized he was a bum. He heard Bobby use my name and he used it himself to establish familiarity. You know another post I need to do – I need to refer to that famous persuasion and influence book by Cialdini, and how the bums can and do use the methods it teaches to get donations.

Thinking about leaving my hair long once Halloween is over. I had planned to cut it once I didn’t need it long for the costume anymore, but you know, I kind of like it this way.

Time for a cider.

Tuesday update

Yesterday I had an AWESOME job interview. The company is located one block from where I live, and the company’s personality fits me to a T. They work hard but they have a lot of fun, and everyone in the office was wearing jeans. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me on this one.

After the interview I put on some more comfortable clothes and headed to Pint Nite, where I soaked up Dos Equis Special Lager like a sponge. The gang eventually showed up and we got our usual window seats facing Second, although for some reason we never got around to playing The Window Game. Hung out there until 7:30, then we made the move to EP’s for Monday Night Football.

On the way down to EP’s, one of the bums who runs parking scams on that block of Beale told me, “I’m tired of seeing your face!” Oh my goodness no. A bum doesn’t like me. Waaah! Seriously, it was all I could do to keep from crying during the football game. My world is crumbling around me. It’s so, so very important to me that the bums think highly of me, and then to find out that they don’t… I just don’t know if I can take it.

Ptolemy Kat was there, and I bought her a birthday beer. She complained that the hot wings were too spicy. Okay, let’s talk about this. There are generally 5 varieties of hot wings: mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and suicide. The wings EP’s put out would probably be classified as medium on the scale. As a fan of the extra hot variety (I like my wings the same way I like my Romanians), I interpreted Kat’s complaining as “I’m a big wussy and I shouldn’t be allowed outside Cordova.” Oh well, it could’ve been worse I guess, at least she ate the wings with her hands, and she didn’t send O-Boy to another restaurant to get ranch for her. So she wasn’t a total embarrassment.

Tell ya who WAS a total embarrassment, though… Kat’s team the Arkansas State ______s, who lost to the Troy Trojans 27-0 Saturday. Troy? Isn’t that the team that all the good schools beat on national TV? Man… how much does A-state suck this year.

Tonight: Pete the Trivia Guy will hand us a $50 gift certificate and tell us how much he’s in awe of our collective intelligence. Or something like that.

My favorite blogger/MILF wrote that she was partying at King Biscuit Saturday night and that “I think my shirt came off at some point?” Awesome. That’s the kind of thing that needs to happen when she parties Downtown. When is the Downtown Biscuit opening, anyway? Back in June I was told 30-45 days. Maybe we should start taking bets on whether the Biscuit or the Monkey gets open first.

If you missed seeing the best Beer Goddess ever to put on a Saucer uniform, you have one more chance. She told me that she’s picking up the early shift tomorrow afternoon. That means she comes on at 4, and will likely be cut around 9, just in time to go to all the Halloween parties in the area.

I found out that McGuinness is doing their Halloween party Wednesday, not last Saturday as I had thought. That’s why it was so dead when we stopped by there on Saturday.

So tomorrow night there are parties at Big Foot, McGuinness, and EP’s. Of those, I see EP’s as the most expendable – hell, I’ll be there Thursday anyway. My plan is to meet up with the gang at Big Foot around 9, party it up there, and then at some point in the evening I’ll move to McGuinness, where I’ll likely stay unless I just get really bored, in which case EP’s will become an option. Since I still have control of my schedule, I’m absolutely not allowing any appointments to be booked for Thursday before about mid-afternoon, and I plan to last all the way to 3 AM Halloween night, no matter where I end up. That means I’ll be in those shoes for 11 hours. My poor feet are gonna be hatin’ me.

I have 80 unread e-mail messages in my Inbox, so I guess I’ll hit Publish and start reading. See ya later everyone. I’d wish you a happy Tuesday, but let’s face it, Tuesday sucks almost as Monday does.

Free Grizzlies stuff

Just got a bulletin from the CCC saying that the Grizzlies will be at Main and Gayoso from 11:30 to noon tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30) handing out posters, pocket schedules and other free stuff. So, if you’re a Grizzlies fan, be sure to hit the Main Street Mall at lunchtime tomorrow.

(Edited to add: I read the bulletin a little bit more closely, and learned that the Grizzlies will also be at Peabody Place on Tuesday, from 5:30 to 7:30, to hold a pep rally.)

"Soap, Sir?" — bums in the bathroom

This is a rant I’ve been meaning to do for a while. You know what I hate more than ANYTHING in bars and clubs?

Bathroom attendants.

I mean, I go in, do my business, zip up and here’s this dumbass in a tuxedo shirt saying, “Soap, sir?” You know, I really am capable of washing my hands by myself. I know how to use a soap dispenser. I know how to turn the faucet on and off. I know how to use a paper towel dispenser. I really don’t need assistance. But the bathroom attendant is there to give assistance whether it’s wanted or not… and then to point at his tip jar, expecting a dollar.

The service they offer is of no more significance than the bum on the street who hands you a Memphis Flyer and hopes for a tip, or who runs up to you and tried to hold an umbrella over your head for a tip when it’s raining. Bathroom attendants are nothing but bums who are legally authorized to be in the clubs.

Yeah they offer other stuff – a comb, a stick of gum, a condom – but why not just put a vending machine in the bathroom to sell those things, and get rid of the stupid attendant?

Their presence is counterproductive. When I’m in a club that I know has a bathroom attendant, I try to avoid going to the bathroom as much as possible. That means I avoid drinking, since what goes in must come out. That means my tab tends to be a lot, lot less. Also, I’m more likely to choose to go to a club that doesn’t have a bathroom attendant the next time.

And if you see me in a club with a bathroom attendant: I’d advise you not to shake my hand when you come over and say hello. Because I give the attendant the same reaction I’d give a bum, which is to zip by as quickly as possible without saying a word, hygiene be damned.

Of course, this rant is based solely on my experience going to the men’s room. Maybe there are good reasons for having bathroom attendants in the ladies’ room. But I’m not in the habit of going in women’s restrooms, so I can’t speak on that with any degree of experience.

I can think of a few bars and clubs Downtown where a bathroom attendant would fit in perfectly. I won’t name them by name, but just notice which places never get mentioned in my blog, and you have a pretty good idea. Maybe I’ll do a “Places that suck” post one of these days and name them.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Wow. I managed to write about bathroom attendants for NINE PARAGRAPHS. They must be a big deal, or something.

All right. Some administrative notes before I hit Publish:

– People are already asking me, “Where’s the Halloween photo album?” Well, the Halloween party season isn’t over yet – there’s still Wednesday. It’ll probably be up somewhere in the neighborhood of November 1-3. Because I was so into my Beer Goddess character Saturday night, I took very few pictures – I may get with some of the other members of the gang and see if we can merge photo albums.

– Once again I didn’t make it to FreeWorld last night. By about 6:30 I could tell I was wearing down, and decided to hang on until about 9 and then hit Wang’s for Paul’s Drunkass Food. However, the next time I looked at my watch it was 10:55. Oops! FreeWorld was actually on stage by that time over at Blues City, but I was in no condition to go. Knowing that this would be one of my last Sundays not followed by a Monday in an office, I overdid it a little. Well, a lot, actually.

– Had a good time yesterday hanging out with Mikey and the gang on his birthday. He hadn’t seen the “Saturday day recap” post which was a tribute to his Mikeyisms, but he nevertheless managed to use practically every one of them in conversation, even “tree rat.”

– Got an interview for what looks to be an AWESOME job this afternoon… more details later, if it pans out.

– Pint Nite at the Saucer, Downtown Night at the Westin, and Monday Night Football at EP’s tonight.

Outta here. I’d wish everyone a happy Monday, but let’s face it, Monday sucks.

Saturday day recap

Just realized that, although I recapped Friday and Saturday nights, I forgot to recap Saturday day. I spent most of the morning studying the inside of my eyelids. Then finally I got up, showered, brushed my teeth, took the Browns to the Super Bowl, ran by Haji’s Fart Mart for my morning Mountain Dew, and got ready to go out. It was the second day of the new RiverArtsFest in the South Main district, and I was ass and elbows down there.

Well, actually not straight down there. I stopped by the Saucer on the way. You’d think after I got fizznucking drunk Friday night that the last thing I’d want to see is a beer, but you know me, I’m like a bad habit, I always keep popping back up. So I sat at the bar and talked to a friend for a while. He got up to use the restroom. “Hope everything comes out all right,” I told him. I was going to leave after one beer, but when the bartender came by and asked if I wanted another one, I said, “If the glass is clear, I need a beer” which bought me another 30 minutes at the Saucer.

Then I walked down to the arts festival, stopping briefly to watch a tree rat eat a peanut that someone had dropped on the ground. It had been colder than a witch’s tit the past few days, but it warmed up nicely Saturday and was perfect festival weather. Met up with some friends who wanted to go straight to the artist’s market. “Cool your jets, Turbo,” I told them. “Let’s get something to eat first.” Crepe Maker had a booth there, and I really wanted a creep, but the line was too long, so I went with the BBQ nachos from Germantown Commissary instead.

As I was eating one of my friends started apologizing to another about an incident that occurred on my building’s rooftop Friday night, involving the hot tub. I quickly decided it was an A and B conversation, and I’d better C my way out. I heard them say that the hot tub incident had been caught on tape, and that the security guard and some of the residents had been watching it. “Why anyone would want to watch the hot tub incident is beyond me,” commented a member of the group, and I must say, you ain’t just whistling Black Sabbath there, my friend.

Some of the group had to leave the festival to go run errands. “You do that voodoo that you do,” I told them, and they took off. The remainder of the group wanted to go check out the artists’ market at the south end of the festival. “Roll that beautiful bean footage,” I told them. So we walked down there. There were over 100 booths, huge for a first year festival. It must have been expensive to put together, but hey, you have to break an egg to make an omelet.

Checked out the booths but didn’t buy anything. After about an hour I ran into some other Saucer regulars who asked if I was going to dress up as the Beer Goddess again. “I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count,” I told them. By then it was late afternoon, so I pulled a Houdini and went home and put on the costume. From there it was on to the Saucer’s Halloween party, which I recapped in the previous post.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s been real, it’s been great, but it’s time for Paul to evacuate. Other places to be, other people to see.

(You either get this post or you don’t, depending on whether you know someone celebrating a birthday today. Sorry I had to crap all over my RiverArtsFest recap to bring this to you. The festival goes on from 10 to 6 today, and it really was quite good, so go check it out for yourself if you missed it Friday and Saturday.)

Saturday night recap

Now I understand why the Saucer girls say “My feet are killing me” after spending 7 hours in their Beer Goddess uniforms. I got there at 5:15 today and left a little after midnight, spending the entire time walking the floor and occasionally taking orders for drinks from people who actually believed I worked there.

More than any other Halloween costume I’ve ever done, I totally got into character tonight. To put it bluntly, I was a total bitch. I complained about the other girls being jealous of me, the employee meeting at noon tomorrow, the way men only look at my boobs and butt and don’t listen, and various other things. As the evening wore on, I began booty-dancing to the band in the outdoor room, grinding my ass against the pool table. It was quite a sight. Somebody should’ve videotaped it.

The costume contests happened later than we had been told, but they at least happened on the same day they were advertised and there were actual prizes awarded, so it was a tremendous improvement over what the Saucer did last year. There were four contests – Most Original, Most Seductive, Best Overall, and Best Saucer Girl (which this year was for the actual Saucer employees, not me). A Ghostbusters team of 4 people took Most Original, and I can’t remember who won Most Seductive. However, I was quite pleased with the outcomes of the other two contests, which in each case saw two friends of mine versus each other in the final.

The first finalist in Best Overall was the corrupt Catholic priest. Here’s a pic of him and his girlfriend Yoko, which I took Friday night at the Number 10 party:

Funny thing about him is, he really didn’t dress up for Halloween up until this year. He started because he needed a costume so his girlfriend (who had a SMOKIN’ hot costume of her own) wouldn’t have to dress up by herself, and because within the past year he’s started hanging out with us and all of us dress up. So he went out and bought a priest’s robe (which, he told me, was more expensive than people realize) and added the little boy at a strategic location. Not bad at all for a first-time Halloween outfit.

The other finalist in Best Overall, not surprisingly, was Mikey and Skippy, who together dressed up as Raiford’s.

Mikey (left) dressed up as the interior of Raiford’s, with handprints similar to those on the walls, LED lights, a disco ball (which I donated to the project) and speakers playing well-known Raiford’s tunes. Skippy dressed as the exterior of Raiford’s, with “Hollywood Disco” sign, blue carpeted sidewalk and “No Discrimination” mimicking the outer walls. Mikey and Skippy won almost every costume contest Downtown last year with their costumes – a church that had burned and a fire barricade – and had been working on their ’07 costumes for weeks. We expected them to be awesome and we were not disappointed.

There was no way I could pick one over the other, and cheered my ass off for both of them. It was a close competition but the crowd noise was a little bit louder for Raiford’s, and they took the prize, a $200 set of golf clubs and $100 cash. As far as I know neither Skippy nor Mikey golf.

I think my friends were robbed in two other categories. The Ghostbusters costumes were pretty cool, but come on, there’s no way they should have won Most Original over Raiford’s. And I can’t believe Yoko didn’t win Most Seductive… that outfit she had on… DAMN. My friend the priest is a lucky man.

I left the Saucer about midnight, after the last contest was over. The plan was for all of us to meet up at McGuinness and continue partying, but my friends got there ahead of me (I had to run to the bar and pay my tab) and they stopped me and told me it was deader than a doornail. So we considered relocating to EP’s but it was too packed to be any fun. At that point I decided to call it quits. I had been rockin’ for 7 hours, but my feet were starting to hurt, and I could feel myself starting to sag mentally. I had a feeling that if I stayed out I’d turn into Mr. No Fun. So, I decided to quit while I was ahead, and came home for the evening.

Brunch tomorrow at the Majestic at 11, followed by a move to the Saucer around 12:30 so I can whoop Clay’s and Pete’s ass at pool. Again. I’ll once again try to hang on for the entire day and make it to FreeWorld at Blues City at 10:30 PM, but I’m the tiredest I’ve been since BBQ Fest, so I’m not promising I’ll make it.

One more day of Halloween partying left. If you missed the Beer Goddess this weekend, she’ll be back at the Saucer on the 31st in the early evening, and then she’ll move on to Big Foot and possibly EP’s. I had said that this year was it for the Beer Goddess persona, but honestly, I had so much fun tonight that I may bring her back for a fourth year in 2008.

One more post to do, then off to bed.