Wed update: Two new patios, bake sale, BFF, parking scammer, veggie wrap, and who’s showing the Kentucky Derby?

The Rapscallions took second in trivia last night, bringing our total gift certificate stash to $50.  Afterward I headed south to Calhoun’s.  I got an advance look at their new patio, which is not open yet but will be very, very soon… really, all that remains is acquiring furniture.  Should be a very nice spot to hang out and will add another 20 people or so to the place’s capacity.

The Red Rooster has also added a patio.  There’s an exit door to the right of the stage which leads outside to 6-8 tables of patio seating.  I can envision myself sitting out there sometime very soon, enjoying a Yuengling and the Rooster’s mountainous order of nachos.

The Residence Inn (formerly the Wm. Len) at Main and Monroe is having a bake sale Friday, May 2 in support of Make-A-Wish.  Sale will run from 10 to 2, so those who work Downtown will be able to hit it in their lunch hour.

So, earlier this month I asked my readers to advise me on whether to kick my BFF to the curb and get a better one, or keep her.  So far my BFF has managed to survive being kicked, despite the votes going over 90% against her.  And they keep coming in.  Last night Sunday brunch crew member Air Traffic Mike was out in East Memphis, and someone who describes herself as “an avid reader of my blog” asked Mike to get this to me:

This is a person I’ve never even met.  Wow.  No one likes my BFF.  She’s still very close to being kicked, but I can’t do it to her so close to her birthday.

The Downtown safety patrol and the Handling-Panhandling forum got a trophy recently.  The patrol caught one of the area’s worst parking scammers charging people to park cars on Beale Street near Main.  He had a credential/badge on him issued by a business on Pontotoc near Third.  That didn’t add up.  A parking credential from a business several blocks away does not entitle a panhandler to charge people to park in public metered spaces, although it could be used to confuse out-of-towners enough to cause them to fork over some money.  Handling-Panhandling co-founder Mike King went to the business that issued the credential to investigate.  Turns out they had hired the panhandler one time, several years ago, to park cars on their lot (Pontotoc is near the FedExForum, so they can make money on game nights).  However, he is now not allowed on their lot, they’ve filed two Authorizations of Agency against him to make it illegal for him to trespass on their lot, and he is definitely not their representative in any way.  Proof positive that the guy is a scammer.  Needless to say he is no longer in possession of the parking credential.  Congratulations to the safety patrol and to Mike King – great job!  More evidence that we need to keep the patrol past the 90-day trial period.

Is anyplace Downtown having a special screening of the Kentucky Derby?  I have a blog reader who wants to know.

I’ve had several people who read my Majestic new menu post inquire as to what’s in the veggie wrap.  It’s hummus, grilled artichokes, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and tomatoes in a whole grain tortilla.  Sorry, guess I should’ve included the ingredients in my earlier post… guess I need to make the blog vegetarian-friendly.  The wrap does sound good, although it would sound even better with some tasty dead animals added.

Time to get some work done.  The thing is, I enjoy my job, but when people ask, “How was work today?”, it’s hard to come up with anything interesting to tell them.  “I revised some C# methods in our product’s business logic layer to eliminate bugs” is not exactly stimulating conversation.  I used to tell people I skate in Sesame Street on Ice and play the role of Big Bird.  Maybe I’ll go back to doing that.

Oh.  Speaking of Big Bird… one more thing before I go.  I’ve been told the new Downtown Blue Monkey (which is STILL not open) building has been painted bright, bright, bright yellow.  Really, really bright.

Okay… now I’m outta here.


A few pics from Hot Wing Fest

Hey, YouTube took down my bum video that I posted last night!  Rats.

My friend AL e-mailed about the Acai Plus Smoothie, her favorite at Bluff City Coffee, which I tried Friday night.  She said she was glad I liked it and recommended adding a scoop of chocolate protein powder next time I have one (you have to bring your own, Bluff City doesn’t have it).  I too was thinking about additives to the smoothie, but I was thinking more in terms of vodka.

Here are some pics from Saturday’s Hot Wing Festival on South Main:

Here’s a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating.

This team went low-tech on their booth’s sign, but they won the contest.  I saw our BBQ team captain Chuck, who is currently working out the team budget, looking at this sign and taking notes.

A shot of the crowd, looking toward the stage.

A shot from in front of the stage, looking back toward the entrance.  This festival was in Poplar Lounge’s parking lot for its first five years, but outgrew it and moved to South Main.  It was well attended and I have a feeling it will get even bigger next year.

Only in Memphis will you see spinner rims on Segways.

CA writer Michael Donohue taking pics for his column.

Cup on the left:  “I only have a drinking problem when the cup is empty.”  Cup on the right:  “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

Tonight:  The usual Tuesday night stuff.  Trivia at the Saucer.  After that I’ll probably head south to Calhoun’s for $1.50 PBR.

For the first time in years…

… I’m going to Music Fest.  I bought my 3-day pass this morning online.

Normally I’m not a fan of Music Fest, due to lousy weather, a crowded park, and amateur drunks.  However, this year, thanks to connections I have at the Memphis Flyer, I got access to their tent.  Free food and beer all weekend, plus I’ll know a lot of people in the tent.  Looking at it that way, the $76 ticket fee (after all of Ticketmaster’s stupid charges are added on) looks like a pretty good deal – less than I’d pay to eat and drink on a normal weekend.

I don’t really get into the music that much… the only act I plan to make an effort to see is Lord T and Eloise at 6:05 Friday.  Otherwise, I’m there just to hang out.

All right… time to get some work done.  More posts to come today.

Hey mayne I gots a 3-pack of underwear I’m trying to sell. It’s 5 dolla at Target but I’ll sell it to you for a dolla and seventy-five cent

Panhandling hit a new all-time low tonight. I was at the Saucer window and this guy comes up and asks if I want to buy some underwear. No kidding, he was holding a 3-pack of men’s underwear, still in the plastic container, in his hand.

We called the bum patrol and had him run off. Here’s a video of him making a graceful exit:

In other news:  I reported that my BFF tried to get me to drive and pick up her roommate after selling me three 34 oz. beers.  I WAS JUST KIDDING.  Number one, I don’t drive after that many beers (after even one beer, really, anymore).  Number two, my BFF knows I don’t drive after that many beers.  Number three, she wouldn’t let me anyway, because my BFF cares about me (way more than she’ll ever admit).  Okay?  Chill out.  Damn people take my drunk posts too seriously.  Not that she doesn’t need to be talked to about “responsibility” but not because of yesterday’s post.

Tons more to post about but once again I’m too drunk and have to call it a night.

Robert Plant and Allison Krauss to play Mud Island in July

An announcement on the Memphis Business Journal’s website indicates that Robert Plant and bluegrass musician Allison Krauss will play the Mud Island Ampitheatre on July 8.

The show better be good… Plant turned down a $200 million Led Zeppelin reunion tour to tour instead with Krauss.  A lot of people were disappointed by that, but Plant doesn’t need the money and is free to do what he wants.

Hmmm, that’s a Tuesday.  May have to miss trivia that week.

New menu at Majestic Grille

The Majestic Grille has updated its menu, and there are a lot of items I can’t wait to try.  Some of the new items on the menu:

  • Crab and crawfish dip
  • Tempura fried shrimp.  I had these at their private party a couple of weeks ago and they are GOOD!
  • Chicken liver mousse with homemade apple jelly
  • A duck confit flatbread with caramelized onions, sun-dried cranberries, mixed greens, and goat cheese
  • A salmon flatbread with red onions, spinach, and mozzarella
  • Seared tuna sandwich with wasabi mayo
  • Cajun grilled chicken sandwich with bacon, aged cheddar and Creole mustard
  • Creole chicken salad wrap
  • Veggie wrap
  • Smoked chicken penne with shittake mushrooms, scallions, and parmesan cream
  • Shrimp and scallop linguini
  • A “nice” cheese and “mean” sausage platter
  • A 12-ounce filet mignon for those who have bigger appetites than the 8-ounce.  Many people have said the filets at the Majestic are the best in town.

Last year, I bought $250 in gift cards at a one-day half-off sale they ran.  I still have about $180 left to spend, and it looks like I now have a lot of new menu items to try.

You can view the entire menu on the Majestic Grille’s website.  Note in particular that local celebrity John D has his own item named after him on the brunch menu.  John recommends that you wash down his breakfast with his beverage of choice, a Bud Light.

Major concert info to come later today.

Poetry slam tonight in Cooper-Young

Local poet IQ sent me the following information about a poetry slam to be held tonight in Cooper-Young:

At Last IT is Here!!
7pm tonight @ Galloway in Cooper Young, 1015 S. Cooper!!!
Tonight the Galloway stage welcomes the cream of the crop from Memphis poetry slammers in the last ten years to Galloway in Cooper Young for a live recording and one great cause.  2000 Southern Fried Southeastern Slam Grand Champion, Adam White (3 time regionals team member & NPS 2000) Iasia (two-time regionals) IQ (NPS ’99-2000, ’02 & 5-time Southern Fried Regionals) and more will come together to raise money for two great schools keeping creative writing and art alive in Memphis, TN.
Continuing to support the writing community at large, The Trolleyline Poetry Slam is giving part of the proceeds from tonight’s slam to benefit The Scribbler, the literary and visual art journal of White Station High, and the recently established Central High School English Honors Society.
The special guest features for tonight’s slam are Jerri & Kirk Hardesty, legendary SlamMasters of Montevallo, AL and publishers of New Dawn Unlimited Press.
In addition to a great slam, a fantastic concert by RUSTY LEMON is on tap tonight too.
See You Tonight @7pm, 1015 South Cooper, across the street from First Congo in Cooper Young.

It’s McDaniel’s, not McDonald’s. These rhymes are Darrell’s, but the burgers are Ronald’s

First time I’ve used Run-DMC lyrics to title a blog post.

Yesterday I did an early brunch at McGuinness, then ran by Big Foot to give my BFF her birthday present.  Over the past week she had heard from several people that I had got her something really nice.  So I decided to have a little fun.  Saturday night I told her friend Brittney what I had got her, knowing that Brittney has a big mouth and would probably tell her.  So yesterday I came into Big Foot and handed my BFF a gift box:

My BFF opened the box, and this is what she found inside:

Yep, after hearing about this great gift all week, she finally got it and it turned out to be a gift certificate for a free sandwich at McDonald’s.  Am I the best BFF ever or what?  It expires May 10, so she has a full two weeks to cash it in.  I helpfully took out a piece of paper and drew a picture of a McRib sandwich, so she could have an idea of what she could get with the gift certificate.

Then I ordered a beer.  My BFF entered my name in the computer as “WORST BFF EVE.”  (There wasn’t enough room for the final “R.”)  She then proceeded to call and text everyone she knew to tell them what I had given her.  I sat there for about an hour and let her enjoy her new gift.  Here’s a pic of my BFF contemplating whether to get a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese:

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore… “Let me see the gift box for a minute, I want to take a picture of it for my blog,” I told her.  She handed it back to me.  I waited for her to turn her back to me to ring up someone’s order, then switched out the McDonald’s gift certificate with her REAL present – a gift card for a Pure Fiji Pedicure from Gould’s Salon.  I handed it back to her, and continued to drink my beer.  After about 15 minutes I realized she was too dumb to figure out that I had switched presents, so I pulled the McDonald’s card out of my pocket and laid it right there in front of me.  Finally she saw the McDonald’s card, realized it wasn’t in the gift box, and checked to see what was in there.  “Aw, Paul, that was sweet,” she said.  “I take back almost all of the mean things I’ve ever said about you.”

Here’s a description of the Pure Fiji Pedicure that I found on the web:  “It begins by pampering the feet with a ritual coconut milk cleansing.  This is followed by an exfoliation of natural alpha hydroxy in a pure cane sugar, infused with essential oils, enzymes and coconut oil.  A body butter wrap is applied to the feet, while legs are massaged with luxurious body butter.  Your choice of color is applied to nails.”  Damn that sounds like a complete waste of money, but girls like that stuff for some reason.

My BFF kept the McDonald’s gift card too.  I’m sure she’ll be showing it to all her friends and talking about it for days to come.  Damn, I was actually kinda hoping to get the McDonald’s gift card back.  I haven’t had a Big Mac in months.

I had planned to go to Wine Race, but it was raining hard so I ordered a second beer.  I asked my BFF for ideas on who else I could invite to be a part of my BBQ team.  “Why don’t you ask Chad?” she said.  Funny thing is, Chad and his mom had been in the restaurant about an hour before, and Chad was WEARING THE BBQ TEAM’S SHIRT.  Most people would’ve figured out that he was already on the team, but not my BFF.  What a genius.

I made myself a toy out of about 8 drink straws all strung together.  My BFF took it and threw it away.  I stood up in my chair and leaned over to look for it, but I didn’t have good balance and fell backward to the floor.  My BFF got a good laugh out of that.  But then she said something very interesting – “I had a dream last week that you fell.”  So my BFF has dreams about me… INTERESTING.  Not surprising, but interesting.  I bet if I mailed that chick who writes the dream analysis column in the Memphis Flyer, she’d point out the symbology of the dream – my BFF wants me to “fall” for her.

Her roommate Magan called.  This is the girl I referred to in Saturday’s “Magan needs to buy me a drink” post, but I misspelled her name.  Who the hell names their kid Magan?  That sounds like a brand of washing machines.  And what was up with people who became new parents 1985-87 naming their kid Megan, Meghan or some variation of that?  I’ve met several just in the past few months.  Is it really that great a name?

So anyway, Magan wanted to come down and hang out and my BFF said, “Paul, go pick Magan up.”  Keep in mind that I was on my third beer – my third 34 oz. Big Foot Beer – at that point.  And my BFF, the bartender serving me the beer, suggested that I get in a car and drive.  Yeah that’s not a liability issue or anything.  I pointed out that if I drove and had a wreck, she could be held responsible.  “No I couldn’t,” said my BFF.  You’d think they would’ve covered this in the weeks of training she received, but I guess not.

So Magan found someone else to drive her to Big Foot.  Here’s a pic of my BFF and Magan:

So my BFF and Magan talked about Saturday night, when they all celebrated my BFF’s birthday at the Red Rooster.  Damn!  I wish I hadn’t had that Hurricane at Pat O’s and got too drunk to stay out… if I had kept going the Rooster likely would’ve been my next stop.  “My mom was there,” my BFF told me.  “My mom’s hot.  She’s 42 and looks exactly like me, but older.”  I commented that it’s too bad I wasn’t there – I could’ve got her mom drunk and hooked up with her.  Heh… that would be so funny.  I could turn her mom into a cougar.  Then Mom would start hanging out at the bar at Spindini.  “I would be so mad,” said my BFF.  (Translation: “I would be insanely jealous”)

After three beers, I decided I was ready for a change, so I taught my BFF how to make duck farts.  She actually did a very good job – when made right they taste like chocolate milk.  So Sleep Out Louie’s alumni once again have a place Downtown where they can get the signature SOL drink.  My BFF told me she had a 34 oz. Mind Eraser for her birthday.  I don’t think there was much of a mind there to erase to begin with.

My BFF told me that Big Foot is planning to open a second location, in Southaven.  I wonder if they’ll have a different menu at that restaurant, in order to serve dishes Southaven residents are used to eating.  Like possum, for example.

About 4:30 I tabbed out and headed to Beale Street, having missed Wine Race entirely.  Details of the rest of Sunday will have to wait til later, as it’s almost time for me to head to work.  Also coming today (if I have time to post):  A new menu at the Majestic Grille, and a poetry slam.

Saturday recap

Hot wing fest was a lot of fun.  Hung out with some of the gang, drank beer, donated to Ronald McDonald House, that kind of thing.  Best suggestion of the day was that there needs to be a special “Paul’s Drunkass Wings” contest, among the restaurants I stumble into to get to-go wings after I’ve had enough (or too much) beer.  Big Foot and Huey’s would be the main contestants.  I’ve had Wang’s chicken wings so I guess they could enter too.  And I’ve been to a couple of bowling parties at Jillian’s where wings were served, so they could compete as well.

After the festival I hung out at the Saucer, and then ended up going to some places I haven’t been in a while – went to Superior Bar, then Pat O’s.  The group I was with figured it might be our last chance to drink a Hurricane at Pat O’s, since foreclosure is looming.  They have a huge “WE’RE OPEN” banner hanging from the balcony.  When a business that’s been around for 6 years has to put up a huge “WE’RE OPEN” sign to draw people in, it’s a sign that they’re in pretty big trouble.  I was there during what would be prime time for the place – about midnight – and it was less than half full.  On a Saturday, which should be their busiest night of the week.  Not good.

Meant to make it a late night, but that Hurricane KILLED me.  By the time I polished off that thing, I could barely stand.  Of course, the fact that I had been drinking beer for 10 hours before buying the Hurricane probably had a lot to do with it too.  Also the shot I had at Superior Bar, which looked to be at least a double.  Damn shots.  I was home by 12:30.

Since Wine Race is today, I’m having to rearrange my schedule a little.

10:30-11:59 – brunch at McGuinness
12-4 – Wine Race
After that – don’t know.  Saucer, random bars on Beale Street, Itta Bena, and Calhoun’s are all possibilities.  I do want to get to Itta Bena at some point for the debut of “Sundays with Sam.”

Just checked the weather and saw that I may have to revise my plans yet again… high 62, low 45, with 80% chance of rain.  That sux.

The Downtown safety patrol is working so well that one of the bums went legit and got himself a J-O-B.  I would be proud of the guy, but he got a job as a parking attendant… after having been one of the worst parking lot and parking meter scammers down here for years.  I’m not sure what to think about this.  We’re keeping our eye on him.  I wonder what he said in the job interview when they asked if he had any experience.

All right… time to get this party started.