Jun 302008
 

This RV is parked across from Court Square, next to the SpringHill Suites hotel, today:

This RV is here to advertise Project Prevention, a program that gives cash incentives to women who are addicted to crack, alcohol, or other substances who agree to use long-term or permanent birth control.  Their website notes that 11-15% of babies born are substance-exposed, and their mission is to reduce that percentage to zero.

According to their site, the RV is on tour and isn’t supposed to be here until Wednesday, but that’s okay… this thing needs to spend as much time in Memphis as possible.

Jun 302008
 

Here are a few pics from this past Saturday’s Downtowners for Obama rally at the Majestic Grille:

Here’s a crowd shot.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen gave the best speech of the day, covering the major issues and how Obama is the best candidate to address each. He had just come from the Sidney Chism picnic and was sporting a blue Obama T-shirt. Even though Cohen is running for re-election to Congress, he was clearly there to stump for Barack Obama rather than for himself.

John Branston from the Memphis Flyer gives his outlook on this fall’s political race.

A couple of Democratic candidates for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat were also on hand to speak. The first was Kenneth Eaton.

Bob Tuke (left, posing with Joan) is another candidate for Alexander’s Senate seat. Although analysts consider Alexander’s seat “safe,” both candidates spoke of the importance of Shelby County in bringing the seat into play and possibly taking it away from the Republicans, moving one step closer to the filibuster-proof majority of 60 in the fall.

There were a few more speakers as well. Great event, and the people in the audience who showed up were eager to get involved. The next step to doing that is to go to my.barackobama.com, signing up, and looking around the site and finding the best way you can help.

There was only one tube top in the crowd, although I did find out that a few of Cohen’s campaign staff made it to TubeTopalooza on my rooftop later in the evening. Today’s the final day of Tube Top Month… my, how the month has flown by. I said at the beginning that this was going to be the best Tube Top Month ever, and it has been.

More to come this week, including pics from Big Foot’s Canada Day celebration, Downtown apartments and condos on TV, and who knows what else. Time for me to go to work right now. I’ve been told I’ll finally be taken off The Most Boring Project on Earth this week. And it’s a 4-day work week. And I’m taking the 7th off so I’ll have a 4-day weekend. Triple yay.

Jun 292008
 

Here are the pics from TubeTopalooza, the event held on my rooftop last night to celebrate the end of Tube Top Month in my blog.

The hosts.  Me (center) with my BFF Suzy and TubeTopalooza visionary Kacy.  I couldn’t have done it without these two.

Nor could I have done it without Air Traffic Mike, who supplied Rotel dip, chicken wings, shrimp skewers, gazpacho, and jamblaya.  Thanks Mike for taking the party to the next level… I’m sure guests were expecting maybe a bag of Doritos for food and were pleasantly surprised.

Stephanie (center):  “Maybe if I look as much like a bunny rabbit as possible, I’ll get selected as BFF of the Month of July.”  I guess the girl on the right didn’t get the memo about the dress code.

More tube tops

Complete photo album available here. Thanks to all who helped make this event a success.

Reminder:  June isn’t over yet!  Keep wearing those tube tops!

Jun 292008
 

Excellent day yesterday.  I attended the Downtowners for Obama rally in the afternoon, which had received so many RSVPs that the Majestic Grille had to move it from their Innovators’ Room to their larger meeting space upstairs.  Probably about 100 people showed up between 3 and 5.  A couple of candidates for Senate, running against Lamar Alexander, spoke, as did John Branston from the Memphis Flyer.  The speech that was the highlight of the afternoon, though, was Rep. Steve Cohen, who called the crowd to action to get involved in Barack Obama’s candidacy.

Then yesterday evening was TubeTopalooza on my rooftop.  I was worried going into the event.  I didn’t think we had enough liquor, so I drove to the Corkscrew and doubled my purchase.  I also worried about the weather… there was rain over Arkansas on the radar at the time the party started.  Furthermore, I had heard rumors that a lot of people planned to crash the party… not surprising that guys would want to come to a party where all the women are in tube tops.  Ordinarily my reaction would be, the more the merrier, but not when I’m paying for the liquor and when I’m responsible for guests’ behavior on the rooftop.  What have I gotten myself into, I thought as the party started.

It all turned out perfectly though.  The first raindrop did not fall until 1 AM, right as the party was winding down.  Very few people crashed the party, and the ones that did were people I was happy to have there anyway.  Good thing I doubled my liquor order… we would have run out at 9:45 PM if I hadn’t.  Made it all the way through without running out, and I have a half-gallon of vodka and half-gallon of rum left over.  Great music, the ladies looked beautiful in tube tops, and outstanding food by Air Traffic Mike.  I’d estimate 120 people were there over the course of the evening, and it was the best party I’ve been to on that rooftop in at least two years.  Thanks to Kacy who came up with the TubeTopalooza idea, and to my BFF Suzy… I couldn’t have done it without you.

Pics from both events to come this week, I just have to find time to get them out of the camera and run them through Picasa.

A very happy birthday to Melissa, who turns 23 today.  Hang on, let’s post a pic of Melissa.

Yes I know it’s a recycled pic, but come on… if any pic were to appear twice, wouldn’t you want it to be this one?  Buy her a drink if you see her out today.

Brunch at the Blue Monkey today, followed by Pete’s weekly ass whooping at pool at the Saucer, handed to him by yours truly.  It’s Canada Day at Big Foot with $2 Canadian beer, $3 Forty Creek whiskey, and a $12.99 Canadian platter consisting of Big Foot’s Canadian burger, Poutine, and a Nainamo bar.  Not sure at what point I’ll leave the Saucer and head to Big Foot… depends on what the Saucer puts on Fire Sale.  They’ve been on a run of crappy beers for Fire Sale this week, so I may be at Big Foot as early as 2 PM if they follow pattern.  At the latest I’ll be there before former BFF Meghan’s shift ends.

Memorable quotes from Meghan, from the last time Big Foot ran specials on Sunday:

“(SIGH) One hour and forty minutes until I can get out of here.”

“One hour and ten minutes.”

“Thirty-five more minutes.”

So nice to talk to people who love what they do for a living, isn’t it?  Maybe she’ll build another house out of straws today.  Or maybe she’ll clean the bar and re-stock it in her spare time.  But if I were a betting man I’d put my money on the straw house.

TubeTopalooza to celebrate the end of Tube Top Month may have happened last night, but it’s not officially the end of June yet… so let’s see those tube tops today!

Also, we’re two days away from July 1, which means there will be a BFF of the Month announcement on the blog Tuesday.

Time for brunch.

Jun 282008
 

The organizer for today’s Downtowners for Obama event tells me that the RSVP list, counting speakers and dignitaries, has now topped 100. This is going to be a HUGE event. But, it’s being held in a huge space, the Majestic Grille, so come on down. 3 to 5 PM today. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen will speak, as will the chairman of the state Democratic Party, and others. Come get involved in the grass-roots campaign to put Barack Obama in the White House.

Couple of pics from Trolley Tour last night:

Here’s a pic of my BFF Suzy in a tube top.

Here’s a pic of Meredith in a tube dress.

All right, got a lot to get done today, so gotta run. If I have time this evening, I’ll post a recap of the Downtowners for Obama event.

Jun 272008
 

Several people have e-mailed asking me, “What’s the deal with that new shop on Front Street, at Gayoso across from Barton Flats and AutoZone?”  So today as I was walking back from free pizza at the Orpheum, I stopped in.  It’s called Big Ono Bake Shops and it’s a Hawaiian bakery.

They have enormous rolls and loaves, made with their slightly sweet Polynesian recipe.  Featured breads include

  • Butter rolls – huge, only 88 cents each
  • Lava rolls – cinnamon, raspberry, and apple spice
  • Scones – cranberry orange, blueberry, chocolate chip, or banana nut
  • Hula breads
  • Cranberry walnut volcano loaves
  • Cinnamon raisin volcano loaves
  • Cheddar cheese, black pepper, and onion volcano loaves

The rolls and scones are enormous and easily enough for two people to split.  The loaves are even more enormous and were designed to make “absolutely delicious sandwiches,” one of the owners told me.

They also carry Kona coffee by the cup, $1.75 for your choice of classic, chocolate macadamia nut, vanilla macadamia nut, or hazelnut.

But as far as I’m concerned, this is the most important thing they carry… MOUNTAIN DEW!!!  That means I will be a frequent visitor to Big Ono.  They carry a lot of other canned and bottled drinks as well – “we try to carry products you don’t see everywhere else,” said the co-owner.

Open 6 AM to 3 PM Monday-Friday.  Never been to Hawaii but I bet there are a lot of tube tops there.

In other news… at the Orpheum I heard about a coming attraction that sounds interesting, a musical called Avenue Q that features humans and puppets singing songs like “The Internet is for Porn.”  Hmmm… that sounds like fun.  It runs September 30-October 5.

Also heard that Lantana Projects will be back soon with new art exhibits, including one that involves art made out of FAA flight charts.  Bet my friend Air Traffic Mike will enjoy that one.

All right, time to get back to work on The Most Boring Project on Earth for four more hours, then it’ll be the weekend.

Jun 272008
 

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means all the art galleries and other shops on South Main will open from 6 to 9 PM for South Main Trolley Art Tour.  Many of them will put out appetizers, cocktails, and wine, and you can expect to hear a few bands playing on the streets.  If you’re a South Main Association member you get free burgers and Boscos beer (not a member yet?  Bring $25 and they’ll sign you up).

I’ll be there.  Hopefully I’ll be viewing a lot of my favorite kind of art – tube tops!

Lunchtime.  Time to walk down to the Orpheum and eat some free pizza.

Jun 262008
 

Members of one of the local kickball teams found this puppy in Willow Field yesterday after their weekly game:

He was pretty skinny when they found him. After a bath and some food, he turned out to be a very well-behaved little guy. They believe he is a mix of German shepherd, terrier and maybe something else. Very affectionate and responds well to direction.

The person who is currenly keeping him doesn’t think it’s fair for him to be in her tiny apartment all day, so she’s trying to find him a home. One of the sweetest dogs she’s ever met, she says. Really smart and healthy, just needs a few good meals.

If you’d like this puppy to be yours, shoot me an e-mail at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll put you in touch with the people who have him. Guys, keep in mind that dogs are chick magnets – take this little guy on a walk through the park, and you may find that cute girls in tube tops come up to you and want to meet him.

Jun 262008
 

In conjunction with the Downtown Alive program, the Orpheum is giving away free pizza and soft drinks tomorrow, Friday, June 27, from 11:30 to 2 PM. This is one of several things that will be happening at the Orpheum tomorrow: Organ concert at 12; backstage tour by Pat Halloran at 12:30; backstage tours 2-4; organ concert at 4; happy hour specials 4-6. Also, everyone who shows up during the open house during the day gets a free ticket to Gladiator, the Summer Movie Series movie showing at 7:15. But the important thing is, FREE PIZZA. There are two things I like about free pizza: Number one, it’s free, and number two, it’s pizza. I like free pizza almost as much as I like tube tops.

The Orpheum is also doing a special dinner-on-stage Saturday, June 28 at 6:30 PM. $50 gets you a 3-course meal with a special selection of wines, plus an all-access backstage pass that lets you wander the halls. There will also be a question and answer session and Broadway trivia contest.

In other news: Don’t forget about the NBA draft party tonight at the FedExForum at 6. The Memphis Grizzlies have the #5 and #28 first round picks, and are rumored to be trading to get the #2 pick and Michael Beasley. Memphis Tigers Derrick Rose (projected #1), Chris Douglas-Roberts (projected teens-20s) and Joey Dorsey (projected early second round if the Grizzlies don’t take him at 28) will most likely be among those selected.

Jun 262008
 

Just received a text from Mikey the Camera Nazi, who is at the Center City Commission attending their monthly board meeting. He told me that they have voted to extend the Downtown safety patrol for another 12 months.

The patrol, which started April 1, was brought on mainly to target aggressive panhandling in the Downtown core, which had really gotten out of hand. They have done a FANTASTIC job. I’d estimate panhandling has been reduced down here by 85-90%. If I’m out for a few hours, these days I see a couple or three panhandlers on the streets, where I used to see 15 or 20 in a similar time frame. They have a number you can call if you witness or experience aggressive panhandling (901-281-9146), and they’ll be there on their bikes in minutes. A lot is screwed up in Memphis – just read the papers – but this is a rarity, a program that is truly effective.

THANK YOU to the CCC for voting to extend the program, THANK YOU to CDA the security company that has provided these outstanding officers, and most of all MUCH THANKS to the officers themselves. Keep up the good work, and I’m thrilled to have you around for at least another year.

Sitting here at the Saucer laptopping. No tube tops out yet but it’s early in the day. Fire Sale is Old Scratch. Not one of my favorites, but I bought one because there are AutoZone people in here, and I wanted to make the point that, unlike them, I work for a company that doesn’t have a corncob up its ass about employees having a beer on their lunch break. That said, I’m only having one, because I’ll need my mental faculties this afternoon. There will be plenty more beer drinking tonight.

I’ve been e-mailed more BBQ Fest rumors and comments, and will post them later today or tomorrow. Right now, back to the office for an exciting afternoon of data extraction and transformation.