Wed night update

I just finished my third Squidoo article, or “lens” as they’re called on that site. I had previously written a tutorial on left and right English in pool to complement the training materials I sell in my online store How to Learn Pool. Well, now I went back and added a second tutorial, on top and bottom English, or follow and draw as they’re more commonly known. You can use follow and draw to control where the cue ball ends up after it strikes the ball at which you’re shooting. This allows you to set up your next shot and run the table. Check out the new tutorial on draw and follow here.

Here’s a link to a Squidoo article I really like that I didn’t create: An argument over which is better, tofu or bacon. Needless to say, I vote for bacon! (Health guru AL groans. Don’t forget to send me questions for our new regular feature, “Dear Health Guru AL.”)

Calhoun’s Sports Bar & Grill on GE Patterson has changed their happy hour. Now, between 4:30 PM and 7 PM Monday-Friday, they’re doing buy one, get one free domestic bottles. Yet another great happy hour in Downtown Memphis!

Word is that RiverArtsFest, the fall arts festival in the South Main district, will undergo some changes for its second year, according to the Memphis Business Journal. The fest will be held November 1-2 this year, and this year the north boundary of the festival will be extended a block farther, to the 500 block of South Main (it was GE Patterson last year). Over 240 artists have applied for booths already. Local artist George Hunt will be designing the festival poster, and they’ll have an opening night party October 31 at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Art on Tap, the beer tasting/fundraiser for the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, has been announced for 2008. It will be Friday, September 5 from 6 to 9 PM. Disco band Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster will perform, and they are promising “more food” and “more beer” this year. Tickets will be available on the Dixon’s website as the time grows closer. If you’re a member of their Young At Art program, you get into Art on Tap and 9 more events for free.

Today I read on the New York Times’ site that the city of San Francisco plans to bestow a very much deserved honor upon our President, George W. Bush. Upon his retirement from office January 20, 2009, the city wants to rename a water treatment plant on the shoreline the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. I can’t think of a more appropriate way to honor the man who has changed this country in so many ways over the past 8 years.

This is an evening post, but it isn’t a drunk post because I haven’t been out yet. Went to AutoZone (yes, I did business with the evil empire, forgive me) and bought a new brake light and a screwdriver to install it. If I can’t figure it out myself, my BFF Suzy says she knows how. Then I went to Ike’s and bought mixers for TubeTopalooza. It’s only 10 PM and I may still go out yet, as I believe my favorite blogger/MILF is somewhere Downtown, and hopefully she has a tube top on. Time to hit Publish and get out there…

Update on Downtowners for Obama event: Big names to attend, speak

I wanted to pass along updated information on the Downtowners for Obama meetup that will happen this Saturday. What started as a few friends getting together to discuss the Obama campaign has turned into a big deal, with prominent names attending and a crowd that could possibly fill the entire Majestic Grille restaurant.

Gray Sasser, chairman of the TN Democratic Party, will be there and has offered to speak.

Keith Norman, chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, will be there.

John Branston, senior editor of the Memphis Flyer, will speak.

Most likely Rep. Steve Cohen will attend as well.

If you want to attend, RSVP details are below.

What: Downtowners for Obama

Where: The Majestic Grille

When: Saturday, June 28, 2008 @ 3 PM (note time change from 5 PM)

Join your downtown neighbors during this historic campaign to help build a united volunteer organization in our neighborhood that will register new voters and build support locally. We’ve had an unprecedented primary season that built a grassroots infrastructure in all 50 states — not just for Barack, but for all of the Democratic candidates. Now it’s time to bring all of that energy together for our common cause of change. All across the country, Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans are tired of the politics of the past and are looking for new solutions to the challenges we’re facing as a nation.

That’s why we’re launching a nationwide day of action on June 28th called “Unite for Change”. All across the US, volunteers will host “house meetings” with the express purpose of reaching out and bringing folks together who supported all of the Democratic candidates (and those who are just tuning into the process now).

From the beginning, this campaign has been about ordinary people reaching out and building the bonds of community — empowering one another by coming together to make change. With the general election approaching, it’s more important than ever to keep this momentum going. No matter what your affiliation, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the candidates and their stance on some of the major issues in this campaign.

For more information or to volunteer please email me at or call 901-619-7053 and leave a message.

Please RSVP to this event by following this link:

One other note: Given that it’s Tube Top Month, a few females have asked me, “Is it appropriate to wear tube tops to this event? Where can we get Obama tube tops?” To answer those questions: Of course it’s appropriate to wear tube tops to this event. I can’t find any official Obama tube tops for sale, but you can buy a solid colored tube top at American Apparel at Main and GE Patterson (you could buy them online from the Tube Top Boutique, but there probably isn’t time) and then take them to my friend Josh who has a screen-printing business out of Winfield’s (Main at Madison, open approx. 11 to 7). Josh has your choice of four Obama campaign images he can print on the tube tops. He can do any other type of clothing printing too. If interested shoot me an e-mail ( and I’ll send you Josh’s number.

More BBQ Fest rumors

A blog reader who is on a BBQ team said he heard the following from a Memphis in May board member about what will happen to BBQ Fest next year:

  • 150 teams @ $10,000 entry fee apiece. That’s down from about 250 teams this year.
  • No patio porkers, so it looks like the little teams will be gone.
  • Must have corporate sponsorship

Again, still a rumor, but it sounds like this came from a very reliable source. The good news for my team is that it looks like we’ll automatically qualify for 2009 because of our 3rd place shoulder finish. But it looks like 2008 will be the last party year for BBQ Fest. We have cool potential sponsors we’re talking to for next year, so maybe we’ll have the only party booth left and will have lots of cute girls in tube tops who want to hang out with us. I can’t blame MIM for wanting more revenue from the teams, but it kinda sucks that teams will be required to kiss corporate ass whether they want to or not.

If this turns out to be what happens, I will likely do BBQ Fest with my team, but skip all the other Memphis in May events in protest.

In other news… the car failed inspection again. When I paid Saturn $1000 to do all that work, they failed to notice a brake light was out. Just great. I’m not taking it all the way out there again. Anyone know a good Downtown garage where I can drop it off and get it fixed Thursday or Friday?

Downtowners for Obama update to come later today.

Don’t expect to see me there, but… announcing Coors Country Night at the Red Rooster

Country music isn’t my thing, but for those who are into it, I wanted to pass along this announcement from the Red Rooster.  With bike night on Beale 1 block up the road on Wednesdays, this will probably draw some good business.  I may not be into country, but girls in tube tops and boots can be kinda hot.

Come kick off the 1st Wednesday
Coors Country Night
at the Red Rooster with 93.5 The Rebel.
Join Coop & the Gang, the 93.5 crew, this Wednesday from 9-11
for some boot scootin’ boogie.
Ladies get in FREE all night.
50c draft
64oz Rooster Booster $8
Get ready to drink, dance and
have some fun with your

Pics: Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar/EP’s

As promised, here are the photos from Sunday’s Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar/EP Delta Kitchen. The list of winners can be found here.

The first-place trophy

Three of the four judges (I was the fourth) and Mikey the Camera Nazi

Tricycle races

Beer pong

Here’s a link to the complete photo album.

Scroll down to the previous post to catch the BBQ Fest rumors. Also, check back today if you’re an Obama supporter. Got an announcement about some major names speaking at Saturday’s Downtowners for Obama event.

New feature coming to this blog: “Dear Health Guru AL.” You can e-mail me your questions for health guru AL, and her answers will be posted on this blog. I had sushi with her last night and she told me all about healthy Japanese eating. Send in your questions and you can learn about healthy eating too. Disclaimer: AL is not a doctor, so you’re best off sticking to nutrition questions.

AL, by the way, was the inventor of the BFF of the Month concept. While we were eating, I went over the major candidates for July. “There’s Melissa, who was pictured in that hot tube top dress yesterday,” I told her. “Then there’s Stephanie, who organizes the Downtown Alive events. Or I could bring Meghan back.”

“Paul, please tell me you aren’t stupid enough to bring Meghan back,” said AL.

After sushi I joined the trivia team at the Saucer. A cute girl asked if she could come to TubeTopalooza. “Sure, I’ll add you to the evite,” I told her. Another girl asked why she hadn’t been invited to TubeTopalooza. “My fault, I’ll add you to the evite,” I said. Then I was asked, “A buddy of mine is going to have a bunch of guys with him for his bachelor party, and they were wondering if they could come to TubeTopalooza.” HELL F’N NO!!!

Time to get to work. Going to make a second attempt to run the car through inspection today. After $1,000 worth of work it damn well better pass. Check back later today for Downtowners for Obama details.

BBQ Fest rumors

All right, below are the rumors I’ve heard about BBQ Fest. Keep in mind that all of the below are RUMORS and not anything I’ve confirmed with Memphis in May:

– The festival will be downsized next year. This one is almost certainly true, as construction will begin on Beale Street Landing, and that will cut into the amount of space they have available at Tom Lee Park.

– In order to compensate for the reduced space, the rumor is that MIM plans to reduce the number of teams. I keep hearing that they intend to eliminate some of the smaller teams. Not sure if that means just the Patio Porkers, who are by definition smaller teams, or if it extends to the smaller teams competing in the Big Three (shoulder, ribs, whole hog) as well.

– Another rumor is that they plan to make it more corporate, and one way they plan on doing this and also getting rid of the smaller teams is to raise entry fees considerably. I’ve heard the number $5,000 thrown around more than one time, but again, that is all hearsay. In one case I heard $15,000. The idea, I’ve been told, is to raise it to a number high enough where it would be very hard to enter without heavy corporate sponsorship.

– Another rumor is that they want to make it more of an international competition, with teams from the US and around the world. Therefore, it’s been rumored that the competition will become an invitation-only event, with some current teams grandfathered in and with teams who finished near the top in previous years’ competition receiving automatic bids.

– There’s also a new governing body that sanctions the contests, Memphis Barbeque Network. Prior to the first of 2008, Memphis in May was its own sanctioning body. Rumor is that since MIM wants the event to be more reflective of a world championship, they’re going to start inviting teams from other circuits, e.g. KCBS, FBA, etc. Problem is those circuits are a completely different format, don’t do on-site judging, and don’t cook MIM-style BBQ anyway.

Again, all just rumors, but I’ve heard this so many times (and a couple of times, from people connected to the aforementioned Memphis Barbeque Network) that I figured it deserved to be posted. If these rumors are incorrect, Memphis in May deserves the chance to refute them.

If this turns out to be true, it sounds like MIM is going to royally screw up one of the best festivals ever. Hate to see it happen to one of my favorite tube top-watching events of the year. Perhaps Memphians will react by boycotting their other events, Music Fest and Sunset Symphony, en masse.

Will keep you posted as I hear more. E-mail me at if you’ve got anything.

Didn’t get 25 requests but…

I got more than 10 for the rumors about BBQ Fest.  Many of them had heard the same things I had heard, and a few heard additional details as well.

Here’s the deal.  I will post the rumors.  Promise.  I just need a little time to compile them all together into one post.  Which I don’t have time to do right now, because I’m swamped at work with file imports AKA The Most Boring Project Ever.  Also, this Downtowners for Obama rally at the Majestic Grille has turned into a huge deal and I may have to post about it before getting to the BBQ Fest rumors.  The Obama event started out as a guy wanted to get a few of his friends together to discuss the campaign, and a week later it’s attracting prominent speakers who are flying in to attend and has the potential to fill the Majestic.  Plus, I’ve got other stuff going on, like writing more lenses for Squidoo, having sushi with my health guru AL, and going out to bars to look for tube tops.

BBQ rumors will be online within 48 hours.  Promise.

Thaddeus has the scoop again

Check out Thaddeus Matthews’ blog this morning for the latest scoop on the investigation into corruption on Beale Street.  It’s public knowledge by now that Performa Entertainment head John Elkington is being scrutinized, but read Thad’s latest post to find out who else may be in hot water.  Let’s just say that this new guy Thaddeus names, an owner of several business on Beale and elsewhere Downtown, may be SOL if the information is correct.  Looks like the shenanigans on Beale Street may not be limited to drunk girls in tube tops.

Edit:  Thanks to Otto for finding a permalink to the story.  Here it is – read Thad’s post titled Elkington’s former bookkeeper wants to hide his records.

Mon drunk post

The results are in.  Find out who won Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar/EP Delta Kitchen.  Thanks to all the teams who entered and sorry I got so drunk and tried to be judge.  Hoop/Tony, I owe you a stopwatch.

So, people are still asking about the rumors I heard about the “downsizing” of BBQ Fest next year.  Let’s make this interesting.  If I get 25 e-mails by noon asking for it, I’ll post what I have heard.  MIM people, it’s too late for you to e-mail or call asking me to hold up posting the rumors.  You had an entire week to tell me what’s really going on and you didn’t do it.

If you haven’t made it to Itta Bena on the 3rd floor of BB King’s yet, let me give you two new reasons to go:

New bartender as of this weekend.  Also I’ve heard they have plans to put an end to this “closing at 10 every night even if we have a full bar” bullshit.  Good.  You need to.

Home from the Saucer at 12:40 PM.  Guess I’ll get some sleep now.

Monday update

I did some redesigning to the left menu pane of my blog yesterday morning.  I wasn’t happy with WordPress displaying lists of links in alphabetical order. Usually, this is the best way to do it, but it didn’t work so well with my list of photo albums.  I wanted them displayed in reverse chronological order starting with the most recent, not alphabetically by title.  So I split the photo albums out and re-ordered them the way I wanted them.  I also added the more recent photo albums to the list, since previously it displayed Stumbling Santa (12/1/07) as the most recent.  I got the list up to date through the last photo album I made, which was the Big Foot Lodge birthday party on 6/16/08.

Two more photo albums will be added to the list soon.  I’ll have photos from yesterday’s Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar as soon as I get my camera back from Mikey the Camera Nazi.  Also, I’m sure there will be a large photo album from TubeTopalooza after that event occurs.

I also rearranged the “places I hang out” section.  I wanted those to represent my ranking order of the places I hang out, not alphabetically.  So I fixed that too.

Hopefully this week I’ll start work on my “Downtown Memphis Info” section as well.  It needs to be ordered some way other than alphabetically, and I plan to move some of those pages over to Squidoo along with my new restaurant guide where they will have a wider audience.  I also need to get the happy hour and Wi-Fi sections up to date.

Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar turned out to be a much bigger event than I had thought.  They had something like 20 teams entered.  I was a judge, and as promised I got free beer, which along with the hot sun and the 3 hours sleep I got the night before did me in… I judged a beer pong tournament which seemed to take forever, then between events I went home to get extra camera batteries.  I realized I badly needed something to eat.  So I stopped in Big Foot.  Former BFF/bartender Meghan said, “I’M NOT SERVING YOU ANY ALCOHOL, PAUL” before I even sat down, and for once she was absolutely correct to do so, even if she said it out of a desire to get one up on me rather than out of genuine concern for my well-being.  So I ordered Paul’s Drunkass Burger to go and she tried to upsell me on sweet potato fries, bacon, etc. to increase her tip.  Didn’t work.  I was so busy arguing with her that I forgot that part of the reason I went in there was to invite her to TubeTopalooza.

Came home, ate the burger, checked my e-mail.  Next thing I knew I was lying on the couch and it was 12:47 AM… sorry, Hoop and Tony, didn’t mean to miss the entire second half of Pub Olympics.  I’ll get the stopwatch back to you this week.

Soon as they update their blog announcing the winners I’ll link to it here.

Back to work today.  Meeting a newspaper reporter at the Saucer after work… she asked if I’d give her a Downtown orientation, so she can learn how to sniff out good news stories down here.  Sounds like fun, always happy to do stuff like that.