Shot through the heart. And you’re to blame. You give love a bad name. +Ratt +Motley Crue +Warrant +Poison +Ozzy +etc.

The Red Rooster’s 1st birthday celebration continues tonight as Aquanet takes the stage.  Let me say it one more time:  Aquanet. Is. Awesome.  They’re an ’80s hair band cover band, and they do more than just perform the songs, they have the big hair and costumes and lights and everything.  Quite a spectacle, and the Rooster’s stage is a great place to hear them.  Most likely I’ll stop by the Rooster tonight and catch however much of Aquanet’s first set that I can, before it’s time to head to Orleans on Front/Voodoo Room‘s Mardi Gras party to observe their PBRtini and crawfish pie eating contest.

Yesterday afternoon got off to a boring start, as I had the pleasure of editing 72 domain records to get my College Logo Shopping sites back online.  All the individual college subdomains got knocked off when GoDaddy migrated my hosting account to a new server.  They’re back up now, so you can once again buy some Memphis Tigers stuff to support your team.

About 3 yesterday afternoon something really started to bother me.  A week and a day earlier, I had been at Calhoun’s for their weekly Buzztime Poker tournament, and I was basically handing out free chips to Benjie and Chuck, the two best players, given the way that I was playing.  “Those guys are good, but I should at least be able to go toe-to-toe with them,” I thought to myself.  So I took out a notebook and wrote for an hour and a half, analyzing what I had done wrong and what habits I need to change when I play.

Then I headed to the Saucer for a beer and a conversation with Air Traffic Mike.  From there it was on to the Red Rooster for their crawfish boil.  Some info about the Rooster that I’ll pass along:

  • The crawfish boil wasn’t just a one-time thing for their birthday.  They’re going to do it every Friday night, $15 for all you can eat, while crawfish are in season, 6 to 9 PM.
  • They have PBR back on tap!!!!!
  • I found out more about their Wednesday trivia night.  It’s run by and the prizes are $50/$20/$10.

The way the crawfish boil works is, you pay the entry fee and get a wristband.  The wristbands are merely to verify that people eating crawfish have paid, so that you don’t get two people trying to split a box on one entry fee.  You get a ticket which you trade in for a box of crawfish.  If you want a refill, you can go to back to the door, show your wristband, and they’ll give you another ticket.  You can do that as often as you want a refill for the duration of the crawfish boil.

The Rooster does their crawfish right.  When I handed in my ticket and a styrofoam box came back, I found that it was filled with not only crawfish but also with a tater, corn on the cob, onions, and a miniature smoked sausage that had been marinating in the pot with the mudbugs.  Very nice!  Crawfish were on the small side but it’s very early in the season, so they will get bigger soon.

I had the time wrong – I thought it started at 5, but if I’d read the flyers they put out, I would’ve seen the correct start time of 6.  Still, though, at 6:10 Sam told me “we’ll have the crawfish out in about 15 minutes.”  Actually, it was 6:40 before the first ones came out of the pot.  Hopefully they’ll get a little more punctual in future weeks.

The Rooster was decorated with birthday stuff.  Sam was wearing a “happy birthday” Tiara.  When he got in the booth to DJ, I nicknamed him “DJ Tiara” and texted it to the Rooster’s video message board.  Soon after, Sam took the tiara off.  Did I make Sam self-conscious?  I didn’t think such a thing was possible.

Stayed there for two boxes of crawfish and a couple of PBRs.  My planned next stop was the Saucer to try Lazy Magnolia’s special-brew sweet potato beer, but the poker itch was really getting to me.  “I wonder if anyone’s playing Buzztime Poker at Calhoun’s?” I thought.  So I walked down there, and sure enough, a few people were.  I played until midnight, using the strategy I devised in the notes I had taken earlier in the day, and did dramatically better, ending up on both the weekly and monthly “chip leader” boards by the time I left.  I also noticed a few mistakes I was still making that cost me large pots, and will work on those next time.  My goal is to be able to hold my own against anyone in poker (at least in Downtown Memphis) by the end of the year.

Max told me that Calhoun’s is going to do a weekly crawfish boil soon too, probably on Sunday afternoons.  He doesn’t have a start date in mind yet.  He asked me about the size of the crawfish I’d eaten at the Rooster and said he’s going to wait for them to get bigger.

I ended up sitting next to Mikey, who went into his “walking, talking commercial for Calhoun’s” mode.  It was my 6th appearance at Calhoun’s in 9 days, and Mikey took it as a sign that I’m finally realizing that Calhoun’s is as significant a place as the Eiffel Tower, Jesus’ tomb, and the Washington Monument.  He tried to engage me in a conversation about whether Calhoun’s or Bardog is a better neighborhood bar.  Needless to say he had plenty of arguments in Calhoun’s favor.  I just rolled my eyes.  I really have nothing bad to say about either place – both have done everything just about perfectly.  It was a pointless conversation.

Then he expressed his astonishment that a few days ago, when people decided to do a jambalaya cookoff and Mardi Gras party at Calhoun’s tonight, I didn’t immediately shelve my existing agenda for the evening and go all-in.  Again I rolled my eyes.  I have no doubt that their Mardi Gras party will fantastic and fun and festive and the food will be delicious and it will be a wonderful celebration of Downtown Memphis.  It’s just that tonight, I choose to do something else.  Deal with it.  I like Calhoun’s a lot but it turns me off when people get overly gung-ho about the place.  Last November, I had another Calhoun’s regular pestering me to go to their Thanksgiving potluck after I’d already told her five times I wasn’t going to be there.  That kind of thing does not increase the frequency of my visits.

Side note here:  A shout-out to the organizer of tonight’s party, and of many previous parties, at Calhoun’s.  She’s made sure I’ve been aware of them, and she’s asked me to blog about them, but she’s never badgered or pestered me to show up.  She’ll simply say “hope you can make it” and leave me to make my own decision.  I appreciate and respect that.

I do want to try Calhoun’s BBQ nachos sometime soon though, which I’ve heard are very good.  If my calendar stays clear for Thursday evening, I may get up there about 6 and give their nachos a try and then get a crack box and put my poker skills to the test at 7.

So anyway, I stayed at Calhoun’s bar until 1:30 in the morning, then walked north… comtemplated the idea of Raiford’s, but decided to save that for another night when I have more energy.  Had a go-home beer at Bardog, and landed in bed about 2:30.

The Tigers play UTEP at 3 PM on ESPN.  Undecided whether I’ll go anywhere to watch the game.  I kinda don’t want to get the day started that early, since I plan on staying out at Voodoo Room until at least 1.  In any case, looking forward to a fun-filled Saturday.