Mon update: Cigars, book signing, Big East, Houston Nutt is the Calipari of SEC football, and more

I had a great brunch at Texas de Brazil yesterday with friends. Here’s another insider tip for you, if you go to TdB brunch: They have lobster bisque and breakfast food on the salad bar. Get a piece of bacon and dip it in the lobster bisque. Soooo good.

The Madison is combining their rooftop parties and their Smoking Up High events. For Thursday nights in August and September, you can purchase fine cigars from Havana Mix on the rooftop, as well as bourbons and scotches that complement the cigars. This Thursday they will kick it off with live music by Gary Johns. $7 cover, cash bar.

Author Jon Pendergrass will be at Davis-Kidd tomorrow night from 6 to 8 to sign copies of his book, Pepper Jack. The book is set in Memphis and there are scenes at the Blue Monkey, Mollie Fontaine’s, and many other well-known Memphis venues. I’m not normally a fiction guy but I really enjoyed reading this one.

Couple of sports-related items: There are rumors floating around that the Big East will announce that Memphis is its 17th member, and 9th football-playing member, at its annual media day tomorrow. Of course, more often than not these rumors prove false, but I hope tomorrow is the day we finally make it into a BCS conference.

Great article on Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt on It talks about how Nutt used to be a stand-up guy during his winning years at Arkansas, but now he has turned to the dark side. The article makes him sound like the Calipari of SEC football. I can’t wait for October 23, when Ryan Mallett and the Hogs put a whoopin’ on the Rebels.

Interesting article on Lifehacker this morning about poker faces. The article quotes a study that suggests, when playing poker or engaging in some form of deception, a slight smile is more effective than a completely emotionless stare.

Ah… three-day work week. I knew I’d probably need some time to unwind after our national tournament at work wrapped up (which it did last night), so I scheduled Thursday and Friday off. No idea what I’ll do. Trying to come up with something more interesting than the default value, which of course is “drinking beer at the Saucer.”

Which reminds me… tonight’s Pint Nite at the Saucer, so you know where I’ll be. If you’re looking for other stuff to do, the Salty Dogs running club meets at Bardog at 6:50, although I can’t imagine running in this heat. There’s also trivia with Will at Local at 8.

Time for some boneless wings at Zaxby’s, over and out.

Happy birthday Frank

Last night our friend Frank had a big birthday and we celebrated.  Here are a few pics.

We started with dinner for 25 at Pearl's Oyster House. That's the birthday boy in the white polo.
Waiting on our appetizers
The other side of the table
Here's a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating seafood pizza.
After we ordered, the Nuh-Uh Girl went around and asked everyone what food they were getting. That allowed her to make a mental list of whom to pester for samples. Here she is trying "Hot Shucks," char-grilled oysters with jalapeno peppers and pepper jack cheese.

Dinner was delicious – I had the char-grilled oysters and the tilapia.  After taking an eternity to get our checks and pay, we headed north to the Saucer where even more people were waiting for us.

Everyone singing "happy birthday" to Frank at the Saucer

Saucer was crowded and sweaty.  This time I’m not blaming the bar – they had the A/C running, but the fact was that at midnight the heat index was still nearly 100 and there was simply no way it could keep up with a room that full of people.

“Anything would be better than sitting here and sweating to death,” I thought.  Then the group proved me wrong by deciding on karaoke at the Blue Monkey as their next destination.  That sounded like the most lame, boring idea on earth, so I broke away from the group at that point and hit Bardog, the Silly Goose, and Rehab Disco over the next three hours.  I ended up at Rockbottom, the downstairs bar of Rehab Disco, a spot I’m starting to like more and more every time I go in there.

Tweet from Frank’s girlfriend Stephanie, who went to karaoke:  “I’d do anything for Frank.  Even this.”

Bardog, by the way, was equally as crowded as the Saucer, yet I did not get more than 5 steps in the door before Melissa was looking my direction and waving a PBR in the air.  I mentioned that I’d reveal of a few of my Best of Memphis votes after voting ended.  Last night was an example of why Bardog got my vote for “Best Service.”

Still full from last night, but it’s time to eat again:  One of the members of our group has half-off coupons to Texas de Brazil, and I got invited to brunch.  Obviously that’s not an invitation I’m going to turn down.  Time to eat some meat!