Pic: Bruce Pearl at the Saucer

The Tennessee Vols men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl was at the Flying Saucer Halloween party last night. He was there inviting people to a barbecue he’s having at his house next week, but he asks that everyone not mention it if the NCAA comes a-knockin’. He invited a few of the Saucer girls to the barbecue as well and invited them to join “Uncle Bruce” in the hot tub once he gets done talking to the recru- er, once he gets done talking to a few friends who play high school basketball about their plans for next year. Here’s a pic:

Word on the street is that he’ll be doing some more recruiting tonight at Kooky Canuck and Bardog Tavern.

I have a comment about costume contests this year: There is no way any Lady Gaga or Jersey Shore costume should ever win a “most original costume” contest. If they win overall for best costume, that’s fine, as I saw some very well-done Gagas and DJ Pauly Ds last night. But most original? Never.

I enjoyed the costumes last night at the Saucer and the Silly Goose. Wow, I never realized Ronald McDonald was such a big drunk.

Not sure what I’m going to do today. I don’t plan on drinking any beer until 6 PM. Thinking maybe lunch at Cockadoos in a little while.

IBM (Italian Business Man’s sandwich) @ Frank’s Deli

After going to the Memphis Farmers Market and Mayor Wharton’s GreenUp festival, I started the trek back north. I wanted to eat at Gus’s, but as usual, it was too crowded. Then I remembered Frank’s Grocery and Deli was nearby at Main and Vance, and my South Main friends have told me over and over how good their sandwiches are. So I walked over there and ordered this:

This is the I.B.M., the Italian Business Man’s sandwich. Genoa salami, ham, and pepperoni and peppers on a toasted roll. However, this is not your typical lunchmeat sandwich from Subway. The ham was hand-sliced, big chunks. The sandwich was served hot, with melted mozzarella goodness in every bite. It was more than I could finish in one meal, and I complemented it with a side of deviled eggs.

Frank’s definitely lived up to its hype. Possibly the best Italian sandwich I’ve ever had.

Mystery beer tub advice

The Flying Saucer is bringing back its $2 mystery beer tub for its Halloween party tonight. How it works is simple: You pay $2, you stick your hand in a tub filled with bottles and cans of beer, you pull one out, and whatever you get, you drink. You might get a super-premium beer that normally sells for $10; you might get crap like Schlitz or Lowenbrau. You never know.

My advice, having done the mystery beer for several years: Avoid the cans. I’ve never seen anything more premium than Tecate come out of the mystery beer tub in a can. On the other hand, Schlitz comes in cans. Old Milwaukee comes in cans. PBR comes in cans and I wouldn’t mind pulling one of those, but I worry they’ll cart in some PBR Light from the Fish down the street. Your expected value is much higher when you stick to the bottles.

I’ve had very good luck with the beer tub. One year I made 5 trips to the tub and pulled out almost $40 worth of beer. Then again, there have been a few times when I’ve come away with swill. At least I’ve never pulled out the ultimate bad beer, Turbo Dog.

Flying Saucer and Silly Goose are my main planned stops tonight.  FYI, the Goose will be charging a cover… probably not much I would think. They handed me a get-in-free pass when I was in there Thursday night. Saucer is free for UFO members, $3 otherwise, same as any Saturday.

In order to prepare for Halloween, I am not going out to the bars until 8 PM. I want this to be a late night and I’m going to prepare for it. My only trips out today will be for lunch and to Shelton Clothiers to pick up a couple of shirts for next week. I’ll spend today cleaning the apartment and playing poker online. There’s a $4 + $0.40 No-Limit Hold’em tournament on PokerStars at 9:40 that looks like it’s calling my name. 8-max tables, so I can play a little looser than full 9- or 10-seat tables. Slow blinds (10/20, 15/30, 20/40, 30/60, 40/80, 50/100, 60/120, etc.) I’m a big fan of slow-blind tournaments when I have time to play them. So much more room to play real poker than at tournaments where the blinds double every round.

To those who I ran into at Trolley Night who asked if I’d blog about upcoming events: Shoot me a reminder to paul@paulryburn.com. Also, please note that my blogging schedule will be very irregular from Thursday-Sunday of next week.

Check back – will probably get bored and post more today.

Early ’11 beerfest

Memphis Brewfest, who put on the beer tasting at AutoZone Park last April, posted on Facebook last night about an event called “Winter Warmer.” Here’s what they said:

January 11, 2011. Memphis Central Station. Warm yourself up with some full-flavored seasonal beers. Live entertainment by Bob and Susie Salley and Memphis Raqs bellydancers.

They have January 15 posted at another location on their page. I tend to believe the 15th is the correct date, because it is a Saturday.

Decisions, decisions. Plus: Trolley Night, Farmers Market and festival news

Facing some tough decisions this Halloween weekend…

Tonight is South Main Trolley Night, with trick-or-treating and other Halloween fun. So I have to decide: Go in costume, or not? I’m thinking not. It took me 45 minutes to put on and apply the costume last night, which would cut into Trolley Night time. Plus, I want to have a beer at the Saucer to celebrate with a newly-employed friend, and I don’t know if I want to be in costume for that. May change my mind though.

Tomorrow I have to decide between the Halloween parties at the Flying Saucer and Silly Goose, and a private party in the South Main area. With the trolley running I could do both, but my costume this year has contest-winning potential, which makes me think I need to be in the Downtown core during prime time (which is about 11 PM to 1 AM). Also, there are more females in their early-mid 20s in the core, and “Bruce Pearl” needs to be blatantly hitting on those young women to be in character.

Sunday is the really hard decision. Kooky Canuck and Bardog Tavern both have their parties that night. I’ve said for years, Kooky parties are can’t-miss – always a super time. On the other hand, I really want to see who wins that hearse at Bardog. Both have costume contests. The good news is, they’re only a 2-3 minute walk from each other. I’ll probably scope out both, and figure out where my chances are better of winning if the contests happen at the same time.

Monday is really going to suck… I was going to take a half day to recover, but our web programmer is taking a seminar offsite so I have to go in. I’ll take it real easy on the alcohol Sunday night for that reason. I’m still going to stay out late though.

Anyway, back to tonight’s Trolley Night… Mark’s Menus is running a “Where’s Waldo” kind of contest tonight… Mark will be somewhere on South Main, and will tweet clues to @marksmenus where he is. Find Mark and he might buy you a beer. More details here. I guess it would be cheating if I participate, since I already know what Mark looks like.

Don’t forget that Mayor Wharton’s GreenUp festival is tomorrow at “The Green at South Front Street,” adjacent to the Memphis Farmers Market at G.E. Patterson. Learn how to make Memphis more attractive and eco-friendly while enjoying live music, festival food, exhibits and prizes. It kicks off at 10 AM and it lasts until 3.

Also don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day of the year for the Memphis Farmers Market. Closing time is extended until 3 PM for this one, so you can sleep in and still have plenty of time to make it down there.

Time to munch a lunch and then get back to work… Saucer then Trolley Night this evening for me.

Thur update: Trolley Night, C# positions available, Movember, bath house posts layout on “face book”

The South Main Association is planning a Halloween party for Trolley Night this Friday, October 29. As usual, most of the shops and galleries on South Main will be open from 6 to 9, but this month there will be some additional events. Bring your kids for trick or treating – orange paper pumpkins in the store windows will designate safe venues where trick or treaters are welcome. There will also be apple bobbing, a cake walk, face painting, and fortune telling.

Weather permitting, the SMA will once again be grilling burgers and serving complimentary Ghost River beer in the parking lot next to Bluff City Coffee. Free for SMA members, $5 for non-members. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Is anyone dressing up for Halloween Trolley Night (meaning adults)? I’m looking for an excuse to bring “Bruce Pearl” down there, but I don’t want to be the only adult in costume.

A recruiter friend of mine has some open C#.net positions she’s trying to fill. If you’re looking for a job and know C#, shoot me an e-mail at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll get you in touch with her.

A group of men in Memphis has renamed November Movember and has committed to growing moustaches for the month of November, to raise awareness of men’s health, and men’s cancer in particular. You can view their video here for more details. They’re looking for a few more Mo Bros to join the team. If you’re female, you can join as a Mo Sista and recruit other bros. You can join the team here.

If for some reason you’re not allowed to grow a moustache, but you still want to contribute, you can do so here.

There will be a big party to celebrate the end of Movember at Max’s Sports Bar (formerly Calhoun’s) on Friday, December 3. Moustachy prizes will be given away, and there will be awards for the best, worst, and cheesiest moustaches.

Union Street Bath House has posted layouts of their future upstairs and downstairs on Facebook. You can view the plans here. Attn Yuri: Facebook is one word. Not “face book.” Hmmm did I see a bar included in those plans? My chances of trying the place just went up. Actually I’ve already promised Yuri I’d try it, after our phone conversation when he said “You try Russian banya, Mr. Paul” about 30 million times. “You promise. You try. You like banya.”

Tonight I put on the Bruce Pearl costume for the first time this Halloween weekend. It’s my apartment building’s party, and I’m excited… I’ve been unable to attend the past couple of years because it’s conflicted with other events. This year it’s wide open, though, and always a good time, with food and beer. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. Tonight will allow me to give the costume a dry run, and determine if any tweaks need to be made before the big parties Saturday and Sunday.

Apologies in advance for acting like a big douche all weekend… but what else would you expect from the Bruchebag?

Wed update: Redbirds looking for interns; MMA Memphis has great website

The Redbirds are looking for interns for 2011. There are 2 openings in marketing, 3 in sales, and 1 each in media relations, operations, and ticket operations. Positions start in January-February and you must be able to work through the completion of the internship in mid-September. If you want a career working with professional sports teams, this would be a good way to get in. More info on the internships can be found here.

This morning I was surfing a site called WeLoveWP.com. I was looking for examples of well-done company websites using the MMA Memphis, which offers Muay Thai, judo, jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing. Figured I’d give them a shout-out on the blog… very well-done site, and proof that WordPress is not just for bloggers anymore.

Short blog post this lunchtime hour… I find myself craving fried shrimp today, and the Chinese buffet across Goodman Road has them. Off I go. Dos Equis Lager is the $3 Fire Sale at the Saucer today, so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you where I’ll be after work.

Halloween happenings Downtown – second draft

This is my second draft of Halloween parties I’m aware of that are open to the public Downtown. More to come probably… if you’re having one and I left you out, e-mail me at paul@paulryburn.com.

Friday, October 29

Haunted South Main Trolley Night

Costume contest at Hollywood Disco, doors open 10 PM

Saturday, October 30

Night two of Halloween party at Hollywood Disco with costume contests

Friends For Life, the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in the Mid-South, will have their annual fundraiser at BRIDGES. This year’s theme is “Shipwrecked!” There will be music by DJ Steve Anne, a cash bar, music, and a costume contest for cash prizes. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. For an extra $100 you can get additional perks including access to a VIP room, premium liquor, a private bartender and signage recognition. Last year over 500 people showed up. Visit FFL’s website for more information.

The Flying Saucer’s annual Halloween party will start at 8 PM. There will be a $2 mystery beer tub – pay your $2 and reach in and grab one. Maybe you’ll get an expensive premium beer; maybe you’ll get a Schlitz. You never know. Music by DJ Porter and Scotty B. Costume contest with best costume getting $500 cash. Runner-up prizes for Saucer Girl look-alike and most original. Free if you’re a UFO member, $3 if not.

South of Beale will have its Halloween party Saturday night, with a costume contest from 10-midnight, with judging at midnight. Ghost River Brewery will be giving away prizes, with the grand prize being a private tour of the brewery for 12, including food and drink. They’ll have $3 Ghost River Black Magic all night.

The Silly Goose will have its party on Saturday. Costume contest with prizes $200 overall, $100 sexiest and $100 funniest. Live DJ with BCON, happy hour from 5 to 9 PM including $3 Fireball. There will also be a pumpkin carving contest with $50, $25 and $10 prizes. If you want seats call 901-435-6915 and make reservations in advance; after 10 they cannot reserve seats. This would be worth attending just to see what Brick is wearing.

Rehab Disco will have a Halloween Dance Party Saturday with special guest DJ Empir3 from St.Louis. Prizes for the best costumes; special performance by Larena from Pyramid Dance.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Rio Loco with a live mariachi band and drink specials. Starts at 8:30 PM.

Spindini will have its second annual Kittens and Cougars bash, with cash prizes and drink specials.

Sunday, October 31

There will be a family event at Mud Island River Park from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Kids can trick-or-treat along a haunted River Walk. There will be candy, prizes, games, hayrides, and haunted train rides.

One of the best parties of the year is always the Kooky Canuck Halloween party. This year they’ll be kicking it off at 6 PM, with $2.50 34 oz. Super Cold Bud Light, as well as drink specials and a costume contest.

Bardog Tavern will have its Halloween party. Costume contest at 10, and at 11 they’ll have the drawing for the Cadillac hearse parked out front. There will be door prizes and drink specials.

Blues City Cafe will have a Halloween party with FreeWorld, with music starting at 10:30. Prizes will be awarded for the scariest, hottest, freakiest, and most creative costumes. FreeWorld will be throwing on some Halloween jams; they’ve played there almost every Sunday night since 1991.

Tue update: MFM Harvest Celebration, free tickets to tomorrow’s Grizz game, bath house hiring, and more

A fall foodie event returns to Downtown the first Sunday in November… the Harvest Celebration is your chance to sample food from some of Memphis’ top restaurants, while supporting the Memphis Farmers Market. From 4-7 PM on Sunday, November 7, you’ll be able to sample food from

Amerigo Italian Restaurant
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
Felicia Suzanne’s
Henny Penny Catering
Inn at Hunt Phelan
Interim Restaurant & Bar
The Majestic Grille
McEwen’s on Monroe
Mesquite Chop House
Owen Brennan’s Restaurant
Restaurant Iris
Sole Restaurant & Raw Bar
Thyme Bistro
Trolley Stop Market

and more restaurants may sign on as well. There will also be a silent auction with over 100 items to be sold, and live music from some of MFM’s best artists. Event will be in Hudson Hall at Central Station, Main at G.E. Patterson. You can buy tickets on the MFM website. $45 advance, $55 at the door, $35 for members, volunteers, and kids under 12.

Marc Gasol has purchased 500 tickets to tomorrow’s season opener, and he’s giving them away to the public for free. Be at the FedExForum’s Grand Lobby tonight (Tuesday) at 5:30 to get your free tickets. First come, first served, limit 2 per person.

The Union Street Bath House is hiring attendants. They had an ad in last week’s Flyer (page 56), and I spoke to the owner Yuri about it on the phone yesterday. The ad said it’s beneficial if applicants know Russian, but I explained to him that there are really not a lot of people in Memphis who speak Russian, and those that do most likely have college degrees and would not be looking for bath house attendant positions. So, if you think you’re a good fit, go ahead and contact them about filling out an application. You can learn more about the bath house on their website, or you can e-mail unionstreetbathhouse@gmail.com. Yuri is an interesting individual to say the least. Will post more about him later. Wonder if he’s talked to the people in the foreign language department at the U of M? Perhaps the bath house could work out an internship program for credit for students studying Russian.

I’ve received more info about a few more Halloween parties – Hollywood Disco, Rehab Disco, Rio Loco – and hope to get my list updated soon.

I had a good time playing darts with Mark from Mark’s Menus last night. We were filmed at the dartboard for a documentary that is being made about Mark’s Menus and other entrepreneurial ventures. As soon as it’s released, I’ll link to it.

It’s Tuesday, so I guess that means it’s trivia night. I’ll be at the Saucer at 7.