30 days hath September, April, June and November…

But one very special month has 41 days this year.

It’s that time of year once again. Welcome to TUBE TOP MONTH. This month is all about the promotion of tube tops as the greatest women’s fashion item ever. To celebrate, every post on this blog will either contain a photo of a tube top, or a mention of tube tops, no matter how irrelevant to the rest of the content tube tops are.

“But wait,” you may ask, “it isn’t the start of the month.”

True. When Tube Top Month began in 2005, it was the month of June. However, two years ago, a very wise reader suggested that I expand Tube Top Month to include the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays/holiday weekends. That sounded like an excellent suggestion. So, this year Tube Top Month begins at 5 PM on Friday, May 25 and ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 4. 41 days of tube tops!

Tube top dresses count too. As long as there are no straps, it’s acceptable. I’m not using the strict 1970s definition of tube tops, because those can be hard to find.

Help support Tube Top Month. Spread the word, or better yet, wear one yourself!

Fri update: Sunset Symphony, bake sale for Shannon Parker, Slider Inn, I Want Local Food, BBQ in Southern Living, and more

Tomorrow is Sunset Symphony, the final event of Memphis in May. Like Music Fest and BBQ Fest, it is held in Tom Lee Park. For those new to Memphis, let me provide a brief description of what is going on. Most people bring blankets to claim their space on the park’s lawn, and the earlier you get there, the better a space you can find. Unlike the other MiM events, you can bring coolers or picnic baskets, and yes there can be booze in them. However, you cannot bring bottles in paper or plastic grocery bags due to danger of breakage. See the event’s FAQ for a complete list of what you can and cannot bring. If you don’t feel like bringing food or beverages, there will be plenty of vendors.

Gates open at 2. Schedule:
4:30 Company D
6:00 Air Show
7:30 Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Bar-Kays
9:00 Fireworks

Tickets are $8 in advance, $9 at the gate. Keep in mind that it will be sunny and VERY HOT tomorrow, so dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, and drink lots of water.

I’d say that I definitely plan to go, but most years when I say that it turns into “ah screw it I’ll just hang out at the Saucer” by mid-afternoon.

In other news, there is a bake sale planned for Shannon Parker. She was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver as she was leaving Celtic Crossing Sunday, May 20. The sale will be Saturday, June 23 at Colonial Park United Methodist Church, 5330 Park. Shannon does not have insurance so anything that can be done to raise money helps. This Flyer article has more info on the bake sale and other ways to help Shannon. She is a friend of mine so I’d appreciate support from all my readers.

There’s progress in the case, by the way: This morning the police located the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run. No charges yet though.

Congratulations to the Slider Inn in Midtown, winner of Andy Wise’s 2nd annual chili cook-off. It is owned by Aldo who also owns last year’s winner, Bardog.

The I Want Local Food website is now live. Click the link if you’re interested in buying local food, or if you are a seller.

The Daily News reports that three Memphis BBQ restaurants are featured in the June issue of Southern Living. A&R Bar-B-Que, The Bar-B-Q Shop, and Payne’s Bar-B-Que made “The South’s Best Butts” list.

Now this is what I call a sandwich.

Plans for tonight: Expect another post between 5:30 and 6:00 with a big announcement. After that, I’ll hang around Downtown, probably hit Trolley Night at some point. I had an invite to Zoo Brew but turned it down; as a general rule, the more likely RSVP Magazine is to show up at a beer fest, the less likely I am. Anyway, I’ll be out Downtown tonight. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to wear, check my blog this evening for a suggestion.

Thur update: Parties tonight, TA is a winner, BET event on Mud Island, Sunset Symphony weather

There was no time for a lunchtime post today because we had a departmental lunch at Memphis BBQ Company, where the following exchange occurred:

Marketing consultant: “So I hear you have a popular blog. Are you the foodie?”

Our CEO: “No, he does bars.”

Very quick look at outdoor parties happening tonight: Garry Goin and G3 play the Peabody. The Prime Cut Band plays the Madison. Roaring 20s party with Deborah Swiney on the patio of Bleu.

Congrats to the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen on being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. WELL DESERVED.

BET will have an event Sunday at 11 at Mud Island River Park. They’re looking for young aspiring artists for a contest. In the first round, contestants will sing in front of judges. Contestants who make it to the second round will be able to record in a state of the art studio that will be on site at the event. Winners will be invited to attend the BET Awards. Photos from two previous events in Philadelphia and D.C. can be found here.

MemphisWeather.net forecast for Sunset Symphony Saturday is for “near record highs.” Like most years, I’m undecided whether to go. On one hand, it will be HOT down there. On the other hand, the hot weather will draw lots of tube tops to the park, and it will be Tube Top Month by the time they open the gates.

All right. It’s hot outside. Time to find a nice air conditioned bar. If anyone wants to start Tube Top Month a day early, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Pro wrestling event coming to AutoZone Park

WrestlingINC.com reports that TNA Wrestling will hold an event in Memphis. The annual BaseBrawl event will happen at AutoZone Park Saturday, July 14. In addition to regular tickets, there will also be VIP tickets for sale that get you invited to a special meet and greet. Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and TNA World champ Bobby Roode are among the top stars listed to appear, as well as the “Knockouts” female division. Not sure if that means the hottest woman on Earth, Velvet Sky, will appear in Memphis, but I hope so. Tickets go on sale on the Redbirds’ website on June 1.

Wed update: Bardog lobster sandwich, LuvMud Groupon, Justin Bieber to play FedExForum

Many people have wanted to try Bardog’s lobster sandwich which is on its brunch menu, but can never make it Downtown for Saturday or Sunday brunch. Today’s your chance. The lobster sandwich is on the specials board at Bardog today. The sandwich comes on buttered Texas toast with bacon, avocado, tomato, red pepper, and spicy mayo. (Edit: Sold out)

If you’re thinking about running the LuvMudIsland mud race/obstacle course next month on Saturday, June 22, today would be a good day to buy your entry. There is a LuvMudIsland Groupon today. Two options: $55 for a two-person team, or $99 for a four-person team. Both are 50% off.

Not a show I would personally go to, but I guess it’s Downtown news: Justin Bieber will play the FedExForum November 1. The Biebs will make for some interesting people-watching in Downtown Memphis the day after Halloween.

My stomach has finally recovered from BBQ Fest, so it’s time to go abuse it some more at Taco Bell. I’ll be out somewhere tonight, not sure where yet.

Tue update #2: Chisca, beeTemps, Dunn funeral procession on Beale, Spinal Tap @ Orpheum

First of all, a shout-out to my friend Shannon Parker who was a victim of a hit-and-run in Cooper-Young recently. She pushed a friend out of the way then was run over by a speeding SUV after leaving Celtic. She’s in the ICU as of the time I type this and will be in a wheelchair for at least three months. I know she’s a fan of this blog, and I am a fan of her too. Get well soon.

If you believe in saving the Chisca Hotel, go here and sign the petition. I’ve said plenty about the importance of this movement already. Just scroll down to past posts if you’re unfamiliar.

Kerry has a good post on beeTemps, a new home decor and gift shop that has popped up in South Main. But it has literally “popped up” – it will only be there for a few more weeks, so if you want anything they have, go now.

There will be a Beale Street funeral procession for Donald “Duck” Dunn tomorrow (meaning Wednesday. It’s late Tuesday as I type this). He was the bass player for Booker T & the MGs. Details here.

Spinal Tap plays the Orpheum Friday night as part of their summer movie series. Doors at 6, air guitar concert/competition at 6:30, movie at 7:15. A special drink called “amp up to 11” will be served.

Home from a disaster of a poker night at Blind Bear. We ended up nine-handed at our table (one of three) and I couldn’t catch cards to save my life. Best I got was two hands I’d have played strongly at a shorter table but had to fold against eight opponents. In the end, I went all-in with a speculative hand trying to triple or quadruple up if I got lucky. Wasn’t lucky.

Ideally the evening would have wrapped up with a poker win and a tube top on my bedroom floor, but Blind Bear veggies are not a bad way to finish the night. Off to bed.

Tue update: Recycling, DNA meeting, Memphis Heat, Memphis Dawgs, Filipino dinner, new apartments and more

There’s a new recycling drop-off location at Central Station. City Gardens conducted a survey to see if there would be support for recycling Downtown, and got an overwhelming response. The container will be serviced by IP’s Memphis Recycling Plant, and will be sorted into two; metal, plastic in paper products in one, glass only in the other.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting is tonight at the Majestic Grille. Herman Strickland will speak on diversity in Downtown Memphis.

Memphis Heat, the movie about Memphis wrasslin’ from the 1950s to the 1970s, is now available for download on iTunes.

Good Flyer article about Memphis Dawgs. The hot dog cart started Downtown, but then moved out east and then to air-conditioned digs in Wolfchase Galleria. If you have to go to the mall, stop by and have a Big Nathan’s hot dog while you’re out there.

eighty3 in the Madison Hotel is having a Philippines dinner tomorrow night, prepared by two Filipino chefs. $50 plus tax and gratuity. Call 901-333-1224 for reservations.

Gulf Shrimp Balls
With Fresh Coriander Sauce

Grilled Filipino Sausages “Longaniza”

“Ukoy” Mini Vegetable Pancakes
With Pork Belly Adobo

first course
Crispy Crab Pancit
Crab Meat, Eggs, Crispy Noodles, Julienne Vegetables, Sesame, Cream

Lumpiang Sotanghon
Filipino Egg Rolls, Mung Bean Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Carrots, Garlic

main course
Pork Bicol Express
Coconut Milk, Chilis

Grilled Chicken
Coconut Sauce

Crispy Local Catfish With Aligue
Breaded Filets, Crab Fat, Sofrito, Butter

Garlic Fried Rice

Tinapa Fried Rice

Eggplant And Green Beans
Garlic, Sweet Soy And Lemon

Sago Cake
Palm Sugar Sauce And Coconut Custard

If you can’t make the dinner, there will be Filipino small plates available Thursday night at the Madison Hotel’s rooftop party.

Construction on Downtown apartments at 436 S. Front is now underway. The Memphis Daily News has the story.

If you’re thinking about going to Sunset Symphony, the forecast is for sunny with highs in the mid 90s. If you don’t know what to wear to Sunset Symphony (or elsewhere this weekend), check my blog Friday evening for a suggestion.

I guess it will be the usual for me tonight: Happy hour at the Saucer about 6, then poker with Jamie at the Blind Bear at 8. I feel like my brain still hasn’t totally recovered from BBQ Fest, so it may not be my best night at the table.

Mon update: Flying Saucer 15th birthday, Cotton Museum brunch

Couple of news items that came in over the weekend:

The Flying Saucer will celebrate its 15th birthday on Saturday, June 2. For the 15 hours they are open (11 AM-2 AM) they will have 15 different rare craft beers tapped, one each hour. Here’s the list:

2011 Stone IRS

Sierra Life and Limb

Fritz and Ken

La Trappe Quad

Troubadour Stout

Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat Stout

Charlie, Fred and Ken Bock 2010

Stone Vertical Epic 11-11-11

Green Flash Palate Wrecker

Ovila Quad

Sierra Hoptimum

Green Flash Trippel

And special releases from Yazoo and Lazy Magnolia.

On Sunday, June 10 the Cotton Museum is having a Cotton Boll Brunch to celebrate the end of Carnival season. classic brunch fare, including an omelet station, French toast and shrimp and grits. The event also features a bottomless bloody mary and bubbly bar, live jazz music by Bob Sundra and Rene Koopman, a silent auction and a special exhibition highlighting the history of Carnival Memphis. All proceeds from the event will support the Cotton Museum’s Education Program. The funds raised will be used to create scholarships for free admission and guided tours for hundreds of local children. Event will be at the Cotton Museum at 65 Union from 11 to 3 PM. $40 adults, $75 couples, $12 for children under 12. Visit the museum’s website to make reservations.

My body is definitely feeling the effects of 9 days of partying. I’m going out tonight but not for much longer than it takes to retain my Saucer and Blind Bear mayorships on Foursquare. I want a good night of quality sleep.

Worn out

Yeah no updates for a couple of days… I’ve been absolutely worn out from BBQ Fest and haven’t had the energy to post. Hopefully this blog will be back to normal tomorrow.

If you sent me stuff to post late last week and I didn’t get to it, I apologize for that. I didn’t have a chance to check email and I built up a total of 160 in my Inbox. I also apologize if you added me on social media and I haven’t responded yet. Behind on that too.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to full strength within a day or two.