First-world problems, BBQ Fest style

Tonight is “Friends & Family Night” at BBQ Fest. It’s like a practice day before the park opens to the public, a soft opening of sorts. You can’t buy tickets at the gate, and even a 3-day park-hours-only wrist tik won’t get you in. You have to have a separate ticket for Friends & Family Night, or a 24-hour-park-access wristband, in either case purchased by your team about a month in advance. There’s a limit to how many of each you can buy. I think the limits are 50 for the tickets and 15 for the wristbands. Counting team members, sponsors, and cook team, we have about 60 people on our team. So Wednesday tends to be more “Just Us Night” than Friends & Family Night.

Hours are 5:30 to 10:30 PM. Closing time is earlier than the midnight closing time Thursday and Friday. But that shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Well, tonight it’s a big problem.

You see, our booth is all the way to the south of the park. When the park closes, it’s about a 25-minute walk to the bars in the Downtown core. Most likely I’ll be hanging out at our sponsor the Blind Bear, although Silly Goose and Flying Saucer are also options.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is that the average NBA game is 2 hours and 20 minutes long, counting timeouts, commercial breaks and halftime. The Grizzlies-Thunder game, a very important game because a win sends us to the Western Conference Finals, starts at 8:30. Now, I don’t feel like I have to see ALL of the game. But I’d like to see the last few minutes.

But the last few minutes of tonight’s game, I’ll be walking. That’s a problem. What to do? Leave early? Go to the much-closer Max’s Sports Bar on the south end rather than one of my usual bars in the core? Between now and tonight I’ll have to figure it out.

Congrats to the Grizzlies on making the cover of Sports Illustrated. The title is “True Grit” and there’s Mike Conley driving to the basket.

There’s an after hours at Mud Island River Park from 6 to 8 tonight. Wine tasting, river views.

There’s also a wine tasting at Spindini tonight. Northern Italian food paired with “vine to table” wine. $45 per person, reservations highly recommended.

The Memphis Flyer had a recent article about two gluten-free options available in Downtown Memphis and elsewhere. At the Memphis Farmers Market, you can purchase gluten-free boxes of Chocolate Ginger Macadamia Muffin Mix, Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Muffin Mix, and Richard’s Favorite Waffles and Pancake Mix produced locally. Also, Huey’s has rolled out a gluten-free menu.

Just saw a tweet that the Church Health Center offers free cooking classes, and you don’t even have to be a member of the Church Health Center Wellness program to attend. I wonder if there are tastings at the end of the cooking classes, and if so, I wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Envision Memphis, the health club on the top floor of the Cadre Building (Second at Monroe), will have a dodgeball bootcamp on Wednesday, May 30.

That’ll wrap it up for now. Today I’ve got to do the errands I didn’t get done Monday (too hung over) or Tuesday (went to the park because the team was desperately short-handed). About 3 I’ll pre-game at the Saucer, and then I’ll head to the park at 5:30. Mostly I’ll hang out in my own team’s booth (Moody Ques S-215), although I do plan on going over to Squeal Street for a minute, where Bob, Mike, and Bones will have an ABBA dance-off in honor of MiM host country Sweden. No Number 2 in their port-a-john please!