Halloween update

Usually I do a post the week before Halloween announcing what parties are happening on what nights… but with Halloween on Friday this year, there’s no need. Damn near everyone is having a Halloween party tonight. Just take a look at the Downtown Memphis newsletter to see what your options are.

There are a couple of FedExForum Groupons that may be of interest. One is to go see the Grizzlies play a home game. There are four different games and two different options to choose from.

The other FedExForum Groupon is for the Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday, January 10. There are three different ticket options.

The Mid-South Heart Walk is tomorrow morning, so allow extra time if you have to drive the streets of Downtown.

Last night, an angry crowd told city leaders that they want Riverside Drive converted back to four lanes of car traffic. The city proposed four alternate plans for Riverside. I was neutral on the Riverside issue until I took it home from work one day and was caught in a traffic jam that extended south from Beale almost all the way to Georgia. Since then I’ve sided with the “give us our four lanes back” crowd.

Normally I don’t promote anything that happens in Germantown, but India Fest, tomorrow from 10 to 6, is worth a drive out there. One of the lucky side effects about getting my Master’s in Computer Science is that I met a lot of Indians and got exposed to their culture and especially their delicious food. Pot-luck holiday parties with Indians were the best.

From Gizmodo: A court fined Google $2000 for using a cleavage shot of a woman that the company took with one of its StreetView cameras. She told the court she suffered “extreme emotional trauma” because of the image. Are you fucking kidding me?

They’re letting us go at 3 today, so I’ll be out for the full Happy Hour doing the Ickey Shuffle with my cold cuts. I hear I might be made famous later tonight, so I’ll be staying out late.

Tipping 101 and Thursday news

(Administrative note: Today’s lunchtime post is a little late going up thanks to GoDaddy and its stupid 500 Internal Server Errors. Thank goodness I had a draft saved.)

Yesterday evening I was at one of my favorite after-work watering holes. A woman came up to the bar and ordered $20.50 worth of food for herself and her friends. When the food arrived, I watched in astonishment as she handed the bartender a 20, then proceeded to fish around in her change purse for two quarters.

Do you think bartending is volunteer work?

Do you think you don’t have to tip because the bartender didn’t mix you a drink?

The bare minimum I would have left would have been $24, which would be about a 17% tip. However, since I am a regular at this particular bar and the bartender is a friend of mine, I would have been inclined to leave something more like $27.
The bartender makes $2.13 an hour. There’s no law saying you HAVE to tip, but not doing so is in extremely poor taste.

The Cotton Museum will hold an artist talk with Lisa McCord this evening from 5:30 to 7:30. She will discuss her two new books of photography, Osceola and Highway 61. Free to the public and there will be refreshments and snacks.

Memphis is a finalist for the location of the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. Get on Facebook and show your support for our city and tell the people in charge that the Hall of Fame needs to be here.

Jay Sieleman will step down as the head of the Blues Foundation in 2015. Jay has done an incredible job increasing awareness of the foundation and the blues. His successor will have big shoes to fill.

Matt Mullenweg is the head guy at WordPress, the CMS used to publish this blog and 23% of websites worldwide. WordPress was my BBQ team’s sponsor from 2009-13, and I still check out his blog from time to time. He blogged an interesting fact this week: No More Platinum. Not one artist’s album has gone platinum in 2014. How the music industry has changed.

The MBJ has an update on Bass Pro construction progress at the Pyramid. The project is on-time (for once), and a new glass skywalk has been announced similar to the one at the Grand Canyon. There will be a restaurant and an aquarium inside the skywalk.

Restricting myself to a York peppermint patty for lunch today so I can talk to Shorty about a bowl of pasta after work. I’ll be out about 5:30 and we’ll see where the evening takes me. Possibly coming tomorrow: A sneak preview of my new book. We’re having an office cookout tomorrow for lunch so I probably won’t be doing my Friday update post until mid-afternoon.

Second Wednesday update with Halloween deals and more news

Got a couple of Halloween deals you need to know about. Arby’s will give away free bacon as a topping on any item on Halloween, provided you say “Trick or meat!” when you order. Free bacon? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up at an Arby’s out in California.

Also, Dishcrawl will offer a 15% discount on its upcoming Soul Food Crawl, featuring Tonya Dyson, if you use the discount code “Spooky” when you purchase online.

The National Civil Rights Museum has announced an additional recipient of its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award: Tom Brokaw. Brokaw will be in town December 2 to receive his award.

The folks redeveloping the Chisca want to put a 144-space surface parking lot in the adjacent area to the east of the building.

Little Rock friends – Nikki’s Hot Ass Chips will appear on your store shelves soon. East Arkansas too including West Memphis, Jonesboro, and Forrest City. These are a must-try if you like spicy food. Have a full cold drink nearby though.

Time for beer, back tomorrow with more.

Do we need a Downtown stylebook? Plus Wednesday news

As longtime readers know, I am not a fan of the AP Stylebook at all and do not follow it on my blog. I think it is overly picky about things like the Oxford comma, and just plain wrong in some instances (for example, calling a handbill a “flier” rather than a “flyer”). However, sometimes I wonder if we need a local Stylebook. For example:

– Griz or Grizz as a shortened version of the Memphis Grizzlies name? (For the record, I prefer two z’s)
– Bluefin or Blue Fin? Seen it spelled both ways.
– South Main Trolley Tour or South Main Trolley Night? I’ve seen both although Trolley Night seems to be the SMA’s preference recently. Or should we even include the word Trolley at all, given that they aren’t running?
– And how the hell do you capitalize the Creole restaurant on Main? DeJaVu? DejaVu? Dejavu? Seen all three, used all three on my blog at times.

Question for my readers who write for the MBJ, Daily News, Flyer or other publications – do you have a standards document to follow for confusing local names?

Last night I played poker at the Blind Bear, and Clay and Ugly from the Mad Earl joined the game. I had blogged about Burlesque Bingo last week, which happens at the Earl Thursdays at 8 PM, but I didn’t make it last Thursday. “You need to come,” Clay told me. “The place gets packed.” So apparently Burlesque Bingo is really popular. How did I not hear about it until two weeks ago?

You know, besides Burlesque Bingo, there’s $2 PBR at the Mad Earl. Why am I not spending more time there? Seems like about two years ago, I got set in my ways always going to the same four bars – Bardog, Blind Bear, Saucer, Goose – and have ignored other places that have opened that are really good.

Tonight at 7 PM is the Flying Saucer’s annual Beerknurd Calendar Release Party. Members of the Saucer’s UFO Club submit pictures of themselves doing stuff in Saucer attire, and one photo from each of the Saucer’s 16 locations makes the cut. Come early, because the calendars will be gone quickly by January or February maybe.

Yesterday I mentioned a new gallery called The Loony Bin at 8 South Main. They have a Facebook page if you want to “Like” them and get their updates.

MemphisWeather.net’s extended outlook has lows in the mid 30s Halloween night as well as Saturday. That’s not good, considering a T-shirt (that I don’t want to be covered up) is the major piece of my Halloween costume! Nor is it good because there will be fewer slutty female costumes out. Saturday’s forecast high in the 50s is not good either, because I have an outdoor event, Memphis Farmers Market Barnyard Ball, to attend. (By the way, I have an extra ticket. Who’s going with me? Too bad the Nuh-Uh Girl is no longer in town. She’d be all over some free food.)

Fireball has been pulled from store shelves in two European countries because it doesn’t meet government standards. Wow, I drank that stuff for three years. I hope I didn’t permanently damage my body.

(Kirk is probably doing an “I told you so” dance right now)

Go Grizzlies in the season opener tonight. I’m not going to the game but will be watching it on TV at one of my favorite watering holes. Outta here for now…

Grizzlies ticket giveaway this afternoon, Barnyard Ball this weekend and other news

There will be no Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday, November 1. That’s because they are gearing up for two exciting events: Their annual Barnyard Ball party that afternoon, and the beginning of the Winter Market the following Saturday.

The Barnyard Ball is the market’s annual end-of-year party… or maybe I should say end-of-the-regular-season party now that there’s going to be a winter market. It’s from 4 to 7 Saturday at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. There will be live music by Star & Micey, and food from MFM vendors as well as from Memphis restaurants. There will also be a Boots & Buckles contest, a cake and wine walk, and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased on the MFM website.

(Disclosure as required by the government: They gave me a pair of tickets to the ball)

The winter market starts the following Saturday, November 8. MFM put out word to vendors, asking if they’d be interested in coming back to sell late fall and winter produce, and the response was an overwhelming “YES!” The market will run every Saturday for six weeks.

There’s a free ticket giveaway for tomorrow night’s Grizzlies season opener this afternoon at 3:30 in the FedExForum lobby. Four Grizzlies players will hand out 500 tickets, first come, first served, limit two tickets per person.

The last Friday of the month happens to fall on Halloween, and that means there will be a special Halloween version of South Main Trolley Night this week. Look for jack-o-lanterns in store windows to know which stores will be handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters. Live music by Eric Crays, Taylor Rene Bothwell, Jack Kadien, Yancy & Yancy, Sing for Glenn, Rocky Tallent, Bobby O’Neal and Roger Wild. If you’re an SMA member, there will be an area set up for you next to Bluff City Coffee with beer, wine, and food including Mark Parsell’s famous chili.

A new gallery called The Loony Bin is opening next door to where I live, at 8 South Main. On Halloween they will have a party with food, beverages, and a costume contest kicking off at 4 PM.

Poker night at the Blind Bear at 8! Wonder if the player who publicly berated me at the poker table Sunday night will do so again this evening. Hopefully she will find a 26 year old boy to coug on and leave me the hell alone. Last night she was showing a relatively new Downtowner around and I Facebooked, “It’s so horrible to listen to someone who’s full of shit give someone new a Downtown orientation.” People “liked” my post so apparently they agree.

Rainy afternoon ahead. If you’re playing poker tonight, I will see you at the table.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Photo Oct 27, 9 23 21 AM

The Halloween party I attended in South Main Friday night had some special guests: The Beastie Boys. DJ Lil’ Eggroll put “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” on and these guys absolutely killed it.

As for me, I was Ickey Woods.

Get some cold cuts… get some cold cuts… WOOOOOOO!!!!!! 44, ladies, that’s me! I’m gonna get some cold cuts today!

I will probably be Ickey again Friday night… but… the person who’s a constant source of drama at poker got mouthy with me last night. You better check yo self before you wreck yo self, young lady. There are a few people who have begged me to dress up as you for Halloween. I had dismissed the idea, responding “Nah… too much,” However, after your verbal attack on me last night, I’m considering it. I wonder if Amazon offers one-day shipping on low-cut tank tops and push-up bras?

Want a free pink Grizzlies headband? Be one of the first 10,000 ticketholders to show up at the FedExForum Wednesday night for the season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is 7 PM.

Want to meet the folks who write for the Memphis Business Journal? You’ll have a chance to do so Thursday. They’re having an After Hours at Pat Halloran’s club in the Orpheum on the corner of Main and Beale at 5:30. There will be complimentary appetizers and beverages, but you must register in advance to attend.

The River Inn of Harbor Town was recognized nationally by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 25 hotels in the United States.

There’s a Groupon deal going on right now for admission to the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art in Pembroke Square.
Historian Jimmy Ogle will lead a free Beale Street tour tomorrow at lunchtime. Meet in front of the Orpheum at 11:45. The tour will last about 45 minutes. Feel free to bring a camera.

That’s it for now. I’ll be at Bardog for happy hour with Melissa after work.

Cat cafes, BBQ brackets and more. Second Friday update

Good development news for Downtown: The CEO of Hard Rock Cafe is in talks to build a 200-room hotel Downtown. More hotel rooms mean we can attract bigger conventions, so this is a good thing for our economy.

I wonder if the hotel will have pool parties like the one in Vegas does? I remember seeing tons of pictures of those parties on the Hot Chicks with Douchebags site.

From Fast Company: Inside America’s first cat cafe. These cafes are popular in Japan. People who cannot keep pets in their apartment can go there and enjoy some cuddles with the resident cats along with their coffee.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has visited eighty3’s new patio.

The 2014 WSOP Poker Hall of Fame inductees have been named: Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland. Negreanu goes in at age 40, the first year in which he was eligible. The legendary Chip Reese was the only other player to get inducted at age 40.

The Memphis Business Journal’s BBQ Brackets are down to the round of 8. Notable matchup: Central BBQ vs. The Bar-B-Q Shop.

Highs in the low to mid 80s this weekend. Who’s wearing a tube top to RiverArtsFest?

Weekend! The Halloween party I’m going to doesn’t start until 9, so I have time to hit a few of my favorite spots first. Should be a fun night!

Green trolley buses re-routed for the weekend and other news

The green buses that have temporarily replaced the Main Street Trolley will detour this weekend due to part of Main being closed for RiverArtsFest. The buses’ alternate route will be:

South on Main
East on Dr. MLK Jr. Ave.
South on Second
East on G.E. Patterson
North on Third
West on Dr. MLK Jr. Ave.
North on Main and begin regular route

I picked up my Halloween costume yesterday! It was an original costume idea, not something I bought off the rack. I took my concept to Josh who does screen printing in the basement of Winfield’s at Madison and Main. He understood what I was looking for and NAILED it. Josh also printed our BBQ team’s 2014 T-shirts and did an outstanding job. If you need custom printing done on shirts I recommend Josh highly.

The Rockin’ RiverArtsFest Preview Party happens on South Main this evening, with performances by Luther Dickinson, Amy LaVere, Ms. Sharde, John Paul Keith and the 145s, and the Mighty Souls Brass Band. It’s free and you can get a first look at the 180 RiverArtsFest vendors.

Tonight is also the first night of the Hard Rock Cafe grand opening celebration. Brasher Rogue performs at the new location at 126 Beale, with Nuttin Fancy and Randy Lee. There is no charge for admission.

The Grizzlies play their final pre-season game against the Miami Heat tonight at 7 at the FedExForum. With all these events going on, expect traffic to be heavy between Union and G.E. Patterson this evening. Expect to pay a premium to park if you can’t find a spot on the street.

The Grizzlies are hosting their annual tip-off luncheon Monday. If you’re willing to part with some $$$$$ you can sit at a table with a player or team executive. All the players will be there. Proceeds raised from the luncheon benefit St. Jude.

The Grizzlies’ affiliate NBA D-League team, the Iowa Energy, will host the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, November 8 at 5 PM at the FedExForum.

Here are some pictures of the partial solar eclipse we missed yesterday due to cloud cover.

In the news: Super drunk woman mistook jail for a bar. (No, not a local Downtown Memphis story.)

I have enough news for a “Friday update #2” post after work, so there may be one. Or, I may just push it back until Saturday morning, because I have to get my Halloween costume together. If you’re going to the same Halloween party I am tonight, in the South Main district, I will see you there!

Six free PBRs and Thursday news

Well, I got a nice surprise yesterday. About 9:30 I was at the Blind Bear. It was their trivia night but I wasn’t playing; I just happen to be in the Blind Bear a lot that time of night. I was at the end of the bar talking to a few friends, when Charles announced the winner of Best Team Name for this week. It was a table of six, and the prize was a free PBR for each player. I guess none of them like PBR, because they sent all six to me! Thank you! Drinking another six PBRs at that hour would not have been good for my performance at work today, so I worked out a rain check with Colin for most of them.

If you want to watch the Tigers football game at your favorite bar Saturday, better figure out if that bar carries ESPNNews as part of its satellite/cable package. The game will be on that channel at 11 AM. The Tigers travel to SMU hoping to get back on the winning track after a bye week preceded by a loss to the Houston Cougars.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in the Mid-South today, if clouds don’t cover it up. The MemphisWeather.net blog has details. It will begin at 4:52 this afternoon, hitting its maximum at 5:53, continuing until sunset at 6:14.

Grizzlies official watch parties for select away games have been planned for the 2014-15 season. Here’s the list. One of those parties will be in the Downtown area: December 3, at the Rendezvous, to watch the Grizzlies play the Houston Rockets. The Grizz GIrls and Claw Crew will be at these parties and there will be giveaways. I won a Grizzlies headband playing trivia at one of these last year.

Tony Allen was voted toughest player in the NBA in a recent survey of team general managers. Marc Gasol received 25% of the vote for best center, second only to Dwight Howard.

Comedian Brian Regan plays the Orpheum tonight.

From the Memphis Flyer: The Green Machine mobile grocery store is looking for a permanent home Downtown. The store specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables, and its owners are hoping to fill the void left when the Easy Way at North Main and Jefferson closed. They are looking at the viability of going into the Easy Way space itself (which would be convenient because the equipment is still there), and also of locations in the Vance Avenue and South Main neighborhoods. Here’s a link to the project on ioby.

My favorite blogger/MILF asked me to mention the new bike lanes on Danny Thomas Boulevard. I haven’t seen them yet because I rarely take that street to or from work, but she commented “people are morons and are still driving in them.”

That’s all for now. I’ll be out at the usual places after work. I guess I will have to go to the Blind Bear at some point and finish those PBRs.