I know a girl who thinks of ghosts… She’ll make ya breakfast… she’ll make ya toast… plus Sunday news

Yesterday started off with a change of plans. Normally I lead off at Bardog when it opens at 11 on Saturdays, but yesterday I knew the place would get packed with runners. Not that there’s anything wrong with runners – they are real-life heroes – but I knew I would be in a place where nearly everyone in the room shared a common experience and I did not. My “DAWG” John D had already told me he wasn’t coming, not wanting to fight traffic.

At the time I made yesterday’s post, I was thinking Silly Goose or Blind Bear would be my lead-off spot. But then I got a different idea. “When I go to the Farmers Market, I always have a fun time at Earnestine & Hazel’s afterward,” I thought. “Why don’t I go there?” E&H opens at 10, so I could get started an hour earlier than usual.

I walked in at 10:04, expecting the place to be empty, but instead I got a pleasant surprise. My friends Gary, Boo, Bones, and Carol were at the bar. Later in the day we were joined by Bad Shane and Leigh. All of those people are Squeal Street BBQ members, so we started talking about next year. Bones told me he had just written the check for Memphis in May’s entry fee. “I can’t believe it’s December 3 and you are talking about BBQ,” Carol commented. When you’re on a BBQ team, you talk about BBQ year ’round. It’s what you do.

We should be in a GEICO commercial.

With such good company, I had my longest stay in my entire 14 years I’ve been going there… 10:00 until almost 3:45. There was plenty of PBR, the smell of Soul Burgers was in the air, the jukebox was cranking out tunes. Life was good on South Main. A really nice couple that talked to us went over and played “Crazy” by Patsy Cline on the jukebox, which made me smile. A friend asked if that song reminded me of a particular person, and I laughed so hard that I nearly snorted PBR out of my nose.

The others made their way to the parade at 4, but due to the rain and cold I decided I didn’t want to be outside. Great hanging with you guys yesterday! Hey, next time you have a BBQ cookout, maybe you should invite me. I promise I wouldn’t be there to steal cooking secrets for my own team – I wouldn’t even know what to look for. I would just like to be there to socialize with you guys… and, you know, your other guests……


I called an Uber and caught a ride to the Blind Bear. As I was continuing my PBR-Fest, Colin handed me a gift.


I have never been a toast person in my life, although I would eat cinnamon toast from time to time when I was little. This, however, is the gift that will make me learn to love toast. “It burns a PBR logo into the bread as it toasts it,” Colin told me. I took a photo and posted it to Facebook. “Winner of the ugly toaster contest,” commented Chef Michael Patrick. Yes, but aren’t most toasters ugly? In any event, I’m happy to get a free toaster without having to open a bank account! (My younger readers won’t get that reference)

I stopped by City Market to get a snack to take home, then it was time for a nap. I was pounding those PBRs at Earnestine & Hazel’s and needed a few hours rest. I woke up about 11 PM and saw no reason to go back out. I think after stressing about the car situation the past two weeks, I needed to catch up on sleep.

Let’s all say a please-don’t-send-Tennessee-to-the-Liberty-Bowl prayer, because it’s College Football Bowl Selection Sunday. Arkansas is not likely to be invited back since the Hogs just played here last year. Georgia or Texas A&M would be good choices to invite to the Liberty, it would seem.

As for the playoff, I’m predicting 1 Alabama vs. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl and 2 Clemson vs. 3 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. I think Ohio State will be penalized a slot for being the only non-conference champions… not that it will matter, they will beat Clemson either way. I can’t see Penn State getting in, given that they are a two-loss team and lost to an unranked opponent.

Ghost River will be giving away pairs of tickets to Tuesday’s Grizzlies vs. 76ers game at 2 and 6 PM today. You get a raffle ticket when you buy a beer. The way to do it is to befriend the people sitting near you. Many people won’t be interested in staying for the drawing, and if you make friends you might be able to get them to give you their raffle tickets as they leave.

Karen Waldrup makes her debut at the Dirty Crow Inn Friday night from 9 to 12.

The Redbirds are having a huge merchandise sale Saturday from 10 to 5 at AutoZone Park. $10 T-shirts, $5 hats, novelties $5 and under.

The Church Health Center is seeking applications to become Church Health Scholars for the 2017-18 class. Applicants should have a 4-year college degree, but they should not have a master’s degree nor be enrolled in a master’s program. Scholars interact with staff and patients to bring a new sense of compassion to the Center. Applicants should have a passion for making life better for the underserved. The program is 12 months long, from June to June.

From Eater: You can’t unsee Donald Trump in Spam form.

I do have to say this, though: Yesterday I talked with a friend of mine who served in the Gulf War, and he thinks Trump’s pick for Defense Secretary, retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, is about as good a pick as it gets. He told me Mattis is very popular within the military and is a no-nonsense kind of guy who gets things done. He told me Mattis will temper Trump’s wild policy ideas and will convince Trump to not get cozy with Putin. If Trump takes a Henry Ford approach to his office – I don’t know everything I need to know, but I know how to hire the people who know those things – maybe we will survive his presidency.

While I was at E&H yesterday, my friend Boo reminded me to be sure and come visit her pottery booth at the Memphis Farmers Market Winter Market next Saturday, December 10. It will happen from 9 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. “There will be fewer produce vendors than the regular markets, but there will be more arts and crafts vendors,” Boo explained. If you want to support regional makers and find unique gifts that you won’t find on Amazon or at Sears, come to the winter market. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I WILL BE THERE spreading a little sunshine and I will stop at Clarence’s bar at E&H afterward. Maybe I will stay in the area for a while and watch the Army-Navy game at my home away from home on the south side, Max’s Sports Bar.

Yikes… I just realized the only thing I had to eat yesterday was a veggie tray from City Market, which means I had zero grams of protein for the day. Maybe I better go somewhere for breakfast. At 11 I will be at D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear for their Hung Over Like a Bear brunch. We will have much to discuss, particularly the adventures of Hot Vegetarian Katie from D.C. and her friend over in Italy. Katie’s friend posted that it was a bad idea to wear heels to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You know, that’s what differentiates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom – we have the ability to learn from the mistakes of others. If I ever go to the Leaning Tower, I will not wear heels. All right, time to hit Publish. I hope B-RAD is icing down the PBR because I am thirsty.