Thursday update

Did you know that the Orpheum is turning 90 years old this year? There’s going to be a gala called Soiree in the Spotlight to celebrate on November 10. The evening will start off with hors d’oeuvres in the Halloran Centre, then over to the grand old theatre for an evening of delicious food, a silent auction, an open bar, and dancing.

Veteran soccer coach Tim Mulqueen has been named head coach of the USL Memphis soccer franchise. Mulqueen is close with USL Memphis advisor and soccer superstar Tim Howard, and is credited with giving Howard his start in soccer at age 12.

Coach Mulqueen will throw the first pitch at Saturday night’s Redbirds game, and there will be a special ticket that includes a meet-and-greet before the game. After the game there will be fireworks.

Evan Farris and Company jam on the back deck tonight at the Dirty Crow Inn, 8 to 11 PM.

2000 movie Love and Basketball plays at the Orpheum tomorrow night as part of the summer movie series. There will be a special visit by the Memphis Grizzlies Grannies and Grandpas dance team prior to the game at 6 PM. The movie is rated PG-13 for language and sexuality.

Calvary Episcopal is hosting A Night with the Memphis Ukulele Band on Friday, September 7. Seating is limited and suggested donation is $10.

Want to add a snuggly ball of fur to your household? Meet Sabrina.

Adorable, isn’t she?

Choose901 is having a Toast the 901 event at Old Dominick on August 31. Bars, food trucks, games, music, dancing, and at midnight, a toast to the arrival of 9/01 Day.

There will be a Beale Street Art Crawl, free and open to the public, on Saturday, October 20.

This Gulf Redfish from Paulette’s on Mud Island flashed across my feed yesterday. Looks yummy.

Google comes to Memphis tomorrow at the main library. There will be seminars on the Google tools you can use to help your business. There will also be one-on-one coaching sessions for which you can sign up. Very cool!

Grizzlies announcer Pete Pranica has been asked to go to Mumbai to coach the local announcers. They have a game of the week there and do voice-overs. Sounds like the NBA wants the Indian announcers to learn from the very best of the best!

I watched the Miami Marlins-Atlanta Braves game last night and saw the first pitch. There is no doubt Marlins pitcher Jose Urena beaned Braves batter Ronald Acuna Jr. on purpose. I hope Urena gets handed a suspension. That kind of thing is not what baseball is all about.

ArtsMemphis has an opening for Director of Marketing & Donor Engagement.

If you want to play for the Memphis Hustle, there will be open local tryouts next month.

That’s it for this post. Sorry for being late getting it up, but I had some things on my mind and decided to do some writing. I may skip a day tomorrow because I like to be at Bardog the Friday before the alley party.

Wednesday update

The USL Memphis franchise will announce its first-ever head coach this afternoon at 2 on Facebook Live. Things are getting exciting as professional soccer comes to AutoZone Park in 2019.

Appropriately for Elvis Week, the Graceland Ninjaz headline the season finale of the Peabody rooftop parties this Thursday. $15 cover, $30 VIP. Admission includes a buffet of island jerk chicken, Cuban sandwiches, and grilled pineapple. VIP has a second buffet of whole roasted mojo pig, black beans and rice, and mini rum cakes.

Halloween Headbangers’ Ball!

A new convention center hotel is planned to be built next to City Hall. 26 stories, 550 rooms, 55,000 SF of meeting space, a restaurant, a cafe, and three bars will be in the hotel.

Memphis magazine is running a fiction contest, but if you enter you’re going to have to be succinct… you’re limited to 750 words.

People have been arrested for driving ATVs on the streets of Downtown Memphis. ATVs are not legal on public roads.

Bardog has added a Madonna’s greatest hits CD to their jukebox. For easy reference, it is CD number 30. In other Bardog jukebox news, Rico has been busting out some dance moves to the Bee Gees.

The Gray Canary, the new restaurant in Old Dominick Distillery, will kick off their Sunday Suppers this Sunday from 3 to 9. Prix fixe dinner menu, new bar menu, and new featured cocktails.

The Trader Joe’s out in Germantown will finally open next month.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday update

After this past weekend, I’m starting to wonder if the Earnestine & Hazel’s ghost is for real. This past Saturday I was in there and Clarence gave me $5 to play songs on the jukebox. It played all the songs I selected, but it also played two I didn’t, interspersed within the songs I played. What the…???

I had one of the best lunches I have had in a long time yesterday.

This was one of the lunch specials at Bardog yesterday. It was cheese tortellini with shrimp in Alfredo sauce. So good! When you go in Bardog, make sure to look at the board above the kitchen to see the specials. There are soups, a Daily Dog, mussels (usually), two to three entree specials, and desserts which lately have been cakes by Two Girls and a Whip.

In other Bardog news, shirts are in for this Sunday’s Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Fest.

Best Memphis Burger Fest may not be dead after all. Seth posted that last month, a group had contacted him about purchasing the rights to the name and to run the festival. He does not know their exact plans but believes they are going to hit the ground running.

Elmwood Cemetery will have an encore presentation of The History of Death this Sunday at 2 PM. This will be a 45 minute presentation on funerals, folklore, and how we memorialize our loved ones, and beer, wine, and snacks will be served. This event will be indoor and air conditioned, and pre-registration is recommended.

Memphis now has a rage room where you can go smash stuff.

Downtown Yoga will be offering a Healthy Hips workshop with Tedrah Smothers this Saturday from 2 to 4:30. The workshop will help you find freedom in your hips.

More yoga news: Bendy Brewski Yoga comes to Crosstown Brewing Co.’s taproom this Saturday at 10:30 AM. This is a 45 minute, all-levels class followed by beer and socializing with your fellow yogis. $15 for the class plus a beer. YOGA!

The Metal Museum will be offering “taster” classes on September 1. These classes, $50 each, will be 90 minute introductions to blacksmithing, mig welding, casting, and enameling. Register here.

A Bass Pro scuba diver hosts a live fish feeding every day at 10 AM and 3 PM.

There’s a special all-inclusive ticket tomorrow night at the Redbirds. For $20 you can walk up to any concession stand in the park and get free hot dogs, burger baskets, chips and cheese, popcorn, and fountain sodas.

Friday at the Redbirds will be Grit & Grind Night where the Redbirds celebrate the Memphis Grizzlies. Grizz, the Grizz Girls, Grizzline, and the Claw Crew will be there, and the Redbirds players will wear special jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity. There’s a special ticket for this game that gets you not only a seat at it, but a Terrace IV seat for opening night for the Grizzlies’ season.

High Ground News has an interesting piece on the tunnels of Gayoso Bayou.

Tomorrow from 2 to 4 PM, Hal and Julie Lansky will sign copies of their book Come On In, Young Man!, a children’s book about the relationship between Elvis Presley and Hal’s father/Julie’s grandfather Bernard Lansky, Clothier to the King. The signing will be at the Lansky Bros. store at Second and Beale in the Hard Rock Cafe building.

Elvis tribute artist Ted Torres Martin will perform ’68 Miles to Vegas today at 3 at the Halloran Centre.

I don’t normally post Cordova news here, but my BBQ teammate Chad is hosting a new trivia night at Fox and Hound on Wednesdays starting tomorrow. It’ll start at 7:00 and end around 9:30. Best damn Wednesday night trivia in Cordova, so come on out and play!

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

Got a tip about Central BBQ wings yesterday that I thought I would pass on. “The bones in most hot wings are rock hard,” the guy sitting next to me told me, “but because Central smokes theirs, the bones tend to be a bit squishy about 75% of the time. So what you do is, you bite the tip of the bone off and suck the marrow out. It’s so good.”

Important note for those of you who drive the streets of South Main: South Main will be closed from Butler to G.E. Patterson tomorrow, Monday, August 13, from about 7 AM to 7 PM. MLGW is trying to track down a leak in that area. Trolley service will also be shut down on that stretch of Main.

Aldo, the proprietor of Bardog, Slider Inn, and Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and his partners are preparing to open Slider Out at 363 Mulberry. The building last housed a garage. Like Slider Inn, Slider Out will have ample patio seating.

The alley outside the Rendezvous will get some improvements soon, including re-paving, public art, and string lights. The goal is to make the heavily-traveled alley an inviting and safe place for locals and tourists.

The Broom Closet at 546 S. Main will be offering herbal healing consultations on Saturday, August 22.

Elvis Week continues at the Halloran Centre today with Elvis: Ultimate Gospel by tribute artist David Lee. Elvis had often said that gospel was his favorite type of music to sing.

A tattoo shop is coming to The Edge District. Brian Venable, guitarist of Lucero, will open Bluff City Tattoo in October at 667 Monroe. This will be not far from the building at 597 Madison the band bought for its headquarters a few years ago.

Time to crowdsource the name of a song… I was at Bardog a few days ago and a song came on the jukebox that went something like “oooowie ka ka sha sha choo choo yeah.” I thought to myself, the last time I heard that song, I was eating cheese dip at Taco Bell on Cantrell Road in Little Rock in 1981. I should have pulled up Shazam on my phone, but I didn’t. Anyone know the name of that song and the artist who performs it. Bonus points if you know the CD and track numbers on Bardog’s jukebox.

Miranda Sings comes to the Orpheum today. Miranda is the character of actor, comedian, vocalist and author Colleen Ballinger.

Here’s a link to add the Grizzlies schedule to your calendar.

NEEDTOBREATHE plays Mud Island tonight at 7 PM.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow with more news.


Plate party photos and Saturday update

I’ll get to the news in a minute… but first, congratulations to my BBQ teammate Jeremy on his second plate at the Flying Saucer!

The Saucer has a UFO Club you can join. You get a card you can scan in the computer each time you drink a beer. Drink 200 different beers and you get immortalized with your plate on the wall – well, now the ceiling because space on the wall ran out long ago. The Memphis Saucer has over 1000 people in the Ring of Honor.

If you go through the 200 beers multiple times, you don’t get multiple plates. Rather, your plate changes color. Most plates are black, indicating one trip to the Ring of Honor. On the second trip, the color changes to yellow.

I asked Brandey who works there for a beer recommendation.

I wanted something with a lot of flavor that wouldn’t break the bank on Jeremy’s plate party tab, and Brandey had an excellent recommendation.

The Ballast Point Aloha Sculpin and Moody Ques Deputy Director Perjorie T. Roll. Deputy Director Roll was the team member who recruited Jeremy onto the team one Saturday morning at Bardog in February 2017.

Congratulations Jeremy on the second plate and thank you for inviting me to your plate party.

Later in the evening I ended up at Blind Bear where another BBQ teammate, Mary Ann, introduced the Deputy Director around. There were kisses.

On to the news… 3 Kings perform an Elvis tribute at 3 at the Halloran Centre today. One King will play hits from the ’50s era of young Elvis. Another will perform hits from the leather era of the ’60s, and a third will perform hits from the jumpsuit era of the ’70s.

Looking for a great charity to donate to? Check out the Orpheum’s Mending Hearts Camp. This is a performing arts camp for children who have experienced the death of a parent. Kids take acting, singing and dancing classes and create a final performance. Adults from the community who lost a parent speak to the kids, and professional counselors are there for small-group sessions.

Couple more Memphis in May 2018 facts that were tweeted yesterday: The economic impact the festival had on the city was $137.7 million. It all could not have been done without the festival’s 915 volunteers.

As your number one source of news and information about the Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link to this great High Ground News article about a stationery company moving to the neighborhood.

The Flyer’s Meghan Stuthard lurked at the Green Beetle and wrote about their Bushwackers, their ghosts, and their regulars.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ 2018-19 schedule is out.

Breakaway Running is inviting the public to their run departing from St. Jude and their after-party on Thursday, August 16. This will be a warm-up for the Breakaway Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Festival benefiting the children’s hospital.

Speaking of Bardog, I found a new use for Evernote. Sit near the jukebox, and when a good song comes on, notice the CD number and track number under Now Playing. Put them in Evernote for a future playlist.

The South Main Association will have their monthly meeting Tuesday at ArtSpace Lofts at 138 St. Paul. Learn about the space that houses 63 affordable live/work spaces for artists. There will be four speakers and appetizers will be provided by ArtSpace, The Arcade, and The Vault.

Nine Bird scooters were found vandalized and dumped in the woods.

A new sound system is coming to the Liberty Bowl along with improvements to the home locker room.

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Yesterday Memphis in May announced its 2019 honored country, and it’s not a country at all… it’s Memphis. Next year is Memphis’ 200th birthday and it’s the perfect time to honor our fair city. What a great decision.

Memphis in May had record revenue this year. That is great to read!

Peabody Deli & Desserts has mojito ice cream for a limited time. Must be 21 to indulge.

Belle Tavern will open at 2 today for the Manchester United game.

A couple of days ago I was up at Bardog, and Bloomers showed me one of the prizes that will be in this year’s raffle at Monroe Avenue Fest: PBR cornhole boards. Sweet! “We should auction off dates with people,” Bloom joked. Too bad we didn’t think of that in 2014, because I most definitely had a groupie who was following me around to bars around the time of Monroe Fest that year.

Swamp stomp blues come to the Brass Door tonight with the return of Iron Mike Norton. 7 PM show.

The Daily News has a good piece on the Hive Collective pop-up retail shop and co-working space that will occupy 100 S. Main for the next month.

Wiseacre has announced its Oktoberfest celebration for Saturday, September 29th. Gourmade food truck, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Memphis Beer Choir, Rogue Chefs will all be there. Beer specials and costume contests to be announced.

Music Export Memphis is looking for musicians to perform at venues around the region in a series of concerts in fall of 2018. The goal is to expose residents of other cities to all that Memphis has to offer musically.

Just City Memphis’ Plunge to Expunge returns August 30 at Memphis Made. Dunk local celebrities to raise money to expunge criminal records to give people a second chance.

Do you have the voice? The University of Memphis marketing team is looking for public address announcers for each of its eight major sports.

Southern California native Elvis Tribute Artist Jacob Roman and 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Bill Cherry will remember the King at noon today at the Halloran Centre. This is the first of five Elvis tribute shows at the Centre over the next five days.

Steel Magnolias plays the Orpheum tonight as part of the Summer Movie Series. The movie begins at 7, with the lobby open at 6 for movie-themed fun and drinks.

This November will mark the 10th year of Downtown Dining Week. Visit the website to see how your restaurant can get involved. This is a big chance to introduce people who might not even be aware of your restaurant to what you have to offer.

If you graduated from the University of Memphis in the past year (December 2017 or later) with a graduate, professional, or doctoral degree, you are eligible for two free football tickets for the 2018 Tigers season. The athletics department will send out an email soon to those eligible.

Congratulations to my former neighbor across the hall and former Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris on being named part of county mayor-elect Lee Harris’ transition team. Also on the team: former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.

If you missed the episode of Classic Memphis Wrestling dedicated to Brian Christopher Lawler, the video is now online.

Bill Stanek, Merit Koch, Sarah Williams and BJ Banks will perform tonight at Songwriter Night 94 at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main.

Sorry for the lack of news in yesterday’s post. I was just down in the dumps a bit and needed to vent. Special thanks to a friend who was a very good listener yesterday.

Well blast… I have been waiting on the weekly Memphis Farmers Market email so I can fill you in on happenings there, but it hasn’t shown up yet and I have a time-sensitive item in this post (the Elvis thing at Halloran Centre at noon) so I can’t wait any longer. The Market runs every Saturday 8 to 1 at Front and G.E. Patterson. Produce, meat, live music, food trucks, and beer by TapBox. I haven’t made it there the past couple of weeks but will probably go tomorrow.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Current state of mind

Is it possible to be madly in love with your life and deeply depressed at the same time?

Yesterday a friend asked me for a restaurant recommendation to take people from out of town. I gave him one, and later in the day my friend told me his guests had the time of their life at dinner. That made me so happy to hear. That made my day, knowing others had a great time because of my suggestion.

A couple of nights ago, I was talking to another friend of mine, who owns a recent startup business Downtown that is doing quite well, even better than expected. He heard I mentioned him on my blog and he checked it out. “I’m not a person who reads blogs, but I read yours for over an hour,” he told me. “I went back three or four months. You have your own unique way of explaining things.” It makes me happy to be told that I bring something unique to the world.

A couple of years ago, I was at Bardog the Friday before the Monroe Avenue Fest. Aldo was there making last-minute plans, and was rather annoyed that the company renting him their PA system was charging him a hefty amount, not giving him even a little break considering the event was raising money for the kids of St. Jude. I reached out to a few people and found someone who gave him a much better price. Knowing I contributed to the festival’s success pleased me greatly.

It’s not just Downtown stuff either. In 1997, I had an English major add my Computer Literacy class at the last minute, needing to get a general-education requirement out of the way. By the end of the semester, however, she loved working with computers so much that she changed her major. After she graduated, I took her with me to the local computer users’ group so she could network. She is now a highly-sought cybersecurity consultant living in Las Vegas and I remain in touch with her. I am so proud to have influenced the course of her life, and I know she is not the only student I had that kind of effect on.

I’m a writer. I’m a teacher. I’m a connector of people. I’m an inspirer. I’m creative. Those are the greatest gifts I bring to the world.

And now I once again find myself hunting for a job – in a field that really doesn’t use any of those gifts. It depresses me greatly. I know many of you see me out and I seem happy. And I am happy when I’m with the friends that I love dearly and who love me.

What you don’t see is the person who wakes up at 6 AM and lies there for two and a half hours, horrible thoughts rushing through my head, paralyzed with fear. The person who finally gets up and paces the floor for an hour, getting nothing productive done.

I really wish I could say more about those thoughts, but this is a public blog and I can’t control who sees it.

Time to hit Publish and get the day started. I should spend the rest of today looking for recruiters and job applications and talking about things like controllers and scrum and Angular and SQL.

But today, I just can’t. Maybe tomorrow.

National Night Out photos and Wednesday news

I attended the South Main National Night Out at the 409 South Main market last night. Here are some photos.

One thing surprised me a bit – there were no cops there! I guess that they were all at the Court Square National Night Out event, which would make sense, I suppose, since the precinct is on North Main now. I didn’t get a chance to thank any officers for their service.

National Night Out is the one day a year I get Jack Pirtle’s chicken without having to get in the car. Love those tenders I had last night… and especially that big cup of gravy for dipping! You know, it’s funny, for 25 years I thought Pirtle’s was just another corporate chain. In 2012, however, on the opening night of Double J, I met Cordell and Tawanda Pirtle, the current owners and operators of the business, son and daughter-in-law of founder Jack Pirtle. They are wonderful people and very involved in the community. We’re friends on Facebook where I frequently see them singing the praises of their employees who go above and beyond for customers. When you eat at Pirtle’s you are definitely shopping local.

Ghost River is brewing a new beer called Happy Herd IPA, named after the herd of bison that live in Shelby Farms. A percentage of the sales of this beer will be donated to the park. It will be released August 24, but they are currently taking pre-orders in the taproom.

Comma Comedians present 1, 2, 3, Comedy! at Local Gastropub tonight at 7:30. This is a bi-weekly Wednesday event.

The 2019 Memphis in May honored country will be announced tomorrow.

Speaking of Memphis in May, local BBQ team Porkosaurus tweeted yesterday that its new slaw sauce is now available on Amazon.

The Hive Collective opened yesterday in the pop-up space at 100 Peabody Place (formerly the Life Is Good space). The collective offers a combination of retail and a co-working space. There is 1700 square feet of space with 4G Wi-Fi in which you can work for $10 a day or $25 a week, with coffee provided by Vice Virtue Coffee, a design library, and a printer/scanner. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11 AM-7 PM, and there will be a grand opening party this Friday.

The Memphis Grizzlies Regional Caravan kicks off later this month with an August 17 stop at AutoZone Park for Grit and Grind Night. The caravan will then make stops in Little Rock, Jackson, MS, Birmingham, Jackson, TN, and Nashville later this month and into early September. Grizz, the Grizz Girls and the Claw Crew will be there, and the Jackson, TN and Nashville stops will feature Grizzlies guard/forward Dillon Brooks.

The Daily Memphian, the online newspaper by locals, for locals, is getting a home Downtown. The newsroom will operate out of a building at 254 Court Avenue.

It’s fantasy football time and Max’s Sports Bar is here to help. Have your fantasy league draft at Max’s and get a free draft kit plus 15% off your entire tab. Call 528-8367 to book.

Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp has been named the manager of the Arizona Fall League Surprise Saguaros. The Cardinals will supply prospects along with Kansas City, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. Play begins October 9.

Greenspace, the new owner of Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park, is looking to re-imagine the parks now that the Confederate statues are completely gone.

High Ground News has a good story about Harvest Creative, a branding firm in the Pinch.

A personal note about me: I am no longer with the company out in Germantown with which I started in March. We parted ways a couple of weeks ago. I signed an NDA so I don’t want to say more about it than that. They are a great family company that takes great care of their employees and provides a superior level of customer service. I sincerely wish success and growth for them in the future.

So anyway, I am once again looking. Here’s a link to my resume and I’m also on LinkedIn.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Today is the first Tuesday in August, which is always National Night Out day. This year, at 6 PM there are not one, but two, National Night Out celebrations Downtown. The DNA is hosting an event in Court Square, and the SMA is hosting an event at the 409 South Main food hall. Pick whichever one suits your fancy, grab some grub, thank a police officer, and learn about how the community and the police can partner together.

Even though it’s farther away from where I live, I will be at the South Main NNO event. Two reasons why: Jack Pirtle’s chicken and air conditioning.

I didn’t make it to the Silly Goose this past Sunday for their pop-up brunch with Wok’n in Memphis, but I am told it went very well and is going to be a weekly thing. Follow the food truck on Twitter to get an idea of what they serve. Looks delicious!

For those of you wondering about all the people marching down Main Saturday afternoon wearing purple, WREG has a report. It was a church group marching for nonviolence in Memphis.

Something new has been announced for the Monroe Avenue Fest (aka the Bardog alley party) on Sunday, August 19. In the past, Bardog employees and regulars have shaved their heads to raise money for St. Jude. This year, instead of a head shaving, Bardog/Slider Inn bartender Colin will get tattooed for St. Jude if $5000 can be raised. Donations in any amount are accepted, and if you can’t make it on the 19th you can donate online or take your money by Bardog. Donate $100 or more and get your name on the Big Baller Board above the bar.

New Wing Order posted photos of their new food truck:

Looks snazzy! The truck will hit the road for the first time next month.

Bird scooter crashes are causing an uptick in ER visits. Yeah, not surprised by that at all. Several of my friends have injured themselves on those things.

Bass Pro has a bartender position open at The Lookout Restaurant high atop the Pyramid.

The Rock posted a tribute to his friend Brian Christopher Lawler yesterday. When Dwayne Johnson broke into the business in 1996, he was sent to the Memphis territory to get some seasoning. He adopted the ring name Flex Kavana and Brian Christopher was his first tag team partner.

The fan-made man, Corey Smith, will be live in concert at the Tin Roof Thursday night.

THIS IS VERY COOL: 10-year-old raises $2000 to donate to St. Mary’s soup kitchen.

That’ll do it for now. See you at National Night out this evening, I hope!