Anyone in my building have a Mac?

I know a lot of my neighbors read this blog… got a favor to ask. If anyone has a Macintosh with an Internet connection, could I use it for about 15 minutes to test a website I created? I used a rather non-traditional font and I want to make sure the look and feel of the site I created approximately matches up. E-mail me (paul at paulryburn.com) if you can help. Thanks.

Other news:
– I’ve told some of you individually that my mother had gone to Dallas to have surgery. She had it yesterday (I didn’t even know she had been scheduled, the surgeon had a last-minute cancellation and my uncle and aunt called me) and she came through with flying colors. I can’t say enough how sweet my uncle and aunt have been to her – they’ve made it more like a vacation than a medical trip in the 2 weeks she’s been down there. Haven’t met my aunt yet – she’s new to the family – but I hope to soon.

– 99 bottles of beer on the wall… I drank my 99th beer at the Flying Saucer day before last. Another 101 and I’ll get my plate on the wall. It will probably be 2007 before that happens. Trouble is, now I’m down to the dark beers (which I’m not a big fan of), the expensive beers, and non-alcoholic beers like O’Doul’s (yuk).

– My sober posts aren’t nearly as interesting as my drunk posts, are they?

– I’m once again leaning toward the Monkey for Sunday drinking tomorrow. Might stop by Sleep Out’s afterward for $1 PBR.

– And right now, I’m going to go work on that website some more. Hey, the Saucer has wireless, doesn’t it? May be time to knock out beer number 100. After my 100th beer hits the UFO computer I get a free biggy (22 oz.) beer. Any suggestions for what beer I should get? I’m leaning toward Paulaner Hefe-Weizen but haven’t decided for sure. Anyway, I’m out, see you later…

Drunk post #37468

– Both magnums of wine are gone now. Damn rooftop. Time to go to the liquor store.

Friday I’ll go to the liquor store. Tomorrow (Thursday) I’m determined to forego my own rooftop for the first time in a month and go over to the Peabody to hit on scantily clad bimbos. I know some of my No.10 neighbors read this; if anyone wants to come with me shoot me an e-mail or call.

– I saw a falcon. It perched on our roof for a while, then flew over to the Madison and perched there. All the other species of birds attacked it, except the pigeons which are too dumb. A few years ago the city bought some falcons to try and control the pigeon population. From what I can tell it hasn’t worked.

– Here’s a quiz. This will be a learning experience for all of you but for one of my neighbors in particular. Won’t say which neighbor, but I will say that she had a birthday in the past week. Okay, here goes. You’re leaving town, and you have a plane ticket to fly to another city. About 60-90 minutes before the scheduled departure time you should

A) take a nap because you’re hung over from the wine you drank 2 days ago
B) chill out to your Jack Johnson CD
C) GO TO THE AIRPORT!!!!!!
D) go to Memphis Pizza Cafe for pizza and beer, beer, beer.

– I mean, really. How do you FORGET to go to the airport… If they ever bring back the TV show Three’s Company for new episodes, I know someone who should try out for the part of Chrissy.

– I guess then I would have to be Larry, the horny neighbor. Actually, that’s okay, I could totally get into hanging out at the Regal Beagle. I need a good bar to hang out at.

– I mean, other than the Monkey

– And the Tap Room

– And the Saucer

– And Sleep Out’s

– And Swig

– And the Diamond

– And Earnestine & Hazel’s

– And Raiford’s

– (Interrupted this journal entry to go drink two mugs of beer at the Tap Room. But I’m home now, and damn glad that Sam Walton, genius that he was, decided to carry 12-packs of corn dogs in his stores before he died. Mmmm… corn dogs)

– Holy shit! Buckley’s closed! They had some really good steaks, and reasonably priced. The filet with a side of mushrooms… oh yeah. And the Buckley’s Buds? Good stuff. There’s a note on the door: “Thank you downtown for nine years… we’ve moved to 7213 East Bumblefuck Drive.”

– Or was it “Germantown Parkway”… meh, what’s the dif

– And changing the conversation to restaurants not nearly as good… did Taco Bell just totally run out of ideas with this new CrunchWrap Supreme? I mean, it looks like every bad idea they’ve had in the past 10 years, all wrapped into one. And, Taco Bell being part of a corporation, the CrunchWrap was probably one of several potential new items, and it was voted the best by a focus group. Just think how much the other items must have sucked!

– I miss retro Taco Bell… the original Enchirito topped with lots of cheese and a few black olives and onions… the Beef Burrito… the MexiMelt… the Mexican Pizza… that Mexican hamburger thing they had. The Taco Bell menu circa 1985 was damn near perfect.

– Then again… they have innovated over the years. When the 7-layer burrito came out I had to have one every day for about a month in a row. And the chalupa is a thing of beauty. Gorditas, eh, not so much, I could take or leave them.

– According to the Memphis Flyer, the new exercise craze is erotic dancing – dancing like you’re a stripper, with poles and everything as props. They wrote an article on it this week. Perhaps some of my neighbors who are classically trained in dance will consider branching out. It’s important to be well rounded, you know!

– Back to Three’s Company for a minute… Know who I really thought was hot on that show? Not Chrissy, but her cousin Cindy. Remember her? The tall blonde? Her legs went on for days, and she’d always wear those midriff tops what were just baaaaaarrrely long enough – until she got excited and started jumping up and down.

– And then there’s Janet… girl next door who could TOTALLY work a pair of tight jeans. Bailey Quarters from WKRP deserves to be mentioned for the same reasons.

– All right… just finished my corn dog, so it’s time for bed. Aren’t you glad you took the time to read this? Back tomorrow or the next day. Enjoy the rest of your week!

In search of the perfect hot wing

Okay, before I start this article I have to rant about something.

I was sitting in the Flying Saucer, doing research for this journal entry, sitting in one of the window seats. A car drove by. It had one of those high-dollar spinner rims, and one regular rim on the passenger side. Couldn’t see the other side of the car so I don’t know what the other tires looked like, but still… just when I thought this town couldn’t get ANY more ghetto, it does! What was this guy thinking? “Well, I can’t afford a whole set of spinners, so I’ll just get one.” And why anyone would put any spinners at all on the piece of shit he was driving is beyond me anyway – the car had a dented fender, and one of the bumpers had been replaced and was gray while the rest of the car was white.

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. I love hot wings. I could eat them all day long. In a typical place that has five varieties (mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and suicide), I usually get extra hot, with extra blue cheese dip. Carrots and celery are absolutely necessary.

So recently I went on a search for the perfect hot wing in my downtown neighborhood. I’m going to list restaurants that sell wings and rate their wings on a scale of 1 to 10. The gold standard to which I’ll be comparing them is a place I went to all the time in the mid-’90s – a place on Winchester called Buffalo’s. (NOT Buffalo Wild Wings, different chain.) They had Bash Night every Monday – all the wings you could eat for about 10 bucks. My friends and I would go every week and put away some wings. Eventually the restaurant left the chain and re-named itself Maverick’s, then closed sometime around 2000 when the neighborhood started to go downhill. I miss those wings. There are still some Buffalo’s locations in Alabama, and I’ve seriously considered road tripping over there.

But, in the meantime, let’s take a look at restaurants downtown and how close they come to the gold standard. I have a feeling I’ll ramble a bit in this journal entry, but what else is new?

1) The Flying Saucer. I’m as surprised as anyone that this place came out of top, because I’ve never considered the Saucer a dining destination. But I was up there last week with my neighbor Paul Two, and he ordered the wings and I tried one. They were so good that I went back today for an order of my own. The wings are delicious – naked (not breaded) and slathered in spicy sauce. They come with a generous amount of celery and carrots, and a good-sized container of blue cheese dip. The fact that the wings are served by waitresses in miniskirts doesn’t hurt either. Rating: 9.5 out of 10

2) Jillian’s. I have to make a disclaimer here: I’ve never ordered the wings off Jillian’s menu. But I have eaten them numerous times, thanks to bowling events sponsored by Mpact or by my apartment building. Like the Saucer’s wings, Jillian’s are spicy and good. Rating: 9 out of 10

3) King of Wings. This is a little take-out place on Madison between Second and Third. Sauce is probably the best of any of the places listed here: the extra-hot wings bring tears to my eyes, which is what should happen. They have whole wings rather than wing sections. Pulling the wings apart can get messy. They need bigger containers for their blue cheese dip: three dips and it’s gone. Still, some damn fine wings. Rating: 9 out of 10

4) Huey’s. These are my drunk wings, meaning when I’m stumbling home from other bars downtown I often stop and pick up a batch. Like King of Wings, they give you whole wings, an order of 6 I believe. Huey’s wings are lightly battered and only available in one grade of spiciness, which is about comparable to King of Wings’ hot. Good-sized containers of blue cheese. Huey’s also gets points for being open late, so I can get wings as late as 3 AM. Rating: 7.5 out of 10

5) Hooters. I had the “3 Mile Island” variety, which is the equivalent of extra-hot. I was a little disappointed; they didn’t set my mouth on fire. Next time I’ll try the 911 wings, which are the hottest. Wings are breaded and slathered in a thick sauce. The thing I hate about this place is that everything is extra. Want celery? It’ll cost you. An extra blue cheese dip? 55 cents, please. And they try to sell you fries to go with it, and then cheese sauce to dip the fries in. The Hooters Girls aren’t nearly as pretty as the waitresses at the Saucer, or as intelligent. Rating: 6.5 out of 10

That’s my top five. There are probably some places I missed that serve hot wings, some of the bars on Beale or in the Pinch. Then there’s Denny’s, whose wings were actually not bad but the 50-minute wait to get them to the table was unacceptable. And, of course, the excellent Hot Wing Rolls at the Blue Monkey (both locations, but only the one on Front Street is in a neighborhood that matters).

That’s all for now. I still have a couple of Life Lessons posts in the works, and a rant about my new pet peeve.

What the bums are drinking this week

Absolutely NOTHING!!!

Here’s why: Today’s Monday, and a holiday. That means the liquor stores are closed today. They were also closed yesterday, because it was Sunday. The last time the liquor stores were open was Saturday.

Now, I went to the liquor store on Saturday. Knowing that it would be my last opportunity to buy for the weekend, I picked up a magnum of wine (50 oz.) rather than the regular-sized bottle. Then I remembered that I tend to share wine, and thought about how many drunks live in my building. So I made it two magnums of wine.

Bums, however, do not have the presence of mind to plan ahead. They can’t see beyond their next purchase. And even if they did think to buy extra for the holidays, where would they store it? Bums usually do not have access to refrigerators. And believe me, you REALLY do not want to drink Night Train or Wild Irish Rose or T-Bird warm.

So a lot of bums are on the wagon this weekend, not due to any choice of their own. They’re welcome to join me on the rooftop for some of my wine, but since it’s a controlled-access building, I don’t think they’d get in. And I don’t think they’d like wine that doesn’t come from a screw-top bottle.

All right, time to go enjoy the rest of the Fourth. I have several good blog entries currently saved in drafts, including one about hot wings and a couple more Life Lessons. There’s an old quote, “He who goes forth on the Fourth with a fifth, may not go forth on the Fifth.” But what if you go forth with a magnum of wine? Guess I’ll find out tonight.

Wallpaper

I have new wallpaper on my cell phone.

Today at the Blue Monkey I took out my camera phone and wiped off the lens (it gets dusty even after a day). I snapped a pic of my Sunday champagne bottle, with the Blue Monkey trolley logo in the background. I saved it as the wallpaper on my cell phone. I don’t think any pic could more eloquently represent who I am at this point in my life. If I can figure out how to upload it to my website without paying Verizon’s $2.95 fee (it’s not that good a pic), I will.

Heading up to the roof, where I will watch tonight’s fireworks. The caterer who lives in the building is cooking gumbo tonight. The mosquitoes have arrived and will be here until mid-October, so it’s time to bathe myself in Deet before going up there.

Checking the website tracker

It’s always interesting to check the site’s tracker and see who has been visiting. It won’t tell me the exact name or e-mail address of the person visiting, but it will tell me the hostname of their computer on the Internet, which is enough to give me some idea of who they are. Let’s see who has been visiting:

A frequent visitor from or.comcast.net: Well, I know who this is. Nice to see that McConnell still finds time to read my journal. I’m sure he’s pleased with the recent upswing in quantity of entries (although not so much in quality).

Lots of hits from usdoj.gov: Ordinarily it would scare me that the U.S. Department of Justice finds my site so interesting, but then I remember that I have friends there. They’re just tuning in to see if I’ve written anything else about our mutual friend who can put her ankles behind her head. Either that or Bush’s attempt to turn the U.S. into a police state is farther along than I realized, and the government really is watching me.

Lots of hits from kgpt.tn.charter.com: I have readers from Kingsport, Tennessee? I can’t recall knowing anyone there. Well, that’s not true, one night about two months ago I was getting drunk in the Tap Room, and these two tourists from Kingsport were sitting next to me and we talked for a while. Think I may have given them a card, not sure, I was pretty drunk.

Hit from memphis.edu: Former student probably. I haven’t taught there in 6 years, but a lot of U of M students are on the 10-year graduation plan. However, I’d like to think it was the extremely cute girl who works at the U of M who was at the party on my rooftop Thursday night.

Hit from memphislibrary.org: This is a wild guess but I think this may be a friend of mine who I haven’t talked to in a couple of years. If it is, you should e-mail me (paul at paulryburn.com). The last time I hung out with this person I drove her nuts because I’d interrupt mid-conversation to point at someone and say, “Look at that girl! She has a tube top on!” Obviously I haven’t grown up a lot in the past two years.

Dammit…it’s not even June anymore and I’m still talking about them.

Tonight I hung out with my neighbor the caterer. I traded him and his family several glasses of wine for a great meal of shrimp over linguini and marinated green beans. His children are becoming accustomed to living downtown. They’ll be walking down the street with him and they’ll point and say, “Look, Daddy! Bum!”

Still haven’t figured out whether this week’s Sunday drinking extravaganza will happen at Sleep Out’s or the Blue Monkey. Sleep Out’s felt like home last week and I had planned on moving the show back there permanently, but then I heard from several people that I was missed at the Monkey. So I’m absolutely 50-50 on my decision right now…probably won’t decide until Sunday morning.

Sunday night I’ll be on my rooftop to watch the Tom Lee Park fireworks. I noticed that the Madison Hotel is charging $25 for admission to their roof for their event, which is basically identical to the view I have from my roof for free. And I won’t have to pay $6 for a glass of wine.

All right…time for bed. If anything interesting happens this weekend I’ll check in with a post.

What the bums and Tonya are drinking this week

One of my neighbors had sort of a reverse birthday party today. She turned 23 and could have easily been all about “me me me me me my party my presents who’s buying me drinks who’s taking me out to clubs me me me.” But instead, she threw an appreciation party for all her friends, to tell them how special her past year has been because of them. Isn’t that cool? She may be younger than me but in some ways I view her as a role model because of the way she just openly, naturally connects with everyone. She’s going to be wildly successful in business by the time she’s about 27, maybe sooner.

So anyway, I stopped by Frank’s Liquors on South Main to pick up a bottle of wine for her party. Remembering that she gave me a bottle of Boone’s Farm for my “birthday” a couple of weeks ago (see archives from around June 12-13 I think), I decided to get her a comparable gift… THE classic wine of downtown…

Thunderbird.

It cost $3 for a fifth. The store’s owner wrapped it up in a shiny silver gift bag with pretty white bow. “The giftwrap cost more than the wine,” she commented.

At the party I poured myself half a sip. It’s nasty but I HAD to know for myself. It really does smell like Clorox, and it tastes like paint. I only managed to get one other person to try the Bird.

And that’ll do it for the very last post of Tube Top Month, and it’s somehow appropriate that it’s in honor of the birthday girl. God, just that half sip of T-Bird was enough to give me heartburn. Time to break out the Mylanta. I’ll see you in July!

Draft lottery

As usual, I was up on my rooftop tonight, and have a report.

Was talking with one of my neighbors who had been over to the Echelon at the Ballpark apartments lately, and commented that it was a younger crowd. “We need to mix it up a little bit,” he said. “No. 10 has more of a middle-aged crowd, where the Echelon’s crowd is younger. It would be good if we could arrange a draft.” It reminded me of the WWE’s recent draft lottery, where five Raw superstars were drafted to Smackdown and vice versa. Not a bad idea. I’m already drafting my list of neighbors I’d send to the Echelon.

One of my neighbors left yesterday, by the way. Not as a result of a draft lottery. My favorite neighbor, a very precocious 5-year-old who could carry on a better conversation than most people six times her age. She went to visit her grandparents and will be back next month. There will be a little less sunshine on the roof until she gets back.

Later in the evening, I was talking to several of my neighbors, including the one who doesn’t understand the difference between a halter top and a tube top. I won’t mention her by name but check the archives. Anyway, at one point she was stretching and she put her ankle behind her head. I’ve gained new respect for this neighbor. If she’s reading: Hey baby. How YOU doin’? What other moves you got? She’s a dancer. Not the kind of dancer I usually go for (i.e. she doesn’t work in a purple building on Mt. Moriah), but, again, what other moves you got?

And that brings another in the series of stupid journal entries to a close. 25 1/2 hours until July.

Yet another in a series of really stupid blog entries

So tonight I was sitting up on the rooftop talking with two of my neighbors, both attorneys and close to my own age. For about 40 minutes we watched the sunset and talked about relationships, movies, plans for the Fourth. It was nice to just sit back and relax and enjoy some adult conversation.

Then it went downhill. My neighbor who lives on my floor – won’t identify him but he has the same first name as me, and remember, I said he is an attorney – asked me, “So, you’ve been hanging out at Raiford’s recently, haven’t you?” I told him I had. He replied, “There’s a picture of me somewhere on the Internet dancing with the pole at Raiford’s.” SOMEBODY PLEASE SEND ME THE URL OF THIS PIC – I think a linky-link can be arranged.

So that got the conversation onto the topic of my blog, which meant we were soon talking about tube tops. (They brought up the subject, I didn’t. I’m getting positively sick of tube tops. Talking about them, not seeing them.) “Are you going to the concert at Court Square tomorrow night?” asked the other attorney. “My friend and I are going, and we’re thinking about both wearing our tube tops.” Oh, that SUCKS! I have an Mpact meeting tomorrow night and it will be the first Court Square concert that I miss. Could somebody go and take a camera?

And then she went on to say something I found really offensive: “I have a wrap that I wear over the tube top so it looks classier.” No. NOOOOOO!!!!!! Tube tops are completely classy the way they are. No additional accessorizing is needed. Are we clear on that?

I still have “Love Child” stuck in my head.

The song I currently have stuck in my head

“Love Child” by Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Yesterday I made a run across the street to Walgreens, passing a girl in a tube top on the way (remember, it’s still June). As I was getting my shopping done, “Love Child” was playing on the store speakers.

Now I can’t get it out of my head. I’ve been playing it over and over nonstop for the past two hours, alternating between dancing around the apartment and writing the previous blog entry.

What sad lyrics.