We have a winner

Fellow blogger Semi-Charmed Kat won the free beer (see previous post) by pointing out what was wrong with my Pint Nite post (see two posts ago) – it did not contain a tube top mention. It wasn’t intentional at the time – I posted it Monday night and then Tuesday as I was on my way to work, I thought, “Oh no! I forgot to mention tube tops!” Most likely Kat will collect on the free beer Thursday night.

My mother sent me a CNN breaking news update: Two Republican senators have told CNN that evacuation fees will be waived for Americans being helped to leave Lebanon. So they won’t be billed for their transport plus interest as I reported in an earlier post. Finally, Congress has done something right. I’m glad.

The Rapscallions lost again at trivia tonight, and trivia traitor Pam’s team came in second and got a $25 certificate. There was a very good question though – name the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 on the uneven parallel bars, which of course was Nadia Comaneci from Romania. Personally, I think the reason we’ve been doing so badly as of late is because there aren’t any Romanian waitresses at the Saucer this year to inspire us.

Attn bloggers: fellow blogger Serrabee is trying to put together a Blogger’s Bash for August. See Rock’n’roll Minor Planets: Blogger Bash, anyone? for details. Anyone who writes a blog is invited to attend, although it looks like they may do separate sections for political and non-political bloggers. You can post comments to her post suggesting dates and venues. I missed the June Bash but will try to make it to this one.

It’s 3 in the morning. Can’t sleep. Been clicking on the random article link on Wikipedia to entertain myself. So far I’ve gotten pages on

  • civil unions between same-sex couples in Croatia
  • Strange, a music video compilation by Depeche Mode
  • Oak Grove, a subway station in the Boston area
  • a list of rivers in India
  • Roboform, a password management software system

I still haven’t bought a wireless router. Now I’m wishing I had so I could lie in bed and surf the web. But since I don’t have one, I guess I’ll hit the post button and go read a book until I fall asleep or until the alarm clock goes off, whichever comes first.

Can’t believe no one noticed yet…

I can’t believe that none of my dear readers have e-mailed me yet and pointed out something that they noticed about the previous post (the Pint Nite post). First person to figure out what I’m talking about and e-mail me wins a free beer.

Today’s lunchtime post is being written on Otherlands’ Wi-Fi connection. Been walking around looking at the flyers people have left here. Here’s something that looks pretty interesting: Meisner Acting Class for the Creative. Looks like it’s intensive acting classes that will benefit anyone in the creative arts. They’re having a fundraiser on Saturday, July 29 starting at 8 pm, with Amy LeVere, Saturna, an art auction, short films, and trailers. Click the link for more details about either the classes or the fundraiser.

There are also flyers for Steve Cohen and Novella Smith-Arnold in here. Otherlands patrons have good taste in politicians.

Plans for tonight: Trivia. Beer. Waitresses. I have heard that our pop-culture expert The Nuh-Uh Girl won’t be there tonight, so we may be in trouble this week if there are a lot of entertainment questions. I’ve been studying up though. I want revenge on Pam the Trivia Traitor.

Tomorrow at lunch I’ll be driving downtown to Sleep Out’s. For those of you wondering why I would drive from my work at the eastern edge of Midtown all the way downtown for lunch, let me explain. It’s chicken alfredo pasta day. That’s the reason. Really.

Well, that and I’ve also received a tip that if I show up, I may decide to end Tube Top Month Extended a couple of weeks early and proclaim it Tank Top Month instead.

Thursday night I’ll be hitting the Peabody rooftop early in the evening (around 7 or 7:30) and then around 9 I’ll head over to the Flying Saucer, where The Dempseys will be playing at 9:30. At some point I may meet up with fellow blogger Semi-Charmed Kat, who flaked out on me last night. She’ll be downtown for the Ptolemy happy hour thing.

If you can’t make it to see the Dempseys downtown on Thursday, they’ll be playing at the East Bumblefuck Saucer on Friday.

… And lunchtime’s over. I’ll end this post with a shout-out to my good friend Chuck D. Have a good afternoon everybody….

Pint Nite post: Our stupid government, Sunday drinking pics, and more

Tonight I’m posting from the Flying Saucer, at Pint Nite. I’m at the end of my third beer so this will probably turn into a drunk post by the end. I have Sunday drinking pics for you… but first, you have to listen to me rant about our stupid-ass federal government for a little while.

The government is evacuating U.S. citizens from Lebanon to the island nation of Cyprus, due to the recent hostilities between Lebanon and Israel. So today, I was cruising CNN, MSNBC, all the news sites, catching up on the latest developements, when I came across this tidbit of information: “The U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation,” writes the State Department. They are making each evacuee sign a promissory note that they will pay the government back for the cost of the trip to Cyprus, plus interest.

WTF? The government has spent $400 billion blowing up Iraq, and they they’re not willing to spend a few million to get Americans out of harm’s way. I wonder how many of our citizens will turn down the offer because they don’t want to go into debt, and will risk getting killed in the process. Absolutely ridiculous and it shows how far off track this government’s priorities have gotten. Who matters in this country? Not you. Unless you’re a corporation.

Now I was already ticked off after reading that MSNBC story, but then I started surfing other sites. One of my daily stops is Nine O’Clock, an English-language website that reports the latest news from Romania. They’re evacuating citizens from Lebanon as well. Nine O’Clock reports that 283 Romanians evacuated from Lebanon arrived home today. “The Foreign Ministry intends to cover the costs of the evacuation from the emergency consular fund,” it says.

So Romanian citizens got out for free (except for a $50 fee to get a visa into Syria) and the U.S. is sending everyone a bill. You know that our government has gone to hell in a handbasket when RO FUCKING MANIA takes better care of its citizens than we do. Unbelievable. It would have been easy for Congress to pass an emergency bill covering the costs. But they didn’t. Each and every one of the 535 members of Congress deserves to be thrown out of office on their keister for that. Republicans and Democrats both.

Heh. I don’t think I’ve heard the word “keister” since All in the Family went off the air. Remember how they used to talk? They’d refer to the toilet as the “turrrlet.” Oil was “earl.” If they were sitting here in the Saucer with me they’d probably refer to it as the “Sasser.” Mistakenly thinking the bar was named after former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser, of course. I wonder if Jim Sasser would have voted to make Americans pay their own way out of a war zone. Of course, we’ll never know because he was beaten in the 1994 general election by Bill Frist. Bill Frist, by the way, is an asswipe.

All right. So much for the ranting part of the post. Let’s get on to the good stuff.

Yesterday I had two bottles of champagne, two mint juleps, a duck fart, two jello shots, and several beers. At one point I walked home for about 10 minutes and fired up the laptop. I had an e-mail from fellow blogger Kat (she moved her blog; I need to ask permission before I post the new URL) asking when we’re going to hang out again. In my drunken state, I replied, “I don’t know but you better wear a slutty outfit and it’s probably going to get taken off.” This morning I found that message in my Sent box, and was trying to figure out if I should e-mail an apology. Things got busy at work so I never did. Now I’m sitting here at the Saucer and Kat just called. “Paul! Where are you? I’m coming downtown!” Guess the apology is unnecessary, then.

So last week I mentioned that I’m probably the only person in Memphis not to have a picture on MySpace of himself at a bar drinking with Mendi. Well, that problem has been addressed. See below:


Mendi is captain of her Sunday drinking team and brought the team in for a bottle of champagne at Sleep Out’s. Mendi is awesome. There will be more on the Sunday drinking team later in this post.

Around that time I was playing NTN Trivia and receiving some very stiff challenges from my friend PDS, who was there with former downtowner Tracy. In fact, PDS managed to beat me three times in a row. It has become an established rule that if you win an NTN Trivia game at Sleep Out’s, you have to do a victory dance. Here are a few pics of PDS’s dance:





A few days ago, one of the Romanian girls asked me if she could bite my neck. Not being one to turn down physical advances from gorgeous, sexy European women, I said sure, go ahead. Afterward I remembered what region of Romania she was from… Transylvania. Now look what happened:


Later in the evening I ran into the Sunday drinking team on the patio of Swig. Here are a couple of candid photos of Mendi:


And a photo of Sunday drinking team member Jessica:


In other news, congrats to Philip who writes the excellent Life in and Around Memphis blog – his blog recently won an award as one of the best blogs in Tennessee. A well deserved award. Philip’s site is one I check frequently to keep plugged into the Memphis scene.

Ptolemy Memphis is having a happy hour at the Redbirds game Thursday night. Ptolemy is one of the Carnival Krewes and is basically a year-long party. I’m not a member, but a lot of good people are (including Philip and Kat mentioned in this post). The happy hour is open to the public, so if you’ve ever thought about joining Ptolemy, this is a good chance to check them out. If you’re interested, e-mail me and I’ll put you in touch with Philip for the details.

I’m still not drunk. Kat hasn’t called. The Saucer is filling up with people and they’re all guys. This sucks. I’m hitting the Post button and logging out. See ya…

Sunday update: Sad story, ’70s videos, and more

This one’s going to start off on sad note, sorry.

One night a few years ago, on a Saturday night I had plans to meet up with some friends at Raiford’s. As many of you know, I like to dress up when I go there, and I selected a baby blue leisure suit to wear, along with disco medallion and platform shoes. As I walked down the Main Street Mall, one of the local homeless guys called out to me. “Dude! That suit is bad-ass, man. Where did you get that suit? You lookin’ sharp, bro.”

From that point on I’d usually see him a few times a week. He’d often be sitting on the bench in front of Family Dollar, or I’d see him walking around on Main Street or Second Street. “Suit man!” he’d call out to me. He rarely asked for money – maybe one time out of 10. Usually he just wanted to talk.

He’d see me walking down Main on a Friday night and call out, “Suit man! How come you ain’t got the suit on?”

He’d see me walking down Main at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning and call out, “Suit man! How come you ain’t got the suit on?”

Last summer, my friends called and said, “Hey, we’re thinking about going to Raiford’s Friday night. Want to go?” Of course I said yes – doesn’t take much convincing to get me to Raiford’s. I was excited. Finally, the guy would get to see me in the suit. That would make his day.

Walking around that week, I saw him on his usual bench. “Look for me Friday night,” I told him. “I’m going to have the suit on!”

That Friday, I walked around all over downtown with that suit on looking for him. People thought I was out of my mind. Why was I wandering around in a blue leisure suit? Finally I found him. “Suit man!” he said. “Lookin’ sharp!”

A few months later, he disappeared. To tell the truth, I didn’t even notice. There were other homeless guys sitting on that bench.

So last night about 11, I went out, heading toward Blues City to see The Dempseys. As I walked down the Main Street Mall, a guy in a wheelchair rolled up to me. I started to walk away, since I didn’t recognize him and figured he was there to ask for money.

“Hey man! Hey! Remember me? You know me!” It took me a minute… he didn’t look like any of the guys in wheelchairs I had seen downtown before. Then he said, “Where’s the suit, man?” And I realized it was him. “Yeah, man, they cut my legs off, diabetes, you know, so I’m in a chair now.” Wow. I had seen him walking around for years, and how his legs were gone. And yet, he still had the same smile on his face. He hadn’t changed a bit except for the legs.

Maybe I’ll take a Tuesday morning off work sometime soon and put the baby blue leisure suit and walk around downtown, just for him. So what if the rest of the city thinks I’ve lost my mind.

Okay… on to happier things…

I went and saw The Dempseys last night. They had a great crowd… there were several girls dancing their hearts out in front of the stage. One of them had a tube top on but it stayed up. Blast!

In between sets I went over and sat at the bar at George Paul’s Last Call and watched TV, and saw a commercial for a DVD set that looked really cool. It’s called The Midnight Special, and it’s performances from a TV show of the same name that ran from 1972 to 1981. There are videos from bands of all genres of that era – Elton John, Ray Charles, Blondie, the Bee Gees, Aerosmith, etc. Looks like a fun DVD set.

So now it’s Sunday. I just posted my Deal of the Week on my Commercial Appeal blog. Here are the plans for the day:

11 AM – 2 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink
2 PM – 5 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink
5 PM – 9 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink

As you can tell, I have a full day planned. After 9 I may do something different, like go to the Flying Saucer and drink. And see the waitresses.

I would like to extend my compliments to NTN Trivia, provider of the video crack that keeps my ass glued to the chair at Sleep Out’s all day. They used to interrupt the regularly scheduled trivia with a game called “Raceday,” having to do with the week’s NASCAR race. Now I’m sure Charly would do well at that game, but could we have a non-redneck trivia option too? BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY, LET’S GO RACIN’, BOY! So anyway, just now, Raceday was about to come on, when a new screen came on.

“Vote for what you want to play next – (1) Raceday or (2) Countdown.” Countdown is the normal trivia game. Needless to say, the bar voted 100% for Countdown. Goodbye, Raceday!

And hello, champagne. Time to put the laptop up and get this party started.

Saturday update: retarded fish, cops cracking down, more

For the first time I actually participated in Fish Races last night at Sleep Out’s. Here’s how it works: They set up two rain gutters near the front of the bar. Two people compete at a time, one in each gutter, dropping a goldfish out of a styrofoam cup into the gutter, behind the start line. Each competitor then squirts his or her fish with a water gun, encouraging the fish to start swimming. First fish to cross the finish line wins. Winner advances, NCAA tournament bracket style, and the overall winner gets a $50 bar tab.

I think I got a defective fish, though. My fish would swim about six inches forward, and then get scared and go back behind the start line. No matter how many squirts I gave him with the water gun, he wouldn’t keep going. What a stupid fish. Doesn’t he realize that his purpose in life is to swim really fast so I can win a free bar tab?

After Fish Races I headed up to Blues City Cafe to see the Dempseys… I got there at 9:30 and as I walked in they were on stage saying, “We’ll be right back after a short break, folks.” WTF? I thought The Dempseys weren’t supposed to even come on until 10:00 or 10:30. I went to the back bar (George Paul’s Last Call) for what seemed like 30 minutes, which is the length of their usual break. But it was more like an hour… oops. I walked back over and the first thing I heard was, “That’s it for tonight, folks. Thank you.” and Ron the drummer got on the mic and said, “Paul! Where you been?” I missed the entire show!

Later on I found out that both The Dempseys and The Gamble Brothers had been booked for the weekend. Last night, The Dempseys went on early with the Gamble Brothers to follow. Tonight, the order is reversed so The Dempseys will take the stage about 11. Maybe I’ll try again tonight. I sure have been hanging out at Blues City a lot lately, wonder what’s up with that?

While I was there I decided I was hungry, and decided to flip a coin to decide between the crab au gratin entree and a half rack of ribs. The ribs won. So I got a platter of ribs and fries and beans and slaw – it was huge, glad I didn’t order the full rack. While I had my back turned some of my ribs and fries got donated to the “Feed Romania” campaign. But that’s okay. I mean, we have to feel a bit of pity for Romania. America has produced all kinds of famous historical figures, including leaders like Washington and Lincoln, inventors like Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison, and sports heroes like Babe Ruth. But who is Romania’s most famous historical figure? A vampire. Dracula. That’s the best they can do. So if I can donate some of my rib platter to help Romania catch up, I’m happy to do it.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to sit at the bar and stare at that beautiful rack. I mean the ribs. Really.

While I was sitting inside Blues City, I looked out the window onto Second and the cops were really cracking down on the cruisers. I mean, they were on foot, approaching every car, and if you were doing ANYTHING wrong – even a tail light out – you got pulled over. It was good to see. I wrote a news article about it on the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website, so click over there for the full story.

Don’t know if they’ll be back tonight, but if you plan on coming downtown to party, I highly recommend you appoint a designated driver or take a cab.

Earlier this afternoon I was sitting at the Saucer, and a guy came in wearing the following T-shirt:
“NOBODY LISTENS TO ME UNTIL I FART”

Walking back up to the Union Avenue branch office, I noticed a sign outside Sawaddii advertising that martinis are half-price for the ladies Wednesday and Thursday. So if you’re female, that might be a good pre-rooftop option on Thursdays.

And that’s it for now. I’ll be at Sleep Out’s for my normal brunch shift around noon tomorrow, but I have also heard that it will be a party after 4 – dollar PBR (although that’s every Sunday) and I also heard something about dollar jello shots. And although they’re not on special, I have a feeling duck farts will be consumed. Enjoy your weekend and be safe!

Early voting starts today

Today is the beginning of early voting for the August 3 elections. Depending on where you live, you could have to tab through as many as 23 screens on the voting machines – it’s the longest ballot in county history. So this is definitely one where you’ll want to early vote and avoid the long lines.

I want to mention a couple of candidates who I support. These are people I know personally and whom I admire and respect. I want to make it clear that I am writing to express my support of these candidates as Paul Ryburn, individual/citizen, not as Paul Ryburn, co-organizer of Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis. RSDM does not endorse candidates.

For County Commission, District 2, Position 2 – Novella Smith Arnold – Novella and I met at the downtown Blue Monkey, where she would go for Sunday brunch after church. She and I talked on several occasions, and she is one of the most gentle, compassionate people I have ever met. We spent time talking about the things she saw as a prison and hospital chaplain, and about her push for HIV/AIDS awareness in prisons a few years back. She’s a Republican but her actions are those of a progressive. Very rarely have I met a person with such a kind, gentle heart. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have representing me on the County Commission.

For US Congress, TN District 9 – Steve Cohen – I’ve admired Steve Cohen ever since I’ve been in Memphis. In 1996, when I was teaching at the U of M, one of my students arranged for me to meet him and get involved with his campaign (for the same Congressional seat, which was won that fall by Harold Ford Jr.) Steve is a man who stands by his priniciples – I can remember a couple of cases where he was the “1” in 30-1 votes in the State senate. This is a man who will not be controlled by special interests and will do what is right for the district. I also admire his persistence, having pushed for the state lottery for more than 20 years and finally seeing it through. The man truly has a passion for government, and almost 30 years experience. Get goin’, vote Cohen!

All right… what else is going on…

Never made it to the Peabody rooftop for tube top watching last night. I was starving, and I decided to hit the Tap Room for dinner. If a beer joint sounds like an odd dining choice, keep in mind that they share an excellent menu with King’s Palace. I had the seafood pasta and it was outstanding. Although, it was awful hard to pass up the Chicken Pontabla – chicken covered with cheese and Cajun spices over potatoes. With that menu you just can’t miss. You have as much chance of getting a bad meal at the Tap Room/King’s Palace as you do of meeting an ugly Romanian girl.

Plans for this weekend… well, I don’t have a whole lot of plans. I’ll probably stop by Sleep Out’s tonight for Fish Races. Sunday I’ll be at Sleep Out’s for brunch, of course. And Monday I may go down there and eat during my lunch hour (they have Wi-Fi, so there may still be a lunchtime post). What can I say, it’s a good bar. They cleaned the lines so the PBR is good to drink again, and they definitely deserve my support after making an EXCELLENT hiring decision recently.

It’s also possible I’ll make a return trip this weekend to Blues City to see The Dempseys, who are playing there tonight and tomorrow at 10:30. Could end up there Sunday for FreeWorld as well.

Downtown development continues… this morning the Commercial Appeal ran an article on a new residential development at Union and Lauderdale, just east of Danny Thomas. Great to see downtown expanding eastward.

If anyone out there develops .NET applications and is looking for work, shoot me an e-mail. A recruiter called me yesterday looking for someone to do a 2-year contract working in ASP.NET/VB.NET, about 50% maintenance and 50% new code. Pay rate is very good. I can’t take the position because I’m in the middle of the City Schools contract.

Speaking of which, it’s time to go back to work and earn my money. Happy Friday afternoon.

Branch office post #2

I’m still at the Second Street branch office (see previous post). I’ve been hitting the water cooler pretty hard so this post may not make as much sense as the last one.

Apparently the Second Street branch office is changing the T-shirts they sell… a waitress, um, I mean, a branch office employee, is standing on a chair taking the “YOU’RE KILLING MY BUZZ” shirt out of the display case.

Snozberry is the band that is playing the Second Street branch office tonight. $3 cover. I saw them once before, about six months ago. I can’t remember anything about the music they played but I do remember one thing. They had these girls who danced in front of the stage and they were called “Band-Aids.” At one point the lead singer got on the mic and said, “Between the Band-Aids and the waitresses, I have masturbation material for the next month!” Er, I mean, between the Band-Aids and the branch office employees… oh, screw it, never mind.

Been cruising around MySpace… am I the only MySpace user in Memphis who doesn’t have a pic of themselves at a bar drinking with Mendi?

The new shirt that is going in the display case says “it’s not rocket science”… you’re among the first to know. She’s up on the chair again… ‘scuse me a second… (leaning way over)… okay, I’m back. I saw that shirt at the East Bumblefuck branch office on Sunday… what’s up with East Bumblefuck getting new shirts before downtown?

Earlier today at the Union branch office, there was a guy in a T-shirt that said, “let me drop everything and work on your problem.” I want to buy about 150 of those and have them shipped to my former company, the one that did rebates.

I also see a lot of guys wearing T-shirts that say “i (heart) hot moms.” I want a T-shirt that says “i (heart) romanian girls.”

There are two TVs visible from the big, long conference table at the front of the Second Street branch office… they’re both tuned to ESPN2, where a domino tournament is on. God… they could switch it to Oprah and it would be an improvement. Can TV possibly get any more boring than this? …wait, yes it can, forgot about golf.

Oh, another T-shirt I saw yesterday as I wandered through Peabody Place… “Oklahoma Bucks.” Hey dude, there’s a misspelled word on your shirt… that should be an “S.”

Looking for an elegant space for a private party? Stella just expanded into its basement. The space holds up to 100.

Last December, my friend Carmel and several of her girlfriends were sitting at a table at Stella. Dr. Bob was sitting at the bar and sent a round of drinks to their table. It could have something to do with the fact that Carmel was wearing a tube top.

Other than the Stella announcement, there was absolutely nothing in this post worth reading whatsoever. Now it’s definitely time for a nap. Logging out, shutting down…

Posting from the branch office

I wasn’t feeling well this morning, so I called in. That stupid allergy medicine again. It’s almost enough to make me stop taking it, but then I’d be sneezing all day. Anyway… I decided to take the laptop to my branch office on Union to do some work. That way I can spend some quality time with Frenchie and the goldfish.

For those of you who missed the Commercial Appeal this morning, there’s an article on a 28-story housing complex to be built at Third and Market. The article says this will be a luxury complex designed to attract affluent empty-nesters and doctors and researchers from St. Jude. It was unclear whether these units will be apartments or condos, but I’m guessing condos. This is great news for downtown. The presence of those tenants will draw additional businesses and services to the Uptown area and really turn it into a true neighborhood. I’m also happy to see development on Third – most of the activity so far has been on Main, with a little spilling over to Front and Second and the side streets. Downtown development is expanding outward, and that’s a very good thing.

Also in the Commercial Appeal – I didn’t see this because I read the web edition, but was told by Josh who spends a lot of time in the Union branch office – Shane Battier took out a full-page ad thanking Memphis for the time he spent here as a Grizzly. With all the bad press some NBA players get about being thugs and/or greedy, it’s been great to have someone like Shane in town who is truly a class act. We will miss him.

They have a hot dog eating contest on TV here at the Union branch office. People are stuffing hot dogs in their mouths two, three at a time and fighting to keep them from coming back up. I really don’t know if this is appropriate television for people to watch while they eat lunch.

I’m thinking about removing my initial downtown crime posts which I put up June 5 and the following several days. If I do, I’m not going to delete them entirely, but rather I’ll move them to another part of the site and add META tags that tell search engines not to index them. That way I can still refer people there if needed, but the posts won’t come up when people do Google searches for Downtown Memphis or some of the businesses/developments I mentioned in those posts.

My reason for leaning that direction is a conversation I had yesterday at Walgreens with a guy who works here in the center city, whose job is definitely to promote downtown. He was supportive in what he said and agreed that “there are a couple of problems”… but I could tell from his nonverbal communication that those crime posts may be making life difficult for his organization and other organizations/companies downtown. I don’t want to do that… I love downtown and want to see it grow, and the problems are now beginning to be addressed through Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis. I don’t know… I’m going to think about it for a few days. If you have an opinion on the matter let me know… if I don’t know you personally I’d appreciate it if you give me your full name and what your connection is to downtown (do you live here, work here, own property here, develop property here, etc.). Ultimately the final decision on the matter will be mine and mine only, but I’d appreciate constructive feedback from my readers to help me make the right call.

Hmmm… think I’ll shut the laptop down and go over to the Second Street branch office. That office has a great dress code for its employees, and everyone knows it’s my branch office because there’s a plate on the wall with my name on it.

All right. I’m here at the Second Street branch. It took me forever to get down here. I was walking down Second behind two fat corporate guys in suits. They were walking veeeeeerrrrryyyyyy ssssllllloooooooooowly and they were so fat that I couldn’t get around them. Life at the speed of business… if the business has a 14.4 dialup connection.

The Second Street branch office is lucky to see me much at all anymore, since they didn’t take me up on my repeated suggestions to hire some Romanian employees. I had a talk with one of the Romanians last night… her name is Diana, but I’ve privately nicknamed her Fluffy because of her hair. She told me that she’s a dental student and that dentists in Romania make about $2,000 a month, or $24,000 a year. Wow. She can make more as a waitress over here than she can as a dentist back home. Now I understand a little bit better why they cram so many people into a tiny apartment, so they can hold on to as many dollars as they can.

Fluffy also told me that there are not four Romanians in that apartment as I had thought, but five. There’s a Romanian guy living there too. I met him later in the evening – nice guy. I will heretofore refer to him as The Luckiest Man On Earth.

I’m actually glad there’s a guy living with them, because they have a neighbor who is going to be real eager to get to know the girls and they should probably keep him at arm’s length… don’t want to name any names but (raspy voice) PAULIE-PAUL! HOW YOU DOIN’, BUDDY BOY? MAN, I TELL YOU WHAT, I TOOK THE BOAT OUT ON THE LAKE THIS WEEKEND AND…

Two neighbors they should keep at arm’s length… there’s also the guy who makes a really good cup of coffee.

Man… the Second Street branch office is great… I don’t even have to get up to go to the water cooler… there’s a girl who does it for me… and the water tastes a little like Labatt Blue. Must’ve been a fire at this branch office recently, because I see a sign about a fire sale.

Here’s a shout-out to regular blog reader Uncle Paul from Denver… come back to Memphis and visit sometime soon, Uncle Paul!

Re-thinking my plans for this evening, assuming I feel well enough to go out. My original plan was to go to the Madison rooftop and see The Dempseys this evening, but I’m now thinking I may do the Peabody rooftop instead, since I saw The Dempseys last night at Blues City. Let’s see… three sweaty guys with musical instruments and a bunch of old people crowded into a small space… or hot babes in tube tops. Yep, it’s looking like the Peabody is the way to go.

Right now though, the way to go is home, for a nap. YEAH, BUDDY BOY, I THINK I’M GONNA HEAD HOME AND HIT THE HAY FOR A WHILE… even doing his voice in my head makes my throat sore. Anyway, back later with more of this nonsense.

Maybe American Apparel isn’t so bad after all

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I went to American Apparel, the new clothing store at Main and GE Patterson in the South Main Arts District. I spent some time going through racks of clothing and didn’t really see anything I liked. The clothes weren’t bad or anything… I just found them kind of… well, boring.

But yesterday I was made aware of an item they sell that definitely isn’t boring. It’s a women’s clothing item called a “romper,” and I highly recommend this item to my female friends.

Here’s a link.

A romper is a one-piece tube top/shorts combination. The one selling at American Apparel is made of terrycloth. They also have a velour one, but it has a strap so technically it isn’t a tube top.

What a great invention. Whoever created this deserves a Nobel Prize or something.

Tube Tops, Trivia Traitor, Romanians, and more

(Something’s wrong with the blog template I’m using… I got it from a third-party site so it will take a little time to troubleshoot… sorry if this blog looks funny in the meantime.)

Not sure if this first item should go on this blog or the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site… hmm… since it’s from Pawtucket, NJ I guess it’s not really an RSDM thing. Anyway, here’s a news story illustrating how tube tops can be used as tools to commit crimes.

Woman in tube top abets theft

The Rapscallions trivia team finished in second place last night by one point… we would have finished first if not due to the actions of a traitor named Pam. Hang on, let’s post a pic of Pam:


There ya go. That’s Pam. The one that’s not me, obviously. Up until a few weeks ago she was a member of the Rapscallions. But one night we were at Big Foot and we were kidding around and I jokingly kicked her off the team. I was kidding. But what did she do? She went and got her friends from Drinking Liberally and they all started showing up at the Saucer on Tuesday nights. So yesterday, the Drinking Liberally team beat us by one point. Oh well, it could have been worse… we could have lost to Republicans.

As punishment for her traitorious actions, Pam is no longer allowed to sit at the bar at Sleep Out Louie’s for Sunday brunch. If she comes in, she has to sit at one of the tables, and maybe, just maybe, if we’re feeling really kind, we’ll talk to her.

At least we got a $25 gift certificate for our second-place finish, bringing our certificate collection to $220 total. We’re gonna have a big party soon, probably this month.

Speaking of Drinking Liberally, they’re still having their regular Thursday night meetings at Dish. This Thursday will be a special meeting, as they will be hosting Gina Cooper, the organizer of the YearlyKos conference, a gathering of 1,000 liberal bloggers from across the country. She will be there to brainstorm with Memphis on how Kos can promote local blogospheres. Click the link to the Drinking Liberally site for details.

I’ve been busy the past couple of days trying to help the Romanians locate furniture they can borrow for their 3-month stay in Memphis. It’s so odd to me as a spoiled, well-off (by their standards) American to listen to them… they could buy cheap air mattresses to sleep on. “Oh, no. We do not want to do that. We will sleep on the floor if we cannot find mattresses to borrow.” Air mattresses are like 19 bucks each. Geez, that’s just barely more than six bucks a month… I’d gladly pay that not to sleep on a floor. I did a little math and realized that for what I have spent at restaurants and bars since Saturday, I could have bought each of them an air mattress. It makes me realize how much abundance I have and how I take much of it for granted.

When I drove them to the mall on Sunday, they got thirsty. Now when Americans get thirsty, each of them buys a bottle of water to drink. The Romanians bought one bottle and passed it around. They offered me some too, which was sweet of them. My lips got to touch the bottle that touched the lips of four beautiful Romanian girls… although I would have preferred to eliminate the bottle altogether and… never mind, we’re getting off topic here.

Flipping through the new Memphis Flyer to see what’s going on… Friday at Davis-Kidd there’s a book signing by G. Wayne Dowdy, author of Mayor Crump Don’t Like It: Machine Politics in Memphis. It’s about Boss Crump’s rule of the city from his election as mayor in 1909 until his death in the mid-’50s. I doubt I’ll get out that way for the signing but it sounds like an interesting book to read.

Also, performance troupe Stomp is at The Orpheum this weekend. If you haven’t seen their show, you should go, it’s great. Tickets are $15-50.

Early voting for the upcoming election begins this Friday, July 14th. Later this week, I’ll be posting about a few candidates I support. To those candidates, if they’re reading: since I extended Tube Top Month until July 31, I’m going to have to figure out a way to tie tube tops in when I mention you. But right now, lunch break is over, back to work.