OmaHogs! Tuesday update

I headed south to Max’s Sports Bar yesterday to watch Arkansas vs. South Carolina in Game 3 of the Fayetteville Super Regional. I put my troll on the bar for good luck, and she provided it immediately, with Arkansas scoring 5 in the first inning. The rest of the game did not get better for South Carolina, and the fifth inning was so bad they had to go through 4 pitchers. The Hogs won 14-4 to become OmaHogs, meaning they punched their ticket to the College World Series, which is held in Omaha every year.
One of college athletics’ all-time classic rivalries will be revived in the opening round of the CWS, as Arkansas plays Texas on Sunday.

I was talking to a friend last night and he said, as much college baseball as he watches, he has never understood the NCAA playoff system in baseball. I myself didn’t understand it until I did a little research. Here’s the deal:

Regionals: A field of 64 enters the regionals. It’s like the first round of March Madness minus the stupid play-in games with respect to number of teams. There are 16 brackets, with 4 teams per bracket. Each of the brackets plays double-elimination until only one team is left standing per bracket. That team advances and the others go home.

Super Regionals: The winners of the 16 regional brackets go to the Super Regionals. Here, there are 8 brackets of two teams each, and the teams play best-of-three. Winner of best-of-three advances, loser goes home. The winner of the regional that contained the overall 1 seed plays the winner of the regional that contained the 16 seed, 2-15, 3-14, 4-13 and so on.

College World Series opening round: Now there are 8 teams left, and this round is like the regionals: brackets of 4 teams playing double elimination, except this time there are only 2 such brackets. Winner of each bracket advances to the final, and the 6 teams that got eliminated go home.

College World Series championship: Like the Super Regionals all over again, except this time there is only 1 bracket of two teams rather than 8 brackets. Those two teams play best-of-three, winner is NCAA champion.

Max’s Sports Bar news: They’re trying to get rid of the Tiger Blood slushies so they can make banana ones, so they fire-saled the Tiger Blood slushies to $5 (normally $9). They did not look anywhere close to running out last night, so the deal will probably be on for another day or two. And don’t worry, they still have Purple Drank and it’s not going anywhere. I look forward to trying one of the new banana slushies on the back patio Friday night.

I have a new favorite baseball fan to follow: @Hognoxious. He was all over the camera last night and he was awesome.

WWE Smackdown Live is tonight at FedExForum. WMC Action News 5 interviewed Smackdown star Samoa Joe about Memphis wrestling history and his favorite Memphis BBQ spot. Joe has been one of my favorites for a long time. I’m not going to Smackdown tonight, but if I were I’d be chanting, “Joe’s gonna kill you.”

One more match has been added to tonight’s card: Shelton Benjamin vs. Daniel Bryan.

There will be a ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of Curry ‘N Jerk Authentic Caribbean Cuisine this Thursday at 11 AM. The new restaurant is in the old Lolo’s Table space next door to McEwen’s on Monroe.

Free Doritos Locos tacos (one per customer) 2 to 6 PM tomorrow, June 13, because the Golden State Warriors beat Cleveland on the road, triggering the restaurant chain’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion.

An old warehouse at 455 S. Front is being demolished to make way for 30 new condos.

Fun quiz on FiveThirtyEight: Who should you root for in the World Cup, since the U.S. isn’t there. I got France.

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

The best pot roast I’ve ever had

Once again, this weekend I learned that it’s not always good to be a rebel and sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow. The first few times I ate at Pontotoc Lounge at 314 South Main, I didn’t order the Mississippi Pot Roast simply because it seems like everybody orders the Mississippi Pot Roast and posts about it and takes photos of it. I wanted to be different.

Well, yesterday I was up there for D-RANKS with B-RAD and after only three PBRs I felt like the day was going to go down the crapper quickly if I didn’t eat something. I got a brunch menu and looked it over. I couldn’t decide and asked Brad’s opinion. “Shrimp and grits, or pot roast?” I asked him.

He had to think about it for a while as well. “I’d probably do the pot roast,” he said, and so that’s what I ordered.

There is a good reason everybody talks about this dish. It is hands down the best pot roast I have ever had.

It comes with carrots and potatoes, which are pretty standard. What really sets it apart, though, are the pepperoncini peppers. It gives the juice a little kick and reminds me of the Italian roast beef a friend of mine makes for Super Bowl parties. Also, there is roast garlic to add even more flavor. The beef is tender and juicy. You often see cornbread as a side with pot roast, but at Pontotoc the jalapeno cornbread is part of the entree, right there in the bowl to soak up all those good juices. The pot roast appears on both the brunch and dinner menus, so you have plenty of opportunity to give it a try.

Random fact I learned from B-RAD yesterday: It’s not appropriate to say “cockpit” in the air industry anymore. You’re supposed to say “flight deck” instead because “cockpit” is considered sexist. Really, people? Aren’t we taking this political correctness thing a bit too far?

Another thing I learned yesterday: The Bloody Mary mix at Pontotoc Lounge has bacon in it. B-RAD had to warn a vegetarian friend of mine about it. She didn’t order it, but knowing there is bacon in the mix makes me about 1000% more likely to order a Bloody Mary there.

Hey B-RAD… you remember the girl who used to call Blind Bear (or have a friend call for her) on Sunday mornings, ask if I was up there, and upon hearing I was, she’d show up about 30 to 45 minutes later and sit right in my line of sight wearing a tank top with a passive-aggressive slogan on it? If she ever comes to your bar for brunch you must, must, MUST serve her a Bloody Mary.

One of Brad’s regulars had a portable fan that can be charged with a phone charger. She says it gets two hours of use per charge. Very handy thing to have in June when you’re in Memphis.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link to this excellent CA article about the Memphis Literary Arts Festival to be held in The Edge this coming weekend. Free talks, readings and performances at various locations within the neighborhood from 9 AM to 5 PM Saturday, followed by an after-party.

Thrillist published a list of the best places in Memphis to watch 2018 World Cup action, and not surprisingly Downtown Irish pub The Brass Door made the list. They were noted for great drink specials during games, including $4 Heinekens and $4 White Russians. Soccer goals have been set up in the pocket park across the street. Fill in your bracket for a chance to win a Heineken Bluetooth Tower Speaker. They’ll kick off the festivities with the viewing of a friendly between the U.S. Women’s National Team and China tomorrow at 6 PM. Check out the Brass Door’s full calendar of events here.

Kim Jong Un is traveling to Singapore for the historic meeting between the dictators of the United States and North Korea. It’s being reported that Kim’s cargo plane brought his portable toilet so as to “deny determined sewer divers insights into the Supreme Leader’s stools.”

WordPress needs a “batshit” emoji.

My plan for tonight is to head to Max’s Sports Bar after work for Game 3 of the Fayetteville Super Regional at 6 PM. Arkansas totally took South Carolina for granted yesterday. They should have pulled their pitcher sooner. Giving up that grand slam was just unforgivable. Let’s hope the Hogs do better today. I will be drinking PBRs at PBjaRni’s bar while I watch the game and of course I will have Perjorie T. Roll out for good luck. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Sign I saw on the way to the Farmers Market yesterday. If you go, I highly recommend the Mint Lemonade frozen pop from MemPoPS. They have a truck there every Saturday.

I noticed a new truck at the Farmers Market as well. It serves crepes, both entree crepes like Philly steak or chicken, and dessert crepes. The crepe truck reminded me a lot of the So Fresh juice truck to the point that I wonder if they re-branded the same truck.

I had my 2018 BBQ team T-shirt on, causing a man to ask if I was a member of a Moody Blues cover band. Of course, we’re not, but it’s a pretty good idea for a side gig. Other BBQ teams make money in the off-season by catering private events. We could make money by playing “Nights in White Satin” on stage. I’ll bring this up at the next team meeting.

Earnestine & Hazel’s is opening at 11 on Saturday mornings now. That really screws up my schedule. In past years I liked to hit the Market about 10 in the morning, maybe a little bit early if I wanted breakfast from a food truck. At 10:20 I’d pop in E&H and have a PBR at Clarence’s bar then head north at 10:40 to be at Bardog at 11 when they open. Now I have the triple whammy of E&H, Bardog, and Max’s Sports Bar all opening at the same time. That puts me to a tough decision.

All right… just went on my morning Mountain Dew run to City Market and I have a couple of announcements from there. First of all, for those of you with a sweet tooth, they have that yummy Tuxedo Mousse cake in the grab & go today. This is a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s $7.99 but they give you a piece big enough for two people to share.

Secondly, if you want to attain mindfulness and get in better shape, there are coupons by the register at City Market for two weeks of all-you-can-yoga at Your Inner Yogi.  Your Inner Yogi is conveniently located in the Downtown core at 10 N. Second, making it walkable for anyone for which City Market is walkable. YOGA!

So anyway, back to yesterday. I headed north to Bloom’s bar at Bardog. I learned we’re going to have guest bartenders the next two weeks while Bloom spends some time away: Panda next Saturday the 16th, and a very rare Saturday brunch bartending shift by Melissa on the 23rd.

Later in the day, I went to Oshi Asian Kitchen for some sushi by Chef Minh. There I had the pleasure of running into B-RAD and his son. Rahul and Tony were also there. The bartenders were picking B-RAD’s brain on some great summer cocktails to offer. Minh’s sushi was excellent as always. Don’t forget that there’s bingo with Pattie O’ Furniture at Oshi tonight at 6. For those of you on the south end, there’s also Cerrito Bingo 5-7 at Loflin Yard.

From there I headed south to Max’s Sports Bar to watch Arkansas host South Carolina in the first game of the Fayetteville Super Regional. For a while it was back and forth: South Carolina scored, Arkansas scored. Arkansas scored, South Carolina scored. But then in the 7th inning Arkansas unloaded on the Gamecocks and dropped 4 runs, and then added one more in the 8th to put the game away by a score of 9 to 3. The two teams play again today at 2 and the Hogs are headed to Omaha for the College World Series if they win this one.

Okay. I’m going to have to figure out watch plans. The game is on ESPN so theoretically any bar should be able to carry it. However, it’s up against the final round of the FedEx-St. Jude tournament on the Golf Channel. At bars with only a few TVs I’m going to be outvoted on what to watch, and rightfully so. Max’s has enough TVs to show both events but they don’t open until 4:30. Not sure what I’m going to do at this point.

I noticed something very cool this weekend at Max’s. Members of Squeal Street who are regulars there leave their koozies, marked with their name, behind the bar, and the bartender hands them their koozie along with their first beer. I drink PBR out of a glass at Max’s so it wouldn’t make sense to leave a Moody Ques koozie there, but for the places I drink PBR out of a can (Silly Goose and Blind Bear primarily) I might want to think about this.

You know, I’ve been in an introspective mood lately, thinking that sometimes I am too much of a rebel. Friday night I was at Max’s and watched as all my friends went to the back patio. “Why are they going out there?” I thought. “There’s air conditioning in here.” So I stayed at the bar and watched TV… but I watched TV mainly by myself and probably missed out on some good times and great conversations. I need to go with the flow more and not be kept apart from my friends for the craziest of reasons. So this coming Friday I will go out on the patio and be with my friends… that is, unless they stay inside, in which case I will stay inside too.

I ended yesterday evening at Blind Bear, where whatever sporting event was on TV ended and the news came on and I just busted out laughing when a caption included the words “President Trump.” We as a society really did that. The same society that gave us Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and the Roosevelts gave us the pussy grabbin’ machine.

The Redbirds host Reno at 2:05. Kids under 12 receive a free Prarie Farms ice cream treat and get to run the bases after the game.

The Skitch play Ghost River’s taproom tonight 5-7. These are three brothers who are said to have a rock n’ roll, doo-wop, indie style that keeps everyone dancing. This is part of Ghost River’s weekly Sunday Slowdown songwriter series. The show is free and family-friendly.

As a media source, I get copies of all the permits that are filed for Downtown, and I just saw an interesting one. There’s going to be an event called Tri-State Black Pride in Court Square next Sunday, June 17, from 4 PM to midnight. The purpose is to promote and celebrate the development of people of color in the LGBTQ community and allies within Memphis and the Mid-South region. What’s notable about this event is the expected number of attendees: THREE THOUSAND. That’s going to be a big event!

D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc Lounge is first on the agenda today. After that I’ll probably hit my other spots farther south. After all, after today I will only have four more weekends to enjoy South Main the way I prefer it! Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

This coming Wednesday is my week to provide pie for Pie Wednesday at work, and since my pie partner will be on vacation I have to bring two pies. So yesterday on my lunch break I drove out to Miss Muff’n bakery in Germantown to order the pies, and while out there I decided, might as well eat lunch at the pizza buffet next door at Garibaldi’s. There I encountered one of the worst sinking feelings of life: Seeing a big family with a bunch of kids walk in 10 seconds before you do, and realizing you probably ain’t gettin’ pizza.

They made a tactical error though. They stopped to fill up on soft drinks before they went to the buffet. I quickly paid, threw my drink cup in a booth unfilled, and hit the pizza line while they were still filling their cups. Success! By the way, for my co-workers who read this blog, we’re getting a banana cream pie and a fudge pie on Wednesday.

Come support an institution that takes care of hundreds of Memphians at Bluegrass in the Beer Garden at St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen at 155 Market today from 5:30 to 9:30. They serve meals to the homeless about 6 days a week, averaging 1200 meals a week. This is their only fundraiser of the year. Come enjoy drinks, delicious food, live music and tours of the historic church. $50 a ticket. If you’re wondering “Market? Where’s that?”, it’s the street immediately after you get off the Second Street/Third Street exit on I-40.

Wiseacre hosts Anything But Common Fest today from 10 AM to 10 PM. The Artist Commons presents an immersive arts day with artist booths, live music, food trucks, and of course, beer. This event is free and open to all ages.

Midtowners, if you’ve never tried gourmet sweet and savory cupcakes from Downtown cakery Two Girls and a Whip, Wednesday night, June 13 is your chance at a Cupcakes & Cocktails dinner at Zebra Lounge. Each of four cupcake courses will be expertly paired with cocktails by Zebra Lounge’s bartenders, and local pianist Steven Rhodes will provide background music. Here’s the menu:

  • Mango salsa chicken on a cornbread lime cake topped with a mango, cilantro and lime salsa
  • Pepper steak skewered with onions, peppers and mushrooms on top of a bacon potato cake
  • Pork tenderloin on a cornbread cake, topped with whipped rosemary potatoes and drizzled with a rosemary garlic sauce
  • Banana pudding cake topped with banana mousse and vanilla wafers

Space at the dinner is limited, so if you want to go call 901-472-CAKE to make reservations. Cost is $40.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is teaming up with Clean Memphis and Project Green Fork for Loving Local, a fundraiser to be held at Ballet Memphis Thursday, June 14 from 6 to 9 PM. Head brewer Drew Barton designed a beer, a Pineapple Wheat, specifically for this event. Barton made the beer with locally sourced wheat and says of it, “It’s light and refreshing with a slight tart finish, I’m looking forward to enjoying some in the backyard this summer.” After the fundraiser, the beer will be available on draft and in six-packs to go in the Memphis Made taproom. Get tickets to Loving Local here.

Tonight’s Redbirds game (6:35 first pitch, gates at 5:00) features live entertainment and $2 beers in the Plaza prior to the game and fireworks after the game. The opponent is the Reno Aces, which I had to go look up because the Redbirds’ PR department doesn’t put the opponents in the Homestand Highlights press releases they send out. ‘Sup with that?

Belle Tavern is opening early today, at 1:30, for those looking for a place to watch World Cup soccer.

There will be an NBA Draft watch party at FedExForum on Thursday, June 21. As was pointed out on social media last night, this is a likely sign the Grizzlies are not trading down in the draft.

Congratulations to University of Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen, who has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee. Bowen is on the committee effective immediately and will serve a four-year term expiring June 30, 2022.

New podcast alert: Booking Memphis Wrestling with Jerry Jarrett has dropped its first episode. Jarrett was the co-owner of the Continental Wrestling Association along with Jerry Lawler during the boom period of the late 1970s through the mid 1980s. He is also the co-founder of TNA and the father of Jeff Jarrett. The first episode talks about booking Lawler’s famous match with comedian Andy Kaufman.

Congratulations to Downtown bartender Cady on her People’s Choice win at Literatini last night. You can get a drink mixed by Cady at Pontotoc Lounge at 314 S. Main.

Farmers Market is first up today. Depending on how early I get in and out of the Market I might visit Clarence at Earnestine & Hazel’s this morning too. Later in the day I’ll watch Arkansas in the Super Regional. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I’m going to start right off with “what I had for lunch yesterday” before getting on to the news, because this is a particularly good one: Co-workers and I had lunch at The Capital Grille. Look who else joined me!

It was a staff development day at work and at the end of the day we played bingo. My troll was in my pocket both times I interviewed and I got the job, so I thought maybe she’d bring me luck at bingo as well. The clam chowder was a yummy start to my meal. The main course:

Seared citrus glazed salmon with Marcona almonds and brown butter. I had not had salmon in a while and this was excellent, cooked to perfection. It came on a bed of onions and green beans. For dessert:

Flourless chocolate espresso cake with cocoa powder and fresh raspberries. This was a perfect ending to an excellent lunch.

It was my first time at Capital Grille and it lived up to its reputation. Service was impeccable and we were in and out in an hour, impressive considering we had a large group. Due to the price point this won’t be on my regular weekly list of lunch spots, but for special occasions like a co-worker’s work anniversary or a friend’s birthday celebration I would highly recommend this restaurant.

One caveat, though. As I always do, I checked out Capital Grille’s lunch menu online before we headed out there. I found plenty to like on the menu, but I have co-workers who are Indian and who have a vegetarian diet. There is nothing on the menu entree-wise they can eat. If you have vegetarians in your group, you might want to call in advance and see what they can do for them. They are very helpful and willing to work with you on dietary needs once you tell them.

The Saturday before BBQ Fest, a trolley crashed into a Sprock ‘n Roll party bike on the Main Street Mall. Action News 5 has now released video from the trolley’s camera taken of the crash. The party bike was not parked on the tracks where the trolley driver had plenty of time to see it, as has previously been claimed. The bike pulled out right in front of the trolley. The bike driver was ticketed and rightfully so, in my opinion.

Patio Sweat makes their debut at the Ghost River taproom tonight from 7:00 to 9:30.

Get Fresh with Us is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market, the place to shop local for the freshest goods. The Art Project Memphis will have a table there 8 to noon where you can make thumbprint fruit and veggie art. Live music all day long. The Market runs every Saturday 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. It should be beautiful outside tomorrow morning and I plan on being there!

The Downtown Kooky Canuck will host a Cerrito Live Kickoff Party for WWE Smackdown Live starting at 5 PM next Tuesday, June 12. Join Kevin Cerrito, Dustin “Five” Starr, and Maria Starr before you walk with Elias (wait, he’s on the Raw brand) to Smackdown at FedExForum. Kooky Canuck is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, so come enjoy great food as well as drink specials including $2.50 well drinks, house wine and bottled beer, $5 34 oz. specialty drinks, and $5 34 oz. Molson and Bud Light.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link to this Memphis Business Journal article about a $20 million building permit for construction on the former Wonder Bread site at 400 Monroe. 286 market-rate, Class A apartments and a 480-space parking garage are planned for the location. Orion Federal Credit Union and Leo Events have already been announced as tenants for this or surrounding sites.

It’s Free Stuff Friday at the Redbirds, with prizes every inning and one lucky fan getting to roll the dice for $40,000, since no one won the three previous dice rolls since the prize pot started at $10,000 back in April. $2 beers and live entertainment in the Plaza before the game. Gates at 6:00, first pitch 7:05.

Back to my vegetarian co-workers who joined me at lunch yesterday… I recommended that the next time they come Downtown with their families, dine at Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick. Chef has a different vegetarian appetizer and entree each day, and there are plenty of other regular menu items that are meatless. There’s plenty for us meat-eaters to love about the place too.

In 2005-06, we had a chef living in my building and he’d cook for us on the rooftop grills. I got to know his family and became “Uncle Paul” to his 6-year-old daughter Dara and 2-year-old son Max. They live in California now, but we stay in touch on Facebook and Dara graduated high school yesterday. Congratulations Dara, Uncle Paul is proud of you.

Did I not tell you the G7 summit would be a shitshow with Donald Trump there? Trump had a Twitter tantrum about tariffs, criticizing the leaders of Canada and France. He will pull out of the summit early and miss sessions on climate change, the oceans and clean energy, which is probably for the best since he has nothing of substance to offer on any of those topics. Preferring to be with another world leader as crazy as he is, Trump will head straight to Singapore for the summit with Kim Jong Un. Trump also said Russia should be readmitted to G7, which should make his boss Vladimir Putin very happy.

Max’s Sports Bar is first on my agenda once I get back Downtown after work. With Arkansas in the Super Regional, I will spend a lot of time at Max’s this weekend. May pop over to Earnestine & Hazel’s as well. Weekend!

Thursday update

The Orion 5k, formerly known as the Gibson 5K, is this Saturday. Race starts off from St. Patrick’s Church at Fourth Street and MLK Ave. Registration/packet pick-up 4:00-6:30, race begins at 7, with one of the best race after-parties in the city following the race headlined by Marcella and Her Lovers. $10 cover charge for the after-party for those who did not participate in the race.

Six days after that, on Friday, June 15, another of the city’s best races, Crop Hop 5K, takes place at the Memphis Farmers Market pavilion. Registration begins at 5:30 and the race begins at 6:30, with a great after-party to follow. There is an option to attend the after-party without running the race. This event is a fundraiser for the Memphis Farmers Market.

Party Planet, a seven-piece band including a saxophonist and four-piece rhythm section, plays contemporary hits at tonight’s Peabody rooftop party. $10 cover, $20 if you want to go VIP, with ladies and hotel guests free before 7. Admission includes a buffet of popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce and hushpuppies. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of tempura shrimp with sweet chili sauce, bacon wrapped scallops, and crab dip with pita bread.

Happy Thursday, YOGA! There’s lots of opportunities to do yoga in interesting places today. There’s a free all-levels class in Health Sciences Park this morning at 11:45. Then tonight there will be a yoga class in South Main Market (409 S. Main) from 6:30 to 7:30, with your $10 class fee including a token to spend with the market’s vendors afterward.

It’s Thirsty Thursday Night at AutoZone Park with $2 select drafts. The Redbirds will don their throwback Memphis Chicks uniforms, and college students can get a bluff ticket for only $5. There’s an all-you-can-eat specialty ticket that gets you access to a two-hour buffet of beef sliders, fixins, potato chips, and hot dogs.

KIX on Beale, the free country concert series sponsored by KIX 106, returns to Handy Park starting June 14. These shows start at 7:30 on Thursdays and are all ages and free. You can listen to KIX 106 for chances to win VIP seating. Here’s this summer’s schedule.

My troll turns one and a half years old today. The Terrible Twos are right around the corner.

Memphis is getting its first cidery.

Yesterday I returned to Amerigo for lunch, where I had their Wednesday special: Donnell Farms meatloaf topped with flash-fried onion strings and with sides of Asiago cheese leek potatoes and braised greens.

This was a fantastic lunch. Keep it in mind for Wednesdays if you work in the East Memphis area.

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

Wednesday update

It”s time to make nominations for your favorite bartenders, servers, bloggers, etc. for the annual Best Of awards presented by the Memphis Flyer. Nominations will be taken through June 28. Voting will begin on August 1. This is widely considered the most prestigious of the city-wide awards, because the voting is run by an editorial department rather than a marketing department, and you can only vote one time as opposed to once a day or once an hour. The least credible polls are the ones where you can vote the “Most.”


Well, I guess I won’t have many CA employees voting for me after that comment. But what would people who live in Nashville be doing voting in a Memphis poll anyway?

Good news for those of you who have kids. The city has a new city program to help youth learn golf. It is designed to do two things: expose kids to golf who otherwise would have never played, and eliminate the cost barrier. The city offers complimentary greens fees for those 17 and under to seven Memphis courses, and they have clubs for kids who don’t have their own. Giving kids the chance to pick up a lifetime hobby and passion without a major investment is very cool. Way to go, Memphis.

As part of Minor League Baseball’s Cope de la Diversión, the Memphis Redbirds will take the field tonight as the Memphis Música. Copa de la Diversión is a season-long event series designed to embrace the culture and values of participating teams’ Hispanic and Latino communities. Aztec dancers, a Latin DJ, and a Spanish-language PA will be part of the fun. First 1500 in the gate get a Memphis Música shirt. Gates at 6:00, first pitch at 7:05.

50-and-up dance team the Memphis Grizzlies Grannies & Grandpas are absolutely my favorite part of Grizzlies games. There will be a casting call for the Grannies and Grandpas coming up here soon.

If you love Shelby Farms, save the date: June 21. From 4:30-10:30 that evening buy a beer at the Ghost River taproom and Ghost River will donate a dollar to the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.

There will be a run for Global Running Day departing Loflin Yard at 6:30 tonight and going across Big River Crossing. Coach Kevin of Can’t Stop Endurance Training will be there if you need some tips. Specials for runners at Loflin Yard after they return.

Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye Whiskey is the special this week at Belle Tavern. Half off through Sunday.

Memphis River Parks Partnership invites the public to join them at Beale Street Landing tonight at 6 for Urban M: Design in the River Parks. The design team behind the riverfront’s re-launch will share their thinking and discuss the role of design in building great places.

TaskRabbit, an app to help you find help with odd jobs like yard work and furniture assembly, is now live in Memphis.

Stormy Daniels is coming to Memphis. She’ll do meet & greets at The Pony Monday, June 18 at 9 and 11 PM.

Two matches have been announced for WWE Smackdown Live next Tuesday at FedExForum: WWE World Champion A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, and Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz and Big Cass.

For my fellow Arkansas fans, game times have been announced for this weekend’s Fayetteville Super Regional. All three games (if the third is needed) will be on ESPN2 or ESPN.

A new hotel could be in the works for 99 and 105 S. Front. Developers will speak to the Landmarks Commission about leaving the facades of these buildings in place while demolishing the rest to make way for a new structure.

In other hotel news, the new owners of the Benchmark plan to demolish it and build a new five-story, full-service, four-star hotel. The Benchmark is the shell of a hotel across from the Peabody and AutoZone Park and has got to be a major embarrassment for the people who operate both of those businesses.

Happy D-Day! One Twitter user speculated that Donald Trump probably thinks D-Day has something to do with bra size. Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true. Outta here for now but quick programming note: My schedule is weird tomorrow so I will try to get my Thursday news post up before I leave for work.

Tuesday update

The Redbirds are back in town and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening games will now start at 7:05 as we enter the heat of June. Tonight there is a special all-inclusive ticket that includes free hot dogs, hamburger baskets, chips and cheese, popcorn, and small fountain sodas. The ticket is $20 no matter whether you buy Club, Dugout, or Field Box.

Wiseacre will host Pilates on Tap tomorrow night, June 6, from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. Certified instructor and professional dancer Stephanie Mei Homm will lead this free, beginner Stott Pilates class at Wiseacre’s pavilion. Bring your own mat.

There was a small fire at Blues City Cafe last night around 8. It was quickly put out and they plan to reopen the restaurant tonight.

An indepedent investigation has cleared the good name of former Memphis Tigers basketball head coach and current Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner. The investigation found that Pastner’s former friend, Ron Bell, was blackmailing him, threatening to report that Pastner impermissibly paid two Georgia Tech players through Bell in order to convince them not to transfer. When Pastner failed to take the bait, Bell’s girlfriend accused him of sexually assaulting her. Bell’s claims were found to be “baseless” and “contradicted by verifiable facts.” I never believed the allegations for a minute and am very happy for Josh that the truth is out. Crazy people who make false accusations are the worst, and people who believe the accusations and help spread them (these people are known as flying monkeys in psychological terms) are a big part of the problem too.

Looking for a good read for your kids this summer? Check out Rise and Shine, a children’s book by local Memphis authors/illustrators. It’s now available at the Center for Southern Folklore.

The Memphis River Parks Partnership tweeted (@memriverparks) that the diggers are in Mississippi River Park, and fabricators are hard at work constructing a tree house, nests and pavilions. The new Mississippi River Park should be finished by Labor Day, just in time for fall weather.

The River Parks Partnership is hiring a summer fellow. The fellowship is full-time from July to the end of October and pays a $10,000 stipend.

Okay, folks, let’s take a minute to discuss men’s restroom etiquette. Particularly, men’s rooms where there are two toilets/urinals (I’ll collectively refer to them as “pissers” from here on out) and a lock on the door. Is it acceptable to lock the door if you’re the only one in there? Here are my thoughts on the matter:

  • If there is no divider between the two pissers (Bardog upstairs, King’s Palace Cafe Tap Room) it’s fine to lock the door for privacy
  • If there is a divider for privacy between the two pissers, WHY would you need to lock the door?

I bring this up because people were locking the men’s room door at Pontotoc Lounge brunch when they were in there by themselves. I don’t get it. It’s inefficient.

Pontotoc, by the way, is offering 50% off lunches Wednesday-Friday of this week. Their lunch hours are 11 to 2.

In the news: Woman sues Bass Pro, “unable to enjoy the normal pleasures of life” after a fall on vomit at the Pyramid on May 14.

The Commercial Appeal Sports Awards, honoring Memphis high school sports accomplishments, happens at the Orpheum tonight at 7 (red carpet at 6). Former Memphis Tigers running back DeAngelo Williams will make a special appearance.

For the next several weeks, two westbound lanes on the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River will be closed 8 PM to 8 AM as workers remove the old lighting.

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

Monday update

Peabody Place will be closed in the evenings this week for re-paving. They are doing the work in the evenings to minimize the impact on traffic. Plan accordingly if that’s a route you take.

There will be a ribbon-cutting for the new South Main Bumpus Harley-Davidson this Saturday, June 9, with special guest Bill Davidson, great-great-grandson of William “Bill” Davidson, one of the original founders of Harley-Davidson 115 years ago. More than 100 riders are expected to participate in a ride from the store on Whitten Rd. to the new South Main store.

Trey Moore, executive director of Explore Bike Share, will be the featured speaking at the South Main Association meeting on Tuesday, June 12. He will talk about Explore’s program and how the benefits of bike sharing can be enjoyed by everyone. Afterward there will be a Q&A. The meeting will be at the Rumba Room. 6:00 social, 6:30 program, and you can stay afterward for Latin dance lessons. Drink specials for meeting attendees and the SMA will provide light appetizers. Free for members, $10 non-members.

Two Motown legends, The Temptations and The Four Tops, come to the Orpheum October 3.

Memphis made national news this weekend, in a good way. CNN had a story about how Memphis Inner City Rugby transforms teens’ lives.

Roundhouse Revival makes its return to the Mid-South Coliseum on July 21. It will be a free day of wrestling, basketball, food trucks, community groups, water slides, voter registration and more.

A friend of mine gave me a tip that the gyro at Grecian Gourmet is really top-notch. I will have to try that soon. If you haven’t been yet, Grecian Gourmet is in the old Onix space on Main near Huling.

This weekend I got into a lively discussion with two of my BBQ teammates and bartender PBjaRni about the party bikes in Downtown and Midtown. One thing brought up was bike riders going “WOOOOOOOO!” as they go down the street. For the benefit of my readers, here is a Should you go “WOOOOOOOO!” checklist.

  • Have you ever been a member of The Four Horsemen or Evolution?
  • Do you have a robe with “Nature Boy” in sequins on the back?
  • Have you won at least 16 world titles?

If your answer to these questions is YES, then it is appropriate for you to go “WOOOOOOOO!” on a party bike. Otherwise it is not appropriate.

Fun time at brunch at Pontotoc Lounge yesterday. Tony sat in a seat where I’d be looking right at him every time the door opened, and B-RAD and I reminisced about how… someone else… used to do that at Blind Bear brunch. Later in the day Rahul referred to Tony as “a big piece of Easter Bunny chocolate” and for the first time in my life I wished I was deaf.

Later in the day I made the trek over to Max’s Sports Bar for BBQ nachos.

This was a HALF order and it was humongous. Good value on the menu at Max’s. Of course the $2.50 PBR is value drinking at its finest.

While we’re on the subject of Max’s, I look forward to watching my Arkansas Razorbacks there in the coming days. The Hogs locked up a Super Regional spot last night with a victory over Dallas Baptist. As a top-eight seed, the Razorbacks will host the Super Regional in Fayetteville, playing either South Carolina or UNC Wilmington. Note that expected opponent #12 ECU did not advance, so the Hogs have a very good shot at becoming OmaHogs and earning a trip to the College World Series this year.

My AT&T Call Protect app on my iPhone really does work! Saturday afternoon I got this notification:

And this morning I got this one:

Sunday night I got a call from a friend, confirming that Call Protect does not stop you from getting calls you actually want. Lifehacker has more information on getting your phone to screen spam calls.

The G7 summit is this weekend, with leaders of world powers gathering to discuss topics like climate change, women’s empowerment, and building a more peaceful world. And we’re sending Donald Trump. Oh my God what a shitshow that is going to be.

Melania Trump has not been seen in public in 24 days, and it has been announced that she will not go to Quebec for the G7 Summit or Singapore for the U.S.-North Korea Batshit Crazy summit. Is it possible Donald Trump will become the first president in history to have his wife leave him while in office?

And could admitted adultery nullify a prenuptial agreement? Time to pop some popcorn. The next two weeks could get real interesting.

Back tomorrow with more news. I’ll be out at happy hour somewhere tonight, but I haven’t figured out where yet.

The slow season

Spring festival season has ended, giving me a lot less news to report. I considered not blogging at all today, but I’m up early and I might as well do something.

Richard Wilson plays Sunday Evening Slowdown tonight at Ghost River at 5 PM. If you go there earlier (12-3) you can get brunch from the Flying Sobies food truck – Cornish hens with your choice of sauce.

If you don’t mind a drive to Jackson, Tennessee, you can play Dungeons and Dragons at 2 this afternoon.

There’s a kick-off party for Vacation Bible School at Fellowship Baptist Church in Marion today at 5:00.

An armadillo was spotted outside Max’s Sports Bar in South Main last night.

Seriously, that’s how bad I’m hurting for news to report.

I sure have enjoyed these past 6 months at places like Max’s, Blind Bear, and Silly Goose. Wish I could have 18 more just like them.

In case anybody cares who I hope the Grizzlies pick with their #4: Jaren Jackson Jr. He’s the safest bet for a team that can’t afford another Hasheem Thabeet-type mistake. He’s one of the few bigs in the draft who actually plays defense, he can shoot the three ball, and he’s 6’11”. Start him as a power forward alongside Marc Gasol, let him learn everything he can, and eventually he can be moved over to center when Gasol leaves or retires.

The only thing I dislike about picking Jackson is it leaves Jamychal Green coming off the bench, and makes Jarell Martin all but expendable. I’ve always liked Martin and think he has more potential than people give him credit for. You have to do what’s best for the team though.

Now and then I hear naysayers talk about Seattle poaching the Grizzlies from Memphis first chance they get. I think that’s total B.S., BUT… a Thabeet-level bust in the draft this year and yeah, it becomes possible.

While we’re on the subject of the NBA, I’ll share an opinion that is going to be wildly unpopular: I actually like Draymond Green. He far exceeded initial expectations and has become the epitome of the NBA in this decade. When he retires in 8 or 10 years, how awesome would it be if he joins Sir Charles and Shaq on commentary?

Time for D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc Lounge. Today’s conversation topics: People who can’t handle the truth and 96 degree patios. Back tomorrow with more news unless tomorrow is as slow a news day as today.