This is going to be a long two days…

So, I arrived in Little Rock this evening. I was hungry for Mexican, so I went and got take-out for my mother and me from one of our favorite restaurants. After we ate, she clicked on the TV.

“Oh, good, there’s a Kenny Chesney special on!”

So I had to sit there and endure an hour of Kenny Chesney. Should’ve stopped at Walgreens on the way out of town and bought some earplugs.

It’s going to be a long two days. I’m thinking I’ll sleep late in the morning so I won’t have to watch Regis Philbin’s morning show, and hopefully Days of Our Lives will be pre-empted by something Thanksgiving-related. If I’m really lucky, maybe a college football game will pre-empt Oprah.

Oh, and for the second year in a row, one of the first commercials I saw on TV here in Little Rock was for North Point Ford, for their “shotgun special” – buy a pickup, and get a new rifle, just in time for duck-hunting season. I know I’m repeating last year’s post, but it still blows my mind that someone would give a GUN away as a promotional gift.

More blog posts to come. I have a few pics I’ve been meaning to post from last weekend, so maybe I’ll get those up, along with whatever else comes to mind.

Turkey of the Year

Since I mention the Flying Saucer in practically every post, let’s mention them one more time. Tonight is their annual “Turkey of the Year” glass for “Buy the Beer, Keep the Glass” night. This year they have selected FEMA as the Turkey of the Year, for screwing up the Katrina relief effort. Now I’m not denying that FEMA deserves the award, but I’d like to offer an alternate suggestion.

Paul’s pick:
Turkeys of the Year: The Flying Saucer’s dart boards

When I play a game on the Saucer’s dart boards, using house darts, it usually takes 30-35 minutes to finish. Not because I’m that bad a shot, but because the dart boards are completely worn out. Look at the bullseyes next time you go in; you won’t find craters that big on the moon. In a round of 3 darts, you can just about count on at least 1 dart falling out. I don’t know if the boards have been replaced since the Saucer opened in 1997, but from the looks of them, I’m guessing not.

We actually have mentioned this to one of the managers, and he said he’d call his beer distributor and see about getting new ones. Okay, I’m about to make a suggestion, and this is really thinking outside the box, so you may have to re-read this several times. Here ’tis: How about getting in the car, driving to West Memphis Wal-Mart, and BUYING some new boards? What would 2 boards cost, $35? I tend to think that wouldn’t cut into profit margins much, given the amount of beer people buy up there.

And buy some CHALK while you’re at Wal-Mart! I’m tired of keeping score with a sliver of chalk half the size of my fingernail.

Hmmm… maybe there’s a business reason why they don’t replace those boards. If the boards suck, it takes longer to play, which means people drink more… and spend more.

All right. That’s the end of the rant.

Trivia update: the Rapscallions failed to extend their winning streak to 3 in a row last night.

UFO update: People are still buying me birthday beer, which allowed me to put away beers 193, 194, and 195 last night. Five to go. I still have some cheap ones left on my to-do list, and I have extra money left over from this week’s food budget, so I’ll probably go ahead and knock them out this coming weekend when I get back in town.

Heading to Little Rock after work today. I’ll probably post from there a time or two. Back Friday.

The abandoned porn ditch

Yesterday I was at Sleep Out’s enjoying my usual bottle of champagne-flavored orange juice, and a lively conversation was going on. The bartender was telling us how he used to hide porn inside one of his stereo speakers when he was a kid.

“Well, where I lived,” said a guy sitting to the right of me, “there was a ditch near my house. I’d go there all the time and find porn that people had hidden.” And a Kansas native at the other end of the bar excitedly piped up, “THE ABANDONED PORN DITCH! We had one of those too!”

If you’re not at Sleep Out Louie’s for brunch on Sunday morning, this is the level of intellectual exchange you’re missing out on. Come to think of it, the intellectual level of this blog is about the same, most of the time.

Other random stuff:

– To everyone who told me I should eat lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen because there are Romanians working there: those girls aren’t Romanian, they’re POLISH!!! And I already knew them!

– Which reminds me: On Halloween night I took a QuickTime video of the Polish girls drunkenly dancing at the Tap Room. But, it’s so dark that you can’t see anything but shadows. Is there any software that can be used to adjust hue/saturation/lightness for a QuickTime movie, as Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop can do for a single image?

– Thanks to everyone who made my birthday weekend so much fun. Hope I don’t leave anybody out, but thanks to the following people who supplied me with alcohol, good conversation, and good times: Angie, Mark, Sook, Andy, Imran, Chad, Lacey, Shane & Leigh (yeah THANKS for the Jagermeister and the resulting hangover the next day), Niles, Frenchie, Terry, Micheal & Teresa (thanks for the great tips on reading body language, and the excellent recommendation of Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre), Mikey, Jay, Anna (fantastic cookies), John, and Kevin (who also had a birthday this weekend). And thanks to the Dempseys who put on a hell of a show Sunday night despite Brad’s voice going out (you’re a trooper, Brad).

– And due to people buying me beer at the Saucer this weekend, my UFO beer count is up to 191. Nine more to go. That plate party may happen sooner than I had planned.

– I took today off, but tomorrow I’ll be back at work for a 2-day week. Then I’ll head home to Little Rock for Thanksgiving, and will be back Friday for Trolley Tour, since I’m one of the “penny-pinchers who have no class” that the Memphis Flyer refers to, people who show up at the art galleries for free wine. (attn Mikey – you were asking who wrote that article – I just looked it up, it was Bianca Phillips)

– Even when I’m in Little Rock, I’ll still have Internet access, so you can expect a steady stream of blog updates throughout the week. See you later!

Birthday, and plans for the rest of the weekend

– Started my birthday at work yesterday. No one there knew it was my birthday, and that’s the way I like it. A lot of times, not so much in the IT department but in the rebate and research departments where I work, they’ll have a big party and everyone will bring food and stuff. And they’ll have balloons and “Happy Birthday” signs all over the person’s cubicle. I’ve never gotten into all that. I prefer to do my celebrating outside the office.

– Man, you know you spend too much time in bars when your bartender calls to wish you a happy birthday.

– So, last night I met the ho’s at the Saucer and we hung out for a while and drank. Then we went to King’s Palace and hung out and drank more. All the King’s Palace servers were looking at me funny, like “What’s the Tap Room guy doing in here?” Got to hear Charlie Wood play, which is always a treat.

– Then I walked one of the ho’s to her car (she was being a pain in the ass, but since she bought me alcohol I guess I won’t go into it here), and went back out. Ended up at the Tap Room, where friends bought me Jagermeister shots. Ugh…my head hurts this morning.

– On the way home I stopped by Big Foot to get food, but their kitchen had closed. NOTE: If you close at 3 AM, and your kitchen closes at 12, you really shouldn’t put “KITCHEN OPEN LATE” in your advertising.

– That’s one thing I liked about the downtown Blue Monkey: they put the hours the kitchen was open right on their front door. If you could read, you know whether you could eat.

– On to today: I need to re-write a stock portfolio program for a friend, so I’ll take the laptop somewhere where there’s wireless and get started on it this afternoon.

– The Blues Ball is tonight at the Pyramid. Tickets are $5,000 for a table of ten. Yeah, I think I won’t be going. However, I probably will hit Earnestine & Hazel’s, which in past years has been a popular after-party spot for the Blue Ball.

– Tomorrow: Sunday Brunch at Sleep Out Louie’s. SOL regulars: be sure to stop by and say happy birthday to Kevin! I had planned to spend the evening at downtown Huey’s, where The Dempseys will be playing from 8:30 to midnight – but now I see that FreeWorld will be playing the early show (4 to 7), so Huey’s may turn into an all-day affair.

– Monday, I’m taking a personal day off work. Among other things, I’ll finally be able to hit a downtown lunch spot where Romanians are rumored to be working. As I’ve said before, one can never know too many Romanians.

– And that’s how the weekend is shaping up. I’m feeling creative, so there will probably be another post or two today.

Happy birthday to me!

Yep, today is my birthday. And I get to go to work for 8 hours. Yay. Happy birthday also to Liana, the blond Romanian, who was born on the same day as me (but different year… can you guess which one of us is younger?)

… Hang on, let’s post a pic of Liana.

There ya go. That’s Liana. One day a couple of months ago, I was in the Saucer and Liana was my server. It was a slow afternoon, so she sat down with me and looked at the Memphis Flyer I had brought in. She stopped at one of the ads in the back pages and pointed to a man with his shirt off. “He has a nice body,” she said, “Maybe I should call him.” She pointed to a 900 number next to his picture.

I tried to explain that if she called the number, she likely would not be talking to the guy in the picture, but an overweight, middle-aged, smelly guy in an undershirt sitting in a boiler room somewhere in Iowa. I don’t think she understood. I guess they don’t have 900 lines in Romania.

Even if the guy in the picture did answer the phone, I’m not sure how interested he’d be in talking to Liana, given that the ad said “Meet gay locals in your area.”

If you want to buy Liana a drink for her birthday – well, she’s no longer in the U.S., so you can’t, but I have an idea. You can buy the drink and I’ll drink it. Since we share the same birthday, it’s practically the same thing, after all.

Today is also Mickey Mouse’s birthday, but I don’t have any funny stories about him.

Stupidest hairstyle of 2005: the faux hawk

In case you don’t know what a faux hawk looks like, here’s a link.

Stupidest hairstyle I’ve seen in a long, long time. Do people actually think that looks good? It looks like you just got out of bed and forgot to comb your hair. Or wash it. All over town I see stupid wannabe hipsters wearing this style. And frat guys. You know a style has overstayed its welcome when the frat guys adopt it. I mean, the faux hawk looks bad on a kid in a black indie-rock T-shirt, but it looks ten times worse on some fraternity dork with a bright orange Izod shirt and khakis. Just really, incredibly, completely stupid looking.

Whew. That’s been bothering me for a long time. Glad I finally got that off my chest.

Fried rice

Lately I’ve been on a combination fried rice kick. When I’m at work, I’ll drive to the closest Chinese restaurant on Whitten Road and get an order of it, along with an egg roll, to bring back for lunch. When I’m at home, I’ll walk down the Main Street Mall to Wang’s and pick up some of their Wang’s Fried Rice for dinner. It’s good, it’s filling, you get a lot and it’s relatively cheap compared to most dishes at Chinese restaurants.

When I was a grad student living in Midtown, there was this little restaurant called Da Wah near Watkins and North Parkway. You could get a huge to-go order of their Da Wah Fried Rice for $3.95, and it would be enough for two meals. Da Wah routinely scored in the 50s on their health inspections, but at those prices, who cares? It closed several years ago.

Where else around town has good fried rice? Any places I should check out?