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?


A displaced artist from New Orleans has set up shop in one of the ground-floor storefronts in my apartment building. Last week I was walking by, and in the window I saw a sculpture that read, “S.O.S. – Stamp Out Seriousness.” What a great slogan. I wish he’d print that on T-shirts. I’d definitely buy one.

The older I get, the more I realize that seriousness is hardly ever a useful emotion. People need to approach everything they do from its opposite, playfulness, a lot more.

If you examine seriousness – if you say, “I’m serious about _____” – there’s almost always an underlying emotion of fear. I could write another 10 paragraphs giving examples of this, but you know what? I’m not going to. I’m going to leave it to you, the reader, to decide if you agree or disagree, and to come up with your own examples.

Rapscallions defeat Team Palm Pilot, win second consecutive first-place

The Rapscallions’ winnings: three $25 bar tabs.
Two from our consecutive first-place finishes,
and one from a second-place finish a few weeks back.

Tonight at the Flying Saucer, the Rapscallions trivia team took home the first-place prize for the second week in a row. This feat was even more astounding because the 4-member Rapscallion team defeated an 11-person team from St. Jude who was flagrantly cheating with the help of a Palm Pilot. “Cheat to win!” I yelled at them as the results were announced. “Eddie Guerrero would be proud!”

So we now have three bar tabs, a combined $75 value. They don’t expire for a year, so we have plenty of time to spend them. We could have a big party one night (I need to check and see if we can spend more than one bar tab at one time – I don’t see why not) or we could wait until we accumulate 6 of them and hand each Rapscallion a $25 tab to do with as they please. (There are two more team members, the two females, who were not there tonight. Must’ve been a Tupperware party somewhere in town)

Can we make it three first-places in a row next Tuesday? Tune in to the blog to find out.

Big Foot

– If you’re downtown tonight, run by Big Foot Lodge between 11 pm and 1 am. They will be serving their 34 oz. Big Foot Beer in keepsake mugs to celebrate being named one of the best new restaurants in town. And the price per beer – 2 bucks. Try getting a deal like that anywhere else downtown. The place will be packed, I bet.

– Big Foot has a 4 lb. burger called the Sasquatch. If you can eat it all by yourself, with fixins, in one hour, you get it for free. Otherwise it’s $19.99. Okay, let’s do the math here. Four pounds in an hour… that’s a pound every 15 minutes… which is the equivalent of eating a Quarter Pounder every 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Now, if I’m really hungry I can probably eat ONE Quarter Pounder in 3:45… but I doubt I could repeat that 15 more times in a row. No one has won the Sasquatch Challenge yet, and I’m not surprised.

– Wonder when the WWE is coming back to Memphis? I’d like to see the Big Show have a go at the Sasquatch Challenge… he might be able to do it.

– They have some unique items on their menu… they have this thing called Poutine (pronounced poo-tin) which is “a delightfully unique cheese” over hand-cut fries, smothered in gravy. Haven’t had it yet but it sounds interesting. Next time I’m walking home drunk from the Tap Room, I’ll stop by and pick up an order.

– Their slogan for that menu item could be “order it and you’ll be Poutine all night long.” Maybe that’s why no one in the restaurant business ever offers me a job.

– I wonder if Vladimir Putin is still president of Russia? I haven’t been keeping up with the news lately.

– If my last name were Putin I’d nickname myself “I.B.” I mean, with a name like that you know you’re going to be a walking poop joke, might as well laugh at yourself first and take the fun out of it for everyone else.

– No, I haven’t been drinking today. Not yet.

– Also on Big Foot’s menu, I notice that you can get a 34 oz. Big Foot import draft for $6.50. Now, they only have one import selection – Newcastle – but still, that’s not bad at all. Down the street you’d pay $4.50 for a 16 oz. Newcastle draft.

– So there you go – a free commercial on my blog for Big Foot. They deserve it though – the owner is a super nice guy, and he advertises on Progressive Talk 680 so their politics are in the right place.

– All right, time to go outside and watch COGIC people parade around in their gaudy suits and dresses and hats. Hmmm… “female COGIC convention attendee”… that’s a possible Halloween costume for next year if I decide not to do the Beer Goddess again. Of course, when I do a Halloween costume I stay totally in character all day, so if I’m out and you wait on me, you can expect me to tip 27 cents on my $15 bill.

– Time to start drinking. See you later.

As interesting as cat poop: Friday update

(Edited Saturday, November 12: Well, I typed this all up and then forgot to hit the Publish button, so I guess this is now a Saturday update)

– Last night I went to the Dempseys show, and ran into regular blog reader Mallory. She commented that she was sad that my blog didn’t make the top 5 Memphis blogs in the Memphis Flyer “Best of Memphis” awards. Personally, I’m not surprised – this blog is about as interesting as cat poop. I mean, I spent the entire month of June talking about tube tops. Carol Coletta’s blog made the top 5. I have a feeling her blog is probably more interesting than mine.

– Interesting fact: Carol is the only person ever to hand me a loss at Trivial Pursuit.

– My new digital camera has 18 different settings, for taking different kinds of pictures: landscapes, close-ups, night pictures, candlelight, document photos, etc. But there needs to be a 19th setting called “Raiford’s.” I’ve tried 3 times now to get a decent pic in that place and I can’t. All I get is fog and maybe a couple of lights. Guess I’m going to have to get there right at 10 before Raiford starts hitting the smoke machine.

– Plans for this weekend: none so far. What’s going on around town?

– A week from today (November 18) is my birthday, so plans for next weekend will likely involve getting drunk.

– Come to think of it, plans for this weekend will probably involve getting drunk too.

– And on Sunday, November 20, the Dempseys return to Downtown Huey’s after a year-long absence. WOOHOO! Downtown Huey’s is my favorite place to hear the Dempseys. The stage is close to the crowd and the acoustics are good.

– Then on Wednesday, November 23, I’ll drive over to Little Rock to spend Thanksgiving with my mother. Hmmmm… I could come back on Friday the 25th for Trolley Art Tour, or I could spend an extra night in Little Rock and go out to their bars in their River Market district. This is a tough decision, hang on, let me do a little research.

(dialing number on cell phone)

“Flying Saucer, Little Rock. May I help you?”

“Yes, do you have any Romanians?”

“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry any beers from Romania.”

“No, I’m talking about the waitresses, the girls in the miniskirts. Are any of them from Romania?”

“No, sir, they’re not.”

“Oh well, thanks anyway.” (click)

Guess there’s no point spending the extra night in Little Rock, then. So I’ll be back Friday the 25th.

Mail bag

337 new messages this morning – I’m getting quite popular! Let’s see what we have in the ol’ Inbox today:

Subj: p(P).-e(E).-n(N).-i(I).-s(S) e(E).-n(N).-l(L).-a(A).-r(R).-g(G).-e(E).-m(M).-e(E).-n(N).-t(T)

Most a(A).-n(N).-n(N).-o(O).-y(Y).-i(I).-n(N).-g(G) message ever.


Subj: Attain all of your goals with our extensive supply of m-e-d-i-c-i-n-e.

I suppose if my goal was to be d-r-u-g-g-e-d up all day long, then this might be worth checking into. But I think most people don’t look at m-e-d-i-c-i-n-e as a way to attain goals. At least not normal people. It would be much more useful to have m-o-n-e-y. This should have been a “Make Money Fast” message.


Subj: Attention all wristwatch addicts!

It’s possible to be addicted to drugs. It’s possible to be addicted to alcohol. It’s possible to be addicted to nicotine. It’s even possible to be addicted to another person. But WRISTWATCHES? I mean, what’s the point? You only have two arms. What are you going to do, wear them on your feet as well?

But, there are all kinds of people in the world, so there probably are some wristwatch addicts. Perhaps they could respond to the previous e-mail and get some m-e-d-i-c-i-n-e to manage their addiction.


Subj: The appearance of success is just a mouse click away


Hey, they were right, I successfully deleted their message.

Subj: Paul – IMPORTANT – please read immediately
From: Marilyn Ryburn

From my mother.


Hope it wasn’t anything important.

Subj: can I ask you a question?

If you live downtown, you hear this all the time – it’s the opening line the bums use when they approach you. Of course, the “question” is always the same – can I have some money.

I guess one of the bums must have used one of the free Internet terminals at the Cossitt Library to send me this message. But, I have to offer a critique. The correct way to phrase it is, “can I aks you a question.” A-K-S. Acceptable alternate spellings are A-X and A-X-E. But never A-S-K. If you’re going to be a bum, you need to know these things.


Too bad the real-life bums don’t have a delete key.

Subj: Impress your co-workers with a genuine immitation R0l3x

Hmmm. There are five other programmers where I work, who have approximately the same job I do, and therefore make approximately what I make. If I show up wearing a “Rolex,” they’re going to wonder how come I can afford one and they can’t. Seems like this would destroy the cohesion and teamwork in my department.


Subj: Obtain the snob appeal with one of our luxury wristwaatches

If there’s one group of people I don’t care about appealing to, it’s snobs.

You know, the first rule of marketing is, know your customer. If these watch vendors had spent 5 or 10 minutes looking at my blog, they would have been able to craft the perfect e-mail to get my attention. Something like

“Impress women in tu;be t0-ps with our luxury waatches”


“Be appealing to r(R).-o(O).-m(M).-a(A).-n(N).-i(I).-a(A).-n(N) girls with our genuine immitation timepieces”

Now those subjects would get my attention.

There is one thing I’m a snob about though – correct spelling. And since the sender thinks there are two a’s in “wristwatches,” he has not obtained the snob appeal with his message.


Subj: What time is it? It’s an excellent time to obtain a timepiece!

These people sure do want me to buy a watch. I have another marketing suggestion. Hire Morris Day, lead singer of The Time, as your spokesman. Run some TV ads with Morris swaggering around in his leopard jacket and his genuine immitation R0l3x, singing “Jungle Love” or “The Bird.”

Of course, it would probably cost more to produce and run a TV ad than it does to spam 100 million Internet users.


Subj: St0x in play
Subj: Small Cap Express
Subj: Stocks in motion
Subj: Will this stock be the next “Super Nova?”
Subj: One of Wall Street’s best kept secrets
Subj: Top portfolio solutions
Subj: High Performance Stock?

I can double my money overnight, if the stock these e-mails are touting moves in price from $0.01 to $0.02 as predicted.


Whew. All this deleting is making me thirsty. Time to go out and drink a b(B).-e(E).-e(E).-r(R).