Sunday trip to East B.F.

Well, I didn’t make it to brunch today after all… nor did I make it to a party in my building, thrown by a friend of mine to watch the World Cup finals. Instead, I spent the afternoon in East Bumblefuck. The Romanians wanted to go to the mall, and so I agreed to drive them to Wolfchase.

To catch everyone up on the Romanian situation: The blonde from last year is back. The brunette is not, which doesn’t surprise me since she didn’t like Memphis much. There are three new Romanians, two blondes and one who is about halfway between brunette and redhead.

So we drove out there and they wanted to stay for four hours. I quickly realized I did not want to spend four hours shopping for women’s clothes with four girls speaking a language I didn’t understand, so we agreed upon a meeting place and I went off and did my own thing. I found some really nice casual shirts at JCPenney of all places. They look hip and funky enough to wear them to a bar or club, yet dressy enough where I can get away with wearing them to work as well. I like shirts like that. And they were marked down from $40 to $24. One was marked down to $4.99.

After making a complete loop of the mall to see which customers were wearing tube tops, I decided I was hungry, so I went to the food court and bought a slice of stuffed pizza with sausage and ham. When I got done, I looked at my watch and it was only 2:00. “I don’t want to spend two more hours in this mall,” I thought. Then I remembered that I happened to be right down the street from the Flying Saucer – the new East Bumblefuck Flying Saucer that opened six months ago. So I got in the car and headed in that direction.

And I got lost. Strip mall after strip mall after strip mall… there were so many of them and they all looked alike. After turning around a couple of times, I finally found it. It’s a very nice bar (although I think the downtown one is better) and I actually knew people there. So I sat and watched the two overtimes in the World Cup game, but I had to leave before the penalty kicks decided it.

So I got back at 4:00 and the girls were sitting outside and showing each other their new clothes and talking in Romanian. I understood “da” (yes) and “no” (no) and I think I heard one of them say “chocolat” one time and I assume I know what that means. The rest was all gibberish. Nevertheless, I will attempt a translation:

“Who is this guy who drove us out here? He is hot.”

“Oh, that is Paul. Yes, he is hot.”

“Do you think he likes Romanians? He is very cute.”

That’s my best attempt at interpreting what they were saying. Anyway, they loaded their bags into the back of my car and I drove them home. Now I’m heading out to the Saucer – the real Saucer, the downtown one – and I’m walking. Good to be home.

Guide to Saturday night people-watching downtown

Welcome to my blog. I know that many of you plan on coming downtown tonight. Part of downtown’s appeal is the diverse crowd that it attracts, particularly on Saturday nights. To help you get the most out of your experience, I thought I’d post a people-watching guide.

As you stroll around downtown, you may notice some young gentlemen dressed mainly in red, with baseball cap tilted to the left, left pant leg rolled up, left shoe untied. They may also wear a bandana on the left side. These young men are announcing their membership in either the Los Angeles-based Bloods gang, or in the Chicago-based People Nation/Vice Lords gang.

You may also notice some young gentlemen dressed in mostly blue, with baseball cap tilted to the right, right pant leg rolled up, right shoe untied. They may also wear a bandana on the right side. These young men are pleased to announce that they are members of either the Los Angeles-based Crips gang, or the Chicago-based Folk Nation/Gangster Disciples.

For more good downtown people-watching information, you can check out this page. Once armed with this information, I think you’ll be surprised how many people you can identify on the streets of downtown on a Saturday night.

Oh, and if you see a guy staring at girls in tube tops, that’s probably me.

Friday update: Sleep Out’s, weekend plans

If anyone knows of a reasonably-priced 1 BR apartment downtown, available NOW (the NOW part is important), let me know. This is not for me, this is for friends of mine. It needs to be in the core downtown area (approximately between Adams and a couple of blocks south of Beale).

Last night I started out at Sleep Out’s, where Mike King and I did an interview about Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis, which will run in a local publication in the next couple of weeks. I’ll pass on the info as soon as I have a firm date.

After the interview, I moved to the bar, where the general manager challenged me to a game of NTN Trivia. Needless to say, I kicked his ass. During the course of the game, I ran out of beer and the bartender started to pour me a PBR. “No PBR, it’s been tasting nasty lately, give me a Bud Light instead.” The GM heard me say that and called the distributor to come clean the lines. They’ve apparently been lazy about doing it, but when the distributor heard that customers were choosing another company’s product as a result, he said, “We’ll be out tomorrow to clean!”

So the PBR will be drinkable in time for dollar PBR Sunday. Cool.

After the trivia game, I saw little plastic containers of melted butter, and realized it was Crab Leg Thursday at Sleep Out’s – all you can eat crab legs for $15.95. Having not eaten at all up to that point, I couldn’t pass it up. So I stayed an extra two hours devouring crab legs.

After that, I stopped by the Saucer for a beer, where I learned that the Nuh-Uh Girl will soon become one of my neighbors. I asked if she was moving in this month. “Nuh UHHHHHHHH!” she replied. Not until August. Welcome to the building!

Next, I wandered down to Beale Street – specifically, the Tap Room. Good LORD… I have never seen so many gorgeous girls walking down Beale in my life. Guys, no matter how much you hate country music, you gotta check out Country On Beale. Tube tops and halter tops and bikini tops and miniskirts everywhere. I’ll definitely be there next Thursday, although in the early part of the evening, I’ll be on the Madison rooftop, where The Dempseys will be playing.

While sitting at the Tap Room’s bar, a man in a polo shirt strolled in and took the tip jar and strolled out. “Oh, that must be one of the managers,” I thought. “He’s collecting the tips so they don’t get stolen.” About one second later, I thought, “Wait a minute… I’ve never known managers to do that here… and I’ve never seen that guy before…” and I yelled, “HEY NILES, HE JUST STOLE YOUR TIP JAR!” and took off running down Beale, with several other people including the bartender right behind me. The thief realized he had people chasing him and dropped the jar outside King’s Palace. People on the street told me he’s one of the local crackheads and he pulls stunts like that all the time. Surprised I didn’t recognize him.

Plans for this weekend… not sure. Very tentative plan to do Fish Races tonight at Sleep Out’s, but that could change. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a late-night at the Black Diamond drinking PBR cans at least one night this weekend.

If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow night, LoLo’s Table is now doing Sangria Saturdays… $8 pitchers of sangria with food purchase. Good way to get your date drunk on a budget.

Sunday, of course I’ll be at brunch at Sleep Out’s from about 11 to 2. Hopefully there won’t be a new round of whipped cream pictures to post on Monday, but if we start drinking duck farts, you never know. The whipped cream pics I posted yesterday were taken after we had all done about 6 rounds of duck farts.

The Sunday after those pics were taken, I was sitting at the bar, and the daytime bartender, Kimberley, was working. She had left before things got wild the week before. I asked Kimberley if she knew how to make a duck fart. “I don’t know,” she replied, “Do you pick him up and squeeze him?”

If you’re outside Sunday evening, look up at the sky. The space shuttle Discovery will pass over Memphis at 8:56 PM.

One of my neighbors tried my cleaning tip that I posted yesterday. She too had a tub that just wouldn’t get clean no matter what she tried. So, she went to the store and picked up a pack of Magic Erasers, and she reports that they worked and now she has a fresh, sparkling white tub as well! Hmmm… you know, in some cultures, it’s considered appropriate to put on a tube top in appreciation for excellent household cleaning advice.

Ahhh… the weekend is here. This is shaping up to be a great summer. Even TWICE as great as last summer. Let’s go have some fun!

Happy happy joy joy

The sun is shining
The birds are singing
and the world is a WONDERFUL place!!!

happy happy
joy joy
happy happy
joy joy

And believe it or not, my good mood this morning has nothing to do with tube tops.

Apologies for the incoherent post… perhaps some of you can read between the lines and make something out of this mania.

Photo album: Whipped cream at Sleep Out’s

It’s finally online – the long-awaited whipped cream photo album.

Click here to view the rest of the images

These pics were taken the last weekend in May – a few days before the beginning of Tube Top Month. Someone took out a can of whipped cream at Sleep Out’s and things got a little crazy. I was unable to get these posted until now because I had to act like a “serious” blogger while I posted about downtown crime.

Helpful cleaning tips, breaking the law, and more

Longtime readers of this blog know that the scourge of my existence for the past three and a half years has been my bathtub. When I moved in, it had this ground-in gray scum/dirt that I’ve never been able to get rid of since. I’ve tried everything – cleaners, bleaches. Nothing worked. All I’ve been able to do is make sure the shower curtain was pulled shut when people came over.

Well, today it occurred to me: I have access to the great minds of the world, via the Internet. So I did some searching on cleaning bathtubs. One of the solutions I came across was to clean the tub using Comet and something called a Magic Eraser, made by Mr.Clean. It seemed too easy to be true but the suggestion was highly rated among readers.

So, at lunchtime I went to get my car tags renewed, and unbelievably, there was no line at the Prescott branch office. I was out in 5 minutes, plus another 5 to put the new plate on the car (TN has new plates this year). So I decided to stop by the nearby Rite Aid and pick up some Comet and a couple of 2-packs of Magic Erasers. “These things look like nothing but white sponges!” I thought. “They couldn’t possibly work.” But, I figured, everything else has failed, might as well try this too.

So after work I came home and gave it a try, and lo and behold – clean tub. For the first time since I’ve lived there. Because of something that looks like a sponge. Who woulda thought.

Speaking of the car tag renewal – sometimes it pays to break the law. As I mentioned previously, my registration expired June 30, but I didn’t get it done because I didn’t feel like waiting in a long line the last day of the month. So, I went today, and got right in without a line. The fee to renew was exactly the same as it would have been if I had done it on time, and they gave me a “JUL” sticker rather than a “JUN” one, so I effectively got a month free.

I updated my address while there. That will allow me to mail it in next year and avoid this mess altogether.

I thought I had another reason to celebrate today, but I was wrong. I got an e-mail reading, “This is Chip – Master Polo from MySpace.” He told me that he had heard I was “obsessed” with finding out his identity, and he didn’t mind revealing it to people who were “certifiably normal.” He told me that if there was anything I wanted to know about him, just ask.

Later in the day I e-mailed my friend Mendi aka Master Polo II and said, “Chip e-mailed and told me he was Master Polo and asked what I wanted to know about him. The mystery is solved!”

Not two minutes later I had an e-mail back from her: “Who’s Chip?” So I forwarded the message he sent me.

She replied: “Haha. His name is not Chip. He’s very good. I will compliment him at once.”

BLAST!!! Foiled again!

[By the way, “Chip” is not the alias he used, but in the interest of protecting his identity (even if it is a lie) I used a pseudonym for his alias.]

In other news, my friend Mike recommends this product as an option to chase away pigeons downtown. I have no idea if it actually works.

In addition to the helpful cleaning tip, I have a helpful consumer tip as well. It’s July. This is about the time of year when stores start putting summer clothes on clearance to make way for their fall lines. Usually the items considered peak-of-summer items, such as bathing suits and tube tops, are the first to be marked down. But, of course, July is hardly the end of tube top weather here in Memphis – buy one now and you’ll still have three months to wear it. So what are you waiting for? Maybe there should be a tube top edition of my Deal of the Week blog.

And that’ll do it for this post – staying in tonight. Now that I have momentum because of the tube I figure I might as well clean the rest of the place too. It needs it. Thinking about doing the Peabody rooftop tomorrow (Yes, No, Maybe is playing). No plans for the weekend beyond that, as of yet. ‘Til next time…

Moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil’s thirst…

… the law they swore they’d get him but the devil got him first!
Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum and Don Raye

So I tried moonshine for the first time in my life today. I was at a cookout in Midtown and one of the guests brought a Mason jar of it. Now, if you already feel a case of heartburn coming on, “sure, I’d love to try some moonshine,” is definitely the wrong answer. It was corn whiskey, clear in color, estimated to be 135-140 proof by the person who brought it. It tasted like Thunderbird wine, which is not a good thing to be sure, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I know what Thunderbird tastes like in the first place. It aggravated my heartburn by a factor of 5 to be sure.

I had a great time at the cookout I went to in Midtown, and I thank the host and hostess for the chance to see their beautiful house and for the burger, hot dog, tater tots, and beer. I learned how to work the cab system today. Getting from downtown to other parts of the city is not hard – just find a cab waiting for a fare (I found one at the Peabody). He drove me to the party in the McLean & Jackson area, and I tipped him $5 on my $12 fare and asked, “When I’m ready to head back downtown how do I get a ride?” He gave me not only the cab company number but his personal cell number as well, and asked approximately when I’d be heading back. So when I was ready to leave I called his cell and he was there in 5 minutes. I had always heard it takes at least 30 minutes and often closer to an hour to get a cab in Midtown.

July 4 will probably be over by the time you read this, but it’s still not too late to show your patriotism by ordering an American Flag Tube Top. What better way to show your patriotism than by wearing a tube top? If I were blogging from Afghanistan, this would be Burqa Month. Every month would be Burqa Month.

I read in the Downtowner Magazine that Maynard, Silky Sullivan’s pet goat, has passed away. My condolences to Silky and everyone at his restaurant who took care of Maynard.

Plans for tomorrow:
1) Get up way earlier than I would like
2) Sit in a cubicle all morning
3) Renew my expired tags at lunch
4) Sit in a cubicle some more
5) Get a haircut after work

Clearly tomorrow is shaping up to be the most exciting day of the week, if not the year. I better get some sleep.

Dear Spencer

The note below was found outside Sleep Out Louie’s on Union Avenue this morning. Click for full-size (5-megapixel) image – may take a while to download if you’re connecting via phone line. Parental discretion advised: content is definitely not appopriate for those under 18.

Today I hung out at Sleep Out’s until about 6. Then I went to Big Foot for dinner, ordering the Holy Smokes Wings, which were intolerably hot. 3 of the 12 wings and I was done. Sobered me up though.

Then I went to Blues City, where I had heard FreeWorld would be playing, only to discover The Dempseys were playing the early show. They drew a big crowd, including a girl in a pink tube top.

On the break, one of the Dempseys was kind enough to invite me to a holiday BBQ at his house sometime later this weekend… so I’m thinking… the band that played for the President two days ago is inviting me to a BBQ… how can I not go? But on the other hand… I have expired plates on the car. If I drive, I’m risking a ticket for at least that if not more. Looks like I’m going to have to go, and not drink a drop of alcohol once there. Which sucks.

New 38103 shirt

Many of you have seen me wearing a “38103” T-shirt around town from time to time. (38103 is the downtown zip code.) Well, my friend Ryan came up with a new design last night, and gave me a shirt in exchange for a mention in the blog. So here’s the new shirt:

To purchase a shirt, e-mail Ryan at He’ll send you instructions on how to order the shirt online. He has a secure payment gateway set up through QuickBooks and has assured me that the transactions are 100% safe.

Attn Ryan: I’ve had the shirt on for all of 30 minutes today and I’ve already had two people ask where they can buy one.

Still waiting to see a 38103 tube top.

I spent most of Trolley Tour last night running around from gallery to gallery. I had received a tip that the elusive Master Polo would be in attendance, and I just had to find him. For some reason I’ve become obsessed with figuring out who he is. So, let’s see here. There were plenty of gorgeous women at Trolley Tour, and I spend the evening stalking a guy. Welcome to Loserville, population: me.

And to make things worse, Master Polo never showed.

Post-Trolley Tour drinking venues included Big Foot, E&H, the Tap Room, and the Black Diamond. If anything interesting happened I don’t remember it.

Bluff City Coffee at 505 S. Main is now open. Good to see a coffee shop in the South Main district.

All right. I’m bored. Time to hit the Publish Post button and go outside.