Bums, Bands, Beer, and Pigeons

Tonight is the weekly installment of bums, bands, beer, and pigeons at Court Square, for their weekly concert series from 6 to 8 PM. The Glass will be playing, and I’m looking forward to hearing them. Brad from the Glass is my former barista from Empire Coffee. Wish Empire was still open so I could still get a frozen hot chocolate and take it over to the park.

No posts in a while… sorry. Still having Internet connection problems at home. Let’s see… what has been going on. Well, I went to Coyote Ugly for the first time Monday night. My opinion: Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’ll give it a 6 out of 10 but I went in expecting to give it a 2. I want to go back on a weekend night and see what it’s like though. One of the girls dancing on the bar squirted my friend with a water gun and made him drop his drink. That’s a clever way to get an extra $6 for another drink, I guess.

Before that, I went to Pint Nite at the Saucer. My favorite waitress was working, and even though I normally hate the benches, I sat there because it was her section. The night was unusual in that none of my regular drinking buddies were there, so I was sitting by myself. I worried that if I got up to use the restroom, I’d lose my seat. So I took out a note card and wrote the following:





It worked. My seat was safe all night. I also got a big smile from the waitress as I came back from the bathroom, so I think she saw it.

Oh. I also stopped by the Black Diamond for a can of PBR. While there, a friend told me that Young Avenue Deli is doing 50-cent PBR cans on Sunday night. That might actually be enough to get me out of downtown!

Speaking of cheap beer, don’t forget that tonight is the first installment of College Night at Alfred’s. 5 cent pitchers until 11 if you have a college ID. I wonder if any of the people who make fake IDs so under-21s can drink can make me a fake college ID.

It’s also the first installment of College Night at Jillian’s/Atlas.

The Cooper-Young Fest schedule of events is out in this week’s Flyer, and ho…ly…crap… they’ve extended it all the way to York this year on the north side. Up until a couple of years ago it stopped at Nelson. Then they extended it one more block north to Evelyn. This year it’s two blocks more north to York. AWESOME.

In case you haven’t read the news, Justin Timberlake will be performing Friday on Beale Street between 7 and 8, for Good Morning America. It’s a free concert. The Beale Street merchants are hoping the crowd sticks around afterward. Wondering exactly what they expect the crowd to spend money on since it’s all bars, and who wants to drink at that hour… other than the bums, and the people still lingering in the Black Diamond from the night before.

My readership is declining… I’m averaging about 190 hits on the weekdays, where I was up in the 230-250 range before Labor Day. Is it because school started? Or do people just not like me anymore… who knows. However, I do know that my number of hits will experience a dramatic pop two weeks from today. Not allowed to say why yet. I have a party to go to that night, which might have something to do with it.

Although, I have picked up at least one new reader in recent days… welcome to my blog! Good to see you out last weekend!

A friend sent me some pics of the Chalk Art Festival last weekend at the Farmers’ Market and asked that I post them, so here ya go (click the link). I didn’t take any of these, so no pics of Romanian waitresses this time around, sorry.

Last Friday’s trip to Raiford’s got me in the mood to go again. I may hit it Friday night – I know I said I want to rest up for Cooper-Young, but you know, I’ll catch up on sleep in October. If I don’t make it Friday night, then Saturday. Maybe both. You never know. My Raiford’s visits tend to go in cycles… I won’t go at all for 3-4 months, then I’ll want to go every night for a while. I’m moving back into the “go every night” phase. The $12 cover is not enough to deter me.

Today’s lunchtime post is brought to you by the free WiFi at Otherlands… wow, for an hour I got quite a bit typed! Time to post and go back to work.

Peyton vs. Eli

The Nuh-Uh Girl raised a valid point this afternoon. I had previously said I was rooting for Eli in tonight’s game, not because I give a crap about football but because I used to have a bartender named Eli. Well, the Nuh-Uh Girl pointed out that Eli went to Ole Miss. So that’s it. I’m for Peyton.

“Hotty Toddy

We suck!

Ole Miss!


16-14 Colts, going into the 4th as I type this.

Sunday update: An artsy link, football, AMOGs, and more

Here’s a link to a Commercial Appeal article that is a must-bookmark: The 2006-2007 performing arts calendar, by writer Christopher Blank. It’s a comprehensive calendar listing the schedule of just about every performing arts group in the city. It also contains a good article about the new Hattiloo Theater on Marshall.

Ravi Shankar is performing on October 5 at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. He’s the guy who taught George Harrison from the Beatles how to play the sitar. I bet he’d be worth seeing. God, he’s gotta be pushing 100 now.

Sitting here in the Union Avenue branch office. Just posted Deal of the Week, with good deals on an MP3 player, a laptop, and accounting software. Been a good morning so far… walked out my apartment building’s door and the first person I saw was a Romanian, on her way to buy cigarettes at Walgreens before heading to work. Hmmm. Maybe she’s stalking me.

Apparently because I hang out in bars a lot, everyone thinks I should have an opinion on tonight’s Eli Manning vs. Peyton Manning matchup. I don’t. Well, unless “don’t care” counts as an opinion. Oh, fine. I’ll have an opinion. I’ll pull for Eli because when I hung out at the downtown Blue Monkey for Sunday brunch, my bartender was named Eli. She was a girl though. Game starts at 7:15, which means I’ll probably be sitting in Sleep Out’s watching it. Could go to the Saucer to watch it but the place will be full of AMOGs (Alpha Male Other Guys; it’s a term used on how-to-pick-up-women websites) who take NFL football way too seriously. Actually, it’s kind of fun to watch them watch the game, kind of like it’s fun to go to the zoo and watch the animals. Maybe I will go to the Saucer after all.

Ole Miss lost yesterday. Good. Maybe they should change their cheer to “Hotty Toddy, We Suck!”

Plans for this week: Rooftop party on the roof of my apartment building Thursday night. Cooper-Young Fest on Saturday. Otherwise, the usual stuff – Pint Nite tomorrow, team trivia on Tuesday, Court Square concert series on Wednesday. Friday I will probably take the night off and get some rest. I don’t mess around when it comes to Cooper-Young – I absolutely will not allow myself to wake up with 3 hours sleep and a hangover that morning, like I do most Saturdays.

Time to log off and play the NTN trivia game. See you later!

Stupidest college cheer ever, and gharials

Philip’s recent blog entries have reminded me how stupid Ole Miss’s “Hotty Toddy” cheer is. I’ve decided that from now on, I will root for ANYONE who plays Ole Miss. Even Texas.

This week I discovered that there’s an animal I had never heard of that is related to alligators, caimans, and crocodiles. It’s called a gharial. Unlike gators and crocs, gharials don’t pose a danger to humans. I think I’d still stay out of their way though.

I’m still at Sleep Out’s. I’m drunk. Jonah wants to use the computer. Guess I’ll post now.

Sad news

I am sad to report that the sucker fish in the tank at Sleep Out Louie’s passed away yesterday. For over a year he did an admirable job keeping the tank clean, consuming goldfish feces and other waste matter. We are currently in the process of planning a memorial service for the sucker fish and will keep you informed.

Art On Tap review ‘n’ other stuff

Last night I went to Art On Tap, the Dixon’s annual beer tasting/fundraiser, for the first time, and WOW! What a great event. I took a cab down there and got there about 6:10, ten minutes after the start time, and the place was already packed. I walked around and sampled beers, the best of which were homemade brews by the Bluff City Brewers club. It was a FUN crowd too – I must have known 50 people there, maybe more. Only problem was, I stopped to talk to so many people that I didn’t drink as much beer as I would have liked. Really good food too – jambalaya by Bluff City Bayou, burritos by Blue Coast Burrito, and BBQ sandwiches by (forgot the place’s name). The tasting was in a beautiful outdoor garden, and of course the Dempseys were excellent as always. This event is definitely going to be on my calendar for next year.

Thanks to Chad and the Nuh-Uh Girl for the ride back downtown, and to Mike and Paola for offering a ride as well. Once back home I headed to (you guessed it) The Flying Saucer. Said a brief hello to the girl who had been the most beautiful woman at the beer tasting (she had on a silver dress that just about made my eyes pop out of my head), then rolled on to Earnestine & Hazel’s and then Raiford’s. First time I’ve seen Raiford’s since the renovation – it’s not much different, they got rid of that stupid drum set and I think they may have moved the bar back a foot or so, not sure. They’ve raised the cover to $12 after midnight. Yikes. When they raised it to 10 I really thought they were approaching the upper limit of what people are willing to pay. We’ll see if it lasts. Got about 2 hours of quality dancing in, then headed home.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Something’s been wrong with my cable modem at home – sometimes it finds the Internet, sometimes not. I took the laptop to the Union Avenue branch office yesterday at lunch to type a post, but one of the waitresses borrowed my laptop to look at MySpace pages. Oh, also, the fluffy-haired Romanian who works there is a brunette now.

Speaking of lack of posts: Can’t resist pointing out that Charly has not made a new post in 16 days, and hasn’t made a post about anything other than redneck NASCAR crap in 32 days.

The Commercial Appeal had a review of my favorite new restaurant, Dawgie Style, yesterday. Check it out.

Foot in Mouth Dept: Greg Hisky, from Greg Hisky and his Dixie Whisky Flyers who I saw at the Center for Southern Folklore Festival last weekend, e-mailed me to thank me for the endorsement. However, he said, his band members are not in their 60s as I estimated in my post – they have one member in his 40s, one in his 30s, and two in their 50s. Oops! Sorry about that.

He told me that they will be playing at the P&H Cafe on Saturday, September 16 at 9 pm, for their Hank Williams (1923-1953) birthday party. That’s the day of Cooper-Young Fest, so that’s an option for some post-CY entertainment.

Oh, by the way, Greg also told me that they jumped around on stage like The Dempseys when they were younger, and still can in short spurts.

No plans for today… nothing going on that I know of except the Germantown Festival, and I have no interest in making the drive out to East Bumblefuck to check it out. Tomorrow I’ll be at Sleep Out Louie’s, of course. Outta here… have a good weekend!

Video: Lobster fight in the tank at Big Foot Lodge

I finally figured out how to use YouTube and uploaded a video that I took with my digital camera in mid-June, of two lobsters in the tank at Big Foot fighting.

However, I’m too lazy to figure out how to embed videos in my blog, so here’s a link. It’s a 3 minute, 24 second video. Be sure to watch it all the way through – the last 30 seconds are the best.

(Inside joke/comment dept.: I have a feeling that one of my regular readers is going to be VERY afraid, now that I’ve learned how to upload videos to YouTube. Welcome back to Memphis!)

I’m typing this lunchtime post from the Second Street branch office, again. Kristie is my waitress, again. Kristie rocks, again. The only difference from yesterday is that the Romanian isn’t working today. In case you’re interested, the lunch special is turkey on rye with chips and drink, and the Fire Sale is Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat.

Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis now has an online store

I’m pleased to announce that Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis, the organization I co-founded in June to help keep Downtown Memphis safe, now has an online store where you can order shirts and other RSDM apparel. It is set up through CafePress, and ordering is 100% secure with your credit card. All items are sold at cost, because the point is not to make a profit – the point is to get the word out about keeping downtown safe. All items have the organization name and website URL.

If you want to see what the clothes look like before you buy, I’ll be at the Court Square Concert Series tomorrow night (Wednesday, September 6; it will probably be tonight rather than tomorrow night by the time most of you read this) sporting my snazzy new RSDM yellow T-shirt. Most likely my co-founder Mike King will be there for a while too.

Here are a few of the eight items we have available (will add more as time permits):

So check out the store and let us know if there are any clothing items you’d like us to add – they have 90 products to choose from. Unfortunately they do not have a tube top option.

My trivia team The Rapscallions staged a comeback tonight and took a first-place victory at the Saucer, earning a $50 gift certificate to start our stash for the next party. Three more first-places and it’ll be time once again.

I’m home early for a change. Going to catch up on some e-mail and get a rare good night’s sleep.

Art on Tap this Friday at the Dixon, and other notes

The big event that everyone’s talking about this week is Art on Tap, at the Dixon Gallery, this Friday, September 8 from 6 to 9 pm. It’s the Dixon’s annual fundraiser/beer tasting and there will be over 150 beers to sample. Advance tickets are free for members of their Young at Art program, $15 for Dixon members and $20 for nonmembers, but advance sales end tomorrow afternoon, so if you’re sure you’re going to go, you better hurry. After that they’re $25 at the gate. Oh, I should mention the band that will be playing… The Dempseys!

Trying to decide if I’m going to go to this one… I want to but it’s out in East Memphis, and you better believe I ain’t driving the car to a beer tasting. Maybe I’ll hop a cab out there. Anyone know what cab fare approximately costs from downtown to the Dixon?

Follow-up note from the previous post:

– The Roy Harper who performed that the Center for Southern Folklore’s festival this weekend is not the one in the title of “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” by Led Zeppelin. Thanks to Otto for providing a link to the Wikipedia entry on Roy Harper (the one from the song).

Bleh. Not much news to report. It was a pretty boring Labor Day weekend, other than the festival. Sitting here at the Second Street branch office enjoying some chili-cheese dip. Kristie is my waitress. Yay! Kristie rocks. Also, I found out that if you come in on Tuesday you get double punches on their buy-7-lunches-get-1-free card.

Anyone know what’s up with the new place on Main between Union and Gayoso, called Sauces (our plate, your canvas)? It isn’t open yet – still under renovation. I’ve done web searches and have turned up empty-handed on info about this place. Perhaps I should ask the bums – believe it or not, they can sometimes be reliable sources of information, since they’re on the street 24/7.

Lunch is over, back to work. I’ll be back at the Second Street branch office for trivia tonight.

Sunday update: Cheap beer, festival update

Well, the Romanians found another ride to the mall, giving me the entire afternoon to enjoy the Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music and Heritage Festival!

So for the rest of the day I bounced back and forth between the festival and the Flying Saucer. One of the pleasant surprises of the festival was Greg Hisky and his Dixie Whisky Flyers. When they took the stage I wasn’t expecting much – some men who looked to be in their 50s-60s playing classic country tunes. But they were REALLY good. They played a version of the Statler Brothers’ “Flowers on the Wall” which was every bit as good as the version The Dempseys play. Although, they didn’t jump around on stage as much as The Dempseys do. Nevertheless, I definitely plan on seeing them again when they play around town.

Speaking of the Dempseys… I ran into my favorite guitarist in the whole wide world, Mister Bradley D. Birkendahl, and his wife Anna Marie at the festival. He told me that today, he’ll be playing guitar for Jason D. Williams tonight at 10:00 on the Verizon Wireless stage. I’ll be there for that one for sure.

There was an older guy named Roy Harper playing old country music. Just wondering, is this the Roy Harper who Led Zeppelin paid tribute to on “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” on Led Zeppelin III? Anyone know?

My friend Marilyn asked me to write a glowing review of her friend Willie Firecracker, who performed last night, and to mention his site collectionplaterecords.com. Unfortunately I was busy drinking and checking out waitresses at the Saucer around that time, and forgot to head back over to the festival in time to hear him. Sorry, Marilyn.

Today I’ll be splitting my time three ways between Sleep Out Louie’s, the Flying Saucer, and the festival. You know, it’s funny, but the act I’m most looking forward to seeing today is a puppeteer named Jimmy Crosthwait, who will be on the Trolley Stop stage at 2:30 today. Last year he had a song about a saber-toothed cat (with puppet) that was so silly that it was good. I’ve been looking forward to hearing that song again for an entire year.

All right… let’s talk about some cheap beer deals I discovered yesterday as I was walking Beale Street. Normally you can get a Big Ass Beer (28 oz. to 32 oz., depending on where you buy it) on Beale for $5. However, The Pig on Beale is the place to go for your value drinking option… Big Ass cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $4. PBR me ASAP!

I also saw a sign in Alfred’s window, saying that starting on the 13th they are going to have College Night every Wednesday – 5 cent pitchers of beer until 11 PM, and ladies get in free. Alfred’s has never been my favorite place to go on Beale Street, but for 5 cent pitchers and hot college girls, I may actually have to start hanging out there. I wonder if you have to show college ID to get the deal on the pitchers?

That’ll do it for now. It’s a beautiful day outside – my WeatherBug on my computer is reporting a temperature of 64 degrees. Perfect! Just warm enough to wear shorts. High 82, low 60. You just can’t ask for weather any better than that.