Rock, paper, scissors and other drunk pics

Tonight in the Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament, I went out in the second round. Although, I have to say, all the waitresses were rooting for me. I have another chance next Monday and the winner goes on to a Memphis All-Stars tournament April 7, the winner of that going to Vegas in May to have a chance at $50,000.

Here’s a pic of regular blog reader Clonts, fighting for his life in the second round:

I was also at the Saucer Sunday night, where for some reason I felt the need to put a sofa cushion on my head:

We all ordered Blue Moon or Lienenkugel Sunset Wheat and everyone got 2 orange slices in our beer except me (I got 1). I asked our waitress, “Don’t you love me?” and then I got

5 oranges!!! Someone loves me! Our waitress had boots on and I commented that they should be fur-lined. “They are,” she said, and proceeded to turn her boots inside out. “Show us your fur,” I said, and luckily she didn’t catch the double entendre there.

Here’s another pic of us as we watched the Tigers move on to the Sweet Sixteen:

And that’s all for now. Off to bed.

New blues dance group in Memphis

A new business, NewVo Blues, has recently launched to promote blues dancing in the Memphis area. According to a press release they sent out, their focus will be to build a community of blues dancers, teachers, musicians and businesses.

The group intends to promote dancing to the blues music that Memphis is known for, and to teach people how to connect to the music through dancing. To that end, their first event will be this Friday, March 23 at 7 PM at the Blue Worm (1405 Airways), a popular local juke joint. There will be a beginner blues dance lesson from 7 to 9, followed by a home-style dinner at 9, followed by dancing with a DJ and a live band providing the music. For more info check NewVo Blues’ website.

NewVo Blues also will be planning road trips to regional blues events, such as the upcoming Juke Joint Festival on April 14 in Clarksdale, MS. They’ll be planning more classes, dances, and workshops in the months to come. You can get on their mailing list through their website, and you can also befriend them on MySpace.

Rock, paper, scissors tonight @ the Saucer, 9-11 PM

We Downtown Memphians definitely find some strange excuses to go out and drink… we just got done spending a weekend looking at a stuffed billy goat hoisted up on a platform on Beale Street, and now this – rock, paper, scissors.

Needless to say, I’ve been training all weekend for this event. I ran 10 miles yesterday and did an hour on the stairmaster, and today I plan to eat pasta for lunch in order to “carb up” to be ready for rock, paper, scissors tonight. I’ve also spent much of this morning practicing, since practice is key to mastering the game. You have to have the fundamentals down pat, so that the key plays of the game (for example, throwing a rock, or throwing paper, or throwing scissors) are second nature. I think I’m ready, although I wish I had known about this event earlier so I could have had an extra month or two to train.

If tonight goes well, I may consider turning pro and joining the USA Rock Paper Scissors League. There’s a $50,000 tournament in Las Vegas later this spring and I think I’ve got as good a shot as anyone else at taking home that cash prize.

Murphy’s Law of Fruit Pies, and weekend catch-up

Just went to Jack’s for my morning wake-up Mountain Dew. As I walked down there, I thought, “Hmmm… I haven’t had a Hostess Fruit Pie in a while… if Jack’s has them I think I’ll buy one for breakfast… any flavor will do, as long as it’s not apple.” So, of course, what was the only flavor Jack’s had? Apple.

Here’s a quick weekend catch-up for you… Friday night was a BLAST. I went to a party at The Warehouse, a warehouse on GE Patterson across from the lot where they do the Farmers Market. A guy named Kris owns it and lives there and it was his birthday party. The Dempseys were playing, the beer and liquor were flowing, and there were a lot of familiar Downtown faces. Stayed there until about 12:30, then stumbled over to Earnestine & Hazel’s for a few beers. Had a good conversation with my friend Terry (aka Terrence aka Black Man) who was hanging out upstairs, left about 2:30 to begin the long stumble home, but my friend Ryan who owns Etched Art saw me and gave me a ride home.

Saturday: Walked down to Beale about 2:00… chased a bum off the street, taking pics of him every time he stopped to beg someone for money. Heh. He gave me his “I ain’t no bum” speech. Um, dude. You’re begging people for money. And cigarettes. And you’re missing half your teeth, which is a pretty sure sign you smoke crack. Yeah. You’re a bum. Now go away.

My plan was to put down a Call-a-Cab before the parade, but the Saucer had corned beef and cabbage as its lunch special, and that (plus staring at the waitresses) was too tempting an offer to resist. Guinness was the fire sale, which made a lot of people happy. The corned beef and cabbage turned out to be really good – wish they’d make that a permanent menu item. Tabbed out after one beer, got to Beale about 3:30 to stake my spot for the parade.

Found a primo spot right in front of the Black Diamond, and for the next hour I boxed people out the way a basketball defender would, to give me maximum opportunity at beads. They parked a guy in a wheelchair in front of me – perfect! Now the kids wouldn’t be able to get in front of me, and you know wheelchair guy ain’t jumping high to intercept the beads thrown in my direction. (Don’t feel bad for him, he got plenty of beads – more than I did). Ended up catching 8 sets of beads, a bottle opener, and assorted candy. Got a Twizzler licorice stick which I’ve decided to keep in my pocket – the next time a bum asks for money to get something to eat, I’ll pull it out and say, “Here ya go, here’s something to eat.”

I’ve got to say, the Ptolemy carvinal krewe, of which fellow bloggers Ptolemy Kat and Philip are members, had by far the best float. Maybe not in terms of the float’s appearance (there were several good ones) but in terms of the spirit of the people riding on the float. They were partying and they were thrilled to be there and having a great time and it showed.

After that, had another Guinness at the Saucer, but it quickly filled up with people I didn’t know, so I tabbed out and went back to Beale. Got a text message that some of the gang was at Silky’s. It took me 5 minutes to get 10 feet into the door and the place was jam-packed with people, to the point where it wasn’t any fun… I couldn’t find the group so I walked out and walked across the street to Blues Hall, where my friends Shane and Leigh had found the only bar on the street that wasn’t overcrowded. We hung out there for a while, then went over to the Tap Room to shoot pool.

By that time it had gotten dark. I wandered up to McGuinness to see what was going on there. As last year, there was a $10 cover, but the security guards at the door were very friendly and cordial. Glad to see they fixed that problem. By that point in the evening all the bars were overcrowded, and they were filling up with the wild, rowdy “partiers” who show up for New Year’s Eve and Music Fest. Big Foot had a long line to get into their party so I decided to walk south to Earnestine & Hazel’s… but no, they had a cover too and Nate’s bar upstairs did not appear to be open. So I started back north toward the core, and my chauffeur Ryan once again saw me and gave me a ride in the Etched Art truck.

Walked back up Second… the Saucer was just stupid crowded… crossed the street to avoid Sharp Dressed Bum… crossed back… STILL a long line at Big Foot. At that point I decided to defer my partying until today, and walked home and got a good night’s rest.

In a few minutes I’ll be heading to Sunday brunch at the Majestic. Looks like the Memphis-Nevada game will start sometime between 3 and 4… by that point I probably will have tabbed out and will be watching the game at the Saucer.

By the way, EP Delta Kitchen is now doing Sunday brunch as well. $20 for a brunch buffet prepared by chef Michael Patrick, plus $2 bloody marys and mimosas. I imagine the Sunday brunch crew will make a field trip down there in the near future, but the Majestic is likely to remain our long-term base on Sundays… they’ve really gone out of their way to make us feel at home, and the atmosphere up there really is as comfortable as it was at Sleep Out’s. Never a bad thing to have more brunch options downtown though.

All right, time to hit Publish and get the day started… have a good Sunday, everyone.

Trash into treasure

Justin Gignac, a New York City artist, spends his days scouring the city for trash, which he then turns into art and sells. Here’s a link where you can buy garbage from the annual NYC St.Patrick’s Day Parade for the low price of only 50 euros (about $66).

The bums in Downtown Memphis, who spend the day digging through garbage cans anyway, may want to consider following Justin’s example. They could turn this idea into a career.

New pastry shop/coffee bar coming to the Downtown core

There’s an article in this week’s Memphis Business Journal about Blues City Pastry, a new pastry shop and coffee bar that will open by May. It will be at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, in the old Viking Culinary location.

According to the article, it will have 52 seats inside and cafe seating outside. It will serve espressos, lattes and cappuccinos, and the owner is working with a coffee importer to produce an exclusive blend. They will have a pastry chef with 15 years experience, and the bakery will produce pastries, wedding cakes, danishes and muffins.

The article says they’ll have Wi-Fi access. Awesome – that means I’ll be laptopping there all the time. They’ll be playing blues music and displaying the works of local artists.

This is great news for Downtown – we haven’t had a good, locally owned coffee shop in the Downtown core since Empire closed a couple of years ago. Looking forward to its opening, and I have a feeling a lot of my future blog posts will be created there.

R.I.P. Sleep Out Louie’s 1987-2007: One last photo album

The Sunday before Sleep Out Louie’s closed for the last time, I got there right when the doors opened and took pictures of the place from every conceivable angle. Just wanted to create a complete photo album of the way the place looked, so we can remember it and maybe show it to our kids 20 years from now and say, this is where we all hung out.

Here’s a link to the album.

In other news: The 55″ HDTV that was formerly at Sleep Out’s has been relocated to the Tap Room. They’ll have all the March Madness games on the big TV, and according to bartender Niles, if you want them to turn the music off and turn on the sound to the game, all you have to do is ask.

Didn’t make it to the press conference about the new arts festival yesterday, but CA arts writer Christopher “Skippy” Blank has the info here.

(2) Memphis vs. (15) North Texas, 11:30 AM today. You can watch the game live online here. I’ll be watching it at the Second Street branch office.

Thursday update: Cube door, fine arts festival, St. Pat’s party recommendation, Dr.Bob, and more

– Those of you stuck in cubicle hell need to check out this product – looks like something that can make cubicle life a little more bearable.

– Today at 4:30 PM there will be a press conference at Jay Etkin Gallery to announce the name, logo and site plan of the new fine arts festival to be held in the South Main Arts District October 26-28. Glad to see a new festival coming downtown, and if Jay’s involved you know it’s going to be good.

Dr. Bob, the New Orleans artist who currently has a studio at 10 South Main, told me he has an exhibit at the Brooks Museum from now until June. Make sure you get by and see it and support a talented local artist. I still need to find out how much he’ll charge me to make one of his “Stamp Out Seriousness” signs.

– Speaking of 10 South Main… the apartment building has added a sticker to their outdoor sign advertising “HUGE SPECIALS on 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.” So, if you’re looking to move downtown, now might be a good time to do it. There’s a reason I’ve renewed my lease with them five times – it really is the best apartment building downtown. Full size W/D in every unit, rooftop deck with a hot tub and restaurant-quality grills, gym with cable TV in the basement, great neighbors, best Halloween party downtown every October, etc. Their number is 543-8356 if you want to call and make an appointment to see a unit… tell ’em you heard about it in my blog.

– With St.Patrick’s Day on a Saturday this year, you can bet a lot of the local bars will have parties. The one I recommend is the Sham-ROCK Green Carpet Bash at Big Foot Lodge, from 10 PM to 3 AM. $2 green 34 oz. Big Foot Beers, $2 green Jello shots. No cover charge, a live DJ, FM100’s Jill Bucco as the host, and a cash prize for the person wearing the most green. Shawn and the folks at Big Foot know how to throw a great party, believe me, so put this one at the top of your list.

I haven’t heard whether Dan McGuinness is throwing a St.Pat’s party this year, but I assume they are. I hope they’ve learned their lesson from last year, when the security they hired to work the doors turned out to be EXTREMELY rude and confrontational. I know for a fact that some of the regulars didn’t go back to McGuinness for a long time after that night. I’ve heard that McG has realized they screwed up and plan on handling things differently for future parties, so I think they’re worth a second chance.

– The City Schools are giving the people in the admin building a mini-spring break – we get to go home at 2 today and get tomorrow off. Yay for free time! I guess I’ll attend the press conference this afternoon, then spend most of the rest of the weekend watching March Madness and doing St.Pat’s stuff. Right now it’s back to the cubicle for a couple more hours though.

More posts to come this weekend. On deck: A pool-related post (meaning billiards, not swimming pools), a new dance organization in town, another idea to fight back against the panhandlers, and one last set of Sleep Out Louie’s pics taken at the final Sunday brunch.

Blue Man Group @ DeSoto Civic Center, Friday March 16

Blue Man Group will be performing at the DeSoto Civic Center Friday night on their “How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0.” I’ve seen these guys on guest appearances on the Tonight Show for years and years and they are all kinds of awesome – their stuff is performance art at its finest, combining visuals, lights, sounds, rhythm, etc. If you like the musical Stomp you will looooooove these guys. Highly, highly recommended.

Dammit… why did this have to happen on Friday night? My Hogs play Friday night, against 5-seed USC, at 8:55 PM CDT I believe. All week I’ve been looking forward to watching the Razorbacks on the Saucer’s HDTV… now I’ve gotta choose between them and Blue Man Group, who I’ve wanted to see live for years. Blast it all. I’m not sure what I’m gonna do now.

By the way, the Flying Saucer is currently short a couple of waitresses, so if your career aspirations involve wearing a short skirt and serving beer, now would be a good time to put in an application.

I’ll also miss The Raising of the Goat on Beale Street if I go to the Blue Man show. Theoretically I could do both, since the announced time for the goat is 6 and the show starts at 8… but we’re operating on “Silky Time” here so the goat probably won’t go up until around 7:30. For those of you not familiar with this important Memphis tradition, here’s how it works:

There’s a goat.

And they put him on a platform.

And they raise him high in the air.

And people look at the goat and drink green beer.

Clearly this is one of the most essential celebrations of the year in Downtown Memphis. I can’t miss it, I just can’t! I really don’t know what to do… dammit… why couldn’t Blue Man have come here in February when nothing was going on?

South Philly hoagies now available at High Point Coffee on Union

The High Point Coffee location on Union Avenue now carries pre-made hoagies from Downtown’s South Philly restaurant. So if you work in Midtown, it’s a good place to stop for lunch – they have a hoagie, chips and drink combo for $6.50.

Congrats to the Rapscallions on their second-place finish at trivia last night… we now have our first gift certificate in the stash ($25) toward the next party. One of the questions was, “Name the four countries that have one-syllable names,” and you’d think that team member Chad would have come up with “Chad” as one of the answers but someone else got it. We figured out two of the others – France and Spain – but got stuck on the fourth. Then Chad asked, “Is Crete a country? Or is it part of Greece?,” not even realizing that he had inadvertently come up with the fourth correct answer.

Chad is also in the doghouse with the Nuh-Uh Girl for not mentioning to me that it was her birthday last Saturday, so I could wish her a happy birthday on my blog. Happy belated birthday to the Nuh-Uh Girl.