What a day!

What a day at work!  The office building had a water main break this morning, and when we arrived to work we were told there would be no running water in the building all day.  We were told we could walk to the nearby Morgan Keegan office tower to use the restroom.  Of course, my apartment building is just as close so I went there.  In any case, I had to walk in pouring rain, which was not fun.

Then we saw a severe storm on the radar, moving toward Memphis from the west.  The temp was hovering around 32 at the time, and when the precipitation started it was sleet.  At that point management told everyone who drove to work that they could go home.  That was a nice gesture, even though a warmup of a couple degrees caused most of the precipitation to fall as rain.  I remember a few years ago, when I worked for a company that said “WE HAVE A POLICY OF NOT CLOSING FOR BAD WEATHER,” and one day when sleet moved in at noon no one did the sensible thing and left.  Of course, everyone was so stressed out over the anticipated dangerous drive home that no work got done that day.  People were too busy looking out the window.  By the time 4:30 rolled around, I had to drive home on Sam Cooper on an inch of sleet (it never changed to rain or snow that day).  I did about 20 mph and got home fine, although the car in the next lane was going 50 and nearly sideswiped me.  That’s why it’s dangerous not to close Memphis offices in bad weather; it’s not that you don’t know how to drive home in it, it’s that all the other idiots on the road don’t.

So anyway, I was one of a few remaining people in the office.  If I were set up on the VPN so I could use Remote Desktop to connect, I would’ve worked from home too.  Need to talk to the sysadmin about that but he’s in New York right now.

On to today’s news:  The International Blues Challenge competition takes place on Beale Street today and tomorrow.  If you feel like rooting for the home team, the Eric Hughes Band is one of the bands competing.  You’ll be able to buy wristbands for all the participating clubs on Beale tonight and tomorrow; finals are at the Orpheum on Saturday.

The Food Network has been doing more filming Downtown than the previously-mentioned Alcenia’s piece.  They also went to the Little Tea Shop on Monroe.  They were there Wednesday filming and talking to owner and Downtown legend Suhair.  They loved Suhair and will be back filming the lunch crowd on Monday, so stop by and maybe you’ll appear on TV.  It’s for their “American Classics” series.

Circa will be back open for lunch from 11-4 weekdays starting tomorrow.  Chef John Bragg e-mailed me a copy of the menu.  Some of the standout items:  cornmeal fried oysters with red chili sauce ($9); half-pound certified Angus steakburger ($9); crab cake sandwich with roasted pepper remoulade ($12); beef tenderloin medallions with mushroom bordelaise and mashed potatoes ($14); grilled chicken and pasta with pancetta and scallions in white wine cream sauce ($13); and for vegetarians there’s a chef’s vegetarian special ($12).  They have Wi-Fi so you can take your laptop and do a working lunch.

My plans for the rest of the week:

Tonight:  Dempseys @ Saucer.  They take the stage at 9:30 but I’ll probably get there at 7:30-8ish so when they ask from the stage, “You drunk yet, Paul?” I can say yes.  I’ll stay through all three sets then walk home.  of course mcguinness is on the way home

Tomorrow:  Field trip to The Cove on Broad Avenue from 6 to approximately 9-10ish.  I’ll bring the camera and take pictures to post.  After I get back – not sure, maybe the IBC on Beale, will figure it out when I get back Downtown.

Saturday:  No idea.  There’s a Tiger game at noon.  May go someplace close by to watch it, or maybe I’ll just sleep late and turn it on the TV when I get up.  “Buy beer for Sunday’s Super Bowl party” is the only item on my agenda.

Sunday:  McGuinness 11-12:30; Saucer 12:30-2; Super Bowl party at friend’s house nearby 2 til about an hour after the game ends.  I’ve invited a few people who read this blog – if you want to meet up with me at McG or the Saucer beforehand you can walk over with me, otherwise call my cell.

And that’s the news.  Be careful if you drive tonight.  Predicted low is 30 and the streets are still wet.