Oops, bad info: Ground Zero opening tonight not confirmed

About 3 I posted that the new Ground Zero club will open tonight.  I’ve since learned from my contact at the CCC, who does the Livin’ It Up newsletter which is where I got the info, that the event is not yet confirmed… sorry about that.  Might want to make other plans.  The Red Rooster is right next door and Thursdays are always good there if you’re looking for something nearby.

Lunchtime update

Yesterday I made reservations to meet a group of friends in New Orleans in early fall for a weekend of fun.  Really looking forward to that… would you believe I’ve never been to New Orleans?  Most of the group is staying in a big house together, but I’m coming down there a day late so I arranged my own hotel room.  Found a great deal too… hotel at the west end of the Faubourg Marginy neighborhood, right next to the French Quarter, for $69 a night.  Looks like it’ll be real easy to hop a trolley and get to the house where my friends are. 

Had to do some looking to find this hotel… most of the accommodations in that area are small B&Bs, many of which have shared bathrooms.  Wasn’t crazy about that… I expect to find shared bathrooms in hotels in Romania (yes, I have researched it), not a major U.S. city.  Glad I found one that listed “private baths” among the amenities.  They have wi-fi too, so I’ll be able to blog from the hotel, although the majority of the weekend’s activities won’t be bloggable.

There’s an article in today’s Commercial Appeal about the new electric scooters the cops are using to patrol Downtown Memphis.  They look like Segways with an extra wheel for stability.  Good interview with our friend Col. Johnnie Currin about them.  Here’s a link to T3 Motion, the California-based company that makes the scooters.

Also in today’s CA, arts writer Skipford M. “Christopher” Blank writes that ground has been broken for the new, expanded Playhouse on the Square at Union and Cooper.  Sounds like it will be really cool, with 344 seats, underground parking, art galleries, and a rooftop garden.

The pool table at the Saucer got a makeover last night… they changed out the felt and the rails.  It looks about a million times better and it plays better.  Looking forward to giving Pete many an ass-whooping on the “new” table.  By the way, I took a walk a few minutes ago and discovered that Woodchuck Granny Smith is today’s Fire Sale.  There are going to be some people who complain about a cider being the Fire Sale, but I’d much rather have that than nasty Turbo Dog.  I can tell they have someone new picking Fire Sales this week and they need to let that person keep doing it.

Snozberry plays the Red Rooster this Saturday, March 29.  Hey, I made the Rooster’s Top Friends list on their MySpace page!  No definite plans for Saturday, other than watching some basketball games which hopefully won’t include Tennessee.  May have to go check out Snoz at the Rooster.

Flipping through the Flyer… my horoscope says I’m susceptible to rationalizing risky behavior, which could lead to me doing stupid things this week.  Uh-oh.  I think that should have been my horoscope this past Sunday.  I’m staying the hell away from Big Foot and their 34 oz. mixed drinks this Sunday.  Back to the normal routine of brunch (McGuinness week 1), beating Pete at pool at the Saucer, and possibly a trip to Calhoun’s in the evening.

Also in the Flyer, I see that the Majestic Grille is now hiring for a lot of positions.  The Majestic is a great place to work, from what I’ve been told.  Might want to check them out if you’re looking for a service industry job.

The Peabody is starting their rooftop parties earlier than I remember in previous years.  The first one is a week from today, Thursday, April 3, with disco cover band Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster.  The Madison’s parties start next week too, with Elmo and the Shades.  EP’s started opening their patio last Thursday.  The spring party season is starting to heat up.  I’m sure Atlas will do their usual after-parties, and “Rock Out with Your Cock Out” night will continue at the Rooster.

The Brooks is having a party next Thursday to celebrate 50 years of Helvetica.  That’s a font/typeface, for those of you who are wondering.  Arial, which is commonly seen on Windows applications, is a Helvetica imitator.  I’ve never heard of having a party for a font before.

McEwen’s (Mon-Fri) and Grill 83 (every day) now have tapas menus at the bar.

On the back page of the Flyer:  American Apparel has a “buy the same style with your BFF and each get 20% off until March 31st.”  Yeah I think I’d better pass on that one.  Actually, we already have similar style clothing, since I gave her a size-small copy of my T-shirt featuring a pic of her flipping me off.  For those who haven’t seen the BFF-T, I will be modeling it at the Saucer, Trolley Tour, and the private party I’m attending tomorrow evening.  It’s questionable whether that’s appropriate to wear to nice art galleries, but you know what?  They can get over it.  Heh… maybe I should have a drink at Spindini with that shirt on.  I’m sure they’d love that.

My friend Mikey is working the private party I’m attending tomorrow night.  He told me they have very specific rules for working the party:  You have to be drinking while you work.  That’s a good rule.  I asked Mikey to text me when the Gus’s Chicken arrives.  New Mikeyism:  “I’m sitting here enjoying a cold, frosty barley pop” = I’m drinking a beer.

(Edit:  Had a paragraph here about a South Main bum named “J.J.”  South Main residents have e-mailed me indicating that he’s kind of a special case and that the residents look after him, kind of like homeless person Scratchy in Downtown’s core.)

Time to wander down the street and figure out what I want to bring back for lunch.

River pics, Eric Hughes @ Westin, open ballet rehearsal today, and more

I took a few pics of the swollen Mississippi River, which is expected to crest Saturday. It is close to completely swallowing Mud Island at this point. These first two were taken from the riverwalk at Riverside and Beale.



The next one was taken from the third-floor window of the Falls Building at Front and Court:


On to other news:  Eric Hughes plays Blues Night at the Westin tomorrow from 5:30 to 7:30.

Also, I received a bulletin that Ballet Memphis will perform an open rehearsal at 100 S. Main today from 11:30 to 1:00.  The public is invited to bring their lunch and come watch some true professional dancers doing their thing.  No, not that kind of professional dancers, get your mind out of the gutter.

My attempts to extort a free beer from my BFF were unsuccessful.  In addition, I lost the embarrassing photo I had printed out of her.  I can’t figure out what happened to it.  I know I had it when I left the Saucer last night, and I didn’t have it when I arrived home.  The only thing I did in between was stop at Big Foot for Paul’s Drunkass Wings.  Must’ve misplaced it there.  Good thing no one at Big Foot knows my BFF or that could be really humiliating for her.

The Saucer actually managed to have a decent Fire Sale for the second day in a row.  They must have someone different picking them this week.  Please let that person keep picking them!  Beer report:

Previous total:  $847.25

Beers 149, 150, and 151 (but 144, 145, and 146 according to the Saucer):
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale draft Fire Sale $2.75
Warsteiner draft $4.50
Tennent’s $4.50
Tip:  $11.75 x ~30% = $4.00
Total:  $15.75

Grand total:  $863.00

I’m starting to drink the draft beers I like during Happy Hour, as I do not have enough remaining Pint Nites to kill them all at $2.75.  I’ve made a list of remaining beers, and the $4.75 and $5 drafts will be the ones that get done on Pint Nite.  There are 25 beers left on my list which are under $5 at the regular price.  After that I’ll have to start drinking expensive ones.   Looks like I’ll easily be able to avoid the two $30 beers, and the two remaining nonalcoholic beers.

I chased Sharp Dressed Bum away yesterday as he started to panhandle at the Flying Saucer window.  With the weather getting nicer, the bums are getting more aggressive.

Plans for tonight:  Right after work I’m meeting a friend on a patio for mojitos.  At some point I’ll move to the Flying Saucer and do my 3 plate beers, then on to the Red Rooster for “Rock Out with Your Cock Out” night.  Not sure whether I’ll be at the Saucer or the Rooster to watch the (2) Tennessee vs. (3) Louisville game which tips off at 8:57.  Go Louisville!  Knock Bruce Pearl and his ugly orange tie out of the tournament once and for all, please!  Never thought I’d see the day when I’d be rooting for Louisville, but Pearl has got to go.

And I’ve got to go.  To work.  Outta here.

Tornado victim benefit @ Hard Rock Saturday night

Hard Rock Cafe is hosting a Rock the Storm benefit for those who were affected by the recent round of tornadoes that tore through Memphis.  It will be Saturday the 29th, with bands Aurora and Rainy Day Manual, and singer/songwriter Brenna Vick.  Suggested $5 donation at the door, with proceeds going to help the tornado victims via the American Red Cross.  Doors open at 9, entertainment starts at 9:30.

Drunk post/sober post: First place AGAIN, new bar on North Main, Cubs parties at Calhoun’s, BFFlackmail, Jack Daniel’s dinner

Congrats to the Rapscallions on claiming first place AGAIN in trivia.  What did I tell you?  That’s $350 toward the next party, assuming I get my plate done on time.

Beer report:

Previous total:  $818.25

Beers 146, 147, and 148 (but 141, 142, and 143 according to the Saucer):
Anchor Old Foghorn $7.00
Kirin Lager $5.00
Chimay Premiere (trivia bonus beer) $10.00
Tip:  $22.00 x ~30% = $7.00
Total:  $29.00

Grand total:  $847.25

There’s a new bar open at the north end of Downtown’s core.  It’s in the building next to Cafe Napoleon (block of Main between Adams and Jefferson) and it serves Cafe Napoleon’s menu.  The owners are cousins.  It’s called 88 Sports Bar, I’m told, and is open Sun-Thur until midnight.  Fri-Sat are rentals of the space only.

(7:53 AM Wed:  From this point on it’s no longer a drunk post.  Woke up to find a half-finished post, and also a half-finished box of buffalo tenders from Huey’s.  That means I must have been out past 1:00, as I would not have gone to Huey’s if Big Foot’s kitchen had still been open.)

After I got done at Saucer trivia, I walked south to Calhoun’s.  They have a copy on the wall of the handout Mikey and I gave to the new security patrol people – “our top 10 bums,” with color photos.  Hmmm, we need to get a copy of that on the wall of every bar Downtown.

Max at Calhoun’s tells me that he’s going to start having Cubs watch parties, with $1 Old Style during games.  Why the Cubs?  Hell if I know.  Max is an Arkansas fan so he generally has good taste in teams.

Which reminds me, I’ve had to face much derision from the Nuh-Uh Girl and Frank that Arkansas lost to North Carolina Sunday.  Yeah, that’s shocking, that a #9 seed lost to a #1 seed.  Looking forward to watching your #2 Vols go down in flames Thursday night.

The nice thing about having a popular blog is that readers send me links to things they think I should see.  Like yesterday for example – one of my readers sent me a link to a rather embarrassing pic of my BFF.  I printed out a copy of it on photo paper and took it to the Saucer yesterday.  She wasn’t working, but I showed it to her mini-me and a few other co-workers, as well as a few regulars from the Saucer and Lauren at Calhoun’s.  Oh and I showed it to a bum too.  General consensus was, “Paul, don’t link to that photo in your blog, she will DIE.”  Attn BFF:  I suggest you buy me a beer the next time you see me.  Because when I get thirsty, I blog.  And order T-shirts.

Here’s a link to an article about Lynne Tolley, Jack Daniel’s great-grandniece, who will be hosting a “cooking with Jack” dinner at the Peabody on Thursday.

Also in the news:  King Willie said that the main reason he ran for re-election was to protect the city from his main opponents in the last election, Chumney and Morris.  Yeah, but who’s going to protect us from Willie?

Took some pics of the swollen Mississippi River last night.  Will post them as soon as I get them downloaded from my camera.  Mud Island has just about been swallowed up.

I’m 50/50 on whether I’m going to do Itta Bena tonight.  May just skip it and go straight to the Saucer.  Will play the Window Game if I can find a seat at the window.  I need to print up some more scorecards for the game.  Right now though, it’s time to go to work so I can pay for all this beer I drink.

I lost my last grandparent today

My grandmother who lived for many years in Trimble, Tennessee passed away this morning.  She was my last living grandparent.  Actually, she was a step-grandparent, but still.

I had not seen her in several years.  She had begun to decline physically and mentally and spent the last 5 years or so in a nursing home.  If I had gone to visit her, she probably would not have remembered me.

I suppose I should be feeling a sense of loss, but I really don’t.  The grandmother I knew as a child was gone years ago.  And now she’s reunited with my grandfather, who passed away in 1988.

The funeral is tomorrow at noon in Trimble.  I likely won’t be able to go because we’re under a tight deadline at work.  If my grandfather were still alive, I’d probably go to be there to support him.

Anyway, if anything, I feel a sense of happiness that she and my grandfather are back together.  Business as usual tonight.  I’ll be at trivia, and the Rapscallions will claim another victory.

Tuesday update

Well, it turns out I only made it through ONE plate beer on Sunday rather than the two I thought I had. Sunday beer report:

Previous total: $798.50

Beer 142 (but 137 according to the Saucer):
Dogfish Indian Brown Ale $6.50
Tip: $6.50 x ~30% = $2.00
Total: $8.50

Grand total: $807.00

Even if I had been sober, that crap would not have been worth $6.50. Probably the first Dogfish Head beer I’ve found not to be worth the money. No, I take that back, I remember when they had Chicory Stout on tap, which was without a doubt the nastiest beer ever.  Big fan of their IPAs though, and Raison d’Etre.

Monday beer report:

Beers 143, 144, and 145 (but 138, 139, and 140 according to the Saucer):
Guinness $2.75
Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weizen $2.75
Spaten Oktoberfest $2.75
Tip: 3 beers x $1 = $3.00
Total: $11.25

Grand total: $818.25

My friend Bicycle Bobby brought me a calendar called “Tantalizing Takeoffs,” featuring 12 hot babes posing next to planes. I wasn’t all that impressed with the calendar, but the piece of cardboard in the middle seemed useful. “Hmmm,” I thought, “since I have a panhandling forum, maybe it’s time I did a little panhandling myself, to see what it’s like.” So I had bartender Jamie make me a “please buy me a beer” sign and I sat there in the Saucer and held it up for all to see. Worked too – I got two free beers. If you scroll down to the previous post, you’ll see Saucer regular IQ holding the sign.

On tap for movie night at EP’s tonight:  The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Single White Female.   First movie starts at 7 PM.

Speaking of movies, the Majestic Grille has installed a HUGE movie screen at the back of their restaurant, easily visible from any seat in the house.  They plan to show old 1920s and 1930s movies on the screen, appropriate since the building was originally a movie theater in that era.  “We’re not going to turn the place into a sports bar,” one of the owners told me.  “But if Memphis makes it to the Final Four, we’ll probably HAVE to show the last two games on the screen.  And the Ryder cup.”  Which led me to ask WTF the Ryder Cup is.  It’s golf.  I hate golf.  I hope the Ryder Cup happens on a week when we’re at McGuinness for brunch.

Tonight:  Pete the Trivia Guy will hand the Rapscallions a $50 first-place gift certificate, and express his admiration for the Rapscallions’ seemingly endless knowledge.

Yowie! Easter recap

(This was supposed to be a lunchtime post, but I walked back to work without hitting Publish.  The brain isn’t working too well today.  It’s 5 PM now.  Off to Pint Nite.)

We started the day yesterday with brunch at the Majestic. Usually I order mimosas by the glass, but since it was Easter I decided to get a full bottle of champagne. It’s kind of an Easter tradition for me to refer to the bucket my champagne sits in as my Easter basket.

Around 1:30 the gang tabbed out and decided to do a venue change to McGuinness. I hadn’t eaten at that point, and the champagne had taken effect. I knew I needed to eat, but wasn’t in the mood for McG’s food. So I decided to take a break and go eat somewhere else. Usually Rio Loco is my go-to place for this type of situation. “But if I go to Rio Loco, I know I’ll order one of their jumbo margaritas,” I thought. “I’ll end up drunker than I was when I came in.”

So I decided to go to Big Foot. And guess what I ended up ordering… a margarita. Not just any margarita, but their 34 oz. Yowie Margarita. At least I did order some food, the buffalo tenders. I decided to be bold and get them at the Holy Smokes level, the hottest they offer and comparable to suicide wings/tenders and most restaurants. So I sat there and set my mouth on fire and listened to the bartender recommend places to out-of-towners, and picked up a lot of good tips. I learned that the Executive Inn by the airport is a great place to hear blues, that Payne’s BBQ in Orange Mound has some of the best BBQ in the city, and that the Bayou Bar & Grill has some of the best hot wings in town. I’m glad the bartender doesn’t have a blog or it would kick my blog’s ass.

While eating, I was told that someone had successfully completed the Sasquatch Challenge on Saturday. The challenge, of course, is that if you can eat Big Foot’s 4 lb. Sasquatch burger and all the trimmings in under an hour, you get it for free. A competitive eater came in and finished the thing in SEVEN MINUTES. They told me he asked for two pitchers of hot water to go along with the burger.

So I finished my tenders and my margarita, and I meant to tell the bartender that I needed to tab out so I could go join my friends over at McGuinness. But instead what came out of my mouth was, “I’ll have a Goombay Smash, please.” A Goombay Smash is another one of those 34 oz. drinks, this one featuring five different shots of rum. And smashed I was by the time I finished it.

By then it was a few minutes before 5:00, so I walked down to the Saucer. They opened at 5 and it was time for the Easter egg hunt. I found several eggs, each containing a slip of paper with a type of beer inside, redeemable for a free beer of that type. There was a limit of one per customer, so I gave the others away to friends.

So I redeemed my free beer and hung out at the bar and drank it. That took about an hour. By then it was 6 PM and I still had not done any of my three plate beers for the day. And I didn’t make it to three. Blast! I think I got through two. One was a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale; don’t remember the other one. I think I can look it up on the Saucer’s site but I’m too lazy to do that right now. Beer report will be delayed for a day until I figure it out.

I was so drunk that I kissed one of my female friends who was hanging out with me. I sure have been kissing a lot of girls lately. My BFF made the comment that I’m turning into a male slut. Unfortunately she’s not on the list of girls I’ve kissed.

My BFF was in a bad mood yesterday (is she EVER in a good mood?) because her phone was broken. “How did it get broken?” I asked.

“I threw it across the room,” she replied. Mmmkay then. Her birthday’s coming up and I need to get her a present. Does anyone know where I can get her a gift certificate for some anger management classes?  She sure needs them.

For those of you who missed the unveiling of the BFF T-shirt, I’ll have it on Friday night. Will be at the Saucer that night from 5 to 6:30, then at Trolley Tour from 6:30 to 8, then at a private party afterward.

I hope there’s a TV at the private party, because Memphis plays Michigan State that night and tip-off is at 8:57 PM.

Good article in the Commercial Appeal yesterday about Divine Rags, the new women’s clothing boutique at Main and Pontotoc, and about the owner’s plans to open more businesses in that area.

Got an e-mail update on my office’s NCAA tournament bracket competition, and I’m in the middle of the pack, 17th out of 31 brackets. I correctly picked Davidson to go to the Sweet 16. My college roommate’s father was president of Davidson. My bracket has North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas and Duke in the Final Four (of course, we already know I got Duke wrong), with Memphis beating Kansas in the championship game with a total of 163 points combined score.

Lunch break’s over… time to get back to work.

Party like a (dead) rock star


So, EP’s is having a Dead Rock Star Costume Ball on April 3, which is a week from Friday. Free admission with costume, hosted by Kennedy from 107.5 and Garry Goin and G3. There will be celebrity trivia, a costume contest, a karaoke contest (oh God no), and a celebrity hunt.

I’m trying to decide if I’ll go, and if I do go, who I’ll be. Hmmm what are the options:

John Lennon: This one wouldn’t be hard to do. I’m sure John had hair like mine at some point in his life. All I’d need are granny glasses and a “New York City” T-shirt and maybe a couple of peace buttons. Beatle boots would be good footwear but I don’t own any and they’re too expensive to buy to wear for one night. If I could get an Asian girl to be my date and go as Yoko, that would be perfect. We could carry matching “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace” signs. Of course, Yoko’s not dead yet, but, that’s a minor detail.

Jim Morrison: Me in tight black leather pants = very bad idea. I don’t think anyone would want to see that. Due to all the beer I drink, I’d have to go as ’69-’70 overweight drugged-out Morrison rather than ’66-’67 sex symbol Morrison. This one’s not going to happen.

Jimi Hendrix: I’m white, so I really don’t think I could pull this one off.

Janis Joplin: I catch enough flak for dressing up as a chick one weekend a year, when I do the Saucer Girl costume for Halloween. And anyway, if I were going to dress up as a woman additional days, I damn sure would pick someone hotter than Janis. Absolutely not.

Kurt Cobain: I don’t want to dye my hair orange and green and whatever other colors were in his hair. Plus he was married to Courtney Love who was a complete twat. I like Nirvana’s music but a Cobain costume is not going to happen.

George Harrison: How come all the cool Beatles are dead? McCartney sucks. Anyway, I’m not sure what exactly I’d do to dress up as George – maybe carry a sitar around. He had the hottest wife of the four Beatles, but he eventually lost her to Eric Clapton.

Syd Barrett: The original Pink Floyd frontman who went batshit crazy in ’67-’68 and got kicked out of the band. This one would be a lot of fun to do. Problem is, so many people are only familiar with the Waters/Gilmour version of Floyd that I’m not sure many people would know who I am.

Sid Vicious: The Sex Pistols rock star, not the wrestler. Lots of people who go to EP’s have spiky hair and I’m not one of them. I’ll let them do Sid. Besides, his girlfriend was a piece of trash heroin addict whore.

Keith Richards: (Edit: Oh, he’s not dead? My bad, disregard this one. I thought they had been standing a corpse in Stones publicity photos the past few years to make Mick look younger.)

Keith Relf: Lead singer of ’60s rock band The Yardbirds which had three of the greatest guitarists of all time (Clapton, Beck, Page), and whose breakup led to the formation of the greatest rock band of all time (Zeppelin). Electrocuted himself in 1976. I could do this one easily, as my current hair is more or less a dead ringer for Relf’s hair circa ’65. On the downside, hardly anyone knows who the hell Keith Relf is.

John Bonham: Zeppelin’s drummer who drank himself to death in 1980. I’d have to grow a beard for this one, and steal EP’s TVs and pitch them off their second-story patio. (Hey, maybe I’d hit a bum!) I can’t see myself being Bonham. I’ve never been one to identify with drummers in bands. If I were going to dress up as a Led Zeppelin member I’d be Plant, and he’s not dead.

Keith Moon: The Who’s drummer who drank himself to death in 1978. No, for the same reasons as Bonham.

Sylvester: Late ’70s disco icon/drag queen. Died 1988. This one’s a big NO, as there is a 99.9999% chance that anyone who dresses up as Sylvester is gay. “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real” was one of the catchiest songs of the disco era, though.

Elvis: Dressing up as Elvis in Memphis is passe. Let the tourists do it. You certainly wouldn’t have to go far to find a costume for this one.

Buddy Holly: I just don’t have the look to pull this one off. I wouldn’t even know where to find those thick black rimmed glasses.

Ronnie Van Zant: Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman who died in a plane crash in 1977. I have “Free Bird” on my iPod but I’m not enough of a redneck to do this one.

John Denver: Bitch please.

Jerry Garcia: If only I had kept the tye-dye shirts I bought in the late 1980s, I might be able to do this one. I’ve never done LSD but I think a hit of it would be mandatory if I had this costume on.

Rick James: This one would be easy. All I’d have to do is put on one of those “I’m Rick James Bitch” T-shirts and bam, there’s the costume.

Andy Gibb: Well, I do have the hair and the leftover disco outfits from my Six-1-Six Disco Inferno days to do this costume quite easily. Problem is, people probably wouldn’t know who the hell I was trying to be, even if I walked around singing “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” all evening.

Barry White: HAHAHAHAHA. I’m not stupid enough to even attempt this one.

Eric Carr: KISS drummer who joined the band in 1980 after Peter Criss got kicked out for excessive drug use. This one would be funny because Carr was in the band during the makeup years, and had his own distinctive makeup design. People would instantly recognize me as a KISS member but not as Gene, Paul, Ace, or Peter. It would confuse people. I like that.

I’m sure there are more who aren’t coming to mind right now. Maybe I’ll update this post as the day draws closer. Recap of an insanely drunk Easter Sunday to come, as soon as I remember what the hell I did.