I just couldn’t do it.

I just deleted a post that had been up for 13 minutes.

Tonight I was surfing the archives of a website I read frequently, and found a photo of Meghan who bartends at Big Foot Lodge.  It’s a site I’ve mentioned several times before, not a local Memphis site but a national site where people send in pics to be posted.  There have to be two particular elements to the pic for it to be considered worthy of posting on that site.

After laughing my ass off, I posted a link to it a few minutes after midnight.  But then compassion got the better of me.  Even as rude as she was to me Monday night, I just can’t embarrass her like that, not on such a large scale.  Not to mention that it would embarrass the two other girls and the guy in the pic as well, people with whom I have no problem (and I’ve heard the guy, who I’ve only met once, is actually a very nice guy).  So I took my link to it down.  Damn it.  I’m too nice.

John D, Air Traffic Mike, and Bicycle Bobby, the link to the page I’m talking about will be in your e-mail Inbox in the morning.  For the rest of you, sorry.  (Edit:  Air Traffic Mike, I’m getting that “mailbox not found” error from your AOL account again.)

Wed update: U of M stepping it up, birthdays

Late in the day for my first post… I was away from the computer most of the day.  I attended an alumni luncheon at the University of Memphis today.  They presented awards to several outstanding alumni, and spoke about new projects in the works.  Afterward I walked around the campus awhile.

I’ve got to say, the U of M has really stepped it up.  They’re well on their way to becoming a first-class university.  The attitude has changed from a decade ago when I got my Master’s degree there and then went on to teach there.  Back then, too often the attitude was one of settling for mediocrity due to budget concerns.  Now the attitude seems to be, “we’re going to strive for excellence, and if money’s a problem we’re going to go out and create the community partnerships that need to be made in order to take care of it.”  It’s turned into a university I’m proud to have graduated from, and it’s certainly grown out of the derisive “Tiger High” label people used to slap on it.

Lots of birthdays this week… first of all, happy birthday to my new BFF Lauren.  She celebrates her birthday today, as does my friend Skippy.  Yesterday was my friend Mikey’s birthday, and I skipped trivia to attend a surprise party for him and Skippy at Calhoun’s.  There was food, music, and of course, beer.  Someone gave him a 12-pack of PBR as a present.  Now that’s a thoughtful gift.  By the end of the evening Mikey was dancing on the bar.

I’m getting my costume ready for Big Foot Lodge’s Halloween party tomorrow night from 9 PM to 3 AM.  No disrespect to anyone who works at Big Foot (well, except Meghan – lots of disrespect to her), but the best waitress there tomorrow night will not be a Big Foot employee.  $2 Super Cold Coors Light, drink specials, $300 cash prize for first place in the costume contest, cash prizes for second and third also.

Gotta rebuild my server tray, so I’m outta here for now.  I have a couple more items, so I may post again later.


I cannot believe I’ve been so stupid.  Up until today, I had never been to Alcenia’s for lunch, despite having lived Downtown almost 7 years.

I got out of early voting about 11:15, and realized Alcenia’s was only a few blocks away from the election commission.  So I wandered up there, and had some great fried chicken, cabbage, green beans, and cornbread.  Big portions, too.  That was really, really good.  I’ve been told to try the pork chops, so that’ll be my next visit.  I want to try their chicken and dressing too, which I’ve been told they have on Fridays.

It felt like I was a guest in someone’s home for lunch, with B.J. the manager coming around to make sure everyone was well taken care of.  She told me to be sure and watch the Food Network next Monday at 9, where her restaurant will be featured on… oh, I forgot the name of the show, it’s the show with Chef Guy Whats-His-Name who does the TGI Friday’s commercials.

I ordered a Coke, but if I had looked carefully at the menu I would have ordered the Ghetto-Aid (extra sweet Kool-Aid) instead.

They also have a Saturday brunch from 9 to 1 that looks interesting:  $10.50 for bacon, turkey bacon, sausage, fried chicken, omelets, fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles, rice, grits, pancakes, biscuits, and their “famous salmon croquette.”

I definitely won’t let another 7 years pass before I go back.

I have performed my civic duty.

I finally early voted today.  There was a line but it wasn’t too bad.  I was out in about 15 minutes.  To the people who asked me last night, “So you’re going to vote for the first socialist president in U.S. history?”, I reply, that’s not possible.  How can he be the first, with Fidel Bush, Raul Cheney, and Ernesto “Che” Paulson in power right now?

Here’s an article on why McCain is so far behind. Did you know that the Anchorage Daily News, the largest newspaper in Sarah Palin’s home state, endorsed Obama and said Palin was “beyond her range” and not ready to be “one 72-year-old hearbeat from the leadership of the free world?”

Okay, I have a question.

If you’re at a bar, and someone else buys you a drink, do you have to tip the bartender for it?

Last night, I was at Big Foot, watching washed-up Peyton lose yet another game.  While there, I had two 34 oz. Super Cold Coors Lights, bringing my tab to a whopping 4 bucks.  “Why have I been going to the Saucer to watch Monday Night Football?” I wondered.  “This is too good a deal to miss.”

Then it got even better.  The guy next to me paid his tab and said, “Let me get these guys too,” pointing to his left and right.  Suddenly my cost for spending two hours at Big Foot had dropped from $4 to $0.  Woohoo!  (Thank you, by the way, if you’re reading this.)

Then bartender Meghan opened her big mouth and ruined the good mood I was in.  “YOU STILL HAVE TO TIP ME, PAUL,” she said.  WTF?  If someone else buys the beer, it makes sense that he’ll tip on the beer too (which I know for a fact he did in this case).  And now Meghan wants an additional tip?

So I fished around in my pocket, hoping to find some pennies, but all I had were quarters.  I usually stuff several dollars in quarters in my pocket when I go out, in case I feel like playing pool on a pay table.  So I pulled out 4 of the quarters and slammed them on the bar.  “THAT’S NOT ENOUGH, PAUL,” said Meghan.  “I DESERVE A BIG TIP.”  So, feeling generous, I took out four more quarters.  Keep in mind that I was now tipping 50% on my tab.  Even if the beers had been full price, it still would’ve been 25%.  And yet Meghan continued to say, “THAT’S NOT ENOUGH, PAUL.  COME ON, GIVE ME A GOOD TIP.”  At that point I’d had enough.  I downed the rest of my beer, and walked to Bardog Tavern, to remind myself what friendly, courteous bartenders are like.  I tipped 100% on my tab at Bardog.

Speaking of Bardog… Aldo’s training the bartenders to smile and wave at people who walk by the front window, so they’ll realize it’s a friendly neighborhood bar and come in.  Contrast that to Meghan… when she saw people walk past the front window last night, she started chanting “don’t come in here don’t come in here don’t come in here.”

Oh, there is one exception about tipping when other people buy you drinks… if the bartender buys me a drink, I will certainly tip on that drink.  However, this is not an issue with Meghan, who is a cheap-ass who never does anything nice.

Meghan is the female equivalent of this guy.  And that’s my final word on the matter.

Hard work and spontaneous fun

Looking back, yesterday was really a great day.  I realized I worked almost 10 hours on my websites yesterday, from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM, minus time I spent taking a shower and relocating to Bardog Tavern and then the Saucer.  Wow.  I really got a lot done.  On Sunday too.

Then I put the laptop up and headed to Huey’s for the Dempseys.  Ended up hanging out with a bunch of people from Calhoun’s (owners/bartenders/regulars).  Max had never seen the Dempseys before and it’s always interesting to see the shock on people’s faces that a band can really be that good.  We stayed through all three of their sets, and they wrapped up around midnight.  At that point I had planned to go home, get 7 hours or so sleep, and then wake up for a full day of website development and freelance work.  But then Lauren asked, “Where are we going next?” and I thought to myself, you know, I’m no longer imprisoned by cubicles and schedules, and I did just work a 10-hour day, and I was having a great time… why the hell wouldn’t I keep going?  So I suggested the traditional Downtown end to Sunday night – FreeWorld at Blues City.  We stayed there for about an hour, then wrapped up the evening at the Black Diamond.  I got home about 2:30 I think.

You know, I hate this cliche, but I’m going to use it anyway… yesterday I worked hard, and I played hard.  Recently, I had someone suggest to me, having read Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, that I start a tribe of my own, that I lead a movement to encourage more people to think outside the cubicle and the 8-to-5 schedule to earn a living.  It’s not a bad idea.  I may do it.

In other news… early voting hours have been extended.  You can early vote at any voting location between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM.  Early voting ends Thursday, October 30, though, so you better hurry.

Plans for tonight… Pint Nite Pint Nite Pint Nite.  If Jack’s Pumpkin Ale, recently installed on tap, is available at the Pint Nite Price (I think it is, but don’t take my word for it), I may have to take a week’s vacation from my usual favorite Dos Equis Lager.  Still thinking I may hit Big Foot as well, for Monday Night Football.  $2 34 oz. Super Cold beer sounds real easy on the wallet, plus Meghan will probably say something to piss me off and I’ll end up tipping 5% rather than my usual 30%, saving even more money.

First, though, gotta get some work done.  I’ll be at Pint Nite around 5 probably.

Good news and bad news: BFF, work

It’s 2 AM and I just got home.  I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that I’ve decided to do the BFF of the Month announcement for November even earlier than I blogged, and it’s effective immediately.

The new BFF for the remaining days of October and all of November is Lauren.  As if there was ever any doubt.  Her birthday is this week, and she wanted to be the BFF on her birthday, and let’s face it, October BFFs Michelle and Jenny haven’t done a very good job.  So Lauren gets 30+several days as BFF.  Hung out with her tonight to see the Dempseys at Huey’s, then we took Max from Calhoun’s to experience FreeWorld at Blues City on a Sunday night.

The bad news is, I just found out I’ve been scheduled to work the 4 PM shift at the Flying Saucer Friday.  I tried explaining to Ollie that I have Halloween parties to go to that night, and his response was, “Suck it up.”  Asshole.  So it looks like I’ll be waiting tables late afternoon/early evening Friday before I head to the parties.  They’re supposed to have “beer specials all day,” which means people’s tabs will be less than usual and I won’t even get tipped well.  This sucks.

Sunday update

Meh.  Boring night last night.  Stood around at the Saucer and watched Tennessee get their ass handed to them by Alabama.  Went to Bardog and had a few beers.  Then home to bed.

Gonna work on websites today, then head to Huey’s at 8:30 to catch The Dempseys.  My hiatus from Sunday brunch continues.  Sunday is just too valuable a day to work on websites… apologies to the gang for not being around so much lately.  Yesterday I did some analysis of my websites’ search engine traffic, and I’m seeing trends that indicate that all my hard work is about to pay off.  Once that happens, I’ll be back out more.

Thinking about going to Big Foot Lodge tomorrow night… tomorrow is “If we turn on Monday Night Football on our 6 TVs, and run specials on $2 34 oz. Super Cold Coors Light, $3 blue kamikazes, $4 100 proof tequila shots, and 24 wings for $9.99 during the game, maybe we can convince SOMEBODY to come sit at the bar when Meghan is working” night.  I’ll probably hit the Saucer for Pint Nite then wander down there about 7:30… if anyone wants to join me feel free.

Oooo… I just realized… MNF this week is the undefeated Titans vs. the Indianapolis Colts.  So I’ll get to cheer against washed-up Peyton Manning.  Seems like his games are clinics on how to throw interceptions lately… for once I’m actually enjoying having Peyton on my TV.  Too bad I can’t convince my favorite blogger/MILF to come Downtown and watch the game with me, to see “her Peyton” go down in flames.

Does anyone else think Halloween is going to be a complete clusterf**k this year, given that it’s on a Friday and so nearly EVERYONE is throwing their parties the day of, rather than spacing them out over several days?  I’ve been invited to the usual party in my building, a party about a mile to the east, and a party almost a mile to the south.  Don’t know how I’m going to hit them all, given that driving is not an option.  I’m honestly not as excited about Halloween as I have been the past 3 years.  Although, checking the weather, it looks like we’re going to have above average temperatures for the first time since 2004, which is good news for females who want to dress up in skimpy costumes.

Big Foot may have done the smart thing, scheduling their party a day early on Thursday, October 30 when they can have the entire crowd to themselves.  Attn consulting clients and business associates:  I’m taking the 31st as a “vacation day” and won’t be available for meetings or to do work.

Halloween is the one day a year when “be yourself” is worthwhile advice for Big Foot bartender Meghan.

Man I’m in a snarky mood today.

I just realized something:  Given that the first of the month falls in the middle of a busy Halloween/RiverArtsFest weekend, I’m going to need to do my November BFF of the Month announcement early.  I’ll do it the morning of Thursday, October 30.  Unless I stay out late drinking the night of Wednesday the 29th, in which case I’ll sleep all morning and make the announcement Thursday afternoon.  There’s really very little doubt about who will win this month anyway.

All right… gonna take a shower and then build some websites.  See you at Huey’s tonight if you’re a Dempseys fan.

Get paid time off to vote – in TN, your employer has to give it to you

There was a good post on LifeHacker this morning about state laws that require employers to give employees paid time off to vote.  I followed the link to discover the rules for Tennessee:  Unless you start work 3 hours after the polls open, or finish work 3 hours before the polls close, your employer is required to give you “reasonable time” to vote, not to exceed 3 hours, the day of the election.  Your employer has to pay you for this time.

The voting hours are 7 AM to 7 PM in Shelby County, so unless you start work after 10 or leave by 4, you have a right to ask for paid time off to vote on November 4.

According to the law, you have to submit your request by noon November 3, and your employer has the right to choose which hours to give you.

You can find a complete state-by-state breakdown here.

Recap of last night

After a couple of happy hour PBRs at Bardog with Mikey and John D, I headed to the Saucer at 7 for their Oktoberfest celebration.  Ghost River Brewing was there with their specially-brewed keg of Black Magic, a black beer.  I tried a couple of glasses and it was really good.  Black beers are not like porters and stouts in that they’re not heavy; they’re easily drinkable.  Sam Adams Black and Xingu are other well-known black beers.

While I was there, I learned that Ghost River donates a portion of the proceeds from every keg they sell to the Wolf River Conservancy.  Memphis’ exceptionally clean drinking water is a key ingredient in their beers, so they have every reason to want to preserve its quality.

Then I moved on to Orleans on Front at 8, where they were giving away free food in their “voodoo room” downstairs.  The chef had e-mailed me and described the room as “the speakeasy Downtown Memphis has always needed.”  It has lattice-covered low ceilings and a stage for bands, with plenty of table seating and a bar in the back.  It has a New Orleans theme, of course, but friends who were there with me commented that it reminded them of downstairs/basement bars they had been to in New York.

They put out red beans and rice, shrimp, chicken fingers, and fried green tomatoes for their guests.  Here’s a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl loading up her plate:

After that I headed back to the Saucer for a little while.  I would have liked to go to the Orpheum party at the Warehouse (and was actually offered a free ticket, twice) but was just too tired to make the trip down there.  Was home in bed by 11.

Nothing definite on the agenda for the rest of the weekend, except for The Dempseys at Huey’s tomorrow night.  Guess I’ll be in front of the laptop today, possibly writing WordPress plugins, and maybe some new articles for my consumer review site.