Bad tippers

We got killed tonight at trivia.  It was so bad I didn’t even add up our final score.  Congrats to the teams that beat us, and there were a lot of them.

However, I do want to say something to the top three winning teams.  The servers work just as hard whether you are paying with cash, or cashing in gift certificate winnings, or a combination of both.  If you are not tipping 15% minimum on the total before gift certificates are deducted, to put it bluntly, you’re a bunch of cheap-asses.

Different teams have different strategies for cashing in.  My team pools its gift certificates and cashes them in once every three months.  When we cash in, we collect tips for whomever is serving us.  If she doesn’t get at least 20% I raise holy hell.

Suggestion:  Appoint one person on your team to collect tips, to make sure that your server is taken care of.  They’ll appreciate it, and so will you.

Pics: Bardog’s second birthday

I finally got ’em uploaded… so without further ado… pics from Bardog’s second birthday alley party.

The windup and... the pitch
A beautiful shot of Jean and Amanda
Suzy in a purple tube top
Haley cooking sliders
A different kind of sliders: Bluff City Backsliders
Splish splash, I was taking a bath... the Sunday Fun Day crew's inspirational leader gets dunked
Aldo's grandmother, who provided the recipe for his famous meatballs, judges the meatball-eating contest.
As soon as the contest was over, the Nuh-Uh Girl reached for leftover meatballs.

Brittany pre-head shaving
Brittany mid-head shaving
Brittany post-head shaving

Full photo album here (200 pics). Massive respect for Brittany for putting her hair on the line for the kids.  Between the 5K, food sales, dunk tank and head shaving, I’m told they raised $4500 for St. Jude.

Mon update: Bravo discount, beer news, Memphis Music & Heritage Festival

If you’ve thought about joining Bravo, the arts group for 21-40 year olds, today would be a good day to do it. They have a deal on Groupon today only that makes the memberships quite affordable. Bravo members meet at an arts event – theater, ballet, opera, gallery shows, etc. – once a month, with a social/networking hour built in. Great group. I was a member for 5 years and enjoyed it.

Time for some beer news. The River City Brewers, who put on the Brewfest in Handy Park in March, have announced that they are planning a fall beer fest on October 16. Location and details will be coming soon, but save the date. Hmmm… back to back beer festivals, with Cooper-Young’s fest on October 9… looks like a good month is shaping up. I much prefer these kinds of beer fests, which are casual, laid-back and all about the beer, to events like ZooBrew and Art on Tap that bring the wannabe socialites out of the woodwork.

More brew news… I didn’t know there was a local beer blog, until Memphis Connect tweeted about it this morning –

For those who will be attending the Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend, Downtown on the Main Street Mall, bring your smartphones. The Center has set up Foursquare venues for the stages and for the festival itself. Time to grab some more mayorships!

Plans for tonight: Pint Nite, of course. I’ve been getting lazy getting beers done for my plate lately. Time to get back on it!

Bardog pics coming soon

Just wanted to congratulate Bardog Tavern on their second birthday, and thank them for a great alley party yesterday… pics are coming sometime this week.  Downloading them from the camera now… looks like I got about 200.  I got photos of several people in the dunking booth, and the meatball eating contest (and the Nuh-Uh Girl grabbing leftover meatballs not 10 seconds after the contest was over).  The grand finale was bartender Brittany getting her head shaved to raise money for St. Jude.

Pics coming soon… it’s just gonna take some time to go through them all.

Sometimes, you gotta go with the flow and let plans change…

Saturday in the early afternoon, my day was just starting.  I’d started the transition of my hair from Elvis black back toward its usual color, having dyed it dark brown.  My plan was to clean the apartment as I played single-table Sit’n’Go tournaments on PokerStars.  Having heard that a crap-ass cider was the Fire Sale, I saw no need to go out before about 7 PM.

Then the phone rang.  It was my friend Clay.  “You should come over in about an hour,” he told me.  “Air Traffic Mike is bringing steaks over.  We’re going to grill out.”

Steaks?  So much for cleaning and playing poker.  I got dressed and headed down there, stopping to buy a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Tumbler at Frank’s Deli.  (It was really good, by the way.  It’s their seasonal fall ale.)

Air Traffic Mike holding one of the huge porterhouse steaks he brought over.
The steaks marinating, plus a couple of veal rib chops.
Appetizer of cheese and bread
John D and Otto trying in vain to light the gas grill on the rooftop of 420 S. Front. Eventually we gave up and oven-broiled the steaks.
View looking north from the rooftop
Tomato and feta salad
Steaks are ready!
meat meat meat

After eating, we hung out and watched TV for a while.  It was the first time I’ve watched “House, M.D.” and I have to admit it was a pretty good show.  Meanwhile, I was keeping up with the Ptolemy Poker Run on Twitter, and they had reached their third stop of the day, the Flying Saucer.  One of them shouted “Is Paul Ryburn alive?” on Foursquare when they didn’t find me there.

After I saw them checking in at their fourth stop, I walked up to the Saucer, and had a good evening hanging out with friends.  Just a nice, chilled-out Saturday night.  I hung on long enough to catch FreeWorld’s first set, then went home to get a full night’s sleep, which will be much needed because…

Today is the alley party at Bardog Tavern!!!

Should be a fun time.  I’m getting a full charge on the camera battery as I type this.  Will probably wear the battery all the way down and have to resort to my iPhone as a backup camera.  I’ll probably start the day with brunch at the Majestic, then do an hour or so at the Saucer, then head over to Bardog around 1.  Hope to see you there – this is a can’t miss party.

AWESOME resource on “How to Be Annoying”

I just happened across a Squidoo lens entitled How to Be Annoying.  This is one of the best and funniest pages I’ve read in a long time.  It will teach you how to interrupt, how to whine, how to ask a bunch of irrelevant questions, how to make sure the conversation always stays on your topic, and much much more.

I give this page an A-.  The only reason I can’t give it a full A is because it doesn’t mention getting in other people’s personal space as a means of annoying them.  Otherwise, it’s pretty much spot on.

Saturday night karaoke: JUST SAY NO!!!

If you hang around the group of people I do, you may have someone tell you that EVERYONE is going to the Downtown Blue Monkey tonight for karaoke.  I am here to tell you that EVERYONE is not going, because “everyone” would by definition have to include me, and there is a 0.000000% chance I will show up there.

Nothing against the Monkey, by the way.  It’s a great place to go.  Lots of beer and booze to pick from.  Typing this is making this hungry for their Cuban sandwich.  When I get the sandwich I substitute their twice baked potato for the fries, because I’ve always said the twice baked potato is the key to the entire operation.  I like their buffalo wing egg rolls too.  Heck, pretty much their entire menu is good.  It’s been too long.  I need to get in there soon.  Not on a Saturday night, though.

One of my friends said last night, “You talk about not going to karaoke on Saturday nights.  You do realize that pretty much every South Mainer you know gets up on that stage.”  Yes, and that’s one of the reasons I live in the core.

I cannot think of a bigger waste of a Saturday night than sitting around listening to people mangle the greatest hits of the past 40 years.  Especially when I take into account that some people become extremely high-maintenance in the presence of a microphone and alcohol.  Don’t want to deal with it.

For those of you who know my personal tastes, let me say this:  I’d rather go to a formal Ptolemy party, with Meghan as my date, and I’d let her do my hair, than go to Saturday night karaoke on South Main.

Some people are into karaoke.  If you are one of those people, and you think you’ll have a good time there, by all means go.  However, if you’re not into karaoke, and it sounds like less than an ideal Saturday night to you, don’t go just because you hear EVERYONE is going.  Everyone is not.  Join me in resistance to karaoke.  There is much else to do in Downtown Memphis on a Saturday night.  JUST SAY NO!!!

Fri update: Metal Museum music, Felicia’s, Cockadoos, next week’s festival, poker victory, and more

The Metal Museum will have a Thursday night music series on their lawn during the month of September. Admission will be $5 and bands will be the Soulsville Charter School Philharmonic Orchestra Sept.2; Star & Micey on the 9th; Marcella Pinilla on the 16th; and Rebirth of Soul on the 23rd. If you’ve never been to the Museum, its grounds are beautiful and offer one of the best views of the Mississippi River.

Congrats to Felicia Suzanne’s, which received praise in this week’s edition of the Arkansas Times. The Times is the Little Rock equivalent of the Memphis Flyer, and is a publication I always pick up when I’m in town visiting.

I need to eat at Felicia’s more often… I just feel underdressed in the summer going in there in shorts, and yet it’s too hot for me to consider wearing anything else. Maybe when fall weather arrives I’ll get in there.

Cockadoos was reviewed in the Commercial Appeal today. Good place to go for breakfast and lunch Downtown. Hmmm it’s Friday and they open at midnight. Maybe I’ll drop in for a late-night snack.

The schedule for next week’s Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, presented by the Center for Southern Folklore, has been posted. This has evolved into one of my favorite festivals of the year, and I’ll be there most of the time Saturday and Sunday of next week (with occasional side trips for the Flying Saucer, if they put something good on Fire Sale).

I went to Calhoun’s last night for their weekly poker tournament. It’s the 6th time I’ve played, and the 4th time I walked away with the gift certificate prize. 67% winning percentage? Not bad. I’ll definitely be back, as the regulars at Calhoun’s are most definitely the kind of people I like sitting with me at a poker table. I now have $45 in unused certificates, enough to order 22 and a half PBRs.

Congrats to my friend Air Traffic Mike, who scored himself a J.O.B. while taking out the trash. He doesn’t need a job, but it’s an opportunity to work with one of the best chefs in town, Michael Patrick at Mesquite Chop House. ATM talks about job hunting again in his most recent post, and how opportunity is everywhere if you look for it. He’s right… just last night at Calhoun’s, I struck up a conversation with someone who said she could put me to work. Of course, I’m already happily employed so I turned her down, but it’s nice to know I have options.

Plan for tonight: A warm-up beer at the Saucer about 6, then I’ll hit South Main Trolley Night about 6:45 and see if I can score an SMA burger.

Pics: Black hair + tube top

I’ve been meaning to post a pic of what my hair looks like since I dyed it for Stumbling Elvis.  I just haven’t had a good opportunity yet… was waiting for the perfect picture to pose for.  And that, of course, would be a pic with a tube top in it.

Thur update: Job search help, poker, Travis Mann Band, India Fest, lunchtime fashion show, Trolley Night, MarksMenus hiring

Last night I was catching up on Air Traffic Mike’s latest posts, and he found a fantastic resource that I wanted to share with my readers too. On the second Monday of every month from 9 AM to 12 PM, and the fourth Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, the Central Library has a JobLab. This is an open-door computer lab that provides assistance to job seekers, including assistance with resume writing and formatting, help with job-related searches, and help filling out online job applications. For those who have been frustrated with job searches for some time, this could be a real hand up.

Keep in mind that the fourth Thursday of the month is TODAY, so if you’re job hunting, you need to get down there. You’ll need to bring all data relevant to your work history (addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, that kind of thing), and you’ll need to bring your own storage media (USB memory stick would probably work best, although they probably still have computers with floppy drives).

Speaking of jobs… MarksMenus is hiring. It looks like they’re looking for either an entry-level designer with some programming experience, or an entry-level programmer with some design skills. Check their blog post for more details. This is a startup that has done pretty much everything right. They would be great people to work with.

I went to poker night at Bardog last night, and this time, I did much better. It was the “super satellite,” with the winner earning a seat at next week’s final table. There were about 25 players and I managed to finish third. Part of it was that I was getting good cards – in the three hours I was there I saw AA, KK, and QQ. Also, since there were people there I played with two weeks ago when I had a run of trashy hands, I was able to take advantage of the tight/passive table image they associated with me. Third was not good enough to win a prize, but it felt good to go deep in live play.

I think I’ll head south to Calhoun’s to play in their poker tournament tonight. Maybe I’ll take along one of the gift certificates I won there previously, and drink PBR on OPM (Other People’s Money).

The Travis Mann Band from Nashville plays Blues City Cafe tonight at 9. The bass player is “Slick” Joe Fick, who you may remember from The Dempseys. I haven’t got a chance to hear them yet, but based on photos I’ve seen, it looks like they have a similar style.

For those of you who like to experience different cultures, India Fest is Saturday, way out east at the Agricenter. There will be film shorts from India, as well as dance and music representing eight different Indian states. Food samples will be offered throughout the day, with cooking demonstrations from 11 to 1 and 2 to 4. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

If you want to catch up on the latest in women’s fashion, plan to have lunch at the Majestic tomorrow, Friday, August 27. Christine by Shelton Clothiers will be there, previewing some of the newest fall fashions while you eat.

The theme for tomorrow night’s South Main Trolley Night is “New Orleans White Linen.” Dress in white for one more night and listen to jazz bands, brass bands, one-man bands and street performers. At 9 you can watch the movie Stingray Sam in the grassy field next to Harry’s Detour. They’ll be collecting donations for Habitat for Humanity of Memphis.

Also, if you’re a South Main Association member, come to the parking lot next to Bluff City Coffee at Trolley Night. They’ll have complimentary Ghost River beer for members, and they’ll be grilling hamburgers. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. If you’re not an SMA member, you can pay $5 for burgers and beer.

Off to lunch, which will have to be quick since I spent 20 minutes typing this post. I’m thinking Popeye’s for some Cajun rice.