It’s Christmas Eve and I have the A/C on update

AccuWeather forecasts a high of 76 and a low of 60 for today. Did I move to Miami? Both the high and low are 26 degrees above normal for this date in Memphis. 76 is a normal high for April 28. 15 of the 23 days so far in December have seen high temperatures of 60 or higher.

Going to the Grizzlies vs. LA Lakers game on Sunday? You can take the CA Paperboy Challenge for the chance to win an iPad Mini 2 and a 2-year subscription to the Commercial Appeal.

I’m not by any means saying I think Beale Street is the best option for New Year’s Eve, but if you must do it, there is a $100 Fast Pass that lets you bypass the long line to get on the street and gets you in about a dozen Beale bars and nightclubs without paying cover. There is also a free concert by country act Gloriana in Handy Park.

I’m not a New Year’s Eve fan in general, but here is an option I can strongly recommend: New Year’s Eve dinner at Rizzo’s Diner. The chef, Michael Patrick, has been a friend of mine for over a decade. His food is amazing and his restaurant attracts a crowd that knows how to behave in public, even on NYE. Here’s the menu:

First course:

Smoked Shrimp Picadillo (fried potato cake) or

2 Sweet Potato Edamame Pot Stickers

Second Course:

Quinoa Roasted Vegetable Salad or

Crisp Lamb Belly & Wild Mushroom Bisque

Third Course:

Hemp & Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Andouille-Stuffed Rack of Lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus or

Pan-Seared Ahi #1 Tuna with pickled butternut squash cucumber slaw and Southern style fried rice or

Crisp Roasted Duck with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus or

Vegetarian Plate of a spinach zucchini enchilada, Cotija cheese herbed Napoleon, and Asian chili glazed brussels sprouts

Fourth course:

Peanut Butter Mousse Chocolate Cup or

Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding

$75 for the dinner, plus $15 more for an optional wine pairing. Call 901-304-6985 for reservations.

Paging my friend group: Anyone have interest in doing this dinner? I plan on going out on New Year’s Eve for the first time in several years. For midnight I’m leaning toward being at the Silly Goose, where my friends have tables reserved; although, I haven’t totally ruled out Max’s Sports Bar, the least likely of my “Big Five” bars to turn into Amateur Night.

Memphis in May is seeking a Director of Programming. This person would coordinate international cultural performances, educational outreach programs, dignitary events, artistic displays, and a variety of festival events. You won’t have much of a life outside of work during April and May holding this job, but it’s such exciting work that you might not care.

I learned something from the GM of the Flying Fish that I was not aware of: The Fish has quite the beer selection, with 85 different beers in their cooler. One of those 85 is the Cadillac of beers, PBR.

Last night I learned why the mac & cheese served as a side with Silly Goose sliders is so good: It’s made with brie as well as cheddar.

Even if you can’t have a dog in your home, even for a short period of time, you can help the Streetdog Foundation: They are looking for volunteers to walk dogs that haven’t found a permanent or foster home yet.

For those of you who think Donald Trump is unelectable, you might want to read this FiveThirtyEight article. Another flamboyant non-politician, former pro wrestler, Navy SEAL and Rolling Stones bodyguard Jesse “The Body” Ventura was once elected Governor of Minnesota.

Time to check the weather and make a decision whether to travel today. Getting over to Little Rock today would not be a problem, but getting back tomorrow looks like it could be. Rain and thunderstorms, some heavy are predicted for Christmas Day, and the hourly forecast indicates it could rain all day. Driving in torrential rain terrifies me – I’ve hit pooling water with an 18-wheeler tailgating me a few times, and it is no fun. All the road construction between Forrest City and here makes it even worse. Gonna give it another hour then make a decision. In any case, I do expect to be back tomorrow with a post.


The business of Santa and Wednesday news

BREAKING NEWS: Tornado watch issued for Shelby County until 8 PM. The Storm Prediction Center classifies this as a “Particularly Dangerous Situation.”

You ever see those mall store Santas and think, “Yeah that guy is probably making minimum wage to hold kids on his lap”? Think again. Atlas Obscura has an article on the business of Santa. An enterprising Santa can make $5000 to $10,000 during the holiday season, and if teamed up with a professional Mrs. Claus the couple can make 20. Some Santas even pull a full-time yearly income by adding commercials, modeling, and other Santa-related jobs.

St. Jude is launching a graduate school of biomedical sciences on its campus in the fall of 2017. That’s pretty cool… who wouldn’t want to be able to say they graduated from St. Jude? In other St. Jude news, the MBJ has a map of all the property St. Jude/ALSAC owns.

Visit the St. Jude gift shop to support a great cause while completing your Christmas gift shopping. There’s also an in-store gift shop that is open today.

Developers have purchased land on Union and Gayoso, south of AutoZone Park, for a 4-story Cambria Hotel.

From Distractify: This swear words coloring book is a fucking brilliant way to start 2016. Shit, yeah, it is.

Value drinking tips for Flying Saucer patrons: Straight to Ale Monkeynaut has a Value Drinking Index of 21. New Belgium Blackberry Barleywine has a Value Drinking Index of 24. For those not familiar, VDI = (percent alcohol by volume * number of ounces) / price. A VDI of 15 or above indicates an excellent value for the dollar in beer.

Bet you didn’t know: There’s a community of 2100 “detanglers” out there who help get knots out of balls of yarn. There’s a forum where knitters and crocheters ask for their help. Detanglers enjoy their work and will often work for the cost of shipping and handling.

Does osteporosis run in your family? It’s been shown that 12 minutes of yoga every day can strengthen your bones and prevent the disease. YOGA!

In related news, an injectable foam has been developed to repair degenerating bones.

Here’s a pic of the Z-bow wrapping kit that was handed out to the first 5000 fans at the Grizzlies game Saturday.

There was a legal dispute between Fireball and Jack Daniel’s over Google AdWords and trademark violation, but it has been called off.

I played poker last night and have a bad beat story to share. After about 30 garbage hands in a row, I looked down and found Ace-Ten offsuit. It was folded to me in late position. The blinds were 400/800 and I had a stack of 7700. With less than ten big blinds and a hand that is vulnerable post-flop, I decided to go all-in and see if anyone else wanted to come along. My BBQ teammate/Silly Goose bartender Dusty called for his stack of 3600. We flipped over:

My hand: A-10 offsuit

Dusty’s hand: K-10 offsuit

This is an excellent situation for me, known as domination. If a 10 hits the board, it will help Dusty, but it will help me more because I have a superior kicker. Only a King or the unlikely Queen-Jack-Nine or four flush cards can save Dusty from elimination.

The flop: Q-J-9

ARGH!!!! Dusty flopped a straight. Now I’m the one hoping for a King, which would give me a higher straight. The turn and river were no help and I lost nearly half my chips. Sucks, but that’s poker. I enjoyed the game and the camaraderie with my table-mates.

The office closes at 3, but with the storms moving in I plan on being outta here earlier than that. Will work from home til 3 then Blind Bear and Silly Goose for happy hour. Everyone be safe and SLOW DOWN on the interstate. Water tends to pool on I-240 at mile 26/6 north of Norris, and about a quarter-mile before the exit onto I-240 to go Downtown. On I-55, water pools under the Third Street and Horn Lake Road bridges. Watch out for those especially. Remember, lights on when it’s raining and don’t tailgate. All right, driving sermon over, back to work.

Critical Hello Kitty data leak and Tuesday news

Very important news in the world of computers today: A database containing account information for 3.3 million Hello Kitty fans has been leaked. If you’re a Hello Kitty fan, your sensitive data may have been compromised.

Amber Rae Dunn Hosts Earnestine & Hazel’s Open Mic Night tomorrow from 8 to 11 PM. For many people (me included) tomorrow is an effective weekend night, and a chance to come hear some live music or perform some of your own.

Take a moment away from your holiday planning to save a date: January 12. That will be the date of the first South Main Association meeting for 2016. It will be at the Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts, with Terence Patterson who runs DMC being the featured guest. There will also be an introduction to the centre by Ron Jewell, VP of Operations. 6 PM is the start time.

MLGW issued a statement regarding last Friday night’s power outage south of Monroe Avenue Downtown: An underground cable fault and an equipment issue at a substation were to blame. Power was out for 53 minutes.

Beer lovers, Miss Cordelia’s has a deal for you on Christmas Eve. Bring your growler in and get a fill for only $9. You can bring as many growlers as you want.

The Tigers men’s basketball team hosts IUPUI tonight at FedExForum at 7.

The DMC has 10 last-minute stocking stuffer suggestions for people who love Memphis.

Foodie Alton Brown named Memphis the best food town in America recently.

From Lifehacker: Track scams in your area with the BBB’s scam-tracking tool.

From Gizmodo: Don’t start playing with this HTML5 drum machine if you have anything to do today

The timetable for the opening of Trader Joe’s in Germantown has been updated. They’re now looking at a third-quarter 2016 opening. For those who have never been in one, Trader Joes is to grocery stores what In-n-Out is to burgers. In particular: Get the giant chocolate bars. Also, the vegetable lasagna in their grab & go case is so good that you won’t care that there’s no meat in it. I’m not a wine person but their Two-Buck Chuck (I think it may be Three-Buck Chuck now) is said to be as good as much more expensive wines.

That’s it for now. Second update after work is not out of the question. I will lead off happy hour at Blind Bear about 5:40 if anyone is in the mood to join.

It’s what’s best for business

The doorman from the Flying Saucer came over to the Blind Bear last night after he got off work, and he gave me some information. “We like it when you come in the Saucer and dance,” he told me. “It’s good for business.”

The World Series of Fighting will debut an all-new “Future Champs” series in the lobby of FedExForum on Saturday, January 23 at 9 PM, live on NBCSN. Light heavyweight Teddy Holder and lightweight Mike Ricci will be featured in bouts. More info here. (Really, FedExForum? Almost 2016 and you don’t have a mobile-friendly site?)

Cafe Keough will have a New Year’s Eve party on December 31 from 9:30 to 1 featuring WALRUS and The Dirty Whorns. New Year’s Eve menu, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. $25 at the door. More info here.

From Thrillist: Memphis bars open Christmas Day

There will be an ugly sweater party which is a fundraiser for the Hospitality HUB Saturday, December 26 at Earnestine & Hazel’s from 6-8 PM. The Grizzlies game will be on and it will be a good time. A suggested $25 donation is requested. The Hospitality HUB is a nonprofit that provides the homeless with resources they need to get back into the game we call life.

My vegan friend told me yesterday that she uses an app called Vegandrinks to determine which beers are safe for her to drink. Some beers are filtered using animal bladders and are therefore not vegan-friendly. “Thank goodness PBR is safe,” she told me.

South of Beale will be closed today through Friday for kitchen floor repairs and for the holidays.

Visible Music College is looking to hire an Instructor of Modern Music.

Sepp Blatter, godfather of the FIFA crime family, and his underboss Michael Platini have been banned from soccer for 8 years.

YAWN. Very, very tired. Did not get enough sleep. Time to zombie through the afternoon then hit Melissa Monday at Bardog after work. Back this evening or tomorrow with more news.

All kinds of random Sunday goodness

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Thanks to Captain Shane (far right) for the Photoshopped Millenium Falcon image. I created the logo image myself using a meme generator.

The stupid stuff you see on Facebook… one of my friends posted a selfie at Dallas Cowboys’ stadium yesterday, captioning it “In Mecca.” Yeah, since you’re in such a holy place, how about praying for a 5th win this season?

I ate lunch at Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos yesterday. It was good as always – this time I got the Tinga (spicy chicken) quesadilla with rice and beans. They had some news to pass along – next week they will have shrimp tacos and fish tacos. That is great news. I have no doubt their fish tacos will hold up to the ones I had in San Diego.

While I was waiting on my quesadilla, they gave me Mexican lagniappe in the form of an ear of corn with Mexican butter and salsa:

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SO good. If you like Mexican food and have not been to Maciel’s yet, you MUST go. This is not a “when I get around to it” place. This is a “go immediately, because if you don’t you’re missing out” place.

Scribol has the 20 craziest things found on Google Earth. Number 11 is a Memphis thang. Atop Peabody Place there is a sign that reads, “come Downtown and play.” It is evidently there for the benefit of airplane passengers flying over on their way in to Memphis. Just don’t expect to play at Peabody Place mall itself; the mall has been closed for years.

While we’re on Scribol, they also have a list of the 20 most overlooked countries to visit in Europe. I must say I agree with number 14. In Romania you will find ancient castles, the Carpathian Mountains, and plenty of extremely hot girls.

Happy birthday to my “DAWG” John D. I will see him at brunch briefly this morning before he meets his parents for a birthday lunch.

Anyone who thinks military people don’t have senses of humor needs to watch this performance of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by the United States Navy Band:

“Ghost Signs” are signs that are left behind long after the business the sign is advertising has closed. Ask Vance has information about the Wm. R. Moore ghost sign on the Nettleton Avenue underpass. The business was once one of the most successful in Memphis, a dry goods emporium.

Question for my readers to ponder: Which in general are stupider: Names of college football bowls held in the December 19-23 date range, or Weather Channel named winter storms?

The City of Memphis has made it easy to tell who’s a tourist and who’s not:

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They’ve painted crosswalks on all the streets intersecting the Main Street Mall. If you see someone making a conscious effort to use these, they’re a tourist. Locals are going to continue to cross the street wherever they damn well please. You may occasionally see a local in a crosswalk, but it’s not because they meant to; it’s just where they happened to be walking.

Bet the crosswalks will make it easier for the bums to determine who to hit up for money. They will be a lot more likely to get a dolla from people who use the crosswalks.

There are several cigar stores in the Downtown core. South Main, you’re getting one in February. The Tinder Box will be coming to 346 S. Main, which is south of Pontotoc across from the Rumba Room. The store will feature hand-made premium cigars, a walk-in humidor, and a cigar lounge.

From the Daily News: Get to know your know City Councilpeople

From the Huffington Post: Republicans like Obama’s ideas a lot better when they think they are Donald Trump’s

The Blind Bear has its 4th anniversary party Saturday, December 26 starting at 8 PM. There will be food and drink specials and Roman Trio takes the stage at 10.

Time to shower, get dressed, and head to the Bear for D-RANKS with B-RAD. I would bid you adieu but I will let Patty Smyth do it for me:

News for Beatles fans and more

If anyone is missing a large drawer, it's on the Main Street Mall near City Market.
If anyone is missing a large drawer, it’s on the Main Street Mall near City Market.

I have news about yet another tribute band: The Mersey Beatles are coming to the Halloran Center on Friday, March 4. This is not just any Beatles tribute band: They are from Liverpool and had a 10-year residency at the Cavern Club, the basement club where the Beatles themselves played from 1960 to 1963. They have played sellout shows in 20 countries, and their work spans the entire Beatles catalog, with four costume changes throughout the show. (Wow, they change costumes almost as much as Raiford does!)

The music, however, is not the only reason to attend this show. Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister will be there. She will be selling and signing copies of her book, Imagine This: Growing Up with My Brother John Lennon at the merchandise table. Julia is the Director of the Cavern Club. Tickets are $35/$40, plus there is a $52 ticket that includes a meet & greet with the band and Julia Baird.

Felicia has posted Felicia Suzanne’s New Year’s Eve menu. The restaurant will fill up, so if you want to be there make reservations soon.

Cafe Keough is now taking orders for Bouche de Noel, which I think is fancy talk for Christmas cake. They have chocolate mousse, hazelnut, and caramel flavors. Each has 10-12 slices per cake. Get your orders in by Monday, to be picked up December 23 or 24.

Random fact I learned from @HistoryInPics on Twitter: In the 1930s people used the acronym CHINA over the phone. It stood for Come Home I’m Naked Already.

A Memphian won the PBA World Championship Thursday night.

The Grizzlies play the Indiana Pacers tonight at 7. The first 5000 fans in FedExForum receive a special Z-Bow gift package.

Up early this morning doing an extra load of laundry! A week from tomorrow, there’s a pajama party at the Blind Bear for Sunday Hung Over Like a Bear Brunch/D-RANKS with B-RAD. I don’t really have any pajamas but it’s a reason to bring out the Arkansas Razorbacks Snuggie. It’s in the dryer now. I miss the Snuggie Pub Crawls we used to do in November.

I just realized something – assuming I make it tomorrow and to the pajama party, I will have made it to all 52 Sunday brunches at Blind Bear this year. Do I get some kind of certificate for perfect attendance?

There’s an ugly sweater party tonight at Club 152 starting at 10 PM. Music by DJ Tubbz and DJ Crumbz.

Yesterday after work, I decided I wanted to be away from Ole Miss fans, and since the Tigers and Grizzlies would be playing at the same time, I wanted to be in a place where I could comfortably watch both. A trip to the south side to Max’s Sports Bar seemed like the perfect plan.

I explained my reasoning for coming down to Michele, the bartender. “You’re just here because it’s Fireball Friday,” Michele said.

Michele understands me.

About 6:30 the power went out. All of South Main was dark. Michele locked the door, since the conditions were prime for a robbery, and reverted to her old system of keeping tabs on note cards. The owner of Cheesecake Corner next door brought over some candles, and those of us with flashlight apps on our phones fired them up. I checked Twitter and discovered that Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos (halfway between Union and Monroe) and points north had power, and south of that did not. It was the same situation that occurred in July 2014 when the power went out on a Friday evening for many hours. I was lucky enough to be at Bardog that night, which had power. This time I had to face walking a mile home in the dark if the power didn’t come back. Scary.

Most of the people at Max’s were pre-gaming for the Tigers game, but the FedExForum lost power too. They fired back up with a generator, but they couldn’t start the game. It was to be broadcast on ESPNEWS. “They’re saying it will take 45 minutes to reboot the ESPN truck once power comes back on,” someone said.

After an hour of darkness, the power came back. The TVs at Max’s took about 5 minutes to reboot, and then we were notified that the Tigers had an 8:07 PM tip time. Those with tickets left for the game. I stayed behind and watched the game with Otto and his dad Larry and my dance partner Linda (oooh, Katie (not Mac) is going to be jealous). Given what happened with both the Tigers and the Grizzlies, I wish the power had just stayed out for a few more hours. Watching that was painful.

After the game, my friend Shane said, “Me and Leigh are about to jet, if you want to catch a ride with us.” That sounded great. Given the number of Fireballs Michele had pushed on me, walking home was out of the question, and I was about to call a Lyft anyway.

This morning I was snoozing leisurely in bed, when all of the sudden I jumped up. I thought to myself, I don’t remember paying my tab last night! It would have been one of my bigger tabs at Max’s too – I even ate dinner there. I have only walked out on a few bar tabs (accidentally, of course) in my 13 years Downtown, and I hate it when I do. The thing is, the bartenders down here are not just people who serve me alcohol, but my friends as well. I don’t like shortchanging my friends.

Then I remembered when Shane tabbed out, he said, “Let me get Paul’s too. Merry Christmas.”

Merry Christmas to you too, Shane and Leigh. Thanks not only for the tab and the ride, but the reminder that Downtown is full of wonderful people.

Plans for today: I had such a good time at Max’s last night that I’m gonna do it again! It will be either my third or fourth stop following brunch with Bloom at Bardog and dranks with librarian glasses at Blind Bear, and a possible stop for Mexican food at Maciel’s. I plan on getting to Max’s between 4 and 5 and may very well stay to watch the Grizzlies game. Time to check and see if the Snuggie is dry yet, then I will get this day started!

Live music, burger with hashbrowns baked in, kale-munching freaks and more in this Friday news report

There are lots of opportunities to hear music Downtown tonight. Tony Bennett performs at the Orpheum tonight with special guest Antonia Bennett. Show starts at 8 PM.

Meanwhile, over at the New Daisy, Who’s Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band takes the stage at 9.

Or, perhaps you would prefer to hear some local music… in that case, head to 550 S. Main at 7 to hear Paul Waits, Eric Hughes, Keturah A. Brown, Don McNatt, Karen McNatt and Tiffany Harmon in South Main Songwriter Night 20.

Memphis in May has extended its sale of all fine art posters through the end of the year. Use code HalfOff to save 50%.

Hungry Memphis checked out Sly’s South Main Burger at the Green Beetle. Hash browns are baked in the beef patty and it’s topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and an egg cooked to order. Now that’s my kind of burger! It’s $12 but is big enough to have leftovers for a second meal.

Here’s a reason you should eat Sly’s South Main Burger: New research says that a vegetarian diet could actually be worse for the environment. Eggplant, celery, and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken, the study says. A professor notes that eating lettuce is three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon, and that common vegetables require more resources per calorie than most people realize.

“But when everything was tallied up, it wasn’t looking great for all the kale-munching, clean-eating freaks on Instagram,” the article notes. Hahahaha. Kale-munching freaks. Love it.

Memphis plays Ole Miss at FedExForum tonight. Radio personality/writer John Martin has Memphis as a 3-5 point favorite.

If you’re on Twitter, here’s a drinking game: Drink every time a photo or video of BB-8 appears in your feed. If you want to get really hammered, drink every time any Star Wars character appears. I suppose the same game could be played with Facebook as well.

Congrats to my alma mater Rhodes on being named a Best Value College by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Congrats to One Commerce Square on their recent Leadership in Energy & Environment Design(LEED) Gold Certification. The building won the certification after a redesign by Looney Ricks Kiss.

Nearby, First Tennessee continues renovation of its main office building as well.

From MakeUseOf: Apps to help you connect with people and stop feeling lonely. This obviously isn’t a problem for me now, but when I was younger (particularly the six months I lived in San Diego) I was often lonely and didn’t know how to connect. I may sign up for the Party with a Local app; I would be a great Downtown Memphis tour guide. (Edit: I can’t find it in the App Store. WTF? Is it because I haven’t upgraded to iOS 9.2 yet? I have an iPhone 6 so my phone being too old can’t be the issue.)

Prayers for the students of Lausanne. A first-year teacher there was killed yesterday crossing Union Avenue at Cooper.

Plans for tonight: Undecided. All the bars in the Downtown core are likely to suck, filling up with Ole Miss fans and their horrible Hotty Toddy cheer. I guess I will find the bar that sucks least and hang out there. Possibly a Friday Update #2 about 5:30, so check back.

Camerata Christmas concert and more (Thur update #2)

The Memphis Camerata vocal ensemble, conducted by Matthew Bowlin, will have their sixth annual Christmas concert tomorrow at 7 at St. Mary’s Episcopal, 700 Poplar. The ensemble will perform “Sure on This Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen and other holiday classics. Tip: If you don’t want to drive there, take a Lyft or an Uber. 700 Poplar is theoretically walkable from the Downtown core but I don’t recommend it. Poplar east of Third is pretty rough.

Many of my readers own businesses that have websites, and if you are one of them you need to read this paragraph. Part of my job as webmaster for my company is to spend a little time each day reading web-related articles to make sure I stay current on my trade. Well, today I ran across one you need to know about. Unsecured websites are about to get hammered in Google’s new search rankings. If the URL of your site begins with http:// rather than https://, your site is unsecured and you may want to look into getting a security certificate. Contact your site’s hosting company to inquire how this can be done.

What’s the difference? If you use https://, information that comes to your web server from the user’s browser is encrypted before it is sent, making it harder for anyone coming across the data on the way to steal sensitive user information. Over http:// the data is unencrypted.

Wow… Bernie Sanders picked up an endorsement from Democracy for America. That’s the organization former presidential candidate formed in 2004, and it is very influential. I get an average of about 1 email a day from them. They asked DFA members to vote whether to endorse Hillary, Bernie or the third, irrelevant candidate. Sanders also picked up an endorsement from a 700,000 member communications union. Feel the Bern!

The Facebook Kroger 40% off coupon is a scam. Don’t fall for it.

The football Tigers have added Mississippi State to their schedule for 2021-22. I saw a comment that the Tigers are scheduling like they expect to be in the Big 12. That’s kind of what I thought too.

Bass Pro announced today that 2 million people have visited the Pyramid since its April 29 store grand opening.

Still planning on the Silly Goose Christmas party at 9. I’m giving myself permission to stay out a bit late on a school night for this one. See you tomorrow.

Enjoy Star Wars with a lightsaber flask and more Thursday news

Are you going to see the new Star Wars movie this weekend? Better check out this article from Toyland on how to have better refreshments while you watch the movie. Basically it involves a flask disguised as a toy lightsaber. I approve.

130 new apartments have been approved for the southwest corner of Tennessee and Butler, across from the Tennessee Brewery. There was some concern that the high density could congest narrow Mina Avenue, but a study shows that Mina should be fine.

There will be a wine tasting at Quench tomorrow from 5:30-7:30. Come learn about wines and if you like what you taste, purchase a bottle or two to take home.

Holly has a list of places open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Memphis. (It’s a list in progress, so bookmark it and check back when these days get closer.)

Meanwhile, Choose901 has a growing list of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I’m leaving the Christmas and New Year’s Eve lists to the other bloggers this year. The reason why is that I will be leaving town Christmas Eve and coming back on Christmas Day, and I typically hate New Year’s Eve so I don’t bother to do an event roundup. This year, however, I feel like I will be in the mood to celebrate, and have my eye on either Silly Goose or Max’s Sports Bar as possible destinations.

Beale Street remains unaffected by Overton Square’s success, with sales up 6% this year.

Appetite for Destruction, the premier Guns N’ Roses tribute band, plays Tin Roof on Beale Street Saturday at 10 PM.

Project: Motion will perform House Happening 3, a holiday dance performance, at the Woodruff-Fontaine Museum today through Sunday.

The annual STAX Music Academy holiday performance, Home for the Holidays, is tonight at the Cadre Building at 7:30. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Occasionally you will see a special cask of beer rolled out for one night only at the Flying Saucer. From Arkansas brewery Moody Brews (hey, you stole our name, almost): Why you should care about cask-conditioned beer

Memphis Firefighers (@mffa1784) tweeted that the application process is open, if you are interested in a career fighting fires.

Jennifer Biggs has a review of LYFE Kitchen in East Memphis. We will have one Downtown in the Chisca soon.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is having some fun with Star Wars. Yesterday the Darth Maul was the Downtown Slice of the Day. Today it’s the Jango Fett. For those curious, the Jango Fett has a vodka cream base, with bacon, sausage, ham, and pepperoni. Now that sounds like my kind of pizza!

I probably am not going to make it to the Memphis City Football Club informational session this evening at the Brass Door (starts at 5:30), but I am in touch with the operators of the club and hope to have lots of information for you soon. My main plan tonight is the Silly Goose Christmas party with the John Paul Keith Trio and DJ Cody, which kicks off at 9. Come enjoy some Christmas cheer with Naughty Santa! Possibly a second post after work, so check back.

Wed update #2

Before we begin, ADMINISTRATIVE ANNOUNCEMENT: This blog will look different, and at times “under construction,” at some point between now and January 3. I am going to switch to WordPress’ Twenty Sixteen theme, the template which determines the look and feel of my blog. I like my current Suffusion theme, but it hasn’t been updated since 2013. It also isn’t mobile-friendly, so I have to use the wp-mobile plugin for readers who read my blog on phones. Twenty Sixteen will let me use all of WordPress’s cutting-edge features and will make my blog look similar on both phones and screens. Saturday or Sunday may be the day I make the switch.

David Skypeck, longtime drummer for FreeWorld, has been suffering some medical setbacks from which it will take him a long time to recover. A benefit is being held to help with David’s medical bills this Sunday at Rum Boogie Cafe from 3 to 11 PM. The list of musicians playing is to long to put on here, so take a look at the Facebook event listing for a complete list. Clearly David is loved and respected by the Memphis music community. A $10 donation at the door is appreciated and encouraged.

First 5000 fans inside the FedExForum for Friday’s Memphis-Ole Miss men’s basketball game receive free pom-poms. In addition, if you bring a new, unwrapped toy, you will receive a voucher for a ticket to a future game.

The Daily News has more information on the Loflin Corner entertainment complex being planned for the corner of Carolina and Florida. Taylor Berger, who most recently helped get the Rec Room going, is involved. That is very exciting news. However, not everyone is excited. The owner of Bacchanal, the New Orleans restaurant and bar around which the Loflin concept is based, sent a letter to the DMC asking it to table any approvals related to the project, feeling that the developers of Loflin may not understand the Bacchanal concept. Mind your own business dude!

Did you know Donald Trump was in the WWE Hall of Fame? There’s a petition to remove him because of his recent idiotic, racist comments about Muslims.

Much respect for Terri the daytime bartender at Kooky Canuck Cordova, who stopped on Covington Pike to help crash victims out of a burning car on Covington Pike today.

Time for beer. Silly Goose, you’re first up. Trivia at Blind Bear later possibly.