Tuesday update

I’ve made another life decision. I’ve decided it’s time for my little green-haired troll to retire. She won’t be coming out with me anymore. Don’t worry, I didn’t throw her away. She’s resting comfortably in a memory box just a few feet from where she stood on my kitchen counter. If I ever want to see her she’s there.

Sunday I more or less bared my soul on Facebook and the response reminded me how loved, respected, and supported I am by so many people. Those people are where my energy and focus need to be (well, that and getting a job). The troll had become a distraction from that.

One of those people, by the way, is my career coach Angela Copeland, with whom I have an appointment to work on my resume tomorrow. She is the best and if you are looking to take your career to a better place I cannot recommend her enough. Paradoxically, I always wanted to use her services but hoped I’d never have to. Now I get to.

Beale Street has lost one of its legends. Preston Shannon is dead at 70. He performed at B.B. King’s club on Beale and had several Music Fest performances.

A date has been set for the second annual 901 Popper Throwdown: March 25. Teams compete to see who can make the best jalapeno poppers. This is organized by the same team that brought you Best Memphis Burger Fest.

The ever-popular beginner sushi class returns to Memphis Made Brewing Co. Sunday, March 4 from 3 to 5 in the afternoon. These things nearly always sell out, so if you want to go, don’t delay making reservations.

There’s going to be a Downtown Disco at the 409 South Main food hall Friday night from 8 to 11. Best costume wins a prize.

South Main Sounds Songwriter Night returns to 550 S. Main Friday night from 7 to 9.

One last reminder that Drinks with Democrats happens at Brass Door tomorrow night at 6 PM.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update and a decision

Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s will once again be collaborating with Chef Manuel Rivera of Maciel’s Tortas and tacos. Culinary Artisan Dinner I, put together by City Tasting Tours, will happen at Rizzo’s on March 25. The menu has not been posted yet, but you know it is going to be yummy with those two in the kitchen.

Def Leppard and Journey will play FedExForum July 6.

Flying Saucer will have a free nacho bar Sunday, February 4 for the Super Bowl. By the way, what’s up with a manager wearing Pabst socks when they don’t carry PBR?

Grizzlies Prep at 168 Jefferson is having a Revenge of the Nerds rooftop fundraiser Saturday, April 21 from 6 to 9 PM. Music, food and beverages. All proceeds will benefit CodeCrew, an organization that helps the underrepresented youth of Memphis have access to a computer science education.

Belle Tavern has a new Whiskey Wall where the chalkboard used to be.

Sometimes you want to go where everyone knows your troll’s name. Belle now has PBR in cans, rather than bottles. Good decision.

Last night I was invited to dinner at the Blue Monkey with my friends Staci, Hanin, Rahul and Tony. I had forgotten how good the food is there.

I’ve been saying this for years and I will say it again… the twice baked potato is the key to the entire operation.

All right, I need to announce a decision I am making. But first, a little background. I got laid off Tuesday, January 9. For the first week, I was upbeat. I was like, “Yay, I don’t have to go to work today!” Those first few days were much needed time off.

Last week, however, I got majorly depressed. So depressed I could barely function. And that’s understandable. I lost my job. I was coming up on the anniversary of losing my mom. But this morning, when I woke up depressed for the 8th day in a row, I wondered, am I ever NOT going to be depressed so I can be productive?

About an hour ago I realized something. I have been dealing with being depressed by ordering shots of Fireball. Fireball is a rotgut whiskey disguised to taste good with cinnamon syrup. I am never going to get un-depressed drinking a major depressant every day. So as of today I am giving up Fireball for good. Friends who’ve bought me shots the past 2 weeks, I appreciate them but it’s time to stop. Bartender friends, please do me a favor and do not ask if I want one anymore.

Interesting infographic: The 270 people associated with the Russia investigation. One name I was glad to not see on the list: Bernie Sanders. Some of the sources I follow on Twitter seem to think he’s caught up in it. Note that Green Party candidate Jill Stein is on the list. It’s believed she took money from Russia to fund her campaign.

All right. Outta here. Back tomorrow with more news, I hope.

Day off

I just can’t do it today. The combination of unemployment, the one year anniversary of my mom’s death, and another ongoing situation are just too much for me today.

Mama I love you and I will forever regret not sensing how much you needed me in your final years.

If I take a few days off I apologize. I have some thinking to do. I’m going to put up a post on Facebook for those of you who are friends with me on there.

Friday lunch @ Felicia Suzanne Restaurant

Felicia Suzanne’s opens for lunch on Fridays. My friends Stacey and Mr. Bill and I decided to go yesterday.

I let my one-year-old have a martini. I’m a pretty terrible troll parent. The main draw of Friday lunch at FSR is 25 cent martinis. You can have up to three at that price and they will ask you how you want it made.

Salmon deviled eggs, my appetizer

Bill’s entree, potato dumplings

Stacey’s entree, Lake catfish

My entree, the chicken & sausage gumbo

Food was delicious and the service was excellent. If you have never been to Felicia’s for lunch I recommend taking a Friday off and giving it a try.

Normally I would say “back tomorrow with more news” here but tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. So it may be Monday.

“Paul is a regular human who walks around and writes about life”

That’s how my friend Q introduced me last night. That may be my favorite description of myself ever.

Z-bo comes home tonight as the Memphis Grizzlies host the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum at 7. First 10,000 fans get a Grit Grind Forever headband to celebrate.

Streetdog Foundation will host a dog adoption day at Hollywood Feed on Union Avenue Saturday, February 10 from noon to 3 PM. Come out and meet some of their adorable, adoptable dogs and get your questions answered by volunteers.

A normal high for Memphis this time of year would be 50. It’s hard to even remember what “normal” feels like after the past couple of weeks.

Forget about the cold weather at a Beach Party tonight at the Ghost River taproom. $3 Beer-itas. Hawaiian shirts encouraged. The Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet will be among the musical selections, and they will take requests.

Singer Mandy Gonzalez plays the Halloran Centre tonight. She’s currently the star of the Broadway musical Hamilton.

Happy January, YOGA! Downtown Yoga is holding a Vision Board Workshop and Yoga Nidra on Saturday, January 27. The better you are able to visualize your goals, the more likely you are to attain them.

Wine, food and music will be celebrated at the second annual Vintage901 Fest March 2-4. Grand Tasting on Friday, a Perfect Pairings Dinner on Saturday, and Sparkling Brunch on Sunday.

Local musician Chris Hill has launched a merchandise line to raise money for the production of an album. All purchases are 20% off for a limited time.

Ever thought about volunteering at Memphis in May? Here are all the ways you can be involved. Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend about what a rewarding experience it is to be a part of MiM.

BBQ problems:

The TEP Gumbo Contest is Sunday. Sample delicious gumbos while supporting equality for all.

That’s it for now. I’m off to Friday lunch at Felicia Suzanne’s! Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I met a celebrity last night! The lady who shoots T-shirts out of a cannon at Grizzlies games. That must be a fun job.

We’re getting a new steakhouse Downtown called 117 Prime, and it could open as soon as next month. The people opening it are the same group who operate Sweetgrass and Sunrise Memphis. It will be in the old Belle Bistro space on Union between Main and Second.

Amazon has announced its list of 20 finalist cities for its second HQ. Unfortunately Memphis did not make the cut, despite a strong package offered by Mayor Strickland and his team.

Thanks to Chef Michael Patrick for forwarding this: PBR made a winter jacket that holds 12 hidden beers

Save the date: Memphis Made Brewing Co. has announced its 4th annual Hopped festival for April 21.

Chris Hill plays The Vault this Saturday.

The Memphis Camerata choir is holding auditions.

Finding Neverland comes to the Orpheum next week.

Y’all please forgive me if I seem not myself the next few days. Sunday is the one year anniversary of my mom’s death and between that and getting laid off work I am pretty depressed right now. I felt her presence last night as I lay in bed, the strongest I’ve felt her with me since she passed.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Very excited about returning to Felicia Suzanne Restaurant this Friday for lunch with some friends. Felicia’s does lunch Friday only. Their menu is fantastic and they have 25 cent martinis, perfect when you have a Friday off and live across the street. I have been researching their menu and already know what I want to order: the Sunday Sugo. It’s described as their take on pasta Bolognese, but with risotto instead of pasta.

Felicia announced on Twitter this week that the restaurant is hiring for all positions. Email felicia@feliciasuzanne.com to learn more.

Also hiring is Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown – servers, delivery drivers, pizza makers. Apply in person.

I’ve always thought Congressman Steve Cohen was a super cool guy, and the fact that he drives to work in his mom’s 1986 Cadillac only reinforces that opinion.

Grizzlies announcer Pete Pranica has been voted Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Very well deserved. Congratulations Pete.

Holly has a great post about the recently-reopened Brass Door.

Calvary Episcopal has announced the speakers for its 2018 Lenten preaching series.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

Memphis Brewfest is returning for its ninth year, and this year brings a fabulous new location: ON THE FIELD at the Liberty Bowl! It will be 4:00 to 7:45 Saturday, April 14. This beer fest brings a lot of beers to Memphis not normally sold here. Purchase tickets here.

City Tasting Tours is organizing a Pure Memphis Cocktail Tour on Saturday March 3 from 4 to 7 PM. The tour will start with cocktails from Memphis’ very own Old Dominick Distillery. Next they will visit The Civil Pour, the bar inside the food hall at 409 S. Main. After that they visit Belle Tavern with its vast array of whiskeys. Tickets are only $55.

Miss Cordelia’s is starting a daily rotisserie chicken happy hour from 5 to 6. Come in during that time and pick up a rotisserie chicken for only $4.99.

The Rec Room will be hosting a Royal Rumble Watch Party on the 28th.

Today is King Day at the National Civil Rights Museum. $5 to get in, $3 with a donation to the Mid-South Food Bank. Donate a pint of blood and you and three guests get in free.

The Grizzlies host the Lakers in the annual MLK Day Game at FedExForum at 4:30.

All right, that’s it for now. I had MLK Day scheduled off so I am going to treat it as a vacation day, then tomorrow I’ll get started with “figure out how to get my life together” kind of stuff.

It’s IBC Week! Sunday news

The International Blues Challenge returns to Memphis for its 34th year this week. Bands, duos, and solo artists from all over the world will come to Memphis this week to compete and get noticed by record labels. Things kick off Tuesday with an International Showcase at Clayborn Temple. The quarterfinals happen Wednesday and Thursday on Beale Street, with a wristband getting you access to all the music. Semis are Friday on Beale, and Saturday the finals are at the Orpheum.

Tennessee legislators are considering Sunday liquor sales. They want to align the hours with those which beer can be sold. ‘Bout time Tennessee considers entering the 21st century.

Crosstown Brewing Company has announced its opening date: February 16.

My friend Ryne Hancock has a great series going about 50 things to know if you’re going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans for the first time.

Oishii Japan, a celebration of Japanese home cooking, ramen, dessert and sake, happens at the Memphis Botanic Garden noon to 3 this coming Saturday. $5 to get in and then you can buy $10 or $20 books of tickets to taste food. Note that this is a cash only event, so stop by the ATM on your way there. There will be door prizes donated by local Japanese companies.

This Friday, January 19 from 7 to 9 at Loflin Yard, they will have The Forgotten Martini. They’ve been aging a batch of gin and vermouth since October 2016. Supplies are limited so get there early.

Great day at Blind Bear yesterday. My troll was quite the conversation starter. Apologies for not making it down to Max’s Sports Bar for their 10th anniversary but the sidewalks were just too icy.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

The bluff is normally our friend. It protects us from Mississippi River flooding. When it snows, however, not so much. I’m hearing that it was near impossible to get from Riverside up to Front on any of the connecting streets – Jefferson, Court, Monroe, Union, Beale – even trucks spinning their wheels and turning sideways. People had to go to Georgia Avenue on the very south side of Riverside to have a shot at getting into Downtown. One of my friends reported an 18-minute drive from Riverside and Georgia to his parking garage at Second and Gayoso. The streets Downtown weren’t salted and were terribly icy. And still are. Be careful if you go out today.

Ghost River is having a cupcakes and beer dinner on Thursday, January 25. The cupcakes will be from Two Girls and a Whip and there will be savory cupcakes and sweet ones, paired with Ghost River beer. The savory cupcakes include a BBQ cupcake and a beef tenderloin cupcake. Yummy!

By the way, Bardog Tavern is now carrying cake from Two Girls and a Whip on its dessert menu.

There will be a percussion explosion tonight at the Cannon Center by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

The open container proposal for Downtown drew a lot of criticism Thursday. Currently only legal on Beale, the amended ordinance would have allowed open containers of alcohol in most of what is considered Downtown. I was on the fence about this proposal but after reading my friend Patrick Reilly’s comments, I oppose it too. One thing it is not hard to do down here is get a drink. Loosening things up even more would cause more problems than it would create revenue.

Speaking of dranks, yesterday I was scrolling through Twitter looking at Downtown closing announcements due to the ice, and Felicia Suzanne’s was among them for their Friday lunch. It made me realize, it’s been over a year since I did their excellent 25 cent martini lunch that they have only on Fridays. I suggested it to my friend Stacey and we got our friend Mr. Bill in too. It’s on for this coming Friday. Anyone else want to go, let me know… Wednesday or so I will make the reservation.

LITE Memphis is an organization that teaches entrepreneurship to African-America and Latino students in the city. They are currently searching for a full-time outreach assistant.

Just a reminder, Max’s Sports Bar’s 10th anniversary party is today noon to 6. $1.50 PBR and plenty of shenanigans.

Memphis in May is hosting an international teachers’ conference on February 24. Teachers can learn about this year’s honored country, the Czech Republic, and learn how they can promote international studies to enhance their curriculum.

Muddy Magnolias play the Halloran Centre tonight.

The steeple has returned to First United Methodist, 12 years after a 2006 fire.

The Redbirds are holding a seasonal job fair Thursday, January 25. Positions are seasonal and part time and include box office, field crew, bat boy/girl, and Redbirds promotional crew. They are only able to hire people 18 and up. Offers may be made on the spot. More info here.

Perjorie T. Roll wanted me to remind everyone that there’s $2 Fireball at Bardog when it’s snowing. As of the time I am typing this, about 9:30 AM Saturday morning, January 13, it is snowing outside.

Time for Saturday Fun Day. I’m thinking of this as Independence Day in January. Back tomorrow with more news.