Friday update

Don’t forget that today is the grand opening of River Garden at Mississippi River Park, Riverside and Jefferson. Rides begin at 4, program at 5.

Got another gift card special to tell you about. On Tuesday, November 20 from 3 to 7 PM, Sleep Out Louie’s will have a Buy One, Get One gift card sale. The deal will be available in store only Sleep Out’s is in the Peabody Place/ServiceMaster complex next door to Texas de Brazil on Second Street.

Lucy Dawn, Amy Jamison, Rose Ragsdale, Sydney Carty and Mark Edgar Stuart will provide the live music tonight at Songwriter Night #101 at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main. Tonight’s set will be structured a little differently with Mark doing a 30 minute solo set.

Carolina Watershed is having a Power Hour 8-9 PM tonight and tomorrow night. $2 bottled domestics during the hour, and grab a burger to go with your beer for $10.

Big River Crossing is no longer a bridge to nowhere. There are now trails on the Arkansas side that provide excellent views of the sun rising over the Memphis skyline. There is also a trail that ends at the original Pancho’s in West Memphis.

I haven’t heard a whole lot of feedback about Downtown Dining Week from my fellow Downtowners this week, and I haven’t participated in DDW myself yet. However, I have heard good things about 117 Prime, a friend complimenting the excellent soup, brisket, and cheesecake on the $20.18 special this week.

The Daily Memphian introduces you to some of the artists who live and work in the newly-opened South Main Artspace Lofts.

Know what it’s time for today and tomorrow? GTL. It’ll be time to get ready with gym, tan, laundry. Then on Sunday Night it will be T-shirt time as Daisyland brings DJ Pauly D (of Jersey Shore fame) to the New Daisy Theater. I need to find a woman who’s DTF after the show and take her as my date.

Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel will host afternoon tea with Santa the afternoon of Sunday, December 2. Tea will be served along with a variety of sweets and treats, plus a gingerbread duck cookie decorating station. $30 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Pro wrestling fans: On Monday, January 7, WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts will come to the Hi-Tone as part of his “Dirty Details Tour: Tales from the Pit.” It will be an uncensored night of comedy, stories from the road, and Q&A. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Jake was considered a master of ring psychology and in the 1980s, up-and-coming heels would often do a program with Jake before rising to challenge champion Hulk Hogan. Jake was known for finishing opponents with his signature move, the DDT, then unbagging his 12-foot long python Damien and placing him on top of his fallen opponent.

There will be a rally to protect the Mueller investigation on the Civic Center Plaza tomorrow at noon. There is fear that now that Trump has fired Jeff Sessions and appointed Sessions’ former chief of staff as acting attorney general, special counsel Mueller will be fired and the investigation into obstruction of justice/collusion with Russia/money laundering by the GOP will be brought to a premature end.

I don’t support the boycott against Gibson’s Donuts because Marsha Blackburn made an appearance at a Memphis location right before Election Day. Although I think Marsha is a monster who is in the pocket of lobbyists and special interest groups, she is entitled to visit a retail location and make purchases just like any other citizen of the United States. As a Senate candidate she’s bound to attract attention and media coverage, but that’s going to happen no matter where she goes. It’s not like Gibson’s contacted the Blackburn campaign and invited her. Also, once she was there, what were they going to do, kick her out and alienate her supporters in a very red state? In this day and age when our society has so many problems, it just seems to me that there are better hills to die on than this one.

That’s the news for now. I’m going to make an early visit to Bardog this morning, maybe have their Downtown Dining Week lunch special. After that I will take it easy at home the rest of the day. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

This Saturday is the Grizzlies’ first Grind City Wrestling Night of several this season. The first 5000 fans will receive a Memphis Grizzlies wrestling T-shirt. There will also be a special Wingsday ticket where you get a Terrace IV ticket and an order of five-piece boneless wings from Wing Guru.

Did you know that Explore Bike Share will help you get to your Downtown Dining Week restaurants? Through Sunday, use the code “DMC Dining” and enjoy free Explore Bike Share rides.

Help the Mid-South Food Bank feed families in need on Thanksgiving. Go to their Donate page and select “Local Cares Thanksgiving” from the “My donation is for:” drop-down box. $15 buys a family a turkey, while $25 provides them a full Thanksgiving dinner.

The annual Veterans Day parade happens Monday.

The grand opening of South Main Artspace Lofts at 138 St. Paul is this afternoon. From 4 to 5 there will be a speaker program and a fashion show on the plaza featuring the work of Paul Thomas. From 5 to 7 there will be open artist studios and live music performances on the plaza. RSVP here.

The Thanksgiving edition of Drink-N-Draw comes to the Ghost River taproom Friday from 7 to 9. This event is part game show, part art contest, and is all fun. It’s hosted by Eric C and Gil Worth, 2013 Memphis Pun Champion. Prizes for Best and Worst Drawings. $5 includes all supplies.

MIFA Holiday Cards featuring art by Leslie Barron are now available for order. This is a way to honor your loved ones while helping Memphians in need.

Now this is cool – not only will high school kids learn to code, but they’ll be working on a real-world project to help St. Jude understand their donors.

More apartments are coming to Downtown’s south end, at 27 W. Carolina.

Wok’n in Memphis is having its 1 year anniversary party at the 409 S. Main food hall this Sunday from 5 to 9.

Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian now has a cocktail named after her Bar Talk column. Chris Ferri of Belle Tavern invented it and you can find the recipe here.

The 1880s Marine Hospital, next to the Metal Museum in the French Fort neighborhood just south of Downtown, is set to be renovated into 71 apartments. The buildings were last used as a National Guard HQ during Desert Storm. The new apartments will have common amenities like a pool and covered parking, but there will also be a special amenity… a fallout shelter. Probably not a bad thing to have as long as Trump has the nuclear codes.

The Andrew Michael family of restaurants, including Downtown restaurants Catherine & Mary’s and The Gray Canary, is holding a job fair.

In other job news, the City of Memphis is hiring a Process Improvement Coordinator.

Geoff Calkins is writing a book about Penny Hardaway. He posted Chapter One this morning.

Yesterday was a fantastic day! After a five-day hiatus from bars more than a block away from my apartment to address health problems, I caught a Lyft to the Blind Bear about 3 PM. It was great catching up with friends, playing trivia, watching the Grizzlies get a high-quality win, and generally being entertained by what I’ll call the human condition (i.e. a drunk person making a complete jackass of himself). I stayed past midnight and then I actually walked home! I know that doesn’t sound like much, given that the Bear is a three-block walk from my front door. If you know the shape my legs have been in lately, though, that is a big deal! I will be getting out again today. Also, a Friendsgiving dinner this Saturday I thought I would have to skip is now back on my agenda.

Watching WREG Live at 9 as I type this. The new trend in bars, a reporter claims, is large drinks that are shared between several people. In that respect Memphis is a pioneer. Silky’s has had the Diver for years!

That’ll do it for now. Going to get out to the Silly Goose this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The past few days I’ve been resting up at home, and yesterday I noticed something kind of interesting. I was watching The Price Is Right, which was my mom’s favorite game show when I was little. As they rolled the closing credits, they got to “Directed By…” and the name underneath kind of surprised me. Adam Sandler! Maybe the comedy movie gigs have dried up for him. Then again, directing The Price Is Right wouldn’t be a bad job to have in any case. I’d take it!

The Memphis Flyer has an article about Erica Bone, new executive chef at The Pocket, the exclusive new restaurant/club at 115 Union. Once upon a time, Bone made a mistake (as we all do). It was a mistake that could have sent her career in a different direction, but she recovered nicely. With culinary school and kitchen stints at Spindini, The Farmer, and Rizzo’s under her belt, Bone brings a lot to the kitchen at The Pocket. Her menu will debut next month.

For my readers with kids, get to Bass Pro at the Pyramid this Saturday to get in the Christmas spirit. Santa arrives at 5 PM, and they will be throwing out Santa stress toys to kids awaiting the jolly old elf’s arrival. There will be a tree lighting, the unveiling of Santa’s Wonderland, and free cookies and hot chocolate. From 6 to 8 you can get free photos with Santa and decorate your own Santa stocking. Each half hour from 5:30 to 7, a $25 gift card to Bass Pro will be given away.

In other Bass Pro news, if you have relatives coming in town for the holiday season, here’s a code to get them a discount at Big Cypress Lodge, the hotel inside Bass Pro at the Pyramid:

The national press has coverage about two legends who have returned to Memphis. First of all, SoccerBible has an article about Tim Howard’s co-ownership of Memphis 901 FC, how the team will fit into the working-class vibe of this city, and Howard’s plans to move into an ownership/management role as his professional career winds down.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report has a great read on Penny Hardaway’s return to Memphis and what the city means to him. Penny is now 1-0 in NCAA play, his Tigers having defeated Tennessee Tech 76-61. The seniors were the big contributors last night with Kyvon Davenport dropping 30. Memphis’ next game is against #23 LSU in Baton Rouge 6 PM next Tuesday.

November is as far as it gets from May on the calendar. Nevertheless, Memphis in May has a lot going on this month.

WWE Monday Night Raw returns to FedExForum on Monday, January 14. It’s too early to speculate what the main event might be. However, that show should be a big one, because it is the second to last Raw before the second-most important WWE pay-per-view of the year, the Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar has once again become the WWE Universal champion on Monday Night Raw, and after he fights Daniel Cormier next year it is possible he may hold that title and the UFC heavyweight title simultaneously.

Historian Jimmy Ogle comes to The Edge District on Tuesday, November 13. At 6 PM that evening, Ogle will speak on this history of The Edge at Wonder Co-Work Create at 340 Monroe. I couldn’t tell for sure the way this was worded, but I think this may be a monthly Edge District Association meeting. Look for updates on the official Edge District Facebook page.

Well, the election turned out much as I thought it would, with Democrats taking a majority in the House but Republicans keeping the Senate majority and even picking up a couple of seats. Here in Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn (ugh) is our new Senator. Going to try to look at the bright side here:

  • Democrats will take over House committee chairmanships, meaning corrupt Devin Nunes will no longer run the House Intelligence Committee.
  • Bills involving spending have to originate in the House. That’s going to make it harder for Trump to get funding for the wackier of his ideas (the wall). It also means Trump, the self-proclaimed master of the art of the deal, could partner with the Democrats in the House for a bipartisan win on infrastructure spending.
  • The House could demand Trump’s tax returns or subpoena Cabinet members to find out what he knew about Russia, although they should probably wait until Special Counsel Mueller releases his findings.
  • Beto lost to Ted Cruz but is now well positioned for a Presidential run in 2020.
  • Locally, all three referendums were defeated.

All right, I’ve been cooped up in this apartment too long, having not been out (I don’t count runs to Walgreens as going out) since Saturday. I plan on getting out about 3 this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Rolls and bowls, hoodies, Malted V, Tigers, Stumbling Santa, and a lot more Tuesday news

Rolls and bowls. Bowls and rolls.

The Memphis Flyer reports that the Downtown core is getting a new Asian restaurant. Fam will open at 149 Madison. Serving rolls and bowls – specifically, sushi rolls, spring bowls, rice bowls, and rice noodle bowls – the restaurant will deliver and will be open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. In a smart move, the sushi will be half rolls so customers can sample around more. This will be a “fast casual” concept with orders taking 10-15 minutes at most.

So excited that after today, I will be able to watch TV without having to hear a bunch of political ads. Well, unless there are runoffs. Please sweet baby Jesus don’t let there be runoffs! If you have trouble voting today call 855-844-VOTE for help. I’m staying home for one more night tonight to watch election results. I plan on having CBS streaming on my TV, CNN streaming on my iPad, and MSNBC streaming on my iPhone, while on my laptop I will be refreshing FiveThirtyEight live election coverage. No I will not have FOX News streaming. I got my fill of people who lie all the time back in the summer of 2015.

As those of you who have seen me around town know, I wear a Pabst Blue Ribbon hoodie, gifted to me at Bardog’s first anniversary party, around Downtown 5 to 6 days a week this time of year. Yesterday I was watching the news and learned that I could be asked to leave the Wolfchase Galleria if I wore my favorite hoodie in there. Not that I shop at Wolfchase that often, but I guarantee you I won’t be going out there at all from now on. What a stupid, obviously racist policy. Now, if people put the hoods up inside, that’s understandable for kicking them out; that’s an attempt to conceal identities. But banning hoodies altogether, that just screams “We don’t want black kids hanging out in our mall.”

I wonder if Wolfchase still has that weave vending machine?

Happy Election Day, YOGA! Downtown Yoga will be offering a 4-week series next month on the use of props in yoga.  Instructor Rebecca will lead this series and show students how to incorporate blocks, straps, blankets, and walls to strengthen and deepen your yoga practice. There will be time for hands-on instruction with each participant to address questions and concerns.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. celebrates its fifth birthday this Saturday, November 10, with Malted V, a celebration of malted beers. Doors open at 1 with first 100 customers getting a free Malted glass. Live music all afternoon with Crystal Shrine, Yesse Yavis, and John Paul Keith. In the evening there will be a comedy show by Comma Comedians. The El Mero Taco food truck will be on hand all day. The brewery is at 768 S. Cooper by the railroad trestle bridge.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team has its regular-season opener vs. Tennessee Tech tonight at FedExForum at 7 PM.

In other Tigers athletics use, congratulations to the women’s soccer team on their return to the NCAA tournament.

The annual Stumbling Santa pub crawl has been announced for Saturday, December 1. Dress up and join well over a thousand other Santas at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium at 7 PM that evening. Bring a toy for Porter-Leath’s toy drive for underprivileged children (toy ideas here). In an event that has gotten so big that the Saucer has to block off streets, Santas will stumble from bar to bar throughout the evening. When selecting your toys to donate, Porter-Leath reminds everyone that the greatest need is for toys for children 5 and under.

You have another option if you don’t want to do the cooking for Thanksgiving. Felicia Suzanne’s Operation Turkey Day will do everything for you. Order by the 16th, pick up the Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. They have sides and desserts; they don’t provide turkeys but if you drop off your bird, they will do turkey prep for $25.

Hmmm… telling customers to email a completed form with credit card information isn’t the best idea, though. Faxing it, having them take the info over the phone, or bringing it to the restaurant in person would be considerably more secure. Emails hop from one server to the next on their way from source to destination and can be read at any hop along the way.

A building permit has been filed for Museum Lofts, a new 68-unit loft apartment complex at 138 Huling next to the Civil Rights Museum.

In my first post yesterday, I mentioned that during my extended time at home I am looking for a new book to read. Found one! One of my favorite authors, Robert Greene, who co-authored 48 Laws of Power, released a new book just two weeks ago on October 23. I bought and downloaded The Laws of Human Nature yesterday. I’m only 8% into the book so I will hold up on a review for now, but so far I am enjoying it.

I am feeling better and I do plan to get out for a while tomorrow. I feel well enough to go out today, but I can’t deal with going to a bar and having some dumbass go, “DUH… me want to watch SportsCenter” when coverage of the most important midterm election of our lifetime is on. Back tomorrow with more news, and I am sure I will have thoughts on the election results as well.

Monday update

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is seeking volunteers for 2019. Volunteers are key to helping the DNA put on high-quality community events. There are opportunities in communications, advocacy, membership services, and social services. If you’re passionate about your community and motivated to help with provide services for our neighborhood, fill out the form at this link to volunteer.

The Daily Memphian has news about two teams headed to Orange Beach, Alabama to compete in the World Food Championships. One of the teams, headed by Tommy Shive of LBOE, won Best Memphis Burger Fest last year to qualify, then took first place in Burgers in the food championships with a Benedict Burger. The first-place win guarantees Shive five years of eligibility, and he is headed back this year.

Beginning today, Amazon is waiving the minimum purchase amount for packages to qualify for free shipping, good on all packages that will ship in time for Christmas. Prime members will get an additional bonus: 3 million items will be eligible for same-day shipping.

The legend returns to Memphis early next year:

Volunteers needed for Hour of Code. Kids in grades 5-10 will spend an hour learning how to code, and then will be treated to lunch and a featured speaker. Both technical and non-technical volunteers are needed.

After hearing friends rave about Marco’s Pizza, I decided to give it a try this morning. Their website did not show my address within delivery distance, but friends who live a few blocks away have gotten delivery. I called their 15 S. Belvedere location and confirmed, they do deliver to me.

The first time I order a pizza from a new place, I always do a build-your-own rather than get one of their specialty pizzas. I built a 14″ large with Old World pepperoni, sausage, black olives, and extra cheese.

Perjorie T. Roll, who likes foods that are the same color as her hair, hoped I would get bell peppers on the pizza, but I didn’t. I can see why my friends told me to get the Old World pepperoni instead of the regular kind. It’s thicker and it made this pizza stand out.

Next time I want to order their meatball bake, meatballs and sausage over pasta. Sounds yummy and I could probably get three meals off it.

This will probably be my last post before the polls open tomorrow morning for Election Day. Not sure where your polling place is? Google can help.

I am begging, pleading with all my readers to please vote. has information on how to get free or discounted rides to the polls.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Man in Tights

As I’ve mentioned here previously, I’ve been going through some health issues the past couple of weeks. Recently I was told that I should get a pair of compression socks. “They’ll help circulation in your legs,” I was told. “Also, it will help prevent the build-up of fluid in your legs. Walgreens has them.” The great thing about living where I live is that all I have to do is walk across Madison to get to Walgreens.

So yesterday I walked over to Walgreens shortly after they opened. I figured the compression socks would be in the foot care section, but no. I had to walk all over the store before I found them. They were on a narrow rack, and the ones at eye level all said, “Women’s compression socks color: nude.” No, that is not what I wanted. Finally as I looked toward the lower right of the rack, I saw a pair that was for men, black in color. I took them to the cashier along with some groceries and paid.

I got home and removed all the cardboard wrapping, and once it was off, I realized something – rather than compression socks, I had bought compression tights. Tights designed to fit from your waist all the way down to the bottoms of your feet. Well I hadn’t meant to buy those, but the packing materials were already off and I’d paid $21 for these things. Might as well make the best of it, I thought, even though I had never worn tights before in my life.

I sat down on the edge of my bed and attempted to put the tights on. I quickly learned why they call them tights! It was torture trying to get my feet through those tiny little legs. The legs kept getting caught on my big toe, or my little toe, and I had to pull the legs this way and that to get them unstuck. It took me 20 minutes to get them entirely on.

They were so tight they hurt, but I had been told they were therapeutic. I remember Serena Williams had been prescribed to wear compression tights to deal with postpartum maladies, but a tennis tournament (French Open I think?) ruled they were a violation of the dress code. If they were good enough for Serena, I reasoned, they were good enough for me.

They were fine when I sat in my desk chair in front of my computer, but when I stretched my legs or got up and walked around, they hurt. My calves and thighs were fine, but around my ankles, where the tights have to bend, the elasticity of the tights was extremely uncomfortable. I dealt with the discomfort, though, knowing it was good for me.

After the 10:00 news and a couple of cop shows it was time to go to bed.

12:56 AM: Got in bed

3:08 AM: Still trying to ignore how uncomfortable these stupid tights are and get to sleep

6:10 AM: Woke up feeling like there were super-tight rubber bands around my ankles and around the tops of my feet. I knew there was no way I would be able to get back to sleep with my feet in such pain. At that point, I got out from underneath the covers and pulled off the tights. Thank goodness I got them off in less than 1 minute. I was afraid it would take as long to get them off as it did to put them on.

The tights did perform as advertised. It seems like I can move around better today than I have the past few days, and my calves seem considerably less tight than they have recently. They are just such a total pain to put on and to have on. Do women have this much trouble getting leggings on? I think women’s leggings are usually 50% elastic stuff and 50% material with some give. These compression tights are all elastic stuff. I might give them a second chance today or tomorrow, but I am absolutely not wearing them to bed.

And before you ask – Rahul & Tony – no I did not take a picture of my butt in the tights, and even if I did I would not be sending it to you.

Okay – here’s what’s going on with the health issue I’m having. I’m not going to go into great detail but these are the points that have been affecting my lifestyle. I first noticed it the evening of Thursday, October 18. In the morning and early afternoon I walked all over Downtown and felt great. I walked over to Calvary to early vote; I walked up and down the Main Street Mall; I walked to Court Square to get lunch from a food truck. However, that evening, as I walked home from the Blind Bear, I got winded on the last block of my 3-block walk home.

Since then I have observed the following:

  • When I walk more than about two blocks, I tend to get winded and tired out.
  • When I drink more than a drink or two, I tend to get winded and tired out. For example, one day last week I went to happy hour at the Silly Goose. I was there from 2:00 to 6:30 and had 4 PBRs. Since the body processes a drink an hour on average, I should have been fine; yet I felt weak by the end of that fourth beer.
  • When feeling weak, winded, and tired out, I have trouble navigating up stairs and curbs.

Of course, this presents an issue, since two of my favorite spots in the Downtown core are farther than a two-block walk away: Blind Bear (which has three steps at the door) and Silly Goose. As a result, I have drastically cut back my going-out since last Thursday. It has been a change and I miss my friends at those places terribly.

On the other hand, the time away has made me re-discover how much I like being home by myself. I have been watching shows on Antenna TV and MeTV that I watched when I was a kid – Welcome Back Kotter, Benson, MASH, The Jeffersons, Three’s Company, Alice, Love Boat. Criminal Minds is one of my favorites and Ion shows it in marathons, but it’s hard to tune the rabbit ears to pick up channel 50. I’ve also been buying and reading Kindle books. About done with the current one, so if anyone has suggestions let me know. I prefer to tend nonfiction over fiction and I especially like biographies and books about history.

Thank goodness everything I need is close. I can walk to Walgreens. I can walk to my bank. I can walk to the garage and get in my car and drive to Kroger. I can walk to Maciel’s, City Market, Court House Deli, Sam’s, Havana’s Pilon, and Brass Door if I get hungry and don’t want to heat up something at home. My visits to Bardog remain unaffected, although I am cutting back on the beer there a good bit.

I do plan to get back out as the week goes on, although I will be careful. I am going to take today off because I don’t want to be out in the storms, and tomorrow off because it’s election day. Tomorrow night I plan on having one channel with election results on the TV, a second streaming on my iPad, and a third streaming on my phone. Weather and health permitting, I will probably be out a bit Wednesday.

Thanks to those who have helped me when I needed it, and those who have messaged me to check in on me and offer help if I need anything. I love and miss my Downtown family and hope to see you soon.

That’s what’s going on with me. Just wanted to give an update because I know people have been wondering. I hope to be back later today with a news post.

Sunday update




If you live in the Downtown core, this is what your 7:30 on a Saturday morning sounds like this time a year. It’s race weather, and just about every Saturday there’s a 5K or 10K or some kind of race departing for AutoZone Park. One of the ways they celebrate the runners and get them all fired up to race at such an early hour is marching bands.

So yesterday morning as I lay in bed, I was thinking of an entirely new concept… the “silent disco marching band.”

A silent disco is a dance party in which everyone is listening to the same music, but through wireless headphones rather than being broadcast over a speaker system or PA. Anyone at the party without headphones experiences a room full of people dancing to nothing.

What we need is to get a manufacturer of wireless headphones to sponsor a 5K, and have a silent disco marching band to fire up the runners.

I didn’t see it in time to post it, but The Rendezvous held a job fair last week, seeking hosts, barbacks, cooks, and experienced servers. If you didn’t make it to the job fair but would be interested in a position there, might want to go by this week and see if they’re still hiring. Being a server there is hard work, but a server who cultivates a regular clientele can make six figures a year.

The Daily Memphian has more information on the remake of Tom Lee Park to maximize its natural amenities and at the same time make it more inviting and accessible to the public.

The Daily Memphian also has the 411 on Downtown Dining Week which runs from tomorrow through Sunday. They have some good tips to help you get the most of of the week. If you don’t have time to dig through all 50 menus to determine which restaurants you want to visit, I published Paul’s Picks of the best 2018 menus last week.

I want to emphasize one thing for DDW: Be kind to your servers. They are going to be busy with full restaurants. If your food takes a few extra minutes to get out to you, it is probably because the kitchen is backed up and not your server’s fault. When your server comes to your table, ask around and find out who at the table needs anything so they can get it all at one time, rather than running them back and forth for requests one at a time.

In terms of tip on a $20.18 dinner, keep in mind two things: 1) Most of these dinners would cost more than $20.18 if you were paying full price; and 2) These are 3-course dinners, so your servers are doing more work than usual. A tip of 20% on $20.18 would be $4, but I would encourage diners to tip in the $6-7 range in recognition of the extra work their servers are putting in this week.

There’s an International Conference on Catalysis and Pyrolysis tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza. Woo hoo, that sounds like fun! I might have to be a party crasher.

Don’t forget that the grilled cheese festival is going on at the Hi-Tone today.

That’s it for now. Health issues continue to keep me at home more than I would like, but I will try to make it out to the Blind Bear for a little while this evening. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Edible Memphis has a wonderful article about the friendship that has developed between Michael Patrick, chef at Rizzo’s, and Cristina McCarter, founder of City Tasting Tours. The two have bonded over food experiences and their status as self-appointed ambassadors of Downtown.

LUNCHBOXeats has announced that they are cooking Thanksgiving dinners and you can place your order through November 15. You can order a complete dinner that serves 6 to 8 (traditional – $130 or deluxe – $175) or individual entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. Pick up your order Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, or (extra charge) Thanksgiving morning.

News for whiskey lovers:

RedRover, an agency in the Falls Building at Front and Court, has an opening for a Copy Writer. Everyone tells me this is a great place to work. If you have a dog, include a photo along with your resume.

The Grizzlies have already won five of the projected 34.5 games analysts expected them to win this season, having beat the Utah Jazz on the road last night 110-100.

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Bids to renovate the Cook Convention Center are coming in $175 million under budget.

Congratulations to my friends Joe and Lisa on their wedding today.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight before you go to bed as Standard Time starts at 3 (2) AM. No, this does not mean the bars get to stay open until the second 3 AM tonight; for lack of a better word, the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission are a bunch of dicks about this.

Okay, that’s it for now. Bardog time. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Want to be part of the redevelopment of the Fourth Bluff and the parks along the riverfront? Tomorrow from 9 to noon you have a chance to do just that. Join Shelby County Schools students at the new River Garden at Mississippi River Park for Community Build Day. Participants will build a life-sized bird nest and customize flags for the park’s grand opening celebration on Friday, November 9. All ages can participate. Closed-toe shoes are required.

The Big River Crossing 5K and half-marathon is tomorrow, with the starting line at Tom Lee Park.

In even more river news, the Memphis River Parks Partnership has selected firms to lead the re-imagination of Tom Lee Park. The plan is to add shade and restore natural conditions and trails to make the park more inviting, yet at the same time provide infrastructure for Memphis in May events.

The Memphis Union Mission operates a long-term drug and alcohol program for men and women. One of the locations at which men go through the program, called Calvary Colony, is in desperate need of bath towels and wash cloths. You can drop off donations at the Mission at 383 Poplar. Alternately, you can order these items online and request that they be delivered directly to Calvary Colony, 4535 Benjestown Rd, Memphis, TN 38127.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis tweeted this photo of food from The Nine, the new restaurant in the former Bangkok Alley space on Union.

Not sure if the restaurant is open to the public, or if this was just a preview. I could not find any website or Facebook presence for the new restaurant.

Did you know that the Rendezvous gives out complimentary red beans and rice for Friday and Saturday lunch?

The Memphis Tigers host their second and final exhibition game vs. CBU tonight at FedExForum at 7 PM.

That’ll do it for now. Watching the Crown Jewel supershow live from Saudi Arabia on the WWE Network as I type this. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update: Majestic Grille announces its holiday lineup

Now that Halloween is behind us, we enter the season known as “the holiday season.” Fa la la la la la la la la and all that crap. But seriously, though, some of the best holiday deals were announced this morning… holiday offers from the Majestic Grille.

The most important thing to know is that Wednesday, November 28 will be their half-off gift card sale. Doors open at 8 AM. You can buy $50 gift cards for $25, and you can buy as many of them as you like. Now, there are some restrictions… you can’t use the gift cards to purchase alcohol, and you can’t use them at all until 2019. Still, this is a way to enjoy the Majestic’s fabulous food at half the price. If you know people who live or work Downtown, the cards make perfect Christmas gifts.

One other catch…. you must purchase the cards IN PERSON on the 28th. If you can’t arrange to go in late to work that day, make arrangements with someone who can be Downtown at 8 AM.

Oh yeah, one more thing… don’t think, “Oh yeah, I’ll just mosey on over there at 12:30 or 1:00 when I take my lunch break.” The cards will have sold out by then. Best bet is to be in line at 8 AM. You’re taking your chances if you show up at 9 or later.

The annual Clark’s Christmas Dinner has been set for Tuesday, December 18 at the Majestic with 6:30 PM and 7 PM seatings. At 7:30 the classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will be shown on the big screen. There will be two contests – one for best character from the movie, and another for best tacky sweater. Chef Patrick always offers a special holiday menu for this event, although the regular menu will be available too. If you want to reserve a table for this event (or any of the events I am about to name), call 901-522-8555. For Clark’s Christmas, you need to call RIGHT NOW for reservations. I would not be surprised if there is a waiting list by the end of the business day tomorrow. People love this and it has become a true Downtown Memphis Christmas tradition.

Brunch with Santa comes to the Majestic Saturday morning, December 15. This is ideal for getting your kids in the Christmas spirit, with 9:30, 10:00, 11:30, and noon seatings. There  will be a special kids’ brunch, holiday movies on the big screen, and special appearances by Santa, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole elves, and their friends. This one will get booked up nearly as fast as Clark’s Christmas. Do not delay making reservations if you want your kids to be a part of this day.

Edit 11:19 AM: Well that didn’t take long. You can still try to get on their waiting list.

I hate most New Year’s Eve celebrations but NYE at the Majestic is an exception. They’ll have some scrumptious specials, but again if you prefer the regular menu you can order off it too. This is a place where you can get a good dinner in you before going to your New Year’s Eve party, or you can stay at the Majestic to ring in the new year. I have spent several NYEs at the Majestic and I tell you, this is right up my alley. Elegant but never pretentious. A place to make memories with wonderful friends. Reservations are required.

November 1 is one of my favorite days of the year! Here’s why:

Half-off Halloween candy at Walgreens! I got an $11 bag of Halloween candy for $5.49. This 50-piece assortment should keep me sugared up for the entire month. I like every kind of candy in the bag, too. The only alteration I will make will be to turn the Almond Joys into Mounds by removing the almonds. I’ll give the almonds to Perjorie T. Roll.

Okay, let’s get on to the rest of the news…

Quench will hold a whiskey tasting next Friday, November 9, from 5 to  7 PM. Blue Note Bourbon and Riverset Rye will be sampled.

Infinitus, a beat-boxing string trio, has been announced for the Halloran Centre for Thursday, November 15. They play classical standards as well as jazz/hip-hop compositions and arrangements.

Start Co. is hiring an Accelerator Operations Manager. The successful candidate will get to help budding entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This is a job that offers as much in terms of connections in the community as it does in terms of salary and benefits.

Don’t forget that tonight is Paint & Get Lit at Silly Goose. David Yancy will be conducting the painting class, and if you get hungry Wok’n in Memphis will be in the kitchen.

The 2018 Indie Memphis Film Festival begins today. Over 200 independently made films will be shown in 7 venues over a 5-day period. There will also be filmmaker discussions, parties, and more.

Shufflegrit plays Dirty Crow Inn tonight.

Cordelia’s Market is looking to hire a full-time cafe team member.

Chris Herrington is back with another excellent Grizzlies mailbag column in The Daily Memphian. I normally skip right over “mailbag” columns in the publications I read, but Herrington is just so good.

I don’t often recommend events in Cordova, but India Fest 2018 at the Agricenter this Saturday is one that’s absolutely worth the drive. First and foremost, Indian food! Love it love it love it! Over 50 vendors where you can shop for Indian clothing and items, Bollywood movies and dancing, Indian music, Henna, and more. Having worked with so many Indians over years, I can tell you, they have a rich and beautiful culture that is worth exploring.

I took the day off yesterday because I didn’t feel like getting out in the rain, and I never got around to finding a Halloween costume this year. Also, I had a lot of stuff to do at home. I had a book to read, I wanted to catch up on writing in my personal journal, I had a new Wi-Fi router I needed to set up, and I’ve been teaching myself the Ruby on Rails programming language/framework. It was kind of nice to have a day to myself, watching ’70s TV reruns on the local 3.3, 30.2, etc. stations as well as watching the WWE Network on my iPad. That said, I’m itchin’ to get back out today. I plan on being at the Silly Goose not long after 2 today and then the Blind Bear after that. Back tomorrow with more news.