Thursday update

PBR – Professional Bull Riders – comes to FedExForum this Saturday. In PBR, not only are the riders rated, but the bulls are too.

Today is National Hippo Day. Do you have a stuffed hippo named after you? I do.

StyleBlueprint has a list of 10 soul-soothing soups to try in Memphis. Downtown restaurants Bishop, Good Fortune Co., Slider Inn, Ben Yay’s, RawGirls, Flame Ramen, and The Nine Thai Sushi (closed until March) each had a soup on the list.

The Grizzlies host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 7:30. The first 5900 fans get a 2024 Player Pet Calendar. Tv: TNT

Last night the Grizzlies defeated Dillon Brooks and the Houston Rockets, improving Memphis’ playoff chance to 0.002.

There’s a part-time nanny job open Downtown.

Memphis Songwriters Series returns to the Halloran Centre tonight. $10.

Momma’s has live music by Hillbilly Mojo tonight. No cover. Ladies get 20 percent off 7-10 pm. $8 Dive Tais, Highway Haulers, and Express-O Martinis.

The inventor of Pop-Tarts has died

Slider Inn Downtown has team trivia tonight at 7.

The CA has guesses who will play the new music festival on the river in May.

Students and teachers get 20% off at both Aldo’s Pizza Pies locations with valid ID on Thursdays.

That’s it. Back tomorrow.

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Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Wednesday update

Westy’s now has a second Goldcrest product originally brewed in Memphis, Bock, in addition to the original 51:

Photos have been posted from the Blind Bear’s February 10 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre party.

The Grizzlies host the Houston Rockets at 7. TV: Bally Sports

The Flying Saucer introduces 3 Floyd’s beers to Memphis Wednesday, February 28.

Early voting has started in the Tennessee presidential primary.

The Sheraton seeks a chef de cuisine .

Uber and Lyft drivers are planning a Valentine’s Day strike for better wages today.

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

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Tuesday update

It’s Fat Tuesday, but at Bardog the celebration lasts beyond today- it’s all week long. Specials you’ll find at the Dog this week:

– Boudin egg rolls

– Jambalaya

– King Cake martini

– Sazerac rye

– Anita Strawberry beer

I was in Bardog last week and the bartender Emily was telling the lunch server, “‘Mr. Do’ is supposed to stop by at some point today.” Meaning Aldo, the bar’s owner/operator, not Mr . Do, the 1982 arcade video game.

I wonder if “Mr. Do” ever played Mr. Do when he was a child? He’d be about the right age.

Also, I wonder if that video game console on the second floor of the Cossitt Library has Mr. Do among its selections.

Fat Tuesday at 8 S. Main has a full program of activities for its namesake holiday all day and evening.

I had another awesome pizza at Memphis Chess Club yesterday for lunch:

This is the Anand, the veggie version of the club’s white pizza. It has a white base but does not have a thick top layer of mozzarella on top as its meaty white brother the Carlsen does, allowing the veggies to be the stars of the show. I recommend dripping a little Louisiana hot sauce onto your slice of the Anand.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the CA has the story of 3 couples who run successful restaurants/food-producing businesses Downtown: Majestic Grille/Cocozza, Makeda’s Cookies, Raw Girls.

Currently re-reading Skip the Line by entrepreneur James Altucher. M

Grizzlies sophomore Vince Williams Jr. Is going to the NBA Rising Stars game after all. He’s been named an injury replacement.

Today is National Crab Rangoon Day.

There’s a Galentine’s Day celebration tonight 4-10 at hotel bar Talk Shop, 245 S. Front.

My replacement MacBook has arrived in Memphis. Just gotta make arrangements to get my backpack (see yesterday’s post) and pick it up.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
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Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Status update and Monday news

A week ago last night I spent my 4th night in a row wandering the streets without sleep. Friends told me I looked terrible. They said I needed to change. But I was determined to do homelessness MY way.

Since I wouldn’t listen to my friends, my body spoke up.

I sleepwalked around the streets of Downtown, leaving my backpack behind. When I came back to where I left it,, it was gone. I lost my MacBook Air and my iPhone and Apple Watch chargers.

I am not in a great place right now., this morning. I am bored and lonely. But compared to where I was a week ago, I guess I really have made substantial progress.

– I’ve checked into the Union Mission at 383 Poplar for the past 7 nights, getting no less than 8 hours sleep a night. No more falling asleep at bars or other locations not meant for sleep.

– By the end of this week I will have a replacement MacBook, thanks to a high school friend,, and debit cards connected to Venmo and Ally Bank accounts. I also got Apple Pay set up on my phone and it was usable immediately, no waiting on a debit card, which has been a lifesaver.

– I’ve eaten at least one meal, often two, every day of the past seven.

– I’ve gotten a haircut and bought some razors so I don’t have to look homeless.

– Friends gave me a new backpack, iPhone charger, and Apple Watch charger.

Okay. Let me describe a typical day in my life as of last week, in order to help you understand a challenge I will face this week Imagine it’s the middle of the week, like a Wednesday or a Thursday:

– 6 am: The lights come on at the Union Mission men’s dorm and we’re told it’s time to get up. By 6:15 I’ve deposited last night’s sheets in the laundry basket and brushed my teeth.

– Breakfast is included in the price of admission but it’s usually a bowl of corn flakes in milk. Yuck. I hate milk. I usually skip breakfast unless I hear we’re having something particularly good, like donuts. By 6:45 I’m usually out on the street, unless it’s raining hard.

– The Mission does not offer Wi-Fi to its guests, which makes my time away from the Mission extremely valuable. From 7 to 8 am I generally walk Main Street, connecting to known Wi-Fi networks when I can, answering texts and PMs, checking email, Facebook notifications, and balances on my Ally Bank account, Venmo, and a Apple Pay.

– Bardog opens at 8 and I’ll use their Wi-Fi over breakfast or a drink.

– The Cossitt Library opens at 10 and I go over there and use their Wi-Fi. Some days I stay there until 1 pm; other days I’ll move on at 11 to Westy’s or Memphis Chess Club or some other restaurant with Wi-Fi.

– About 1 pm I head back to the Mission, and that’s the END of my Wi-Fi access for the day. Why 1 pm? Because a night at the Mission is FREE if you get checked in before 2 pm. I ain’t paying no six dolla for something I can get for free! It’s about a 20 minutes to walk from the Downtown core to the Mission and the wait in line takes up to 20 minutes.

– Until 5 pm: Watch TV, sign up to take a shower. By the way, we have private shower stalls It’s not like prison. I don’t have to worry about dropping the soap.

– 5 pm: Dinner. It’s often 5:20 before I get through the line and get my food and a seat.

– 6 pm: Chapel. Most days it lasts a full hour.

– 7 pm:: More Tv watching, another opportunity for the shower line.

– 8 pm: We’re given the chance to go to the dorm and get in bed. Alternatively, we can stay up until 10, but I always choose the 2 hours’ extra sleep.

So there you have it. As I stressed, the schedule makes every moment I have on Wi-Fi precious.

On a side note, I did ask the supervisors at the Mission why they don’t provide Wi-Fi for guests. They said it was partly a bandwidth issue – with up to 300 men on the same line, the connection would be horribly slow. Then there was also a concern that some of the men would use the connection to watch some not-so-wholesome content, if you know what I mean!

So here I am, proud owner of a new backpack. But, I can’t bring it inside the main Mission building. I have to put the items I need in a clear plastic bag and leave the backpack in bag check. The supervisors have a very good reason for that rule, too. It prevents people from sneaking weapons and bottles of liquor in. Totally understandable.

But here’s the thing

I’ve been told that the bag check opens at 9 am.

If that’s true, by the time I stand in line, get my bag, and walk to the Downtown core, it’ll be about 9:45. 40% of my Wi-Fi time for the day and 87.5% of my Bardog time for the day will be gone.

This will take some figuring out.

I admit it’s a smaller problem than not knowing where I’m gonna eat tonight, or where I’m gonna sleep tonight, both problems soled by the Mission.

But I don’t see how I’m supposed to expedite my way to a better place in life when I have to spend 20-21 hours a day at the shelter or in transit to/from there.

On to the news…

Good news: Penny’s Memphis Tigers looked like a cohesive team yesterday. They whooped up on Tulane 90-78 and improved to 18-6.

Bad news: As of yesterday the Tigers were in Next Four Out land in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. They have work to do. Those two upcoming dates with ranked FAU are gonna be critical.

The NBA All-Star dunk and three-point contests are Saturday and the game is Sunday

Calvary Episcopal Church’s outstanding Waffle Shop opens for the season this Thursday, February 15 and will be open for lunch 11:00-1:30 WThF during Lent. Check out the Lenten Preaching Series too.

Today is National Poop Day.

Springhill Suites seeks a bartender .

The Grizzlies host New Orleans tonight at 7 at FedExForum. First 5000 fans get a Derrick Rose travel chess set. TV: Bally Sports

It may snow this evening but temperatures are expected to remain slightly above freezing.

That’s all I have time to write. Back tomorrow.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Sunday update

Wings return to Bardog for a limited time today for the tavern’s game-watching party. Things kick off at 5 pm and they’ll have the sound on. Other game day specials will be sheet pan nachos and $20 domestic buckets.

The Cossitt Library will host the Sankofa African Diaspora Festival Saturday, February 24 from 11 am to 5 pm. Performances, dance, art, vendors, readings, and much more.

One of the cottages at Mulberry and Talbot is for sale . It’s 1 br/1 ba and was built in 1890.

Justin Timberlake is rumored to be coming to FedExForum Saturday, November 23.

Sundays I have limited access to Wi-Fi, so my post will be short today. Back tomorrow probably.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
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Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Saturday update

Chef Tam has announced the closure of her restaurant in The Edge as she moves on to new ventures. More from the CA

Ben-Yay’s will have a Mardi Gras celebration this Tuesday from 6 to 9 pm. There will be a shrimp boil on the patio and The Mighty Souls Brassless Duo will play. No cover charge.

How appropriate that rain is in the forecast… today is National Umbrella Day.

The Blues Foundation is the subject of Action News 5’s latest 5 Star Story.

Momma’s and E&H made a list of The best 18 dive bars in Tennessee . Worth a bookmark for when you visit other parts of the state. I still want to try those cheese curds at Momma’s.

The Brass Door will open at 8 Sunday morning for Arsenal vs. West Ham.

Westy’s has six-packs of Goldcrest 51 beer, originally brewed at the Tennessee Brewery in Memphis.

Memphis fact many of you might not know: Thomas Street north of Jackson Avenue connects to Danny Thomas Boulevard, but that stretch was NOT named for the actor/comedian. Check maps from 100 years ago; Thomas Street appears, running through North Memphis and ending on the outskirts of Downtown. Danny Thomas would have been a child at the time.

Also, take a walk or drive on that street north of Jackson sometime. You’ll notice the street signs read THOMAS not DANNY THOMAS.

The Grizzlies’ GG Jackson became I the youngest player in NBA history (19y53d) to score 25 or more points off the bench Thursday night. The previous record-holder? Kobe Bryant.

I spent my 5th night in a row at the Union Mission last night. Most popular phrase spoken among the guests there? “Y’all some __________-ass motherfuckers.” Fill in the blank with an adjective of your choice.

Back tomorrow with more news probably. The Super Bowl is tomorrow, a cause for celebration for me because it’s the last time for 6 months I’ll be bored by an NFL game.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Friday update

Wednesday morning I chatted with a Downtown businessman, someone I respect a lot, about my current situation. “I don’t think you’re far down the hole of homelessness,” he told me. “I think you have the potential to dig yourself out fairly quickly.” But,, he advised, I need to be aware of the following , any of which could cause people to label me and judge me without ever taking the time to get to know me.

– Appearance: Do I look homeless? Am I ignoring my grooming?

– Odor: He wasn’t saying I stank at the moment, but rather he was advising me to watch out as the weather starts to get warm. Obviously a major turn-off.

– Vibe, facial expressions, and body language: Do I look like I’ve given up on the world?

The next morning – Thursday morning, yesterday morning- – I left the Union Mission on Poplar where I’ve been staying at night and headed to the Downtown core. As I got to Main Street my phone buzzed in my pocket, indicating it had joined a known wireless network. I pulled out the phone to see what I had missed in the 17 or so hours since I’d gone into the shelter.

Someone had generously wired – or, should I say, “wirelessed” – $40 to my Apple Pay account. That’s cool because I have access to the money immediately. I don’t have to wait for a debit card to arrive in the mail as is the case with my new Venmo account.

I thought about what my businessman friend had said about appearance.

Then I thought, “Isn’t a haircut about $40?” I hadn’t had a haircut since February 16, 2022. My hair in the back was starting to knot up all over the place. And it was down to the middle of my back.

When Bardog opened at 8, I went over for breakfast. Then I walked down Main to Gould’s.

“Two questions,” I asked the receptionist. “Do you take Apple Pay? And can you handle a walk-in right now?”

Yes to both.

I was told the wait could be up to an hour, but 5 minutes later my name was called. 15 minutes after that we had a result::

Yeah I left it somewhat long. When you reach my age without a hint of male-pattern baldness, you get that option.

And yeah, I know I need to get rid of the stubble on my face, especially because it’s white. That’ll happen by this weekend.

One more thing about the Mission… Faith Baptist Church of Bartlett brought us some delicious BBQ for dinner yesterday.

After dinner their pastor Lee delivered an excellent sermon on the prodigal son. I have been to church more this week than I have the past 40 years of Sundays.

On to the news….

Pat Hallotan, who transformed the Orpheum into the Broadway venue it is today, has died.

Yesterday I noticed a Steak Escape food truck parked on Beale between Main and Second. I know a lot of food trucks that operate illegally park in that block, but Steak Escape has to be legit, right? I mean, nearly every mall food court has a Steak Escape.

David Roddy is no longer a Memphis Grizzly. He was traded yesterday for a 2026 first-round pick swap.

Also in Grizzlies news, GG Jackson has been moved up to a main roster spot.

Penny’s Tigers improved to 17-6 after nearby giving away last night’s game to Temple.

Southwest has added nonstop flights from Memphis International to Phoenix and Las Vegas

These posts will get better/longer next week once I have the new computer.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

Thursday update

For the time being I’m only gonna have Internet access between about 8 am and 1 pm daily. If you contact me outside those times, I’m not being rude if I don’t get right back to you.

The reason why is that friends have convinced me to stay at the Union Mission (nearly) every night and to get there before 2 so the cost is free rather than $6. I don’t mind staying out for a night for good reason, but for now that’s the plan I’m gonna go with.

I took my first shower at the Mission yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for ANY shower at all, but it became clear I need to bring my own supplies. I went by Walgreens this morning and bought a Dial 3-in-1 bottle of face, hair, and body wash.

We go to chapel nightly after dinner, and I thought I would hate that. That has not been the case, though. Yesterday we had a guest preacher and service leaders from a local Black church. Let me tell you, Black folks have way more fun worshipping than white folks.

Dinner was beef. and rice last night. It was the best thing I’ve had there so far. Spaghettios seem to be a side dish at every meal.

Back to the shower for a minute. They have an awesome clothes closet at the Mission. I got a fresh, clean T-shirt, boxers, and socks while keeping my hoodie and jeans. But if I’d had a job interview and wanted a blazer, polo, and slacks, I could have got those -fot FREE.

On to the news…

Blind Bear is selling to-go party wings for your Sunday watch parties. Oder by Friday, pick up Sunday 3:30-5:30. Sizes of 10, 50, or 100. Buffalo, Jack Daniel’s BBQ, or bang bang sauce. Also available: Tony’s greens or Hibernation Dip by the quart and BBQ chicken egg rolls.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at noon on Sunday for the 1 pm Tigers game.

Today is National Potato Lovers Day. Go get a BBQ pulled pork potato friom Smurfey’s on Madison near First Horizon.

The Grizzlies have traded Xavier Tillman Se. to the Boston Celtics for 2 second-round picks.

Anyone else getting an error when they attempt to block people on Facebook? Two people who’ve meddled in my life from out of town are as good as gone as soon as I figure this out.

Tied of typing on my iPhone keyboard. Gonna hit Publish and call it a post for now. Longer posts coming when I get the MacBook my friend is sending me. For now, gonna go see if Gould’s can take a walk-in so I can look less homeless. Back tomorrow probably.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

A bad night… but the next day brought hope

Sunday I found myself back on the streets with my backpack for the 4th straight night. I’d had maybe 45 minutes sleep total since checking out of the Kings Inn near 240 last Thursday.

On nights like Sunday I alternate between waking around Downtown and trying to sleep sitting up on park benches. My sleep attempts are often futile. I just can’t do it if the temperature is below 45 or if it’s a windy night.

As for walking… there’s a problem with that. I’ve been doing so much of it that my body thinks I should be doing it even when I successfully fall asleep on a park bench.

Sunday night/Monday morning around 2:00, sleepwalker me decided it was time for a stroll. And sleepwalker me apparently decided not to bring my backpack on the stroll.

When I woke up and went back to my starting point, the backpack was gone. :(

My MacBook Air there. I was heartbroken. I searched all over but no sign of the backpack.

Other things I needed were in there too, like razors and an official copy of my birth certificate.

But my night wasn’t over.

About 5 in the morning I was standing on the trolley tracks in Court Square. I had my hood up so I could only see straight in front of me.

I sensed someone was standing next to me. I turned my head.

Black male, scraggly gray beard, camouflage jacket, about my height, weight, and age. I’ve generally had positive experiences with other homeless on the streets of Downtown, so I said, “Hey What’s up.”

“Bitch, I’m about to kick your ass,” he responded. Well., I guess this wasn’t going to be one of those positive interactions.

He backed up a step and kicked me right in the shin.

“RUN, motherfucker!” he said. He kicked me in the shin again.

I turned my back to get away from him. He kicked me in the butt. I went down but got right back up.

“RUN, motherfucker!”

Then he kicked me in the groin.

At this point a MATA supervisor in a white pickup truck pulled up and ordered him to get away from me or she’d call the police.

So I lost my most valuable possession and got assaulted, all in one night.

About noon I walked to the MPD North Precinct. They told me they couldn’t take a missing property report for my MacBook. At least there was one bright spot… i stopped at Westy’s on the way back and my server Miss Barbara remembered me from Mike’s (1980s-2005 restaurant that was the predecessor to Bardog).

Meanwhile my friend Allison (Butt. Slut #1) sent me a link about all the things a night at the Union Mission offers: a warm bed for the night, an escape from the streets, a shower, a fresh change of clothes. In the afternoons they have something called the Opportunity Center. On Mondays they have medical staff there.

About 5 I walked up to the mission. After some intake paperwork and some background checks to make sure i wasn’t a rapist or several other horrible things, they admitted me and gave me a ticket for a bed in a large men’s dorm. They told me to go straight to the dining hall where dinner was being served.

My dinner: chicken stew, SpaghettiOs. greens, lemon meringue pie

After dinner we had a chapel service. Then there was a signup for a shower and fresh change of clothes. I was dead tired and didn’t understand the signup process, so I didn’t get a shower, but that’s okay.

They had big screen TVs with NBA basketball on, but the only thing I cared about was finding my bed and getting in it. I wondered if I’d have difficulty falling asleep with all those other men around, but it turned out not to be a problem. I slept like a rock.

They woke us at 6 in the morning for breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast person so I just had a donut. They had breakfast burritos as well

I was very impressed with the Mission. No man has to go hungry, sleepy, unclothed thanks to them.

Since it was my first time, they gave me the night for free. Normally it is free if you check in before 2 pm and $6 if you check in 2-7 pm

I’m going back today before 2.

Excited to discover this valuable resource

I miss my MacBook though.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
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Sunday update

The Tigers won a game!!! After trailing Wichita State for most of Saturday’s contest, Memphis took command and held on for the 65-63 win.

Let’s have a look at Memphis basketball this week:

  • Sunday, February 4: Memphis Grizzlies away at Boston Celtics, 5:00 PM. TV: Bally Sports
  • Tuesday, February 6: Memphis Grizzlies away at NY Knicks, 6:30 PM. TV: Bally Sports
  • Thursday, February 8: Memphis Tigers away at Temple, 6:00 PM. Lunar New Year celebration. TV: ESPN2
  • Thursday, February 8: Memphis Tigers at home vs. Chicago Bulls, 7:00 PM. TV: Bally Sports.
  • Saturday, February 10: Memphis Tigers away at Charlotte Hornets, 6:00 PM. TV: Bally Sports
  • Sunday, February 11: Memphis Tigers at home vs. Tulane, 1:00 PM. TV: ESPN2 or ESPNU

A pro-Palestine rally shut down the I-40 bridge for several hours yesterday evening.

The DM has photos of the Lunar New Year bar crawl last night in South Main. The folks at Good Fortune Co. organized the crawl. The crawl actually lasts all month and participants can get a T-shirt for finishing.

Today is National Homemade Soup Day. I wonder if soup lover Butt Slut #1 has plans to celebrate.

It’s also Dump Your Significant Jerk Day. That way you won’t be shackled to them for Valentine’s.

I walked back to the Downtown core from Momma’s, “the diner & dive off 55,” at 3 this morning in the pouring rain. Next time I go, I wanna try their cheese curds. I’m really warming up to Momma’s as a weekend spot. It’s far enough removed that it doesn’t get the riff-raff some bars in the Downtown core get.

That rain was COLD though. I need an electric blanket. Still shivering hours later, probably because my clothes are still wet. Back tomorrow with more news.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
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