Saturday, December 23

Now go eat some fruitcake! Happy Xmas.

Sunday, December 10

So, maybe I'm semi-retired. Let's dispense with the usual "why I've been missing lately" crap and get to the good stuff.

Lately I've noticed something strange happening to my self-preservation instinict. Although I've never wanted to die in an unpleasant way, of course, I've never really feared death itself. It's funny to me that most religious people (who presumably believe in an afterlife) are so afraid to die. I just think of it as ceasing to be, not the Great Beyond or some unknown state of being. To my way of thinking, it is the opposite of being. I also think reincarnation is probably a part of it, but I don't think any single consciousness is preserved intact.

Anyway, my point in all this is pretty simple: For the first time in my memory, I'm sad at the thought of dying. Not really afraid of it, but sorrowful in thinking I might die before getting to do all the stuff I want, seeing places in the world I haven't yet, or generally missing out on the living stuff. I can't tell where this comes from. I also feel happier than I have--maybe ever. I'm generally a very content person, not patient with people around me who may be unhappy or dissatisfied with a world of their own making. (I usually think this is a result of choices or personality, both of which are under individual control, so it's hard to feel sorry for unhappy people. Feel free to disagree, but you likely won't persuade me.)

Interesting to ponder the sorrowful side of happiness. Unhappiness doesn't really have a flip side, though.

Tuesday, October 31

Saturday, October 28

I think I'm ready...

I found some ankle boots. It makes me ashamed that I have so many shoes I don't even have a mental inventory. What am I forgetting? So far I have:

  • pirate-type garb, including stripey skirt and combo vest & poufy-sleeve top (how did pirates work in frilly white blouses?)
  • requisite pirate accessories, including red belt, scarf thingy and pirate hat (had to iron that one--it felt weird ironing a hat)--plus hoop earrings and eyepatch.
  • undergarments, including body-shaping slip for warmth, tattoo leggings, etc.
  • of course makeup, unnaturally long eyelashes, and red lipstick. I am waiting until the very last to put on the fake nails. I guess the time is now, and I'm only going to be 45 mins. late, which isn't really even late when you're talking about a Sat. night party.

Ack! Shooooooes!!!!

I have no appropriate shoes to wear! Why does this always happen? I have dozens of pairs in my closets, under my bed, even inside the windowseat--why are none of them piratey?

I may have to rethink the tattoos. The makeup is done & fake eyelashes are on, because how many times a year do you get to wear them? Probably only once or twice. (Hopefully you don't wear them every weekend, cause that would be crazy and sort of slutty-looking.) Other than finding shoes, I am ready to dress. I will do a test run with tall black boots & see how it goes.

Done!

Hair dryed & styled all in one step. I love killing 2 birds with one stone (figuratively, of course; I'm actually opposed to killing pretty much anything but roaches).

I am debating what order everything should go in now. It seems obvious the fake nails should be last, and the tattoo leggings next to last, but other than that it all seems arbitrary. I dislike disordered things (which you'd never know looking at my house...). Okay, makeup next, then look for proper pirate shoes. Can't do boots as they'd obscure the fake tattoos. Being a pirate is harder than I thought.

Update: Out of the Shower

Okay, that was fast. I hope I am really clean and not just rinsed off. We did the Race for the Cure this morning and so I haven't actually showered yet today. I know, eewww, right? But it made the long-anticipated showering experience wonderful when I finally got one, though.

I am afraid I'll be cold in my cheap costume, so I'm actually wearing a slip under it for an extra layer--it's one of those VS ones that sucks everything in & smooths out the lumpy spots, so it's an added plus. I am trying to decide if I want to brave the liquor store in pirate garb (to buy Capt. Morgan's, of course--arrrr!) or just bring the cider I picked up yesterday. Decisions, decisions.

Going to dry the hair now. I'm so glad I had 8" cut off a couple of months ago, so this won't take long. Time me!

Live Blogging: Halloween Preparations

I'm running a little behind, which is not unusual for me, as you'd know if you have ever been anywhwere with me. I hate being late, but I am easily distracted.

Today I was distracted by a 2-hour nap, which I just had to squeeze in before La Nuit Effrayante des Vampires, the single Halloween party I was actually invited to this year. I know there are lots of bands playing and open-invite parties around town, but I feel like I need a herd of people to go someplace public in costume. It's one of those weird things I have. I remember walking down Beale dressed as a mod angel a few years back, and that was a strange experience. I was wearing go-go boots, which probably explains the strangeness.

Okay, party's at 8:00, but I'm just now hopping into the shower. I shall return

Thursday, October 26

I'm Serrabee, and I Endorse This Message

Good one from EJ. Might I note, however, that being a hipster is not a prerequisite for visiting these places or enjoying them.

Tuesday, October 24

Speaking of asses...

I feel like a total slack-a$$, because I was going to go to my first Mpact Memphis event in a long time tonight, but instead I am staying home, ordering a pizza, and watching movies. So be it.

Speaking of a$$es, I got a very annoying obscene/prank phone call over the weekend which I'm going to bet I know exactly who is responsible for. (News flash: it's okay to end sentences in prepositions now, y'all--you heard it from a professional writer.) There are very few male people who know both my blog name and my phone number, and this person used both. He also called from an 865 area code, where he is known to be somewhat regularly. Plus, he still sounded like himself, although he tried to disguise his voice by trying to make it sound somewhat manly.

Heads up to Paul Ryburn: He said you gave him my phone number. Just thought you'd want to know your name is being taken in vain. Anyway, it was more annoying to be phoned after 2am while I had houseguests for the weekend than anything else. It has helped pushed me toward abandoning the idea of blogging with any identity at all. Not that I'm posting every day anymore, but I think just having my name out here makes people think it would be funny to prank call me, so they can read all about their pathetic lives here. So it's yet another thing making me think I should just take up a blog elsewhere, not say I live in Memphis, or give any other identifying information. It would be freeing in the short run, as long as I didn't break the rules again.

Sunday, October 15

Ichabod says Hello

So I've been coming back to KnoxVegas a lot lately, perhaps more this year than I ever have before in a twelvemonth, and it's starting to grow on me. Either it gets cooler every time I come, or I just discover something cool on each trip. The discovery of the weekend is Legacy, a vintage clothing store in the Old City, which was as nice as anything I've seen there before of its kind. I walked from the Market Square Mall where there was swing dancing galore (after all the music stopped, of course--I'm no quitter!). If it's here when I come back & I'm not hoofing it again, I might actually try something on. Places like that come & go pretty regularly, especially in a college town, but it seemed very unpretentious. I think the city itself has some pretentions, but all the swingers I met who live there (not that kind of swinger) were pretty darn cool. It should have been a lot cooler back in the day when I had no choice but to live there. There was always stuff like camping and hiking, but it was pretty theoretical. I just never hung out with people who did that stuff; now I might actually be able to find friends who would be interested in it. Add to that the fact that I have family there, and it starts to sound like a fun place to live. If only there were job growth to match the (sub)urban sprawl... .

But I return to Memphis tomorrow, and actually have at least the next 3 weekends "off" (i.e., at home). I need to get crackin' on my Halloween costume and decide between flapper and pregnant girl. Any advice? I thought the flapper would be fun, but the pregnancy would be funny in a kinda scary way, whereas 1920's dancers aren't all that scary to most folks. Only their parents, and people in kicking distance of their crazylegs, I guess. At this point I'm only invited to 1 party--which is pretty sad for mid-October--so maybe it's not worth it to get dressed up at all. I'll have to see how inspired I get as the time nears. Here are all the Halloween costumes I remember from my childhood:

  • Witch (of course; for several years)
  • Pilgrim (already had the costume from when mom made it for my older sister)
  • Princess (I think I was 7 that year)
  • Gypsy (not a very good one. I don't think anyone knew what I was supposed to be--I remember gold earrings and a scarf)
  • Rocker (didn't everyone do that?)

Get the trend? I'm never very scary or creative with my costumery. Maybe this year I should really get into it. I could go all out and be a zombie vampire or something really creepy.

Naaaah.

Sunday, October 8

life, my universe, and everything else

Once again, it's been a crazy weekend---but this time, in a much more restful way. I feel like I went into a sort of time warp volunteering for the Memphis Arts Council's fundraiser at the Zoo last night. I was a spotter in a live auction, which was actually a neat experience. I've been to auctions before, but more the cattle variety (chalk it up to East TN roots). I think my feet are still swollen from standing for hours in heels, directing octagenarians to their $1,000-a-plate seats, then watching a select few like a hawk to see if they happened to wave their cards around. I had to be ready to spring into action in case they did, which was no problem for someone who worked retail for 8 or so years, like I did.

That was the familiar part of the evening---seeing a set of 8 not-so-special-looking etched glasses (with wildlife on them, no less) sell for something like $9k... now, that was an experience. Get a few drinks in some people, and there' s just not a lot they won't do to impress their friends. No matter how old and wealthy they are.

Honestly, though I don't feel like I do when I work on an event from start to finish---or like I do when I do some volunteer work which directly benefits someone. Yeah, it's great they raised over $100,000 from the auction, and that money will go to area arts programs, blah, blah. But somehow it doesn't feel like you're contributing the same way when you dress up in a ladies' tux and kowtow to rich people for a night. I'm all askew---I need to get out and teach some kids to read or collect cans for MIFA to balance myself out.

Speaking of volunteering, I'm about to start working on creating a nonprofit. Anyone out there ever done it? have some advice for moi? please drop me a line at the ol' serrabee at gmail address. I did manage to speak with a friend's friend's friend (after the Secret Service played and many beers were drunk) about it Friday night, but she had a fancy lawyer friend who donated time to the cause. Unfortunately, I didn't meet any of those Sat. at the rich people auction. Maybe next time, eh?

Wednesday, October 4

ya just missed it

I just poured my heart out and it got lost when I went to post, so sorry 'bout that, folks. Waaaahhh!!!!

Monday, September 25

Stay Tuned: Falling off things + technical difficulties

In case anyone stops by while I am getting my sh!t reorganized, or in the event that someone thinks I've died and sends a search party to find me before my dog devours my corpse... uh, I'm still here. Haven't fallen off any cliffs yet. I did go out of town, and have a lovely party, and have done tons of fun (and not-so-fun) stuff that I'll probably never get around to sharing. Like you care anyway. You've heard it all before.

I have been having some trouble getting my posts confirmed, and added to the fact that I've written several things that immediately make me want to vomit, I've been pretty quiet the last few weeks. Once again, I have plenty to say when I'm in the shower, or the car, or at work---everywhere, in fact, that I can't post from. But my thoughts wither when I'm in front of the computer. I've also considered posting about that, but (ironically) there seems to be little to say about having nothing to say.

Maybe it's an existential crisis. Coincidentally, I've been around more religious people in the past few weeks than I ever am. It's always coming up at work, too, which makes me uncomfortable. Sure, Jesus is everyone's friend and all, but you don't take him to work. Rather, take him wherever you like, but don't make it my business, please.

A re-post from the Art Butcher: september 28, 2006 this thursday at otherlands at seven pm there is a poetry reading to benefit burke's bookstore there is a $5-10 suggested donation at the door otherlands coffee and beer available the participating poets include tammy parker darrell hugueley heather dobbins corey mesler and myself [dwayne butcher] Just passing along the word---do not consider this an endorsement, since I approve of Burke's in theory, but find them superior and unhelpful in practice. Imagine: Dwayne reading his poetry. You've got to want to see that, right?

Monday, September 18

Let's break a few rules

Hello, and welcome to my little world.

I had a fabulous, fun-in-the-sun weekend, and wore myself out so thoroughly that I didn't do sh!t all day yesterday. It was a great feeling to do nothing for a change, after I've been scheduling every moment of my days and evenings lately. Thanks to one of the prevalent Davids for helping me find my way home Sat. nite, and thanks to everyone who made it out to my little soiree. Or who tried to make it out and ended up getting lost on the way.

So as soon as I just put up a post on trying to follow some guidelines for blogging, in hopes of being a better blogger---or at least care to read my own writing again---here I am breaking rules. I'm not talking about my friends, or sex, or politics... I can talk about religion, though. The reason for that is that there's some new people in my life who actually have religion in their lives. For a change. It seems there are actually a ton of people out there, even in my age range, who go to church and love Jesus and stuff. Not that you guys don't love Jesus, cause who doesn't, right? But I don't know too many people in my age bracket who go to church every Sunday, much less on Wednesdays, too. It makes me feel weird talking about who I really am. As if I know who that is, either.

It's so strange that I feel so different, or like I seem like such a different person, and some people don't even notice. Not just my hair, or new glasses, but I just feel like my motivations and goals have really changed since I've started working full-time again. People at work still think I'm all out for a good time (which of course I still am, most of the time), and my friends think I'm a stick in the mud (ditto last parenthetical statement), but I'm really enjoying my life so much more now that I feel different. Last year was a crappy one all around, and so I'm a little less cautiously optimistic than usual about how cool this year has been. I think because I feel the world owed it to me. I know adversity builds character, but smooth seas are nice for a change. I appreciate my life so right now that not only am I carpeing the diem, I am looking forward to the next day at the same time. No regrets, y'all.

Tuesday, September 12

Serrabee's worst investments

Off the top of my head, and in no special order, they were:

  • Car/home/medical insurance. The thousands I've spent would have been better spent at the casinos, and I can't even play a decent game of roulette. It's like some weird superstition: I actually believe that as soon as I drop or reduce my insurance coverage, something bad will happen. Not so if I just buy cheaper coverage, somehow.
  • My tickets to the Beale St. Music Fest this year. Three of us thought it would be fun to hang out down there all weekend, no matter how crappy the bands were. Not that I'm saying Bryan Adams was crappy; we're apparently too old to get our @sses down there for all 3 days unless there's a great performance expected. Won't be making that mistake again.
  • The new windshield I had replaced just weeks before I crashed my car, doing 75+ down I-55, back in the day before my car insurance was quite so high. I think I still have some of the glass in my body from that wreck.
  • The Journey boxed set. I've listened to it on one liberating road trip, during which I sang my heart out. I don't think I've had it in the cd player since. And it didn't even come in a real box.
  • Copious amounts of clothing I wore once & discovered it didn't fit/made me look like a box/gaped at the buttons (you know where) or just had to buy for that black-tie event. Anyone need a black cocktail dress, size 4, 6, or 8---only worn once? I've got a dozen or so I'm sure I'll never wear again.

Sister's got a brand new bag

Some of you know of my penchant for volunteering. I've never thought that makes me better than the madding crowd, except as far as it could improve me as a person. I was raised to believe in giving to charity, and that money is sometimes less valuable than time. I've volunteered at a slew of places:

  1. the Library---my 1st volunteer job. I spent 10 hours a week at the library in high school when I realized colleges would look at crap like that on my application. I suppose I just could have lied & they'd never have checked up on it, but I kind of liked shelving books. (This may be why people still think I look like a librarian when I wear my glasses.)

  2. Dismas House---a halfway house where some college girlfriends & I would cook once a week, until one of the residents absconded with the cookware we'd been using. That was depressing as hell.

  3. The Crisis Center---a volunteer-staffed, local, 24-hour hotline for people in dire straights. I'm just not sure that the people calling were the ones who really needed or wanted help, or if they were happy to be crazy. I hated working overnights, especially when I didn't know my partner for the shift.

  4. Various one-time events for charity---races, registration tables, holiday fundraisers, you name it. No bachelorette auctions or 3-legged races, please.

  5. Dress for Success---a great concept: helping women get clothes & skills for interviewing. In my current company, we have new hires come in to work in the medical field and if they're not in scrubs, they don't seem to know how to dress themselves. "Businesss casual" isn't as self-explanitory as I always thought it was.

  6. House of Mews---more fun bleaching cat bowls and litter pans than I'd ever thought to have in a morning. It's very hard to get on their schedule, so if you want to go, you'll probably have to go to Tom's Town instead.

  7. Mpact Memphis---the best way to mingle with people outside your homogeneous group who are still like-minded in many ways. I used to be really involved with them, for several years, but a while ago it changed. It wasn't people looking to explore the city & make it better; it was people all out for themselves. Like Paul said:
I don't know... it's nothing against the group, nothing at all. But I just stood there among all the "young professionals, 21-40" in their plaid button-down shirts and their neatly-pressed khakis and their nice shoes doing their "networking," and quite honestly, I was bored. "Young professionals" can be so stuffy when they get together in a group. They usually wear "business casual" attire to events like these. Some wear suits. Because I have the personality to pull it off, I can get away with jeans. But it bothered me that I put on long pants of any fashion on when it was 100 outside, in an attempt to fit in and impress people that I really didn't care about impressing.

He's right; it got very uppity. I dunno, maybe it's better now than it was. I went to an event they had last month, and it was great---a great speaker (Ekandayo of Hatiloo), good subject (black rep theatre), wonderful concept (we watched 10 mins. of rehearsal). Plus I got to see several of the folks from back in the day & had an interesting conversation about Memphis race relations with a transplant from Brooklyn.

Now I have a new volunteering gig with my swing dance group. They are letting me help out as I learn the ropes of a few of the more basic dances from the 20's, 30's and 40's. It's a steep learning curve, as I never had any dancing lessons in my childhood, and know little to nothing about partner dancing. I will persevere: In fact, I'm going to my first bootcamp this afternoon, one dealing with swing moves & alternative music (that is, non-traditional, non-swing stuff).

Saturday, September 9

Cotton, paper, or china?

I missed my own anniversary.

A couple of them, acutally. I started blogging two years ago this month. Six years ago this month I quit smoking. And I missed it---didn't give myself a card, or the traditional gifts, or anything. Fortunately, however, I'm not holding it against myself---I understand how busy I've been lately, and don't take it as a personal slight.

I'm thinking of going on a blogging diet. What exactly to I mean by that? Good question. I want to stick to Tony Pierce's How to Blog guidelines as much as I can:

1. write every day.

2. if you think youre a good writer, write twice a day.

3. dont be afraid to do anything. infact if youre afraid of something, do it. then do it again. and again.

4. cuss like a sailor.

5. dont tell your mom, your work, your friends, the people you want to date, or the people you want to work for about your blog. if they find out and you'd rather they didnt read it, ask them nicely to grant you your privacy.

6. have comments. dont be upset if no one writes in your comments for a long time. eventually they'll write in there. if people start acting mean in your comments, ask them to stop, they probably will.

7. have an email address clearly displayed on your blog. sometimes people want to tell you that you rock in private.

8. dont worry very much about the design of your blog. image is a fakeout.

9. use Blogger. it's easy, it's free; and because they are owned by Google, your blog will get spidered better, you will show up in more search results, and more people will end up at your blog. besides, all the other blogging software & alternatives pretty much suck.

10. use spellcheck unless youre completely totally keeping it real. but even then you might want to use it if you think you wrote something really good.

11. say exactly what you want to say no matter what it looks like on the screen. then say something else. then keep going. and when youre done, re-read it, and edit it and hit publish and forget about it.

12. link like crazy. link anyone who links you, link your favorites, link your friends. dont be a prude. linking is what seperates bloggers from apes. and especially link if you're trying to prove a point and someone else said it first. it lends credibility even if youre full of shit.

13. if you havent written about sex, religion, and politics in a week youre probably playing it too safe, which means you probably fucked up on #5, in which case start a second blog and keep your big mouth shut about it this time.

14. remember: nobody cares which N*Sync member you are, what State you are, which Party of Five kid you are, or which Weezer song you are. the second you put one of those things on your blog you need to delete your blog and try out for the marching band. similarilly, nobody gives a shit what the weather is like in your town, nobody wants you to change their cursor into a butterfly, nobody wants to vote on whether your blog is hot or not, and nobody gives a rat ass what song youre listening to. write something Real for you, about you, every day.

15. dont be afraid if you think something has been said before. it has. and better. big whoop. say it anyway using your own words as honestly as you can. just let it out.

... blah blah blah...

18. before you hit Save as Draft or Publish Post, select all and copy your masterpiece. you are using a computer and the internet, shit can happen. no need to lose a good post.

19. push the envelope in what youre writing about and how youre saying it. be more and more honest. get to the root of things. start at the root of things and get deeper. dig. think out loud. keep typing. keep going. eventually you'll find a little treasure chest. every time you blog this can happen if you let it.

20. change your style. mimic people. write beautiful lies. dream in public. kiss and tell. finger and tell. cry scream fight sing fuck and dont be afraid to be funny. the easiest thing to do is whine when you write. dont be lazy. audblog at least once a week.

21. write open letters. make lists. call people out on their bullshit. lead by example. invent and reinvent yourself. start by writing about what happened to you today. for example today i told a hot girl how wonderfully hot she is.

2. when in doubt review something. theres not enough reviews on blogs. review a movie you just saw, a tv show, a cd, a kiss you just got, a restaurant, a hike you just took, anything.

23. constantly write about the town that you live in.

24. out yourself. tell your secrets. you can always delete them later.

25. dont use your real name. dont write about your work unless you dont care about getting fired.

26. dont be afraid to come across as an asswipe. own your asswipeness.

27. nobody likes poems. dont put your poems on your blog. not even if theyre incredible. especially if theyre incredible. odds are theyre not incredible. bad poems are funny sometimes though, so fine, put your dumb poems on there. whatever.

28. tell us about your friends.

29. dont apologize about not blogging. nobody cares. just start blogging again.

30. read tons of blogs and leave nice comments.

I'm sure everyone's read these, but it's like your favorite book: every time you go back & re-read it, you get something new out of it---or at least have a renewed appreciation for it. I want to try to adhere as closely to these tenets of blogging as closely as I can. Obviously I'm already screwed on #5, and therefore #28, so maybe I should go to #13 and start it all over again. How long would it take people to figure out I'm me, if I were to do that? Y'all know I'd talk about Memphis, and the same places I hang out, and with the lovely Memphis blog opml feed. Maybe I'm doing it now & that's why my posting here has been so light. You will just never know.

Links: My first post to Rock'n'roll Minor Planets. Meets none of the above guidelines, except perhaps #s 5-9.

Thursday, September 7

Just so ya know: I'm no better than I should be

I'm no better than I should be. Tonight I skipped my 1st dance lesson. I went to the opening of Rhodes' new theater and they ran out of wine---something went haywire with their rsvp count and they had twice as many people as expected, and it was many old peoples. And you know how they like their wine, so of course the white wine was gone by the time I showed up (after 7pm, post-disco-naptime).

Anyway, this was all to explain that I missed dancing because of a single (really strong) vodka tonic. I did see the Pesky Fly for a sec but only as long as it takes a fly to light & take off again. Then I heard a lot of gossip & found out that some of the theatre dorks from back in the day still hang out at the P&H on Thursday nights. If you are interested, perhaps I'll see you there next week after Drinking Liberally (I'm determined to make it sometime this month!).

It takes a lot to blog, it takes a train to cry

Apologies to Robert Zimmerman, but I have had that running thru my head all day. I keep having strange dreams at night---or really in the morning, in the hours before I wake---that seem to signify nothing. This morning I was on some tour bus with a bunch of elderly people. Nothing happened, just conversation. Perhaps I'm getting old and my dreams are telling me so.

I've acutally never had a recurring dream in my life, at least that I can remember. I dated a guy who had one dream where he was running from something, he never knew what, but it was always the same. Just running---and he'd wake up all sweaty, heart pounding. He thought that was about getting older & not having achieved everything he wanted. He wanted to be mayor, or king, or something important. But most of my dreams consist of me doing mundane tasks and feeling very busy, then waking up exhaused, with the feeling I had nothing to show for all my efforts. I suppose effort still takes energy, even if you are just carrying it out in your head, right? You're still thinking, planning, worrying away in your head.

Maybe tonight I will dream about something and do it in my sleep. That would be a good use of my time.

Monday, September 4

Theoretically, Labor Day is the end of the summer---your last chance to wear white shoes, go swimming, or cook out. As anyone who has lived in the South will tell you, this has never really been the case. I remember when I flew to England for 2 weeks in Sept. years ago, and disembarked wearing dark pants, a button down, and a jacket. I removed the jacket but still just about sweltered to death waiting on my friends to pick me up outside. (Of course I had to wait outside, as I still smoked in those days.)

But this year is different from any in my adult memory. (I've been living in Memphis most of my adult life, and high school is so long ago as to be a little hazy.) This past week has been fallish, pleasant and seasonable. I've even walked to lunch a couple of days and we sat outside most of the evening yesterday. The traditional Labor Day cookout in Memphis is hotter than anything we see for Memorial Day, but I am loving the temperate weather this weekend. Thanks, Mother Nature---I know you get blamed for a lot, like hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, and mudslides, so I wanted to express my appreciation for a change. Hope you are all having a happy holiday weekend, too.

technorati tag:

Saturday, September 2

I finally watched Mrs Henderson Presents last night, incidentally, and it was a sweet movie. I always watch films based on historical events with an unwillingness to completely suspend my disbelief. Either make it up or do it according to fact, I always think. But I like films about non-traditional women, and I love the fact that there are still some fun roles for women past middle age. I get really tired of just seeing 20-year-old starlets (a la LiLo and the Olsens). Not that there's anything wrong with them; it's just that enough is enough already!

There's been a lot of talk about Katrina: 1 Year After on the airwaves lately, and I'm never one to miss a good bandwagon, as many of you know. But it all seems so overwhelming that all I can do is be sad about it. I was a big proponent of the Love It & Leave It tactic, because I just didn't (and still don't) see how NOLA can ever be a viable city. There's not been industry there since the oil companies hightailed it for Texas decades ago; and no, I don't count tourism as a viable industry. It provides below-living-wage jobs and gives people help working permanent life issues like addiction (e.g. alcohol, drug & gambling). It just can't work long-term. Anyway, now I am not all passionate about what they need to do---I am just sad for all those people whose lives were screwed because no one ever took the trouble to fix the levee system or slow growth there. I am also sad that I think a lot of those hurricane refugees have made it up to Memphis, where they still have no opportunity for helping themselves climb out of the dung heap their lives have become. Now they are jumping up our crime rate, since people without jobs would almost all rather risk getting caught robbing someone than the certainty of starvation.

Now I'm depressing myself. I keep having all these great ideas for blogs while I'm showering, and many of you know how that works: By the time you get yourself dry, your ideas have dried up as well. I think it's partly a function of having too much crap swimming around in my brains. I tend to forget things when I'm this busy, unless I write them down. Let me just say how much I love the Google calendar here. I haven't missed an event for anything other than sheer exhaustion since I started keeping it a few months ago. Now that I think about it, maybe my new calendar addiction is the reason I'm so tired; when I was missing stuff, I got more rest.

Speaking of events, I gotta go buy my cousin a birthday present to bring to his party tomorrow. That is, besides our granny---while it's a nice gesture, I want to do something more lasting to mark the passing of his 30th birthday. Any ideas?

Monday, August 28

Incredulity

I can't believe it's going to be September before the end of this week.

I can't believe I just brought home a bottle of champagne from my boyfriend's wedding this past weekend. Anyone want to toast to singlehood?

I also can't believe that my boss asked me to make her a mix cd. That seems really supernatural. Is she going to want to go see the She Wants Revenge/I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness show with me next week? [I am so going, who cares if I'm 31 and I have to work the next day?]

Sunday, August 27

What a world, what a life, I'm in love

Today is another one of my sickeningly happy days. Please bear with me while I overdose on contentment.

I went to dinner at Meditrina last night, opened in May by an incestuous combo of Midtown restaurant owners, along with chef Demitri Phillips from Tsunami. Food was good, not inexpensive but not overpriced, and had a nice Greek wine with my lamb meatballs and swordfish (no, I didn't eat 2 entrees; they have 'small plates' available as well, though I still didn't finish it all---a salad & small plate might be a good option if you're going). It was lovely, but the thing that stays with me is the sweetest little white cotton dress I saw in the window of Raiding the Closet across Union. Of course they were closed at 7:30 on a Sat. night, but I plan to go back after work Mon. to try it on. If it's not outrageously priced & looks as cute on me as on the mannequin, I might get to wear it a couple of times before summer ends. So that is my new love---I thought about that dress halfway through dinner.

Things like that make me wonder if I'm obsessive-compulsive. I went to my first Red Hot Lindy Hop dance at the Gallery Ballroom Fri. night, and woke up thinking about how wonderful it was. I'm now obsessed with swing music, dancing, movies, whatever. Obsessed, I tell you. I may have an addictive personality. Either that, or it's the endorphines. At any rate, the RHLH group is teaching a swing workout on Tues. & Thurs. at InBalance on Cooper starting in Sept., which I plan to attend as often as I can (but not 2x a week).

Enough about me for the moment. I've gotta motor if I'm gonna make it to the pedicure party.

Wednesday, August 23

The Anti-Party Story Blog Post

This is a story about my own personal bloody, lawn-mowing, exhausting week in the center of Memphis, with a jaunt or two outside Midtown. It contains no mention of parties, having fun, or live music whatsover (as per the new rules). See how exciting my life is when I'm not partying all the time? Let's see how many people actually make it to the end of this post---leave a comment if you do so I can tally it up.

Somehow I managed to bloody myself up not once, or twice, but (count 'em!) 3 times in the past few days, in small but painful ways. I broke a vase, which I immediately cut myself on as I was picking up shards of glass (go figure). Then I cut my foot, or more probably weged a sliver of glass into my foot, as I managed to not actually pick up all the glass after all that trouble. (I had to wear flip-flops to work, and almost left them on for my 1st meeting with the VP.) Was 2 injuries enough for me in 1 week? Apparently not, as I cut my thumb on some strange tool in my Swiss Army kit, leading to the realization that the digit I can least do without for a day is the thumb of my right hand. But I'm getting ahead of myself chronologically:

Sunday was brunch day, and as I was hoping would eventually happen, someone else actually hosted (hostessed?) this time, freeing me up to, um, not spend all day Saturday cleaning my house. Which is a good thing, because I didn't make it home until 4:30 Sat. AM after Michele's birthday party. But I digress; y'all don't want to hear about debauchery et cetera... oh, yeah, so we had a brunch discussion about Hurricane Katrina: 1 year later, whose fault is it? Or more specifically: Who cares whose fault it is that nothing's getting done? Let's stop assigning blame and assign responsibilities for fixing New Orleans! Somehow it also worked into my friend's new church's sermon on the inscription on Ghandi's tomb.

Monday was lawn-mowing day, and thankfully I hadn't sliced my thumb open with the oh-so-sharp SwissCard by then. Unfortunately, I'd neglected my lawn so long that it took every last ounce of strength to throw myself into the shower after only mowing the back yard. Sorry, neighbors! I'm sure I'm about to get a citation from the city or something. I'll just tell them my bermuda has to go to seed or I'll counter-sue when I have to re-sod my lawn after it dies. I wonder if that's why my grass goes brown every Sept.? Anyway, no heat stroke and no dead animal carcasses unearthed, so it was a good mowing experience.

Tuesday was chore day, so I checked out a new venue for dance lessons (InBalance Fitness, who are now having $5-a-visit classes---very cool, and very much needed, though the schedule looks light). Then I made a quick trip to Ike's, bought some retro personal care products, and walked the best dog in the world. Had just enough time to make it to the lovely Lamplighter for 2 cold beers before tucking myself into bed around 10:30. Bad news of the day? I ate the leftover Milk Duds from the movie trip Sunday. Moral of the Story: Don't go to the Lamp on an empty stomach!

Wednesday, today, Hump Day: Good day at work, made lunch plans with an old professor, had a very productive meeting (in which I was asked to sit in on a meeting, outside my dept., to discuss a new position, so that I may write that job description---good sign of job insurance), and then went to my (no more than) weekly workout. After all that I still had time for a shower and a trip to Costco to purchase $80 in supplies for a spa party I agreed to co-host this weekend. Remind me never, ever to say yes that quickly again---to anything!

Monday, August 21

Little Miss Sunshine

It's always strange for me to go to the movies with no idea what's playing. Usually it's either a matter of a much-anticipated indie/foreign film opening, or a friend who drags me to a movie that I don't end up enjoying all that much. (There area always exceptions, however, like X-Men and DWP, respectively.) Although it wasn't quite what I expected (and in retrospect I'm not sure what I expected), I thoroughly enjoyed the Sundance-winning film. Not really a film that makes you think too much or anything, which is fine for summer, I s'pose. But I love dark comedies, Toni Collette, and movies about misfit kids (like Welcome to the Dollhouse, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Ma Vie en Rose, off the top of my noggin) so there was very little not to like about this little flick. Still, I have to wonder if this is the best movie of the summer, or if I've just lost all desire to go see American-made films anymore. I'm still considering Scoop, though Woody Allen has let me down lately. (Okay, so that last one's 10 years old; it still lives fresh in my memory.) At least Studio on the Square didn't stink like it did last time I was there. Icky. It's like theatres have a shorter life span than shopping malls even do.

In other news, I'm contemplating a new hairstyle, so if anyone has seen any fabulous new 'dos that aren't totally ridiculous to maintain, help me out with some photos, won'tcha?

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PA 6-5000

So lately I have picked up a new hobby, or at least, I'm trying to. A friend of mine has been telling me forever how much fun swing dancing is, and I've always loved the music of that time. Plus, as I've already said, I wish our generation had some cool dances of our own.

I have many helpful hints for you 1st-time swing dancers out there, that is, if any of you have considered taking it up but never had the gumption (not sure of the root word there; is gumption a gerund?). Here’s a short list, based solely on my personal experience at 3(count ‘em!) lessons:

  1. Clothing: Wear slick-soled, non-marking shoes and make sure your clothing is breatheable. Everyone should wear something with sleeves, since ladies put their hand on the guy's shoulder & don’t want to touch sweaty skin---and the lead’s arm sort of goes under the lady's armpit, especially if you’re short like me. So no tank tops for anyone, please!
  2. Men, who must lead, this sucks for you. It’s way harder and you have to pay a lot of attention to the women (which may be new for you) to make sure we’re getting the right signals (which is also probably foreign to you) and know where you want us to go next.
  3. Frame: This is your stance for dancing, the position you put your body in---basically back & arms, including hands and elbows. If your partner is a foot taller or shorter, please accommodate her/him. And if you keep your hands in the right place, everything else is that much easier.
  4. Guys, this is a great place to meet women: not one but 3 men were partner-less, but all of them got to dance with every woman on the room, since we rotated constantly. Use your head & you may take home a few numbers!
  5. Women, I'd say it's a great place to meet hot men, but I'd be lying. It is a great place to meet guys you would ordinarily write off as not strikingly handsome (if you're like me) or probably socially inept. It's cool that you can meet guys & not instantly begin assessing dating potential. I like that I look at someone & think, "I want to dance with him; he looks like a good lead," instead of, "I want to dance with him; he looks hot."
  6. Be prepared to fvck up a lot and laugh about it. Everyone. No one likes a stuck-up dancer.
  7. That having been said, have confidence. If you act like you know, you look like you do. That makes you much easier to lead or follow.
(I've been attending Red Hot Lindy Hop's weekly dance lessons, but there are more groups in this town doing the same, in case their times don't work for you.) Even if you aren't a great dancer---and believe me, I'm not---it still a lot of fun. It's much easier than wind-surfing, at any rate. And everyone needs a hobby, or a change of pace every now and again, or you get stale as old saltines.

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Thursday, August 17

Somehow

I was trying to fix an error and messed things up (quelle surprise!) Somehow I have managed to delete this post, so the comment is just hanging in the ether, while the post is back in its rightful spot [here]. Sorry, kiddo.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Since I am such a great follower, I'm following The Other Rock Grrrl and give you the pleasure of my list of things I want to do before I am dead or otherwise incapacitated. Gee, lucky you, huh?

  1. Learn to golf
  2. Keep chickens
  3. See San Fran & tour Napa
  4. Teach yoga classes
  5. Learn to meditate
  6. Karaoke alone
  7. Tailgate at a UT game
  8. Throw the opening pitch at a baseball game
  9. Go to Europe again (at least once, hopefully more)
  10. Learn to dance: at least ballroom, belly, and lindy hop
  11. Be the family Thanksgiving headquarters
  12. Learn to sight read sheet music
  13. Play the clarinet (again)
  14. Ride a bike (again)
  15. Drive a convertible
  16. Go snow skiing
  17. Take a cooking course
  18. Re-cover my dining room chairs
  19. Go into business for myself
  20. Be an extra in a film
  21. Volunteer (again, preferably tutoring/mentoring)
  22. Take my nieces on vacation
  23. Learn html & java
  24. Move elsewhere
  25. Sew
  26. Pierce something
  27. Road trip out West
  28. Spend a weekend at a spa
  29. Move into a retirement village
  30. Pour a drink on someone . . . in no special order.

Monday, August 14

Blogger Bash Wrap-up

As promised, I have the attendees from last night's bash. Sorry I didn't do it last night, but it wasn't exactly early when I finally made it back from the Deli. Again, roughly in order of when people showed up:

Thanks again to everyone who attended, and to the Young Ave. Deli for hosting us. I know there were many complaints about their refusal to split the tab, but it worked out in the end [Philip, I owe you $5---we were a little over after paying last night].

Conspicuously absent were Dwayne, David, and a slew of political bloggers (which was probably my fault; oh, well). At some points the convo turned to politics, at others to less high-falutin' topics, which were actually more personally relevant. I was feeling a bit scrappy rather than introspective, but I quite enjoyed the chatting at the north end of the table. Too much gun talk on the south side.

I was so happy to finally meet everyone, especially Lindsey, after a long time of enjoying her musings and seeing her depart & return to the... well, you-know-what-osphere. I was impressed that several people apparently enjoyed the first one so much that they came back for second helpings.

Quote of the night: "I'm down with communicable diseases." ---Lindsey

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Saturday, August 12

I'm not Dead Yet

Whew.

What a week/month/whatever. All I've been saying to myself is: I'll sleep when I'm dead. If anyone is concerned, I made it to work by 6:30 in spite of the night out, and gave my first presentation to around 80 people [applause]. I actually did sleep last night, in bed with Harry Potter by 9:30. My Favorite Dave called & sang a few lines from Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle to my voicemail, which was ironic in light of the fact that I was asleep by 10:30 on a Friday night (and Harlan was even playing!).

**Before I tell you about all the other goings-on, let me begin by [belatedly] sharing the roster from Thurs. night's blogger bash at the Young Avenue Deli, in order of arrival (or whenever I got around to talking to them):

Roy

Justin

Paul

Philip

Rachel

Eric

Kat

Brandon

Rick & Pam

Jon

Rachel

Derek

Phil

If I fogot you, it's not that I forgot you personally, but that you didn't get on our secretary's list. I was glad to meet everyone I didn't know & see everyone I did, and sorry not to talk to several of you more. Hope if you didn't make it to the first of them, your second chance is Sunday night---I'm hoping some of you who were eating cake at dish will show up tomorrow. Next time I advise coming early to get some discussion in before the beer starts flowing.

Personally, besides being pleased to meet everyone, I was very impressed with the turnout. Apparently Justin has an optimal feed of local blogs that has over 100. Sheesh! Of course not all of them are regular, and some may even be effectively defunct, or de-funked up anyway... but it's still impressive. Personally I only know less than half of them. I suppose that is just one of the many things which makes me an unsophisticated blogger, but I never claimed to be anything else. Perhaps we can think of this as the Unsophisticated Bloggers' Welcome Party. I had a great time talking to the more sophisticated ones, but I'm sure several of them thought I was silly (I am). Discussion ranged from typographical errors to Hooters vs. strip joints; from ironic mullets to lite politics; and of course blogging was the touchstone for the night's conversation.

Thanks also to the Deli for hosting us, although I thought it was bad form of the owner (manager?) not to warn me they wouldn't split checks for parties over 6. At least I could have warned people to bring cash. If you owe me, and you know who you are if you do, I'll be back at the same place on Sunday for Blogger Bash: Rise Above v6.2.

UPDATE: **I've just found out from an official source that "party stories are over" so I guess you won't be hearing about my night out downtown tonight!

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Wednesday, August 9

Monday, August 7

Block Party Pooper

Okay, I'm officially not the person who over-plans and regulates everyone else's fun times. The new Queen of Mean is my obnoxious neighbor, who'd undoubtedly give Paul's Most Annoying Woman on the Planet a migrane... .

You know those people who manage to ruin everything they touch for everyone else? Well, she's one. I've been fighting her every attempt to sabatoge a simple neighborhood cookout for weeks now. First it was calling me every 5 seconds (HER: Well, so & so can't come, so should we change the date? But then this other couple might be out of town... and if we have it on a weekend, these people will be at their farm. ME: Yeah, well someone's not going to make it whenever we have it, lady.)---next it was over-thinking every detail (HER: We have to change the party invite to say it ends at 8:30 instead of 9:00, because someone said they'd leave when it started getting dark!! ME: No, dumb@ss, because anyone who wants to leave is free to do so.)---then it was not calling me when she said she would (Drama in her online life, andI am beginning to get that she doesn't have a real one, and why!). Now she's calling me to tell me what someone (who got her phone number from me, as I'm sure he told her) is bringing. Guess what? A bananna pudding. Like I give a flying fvck what anyone is bringing at this late hour. I've told her 20 times what I'm bringing, and it's not another bananna pudding. She just has to have someone to talk to, and I'm beginning to understand why---her husband just can't listen anymore. Poor guy. He is a runner-up for World's Biggest Eunuch.

This woman went from taking over my cookout (excuse me, I must have stolen her idea: as soon as I mentioned doing a block-long party, she said she'd been planning to do the same thing for some time [not that anything had stopped her] and of course, no one has ever thought of such an idea before, right?) to micro-managing what should have been a simple concept: We bring the soda & bbq grills, you bring the meat of your choice. Everyone has fun, meets people they see every day, builds a sense of community, end of story. I am totally dreading it. I really just wanted to meet my neighbors, not be driven to kill them.

Sunday, August 6

It's 2 R's, one B, 2 E's, y'all

If real life weren't getting in my way, I'd have a lot to tell you about everything that's been going on. Lately my calendar has started to look like a doily or something, with little holes all around it letting in the light. I like to be busy, but I have to have time to stop & think, as well. About what? you ask---life, the universe, and everything else, I guess. What to put on my schedule next, maybe, or who I need to fish out of my address book. I have always been That Person: the one who keeps up with everyone when no one else does. I have never been regular about it, or very good at it; it's just that my friends are worse at it, for the most part. But if there's someone in the crowd that you haven't talked to in 3 years, chances are I have (it might have been 18 months ago, though). I hate to let go of people I've known forever. It's worse than giving anything else up. Ironically, however, I hold a grudge worse than anyone I know. Go figure.

So, this week for me is yet another crazy one. I have plans for Mon. (dinner w/family)---Tues. (cookout; more on that later)---Weds. (a new dance lesson; we'll see how that goes)---and Thurs., of course, is the 1st of 2 Memphis Blogger Bashes. Maybe people will start to spell my name right afterward. I'm the blog nazi, after all, and I insist on proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation (or else [what, I'm not sure]).

Thursday, August 3

sticed out

If there were a word describing the feeling of exhaustion that comes over you when you're not so much tired already as dreading how tired you're going to be soon---that would be the title of this post. I am too tired to look it up, so there just may be the perfect word somewhere.

Growing up, we had an unadbridged copy of Webster's open at all times in our house. Don't know what a word means? Look it up. Can't remember how to spell something? Go look it up. That's what I love about the internet---I mean, aside from the pajama-blogging and email replacing a constantly ringing phone---alla that stuff is there if you just want to look for it. It's like being at the largest store in the world where a lot of stuff just happens to be free once you've paid to get into the door.

* * * * * * * *

I am dreading cleaning up for my visitors this weekend. Not dreading the visits, of course, because I love having company and the people coming are all great guests whom I've known forever. I went to vote after work tonight with all the other poor bastards in my district who couldn't make up our minds in time for early voting. I had planned to go over lunch but ran over something which ended up puncturing both tires on one side, just outside the pluggable area, of course. Luckily, I work close by a service station, so that wasn't a problem. (The $250 bill for 2 new tires was. My car has to have special tires; who knew?) So I am running late and what do I do? Yes, sit down in front of this large store we call the internetz and look up things like toe reduction surgery and exploding maple trees. Maybe I'll keep the lights low while people are here, so they can't see all the dust & dog hair that always manages to form itself into little tiny tumbleweeds.

UPDATE: Think I found the word.

Wednesday, August 2

Rise Above It All

Okay, y'all, it's finally time.

Mark your calendars, set your alarms, do whatever you have to do to make it to a blogger bash (or both!) next week.

We're meeting at the Young Avenue Deli around 7pm next Thurs., then again that Sun. as an added convenience. Those of you who wish & can make it happen are encouraged to attend both events.

The idea here, of course, is to make connections with as many of your fellow bloggers as possible---so in that spirit, please spread the word to others not in my blogroll or livejournalers you may know, etc. I'd love to see a full house this time, and we'd all love to meet you!

Remember, we can rise above our differences, spreading peace, love, & happiness around the city. Or at least drink a beer together (and yes, Lindsay, they do have liquor).

Muchos gracias to Mike Hollihan of Half-Bakered for the graphic, encouragement, and beneficience! Also to Mr Roboto for his words of advice.

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Friday, July 28

Serrabee's Weekend in KnoxVegas

So, I don't know if anyone in Knoxville will read this, but you should seriously check out some of these shows this weekend, because I can't make them all:

Friday
  • Pick up the Snake, Saturday Night Preacher & Absolute Power at the Electric Ballroom (I attended my 1st rave there around the weekend of my 18th birthday, if memory serves. A great space, but I'm not sure what they're doing with it these days. I'm sure it's still dark & loud.)
  • Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy, AJ’s Sports Bar in Maryville: Someone should check them out, cause I know I won't, but I like the name (not really like, but it catches the attention).
Saturday
  • The Chillbillies, Coyote Joe’s, 10pm. $2: Sounds like a crappy venue, but I liked the band when I saw them this spring---sort of a smallish big-band jazz sound. And hey, it's only $2.
  • Mad Tea Party w/ Incredible Heat Machine, Preservation Pub, 10pm: What I am actually doing Sat. night. The Pub is surrounded by controversy these days, what with all the marijuana & money laundering, so I figure I'd better go there while I still can.

Tuesday, July 25

What I'm Missin'

Here's a brief listing of what I'm missing over the next few days out of the Mtown:

I wish I were going to be around this week/end for all the fun goings-on, but it can't be helped. Plus, I've had a great time here the past few days, even since my weekend officially ended. I went to Bosco's with a friend and discovered that they still have Folonari Pinot Grigio for 5.75/glass, though most of their other wines are up to $7 or 8 each. Their Biere de Garde (in bottles only, coming up on draft) is really fresh and sparkly, too, so try it next month. Last night took me to Cafe Ole with the flight attendant crew + others, and I finally got to try the watermelon margarita. Weird. It was compared to the Jolly Rancher martinis at Swig, which I think was apt. Fish tacos are awesome there, even if they don't make them right (you're supposed to use salsa fresca and cabbage, but this ain't Cali).

Anxiously Awaiting?

Things are off to a rough start this week. It looks like I'll be driving to KnoxVegas tomorrow for a funeral (not an unexpected event). I know you are all anxiously awaiting a date for the blogger bash, but I have to check on availability and make sure I'll actually be back in town (so of course it won't be this weekend). It will decidedly be a Sun. night as that is what everyone has overwhelmingly voted on. As for location... I was actually waiting on RATC to follow up on the secret HiTone access she offered us, but it looks like everyone wants to do the Deli, and it also looks like several people decidedly don't want to make it the HiTone due to heat & ventilation complaints anyway. Well, I've got to motor if I'm going to make it to the funeral. I'll be in touch, y'all.

Sunday, July 23

Culture/sub-culture

It's been busy here on my little planetoid. I had a weekend full of cultural experiences, that's for sure. I love entertaining people, especially those who are so accommodating and easy to please as My Favorite Dave. Not only did he not have a lot of preconceived notions about Memphis, he had a couple of great suggestions for stuff to do, which made my job as hostess easier. We spent all day Sat. at Elmwood Cemetary and the Mississippi River Museum, after a very tasty lamb lunch at Casa Blanca in Cooper-Young (including some window shopping which resulted in the purchase of 1 Harlan T. Bobo record, for his roommate).

Blues on the Bluff was great, even including some swing/blues dancing lessons atop the Chickasaw burial mound. I hope that wasn't offensive to them. If I didn't want to be cremated, I'd hope someone would come along hundreds of years later to dance on my grave. By the time he left Sunday, I felt like the day after Christmas.

Friday, July 21

Dang it!

I just missed my opportunity to become Mrs Harlan T Bobo. A friend texted me that he was at Tha Lamplighter tonight, only my crazy phone didn't send the message thru til I got off my call (90 mins. later). I will just think of this as a sign. I don't really want an album like Too Much Love to be made about me; or rather, I don't really want to be involved in a realationship that would inspire those songs. Too much heart-stopping emotion went into those lyrics; you can hear the yearning and the desperation, the denial and angered misery that went into it as if they were happening at this moment. It's kinda like watching footage of Sept. 11th or seeing footage of Chernobyl, in that a sense of ineffable desolation and suffering seeps through your skin.

Okay, I know I'm tipsy when I start using words like "ineffable." Goodnite, y'all.

Thursday, July 20

Advice

I get a lot of advice from people, mostly those I don't know very well, like co-workers and acquaintences. Anyone who knows me at all won't ever set me up on a blind date, invite me to join them at church, recommend a chain restaurant, or a say to me a second time: "[insert movie name here] was so great, you'd love it!" This is pretty much all because I won't. Won't go on a date with your friend, or go to church (with you or without you), or like any restaurant movie that' s not foreign, indie, or at least weird. So most people don't try telling me that I'll want to do something because they thought it was a good idea; maybe I'm a contrarian, and just don't like it because I've been told it's great.

But I did get some good advice yesterday: Since the heat is baking my poor car in the parking lot, which is full sun, try cracking the windows a half inch. Otherwise they might actually crack as the0 hot air inside the car expands. It seemed logical and not a matter of preference, just a scientific tidbit. So when I remembered to try it today, imagine my surprise when the car was actually cooler when I got in to leave for lunch.

Once I tried washing my windshield with wiper fluid (stored under the hood, and therefore out of the direct sun, so much cooler) on a sunny afternoon. Well, this was my old Civic, and it had a hairline crack in the glass which instantly spread to several inches long when the cooler liquid made conact with the scorching glass. Of course, common sense might have told me what it took me $180 to learn. (But at least the guys came out to work to replace it several days later, when I finally decided that I couldn't live with it that way forever. Ironically, I wrecked my car soon afterward.)

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Wednesday, July 19

Survey says...

Well, we'll see in a week or so what local bloggers want to do for our next gathering. Please feel free to suggest more locations, even though I've shot Bosco's down. I have some prior experience scheduling groups of 12-100 for meetings & happy hours around town, so it's not idle negativism. At this posting, it is leaning towards a Sunday in the comments below, but if you would rather do a weekend night or want to let us know a bad weekend, now's the time.

Attention all local bloggers:

Please vote on the best time & location for the Memphis Blogger Bash next month. Spread the word to your fellow bloggers who don't read here, link to this post, or email the link to others. I'd love to see a diverse turnout so I can have the pleasure of meeting you all!

Don't worry; you'll have plenty of time since I can't do it this month---I want to give people some notice anyway---and I've already heard that the 1st weekend in August is out. It's a good thing I'm sorting the dates out, because I'm notorious for having scheduling conflicts with prior bashes.

I remember one was held at Quetzal, and I really wanted to go. I think that was last fall and I just made it there for the first time ever this week. I tried the turkey & brie sandwich, which was good, but I was happy it was served with a lovely (though uncomplicated) salad. Must go back sometime for the coffee, which is the organic, fair trade kind. As a plus, it is roasted on-site by some cute guys.

I think I got a sunburn from washing the dog this evening. Either that or the heat has me so dehydrated that my skin is shrivelling up as a result. Creepy. I often say the only reason I really need a man in my life is to scratch my back, but now I know I am wrong. I also need one to put lotion on it, just so my skin doesn't dry up & blow away. Disgusting.

I won't be the millionth (that word looks really weird-o) person to say it is hot as hell, and since it's only mid-July it will only get worse (if that is even possible). I will just say that, according to the usual ironic timing, it should cool off this weekend because of rain that just may make Blues on the Bluff a soggy affair.

My Favorite Dave

My favorite Dave arrives in town from Knoxville this weekend. We have known each other since 1st grade but I guess we were both too shy to be friends in high school. Plus, we had opposing nerd schedules: He was a Latin dork, I was a band geek; he had honors Chem, I had AP English. Like 2 ships passing in the night---if they are nerdy ships, that is.

Anyway, I love showing people around my adopted hometown. Here's the plan for this weekend so far:

Fri pm: We will probably grab a bite at either dish or Jasmine, mosey over to Otherlands to hear Blair Combest, then shoot down to the Summer Drive-in for the 2nd showing (and probably arrive in the middle of Pirates of the Carribean II). If we're still feeling lively, maybe he'll teach me some swing dancing steps.

Sat. am: Lately I just don't wake up hungry on weekdays. Maybe it is my stomach protesting that I don't take it to the Arcade for sweet-potato pancakes? That sounds like a great Sat. morning plan. Sightseeing at Sun Studios, which I've actually never seen, or Stax, which I have toured before.

This is probably going to be interspersed between lunch at a taqueria and dinner at Abyssinia, the Ethiopian place on Poplar, unless of course he wants to eat Central BBQ (one of my favorites!) while we're at Blues on the Bluff. The Bo-Keys, Last Chance Jug Band, and the Burnside Exploration. If I can drag him to Wild Bill's, I just might do that, but if not---there's always NTJ and the Secret Service at HiTone (if it's not hot enough for ya yet! cause you know how sweltering it can be there already).

I am worn out just writing about alla this.

Sun. am: We may take in an early brunch at one of my two fave places, either at Bosco's for the wonderful omlettes, or Rachel Ray's favorite: Brother Juniper's. Maybe we visit the new exhibit at the Brooks Museum, an Annie Liebowitz show, after which I'm sure he will be dying to get back on the road and take a break from my managing ways. I think I was a tour director in a previous life.

Monday, July 17

Sunday, July 16

Blogger Bash, anyone?

So, it's time to plan another blogger bash!

Please post whatever days & times work for you in comments here. I am pulling for a weekend so we can pull out all the stops. It's been said that conservatives come early & leave early, while liberals come late & stay late. Well, now let's try a non-partisan party: Let's all come early and leave late this time! Here are the only guidelines:

  1. If you blog, you are invited: wherever you blog---livejournal, Xanga, blogspot, or indie blogger---you're encouraged to come join the community. Even if you're on hiatus. (Yes, even you, Len! Especially you.)
  2. You don't have to tell us who you really are. Blog aliases will do, just tell us where you blog. No showing up, saying you have a secret blog, any of that crap. Seriously, dude, it's not that big a deal. Because:
  3. If you choose to use your actual identity with us, we promise not to reveal your true name to non-bloggers.

I think that is all. You can also email locations, dates, other parameters to me at .::serrabee at gmail dot com:. Keep in mind that many of us can't really throw down on weekdays because we have kids and/or real jobs, most of us live in & around Midtown, and some of us don't smoke.

I have talked about the value of building actual relationships before, but I think it's worth noting again that even if you believe that the internet has expanded our opportunities by bringing us new ways to communicate with each other, you understand that not only are there unique perils associated with it, there's a whole new set of barriers specific to electronic communication. So knock down the walls of the local blogosphere and join us!

You know, while I'm on the subject, I must note that the anonymity of a blogger cannot possibly be undervalued. Once the people reading your writing know you, they begin to critique, correct, ridicule, and judge you out loud. This is done in an attempt to poke you back into your leetle performing-circus-bear box whenver you write something they disagree with, find offensive, think is snarky or narcissistic, etc.

If I didn't love this d@mn blog so much, I'd abandon ship for unchartered waters. Maybe I will anyway. But first, let's have another party so we can all talk to those people we missed last time.

Saturday, July 15

Lived-in Bars

This video was filmed inside the Lamplighter in Midtown Memphis, which is where I have a habit of ending the night after Drinking Liberally (probably far too liberally, if you want to know the truth). More on that after the video.

Cat Power - Lived in Bars [from Scenestars]

Once again, I had a great time at dish for the weekly meeting of assorted Midtown liberals, this time attended by DailyKos' Gina Cooper and Sen. Cohen himself. It made for quite a gathering, but not necessarily my kind; I prefer the group at a size where you can actually have a discussion and meet some new people. Instead, I hung out with Freedonian, Pesky Fly, WTL and the two Sarahs for the most part. It was like a safe haven for the blogger in a wilderness of cocktail party talk. Also once again, the cute guy was once again sitting at the bar when I arrived (don't know if you read about him here before, but there's a funny story behind him). He left soon, leaving me to drool over a cute guy who was much too young for me. I think he was gay---not because he ran away when I joined the group he was in; he was far too cute & clean, plus he had a Razr phone. Anyway, I enjoyed talking to Chris, Rick, David & the gang about blogging (specifically about our own blogs---bloggers are nothing if not narcissists!). It's nice to hear postive things about my self-absorbed lifestyle once in a while. Often I get a prick of conscience that I am wasting not only my own time but my readers' as well with the frivolities that masquerade as my life. Cause my real life is way less self-involved---I volunteer, listen to NPR, donate to worthy causes, am devoted to my family, etc. in real life. That's just not so fun to talk about as hanging out in seedy bars and going to shows.

Which makes a nice segue into last night, when I got to see my favorite local musician, hands down: Mr. Harlan T. Bobo. I'm sure some people will think I'm shallow and a bandwagon-jumper for just now sharing my secret love for him, but it's not entirely true (or at least that's not what makes it true, if I am all that). I actually get embarassed because I am so enamoured of him that I don't like to talk about it. It makes me blush, and it is like being 13 all over again. I wanted to stay at the show until he was absolutely finished playing so I could see if he remembered to pick up the shirt he'd used to wipe off his sweat (hey, it may be worth a lot one day) but I just couldn't do it. Personally, I was so slick with a fine sheen of sweat that I discovered my hand stamp had come off on other parts of my body when I got home. I know, eewwww... but that was nothing compared to Harlan, which is how I like my rock stars: good n'sweaty.

If you have made to the end of this super-sized post, congratulations. You win nothing but your freedom. I'm going to The Majestic with friends tonight, so I'm sure I'll be back with a review tomorrow, plus an update on our other downtown antics.

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UPDATE: It was aiight, nothing too unique, but good anyway.

I adventurously tried the Cucumber-Lavendar martini, which my friend said "sound[ed] sexy as hell," but I told him there's nothing sexy about fresh bits of lavendar in your teeth. It was refreshing enough, though.

The shoetstring fries were great, but unfortunately I had to eat them off of M's plate, since they didn't come with the salmon. The shot-glass desserts were good, too---it's worth going just for them. It just seemed like the flavors weren't completely balanced, as if there was one really strong accent to each dish: lavendar in the martini; salt in the glaze on the salmon; sugar in the pork tenderloin; lemon in the raspberry Creme Sofia.

Pricing was in line with a mid-range white-tablecloth restaurant in Memphis, which is to say not outrageous but you don't feel like ordering 2 of the $9 drinks. I did like that the waitress pointed out the fact that they 20%ed us (there were 10 at our table). The service was very attentive, but there seemed to be a couple of extra servers because there was always someone draped over the balcony railing watching us below as if we were zoo animals. I hope Patrick & Deni will put a stop to that.

Thursday, July 13

Lazy Re-post: Otherlands Coffee Shop

Told you I'm lazy!

But not to lazy to show up this weekend. I know for sure I will be there when Blair plays Fri., 7/21, and I'm up for the Scandaliz Vandalistz the following weekend. Blair is my 2nd fave local musician these days (right behind Harlan, of course!) and I have out-of-town company coming in whom I will want to impress with how cool Memphis is. Shouldn't be difficult, as he's coming from KnoxVegas.

OTHERLANDS LIVE GRAND OPENING Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15

Always a $5 Cover. Doors at 7 pm. All ages. Smoke free. Beer Coffee and Food. Large patio and deck. 641 S Cooper in Midtown Memphis. 901-278-4994.

Otherlands is now hosting live music every Friday and Saturday (and most Wednesdays as well). Look for the very best performing artists from Memphis and all over the planet. We have an expanded beer menu and ALL coffee drinks are now available at night. The giftshop area has now been converted to seating, so the whole building is full of LIVE MUSIC.

Shows brought to you by M.A.M.A. will also continue. Join our MySpace friends or our mailing list for frequent updates and the first news on upcoming shows.

JULY LINEUP!!!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006: Ben Nichols of Lucero and Brad Bailey of The Glass.

Saturday, July 15, 2006: Fat Possum recording artist Robert Belfour with special guest Dan Montgomery featuring Roy Brewer.

Friday, July 21, 2006: Blair Combest and Steven Simmons

Saturday, July 22, 2006: Rae-Ray with special guest Holly Cole.

Friday, July 28, 2006: Scandaliz Vandalistz and Imagination Head

Saturday, July 29, 2006: Benefit for Sawed Off Collaboratve Filmmaker

Friday, August 4, 2006: Hot new artist Mark Bolding with a special guest

Saturday, Augut 5, 2006: Giant Bear unplugged

SPECIAL EVENTS!!!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006: INCENDIO! World music/flamenco band from Los Angeles, CA. Check out more on this outstanding band at www.incendioband.com

Saturday, August 12, 2006: Sid Selvidge, presented by M.A.M.A.

COMING SOON!!!! Friday, August 25, 2006: Cory Branan

Friday, September 1, 2006: Jim Dickinson

WEDNESDAY SHOWS!!!!

July 12: Deering and Down

July 19: Central Standards

July 26: Niko Lyras & Friends

August 9: Alvin Youngblood Hart ($15 cover)

DON'T MISS THE GRAND OPENING THIS WEEKEND!!!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006: Two of Memphis' hottest frontmen on stage solo in an intimate environment. Liberty & Lament recording artists LUCERO have become one of the most influential and popular touring acts in America. Taking a little time off from touring after recording an album for their Warner Brothers imprint label, Ben Nichols will be playing solo accoustic. The new album was produced by Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven frontman, David Lowery. Get a rare chance at hearing some new Lucero tunes.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, Fat Possum recording artist Robert Belfour with special guest Dan Montgomery featuring Roy Brewer.

Robert Belfour was born in a small plank house several miles South of Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1940. It was one of several shacks on the Hurdle farm, part of which his father rented until his death in 1953.

The specific part of Mississippi where Robert was born is the hill country in the northern part of the state. This region has a distinctly different culture than the more famous Mississippi Delta and the Blues from that region is strong and unique.

Like most of the other accomplished performers from the area R.L. Burnside, Fred Mcdowell, Joe Callicott, Jesse Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough, and Charlie Feathers-- Robert Belfour, was submerged in the area's rich musical heritage. Robert's first memory is that of his father playing a resonator guitar in a style similar to that of Charlie Pattons. Robert ate at picnics held by Othar Turner, and at church sung gospel songs led by Syd Hemphill. When free from chores, Robert could be found in the company of neighbor, and future label mate, Junior Kimbrough. Robert was 13 when his father died bringing and end to his childhood. From then on all of Robert's energy went to helping his mother provide for him and his younger brother. Robert spent what little free time he had learning to chord his father's guitar.

At sixty, Belfour's guitar playing is mature and highly accomplished; his voice, clear and powerful, and the sound is pure country blues. Robert left the hills of North Mississippi forty years ago, but his music never did.

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Wednesday, July 12

I am still laaazzzy...

Just not as lazy as these folks: They want people to hang posters for them for free for the Tom Waits show that goes on sale Friday:

We need to find some reliable people in the Memphis area who are willing to poster for us. We’d need a round of posters put up within the next couple of days, another wave toward the end of next week, and a final round the week of the show (which takes place August 4). We can’t give comp tickets to this show, unfortunately. We can provide some CDs and merchandise from various bands, or we can pay. ... Any ideas as to how we might find such people? We’d need them to keep a list of places where they postered and, if possible, take photos of some of the posters hanging in store windows or public places.
Yeah, I was too lazy to go golfing with my buddy W [not that W!] tonight, even though tomorrow is his birthday, but I'm not too lazy to hang my own posters.

Moving thoughts

I'm 31 now, so I've begun to think: Do I still want to be living in Memphis when I'm 41? The answer is always different, but it's the fact that I ask the question that makes me think of moving.

I really like it here, and I have a good group of friends I've developed over the past decade +, so it's a tough call. I really love my house, plus I'm now taking baby steps toward cultivating relationships on my block... but I feel like I need to create an environment for changing some of my habits & behaviors. I want to do stuff that I seldom have opportunity to do, and

But after talking to my cousin last weekend, who is contemplating moving out of his hometown, I realized it wouldn't be as easy as I thought.

People say wherever you go, there you are---and it's true. But it's not me I'm running from; it's a sort of energy-sapping attitude and negative energy that I've always realized Memphis has. It's like the one thing all Memphians have in common, and about the only thing we have in common with city expatriates. But it's not something that's conducive to change, positive thinking, or personal growth. It's an attitude that tells you "Let it go, give up, because there's no use, there's nothing you can possibly to do change the Memphis [politics/crime/traffic/racerelations/whatever]---so don't bother trying." It's pervasive and not very subtle.