Forgot to mention that the Rock'n'Roll Planet hit 10,000 today. Let me be the first to congratulate my regular reader at Morgan Keegan for taking that honor this morning. You get nothin' but the glory, unfortunately.
Tuesday, May 30
Finally, rain. I did my best rain dance this weekend---hanging out at the River, watering the lawn, walking the dog when clouds blew up yesterday---stopping just short of washing the car. Now we get a little of our much-needed water, even though it's still 91 degrees. I'm sweating like a piglet. Probably because I just got back from the tanning bed (I know, don't lecture me!).
A coworker informed me that there were only whitefolks at Pickwick Lake this weekend, to which another coworker responded, "That ain't bad; at least that keeps the riffraff down." Let me specify here that these are two African-American women speaking in front of me, a white chick. Wow---the cultural implications of a conversation like this are amazing. My experience is often that of racial outsider, and usually minorities are not critical of other minority groups, least of all their own, in the presence of whitey. I would personally be most concerned about redneck riffraff at Pickwick on a holiday weekend.
The racial representation at public places---campgrounds, lakes, parks, whatever---does concern me. It seems that these facilities are disproportionately used by whites. I've noticed it when I go to Shelby Farms, Overton Park, the Botanic Garden, etc. and I think it's a shame. We are a really interesting & diverse city, with a large Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Jewish population but you'd never know it at these places. I just mentioned this , but I think it is a problem the government unfortunately feels no responsibility to correct.
The next park event is this weekend, Italian Fest at Marquette Park. Maybe we'll see realistic representation of Memphis' diverse cultural and ethnic composition then. I've never been, but I seriously doubt it.
Monday, May 29
Incidentally, I couldn't be more excited that my blog is about to hit 10,000. w00t!
My relaxing holiday weekend is wearing me out. I've had a great time for the past 3 days, but now I just want to spend a day being a slob (my real self, as opposed to my alter ego of a go-getter).
That reminds me---we saw X3 as I'd wanted to, and I have to disagree with the reviews and agree with the box office numbers. Biggest Memorial Day opener ever; biggest film of the year so far; biggest superhero almost-sex scene. I actually really liked it, just as well as #1 in fact. I thought it was a faithful return to the comic-book genre. I highly recommend it (and that's saying quite a lot coming from me, since I really don't like action movies much). As I said, though, it was more true to the genre and less action-flick-like.
So the rest of the weekend had to be pretty great to live up to that, and luckily it was. Friends came in from Virginia for Fri. night en route to a wedding the next day, so we all met at the old watering hole (Grisanti's) for a few drinks, and then a few of us headed back to Midtown and Bosco's. I really love that place, even if it is supremely white-bread. On Sat., a group of us had our picture taken at Sunset Symphony since we were a young, atttractive, and racially integrated group. It was mostly families---and although a lot of those are racially mixed, pictures of families only go so far in the PR world. I don't mind being used, if they want. My friends went on to Raiford's but I came straight home, showered, & went to bed before midnight. Somehow being outside makes me more tired than being in the A/C.
Last night was Memphis' Own Wingoff, with teeter-totter and wings galore. I met the hot guy who owns Deep Fried Rides, and he's even hotter in person. I also found someone to take the A/C unit that's been in my garage for the past 2 summers, and a good time was had by all. I think the teeter-totter might have broken, though. I didn't risk a ride. I had to make it to 80's night at dish to meet the gang, so I couldn't be risking it all like that. I ran into a bunch of old friends and acquaintences, plus an ex-bf to boot. He is all texting me and stuff now. Dang it. I pretty much ignored him & spent the day recuperating, relaxing, and doing laundry. All in all, it was a fab weekend. I'll be busy with similar stuff for the next few weekends, but I'm going to buckle down during the work week. Next month I hope to go camping---who's with me? I need a recommendation of spots, too.
Sunday, May 28
It honestly is the simple things in life. I am blogging from my front porch on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, looking forward to my first movie in months, followed by a wingoff and 80's night. Life is pretty good right now.
I officially got the job I wanted, without even filling out an application. I'm just that desirable as an employee, I suppose. Actually, I even wrote the job description for it, demonstrating my desirability as an employee who will bring everyone's job descriptions into line. Yes, folks---I have the most-coveted position of technical writer. Covted by me, anyway. I remember my dad (a scientist) telling me that's what I could do when I grew up. That was before I even started high school. Wow, what insight from a scientist type!
But what I am also happy to report is this is the place I've done my internship this semester, so that not only do they already know they want to keep me on (a boost to my professional ego), but I also know what a great place to work this will be. I've realized in the past 8 or 10 years that at least as much as what I do, I have to like where I work & the people I work with. Which is not something they tell you when you're in school, though it should be. Maybe I'm more inclined this way than others, but it's an essential ingredient in my workplace satisfaction. I could be happy employed in lots of different fields, sectors, capacities, etc., but not unless I'm working for an employer with its priorities in the right place. So, at any rate, I'm happy to report that I don't have to send out 20 resumes or move away at this point. Whew!
Wednesday, May 24
It seems that blogs really begin to take a hit in the summertime; as we get more fun things to do outside, we let the hours of web-surfing go. Except for the political bloggers (who either don't have any fun stuff to do outside, or have an unhealthy addiction). Of course, we'll all be back in a couple of months when the heat gets to a place where it melts the soles of our discount department store footwear to the parking lots. Around about July 4th, I'd say.
Meanwhile, I'll let you in on a little secret: I am going into hiding. Not for a federal crime, at least this time. It's in anticipation of my June schedule---when I'll have to start getting up by 6AM daily, and that's only if I shower at night instead of in the morning. If I want to make it, I've got to start training now. It's like a marathon to a night owl.
I forgot to mention my trip to Pei Wei earlier this week. My co-workers, who never go to lunch together unless it's someone's bday or last day of work or something, wanted to try it. Who am I to break up the party? It was amazing. But the amazing thing was not so much the food as it was the coworkers' reaction to it. They all loved it, in fact so much so that after we'd been back at the office a few hours 2 of them went & ate their leftovers.
So, the upshot is that it was good, they gave us lots of food, and I'm sure we'll return before someone else quits or has a birthday. Reasonable prices, too---it's like a cheaper PF Chang's (you order when you walk in, pay, get your drink, and sit down---they bring the food to you). Still haven't tried Soul Fish but that is next on my lunchtime list.
I am trying to work on my yard this week, but I'll be back with reports on Grisanti's, X3 (The Last Stand, whatever that means), and Dwayne's Wingoff---assuming all goes well & I actually make it to 3 events in 3 days.
Tuesday, May 23
So, I've slacked lately. I admit it, sitemeter shows it, and my readers are clamouring for more. (Okay, the last is a lie.) Not only have I been busy, my computer is having technical difficulties (for which I blame Microsoft, as usual), and of course I was out of town last week as well.
My officially responsibility to you today is to pass along the word about the next Memphis Blogger Bash. Sometime after the workday ends Friday, June 9th P&H Cafe Be there or be a parallelogram. I may just make it this time!
I will return to you as soon as my pc allows it with further interesting details of the inner workings of my brain. Be not afraid. Meanwhile, check out my blogroll or something.
Monday, May 22
Whenever I go to dish on a weekday, there is a hot guy with glasses sitting at the bar with one of those cool on-the-rocks type glasses they have that make it okay for a man to drink a martini. He was there one time I was there for a meeting, and I missed half of what was going on while he was there cause I was trying not to stare. The funnypart is that the first time I saw him, I had gotten the phone # of a boy who looked quite similar just a week or so before but never called because... well, I dunno why. So when I saw this manly martini drinker (who I thought was the guy whose digits I still had on a napkin at home), I called. Had a great chat on the phone, but when we met at Le Chardonnay for a cocktail, I discovered not only was the guy not who I'd thought, but that he was also a freak. Sort of. He wanted me to read the script of a film he'd made for $20 g's and wanted to market to a distributor. I told him that not only did I not want to read it, he also didn't want me to read it, as I am incredibly critical and impossibly honest (a bad combo when you're reading someone else's writing).
So I'm still looking for that guy from dish, the real one, if anyone knows him... .
Thursday, May 18
That's me "on the road," not "on the rocks"---although it sounds delicious. Not sure what would be in that one... I once invented a drink called the Roman Coke. It was pretty tasty but it was so late/early that I neglected to write down the recipe.
My point was that I'm unusually quiet because I'm out of town once again. I drove to KnoxVegas last Friday and plan to be back in town next Friday for PorkFest. I've been gardening, cooking for/with the family, playing with my niece, learing to handle firearms, and generally taking it easy---so I've been pretty quiet here as well, though I plan to see Imogen Heap tonight whether it rains or not.
In other news, the Art Butcher is hosting a wing-off over Labor Day weekend:
hey everyone it is that time of year again time to break out the grills break out the deep fryers break out the ovens and any other means you cook hotwings it is time for wing off three it will be sunday may 28th the wings must be ready to judge at 5:00 pm most people cook the wings at our house last years winner joe the detailer will not be competing this year he knows he won on false pretences and will not defend his title the brother is scared i tell you but i need something from you guys last year we had somewhere between 10-15 wing entries and seven judges i need more entries this year and about the same number of judges so who wants to cook wings remember they have to be chicken wings no turducken no tofu chicken only whole wings or drummies and flaps no legs
(this is only for the world traveling tad) and no store bought wings can be entered we know what don-dons kelvins lord of the wings memphis best wings crumpys jack purtles hot wing express hooters (the worst wings ever) bahama breeze and the other wing stores look like and taste like anyways when i have a list of who is cooking and who is judging i will email you with the rules so once again who is cooking who is judging that is all.
it is that time of year again
time to break out the grills
break out the deep fryers
break out the ovens
and any other means
you cook hotwings
it is time for wing off three
it will be sunday
the wings must be ready
to judge at 5:00 pm
most people cook the wings at our house
last years winner
joe the detailer
will not be competing this year
he knows he won on false pretences
and will not defend his title
the brother is scared
i tell you
but i need something from you guys
last year we had somewhere between
10-15 wing entries
and seven judges
i need more entries this year
and about the same number of judges
who wants to cook wings
they have to be chicken wings
or drummies and flaps
(this is only for the world traveling tad)
and no store bought wings
can be entered
we know what
lord of the wings
memphis best wings
hot wing express
hooters (the worst wings ever)
and the other wing stores
look like and taste like
when i have a list of who is cooking
and who is judging
i will email you with the rules
so once again
who is cooking
who is judging
that is all.
Site Note: Someone got to this here blog by searching for "pictures of people jumping out of planets" although I am sure they were disappointed when they arrived.
Wednesday, May 10
I don't know what I expected, but I watched American Idol this week just in case they actually showed any footage of Memphis. The didn't, unless you count the inside of Graceland. I don't. They did call Elvis the original American idol, though, which is a disturbing thought in light of the "talent" that has emerged from the show so far. Pardon me if anyone is writing her or his own music, but it mostly sucks---it even sucks when they cover stuff. I'm not watching that show anymore.
Is there art somewhwere here at the Art Butcher? I think hipsters are a combination of art and circus clownery, but that's just me. I must say, I really like Dwayne's latest work, and I'm sorry I missed the artaritas (out of towners again, sorry!). Quit waiting & start getting busy---it's my new mantra.
If you have a moment to spare in your oh-so-busy day at work, I've added a new name to the blogroll: Urf!, a blog which breaks my rule of linking only established local blogs (I have no control over the Rocky Top Brigade). Anyway, check him out while he lasts) on subjects like "when will the wanting [of his children] end?" and my personal favorite, "using time travel to impress your family and freak strangers out."
I know many of you are familiar with the theory in Freakonomics that the drop in crime at the end of the 1980s was a direct result of Roe v Wade. If you aren't, basically it posited that since women who were least able to care for children were able to terminate their pregnancies (before Roe it was pretty much only wealthy families who had the access and means to [relatively safe] abortion---remember Dirty Dancing?). My personal theory is that, combined with efforts by 2nd wave feminism and a post-Roe, post-Vietnam cultural environment, sex education and contraception became a part of the program. So, if we put more restrictions on all of these things, what do we get?
Shae also links to this WaPost story: Unwanted Pregnancies Rise for Poor Women; Rate Drops for Those Well Above Poverty Level, Report Indicates. Is this the secret to the culture wars above? Well-to-do women have fewer children later in life, while lower class women are forced to abstain if they want to better themselves? Because the chances you're going to start life out economically disadvantaged, get pregnant and have a child at 16, then pull yourself out of it before you're 30 are slim to none. Not only are you going to be beneath the upper middle-class women even when your first child is basically self-sufficient (I'm assuming her/his wages are going into the family expenses)---you're probably going to have more babies by then, cause you still don't have adequate birth control, sex & reproductive health education.
Asked what was driving the trends, the authors noted that some state and federal reproductive health programs have been cut or made more restrictive in recent years. State and federal programs have increasingly focused on abstinence rather than contraception, and some analysts have argued that the shift is leading to less use of contraceptives and more unintended pregnancies.
This article also points out that abortion rates are rising for poor women while dropping in wealthier women. Just goes to show that if you don't tell people their options about birth control, they're still going to have sex---and then are forced to choose between a lifetime of responsibility for a child they didn't plan, or maybe even want, and abortion---which personally sounds horrifying. Your local clinic probably won't be allowed to discuss abortion with you in a few years if we keep going in the same direction we've been headed, the class divide will only increase exponentially as wealthy women can control if, when, and how many kids to have---while the have-nots have more and more children.
Incidentally, the Atlantic has a great article on "Life After Roe" this month, and the feature story is a great peek into what social changes may be precipitated by the USSC overturning the landmark womens' reproductive rights case, just in case that happens. I personally would take a Malcom-X type stance to ensure that it didn't. (Did you hear that, South Dakota? Don't make me fly out there!)
Tuesday, May 9
A silly title for a post about the rest of the weekend which we didn't even spend at Tom Lee Park. I doubt anyone made it down there with such crappy weather as we had Saturday. I had a few friends over to cook out, which ended up being cooked inside because of the threatening clouds. It never did rain much, but every time I considered kicking everyone out to head downtown, the rain would start to drizzle. It's a major deterrent to spending the afternoon in a mud-filled environment (you might actually have some fun getting dirty, if it's sunny & warm).
But we were having such a great time that not even the thought of mud wrestling could tempt us downtown. We started with bloody marys at about 11:30 and segued into rum & diet coke around 2:30. Suffice it to say that lunch was really, really good for chicken, potatoes and salad. Shortly after that we had to make a liquor run, and ended up experimenting with chocolate mint from my garden in the mint juleps (all you can taste is still bourbon, fyi). It was just a perfect thing to do for such a yukky day. There's not much to compete with old friends sitting around catchin up on their lives, pop culture, and other imponderables.
If there were a competition, Saturday night might be the winner. I tried to list all the places we went but it gets very hazy after we left Garcia Wells (yes, Tits McGee seems to be gone, so it's safe to go there). We ran into a guy we called Chinburn in college (I'll leave it to your dirty minds) who has come out of the closet and seemed to be very uncomfortable talking with us. Maybe he wished he'd left the closet door open when he saw us roll in. We left soon after that, crashed a graduation party/kegger and then had a sober driver come pick us up to chauffer us back to Midtown proper and Old Zinnie's Bar. We shuttled between there & the Lamplighter but my guests didn't want to stay there long (after they heard the story of a roach falling on our friend last time she was in there). The not-so-gentlemanly gentleman I ran into at OZ followed the three of us to Alex's, hunting me down like a rabbit or something, and then threatened to follow us back to my place. Eeeek!! So we three lone survivors left Alex's after our burger, thankfully before 3:30 had properly set in, and crashed out at home (alone). I woke up 5 hours later next to one of my houseguests, a decidedly better choice than That Guy (who will probably be mentioned here no more---let that be a lesson to you all: No Means No!).
Monday, May 8
First let me preface events by explaining that I was hostess to out-of-towners this weekend, so not my usual free-spirited self. Not that it's not better to have partners in crime; you just have to agree on what sort of antics and shenanigans you're up for collectively. I think it was a good think that my friends are both married now & perhaps a little calmer than they were in the early 90's when we were hanging out at the Overton Square Silky's and college-style house parties. Not that we didn't crash a kegger Saturday night... but I digress.
We did a late lunch at Celtic Crossing on Friday afternoon, which was perfect weather-wise. Once we made it down to Tom Lee Park it did get a little chilly, but we had supplies in our tiny backpack. I wish we'd tried to smuggle a bottle of liquor in this year like we did the last time Blues Traveler played BSMF, cause we look so respectable now they didn't even check. Or maybe I just looked particularly charming. Or was showing more cleavage than I thought.
But I didn't try to even bend the rules, so we played fair and bought our beers from the umbrella people until the lines got too long and we took a break. All this time, of course, we're listening to music, going between the Blues Tent, Jason Mraz, Big Star, Robert Randolph (although we unfortunately got there too late for the Central Standards and Augustine). Still left us plenty of time for Bryan Adams & Train. As if I'd have planned that! That's the way those things happen, though, and it was still great fun.
Honestly, though I jest, Train did a great cover of "Ramble On" that I never expected. I was actually impressed; of course, I couldn't see that guy's face, either, which is what disturbs me most about this band. To be fair, what disturbs me most about Bryan Adams is his music and the complete lack of soul. Which is worse? I'll tell you---it's all the couples slow dancing and making out in the back of the crowd while he played. Either than or the women I saw so drunk that they were literally carried out of the park or propped up until their bodies could process all the Budweiser they'd spent the first 3 hours of the festival funnelling.
I had one of my last alcohol-related 'firsts' that night as well. We actually let some underaged kids convince us to buy them SoCo Hurricanes. Seriously. They started telling us if we got in trouble not to worry cause one of their dads works for the teevee lawyers. And one of them kissed me for it, too, which kindof makes me a prostitute, if you think about it.That's all for now as I am off to Cafe Ole to meet my neighbor & her friend for drinks & dinner (some of my other favorite things start with D, apparently).
Thursday, May 4
I've just finished all my finals & I have company coming in town tomorrow, so it's going to be a while until I have something interesting to share with you again. I am legitimately busy, so don't be mad. I don't even have time to go out with any of my boyfriends, two of whom called today. I think I shall call them BOREfriends instead, because they have become tiresome. As in: I am too busy for borefriends. Yeah, I like the sound of that.
So often these days, I find myself thinking of imponderables in the shower, or doing laundry, or driving around. I feel like I'm driving around a lot lately. Which reminds me: you don' t have to thank me, but I just lowered gas prices again. How did I do it? Filled my tank up Tues. night at $2.84. Today I looked & it was $2.79 at the same damn place.
Other deep thoughts:
- Drugs aren't legal in Mexico anymore. Any drugs I'd want to do, that is---and then some. I'm sure you can still easily buy things there you can't get without a scrip here. I just hope there was some under-the-table deal between the US & Pres. Fox, or he's a wuss.
- Commercial I'm hating right now is the new one for Heineken featuring that Pussycat Dolls song. I hate that "band"---for lack of a better term. Don't cha? They are even on MySpace video now.
- Somehow I don't have time to blog, but I've got time for MySpace. How sad---it's like the brainless version of blogging.
- I'll be down at the Music Fest all weekend, or as much of it as I can tolerate (between the rain, rednecks, and 80's/90's music, that is). Doesn't it suck that the people blogging about it seem to be too cool to go? Not I! But I won't be blogging it, so get your sorry @$$es down there.
Wednesday, May 3
Me so tired.
I didn't get around to calling my sister for her birthday because I've been so wrapped up in finals & freaking out about scheduling errors. So, of course, I sent her a Happy Cinco de Mayo card instead, and that one will be early.
Me so clever.
Tuesday, May 2
Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 19) That Werner Herzog is some character. He's so determined and crabby, like a European Fred Sanford. You'll be just as ambitious this week, hauling boats up mountains and trying valiantly to bed that unapproachable neighbor. Unfortunately, this demeanor begets a foul attitude when things don't work out. Coast on people's misinterpretation of your sourpuss megalomania as genius.
I'm not sure they've really got me pegged, but I usually like Nerve.com's take on the horoscope. It's way better than the Memphis Flyer's---which incidentally had this awful karaoke of "Walking in Memphis"---a song I already hated, but shall now do so more emphatically.