I got out of the office tonight for dinner at just the right time. The sun was setting and the sky was heavy with blue. People were out and about, letting the warm air hit their skin. I love this time of year right at the birth of spring, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of saying it.
Monday, March 02, 2009
The media coverage of this has been interesting. Evidently the Commercial Appeal was AWOL Sunday, using a generic report with very little updated info. On the national front, CNN decided to use their regular Joe network--I report citizen journalists--to cover the event here. And just like a regular reporter, he got it wrong, mentioning something about teflon snow'.. well here, let's let him explain:
In Memphis, Tennessee, CNN iReporter George Brown said Sunday that forecasters had predicted "Teflon snow," which wouldn't stick to the ground. But the snow that fell was much heavier, he said. iReport.com: Share photos of icy, snowy weather in your townNot sure where Mr. Brown got this bombshell info but the NWS in Memphis issued a Winter Storm Warning around 4 am Saturday morning for the entire city, calling for 4 inches of snow. Earlier forecasts on Friday had called for accumulating snow, although not 4 inches. But hey, it's Memphis. The local weathermen often get winter forecasts wrong but let's give credit where due--they hit this one. But history, as written by CNN's George, will not reflect that.
"We were getting an inch or more an hour," he said. "Some roads are impassable because the folks here aren't use to dealing with slick streets. Many cars are off the interstate, and hotels are packed," Brown said.
There was also this puzzling comment, coming from a TDOT spokesperson:
Julie Oaks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation told CNN she had never seen snow before in the western part of the state.Strange, Memphis and the western part of the state got 4-6 inches about this same time last year. There simply must be a logical explanation for this baffling statement aside from "it's CNN".
Perhaps Ms. Oaks just moved to her job at TDOT from some other part of America (or the state) and arrived after March, missing last year's storm. Or maybe they took something out of context such as "I've" never seen snow there before because she was based in Nashville or something. But the notion she's been at the state agency that issues road condition reports and has no memory of any snow in the west is beyond comprehensible, if true, leaving my confidence in the information flashed on those overhead signs as next to nil.
So I'm going with "it's CNN".
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I worked on this section for two and a half weeks. Halfway through working on it, I lost almost half of what I'd written, yet still managed to finish three days before deadline.
If you look at the section itself, in the paper, I wrote every syllable from page 18, Most "Memphis" BBQ Sauce, to page 36, Most Boundless Beer Selection. That's 34 categories; nearly 9,000 words. And, if I may, it's all pretty good stuff.
For some reason I was left out of the list of section writers on page 1. I'm not sure yet why that is, but I hope to find out soon. In the meantime, the categories I was responsible for are:
- Most "Memphis" BBQ Sauce
- Most Beloved BBQ Joint
- Most Prime Steak Dinner
- Most Enticing Burger
- Most Savory Slice of Pizza
- Most Sensational Sushi
- Most Profitable Business Lunch
- Most Satisfying Biscuits
- Most Revered Sunday Brunch
- Most For The Money
- Most Craved Catfish
- Most Romantic Restaurant
- Most Delicious Deli
- Most Tempting Bakery
- Most Vietnamese Restaurant
- Most Bountiful Buffet
- Most Fine Dining
- Most Italian Restaurant
- Most Indian Restaurant
- Most Kid-Friendly Cuisine
- Most Thai Restaurant
- Most Chinese Restaurant
- Most Mexican Restaurant
- Most Mediterranean Restaurant
- Most Japanese Restaurant
- Most Exotic Cuisine
- Most Scrumptious Seafood
- Most Wholesome Health Food
- Most Popular Pub
- Most Cosmopolitan Night Club
- Most Masterful Martini
- Most Fanatical Sports Bar
- Most Bona Fide Blues Club
- Most Boundless Beer Selection
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Completing Main Street
When the Center City Commission asked the public about returning auto traffic to Main Street, the public came out strongly against the idea.
There have been many arguments for returning traffic to Main. The CCC's retail consultant made the argument. The NEA Director of Design, Maurice Cox recommended it. His predecessor at the NEA, Jeff Speck, made it one of his 12 suggestions for Memphis.
Even if public sentiment for the pedestrian over the car is technically flawed from an urban design point of view, such sentiment is still a good, progressive sign for Memphis. And I want to point out that Speck had also suggested fixing the South Main knuckle, the walking discontinuity formed by the Main/Beale parking lot, MLG&W's mega-berm and parking garage, and the empty Chisca. I believe that the knuckle is a much greater obstacle to Main Street revitality. It cuts Main Street off from the energy of both South Main and Beale Street (which is itself auto restricted yet prospers). I don't think returning traffic without fixing the knuckle will fix Main Street.
The CCC will decide later this month what it will do. They could still open Main to traffic. At the very least, I hope the public's opposition will keep them from the more invasive, multi-million dollar projects. Maybe the opposition will lead the Commission to take Speck's specific advice and try a woonerf, a simple plan that would make the pedestrian and the car and the bike equals on Main.
Ok, big post today.
First off let's start with the schedule for the newly remodeled Levitt Shell (formerly Overton Park Shell). I know a lot of people are really anxious for this to get going and I'm one of them. This is just one more thing that Memphis lacks that other cities this size have. I think Midtown will be able to support the project and I'm very impressed with the progress of the project so far. I would paste the schedule below but it's way to large to fit on the page so you can check out the homepage HERE for some more info. It's a really well done site as well so that always helps a projects image. I will say that the opening Amy Lavere show on Sept. 4th should be great and I'll be sure to attend.
The Memphis Flyer had a little write up today on a new local beer brewery called Ghost River Brewing. It's made at the Boscos facility downtown on South Main and is made by the same guy that co-owns Bosco's. The thing that makes them special is that it's brewed with Memphis Artisan well water, the same special water that makes Memphis famous in terms of clean, natural water sources. The Ghost River beers — Ghost River Golden, Glacial Pale Ale, Brown Ale, as well as seasonal beers, such as a German-style Hefeweizen and a Scottish ale — are draft-only beers and are currently being marketed to local restaurants and bars by Southwestern Distributing. It will be available at both Flying Saucer locations, both Central BBQs, Ciao Bella, Equestria, and Yia Yia's.
In case you're reading this RIGHT NOW at 7pm on Monday, then I have something for you to run out and do right now.....HARLAN T. BOBO Video Shoot Monday NIght @ HiTone
"$5 Cover" will be shooting footage of Harlan performing on Monday night at the Hi-Tone.
This will be a free, 18+ shoot, and we would like to invite those who love Harlan and his music
Exact time has not been set yet, but if you would like to take part, please email Lorin here:
email@example.com and she will contact you as soon as the time is set.
Please dress accordingly for a Harlan show. Think darker or muted colors.
Please also avoid the following things, as they
do not show well on the camera:
Black, white, red
Small stripes/patterns (1/2inch or larger, fine)
PLEASE BRING CLOTHING OPTIONS.
Feel free to bring a friend as long as they are aware of the wardrobe constrictions.
Finally, the beer that we all love to get tall boys of at the Deli is going retro on us and reverting to their old fashioned recipe. I'm talking about Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee famous. According to a Yahoo! news report, Schlitz was originally the most popular beer in the world until about 1955 when a Milwaukee beer brewers union strike opened up the floodgates to the world of Budweiser. After that it was downhill for the beer with "just a kiss of the hops" and now you can really only find it in tall boy cans that border on malt liquor. But the company, which is owned by Pabst Blue Ribbon, has now done their homework and is going back to the original recipe that made it loved worldwide. Apparently, years of cutting corners to save money and sacrificing flavor as well as poor marketing campaigns, resulted in the downfall of the Schlitz empire but it is now poised to return. For right now, the old school recipe beer is only available in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis (another reason Minnesota rocks) and they cant keep it on the shelves there. It's gotten to the point where stores have to have a waiting list for people and also won't let them buy more than a certain amount of the stuff in one trip. So keep your eyes and mouth open for the return of the Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous!
Posted by Ryan
Friday, July 25, 2008
memphis blogger dirk diggler
where to find japanese eggplant in memphis
the pesky fly memphis
memphis tobacco bowl
eddie vedder memphis rumor
george carlin zesty advertising
tube float trips near memphis
dixie homes memphis
paul ryburn tube top
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But apparently MPD director Larry Godwin thinks it’s his business.
The Blog owner goes by the name of Dirk Diggler. This morning, the MPD and the City of Memphis filed a lawsuit demanding AOL give up IP addresses, user and billing information of the e-mail account Dirk provided for tips and information on his blog. The Commercial Appeal has picked up the story. Be sure to read the article comments section to see how the people of Memphis feel about this use of their tax dollars. Making matters more intriguing, most of the case is sealed.
I have asked several legal types if Godwin has a case or is this just intimidation and a gross violation of Free Speech? About 90% of them said there is no case. One wasn’t so sure based on current events involving bloggers. We shall see. Perhaps the case can be made of several postings libeling folks.
In any case, one wonders why Godwin would do this? It can only generate really negative publicity for him, and drive thousands of people to the site to see what all the commotion is about, therefore letting the general public know how the MPD rank and file really feel about him. Not a good move for someone most likely planning to run for Sheriff, and it does add credibility to the claim Godwin practices Gestapo-like tactics against those who go against him.
Is it perhaps that some of the allegations on the blog are true? Has Dirk hit a sore spot? Or is there more to it than meets the eye? Enforcer’s comments are moderated, so we don’t know what didn’t make it to the blog. I have to admit I have heard several of the allegations on that blog from other sources. I have discussed some of them in the past here, but there was never any proof and so they remain rumors and allegations. Maybe that’s changing.
Note: I was gonna put a picture of Godwin on here, but I'd have to take it from the MPD site, and I don't want Godwin coming after me for copyright infringement!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
If you've ever visited the Rock & Roll Planet before, you may have noticed my name has changed. Still me, though, and if I do blog here again with any regularity, please rest assured it will still be me.What about me? Looking for a new job, maybe. Swimming every weekend. Reading lots of Paulo Coehlo lately, too. Eating my veggies and even the poisoned tomato here and there. How about y'all?
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Our booty this week was, well, somewhat limited. Our famer explained that last year, they were eating ripe tomatoes on June 1. This year, because the weather in our region until recently has been cool and rainy, most farms in the area are suffering a bit. Instead of gorgeous juicy red tomatoes, we got turnips and kale. My 6 year old self is saying, “Ick! Turnips and kale? Gross!” [Note: I really do like turnips and kale, but my excitement over the CSA and its possibilities made me revert to my 6 year-old mindset.]
Initially, I was terribly disappointed and even wanted to get a little annoyed with my decision to join the CSA. We paid good money and this is what I get? But then I realized why I wanted to do it in the first place. I want to support the local guy. I want to eat what’s fresh and available instead of expecting plump juicy peaches to magically appear in my kitchen. I wanted to change my food philosophy and habits in hopes to help the environment and better nurture my family. So, I took sour lemons and made lemonade. Barbara Kingsolver would be so proud.
I decided to pull out an old cookbook I bought several years ago when we were living in Rochester and enjoying the city’s weekly (and wonderful) public market. This book, Local Flavors, is one from which I have never really cooked. Surprisingly, it is also mentioned in Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s like I was meant to eat this way. I first looked up turnips and found a delicious recipe for a Turnip Potage. When I told my mother the name of the recipe, she said, “Gross.” But it is actually quite delicious. It’s basically a turnip, potato and leek soup (the potatoes and leeks provided by my local Easy Way). I am pleased to say that even my picky eater, Charlie, enjoyed drinking down a cup.
My next challenge was to find something palatable for the kale. I wanted a meal, not just a side dish, so I opted for a dish of Kale, Beans, Cilantro and Feta (I also threw in the greens from the turnips). When I told my husband the name of the recipe, he said, “Gross.” Again, though, the recipe is really tasty. The cilantro and feta give it a unique twist and after eating a bowl of it last night, I was stuffed. It’s amazing what real food can do for you! Charlie ate a few of the beans but was not too thrilled about the kale. I’ll keep working on him, though!
So here’s to a successful first week of being a part of a CSA. So far, I am pleased with my choice to take part in the partnership, and I especially look forward to seeing what is to come this summer! Now, if I could just break my pregnancy guilty pleasure from the organic ice cream sandwiches that make their way to my freezer all the way from Eugene, Oregon…
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Regular Deadline: June 16
LATE DEADLINE: JULY 1
WAB Extended Deadline: July 15
Friday, June 27, 2008
yes i won the wingoff
yes i hosted the wingoff that i won
yes i handpicked the judges
i picked judges that would be objective
see after several years
i began to see hamlett and alan
for what they really are
i am not saying
i am just saying
but i will say this
they were not judges
i won the wingoff
oh and here are some reviews
of some of our favorite
young at art
may not be an appropriate title
as some of these peoples
were slanging their wares on the corners
before avon barksdale
was even famous
i went and saw
west side story last night
pepe was beautiful
one of the shark girls wasnt wearing any underwear
that was exciting
she was one of the few
out of high school
i think there is some behind the scene romances going on
that should be a new reality series
the theatre peoples that do it with each other
because your god knows
the art people aint doing it with each other
the art people aint doing it with anyone
poor art people
poor art people
poor people that read this blog
i have to end this post now
as i just had
what some would call
i can not post
what i just wrote
as it is probably
that greatest thing i have ever written
and i have to save it
save it for my may show
i know may is along way away
but believe me
it is worth the wait
and on the bright side
you will probably forget
all about this blog post before may
and you will still think
it is the greatest thing ever
that is how fucking hot it is
here is a list of people that i mention
in the rest of this post that you will not read
but will hear about in nine months
anna "cowboy bright" rossi
taurus "from fifth grade"
carissa's stuffed cabbage
anita "the first black girl i did it with"
and eddie vedder
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Or so I thought. After learning about what market research had to say about these kids, I started observing them a little more closely. On the surface, things didn't look so different. Then, in quick succession, I had an email exchange with one twentysomething and an IM exchange with another that suddenly alerted me to the main issue separating X from Y.
Now don't get me wrong- it's not that the Millennials sound like cavemen, or that the MTV generation speaks only the Queen's English. No, when we talk to each other it's all the same. The difference comes when we try to communicate in the aforementioned cool, hip ways. That’s when I realize just how out of touch I am.
Gen Y: how was your weekend
Gen X: Mom kept the kids Saturday night, so Chip and I went out to dinner. Then we got stuck sitting next to a table full of kids!
Gen Y: haha thats crazy. where did you go
It’s worth noting that most of my texting and IM activity involves other people my age. We craft carefully worded sentences, full of punctuation and capitals, and even correct ourselves if a typo slips through. Sure, we throw in a BRB or LOL every now and again- we’re not opposed to acronyms. We spent most of high school writing notes (an old-fashioned precursor to texting) that included phrases like BFF and LYLAS. But we also started each note with ’Sup- not sup- because we demanded an apostrophe to hold the place of those dropped letters.
Thirtysomething: You can work a desk job while he works on becoming a professional photographer.
That's my plan, but with writign.
Me: You're off to a good start there.
Thirtysomething: Ha! I misspelled "writing."
The Millennials don’t have these standards. They zoom through an instant message without so much as an accidental brush against the shift key. No apostrophes, no capitals, no shame. In a recent attempt to hold my own with someone younger, I tried to type in the style of the day- a bunch of letters, no punctuation- but found that I couldn’t. I would try so hard to not hit the shift key, but then accidentally I would, and it looked even more dorky that some words were correct and some weren’t, so I went back and edited the IM so that it was uniformly wrong. Are you kidding me? I quickly went back to my normal patterns. I'm sure the youngster I was chatting with was picturing a gray-haired old lady typing away on my end, but that’s just how it will have to be. I can't give up my commas.
It’s hard to believe I have children who are even younger than the Millenials. What will their catchy nickname be? How will Red Deluxe market to them? Will they grow up using apostrophes? One thing is for certain- I will have to work pretty hard to stay a step ahead of them. It’s clear that I’m already falling way behind.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
All right, below are the rumors I’ve heard about BBQ Fest. Keep in mind that all of the below are RUMORS and not anything I’ve confirmed with Memphis in May:
- The festival will be downsized next year. This one is almost certainly true, as construction will begin on Beale Street Landing, and that will cut into the amount of space they have available at Tom Lee Park.
- In order to compensate for the reduced space, the rumor is that MIM plans to reduce the number of teams. I keep hearing that they intend to eliminate some of the smaller teams. Not sure if that means just the Patio Porkers, who are by definition smaller teams, or if it extends to the smaller teams competing in the Big Three (shoulder, ribs, whole hog) as well.
- Another rumor is that they plan to make it more corporate, and one way they plan on doing this and also getting rid of the smaller teams is to raise entry fees considerably. I’ve heard the number $5,000 thrown around more than one time, but again, that is all hearsay. In one case I heard $15,000. The idea, I’ve been told, is to raise it to a number high enough where it would be very hard to enter without heavy corporate sponsorship.
- Another rumor is that they want to make it more of an international competition, with teams from the US and around the world. Therefore, it’s been rumored that the competition will become an invitation-only event, with some current teams grandfathered in and with teams who finished near the top in previous years’ competition receiving automatic bids.
- There’s also a new governing body that sanctions the contests, Memphis Barbeque Network. Prior to the first of 2008, Memphis in May was its own sanctioning body. Rumor is that since MIM wants the event to be more reflective of a world championship, they’re going to start inviting teams from other circuits, e.g. KCBS, FBA, etc. Problem is those circuits are a completely different format, don’t do on-site judging, and don’t cook MIM-style BBQ anyway.
Again, all just rumors, but I’ve heard this so many times (and a couple of times, from people connected to the aforementioned Memphis Barbeque Network) that I figured it deserved to be posted. If these rumors are incorrect, Memphis in May deserves the chance to refute them.
If this turns out to be true, it sounds like MIM is going to royally screw up one of the best festivals ever. Hate to see it happen to one of my favorite tube top-watching events of the year. Perhaps Memphians will react by boycotting their other events, Music Fest and Sunset Symphony, en masse.
Will keep you posted as I hear more. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got anything.
Please look after the soul of one George Carlin, who probably passed customs and should be coming your way about now. I know he vehemently denied Your existence, going so far as to say, "There is no God, none, never was," but I know these folks are your favorite kind. Besides, any one soul who brought so much laughter and cheer to so many others is deserving of favor, and he was merely railing against the God he was taught about in Catholic school, rather than the God he talked about in his act; "The Big Electron," The Sun, Joe Pesci. His indignation was about organized religion's version of God; the vengeful, white bearded, invisible man in the sky who's spying on you all the time and who decides the outcome of athletic events. But anyone as observant and perceptive as George Carlin saw the larger frame surrounding the smaller picture, so he never claimed to be an atheist, just a pragmatist. And anyway Lord, he's already been in front of one Supreme Court.
My friends and I who grew up in the sixties thought George Carlin was the funniest man alive. After his first album release, teenagers were quoting from his routines, like "The Wild Willy West Show on Radio WINO, (Wonderful WINO, in Western Walla Walla)," or "Al Sleet, your Hippie Dippy Weatherman, (Today's high? Whenever I get up)." When the times grew turbulent, we were delighted to see Carlin take off the coat and tie and grow his hair long. He was one of us, and he was still funnier than hell, deconstructing language and pointing out oxymorons like Jumbo Shrimp, and Military Intelligence, so that you can't hear some absurd phrase without thinking of him. How many times has someone thought, "That would be a good one for George Carlin?"
And the older he got, the more outrageous he became, and we loved him for it. No subject was beyond examination; Cats and Dogs, Baseball and Football, Religion, Advertising, and a lot of humor that was just plain crude. But God, could he make you hold-your-sides laugh. After he became famous for his "Seven Words" routine, he updated the list on his next HBO special, unrolling a long scroll and naming in rapid fire diction every slang term ever used for any known body part or bodily function, and I was left, doubled over in the chair, gasping for breath. But he was also a deep thinker, and agree or not, he could provoke you to consider another point of view. He claimed he didn't do political humor, but his comedy was deeply political and often radical. Lenny Bruce may have opened the door, but it was Carlin who came through.
I heard Jerry Seinfeld say that Carlin recently spoke of being relieved that this season's current death wave seemed to have passed him by, but he ended as part of a troika with Bo Diddley and Tim Russert anyway. I think he might have liked the company because, although the three men excelled in vastly different arenas, they all shared a singular defining passion about what they did. But Carlin's sudden death was similar to when Johnny Carson died; there was no time in advance to consider a life without him. You could prepare for Richard Pryor, but Carlin? And in the middle of this political season so rich with humor? He didn't "pass away," or "expire, like a magazine subscription." He up and died.
If I said that I feel like I lost an old friend yesterday, George Carlin would have thoroughly mocked that, since we were never in the same area code, so far as I know. In the 1984 HBO show, "Carlin on Campus," George said, "I believe in live and let live, and if anybody doesn't believe that, we'll take him outside and shoot the motherfucker." (Excuse me Lord, that was one of the seven). On this occasion he might say, "Go ahead back to your blog (and he would make exaggerated belching noises since the word is funny), and if it makes you feel any better to write a little something about me, have at it." So I did. And I will remember George Carlin with gales of laughter, and hope he is now in the process of being pleasantly surprised. In the name of Joe Pesci, we all say....