Monday, October 30, 2006

Update: Ardent Party, Oprah Giveaway, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and more!

Alright, this is going to be a quick post-- hopefully it will work out. With my ultra-un-reliable interet connection, who knows... but I'll give it a shot.

Today was fun; I attended Ardent's 40th birthday party. In case you haven't heard, Ardent is an amazing recording studio in Memphis where tons of great tunes have been recorded. (Whenever I say tunes, it always makes me think of Eddie Izzard... but that post will have to wait for another day)

Here's a link to their web site:

Taken from their site, here are a few of the artists that have recorded there:
• The White Stripes
• 3 Doors Down
• Gin Blossoms
• R.E.M.
• Black Snake Moan (Movie Score)
• Hustle & Flow (Movie Score)
• Cheap Trick
• Sister Hazel
• Soundgarden
• ZZ Top
• Skillet
• Big Star
• Dave Matthews
• Al Green
• Isaac Hayes
• B.B. King
• Bob Dylan
• North Mississippi Allstars
• Bar-Kays
• Travis Tritt
• Marty Stuart
• Tanya Tucker
• Aaron Tippin
• Little Texas
• Waylon Jennings
• The Allman Brothers
• Lynyrd Skynyrd
• Take the Wheel
• DC Talk
• Big Tent Revival
• Smalltown Poets
• Led Zeppelin
• Booker T & the MG's
• Triple 6 Mafia

As you can see, many kinds of music have been recorded at Ardent over the years. Depending on the kind of music that you prefer, you will pick out rock, soul, country, and Christian artists.

On the topic of me, if you know me, you know that I tend to get music stuck in my head. For today, the song on repeat is "Buffalo Soldier" that Bob Marley sang. I saw his sons in concert over the summer at the Hollywood Bowl and Ziggy sang this song.


Two noteable things from the party-- First, it was cool to see Craig Brewer in person. What a low key nice guy! Second, I completely took a tumble down the stairs at the party. Wow. I don't typically do this, really. It was one of those shady spots where you can't quite see the stairs and the stairs change heights. You know? Anyway, it was one of those slow motion moments. Luckily, I managed to come out relatively unharmed... and impressively, there was still wine in my glass when I stood up. Apparently, auto-pilot was working. lol. :)

On other topics... a quick entertainment update:
The bad: Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon have announced that they are seperating. Awe! :(
The good: Oprah has given out $1000 gift cards to her audience members-- who have to now go donate the $1000 to a charity or a needy person in some way. She's actually giving the gift of "giving." Some people seem to be complaining that she should have just given the audience members $1000 for themselves, but this seems like a good thing to me. Although it's a little unconventional, Oprah appears to be trying to set a few examples in motion... get people thinking about how much you can do with so little when you're trying to help others. :-)

Next topic-- It appears that I'm most definitely completely having a birthday party. But, not only that-- it's a TRIPLE birthday party! For all the details, be sure to e-mail me at birthday(at) and I'll get you fixed up with an invitation. It's going to be at a fun downtown location and the event has the potential for Raiford's and breakfast afterward.

I almost forgot-- there will be CUPCAKES at the party! The two birthday boys who are celebrating with me have been teasing me when I say that cupcakes are in style. But, once again tonight, I did spot the LA cupcakery, Sprinkles, on the TV entertainment rundown. If you haven't heard of them, you should definitely check them out... once you do, you'll understand my addiction. :-)

One final note-- The Grizzlies season kicks off this Wednesday, November 1st. Be sure to get your tickets soon, because the Grizzlies are playing the New York Knicks. Should be a fun time!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Memphis Manatee

Memphis Manee has his own music video, complete with trips to Graceland and Sun Studio.

If you haven't heard, a manatee swam into the Mississippi River and ended up in Memphis this week. It's been quite the talk.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Post, New Day.

Things are looking up.

Today, I visited the Civil Rights Museum and took a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory. Both were wonderful! I recommend them both highly.

I'm also looking forward to all of the fun activities going on around Downtown Memphis this weekend for Halloween. Paul and Phillip both outlined the weekend very well, so I'll point you to their blogs.

Sarabee also mentioned a fun article on her blog today. It's called "12 Places to Eat on Your Hipster Journey to Memphis" and it sounds tasty. Check it out here. Probably my favorite thing is that he mentions the BP gas / sushi station. I, of course, know just where this is and I have completely tried it! It's not bad at all-- and is actually homemade there at the BP station. :-)

Another "new" place I tried today is Sleep Out Louie's. Although I hear about Sleep Out's all the time from Paul and my co-workers, I've never been before. Oh wait, I should rephrase-- I have never been there to eat before. On one occasion, the bartender there was gracious enough to make change for me on my way to another place that only accepted cash. But anyway, today I actually stayed and had lunch. It was a great atmosphere and tasty food. I had the chicken fingers, french fries (with ranch and honey mustard), and sweet tea. I recommend it.

On another note, the Mpact Memphis party last night was fun, despite it being outdoors in the cold and rain. Around half of the party ended up being held in the gym of the building. I am a definite fan of the occasional party challenge... it always makes for a fun memory and good story. I should note that the party was much larger than I expected... and being that it was in multiple rooms, it was even more impressive that the roof was completely full. In case you haven't seen it yet, Mpact Memphis now has a Myspace page. You should check it out and be sure to ask to be their friend:

Well, that's about it for now. I'm tired; it's late.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I've been thinking the past few days... it seems like lately, I've been so pressed for time that instead of writing my thoughts on one thing or another, I'm essentially going through my daily itinerary. Not that the run down is all that bad, but I'd definitely like to get back into the groove of actually discussing my thoughts on a topic.

Hopefully, I can begin to lean in that direction...

Today, I had another interesting afternoon in Memphis. I traveled around and watched a show be taped that's about Memphis-- and the musical heritage of the city. We visited many different important Memphis landmarks, including the Smithsonian Rock 'n' Soul Museum, WC Handy Park, BB King's Blues Club, Sun Studio, and Graceland.

My favorite spot today was Graceland. I actually took the full tour (house, planes, and cars) on Friday of last week. But today was different. We weren't on the tour and we didn't have to stay behind the ropes. Well, really we only went out onto the lawn, but you know... it was still fun! :-)

In other news... I got a new neighbor yesterday. I became aware something was diffrenent when my entire apartment was suddenly filled with music at around 11 PM; music that wasn't mine. I was so frustrated by the new mystery music that I took a walk around at around 11:30 PM to figure out where it was coming from. I couldn't quite figure out why it suddenly started.

When I got home today, there were movers all over the building, moving in belongings-- none of them in boxes. As you can imagine, there were random loose belongings sitting all over the place. I followed the trail of the belongings and the movers all the way to the apartment next to mine....

...the one with the music.

Going for the gusto, I walked all the way in to the apartment and announced myself to my new neighbor. He seems nice enough; very much like one of the typical neighbor neighbor types here-- divorced, starting over.

Before leaving I said something like, "Oh-- you must have been up late last night unpacking, huh?" And he said something like "Oh yeah, could you hear me?" And I said, "Oh yeah, totally." And, he said, "Oh wow, I wasn't sure how well the speakers carried, and I just got new big ones yesterday." "Yup, it carries... far," I said. Then, I wished him luck moving in and all that nice stuff.

He seems like a nice guy, but seriously, I can do without music at midnight on Sunday that's not in a dream I'm having. Hopefully, we're on the same page about that. The floors in his place are concrete and he's got no furniture for crying out loud! lol. If he wants to have a second childhood, cool-- but please, do it quietly!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hello again.

It seems like I'm averaging around 1 post every five days lately. Hopefully I'll pick up the pace at some point. My main hurdle right now is my poor internet connection at home. I've complained about the problem at least 5 or more times now, so maybe I'll finally start to have a decent connection.

This weekend was a good one. BoRyan visited and we had a nice time... Friday night, we had dinner at a great place downtown called Chez Phillipe.

Yesterday morning, we took a long walk around the South Main neighborhood that included the Memphis Farmer's Market, Gestures Gifts, MUSE, and Bluff City Coffee. It was great to see so many businesses doing well in downtown Memphis. At Bluff City, I had a white hot chocolate that was quite tasty and was made with Ghirardelli chocolate. Also, MUSE has added a small mens section. And... the Memphis Farmers Market will be closed for the season.

Last night, we attended Daniel and Victoria's wedding in Collierville. The wedding was very nice and it was good to see a few old friends from FedEx.

Today, we walked down to see where the fires burned the church and the other buildings in downtown. It's amazing to see how far the fire actually traveled. After a long walk, we stopped in to Texas de Brazil for their brunch. I've always avoided this place, because I thought it would be just another salad bar with meat. Luckily I was wrong. About their brunch menu anyway. :-) They had all sorts of meats, cheeses, salads, olives... waffles, cake... and a few other things. Oh, and free mimosas (which were remarkably OJ dominated). Anyway, good place... I recommend trying it at least once.

Yawn... I'm going to go... it's time for Desperate Housewives and relaxation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Updates, updates....

Today was quite a whirlwind. For my brain, that is. It was one of those days where you wear yourself out early on, and you spend a good part of the evening with your thoughts... sorting things out.

Luckily for me, things are pretty well sorted now. The short of it is...

  • The next few days are going to be fun. I've got an after school activity scheduled each day to keep me occupied.
  • I need to work to put up the decorations in my apartment, even if it turns out to be by myself.
  • Friday, I'm going to enjoy a great dinner with a guest I'm looking forward to.
  • Saturday I have a fun wedding to be a spectator at.
  • I think I'm going to have a party for my birthday in a few weeks. Actually, it looks like it will be a triangular birthday party... with 3 birthday people. I'm looking forwad to this. Hopefully, it will be a super bash! (If I don't have your current e-mail for the e-vite, please send it to me at this address: birthday(at)
  • I hope to eventually get back into retail blogging before Christmas.

In addition to all this important thinking (and a TON of talking), I found out that the items I ordered online a few days ago have started to ship to me. I'm super happy about that.

Sometime soon, I'd like to also begin to spruce up my apartment. I may have to post photos of things I'm thinking of getting, so that I can get your thoughts. :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Save Me From the Mall -- Online Shopping Malls and Fashion Stores

With my new job, I'm also working to spruce up my fall wardrobe some.

After an afternoon of debating where to drive to go shopping... and after a bit of a time warp of a trip to Macy's yesterday (the one day sale was a little crazy to say the least), I've decided to try shopping for a few clothes online.

You know that feeling you have when leaving a mall-- like you've been sucked dry by all of the people and the floresent lights? Well, I'm hoping not to have that feeling... and hopefully, I'll find a few things I like.

Luckily, many places provide free shipping and returns these days, so there isn't as big of a risk when I buy online. Plus, online stores tend to have more sizes than the typical brick and morter shops.

I think I may even try this for my Christmas shopping...!

Below are a few links I've created for myself to use for my little virtual trip. Feel free to ignore them, or give them a try if you're also looking to keep yourself away from the mall as we approach the holiday season craziness. I'll be getting my MAC makeup at Macy's. I really like the way they package it up... and so far, they've always sent free samples too., Inc. is a discount retailer

SHOP.COM has a little of everything

The Body Shop Socially responsible company sells lotions and makeup
Huge selection of shoes; Free shipping & returns

Thomas Pink
Cool high end button down dress shirts
Sprit has a sale

Gap's free shipping Logo

Shop at

CoutureCandy Personal Sylists
Couture Candy brings LA style to your door

BlueFly offers designer clothes for less

Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc. Frederick's

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Today was a nice day. I went into the office for the first half of the day... And for the second half, I toured two local Memphis museums.

First, the Memphis Children's Muesum and second, the Pink Palace Museum. I especially enjoyed the Children's Musem. It was incredibly well done, creative-- and the kids who where there were loving it.

The Pink Palace was also good. They had exhibits of old clothes and tools that were used years ago in Tennessee. They also had a model railroad show temporarily going on. I haven't spent much time around model railroads, so it was a learning experience for me.

I ended up finishing a few minutes earlier than I would have anticipated, so I took the time to check out the Peabody Hotel's famous duck walk. Although I've tried to go many times, I don't know that I've actually made it in time for the walk. The walk happens at around 4:45 (they set up at 4:30).

If you've never heard of the walk-- this is the deal: The Duckmaster trains this group of ducks on the roof of the Peabody Hotel, where they have a Duck Palace (or something similiar). If you ever visit the Peabody, be sure to check out the roof because that's where the ducks have their home. Anyway, so the ducks are trained to walk from this big fountain in the center of the hotel-- down a red carpet (at the command of the Duckmaster) and onto the hotel's elevator. From there, they go up to the roof and retire in the Duck Palace for the evening. This routine happens every day at the Peabody, so if you visit Memphis its definitely worth seeing once.

I would recommend getting there early. They have a bar, so the best suggestion I have is to get there for happy hour and pull up a seat close to the fountain. It was amazing to see how rude grown adults were to the 3 and 4 year old children that were trying to get to the front of the crowd. Luckily, they made it up. But there were so many flash bulbs that you would have though Justin Timberlake was marching upstairs to the Duck Palace.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to attend a book party at the Gibson. I'm also getting a haircut, having lunch with a friend, having my car looked at, and running to the bank.

This schedule explains why I stayed in tonight. That and, I wanted to finally try out my gym here. I need to get back into the habit of going to the gym and luckily, there's a great facility here to do just that.

On Sunday, I'm considering a home decorating workshop and a tour of the downtown homes in Memphis. Should be interesting.

Update: My closet is back up. After much controversy, it's been repaired. Turns out that the closet falling is an almost assured occurance for those owners who did not upgrade the closets. The shelving was installed very poorly-- only using plastic anchors and only securing them with the drywall. I'm hoping the new metal anchors and screws that go into the studs will help keep it up on the wall this time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What a Morning

I just woke up to find the the shelves in my bedroom closet have fallen off the wall into the center of my closet. Since I wasn't storing anything heavy on the closet, like boxes, it appears that whoever installed the thing in the first place did a poor job installing the anchors.

Ugh, just another thing now on my to-do list!

I'm Spoiled.

This weekend cemented it—I’ve gone from a church mouse lifestyle to being spoiled. Thank goodness!

If you know me well, you know that I’ve spent the last two years working myself to death… quitting my corporate job to earn my MBA, working for myself… taking big risks. It has taken a lot of time, and a huge amount of energy.

On Friday after work, I flew to Los Angeles to spent time with BoRyan. Bright and early at 8 AM Saturday morning, we took off for Santa Barbara County. We drove from Santa Monica, through Malibu, up the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1 / PCH) toward SB. Our goal: relaxation and good wine. The next week or so is the harvest season for the grapes, so this was an extra good time to go.

In all, we visited 6 wineries on Saturday; 5 were open. Gainey was closed for a wedding, so we weren’t able to visit them. But, we did go to Rideau (favorite winery), Foley (like it a lot, despite that they’ll never ship to Memphis), and a few new places, including a place in a shack that was surprisingly wonderful. We also visited one vineyard that used to just grow grapes for other vineyards, but recently started producing their own wine.

Probably the most unexpected experience was our stop by Firestone. Although we’ve both visited Firestone before once, it was fairly basic. We saw the location where Sideways was filmed and that was about it.

This time, we had the good fortune of falling into a tour right when we went into Firestone. We were able to walk up to the grape vines and actually eat grapes off them. Then, we got a chance to see how the grapes are smashed… and then how the wine is made… and lastly, how it’s stored. Pretty good tour… and the wine wasn’t too bad either. :-)

After this all day tour (complete with lunch in Los Olivos at the Wine Merchant place from Sideways), we headed to our hotel in a Danish community nearby. We ate Danish diner food at a place specializing in split pea soup. Of course, we both had to try it.

After dinner, we watched Little Miss Sunshine, but as usual, I fell right to sleep. Looks like I’ll have to watch it again another time. I hear it was good.

Sunday morning, we woke up, and after breakfast in bed, we headed down the hall for massages at the hotel spa. It was GREAT!

After the massages, we headed into Santa Barbara for a wonderful lunch at an Italian café and a little shopping. I found a new purse, and a new necklace.

After driving back to Santa Monica, we finished the weekend with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Monsoon, and a new episode of Desperate Housewives.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A good / bad day.

Alright, today was bittersweet. But before I get into that, I'll quickly explain my lack of blogging in the past few days. My new apartment comes with "free wireless internet." Well, I guess you get what you pay for because it hardly works for me. I should correct myself-- it doesn't work in my office, but I have just discovered that it does work in my bed. That does not seem like a good sign... what do they expect me to be using my internet for?

Anyway, the good and the bad--
Good (Calvary music lunch performance) + Bad (sore feet from a long, complicated, unexpected walk) = Neutral
Good (Taking my last hour of work to see the new Smithsonian Rock 'n' Soul Museum) + Bad (a freaking terribly long walk that completely did my feet in and added blisters in places I've never had blisters) = Bittersweet
Good (A nice letter from my great aunt) + Bad (News that my great uncle [unrelated to great aunt] had a stroke today and is very ill) = Sucks

I'm also feeling bummed about my upcoming class reunion. I keep wanting to be excited and think that it's going to be a fun time. But, everytime I do, someone leaves our class a message talking about doing the least inexpensive thing-- and making it clear that there are people in charge.

Let me be bold and say that as an adult, I've done a reasonable amount of event planning and coordination. And, with that, it's rare that anyone wants to help. Personally, I welcome ideas and help... but apparently not everyone feels that way. Maybe it's just me, but I keep getting the feeling that some of those in power want to tell everyone to sit down and shut up.

Probably me especially. Ugh. I created a forum for the class, collected together more than 120 members so far... and in addition to people being happy that we've gotten everyone together, there also seems to be this weird sense of fear that those in power are afraid of losing control.

I guess it's that whole age of information thing. Life is more transparent. You can't just control things from inside a locked room and then expect the masses to follow.

Anyway, I really hope to help out in some way. Maybe my main goal was just to gather people together. I don't know. But I do know that I wish everyone's ideas could be treated as valuable. I mean, I feel like ideas are being stomped out before they're even looked at. Nobody in power even seems to have real ideas. But they don't seem to want anyone else's. (There have been quite a few civilians who have unsuccessfully offered up suggestions)

Ugh. Sad. I sure hope this is just temporary, or just my perception. I would really like the entire event to be nice.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

To Be Continued...

I guess I should post a message like Sarabee did on her blog.

I'm still here; I'm just getting myself organized.