Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Scene In Which I Ramble. And Apologize. And Ramble Some More.

Other than some trip updates lately, I haven't been blogging too much.


I think about writing a blog.

Sometimes I write down an idea for a blog.

Usually on my hand.

Usually its something about how I really shouldn't write important things on my hands because then I wash them and lose the idea.

Then I wash my hands.

It's kind of a vicious cycle.

I really need to work on my lawn.

But I've already blogged about that.

I really need to get caught up on Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and omg, Sons of Anarchy, can we talk about how much I love Sons of Anarchy?


I need to watch the first couple seasons.

I also need to get my house and the studio cleaned up.

They're kinda messy 'cause I've been kind of busy.

Which is also why I haven't blogged.


Busy is good, though. Lots of weddings this weekend.

Just not a lot to blog about, 'cause I didn't really do anything funny like fall down the stairs carrying a box of flowers or anything like that.

Oh wait.

I did do that.

I also fell up some stairs. That was kind of funny too.

I thankfully did not fall off the 25-ft ladder I climbed up and down about 35 times.

That would not have been funny.

Speaking of funny, how funny is it that we're actually having a fall season?

I'm from Chicago.

"Fall" is what happens on the day that starts off sunny and pleasant at 70 degrees and drops to 30 by nightfall. The leaves plunge suicidally. Two days later it frosts. That's fall.

So this whole "chilly morning, warming up in the afternoon, leaves gently turning color" thing is kind of weird.

I really like it.

Ideally it would never get any colder than this. I'd like to avoid winter this year.

Let's make that happen, mmmmk??

Thought I would like Thanksgiving to come.

I'm going to be hosting this year.

I think it's going to be fun.

And a lot of work.

And fun.

And work.

I think I'm going to head to bed.

You may have noticed that I'm a bit tired.

But I felt bad because I hadn't been blogging much.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Scene In Which We Hit Beale Street

After a more-than-adequate dose of Elvis, we checked out some other areas of Memphis and started our nightly entertainment of sampling the nightlife....aka, drinking!

The boys had chores at their hostel, so K and I hung out at the "Cafe Ole" having a drink and waiting for them. It was right at the Cooper/Young neighborhood- so cute!

Staying at the Peabody, we naturally had to see the famous "March of the Ducks," so headed there next to observe the 5 PM show. For those unfamiliar with the tale, twice a day the trained ducks who reside at the Peabody march down and into, or out of and up, to the lobby fountain from the hotel roof where they spend their evenings.

The music plays a march, the "duck wrangler" puts down a set of stairs, and the ducks hop out of the fountain, march down the stairs, march across a red carpet, and hop on the elevator to go to the roof.

It's as freakin' cute as it sounds, if not cuter.

Following our dose of cuteness (and yummy martinis!) we ventured back to Beale Street to sample a little more local cultural- in the form of bar hopping from 7 PM- 2 AM, eventually landing at five or so places.

Including one where we saw this guy.

Dr. Feelgood Potts.

If you ever get down to Memphis and have the opportunity to hear him, DO IT.

Then, go have more drinks, eat some fried green tomatos, go to the karaoke bar, and watch your cousin sing "Suspicious Minds" in a town that reveres Elvis (thankfully, doing it much justice), watch your other cousin sing "Son of a Preacher Man" and bring the house down, watch The Tall Brit sing Oasis, and watch an amazingly drunk biker babe wife join her buddy onstage for a theatrical rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody," complete with hand gestures and dancing, then head back to the Peabody at 2 AM and have this conversation with the bellman on the way to your room in an otherwise still hotel:

Cousin K: "Howdy!"


Bellman: Hi.

K: Quiet in here, huh? So where's the staff party?

Bellman: Um, hah (nervous laughter) ah, have a good night....ah, hah.

Me: Seriously? What's your next line, 'I carried a watermelon?' "

And then you've done Memphis.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Scene In Which I Go To GRACELAND!!

I've never considered myself a huge fan of "The King," but when I said yes to a quick trip to Memphis, I knew Graceland would have to be on the agenda.

(Because really? It's AMERICANA at its absolute best. When am I ever going to see this again??)

And Graceland? Is awesome.

We arrived fairly early in the morning in an effort to beat the crowds, though Mondays appear to be the best time to go to Graceland to do so regardless.

Especially if you're over 70.

Just sayin'.

Graceland is amazing in that it's an entire museum and gift shop extraordinnare cobbled together on what once was a normal street. Despite the fact it stands a mere 100 yards or so away, you must board a short bus (having donned your self-touring headphone set) to be escorted across the street and up the driveway, where you are greeted by a Graceland employee who assures you that you'll be able to tour the house "at your leisure," while lining you up to enter and directing you to take your photos when you're done with the tour, NOT before, because they are UNLOADING THE BUSES HERE.

The house itself takes a relatively short time to go through, as you're not allowed to go upstairs, and definitely introduces you to the sense of reverence people in Memphis get when they talk about The King. This is NOT the Elvis of Vegas- this is their BOY.

Their boy with a 15-ft white leather couch in his peacock-themed front room.

With a fully carpeted kitchen, ohyesthankyou, all the rage in the 1970s.

With a pool room completely covered in pleated fabric on the walls and ceilings, otherwise known as "quite possibly the best place on the planet to do LSD."

And of course, the Jungle Room.

I have to confess, not what I expected. Along the way I'd sort of forgotten that Elvis' house was basically just abandoned and then preserved in the 1970s, and that what would have made something cool back then does not neccessarily mean cool....now.

Like green shag carpeting.

Carved fake wooden tree trunks as furniture.

It was awesome.

Elvis is actually buried outside the house, along with his parents and grandmother, and a marker (though not the remains) of his twin. Here's the part that amazed me: all the FLOWERS! Apparently, flowers still arrive daily from various fans and friends around the world. The week we were there, flowers arrived from his Italian fan club as well as several South American clubs.

Graceland goes on to showcase the grounds, the racquetball court-turned-trophy room, the museum in which all his gold records and other accolades hang (seeing the actual gold record for some of his songs?!? awesome), the car museum where the PINK CADILLAC is, along with about 10 other amazing cars, a showcase of his various costumes, and of course, his two private planes.

One of which features a sink with inlaid gold.

You know, just like mine.

We stayed at Graceland for a fairly serious amount of hours before deciding that we were Elvis-ed out, not in the least because Elvis tunes were being piped through our self-guiding-earbuds as well as the speakers around the place the entire time we were there. Little did we know that later that night, we'd see a performance channeling the King.....

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Scene In Which I Go To Memphis

A few weeks ago (and yes, just getting to blog about it now) I found myself driving to Memphis, as the direct result of one of those "seize the moment" conversations between myself and my cousin K a few weeks prior.

K: Hey, I'm going to be driving back to N Michigan from Texas in a few weeks. Can I stay with you in Indy on Tuesday night?

Me: Sure.

K: I'm gonna stay in Memphis Sunday and Monday and check it out.

Me: Cool!

K: Hey, you want to come?

Me: YES.

So I wrapped up a wedding on Saturday, packed my bags, picked up my rental car, and drove 7 hours to Memphis via southern Indiana, southern Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Yes, Arkansas.

Because the most efficient route to get to a state located directly south of me is, in fact, to drive through five different states in one day.

(It actually is. Check it out.)

I arrived and got picked up by my cousin J, K's brother. He had also decided to seize the moment and drive up from Atlanta, so yes, you're correct, three cousins from three different states had all decided to converge together in Memphis, of all places, for two days. He'd also brought L, who for the sake of no-more-initials we're going to refer to as The Tall Brit.

Because he is, and is.

We got settled in at our respective hotels (K& I at the Peabody!!) and the boys came over to pick us up for dinner. Hilariously, both K and J chose to announce themselves at the Peabody by not merely knocking on the door, but announcing "Housekeeping!" in a loud falsetto. Siblings.

We hit Beale Street for an amazing big-band performance and tried to go to BB Kings for dessert, only to realize it was closed because BB King was PLAYING A CONCERT RIGHT THERE. We stood on the street and listened for awhile- awesome.

After long drives for all of us (or long nights in Nashville the previous day for the boys), we headed to bed early.....all the better to be up and at 'em for GRACELAND the next day! More to follow!