Made it to Memphis

We arrived in Memphis just after 1:00 a.m. and after a few hours of sleep, we hit downtown today. I was looking forward to spending my birthday in Memphis and it was a wonderful day. Sushi for lunch (check out BlueFin if you are ever in town — or if you are looking for a great place to eat while at the NCMR2007 conference.)

My sister and new nephew came down with me, so I had excellent company on the trip and have had fun out and about today. It’s much better than flying solo. Ezra, now at the ripe old age of four months, was a real trouper. We kept that poor baby out and about all day long. He seemed to love it. Tomorrow, the two of them will be doing her own thing while I’m in sessions.

This afternoon we then went to Peabody Place where we did a little
window shopping, picked up a couple items, checked out the Asian art
museum and relaxed with a large coffee and some gourmet chocolates.
Yeah, the diet is shot until I return home… then vigilance! But for
now, I’m loving life… and wondering why I don’t spend more days like

Need recommendations for a meal at BlueFin?

The “Ultimate Ginger Salad” was excellent, as was one of my regular orders from any sushi place — the classic Dragon Roll. The Cheesecake Delight and the Flourless Chocolate Cake were both quite yummy too. (Veggie sushi roll was good, but you should probably skip the Japanista Roll — it sounds better on the menu than it tastes and I found it to be really fishy.) Amy and I both ate leisurely courses and shared our best discoveries. I even had a glass of champagne — in the middle of the day! *gasp* (I’ve never done that before, but it was a special day.)

We visited Beale street during the daylight hours and then later this evening. I must say, it has a whole different feel after dark. That particular street has an old-fashioned feel. There’s a smell, an atmosphere, a feeling about the place. For instance, in one little shop this afternoon, there was a guitar player asking the owner for some good luck. I couldn’t help but to eavesdrop when I heard that. In most of the cities I’ve visited, one would never go into a shop and ask the shop-keep for good luck — or if they did, they would get a strange look at best, not be shown items for sale.

Buying back your MoJo
So I “looked” at some items in a nearby case while the owner helped the guitar player pick out items for his “mojo bag” and he recounted what the old blues players always carry. I only caught bits and pieces of the conversation, but I know that one set of instructions involved chewing a root and spitting it out and crushing it into the ground, stepping over it an never looking back. Interesting that such information is still being passed down via oral tradition, even when wares are being peddled. It intrigues me to be in places where I can experience such a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures in one place. The man bought his mojo bag filled with different lucky elements. It made me smile.

Too Old and Too Tired to Party
I didn’t go to the “Save the Internet” party at the Gibson guitar factory… I was just simply too tired after the trip in and the adventures today. We ate a bite at Jillians including a slice of chocolate cake that the waitress aptly described as “Oh, honey, it’s a MOUNTAIN of cake.” Guaranteed to be too much for even the most avid chocolate fan. It took Amy and me both to eat it, and it was nearly too much with us working together.

It’s late and my day starts pretty early in the morning, so I’m going to call it a night. Besides, there are so many excellent concurrent sessions offered, I’ve still not decided exactly which ones I will attend. In most cases I have them narrowed to two, but I’ll have to make a final call on that in the a.m. as well.