August 4th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

So, Jeff and I went on the most perfect date on Friday night. We traveled 30 whole minutes to partake in the Big “E” Festival in Cornelia, Georgia. An annual festival exclusively for Elvis devotees, I am baffled it took me so long to make the pilgrimage. Friday night featured performances by winners from previous years, the junior level of the competition was absolutely mind boggling, and then there was this guy.

He performed for over an hour as if he was singing to a stadium and not a bunch of folks on the front porch of the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum. And he was fantastic. He was much better than that dope in Memphis that said he was present the day Elvis passed and was allegedly one of his best friends… I wasn’t convinced at all. (That dude seemed as if he’d told enough tall tales that they eventually became fact.)

I was in absolute heaven, the best cheap date night ever, live music, museum tour, shaved ice for two, it was awesome. The museum itself featured the most bizarre assortment of Elvis memorabilia, anything and everything king-related, but with a top-notch gift shop, I had to restrain myself, really I did.

Okay, I geeked out a little bit, I’ll admit.

Even though it was an almost perfect evening, I must say that I have one small criticism of the event. The lady that has shouldered the responsibility for the event seemed a little bit off. And not in her devotion to Elvis, that was spot on. Rather I’m speaking of her enthusiasm for the event itself. As she was kicking things off and thanking her helpers she also stated to the crowd that it would be the last year that the festival was at the boarding house and she was not sure where it would go to, if anywhere, next year. When asked by a disappointed audience member the reason why, she flatly stated “Cuz it’s too much work.”

It sort of put us off just a little. Yes, it was probably true. Yes, holding this particular festival in such a small town is probably a thankless and exhausting job. Maybe the city doesn’t support her as it should? The bank let her borrow the tents and she seemed to have printers support in signage, etc. I don’t know for certain the details and won’t presume to understand, but you surely don’t say something like that to your guests, many of whom have traveled from out of state to support your wackiness. It made us feel a little like she had said “thanks for coming, paying entry, shopping the gift shop, supporting the vendors, but you really aren’t worth all the trouble.”  Also, part of the draw for coming to this event is that the ticket price (a nominal $10) included a tour of the museum. As far as venues go, the front porch of the boarding house made a quaint and homey yet kitschy backdrop to a wonderful group of performers. I can’t imagine folks would want to go to this anywhere else.  It made me sad, but I am glad I got to see the 10th Annual Big E Festival in all its glory before it is ultimately retired.

November 1st, 2007 | 2 Comments »

As my ‘real’ costume was a tad on the busty side for the events that we took part in last night, I opted for a cute (and comfortable) Betty Boop while out with the surrogate siblings.

First stop was “Trunk or Treat” at Balthazar’s school. A really good (and safe) trick-or-treating option these days, with some big bouncy things and other stuff for kids. People decorated their trunks and gave out candy, it was a hoot. Fox, Ole and Balthazar were Tinker Bell, Captain Hook (sans hook), and Peter Pan- see how cute (Fox was up all night making these costumes)

We met up with Jeff -who pouted for a minute about not going OUT (like to a mall or somewhere heavily populated) in his awesome Elvis costume, but got over it real quick when he finally got dressed

and we got to partake in something much, much, grander. Balthazar is four now. This was his first year to trick-or-treat for real. Knocking on stranger’s doors and getting candy from strangers- all things normally forbidden are all good on Halloween. We selected my neighborhood (it was close and has lots of sidewalks) and stuck to about a block radius, and only to the houses with lights. Can you believe the porch with the brightest light in the neighborhood was actually a dorm and - oopsie – had no candy? I had to seriously talk Jeff out of egging them later on that evening- the NERVE! Turn off your damn light ladies!!! We crashed a party, briefly, and I almost peed myself when Jeff started telling women “Elvis loves you Mahmah.” We went out to eat and then promptly home for bed (I’m fighting a tickle in my throat and have a marathon couple of days ahead of me, so I had to get to the sleeping.) All in all, it was a truly wonderful Halloween!

August 14th, 2007 | No Comments »

I was just contacted by someone writing an online article here wanting to use one of MY Elvis photos. What an honor! I haven’t found the article yet, but will continue to look this week. In case you were unaware, the anniversary of Elvis’ death is this Thursday. He died 30 years ago- can that be true?

Unfortunately it wasn’t this photo- a favorite of mine taken by Jeff on 30th Birthday Eve at club 352 152 (?) on Beale Street in Memphis just moments after a tequila shot (or three-I kept burping tequila throughout the song- otherwise it was lovely.)

It was this one she was interested in- taken over a year ago- of us with an Italian Elvis Impersonator performing with a Mariachi band at our local favorite Mexican Restaurant- I suppose it is good too- although from this angle I have “bigface”. Jeff looks good (although he mostly photographs perfectly, the bastard.)

Anyhoo- a little moment of silence for the ‘King’? Remember him if you will this week.

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June 19th, 2007 | 2 Comments »

Thank you Olaf for gifting me the ability to be a blogger! I feel so special! This has seriously been the bestest birthday ever! (look Ma- I’m blogging!)

I have just returned to “reality” after a truly fantastic vacation to Memphis. Months ago, with the big 3-0 birthday looming and with the unwavering desire to avoid any unnecessary and/or embarrassing fuss, muss or hoopla, I plotted to disappear with my man for a well-deserved pilgrimage to Graceland.

Why? Many have asked me this question. I suppose it is because I have always been fascinated with the fascination of Elvis. Elvis as an institution, an icon. I wouldn’t have labeled myself as a fan- or worse- a fanatic- but I’ve always been more than mildly enamored with the “King.”

Me dodging shuttle busses to get to those gates!

So off we went, and we had such a great trip. We arrived in Memphis on Thursday evening and I proceeded to get intoxicated old-school style (with many shots of tequila.) I refused to dance on the bar at Coyote Ugly, but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to contemplating it very seriously. In seeking the thrill of “look at me- I’ll be thirty in the morning”- I did smell out a karaoke bar. I sang one song (I love Rock and Roll) and promptly left the building. My honeypie said I was well-received by my fellow drunkards, but I’m thinking he was just trying to be polite.

Friday morning arrived like a punch in the face. Crap. Turning 30 feels an awful lot like a hangover. No worries, because the big b-day was also day o’ ELVIS. I got to see the house, the cars, the planes, the jumpsuits, even the grave site. It was surreal. Elvis was an actual human, that took care of his momma and daddy, that gave money to charities, that liked peanut butter and ‘nanner sammiches in his ultra-cool 70’s kitchen. Even though we did visit other places over the weekend, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (where Martin Luther King was shot), the Center for Southern Folklore, and the sights, sounds and smells (ew) of Beale Street- nothing else was more invigorating than Graceland. I must mention that I managed to spazz out in style by tripping over my own feet not once or twice – but thrice- in a completely sober state! I’ll be grateful for memories of this trip for a long time!

Spazz and Elvismobile

Click HERE to see all the photos from my trip.