Wednesday, November 26, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

I'm pretty sure all the little Knoxvillians will be too busy with holiday festivities to post anything here, so the Wigshop will be on break the rest of the week. It's time to eat turkey and be with loved ones. So get off the computer and stop checking blogs!

Monday, November 24, 2008

our (ten year) plan

In an email I received today, I saw a link to this site:, the city's decade long plan to end chronic homelessness in Knoxville. Kudos to the government for adopting a blog-like site, with updated posts and even a tag cloud in the side bar. This makes it easy to surf around and find the info you want. Aside from a good wed presence, how is this program doing? I was surprised to see that we are already in Year Two of the proposed ten years. That means eight years until the plan is supposed to have worked. Living downtown, it doesn't seem like much progress has been made. If anything, there seems to be more of the "chronic" homeless type around than there was two years ago. True, soon Volunteer Ministries will soon be moved from the gentrifying 100 block of Gay Street to their new facility in the "Homeless District", sandwiched between 4th and Gill and Mechanicsville. That's a change.

But is it progress?

I am still educating myself about the 10 year plan. Maybe it will ratchet up its efforts as the decade goes along. But based on the last two years I'm not optimistic. What do you think?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sorry, Sawyer's

So with a glut of places that serve chicken fingers now -- Sawyer's, Zaxby's, Guthrie's, Wishbone's and I'll throw in Chick-Fil-A for good measure -- you'd think that customer service would be high on these establishments' list, you know for fear of losing service to any of the other places.

Not the case, my friends.

The Modern Beau and I had a hankering for chicken fingers one night last week, so we decided to hit Sawyer's at Bearden Hill. When we got to the counter, the first thing the gal at the register told us was that they had just closed the Sawyer's on the Strip and they were in the process of combining all the stuff from the two stores (which would explain the U-Haul that was out back.)

(Let us now pause and mourn the passing of Sawyer's on the Strip. I figured it might not be long for this world considering it was lacking something Zaxby's and Guthrie's had, which was plenty of parking and seating. Still, it was a staple in my college years as I'm sure it was for many of you.)

Everything would have been fine if she'd just taken our order after that. Instead, she proceeded to tell us how upset she was about missing the CMA awards on TV that night, and then she turned around to look at the TV on the wall that was showing the program and swooned about how much she loved Alan Jackson or Trace Adkins or whomever was performing at that moment and how much she hoped Kenny Chesney won performer of the year and how much she loved his concert that she attended and 'Oh, what award are they giving out now?'

I'm not lying. I'm not exaggerating. This went on for at least two and a half minutes.

When she finally got around to asking us what we wanted to order, I decided it was a grilled chicken finger kind of night, so I ordered a grilled chicken salad.

"Oh, we don't have a grill right now."

Even though I was reaching boiling point, I didn't ask her why they didn't have two grills if they were combining the two stores that night.

I tried ordering a wrap, but that didn't work either because those are grilled. I finally settled on just the regular ol' chicken finger snack. At least they still had chicken fingers.

The Modern Beau ordered the meal, the one that comes with Texas toast and slaw, except that it didn't come with Texas toast because there was no grill with which to toast it.

Normally I don't publicly complain about restaurant service. I've worked in the industry. Everyone has a bad night from time to time. But this was the point where Sawyer's lost my business. No Texas toast? Fine, offer us something else ... more fries, more slaw, a free drink, a discount, a coupon for later. The Modern Beau said he would have accepted plain white bread. SOMETHING to atone for the fact that we're still paying full price for a meal and not receiving the full meal. And SOMETHING to atone for the fact that half of your already limited menu was unavailable that night. I wanted to complain to a manager, but there didn't seem to be one available.

The really loud high schoolers who were at the restaurant that night for 'All you can eat chicken fingers' night didn't help. I know Sawyer's has no control over that, and I'm not blaming them, but they annoyed me enough to cause me to seeth through the entire meal.

Sawyer's, you've already lost my business. I'm much happier going to Chick-Fil-A anyway, and it's easy for me to hit up Zaxby's and Guthrie's when I'm around the Strip. But let me suggest you work on your customer service a bit if you want to keep others from following suit.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rita's is open

Just saw this last night.

Has anyone been there? They have a huge flat screen tv. Looks yummy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2nd Creek Photos

Here are some more photos from the 2nd Creek cleanup.

the wigshop loves the earth

Here are the pictures from last Friday's creek clean up. We had incredible weather and a good turn out, 10 in all. The crew from Fort Loudon Lake Association was great to work with, a jovial bunch. I encourage anyone to call them up and plan your very own creek clean up adventure in the future. Their number is 523-3800. Ask for Rachel.
In the end, we collected a truck-bed full of trash: 39 propane tanks, a bum's full wardrobe, a girl's wallet with ID's still intact, billions of plastic sacks, and the list goes on. Out the creek and into a dumpster.

Thanks to the Pol, the Pol's spouse, Mickey, Beth L., Zack, and Adam for wading in the muck on a Friday morning. Y'all are my heroes.
Check out Max's photos here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So I know it's been a while since I've posted... but I've been building a house with my bare hands, so lay off! Anyways, I've seen this gem of weirdness for a while, next to the venerable Smoke Stack on Chapman Highway. Does that say "Creasure Chest"? I think someone slept through cursive class in grade school. What is Creasure? We'll never know- as you can see at the bottom, the space is empty. Oh Creasure Chest, we barely knew ye.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stephen A. Burroughs...

is Blue Steel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Last Reminder

Come one, come all to clean up Second Creek tomorrow morning (Friday, Nov 14). We will meet at 9:45 AM at the entrance of the Fort Kid Parking lot across from the KMA parking lot and World's Fair Park. Call me with questions/concerns. 865 556 5860

PS: If it's sprinkling, I think it's still going to happen. If it's pouring, it will be cancelled. Dress warmly!!

remedy in the old city

I was pretty excited a few months back when I heard rumors brewing about a new coffee shop in the Old City. I'm a fan of Old City Java but I'm also a big fan of variety (it's the spice of life, you know), and I'm always looking for new and cool places to visit in my neighborhood. I dont think it's open yet, but I know it will be coming very soon. What I know about Remedy is that it will be a space operated by people who care about their community, who care about relationships and friendships, and who care about doing good for the world around them. The shop's motto is Coffee and Conversation, and from the look of it, that's exactly what Remedy is going to provide.

I had the good fortune of getting a sneak peak of the space a little while ago, and it looks wonderful: cozy and clean. There's a quaint little loft in the space, which can be reserved for meetings or book clubs or things of the like. They're going to serve locally roasted free trade coffee, stay open late and offer free WiFi. I think, too, they've got plans for a simple but cool book swap.

I know a lot of hard work has gone into this place, so I hope to see it thrive. I am excited to welcome Remedy to my neighborhood.

Addition: Remedy is on Jackson, either in or adjacent to the Jacksonian building. 125 West Jackson 37919. It's not open yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Road Rage (an isolated incident)

I have been a lazy poster recently. This, however, should be worth it.

First of all, I saw The Avett Brothers last Thursday night at the Bijou. If you haven't seen them, please I beg you to fill up that gas tank and drive however long it takes to catch a show. They don't disappoint.

Now on to my short, but embarrassing story.

I was just driving home from the grocery store during rush hour traffic last Wednesday. Yes, the day after Election Day. I was driving down the Strip around the Shell station area when a car flew out in front of me while pulling a U-turn, went in to the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot, and then proceeded to merge back into traffic next to me. This was done in one swift motion. I literally almost T-boned the person.

In my road rage, I gave the car the finger and laid on the horn for a bit. Probably shouldn't have done that.

The SUV caught up to me. As it turns out there were two black women driving. When they evened up with me the driver yelled "Kiss my president's black ass!!!" along with other things that I couldn't hear or don't want to repeat.

I know that this was an isolated case, but I can't help but wonder if this is happening again somewhere else. I hope not. I hope that after history was made last Tuesday that we have finally moved beyond those things. I feel angry right now. I feel sad right now. Giving the finger and yelling back and honking were poor decisions, I know, but I just don't understand how what was said was necessary. Thoughts?

Maybe I should have yelled back, "I voted for Obama!" and asked them out for coffee. Who knows!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It all started with Dolly...

Ok, I'm gonna say this just once and then get off of it.

There oughta be a law, No one is allowed to use Christmas as an advertising tool until after Thanksgiving. There I said it. I'm not one who like putting curbs on freedom of speech, but I think it's time. Just as the Alien and Sedition Acts helped to drive home the serious ramifications of treason, I believe the Yuletide Non-Promotion Act would benefit everyone in our society in the long term.

People need to see that Christmas is not just a super-sized McRib that can be cheaply sold for a while. Dolly Pardon was on tv advertising Dixie Stampede for Christmas a week before Halloween. How is that OK??

I know you've seen the ads, it has to stop.

Call your congressman, Duncan, Wamp, Alexander, Corker, please have them support (and create) the Yuletide Non-Promotion Act.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

Who's with me?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Feelin' the Vibe

I've been in some serious need of a haircut for some time, and when I called the salon to schedule an appointment with my stylist, I was told he had moved to another place. Which was the third time that's happened to me with this guy, so I decided au revoir. I don't get my hair did often enough to keep up with him.

Many of the ladies out there (and perhaps some of the dudes) will understand that finding a new hairstylist is like finding a new therapist. You've got to find someone you can trust to take care of a very important part of your life who won't make you feel like an idiot. I went on the advice of a friend and called Vibe. I had my appointment today, and now I'm totally hooked on both Vibe and my new stylist Kimmy.

Vibe is the perfect name for the salon, because that's exactly what it has. It's young and fun. The walls are colorful and the stylists all have fun dos. When I walked in today, they were playing a DVD of a Police concert from the '80s. Anyone who knows me knows that '80s music is the way into my heart. (If you hate the '80s stuff, don't worry, they don't have it all the time.)

I told Kimmy that I'm not picky with my hair ... it just needed to be shorter and more flattering. She worked magic on it. I felt 10 pounds lighter and 100 percent better after she was done. The price was reasonable -- $45 for a wash, cut, style and tube of product. Between the great new style and the music, I was dancing on my way out of the salon.

And today is a big day for Vibe too. It's their anniversary! Michael Layne, a former stylist at Belleza opened Vibe exactly a year ago today with the help of Marwan Zauok, the owner of Belleza, as a way to help Belleza grow without having to expand the salon. Certainly anyone who's been to Belleza will recognize some of the stylists at Vibe, but Vibe has it's own flavor.

Vibe is on Kingston Pike in Bearden in the strip with Wok Hay and Hargreaves Books. The phone number is is 584-VIBE or 584-8423. Go and wish them happy anniversary!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

2nd Creek Clean Up is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Y'all thought I forgot, but I didn't. (You were probably hoping I would) I've been going back and forth with the Fort Loudon Lake Association about when we can do a creek clean up and now that we planned it, there's not much time to get people together. If you are just tuning in, click on "Second Creek" under labels on the sidebar (to your right) to get the scoop. I've done a few posts on the litter that collects there.

The clean-up is on a Friday morning (that's the best we could do in light of football games, the weather getting colder, and Thanksgiving), but I hope at least 3 people will join me. Here the information Jake at Fort Loudon gave me about it:

"Above is a map of the site for our Friday, November 14 Creek Clean-up. We will meet in the green outlined parking lot between Blackstock Ave and the Foundry, at 10:00, and should be done before noon. The Fort Loudoun Lake Association will provide waders, trash bags and trash grabbers. The chest-waders are made to wear over socks and it is recommended that you tuck your pants leg into the socks before donning the waders, so you should chose your clothing accordingly. We will be working in brush and the creek. Some people will be on the bank to carry bags and help haul out large debris. If you have any questions, call Jake Hudson at 386-6719, or Scott Wilson at 523-3800."

I still have to figure out exactly where he's talking about meeting, but if you want to come please email me at

What a better way to spend a Friday morning than wading through trash. CK has already promised to head up the team that will be wearing the waders :) I also heard Jake found a dead body in the Tennessee River one time, so I'm sure we could get him to fill us in on that. SO MUCH FUN!!! Hope you will join me on this very green adventure.

Note: The photograph above is not the same location where we'll be. I'm not sure what the trash will be like. This project is not supposed to be very appealing, but educational and good, so come learn with me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Democracy InAction... the last one I promise

It's election day. Yep tomorrow it'll all be over (hopefully) and we can get back to dancing with the stars. But for today decisions must be made. Votes must be cast and lines must be stood upon.

We're not going to discuss uninteresting details about the polling data around knox county, I'm sure most of you can decipher the general tone of the East Tennessee Electorate without alot of help form me.

But I am highly supportive of the independent candidates who want to make a statement. So as a public service I am going to list the name, party, and link to the website of each third party candidate that is on the ballot for president this year. Just in case the two big boys don't suit your fancy.

But first there is an issue very important to me on the ballot that I did not mention in my Democracy InAction posts. Today we are voting on allowing liquor by the drink sales in Knox County. Please, the Pol needs to be able to get a Strawberry Daiquiri anywhere in this county. Please vote to allow him to be able to frequent our outlying Chili's and Outback Steakhouses.

But now for the Third Party Candidates, who knows you may just find someone you want to vote for.

1.Chuck Baldwin

Constitutional party - issues

2. Bob Barr

Libertarian - issues

3. Charles Jay

Personal choice party??

4. Cynthia McKinney

Green Party - issues

5. Brian Moore

Socialist Party - issues

6. Ralph Nader

Independent - issues

Hopefully this might be a help to some, and at least intereting to others.

Please vote and if you need to know where... go here.

Monday, November 03, 2008

To you and yours this holiday season:

A Knoxville Corona


I challenge you...

Dear Wigshop Readers (and writers):

This Thursday, November 6 is Operation Boot Camp's monthly Bring a Friend Day! I challenge you to attend!

1) We will have a new president by then (hopefully), so we could all pair the fresh start for our country with a fresh start for ourselves!
2) Holiday season is upon us, and what better way combat the holiday bulge than with a GREAT workout!
3) Daylight Savings means that daylight actually arrives about 1/3 through the workout, so it's not so dark anymore.
4) It may be cold but you warm up quickly out there!
5) It's fun! You may decide you love it and want to sign up for a month!
6) You get to meet me!

So, yes, I challenge you to attend! Read this for details. Pol, I would love to see you out there...