Getting Away To Create

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Getting Away To Create

I often have multiple projects going on and don't realize how tired I really am most times. I usually find myself walking up to my laptop on the floor After a cat nap or getting sucked into watching countless reruns of Martin or Family Guy when I should be doing work.

I decided I would get out yesterday and try to accomplish some work and it was the best decision I've made in a while. I woke up early-ish and laid around for an hour checking social media then got dressed. I'm pretty sure I showered but that's not really important. 

I decided to check out Cafe Eclectic on Highland. I got the waffold with sausage and sleep fresh squeezed OJ. I really good combo.  

So did I get any work done? Well not really lol. I did offload some images from my camera and get some video files synced with audio. That counts as work, right?  

I did take these cool pics while there though.  

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Well, I tried lol. I will attempt again this weekend. If anything, I can recommend Cafe Eclectic for breakfast or in general. Lol   

Life is for Living,  

Michael B.  

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Brunch at Slider Inn

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       I had brunch yesterday at Slider Inn! This is one of my to go spots for brunching so hard. I love their patio on a nice day. It gets a little crowded but it's nice.  

I went with the Mix N Match sliders and cheese grits. I chose the Sausage and Egg, BLT &A, and the Memphis Original sliders. Everything was awesome.  

I washed it all down with their always amazingly clutch Jameson slush! Yes! Jameson and a Slushie combined! It's so good that I have to literally keep my dog Petey from trying to drink them. Yes, they are pet friendly!!  

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Go check out Slider Inn! Tell them Mike sent you. It probably won't help much and they might not know me, but hey do it anyways lol.  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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A Walk in Shelby Farms

       I rarely get away from the urban hustle and and flow to take time to just think and be alone. I'm usually on the go and doing a million things. So I decided to get out with my camera and a drone.  

Yes, I said drone. I have a good friend that owns one and he let me borrow it. He must really trust me or he has plenty of money to blow! Either way, I'm glad he's my friend lol. I'm definitely no drone pilot, but the DJI Phantom 3 was surprisingly easy to fly. I just need to work on the photography aspect of it.  

Not bad for a first attempt.  

Not bad for a first attempt.  

       Being a city guy, I'm naturally pretty nervous about walking in the woods alone. I know all he tell tale signs of danger in the city. Im not so sharp in nature. I didn't know if there would be a snake or bear lurking. Ok maybe not a bear, but maybe a cougar lol. Luckily, the sun was high and the path was pretty well lit. 

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 I came across this really cool bridge on my adventure. I shot maternity pics near this bridge but I've never seen it in the daytime. There were no trolls under this bridge. Thank God! 

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Where there's a bridge, there should be water, right? Why else would you bridge a bridge? Well I guess there are a few reasons but anyways. There is a littke river that flows near the bridge. There's also a beach! Well there's sand and that pretty much means it's a beach!  While walking along the beach, I saw this little red leaf in the river. In a world of brown, this little leaf decided to be different. A great way to live life! 

 

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Getting away from the city was definitely refreshing and much needed. Being alone in your own thoughts can be highly therapeutic. I will definitely return, but next time I will bring my dog. He would do love it. 

Drone Footage

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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My Top 5 Tipsy Dining Spots

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My Top 5 Tipsy Dining Spots

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      It's 1-2am and the club/party is over. You get in your car and think, "I wonder where can I get food this late". Well, I've been in this position more times than I care to admit and I will attempt to help you out. Here are my 5 top tipsy dining suggestions.

Disclaimer: This is my list and yours might differ. If you don't like it, it won't hurt my feels.  

1. Waffle House

Come on now. You already knew Waffle House would be first on the list. It's the to go place for late night dining. Waffle House is so clutch. All you really need to know is the All Star special is $7.95. Also, be prepared for a long wait because the staff always rotates. People watching is at a premium. You'll have plenty customers staggering in to observe.

2. Dixie Queen

Mane!! Dixie Queen is super clutch.....if you can stay awake while waiting in the drive thru line. 10 piece lemon pepper, seasoned fries with a lime slush is my go to meal. Get the banana split if you're feeling fancy. The drive thru workers are always the best checkers. If you know anything about Memphis, you know we check. I've always got into epic checking battles at Dixie Queen drive thrus. 

3. Earnestine and Hazel's

Soul Burger bruh! Yes, this simple burger is perfect for soaking up all the remnants from the party. There’s nothing fancy about it. Just a good ole greasy burger. Take a tour upstairs and see why this place is really a Memphis gem. It may or may not be haunted, but you’re tipsy so who cares. You can also grab another beer while you wait lol.

4. McDonalds

Yeah, Yeah I know. It’s McDonalds and you’re probably saying, “That isn’t real food”. You know what? Who cares and who asked? Lol. All I know is your options are limited late at night and McDonald’s drive thru is open late. The Chicken McNuggets are great when a little under the influence as well. I don’t care if they are made from real chickens or not. What I care about is they are delicious! If you find a McDonalds with the milkshake machine in operation, you’ve won the night.

5. Young Ave Deli

Young Ave Deli is open late and has a pretty dang good menu. Not only can you get a pita or pizza, but you can get a beer or cocktail to wash it down. If you’re lucky you might get to see an artist perform. Can’t beat that. If you’re already partying in Midtown, you can just walk on over. Trust me, if you’ve had one or 5 too many, bread will save you!

Honorable Mention: Gibson’s Donuts

Yes! Donuts can be heaven sent late at night. Gibson’s late night is almost like going to another party. A party that has food you actually want. Get the Maple Bacon donut, milk and chill out. The line can get long, but it’s worth the wait.

 

These are a couple of my go to spots when I’ve been out on the town in Memphis. I've gone to other spots like CKs and IHOP, but not as much. What are some of your favorite tipsy eating spots? Drop a comment and let me know. I am always looking for more places to hit up.

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

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This Never Happens

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Today for the first time in a long time, I'm not so proud of my city. It takes so much for me to get to that point, but it's happened. I love this city more than many and I gladly take a lot of heat for that love. Last night, there were multiple shootings in the city. While Memphis isn't exactly a stranger to violence, last night was different. A 10 and 12 year old were both shot. The 10 year old did not survive. Also, a young man was shot while he was in route to the store and killed. 

I'm all for the removal of certain statues and getting new leadership in elected positions, but these senseless violent acts are way more concerning and more frequent. I don't have a magic plan to help with the violence, but I just wish we all thought before making emotional decisions and value each other's lives a little more. I know that's not good enough for some, but again I don't have all the answers.  

I want my city to be great. I want Memphis to shine, but we have to do better. The people that make up the city have to do better. It's going to take everyone working together. I pray for all the families that were impacted by these acts of violence on last night. You're in my thoughts and prayers.  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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I Really Hate Daylight Saving Time

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Daylight Saving Time. It's supposed to be this grand time that gives us an extra hour to sleep. Sounds great, right? Wrong! It's bogus! It also comes with a penalty. Not only are you gaining an hour of sleep, but also an hour of work! Yes you technically get to leave earlier, but it's another hour with that annoying coworker. Another hour to pretend to be busy. Yay you! 

Not only does it totally suck for work, it also doesn't save any daylight! As soon as you get off and down the highway towards home, it's going to be dark outside. So long walks in the park. See ya evening social life. Enter instant sleep. Did I forget the cooler temps? Yeah congrats on that gift as well.  

So here's to daylight savings time. We toast to you. You jerk!  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Yellow Chair Project Recap

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Yellow Chair Project Recap

Recently I decided to offer mini sessions featuring a really cool yellow arm chair that I saw at Amurica. The whole concept behind this project was to take candid portraits while having the chair in random locations. Due to the weirdness of Memphis weather, we were forced inside. I decided to move the shoots to Crosstown Concourse, which features some of the best interior natural lighting. Another great thing about Crosstown Concourse is that each corner of each floor is totally different from the rest. Keeping each shoot unique was important. 

Well, I've done way too much talking. Here are some of the images from this project!

I want to thank all those that trusted me to capture these images. They came from all walks of life and some had zero experience in front of a camera. I also had the pleasure of having an assistant for this undertaking and she was simply amazing. I also want to thank Jamie Harmon at Amurica for letting me use his chair for this shoot! You're the greatest!

Life is for Living,

Michael B

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Why The Beef With Thanksgiving?

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It’s that time of year again! Well, kinda. Maybe. It’s complicated. We just recently had Halloween, which I love BTW, but now we skipped right to Christmas. What?? Hold up! I thought there was a holiday stuffed in there. Well, there is, but the world seems to neglect it like a bad ex.  

I wonder why.  

I do have an idea. It’s revolves around money. As soon as the decorations go up, people instinctively go into shopping mode. I’m sure this is the time of year tons of cash is spent on things that will either be lost by April or in the garage never to be seen again.  

Personally, I love Thanksgiving more than Christmas. It wasn’t always this way. As a kid, Christmas was everything, but now I’m more excited about the foods of Thanksgiving. Also, more of my family gets together for Thanksgiving than Christmas because they have their own little families now.  

Even though the streets are lined with the wrong holiday season decorations, I’m in Thanksgiving mode. I got time for Christmas. I just want turkey and dressing, sweet potato pie, and football!! Gobble gobble friends!

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Look Up!

Photo taken with my iPhone 7. Edited in LR Mobile  

Photo taken with my iPhone 7. Edited in LR Mobile  

Woke up to the constellation Orion this morning. I’ve always been fascinated by the stars. When I was a kid I would always try to find the Big Dipper. I would get pissed whenever I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t until later in life that I found out that the constellations move in the night sky. So thank you Mrs Mulroy’s 4th grade science class for teaching me that the constellations move and I wasn’t going crazy lol. 

Have a great day everyone!  

 

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How Old Is Too Old To Be In The Club?

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          I was recently asked this question and I had to pause a bit to think of an answer. Honestly, it was a very good question, but it hit much deeper than just spitting out a number. Naturally, I want to avoid being the “old dude in the club”, so this really made me question whether, at 34, I’m too old for the club scene. We all know who that one brother in the club from another generation. Never be this dude.

          Anyways, I think we must start at why people go to clubs in the first place. Women definitely go to unwind, dress up, and dance with their friends. Nothing wrong with that. Fellas on the other hand? Well, in a world of hyper masculinity and enormous egos, fellas typically go clubbing for the ladies. I don’t think any of my guy friends have ever said, “Mike, lets go to the club to dance”. If you go in most clubs you’ll typically see most of the guys congregate around the bar or the exit. I call it the kill zone. Women know this area! It’s the “Hey Lil Mama” zone. Every so often you’ll see a guy dancing with a woman, but it’s not exactly the norm. Some guys are there to have fun, but 92% of the time they are there for the women.

          So we know why people are going to clubs. Let’s talk about clubbing age restrictions. I’ve long thought if I was pushing 40, I shouldn’t still be clubbing. I figured by that time my interests would have changed and I would have sat down and gotten a consistent woman I can spend quality life moments with. I’ve lowered that number to 30 based on a recent experience. I went to a club and was super bored. I’m talking just sitting there miserable bored. Yes, the crowd energy was great and the DJ had a good mix going, but I just felt like I had passed this era in my life. You know it’s bad when the old school mix isn’t the songs from the 70s and 80s anymore but are from the late 90s and early 2000s. Those were my 20s y’all!

           There has to be more to life on a Friday or Saturday night. Like being cuddled up with a significant other, binge watching a Netflix show while eating ice cream or at home with significant other playing Twister. Notice I said significant other twice? There was a reason for that. Now I know the fellas will clown me for wanting to be booed up, but no one wants to grow old alone. Men typically decide we will settle down in our 30s. It’s the time to stop the player ways and build something lasting. It’s also the time we are first aware that we could die one day and we better leave some kind of legacy behind. The only way to truly be immortal is to leave lasting memories. 

            So to answer the question of my friend, the answer varies. It’s situational and depends on the thought process of the person. Some men value a meaningful relationship and some love the chase. Some want to build an empire while others just want to live like it’s the last day on earth. Some men see marriage as a good thing while some see it as a hindrance or a death sentence. So I don’t know. I can’t give a broad generalized response. It’s totally up to each man to make that decision when he feels it’s necessary.

           As for me, once I saw all those 20 something’s in the club not knowing any of the music in the 90s and 2000s “old school mix”, I knew it was time to take my ass home. I knew at that moment, it was time to live life and build memories with someone. I’m not immortal and I will never actually find much meaningful in a club. Y’all can have them clubs. The drinks are overpriced anyways.

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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5 Lessons While Making Slime!

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          After days and days of begging and using her highly effective sad eyes on me, I agreed to help my daughter in the manufacturing of slime. Slime has come a long way since I was a kid btw. I remember the old Nickelodeon days when green slime was poured over kids. I remember watching those shows and thinking that was pretty awesome, but as an adult I’m thinking how big of a mess this will leave in the house. When did I become my parents?  

          We survived our trip to Walmart for our supplies, which weren’t as bad as I thought they would be. I spent maybe $20 total on glue, shaving cream, food coloring, contact solution, and candy for Maddy. Yes, I was suckered more than once.  

           Back in our make shift lab, we made our slime and I learned a few things beyond how to ruin a few Tupperware containers.  

Lesson #1

        Ok let’s get this out the way first. The production of slime is messy. Not crazy insane messy, but have plenty paper towels on hand. Keep the science lab on a surface you can wipe clean easily. You’ve been warned! 

Lesson #2

         Maddy is 9 and way smarter than I give her credit for. No, I have never thought she wasn’t smart. She’s only made one "B" her whole life and she totally freaked out about that. That’s one temper tantrum I don’t mind. She told me a story about her having an issue with a classmate. I swore this was a high school drama. All I heard was how someone was shady and petty. So now I know she’s very aware of all things that are said and can apply them to her own situations. 

Lesson #3

           Maddy is 9, but I still see her as a 3 year old. I don’t want her to grow up! Oh it kills me to see her growing up! She will be 10 in February! She reminded me several times that she’s not a baby anymore. She’s still my baby though! She wants her independence and I have to release some of my parental caution and allow her to explore and experience life. Tomorrow I start production on a time machine so I can always have her as my baby.  

Lesson #4

         Maddy has a training bra!! No!! My little girl is becoming a little woman! OMG OMG OMG! Hurry up time machine plans! This might be a good feels moment for moms, but for dads this is the moment we fear. See we know what’s lurking around the corner; boys and the other thing we never speak of....... but mainly BOYS. I knew at the moment I need to make sure my gun license was up to date. I might have to go into full on Terminator mode and destroy any little boys that come near. I almost body slammed a little boy at her first school dance last year. No I don’t condone beating up a kid.....well if it involves my little princess, I might make an exception lol. 

Lesson #5

          She looks to me for advice and answers. I have to be ready for whatever she asks and answer as honestly as I can. I know when she asks or tells me certain things that I’m supposed to keep them between us to strengthen our bond. I would do the same with my dad and he never spilled the beans. I felt I could go to him about anything and I could trust him with my words. Maddy is doing the same with me. Even though I despise the fact that she likes a boy in her class, I have to not freak out and just allow her to talk and give helpful advice. Inside my heart is slowly breaking because she might one day tell another boy things she won’t tell her father. 


          Who would have thought making slime could also allow me to learn so much about my kid. It was an amazing moment and memory that I will cherish forever. My little girl is growing up and I am slowly accepting that. As long as I’m there to guide and not push, listen and not judge, and be kind and not harsh, she will be just fine. All I need now is a foolproof way to eliminate boys! 

 

Here's a video of us making slime!!

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Happy Birthday Poppa Bear

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Happy Birthday Poppa Bear

Oct 18th will be a day I will never forget. It’s the birthday of my father, Michael Butler Sr. He would have been 63 years old on today. It’s funny because I always thought my dad would live forever. I never thought I would ever have to be without him. I figured he’d be at Maddy’s high school and college graduation, her wedding, and become a great grandfather one day. 

I sit thinking about how I don’t have him and get upset thinking of all the things I want to tell him and can’t. I want to hear him tell me how the Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl or have him hold the flash light while supervising me fixing a faucet. My father was supposed to be with me forever and never leave.  

Then I realize that he’s still here with me and he will live forever. I have all these memories of him smiling, fussing at me, and all the lessons he taught me. There hasn’t been a day since he passed that I haven’t remembered one of his many sayings. Lord knows he had hundreds lol. 

So, here’s to my super hero! It’s your day Poppa Bear! In honor of your day, I have to share some silly pics of you. It’s only right lol.  

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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