Sunday, September 16, 2007

Loueyville SE: IdeaFestival 2007-- Thursday Night "Taste of Innovation" and "It Never Got Weird Enough for Me"

Thursday was fairly low key. I hightailed it down to the convention center to hit my first event, which was the Taste of Innovation featuring sampling booths from most of Louisville’s best restaurants. This gets a “Cheap Eats” rating because for $10 you could eat and drink to your heart’s content—sampling food that would be $20+ a plate at nearly all of the restaurants. A chefs and a bartender gave demonstrations. Everything I had was extraordinary (with the exception of an uneatably weird sushi-tuna-steak thing from, surprisingly Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse—he of “refused service to OJ Simpson” fame).

Leave it to me, however, to have preferred the booze to all else—Woodford Reserve’s Liquid Bourbon Ball was a drink that I will no doubt add to my repertoire—seems like a great winter drink. You can find the recipe here.

The silent auction quickly mounted beyond my price-range, but there were still good deals to be had if you had $500+.

The Hunter Thompson documentary “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride” aired first on the Starz! Network and was part of the IF After Dark series in an event called “It Never Got Weird Enough for Me.” The movie, narrated by Nick Nolte, and all but stolen by Gary Busey in all his addled-wackiness, featured the highlights of Thompson’s life from his childhood in Louisville to his suicide at Owl Creek Ranch in 2005.

In September of 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, I stopped in my exile at a writer’s retreat in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The guest teacher was Tom Corcoran, the writer of the Alex Rutledge mysteries, and he’d just returned from Thompson’s memorial service which had been largely funded by Johnny Depp and during which Thompson’s ashes were blasted out of a two-thumb-fist-topped cannon. Tom’s stories of the event (scroll down to 9-8-05 “Flip Flop” entry) were a nice, brief diversion. I half expected to see him in the movie. I did not expect to see my staid, distinguished, bow-tie-wearing real estate agent (actually, the brother of my real estate agent who stood in for her at my closing) as one of Thompson’s childhood friends.

The University of Louisville is currently trying to get its hands on the Thompson archives. From what I understand, there’s been some double-dealing and weirdness associated with that acquisition, as highlighted by an audience member who directed a question at Thompson’s son, Juan, during the panel discussion. I’ll try to remember to look into that.

The panel featured Juan Thompson, the director Tom Thurman, the writer Tom Marksbury, and childhood friend Ralston Steenrod (not my real estate agent). The film was interesting enough for me to consider moving on to a Thompson read-fest after I finish my Harry Potter read-fest. The panel discussion wasn’t particularly illuminating, although it’s worth noting that Marksbury seemed a bit bitter that the Starz! Network tried to make the film “more about Johnny Depp and Sean Penn” than about Thompson

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