Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of 2009: Saying Goodbye to the Oh-ohs.

My mantra for the end of 2009 has been: "well, it was way better than 2008." And my hope for the new year and the new decade is that the forward progress continues. As I mentioned, the Oh-ohs have been a decade of challenge for Mama: death, divorce, Katrina, cancer, Ike, heartbreak, job loss, and other generic disasters too personal to mention (and in no particular order). Of course, over the course of the decade I also met lots of wonderful people (including Roommate and all y'all); bought a house; found my professional "calling;" survived cancer, Katrina, and Ike; and generally grew up, a lot.

So, all that being said, I thought I would make a year-end list of personal highlights. I'm completely unqualified to pass any sort of comprehensive judgment on any of these topics. This is all about what Mama dug and didn't dig in 2009.

Musical Discovery of 2009: The Low Anthem
Lots of "Best of 2009" music lists have listed The Avett Brothers right at the tippy top. But last night I was listening to Avett Brothers on World Cafe and thought, "they're doing the same thing that the Low Anthem does, but Low Anthem does it better." The Low Anthem's version of hymn-y Americana is more haunting, more wistful, and more melodious. I first discovered The Low Anthem when they opened for Lisa Hannigan, another fabulous discovery, at the first and last show I'll ever see at the 930 Listening Room (not going there again because they're part of the Sojourn church, and those Sojourners don't like the gays.). Check them out.

Best Thing I Put in My Mouth in 2009 (beverage category): Cider Manhattan at Theater Square Marketplace.
What I said here.

Best Thing I Put in My Mouth in 2009 (food category): Octopus Bagna Cauda at Proof
It can't be that hard to make-- it's just octopus and butter and garlicky goodness, but somehow I just can't imagine going to Proof and not ordering it. I know it's kind of cliche to cite a dish at one of our city's most tony restaurants, created by a superstar chef, so on a more plebeian-level, I also adore the Yum Yum roll at Oishi Sushi on Bardstown. It really lives up to its name.

Best new TV Show of 2009: Modern Family
Modern Family gives me renewed faith in the sitcom. The pilot is easily one of the top five funniest shows I've ever seen. And I'm a huge fan of anything including the adorable Julie Bowen. I'm also really digging Flash Forward. It almost filled the Lost-sized hole in my heart for the fall.

Best Movie Money Spent in 2009: (tie) Up & The Fantastic Mr. Fox
No, I don't have kids. And no, I don't know what it says about Hollywood 2009 that my two favorite movies of the year were animated. I saw a lot of movies this year-- it will be a fun year to watch the Oscars-- but nothing stands out the way that these two movies did. I also think The Frog Princess would make my top ten list. Maybe even my top five.

Best Thing I Read in 2009: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
I know it wasn't published in 2009, but I just discovered it. It wasn't a great reading year for me. I'm still getting a handle on my attention span, post-chemo. One of my resolutions for 2009 is to get back on the reading and to get back on the updating of Lou Reads.

Best Theater I Saw in 2009: (tie) Absalom by Zoe Kazan and Lookingglass Alice by David Catlin
It would be impossible to decide between these two. Apples and oranges. Absalom was memorable, thought-provoking, beautifully-acted and -staged classic theater. Lookinglass was psychological spectacle. Both were worth the cost of an Actors Theater subscription by themselves.

And that counts as my Best Local Investment of 2009 (and every year I've lived here): a subscription to Actors Theater.

That being said, the Best Louisville Evening a Very Little Money Can Buy of 2009: a night at a Louisville Bats game. Especially when it's cheapo beer night. You can easily get a ticket, have a few beers and a hot dog, and while away a gorgeous summer night for less than going to see a movie and having popcorn and a coke.

Best Crazy Decision I Made in 2009: Saying "yes" when someone I hadn't seen in 15 years asked me to spend two weeks traveling around Newfoundland and Labrador with him.
That's pretty self-explanatory. Post-cancer, one of my resolutions was to say "yes" more often when presented with wild opportunities. Matt and I had a fantastic time, were fairly easy travel companions, and saw a part of the world that I certainly never would have sought out if left to my own devices. Turns out, when your friend is just a great guy in general, a 15-year gap in your shared history dissolves pretty fast.

Best Thing that Happened to Me in 2009: Making friends
Mama's a hermit at heart. Sometimes it takes threats, guilt, and a crowbar to get me out of the house. And my anti-social-ness has been facilitated these past few years by the (occasional) presence of Roommate-- I have a built-in activity buddy when Roommate is in town. But one of my resolutions in 2008 was to "talk to more strangers," and in January, I went to Michelle Jones's "Let them Tweet Cake" event and the Louisville Geek Dinner, where I met all kinds of fabulous geeky folks and was convinced to join Twitter. Then on Valentine's Day, I accepted a "blind-datish" invitation to a gathering of theater and public radio types at Ramsi's and met even more (with overlap). And now, I am proud to say that I have something that passes as a genuine social life. It's kind of amazing how much happier it has made me.

So, what categories have I missed? What are your "Best of 09's"?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cider Manhattan at the Theater Marketplace

This is a long-overdue follow-up to my November 9 post about Jeremy Edwards of Theater Square Marketplace on 4th Street and his Cider Manhattan which won the Manhattan Experience Manhattan contest in, um, Manhattan.

Well, you know how Mama loves her Manhattans, so you better bet that Roommate and I popped on by Theater Square Marketplace a few weeks ago to try one on for size. As luck would have it, Jeremy himself was tending bar. Super nice guy and clearly knows his stuff. He also gave us a sneak peek (or taste, really) of his New Year's drink. Something cranberry-ish and vanilla-ish and fizzy and super tasty.

But the real yummo here was the Cider Manhattan, which really did rank up there as perhaps the best Manhattan I've ever had. And let me tell you, I've had a lot of Manhattans. I started drinking Manhattans when I was still flirting with bouncers so they'd let me into the West End even though I was nineteen or so. (The West End being, of course, in Manhattan.)

The best thing about the Cider Manhattan was that it tasted like a Manhattan-- just better. Even though there's a cider reduction in there and even though he flame toasts the cherry to caramelize it and make it taste like cherry pie-- it still tastes like your grandpa's Manhattan. If your grandpa was a fancypants mixologist, like Jeremy. It's rich and thick and super smooth. And while it's pricey, I'd rather pay $12 for one of his drinks than $6 for two run-of-the-mill Manhattans.

I wish the cheese plate had been half as good as the drinks. I do love cheese, and the cheeses served were pretty good, but the servings were pretty small and the meats included were uninspiring considering the fact that there's a gourmet deli on premises.

I'll be back for the Manhattans, though. And I'm looking forward to whatever else Jeremy Edwards comes up with.

Running a Tighter Ship

FYI, loyal reader,

I know I've been getting a lot of comment spam lately, so I'm trying to clean up the site a little bit. I've also added some comment moderation, so I apologize in advance for putting you good people through a few hoops before you can comment on ye olde blogge.

Don't forget, you can always email me at lou (at) loueyville.com, and I'm a veritable chatterbox on Twitter at @loueyville. You can also find me on Facebook at Louey Ville.

loads o' love...

Happy Holidays Area Bloggers Randomness

Hey kids, Mama's home.

So sorry for the radio silence, but Big Mama Lou and I hoofed it down to New Orleans for a few days of Abita, oysters, music, and festivities. Big Mama left on the 23rd, and I enjoyed a lovely couple of days flying solo, visiting with Louisville friends also in NOLA, and spending the holidays with one of my favorite families in the world. Good times.

But not much Louisville-related new here at Loueyville. Time to start thinking about New Years' plans and resolutions. You know, the 00's (oh-ohs) weren't very good to Mama. I will not be sad to see them go, but I'm thinking I will celebrate their passing in a pretty low-key way.

Anyway, enough about me.
  • Congrats to the lovely Michelle on Consuming Louisville's new look-- sexy!-- and for getting banned at Humana for being a "web log." (My Loueyville is banned at my Meatspace workplace, which is why I almost never update during the day).
  • Also all kinds of love to Michelle for putting together a master ("mistress") Blog roll for the metro area. Check it out at: Louisville Blogs. If you're an area blogger, add your blog! There sure are a lot of us blogging away in the Ville!
  • I had to nuke my Google Reader list when I got home-- something like 900 articles to read. But I always take the time to read Consuming Louisville, Broken Sidewalk, and bits and pieces of Jake Payne's two blogs before chucking the rest of the list. Check out Branden Klayko's great article on the new Patrick O'Shea's restaurant set to open on Main Street by the arena in just a few weeks. Beautiful pictures, too.
And that's all I've got for yis for now. xo

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mama Needs A Date: U of L Women's game tomorrow

I know! The story of my life, right? 

But I received a nice little gift of two FLOOR seats for the U of L Women's game tomorrow night against Middle Tennessee State.  And my usual cohort-in-sports, Roommate, is once again leaving the city tomorrow morning.  So I need a pal.  And I thought I would give a shout out to the universe to see if the universe would deliver. 

Now, this gift was 100% unrelated to my blog habit, so this isn't a freebie that I need to be all democratic and "fair" with. This is totally personal. So I can't promise that the first person who emails me at acornlou@gmail.com will get to come with.  There are folks I owe favors to out there in the world, and if one of 'em wants to cash in for a free trip to Freedom Hall (I'm looking at you @mizhellion, my IdeaFest goddess), they'll get the ticket. 

This date thing is gender neutral.  And species neutral (It's crazy the stuff you have to say now that @Fairdalebigfoot is hanging out in town).   Although only one gender and species has any chance of getting past first base. Or even to first base. I'm old school like that.

Seriously though, please be laughing with me.  Mama isn't seriously looking for a date.  But if you want to go to see the U of L women play MTS tomorrow at 7pm at Freedom Hall, drop me a note at THIS EMAIL ADDRESS:  acornlou@gmail.com  

Not the usual email address. Not the comments.  Not twitter.

I'll email y'all back tomorrow by noon-ish.  xo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Open Letter to Local Nerd: Louisville Dude Builds "Working" Stargate


Dear Jacob Yarmuth, Loueyvillager nerd with serious disposable income,

Please invite me to your house to check out your very sweet Stargate media room. I see you have seating for two (at least). I will bring my copy of Jaws (what? It doesn't just show nerdy flicks, does it? And I've been dying to see Jaws on the big screen for years.), and all the ingredients to cook up a nice batch of Lou's famous hot buttered rum.

I play very well with others. I don't talk during movies. And I love, love, love things with flashing lights and fancy buttons.

Thank you for your consideration,
All the best,
Lou

PS. I'm single.

Check out Jacob Yarmuth's nerdtastically awesome room on SciFi Wire.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Louisville Music Fest Announcment Falls on (my) Deaf Ears

Today the Forecastle folks announced an all electronic line-up for its Halfway to Forecastle Fest Fest. And like yesterday's post re: the HullabaLOU line-up, my response is a resounding: "Meh."

I'm hardly a music aficionado, but I do love, love, love my yearly Bonnaroo trip. And every year I go to Bonnaroo, I lap up the offerings. I love a significant majority of the headliners; I treasure bumping into new and offbeat bands I've never heard of. I come away every year with new favorites and a greater appreciation for old favorites.

Likewise, I'm always deeply disappointed that I can't go to other festivals. I am always envious of folks who go to Coachella. Nearly every year, I lament not living in New Orleans still during the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the newer Voodoo Music Festival. I've been enthralled by the line-up for recent Lollapaloozas.

But HullabaLOU and Halfway to Forecastle? I'm sure to skip the Halfway to Forecastle and likely to skip HullabaLOU. Disappointing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hullabahuh? Maybe your mother's music festival. Or your aunt's.

[spoiler alert: this is seriously going to reveal my age.]

Once upon a time in a land far, far away a very little Lou lived in an apartment attached to the house of her Great Aunt Rose. Great Aunt Rose was everything the name implies. She was a large Portuguese woman, a woman of a seemingly bottomless appetite for sweets and an equally bottomless capacity for love. And although she seemed very old to Lou at the time, she was probably only in her late 50's or early 60's. Each morning, Aunt Rose chose her daily hairstyle from a buffet of nigh-identical glossy black wigs and her wardrobe from a closet full of tropical printed knee-length mu-mus, which she paired with knee socks and black, high heeled, lace-up shoes.

Aunt Rose didn't have grandchildren of her own (yet), so she liked nothing more than to spoil little Lou with peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, hugs and kisses, and cuddles on the couch while watching tv. All Aunt Rose watched were soaps (her "stories") and variety shows.

Aunt Rose loved music. Her favorites included Englebert Humperdink, Liberace, Tony Orlando, and Gordon Lightfoot. But the man of her dreams was Tom Jones. (Several decades later, little Lou, in her twenties, had the opportunity to interview Tom Jones for a newspaper. She got to tell him about Aunt Rose. Tom Jones gave Lou two kisses-- one to share with Aunt Rose. But Aunt Rose never got that kiss; she died shortly thereafter.)

But shortly before Lou left that apartment over Aunt Rose's house to move to a different state, Aunt Rose found herself another love. A love she might love more than Tom Jones. It was that "nice-looking boy from New Jersey. Bruce Springstein." Springstein... like the Jewish pharmacist at the Osco Drug next to Purity Market. When pressed as to why she liked this upstart, she'd say she liked the "Born in the USA" song and that he had "a nice bum."

So the internets are a-buzz about this new HullabaLOU music festival debuting at Churchill Downs July 23-25, 2010. You know how much Mama loves a good outdoor music festival. New Orleans Jazz Fest (held at the Churchill New Orleans Fairgrounds property) used to be my most favoritest time of the year. And this year looks like the first year I'll be missing Bonnaroo since I started going three years ago. So I was all a-dither when I saw the announcement.

And when I saw the line-up? Well, I kind of thought of Great Aunt Rose. Actually, truth be told, I thought of a different aunt. The Aunt Rose heir-apparent Aunt who loves all those classic rock bands from her youth (38 Special, the Steve Miller Band, Kansas, the Doobie Brothers) but can still wax poetic about Dave Matthew's "nice bum" when fully tucked into her wine coolers.

Sure, there's a little something for almost everyone-- a little Gladys and Al for the soulsters, a little Govt Mule and DMB for the jam banders, a little Dwight and Loretta for Mama, a little Richard Marx for... WHO?? WHO the HECK is looking forward to Richard Marx??

But you've gotta wonder who these folks consulted with when planning this festival. My big hope is that, like Jazz Fest, they'll keep adding acts right up til showtime.

C'mon organizers: let's look at festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella for line-up additions (step away from the casino tour circuit regulars!!). Maybe a little Prince? A little Leonard Cohen, perhaps? MMJ? U2? How 'bout that lovely Jewish pharmacist with the nice bum... that Springstein guy? I'm just saying. Aunt Rose would have been thrilled.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

300th Entry: Wee Hiatus

Greetings and Salutations, dear readers,

This is just a heads up that I might be MIA for a little while, effective immediately. Loyal readers know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2008, and this Friday I will be having what I hope is the last of my reconstructive surgeries.

Big Mama Lou is heading to town tomorrow to nurse me through the recovery. She'll hang out until Thanksgiving-- by which time, I should be healthy enough to indulge in the usual partaking of the turkey.

It's kind of nice that it worked out that this is my 300th blog entry since starting Loueyville. It's a lovely time to take a moment to say how thankful I am for my loyal readers and for the friends I have made because of this blog. Loueyville.com is still a long way from being what I want it to be, but in many small ways, working on this blog has bettered my life.

So thanks. Be well. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. I'll see y'all in December.

xo
Lou

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bluegrass Soy Sauce-- This stuff is SO good!


I just finished my bottle of Bluegrass Soy Sauce tonight. Used it to cook up some garlic and soy pork chops. I'm a big fan of soy sauce, but I don't think I've ever had soy sauce this good. This is what the bottle says about itself:
This sauce is from the only small batch soy sauce brewery in the United States. It's made from whole non-GMO Kentucky grown soybeans and pure limestone filtered Kentucky spring water. The result is a smoky, brothy sauce with hints of oak and a mild sweetness reminiscent of fine Kentucky bourbon.
The label is hand labeled with the batch and bottle numbers. And it's just so pretty. I love it when good stuff is in attractive packaging-- it means I can feel free to give it as a gift. The company is located on Story Ave, and you can buy the sauce at most local gourmet shops or online. I may never go back to Kikoman again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Wifi at SDF

It's always kind of irked me that Louisville Airport doesn't offer free wifi. It's a perfectly lovely airport otherwise, and I know that free wifi isn't the norm for airports. But still, it just seems like it would be very Midwestern hospitality thing to do offer it.

Well, from now til January 15, 2010, Google is offering free wifi at 47 airports, including SDF. There's also a contest-- post your picture to the site while you're at an airport and you can win a prize from Virgin Airways.

So, while you're waiting for you plane to be de-iced this holiday season, at least you can web surf and amuse yourself.

For the Area Blogger Who Has Everything...

I've been a very good girl this year. Well, sorta kinda. But, Santa, if you really want to send a little holiday something my way, bourbon always works. And if you want to send a little BIGGER holiday something my way, I'll take a bourbon WITH the works.

Specifically, the Maker's Mark Masters Distiller package offered on page 58 of this year's Neiman Marcus Holiday Fantasy catalogue. Here's the description.

Any whisky aficionado will tell you it is perfection in amber. Maker's Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky is handmade in small quantities of just 19 barrels, each batch distilled and aged with the same exacting standards the Samuels family has passed down for seven generations. As Master Distillers for a day, you and a friend will have an all-access VIP experience like no other, with Master Distiller Kevin Smith as your host. You will participate in the unique whisky-making process step by step, for an insider's look at how every detail makes every glass a special occasion. This gift experience includes a two-bottle memento of the rarest Maker's Mark bottles ever: Two golden bottles will be etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-kt. gold flecks. You'll also get to hand dip six of your own 375ml Maker's Mark bottles in signature red wax and take them home. The experience includes luxury accommodations in Louisville and a gourmet dinner hosted by Bill Samuels, Jr. (the top dog at Maker's Mark).

It's only $7500. A genuine bargain compared to the $200,000 you'd have to spend on the Algonquin Experience-- dinner and chit chat with 12 of the biggest literati brainiacs in America. That's for one night. And dinner. Yes, you can bring a friend, but yeeesh... not to be crass, but for that price I'd expect Henry Louis Gates, Jr or John Lithgow to agree to be sperm donors. (And I DON'T mean that in the MOST crass way-- I simply mean that they'd have to agree to father my future brainaic child. Sheesh.)

Check out the book here:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breaking News: Local wins Manhattan Experience

I'm kind of piecing this together from Twitter, but tonight in SOHO in Manhattan, Brown-Forman had a Manhattan making contest. Looks like Jeremy Edwards from Theater Square Marketplace won with his Cider Manhattan. All the more reason to spend some quality time at the place that I just blogged about a few hours ago.

Follow the tweets here. @justaddbourbon posted a photo of the winner.

Hopefully more info to come. You know how Mama loves her Manhattans!

I always forget to mention...

... Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @Loueyville or Facebook friend Louey Ville. I'm not saying there's any benefit to either; I'm just saying that you can. xo Mama

Monday Evening Randomness: Theater, food, and Southern Belles

Not that that last post about vacationing downtown wasn't random, but here's a little more Monday Evening randomness for you.
  • Pandora Productions' The Kathy and Mo Show has been getting super good reviews. Both officially and via hearsay. Tickets sold out a couple of nights this weekend. There are still a few shows left. I plan on going on Wednesday, "Singles Night." Because, well, why the hell not.

  • Speaking of hearsay, rumor has it that this weekend's Dashboard Confessional with the Louisville Orchestra Concert was fabulous but WAY under-attended. A friend said that the entire balcony was empty. The next big shindig of this sort is Airborne Toxic Event and Calexico on Jan 10.... or is it?? Hey, why isn't it on the Louisville Orchestra Calendar? Airborne Toxic Event just blogged about it not that long ago. I assume it's still a go.

  • The lovely Michelle, at Consuming Louisville, invited me to join her and some friends at the JCC's production of La Cage Aux Folles last week, part of the Center Stage series. A TON of fun! La Cage has closed, but there are four plays coming up: Cabaret - Jan. 14-31; The Last Five Years - Feb. 11 - 21; The Wizard of Oz - Mar. 11-28; Curtains - May 6-16. I'll be checking a few out for sure.

  • Did you know Southern Belles is now available on Hulu? I'm pretty sure it's all the episodes! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! (she chortled in her joy)

  • And a big ol' Loueyville raspberry to the folks at Cracked who insulted Kentucky cuisine with their illustration. Check out the "7 Secrets Only Two People Know (for some reason)" post-- they talk about the spices in KFC. Hot Browns? Derby Pie? Burgoo? Benedictine? The Mint Friggin Julep? Sheesh, some people.

Tourist in my own town: Downtown Vacation

Can we still call this "Indian Summer"? I mean, we're just about as close to the first day of winter as we are the last day of summer. I, for one, couldn't be happier about this warm spell. Not just because I'm a hothouse flower, but because the heat on my house has been kablooey since Thursday, and I can't seem to get a repairman out here to save my life.

But the house fiasco led to an unexpectedly nice weekend, thanks to Roommate. He's out of town til the end of the month, and as an "I'm sorry you're shivering" gift (it was miserable those first couple of days), he paid for a room at the downtown Hyatt for me for Saturday night. So I had a lovely Saturday playing tourist in my own town.

Faithful readers may remember that this time last year, I was actually a denizen of downtown-- exiled to the Residence Inn on Market for almost seven months because Hurricane Ike toppled a tree onto my house. So my downtown stay was equal parts vacation and "Old Home Days."

I started the day at Bodega on Market, the charming little gourmet market/beer store with a lovely deli/restaurant. If there's any restaurant in Louisville that makes a better bisque than Bodega, I haven't found it. My spirits were dashed when I found out that they were out of Lobster Bisque, but a patron at the coffee bar said that the Roasted Red Pepper Bisque was even better. And it was marvelous (though I still prefer the lobster-- New England girl and all). I always kick myself for not going there more often, and I'm so glad they're surviving the death of sister restaurant Melillo's and the popularity of nearby Toast. Lovely atmosphere, free wifi, and very nice people.

When it comes to nice people though, few can hold a candle to the guys at Scout. I just love, love, love them. And they always remember me and ask me all kinds of lovely personal (but not too personal) questions. I suspect, however, who they REALLY love is Big Mama Lou who, whenever she comes to town, hits Scout like a friggin Yankee Tornado, buying up tons of loot and shipping it home. (Or, bless her heart, if she's feeling the bug, buying a ton of stuff for me.) Both Scout and Scout Home seem to be doing really well. Big Mama Lou is coming next week, and I promised to bring her by. I bought myself an adorable pair of squirrel earrings. (Uh, squirrels love acorns!)

The Louisville Beer Store has just opened up next to Scout Home on Market. What an exciting addition to the Nulu District. I mentioned this upcoming opening in my post about the Nulu Festival. I peeked inside and it looks lovely and cozy. Folks were pretty busy stocking shelves, so I didn't stop in.

The only bummer about that new arrival is that it has popped into the store that used to belong to the adorable Boston Flower shop. Anyone know what happened to that place?

Another new opening, mentioned in the comments of a recent post, is the new Sol Azteca's on Fourth Street, which moved into the funky space vacated by Raw Sushi. Can't find much about it online, and I've never been to a Sol Azteca's, but it looks like it's doing well.

One place that definitely calls for further investigation is the absolutely gorgeous Theater Square Market Place on Fourth Street near the Palace. I stopped in for a (kind of poor) iced coffee, but was stunned at the very sophisticated decor and the awesome layout. Theater Square Market Place seems to be treading the same ground as Bodega in many ways (though Bodega's iced coffees are awesome). Gourmet deli, market, etc. But in the back there's a full restaurant and bar (with beautiful lighting) and next door there's a wine shop.

There's also another new (to me, at least) pizza place on Fourth Street. Little joint. The name escapes me right now. But it smelled divine. UPDATE: It's called Sicilian Pizza & Pasta. Thanks, @funambulator

I spent my evening bar-hopping a little. Manhattan at the hotel bar. Beer and Octopus Bagna Cauda at 21c (it's so simple but so tasty... I can hardly bring myself to order anything else). Manhattans at AJ's at the Galt House-- I think they make some of the best (and fairly reasonable) Manhattans in town. Back to the hotel bar. (Uh, yeah, Manhattans again... Mama loves her bourbon).

Morning = chocolate chip bagel and cream cheese at Einsteins.

All in all, an excellent downtown vacation. And while I don't know what he spent on the hotel room, I do know Roommate got it on Hotwire for pretty cheap. The Hyatt is one of the 4-star options, and it is very nice. Lovely comfy beds, sizable rooms. I do wish they had nicer bathrooms. And, because it is an atrium hotel, it's rather noisy in the mornings. The hotel was booked to full-occupancy-- Yay Louisville!-- and it sounded that way. Often 4-star hotels in Louisville can be booked on Hotwire for as little as $60. That's peanuts when you consider the quality of getaway you can have!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Try it, you'll like it 2! Elk Creek Ghostly Whites

It's All Hallow's Eve eve and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Roommate is in bed watching a scary movie on his laptop. And thankfully, so far at least, the post-Ike renovation of Casa Lou has rendered it mouse-free (oh yes, like many other 103 year old Original Highlands houses, Casa Lou has had some critter problems). What's a girl to do but blog and tweet and catch up on emails...

A few weeks ago I chimed in on Elk Creek's Bone Dry Red, one of the three wines that Elk Creek was kind enough to send me for review (And that's your disclaimer, folks). That left me with the two Ghostly Whites: Sweet Mellow White and a 2007 Chardonnay. Both of which I dutifully enjoyed over the past week or so.

I'm not a big fan of white wine. I always order red when I'm out, no matter what I'm eating. I don't think I've ever bought a white wine for myself. But if there's white wine in the house, I will drink it-- it's unthinkable to let a perfectly good bottle molder on the rack, right? And certainly when a winery sends you a couple of bottles of white... gift horses, you know?

And it's silly that I have this embargo against white wines. Inevitably, I enjoy the gift bottles or left behind bottles that end up in my house.

And I very much enjoyed the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White. In my last wine blog, I mentioned that Grandma Lou and I enjoy our sweet wines when we're together, and the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White would be totally up her alley. In fact, I briefly considered sending her a couple bottles for Thanksgiving, but I realized that it might be a bit creepy to send a "Ghostly" wine to an 86 year old widow. But from first sip to last, I was totally blissed out with nostalgia thinking about her; so much so that I actually poured a glass and called her last week. So thanks, Elk Creek-- it was awesome of you to send me these wines and exponentially more awesome that one of the bottles made me pick up the phone and call my favorite person in the world.

What was nice about the Sweet Mellow White was that it wasn't TOO sweet. Some sweet wines give you a tummy ache and some sweet wines are only good for a glass or two at most. This one was a good drinking wine. I finished the bottle in two sittings and only gave up a half a glass to Roommate. I think the drinkablility of the wine is due to its really clean finish. There's no lingering sugary taste. I assumed that I would like the Bone Dry Red the best, but the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White may have been my favorite.

Roommate liked the Chardonnay the best. I was a little more indifferent about that bottle. It was good, but I just don't think I'm a Chardonnay kind of gal. Roommate did some quality time in the wine country of Australia and sort of fancies himself a budding wine connoisseur, and I am not wont to dispute that: he definitely knows more about wine than I do. So I feel comfortable saying that although the Chardonnay wasn't my bag, per se, it's still very good. He's a red wine drinker and liked the Chardonnay best of all, so that says something.

Anyhoo... my first foray into wine reviewing has been a blast. I am tickled pink and purple that Elk Creek thought Loueyville.com was a door they could open. And I'm likewise tickled that what they sent me was really, really good wine. (They also sent a package of Pop Secret microwave popcorn. I can't decide if that was to keep the bottles from rattling together or if I was supposed to eat the popcorn while imbibing the wine... I didn't. Saving the popcorn for a Netflix night.)

Totally going to look for Elk Creek wines when I shop for wine from now on. The three Halloweenie bottles told me that they're consistently good-to-great. Mission accomplished, I think.

Big Monies at the Back Door Costume Contest and more...

Happy Halloween, Louisvillagers!

I always knew that the Back Door has a HUGE Halloween party every year-- I may have even been once or twice-- but I didn't know what the draw was. The draw is this: a $500 prize for best costume! Holy bar tab, Batman! And this year, I have an "in" with one of the celebrity judges. If I had known about the huge prize, I would have gone last year. I was a lock with my "Crazy Bald Britney Spears" costume. This year... not so much.

According to reliable sources, this weekend is the last weekend for both Carly Rae's and the Barret Bar. Sad news.

We're off to Carly Rae's-- for the first time-- in a few hours to hear the always-fantastic Tyrone Cotton play for a little while before we head off to see Chicago at the Kentucky Center.

Remember, Louisvillagers, "When you're good to Mama, Mama's good to you."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bigfoot, Chicago, and Sushi: Monday Evening Randomness

Whether it's the sudden uptick in the temp today or the residual benefits of Roommate's fantastic homemade chili last night, I'm feeling darn near perky this Monday evening. I've been a bit laggy with my blogging of late; these past few weeks have been mild, but persistent, madness. I'm not saying that there's a light at the end of the tunnel (another surgery next month, for example), but... you know... I'll take what I can get.

Some random stuff for this (unfortunately cooling) Monday evening:
  • This weekend Chicago is at the Kentucky Center-- the musical, not the Peter Cetera-fronted pop/jazz fusion band-- and if you buy your tickets through this website: www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com/GroupSales and if you use the password: GildasClub, $5 for every ticket goes to Gilda's on Baxter.

  • Speaking of cancer stuff, last weekend's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raised upwards of $250,000. Some people have remarked on my absence from said walk this year... and the truth is, I've decided to give myself a year off from The Pink Stuff. Or, more specifically, as much time off as I need. Last year I Pinked it up real good, but always had to nurse myself back from shell shock after every event. I donated to support a friend, but I couldn't bear to join the walk this year.

  • On a lighter note: Last week's Fairdale Bigfoot column at Consuming Louisville was perhaps the funniest so far (definitely the randiest!). Check it out. And don't forget, you can email FBF with questions at fairdalebigfoot [at] gmail.com

  • The Twitter gods are saying that Raw on 4th shut down. I thought that was old news. Maybe not. I kind of liked the place-- especially their super cool wood wall. But all is well: Cafe Mimosa is open again and is rumored to be doing booming business. We ordered delivery last week... yummo. Nothing says comfort like eating sushi on the couch in your pjs while watching TiVo. And, as before, you can even order delivery online.

  • On a personal note: my Newfoundland & Labrador travel companion from last summer got engaged this weekend. On Facebook. As I watched in real time. It was a harrowing three minutes after I watched him post "[Name redacted]? Wanna get married?" But quick came the reply. Congrats, friend. I happily hand over all future Navigator responsibilities to your lovely wife-to-be. (If there's a better use for the new Facebook Live Feed, I've not heard it.)
Time for a little more homemade chili therapy. Have a wonderful week, Louisville.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Barbara Kingsolver in Louisville

When I first got this email I thought, hey, it's been a while since I last read a book by Barbara Kingsolver.  And then, as I read the email, I realized that there was a good reason: turns out, Kingsolver hasn't written a novel in a while.  But she's got a new one coming out, The Lacuna, and not only can you buy it at a 15% discount at Carmichael's, but you also get a free ticket to a reading and book signing event on November 22.

Note to Carmichael's, though: The following email is a bit confusing. The event is free-- all you have to do is buy a book-- so how are you donating 10% of ticket sales to the Community Farm Alliance?  Are there tickets available for sale, too?

Anyhoo, super exciting author event for Louisville.  Unfortunately, I'll be recovering from surgery on the 22nd and won't be able to attend.  But I look forward to reading Kingsolver's newest!

The email:    

Carmichael's Bookstore and Bellarmine University are delighted to host Barbara Kingsolver for a reading and book signing for her first novel in nine years, The Lacuna.  This event will be held at the Cralle Theater in the Wyatt Center for the Arts on Bellarmine's campus on Sunday, November 22nd beginning at 4 PM.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are free with the purchase of any book by Barbara Kingsolver.  To honor Barbara's commitment to local foods, Carmichael's is donating 10% of ticket proceeds to The Community Farm Alliance.

Stop in either store to pre-order a copy of 
The Lacuna at a 15% discount or to buy any of Barbara's previous books and get one free ticket per book purchased. Seating in the theater is general admission, however your lettered ticket will indicate your place in the signing line, so the earlier you get your ticket, the better. The Lacuna will be available on November 3rd.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jazz Hands!

You'd think I'd be a big jazz fan, being from New Orleans and all... (Right, I'm not really from New Orleans. Don't get all picky on me, kids.) And truly, New Orleans style brass band jazz is, indeed, my favorite kind of music. (If you're ever in need of instant happiness in your ears, download something by the Soul Rebels Brass Band.) But jazz in general? It's not really my thing.

That's neither here nor there. Luckily there are some Louisvillagers over at the Louisville Jazz Society who more than make up for my lack of enthusiasm. Each week, I get a lovely listing of all the jazz-related events in our fair city. And who knew there were so many? Here's this weeks email: Sign up for your very own Louisville Jazz email blast at the website: www.louisvillejazz.org

Another Reason to Love Louisville: 21c = #1

The most interesting thing on Twitter last night wasn't the story of Falcon and his alien storm chasing Jiffy Pop balloon (we can joke because it turned out okay). I was so excited when @21cHotels tweeted that the 21c had just been named the #1 hotel in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler that I immediately retweeted and started spreading the news at the Back Door, where I was enjoying a post-Adventures of Power beer. (More on that later. Mini-review: Surprisingly sweet and funny!)

I've never stayed at the 21c and I haven't even seen any of the fancier rooms, but it remains one of my favorite places in Louisville and one of the many, many things that make me proud of this city. I love this quote in the Reuters article:

The presenter, New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, noted,"When I stay
at 21c I feel coddled, transported, nurtured, nourished, stimulated,
rested, and above all, smart."


I'm a big fan of anyplace that makes me feel smart. So congrats, 21c! And thanks for tweeting to thank me for my enthusiasm-- that's classy.

Spread the word, Louisvillagers. This is concrete evidence that we are a world class city.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yeesh, Quite the Limited Run...

Turns out tonight is the last night you can see Adventures of Power at the Baxter.  So you know where you'll be able to find me this evening.  Since my last post about AoP, when I knew absolutely nothing about the film except that it was opening here and NYC,  I've made a couple of interesting discoveries: 
  • I discovered that the reason we got the film first was that it was produced by our very own Gill Holland of The Green Building fame.  Well, that make sense, then.
  • And I discovered that Ari Gold, the writer, director, and star of the movie, is the same Ari Gold I went to college with. 
  • And Ari Gold is the Ari Gold of the band The Honey Brothers, which features more people I went to college with. 
  • And isn't it just strange that Adrian Grenier is in AoP and The Honey Brothers with a guy named Ari Gold and also stars in Entourage in which one of the main characters is Ari Gold?
Curious.

Anyway.  Go see Adventures of Power.  I will.  We want to support independent films with Louisville connections.  

Here are links to:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Loueyvillager Powers Activate! Form of: Hotel Toiletry Hoarders

Planting the seed of an idea:

Do you travel? Do you compulsively stash the free hotel toiletry items in your suitcase, sure that you'll need them some day? Do said toiletry items pile up in a shoebox in your linen closet? Are they collecting dust?

I spent the day volunteering at a local homeless shelter today. As could be expected, I was overwhelmed by the experience and came away wishing that there was some small way I could continue to help.

There is. A very small way.

Turns out, the shelter is always in need of small, travel-sized toiletry items to give to residents. Especially soap and shampoo. Seems like the bathroom of Casa Lou is always cluttered with these souvenirs of hotel stays; I end up pitching half of them in the waste bin.

So, my wheels are turning... I'm still working out the logistics. But if you read this blog, and you live in the Louisville area, I'm asking you to start hoarding your hotel toiletries. If you take a trip, scoop up those unused soaps and shampoos and lotions. In the next week or so, I'm thinking I'll officially announce the first Loueyville.com "do good" action. I'll keep you posted.

Try it, you'll like it! Elk Creek Vineyards' Bone Dry Red


Sorry for the radio silence, Loueyvillagers. Mama's had a complicated couple of weeks. Some good (business travel and... uh, well, business travel) and some bad (death and sickness and work-overload at Meatspace job). But things are leveling out now.

Luckily, things rarely ever get so bad that they can't be made at least a little better by a good glass of wine. And luckily x2, Elk Creek Vineyards sent me three bottles of wine this week. (that, kiddos, is my disclaimer) Luckily x3, the bottle I cracked open the other day, Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon, was (is-- I'm drinking the last of it right now) so yummy I would have gladly paid for it. So yummy, in fact, I just may go out and buy myself another bottle.

In my very limited experience, local wines have leaned toward the fruity side: super sweet and sugary. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Grandma Lou-- bless her heart-- and I usually kill a whole bottle of Catawba whenever we're together, and that stuff is like dissolving a packet of Lick Em Sticks in a glass of Mountain Dew. Once, when I was living at a writer's retreat in Arkansas, I spent a month drinking gallon after gallon (yep, it came only by the gallon) of liquid cotton candy called Maiden's Blush (yep, typical writer). Loved it. Wish we could get it here.

But Bone Dry is a "big girl" wine. It's chocolate-y and coffee-y and complicated. And like other "big girl" wines, the flavor changes as it breathes and matures. It is dry, but I wouldn't say it's Bone dry. I don't like my wines too dry, and this one isn't. I had my first few glasses from the bottle two days ago, and two days later it's really just as good. It's sweet and warm, and at 13.8% alcohol, it'll make your cheeks blush after just a glass (or is that just me?). According to the website, Bone Dry retails for $19.99. Totally worth it.

I suppose you could be forgiven for assuming, at first glance, that Bone Dry is going to be a novelty beverage. It is, after all, a Halloween-themed wine. But it turns out that Elk Creek comes by it's Halloweeny-ness honestly; the owner of the vineyard, Curtis Sigretto, also founded Halloween Express, the #2 Halloween costume and accessory retailer in the country. This is someone who takes one of my favorite holidays pretty seriously. And that's reflected in the label art; it features a sufficiently creepy human skeleton. Sure, it telegraphs "Halloween," but it's also arty enough to grace the table at a classy Halloween dinner party. (Is there such a thing as a classy Halloween dinner party? If so, please invite me.)

I have two more bottles of Elk Creek wine to try out, so you'll get at least two more posts about this local vineyard from me. I'm very intrigued by Elk Creek Vineyards. They have a store in the Mall of St. Matthews (which I haven't been to yet). The vineyard also has an inn, which looks like the perfect fall weekend getaway. Now that my Meatspace job has settled down a bit, and I am almost over my nagging cold, I'm going to put a little time and effort into sussing out some more about Elk Creek. I'll report back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Traffic improves (somewhat) on Grinstead & Bardstown. Go to Mimosa!

Well, kids, I have had a perfectly crappy past few days. Received some rather horrifying news AND have been sick for four days. Not a happy time here in Loueyville.

That being said, there are two good pieces of news I wanted to share. Well, one good (or GREAT, if I were able to muster that kind of enthusiasm) piece of news and one step in the right direction.

The good news (GREAT. sigh. Just ain't feeling it today.): Cafe Mimosa is now OPEN for business. I have been very vocal about how much I have missed Cafe Mimosa. Just this weekend I was meowing about how very much I loved their egg rolls and fried rice. Welcome back, old friends. I hope you have the same delivery people. They were regulars at Casa Lou.

The step in the right direction: On Monday morning, I noticed that the traffic gods had seen fit to turn the left-bound lanes of Grinstead into left-turn only lanes at Bardstown Road. Bravo, that! I cross that intersection at least twice a day and curse its ridiculous traffic patterns. Why not just "good news"? Well, they're still allowing parking in the right-hand lanes. So you have to slalom around parked cars if you're going straight or turning right.

I would really like to believe that someone in the know will realize quite quickly what a boneheaded move that is.

I'm off to DC for the rest of the week. Catch you on the flip side, Louisville.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If it includes Mr. Mister, it must be cool

Last night at the Back Door, Roommate and I had a conversation with a disbelieving bar patron about how sometimes Louisville gets movies and movie premieres that other, bigger cities don't. And this afternoon, Roommate dumped this little tidbit in my inbox.

It turns out Louisville and NYC are the only cities where the movie Adventures of Power is opening next weekend-- right at our little ol' Baxter Avenue Theater. How cool is that? Not LA, not Miami. Louisville. Anyone know why? I can't profess to having heard anything about this movie, and I'm kind of a film blog geek.

The Wikipedias have this to say: “Adventures of Power” is a comedy about a mine-worker named Power whose love of drums and lack of musical skill has turned him into the ridiculed "air drummer" of his small town. But when Power's union-leader father calls a strike at the mine, Power discovers an underground subculture of air-drummers who just might hold the key to changing the world. Power's journey across America brings him face-to-face with his town's greatest enemy, and allows him to discover the beat within his own heart.

Sounds interesting. Way more interesting is the awesome cast line-up: Adrian Grenier, Michael McKean, and Jane Lynch (who's starting to really piss me off on Glee). WAY more interesting is the wackadoo soundtrack line-up: Rush, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest, Phil Collins, Dazz Band, Loverboy, Bow Wow Wow, Woodie Guthrie.

Who knows? No matter what, my thinking is you should go out and support the movie regardless, just to send the message to Hollywood that Louisville is a good place to open films.

And as they say on the big blogs, hat tip to Roommate for sending this juicy bit along. And if you know why Louisville was tapped for this opener, please let me know.

Tuesday Afternoon Randomness

I'm having yet again another "I'm feeling jazzed about Louisville" day. There's just so much good stuff going on these days, it's hard not to feel the jazz. Even when it's totally yucko outside like it is today.

  • First up: tomorrow is the last Waterfront Wednesday of the year. Sniffles. I am not familiar with any of the artists, Bell X1, the Workers, or Company of Thieves. But it's Waterfront Wednesday, so I will be there. I'll be there hoping that the Company of Thieves guy wears the hippo on his head again.
  • This is the final week to see Rocky Horror live. It's practically sold out, you know. And I've been hearing super good things about it. This Louisvillager is going to lose her Rocky virginity on Thursday night. There are still tickets left for Thursday night, so you could watch!
  • Thanks to Broken Sidewalk for bringing us information about the adorable art installation on East Market Street. I actually startled someone on a bicycle while walking toward Nulu Fest. I saw the crazy white doggie prancing around the window of the old Wayside building and exclaimed, "Holy crap!" (Yes I said "crap" not the other word.) Sorry, bike dude. If you haven't seen "Sniff" yet, go, go, go! He'll (she'll?) only be around til Oct 30. (I think there's a missed Halloween opportunity there. Couldn't they make the puppy go all Cujo on Halloween and scare the bejeezus out of people? Good times.)
  • This weekend is the Louisville International Film Festival. This is a very exciting event, chock full of new films you won't see anywhere else. (But not Adventures in Power) And like with the Labryinth seminar, if I didn't have a Meatspace job, I would TOTALLY shell out the $60 for the all day Friday and Saturday pass. It's a steal.
Brrr... do I really need to turn on the heat in September? Disappointing. Otherwise, Louisville, you're my hero.

David Bowie, Minotaurs, and Other Good Things Found in Labryinths

David Bowie in Labyrinth
I love my Meatspace job.  It's a calling.  It truly is.  And I am grateful, in this economy, to have a Meatspace job that pays my bills so I can fart around on the interwebs and keep up my blogging hobby.  

That being said, there is so much cool shit to do out there!  And I can't do a lot of it because I have be a responsible, professional, adult. And it makes me want to stomp my feet, throw a temper tantrum, and then pout for a while.

How cool is THIS??  The Louisville Seminary is holding a WEEK LONG seminar on Labryinths. Yes, my friends, I said a whole seminar on Labryinths.  A week long seminar.  On all kinds of Labryinthy goodness.  

I'm so twitterpated about this idea that I am contemplating the irony of calling in sick with Swine Flu for that week and going to this seminar about sacred spaces.  Check out the schedule below.   ;I want networking time to discuss MY labryinth-making needs.  I want to build a masking tape labryinth in fifteen minutes.  

You know what the best part of this seminar is??  The whole week of Labryinthian madness costs a mere $150.  And that's because we missed the September 26 "early bird" deadline.  If we'd been early birds, we would have paid half that.  Yeppers.  All this for just $75. 

Sigh.  Another missed opportunity.


MON-WED, October 26-28—LABYRINTH SEMINAR
• The basics of sacred geometry and its application to labyrinths
• Classical and medieval labyrinth design principles 
• Considerations for building permanent and temporary labyrinths 
• How to build a masking tape labyrinth in 15 minutes
• Principles for making your own contemporary design
• Tips on how to get a labyrinth for your... (church, school, hospital) 
• Networking time to discuss your labyrinth-making needs
THURS-FRI, October 29-30—BUILDING A CHARTRES STYLE LABYRINTH
Participants will join Robert Ferré in constructing a brick path Chartres style labyrinth on the grounds of Farmington Plantation in Louisville. This project will be a joint effort of Louisville Seminary's Biennial Labyrinth Conference, Historic Farmington Plantation, andSullivan University.







Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nulu Festival: Another Reason I Love Louisville


Today's revelation: I don't volunteer enough. Seriously, I have all kinds of time on my hands most weeks, and there's no reason on God's green earth I shouldn't be putting it to use to help good causes. So if you've got a good cause out there, and you need a warm body who's not so great at heavy lifting or cold-calling people, Lou's your gal.

Revelation #2: My "retail" skills are way too good. It's kind of scary. I was hocking tshirts and chatting up buyers like it was, well, my calling.

Well, this has been a weekend that makes you proud to be a Louisvillager. As I said in my last post, IdeaFestival represents the very best of Louisville and all the hopes that this Louisvillager has for the future of the city. And tonight I volunteered at the first Nulu Festival, working the t-shirt stand. (That's the t-shirt stand above, pre-monsoon.) And despite the fact that the torrential rains washed out the last two or so hours of the festival, I think I can safely say that Nulu Festival is probably the best new festival in the city.

Celebrating the "rebirth" of the downtown East Market district, the East Market Street Business Association joined forces with Leadership Louisville and the Bingham Fellows to create the Nulu Festival. The festival was supposed to last from 5-11p, but it was cut short by a storm around 9:15pm. The music line-up alone made it worth attending for the entire event (which I did). The evening opened with the cover band, the Generic Alternatives. They were mostly good. I especially appreciated their cover of REM's "Superman." They were followed by the fantastic Thomas A Minor and the Picket Line, a bluegrass band. The Instruction turned out to be the discovery of the evening-- they had an awesome sound, and I am definitely going to seek out their shows.

Once Ben Sollee took the stage, I had no fewer than a half dozen people stop by the tshirt booth and say, "Who IS this guy??" When I explained who he was, the most common response was, "And he's LOCAL? You're kidding me??" No joke, kids, Ben Sollee is a frigging local treasure. In fact, I am going to download his album from iTunes as soon as I am done blogging. Roommate and I agree that Sollee's set at Bonnaroo 2009 was one of the best shows of the festival. If I were, ahem, actually getting any action these days, I could easily see Sollee's music replacing (or supplementing) Leonard Cohen as my "favorite music to get busy to." (Is that TMI? Blame the Jim Beam.)

Sollee was a trooper and played through much of the downpour. Unfortunately the Festival was canceled once the winds picked up and started blowing tents around and Lucky Pineapple never got to play. Rumor had it that they had a HUGE act planned with more than a dozen instruments and, at least according to the rumor, a choir. Such a shame.

Nulu Festival featured yummo burgers and brats and chicken by White Oak and some great looking panini by Bodega (where I had lunch today-- why do I always forget that Bodega exists?? It's such a totally charming place! And man, they make a mean lobster bisque!). Wine by Felice Vineyards and BBC brews.

Speaking of brews, there's a new place opening up on Market-- a beer store, right by Toast. Apparently they're opening in a few weeks, but opened their doors for the Festival. I don't know anything about it yet, but as it involves beer I will be sure to find out ASAP.

Most of the other booths at the Festival focused on eco-friendly stuff. There was a booth for the proposed botanical gardens and for a park proposed for Market. I'd promised myself that during my next break from the t-shirt booth, I'd check those out more earnestly, but the rains cut short my evening.

Overall, the first 4.5 hrs of the Nulu Festival were an unmitigated success. Great tunes, great food, great drink, great crowds, and almost preternaturally great weather-- especially given the total sog that this week has been. I look forward to next year's festival and to volunteering again.

And again, if you need a volunteer, let me know. I am, sigh, especially good at selling t-shirts. (the Nulu Festival t-shirts were especially cute and very reasonably priced at $7)

Friday, September 25, 2009

IdeaFestival = Nerd Christmas

Dear Louisville,

I love you.

I know in the past week you've dumped so much rain on us that my undies are damp even before I put them on. I take some responsibility for that. I could close up the windows and turn on the AC and dry Casa Lou out. But it's been cool and lovely, despite the rain. And while every surface of my house feels like an energetic puppy dog came in and licked it, I just can't, in good conscience, dole out those hard earned dineros to LG&E.

And I know that in two months or maybe three, you and I will have serious issues. Once late fall/early winter rolls in, I will be gnashing my teeth, cursing your arctic damp cold, hating the fact that you are several states north of the tropics. I promise, when those days come about I will try to remember how much I love you now, right now, at this moment.

Because this week, I love you lots. Heaps. Tons. Because this week has been IdeaFestival 2009.

Thanks to my friend @mizhellion who could not use the all-access IdeaFest pass she won via Twitter, I have been able to partake in as many IdeaFestival events as my work schedule has allowed. Two years ago, I also had an all-access pass (last year I couldn't do any IdeaFest stuff because of chemo) and was likewise enamored. See my coverage of IdeaFestival 2006 here.

Louisville, IdeaFestival represents the best that you have to offer. In the three days that I've attended IdeaFestival events, I have heard again and again from out of town visitors how impressed they are with you. Despite the shitty weather. Despite the fact that some of the visitors are staying in crappy hotels.

Today was the first day I could nick out of work early and hit a couple of great lectures. I saw John McPherson, the creator of the Close to Home daily comic-- one of the few comics in the newspaper that are worth reading these days. I missed the first half of his presentation; by the time I got there he was reading readers' letters responding to some of his more controversial comics. Hilarious.

Then I got to see Paul Osterlund, a man who retired from Intel and then set his sights on social entrepreneurialism. He invested in a substance called Zeba, a starch-based material that kind of looks like Grape-Nuts that holds 500% its mass in water. While Zeba has many industrial and commercial uses, Osterlund is most interested in promoting its use in arid and struggling climates. Bury a teaspoon or less of Zeba in the ground when you plant a seed, and when rains come, it will soak up 500% of its mass in water and then feed that water to your plant during dry spells.

Osterlund gave each of his audience members 1 teaspoon of the stuff. Geek that I am, I rushed home and tried it out. I poured around 1/8 of a teaspoon in a saucer and then added a few squirts of water. By the time I'd gone to the bathroom and come out, the Zeba had overflowed the saucer. So I poured the saucer into a measuring cup and kept adding more water. Five hours later, I am still adding more water to that 1/8 teaspoon of Zeba. So far, it has successfully turned more than a cup of water into jelly.

Sorry, Louisville, I didn't mean to let my Mythbusters-esque geekdom take hold of this blog entry. I'm trying to celebrate YOU, my adopted hometown.

So, Louisville, I love you for so many reasons, but I love you tonight because tonight you hosted a sold-out crowd of folk who wanted to listen to Anthony Bourdain speak at the Kentucky Center. Sold out. And when Bourdain took the stage, before he even spoke a word you gave him a standing ovation.

My favorite quote of the night, Bourdain said: "Not giving a shit turned out to be a good business model."

Dear Louisville, I love you. I love you most when you are showcasing the cutting edge, when you are celebrating the radical, when you are highlighting the best we have to offer.

In a couple of months, we'll be at odds. Tonight, though, I love you Louisville.

xo
Lou

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congrats!

A big congrats to our friend Michelle at www.consuminglouisville.com for being the Leo Readers' Choice Best Entertainment Blog in Louisville.  

And we're just going to call Consuming Louisville the Best Local Website period, seeing that it came in second to Louisville Mojo.  

Really? Best local website for what? Arranging late night booty calls? Am I wrong? Mojo fans, if you're out there, explain why it won Best Local Website. Educate me.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Louisvillagers on the Red Carpet!


Yeah, yeah, I love House too, but look who's standing right behind Cuddy at the Emmys! It's one of our favorite Kentucky Colonels, Kynt from the Amazing Race! And that mass of pink fluff behind him belongs to the other half of the "dating Goths," Vyxsin!

How the heck are you guys?

I have to admit, K & V dropped off my radar when they left Possibility City for Hollywood, but it's nice to see their star is still shining bright enough to light up this year's red carpet.

Good on you, kids! Look at him smile. He's clearly a Huddy supporter.

Ok, I'm really showing my pop culture knickers now.

Picture from www.ew.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good News, Everyone! Scary Man now in Jail!

Every time I've gone downtown in the past couple of months, I've thought about Sunny the Pooch.  If you've forgotten, back in July, in broad daylight, some degenerate pulled over to the side of the road on the Second Street Bridge and tossed Sunny the Pooch over the edge into the Ohio River.  Sunny's attempted murder was witnessed by dozens of people both on the bridge and at Joe's Crab Shack.  But some marvelous instance of serendipity, it just so happened that some Louisville firefighters were on a diving training session and were able to save the dog's life. A waitress from Joe's immediately adopted the pooch (at one point it was reported that the waitress was going to have to move out of her apartment because it didn't allow more than one dog and she already had a dog-- what ever happened to that story?)

Well, folks, the degenerate has a name.  It is Damon Bledsoe.  And according to WLKY:  According to arrest records, Bledsoe told four people that he threw the dog off the bridge and also threatened to throw a witness' two kittens "in the sewer."

I, for one, could not be more pleased to know that Damon Bledsoe is behind bars.  Second degree animal cruelty? What's the penalty for that?  Please please please be huge and painful. 

What kind of person chucks a pup off of a bridge? And then TELLS people about it?  Thank you "four people" for turning this m.f. in!

Holy Moly: Grail at Baxter!!

You know how I love the Midnight Movies at the Baxter Avenue Theaters, but the September 26 Midnight Movie totally takes the cake:  Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Heck yeah!

Q: What else floats?
A: Very small rocks.

Who's in?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loueyville on Facebook

Why the heck not, eh?

There's a nifty little badge to the right, click it and be friends with Lou...

I mean, you're already friends with Lou, but now you can be Facebook Friends so she can tell you that she's getting ready to brush her teeth or that this episode of True Blood is really whack or share a quiz that says that the Muppet she most resembles is Beaker...

Good times.

Random Tuesday Randomness: Swayze, Kanye, Jugbands, and more

How about this weather, Louisvillagers? Can't beat it. It's hard to stay sad for too long when the weather is this beautiful. And Lou's been battling the blues this week:
  • First there was Sunday's season-ending loss for the Bats at Slugger Field. Thanks to our Bats for providing another amazing year of some of the best cheap fun to be had in Louisville. Those damn Durham Bulls. They're our Captain Hammer.

  • And now Swayze. Sigh. If you haven't seen him in Keeping Mum with Rowan Atkinson and Maggie Smith, rent it now.
On the positive side of things:
  • Hear Obama call Kanye a "jackass." Yeah, I know it was supposed to be off the record and all that, but I couldn't help but beam when I heard this. Especially considering my one degree of separation from the Taylor Swift scandal. Obama's probably going to catch crap for this, but I love it!

  • I came home from work today all fired up to make some beef stroganoff but not really wanting to head to the grocery store. And then I was reminded that it's two-for-one burger night at the Monkey Wrench. I always forget that the Tuesday deal at the Monkey Wrench is one of the best cheap eats deals in town. I'll hold off on the stroganoff.

  • Don't forget that this weekend is Arts in the Highlands-- September 19 & 20. The weather is supposed to be beautiful again.

  • You can make it a full weekend of festivals by hitting the Arts in the Highland on the 20th and enjoying America's Happiest Music at the Jug Band Jubilee on September 19.

  • Please, please tell me you're following the Fairdale Bigfoot on Twitter. And on Facebook. His new advice column will appear at Consuming Louisville soon. Email questions to fairdalebigfoot (at) gmail.com. Rumor has it, the Manbeast may run for mayor of Louisville. (no, I don't mean Uncle Mayor Jerry-- he's already said he won't run again).
Coming soon... NULU Festival, IdeaFestival... It's a good time to be a Loueyvillager.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy One Year Ikeversary!

One year and a few hours ago, this is what happened to Casa Lou:

Ike 022 by you.

The Upside of Kayne's Assishness...

... it will be a long time before anyone forgets Taylor Swift's win.

... Taylor Swift's acceptance speech is quoted verbatim ALL OVER the internet (and no one else's is).

And both of those facts are excellent news for Mr. Roman White, my dear friend who also happened to direct Taylor Swift's video.

Here, let me add that acceptance speech to my own little corner of the interwebs:

I would really like to thank Roman White, who directed the video, and Lucas Till for being in it... I would like to thank all the fans on Twitter and MySpace and everyone that came out to my shows this summer. And I would like to thank my little brother's high school for letting us shoot there.

Here's a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AHzIq_n-DQ

(No, this has nothing to do with Louisville.)