Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reason #65725 I Don't Watch American Idol

Apparently when Idol was in Louisville, Paula (Ms. Abdul if you're nasty) freaked out and took it as a threat when a contestant said, "Be careful" on his way out the door. I admit I haven't heard "Y'all be careful" as a sort of Southern "ta ta now" very often. But sure I've heard it.

What makes turns this mess into a whole lot of awesomeness is that American Idol apologized. Like, officially. To, like, the city, I think. Comments on their website suggested that the "Be careful-er" was a bit odd and threatening. But still.

What makes it even better? Perez Hilton picked up on it.

Reason #65726 I don't watch American Idol: according to my monkeys on the ground (a bunch of teenaged girls), there really wasn't very many people from LOUISVILLE on the Louisville show. Lame.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Running for the Dore

Rut roh.

(That shuffling noise you hear is Mama dancing around, maybe backtracking, maybe dancing with something akin to glee... float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, and all that.)

Looks like has finally caught the eye of Ms. Tracee Dore, Design Star alum. And when her comments on my July post first came through via email this afternoon, I thought that she was responding genuinely... thanking me for commenting on her exquisite taste (which I did). And I did a big ol' happy dance. But now that I go back and look at the posts... I'm thinking maybe she is a little less than happy with Lou.

Note that the last time I mentioned her was in my 1/21 post.

(If there is good news to be had in this corridor, FYI, it's in retail not
in food... Scout's new home store is beautiful and right next to the brand new
flower shop boutique... Red Tree seems to be doing well... Joseph Ley's...
always-our-favorite-Design-Star-baddie Tracee Dore's store. No retail stores
have closed in the past year or so, to the best of my knowledge.)

Favorite. Favorite? That counts for something, right?


Mama doesn't like conflict. Mama hopes that Ms. Dore isn't unhappy with what she read.

That being said, I will cowboy up and see if I can't get some scoop on Ms. Dore and what she's been up to. I have joked privately that if Ms. Dore wanted to kick some of her bad-ass rep to the curb, she could always go all Ty Pennington on some deserving, sweet, breast cancer survivor, teacher, Katrina survivor whose house was destroyed during Hurricane Ike... (uh, that would be me.)

Clearly, Ms. Dore isn't a regular reader of She does, after all, refer to Lou as "Mr. Loueyville."

Amusingly enough, two or three months ago, I ran Loueyville through the GenderAnalyzer, an engine which purports to be able to tell you the gender of any blogger and back then it was 78% sure that Lou was a guy. Now it says that it's 61% sure that Lou is a woman. Distaste for "Wicked" aside, I guess I'm getting more girly. (LouReads shows 67% likely to be a woman... I guess it's my devotion to Mary Russell)

Anyway, I'm flattered she took the time to comment. I will indeed try to get some scoop. And I hope that she gets the fact that every Reality Show needs a bad-ass, and she was definitively cast as that bad-ass in Design Star.

But she does, my friends, have exquisite taste.

Snow My Goodness: It's Worse Out There Then You Thought

Or maybe I'm just speaking for myself...

This morning Honorable Contractor for the Humble Abode called and said "Show me the money." Problem was, my check book (I thought) was at the Humble Abode. So Honorable Contractor picked me up in his 4-wheel drive for what ended up being a three hour tour of our fair city (checkbook= not at Humble Abode). And wow. It was way worse than I thought.

Louisvillagers without power, I salute you. Thankfully the ResInn has remained blissfully powered up and warm. My heart goes out to those of you shivering in the dark. I can't imagine. Truly.

Hotels downtown are doing a booming business. I spent around 2 hours in the lobby of the ResInn reading and listening to the desk clerk answer the phone on average once a minute to say, "No, sorry, we're all booked up." That was around 2pm, and at that point the only place with rooms was the Galt House. Roommate and his woman and I went to the Galt House for drinks a few hours ago, and it was jammed.

I went to go see "Wicked" tonight at the Kentucky Center. It was a sold out crowd, and suprisingly it seemed like just about everyone showed up. I fear I may be losing my teen-chick cred: I hated "Twilight" (you can read my review of the book about "sparkly bear-sucking vampires" here) and I was thuddingly unimpressed by "Wicked." Really. I don't get it. It's precisely the kind of musical I can't stand: the "let's sing about even the totally trivial stuff" kind of musical. No thank you.

Hotel bars and restaurants downtown are packed. Bearnos by the Bridge was open. So was Prime Lounge. Stevie Rays is closed. Bank Shot Billiards is open. I'm pretty sure Connections was open.

My monkey on the ground (ie Roommate) says that between the Back Door (which has no power) and Highland Avenue only our street has power-- I'm so happy for my neighbors. He was taking his woman to the Irish Pubs of Little Dublin and the Outlook. Says everything around the Highland/Baxter split is packed.

The good news is this: If Hurricane Ike hadn't brought that tree down on my house, it probably would have come down last night. When it was freezing. And wet. Instead of sunny and warm and lovely like it was in September. I feel very lucky.

Stay warm, Loueyvillagers. You're in my thoughts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Authors at Carmichael's on Frankfort Tonight 7:30p

(cross-posted from Lou Reads)

Jason Sanderson is a very sad man. He has a sad job (repo man). His family life is sad-- first wife and only child are both dead. His current home life is sad-- he's married to a woman who neither understands him (keeps dragging him to new age-y couples groups) nor his loss (stages a horribly gauche and insensitive sort of grief intervention on the 10th anniversary of the death of the son-- perhaps the most brilliantly written and upsetting scene in the book).

Lory Llewellyn is a very sad woman. She has a sad job (accountant for her skeezy step dad's eponymous hotel). Her family life is sad-- mom ran away and stepdad is, as I said, skeezy, and an alcoholic. Her current home life is sad-- almost ten years ago her lover died in a helicopter crash and she's never recovered. She's a cutter. She's reclusive.

The parallel stories of these two depressed and depressing folk who share their love and loss of Sam Sanderson, Jason's son and Lory's lover, run in elegant and poetic prose until they converge (perhaps inevitably, but somehow the convenience is tempered by how poetic the whole book is). Infused with and often critical of both quack spirituality and the "real" deal, MOTEL OF THE MYSTERIES is an exploration of grief, of family, of dependancy.

This is a sad book. It will make you hurt. But the writing is so extraordinarily good that you'll enjoy that pain. This is McElmurray's second novel. The first, STRANGE BIRDS IN THE TREE OF HEAVEN, was also a gorgeously crafted book, but it was a little harder to follow, a little more abstract. MOTEL has been very well received. One blogger named it her novel of the year.

McElmurray was born and raised in Kentucky. Her book is published by the local Sarabande Books as part of the Linda Bruckheimer (who I keep confusing with Linda Wurthhiemer) Series in KY Literature (click here) -- which I'd never heard of until I came across this book.

And she's reading tonight (with Sean Hill and Elizabeth Bradfield) at 7:30pm at the Frankfort Avenue Carmichael's. Check it out and pick up the book.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Soap Box: Blog For Choice

I know, I know. Earlier today I decried my lack of focus.

But I still have 15 minutes left of 1/22 to join in the annual "Blog for Choice" challenge. On the anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade, it asks us: "What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?"
Please, President Obama, help your fellow Americans understand how important the Supreme Court selection is. My heart screamed during the Roberts/Alito nomination processes. It felt like no one else was paying attention. Please, please President Obama remind us that the power of the Supreme Court can outlast your presidency. It can overpower your presidency. It just doesn't often take center stage like your presidency does.
I'm sure Al Gore would join me in imploring you to make a big honking deal of any Supreme Court nominations you make or any Supreme Court decisions you challenge.
Roe v. Wade is in the hands of a very select group of people... people YOU can select... people the average American doesn't believe has big, huge sway upon their lives.

Who didn't feel like Angela Chase?

[Cue voiceover: a stilted, moody, somewhat melodramatic teen girl. One gets the sense she'd make a good Juliet some day.]

You know how sometimes... it's the little things that make you proud of a place? Like when the weather's been bad? And you're not really sure what you're doing here? And you miss all the people you left behind when you came here? And then something really small makes you suddenly feel like you... belong? Like you need to be here. Like things are happening, and maybe you want to be part of this place that's changing?

Things like IdeaFestival and Waterfront Wednesday do that for me. Forecastle Fest and Good Folk Fest. Stuff like that. Places you can go and feel like this city is full of really amazing people thinking and doing and creating really amazing things. And it's like you're not in Kentucky after all, not the Kentucky that you've been warned about. It's like you're someplace... else. Someplace better.

So tonight? Tonight I went to see My So-Called So-Called Life at the Kentucky Center and it was like that. I'm not really even sure I liked it or understood it, but I was, like, wow. This is dark; this is surreal. There are real-live teenagers on that stage, like, grappling with some seriously twisted and difficult stuff. There are, like, real-live teen girls on that stage... making out! And nobody's walking out. Nobody's flinching. More importantly, there had to be tons of real-live adults behind that production who decided that it was okay, that this is theater, that this is art. And that in the real world, real-live teenagers grapple with their identities and with all kinds of pain every single day.

And it, like, made me proud, you know? It made me proud to know that there's a place in this city like Walden Theater where they're not afraid to tackle these sort of issues. And where they, you know, honor the humanity of teenagers.

It's weird. It's like you go to the theater to be entertained, and you come away... struck.

My apologies to Angela Chase...

There's only two more shows of My So-Called So-Called Life. And, you know, I'm not sure I really liked it. It was dark; it was weird. Some of it felt vaguely awkward. But, man, you can't help but be thrilled for them: for Walden, for the parents, for everyone behind that production. Because if nothing else, it pushed....

If you've been weighing whether or not to go, I implore you to go see it. Not because it's great theater-- although the young woman who played Pearl was stunning-- but because the house was less than half full tonight. And it would be really nice to send a message to Walden.

And that message would be: Thanks. Thanks for crossing some pretty forcefully defended teen theater lines. Those kids who grapple, who are grappling... I'm sure they're wicked grateful. And so are the adults who support them.

Social Media Overload

Yesterday, I attended the fantastic Let them Tweet Cake event at Sweet Surrender (gosh, I wish I liked sweets) sponsored by Michelle at Consuming Louisville. And I listened to the streaming audio of Michelle's appearance on State of Affairs (listen to it here) with two other Louisville bloggers from the excellent Backseat Sandbar and Broken Sidewalk. And I came to the following conclusions:
  1. I am nowhere near the geek that I thought I was, or would like to be!
  2. My social media chops need serious work.
  3. Everyone who's anyone Twitters.
  4. I really need to do a better job of surrounding myself with fantastic, smart women because even us thirty-mumble-somethings need role models.
  5. And my big take-away from the State of Affairs show was that the best blogs are focused, and Loueyville ain't focused. Then again, Mama ain't focused... so there you have it.

I can't say that Loueyville (or Lou) will get more focused in the coming days, but at least that little birdie is now tweeting in the back of my brain.

Speaking of tweeting, Loueyville IS on Twitter. (I checked into my account last night and the most recent tweet was: "Watching the Derby Post Selection. Go Denis of Cork!")

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Taking Credit Whether It Is Due Or Not

Why not, eh?

So... remember my little rant in the form of an Open Letter to Local Business Owners? The one in which Lou praised the Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour folks for putting fliers in all of the Res-Inn rooms and putting their poster in an acrylic stand on the front desk? The one in which Lou wrote:

But Local Owners, you gotta put yourselves out there a little more. Us Loueyvillagers don’t want to see you croak. We don’t like driving by the Spaghetti Warehouse (or whatever it’s called) and seeing it full to bursting, while 301 Bistro across the street has empty tables.

Well, lookee what Mama has here in her little hotel room... a little acrylic stand with a card advertising Bistro 301, and its new hotel delivery service...

Nothing to Do With Louisville: Do the Obama!

I know, I know... there's absolutely NO reason for me to post this video to, but we DO have a new president today, and he IS pretty fantastic. And this CNN mash up Obama getting down (and boogie-oogie-oogying) on Inauguration Night made me SMILE almost as much as watching the Former Occupant get on that helicopter and fly away. Two reasons:

(1) I just love that he did "the Bump" with that lady. The Bump gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies and reminds me of weddings from the 1970's.


(2) I think we can say for certain that there is an "Obama Dance" and it is basically "Shake your fists up around your shoulder and step-touch, step-touch, step-touch while wiggling your butt." It's kinda white-guy-ish, but nowhere near as embarrassing as Bush's "Flail Dance."

Not Jenicca's II: New Place to Open in Old Space

According to an article in today's CJ that tries to convince us Loueyvillagers that the restaurant scene ain't as dire as we all know it is, the former home of Jenicca's is about to become the home of a new fine dining restaurant, brought to you by the Wiltshire Pantry catering service folks (who also own the former Jenicca's building). According to the article, owner "Hershberg plans to do the bulk of food preparation at her catering headquarters in the Highlands. 'I'm not even going to need a separate prep staff,' she said. Wiltshire on Market will only be open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Hershberg is embracing the 'small plate' concept.

In the article Tamara Ikenberg cites the losses of Park Place, Brownings, and Primo but fails to mention the loss of Market on Market or Jenicca's or Mellilo's-- not to mention the quasi-closing (Are we dead yet?? It's so hard to tell.) of sometimes food-serving bar/pool hall Ice Breakers. Six (or seven) restaurants within just a few blocks of each other, all very much a part of that East Market corridor we were all so proud of just a year or so ago.

Wiltshire on Market and the upcoming Green Building eatery 732 Social will attempt to plug in some of those holes in the corridor, but let's be realistic, what was once a food destination in the city is no longer. These rapid-fire restaurant deaths make the article's title ('Sky not falling' on dining scene-- a quote from some natty U of L economics prof) ring pretty derned false, if you ask me. Things may be good in the Highlands (or "not as bad as we sometimes think they are"), but in this much-hyped area, just a stone's throw from the future home of our arena, we've got some ghost town shit going down.

(If there is good news to be had in this corridor, FYI, it's in retail not in food... Scout's new home store is beautiful and right next to the brand new flower shop boutique... Red Tree seems to be doing well... Joseph Ley's... always-our-favorite-Design-Star-baddie Tracee Dore's store. No retail stores have closed in the past year or so, to the best of my knowledge.)

I don't know about this (small) influx of more fine dining in that neck of the woods. The only two restaurants open for dinner in the area are Mayan Cafe and Artemesia, both priced out of my budget except for special occasions. Both 732 Social and Wiltshires claim to have embraced the "small plate" trend, a style of dining that strikes me as being very trendy and perhaps short-lived.

We'll see what happens. I wish them luck. And while it's nice to hear good economic news at times, it would be better if that news felt honest.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Favorite Restaurant Burned by Something Other than the Economy

This morning as I drove to work, NPR told me that Bardstown at Grinstead was closed for a fire at Cafe Mimosa.  Looks like the end result is that the building is a total loss.  I've been remiss to not have mentioned my appreciation for this restaurant before.  They were the only Highlands restaurant (to my knowledge) that delivered to my "new" home at the hotel.  Nice people.  Good food.  Inexpensive.  And besides the fact that they put these icky, dry, flakes on the sushi rolls unless you told them not to, I would have had nothing but praise.

Check out the strangely beautiful picture from the CJ website

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

National Poll Reveals Something Everyone Already Knew

Leo's blog FATLIP reports, "Having trouble finding a date here in Louisville? Apparently you can blame your dating woes on the city itself: Possibility City ranks fifth among the nation’s worst cities for dating, according to this poll."

Don't worry, Mama's not moving to Austin-- the best city to find a date, according to the poll.

But still, "The only cities deemed worse for dating were Kansas City, Witchita, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit."

So sad.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What Are YOU Doing Inauguration Day?

I don't remember anyone ever asking me, "Are you doing anything special for inauguration?" before, but I've been asked that several times this year and have started asking the question myself.

Derby City Espresso is hosting an all-day Good Bye Bush Party with $1 espresso shots and $1 PBR on the 20th.

What are you doing Inauguration Day?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Do Banjos Count?

Rick at the Ville Voice mentioned in passing today that there's still a law on KY's books that requires that Metro Council members (and other elected officials) must swear an oath that they haven't fought in a duel.

The Secretary of State website sez:

In Section 228 of the state’s constitution there remains a link with Kentucky’s violent past. That link is the famous “dueling clause.” Since 1891, the commonwealth’s officials have had to swear or affirm that “since the adoption of the present Constitution, I being a citizen of the state, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within the State or nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons [or pianos? that would be okay by me... reference my distaste for dueling pianos, here], nor have I acted as a second in carrying a challenge nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.”

I don't know why, but that just made my day....