Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be grateful for:  my health, gainful employment, good friends, a loving family, a lovely (but messy) home, an interesting life...

I am thankful for you, too, faithful blog readers.  I am thankful that I live in a city that gives me more to write about than I have TIME to write about.  I am thankful that through this blog I have met so many wonderful people who continue to enrich my life, broaden my horizons, and give me reasons to be happy, to laugh, and to be inspired.

I hope you spent your Thanksgiving with loved ones.  And if you could not, I hope you spent Thanksgiving doing exactly what you wanted to do.  And if you could not do that, I hope that in the next few days you find time to carve out a little slice of bliss for yourself, however small it may be.

Thank you for reading.  The truth is, I would write even if no one was reading.  But that you are reading-- well, that amazes me every day.  And I am grateful.  And I send you all my love.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up, Up, and Away!

I keep meaning to write a blog post about LVL1 and the White Star Balloon project... but at the very least I thought I should mention that they're having a fundraiser this weekend to support the White Star build and launch.

LVL1 is Louisville's hackerspace (the good kind of hackers), which is just now celebrating its one year anniversary.  And sometime this winter/spring, they will try to become the first group of makers to send a robot balloon from the US to Europe via the Gulf Stream.  This Saturday, they're celebrating the start of the Gulf Stream season and raising funds for the expensive build.  If you donate $10, you get to send up a message in a bottle to be dropped in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

The CJ did a somewhat muddy article on White Star today. Maybe it's the gloomy weather, or maybe I just haven't had enough of my first cup of coffee of the day, but there's something about this article that rubs me the wrong way.  Is it just me?

Anyway, I'll be out of town (I'm coming, Hagrid!).  But if I weren't, I'd so be there.  Here are the details.  More on LVL1 and White Star soon.

Music, Food, Science and fun provided, BYOB
When: Saturday Nov 20, 7PM-12AM
Where: LVL1 Hackerspace, 814 E Broadway, rear entrance in the alley.
Who should come: Anyone interested in being a part of history or who thinks science is cool!
Why: All people who donate $10 or more at the party will get to write a message in a bottle, to be dropped into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

Monday Night Randomness: Be Jealous!

Today I had to scrape the frost off of my car windows for the first time, and I have to admit I got a lump in my throat.  No, seriously folks.  I really almost cried.  I know, I know, it's mid-November.  It's appropriate. But still... You can take the girl out of the Deep South, but... well, you know.

So, I need some good news.  Here's some good news:

  • Thanks again to the folks at Bohlsen PR for setting up the Cirque Dreams Holidaze giveaway.  We have two very happy winners.  Thank you too to Michelle at Consuming Louisville who played fairy godmother and added two extra tickets to the mix so we could, indeed, have two winners.  Even if you didn't win, you should go.  It looks like all kinds of good holiday fun-- who doesn't love acrobats and stuff?-- and the Palace Theater is a magical place to see anything, anytime.
  • Speaking of theater, I'm very sad to have to miss The Disappearance of Daniel Hand at Walden.  It's being directed by Alex Volz, whose work at Walden is consistently fantastic.  Really, people, I promise I wouldn't lead you astray-- you should really check out this show.  Supporting Walden is so important for the future of arts in this city.  And someday you might just be saying, "Hey I saw that actor when he/she was a teenager..."
  • And speaking of supporting the arts (and in decidedly ungood news...), Gabe Bullard's Edit post about the Louisville Orchestra's financial woes and likely cutbacks made me powerful sad.  Who's going to save the day??
  • QUICK! I NEED SOME GOOD NEWS FAST!  ::deep breath:: Right, so the reason I can't go to the Walden Play is that I will be someplace that rhymes with Whizney Girled.  And while the trip is 95% business, and it won't be all that much fun, it is very possible that I will be spending this coming Sunday at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  (yeah, I couldn't figure out how to rhyme that one...)  Seriously, I am so excited that I haven't even allowed myself to look at the website.  I mentioned it to a group of teenagers today, and one of them brought up the fact that there is an Olivander's wand shop there, and all five of us-- zombie-like-- intoned "swish and flick, swish and flick" in unison.  Good news for the rest of you: Deathly Hallows.  Two days.  Need I say more?  #mynerdinessisstrongerthanmypride
  • Did anyone catch Louisville's own Nichole Scherzinger on tonight's How I Met Your Mother?  Who knew there was a "Jessica Glitter" counterpart to Robin's "Robin Sparkles"?  No, I don't think she's the "mother."
  • As we speak, Roommate is gearing up for ESPN's 25+ hour NCAA hoops marathon that starts at midnight.  Yes, he intends to stay up for it all.  Yes, he stocked up on snacks and beverages. U of L plays Butler at "Pitino's Palace" (aka, the Whale, the Fish, the Bucket) tomorrow night at 8pm on ESPN.  GO CARDS! Roommate wants me to tweet Dickie V and invite him over for drinks...
  • Did you happen to catch Louisville Life this weekend?  If not, you missed a great show-- I'm so glad that Casa Lou now gets local channels again.  This week's episode featured a really nice story on River City Canoe & Kayak.  AND, if you were paying attention, Lou herself was featured in a lot of nice footage of paddling on the river.  (My 15 minutes of fame are dwindling quickly.)
  • Reminder:  Actors Theater is currently showing "A Christmas Story"-- which I saw last year and is fabulous.  AND is starting Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park"-- which I can't wait to see.
That's all for me for now.  If anyone has any secrets about how to scrape your windows with minimal elbow grease, let me know.  I have a feeling it's going to be another bad morning tomorrow.  But with all this GOOD NEWS... naw, it's still going to suck.  Bah humbug, winter!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We have a winner!

Thanks so much to everyone for entering the Cirque Dreams Holidaze ticket contest.  I loved reading all of your comments about the holiday decorations that have meaning to you.

I went to and had the randomizer pick a number for me, and the winner is #8-- that means JULES wins!

Jules said:  I have done many theme trees over the years- but my current theme is....the New England Patriots! So actually- as soon as football season starts, I start getting into holiday mode. As for ornaments, I took silver and blue globes and put Patriots uniform parts that I found in the scrapbooking section of Michael's on them. They are my favorite- more so than the actual "official" Pats ornaments that I bought just before we left New England. 

I think this will be the last year for that tree- but I will be keeping those ornaments to give to my son when he gets a new place.

I have to admit, I used to be a HUGE Pats fan too... but now my heart belongs to the Saints.

Jules, please email me at lou at with your full name and let me know whether you want two or four tickets!

Thanks again for entering, folks.  I hope to have more contests soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

(If You Can Afford To) Buy Nothing Day

Two weeks from tonight is Black Friday: the day that every big box retailer under the sun offers huge discounts; the day many folks haul their turkey-stuffed bellies out of bed at the crack of dawn or earlier for doorbuster sales; the day that-- inevitably-- some poor soul gets trampled underfoot of a $5-crockpot-crazed Walmart crowd.

As reliable as Black Friday is, so are the emails, blog posts, posters, and websites reminding us it is also Buy Nothing Day.

And the part of me that abhors abject consumerism, Walmart, and the idea that people actually get mauled-- sometimes to death-- on their way to grab an XBox for their kid really wants to throw my support behind Buy Nothing Day.  In fact, for years I did buy in.  Spent the day after Thanksgiving nursing an over-full tummy and just generally chilling out.

But then came the year that I decided to buy Big Mama Lou a dvd player for Christmas.  And Radio Shack had a sale... a really good sale... like 50% even its best sale prices.

See here's the thing-- and I know I'm hardly the first person to voice this opinion-- the idea of Buy Nothing Day is a good one, but it comes from a place of privilege.   I totally support you if you decide to abstain from Black Friday and subscribe to the Buy Nothing Day ideal, but I don't endorse it.  And I likely won't embrace it myself.

Most of you know that my Meatspace Workplace job is teaching.  And I'm sure ALL of you know that educators (noble profession, helping the chirren, paving the road to our collective futures... blah blah blah) get shit for pay.  (I won't even honor that statement by adding my usual asterisk-- "sh*t"doesn't do it justice.)  But many, many millions of folk out there make do with significantly less than my salary, and often have children, spouses, and extended families to support.

And the hard truth is: stuff is cheap on Black Friday.  Plain and simple.  And I know many people who do the bulk of their Christmas/Holiday shopping on Black Friday for that reason.  I'm related to many of those people.  And heck, some years I am those people.

If you want to buy your mama a dvd player for Christmas and can get one on Black Friday for $29, you shouldn't be made to feel morally and spiritually and culturally inferior for saving $20 the day after Thanksgiving.

Now, I'm not the least bit adverse to the idea that we've turned these winter holidays into crazy fraking STUFF-GIVING shells of the spiritual occasions that they are SUPPOSED to be.  Amen.  I hear ya.  And I'm with ya.  But I do know that if I am the lone relative to show up at the Lou Family Christmas sans gifts, I will not be thought of as the "Lou who gave the family the gift of her love and presence" but rather as the "Lou who was a stingy bitch this year."

Yes, it would be lovely if there were a culture shift.  But that hasn't happened.

Yes, I solemnly swear that if there ever is a Baby Lou, I will raise him or her differently.

But no, I'm not going to trumpet the Buy Nothing Day cause.  That being said, I will wholeheartedly encourage you to bring a winter coat to the Green Building at 9am on Buy Nothing Day.  From the press release:

The event will be hosted and coordinated by The Green Building and Ted Loebenberg, of Brokers Unlimited Inc Professional Auctioneers.  Ted coordinated several years of successful coat drives in his native Rhode Island, and is now excited to bring the initiative to Louisville.
Anyone wishing to donate a winter coat, or many winter coats, as often churches and community groups collect coats to bring to the event en masse, is encouraged to bring it to The Green Building, 732 East Market Street, on November 26th, 2010 at 9a.  
Anyone who needs a winter coat, or winter coats for their family, is most welcome to come to the event between 10 AM and 2 PM on the 26th and take what coats they need.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Delivery is my Favorite Food Group: Papalino's & Papa John's

My dear longtime, loyal readers (all two of you-- hi friends!) know that way back in 2008 during Hurricane Ike (September 14, but who's counting, right?) a big ol' honking tree leveled a full one-third of Casa Lou-- BOOM! CRASH! right down to the foundation.  Roommate (who, lucky devil, had himself a lady friend in another hemisphere and was gone most of the time) and I were forced to live in a hotel for 8 months while the bathroom and kitchen were rebuilt from the ground up.  

Ah... the good old days at the ResInn.  Good, good people there.  Made a bad situation much more bearable.

I mention this only because the silver lining to that particularly heinous hurricane cloud (made all the more heinous because I was undergoing chemo at the time) was that Lou got herself a brand spanking new, top of the line kitchen.  (Well, maybe not TOP of the line... but you know, somewhere in the upper regions of the line).  And I thought-- I hoped, at least-- that having a beautiful new kitchen would change me.  That my slate countertops and stainless steel appliances would help me morph into Martha Stewart or Giada DeLaurentiis  (RIP, btw, to Giada's grandpa Dino).  

Alas, it was not to be. 

And delivery remains my favorite food group.

So good news everyone!  Especially me.  I have two great new delivery pizza scoops for you.

#1-- PAPALINO'S IS NOW DELIVERING.  Oh yeah, baby, you heard me right.  Only whole pies and 2 liter drinks.  Only within a one mile radius (woo hoo!).  And only during the winter months. But it's a good start, my friends. Call 'em at 502-749-8525.  Check out the website (linked earlier) for a menu and specials (and I assume eventually a delivery map).  If you follow me on Twitter (@loueyville), you'll know that Papalino's November special (whole pies only) is a roasted turkey, gravy, and potato pie.  Yum!  

#2-- I know a lot of us are anti fast food, but I have to admit, my go-to delivery pizza has always been Papa John's.  And at least they're a local company.  But now I have a BIG reason to support Papa John's.  At least on Tuesdays.  Pardon me as I cut and paste a little here: Starting Tuesday, November 16th and continuing every Tuesday throughout the next year, when you place an order at any Louisville area corporate run Papa Johns and tell them you want your order to credit the Derby City Film Festival, a portion of your order will be donated to the festival. This promotion is good for in store orders, phone orders and online orders. If you order online you will need to enter "DCFILMFESTIVAL" in the PROMO CODE box before completing your order.  

I'll say it again: good news, everyone!  

Yew Dell Third Thursdays

Are you dragging from Ye Olde Thyme Change too?  Since we "fell back" on Sunday, I have been plum tuckered out by 7p or 8p.  Which is so weird, right?  I'm a night owl.  It's not like pre-Thyme Change, I was packing it in by 8p or 9p.  Someone explain the biology here.  It sure can't be the weather-- is it okay to call this an Indian Summer?  Today's high is 78-- and it's mid-November.  LOVE IT.  

Well, I love the weather except the part about not knowing what the heck to put on my body when I wake up in the morning.  It's 40 degrees when I leave for work and in the high 70's by the time I get home.  Not to mention that the Meatspace Workplace switched over from all-AC-all-the-time to all-blowtorch-all-the-time a few weeks ago.  It's a pickle, let me tell you.  Upon seeing people walking down Bardstown Road in everything from a tank top and jeans to a wool coat and boots, Roommate said: "It looks like a thrift store exploded out there."  Amen.

Despite the glorious weather out there (just last weekend I was in Cleveland, and it was SNOWING), this is the time of year where I start to need a big ol' dose of joy on a fairly regular basis. And when I think of Harry Pickens, joy totally pops into my head. Love the music.  Love the way he occupies his keyboard space with his, like, ten foot tall body folded up and making anything less than a GIANT grand piano look like the baby piano Schroeder plays in the Peanuts.  Love that man.

I wish I had a better website to send you to, but Yew Dell Gardens is sponsoring concerts every third Thursday of the month, and next week the featured performer is the Harry Pickens Trio.  Click on that link, but unfortunately the Yew Dell site only says it's $12 for members and $15 for non-members, and it starts at 7pm.  Here's an article from the CJ about the redone barn that the musicians play in.  Looks gorgeous.  And joyful.   

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So Much Going On...

... and I've been so quiet lately.  Sorry, y'all.  My bout of pneumonia dovetailed quite nicely with a business trip...

So pardon me for the "clearing house" post:

  • Can you smell it?  It's in the air.  It kind of smells... well, like teen spirit.  Yes, folk, there's a pungent whiff of Bieber in the air.  Check out Jeffrey Lee Pucket's take on the cocky little summabich.
  • As someone who lives very near Mid City Mall, I was thrilled to see that over the weekend a group of people convened to think about the future of that underutilized facility.  Just don't touch my movie theater/comedy club/grocery store/City Cafe/library.  (Seriously kids, Mid City Mall is a trainwreck in some ways, but how many malls can boast its unique combination of venues??).  Read the skinny over at Brandon Klayko's site.  
  • I'm still giddy with joy after reading Michelle's post about the good people at the Louisville Beer Store and their hope to bring LBS AND pommes frites cones (YUM!) to the former Lonnie's on Bardstown.  (See, even just typing that, I had to dance a little... I could practically chuck a rock from my front porch to that building.  Not that I would... but...)
  • Hearsay is that the Whale (the Bucket, the Toaster, the Fish... c'mon y'all, let's decide on ONE nickname) is pretty pretty inside and that the shows there have been going swimmingly.  Still need to check it out.
  • Don't forget, you have til Sunday to enter my contest to win tickets to Cirque Dreams Holidaze!  Enter here
  • The lovely and talented Ms. Erin Keane has let us in on what to expect from Humana Festival 2011 (the most wonderful time of the year... Ok, I know I say that a lot.).  Lots of stuff sounds great, but so many "friends of the festival"?  Would love to see more shiny new playwright faces there. (Maybe because I'd love to be a shiny new playwright some day meself)
  • This weekend the Louisville Orchestra is playing along to Hitchcock's Psycho.  How freaking brilliant is that?  
  • And while I was visiting the Louisville Orchestra site, I happened to notice that on Nov 20, they're doing a tribute to the Boston Pops.  Now I know there are a LOT of New England ex-pats (and ex-PATS fans) here in the Louey, and I'm sure you have many, many happy childhood memories of Arthur Fielder and the Pops. It's making me all kinds of nostalgic just thinking about it.
  • It's also the Festival of Trees over at Slugger-- and Dickens night is Friday.  
  • AND "A Christmas Story" opens this week at Actor's.  I saw it last year, and it was FANTASTIC.  Really.  Go see it.  It will set you right down in the middle of festive and joy.
Ok kids, there's much much more, but I will leave you with that.  I will try not to catch the pneumonia and leave you high and dry again.  (That being said, guess who's going to Disney World next week?  Well, a Disney World area hotel and convention center.  But a girl can dream, no?)