Thursday, December 30, 2010

Advanced Warning: KAAC's High School Musical

I have to admit, the whole High School Musical thingie totally passed me by (which is probably a good thing, seeing that I'm thirty-mumble-mumble years old).  So this really isn't my bag.  But it sure is someone's bag given the popularity of the movies and now the stage musical.

Kids Acting Against Cancer (KAAC) is an impressive local charity founded and staffed by some really impressive local kids.  (Seriously, bitch all you want about teenagers, but I am grateful every day to work with young people and to see the kindness and empathy they're capable of).

As much as I wish I could kind of just give this show a plug on the blog and let it happily pass by, I think I'll have to attend.  Not only is KAAC a great cause that I want to support, I can personally attest to the fact that the cast features some truly talented young actors.

Their website is woefully out-of-date, but here's the skinny on their upcoming production:

Kids Acting Against Cancer presents its production of Disney's smash hit "High School Musical"! Proceeds benefit Gilda's Club of Louisville & UofL Pediatrics Oncology Specialists!

January 15

Producers' Reception: 75$, 6:30, (Preferred Seating, Drinks, hors d’oeuvres)
House Opens-7:30 PM
Curtain-8:00 PM
Tickets-Students 15$, Adults 20$

Clifton Center

Grab the teenagers in your life and take 'em!

Over the River: Habana Blues

I'm not really a "foodie." My food interests tend toward the plebeian.  For example, over the holidays, I was one of the poor unfortunate souls stuck in the New England HellaBlizzard (though, thankfully, not one of the poor unfortunate souls STILL stuck in the HellaBlizzard), and when Mama Lou asked what I wanted her to chef up for some cabin fever comfort food, I said, "Remember that thing you used to make with the Velveeta and the canned tomato soup?"  (It's good. Mmmmm.... )

Anyway, so my food/restaurant posts can always be viewed with a bit of skepticism, I'm sure.

Two nights ago, Roommate and I availed ourselves of cheapo rates at the Horseshoe Casino and did an overnighter.  Casino trips, especially non-Vegas trips, are always a pretty even mix of depressing and fun.  But we found the cheap drinks at the Envy bar and a dolphin slot machine that liked to give us money (pretty dolphins, good dolphins, we like the dolphins), so a good time was had by all.  I'm not ashamed to admit that one of the draws to the casino was the Savannah-toned siren call of Paula Deen's buffet.  And we weren't disappointed.  Good southern comfort food.  Fresher and better done than most big ass buffets.  And (really) a totally cute little Paula gift shop.  Hey y'all!

But, it turned out that the culinary highlight of the trip was not the raw oysters on Paula's salad bar, but the great little Cuban restaurant in New Albany where we had lunch the next day.  Habana Blues is right in downtown New Albany on Market Street.  For lunch, all sandwiches come with either black bean soup or a side salad for just $7.50.  Roommate had the Cuban sandwich, and I had a wonderful grouper sandwich.  And... best of all, the dark, strong, fruity sangria is only $11 a pitcher all day Monday-Wednesday!  Super great deal considering a single glass was $6.  Half a pitcher of sangria-- three glasses or so-- and I was zonked for the afternoon.

What I liked best about Habana Blues was not the great, reasonably-priced food or the good, cheap sangria, but the fact that our waiter clearly LOVED where he worked.  He chatted up the place to us with a huge smile.  Outdoor patio.  Live music til 2am.  DJs on weekends.  And most exciting of all: a dinner paella that takes an hour to cook-- you can call in advance, and they'll start it for you!

Really, when your waiters are as happy as this guy was, you're doing something right.  I'll totally make the bridge trek to visit Habana Blues again-- especially for the paella and definitely during the summer when I can eat outside.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Annual Gift-Giving Holiday To You!

Great minds think alike.  The annual gift exchange between me & Roommate is always a highlight of the Christmas season for me. He knows where to shop for me (Why Louisville? Scout) and what I like (Deadliest Catch Wii Game?  Hell yes!).

But this year we ended up gifting each other the SAME Why Louisville? t-shirt!  Look for us some Waterfront Wednesday looking like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (not gonna happen).

But how could we NOT buy this shirt?  It's so damned cute!  See it here.

Hope your Culturally-specific Gift-Giving Holidays were likewise good to you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Did Anyone Ask if YOU Want an NBA Team? (Try NHL!)

So there's an editorial in today's CJ about the city's plans to woo the NBA.  Again. (As @eekshecried said on Twitter, "They've been pouring money into this question for years.  It's the city's second-favorite hobby after drinking.") And my first reaction is to generally shrug and say, "Whatev."

Right?  I'm SO not a fan of the NBA (except for my boyfriend "Big Baby" on the Celtics.  I loves me some Big Baby.).  Could not care less about the NBA. I'd go so far as to say that I WOULDN'T go to an NBA game at the Whale... but that would probably be a lie.  As I told someone early this week as we entered the Kalightoscope exhibit, "My mama always said that I'd go to a pig calling if someone invited me." (And come on people, that's hardly a stretch.  A pig calling would be FUN!)  (More fun than the Kalightoscope maybe?)  (I'd like to take this opportunity to mention the fact that my Meatspace Workplace's firewall BLOCKs that Kalightoscope website-- rightly or wrongly-- because of the amount of advertising on it.  Hm.)

Anyway, so first reaction to NBA news: "Whatev."

But after thinking about it, I'm a little steamed.

Here's why:  Did anyone bother to ask us?

Did anyone bother to poll Louisvillagers and say, "How'd you like an NBA team?"

Because if they had polled ME, I would have said, "Nope.  No thanks.  Use that money elsewhere.  Or hey.... waitaminnit... how's about an NHL team!  Now THAT I'd love!"

Because who doesn't love hockey, right?  (Ok, sure, some of you.  Most of you who claim NOT to love hockey have probably never seen a game.)  Earlier this year, I tried to get Louisville Slugger Field on board with the whole hockey thing.  Remember?  Got no response at all.  (I've batted zero-- pun intended-- with the media folks at Slugger.  They NEVER return emails from me.  And I'm such a big Bats fan.  If any of y'all can pull any strings...)

But this is actually a really good idea for the YUM center.  And if not NHL, what about a smaller league?  Louisville actually had a hockey team from the 40's til the 00's.  The Blades, the Shooting Stars, the Icehawks, the Rebels, the Riverfrogs, and the Panthers.  Most of the teams played out at the Fairgrounds, but a couple of them played at the Louisville Gardens.

Anyway, out of curiosity, I did a VERY informal poll on Twitter.  And a couple Tweeties were good with the NBA, but the vast majority of people who bothered to respond to my tweet were overwhelmingly in favor of the NHL.  Overwhelmingly.  In fact, most responses included the words "HELL YEAH!"  (We're a profane group, us hockey fans).

So seriously, Louisville.  Give me that $89K, I've just done your feasibility study for you.  Most people have responded to the NBA idea with a giant thudding "Meh."  But the idea of the NHL gets people psyched.  And people who aren't psyched have probably never watched hockey.  Start the season out with cheapo tickets, and people will check it out for curiosity.  One game and they're hooked, I betcha.

Seriously.  I'm brilliant.  Right?  Right.  Louisvillagers Powers Activate!

(Those words... I do not think they mean what I think they mean.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ho Ho Holiday Stuff! Happy Snow Day!

Happy snow day, y'all!  Been sitting in a coffee shop for the better part of the day, and it's so adorable seeing moms and dads coming in with little ones off of school... playing cards and board games, having long post-snowman-building hot cocoas.

But, I still have more of the Scrooge than the Spirit in me right now.  This despite watching a marathon of Christmas specials in my pjs last night:  Muppets Christmas Carol, Shrek the Halls, the Family Guy Christmas (ugh), and something involving a baby reindeer who was abandoned by his asshole Santa-pulling reindeer dad, ends abandoning his own mother, and by the end decides that his "real" dad is a flying squirrel.  You can't make this shit up, kids.  

Anyway, I'm working on filling my ho ho ho gas tank.  Tonight I'm headed out to see Kalightoscope at the Galt House.  The Galt House et al have been hyping this holiday event since last Christmas, and I'm pretty jazzed to see what it ends up looking like. If somehow you've missed the major advertising push behind this, Kalightoscope is, according to the website:

... a landscape of larger-than-life, lighted holiday sculptures inspired by ancient Chinese art. Made of sheer, painted fabrics, each towering sculpture is enhanced by light, color and an imaginative setting. Some even reach 24 feet high!
Santa’s Midnight Flight over the WorldToyland and the breathtaking Nativity are just some of the twelve areas designed to awe and delight. Holiday music, aromas and little surprises make it an unforgettable experience for anybody. And it's all inside a temperature controlled, 16,000 square foot pavilion.

There's also a dinner show and special overnight Galt House packages available.  At the very least, the Galt House bar is always a spectacle during the holidays with the real candy gingerbread house that's bigger than my first NYC apartment and the beautiful Santa display.

This is my fifth holiday season in Louisville.  I find that so hard to believe.  But what's even more hard to believe is that there are so many local holiday traditions that I am just now getting around to.  This Halloween was my first Dracula at Actors Theater.  And while last year, I did see A Christmas Story, this was the first year that I went to see the more traditional A Christmas Carol.  Despite the fact that I spent the Christmas season of 2008 living a block away from Slugger Field, this was the first year that I went to the Festival of Trees.

A Christmas Carol is totally worth working into your schedule in the next couple of weeks.  After seeing the show, I immediately tweeted that, corny though it sounds, watching the play made me feel all warm and Christmasy.  (It didn't last: no fault of Actors Theatre).  There's a lovely trailer for the play at Actors' Theatre's YouTube page; watch it, and you'll want to go.  Unfortunately, I left my Playbill at home otherwise I'd cite particular performances, but the most stunning change (so I've heard...  as I said, first time for me) was the casting of an aerialist to play the Ghost of Christmas Past.  Beautiful.  Oh and hey, somehow Actors landed Stephen Colbert to play Cratchitt.  (I kid.  But seriously.  I did a double take.)

This week is going to be a crazy one.  Somehow I need (perhaps "want" is a better word) to work in seeing Barefoot in the Park at Actors and The Looking Glass Wars at Alley Theater.  Tonight is Kalightoscope.  Tomorrow is Let them Tweet Cake.  And I'd really like to get a Christmas tree in time to enjoy a little of its piney goodness before I leave.  Oh and shopping and shipping and packing and...

Ho ho ho!  Stay warm, Louisville!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Do Sydney & Louisville Have In Common?

Sometimes press releases are like time machines.  I just got the greatest press release in my emails box, and it's full of all kinds of good news for the city and for various events and festivals. Awards. Kudos. Laurels. Pats on many backs.

But the events described in the press release haven't ACTUALLY happened yet.  They happen tomorrow.  At 1:30p.  In the Lobby of the Whale.  With Uncle Mayor Jerry.  

Oh, I can't keep this good news in.  Because you know how much Mama loves her some festivals, right?  I'll publish more details on the news tomorrow after the awards/kudos/laurels/pats have already been handed out.  (WHAT IF THESE PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR MINDS?  You don't want to jinx this, Louisville).

What do Sydney & Louisville have in common?  We're the only two recipients of the designation of "World Festival & Event City" in the "over 1 million" category.  That's pretty damned world class, kids.  Sydney and little ol' LOU?  So says the International Festival and Event Association. Earlier this month we got ourselves one of the ugliest buildings and now this... 

It's been a good month to be a Louisvillager.  So say we all.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aglow Tonight (I sure will be!)

I spent yesterday at my Meatspace Workspace reminding people that tonight is Bardstown Road Aglow.  A little guiltily because I probably won't make it Aglowing this year.  Very few things would keep me from one of the best nights in the 'hood (see my review of my first Aglow), but some of my favorite people in town are having conflicting Holiday Ho-Downs, and it's going to be buggy enough trying to do justice to both of the shindigs without throwing a little shopping in there too.  

(Personal note to said friends and all of the pals who share my conflict: let's rent a bus next year!  Shuttle our noggy butts between parties!  Maybe add a third party to the mix! [NOT IT!])

Aglow is not only a fabulous time, but this year Four Roses Bourbon is a major sponsor, and there's all kind of bourbony goodness happening along the route.  AND Aglow is the perfect time to nail your entry for the LIBA Holiday Passport Contest.  Submit receipts from five LIBA member businesses and you're entered into a drawing for $1000 gift certificate and a host of other lovely runner-up prizes.  Enter as many times as you want.  Details here.  

Go forth and shop local, Louisvillagers!  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hey We Made Another List!

Sure, this is a purely subjective list.

Sure, this site is more of a goof than anything else.

And sure, it's not a list we really WANT to make.  Or do we?

The Kaden Tower, located on Dutchman's Lane, (or as I normally call it, "The Ruth's Chris Building") made Oddee's list of 12 of the WORLD'S Ugliest Buildings.  The WORLD'S ugliest, kids... our building is on the list with buildings from Spain and Australia and Thailand and China. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that's pretty awesome.

According to Wikipedia:  "Designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the building is notable for its cantilevered structure and its suspended lacework facade"  That student, in fact, was his son-in-law, William Wesley Peters.  And, "the Kaden Tower, when occupied at night, is reminiscent of a Japanese lantern with inside lighting illuminating the grillwork with a soft, yellow glow. During the month of December in the 1970s and early 1980s, transparent color gels were placed on the inside of the windows to form large seasonal symbols when the office lights were left on. Other notable features of the building are several Wright-inspired stained glass windows and a glass elevator system on the building's exterior, surrounded by a low dome that houses the building's air conditioning systems and accented with a reflecting pool and fountain."  

Check out the other 11 buildings on the list.  The Kaden Tower is pretty vanilla compared to some of the seriously uggums buildings out there.  But we'll take recognition where we can get it, won't we, kids?*  Ugly is AWESOME!**  Congrats to the Kaden Companies for keeping Louisville weird!

* I mean the kind of recognition that doesn't involve being ridiculed for being a state that provides tax incentives for the creation (pun intended) of 900 jobs at a theme park that most CERTAINLY won't be a EOE, you know what I mean?

** anyone else really, really want to live in a bolwoningen?? I TOTALLY do!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oy Vey... Teenaged Dinosaur Theme Park!

On the first day of Chanukah, my Crazy State gave to me... a theme park companion to the Creation Museum complete with a bazillion dollars in tax incentives.

Not very sing-able, I'm afraid.

I guess we can chalk this venture up as Reason #54782 Kentucky is a Punchline in Jokes Made in the Other 49 States.

That being said, you know I'll do my gosh-darnedest to be there on opening day.  Just like I was there at Opening Day of the Creation Museum.  (Still one of my favorite blog posts)  The Creation Museum already has a whole hall based on the Noah's Ark story, by the way, including a big ass Ark.  From that post:

In the Flood Geology room, the Great Flood is explained through videos and posters. And for the first time, I can hear other museum-goers make little noises of satisfaction, like they’re understanding science for the first time. “Who knew?” they seem to be saying. “So that’s how it worked.” It’s horrible, this flood, a tsunami cresting over the poles and cascading over the continents, making Katrina and the Asian tsunami look like the overtopping of a sink left on too long. One wonders how Noah’s ark, oil-tanker though it is, wasn’t dashed to pieces and sent to Davy Jones’s Locker, pairs of sheep, mice, and dinosaurs and all.

Yes, dinosaurs. Dinosaurs not only shared the earth with man since day one—day 5 actually, when they were created alongside the chipmunks and wolves—but they were saved by Noah and survived the flood (According to some literature I picked up in the gift shop, the dinosaurs on the ark were most likely “teenagers.” I wonder how Noah kept them away from the drugs and the online porn.) In fact, dinosaurs went on to thrive for many centuries. How else can you explain the preponderance of dragons in literature? Not dragons, silly Arthurians, but late-stage dinosaurs. (The gift shop, by the way, looks like a set from Harry Potter and is called Dragon’s Hall.)

In the meantime, while you're waiting for the Flood Geology Theme Park to kick it in 2014, celebrate REAL science in the early months of next year by checking out the Star Trek: the Exhibition hosted by the Louisville Science Center.  I caught this exhibit during the summer of 2009 at the Franklin Museum in Philly.  And while I am not a Trekkie (or Trekker), I have to admit, it was pretty damned pop culturely cool beans.

Beam me up.

Dreidel's Day Out!

Happy Chanukah to one and all!  Whether you're Jewish or not, you're guaranteed to feel just a little more seasonally joyful if you give Awesome Louisvillager, Brigid Kaelin's "Dreidel's Day Out" video a looksee!

Clicky, clicky, and crank it up!

Mapother to go (Sun)dancing

Long time readers know that Mama has a wee little celebrity crush on a certain semi-famous Louisvillager.

Today the 2011 Sundance Film competition released its line-up and our fair William Mapother is starring in one of the sixteen films slated for the US Dramatic Competition.

from the /Film blog:

This year’s 16 films were selected from 1,102 submissions. Each is a world premiere.

Another Earth (Director: Mike Cahill; Screenwriters: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling) — On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair. Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker, Robin Lord Taylor, Flint Beverage.

A Louisvillager AND sci-fi?  Love!

Mr. Mapother blogged about this earlier today.  In usual humble fashion.  The IMDB listing for the film is a little sparse, I'm afraid.  I'll be sure to do some digging around to find out more.  

Congrats to one of our Louisvillagers!