Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love This City: Me & the Mean Reds

Confession: I have been in unholy funk lately.

Back when I was in high school, my favorite movie was Breakfast at Tiffany's. I was a really different person back then (weren't we all?). I bought the VHS tape and nearly wore it out.  But in my twenties, I just stopped watching. It lost its glow. I no longer believed that being charmingly dysfunctional was attractive and my ticket to the tunnel of love. I'd lived in New York City and visited Tiffany's, and it had not soothed my soul. In fact, Tiffany's bummed me out-- looking at $250 keychains while working three jobs to make the rent just made me resentful.  And let's face it, it's hard to get past Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, right?

But when I get in these funks, I think of Holly Golightly (gosh, was there ever a character name as delightful as "Holly Golightly"?). 

I don't have the blues; I have the "mean reds."

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly
: No. The blues are because you're getting fat, and maybe it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

Yeah, Holly. Yeah I do. 

But let me tell you something, Louisville, the one unflinchingly good thing in my life is you. You're full of interesting and exciting things to do, and you're full of people who are kind and thoughtful and lovely to be around. 

I mean, it's hard to articulate exactly why I've been in a funk. (Which is why Holly's definition of the "mean reds" really speaks to me.) Seriously, just look at how I spent my weekend:

On Friday night, Roommate and I took in Actors Theatre's production of DRACULA. I went last year, but this was Roommate's first time. It's not entirely my cup of tea, to be honest, but both of us came away wondering the same thing: why in the world do locals pay exorbitant prices for cheesy haunted houses as a build-up to Halloween, when they can go see DRACULA at Actors? I'll be honest; I'm basing my knowledge of haunted houses on the few I saw in my youth. But I remember them being pricey, cheesy, and quick. DRACULA is scary, superbly produced, and a couple of hours long. 

On Saturday, we went to the Jug Band Jubilee, which is quickly becoming my favorite annual festival. It was a gorgeous night to be on the waterfront, and I bumped into some of my best friends in the city. After the event ended, a bunch of us went over to the (I'm still calling it "new") BBC on Main Street. I am a sucker for iceberg wedge salads, and the BBC has the best one in the city-- and it's only $5.99. It has both bleu cheese and ranch dressing, and the bacon crumbles are generously portioned and really tasty (this from a woman who is totally over the whole bacon fad). THEN (yes, it was an Energizer Bunny night), a couple of us went to one of my favorite bars downtown-- Al J's in the Galt House (is that Paula Abdul on their website?). I love looking out over the river at night. And I both love and feel bad for the fish in their fishtank bar.  The drinks at Al J's are well-made and among the most reasonable I've had in a hotel bar-- around $7.50 for a Manhattan.  

And Sunday, I got to interview the subject of my upcoming article for the October issue of The Louisville Paper-- Mike Brooks. Mike's one of the co-founders of the much-lauded new theater company in town, Theatre [502]. And he's intense and smart and funny and amazingly contemplative (you'll just have to wait for my article to hear more). But this guy is, like, the opposite of the "mean reds;" this guy is the opposite of "afraid for no reason." Seriously-- and pardon my crassness here-- but you have to have huge effing balls to start a new theatre company in this economy. And he and his friends just got it done. Inspiring.

So many good things. And so many more coming up. In fact, the next few days are shaping up to be utterly brilliant. More to come on that soon.

I still have the mean reds. But they'll pass. They always do. And no matter how funked out I get, Louisville, I'm never so funked out that I forget how much I love you.

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