Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Depp + Thompson + Columbia

Phew, now that the albatross of the 600th post is off my neck, here's something fun and frivolous:

Johnny Depp (KY native) + Hunter S. Thompson (Louisville native) + Columbia University (my Alma Mater) = Yay!

Monday, Johnny Depp showed the upcoming film RUM DIARY based on the last (quasi-autobiographical) novel of the late Hunter S. Thompson at the Columbia Journalism School.

From the Columbia Spectator:


Best quote:

For the final question of the panel, Lemann asked Depp if he would ever consider playing Thompson for a third time.  “Oh yeah,” Depp said. “I wake up with the bastard. He’s always there.”

I've seen several people ask about this on Twitter, but I haven't heard a response: is any theatre in Louisville doing anything special for the RUM DIARY premier?  If you know, drop a note my way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

600th Post: Social Media is SOCIAL

So, I've been trying to figure out something special to do for my 600th post.  But I realized that just about everything I'd want to say in my 600th post, I already said in my Technology Boot Camp speech at the Louisville Public Library earlier this month. Why reinvent the wheel, right?  So here in its almost-entirety is the speech that I gave: (WARNING: Personal stuff lies ahead...)

If the job of Official Spokesperson for Social Media ever opens up, I think I’d have a pretty good crack at the job. It’s not that I do social media particularly well; it’s that I couldn’t be a bigger fan. This may sound like hyperbole, but it’s 100% true: social media is responsible for 90% of what’s really good in my life right now. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On Twitter we use hashtags to add nuance to the 140 character messages we type. Like #fail, means that you acknowledge that what you just said paints you in a bad light. Or #tmi, means that you know that what you tweeted constitutes Too Much Information.

Another hashtag is #humblebrag.  That means you know that the accomplishment that you just tweeted about sounds like bragging, but that you understand how lucky you are.

So I’m going to hashtag this next little bit: #humblebrag

Over the past two months or so, I’ve been able to do the following things courtesy of my blogging and tweeting habits:
  1. I attended all three days of IdeaFestival with an all-access media pass.
  2. I’ve had two contests on my blog: one to give away a family four-pack of tickets to Max & Ruby Live and one to give away two all-access passes for the Louisville International Film Festival.
  3. I’ve seen Sense & Sensibility, Tom Sawyer, and Dracula at Actors.
  4. I was invited by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau to be one of two local bloggers at a dinner for national media at the Chef’s table at the English Grill at the Brown.
  5. I’ve put together a group of readers of my blog to volunteer at the Louisville Public Media fund drive next week.
  6. I’ve been asked to be a staff writer for a new local print newspaper and am working on my third article for them.
  7. I’ve had a couple really nice dates with a really nice guy.
  8. And perhaps my favorite... after reading my blog post about Rosanne Cash’s upcoming appearance at the KY Authors Forum, the director of the forum contacted me and said she liked the post so much she wanted me to be her guest at the $100 per person VIP dinner for Rosanne Cash, one of my heroes.
Granted this has been an unusual month. But a remarkable one too.

But when it boils down to it, both my blogging habit and my Twitter habit were born out of adversity.

I started blogging on September 2, 2005.  I’d been living in New Orleans for eight years, and on September 2, 2005, I was stranded in Florida with no idea if my home was destroyed, no idea if all of my friends had gotten out of the city before Katrina. I was sick of fielding phone calls and emails from concerned friends and family from all over the country-- and of repeating the same sorry story of fear and sadness and uncertainty. So I started a blog called “Displaced,” and I told everyone I knew that they could check up on me by going to the blog. That way I only had to tell each story once. It was a blog of necessity, but it became a chronicle of my life first as a Katrina evacuee, then as one of the first wave of people to return to the city after the storm, then as someone who lost her footing a bit, and finally as one of the many people who were forced to move elsewhere-- in my case Louisville-- ten months after Katrina.

Displaced consists of a little over 100 blog posts. And no joke, every time I have ever gone back to try to re-read all of those posts, I break down and stop after maybe 20. There are posts I haven’t read since I posted them six years ago. But I am so grateful that they exist.

But, as I said, I moved to Louisville under duress. I didn’t know anything about the city, and I didn’t know a single person here. And I was miserable. So my second blog, My Loueyville, the blog that got me invited to speak to you today, was likewise started as a response to adversity. One day, I decided that I was tired of being miserable, and that I had to make a concerted effort to find things I loved about this city. I started a blog that would celebrate the culture and character of Louisville.

My first blog post was about how much I love going to Bats games.

I’ve since written close to 600 posts, but for a good 200 of those I was blogging just for myself. It was only maybe three years ago that people started reading My Loueyville in earnest. My first indication of this was when Actors Theatre contacted me and asked if I wanted media passes for a show. I’ve been a theatre geek since high school, so I’d been blogging about a lot of theatre productions. Someone in the PR office of Actors took notice and looked me up. Since then I’ve racked up media passes.  Broadway Across America, Churchill Downs Entertainment, Walden, Actors. For more than a year, my blog was one of three featured blogs on the Possibility City website.

All of this was an unintended consequence of a lonely, sad woman starting a blog that she hoped would help change her mind about where she was living. And of course, it worked. I’m madly in love with Louisville. I consider myself one of the biggest cheerleaders for this city. And because of this blog, not only did I come to see the city through new eyes, but I’ve been given the opportunity to see more and do more than I would have been able to afford on a teacher’s budget.

But blogging isn’t the only social media that’s changed my life.

The blog helped change the “sad” part of this “lonely, sad woman’s” situation. It was Twitter that changed the “lonely” part. And again, my twitter habit was also born of adversity.

2008 was not a good year for me. In May, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. On September 14, while I was napping on my couch, recovering from a particularly brutal round of chemo, Hurricane Ike ripped through the city and toppled a 30’ tree onto my house, crushing it. I was fine, but I was faced with 8 months of living in a hotel while I waited for my house to be rebuilt.

If I wasn’t lonely before-- and I was-- I became desperately lonely while living in the Residence Inn downtown. There’s no loneliness like hotel loneliness. And one day, I got an email from another local blogger whom I’d never met-- Michelle from Consuming Louisville. She was writing as a response to a fan letter I'd written her, and at the end of the email, she asked if I was on Twitter. I wasn’t. I was a frequent Facebook user, and I saw Twitter as a frivolous waste of time. But because of her, I signed up and basically copied the list of people she followed.

And I started making friends.

The difference between Twitter and Facebook is this: on Facebook, you follow people you already know. High school friends, college friends, work friends. These people are or have been your friends at some point-- that’s why you follow them. On Twitter, there’s no obligation. When you follow someone, they don’t have to confirm you or follow you back. So you tend to follow people who say interesting things. And people who say interesting things on Twitter tend to be interesting people in real life. You’re most likely never going to make a new friend on Facebook-- I never have. But making new friends is kind of what Twitter is all about.

Six months after I joined Twitter, maybe less, I had a group of friends here in Louisville. That group has grown and continues to grow. And today I can say that my friends are the best, most diverse, interesting group of people I’ve known in my life. If you had told little nerdy high school me that in her thirties her social life would be as remarkable and important as it is now, she would have said you were crazy. And out of all the wonderful friends I have in Louisville, I only knew two of them before Twitter and the blog.

I’m not a computer geek. But blogger and twitter are so easy, and when things were tough for me, they my life easier. When I had cancer, I started a private blog for my family and friends called Girls Gone Bad where I posted about my surgeries and treatments. When my best friend moved to Australia while I was recovering from chemo, I started a private blog just for him called Watch My Hair Grow where I posted a picture of myself every week, so he could see how quickly I was going from bald to not-bald.

Social Media is called Social Media for a reason. It’s not about hiding behind a computer screen and interacting with the world. It’s about reaching out into the world, making connections, and finding people and places where you belong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Genealogy at Farmington Historic Home

The family legend is that some of my people came over on the boat AFTER the Mayflower. I don't know if there's any truth to that, but it sure plays into the idea that my people have been "missing the boat" for a dang long time. 

I have a big enough family that I've always kind of trusted that someone in the family has been doing the genealogy thing for us. Genealogy research is totally up my alley-- in fact, it's so up my alley that I've never wanted to dip my toes into that pond. I know once I start, it would be something I could get obsessed with.  

Next weekend at Farmington Historic Home, Deborah Andrew will be teaching Genealogy 101 from 10a-12p. So, if you've ever thought of dipping your toes into that pond, now's your chance.  According to an email from Ms. Andrew, the event sells out fast, and you need to get your $10 tickets in advance. Call 502-452-9920 to reserve your tickets. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Highlands Festival... a mystery this year

I'm afraid, loyal readers, that I am batting zero trying to get you specifics on tomorrow's Original Highlands Art & Music Festival.

It's an event I love, and it's in my backyard (almost literally), but this year they've done a crap job of getting the information out there. The LEO had a blurb about it, but no times for the music lineup, which includes The Instruction and Alanna Fugate (and at risk of sounding all "get off my lawn-y:" when you google both of those performers the primary links are to MySpace... ugh, MySpace!  And there's no upcoming shows listed on their MySpace pages).

What I do know: The Festival runs from 11am -11pm. Baxter Ave will be blocked off from Highland Ave to either Christy or Breckenridge. There will be music and food vendors and lots of art vendors and usually a lot of community-oriented booths. Stuff for kids... everything you'd want for a good street fair.

The event is also associated with the 4K Tap 'N Run, which involves running and drinking and costumes.

Wish I could share more, friends. I hope that the lack of info out there this year doesn't bury the event for   the future.  And if you read this before the event and have info to share with me, email me or tweet me, and I will update this post!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Brother, My Enemy at the Frazier Museum

"The War Between the States pitted brother against brother. In Kentucky, family lines were often the battle lines."

So reads the tagline for the new exhibit at the Frazier Museum called "My Brother, My Enemy." According to the website:
“My Brother, My Enemy,” which runs through April 8, 2012, examines how Kentucky’s distinctive physical and political positioning led to deep and lasting divisions among families and friends. Unlike many other Civil War studies that tend to focus on the battlefield chronology, the 3,800 square foot exhibition delves into the heart-wrenching and personal stories of the nationwide conflict that forever severed once close-knit relationships here in Kentucky.

This is an original exhibit produced by the Frazier and featuring more than a hundred artifacts.

I get to the Frazier about once a year, and I'm always surprised at how a museum that was once an "arms" museum (and still primarily is) can hold my interest the way that it does. Sure, I'm a sucker for anything all things knight-y and sword-y (what kind of self-respecting fantasy fan wouldn't be?). But I never expect to be as drawn into the gun exhibits as I generally am.

This summer, as part of my Mark Twain Adult Literary Nerd Camp Superfun Adventure, we spent a good deal of time studying the Colt family of Hartford, CT (as in Colt firearms). So I thought I would share a photo of a decorative piece on a church that Mrs. Colt had built in Hartford. See the guns? That's badass.

The same church features a stained-glass window with a pistol-packing angel. That's really badass.

Check out "My Brother, My Enemy" through April 8, 2012. I'm sure I will.

Happy #Geeksgiving! GO #teamtoothpaste

When I've been able to sneak a peek at the Twitters today, I am LOVING seeing the power of social media at work in Louisville.

On the very slim chance you read my blog and not Consuming Louisville... today is #Geeksgiving in Louisville.  And local computer and social media geeks have been invited by our mayor to participate in a day of on- and off-line service.

Michelle over at Consuming Louisville has been cheerleading a toothpaste drive for the Home of the Innocents. Help her out! Help them out! It's such an easy way to give. And if toothpaste isn't your thing (gosh, I hope it's everyone's thing), there are other items listed on the Home of the Innocents Amazon Wishlist.

Follow #Geeksgiving with the hashtag on Twitter and @michellej for more news on the toothpaste drive!  Go #teamtoothpaste!

(I'm honestly not sure there's a competition involved. I'm not able to check my Twitters all that often at the Meatspace Workplace. But if @michelle is #teamtoothpaste, then so am I.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arthritis, cancer, cholera-- Oh my!!

Those of you who know me, know that I'm a little twisted. And that's why when I saw a tweet from Locust Grove Historic Home saying "Register for the death tour!" I had to hop online pronto to see what's what.

According to their website:

Alcoholism, arthritis, cancer, cholera, chronic infections, mania and depression, skin scald, strokes, and tuberculosis---family letters reveal how serious the Croghans’ health problems were. What went wrong? This night-time tour features new research and expands our views of how this affluent Kentucky family really lived and slowly died. Cost is $10 ($7 for members and volunteers). RESERVATIONS REQUIRED - call 897-9845.

Yeah, I'm thinking I need to check this out. Nothing says "Happy Halloween" like skin scald, right?

October 21, 7pm.

It Can't Happen Here: One Night Only

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Federal Theatre Project, two theatre groups here in Louisville are uniting for a reading of Sinclair Lewis's IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE.

Le Petomane and Theatre [502] will be offering a staged reading at the Iroquois Amphitheater at the Parkside Studio on Monday, October 24 at 8pm.  Tickets are just $1 and are available at or 502-609-2520.

Last I heard, there are more than thirty local actors lined up for this reading, directed by Le Petomane's Greg Maupin.

This past weekend, I caught Theatre [502]'s HUNTER GATHERERS at the Victor Jory, which was rich and dark and delightful.  There are still three showings left of HUNTER GATHERERS-- go, go, go! (But note that the content is decidedly adult). And I'm already on record as being a (tragically late) recent convert to the wonderfulness of Le Petomane.

There's no way I would miss this reading based on those credentials alone.  The fact that they are repurposing an outdoor theatre space and creating a more intimate, quasi-indoor setting? So interesting!

Monday, October 17, 2011

#1 Reason to Love Louisville: Louisvillagers

A couple of weeks ago, I put out a call asking for people to join me for a shift answering phones at the Louisville Public Media fund drive.  And so many people responded that I had to turn people away!

Tonight Louisvillagers (or should I say "Loueyvillagers") Stephanie, Emily, and Janelle joined me at the studio, where we hung out with some other lovely volunteers and recorded pledges. One of the nicest things about answering phones for the fund drive is that just about everyone who calls is a Big Fan of public media. One of my jobs was proofreading the pledge sheets, and I loved reading the "comments" sections-- all these listeners who "can't live without" Duke in the morning or "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" or "All Things Considered..."

So thank you to Stephanie, Emily (who I met last time I volunteered at a pledge drive), and Janelle for being such good Louisvillagers.

But I tell you, some of my nearest and dearests here in Louisville work for Louisville Public Media, and I'm repeatedly convinced that the people who work there are some of the best people in the city. Tonight reaffirmed that belief.  So many nice people.

My great night volunteering was briefly marred by the fact that I left my phone behind when I left the studio. I realized it about halfway home and turned around, but by the time I got back to the studio, it was locked up tight and a ghost town. I came home a little pouty, knowing I'd have to find a way to nick out of work in the morning and battle downtown traffic to pick up the phone.

But I wasn't home twenty minutes when I came out of the bathroom and found Roommate holding my phone-- "Some nice guy named Kelly dropped this off for you."

I'm pretty sure that returning cell phones is not in the job description for the Volunteer Coordinator for Louisville Public Media.

Louisvillagers.  Man, you got to love them.

Support your public media, people.  Click here to donate now or call 502-814-6565.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oct 25 The Moth in Louisville Round II: Neighborhoods

Gabe Bullard, host of this month's Moth Story Slam
I was grateful that I thought to get advanced tickets to last month's debut of the Moth Story Slam at Headliner's; lots of people I know weren't so lucky and were turned away at the door when the show sold out. If anything, I expect this month's installment of the Story Slam will be even more popular: I'm thinking everyone who saw last month's event spread the good word to anyone who would listen.

If you're anything like me, you've been a fan of The Moth Radio Hour for a while now; the show features the best stories from events from around the country. At the Moth Story Slams, a theme is announced in advance (this month's theme is "Neighborhoods"), and on the night of the show, everyone who has prepared a five-minute story puts their name in a hat. Ten names are drawn, and those people are invited on stage to deliver their stories. The winner of the event is voted upon by a panel of judges chosen from the audience.

I'm particularly excited about this month's installment because it's being hosted by friend and Awesome Louisvillager, Gabe Bullard, News Director for WFPL.  Bullard bravely took the stage as the first storyteller of the evening in last month's Story Slam and eventually came in second (by my math, at least).

Producer Tara Anderson promises more chairs this time, but I was just fine standing. Trust me, get your tickets in advance. Doors are at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. If you want to tell a story, remember the theme is Neighborhoods and you should get there pretty early to make sure you get your name in the hat.  Tickets are $8 and are available on the Headliner's website. It's October 25, the last Tuesday of the month. More Story Slams are scheduled every last Tuesday of the month through December.

(And yes, I'm always looking for a reason to post that awesome picture of Gabe Bullard.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hunter Gatherers @ The Victor Jory Theatre

I've been so busy lately with Meatspace Workplace things, that I've fallen behind on my blogging. Most notably, I've failed to mention that the October issue of The Louisville Paper is now on newsstands (well, mostly coffee shops and bookstores) and online. That includes my article on the absolutely delightful Mike Brooks of Theatre [502]. Page three, kiddos!  Mama's moving up in the world!

Once you read the article, you're going to want to go see Brook's directorial debut with Theatre [502], HUNTER GATHERERS by Peter Sinn Nachtieb, author of last year's Humana Fest's BOB. The show launches at the Victory Jory Theatre at Actors Theatre and runs October 14, 15, 17, 21, and 22.

From the Press Release:

Four friends come together to celebrate their shared wedding anniversary with dinner, wine and a hilarious and perhaps shocking journey into the human heart — nasty, brutish thing that it is.

Familiar concerns unveil themselves throughout the civilized event...until Richard decides to take the slow food movement to a new and brutal level, and Wendy reveals the lengths to which she’ll go to create offspring. The four are left to navigate the evening with whatever skills and strengths evolution has allowed them.

Hunter Gatherers features Sarah East, Joseph Hatfield, Eli Keel, and Leah Roberts.

HUNTER GATHERERS tickets are $15. Check out their website for details.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Louisville Library Technology Boot Camp

Yes, I know I'm a teacher and that means I stand in front of a group of people four times a day every workday and speak. I don't think twice about it. Ever. Not even on the first day of school. But that doesn't mean that I don't share most people's greatest fear: speaking in public.

But tomorrow, I will be speaking in public at the Main Branch of the Louisville Public Library. The LFPL is launching their Technology Boot Camp with an event featuring local bloggers, and I am honored to be included in that group.

From their press release:
Technology Boot Camp is a free, self-guided program delivered online. Participants access the Technology Boot Camp website from a computer with Internet connection at home, work, or any Library location. Each week the program website will feature a different topic: blogging, cloud computing, social media, photo sharing, and more. Easy-to-understand explanations build knowledge and fun hands-on exercises apply new skills. A series of classes at library branches will offer extra support, if needed.

The speakers tomorrow include:
10:30 - 10:45 a.m.                 Ashlee Clark11 - 11:15 a.m.                      Linda Park11:15 - 11:30 a.m.                 Melissa Chipman11:30 - 11:45 a.m.                 Mike Slaton11:45 - 12 p.m.                      Deborah Boyer
So if you know someone who needs a little technology TLC (I'm imagining that YOU don't, seeing that you're reading this blog) send them our way!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Louisville Public Media Fund Drive: Join Us!

It's that time again, Louisvillagers.

Louisville Public Media is gearing up for their fund drive in a couple of weeks. During the past few fund drives, online personalities have repeatedly said, "Give what you can. Give what Louisville Public Media is worth to you."  Last fund drive, I realized I really can't afford to give what WFPL and WFPK are worth to me. They are the only radio stations I listen to. WFPL is the source of  all my non-online news (and the source of much of my online news as well through their blog).  I live in a very NPR world. I probably should pledge 10 times what I actually do in order to really "pay back" what WFPL and WFPK give to my life.

But I can't.

So last fund drive, I volunteered. Gave a little human capital to the pledge drive.  And it was a ton of fun.  And it would have been more fun if I'd been with friends.

So this fund drive I'm putting a little group of Readers of Loueyville together to volunteer to answer phones at the fund drive.  I've committed to bringing a group of folks on October 17 from 6pm-9pm.  If you're interested in joining us, please drop me an email at Lou (at)

If you're reading this blog, you probably listen to one of our public radio stations. So I hope you consider giving back.  If you can't join us, volunteer to answer phones on your own.  Email: for details.  You can also pledge in advance and be eligible for a drawing for a 13" MacBook Air. Just click the link or call 502-814-6565.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Louisville International Film Festival this weekend

This past week, I was lucky enough to be able to sponsor not one but two ticket giveaways to events here in Louisville. And I was so happy that both winners-- congrats Paula and Ruth!-- were tickled pink to have won. Ruth won a four-pack of tickets to Max and Ruby Live! at the Palace Theatre, and Paula won two weekend passes to the Louisville International Film Festival.

For the Louisville International Film Fest (#LIFF) contest, I asked readers to tweet about the movies that they're most worried the current generation might never see. Check out the blog post for all of the entries.  Lots of great films there. I still stand by my assertion that Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure belongs in the canon. But who can argue with entries like Blade Runner, Spinal Tap, and Rain Man??-- two of those three are in my top ten films of all time... I'll leave you to speculate on which ones.

The Louisville International Film Festival kicks off this week.  According to their press release:

– 9 





The keynote event features one of my heroes, Lily Tomlin:

 Theatre .
 show takes 


Other highlights of the event include a showing of Hollywood & Wine starring Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz, and Leslie Easterbrook-- all of whom will be in attendance-- on Friday at 8pm.  And a presentation by voice-over actor Bob Bergen, who will discuss the ins and outs of the profession on Saturday at 10am.

The LIFF website is fantastic and will provide you with all the information you need. I have a busy work weekend ahead of me, but I will definitely carve out some time to attend the festival.  Hope you can too!