Friday, December 28, 2012

High highs and low lows: 2012

When, in January of this year, I decided not to renew my contract at the Louisville Collegiate School where I had been teaching for six years, I never imagined that the leap I was taking would propel me this far.

I never imagined that starting in the fall, I would wake up in the morning, throw on some clothes, – jeans are work clothes for the first time in a dozen years! –  get in my car, drive to Nulu, go to an office where I have a big fancy desk, and spend my work day being paid to write about all of the amazing things that are happening in Louisville.

520 East Brands Holiday Lunch
I never imagined I would work for people and for a company that values me and my voice. I never imagined that my bosses would praise my work on a near-daily basis (or that I would butt heads with them, uglylike, on occasion). Or that I would be paid to tweet on behalf of local businesses that I love.

I never imagined that my blogging and Tweeting habits (or addictions) would be what eventually earned me a living.

I never imagined that clients would seek me out. That I would be, at one point, so overloaded that I had to turn down work.

I thought that I would end up working for The Man, at least for a little while until I could distinguish myself and work my way up some ladder or another. I thought I would end up on the payroll of Brown-Forman or Humana or YUM!, towing a corporate line. Nothing wrong with that, of course. And I wouldn't turn down that opportunity, even now, necessarily.

2012 has been a year of high highs and low lows.

At the turn of the new year last year, I never would have imagined that as I approached 2013 I would be in Love with a capital "L." It's an amazing feeling. I kind of forgot how great it was.

I never imagined that my friend stable would double in size.  That I would know so many of my Twitter friends personally.  That the world will at the same time become bigger and smaller to me in this way.

I never thought I could be this happy professionally. Personally.

My grandmother
I also never anticipated being this sad.

I never imagined that I would face 2013 without my favorite person in the world, my grandmother, Vange.

I still have so much work to do to balance out my personal life and my professional life. I have so much to do to become the person that I want to be in 2013.

But I am so lucky to have so many amazing people rooting for me. I'm so lucky that when I wake up in the morning and crankily scrape the frost from my car windows, I am going to a job I love at a business I believe in.

I get to cheerlead for Louisville for a living. There's no job better suited to me than that.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cats & Musicals & Angels for No Kill Louisville

Editor's note: Because I have been working so hard at Insider Louisville, it's been a while since I let my freak flag fly on my own blog (not that I don't let my freak flag fly at IL-- bless their hearts for employing me anyway). So you get an extra helping of Lou here in this post. If you're only interested in the facts, skip down to the italicized bits. Lo siento mucho. I'll try to do better with moderation. -- Lou

Sometimes you just have to own your shortcomings.

Here's one that I'm willing to own: Sometimes (*cough* too often), I make up my mind about something based on what will later prove to be less-than-sufficient evidence. And I can be... well, a little recalcitrant about my opinions.

Exhibit A: musicals.

Ever since high school I have claimed to hate musicals. In retrospect, this may have been a case of sour grapes. I can't sing worth a damn. It's so bad, in fact, that Mama Lou would sometimes shush me when I was singing in the car (unless I was doing my spot-on imitation of Willie Nelson. Or Julio Iglesias. No joke, I can do both parts of "To All The Girls I've Loved Before," and you'd think that Willie and Julio were right there in the room with you... I never said I wasn't talented.).

I could dance, though. So I was always cast in the musicals in the silent dancing role. But I never got to sing unless I was deep, deep in the chorus.

(Oh goodness, sudden childhood trauma flashback: practicing for my first communion, I was asked by one of my classmates to just mouth the words of the hymn because I was throwing her off!)

But thanks to the good people at Broadway Across America here in Louisville, I've gotten over my "I hate musicals" prejudice. Sure, some of them still grate (I'm looking at you, WICKED), but I have been utterly delighted by the most surprising of musicals. LEGALLY BLONDE? So charming! JERSEY BOYS (now through Dec 2 at the Kentucky Center)? I'm not even keen on Frankie Valli's music and I loved it!

Opinion changed. You live, you learn.

Exhibit B: cats

This is a lighthearted post, so I'm not going to trace this back to very dark roots. Suffice to say that I have experienced two cat deaths that shook me so deeply that I convinced myself that I didn't like cats at all.

But I've been dating a cat person (actually an animal person, in general) for a little more than a year. And I've gotten to know his two beloved felines. And after months of practiced indifference I find myself deep in the thrall of kitty love. I talk to them all of the time-- even when The Guy isn't around. I am comforted when they cuddle with me at night. I am, I admit, a bit jealous when we both call for the cats and they inevitable choose to jump up on his side of the couch.

Do I love cats? I don't know. But I love these cats.

Opinion changed. You live, you learn.

Sorry to be Chatty Cathy there... sometimes I just get on a tangent.

Anyway, off to the point of the post:

No Kill Louisville is organizing it's 3rd annual Pet Angel Tree. 17 area businesses are hosting trees and serving as drop-off spots for donations for 17 area pet shelters. Each tree is decorated with tags representing wish-list items for the shelter. Take a tag, purchase something for the shelter, and drop off the gift where you picked up the tag.

It's so simple to do, and the needs, too, are very basic.

From the NLK news release:


Pet lovers can find a listing of the businesses taking part at nokill-louisville.com. Wish lists for each of the 17 area shelters and rescues in the program are also located on the site.  This year-end effort seeks to help thousands of abandoned and abused animals by providing needed supplies to area shelters and rescues. During our first year, No Kill Louisville’s Pet Angel Tree project collected more than $15,000 in food, equipment and other materials - all for local rescues and shelters.
Items needed for the upcoming year include but are not limited to cat or dog treats, paper towels, bleach, Ziploc bags, pens, peanut butter, dish soap, dog or cat food, gently used sheets and blankets, dog or cat collars, leashes, and much more.  For a full wish list, go to nokill-louisville.com/pet-angel-trees

Those who want to help can also choose to pick up a tag from a Pet Angel Tree at one of the following locations which also serve as the donation drop-off points (also listed in our website at the above address):

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some things are important: Slant Culture Theatre Festival

Some things are just important.

The Slant Culture Theatre Festival is one of those things.

It's important because we are a theater-loving, arts-supporting community, and we deserve something like this.

It's important because we're the home of the Humana Festival, and we should have a home-grown equivalent.

Side note: the Humana Festival 2013 schedule was announced today. Check out Erin Keane's coverage here. The exciting news is that, except for an anthology performance, all the playwrights featured are new to the Fest.

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel in this post. I already covered the Slant Culture Fest in an article for the Louisville Paper. Check it out here.

But it is important. We should support it. We want it to come back next year and for many years to come. It features five of the best and most exciting local theatre companies in rep, including my beloved Le Petomane performing my favorite play of theirs, 5 THINGS. (Also, check out Le Petomane's snazzy new website!)

I went to the launch and heard the fabulous Joel Henderson and the 40 Gallon Baptist and the sublime Cheyenne Marie Mize. I saw 5 THINGS and BUY THE BOOK last night.

There's still a full week left. Get a day pass, a weekend pass, or a pass for the whole shebang. You'll want to check out more than just one thing.

But, go. Support. Enjoy. We deserve this.

Friday, November 9, 2012

NPOTM: Hand in Hand Ministries

One of the many things I love about Louisvillagers is their willingness to come together and share ideas. The idea for Non-Profit of the Month sprang from a conversation I had during a lunch with the lovely and talented Robyn Sekula in late May. So next time you see her, thank her.

Each month for the foreseeable future, My Loueyville will feature an ad and promoted content from a non-profit that I believe in and want to celebrate. On the website, you'll see a prominent ad and throughout the month, the blog will feature guest posts, contests, and/or special posts related to that non-profit.


When Robyn Sekula approached me with an idea for a new Non-Profit of the Month, I pretty much had to say "yes." This whole thing was her idea, after all.


But bless her for "getting" me and this blog and the kinds of stuff that I am happy to throw my support into. In fact, her initial email about this group included this disclaimer: "This is a NON-PROSTHELYIZING organization. They send teams of college students and adults to these countries, and it’s amazing the stories they bring back to us."


Well, alright then. That's good enough for me.


Here's how Robyn explains Hand in Hand Ministries:

Hand in Hand Ministries is a Louisville, Ky.-based international service organization that works to share life’s essentials, including shelter, medical care and educational opportunities, with the world’s poor. We do this by leading groups of volunteers living in the United States and Canada on immersion trips to Appalachia, Belize and Nicaragua. Immersion trip teams are made up of individual volunteers, or groups from universities, high schools, or churches. Most groups work side by side with local people to build or repair homes. Others provide medical, or educational assistance, depending on the skills of those on the trip. An important part of each trip is to immerse the volunteers in the culture of each region and to encourage year-round support of our educational and medical programs. It is our hope that our volunteers will return home and become better for the experience while working to build a more just world. In all that we do, we seek to build community.

Next week is one of Hand in Hand's biggest events. The Legacy Breakfast is on Nov. 13 at 7:30 a.m. (registration at 7 a.m.) at the Olmstead. This is the ninth annual event and it is free and open to the public and up to 400 people are expected.


Here's how the news release describes the Legacy Breakfast: "The event will feature two speakers. An 11-year-old boy named Mauro from Nicaragua will speak, along with two young men from Appalachia who plan to further their education after volunteers helped them with their home this past summer."


Unfortunately, I dropped the ball a bit, what with being so busy lately... you have to RSVP TODAY to attend the event. 


To make a reservation, call Hand in Hand at (502) 459-9930 or visit the web site, www.myhandinhand.org, and make a reservation through the link on the home page.

Do it. Go and learn more about this incredible program. 

Thanks to Robyn for bringing this to my attention. And my apologies for not getting this information out there soon enough.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy in Louisville

Today I had lunch with someone I'd never met.

Ten or so minutes into our discussion she said, "I don't even have to ask you if you're happy. When you talk about your work, you just smile. I can't remember meeting anyone who smiled as much as you do when they talked about their work."

And it's true. I am stupid happy about the way that my professional life has manifested recently. I am crazy in love with my job at Insider Louisville. I am thrilled to the teeth with how respected and appreciated I feel working for them.

I wake up in the morning (grumpy as always... I frigging hate mornings) and revel in the fact that I am going to work to be paid to write about how much I love Louisville.  I end each long day wiped out but also jazzed by the idea that I have done nothing all day except write about what's amazing about this city.

But... and this is a big "but"... I took this job thinking it wouldn't impact My Loueyville at all.  But it clearly has. I'm not posting as often as I normally do because I am sending all that energy to work at Insider Louisville. Monday through Friday for IL, I post anywhere from three to six posts every day about stuff that's going on in this city. It doesn't leave all that much room for me to hone in on truly brilliant events.

Bear with me, people. I am trying to strike a balance. My Loueyville is my first and most important love. But, Insider Louisville is paying my bills right now...

Give me a few more weeks to create a balanced internet presence.  It will happen, I promise. In the meantime... Hot damn, I really am very happy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Gabe Bullard on WFPL & Louisville Public Media


Gabe Bullard is the Director of News and Editorial Strategy at WFPL and a dear friend.

In the final hour of this fall's membership drive, I said something silly about my coworkers. I called us "true believers," like I was Stan Lee introducing a new Avengers adventure. 

You hear it a lot during pledge drives. "What we do is kind of crazy." We spend money buying national programs, sending reporters across the city and state and paying DJs, administrators and technicians. Then we ask people who have been getting this content for free for six months to voluntarily call us and help pay for it. No bills mailed to your house, no set amount to pay. It takes true believers to work in an enterprise like this, but it also takes true believers next to their speakers or computer to make it work. It's amazing to have a community that supports us, and I can assure you that every time you hear someone on air say thank you, they mean it.

The last pledge drive brought in $435,000. Now what? Well, we continue bringing you the shows, programs, music and coverage you listen to. But we're not resting. That would be too easy. It would be easy for our reporters to come in, read some press releases and knock off early. It would be easy to play the same hit songs over and over. But what we do here is a little crazy. We want to make things. We want to dig into stories. We want to develop new podcasts and shows. We want to find new music and uncover big news. We want to find more shows and bring them to you. And we hope that you'll help us pay for all this later on. 

I know this sounds a bit "group hug," but it's true. To spare you, though, I'd like to mention a few things I'm excited about. 

First of all, news. I have been a journalist my whole career. I always wanted to be one. Now I get to work with some of the best journalists in the city. It's great to be in news meetings and hear the ideas for stories that we'll be reporting in the next hours, days and months. Also, we're building an investigative reporting center.

Second, shows. We love the shows that have defined public radio for years, and we're always looking for what will define our sound in years to come. WFPL was among the first stations in the country to play some of my favorite programs: Q and the Tobolowsky Files (note: I didn't make the decision to put these on, but I certainly celebrated it). We also have Bullseye on Friday nights and WTF on Sundays. Both are must-listens for me, and they're hard to find on the airwaves in other cities. And there are also great pieces out there coming from independent producers. I go through the website prx.org the way record collectors dig through bins. You may hear short and excellent pieces from the Memory Palace, 99% Invisible and Decode DC when you listen to WFPL, because we want to showcase things we like. 

Third, more shows. We love finding great shows and bringing them to you. We also like making them. Phillip M. Bailey's Noise & Notes is a new addition to our Saturday night lineup, and our new podcast Strange Fruit: Musings on Politics, Pop Culture and Black Gay Life just launched. That's in addition to new reporting series: The Big Break, Unique and You Again. 

We want to bring you stories and shows that we find interesting and important on air, and we want to do it online and in person, too. Look for us to be in the community more. We're launching new blogs. Check out our Instagram, where we're showcasing photos from This...Is Louisville magazine. 

None of this is meant as a knock on anyone else in media around town. We share the same goals. We all want a robust media, and we all benefit from it. But this isn't a great time for media. Things are tough and we're always making sure we spend our money in the most beneficial ways possible. We're happy to be expanding. We're happy to be building a reporting center. We're happy that we can do all this through support from local people who like what we do and who want to keep it going.

Sometimes it helps to be a little crazy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Late Notice: A Trio of Halloween Radio Plays

I'm sorry I wasn't able to bring this to your attention sooner, but I just got the press release. 

You only have two more chances to see the Coffee Cup Theatre Company's (CCTC) presentation of three Halloween radio plays at the Bard's Town Theatre-- tonight and Saturday night at 7:30pm. 

I'm a big fan of all three stories presented: "The Monkey's Paw," "The Canterville Ghost," and "The Cask of Amontillado."

When I was a wee lass-- single-digits-young-- I was a precocious reader. I taught myself to read at age three and blew through reading levels until I was reading-- and devouring-- Agatha Christie novels before the age of ten. 

Before I was in my teens, my mother handed me Dante's Inferno and the Cliff's Notes to Dante's Inferno, and I read it from cover to cover, dutifully sketching maps and diagrams of Dante's journey through Hell with colored pencils and a pad of newsprint.

But when I was really wee, maybe seven or eight, my Nana gave me a beautifully bound and illustrated collection of Poe stories. I could read most of it myself, but I struggled with some of the vocabulary. I remember sitting with Nana on the couch of her beach house (which would later become her full-time home after retirement) and having her read "The Cask of Amontillado" to me before bed.

I still remember the chill I felt when she read the exchange between Fortunato and Montressor at the very end of the story (I don't think this is a spoiler at all, in case you haven't read it).

Fortunato says, "For the love of God, Montressor."

And Montressor responds, "Yes. For the love of God."

GOOSEBUMPS. Even now.

And for the past six years I have taught that story to high school juniors. And every time I get to that point in the story... chills. 

Here's info from the press release from the CCTC: 

Coffee Cup Theatre Company (CCTC) will open its 2012 – 2013 Season with a trio of Halloween plays performed at The Bard's Town, located at 1801 Bardstown Road, on October 11, 12, 13, & 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 pm. 

The production entitled Halloween Trilogy of Radio Plays featuring "The Monkey’s Paw" by W.W Jacobs and adapted by Jeanette Jaquish; "The Canterville Ghost" by Oscar Wilde; and "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe and adapted by Cecilia Fannon and John de Lancie.

Tickets are now on sale and reservations can be made by calling (502) 299-8501 or e-mailing coffeecuptheatre@gmail.com. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors (Cash & Checks only).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday Randomness: What have I been up to?

Is it the middle of October already? My goodness. Time really flies when you're having fun.

And, gentle readers, I am having so much fun these days!

Sure, money is way tight, and I am still struggling with what to do about my lack of insurance. But if you zapped those two stressors from my life (anyone? anyone?), I'd be fool happy.

I'm totally crazy about my new freelancing life. I have the best readers (that's YOU!). My friends never cease to amaze me. And The Guy and I just passed the one year of dating mark, and I couldn't be more in love.

So, what else have I been up to? 

  • Tomorrow marks the end of my second week of employment at Insider Louisville. Depending on who you talk to, I'm either the "Deputy Director of Content" or the "Associate Managing Editor." I'm not really hung up on titles; whatever you want to call me, I'm having a hell of a good time. I've been helping out around the joint, writing 2-5 articles a day, working on vetting freelancers and much more. We're still moving into our new office in NuLu, and every morning when I drive to work I have to pinch myself. Ever since my job hunt began, I've had a superficial goal of either working downtown or in NuLu, and here I am with my own desk, an endless supply of good coffee, and a job that I can't wait to go to when I wake up. My bosses respect me. I feel like I add a lot to the organization. And I'm getting paid to do cool stuff and write about it. My fingers and toes are crossed that this turns into a full-time gig with benefits someday soon. (And my fingers and toes are crossed that I continue to be this happy with this job).
  • For the past six weeks or so, I've been working part time as a "Twitter Specialist" for 520 East Brands. Shane is a dream to work for, and I'm thrilled to be the "twitter voice" for many beloved local and national brands. I knew one day my Twitter addiction would pay off!
  • Chipman Creative was hired two months ago to "ghost blog" for local real estate agent, WordCamp maestro, and fellow Start-Up Weekend attendee, Scott Hack. We did the true "ghost" thing for a little while, but over the past few weeks, we've started to put my name on the posts. So if you're looking for more of my posts, follow Scott's blog. And obviously, if you have any real estate needs, you should contact Finish Line Realty. Scott is awesome.
  • Last Saturday, my Louisville, Not Kentucky co-host Linda and I worked a booth at the Flea off Market. We signed people up for our mailing list and interviewed people for Episode 7 and beyond. We met lots of listeners and even got to interview the Mayor. It was a beautiful day, and we're looking forward to doing it again in November.
  • Tuesday, a group of Loueyville readers and friends volunteered to answer phones at the NPOTM, Louisville Public Media fund drive. Thanks to Kara, Dawn, Bethany, Stephanie, Stephen, Ashlee, and Linda for coming along. We ate lots of pizza and talked to some great LPM supporters on the phone.
So now, besides this blog, my twitter, my facebook, and my pinterest, you can now catch me on Insider Louisville, the Finish Line Realty blog, Louisville Not Kentucky, and as the voice of brands you know and love on Twitter. 

Hope you all have had an excellent fall so far! Thank you for your support!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Louisville, Not Kentucky at Flea Off Market

One of my favorite monthly events in the city is the Flea Off Market-- an open air market in NULU that runs from 10am til 6pm almost all year 'round.

Last Flea, I bumped into Linda, my podcasting partner, and we both decided that Louisville, Not Kentucky ought to do something at the next market.

So this Saturday (10/13), you can visit the Louisville, Not Kentucky booth at the Flea Off Market. There we'll be:

  • Doing live interviews with Flea-goers for future podcasts.
  • Interviewing some of the booth owners for an upcoming podcast.
  • Accepting pitches for future podcast segments.
  • Collecting adult-beverage drink recipes.
  • Signing people up for our new mailing list.
  • Taking pre-orders for Louisville, Not Kentucky t-shirts ($15).
So come visit us! Bring us your favorite drink recipe-- you can drop it off, or fill out a recipe card at the booth. We might mix up your drink for one of our "What are we drinking tonight?" segments-- and of course, we'll credit you. 

Bring us your pitches for story ideas-- what would you like us to cover in future podcasts? We might be able to interview you right on the spot! 

Sign up for our mailing list, so you'll never miss the latest Louisville, Not Kentucky podcast news. 

Thank you so much to Flea Off Market for providing us with the booth space. Thanks in advance to Christine (of the Cyclocross) for loaning us a shade tent and to Bobbi (Kyle's mum) for loaning us a table.  

And thanks once again to Kyle Ware for providing us with our gorgeous logo art and all of our design needs. If you're looking for an artist or designer, you can't go wrong with Kyle. And you'll definitely want a tshirt with his awesome logo design! Linda & I will be wearing sample shirts at the Flea, but if you're interested in pre-ordering one, sight-unseen, email me at Lou (at) loueyville.com.

We're so excited to meet you! Drop on by! 

Episode 6 is now available. All episodes are available for download on iTunes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bonus Moth StorySLAM in October!

One of the best things that I do every month is volunteer at The Moth StorySLAM on the last Tuesday of every month at Headliners. My dear friend, Tara Anderson, is the producer and has allowed me to basically become the "permanent volunteer" for the event (I actually have it listed on my resume, that's how hardcore of a Moth fan I am).

This month you have TWO chances to check out The Moth StorySlam-- at its regular date and time AND in conjunction with the current exhibit at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft (KMAC) called "Storytelling as Craft."

The event is on Thursday, October 18 at 8pm (doors at 7pm). It's free for KMAC members or $8 for the general public. Awesome Louisvillager, Gabe Bullard, will be hosting.

According to the press release: 

The Theme for this evening is: MUSE. Throughout history, artists have been inspired by influential individuals in their lives, motivating them to create their best work. Now it's your turn. What is your interpretation of this word and more importantly - how will you TELL it? This is an open-mic event where anybody can sign up to tell a story. Between 7 and 8pm, place your name in the hat and 10 storytellers will be chosen at random to present on the stage. Three teams of judges will also be randomly chosen from the audience. They will give each story a score and help determine the winner at the end of the night. Storytelling tips are available on The Moth's website: themoth.org/tell-a-story/storytelling-tips. Event information can also be found on KMAC's Facebook page.

I assume I will be there "taking stories" like I normally do.  Stop by and say hi!

And no. I am too much of a wimp to get up on stage and tell a story myself. I gave a speech at the LFPL a while back and truly, TRULY thought I was dying of a heart attack halfway through. If the theme is ever "superheroes" then maybe... MAYBE... I'll tell a story. Maybe.

Don't forget Louisville Public Media is the NOPTM this month!









Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NPOTM: Louisville Public Media

One of the many things I love about Louisvillagers is their willingness to come together and share ideas. The idea for Non-Profit of the Month sprang from a conversation I had during a lunch with the lovely and talented Robyn Sekula in late May. So next time you see her, thank her.

Each month for the foreseeable future, My Loueyville will feature an ad and promoted content from a non-profit that I believe in and want to celebrate. On the website, you'll see a prominent ad and throughout the month, the blog will feature guest posts, contests, and/or special posts related to that non-profit.

When I was weighing my move to Louisville, I made a pro/con list. The "con" side of the list consisted of mostly ill-informed stereotypes like "1) It's in Kentucky" (hence the name of the podcast I co-host).

The pro list looked like this:

1) Bourbon
2) Bluegrass music
3) Great Public Radio

Again, still ill-informed... I got a healthy dose of Bluegrass music when I lived in Knoxville, TN for a summer with WDVX. I just assumed I would get even more in, you know, the Bluegrass State.

But I came to Louisville Public Media before I even moved here. Before I visited for the first time, I googled Louisville Public Radio to make a mental note of the channel just in case I decided to rent a car. I was floored to discover that there was not just one station but three.

New Orleans has some damned good public radio, but what always bummed me out was that there were so few options when it came to talk programming. We had "Car Talk" and "Wait Wait" and "A Prairie Home." The standard news programs of course. But-- if I remember correctly-- only classical music from 9am til 4pm and from 7pm on. And all day on Sunday.

I did a happy dance at my computer when I brought up WFPL's programming. And that was before the programming got as awesome as it is now. So. Much. Talk.

And you may think that my "pro" list is silly or tongue-in-cheek, but as Kai Ryssdal is my witness, the quality public radio in Louisville was a very big reason why I decided to take the plunge and move here.

I'm super-excited to be going to see Stephen Tobolowsky this Friday at the Kentucky Center. If you aren't listening to the "Tobolowsky Files" on WFPL at 9pm on Thursdays or on his podcast, you're missing something special.  But it was the final lines of his bio that made me swell with love for our Louisville Public Radio.

His bio concludes: "He currently performs his stories on “The Tobolowsky Files” at Slashfilm.com and on iTunes. They are also broadcast weekly on radio in Seattle, Louisville, and Austin. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons."

Right? His brilliant show is only on three stations... and Louisville's WFPL is one of them.

It's pledge drive month. So October is the perfect month to make Louisville Public Media my Non-Profit of the Month.

Here's my standard pledge drive spiel:

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." 

I've 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 I volunteer to answer phones. Give a little human capital to the pledge drive. And it is a ton of fun. 

So this fund drive I'm putting a little group of Readers of Loueyville together to volunteer to answer phones at the fund drive. If you're interested in joining us, please drop me an email at Lou (at) Loueyville.com. Our block of time is from 6pm until 9pm on October 16

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: kwilkinson@louisvillepublicmedia.org for details. 

You can also pledge in advance . Just click the link or call 502-814-6565.

Monday, October 1, 2012

WordCamp Louisville 2012


Scott Hack, who participated in StartUp Weekend Louisville with me, was kind enough to point me to info about WordCamp Louisville-- All day on October 13 at the Holiday Inn Louisville East1325 South Hurstbourne Parkway. 

I'm a Blogger user, and even on Blogger, I am very conservative with what I do. But WordPress is used for all kinds of web development (even, I am told, our CityAnchor site... isn't it sad that I don't know for sure?). 

From the WordCamp website:

WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 25 million sites on the web.... WordCamps are attended by people ranging from blogging newbies to professional WordPress developers and consultants, and usually combine scheduled programming with unconference sessions and other activities.

The schedule is packed and looks great for people with short attention spans:

  • 8 to 8:45 Check in, Network, meet fellow attendees and nosh on a light breakfast.
  • 8:45 to 9AM Opening Remarks from Organizer and message from Jason Clark with VIA Studio
  • 9:10 to 9:45AM – WordPress and E-commerce ( Johnathan Davis )
  • 9:50 to 10:25AM – Foundation of Plugins and Themes ( Tammy Hart )
  • 10:30 to 11:00 – Deploying WordPress ( Jason McCreary and Nick Temple )
  • 11:05 to 11:35 – Frameworks and Child Themes ( Bill Rice )
  • 11:40 to 12:15 – How not to suck as a freelancer ( Drew Poland )
  • 12:15 to 1:15 LUNCH
  • 1:20 to 1:55 – WordPress Security ( Juston Jones )
  • 2:00 to 2:30 – WordPress Mobile ( Hal Bugriss )
  • 2:35 to 3:05 – 24 Ways to Make WordPress FAST ( Jason McCreary )
  • 3:10 to 3:45 – The State of HTML5 ( Wesley Reitz )
  • 3:50 to to 4:25 – bbPress : Plugin development done right ( Pippin Williamson )
  • 4:30 to 5:00 –
  • 5:00 to 5:10 – Wrap up!
  • 5:30 to ???? – After party at TBD
I'll be working at Flea Off Market with my Louisville, Not Kentucky peeps, otherwise I'd go. It's only $20, and as Scott says, "like most conferences, material between sessions and networking are just as valuable..."

At risk of sounding like a broken record and being "that person" in the Louisville Tech/Start-up scene... I have to point out... eleven fantastic speakers/presenters... but only ONE woman. 

For more information, visit: http://2012.louisville.wordcamp.org/


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

17th Annual Garvin Gate Blues Festival

Nora Jean Wallace
So today I feel like a real legitimate professional blogger. For the first time, I have someone shadowing me to learn more about blogging and writing.

When it came time to write an actual blog post, I told Rachel-- my job shadow-- to visit the bulletin board here at Heine Brothers Douglas Loop and come back with an event that seemed interesting.

I love the fact Rachel came back with an event that I've never heard of and that sounds fantastic! And it's free! I'd like to say that I taught her well, but I think she's a natural.

The 17th annual Garvin Gate Blues Festival takes place on October 12-13 in the Garvin Place neighborhood in Old Louisville. This event is the largest free neighborhood street music festival in Louisville and features food and merchandise vendors. Proceeds from sponsorships and vendor sales benefit The Garvin Gate Association and the Old Louisville Preservation District. The event takes place  from 630pm- 11:15pm on Friday from 3pm -11:15pm on Saturday on Oak Street between 4th and 6th.

Bring chairs or a blanket, but leave your pets and coolers at home. No outside food or alcohol.

I'm so psyched that Rachel brought this to my attention. You know how much I love outdoor music events. Maybe going to the Garvin Gate Blues Fest will make me feel a little better about missing the Jug Band Jubilee this year.

For more information visit their website: http://garvingatebluesfestival.com/index.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CityAnchor Wins Startup Weekend Louisville

So last week, I told you about Startup Weekend, the first event of its kind here in Louisville.

I've been a little slow in getting this out on the blog because (a) I was so exhausted after the event that I spent Monday on the couch with my sick Guy watching a Wire: Season One marathon (b) I've been so busy promoting CityAnchor that I haven't had the chance to write about it on my own damned blog and (c) I will be covering IdeaFestival for WFPL this week, and I need to bang out a bunch of work before I can go and be smart for a couple of days.

The news in a nutshell: I was on the winning team for Startup Weekend.

I was the only woman at the 40+ person event.

Our team was the smallest team.

We were the only team to launch with a live product: a local arts, culture, and food blog aggregator.

We were the only team to launch having earned revenue.

The team: Dave Durand, the designer, is the CEO of Forest Giant. Shane Logsdon is a back end web developer with Blackstone Media and a freelancer. Ukiah Smith is a front end web developer for Power Creative and owner of Faction42, a company that creates websites. And me, of course... doing project management and networking.


But rather than reinvent the wheel, I direct you to the three articles I wrote for Insider Louisville:

Day One: The Woman-Problem

Day Two: Dream Team

Day Three: My wild weekend

Our story also got picked up by Business First, our local business newspaper.  Here's an example of why I adore my team so much... This story references Dave as being the "team leader" and doesn't mention the rest of us at all. At Startupapalooza, where CityAnchor managed to field a booth even though we'd only existed as a company for a couple of days, Dave brought up the article and said, "I am not the leader, and I hate that he did that. I'm sorry guys."

We're going full speed ahead with the venture. I'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter (@CityAnchor), like us on facebook, and visit the beta website at cityanchor.co.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Jug Band Jubilee: The Happiest Music is Back

While I am super excited-- and a wee bit nervous-- to attend Start Up Weekend, I am terribly crushed that that means that I won't be able to attend one of my very favoritest festivals of the year: the Jug Band Jubilee.

I gushed about the Jubilee last year on the blog. I had such a good time the year before that I decided to make the Jubilee extra credit for my American Literature students. You don't get more "American" than jug band music, and heck, it was popularized right here in Louisville!

On my way into the festival last year, I bumped into several groups of students-- some coming in, some leaving. And to a person, these 16 year olds were stoked. They loved it! A full one-third of my students attended the event-- it IS free, after all-- and every one of them said they never would have gone if I hadn't "made" them, but that they would definitely go back next year!

I hope that's the case. I'm not there, of course, to give them the nudge.

But I can give YOU the nudge.

It really is one of the very best events in the city. Nine jug bands will be in attendance at the Brown Foreman Amphitheater. The music starts at 1pm, and there's a special BBC early-bird happy hour from noon til 2pm. And at 3pm there will be jug band workshops where you can learn to blow a jug or play the kazoo.

If you're free on Saturday at any time, you should really check it out. It is, of course, very family-friendly. Bring a blanket or a chair. Visit the website for the schedule. Have a killer time. You won't be able to help yourself. They don't call jug music "America's Happiest Music" for nothing.

And while you're there, tell Heather I said hi.

Sad Melissa.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Menu & Hours Gets Big-Time National Attention


The question is... can I sit still long enough to write this post?

I am so dang happy that I am squirming and chair-dancing-- in public! Sorry patrons of Vint on Frankfort.

There's nothing better than when good things happen to good people.

The lovely and talented Michelle Jones of Consuming Louisville, who gives so much so unselfishly to the Louisville community, launched her Menu & Hours app just a wee bit ago and this app is BLOWING UP.

Fast Company, which is quickly becoming my second-favorite magazine after Garden & Gun, just released an article called: "This (Perfect?) App Offers Just the Menu and the Hours."

Mark Wilson writes:


Menu and Hours may be the smartest restaurant app ever created. It’s a directory of over 100 restaurants across Louisville, Kentucky (sorry, nowhere else yet). And rather than giving you tales about slow waiters during bachelorette parties, it offers the two things that matter most about any restaurant: Its menu, and its hours.

Not only are we so wicked happy for Michelle on a personal level but we're also tickled pink and purple that this app makes our foodie city look so damned good! And you know what's awesome? I know for certain that if Michelle suddenly goes all Zuckerberg, she'll still be the nicest woman in town.

Thanks, Michelle!  And good on ya!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Vant to Suck Your Blood! Early Halloween with Actors

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Actors Theatre Generation One Board. I am one of the Social Chairs (a little funny if you know me and know that I am not exactly a social butterfly), and I manage the GOBoard Twitter feed. You'll be hearing a lot from me about the GOBoard's activities. We're pushing hard to recruit new members this season. If you're young (we don't really have a cut-off age, but 45 or younger is the unofficial "young" -- woo hoo!) and you support Actors Theatre, we'd love to have you!

Remember when we all thought Tom Cruise was weird when he bleached his hair blonde to play The Vampire Lestat? Remember when that was the weirdest thing he did?

I loved Anne Rice's vampire books. And I'm not kidding all that much when I say that those books were one of the reasons I ended up in New Orleans for nine years. They were dark and sexy and arty and the literary companion of my musical diet of the Cure and the Smiths.

Those books made New Orleans seem so damned exotic, and the best part about New Orleans is that it lives up to every promise of grand beauty and sultriness that has been conjured by authors-- usually it exceeds these expectations.

As did the "real-life" vampires who roamed the streets at night in New Orleans. Some were just your standard Goths, but some were all-in living the lifestyle.

Don't think about that too much.

Anyway, to celebrate Actors Theatre's production of DRACULA, the Actors Theatre GO Board is throwing a Vampire Ball in the Victor Jory Theatre on September 29 at 9pm (or after the show).

Tickets are $30 or $20 with a ticket stub from any showing of DRACULA. Come dressed in costume, come dressed as a vampire. We have food and drinks from some awesome sponsors, and this promises to be a fantastic time. Get your Hallowe'en on a little early.

You can buy tickets at the box office or call 502-584-1205. If you're already a GO Board member, don't forget to ask for your discount. If

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life Aquatic on the Waterfront

THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX may very well be in my top five very favorite movies. I've only seen it the once in the movie theatre, but I can still hear the soft tones of George Clooney's gentle Mr. Fox voice, and I laughed so hard I nearly tinkled myself at the running "cuss" joke.

But I'm not 100% on board the Wes Anderson train. I wish he'd just make animated films from now on. MOONLIGHT KINGDOM, which was adorable and twee, would have been vastly improved if all the little kids had been squirrels... (although I'd hate to lose Bruce Willis from that movie... he can do no wrong in my eyes... I've adored him since his David Addison days).

I don't get the TENENBAUM love. And it doesn't matter that Bill Murray is up there on the list with Bruce Willis, I definitely didn't love THE LIFE AQUATIC.

That being said, I'd be willing to give it another shot in this case. Because, as the producers' name implies "OUTDOOR MOVIES GOOD." Outdoor movies are ALWAYS good. And when they take place at the Brown-Foreman Amphitheater, one of the prettiest venues in the city, they're even better.

Right now the website redirects to their Facebook page. But all the info is on the poster I photographed at Java on Bardstown Road.  It's Thursday, September 13, at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater. Gates are at 630p and the show starts around 8p.

Bring a blanket or a chair. Not outside food or beverages (bummer that).

Take advantage of these fading summer nights!


Startup Weekend Louisville



A few weeks ago, lured by the "early bird discount" and a sudden loathing for the job-hunt process, I signed up to take part in Startup Weekend Louisville.

Startup Weekend is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but held events in over 100 countries in 2011 and its event facilitators are located in more than 200 cities worldwide.

I still don't really know all that much about the event. It basically runs from 630p on Friday night til 9pm on Sunday. It's a team competition, but it seems a little less cutthroat and more creative. Check out the schedule here. But here's what the website says:

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Back in the summer before my Junior year in high school, my economics teacher nominated me for a place in a nerd summer camp. It was called Business Week or something like that, and it was a gathering of Connecticut economics nerds at Connecticut College. There we were to live in the dorms, take business and marketing classes, and -- in teams-- create an imaginary ballpoint pen company, finance it, and market the pens. All of this took place over the course of a nigh-sleepless seven days. 

I was accepted, but the tuition was too much. Just as I was about to turn it down, my grandpa swooped in and paid it for me. 

It was the Best. Week. EVER! (at least to 16 year-old me). I made fast friends with a bunch of nerds. Totally fell in ooey-gooey love with the cutest guy on my team, Dave, who lived all the way across the state (he might as well have lived in California for car-less Melissa). 

We pulled all nighters (no, not for teen hanky panky, although there may have been a smidgen of that-- for planning and marketing). We made a commercial for our pen that was set to the tune of George Michaels' "I Want Your Sex" and featured me and a couple of other of my female teammates dressed up like the women in Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video. Because even at that age, we all knew what sells.

I had a blast. My team won. Dave and I dated on and off through freshman year of college (more off than on) until he became an intolerable stoner. And my entrepreneurial spirit was born.

I hope Startup Weekend goes as well. I don't need to "win," and I don't need a "Dave." But I do need a little nudge and a lot of inspiration. There are still spots available for Developers, Designers, and Non-Tech types (like me). The cost is only $99 and includes 7 meals. It's a steal. Maybe you can come join us?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kertis Creative Creates Videos About Katrina

Just a few days after the press release about this post landed in my inbox, Hurricane Isaac took aim at the Gulf Coast. So I decided to sit on it a little while.

While Isaac caused some problems in my former hometown of New Orleans and total devastation in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, it was no Katrina. Although, really... how do you gauge this stuff? Many people whose houses withstood Katrina lost everything in Isaac. The people in Plaquemines Parish would disagree that Isaac was "no Katrina."

I'm not going to pontificate on this stuff. If you read my blog, you probably know that I moved to Louisville in July 2006 after having lived in Louisiana for 9ish years. I considered New Orleans my "forever home" and was devastated when my school couldn't hire me back as a full-time teacher. I survived what I now think of as the "Treme Season One" period in New Orleans-- moved back to the city the October after Katrina and lived there until I relocated to Louisville to teach at the Louisville Collegiate School.

I have strong opinions and strong feelings about Katrina, and Isaac tore me up.

And so did this video that local documentarians Stephen Kertis and Brett Marshalls created for the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

I normally hate reprinting press releases, but this one is super good:
Seven years since Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast with devastating wind and flooding, low-wealth and minority communities in coastal Mississippi continue to struggle with rebuilding their neighborhoods. 

The nation’s attention has turned elsewhere, but innovative social justice groups in the region are continuing to fight to make sure these residents receive the same opportunities as their neighbors.

“I think that most of America has forgotten the extent of the damage that was done along the Gulf Coast,” said William Stallworth, the Executive Director of Hope Community Development Agency in Biloxi, Mississippi. Unfortunately national attention and resources continue to dry up. So, how do you solve this dilemma? “One family at a time,” says Stallworth. 

The FEMA trailers are mostly gone, but there are still more than 17,000 families in need of assistance. Some need affordable housing that is close to employment centers, shopping and hospitals. Others need help securing repair funds for their homes, that seven years later, still bear the scars of Katrina.

“These programs are not currently solving the needs of thousands of underserved, invisible, and increasingly desperate residents who want to build back their homes where they live. These citizens deserve better treatment than they currently have received,” said Reilly Morse, a policy director at the Mississippi Center for Justice in Biloxi.

Morse notes that low-wealth and minority communities in Gulfport and Biloxi have not received sufficient help in rebuilding, particularly when compared with what residents in wealthier neighborhoods have received. These residents are hamstrung by legacy zoning laws, red tape and a belief that enough time has passed since the storm to absolve funders of further assistance. In many cases, residents have just given up, tired of fighting for what we all want: a place to call home.

Social justice organizations such as the Hope CDA and the Mississippi Center for Justice play a critical role in keeping the recovery front and center long after the storm has passed. They have the commitment and knowledge to push for change, and they also have the trust of the communities they serve.

“Experts determined, in the early days after Katrina, that it would take 15 years for the Gulf Coast area to recover,” said Stallworth. “This is proving to be a very good estimate; while it is my belief that we are a little ahead of the curve, we still have a long way to go.”

For these groups to be successful, they need long-term investment in their programs and missions, not just from the Gulf Coast, but also from elsewhere in the United States. Funders, including the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation--whose mission is to move people and places out of poverty-- have been important to these social-justice organizations in the Gulf Coast.

When I lived in New Orleans, my go-to weekend vacation destinations were Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, both of which were nearly leveled by Katrina. So this video speaks to a happy place for me. A place where I used to go to escape the sweltering summer heat of New Orleans. A place where I could sit on the beach and read a book and pretend I was with my family on the beaches of New England.

Kertis Creative, the local force behind this video, is responsible for some of the most beautiful photography and videography coming out of this town, including the combined efforts of Kertis Creative and Michelle Jones of Consuming Louisville called Secondhand Stories. This video for the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation made me proud and made me cry.

Please share this video with others and donate to the causes as you see fit.  I met with Stephen Kertis shortly after this press release was sent to me, and he is the nicest guy imaginable. Good cause. Good people. Gorgeous video. A trifecta of reasons you should care.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Purses for a Purpose on September 12

Remember my kick-ass friend Christine of the Cyclocross?  (I know it doesn't need to be capitalized, but it kind of makes her sound like a saint... which is cool because she really is an awesome woman.)

Her day job is to work for Apple Patch, a non-profit that works with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It's an amazing organization, and Christine does such good work for them.

On September 12, Apple Patch will be hosting a big fundraiser for their Halloween Party at Dee's on Shelbyville Road from 5p-8p. It's a sale of new and gently-used purses, and the event is called "Purses with a Purpose."

Christine said that last year she got some swanky designer purses for dirt cheap, and truth be told, purses are one of my more girly passions, so I plan on being there.

In the meantime, do you have some gently used purses OR accessories (they feature more than just purses!) that are just collecting dust in your drawers and closets? You can drop those off at Dee's during business hours or at Apple Patch from 9am-5pm and know that you're supporting a good cause (and giving us bargain hunters a chance to spice up our wardrobes).

Christine is so wonderful that she has even offered to pick up your donations. Her work email is cvaughan (at) applepatch (.) com, and her work phone is 502.657.0103. (But obviously, if you can get them to Dee's or to Apple Patch, that's more helpful to her.)

Hope to see you there. And hope you lay off any Fossil purses-- I'm calling dibs now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

GUEST POST: Kyle Ware on the Hows of Le Petomane

As with previous Non-Profits of the Month, My Loueyville is proud to feature a guest post from one of the members of this month's NPOTM-- Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble. 

Kyle Ware is a Louisvlle-based actor, artist, and educator. He is a co-Producing, Founding Artistic Director of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble; serves as Executive Director for Tourism Honors Academy, an academic leadership program for high school seniors in Louisville; and is a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer. 

If I were a betting man—which I’m not, but if I were, and you asked me—I’d wager our most frequently asked questions here at Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble Headquarters fall somewhere in the category of “how do you do that?” with the “that” in question most often being a production of WhateverWe’veJustMadeUp.  To that point, it’s one of the things Melissa Lou suggested I talk about for this very post.  Sometimes the question is “Why would you do that?” depending on the show, but that’s another matter entirely.  And the “how” is actually easier than the “why” anyway, which I’m happy to share with you here.  For your consideration: How to Build a Show Like Le Petomane in 3 Easy Steps:

Step 1: Find somewhat like-minded friends, with enough variation in background and skills to make things interesting. 
Step 2: Set a performance date.
Step 3: Play with aforementioned friends until performance date arrives.

Now, to be fair, I may have glossed over a few things.  Step 2, for instance, can be tricky in Louisville, where performance spaces are tough to come by and hotly contested by the bevy of quality theatre groups in town.  For our current show, TIME FLIES, we’ll be back at The Bard’s Town (1801 Bardstown Rd).  This will be our fourth show there, and I don’t mind telling you, Scot and Doug are good people and very supportive of the arts community across the board.  We’ve been fortunate there: Ken and Sheila Pyle at the Rud, the good people at the Speed and their Art After Dark series, the producers of Actors Theatre’s now-defunct, sorely missed Late Seating, and on and on.  All great people.  We’ve been lucky.  And to the scarcity issue I mentioned before, there is good news on that front: a promising new space, Vault 1031, which should open in the neighborhood of soon.  Vault 1031 has been our base of operations for our last week of TIME FLIES rehearsal, and Jon and Barb have some exciting things in store for all of us.

Step 3 is a little more involved and changes with each show.  Some shows may require more research; others may need to gestate in a room consisting of various combinations of the six of us and seeing what happens by the end of the night.  Some are heavily scripted; others closed years ago and still don’t have a full script.  All of that is dictated by just a few factors: what’s the show about, what’s it need, and who’s available to do it?

For TIME FLIES—September 6-16, every night but Tuesday, all shows: 7:30—it was a combination of heavy research and attempting to make each other laugh while in the room together while fashioning all of that into a story statement with a dramatic structure, such that it is.  We travelled to different art museums for inspiration; we discussed the history of time; eras of civilization; what it means to have lived and be alive; who celebrates our first step onto the world’s stage and who will remember us past our final bow.  We scrawled our notes and discussion points on a giant roll of paper, with dates and facts and figures alongside characters, scenes, and ideas yet unformed.  Most of that won’t make it to stage, by the way, but all of it informs “play,” and that’s what you’re paying your $8-20 sliding scale (call  609-2520 or us@lepetomane.org for reservations) to see.  

And here’s the thing about Step 2: it only really works with due diligence and care on Step 1.  Step 1 is the one that makes the show what it is.  If the show is your recipe, Step 1 is your list of ingredients.  The way we work, that means your writers, directors, designers, costumers, choreographers, composers, producers, as well as your singers, dancers, and actors:  you drop one out or add one in, you get something a little bit different.  And you’re going to need people you respect.  People whose work you enjoy and admire.  People you know will work with the same dedication and passion that you have.  People with whom you may have disagreement of taste or aesthetic from time to time, but never of their motivation to produce the best work possible.  People you like spending time with long past any reasonable expectation, because you’ll see them more than anyone else.  Friends.  You do that?  You’re golden.  

There was a great article with our pals over at Theatre [502] in The Paper (shouts to all), in which they talk about much of this.  “How do you work with three Artistic Directors?”  “Well, we all like and respect each other…” seemed to be the sum up.  To which we say a collective, “Yep.”

We came together back in 2005 for one show, a 6-person adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, brilliantly and beautifully cut by our own Greg Maupin.  A mutual professional friend asked what we would be doing next, and well, there was no next—that was to be it for us.  She paused for a while, looked up and asked, simply, “Why not?”

We didn’t really have a good answer for that. 

And so we stayed, the six of us. More family now than company (helped along by two-thirds of us being married to each other already).  Or a theatre gang, which may be about the least threatening thing this side of West Side Story or the backup dancers in “Beat It.” (“Officer!  There’s a group of people doing high kicks and a box step.  With a knife!”) That’s what I think we’ve cultivated over the years.  And I think ultimately, that’s what you see when you come to a Le Petomane show. 

Not coincidentally, there happens to be a way for you to see for yourself.  Our season opener, in case I haven’t said, is just around the corner: TIME FLIES, at The Bard’s Town (1801 Bardstown Rd), September 6-16, all shows: 7:30.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Episode 4: Louisville, Not Kentucky

Good mamas don't play favorites. But I am not a good mama. This episode of LOUISVILLE, NOT KENTUCKY is my favorite, thus far.

Linda and I talked about the Jug Band Jubilee, one of my favorite events in the city. We talked about the Tyler Park Jazz Festival. And Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble was gracious enough to let us give away two tickets to their new show: TIME FLIES  (You need to follow us @LouNotKY on Twitter and then tweet us to win-- enter by 9/10! We hope you'll "like" us on Facebook too!). We also jibber-jabbered about Louisvillagers on Reality TV-- go #TeamGunnar!

But the highlight of Episode 4 was our guest podcaster, Scott Kirkpatrick (aka Bro. Stephen) a local musician and a bartender at Rye.  Scott was such a great interview that our podcast ran 20 MINUTES over its usual run-time. We talked about his life and what brought him to Louisville and about narcolepsy (which he suffers from) and his guilty-pleasure music.

If you can't listen to the whole podcast, you need to listen starting at 40:00, where Scott plays a beautiful new song based on LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, one of my favorite books.  "Contagion" is lovely and will give you chills.

Scott brought two drinks for us to try during the "What are we drinking?" segment-- a drink that's on the menu at Rye called the Schnitzelberg and another off-menu drink called the "Alma Lesch" named after a folk artist featured prominently in the KY Museum of Arts & Crafts, downtown.

Scott was the best first guest we could have hoped for-- chatty and sweet and already a LOUISVILLE, NOT KENTUCKY listener.

Hope you enjoy this supersized episode of LOUISVILLE, NOT KENTUCKY.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Non-Profit of the Month: Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble

One of the many things I love about Louisvillagers is their willingness to come together and share ideas. The idea for Non-Profit of the Month sprang from a conversation I had during a lunch with the lovely and talented Robyn Sekula in late May. So next time you see her, thank her.

Each month for the foreseeable future, My Loueyville will feature an ad and promoted content from a non-profit that I believe in and want to celebrate. On the website, you'll see a prominent ad and throughout the month, the blog will feature guest posts, contests, and/or special posts related to that non-profit.

I will neither confirm nor deny that I saw Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble's A DERBY CAROL five or six times.

It was just that every time a friend or friends said that they were going, I wanted to go with them. Not just because I loved that show that much, but because I wanted to see my friends' faces when they caught certain jokes and to see how they reacted to this surprise or that. Most of my friends were, at the time, Le Petomane newbies-- I wanted to watch them become Le Petomane converts. It only takes one show.

Am I a superfan? A groupie? Am I a stalker?

Yes. Yes. And if so, I need a better disguise because they recognize me all the time.

The first article I ever wrote for The Paper was about Le Petomane and their production of 5 THINGS. It's still my favorite article. I had such a good time watching them rehearse. I had so much fun figuring out how to best represent their unusual process in the article. And it was that article that introduced me to Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble-- I was a newbie then myself--  which I now know is one of the most consistently excellent theatre organizations in town-- if not THE most consistently excellent.

But, you know, I can't help it if part of the reason that I like them so much is that I like them so much as people.

And that's also why I'm so happy that Le Petomane applied to be this month's Non-Profit of the Month.

The 2012-2013 Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble season opens on September 6 at the Bard's Town theatre with TIME FLIES. Here's what their Facebook page says about it:

... and boy, are their arms tired. Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble returns to the Bard's Town for their season opener, Time Flies, September 6-16. Four weary travelers race through time from beginning to end, from the prehistoric muck to the great beyond, with a few layovers along the way. Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble proudly presents a comedic exploration of the Annals of Time through song, dance, and bare-knuckle boxing.

Le Petomane has six members, and each show features different combinations of these performers. This show is being brought to you by the same foursome who performed in last season's ONCE IN A BLUE MOON: Heather Burns, Tony Dingman, Kristie Rolape, and Kyle Ware.

TIME FLIES hits the stage September 6-10 and September 12-16. All shows are at 730p, and admission is by sliding scale from $8-$20. Heck, $8 is cheaper than a movie, and I'll vouch that the Bard's Town bar makes a dandy and reasonably priced Manhattan.

As I said, last time I went to a Le Petomane show, I ended up going five or six times... and that was because I brought friends who loved it so much they told more friends, and more friends, and so on. A Le Petomane show is pretty much a sure bet.

The second show of the season will be a relaunch of 5 THINGS in November, a show which ranks right up there with Actors Theatre's CHAD DEITY as one of the best things on stage in the 2011-2012 season.

Le Petomane only does comedy and almost always does wholly original comedy (they'll slip in a Shakespeare now and again). That means that every member of the six-member ensemble is a writer, a director, and a performer. TIME FLIES was built from the ground up by Burns, Dingman, Rolape, and Ware-- script, music, lyrics, choreography and all.

Reserve tickets at: us@lepetomane.org or by calling 503-454-4477. Here's their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LePetomaneTE

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gunnar Does Louisville Proud on Project Runway

We recently lost Wil Heuser from BIG BROTHER. Despite not having watched BB since the first episode, I oddly managed to tune into the show RIGHT as Wil was being voted out of the house a couple of weeks ago. He made a graceful exit, and from what I've heard, he was a pretty good guy for the whole run.

But now Louisville Reality TV fans should shift their loyalties from #TEAMWIL to #TEAMGUNNAR.

This might be my least favorite season of PROJECT RUNWAY ever. I think I saw less drama in 13 years of teaching high school than I've seen in this season thus far.

Last week's episode was the worst ever as designer Ven Budhu verbally and emotionally abused his "normal-sized" model, Terry Herlihy and somehow didn't get "Auffed." Even though he was horrid to her! Even though he's more than a "normal-sized" man himself! Even though he made her look like a sad piece of hard candy. Dreadful.

I sure hope my boyfriend Tim Gunn doesn't hug him when he's eventually booted off the show.

Anyway... there's a Louisville connection. I was super glad to read this article where Terry says that Louisville designer, 22 year-old Gunnar Deatherage, defended her and looked after her. According to MSNBC:

"Gunnar actually stuck up for me, and he spoke to hair and makeup that day and explained to them what was going on," Herlihy revealed. Part of the challenge includes the designers telling the hair and makeup folks how they'd like their models to look. "(I understand that) they didn't really take Ven's directions of what he wanted my hair and makeup to be. So I'm very thankful for Gunnar. And that wasn't aired on the show, and I wish it was."

Gunnar was first cast on Season 9 of PROJECT RUNWAY, but was "auffed" in episode 1. He was brought back to Season 10 and is hanging tough this time around.

Thanks, Gunnar for making Louisville look good. We are some of the nicest people on earth, and I'm so happy to see that kindness on a national stage.

Good luck, Gunnar! I'm now #TeamGunnar all the way.