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 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

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,, 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.