Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Little "Slugger" featured on ZooBorns

Who doesn't love baby animals?  For that reason alone, I don't know why ZooBorns isn't the world's most subscribed-to blog.  It's. Just. Precious.

Today's ZooBorn feature is our own little lowland gorilla baby who has been fighting for her life ever since being involved in an altercation that cost her part of her left leg.  

And holy cow, she is just adorable.  Sniffles.  Keep little cutie in your thoughts.

Secretariat Movie Trailer

Good timing.  Disney just released the trailer to the new movie Secretariat.  Lots of great footage of both Keeneland and Churchill in this.  This trailer, at least, really presents the story as the tale of one persistent, pioneering woman.  I had no idea.  I wonder how much of that is true and how much of that is Hollywood. 

Derby Eve Eve Morning Randomness

Happy National Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Today I'm carrying Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Love is not all."  However, if I weren't at work, I would be carrying "Bluebird" by Charles Bukowski-- my favorite hard-drinking, horseracing-loving poet.  (Believe me, I'm not blind to all of his many flaws.  But the man could write a poem.)  What poem is in your pocket?

Seriously?  We lost the Steamboat Race yesterday?  I thought this thing was rigged.  Damn Cincinnati.  It's bad enough they have Trader Joe's and IKEA.  Now they have the silver antlers?  That being said, I just got back from around 24 hours in Cincy, and as always left proud in the fact that we > Cincy in almost every way.  The Cincinnati Metro area is kind of an armpit, isn't it?  

Speaking of Trader Joe's-- which is indeed, one of the happiest places on earth-- I think the popular theory that we won't get a Trader Joe's til we change our wine sales laws has been debunked.  I went to a TJ's in Warwick, RI last month.  No wine sales!!  So we need to get off our tushes and start campaigning, kids.  I dropped $100 at TJ's yesterday (and only 1/3 of that in wine, thankyouverymuch).  I would very much like to not have to drive all the way to the crazy suburbia of another city to get my asparagus risotto fix please.  

Maybe the best Fairdale Bigfoot column so far.  I am just crazy about the fact that we have such an erudite cryptid among us.

Speaking of things that don't exist, did you know that the Creation Museum celebrated its one millionth visitor recently?  Did you know that Mama actually created this blog in anticipation of visiting the Museum on its opening day?  Here's my blogful of snark.  

Happy Oaks Eve or Derby Eve Eve!  If it rains, all bets are off on whether I will make it to Derby.  Was it three years ago or two that Oaks was a total washout?  I was soaked through to my skivvies.  Not doing that again.  Not when there are perfectly awesome parties to attend.

Still, though, keeping my fingers crossed for sun.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Derby to Do: James McMurtry at the Fest-a-Ville

Earlier this year when everyone and their Uncle Leo were taking sides on Team Coco and Team Leno, I couldn't have been less interested. Sure, if pressed, I would have sided with Team Coco rather than Team "Get off my lawn!" but Coco and Leno fall distant third and fourth on my list of late night personalities. I've always loved Letterman and his crazy socks. Loved him even through his disappointing sex scandal. But for the past few years, he's been #2 on my list.

I am firmly and unwaveringly on Team Fergy.

Tomorrow night at this time I will be tucked away at some restaurant or bar somewhere in Cincinnati waiting for the 730pm Craig Ferguson show at the Taft Theater. I'm so excited that whenever I think about it, I spontaneously clap.

And because I'm so excited about this show, I took a legit personal day (my first non-medical day off in eons!) on Wednesday so I could enjoy the show properly (read: have a few Manhattans afterward) and then indulge in two of the only things to like about Cincy the next day: IKEA and Trader Joe's.

But, we can't linger too too late in Cincy. After all, the best Derby Festival events are on Wednesday night: The Great Steamboat Race at 6pm and James McMurtry at the Fest-a-Ville at 7:30pm.

McMurtry probably hates that when most people mention his name, they immediately say "son of writer Larry McMurtry," but when you have serious pop culture cred like that, what can you expect? Seriously, Larry McMurtry, probably best known for writing the Pulitzer Prize winning book and best mini series of all time, Lonesome Dove, is American literary royalty. There are probably people who go see James McMurtry shows just to see what Larry's offspring sounds like.

I wonder if the younger McMurtry has ever had a beer and bitch session with Jakob Dylan?

Anyway, like Jakob Dylan, James McMurtry ain't no Brooke Hogan. He's a genuinely talented singer-songwriter who's been putting out decent to great Texas Rock/Americana records for more than two decades. Entertainment Weekly (which faithful readers know is one of Mama's weaknesses) called him "the truest, fiercest voice of his generation." (If EW says it, it must be true.)

Tennessee singer-songwriter, Will Hoge, is opening up for McMurtry. Hoge played at Waterfront Wednesday in August 2009-- the Waterfront Wednesday that ranks at #1 on the list of "most sorry that I missed" (it's a short list, kids. Mama don't miss WW very often) so I am super-psyched to get a second chance to check him out.

The Steamboat Race, Hoge, and McMurtry can all be yours for the low, low price of one Pegasus pin. Gotta love this town!

Derby Already?

For weeks now, Roommate has been urging me to write more about Derby and non-Derby events for the out-of-towners coming to Louisville for the race. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get around to it," I kept saying.


Is anyone else out there totally not "ready" for Derby? "Ready" is in quotes because honestly, I don't really do anything to prepare. No new Derby hat for me-- I have a couple of stand-bys to choose from. No Derby party to throw or attend-- although I have a couple I could go to, but I won't this year. I looked for a Derby dress this weekend at the mall, to no avail. No biggie.

Derby prep for me basically entails getting up earlier than usual on Derby morning, fussing over which sundress to throw on, hopping in the car and driving the long way to Churchill to avoid traffic, parking in front of a friends' house six blocks away, and dropping $40 on a General Admission ticket. I don't do the infield on Derby (I do on Oaks). I hang by the paddock, people and horsey watch, and catch the race on the paddock jumbotron.

At Oaks & Derby, I normally imbibe one alcoholic beverage-- a Filly on Oaks and a Julep on Derby-- just so I can keep the glass. I long ago learned that alcohol, Lou, and crowds are a terrible mix.

I have never been to a Derby without sorely (pun intended) regretting my shoe choice. I don't think I have been to a Derby where my butt hit a seat at any point during the six or so hour event. Yet for some reason, I choose cute over comfortable every year and have been unfailingly driven to near-weepiness over blisters and pinched toes. Will I remember this when I dress on Derby morning? Probably? Will I go for comfort over cute? Probably not.

Why am I not in Derby mode? Maybe because the weather has been so lousy of late. Maybe because the weather has been lousy enough that I haven't felt like making a mint julep. Maybe because I'm normally somewhat up on the horses running, and this year I'm fricking clueless.

Are you ready for Derby?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bambi Does Broadway


From WLKY's website.  

Police closed Broadway between Brook and First streets while they tranquilized two deer that were found roaming downtown.
The deer were first spotted in a courtyard at Second Street and Broadway Friday morning.
The streets were closed to make sure the deer did not dart into traffic.
My guess is that they were trying to find their way home after a great night out seeing Phoenix at the Louisville Palace and drinking too much Jaegermiester at 4th Street Live.  

Happens to the best of us.

Mark your Calendar, Hippies: May 15

While my high school classmates were tie dying t-shirts, getting high, and listening to bands like the Dead and Pink Floyd, I was busy trying to figure out who rocked the long hair more-- Bono or Michael Stipe-- and making out with my computer nerd boyfriend (who went on to rock some serious Fabio locks post-college) to Leonard Cohen.  

Ah, the 80's revival of all things hippy. Never got it.  

But if you read this blog regularly, you already know that Mama, despite her love of Bonnaroo, has no truck with the hippies.  

Still and all, this particular event sounds wicked cool-- maybe even wicked cool enough to make me consider rubbing elbows with dirty hippies.**

On May 15, You Crazy Digmond (that's not a typo), which I assume is a Floyd cover band, will be playing Pink Floyd live at the University of Louisville's Rauch Planetarium, complete with laser show AND planetarium show.  Set #1 is The entirety of "Dark Side of the Moon" performed live with the laser show.  Set #2 is "Uniview the Universe" to live Floyd tunes.  

Gates open at 730p for BBQ and brews, sponsored by BBC.

At 8pm, Scott Mertz-- who I used to bump into EVERYWHERE the first year or so I lived in Louisville and now haven't seen for years-- will play a live acoustic set.  

Set #1 begins at 9pm; Set #2 begins at 10:20pm.

Buy your tickets early-- they're just $12 right now online.  

If I do go, I'll probably stick out like a sore thumb, so make sure you stop me and say hi.  I'll be the one muttering under my breath, "What kind of adult brings a hoola hoop to a planetarium show?" 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Waterfront Wednesday

Just got home from the first Waterfront Wednesday of the year. Made it in time to hear the Holmes Brothers and the Legendary Shack Shakers. It was a clear and warm-ish night. It was one more night that made me proud to live in Louisville.

When I first moved to Louisville in 2006, Waterfront Wednesdays were fabulous, and the small crowds were enthusiastic and in the groove. In the past four years, I've missed maybe three or four Waterfront Wednesdays, but never by choice.

Now, Waterfront Wednesday is no less fabulous, but the crowds have grown... I'd guess it's around four times the size of your average 2006 crowd. And they're no less in the groove.

Back when I lived in New Orleans, I used to say that the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was like Christmas, my birthday, and summer vacation all rolled into one convergence of transcendent perfection. Seven days of music and food and art over the course of two weeks... utter bliss. There is nothing more "Lou" than great music, outside, with great food and beer (although I never had a sip of alcohol at Jazz Fest after my first Jazz Fest... realized that booze and hot weather kept me from enjoying/remembering my Jazz Fest experience).

When I moved to Louisville, Waterfront Wednesdays were small, teeny tiny, consolation prizes for missing NOLA's Jazz Fest. A sort of case of Rice-o-Roni one night a month for six months. A wee taste of what Jazz Fest offered.

And that's still the case. But it still fulfills.

Gosh, I had such high hopes for HullabaLOU, but if you smash up the collective offering at the six Waterfront Wednesdays this summer--most of the acts are still unannounced-- I'd guess they trump HullabaLOU's festival line-up easily. And Forecastle just doesn't speak to my sensibility at all.

In the end, Waterfront Wednesday remains up there with IdeaFestival and the Humana Festival and Bats games as one of my favorite things about Louisville. I don't love how crowded it's become (port-a-potty lines six deep??), but I still don't understand how it's NOT the most attended event in Louisville.

It's free. Free music. The weather is almost always perfect (who knows why). It's on the river (gorgeous!). And the music is always good, sometimes great.

Tonight I LOVED the Holmes Brothers and just sort of liked the Legendary Shack Shakers.

The legendary director David Lynch once said, "A bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all." In regards to Waterfront Wednesdays, I'd say, "A mediocre free outdoor concert on the river is more soul-serving than no concert at all."

My soul is served. And I am slightly less bitter that I am missing the NOLA Jazz Fest once again this year.

Monday, April 19, 2010

NTDWL: Lou on "Treme" in BlogHer

Just thought I would pass this article along. Megan Smith of BlogHer cited a few short paragraphs about displacement from my "Treme" response.

I've also received a couple of really nice email responses about that post. While I always love to hear from readers, it's especially gratifying when people respond when I get more personal than usual. So thanks.


I would have been cool with the Yum! Center. In fact, I kind of totally dig that. But KFC Yum! Center??? (I just announced this to a room full of teenagers, and they all groaned in response).


The first game is Nov 16 vs. Butler.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Leave it to an Irishman to make a Great KY Beer

So last week, in my beverage and horseracing tour of the Lexington area, I also had the pleasure of stopping in on the Alltech Kentucky Ale brewery right in downtown Lexington. Really, they should start calling it a "brewery and distillery" because right in time for the World Equestrian Games (of which they're the primary sponsor) they'll be rolling out their own whiskey (Pearce Lyons Reserve), and eventually bourbon, distilled right there in the downtown campus.

Is it a blessing or a curse that I just can't stand cheap beer? This hasn't always been the case. I was raised on cheap beer (somewhat literally, I had four young uncles when I was growing up, and they got a kick out of sneaking "the kid" a few sips of their Bud during gatherings). In college, I drank Rolling Rock when I was feeling flush and PBR (without a hint of irony) when I was broke. In fact, I distinctly remember one day my senior year having just under $10 left on my credit card (explains my history of poor financial management) and using it to buy a case of PBR and a small box of Grape Nuts.

So I'm the worst kind of beer snob. Expensive taste with absolutely no knowledge. But I like what I like. (see: my taste in wine)

Two nights before my KY Ale tour, Roommate and I popped into Mellow Mushroom near UK's campus to watch the Red Sox game. They lost, but it turned out it was trivia night and we came in second (from way behind on the final question-- I take no pride that I was the only person in the bar that could successfully match the type of animal to the person who it either mauled or killed). We earned a $25 gift certificate which effectively paid for half the night. Of course this has nothing to do with anything; I'm just bragging that we came in second in a trivia night packed with young whippersnapper college kids.

Oh wait, it is relevant. I brought it up because it was the first time I'd tried Kentucky Ale. And, in short, it's really good stuff. I like what I like, and I like it a lot.

I wish I'd taken notes. I didn't think it would take me more than a week to get a blog post up about the tour. So, as usual, pardon the ramble.

Alltech-- the parent company of KY Ale-- is a company founded in the early 80's by Dr. Pearce Lyons who moved from Ireland to the US. They make animal vitamin supplements, primarily with yeast-derived products. On the website, Dr. Lyons says, "People often ask us why a global company that’s in the business of science also owns a brewery. Well, to make a long story short, my forefathers in Ireland had their hand in the brewing business and crafting beer casks when barrels were made out of wood. Today, my own family is in the business of making yeast that happens to also go into the making of beer. So, it was a natural for us to revive the brewery that has been in Lexington since 1794."

So Lexington Ale has been around for more than 200 years, but it has changed hands a bunch of times. The last time it went out of business, in 1999, Lyons snapped it up. The first beer they produced was the KY Ale-- a blend of an Irish Red and an English pale ale. Since then they've added KY Light, which is a German style beer, and Bourbon Barrel Ale, which is KY Ale aged in a used bourbon barrel.

The tour reveals a tiny facility where they brew and bottle the beer and distill the spirits (which are casked and aged and bottled in Bardstown). But this year is a huge year for the Brewery; they're not only sponsoring the World Equestrian Games but unveiling a new facility that will more than double their space. We were shown the plans, and it looks gorgeous.

At the end of the tour, we were shepherded into a tiny Irish pub and given generous tastes of all three of the beers. The KY Ale remained my favorite. I'm not a fan of German style beers. And while the reviews of the Bourbon Barrel Ale are fabulous and it's won a ton of awards, I wasn't a fan. One of my fellow pub-goers said that it tasted like "bananas," and while I didn't really agree, that sorta stuck with me.

I had no idea that Kentucky Ale products were only available in KY and OH. Part of the reason for the bigger facility is so that they can expand distribution. And I'm just loving their sponsorship of the World Equestrian Games-- even though I know nothing about horsey stuff, I know that this event is a big deal and means lots of money for and eyes on the region. Whenever I can, I like to "drink local," and heretofor BBC products have been my go-to beers. But now I'll add Kentucky Ale to my drink dance card, happy to support a true local brewery that's committed to the state.

**disclaimer: I was led to the brewery by a blog/twitter reader who works in PR for the brewery. I took the standard 3pm daily tour. But I was given a couple of souvenirs at the end of the tour. They didn't, however, influence me in the slightest. No t-shirt is ever gonna make me blog about bad beer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm a Woman and I Love Bourbon: Buffalo Trace

As it has been well established in this blog, Mama loves her bourbon. Mama loves her bourbon and only takes it neat or with a little ice. Don't mix my bourbon with any of your damn crap. Sure, I love me a Manhattan. And come this time of year, I do love the julep. But for the most part, give me the bottle and maybe a few cubes, and I'm happy. But I'll come back to that.

This past week, Roommate and I ventured to Lexington for a couple days to hit Keeneland. I do so love Churchill Downs, but Keeneland is so beautiful, especially this time of year, especially on a really gorgeous spring day (which it was not... we spent the whole race day inside).

We eschewed the highway both ways, so on the way to Lex, we just squeaked into the final tour at Buffalo Trace Distilleries in Frankfort (don't freak out when you go to their website, the buffalo on the home page snorts at you-- LOUDLY!). Big Mama Lou and I had hit many of the big distilleries a few years back-- Jim Beam, Maker's, Heaven Hill, etc-- but Buffalo Trace had been off my radar. Until, that is, I got an email from their marketing department announcing their "Blogging for the Buffalo" program.

So, I thought I'd check them out. Again, more on that email later. I want to get to the really really good stuff first.

As I said, I've hit the bigger distilleries, for the most part, but our tour of Buffalo Trace taught me more about bourbon than all those other tours combined. Our tour guide... I think her name was Becky... was lovely and patient and so well-versed in both the history of the distillery and bourbon in general-- it was fantastic.

As with most tours, it ended in a tasting room where we got to sample two wee shots of several offerings. Roommate and I shared our shots. He got the Rain vodka (which is made from 100% organic corn and has been winning vodka competitions worldwide) and something called White Dog Mash #1 (which is a 125-proof distillate which Becky cautioned us not to "sip"). I'm not a big vodka drinker, but I swear the Rain vodka was simply fantastic. There are several different flavors to choose from-- very exotic stuff like Lavender Lemon-- but the plain vodka was so good I would be happy drinking it straight. The White Dog? Wooo boy. Becky was right. First of all, it tastes very strongly of corn. Secondly, it feels like it's stripping stuff off your esophagus going down. And that's not always a bad thing. Roommate liked it so much that when it came time for us to both to choose a bottle to buy (we limited ourselves to one each), he bought it. And it fairly did me in later that night at the hotel.

I chose the two bourbon offerings: the standard Buffalo Trace and the Eagle Rare. If I'd had either before, I didn't remember it. But honestly, I really enjoyed the slightly cheaper Buffalo Trace more than I did the more expensive Eagle Rare. But what I bought I didn't taste til I brought it back to the hotel later that night: the bourbon creme, which is only available currently at the distillery. And damn if I didn't wish I'd bought more. If you like any sort of creme drink (I'm thinking Bailey's), but prefer a stronger liquor bite, this is your drink. Becky showcased the creme with a mixer of Dr McGillicuddy's Root Beer, so we also bought a 6-pack of that, but we haven't tried that concoction. I sure hope Buffalo Trace opens up the distribution of the bourbon creme sometime soon, or I'll have to head back to Frankfort.

And on our way home, we stopped at the Liquor Barn on Shelbyville Road to pick up some wine, and I bought a bottle of Buffalo Trace. Glad to have it. Darned good stuff.

Overall, I had an awesome time at the distillery and couldn't recommend it strongly enough. Go go go! And I discovered a few beverages that I just love. Not to mention the fact that I learned that Buffalo Trace is owned by Sazerac, the quintessentially New Orleans old-timey drink company. Love it. I do.

So why am I so "meh."

Back to the email. If my blog drives the most unique viewers to Buffalo Trace's new Saloon site, I could win a party for all my zillions of visitors.

According to the email: "We will show up in your town with plenty of bourbon and throw you & your blog the ultimate Buffalo Trace party on your home turf. The party can be at a bar, your offices, your home, even your back yard. Your [sic] gonna want to win this, the party will be EPIC!" Spelling error forgiven, who wouldn't want that? Sure, I don't have a buffalo in the dust bowl's chance of winning, what with my thirty or so loyal readers. But I started to fantasize. It was just about this time last year I threw a party at Casa Lou and opened it up to blog readers. Celebrating my Cancerversary-- I plan to throw another one again. Wouldn't it be nice if Buffalo Trace picked up the booze tab? And what do y'all get out of it? A chance to win a Derby package. Good for you, good for Mama. It's all good.

But today I visited the Buffalo Trace Saloon. And it bummed me out. I'm loving this company, loving their beverages, loving their facility... but... well, you'll see. And I am fully prepared to field all kinds of eyerolls at my issues with this....

At the entryway to the "saloon" you're met with a blond more scantily clad than a Hooters chick. And once you enter the "saloon" one of your options is "Bourbunnies." I'm not linking to that. Find it yourself. But it's basically ten pages of women-- some professionally photographed, some not-- in either lingerie or bikinis-- and their Playboy-style profiles. Stats, favorite place to drink Buffalo Trace, best/worst pick-up line.


So back to the start... Mama loves her bourbon. She drinks it the way it should be-- neat or on ice. That doesn't mean she "drinks it like a man." It means she knows good bourbon and how to drink it. And one of the reasons I love living in Louisville is that when I order bourbon on the rocks, bartenders don't give me that "whoa, but you're a chick" look. I can't count the number of times I've ordered bourbon on the rocks in New England/the Northeast and have had the bartender say, "Wow, really? You're hardcore." Or some variation on that.

I hate that Buffalo Trace is perpetuating the idea that bourbon is a MAN'S drink.

I am A-OK with companies using sex to sell stuff. It's one of the primal human urges. Link your stuff with a primal human urge, it will sell. But I do have a problem with companies "gendering" stuff. (I know, eyerolls from many of you. It's okay. You can disagree with me.) And clearly, Buffalo Trace's Saloon is saying that their bourbon is a man's drink. That stinks. And it bums me out. Sure all those cuties drink Buffalo Trace... but they're not in their skivvies for me, right?

So I won't be pushing for that party... I was never a contender anyway. I wouldn't turn it down, duh. It's free bourbon. Free bourbon that I have come to like quite a bit.

Has there ever been a bourbon that has marketed to women? Fill me in, I'd love to know.

Wasabiya: New Sushi on Baxter

I'm not a restaurant reviewer (not really sure what I am sometimes), so take this with a grain of salt. Or soy sauce. But I've been happy dancing every time I've passed the "Coming Soon: Sushi" sign hanging over the oft-turned-over restaurant/bar next to Chase Bank where Bardstown meets Baxter.

Every once in a while, when a storefront goes empty within a few blocks of Casa Lou, Roommate and I make wishlists of what we need in the neighborhood. Once upon a time it was Mexican (for Roommate)-- and then we got Tequila Factory, which is serviceable, though not great. I've long longed for sushi, and last year we got Dragon King's Daughter, which is pretty damned good, but doesn't quite hit the run-of-the-mill sushi cravings that I have.

Then came Wasabiya, which opened last week.

Roommate won't be home for another week, and I just couldn't hold out any longer, so I visited Wasabiya tonight.

It's very pretty inside with lovely IKEA lanterns and that still-hip warehousey feel. The menu is almost exclusively sushi with a couple of cooked entrees. But the first thing you notice about the menu is that the sushi rolls-- mostly the more elaborate rolls which make up most of the menu-- are pretty pricey.

I spent a little over $30 for just myself, though I overindulged on sake (meaning I ordered a large when most people would probably order a small). I had a fantastic appetizer. And I can't remember the name (is it the sake's fault), but it was a fried avocado half (a first for me), over some lovely raw veggies and draped with a few pieces of cooked crab. At $6 or so, this was by far the highlight of the meal and the best bargain. I ordered two rolls and took home 6-pieces of roll, so at least I have a part of tomorrow's dinner covered. The Alaskan roll was very good at around $5. Lots of meaty salmon. The Yum Yum roll was spicy and kind of dry and paled in comparison to Oishii Sushi's Yum Yum roll, which is one of my favorite things to eat in all of Louisville.

There was more wait staff than they needed. The place is pretty big and it was really empty-- most people crowding at the sushi bar. And my waitstaffdude was very nice but a little hover-y at first.

I know nothing about this place except what I experienced tonight. I'm betting that the super fancy rolls ($8 up to $16 or so) are worth trying at some point. But that's a bit out of my everyday budget. The appetizer was worth a trip, and I can see me going back there some afternoon for just that and some sake for lunch.

But on my budget, I need bang for my buck, and it just wasn't there. Maybe they'll Maido/Dragon King's Daughter up and run some fantastic happy hour specials. I'd be all over their fancy rolls at half price.

Would love to hear other impressions of the place. As it stands now, my usual sushi restaurants shouldn't fear losing my patronage.

WFPL: Another Reason to be Proud of Louisville

It's no secret that I'm something of an NPR nerd.  No joke:  Louisville's trifecta of public radio stations was on my list of top five reasons to move to Louisville.  

And the fact that I have found myself friends with some of the good people who work at WFPL tickles me to no end.  And I'm so attached to my WFPL that I feel like I'm buddies with even the folks I haven't met.  

So I'm wicked happy to pass along Jake's announcement that "WFPL Won a Truckload of AP Awards."  

You rock, y'all.  

Bats Home Opener: Tomorrow!

For a woman who earnestly professes to "not really like sports," I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that Bats season starts tomorrow.  I am truly a-twitter about it.  One might even call me "batty."

Ugh.  I had to go there.  I tried not to.  But I had to. 

The boys are playing at home for a week straight-- Indiana, Columbus, and Toledo (you've gotta kinda love a team called "The Mudhens.")  The weather promises to be great.  It's all just a gigantic, sunny, summery, Americana-y WIN.

Why do I love Bats Baseball so much?  There are so many reasons. But the #1 reason I love Bats baseball is that I always come away from a Bats game feeling like I totally scored a great bargain.  I always come away thinking, "I would have paid double for my tickets and spent at least a buck or so more on my beers and still felt good about the evening."  There is just about nothing left in the world that makes you feel like you UNDERPAID for a great night out.

Don't get any ideas, Bats!

PLAY BALL!  (I love those two words)

Monday, April 12, 2010

NDTWL: "Treme" on HBO

While I may be one of Louisville's biggest cheerleaders (self-proclaimed, of course... and truly I'm quite little), I'm still a New Orleanian at the end of the day.

Yesterday, David Simon's "Treme" premiered on HBO, and I have to say-- bless their hearts-- they're getting it right.

The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, even those posted by the picky locals who are quick to the defense after so many terrible depictions of the Crescent City in films and on TV. (Although tremendously flawed, the quickly canceled "K-Ville" on FOX a few years back was pretty charming, though.)

If you have HBO and you aren't watching "Treme," start. (And if you don't have HBO, I know all you darling inter-nerds know how to find these things less-than-legally online. Not that I'm advocating that. Not that I'm not.) Start because it's good tv. Start because you need to know more about Katrina and Post-Katrina New Orleans. Start because we need to start talking about New Orleans again. It's a goshdamned shame we ever stopped.

Last week, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference met in New Orleans. And you know what Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and a whole slew of GOP superstars had to say about Katrina? Nothing. Not a peep. Zippo. Nil. Zilch.


I started blogging during my Katrina exile. It's been years since I last looked at that blog. It's called Displaced and is much more personal than this one. But if you're really interested in what it was like to be evacuated during the storm, go back to the earliest entries. (You'll probably learn some juicy tidbits about Mama there, too.)

Honestly, being a Katrina exile is more deeply rooted in my soul than being a cancer survivor. I don't know what that says about me. I don't know what that says about trauma. Roommate and I had it good. Our home was in the 20% of the city that didn't flood. I was still able to keep my job part time. We were in the first wave of evacuees to return home. We were lucky enough not to lose any friends or close acquaintances.

That being said, my ex-husband-- a New Orleans native-- died three years after the storm. A death I most certainly blame on Katrina. A death everyone who knows him blames on Katrina. But I don't want to get into that.

So maybe "Treme" will start the discussion again. The writers don't hide their anger at the government and the lack of aid and understanding the city received. Despite the fact that the opening episode took place just three months after the storm in a torn and broken city, it still made New Orleans look fun and amiable enough to stir some tourism. So maybe "Treme" will send folks down to New Orleans to see for themselves. Either way, it's a good thing.

The most stirring image, for me, in last night's "Treme" was of the interior of a flooded-out house and of a living-room ceiling fan whose blades had wilted into a tulip. The picture above was taken on October 5, 2005, the day we returned to New Orleans. My apartment did not flood. I was back in six or so weeks. But I came home to this sad little candle, a candle I still have and have somehow been able to preserve in just this state. It's become a badge, of sorts, of my exile.

Anyway. "Treme." Watch it. If not for political/social reasons, then because it's good watching. And because the music rocks. As the Steve Zahn (who lives in Lexington, btw) character says, "America needs more Kermit Ruffins."

Some Contests Need No Prize: Name Our Giraffe

Sure, the Louisville Zoo is offering a prize package worth $810 to the creative force that comes up with the best name for our new-ish baby giraffe.  But seriously, isn't knowing that you NAMED a GIRAFFE prize enough?  

Enter as many times as you like here.  But make sure you get them in by April 25.

And, huh, interesting.... I was kind of wondering why one of the prizes was $500 in Frontier Airline credit when we don't HAVE Frontier Airlines flying out of Louisville.  Well, it turns out, we WILL.  One week from today.  Starting on April 19, Frontier will be flying direct to Denver once a day, and from Denver we'll be able to hook up with their pretty cheap western destinations service.   More info here.  

Good stuff, y'all!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Speed Museum and More

My goodness, I have so much to blog about! Sorry for the downtime, but Mama has been on Spring Break. And while Spring Break may have one time meant pina coladas on the beach, this year, it was more of a Staycation. I did spend three days in New England visiting Family O' Lou, but then it was back to Kentucky for stuff around the house and a few days out in the "real" Kentucky (ie. Lexington). There will be more on that in later blogs. But here's some local stuff that I gots to be covering...

  • Did you know that the Speed Art Museum is now open til 9m on Fridays?? I am embarrassed to note that I only discovered the Speed a month or so ago. Parking at U of L is just so hideous that I have avoided the museum. I still don't have a good solution to that problem (email or comment if YOU do), but I just LOVE the fact that we have a museum open late on a Friday night. (on a side note, when you enter the Speed, the gallery to your left-- I swear it is painted the most beautiful shade of blue I have EVER seen).

  • Actors Theatre has announced its 2010-11 season. Here's the line-up: THE KITE RUNNER (based on the best-selling book), THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP: A PENNY DREADFUL (a gothic melodrama-- the play I am most looking forward to seeing), BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (the Neil Simon masterpiece), THE SECOND CITY: IT TAKES A VILLE (a production of the famous Second City comedy troupe), MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM (an August Wilson play), and POOR BEHAVIOR (a world premiere).
  • Next weekend is Thunder over Louisville. I'm always at odds with this event. The display of military might and the expenditure of so many natural resources kind of leave me feeling ... bleh. That being said, it's a big day for us Louisvillagers; let me know how you're celebrating. In years past, I've gone to the Quonset Hut or watched from Waterfront Park. Alternatives??
As I said, I have lots of catching up to do. Hopefully will get to it in the next day or two. In the meantime, love this weather and love the pre-Derby vibe.