Sunday, August 26, 2007

We named the DOG Indiana!

Movie history-- major or minor, depending on how it rolls-- was made tonight at the Baxter Avenue Theater in Louisville. As part of their midnight movie "Splosion' Summer Spectacular," Baxter became the last theater to show any part of the Indiana Jones trilogy until the studio lifts the moratorium after they release Indiana Jones IV. And rumor has it, the studio is planning to destroy all film versions of the trilogy and switch them over to digital. So, Baxter may have hosted the last showing of an Indiana Jones movie on 35mm film.

What Gen-Xer didn't, at some point, want to be Indiana Jones? I, personally, went so far as spending a semester and a half as an anthropology major in college until I realized that I don't have a head for memorization. I had a high school friend who wore an Indy hat outside of school and a college friend who'd mastered the bull-whip in his spare time. For my generation the sight of snakes prompts a silent mutter of "Snakes? I hate snakes," and not "I've had it with these *&%&*( snakes on this ! (*&^% plane."

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has held up incredibly well over the past 18 years (Lordy, makes me feel so old). It's funny and charming and exciting. Over time, I've forgotten the melodrama/farce element of the series. It's sad to see the earnest, puupy-haired, young River Phoenix as the teenaged Indy; you can't help but wonder what would have become of him (I like to think more Ethan Hawke than Keanu Reeves). Sean Connery is in his crotchety-old-man-that-I'd-still-do glory. And Harrison Ford makes it incredibly easy to forget how odd he's become in the past 18 years.

And who doesn't like a good midnight movie on a Saturday night? The director of the midnight movie series (I actually don't know who the heck he was, some well-dressed young guy who addressed the crowd before the movie) announced the line-up for fall and winter, and there will be many more midnight movies in my future. Stupidly, I didn't take out a pen and jot them down, but here's what I can remember.

Next midnight movie is on 9-15 and it's Team America, which I have yet to see. In October, for one month only, Baxter will be running a midnight movie every Saturday night-- a horror through the decades series. Creature from the Black Lagoon (50's), The Birds (60's), and Evil Dead 2 (80's-- sorry I forget what 70's was), which will be preceded by a costume contest which has a super cool prize: the chance to choose a midnight movie to be shown in February. Unfortunately, my choice would be Harold and Maud and they showed that last year (and I missed it!!), but I think, off-hand, my back-up might be Jaws.

Other movies on the horizon: A double feature of The Dark Crystal and The Labryinth (I'm SO there!). A Hard Day's Night and Stop Making Sense. Moulin Rouge just before Valentine's Day. Donnie Darko right before New Year's. Enter the Dragon, the last film Bruce Lee made before he died (unfortunately, not the one that featured Kareem Abdul Jabaar-- I'd love to see that fight scene on the big screen). I know there were more, but that's all I can remember. All good stuff, there wasn't a stinker in the lot.
On a side note, I racked up two movies at Baxter today. Last Crusade at midnight and Once as a matinee. This movie musical, which was released in a limited run and won the audience prize at Sundance way back in the spring, has finally made it to my neck of the woods and it floored me. Best movie I've seen in a long time. The only movie I've ever seen where I left the theater and walked straight to a record store to buy the soundtrack (Ear X-tacy, by the way, has both the soundtrack and the newest record by the lead actor's band, the Frames, on sale right now. I bought them both and went home and listened to them both. I feel like a 13 year old having seen High School Musical for the first time-- which I haven't seen.). Ah, I remember Glen Hansard when he was Outspan "Fender Bender" Foster in The Commitments, back in 1991, which is still my favorite movie about music, even though I thought Once was BRILLIANT! The Courier-Journal gave the film a rare 4-star rating, and today's 3:20pm matinee was packed! The buzz, albeit three months or so late, has finally hit Loueyville.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

All the pretty horses

While I was at the fair today, I also attended The World's Championship Horse Show, which apparently is the world's biggest competition for the American Saddlebred. I didn't know that; I had to look it up. I knew nothing about the competition before I went, and now that I have been, I am more-- not less-- baffled by the whole thing.

I didn't even know what an American Saddlebred was until last year when a student of mine competed in the event. This year, I promised her I'd go to see her compete. It's a week-long thing with today and tomorrow being the Big Days. She took home a ribbon in the 3-gaited junior horse division thing; another student got one for the 5-gaited. Apparently, if they've made it this far, they've already won some Big Prizes. And I'm afraid that pretty much covers my knowledge/understanding of the event. (Ignorance evidenced when I was speaking to woman in the seat next to me and, without thinking, I referred to my student as a "jockey.")

According to the Fair website:

This exciting and prestigious event, held annually in conjunction with the
Kentucky State Fair, crowns world champion Saddlebreds in different divisions
each year. The show attracts people from all across the country and the world
including more than 2,000 horses competing for over $1 million in awards.
Clearly, very impressive. And it was a beautiful and sometimes interesting experience. First of all, spectators dress up for the event like they do the Derby, except in eveningwear. Cocktail dresses and suits. I wore a sundress to beat the heat and felt underdressed.

The program for the event costs $15 and is a spiral-bound tome of dictionary proportions. After spending all that money just to go ($7 for the fair, $5 for the parking, and $16 for the show... not to mention the $15 I spent on food and drink), I chose to forgo the program and just bug my neighbors for the numbers of my student-riders-- they all look the same (elegant, even regal) in those dapper little hats and dress coats.

The competition varied between horses with riders that went through a series of different running styles-- trotting, walking, cantering-- and then horses that pulled little pretty buggies and also went through a series of different running styles. Sometimes the horse and rider competition involved the riders getting off the horses and removing the saddles and showing the horses like the dogs at Westminster. Sometimes the riders stayed on the horses the whole time. No jumping. No racing. Personally, I would have been more interested if the competition involved racing as well. Or maybe demolision derby type stuff. If you knocked another rider off his or her horse, you got extra points or something.

I have to say, while the event was surely a spectacle, as a mere spectator, I felt completely in the dark. While the announcer comments extensively on the goings-on, he does so in jargon that was lost on me. And gosh darn it, all the horses and riders (not jockeys) are so pretty... how am I supposed to know which ones really "brought it"? I really couldn't tell what, exactly, was being judged. It seemed like a beauty pagent, but was it the horses or the riders or both who were actually earning the ribbons?

I certainly recognized the "Stage Moms" in the pagents, but I don't know who they were. When the riders would dismount and show their horses, there was, inevitably, someone else who would stand in front of the horse and either wave a towel or throw some sawdust into the air. I'm just guessing, but I think this wild and rather undignified act was performed to try to get the horse to look up? Again, it was like watching any other sporting event without having at least a passing understanding of the rules. More often than not, I thought I'd pegged the winner and was totally wrong. In fact, in the 5-gaited junior competition, I was sure that my student had it nailed. They gave out 8 ribbons for a field of 16, and she didn't get a ribbon at all!
The constant reiteration of the words "World Champion" gave weight to the evening, although there wasn't much of a "world" presence that I could tell. A horse from Canada won something, and a stable from South Africa won something...
I doubt I'll go again unless I have another connection to the event. Both of my students have maxed out age-wise on the junior competition and will be off to college next year. If I do go back, I'll do my research ahead of time. And I'll remember not to call the riders "jockeys."

A shameless attempt to add some cute-factor to the blog

This is why I don't eat lamb.

Happy Birthday Freddy!

It is someone's job to live within Freddy Farm Bureau and talk to fairgoers. This amazes me almost as much as the fact that it is somebody's job to be BirdZerk! This year is Freddy's 50th birthday. He's a charming, bright-eyed, goofy-grinned guy who always has a nice word or two for the ladies.
And, according to the Courier-Journal, he's still single. I could do worse. I have done worse.

It's time to put on make-up; it's time to light the lights

Today in one of my classes, we were talking about the fair, and I said: "I spent hours in the exhibition hall. I just loved looking at all the cakes and canned goods... Holy cow, I saw the most amazing thing in the cake section..."

And before I could finish my statement, two students said, "The MUPPET CAKE???"

An old high school acquiantence of mine works for Industrial Light and Magic... I'm thinking this blue-ribbon cake decorater should look him up.

Proud to believe in Americana

Some of my fondest memories from childhood involve going to the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair. As fairs go, it's pretty small potatoes (although, it did feature a Biggest Potato contest), but as a suburban girl, it was nice to get up close and personal with the livestock, it was always good for some delicious fair food, and I would spend hours walking the aisles of the exhibition hall perusing the quilts and the canned goods and the art.

I just got back from my second visit to the mammoth Kentucky State Fair. My tummy's full of Italian sausage, roasted corn, and lemonade. I pet some sheep and pigs. Walked til I had blisters. Bought a honey bear from the beekeepers society. I don't even do carnival rides, and two visits isn't enough to cover the whole thing. The fair is eleven days long, and you could probably find a way to entertain yourself for the entire stretch if you were so inclined.
My only complaint about the fair is how expensive a day it ends up being. $7 admission. $5 for parking. $6 for an Italian sausage. $5 for a lemonade (best deal-- refills are half price-- this time I saved my cup from my last visit, smuggled it in and got the cheaper refill... good thinkin'). $3 popcorn. $3 roasted corn. Plus I spent $16 to go to the horse show-- more on that in a minute. It's not often that I'm thankful that I don't have a family... but seriously, add kids to the mix and you've got the cost of rides, games, souvenirs. Or run the risk of being the weird, mean mom who brings baloney sandwiches to the fair.

There's not much left in these United States of ours that feels quite as unabashedly American as a good State Fair (ludicrous prices, included). Little old ladies with names like Agnes and Lily pitting their canned green beans against each other's. The Future Farmers of America displaying their business plans for dog breeding facilities or tractor restoration services. The Girl Scouts showing off their digital photography skills (a far cry from the friendship bracelets and pot-holder projects when I was a Brownie). The balloons, the rides, the cheesy as-seen-on-tv product booths, the fried things that shouldn't be fried, the bad karaoke and cover bands, the men in cowboy hats and boots, the women who's midriff-baring tops bare midriffs that shouldn't be, the children on leashes... America in all its wholesome, corn-dog, diverse, kitschy glory.

Last year, I cried as I watched a little 4-H girl sob when her lamb didn't win a ribbon. It was heartbreaking; I could hardly stand it. Even though I knew full well that widdle lambikins would probably end up as stew. You get caught up in it all. At least I do. I didn't leave wanting to belt out some Lee Greenwood, but I did kind of latch onto the sweet notion that the best parts of Americana still thrive somewhere-- somewhere in my little state.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blogging the heat

It's 11:28pm as I write this, and it's 87 degrees. Tomorrow the high is 101. On Tuesday, we had a lovely rainstorm that lasted the better part of the day; up until Tuesday, we'd been on a record-breaking streak of 22 days above 90 degrees-- on Tuesday we topped out at 88. But every day since has hit at least 92.

If we hit 100 tomorrow, that will make six 100+ degree days during a single month, which would tie a record set in 1936. And we'd still have a week left.

As I switched the laundry and unloaded the dishwasher, I spent around 15 minutes listening to our local NPR station-- an interview with our mayor, Jerry Abramson. Is it just me, or am I truly jaded at this point? But do any of you get the cold sweats whenever you start to dwell on a politician that you think is a really good person? I know, I'm from New Orleans; I can't be expected to take my local politicians at face value...

He made jokes about the heat. Promised that in a week or ten days we'd be free from the misery-- if his office had anything to say about it. Also clarified that the heat-related death that I mentioned in an earlier blog entry might not have been as heat-related as the media set forth. Talked about the new arena plans and suggested that he was not 100% on board with the design-- he's hoping for a public ice-skating rink and reflection pool in the plaza. Also talked about his visit to NYC, and how effective it was when it came to recruiting potential business to the city. Frankly, his visit sounded much more productive than any of the visits that the NOLA mayor Nagin had in the months following Katrina.

I just liked the guy. And that, in and of itself made me feel very... uncomfortable.

The End is Nigh

Maybe nigh-er than you think...

When we moved to Louisville in July 2006, after 10 months of living in Post-Katrina New Orleans, we started to see bumper stickers on walls, trashcans, etc, announcing "8-29: The End is Nigh!"
A wee bit close to home, I have to say: 8-29 being the anniversary of Katrina's assault on my home of nearly a decade. Indeed, 8-29 was the "end" of a lot for me.

8-29 also happens to be Roommate's birthday-- poor thing. Cruelly, on 8-29-05, as we were glued to the Weather Channel and watched the waves pound the shores of our evacuation hotel in Panama City Beach, it took me until 3pm to remember to wish Roommate a Happy Birthday. (lie... he reminded me) I felt so badly that I cried. Of course, tears were readily available that day and for months afterward. I always thought it stunk that my birthday (8-31) is marred by the death of Princess Di. Big whoop now.

A few weeks later, the Louisville Zombie Attack graced the front page of the Leo Weekly, and we figured what better way to celebrate both Roommate's birthday and the one-year anniversary of Katrina than watching the living dead parade into a New Orleans-themed restaurant-- Big Dave's on Bardstown Road. The irony, folks, is almost ludicrous.

Abitas and crawfish were consumed. Zombies were observed. And a good, good time was had by all.

In the past year, we've met-- I daresay we've befriended-- the man behind the march, John King, a Louisville artist and bartender at Cahoots, who also shares the 8-29 birthday.

From the Zombie Attack MySpace page:

this year's zombie attack will be held at bearno's on bardstown rd. at 9pm. with ONE SMALL STEP, IAMIS, and BUFFALO BILL and zombie films presented by LOUISVILLE FILM SOCIETY. this party is FREE and ALL AGES. the zombie walk will be held at dusk (8:29pm) at the corner of bardstown rd. and eastern pkwy. we will meet in the parking lot behind objects of desire at 8:15pm and head north to bearno's. please dress up and bring your friends. prizes for HOT ZOMBIE, GROSS ZOMBIE, and KING and QUEEN ZOMBIE in our costume contest, including free movie rentals from wild and wooly video !!!MOVIE NIGHT:we will also be showing shuan of the dead and HOT FUZZ at FLOYD THEATRE at U of L on sat Aug 25th at 6 pm and Sun Aug.26th at 8:30 pm!! and it's FREE to everyone!!
Please note that this is a milestone for Lou, who has managed to blog an event BEFORE it actually happens!! We'll be there again this year. If you're looking for Lou, she'll be in a zombie costume.

Read the Leo Weekly article from 2006 here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Neighborhood Association Gone Wild!

Shame on me. I moved to the Original Highlands neighborhood a year and a month ago. I joined the neighborhood association (for the whopping cost of $8 yearly dues) last September, but I just managed to drag my behind to my first meeting of the Original Highlands Neighborhood Association (OHNA). And it was, in short, a freak show.

According to a co-worker and fellow OHNA member, the previous meeting was even worse. I can hardly imagine.

Forgive me, gentle readers. My civic awareness is somewhat limited to what I have read in neighborhood newsletters, newspapers, and online neighborhood plans. I read some time ago, early spring perhaps, that the OHNA was pursuing the idea of designating the neighborhood as an official Historic Preservation Neighborhood, I liked the idea, and I left it at that. Little did I know that this issue would pit neighbor against neighbor and sow the ugly seeds of conflict, lawsuits, clandestine dealings, and suggestions of impeachment.

The first I heard of the conflict was when “LANDMARKS EQUALS DEED RESTRICTIONS” yellow yard signs started popping up in the ‘hood. (Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that grammatically incorrect? It’s been grating on me. Landmarks (plural) EQUAL, right??)

Then I was gone most of the summer. When I returned, I got an OHNA newsletter that reprinted a letter from the attorney of a Highlands resident that was essentially a “cease and desist” order, demanding that any pursuit of the Landmark designation be halted. Signatures had been gathered; objections had been raised.

Further to that, several days later, I received an email from the OHNA president that despite the fact that they had “ceased and desisted” that the aforementioned resident was threatening a lawsuit and seeking, essentially, impeachment of the president of the Board.

Curiosity peaked and hackles raised by the belligerent and fear-mongering tone of both letters from the attorney, I decided that I would attend my first neighborhood association meeting tonight.

I sat in the hot auditorium of the Metropolitan Community Church, next to my coworker/fellow Highlander, and gazed in desperate sympathy upon the seemingly mild-mannered president, knowing that as he ticked off agenda items, he grew ever closer to the time marked “Community Concerns.” Park renovations? Check. Good stuff. Garden Club report? Sympathetic pregnant woman looked worried as though she might draw ire. September festival report? Sounds great. It’s a big deal.

The moment for Community Concerns came early due to the no-show of some council people and the LMPD guy who’s supposed to give a crime report. First hand up and my stomach churned. But it’s a reasonable older guy concerned that since the smoking ban Willy’s sidewalk seating has pushed so far into the sidewalk that his wheel-chair-bound relative can’t navigate past. Reasonable request. Reasonably handled.

What ensued was far from reasonable. Lawyer stood up and asked to make some motions before the membership. Lawyer for the OHNA countered that the by-laws say that motions can only be made before the Board and are not up for membership vote. Only elections are up for neighborhood vote. Shouting followed.

Lawyer read her motions anyway. The same one that were in the email letter. No more pursing the Historic Preservation status. Board countered that they had voted unanimously AGAINST pursuing the Historic Preservation status last week. Huh. Okay, issue over right? No no no no.

Motion to impeach president for misconduct. More reiteration of the motion about ceasing the pursuit of the Preservation district. Shouting about distrust for the board. Something about “absolute power corrupting.” On and on. Inability to get appropriate records of membership from the board. Hollering about funds mismanaged. More harping on the pursuit that had already been abandoned. Insulting of wives. Suggestions of conflicts of interest because Board President is married to the head of the September festival. People standing on chairs. Aforementioned pregnant head of the Garden Club speaking so passionately and tearily that I was sure her water would break right there. Shouting about the fact that all these folks show up only to bitch when the usual OHNA meeting attendance is around a dozen folks. And so on…

Okay, my two or ten or fifty cents…?

The basis for the lawsuit is that the president of the OHNA wrote an editorial in the neighborhood newsletter recommending going on with the Preservation status even though the cease & desist letter had been sent. But the newsletter was at the printers when the letter was received. And, as he said, it doesn’t matter anyway because he’s entitled to his opinion. I agree with that.

Is the OHNA board in the clear? Not entirely. It does seem as though they’ve made it very difficult to get vital information to people with civic concerns, like the roster of the OHNA membership and the by-laws of OHNA. That’s not good. And while I don’t excuse them for it, it seems to me that they serve the neighborhood for FREE (correct me if I am wrong!) and that it takes a lot of time to get such stuff organized. And, let’s face it folks, we pay EIGHT DOLLARS A YEAR as dues. We can only expect so much.

On the issue itself: I am a newcomer to the neighborhood, but I am a homeowner, a taxpayer, and an OHNA member. And I bought my house specifically because it is 101 years old. In fact, when I told my real estate agent what I was looking for, #1 on my list was: “must be an older home, preferably MUCH older.”

I did not buy my historic home for the sloping floors, the invasion of mice during the winter, the fact that I had to rip out cabinets and rewire my kitchen just to install a dishwasher, the fact that I can’t hang heavy artwork on the crumbly plaster walls…

I bought my historic home for the beautiful bones that all older homes have. And yes, I bought it for the status—I like to be able to say that my house was built in 1906. I like to lie awake on sleepless nights and think of all the people who have lived in my home. And I like that I can glance up and down my block and see homes that also have stood for a hundred years or more. I came here from New Orleans. I grew up in New England. I am accustomed to cities and neighborhoods with historic weight. I’d sooner go back to apartment living (hopefully an apartment in a historic building) than live in new-built home. I accept the responsibilities and extra cost related to living in a historic home.

Likewise, I accept the responsibilities related to living in a historic neighborhood. I know that if the Historic Preservation designation passed, I would have to fast-track fixing up my falling-down garage. And I know that I could never house my plastic pink flamingoes in my front yard (they can be resplendent in the back). Those responsibilities are a trade-off for the security of knowing that my neighbor cannot pave over her front yard (you can laugh, but when my ex-husband and I bought our home in NOLA, the front yard was concrete—we immediately ripped it out). A trade-off for the security of knowing that the landlord can’t tear down the four-plex across the street and turn it into a modern McMansion. And I believe that the benefit for having to keep my house looking nice and saving my kitschy inclinations for more private displays is raised property values—which I could use… big time.

No matter what I believe, I know that some of my neighbors behaved deplorably at this meeting. Battle lines were drawn. What appalled me the most was the lack of civility shown by the anti-preservationists. If I had come into that meeting on the fence about the issue, there would have been nothing on God’s green earth that could have compelled me to take their side. I could never ally myself with those who engage in personal attacks and blatant fear-mongering. What a shame—this may be an odd thing to say, but what a shame that their point of view has to be represented publicly by inarticulate shouting and name-calling. If they have a valid objection, it would have benefited all of us had said objection been voiced reasonably and without melodrama.

My suggestion on the issue? When in Post-Katrina New Orleans, neighborhoods had to decide whether or not they would put their efforts into creating a neighborhood plan for neighborhoods that had been, effectually, destroyed by the hurricane, they went door-to-door and asked people if they wanted to come back. The OHNA should employ an impartial service to survey the neighborhood, door to door, member of the OHNA or not. Ask every homeowner (frankly, renters should have no say) if he or she wants the Preservation district to go forward. Do not rest until as close to 100% of the homeowners have been polled. And then go forward OR NOT as per a majority.

Shame on all of them. The board dropped the ball on some issues certainly. But few people deserve to be spoken to with such disrespect and lack of regard for civility... it was a truly embarrassing display. I have vowed to attend as many OHNA meetings as I can henceforth. And I will do all that I can to keep the shouters OFF of the board.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

There goes the neighborhood

The best thing to happen to my little corner of the Original Highlands neighborhood has been the opening of Quills, a coffee shop/bookstore on Kentucky Ave, one block off of Barret. Not much of a bookstore yet-- only three or four shelves of barely-used and new books at extremely good prices-- but a heck of an urbane place to sit and drink good coffee in an excellent environment.

Today was my third visit to Quills in the past week. In a moment of weird concordance, I spent 18 minutes listening to Bryant Simon's excellent lecture on Starbucks and its popularity from this year's TASTE 3 convention. And while I dug the lecture and totally buy into his observations about the safely hip and artistic "brand" that Starbucks has forged, it begs the question: hasn't that brand been seized upon by just about every coffeeshop-- corporate or mom 'n pop-- that's opened in the past decade?
  • Safely hip-- not hip enough to be alienating. Quills? Check. Great graphics on the logo and frequent-buyer cards. Bulletin board full of alt-culture happenings.
  • Artsy so you don't have to be. Quills? Check. Fanciful bird and feather related art on the walls. A gorgeous photo series in the women's rest room. Fantastic alternative music on the sound system.
  • Archictureally eccentric. Quills? Check. Industrial pipe-and-duct-baring ceilings. Dark walls. Mansion library style built-in bookshelves with intricate moldings. Window-seat-ish nook for reading.
  • Fosters intellectual atmosphere. Quills? Check. Issues of the Economist and Paste readily available. Stock of books definitely on the literary end of the pop-lit spectrum.

No slight against Quills intended. In the end the Starbucks-Quills-Highland-Heinie Bros. question remains one of which of these attempts at artsy-feelgood-eccentric-intellectual-hip coffee-serving establishments best meshes with your own balance of the aforementioned attributes. Quills just happens to mesh best with mine.

In my experience:

  • Highland is more hip-alt.
  • Heinie Bros is more hippie-feelgood.
  • Days is more mature.
  • Starbucks is more boho-bobo-yup.

And Quills, for me, is just right. Beautiful to look at. Quiet. Good tunes. Free WiFi (enjoyed by all aforementioned establishments except Starbucks). Good coffee. Roommate says good food. A bit off the beaten path. A bit more expensive than Highland, which has been my coffeeshop of choice for the past year. But worth it to avoid the sometimes-less-than-desireable crowd that tends to congregate at Highland, particularly in nice weather.

Note: they've been having AC issues there, and at times the place is quite hot. Quills would benefit from installing outside plugs for computer users.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

103 degrees-- time to declare Willis Carrier a national hero

I know what you're thinking: She's been gone all this time and when she finally comes BACK, her first impulse is to bitch. Typical.

I'm sorry. I am. But it's 8:12pm, and it's 99 degrees! I'm not moving, but I'm sweating. I'm wearing next to nothing, and my little something is dark with sweat stains.

At 4:13pm today, the temperature in Loueyville topped 103-degrees, making this officially the hottest day of the summer. I was not around to see it; I was stuffing down popcorn and sitting in the blissfully cool Baxter Theater watching a matinee of Stardust. (Good stuff, by the way. I never cease to be impressed with how versitile DaNiro is. Loved the wicked Extras reference when Ricky Gervais said, "You having a laugh?" Charmed that no matter how much older and more gorgeous Claire Danes get, you can always see a little Angela Chase in her worried eyes.)

But I digress... I got home from Saratoga Springs a little over a week ago, and every day that I have been home it has topped 90, mostly topped 95, often with a heat index over 100. I tried to find out how many records we've broken this year-- I think more than 3 since I've been home-- but frankly, my little brain is like a fried egg. I googled for around two minutes, came up with nothing, and then gave up.

Tomorrow the forecast is for 101.

Today, by the way, was the first day back at school where I work.

I think the USPS should honor the creator of central air conditioning with a stamp. We should have National Air-Conditioner Inventor day and get the day off, preferably in mid-August. Fried egg brain served me better this time: Willis Carrier invented modern electrical air conditioners. Bless him and all of his decendants and all of his ancestors and... huh, irony? The first air-conditioner was installed in a house in Minneapolis! Not stinking hot El Paso. Not furnace blast Phoenix. Not inside-of-a-dog's-mouth New Orleans.

On a sober note: yesterday, Louisville suffered it's first heat-related death. A man died from heat stroke on the side of the road. The heat is not just bitch-worthy, it's deadly.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Been a Long Time Gone

Lou's been on a "working vacation" in what is not but should be Loueyville's sister city in New York State-- lovely Saratoga Springs, NY. More work than vacation, hence the radio silence on

She's home now and will be back to entertain and enlighten soon!