UPDATED: Public radio plea: Volunteer during the pledge drive and we’ll feed you well with GRIND Tuesday, Apr 2 2013 

UPDATE: By 4 p.m. today, 10 people had signed up to volunteer. That's more than we actually need. But the more the merrier, right? Thank you so much for being so totally awesome, folks. I can't accept any more volunteers, but I encourage you to pledge online or call 502-814-6565 and pledge starting next Monday. It would be especially awesome if you called on Thursday, April 11 between 6-9 p.m. to make your pledge with one of our wonderful volunteers! Be well... Melissa

It's public radio pledge time again. And once again, I've secured a block of time for Loueyville readers and friends to answer phones and sign up new pledges with WFPL.  This is our fourth time manning the phones; every time has been more fun than the last. Again, rather than reinventing the wheel, I'm posting an old plea for contributors:

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."

[Several fund drives ago],  I realized I really can't afford to give what WFPL and WFPK are worth to me. They are the only radio stations I listen to. WFPL is the source of all my non-online news (and the source of much of my online news as well through their blog). I live in a very NPR world. I probably should pledge 10 times what I actually do in order to really "pay back" what WFPL and WFPK give to my life. 
But I can't. 
So last [3 fund drives ago], I volunteered. Gave a little human capital to the pledge drive. And it was a ton of fun. And it would have been more fun if I'd been with friends.
So this fund drive I'm putting a little group of Readers of Loueyville together to volunteer to answer phones at the fund drive. If you're interested in joining us, please drop me an email at Lou (at) Loueyville.com. 
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 and be eligible for a drawing for a 13" MacBook Air. Just click the link or call 502-814-6565.

We'll be manning the phones on Apr. 11 from 6 p.m until 9 p.m. The free dinner supplier that night is the Grind Burger truck. Yes, I planned our volunteering block with the food source in mind.  

Would you like to join us? Email lou@loueyville.com.

Cats & Musicals & Angels for No Kill Louisville Saturday, Nov 24 2012 

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):

NPOTM: Hand in Hand Ministries Friday, Nov 9 2012 

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.

Guest Blogger: Gabe Bullard on WFPL & Louisville Public Media Tuesday, Oct 30 2012 


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.

Thursday Randomness: What have I been up to? Thursday, Oct 18 2012 

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. 

  • MONTHLY

  • LAST 2 WEEKS