Kentucky, Bourbon, and Cinema

I am back from my second conference trip of the school year, which went very well. Because the vast majority of the time I am focused on teaching, it’s always nice to work on the research and writing sides of life. Of course, conferences are a great chance to present one’s academic work and receive feedback from one’s peers, but let’s face it: it’s also really fun! Once again I was able to use the conference as a way to travel with and/or meet up with some far-away friends and we had a wonderful time of it.

One of my favorite places to visit in Louisville is the Seelbach Hotel, which is very glamorous indeed. It has this lovely old bar, which is — according to legend — the very bar where one F. Scott Fitzgerald met the man who inspired him to create Jay Gatsby. The bar has great character and a list of bourbons a mile long. It’s always on my list of places to go when in town for the conference and so far I’ve had at least one drink there every year.

[55/365] Basil-Hayden

Around the Table


I'm in This One

I know it sounds like this was a drinking conference and not a literary conference, but for one thing I don’t like to blog about work, and for another thing, listen! Kentucky is where bourbon comes from! And bourbon is my favorite! So you will not be shocked when I tell you that B. and D. and I also managed to squeeze in a distillery tour. On Friday, E. had to teach classes, none of us had an conference sessions to attend, so the timing seemed perfect to escape to Lawrenceburg, where Four Roses Distillery is located. Our tour guide, Terry, showed us all of the operations and led us through a tasting afterward.

No. 2 Yeast Tub

Beer Still


I Forgot


[56/365] At the Four Roses Distillery

I was excited to learn that their Small Batch Bourbon is made specifically with the K and the O strains of yeast — my initials! — and it was also my favorite of the samples we tried, so of course I had to buy a bottle. I haven’t opened it yet — saving for a special occasion.

I am thankful that I’ve had a couple of days to wind down from the trip and the absolutely insane two work-weeks that preceded it. If I hadn’t worked my butt off all last week, I’d have found myself with stacks of essays to grade upon coming home. As it was, I was able to attend a friend’s fabulous Oscar party last night, where we all dressed up in costumes inspired by the ten best picture nominees. I went Black Swan style (as did a few others), and The Fighter, 127 Hours, The King’s Speech, and Toy Story 3 were also represented.

Oscars Collage 1

Oscars Collage 2

If you are thinking that my costume was merely an excuse to buy myself a pair of legwarmers, you are only half right: I also got to attend a party in what were basically pajamas. Totally fun. Sadly the broadcast itself was a bit underwhelming, but I did enjoy the following elements: Helen Mirren looking like a total fox and speaking French, Trent Reznor looking also foxy but charmingly normal and articulate, and James Franco’s bit about all the film titles that sounded dirty. Heh. Winter’s Bone. Heh.

So how have you been? I’ve been rushing around so much and so behind on the internet that I need an update on YOU! What’s up?


  1. a) LOVE the black swan get up
    b) I’m only half not-serious when I say Bourbon Chase 2012 (it’s sold out this year). I would absolutely do it again AHEM! I fell in LOVE with Kentucky and never wanted to leave … so I think we should go back πŸ™‚


    1. Actually, Bourbon Chase 2012 would be totally doable. It would give us plenty of time to con 10 other people into joining our team!


  2. Ah, I’m feeling kinda stir-crazy for an adventure these days! So I’m living vicariously through YOURS right now. I’m glad to hear the conference went well, and that good old-fashioned non-academic fun was also had πŸ˜‰ I went to Cold Spring Harbor for a meeting a few years ago, and my greatest regret was that I didn’t escape for some fun in NYC. Oh, the good food that could have been eaten! So sad.

    Other news: I’m carbo-loading for the half-marathon, longing to bake brownies, and getting excited to wear skirts without tights. Hello, springtime in Texas!

    Have a good week, Kate!


  3. I’m not a big liquor person, but I need to find something I like. Mostly for backpacking. Priorities! Maybe I’ll give bourbon a whirl. I like the idea of it and your photos make it look very appetizing!


    1. I love it. It mixes well with lemony things, and Cokes, too, if you’re into that. I like mine (if I am mixing) with some seltzer water and lime.


  4. Your photos are incredible. I love your Black Swan outfit, especially the shrug!

    I love bourbon, especially Bulleit. My friend’s family makes it (her last name is in fact Bulleit) and she introduced me. I’m a bit too weak to drink it straight up, but a splash of tonic and a lime…BLT (bourbon, lime, tonic) yum!


    1. Thanks!

      I love Bulleit, too. We had actually heard that it is made in the same area as Four Roses, but their website didn’t say anything about tours so we didn’t wind up visiting them.


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