Weekly Rochester Events #266: Getting Rid of One George Was How We Got Started
Thursday, February 12, 2004Ah Valentine's Day ... This one makes something like 11 years with no Valentine. It's getting not so bad, although it's friggin' irritating to try and figure out why, all of a sudden, all the restaurants are booked. For those of you who think chocolate is a good idea to butter up your date be sure to check out RealMoney's Fair Trade Chocolate page so you're dollars aren't terrorizing some Ivory Coast children. For the rest of us, there's the big 3rd Annual Valentine's Day Massacre at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) that day. Some couples may show up, but it's pretty much anti-cutesy, pro-alcohol, and a rowdy lot of fun.
But back to the fair-traded stuff for a moment—farmers get abused pretty bad way down south to get your $4/lb coffee, too. If this kind of thing bugs you, you can check out (among other places) Canaltown Coffee Roasters (1805 East Ave.) They recently had a coupon inside junk mail that offered buy-one-get-one-free on a pound of coffee. I have yet to get through the other coffee I have so I can't speak for any extremes of quality, but this was farmer-friendly coffee at farmer-beating prices.
One last thing about romancing ... if you want to get your sweetie something nice and terribly practical, try someting like the STABILicers on the Cold Water and Ice Rescue page from Lifesaving Resources, Inc. I've got a pair of these and I never fall on the ice (although they don't seem to dig in to tile floors much) and they're way better than the wimpy rubber-straps-with-cleats things you can buy.
What else ... oh ... the 6th was the last day to get in entries for the Name the Ferry contest so now I can tell you all what my entry for the contest was. The point was to make a good colloquial name other than "fast ferry" which we all know it will be called. The winner, of course, will be the CATfish which gets its name from the Canadian American Transportation Systems, LLC—CATS which is the company that is managing the Fast Ferry. However, I decided it should be called The Acer, and I supplied the following reason on the entry form:
Acer is the Latin genus of all maple trees—a name that reflects both the maple leaf of the Canadian flag (as well as the Maple Leafs hockey team in Toronto) and the botanical heritage of Rochester as the Flower City. "Acer" is also a colloquial (but incorrect) derivative of the word ace, which implies being the first or the best.
In completely different news ... I've been dying to tell people that I got to try marijuana for the first time recently, but I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, so I delayed the story. (Also, to protect the innocent, passive voice will be used. Ok, ok ... rather than "the innocent," how about "the people involved.")
Anyway, I had to have all the details explained first because there were great gaps in my knowledge. I knew a bit about the plant itself and THC but I was lost on the value of buds over stems, and the various ways to smoke it ... much less how to use a bong. For those who don't already know, that involves drawing the smoke from a lit bud through water into the body of the bong, then releasing the ... umm ... "part that sticks through the bong wall and holds the pot" to allow more air flow so you can draw the smoke quickly into your lungs. I took a hit and it really didn't affect me so I tried again. I was just starting to feel it when I was presented with some "good pot" and I did a third hit—the last stuff burned my throat a lot and was definitely more potent ... either that or I drew too fast through the water and left the smoke hot. The effects were quite dramatic and came on in only a few minutes. (From what I've been told since then, I probably should have stopped at two hits, so all you experts can just keep quiet!)
I was following a conversation between a couple people, but all of a sudden I couldn't relate the concepts anymore. It was as if one would speak something nonsensical (I could understand the words in English, but they weren't related) then the other would nod understandingly and speak more gibberish back. Also, my perception of my body and surroundings changed dramatically—it was as if space were distorted somehow along with my body as if the rules of basic geometry didn't apply. The concept of estimating distances was lost to me but I knew that things were supposed to add up so the universe would work.
I was surprised to find that despite all these problems, it seemed like my instinctive behaviors still were working. I found it wasn't too difficult to navigate over to the couch but it felt like I was about to fall at any time ... well, at least I don't think I fell or stepped on anyone. It felt like I had fairly good motor skills but I was perceiving that I did not. I stayed on the couch for several hours waiting for the spinning to pass. Oy—the spinning: every time I closed my eyes, I felt like I was spinning around, and my body was folding up and getting sucked through the couch. Oh, and I also felt like I had to manually breathe or else I'd forget to do so ... my heartbeat felt like it was erratic, but I think I was really quite relaxed—it was just that I couldn't comprehend ordered things.
I described it then as "annoying" almost right away and that's basically what it was like. I had to wait a couple hours for the effects to wear off, unlike drunkenness where you can try really hard and catch glimpses of clear thought. I was stuck in this terrible world where I couldn't think correctly, I couldn't perceive things correctly, and I had to wait two hours until the effects went away. It was pretty much as uncontrollable as a hangover, and ranks pretty similar in my enjoyment.
I gotta say, if this kind of experience makes your life seem better, then there's something seriously wrong with you. Of course, this may not have been a "good-high" because I was drinking at the time (although not particularly drunk) and, more importantly, that I took too much. Regardless, I'm not keen on trying it again any time soon.
In line with the more pedestrian day-to-day stuff I do, I stopped by the Thursday Thinkers which was Identity Theft: How It's Done and How Not to Get Taken presented by US Treasury Secret Service Agent Mike de Stefano at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) The presentation seemed to miss the latter part of the title—the part about protecting yourself. I asked a question where I made an analogy that the methods to protect yourself against identity theft is like methods of home security before doors and windows existed. The advice is like, "move your possessions away from the holes in your walls to discourage theft." I don't think I made myself very clear about it ... their advice was to do things like shred your receipts and not to give strangers your social security number. There was nothing like "before you move, be sure to go to your local office of one of the credit reporting agencies and let them know that you need to change your address or else you won't be able to use your credit"—something that might actually make a difference.
Afterward, I stopped by Brü Brewery and Restaurant (300 State St., formerly Empire Brewing) and tried thier Kolsch which was a good lager with a mild wheat finish (and note that just knowing how to put that sentence together makes me a beer snob.) I tasted their three light beers that were done brewing (mind you they'd only been open less than a week) and all of them were much better than those at Empire Brewing Company. I also tried the brie-and-mango quesidillas (how do you spell that?) which were quite good, but by the end, they were a bit too sweet—the yogurt and Grand Marnier dipping sauce was the most likely suspect.
Since I was in the area, I stopped in at Keys Martini and Piano Bar (233 Mill St., formerly Chrome Nightclub) next door and it's an acceptable piano bar ... apparently it draws quite a few people. It still looks a lot like Chrome but it's been dressed up to be a piano bar. I also dropped in at Spin Caffé (229 Mill St.) which is right next door. Things were quiet, but the staff is cool. I hung out there for a couple hours chatting up the wait staff (as they say across the pond.)
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On this day ... February 12
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