Weekly Rochester Events #371: Roaming Buffalo
Thursday, February 16, 2006I got to thinking again about corporations and figuring out why some are "good" and some are "bad". I also extended the definition in the process. See, we humans make tools. The idea is that the tools help us do something better: in essence, the tools serve us. Things go wrong when we start serving the tools—whether it's spending hours fixing a broken lawnmower, getting frustrated trying to figure out why your computer is being so beligerant, or needing to change your behavior to fit that of a corporation. When a corporation makes demands of you, that's when there's a problem ... it's not the only criterion, but I'm working on it.
On Thursday I did another improv class. This coming week, I have to miss going to the The Rochester Outdoor Museum of Art (ROMA) meeting at the library to make it to the class. At least I saw Kenichiro Sato's presentation last Sunday to help him hone what he's going to say and I think it'll stir quite a bit of excitement. Afterward, I'll head to A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) for the release of the Snore & Guzzle Press book, The Best Cure For A Broken Heart in which one of my short stories is published.
On Friday I met with some local artists at Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) to discuss things. I feel a bit out of place as I'm not presently an active physical artist—not counting the short story and improv class, I guess ... still a man-without-a-medium, and I probably never will have one. Afterward we hit up Feta Chinni (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate, formerly Mykonos) for lunch again and their chicken alfredo was quite good.
That night I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Mutual Appreciation. It's quite a strange film, in a way—it's very mellow-tempered and kind-of about a love triangle between some 20-somethings, but more of a document of daily post-college living. It's very a subtle story and funny, although in a very natural, human way.
Amusingly (at least to me) the lead character, Alan played by Justin Rice is looking for a guy to play drums in his band and when he's auditioning someone, he brings a boombox and plays a couple tracks. I immediately recognized one of them and got in my head that it was Bishop Allen. I figured I must be nuts because the character's name is Alan. I was right the first time as it turned out: the song was "Empire City" off their album, "Charm School." As I was watching, I realized I had met Justin at the show at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) back in 2004 (and actually correctly remembered that I had them sign the CD: Justin wrote, "Always do right, Jason. Always.") After the movie I mentioned this to writer/director/star Andrew Bujalski and he said they've been friends for years—the name of the band comes from the street they lived on while the character's name is Justin's middle name.
Saturday I ran into this guy as I was coming out of Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) and he politely started a conversation that was obviously leading to him asking me to give him money. This time I wasn't in a hurry and he was pretty patient, so I had enough time to question my motives—my assumption having been that he would just use the money to buy drugs, or that it won't be enough to make any difference, so there wouldn't be any point in me giving him any.
However, I changed my mind: I decided that if someone asks me for help without expectation, that I should help them. The key part (and the part that isn't overly clear to me yet) is how to identify the lack of expectation. I guess it's more a demonstration that the desire is stronger than the outcome—that it's not wanting the outcome as much it is the need to ask. I ended up giving him some money and then a ride to Main St.
Anyway, while I was at O'Bagelo's (165 State Street) a couple friends of mine pointed out schedules for the fast ferry. Well, I picked a couple up and decided to put it on eBay with a write-up that mentions they "retain their original high-gloss sheen despite having weathered tremendous amounts bitterness and community resentment" and that the ship "even beat door-to-door time [to Toronto] by several minutes if the time to drive on board and disembark is included.
That night I went to see the short plays in the Bare Bones Festival by Burning Barn Theatre Everything was quite good—I especially liked the sketch "John Cage Buys a Loaf of Bread" which was hilarious and perfect; whereas another about the Japanese internment camps was very touching. I gather that this coming weekend the Saturday show is the one not to miss.
Sunday evening I finished things up with Andrew Bujalski's other (and first) film Funny Ha Ha at the Dryden Theater. In this, a post-college woman Marnie played by Kate Dollenmayer is trying to figure out what to do with her life. It blurs the line from a fictional narrative to documentary filmmaking—at one point (and probably observed only by me) the clock on a kitchen stove reads 1:15 as a house party trundles toward its end; I deduced that this wasn't so much careful planning but instead that the filmmaking was probably actually done at 1:15 a.m. and the actors were very close to the state/mood they conveyed. I think Bujalski is really onto a new standard in filmmaking here ... the characters on screen act so naturally, it causes an absurdly exaggerated sense of suspension of disbelief.
Peculiarly, after having recognized Justin in Mutual Attraction, I failed to recognize his fellow bandmember Christian Rudder in this—I only thought to even check on after seeing his face on the album cover. (Weird, huh?) But that's not all: both his and Kate's name contain 15 letters. (See, told you.)
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On this day ... February 16
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About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) the word "buffalo", in terms of the American mammal, was first recorded 371 years ago in 1635.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
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While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, February 16, 2006 (Thu, Feb 16, 2006, 2/16/2006, or 2/16/06) Friday, February 17, 2006 (Fri, Feb 17, 2006, 2/17/2006, or 2/17/06) Saturday, February 18, 2006 (Sat, Feb 18, 2006, 2/18/2006, or 2/18/06) Sunday, February 19, 2006 (Sun, Feb 19, 2006, 2/19/2006, or 2/19/06) Monday, February 20, 2006 (Mon, Feb 20, 2006, 2/20/2006, or 2/20/06)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 (Tue, Feb 21, 2006, 2/21/2006, or 2/21/06) and Wednesday, February 22, 2006 (Wed, Feb 22, 2006, 2/22/2006, or 2/22/06).
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