Weekly Rochester Events #374: Leuwenhoek's Little Friends
Thursday, March 9, 2006
This last week started out really bad: my best friend of 7 years decided she would be better off without me in her life. In the past year or so, I have become less and less supportive and have started to drag on her life ... I just don't get how to be supportive and I can't seem to learn.
To me, she's tried to be positive, but everyone has a limit somewhere. I continue to be hesitant and indecisive about dating, love, growth, travel — the same problems I had when we first met. I grew a lot and changed in many other ways, but my constant impotent complaints about the same things just gets to be too much for anybody.
Worst of all, though, is that I can't enjoy her successes. It's the sum of many small things that I am envious (for lack of a more precise word) — envy of success, envy of understanding how to get there, envy of being able to recognize it, envy of having a path — none very damaging on their own but substantial when added together.
So I guess I don't have a best friend anymore. I'm left with a nagging, deep sadness, and can personally understand what heavy-heartedness is. The most horrible thing in all of it is that it's probably for the best for both of us. I mean, I need to solve my own problems my way and the way she solved hers in herself isn't going to work for me. And I wish I could just not be envious and celebrate her successes and give her support, but I need to find the source of such feelings — suppressing them led to this point where it all blew up.
And maybe it's not cool that I'm doing this publicly, but it's what seems right: it's cathartic for me and by the time I get this far in writing, I'm already feeling more at ease. I'm not looking for pity and I'm not out to direct blame on her — after all, for it to work out, either she'd have to be a martyr or I'd have to be stronger. Clearly the former is not the wiser path.
I don't know what's going to happen. There's no way for us to go back, and that would be a bad thing to try to do anyway. That's why I surrendered so easily to it. I will miss all the great conversations and ideas we play off one another, but it would be hollow and phony to pretend. The only positive is that it's different now — for one, I don't need to be envious, and it seems to be the only way that I can own my own shit.
But enough wallowing around (sorry to be all blog-sappy).
Now I'd ordinarily try to write a single essay that keeps all the threads and ideas flowing throughout and I don't want to do that. I'm concluding this note on the state of that part of my life and (at least for the essay) completely put it aside.
Ok, so what first now.
I guess, first, the improv class concluded last week and we're doing a performance on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at The Drama House at The University of Rochester (Fraternity Rd. at Alumni Rd., east corner of the Fraternity Quad, details on River Campus Map) There's not a lot of space, but I don't think it's a big problem if a few extra people show up. Second, the Fast Ferry schedule auction on eBay ends on Saturday, March 11 around 6:15 p.m so get all liquored up tonight and bid like crazy ... er ... I mean, go check it out and ... umm ... be amused.
Friday night I went to The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) to check out Ho Che Anderson's works, Images From King, Comic Books and Beyond. I'm not a big comic-book knob, but it was neat to see the process — a lot of what was on display were early drawings; before being cleaned up and made photo-ready for printing. It was fascinating to see snippets of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life retold in such a unique, creative, and limiting medium.
From there I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see This Is Spinal Tap. Although it got a lot of laughs, I don't see it as the hilarious end-all, be-all send-up its most positive reviewers make it out to be. Perhaps because its satire is so rooted in truth that it's actually too plausible. No matter what, the 18"-tall sculpture of Stonehenge is still quite hilarious.
I stopped by the Krown and hung out for a bit. The band The Sweet Action was playing ... I found them to definitely be energetic, but I didn't like the disjoint sound of their ska-influenced flavor of rock-and-roll.
Saturday night I stopped back in Schenectady to visit my parents and to go to a party at this guy True's place (15th St. at Peoples Ave., Troy) He showed Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock which is, obviously, a film about Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City, NV) in 2003. I can't give an objective opinion of whether it covers everything about Burning Man, but it does give a good idea of the amount of time and effort it takes to pull it off. If you've heard about the big party aspect, it might be worth checking out to see some of the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into it.
When I got back on Sunday I had enough time to make it to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see Capote. I found I could both empathise with and condemn Truman Capote simultaneously. Philip Seymour Hoffman is spectacular in the role. I'll leave it to others to give all sorts of verbiage to describe how good it was.
The showing was marred slightly by a couple who arrived about 10 minutes into the film and found it necessary to sit in the same aisle as me, do a little quiet chit-chat, and check text messages (and me without adequate gastrointestinal distress to elicit even the mildest fart in retaliation — my personal weapon of choice in such situations.) That, and a guy way in the back had an uncontrolled fit of laughter at an inappropriate time ... I can see how the scene was funny, but it was so emotionally powerful that it was unfortunate he laughed. Finally (and this is only an issue for me) right in the middle of the film, Capote is speaking on a telephone receiver with a modular jack which wrecked the suspension of disbelief: such jacks weren't invented until the 1970's. Shh ... quiet, brain ... I'm trying to watch a movie.
On Monday I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) again, this time for Surprise Cinema. The film this month was Robert Altman's Thieves Like Us. I tend to like Altman's work because I don't always like his work — I really enjoy some of his films and really despise others, so I can respect him for going out on a limb and he doesn't care whether or not I [the audience] will like it. Because of that, though, as soon as Jim Healy said, "Altman", I thought, "shit: is this going to be one of the good ones or the bad ones?" Jim added that it had received the highest ratings from nearly every critic so I was somewhat relieved.
Thankfully, it was indeed a great film. As Jim said, it is an Altman film and therefore character-driven and episodic rather than narrative-driven. It's set in Mississippi in the 1930's and is based on the book Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson about a group of three bank robbers who break out of prison to continue their heisting ways. In the end, I really liked the film: it's solidly constructed and stays unwaveringly true to its setting.
On Tuesday night I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the bands there. Paul's solo effort BELBIVDEVOIVOD started things off. He layers many simple loops to create a complex, suggestive, and abstract soundscape. Next was nybbl whom I didn't like too much ... a one-man synth-rock band, but it came off a bit too predictable. Closing the night was The Sleeping Kings of Iona who were a good trancey band although I only stayed for a couple songs.
Wednesday I went with a friend of mine to take another shot at finding the best burger in town. We went to The Brighton (1881 East Ave.) and it didn't disappoint. The lightly charred, properly cooked burger made from high-quality beef was indeed very good — I think the (otherwise tasty) bun could have been evenly toasted, but overall it's the current winner.
I'm still looking, but that was definitely a good burger.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... March 9
Link of the Week:
FatFingers.com lets you search eBay for all kinds of common typographical errors. The idea is that you type in something to search for and it'll guess dozens of typos and search for them. Way to get stuff cheap from people who don't proofread!
Own your very own highly prized, collectable piece of Rochester history!
Lousy Online Calendar Award:
This week's award goes to
The Greater Rochester Visitor Association (GRVA)
(45 East Ave., suite 400)
for having an
alphabetical calendar by day
that mixes one-time events with dozens recur on varying schedules — a nightmare to figure out what's going on that's unique to a particular day. Congratulations, GRVA!
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Store at CafePress
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Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Music Photos
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
Jazz 90.1 Calendar
Delusions of Adequacy
Mystery and Misery
Kids Out and About
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About the title ... Anton van Leuwenhoek was born 374 years ago in 1632 and used a microscope to identify bacteria.
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, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
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