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 ActionMySpace link 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.

From there I went to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and ended up chatting with local celebrity and wordsmith Mortimer Shy about writing and blogging. Check out his site for some witty lectures.

On Tuesday night I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the bands there. Paul's solo effort BELBIVDEVOIVODMySpace link started things off. He layers many simple loops to create a complex, suggestive, and abstract soundscape. Next was nybblMySpace link 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 IonaMySpace link 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.


(Although this stuff is way beyond any hope that I'd glean even some passing knowledge, I still like the idea of trying to figure it out.) Mathematician James Arthur from The University of Toronto (315 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON) will discuss Weighted Orbital Integrals and the Langlands Program from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hoyt Auditorium at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map). [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. is a lecture in Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) with Larry Towell presenting The Collected Works of Larry Towell. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight 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) at 6:30 p.m. is a performance by members of the Geva Comedy Improv Class (including myself.)

JayceLand Pick The lengthily named Asian/Pacific Islander/American History Project of Greater Rochester (APA-HiP) will be presenting an Asian New Year Music Celebration in the auditorium of The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) tonight at 7 p.m. featuring performances by Parvatha Chidambaram, Ryuko Mizutani, and Nurmira Salimbaeva. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Tonight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. is Jeff Sherner (whom I've never seen) at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Forbidden Planet starting at 8 p.m. Classic science fiction ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 9 p.m. at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) is The Matt Valerio BandMySpace link which I haven't ever seen either. [source: Java's calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick I generally have fun at shows at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and tonight is more new-to-me bands The UnbustedMySpace link, Hooray for EarthMySpace link, Porsches on the AutobahnMySpace link, and Wales RoadMySpace link all starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Solid rockabilly band Krypton 88MySpace link will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) tonight around 10 or so. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

Tonight from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) is the opening reception for Coast to Coast featuring works by Gary Thompson, Phyllis Thompson, and many others. The show runs until March 26. [source: Image City Photography Gallery flyer]

Top Pick The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble will be in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) at 8 p.m. with Brad Lubman conducting performances of Gosfield's Manufacture of Tangled Ivory, Reich's Eight Lines, and a one or two more to-be-announced. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn St.) is the opening of the new comedic play Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehreneich about hardworking Americans failing to make ends meet. The play runs until March 25 and this Sunday's performance at 3 p.m. is "pay what you can". [source: Blackfriars Theatre website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Broken Blossoms or the Yellow Man and the Girl starting at 8 p.m. in which a Chinese Buddhist missionary heads to England but becomes jaded by the countrymen until he falls in love with a young girl. Also featuring live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

This evening from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is acoustic music by Bill Welch. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Later, at 10 p.m. at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is The Jeff Cosco Band. [source: Montage calendar]

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) will be having another open house this and every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Early this evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. is the opening reception for paintings and drawings by David Walsh at The Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St.) The show runs until April 15. [source: Oxford Gallery website]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) at 7 p.m. is Teressa WilcoxMySpace link with Katy WrightMySpace link. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 7 p.m. at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is Grandfather ClockMySpace link, Brian WheatMySpace link, A WonderfulMySpace link, and Little Yellow BirdMySpace link. [source: artsound website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Duma starting at 8 p.m. tonight and again tomorrow at 2 p.m. A boy raises a cheetah cub and then must release it into the wild once it's grown. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is pretty funky groove band Vernon's BirdMySpace link. [source: Freetime] [21+]

Hünü? (featuring members from Colorblind James Experience) will be at Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) tonight around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight's another Betty's Sing-a-Long at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) starting around 10.

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) is another Improv Challenge featuring Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) starting at 7 p.m. [source: Nuts and Bolts website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Beat the Devil starting at 7 p.m. in which Truman Capote and John Huston satirize Huston's earlier film, The Maltese Falcon with a zany caper. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting very good complex groove-rock band KalpanaMySpace link, Kite OperationsMySpace link, and Sahiraat ShamalMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing A Day at the Races starting this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The Marx Brothers are at it again. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) is the opening reception for the running exhibition titled Spirit Stands Still featuring works from Lori Farr, Jill Gussow, Betsy Phillips, Patricia Russotti, and France Scully-Osterman. The show closes on March 26. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

The Rochester Poets will be hosting their Reading and Open Mike tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) at 7 p.m. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) at 8 p.m. is a performance by EspersMySpace link featuring former local Otto Hauser. [source: A|V Space website]

There's also Open Mic Poetry at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Java's calendar] [all ages]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is another Words of Wisdom Talent Showcase — essentially a hip-hop/spoken-word open mic night. [source: Montage calendar]

JayceLand Pick This evening at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) is another (presumably) excellent jazz show with The Adam Caine Trio featuring Phil Haynes and Ken Filiano at 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Calcutta starting at 8 p.m. Louis Malle makes a documentary about India in the late 1960's. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is experimental distorted instrument work from XLTieRackMySpace link and TaduyaMySpace link starting around 9:30. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6 p.m. at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is a Lecture and Booksigning for Schablone Berlin by Caroline Koebel and Kyle Schlesinger about stencil graffiti in Berlin. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar]

In case you're pondering designing a bus stop for ARTWalk (University Ave. at Atlantic Ave.) and think you might want to get a grant to do it, there's a Pre-submission Information Meeting tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) [source: ARTWalk website]

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. is the first performance of Iron Kisses at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) about a brother and sister who try to figure out life in their own ways. The play runs until April 2. [source: Geva Theatre website]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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On this day ... March 9

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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!

Rochester Fast Ferry Schedule from 2005
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!


Amazon.com gives me money if you buy things through this link, but for music, movies, and stuff, why not go to Record Archive, The Bop Shop, Lakeshore, or House of Guitars instead?

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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. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, March 9, 2006 (Thu, Mar 9, 2006, 3/9/2006, or 3/9/06) Friday, March 10, 2006 (Fri, Mar 10, 2006, 3/10/2006, or 3/10/06) Saturday, March 11, 2006 (Sat, Mar 11, 2006, 3/11/2006, or 3/11/06) Sunday, March 12, 2006 (Sun, Mar 12, 2006, 3/12/2006, or 3/12/06) Monday, March 13, 2006 (Mon, Mar 13, 2006, 3/13/2006, or 3/13/06) Tuesday, March 14, 2006 (Tue, Mar 14, 2006, 3/14/2006, or 3/14/06) and Wednesday, March 15, 2006 (Wed, Mar 15, 2006, 3/15/2006, or 3/15/06).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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