Weekly Rochester Events #379: Boyle's Under Pressure
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I'm really disheartened to learn that America is going to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran.
Some still believe it's not a forgone conclusion, but I remember a few years ago insisting that we wait a while to let the UN weapons inspectors do their job in Iraq, and hoped that we could have a peacful resolution. At that time I just wanted a few more months to be sure. This time I don't want the blood of a nation on my hands.
Arguing it is purely academic as it's clear our President has made up his mind. Destroying Iran is inevitable.
I'm already of heavy heart about it. I believe that unlike, say, a colony of fire ants living under your porch that needs to be exterminated completely, that Iran is actually full of human beings — many of whom are not terrorists and who, if they were allowed to live their whole lives, would not try to attack America. So when we obliterate their population, I'll be sad for all the lives that are never lived — for all the people who wanted to make art and to raise families and to share bread. For me it will be like watching a bus full of children burn to death, even if some of them might have grown up to be murderers.
In the mean time, across America — especially in the Christian churches — the majority of the population will celebrate our decisive victory against evil. They view the entirety of the Middle East as a breeding ground for terrorists. There are no peacful, good people in the entire region, so kill them all. They'll never doubt they were right.
It's all a matter of belief and faith, I guess.
Anyhow, last Thursday I headed out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and got to see Worm Quartet once again along with Gaybot — both of whom played at UofR last weekend. The band I hadn't seen was Gay Beast who were great: they played this structured, disonant cacophony with drums, synth, and guitar.
On Friday I went to The Dryden to see The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Unfortunately, hair and makeup artist Dorothy J. Pearl couldn't be there. Anyway, it was a really great movie — still suspenseful after all these years. As the grand-daddy of "based-on-a-true-story" horror films, it really shines as being extremely troubling to watch.
After that I headed to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.). I had caught wind of the joke earlier but let it slide: rumor has it that at some point in Gaylord's stint as a band, they changed their name to Greylord for some reason, so they all showed up in disguises and played as the world's only Gaylord cover band. They then followed themselves as Gaylord. I always have a tough time describing their sound, often sticking with something like "attention-deficit jazzy rock" because, at least to my ear, it sounds like they play several songs in one, switching between as they go.
I ran into Lon from Sulaco gave me his old StarTac and I took the top half of his and connected it to the bottom of mine and got it working again. Hooray ... I guess.
On Saturday I went to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see a movie. Everything that's out is something I wanted to see, but I settled on Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story as that had the next showtime. The movie was ... well ... weird. It was kind of a movie in which you got to see it being made. The lines between layers of reality were seriously blurred, and I generally liked it. It felt like it had quite a bit to say but conveyed that information in a subtle way for it wasn't about the movie itself, really, at all. Like I say, weird.
Monday I spent most of the day doing taxes. I gave up on the computer software a few years ago, instead favoring the simplicity of the forms you can fill in using Acrobat Reader. The Federal forms went easy enough but the New York State forms were a nightmare. Acrobat Reader kept crashing when I tried to enter the data, and the forms have document protection to prevent them from being saved, so you have to enter everything in one shot then print it. After three go-arounds with different versions of the software, I finally gave up, printed the forms out blank, and typed them up on my 1960's Underwood manual typewriter. The nearly-50-year-old machine never crashed and did not randomly erase the data in my forms. Thank goodness for progress.
I also recently cancelled my Equifax credit monitoring. I called earlier in the week to ask about why they went from charging me $9.95 a month to $99.95 this past month but their computers were down and they couldn't do anything — but, "[was] there anything else [they] could do for [me] today?" Idiots. It turned out they decided to change their automatic billing, so people who had elected to have a month-by-month fee assessed would automatically be switched to the cheaper annual fee — of course without asking or anything. It's really quite scary that this is one of the three companies that can completely destroy your ability to do anything substantial financially and that they run their ship so damn loose.
That night I went to The Drama House at The University of Rochester (Fraternity Rd. at Alumni Rd., east corner of the Fraternity Quad, details on River Campus Map) to see the Geva Comedy Improv show FIASCO! Season 2: The Hospital. I was really impressed that it was both funny and that the continuity of characters and situations was maintained between scenes (and apparently between shows) given that it is all improvised on-the-spot.
I also had a chance to see Thank You For Smoking at The Little (240 East Ave.) which was great. The previews are pretty accurate — it's rather implausible, but maintains its dignity and humor throughout. It's the story of a big tobacco lobbyist trying to reconcile his life and how it relates to his son. Kind of ... it's really an exercise in explaining the relationship between debate, influence, argument, and being right. It's strangely compelling and uplifting considering that it ends up painting a pretty chipper picture of cigarette companies.
In other news, I decided to start an experiment to try and spend less money. I figured out that I really only need hot water to bathe (no word yet on the effectiveness of the dishwasher) and tried a time-tested solution of bringing a bucket of hot water to the bathtub and washing with a cloth. The experiment is to completely shut off the hot water heater (since I really have no willpower to not take long showers.) I want to see how many of those few-hundred-dollars I spend on gas each month I can save.
Tuesday morning I got out of bed around 5:15 a.m. — partly because I didn't sleep well. I was pondering the various states my brain goes through during my regular late-night anxieties:
I crack open the window to listen to the city waking up. I like the soft din of Rochester in the morning. There's a low rushing sound that builds with the dawn — maybe it's airplanes waking up or the highway pulsing — but it eventually blends into its daily crescendo. I went for a walk at sunrise.
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On this day ... April 13
Link of the Week:
MoveOn.org's "Don't Nuke Iran" petition - The President is going to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran. He'll do it no matter what because that's the kind of man he is, but at least you can rest easy in the dawning apocalyptic war of The World versus The United States knowing that you tried to stop him.
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About the title ... Robert Boyle, creater of "Boyle's Law" which links the temperature and pressure of a gas, was born 379 years ago in 1627.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and 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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