Weekly Rochester Events #418: Laconic
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Last Wednesday I got up early to get to WITR 89.7 FM at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) for The Coalition of the Shrill radio show but realized it was cancelled so I went back to bed. Much later — that night — I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to check out the bands. First up was Bent Left who I was most excited to see — they're a politically-left-leaning punk band. I think my expectations were pretty high because they're good — a perfectly acceptable hard punk/punk-rock band — but I was kind of uninspired. Fortunatley, their touring partners Outlaw surprised me as an excellent, high-energy punk band. Both bands were down to their last dime so I did what any self-respecting local down to his last dime (well, dimes) would do and bought them a round of Genny Cream Ale's on el-cheap special. I hung out with them afterward and they were nice enough to share a their CD's with me and someone brought around a round of shots — maybe the same guy who followed me to the stage with a round of shots for them. Anyhow The Flour City Knuckleheads finished off the night with their fun, fast brand of punk-rock.
On Friday I finished up an article in Rolling Stone Magazine titled Paul Nelson (1936-2006) which read more like an epitaph to Rolling Stone itself than as an epitaphic account of Paul Nelson. I've not been a fan of the magazine although I have respect for its roots. It feels as though it is fighting a personal battle: sell out and make tons of money by shilling shitty bands and movies, or stay true and speak the truth. Either that or a personnel battle.
Anyway, that night I headed to Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) for the cool show there. I was pleased that to get a good coffee and a cheap grilled cheese: Ali and I have been lamenting the proliferation of the $7 coffee-shop sandwich — especially now that both of us are getting dirt-poor. [See also, "Make a Donation" button over there on the right.] ... er ... I mean, especially since a lot of them aren't even worth $3.50. Anyway, Urknee and Bjürton started things off with their excellently weird spoken-word poetry over aptly applied experimental music then The Blood and Bone Orchestra finished up with their great, cacophonous jazz experimentation.
Saturday I did my usual tour of grocery shopping and eating at O'Bagelo's (165 State St.) then stopped by the Friends Helping Friends Thrift Store (333 Child St.) which was a perfectly adequate thrift store ... that day they happened to be giving away loaves of bread. Lots of them. I didn't happen to need any, though, but now I somewhat regret not grabbing one. Anyway, I headed to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) that night to catch Old Joy. Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt was unfortunately unable to attend so Jim Healy filled-in to introduce her short film, Then A Year. It was a terrific anti-narrative about a passion-crime. He also introduced Old Joy. which I liked a lot. It was somewhat of a meditation on friendship and society. It was about a couple guys who had drifted apart as friends — a common theme where the now-opposite friends rediscover their common ground and realize the flaws in their own lives. But instead, it's revealed that the now-serious guy who's taken the financially-stable typical-American path is actually pretty happy and the ever-loving, hippie-stoner regrets his lack of accomplishments and has a rather rough life.
Afterward I popped in to Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave) and had exactly two glasses of wine. I did run into an old friend, Jean-Paul who was the only person to ever read JayceLand and (without knowing me already) take the step to go to O'Bagelo's (165 State St.) He moved to California in 2005 but returned to work nearby — a typical Rochester boomerang-effect story: same pay, half the cost-of-living.
On Sunday I went to East Rochester for a "casting call" listed in Rochester craigslist. Now, I had never acted really before ... well, maybe two lines in 4th grade, but I screwed them up a bit. I decided to give it a whirl ... it's a bit of a mockumentary about pineapples — I now get to be in one of the roles in the "Pineapple Anonymous" scene. It should be fun.
On Monday I went to visit my girl Ali. We watched the movie Paper Clips which is a documentary about a school in the tiny town of Whitwell, Tennessee that takes on the task of collecting one paperclip for every Jew killed in the Nazi Holocaust. All six million of them. The town itself, by admission of the school principal, is an un-diversified collection of white Protestants — in an attempt to teach diversity, they ended up selecting the project. It's a remarkable story that concludes with them building a historic site to house the paperclips in an astonishingly rare, 1930's German cattle-car (train car) that was actually used to haul internment victims to the Concentration Camps. The movie is pretty good, but the story is spectacular.
On Tuesday I brought tons of joy to my life by attempting to do my taxes. In working through the forms to calculate things like self-employment tax and Schedule A deductions, I realized that every American should live like this. Ok ... ok, maybe it's the Ayn Rand talking, but I think everyone should voluntarily work and pay for their own health insurance. The socialist side of me would like also to offer assistance to low-income folks to help cover that (which, by the way, costs me around $2,800 each year, paid quarterly.) But wouldn't it be great if instead of having to slug through your daily grind for umpteen-hours-over-40 each week so your precious benefits won't be lost that you can go to work when you feel like it (either by desire or by need) — to work enough hours in your trade until you are satisfied you have earned enough money? To be free of employers who avoid providing benefits by keeping as many workers as possible in the "part-time" status? To break the back of the 24-hour workday? To own your own life?
Alas, the tax forms are too fucking complex for the average person to handle, and maybe that's my side goal: to simplify the friggin' things. I mean, if someone wants to cheat the government out of tax money, they will always be able to. They write rules like:
The total of lines 64, 65, and 67 on your 2006 return is at least 100% of the tax shown on your 2005 return (110% of that amount if you are not a farmer or fisherman and your adjusted gross income shown on that return is more than $150,000, or if married filing separately for 2006, more than $75,000). Your estimated tax payments for 2006 must have been made on time and for the required amount.Oh but wait, it goes on:
For most people, the "tax shown on your 2005 return" is the amount on your 2005 Form 1040, line 63, minus the total of any amounts shown on lines 66a and 68 and Forms 8828, 4137, 4136, 5329 (Parts III through VIII only), and 8885. Also subtract from line 63 any tax on an excess parachute payment and any excise tax on insider stock compensation of an expatriated corporation. When figuring the amount on line 63, include the amount on line 62 only if line 64 is more than zero or you would have owed the estimated tax penalty for 2005 even if you did not include those taxes. But if you entered an amount on your 2005 Schedule H, line 7, include the total of that amount plus the amount on your 2005 Form 1040, line 62.
I mean, come on: how does this help? If someone simply doesn't file and slips under the radar, they can for decades — maybe for the rest of their lives. Why make billions of rules to cover all the possible cases of fraud and just assume that the honest people would be as honest with 10 steps as with 10,000 and the fraudulent ones will be as fraudulent in the same measure?
For Christ sakes: just tell me how much to pay and leave me alone!
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About the title ... The word "laconic" comes from Latin and ultimately from Greek to describe the people of Laconia (of which Sparta was the capital) who were known (among other more popularly-recognized traits) for the brevity of their speech. The word "laconic" first appeared in English 418 years ago in 1589. [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation.]
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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While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, January 11, 2007 (Thu, Jan 11, 2007, 1/11/2007, or 1/11/07) Friday, January 12, 2007 (Fri, Jan 12, 2007, 1/12/2007, or 1/12/07) Saturday, January 13, 2007 (Sat, Jan 13, 2007, 1/13/2007, or 1/13/07) Sunday, January 14, 2007 (Sun, Jan 14, 2007, 1/14/2007, or 1/14/07) Monday, January 15, 2007 (Mon, Jan 15, 2007, 1/15/2007, or 1/15/07) Tuesday, January 16, 2007 (Tue, Jan 16, 2007, 1/16/2007, or 1/16/07) and Wednesday, January 17, 2007 (Wed, Jan 17, 2007, 1/17/2007, or 1/17/07).
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