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Weekly Rochester Events #430: Drake Starts Going In Circles

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I finally finished Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged after nearly 9 months of reading on-and-off. I'm a slow reader to begin with (although it varies depending on the material and how much reflection I want to put into it) but I agree with a friend of mine that this particular book gets to be an endurance test.

But the worst part is that I don't respect Rand nearly as much. The book builds an ideal of a laissez-faire capitalist utopia — well, I guess it mostly it describes the decline of a non-laissez-faire capitalist society. It ends with a short, two-page "and they all lived happily ever after." Ugh.

See, one of the key facets of a true laissez-faire capitalist utopia is — get this — that everyone behaves respectfully toward one another. Realize that this is the same key facet of a communistic utopia, which itself works only as long nobody's expressed needs that are more than their actual needs and as long as nobody's expressed abilities that are less than their true abilities. I remember asking one of the founders of The Ant Hill Cooperative (960 South Plymouth Ave.) about the punitive system they have in place in the event that someone fails to cooperate and he replied (essentially), "we haven't ironed out the details of that yet." Perhaps I'm wrong — after all, Ant Hill seems to be doing well and they've been around since 2005 or so — but I can't help to notice that this is the point-of-failure for countless societies.

As for Ayn Rand, the thing that tipped me off was the casual mention in the epilogue quoting her saying, "no man has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others." So what does that entail, exactly? If I drink the water from a river and upstream is a PVC plant and one of their waste products is dioxin which they dump into the river, may I consider my reaction one of self-defense? — after all, they are poisoning me. Where's that line drawn between a deliberately executed attack and apathetic carelessness? To me, this is the lynchpin by which Rand's ideal society would collapse.

So while I agree with a lot of the beliefs of Ayn Rand for stuff that would work, the idea of replacing our present, stable society with one that has a known point of total failure would be a mistake.

In the more objective world, last Wednesday, I only got to see Ali for a little while when we went to Cold Stone Creamery (3349 Monroe Ave., Pittsford) and had some ice cream. It quite cold outside but the place was very busy with kids. Then on Thursday I had a similarly short visit when we went to Bill Gray's (1225 Jefferson Rd., formerly Union Square) in Henrietta. I'm growing to like the burgers there, although I'm still a bigger fan of "gourmet burgers" with expensive beef and toasted buns.

On Friday I finally got to spend some quality time with her when I shaved off my beard and hair for the "summer look." We went to Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave) and Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) that night for some drinks afterward.

Saturday night I went to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see The Guatemalan Handshake. I'm rather stumped as to what to say about it — I mean I liked it, but I just don't know how to explain why. It's the story of a handful of people tangentially related to one another in a small town. All the technical aspects of the film are great, from sound and picture to acting and directing. It's strongly character-driven, only with relatively average (if eccentric) people who aren't set up with conflicting opinions. The plot — rather, plots are all pretty simple.

I guess what draws me to the film is that it's a lot like real life. Everyone remembers when weird things happen in their life, and often the incidental day-to-day things become more vibrant because of it. But we spend our lives doing day-to-day things, most of which lay dormant in our memories. So Guatemalan Handshake kind of stirs up those memories — the common things that come from the uncommon things ... something like that anyway.

Todd Rohal was on hand to answer questions afterward. Part of his philosophy was that he went into the project thinking he was going to make one movie in his life, and that this was the movie he wanted to make. He presently doesn't plan to put it on DVD because it would be expensive to do right and probably wouldn't make enough money to cover the costs. He added that if someone wants to see it, they can get hold of him and set up a venue to screen the 35mm print and he'd probably oblige.

Later I met up with Ali and her friend Stacie at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) We all missed Anal PuddingMySpace link but got to see most of GaylordMySpace link — well, "Greylord, the world's only Gaylord cover band". I really enjoyed their set this time ... I'm really getting comfortable with the complexity, rock-ness, and randomness of their music. Finishing up the night for some reason was The Fabulous Dung BeatlesMySpace link who seemed to try to offend with song, but somehow were too blandly funny, too obviously trying to offend, and too musically terrible to be interesting at all.

Anyway, on Sunday Ali and I colored Easter eggs. Both of us remember it being a huge, messy ordeal when we were kids but we probably spent 15 minutes from beginning-to-end on a dozen eggs.

Afterward we went to the Dryden to see Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Celine and Julie Go Boating). We didn't realize it was over 3 hours long at the outset, and it tends to drag a lot in the middle. And at the beginning.

The first hour or so is spent with Julie following Céline through the streets of Paris trying to return her sunglasses, and then with the two of them becoming acquainted. The story implies they don't know one another, but they seem pretty familiar to be strangers. The rest of the film develops a fantasy world in an abandoned house where a seemingly wealthy family from an earlier time is dealing with a sick child — as if they're stuck in one moment in time forever. The two women, in turn, enter the house and get swept into the fantasy, and when they return to the real world, they are disoriented. Eventually they figure out they are playing a nurse to the family and decide to try and affect the outcome of the fantasy world.

It's all quite strange. Neglecting the endurance test it was to watch, it's a quite interesting movie. That is, while we were watching it, we were begging not to have the same fantasy-world scene acted out in full each time — it was like watching all three alternative endings to the movie Clue all in a row like they're presented in the video version. After the fact, though, I feel like it asks a bunch of questions. For instance, the familiarity of the two characters and the whole thing where both of them are the nurse led me to wonder if they weren't, in fact, one person. Maybe the "reality" was the nurse's fantasy. At least it doesn't pull some crap like declaring the whole movie was "just a dream."

Anyway, on Monday I worked on the Speedometer Calibrator some more. Now, I don't think I've mentioned it before, but Ali and I had a little problem with that Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon we got a few months back: the speedometer reads about 10% too fast — if you're going 60 MPH, the speedometer reads about 66 MPH. Well, since it's got an electronic speedometer and speed sensor, I figured I could make a circuit to report the correct speed to the speedometer. I finally got it working well enough to install in the car and tried it out, using my Garmin eTrex Legend handheld GPS to get the correct vehicle speed, and now the speedometer reads spot-on accurate. Hooray!

So on Tuesday I folded the seats down and put mine and Ali's bike in back and headed out to see her. We got in a few miles of riding and had some dinner and watched Annie Hall on DVD. We both like that film — it sure is a far cry from a marathon subtitled trippy French film.


M
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  • Gwoemul (The Host, at The Little) - Some monster starts eating people.
  • Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (at The Little) - Enough said.

T
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JayceLand Pick This evening at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), curator for the DARFUR/DARFUR exhibit now on display, Leslie Thomas will discuss her experience with the development of the exhibit. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Café Underground Railroad (480 W. Main St.) is Concept: The Boys of Funk starting around 7 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Horible Horible (presumably not Horrible Horrible) will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Nobi (Fires on the Plain) starting at 8 p.m. Although it seems like a common story of men fighting a losing battle in war, Eastman House's calendar adds, "Ichikawa's tour de force, co-written by his wife and creative partner, Natto Wada, offers some of screen history's most potent visual proof of war's dehumanizing effects." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Ex-Lion TamerMySpace link, great rock-and-roll from HinkleyMySpace link, Tuurd, and Ada le O will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Over at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. is blues-charged rock-and-roll from Buford and the Smoking Section. [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]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Bodhi's Cafe & Lounge (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) is an Open Mic. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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


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Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is David GervasiMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is excellent punk-rock from The QUiTTERSGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. — although likely in a subdued acoustic rendition. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Tonight at 9 p.m. at The Flat Iron Café (561 State St.) is Stand-up Comedy with MoosieMySpace link: Through the Eyes of a Bronx Girl. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

JayceLand Pick These United StatesMySpace link, PaleoMySpace link, and dreary tunes from CarbonicMySpace link will be at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]


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JayceLand Pick This evening at 7 p.m. at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is the opening reception for Blasted by James Rajotte and Room Temperature by Kirby Pilcher. The exhibition will be on display through April 27. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar] [all ages]

Also at 7 p.m., at Equal=Grounds (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware) is an art opening for Equal Measure: Portraits of Love, also by James Rajotte. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be hosting beatboxing acoustic soloist Shawnee BoyeeeGarageBand linkMySpace link, experimental acoustic from Gregory PaulGarageBand linkMySpace link, Zach ChasmanMySpace link, and Liza Mugnolo starting around 8 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting Journey of JasmineMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing L'ivresse du pouvoir (The Comedy of Power) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Eastman House calendar notes, "... Isabelle Huppert beautifully portrays a magistrate who investigates a case of corruption involving a corporate executive. As she successfully unravels the mystery, her private life begins to disintegrate." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

There may be a Misfit Alumni Show by In Between the Lines (Community Learning Center (CLC), Wilson Blvd., University of Rochester Campus, details on River Campus Map) 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) tonight probably starting around 10 p.m. [source: In Between the Lines calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is good bar-rock from Burning DaylightGarageBand link, energetic bar rock from The MerciesMySpace link, bar-rock and covers with a country twang from Blue JimmyGarageBand linkMySpace link, and The CorrectionsMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

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


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Easter

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Paris nous appartient (Paris Belongs to Us) starting at 7 p.m. A woman searching for a musical recording is the plot-vehicle to let her meet many people and explore Paris in the late 1950's. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]


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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]


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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.

Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is another Books Sandwiched-In in the Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) and featuring Joel Seligman discussing Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is The Static AgeMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ballada o soldate (Ballad of a Soldier) starting at 8 p.m. in which a soldier in World War II earns 4 days leave and (from the Eastman House calendar) "helps a crippled soldier return to his wife, falls in love, and survives the bombing of his train." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) starting around 9 p.m. is RyfylkeMySpace link, and Joe+n. [source: A|V Space website]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting simple, melodic down-tempo medium-fi synth-pop from Roger HoustonMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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


W
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Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is Nate Hanks starting around 6 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is metal from Orodruin, more metal from BlüdwülfMySpace link, and The Apostles Of The Hidden SonGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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]

Tonight at Café Underground Railroad (480 W. Main St.) is a Spoken Word/Poetry night starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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About the title ... Sir Francis Drake began is voyage to circumnavigate the globe 430 years ago in 1577.

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. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including 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. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. 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, April 5, 2007 (Thu, Apr 5, 2007, 4/5/2007, or 4/5/07) Friday, April 6, 2007 (Fri, Apr 6, 2007, 4/6/2007, or 4/6/07) Saturday, April 7, 2007 (Sat, Apr 7, 2007, 4/7/2007, or 4/7/07) Sunday, April 8, 2007 (Sun, Apr 8, 2007, 4/8/2007, or 4/8/07) Monday, April 9, 2007 (Mon, Apr 9, 2007, 4/9/2007, or 4/9/07) Tuesday, April 10, 2007 (Tue, Apr 10, 2007, 4/10/2007, or 4/10/07) and Wednesday, April 11, 2007 (Wed, Apr 11, 2007, 4/11/2007, or 4/11/07).


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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