Weekly Rochester Events #436: Keeping Kepler Spinning
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Last Wednesday I got to see Ali play ball once again. She caught a couple flyballs and tagged someone out at 3rd — her coach said he was really impressed. Afterward we met up with some friends at The Thirsty Turtle Sports Bar (7422 State Route 96, Victor).
On Thursday I had my regularly scheduled anxieties — society crumbling and all. But this time I had a bit of an epiphany. I was thinking of the United States and/or New York and/or Rochester with its overzealous police action, disrespect for small businesses, and rampant taxation to support non-workers — and realized that it is hopeless to try and fix. But it's not pointless to do maintenance. See, it's like my house: I can do maintenance where necessary to ensure it stays in good condition and at the same time know it will crumble under its own weight someday. George Eastman House has a huge bureaucracy to keep it running, yet even it won't last forever. It's all going to turn to dust someday, but hopefully nobody will be living in it when it does.
I also got some shopping done in an attempt to avoid the Saturday traffic nightmare traveling near The Lilac Festival. I headed to Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) and realized that one of the reasons I like shopping there is that it tends to encourage me to eat better. Their selection is much smaller than a general supermarket, but everything there is marketed for the wholesomeness of ingredients. Compare that to a spashy endcap hawking Doritos, and you realize the latter is as content-free as the product it sells. In other words, contemporary marketing is focused solely on attracting the most consumers, and the easiest way to do that is to adjust superficial traits to accomplish that goal. Abundance caters to consumers more interested in content than packaging, and good processes are the easiest way to attract those consumers to a product.
I also went to the bank and closed my last money market account. I decided to do so because I wanted to improve America.
See, one of my issues with this country is the focus of corporations on ever increasing profits. Even Kodak is really doing pretty well — it's that they are not growing fast enough that infuriates shareholders. And who are these shareholders who demand maximum growth?: the same ones whose goals are purely profit. And what's the biggest group after pure profit?: money market funds. [Disclaimer: I don't know if that's actually true, but I am sure those funds represent a significant portion of investors in the stock market.] So what do I get from the pillaging of the corporate world?: an extra couple-hundred bucks a year.
It's just not worth it to me: I'd rather see corporations focus on a happier workforce, products with a longer life-cycle, and higher quality overall. Yet to grow quickly, it's easiest to use a minimally-compensated workforce to create a necessary, disposable product that needs to be frequently-but-not-too-frequently replaced.
That night I went to Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) to join the Drinking Liberally folks. I chatted there for quite a while before heading to a surprisingly empty Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) before finishing off at an all-too-commonly empty Black Pearl Cafe (791 Meigs St., formerly Dicky's) At least I got to talk for a while about Burning Man.
Friday I took another barefoot walk — the balls of my feet are toughening up and I'm getting more natural at the style of walking that's considerably different than when shod. That afternoon was the start of The Lilac Festival so Ali and I went there to catch Mike Doughty. Unfortunately we saw very little of the performance as it was quite popular, and we were both more interested in getting something to eat. Ali headed back home and I went out to The Keg (315 Gregory St., behind German House where Rohrbach's used to be) later. I got to talk with JoAnn Vaccaro whom I haven't seen in a long time. She had finished up but played again later — still with that daring style I so enjoy. The other performer that night was Kevin MacConkey who did some jam-acoustic rock. He has a good, strong gritty voice for it.
Saturday I headed to Canandaigua and went with Ali to lunch at El Pacifico (1680 Rochester Rd., Farmington). They have excellent food, great margaritas, and tasty sopapillas. That night we headed to a wedding and reception, getting back pretty late.
Monday was a sad day. We took Ali's cat Whiskers to the vet to have him euthanized. He was a good, loyal cat — he'd even come when called — but between his diabetes (which was under control with twice-daily insulin) and a cancerous tumor in his mouth, his quality-of-life had been gradually dropping, and it dramatically deteriorated over the weekend. He had even started hiding in unusual places around the house — definitely not a good sign.
This was the first time I had seen a pet put down before, and for that matter, the first time I'd watched something die. The procedure was stunningly fast — an overdose of general anesthetic didn't take more than two seconds. We took him to Ali's parents' house to be buried. I had made a coffin for him on Sunday and it was fortunately just the right size for him and the snuggly cat-bed he slept in. It's still rough for the both of us — obviously more so for Ali — but day-by-day things are getting easier.
I talked with my friend Sondra about it. She noted that the way people deal with death in the country is different from the city. In the country, death and life are all around and it's treated more as a natural cycle. Ask a farmer about his livestock and he really won't understand why you shouldn't eat something that has a name. But someone from the city will experience a death in their family and naively wonder "how it could have possibly happened" or that they are being punished for something.
Curiously, we are really the first generation who has had to deal with the proliferation of video. Celebrities aside, we can playback portions of the lives of one who is no longer so. We seem to deal with static representations well — photographs, letters, and the like — but video adds a whole new dimension to it all. Even reviewing footage of ourselves in our youth is somehow bizarre and unnatural.
But, you know, at least we can blog about it.
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About the title ... Johannes Kepler was born 436 years ago in 1571 and formulated three laws of planetary motion.
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.)
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While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, May 17, 2007 (Thu, May 17, 2007, 5/17/2007, or 5/17/07) Friday, May 18, 2007 (Fri, May 18, 2007, 5/18/2007, or 5/18/07) Saturday, May 19, 2007 (Sat, May 19, 2007, 5/19/2007, or 5/19/07) Sunday, May 20, 2007 (Sun, May 20, 2007, 5/20/2007, or 5/20/07) Monday, May 21, 2007 (Mon, May 21, 2007, 5/21/2007, or 5/21/07) Tuesday, May 22, 2007 (Tue, May 22, 2007, 5/22/2007, or 5/22/07) and Wednesday, May 23, 2007 (Wed, May 23, 2007, 5/23/2007, or 5/23/07).
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