Weekly Rochester Events #439: Not the Gerhardus Projection
Thursday, June 7, 2007
In case anybody ever wondered about the title each week, I dig around for something related to the week number (which used to be the "issue number" but technically isn't because I skipped a few weeks here-and-there.) When I first started sending e-mails, I just used movie sequel numbers ... then CD track numbers, then numbers I could just dig up from various sources. But once I got above a hundred or so, I started to look for events that happened that many years prior to the current year. The tool I have come to rely on is The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (©1992, Houghton Mifflin; ©1994, INSO Corporation) which is a computer program I bought from Media Play back in 1995 (February ... the 24th to be exact ... at 5:24 p.m. ... and I only know that because of the computer-scanned receipt, because I'm the kind of chaotic anal-retentive who would do such a thing.) It has some unique features like anagram search, wildcards, and spell-correction, but the single best feature is "reverse lookup": I can put in some words and it'll find me dictionary entries where those words appear in the definition. It comes in handy for its intended purpose, but even better to search for words to base the title upon.
This particular week I decided against something to do with "alligator", but it had such an interesting etymology that I couldn't resist mentioning it. The dictionary has this to say about its history: "In The Travailes of an Englishman, published in 1568 [439 years ago], Job Hortop says that 'in this river we killed a monstrous Lagarto or Crocodile.' This killing gives rise to the first recorded instance of alligator in English, obviously in a different form from the one familiar to modern speakers. Alligator, which comes to us from Spanish el lagarto, 'the lizard,' was modified in pronunciation and form in several ways before taking on the form alligator. Such changes, referred to by linguists as taboo deformation, are not uncommon in a name for something that is feared and include, for example, the change in sequence of the r and t that occurred between el lagarto and alligator. An interesting parallel case is crocodile, which appears in Spanish, for example, as cocodrilo, with a similar difference in the sequence of the r. The earliest recorded form of alligator that is similar to ours appears in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (First Folio, 1623): 'In his needie shop a tortoyrs hung,/An Allegater stuft.'"
Anyway, on Thursday I headed to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Cherez ternii k zvyozdam (To the Stars By Hard Ways). It was absurdly bad — like the worst Star Trek original-series episode translated to Russian then back to English again. The movie was about an artificial woman of some sort that is found on a space probe, brought back to Earth, returns to her home planet, and tries to undo centuries of ecological damage brought about by rampant industrialization. The plot is bland and offers no solutions — except that Earthlings of the future have "technology" which allows them to clean up the environment instantly. The "artificial woman" proved to be a problem for the screenwriters because they couldn't decide if she was a clone, a robot, or a being with supernatural powers — they freely used whichever definition fit for how they wanted her to act. Thankfully, there was a guy in a tinfoil robot suit who saved the day as the most annoying, least useful, bigger-than-a-man sized household robot ever devised. The only thing I learned was that a harpsichord and a Moog synthesizer sound kinda cool together.
When I got out of the film, Ali was in the lobby waiting — she had other things to do that evening but managed to get to the city to see me. We went to The Rochester Greek Festival to see some friends of ours, stopped by Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) but found no liberals drinking, and eventually settled on getting a glass of wine at Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave) We even got to see a drunk guy stumble in, declare himself to be of Irish decent, and be about as hard to coerce away as a raw egg on the low-point of a warped floor.
Friday was the first day of my garage sale. As it turns out, the stuff that didn't sell last year doesn't sell this year. Well, it does — only very slowly. That night we went back to The Rochester Greek Festival for some dinner, met a couple people dining across-the-table from us, then rushed to Fairport Canal Days (Main St., Fairport) to see the fireworks and get ice cream at Lickety Splits (6 N. Main St. #106, Fairport).
Saturday was another day at the sale, and I hoped it would be better than Friday. Unfortunately it was more of the same. Oh, and sometime in the morning somebody swiped a pretty nice wrist watch. I wondered who did it — my first suspect was the black guy who seemed unusually interested in a junky old 1980's video camera ... or was it the Amish-looking woman and her kid? or the Asian guy who was really quiet and hurried out?
I pondered it for a while. I was at first annoyed because I had priced it at $25 and was looking forward to selling it for a good price because it was really nice. Then I was annoyed because of the consumerist society we have: "Money! money! money!: that's what it's all about. Nothing else matters! You need money! Nothing is worth more!" After a bit, though, I decided they paid a lot for it: I fantasized a scenario where the thief returned with it, but I would refuse, citing that it is impossible to un-steal something. The price they paid is in the heaviness of heart (or the denial to avoid facing it) ... at least in theory.
Anyway, that evening we stopped at John's Tex-Mex Eatery (489 South Ave., renamed from Taco John's, formerly Ly Lou's Pearl of the Orient) for some dinner and their fabulous Mango Mimosas. We headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) after that. First up was A Lowercase You who are a hyperactive band with a punk sensibility and a modern-rock sound. We also saw Third Estate whom I thought was a good but too-often-predictable modern-rock band.
Sunday was the last day of the garage sale. Ali and I wrapped things up around 1 and made $45 or so all weekend. At least I got rid of some stuff that was just taking up space. As we were getting washed up, a guy stopped by to look at the utility trailer I had. I paid $100 or so about 3 years ago and I sold it for $30. I was just glad it was going to someone who I thought could really use it.
Anyway, we left and went to Jine's Restaurant (658 Park Ave.) for lunch and it was really quite good. We talked about seeing both movies at the Dryden this afternoon but Ali headed home early instead. I went back for the second film: Die Große Stille (Into Great Silence). I thought of it as a meditation on the meditation of monks — specifically the Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps. I noted that each were individals and all identical in individuality. Although I thought it noble to so devoutly follow one's beliefs, I felt a little pity: I disagree with the fundamental philosophy of denying oneself "pleasures of the flesh" for that is exactly why we have bodies. I belive the goal in life is to find balance between the rational mind, spiritual self, and physical body. To each their own, though.
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About the title ... Gerhardus Mercator developed the mapping projection that bears his name 439 years ago in 1568.
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, June 7, 2007 (Thu, Jun 7, 2007, 6/7/2007, or 6/7/07) Friday, June 8, 2007 (Fri, Jun 8, 2007, 6/8/2007, or 6/8/07) Saturday, June 9, 2007 (Sat, Jun 9, 2007, 6/9/2007, or 6/9/07) Sunday, June 10, 2007 (Sun, Jun 10, 2007, 6/10/2007, or 6/10/07) Monday, June 11, 2007 (Mon, Jun 11, 2007, 6/11/2007, or 6/11/07) Tuesday, June 12, 2007 (Tue, Jun 12, 2007, 6/12/2007, or 6/12/07) and Wednesday, June 13, 2007 (Wed, Jun 13, 2007, 6/13/2007, or 6/13/07).
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