Weekly Rochester Events #461 Starting Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

41 Pounds
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 am (add a comment)

This morning I signed up for 41 Pounds that is a company that claims to reduce junk mail by 80-95%. They basically send in your name to be taken off common advertising mailing lists. The gist is that you will get less than the average of 41 pounds of junk mail each year. It costs $41 for five years.

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Writing a novel this month
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:05 pm (add a comment)

Last year I signed up for National Novel Writing Month but I never even started writing anything. This year I told myself I'd commit to it. The gist is to try and write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Obviously, it's not about writing the best novel, just a novel. My profile includes the stats for how far I've come so far. Yesterday I wrote 1455 words which is short of the 1667 needed to hit 50K in 30 days, but it's a start.

I titled it "Memoirs of an Idealist". I'm trying to embrace the philosophy of starting from a kernel and letting it grow on its own. I also have no illusions that this will be any less "semi-autobiographical" than any other author's first novel. And in so, I'm drawing from my inner demons — the ones that wake me up at 3 in the morning and present me with an impossible situation to challenge my ideals. They follow the same theme of trying to crush my individuality, whether it's an authority trying to make a uniform world, or some jerk trying to impose their ideals.

Writing the first chapter was painful to think back on. I just forged ahead with almost no editing. It was horrifying. I didn't go back to fix any missing parts or to try and fill in details I thought I'd needed. But by the end of it, things are starting to flesh out. I've got inklings of several characters and I have no idea what they will do or be like yet.

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Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Dinner at Gusto then off to church
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I went to Gusto (277 Alexander St.) for dinner. I had the special: a pumpkin ravioli with spinach and Gorgonzola sauce. It was just the right size and tasted spectacular. Ali had the ravioli lasagna which was also great.

We had to get going by 9 to pick up Ali's kid sister who was at a concert at The Bethel Christian Fellowship (321 East Ave.). I guess this Mark SchultzMySpace link guy is quite a popular Christian singer and pianist. We were there a little early and the show hadn't let out yet but they have a cafe so we got a coffee and hung out. The tables are triangular and I noted the "trinity tables". Ali remarked that they must have a good marketing department.

Ali's sister and her friend were among the first two to get out. They got in line to meet the guy and to get autographs. A few minutes later and it seemed the whole auditorium let out and got in line too. I guess I'm the only one who heard that idolatry was some kind of sin.

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Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Laws are entirely voluntary
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:46 am (add a comment)

I was just thinking this morning that laws are entirely voluntary. I mean, it's actually impossible to force someone to do something — you can coerce them, but if they are unwilling, then they won't do like you want.

Think of it this way: it's not the law that guides behavior, law just measures common morality and codifies it. So it wasn't that people looked around at the chaos of everyone killing one another for fun and said, "hey, maybe we should make a law that says that people shouldn't kill one another", but rather that people were mostly not killing one another and someone thought it would be a good idea to write that down. The contrapositive is also true. So if someone made a law that nobody ordinarily does, then nobody would follow it. If New York made a law that said you had to cut off the little finger on your left hand, I guarantee that nobody would follow it.

Law tries to be precise to ensure that it's clear what's being asked for, but what about something like driving faster than the posted speed limit. It's very clear but almost nobody obeys it. So why not make it "everyone must drive responsibly"? Well, that's not specific enough and the law would be bestowed with very little authority by being subjective.

I guess therein lies the thing that people like so much about them: authority. It makes people feel their ideas are validated if the ideas are formally agreed to be "correct". It's like a trump-card of cheap debate, "well, it's the law". Unfortunately, it's also a very weak argument. I mean, can you imagine a presidential debate where one candidate says, "well, it must be true because it's the law". On second thought, please avoid imagining that because we're not far from that being a valid debate tactic. [Rather, imagine that both candidates get to have TAZERS.] My point is that one should be able to argue the validity of their argument without the crutch of the law — in other words, law itself has no place in debate about a law. It's simply a populist argument — argumentum ad populum as they say.

And when the authority of the law gets too big for its britches, there's always civil disobedience — which, in the context of this discussion, is simply the recognition that what I'm saying is true: laws are entirely voluntary.  And civil disobedience is most effective against laws that are irrelevant to one group (often a majority [and through typo, came out as "mojority", which seems like an awesome word itself]) but directly effect restricted behavior of another group, especially  when that restricted behavior itself has no effect on the first group.

But what is it I'm supposed to say on the Internets about this kind of thing? IANAL or something?

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Monday, November 5th, 2007

Living vicariously
by Jason Olshefsky at 11:58 am (add a comment)

This National Novel Writing Month thing is really taking all my time. Well, not really … it's just taking up some time I had been spending mucking around with the Colorado Burning Man mailing list. So it should be a wash.

The trouble is, I'm starting to live vicariously through my characters. They're all having such a good time that I'd rather just stay home and find out what they're going to do next. Of course, it's my novel, so — surprise — they end up hanging out at a bar talking a lot. Whether it's realistic or good, I don't know, but at least I'm keeping with it.

I need 5,000 words every three days to hit the 50K by the end of the month. Ideally I'd like to be ahead by a little bit so I could take a day off, but so far I'm just barely treading water. I imagine that at some point I'll stall out and that will probably piss me off. I'm not looking forward to that.

At least I'm saving money because it's way cheaper to write about people going to clubs and drinking at a bar than it is to actually do it yourself. It's also funny how I happened to stop by Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) last weekend and was disappointed that it wasn't anything like the idealized place I'm writing about. But then again, I don't want to write about the reality of it all … it's the most excellent parts that are what draw me to it.

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Soup at Ming's
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I went to Ming's I (1038 S. Clinton Ave.) for dinner. We went a few weeks ago and again on Halloween but on this night we played it smart and got soup: the kind where you pick the dominant meat or vegetables and pick the kind of noodles. It's the best thing going: it's tasty and generous.

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Bands at Boulder Coffee
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:20 pm (1 comment)

I headed out to Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) to check out the show. I was looking to finally see The Varnish CooksMySpace link but they weren't playing — instead, the show started with City Harvest BlackMySpace link which is a guy in a white mask with horns doing noise-based loops and haunting voices. I liked it but it's not the kind of music that has a huge following. Next was HorsebackMySpace link who do rich, thick atmospheric instrumental followed by Mike TamburoMySpace link who started out with a hammer dulcimer — I think — and had a light, airy, atmospheric presence.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Running barefoot with the flurries
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:28 am (2 comments)

So this morning I got out and ran my standard 2-mile course — this time in 16 minutes so that's feeling really good.  The outside temperature was 37°F and breezy but the most exciting part was that I got to run in flurries.  Occasionally one would sting my tongue with its cold pinprick.  And yeah, once again, I ran it barefoot.  When I got back I checked the temperature of the bottoms of my feet and they were a chilly 58° but pink from adequate blood flow.  It didn't feel too much different than when I ran last time in the cold weather, but this time there was some moisture on the ground from the rain last night and that made it draw more heat away.  I'll stick with it and see what happens, ever watchful of how my toes are feeling.

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The films of Len Lye at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I headed to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) but we arrived early, and we got to join the tail-end of Jim Healy's coffee chat in the cafe. I'd like to have attended, as I only got to really listen in on other people's comments.  I'm still stuck on trying to think of a romantic comedy in the past 10 years or so that Jim would like, as he was at a loss to think of one off hand.

Anyway, the films that night were those of Len Lye, an experimental filmmaker in the 1930's through 1960's. His technique was to "compose motion" by drawing directly onto film stock. A Colour Box was one of his earliest and I immediately recognized the tiny nuances of hand-painted and stamped images magnified hundreds of times. He also incorporated innovative music — typically Cuban music in his early films and jazz in his later ones.

It was amusing that some films were created as advertisements — such as The Birth of the Robot and Colour Flight, but they were so abstract that it was difficult to tell what the point was. Well, The Birth of the Robot was rather direct. In it, a guy dies in the desert and is resurrected by Shell oil into a robot that operates the mechanisms of the cosmos. Rhythm had interesting story: it was a commercial for Chrysler that got rejected by the company because it used African drumming and included a "knowing wink" from a black worker (although IMDb's trivia says it was because the film was "too abstract" rather than that Chrysler opposed racial equality in 1957). This also meant that an advertising reward for it was revoked because it was never actually shown.

Two of his last films: Free Radicals and Particles in Space were both excellent. Completely abstract in their artistry — and created from scratching white lines in black film — they conveyed the magic of motion and dimensions. I thought the hand-scratched titling that was animated to move in some warped spacial way was really innovative. The films also incorporated that technique, as if it were the film of objects dancing in a way unnatural to our orthogonal 3-D world.

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JayceLand Pick This afternoon from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the 5th Annual "Not Your Usual Craft Show" at the lodge at Brighton Town Park (777 Westfall Rd.) [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

This evening at 5 p.m. in the The NTID Dyer Art Center (90 Lomb Memorial Dr., on RIT campus in the Johnson Building) is the opening of Metallic Morph by Jeong Ju Lee. [source: City Newspaper]

JayceLand Pick In the Dryden Theatre of George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Photo Lecture with Jay Maisel this evening at 6 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

At 7 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) will be a screening of Arts of Ghana along with Understanding African Art featuring illustrative examples. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick Derek B. Counts will be giving an Archaeology Lecture titled Herakles at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean in the auditorium at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) this evening at 7:30 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting awesome experimental jazz violinist Billy BangMySpace link, and the great classically-instrumented rock band NeoCollageMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is UnsungMySpace link, and Witness 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 Le notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria) starting at 8 p.m. which is about (according to the Eastman House calendar) "Cabiria, a somehow innocent prostitute who walks the sordid back streets of Rome in a series of funny and moving episodes." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Blue CheerMySpace link, and good 1960's-style rock from St. Phillip's Escalator will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight and every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Learning Center at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is a meeting of The Rochester Movie Makers Club [source: AIVF Salon Rochester Yahoo! Group]

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

JayceLand Pick This afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Robbins Library of The Rush Rhees Library at The University of Rochester (Library Rd. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a lecture by Peter Haidu titled Jews and Christians, Massacres, and Universalism in the Twelfth Century Renaissance: Ventriloquism in Chrétien de Troyes' Philomena. [source: University of Rochester website]

JayceLand Pick The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) will have an opening reception for America... So Beautiful with works by Gary Thompson and Phyllis Thompson from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The show will be on display through December 2. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

This afternoon at 5 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is a presentation of oil portraits by David de Quoit titled Elegy: Iraqi Children and War. [source: City Newspaper]

Tonight at 7 p.m. in the Colacino Gallery at Nazareth College (4245 East Ave., see also the campus map) is the opening reception for Written Bodies. [source: RocWiki calendar]

JayceLand Pick George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be hosting A Salute to Jack Garner in the Dryden Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m. followed by a screening of On the Waterfront. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting CasadosMySpace link, and Jacob Tyler WolfgangMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Japhy RyderMySpace link will be at Jimmy Mac's (104 Platt St., at the Pont De Rennes Bridge) starting around 9 p.m. (... or something like that). [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Over at Bodhi's Cafe & LoungeMySpace link (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) starting around 9:30 p.m. is The Steve Greene Trio. [source: Bodhi's Cafe MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at High FidelityMySpace link (170 East Ave., formerly Milestones) is tight, great modern-rock band The Meddling KidsMySpace link for their CD Release Show, and TroykaMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [18+]

This afternoon in the Curtis Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) at 3 p.m. is a photography lecture by Forest McMullin titled Faces and Heels: Inside Independent Wrestling. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fifty Eight Main (58 Main St., Scottsville) is a showing of Iraq Photography by Josh Williams. [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

JayceLand Pick Today starting at 5 p.m. is the 10th Anniversary Party for Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) featuring music by Jumbo ShrimpMySpace link, and The Wild Geese along with beer tasting, and wine tasting. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

Today from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. is the opening reception for Practice, an MFA thesis exhibition by Marlene Seidman at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.). It will be on display through November 20. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial (100 Exchange Blvd.) starting sometime this evening is The Blue Man Group. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) will be hosting The Horse LoversMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Really talented guitarist and singer Kinloch Nelson will be at Bodhi's Cafe & LoungeMySpace link (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bodhi's Cafe MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is The Ne'er Do Evers, and Joshua Jetsy. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Lake of Fire starting at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. today through Monday — the special run will qualify the film for a "Best Documentary" Academy Award® nomination. It's a documentary about the ramifications of abortion in America. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is great, somewhat mellow rock-and-roll from HinkleyMySpace link, The Haystack Shadows, and an excellent selection of Rochester's best talent harnessed as acoustic-rock backup from Old BoyMySpace link. [source: band e-mail]

Tonight at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) is Burn Everything starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown MySpace page] [21+]

Betty's Sing-a-Long is regularly scheduled at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10 but since September, 2007 people have reported they were closed.

Fly the flag today.Veteran's Day

Top Pick This afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.)is a "Wish You Were Here" Travel Photography Lecture by Louie Palu titled Cage Call: Life and Death in the Hard Rock Mining Belt. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Aunt DraculaMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Veteran's Day (observed)

JayceLand Pick Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 7 p.m. is A Farewell RescueMySpace link, Long Since ForgottenMySpace link, Give My RegardsGarageBand linkMySpace link, and UrgencyMySpace link. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

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]

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.

Good jazz band Bending and Breaking will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Eastern SeaboardGarageBand linkMySpace link, Stone BabyMySpace link, Sleepwalkers Local 242MySpace link, and Joe+n will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: A|V Space website] [18+]

Today at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is the opening of the Sweet Creations Annual Gingerbread House Display. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) will be hosting a networking event titled Athena and Petra Designs: Two Artists, One Product Line. What Makes It Work? featuring Melanie Updegraff, and Sharon Jeter. [source: Arts and Cultural Council website]

Gary Thompson and Phyllis Thompson will be on hand at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss the works in their show, America... So Beautiful. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

Technical, avante garde jazz from Kevin Norton's Counterpoint Three will be at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Do the Right Thing starting at 8 p.m. From the Jack Garner quote in the Eastman Calendar: "At a time when too many filmmakers shy away from controversy or politics, Spike Lee hits you with his best shot". [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is MalajubeMySpace 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]

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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, November 8, 2007 (Thu, Nov 8, 2007, 11/8/2007, or 11/8/07) Friday, November 9, 2007 (Fri, Nov 9, 2007, 11/9/2007, or 11/9/07) Saturday, November 10, 2007 (Sat, Nov 10, 2007, 11/10/2007, or 11/10/07) Sunday, November 11, 2007 (Sun, Nov 11, 2007, 11/11/2007, or 11/11/07) Monday, November 12, 2007 (Mon, Nov 12, 2007, 11/12/2007, or 11/12/07) Tuesday, November 13, 2007 (Tue, Nov 13, 2007, 11/13/2007, or 11/13/07) and Wednesday, November 14, 2007 (Wed, Nov 14, 2007, 11/14/2007, or 11/14/07).

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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