I stopped by The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) and briefly checked out the new exhibition, America… So Beautiful with photographs by Gary Thompson and Phyllis Thompson. I generally liked the show; it consists of images of beautiful locations expertly shot. It's subtly a "new" way of looking at those places, but largely captures the essence of what has been captured before.
After she got home from a long day of work, Ali and I headed to Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave.) We got a glass of (naturally) great wine and ran into our friend Rich who's been out of the country for a month but who arrived back in Rochester earlier that day. We talked with him and his friends and generally had a really good time. Another of our friends from a different circle showed up: she's moving out of town as well with her husband and things are just getting wrapped up for them. She was out on the town trying to avoid being bored stupid at her parents' house in the suburbs.
Ali and I had a late dinner at Jeremiah's Tavern (1104 Monroe Ave.) This time the selections were good (remember that Jeremiah's changes the menu to be a bit fancier on Fridays) but the meal wasn't as great as in the past. First, there was rosemary on everything. Ali doesn't like rosemary but I do — up to a point. Ali had the chicken Marsala which wasn't all that much of a Marsala sauce. My "country pork chops" with mushrooms were good but a little tough. Everything had rosemary on it. Fortunately for Ali, simply picking out the pieces of rosemary corrected the meal, and our server was really nice when she mentioned it to him (i.e. more to ask that they add "lots of rosemary" to the menu so people know). He insisted that we take a piece of bananas foster cheesecake home.
All this weekend, Lake of Fire was playing at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) Ali and I went tonight and it was a very impressive film. It attempts to document the abortion debate in America in a respectful, unbiased, and balanced way. Until you see it, you don't think it can be done.
What I came away with that was new was to concede that a new, separate human being starts at conception. Life doesn't start at conception: life is a continuum from parents-to-child, for at no point is there some non-living thing that suddenly becomes living (i.e. life being created). One way to look at it is that all human beings are really just on big organism with different corporeal bodies. So in the end, an abortion (depending on the specific situation) destroys what would likely become a baby, and likely become an adult.
So then I had to examine my stance on killing. Is killing wrong? Almost every time, yes. There are exceptions and they aren't simple or pretty, but one way to look at things is that as we grow, we develop potential that peaks and slowly turns into actuality.
I think that's a big chunk to get one's head around. The idea is this: as a human being grows, they develop potential — the capacity to do and to create. The older they get, the more that potential turns into actuality; their capabilities are utilized in the act of doing and creating. So a 5-year-old has only a little developed potential — it's rather unlikely they could design the Space Shuttle. But once we're old, ideally we should have used that potential as fully as possible so that we have a lot of actual experience: that we look back and know that we "used our potential".
(Now I realize my wording gets a little muddy. One could argue that a baby has "unlimited potential", but what I mean by "potential", is "developed potential" or "the capacity to do" as opposed to "not having made any life decisions yet" or "having a maximum unused lifespan". But in a way, everybody has that second kind of "unlimited potential" as long as they're alive. In one case, you can learn a whole new trade at 50-years-old and do great things. And in the other, one baby might die at 15 and someone who's 75 might live to 100.)
So when I think of a bundle of 50 cells that could someday become a human being, I see that they have no experience and no developed potential. The same is true of that developing being when it's developing. But at some point they get so big that they cross some line that says they'd be more likely to live than to die if taken out of the womb early. In essence, this means I prefer that abortions are done as early in a pregnancy as possible. In part because at some point, it's pretty much a baby and I'm still human and have an automatic, instinctive reaction to the sight of a helpless baby.
Like I had said in the post I did last week, laws need to reflect the universally accepted elements of morality. As long as there is a group that can show that their actions are responsible and respectful, then no law should be made to take away the right of that behavior.
So then we get into the case of someone who wants to kill people because it would be convenient for them. And therein lies the rub, eh? I mean, the fundamental argument of Pro-Choice is that it's convenient for one person to kill something that would likely become another person. How's that different?
Well, in the case of abortion, we're talking about a person inside another person. A pregnant woman can't just pack up and move to another state, away from this other person who inconveniences them. So then, what if a pregnant woman was willing to kill herself as well as the unborn child? No law can stop that — but would that really be true?
Going back to the film, I learned that prior to Roe v. Wade, the law said abortion was only acceptable when the life of the mother was in danger. With vague wording like that, no doctor was willing to risk a murder conviction on probabilistic speculation on a woman's survival, so almost none were performed. This is where coat hangers came into play: I always thought it was the tool used for illegal abortions, but in fact, it was to cause bleeding so severe that the woman's life was in danger and they could therefore get an abortion. The problem was — as one doctor pointed out — that women didn't understand just how fragile their bodies were versus a coat-hanger, and they'd often rupture their uterus and bleed to death.
So now you have actual evidence that, if abortion were illegal, that some women would want an abortion so bad they were willing to kill themselves as an alternative.
And in that case, we're talking about a person destroying their own life — destroying the developed potential they have — to destroy the life of a being that has no developed potential. In my mind, the value of someone with developed potential is higher.
I signed up for this website called Experts-Exchange to find out why my Garmin eTrex Legend Navigator would suddenly die, leaving only a thin vertical line on the display that required removal of the batteries to reboot. I figured it had something to do with the recent firmware "upgrade" I gave it (knowing that these "upgrades" almost always have side effects like "sometimes ruins everything", but this is how corporations make money). Or maybe it was just that the batteries were flaky.
Anyway, at this Expert-Exchange, you can sign up to the service for $12.95/month or cheaper for longer periods. Stepping back once: I had done a Google search and found this as a question on the site with two answers from "gurus" that I could reveal by signing up. There's a 7-day free trial so I figured I'd give it a go.
So what was the "guru"-level answer as to what can be done to fix the problem? Did it include instructions on a firmware upgrade? Did it ask for more details? Did it describe a specific kind of failure that is either user-serviceable or not? Did two different people answer the question — or perhaps offer different advice?
At the risk of violating the terms of service of the site, let me just say it was none of those. The "solution(s)" even failed to include a link to buy a whole new unit. Now, it would be one thing if these answers were listed as "well, pretty crummy but it's something", but apparently this is the cream-of-the-crop — the very best Experts-Exchange has to offer.
Needless to say, I've canceled my free trial.
As a footnote, I also found this page that describes my problem and offers a link to a solution — along with some discussion absent from the page therein linked.
Anyway, the two women discussed how they collaborated artistically. First off, they were friends first — they always valued their friendship over their art; and their art over their business. Melanie commented that she thought it funny that artists can barely utter the word "business" much less deal with selling their work. I guess I can understand both sides a bit: as an artist, I'd like my art to find a home that fits rather than to just make a buck (or allow the work to be cut up for scrap) and as a businessman, I understand the importance of connecting "earning a living" with something that is rewarding. But with "Athena and Petra", they develop art that has a ready market — jewelry — so I think it's easier for them than an artist who makes works in varied media, or even "traditional" media but with widely varied styles.
But that was only part of it. They didn't have a nice easy answer to "what makes collaboration work?" Their tiered approach to their relationship was certainly a start. It seemed to me, though, that they always respected the other's opinion — they were never dismissive of an idea. They also understood the value of play: that when creativity dries up it's because it isn't fun, so fun is very important.
What I found fascinating — and I think I may track them down to get a better understanding — is that they were able to collaborate on the creative design. My understanding of collaborative projects so far is that a single creator has to own the idea, they need to understand what is important and what is not (i.e. can it be shiny or green? and is it important that it be done one specific way?), and the people who collaborate with them need to allow the creator to dictate certain aspects and let others be decided by the collaborators. What I've never seen is two people coming together to work on the same idea — Updegraff and Jeter don't split the creative process; it seems they actually collectively contribute to central design elements. As a counter-example, I've seen experimental films created where one person creates the visual experience and the other creates the auditory experience but not two people working on both.
It's killing me not to know how this all works. But, like I said, I had to get going, so I couldn't even stay for the question-and-answer.
I just barely made it to the screening of Do the Right Thing at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) I think I'm beginning to understand what's meant by a Spike Lee "Joint" as compared to a "movie": in a movie, it's like a moving representation of reality, but in a "joint", it's like a view of reality as viewed through a filter or machine. Kind of like the difference between a photograph and an X-ray, or better, the difference between a fire and a box of matches.
I left and went to Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave.) for a bit to think about it. I really couldn't come up with anything but that match-fire metaphor. I did know it was different from a "movie" because "did you like it?" is not really a valid question to ask afterward.
See, it's like an extract of life. You take all the stuff that makes people behave a certain way and you strip away all the parts that aren't important and you're left with this residue that's the essence of it all. Spike Lee then takes that and shapes it back into a reality with characters and a story. But it's not reality. The pizza shop isn't a pizza shop, it's the non-black outsiders in a black neighborhood who everybody obviously knows aren't black, but who get blown up when they try and express/impose their culture/beliefs/biases. Mookie isn't a black man who works at said pizza place, he is the silent majority who try to make ends meet but slowly boil inside as they try to find the point of the pointless.
So it really doesn't even make sense to talk about it like a movie. It's … umm … you know, a Spike Lee Joint.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Miss Lulu Bett starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman calendar sums it up like this: "a small-town girl, played with pained humility by Lois Wilson, has been relegated to the thankless role of servant in her own sister's household. DeMille observes the details of ordinary life—dinner table conversation, dirty dishes stacked in the sink, idle hopes and dreams—with gravity and grace, and makes us long for Miss Lulu Bett to find happiness." Also featuring live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli.
Eastman House calendar][all ages]
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
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 15, 2007 (Thu, Nov 15, 2007, 11/15/2007, or 11/15/07) Friday, November 16, 2007 (Fri, Nov 16, 2007, 11/16/2007, or 11/16/07) Saturday, November 17, 2007 (Sat, Nov 17, 2007, 11/17/2007, or 11/17/07) Sunday, November 18, 2007 (Sun, Nov 18, 2007, 11/18/2007, or 11/18/07) Monday, November 19, 2007 (Mon, Nov 19, 2007, 11/19/2007, or 11/19/07) Tuesday, November 20, 2007 (Tue, Nov 20, 2007, 11/20/2007, or 11/20/07) and Wednesday, November 21, 2007 (Wed, Nov 21, 2007, 11/21/2007, or 11/21/07).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.