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Weekly Rochester Events #463 Starting Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

The Rochester Genealogical Society meeting
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:10 pm (1 comment)

I arrived a little late for the The Rochester Genealogical Society meeting at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) and Robert Coomber was talking about his Research trip to LDS Library in Salt Lake City. It was too much a tourist slide show but an informative overview of the library. I was also kind of annoyed that the guy running the laptop slide show didn't know how to operate the software, and neither of them really understood feedback and microphones. But hey, it didn't cost me anything.

In the break for refreshments, I had some instant coffee and cookies and briefly chatted with Rick Porter — the keynote speaker for the night and operator of Finger Lakes House Histories.

His lecture was titled If Your House Could Talk, What Story Would it Tell? It was quite informative. He gave case-study examples describing the kind of information you can find and how that manifests in a house history. He said it's not too hard find the hard history of a structure — its architecture and land history — and it's not too hard to find genealogical information about families, but he's interested in finding the "soft history" of a house … who lived there, when, and why.

Some obvious tools include deeds, census information, and tax records. It might seem straightforward to use deeds, but there's some unexpected challenges: like they were not transfered to newly formed counties so you need to search based on the old county's records. And before 1840, deeds were not often recorded at all. Records of mortgages, deeds, and "discharge mortgages" are available on the county clerk's office — the last being for second mortgages for improvements that were successfully paid in full.

There are other avenues of research as well. Legal notices are another interesting source of house history as they include wills and auctions of households. There are also "Sanborn maps" which were used for fire insurance and include materials, building changes, and power sources and are often available on microfilm at the library. Also, in this area, a house sale included an abstract that itemized the full land history, but usually all that is provided to a new buyer in recent years is evidence of a clean title. Apparently Monroe county is one of a few counties that still requires abstracts, so you can locate that information from the abstract company.

I had always wanted to stop by one of these meetings as the topics discussed often seemed quite interesting. Perhaps I'll make a bigger effort to do so in the future …

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Saturday, November 17th, 2007

The Bothersome Man at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

I'm not referring to someone who was bothersome, that's actually the name of the movie: Den brysomme mannen (The Bothersome Man). Ali and I got a chance to see it at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.)

It was a remarkable film. It documents the purgatory-like existence of a man after he tries to kill himself. Basically he's brought by bus to this city, given a decent job and a decent apartment. At first he's complacent, but he finds it irritating that everything is "72° pleasant" all the time. None of the food has any flavor or smell. He meets a woman who seems nice but is just as interested in him as she is in decorating the house. When he tells her he met someone else and wants to break up, she suggests that it wait until Saturday because they're having guests over.

The people of the town cannot understand why he is unhappy — after all, everything is pleasant. It very strongly rang true for me and I empathized with the protagonist Andreas [well, maybe he's the antagonist … no, perhaps just a pestisnist]. It seems a lot of people believe that complacency and safety are the pinnacle of human existence. Safety and comfort are good and fine, but continuing to grow and to achieve is much more important to me. And the way to do that is to increase interaction with other people — especially those that are bothersome to you.

I believe that I get and deserve a huge amount of control only of that inside my mind. When I encounter a situation that makes me feel that outside influence has that control then I want to understand why. It may be a situation that is dangerous — a manipulation that is destructive — but in my experience, it is more likely a situation that is a stimulus for growth.

I guess in a way, I feel that all growth comes from irritation and adapting to that irritation. Once you grow enough you no longer experience that irritation — even when the conditions present a similar scenario (i.e. if you had not grown, you would continue to experience irritation).  A physical example might be that of learning to play guitar: as you learn, your fingers get irritated from the strings, but after a while, your fingers develop callouses. The strings did not change and you did not avoid the irritation — and now you have grown the ability to deal with that irritation.

I remember years ago when I was living on Burkhard Place and people would come to visit the neighbors and use their car horn as a doorbell. It irritated me to no end because I had no way to stop them from doing that. There were vengeful acts I devised, but none could teach the world. I fantasized that I'd go outside and ask them to stop, then play out the sarcastic scenario that they would say, "my goodness! I thought that when I pushed this button that only my friend would hear — I am deeply sorry and won't do it again."

But in the end, I was awakened one morning at 3 a.m. and tossed and turned in bed until it finally hit me: it's just a noise. I can reassign all sorts of noises in the world and some — while pervasive (like the noise of the wind) or loud (like birds chirping) — I had already set up in my mind to be ignored. I learned that I could reassign the sound of cars honking on the street to just another noise. It was remarkable: I actually did it. And while I can still be annoyed by it, I no longer get impotently irate at people who do it.

Now, an alternative would be to move far away from people and their cars with horns. But there is a tremendous sacrifice in that — that one isolates themselves from the rest of humanity. And having selective interactions with people — especially with the behavioral pattern of always going away if it is irritating — suppresses personal growth.

And as populations increase and energy stops being so darn cheap, the necessity to interact in close proximity is a necessity. One way to do that is to impose the serenity of suburban life onto individuals — externally manipulating them to ensure they conform to the lowest common denominator. Another is to teach people to adapt and to grow — or rather, to rekindle and foster the capacity in all of us to do so.

Unfortunately, there seems to be tremendous pressure for the former. And this pressure leads to a milquetoast gray society. It does not foster a great civilization, but an impotent one. And as for the United States, there is a promise of opportunity — but that promise cannot be upheld simultaneously with a promise of serenity.  So as a conservative, I favor the tradition of opportunity that I was taught.

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Running wet, cold, and barefoot
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:28 am (add a comment)

I went out for a barefoot run this morning. It was about 42°F outside and wet from drizzle. The ground sapped away heat from my feet fast and it felt colder than dry pavement that was 10 degrees colder. However, I got back from 2 miles in 18 minutes and my soles were 58°F and felt okay — cold, naturally.

Now you may be wondering why I started doing this. I briefly touched on some of the benefits when I first started, but since then have mentioned only that my calves got sore from the workout and that I kept with it. Well, way back when I was running — in shoes — The Corporate Challenge back in 1999 and 2001, during the race and during practice I felt like I was beating myself up. All the joints in my body were sore, especially my knees, but also my back, and I would finish up wheezing like I was going to die right there. I quit running for a long time because of that — and especially because I started getting chronic knee and back problems.

So I happened to start reading about this "barefoot running" on and off. Once I heard that you use the arch of your foot and your calf muscles as shock absorbers, I was intrigued. I mean, running is a great way to lose weight, but if you end up spending more time on a chiropractic bed then doing it, then it's probably not all that great. So I started — slowly at first — and now I feel like I can run a 5K race. Well, maybe with a little practice.

The best thing is that when I get home, I feel great. I'm tired from the exercise, but I am not sore at all. After today's run, for instance, my toes were scolding met that they were really quite cold, and my calf muscles complain when I walk up the stairs, but that's it. My knees feel great. My back feels great. And I certainly don't feel like I just got beat up.

Now if only I can figure out a way to continue without actually getting a debilitating case of frostbite this winter …

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Fly the flag today.Thanksgiving

JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 10:30 p.m. at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Thanksgiving Night Shakedown featuring several DJ's. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

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]


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Buy Nothing Day

This afternoon at 3 p.m. is a Buy Nothing Day Bicycle Ride starting at The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) [source: Community Biking Alliance message board]

The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) will be hosting good singer and storyteller (with an obvious Neil Young influence) Jerry Falzone, and Warren Paul starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is good "horror movie soundtrack" hard-rock from J. G. BlizaroMySpace link, and more good heavy rock from Trees Are DownMySpace 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 Mafioso starting at 8 p.m. Kind of a satire and social commentary all rolled into one. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Bodhi's Cafe & LoungeMySpace link (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) starting around 9:30 p.m. is excellent, pure instrumental funk from The Filthy FunkMySpace link. [source: Bodhi's Cafe MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick Tonight and tomorrow at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is another show by Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link starting at 10:30 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Swingin' Neckbreakers, great rock-and-roll from The Grinders, and solidly good punk-rock from The QUiTTERSGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [21+]


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This afternoon at 4 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is a discussion of The Last of the African Kings by Maryse Condé. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick Stone BabyMySpace link, Oliver/Reeg, OverlapMySpace link, and The Sins of the Father will be at the Gallery at Potential Life StudiosMySpace link (34 Elton St.) starting around 7 p.m. [source: Carbon Records calendar]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb starting at 8 p.m. It's quite a black comedy — about the absurdly likely possibility of nuclear war. If you've never seen it, just do so. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Baba YagaMySpace link, awesome, tight, complex rock and roll band The VEiNSMySpace link, The BrüdMySpace link, and The Stone BelieverMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting TroykaMySpace link, The Spirit Of OntarioMySpace link, and Devall MusicMySpace link 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.


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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Muppets from Space starting at this afternoon at 2 p.m. in which The Great Gonzo learns he's from outer space ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

This afternoon at 4 p.m. at Jitters CaféMySpace link (3333 W. Henrietta Rd., in Southtown Plaza) is the monthly RocWiki Meeting. [source: RocWiki calendar]

JayceLand Pick Later, at 7 p.m. at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a screening of American Graffiti. It's a movie that defined a generation (that happens to be approximately my parents' generation, but who's counting). [And Kurt Loder is not our Wolfman Jack.] [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the movie premiere for Spange DIY with music from Tomorrow's CryMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]


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Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Norm Davis will host Wide Open Mic in Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Ok, so The Emerging Filmmakers Series has been canceled tonight due to lack of submissions. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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.

JayceLand Pick Over at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting at 8 p.m. is Ossia New Music. [source: Ossia New Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Matinee Idol starting at 8 p.m. Philip C. Carli will provide piano accompaniment to this feature about "a laughably inept Civil War show, [which] is viewed as a comic masterpiece by a cynical producer." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting one-man angry-rocker The GhostwriterMySpace link, and fantastic satirical gospel from The Lobster Quadrille starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight at 10 p.m. at Spenders (1600 Lyell Ave.) is "an all nude performance" by GravityMySpace link, with NevergreenMySpace link. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]


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Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is Shiny Toy GunsMySpace link starting around 7 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Viskningar och rop (Cries and Whispers) starting at 8 p.m. Set in a manor, two sisters wait for their third sister to die. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is awesome, hilarious disco-rock from Gil Mantera's Party DreamMySpace 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]

Every Wednesday starting at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Ride for bicyclists. [source: RocBike website]

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 22, 2007 (Thu, Nov 22, 2007, 11/22/2007, or 11/22/07) Friday, November 23, 2007 (Fri, Nov 23, 2007, 11/23/2007, or 11/23/07) Saturday, November 24, 2007 (Sat, Nov 24, 2007, 11/24/2007, or 11/24/07) Sunday, November 25, 2007 (Sun, Nov 25, 2007, 11/25/2007, or 11/25/07) Monday, November 26, 2007 (Mon, Nov 26, 2007, 11/26/2007, or 11/26/07) Tuesday, November 27, 2007 (Tue, Nov 27, 2007, 11/27/2007, or 11/27/07) and Wednesday, November 28, 2007 (Wed, Nov 28, 2007, 11/28/2007, or 11/28/07).


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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