I got up at 7 a.m. and put the turkey in the oven (after having prepared it all last night) and I got the rolls thawing. I got the kitchen cleaned up and then finished up cleaning up the house. I intended to go back to bed but it never actually happened. Ali came by around 10 and I got the coffee going. The flurry of activity around the house crescendoed around noon when I took the turkey out and Ali and I worked on potatoes, broccoli, gravy, cheese sauce, cooking the rolls, and getting the pies warmed up.
My parents arrived around 1 and Ali's parents and kid sister arrived shortly after. Ali had brought her artichoke casserole, my parents brought stuffing and another pie, and Ali's family brought pumpkin bread, wine, and squash. While moms and dads spent some time getting to know one another, Ali and I buzzed around, getting an excellent meal set up that basically went off without a hitch. I thought it wasn't as organized as last year, but then I had no standard upon which to base things and everything I tried was pretty much for the first time. Our guests disagreed and felt it was even better (well it was just my parents and Ali last year so her family was without a point of comparison.)
It all went well and even the pies were well received (I had made pumpkin and apple — apple for the first time). Afterward it was off to Ali's new house so my parents could see it and then everyone went home. All that work for a really great 4-hour period. It's disproportionately skewed toward planning, but that's the name of the game.
So Ali and I got things cleaned up a bit then took a nap. Thank goodness. We slept for 2 hours or so then got up and headed to my friend Rebecca's party. It was once an annual thing, but last year she apparently broke her foot, bought a house, and disappeared. Well the hugely amazing party was back this year — with dozens of desserts that followed an astounding buffet that Ali and I had skipped for our own.
The friends and family there were all very good people. Ali had a great time and was glad she didn't skip it — after all, she planned to get up early to do some seasonal work for our friends business at 5 a.m. the next day. She didn't even leave until 11 or so — although both of us thankfully live just around the corner. I ended up consuming a steady stream of alcohol until quite late — I got home around 4:30 a.m. and considered calling Ali to see if she was up. [In fact she was.]
I headed to O'Bagelo's (165 State St.) around noon even though I didn't really have many plans for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I determined they had closed for the holiday. I meandered back and went to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) instead. I got a coffee, a stew (I think they said it was called "Montana Stew") and a grilled cheese with tomato and pesto [unfortunately the website doesn't have an up-to-date menu that I could readily reference … hint, hint Boulder]. The stew was great: a beef-based stew with nutmeg and cinnamon spices. The sandwich was good, but the whole wheat bread detracted from the chewy, gooey cheesiness.
I decided that I'd surprise Ali — after all, she was working her regular job then going to our friends' business for the rest of the afternoon immediately afterward, and I didn't think she'd get a chance to have lunch. I got her a grilled cheese on focaccia bread (my preference) with no tomato (her preference). I also got a cup of the cream of broccoli soup as I didn't think she'd like the spices in the stew. I also brought leftover pies for the owners and the rest of the crew.
Well she was suitably surprised and glad that I brought food. We spent her lunch break together. The cream of broccoli was excellent although thinner than I prefer, it was at least packed with vegetables. I liked the grilled cheese with focaccia better as well.
I've long enjoyed it as the blackest of the black comedies — I mean, it really doesn't get funnier than "mutually assured destruction" [perhaps save for "mutually assured self-destruction"]. The very idea that one erroneous step in the arms race and kaboom: life would be far different now than it turned out to be.
Last Wednesday I headed there (the Dryden, not nuclear apocalypse) to see The Bridge on the River Kwai. I hadn't seen it before, but Stanley Kubrick blurs the line even further between black comedy, satire, and drama. I mean, can you really do a serious movie about war — or more particularly, the logic of war? It just doesn't make any sense outside its absurd context, as if the rules of life were completely dumped topsy-turvy.
But both films really dismantle the idea of the romantic view of war as some kind of beautiful peak experience. The reality is it's bat-shit fucking crazy. It really gives me, well, strange feelings toward our troops in Iraq.
On the one hand, I genuinely dish out gratitude for their actions. I get confused as to why, exactly. I mean, I'm not glad that they're killing people. And I don't believe that what we're doing is making anything better — short-term unquestionably worse, and long-term unlikely better — at least from my broad, detached, ill-informed [thanks media, government!] view. But then for what? Perhaps that they believe — they believe so much in America that they're willing to go to a far away place where people want to kill them and stand up and say "I'm an American" and shoot anyone who tries to shoot them.
I kind of envy that kind of thinking, for it's not so simple for me. I think the Constitution was a fantastic architecture for a government, and the Bill of Rights is a stupefyingly excellent invention. But the constant attempts to leverage power — oy!, enough already! Maybe it's inevitable human behavior to abuse power, but if so, then why permit authority in the first place?
So then the jingoist asks, "so are you for America or against it?" Let me answer this way: "I am all for my version of America." The one that puts the individual at the head of the pack — not the judge or the President, but the individual. I mean, imagine the difference it would make to hear, "I'm your representative: how can I help you?" rather than "I'm your leader: do what I tell you."
I'm kind of an idealist about the whole thing. I mean, I believe that, given freedom, that people will behave well toward one another. Unfortunately, I'm up against people who believe so strongly otherwise that they will demonstrate behavior counter to my ideal for the purpose of proving it false.
I went out for a run and it's about 23°F outside. I figured I'd see how far I could get since there's no snow and it's calm. I ended up going down the block and back — about 6 minutes. My feet got really cold and the bottoms were numbed enough that I decided to cut it short before I injured myself. I got back and the bottoms of my feet were around 55°F and my toes were 52°F — just a few degrees colder than I'd experienced before, but cold enough. At least for now.
I also spent some time on Gmaps Pedometer which lets you draw on a Google Map, point-to-point and accumulate the distance. I did some measuring and the course I thought was 2 miles was really more like 1.8, so I'm not running as fast as I thought I was. Oh well.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Hearts and Minds starting at 8 p.m. It's a documentary that looks at the "consequences of the Vietnam War for both Americans and Vietnamese assembles footage from the battlefields, civilian life, interviews, and even Hollywood films," as the Eastman House calendar puts it.
Eastman House calendar][all ages]
Opening tonight at Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop) at 8 p.m. is the new play The Magic Fire. It runs through December 23. Note that Sunday at 2 p.m. is the "Pay What You Can" performance.
Shipping Dock Theatre mailing]
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 29, 2007 (Thu, Nov 29, 2007, 11/29/2007, or 11/29/07) Friday, November 30, 2007 (Fri, Nov 30, 2007, 11/30/2007, or 11/30/07) Saturday, December 1, 2007 (Sat, Dec 1, 2007, 12/1/2007, or 12/1/07) Sunday, December 2, 2007 (Sun, Dec 2, 2007, 12/2/2007, or 12/2/07) Monday, December 3, 2007 (Mon, Dec 3, 2007, 12/3/2007, or 12/3/07) Tuesday, December 4, 2007 (Tue, Dec 4, 2007, 12/4/2007, or 12/4/07) and Wednesday, December 5, 2007 (Wed, Dec 5, 2007, 12/5/2007, or 12/5/07).
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.