This morning it was around 28°F and I went out for a run. I guess I went around 1.5 miles, and in the last 300 yards or so, I took off my water-shoes and did it barefoot. The sidewalk was snow-covered and quite cold. But, like the last time I did this on Monday, I felt my feet try to heed the call for more warmth. My theory is that I can increase the circulation enough that I might be able to go out for long periods of time. That, however, won't be for quite a while.
Ali, Christina, and I decided to take a trip to Old Country Buffet (1512 Ridge Rd. W.) — coupon-in-hand — for some pre-drinking grease-soak. As it turned out, the food was considerably better than my extremely low expectations. In future visits, I'll be sure to stick to the simple stuff like fried chicken and mashed potatoes. But a discount is the way to go as $12-per-adult can get a little pricey, although drinks and dessert are included, although there are no alcoholic drinks — so taken all together, it's about as expensive as a hearty trip to the diner. But maybe a little better if you have food A.D.D. or something.
Plus — and let's be honest here — how could I avoid writing this when I had the whole "No Country for Old Buffet" title in my back pocket? I knew you'd understand.
So Ali and I went with Christina in her recently-formed couplehood with Dominic to see Trouble the Water at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) As it happened, my Palm Pilot [Palm Pilot Vx from 2001, thanks for asking] decided to wipe its memory earlier that weekend, presumably from my pocket trying to hack into its password protection. While it was in memory therapy on its cradle at my house, I didn't have access to it or its wealth of information that includes the events from JayceLand. So we went at 7 p.m. which is when I though the movie was to be shown.
Well, as Jim Healy began introducing the film, it became slowly clear that this was not that movie. "What does he mean, 'characters'?" "I had no idea this was filmed in India." "I wonder if he means 'pool' as some kind of metaphor." Indeed, we had arrived in time to see The Pool instead.
As it turned out, the movie is very very good. It's about a couple kids from Goa, India who eek out a living in odd jobs on the street. The elder Venkatesh is fascinated by an unused swimming pool at what appears to be the home of someone unimaginably wealthy. He weasels his way in to helping the owner with his garden. Then he befriends the man's daughter and the three youngsters spend the pre-monsoon afternoons together. Ever so gradually — with the editorial precision of a surgeon — the film reveals why the pool stays unused.
In retrospect I found it to be a brilliantly paced film. Ali was enchanted by it — much to our surprise, as it could very well have been the kind of Céline et Julie vont en bateau(Celine and Julie Go Boating) experience culminating in a "when are they going to get on the fucking boat?" somewhere around the 3-hour mark. But it was very warmly received … I guess I'll have to get Ali to write up a summary one way or another.
I happened to hit a good break point at work and had just enough time to get to the Tuesday Topics discussion in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) David Cay Johnston was on hand to explain The Credit Crisis: Your Wallet and Wall Street in that cheerfully confident way that only David Cay Johnston can.
He started off talking about Reaganomics and where it is some 28 years after the start. The original plan had three goals: reduce taxes, balance the budget, and deregulate industry, so he outlined a measure of past performance. Taxes have dropped for the tiny sliver of extremely rich people but not for the rest of us. The budget is profoundly not balanced. But at the core of the overall failure is that the concept of deregulation is fundamentally a myth.
His analogy to the situation is that of driving: most people on the road are generally pretty good drivers. So, to aid them in driving better, we should eliminate those expensive road signs and traffic signals. After all, most drivers are responsible, so why should we impede their progress with unnecessary regulation? Clearly the exercise leads to worse conditions. But if you take a closer look, even the act of licensing drivers is an act of regulation.
In other words, the concept of deregulation was actually one of reducing regulation, and reducing the amount of regulation opened the door for conditions for which the regulations were designed to circumvent. By operating within the confines of a system of rules, responsible action was one of following those rules.
Johnston's point was that in "deregulating", we have separated risk from responsibility. And by allowing people to make irresponsible decisions, we ended up in the mess we're in now.
Anyway, in this bail-out, the estimated value of all the sub-prime mortgages were worth about US$500B and their actual value was more like US$300B if you consider the real value of the real estate, but the government is spending 8.5 trillion dollars on the bailout — nearly 30 times more than their value … in other words, a terribly bad investment. The excess money is being used to pay for companies who owe money to Goldman Sachs — curiously enough, one of the central figures of the entire bailout.
I suspect I'm doing a very poor job explaining it. The thing I noted was that he seemed rather calm about the whole thing, whether he was talking about the bailout amount being about the same as 8 years of every American's income tax collection, or the possibility of a decade of 10% inflation. It was that kind of deep understanding that makes you know that you really don't know, and no matter what happens, you get by.
This evening at 6 p.m. at the Gallery at Potential Life Studios (34 Elton St.) is the opening reception for the exhibition The Bone Lab by William Pifer with additional works by Colleen Guthrie, and Jeremy Nathan Dziedzic. The Facebook event adds, "possibly controversial. Definitely macabre."
the proverbial grapevine]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Pont de varsòvia(Warsaw Bridge) starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, it's "a series of bizarre images and surreal sequences that play out like a beautiful dream: an unusual concert in a shopping arcade; a verbal chess match; an opera performed at a fish market; credits that appear 30 minutes into the film; and much more. Ostensibly the story of a romantic triangle between a novelist, a conductor, and a marine-biology professor, Portabella's film is actually a love letter to the possibilities of cinema, filled with non sequiturs and nonsense."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
Join Stacey Estrich on a Saturday Hike today from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. starting at Riley Lodge in Cobb's Hill Park (Norton Dr., softball diamonds near 490).
City Hall press release]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sud pralad(Tropical Malady) starting at 8 p.m. The film is split into a traditional narrative in the first part — that of the relationship between a soldier and a country boy — and an allegorical second part. Take note that the Eastman House calendar makes specific note that this film established the director as "one of the most adventurous filmmakers in the world".
Dryden Theater 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, February 5, 2009 (Thu, Feb 5, 2009, 2/5/2009, or 2/5/09) Friday, February 6, 2009 (Fri, Feb 6, 2009, 2/6/2009, or 2/6/09) Saturday, February 7, 2009 (Sat, Feb 7, 2009, 2/7/2009, or 2/7/09) Sunday, February 8, 2009 (Sun, Feb 8, 2009, 2/8/2009, or 2/8/09) Monday, February 9, 2009 (Mon, Feb 9, 2009, 2/9/2009, or 2/9/09) Tuesday, February 10, 2009 (Tue, Feb 10, 2009, 2/10/2009, or 2/10/09) and Wednesday, February 11, 2009 (Wed, Feb 11, 2009, 2/11/2009, or 2/11/09).
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.