Night of the Living Wedge

I had been working on a pig-head mask for quite a while, anticipating using it for a movie and for Halloween. Well, as Halloween approached, I buckled down and finished it. Since Ali and I were going to head to my cousin's wedding on Halloween night, I took the opportunity to join the Night of the Living Wedge Halloween Pub Crawl so I'd have a chance to show it off. I started a little late, so I decided to catch up with the crawl at Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave.)

From there, we hit Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.), The Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory St.), and The Keg (315 Gregory St., behind German House where Rohrbach's used to be) before finishing at Caverly's Pub (741 South Ave., formerly Genesee Co-op Credit Union). I was receiving great praise for my costume — partly because I had clarified what I was trying to be with the addition of some hospital-style scrubs and a "Hello, my name is" tag reading only "H1N1" … plus, the eyes would heartbeat-blink red, and I could hit a button so they'd brighten to a blaring blue-white. As it turned out, I won the darn costume contest. I spread around some holiday cheer, favoring a couple homemade costumes before heading home to pass out.

The MEETinROCHESTERMySpace link organizer snapped a picture that I'll unabashedly use here:

Jayce as H1N1 on Halloween

Jayce as H1N1 on Halloween

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Autumn in Halifax, Part of Baby Shiver's Boutique, and The Leaky Boat Blues with Dr. Hamburger at the Bug Jar

I stopped by The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) for the show — one I was quite excited about. Dr . HamburgerMySpace link was providing projected video over the bands. Starting out was The Leaky Boat Blues which was Tim from A WonderfulMySpace link. He played some great acoustic that I really liked. Next was a nearly minimal version of Baby Shiver's BoutiqueMySpace link. I have to make it a point to see these guys more often — their "motley folk" music is enhanced by their singer's crystal clear and ever-so-melancholic voice. Finishing up the night was Autumn In HalifaxMySpace link — just Dave this time accompanied by the electronic-boxes form of the Leaves. His luscious, poetic acoustic rock always cracks open some inner creativity and I'm left longing for the night to never end.

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Stefan Sagmeister at RIT

I thought 15 minutes was sufficiently early to arrive, but by the time I got to the The Caroline Werner Gannett Project, Ingle Auditorium at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) was completely full and I had to watch a video-feed with another 60-or-so people in the 1829 Room next door. Designer Stefan Sagmeister was the speaker and he did indeed discuss Design and Happiness. You can get an idea of what the discussion was like through his similar TED lecture from a few years ago: Stefan Sagmeister shares happy design.

As I had expected, the lecture gave me some inspiration. I knew Sagmeister would comment on the tenuous balance of being creative — after all, he closes his design studio for a year in every five years to do non-work-related endeavors.

His observations on happiness reminded me of that which I often forget: that much of happiness is a temporary feeling. He divided it up into three layers: short-lived joy, mid-ranged satisfaction from accomplishment, and long-term fulfillment from pride in one's life. I forget that happiness at one layer is not experienced the same as at other layers: although my life philosophy has generally kept me fulfilled, that does not make me feel joyful in and of itself.

His lecture also reminded me that good design matters. It's good to have a world where we can feel pleasure, and we can feel pleasure from interacting with something well-designed. And by that, I mean everything. Like I think the Frederick Douglass — Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge (formerly the Troup-Howell Bridge) is a good design: it carries vehicles across the river just as effectively as a bridge that looks awful, but it has a certain elegance to its design that makes people feel good. On the other hand, The Monroe Community Hospital (435 E. Henrietta Rd.) is apparently having a chain-link fence erected around it: an ugly barrier that says, "we have problems with the likes of you entering our property" and makes people feel bad. And to think that everything in the world can effect a mood like that: wow.

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Where is Fred Brown? and the Bogs Visionary Orchestra at Boulder

I headed to Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) to catch the show there. When I got there, Where is Fred Brown? was already playing. Conceived as a three-piece with John ValentiMySpace link, Alfred Brown, and Paul BurkeMySpace link, it's temporarily named for the absence of its middle member. They played a great set of melodic trance-snyth. It had this nice dreamlike finish to it. I also stayed for The Bogs Visionary OrchestraMySpace link who played some excellent "new Americana", so-to-speak: rooted in Americana, but with a modern-rock presence. Unfortunately, the flu I'd been fighting for the past three days was getting the best of me and I didn't stay for Seth Faergolzia.

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