Weekly Rochester Events #276: Keep Your Bering's Straight

Thursday, April 22, 2004

First up, this feels like a short month since it ends on a Friday—we'll be at On the Rocks (1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios) for lunch on Saturday. Conveniently located right by my house, the food is indeed pretty good. I had a bit of the fish fry last week and it was probably the best I've had (comparable to Captain Jim's Fish Market (2329 Main St. E.)... and I don't really like fish fry's) although the bleu-cheese-topped (not dressing) half-pound "Trump" burger was cooked rarer than I ordered and really didn't live up to how good it sounded.

Anyway, a few years ago I had this idea to help people recover things they lost. I was going to call it "TruOwner." The idea was that you'd buy tags with an ID number and the TruOwner website address. The tags would be durable and have a good adhesive. The idea was that if someone found something you lost, they could check the website and determine how to contact you for a reward and such.

Well, I shelved the idea because it would be difficult to set up, difficult to get an infrastructure in place so police and lost-and-found's would recognize it, difficult to find a way to print and manufacture the tags, and I'd have to hire people and such. Fortunately, I just have to come up with these ideas and wait because there's a company called StuffBAK who essentially does all that stuff. Plus, the tags are pretty cheap ... about $2 each or so and include the registration and essentially a lifetime of sitting in the database. When items are lost then returned, StuffBAK provides $20 worth of their stickers to the finder.

In another project, I've had a bunch of PC's lying around ... a mix of 120MHz-range Pentiums ... and I finally decided to try and make them into working computers. So far I got two of them working with Linux (RedHat 6 ... the only CD I had lying around.) I mostly wanted to find out if they worked, because I'd like to use them in a project in the car. I think I can get one more working from the parts I got from rummaging through junk this week.

That, and I started my garden, which I guess is a "build stuff" kind of project ... it's more of a "do stuff for a short time and wait" kind of project, but it's on its way now. This year I will most likely have tomatoes, and if I'm lucky, basil and sweet corn, and if even more lucky, potatoes will magically appear because they were still in the ground when I tilled.

Also, I decided to pick up stuff to make wine. I want to make blackberry wine like my dad did a few years ago. I started at Beers of the World (3450 Winton Plaza) but I ended up going to The Wine Press and Hops (50 State St., Pittsford) instead because the selection and variability was better. While Beers of the World offered mostly beer-making kits, Wine Press offered better personal service and more versatility. I decided to get one-gallon jugs to make batches—this was against the owner's strong recommendation that I start with at least a three-gallon kit because one-gallon batches will get annoying too quickly. We'll see if that happens (the annoyance or the wine making.)

As for going out and about, I stayed in a lot this week. I went to see The Big Empty at The Little (240 East Ave.) on Thursday when the writer and director, Steve Anderson (a Rochester native) was there to speak about it. The "Curse of the Little" struck again as it was a somewhat important showing and there were lots of people there, so I was expecting some kind of problem. The right speaker kept cutting out, and I thought that'd be the worst of it, but the coup de grâce was when the film broke right at the climax of the film. And I mean really broke: bring-up-the-house-lights-and-get-a-complimentary-drink kind of broke.

Anyway, once they fixed the problems, the movie was pretty good ... it gets a solidly average rating in my book. The good thing was that I'm still trying to figure out alternative interpretations of it. My idea is that John Person (the lead character, played by John Favreau) is a guy trapped in day-to-day existence. He's given a way to escape that existence and comes right to the brink where he must choose between two outcomes, neither of which seem to have any real relevance to his day-to-day life, and neither of which provide him with enough information to make an informed decision—he's just got to have faith in whatever he decides. Essentially, I think it's a metaphoric journey representing the possible ways to escape your day-to-day problems by looking at them from such a perspective that their magnitude seems small. That is, the spectrum of everything in your life from "good" to "bad" can be changed entirely if you experience an event that resets one of the endpoints—an event better than the best thing you've experienced, or worse than the worst.

Thus my quandary: I have already spread a thick layer of Jayce-philosophy all over my interpretation of the film, so I'd like to try and undo that so I can see some other interpretation.

Don't get me wrong, though: the film wasn't all good, either. I thought it felt a lot like The Big Lebowski (which I need to go see again so I can be sure) to which it owes a lot of its story about a mysterious suitcase and a fetish for bowling, and like 29 Palms (the one also starring Rachael Leigh Cook, not the other, slightly more recent Twentynine Palms) because of its rural desert setting and quirky feel.

The other problem is twofold: the characters seemed to be roughly drawn in the script, and the actors didn't have the skills to fill them out. Steve Anderson said he designed the film with film noir in mind, so the characters are pretty well established by the genre. The minor characters, such as Kelsey Grammer's "Agent Banks" of the FBI or Daryl Hannah's "Stella" (the bar owner) were acted effectively—I thought I was watching the characters, not the actors playing the characters. However, the principal actors, John Favreau and Rachael Leigh Cook just didn't seem to be much more than John Favreau and Rachael Leigh Cook reading the dialog of the characters they're supposed to be. Thankfully John Favreau was mostly effective—his role was especially challenging because his character was utterly a bore (but a nice guy) and had so much screen time. As for Rachael Leigh Cook ... dang ... I adore her, but I've yet to see her be her character instead of "Rachael Leigh Cook playing her character" as she has in this and past movies (although she came closest in 29 Palms where I had moments where I believed she was "The Waitress.")

Immediately after the movie, there was a wine-and-cheese reception which I indulged in a bit. Well, at least the cheese ... I wasn't up for the wine. I was glad I didn't get a chance to talk with Steve Anderson because I hadn't fully formed my opinions yet and didn't want to imply the movie sucked outright (like the other locally produced movie, Checkout.)

Right after that, I headed straight to Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) I missed Carbonic save for a song and a half, but got to see namelessnumberheadman who are this great synth/effects heavy, rock-ish band who were just ambient enough that my mind drifted a little bit. Kelli Hicks played as well and kept the otherwise odd mix of people pretty much mesmerized by with her simple melodies, airy vocals, and poetic and metaphoric lyrics.

Coming up ... yeesh ... have you scrolled down? Thursday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday have some touch choices, but Saturday is just plain insane. If you break it down into chunks of time, it's still a mess. Late morning you can clean up the canal trail or check out the Genesee Center for the Arts sales; in the afternoon you can go out to D-Day at UofR or stay in and play on the WXXI auction; early evening you can see Slasher with John Landis or check out the experimental music show at the All-Purpose Room; and late evening you've got to pick between five shows. Ordinarily I'd say I'll try to do it all, but I don't think even I could pull that off—and that's not even counting the few things I didn't mention.

If anyone says there's nothing to do in Rochester, you are hereby obligated to punch them in the head.

  • Kukushka (The Cuckoo, at The Little) - Two guys who are on opposite sides of a war escape their respective captors and are given shelter by the same woman.
  • Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (at The Little) - A guy proposes to his girlfriend on TV and her ex-boyfriend sees it and comes back to win her back.
  • Osama (at The Little) - An unemployed mother in Afghanistan under Taliban rule sends her daughter as a boy to earn some money, but she gets caught up in the military training camps ... Also (supposedly) the first film produced in Afghanistan after American attacks in 2002.
  • Man on Fire - Ok, the IMDb plot summary includes the words marine, vengeance, unspeakable, family, hired, and protect ... you know, one of those movies.
  • 13 Going on 30 - A 13-year-old girl wakes up as a 30-year-old woman for some reason. (Kind of like my dating life, only in reverse ... ask around.)

Earth Day

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another Screenplay Salon at 6 p.m. with Jack Garner discussing and presenting Henry & June about the real-life sexual relationship between writer Anaïs Nin and author Henry Miller and his bisexual wife, June. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

JayceLand Pick In the Rush Rhees Library (Welles-Brown Room) at The University of Rochester (River Campus Map) is a Neilly Series Lecture titled Risk Perception: Why Our Fears Don't Match the Facts by David Ropeik at 5 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is very tight modern rock from Veluxe, and The Beethoven FriezeGarageBand linkIUMA link starting around 8:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Skepp till India land (The Land of Desire) starting at 8 p.m. An abusive father returns to a family, but the abused son is compelled to fight him ... and is also attracted to his new mistress. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Yet another open mic night ... this one's at The Ritskeller (One Lomb Memorial Dr., on RIT campus) starting around 9. (Either that, or it's actually on Tuesday, April 26 like the RIT Events calendar says ... hmm.) [source: CAB calendar]

Tonight at The Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Ave.) is Verge of Green starting around 10 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

Star Bar (123 Liberty Pole Way, formerly Tilt and Velocity) will be hosting house style beat-based live band ConcentricGarageBand link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is Dudley DawsonGarageBand link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Keyboardist and singer Roz from Bullwinkles Café (622 Lake Ave.) will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 or so. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Over at The Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Ave.) starting around 8:30 p.m. is a Big Brothers Big Sisters Fund Raiser with very good blues-charged rock-and-roll/groove-rock band Buford and the Smoking Section, and Anomaly Amped. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Solyaris (Solaris) starting at 8 p.m. Russia's answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey and not the crappy recent remake. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The University of Rochester (River Campus Map) will be hosting Earth Day Celebrations today from noon to 6 inside Wilson Commons (I assume it'll get rained in.) More information is available at the University of Rochester Grassroots webiste. As far as music, bands include More Cowbell, popular Celtic band The Wild Geese, and groove-rock band with a great singer, Sim Redmond. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at Spy Bar and Grill (131 State St., or thereabouts) is the tight, complex rock band The VEiNS doing a rare acoustic set starting around 10 p.m. [source: GaragePop Records website]

Tonight at Millennium (2235 Empire Blvd.) is modern rock and cover band Uncle PlumGarageBand link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Lunch today is at On the Rocks (1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios) at noon.

JayceLand Pick The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association adopted part of the Erie Canal Trail and will be cleaning it up (you can too) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the trailhead entrance on the east side of Mount Hope, in the parking lot for Monroe County Offices (111 Westfall Rd.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Today at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) is the Community Darkroom Garage Sale and the Pottery Sidewalk Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Today is the start of the new exhibit, Site Seeing: Photographic Excursions in Tourism in George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) starting at 10 a.m. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Over at The University of Rochester (River Campus Map) starting around 4 p.m. (probably...) is Dudley DawsonGarageBand link for D-Day. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

The WXXI Auction begins today at noon at their website.

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Slasher starting at 8 p.m. John Landis himself will be on hand to introduce his documentary film on the sale of unfit vehicles. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) will be hosting noise and experimental bands Foot and Mouth Disease, Ova!, Happy Mothers Day, I Can't Read, and Pengo starting around 8 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting punk rock and technical guitar work from Piehole, very standard fast rock from BitpartGarageBand link, and The CharmsGarageBand link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 10 p.m. is Twin-A. [source: Water Street calendar]

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is The Thundergods, The Grinders, and St. Phillip's Escalator. [source: GaragePop Records website]

JayceLand Pick Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) will be hosting excellent three-piece pure instrumental funk from The Filthy Funk, and great funk-rock band Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Over at Norton's Pub (1730 Goodman St.) starting around 10 p.m. is modern rock and covers from Better Days [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Friends of the Public Library (the ones who sponsor the "Tuesday Talks," "Thursday Thinkers," "Books Sandwiched In," and other similar programs) will be celebrating their 50th birthday at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) <with temptation>They'll have cake ...</with temptation> [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 8:30 p.m. is Thieves Auction, RenoufIUMA link, The Looking Glass Self, Johnson's NoiseGarageBand link, and Verona. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This afternoon starting at 2 p.m. is Fantasies and Fairy Tales, a "magical concert for all ages includes excerpts of music from Hansel and Gretel, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Grieg's Peer Gynt, and Ravel's Mother Goose Suite" conducted by Christopher Seaman at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) [source: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra website]

At 3 p.m. in the Living Room of George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), Nadine Earl Carey will be singing with Norman Carey on piano. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Roses Are Red, FiveStar Riot, Silhouette, and Alucard will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 6:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Dan Liberto (of the The Comedy Company) hosts Open Mic Comedy Night at Duels Café (17 E. Main St.) starting around 7:30 (theoretically.) [source: Duel's Café]

Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be having Aura Readings today from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. then their own breed of Poetry Nite from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Over at the atrium by The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. is saxophonist/clarinetist Mark Whitecage, and bassist Dominic Duval. [source: Bop Shop calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing tom thumb starting at 1:30 p.m. This was probably the version you saw on TV as a Sunday afternoon matinée. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) it's MAMMOTH Night! with Mammoth Press, Inc. starting at 7 p.m. Publisher and editor Antonio Vallone will discuss the publisher and introduce readers of Mammoth authors.

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Little (240 East Ave.) is the Emerging Filmmakers Program featuring short films from New York State filmmakers or shot in New York. Show starts at 9:30. Despite selling out the theater last month, they decided to not bother to put the names of the films being shown this month ... thanks, guys. [source: Little Theatre e-mail]

Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dave Rivello's 12-Piece Jazz Ensemble [source: Montage e-mail]

Excellent experimental jazz band TatYana will be playing tonight at Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine (120 East Ave., formerly Aria) starting at 10. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

From 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. in the Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is another Books Sandwiched In. Presbyterian minister and executive director of the Women's Foundation of Genesee Valley, Rose Mitchell will review Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

Over at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is Wide Open Mike with Norm Davis starting around 7:30. Apparently, anything goes. Anything. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the performance hall at The Hochstein School of Music and Dance (50 North Plymouth Ave.) is the David Hochstein Recital Competition Winners Concert featuring Matt Cataldi on piano, Christine Cho on cello, and Elizabeth Spector on oboe. [source: Hochstein calendar]

JayceLand Pick Up at Charlotte Branch Library (3615 Lake Ave) at 7 p.m. is The Port of Rochester: Transportation Crossroads, a slide show developed by The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society and presented by Arthur Abel and Bill Davis describing the history of the port. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Twelve Monkeys starting at 8 p.m. This was one of the last Hollywood-produced movies I liked before I decided that they all suck ... I'll be curious to see it again. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Thrash metal duo 25 Suaves, high-energy punk-rock band The Audios, and punk-rock/hard-rock (and a little rockabilly) band The UV Rays will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is Lotus sponsored by Up All Night Concerts starting around 10 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

JayceLand Pick This evening at Strong Museum (1 Manhattan Square Pk.) at 7:30 p.m. is "songs and tunes from New York State sung and played on fiddles, hammered dulcimer, pump organ, cello and banjo" featuring Jim Kimball, Mitzie Collins, Dick Bolt, Karen Canning, and Colleen Liggett. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

Cerulean City will be at Java's (16 Gibb St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

JayceLand Pick Tim Clark, Leah Zicari, Rob Probst, and Marty Roberts will be at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 6:30 p.m. for another Big Drum: Songwriters In The Round. [source: Freetime]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Into the Night starting at 8 p.m. This was the first R-rated film I saw ... at the drive-in after some dumb movie I can't remember. Maybe The Ice Pirates. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]
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Vitus Bering sailed through the waterway that acquired his name, the Bering Strait, 276 years ago in 1728.

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

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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