Weekly Rochester Events #278: Swiftly Penned in the Gulliver
Thursday, May 6, 2004I completely forgot that The Rochester International Film Festival was coming up, and now it's here. Ordinarily I would have prepared more, but this time I was caught by surprise. Last year I wrote "pre-reviews" of all the films—I reviewed the films as if it were based on short film stereotypical behaviors based on the description given on the website. This year I thought I'd make it a little different because I hate to do the same thing over and over again (you know, like maybe 278 times, week after week.) This year I'm providing mini pre-reviews. I mean very very mini. Like one word. They're on both a web page and in a convenient one-page PDF (visit the Adobe Reader download page) which is formatted much better than last year's was.
On an unrelated topic (which I shall make this week's theme—unrelatedness, that is) I think I've figured out that there are basically two kinds of women in Rochester: those who smoke, and those who don't leave the house. I'm only half joking: I haven't done a formal survey, but the odds do tend to stack up that way. From what I've seen from all my time going out, around 90% of women smoke. This doesn't seem to correlate with what, say, the Centers for Disease Control have to say about it—in a report from this year, New York's smoking rates are 19% for women. The only reason I notice is that the one aspect of smoking that really grosses me out is kissing a smoker. I don't tend to mind secondhand smoke (up to a point) or my clothes smelling like smoke (as long as I can set them aside when I get home) or even cigarette butt litter (although sometimes I think about chopping up my garbage into butt-sized pieces and just litter everywhere—just a little bit once every half-hour.) But all I can think about when kissing a smoker is that it tastes like (brace yourselves) the stench of her lungs rotting out. To make matters worse, it takes about 3 days of non-smoking before I won't notice. It's this kind of thing that really bums be out sometimes.
Anyway, last week I didn't get out too much. On Friday I took a second trip to Spy Bar and Grill (139 State St.) and checked it out further. I don't really get it ... it looks like a bar that might be at home out in the suburbs of Greece (largely because of its NASCAR memorabilia and affinity for boldly advertising only the generic American-style beers like Budweiser and Labatt.) For some reason it's become a second hangout for a fair number of the "trendy" (or "wanna-be" if the label suits more) bar-goers ordinarily found at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) Maybe that's just because some of the singers from the garage-rock have taken to the Friday night amplified acoustic shows at Spy Bar ... odd, really. After that I ended up stopping by Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) but going home early to watch Stop Making Sense again. Maybe it's because I don't smoke.
Let me continue my attention-deficit-enhanced monologue and hop over to mention that I started making a gallon of blackberry wine and I apparently did something right because a pretty good number of bubbles are coming from the mix. I assume these bubbles are because of the yeast fermenting the sugar, but it'll be a while before I find out. I'm not sure how long the first batch will take—I have to decant it to a new container so the yeast can start anew (or to "rack the wine" as wine-assholes say) and will probably have to rack it at least two more times before fermentation ceases entirely and it can be consumed. I pasteurized the fruit before putting in the yeast, and I hope that turned the vinegar-forming bacteria into part of the stew.
On yet another topic, I'm gonna bitch about my neighborhood then bitch about the people who bitch about the neighborhood.
First, on Saturday, I walked to Mt. Hope Service Center (1471 Mount Hope Ave, formerly Safelite Auto Glass) at their new location to drop off used oil and to get windshield wipers. I didn't realize they had closed their old location, so I had to walk farther. Anyway, the wipers cost $28 for an 18-inch and 22-inch for my Civic—the price seemed high (and indeed should have been about half that ... I didn't realize because it's been a while since I bought wipers) but I figured I was at least doing a Good Thing and supporting local businesses. Unfortunately they threw my old ones away ... I just brought them for size, but they took them away along with the oil (I assumed the guy wanted to check the size or something.) To add insult-to-injury, they reacted incredulously that I actually wanted my oil jugs back when I asked to have them emptied. Jerks.
The other thing is the The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday. Generally things went well, except I lost more faith in humanity (particularly people older than me) when a couple people found it necessary to bitch impotently about the dramatic problems on their particular street. In one case, a change in street parking rules led, apparently, to a sharp rise in accidents. So instead of bringing it up rationally and identifying the problem to be either the new parking rules or that people are parking illegally, they just went off and bitched about how someone's going to get killed. Am I really supposed to take the time to listen to some moron whose life revolves around tsk-tsk-ing other people's behavior like you all are doing right now?
There was also a group of people who can't seem to take a shit without someone holding their hand. They live near On the Rocks (1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios) and were complaining about the noise and the "terrible element that's invading our fair neighborhood—oh, what are we to do, great and mighty President of the Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association?" I'll tell you what to do: go over and find out what's going on in the place, talk to the owners, and work with them to come up with a way to fix the problem. If you just stare out your kitchen window and mutter about how you "just know they're selling drugs over there," you deserve every ounce of drunkard piss on your bushes.
Let me spell it out even further: since I've been there, it's just a bunch of people having a good time. The problem is that the patrons are generally "good people," but the combination of their personalities and a young, attractive, and inexperienced bar staff who keep the drinks coming as fast as they can be consumed causes people to get drunk and rowdy. If the bar staff was more of the "surly neighborhood bartender" type, cut back on the free drinks, and was more diligent about keeping people from getting blasted, the rowdiness problem would largely go away.
Okay ... sorry about that ... just had to vent a bit.
Among the highlights in brief for the coming week are The Rochester International Film Festival, Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano et al. at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) on Thursday, The Blastoffs on Saturday, and Mad Happy on Monday, and the WXXI Auction online through the end of the week. But note that I'm only doing super-compact zero-word pre-reviews for those shows so that's all you're gettin'.
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