Weekly Rochester Events #285: Here on Robinson's Island
Thursday, June 24, 2004Just when I think I'm completely overwhelmed and would like some time off, I go and do something silly and volunteer to do another thing. This time, it's for Bob, a friend of mine in the neighborhood. His sister BJ and brother-in-law Terry died of mesothelioma (the cancer caused by asbestos) last year and he wanted to set up a benefit bike ride with his daughters and wife. So he asked if I'd make a website ... since it's for a good cause ("Good" cause ... get it? I didn't think so) and that Bob seemed to understand that doing a fancy website would be hard, I thought I'd pitch in. He wrote all the text and I set up the site design and layout. Anyway, it's up: BJandTerry.com. I told him I'd put up a link on my site ... I figured I'd spin it into the opening essay somehow, and although it's a bit clumsy, it'll get Google to crawl his site and boost its ranking.
Aside from that, this past weekend was packed full with the bachelor party for my friend Jan. To save anyone's reading/skimming effort, there were no strippers, so you can stop looking. We went go-cart racing (which was a blast) and played miniature golf (which was ... well ... miniature golf) at The Gravel Pit (5158 E Main Street Rd, Batavia) then headed back to town. One of those stretch Ford Expeditions from Excel Limousine (213 Meadow Cir.) picked us up at Jan's house and we got into the scotch ... Glenmorangie 12-year Sherry Finish and Glenmorangie 10-year.
It was a short walk from the limo to The Strathallan (550 East Ave.) for some even fancier scotches like the 30-year Laphroaig. From there it was out to the patio for cigars. I guess they were supposed to be really good ... Ashton or something. Anyway, I didn't really get the appeal of the whole thing. It was something new to try, but no part of it was particularly exciting. Now, I've had delicacies before and some I like (like sushi) and some I don't (like lobster) and cigars lie way closer to lobster on the scale of what I like and what I don't.
Anyway, we went to Tapas One Seventy Seven (177 Saint Paul St.) for dinner and the highlight was Tab finishing all the clams. He had requested "all-you-can-eat" and proceeded to eat them all. I guess the claim was 15 dozen, finishing off the restaurant's 22-dozen clam bag. Well, the other highlight was Jan with a tired, drunken, and thoroughly sated look of bliss.
Afterward people were looking for an open bar and the closest to Jan's house was Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) Although I can blend in somewhat there, the other guys were like oil-and-water, and I don't think they had much of a good time. At least Jan got to write on the brick walls with the chalk in the alleyway.
So finally, after a half-dozen glasses of scotch and way too much decadent food, I ended up crashed on the floor on some little mattress and borrowed sleeping bag. I quietly snuck out around 8 a.m. for a soft bed, but ended up missing out on the Sunday breakfast. I'll see the crew in a couple weeks anyway for the wedding.
After a few days of recovery I managed to drag myself out a couple times.
I got to see that movie, Super Size Me which actually was pretty good. I guess I can accept its category as "documentary" as it does indeed document Morgan Spurlock's 30-day all-McDonald's binge, but I think it falters because it's a flawed experiment. The trouble is that even if you trust Spurlock to document his own behavior and assume the doctors are for real and are honest, he fails to take a rational approach and instead goes for a flashy extreme by not only eating "nothing but McDonald's," but by also eating as much as he can and switching to a sedentary lifestyle. I'm sure that if you went to any buffet in town and ate "all you could" for every meal and just sat around all day, you'd get to the same result. It would have made a much better movie if he had just attempted to eat some approximation of a proper diet from McDonald's.
Regardless, the graphics and statistics are entertainingly presented, and the movie as a whole is fun to watch and gives you pause. I think the thesis was weak to begin with: essentially it was to explore the boundary between personal responsibility and corporate responsibility, and he attempts to seek that answer by living totally in the mercy of corporate good will.
Unfortunately, this isn't the kind of movie that's going to appeal to the obese American who eats at McDonald's all the time. I think that's its worst sin: the movie is designed for the "cultural elite" who'd rather see a documentary than a Hollywood blockbuster (and further, those who would much prefer to thumb their nose at the Hollywood blockbuster and its fans than to actually see a documentary.) I'm not sure what a good solution is, but designing a film to appeal to people who would already agree seems like a flawed endeavor.
Further, I wasn't particularly swayed by the film and I stand by my opinion that people need to take responsibility for what they shove in their mouth—however, it is deceptive (ergo "wrong") for any restaurant to refer to a 2,500 calorie purchase as a "meal" because that's a whole day's worth of food. Calling it a meal is their only deception and I would be happy if anything they called a "meal" could have no more than, say, 900 calories and that they'd be able to use terms like "double meal" and "triple meal" as necessary. While I'm writing legislation, I'd like to see the terms "breakfast," "lunch," "dinner," and "supper" be considered synonymous with "meal." At least then people who believe the societally irrevocable adage "three meals a day" would have a fighting chance of being on the right track.
On a completely different topic, I also got to see a new 35 mm print of the original Planet of the Apes which was just incredible. I think the story was at best "good" but it makes a lot more sense than the chopped-up versions that have played for years on TV. It's also pretty suspenseful. There were a couple unintentional bits of humor: Charlton Heston's character's pro-gun stance, and his comment to a young ape that, "You should never trust anyone over 30"—intended originally to be ironic since his character was over 3,000 years old, but funny now because Charlton Heston actually is over 3,000 years old.
Rounding out my moviegoing trio, I stopped by The Little (240 East Ave.) to see the Emerging Filmmaker's show on Monday. Everything was quite good. A couple of the highlights included Little Miss Pumpkin Head Eater which was an animation short from Christina Spangler that predated Unearthed and is even more surreal and disturbing. Christine Victoria Dunn's particle valentine impressed me as well as a tremendously fascinating abstract piece. I still haven't figured out what distinguishes a "good" from "bad" abstract film for me, but this one was definitely one of the "good" ones. The one I really didn't like was UP by Hardeep Kharbanda and Suruchi Pahwa which was a computer animation about a guy thrust into the public spotlight. I've generally hated computer animation and now I know why: the character's actions must be so deliberately scripted that it becomes unnatural. Also, I think there's a trap that it's supposed to be easier to achieve results than through traditional animation, but once you've spent ten hours making your character's head move back and forth, you're quite reluctant to throw the footage away if it is unnecessary to the story.
I did manage to make a brief appearance at the Sunday benefit for Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) but I just didn't feel like dealing with people so I went back home. I got back into the groove a little on Tuesday when I returned to see a couple bands on the lineup. I got to see The Race which was just okay ... a melancholic and dark band with a somewhat floaty feel to their music. However, The Arcade Fire was incredible: they're a "power-pop wall-of-sound" from Montreal and they were just great. There's a lot of people on stage playing guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, accordion, toy xylophone, and singing which just drives the music through you. The crowd was large, too ... apparently to see The Unicorns which I didn't even bother trying to fight my way through to get a glimpse. Quite a switch from average Tuesdays when there's only a half-dozen people there to see the band.
Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of things soon and bring you more exciting tales through which you can live vicariously.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... June 24
Store at CafePress
Buy some JayceLand junk at sky high prices!
Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
WGMC Jazz Calendar
Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe in 1719, 285 years ago.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, June 24, 2004 thru Wednesday, June 30, 2004.
It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
The musical styles listed can include 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.
Copyright © 2004 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.