Weekly Rochester Events #312: The Old "Witch Trial. Which Trial?" Routine
Thursday, December 30, 2004I had a pretty mellow Christmas, calling family during the day, and heading out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to drink a lot at night. However, it seems halfway across the world it was the worst thing ever: in the morning of the day after Christmas a tsunami blasted the coastal cities. I recently sent out a note to my friends which I'd hope people copy and pass on:
Hello friends,It may be easier to click in this text box, select all the text (Edit > Select All) then copy it (Edit > Copy) and paste it into an e-mail.
I realize that putting my name on the donations list seems vain. In response to such comments, I can only say, "come back to me when there's 1,000 names on the list." My intent is to humanize the donation process. It seems most chain letters are written to draw attention to the survival of the letter, imploring the reader to forward it. I want to draw attention to the beneficial act — making a commitment to donate.
Anyway, I was going to do some kind of retrospective, but I'll save it for next week and just cut to the blog. One side note, though: I want to mention that O'Bagelo's (165 State Street) is closed again this week, so there's no planned lunch for New Year's Day. [Now, brace yourselves for a serious shift of mood — fuck the clutch.]
Thursday night I went to a party which was part holiday cocktail party and part Rochester Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV) party. Well, unlike places out west (i.e. Denver Burners, and more extremely, San Francisco Burners), Burners around here are pretty indistinguishable from regular cocktail party clientele [except Rebecca and Thera ... and I guess Simon (but I don't really know him anyway) all of whom were absent ]. Nonetheless, I am ignoring my self-imposed "6-drink limit" each week for the entire month as I've had some kind of social engagement to go to each week — which ordinarily would mean that I'd just skip the night. So on this particular night, I consumed more than my fair share of spirits (some 7 or 8 drinks worth — considering I brought a solitary bottle of wine — sorry Rob and Wendy) and stayed up with other guests far past our hosts' bedtime until I left around 4:30 a.m.
Christmas Eve, I rolled out of bed around 11 and largely bummed around the house. I didn't go home this year for Christmas. See, I'm hoping to purge our family of the desire to celebrate consumer-oriented holidays, compulsory gift giving, and otherwise holiday-induced stress. Next year I hope that things will have cooled enough that I can actually sit down and get to know my parents ... perhaps we'll sit around playing cards and get drunk together. Maybe my brother will even be inspired to get in on it too.
Oops ... this is getting to sound too much like a typical whiny blog. Before you know it I'll be into talking about therapy, antidepressants, and putting up little kitty icons of my mood. Icky.
Anyway, that evening, I hung out at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) drinking with friends and otherwise having a great time. Christmas Day involved a lot of head-in-the-phone time with family and friends. That night I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) which was primarily for The Grinders CD release. I got there early enough to get the fourth and final signature from Sly (that is, bass player Sly, not Sylvester Stallone, duh) on my now unique copy of The Blastoffs latest album, Sin to Win (which, by the way, is good, but I really wish they'd have include their power-triplet of songs from their earlier EP.) Anyway, I started out drinking as much as I could at open bar ... well, I guess not "as much as I could" but "as much as I could and still stay standing." Plus, when that ended, shortly after Low Ton finished, I got a shot of Johnnie Walker Green Label (a decent whiskey and their fifth label color) which Herman denied even having — apparently they got it as part of a promotion. Anyway, I hung out in the see of garage rockers for a little while — enough to see a few songs from The Grinders — before heading to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) to finish off the evening.
Sunday found me rolling out of bed around 11 again. Nothing of note happened. I swear: the whole day was boring as hell — my excitement consisted of a call to Dad, dinner from Wendy's, and going to bed early. Monday I spent the whole day hacking a snowblower. I finally found a junked snowblower sometime last month and I mated it with a 1/2HP AC induction motor I also found from the trash. I got to try it out on some snow recently and found its verb action (to blow) on its objective noun (snow) was only effective for about half a meter: the 1750 RPM fixed-speed electric motor needed a bigger pulley to make the impeller match its factory speed from the original gas motor that was probably capable of two or three times faster. I got a bigger motor pulley and longer belt which yielded the desired results (although I had to bypass the safety mechanism that prevents people from sticking their hands into the snow-munching bits.) The fairly inefficient ancient hell-beast of a cast-iron induction motor draws about 800 watts under minor loads, but peaks at 22 amps (according to my Kill-A-Watt which I almost killed in the experiment.) That 3 horsepower is going somewhere. I couldn't get the thing to stall completely (which would have blown the breaker for sure) and the casing stayed cold to the touch. I was quite pleased.
Ok, I admit it: aside from a few hardcore geeks out there, that stuff was pretty boring.
For the rest of you, I went out to A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) on Tuesday night to check out Amanda B. Clarke's exhibit on display. Now, I'm a lukewarm fan of the skater-art style, but her stuff is really top notch. Plus, she's really nice to talk with. When I got back home I tuned in (er ... RealPlayer'ed in) to KAOS Community Radio 89.3 FM (Olympia, WA) to listen to Radio8Ball.
Let me take a minute to explain. As you well know, I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) on April 26, 2001 and got to see Andras Jones and The Sandman. For those who are still a bit hazy (or too lazy to click, read, and return) Andras is an acoustic folk soloist and Chris Sand is Sandman, "Montana's Rappin' Cowboy." Anyway, Andras (who was exposed by Chris as a guy who gets gigs in B-movies for money ... at least he used to ... and his most famous role was the guy who gets killed on the toilet in A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) has gone on to start this thing called Radio8Ball. The gist is that you call in with a question and he flips through the CD's. You tell him when to stop and he'll pick the CD, put it on, and play the first random track from the shuffle feature on the CD player. Then you discuss with him and Tammy (who I guess is the engineer) in what way the song answered the question. I was really listening because Chris Sand was in the studio that day and he played some of his songs in response to questions. Plus it was Chris' birthday, and you could sing "Happy Birthday" to him to get on the guest list for his show later at The China Clipper Café (402 4th Ave. East, Olympia, WA.) Umm ... er ... was it The Capitol Theatre (206 5th Ave. Southeast, Olympia, WA) on New Year's Eve? Well, never mind — Andras summarized the night and said that my question was about my love life, so touché. Only, like backwards.
Regardless, the idea is fucking brilliant.
So I called in and explained my dilemma about Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV). See, I had a great time at the event, but it was painfully challenging to actually get there. More important, though, is that I keep declaring myself undecided, but I am also making plans to gut my little Civic to provide more storage and a place to sleep, and have started to design art projects to put up. So I asked the Oracle, "Should I go to Burning Man in 2005?" My song was "Lullaby for the Taken" by Kimya Dawson off her album, Hidden Vagenda. It had lines like "if I don't leave my room I'll be consumed by the doom and gloom," and "little baby so far away, we hope you can come home soon." Andras, Tammy, and I all agreed it meant I should go.
Fuck. Now I gotta go buy tickets.
Anyway, as a footnote to the whole story, I was browsing Kimya's site on the Internet and, although she doesn't have an MP3 of that particular track on her site, she does have one of the funniest slide shows I've ever encountered titled, While I was out cold .... Check it out.
As an unfortunate additional note that throws off the otherwise good closing comment, Wednesday I got out to see House of Wax in 3-D at the Dryden at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) The movie was suspenseful ... well, except that Vincent Price's character's mute assistant is actually named "Igor," drawing laughs from the audience. Oh, and you know how that scene where the paddle-ball entertainer (you know, those paddles with the rubber band and super-ball attached to them) is at the opening of the "new" House of Wax that doesn't make any sense in 2-D? Well, it makes a lot more sense in 3-D and actually garnered gasps of amusement from the audience as he says, "Now sir with the popcorn, don't move or I'll poke your fucking eye out with this thing."
Well, something like that anyway.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... December 30
Link of the Week:
Here are some links to organizations that are aiding the relief effort for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsumai on December 26:
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. They are supporting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) appeal for basic materials for survival and personnel.
Unicef focuses on child protection and immunizations, as well as helping countries in crisis with emergency assistance.
Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. They are providing emergency aid equipment to help in disaster relief.
American Red Cross Disaster Relief page is an Amazon.com donation page and it's among the easiest ways to donate from if you're an Amazon.com customer.
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Rochester Music Coalition
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... The Salem Witch Trials occurred in Salem, MA 302 years ago in 1692.
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.) 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.
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