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Archive for November, 2004

The Blame Game

Posted by evankessler on November 30, 2004

Hosting your own website is accompanied by an awesome responsibility. I’m not talking about the responsibility to update it every night with how much you drank the night before or the fact that you went to the gym and liked a song you heard while listening to your Ipod. If those are the sole responsibilities of a website host than I am indeed the king. However, I’m talking about a greater responsibility. That responsibility is the need for the website host to be honest and thought provoking and personal. Ok, so that’s not a mandated responsibility but it if it were, I think I’d fail miserably. Most of the time I just describe what I did the night before and that it was awesome.

As we approach the holidays I find something very personal on my mind. The holidays are a time of great happiness for those who take it upon themselves to spend time with loved ones and family, while others find the holiday to be extremely depressing. In fact, the suicide rate goes up every year. The closer we get to those magical days the more I start focusing in on New Year’s eve plans and that magical kiss at midnight. As I think about that magical kiss, I remember back to New Year’s Eve 2001, which is sadly the last time I had a magical New Year’s eve kiss and the then the holiday depression sets in. Whose fault is this? I could easily blame myself for my inability to conquer the affections of the opposite sex. However, no matter how much the blame deserves to be laid upon my shoulders for the travesty of the last 8 months that is otherwise referred to as my non- existent love life, I find it comforting to lay the blame on other people, places, concepts and inanimate objects.

To sum it up I decided to come up with a list of things responsible for my sputtering record of romance. None of these are really to be taken seriously and I just thought it would be fun to do. It’s not meant to offend anyone, and really shouldn’t.

1) The sputtering offense of the New York Giants- Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can a football team be responsible for a lack of romance? I don’t have an answer but I would describe both of them as “sputtering” and therefore they must be related.

2) The Dave Matthews Band- This band has been the bane of my existence since its inception in the mid 90’s. Cute girls everywhere swear by their Crash album no matter how bland and formulaic the music is. I always have a difficult time not judging people and putting them into a group of people I would not hang out with based solely on them owning a Dave Matthews Album. However, I have been known to make exceptions for people I deem to be likeable despite this. Also, these guys dumped a septic tank on a bunch of people on a tour boat. (Resist the urge to make a pun!) What a bunch of shitheads! Bad pun clearly intended. Also I will never forget the time I was at a high school party and all of these people stood around singing along to Ants Marching as if it were the greatest song ever written. That really disturbed me.

3) My Own Musical Snobbery- See above

4) Comedy Central- If this network didn’t show South Park and The Daily Show, I might be compelled to leave the house and do something social on many weeknights.

5) The Jews- Okay, so it’s not really their fault at all, but my people have been a scapegoat for so many of the world’s problems what’s one more? Also, being a Jew, I thought this would sort of make me accept some of the blame in a roundabout way without actually directly implicating myself but I guess it kind of does anyway. Oh well.

6) John Cusack- John Cusack has portrayed the every man that all men want to be at some time in his cinematic career. I have fallen prey many times to thinking I was in a similar romantic situation as a character portrayed by John Cusack in a particular film and thought that my situation would end up resolved a la Lane Meyer, Rob Gordon, Hoops McCann, and Lloyd Dobler, but not Buck Weaver in Eight Men Out. That’s a baseball movie and really has nothing to do with anything.

7) George W. Bush- The incompetence of the current President has turned the focus and attention of women around the world away from me and towards our Government’s lack of accountability for it’s glaring mistakes in the handling of our own foreign policy.

8) Women who like older men- I once had an heiress tell me that I was cute, but I’d be hot when I’m 40. The weirdest part was that I wasn’t hitting on her the least bit so I really have no idea where the statement came from. Besides, how does she know if I’m going to be hot when I’m forty years old?

The Heires in Question

9) Gary Sinise- This oscar nominated actor is now working on a CSI spinoff instead of continuing with quality film work. How this affects my crippled romance cycle is beyond me but I know he is connected somehow.

10) Reality Television- For some reason, people feel the need to not be social on a particular night simply because Donald Trump is firing people or the Bachelor is picking a wife he will eventually not marry. I will never understand it. However, I will be watching that show Project Runway since one of my brother’s best friends is on it. What will become of me?

11) The Anaheim Mighty Ducks- C’mon. No professional team should be named the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. It’s just lame. Everything is connected.

12) Snow’s debut album in the early 90’s 12 Inches of Snow- I actually think this horrid album title might be retroactively responsible for plenty of worldwide catastrophe before its release. It’s just that bad. How could it not have had some ripple effect on my life?

13) El Nino- Back in the late 90’s everything was blamed on the El Nino weather pattern. Apparently it’s back. I figured I’d give it a try.

14) The Phrase “Tall, Dark, and Handsome”- I work with what I’ve been given. I just happen to stand at around 5’6″, give or take a couple. There’s really nothing I can do about it. Besides, personality goes a long way.

Anyway, that’s all I could come up with for now and probably only #’s 2 ,3, 6,7, 8, 10 &12 are actually valid things to blame. I hope no one got offended by 5. I thought about taking it out but it’s not meant to be taken seriously. Is anything on this website?

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A Very U2 Lunch Break

Posted by evankessler on November 23, 2004

At around 1:15 Monday afternoon I went to Hale & Hearty Soups on 49th St. with Maureen Hoban, Betsy Van Stone and Noelle Stehmann. As we were on line getting our food a caravan of vehicles including a flatbed truck with performing on it passed by Hale & Hearty. It was at that point an extremely crowded place of business turned into an absolute ghost town. I was on line and virtually everyone in the establishment had run out the door to follow U2. I did not rush for the door seeing as I don’t really ever feel the need to run for anything. After I got my food the 4 of us followed the route of the truck down about 4 blocks to 45th and Broadway as Bono and company played to the crowd who gathered as they were stopped at a stoplight. Apparently the band was filming a video for their 2nd single off of their upcoming album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Maureen made it right in front of the truck and just sort of stared in amazement and I took a picture with my camera phone which, to be honest, does not take very good pictures. I can barely tell what I’m looking out on this one so I won’t even post it. I joked with Maureen that she’d be in the video just staring blankly at the stage.

It was quite the interesting lunch break but I have to be honest here. It sort of seems like U2 is running out of video ideas. This is the 4th one that’s sort of related to playing in front of people as they move through a city. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” took place as they walked the Vegas streets, “The Sweetest Thing” took place on a flatbed truck as they drove through a city, “Where The Streets have No Name” was on top of a building (ok a little different but sort of similar concept) and this new one was also on a flatbed truck. That being said, it’s a pretty cool idea just as a promotional tool not necessarily for a video shoot.

I hope the new album is good though I haven’t really liked them as much since Rattle and Hum and I think the last album was severely overhyped though it did have some good songs, as well as one of the worst songs ever. Once Bono started acting way too cool it sort of started to annoy me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s a great guy. He does great stuff for the world and he’s a great social activist. I just think he’s trying to hard when he sings ‘Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce!” in the new single ‘Vertigo’. I mean, he’s too cool to say one, two three, four? Bono is so cool he can get away with saying one, two, three, fourteen? Now all of these dumb people will actually think that catorce means four.

Anyway, I want to thank Jess Sabin for helping me figure out the grammar rules for italicizing album titles and putting song titles in quotes. I hope that I did it right in this entry.
I also planned on posting a nonsensical improvisational IM conversation I had with John Vacanti, but I’m having trouble accessing my gmail so there I can’t post it. You’re probably not missing anything but I’m tired anyway, so I’ll just go to sleep.

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This Website Helps People

Posted by evankessler on November 19, 2004

Yes people it’s true. This website indeed helps people. It doesn’t help a lot of people. It helps me and judging by my inbox today it helped one other person. As I checked my email for my website this afternoon I came across a message from someone who worked for Urban Indian newspaper. It seems they had come across my website while doing a web search for Aamer Haleem, the current host of VH1’s Bands Reunited and former host of VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown. Apparently they were trying to contact Mr. Haleem for an interview for their newspaper. I immediately responded to their inquiry and forwarded their info to Mr. Haleem. This may be the first documented case of EvanKessler.com actually helping someone achieve a goal. This is indeed a momentous occasion and I will revel in its glory. I should hope that you feel the need to do so as well as a faithful reader. Also if you think there’s any other way that evankessler.com might be able to help more people let me know.

Hey, It’s Aamer Haleem!

No other news on the day really but while I was writing this, I had to take a break to have a phone conversation with the lovely and scientifically inclined Jessica Iselin. Here’s a picture of her that she sent me the link to. She didn’t want me to post it, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. However, I may take it down in a few days if she makes me.

This is an actual crime taking place

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Kasey Chambers at Irving (11/16)

Posted by evankessler on November 17, 2004

Alright, so I just got back from seeing Kasey Chambers at Irving Plaza and I have to say that it was a hell of a show. For those not familiar with Ms.(Mrs). Chambers she is an Australian Country singer who has been playing music since touring around rural Australia since she was a child. She has three solo albums since 2000.. I think the reason I like her so much is that she has a very interesting voice that I guess I can only describe as cute, but with a lot of power behind it. I mean I’m sure I can describe it other ways. Here’s another way, she sounds like a little girl but with a lot of purpose and meaning in the way she sings. I’m also a sucker for that Australian accent.

I had seen her once before about a year and a half ago at Irving as well and I can’t really say which show was better, this one definitely gets the Evan Kessler Stamp of Approval. I should make up a logo for that.
Before she came out to play Shane Nicholson from Sydney played a couple of songs. Kasey was actually standing right next to me for his set. Then someone named Holly Williams with a new album just out on Universal South played about 45 minutes. They weren’t bad. I think I like the first opener more than the second.

Kasey Chambers took the stage with her band around 10:35 and led off the show with the song “Like A River” off her new album Wayward Angel. At this point it should be painfully obvious to anyone who ever reads my blog that I am completely unaware when you’re supposed to italicize things and when you’re supposed to quote them. Anyway, the song should be the first single off her album, though I don’t think it is because I saw she had a video for something else, but I think it is destined to become a big mainstream country hit because it is hooky as all hell. She then went into the title track of her second a good rock number called “Barricades and Brick walls”. Throughout the show she mixed up the setlist with songs off all of her albums and even a few covers. Her rapport with the crowd was excellent as she often engaged in banter and told funny stories. She talked about waiting backstage at the Australian Grammies to meet The Crocodile Hunter for an autograph and when he came out of his dressing room, he had a python around his neck and then played the song of her new album she had written about him. Kasey also had a lot to say about her 2 year old son and how she won’t let him be anything but a musician.

Other highlights included her Hank Williams-esque honky tonker “I’m A Little Bit Lonesome” as well as a cover of a Neil Young’s “Comes A Time”. The set closed with a story about her first meeting with Lucinda Williams opening up on her tour 5 years ago and then Kasey brought the house down with a cover of Lucinda’s breakup anthem”Changed the Locks.”

Soon after Ms. Chambers came out for an encore and did a solo acoustic version of the title track to her debut The Captain, and if that weren’t enough she called her father who also serves as her guitar player and her brother, who also serves as her sound engineer and producer for an utterly breathtaking performance of Gram Parson’s “Sin City” complete with 3 part vocal harmonies. I would’ve been satisfied if the show ended right there. In fact, that would’ve been the perfect ending. However, I could not complain about Kasey and her band coming out once again for a second encore consisting of 2 more songs, “Saturated” from her latest, Wayward Angel, and the upbeat rocker “Crossfire” to close it out.

Overall, it was a more than satisfying show that left me smiling as I left the venue. I wish I had a setlist to post but I’m not really sure anyone took it down and posted it online. Besides, I don’t think any of you really care which songs she played.

Kasey Chambers, Irving Plaza 11/16/04 Setlist
Like a River
Barricades & Brickwalls

If I Could (Going Fishing)
On a Bad Day
Runaway Train

Not Pretty Enough

Little Bit Lonesome
More than Ordinary

Comes a Time

Last Hard Bible
Follow You Home
Changed the Locks

Sin City



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The Best Calendar Ever

Posted by evankessler on November 16, 2004

I was reading through news stories on Fark.com today when I came across a story that made no sense. Apparently some Australians broke the record for Underwater Ironing. Yes, you read that right, underwater ironing. The record was confirmed by the website www.extremeironing.com The first question I had was why would anyone think to Iron clothes underwater? The number 2 question I had was, http://www.extremeironing.com, what the crap is that?

While I don’t have an answer to the first question, the answer to the 2nd question is that it’s a website dedicated to the sport of extreme ironing. Wow, alert the X-games because the way these people iron is EXTREME!!! Actually it kind of is somewhat extreme if you consider ironing suspended between two mountain peaks by a wire to be extreme. I find that practice to be extreme in that it is extremely stupid and extremely pointless. Not to mention extremely life threatening. How exactly do you compete in extreme ironing? What constitutes a completed ironing heat. Do you have to fold after you iron? Do you use starch? I guess some questions we’ll never know the answers to. That being said, I went to the website and they had a calendar, and I bought that calendar therefore making it the best calendar ever.

And you thought your life was EXTREMELY meaningless.

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Let’s Protest!!!

Posted by evankessler on November 12, 2004

Before I get to the the meaning of the title of this email, I guess I’ll give you a little background info on my day today though I know it isn’t always absolutely necessary. So here’s a brief synopsis. Work time was spent in meetings and watching the 1976 version of Freaky Friday starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. Barbara Harris was definitely hot back then though I don’t really know what else she’s been in. Jodie Foster was an awkward teenage Tomboy and she’s pretty much the same now, but at least she turned into a great actress and director in spite of Freaky Friday. It was extremely painful. My producer Stacy and I were grimacing in pain the entire movie. How long can you pull off the “I’m a mom trapped in my daughters body and vice versa” bit without it actually leading to something else? The movie carried on like that for about an hour and 40 minutes until finally getting somewhere with it and then it ended. It was brutal.

On the topic of horrible movies I’m proposing not only a boycott of the film National Treasure, but also a protest of an awful movie premise. The premise of the film is that there was a treasure map on the Declaration of Independence. Now, I’m all for the suspension of disbelief in good action/adventure movies, but let’s face it, I will not for one second pretend that there ever could have been a hidden treasure map on the Declaration of Independence. It sounds like a premise some guy who had a meeting with producers just pulled out of his ass at a meeting he was unprepared for. Here’s how I imagine the meeting went.

Producer: So what’ve you got for us? This better be good.

Screenwriters: Umm… (glancing at his blatant rip off of a She’s All That, Can’t Buy Me Love romantic comedy pitch) ummmm……

Producer: Well, I hope you’re not wasting our time son….

Screenwriter: Okay, so there’s this movie about this guy….

Producer: I’m with you so far….

Screenwriter: And he’s searching for a clue….

Producer: What kind of clue? Like a clue to find something?

Screenwriter: Yeah….a clue to find something….

Producer: To find what? You’ve got to hurry up. My time is precious.

Screenwriter: He searching for a clue for the treasure…

Producer: So it’s like a Pirate movie.

Screenwriter: Um, no, um….he has a treasure map, but he doesn’t have it.

Producer: Why doesn’t he have it?

Screenwriter: Because it’s (internal monologue: think quick asshole!) because it’s on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

Producer: What?

Screenwriter: Yeah, ummm…when he….when he… when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration, see…there was a treasure map on the back…

Producer: So it’s based on a true story?

Screenwriter: Um, no. I made that part up.

Producer: Oh brilliant! I see, so he has to steal the Declaration of Independence.

Screenwriter: ummm…. Yeah. I guess.

Producer: I like it. So it’s like a heist movie and a treasure hunt movie. The Thomas Crown Affair mixed with Indiana Jones. Call Jerry Bruckheimer and see if we can attach Nicholas Cage, pronto!!! We’ve got a shitty movie to churn out for lots of money. You’re going to go far in this business son.


Just don’t go

Hence the dumbest looking movie of the season is made. I propose that when any movie this dumb comes out, we gather a group together to protest its release and subsequent showings. Imagine picketing in front of the movie theater for this great cause. Furthermore we must try to convince the idiots who were on their way to see it, to go see something else. We cannot tolerate this sort of idiocy. Jerry Bruckheimer must be stopped from making movies and entertaining throngs of unsuspecting retards. I mean, I know I shouldn’t care what tons of morons are going to see but I also do not want to be subject to even the most accidental viewing of the stupid Jerry Bruckheimer film trailers. Anyway, all of this anger was brought on by seeing that stupid trailer and Nicholas Cage’s guest appearance on the tonight show. I just had to vent a little. Okay, I’m going to steal the Articles of Confederation and look for some gold so I can get me some dead presidents.

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Room for Rent Part II

Posted by evankessler on November 11, 2004

It was cold this morning. Probably the coldest its been since last winter. Even as I’m writing this there is a chill filling the air in my bedroom and the computer keys are cold. Most of the day at work was status quo. I was doing research on my years of I Love The 70’s. I learned some interesting things by using IMDB.

The China Syndrome, a movie about a Nuclear accident opened two weeks prior to the Nuclear accident at 3 Mile Island.

Jack Lemmon’s death scene in The China Syndrome was the only death scene he has ever filmed in all of his movies.

Most actresses in their 20’s or 30’s that share a birthday with me are porn actresses. I swear there were like 7. I clicked on the whose birthday it was today link and did investigative reporting regarding if any other famous people shared my birthday. I came up with P.Diddy, Laura Bush, and Kathy Griffin.

There were other interesting tidbits but I don’t remember them off the top of my head. IMDB is a wonderful site though. Kudos to the people who stockpile that website with tons of trivial information. I’ve never had the urge to know Meredith Baxter-Birney’s measurements but now if the occasion comes up, I can buy her a birthday gift.

I left work at around 6pm and rushed home for our first interview of the evening at 6:45 with another Matt. Matt is the ex-boyfriend of my friend Orly from high school. Apparently he just broke up with his girlfriend and is looking for a new place. He currently lives down the street. Overall, the interview with Matt went really well. He seemed pretty open and comfortable with us all and the roommates seemed to take a liking to him. He seemed a little reserved at first but warmed up quickly. He hung out for about a half hour and asked us questions. He asked a lot of questions but that was good seeing as we’re not too good at knowing which info to give out. I’d say his interview went pretty well. He definitely made it hard for us not to like him or nitpick about him. GRADE: A

After interviewing our 2nd Matt in 2 days of interviewing we strangely enough interviewed our 2nd Greg. Greg was a financial consultant at a small firm, I don’t remember exactly where. I think he worked somewhere on 57th St. He walked in wearing a nice blue suit straight from work. I’d love to insult and nitpick about all of these people but I think in general we interviewed some pretty nice guys. I’d like to commend Sean and myself for doing a good job weeding out the Craigslist riff raff emails. Now that I’m done patting myself and my roommate on the back, back to the interview. Greg, like Matt, had a lot of questions but seemed a little less outgoing, a little too financial. He seemed like the kind of guy who would be in bed by 10pm and be mad if you were up late. I know that’s not fair but you have to go by your instinct in these situations. It’s not like you’re going to live in a house for a week with them and give a rose to the one you like. Someone is moving out and we have to move someone in. GRADE: B-

We’re sick of interviewing people even though there’s only been 6, but we’ve whittled it down to 2. It’s between Matt #1 and Matt #2. Winner to be announced soon.

Also tonight after I got back from the gym my brother’s friend Tony Kim was being really annoying yelling, “Blog Me, Blog Me! I want to be in your blog!” He got really drunk on a couple of glasses of wine and started acting like an idiot. He accidentally broke a window on Sebastian’s door and passed out on Greg’s bed and was later moved to the upstairs couch. Congratulations Tony Kim, You’ve made the blog!!! Not to be mean, I like Tony, but this is what he gets for his combined drunkenness and badgering. Goodnight all and a have a pleasant tomorrow or today if you’re reading this on the 11th during the day, which I guess you would be.

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American Roommate Idol

Posted by evankessler on November 9, 2004

I overslept this morning. I woke up at 10:05. I looked at my clock and thought, how much longer do I have to sleep and then realized that I’m supposed to be at work at 10. Way to go Evan! I rushed to take a shower and sped off to work for a day of taking chyron information and watching movies. For those of you not aware of what chyrons are they’re the graphic of the people’s names of who you are seeing currently on screen. Good, now that that’s cleared up I don’t have to talk about it.

I had to rush out of work at 6pm because we had interviews with four potential roommates. For those not aware, my brother is moving out of our apartment which he has lived in the previous six years, so it is the duty of Sean Maddison, Sebastian Nicolas, and myself to replace him.

The first guy was Doug from New Jersey. Hew was a nice enough guy, suitably laid back. He worked for a design and printing firm just ten minutes walking distance for our apartment. He seemed a little nervous to be meeting three people who were judging him which I imagine must be daunting. We gave him the 3rd degree in our laid back manner and gave good answers, part of me still wasn’t convinced. He seemed a little too reserved but I guess I would be in that situation. However, seeing as I like to make snap judgements on people I wasn’t really sure he was a good fit. He’s not out of the running yet, just I wasn’t really sure about him. GRADE: B-

The next guy we saw was Greg who works in charity event planning. The first impression was that this guy was monstrously tall and that I hoped if he lived here he would watch his head if the ceiling fan was on. Talking to Greg and asking the standard roommate questions, I really liked the guy. He was very talkative and seemed really organized and just gave really detailed description of the stuff he did that made it very interesting. In the back of my head I thought, this guy is too tall to live here. Everyone except Sean is relatively short. We can’t have another extremely tall fellow to be making me feel more insecure about my diminutive stature. Though I got over this really quickly and the, “this guy seems like a really good guy” portion of my brain won out. GRADE B+

Onward to number three at 8pm, Matt, a filmmaker from Austin Texas who also works another job in the political field. He was immediately talkative and outgoing and gave out really good vibes. Ugh, I hate using the word vibes. I feel like a fucking hippie. “I’m totally catching your vibe, let’s go see the Grateful Dead (or new equivalent Deep Banana Blackout or something) and trip our asses off fellow poser hippie douche.” So, anyway, Sean, Sebastian, and I seemed to take a liking to him immediately and we all just talked pretty much for a half hour. We had someone else coming at 8:30pm and I was afraid with all of this talking the interviews would cut into each other but I didn’t want to be a dick and cut it off. Plus, we were all getting on so well. So far, Matt is in the lead and he started pulling away from the pack. The closer it got to 8:30 the more nervous I got and the more anxious I got trying to avoid the awkward situation of two potential roommates meeting each other. I thought it would end up like in Back to the Future 2 when Marty was in danger of coming into contact with his other self in 1955. Fortunately it never came to that and Matt got out just under the wire. GRADE: A

Part 4 of the night was much shorter than the other three. The next applicant was British. We knew this from his email and I’ve always been a fan of British persons so I was looking forward to meeting Gary who worked in fashion. That should’ve been a tip off right there that he wasn’t really fitting in with Sean, Sebastian, and I. We’re all fan of sport in some way shape or form. When this guy opened the door, we just sort of knew he would not live here. Not to be mean, but he was very quiet, very proper, and gave no hint to having any personality. Not that he didn’t have one he just wasn’t very friendly and seemed socially awkward. We showed him around the place and he didn’t say much of anything, nor did he have any questions for us and his answers to our questions were extremely abrupt, leaving lots of awkward silences. We wished him luck and showed him out the door but there was no doubt that this was not the guy for our apartment. GRADE: F

Looking for roommates is fun. We’ve got some more applicants to meet on Wednesday and then we’ll make some decisions. Unless we have to meet some people on Thursday. God dammit I hate looking for roommates.

Also at around 11:34 Kristin Ertel called me to tell me that Wilco was on Jay Leno tonight so much thanks to Kristin for that one. I have to say, the wait was torturous. I had to sit through really crappy stories about Nicolas Cage going in a shark cage with his new waitress wife and his kid in Africa. I hate that guy. I don’t know why. Maybe I hate him because he hasn’t been in a good movie since Raising Arizona. Actually, Leaving Las Vegas was okay, but it was really depressing. Then they showed footage of him in the shark cage. I could really care less, and then to have to put up with Leno’s incessant ass kissing. It was painful. However, nothing could prepare me for hearing Jennifer Tilly babble through two segments about meeting her Poker player boyfriend like she was on speed or coke or something. I don’t think Leno even got a word. I’m surprised he didn’t hit her and tell her to just shut the fuck up, that’s certainly what I felt like doing. She just went on an on uninterrupted with the worst story I’d ever heard, narrowly beating out Nicolas Cage’s previous travails. She kept going on past 12:30 and I thought Wilco was going bumped. I was about to be cheated all for the sake of two of the most wholly uninteresting things I’d ever heard. Luckily, at 12:33, Jay got back from commercial and introduced Wilco who sped through a revved up version of a normally pretty rocking song, “I’m A Wheel” which in the end wasn’t really worth it because I had to sit through those awful interviews. I felt a little better that there was some sort of reward at least for having to sit through that crap. Ok, enough’s enough. Goodnight. That’s your reward for reading through this crap.

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They Say It Was My Birthday!

Posted by evankessler on November 5, 2004

My birthday has been over for about 45 minutes now and on the whole it was just okay. Some parts were unbelievable, but as far as entire days go, It felt like any other normal day. The day started off promising if a little annoying as I was woken up at 8:45 am with my brother and Sean Maddison jumping on my bed singing, “They say it’s your birthday, It’s my birthday too.” I got a good laugh out of that. They even put up a Happy Birthday Evan!” sign with an inexplicable graphic of two people weightlifting.

The work day seemed pretty status quo. I don’t know what I wanted, I guess I wanted more people to know it was my birthday and say happy birthday. I’m not going to run around and shout it from the rooftops though. Thanks to Arby, Craig Kafko, David Abbott, Sierra Lindsey, Kristen Ertel, Stacy Angeles, Marty Dundics, Stacey Fryer, Marie Camaya, Marissa Brotspies, Erica Bryndza, Jennie Friedlich, Ruthie Fisher, Amanda Verash, Tovah Hirsch, and of course my mom for their timely birthday wishes. Not that I’m mad at other people for not saying anything, but the majority of the day, I just didn’t feel like it was my birthday as I just sat at my desk. I just sort of felt lame. I don’t really know the reason, but there were just people I wanted to hear from that I didn’t. I can’t even put my finger on who exactly or if that was the particular reason but something seemed like it was missing. I really don’t know what I was expecting at work maybe a cake which is sort of the norm for birthdays at work, but I didn’t get one. That’s probably because the one person who I would have expected to do something for me is out this week. So I guess that’s sort of what was missing. Maybe I’m just overreacting, after all, I am having a party on Saturday.

That being said, my night picked up after work as I went to Bar Nine with Mike Haigh for a drink to celebrate Saimon Kos’birthday who’s was also today. I stayed for a little bit but then I had to meet Rich Burrier, Marie, and Zach to go see R.E.M., which I was really excited about.
Rich and I have seen R.E.M. 4 times together after tonight. We went three times on the ‘Up’ tour my Junior year of college, I think it was the end of summer 1999. We had previously seen them in Cleveland, Saratoga Springs, and Boston. Actually, going to R.E.M. at the Garden was sort of full circle for me seeing as the first show I ever went to without my parents was R.E.M. on the Monster tour in the Spring of 1995. However, this time, I had much better seats. Rich got them through our friend Marie Camaya who was also responsible for our kick ass Wilco tickets at Radio City a couple weeks back.
I have to say, the show was remarkable. THANK YOU VERY MUCH RICH. Rich had previously wondered aloud to me what the setlist would be like prior to the election and how it would reflect what the outcome had been. That was all answered quite early as the show began with the band launching directly into It’s The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). The free spirited apocalyptic rant seemed both apropos and irony laced at the same time. It’s almost as if with the words “It’s the end of the world as we know it…”, everyone was thinking, “sure is” and with the lyrics, “and I feel fine” the audience was thinking, “nope, not me”.

The political tone continued through the next song Begin The Begin which hit on more lyrically appropriate themes of the past week (“the insurgency began, and we missed it”). This was an R.E.M. who really didn’t know how to react through banter but spoke louder and more clearly than any speech could have with through the pointed commentary in their songs. Welcome To The Occupation seemed an obvious selection building on the theme of disbelief over the continuation of the Bush regime. Michael Stipe rapport with the audience was almost non-existent rapport but he didn’t need it since we all seemed to know how he felt. The only non musical political statement he could muster was along the lines of “this is a strange Thursday.” Stipe vowed to raise the spirits of the crowd through nearly 2 hours of the well constructed pop songs that Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Peter Buck are known for. They didn’t shy away from such hits as Losing My Religion and The One I Love.
Nor did they completely fall victim to their own political by inserting such upbeat songs as Imitation of Life, Get Up, and and optimistic version of Walk Unafraid.

The band came back and ripped through a high powered 7 song encore featuring a new song, I’m Gonna DJ and being capped off with Man on The Moon, which Stipe said was a song that belonged to all of the fans. It was a truly great show, here’s the setlist but I still have a little more to write:
R.E.M. Madison Square Garden November 4th, 2004
“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”
“Begin The Begin”
“So Fast So Numb”
“Boy In The Well”
“High Speed Train”
“Get Up”
“The Outsiders”
“Welcome To The Occupation”
“Sweetness Follows”
“The One I Love”
“I Wanted To Be Wrong”
“Imitation Of Life”
“Final Straw”
“Losing My Religion”
“Walk Unafraid”
“Life And How To Live It”
“What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”
“Leaving New York”
“Permanent Vacation”
“I’m Gonna DJ”
“Man On The Moon

When I arrived home at around 11:40 my brother and Linda had just finished watching “City of God” my brother took out a bag and gave me a present. He gave me a pretty cool t-shirt that I am certain to add to the rotation. I remember when I hated getting clothes but now I actually love it because I can’t go clothes shopping for shit. After I opened his present, he had another gift, a nice big raspberry chocolate cake from Bruno Bakery and so ended the night. We had some cake and I ended the night off with that happy birthday feeling.

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Election 2004

Posted by evankessler on November 3, 2004

Current State of Electoral Affairs Bush: 247 Kerry: 210 WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY!!! More on that later, let me catch you up to speed on my daily affairs.
I woke up this morning at 8:45am (11/02/04) with Vote or Die in my head so much that I was thinking about the P. Diddy spoof from South Park all day. (http://www.southparkstudios.com/down/guide.html?id=808&min=2)

I even walked around with a toy megaphone singing it in people’s offices. After my morning routine I headed to my polling place and placed my vote for John Kerry for US President. It’s was almost impossible to feel bad about John Kerry’s chances if you’re standing in line at a polling place in New York City. There are plenty of people wearing Kerry-Edwards buttons and just talking negatively about Bush. If only New York were a microcosm of the United States.

Most of the day at work people were walking around shouting Vote or Die at each other, and the mood was generally optimistic. I was sitting at work reading the New York Post reading Page Six and read that a Porn Director and Porn Star would be giving out Free porn for people who had proof of voting at the Virgin Megastore after 6:30 pm. This struck me as really weird seeing as a music store in Times Square is not exactly a strictly adult environment that would have a Porn Signing, I mean, broadway shows such as Aida and The Lion King are right in that area and there’s a huge Toys ‘R’ Us two blocks down. Conversely there’s more porn shops and strip clubs than you can count on 8th avenue so I guess they cancel each other out. Anyway, my interest was piqued and vowed to at least check out the scene, in part because there was a CD I wanted anyway, and hey free porn. Why not?

As I got to Virgin at around 6:30 I found the Ray LaMontagne CD that had been recommended by Rob Goodman, and went downstairs to check out the signing. The line wasn’t that long so I just thought, what the hell, this’ll be funny and hey, free porn. Luckily I still had my proof of voter registration on me. The line to meet apparently legendary director Seymour Butts and Porn Starlet Mari Possa (they get so creative with the names) was an eclectic mix of people. In front of me was a Hispanic woman in her mid 50’s and behind me was a mid 40’s African American guy that looked like he really wanted some porn. Behind were two teenaged Mexican kids who were later carded and kicked off of the line. There was also a healthy dose of banker looking guys who just got out of the JP Morgan office and guys with their girlfriends.
After about 20 minutes I finally got to the front of the line and was staring straight at Mari Possa (Spanish for Butterfly). She asked me my name, we shook hands and I asked her how long of a tour they had been doing this for. She said five days and she said she was exhausted. I have to say, she was really cute. I really had no idea what to say in this situation I mean what do you say to the star of “Jamaican Me Horny” but I think I did a pretty good job. The situation was beyond awkward, I hadn’t seen any of her movies or anything, I didn’t even know she existed prior to this moment but I guess any amount of small talk would do. She signed my free copy of her movie and I moved on to Seymour Butts (keep laughing, because I am) who asked me if I had voted today. I said yes and asked him a question, which I can’t remember because I really didn’t care about the answer. He also signed my DVD and I moved on.
It was sort of a stupid fun thing to do and I wish someone else was with me at the time and I sort of felt like a loser but do you have a copy of Jamaican Me Horny with signature that say, “Dear Evan, My Tushy is yours! Mari Possa” and “Evan, All My Best, Seymour Butts.” I didn’t think so. Pretty funny stuff.

Adult Film Star Mari Possa

Another thing that I noticed was the store display for the signing. There were all of these really hardcore porn films with really raunchy names and on the other side of the display there were animated holiday movies for kids. Quite the dichotomy one might say.

As I walked towards the subway down broadway, I ran into my friend Kim Gatewood from Syracuse who was doing a one person comedy show tonight and gave me a flyer. I told her I would go some other time because I wanted to watch the election results.

Since arriving home, my optimism about John Kerry’s presidential hopes has diminished by the hour. I can’t believe the people of this fucking country are voting for George Bush. I really want to go off on a tangent but I don’t have the strength right now. President Bush has shown beyond all reasonable doubt that he is not a trustworthy leader of the people. He had always failed in every endeavor prior to obtaining the Presidency and continues to drive the country and the world into dire straits. Shame on our country for allowing such a travesty if the current electoral count holds up to result in a victory for Bush. The country will be mired in partisan bickering for 4 more years. 4 more years of a growing deficit and failing economy, 4 more years or international infamy, 4 more years of being misled and lied to. 4 more years if we’re lucky to make it that long. Goodnight, and I hope things are different tomorrow but I’m not too optimistic. Way to end on a bright note.

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