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Archive for February, 2005

Jesus Christ People

Posted by evankessler on February 24, 2005

Okay everyone put away your “Jump to Conclusions mats”. My previous post seems to have stirred the peanut gallery into a bit of a frenzied state. Apparently it’s not natural to have a really great time with someone you haven’t seen in nine years and write all about it but not want to get married to said person. I maintain that it is perfectly possible and therefore hope the squash the imminent engagement rumors. Wow, that was the most interest I’ve had in my personal life in years. I feel like the last posting was pulled right out from Page 6 of New York’s favorite newspaper. Apparently it was a slow news day and Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan had the night off. Luckily there’s also another rumor going around that I’m a cunning linguist, and I’m not denying that one.

Moving right along, I learned a few things today, okay only two things. I’ve learned that if “a girl walks up with a KJV and bookmark in Proverbs, you get stoked.” Where did I learn that? I learned that by watching the video for “Baby Got Book” a Christian rap cover of Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. Does anyone know what KJV stands for? My other favorite line is “Oh baby I wanna read wit ya, cause your bibles got pictures.” This is priceless stuff, folks. If you can get through to this website I highly recommend a viewing of this priceless work of Christian art. I need to know what KJV is though. If anyone knows, feel free to email me (Update: I think KJV stands for King James Version)

The second thing I learned today was with the help of Adam Starling. Adam showed me that it’s really funny to go Merriam-Webster dictionary’s website and type in funny words so that the computerized voice can say them out loud. Douche was the funniest. Oh how we laughed and laughed. Gets me every time. Okay. I’m going to go to sleep now seeing as I haven’t fallen asleep before 4am any of the previous 3 nights. Oh and one more thing. Time is running out on the evankessler.com poll question for February (looks like Guttenburg’s going to pull this out) so get your vote on hipsters. Also don’t forget to visit the new evankessler.com guestbook and make your mark on our map.

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A Reunion of Sorts

Posted by evankessler on February 22, 2005

Well, it’s been a stellar 3-day weekend and I have one person to thank, Linnea Wexler. About 8 months ago I got a Friendster message from Linnea who now lives in Italy. She’s one of those people I’ve always really liked and admired. We’d been friends since the 1st grade and had shared so many moments throughout our years in Rockland, but had lost touch over the past 8 years give or take. I was shocked to hear from her at first. I would be lying if I said she hadn’t crossed my mind prior to her contacting me. I was absolutely delighted by our correspondence. I never thought she was the kind of person to use Friendster. I thought she was sort of too cool and had to have way to much going on for that and let’s face it, most of the time when you get long lost people contacting you via Friendster it can be a tad unwelcoming. I don’t know what I pictured her doing but it was always something too big to be really be caring what people from home were up to. We had sort of sent some emails back and forth since then. Several weeks ago she sent out a notice that she would be in New York for a couple of weeks during February into March. I was excited.

I called Linnea on Wednesday of last week in the hopes of getting her to attend last week’s karaoke extravaganza, but to no avail. When I was getting ready to go to Stacey Angeles open bar Fuse party I got a call from her and she seemed to have a really excited nervous energy on the phone so I was excited. I went to Stacey’s open bar party for a bit where I mingled with the likes of Zoran Zgonc, Vanessa White Wolf, Justin Begnaud, and Sandra Kuhn. Linnea and I had been playing phone tag all night, but we made contact with each other eventually and as I grew tired with the open bar party I called Linnea and told her I would meet up with her at her parent’s apartment, which just happens to be the same block as my office.

I got to the apartment at around 11:20pm, and Linnea came down to let me in. When she showed up, I think we were both equally excited and semi-nervous to see each other but that tension was soon alleviated, if it ever really existed. We both were in the “wow, I haven’t seen you in so long” state of mind at first. We walked into her apartment and I was introduced to her sister Kate who I had only previously seen as an infant I think and whom I had a comical friendster episode with as well. Her ex-boyfriend had just come in from France and I met him. His name was Laurent, but it’s pronounced with some French gusto. If you want to properly pronounce his name you would have to say something along the lines of “Is L.A. Law on?” And that last part “Law on” is sort of how it sounds, but in a French sounding way.

Linnea and I proceeded to drink Mezcal on her parents’ terrace in the freezing cold weather and reminisce about old times dating back to 1st grade in Mrs. Hutt’s class. The conversation was enthralling at the least. It seemed as though we were both ecstatic about our interaction. I think I had a permasmile on the entire time we hung out that night and for the rest of the weekend for that matter. We were both equally as eager to keep talking and sharing with each other our memories as well as what we had been up to. It was so much fun. At one point it was 4:30 am and we decided it would be a good time to bring a percussion instrument into the room where her sister and Laurent were sleeping and perform for them. Good times. We both ended up passing out on the couch and I left at 8:30am because I had errands to do.

At about 4pm I met up with Linnea again and we went to check out the gates in Central Park which we renamed “The Great Wall of Orange”. We looked out on the installation from a rock and watched kids go rolling in the mud while their parents ignored their children for the sake of art. It was an excellent time. I ran into my family friends Scott and Andrew Paskoff as we continued to stroll through the gates, and they told me that their mom had told them about this here website. Evankessler.com is really picking up steam folks. Anyway, we took some good pictures of the gates, then we went to a coffee shop for hot chocolate and pie. During that time I came up with the phrase “e-hitting on,” to mean being contacted through a dating service, and we discussed the lack of names to go along with all 100 Smurfs, after all of that wonderful discussion Linnea would soon have to meet her friend Ramsey from schoot back at the apartment.

Apparently these are gates.

I spent the rest of Saturday night watching Syracuse lose to Boston College and zoning out on my new digital cable. I don’t really understand the allure of On Demand. They have all of these shows that you can watch if only you really cared about them, but other than that, it’s not that great. Why do I need all 6 episodes of Unscripted? I never felt the need to watch that before. Oh, look with on demand I can watch Johnny English whenever I feel like it. I watched Taxicab confessions and Unscripted til about 2 but don’t really have the desire to ever watch those shows again.

Sunday I woke up and it felt like Saturday. Craig Kafko came over and we had lunch at the Waverly diner. Afterwards we watched some Smurfs episodes on a network called Boomerang that I had never heard of, and HBO Family was showing Police Academy 5. There’s really no better way to spend an afternoon than catching the Smurfs and A Police Academy movie. The Smurfs viewing really reinforced Linnea’s original notion of the 100 Smurfs but not enough names theory. Papa Smurf clearly counts 100 Smurfs in the episode I watched but I defy anyone to come up with 100 Smurfs that actually exist.. Also, another thing I noticed during this episode was that a Smurf substituted the word “time” with “Smurf”. I don’t think this was a valid use of the word “Smurf”. He said something along the lines of “I’m running out of Smurf”. I think this was the script writers getting lazy. In my mind, Smurf can only refer to the Smurfs as creatures themselves or as an action verb. For example, “I smurfed so much cocaine last night.”

Anyway, the rest of Sunday was spent becoming addicted to Digital cable, namely VH1 Classic and the show “The Dive” on fuse. So many videos to watch, so little time. I couldn’t even fall asleep til 6am.

Monday morning I woke up after 6 hours sleep and watched some of Johnny English, mainly because I have a thing for Natalie Imbruglia. Sarah Fleischmann showed up at around 1:45pm and we got lunch at Grey Dog. She left right after lunch and I met up with Linnea again at around 4pm. We got some banana pudding and mint tea from Magnolia Bakery and sat around my apartment having some more great conversation.

Linnea left right before 9pm at around 8:50:08 boop beep, because 24 was on soon and she had to meet her friend at the Sidewalk café and I had to watch Jack Bauer take care of business 8:57:12 beep boop. Vanessa and I were text messaging back and forth during 24. I love that show. 9:59:57 boop beep. I decided to meet up with Linnea and her friends at the Sidewalk Café. Her friends were really nice and outgoing. I love meeting new people who don’t make you feel awkward. It was the open mike anti-hoot at Sidewalk (I went once with John Vacanti so I was familiar with their open mike) and one of her friends was playing. Some weird poser rocker guy named Jerry Cherry who was desperate for attention wouldn’t leave us alone and he was pretty much blatantly hitting on Linnea. I left at around 1:50 am after her friend performed and now I’m writing this. How the hell am I going to wake up tomorrow? I feel like I could write something funnier or more introspective and intelligent but I’m tired and it’s time to sleep. Anyway, I just want to thank Linnea for being so much fun over the past couple of days and I hope I get to see her a few more times before she takes off back to Italy. Goodnight.

Linnea Wexler and myself as I show off what may be my toothiest grin ever.

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Valentine The Destroyer

Posted by evankessler on February 15, 2005

So before I get into my intended sort of Anti Valentine’s Day misery loves company post, I thought I’d bring you up to speed on how I spent my Valentine’s Day Evening. So, I sat in front of the ol’ TV to watch some Valentine’s Day 24, boop beep, and about 15 minutes through I started to hear some loud knocking upstairs. My first thought was, is anyone upstairs? When I realized that no one was upstairs I got a little worried. I thought either the skylight was breaking from the rain or someone was breaking in our apartment from the roof. I preferred to think it was the former. As the show went on I occasionally heard more knocking and finally a crash of glass breaking. This immediately set alarm bells off in my head and I was a little hesitant to go upstairs and be ambushed. 24 wasn’t helping to quell my fears but nonetheless I waited til it was over. I asked Sebastian if he had heard any crashes or things breaking. He told me that the church flag had been hitting his window.

The church flag in question is the one that reads “He is risen” or maybe it says “he is born” referring to Christ. When I walked upstairs Matt’s window was pretty much shattered from the flag. My first thought was that maybe Jesus was getting back at me for being Jewish and that perhaps I should give that up for lent. Then I thought maybe Jesus was mad at us for having parties where bottles ended up on the church deck. Then I realized that Matt wasn’t here for that so I squelched the Jesus was trying to kill me theory altogether. Since no one else was around I taped up Matt’s window and vacuumed his floor and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past hour.

That being said, It is Valentine’s Day, and though it is nearly over, it was my original intention to discuss my February 2005 mix for my mix of the month club that I am in with former roommate John Vacanti. This mix was made over the past month, mostly mid January while in the throes of medium to sizeable depression for small pockets of time. I think it had something to do with the wintry weather. This mix reflects that mood, though I am not dominated by those feelings at this particular moment or for the past week or two, which have been extremely fun.

So without further ado, here is the track listing and accompanying blurbs for February Mix 2005 which will probably be named “Valentine The Destroyer” (I like to name my mixes) but which does not contain the song that that phrase is from.

Leona Naess – Home When I first heard this song I immediately thought I needed to be on a mix and it really fit the mood I was in without being too utterly depressing. The “I’m so tired and down…” line really stuck with me, but this song also has a lot of charm to it.

Mekons- Chivalry This song really captures that fear that a lot of people have of ending up alone and almost perfectly describes to me the real essence of why people subject themselves to drunken nights looking for that girl in a bar via the line “I was out late the other night. Fear and Whiskey kept me going.” This song wins serious points just for having that line.

Elvis Costello- Human Hands Elvis Costello is one of the best songwriters of the last 30 years. This one comes off of his Imperial Bedroom album, which is absolutely flawless. I just really wanted to use a song off this album and this fit perfectly here.

Luna- Mermaid Eyes Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips voices mesh perfectly for a sugary sweet lovelorn ditty that is completely irresistible, euphoric, and depressing at the same time.

Billy Bragg- Mother of The Bride Billy Bragg doesn’t get to marry the girl of his dreams, someone else does. How can he deal with this hurt he feels inside? He tells it to the mother of the bride.

Aimee Mann- I Should’ve Known In 2001, I bought an AP magazine that had the list of the 10 best breakup albums of all time. Aimee Mann’s ” Whatever “was on that list. This is a song on that album, one of my favorite albums ever.

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends- Thrice All- American I love Neko’s voice, very classic country in this one. People make fun of Tacoma because it’s a “sour and used up old place” but Neko Case is proud of where she’s from. “Make way for the Wal-mart. I hope they don’t find you Tacoma”.

Old 97’s- If My Heart Was A Car I’ve probably talked about the Old 97’s more than any other band on this website. This song is another fine showcase for Rhett Miller’s wit and the Old 97’s Rockabilly Country punk. “If my heart was a car, you would have stripped it a long time ago.”

Nada Surf – Treading Water This is probably the most out of place song on the mix just because it sort of comes in awkwardly and I hate making mixes and having songs come in without a good lead in but about 15 seconds into it I totally forget about the lead in because it’s so good. It’s a very up tempo cynical rock song that suits me just fine. I like it when I’m at the gym, or out on the town.

The Decemberists – Clementine Whenever I’m making mixes I like to follow the fastest song with the slowest song possible but it has to seem natural. This is sort a blissful serenade that sounds as if it were about a first love or at least brings about the innocence of it.

Idlewild- Quiet Crown Idlewild is probably my favorite band of the past 5 years. I don’t think Roddy Womble has written anything bad. This song is basically a somber reflection on disappointment and starting over again. That’s how I see it anyway. I could be totally wrong. However it’s more up tempo despite containing the lyrics “Apparently you’re happy…you’ve realized… I’m meant to be unhappy. I’ve realized.”

Cat Power- Colors And The Kids I bought Cat Power’s Moon Pix album just before new years. Arby had always told me how good it was. I’m sold. This may be the most depressing song I’ve ever heard. When I heard the line “must be the colors and the kids that keep me alive., cause the music is boring me to death.” I thought to myself, ” yeah man…me too”. Then I thought…”Nevermind. I’m not that depressed.” That being said this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

Flying Burrito Brothers- Sin City The original goal of this mix club was to sort of share the music we were listening to and I had just bought a Flying Burrito Brothers album that is full of priceless songs. This is one of my favorites. For anyone who’s into the Alternative Country (whatever that means) genre owning any of Gram Parsons work is a must. I still have to get the GP and Grievous Angel albums.

The Shins- Young Pilgrims I’m honestly running out of insight on these songs. I love The Shins and this is one of my favorite songs by them. Besides, it fits in perfectly.

Fountains of Wayne- Troubled Times This may be the most optimistic song of the lot and probably the only one that made it from my original prediction back in July or whenever I made my original projection to this play list. It’s about holding out hope that one day that missed opportunity will come right back to you. Hope is important.

My Morning Jacket – Golden It’s another tear in your beer song. “People always told me,, that bars are dark and lonely and talk is often cheap and filled with air. Sure sometimes they thrill me but nothin’ could ever chill me, like the way they make the time just disappear.”

Elliott Smith- Twilight If you’re going to do a depressing anti-Valentine’s day mix why not throw in a song by someone whose songs make you depressed even when you’re not depressed. Oh and did I mention he killed himself. That’s going to lighten the mood.

Uncle Tupelo- Give Back The Key To My Heart I was going to put another Tupelo song called “Gun” which is probably in my top 5 songs ever but that would’ve been to easy. I was listening to this song one day at work and just thought about how great it sounded. Jay Farrar really has one of the most distinctive and mesmerizing voices I’ve ever heard. I still like Jeff Tweedy more though out of the two Uncle Tupelo principles. Sometimes Farrar’s a little to gruff for me.

Pavement- Fillmore Jive This is the one song that I knew would definitely be on this mix when I first really started thinking about it in December, and I knew it would be the last song. I was listening to Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain reissue and even though I’d heard the song many times before my brain just said, “this is the last song on your mix”. The song builds from sort nonsensical meandering into a sort of atonal crescendo with the lyrics “I want to sleep why won’t you let me?” to a seemingly complete lack of energy as a nearly comatose Stephen Malkmus mutters “when they pull out their plugs and they snort up their drugs’ only to have his unfinished thought cut off.

FIN

So that’s it. These are the 19 songs of Valentine The Destroyer, Evan Kessler’s mix for February of 2005. Some people will get to enjoy it. Some people won’t. Also, I’ve interpreted many of these songs in the past paragraphs, but I’ve probably interpreted most of them incorrectly and applied them to myself for my own satisfaction. I will ultimately be disappointed to find out that each and every song is probably not what I thought it was about. Oh well. Que sera sera. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

“Heartbreak, old friend, goodbye it’s me again.
Of late, I’ve had some thought of movin’ in.
Of all the many ways a man will lose his home,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.

True love, I knew some thought of, some thought of leavin’ you.
Bad thoughts I had, when valentines were due.
Of all the many ways a man will break his heart,
Well there ain’t none meaner than he pulls his own apart

Valentine, the destroyer, Valentine, you belong
In the stars, where you are, always rollin’ on.
Cried, I’ve cried till I couldn’t carry on.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.

Heartbreak, old friend, goodbye it’s me again.
Of late, I’ve had some thought of movin’ in.
Of all the many ways a man will lose his home,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.

Valentine, the destroyer, Valentine, you belong
In the stars, where you are, always rollin’ on.
Cried, I’ve cried till I couldn’t carry on.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong

Of all the many things that you were countin’ on,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.
No, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on”

Written by the Old 97’s

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Happy Birthday Irwin

Posted by evankessler on February 9, 2005

Two signs that the world is going to end, my mom started using hip abbreviations. She told me to call and wish my stepdad an HB, to which I responded, “Should I just say HB? Is he going to know what that means? Or should I just say Happy Birthday?” The second sign of impending doom is that my mom actually asked me last weekend to bring my camera to brunch so that I could take a picture and she could be in the blog. We’re not going to be around much longer folks.

Anyway, I just thought I’d do a morning blog since I haven’t in awhile and also because tonight Karaoke at Dark Light and chances are I won’t have the wherewithal to write one tonight. So come one come all. Deb Miran and Kim Rowe will be guest bartending and I’m sure it will be lots of fun. If I look different it’s because I cut myself shaving twice this morning. Que ridiculo!

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