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Archive for August, 2005

My Plate Is Full

Posted by evankessler on August 22, 2005

Wow, 5 days might be the longest I’ve gone without posting. Sorry to have neglected you for so long. You’d think I was away on a trip to Monaco or something but alas I am not. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been able to keep busy. Life goes whether or not you’re spending a free week in a European principality. That being said, I’ve rarely had a moment to myself the last few days. Wait, that’s not completely true but for the most part I’ve had stuff to do every day since last posting. Wednesday I went to lunch with my mom and Irwin at a Japanese restaurant in SOHO but I preferred to keep it low-key most of that day preferring the company of Madden 2006 to actual activity.

My active to lazy ratio improved in favor of the active side Thursday night as I met Jen Ball for drinks at Bua on St. Marks Place. I for one had an excellent time as I downed beers and she had a few Red Lemonades and discussed working and high school amongst other things. Afterwards we headed across the street to Crif Dogs for some savory hot dog action. That’s some good eatings when you are hungry and buzzed. I walked Jen to the 6 train and then called Steve Miller. I had received an email insinuating the possibility of Thursday night activities with folks from 709 Grand. When I called Steve he alerted me that they were in the park in DUMBO watching an outdoor movie. I soon joined them and caught most of the movie Big Fish, which I didn’t really need to see again seeing as it’s on almost every day at HBO nearly every time I turn on the TV. It is a great movie though and it sucks me in every time so I didn’t really mind watching it. Also at the movie were Dmitry, Nina, Morwin, Jina, Jenny, and Bora as well as some people I didn’t know who were friends of Dmitry’s and were there because it was his birthday.

When the movie ended the consensus (which doesn’t necessarily mean that I agreed) was to go to S.O.B.’s on Varick for some special promotional Thursday night thing. I honestly just wanted to go to a bar. When we got to S.O.B’s, we saw there was a line and a $13 cover. We decided it wasn’t worth it and Dmitry asked me if I knew any bars in the area. I decided we would go to the Village Tavern for some beers but as we walked toward the bar one of Dmitry’s friends noticed a trendier looking bar called Junno’s and suggested we go there. The bar didn’t seem too crowded so we went inside and sat in a corner booth in the dimly lit room. We sat around drinking and picking at leftover picnic food from the movie. A half hour into being at the bar a girl came by and dropped a leather bound menu-looking thing and asked if we were interested in doing karaoke since Thursday was karaoke night and no one had put in for songs so they weren’t sure if they would do it. If you’ve read this blog in the past you know I’m not one for turning down karaoke. I wrote down my choices and handed one in because I wasn’t sure how long we were staying for and I didn’t want to put in two and make everyone wait for me. While we waited to go Dmitry decided to buy everyone a glass of champagne, which was somewhat weird. I don’t know anyone who just orders champagne at a bar but it was funny and I enjoyed it. It took them long enough to set up karaoke but when it finally arrived I sat through 2 performers and ended up being 3rd up and sang Lisa Loeb’s “Stay”. I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to do a karaoke version of that song for a while. It was ridiculously fun to do and I didn’t really have to look at the words that much. I don’t know what that says about me. I wasn’t sure how the crowd of strangers at the bar would react to my choice but afterwards the girl running the show told me it was amazing. I’m not trying to brag or anything I just sort of thought everyone at the bar would be pretty indifferent. Karaoke can be like a drug if you get a good crowd reaction. You just want to do it more and more once you get people on your side. I went up once more and did Duran Duran’s “Rio” and Nina was dancing with me as I sang. I had a great time that night and I hope Dmitry had a good birthday. I dedicated the songs to him or at least the first one.

Most of Friday was spent in the recovery room (i.e, my living room watching TV). I was IM-ing with Morwin during the day trying to figure out the Friday night activity. The answer came to me in email form when I was at the gym. Andy Seestedt was back in town on vacation from his summer boat adventure and there was to be a gathering at Revival near Union Square at 7pm. When 7pm came around, guess where I headed off to (rhetorical)? When I arrived it was just Andy, Kayvalyn and her friend from work but the gathering soon ballooned to a large friendly gathering including some people from high school who don’t know Andy but who I haven’t seen in a while. I had much to drink and engaged in some good conversation and it was certainly good to see Andy. The night ended rather early after a drunken pizza outing at around midnight. The night didn’t end just there because I played 2 games of Madden before going to sleep that evening. I tell you I’m addicted.

Saturday was more of the same in terms of scheduling. The morning and afternoon were put aside to aid in the recovery of my internal organs. Smoothies with immunity boosts and green teas were ingested. I did a little reading of Machiavelli in Washington Square and returned home for dinner and some New York Giants Preseason football watching before going out. At 9:30pm I left with Matt Wood for a brief appearance at Betsy Van Stone’s birthday bash and Newgate Bar and Grill on LaGuardia Place. I only stayed at Betsy’s for an hour, as I had to attend Rob Goodman’s birthday festivities in Williamsburg. I’m a little bummed that I had to miss Betsy’s there were a lot of people attending that I wanted to spend time with that I haven’t had the pleasure of being around since being out of a job. However, Rob and I have been friends, since we were in 10th grade and I haven’t hung out with him and that group of friends as much lately as well and I regret that. Off to Williamsburg I went. I had to get off at the Lorimer stop and walk under the BQE down a fairly deserted street to get to Royal Oak where his party was, but once I got there I had an excellent time. It was a good crowd consisting mostly of Syracuse folk (Jason, Chris, Marty, Josh R, Reva, Katey, Liz A, Rachel M. and rounded out by Rob’s Girlfriend Liz and her roommate Caroline, some Clarkstown North folks as well as some of the Syracuse folk’s significant others. Highlights of the evening included Marty and I developing my new job strategy in which we decided I should run for city council on the platform that I’m an outsider and want to make a change to the way politicians do things. I also decided I would get involved in a scandal and write a tell all book about it to really make money. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the evening was when we all did a shot to celebrate the 8-year anniversary of the day we all met. Freshman year at Syracuse. Very touching stuff, maybe I’ll add some pictures of it here when I upload them to my computer. To make a long story short though this post is plenty long already I got home at around 4:30am I think.

When I woke up this morning I had the hangovers. I didn’t hurt so much but I was completely foggy and fuzzy, but not like a bear, like a lens or a road in the Scottish countryside, though I’m not sure how fuzzy would apply there. The Sunday plan however was not one of loafing and laying about. At 3pm I was meeting my friend Barry who was on vacation from Israel with his 7-month pregnant wife and his daughter. We were to meet at a playground in Riverside Park, which would’ve been fine if Barry was on time. However, I met Jaime Weisfelner there at 3pm but Barry was running late. As a result Jaime and I looked like a couple who had fertility issues and were staring at children to torture ourselves over what we were incapable of doing. When Jaime went to the bathroom I just looked like a pedophile since, I was sitting on a playground bench with a box of cookies and no children of my own. We decided to be less creepy and sit on a bench outside of the playground when we realized that Barry would be later than expected. He finally arrived at 4pm with pregnant wife and baby daughter in tow. Seeing one of your friends who is younger than you with a child of their own and with another one on the way reminded me how far from that I really am. Not that I’m rushing for that in any sense, I just felt on a certain level I couldn’t even relate to my friend. I don’t have a girlfriend and I don’t think I’ll have a kid for at least another 5 years. I need to find a job first. Barry’s situation is so foreign from my own that I didn’t even know what to say to him aside from just generally asking how he’s doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed by his ability to handle this stage in his life but I just can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes nor would I necessarily want to be in his shoes at this point in my life. It’s just so mind blowing. It was fascinating to watch his daughter just wander around and interact with the playground environment. I think I just kept thinking to myself, that’s Barry’s kid. It’s absolutely crazy, but in a good way. Soon the conversation drifted towards people getting engaged and getting married, which tends to weird me out a little bit, not that I’m opposed to it. As I said before, I’m just not at that point so I don’t really relate at all. Anyway, it was good to see Barry, his wife, and his daughter. I may see him one other night this week while he’s here. Afterwards, Jaime and I walked til we were hungry and got some dinner at Cosi and had a really good conversation mainly about life, which sounds a little deep but it wasn’t a deeply philosophical existential exercise it was more of a self-evaluation of our current status in life. I always manage to have really great conversations with Jaime. I think I need to go out to dinner with her more often though it’s not as if we never see each other.

Anyway, this was one hell of a past five day recap but damn I’m tired of writing it so this is where it’s going to have to end. Truth is I’m not good at ending things, I could type away for hours but I don’t think anyone would read that.

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All Madden Eve

Posted by evankessler on August 8, 2005

The day is finally upon us. A day where a man’s worth is no longer judged by his monetary earnings, his muscular stature, his intelligence, or his virility but rather that man’s worth will be judged by his Madden prowess. Madden NFL 2006 comes out at midnight tonight for Playstation 2 and Xbox and probably every other video game console and I couldn’t be more excited. You might have to count me out of most activity for the next few months. My job search is going to take a serious hit right now. I’m actually contemplating heading down to the Electronics Boutique on Broadway and Great Jones for the midnight release just so I can get a head start on my Madden season tonight before bedtime whenever that may be.

In other Monday news, I was walking down the street drinking an iced green tea from Starbucks when a strange old odd shaped woman walked up to me and asked me “Is that a Long Island Iced Tea or just a regular one?” Only, she didn’t really laugh, she just smirked. I was utterly confused so I sputtered out the words, “uh…it’s just an iced green tea.” I’m not sure whether this woman actually thought I was drinking a Long Island iced tea, which I sort of think she did, or whether she was just joking. What a weird thing to just say to someone. Perhaps she was just trying to be funny, but I was caught so off guard that in no way I would have ever found her observation to be amusing. It made no sense seeing as the Starbucks logo was right on the side of the cup and it obviously could not have been a Long Island Iced Tea unless Starbucks does a little sidebar alcohol business. What was this oldish woman’s purpose in muttering this cryptic question? Perhaps, she was just lonely and likes to comment randomly to strangers. I suppose that could’ve been it. My mom makes asides to people she doesn’t know all of the time. My other thought as the woman waddled in front of me for the next 2 blocks is that maybe she was actually drunk and needed alcoholic replenishment so much so, that she hoped that I had found it necessary to conceal my own alcoholic desires in a Starbucks cup and that I might understand her need for a sip of a Long Island iced Tea and offer her some. Anyway, I suppose all of the speculation does me no good as it’s ranking on the importance meter of this event is extremely low. I’m just going to agree with myself that it was weird occurrence.

In another completely unrelated thought, and this is me maybe managing to put too many random thoughts into one entry but yesterday on the train to Long Beach I encountered an awful town name. One of the stops on the train was Locust Manor. Putting one of the ten plagues as part of your town name probably isn’t the best way to attract settlers. Sure you can try to trick them by putting a classy word like “Manor” after the plague but that’s not going to distract most people from the possible issue of Locusts. For instance, I wouldn’t ever set foot in Death of The First Born Rainbow Valley, Tennessee or Lice Haven, Connecticut. So, in conclusion, if you’re naming a town try not include any of the Ten Plagues in the name.

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You Can’t Spell Fun Without U or N

Posted by evankessler on August 8, 2005

I suppose that much is obvious. There’s not really much meaning to the title except there was a lot of fun had over the past few days, though that’s not to say the letters U and N aren’t involved. Many of the worlds I’ll be using will have the letters U or N in them and some of them may have both. I’ll even mention the actual U.N. I suppose it all began on Thursday, I seem to be having one of those blurry flashbacks taking me back to August 4th and I’m starting to recall what occurred. Ah, yes, Thursday was the day of the wedding of my friends John and Zerna at Supreme Trading on North 8th Street in Williamsburg. I don’t even know where to start with this event. There were a ton of good friends (and Boy George) there. I can’t possibly list them all. The best I could do is just throw in some pictures in after describing the event.

Kayvalyn and Ken chow down on some bbq.

It was definitely not a traditional wedding by any means. There was an open bar, a jazz-blues band called The Crooners, barbecue caterers (some of the best barbecue I’ve had) as well as a Mister Softee truck outside giving out free ice cream. Everyone was enjoying themselves immensely all night long. The party slowed down a bit by midnight in order for John and Zerna to exchange vows. A woman from the U.N. (there’s the U.N. mention) officiated over the ceremony. Everyone was silent for the most part save for when our recently departed friend Jasky was mentioned. People started shouting out private jokes honoring his memory. Everyone remained in high spirits as we sipped champagne and celebrated the union of our two friends. The party raged on for hours after that. I didn’t get home until after 5am. It was a hell of a way to spend a Thursday night.

Wanna lick? Psyche.
Me With Pimped out Groom John Karian
Party Til’ You Drop. What a stupid caption.

I didn’t think I could face another night out when Friday arrived. I spent most of the day replenishing my damaged cells with green tea and other anti-oxidants. Plenty of rest was the order of the day. I loafed around the apartment and did some reading. If I was going to be ready for Friday activities I was going to have to do plenty of nothing beforehand. That last sentence seems somewhat redundant.

Before I knew it the time was 6pm and my scheduled plans were sneaking up on me. I didn’t actually have much time to do the aforementioned “plenty of nothing” since I had woken up at 1pm. At around 6:15 I headed up to Social on 48th and 8th to meet Adam Starling and the VH1 gang for drinks celebrating Adam’s birthday for the 2nd time in the span of 4 days. I began to imbibe alcohol upon my arrival but found it completely ineffective towards enhancing my mood. My brain felt completely blank. I couldn’t even think of any words to start a conversation. I just stood there drinking and occasionally interjecting a few words. There was medium turnout from the folks at work and I spent time talking to Betsy, Noelle, Matt Bier, Karla Hidalgo, Emily Anderson, and Starling. I know I left out some people I also ran into Heidi Padauer who I knew from Syracuse at the bar. She was there for her friend’s birthday.

After leaving Social a bunch of us jumped into a cab and headed downtown. We met a bunch of Adam’s friends at a place called Bua, which was actually pretty cool and I stayed for a drink. I had to rush out afterwards to catch a Bloody Panda show at Scenic on Avenue B. On my way out of Bua I ran into Kristin Ertel and Jill Mercadante who were on their way into the bar. I told them I’d call them after the show. On my way over to Scenic I got a phone call from Stacey Fryer who had her brother in town. They said they’d meet me at Scenic. When I got to Scenic I saw, Katie, Reva, Rachel Myers, and Chris Mellen. I’m not sure who else was there it was such a short show that I wasn’t really there for too long but the band was good. Stacey had shown up midway through the show and afterwards we left and met up with Kristin, her boyfriend Dave, and Jill for a drink.

My Friday had quickly turned into a complete whirlwind; running into people, getting phone calls left and right. You’d start to think I was actually popular and the good news was, it wasn’t over just yet. After Niagara, Stacy and her brother left, Jill was gone and I went to catch up with Kristin and her boyfriend at a bar on 7th and C. I completely forgot the name of the bar. When I arrived at the cross-streets I was on the phone with Bess Sobota whom I had drunkenly called to see what she was up to, as well as being waved at by Marisa Patt who was coincidentally at the same street corner I was on with her friends. I think I abruptly hung up on Bess after running into Marisa (according to Bess). I don’t think I said goodbye. Marisa and I went into the bar and had drinks and danced to 80’s new wave-ish music. It would be my final stop in a bizarre night of coincidences. Despite having been all over the east village all evening I had had a hell of a night.

Saturday morning arrived and I was completely out of steam, more so than the previous morning. My couch was privy to more slovenly behavior. I watched the Met game and did some reading until Saturday’s evening activity rolled around. Marisa (from the previous evening or several hours prior) had a going away/birthday party on her rooftop on the lower east side. I arrived at around 7:45pm completely lacking energy. The last two days had taken quite a toll. That being said, Marisa had put together quite the array of drinks and party food that was easy on the taste buds. I actually felt really guilty though since the only thing I brought was cheap beer. I am a selfish asshole. Well, I’m not totally selfish I didn’t really intend to drink the beer it was for other people. I didn’t really intend to drink anything. I had no desire to be friendly with the drink that night and while I was slightly friendly, I wasn’t friendly to the point where it would cause me to make obnoxious phone calls. I left the party with Bess, Knoah, and Deena at around 12:15am. I didn’t plan on a late night but I didn’t fall asleep as early as I had hoped based on my early exit.

The weekend finale was in Long Beach, Long Island as we had a good ole BBQ family friend get together hosted by Melanie & Steve Sirof, and attended by myself, my brother, Andrew Paskoff Jamie and Dan Maccarone, Russell and Pernilla Datz,, and Stacy and Marc Barenberg. I don’t really have many interesting details. I was so out of it the entire time that I don’t think I said very much the all day. It was fun to watch everyone’s kids running around and Steve made some good food. Overall, it was good to see everyone and a nice relaxing way to cap off the weekend. It’s nice to get out of the city every once in awhile. We headed back on the 6:48 train from Long Beach. The first stop on the way back my friend Krissy that I know from MTV got on the train and I waved at her from afar since the train was so crowded but it was another funny coincidence in a weekend that had many.

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Money for Nothing

Posted by evankessler on August 4, 2005

48 hours ago I was $180 dollars down in Atlantic City. Today I find myself in a slightly better financial situaion but not a drastically improved one. Monday afternoon at 4pm Steve Miller and I jumped on a Greyhound bus to Atlantic City for a little spontaneous gambling action by the boardwalk. I’m not a big fan of taking the bus and I discover why this is every time I do. Now, I’m not a germophobe or anything like that but there’s something disconcerting about having the woman in the seat in front of you hacking up her lungs for the majority of a ride. You start to wonder what disease we’ll all be diagnosed with as soon as we get to our destination. Perhaps, I should get tested for Tuberculosis tomorrow.

The bus rolled into the Sands Casino in Atlantic City at around 6:30pm. It seemed like as good a time as any for our meeting with lady luck. Due to my June experience in Vegas I expected nothing less than she should be greeting me with open arms as soon as I sat down at whatever table I chose. Several hours and many hands of blackjack later I was down $100. I wasn’t sure how Steve was doing but I think he lost at the Sands too. At around 11 something we decided to grab a Philly Cheesesteak on the boardwalk. I thought it would be almost as good as the one’s in Philly since we were in close enough proximity to the Cheese Steaks place of origin. This wasn’t exactly true. It was good but they didn’t make it with Cheez Whiz, which is the real way. I like Wogie’s in the West Village better.

After our culinary excursion, we headed back to the Sands to finish off our complimentary $22 for playing the slots before heading to another Casino. I have to say I’m not a proponent of the new fangled slot machinee. Instead of pouring out coins if you win, you get a printed out voucher. As if the population of grandparents occupying the majority of slot machines wasn’t enough to deter me from playing, the absence of the whole romantic notion of hitting the jackpot and being showered with tons of coins did the trick. Anyway, we came away from the slots with a couple of bucks in vouchers, cashed in our chips and headed to Bally’s in hopes of having better luck.

Bally’s was about three times bigger than The Sands and had multiple themed Casinos. They blasted horrible catchy pop music designed to make people continue to lose their money but enjoy every second of it. Some of the songs sounded oddly at home in the casino. Whoever selected the music to subliminally influence the gamblers was somewhat of a genius. In between songs by Matchbox 20 and the horrible new Jessica Simpson cover of “These Boots Were Made For Walking” they slyly slid in Rod Stewart’s “Some Guys Have All The Luck” and Lisa Loeb’s “Stay”. I was expecting Tom Petty’s “Even The Losers Get Lucky Sometimes” to come on. Anyway, only an hour or two at Bally’s my deficit had increased sufficiently to the tune of $280. I went over to Steve who was raking in the dough at another table. I was secretly hoping he was ready to go because I didn’t think it was wise for me to keep gambling seeing as luck wasn’t exactly working in my favor. I think I was even working as a cooler since the second I showed up at Steve’s table he started losing. I told him I would walk away for 5 minutes and we’d see how he was doing then. It was only a matter of seconds before I decided to throw caution into the wind like a complete moron and take out another $100 and try to make a dent towards earning back what I had lost. Two hours later I had decreased my debt by about $100 and felt good. Slowly but surely I was gambling my way out of the red. Seven or eight hours later I was done gambling, it was 10am on Tuesday and I was up $20 after about 15 hours of Blackjack with maybe 45 minutes of downtime we really had to get the hell out of dodge or rather, Atlantic City. If we didn’t, I’d have almost surely missed my UCB theatre class at 7pm due to a gambling addiction.

I finally made it back to my apartment at 2pm and needed a nap as I had obviously not slept the night before. I woke up at 5:45pm had some dinner and then headed to class. We finally met our teacher this week as we had a substitute last week. It was another fun evening at class if a tad different. In place of the sounds and action exercises we actually did some improvised scene work. Some scenes were three lines and some scenes at a bus station, as well as some roommate scenes and other assorted situations. It was really interesting to see some of the stuff people came up with. However, it was somewhat intimidating because some of the people are exceptionally talented and quick thinking. You realize in the middle of a scene just how hard it is to be on your feet when you have no idea what’s going on. Hopefully, I’ll get better. I don’t have any misconceptions about my abilities so far. After class we went out for a beer at the Blarney Stone on 30th and 8th. It was nice to actually try to get to know some people better though it was rather brief. I left after one drink to meet up for Adam Starling’s birthday.

When I arrived at Adam’s birthday at ICU on Washington St. mostly everyone was gone except for Zoran, Emily, Stacey Angeles, Mike Haigh, Anna Mikelson, Kim Rowe, Dustin Millman, Joe Saunders and his sister Cori who was visiting from Colorado. I had one drink at ICU and then the majority of us headed over to the White Horse Tavern for a beer. Most people left directly after, but Kim, Joe, Cori, and myself went to a bar on 14th and 1st for a couple of drinks. I got home at 3:20am.

As a result of my late night last night I wasn’t feeling too good today. I couldn’t sleep in my bed, so I was passed out on the couch between 8:30am and Noon. The rest of my day was spent moping around feeling completely hazy. However, I did pencil in some time to go see The Aristocrats at the Union Square theatre. The movie is basically about the dirtiest joke ever told and features about 30 comedians telling their version of it. I think my favorite part was probably Sarah Silverman’s version though there were plenty of other funny moments. I don’t want to ruin it. Not that there’s really anything to be ruined it’s just basically a movie about one joke and how everyone tells it. It’s good for plenty of laughs but if you’re at all squeamish about graphic sexual language about incests, beastiality and other completely taboo sexual endeavors you may not enjoy it so much. I wouldn’t tell my mom to go see it, though I’m sure some people I wouldn’t expect to like it would.

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