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Archive for December, 2006

"I" Did It!

Posted by evankessler on December 30, 2006

It’s finally here, the 9th letter of the Alphabet. H took a while to get through but the journey was worth it. This morning after several hours of recovery from last night out with Marty I hit the gym with the quest of reading the letter “i” on the iPodyssey. On my way to the gym I ran through Elastica’s “Human” and Elvis Costello’s “Human Hands”. I burned through 9 more H songs before reaching the letter I. When R.E.M.’s “Hyena’, I was almost certain that there would be no more H’s after that but was proven wrong when Nada Surf’s “Hyperspace” came on after.

The First “I ” song was “I am A Little Explosion” by Self, which confused me at first since I thought it was “Hi, My Name Is Cindy”. I thought I had regressed to the mid H’s. My workout ended on The Dandy Warhols “I Am Over It” and was followed by “I Am Sound” also by the Dandy Warhols to end my Ipodyssey progress for the day.

Tonight also marks the start of the final week of the NFL Regular Season. The Giants play the Washington Redskins and I am not at all optimistic at their chances but if they win their matchup they’ll most likely make the playoffs with a lowly 8-8 record. Last week was the nail in the coffin for my football picks competition as I went 7-9 and Bruce went 12-4 and now I’m traling by 11 games. The only way for me to get back in the competition is to win every game we’ve disagreed on this week and every playoff game thereafter. Looks like I’ll be buying someone lunch, but I guess those are the breaks. Ah, but what the hell, let’s give it a whirl. Crazier things have happened.

Week 17 Picks:
Giants over Redskins (Bruce picked the Redskins and rightfully so)
Saints over Panthers
Browns over Texans (Bruce went for the Texans, but what the hell)
Cowboys over Lions
Chiefs over Jaguars
Titans over Patriots (Bruce picked the Pats but I think they’ll rest their starters)
Jets over Raiders
Bengals over Steelers
Seahawks over Bucs
Rams over Vikings
Falcons over Eagles (Bruce picks Eagles, but I figure they have to mess up soon)
Ravens over Bills
Dolphins over Colts (Bruce picks the Colts but they’ve really sucked lately)
Chargers over Cards
Broncos over 49ers
Bears over Packers

Week 16 Picks
Evan 7-9
Bruce 12-4

Evan 141-99
Bruce 152-88

Alright, time to go to the bar and watch this game on the NFL Network. Damn you NFL Network.

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Idaho, Alaska, and Me

Posted by evankessler on December 29, 2006

After getting an early start on some errands this yesterday morning I was almost certain I’d hit the “I” portion of the iPodyssey by the end of Thursday.A near full day of listening began around 11am as I exited my Brooklyn abode with Pavement’s “Hit the Plane Down” echoing in my ear canal, followed by Whale’s “Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe” which brought me all the way back to 1995. I got that song from a Hut Recordings compilation Rich M gave me and the only thing that ever comes to mind besides the video ( a video in which the lead singer a bizarrely attractive swedish female with braces inspects young men) is the article I read informing me that after the lead singer got braces one of her bandmates decided to get circumcised in a show of solidarity. In my mind the two are incomparable. However, that’s neither here nor there and perhaps I should just get on with the story.

Hey! Look! A Swedish Girl With Braces In Between Young Men, Just like I mentioned above! What are the odds?!?!

I caught the B train into town and spent a majority of the day wandering around Manhattan buying special curly haired shampoo, getting a haircut, and visiting some other fine downtown shopping destinations such as Strand and the Virgin Megastore. I nearly bought $140 worth of DVDs in the Union Square Megastore as I came across loads of examples of first rate comedic entertainment. I was nearly compelled to buy Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Office (british version) Special, That’s My Bush, and South Park Season 8. There was so much to choose from and I didn’t buy any of it because I had a fit of reasonable behavior where my conscience whispered that I would be unemployed soon after New Year’s and might have to do some saving. This is where a gift certificate would’ve come in handy.

While at Strand I thumbed through the “half-priced classics” section. I came out with Ayn Rand’s Anthem and Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan for a mere $7.50. Now that’s what I call a bargain, but not the best I’ve ever had. My trip to Strand was followed by my trip to Hair Mates to see a girl about a haircut. Most of the elements of my trip to the salon were satisfactory save for the fact that the hair washing girl didn’t give me one of those soothing temple and neck massage I’ve been so accustomed to getting on my recent tress trim outings. That’s what I pay the big bucks for. So the sensual shampoo experience was wasted but that’s not to say all was lost. I chatted it up with my lovely lock lopper Veronica and walked out with my head feeling a lot lighter.

From my haircut I walked down to the NRQW station at Grand Street. All told I went through a boatload of songs on my strolls I had taken from place over the afternoon. It was a lovely day and a long walks were certainly in order. Along the way we had 7 ‘hold” songs, 22 “How” tunes. 5 about Hotels 4 about a house, houses, or a household and three about a place called “Home”. I finally made it back to Brooklyn at about 4:30pm to the sounds of Elastica’s “Human” and whiled away the next 5 hours or so sitting around and biding my time for what was sure to be an eventful evening.

My night plans called for a reunion of sorts. Brian A, a friend of mine since 11th grade was in from Idaho and he was joined by another high school acquaintance with whom I am friendly, Marika G, who was in from Alaska. Not all people who spend time in Rockland County long to be in it’s orbit for more time than they have to be. The original plan as I understood it was to hang out in Manhattan, but Brian soon notified me that they would come into Brooklyn for some drinks. However, when they called me from the car Marika asked if I would mind going to Williamsburg to hang out with her sister Alex who lived there. I didn’t as long as they drove me and drive they did.

We met Alex at the Corner of Metropolitan and Bedford (I think) and she directed us to a bar called Iona’s. The indoor seating area was narrow but when Alex said we could sit outside I thought she was crazy. When we walked outside I was amazed to see several little wood burning stoves near the individual seating areas. Brian took it upon himself to gather up some firewood from the woodpile and some newspaper from inside and start a fire to keep us warm. This was quite the novelty but it was welcome. There’s no smell better than a fresh fire unless it’s accidental and it’s in your home. I suppose then it might be the worst smell imaginable or at least very frightening. I suppose being engulfed by fecal matter would smell exponentially worse. Anyway, it was an enjoyable gathering of 3 Ramapo Class of ’97 alums plus 1 sibling also a Gryphon.

Brian, The Smirking Idahoan Woodsman

The Unforgettable Fire

Sisters Alex and Marika enjoying the outdoors. There has to be a better caption than that.

Marika Flashes the Ramapo Class of ’97 Gang Sign

Our night at Iona lasted until 1:30am, a little after they closed the back area. We were trying to decide whether to go back to Park Slope to drink or head into Manhattan which would’ve been easier to get to at this point. Brian wanted to go to a country bar so I picked The Patriot. The last time Brian was in town three years ago we went to The Village Idiot (since closed) so this was a natural fit. We arrived at The Patriot soon after and I ordered 3 PBRs. We decided to sidle up to the upstairs bar and pick some songs on the jukebox. I was almost certain we weren’t going to hear our songs but lo and behold the 13 or songs we picked were rattled off immediately. We sat at the bar and conversed with Megan our spritely bartendress from the Minnesota area and before we knew it it was past 3 and Marika had been coaxed to join Megan in some bar dancing. I think this happened twice but it’s not so clear today. Luckily I have some pictorial evidence that it actually occurred.

Megan and Marika show that a bar counter has a dual use as a dancefloor.

Notice the light coming off the PBR can. That means it was blessed by Jesus.

We certainly got our money’s worth at The Patriot. I think our bartender gave us at least 2 shots on the house and we closed the place down and heard all of our songs. I think we were the only people who were putting songs on though. I’m not sure exactly what time it was when I got home but I know it was after 4am. It had been a hell of a night with good friends and cheap beer. What more could you ask for? (Rhetorical). We might have to repeat our night in either Idaho or Alaska since it might be a long time before either Marika or Brian make it back to New York and my new motto is, “Have Free Time, Will Travel” unless of course I decide that it’s a silly motto.

Thursday’s Favorites:
Kathleen Edwards “Hockey Skates”, Neutral Milk Hotel “Holland, 1945”, Leona Naess “Home”, Silver Jews “Honk If You’re Lonely”, Dandy Warhols “Horse Pills”, Flying Burrito Brothers “Hot Burrito #1”, The Flying Burrito Brothers “Hot Burrito #2”, The Minus 5 “Hotel Senator”, The White Stripes “Hotel Yorba”, Beck “Hotwax”, Whiskeytown “Houses on the Hill”, Aimee Mann “How Am I Different”, Silver Jews “How Can I Love You If You Won’t Lie Down”, Ben Kweller “How it Should Be (Sha Sha)”, Ben Lee “How To Survive A Broken Heart”.

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It’s High Time I Went A Shoppin’

Posted by evankessler on December 28, 2006

Oh, hello. I have to admit you scared me just a tad. I didn’t see you there lording over your computer with that fierce gaze of yours fixed on your screen peering through miles and miles of information just to get to my wee site. Well I suppose now that you’re here you expect me to tell you something like a story of some sort. Well, that’s a alot of pressure to put on someone but I’ll see what I can do.

Today was a Wednesday like any other Wednesday I suppose, save for the fact that I was not working and I was armed with a sizeable gift card to a noted New York shopping establishment. Scratch that, it was not like any other Wednesday for the reasons previously stated. Now, I certainly do not fancy myself the clotheshorse, so if I were to do something with this aforementioned “sizeable gift card” I would need to enlist some help. However, before we get to all of that exciting detail, perhaps I should give you some backstory.

The previous night I had much trouble getting to sleep. It wasn’t until about an hour and a half of watching NYC-TV that I actually felt a veil of exhaustion come over me. Unfortunately that was at 5am. At around 9:30am my phone rang. Who called is quite immaterial, the mere fact that I was awoken from my slumber was the only substantial occurrence. The dream I had been roused from was quite the interesting one. I was dreaming that I was at the beach or maybe it was a subway station (maybe both at different times) when myself and several other civilians kept getting washed over with Tsunami waves. They weren’t that frightening as no one was getting hurt it was just a terrible bother to us folk being washed all over the place. At the end of the 3rd or 4th Tsunami there were advertisements on a billboard or poster touting the availability of HBO’s Tsunami Aftermath series on DVD. Before the dream was cut short by the phone call I thought, “I wish HBO would stop creating these Tsunamis. I mean we get it, it’s out on DVD.” That’s where the dream ended. I wonder if subconsciously HBO is still promoting.

I awoke from my second slumber at around 11:30am and took it upon myself to pour a bowl of cereal and milk and have a shower. After emerging from the wetness feeling shiny and new, I put on my Wednesday best and gave a telephonic shout to Amy G, who would be my tour guide in the mysterious land of the well-dressed. Pleasantries were exchanged but the most important part of the call was our meeting time, 1:45pm on the corner of 59th and Lexington. I said I’d be there, and be there I would, though not exactly on time. I set out to leave my apartment several times, once out of fear that my door might not be locked, the other times out of the fear that I had forgotten crucial elements to my trip, like my book or my phone.

I finally stepped out the door a hair past 12:55 and worked my way towards the Atlantic Avenue station. My iPodyssey was resumed with “Hey Now!” by The Brothers’ Gallagher (also known as Oasis) and kept on rolling through Earl Pickens “Hey Stacey”. By the time I reached the 4 train stop at 59th and Lexington the time was 1:47 and I’d gone through 7 of 11 “High” songs leaving me at Aimee Man’s “High on Sunday 51”.

When I surfaced above ground I was immediately reminded of the harsh winds I had experienced walking to the subway from my apartment. They were not very forgiving. My head was cold and my hair was doing some flapping as hair is wont to do in the wind. After giving Amy a ring she found me through the sea of shoppers that were flocking to the storied New York shopping establishment known as Bloomingdales.

There was quite the air of intimidation as I entered it’s hallowed halls. The smell of commerce and cologne filled the air. I’d find out what distinct colognes later on. The first store we encountered was the Ralph Lauren Polo store. I’m not so keen on his prep school friendly designs but I did take away a short sleeved grey polo. However, Amy asked what I was looking for and I had no idea what the response was. Truth be told, I would’ve rather had a gift certificate to Best Buy or Virgin. However, I was more in need of a wardrobe upgrade than a new CD or DVD. I’m what you might call a prime candidate for the Queer Eye Guys (Is that show still on?). Our next move was to the shoe section but any purchase in this area would have used up a large chunk of my gift allowance so I decided to move the focus back to clothing.

Amy had a tough task ahead of her and she was certainly a trooper. I wasn’t giving her the kind of guidance she needed in order to be my fashion rock. We wandered through several stores, through Tommy Hilfiger, on past Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs and into Joseph Abboud’s corner. It was at this time that I wondered aloud, “Maybe I could go for a blazer and some nice button down long sleeves.” This would be a new look for Evan Kessler, a look he (or I) was willing to try. From that moment on it was clear sailing. We retraced our steps finding a reasonably priced, well-fitting blazer at the Tommy Hilfiger section. The jacket cost a mere $175 which paled in comparison to nearly every other jacket we saw. Most others seemed to fit snugly into the $325-$425 price range. I find it absolutely apalling that someone can slap together some fabric and throw such an exorbitant price tag on something as simple as a blazer. It’s not as if though by using Taiwanese laborers instead of Chinese, they are reinventing the fashion wheel.

The next stop was back to Ralph Lauren for dress shirts. However, all of the shirts had that privileged aristocrat swinging his polo mallet in the pocket area. The last thing I need is that aristocrat taunting me with his money and his multiple homes every time I put on a button down. Amy thought we should head back to Hugo Boss because they had some dapper looking duds sans preppy derision. On our way over to look for more shirts I became entranced by the table o’scents and began to inspect some ways of enhancing my appeal to the olfactories of my acquaintances. As I was doing so a perfume peddler proceeded to pitch to me a particular aroma. I was unable to sidestep his spiel as he came at me full force when he asked “What scent do you wear now?”. Unable to avoid his inquiry the first thing that came to mind was “Escada”. With that he began to explain to me why this particular fragrance would suit me just as well as Escada. The fragrance was called Sexúal. He went on to show me how Sexúal was sold in bigger bottles and for cheaper and how it would naturally mesh with my scent. This servant of smell would not take “no” for an answer. I felt as though I were about to be fragrance raped. Just then, a beacon of light shown down upon me as a customer asked him a question and the chains had been broken. Amy and I quickly shuffled to the other side of the fragrance counter where we were quickly questioned by a less forceful perfume pusher about buying the Burberry cologne. While this was happening Mr. Sexúal, who was clearly working on commission, made me rub some of that sweet scent on my wrist from across the counter. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that I, in no way shape or form, could ever purchase a cologne called “Sexúal”. He was at a distance now and it would be much easier to just walk away.

Finally, after all of that hassle, we made it back to Hugo Boss, where Amy and I settled on a dark blue button down. We were dismayed at the lack of shirt selection. It was at that moment a helpful salesperson informed us that there was an entire half floor of items we had missed where more shirt styles would be thrust upon us. Amy also insisted that the helpful hand measure my arms and my neck as I had no idea what shirt I was looking for, but I preferred to be stubborn and just guess. My stubborness gave way though and I was armed with the proper shirt purchasing knowledge and upstairs we went.

In order to reach our destination we had to pass through all of the women’s cosmetics. Much to my surprised Amy was focused and she showed little interest in veering from the task at hand despite the presence of makeup counters. We made it to the shirt section unscathed and proceeded to find two shirts, only to replace one of them several minutes later. Before we purchased the shirts though we gravitated to the larger men’s fragrance section where I inhaled several different scent options. We did catch a bit of a hassle but I was determined to make my own decision and ultimately settled on the John Varvatos Vintage, which still adorns my wrist as I type this (or is that the Sexúal). Amy and I made quick work at the checkout counter and then I patiently paced behind her as she had a look around the lady floors. She could’ve walked around all day for all I cared as she had been exceedingly patient with me, but instead she showed mercy and took barely a half hour to browse and bought nothing.

Our shopping trip was a successful one and in celebration we had a snack at a local pizza place before we went our separate ways. I rejoined the iPodyssey mid “High On Sunday 51” and arrived safely at home to the strains of Pavement’s “Hit the Plane Down”, only 25 songs after the day had begun, and what a day it was. It did not end immediately as around 9pm I met up with Andrew Morton for some light eats, but aside from hearing about his holiday hijinx it was rather uneventful, but not in a boring way.

Well that’s it for Wednesday’s storytime hour. I hope you’ve all enjoyed yourself. Remember, don’t talk to strangers and always keep your gun where your kids can find in case of an unwanted intruder.

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Hey Now!

Posted by evankessler on December 27, 2006

I couldn’t think of any clever title so I just used the last song I listened to on the iPodyssey. It’s been slow goings with the letter H since I havent’ been working this week. I’ve spent most of my time sitting around home and/0r running errands. Yesterday I got in some listening time on my way to the BAM Rose cinemas to see Volver. I left my apartment at around 3pm thinking it would take much longer to walk to the theatre than it actually did. I was about an hour early so I got some quality listening time while I read The Village Voice. When it was time for to go into the movie I had gone from Golden Smog’s “He’s A Dick” to Tuscadero’s “Heat Lightning”. As far as the movie went, I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty easy to stare at Penelope Cruz for two hours but the film itself was entertaining with a great sense of humor about it mixed in with some darker themes. However, the darker themes never seemed to take over or become overbearing. Thumbs up for Pedro Almodovar and his cast.

After the film I headed back to my abode burning through 6 songs including three versions of Pavement’s “Heaven is A Truck” and ending on “Heavenly” by the Dandy Warhols. Post film, I headed to Union Hall where I met R.B. He was drinking and playing Bocce with a drunk guy named Zeke who found it absolutely necessary to give a Bocce lesson to ever single new player that stepped on either of the two Bocce courts. Before they could start a game, they had to play Zeke first. The first victims were a brother and sister who were with their father. Zeke played one on one with the dad and gave the kids lessons even though they knew how to play. R.B. is always good for becoming way to friendly with such strange folk and we basically ended up playing with Zeke all night. It was funny and simultaneously somewhat annoying. At 8:15 Morwin came by, had a few drinks and played some Bocce as well. At the end of the night R.B. and Morwin were gone and I found myself playing against some dude and his girlfriend who is from Brooklyn but goes to school in Vermont. It was quite bizarre. Zeke kept giving pointers and even jumped in for a round to show me what I should do next. I left at around 11:15 stopping at the 5th avenue deli for a bagel and then it was home for bed.

I woke up at 8am this morning thinking that it was at least 11am. I was disappointed. I was ready to face the day but did not want to do so so early. Instead, it was back to bed until 11:20. It took awhile before I got mobilized but eventually the decision was made to run some errands at Duane Reade and Key Food. On the way, I’d have to listen to my iPod. The trip lasted 16 songs from “Heavenly” to “Here Comes A Regular” by the Replacements. Nothing of note happened as I bought some mouthwash, ajax, turkey, cheese, bread, triscuits, and ginger ale. There was just some enjoyable wandering with my iPod supplying the soundtrack.

When I arrived home I let the iPod play in the kitchen until it reached Galaxie 500’s “Here She Comes Now” while I made a turkey sandwich. The rest of the day was about cleanup as I ajaxed the tub and made use of the new Hannukah Hangers my mom got me from QVC. However, I’m not quite sure what to do with all of those other hangers. I also gave the apartment a nice Febreze once over. Now it smells nice.

I didn’t get as much cleaning done as I would’ve liked but I grew tired of the apartment around 7:30pm and headed out to the gym. “Here Comes A Regular” resumed when I left the apartment and throughout the workout I hit a pretty good string of songs including doubles of The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” and Pavement’s “Here” though they were several songs apart because one had an asterisk in the title) as well as an Oasis version and the original David Bowie version of “Heroes”. Brian Wilson’s “Heroes and Villains” caused a brief reminiscence as my brother and I used to sing along with it along with many other Beach Boys songs on long road trips to the Hamptons and other places. We had about 14 Beach Boys tapes and used to fight over who could sing leads. I think the only one I was actually allowed to sing was “In My Room”. I might’ve also been given vocal rights to “Little Saint Nick”. In any case it was the rare gym trip that wasn’t derailed by slow songs. The last track I heard when I arrived back home was Oasis’s “Hey Now!”. That pretty much does it for this lazy Tuesday. Tomorrow, is a big shopping day as I’m going to Bloomingdales to spend a gift certificate. I’m not much of a shopper so I’ll have some company. Tune in tomorrow when I’ll tell you everything I buy. I’m sure you care.

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What’s your Holideal®?

Posted by evankessler on December 25, 2006

You Can Get A Great Holideal On This Bedspread at Fingerhut.com

Hello, heathens and holy folk. Ye are all welcome to sit at the table of EvanKessler.com holiday cheer and jeer. There’s not much to report this weekend since I last reported on my goings on, whereabouts and listenings. At last I left you, I had rented both Beerfest and Clerks II on Friday Evennig/Saturday morning. I’m happy to report that they were both finished that evening by 3:30 in the am. I have to say, I was not impressed by either of them, though I do think Beerfest was the funnier of the two. Clerks II seemed too much like the first one only the jokes were more contrived, less funny, and with less attention to detail which really pushed the first one over the top. It was 10 years later and Randall and Dante hadn’t changed and were in similar situations but at a different store and had an annoying kid who liked Lord of the Rings alot working with them, a point of plot that was completely overused and bothersome. In any case, I’ll give my holiday jeers to Clerks II even though it was not a holiday movie.

After my solo Friday movie night I woke up at around 11:30am and was utterly bored by 12:30pm. Luckily for me, Andrew Morton would soon call and we went to Blink 182 for lunch down the street. After our lunch where we got our usuals and had trouble figuring out a rather simple check I decided to kill time with Andrew as he got his holiday gifts at the hell hole that is the Atlantic Center mall. As we walked over we were walking behind a bunch of trampy 14 year old girls which is always worrisome. And upon entering and walking past Victoria’s Secret, I saw an 8 year old girl grab her mom and say “Mom I want to something in there”, which was also quite worrisome. I fear for the future. Depraved 8 year olds aside, there were long lines, bothersome children, impatient adults, and plenty of sales. You know, the kind of things you’re wont to see at a mall two days before Christmas. At first we made the move to Bath & Body Works so Andrew could get gifts for his sister but the line was far too long. We would decide it would be better if we went back later.

Next stop was Circuit City, for the many many gifts for male siblings and nieces and nephews. Mr. Morton has quite the large family. I think he’s the last of 10 or 11 children. He’ll most certainly read this so he can correct me. In any case, he bought a bunch of gift cards there but while we were waiting in line near the XM and Sirius satellite radio display I had a battle with a young teenager over the proper radio station to blast. The young teenager was playing with the stations and was blasting some really loud obnoxious hip hop (that doesn’t make me racist right? white people rap too) and then walked away after he had been fiddling with the XM for quite some time. It was my turn to play but since I didn’t feel like fidgeting with all of the buttons I just stopped when I came to Jane’s Addiction “Jane Says” because it was a good enough song, but just innocuous enough to play in a public place. So I stopped there because I didn’t want to play anymore. However, we were not moving in the line and every few seconds the kid from the previous hip hop malady kept poking his head around the corner to see when we were no longer standing near the radios so he could just change it back. We weren’t trying to play enforcer but we just found it funny that the kid kept spying on the radio to see when it would be okay so I just sort of hung by the display.

After a while the kid, his mother, and his baby sister came by. The baby sister just started hitting all of the buttons and switched the display from XM to Sirius which had the Catholic Channel on. That channel was playing a sermon which was immediately frightening and when they walked away I shut it off. Though it’s good to know that if I ever want to hear a Catholic Church sermon, all I have to do is get a subscription to Sirius and I’ll have the preacher right at my fingertips.

When we left circuit city it was back to Bath & Body Works, a store that is just a complete sensory overload with more scented body scrubs than you can shake a stick at. One thing that caught my eye was the Cinnamon Bun 3 in 1 that served as a Bubble Bath, Body Wash, and Shampoo. I wondered how one thing could be good for all of those purposes. I also wondered if it could also serve favorably in the role of condiment. I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

Several gift cards later, Andrew and I walked to Barnes & Noble on 7th and 6th but on my way there I ran into my brother’s friends from University Sven & Cammie (sp?) who live in my neighborhood, but whom I haven’t seen since I moved in. It’s always nice to know more people where you live, especially when they’re people that you like. We had a brief chat but then it was off to look at books. This was the shortest portion of our day as we quickly decided that it was too crowded. That’s where my wandering around with Mr. Morton ended.

When we split off I got my first iPod listening of the weekend starting with Cat Power’s “Hate” and moving to Lucero’s “Hate and Jealousy”. Nary a dent was made into the iPodyssey though as I only listened as long as it took me to get home from the Barnes & Noble which included only 4 more songs after that, 2 of which were Earl Pickens “Haunt Me” and the final one being Pavement’s “Haunt You Down”.

After a few minutes of loitering at home I got a phone call from Kishore to go see The Good Shepherd with him and his friend Derek in Cobble Hill. We arrived to the 8:30 show at 8:40 but since there are so many previews we didn’t miss a thing. It might’ve been better if we did because the movie was 2 hours and 4o minutes long and not all that great. I think if the reviews your showing in the commercial are Larry King saying, “The Best Spy Movie Ever Made…” then it can’t be a good movie. We also sat in the 2nd row so it was practically an IMAX film except that it was a slow moving drama.

After the film Kishore and I headed into the city to go drinking with one of his friends only by the time we got into Manhattan the party was over, but it was a good thing Kishore drove because taking a subway back would’ve sucked. We went back to Brooklyn and had a drink at Union Hall and then called it a night.

I woke up this morning excited about football but pretty sure that the Giants were going to lose and boy did they ever. The Saints shellacked Big Blue 30-7. I couldn’t really watch after the 3rd quarter. I don’t understand how a team like the Giants who is fighting for their playoff life comes into a meaningful game and plays that poorly and that undisciplined. It was really shameful. Anyway, after that monstrosity of a game I watched the World Series of Pop Culture until 10pm and ate Chinese Food. I could definitely win that show. I wonder if having previously worked for VH1 is a disqualification.

While I was watching the World Series of Pop Culture, I was talking to my friend Nina on gmail chat and made plans to hang out with her and boyfriend Dmitry at their place. I put some clothes on, grabbed the ol’ iPod and hit play and listened from Pavements “Haunt You Down” to Public Enemy’s “He Got Game” (5 songs) on the way down to their place. We drank and watched a horrible episode of Friends and some Globetrekker show. This is how lame Friends was as a show. Ross wanted to go see Hootie & The Blowfish for his birthday and half of the friends couldn’t go because they were too poor. In the end, the three friends who didn’t go are jealous because they partied with the band and one of the Blowfish gave Courtney Cox a hickey. WOW! Talk about excitement!

Anyway, I enjoyed hanging out and having a few beers with Nina and Dmitry. However, when the clock hit 1am I decided that maybe I should let them get some sleep and not overstay my welcome. I hit the road and pressed play. It took me from “He Got Game” to Golden Smog’s “He’s A Dick” (6 songs), then I was ready to write this and go to sleep. And guess what? I already wrote this so it’s time to go to sleep. Merry Christmas, Christmas celebrators.

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"Happy" Holidays

Posted by evankessler on December 23, 2006

Well it’s about that time. Time for me to spend several days all by my lonesome while plenty of other folks go on vacation or enjoy the company of their family in celebration of the Holidays. I can’t help it if I haven’t accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, I just haven’t had the impulse to be saved yet. Sure I’ve been down and out plenty of times but I prefer to pick myself up by the metaphorical bootheels rather than have someone do it for me.

Okay, enough of all this religious talk…sometimes I get so wrapped up in my preaching ways that I forget the task at hand. The task that is telling you what I listen to on my iPod everyday. I’m starting to worry that these iPodyssey posts are getting a little formulaic, but I suppose that formula only really has to last until I’m done and then I can be formulaic about an entirely different subject. I suppose if a formula works (and by works, I mean gets me 10 to 15 web hits a day and maybe one comment) then I guess I’ll just stick with it. Speaking of sticking with it, I “stuck with it” all week and managed to muster up the energy to go to work on Friday. Luckily for me and the rest of the fellow employees at my place of toil it was a half day. I woke up this morning and had a bit of spring in my step knowing this. I also knew that today was the day I’d break through to the 8th letter of the alphabet on my iPod journey.

The day began as yesterday’s ended with the acoustic version of Uncle Tupelo’s “Grindstone”as I walked out of the apartment followed by doubles of Pavement’s “Grounded” as I walked to the Atlantic St. Station. I took the 6 train today because on my producer’s request I had to drop a tape off at the history Channel before getting in to work today. That delayed my work arrival time until around 10:45 but it certainly increased my song count before arriving. While I rode the 4 train to my East side destination I had to stop reading my book bask in appreciaton of Neko Case’s “Guided By Wire” and perhaps one of my favorite songs of all time, “Gun” by Uncle Tupelo. The last G song was Aimee Mann’s “Guys Like Me” and it started somewhere between 14th St. and Grand Central, and as I exited the train at 42nd St., Mos Def’s “Habitat” burst on the music scene that doubled as my $11.99 Sony in ear brain blasting headphones (though I guess technically they’re earphones).

Along my journey I came upon a few mythical beasts and more Pavement doubles, this time it was “Half A Canyon”. I finally arrived at work to the holy voice of Jeff Buckley belting out anything but a cold and broken “Hallelujah”. This song would be interrupted several times throughout the next couple of minutes forcing me to restart a couple of times because it’s a song that you definitely have to sit and appreciate. At one point I was sent out on another run to return a 70’s TV we had rented, since our intern was not there to do it. However, no cab would pick us up so we got a messenger to handle the 75lb plus package.

The rest of the day was kind of easy, though I scrambled to get some things in order I was focused on a hard out at 3pm. My editor showed me some of what she had been working on as well as some South Park Christmas stuff on her iPod and I actually achieved my goal at making it out at 3 on the button. I arrived home in Brooklyn a little while later to the strains of Kasey Chambers singing “Hard Road” after 9 consecutive songs dealing with “happiness” or being “happy” and one song with Evan Dando talking about a “hard drive”.

I played it lazy for a bit after returning home so early. There were no roommates in my apartment and I wondered where they had gone, though I suppose I figured that they would either go home or at least not be around this weekend. It would be so easy to just lay here and celebrate my apartment independence but I knew there would be plenty of time for that, so I showed some initiative and went to the gym. I have to say, I’m looking forward to not having a job for a couple of weeks so I can at least get into a gym routine. Sitting down at a desk all day has put some pounds on this meager frame of mine. I’d like to shed at least some of them.

As my workout began I was blessed with a moderate song in “Hard To Be Human” by Mekons, followed by The Strokes and The Black Crowes. The energy was flowing until I hit the Pearl Jam B-side “Hard to Imagine” which isn’t a bad song but just not the right mood for any intense exertion of energy. All in all there were 11 hard songs, including two in a row by Ryan Adams. It must be hard to be Ryan Adams. After all of the hardships, the Datsuns kicked it up a notch with “Harmonic Generator” and Neil Young nearly put me to sleep on the elliptical with “Harvest”. The workout would soon end and my day ended one-fifth into Cat Power’s “Hate” after 62 songs.

Not much happened with my night after that. I made a few calls and determined nothing was going on, so I’m writing this in the middle of a movie doubleheader of Beerfest and Clerks II.
Anyway, I’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing over the next few days, but I’ll probably keep it up. It depends how much listening I do. Alright, time to watch Clerks II. Keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

Friday’s Best: Neko Case “Guided By Wire”, Uncle Tupelo “Gun”, The Arcade Fire “Haiti”, Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah”, Happy Mondays “Hallelujah”, Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins “Handle With Care”, Old 97’s “Hands Off”, The Beatles “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”, Clem Snide “Happy Birthday”, Cracker “Happy Birthday To Me”

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One "Good" Turn Deserves Another

Posted by evankessler on December 22, 2006

There’s a faint odor in the air, can you smell it? Do you know what that scent is? Why it’s the alluring aroma of vacation. If you don’t know what characterizes that particular parfume, here’s a not so subtle hint…NO WORK FOR A WEEK! Sure, I’ll have plenty of time to not work after January 5th if I don’t get any interviews but I prefer not to think that way.

The last time I was unemployed as you may or may not remember I was certainly sure I would never work again. That almost came to fruition, but I’m feeling slightly more optimistic this time around. Sure, my marketable skill set may be similar to what it was during that stretch but I’m willing to explore more options this time around.

Anyway, you didn’t come here to read my musings on employment. God (and only god) knows what you came here to read. I prefer to think you come here for my razor sharp wit and aimless verbal meandering or maybe you just like staring at my hot ass. Either way, I’ll except the challenge for yet another day.

Let’s talk about my Thursday, shall we? Hey, I make the decisions here and I say we shall. I woke up Thursday morning feeling completely replenished after a good 7 hours of sleep. I really should attempt to get more than 5 hours of sleep on a regular basis. It might actually be mentally and physically good for me. Who knew? So, my Thursday was off to an upbeat start. My first move out of the apartment was to drop off the ol’ laundry down the street. Upon dropping my dirties off, I found where I left off on yesterday’s iPodyssey. It’s probably a huge waste of time that I start where I last left off because last night I almost finished Catatonia’s “Goldfish and Paracetamol” but since I had to recharge, I was back at it’s beginning. To think, I could’ve been on Ben Folds “Gone” a whole 4 minutes earlier. Oh well, I got to it anyway as well as the 4 other “Gone…” songs. To my surprise they were only followed by one “Gonna…” track and about 16 “Good…” moves. I was almost certain I would move into the realm of “H” today, but it just didn’t happen. Things went from “Good” to “Grave” to “Green” to “Great” with only one repeat on the Pixies “Gouge Away” until the very end of the day which closed out with three versions of Uncle Tupelo’s “Grindstone”, two of which were the same versions (from different albums) and the last which was an acoustic rendering. Though I burned through 5o songs today it seemed as though precious little progress was made. Maybe it’s because I was actually doing work most of the day… Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

Thursday’s Best:
Ben Folds “Gone”, Violent Femmes “Gone Daddy Gone”, Shins “Gone For Good”, Cat Power “Good Clean Fun”, PJ Harvey “Good Fortune”, Kathleen Edwards “Good Things”, Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”, Aimee Mann “Goodbye Caroline”, Ol’ Dirty Bastard “Got Your Money”, Beastie Boys “Gratitude”, Uncle Tupelo “Graveyard Shift

Oh, actually before I go, I need to do my football picks tonight since there was a Thursday game tonight and I haven’t been getting them in early enough. Last week I got my ass kicked by my opponent and now I’m all but out of it. However, this is my one shining moment to get back into it and I’m already up one game on the week since the Packers won. Sweet. Wish me luck…or don’t. The only reason I put this up here is so that I can keep track without losing the sheet of paper I write it down on. Who knows though, maybe “Inside The NFL” will hire me to make picks each week.

Alright, I’m going to stop talking, here are the Week 16 picks with a lot of chances for me to make up ground.

Packers over Vikings (Bruce picks Vikings) I WIN!
Chiefs over Raiders
Bears over Lions
Rams over Redskins (Bruce picks Redskins)
Giants over Saints (Bruce picks Saints he’ll be right on this one)
Steelers over Ravens (Bruce picks Ravens but I smell upset)
Panthers over Falcons
Jaguars over Patriots (Bruce picks Patriots, but maybe just maybe…)
Bills over Titans (Bruce picks Titans but I say vince young has to lose soon)
Colts over Texans
Bucs over Browns
49ers over Cardinals (Bruce went with the Cardinals, who knows?)
Bengals over Broncos (Bruce went with the Broncos, could go either way)
Chargers over Seahawks
Cowboys over Eagles
Dolphins over Jets (Bruce picks Jets, I just swatted a moth)

Week 15 Picks Evan 11-5 Bruce 14-2 Season Evan 134-90 Bruce 140- 84

Alright, wish me luck in this dogfight. I know it’s utterly meaningless but it’s fun for me to win things and gloat. Have a good night or day depending on when you’re reading this. Remember to check back tomorrow, same bat time…same bat website.

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Golden God(s) of Song

Posted by evankessler on December 21, 2006

After last night’s post comprised solely of incomprehensible drivel, I’m back to my normal self…I swear. Apparently when I’m drunk beyond repair my definition of a sentence is a collection of unrelated words strung together in a nonsensical fashion. Oh well, it was certainly an event.

There was reason for my excessive drunkeness. And that reason was my office Holiday Party. Originally slated to last from 5:30 to 8:30pm, a number of us decided to extend the evening past the 3am mark with a trip to a karaoke bar. We were probably a crew of 10 folks and I can’t recall exactly everyone who was there though I know there were 2 Daves, a Sarah, a Michael, A Steve, an Evald, an Athena, and probably a few folks I’m missing. I went for 2 karaoke standards. First I broke out Lisa Loeb’s stay, and then towards the end of the night, I noticed that my second choice “Blaze of Glory” had not been played yet. An inquiry was directed at the bartender as to why this was. Her response was that they already played it and I had already sang it, which I clearly had not since I was waiting all night for it. I explained this to her and she got the manager. The manager and I had a nice chat which ended up with him pointing toward the door and asking me to “leave”. He kept insisting that I probably forgot that I sang the song, which I found to be extremely insulting. He offered me a few dollars back and I just wanted to hear the song. As I went to grab my bag to leave the bartender walked over towards my end of the bar with two microphones and “Blaze of Glory” began to play. I was redeemed as the owner steamed silently in the corner and did nothing to deter me from singing my song. The bar wasn’t very crowded I don’t know what his objection was to playing the song. Even if the song had been played before (which it hadn’t), how many times do you go to a karaoke bar and over the course of several hours here the same song twice? There are always 2 or 3 people that sing the same Journey song throughout the course of an evening. Anyway, I was victorious and to celebrate, the couple next to us who we didn’t know but stuck out the entire night with us picked a final song that we could all sing. We sang Elvis Presley’s “Suspicous Minds”. And with that, the evening ended as Sarah and I split a cab back to Brooklyn.

I awoke at 8:08am feeling like the death. I dozed off for a couple of minutes while waiting for my roommate to finish primping and preening in the bathroom so I could take a shower. The shower didn’t really help to wake me up any and my zombie-like state lasted quite a while. I took my time getting out of the apartment as I could barely move my limbs in a productive manner towards reaching any goal whether it be getting out of the house or getting across the street. My joints creaked as I took out my iPod and selected “Getting Better” by The Beatles to begin the Wednesday portion of my iPodyssey. The Fab Four transitioned nicely into Sparklehorse’s “Getting It Wrong” and with that I was on my way into Manhattan.

There were many song streaks throughout the day there 4 quite visible “ghost” songs, 4 “Gimme” tracks, not to mention the streak of 14 songs about a “girl” or “girls”, but 2 of those had doubles (“Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet and “Girl from the North Country” by Bob Dylan) and The Shins had back to backs in the “Girl” department with “Girl Inform Me” and “Girl on The Wing”. When the girls went away there were 6 consecutive songs about how it is important to “give”, which is an good message for everyone this holiday season. (So give someone a gift from the evankessler.com store, seriously). The next 7 songs had something to do with either “glory” or things that are “glorious” things, (an excellent clue for the $25,000 pyramid) whether they be boxes or days. Glory gave way for the need to “Go” places for 6 in a row, whether it was “west” or “your own way” all paths eventually led to “God”. “God” hung around for a good 10 songs at one point prompting me to think, “God, I wonder how many God songs there were on this thing”. There was actually one song called “God Song” (so I guess the real answer was one). As I walked to the subway I thought the Dandy Warhols’ “Godless” was going to be the last one and that it would’ve been fitting but instead The Cardigans put an end to all the god talk with “Godspell”.

As I was going home on the train I had my two encounters with “going” songs. I wonder if I’ll be sitting and thinking when Elvis Costello’s “Sittin’ and Thinkin'” comes on? As I arrived home at around 7:30 I my “gold”en streak of 8 was coming to an end with Catatonia’s “Goldfish and Paracetamol” and so was my long day of the zombie hangover. All I want to do now is go to sleep and never touch alcohol again, which I know is an impossibility. Why do we do this to ourselves. Alright, I’m done, until tomorrow. Happy 5th day of Chanukah.

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Fruits of My Labor

Posted by evankessler on December 19, 2006

Despite a major setback this weekend, the iPodyssey is forging ahead. Monday represented a fresh start and what better way to get a fresh start than with the song you left off on. As I walked out the door and onto my street, I scrolled through my freshly re-filled iPod to find Pete Yorn’s “For Nancy”. I have to say, it wasn’t the most ideal song for starting the day. I love the energy in the song but it’s not much of a strolling song and when I walk to the subway I like to have a nice light, airy, song that puts a little bit of a bounce in my step. This was more of an angsty relationship ending song. “For Nancy” was followed by Kasey Chambers “For Sale”, which was a bit lighter but somewhat on the depressing side. It spoke to my theme of general career and life uncertainly as the Australian country songstress chirped “Wouldn’t you think, that I’ve got it all figured out by now? That I’d know exactly what I’m doing...” I expected there to be more songs that started with the word “For” but there only 5 more after that one and two of them were from The Cardigans album Long Gone Before Daylight, that were both enjoyed on the subway as I began reading Tom Robbins’ “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”.

After my subway ride came to a screeching halt near Herald Square a string of 4 straight “forever” songs began and that rolled into the work day. There wasn’t a whole lot of office listening as my day was interrupted by the arrival of a 1970’s TV and the task to connect a “Pong” home system to the set, followed by two consecutive victories against co-workers. I’m proclaiming myself the Atlas Pong champion until more is played tomorrow.

I intentionally went for minimal progress today (49 songs) because I was not quite ready to hit the G’s. I still had to replenish my iPod with a few albums and one of the albums had an early G song that I wanted to make sure was there. I was running low on power when Neko Case’s “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood” popped on so I hooked the ol’ 2nd generation to my work mac, only I was unaware that the itunes setting were on shuffle so I lost a song or two of progress there when I realized I was listening to Liz Phair’s “Nashville” and thinking, “Does Nashville somehow start with an F or is this a different song.” I quickly remedied the situation and all was right with the world. I would only get through 3 or 4 more songs at work as I was halted on Luna’s “Freakin’ and Peakin” until taking of around 6:40 in the P.M. I walked to the subway listening to Cat Power’s “Free” and I thought that it was the type of song my day should have started with. If only I could control this crazy iPodyssey. I thought more “Free” songs would follow but I only came across Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and Throwing Muses “Freeloader” afterwards. I was mildly shocked.

After a slew of “Friend” songs “Friends of P” was my returning home soundtrack. I put down my iPod and headed over to former roommate John V’s place so I could get his copy of Ryan Adams “Jacksonville City Nights” so I could reload it onto my player before its “G” song was supposed to come up. That was a close call and I am a dork. In any case, I had decided that my iPod movement for the day was too minimal. Too get the numbers up I took a constitutional to the gym and spent some time climbing electronically resetting stairs. The first couple of songs were moderately paced and kept me moving but once The New Pornographers “From Blown Speakers” ended, the songs got unbearably slow. I almost skipped The Decemberists “From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea” for dragging down my momentum, and was similarly tempted by the following three “fruit” songs.

The evening came mercifully to an end as I walked in the door listening to Lucinda Williams “Fruits of My Labor” but inexplicably kept my headphones on for half of Golden Smog’s “Frying Pan Eyes”. I suppose that’s where we’ll start tomorrow as we continue to push on alphabetically.

Oh, on another note. Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday so Happy Birthday Mom, and it’s also my holiday party, so if there is no post then look for it the next day. However, I will do my best to post despite my almost certain drunken state.

Monday’s Best:
“For Nancy” (Pete Yorn), “For The Birds” (Juliana Hatfield Three), For the Boys “The Cardigans”, “Fortunate Son” (Creedence Clearwater Revival), “Fountain and Fairfax” (Afghan Whigs), “Four Leaf Clover” (Old 97’s w/Exene Cervenka), “Fourth of July” (Galaxie 500), “Free” (Cat Power), “Friday I’m In Love” (The Cure), “From A Balance Beam” (Bright Eyes)

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Crisis in the Key of F

Posted by evankessler on December 18, 2006

It was a weekend that will live in infamy as far as the iPodyssey is concerned. Saturday morning I awoke around 10am to shower and head into the city for a family brunch and the Chanukah (or Hannukah) gift exchange. I handled my hygiene business and by 10:50 am I was ready to head towards Manhattan. As I went to disconnect my iPod from my powerbook the “improperly disconnected” message came up, despite the fact that I had not yet disconnected said electronic device from other electronic device. It was at this point that I reconnected the iPod only to have a weird CD-ish icon that more or less meant that my iPod had to get reacquainted with my computer. I did not have the time for this as this process can sometimes take up to an hour. At this point I chose to disconnect it again in the hopes that it would shut off and I could turn it on and be on my way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I ran out the door with gifts in hand. Before walking out the two doors to my building I pulled out my iPod and scanned to the menu where I could find the song “For Nancy” (Pete Yorn) where I left off to begin Saturday’s leg of the iPodyssey. However, when I got to the songs section, there was not one song listed. I had managed in one fell swoop to erase the entire contents of my iPod.

Needless to say, I was completely crushed. This one goal which I had been working so hard at the past few weeks had come to an abrupt halt. I wondered if it had all been for naught. Could I go on? Would I have to find another project to occupy my time? Would I be able to recover all of the music I had lost and forge ahead despite this major speed bump in the road to “Zurich is Stained”? I pondered this question throughout my day. My iPod had been acting funny for quite some time. Should I just bite the bullet and purchase another iPod and start the journey over on a newer machine with greater song capacity? Was this one totally cooked? My brain was bombarded with questions that had no immediate answer. I was facing defeat at the hands of my own impatience and it did not feel good.

The afternoon had been clouded and my mood would not improve for a few hours. I rode the train towards the West 4th Station and read my friend Andrew‘s book on the way. When I arrived in the West Village I headed immediately to Li-Lac chocolates several avenues West so I could purchase some chocolates as a supplement to my mother’s Chanukah/Birthday present. When I arrived there at 11:45am the store was not yet open and one person was waiting to get in. I dutifully formed a line behind her and one by one quite the queue was being formed. The man behind me was growing quite disgruntled despite the fact that the sign on the door clearly stated that the store opened at Noon. He kept grumbling and saying, “they know we’re all out here they could just open up.” I just kept thinking, “now why would they want to do that, so they can deal with the unreasonable douchebags that customers can be for 15 more minutes than they actually have to?” I’m in their corner on this one. Noon rolled around as I knew it eventually would barring a nuclear attack and moments later I had a box of chocolates in my hand. It was back to the subway for me as I hauled my holiday gifts down to the Lower East Side to meet my family over by my brother’s apartment. The original plan had been to go to Katz’s deli but since it was a zoo we settled on brunch at the Pink Pony.

This was an okay meal as far as eating with my family goes. I get really bent out of shape with most family get togethers because the only topics that are discusssed are the status of furniture in our East Hampton abode and my brother’s burgeoning career and travels. There is rarely any semblance of interesting conversation. When I am finally acknowledged it’s along the lines of “here’s what I think you should do with your life now that you’re not going to have a job” or a condescending comment made by my mother in which she says , “is this going to go on your blog” (not that I think she means to be condescending but it certainly comes across that way), as if the word wasn’t annoying enough she stretches it out in such an irritating way that it becomes even more condescending and irritating than it already was. The irritation is compounded by the fact that I’m almost sure she has never read it or at least not in a long stretch, not that I wish she would read it regularly. She might know too much about my life then and I’d be forced to go into rehab for dependency on alcohol. There was shining conversational light though when we were discussing authors as Irwin was discussing poets and how he doesn’t like to read and I had mentioned that I had just finished reading “Deadeye Dick” by Vonnegut. There was talk of poetry and fiction and I was actually interested. It was nice to talk about something that could be discussed on an intellectual level without me being made to feel like the failure of the family who has no idea what he is doing.

After brunch we all went up to my brother’s apartment for the present exchange. My mom got me a bevy of gifts including 2 items she saw on QVC which she commenced to demonstrate their usage in infomercial fashion as though it were a tryout to be the new QVC host. At that moment I told my stepfather that he needs to disconnect the cable. However, she did get me a couple of shirts and some pajamas that will fit nicely into the rotation. My brother got me 5 wax packs of old baseball and football cards from the 1980’s and some shirts as well and my stepdad got me a gift certificate to the Gap to buy more shirts. I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, I appreciate all of the gifts I was given but it led me to believe that I am impossible to shop for and I hate telling people what I want for my birthday or a holiday gift. It seems too much like cheating. Plus, I think it’s selfish to tell people to buy you certain things. I suppose I just wish more personal thought had gone into some of the gifts. One note about the baseball card wax packs though. I have this odd feeling that someone is remanufacturing old baseball card wax packs and inserting people who never even existed into the card sets. As I looked through my new old 1986Topps cards with players such as “Harry Spilman” and “Dan Spillner” I was almost positive that their existence was a complete hoax and that those guys were just joke additions to give the card set a nice round number. I had certainly never heard of them.
After all, if Dan Spillner had 4 wins and 41 strikeouts for the White Sox in 1985 and no one remembers seeing it, did it actually happen?

After the present exchange we headed over to Teany for some Tea (shocking) and some dessert. Then my mom dropped me off at the Broadway Lafayette stop and I took the train back to Brooklyn. Actually before I go any further, I may have been a little too harsh on my family in this blog so far but at this point in my existence our relationship is not necessarily as healthy as it could be and a great deal of that is probably my fault. I certainly love my family but I am continually frustrated by our interactions and being that writing in this blog is a form of therapy for me and a necessary part of my existence at the moment I find it necessary to include my feelings on the familial matters that were the fabric of the past several paragraphs.
Don’t think me a heartless greedy bastard, though I can certainly be that at times.

Moving right along to Saturday afternoon into evening. I arrived home at 4 something and immediately began to work towards restoring the contents of my iPod in the hopes that my musical journey could continue. By 7pm I was back to having 4500 plus songs, although the previous count had been slightly over 4600. There are a few albums I have to snag but I will continue on tomorrow.

Saturday evening was a little tricky as my roommate Marty had planned a holiday party for our apartment. However, before Marty announced his wishes to have a holiday party Maureen, Laura, and Stephen had already invited me to their annual party the same night. It was a week after I was invited to their party that my roommate decided he wanted to have a party. So, I was between a rock and a hard place, but not too hard. I decided that I would not not invite any of my friends to my apartment party as I would not be staying and resolved that I would stay at our party until 11pm and then head over to Maureen’s only a few blocks away. Just before getting ready for my apartment party I got a call from Kishore asking if I was going to our friend Nina and Dmitry’s party. Seeing as I was completely unaware of their party I was slightly offended. When a group of your best friends are all going to a party that your other friends are having and you haven’t so much as received an invitation it can be a tad bit insulting, though I’m sure the lack of inviation was an accident. In any case, I had other plans for the evening but it would’ve been nice to know about as I certainly might have made an effort to go and hang out with people that I enjoy greatly. Perhaps I’m being hyper-sensitive today. Tis the season.

People began to show up at our place prior to 8pm. Adam A came over and made a big crockpot full of Hot Alcoholic Apple Cider. Mack and Del started cooking a good mix of hors d’ouvres. I think the highlight of their contribution was the fried polenta with cheese. Slowly but surely the apartment was filling up with holiday well wishers. Some familiar faces, some not so much. I’m not in one of my listing moods but there were loads of great people hanging out and people were mingling and conversing over delightful finger foods. It was all very Martha Stewart-ish and adult-y. I was having a very pleasant time but when 11pm rolled around I had to make a break for it.

I recieved a hearty welcome when I arrived at Maureen, Laura, and Stephen’s party. There was quite the crowd and I had to work my way through quite a bit of folks to say hello to the familiars. Laura R immediately showed me her Christ Sugar cookies that she baked especially for me, since when she made them two years ago I remarked how bizarre and sadistic it was that there were crucifix sugar cookies. I made the rounds after that talking to Conrad, Brian D, Laura B, Pete, Mike, Maureen, Andrew, Dan, and Brandon. At one point I went upstairs to Mike’s room and noticed that there was no bed. He cleared out his room so that it could be the music room, complete with keyboard, mini-drumset, and microphone. People were jamming on the guitar and drums. Some new what they were doing, some didn’t. At one point on that trip upstairs I got some keyboard time but headed back downstairs for more conversation.

Later in the night I would find myself up there for more keyboard and even some singing as I made up some song about the guy who came up with the idea of song. His name was Gary. He was a friend of Jesus and i think they had some sort of falling out. More people ended up following Jesus than Gary or something to that effect. At that point some girl got all whiny and demanded I sing a song about Brandon who was a perfectly fun and interesting person who was not demanding I sing a song about him but she wanted me to either get off the mic or sing about brandon or sing a song she knew. I was not her monkey.

At this point I went downstairs but the party was filing out for the most part. Eventually we all wound up back upstairs for another, much smaller and more intimate jam session. We sang some “Lean on Me” as well as Pulp’s “Common People” in formation usually reserved for Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends are For”. Laura R plugged in her iPod and we attempted to jam and sing along to every single song that came on. The climax came with all of the lights out and Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” blasting throughout the house and I imagined the entired neighborhood. It was 4:30am when the party was abruptly ended when the keyboard did a face plant onto the floor. By 4:45 I was back in my humble abode, poised to make contact with my tender mattress and go beddybye.

I woke up at 10:30am Sunday to make football picks and then went back to sleep until 1pm. From that point on it was 6 straight hours of football which ended with an unfortunate loss for my favorite New York Football Giants. Ugh, all of these Sundays being lazy will be all for naught if they don’t make the playoffs. I really need to reconsider my dependency on athletic events which I do not participate in. The rest of the night was spent indoors. Actually my entire Sunday I did not leave the apartment, though I did do sit ups at one point to substitute for my lack of physical activity. I suppose that’s it for my weekend recap.

One last note…the iPodyssey will continue as planned tomorrow as I forge ahead through the fog of uncertainty. I know I’m a few songs short and I know I’m cheating a bit. After all, did Lindbergh stop on a wave for some tea in the middle of his Transatlantic flight? Om any case, I’m going to try to make this as authentic as possible, at work I’m going to have to drag the Kasey Chambers album “Carnival” onto my iPod and maybe tomorrow I might borrow Ryan Adams “Jacksonville City Nights’ and I’ll almost be back to full strength at that point. Until then, a good night to all and to all a good night. Is that how that goes?

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