Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

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”.


3 Responses to “Idaho, Alaska, and Me”

  1. Anonymous said

    Hey thanks for hanging out.
    Jesus loves PBR

  2. Anonymous said

    yes, it was twice i got up on the bar and i think it was more than 2 free shots. we will do something like this again in the future, jesus told me.

  3. Anonymous said

    yes, i got up to dance on the bar twice, and i think it was more than 2 free shots. we will do something like this again in the future, jesus told me.

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