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Archive for February, 2007

Teenage Angst Has Paid Off Well

Posted by evankessler on February 28, 2007

Man, I remember how much Kurt Cobain used to love baseball. Everytime there was a Seattle Mariners game on TV, you would always see Kurt up in his luxury box at The Kingdome cheering on Junior Griffey and The Big Unit. His one big dream, other than that his stomach pains would end and his desire to lead a meaningful quiet life away from the rock spotlight, was to see the Mariners win the World Series in his lifetime. Unfortunately, for music fans and for fellow baseball fans, Kurt’s light was extinguished in April of 1994, shortly after an exploratory committee was formed by the City of Seattle to assess the need for a replacement stadium for Kurt’s beloved but rapidly deteriorating Kingdome. Some say the prospect of the Kingdome’s replacement was what ultimately led to Kurt’s suicide just days before the 1994 baseball season.

Regardless of what effect the replacement of Kingdome by Safeco field had on the Nirvana frontman, the folks at 2K sports and Courtney Love decided to get together and honor the late great Grunge idol who would have turned 40 last week, by licensing his song “Breed” as the musical soundtrack to their latest release MLB 2K7. The song is an appropriate choice as it was no doubt written by Kurt Cobain about his desire to see his Seattle Mariners “breed” a Championship team through the development of their minor league system.

The licensing of said song will no doubt also serve to keep Courtney Love afloat monetarily in the midst of a flagging career marked by incessantly insane behavior and on and off addiction.
Bravo Courtney and 2K sports! Everything about this licensing deal just seems to make sense and we here at EvanKessler.com applaud your efforts!

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Posted by evankessler on February 25, 2007

EvanKessler.com reached that most elusive of milestones this weekend. We’ve bested both Ty Cobb and Pete Rose twice over and cruised past the magical number of 10,000 hits. It may not seem like such a landmark to the internet world as some sites get that many hits times 100 in the course of a day, but in the case of this here site it’s been a little less than 3 years in the making. With that milestone behind us , the royal we at EvanKessler.com vow to keep on truckin’ like a bunch of stoners who have yet to be notified of the demise of both Phish and Grateful Dead.

So with that in mind, let’s get you folks caught up on the weekend, shall the royal we? Oh wait, before we do that I have to apologize for the second straight week for neglecting the existence of Thursday. Sometimes social engagements negate my preconceived update schedule. However, this webmaster will press on to continually provide you with the mundane and semi-mundane details of his life.

In keeping with that notion….Thursday…in all of it’s glory. Ah thursday I woke rather early and struggled to come up with a Costner post before heading to Manhattan for errands sake. As I stepped out the door to head to the bigger borough resuming my iPodyssey with The Proclaimers’ “Over and Done With” followed by Blake Babies “Over and Over”. As I rode into Manhatttan I had a back to back of two similarly titled Echo & The Bunnymen songs in “Over You” and “Over Your Shoulder”.

The venture into Manhattan was largely uneventful until I started towards the subway train in the midst of the 2nd consecutive version of Pavement’s “Painted Soldiers” as I did a double take when I walked by my friend from High School, Melissa G. We both looked at each other unsure why each other would be on the same street at the same time, as she was with a child and I was out when the rest of the normal world was working. It almost ended up being just a drive by waving but then we stopped and chatted a bit before I headed back into the subway station.

On my way home I had one of the better back to backs on the iPodyssey as Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty” led right into The Magnetic Fields’ “Papa Was A Rodeo”. Talk about aural bliss. As I walked into my house I had a titular two-fer with Coldplay and Pearl Jam’s respective “parachutes”. Though the former made me ponder how lame the musical world’s Coldplay obsession era was.

After several hours maxin’ and relaxin’ like Michael Jackson sans children or anything relating to child molestation, at home, I headed out to meet a friend for drinks at Union Hall and the Lighthouse at 6pm. It was a relatively early night though as I think I got home around 10:30 or so and I was absolutely famished. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word famished on this site before. I rather like it. I had no intention of blogging that evening as my eyelids were growing heavy as I stared at my computer and I fell asleep around 12:30am.

When I awoke on Friday I had the task of figuring out what the hell I was going to write on the Costner site. Luckily, Andrew Morton came to my aid with a suggestion as I was afraid that I was running out of material. The majority of Friday was spent job hunting but I also went to the bank and dropped off my laundry. Around 7:30pm I braced myself for the joy of cooking. The iPodyssey resumed at Pearl Jam’s “Parachutes” and it didn’t stop until my chicken and broccoli in garlic and olive oil was ready as the Beasties told a little story about three bad brothers, you know so well entitled “Paul Revere”.

I could’ve easily stayed in Friday but fun was calling my name. Jason and Andy were having one last party before leaving their apartment at the end of the month, so Marty and I headed down to Boerum Hill for a good time. We arrived at around 10:30 and a crowd was already gathered. Kishore, Lauren H, Ahmad, Erika, Miller, Ken, Shayan, Andrea, Kayvalyn, and our humble hosts made up the majority. There were a few folks I didn’t recognize but that was okay. I wasn’t going to get angry and start beating them and branding them with hot metal as their punishment. I was in a civil mood and spent most of the evening conversing and making the rounds. There was even some marshmallow roasting in the fireplace. One of the final conversations of the evening involved Marty, Myself, and a girl named Taurie who was certainly brightly clad in stark contrast with most of the folks at the party. The conversation soon turned to professional talk and she asked what work I was involved in. I told her I was into TV Production. She started going on a tangent about her company needing production people and art directors. I alerted her that Marty was an art director. She continued to talk to us about her company as though it would be a bother for us to know someone who might have good jobs for us. We encouraged her to go on as we were most certainly interested. When it comes to possible employment for a company that sounds like they have a lot going for them, I’m all ears. Plus, Taurie had a lot of energy so she was fun to converse with.

Marshmallows Roasting on an Open Fire

Kayvalyn finishing off one of said marshmallows

At around 3am people began to file out of the party. Marty and I left in a jovial mood and we headed on home, but not before stopping off at the 5th avenue deli for bagels. Mmm…bagels.

Saturday was generally a mellow day. I sat around watching “The Money Pit” followed by “Waterworld”. Again, for dinner I decided to cook chicken and brocolli in some olive oil and garlic to the sound of my iPod, an outing the took me from the Beastie Boys “Paul Revere” to Interpol’s “PDA on the iPodyssey, effectively finishing out the musical portion of my weekend in that respect.

However, later Saturday evening I would head out with my friend Rachel to check out my high school friend Adam Hayes who DJ’s under the name DJ Haze. I guess that’s not too much of a stretch. It’s easy enough too remember. We showed up to Le Bar Blue in the East Village at around midnight. At that point I ran into fellow Ramapoans Ari, with his fiancé/wife, Darren G and Deb S. Also present were some guys that went to the same high school but were a bit older. One of them was very annoyingly in my face, not in an agitative fashion but he was close talking and trying to engage myself in Rachel in completely trivial conversation about how people in his year of high school had brothers and sisters in my year of high school. It seemed like the most meaningless conversation ever and I could really care less. I was hoping that someone would come over and save us. I tried to block him out but he was a whirling dervish of bad conversation. Luckily, a female would catch his attention soon and he would harass her all night. At the point I decided to leave said female kept repeating “take him with you”. On the way out I ran into one my high school best friends, Drew G, who was just arriving with some friends. I wish I could have stayed longer but I’d had enough house music for one evening. Not that the music was bad, I just have a time limit for being at a bar where I can’t hear anything. Actually, I was rather impressed by Adam’s djing abilities. So, it was around 2am, and the evening was at an end…and so was the weekend effectively.

DJ Haze spins his way into the hearts of the crowd at Le Bar Blue

The majority of my Sunday has involved sitting around and staring at this here computer. I’m currently debating whether or not to keep a running diary of the oscars since it went over pretty well last year. However, if I’m doing the same thing for 24 tomorrow it might be a tad too much. Plus, that show can go on for far too long sometimes. In any case, I hope everyone enjoys/enjoyed the Oscars. I hope all of your favorites win/won. Not that it matters/mattered.

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Routine Operations

Posted by evankessler on February 22, 2007

Laziness has certainly taken hold of me the last several weeks. As soon as the temperature dipped below the freezing point, I managed to spend the majority of my time out of the view of the general public. I’m not sure if the Groundhog saw or didn’t see his shadow on February 2nd, nor am I sure which one of the two constitutes an early spring, but the warmth was certainly upon upon today, nearly a full three weeks later.

The temptation of the warmer climate may have been the sole force luring me out of my house not one, not two, but three times, this Wednesday. However, I prefer to think I was drawn outside to resume the routine of life by the basic human needs that are grocery shopping, fitness, and drinking.

Upon waking up at 11:14am, I realized that I was lacking milk and cereal and made a quick trip to Key Food to remedy the situation. My stomach was quite empty at the outset of my trip so I ended up spending more money and buying more goods than I had originally planned. The good news is, I should be able to eat without shopping the rest of the week. The bad news is, my key food savings club card only saved me $0.79. I’m always so excited to use the damn thing but the savings are always less than thrilling. I’ve yet to break the $1 mark.

I returned home to empty my groceries and as I did I played a little game with Gizmo, the dog who Marty was dog sitting. It wasn’t so much a game so much as me saying the “dog” in between the items I was unpacking from my grocery bag and where their ultimate destination was as the dog looked on. For example: “Milk, dog, fridge, dog, steak, dog, freezer, dog, brocolli, fridge, dog, toilet paper, dog, bathroom.” I enjoyed the curious blank stare from said animal.

Upon emptying out all of the groceries and eating my cereal I finished my daily Costner post. Soon after finishing my latest post, I headed off to put an end to my several weeks of sloth-like behavior at the Body Reserve gym. On my way to the gym, I resumed my iPodyssey where I was rudely cut off by a lethargic battery the previous evening at Radiohead’s “Optimistic”. For the most part my gym experience was marked by a good run of songs though my body was ready to give out about 1/6 into my workout. Probably the only musical hindrances to my progress were Luna’s mellow “Orange Peel”, the atmospheric interruption of Elliott Smith’s “Ostriches and Chirping” and Brian Wilson’s “Our Prayer/Wendell Gee” which is more of a transitional songs that can actually be appreciated if you listen to Smile as a full album. Other than that, the song selection came up aces. My elliptical adventure ended at Pavement’s “Our Singer” and soon enough I was entering my apartment to the tune of Neko Case’s “Outro With Bees”.

I didn’t get much time to rest after the gym as I had planned to get drinks with my former roommate Ellen at Sepia in Prospect Heights. We met at the corner of Sterling and 5th ave at 6pm and though I had my iPod with me I didn’t listen to it because that would’ve been rude and also because we were talking. This was certainly a lovely evening for a nice walk and talk as it felt like it might be 50 degrees outside. I joked that I could probably take my shirt off and not feel cold, though I refrained from actually doing so. My drinking outing with Ellen was extremely fun. If I had to make a list of favorite roommates of all time I think she would be somewhere near the top. We always have so much to talk about because we like a lot of the same things and frankly I miss our nights yelling at the TV while watching Wife Swap. After 2 beers at Sepia we made our way to Soda Bar for some food and a couple of more beers before going our separate ways. One we said our goodbyes, the iPodyssey resumed again with Neko Case’s “Outro with Bees” and it’s subsequent reprise.

On my way home, I came to the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of St. Marks and Flatbush and got a sudden craving for a Vanilla Chai. Instead of supressing my craving with an addictive diet pill I marched right inside and ordered what my taste buds desired. I was rewarded for my whimsical decision when the cashier offered me a free donut. My initial instinct was to refuse but since I don’t regularly partake in glazed goodness I took him up on his proposition and soon became the proud new owner of a Boston Kreme donut. From there I happily scurried on home to an excellent three song stretch involving both Wilco’s “Outtamind (Outtasite)” and “Outtasite (Outtamind)” and finally ending on The Proclaimers “Over and Done With” which has in recent months become one of my favorite songs.

All in all I’d say it was a pretty good day. So far I’m doing pretty well with my vow to get out of the house every day this week. Unfortunately my employment search has suffered, but I’m setting some time aside for that tomorrow before my body flies out the door and heads into Manhattan.

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Serious Pursuit

Posted by evankessler on February 21, 2007

Hello and welcome to another installment of the EvanKessler.com daily smattering of personal recollection. Today we tackle the events of February 20th, 2007 a day in which the phrase “Serious Pursuit” takes on three separate meanings.

The first meaning refers to the serious distance myself and one Maureen H had to travel in pursuit of a 2nd consecutive day of brunch.

The second “serious pursuit” is my ongoing pursuit of the ultimate iPod goal as I continued my alphabetical journey through my iPod in pursuit of the final song of the iPodyssey.

The third of the pursuits in question was the “pursuit” of victory in an epic game of Trivial Pursuit.

The day began innocently enough with a text message from Anna M at 8:15 in the morning, asking if I would be taking part in the unemployed brunch which we had planned last week to take place today at Starling’s house. I was a tad bit on the fence due to the previous day’s filling midday meal. My first inclination was to not go if Maureen was not going. However, after a few phone calls and text messages I was resigned to the fact that I would, in fact be joining the fray. Several hours later I received a call from Maureen and around 11:30 give or take, I left the apartment to meet up with her to get some food stuffs. It was then I started my iPodyssey for the day with “Oceans” by Pearl Jam. It paused several mintues later as I met up with Maureen on the corner of 7th and Union while listening to R.E.M’s “Oddfellows Local 151”. Maureen then grabbed some fruit while I got the bagels and cream cheese and we headed out from Brooklyn en route to Jersey City to meet Starling and Anna M for brunch.

Maureen and I spent the majority of our trip to Jersey discussing Silence Of The Lambs as well as her disdain for all Scientologists, which I support. It was about 12:50pm when we finally rolled up to Starling’s Jersey City abode. Mr. Starling was already in cooking mode as he had several skillets sauteeing peppers, mushrooms, and soon he added bacon that we brought. It was awhile before we started eating but we toasted our weekday brunch with Mimosas and hilarious conversation.

When we finally sat down at the dining room table to eat Adam asked if we put my iPod on. Before agreeing I made sure that everyone was okay with my iPodyssey stipulations. In no circumstances would we be allowed to skip any songs and they must continue in alphabetical order. These are the rules of the iPodyssey. We commenced the iPodyssey portion of the brunch as “Oddfellows Local 151” continued into The Decemberists’ “Of Angels and Angles”. It was then that Anna dropped a bomb on me a la The Gap Band. She too had done her own iPodyssey. I was somewhat disappointed that I was not the first person to think of this but nonetheless, I didn’t stay bothered as I rationalized that it just went to prove that great minds think alike. Plus, she hadn’t named her iPod journey “The iPodyssey”.

In any case, we went on enjoying the food that had been prepared though I mostly just partook in a bagel with cream cheese and bacon. We were also soon joined by the younger Starling who was taking his lunch break from work. It must be nice to work somewhere where you can go home for lunch. If I ever get a job again, it would be great if it were close to home and I didn’t have to go get lunch at some exorbitantly priced chain restaurant like Cosi. The conversation was pretty interesting as most of us revealed how much we’re willing to just move on from working in TV. I still have a passion for making things though, I just wish it was easier to find work and more of a stable profession. The funny thing about the work conversation was that part of it was going on as we listened to Mary Lou Lord’s “Old Tin Tray” which kind of echoed our work sentiments with the lyrics “Once in awhile it occurs, you find that you’re not where you thought that you were“. I think we all sort of thought we’d be more successful or at least have more stable footing in the world by this time…not that we’re miserable people by any means. We’re actually quite delightful and when we’re together we’re a downright great time.

When we finally finished our eating and talking we moved over to the living room where we became embroiled in a serious game of Trivial Pursuit. We didn’t make teams though, it was every person for themself in this heated contest. At first Starling took a resounding 2 pie piece lead, but soon everyone save for Maureen was tied at 3 slices apiece. It was around 7:30 andthe iPodyssey played on in the background and we all took turns answering questions incorrectly, though coincidentally one of the correctly answered was helped by the tunes blaring from my iPod. Elvis Presley’s “One Night” played as the correct answer on the back of one of the trivia cards read The King’s name. Coincidences like that are always amusing. I eventually put a stop to the iPodyssey on Bruce Springsteen’s “Open All Night”.

The game seemed to be dragging on an impossible amount of time and as we took turns announcing the questions using the “Echo Mic” we were starting to grow stir crazy. We wanted the game to end and it was getting late. We had been playing since 4:30pm and the clock read just after 9pm. Finally around 9:15 pm, 3 of us had a full pie of on our Trivial Pursuit gamepieces. We now just had to make it to the center and answer a question correctly. At around 9:22 the game was put to bed as yours truly answered a question that I can’t seem to recall. It wasn’t important. What was important was that our unending game had finally crossed the finish line. The most amazing part of the 5 hours spent around a board game, no one once hinted that they had anywhere to go or anywhere to be. This is frequently the reason why most board games come to an early demise, but not today. We actually played out the whole damn thing. It was quite the feat and somewhat of a sad feat at that, but we had fun doing it.

Soon enough Anna M, Maureen, and I headed back to the city of New York via the Path Train to the World Trade Center site, which had been described by Anna as somewhat surreal and weird since it takes you right through the middle of the construction site like some bizarre tour ride at a Disney park. It is certainly something strange to experience. That path station is certainly something though. As we all split up I felt as though I was at an airport and we were all splitting up to go to separate gates. It just makes you feel like you’re in the future of New York while in the center of it’s tragic past. Quite the strange sensation if you ask me. After we split up I took the 3 back to Brooklyn and only made it 2 more songs on my iPodyssey to Radiohead’s “Optimistic” before my battery died. When I got off the train at Bergen street I had to walk home in silence…poor me. Overall, I made it through 71 songs today which is the most I’d done in awhile. All in a good day’s work, but the day was done and it was time to spend sometime in the comfort of my own home, though I certainly achieved the week’s goal of getting out of the house.

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Not About Love

Posted by evankessler on February 15, 2007

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I hope you all enjoyed yourself today, but to me an unemployed malingerer, everyday is the 14th. Using that reasoning yesterday was the 14th as well so maybe I should catch you up on that.

Hmmm, well, my Tuesday was actually quite eventful as far as eventful unemployed days go. I met up with Andrew Morton for some lunch at a new diner on 5th avenue and 8th street. On my way to meet him I burned through several songs on the iPodyssey, starting at Johnny Cash’s “No Earthly Good” and stopping on Weezer’s “No One Else”. We had a nice lunch, I suppose. There was nothing too special about the diner. It wasn’t so bad though. There are certain rules to obey when one goes to a diner. Usually one is only allowed to get breakfast, appetizers, or basic sandwiches. One should never order any fish dish such as Halibut. The reason for this is that everyone knows not to order Halibut at a diner, so there’s no telling how old the Halibut they have been waiting to prepare has been waiting to be prepared. With that in mind, both Andrew and I made the diner-safe choice that is the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I had mine with Cheddar and Turkey Bacon and I believe he had his with good ol’ American. Over lunch we chatted about Comedy, Woody Allen, Kevin Costner, Comedy Central’s programming mishaps, and several other subjects. We probably only sat there for an hour but in that time I was reminded to throw Catch-22, and the comedic Casino Royale into my netflix queue.

When we broke off after lunch I resumed my iPodyssey making it from Weezer’s “No One Else” to Townes Van Zandt’s “No Place To Fall” as I walked in through the door to my apartment.
As I sat down at my computer I remembered that it was Tuesday and on Tuesday’s in my neighborhood something very special happens. Bierkraft, perhaps the best store in all of Brooklyn, has cheese and beer tastings for about the first 20-30 Customers to show up at 6:30pm. I called Jess A, who lives in the neighborhood and asked if she wanted to go with me. Jess A and I have been friends since we did some TRF projects together back in Syracuse. Back then she always seemed to be discussing food and even now she’s always game to go to food events.

When 6:30 rolled around I stood outside waiting for Jess, who eventually showed up at 6:40 with her friends Stacy and Jen. We just barely got the last tickets to the tasting. Instead of this week’s tasting being beer and cheese it was switched to beer and beer infused chocolates in honor of el día de San Valentín. When 6:55 came around the folks at Bierkraft led us into a little room in the basement with about 20-30 chairs tightly packed in with a narrow aisle down the middle. The room reminded me of an interrogation room with way too many chairs or maybe a room in my hebrew school minus the wooden desks that were unfriendly to left handed students such as myself.

The guy who was in charge of the tasting session was the most super laid back person ever, as he just seemed to be sighing the entire presentation. I actually kind of enjoyed that aspect of his presentation. It was like he knew what he was talking about but he didn’t care enough to shove down your throat that he knew more than you. It wasn’t about his knowledge it was about what you thought of the beer and the chocolate. I didn’t have any questions he needed to answer, I wasn’t trying to become a know it all about beer and beer infused chocolate. I just wanted to taste good beer and taste good chocolate. There were 5 beers and 5 chocolates infused with the 5 types of beer. My favorite of the lot was the Abita Purple Haze pairing.

This whole event probably took us until a little after 8pm and when I emerged from the basement I was back in the store where I saw the comedian Eugene Mirman pouring over some culinary selections. Now, this is a very strange but not strange coincidence. I feel like every time I walk out of the house (which is admittedly not too much lately) I cross paths with this very funny gentleman. I’m never compelled to say anything because frankly, it might make things uncomfortable if I should continue to run into him regularly and also because he’s just a person who obviously lives in the neighborhood. We seem to just have similar strolling schedules, unless he just walks up and down 5th avenue to freak people out and make them say “I keep seeing that guy”.

After the chocolate tasting, Jess, Stacy, Jen, and I all went to Union Hall for a drink, but we ended up staying for 2 or 3 and some food. While we were there we were approached by resident Bocce pro Zeke, who I had met on Christmas Eve while Arby and I tried to improve our game. He kept coming over and making us listen to music that he wanted to play at a charity event. He wanted to know if it would make us dance. The girls kept replying it was too loungy with each song he played them. When I listened I thought, “people could probably dance to this”, but that just goes to show what I know. During our time at Union Hall I basically zoned out on the Bocce games being played as the girls I just kept complaining about someone who used to be their friend. I had no frame of reference to participate in the majority of their conversation and I was tired to begin with. I ate my chili and stared blankly at the nearby court. At around 1opm I made my way back to my apartment where the night came to an end after some Daily Show and Colbert Report viewing.

I woke up this morning, fully cognizant of the fact that it was Valentine’s Day, not because I had any responsibilities toward anyone of the female persuasion, but merely because I had to make sure that I put up my Valentine’s Day Costner Post. Once that got done it was pretty much clear sailing. The only thing on my to do list was to go to the Supermarket and get some goods, so I put on the ol’ iPod to resume my iPodyssey while shopping. I made it from Townes Van Zandt’s “No Place To Fall” to Ben Lee’s “No Room To Bleed” between leaving for Key Food and returning to my aparment. The latter of the songs was the 2nd in a Ben Lee tw0-fer with “No Right Angles”. On another note, while at the Key Food I ran into Pat T, a former VH1 producer who is also currently enjoying being in the throes of unemployment. Running into people at the supermarket really makes you feel suburban.

I eschewed the idea of putting away my iPod when I got home and decided that I would continue my iPodyssey while making a sandwich and reading the New York Times in preparation of a possible Valentine’s Day Pub Quiz. Alas, the Pub Quiz plan fell apart but the Dead Parrots will be back at it on February 28th unless something annoying comes up. The reading and eating outing took me from Ben Lee’s “No Room To Bleed” to Whiskeytown’s “Not Home Anymore”.

When I returned to my room I noticed a Myspace message from Jess S. wishing me a Happy Valentine’s day. That made me feel good but what didn’t make me feel good was the vexing quandary that filled my brain afterwards. Whenever someone sends me a message with a nice sentiment, I often feel pressured that I have to return the exact sentiment. In doing so, I fear that the sentiment I convey will come off only as reactionary instead of being pure, as if it were only been done just because it was done to me. In most cases, I elect to not return the sentiment, but if I do decide to return said sentiment I usually do it in a way that lacks any affection so as to shy away from appearing sentimental. This is what certain people would call a defense mechanism.

That was probably the most thought provoking portion of my day. The rest of the day was spent whiling away the hours on the Internet until I decided to cook myself dinner. Dinner took me from “Not Home Anymore” to the opening bars of Sinead O’Connor singing “Nothing Compares 2 U”. I didn’t want to get into the song because I would rather be walking down the street tomorrow in the cold than washing dishes to that song. “Nothing Compares 2U is just one of those songs you have to be able to fully enjoy when you’re listening to it. You don’t want to hear it as background music while the sink runs in the foreground and you can just barely make out the words, thereby releasing any emotional weight the song might carry. So, I think I did the right thing by stopping it there. It would’ve gone well though if this was a sad Valentine’s Day, but to be honest, it just felt like a regular day to me. Maybe that’s because I didn’t get out much or I didn’t watch too much TV and missed the onslaught of Kay Jewelers commercials, but that was just fine with me. Valentine’s Day? Whatever.

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Next Stop Vermont

Posted by evankessler on February 9, 2007

Hey there ladies and gentlemen! Sorry to leave you having an extra day sans EvanKessler.com postings but sometimes there’s just that little going on. However, in my previous two days I have rediscovered the joy of cooking. Maybe one day I’ll rediscover the joy of sex but lets take our lives one joy at a time shall we. The last two nights I have made a lovely dish consisting of chicken with broccoli in garlic and olive oil, mixed with a wheat pasta. I have to say I did quite the wonderful job of preparation and my taste buds were delighted. Aside from my culinary adventures the days have been rather uneventful. I’ve spent the last two monitoring my Costner progress running errands to prepare for my impending trip to Vermont, for which I depart at 8:30am this morning.

That being said I’ve managed to run through a bit on my iPodyssey and I don’t feel like telling a story about it since I have to wake up in but a few hours for a road trip in a van full of people. It might be fun or it might be a really long time spent in a van. However, when we arrive we’ll have our own house equipped with a hot tub, pool table, and entertainment center with which to have our way with for the entire weekend. Who is the we in question? Well, I’m not sure how many of us there are at this point but they include Stephen H, Katie O, Maureen H, Pete F, Laura R, Dan F, Myself, Laura B, Andrew Morton, Mike H, and other folks who I just can’t think of at the moment. I think it’s basically going to be an entire weekend in the hot tub drinking beer. Sounds alright by me.

Alright, so in any case, we’ve finally broken into the 14th letter on the iPodyssey surpassing the halfway marker. Although I think we did that a couple of weeks agoo when we passed the 2300th song. That being said, 65 songs elapsed in the past 2 days as we went from Outkast’s “My Favorite Things” to Liz Phair’s “Never Said”, the latter being played inexplicably twice. I hope to dig deeper into my musical chasm this weekend, but I’m almost resigned to the fact that we’re going to a lot of mixes on the way up and have some sing alongs. However, I can’t say for sure but be ready for plenty of pictures in Sunday night’s weekend recap. I hope everyone has an excellent weekend. Vermont, here I come.

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That Awkward Feeling

Posted by evankessler on February 7, 2007

I know it’s a little late to talk about yesterday but let’s talk about it. I put off posting last night because A, I went on a date and B, when I returned my internet was not working and I opted for bed instead.

Earlier in the day I had resumed my iPodyssey on my way for an informal job interview over at HBO. I resumed my musical journey with “Mr. Wendall” where I had left off the previous evening. Afterwards I was immediately thrust into the Mrs. section as Loretta Lynn sang about “Mrs. Leroy Brown”. When I made it to the site of my interview I was up to Ween’s “Mutilated Lips”. I hoped that song would not serve as foreshadowing for an interview that would be filled with stuttering and stumbling, but luckily it was a relatively laid back affair and rather brief, totally probably 20 minutes in all. Nonetheless, there was nothing discouraging about it, and I hopped back on the train to Brooklyn shortly thereafter.

When I arrived back home it was to the sounds of Outkasts “My Favorite Things”. I decided that I would not go out until the bitter cold until later so I watched “Bull Durham” for research purposes and readied for my date set up by Match.com, which I am not really a fan of. I’m much happier meeting someone through friends, though this hasn’t proved effective lately, if ever. So I’m on the hunt, so to speak, but a laid back hunt at that seeing as I’m not the predatory type.

I’m not going to divulge any date specifics save for one. We went to one of my favorite bars in Brooklyn at the request of my female counterpart. However, when we arrived there, my least favorite bartender was slinging drinks. The main knock on him is that he plays his own music mixes that are not very good and sometimes include Creed. He also tends to repeat them several times in a night. As my date and I sat down, Nirvana’s “Rape Me” blared over the speaker above our table. Rape was not a theme I was willing to discuss on a first date. I ignored said song while making normal, rational discussion. Several songs later Sublime’s “Date Rape” came on. Again, I did my best to ignore the awkward theme in the music which is not exactly romantic. I managed to skillfully avert the conversation until these songs came around a second time and we were forced to discuss the awkwardness. In any case, if I ever set foot in my favorite tavern when this bartender is working, I shall step out and head somewhere else. When we left the bar, the bartender had shut off the music and began playing his guitar for the 4 patrons in the front, who could not have been in the least bit interested. I had to wait patiently through two minutes of painfully awful lyrics before being able to pay my tab. Ugh.

Oh, and I just want to nitpick on a few headlines I read on the interweb today. The first one was on yahoo!, and it read, “Ex NBA Star Amaechi to reveal he’s gay in new book”.

Thanks yahoo, but now that you’ve revealed he’s gay, I guess I don’t need to read his new book to find that out.

Also from Yahoo! “Brazil vows to install Condom Machines in Schools”.
This made me wonder if they’re also replacing the gymnasium with a night club, or if the bathrooms will have those guys that give out candy and cologne for tips, because schools could really use those too. Instead of study hall you can be the bathroom guy for a period.

Okay, I’m done. I’ll be back with more later.

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Clydesdales, Colts, and Bears…Oh my!

Posted by evankessler on February 5, 2007

So it’s been a few days since I’ve paid deference to the blog that bears my name. Rest assured I am back and I won’t neglect you again, or at least very often. It just felt like I was leading an all out attempt to saturate the blogosphere with the word of Evan Kessler and I needed a break. Plus, since last Wednesday night, Thursday morning I have been immersed in a steady stream of alcohol fueled evenings. Actually, I wouldn’t say a steady stream, but I have gone out drinking every night since my last post.

Thursday during the day I went into the city to meet up with Franck and Jonathan who I had worked with on the Soap Opera quite some time ago. I resumed my iPodyssey as I went into the city to meet them, starting off with Johnny Cash’s “Memories Are Made Of This”. On my ride on my walk to the subway I encountered two forms of “Mercury”, one from Counting Crows and one from Kathleen Edwards. I have to say that when that Counting Crows song came out on the album Recovering Satellites, it was one of those songs I had to replay over and over again. I think it’s all been downhill for Adam Duritz and company since that album. However, I’m sure there’s a few gems on the newer albums but I’m not so familiar with them. There are certain bands you can only listen to one or two albums before you just get tired of them. That was Counting Crows for me, but I can still listen to that Recovering The Satellites album anyday.

Enough about the Counting Crows. I made it over to Franck and Jonathan’s loft on Greenwich St. They had just finished up their documentary on Jonathan’s father and were taking around to universities. The night before they had just come back from North Carolina. I think they showed it to students at Duke. Franck showed me a little presentation they had put together based on the Duke visit. While we were talking something quite hilarious was going on in the background. Franck and Jon’s roommate Bill was taking ping pong lessons. He’s training in the hopes of being in the next Olympics (completely serious). It was enjoyable to watch his foreign trainer drill him with an endless supply of orange balls procured from a large dispenser. The apartment was flooded with ping pong projectiles. Luckily, nobody was tripping all over them. It was quite amusing to watch. I wish I had my camera with me for that.

I spent about an hour at the loft before setting out to meet my brother all the way over on the Lower East side. My brother told me he’d be back at his place by 4pm, and it was 3:20 so that meant I had 40 minutes to make it over to his place. We almost timed it perfectly as he was a little late. We didn’t do much, we just sat and watched some super old Kung-Fu movies he had on DVD, the kind that used to be on WPIX-11 on Saturdays and Sundays when we were kids. There’s nothing more entertaining then a poorly translated and overdubbed kung-fu movie. My brother had an Asian friend over who was marvelling at the asinine translations. Maybe it was just a bad script.

After heading to my brother’s I went uptown to meet up with some people from my last job for someone’s going away party. First I had to kill some time at Borders before the bar event began. I wandered around Borders engaged in my iPodyssey and feigning interest in certain travel books and magazines. When my iPody made it to Wilco’s “Misunderstood” I decided I would head over to the bar. However, as it ended the live version came on and I decided that i would wait til the middle of it to go to the bar, which was a half block away. I made it to the bar, Stout, at around 6:50, to find a packed house of white-collar cronies downing Coronas and tequilas. However, no one from my party was present…for about 45 seconds. Soon the going away group surrounded me and we greeted one another. The person who was leaving was off to either Malaysia or Indonesia for some hard hitting journalistic TV action and the lot of us drank like we would never see him or anyone else ever again. I’m not sure how many Clydesdale endorsed Budweisers I imbibed, but it was certainly many.

Alas, there was more room for one more. At a late hour, say between 12:30 and 2, myself, Sarah L, and 2 other folks who I don’t quite remember since I drank like I was trying to rival Bukowski, headed downtown to Botanica. Right as we exited the cab I ran into Zak and Marie L who graciously invited me out the next evening in Brooklyn. It was quite the coincidence. After one budweiser and one ill conceived shot of tequila, it was time to call it a night.

When I arrived home, I made the impressive effort to fill my stomach with foody goodness from the friendly folks at the 5th avenue deli in Park Slope. They should be Sainted over there.

I awoke on Friday ready to be active and take on the day. Unfortunately, my brain and body did not follow that recourse and I pretty much sat the day away monitoring the success of If I Blog It and thinking of new angles to tackle our task from. Amazingly, I discovered that the NBC news website and local affilliates had picked up the story of our blog on their sites in a nice little entertainment slideshow. We were officially national news, but in a strange hidden way that only people who were clicking and searching deep into the annals of NBC would find. Nonetheless, I found this to be most exciting.

I’m not sure where else I went on Friday during the day, but I walked somewhere to get something and fought my way on the iPodyssey from Wilco’s “Misunderstood” to Wilco’s “Monday”. Maybe I went to the gym. Probably not though, I think I just went for a walk to not feel so lazy. Oh wait, nevermind, before dinner I went to the video store and didn’t rent anything. After eating dinner, I headed out to meet Zak and Marie, amongst many others at Commonwealth. My friend Rob M also met us. While there we engaged in many a conversation. Most importantly we tried to figure out the significance of Indianapolis as a City since that’s where the then AFC Champs were from. We were curious as to the cultural contribution of that region. Pittsburgh is the Steel City. Chicago is the Windy City. Heck, even Cincinatti is the Queen City (not that we know what that means) but what’s the significance of Indianapolis, and don’t give us that Indy 500 crap. There had to be something there to make it a commerce center. It didn’t just spring up for no reason. I’d go to wikipedia and check it out but I haven’t trusted that site since it told me that Elvis Presley’s father was a well-known male prostitute. Overall, Friday was a good deal of fun and I didn’t get too drunk. I maintained a reasonable level buzz.

I woke up Saturday with no plans for the daytime and I glued myself to the couch cushions once again. There was a Scrubs marathon on so Marty and I did not complain. Anyway, I knew that the evening had something in store. My friend Amy G just finished her dissertation and wanted to go out drinking after 2 plus years of non-stop hard work.

I didn’t make it out of the apartment officially until 10:55pm. I don’t count my run for food as official. I made it to Fontana’s at the same time Amy did around 11:30pm. She was with a couple of friends from school. They were not very talkative. When we got in the bar I tried to strike up conversation but I don’t think they liked me, probably because I wasn’t a banker. Okay, that’s not fair. Everyone doesn’t have to like me but not making casual conversation just reaks of a lack of effort and I have no respect for that. Anyway, Amy kept exclaiming that she was so excited to be out, and I would be too if I had been kept from youthful society by 200 plus pages of Psychological theory for a couple of years. It was good to hang out with her but I was kind of bored, not on her account. The bar was just too crowded and I couldn’t really hear anybody, which makes it more difficult if you only know one person there.

Most of my time was spent zoning out on the Kung Fu movie projected on the screen while downing two or three budweisers. I was trying to figure out what the movie was, as it was actually pretty cool and quite hilarious at times. Upon further post-bar research it was determined to be Kung Fu Hustle. Anyway, I wasn’t at the bar for too late. I think I made it home around 2:30am. Quite a short night out if you ask me. I didn’t mind though. I wasn’t really in the mood to drink or for a crazy night. Plus, there was more fun to be had on Sunday as a Super Bowl party was on the docket.

Today during the day was pretty much status quo. Relaxation before being forced to expand my stomach to 10 times its normal size due to the massive quantities of junk food that I was to inhale on this Super Bowl Sunday.

I finally headed out of the apartment around 4:50pm with my iPod in hand. The iPodyssey was resumed with Wilco’s “Monday” as I went to the grocery store for chips and dip. There seemed to be precious little amounts of regular potato chips. They were mostly hidden in specialized nooks of non-snack aisles which I found to be curious. I felt like I was searching for the final item on Supermarket Sweep. Eventually, I caught up with the Wise chips and made my way to Andy and Jason’s Super Bowl bash. The weather was far too cold for me to be travelling with a wet mop on my head. On my way there I had blazed through two versions of the Pixies “Monkey Gone To Heaven” and Luna’s “Moon Palace”. I finally arrived to the tune of Cat Power’s cover of Uncle Tupelo’s “Moonshiner” with my earphones slightly frozen to my wet hair.

I was one of the first to show up to the party save for the people who lived there and Kayvalyn but the friends slowly trickled in. Lauren H, Rich, Lina, Suli, Kishore, Rob M, Summer, Aaron, Andrea, and Dmitry all eventually made the scene and the food was plentiful as evidenced below.

Lauren made Salami rolls which, nobody could agree which nobody really liked but didn’t like. They were just a strange creation consisting of salami with a pickle and cream cheese all rolled up. I only had one and called it a day on those. Also, during the game I thought it would be fun to take pictures of the game as it played on the wall via projector. Here are the results:

Hey Look Everyone…Super Bowl XLI on CBS!

Rex Grossman, where he belonged, on the ground.

Was that foot in bounds on that interception…methinks so.

There’s more where that came from. My overall impression of the game was that it was an above average Super Bowl. Chicago was in it most of the game until Rex Grossman screwed it up towards the end. However, I fully expected that. I had been rooting for Colts since I didn’t want to hear the words “Rex Grossman Super Bowl MVP”. Though, I really don’t think Peyton Manning was the clear choice. I would’ve probably given that honor to either Joseph Addai or Dominic Rhodes. They need the Cadillac more than Manning does.

Peyton Manning, Questionable Super Bowl MVP with Coach Tony Dungy

Peyton Manning, Questionable Super Bowl MVP’s Car

After the game, a few of us hung around and watched some of the show “Criminal Minds” which had billed tonight’s show as the “best episode ever”. If that was the best episode ever than it’s no wonder I don’t watch that show. It might have been the most poorly written episode ever or the most poorly acted episode ever but that’s hardly a selling point, I suppose.

Fifteen minutes later I took a commercial break as my cue to leave. I hiked through the cold back to my Park Slope abode listening to the end of Cat Power’s “Moonshiners” and 3 subsequent Uncle Tupelo versions, two of which were from the same but on different albums. I walked back into my apartment as the first few notes Rilo Kiley’s “More Adventurous”, ending the weekend’s iPodyssey 71 songs after it began. That’s a nice dent for a few days of relative inactivity. I’ll try to go deeper this week but for now, it’s goodnight.

Weekend iPodyssey Favorites: Counting Crows “Mercury”, Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me”, Luna “Mermaid Eyes”, Liz Phair “Mesmerizing”, The Police “Message In A Bottle”, Clem Snide “Messiah Complex Blues”, Lucinda Williams “Metal Firecracker”, Cat Power “Metal Heart”, The Beatles “Michelle”, Rolling Stones “Midnight Rambler”, The Shins “Mine’s Not A High Horse”, That Dog “Minneapolis”, Pulp “Mis-shapes”, New Pornographers “Miss Teen Wordpower”, Idlewild “Mistake Pageant”, Wilco “Misunderstood”, Earl Pickens “Moll”, Clem Snide “Moment In The Sun”, Aimee Mann “Momentum”, Pixies “Monkey Gone To Heaven”, Cat Power & Uncle Tupelo “Moonshiner”.

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Cooling Trend

Posted by evankessler on February 1, 2007

Well, after monumentally successful days like Monday and Tuesday of this week there’s bound to be a little letdown. Our Costner search garnered slightly less than 1/8th of the attention it had the previous 28 or so hours. Without the media attention from the previous day we face an uphill battle. Again I spent most of the day monitoring this uphill battle and trying to spread the gospel to the more receptive avenues of the media. Hopefully our media fishing line will get a bite or two and we’ll be in better shape. However, I vow that tomorrow I will actually get out of the house earlier and stop being such an internet homebody. I’m supposed to meet with a few folks at 2pm so there’s reason to venture out of my borough. There’s also a potential drinking outing to attend to in Midtown. I’ll jump off that bridge when I come to it.

When I finally left the house at around a quarter to 6 it was to get a gym workout it. As always my trusty iPod was in hand and I resumed the iPodyssey with Cat Power’s “Maybe Not” as I headed towards my no frills Park Slope workoutatorium and set out on a stairclimbing journey to the tune of Neko Case’s “Maybe Sparrow”. The stairclimbing journey though was to be short lived since it had been days since my last gym trip and all of the sitting and interweb monitoring had caused a fair amount of entropy to envelope my musculature. I vowed that the next time would be different and headed back to my apartment 25 minutes after my workout had begun to the tune of Modest Mouse’s “Medication”.

The day’s iPodyssey would not end that way. After I had showered and removed all natural pore excretions that had been caused by my brief stint at the gym, via soap and water, I headed on out to the Sidewalk Cafe. The iPodyssey was resumed with Johnny Cash’s “Meet Me In Heaven” as I walked towards the train. Sometimes when I’m walking down the street listening to songs on this iPodyssey I hope for coincidences with the lyrical content of the current song playing…this was not one of those times. I looked around nervously making sure nobody was about to kill me and happily nobody was. This eased my mind and made my walk to the train certainly more enjoyable.

My trip into the city was a brief one as the D train arrived almost immediately as I stepped onto the platform. Sometimes there’s no better feeling than good timing. Anyway, I was headed to Sidewalk Cafe to meet James, Colleen, and John for the Here Lies Pa show. When I arrived to the strains of Johnny Cash’s “Memories are Made of This” playing as the day’s final iPodyssey selection, I saw the aforementioned folk in the front room drinking a beer. We soon moved the party to the back where occupied a couple of small round tables and I ordered dinner, seeing as I had barely eaten all day.

I would like to praise the Sidewalk Cafe for having delicious food. I ordered the Lemon Chicken, which came with two sides. For sides I had grilled asparagus and peppercorn mashed potatoes. I don’t know if it’s because I was starving but this meal was absolutely marvelous. After I finished my chicken I kept putting sauce on my fork and licking it off. Any time I can have mashed potatoes is also a special treat. If god exists, he certainly worked a miracle when he made the potato. I mean there is no culinary way to mess up the potato. It adapts so well to flavor. Asparagus on the other hand, is pretty good but I mostly just order it because I know it’s going to make my urine smell weird and that makes me laugh. Often times I’ll forget I’ve eaten asparagus until I feel the need to pee two hours later and like a potent reminder of meals past, there it is in it’s sulfur-scented glory.

That was quite the tangent I went off on there. In any case, the Here Lies Pa show was alright and shorter than the one a few days before. I always like going to sidewalk for one act but I can never sit through all of the various bands there. It makes me feel like I’m at an open mic night. Afterwards, John and I split a cab back and voila I was back here, wasting time on my couch, as usual. The sun was off, the TV was on, and January turned into February…Just like that.

Wednesday’s iPodyssey Favorites:
R.E.M. “Me In Honey”, De La Soul “Me, Myself, and I”, Johnny Cash “Mean Eyed Cat”, PJ Harvey “Meet Ze Monsta”, Self “Meg Ryan”, Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins “Melt Your Heart”

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