Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

D.C. Follies

Posted by evankessler on October 9, 2007

It was another eventful weekend in the annals of evankessler.com history and probably the final installment in our Wedded Bliss 2007 series. Prior to that occurrence we said a hearty welcome back to one of our good friends who made his long awaited return to the city of New York. Friday night saw the return of one Andy S, who spent the past several months on a boat in New England doing his manly duty at sea. There was probably lots of business with masts and sails and rigs and whatnot. I’m not well versed in that fishy ocean business. I’m a man of the land who stays anchored to the sand so I won’t pretend to have that knowledge at hand and I’ll say nothing of the supposed mysteries of “shore leave” if you know what I mean. All I know is that a few of us met up at Lorelay on the Lower East side for our share of Bier and German fare. Joining in on the occasion were Ken S, Jason S, Kayvalyn, Ahmad, Dmitry, Lauren, Miller and myself. I know I’m probably leaving someone out or adding an extra person but my memory doesn’t always serve me perfectly…though sometimes that works in favor of the story, like if I were to tell you a giant dragon suddenly showed up and breathed fire on an unsuspecting crowd before I slew the beast with my erection because I have a hard on for violence and heroism. However, that did not happen. We just had a genuinely pleasant get together with huge German biers in honor of Oktoberfest and smiled and laughed much to the chagrin of some of the surrounding crowd, whom beckoned us to quiet down.

After receiving a surprisingly large bill we settled up and I made for the Lighthouse Tavern with both Andy and Jason in tow. Kayvalyn and Ahmad had left earlier in favor of hanging out with some of their high school friends from back in Thailand. We got a nice seat in the outdoor space as the inside was packed with Red Sox fans cheering on their team who was in the process of defeating the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles (which is an absolutely retarded team name). Ken joined us after biking over from Manhattan for a drink and some wings. Heather was at the bar and Thea joined us in back but Andy, Jason, and Ken left soon after and it pretty much ended up being Me, Thea, and Heather for a bit. However, I could not stay out too late but I had a few more drinks before heading home as I had to wake up the next morning to meet Suli in Williamsburg so we could drive down to D.C. I think I went to sleep a little bit after 1:30am.

My alarm rang on Saturday morning at 8:30am and as tempted as I was to snooze it, I sprang out of bed and hit the shower. I had to pack my bags and be in the ‘Burg by 11am. While that sounds like a reasonable amount of time, I had to take into account the unreasonable length of the intraborough commute which included three separate subway lines, the stubbornly inconsistent F, G, and L trains. Toting my suit housed in it’s dry cleaning uniform, with a smaller travel bag in my other hand I plodded towards the F train station at 7th Avenue and 9th Street stopping for a bagel and my beloved Ito En Jasmine Green Tea (the more I mention it the closer I am to getting endorsements). It took about 7 minutes for the F train to come and the transfer to the G was simple enough in that I didn’t have to walk anywhere seeing as it stops at the same platform I exited onto at the Smith and 9th Street station. From there it was another couple of minutes until I reached the Metropolitan -Lorimer stop and transfered to the L train. This required a slight underground trek but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as lengthy. Perhaps the most comforting thing about the L train is the fact that there are signs on the platform that tell you when the next train is coming. As I looked up I saw it read 3 minutes and I was sufficiently pleased with this knowledge. Much to my surprise it arrived in 2 minutes completely shattering my faith in the timing system but getting me to the Graham stop a full minute earlier than expected.

I walked out to a familiar scene as I had exited at that stop many a time though admittedly not in the morning. I used to frequently take the L to Graham when Rich, Dmitry, Ahmad, Miller, Victor, and whoever the crap used to live at 709 Grand lived there. Now Suli had taken up residence a mere block away in the familiar neighborhood which houses a store that sells diving gear, though I don’t suspect they sell a great deal of diving gear. Suli welcomed to me to his relatively new abode with the unfortunate news that Lina would not be joining us on our jaunt to D.C. for our friend Matt’s wedding as she had badly injured her ankle the day before and would probably be very uncomfortable couped up in a car or dancing the hora.

With heavy hearts Suli and I jumped in his vehicle and headed for the nation’s capital. Our last such road trip was way back in 2003 when we, along with Joe D made for The Big Easy after thanksgiving. This trip would be about one fifth as short since the drive to D.C. was only going to take us upwards of around 4 hours…give or take. We did hit a bit of a snag getting to the Holland tunnell but our route was marked by mostly smooth sailing. Although we encountered little highway resistance there were some things worth noting. While driving through New Jersey, we passed tour bus that was for none other than James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band. At first we thought that it might be “Fire and Rain” and “Sweet Baby James” Taylor but it took us about a second to realize that that guy didn’t need to add Curtis onto his last name. Not being familiar with any of their work, I decided that James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band had only one song that they played over and over again and they changed lyrics in accordance with whatever they were doing at the time. At this particular moment the song lyrics went:

“James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band…Driving through New Jersey with a guitar in our hand”.

Had they been at a diner at that moment the lyric “driving through New Jersey” would be replaced with “eating at a diner“…and so on and so forth. By then end of our drive this melody was bouncing around our heads all weekend and still hasn’t excaped due to its catchiness. The roads were also packed with horible drivers. At one point we could not escape a red minivan with three bicycles on the back. I decided that this vehicle would made an ideal getaway car because one could not clearly view the license plate. Sure it had three bicycles on the back but you could either drive away and sink the car in the river and ride off on the bicycles or ditch the bicycles in the woods and use the vehicle as Detroit intended with no one having seen your license plate as you sped away from the robbery.

Behold…The Perfect Getaway Vehicle

Suli and I eventually stopped at the Clara Barton rest area, the last one in New Jersey. We needed to eat but we more or less stopped out of curiosity over who Clara Barton exactly was and why she warranted her own rest stop, which is precisely why we didn’t stop at the Thomas Alva Edison and Vince Lombardi rest stops. I was pretty sure ‘ol CB had something to do with Nursing but I didn’t think she founded the Red Cross because I thought that was Florence
Nightingale. I hope there would be a plaque trumpeting her achievements but instead just found a TCBY, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Travel Mart, and Cinnabon. I’d have to wait to the actual wedding when my friend Dana R cleared up that she did indeed found the Red Cross. That certainly warrants having your own rest stop though I don’t necessarily Ms. Barton would be proud of the greasy, sugar-saturated goings on inside. I didn’t stop at any of the fast food shops. Suli had gotten a coffee from Cinnabon and I had a particularly strange encounter at the travel mart. When I presented my water to the clerk, she asked if I wanted anything to eat with that as if she was about to produce a suitable meal from a non-existent grill under the gum racks. Really, if I had wanted something to eat, wouldn’t she be under the impression that I would’ve brought it to the counter to pay for. I guess it must be a rare occurrence in this country that people just buy a bottle of water without getting something to make them fatter to go with it.

The rest of the ride down was pretty uneventful. We drove through Delaware and Maryland before being greeted by the Washington Monument towering above some generic office buildings. Our directions called for a minor detour through the Capital city on our way to our hotel in Arlington, Va.

We arrived at around 3:30pm, an hour and twenty minutes before we were to catch the shuttle bus to the Ronald Reagan Center for International Trade. This gave us enough time to head up to our room and cycle through the TV channels while getting dressed. Turns out we would use most of that time fixing our ties as we both moronically struggled with attaining the perfect knot. Our epic battle with our neck-cessories ended at around 4:30 pm when we decided to hang out in the lobby waiting for our friend Eric L. and his girlfriend Gina to make the scene and join us on the bus. However, the shuttle soon came and feeling bored in the lobby we decided to sit on the bus and wait. At around 4:45 our friends joined us and the bus was all but ready to go though we waited 15 more minutes for no one else to show just to be safe and so we could sweat more in the sauna like shuttle bus.

We arrived at the Capt. Ron Reagan Center after a brief drive. I was disappointed that there were no giant memorial statues to pose in front of. I wanted a 60 foot wax statue or a slew of movie posters highlighted by 1951’s Bedtime for Bonzo.
Despite my disappointment over the lack of Reagan paraphernalia, I was delighted to know that Homeland Security would be watching over this wedding as I stepped through a metal detector en route to the elevator. Once upstairs I saw that very few folks were hanging out. We were amongst the first to arrive and we quickly formed our own little clique area. Soon we were joined by Eve and Jess D, as well as their parents and Joe D’s girlfriend Jaysarah. We talked for a bit before making our way into the room where the ceremony was to be held.
Suli and I sat in the 4th or 5th row next to Eric and Gina.

We sat quietly but there was no sign of anything so I inexplicably started chanting “dudes…dudes…dudes” to myself as I’m wont to do when I’m surrounded by a bunch of dudes. Suli mistook it as me saying “untz…untz…untz” like a house beat and mimicked it. At that moment the dude in front of use turned around and asked if we liked house music. He then went to tell us he’s a house DJ in Miami and that he’s best friends with one of the best DJ’s in the world as if we would care. We didn’t really feign interest but he kept going on and on about house music and some party his friend was throwing. He then asked where we were from and started talking about how he’s from Massapequa and was with some band we should be familiar with and how he got his start in DJing….none of which was information we solicited.

Finally the wedding started and Housedouche turned around. The ceremony itself was very nice. It was funny to see Rich, Joe, and Mike S as groomsmen. I sort of felt left out but not really. It was weird to see our friend Matt get married. I’m really happy for him though. When you meet people in Junior High you never think about knowing them til the day they get married and then when it happens you sort of realize how much your life is in shambles and how much other people have their shit together. Ah well, I suppose I can continue on…the evening certainly did.

After the ceremony the newly crowned King and Queen of weddingdom walked out to an orchestral version of Coldplay’s “Clocks” at which point housedouche turned around to notify us and ask if we had heard a certain remix version of said song. Ugh.

The cocktail hour was a good time. I hadn’t seen some of the people there before the ceremony and in some time. Dana R was in from Arizona where I believe she is working on her doctorate. She is always fun to hang out with. Her sister Jodi was supposed to be there but was sick after picking up something in the Ukraine. Mike S made the rounds but mostly Dana, Joe, Suli, Rich, Jaysarah, Eve D, Jessica D, Mona, Jay, Jaysarah, Eric, Gina and I made conversation while sampling the alcoholic offerings along with the tasty array of finger foods.

The Last First Dance of Wedded Bliss ’07

Soon it was time for the party to begin and how does a wedding usually begin…with the first dance. This moment was a little awkward because I don’t think either Matt or Lindsay are the people in this world most fond of dancing. It sort of seemed like it too though I didn’t really expect Matt to get down so much as he’s usually one of the more laid back people I know. Besides weddings with Jews usually get going when it’s time for THE HORA!!! However, once the DJ signaled it’s beginning by playing of appropriate song, no one really did anything. People stood in a circle, and seeing as half of them weren’t Jewish, they weren’t exactly sure what to do. I tried to goad Joe’s parents into starting the dancing and they were trying but no one was going along with it, not even the bride and groom who stood unmoved at the side of the center of the circle. At this moment I looked at Joe and said that we should do something. I think Mike felt the same way too and a group consisting mainly of Matt’s friends got in the middle and started dancing in our attempt to breathe some life into the gathering. We pulled out two chairs and put the newlyweds on the chairs and hoisted them in the air as is tradition (sort of ironic that our efforts to uphold Jewish tradition needed the aid of a Paksitani and a chinese friend) but we didn’t have enough people participating and the situation was unstable to say the least. After a brief stint being hoisted skyward the duo was soon let down. None of the siblings or parents followed. I could understand their trepidation though.

Soon after the strange sustenance of a traditional showing of wedded bliss we were all beckoned to our seats. The meal courses were served in rapid succession with barely any dancing in between. Though that left plenty of time for conversation which is actually my favorite part of attending weddings. I usually wish there wasn’t some obnoxiously loud band playing “Hey Ya!” in the background while I’m trying to catch up with friends. I had more quality conversations with folks at tables 12 and 14. In between two of the courses we were also witness to do heartfelt, albeit brief best man and maid of honor speeches made by the couple’s respective siblings.

Probably one of the oddest parts about the wedding was the fact that there was no wedding cake. I don’t mention it to take issue with it…I’ve just never heard of that before. Instead there was a candy ceremony, which I liked because it was very different and sometimes different is good. Plus, it doesn’t involve knives and knives can be involved in accidents whereas candy can be delicious. Also, candy has lots of sugar so when dancing actually happens you have plenty of energy before crashing.


Dancin’ with the Bride

Eric and Gina Do Their White People Dance Thing

I Suppose This is What Me Having A Good Time Looks Like

It seemed like a majority of the guests left after the candy ceremony leaving the Reaganomics Arena to friends of the bride and groom. That was fine with us as we continued to drink and dance until the last shuttle bus left for our hotel at 11:30pm.

Once back at the hotel, we changed clothes and gathered together at Joe’s room. Not everyone was present as it was just Suli, Joe D, Jaysarah, Eve D, Rich, and I. We spent the rest of the evening looking through pictures and exploring the wonders of abbreviated language, overusing the phrases, “totes” (ofish) , “ofish” (official), and “natch” (naturally), amongst others. We even rewatched a youtube-worthy video of one of our friends dancing about 35 times. While I don’t have it and don’t think I’d be able to post it without tremendous fallout or getting sued It was indescribably funny, though if I were to describe the video in 2 words I would call it “male tittyshake”. You’re probably not getting the right mental picture but perhaps one day I’ll be able to show you.

That basically put an end to our weekend. The next morning we woke up at about 9:30am. Suli and I hung out in the hotel room for a bit before leaving to meet Rich in the lobby since we were taking him home to Rockland. We said our goodbyes to Eric L, Gina, and Eve D in the lobby before hitting the road a little after noon. I was somewhat distressed that I was missing the Giants-Jets game but got regular updates from Arby via text message. The trip back took us longer than we expected since we missed a couple of steps on the directions back. However, as long as we got on I-95 north we were headed in the right direction. The trip back was certainly less eventful but with seemingly more traffic. There was no James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band driving back through New Jersey with a guitar in their hand. It was just Suli, Rich and I high tailing it back to the Empire State.

We did make one stop at the John Fenwick service area. Upon pulling in we once again tried to figure out who John Fenwick might be but to no avail. Suli confused him with James Fenimore Cooper, the author of “The Last of The Mohicans” but according to wikipedia he was an English Jacobite conspirator in the 1600’s which doesn’t at all seem relevant to the part of Souther New Jersey we were in. Coincidentally, the next rest stop ended up being the James Fenimore Cooper service area. We didn’t stop there though, because we knew who he was and we had more important tasks at hand, namely finally getting the hell home.

I finally arrived back at my apartment in Brooklyn at 7:20 PM, ready to break free from a lengthy day couped up in a Toyota Rav 4. Upon my arrival I sat down with my roommates who had just cooked a homemade dinner and recounted the weekend, before heading into Bassett’s room to watch the Rock of Love reunion special. I subsequently made a trip down to the Lighthouse and drank with Arby, Heather, and Thea until the wee hours because I’m an alcoholic. A weekend well spent if you ask me.


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