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Archive for December, 2007

Reflection on 2007

Posted by evankessler on December 31, 2007

With but a few hours left in 2007 (otherwise known as The Year of Evan and also rhyming with All Dogs Go To Heaven) I find it necessary to briefly reflect on the year that was.

Over the past 12 months I have learned a few valuable lessons, the most valuable of which were that there is no such thing as a bad idea and that hard work and persistence pay off. While those may be clichéd sentiments, it does not make their well worn message any less meaningful. Sometimes we must all experience for ourselves what others already have in order for things of that nature to come into clearer focus. There is certainly nothing clearer than hindsight and as I continue to stare back into this year’s past I feel fortunate for mostly all that has happened as it will no doubt be stored in my attic of experiences from which to learn.

Even with the things I have lost in this past year, from old friends to Fantasy Football semifinals there is a wealth of new knowledge that I can continue to draw from going forward with this life. I remember saying heading into this year that this was going to be the year I make something happen and I certainly feel like I did, whether I needed help from a celebrity or not.

2007 set a pretty high bar…but I have a feeling that 2008 is going to vault right over that bar. So here’s to a Happy New Year old friend and new…for Auld Lang Syne…whatever that means.

P.S. Coincidentally, I might just use this format for the end of 2008 post and simply replace the year, though I hope I can make it to my fantasy football finals next year. Also that thing of the top of the post is the Times Square Ball, so it’ll be at the bottom of tomorrow’s post.

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Lynne Spears…The Worst Mother in The World?

Posted by evankessler on December 28, 2007

***note: I meant to write this a week ago when the news about Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy broke. I resurrected the post today when I had to submit a writing sample for a potential writing gig and it basically wrote itself.

Upon hearing the news that Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant, my immediate reaction was one of laughter. Several minutes later the humorous slant was still there but there was also an overwhelming feeling of sadness. The bulk of the blame for the irresponsibility of not one but both of the Spears girls was surely to be placed on the hopefully sturdy shoulders of the undoubtedly shocked Lynne Spears. People may think that laying the blame on Lynne for her girls gone wild may be a little undeserved, but in my non-expert opinion, she’s the exact model for what a mom should not be. Before you admonish me for being too harsh, please allow me to explain my point of view.

I find the idea of stage parents to be utterly abhorrent. Parents who push their kids at an early age to take up singing, dancing, or acting at such an early age undoubtedly have stars and dollar signs in their eyes instead of a child’s well being. When a child offers up the information at a young age that they want to be any kind of performer when they grow up, parents should support their children’s dreams but understand that with time the child will develop new dreams and that “when I grow up” doesn’t mean immediately. You don’t see children who want to be firemen being immediately thrust into practicing hose drills at the local firehouse. To throw your kid in the fire at the age of six is an idiotic and precarious situation, yet that’s what stage parents are doing to an obviously less extreme extent. As a result you have kids like Britney and Jamie Lynn who are never taught the power of the word “no”, as in “No, you can’t skip school for a Disney audition” or “no, you can’t have sex without a condom” and “no, you shouldn’t marry that backup dancer whose wife is pregnant with child”. Children with knowledge of their limitations grow up with something called common sense. Children without limitations are brought up to believe they can do whatever they want without consequences. You want to sing professionally…we’ll get you on star search and a record contract. You want to wear a slutty miniskirt in your first video…sure? You want to be on Disney, just like your big sister? No Problem. You want your life to be a complete wreck before you grow up? Here you go..

If I’m calling Lynne Spears the worst mother in the world (I’m obviously speaking in hyperbole) it’s simply for the reason that she never set any limits for her children and if people find that to be admirable then I have to heartily disagree.

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Big Ideas…Don’t Get Any?

Posted by evankessler on December 20, 2007

Normally I don’t err on the side of brevity when it comes to these posts, nor do I open a can of braggart juice, but today is an exception. Several minutes after waking up this morning I hatched an idea so ingenious it just may earn me loads of the cash. While the odds are that I probably won’t end up swimming in money a la Scrooge McDuck, there is an outside chance that by the end of next year my mom will have the gold digging stripper of a trophy daughter-in-law that she’s always wanted. Happy day after your birthday Mom!

Also, if any of the top creative agencies are in need of my services, now would be a good time to start the bidding war.

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The Blog of Yesterday, Tomorrow!

Posted by evankessler on December 6, 2007

This is a post about a time that has long since passed. I time where children played in the streets and giggled at the misfortune of others. A time where human beings ruled the earth and countries warred over seemingly unimportant matters. Okay, maybe it hasn’t been so long since such a time. This is a post about this past weekend and the events that occurred therein.

To tell the truth, the weekend itself could be summed up by a narrow scope of events. There was one task that had to be completed and the rest of the occurrences seemed to operate on the periphery. Several days or so prior to the onset of the weekend, I received an email from my friend and fellow Television, Radio, and Film Major Andy S to participate in the latest Film race. We had previously partaken in a 12 hour film race in the summer of 2006 (or maybe it was the fall or this past winter) and before that I had, with a larger group, competed in the 24 hour film race. The film race asks that participants write, direct, edit, and score a film within a certain allotment of time. This particular competition gave our team 100 hours to complete a 5 minute film.

This Thursday evening past, Andy received an email from the organization in charge of the film race alerting him that the theme for the film was “The Future” and the element we had to somehow incorporate was “dishwashing”. Andy, Jeff P, and Suli got right to work on the script as I understand it. I was busy working as a bartender at my friend Bess S’s art openting and therefore could not be present for the original scriptwriting session, however Andy had conveyed to me over the phone his idea for a 50’s industrial film on the Kitchen of Tomorrow. We would need an actress to play the perfect 50’s housewife for the 50’s Kitchen of the Future. I had person in mind for the role, our friend Lauren H.

I joined both Andy and Suli in Williamsburg the next day to go over the script and make any changes, as we would shoot the next day. It seemed Andy had already covered the task of getting our actress. He had the same idea I did for our actress. Great minds think alike. Our brainstorming and script edit session went swimming and was rather brief. Half of the time was spent in the Mexican diner across the street and the other half was spent reading over the script in an annoying 50’s announce voice. It was addictive and somewhat annoying, due to the fact that we couldn’t break character even if we wanted to. We would unknowingly just slip into the voice.

The next morning I awoke bright and early, but not as early as Suli, Jeff, and Andy. We were filming over at Kishore’s house at 10:30am but I didn’t get there to 11:15 on account that I didn’t leave until 10:25 and took a most ludicrous roundabout route. I missed out on some of the set decoration but got in on the act as I helped to cover the counter with futuristic looking tinfoil. By the time I got there they had fashioned some futuristic instruments from random objects such as vacuum tubes, old clocks, toasters, and fans. I brought my two desk lamps, one which unfortunately didn’t make it over in one piece due to my less than generous handling of it on the way over. It didn’t matter though, they would work perfectly as the two dish-washing controls for the Wash Master General 500.

Andy and Lauren in the Atomic Kitchen

Our talent arrived at 12:30 and shooting went swimmingly. Lauren had purchased a 50’s looking dress at a thrift shop and looked like the ideal houswife. We shot all of the “Helen” scenes for what amounted to 5 plus hours which included a pizza break. Lauren was a great sport and did an awesome job despite not being an actual actress. We were certainly impressed with her efforts. We effectively called it a night between 5:30 and 6 so that we might shower and change for our evening activity.

I met up with Andy and Kishore on by the 7th avenue train stop and we rode the Q to the N into Manhattan. We met up with a nice-sized group of famliiar faces for yet another Cold Hands Collective show, the 2nd at R Bar on Bowery. This was not your average Cold Hands Show. The band’s timing was off in the first number and Abdullah has laryngitis, though the setlist didn’t really afford him a chance to rest his vocal chords. Some of the more vocally ambitious numbers were included and while MC Blame the Kid gave a admirably valiant effort it didn’t make for the best show. Either way, it was still an enjoyable evening.

Blame The Vocal Chords

A Guest MC Helps The CHC

After a few drinks at R Bar a large group of us made the walk through the dense, cold evening air to Katz’s Delicatessen for a little nourishment. I kept things light with a bowl of Matzo Ball soup and a kasha knish. From there we me up with the newly engaged Nina and Dmitry and several other good time-y folks at Alphabet Lounge for some drinks and dancing. The DJ was pretty awful and seemed to be mixing the same Michael Jackson song in with every other song. I’m not sure if everyone noticed but Eric S and I certainly did. That’s not to say we’re especially sharp since it was pretty blatant. Several mashups of Billie Jean and other 80’s songs later I called it a night, splitting a cab with Andy and Kishore.

Using The New Technique of Emoting Through Facial Expression At Alphabet Lounge

Sunday morning I hesitantly emerged from slumber so that I could once again head over to Kishore’s and assist Andy, Jeff, and Suli with any other matters related to filming. We didn’t really do much save for shoot cutaways and some footage of robot arms washing dishes but it had to be done. We heavy-heartedly disassembled the kitchen of tomorrow and wrapped the shoot. Andy and Jeff returned home to Andy’s place and worked on editing and narration to create the following finished product:

I think it came out pretty well. Kudos Mr. Seestedt on your fine job editing your vision.

Upon returning home I noticed a lovely smell throughout the kitchen. It smelled of pine needles and apples. My roommate Laura was creating an apple pie with the assistance of my other roommate mike. The pine needles smell was emanating from the Christmas tree which had been purchased the day before by several of my roommates in the spirit of the Holidays.

The announced that they were having a tree trimming dinner. I was completely unaware that this was going to happen and as such was caught a bit off guard. I have never witnessed a tree trimming or decorating and my natural inclination was to leave the Jesusing to the Jesus lovers. I wanted to watch football anyway as I hadn’t bargained for any of this. I retired to my room to watch the nail-biting matchup that ensued between the Chicago Bears and New York Giants which thankfully resulted in a New York Giants victory.

A Post-Dinner Andrew Morton and Laura Bassett for your viewing pleasure

By the time the game was over dinner was being served to a table full of guests, most of them familiar. It was quite a splendid spread. There was pork tenderloin, green beans and new potatoes with parmesan. I probably left something out but it was all tasty. The grand finale was the Apple Pie a la mode which was completely delicious. I say, “brava” to one Laura Bassett for her tremendous efforts. That pretty much cemented the weekend. The weekend of the the past, existing in the present.

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