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Posts Tagged ‘Lighthouse’


Posted by evankessler on November 6, 2007

Well, it took a little while but I’m finally recovered enough from this weekend to get my recap on. Three consecutive days of celebration is enough to put even the most accustomed of drinkers in a trance-like state. That being said, it wasn’t as harrowing as it sounds. Friday night was spent in the usual fashion. The team of usual revelers were stationed at the Lighthouse Tavern for what seemed like the umpteenth consecutive Friday. It wasn’t necessarily a memorable evening but there was comfort in the surrounding company as Arby, Thea, Heather, and Filler made up our little group. It was by no means a reckless night of booze intake, more of a casual meeting of the minds and gullets at the local watering hole. My evening was pretty brief in comparison to my usual marathon stints at said location. I had returned to my apartment a little after midnight. I didn’t want to overdo it seeing as I would be celebrating my 29th birthday in the big city on Saturday night.

When I returned home I crashed in on Laura Bassett and Jenny’s room. They had a friend visiting for Jenny’s bridal shower, so I hung out for a few minutes before retiring to my room for what was originally going to be sleep but what ended up being a game or two of Madden before drifting off to slumberland.

Saturday was really a nothing day. I don’t really recall anything important happening during the day. I had vowed to get some writing done only I kept distracting myself with the garden of internet-ly delights, not to mention a detour to Press 195 to have lunch with Andrew Morton. Afterwards it was more general wasting of time while prior to heading into the city for my birthday celebration at Drop Off Service.

At 8:45 pm Heather arrived at my front door. The plan was to leave by 9pm but we stood waiting for Thea until around 9:15. This was a tad bit annoying but not the worst thing in the world. I didn’t want to be the type of douchebag who arrives fashionably late to their own party. I always hate when people do that. I also hate to be at the mercy of other people when i want to be somewhere but sometimes there’s no helping that. I arrived at Drop Off Service at 9:45, 15 minutes late and was immediately greeted by Renga, Andrew, Dan, and Morwin. I think my brother and his girlfriend Kelly were next, followed by Suli. From that point on the attendees got a little fuzzy. Not that I don’t remember who was there just the order. Probably Rich and Lina were next but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. There was an excellent turnout and a big group of people that I didn’t expect to see but was more than happy to converse with. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to talk to everyone but I guess that’s sort of normal when you invite a lot of people to hang out with you over the course of several hours. The bar was packed and I had a good time celebrating my birthday. I also received the lovely gift of beef jerky from Rich Mai. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. I’m not sure what time I ended up leaving but it was in a cab with Jason and Kayvalyn and maybe Andy. I’m not sure if I said goodbye to anyone but I was super drunk…but that’s what’s supposed to happen if it’s your birthday and you’re not married with several kids. I also think someone you like is supposed to at least make out with you but that never happens (woe is me).

The next morning, my actual 29th birthday, I awoke and the first thing I saw was my two remotes placed perfectly perpendicular to each other, directly next to my head. It seemed an oddly symmetrical site next to the rest of my room which more closely resembled a drunken war zone with clothes strewn about everywhere. Much to my surprise I had barely any indication of being hungover. There might of been a slight fog, but it didn’t last more than a few minutes. I had very little indication of hunger yet I still called Arby and asked if he wanted to get breakfast. He didn’t so I just grabbed a bagel and started watching football. However, I could care less about the Jets and Redskins game. I thought I should go outside but it took me until 3pm to mobilize. I headed over to Katey and Reva’s apartment for Katey’s birthday party already in progress. I stopped in, had a bowl of chili…chatted it up with a bunch of Syracuse folks including Marty, Deirdre, Jason, and Alice. I did not stick around for long because I was going to go to the Lighthouse to meet Arby and Filler, plus I felt sort of lame going to someone else’s birthday party on my own birthday.

At the Lighthouse it was strictly football watching with the added perk of free birthday drinks thanks to Tommy in all her gracious owner-ness. The Pats and Colts game truly lived up to the hype and was certainly an entertaining affair. I sat next to Arby, Filler and Drew who we were acquainted with through our friend Marie and another guy Damien who I’m not sure how we knew but I wen’t with it. We were joined by Thea in the 4th quarter. I hadn’t planned on staying later than the Pats game but one thing led to another and all of the sudden the Eagles and Cowboys were playing. Arby had left because he had an early morning ahead and it was Thea, Heather, Damien, and I left sitting there making extremely politically incorrect comments while Drew obsessed over the Eagles humiliating defeat. He would eventually devolve into a bout of drunken air guitar and complete obliviousness over Heather’s constant suggestions that he should go home. I mean he was playing air guitar to Avril Lavigne in an non-ironic manner. If that’s not the signal for it being time to go because you’ve had a few too many, then I don’t know what is.

There was also a little episode with two annoying douchebaggy patrons smoking an illegal substance outside the front door of the bar which was quickly quashed by Heather, which only served to create more drama from said patrons. Rather than just leave as Heather had requested one of the patrons insisted that he at least get a hug or kiss from Heather. She proudly stood her ground and the douchebags finally went on their way, much to the relief of this patron. It was 2am when I finally realized that holy shit it was 2am. That meant quitting time. It was no longer my birthday and I should be getting to sleep. Thea, Damien and I made for the door and I headed straight home.

Upon my arrival at home, I spied several desserts with my name on them…literally. Three of my roommates had bought me baked goods for ingestion on my birthday. Rather than eat all three I chose the cupcake with the candle in it, provided courtesy of my roommate Trish. I put the other two desserts in the refrigerator and lit the candle on the cupcake then made a wish for my 29th year on this planet while promptly extinguishing the flame with my breath. Here’s to another year.

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The U.S. Open

Posted by evankessler on August 27, 2007

Several weeks ago prior to the arrival of my Nintendo Wii, I had a dream. It wasn’t a bold world changing dream like that of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a relatively harmless and meaningless dream. It wasn’t actually a dream at all…I wasn’t sleeping when I came up with it nor was I staring off into space during the daytime. We’ll just say I had an idea and an unoriginal idea at that. I wanted to have a Wii Tennis tournament. This Wii Tennis tournament was the driving force behind my purchase of the newest Nintendo gaming sensation. This weekend that dream became a reality.

However, before we get there, in the spirit of the weekend recap, we have to go back to Friday night, when the weekend began. While I had only worked a couple of days this past week the days seemed to last an eternity. By the time I got out of work on Friday I was ready to tie one, if not a few, on. I had evening plans with Arby and Marie L to go see the band Beach House play Union Hall, but we began our night at our favorite local watering hole, The Lighthouse Tavern, for some pre-show drinking. I arrived at about the 2nd inning of the Met game to find Filler and Arby with beers in hand enjoying our favorite local baseball squad in action and Adam and Tom behind the bar slinging drinks with Heather soon to follow. Our plan was to wait for Marie to join us, drink there until about 10:30 and then head on over to the concert. We stuck to that plan but not before drinking our fair share of alcoholic beverages and ingesting our own respective Buffalo Chicken sandwichees with a side of fries.

We made it to Union Hall a little early as the 2nd band was just beginning upon our arrival. Filler had opted not to join us. Arby, Marie, and I nursed a beer upstairs before heading downstairs when Beach House was to go on. Walking into the downstairs performance space I came across my old roommate’s ex girlfriend Liz who works the door on certain nights and we exchanges some pleasantries before I shuffled inside to claim my spot. I have a feeling that my pleasantries were a wee bit slurred but I’m not totally sure. The show itself was good…not spectacular by any means. I generally have a problem with enjoying a concert when I can’t see anything. It didn’t help that the band was seated and the stage can’t be more than 9 inches off the ground. I basically spent the entire show on my tippy-toes trying to catch any glimpse of the people seeing. I think I may have seen a strand of hair at some point. The music itself was pretty decent, though I can’t say I got the tingles from the music or any “special feeling”.

Rather than hang around Union Hall or go home, which would have been the sensible thing to do, Arby and I went back to the Lighthouse. However, before we went back we stopped at a convenience store on 5th Avenue where I picked up a quart of some weird blue sugar water called “EverFresh”. Upon entering the bar I announced to Heather our bartender that I had a brought a mixer. She then proceeded to make a multitude of shots containing the sweet blue nectar. From there I ended up striking up a conversation with two strangers. One was a Yankee fan named Joan and one a Red Sox fan named Lindsay. They seemed to know each other but had just met that night despite the evident familiarity in their rapport. After maybe a drink more Arby had called it quits and I probably had one more beer while keeping up delightful conversation with Joan before we both left. I invited her to my Wii Tennis Tournament the next day as she had brought up the Wii in conversation…jackpot.

I woke up at 11:30am the next morning and had done absolutely no preparation for our Wii Tennis tournament or the U.S. (Union Street) Open as we were calling it. I didn’t have a proper tennis outfit, nor had I figured out what our setup would be. All I could think about was how much I had drank the night before. Soon enough though, I sprung into action. Bassett and I went to American Apparel for outfits, however, we decided that it wasn’t worth it to spent exorbitant amounts of cash on tennis attire. We decided to buy headbands and wristbands and wear our own sporty duds. After that the next step for preparation was snacks, and drinks. However, before I could go to buy drinks Renga notified Bassett that she and Dan would shortly be arriving with a keg and a projector. I was not under the impression we needed that much beer but I guess someone else was, which was fine with me but I didn’t expect too many guests. I went out and bought some wine to satisfy the thirst of the non-beer drinkers.

Soon enough Laura and Dan arrived and at nearly 3:30 on the button, my friend Ajay arrived as the first party attendee. He helped me set up the Wii to the projector. We were afraid it wouldn’t work but certainly to my surprise it was a swinging success. The sensor worked properly so we would certainly be able to use the most public space in the house as our Wii Tennis court.

Pete and Bassett in pre-tournament relaxation mode.

Soon enough the guests began to pile in and the tournament bracket was taking shape. I have to give a special shout out to Bassett who did an outstanding job of actually preparing and seeding the bracket. At 6 pm (I think) I took control of the floor welcoming everyone to the Union Street Tennis Club and proclaimed “Let the games begin”. And with that we were under way.

The U.S. Open Bracket

Inexperienced Wii-ers were dropping like flies. We nearly had an entry into Wiihaveaproblem.com when Erika walked in front of Matt W and got smacked in the face with a vicious overhead smash. Despite the accident, there were no recorded fatalities and the tournament rolled on. One of the better 1st round matches was the GF/BF battle of Dan vs. Renga. Not only were they the two best dressed tennis players, but the action was intense too.

Renga Vs. Fry…An Intense Rivalry is Born

The tournament didn’t take as long as I had anticipated. We were only playing best of 3 games matches. I think next time we might do best of 5. Soon enough thought it was time for the Semis. It came down to Evan Kessler vs. Ahmad Saeed in one bracket and Ajay Choudhary vs. Jason S. If you thought I’d be able to hold down my home court advantage…You’d be wrong.

The Agony of Defeat

The final showdown would end up being Ajay vs. Ahmad. The battle of the Cold Hands Collective Multi-Instrumentalist vs. The Cold Hands Collective Bassist. Two friends in a fight for the glory of victory. The loser would walk away in shame having to hang their head for what would probably amount to 4 whole seconds if not a lifetime.

The Finals: Ajay vs. Ahmad

The matchup was not as intense as you’d expect a championship to be and in the end I think Ajay won in a cakewalk. I don’t remember the exact score but I think he may have one three games in a row. And with that the 1st Annual U.S. Open of Wii Tennis had come to a close.

1st Annual U.S. Open Champion Ajay Choudhary

The tournament may have been over but the party raged on for several more hours. People played all sorts of fun Wii games, drank, ate hot dogs, made conversation on the back deck and just generally enjoyed themselves. I know I did. Normally when hosting a party I feel rather panicked that I’m not talking to enough folks or doing enough for the party but with almost all of my roommates thoroughly involved it was a stress-free outing. I’m not sure what time the party ended but the last 2 people on the Wii were myself and Matt G who had two consecutive Tennis battles to the death in which I was the victor. It was a mild form of redemption after bowing out of my own tournament in the Semis. However, I feel like if I won my own tournament I would have just looked like a dick. Imagine inviting your friends over just so you can show them that you’re better than them at something. I was actually pretty sure that I wouldn’t win heading into the tournament. Not due to a lack of confidence, but just because I knew Ajay had a Wii much longer than I had. I fully expected him to emerge the victor.

In any case, The U.S. Open was a resounding success. It was so successful that I was completely worn out by Sunday and pretty much was reduced to sloth-like behavior for the entire day of rest that the lord intended. I went for a walk or two but generally stayed out of the public eye. Aside from listening to an uncomfortably heated conversation at Barnes & Noble in which a guy was telling a woman that his punishment for messing with a trashy girl was that he now had to pay $1500 a month in child support, it was generally an uneventful day. I came home and watched some bad TV with the roommates and called it a night….and a weekend.

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The Love Boat

Posted by evankessler on January 24, 2007

Love…Exciting and new. Come aboard EvanKessler.com readers. Gopher, Doc, Captain Stubing and company are expecting you. Where are we going? Well, we’re not technically going anywhere but we’ve reached a landmark on this here journey we (or more accurately, I) call the iPodyssey.

At approximately 5:20 today while engaged in a heated cardio session on the elliptical machine at the Body Reserve gym, I, Evan Kessler, realized I was in love…or more specifically into the “Love” section on my alphabetical journey through my iPod. Tuesday’s stretch of songs began a mere 4o minutes before as I left my apartment and headed towards the gym to the tune of Aimee Mann’s “Lost In Space”. The next 3 songs I heard shared the same title though the one immediately following was an upbeat number by the Fountains of Wayne . The two consequential tracks of the same name were live and album versions of a Luna song.

Several times during my workout I felt on the verge of breaking the “love” barrier. The first time was directly after Golden Smog’s “Lost Love”, a song whose title suggested a passing of the torch between two theme words. It would have seemed as if after 10 straight songs with the word “lost” in their title the word had finally gotten tired and said, “hey love, you take over…I’m on my last legs”. That was wishful thinking though and the “lost” section forged on for two more songs. At the end of Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones” there’s a skit where a guy is in a classroom teaching kids about love. That would’ve been the perfect cue for the “love” section to start, but wishful thinking took a back seat to reality once again as Stephen Malkmus interrupted with a “Loud…” song that resonated in my eardrum simultaneously with both enjoyment and disappointment. “Loud” was given one more turn and morphed into “Lounge…” for Nirvana before cupid fired his arrow into my iPod at the aforementioned time of 5:20pm.

The first “Love” selection was titled simply that and was rhymed by the mighty Mos Def. My trip to the gym ended two songs later on Rilo Kiley’s “Love & War (11/11/46)” and finally I arrived home to the tune of Kurt Cobain howling about a “Love Buzz”. The Tuesday iPodyssey could’ve ended there but I extended it a few more songs when I went to the grocery store and ultimately ended up 24 songs after I began, with Ryan Adams singing about how “Love Is Hell”.

The rest of the evening was quite enjoyable as I met up with John, Jess, James, Colleen, and Mitch at the Lighthouse where we ate, drank, and played some pool. Also, John gave me a 20o7 Kill Buffalo Records Sampler featuring new music from Earl Pickens as well as the new band signed to John’s Label, The Roadside Graves. Looks like I’ve got some listening to do before bed time. However, remember to tune in to tomorrow’s iPodyssey where the love the points double…or at least I listen to more “Love” songs.

P.S. I’m experimenting with a few new template options so bear with me.

Tuesday’s Favorites: Aimee Mann “Lost In Space”, Luna “Lost In Space”, The Clash “Lost In The Supermarket”, Golden Smog “Lost Love”, Clem Snide “Lost Music”, Lauryn Hill “Lost Ones”, Cat Power “Love & Communication”, Rilo Kiley “Love and War (11/11/46)”, Pearl Jam “Love Boat Captain”

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Do’s and Dont’s

Posted by evankessler on December 12, 2006

Monday morning came down, and I can’t say I was thrilled. I had precious little sleep due to a slew of nightmarish dreams, one involving a ghost. It is possible that my room is haunted but it’s more likely said apparition was a figment of my unconscious imagination.

I’d tell you more about it but if I dwell on it it’s more likely I’ll have a repeat of the previous night’s dream this evening and I do not wish that fate upon myself. So instead I’ll just move onto the Monday portion of the iPodyssey. Yes, that’s right…ignoring your problems makes them go away.

We may be ignoring problems but we’re certainly not ignoring achievements here at EvanKessler.com and today marked quite the achievement as we broke the record for biggest chunk taken out of the iPodyssey with a whopping 106 songs, begining with Pearl Jam’s “Daughter” at the outset of the morning trip to the subway. This particular section of the D’s was overwrought with streaks and types. We had 5 “Day” songs, 8 “dead” ones, 6 ones that were “dear” to us, but it didn’t stop there. We mustn’t forget the 5 “Deaths”, 3 “Devil’s”, 8 “Do”‘s and so far 11 “don’t” songs with plenty more where that came from. There were surprisingly few repeats numbering only one with “Debaser” by The Pixies. There was even a song that didn’t belong as Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” snuck into the wrong letter as it was marked as “Depeche Mode Personal Jesus”. That certainly puts a chink in the armor of this near perfect operation.
Furthermore, I noticed that most of the “Don’t” songs are not so surprisingly negative and depressing though I wouldn’t think all of them would have such a negative message despite the contraction they are adorned with. Even the “Do” songs, for that matter, struck me as downers. The Flying Burrito Brothers “Do You Know How It Feels?” struck me as quite cinematic as I solemnly shuffled down the Dean St. off of the Subway. The next song “Do You Realize” (Flaming Lips) struck me as a proper bookend to the previous track, whereas the prior one seemed to set a lonely scene at the beginning of a movie, the latter proper sealed a main character’s fate.

I arrived home to the the sounds of Tom Waits’ “Dog Door” and stood for a few minutes in my apartment debating the worth of heading to the gym. I figured that another several minutes out and about would go a long way towards furthering my musical quest. This took me into a wealth of “Don’t Songs” which I can’t say left me sufficiently excited to work out. It leaned towards “Don’t do this, you can just be lazy tonight”. However, I pressed on through the barrage of negative message songs.

I did have several epiphanies through the course of my elliptical workout. Ben Folds’ “Don’t Change Your Plans” reawakened questions about improving my life and my belief about how my tendency to always want to have “plans” is ruining my life. It seems I can never make a life altering decision because I always have something I don’t want to miss. For instance, I won’t go on vacation if there’s a football game on the weekend I want to go away. Each schedule point is a roadblock towards growing, whether pitchers and catchers are reporting a certain day, Jimmy’s having a birthday party, or someone is getting married and I put that over my own happiness and doing what I want. Anyway, enough about my psychosis. Music tends to make you think sometimes, you know?

I found equal stimulation in Rilo Kiley’s “Don’t Deconstruct” pretty much affirming what I was thinking during the previous song as Jenny Lewis sang:

judging from picture books apparently heaven is a partly cloudy place and if the sky opened up and they let you in and gave you a formal invitation would you go? you can work from home

These “don’t” songs can hit you in the heart if you’re not careful.

After I arrived home from the gym, the big dilemma was whether or not I was going to go watch Monday night football at the Lighthouse, which has been the custom this football season. I decided I would and went to my favorite local haunt only to see that my usual bartender was not there. I should have taken this as a sign to leave along with the additional sign that the show Two and A Half Men was on one of the TVs. Who wants to watch a sitcom (especially that one) at a bar? I decide to sit and have one beer, because it would be weird to just walk in and then walk out. Well, one beer turned into four and I ended up sitting next to a girl who was telling me entirely too much about her life, including that she was dating someone twice her age and that she lived with her ex-boyfriend who was jealous. I was not very attracted to her and was reasonably sure that she was not hitting on me, though I preferred not be sure because frankly, it’s been entirely too long and I don’t mind suspending my disbelief even when the attraction is not there. It’s a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference.

So I stayed entirely too long at the bar before leaving on cue when the bartender who was not the usual bartender and who was playing music instead of the game sound decided to put the band Creed on. Hearing Creed in Brooklyn in an unironic way is quite the rare event. I was not quite sure how to react. I liken it being on a plane that’s been hijacked. You think…”why me? why now? Why is this happening?” At least when you’re in a bar there’s an easy way out, though I hope someone came up with a “Let’s Roll”-esque solution to put an end to the subpar musical bonanza that was taking place. It was not a banner night for the Lighthouse and to top it off my fantasy football team lost. Woe is me. Luckily, tomorrow is another day.

Monday’s Favorites: “Dawn Can’t Decide” (The Lemonheads), “Dazed, Beautiful, and Bruised” (Catatonia), “Dead from The Waist Down” (Catatonia), “Dead Man” (Self), “Dear Employer (The Reason That I Quit)” (The Minus 5), “Deathly” (Aimee Mann), “Debaser” (The Pixies), “Debonair” (Afghan Whigs), “Debra” (Beck), “December” (Teenage Fanclub), “Deep Red Bells” (Neko Case), “Denise” (Fountains of Wayne), “Devil’s Right Hand” (Johnny Cash), “Dime A Dozen” (Tuscadero), “Dirty Frank” (Pearl Jam), “Disco 2000” (Pulp), “Discretion Grove” (Stephen Malkmus), “Dishes” (Pulp), “Disturbance at the Heron House” (R.E.M.), “Divine Intervention” (Matthew Sweet), “Divorce Song” (Liz Phair), “Don’t Believe The Hype” (Public Enemy)

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