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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

Thailand Day 7-8: Feeling Fine Across The International Date Line in 2009

Posted by evankessler on January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!  While I have no idea what’s in store for 2009, I can for certain tell you how the waning hours of 2008 were spent.

The Rocky Road To Long Beach Begins

The Rocky Road To Long Beach...

After whiling away the early morning hours staring at the ocean in front of Relax Bay in Koh Lanta.  The majority of our group decided to hike along the shore to Long Beach.  Early on in our trek it became painfully obvious that this would not be a leisurely stroll.  In fact, it basically turned into an intermediate rock climbing exercise; one that I wouldn’t recommend doing in flip flops.  There were a few treacherous steps including one where for a moment I considered heading back, because believe it or not, I do value my life.  It was made even tougher due to the fact that I was also wearing a back pack, but Eric and Judy helped me manage some of the tougher footholds and despite there being even more rugged terrain, everything that followed was a piece of cake.  Miller acted like a sherpa at a few points, though his beach hat suggested a more relaxed occupation, as we risked life and limb a few rocky feet above sea level amidst an ocean of abandoned sandals stuck in between boulders.

...is Paved With Many Obstacles

...is Paved With Many Obstacles

And Met With Many Rewards

And Met With Many Rewards

When we reached Long Beach we settled into the Moonwalk Cafe after a brief encounter with Jason’s parents at their resort.  We ordered food and drink and were met by the few who didn’t traverse the rocky expanse in favor of the road.  From the Moonwalk we made for the water, setting up shop in front of a nearby resort and getting our swim on.  My ears were still clogged, but I enjoyed my time at sea as much as I could.  At one point Andrea heard ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” playing on shore, which was a tip off to just how bad my hearing was getting, since I couldn’t hear a note.

As we frolicked in the Andaman Sea, the skies were growing cloudy.  Our fun was cut short and we began to pack up our belongings and head for the safe havens of Relax Bay and Mook Lanta.  The clash of clouds and sun created some astonishing visual candy, though the prospect of rain loomed over our New Year’s Eve.

The Sun Peaks Through The Cumulus Clouds of Discontent

The Sun Peaks Through The Cumulus Clouds of Discontent

Back at the cabana I enjoyed a lukewarm shower and readied for the onset of ’09.   As I was getting clean I applied some eardrops I had purchased earlier at the diving shop and was miraculously cured of my left ear ailment using that little ear tool they give you with most drops…and just in time for the new year.

The majority of our group was eating dinner at Relax Bay.  They had a 2000 Baht Buffet that was included in their deal, so they were more or less required to partake.  Seeing as Morwin, Ken, Miller, and I were not staying there we chose to save $60, instead opting to eat at a restaurant on the road.  Before we grabbed dinner though, we stopped at a local bar/art gallery/internet cafe for a drink.  As we entered, so did one of the street dogs who then followed us and sat under our table for the remainder of our time there.  It was a kind of odd, but funny occurrence, though not uncommon as street and beach dogs seemingly tend to follow people everywhere in these parts.


I Call This One "Steve Miller in Sepia Tone"

Our next stop was a Rasta-themed restaurant/bar called Baan, that seemed to be teeming with stray dogs that you might alternately describe as scruffy and rabid-looking.   One in particular had a downright frightening countenance with a jaw that looked as though though it was a cross between a beak and a snout.  He was more or less camping out in our area and we held out hope that he wouldn’t come closer and infect any member of our group.  Luckily, we finished our meal without ending up his victims.

Ken Enjoys His New Year's Dinner at Baan

Ken Enjoys His New Year's Dinner at Baan

From the stray haven of Baan, the four of us began to wander further down the road.  We stopped at a convenience mart where Ken picked up a bottle of Thai Whiskey.  The cashier gave both him and Miller a New Year’s gift in the form of a packaged pastry to accompany the alcoholic beverage.

With whiskey in hand we walked even farther along in the direction of Long Beach, passing bars called “The Irish Embassy” and “Shooters” before making a left turn towards the ocean.  We found ourselves at the same swimming spot from earlier in the day amidst some sort of New Year’s pageantry and lantern lighting.

Whiskeying Away The Hours Til 2009

Whiskeying Away The Hours Til 2009

We moved a little further along the beach under the cover of night to sit in the shadow of blackness and admire the sounds of the sea.  Ken passed around his whiskey and we sat largely in silence until the phone rang.  Kayvalyn was calling to alert us of the final plan for the evening.  We were to meet at a place called “The Funky Fish” that wasn’t too far from where we were staying, or at least that was my understanding. When I told Ken, Miller, and Morwin; they said they had seen the establishment in question on the way.  What I didn’t know was that by “on the way” they meant on the way from the ferry when we first arrived the day before.

We began to walk back towards our resort when I called Kayvalyn to confirm our direction.  She noted that she heard it was 4 to 5 kilometers from the resort in the direction we had come from.

We promptly came upon the convenience store from before and asked for directions there.  .  One of the men eating dinner told us he was in the band that was playing at the Funky Fish that evening and that the bar was 1 to 2 KM down the road. We started off in that direction when I had an attack of logic and reasoning.  I thought that all of the Thai people we had met so far had little to no regard for accurate time  or distance, so if this guy said 1 to 2 Kilometers, it was probably closer to Kayvalyn’s 4 or 5.  Realizing this we decided after walking a considerable amount to hop in the back of a truck for 40 Baht each and arrive at a much swifter pace.

As we were dropped off we happened upon Kayvalyn’s high school friend, Earth, who was with some other Thai folk, a few of whom had also graduated Syracuse.   I don’t remember their names at the moment, but I know there was a Pat, a Vipat…and that’s all I can muster.


The Funky Fish Bar

We walked around the outdoor expanse for a bit.  There was reggae music playing and past a fence there were lanterns being lit and sent out above the Andaman sea.  We had seen them being deployed previously from our darkened stretch of beach en masse, resembling some sort of anti-aircraft fire.

Ken and I Release A Little Lantern Magic

Ken and I Release A Little Lantern Magic

Up, Up And Away

Up, Up And Away

Miller and I went to release one of our own.  We bought one for 100 baht and went to get Ken.  Then we had an Australian help us to release it properly.  After one false start we successfully let our good luck charm go.  All of the while fireworks were being set off mere feet from where we were standing without any regard, warning, or supervision.

Objects In This Photo May Be Closer Than They Appear

Objects In This Photo May Be Closer Than They Appear

The rest of our group arrived at about 11:20pm and the drunken revelry promptly began.  There was little or no growing indication that the New Year was approaching, just a general curiosity over when the countdown would start.  At around 11:57 we had a hunch there would be no countdown and as Jeff’s phone struck midnight, we had our own countdown, “10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1!  Happy New Year!…Should old acquaintance be forgot…”

Jeff, Andy, and Ken Ring In 2009 With A Mix of Refreshment and Creative Facemaking

Jeff, Andy, and Ken Ring In 2009 With A Mix of Refreshment and Creative Facemaking

After one round of Auld Lang Syne and New Year’s congratulations there was another countdown, another a cappella rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” and repeated sips from everyone’s buckets of booze.   With each successive sip we’d scream, “buckets of booze” like a drunken Spring Breaker .

Judy and I Enjoying The Newly Crowned 2009 After

Judy and I Enjoying The Newly Crowned 2009 After

From there we moved over to the reggae show and watched the band whilst imbibing the spirit of the New Year.  We noticed our Thai GPS system from the convenience store was singing in the band. How about that?

Blurry Picture of The Band

Blurry Picture of The Band

As the evening carried on, more and more people dropped out.  I think I stayed pretty late.  I had managed to procure some sort of foam beads and while I was waiting in line for the bathroom I befriended a Finnish guy and an English girl.  The Finnish guy though I was either from Greece or Canada.  I think that was a compliment, meaning he didn’t immediately take me for an obnoxious American.  But like Lee Greenwood, I’m proud to be one of those.

At the end of the night, I hopped in a taxi with I think Judy and Eric or Ken or someone, but possibly not.  I woke up on New Year’s day feeling entirely nauseated and hungover.  I got a quick breakfast early, but returned to bed until 11:45am.  For some reason I desperately wanted to get to the beach before New Year’s day in New York, which would have been Noon Koh Lanta time.  I made it by a thread and took the lone photo of the day…of my feet as I looked at the ocean from my covered beach perch.

My View As The Clock Struck Midnight in New York

My View As The Clock Struck Midnight in New York

The rest of the day I did precious little in the way of activity, though I did go to the road and got a Thai massage from a weird place that wasn’t nearly as good as Health Land.  It wasn’t questionable but seeing as I was the only person there, I was afraid some stranger might come from the backroom, knock me out, and steal my things.  I had my eyes open half of the time.  My masseuse wasn’t necessarily built for this kind of work either.  Her fingers were plump and her skin rough.  She spent half of the time during the first twenty minutes staring aimlessly out the window as she lightly kneaded my left leg.  Oh well. It was less than $10 and I guess sometimes in Thailand you do get what you pay for.

I spent the rest of my day back at Relax Bay, under a covered, cushioned awning staring at the sea and reading next to Jeff, Liz, and Joel.  I took a quick dip, but was just mostly determined to finish reading my first book.

I met up with a large part of the group for dinner.  Andrea, Meghan, Jeff, Andy S, Andy C, Tracy, Morwin, Eric, and Judy all congregated around the table and I later partook in Ice Cream with Lauren and Rosario before calling it a day.  Morwin, Ken and I retreated to our room to read/write and just plain fall asleep…goodnight.

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Posted by evankessler on January 2, 2008

Happy New Year everyone! I trust you all had as good a time as I did ringing in 2008. I’ll tell you all about it in a minute, but before I do that, I’d like to announce that with the dawn of a new year comes the dawn of a new era in EvanKessler.com lore. What era is that you ask? Well, look above this paragraph, it’s the dawn of the video era! Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to regularly post video blogs, but if I should happen to capture something exciting with my sweet new Canon Powershot 750 (more details to come on that purchase) I certainly may feel inclined to display it on this here site.

The exciting clip above is the ball dropping on the roof of Dan F’s apartment in Bushwick followed by celebratory and probably a somewhat dangerous fireworks display. It was an absurdly entertaining way to get the party started in 2008! I can only hope the rest of the year is as explosive as this clip.

Before I get ahead myself, it’s probably necessary to take a few steps back to get the full scope of the past few days leading into the events of Monday Night/Tuesday Morning. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend going all out the few days prior to the monster gala that is New Year’s Eve but in the days leading up, there just seemed to be a non-stop party going on.

The weekend began inconspicuously enough. I spent Friday night in the confines of my apartment taking up space and watching TV, content to make that the norm for my pre-Auld Lang Syne singing days. I woke up at a reasonable hour the next morning and was greeted by a phone call from Andrew Morton asking if I wanted to meet him at the Tea Lounge just so we could both work on our respective writing projects. Andrew has been a champion of the coffeehouse writing circuit while I usually prefer the peace and quiet of isolated surroundings. My previous excursions to the Tea Lounge on Union Street to tend to my literary pursuits had been met by blaring avante-jazz and what I will refer to as active children. Thses are not what I deem to be conducive surroundings to creativity.

Despite my prior experiences I decided to give a shot. Otherwise I most certainly would’ve spent all day in bed , contributing a real lived in stench to my bedroom. I packed up my laptop and walked about a block to the lounge where Andrew was seated in the back counter working on one of his specific projects. I sat at the Galaga-Ms. Pac Man game table next to him and set up my station but not before getting a refreshing cup of green tea to clear my mind or speed up my metabolism.

Fortunately the music was not too invasive. It was actually an enjoyable soundtrack of Blondie’s Greatest Hits. I got right to work and was able to knock a few pages before leaving after two large cups of tea. Andrew had left before me due to his uneasiness regarding the behavior of the strange woman sitting on his opposite side. I was immune to her weirdness as I was in somewhat of a zone with regards to the work that was occupying my attentions.

So inspired was I by my abilitiy to get things done, that I decided to consciously set off a chain reaction of productivity. Over the last few weeks I had just decided to write whenever I had time and had avoided creating a schedule for myself. This was not working, I needed to set time aside. My first step in achieving this was the purchase of a calendar. I went to Barnes & Noble and sat before the calendar rack with a semi-important choice to make. Which calendar was the right one. I narrowed it down to Tractors, Antique Maps, The Baseball Hall of Fame, or the traditionally testosterone directed realm of the Whores calendar. Ultimately, the first choice was the best and so my wall is now adorned with Tractors. I also stopped at a hardware store and picked up corkboard for my wall. Unfortunately, the corkboard didn’t so much as stick to my wall.

Upon my return I proudly hung my calendar on my wall and headed out to the Lighthouse Tavern to catch the New York Giants regular season finale in what was essentially a meaningless game to them against the undefeated New England Patriots. I got there a bit early but was was met by Thea B and together we witnessed one helluva football game. There was a horribly annoying Pats fan next to me the entire time who enjoyed pointing out obvious rules as if I was a completely ignorant fan. At one point while trying to sound smart he mentioned that New England Patriots and the New York Giants had a lot in common due to the fact that neither of them play in the city they are named for. I waited him to finish his faux intellectual rambling to point out that at least the Giants play in the New York Metropolitan area and really are only about 15 minutes from the city they are named after and that the Patriots have the entire region of New England in their name, so they’re not at all alike. Further illustrating my point by saying that the Patriots could play in New Hampshire or Maine and still be playing within New England and so they were not alike at all. When I finished speaking the embarrassed patron declared that he would not speak for the rest of the game. I put up no resistance to his kindly offer and was glad to have gained his silence, though he did blurt out the occasional moronic comment throughout the remainder of the game.

That being said, The Giants and Pats battled it out for nearly 60 minutes with the Patriots erasing a 12 point deficit to complete their perfect regular season. Despite the fact that the Giants lost, they came out of the game looking like a team hitting its stride and a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs, even while losing three players to injury.

Fresh from polishing off a few beers and watching the game with Thea and the annoying Mr. Idiot Superfan, I headed down to Southpaw to catch my friends in the Cold Hands Collective, who luckily had a late start time of 12:15am. There was a pretty great crowd with most of the familiar faces. Lina, Rich, Ahmad, Erika, Siska, Abdullah, Miller, Suli, Ajay, Asha, Kishore, Morwin, Maya, Rob, Galeit, Nina and Dmitry (?).

Andy and Galeit, Kickin’ It Hip Hop Style

There was a lot of talk about New Year’s because Kishore was having a party. I wanted to go but I knew of another party at my Dan F’s house and I didn’t want to miss that since I had missed his previous bash. I was thinking about flipping a coin to decide but the decision didn’t have to be made right away as it was still 2 days away. The task at hand was the Cold Hands Show so I just focused on that as I’m not really a plan ahead kind of guy.

Cold Hands Collective In Action

Normally when I go to my friend’s shows I like to take a ton of pictures but my camera had been malfunctioning since my last outing a week or so ago. When I would push the zoom button the camera would shut off and sometimes it would do that when I was taking a picture. It was completely annoying but I did manage to get a few snaps off. The rest of the time I just sat back and enjoyed another solid Cold Hands Show at Southpaw, though I felt sort of panicked with my camera crapping out just days before New Years. After the show I had a drink or two and then walked our friend Galeit, who was in town from LA, back to her sister’s as it was on the way to my place and then called it a night.

When I arrived home I knocked on Bassett’s door to say hello since her light was on. I opened the door to find not one but 4 lasses. Bassett’s friends from North Carolina were in town visiting for New Year’s and I guess I had forgotten. However, that didn’t stop me from drunkenly recounting my evening and making fast friends by sharing my chocolate covered peanuts. I was introduced to Tracey, Rachel, Jess, and Gina though I don’t think I got their names straight until the next evening.

The next morning when I awoke my first order of business was clear. I was going to go to J&R Music world. I would buy a new camera for the New Year’s festivities and whatever came before and after. I hopped the 2 train to downtown manhattan and in no time I was at my destination buying a camera and asking no questions. I didn’t want to deal with salespeople, I knew what my price range was and thanks to reading a little blurb on CNET, I knew the Canon Powershot 75o was the camera for me.

Upon arriving home I uploaded the camera software which actually enabled me to get some video files off my other camera that had been stuck there for about 9 months. I even uploaded some stuff from the A Camp show I went to at Union Hall to a previous post. I’m telling you, EvanKessler.com is more than video capable now.

The first shot with My New Camera and the end of the line for this trooper.

I didn’t spend much more time at home that day as there was a big karaoke gathering at Japas 38 in Manhattan. I had almost gone there earlier in the week for a party with Kishore’s work people but the weather had been horrendous and I was greatly deterred. The weather was slightly better tonight and I would know more people there. My roommate Mike and I were the first ones there so we sat in a room by ourselves until his coworker Abby showed up. There were 4 or5 of us to begin but the crowd soon ballooned and we all got our sing on. Dan F, Renga, Pete, Maureen, and a essentially all of the people who had been at Pete’s surprise party several weeks before were there, plus Bassett and her North Carolina friends. I did my part singing Lisa Loeb’s “Stay”, Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf”, Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and Maureen and I brought the house down with a duet on Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds”. I took a lot of photos of the event but I accidentally erased them, so that’s certainly unfortunate.

After our 3 hours of karaoke the party moved down to Iggy’s on the Lower East Side. It felt like we were going at it pretty hard for the night before New Years. Perhaps, we were just building up some stamina for the long night ahead, but either way it was a fantastic evening. Most of my time at Iggy’s was spent getting to know Bassett’s buddies from below the Mason-Dixon. The conversation and the beer flowed and when we got home so did the Z’s.

New Year’s eve morning began with a nice big pancake breakfast conjured up by the ladies in the house…or most of them. I sat around the table waiting for things to happen and for food to be in front of me. I had a few pancakes and some bacon and that pretty much did it for me. The rest of my day was spent languishing in my own lazyness. Preparing for the great big storm of New Year’s Eve ahead. I thought about my options and rather than flip a coin I just chose to go to Dan’s because of how jealous I was after not going to his last party. I hoped none of my other friends would be mad at me for not going to Kishore’s, but that would just be stupid if they were. In a perfect world all of my friends would exist and perfect harmony and always hang out.

As I sat around wasting space and using the interweb meaningless pursuits like playing Scrabble on Facebox, I was talking to Thea who said she didn’t have anything to do for New Year’s so I invited her to tag along. I didn’t really do anything else until 7pm when I finally jumped in the shower to get ready for the evening. Bassett and her friends got back from their day seeing Spamalot and various other tourist type things and by about 8:45 we were ready to go. We needed 3 cars to take our large group to Dan’s in Bushwick. None of us really knew where we were going but we got there anyway.

Dan: The Classiest Host I Know

When we arrived at Dan’s abode on Troutman Street, there was no answer as we knocked on his door. He finally answered wearing a tuxedo and a top hat. The house was decorated with balloons on the low ceiling with the strings hanging down like a vine maze. There was a nice spread of cheese and crackers and various party snacks not to mention ample bubbly and a fridge full of beer. This party certainly had promise.

The excitement gradually built as time went by. Everyone was getting anxious for the new year by the time 11pm rolled around. People were also sufficiently buzzed by that point. Soon after people were being ushered to the roof one at a time via ladder for the big moment. Dan and Renga and made a ball to drop at midnight and Dan had a flagpole on his roof. This was going to be something. Prior to midnight, people were testing fireworks. This seemed like a very bad idea and I was slightly worried about mishaps. However, once the midnight hour approached my focus shifted to being supplied with champagne in time to drink in the New Year.

Who’s Having More Fun Than Kelly?

Then it happened, the countdown, 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1….HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Fireworks shot off into the air, people sang garbled versions of “Auld Lang Syne”, Champagne flowed like the waters of the mighty Allegheny River, sparklers were lit, people generally rejoiced. It was a glorious moment and we wanted to relive it. So we did.

7 minutes after we had first experienced it, the countdown began again…10…9….8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1 Happy New Year! The partygoers had collectively willed it to be the year 2009, 365 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes too early, but we were all the more excited for it.

Sparklers are Sweet

But So Are Me and My Roommate Laura Bassett

Laura Renga: Raises Her Arms in Victory at the Defeat of 2007

Pete and Maureen: Dance Fever ’08

More Cowbell

Thea in Front of The Best of 2007 Wall

After a few more minutes celebrating on the roof we made our way back down again since that’s where all of the alcohol and musical entertainment was. People made out, wrote on the best of 2007 wall, Dance Fever 2008 took effect, there were even a few early passout casualties but it was a raucous, rockin’ even. Dan our more than suitable host went through several costume changes. First came the gorilla outfit….eventually he was shirtless.

Gorilla Dan with Jessica and Rachael

The evening raged on til the week hours. It was just before 5am when we headed back to our section of Brooklyn. It was truly a great evening. I a great time hanging with Dan, Renga, Maureen, Pete, Bassett, Mike H, Thea, Patrick, Jessica, Rachael, Tracey, Kelly, Gina, Brian, Andrew, Ed and Krissy and all of the damn fun people at the party whose names I don’t feel like listing.

And That’s Pretty Much When We Knew It Was Over

I did not wake up the next morning…It was the afternoon. 2:40 P.M. precisely, and not a moment too soon as we had plans for a 4pm brunch at Stone Park with a large portion of the crew from the party including Bassett, Jessica, Tracey, Rachael, Gina, Pete, Maureen, Renga, Dan, Katie F, her dude, Patrick, and I think just Andrew who showed up later . Everyone left without me though as I was in the shower, but that didn’t matter since it was going to take a while to seat about 13 of us. The brunch itself was fun but uneventful and by the time we got out it was dark outside. Rather than go over to Patrick’s house to watch TV afterwards, I decided to go home and crawl into sweatpants and rest.

Minutes after arriving the North Carolina crew came home and I got lured into playing the board game life, which is surprisingly fun. It was maybe made more fun because I was absolutely kicking ass and probably having the best run of one liners that I’ve ever had in my life. I ended up drawing the Police officer career, and getting a crappy shack-like house and the lowest salary, but I eventually worked my way up to the highest and so there was an endless stream of dirty cop jokes to be made. I also favored flaunting my wealth by announcing to the other players when I had reached the million dollar mark. In the end I had also won a Nobel Peace Price and a Pulitzer.

What Being Good At Life Looks Like

After our game of life ended we engaged in enthralling matches of both regular catchphrase and dirty catchphrase. I was glad to have stayed home and in a way, ease in to January 2nd. The last few days had been pure madness…I wonder if this is shades of what’s to come. Well, I guess will have to ride out 2008 to find out.

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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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Posted by evankessler on January 2, 2007

Everything’s coming up Evan in 2007! However, in order to reach that magical date I had to make it out of 2006 alive. There was only one obstacle in my way. That obstacle was December 31st, 2006. This is my story about a man (me) who had 24 hours until the year that rhymed with his name.

Things started out simply enough. On Saturday Night (December 30th) I went out to the Lighthouse Tavern for my usual odd night football viewing. The football match between New York Giants and The Washington Redskins was only supposed to be on the NFL Network so I figured I had to go to the bar. While at the bar someone asked me if it was being broadcast locally on NBC as cable games are sometimes picked up by local affiliates. I didn’ t think this was the case so I said no and drank my beer despite not wanting to really drink at all. Several minutes later I called my roommate Marty at home. He told me the game was on NBC. This was silly, why was I drinking in a bar when I can be sitting on my couch? Just when this thought occurred to me Andrew Morton came to meet me on the bar couch. We shared a beer and some conversation but at halftime we went our separate ways as I had resolved to watch the rest of the game at home. The Giants won 34-28 thereby clinching a playoff spot despite not deserving one. I was slightly happy about this development, the only thing keeping me from elation was the intuitive knowledge that was telling me that the Giants will most certainly lose to whomever they are pitted against in the wild card round. The rest of my evening was spent draped over the living room couch watching the film, Sin City. I haven’t really decided if I liked it or not. My first reaction is to say that it’s okay. Malcolm Gladwell might be inclined to say that I should trust that first reaction.

Sunday morning I woke up not hungover, but not terribly interested in watching all of the football contests of the day seeing as the New York Giants were almost guaranteed a playoff spot. The Packers needed a miracle in order to squeak in in favor of the Giants, that miracle did not happen and so it was wise for me to not sit around and anticipate a miraculous occurrence that would make me angry.

At around 2:30 I decided to get off my fat and lazy american ass to work off some of those pre-New Year’s Party calories. I popped on my iPod and got through parts of 4 songs and parts of a 5th between walking to the gym, realizing it was closed and walking back. Not quite the workout I was looking for. The journey began on The Dandy Warhols’ “I Am Sound” and ended on Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”. The main time killer on that trip was the decision I made to listen to a flyer hander outer’s spiel in front of Bierkraft. That got me through two songs solid. The rest of the day before leaving for my New Year’s party consisted of surfing the internet while having football on in the background, and surfing the internet in the living room while having Star Wars on in the background. I went on a mad dash for a Chase Bank ATM at around 6:30 and arrived back at 7pm to jump in the shower and spruce up for New Year’s Eve 2006/2007. If we were entering the year of Evan, we were going to have to enter with a bang.

At 8:40 I left my apartment, looking dapper in my new duds from Bloomingdales. I walked to Jason S and Andy S’s apartment to meet up and go over to our party in Williamsburg with a few friends. We hopped on the G train at Hoyt Schemerhorn and were in the ‘Burg in no time. It was a bit of a walk to the Domino Sugar Factory where our friends Cold Hands Collective were performing, along with The Crooners, and several of our other friends who were DJing. We had to dodge plenty of errant piles of dog shit as well, making our trek a treacherous one. The big thing with our party was that it was free to get in before 10pm. We arrived close to 9:40 with plenty of time to spare, but much to our chagrin there was a long line with a velvety rope. We were on the guest list but apparently that meant nothing. Time was of the essence and we had to get in before 10 but the bouncers seemed to be up to no good, a common form of douchebaggery which is practiced most places with a velvety rope. They were allowing only people of a specific sex to enter at first and it was not the Male sex. Jason, Andy, myself, and Andy’s friends who came with us seemed resigned to the fact that we were going to have to pay $20 to get in. A around 9:56 a miracle happened. The line began to move. Hands were stamped. Revellers were frisked for weapons (I was not aware it was that kind of party). People entered the Sugar Factory for free. All told it was probably 10:03 or so when we got in but we were not charged.

The downstairs looked like a supertacky club with neon and a clubby type atmosphere. By the coat check I ran into Jamie S and Viggy. I didn’t recognize them at first because they were under a dark shadow. We waited for Andy, Jason, and company to finish being patted down before heading upstairs. The upstairs was certainly more abandoned factory looking. Jason and I went for drinks but apparently there were two separate bars on the floor. One was for beer and one for mixed drinks. To our shock, all beer was $7 whether it be a can of Budweiser or a can of MGD. At that moment we were pretty positive we’d be spending a lot of money on the evening. What the hell, New Year’s Eve only comes once a year (as do many other occasions).

Upon getting our exhorbitantly priced drinks there were meetings and greetings of friends I haven’t seen in weeks, have seen recently and new folks. Rich M, Lina, Ahmad, Abdullah, Miller, Joe, Jaysara (Joe’s girlfriend), Katie (Joe’s Girlfriend’s friend) Suli, Kishore, Eric, Ajay, Maya, Rob (DJ Radeus), and other people I’m probably leaving out by accident. When the Crooners came on, Jamie and I moved up front and took some pictures. I don’t think I took many great pictures this New Year’s but I’m going to share some with you anyway.

Jaime and Lina show off their bag holding smiling technique

The Crooners…in the dark

Sunday Shocker: Joe and Jaysarah on New Year’s Eve

After the Crooners played it was time for another drink and to take a trip to the bathroom. When I walked down to the lower floor I noticed a girl in a bikini dancing on a pole for the other party. I don’t think she was a stripper I think the downstairs party organizers were just trying too hard to have a sexy atmosphere. I think a few other tables had girls on bikinis dancing on them. No matter, I quickly headed back upstairs so as not to miss any of the Cold Hands performance. I suppose it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I did though seeing as though they are my friends and I’ve seen them plenty of times before. I took my position at the front and continued snappin’ photos and talking to folks and what people generally do at a party.

Ahmad Saeed on the Bass with MC A-magination

The time was nearing midnight and the balloons suspended from the ceiling were longing to kiss the ground or burst. With about 2 minutes the to go until midnight the band stopped playing and with 10 seconds to go the countdown was projected on the screen behind them. When the clock struck midnight I was standing with Suli and Jamie so we engaged in a perverse triple kiss reminiscent of MTV Spring Break’s past. Just kidding.

Suli and I demonstrate how Jews and Muslims Just Can’t See Eye To Eye

Cold Hands Collective in Full Effect

From that moment on there wasn’t much more to the night. The band played on for a bit longer and there was mingling and drinking. Maya’s boyfriend Rob DJ’d and there were a couple of different musical things going on onstage for the duration. There were roller skate people dancing and various other distractions. I luckily was able to score some free whiskey from the backstage area to make the strain on my wallet a little less. At around 2:30am give or take Miller, Kishore, Abdullah and I headed out to the Alligator Lounge on Metropolitan for free pizza. The deal is you get a free pizza by ordering a beer but I think we grabbed five pizzas and only really ordered 1 or 2 beers. After gorging on free pizza, Miller and I split a car back to our region of Brooklyn. I’m not quite certain what time I arrived home but I wasn’t too drunk thanks to the Alligator Lounge but I had a mean case of the hiccups as I was rehashing my night to Marty and Austin.

When I awoke this morning around 12:30pm I sat down at my computer to find about 8 emails in my yahoo account from JDate.com telling me that I had mail or I had been hotlisted or something. To be perfectly clear, I do not use JDate, nor do I have an account. That is, unless in my drunken stupor last evening I decided to sign up for it. Out of curiosity I checked into JDate and requested that they send me my password since I had no idea if I actually had a password. The password was something I would never ever use for a password so I immediately surmised that I was getting someone else’s messages. I signed in to find a home page that showed my matches. If you’ll look at the screen capture below you can see some of my matches:

It seems whoever crossed my email path on Jdate.com is a 33 year old female. While I was checking out her profile 3 or 4 men tried to IM me via JDate. I only accepted one guy. His first line was “Hey There” and I didn’t feel like pretending to be this woman any longer. Though to be fair, she stole part of my identity when she somehow got her JDate to my email, so I could be in the right. I could also just change her JDate membership to my own and totally screw her over but I’m sure she’d get over it and I don’t want to be on JDate. Plus she didn’t even have a pay membership so i couldn’t really do anything fun outside taking a screen capture of some of my matches. In any case, JDate STOP FLOODING MY INBOX!!!

The Female J-Date Me’s Man Matches

Things are already coming up Evan in 2007. Unfortunately that Evan isn’t named Evan and is a 33 year old woman who has Evan’s email address. The rest of my New Years day was a lazy blur filled with television and sloth-like behavior. I needed to get the laziness out of my system, Tuesday is just another day of work. And I’ve only got 4 left so I should use them well. Welcome to the abbreviated working week and here’s to the year 2007 where I resolve to get bigger, better, faster, and stronger than I was in 2006, figuratively speaking of course.

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